Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Pause in Lent

The Catholic Knight says...
use of pictures and statues (iconography) in churches has always been used as a way of telling a story visually. It's no different then when parents use picture books to explain things to small children. The icons (statues and pictures) serve to visually tell a story, and remind people of some Christian truth.
A previously published pen and ink drawing (icon) of the Beggar Christ and Vincent de Paul by Meltem Aktas caught my attention. A copy of her work is displayed in the meditation room at St. Mary’s Hospital Pavilion (oncology clinic) in Grand Junction, CO. It certainly gave me pause after studying this icon and reading the poem associated with the drawing.

On the back of this framed illustration is a poem written by Jennifer Gordon for the 10th anniversary of Colorado Vincentian Volunteers that explains Aktas' rationale for creating this piece of art:
In unfamiliar streets I wander laden
With a loaf so full
That surely there will be enough for all.
In the same streets we meet.
I see your clothes, Your eyes, and think, “Aha!
Here is one who needs me.”
With a smile I hope is warm
I offer you bread
Only to know that the piece you give me
Is exactly what I did not know I needed.
This is my rendition in watercolor (5"x7") of the original painting by Aktas.

This is framed and displayed in the living area of our home and is a reminder of my professional and volunteering affiliation with the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth (Kansas).

Please visit Floss who is hosting "A Pause in Lent" found here and read what others are thinking about this Lenten season as we take a pause in our lives for reflection.

Also linking to Spiritual Sundays

Thursday, February 21, 2013

What I Left in Las Vegas

The Vegas Scrabble tournament was great fun!  We played 21 games in the main tournament (there were also two Early Bird and two Late Bird tournaments before and after the main event).  Of the 21 games, I won 12 and lost 9 and was not too disappointed in the outcome.  I think I went up a few rating points in the final standings, but they have not yet been posted.

Opponents I played were from all over the map in North America:

What I left in Las Vegas:
  • my EXLIM camera with all the tournament pictures
  • all the pictures from the various hotels with gorgeous decorations celebrating the Chinese New Year of the Snake
  • money at the Black Jack tables
  • discarded house slippers
I was glad to leave the slippers, not happy to leave the dollars.  What will be returned is the camera and pictures.  The camera was turned in after the last Scrabble game and the director of the tournament will graciously mail it back to me.  So stayed tuned for some graphics from Las Vegas!

Since I had driven to Las Vegas from Grand Junction, CO, the car was available to transport friends from the Riviera Casino and Hotel to various local restaurants.  The Riviera did NOT supply tasty food at any of their five restaurants, so that is why Lee, Glenda, Regenia and I went out for evening dinners.

And by the bye, Lee and Glenda both placed in the top three in severals tournaments.  Glenda won one of the early birds! She wisely did not spend her earnings at the casino.  Lee and Glenda and I have known one another for well over ten years, and Regenia is a new friend from Arlington, TX. We had fun together in our off-play hours, or at least I had fun with them!

Post Script:
The Riviera is one of the older hotels, and one that a person does not necessarily brag about staying there.  (In fact, you could say it was the crummiest hotel/casino on the strip.) The last day we were there, Regenia and I walked over to the new Wynn Hotel for a late lunch. We enjoyed our little outing and were ready to walk back to our "shabby" hotel but got lost in the vastness of the grounds.  Regenia asked a bellman which direction to take to find the way back.  He asked where we were staying, and both she and I were vague about our hotel, just saying we were headed north.  I thought it was kind of funny that neither of us wanted the bellman at the ritzy Wynn to know where we had laid our heads for five nights.  We were hotel snobs!  And the bellman could have cared less where we actually stayed; he was just trying to be helpful with his directions.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Haps in the Household

What is happening in your world?  Mine, not so much.  Mainly the Mr. and I have been involved in taking care of our wounded pet.  Wounded neither by man nor beast, but by her own exhuberance and increasing age.

Libby Sweetpea, therapy dog and healer of the mind, had a torn ACL.  At six years of age, this is not too uncommon.  She took a flying leap off the back step, as usual, but that one leap ten days ago left her in pain with the liklihood of permanent disability if she did not have surgery to repair the tear.

So she underwent a tightrope procedure and spent one night at the animal hospital.  She probably did not miss us near as much as we missed her.  This was her little shaved leg a few days ago; she was recuperating on the lap of the Mr.

This is how Libby's dad remembers what to do for her and when to do it.  I thought it was cute that he wrote it all out.  She does not mind doing her range of motion exercises too much, and just whimpers a bit when it hurts.

Libby this morning:
I am feeling much better, thank you.

This is a pair of Faceted Rib Socks in progress:

linking to Tami at Works in Progress Wednesday

Tomorrow I am heading out to Las Vegas to play in a Scrabble tournament at the Riviera Casino and Hotel. There will be 56 competitors.  Can you find me in this listing?  Please wish me lotsa luck!

Take at look at 313 five letter J words here that I will be studying today to prepare for the tournament.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Nancy Pearl: Book Lust Rediscoveries

Nancy Pearl is a writer, a literary critic, a personage of the literati.  She is a regular commentator on NPR (Morning Edition).

And I write about her now because she has brought attention to books which are real finds, but are older and perhaps out of print.  Pearl has made a listing of  these books and calls it "Book Lust Rediscoveries."

Amazon says
Book Lust Rediscoveries is a series devoted to reprinting some of the best (and now out of print) novels originally published between 1960-2000. Each book is personally selected by Nancy Pearl and includes an introduction by her, as well as discussion questions for book groups and a list of recommended further reading.
If you are looking for a new read, Nancy Pearl might direct you to a treasure you have overlooked.

I first found her through the book The Last Night at the Ritz in an Amazon review capturing the essence of the story here:
Readers of Joanna Trollope or Anne Tyler may enjoy this intelligent, captivating, and not entirely trustworthy (unnamed) narrator. She invites three close friends to lunch with her at the Ritz Hotel, in Boston, for her birthday. Two of them are a long married couple she has known since college days. The third was once her lover. The lunch quickly takes an unexpected turn.
Check out her Book Lust Shop here.  She even has an action figure if you are a girl fan for Pearl.  And you can see and hear her on the Seattle cable channel 21 found here.

I am currently reading The Cowboy and the Cossack, another Pearl Book Lust Rediscovery.

So many books, so little time.
(Camilo Mori)
Linking up with Pamela at OurShelteringTree.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Leg Warmers to Crochet or Knit

Now that it is winter, maybe you need some leg warmers. Aren't these the cutest?

(photo courtesy of vanillabeanknits) on Flickr.

Here are crochet directions from the webpage: Legwear:
...leg warmers will be most appreciated in the dead of winter when temperatures plummet and winds wail, but be sure to have them crocheted and ready to wear.

Directions are given for size 9-11. You will need two 4 ounce, skeins of 4 ply yarn and sizes I and K crochet hooks.

Gauge: 3 hdc equal 1 inch

Starting at lower edge with smaller hook, ch 30, join with sl st to form ring, ch 2, do not turn.
Row 1: Sc in each ch, join with sl st in top of ch-2, ch 2, do not turn.
Rows 2 through 8: Repeat Row 1.
Row 9: With larger hook, ch 2, hdc in each sc across, join with sl st in top of ch-, ch 2, turn.
Repeat Row 9 to length desired, after last sl st, fasten off
And here is how you would knit these legwarmers: Measure your leg at the thickest part and determine your gauge according to the size yarn you are using. Two skeins of yarn should be adequate for two legwarmers.  Of course, larger needles will make the project go faster.  Marissa Huber on Flickr used Noro yarn.  Any self striping yarn would work well.
I didn't really use a pattern, I just used a little math and knit a 1 x 1 rib. I kept knitting until they were long enough to stretch up to my thighs if cold weather required. (Courtesy of VanillabeanKnits)