Monthly Archives: September 2011

book hunting


I stopped by the little thrift store in Newberg today.  As one goes through the heavy metal front doors you find yourself in a small entry room, the walls lined with books on shelves, and with boxes of books on the floor, that have not been put onto shelves, mainly because there is no room there.
As i perused the shelves i found four books, two hardbacks and two paper backs.  After that i looked through one of the boxes and found a running press miniature edition of “Sonnets from the Portuguese” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.  It fits in the palm of my hand.
Here is what the book’s introduction says:
“These poems poured from the soul of a woman whose life was transformed by a most improbable love.
In 1845, Elizabeth Barrett, a well-known Victorian poet, was a housebound invalid nearly forty years old. A fan letter from a 33-year-old aspiring poet, Robert Browning, commenced a correspondence that quickly kindled to love, although the two did not meet face-to-face for months. When Barrett’s tyrannical father forbid her to marry, she found the strength to elope with Browning to Italy, where they lived happily in semi-exile until her death in 1861.
Robert Browning’s nickname for Elizabeth was “the Portuguese,” referring to a character in her poem “Catarina to Camoens.” Writing this sequence of highly private sonnets about her astonishing love affair, she used that name, hoping to disguise the verses as a translation. But her passion shines through, making these her finest poems-and, indeed, some of the greatest love poems ever written.
I bought that book and four others, and the lovely lady only charged me two dollars.  The other four books are:
1. The Ship’s Pasture, by Jon Silkin, his 9th book of poems, 1986
2. Always a Reckoning, and other poems, by Jimmy Carter, 1995
3. The Family Orchard, by Nomi Eve, 2000 (actually, i bought this one to have a closer look at the illustrations)
4. The Coup, by John Updike, 1978

mere christianity . by c.s.Lewis


It is so easy to want to judge.  To take one side over another.  Doing so makes us feel in control of our self, of others and our world.  And yet, what judgement really produces are extremes, walls, division and selfishness.  None of these things are very good.
When we realize that we are not the judge, the extremes disappear, the walls come down, and we are less about protecting something that we are not meant to be part of.  We are less selfish.  When we step away from judgement, we are released from a certain web of deceit.
As a Christ believer we are to keep our eyes on God.  In that we realize that everyone is part of the same body of Christ, as everyone is a different organ within that body. When each organ is allowed to do what they are to do, this allows everyone in the body to live as the whole Body lives.
People are unique and at the same time they need one another.  In God’s creation we find everything to be both the same and different. The same and different are what we are.  Snowflakes are all snowflakes, and yet each one has their own unique shape.  All people are unique, and all people are part of God’s creation. God Loves everyone and wants everyone to freely Love Him.  And so we have free will, that we can be free to know Love and to choose to Love, as well as choose to Love God and to know Him.
There are links to other posts on this chapter, as well as Jason’s post, at the blog of JasonS… here

voices and friends . poetry reading


I know that speaking and hearing words makes them seem to come alive.  And then i think, well…the words of God are truly alive and living.  So, is there something that happens when we speak the words of God that is different than speaking my own words.  Spiritually, i think that there is.
I am grateful to be able to hear some of your words.  Thank you for speaking them.
Note:  I was having trouble getting on soundcloud this morning.  So i am trying a new place called Vocaroo.   I used the anonymous recording page, so my recording will be around for 1-2 months and then gone.  If i had signed- in i think it would have been around for about 5-6 months.
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becoming changed

I have been inspired to look closer at my motivation behind my blogging. And so, photos have become smaller, column width has been shortened for easier reading, and links of other blogs have been brought up and along side of my posts.  All to support a more equal balance of priority.

Poem by Edith Brownell


Like tired lids the leaves drop down,
Earth drowsy grows, and on her breast,
Beneath a blanket red and brown,
The weary year lies down to rest.

Poem by~Edith Brownell
Published in The Outing Magazine
The outdoor magazine of human interest
Volume XLVII
October, 1905-March, 1906
The Outing Publishing Company


The following text is from
The Writer: A monthly magazine for literary workers
Volume XVIII   December 1906 ~ No. 12
Boston: The Writer Publishing Company 146 Franklin Street
Page 184
Writers of the Day

Edith Brownell, author of “His Burden of Hatred,” in Lippincott’s for October, was born in Toledo, O., but went south to live when a child.  Her first writing was done in Atlanta, and consisted of interviews  and book reviews for theSaturday Review, a local woman’s weekly, and two stories which were published in the Puritan Magazine – now extinct.  Soon afterward Miss Brownell went to Chicago, where she spent four years at the university, during which time her only literary out put appeared in the student publications.  While there she wrote and staged a little play, which was givening one of the women’s halls, and she herself appeared in some French plays.  Two years ago she came to Washington and began newspaper work.  She is now on the editorial staff of the Washington Post, writing special articles for the Sunday issue, together with dramatic criticism and interviews. Last summer she was sent abroad by the Post, and wrote weekly letters from England, France, and Germany.  Miss Brownell has had verse printed in Outing and in Youth, and Lippincott’s Magazine and Munsey’s now hold unpublished poems of hers.

Something to Celebrate


I have been thinking of the yearly celebrations of christmas and halloween.  And i have decided that i don’t want to honor them.  They are not biblical celebrations and they are full of paganism and worldly hooey.

I do like to bring more light and comfort into the house for the darker and colder season.  I like to decorate with different colours in different seasons.  And i want to look for God’s Grace in every day.
I don’t want to celebrate out of thoughtless habit.  Just because the world says it is the time to do so and that this is the way to do it.  I don’t need to honor all of the beliefs that are intertwined through history in these celebrations.
I can bring in light, colour, music, and decorations that speak of and celebrate a life lived everyday in the Lord, instead these once-a-year conglomerations of religion, paganism, consumerism, and greed.  
I am free to make choices.  And i think it’s time that God be the one i honor and celebrate, in relating with Him and others, every one of the days i am given. Not the pre-packaged, pre-digested, pre-prepared, yearly, staged, fake gold and sold, glittered-over “stuff” posing as okay and good and harmless.  
I want the real thing.
I want every new day and a new way.
His way.

photographer michael o’brien


photos above:
from “Their Own Choice”
A portfolio of LIFE photographers’ favorites.
LIFE Magazine’s 50th Anniversary Issue . Fall 1986
I took photos… of photos…that were in an article of
the 1986 magazine that i bought at a book sale…
which led to…
The Photographer
Web site for Michael O’Brien here
Book – “Hard Ground” 

Tom Waits – Author
Michael O’Brien – Author and Photographer (his second book)
DJ Stout and Berrett Fry – Book Designers
University of Texas Press
March 1, 2011

78 Photographs by O’Brien
23 Original Poems by Waits

✒ A very good article on the book, @ Pentagram, here.

✒ Maureen Doallas led off her December 23, 2010 post of “Facts, New or Not”
…..with information and links about the book, here.

light carving –  photo (light) + graph (scratch or carve into stone)

mere christianity . by c.s.Lewis

The main thing this chapter is about, is that God took on the life of a baby, a man, lived and breathed and spoke of who He was and what it meant.  He died a physically terrible human death, and then came back from that into life.  
Also, that the natural life of each of us is something self-centered and obstinate.  It does not like anything stronger or higher that would make it feel small or weak.
That your part and mine is to believe that He is Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, and to draw close to Him, and to lay ourself open to Him.  
And within those actions of the heart and mind is the wonderful mystery of the Holy Spirit and connection with the God of Abraham, Moses, David, Isaac, and Joseph.  The God Almighty.  A life with, and belonging to, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say.  You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.  Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!  Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me?  Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”


First i would like to share some very interesting tidbits from the “history of quilting page” on wikipedia.

✄ The stitching together of layers of padding and fabric, may date back as far as ancient Egypt.

✄ In Europe quilting appears to have been introduced by Crusaders in the 12th century, in particular in the form of the aketon or gambeson, a quilted garment worn under armour which later developed into the doublet.
✄ Russia holds the oldest example in existence, which is a quilted linen carpet found in a Mongolian cave.
✄ In America in the 18th century, only the wealthy had the leisure time for quilt making so Colonial quilting was done by only a few.
✄ In the mid 19th century, textiles were manufactured on a broad scale.  Women no longer had to spend time spinning and weaving to provide fabric for their family’s clothing.  By the 1840’s, commercial fabrics were affordable to almost every family.  Quilt making became widespread and more block style quilts were made because of the variety of fabric.

Some quilts are very attractive to me and some are not.  But, the ones i do like, i like very much.  I like to see the fabric, colours, and the quilting stitches.  It is amazing what people are creating these days.  And of course, they can still be sewn by hand, but, most people use an assortment of sewing machines.  And, the sewing machines are another subject all together.
I like the feel of a quilt on the bed in the summer months instead of a fluffy comforter.  I like baby quilts and toddler quilts, because i like to see them used and loved until they fall apart.  Very small children tend to love small quilts.
I like quilts so much, that i started a blog just for quilts and those who like them, and it’s called “daisies and dandelions.”

voices and friends . poetry reading


If you would like to join in the poetry reading, you will find information on our first post…here.
There is a “voices and friends group” on facebook…here.
Enjoy the reading.

 For Maureen’s poem go (here) … mister linky was giving her problems.

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Steve started something…


Steve was doing some thinking…and it got me to thinking.  And now i’m going to get you thinking.
Thinking about receiving a letter or card in the mail, and how much we all like to get letters from
folks we know.  Steve says that he is going to send letters to the people he knows, and that he will
send a letter to anyone that wants to join him in this.  I sent him my mailing address…via e-mail.
So now i can look forward to a note in the mail.

And i am going get back into writing and sending notes.  I might even send a poem or two.

Does this get you thinking about someone that would enjoy a letter or a card from you?

Why not buy some of those pretty Love stamps and get to writing.
And i hope you will encourage others to pick up their pen.  (or crayons)

✒For Steve’s post, click here.


I am just one person. I am the same as others in many ways, yet, i am also different. I don’t have to really think on this too much to know it.  
Comparison of self with others is a risky business.  In the action of comparing we take our eyes off of the Lord. There is no way to compare and not run into judgement issues. Either we think of our self as better, or we think of our self as worse. We can never think of our similarities with another when we begin to compare.  
When we compare and think of our self as “worse than”, we often want to be someone other than who we are. We can even become discouraged. But, if we were looking at God, He would show us that we are unique in what we see, and who we are, and that it is special. If we are looking to God, He shows us that we don’t need to be someone else.
When we compare and think of our self as “better than”, we can become selfish and self centered. But, if we were looking to God, He would show us that we are unique, that our life is our special gift, to share and to give in God’s glory. He would show us that each person is Loved by God.
Each of us is special. We each have a life and perspective and feelings that are unique. And if we are looking to God; walking, speaking and listening to God, we are more likely to be led to see “one another” and “ourselves” the way that God sees us.
God made me to be me, to see from these eyes, to hear with these ears, to touch with these hands, and to feel with this heart.  And to do it all with Him.  To first look to the One who made me, and who knows me better than anyone. And to remember that the Lord is the One who Loves me in that undeniable way that is only His.