Monday, April 23, 2007

Gift for Erika's Baby

Later this week there will be a baby shower for Erika, an archival collections specialist, who is expecting a baby girl in June. I won't be able to attend as I'll be working that day but I knit baby booties and a hat and bought a copy of one of my favorite children's books as a gift.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


Quilting is one of the things I gave up doing when I started library school. There were many days I quilted 8-10 hours a day. It would take me one month to hand-applique or machine piece a full size quilt top and another month to handquilt and bind it. I no longer have time for quilting. The quilt I was working on when I was accepted to library school a year ago is still in the frame. The fabrics I was using to hand-applique a top are still on my desk in my sewing room. I spent yesterday straightening my sewing room. There was dust everywhere.

And then there are the quilt shows I attended. The last one I went to was at the Oregon Coast last August. Thank goodness for online quilt shows! Here's one I found recently. I couldn't have physically gone to this one. It's in Australia! There are many beautiful quilts to dream over here and, of course, I haven't given up my habit of making lists of quilts I want to make "someday".

Friday, April 13, 2007

Don't Miss the Beauty in Life!

I no longer watch the evening news or subscribe to any print newspapers. I seldom read news reports on the Web. Most stories are about politics, ugly incidents (many involving children), natural disasters, and what stupid things celebrities are doing.

Little of it is important to my life; none of this kind of information makes me a better person. Occasionally, however, I run into a story that impresses me.

This story in the Washington Post is entitled Pearls Before Breafast . During the rush hour commute to work on January 12th, Joshua Bell awarded the Avery Fisher prize recognizing him as the best classical musician in America, went to the L'Enfant Plaza in Washington, D.C. and, for 43 minutes, played some of the world's most beautiful music ever written. It was videotaped and you can watch hundreds and hundreds of people walk by, totally oblivious to the beauty of that music, intent only on getting to work.

"Seven people stopped what they were doing to hang around and take in the performance, at least for a minute. Twenty-seven gave money, most of them on the run -- for a total of $32 and change. That leaves 1,070 people who hurried by, oblivious, many only three feet away, few even turning to look."

So here's my rant for the day. Pay attention to the beauty in life! It's all around you! From the birds singing in the morning, the lilacs blooming in the yard next door, the little girl singing to herself as she's walking down the sidewalk, the happy wag of a dog's tail, the sun breaking through a cloud, the violinist playing in the subway terminal. Pay attention! Don't miss a moment of it!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Happy Easter!

We're having a quiet and peaceful Easter Sunday.

Easter dinner is pork roast with garlic and rosemary, rice pilaf, asparagus, rolls and strawberry shortcake for dessert. I've also made brownies so that those who like chocolate can have that with sliced strawberries as an alternate.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Holy Saturday

Today is Holy Saturday.
Today we wait.

I knit a pair of pink booties.
I worked in the library.
I bought strawberries.
I swept the kitchen.
I folded laundry.
I washed dishes.
I took a walk.
I prayed.

I waited.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Good Friday

I have several friends who have people they love serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. These last few days have been especially tough on them. I think about and pray for them and their families.

When Steven was in Vietnam I prayed for him every day. I prayed he would come home to me. I tried to bargain with God.

When Steven and our daughter died I lost my faith in God. What kind of loving, compassionate God would allow them to die and leave me with nothing?

Today is Good Friday. Jesus asked from the cross "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Later he said "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit." Nothing can separate us from the love of God but faith was not and is not to be had cheaply.

Maundy Thursday Tenebrae Service

I was a reader at the Tenebrae Service yesterday evening.

Tenebrae is the Latin word for shadows and recreates the emotional aspects of the passion story. The core of the Tenebrae service works like this: It starts out with the church in candlelight. There are as many candles as there are readings (for us it was fourteen), plus a white Christ candle. The readers go up one at a time, read their assigned selections, and when each finishes reading, one of the candles is extinguished, until only the Christ candle remains. Pastor Sharon read the first part of Psalm 22 and then the Christ candle was put out, leaving the congregation in near total darkness—and near total devastation. At this point, the service ends. We all leave in darkness and silence.

The purpose of the service is to recreate the betrayal, abandonment, and agony of the events, and it is left unfinished, because the story isn’t over until Easter Day.

Monday, April 2, 2007


I travel on country roads when going to work in Albany and Corvallis and often see wildlife. Last week I saw a fox in a field, a bald eagle flying near the Willamette river on Peoria Road, a blue heron in a ditch, and, one evening near dusk, a deer. I wonder what I'll see this week?

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Grace (Eventually)

That is the title of Anne Lamott's newest book. I've placed a hold on it but as I'm the twelfth person it'll be a few weeks until I have it to read. I like the idea of the God's "in box". When she is concerned or worried or fearful, Anne writes these things down on a piece of paper, folds it up, places it in God’s in box, and tries to not do anything about it until she hears from Him.

It is doubt and surrender made visible, she says. It is also letting go of the notion that I have anything to add to God’s wisdom. This comforts me. I can only ask God to tell me the ways in which I need to repent, and ask for grace and reconciliation concerning everything else.

In an essay on helping to raise funds to prevent the closings of libraries, she writes a couple great sentences on the importance of books and reading.

"We came together because we started out as children who were saved by stories, stories read to us at night when we were little, stories we read by ourselves, in which we could get lost and thereby found.

If you are mesmerized by televised stupidity, and don’t get to hear or read stories about your world, you can be fooled into thinking that the world isn’t miraculous – and it is.

Reading and books are medicine. Stories are written and told by and for people who have been broken, but who have risen up, or will rise, if attention is paid to them. Those people are you and us. Stories and truth are splints for the soul, and that makes today a sacred gathering. Now we were all saying: Pass it on."

I don't always agree with Anne. Sometimes I disagree passionately. Many times I agree passionately. But that's what she's all about. Passion about life.

Here's a link to an interview if you want to read more about her.

Seed Catalogs

One sure sign of Spring is all the seed catalogs arriving in the mail. I love the old-fashioned flowers best--cosmos, hollyhocks, lilacs, snapdragons and most of all, sweet peas. One of my favorite catalogs is from Fragrant Garden Nurseries .