Who me? A nominee?

Shannon put my blog up for the blogger-driven Liebster Award. I confess I wandered around on Google for a while to discover that it is, simply, an award given to bloggers by bloggers. The “rules” very from being a newbie blogger with less than 200 followers to no restrictions, and to answer a list of questions of the nominator’s choosing… Since I’ve been blogging for many years, and have many followers, I’m not exactly a noob. But I’ll play along and will, as requested, nominate some of my other favorite bloggers for you to visit.

What is your favorite topic to write about? (This may or may not be what you write about most often.)

Real life. Stuff that makes me laugh, scratch my head, get a little weepy. Usually there’s photography involved. I do a lot of photo-blogging.

What are your highest goals and aspirations as a writer?

I’d love to write a book. Possibly historical fiction, based on the life of my great-great-great-grandmother, Ellen. She kicked butt in an abolitionist, pre-feminism, suffragette kinda way.

Do your family members read your writing? If so, what do they think of it?

They do. They are hugely encouraging. I do my best not to embarrass them (or myself) with too many family photos.

What is your best travel story?

I was fortunate enough to be able to travel to places where my family emigrated from in Germany, England and Ireland. I am not a genealogist, but I have family members who are! Being able to walk in and near the places where our immigrant ancestors lived was an incredible experience. I even got to try my hand at playing a pipe organ in an ancestral church!

What is your favorite piece of writing OR what piece was the hardest to write?

Probably the blog post on my dad.

What is your favorite movie and do you believe it’s the best movie you’ve ever seen? (It may not be!)

Mona Lisa Smile hands down.

What is the scariest thing you’ve ever voluntarily done?

I went on one of those high-ropes-challenge courses as a “team-building” exercise. I have now checked that box. I will absolutely NOT do it again. Period.

Who is the biggest celebrity you have ever met?

Artur Rubenstein, a concert pianist. I was probably 11 or 12 years old. My piano teacher arranged for her students to meet him… and all I can remember was how huge and muscular his hands were. A favorite quote by him: To be alive, to be able to see, to walk, to have houses, music, paintings – it’s all a miracle. I have adopted the technique of living life miracle to miracle.

What is your favorite children’s book?

Oh dear. There are so many… Probably the James Herriot short stories for children. Well loved and read many times over!

Where is your favorite place to have lived?

I really love where we are now, right here in Narnia.

What was the best part of your day yesterday?

I got to spend time with family, good friends and like-minded Christ followers! WIN-WIN-WIN!!!

NOW THEN… I nominate…

MINDY!! at Bits and Odd Pieces of Mindy’s Kingdom

JAN at A Church for Starving Artists

TERRI at Seeking Authentic Voice

JAN at Painted Prayer Book

DENISE at Soula Scriptura

Did I forget you? Please nominate yourself!

AND… here are my questions!

1. Why blog in an era of Facebook, Twitter and everything else?

2. I can’t, for the life of me, finish Eat, Pray, Love. Tell me a book that you can’t finish (and if you can figure out why, share that, too.)

3. Oxford Commas, diagramming sentences, and cursive writing. Discuss.

4. A photo of the most beautiful place you’ve ever visited and share why it stirred your soul.

5. Write a haiku about cats. Or dogs. Or having to write haiku. 

6. The craft or hobby of your choice. Bonus points for a photo.


NaBloPoMo: This Fragile Life

This has absolutely nothing to do with the writing prompt of the day… it’s just what I wanted to share.


Found in the yard the other day…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We have hawks in our yard all the time. During the late summer, we watched with amusement as the newly fledged ones learned how to catch their own dinner. They weren’t very successful…

Apparently, a blue jay lost it’s latest cheeky battle with the red-shouldered hawk who’s been hanging out in the oak tree.

You never know. Life is so fragile.

Be careful out there.

NaBloPoMo: Remember Me

NaBloPoMo Day 18: What do you hope people remember about you after you’re gone?


This is especially poignant for me since I presided at a funeral today and was privileged to listen to how a wonderful family remembered their patriarch…

When you remember me, remember…
That I loved
That I laughed
That I was REAL
That I always had an “internal song” playing
That our relationship was genuine and important to me
That somehow, somewhere, God was always in the mix
That I was blessed beyond words to have the Calling I do…


NaBloPoMo: Good-bye, Raincoat!

raincoatIt weathered four years of seminary and 5 years of ministry (including all-night on-call chaplain shifts.) It was stuffed in countless suitcases, overhead compartments, trunks and closets. It had been through the washer and dryer many times.

In short, it was not pristine. But it was a raincoat. And on this cold, blustery day, I needed it!

I started the day at a peaceful gathering of clergy and laity counter-protesting the crazy hate group that carries signs and proclaims judgment on the world.* We stood in the rain and mist, umbrellas and smiles everywhere. We laughed. We had coffee with the local police who showed up en masse. We offered each other encouragement. We were a loving, laughing presence of about 30 people, diverse in age, race, gender, and religion, while 4 angry white people stood with signs in front of a local high school.

After the protest, we all headed out our separate ways. I started with some paperwork at my office and then travelled around seeing patients and families and other clients.

I met up with one client at a local coffee shop. But I left this well-traveled coat behind! By the time I realized my mistake, I was headed to another appointment and, while frustrated, decided to hope it would be waiting for me when I looped back around.

It was not to be. No one had turned in a lost coat, according to the barista. I sighed, wrapped my colorful scarf around my neck and went on my way.

Grumble, mumble, grumble, snarl… Yeah, I felt pretty stupid. Fortunately my favorite gloves and cell phone were NOT left stuffed in the pockets as is my usual habit.

As I drove to my next appointment, I saw a figure, huddled over a grocery cart, with the hood of her coat pulled up over her head, her shoulders hunched, and looking very cold. And she was… wearing what looked like my coat!

Was it? Maybe. Maybe not.

With a sigh, I stopped at a discount department store and bought a raincoat. Not that fancy or expensive, but one that served my needs. I thanked God that I could afford to go get a new one when I left my old one behind for… someone who really needed it.

I write this from my warm home, an afghan on my shoulders and a cat competing for proper attention. I am indeed blessed.

* About that hate group? You know who they are. They hate a lot of things. And I won’t give them any press in my writing. It’s time they went away!!

NaBloPoMo: Day Off

Today’s prompt:

Monday day off or Friday day off… Discuss.

It’s not as easy as that for a chaplain…

My current chaplain schedule requires visits during the week (and charting many, many nights in the evenings). Saturdays are reserved as my usual day off, unless there is a church function or a funeral or wedding. (And many times, there is something on the calendar!)

I try to create space around my work days so that I get some rest physically and emotionally. Dealing with Death every day requires it. It’s about longevity in serving. A marathon, not a sprint.