Archive for December, 2013


12.17.13 … “At the head of all understanding – is realizing what is and what cannot be, and the consoling of what is not in our power to change.” – Solomon Ben Judah …

Elementary 2.10 “Tremors”, Solomon Ben Judah/Solomon Ibn Gabirol,  serenity prayer, history, Persephone Magazine:  I’ve looked at the serenity prayer before, but never run across this historical aspect.

In that spirit, Holmes leaves a handwritten poem for Walker on a picture of Solomon Ben Judah she carries, he is the writer of the poem, thought to be an early version of the serenity prayer. Holmes is acknowledging a fellow addict and someone else who might find it difficult to operate in the world.

via New Show Recap: Elementary 2.10 “Tremors” | Persephone Magazine.

“At the head of all understanding – is realizing what is and what cannot be, and the consoling of what is not in our power to change.”

― Solomon Ibn Gabirol

via Goodreads | Quote by Solomon ben Judah a.k.a. Solomon ibn Gabirol Shelomo ben Yehuda ibn Gabirol Avicebron: At the head of all understanding – is realizing….

Solomon ben Judah may refer to … Solomon ibn Gabirol (circa 1021 – circa 1058), Andalucian Hebrew poet and Jewish philosopher

via Solomon ben Judah – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Knit Your Own Dog, LOL: So I saw this book in the window of a store and just laughed.  Ideal companion??

The perfect gift for dog-lovers who knit!  From a spotted Dalmatian to a wrinkly Bulldog, the step-by-step patterns in Knit Your Own Dog let you knit the dog you’ve always wanted.

The knitted dog is indeed the ideal companion: There’s no feeding, barking, shedding, or vet’s bills, and he’ll live forever! Knit Your Own Dog is the irresistible guide to knitting the perfect pup. With patterns for 25 different pedigree pooches, Knit Your Own Dog lets you choose the dog you want, whether it’s a pretty Poodle or a loyal Labrador. Or knit them all for a pack of canine fun!

via Knit Your Own Dog: Easy-to-Follow Patterns for 25 Pedigree Pooches: Sally Muir, Joanna Osborne: 9781579128746: Books.

First World Problems Read By Third World Kids,  Ad Campaign,  Ironic Meme: Powerful … and ironic and meme in one place.

via First World Problems Anthem – YouTube.

A new ad campaign from charitable organization Water is Life features Haitian children and adults reading the everyday gripes and minor irritations first world citizens post on Twitter with the popular #FirstWorldProblems hashtag.

Entitled “First World Problems Anthem,” the 1-minute video features “complaints” like this one, read by a woman standing outside a house: “I hate it when my neighbors block their wifi.” Or this one, read by a young boy standing among pigs and chickens: “I hate when I tell them no pickles, and they still give me pickles.”

Produced by ad agency DDB NY, the spot by for Water for Life is meant to raise awareness of the nonprofit’s efforts to provide clean drinking water in countries like India and Haiti.

Clean, potable water is scarce in many areas of the world.

“Access to water will be one of the most critical challenges of our time,” actor Matt Damon said in a statement to USA Today in December. “There are a lot of ways to tackle it, but for me, ensuring that every human being has access to safe drinking water and the dignity of a toilet … is one of the most urgent and pressing causes in the world today.”

The video’s concept — taking what has become a popular meme theme and using it to expose the irony of the #FirstWorldProblems Twitter hashtag — is interesting and potentially unique.

This is the first time an advertiser has attempted to eliminate, rather than promote a trending hashtag, according to a press release from DDB NY.

via First World Problems Read By Third World Kids: Ad Campaign Makes Use Of Ironic Meme (VIDEO).


12.14.13 … Nothing says Christmas like the Varsity … and Moravian Sugar Cake … and gathering … “ 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20

Nothing says Christmas like the Varsity …

Advent Photo #14: GATHER

The Lindsey clan GATHERS for its first holiday event every December 5, the anniversary of the birth of the only son, the only brother.

Today I attended my first real Christmas gathering, a chance to see many friends from my early years in Charlotte and eat Moravian Sugar Cake. I would probably go just for the Moravian Sugar Cake … ok, not really.

But in the Christian context, gathering is much simpler …

Matthew 18:20 NIV

20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

So really GATHERING is more an every day thing than an Advent thing.


12.10.13 … Advent brings out different sentiments in different people … “A few nights from now, when you stand to sing Silent Night, know that you have done more than just light a candle in a world that is too dark for too many” …

Advent Photo-a-day:


Advent Photo #10: HOLY … I generally think of God and, rarely, people as HOLY, and even more rarely, places. But holy connotes a certain cleanliness and nothing evokes that to me more than a snow. This came today from the CU parent liaison. It makes CU look holy … a word rarely used to describe a large state university, any state university. But this is the home of my middle child and today as he walks into a week of finals, I will see him walking on holy ground … the whole earth is full of his glory.

Isaiah 6:1-5 (NIV)

Isaiah’s Commission

6 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;

the whole earth is full of his glory.”

4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”

and I thought about this hymn …

 Holy Holy Holy, Christian hymn, Reginald Heber (1783-1826):

 Holy, Holy, Holy is a Christian hymn written by Reginald Heber (1783-1826).[1][2][3] Its lyrics speak specifically on the Trinity,[2][3] having been written for use on Trinity Sunday.[3] John Bacchus Dykes composed the tune Nicaea for this hymn in 1861.[3] It references the Sanctus, which is often called the \”Holy holy holy\” in English. The name is a tribute to the First Council of Nicaea which formalized the doctrine of the trinity in 325.[2][3] The text paraphrases Isaiah 6:1-5.

The hymn is sung in the 1953 film Titanic.[4]


Holy, Holy Holy! Lord God Almighty!

Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;

Holy, Holy, Holy! Merciful and Mighty!

God in Three Persons, blessed Trinity!

Holy, Holy, Holy! all the saints adore Thee,

Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;

Cherubim and Seraphim falling down before Thee,

Which wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.

Holy, Holy, Holy! though the darkness hide Thee,

Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see:

Only Thou art holy, there is none beside Thee,

Perfect in power, in love, and purity.

Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!

All Thy works shall praise thy name in earth and sky and sea;

Holy, Holy, Holy! Merciful and Mighty!

God in Three Persons, blessed Trinity!

via Holy, Holy, Holy – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Ken Garfield, Advent editorial:  Made me think …

But all of us can always give more – to feed our neighbors and show the cynics that the church world as a whole is more than fancy sanctuaries and harsh judgments. All this self-righteous talk about sin that turns off so many people to organized religion: Isn’t the biggest sin people going hungry anywhere, much less in a wealthy city like ours, with a sanctuary seemingly on every corner?

Here’s another fact that should bring you to your knees, praying for a response: The Observer’s Mark Price on Friday reported that Loaves & Fishes has suffered a 23 percent drop in local food drives this autumn.

A message to all the churches out there: It’s Advent. Leave room around your manger scene for people to drop off canned goods. Ask your visitors on Christmas Eve (the ones you might not see again until Easter) to bring a few groceries from one of the fancy supermarkets sprouting all over town. A few nights from now, when you stand to sing Silent Night, know that you have done more than just light a candle in a world that is too dark for too many.

Ken Garfield is director of communications at Myers Park United Methodist Church in Charlotte.

via This Advent, do more to fight darkness than light a candle |

WestJet Christmas Surprise: WestJet Christmas Surprise Will Make You Believe in Santa [VIDEO] … This is a really sweet video. Seriously clever marketing, too!

via ▶ WestJet Christmas Miracle: real-time giving – YouTube.

The more than 150 WestJet employees played the part of Santas elves, gathering personalized presents, wrapping them and delivering them to the Calgary airport before the unsuspecting recipients landed. Upon arrival, the travelers received nothing short of a holiday miracle at baggage claim.The entire event was captured via hidden cameras and turned into an ad mimicking the poem commonly known as The Night Before Christmas.This wasnt WestJets first foray into spreading airport Christmas cheer. Last year, the airline created a Christmas-themed flash mob, complete with dancing elves, in the middle of an airport. The video received almost a half million views, leading the airline to donate flights to a family in need through their community investment program.This year, WestJet will donate flights if the video receives at least 200,000 YouTube views.

via WestJet Christmas Surprise Will Make You Believe in Santa [VIDEO].

good manners, holiday spirit:  From someone on  FB named Jeff Klein … Thank you, You, too!

internet memes, Bah humbug!: As a UGA football fan, this is how I feel about football … Bah Humbug!

Jeff on a shelf,  Elf on the Shelf (A Christmas Tradition):  This made me laugh … very loud!

Jeff on a shelf. For $50 bucks I’ll come to your house and let you pose me in scenes of festive mischievousness. For $500 I’ll leave. — with Elf on the Shelf (A Christmas Tradition).

Barbara Brown Taylor, Bread of Angels, quotes:

“Every day we count on things we cannot see to hold us when we fall. We entrust the weight of our lives to things we cannot prove. By the power of our beliefs, we choose what kind of world we will live in–a porous world, full of glory doors leaking light, or a flat world where everything is exactly what it seems.”

~Barbara Brown Taylor, from Bread of Angels


12.5.13 … I walk barefoot … “The journey of a thousand miles begins beneath one’s feet.” …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2013 Labyrinth Walks,  Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church – Atlanta GA, kith/kin:

So I recently saw a reference to this labyrinth … It is a new labyrinth for me.  Before I leave Lenbrook, I noticed with sadness, the old oak tree on Peachtree by the entrance.  Today is its last day.
IMG_8840  IMG_8841
After saying my last respects, I headed that out and hit the Starbucks.  It had a drive thru window, but the line was so long that I had to go in. I find it amazing but that the service inside is always so slow in comparison to the drive-through line. Starbucks really makes its money off of it ambience, but when it offers a drive-through option, the interior service fails.
So next I head out … Just by chance, I drove by the over-the-top Chastain yard with deflated Christmas blowups.  It brings a smile to my face.  I’ll come back by tonight.
I saw  several yard signs for my high school and Davidson classmate who just won an at large seat on Atlanta’s school Board.  Congratulations to Cynthia Briscoe Brown!!  I wonder … Where are all the middle schools? Where all the high schools? Where are all the elementary schools? Atlanta is a very interesting contrast to Charlotte.
Upon some searching,  I found this on the HI website.

Some 600 years before Christ the Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu wrote, ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.’ A more correct translation from the original Chinese might be ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins beneath one’s feet.’  Have you ever walked the labyrinth? It is, whether found on the floor of Chartres Cathedral in France or drawn in chalk in a parking lot or like the one we have painted on a canvas, a metaphor for our life’s sacred journey. A labyrinth is a pint-sized pilgrimage.

I like the labyrinth because it requires no particular skill set.  Nothing really to prepare, just a willingness to begin, to start, to enter.  Not much risk there. It’s just walking after all, following a path drawn by another. Yet, in agreeing to walk this ancient path, I find a mirror for my life, touching on deep sorrow and releasing great joy.

Long ago in a desert land 2 people got new names because they were willing to walk a path with God, whatever that might bring. Their names change as the outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace. Becoming Abraham and Sarah was an atonement or at-one-ment with God. The sign of the covenant with God was their name change.

Long ago in another place, different folks were asked to follow the path of God. This way of following also offered at-one-ment with God. It was a different promise, with a different sign, and one they did not expect … take up the cross and follow.

On the labyrinth journey through the soles of our feet we remember emotions, guilt, and shame and we remember God’s invitation to be our God.  In our life journey with God we are invited to let go of what we know, of what we have been, and to become more of who we are created to be.

via Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church | March 4 – 2nd Sunday in Lent (9).


For my morning labyrinth walk, the weather was foggy, muggy and WARM.  It was already in the high 60s by 8:30 am.
This labyrinth is part of the church’s memorial garden it’s a lovely garden which has a fire pit and then a beautiful fountain and some modern art as well.
I feel a wee bit of disappointment as I approach because I realize that it is a 7-circuit Chartres style labyrinth rather than the full 11-circuit.
I would love to tell people that a labyrinth works much better if it is a full 11-circuit.  I realize that the 11-circuit  takes  more space.  But at this location, there is enough space;  so I wish they had not  cut it short. A labyrinth is much more than a landscaping installation,  it as a spiritual tool. However, I still applaud any church’s effort to install one.
So i walk.  At the center, I realize that not only is it not cold, it is downright warm today, so warm that I take my shoes off to walk out.  The ground is not even cool … just a little damp from the morning’s rain.
IMG_8850 IMG_8847 IMG_8851
IMG_8849 IMG_8853

12.3.13 … Peace be with you … and also with you …

So what does peace mean within the context of Advent?

My Advent photo-a-day prompt was “PEACE” … so I immediately went to my labyrinth walking and from there went to scripture and liturgy … Where does the word “peace” take you?

Advent Photo #3: PEACE


John 14:27 (NIV)

27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

The Passing of the Peace

By Rev. Rebecca

St. Paul always greeted and closed with the words, “The peace of God be with you” in his pastoral letters. This is an appropriate way to greet fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and so we say, “The peace of the Lord be with you” and respond, “And also with you.” We then pass this greeting of peace to one another. At the passing of the peace we should earnestly desire God’s peace upon each person we greet. The passing of the peace is also a sign of obedience to Jesus’ words that we make peace with one another before offering our gifts at the altar (Matt. 5:23-24).

via The Passing of the Peace.

The name itself makes them seem old. Ancient, really. Like something pre-Christian, something that might be unearthed among long-lost ruins.

But labyrinths – wandering pathways like the one Greek myths say Daedalus devised to imprison the monstrous Minotaur – are in the midst of a modern renewal.

For the last couple of decades, labyrinths based on a medieval model have cropped up at churches, retreats, private homes, even health-care institutions across the country and across Georgia and north metro Atlanta. They’re catching on with the faithful as a way to momentarily escape the distractions of modern life.

Mary Caroline Cravens of Buckhead, president of St. Monica’s Guild at the Cathedral of St. Philip, said she’s found an “amazing release” walking labyrinths. “You feel refreshed. Rejuvenated. Lighter. Calmer,” she said. “I think it’s because you’re leaving whatever burden it was [you brought in with you] in God’s hands.”

via Labyrinths provide peace, focus, release – Reporter Newspapers.

The Serenity Prayer Path

God grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change;

courage to change the things I can;

and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;

Enjoying one moment at a time;


Taking, as He did, this sinful world

as it is, not as I would have it;

Trusting that He will make all things right

if I surrender to His Will;

That I may be reasonably happy in this life

and supremely happy with Him

Forever in the next.


Reinhold Niebuhr

And finally, just a few minutes ago, I saw this.  I had a delightful conversation with a kith sister and we talked briefly about the relationships of our children’s generation with religion, noting the spiritual v. religion dichotomy.  This Krista Tippett tweet brought peace into a full circle “if you give a moose a muffin” moment.

Krista Tippett ‏@kristatippett 38s

Spiritual life is reality-based. It can have mystical entry points and destinations. But it is at root about making peace with what is.

via Twitter.

And now on a less serious random note … Just noticed the bobbing gif!

This first version was… surprisingly not awful. But it also was not anything else. The flavors just canceled each other out, and it was bland. So I started over. The second time, I blended some Greek finishing salt (it’s flaky so it crumbles easily) with the potato chips, and instead of the buttermilk, used half & half and fresh Meyer lemon juice to instantly “sour” it. Finally, I added a dollop of actual applesauce to amp up the apple flavor and provide some texture, without too much syrupy sweetness. The result? Cool, creamy but not cloying, and with a little salty crunch from the rim. Success!

I noticed that the ingredients did start to separate after about ten minutes. But hey, latkes don’t taste good cold, either. –E.C. Gladstone

via The Latketini – Bon Appétit.

 American English:

Coastal Southern: Similar to the Piedmont drawl, but with more remnants of Colonial English. Something diagonally across the street is “catty-corner.”

via What dialect do you speak? A map of American English.

Bay Psalm Bookm world’s most expensive printed work,  $14.2m, BBC News:

A tiny book of psalms from 1640 has become the world\’s most expensive printed book as it was auctioned in New York for $14.2m (£8.8m).

The Bay Psalm Book is the first known book to be printed in what is now the United States.

It was published in Cambridge, Massachusetts, by the Puritan leaders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

The book was meant to be a faithful translation into English of the original Hebrew psalms.

But it is not the most expensive book ever – that title goes to a handwritten Leonardo da Vinci notebook which sold for $30.8m in 1994.

via BBC News – Bay Psalm Book is world’s most expensive printed work at $14.2m.


12.3.13 … I do love Advent … but with true Advent practitioners “no Christmas hymn will pass the lips of a serious churchgoer for another two weeks.” …

Ok, so as a Southern Presbyterian, I did not celebrate Advent (or Lent for that matter), but as a 40-something in Chicago I embraced them both.  I must admit it is a learning process … if you did not grow  up with the traditions.  So this article being a rant on FOX, it contains some helpful information.

According to ancient Christian tradition, “Christmas” is not the December shopping season in advance of Christmas Day; rather, it is Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and the Twelve Days following that run until early January. During most of December, Christians observe Advent, a four-week season of reflection, preparation and waiting that precedes the yearly celebration of Jesus’ birth. In many mainstream and liturgical (and even liberal and progressive) churches, no Christmas hymn will pass the lips of a serious churchgoer for another two weeks. If you wander into a local Lutheran, Episcopal or Roman Catholic parish, the congregation will still be chanting the ethereal tones of “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” or “Watchman, Tell Us of the Night.” There are no poinsettias, no Christmas pageants, no trees or holly, and no red and green altar linens. A few days ago, they might have preached about St. Nicholas — but not Santa Claus. There are no twinkling lights or over-the-top Christmas displays. Just four candles in a simple wreath, two partially burned, two yet to be lit. The mood is somber as December moves toward deeper darkness, and the night lengthens. The world waits, and it is time to prepare for the arrival of God’s kingdom. It is not Christmas. It is Advent.

via Diana Butler Bass: Fox News’ War on Advent.

7 Trips, Seeking Solitude, Adventure Travel Guide |

Let the masses line up for Old Faithful and Half Dome. These bold adventures take you to big places with the breathing room to match.

via 7 Trips For Those Seeking Solitude on a Grand Scale | Adventure Travel Guide |

20 Reasons You Absolutely Need A Dog In Your Life, Distractify, man’s best friend:

As if I didn’t already know … Can cats do anything but tell you when you are going to die?


Day-to-day depression, or even more serious chronic depression, is easier to handle with the love of a dog, studies show. Simply by having them around, and knowing that even at our worst, somebody loves us unconditionally and is eager to see us happy again, we’re given a reason to get up and keep going.

via 20 Reasons You Absolutely Need A Dog In Your Life | Distractify.


12.1.13 … so many places to go …


Some of her Traveling with Gal Pal Paris Tips are priceless such as:.

– Don’t be high maintenance !

– You must like food and wine and shopping. You cannot nibble or pick at food. You cannot order just salad or the wine volume will make you ill.

– Don’t use words like garçon when referring to waiters.

– Don’t be a rude American – we have enough already handling that for us and don’t want to be associated with them!

– Pack what you want, then take half of it out. The goal is to not check any bags so you can avoid baggage claim in Paris.

– Pack in an expandable suitcase so you have room for souvenirs on the way back.

– You must not sleep late in the morning no matter how late we are out the night before. You can sleep back in the U.S.A. Here in Europe we are never too old or too tired to enjoy Paris 24/7!

via Weekend In Paris – Blogger Shout Out – The Daily Basics.

This Hotel Left Bank St. Germain is my current favorite place to recommend to price conscious travelers who want a charming but reliable, albeit small hotel.

via Hotel Left Bank St. Germain *** |.

South Africa:  Diamond Mines!!

South Africa is known for its diamonds. Next to the Kimberley mine (famous for the process of the same name) the Cullinan may be the most well known.  Why so famous? Well in 1905 they unearthed the largest rough gem-quality diamond ever found, at 3,106.75 carats!  If you’ve ever been to London and visited the British Crown Jewels at the Tower of London, you’ve seen one of the stones that were cut from the Cullinan diamond – the 530.4 carat Great Star of Africa, mounted in the head of the royal scepter.

via How to Visit a Diamond Mine – Style Hi Club.

toilets:  This was just funny …

Best Bathrooms in the World: See Photos of the 7 Weirdest Restrooms on EarthSo, It’s World Toilet Day: Here Are 7 Public Bathrooms Nicer Than Our House


11/19/2013 at 06:00 PM EST

via Best Bathrooms in the World: See Photos of the 7 Weirdest Restrooms on Earth :

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December 2013