Chapel Garden

Last Saturday we dedicated our outdoor chapel area with 30 or so friends and relatives.

The benches are permanent seating.

We were concerned that it might storm and threaten our plans but the rain held off until the middle of the night.

We offered a mixture of chartreuse coleus, pink and dark pink impatiens, and 3 colors of nicotiana.

During the service each person was instructed to choose a plant, write a dedication, and place the plant in the spot where he or she wanted it to be planted.

Some of the other labels were very personal.

Charlie was amazed at the care everyone gave to the task of honoring a person or time that is meaningful.

The flowers were planted in the places where they had been set along with their markers.

Since it rained all day Sunday the flowers could not be planted but today Sug got right on it and planted all of the flowers.

Each person could also take home a plant for his/her own garden.

There were some left over which we placed in the empty spots.

The pink flowers are nicotiana — they came in 3 colors.

Our meditation garden is set up for our private use.  The flowers will provide a colorful serenity to the area and hopefully will attract our beloved hummingbirds.

Whom would you like to honor?

May Day! May Day!

The title sounds like a call for help because I’ve packed the month of May with enough tasks to fill a year.  Thankfully my team — Charlie and Sug — plus my son and his wife are committed to a long, desperate summer’s worth of to-do lists.  The fun will start in May.

More or less in order of what’s about to happen we’ll be doing the following:

Revival: 

Party on Saturday:  The Dedication of the Chapel at the Glade.

We’re hoping for good weather for our chapel dedication.

The program is set, the menu is set, the guest list is set — time for the party.

Ready:

We will need the guest room — my son’s old bedroom — for weekly visits from him due to his work schedule.  He plans to stay overnight once a week instead of driving back and forth to the Eastern shore of Maryland, 2.5 hours away.

We’ll be welcoming overnight guests very soon.

There are a few more items in the back room that need to be distributed or done away with.  We’re planning to finish up the guest room (#9 on the 101 in 1001).

Relax:

Charlie and I will be spending long weekend at beach (#24 on the 101 in 1001).  Charlie has to play the piano for some meetings but I am just going along for the ride.

We’ll be staying near Cape May, New Jersey.

We’ll be staying on the Boardwalk in Wildwood, New Jersey, but plan to do a little touring on this long weekend.

Recuperate:

Mother’s Day — I’m declaring this as my personal free day.

Mother’s Day would be a good time to invigorate the mantel.

I only plan to do stuff I enjoy.  I’m hoping to also have something special and delicious to eat.

Renovate:

I have spoken with our contractor who is getting ready to add a new surface and railing to our bedroom deck (#73 on the 101 in 1001).

Hoping to finally make some progress on the master deck.

We haven’t used the deck for a couple of years except for building projects due to the lack of railing.

Reposition:

Although Charlie and I are not planning to move to this property we’re going to purchase, we’ll be working on it almost every weekend until it is liveable.

Planning to make some improvements to this 1930s Cape Cod-style cottage including a new roof.

Our son and his wife are excited to live in a rural area that’s only 3 miles from the Nanticoke River.   They will do a little farming and .  .  . who knows what else.  Oystering and crabbing come to mind.

Rabies:

It’s time to have Dash’s rabies innoculation updated.

Dash is a very good dog except when he’s not.

Last year he could only get a year-long shot.  This year he can have a 3-year shot.  We generally get the shot at the county dog shelter.

Renaissance:

We’ll be attending a baptism for an adult friend.

We are so delighted to be asked to be present at this important event.

Renewal:

By the time Memorial Day rolls around I think I’ll need a break although I’m guessing we will have some fun at the new property.

Charlie helped fold the American flag at Fort McHenry.

We are so glad to be able to celebrate a patriotic holiday in one of the original states — Maryland.  Sometimes I can’t believe how beautiful it is here, especially in spring.

Read:

Finally I need to finish my first reading of The Screwtape Letters so I’ll be ready for our book club in June and July.  We have a good group of committed readers to study this satire about the devil.

The Screwtape Letters’ study is coming in June.

That sounds like a crazy full month of must-dos to me.

What do you like to put on the grill on Memorial Day?

My Favorite Week of the Year

I love Holy week.

We were loaded down with palm fronds today.

Although my grown son’s birthday is early in April, he was born on Palm Sunday.  Today is Palm Sunday.

Simple but lovely convent chapel.

In addition to our regular services Charlie had the opportunity to play the organ at the small chapel of a local convent.

Charlie prepares the music for Palm Sunday.

Sug and I accompanied him and were truly blessed by the simplicity and sincerity of this community.

The pitcher, bowl, and towel are a reminder of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples.

This week my regular Bible study classes have been canceled but I’ll be attending special services planned for the end of the week.  My favorite is Maundy Thursday.  It is in Maundy services I have heard very profound and memorable messages.  The Pope washes the feet of prisoners emulating the actions of Christ at the Last supper.  That would be a truly humbling experience — having anyone wash my feet.

We’ll be creating a flower-adorned on Saturday night for a Sunrise service on Easter morning.

So we enjoyed our 5 services this weekend and look forward to a peaceful week concluding in a celebratory and joyful Easter when Charlie will be playing again at the convent before our regular service.

Do you have a favorite special celebration?

2019 Summer Book Club

Back in the summer of 2016 I hosted a Book Club at The Glade.

I look forward to lively discussions.

This summer I have planned another one which should also fulfil #69 on my 101 tasks in 1001 days: Lead a Bible Study at home. Although we will read this satire as literature I’m prepared for discussion that touches on spirituality, morality, and responsibility.

This book is dark and even the cover meant to be disturbing.

The book I’ve selected is The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis, the Christian apologist.

I created a syllabus/invitation which can be hand delivered, emailed, or mailed.

I mapped out a plan for reading and discussing the book which I put into a letter that would serve both as an invitation and syllabus for the study.  The group will be limited to 8 invitees plus Sug and me. (Charlie does not participate in this type of activity but he is welcome to attend.)

Clive Staples Lewis, author and Christian apologist.*

I wanted to make expectations clear from the beginning so the people who commit to the group can presume that others will do the assignments and be on hand for our weekly discussions.

Do you have a visual image of the devil?

I’m hoping for a varied cross-section of participants.  This article by Laura Egolf suggests one need not be a Christian to benefit from reading a book that “is a fascinating examination of the flaws of man.”

Plenty of seating for 10 or so people in the living room.

The venue for this book club will be the living room at The Glade.

* Christian apologetics (Greek: ἀπολογία, “verbal defense, speech in defense”) is a branch of Christian theology that defends Christianity against objections.

What are you reading now?

Invitation to the Dedication

Last Fall we began planning a dedication of the outdoor meditation spot in the backyard.

Sug already transplanted blue iris around the base of the cross.

We decided at that time to postpone it until Spring because the weather would be better, the yard would be prettier, and we needed a little more planning time.

Our contact information has been masked behind the rectangle outlined in grey.

Now that this get-together is definitely on the calendar in May I was able to create the invitation which will go out to our friends around the first week of April.

Our printer is very basic can’t give multiple excellent color copies on cardstock.

In the meantime I have to figure out a way to print the invitations on card stock since my printer both at home and at work is rather basic and won’t pull heavy paper through.  I’m working on it.

Is your home office equipment top-of-the-line or basic?

 

Working the Weekend

The weekend midway through February is loaded with must-do items.

Schedule C for people who are self-employed.

Top priority is to assemble all income tax papers and business numbers.  Unfortunately we have not received W-2 forms and/or 1099s from some music venues (which were due at the end of last month).  It’s always difficult to know where to allocate funds without the proper forms. Grrrrr.

I want to be the one to choose what will be on my grave marker.

And I would like to begin to plan the design for our grave marker.  Charlie and I both have 2 lots each at different cemeteries.  We’ve decided we’d like to be buried near each other so we’ll let one or the other of the plots go to other family members.

The curtains at the door keep a bit of draft from entering the bedroom.

The curtains hanging in the bedroom at the French door need to be finished.  This is the weekend for that.  Charlie has a gig Friday night so I’ll try to start then with the hand sewing.

Paper headed for the shredder.

If I have any time remaining, which I doubt, I’ll continue to shred old and unnecessary documents.

The mission team specially requested Charlie to play their hymn.

On Sunday we’ll be attending a special church service where Sug and her team will be commissioned for her mission trip to Guatemala. She leaves next week.  Charlie is scheduled to play the send-off music.

If there’s more time I’ll start making window shades.

That should keep everyone busy.

What’s keeping you busy?

Getting Closer to the Christmas Story

This year my Christmas mantel doesn’t have much to do with design.

The mantel tells the story of our connection to the Christmas story.

Instead the mantel adds characters to the Christmas story who were not there in the first century.  I remember seeing a renaissance painting in a gallery in Florence Italy that had included the family of the wealthy commissioner of the painting in a nativity scene.

I’ve included our photo, my mother’s pewtered baby shoe, a picture of former pets, and souvenirs we’ve gathered from this year’s travels.

This year’s nativity scene on our mantel includes us.  We (Charlie, son, and I) are there with other objects that mark our lives.

The herald angel is placed beside a candle representing the Light of the World.

Christmas is meant to be both a joyous celebration and an intensely personal experience.

Central to everything is the small clay creche I bought in Tijuana Mexico many decades ago.

I’m expecting both.

What are you expecting from the winter holidays or the new year?

Working on Advent

I like to think of Advent as the Adventure that leads up to Christmas.

We’ll sing our hearts out.

This year I’ve foregone my regular Bible study class to sing in a choir whose program is this Saturday.  It’s a whole different situation being part of the choir instead of leader.  I used to start thinking about Christmas in August listening to music and creating a theme for a program. This year I am accommodating someone else’s planning.

I feel like I might need a bunch of roses in the near future.

Since I’m not in my regular study I’m taking another one on a different night with an entirely different group of people.  Just part of the adventure.

Last year I bought a felted hummingbird pillow for Sug.

I love having time and opportunity to be creative this Christmas and work in some events I was never available for. This weekend I’ll be attending the very special craft fair that Charlie and I went to for the first time last year.

Sug worked on my tree star and fixed it — it lights.

Christmas becomes more and more special to me every year.  It’s almost my favorite time of year, second only to Easter week.

Have you ever purchased a favorite or unusual craft items?

We Have a Tree

Today Charlie was intent on getting a Christmas tree.

The trees were tagged with different color ribbons denoting size range.

Happily there is a new Christmas tree lot about 1.5 miles down the hill.

Charlie inspected all sides of the tree to make sure it was full all around.

We looked all around at the Fraser firs, white pines, and Douglas firs. Charlie always likes the biggest tree he can find.  I am the voice of reason.

Santa wanted to know if Charlie has been naughty or nice.

While we were at the tree lot Charlie was able to get a message to Santa about gifts he was looking forward to receiving.

An electric chain saw makes quick work of a cut to the trunk.

When we got back to selecting a tree we finally chose a Douglas fir which has soft short needles. The lot manager cut off some bottom limbs and fresh cut the bottom of the trunk.

The lot manager helped Charlie tie the tree to the top of his car.

The tree was then wrapped in mesh to hold it together for the short ride home on top of Charlie’s car.

Our Douglas fir Christmas tree for 2018.

We’ll keep the tree in a bucket of water on the porch for a few days until we have time to set it up properly in the living room.

Is your tree already up? Are you planning for a different holiday?