Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas in midst of wedding

We are just over one week away from the wedding! Wonderful family and friends gave Laura a beautiful kitchen shower a week before Christmas. And the house has been full with our daughters all home.

Despite the busyness with last minute wedding details, we managed to squeeze in a few Christmas traditions, including our annual visit to Old Colorado City for pics. with Santa and hot chocolate from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Then we subjected our almost official son-in-law to home movies, those years when our 4 daughters were toddlers and grade school.

And this mother of the bride was surprised by some special Christmas gifts by my amazing family... a favorite is the beautiful little Canon powershot. And one of the first pictures... our Christmas dinner! And I am savoring it all...mother of the bride is a bittersweet title.

Monday, December 14, 2009

the other christmas poem

The Excluded Animals

Only a certain
claque of beasts
is part of the
creche racket

forming a
around the
baby basket.

Anything more
exotic than
a camel
is out of luck
this season.

Not that the
excluded animals envy
the long-lashed

don't toady,
nor do toads
adore anybody
for any reason.

Nor do the
unchosen alligators,
grinning their
three-foot grin
as they laze
in the blankety waters
like the blankets on Him.
--Kay Ryan

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

wish list part 2

Christmas wine charms

this thermal (because I wear one almost every day)

and just for wishing....
because double shot lattes are the best!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Wish List

An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith
by Barbara Brown Taylor

The Great Emergence by Phyllis Tickle

The Prodigal God by Tim Keller

these shoes from a favorite company

and this camera (because my children are growing up and going to graduate school, and getting married, and going to dances, and getting tall and I want to capture it all!)
(I'm trying the "You might also like" feature that I've seen on many blogs--but most recently here):

Thursday, December 3, 2009

a favorite Christmas poem

Bring in a tree, a young Norwegian spruce,
Bring hyacinths that rooted in the cold.
Bring winter jasmine as its buds unfold --
Bring the Christmas life into this house.

Bring red and green and gold, bring things that shine,
Bring candlesticks and music, food and wine.
Bring in your memories of Christmas past.
Bring in your tears for all that you have lost.

Bring in the shepherd boy, the ox and ass,
Bring in the stillness of an icy night,
Bring in a birth, of hope and love and light.
Bring the Christmas life into this house.
--Wendy Cope, 2001

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Interior of the hand. Sole that has come to walk
only on feelings. That faces upward
and in its mirror
receives heavenly roads, which travel
along themselves.
That has learned to walk upon water
when it scoops,
that walks upon wells,
transfiguring every path.
That steps into other hands,
changes those that are like it
into a landscape:
wanders and arrives within them,
fills them with arrival.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Monday, November 9, 2009

Flash Forward

Anyone else notice the many quantum physics references in the new ABC series, "Flash Forward"? Everything from photons that know you're watching and so change their behavior to Schroedinger's Cat. And there's the whole premise of fate and causality...whether knowing the future makes it happen or is it just one of many possible futures that a person can change (quantum state of uncertainty--all possible futures happen--the cat is both dead and alive at the same time). Then there is the episode titled The Black Swan ...

Laura and Michael's Wedding Site

2 months and counting till our daughter's's their wedding web site!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Aaron Espe

A student in my Speech class at the University linked me to his brother-in-law's music. Here is Aaron the acoustic sound and the lyrics. One of my favorites is "Tuesday Morning" from his Songs from a Small Town album and "You've Caught me Now." He is offering his music as a free download here.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Office Wedding (Finally)

Pam and Jim's wedding. The episode was worth the wait. Maybe because we are in the midst of planning a wedding, I can relate to the fun and the tension in expectation. Typically provocative, leave it to this fictional "reality show" both to spoof and celebrate our obsession with a fictional couple and with social media. To celebrate humanity in community with all its messiness. I like how Richard Beck views this episode. He writes, "The most important point, for me, about The Office wedding is how Jim and Pam figure out a way to give it away to their friends." You can read the rest of his post here. No matter how my daughter's wedding actually turns out (and we have a "MeeMaw" in our family too!--doesn't everybody?), I hope they have a day of laughter and celebrating their chosen life together, with us their (quirky) family and friends.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


"Autumn Day" by one of my favorite poets.

Lord: it's time. The summer was magnificent.
Lay your shadows upon the sun-dials
and o'er the isles allow your winds to vent.

Command the final fruits to be full and fine;
give them two more days in the southern sun,
push them to completion and then run
the last sweetness through the heavy wine.

He who now has no house, will build one never.
He who is alone, will long so remain,
will awaken, read, lengthy letters pen
and in the lanes will forever restlessly wander, when the leaves are driven.
--Rainer Maria Rilke (tranlated by Doug Sutton)
And in its original German,


Herr: es ist Zeit. Der Sommer war sehr groß.
Leg deinen Schatten auf die Sonnenuhren,
und auf den Fluren laß die Winde los.

Befiel den letzten Früchten voll zu sein;
gib ihnen noch zwei südlichere Tage,
dränge sie zur Vollendung hin und jage
die letzte Süße in den schweren Wein.

Wer jetzt kein Haus hat, baut sich keines mehr.
Wer jetzt allein ist, wird es lange bleiben,
wird wachen, lesen, lange Briefe schreiben
und wird in den Alleen hin und her
unruhig wandern, wenn die Blätter treiben.

---Rainer Maria Rilke

both poems from here

Monday, September 21, 2009

Laura and Michael

The first wedding in our family of four daughters is currently in the planning stages. Laura, our 2nd, is getting married in about 3 months to Michael, the boy she told me she thought she might marry when she first met him at 14. Here are a few of their engagement shots by a dear friend of our family (she took Lydia's senior recital pictures at Pepperdine) and gifted photographer, Rachael. You can see all her amazing work from engagements and weddings to families and portraits at RachaelHopePhotography.

and here's the mother of the bride, yours truly, at the boutique where Laura found the perfect dress!
photo credit: Lydia Supplee

Saturday, August 29, 2009

from Malibu to NYC

sidewalk cafe near NYU hospital

Amsterdam Ave from Columbia University

library at Columbia University

Lydia's grad program--School of Social Work, Columbia Univ.
...had to see Times Square and the giant Toys R Us, with vintage Barbies (I had a Malibu Barbie)

but best of all was winning the lottery for front row seats to see Wicked. We entered on a whim, just cause we happened to be walking by, looking for Magnolia's Bakery, as people were putting their names in and the drawing was just a few minutes later. Lydia's was the first name called! We celebrated before the show with yummy cupcakes from Magnolia's.

Great seats--Amazing show!

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Gifts of the Jews

Cahill's book is fascinating! It's the second in a seven volume series, The Hinges of History. He offers an important perspective to anyone interested in why we --westerners living at the end of the 20th and beginning of 21st centuries--think the way we do. Got to love a series that has the following as its premise:
We normally think of history as one catastrophe after another, war followed by war, outrage by outrage -- almost as if history were nothing more than all the narratives of human pain, assembled in sequence. And surely this is, often enough, an adequate description. But history is also the narratives of grace, the recountings of those blessed and inexplicable moments when someone did something for someone else, saved a life, bestowed a gift, gave something beyond what was required by circumstance.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

easy stir fry

guess i'm on a food roll...enjoying cooking for my family and using fresh ingredients. here's a stir fry i make regularly...i use whatever vegies happen to be in the fridge (usually peppers, red, orange, yellow, green, zucchini, red onion or chives, broccoli, carrots, and always 1-2 cloves fresh garlic). sometimes we eat vegetarian, but usually with chicken. i'll put down my best estimate for amounts, though i rarely measure these days.

Chop chicken and all vegetables before stir frying. Cook some rice in a separate pot (I use either wild or brown). While the rice is cooking, start the stir fry.

2 cups skinless, boneless chicken tenderloins--chopped into bite size pieces
1-2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1-2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/2 medium red onion (you can also use chives)
Over high heat, in a wok or fairly large skillet, quickly stir and cook garlic, onion, and chicken.

Add about 1/4 cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
2-3 T. low sodium soy sauce
2-3 T. red wine ( I use whatever I have around)

Add vegetables:
1-2 chopped carrots
1-2 chopped peppers (all colors)
1 cup chopped broccoli
1-2 zucchini sliced
Quickly stir and cook. Vegies should still be slightly crunchy when done.
Add 1 t. fresh herbs (I use basil and oregano). If dried, use about 1/2 T each.
Add 1 t. toasted sesame seeds.
Add the cooked and drained rice and stir well for 1-2 minutes. Serve with extra soy sauce if needed (we differ in my family about how much soy sauce to use, so I usually put in less and put the bottle on the table).

Saturday, August 15, 2009

easy italian

thought i was making spaghetti tonight, but instead this dish appeared (mainly because i was out of spaghetti and i wanted to use some fresh vegetables)...the family loved it--we decided it would be good vegetarian too! and you could use whatever vegetables you have on hand (like mushrooms, carrots, or eggplant) and use more or less cheese to taste.

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. penne pasta
1/2 cup chopped chives
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1/4 c. chopped bite sized green peppers
1/4 c. chopped bite sized yellow peppers
1/2. cup chopped bite sized zucchini
1 jar of spaghetti sauce (we like bertolli's burgundy wine marinara)
1 t. dried basil leaves
1/2 t. chopped fresh oregano leaves
1/4 cup feta cheese
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Brown the ground beef in a large skillet and add the pasta, garlic, and chives as you are browning. Add the rest of the chopped vegetables (peppers, zucchini). Add the jar of spaghetti sauce, then fill the jar halfway with water and add to the dish (softens and cooks the pasta, which will absorb all the yummy flavors as it cooks). Add the spices (oregano and basil). Sprinkle the feta, mozarella and parmesan over the top. Cover and cook on low for about 15-20 minutes. It's done when the pasta is cooked.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

i like...


my summer chicken salad.

3 cups cooked cubed chicken breasts (skinless and boneless)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 medium granny smith apple, cored and chopped
1/3 cup Brianna's homestyle rich poppy seed dressing. (more or less to taste)

Mix all together and chill. You can add golden raisins as well to the dried cranberries and substitute almonds for raisins. I use the poppy seed dressing (we don't like mayo around here) for a sweet, tangy flavor. You can serve it on lettuce as a wrap or on multi-grain bread with spinache leaves and organic honey mustard. We love it!

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Because my daughter just spent several weeks in India, some of them with the Missionaries of Charity in the homes for the dying, she and I have had some conversations about faith and bitterness and suffering.

Those who know me are aware that faith for me is difficult. I analyze to death. I don't trust emotions very much. The following series by Richard Beck has been meaningful to me as I struggle: The Varieties & Illusions of Religious Experience

If you only read a couple of the 16+ posts, you will be challenged to rethink or maybe revisit what doubt says about faith. A couple of the most meaningful posts for me are chapter 16--wish and ontology revisited and chapter 8--saints of darkness, where he writes about Mother Theresa's experience of "faith as the experience of 'not being loved' by God. Faith as owning 'darkness' and 'pain' of God."

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Visitor

I loved this movie...even the not so perfectly happy ending. At the beginning of the film, the main character, a college professor in NJ, Walter, just goes through the motions of his life. He is a visitor in his own life, a watcher...on the sidelines...after all, his wife has died. So Walter tries to capture something of his life, his wife, by taking piano lessons (she was a concert pianist). But he fails horribly at it.

When he is called to present a paper at a conference in NYC for a colleague, he shows up at his apartment there (which he hasn't been at since his wife died) only to find two young lovers, immigrants, who have taken over the place. The interaction between these characters, the unlikely friendship that develops, brings Walter back to life. The kinship that occurs between the man, an illegal immigrant from Syria, who lives so present in the moment that he often forgets time, and Walter who is so imprisoned by time, ignites Walter. The Syrian teaches him his instrument, which Walter takes to almost immediately....kind of a metaphor for finding his own rhythm, his own way even when there continues to be loss.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I've just started Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. The first page definitely hooks you. Great action and interesting, complex characters. Then Roberts continues to offer through Lin, the main character, fairly profound observations on human nature. Here's just one --regarding Leopold's, a large club in Bombay:

"Mirrors on those pillars, and on much of the free wall space, provided the patrons with one of the bar's major attractions: the chance to inspect, admire, and ogle others in a circumspect if not entirely anonymous fashion. For many, the duplication of their own images in two or more mirrors at the same time was not least among the pleasures of the pastime. Leopold's was a place for people to see, to be seen, and to see themselves in the act of being seen."

The description reminded me in a way of facebook and social media in general.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fun Summer Hikes part 6--Lily Pad Pond

--in Breckenridge, Colorado where my good friends, Linda, Natasha and I spent a few days.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

and also...

The posting below on liturgy and loss was inspired by my daughter's reflections on her experiences in India...the pain, the laughter, the smells, the proximity of real human suffering. She writes:

On Friday I began my morning shift volunteering at Kalighat, Mother Teresa's home for the dying. It is simple work, it is hard work, it is frustrating and it is joyful...As I walked by a bed, one dying younger woman with a shaved head, who is also psychologically handicapped, began pulling at my pants and smiling at me. I sat on the bed next to her and held her hands in both of mine. We just smiled at one another and I stupidly wasn't really sure what to do next...perhaps try and sing to her? Massage her hands and arms? Before I could make up my mind on what to do, she began to massage my hands, and my arms! I was so taken off guard that I started laughing, then she started laughing, her few rotting teeth showing through, and then the Sisters, seeing what was happening started to laugh as well. It was such a sweet moment. I didn't know if I wanted to continue laughing or start crying. Looking into this dying Bengali woman's eyes as she was caring for me, as our roles were reversed for a moment in time, was so real and so human.

Read more here:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Fun Summer Hikes --part 4

I took two of my daughters back to Stanley Canyon Reservoir. They did great! Hiked up to the lake in less than 2 hours. If possible, the wildflowers were even more colorful than before.

Monday, July 13, 2009

loss part 2, liturgy and community

One of my daughters asked me recently why I liked the liturgy of the International Anglican Church where we've been going for the past year. It is a big change from the Evangelical megachurches we've been a part of for about 15 years. She wondered if saying the same words aloud week after week would cause them to lose their meaning. You would think so. But the opposite was true, is true for me. Through the painful healing process of this last year, the words were LIFE to me....sometimes the only life I could hold on to...week after week hearing and saying the same words with others is reassuring. You don't feel so alone. You start to believe that "the God who will come is the God who has long since come before."

"The Almighty and merciful Lord grant you absolution and remission of all your sins, true repentance, amendment of life, and the grace and consolation of His Holy Spirit." amendment of life...

And the weekly participation in the eucharist is also restorative. Each week the bishops hold up the bread and wine and say, "The gifts of God for the people of God. Take them and feed in your hearts by faith and with great thanksgiving!" Then you stand and row by row move to the front where the pastors and leaders place the bread into your cupped hands, look into your eyes and say, "The body of Christ broken for you," then you drink from the cup and hear, "The blood of Christ shed for you." Others have drunk from that cup, and sometimes the person dips the bread instead of drinking, so you might find a few crumbs in the cup. You know you are not alone. And it's messy, maybe even unsanitary. But it's also sacred.

--just like loss, just like healing;

just like life.

Fun Summer Hikes part 3

Spruce Mountain--lovely views from a hike just north of Palmer Lake--with my college roomate and longtime friend, Caron.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

July 4--fun summer hikes part 2

Helen Hunt Falls--ok so not really a hike, but we got off late and needed a quick pretty hike!

Then off to Palmer Lake for fireworks. A bit cold and damp...but beautiful!

Fun summer hikes -- Stanley Canyon Reservoir--June 30, 2009

Stanley Canyon Reservoir--once you are about 1.75 miles up the trail and over the first log bridge, you turn the corner and there are the blue Columbine along with a riotous blooming of wildflowers (thanks to all the rain!), which I think are Vase Flower (pink) and Bluebells.

Stanley Canyon Reservoir--my first time with fellow teachers and friends, Pete and Linda.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Funny how loss is, it feels so final, like a period. Not like an exclamation mark, not that exciting, just dull and aching. Just a period. But does it have to be? can't it be a semicolon--not the end of the story, never the end of the story...maybe a part of the story, a connector to something else

But what? that's the risk.

You think you are alone in loss. But you're not, and when others sit with you, cry with you, pray with you, rage with you, you start to heal. you heal because you are not alone and someone else loves you enough to live the pain with you. That's risk because it's messy. and it's real life.

it's opening my eyes

The real life that's been here all along and that I almost missed. An amazing family who has walked this road with me, through their own pain, thier own loss. I know they want to run sometimes. But they don't--they risk and stay and we plunge in again

It's risky to love people enough to really hear them. riskier not to. then you would have nothing to lose. and that would be the real loss.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Fully Alive


Ah, women, that you are here on earth, that you
move here among us, grief-filled,
no more watched over than we and yet able
to bless like the blessed.

From what region,
when the loved one appears,
do you take the future?

More than will ever exist.
He who knows distances
up to the outermost fixed star
is amazed to find this,
your magnificent heartspace.
How, in the crush, do you keep it free?
--Rainer Maria Rilke
Jan Meyers says that if you've found someone who has lived fully and is still fully alive, you've found a treasure--learn from her.

Hope II

More from Allure of Hope:

Hope is saturated in desperation, not...proficiency.

Compassion is called out of us when we see situations where there is an obvious absence of something or someone life-giving. It calls us to ache, mostly because we are forced to long for the restoration of whatever or whoever is absent.

God seems to be more concerned with our trust that we're being led somewhere, that He is taking us somewhere because of His love for us, than He is concerned with a flawless record along the way.

Our desire in the long wait reminds us of who we're waiting fo. He is taking us somewhere, and along the way He is creating beauty. Our responsive, sensual, compassionate, forgiving, persevering hearts have the privilege of introducing others to the Glorious Intruder....this one who seeks us out amid our hovering and clamoring false pursuits.

Friday, January 2, 2009


A book I'm reading, The Allure of Hope by Jan Meyers, is meaningful to me as I look back at 2008 and into 2009. Some favorite quotes from it are posted below, though don't do the book justice:

regarding the Biblical metaphor of labor/birth for hope:

As our desire grows, as the anticipation of the birth deepens, we have to surrender to something much bigger than ourselves....we have to show up, but it is going to happen whether we agree to it or not...we give birth by giving ourselves over to His intentions for us....we start by living our own story....It takes courage to live the story we are given.

and about what we do with other stories when they crash or collide into ours:

Our stories are given to us by God; they are never meant to impact only us. Rodney Clapp says that the New Testament doesn't even imagine an autonomous person....Sue Monk Kidd says of this, 'As the True Self is born within us, the initial movement of soul is from the collective 'they' to the ground of an authentic I. That's holy ground, yet God calls us to a ground even holier; God calls us from the authentic I toward a compassionate 'we'. Relationship with God and people He brings into our lives becomes the door of hope.

Regarding the tension of living fully in the present and yearning for heaven, for what is out of reach, the far off country of CS Lewis and about the losses we experience as we want what is out of reach and surrender to the waiting:

Whether it's the loss of a child, parent, love, or friend, loss...can feel more like the loss of a vital organ: a heart, or a brain, or lungs. To live through such loss is to relearn to feel, to move, to think, and to breathe....Some wounds were not meant to be entirely healed here on earth. Sometimes the wounds are all we have to remind us of the one we love.

Like His story, ours when given over is one of betrayal, blood, asphyxiation, love, resurrection, forgiveness, and restoration.

...which gives me hope!