Fandom Friday – In This Family…

Standard

I won’t be posting the monthly pages this year, but I thought I’d share the first month of The Women of Supernatural’s 2019 Calendar, In This Family. There’s space for writing a thought to go along with the theme of the month or I can add a picture of my and my family. I love the Supernatural family!

Happy New Year!

Books I’ve Read in 2018

Standard

What follows is a list of all the books I’ve read in 2018. You can find them all through Google or your local library. Most of them were library books that I borrowed as e-bookis on my Kindle. The library is a great resource and it’s free!

I am currently reading four books; two will go into the 2019 “pile” and two are meant to be finished today, having read them daily throughout 2018:

The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction by Neil Gaiman

 Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination by J.K. Rowling​

Women of the Bible: A One Year Devotional Study by Ann Spangler and Jean E. Syswerda

Continue reading

June: School’s Out: Photo/Art

Standard

The photo on the right randomly happened when putting spaghetti into the pot to boil for dinner. It struck me as an interesting compostion so I photographed it.

Weeks later, I thought it would make an interesting coloring array, so I repeated the composition in six different colors using Sharpie markers and then coloring over it with matching colored pencils.

It made me think of Warhol, without the obvious talent.

It was enjoyable and relaxing, and I’m thinking about doing it again with a different subject.

Abstract Art. I’m calling it Spaghetti-Warhol. (c)2018

Abstract Art. (c)2018

Sundays in Lent – 6th Sunday, Palm Sunday

Standard

​”The Lord God has given me a well-trained tongue, that I might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them…”

Isaiah 50:4

How often have we ignored our well-trained tongue and have just spoken whatever’s on our mind? How many have we offended in so short a time? How many times would it have been better to simply not say anything at all?

I am forever giving my kids advice to think first, then speak, but how often am I in need of such advice? Or admonishment?

I’m reminded of a quote from The Walking Dead television series where Rick tells his son, who’s about ten, maybe slightly younger, “Don’t talk. Think.” I know many people, myself included who needs to remember this.

Another quote comes to mind from Aaron Burr in Hamilton: An American Musical when he tells Alexander Hamilton to “talk less, smile more.”

As we follow Jesus, stepping on and side-stepping palms being tossed as his guide, find some solitude and think about his journey and our own journey throughout this week beginning today as he, and we, enter Jerusalem and meet G-d’s will.

Choose: Focus

Standard

[Note: Some of this week’s posts were originally scheduled to be written last week, but I’ve been very ill since Wednesday. The only two that are slightly off as far as timely are the reflection for January, which was supposed to appear yesterday, and the review of the Wayward Sisters episode of Supernatural, which will appear later in the week.-Kb]


Focus is the key. (c)2018

When you write down your ideas you automatically focus your full attention on them. Few if any of us can write one thought and think another at the same time. Thus a pencil and paper make excellent concentration tools.

 – Michael Leboeuf 



Last Wednesday, I had planned to talk about focus, both in general and what my focus may or may not be for my writing, and that was going to tie into a post for this past Friday about intentions. Unfortunately, on Wednesday, i couldn’t focus on anything except continually alternating between covering myself and uncovering myself with two or more (or less) blankets, and being all around miserable and sick.
It really just illustrates that you can have the perfect planner, the schedule mapped out, the outline written, the post forming effortlessly in your [my] mind, and life will find a way to knock you down.

Because that’s what life is about. Whether they be big or small, life is about facing challenges.

I spent all day in bed on Wednesday, barely lifting my head when an angel from church texted me that she had made my family dinner. She had no idea that I was sick or how much of a lifesaver she was truly being. She had mentioned it last week, but it was a maybe, so when she called, it was a wonderful godsend.

And that’s also what life is about. Sharing love, sharing food, sharing ideas and thoughts and challenges. Apart from my family and church, my writing is the most important thing to me. I think that’s because it encompasses every part of my life. It surrounds and warms, it emotes and comforts, it laughs and screams, and when I can’t do it, for whatever reason, it pains me.

Choose was/is my word for 2018. My second word is focus. Not merely the pinpointing of a topic or a photograph or a subject, but where will my writing take me? Where will I take it? I consider myself a Jane of all trades, which is simply another way of expressing that I take on all kinds of things and remain expert in none of them. Like a Jeopardy contestant, I’m all about a little knowledge about a lot of things, and that’s actually a great thing for a writer, but is it a good thing for a writer’s audience?

Only time will tell, and you, dear reader, will also tell; by your follows and your likes and your opinions, which I love and appreciate.

So where is my focus? What do I write about? So many things interest me, and I can expound on many of them: spirituality and fandom. Self-help and self-assessment. Travel. Writing. I feel like sometimes I can’t decide on which writer, which person I want to be in the moment. I multi-task, but when I looked up synonyms for multi-task, it gave me focus as an antonym. How strange. When I muti-task I tend to focus more on what I’m doing even if it’s three things at once and a delegation of a fourth.

How does all of this align with who I am and the kind of writer I want to be?

What’s the one thing that connects them all for me or to me besides me?

2018 may take me on that journey of discovery. A fork in the road or a crossroads? We’ll see.

Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.

 – Greg Anderson

15/52 – Chosen

Standard

​Lent is over. The Easter fire is lit. In just about seven or so hours, it will be blessed, we will light our candles and illuminate the church. And so begins the Easter Vigil; practically the same way across the world in their own time zones. It begins so late because we wait until dark.

Every year from Ash Wednesday until tonight, I am asked if it brings back memories of my own first Easter Vigil. I never know what to say. Of course, it does, in many ways, but in others it fosters new memories that blend with the old ones. It is also hard to explain that my Easter Vigil is often somehow with me more often than not. Every time, I cross myself at the holy water font. Every time, I receive the Eucharist, I think back to that very first one. Each one feels like the first time, and each subsequent one is a crumb on the path I have chosen.

For many, Christ is chosen for them, through their families and traditions, through their spouses or wanting to give something to our children to connect them to “their people”, but as we get older and understand more and hear more, and even listen more, we make choices along the way, every step of the path we follow. Turn left? Or right? Confirmation? Or not? Weekly communion? Or is that first one enough? Is it all that I need?

I didn’t know what was being offered when I chose Christ. I had only intended to choose a ritual, a place of being that make me feel…something; feel better about my life. In staying, I chose a new path, a dim path until one day, just like that, it was lit, brighter than the sun, all encompassing, my eyes rising to meet the glow. Despite the glow of suns and brightness unimaginable, my eyes stayed. I didn’t hear words or sounds, but my heart heard the words. Not words, but something translated, engraved on my soul, that while giving me many choices really gave me none.

Once it was there, it can not be taken away. My only choice is to accept what I’ve been gifted and continue my direction, my directing, my learning, my new way.

Every day that I have not been on retreat, I have attended the daily mass during Lent. For the past two weeks, I have remained in the church to recite the rosary. Those two commitments have given me a steadiness to carry me through this time in the desert.

Easter begins and Passover is ending, and they both celebrate the release from bondage, the exiting from the desert, the wilderness, our yearly exodus.

(c)2017

Fireboat

Standard

image

This is a photo of the John J. Harvey as its passengers disembark onto the deck of the USS Slater. This photo was taken on August 20th, 2001.

It was a greyish day, a little cooler than we thought it should have been so late in the summer and as my husband and our son, all of four years old and a dedicated junior fireman took a stroll along the Troy riverfront, the John J. Harvey was getting ready to sail down the Hudson to NYC to its new home as a museum and historic landmark.

They had been giving free rides between Troy and Albany. The crew offered them a ride, but the voyage was one way only. Could someone pick them up in Albany?

Mom, of course. Please…

The hoses went to work, drawing water up through the pumps from the river and out again, demonstrating how the fireboat worked before its retirement in 1995. Sprays of water arched against the grey clouds. The passengers got a little damp. I could see a tiny sample from the adjacent highway as I was driving to get to the drop off area before they arrived.

The gangplank was laid between the ships, the Harvey and the Slater. Both crews had done this several times before that summer. As they went from one former working boat turned floating museum/historic landmark to another, they were given a quick tour of the Slater as well.

From crew to passenger, their days were made!

No one knew that day was a mere three weeks from the bright blue September sky that turned black with the rising smoke from four hijacked airplanes.

We know the story of September 11th. We were there or we watched it unfold in real time on our television sets. We frantically called family and friends. We watched in horror as one tower fell and then the second, the incessant sound of beeping of firemen down.

Along the waterfront of Lower Manhattan, however were boats. Big boats, little boats, sailboats, fishing boats, trawlers, ferries, the Coast Guard. If it could get in the water and do runs from Manhattan to Staten Island and Brooklyn or wherever they needed to go, they went, and they continued to go until everyone who wanted to leave had left.

This was the largest water rescue since Dunkirk.

The John J. Harvey came out of retirement and went back into the fire service that day. They ran hoses and they ferried passengers. Other firefighters came out of retirement simply because they knew they were needed. They searched. They rescued. They recovered. They and the John J. Harvey exemplified that day what it meant to be a public servant, a fire fighter; what it meant to be an American.

September 11th isn’t mattress sales and rolled back prices. It’s the day they thought we could be torn apart but instead brought us together.

Read about the heroes of that day.

Read about the John J. Harvey. Visit her at her home at Pier 66.

That four year old of mine is now 19. He is a fireman and an EMT, and he is in his second year of college studying the fire protection service.

Support your local fire departments.

Support the 9/11 First Responders.

Stories of September 11th should be told, and will be told even when the witnesses have gone.