Saturday, March 22, 2014


She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
"Winter is dead."
~~A.A. Milne When We Were Very Young
It is spring again.
The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.
~~Rainer Maria Rilke

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Sisters of Perpetual Charity

I call them my sisters of perpetual charity~~generous souls who, year after year, thrill to the joys of comforting the lost and lonely with fabric works of their hands. I'm the happy beneficiary of their fun and friendly partnerships, a blessed release from what could be empty hours of retirement.
 Little sundresses, in small, medium, and large, have pockets for "treasures."
 Last year, our Sarasota Modern Quilting Guild sent 275 "Little Dresses" to Africa.

This year, the guild's charity project is making crib quilts from fabric scraps. We're currently stitching diagonal half-squares to share and swap at our next meeting~~the swap will give the quilts better color coordination. I'm planning a pink and yellow quilt top for the sew-in following the swap of squares. We'll sew and chat, learn new tricks of the trade, and pass out sewing tips of our own.

I spend Monday mornings from October-April with another group~~forty-five members of the Dorcas Quilt Mission. From fabrics and sheets donated by members of Emmanuel Lutheran Church, we cut, assemble, stitch and tie 60 x 80-inch quilts. Lutheran World Relief's global outreach ships our quilts to displaced refugees in war-torn regions. We make 850 quilts each year, rolling them tightly into large shipping cartons for transfer. These quilts serve as body wraps, blankets, carpets on tent floors, tent walls, shades from the sun, and sometimes a shroud.
For all I gain from belonging to these fun-and-friendly groups,
 a gift of my time is all it costs.
A splendid pleasure in itself. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ash Wednesday Kyrie

Keep me, above all things, from sin.
Keep me from loving money in which is hatred,
From avarice and ambition that suffocate my life.
Keep me from the deadly works of vanity
and the thankless labor for pride and money and reputation.
~~Thomas Merton

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

It's National Pancake Day!

Who knew?! Maybe IHop started it.
Or maybe it's an adaptation of England's Shrove Tuesday,
the day before Ash Wednesday when pancakes are eaten.

In Venezia, they call this day Mardi Gras, the last day of Carnevale.

We visited Venezia in 2009.

It' Fat Tuesday in New Orleans, Key West and other convivial towns~~
the last chance to indulge in fats and sweets before Lent begins.

We live in Venice, Florida, named after Venezia.
 We fancy ourselves somewhat Venetian with canals and waterways, boat parades,
 Italianate architecture and a local newspaper called The Gondolier.

 Few of us wear these masks (mine hang on a hook by the door)
 but it's a fun decorative celebration of feathers and sequins.

There will be a pancake supper at church tonight ~~
we'll wear our beads :)