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Friday, May 30, 2008

garage/yard sale 5

from the RevGals, of course

Songbird asks some leading questions:

1) Are you a garage saler?

Yes, but not compulsively. As in most places, Saturday mornings are the usual Sale days in these here parts, and I usually have something else scheduled. I love garage and yard sales, thrift stores and swap meets because despite not buying all that much at any of those venues, I've bought some of my most favorite things (clothes, decorative artifacts, a few pieces of furniture to paint and miscellaneous other stuff) pre-owned.

2) If so, are you an immediate buyer or a risk taker who comes back later when prices are lower?

Buyer-on-the-flyer here; I learned very early on if I really and truly want it it's so worth buying it then and there unless the asking price truly is absolutely unreal.

3) What's the best treasure you've found at a yard or garage sale?

Oh, this list could be endless! In terms of the % of my clothes and other stuff the number's not that high, but for right now I'll mention the 9-drawer chest I bought either unpainted or barely so for $15 at our church thrift store (see #4); I colorblocked it with paint in four different orangey-yellows and added ceramic knobs I got on Ebay; I'll post a pic later.

4) If you've done one yourself, at church or at home, was it worth the effort?

I helped a friend with one of her sales, including donating some of my things to the cause and we mutually swapped a few things we hadn't known each other had, but I do not believe it would be worth doing it on my own; for the most part I keep my overflow culled by freecycling. The church I served in City of History had an onsite thrift store in business every weekend; they generally set up the loot on Friday, which was my usual day off, but often I"d buy Saturday lunch there and help with storing everything Saturday afternoons. The prices were right, and I bought some stuff. In addition, the mostly women who ran the shop sometimes at times would announce to me they just got a donation from one of the "suburban churches" and I"d get to sort through the clothes before they put them out for the neighborhood folks. BTW, I paid for my treasures, but senior pastor seemed to think he should get everything for free! He bought, or got, all of his blue jeans there...

5) Can you bring yourself to haggle?

Very very occasionally; sometimes successfully, sometimes not, though I never pay advertised price anywhere in Mexico, but that's a way different culture with different expectations and practices.

BONUS: For the true aficionado: Please discuss the impact of Ebay, Craig's List, Freecycle, etc... on the church or home yard/garage sale.

On eBay I've bought quite a few things off and on: new and used (pre-owned, already worn—you know!), mainly clothes and household (domestic?) textiles, though I'm too lazy too venture into eBay sales. Here's my freecycle post again. I've kept a list of the stuff I've offered on freecycle and it's almost 100 items long, with many of that being multiples of whatever I've offered, though I've only received a few plates from someone else. I visited Craigslist for the first time ever just a couple weeks ago, and I must say it is funky! I was there for a friend whose dog had been stolen (prayers, please, please) and didn't check anything else. But Songbird asked about the impact of all of those on the church or home sales? No clue, really, but again I'll say some of my most favorites of everything have been from other than the typical retail suspects.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

poetry party 19

poetry party 19

invitation to poetry icon

Christine introduces this Party #19:
The photo is of course of my beloved Abbess Petunia. This is the first time she stars as the prompt for a Poetry Party. She teaches me many things, but her total abandon when it comes to rest is one of the most precious gifts she offers. I have been thinking a lot about Sabbath these days because summer is coming when my husband’s and my schedule slow quite down a bit and we make time to relish relationship, to linger, to make discoveries in the sacred space of being rather than doing. So my invitation to you for this week’s Poetry Party is to celebrate the gifts of being – what do you discover in those still spaces and holy pauses? Where are you invited to release the hold of doing and surrender to something much bigger?
Abbess PetuniaTime suspended in space, or maybe 'pause' refers to immeasurable minutes. Still but never ever static ways of just being and receptive, too...Abbess Petunia has the amazing gift of abandoning herself to the moment, in the moment, and I need the same ability to release the nearly compulsive "hold of doing." Christine mentioned Sabbath, and we read in Genesis 2:3
So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.
a few blogs ago I quoted Carl Sandburg
...and the forgetfulness of our sleep Pumpkin Marigoldis strange and beautiful in itself—and what would you rather have than sleep?
However, the ability of someone like Petunia to rest without guilt, the talent my cats – like PumpkinMarigold in my featured pic – possess and happily own to fall asleep in a heartbeat are gifts most humanoids would welcome and could use, but what I'd "rather have than sleep" would be even more precious than restful, dream-filled sleep: it's the *where* of place and the *who* of people safe enough for me to dare abandon my worries, fears and anxieties, whether I'm waking, sleeping or inbetween.

Friday, May 23, 2008

vacation thoughts 5

vacation thoughts 5 from Sally, who says in her introduction:
It is a holiday weekend here in the UK, and the weather forecast for much of the country is not good!!! But we can still dream and so with that in mind I bring you this Friday Five.
1. Getting ready for summer, do you use the gradual tanning moisturisers (yes gentlemen you too can answer this!!!), or are you happy to show your winter skin to the world?

(This also is a major holiday weekend here, often referred to as the unofficial start of summer.) A few years ago I tried just a single tube of a gradual tan product, but found the results blotchy because it was impossible to apply evenly, though the color itself was fine. My complexion is light olive and I tan easily, so typically I wear sunscreen in the 35-50 range and during the days prior to achieving a reasonable real glow use a translucent bronzer, usually Bonne Bell's can't remember the name right now.

2. Beach, mountains or chilling by the pool, what/ where is your favourite getaway?

sea sky surfI love oceans, rivers, streams, rivulets (glaciers, waterfall, etc.) and any sand, restaurant or resting-place that's shoreside, but this is such a tourist destination and paradise in real life beaches here get way way far too crowded during the summer months, so I'll take conversation and food by the pool, ideally a friend's (municipal is okay, but not the YM/WCA) with ready access to a comfortable bathroom and real indoors shade.

3. Are you a summer lover or does the long break become wearing?

Summer! Summer! Summer! Endless, eternal summer, please!

4. Active holidays; hiking swimming sailing, or lazy days?

Active! Whether a vacation-length holiday, or just the long weekend we're anticipating here across the pond from the UK, I gotta keep moving, doing and showing results for my time.

5. Now to the important subject of food, if you are abroad do you try the local cuisine, or do you prefer to play it safe?

Oh, at least some local! In these here parts our local vernacular is mainly burgers and fries and Mexican, but ethnically our population is extremely diverse so you easily can get every kind of Asian and Amerasian fast food and slow food. When I'm home I eat a burrito a day, though in Mexico it's almost always a higher-end sit-down restaurant. Oh, you said "abroad!" I've only traveled abroad of home port to the aforementioned Mexico (San Ysidro/Tijuana is the busiest land border in the world, though I've also spent time in Mexico City), Peru and Guatemala plus a fair swath of central and northern Europe. So I eat whatever, usually allowing myself an occasional really sumptuous meal. But I realize especially in what one might refer to as 3rd and 4th world countries you really do need to have at least a little caution regarding local tap water and also take care since veggies and fruits may have been washed in contaminated water.

Monday, May 19, 2008

too long a time

This is how I've been feeling for too, too long...I found this in the "First Person" series on page 67 of the February 2000 print version of Life magazine; John Trotter is the author.
I struggle each day to find that once familiar person, me, closest companion. I've lost so much precious time. It's been rolling over me like a river in a nightmare, having neither length nor brevity. The waters...tangled me in a dark eddy of lonely struggle, apart from the world, where time hardly seemed to exist at all, even as it flowed past me. But as my awareness has gradually risen...I see that my loved ones, my friends, the rest of the world, have gone a long way down that river without me.

Friday, May 16, 2008

grand tour 5

revgals grand tour friday 5

songbird outlines today's 5--to name places in the categories:

1. though i realize "fave" implies uniqueness i have lots of favorites, but for now i'll pick albuquerque.

2. no real unfavorite, but there are too many places that send mixed signals to my total being; for this friday morning list it'll be cape cod. my grandparents who'd lived many places had a mid-cape house they remodeled, etc.; growing up i never could be sure what encounters and exchanges would happen on my next visit, and then as an adult it pretty much remained the same...

3. without considerations of cost and time i'll spend 6 or 8 weeks traveling through the indian sub-continent.

4. because i don't read or watch nearly enough fiction or fantasy, the only one i can think of would be avonlea(?) in prince edward island, where anne of green gables lived. in real life i far prefer energized urban or healing desert locations, but i loved the yesteryear setting and especially the clothes anne wore in that series.

5. funniest name—pass on this one, but i can't wait to see what everyone else dredges up!

thanks so much, songbird!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

poetry party 18

invitation to poetry icon

invitation to poetry: and a donkey shall lead them

I love Christine's intro to this very Pauline, extremely Jesus-y topic:
The image was taken at a sheep farm in Arlington, WA, about an hour from Seattle. ... I was most moved however by the donkey they keep in the pasture with the sheep. Apparently he provides some extra protection for them from coyotes because he bonds with the sheep and then his size scares away some of the predators. At one point the dogs had herded the sheep behind the donkey and the image made me smile. I was reminded of the Isaiah 11:6 quote "and a little child shall lead them." ... Where do you go when you choose to relinquish your own ego and follow a path that might seem foolish?
This time I'll be prosaic rather than poetic and begin by admitting maybe particularly since I'm woman, that ego-not ego brings such a constant, often bewildering, seemingly insolvable push-pull. I love the earthy roots of the word "humility" connecting us, binding us to the soil - hummus - safely (I'd hope!) securing us into the ground. poetry party 18 One of the greatest compliments I've ever received was from a woman who attended a church I served; she told me she was amazed I got the call because she had some awareness of their pretentious history and aspirations, and during my interviews I was "so real!" That's akin to being in the earth, the physical place where resurrection to new life of necessity must begin; being "real" (in Spanish the word spelled r-e-a-l means "royal"—Daughter of Heaven!) relates to letting go of the unnecessary layers of your self, freely allowing yourself to be seared by the fires of the Spirit of Pentecost, purified by the heat and born again from the ashes. Several places I've quoted "Endless Love," sung by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie; the recurrent phrase in the song, "and love, I'll be a fool for you," is exactly what God becomes for us in Jesus Christ. Both within and without the Church, foolish frequently is many people's perception of life in Christ. The Heidelberg Catechism explains how salvation history (and the liturgical year) moves from Christmas, with the mystery of Spirit in flesh, to Ascension, with the mystery of flesh in Spirit! May the example of Jesus Christ become our experience, as well!

Thanks for another wonderful opportunity, Christine!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Friday, May 09, 2008

5 for pentecost

with the festival day of pentecost right on time's horizon, hosting her first F5 ever, presbyterian gal offers today's Holy Spirit pre-pentecost Gifts of the Spirit 5; because it would take almost forever to do this justice, i'm taking a few pauline liberties with her questions.

Have you or anyone you know

1. ...ever experienced a prophesy (vision or dream) that came true?

déjà vu that turns around into vujà dé--lots of times, but actually can't remember enough to write details right now. for the past few years i've become intentional about remembering dreams and often write them down; someone told me to pay attention to the symbols in a dream rather than the story line.

2. ...dreamed of a stranger, then actually met them later?

only in the sense 'this person and this situation both are so very familiar, i *almost* already know their behaviors and the outcome of this scenario.' as i wrote in #1, déjà vu that turns around into vujà dé and wraps around itself all over again.

3. ...seen a wonder in heaven? (including UFO's)

almost any natural phenomenon visible in the sky gives me a sense in my body, mind and emotions this may be a reassuring life- or world-transforming portent; typically i interpret these in a very positive manner. whenever i fly into tucson into the late afternoon/early evening southwestern sunset rather than on a later flight, it reminds me God is still speaking, still sovereign and endlessly lovingly concerned and providing for creation. tucson being an astronomical dark sky area makes it a perfect place for savoring these (right here and now) and those (in the past) experiences.

4. ...seen a "sign" on the earth?

a couple weeks ago i finished reading Quaker pastor Brent Bill's most recent book, Sacred Compass, and i'm currently trying hard to organize and blog my notes. In his book and in the podcast i listened to, Brent talked about learning to notice and read signs, and as both a visual artist and a reader-interpreter of scripture i routinely read high meaning into almost everything, natural, circumstantial and/or otherwise.

5. ...experienced knowledge of another language without ever having studied it?

a woman i met in one of my former cities of residence told me she'd learned Hebrew with very little effort whatsoever, convincing her she must have previously known it.

Bonus Question: What would a modern day news coverage of the first Pentecost have sounded like?
Today in the Holy City Jerusalem at the annual celebration of the Mount Sinai Covenant, known to the faithful as the Day of Pentecost, while an estimated several hundred followers of Jesus of Nazareth were gathered together a wild wind came into their midst and some reported a flame of fire appeared over the head of each individual. According to selected commentators and observers, many believe the renegade itinerant tekton or carpenter Jesus actually has brought a New Covenant of Grace to all creation and some consider the Man of Nazareth also to be the Christ of God. We'll bring you more video and an exclusive eyewitness report on our late evening newscast.
thanks, PG, and congrats on this 1st!

Friday, May 02, 2008

wait, pray friday 5

wait and pray friday 5

from Sally, here's todays 5:

1. These day I pray best (or at least better with more trust and less anxiety) with others, either one other person or in a group of almost any size.

2. About that discipline of waiting...a pastor I served with told me I love "the thrill of the chase," and he was so right, but lately (make that about 4 years' worth of latedness) I've been far far too anxious, though in general I'm usually more into anticipation's excitement. Nonetheless, I still know God has wonderful future surprises for me and for the world.

3. At least thus far, I've never waited upon God for a specific promise, but cannot wait until a time comes that I trust completely enough to claim one.

4. I hugely prefer action to stillness...I'm very restless and virtually never lack enough physical energy. Despite that fact, I try regularly to practice centering prayer and to consciously discern with all my senses the presence and movement of the Spirit throughout the day, whatever I'm doing, however I'm engaged.

5. For one gift, spiritual or otherwise I'd love to receive, I'll choose the ability to be alone by myself and with myself without excessive anxiety and fear of abandonment.