Thursday, July 23, 2015

Spring Cleaning for the Mind

I belong to a Mystery Book Club at our local library.   We meet monthly, and our latest book is "Aunty Lee's Delights," by Ovidia Yu.  It's set in Singapore, and has glimpses of Singaporean culture sprinkled in, which is very interesting.  But there was one paragraph that really struck me:

"As far as Aunty Lee was concerned, people ought to go through the ideas they carried around in their heads as regularly as they turned out their store cupboards.  No matter how wisely you shopped, there would be things in the depths that were past their expiration dates or gone damp and moldy--or that had been picked up on impulse and were no longer relevant.  Aunty Lee believed everything inside a head or cupboard could affect everything else in it by going bad or just taking up more space than it was worth."

I had never thought about that before.  What a concept!

Monday, July 20, 2015

A Bit of Christmas in July

My latest finish is "Holi-Dazzle,"by Joni Stevenson.  This was the on-line class offered in July by the CyberPointers chapter of ANG.   I was intrigued to learn how to do the poinsettia.

And I've done another bookmark.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

So Sooty

Well, in mid-June, we got the word that I had been dreading - our 90-year-old mother had taken a drastic turn for the worse and "it was a matter of days."  My youngest brother, who lives in Germany, flew back, and the family gathered in Dubuque June 23rd.  Mom lingered for six days, but then we got the call at 7 am on June 29th that she had passed during the night.

The memorial service (not a funeral) was held on July 6th - Dad wanted us to celebrate Mom's life, not mourn her death.  Lunch was served at the church following the service, and  Dad had written two pages about "The Wartburg Connection" that I read at the lunch.

I received a number of sympathy cards from friends at my church, including an electronic card from someone who didn't proofread very well.  Instead of telling me she was sorry, she wrote that she was "so sooty."  Nothing like a good chuckle in the midst of grief.

Mom had picked out the hymns she wanted sung at her memorial service, and one was unfamiliar to me: "Behold the Host Arrayed in White."  Dad said this hymn was sung at her father's funeral, and it had a great impact on Mom.  Text by Hans A. Brorson, Music is Norwegian folk tune.

Behold the host arrayed in white like thousand snow-clad mountains bright,
that stands with palms and sings it psalms before the throne of light!
These are the saints who kept God's word; they are the honored of the Lord.
He is their prince who drowned t heir sings, so they were cleansed, restored.
They now serve God both day and night; they sing their sings in endless light.
Their anthems ring when they all sing with angels shining bright.

On earth their work was not thought wise, but see them now in heaven's eyes;
before God's throne of precious stone they shout their vict'ry cries.
On earth they wept through bitter years; now God has wiped away their tears,
transformed their strife to heav'nly life, and freed them from their fears.
For now they have the best at last; they keep their sweet eternal feast.
At God's right hand out Lord commands; he is both host and guest.

O blessed saints, now take your rest; a thousand times shall you be blest
for keeping faith firm unto death and scorning worldly trust.
For now you live at home with God and harvest seeds once cast abroad in tears and sighs. 
See with new eyes the pattern in the seed.  The myriad angels raise their song.
O saints, sing with that happy throng; life up one voice;
let heav'n rejoice in our redeemer's song!

I retrieved the painting of Saint Barbara that Mom had hung on the wall above her bed, no one else wanted it.  The portrait came along with an explanation of who Saint Barbara was.

Can One Sermon Encompass both "Fiddler on the Roof" and a George Carlin sketch?

You betcha.  On Father's Day, I preached my very first sermon.  Our church's pastor was heading to vacation and they couldn't find anyone else.  I vaguely remember telling the church at some point that I would be willing to lay preach, so they came to me.

The lessons dealt with "on the one hand, on the other hand," which to me was reminiscent of how Tevya in "Fiddler on the Roof" dealt with problem solving.  And then I focused on Paul's statement that "on the one hand we have nothing, and on the other hand we have everything."  That brought to mind George Carlin's sketch about "stuff."

I think the sermon went well, if I do say so myself.  Lots of people came up to thank me.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Meet Earl Grey

I've discovered Annie Lane Folk Art (she has an Etsy store).  Her designs are quite humorous.  One of the things needlepointers need is needle minders, or needle magnets.  When you're doing cross-stitch on fabric, you can weave your needle through the fabric at the margin when you've finished a stitching session.  But needlepoint canvas is too stiff to do that, so what to do - why, use a magnet in the margin of your canvas and lay your needle on the magnet.  Hence a wide variety of needle minders, and another thing to collect.   Some people purchase a new needle magnet for each project, matching the magnet to the project.  I'm not quite that bad, but I do have a bunch of different needle minders.

My latest two purchases are from Annie Lane.  The first one is of a cat "hiding" behind a flowering plant, with the title "Danger Lurks."  And the other one is Earl Grey: