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Monday, November 29, 2010

Starting the Pilgrimage of Advent

Today started Advent.  Recently, I had the privilege of listening to my friend Janet give the sermon for the morning.  She said some deep things about getting ready for Advent --- she said I could share: 

A few weeks ago the certain signs began to appear that the Holiday season is fast approaching. Advertisements for old games with a new twist like monopoly on DVD began appearing. But last week the signs were really clear and now there is no denying that the folks in commercial land want us to immediately jump into the holiday spirit of Christmas shopping with no reservations. But, wait a minute, I’m not there yet, I’m not even sure if I’m ready for Thanksgiving. Frankly, I’m not sure where I am at all. In just 2 weeks we celebrate the first Sunday in Advent. When I was a child Christmas couldn’t come soon enough. My heart and mind were ready and open to jump right in but as an adult I have accumulated burdens, I have reservations. I need more preparation. I need solitude and quiet, time to contemplate and prepare myself as if for a pilgrimage towards Christmas morning.

I love the idea of going on a pilgrimage like people did in the middle ages. It is a journey to prepare oneself to receive a gift of the sacred. Just think of what it must have been like living on a farm and dreaming about journeying to a Cathedral like Chartre in France. Imagine the excitement and anticipation as well as the fear of the unknown. On a pilgrimage every step is sacred and a step towards drawing closer to God. Some even make pilgrimages on their hands and knees. There is an expectation on a pilgrimage that you will encounter danger but also epiphanies and renewed hope. The gain far outweighs the danger. A pilgrimage is as much about the journey as it is the destination.

A pilgrimage is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding our vision of what is possible, stretching our soul, learning to see deeply, listening with our intuition, and taking courageous steps.

Told you ---- so --- are you ready for a pilgrimage this Advent?? I can’t wait to see what we’ll discover, how I’ll change and grow.  

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Give Thanks

Give thanks.  What a simple directive.  What a difficult accomplishment. 
How fitting that we set aside one day to work on nothing except giving thanks (well, aside from the working of the cooking and the frantic battle-planning for the Black Friday assault)
I thought that this year, I would just bullet a handful of things I’m incredibly thankful for:
A husband who loves me and puts up with me and sometimes even embraces my quirkiness (I’m sticking by calling it “quirkiness, thank you very much)
A beloved friend who would strangle me if I named him here, who has demonstrated more character and courage in recent months than any seven people I know and who has been accused repeatedly of lacking both. 
The presence of young children in our lives who see clearly through all of the nonsense that tangles up the adults and deal with people directly and authentically
A job that not only pays the bills, it makes me glad to go to work
A safe, happy, warm home that welcomes me and provides respite for my soul
Friends and colleagues who are not afraid to tell me when I’m going off the deep end and are not afraid to join me there occasionally
Edy’s Apple Pie Ice Cream (preferably with a drizzle of caramel sauce, but plain is fine)
A dog who has learned to trust (finally) and who has taught us more about trust than we ever dreamed possible
Fine, faithful friends who try their very best to “get it right” in the face of impossible obstacles and who love and appreciate us for simply standing with them

Yep --- give thanks ---- its good for the soul.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Flirt With Your Husband Friday: Go Dancing

Go Dancing!  Its old-fashioned, romantic and usually quite a cheap date. 
We started taking ballroom dancing lessons a number of years ago.  Its become something we love to do.  As my beloved often puts it: “a few hours with the woman I love in my arms…. What could be wrong with that??” 
Even if you don’t have a few years of lessons under your belt, go dancing.  Find a romantic venue – not just some bar or club, please.  Dress up a little bit.  One of the beautiful things about most of the dances we attend is that the women dress to the nines, while the men are generally dressed in more of a classy casual style.  We ladies get to indulge out love of ruffles, glittery things, and swirly dresses.  The guys get to be comfortable – lots of monochromatic shirt/pants looks --- and no one wears a tie!  Eveyone is happy. 
One of the new places to dance that we’re enjoying is the Morgan Mansion, Ventfort Hall.  This is an amazing restored Gilded Age Mansion.  Right now, they’re trying out hosting dancing on Saturday nights, once a month.  
If you click through and look through the photos, you’ll get an idea of why this zings my romance strings.  It’s a beautiful venue and a lovely evening of dancing and just enjoying each other.  Its an extravagant date without the extravagant price tag.  Dancing at Ventfort Hall – use photos from their website

Friday, November 12, 2010

Flirt With Your Husband Friday: Send a Telegram

Send a telegram including the old-fashioned STOP instead of periods to anyone for $5.65.  At this nostalgic site, you type in your message, preview your telegram, and click SEND.  Within 4-8 business days, your receipient will receive his surprise.  Alas, it is delivered by regular mail truck, not pony express or a running messenger. Go here to try it out:

Thursday, November 11, 2010

First Snow!

It snowed this week for the first time this year.  It wasn’t that light fluffy snow that clings to the branches and makes everything look magical.  This was that grainy, icy snow that freezes everything and erases all hope of salvaging anything in the garden.  But it was pretty nonetheless. 

Monday, November 08, 2010

The Wedding

We had a wedding this weekend.  It was truly lovely.  I’ll let it speak for itself. 


Friday, November 05, 2010

Flirt With Your Husband Friday: At a Wedding...

We’ll be at a wedding this weekend --- my husband’s son’s wedding to be precise.  And I’m planning to flirt with my husband at this wedding.  I’m planning to show him just how very glad I am that we had our own wedding --- and that I married HIM. 
I plan to hold his hand for most of the ceremony. 
I plan to squeeze his hand and shoot him little lovey glances during the vows.  The words won’t be quite the same as ours, but the thoughts and ideas will be the same. 
I also plan to dance with my husband quite a bit at the reception.  And if things work out, I’m planning to snuggle against him while we watch the new married couple dance. 
And after the wedding is over --- I might be planning to re-enact our wedding night --- but I’m not telling. 
Face it – weddings are a great chance to flirt with your husband.