jennywren: (At table with computer)
( Sunday, December 2nd, 2007 07:15 pm)

Cozy living room
Originally uploaded by JennyWren129
I have finally posted the pictures of the new couch. We are enjoying it bunches. It is very comfortable, and all of the cats like it, too. And the living room was all clean and neat, for about 3 seconds. Now it looks like a library crash landed in it.

I've moved laptop central from the bedroom to the couch. Unfortunately the Internet isn't working right all the time. It is off and on and so frustrating. Optional rant about networking )

So anyway, we are down to the final 2 weeks of the semester. I have a paper due for my weekend class this weekend (plus the reading for that class). I have my Greek final next Monday morning. My Genesis paper is due that week as well. We've got lots to do, but we aren't very motivated. Sigh . . .

So here are a few more poems and quotes from my collection.Forge ahead )

And we are getting lots of rain, which is better than icy stuff for travelers.
jennywren: (Default)
( Friday, November 23rd, 2007 12:38 pm)

"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." Anna Karenina, Chapter 1, first line, by Leo Tolstoy

Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude. ~E.P. Powell

Thanksgiving is an emotional holiday. People travel thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year. And then discover once a year is way too often. ~Johnny Carson

Thou hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more, - a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if Thy blessings had spare days,
But such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise.
~George Herbert

“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contented one can be with nothing definite — only a sense of existence. My breath is sweet to me. O how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches. No run on my bank can drain it, for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment.
If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance, like flowers and sweet-scented herbs — is more elastic, starry, and immortal — that is your success.” H. D. Thoreau

Love is life. And if you miss love, you miss life.” –Leo Buscaglia

Saying a prayer before meals quietly or with others acknowledges that my life depends on God's bounty and on a host of people who grew, processed, distributed, prepared, and served the food that gives me nourishment and delight. Saying a prayer by a hospital bed admits that my health rests in God's love as well as the skills of scientists and physicians and nurses and a host of people who maintain these places of care. And, yes, even sending a thank-you note, as mothers perhaps instinctively knew, is far more than social convention, but an awareness that the best gifts and thus much of the joy of life are not things we can give ourselves but come from beyond us as an alluring expression of love, even an invitation to love. Each thank you becomes a way to practice gratitude so that more and more our lives are weaned away from the myth of entitlement and the arrogance and isolation of independence. Each thank you becomes a way to practice gratitude so that more and more our lives are shaped by the truth of our belonging to others, even to Christ. Rev. John Thomas,

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

So we spent our Thanksgiving Day with our good friends Kim and Gale in Marion. They are like family to us already, and, since we've spent the last couple Thanksgivings with them, their families are familiar as well. Since they aren't technically our family, Molly and I can sit around and laugh at their family foibles. What fun! This year it was Kim's family: sister and family from Kentucky, brother from Indiana, and father. Such an interesting mix of people and personalities :) We enjoyed their family, since ours are both so far away.

Dinner was delicious, and we got to bring leftovers home :) Turkey and ham, stuffing and mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and vegetable casserole, peacan pie and pumpkin pie, cherry rum cake and coconut cake -- yum!

I called my family when I got home. They are doing okay. My mom will be having cataract surgery next Wednesday and then two weeks after that for the other eye. They had Thanksgiving dinner at the church. It is a really nice tradition of the Osceola Christian (Disciples of Christ) Church. Each year they hold a Thanksgiving dinner with all the usual foods (somewhat potluck style) for whomever would like to share in the meal and fellowship. It makes more sense than making a huge dinner for
just a few people. They also deliver meals to shut-ins. I fondly remember helping my grandpa deliver meals to shut-ins on those Thanksgiving we spent with my grandparents. After he passed on, I helped my grandma deliver the meals. She still does delivery. My brother never wants to just do the church meal. He wants the whole thing at home, but he doesn't help my mom clean or cook or clean again, so he gets overruled on that :)

Wednesday Molly and I went up to her job in Cleveland. She was able to spend the afternoon working on her Sunday School stuff, the bulletin, and the upcoming Christmas pageant. I got a little work done on papers. We went to dinner at a great restaurant called Chedders/Snickers, where I had some excellent macaroni and cheese and Molly had some lovely warm Numi Tea with her dinner, since the weather was turning cooler and rainy (had been up near 70, but there was some snow/ice pellets yesterday)!

Then we went to the ecumenical Thanksgiving service, in which Molly did the call to worship. It was a nice eclectic gathering, held at Franklin Circle Christian Church. The theme was celebrating the gifts of the city. I had forgotten the things I do like about cities, despite my discomfort with the size, crowds, and perception of danger. I do like the neighborhoods, the cultural activities, public transportation, community, etc. I enjoyed learning about that neighborhood of Cleveland -- Ohio City, esp. how it had been Mansion Row and how those mansions had been transformed into the social services for the community (orphanages, hospitals, YMCAs, undgerground railroad stops, etc.). I enjoy learning the history of the places I live. I really learned a lot about Iowa City when I lived there.

The pastor of Franklin Circle shared this poem during the meditation:

Dream Deferred by Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

This poem made me think about people I knew who have had their dreams deferred: a woman who waited more than 20 years (raising a family while married to a pastor) to get to seminary and become a pastor, even though she had been called at age 12; a friend who wanted to be a pediatrician and how worn down she looked doing something else, etc. I wonder if I am deferring my dreams and what my dreams really are. What are your dreams? Are you pursuing them or are they on hold? What other dreams have you discovered in the meantime?

I hope all of you are having a good week and weekend. We are looking forward to trying out our new couch tomorrow :) (Fingers crossed that it arrives.) Anyway, here is more of my collection to share: Sharing Quotes and Poetry )
jennywren: (Default)
( Monday, November 19th, 2007 10:35 pm)
Today I saw my doctor for the follow up on the MRI, which was fine. The blood work showed hormone levels at the high end of normal, so I am going to start taking something to help balance those.

We spent the afternoon rearranging the living room. We sold our futon/couch, and our new "Grown Up" couch should be delivered tomorrow. I'll have to take pictures of the rearranged room. I think it will be great. We did a lot of cleaning, so I am sore and tired. We were going to go to Marion to do laundry, but we stayed here and did one at the complex instead. We have more to do, so we'll figure that out.

When we were at Staples the other week, we saw a cat walk up to the door like it was going to activate the automatic door and walk in. We figured that it wanted to get a mouse!

I am working on two research papers. One is about Hagar (Genesis 16 and 21) and who she is and what her status and roles are. The other is looking at the Niddah (teachings on menstruation and other bleeding based on Leviticus 15) from the Mishnah and how it relates (or not) to the story of the woman who was bleeding for 12 years but healed when she touched Jesus' clothes (Mark 5, etc.). I am trying out a new research tool called Zotero, which helps to organize the research within the browser. I use it to gather my resources and it can automatically create a bibliography out of those resources. I can link my notes to each source. It took a while to get the sources all collected, but I am excited to see how it continues to work as I do my research and pull together my papers.

We have registered for next semester (my last one!!). I plan to take more Greek, Job (the book of the Bible, not a new employment), and an independent study on Jesus and Nonviolent Resistance. I did use Zotero to pull together a tentative bibliography for my proposal for the independent study. It did a great job, except for not citing books with an editor in the way I thought they should be :) I'll be doing lots of research for the independent study, but I am interested in and enthused about the topic. I should be since I chose it :)

Golly, I am tired. I hope you have a good Thanksgiving Week (for those in the U.S.).

I have just a few quotes and a poem to share with you today.

"I was a late bloomer. But anyone who blooms at all, ever, is very lucky. ...Many lives don't allow that, the good fortune of being able to work at it, and try, and keep trying." Sharon Olds

I like to think that the moon is there even if I am not looking at it. - Albert Einstein

Love involves a peculiar, unfathomable combination of understanding and
misunderstanding. -Diane Arbus, photographer (1923-1971)

"A little knowledge separates us from God, much knowledge brings us back. One should never be afraid to go to far, for the truth is beyond." Marcel Proust


It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but a doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.
–Mary Oliver
jennywren: (spinning earth)
( Thursday, July 26th, 2007 03:33 pm)
If I can stop one Heart from breaking
I shall not live in vain
If I can ease one Life the Aching
Or cool one Pain
Or help one fainting Robin
Unto his Nest again
I shall not live in Vain.

-Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
jennywren: (rainbow cat)
( Thursday, April 13th, 2006 02:24 pm)
This is a poem by Lela Florel from her book I Hear Your Name, Poems that Nurture and Empower:

Sometimes Things Happen

Sometimes things happen
And you are no longer strong
The fabric of your life is torn
A chasm opens up and you are lost alone
No trace of what was ordinary yesterday
Your new reality not yet born.
In a middle world you wander
Between the past and future.

Give yourself time and nurture
Grieve well, let go of losses
For you need to birth your future.
Look through the fabric’s hole
To see the endless choices,
Pulling tattered threads around you,
Weave in the chosen options,
Alone with old beloved patterns.

Step back into the stream of life
For life has chosen you to live
Strong again, and vibrant
In your new and vital garment.

Molly found it for me with a heart pendant at Woman Wisdom's online store. (You can also check out Lela's web site at The poem really expresses how I feel right now and gives me hope, because others understand how events in our lives can turn our lives around. Molly is so sweet and thoughtful :) Thank you!



jennywren: (Default)


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