Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving flaura and fauna

After food prep at Tim and Nikki's house...

...we enjoyed a lovely dinner with the Wiersmas and Jacob, and went for a walk in the wash beside their neighborhood.

We saw a falcon on the hunt, and Tim induced him to dive by flushing out some quail and pigeons.

We found this interesting little cactus...

And we almost ran into this fellow...

It was a lovely day!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Things I am thankful for...


Emma's Grandpa

Emma's Mom and Dad

Emma's Aunt Elsa and Uncle Ben

Having four generations of Finnegans gathered for Thanksgiving

Celebrating God's goodness with family and friends

Enjoying the smell of a baby in the family again!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wednesday without words...

"Soft Safari Squares": a belated gift for Tim and Nikki's second anniversary. It coordinates with their bed quilt:

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The turning of the year...

This week, with a little break from the responsibilities of teaching, I am enjoying the full-fledged wonders of fall.  Thanksgiving is this week, the temperature was a chilly 10 degrees this morning, and I have time to sew:  all harbingers of harvest festivities!

As I have been sewing today, I began listening to the audio version of A Christmas Carol (from Librivox) and have been reveling in the best things about Dickens, and memories of former encounters with Scrouge.

When I was in high school, my brother Jeff, who was then in junior high school, starred as Scrouge in a junior high version of the play.  It was a revelation to me, not just of the wonder of the work, but of the amazing ability of my little brother.  I was amazed at the gift God had given him to act, as he made all the other kids look like, well, kids, and he looked like a pro!

The first time we read A Christmas Carol aloud as a family, our own Tiny Tim began having nightmares, and we had to stop mid-ghost, and try again a few years later.

These lovely memories remind me today that we are rounding the Thanksgiving bend and heading full-steam into Christmas.  What a lovely turning of the year!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sundays with Jean...

Yes, Gentle reader, we are still slowly chipping away at the Institutes, line-upon-line, a it were, with something under 600 pages to go (from a total of 1526 in our edition).

One of the best parts of reading Calvin is reading so much of one of his heroes in the faith: Augustine.  Ds Ben has a classics grad student friend who is doing his dissertation on Augustine, and he claims that many, if not most, of Calvin's most quotable moments actually originated with Augustine.  Augustine was, in many ways, an early proponent of much of what the Reformers fought to restore to the church, including the theology of predestination.  The quotes of Augustine from the Institutes have many times been chronicled here.  Jean makes me want to read more of Augustine! Calvin, speaking of Augustine's defense of predestination, puts it this way:

...For we see that the false apostles could not make Paul ashamed by defaming and accusing his true doctrine.  They sayu that this whole discussion is dangerous for godly minds-- because it hinders exhortations, because it shakes faith, because it disturbs and terrifies the heart itself-- but this is nonsense!  Augustine admits that for these reasons he was frequently charged with preaching predestination too freely, but, as it was easy for him, he overwhelmingly refuted the charge...
~Jean Calvin, Calvin: Institutes of the Christian Religion (2 Volume Set) III. XXI. 4

Calvin references here a work by Augustine entitled, "The Gift of Perseverance."  Have any of you read it, Gentle Readers?  Might be a nice follow-up to my reading of Confessions a couple years ago, the interest in it sparked by Calvin as we began out odyssey through the Institutes..  Or maybe I need to tackle City of God.  Any suggestions?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Christmas for Thanksgiving...

After spending a little extra-sunny time in our sunroom, we have two Christmas Cacti  that are blooming amazingly-- just not for Christmas!  So we are enjoying Christmas for Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The desert...

All I can say about the desert is that it grows on one over time.  Those of you, Gentle Readers, who live in green and verdant places, full of water and humidity, can't imagine the quality of the light in the desert, the subtle (and not so subtle) shades of the earth and sky, and the wild variety of life that thrives there.  The Sonoran Desert is quickly becoming a favorite of mine-- especially in the winter, or from the inside of a air-conditioned vehicle.I don't love the heat.  But I love the light.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Last weekend...

 We flew West over the desert...

 And drove East through the desert...

 And took an early morning walk through the desert... But the best part of the weekend by far...
was a few hours with Emma Joy and her parents.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Diamonds of Joy for Emma

My latest quilting project completion:

I think this will be delivered over Thanksgiving, though we hope to spend a few hours with the Tucson kids on Saturday night and Sunday morning.  We'll be driving through from CA to NM after picking up a car. We are not taking much with us on the whirlwind trip, so the quilt will have to wait another couple of weeks.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My stupid afternoon...

Earlier this week I had "one of those days".  I had several appointments scattered throughout the day up on the hill. (For those of you not in-the-know, "the hill" refers to Los Alamos proper, as opposed to White Rock, a sort of suburb, where i live.  The hill is about 10 miles away, with an entire National Laboratory in-between, and about a thousand feet in elevation change. We have different growing seasons, for heaven's sake.  It only takes 10-15 minutes to get there, but seems like a big deal.)  So, I was carefully planning my busy day to avoid the gas mileage of running up-and-down from the hill all day.  I taught my online class, got dinner into my slow cooker and bread machine, packed up my laptop and school books to work at the library, and headed out. 

Most of the day was lovely.  I had a good doctor's appointment, tea with a dear friend, grabbed a sanwich and read over lunch, got a haircut, and worked on school items at the library. Finally, it was time to leave the library to go to the dentist's office for a filling-- not something I was really looking forward to anyway (though I love my dentist, and feel sorry that no one looks forward to seeing him....) Well, I could not find my keys.  then I remembered that I had put them in my purse when I got to the library, and as an after-thought, decided to only bring my computer backpack with me and leave my purse in the car.  Drat.  I had locked my keys in the car.

My fist thought was to call Dave, but where was my cell phone?  In my purse, locked in my car with the keys.  It was not that far to the dentist's office, so I could walk.  it was beginning to snow a little, but i had brought a jacket.  Where was my jacket?  You guessed it, Gentle Reader: in the car with my keys.

So, hauling my computer backpack and walking quickly against the cold, I began heading to the dentist's office.  After turning a corner, I realized the office was farther than i thought, and that I was going to be late unless I did something drastic.  So I did.  I jogged.  In my dress shoes.  Down Trinity Drive.  Not a pretty sight.  But I made it on time.

To make a long story shorter, I got my filling, left several messages for my husband, and walked (more slowly) back to the library.  I tried calling him again from the circulation desk (no place has pay phones anymore!) but to no avail.  So I sat with my computer, found my youngest son online, and asked him to keep calling his Dad until he got an answer.  It turns out Dave's electricity had been shut off for a couple of hours at work, and he was killing time in another building.  Eventually he came to my rescue, but he didn't have his extra key with him, so home we went.  After dinner we returned to the hill and picked up the car.  So much for saving gas... and what a stupid afternoon!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday without words...

From last month's trip to the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and the Atlantic Ocean in Delaware.  They have water there...