Showing posts from December, 2009

More year in Photos

In no particular order, the animals this year...

Our dogs, Roxie the lab-mix and Ruby the Viszla


A lizard on our back wall

King Ollie, our daughter's dog waiting for her in the office of the barn

The ground squirrel family outside the wall of our backyard

Baby doves in the tree on the side of our house

The bobcat family that resided on the roof of the empty house across the street

Cardinal and dove at the bird feeder

Ollie snoozing in the back of daughters car, nose in her boot...what a goof.

A Year In Photos

Here is a snapshot of my year:

A meet up with Diane in Feb. (or was it March)

A winter storm in Feb. that left snow on the mountains behind my house

A summer storm and rainbow

BE 2.0

A trip to the knitting store during the BE 2.0

A trip to the Grand Canyon with RevGals following the BE 2.0, in April

General Convention in LA, where I was a page in the House of Bishops

My God-daughters on their first sledding trip

A serious dust storm, Dec. 22

The sunset on Dec. 30

Sun and Sand

The winter sun in Arizona crosses the sky, from horizon to horizon, at a sharp angle. No longer directly overhead, blistering hot, the winter sun is nonetheless intense. Blinding rays blast relentlessly into car and house windows for hours as it crosses the southern sky, east to west. Visors are not made for this angle of blaring light. Closing curtains and blinds is mandatory to tolerate being in the house and avoid fading furniture and artwork. The Sonoran Desert offers some 340 days of sun.

Sand is another constant in the desert. Sand comprises most of the soil content, the ground is harsh to any but the most tolerant and hardy of growth. Cacti, shrub trees, some amazing flowering bushes. Sand is the color of the earth and homes. Sand refuses to absorb water, which runs off in dangerous currents until it finds some places to stop, or evaporate in the dry air. And when the wind blows, which it does every time the weather is changing - storms blowing in, change in temp. whatever, the …

A Prayer for Sunday, Christmas I

Holy One
Growing in wisdom
Teach us your ways
That we may love as you

Eternal One
Bless leaders of every
city, nation, world
with your wisdom and grace

Gracious One
Heal those who suffer
Mend the broken
Fill the empty, tend the ill

Lover of Souls
forgive our weaknesses
Bring forth your strength
in us, through you, with us

Holy Teacher
help us to know your ways
may all we say -
all we do - be for you

Crossposted on the RevGalBlogPal blog and RevGalPrayerPals blog

A Vision of Love: A Christmas Homily

The scene opens with Jack, a high powered wealthy business man, preparing to buy out another company, on Christmas Eve. He insists that all of his employees stay and work late, and then come in and work again on Christmas Day. Family time for the holiday does not matter. Jack is fully in control, and gives the impression of a man who thinks his life is perfect.

The next scene: a few hours later Jack is in a convenience store when he encounters what looks like a potential armed robbery. He intervenes by offering the thief $200 dollars to leave the store, and after some haggling the two of them walk out together. As they wander down the street Jack continues to offer help to the thief, ideas and suggestions for changing his life. The thief is amused that Jack is trying to help him. At one point the thief says, “Wow, ok, you want to save ME, that’s incredible. Alright then, just remember, you brought this on yourself.” That’s when we, the audience watching this movie, get our first clue t…

Christmas Morning Booooondt Cake Recipes

I got these recipes off the Internet and adapted them. I used a layered star bundt cake pan instead of the usual pan. I made two cranberry orange cakes with cranberry orange glaze, two cranberry spice cakes, one pumpkin apple cake, and one carrot raisin cake.

Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake

1-1/2 c whole wheat flour
1-1/2 c white flour
2/3 c butter, softened to room temp
1-3/4 c sugar
1-1/2 c plain low fat yogurt
1-1/2 c cranberries, blanched in 3/4 c water with 1/2 c of sugar
grated peel from one orange

Glaze: 1 c sifted powered sugar, remaining water from blanched cranberries, 1/4 of orange peel.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Blanche cranberries in 3/4 cup of boiling water and 1/2 c of the sugar, boil just long enough for cranberries to begin to "pop." Set aside to cool.

Spray bundt pan with Pam or other spray on oil then flour.

Sift together flour and soda, set aside.

In another bowl (or Kitchen Aide) beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs and 3/4 of grated orange peel. (reserve re…

Monday Morning Musings

For all intents and purposes Advent is over and now we head straight into Christmas. On mornings when my husband is home he turns on the TV and we watch the TodayShow. This morning they are offering Gift ideas, quick simple board games. My shopping is mostly finished, just one or two very small things for my son...So on this Monday after Advent and before Christmas I am musing about:

The scarves I knitted, the one I will finish today, and the two I never got too. Also that pair of small socks that I never finished because they were too small and I kept making mistakes. Back to those later.

The Christmas bundt cakes I want to make for the folks I work with at Back in the Saddle Church. (Whole wheat yogurt cranberry orange - really delicious). And the carrot bundt cake I want to make for our Christmas morning. My son loves carrot cake, this will be a rendition of that, in breakfast cake style.

The sermon I have to write for the 6pm Christmas Eve service...

and the massage I will have at no…
God of Love, Come forth for us
May our Lives magnify you

Surprise Us, shower favor
On all your people, me, you

Have mercy on the needy
Tonight, each day, always

Mighty One, heal the broken
heal us to be your hands, heart

Bless our lives that we can be
a sign of your heart, your hope

God of Love, startle us
with new life, heart rejoicing

Savior God, Come forth for us
May our lives magnify you.


I offer prayers this morning for my friends, near and far, who are suffering, who have been abandoned by the Church or by human love, and for all who are in particular need this day. May God's love embrace us all in new ways, with new life and hope.

Crossposted on the RevGal Prayer Pal blog and the RevGalBlogPals blog.

Bearing Worthy Fruit

A reflection the propers for Advent 3C: Luke 3:7-18

A few days ago I decided to make chocolate chip cookies, a double batch. And while the butter softened in the afternoon sun that streamed in the kitchen window, I took my dogs for a walk. It was a clear, crisp, sunny day, following that winter storm that packed near hurricane strength winds. Debris still littered the streets, branches and shriveled cacti, and streams of mud. I plugged in my iPod, popped in the earphones, leashed up the dogs and walked out the front door. There I encountered the roar of an engine. Even through the music and the headphones, I could hear it, a border patrol helicopter. Looking to my left I saw it, almost close enough to see the pilot. The helicopter was making a small circle around an area about block from where I stood.

With a deep sigh I headed off on my walk, the hum of the helicopter vibrating through my headphones. By the time I returned home however the copter was gone. So, too, probably whoever the…

Napping Puppy

Yes, this is Mr. Ollie, napping in the back of our daughter's car, nose in her boot.

Silence After the Storm

Yesterday, as the wind blew in southern Arizona, I drove from the southern end of the state to midsection and back, some six hours of driving. In the early part of the day the southern section had sustained winds around 25 miles an hour with gusts up to 50, the midsection had pouring rain. I have not seen rain like that since we moved here. Last night we tried to sleep, but as our bedroom is on the corner of the house, nearest the arroyo (canyon) and open to the southwest, the wind raged, no idea at what speeds, and everything shook. There is damage outside. Grapefruit trees blown over, hibiscus trees knocked down, the pool full of debris. But no broken windows. And, now, silence.

There have been lots of storms raging these days, in the lives of people I know, my own life too. Humans can inflict such violence, verbally, physically, and psychologically, against one another. Often the infliction is nothing more than a person lashing out of their own hurt, inflicting pain on others, as a …

RevGals Friday Five: Do Nothing Meme

Sally over at RevGals offers this Friday Five:

I am reading a wonderful little book for Advent it's title: "Do nothing Christmas is Coming!"

So this weeks Friday Five is simple.

List Five things you won't be doing to prepare for Christmas.

And while you are doing nothing play the bonus, put your feet up and listen to your favourite Advent Carol, and post it or a link to it...

1. ....putting up a real Christmas Tree. Not in Arizona. I hear they dry up nice and crispy and cost about twice as much as any where, artificial it is. Now, how to get that wonderful pine fragrance?

2. ....going on a shopping frenzy to buy gifts. I will buy gifts, but slowly...and only a few.

3. ....traveling (well, maybe I will, but no plans to do this, yet)

4. ....making Christmas cookies? Well, I may do this too, but no plans yet...

5. ....decorating the house...probably will be skimpy on this too. We are beginning to pack for a move, seems silly to pull all that stuff out at this time.