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Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

The spiritual meaning of love is measured by what it can do.
Love is meant to heal.
Love is meant to renew.
Love is meant to bring us closer to God.

[Author Unknown]

Easter 2016
I celebrate the gift of Easter. Other folks celebrate different days of commemoration. I celebrate each person’s right to celebrate what ever renews the spirit in love.

Each day enriches my life and yesterday was especially enriching. My daughter sent me a box of delightful gifts among which was the skein of yarn in the photo. She spun the yarn using a blend of marino wool and silk. It is delicious and is like a magnet to my hands and a pair of knitting needles. The bouquet in the watering can was a gift from my sister, also one of a cluster of gifts from her. My heart is full of gratitude. My spirit is renewed.

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Civility

All the great things are simple,
and many can be expressed in a single word:
freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.
[Winston Churchill]

I try to avoid controversial topics on my blog, but I feel compelled to digress for this post. I study a lot of history and have noticed that people do not behave any better nor any worse now than they ever did. All nations have blots of bad behavior on their historical record. Also, there seem to be very few incisive thinkers in this world—many folks run their mouths without engaging their brains.

In the USA, we have been besieged by political campaigns for too many months. Very little of what has been said is accurate, true, or useful. Most of it has been a smoke screen to cover the fact that these politicians have no idea how to address the real problems in this country or the world. The whole experience has been generally ugly, abusive and useless. Some have behaved in such a horrid manner that I am appalled anyone would support them.

There are many primary elections across our country today. I ask my fellow citizens to remember their responsibility to support and serve our constitution to the end that all people can know freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope. I ask for civility.

Civility means a great deal more than just being nice to one another. It is complex and encompasses learning how to connect successfully and live well with others, developing thoughtfulness, and fostering effective self-expression and communication. Civility includes courtesy, politeness, mutual respect, fairness, good manners, as well as a matter of good health.– Pier Massimo Forni, Civility Project at Johns Hopkins University

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You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness.  You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.  
[Erma Bombeck]

2015-July4

Last evening, there was a spontaneous gathering of my neighbors. We were trimming our yards for the holiday, each helping the other. We represented a variety of age groups, nationalities, races, occupations, income levels. We were the poster group for the old-fashioned term, melting pot. I felt enriched. I’ve often thought that the best part of being an American was being heir to all countries, languages, cultures, and religions. I label myself with a new hyphenated term. I am an enriched-American.

P.S. My neighbors also liked the holiday socks that I hand knit last weekend.

the-wright-brothers-9781476728742_lgP.P.S. I listen to audiobooks while I knit and found this one stunning. David McCullough is one of my favorites, both as a writer and a narrator. This book captures the brilliance of Orville and Wilbur, and the world-changing nature of their achievements. When I was in Dayton to teach a knitting workshop, a friend took me on a tour of the city. We saw the Wright homes, the sites of the Wright printing company and bike shop, Paul Dunbar’s home, and the place where the brothers tested their planes. McCullough captures it all in this book. Reading it is time well spent.

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Weeds are flowers too,
once you get to know them.
[A. A. Milne]

2015Home

6:30 a.m., June 2015, My Home

Flowers are a gift of grace. What I know about gardening would barely fill a thimble so any flower that blooms in my gardens is a gift and not a result of my tending. If this photo had been taken closer, weeds would show to prove my point. When a foot of snow was piled over these window boxes and lawn, I rested on my shovel and imagined this scene. The anticipation of enjoying the warmth and the color was almost as much a gift as the flowers.

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 The meaning of life is to see.
[Hui Neng]

New Willowgreen Web site

 

Ten years ago, I designed and produced a Web site for one of my clients, Jim Miller at Willowgreen, Inc.; a publishing company that produces “meaningful resources for hope, healing and inspiration.” Since then, I have not only maintained his site, but I have also designed and produced print and electronic media for his company.

Having Jim as a client has been a graphic designer’s dream. He is a writer and an excellent photographer. His portfolio of breathtaking photographs assures me that I can hardly produce an ugly design. Also, I have been able to contribute hand-rendered illustrations to some of his publications, and spread my wings into electronic publishing.

Last spring, we embarked upon a complete redesign of the Willowgreen Web site. I produced a site plan and visual design which we turned over to a programming team who setup the store in Shopify. The redesigned site was recently launched.

What do I like best about the new site? In addition to Jim’s photography and insightful writing, I like that there is a balance between the commercial aspects (selling products in the new store) and free offerings. The homepage alone with its inspiring slide show and video is a place to go just to meditate. There are free eCards, inspiring blogs, and helpful writings for caregivers and those who are grieving.

One of the many things that I am thankful for this holiday is that I have had the honor of serving the kind and gentle folks at Willowgreen.

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There is no quality in this world that is not
what it is merely by contrast.
Nothing exists in itself.
[Herman Melville]

Peony

Four posts down from this one is a photo of my Saturn Sky sitting between two five-foot snow banks. There was a peony bush sleeping under the nearest snow bank. It not only survived sub-zero temperatures and deep snow, it also survived being trampled.

The winter temperatures and snow weight demolished my garage. While it was being rebuilt, the peony tried to sprout though the thawing soil but was repeatedly stepped on. I finally put a little fence around the damaged shoots and they were able to grow into a lovely bush. It finally bloomed two weeks later than usual, and its sweet scent filled my sun room.

The contrast between what I considered a dreadful winter and welcome summer is brought home to me in this delicate bloom. I’m glad peonies are the Indiana state flower.

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The story of women’s struggle for equality
belongs to no single feminist
nor to any one organization
but to the collective efforts of
all who care about human rights

[Gloria Steinem]

Shepherd's Moon

This Saturday is International Women’s Day. The photo is Ellen Robert’s display piece at the International Women’s Art Exhibition in the UPMarket Galleries (The Provision Market, Newport, Gwent) in Wales. Ellen spins, dyes, weaves and knits fiber, and she designed this lace poncho. The logo is her business identity, Shepherd’s Moon. The loom was built by her grandfather and used for many years by her grandmother—Ellen uses it now. The spinning is lace weight yarn the thickness of an eye lash. I am in awe of Ellen’s talent and skill. I have to add that she is also my oldest daughter.

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