Thursday, September 30, 2010

Christ v. Christianity. . .and the Winner Is. . .*



"I like your Christ.  I do not like your Christians.  They are so unlike your Christ."  M. K. Ghandi
This quotation is surely one of the most haunting challenges to those who earnestly endeavor to live their lives according to the example set by Jesus Christ - those who choose to call themselves Christ's Disciples - in other words, those who are known by the dreaded "C" word:  Christian


Almost daily I am confronted with the reality that many people are completely turned off by the whole concept off Christianity because of the attitudes and behaviors of some of those who call themselves Christians that they have known or met or observed.  There are many people I know or have heard of who will not call identify themselves as Christian, because they are so offended by, and do not wish to be associated with, many of the people who do.  It is a hard thing to take from those that I love, because I feel that they are missing out on the greatest joys of living.  But becoming a Christian is most definitely a personal choice - and no one can be forced into it (not that throughout history it hasn't been tried, more's the pity!). 


Christians of late have suffered greatly from a very poor marketing campaign.  Efforts have been made by "believers" to gather converts by pushing their own agendas, and not living out the words and deeds of Christ.  Those agendas frequently include hatred, exclusion, division, hierarchies, and intolerance. While some of these ad campaigns sound "good" at first, by purporting to be  truly representing all that is good - "family values," "salvation," "freedom," "love," and "peace," etc. - a deeper look into their operating methods reveal some very disturbing truths.  There are too few people who, having ascribed to a particular brand of Christianity,  bother to measure the statutes of the institution against the stature of Christ.  Too many don't want to have to think for themselves.  They want to be told what to do, say, think, believe.  They want to feel "safe" and "saved," and that they have purchased their non-refundable and non-cancellable ticket to Heaven by simply singing "Hallelujah" on Sunday morning, repeating the Lord's Prayer with everybody else, and filling a church pew once or twice a week.  The saddest part of all this is that so many really mean well - at least on the surface.  But, in my estimation, they have failed to make the connection between what Christ asked of those who would follow Him and how they actually behave.  True discipleship requires a direct connection between what is required and what is attempted.

I began this post with high hopes of being able to articulate my passionate concern for the church of Jesus Christ - the "Body."  Generally when I begin one of my "rants" I have little trouble with the flow of my words and thoughts.  This time I kept hitting snags.  I wasn't sure exactly why until the day after I set aside what I managed to write above, thinking perhaps I just needed time.  What I needed, it turns out, is an "accidental" perusal through some papers on my desk that needed filing.  I happened upon a reprint of the article in the following link.  This "accident" was no accident.  In this article, Shane Claiborne manages to say, so much more eloquently and clear-headed than I, what is at stake in the battle of Christ v. "Christianity."  


My thanks to Shane for his message, for the wonderful work of healing he is facilitating wherever he goes, for his passion and dedication in a world that often does not want to listen, but surely does wish to see.

Here's the link:   
What If Jesus Meant All That Stuff?
The following few paragraphs (highlighted in green) are condensed from some information included in one of my pastor's, Dr. Chuck Wilson's, recent blogs:

By the way, did you know that in 1997, 12% of Americans believed that Noah's wife was Joan of Arc?  Surely we're better educated today, right? 
Perhaps not. George Barna describes the spirituality of today's young adult as "extremely wide, often shallow and always compelling." Consider the "extremely wide" category: 56% of those under the age of 25 believe that "the Bible, Quran and Book of Mormon are the same expression of truth." Heading the "often shallow" category, young adults view Paris Hilton more favorably than Billy Graham. Only 30% believe that the Bible is "accurate in the principles it teaches."

But there's good news in the "always compelling" category: according to Barna research, young adults "see spirituality as connected to all of their life, not a compartment within their life." They don't want to discuss spiritual ideas so much as they want to see spirituality lived in ways which make the world better.

I think Jesus would have agreed with them. His strongest sentiments were reserved for religious leaders who "... for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them" (Matthew 23:3-4). Early Christians lived their faith so practically and sacrificially that Tertullian (great Early Church father who died AD 220) could quote their enemies: "How they love each other."
 
Today's culture is remarkably similar to the first-century environment of early Christians. People in their day worshiped the emperor, the gods of Mt. Olympus, and the mystery cults; others followed neo-Platonists, Skeptics, Cynics, Stoics or Epicureans. Jews worshipped Yahweh; Christians worshipped Jesus.

Early believers showed people that their faith was right by showing that it was relevant. They couldn't outlaw slavery, so they purchased slaves and freed them. They couldn't make prostitution illegal, so they bought prostitutes, set them free, and gave them homes. They couldn't outlaw the abandonment of unwanted babies, so they rescued them and raised them as their own.

Our world today wants to know if Jesus is relevant to their lives and problems. Ken Medema says in one of his songs, "Don't tell me I have a friend in Jesus until you show me I have a friend in you." 

*  There really is no contest - and never a doubt as to Who the Winner was, is, and always will be.

Dear Gentle Readers, may your lives be filled with exactly enough. . .

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I'm Moving. . .



(This post is being published on both of my blog-sites in preparation for the complete change-over which is hopefully coming soon. I have attempted to change some of the content of this post, depending on where you are when you read it!)

Frustrations with Blogger have led me to transfer my blog to WordPress.  If you arrived  here by accident, then WELCOME!  Welcome, in fact to all of you – no matter how you got here.  This blog is, has been, and will continue to be  a forum for me to share my reflections on what is going on in my life, as well as ideas and observations about what’s happening in the world at large.  You will find some poetry, rants, memoirs – a general stream-of-consciousness collection intended to not only unclutter my mind, but to share with whoever is willing to take a sail, some of the things I see when I stop to take a glance at the mirror of my mind’s eye.  I’ll do my best to supply my readers with a paddle – but don’t count on it!  Sometimes when you set sail on my stream – you’ll be on your own!

As soon as I’m able, I will have a Photos page set up for the WP site, too.  Stay tuned!

Until everything gets transferred over, you are invited to view my posts at both addresses:

http://reflectionsfromacloudymirror.blogspot.com/ 
(Where you are now!)

- or -

http://paulatohlinecalhoun1951.wordpress.com/

WordPress visitors will find it easier to leave their comments on the WP blog, however!  I look forward to hearing from you all!
Please remember to leave your own comments and reflections. . .I’d like to take a voyage up your stream, too! (No paddles required. . .)

 Until we read again, I wish you all, wherever you may find yourself, enough. . .

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What a Sh***y Idea!




Now, that title intrigues you, doesn't it?  Don't worry - I have gone neither completely profane, nor insane.  Hubs and I were turned in this evening to a wonderful segment from a great "Public Radio International" program called "Life on Earth."  The segment we were delighted to have caught while on the way home from dinner was about the "Park Spark Project"  If you do nothing else today, please click on the following link and read a little bit about this wonderful, innovative, and highly creative idea that takes advantage of readily, continuously available resources heretofore gone to "waste," in order to create infinitely renewable energy, at almost zero cost!

Link #1 - The Park Spark Project    

Link #2 -  The Scoop 

I am so encouraged to learn that the creative spark of genius is still alive and well, and fully functioning here in the good old USA!  I encourage you all to "spread it around!"


After reading the first link, click on the second - it will take you to the "Life on Earth" web site where you can find the transcript of the program we listened to this evening, as well as the Real Audio link so you can listen to it yourself!

(I posted this today because my newest ode, "Ode to Homonyms," is giving me more problems than at first anticipated.  I'm not giving up on it, but it will be a while before I'm ready to share it - stay tuned!)

So, until then Gentle Readers, I won't tell you exactly what I'm wishing you enough of - but follow the links - you'll figure out what I mean this time when I wish you all enough. . .

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Death and Taxes





Oh, goody, goody goody!  The wonderful event I have been waiting for is on the way!  Let's all hear it out there for the great, fascinating, joy-filled, consciousness-raising, edifying time called. . .(wait for it!). . .MID-TERM ELECTIONS!!!!!  Ah, yes - you can smell it in the air - all that expensive and expansive crap pouring out of the mouths - the very pores - of all those delusional candidates.  Quite frankly, at times like these I can say, along with Lt. Col. Kilgore: * 


Actually, about the only good use that napalm could ever be put to would be a complete burn of all the misinformation, misdirection, malfeasance, manipulation, and malevolent manifestations that make up the once-noble calling of politics.  I could really get started now on a rant that would likely seem, if not actually be, never-ending.  I won't (so sorry to disappoint) - but it's only because my one handed typing can't keep up with the erupting, (perhaps) infammatory diatribe that is flying through my brain.

Here is the issue that has been occupying so much of my thought these last few days and weeks. . .when did the whole concept of  (*gasp*) TAXES become synonymous with evil?  Exactly how does the (apparently) large and vociferous (agonizingly so) group of American citizens expect our nation to operate without them?

Now, I am not so ignorant that I believe that there is really a significant number of people out there who feel that there should be NO taxes at all in this country.  But to actually listen to some of the "antis" speaking now, one could be led to think that taxes really are the root of all evil, and a nefarious plot cooked up by the Democratic Party to part all good, hard-working, and God-fearing citizens from as much of their income as possible.  All of us, regardless of our political, social, spiritual, and/or ethnic persuasions, have a right to voice our approval (seldom heard), or disapproval (abundantly heard)!  But, I feel that this huge issue regarding taxes has become so mired in the seamy, underhanded side of politics, that the essential need of our communal dollars to fund the physical infrastructure, and other necessary aspects, of our country has been completely drowned in an ocean of tea and hogwash.

The knee-jerk response whenever the word "taxes" is heard is "No, no, no!  No more taxes!"  Of course, I understand that what many are objecting to is the misuse and poor management of monies that are already being collected.  The problem comes when the "baby" of needed funds gets tossed out with the "bathwater" of assumed malfeasance!  Mismanagement is very expensive, no doubt about it. But even more costly to us as a nation is slashing or eliminating aspects of our corporate lives that enrich and nourish us and keep us moving ahead all because we don't want to shell out one more dime of our personal incomes.  (Did you ever wonder why it is that the ones most able to afford it are the ones who complain and are heard the most?)

We are a democratic society.  That wonderful moniker is largely a blessing, but sometimes can be a curse in that we must come up with a consensus on how to operate.  When everyone is allowed to speak, there are few left to listen.  And, unfortunately, the ones who get heard are the loudest and most obnoxious.  It seems to me that those obnoxious voices too often drown out the still, small voices of sanity and reason.  Health care for all costs money.  Good, sound, well-rounded education costs money (and considering the shameful level of teacher salaries these days, it doesn't cost anywhere near enough!). The better our education, and the better and more available good health care for all, the more able we are to progress and grow as a nation.  Short-changing our public schools, giving in to the self-interests of big business (and letting them decide for us what is best), and holding up as an ideal the possibility of "shutting down the government" in order to get what "we" want (and the devil take the hindmost) is to me the highest form of me-first, uncompromising folly.

Many of you, I gather from what I hear on the news, are going to differ with me.  OK.  That is one of the perks of being an American. (Yay!  You get to disagree with Paula!)  I have these requests of you all, in particular:  just because you may like what a candidate has to say, or agree with what s/he may stand for - listen to ALL sides of an issue.  Make up your own mind (most of you have good ones in there!).  More important:  NEVER RELY ON ONLY A SINGLE SOURCE FOR YOUR INFORMATION!!! Read widely, listen with both ears.  As wonderful as the internet is, it is also a huge problem.  It has become a rather unwieldy, bottomless depository, not only for information but misinformation in equal amounts.  The misinformation is not only endless, it is forever.  There is (as I've said before) no "truth filter" available that automatically separates fact from fiction on the web, and once there, it will always be there, ready to be cited and quoted by anyone who chooses to.  Consequently there is a virtually continuous stream of junk being spewed from the airwaves and in cyberspace that, for those who refuse to take the time to discern the truth, is causing many citizens of our nation to be led, far too easily, very far astray.

OK, I'm tired. . .my hand is giving out, but my brain is still furiously churning on.  In order to preempt some of your objections, I will say that I, too, will listen to my own advice, and listen to ALL sides - as hard as that may seem.  As we await the outcome of election day 2010, let us pray that saner heads all around will prevail, and that pointless rhetoric will not.  Liberals, conservatives, middle-of-the-roaders; Democrats, Republicans, Independents, all political persuasions; Christians, Jews, Muslims, all faiths; all races; all socio-economic brackets -- WE ALL NEED EACH OTHER!  We need to stop, breathe, then listen to, and respond to one another with respect and love.  There is no substitute for patience and tolerance (did you know that in Chinese, the character is the same for both words?) in a democratic society.

So. . .Death and Taxes.  Both inevitable, but when their times both come around, (and they will), how will you approach them? 

Finally, with a quick reminder to you all to VOTE in November. 
* Will it smell like Victory then?

I hope that each of your lives, Gentle Readers, may overflow with enough. . .

Monday, September 20, 2010

Your Tuesday (or late Monday) "Awwww....."

Couldn't resist posting these after I saw them.  Actually, I have a little stuffed (toy!) hedgehog, about the size of the one in these photos, and the real thing is apparently as cute as the stuffed - or even cuter!  I had a girlfriend in Jr. High School (she was Andrew Carnegie's great-granddaughter) who visited her grandmother in Scotland each summer at Skibo castle. (The castle has now been made part of a public trust, I think!) She would send me postcards occasionally telling me about the hedgehogs in one of the back gardens there and how adorable they were.  She was right!  But, are they pests?  Anybody know?  Whatever - prepare to say "Awwwww. . ."




So, as you see - today I took the easy way out.  I'm working on a more traditional post for the next time - tomorrow or Wednesday, but for now, surely this is enough. . .

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Matt! Go Long. . .

 I couldn't help but share with you one of my new grandmother stories. I have been amazed about the feelings I have as a Granny!  The situation of being one generation removed from a child completely changes your perspective on that child!


It came as a surprise to me that my feelings and emotions related to a crying, screaming infant (named Zoë) have remained so calm.  I vividly remember many long, sleepless days and nights fretting and crying myself because it seemed I was completely unable to console my babies.  I was their MOTHER for goodness' sake - if I can't comfort them, does that mean I'm no good at it? And I was SO TIRED!  "Please, little darling, just calm down long enough for me to nap - then I'll do better, I promise!"   My memory is that my pleas  went unanswered!


I had the joy and privilege of breast feeding our sons throughout each of their first years.  It's still one of my favorite memories of motherhood (among many); however, it is definitely a job that is only learned by doing.  No amount of instruction or reading on the subject can adequately prepare a mother for her own unique experience. You just begin, use your instincts, and as long as your baby is growing adequately, there are no worries. (Well - not many!)  That's not to say that advice from experienced Moms isn't helpful - it is, and the support (beyond a good nursing bra) is always welcome!  But there is no substitute for just doing it!

Through trial and error, and time, you discover, especially at the beginning, that having to nurse every hour is not a bad or unusual sign.  It is a natural, built-in process that helps increase the mother's milk supply, and also increases the size of the infant's stomach in order for them to take in more at one feeding, and therefore sleep more between them. Actually, it's a very efficient and miraculous system.  Also, sometimes, babies just CRY!  For one thing, they have no other way to communicate so effectively, real words not yet being in the picture.  They want and need your attention, and they learn quickly that crying generally gets it, and should!  Parents ACHE over not being able to comfort their children.  Their constant (at times) and baseless (it seems) piercing crying and screaming is unnerving and exhausting.  For the parents.  I have found that grandparenthood gives a whole new take on that situation.


Grandparents don't have the first responsibility, for one thing, and the onus is not squarely on their shoulders. But, more importantly, grandparents can relax, knowing that babies cry - it's all a part of the package, and that life with an infant gets better, and routines are eventually established.   Grandparents through their own firsthand experience as parents, know how to take it all in stride.  That's small comfort, though, to a stressed out and exhausted Mom and Dad.  Hence the reason for this post:

Two or three days after our son and daughter-in-love brought Zoë home from the hospital, she had an extended hours-long cry.  Zoë's Mom, Suddie, sat on the edge of her and Matt's  bed late one night (or early one morning), silently cradling and bouncing the swaddled Zoë  on her lap.  Finally, near the end of her rope, she slowly turned her head to her husband, and said, emphatically,


"Matt . . .go long!"

Anyone who watches or plays American football will understand the meaning of that phrase, which is for the receiver to run way down the field and prepare for a long, "Hail Mary" pass.  I still haven't stopped laughing over that story!  It so perfectly evokes a parent's frustrations and distress and feelings of helplessness.  At the same time, it said to me that we have absolutely NOTHING to worry about as far as Suddie is concerned.  Her sense of humor will be a great source of help as time marches on.  Laughter really is the best medicine.  God bless her, and God help her - and Matt!  It's not an easy job being a parent, but it certainly gives the greatest return on your investment.

So, with this story I send to all parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, cousins, etc. my prayers and hopes that you may all get your needed rest, and above all, of love -

enough. . .



"Granny!!! Quit with the camera already!"

Friday, September 17, 2010

"I'll rock you gentle, I'll rock you slow. . ."

Apparently, I ROCK! And I have it on the best authority!

My new best friend, Nancy Hatch, (Nothing wrong in groveling a bit, is there, Nancy?) honored me earlier this month by passing one of her own numerous awards on to me and several others in her own blogosphere.  It is called the "You Rock!"  award, and I will admit to feeling enormously proud and pleased to have been included by a writer whom I respect into a circle of such extraordinary bloggers!  So, with all my heart, thank you, Nancy!  What a boost for the ol' ego!

But, as my new best friend will tell you, almost every time she posts something (and she is an incredibly prolific blogger) it reminds me of a story, which I then feel obliged to include in my often lengthy comments at her site. Her "award post" was no exception, so here goes my comment (the only difference here is that I'm taking up space in my blog instead of hers, thus condensing my posts to one instead of having to come up with two!):


Years and years ago, when our eldest son was an infant, Ashley and I served a church in upstate New York, a lovely little village known as Middleburgh.  It was during those all-too-short 27 months that we had managed to start a wonderful summer program with the youth in the community - from all the different churches in town.  We produced a musical both summers we were there, and always had a blast.  We also taught the kids a lot of other music, and we did as much singing as possible.  Ashley and I had become familiar with the contemporary Christian music of a pair of Presbyterians - one a pastor, the other a church music director - (Richard) Avery & (Donald) Marsh.  Their music was easily taught, melodic, and the lyrics expressed a sound theology.  Ashley and I attended a seminar during those months in which Avery & Marsh were the featured clinicians.  We brought home all sorts of their music, and not just for the youth!

There were two particular Avery & Marsh Christmas songs that were (and still are) a perfect match for my fairly limited vocal abilities. One was a lovely melody coupled with equally lovely and descriptive lyrics written about Mary's labor and the moments leading up to Jesus' birth.  It is called "Mary, Too."  The first line starts with "The sky was very heavy; Mary, too."  I still will sing that on occasion, but the other song that I try to sing each year around the Epiphany season is called "Baby Sitter."  Here are the lyrics:

BABY SITTER
(by Richard Avery & Donald Marsh)

Chorus:
I'll rock you gentle, I'll rock you slow;
Rock you gentle to and fro.
You're awful handsome, you're awful bright -
Whatever comes your way will turn out all right.

Verse 1:
Your mother's gone out shopping, for food that's fresh and good.
Your father's at his workbench, building things of wood.
Later they will stop at the synagogue to pray -
That's where we go to worship God, and you'll be there some day.
(Chorus)

Verse 2:
Your mother entertained once what she described as kings.
Remember those three people with crowns and fancy rings?
They spoke a foreign language, but what they meant came through.
Now, don't you get conceited, but they came to look at you!
(Chorus)

Verse 3:
You're going to be important, I feel it in my bones,
A man who will be noticed, perhaps you'll have a throne.
You're going to help the people, the hungry and depressed -
It's going to take a lot of work, so now you need to rest.
(Chorus)

Verse 4:
If ever you're in trouble, remember what I say -
Just call your baby sittter, and I'll come right away!
We'll laugh and cry together, and make your troubles go
And then someday, when I need you, I'll come to you and know. . .

You'll rock me gentle, you'll rock me slow
Rock me gentle to and fro.
You're awful handsome, you're awful bright
Whatever comes your way will turn out all right.
So close your eyes, dear Jesus -
Sleep well, good night!


So now I rock my own sweet granddaughter - whenever I can (and in spirit, always!).  Zoë will be important - I have no doubt!  She already is; having changed the world from the moment of her birth.  This is true at the birth of each new life on earth - the world can never be the same, because everyone is unique, precious, and irreplaceable.  We each leave our own unmistakable footprint.  So watch out world - Zoë's here!

And, thank you, Nancy for telling me I Rock!  It might not be in the same sense that you intended, but to me now, rocking has taken on a whole new meaning.  And you are right -


I ROCK!!!

Rocking gently, to and fro. . .



Gentle Readers, may you all be rocked gently, and enough. . .


Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Dance of Love

When first I saw you
I wondered
Are you for me,
     Am I for you
     Will we belong to each other?
I show you myself
I love who I am
     Do you love yourself
     Enough to love me?
Will we care for each other,
As we care for ourselves?
     I've learned to receive
     Do you know how to give?

Thankful for instinctive grace
Let us dance -
     In unison we walk -
     We run upon living water!
Our hearts joined, we move -
     To our own life-music,
This endearing, enduring dance of love.

© Paula Tohline Calhoun - 2010


video

Dear Gentle Readers, I hope you find love, even when you have not sought it, give love, even if it is not asked of you, and nurture love, that it will grow - an ever-broadening, life-affirming dance.  Of all good things, I wish you enough. . . 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Some Photos of Our Perfect Granddaughter

I invite you to go to my photos page and see 7 more photos of our beautiful Zoë.  (Scroll down to last entries - you won't be able to miss them!) 

http://reflectionsfromacloudymirror.blogspot.com/p/photos.html

For a taste of what's in store for you over there, here is a photo of our little one, age 2 hours!  You can't see it here, but her hair is red, like both of her parents!



"Practically Perfect in Every Way" - was there ever any doubt?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Zoë Alyson Calhoun



Zoë Alyson Calhoun was born this morning at 10:21 a.m.  at Nags Head Hospital on the Outer Banks of NC.  She weighed in at 7 lbs. 2.6 oz. and was 20 long, and "practically perfect in every way!" Since both her parents are redheads, she has lovely strawberry blond hair.  I will try and post a picture soon, but until then, ring out praise and joyous thanksgiving for this splendid birth!  Can hardly wait to hold this treasure in my arms - so lately come from God!

My gratitude and joy know no end.  Both Ashley and I cannot wait to spoil her rotten, (and then give her back to her parents!)


Love, peace and joy to all, and as for grandchildren everywhere - may you always have
enough. . .


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Butterflies: They might not be free, but they are relatively inexpensive. . .

Of course by that I mean, that in order to attract them, it' a good idea to have the right kinds of food-source material in and around your yard.  That generally requires, for folks like Hubs and me, a trip to our favorite nursery, and a few minor - sort of - purchases.  (Plug for a great and helpful bunch The Grass Root, in Waynesville, NC. .If you ever come to the Waynesville area, drop by and introduce yourself!  Tell 'em I sent you!)

OK, once you get to your favorite nursery, find out what sorts if local indigenous plants attract butterflies.  Also ask what other plants are available that will attract these wonderful insects.  Color and nectar are the prime attractants of butterflies, and different butterflies are attracted to different colors or flavors of nectar.  I suggest you go to the following site, here in the USA to surf and find the sorts of butterflies that frequent your area, and what sorts of foods attract them. The site can sometimes be a bit confusing, but once you orient yourself to how it works, this is the one that gives the most information. Or, check out the 'net for other sites you find more helpful.

When I started learning about photography last April, I decided that I wanted to capture the beauty of the area I live.  It was a spectacular Spring, and I didn't want it to go by unrecorded.  This decision was helped along when I found out that photographing people was not my forté, at least not yet!  I took to nature photography with a heart full of passion for the natural world around me, and when I started noticing the assorted varieties of the butterflies and moths (another fascinating insect!) around us, I really wanted to try and get pictures of as many as I could. In order to attract some more, Ashley and I purchased some butterfly bushes.  These wonderful plants bloom all summer and fall with different shades of purple and violet cone-shaped blossoms.  (You'll see some in the photos below.) They are easy to grow (if WE can, ANYBODY can, believe me!), and grow quickly, spreading out in all directions.  They no sooner started blooming than we had several butterfly varieties that had not previously appeared feasting on the abundant nectar.  Clover blossoms are also favorites, as well as raspberry bush leaves, and clematis.  We have a flowering plant on our arbor (can't remember the plant's name - just saw it and liked it!), that turned out to attract my first Viceroy of the year, which came along about two weeks ago!  It was a thrill for me, because I had not seen one up close since I was a young girl.

(The following slide show is an experiment.  Not certain I will use this format again - I don't like the inserted ads.)

I will stop typing and start attaching a slide show of my butterflies and moths that have visited us this beautiful year 2010.  I hope you can enjoy viewing them as much as I have had taking them.  Wonder what more is in store this year, and what next year will bring?  Whatever butterflies come, I don't think I'll ever get

enough. . .


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Heartwarming Laugh for the Day

Just scroll down and smile!  This came to me via Ashley via an e-mail he received from an unknown source.

Some people living in Colorado Springs wondered why their water barrel was almost empty
every day. They set up a camera and caught a bear bathing.

Well, he's ba-a-aaa-ck!

Big Al came for his weekly bath again this week. He really looks like he enjoys the experience. He
needs a bigger tub, will think about that for next year.



And so, dear Gentle Readers, I send a laugh and a great big BEAR HUG!  (It's OK - 'cause it's clean now!)
Go out and spread it around, and be sure to hug just hard enough. . .