Friday, March 20, 2009

go green

clip_image001check out this wonderful new book by our friend nancy sleeth.  a comprehensive and creative exploration of all things 'green'.  have you ever felt inspired to do your part about the environmental crisis but ultimately fallen short of your own ideals?  The scale of our wanton wastefulness and this desperate hour for our planet combine to paralyze the ones we have been waiting for: us!  This book combines everyday advice with global insight so that, finally, we can join the dots between air drying our laundry and global warming, driving less and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, switching out light-bulbs and mountain top removal.  Nancy has artfully combined thorough, up to date research, personal stories, and practical advice to make a way for creative, sustainable, life-giving sacrifice.  This is a fantastic resource for any household wanting to understand and practice the twin aspirations of Christian faithfulness and green living.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


today was an exciting day for the household.  isaac embarked on his first team-sport experience.  thanks to our wonderful and generous friends, the Browns, isaac was signed up to play on a soccer team with his buddy, Z.  today was the first practice and in the cool air and setting sunshine of an early spring evening the lads ran around and had the time of their lives.  here are some pics...





urban orchard


sherry, ryan (seedleaf) , and billy (one horizon) have collaborated with several community groups as well as the city government to plant a 4-site urban orchard on the north side of our city.  great work peeps!


here's a blog from our neighbor (Rona) about the planting this saturday.  please come and help out if you can.

follow this link to Rona's blog.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

the quotidian fragrances of the kitchen

we spent a good part of our sunday gettting ahead with baking/cooking for the week.  it was delightful to spend the morning in the kitchen as a family.  in a few hours time we managed to roast a chicken (an old rooster actually that geoff, himself, slaughtered), make a rich batch of stock and bake eight loaves of bread ( 4 whole grain, 1 white sandwich, 3 sourdough).

when it was finally time to set out from the house and take care of a few errands, i raced upstairs to change clothes.  as i came out into the upstairs hall i was hit with a delightful aroma from downstairs - rosemary, garlic, warm bread.  these were the most ordinary of fragrances that brought great comfort and seemed the perfect collection of smells for a rainy sunday.

at the moment geoff is reading a book called "the quotidian mysteries."  quotidian, being such an uncommon word, actually means ordinary or commonplace.  we continue to discover that the sweetest stuff of life is almost always wrapped in the ordinary.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


here are a few pics i took of isaac this morning.  it is raining outside and cold but a nice filtered light is coming in from our north windows.  he wanted the third image to look 'tough'.

isaac portraits

isaac portraits

isaac portraits

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

the not-so-long now

sometimes things take generations (see this wonderful story about the long now) while other things happen with grace at a fierce rate. 

these pictures are of the same plant - it is a tree in our backyard we call "isaac's tree".  5 short weeks of temperatures ranging from way below to freezing to 70F and now buds pop out where ice was layered thick like icing on a cake.  what a recovery!


spring 09 backyard

lexington winter storm jan 09

Friday, March 6, 2009

a bit of lenten resurrection

yesterday we stepped in the garden for the first time this year.  after bitter, freezing temperatures kicked off the week, it was surprising to find the weather mild and inviting and green shoots pushing through the soil.  we worked without coats.  the majority of our efforts involved un-fun of gardening - weeding, removing leaves, trimming last year's dead growth, and poor geoff fixing a broken gutter from the ice storm.  but in the mundane tasks, i was converted all over again.

last december, racing against time, i put some potato onions in the garden (thanks to my generous neighbor and friend, rona).  it was a cold, dismal day and the ground was muddy - very unpromising circumstances.  this type of onion is just wonderful because it produces more like shallots, clusters of onions, that can be divided up for some to be eaten and the rest replanted for next year.  a solidly sustainable crop.  yesterday, as i scrounged around to remove a most-resented, ubiquitous weed that got away from me last summer, i found the green tips of these unexpected characters coming  up through soil and mulch.


three years ago, during the same lenten stretch, my faith had left me and the garden was the only place of refuge where the gentle grace and love of god would emerge and undo me.  at that time, i remember the same sense of wonder and spontaneous joy overcame me (and the tears too) when i discovered tiny swiss chard (silverbeet) seedlings presenting themselves in the poorest soil of our garden.  in that moment, i found the edges of myself and the beginning of god's good and always miraculous work of creation and recreation.

the garden reminds me to give thanks for the recreating work of the one who made all things.  it is always when i least expect it that i am converted again to a life in and with this mysterious creator.  and if i look to where hope comes from, at least in my life, i'd say a good bit of it is rooted in the soil, literally.