Thursday, April 24, 2014


And then there's this amazing thing where each day I awake and look into the eyes of someone who knows my soul, and who greets me with a joyful kiss. Every time he walks out the door he calls "I love you" and every night in the stillness he reminds me again. I am cared for. And I sleep in peace.

Thursday, February 13, 2014


i am easily overwhelmed. i tend, in innocent excitement, to sign up for too much, then panic when i think i can't do it all. or at least, can't do it all perfectly -- my first choice, or even very well -- my second choice. i am frequently tempted to quit everything; and yet i hate the thought of quitting anything. thus: lots of inner turmoil.
one strategy that i'm attempting to use in order to have more balance in my life (and in my mind), is to just give full attention to what i am doing at the moment and do the best i can... even if what i'm doing is not what i wish i could be doing, even if my best doesn't match my ideals. i am specifically trying to focus more on enjoying, and less on evaluating whatever i am doing. that's all.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

"Money, You, and a Simpler Life"

An excerpt from a book I borrowed from the Quaker library:

"Money -- at least as we deal with it as individuals -- is not brain surgery. True, the issues get more complicated if you want to make more and more and more money -- clearly not a great idea if you're really trying to simplify your life. And for making more and more money, the woods are full of experts fairly roaring with advice! They... tell us how to be 'secure' by being wealthier. They pursue -- by methods that are often more complicated than they are telling us -- an illusory, money0based happiness that both recent scientific research and many centuries of common experience reveal has no basis in reality.
"But with personal finances, let there be no mistake: The basics really are the basics. An older generation that lived through the Depression learned those basics: Know what your resources are; stick to your budget; be frugal; always look for bargains; save as much money as you can; borrow as little as you can; get out debt as fast as you can."

(From "Nothing's Too Small to Make a Difference" by Wanda Urbanska and Frank Levering)

Maybe tomorrow I'll post another excerpt, from the part about HOW to stick to those basics!

Monday, September 30, 2013

annapolis: our new home

our neighborhood consists of an illegal garbage dump, 5 deer - one with small antlers, and one fawn with no more spots, woods with a creek and a path that leads to a quaker meeting house, a prayer labryinth, and a praying mantis.

our household includes dozens of fruit flies, a part-time papillon puppy, and new ivy that is beginning to root. 

our window overlooks a parking lot, and the sill is decorated with a happy candle that reminds us of a sad break-up of friends. 

our bed is book-ended by the coolest little nightstands i've ever seen (they each have their own pull-out trays, perfect for a laptop or whatever else can't be crowded on the top), and in the bottom cubby of seth's nightstand the 4th harry potter book awaits the arrival of the 5th (which we are waiting to buy until seth completes and submits his paperwork for the ministerial fellowship committee!)

our fridge has plenty of adele-art, chicago magnets, and a silly chinese take-out menu that says things like "gift certificafe" and "food panty available". oh, and much more important than that, our fridge is stocked with enough, but not too many, groceries. although, the cheese drawer seems to empty so much quicker than it ought...

Thursday, September 26, 2013

my family...

is so darn photogenic:

*drew, getting ready for the mud run with team Y (these are much prettier than the "after" pics)*

*margot (3) and adele (7) holding logan and jackson (4 mos.)*

...and i miss them all (including those not pictured)!


seth is my "new" family, and as much as i love him, there's no way he can fill all those shoes. and the uuca is quickly becoming my new church family, which is a little weird since we are only going to be here for a year. but i'm thankful for them all the same.

Sunday, September 22, 2013


I also went for a walk in the rain last night, and decided I want to do that more often. I spent some time at the prayer labyrinth here at the church. And I saw several toads hopping around in the rain, right after it got dark.


This poem was very timely for Seth and me last night, after a long day of struggling with the difficulty of being newly-married, and in a new place, and he being an introvert starting a new job and me being without a job as of yet....

Poem (the spirit likes to dress up)

The spirit
  likes to dress up like this:
   ten fingers, 
   ten toes,

shoulders, and all the rest
  at night
   in the black branches,
     in the morning

in the blue branches
  of the world.
   It could float, of course,
     but would rather

plumb rough matter.
  Airy and shapeless thing,
   it needs 
     the metaphor of the body,

lime and appetite,
  the oceanic fluids;
   it needs the body's world,

and imagination
  and the dark hug of time,
     and tangibility,

to be understood,
  to be more than pure light
   that burns
     where no one is --

so it enters us --
  in the morning
   shines from brute comfort
     like a stitch of lightning;

and at night
  lights up the deep and wondrous
   drownings of the body
     like a star.

And this one, for first thing this morning:

Morning Poem

Every morning
the world
is created. 
Under the orange 

sticks of the sun
the heaped
ashes of the night
turn into leaves again 

and fasten themselves to the high branches ---
and the ponds appear
like black cloth
on which are painted islands 

of summer lilies. 
If it is your nature
to be happy
you will swim away along the soft trails 

for hours, your imagination
alighting everywhere. 
And if your spirit
carries within it 

the thorn
that is heavier than lead ---
if it's all you can do
to keep on trudging --- 

there is still
somewhere deep within you
a beast shouting that the earth
is exactly what it wanted --- 

each pond with its blazing lilies
is a prayer heard and answered
every morning, 

whether or not
you have ever dared to be happy, 
whether or not
you have ever dared to pray. 

from Dream Work (1986) by Mary Oliver 
© Mary Oliver

Thanks, Mary Oliver, for writing these. And whoever's behind this for sharing them.