Christmas present

Check out the awesome Christmas present Jaiden and Corbin gave me after their mom saw my blog entry about New Year’s resolutions:


This little copy of the Daily Prayer has been in their family for a long time. The kids framed it for me after learning that I wanted to post a copy in my bathroom so it would be the first thing I see when I’m getting ready for work in the morning.

What a sweet gift. I love it … and it goes wonderfully with the bags my mom gave me for Christmas. Mom printed three of my very favorite Mary Baker Eddy quotes onto transfer sheets and ironed them onto a set of canvas tote bags.

The quotes are:

“We are all capable of more than we do.”

“Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need.”

“To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, today is big with blessings.”

I’ve always loved practical gifts … and healing ideas are about as practical as it gets. 🙂

Thanks, y’all!


Doing something


After a thoroughly pleasant evening of doing Nothing, I went to bed early, got up this morning at 9:30, and had a nice breakfast at Ollie’s before doing Something, just like I planned.

The first Something I did was sort out some problems I’d been having with domain name transfers. Big hassle, but I think I have it all worked out now.

The next Something I did was grab my notebook and head to the Reading Room. I spent the better end of five hours holed up in my favorite little nook in the back of the building, reading reprints of old Journal and Sentinel articles on various topics I felt deserved my attention. I’ll probably have something to say about all that after it’s had time to sink in.

It was snowing lightly by the time I left, but the streets were pretty clear, so I stopped by Apertures on the way home to pick up some Holga pictures I’d dropped off for processing a couple of days earlier. I didn’t get much out of this roll, thanks to the low light and heavy fog, but I was delighted when one of the few usable frames turned out to be the Blue Whale on Route 66 in Catoosa. I do wish the lens was just a little sharper toward the middle, but I think the distortion around the edges and the soft focus enhance the moody vibe that rolled in with the fog.


This was another Holga shot I took on 66 as I was heading east a couple of weeks ago. Again … not the clearest shot in the world, but the camera did succeed in recording the way I felt as I stood next to the road, shooting a pecan grove in Claremore.

I have some more Somethings to do this evening: tend the fire, clear the coffee table, clean the kitchen counters, clean the stove, sweep the kitchen, clean the bathroom, start a load of laundry, and track down the software for my digital recorder so I can transfer sound files to my laptop. We’ll see how far I get with all that….


Doing nothing

“How do you do Nothing?” asked Pooh.
“Well, it’s when people call out at you just as you’re going off to do it, ‘What are you going to do, Christopher Robin?’ and you say, ‘Oh, nothing’ and then you go and do it. It means just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”
— A.A. Milne

I have a very important plan for the rest of this evening. I’m going to do Nothing. I have a whole stack of Something that I ought to be doing, but it’s been a long week, and I’m just not in the mood to do Anything … so instead, I’m going to do Nothing, and then in the morning, I’ll get up and have breakfast at Ollie’s, and maybe after that I’ll do Something. But just now, Nothing seems like a very good thing to do.


Folk Thursday

New feature: Folk Thursday. Otherwise known as, “It’s going to be a long, busy day at work and I probably won’t have time to blog.” Thursdays are usually long, busy days. I’m going to start using them as an excuse to indulge my taste for YouTube videos of amazing folk singers. We’ll let Judy Collins and Leonard Cohen kick things off here.

You’re welcome. 🙂


10 on Tuesday

This week’s 10 on Tuesday topic is 10 New Year’s resolutions.

I don’t, as a general rule, think it’s a good idea to make New Year’s resolutions, for the same reason I don’t think it’s a good idea to set a time goal for your first marathon: Imposing a false deadline on personal advancement just gives you an easy excuse to quit when you find you’re off-pace.

That said, I’m in kind of a spiritual goal-setting mode at the moment, and I think some New Year’s resolutions might serve as useful tools to help me accomplish those goals … so with that in mind, I’ll go ahead and list some resolutions. I reserve the right to alter, upgrade, discard, or swap out any of these resolutions if I find they are not as effective as I’d like them to be in advancing the underlying goals.

1. Take five minutes every day to “Be still, and know that I am God.”
2. Find one thing to appreciate about every annoying or difficult person who comes into my experience.
3. Do one small thing to make Ron’s life better or easier every day.
4. Tape a laminated copy of the Daily Prayer to the bathroom mirror to help start mornings off right.
5. Keep a daily record of the number of times I say something that I wouldn’t want my Primary class teacher to hear.
6. Spend more time with the dogs.
7. Finish reading Prose Works.
8. Don’t buy anything or drive anywhere without asking two questions: Is this necessary? Do I have a good reason for buying this/making this drive?
9. Set a time limit for Internet use.
10. Use an unusual camera, film type, or photography technique once a week.


As promised, here are some photos from my trip back to Illinois to visit Jamie over the weekend of the 8th:


Here, he laughs himself silly as he test-drives his new Radio Flyer roadster.


Here, Jamie is following in his mama’s footsteps. When Grace was about Jamie’s age, she loved to play with the canned goods. Mom was forever chasing her out of the cabinets….


I think I caught him mid-giggle in this picture — hence the strange expression on his face.


This bead table was a present from me. Jamie really liked it, but one of the wires popped off, presenting a safety hazard, so I have to take it back to the toy store and swap it for a sturdier model.


Here, Jamie is playing The Yelling Game with his mama and his Uncle Oliver. He likes for people to yell, and then he yells back. This is a fun game for about two minutes. After that, the grownups seem to lose interest.


At the end of The Yelling Game, everybody claps, because Jamie wins. He just learned to clap while I was in town.


Clapping gets a big response from the grownups — maybe even a bigger response than The Yelling Game.


Jamie likes to help Uncle Oliver play the piano.


In case you were wondering, Uncle Oliver adores Jamie.


Meanwhile, Jamie adores my old bear, Humphrey, who has withstood hugs and cuddles and slobbers and snuggles from four kids spanning two generations and more than 30 years.

I’ve got plenty more photos where those came from, but I haven’t had dinner yet, so I think I’ll wander into the kitchen and make myself a batch of chicken and dumplings. Hope your evening is good.


Weathering the storm

I left my parents’ house at 10 a.m. Monday and got home roughly 11 hours later, after dipping south through Arkansas to avoid the ice storms and downed power lines along the I-44 corridor.

I came into a dark house, put the dogs out, and wandered out to the backyard to find icicles hanging from every imaginable surface. Amazing how an ice storm can turn ordinary objects into something extraordinary:









When I rolled into town around 9:30 p.m. Monday, the only spot in Red Fork with any lights on was Ollie’s Station Restaurant. My neighborhood was dark and silent, and broken branches littered the streets, some still clinging to trees and scraping the windshield as I passed. The roads themselves were clear, making it hard for me to grasp the magnitude of the storm.

Here at the House of the Lifted Lorax, our woodstove and gas water heater kept us warm and comfortable despite recordbreaking power outages. I got a lot of reading done by the light of an LED headlamp and learned a few things that will help the next time we have an outage.

I’ve got tons of photos of Jamie from my trip home, but Ron just got home from work, and we need to clean the refrigerator and head to the grocery store so we can replace the stuff that got too warm on the deck today, so I guess I’ll get offline now.

Hope you’re warm and comfortable, wherever you are.



Our lights and Internet service are back. I’ll have a longer post about all our adventures in a little while, but I need to Photoshop some images first, so for now, I’ll just leave you with a belated 10 on Tuesday. This week’s topic: 10 Things You Want for Christmas.

Materialism is against my religion, and I pretty much have everything I want anyway (well, everything except a kitten, which Ron still refuses to let me have), but what I really want for Christmas is to be a better healer … so I think I’ll just flip this topic on its ear and make a list of 10 spiritual qualities I need to cultivate a little more in order to accomplish that:

1. Patience
2. Humility
3. Love
4. Gratitude
5. Meekness
6. Quietude
7. Perseverance (I learned something about this in training for a marathon a couple of years ago, but I’ve forgotten a lot of it)
8. Understanding
9. Calm
10. Attentiveness

See you in a little while.


Iced out

Just a quick note to let you know I’ll be posting again as soon as power is restored to Red Fork. Despite the solar panels on the roof, the House of the Lifted Lorax is without power and will be until PSO gets the lines repaired. Such is the inescapable irony of life with a grid-tied system….

On the up side, I’m using this as an excuse to spend a lot of time curled up in front of the woodstove with a cup of decaf Irish breakfast….


Long day

I didn’t get off work until almost 11 o’clock because I had to stay late and get a jump start on this week’s section so I can leave early tomorrow today to head to Illinois for an early Christmas.

I’ve charged the Rebel’s battery, loaded and taped up the Holga, tucked the extra film and electrical tape in my camera bag, dumped off photos from my CF card, and now I’m getting ready to sign some Heifer cards (which arrived today, just barely in time for me to include with Christmas gifts), pack my travel bag, and start loading the car.

Internet use will be spotty this weekend, but I’ll probably blog a little from Mom and Dad’s. I’m taking at least two cameras along on this trip (three if you count the one on my keychain, which I don’t), so I should have at least a few interesting shots.

Have a good weekend, and watch for photos Tuesday.