Thursday, December 29, 2011

a dog, a flowerpot, and a sunny day.

oh, and some cool crisp weather. what more could i ask for?

Monday, December 26, 2011

on christmas favors...

I didn't take many photos on Christmas day...

...but I can say that I felt a bit less like a reflection of my former self.

and there were presents (always a plus)

even the dog got her share.

( I did make it, later in the day, to my mother's house for the crazy chaos that is my family's Christmas celebration. There was catching up with old friends, and congratulations on my nephew's engagement, plus remote control tanks and helicopters, and thanks to my funny and generous brother, the gift of a camera for my daughter, the receiving of which involved an elaborate re-enactment of an old German spy movie, complete with script and costumes. Glad I didn't miss that ;)

I'm exhausted, but grateful.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

still here...

albeit a bit fuzzy around the edges...

...but ready and waiting, all the same.

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; 
he is Christ the Lord." 
Luke 2: 10-11

(Your words and thoughts and prayers of support have meant the world to me. 
May you all be blessed, as you have blessed.)

Monday, December 19, 2011

i believe, help me in my unbelief.

still so very ill... uncertain where this is leading. perhaps this is more appropriate for the season than i realize. i am walking in darkness, waiting for light. 

"the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned."
matthew 4:16

(p.s. for more little birds that sing a message of hope, visit elk at red or gray art)

Friday, December 16, 2011

we three kings...

"The magi, as you know, were wise men--wonderfully wise men--who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents."

O. Henry, from The Gift of the Magi

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


This is the message of Christmas:  We are never alone.  
~Taylor Caldwell

Monday, December 12, 2011


This is me with my dog, Snappy, in the Illinois woods, circa 1965 or so. Probably my dad took the Polaroid, forever capturing for me the coziness of a red knitted hat, the earthy crunch of oak leaves underfoot, and the lovely warmth of dog kisses on a chilly December day.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

why i am partial to stars...

i love everything red at christmastime... and i am partial to stars... 
perhaps because they sing:

In the darkness something was happening at last. A voice had begun to sing. It was very far away and Digory found it hard to decide from what direction it was coming. Sometimes it seemed to come from all directions at once. Sometimes he almost thought it was coming out of the earth beneath them. Its lower notes were deep enough to be the voice of the earth herself. There were no words. There was hardly even a tune. But it was, beyond comparison, the most beautiful noise he had ever heard. It was so beautiful he could hardly bear it. The horse seemed to like it too; he gave the sort of whinny a horse would give if, after years of being a cab horse, it found itself back in the old field where it had played as a foal, and saw someone whom it remembered and loved coming across the field to bring it a lump of sugar.

"Gawd!" said the Cabby. "Ain't it lovely?"

Then two wonders happened at the same moment. One was that the Voice was suddenly joined by other voices, more voices than you could possibly count. They were in harmony with it, but far higher up the scale: cold, tingling, silvery voices. The second wonder was that the blackness overhead, all at once, was blazing with stars. They didn't come out gently, one by one, as they do on a summer evening. One moment there had been nothing but darkness; next moment a thousand, thousand points of light leaped out: single stars, constellations, and planets, brighter and bigger than any in our world. There were no clouds. The new stars and the new voices began at exactly the same time. If you had seen and heard it, as Digory did, you would have felt quite certain that it was the stars themselves who were singing, and that it was the first Voice, the deep one, which had made them appear and made them sing.

— C.S. Lewis, from The Magician's Nephew

Friday, December 9, 2011

a red mitten

My grandmother made this ornament to celebrate my first Christmas with my husband, nearly thirty years ago. I love the bright red mitten with its gold trim and its message of togetherness. We've weathered some of life's heavy storms since those early days in our marriage, but like this little handmade ornament, we're still hanging in there.

"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, 
while loving someone deeply gives you courage." 
Lao Tzu

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

on the comfort of a furry friend...

"Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?"
Ecclesiastes 4:11

(this is also the basenji credo.)

in keeping with yesterday's theme...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

i can dream, can't i?

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas,
Just like the ones I used to know,
Where the tree tops glisten
And children listen
To hear sleighbells in the snow...
~Irving Berlin

Monday, December 5, 2011

okay, so it's not very christmas-y...

...but isn't it sort of miraculous in its own (slightly creepy) way?

(linking to macro monday)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

a promise...

"Listen to Me... you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you."
Isaiah 46:3-4

... and i am holding onto it.

(linking to Sunday, at Jumping Tandem)

Friday, December 2, 2011

life is a tangle, sometimes

i know the sky is out there,
wide and blue and free —
if only i could get an unobstructed

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

on mysterious gifts from unexpected corners

a little brown sparrow flew in the other day, bearing gifts.

she told me the gifts were from a curious acorn, which i found intriguing...

still more intriguing was this mysterious tin, filled with cobalt blue packets of english tea,

and a large blue and white china mug, bedecked with birds and acorns, 
waiting to be filled to the brim.

i suspect my gift may have been the work of a hobbit, as it arrived on her birthday, and those of us familiar with hobbits know that it is their habit to give gifts to others on that day.

whether hobbit or human, the giver shared her faith as well, that despite my present circumstances of ill health, one day we will share tea together, in person. 
thanks, jodi

Friday, November 25, 2011

light through stained glass

"People are like stained-glass windows...

...They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in,

their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within."

— Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

sundry gratitudes on the tuesday before thanksgiving (yes, this is the dr. jekyll to my previous mr. hyde post)

for candlelight (and starfish.)

for a hawk who shared his feather :)

for a new journal to fill with heart and soul and dreams...

for footstools (and feet.)

for early morning walks in the garden and the smell of damp pine needles.

for hot tea on a cool november day.

for bird song.

for the white tip on my dog's tail.

for warm stockings.

for black-winged birds against a true blue sky.

for writing it all down.

for you.

thankful schmankful

i know i'm supposed to be grateful,

and really, i am...

for so many things and people and mercies.

but lately i've been having a really hard time

with this endless loop of pain and sickness

and difficulties —

which has put me in a black mood.

the last two days, especially,

i've been feeling angry

and hateful

and like i just want to shut myself into a padded room somewhere

and scream until i can't scream anymore.

i'm sorry if this makes you sad on thanksgiving.

i have a happier post of things i'm grateful for,

which i'll post directly after this.

but somehow these two me's are existing in the same fragile body, right now,

and i just couldn't post the good

without the bad and the ugly.

it didn't seem honest.

somebody tell me a stupid joke. gallows humor cheerfully accepted.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

jacob's ladder...

...or do you think it's charlotte's web?

(linking to recuerda mi corazon for postcards from paradise)

Friday, November 18, 2011

hello to you, from me

I'm wearing my new birthday gift, from me, to me! Doesn't it look like a little bit of sunset around my neck? It was made by the very talented Tracy, of PranaLight, and you, too, can see her wonderful wares by visiting her blog and clicking on the link to her Etsy store. There's nothing like a bit of handmade jewelry (handmade anything, really!) to put a smile on my face :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

emily dickinson, on time and troubles

They say that 'time assuages,' —
Time never did assuage;
An actual suffering strengthens,
As sinews do, with age.
Time is a test of trouble,
But not a remedy.
If such it prove, it prove too
There was no malady.

— Emily Dickinson

"Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life...
the Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; 
your love, O Lord, endures forever — 
do not abandon the works of your hands."  

Psalm 138: 7,8

(self-portrait engraving, by Sue Rovelstad Lawless)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

through the looking glass

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: 
now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

— I Corinthians 13:12

Sunday, November 13, 2011

post-birthday gratitude

 for recycled light that sings when the wind blows ...

 for purple-skirted petunias with white lace petticoats ...

 for hand-copied books of poetry ...

... and hand-made birthday cards.

for love that surrounds me, even on the sickest days.

for another year of life.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

finis, by e.e. cummings

Over silent waters
                          day descending
                                                 night ascending
floods the gentle glory of the sunset
In a golden greeting
                            splendidly to westward
as pale twilight
comes the last light's gracious exhortation
                                                     Lifting up to peace
so when life shall falter
                                 standing on the shores of the
       May I behold my sunset
            over silent waters

— e.e. cummings

Monday, November 7, 2011

on procrastination and the wonder of it all...

here's a secret. i should be paying bills and making doctor appointments and doing laundry. instead, i'm looking at photos of seaweed. strange, bright, glistening orange vegetation from some mysterious underwater world. emerald sea-moss, washed up at my feet one brilliantly hot summer's day, to meet the lens of my camera. 

and somehow the things to do take second place to the things which shout out "miracle!" 

isn't that a wonder?