Saturday, July 03, 2010

Weekend exercise

Overall this has been a very lazy day. Still, I have had some exercise. Last night I bought a dozen retaining wall blocks, loaded them from the rack at Home Depot onto the cart, from the cart to the car, from the car to the back yard.

This morning I dug around the Red Haven peach tree and arranged the blocks to form an arc on the downhill side (see the post below).

This evening after it cooled down I drove to Home Depot and this time I picked up eighteen blocks, loaded them from the rack onto the cart, from the cart into my car, from my car to the back yard. The sun had set and I started digging. Eleven of them are now in place and the other seven can wait for tomorrow.

Aside from the two times today I have worked up a sweat I can also feel this in most of my upper joints. At least this time the knees escaped.

Tomorrow promises to be very busy. Two Masses, one bilingual sermon, and seeing friends.

Be careful with your fireworks, my fellow estadounidenses.

--the BB

Heart thread - 07/03/2010

This evening's call to prayer comes from our dear friend David@Montreal who writes [boldface is mine]:
Before anything else I'd wish a blessed Independence Day to my American siblings in prayer and practice. Such sad and complicated times we live in but I truly believe we are living on a transformative cusp and as a certain beloved Giant has reminded me more than once we are a people of hope.

I'd ask for travelling mercies for my cherished Mam for Sunday, July 4. On Friday, Mam had a fall while visiting her sister in Hamilton Ontario with my sister and her husband: two breaks on her lower left arm - one of them irregular so an operation and two plates will be required.

Waiting time at Hamilton General for this surgery would be until Thurs or Friday of next week, so Cathy and Yves will be driving Mam back tomorrow- stopping every hour to get out of the car and walk about to avoid bloodclots. Normally a six hour trip it will end up much longer, and Mam is to be admitted directly to hospital here in Quebec- thankfully it will be the hospital where one of my nieces is in charge of emergency medicine.

I'd beg your prayers for Kirstin, undergoing aggressive treatment for her second bout with cancer- a rough one with multiple sites. But hey I've got the Giants on the case!

Prayers for John, whose esophagial cancer appears to be out of control again.

For Rosemary, one of the most determined people battling cancer I've seen in some time. She tells me she's doing it for her husband and two young sons, but I think it's her Armenian genes!

For Frank & Carol.

For Dorian.

For Juan Manuel and his incredible parents M. & J.

For those who are walking the path of discernment at this time and for those working, aching, dreaming or studying to bring about a better way of doing things in our suffering world, particularly this evening I'd ask for those who are laboring or fighting to better the lives of women- most particularly in the developing world.

For the minds and hearts of those responsible for healing the Gulf, that they will be moved to the courage, vision and resolve the situation requires.

For those who armor their fear with hatred - whether it's the people of Arizona, those who rush to follow their ugly example, certain cowardly bishops, or wall-building individual and nations. 'Emotional midgets trying to throw a giants shadow.'

With my love, gratitude for each of you Giants, and my prayers for those on your hearts

love always- always Love


And prayers for David who has his own needs known to God.

--the BB

Saturday in the garden

The latest yard project

The color pots seem happy today.

The southwest corner

The northwest corner

Some very happy pink mini-petunias

Santa Rosa plums showing signs of ripening

Some of these projects would be easier if I had a truck. I am only willing to schlep so many heavy retaining wall bricks in my passenger car at a time. The very low retaining wall is quite practical. When I am watering, the hose drags behind me and breaks down the wells around the trees and other plants. Rain also breaks down these wells. So, for the sake of more structure in the yard and fewer hours rebuilding wells several times a year, I plan to reinforce some areas as shown in the top photo.

The garden, from the beginning, was meant to have a random look - exuberance without formality, if you will. I rather like the idea of some elements with harder definition.

Delighted to say that I slept in this morning. More tools are moved to the garage where they belong but otherwise not being very energetic. I will make another trip to Home Depot today. So nice to have an unscheduled Saturday!

--the BB

Friday, July 02, 2010

Shabbat shalom

God is providing fireworks this evening, or so it seems. I am snugly indoors but I hear thunder rolling in the distance. The sky this evening was spectacular. All manner of clouds stretched across the vast expanse of heaven as I drove home. Dark clouds over the distant hills to the southwest. Los volcanes looking inviting. I really want to hike around there soon. As I neared the end of watering the yard I looked up at a very dramatic sky with some clear blue here and there, mostly to the north. Dark clouds, smears of light clouds, a streak of light from the sun. Awesome.

Italian class was amusing last night. The instructor had obviously shared my e-mail to him that explained why I skipped class on Tuesday. Lots of questions about SS Peter and Paul and my dinner. He introduced adjectives and our homework is to come up with adjectives for a list of nouns. I think I will go for the unusual, the outrageous, and the humorous to make it fun.

Nice chat with the next door neighbor tonight. I enjoy a neighborhood feeling and I hope it is growing on my block.

Harvested the seven Methley plums left on the tree. They were so ripe they came off if you barely touched them. I had one and will enjoy the rest over the next two days. The harvest on that tree only came to about 12-15 plums but they have been very nice.

This is the weekend to feed and treat all the roses, so that task lies ahead of me. I also bought a dozen of the curved retaining wall blocks to put an arc around the peach tree nearest the house. The well around it keeps getting worn down by the dragging of the hose and occasional rain, so I will make it more substantial along the portion that is higher than the bordering ground. Got a bit of exercise schlepping those from the car to the back yard.

I finally replaced the light bulbs that had burned out in the ceiling fan in my bedroom. They don't give that much light but the room sure was dark without them. (Yes, it took me weeks to get around to this.)

Printed off the lessons for this Sunday - in Spanish and English. Since I will be presiding and preaching at a bilingual Mass Sunday evening, I have read all the lessons in Spanish. I will ignore the English and focus on a short Spanish homily. I can then translate paragraph by paragraph into English as I deliver it. (Now, what are the odds that a word or two of Italian will want to creep into this process?)

Along with sundry yard chores this weekend, I hope to get outdoors for some exercise (biking or hiking) tomorrow. Monday we plan to go to the Jemez Mountains to hike.

Chipping away at things that need to be done. It has been a good week.

May you all enjoy a good Sabbath rest.

--the BB

Thursday, July 01, 2010

So how WOULD the GOP govern?

[I know, GOP governance is an oxymoron. They don't believe in government, they tell you it doesn't work, and when they are in charge they prove it. Corrupt, incompetent, or downright evil: they cannot be trusted with government.]

--the BB

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I got nothin'

Northwest corner May 2010

Northwest corner June 2007

I will try to get a photo soon taken from the same angle as the 2007 photo.

Not a lot to report tonight. The car is not washed but the windows thereof are. It is safe to back out of the garage now; I can see out the back window. How exciting is that? (And you thought I led a dull life. Well, my own mother thought I led a dull life when I was in my twenties, so what can I say?) That is probably the biggest news of the day.

Incredibly beautiful weather today and yesterday, sunny with breezes.

I hate the new Google News page. If I wanted crap cluttering up my sidebars I would have asked for it. Much harder to read my headlines now as I have to scroll too much. Damn youngsters. Don't they know that if it ain't broke you shouldn't try to fix it? Hmmph.

--the BB

Skipping class

Iris (15 May 2010)

Yesterday being my saint's day (Feast of SS Peter and Paul), Bill invited me over for dinner. Ah, the dilemma: Italian class or a meal cooked by Bill? Bill's cooking won.

It was a stunningly beautiful evening for sitting in the garden sipping Cabernet and eating Amish Gorgonzola on crackers. Perfect temperature, scattered clouds in a radiant blue sky. We had prosciutto and melon. Bill grilled steaks, corn, red peppers, and zucchini. It all ended with cherries jubilee made with sour cherries harvested from his orchard. A stellar meal and a lovely way to enjoy a summer evening.

I am sure I can catch up on Italian.

--the BB

Monday, June 28, 2010

Heart thread - 06/28/2010

This evening I shall try to recreate last night's prayer offering.

Let us remember the fine folks at 4cGLAD whom I forgot last week. They keep the flame burning in the Four Corners area. Also Equality New Mexico (EQNM) who helped bring Bishop Robinson here. As this Pride Month draws to close let us pray for all who carry on the struggle for equality and inclusion.

I give thanks for the drag queens who fought back at Stonewall in the wee hours of June 28, 1969. They taught us all to stand up for ourselves and be who we are and not be intimidated, bullied, and oppressed. The work is ongoing but we stand on their shoulders, held up by their high heels and brave hearts.

For Bishops Gene and Mary that the holy angels may guide, guard, and defend them.

For LGBT youngsters growing up and discovering who they are. For those still in the closet.

Let us stand strong in prayer for our sister Kirstin. She is in hospital this week without the internet to keep her in touch. Here is a portion of a recent update. You may also follow her blog.
First, THANK YOU to everyone for being in my universe. I have the most amazing, loving, multi-layered support system ever. I really don't have words for what your presence does for me. And thank you to everyone who's written. Sometimes it's emotionally difficult for me to keep up with responding--but I deeply appreciate your notes, and I love having people be visible in my life.

I put my faith in love and modern medicine. And I know how loved I am. You are doing so much--and God, through you. I am able to go to the places inside myself where I need to go, largely because you are here.

When you pray for me, please pray that I can love my body through this. I've been so angry with it, for getting sick despite the treatment that I already put myself through. I know intutively that if I am to survive this, I need to come through it whole.

I don't believe in a god who gives and takes diseases. A cure, if it happens, will be medical. Love heals--and healing has been happening absolutely everywhere. Thank you more than I can say, for dropping me notes, holding me in prayer, being who you are.
I ask your prayers for J and J, who wrestle with disappointment. May they know and feel the love surrounding them and Christ's presence. May they find a way forward.

For Mark, who journeys a long path of healing and grief. We hear from him only occasionally but we do not forget him.

For il corvino del mio cuore et la sua famiglia.

For those in long and difficult struggles of health and their partners and families: for John and Raven, Jim and Ruthie, Frank and Carol, Elizabeth's brother John and his family, and young Declan.

Continued healing for Mother Sandra, Bruce, Kathy, Janet, Tad, and Dave.

For all the confidential prayer requests we carry in our hearts and those whose needs are known to God alone.

Having just enjoyed Much Ado About Nothing at the Vortex Theatre Friday evening, I give thanks for playwrights, actors, directors, stage hands, house managers, costumers, set builders, prop handlers, lighting designers, etc. - all who create the magic of live theater. Also for musicians and creative persons in all the arts. This brings to mind my academic friends who struggle with papers, tests, these, and dissertations - you know who you are.

For those consumed with fear or rage, the forgotten and lonely, the abused and oppressed, the lost and bewildered.

For the unemployed and the anxious.

For our Mother Earth as she bleeds oil into her sacred waters, for all her creatures, for all who seek to honor and heal her. For the people of the Gulf Coast as they struggle to reorient their lives to a new and threatening reality. For those threatened by tropical storm Alex.

For social healing in Kyrgyzstan.

Thanksgiving that the Northern Province of the Moravian Church and the Episcopal Church will enter full communion.

That this evening may be holy, good, and peaceful,
We entreat you, O Lord.

That your holy angels may lead us in paths of peace and goodwill,
We entreat you, O Lord.

That we may be pardoned and forgiven for our sins and offenses,
We entreat you, O Lord.

That there may be peace to your Church and to the whole world,
We entreat you, O Lord.

That we may depart this life in your faith and fear, and not be condemned before the great judgment seat of Christ,
We entreat you, O Lord.

That we may be bound together by your Holy Spirit in the communion of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Irenaeus of Lyon, Peter and Paul, and all your saints, entrusting one another and all our life to Christ,
We entreat you, O Lord.

--the BB

Soap.... good.

I gave myself a to-do list for tonight, having chilled during most of my free time over the weekend. I did some shopping at REI: walking sticks for the next hike (I was so envious of Bill's when we went to Tent Rocks). Lots of hikers had them so they must be all the rage. Either that or we old farts need a little extra balance, which I know is true, but I want to believe it is also trendy (as well as sensible). We are thinking of some kind of outing next Monday so perhaps I can put the new sticks to work.

Then I stopped at Costco for resources to clean up my act: bar soap, deodorant, dental floss. Was running low on all of these and I did not want public complaints to be filed.

Watering the yard I got to skip this evening as it began raining mid-afternoon and was still going, though only a drizzle, when I got home.

I harvested two small eggplants and stir-fried them with garlic, pepper flakes, and black bean sauce, mixed it all with Yakisoba noodles and vegetables (the little packs you microwave for three minutes). Had that and a glass of white wine for dinner. Reasonably tasty. Food from the garden - hooray!

I have ironed a pair of slacks that was wrinkled from the store shelf and a top sheet for the guest bedroom.

Now I will give myself a haircut and call that enough accomplishments for one evening. Glad my Italian homework is already done. (Better get to work on the lessons for next Sunday so I can preach in Spanish and English on Sunday evening.)

In small but encouraging good news, I found the key to my bike lock.

There is so very much to go in order to bring order out of chaos in my life, but these little steps give me hope. I realize this all sounds mundane and some of you keep house all the time on an ongoing basis (bless you) but for a total slob like me these are shifts in tectonic plates. Maybe better habits will emerge.

--the BB

I am appalled to see "crisis" language arising around this.

--the BB

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The heart thread that isn't

I spent about an hour putting together a long heart thread tonight and when I posted it only the first three paragraphs showed up, leaving it truncated and garbled, so I deleted it. It is too late tonight to try again.

It included an apology to Susankay for not posting news of the Pride event sponsored by 4cGLAD, good folks. And prayers for Kirstin (see her blog). And a long list of others who need to be held in prayer. I offer them all to God and know your hearts join me.

--the BB