Friday, February 29, 2008

WEATHER, Weather, weather


TODAY IS A DAY OFF FOR BLOG365 - but oh well I actually have a thought [actually two connected thoughts] which has been a struggle lately so I guess I wont waste them.

Will it ever thaw? Will the snow stop falling?
This morning the snow is coming down hard in very fine crystals that look more like a cloud of flour than flakes. But if we have to have winter - which we do and it is a good thing for the fruit trees and farmers fields - I would prefer snow to bare brown.

One thing very interesting happening. There has been so much snow this winter that the road commissions are out of salt or nearly so. So instead of the roads being a wet sloppy mess as soon as the snow starts falling there are just patches of sand and salt at the tops of steep hills with stop signs, or on intersections at State Highways. But for the most part the roads are snow covered and we are mostly managing just fine. Hmmmm might this be a clue for a way for road commissions to save a lot of money another winter and make drivers learn to drive safely in snowy weather. hmmmmm

Thursday, February 28, 2008


My favorite place on the planet so far is still Leelanau county. Sleeping Bear Dunes, Lake Michigan, Cherries.

I loved the mountains we visited last summer and I do want to go back and spend time there. But I would be pleased to find a way to live in Leelanau county.

I am also hooked on the Cherry Republic which is a very successful enterprise begun by a local guy in Glen Arbor. When we are in the area I have to go buy stuff cherry and chocolate and they have the most amazing cookies and ice cream. I get their email newsletter. Today there was a link to a web site, Life on the 45th Parallel, with wonderful pictures of the area. Unfortunately is does not always load the pictures very well. It is a real treat to see my summer wonderland in it's winter wonderland cloak of snow and ice.

Another site I really enjoy is Why Leelanau?, a Blog created by the Leelanau Nature Conservancy with contributions by members. Look for my pictures, they are there among many others.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I am getting bored with this trying to post every day. I have nothing interesting to say. I bore myself.
Winter is cold and long this year - we all know that.
Had an enjoyable ride on Image today. That was the high point of the day.
Going to bed early - was so sleepy driving to the barn this afternoon it was scary.
DH off to the Sportsmen's Club for a meeting.

Guess I will try to find a picture to give you. The snow has to melt someday.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


More snow this morning. It is wet and sticky, clinging to every surface that it touches, whether horizontal or vertical.

I seem to talk about the weather on this blog an awful lot, but we have had more snow this winter than any year since my daughters, who are now adults and I dare not divulge their ages, were in Kindergarten and nursery school.

DH came across an interesting article titled "Forget Global Warming" yesterday in his perusal of the news on the internet. I had seen in other sources that our snow fall for this winter is above average. That is a good thing, maybe the Great Lake's level will come back up a bit this winter. I have long thought the global warming panic was a bunch of bunk. I agreed that yes it is possible we are in for an period of slightly warmer weather, it has happed before in recorded history. There have been periods when it was warmer than it is now, and periods when it was colder. But I have always been of the school of thought that the cycles of the sun spots and natural changes in weather were more responsible than humans could be. I have read that the sun has been in a period of rather active sun spots. I do not remember how long that has been but I do know that AM radio reception has been very poor for several years as a result. This article reports scientists from Canada, Europe, Russia, and the US. are suggesting that the fact that the sun spots have now subsided and the sun is now very quiet will lead to global cooling. The most recent mini-ice age that lasted about 400 years coincided with a period of low sun spot activity. The melted polar ice cap is now back and snow is deeper, this winter, all around the northern hemisphere than it has been in decades. China is having the most sever winter they have experienced in decades.

Only time will tell - but the media and politicians love to make a crisis out of everything. And I am not going to worry about the seas boiling or the glaciers overcoming my home.

Monday, February 25, 2008


I am so excited I can hardly stand it.
St Matthew's Anglican Church is moving from this rented office building:

To this rented church building. We will be sharing space with New Hope Church. We will have a real Church to worship in, one that seats 150 people instead of being crammed into the space that holds 75. The undercroft is unfortunately not as large as the office space that was serving double duty, but we will manage.

This is a win-win arrangement for both congregations. We will be paying less rent and they will be receiving the income our rent will generate so they can replace the roof next summer. Our members have painted the Naive and we are replacing the carpet in the Naive and Nursery. The parking lot only holds 65 cars but they have a bus that we can use to shuttle people from the city lots that are not very far away.

Our first service in the new space will be held on March 9.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


OK - so here is today's post.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Wow! Can you beat that?

God's celebration in creation! 9:30 A.M.


10:00 AM finaly out the door ;)
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Friday, February 22, 2008

Thursday, February 21, 2008


I am so glad Tandaina saw the moon rise last night.

As I drove home from a very good ride on Image, the moon's silver face rose over snow covered fields, surrounded by pink that faded to blue, the shade of which I can not describe but will forever remember . She was framed below by the black lace of bare tree branches and above by the paler blue of a clear winter evening sky. I hurried home to grab my camera and try to capture the beauty of the moment to no avail. Alas the best camera uses the lens of our eye to imprint a memory in our minds.

Did you also see the total eclipse of the full moon at about 10:00? I wonder if the beauty of the moon rise was a foretaste of the mystery of a full eclipse that turns the moon to a ruddy shadow of its usual bright self, but allows a view of Saturn and Regulus the central star of the constellation Leo, which are usually hidden by the moon's brilliance.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


It was a brilliant diamond encrusted morning. Crystal clear sky releasing heat to space. What moisture that had been in the air from melting snow and rising from creeks was frozen onto whatever surface was available. The sun struck the crystal encased tree branches and quickly evaporated the moisture back into the air.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


DH and I spent the morning at the local library using their high speed internet connection to research our planned trip to Zion, Bryce etc. in southern Utah. It is not encouraging. Dogs are not welcome in National Parks on most trails. We are not sure what we are gong to do - but I think a change of plans is in order. Mostly until this puppy is a lot more well trained.

Monday, February 18, 2008


If the weather today does not warrant a summer picture nothing does. We went from 40s with heavy rain melting the piles of snow to COLD that created skating rinks on all the back roads and an odd sometimes slippery skim on the paved roads this morning. Then we were blessed with Heavy snowfall mixed with freezing rain during the day.

I just go off the phone with daughter #2. As parents are wont to do in bad weather I was checking on my offspring's wellbeing. Seems daughter #1 slid into a ditch on the way home but a nice teenager and a couple of local sheriff's deputies were able to push her out and get her on her way home. She was very fortunate in having the hurrying pick up truck pass her as she was loosing contact with the pavement but before she spun from the right lane across the left lane and into the median. The teenage girl behind her was not so fortunate. It will take a tow-truck to get her car out of the ditch on the other side. She did manage to get a ride home and was undamaged, as was daughter #1's car. Her car may be another story though.

So with a shiver here is a bit of summer.
Of course I couldn't post just one.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

RoseAnne Coleman

90 folks, mostly women and a few men, gathered at St Louise Chapel yesterday for a conference. Dr. RoseAnne Coleman from Tennessee was the speaker and Ellen Loomis from Akron Ohio was the Worship leader

What a day of teaching and praise music, prayer and laughter. RoseAnne's talk was titled "Following the Rabi". Although the teaching was not as connected as her "Sermon on the Mount" talk which was the first teaching I heard from her, there was a lot to take in. There was much more than I could take notes on to bring home. But she is selling CDs of this series, and I plan on having the Church library purchase everything she had for sale yesterday, books and CDs.

The one thing that struck me and enlightened me the most was the Hebraic practice of Covenant. Covenant Blood. Covenants were made in all sorts of situations; marriage covenants, business covenants, personal promise covenants, vows. Covenant did not just refer to God’s promise to Abram. I always thought of Covenant as something BIG like between God and man, but that is not the case. However Covenant was a deadly serious commitment.

Genesis Chapter 15 is the story of God promising Abram that his descendants will be as numerous as the stars and will occupy the land from “the river of Egypt to the great river Euphrates”. When Abram asks God how he will know this was true God has him bring animals, a heifer, a she goat, a ram a turtledove and a pigeon. As was the tradition in the making of a covenant or promise or vow, Abram kills the heifer, goat and ram and split their bodies in half down the center line and lays them open opposite each other. It is not explained here because every one reading this story knew that the blood was collected and laid in a depression between the halve of the animals. By tradition the two persons making the covenant [promise] would walk through the blood between the halves of the animals and get the blood on them. Thereby saying “If I break my promise may this happen to me. May I be torn to pieces.”

In 15:13 God predicts the Hebrew’s slavery in Egypt for 400 years and their coming out with great wealth.

Then in 15:17 God walks between the halves of the animals making the covenant pledge.

17When the sun had gone down and it was dark, a smoking fire pot [oven] and a flaming torch passed between those pieces. 18On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram.”

This blood Covenant – blood sacrifice between God and Abram foreshadows the Blood Covenant – blood sacrifice between Jesus the Christ and us.

Just as the blood covenant was practiced between the families of two who were betrothed, the two young people reenacted this blood covenant in the sharing of a cup of wine.

Just as the Blood Covenant – sacrifice was made by Jesus, for us, we share the cup of wine.

I don’t explain it well but this was the first time I had understood the blood covenant ritual practiced by the Hebrews. By the writers of the Bible, the people we must understand, if we are to understand the meaning of the Bible in our lives today.

Lenten discipline

They are all off the tree - only the lights remail to be removed.
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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Book MeMe

Whoa! I have been tagged by Tandaina, to play with the RevGals..

I also have several books that I am reading at the same time, spread all over the house. All of them are over 123 pages long. The nearest to hand is In The Spirit of Happiness by the Monks of New Skete.

Ok lets see, find Page 123.
Count down Five Sentences.
Copy out the next three.

It can be alarming, but there’s no need to despair! As Father Laurence told me the other day, ‘A monastery worth it’s salt deliberately fosters this, and anyone who refuses to deal with it can’t possibly be a monk’. Only by owning it, facing the exterior silence directly and honestly, will we ever move in the direction of inner silence, and the peace that allows us true freedom.

I find it interesting or maybe reassuring is more accurate, how much this book and Heaven Begins Within You agree. Of course the Monks of Skete are quoted in the second of these two books.

Unfortunately I have no one to tag. I know no one else in RevGals but maybe another friend of Tandaina's will be willing to play. She is the only other Blogger I know. So I tag.


Friday, February 15, 2008


Our Church is hosting a lecture by Dr Roseanne Coleman tomorrow. This will be the second time she has come to our small church to teach. Last time our meeting space was small and we ran out of tickets, so many women were disappointed. This time we are borrowing a much larger space from the Roman Catholic church were we held our first worship services. It will be a joy to spend a day listening to Roseanne, and this time the men are invited too.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


You would think that by Valentines Day and a week into Lent that I would have my Christmas tree down and out sheltering the birds by the feeder. But no. I am very bad at giving up my Christmas tree every year. First I love my glass ornaments and this is the only time of year I get to look at them. Second it is a BIG job to pack them all away. Third it is a much bigger job to get the lights off the tree and packed away. So I am a procrastinator about this job. Besides the tree is still soft and supple not at all dry and not dropping needles any worse now than at Epiphany.

Sigh, I guess I will plan to take it down on Sunday. A good Lenten exercise in letting go.

5:30 PM

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Happy Valentines Day

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Horse hair

I finally got back on a horse after three weeks off due to illness and weather.

It may not look like spring but Image ( the Quarter horse/Paint mare that both my daughter and I ride) was shedding like crazy. After just a little grooming I had red hair all over me, even in my mouth, I am still fishing horse hair out of my mouth. Image is growing up. She was totally cooperative today even when I was not clear in my directions to her. In past years she would get so frustrated with me that she would balk and bulk. Plus her hormone problems seem to have abated or at least have not yet developed this year as in past. We had a good ride today and both learned.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Monach Butterfly migration

Pictures from the Monarch Butterfly Website. and Wikipedia

I read an article in DH's newspaper this morning that was full of amazing information. All summer we look for Monarch butterflies, their eggs, and caterpillars on the Milkweed they are dependent on. The migration that occurs every fall has always amazed us and now scientists have discovered a molecular basis for their navigation, and that that they have a "clock" in their brains that allows them to use the sun to navigate. Greg Watson writes of this discovery in his Bog 12 Degrees of Freedom. Both of these links provide such good write ups that I will not try to repeat what has been done before.

Nature never ceases to amaze me. I see God's hand in the amazing complexity and beauty of The Creation. And when we alter the Creation we often create unforeseen effects. I guess it should not be a surprise. But we humans are not very good at remembering just how complex the interconnectedness of nature is.

While doing a search for articles on the "clock" in the the Monarch's brain, I found a disturbing article on a study by Cornell University, that indicated pollen from a popular commercial variety of genetically engineered corn called Bt is toxic to Monarchs. The Monarch caterpillars are feeding about the time that the corn is spreading pollen and dusting the milkweed leaves on which the Monarch larvae are feeding. However the reports of toxicity may be exaggerated according to researchers at University of Guelph , and the Iowa State University Agricultural Extesion

"What is the bottom line?

The monarch and Bt pollen research that has been conducted is still preliminary, but it does indicate that the caterpillars may be impacted by Bt pollen. More research needs to be conducted on the effects of Bt corn on monarchs and possibly other nontarget species. Bt corn has proven to be a valuable pest management option for the corn producer. It provides nearly 100 percent control of the European corn borer, which protects the crop from a yield loss and helps reduce insecticide use."

Iowa State University - Integrated Crop Management June 14, 1999

Lord give us wisdom to use Your gifts of knowledge as we husband Your creation.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Think Summer

Temperatures with breath stealing below zero wind chill, bright sun light, and seed catalogs in the mail, have me thinking summer.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


I have been at Church almost all day so this is all the


I can mange for today.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Winter storm pictures

Tandaina reminded me that I had not posted the link to my new pictures of the big February Snow Storm in Michigan. So here are more pictures than just those posted on this blog in the last few days.

Self portrait in melting snow

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Friday, February 8, 2008

Friday Five

A Lenten Friday Five.

1. Did you celebrate Mardi Gras and/or Ash Wednesday this week? How?
I ate a Paczki on "Fat Tuesday" from the little bakery in our small town. Theirs are so much better than the chain's that have been selling them by the box full for a couple of weeks. Like Tandana I was snowed out on Ash Wednesday. It is the first time I have missed in a very long time.

2. What was your most memorable Mardi Gras/Ash Wednesday/Lent?
My most memorable Ash Wednesday was in 2006 when our Priest was very ill with Pancreatic Cancer. He was very weak and handed me the ashes to impose.

3. Did you/your church/your family celebrate Lent as a child? If not, when and how did you discover it?
As a cradle Episcopalian yes.

4. Are you more in the give-up camp, or the take-on camp, or somewhere in between?
I have long been in the give-up camp, but have been trying to take-on in recent years with not much success.

5. How do you plan to keep Lent this year?
This year our church handed out a booklet to use for daily reading and prayer. I am trying to do that.

February in Michigan

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Clearing off the solar collectors

DH cleared off the solar panel after the storm. As long as the snow is not deep the solar collectors work. Cold temperatures actually makes them work better and they even put a trickle charge out on overcast days. They have worked far better than we ever expected. Imagine.


yep 12 inches

Not quite 12 inches just a few feet from the garage door but as I waded the yard it was deeper.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


My riding coach called around 1:30 to cancel for this week. She was in the middle of a fairly large town, in 4 wheel drive.

It has continued to snow hard - big heavy wet chunks of snow- little snow balls. I called Fr and begged off coming to the Ash Wednesday service. DH went to a sportsmen's club meeting at dinner time and came back about 8:30. There must be 9" on the ground and it is still snowing just as hard as it was in the afternoon. It has piled up creating very interesting shapes that give interesting results with the camera after dark. Schools are closed.

White on dark

There was new snow again this morning but it is mixed with rain. I am looking through a screen of raindrops on the window at a new layer to wet thick water covering everything in a sticky white layer.

I have always said I do not like winter. But if I really think about it that is not quite true. What I don't like is the cold wind that bites right through, and the slushy, salty, mess on roads and places I have to walk. And I really don't like driving on ice. But I love the snow. I wish it would just fall on surfaces I don't have to drive or walk on. I enjoy playing in it - I enjoy wading through it with my camera catching pictures of the white blanket. I love the look of the black tree branches with a white outline, of snow laden spruce branches, of odd mounds in the garden covering who knows what.

As I write this and choose pictures from previous winter storms, the snow is continuing to fall inviting me out with camera to see what new views await.