Wednesday, January 26, 2011


"Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. "
-- Isaiah 40 : 28

"Guidance, like all God's acts of blessing under the covenant of grace, is a sovereign act. Not merely does God will to guide us in the sense of showing us his way, that we may tread it; he wills also to guide us in the more fundamental sense of ensuring that, whatever happens, whatever mistakes we may make, we shall come safely home. Slippings and strayings there will be, no doubt, but the everlasting arms are beneath us; we shall be caught, rescued, restored. This is God's promise; this is how good he is."
-- J.I. Packer (Knowing God)
"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."
-- 2 Corinthians 9:8
"Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives, is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see."
-- Corrie ten Boom

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Surprise Flowers on a Cloudy Day

The best portion of a good man's life - his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love.  ~William Wordsworth

Today a very good man sent me some very beautiful flowers.  I wasn't feeling well, and it's been a weird week, and his thoughtful kindness surprised me -- and I didn't want it to go unrecognized.  He brought the sunshine into my day :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Late but Great Christmas Pics

The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family. 
~Thomas Jefferson

Sister G with her sweet hubby...
Sister B and her soon-to-be hubby...
The most beautiful, wonderful Mom in the world...
Laughing with my Dad :)
The whole, magnificent gang on Christmas morning!

And thank you for a house full of people I love.  Amen. 
~Terri Guillemets

Monday, January 17, 2011


I felt it shelter to speak to you.  ~Emily Dickinson

Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.  "Pooh!" he whispered.  "Yes, Piglet?"  "Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's paw.  "I just wanted to be sure of you."  ~A.A. Milne

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

At the Start of a New Semester...

Don't say you don't have enough time.  You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresea, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein. 
~Life's Little Instruction Book, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow, snow, snow, snow, snooooooooooow!

Winter came down to our home one night
Quietly pirouetting in on silvery-toed slippers of snow,
And we, we were children once again.
~Bill Morgan, Jr.

 I don't have the greatest view from my balcony, but even a parking lot looks pretty in the snow :)

Trees and beauty.  Beauty and trees.  I love the lamplight in this one -- just not the cars, so much.

Trying to capture the snow falling -- but I also liked how the drain pipe is full of snow :)

My bundles of wood, ready and waiting.  I'm going to save them for the evening hours, just in case I lose power and need some heat as well as ambience.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


One can enjoy a wood fire worthily only when he warms his thoughts by it as well as his hands and feet.  ~Odell Shepherd

Few things are more comforting to me than the sight of flames licking and spilling over the wood in my fireplace.  Few sounds are as pleasant as the snap, crackle and occasional POP of the wood succumbing to the demands of the flame.  Few evenings are as fun as those involving good friends, good conversation, and a warm fire. 

This afternoon, along with the sounds of football and the comfort of my warm, fuzzy socks, I am delighting in the little pile of bundled firewood sitting beside my fireplace.  The weatherman says I have reason to think I will be using it in the next few days.  Snowfall and firelight -- are there any more delicious words to combine than those? 

Have you ever looked up the word "fire" in the Bible?  Incredible.  364 times, the word "fire" is used in the NIV.  The tongue is a fire (James 3); God's voice is not found in an earthquake or fire, but in the quiet whisper AFTER the fire (I Kings 19); fire purifies and cleanses (Numbers 31); God's faithful are carried away in fire (2 Kings 2);  God's messengers speak out of bushes-on-fire (Exodus 3); God's word is a fire (Jeremiah 20); our work will be tested with fire (1 Corinthians 3); the Lord comes with fire (Isaiah 66); God leads his people as a pillar of fire (Exodus 13)...

Amazing.  Dangerous.  Powerful.  Cleansing.  Purifying.  Warms but also burns. Guides but also destroys.  Gives light but also uncovers darkness.  Miraculous but also terrifying.  Positive AND Negative.  Both/And -- how can one, simple thing be so complicated? So astoundingly complex?

Every day with the Lord is an adventure; an invitation to view old things in a new way.  Today, my King invited me to see his glory in the incredibly complex, yet powerfully simple image of fire.     

He makes winds his messengers; flames of fire his servants.  Psalm 104:4

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Nonno's Shelf

Today I impressed myself and made my Nonno proud.  My Nonno, who served in the Pacific in WWII and who passed away several years ago, was a woodworking genius.  He made beautiful pieces and I'm thankful to have inherited the toy chest he made me as a baby, a small table he made me as a little girl, and a curio-style shelf that used to hang in Mom and Dad's house.  Today, I successfully (and all by myself) hung the curio shelf in my living room.  Well, all by myself and with the aid of a hammer, nails, the hangy-nail-things that hold more weight than a nail by itself, and a teeny level with a teeny bubble inside to tell me when the shelf was straight.  And I only made ONE extra nail hole (which I very pragmatically hid when I hung the shelf).

So, in other words, I am a GENIUS of home-improvement and ready to begin taking work orders.  So far, my specialty skills are:

1) hanging a shelf on the wall while only leaving one extra hole which can be easily covered by aforementioned shelf


2) painting walls with gusto and little regard for drip-marks. (My mother, sisters, countless friends, and brother-in-law can attest to this second one.  I am rapacious with a paint roller but I can't be bothered with the details of cutting in, trim, corners OR drip-marks.)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"Dandy Little Bundle for a Fella to Cuddle"

My sisters and I have created our own language; I think every close family does it.  We have phrases and expressions that we use all the time and which don't always have explanations that seem to fit their use.  For example, "be careful of the icy patch" comes from our childhood (see previous post) and could be used as an ironic reference to an ex-boyfriend who has become rather sketchy, or it could be said while family members enter mom and dad's house, or it might be used on Christmas morning as a declaration of unity:  (ie, as all the sisters raise mugs and declare laughingly, "be careful of the icy patch!")

This ridiculousness is what makes family... well, family.  Dorky inside jokes and stupid memories that get replayed over and over (sometimes to the chagrin of brothers-in-love or soon-to-be brothers-in-love) over dinner and coffee and dessert and breakfast and at the movies and in the car and so on and so on.

The cool thing about husbands joining the ranks of the M girls is that the inside jokes get explained (even if they intrinsically do NOT make sense) and then, when you have the good taste that my sisters have, the husbands join in.  Because they are pretty cool guys, when all is said and done.  After all, any man who thinks that one of my little sisters is A Dandy Little Bundle for a Fella to Cuddle is all right by me.        

Sunday, January 2, 2011

...because I know no other way than this

I discovered Pablo Neruda's 100 Love Sonnets many years ago, and my copy of them is dog-eared.  His highly sensual imagery is so incredibly beautiful and his love for his wife so visceral.  This is one of my favorites...I thought including it here would be a lovely way to begin the new year.


I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.