viernes, marzo 30, 2012

Vintage Jewelry and Spiritual Legacy.

This morning, I was looking through some of the jewelry handed down to me from my mom, my grandma and my great-grandma. There were notes written to me explaining what they were and to whom they had belonged. My mom was very practical and forward thinking. The notes were first addressed to my cousins, but when I made my unexpected appearance, the notes were re-addressed to me, adding that the real value lay in sentiment, and as a link to my family heritage.
Then I got on the computer and invited a good sized group of friends over for dinner and a movie. This is a family treasure passed down to me that has changed my life for the better. It is the spiritual legacy of kindness, that of opening your home to friends. My mom always taught me by example to make a special effort to include single ladies, allowing those who don't have families of their own to be part of ours. I know it is a blessing to have a home and a husband to share it with, and I don't want to keep those blessings to myself. I'm so glad my mom left me that legacy, and I hope to pass it on to the college girls I spend time with, and to the ladies who come over for movie nights, and to my nieces, for these three remain: hope, charity and love.

martes, marzo 27, 2012

The M Manor House

I have just started reading Death Comes to Pemberley. The Pemberley manor is described as having a place in the social life of the neighborhood. I think our modest cottage has the same. We also host a number of dinners for groups of college kids, and movie nights. We also differ in many ways from an English manor house in that we don't have servants or horses or silver serving trays. We don't go hunting or shooting on our property, and our house isn't made of brick or cinderblock. (It cuts down on the cost of heating that way.) We do have a library (actually, a bookshelf) with selected works. The lack of bookshelf space forces us to get rid of lesser quality works so that all that remains is the very best in literature. In all, I would say that our M Mini-manor plays a significant role in the social life of our 'hood.

viernes, marzo 23, 2012

My Knuckles Breathe a Sigh of Relief.

Cheese. I love it, Mr.M loves it, we have an entire shelf in our fridge dedicated to the stuff. Still, using it as an ingredient for a meal usually meant hard work, sore arms, and bloody knuckles. Then, one glorious day, we read in the owners' manual for our blender that it could grate cheese. We celebrate that day every time we have a meal that calls for grated cheese. I am not an overly emotional person, but I did come close to shedding tears of joy when I learned of our blender's grating abilities.

jueves, marzo 22, 2012

Advice to a 4-year-old From a 7-year-old

It's important that you share. Grown-ups have all sorts of dumb ideas, and that's one of their dumbest. They're all so proud of it, like it's a good idea . . . "Share this, share that, don't forget to share." Just humor them, or they'll never stop yacking about it.

miércoles, marzo 21, 2012

What to Write When You Don't Know What to Write?

I guess I'll start with yesterday. I spent most of the morning in my PJs, just feeling rather unmotivated. I shared my lack of motivation with a friend, and she suggested we have lunch together. Perfect! A reason to get dressed! I met my friend at a nice outdoor cafe. We had some friendly, intellectual chit-chat, and then we walked across the street to a bookstore. We found the magazines, and were each leafing through one as we continued our chit-chat. The second story of the bookstore was being renovated, so it sounded like there was thunder in the ceiling, and it felt like there was a continuous earthquake the entire time we were there. Despite the whole place shaking, my friend and I remained distracted by our respective magazines, and we took it a step further even, and came up with a plan to bring our blogging friends together for mutual support and encouragement. Everyone needs a friend like that-one who not only inspires, supports and encourages you, but helps you do the same for others. Check out my friend's blog at

martes, marzo 20, 2012

Vacation on a Budget

I am reading a book called The Dog Who Knew Too Much. The vivid location descriptions transport me to another world . . . or at least another state. Spencer Quinn uses words to paint such a detailed landscape, and reading the book leaves me feeling refreshed, and miles away from my problems. I'm on vacation and yet I don't have to get anyone to watch my dog or bring in my mail. Sweet!

domingo, marzo 18, 2012

Prodigal People

We all have them. We are confused, perplexed, dumbfounded and sometimes hurt by them. They are the prodigal person (or persons) in our lives. Like the father of the prodigal son in Luke 15, we love them and do our best to make them happy, yet they spurn our efforts and go off to do their own thing. Your prodigal person may be a parent, a son or daughter, a spouse, a friend, or a relative. The thing to remember is that the father of the prodigal son continued on with his farming life, having forgiven his prodigal person, and waiting patiently, daily, for him to come home so that he could celebrate. We all know the character of the prodigal son, the lead role in the story, and we are familiar with the brooding older brother, but we need to familiarize ourselves with the forgiving father, for it is likely that we will all find ourselves in his sandals someday.

viernes, marzo 16, 2012

Evening Constitutional on The Ides of March, in prose.

The friendly pair came leisurely ambling down the street. All was quiet, and the sky was the pleasant pink and purple of dusk. The old friends walked to the park and spent some time enjoying the evening under the big oak tree. Arthur and Oscar had been making this short evening stroll for years. After a short time at the park, Arthur gave the signal that it was time to go back home. After all, they were a pair of scruffy mutts, and they didn't want to miss their nightly bowl of kibble.

My I.T. Peeps

"It takes a village." I'm not sure, but I think Hillary Clinton was talking about maintaining a blog when she said that. You'll notice my very cool and customized (I drew it!) favicon by the name of my blog. I couldn't have done it without the help of Mr. M or Mrs. P, author of Gens Du Voyage and c'est la vie nomade. Thanks, friends!

martes, marzo 13, 2012

2 Timothy 1:8-10

In this book, Paul is writing to Timothy while he (Paul) is under house arrest for preaching the Gospel. He has to encourage Timothy not to let his (Paul's) sufferings deter him from preaching the Gospel. It is easy to become ashamed of the Gospel and its adherents, and to let that keep us from sharing the Good News, when we know that the Gospel doesn't promise a pretty, rosy life; on the contrary, the Gospel centered life can be ugly and dangerous. The Christian is, in fact, promised persecution. It is the unseen, the afterlife, that we put our hope in-not earthly comfort. We must continually ask God for the faith to share this news, this otherworldly hope, with others.

viernes, marzo 09, 2012

Is that Clear?

I couldn't pass up the opportunity to sit outside and soak up the sun while sipping an iced mocha at a coffee shop I frequent. I sat outside, next door to a plumbing store. Just outside the door, a little mite of a girl-child (maybe 4 or 5 years old) had been given the responsibility of keeping the family dog outside of the store while mom did some shopping. She stood just inside of the open doors, leash in hand, and firmly admonished the puppy that the store was not a place for him. To add impact to her admonishment and to clarify where things stood, she then said to the puppy, "Is that clear?!"

jueves, marzo 08, 2012

The Luxury of Decency.

Justice, fairness, kindness, goodwill . . . these are things we take for granted. The poorest residents of the slums and shantytowns of the world are too busy lying to their neighbors and exploiting each other to enjoy any relationships; even children are valued according to the amount of money they can contribute to the family-when they become to expensive, death (sometimes self-inflicted, sometimes not) is likely to occur. Poverty forces the people to do whatever they can do to make money-there are no limits; no lines of decency, morality, or trust that can't be crossed.
Even in much more prosperous circumstances, people are often willing to sacrifice true affection and friendship for the sake of money.

martes, marzo 06, 2012

Studying Poetry, and Taking a Study Break.

From my study of poetry so far, I've learned that there are many rules regarding rhyme, rhythm, meter, assonance, consonance, etc., BUT it is the breaking of these rules that really gives life to a poem. My question, then, is why have the rules in the first place.
I am taking a short hiatus from my study of poetry to read Behind the Beautiful Forevers, a non-fiction book about life in the slums and shantytowns of India. I picked it up and have only been able to put it down at mealtimes.
My adventurous life is abuzz now with house guests who will be with us for a week. Our friend is the pastor of a church in central California, and he brought a friend with him to enjoy a week in SoCal, most of which will be spent hobnobbing with other pastors from around the globe who are in town for a pastors' conference at our church.

lunes, marzo 05, 2012

Mr. M. Did it Again.

Santa Clarita Pizza Kitchen; that's what our house was Saturday night. Five college students came over, and we all made our own pizzas. I've been in a Mediterranean state of mind (and palate), so my pizza consisted of olives, artichoke hearts, and goat cheese with just a pinch of mozzarella. Mr. M. had just cheese and tomatoes, and the kids went hog-wild with pepperoni (one of the kids even came dressed as one!), sausage, and bell peppers and onions. Then we had dessert, which was a chocolate chip cookie baked in an individual cast iron skillet and topped with home made vanilla ice cream. We have only four skillets, so we had to eat in shifts (same with the pizza), but the decadent dessert was definitely deserving of the delayed delivery, and it gave us more time to get to know our guests.

sábado, marzo 03, 2012

Stockpiling Books

I have at least 6 books just sitting in the bleachers, waiting to be read. I temporarily put Wordsmithy aside so I can focus on poetry for a while. I am now reading Intro. to Poetry, and while I enjoy it, I can't wait to be done with it and get back to Wordsmithy. I am also reading Putting the Amazing Back Into Grace, a wonderful book on Reformed theology. The next book up to bat was going to be The Dog Who Knew Too Much, a novel about a detective and his dog, but the batting order may change as I have just ordered a book about the slums and shantytowns of India. It is a non-fiction book by a journalist.
All the talk about electronic readers has me scared that the demand for printed books will go so low that their price will skyrocket. I can go on about the practical reasons I can never see myself with an e-reader, but I must admit that when it comes down to it, I like people to see the covers of the books I'm reading so that they can admire my discerning literary taste.