Saturday, June 30, 2012

Morning Lines #6- Bambi Strikes Again

Deer, Me

Didn't you know that these geraniums were my token effort at civilizing my unruly front
How dare you clip off the tops of my fuchsia delight?
These forays to the front door are not hunger stalking, 
no, they are mere snacks, 
Thoughtless movements of your mouth to try a new flavor.
For me they were images of a House Beautiful wanna be
Lacking commitment, I admit, they left some to be desired.
But still, how could you?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Colors of Yoga

God put the rainbow in the clouds, not just in the sky. It is wise to realize we already have rainbows in our clouds, or we wouldn't be here. If the rainbow is in the clouds, then in the worst of time, there is the possibility of seeing hope... We can say 'I can be a rainbow in the cloud for someone yet to be.' That may be our calling.
~~ Maya Angelou

These are the colors I meet on the mat in the studio.

Even the brightest colors can be soothing when placed side by side in a peaceful place.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Morning Lines #5- Pooh Philosophy

Christopher Robin: You're next, Tigger. Jump!
 Jump? Tiggers don't jump. They bounce.
Winnie the Pooh:
 Then bounce down.
 Don't be "ridiccorous". Tiggers only bounce up!
Christopher Robin:
 You can climb down, Tigger.
 Ah, but tiggers can't climb down, uh... because, uh... their tails get in the way!
 Hooray! That settles it. If he won't jump, and he can't climb down, then we'll just have to leave him up thereforever! 

I jump every day and being of a Pooh mind I don't get Tigger's reluctance to jump. After all, the jump is the commitment and the bounce is the reward.

     Today I got to 55 minutes of jogging, running, and jumping while Pooh sat by and counted. Then it was his turn and man, you should see that bear fly.

                                                    Well, you can't because he is so fast.

I'm all in with Emmaline. Let's jump!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Color Silver

        The Shutter Sisters are highlighting silver as the color for the day and I wanted to photograph collections of this sparkling color.

 Silver and gold are colors unique to the others because they are actual commodities which last throughout time.

My daughter was tickled to receive a whole roll of silver dimes from the bank. That tripled the face value of the coins. 

Every cloud has its silver lining but it is sometimes a little difficult to get it to the mint.
Don Marquis

Monday, June 25, 2012

Morning Lines #4- Self Honesty

James Thomson

Once in a saintly passion
  I cried with a desperate grief.
"Oh Lord, my heart is black with guile,
  Of sinners I am chief.
Then stooped my guardian angel
 And whispered from behind;
"Vanity, my little (Woman),
You're nothing of the kind."

I walk the difficult, steep steps of trying to be honest with myself. Yes, I should record the pieces of chocolate I ate in my food journal, even if it pushes me over my limit. And sometimes I take the fast way down by beating myself up for not being 100% honest in all my actions. It is vanity to see myself as a saint and as a liar. Neither is true.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Book of Mormon Sunday II- 3 Nephi 18-24 and Morning Lines #4

What better lines to read in the morning than these;

3 Nephi 11:15 "And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come."

   In keeping with my desire to look for the enabling power of the atonement in these verses of scripture, I am aware of the power Christ has heal, magnify, and sanctify these people who are gathered with him. One of the most important gifts Jesus gives is the authority to bestow the Gift of the Holy Ghost.
    3 Nephi 18:37 "And the multitude heard not the words which he spake, therefore they did not bear record; but the Disciples bare record that he gave them power to give the Holy Ghost. And I will show unto you hereafter that this record is true."
   Moroni interjects his testimony here and follows up with his second witness in the Book of Moroni as he explains the power of the Priesthood.
    Moroni 2:1 "The words of Christ, which he spake unto his disciples, the twelve whom he had chosen, as he laid his hands upon them -- And he called them by name, saying: Ye shall call on the Father in my name, in mighty prayer; and after ye have done this ye shall have power that to him upon whom ye shall lay your hands, ye shall give the Holy Ghost; and in my name shall ye give it, for thus do mine apostles."
   Since my testimony comes through the power of the Holy Ghost, I can see why this gift and power was so desired by the people at this time.
     3 Nephi 19:8 "And when they had ministered those same words which Jesus had spoken -- nothing varying from the words which Jesus had spoken -- behold, they knelt again and prayed to the Father in the name of Jesus. And they did pray for that which they most desired; and they desired that the Holy Ghost should be given unto them".
   It is through the Holy Ghost that we are drawn to the Savior and it is through the power of the Holy Ghost that we are justified and made able to be whole through atonement.
    3 Nephi 19:20 Father, I thank thee that thou hast given the Holy Ghost unto these whom I have chosen; and it is because of their belief in me that I have chosen them out of the world. Father, I pray thee that thou wilt give the Holy Ghost unto all them that shall believe in their words. Father, thou hast given them the Holy Ghost because they believe in me; and thou seest that they believe in me because thou hearest them, and they pray unto me; and they pray unto me because I am with them. And now Father, I pray unto thee for them, and also for all those who shall believe on their words, that they may believe in me, that I may be in them as thou, Father, art in me, that we may be one.
   After blessing and empowering them Christ then turns them to the future and gives them vision of what will happen to the family of Israel. His coming in the meridian of time was a fulfillment of the covenant he made with his Father, but in Jerusalem they had largely rejected him. Israel was not gathered as a family, as yet.
    3 Nephi 20:22 "And behold, this people will I establish in this land, unto the fulfilling of the covenant which I made with your father Jacob; and it shall be a New Jerusalem. And the powers of heaven shall be in the midst of this people; yea, even I will be in the midst of you."
    Looking to the future, Jesus promises that the Gentiles will bring forth the words of this people and that they will speak out of the dust like Isaiah prophecied. The Book of Mormon is a physical sign that the gathering has commenced and that the Second Coming is nigh.
   3 Nephi 21:11 "Therefore it shall come to pass that whosoever will not believe in my words, who am Jesus Christ, which the Father shall cause him to bring forth unto the Gentiles, and shall give unto him power that he shall bring them forth unto the Gentiles, (it shall be done even as Moses said) they shall be cut off from among my people who are of the covenant."
   We are the family of the Gentiles who are brought into the covenant of the House of Israel and it is essential that we believe in Jesus Christ and testify of him. He, like Moses, has brought us out of the world, delivered us from the sin we carry, redeemed us with his blood so that he can be our God and we can be restored to the family of our Heavenly Father.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Morning Lines #3

                                               Trainer Tip: Always weigh with bear feet-

Earthling by Billy Collins

You have probably come across 
those scales at planetariums
that tell you how much you 
would weigh on other planets.

As a creature of average weight,
I fail to see the attraction.

Imagine squatting in the wasteland
of Pluto, all five tons of you,
or wandering around Mercury
wondering what to do next with your 

How much better to step onto
the simple bathroom scale,
a happy earthling feeling
the familiar ropes of gravity.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Morning Lines #2

         As I pulled a book off my shelf and started leafing through the weathered pages I found a poem by William Butler Yeats.

                                                            The Balloon of the Mind

Hands, do what you're bid:
Bring the balloon of the mind
That bellies and drags in the wind
Into it's narrow shed.

Very fitting with my new found discipline to eat wisely and move, vigorously every day.

Morning Lines

    The best summer read for me so far is a book by Regina Sirois called "On Little Wings". It is a book that reached me on many levels. The sixteen year-old main character is bright and imaginative and becomes a catalyst for change in others. I loved the sister relationship described and of course, the mother-daughter tension was rich in content and outcome. An aspect of this book that is infiltrating my daily life is the Reading Lines Game.
“So the game,” she said brightly, remembering her original topic. “I wanted him to see the difference between what he read and what he thought so I gave him a daily assignment to find his favorite words and read them to me. It evolved into our nightly readings.”
“There are no rules. We each pick a line or passage out of something we read that day – be it cereal box or Shakespeare – and recite it to each other. Nothing long. Sometimes three words. Sometimes a paragraph.”

Sirois, Regina (2011-12-13). On Little Wings (p. 82).  . Kindle Edition.

   I started Morning Lines yesterday with my granddaughter and her family. She is a prolific reader and often quotes whole passages from her books so I knew she would wholeheartedly be on board. Here are our contributions.

"Time is a harsh taskmaster", Terry Brooks "The First King of 


"The rain to the wind said
"You push and I'll pelt"
They so smote the garden bed
That the flowers actually knelt
And they lay- lodged-though not dead
I know how the flowers felt."
   Robert Frost

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer Forest Trail

    It is time to revisit my favorite forest trails and explore a few new ones. Yesterday, my photographer friend and I, set out to do the Burton Acres Trail. I am always surprised to see the changes in the forest. Huge Maple trees keep things shady and moist on this trail. I was on the look out for Troll Stools, described by Bianca Perla in her book, Family Walks. In her definition a troll stool is a stump which has bark growing back over it's top nourished by root systems around the base. Could this be one? It was hollow with new growth on top.

A sweet mushroom family stood at attention on top of a fallen log, shaded by ivy growing all around.

This forest trail is so quiet and peaceful, with natural couches and chairs to rest and recuperate from the jungle of life.

                       A new installation this year were the trail signs. It could be a big scout eagle project. They brought a cultivated air to the trail and helped me emerge in the right place at the end.

 "But it is hard to speak of these things
        how the voices of light enter the body
          and begin to recite their stories
         how the earth holds us painfully
        it's breast made of humus and brambles"
                           Billy Collins

 "The rain to the wind said,
     "You push and I'll pelt."
   They so smote the garden bed
   And the flowers actually knelt
   And lay lodged-through not dead,
   I know how the flowers felt."
               Robert Frost 

  This particular trail has the bonus of coming out at the beach. What heaven to contrast deep woods and water's edge.

    My friend and I gathered sea souvenirs and I laid a collage of neutral colors amongst the driftwood.

Note to myself: Find "Gift From the Sea" by Anne Morrow Lindbergh and reread the message of solitude. Also, walk a trail once a week with a friend or with my Grands. You need it!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

An African Missionary

    My friend is doing a brave, adventuresome, challenging thing. She is becoming a missionary in the Congo on the African continent.

    I am having trouble imagining what her life will be for the next two years. I go from visualizing a scene from Barbara Kingsolvers book "The Poisonwood Bible" to the news stories on the Congo in the Church News. I have observed her countenance change from a "deer in the headlights" look to a firm resolve to do all she can to be an asset in the mission field. Joy has some qualities that will aid her success in this new chapter of her life.
    She grew up being a bit of a tomboy. That revelation came out one Sunday years ago as she gave me a ride home from Stake Conference. We were sitting in her car, at the ferry dock, hot from a good August heat. She told me she would really like to take her shoes off and go walk on the beach. We proceeded to do so and all the while she confessed to climbing trees and being a bit boyish as a girl. I loved that disclosure because it so rounded out her personality.
   Joy has opinions that she will soundly defend. No wilber milk toast on the inside of this gracious woman. She may be quiet but she can be articulate about what she believes. I recall lots of stories of going to the homes of her special education kids and meeting parents who would not appear at school so that she could advise them about what their children needed to be successful at school. She did not know what she would find at the door but she had determination to be an advocate for her students.

    She is a superb listener. Her kind and compassionate eyes have taken in the stories of my life and not only did I feel heard and understood but she remembered them and asked about the details later when we had moments to catch up. The saints of the Congo will find a woman who wants to know and feel the desires of their hearts.
    I will miss her because there is something so grounded about her whole being. She comes from some hearty Canadian stock. Her grandmother, I believe, was a midwife in Canada, who delivered almost all the babies in the area. I read her life story and found the tale as good as any I have ever read. Joy will add on to a rich and colorful family history.
   Lastly, she is taking a strong companion, who will be the Mission President there in Lumbambashi.

   I can't wait to hear about their adventures all the way around the world.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What Makes the Sky Blue

   The blue color of the sky is due to Rayleigh scattering. As light moves through the atmosphere, most of the longer wavelengths pass straight through. Little of the red, orange and yellow light is affected by the air. However, much of the shorter wavelength light is absorbed by the gas molecules. The absorbed blue light is then radiated in different directions. It gets scattered all around the sky. Whichever direction you look, some of this scattered blue light reaches you. Since you see the blue light from everywhere overhead, the sky looks blue.

                          Above me an eagle spreads his wings to claim dominance of the sky.

    Water is blue partially because the sky is blue. Since the sky creates so much blue light, a lot of this light is reflected off the surface of the water. We are all aware that we can see ourselves in still bodies of water. This mirror action also works for the sky itself, giving water a blue hue.

    I live on an island and no matter the direction you drive you will eventually come to the water. The water and the sky are the big canvas's in my world on which blue is painted every day.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Another Milestone or Floursack

         The day has arrived. I've lost another five pounds for a total of twenty amazing pounds.

    Every five pounds I make my husband, who is a wonderful father and grandfather, take a picture of me in the baking section of our local grocery store to record how many sacks of flour are equal to my weight loss. He does it willingly unless I ask for another, better, shot. Then, he is not so much into it.
   So, you may ask, how are you doing it? Hard work and determination is my every day mantra. I record my calories and exercise everyday on Lose It! I jump on my fitness trampoline 35-45 minutes every day, and I must tell you I haven't missed a day since April 4, 2012. I do yoga 3-4 times a week and Pilates once a week. This makes me sound so self-righteous, yuk! The real story is that I intend to keep this up for the rest of my life. Whoa, that is overwhelming………..but, it has to be true.
   Many emotional hurdles have come up as I have walked this road. I didn't overeat because I was happy. Food was a comfort when my days were too harried and out of control. Enter Yoga and Jumpng… a replacement for the comfort of the sugar and carbohydrate high. Yoga brings a lower heart rate to calm the out of control, monkey brain and the Jumping raises the heart rate to burn off the extra tension. Both my mat and my trampoline are right here at home, ready to go. I go out to do a Pilates class and a yoga class once a week but that never replaces what I do at home.
    To be honest, this will continue to be a battle, a one day at a time thing for me. I am only half way through this goal and then maintenance will be the real fight. Many of us go over this road again and again as we try to come to grips with our inner and outer lives.

                            Happy Father's Day to the good men in my life who make me smile!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Sharing My Work With Grandchildren

    When I chose to teach music twenty years ago I did not think very much about how my work would affect my posterity. My desire to teach came from what I could do and what could bring in an income. Now, these many years later, I see my grandchildren growing up with music and appreciate the opportunity they have of being in my music and movement classes and taking piano lessons from their Grandma. All the ones close by have come to Swingset Music in their toddler and pre-school years. Just yesterday I finished another semester with my little Moonbeam. She and I head off to set up class every Thursday morning. She has blossomed this semester as she started singing aloud in class. I love that time when our two-year olds become comfortable enough to sing out.

     To be in a class of toddlers who love to dance and sing is like being two all over again, free to be whatever comes to mind.

   Thank-you Moonbeam for being my work partner, once again. I hope we get to do it again in the Fall.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Color Lime Green

This is the day! My friends at Shutter Sisters have designated this day to feature the color lime green.  They don't know how much I like this color and so I got my trusty Canon One Shot and did a few, there are others, favorite shots.

                      I wear this color often, although usually it is contrasted to a neutral color. Somewhere along the way someone convinced me that I look good in cool colors. Lime green is cool!

                          Here I am ready for June, because we don't get summer until mid July.

                               My workspace is littered with this lovely color. It makes me happy.

                                          There is a shelf just for these colors in my kitchen.

                       Have you seen enough? I adore color and this one is my favorite, it truly is.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Room With A View

Do you have a window in one of your rooms where you greet the world outside? Mine is the front room window. I have a Rhododendron bush right outside and the blossoms have lasted longer this year due to a cool June. A visitor happened by for two days in a row and I captured his picture. 

           His wing-span was huge. It made me think about other views out this window in other seasons.

                                                 Six months ago I captured creatures on this same bush.

          These creatures are equally frozen in time but actually they stayed frozen for a whole week.

   Doesn't that one look like a dinosaur? I am thankful for seasons that change and a room with a view.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Book of Mormon Sunday II- 3 Nephi 11-17

  I read this section of the Book of Mormon often but today I am reading with the intent to find the strengthening power of the atonement. The Lord Jesus Christ comes in power and the first thing he does is bestow power. The power he gives is Priesthood power and this power is at the heart of the atonement. Calling on this people to repent of their sins, to give up their own agendas, he grants them power to be made whole in their ability to be connected to Him and to our Father above, whose voice they all heard.

3 Nephi 11:32 "And this is my doctrine, and it is the doctrine which the Father hath given unto me; and I bear record of the Father, and the Father beareth record of me, and the Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and me; and I bear record that the Father commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent and believe in me."

  As I imagine being with these people I wonder if I could be strong enough to have this spiritual experience. Did they have to be given power to endure his presence? 

3 Nephi 12:2 "And again, more blessed are they who shall believe in your words because that ye shall testify that ye have seen me, and that ye know that I am. Yea, blessed are they who shall believe in your words, and come down into the depths of humility and be baptized, for they shall be visited with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and shall receive a remission of their sins."

   The enabling power of the Holy Ghost is truly an important gift which these people will desire above all other gifts as his visit comes to an end. I believe this power will bring to their minds, many of the words spoken by the Savior which they were too overwhelmed to fully understand. Those with physical ailments and certainly emotional ailments, desired healing from Him as he had done in Jersusalem. Their abilities could be enhanced once these ills were made whole. 
    3 Nephi 17:8 "For I perceive that ye desire that I should show unto you what I have done unto your brethren at Jerusalem, for I see that your faith is sufficient that I should heal you."
  According to the Hebrew definition of perfect, "to be made whole", Jesus brought this completeness to everyone present. In chapter 12 he announces his desire for this people to be perfect and this came to pass.
   3 Nephi 12:48 "Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect."
   The process of perfection brought the people and the Savior, Jesus Christ, to a very vulnerable and sacred space. It was powerful enough to open the heavens and allow angels to witness and teach the children. This teaching was strong enough to last for three generations. 
   3 Nephi 17:22 "And when he had done this he wept again; And he spake unto the multitude, and said unto them: Behold your little ones. And as they looked to behold they cast their eyes towards heaven, and they saw the heavens open, and they saw angels descending out of heaven as it were in the midst of fire; and they came down and encircled those little ones about, and they were encircled about with fire; and the angels did minister unto them."
    Could we also have this "oneness" with him?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Never Will Everything Be Said

   Digging through important papers this weekend I unearthed a poem I found some time ago. It is originally in German so I translated a version in English. Telling our family stories will never be done as long as another generation has not heard them. Check out some stories about my grandmothers here.

Sagen, Schweigen, Sagen
    Horst Bienek    1966
Wenn wir alles gesagt habe werden
wird immer noch etwas zu sagen sein
wenn noch etwas zu sagen ist
werden wir nicht aufhören durfen
zu sagen was zu sagen ist
wenn wir anfangen werden zu schweigen
werden andere über uns sagen
was zu sagen ist
so wird nicht aufhören
das Sagen und Sagen über das Sagen
Ohne das Sagen gibt es nichts
wenn ich nicht das was geschehen ist
sage, erzähle, oder beschreibe
ist das Geschehen
überhaupt nicht geschehen
das Sagen wird fortgesetzt
Stück fur Stück
besser: Bruchstück fur Bruchstück
Niemals wird es das Ganze sein
niemals also wird alles gesagt sein
Saying, Staying Mute, Saying
When we’ve said all there is to say
There will still be more to say
If there is still something to say
We must not stop saying what there is to say
If we start staying mute then others will say
What there is to say about us
So the saying and saying what is being said, will never stop
Without the saying there is nothing
If I don’t say, tell, or write about
What has happened then what has 
happened may not have been
The saying gets put forward
piece by piece, better
Broken piece by piece
Never will it be complete
Never will everything be said

My Favorite Breakfast

As my relationship with food is changing I love more selectively and with deliberateness. 
I love this breakfast!
It starts with fresh strawberries and blueberries in whole milk.

           Just a half cup of organic whole milk has less than 100 calories and the taste is divine.

    Then gently simmer 1/2 cup steel cut oats in 1 1/4 cup water. On low, it is a slow simmer and the foam bubbles up slowly, stir often.

   Add those warm creamy oats to the fruit and milk and enjoy with mindfulness. See the winking face in the bowl?