Saturday, February 20, 2010


Barbra Streisand that is....what a tremendous singer. She truly puts her whole heart and soul into her songs be they show tunes, love songs, or laments. I've been listening to several of her CD's as I quilt this morning and one intro she gave before a song made me stop and just listen. In fact, I had not only to stop my quilting to start the track over and listen, but to come here to write. I couldn't quilt through tears anyway so needed to take a break.

The CD is Streisand:Live in Concert 2006. the song and dialogue are tracks 12 and 13. Leonard Bernstein's Somewhere. She introduced the song reminding the audience that it is a song from West Side Story which was set in the 1950's but is based on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Hate she stated unfortunately transcends time. She also stated though that "Hate accomplishes nothing". That she hoped that she would live to see a world where we could learn to live together. Then just before singing she quoted Archbishop Desmond Tutu. "God created us different to know our need for one another." That got me....then listening to the song I just fell apart.

Why can't we humans just get along???? Why can't we hear and embrace the truth in Desmond Tutu's words? They resonate on so many different levels. Are we so blinded to our own needs that we have forgotten others and their needs. That we have forgotten the art of give and take; forgotten how to work together, how at times to even celebrate our differences seeing that rather than dividing us or pitting us against each other they provide us the opportunity to become whole.

No one person, one culture, one religion or one anything has all the answers. We must learn to work together. We must learn to fill in our weaknesses with another's strengths. This I think is what God wants for his creation! Now for the song:

There's a place for us,
Somewhere a place for us.
Peace and quiet and open air
Wait for us

There's a time for us,
Some day a time for us,
Time together with time spare,
Time to learn, time to care,
Some day!

We'll find a new way of living,
We'll find a way of forgiving
Somewhere . . .

There's a place for us,
A time and place for us.
Hold my hand and we're halfway there.
Hold my hand and I'll take you there
Some day,

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Today is Ash Wednesday. Just what is Ash Wednesday? Well:
  • It is the beginning of Lent, which always falls on the seventh Wednesday be fore Easter.
  • It is 46 days long. Sundays are not counted as days of Lent so there are actually 40 days of Lent.
  • It is celebrated by the Western Church.
  • Many churches hold Ash Wednesday services where as part of the service ashes, in the shape of the cross, are placed on the foreheads of the attendees.
It's interesting in my searching on the meaning of Ash Wednesday I discovered some religions believe that act of placing the ashes on the forehead is to remind one of death and of the sorrow he/she should feel for their sins, and of the necessity of changing his/her life. Another said it is a sign of repentance. I think there is a subtle but important difference in these two views. The first to me is a negative way of thinking. Almost an attitude of defeat and failure. Something which looks more to the possible wrath and judgment of God. The second is more hopeful. An attitude of humility and confession. It looks to God's promise of forgiveness and love. I choose the second view point.

  • Ash Wednesday celebrations are thought to have been first mentioned in the 8th century. One of the first mentions of it's practice is found in the writing so an Anlgo-Saxon abbot Aelfric (955-1020).
  • Though Ash Wednesday as a practice is never mentioned in the Bible, the use of ashes in a ritual of repentance is mentioned. The most well know instances of it are found in Job and in Jonah. Jesus makes mention of it in Matthew 11:21.
  • As the ashes are placed on the forehead the minister or priest often will say something similar to "remember you are but dust, and to dust you shall return." These words can also be found in the bible Ecclesiastes 3:20.
So yes, I will attend our churches' Ash Wednesday service tonight. I will take part in the imposition of ashes. I will confess my sins before God and then also I will celebrate with those others present the Eucharist, Holy Communion. In this celebration I will remember the love God has for us all. A love so deep that he sent his only son, Jesus, to bear the sins of the world. To bear the sins of my confession. He did so that I might be forgiven and be made right with him and that I can be in fellowship with him. This is the Good News!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Well though I am not totally sure what my normal is anymore whatever it is life seems to be getting back to it. I'm even getting visitors again.........

This little guy has been visiting my backdoor for quite some time now. My neighbor feeds the squirrels peanuts and I think that he, the squirrel, gets my back door confused with Barb and Jerry's. Before the snow he would regularly come up onto the back steps and beg at the back door. Silly guy, but definitely a persistent one.

After the snow began to fall he didn't come around. Not that I blamed him for was rather nasty out. But his morning he was back and now he has a nice little snow drift turned block of ice to set on while he begs. It brings him up a bit higher so it's easier for him to be seen. It keep trying to tell him he has the wrong house, but he is determined to make friends with me in hopes of gaining some food. I do wonder with all the snow on the ground what he is eating....I hope that he was smart enough to lay aside a good store of nuts last fall.......

I'm kind of glad he is persistent though. It's nice to have someone to talk to in the morning. It would be even nicer to have someone who would talk back so there would be some two way conversation, but I guess I will have to be happy and grateful for the company I have.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


So today is both Valentine's Day and the Chinese New Year. I think I will go with celebrating the Chinese New Year and the beginning of the year of the Tiger. I am a Tiger........

What does it mean to be a Tiger? I did a little internet research this morning looking for something positive to come out of the new year, be it the Chinese one or simply 2010....from Wikipiedia....

"The third trine consists of the Tiger, Horse, and Dog. These three signs seek a true lover, and are like-minded in their pursuit of humanitarian causes. Each is a gifted orator and excels at verbal communication. Relationships and personal contact are of highest priority and each one seeks their intimate soul mate. Idealistic and impulsive, the Tiger, Horse and Dog follow the beat of their own drummer. Defiant against injustice, these three signs wilt without large amounts of physical affection and loyal support for causes. They are productive, enthusiastic, independent, engaging, dynamic and honorable. They can also be rash, rebellious, quarrelsome, hot-headed, reckless, anxious, moody, disagreeable, and stubborn. Although these three signs are loyal, they can be very protective when lied to. The three signs do not enjoy being told what to do, but will listen when it is a person they love or trust whole-kindheartedly."

From another site among other things it said....Tiger people cannot make up their minds which can lead to poor hastily made decisions or well thought out decisions made too late. Sadly this sounds pretty right a bit more positive side is also said they were highly sensitive people, given to deep thinking and capable of great sympathy. I need to work on the deep thinking...I think over the years I have pretty much shut off the deep thinking for a variety of reasons or if I am doing deep thinking I don't let myself consciously register my thoughts.

Finally from a third area I got this advice on who I might be...It seems Tigers are rebels and the can be unpredictable. They love life and love being the center of attention,,,,hmmmm....They speak their minds when upset by something. I am learning to do that better. For many years I have not wanted to rock the boat. Not good! They are supposedly sincere, generous and affectionate. I know I want to be generous, but that has pretty much been stifled. I will work on that. I found this very interesting....Tigers when injured or hurting desire all out sympathy. They want to be comforted. Logic does not appeal to them. They will sincerely listen to advice given and then do what they want. They have spunk and not much keeps them down for long. "No matter how down and out they are, they will never give up. They can always start all over again." I could use a bit more of that spunk this year! Finally this site said Tigers are optimists! I've always felt that deep down I Am an optimist. I have my pessimistic moments some lasting longer than others, but for the most part I will bounce back. Just give me time.

So if one believes in zodiacs Chinese or Astrological this look into the Tiger might give me a glimpse into who I am and what I shouldn't be fighting in my basic personality. Some good stuff some not so good, but there is a lot of me I see here and some of what I see I have tried to disavow or simply ignore.

The year of the Tiger or maybe just 2010 may be the year to learn to be true to myself and who I am.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


"Act the way you'd like to be and soon you'll be the way you act."
Dr. George Crane

How shall I act? What do I want to be? Contented.....happy.....thin.....successful....responsible....healthy....faithful....loved.
There are so many things to choose from. There is also the basic question lurking at the back of my mind. Is this statement even true? Maybe that is the place to start: Just living as if it is.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I did venture out was a rather interesting and at time scary operation. The interesting factor was seeing just how bad things were beyond my little world. There are many trees down all along the way. Fortunately none blocked any of the roads I was on, but a few were hanging over the road and I had to drive under them hoping they would not continue their fall while I was under them; they didn't! That was one of the scary times the others were from the multiple locations I had to make a turn blindly. My car is so small and low to the ground that there were many corners where I simply had to ease my way out hoping, praying and trusting that if there was traffic coming down the road they would see me and either stop or move into another lane.

For these reasons I have decided it will be a while before I venture out again.....and today we have received another 9 inches here in Germantown and though the snow is at the moment slowing down a bit we are under a blizzard warning until tonight. Winds are forecast to gust up to 50 miles per hour.

The heroes of the week are all the snowplow operators who have been out on the roads almost nonstop since last Friday. They may be getting a bit of a break according to the news. Not for a good reason though the conditions have gotten so bad with white out conditions that some jurisdictions are pulling the plows to the side of the road for safety reasons.

And so in the immortal words of one of our past ministers at our church...."And the beat goes on!"

Monday, February 08, 2010


Me being the she.....the question of the day is shall I venture out to make sure life exists and still goes on outside of my little cul de sac or shall I just stay home and continue on in my own little world????? I'm a little worried about being able to see around corners with my sweet little Saturn who I am now convinced is a Southern Belle. She is very happy and snug in the garage. Hasn't even given me a hintthat she wants to go out in this stuff. I think I may just have convinsed my self to stay at home. Maybe I will venture out on foot to see what the views are in the neighborhood at least. Well see....right now it;s a blamy 23 degrees out. Brrrr.......

Sunday, February 07, 2010


Angels come in all shapes and sizes and sometime totally unexpected, but thankfully they do come. My angel today came in the form of a neighbor with a snow blower. After the December snowstorm Jack a neighbor to my right and across the street helped me out. Jack I guess wore himself and his snow blower out yesterday on his driveway and the one next to him and directly across the street. Actually he probably ran out of gas. That was a lot of snow blowing he did. Anyway I had given up on getting out from under all this stuff when the wife of my neighbors to the left showed up in my front porch....I guess clearing it yesterday paid off. She let me know that her husband would be over as soon as he has his snow blower started to at least clear away the snow the plow had piled up.

While waiting for him I donned my snow wear and headed out to clean out away from the ends of the down spouts......that was a chore in and off itself. Trudging through thigh deep snow with a snow shovel and garden spade is not something I care to do on a daily basis.. but I did it. My down spouts are clear and I even dug out the window well I could reach. ME WOMAN, HEAR ME ROAR!!!!!

It took about another hour, but at the end of it I have a totally clear driveway......I am FREE! Not that I plan on going anywhere soon. I figure Tuesday morning will be soon enough. Just the knowledge though that I am not trapped is a wonderful feeling. Thank God for neighbors who care! This is a great neighborhood. The house and driveway is situated so that now the sun has done it;s thing and I have a totally dry driveway!

The sun is out in full force today. It is still below freezing so not much melting other than black surfaces is happening, but with the bright blue sky and the bright white snow it is blindingly beautiful out! The world is a wonderfull place and for now it is still winter, but spring will come and this year the followers will be especially beautiful!!!!! Only 6 more weeks to go!

Of course who knows what Tuesday night might bring!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

This is the result of about an hour and a half of shoveling.....obviously I did not get very far and I don't think I will be getting any farther; back says no more and I am just realizing my hands are not wanting to bend at the fingers without a rather large ache that I haven't felt in some time.

I did notice an interesting phenomena while I was shoveling the driveway. I was transported to the glaciers of Alaska. The sun was starting to come out and as it was shining on the top of the snow where I had walk earlier and by the edge of where I had just shoveled the snow was the blue of the that is a lot of snow!


What a difference 48 hours can make.......this may not look like much, but I had to wade out through mid-thigh deep snow in the driveway to get this picture......It is about 28 inches of snow. I think things are starting to wind down. There is still a bit coming down but not much. The big thing now is that they are saying as the temperatures drop the winds will pick up. This will not be good for the trees. The pines are pretty much bent parallel to the ground and branches on the other trees are loaded and some are literally weighted down to touch the snow piled on the ground.

This is looking out my front door.

Temps are going down to about 13 tonight they say. That will pretty much freeze everything solid.....I think I am down for the count at this point. I just don;t have it in me to shovel. One of our local weather men did some research on the weight of wet heavy snow....which did this and I figure I would have at least a ton of snow to move before I could go anywhere. Nope this old lady is not doing that....I will just stay home till it melts or spring which ever might come first.....

Thursday, February 04, 2010


Bring on the snow. I am ready!!!!!!!

Winter is not done with the Mid Atlantic yet....from what they say we have possibly another 2 feet of snow on the way. The minimum amount they are talking is 18 inches.....ENOUGH ALREADY! I just had someone tell me that they read we have had 380% of normal snowfall for a Washington DC winter already. But as I said I am ready!

Despite the cold this afternoon after I got off work I donned my sweats and headed out to the garage. It was totally disorganized. Assorted bags of mulch, sand, peat and fertilizers were all over the place. A ladder, wheel barrow full of knocked down packing boxes and a lawnmower sat in the middle of the floor surrounded by hoses and outdoor electrical cords; plus bubble wrap, cardboard boxes and the paper recycling bin. It took about an hour and more muscle than I thought I had, but I managed to tame everything into submission and found places for it all. I'm sure I will feel muscles in the morning that I don't remember having. It will be worth is though when the snow arrives and my car has a nice spot in the garage where the snow will not reach it.
The secondary benefit will be it should be much easier to shovel the driveway when this is all done. Though come to think of it there will be much more to shovel without the car blocking a good part of it from snow fall. Oh well I guess there is a downside to everything.

Maybe I just won't leave home till spring......OR....maybe since I fit my car into the garage to be ready for the snow it will not happen!


My business is not to remake myself,
But make the absolute best of what God made.
~~Robert Browning

Now to discover what God made. This is my journey. I have been buried under "should be" for far to long. Just who is this person named Suzanne?

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


Everything outside my window this morning is white as snow....well that is because everything out side is covered in snow once again. This is the winter that just keeps on giving. This is a visual image though that reminds me of God's forgiveness. We are told in Isaiah 1:11 "...though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be like snow..." God forgives. Over and over God forgives.

Roberta Porter affirmed this for me this morning in my morning devotion. In a meditation from Alive Now, a wonderful little magazine from The Upper Room, she said, "In our failures, in our busy forgetting, we are forgiven, renewed to continue to be the hands and feet of Christ--no small task no small gift."

I need forgiveness daily. I am human! I have faults, and I will never be perfect no matter how hard I try. I need forgiveness. I thank God that he is so willing to forgive. I thank God that I can live in confidence knowing he, if no one else will never give up on me. With that knowledge of forgiveness comes a sense of a need to gratefully respond to it. I also need to give forgiveness. Not to God of course. I need to be willing to forgive those who hurt me; to those who hurt my loved ones and yes I need to be able to forgive myself. Being willing and able to forgive others is one way I can "be the hands and feet of Christ".

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life:
It goes on.

~~Robert Frost