Monday, December 03, 2007

Winter Wonderland

Last week, winter arrived with a "wall of snow" - yup, that's how they described it in the winter storm warning on the Environment Canada website. Winter storm watch in effect, a wall of snow moving in across Lake Superior. Wall of snow! Sounds terrifying doesn't it? I mean I was picturing this huge, white wall rushing down the Trans-Canada highway pushing away every thing in its path.

Of course, it didn't come as a wall but a heck of a lot of snow fell in a couple of days and we went from no winter to total winter overnight. It's officially here.

So is December, so is Advent. I don't know if it's because my kitchen is still not yet complete and I'm counting the days down until it is, but I seem to be acutely aware of how rapidly Christmas is coming. There are still presents to be wrapped and mailed, don't even ask me about the Christmas cards yet, and forget decorating. We can't put the tree up until the fridge is out of the livingroom anyway :)

This morning on the way to work I had one of those moments when time froze for just a second. The sun was coming up over the mountains, a beautiful orange glow spreading across the sky, the pine trees wore dresses of white, and the sky was that clear, light winter blue it is this time of year. It was awesome and I breathed it in, grateful that I live in such a beautiful country. Thankful that I'm warm and well fed and that I have a kitchen (even if it is in a mess) when so many don't * o

Best Christmas Countdown

Sara, at Going Jesus has the best way to countdown the days until Christmas - the Cavalcade of Bad Nativities!

Check out It Came Upon a Midnight Weird - it's more fun than chocolate and better for you too!

Of course it's early yet, but my favorite so far is the Leprechaun nativity. * o

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Embracing Soul

"When you listen with your soul, you come into rhythm and unity with the music of the universe."
- John O'Donohue

"Embracing Soul" - art journal collage, Nov 2007
* o

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Speak Gently in Silence

Dear God,
Speak gently in my silence.
When the loud outer noises of my surroundings
and the loud inner noises of my fears
keep pulling me away from you,
help me to trust that you are still there
even when I am unable to hear you.
Give me ears to listen to your small, soft voice saying:
"Come to me, you who are overburdened,
and I will give you rest....
for I am gentle and humble of heart."
Let that loving voice be my guide.
- Henri Nouwen, With Open Hands * o

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Imagine a Woman - Journal Entry

This is the page I did in my journal for Zura's "Imagine a Woman" weekly journal prompt.

Imagine freeing yourself of the stories you carry around with you that do not belong to you, but are someone else's baggage. Imagine owning what is yours and letting go of the rest.

Knowing our stories helps us to understand ourselves. Knowing another person's story helps us to understand them. * o

Saturday, October 27, 2007

My Gots a New Floor

When my youngest son was very little, he used to refer to himself as "my". As in, "my want", "my like", "my said"....etc. Very cute :)
So, in that spirit, I'm very excited to report that "my got a new floor". In my bedroom. No more old linoleum, with metal strips holding it together, that looked so ugly and never looked clean. and that I've managed to live with for that last 20 years.

My new floor is beautiful, and clean and makes my bedroom feel so much more restful. With many thanks to my hubby for putting it in. * o

Monday, October 22, 2007

Imagine a Woman

My friend and awesome art journaler Zura is doing a weekly series of prompts based on the book "Imagine a Woman in Love with Herself" by Patricia Lynn Reilly.

You can read the first of the prompts here.

This is a great way to do some journaling, maybe a collage, maybe your own poem - based on the week's prompts. Zura will be posting each Sunday, so be sure to keep checking. And if you do end up doing some journaling around it, be sure and let Zura know! * o

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Psalm of Signs

Frustrated, I plunked myself
down on the couch
and cried out,
"Lord, I asked for a sign.
For you to show me something
on my walk,
something that would assure me
you were there and you cared.
And what do I get?
Nothing. Where were you, Lord?"

And softly the Lord replied,

"My beloved child,
I warmed your face with sunshine,
and sent a soft breeze to caress you.
I dipped my paintbrush in lush paints
of crimson yellow and fire red
and oh so carefully painted each leaf
for you.
With the same paintbrush, I
colored the sky in more shades of
blue than an artist could begin to capture.
I perfumed the air with an earthy, woodsy
scent hinting of decaying leaves and moss.
I scattered a thousand shimmering rays
of sunlight to dance upon the water,
more dazzling than any display in a
jeweler's window.
I sang to you , with the songs of chickadees,
ravens and gulls,
while poplar leaves in golden gowns shimmied
and swayed to the breeze.
I sponge-painted perfectly designed circles
of moss on the boulders and
I whispered words of comfort on the wind.

Signs? My beloved child, I placed them
all around you.
I can not help that you chose to walk
with eyes closed."

@Eveline Maedel - 2007
* o

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Playing with Wax

I managed to get some beeswax a couple of weekends ago, and since then have done a couple of collages. Working with the wax is both easy and difficult at the same time - I think because instead of using a travel iron like most of the directions suggest, I am using my own iron covered in tinfoil and I'm not quite getting the smoothness I need.

The second collage is a bit of tribute to my kitchen - soon to be remodeled after many long years! * o

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Poetry and Prayer

Christine at Abbey of the Arts shared this poem a couple of weeks ago. It was speaking to me this morning and I wanted to share it again.

Forget Everything
By John Squadra

If someone says, "To be enlightened you must
fast and pray all night,"
Have dinner and go to bed.
If you see a sign, "This way to salvation,"
run the other way.
If someone says, "This book is the truth,
you can buy it from me,"
Take your money and buy grapes and roses.
If someone says, "He's talking tonight,
thousands will be saved."

Go for a walk...listen to the birds
and watch the clouds, and leave
your backpack, your Bible and your Buddha
under a tree and hope
they will be gone when you return.
Where we are going you can't carry anything,
not even your name.
If there is logic in the above,
be afraid, it's a lie.

But if you feel something in your chest
as beautiful as the grass beneath your feet,
be your arms
and forget everything
you ever thought you knew.

Source: This Ecstasy

(image: altoid tin shrine I made this summer) * o

Friday, October 05, 2007

OK, Maybe a Tad Irreverant?

Most people beginning a time of discernment, would probably mark the occasion with a new bible, or maybe a prayer book or rosary. But not this chick. I got me a Bobblehead Jesus!

Why, you ask? (if you're still reading). Because, I have a wacked sense of humour and also because sometimes I just take myself a little bit too seriously. Ole' BJ here is reminder to lighten up.

When I'm getting all in pious, serious "oh look at me" mode, I just have to ask myself, "WWBJD?" (or What Would Bobblehead Jesus Do?) Just one nod from that head and I'll be smiling again.

To everything a season. There's a time to be serious, and a time to lighten up. * o

Sunday, September 30, 2007


Today marks the beginning of a year long period of discernment for me. A time to pray, listen and try to decide if I am called to be an Associate of the Sisters of St. John the Divine.

It'll be a time for me to develop and follow a Rule of Life, and to deepen my prayer life.

A year can seem like a long time but I am glad that it is a year. Too often I make impulsive decisions, or I think I want to do something that turns out later to not be so great. We all do.

Discernment gives me an opportunity to slow down, to not rush in and to really try and listen for God's voice. My greatest struggle will be the daily commitment to prayer and to making time for it. In a year, I will know whether or not I am capable of that type of commitment. I will also, hopefully, have learned the value in slowing down and not making hasty decisions.

When have there been periods of discernment in your life? What was the jewel or lesson you learned from that time of discernment?

(image - my window altar at Stonesthrow) * o

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Dreaming of Beeswax

I've got the creative itch to do a collage in beeswax - a technique I haven't tried yet. I've got the idea, know what I want to put on it and am antsy to try it. So what's stopping me? Lack of beeswax. See, in my small town you can't just run to the local craft store and buy whatever. Now there are plenty of people here who will tell you to "mind your own beeswax" and several more who can't resist the urge to stick their nose in to your beeswax, but actual, authentic beeswax is not to be found. And so I will have to hold off until I can make the next trip to the Big City to stock up on supplies..(sigh). Until then, I'm dreaming of beeswax. * o

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Spirituality vs Religion

One of the questions in my course this week was "Is spirituality different from religion and if so how?"

My answer is yes. To me religion is more like a practice, or set of practices. It has specific rules, rituals and it's own hierarchy. Spirituality on the other hand is more of a relationship.

To put it another way, spirituality is like breathing. Religion might define how, when and where I breathe but it is spirituality that is the breath.

How do you define spirituality and religion? Are they one and the same for you?

(image - my first Zentangle - created Sep 19/07) * o

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Frost and Pumpkin Barf

Saturday morning we were hit with the first heavy frost of fall. A frost that finished off the marigolds in front of the cottage, and the Himalayan Impatiens in the yard. Hubby spent the afternoon pulling them up and tidying the yard. The first of the preparations for winter. Already. Sigh, I'm so not ready for it.

The painting project continued into this weekend. Teenage Boy wanted his room painted orange, and orange he got. It looks like a pumpkin threw up in there but he says he likes it. He better - I'm not painting it again for a long time. I have bedroom number two to paint next, but that will have to wait a couple of weekends. I need a break.

Creatively I've become hooked on doodling, specifically the Zentangle type of doodling. I've fallen in love with my Uniball fine black pen and I use it to scratch doodles over all my journal pages. Even my calendar at work. I'm insane.

My course on Spirituality and Family relationships starts this week. I'm looking forward to a morning routine of reading and journaling as I work my way through it.

Autumn is always so full, and I said I was going to release something didn't I?

* o

Friday, September 14, 2007

Autumn's Release

I just received my copy today of "Praying with the Elements" a beautiful little book created by Christine Valters Paintner, at Abbey of the Arts. It's full of scripture, snippets of poetry, thoughtful reflections and stunning photos and I highly recommend it.

While flipping through it at lunch time I was caught by this quote:

"This earth we are riding keeps trying to tell us something with it's continuous scripture of leaves." - William Stafford

Maybe it's because it is the fall season that this quote stood out for me. Christine writes, "I love the image of the scripture of leaves that Stafford offers - what if we were to consider the changing trees as sacred text where the Holy One is revealed to us in new ways each season? What if we followed the invitation of each season - spring's emerging, summer's fullness, autumn's release, and winter's rest?"

What indeed. Kind of makes you pause a moment and really look at the landscape as you are rushing out the door in the afternoon. And "autumn's release" - what am I releasing? I always seem to take on so much more in the fall, and I know it drains my energy until I long for winter's rest.

This weekend I'll be spending time reflecting on creating a Rule of Life, and I know I'll be looking at what I need to release this autumn. And I hope the cold, wet weather we'v been experiencing lately subsides for awhile so I can get outside and read the scripture of leaves.

Photo: Night Sky - Sault. Ste Marie, Michigan - taken by Charlie Maedel * o

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Farewell Purple Octopus

With his brother happily off to college, Teenage Boy/Man has decided he wants to move into his old room, since it is just slightly larger than the one he occupies now. TBM has also decided he wants his room painted in "Lush Orange" with "Mango Tango" trim.

This has meant a weekend for me spent putting on a couple of coats of primer and preparing the room. Years ago when College Boy was much younger, in a burst of creativity I painted his room with an Under-the-Sea theme that included a giant purple octopus. Thought it was a great idea at the time, but obviously I was not thinking too far into the future to the time when I would have to somehow paint over and get rid of that octopus.

In all fairness to him, College Boy outgrew that purple octopus years ago, but I have not had the time or opportunity to paint that room until he moved out of it.

And so, after three coats of tinted primer we bid farewell to Mr. Purple Octopus, and all things "little boy like" and we get ready to say hello to Mango Tango and the last of the teen years. * o

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Taking the Boy to College

His stuff is all packed, though his room still looks like a cyclone hit it. This morning we are piling it all into the truck and heading down to another city where he'll start college next week. Road trip! College tour! A busy weekend.

Hard to believe we're at this stage. Boy/Man has grown so fast. And Teenage Boy starts high school next week. This morning I am the beaming, proud mom. Proud of how they have grown, awed by the young adults they are turning into, and a little in shock at how quickly time has flown.

Time for breakfast, and then we'll load up and head off. He's heading out for new adventures! * o

Friday, August 17, 2007

How Then Shall I Pray

"Prayer too moves in rhythms, ups and downs." Inviting the Mystic, Supporting the Prophet (Dyckman/Carroll)

I've been thinking about prayer a lot lately. How do I pray, what are the ways to pray, and even why pray are just some of the things floating through my mind. I know there is no right or wrong way to pray, and that prayer is as unique as each person's relationship to God. Prayer deepens that relationship. Do I spend enough time in prayer? I guess that depends on the definition of prayer. If prayer is solely being down on your knees, hands folded, eyes closed and having a sort of one-way conversation with the Divine, then no, I don't spend a lot of time in prayer.

How then are the ways in which I pray?
  • in church - both in corporate, liturgical prayer and private prayer
  • intercession - quick prayers ushered up for someones safety, health or comfort
  • gratitude - a few moments in thanks for safe journeys, health restored or the beauty of the day
  • creative - by what I create, how I express my relationship to God in art, sometimes in a more abstract form like a collage and other times in something more concrete like this prayer wheel
  • journaling - writing prayers, writing out problems, working through my spiritual crisis in writing
  • the Jesus prayer - often repeated at night, in bed, to calm a rattling mind and invite God's comforting presence
  • meditation
Even after writing that list I feel a desire to deepen my prayer life, to move beyond the routine and yet how?

"The continued realization that prayer is gift, something God does in us, not something we do ourselves, frees us to relax, take the pressure off ourselves and wait, allowing God to come as he wills." Inviting the Mystic, Supporting the Prophet

Ya, that's it. Invite God's presence into every thing I do, not just five minutes of "prayer time". * o

Monday, August 13, 2007

Journal Prompt Cards

Life in the cottage has been awesomely creative, so I thought I'd share some of the journal prompt cards I've been working on.

I'm altering a deck of playing cards, painting them, gluing on images and writing the prompts over top.

Images and prompts all inspired by Zura's e-class on creating journal cards.

Could someone contact the time fairy and slow things down a bit? Summer is going by way too fast for me... * o

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The 5.75 Questions

Michael Bungay Stanier has a great new video, "The 5.75 Questions You've Been Avoiding". Not only are the questions thought provoking, the clip is cartoony, funky and fun to watch. Michael is also offering a free e-course on the 5 questions, so check it out and sign up! * o

Soul Collage - Past Hurts

I am the one who stands in the doorway of past hurts.
I am the one who looks back in regret.
I am the one who wants to move forward and let go.

When I look at this card I am reminded of all the times I try to let go, but I don't and I let it stand in the doorway blocking my way to moving forward.
* o

Monday, August 06, 2007

The Shed has its own blog!

Having recently joined the staff at Artella, I've also got a new blog there which I've entitled "Stonesthrow Cottage - Musing and ramblings from my backyard" so I will be posting there from time to time. * o

Saturday, August 04, 2007

A Room of Her Own

For a long time now I have dreamed of a space of my own - a place to write, read, create, dream. A space where I could spread out, and not have to pack everything up that I was working on. I've tried to create this in my house, but there were really no extra rooms and the basement just didn't have the right atmosphere. I began to dream of a little shed, a garden retreat, in my own backyard. And while I allowed myself to fantasize about this place and decorate it in my mind, even going so far as to give it a name, I never gave much thought to it becoming a reality. An outbuilding seemed too expensive to buy or build. It was just a little dream.

Last month, at an auction, my husband purchased a small 8 x 9 shed and had it moved into our backyard. He's painted it, built a deck for it and put on a screen door. "Stonesthrow Cottage", my dream, has become a reality. I have space to create, to unwind, to dream or to play. And it really is the perfect space.

In the process of looking up ideas for this building, I discovered a whole world out there of people who work from little backyard sheds or shacks, appropriately named "shedworkers". They even have their own blog.

Should you be stopping by on a summer evening, you'll find me at Stonesthrow - the perfect place to have a cup of tea, a long chat, and to sit and dream. * o

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Ordinary Holiness

"the ordinary events of daily life become our practice...the routine of daily life is the path to holiness for lay folks"
-Father Thomas Keating - Open Mind, Open Heart

So often we search for holiness outside of ourselves - in some sacred place, in ritual, in worship, in a person or in a denomination. Can it really be so basic that the path to holiness is the repeated routine of my every day life - the waking, stretching, journaling, reading, eating, working, gardening, emailing, blogging, idling, sleeping routine of every single day? If so, then every day, every breath, every movement is sacred.

(photo: Therese rose, Charlie Maedel - June 2007)
* o

Thursday, July 05, 2007

On turning 43

Art journal collage entry I created today in honor of my birthday.

Art inspired by Violette.

Words (which are hard to see in the image because the scan did not turn out so well...) inspired by this quote from Rainer Maria Rilke:

"You are indeed carrying within yourself the potential to visualize, to design, and to create an utterly satisfying, joyful and pure lifestyle."

(the page looks a lot brighter than it turned out in the scan) * o

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Journal Prompts

When you are stuck in your journaling, or just in a rut, journal prompts are an effective tool to get you "over the hump".

Zura Ledbetter has designed a 12 week e-course that teaches you how to create your own set of journaling prompt cards using techniques such as collage, drawing and painting. The course includes writing prompts, how-to's, images to use and a yahoo group to share with.

So instead of dishing out money for a book of writing prompts, or buying a deck of journal cards, tap into your own creative energy and wisdom and make your personalized deck of prompts this summer.

Course starts July 1 and details can be found here. * o

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Lunas continued

Art Journal entry after discovering the luna moth on my walk.

"She dances in beautiful green shimmers, as mysterious as the moon, on silken wings." * o

Monday, June 18, 2007

La Luna

It's been one of those weird kind of days - not really strange, but slightly odd or off. Lots of electrical storms, heavy rains, power surges, and computers doing strange things.

On our walk this afternoon, we spied a Luna moth on the side of the road. I think he may have been near the end of his week of life, or injured because he was just lying on the road, letting the wind push him along. Such brilliant green wings I have never seen.

It was such a small gift of beauty in an otherwise odd day.

* o

Sunday, June 17, 2007

True Rest

I opened my little book on Centering Prayer, from the Contemplative Outreach program, to these words this evening:

Resting in God comes from the Sabbath. Sabbath is time consecrated with our attention, our surrender, honoring those quiet forces of grace and spirit that sustain and heal us.

I don't often take time for Sabbath, at least not true Sabbath. Weekends come with their own chores and demands, and although the pace is different than during the week, and there's usually a Sunday morning church service involved, I don't know if I can honestly say its time "honoring those quiet forces of grace and spirit". It's still just busy time.

On her blog, and in a recent tele-call, Jennifer Louden asked "What is true rest for you?" Excellent question because I believe most of us, especially women, don't really know what true rest looks and feels like and I believe that's a great source of stress for us.

So I've been spending some time contemplating this weekend on what true rest feels like for me. Here's some of what I think it is:
  • sinking down into the mat in corpse pose after spending an hour stretching my body, and feeling how delicious it is to lay there completely relaxed
  • eating when I feel hungry and not having to cook for anyone
  • a really hot bath, followed by pampering myself with a favorite body lotion
  • listening to music with my eyes closed and letting my mind wander
I think once you get going on this, you can really tune in, be creative and start listening to just what it is your body is asking for.

For true, true rest - I'm currently studying my cat. Cats have got true rest down to a fine art. Find a piece of sunshine, plunk yourself in it, stretch and have a nap. What more could there be?

What is true rest for you? * o

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Sacred Space Continued

"The garden heals. We hear these words and recognize they are true. Those of us who garden see what we do as creating a sanctuary from the forces of darkness, within and without. A haven of serenity, a respite from the noisy civilization around us."
Marjorie Harris, The Healing Garden

The sun shone this afternoon and butterflies danced around the yard. Lots of them too. It was a good afternoon to paint this old bench and transform this wall by the garage into a patch of sacred space. The bench is a good place to sit in the evenings, with a cup of tea, and to close ones eyes and listen to bubbling fountain. The cedar shrubs offer a bit of seclusion without completing blocking the view of the rest of the yard.

Fortunately, I got the painting done before the black clouds covered the sky and the heavens opened up to a cool, refreshing shower. Fifteen minutes and the sun was out again.

* o

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Sacred Space

"We transform our gardens and yards into sacred space when we understand them as places of growth not only for plants and trees but for our inner selves." - Spiritual Gardening, Peg Streep

I spend too much time sometime indoors, surrounding myself with draining energies of computer and office lights. I forget how soul-restoring it can be too dig deep into the earth, to plant something, to pull weeds or to sit and listen to the fountain running in the pond.

Fortunately this afternoon I had a chance to rediscover that while planting the tomatoe plants and the rest of the bedding plants for the garden. The tomatoe plants are usually my husband's domain, but I thought I'd surprise him while he's away this weekend and get them in for him.

So for an hour I puttered in our little back garden, digging into the black earth, inhaling deeply the scent of tomatoe plants, and listening to the starling squawk at me from the garage roof protecting some nearby nest. The sun beat down and an occasional light breeze offered some respite from the heat.

"The garden can become a place where we can restore our emotional and spiritual balance and nourish our senses and souls, away from the noise of everyday life" - Spiritual Gardening, Peg Streep

It's been a stressful and somewhat mind numbing week. There are a still a million "things to be done" today and yet all I really want to do is sit outside, close my eyes and listen to the fountain bubble.

"Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow cycles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace." May Sarton * o

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Of Standing in line, monks, and musicals

Yesterday I stood in line for four hours, just to take part in the Canadian Antiques Roadshow. Nope, I don't have a priceless heirloom, and I didn't end up being filmed for TV, but I did see Valerie Pringle, listened to a whole lot of interesting people in line and saw some pretty interesting items. Though I like to watch the show, I wouldn't do it again. It's one of those fun-to-take-part-in once sort of things. I was exhausted by the time I got home.

On our way in to the city we saw the Walking Monk on the highway. We waved, he nodded. There's something kind of bizarre and serene at the same time about sighting a bald man in flowing orange robes walking along the Trans-Canada highway. I who find it difficult to motivate myself to walk home from work, have to admire someone who is walking across Canada as a spiritual journey. And while you may scoff at the purpose of walking meditation, I came to the conclusion that it was a lot more meaningful than standing in line for four hours to find out the gemstone in your grandmother's necklace is really just glass.

Today while cleaning the house I'm belting out the Andrew Lloyd Weber show tunes in anticipation of going to see "Jesus Christ Superstar" tomorrow night. My friend L and I saw the musical several years ago, but we're pretty excited about getting to see Ted Neely and I know it's going to be a great evening. My apologies in advance to anyone sitting in the row around us - we'll be the middle-aged women belting out the tunes and embarassing the heck of my teenage son sitting with us. ("I don't know how to loooovvvvveee him......")

All in all an interesting blend of materialistic and spiritual in one weekend. * o

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Happy Freedom From Self Improvement Day!

Celebrate the wonderful person that is you!
* o

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Like...bunches of really cool stuff dude...

Just wanted to share some of the neat stuff I've been coming across lately:

1) It's here! It's here! Artella 10 , "Body of Art", will soon be sent out. Check it out, the cover page is amazing - and this issue promises 12 full length "how-to" projects, a vintage ephemera kit, 35 ATC cards, a CD with downloadable free goodies, etc. etc. etc. The print version of Artella magazine is a work of art itself. So, no excuses, go there - order one now! There's a pre-order sale on, but you got to hurry up to get it.

2) The fabulous Queen of Comfort, Jennifer Louden, has come up with a spectacular idea. May 15th is Freedom From Self-Improvement Day. A day to celebrate our glorious selves, perfect just as we are. Go there, sign the declaration, get entered in a draw for lots of cool goodies! And on May 15th say to heck with the diet, the affirmations, the aerobics class and give yourself a big comforting hug, look in the mirror, and say "you are mah-vellous" in your best Billy Crystal impersonation!

3) This has got to be THE coolest journal I have seen - "Her Evolution" by Shiloh McCloud. Just got my copy yesterday and it is beautiful. I think it's the perfect coloring book for us grown up girls! It's spiral bound, with lots of blank pages for your own journaling or collaging, and those beautiful black and white drawings of Shiloh's just begging you to grab your markers or pencil crayons and color them in, or paint them, or decorate them however you wish. There is also some great inspirational writing and creativity exercises in the book. I'm looking forward to dipping into this one again and again. * o

Monday, April 30, 2007

Yikes! I've Been Tagged!

Helen, at Straight From Hel, has tagged me for a "Thinking Blogger" award, which I think is way cool, but also kind of intimidating. It's always a bit of a secret thrill to find out there are actually people out there reading what you post, part of why we write in the first place.

The challenge now is for me to come up with "5 Blogs that Make me Think". A challenge because I think a lot of the blogs I regularly read have already been tagged with this honor - can I re-tag them? And, I really want to tag Helen back - her blog has great writing advice on it, plus I just love the catchy name!

So, here are my five:

1. Sue, at InnerDorothy, has already been tagged and she deserves it. I've been reading Sue's blog for some time now. I appreciate seeing the "church world" from someone in the clergy point of view, besides often being provoked into deep thought by one of her observations. And, her cats are adorable!

2. This one, Fran, at SacredOrdinary, is a recent discovery. There is a lovely mix of personal, spiritual and family here.

3. When I feel a need for art and creative stimulation, I check on Lani's blog. I so wish I could make puppets like she does!

4. Someone who has a wonderful mix of art and journaling and just keen observation is Keri, at wish jar journal. I go there when I want to read something unique and fresh.

5. And, finally, even though she also has already been tagged, Jennifer Louden at LoudenMouth, the Comfort Queen, has such an authentic style that she deserves to be tagged again.

So there you have it. Five blogs that make me think. Five places on the web I like to drop into and hang out at from time to time.

Thanks Helen for your link to my blog, and for tagging me with this award. I'm glad to have "met" you in cyber-land! * o

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Bird Watching

T.J. and I took part in a waterfowl viewing tonight down at the river. Now, I'm not much of a bird identification person. I can tell you that's a goose, and that's a pretty duck, and that's about it. So it was a good thing that there were bird experts there who graciously shared their scopes, and not only told you what duck you were looking at but pointed out it's distinguishing features. By the end of the evening I could quite confidently yell out "I see a Bufflehead!".

There were two highlights for me - a Great Blue Heron, and watching three male Goldeneyes do their mating thing for some lucky female. The sunlight was hitting the river just right then, adding that perfect touch of light so that all the features of the ducks stood out sharply right down to those golden eyes as they bobbed their heads and arched their necks backwards practically touching their backs - just trying to catch her attention. In the background, an otter swam sleekly down the river - a perfect nature moment.

My list of sightings: 2 Bald Eagles, Mallards, Pintails, Goldeneyes, Buffleheads, Common Mergansers, a Hooded Merganser, a Lesser Yellow Legs (he looked pretty goofy on his scrawny yellow legs), a Green Winged Teal, a Blue Heron, a whole lot of Canadian Geese and on Otter. * o

Monday, April 23, 2007

Open Heart

Open Heart

I am the one who opens her heart in prayer and whose spirit longs to soar.
I am the one who sits in quiet, lost in the rhythmic clicking of beads.
Love builds a nest in my heart center.

A prayer attributed to St. Francis: "Watch, O Lord, with those who wake, or watch, or weep tonight, and give Your angels and saints charge over those who sleep. Tend Your sick ones, O Lord Christ. Rest Your weary ones. Bless Your dying ones. Soothe Your suffering ones. Pity Your afflicted ones. Shield Your jouous ones. And all for Your love's sake."

image - "Open Heart" - Soul Collage card created April, 2007
* o

Sunday, April 22, 2007

If I Had One Prayer........

A prayer for people who hate. This awesome video is well worth watching:

May all be loved, may all be blessed, may all show peace. * o

Monday, April 09, 2007



I am the one who.... changing herself
...seeks God
...undergoes renewal

I am the one who is transformed by love.

Breathing Spirit transforms me
Breathing Out...may I transform the world

(image: Soul Collage card "Transformation" created April 2007)
* o

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Need a Little Breather?

Wow, April is here already. Where did March go?

I confess I have not been doing much on the creative front. I have been occupied with courses, and reading, and work while my journals and collage materials sit in a pile hoping I'll remember them and come and play again.

In the meantime, if your looking for a peaceful, beautiful meditation - a five minute breather as it were - check out this lovely movie, A Holy Splash of Time.

Many blessings to you....... * o

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Connecting to Heart

The other night I listened in to a tele-class given by Jennifer Louden, on Life Organizing in the Moment. Jennifer has a wonderful new creation out, The Life Organizer - A Woman's Guide to a Mindful Year that is a combination of journal, life coaching, organizer and awesome wisdom on connecting to your heart.

In the call the other evening, I jotted this sage advice down: "Get out of our bodies, and into our hearts." Substitute head for bodies, and thoughts for head and you get the idea of how our thoughts and stories keep us from connecting to what our heart wants.

There's a wonderful quote from Emmerson that says "Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in our own sunshine." I believe that a good deal of the stress in our lives is caused by standing in the shadows of our hearts.

When we slow down, listen and acknowledge our hearts we get out of our own way and a little bit of the light starts to shine through.

Try this next time you are spinning your wheels. Stop, take a deep breath, put your hand on your heart and ask it what it needs in this moment. This moment - not the next hour, the next day, but this moment - what do you need?

At the very least, the slowing down and breathing will calm you down and even if you don't "hear" your heart, you'll feel better. * o

Sunday, March 04, 2007

It's Mine, All Mine

Just so we all understand who controls the remote in this household! * o

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Wait

Shall I pour a cup of cinnamon tea?
The clock is ticking in this quiet night.
Alone with my breath
and rambling thoughts.
I sit and wait for the kettle to boil
and my mind to still. * o

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Uber Joy Sale!!


Dream of creating, booking, filling and leading your own workshops? Well, the process just got incredibly easy. For many years now, Suzanne Falter-Barns, author of the creativity classic, How Much Joy Can You Stand?, has been training coaches and trainers to lead the workshop version of her book. She's packaged that training into an easy home study course with an amazingly cheap and flexible license that lets you morph and mold the material to suit your own purposes. And now ... it's on sal.e. How great is that!? Her Uber Joy Fesitval is rolling from Feb 12 to 25 .. and that means for these two weeks ONLY, you can save big on this program.

Check it out - and do take a moment to read her excellent freebie Case Studies report: that shows you just how other coaches have been successfully using this work. More than 350 Joy coaches lead this work in 18 countries around the world - so don't be left out. It's never going to be a better time to jump in than right now.

You can get your workshop package here. * o

Wednesday, February 07, 2007



and today.............

Yesterday was an incredibly surreal day watching the flames and smoke as our little town's major industry burned to the ground. We are grieving the loss, yet remain ever so thankful that no one was hurt.
* o

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Soul Collage - My Healthy Self

Committee Suit
My Healthy Self

I am the one who takes care of myself.
I am the one who eats healthy and nourishes my body.
I am the one who is energetic and strong, resilient and ready.

(I've been trying to eat better and get more exercise, so I thought a card to honour that process was in order. I'm proud of the achievements I've made in the past two weeks in just getting more walking in and avoiding a lot of junk food. This card "exercises" my creativity, and reminds me of why I want to take care of myself.)
* o

Monday, January 22, 2007

Eighteen Years Ago

Eighteen years ago tonight I was heading off to bed, not knowing that I would wake up a few hours later with my water broke and the pains of labor beginning.

Eighteen years ago, on the 23rd of January at nine o'clock in the evening, after a long day and nineteen hours of labor we welcomed our first-born son into this world.

Eighteen years ago our lives changed forever and the journey of parenthood began. We were no longer two, but now three. In another four years, we would become four. A family, a unit.

Eighteen years later we know we are on another bend in this journey. His college applications are in and his conversations revolve around "next year, when I'm away in college"........

Eighteen years later we are preparing to send him out into the world.

Eighteen years. It seems like just yesterday. * o

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

A Year in Books

Keeping up with a tradition I started last year, here is my list of books read in 2006:

Embracing Serafina - Penny Petrone
The Eyre Affair - Jasper Fforde
Breakfast with Jesus - Greg Laurie
Jack's Life - Douglas Gresham
The Creative Call - An Artist's Respone to the Way of the Spirit - Janice Elsheimer
Grace in Thine Eyes - Liz Curtis Higgs
For My Next Act - Women Scripting Life After 50 - Karen Baar
Daily Word Prayer Journal
House - Frank Peretti/Ted Dekker
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou
Remember - Karen Kingsbury
The Slumber of Christianity - Ted Dekker
The Bronze Woman - Antanas Sileika
Stealing Adda - Tamara Leigh
Safely Home - Randy Alcorn

And we move on to 2007. New year = more books to read! * o

hmm....maybe somedays...

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Imperial Majesty Eveline the Bloody of Westley Waterless
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

* o

Sunday, January 07, 2007



Standing on the back porch
in the midst of inky blackness,
moonlight’s frosted glow
illuminates a thousand diamonds.

It holds back the darkness,
in a sea of crusted snow.

Standing on the back porch
in the midst of a dark night soul
God's fiery love
illuminates diamonds of hope.

It holds back the darkness,
in a sea of crusted despair.

As moon waits for morning sun to rise
and turn back the dark for a day,
My soul waits, Lord
for you to return,
and turn back the dark forever.

-copyright 2006 Eveline Maedel

(image - "To See You More Clearly" - mixed media collage, art journal - Jan 7/07) * o