Sunday, April 30, 2006

Out of the Ordinary

"Now here is a question: how many ills of our day stem simply from an abandonment of one's place, or from a refusal to acknowledge that one must occupy any place at all ?"
(touchstone magazine)

Did you know that the Greek word 'cosmos' doesn't simply mean the universe? It means 'a world wherein things are in their fitting, proper, or most becoming place'.

I would love to be extrodinary. But I am beginning to value the great worth of being ordinary. 99% of creation is ordinary. It's where the God of the cosmos finds them to be "most becoming".

A new friend reminded me recently how much there is to love about my ordinary life. (thanks Amy) Here is my (partial) list of what I love about my life, read it & then tell me some of your loves too.
Dreaming about attics, castles, adventures, Prince Edward Island, and exploring ruins, Daughters who share those dreams; thunderstorms, sleepy hidden villages, classic stories, dainty pink rosebuds, being loved by God, blowing the downy fluff of dandelions, being moved by music (esp. the music of Mozart, Vivaldi, the Celts, James Taylor, Nat King Cole, Lifehouse, Bebo Norman, Christmas, Louis Armstrong...), having a husband & son who make their own music, the sound of: rippling brooks, crashing waves, birdsong, chirrupping of crickets, whirring of hummingbird wings, creaky screen doors, our Cricket snoring, rain drops on my roof, Scottish accents, breezes in the Aspen grove, ice in a glass of green tea, bumbly buzz of bees, James saying my name, horses galloping across sod, pages turning... The feel of: being cuddled close, flannel sheets, crisp Autumn air, tingles of goosebumps, cashmere, anticipation, warm velvet, chenile bedspreads, walking through ferns, rocking a baby, takeoff in a plane, being right, a sleigh ride, being secure, going barefoot in clover, being obeyed, Cricket's kisses, being finished!, pussywillows, featherbeds, kissles, a good laugh... The taste of: Morrocan food, Peach and Pear Jelly Bellies, dry roasted peanuts, Sour Patch Kids, Banana popsicles, ceasar salad, cheesecake, sun ripened tomatoes, raspberries off the vine, honeysuckle... The scent of : Lilacs, wet dirt, leather, musty old cellars, peaches ripening in the sun, after the rain, wassail, pine/cedar, clean linens, kiddos fresh from the bath, saw dust, lavendar, sunscreen, cinnamin, old books, ginger... The sight of: Horefrost, the sunrise & set, new buds, mistletoe & holly, friends' faces, Christmas trees, fresh fallen snow, Monet's paintings, wrought iron gates, rock walls, cobblestone cottages, grandfather clocks, chickadees, bubbles, a roaring fire, our flag being carried by soldiers, swans, Maine, otters, smiles, James arriving home, Tasha Tudor's art, porch swings, maryjane shoes, clawfoot tubs, fresh scrubbed toes, Barbara Cooney's stories and art, skeleton keys, dew on a spiderweb, bunny tails, a Starbucks, white picket fences, my slippers at the end of the day, tree-canopied winding paths, windowboxes filled with flowers, fog, Lights on the water, arched doorways, babysbreath...
What about this ordinary life thrills you to your toes?

Friday, April 28, 2006

Get Away

Last weekend James and I went away... All by ourselves. It was the first time in 3 years (or more). We went to see our pastor/friend preach the first night. We had no idea where we were going. James asked if it would be sexy for him to stop and ask directions. he he he. We missed worship, but made it in time for the first point on his notes! I told James he was very sexy!
After the service, we went to Tomato Street for Chicken Marsala (recommend!) and some laughs before driving to a quaint town nearby.
We had a fun evening, slept in, and grabbed a Starbucks before heading out to see if our favorite used bookstore was still in business. It was. Lady Di greeted us. We spent 2 solid hours talking and reading. Isn't it peculiar how the scent of old books makes you feel wise and philosophical? Of course we bought books. Mitch Album, Flavors of Pacific Northwest, ... and more. We split a Taco salad for lunch at a forgettable location with an unforgettable 'Scotsman'. Then we drove to Circuit City to stoke the fires of James' gadget lust (& mine a tad too). New laptop and camera top the list of those we left behind but hold dear to our heart. Then we headed home. Our car conversations are always the best. (I know Peggy agrees with me here) It isn't because of the captive audience, contrary to popular belief, I think it is because of the solitude and absolute privacy with the open road stretching before you! James always does more talking than I do. I love it. I get to hear his heart, his passions, and his corny jokes and laugh with him. It's what I fell in love with 20 years ago. It's what I still love.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Aslan? Me?

As Aslan, you are brave, noble and have an astute awareness of morality. You may be quick to anger at times, but you have a heart of gold, and are respected greatly among your peers.

What Narnian are you?
click the banner to take the test.


Saturday, April 22, 2006

Around Our Yard

The Girls took these shots of Spring springing! They are all from our yard... Just thought I'd share.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

When Nigglers niggle

"It is the nature of Desire not to be satisfied, and most human beings live only for the gratification of it." ~ Aristotle

I'm finding the above quote to be a niggler. I don't know if niggler is a family word or not, so let me explain. A niggler is anything that wriggles under your skin just enough to tickle/annoy you. Annoying + Wriggle = A Niggle. Got it?
Desire is something we long for. It haunts us. At the onset of it we enjoy its call, its song. We hope for it, dream about it, listen for its' music to come to us on whatever breeze is blowing by.
Aristotle's words pricked my conscience.
My mind began mulling. The Bible says that hope deferred makes the heart sick. Yet Desire makes us hope. The Bible says that God will give you the desires of your heart. I felt that niggler again as I mulled.
When nigglers make you mull, understanding eventually dawns. (I could be the next Confucius, don't you think?)
Desire isn't meant to be pursued, God is. Delight yourself in Him and he will give you the desires of your heart. Hope for the desire, but hope in God.
It's elementary, I know, but what do you expect from somebody who mulls nigglers?

Friday, April 07, 2006

Decloaking Device

All you "Trekkies" out there will appreciate my analogy. I took this online test to decloak my personality - or as they put it - "Qualitative analysis of your type formula".
I am an iNfJ. 80% intuative, 10% judge & 5% of both introversion & emotions.
Also called an Idealist Mentor. I like that! Here is how they describe me.
Beneath the quiet exterior, INFJs hold deep convictions about the weightier matters of life. They are there for the cause, not for personal glory or political power. Earmarks - Being PHILOSOPHICAL in communicating and COOPERATIVE in implementing goals, can become highly skilled in DIPLOMATIC INTEGRATION. Their most practiced and developed intelligent operations are usually teaching and communicating (NFJ mentoring), or conferring and developing. The Idealist temperaments have an instinct for interpersonal integration, learn ethics with ever increasing zeal, and often speak interpretively and metaphorically of the abstract world of their imagination. "There's something rotten in Denmark." Accurately suspicious about others' motives, INFJs are not easily led astray. These are the people that you can rarely fool any of the time. Though affable and sympathetic to most, INFJs are selective about their friends. Such a friendship is a symbiotic bond that transcends mere words.
They are empathic in action, benevolent, and authentic. Idealist types search for their unique identity, hunger for deep and meaningful relationships, wish for a little romance each day, trust their intuitive feelings implicitly, aspire for profundity. Credulous about the future, mystical about the past, and their preferred time and place are the future and the pathway. INFJs have a knack for fluency in language and facility in communication. In addition, nonverbal sensitivity enables the INFJ to know and be known by others intimately - but only when they choose.
Writing & counseling are areas where INFJs frequently find their niche. In their family interactions they strive for mutuality, provide spiritual intimacy for the mates, opportunity for fantasy for their children, and for themselves continuous self-renewal. Idealists do not abound, being 8% of the population.

What are you?

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Java and Me

I grew up in a home where coffee didn't exist. It wasn't that it was opposed, just disliked and so, forgotten. I married a man who didn't drink coffee. Neither of us ever felt the need to indulge even though we both were born and raised in the Pacific Northwest where Starbucks reigns over Bohemian and Yuppie alike. Then we were turned to the dark side. And by our pastor no less. It only took one well made latte to ensnare our tastebuds!
Now I love a steaming hot cup-o-joe in the mornings and sometimes with our Hobbity mid-afternoon snacks.
I found these stories and facts about this Arabian Brew and the company that has made it one of the greatest commodities on earth.
"Last week 20 million people bought a cup of coffee at a Starbucks. "
"A typical customer stops by 18 times a month. "
Starbucks logo, Melusine (or Melusina), is a figure of European legends and folklore, a feminine spirit of fresh waters in sacred springs and rivers.
She is usually depicted as a woman who is a serpent or fish (much like a mermaid) from the waist down but with wings, two tails or both.

A sheep herder named Kaldi started it all in 850 AD. He wanted to know what could be responsible for the "queer antics of his flock." Fearing his sheep possessed, Kaldi paid close observation from high on the mountain and watched as his herd nibbled red berries from the branch of a strange tree.
Upon closer inspection he discovered the sheep eating berries from a new leaf. When he sampled the berry himself, he felt a surge of exhilaration and rushed to tell the local imam. That night the two shared a concoction made of the berries, pranced around, and generally got pretty tanked on caffeine. Sooner than you can say percolate, the Imam and his monastery became famous throughout Arabia for the spirited praying of its coffee-drinking brethren. Soon others in the old world were clamoring for the newly discovered bean.
Whatever its origins, the black broth is now ingested by over a third of the world's population and, centuries later, continues to promote odd antics.
Venetian fleets sailed the known world trading spices, silks, and perfumes with the East. It is believed that coffee came to Venice from Constantinople as part of this trade. There was only one problem. When the drink reached Rome the priest attacked it and forbid it consumption.
The priests believed that the coffee was the drink of the devil. That Satan had invented the drink for infidels. If a Christian drank this devil brew they would risk eternal damnation is how the argument went.
It wasn't until the late 1500's that Pope Clement VIII settled the dispute. He asked that the brew be brought before him. The Pope blessed the coffee, and baptized it on the spot. He reasoned that banishing this drink from the Christian world would be a larger sin. With the Pope's blessing, imports of coffee to Italy and the Western world came flooding in paving the way for the first western coffee houses.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

The Gift Comes to Pass

What an incredible get-away. We have the memories of the love and laughter of our whole family. We can never say thank you enough, Mom & Dad. It was a Christmas gift worth waiting for!