Saturday, December 31, 2011

 Whether you are celebrating New Year's Eve amidst gaiety, laughter and the company of friends, or at home in quiet contemplation, or maybe just watching a favorite old movie, i wish you the best for the year ahead and will end this year's blog with the following T.S. Eliot quote:

For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.

~T.S. Eliot, "Little Gidding"

Blessings to you in the New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Warm and Ready

At last the loaf

The time of mixing
Then rising again


The baking

What was once
A bowl of loose
White flour

Has become something strong
And life giving

Let us come

Of each other

*One of the things I have noticed this year is that everyone I come into contact with has something to teach me. And that even those I think I may not be drawn to at first, often, bring me amusement and often much joy in time. Jesus was the true bread of life and asked us to partake of Himself……then told us we were also dependent on one another. If you have taken time to look at this blog even once this year; If you have been in my presence, even once, I have received from you. Thanks for making me stronger and more alive.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Second Stage

After the rising
the dough is
punched down
(massaged, pressed, squeezed, molded,

Divided into sections
And rolled into strands

Then braided
Topped with olive oil
And poppy seed

It’s the middle part of challah making
Like the middle part of life
When so much is worked into us by
Faithful loving hands

and beauty begins to

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


the yeast dissolved
in water warm

flour, eggs,
and honey
added to form
a ball


and now
we wait

with warmth
and time

the heart


*I took this photo during the making  (my 2nd batch ever) of Challah bread. I made it Christmas Eve and we enjoyed it with an oven stew.

When I put it in the bowl to rise,
I couldn’t help but realize
how much like life
the process was.

Monday, December 26, 2011

and the horses gaze

and when the horses
look at me

from near or
far away

i always

*For all creation, gazing eagerly as if with outstretched neck, is waiting and longing to see the revealing of the sons of God. ~The book of Romans 8:19

Sunday, December 25, 2011


And the King of Glory


Entered the world
In a barn

Amidst the smell of hay

*Glory: magnificence, splendor, beauty, wonder, grandeur, brilliance

Wishing you a warm and blessed Christmas.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

And glory streamed from heaven above
while angels announced
     the birth of love......

*And as it was written His name was called : Wonderful counselor,
Prince of Peace, Almighty God,

Friday, December 23, 2011

and it came to pass

it's December 23rd
and we've had no more than a flurry

but the open pasture glitters
as if covered by the silver sprinkles of
(were they baking sugar cookies
at midnight?)
a fun thought

the emptiness of the scene
also makes me think of

hurried away by
and curiosity

Monday, December 19, 2011

balance (2nd chance/ taking a closer look series)

what is it about the branch?
about the bird?

stronger than her outline
she amazes me

lighter than a snowflake
he appears to be


complex simplicity

Saturday, December 17, 2011

equipped (2nd chances/ taking a closer look series)

What tiny talons
Hold you there

Unafraid of

You sit at ease
In your surroundings

Your beak the perfect instrument

Your bones, feathers, and
Tiny eyes
Playing their part

And the red top
A bright spot
To many a passerby

You remind me to trust
What I’ve been given

To sit at ease
To watch and listen

*What I do is me. For that I came. Hopkins

Friday, December 16, 2011

barbed wire (a 2nd chance/ taking a closer look series)

i awoke feeling a bit
tangled up

a bit sharp too

the after effects of a
bad dream

but, twas just a dream

and the sun is shining brightly
on the frosty pasture

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

December walk

it’s the middle of December
but yesterday was a November

and as I walked
under oak trees

i became aware
of yellows, browns,
and balmy gusts

much too warm for freezing

a melody ran through my head
and instead of Christmas carols
i hummed an old John Denver tune

You know the one…

“you fill up my senses…
like a night in the forest
like the mountains in springtime
like a walk in the rain……..”

somewhere along the trail

i was filled

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

stripes (2nd chances/taking a closer look series)

Thank you God
For the zebra’s hair
So rare in design

Thank you for his playful look
For showing me that you took

You even had fun
Creating the world
And all its inhabitants

You had reason to say
When all was done

“It is good.”

I have a friend named Connie who sends me a quote each day. Today she chose:
“You were born an original. Don’t die a copy.” Authenticity is one of my favorite characteristics in a person. It’s one of the things I want to proclaim from the rooftops. Creation speaks of it all day long. Why try and be like someone else? Why even compare? Like the zebra, (no two of which are alike) we are meant to be who we are. There is so much freedom in that! Have fun being YOU today.

Monday, December 12, 2011

together (2nd chances/ taking a closer look series)

i can't see their faces
i can't see their eyes

but i CAN see that they
are together

that sometimes there is comfort
in company

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Illumined Petals (2nd chances/taking a closer look series)

“Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.” George Eastman

Christmas is drawing near. My husband and I stopped on the way home from church to pick up just one more set of lights! (we hope!.....and we really aren’t putting that many up…all of our old ones seem to have gone bad this year). Anyway, after hearing the sermon this morning, which too, was about light…..THE light, I couldn’t pass up this photo and quote for today.

If you are a Christian you probably know that Jesus called Himself the Light of the World…..He made it obvious that he came to bring light to the darkness. If you are not a Christian, you may or may not have heard that He made that claim. Either way, it’s worth some thought and investigation. You may discover His Light worth embracing, admiring, loving, and knowing. Here’s to enjoying ALL the lights of Christmas.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

exquisite (2nd chances/ taking a closer look series)

see her line
and the flowing way

her pastel passion
is unfolding

Friday, December 9, 2011

in the forecast (2nd chances/taking a closer look series)

they were predicting an
icy mix

it didn't happen here

but it will

we'll just take what we get
and if we're smart

it will be

Thursday, December 8, 2011

after the storm (Second Chances/ Looking Closer series)

sun streams through the clouds
onto the prairie

all is well

*I love impressionism and the freedom it gives one to imagine.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

strands (Second Chances/looking closer series)

Strung by the hands of
A Sudanese woman

A small part
Of her art

And labor in this world

*I was recently reminded (by my good friend Harold) of some photos I took of jewelry my husband brought back from his short term missions project in Sudan last year. Then, this morning I received an update on the latest happenings in Sudan. Once again, innocent families are fleeing their homes and heading across the desert for the safety of refugee camps. Many of these families have spent more than twenty years in refugee camps already. Hard to imagine, isn’t it.

As I look at these works of art, I marvel at the patience and endurance of these beautiful women and I pray this morning for their journeys and that their examples would take root in my life; that more patience and endurance might be developed in me, day by day, strand by strand.

The following photo was taken by Stan. I thought it would be nice to put a "face" to the women of Sudan.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

from a tree (2nd chances series/looking closer)

both from a tree
they came

both with a gift
to give

*A question to ponder: Is there anything in the natural world that doesn't have something to offer?

Monday, December 5, 2011

light on web (2nd chances series/looking closer)

As I sit and view
This miracle
I realize how few things

I understand

Like how the spider spins
His masterpiece

And what makes a flower break
Through hardened ground

But maybe all I need to know
Is that

There was a plan
A designer’s hand
And I am merely


*How nice it is to not have to be "in control" of things.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

December grasses (2nd chances series)

ok, so i sit here this morning
in a delimma

after all, it's well into December
and soon we'll pass another year
what pictures shall I choose
to cheer my friends?

what images will best reflect
the truth, goodness, and beauty
of His humble birth

ahh, it’s come to me
that like the little drummer boy
i can offer what I have

i can give my best
and leave the stress

so here’s to December
the month to remember
all that’s been given to me

to pass it along
to another
to give my brother 

a reason to smile
a reason to pause

a reason to be

*This month’s posts will be derived from images I have taken through this past year. They will be, for the most part, taken from photos that I have gone back to and taken a closer look at. Photos that might not have impressed me at first but upon giving them a second chance, and my creative instincts, proved to me to be quite beautiful. After all, aren't 2nd chances and transformation what Christmas is all about? Hope you enjoy.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

just a smattering

It doesn't take much.

Color, that is,

to waken the senses

*The color red is one of three primary colors and is thought to be the color to provoke the most response among humans.

*Red has been found to have such a huge impact on people, it can even cause the heart to beat faster.

My heart beat faster when I saw the smatterings of red in this scene It definitely got my attention. :)
It has been said: “When in doubt, wear red.” Maybe your red dress or sweater will waken someone’s senses. :) Remember the scene in Schindler’s list…..everything was black and white except for the child on the sidewalk wearing a red coat. (Hope in the darkness.) Look for red today. It should be easy to spot this holiday season.:)

Friday, December 2, 2011

wooden carolers

two little wooden girls
standing in a yard

decked in pretty coats and
and soft and fuzzy scarves

the purity of their presence
on this cold December morn
reminds me of the baby child
twas in a manger born

some things
are worth singing about
and standing in the cold

some things are more precious
than hoards of hidden

*Ahhh, if there were ever a month of celebration, it would be December. I hope you enjoy the “little” things that this month brings your way. So often we are in such a hurry with our “to do” lists this month that we miss seeing and hearing the simplicity of the story we are celebrating.

My goal this month is to really look into people’s eyes; especially those who serve me, like the boy sacking my groceries, or the salvation army bell ringer, or my husband whose eyes I see every day…..but do I really see them? (I think these two little wooden girls have fabulous eyes.) Have fun really "seeing" whatever is on your heart this month.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

november farewell

i took my walk at twilight
to say goodbye

november kissed my cheek
with her evening chill

and calmed my heart 
with her pastel sky

execpt for the raucous
flock of crows
who seemed in grief

i heard no sound
no falling leaf