Friday, December 31, 2010

Updated blogs

Ever wonder how many people just updated their blog?

Try this link.

If you get there soon enough you will find this blog listed.

Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

ABC--X--always problematical

I am bypassing my UK trip photos for this letter, as the perfect example showed itself the other day.
How did this come about up there in the forest treetop? Here are the ground level views of the trees involved.


The root systems of evergreens are very shallow, and often depend on intertangling with other trees in the vicinity for stability to support their bulk. Despite the extent to which the tree on the right is uprooted, its crown still appears healthy. I wonder how long that will be, and how long the tree has leaned as it is now.

When ABC Wednesday reaches the letter X, I always think of two things. X brings out the creativity in all of the participants--it will be interesting to see what is posted. And another round wil l start soon--shall I continue? Probably so--I have been hooked since round two and have not missed a week except this summer while traveling--and I made those letters up.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Sunday's Psalm--Feast of the Holy Family

Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.

Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD,

who walks in his ways!

For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;

blessed shall you be, and favored.

Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.

Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine

in the recesses of your home;

your children like olive plants

around your table.

Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.

Behold, thus is the man blessed
who fears the LORD.
The LORD bless you from Zion:
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.

 Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.

from Psalm 128
photos one year ago at Mt Rainier

Friday, December 24, 2010

What if Mary didn't show up?

Mary didn't show up for practice. The children proceeded without her. The stars and angels knew where they were supposed to stand. The shepherds (one of them was missing, too.) got their entrance right on. Joseph held the baby. Someone was assigned to call Mary and tell her when shee needed to be there to dress for the final presentation.

Children's Christmas pageants -- what a delight!.

Mary was in place next to Joseph this evening--right where whe belonged.

But Christmas pageants bring up questions.

What if Mary didn't show up--you know--back there when the angel interrupted her day with his announcement --what if, when the angel said "Do not be afraid..." well, you know what always happens when an angel says that don't you? It's never anything easy. What if she gave the those days equivalent of "You gotta be kidding!"

Other Christmas pageant questions:

What is a shepherd? Is it a disciple?

Hmm, that's a good one to ponder, too.

Maybe the shepherds were the first disciples. They were the first to hear the news.

Others less pondersome--

Where's my halo?

Where do I sit?

When do we come back?

And the king who kept picking up his gift when they "went home by another way".

But still, think about it--what if Mary didn't show up? Are you showing up?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

W is for...

I could have chosen several topics from our UK trip for the letter W, but when I started thinking about my selection, there was no doubt in my mind what I would post when I thought of Wales. We so enjoyed the Welsh countryside...

We so enjoyed our Welsh hosts, blogger Liz, her husband Mike, and of course, George.

We had fun when George led us on our walk to Wormshead.

Of course, George wouldn't even think of worrying the sheep.

We saw a bit of history -- both ancient---and modern,
and a chance to contrast rural Wales
and urban..
Wishing our Welsh friends a blessed Christmas. Their plans for the holidays, as have ours, have been influenced by heavy snowfalls. We had a lovely card of a snow-covered Wormshead. May all who read here find the Christmas season brings special blessings.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sunday's Psalm--4th Sunday of Advent

 Let the Lord enter; he is king of glory.

The LORD’s are the earth and its fullness;
the world and those who dwell in it.
For he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.

 Let the Lord enter; he is king of glory.

Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD?
or who may stand in his holy place?
One whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,
who desires not what is vain.

 Let the Lord enter; he is king of glory.

He shall receive a blessing from the LORD,
a reward from God his savior.
Such is the race that seeks for him,
that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.

 Let the Lord enter; he is king of glory.

from Psalm 24
on State Hwy 123, WA

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

V is for Village

The common dictionary definition of a village is:

1.a small community or group of houses in a rural area, larger than a hamlet and usually smaller than a town, and sometimes (as in parts of the U.S.) incorporated as a municipality. 

2.the inhabitants of such a community collectively.

Our visit to the Northwest Highlands of Scotland this summer brought us to Torridon Village.

 We stayed int he village of Kinlochewe, and hiked through the village of Gairloch.
This leads one to wonder what constitutes a hamlet and what a town. Those definitions are suitably vague, though it appears that a hamlet, at least in Great Britain, does not have its own church and a village does.


 If you've read my blog on any kind of regular basis, you probably have figured out that I am blessed (or cursed) with wanderlust. So, though I've featured sites and sights from our trip to the UK for this round of ABCs, I've had some previous experiences with villages by all definitions.

In India ten years ago, we made several evening visits to nearby villages. We visited in the evening because we were busy working during the day  on the roof of the boys' home where we were volunteering. We met with them to learn about their life

 and the projects through which they were improving conditions for themselves and their families.

The question we were asked at each village we visited was "How are your marriages arranged?"

We visited some villages in Siberia when we were there. On this Sunday afternoon we traveled with the priest for Mass in the village of Krasny Pochara. This is the little church there and some of the congregation. Most of the village (definition 2) were out harvesting wild mushrooms, an important part of their diet.

Rural would be the part of the definition that applied to the village of Kargasok, because it was much larger than any other place I have heard called a village. It was one of a number of villages on the Ob River traveling north from Novosibirsk--maybe the largest. The trip by boat was fifteen hours, and we spent two days visiting with internet friends.

Maybe isolated is a better word than rural. But since the cows greeted us in the yard of the hotel in the morning, I guess "rural" works, too.

After we were home from Siberia that year, I compared photos with my friend who had spent her summer in some Alaskan villages. The scenes were remarkably similar.

So these are some of my village memories for ABC Wednesday, round 7.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sunday's Psalm--Third Sunday of Advent--(Gaudete Sunday)

 Lord, come and save us.
 Lord, come and save us.

 Lord, come and save us.

Lord, come and save us.

from Psalm 146
spider spinning, Prosser Balloon Rally, Vernal Falls (September when the water is low)

The third Sunday of Advent is Gaudete Sunday--so called because the introductory prayer of the Mass begins in Latin "Gaudete in Domino semper"--or "Rejoice in the Lord always." Rose colored vestments can be worn instead of purple, and the rose colored candle is lit on the Advent Wreath. The readings of the third Sunday of Advent emphasize the joyous anticipation of the coming of the Lord.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wednesday--U is for...

U is for Ullapool.

This is the lochside street where our Bed and Breakfast in Ullapool in the northwest of Scotland was located. A row of compact houses facing the port, most of them on this street were B&Bs.

Ullapool is a small port town with a rich history. Our friend in Edinburgh told us it is where the settlers of Nova Scotia embarked from. Unusual for a village in the Highlands, Ullapool is laid out in a grid, having been rebuilt after a fire. Most Highlands towns grew in a more haphazard arrangement.

You can see that the location on the water is vital to the economy and lives of the people here. Tourism, fishing, and transportation are very important. These boys were having fun skipping rocks. 
An important link to the Outer Isles, the ferry comes in several times a day (and at some wee hour of the night as well.)
ABC Wednesday--thank you Denise for a continuing run, and thank you to the team who help her keep it going.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My World--My view of the Grand Canyon.

Other entries for My World Tuesday can be found here.

For a real view of the Grand Canyon, visit Geogypsy, who hiked to the bottom a week or so ago.

My world will get back to normal when we get home later today.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sunday's Psalm--Second Sunday of Advent

Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.

O God, with your judgment endow the king,

and with your justice, the king’s son;

he shall govern your people with justice

and your afflicted ones with judgment.

Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.

Justice shall flower in his days,
and profound peace, till the moon be no more.
May he rule from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.

For he shall rescue the poor when he cries out,

and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.

He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor;

the lives of the poor he shall save.

Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.

May his name be blessed forever;
as long as the sun his name shall remain.
In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed;
all the nations shall proclaim his happiness.
Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.

from Psalm 72

found in Joseph OR
sea view from Northwest Highlands of Scotland
caterpillar in Wales
sunset near home

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Reflection or a SkyWatch?

Shall it be a SkyWatch for Friday?

Or a Reflection for the weekend?

The reflection is obvious--there is yours trully the  blogger reflected among the palm trees. The sky is there among them, too. Not just as obvious.

Let's go for multiple reflections!
 And there atop the tree a star in the sky!
You will find all the SkyWatches here.
And Weekend Reflection hosted by James here.