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Showing posts from 2008

I did it! Will you give it a try?

Click here to join in on NaBloPoMo I'm so happy to say that I managed to blog every day for the month of December 2008 thanks to the help of some great fellow bloggers, meme's, and a personal desire to write more regularly. If you have some thoughts, suggestions, or ideas concerning my blog please feel free to comment. I hope you enjoyed reading it this month as much as I enjoyed writing. As for blogging all of January... I still thinking on that one. Happy New Year! Tara Lamont

A new blanket of snow

Snowflake images from LUHY . This image is a close up of actual snowflakes - how beautiful! This morning I awoke to a new blanket of snow covering the green and mud that was there just a day ago. Let the cold white cover the things that need to rest, and help me to focus on what I need now, is best. Newness and white show the place where I stand, saying goodbye to the past and hello to a new year at hand. My blankets of warmth will carry me through, to a morning of spring flowers covered in frosty dew. Opportunity, possibility and a fresh start, begin at midnight in my life and my heart. New adventures await at twelve bells tonight - wish I may and wish I might. A blanket of snow covers the ground, what a lovely way renewal falls - like silent snowflakes all around. T.L. Eastman 2008 Click here to join in on NaBloPoMo 31 thankful posts down, 0 to go!

A year in my life

My friend Amanda made a great review of 2008 in her blog, "Life in a suitcase" and so decided to follow suit with an adapted review of my own. Here goes 2008... 1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before? I finished my BA degree. I was laid off for a few months. I wrote, recorded and printed my first album. I had an article published online and a poem printed in a book. I ran a 5k and went to California for the first time this year too. One full year with book club and the friends that attend it - thanks for the time and thoughts you share on Tuesdays! 2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions and will you make more for next year? I resolved to make some improvement on my health and followed through. That is a road I continuing to go further on. 3. Did anyone close to you give birth? My friend Brian's wife had a baby girl a few months ago and I had the pleasure to meet the baby this last week. How do kids grow so fast? 4. Did anyone clo

SWB: Discomfort and comfort

Image found at Max Ackerman Discomfort is the way the things I avoid, push past the boundaries I try to restore. Comfort is dinners with friends through all time with platters of cookies and a glass of good wine. Discomfort is wanting for what I don't have and comfort is knowing what I have is already grand. Discomfort pushes me to grow like a mile uphill, comfort is the running shoe that holds my arch still. Discomfort and comfort, I need them both. One to console and one to press on. While discomfort is a challenge, comfort gives me hope. Click here to join in on NaBloPoMo 29 thankful posts down, 2 to go!

Two books one word: Ubuntu

Image found @ Rantings of a Creole Princess I've completed to excellent and very different books in the last week. One is 'Speaking of Faith' by Krista Tippett and the other (which I started and finished on Sunday) is 'I'm proud of you' by Tim Madigan. I first came across the word: ubuntu in Tippet's book where she explains it from South African friends perspective as suggesting " HUMANITY : Ubuntu says - I am through you and you are through me. To the extent that I'm estranged from another person, I am less than human." ( Tippet pg 182). In Madigan's book, he defines Ubuntu as: "I am because we are... my identity is such that it includes you. I would be a very different person without you." (Madigan, pg 7) There is the idea of "No man or woman is an island.", in the philosophy of ubuntu - but there is more going on with the word than saying we are not solitary. Ubuntu reflects the balance of relationships

I've got the... after Christmas blues. Do you?

Image found here It's been said that the first step in dealing with a problem is admitting that you have one. Last Christmas, after all the baking was done, the presents were unwrapped and the tree needed to be taken down, I was overwhelmed by a huge wave of sadness. I bumbled about for the few quiet days after the holiday and kept trying to shake the overwhelming sadness. It wasn't until I admitted to my hubby how I was feeling that I felt any better. For the most part I felt very guilty for feeling bad when I had so much to be thankful for. After taking some time to work through some of what was weighing my heart down, it became easier to deal with and the burden subsided. In all reality the less hectic more restful holiday gave me time to dwell on some things that I hadn't had the time to even consider in several years. The time of quiet allowed me to begin to come to terms with some long standing holiday related stuff. This year, I've again had the benefit of ha

Tea and company

In the restful days after the post advent rush I'm most thankful for the non-rushing aspect of the past couple of days. I've not set the alarm clock or ran tons of errands. I have had time to enjoys lots of hot tea with my new Aroma electric tea kettle . Ian got me a new Indian cook book called, Five Spices , with a great basic Chai recipe in it and I had the opportunity to test it out on our good friends Brian, Erika when they came over for a visit the other evening. Note of warning: Don't overfill the tea kettle and add sugar to the boiling contents. The result is a sugary tea volcano all over the kitchen counter and a tea soaked cook book. As the New Year comes closer, I hope I remember the importance of unhurried cups of tea and chatting with friends. What a lovely Christmas gift: rest. Click here to join in on NaBloPoMo 26 thankful posts down, 5 to go!

All I want for Christmas

In an effort to not chase after material things, I wasn't planning on making a 'wish list' this year. I have so many people and good things in my life, its hard to ask for anything more. But, then I remembered the fun of looking through the Sears wish book as a child and circling the items I most wanted. I think my parents would say: "Choose ten things you'd really like, but three that are your favorites." So here goes my jumping back to childhood wish lists and wonder with the three favorite things I'd like for Christmas... A cuddly dog friend to go jogging with me: A movie to unwind with: Mamma Mia and SHARPIES! In all the colors of the rainbow to doodle with. Have fun this holiday season with your family, friends and wish books. Merry Christmas! Tara Click here to join in on NaBloPoMo 25 thankful posts down, 6 to go!

Honest Scrap Award: 10 things about moi!

I’ve been tagged for the first time with the Honest Scrap Award thanks to Sheri my new blogging friend thanks to taking part in the 'Blog every day for a month' efforts. So, what does this award mean? It means – “leftovers, fragments, discarded material, and many times truth and honesty is discarded material, considered fragments and left over.” We tell it like it is and let the scraps fall where they may. The honorees are to: a) first list 10 honest things about yourself - and make it interesting, even if you have to dig deep! B) pass the award on to 7 bloggers that you feel embody the spirit of the Honest Scrap. 1. I love going to the salon. There is something restful and fun about playing with hair color and sharing in conversation in the atmosphere of a salon. My best friend told me the other day that I should buy stock in the local salon I frequent. Maybe so. 2. Music is so much fun that I can never decide what song, style, or artist is my favorite. Lately I'v

Where are my gypsy's?

This lyric has been in my notebook since 3/12/08. In light of my musical expereince this last Saturday, I thought it appropriate to post. To all the gypsys out there, we are playing together even though the corners of our worlds may be far far apart. Melody placed at center stage looking to engage the hands and hearts that would love to come and play. Where are the gypsy's to sing and play harp, to the music I hear in my heart? Where are the gypsy's to dance circles of notes around the tunes that we impart? Invitations have been given but the room is quiet and still. I'm waiting for those to become aware of its living and join in creation of song. Where are the gypsy's to sing and play harp, to the music I hear in my heart? Where are the gypsy's to dance circles of notes around the tunes that you impart? How long will I wait for the passionate pace of my fellow gypsy's gathered for for music's romance? Where are the gypsy's to sing and play harp,

SWB: Least grateful, most grateful

In the days before Christmas it's hard to think on the areas that I'm least grateful - but it's honest to air out what is challenging and encouraging in life. So here go's the raising of the yeast filled dough for this week: Least grateful - Loss: It is difficult for me one month (a little more) after the sudden passing of my friend, William, I realize how often my thoughts turn to our last few conversations. While I'm grateful for getting to meet and get to know him in 08' - I'm sad that all we had to spend together was July through November of 2008. Bill we all are missing you. Change: Although it teaches me something new each new day, I'm frustrated that 08 has had so much of it. In fact the only consistent thing found in 08' was change. Change, change go away find someone else's place to stay...at least for a while please. Most grateful - This year I finished by B.A. program, read a ton of books, wrote and recorded my first album , had

Blizzard day off picture

My friend Julia tagged me to participate in this "Take a photo now!" meme. Oh my, it's my day off, a snow day for the kids and I've just come back from running some errands. So I'm all natural faced and bundled up even in snow pants for the 12 degrees and foot of snow outside. Hopefully, you still love me this way! Next time I get one of these, I'll be more prepared - or maybe that is the point. Rules 1. Take a picture of yourself.. riiiiiight.. NOW! 2. DO NOT change your clothes. DO NOT fix your hair.. Just take a picture. 3. Post that picture with NO editing. 4. Post these instructions with your picture. 5. Tag 10 people to do this and leave their pics as a comment! I tag: Ian , Mary Lue , Jay , Aaron , Shannon , Mel's Dream , Elizabeth , Nenni , Lisa Samson , and Sarah Louise !

Christmas Program

Butterflies in tummies filled with cookies and juice. Glitter and feathers strewn afoot. Lambs, a donkey, a camel and straw. All center stage and looking towards the star. Sweet angel choirs surround Joseph, Mary and the babe. Retelling the wonder of that miraculous day. Part of me wonders if we'll ever understand; God coming to earth as an infant to live on this land. With darkness and struggle and need all around. Yet we remember His light in the darkness that surrounds. In candy cane wishes and sugar plum dreams, help us to know you better in remembering You in the wonder that we sing. Click here to join in on NaBloPoMo 21 thankful posts down, 10 to go! Photo taken at First Lutheran Church Christmas Program December 21st, 2008

Saturday afternoon gypsies

After a busy Saturday morning working out the last few touches on our upcoming Christmas program for church on Sunday, I made a quick drive up to Fredonia NY to play some music for my friend Andy's last Christmas bazaar of the holiday season. I was feeling a little rushed when I arrived, but after walking in the door, getting a cup of coffee, setting up my stand and guitar, I was happy and ready to play. I played a song and waited for Andy to come up and accompany me on drums and we started to jam to my tweaked version of 'Silent Night'. After a chorus or two, a guy with a cello wandered up on stage and sat down and started to play along with us. I asked Andy if he'd sing the verse and I'd take the 'peace' round I'd learned in high school and as he set up his mic, the cellist played a solo verse of the song. Andy and I sang harmonies on the chorus and he continued and I went off and improved the 'peace' part. On the last two chorus repeats,

Sorry, there isn't an EASY button

If it weren’t for holidays, I think it would be possible for people to keep on trucking through days and weeks before they’d take notice of how quickly time was really passing. Rush is such a part of our western world, that most of the time we don't know any other way to function. Advent is passing into Christmas and Christmas to New years and we find ourselves in the midst of resolutions and hopes for the upcoming year. What will this year hold? What do I hope and dream of in the 365 days of 2009? Before I get thinking too far in the future, there is a point that I’d like to make. The holidays have a way of marking time for us. When we return to our lives beyond Christmas, New Years and Three Kings day – what will help us to slow down and become more aware of life and spiritual matters? Living in an attitude of contemplation is one way of striving for this awareness. Contemplation is defined as being given to or characterized by contemplation. Some synonyms of contemplation a

Connections

© All rights reserved. Dee Muzzi. Jan 08. Connections was a ten-episode documentary television series created and narrated by science historian James Burke. My husband and I used to watch reruns of the show when our kids were little and really enjoyed the varied and unique way the show went about teaching the audience about science. I've always had this love for connections. Things that bring people and ideas together really have a way of making my day. Even in writing for this blog, it is an exercise in connections of what is brewing and bubbling in my mind and hopefully connecting with the reader. Connections in writing, science, community and life are life-giving. Last night, some of my church kids and I went to a retirement home to go caroling. We brought caroling books, a Santa hat for one of us to wear, and some battery powered electric candles we borrowed from a supply closet at church. We wandered around the floors of the home and sang in hallways, dining areas, an

Space: Eye and ear perspective

My friend James sent me an email this morning that showed the scale of the earth compared to the sun. The diagram even went on to show the scale of our sun to star further out in the universe. At this level of the diagram, the earth is invisible on the chart. The earth is invisible! Wow! Sometimes it is easy to allow little things to overwhelm us. It's possible that there are many little things that add up to a large burden, but in the light of this universal diagram, what we think is important is determined by our perspective. What may seem like a big deal could be invisible to someone else and vice versa. Going one step further, take a look at an image taken with the Hubble ultra deep field telescope of countless 'entire' galaxies billions of light years away. This next image is taken of one of the darkest spots in space. It is humbling and awesome when I consider the vastness of the universe. Even in a section of space that seems to be dark and void, when look

POEM

I find this t-shirt so funny. Pretty good goods is where you can find it. For me right? Click here to join in on NaBloPoMo 16 thankful posts down, 15 to go!

Mess

Photo from webshots Taking this old bed apart rail by rail, turning the wrench, thinking of all the childhood memories it imparts. Stuffed animals there and comics here. Action figures strewn everywhere. Still there are clothes to sort and order to restore. I'm in not so much of a hurry though. Without this bed, the room won't look quite the same anymore.

Sleeping with bread: Peace and deodorant

It's Monday morning and it's the first time since Friday that I've had time to catch up with reading in the "blogverse" (as my blogging friend Mary Lue says). Speaking of Mary Lue , today is Sleeping with bread Monday and that is the day that I (along with other bread bakers) assess the last week of life and look for the moments, things, conversations and experiences that I felt the most alive and the most drained of life. This examen is one that I've found most helpful, and I'd be happy to have you join in on the Monday bread bakers. If you'd like more information go to Mary Lue's Sleeping with bread . Now on with the baking. ____________________________________________________________________________ The moments that I felt most drained of life were ones where I was unexpectedly put in situations that I was not prepared for. One of my friends calls those opportunities, baptisms in fire. While I do enjoy challenges and figuring out solution

Loose Lucia Fest

Photo from Wikipedia Lucia Festivals are common to churches that originate in families from the Scandinavian or Italian culture. Lucia was a Christian woman who lived in the Roman empire who decided to give her dowry to the poor instead of marrying whom she had been promised to. Lucia was burned at the stake for her rebellion against what she described as pagan society, but is remembered and held as a Saint for her willingness to stand true to her faith. She is often referred to as the "Queen of light". This evening, First Lutheran Church held its annual Lucia Festival. The festival includes a meal, some entertainment, the procession of the Court, flower girl, crown boy, star children and tom te goobers (Sorry for the bad spelling, I'm not Swedish.), the announcement of the Lucia bride and the eating of cookies. In the past, I've helped and organized Lucia Fest's in other circumstances and mostly remember panic and anxiety as partners in the program. In the

Christmas shopping and pet shops

I went Christmas shopping today. I traveled to Erie, PA in hopes of wrapping up my holiday wish lists and for the most part I think I've covered it. Most of the day was spent with my daughter Heather, her friend Kassie and our buddy Liz - she even offered to drive since she had the only car with four wheel drive. So I had the opportunity to sit back and be the passenger. How nice. Lattes, Americano's and coffee freezers kept us fueled through our three-hour marathon shopping leg at Target, then linner at Panera's, Wegman's and then the mall. Our last stop of the day was the mall pet store where Liz fell in love with an English bulldog. I learned that they have financing for the pet store. Financing is necessary when you find out the pup your holding is more expensive than what I paid for my first car! The store was asking $3900.00 for the caramel ball of puppy fun. Liz wanted to take "Olive" home ... but we left her at the store for the next millionaire to

Friday night revisited

I recall the days of waiting anxiously for Friday night to arrive. I'd hang out with friends until all hours of the morning, drinking too much coffee ( really coffee!), eating diner food way to late and not being old enough to feel the effects of it. We'd go to shows of unknown musicians - now that would be called "Indy". Tonight after leaving my office I had the Friday butterflies in my stomach. I picked up my kids, dropped one off at a birthday party and took the other to the grocery store to pick up pizza and supplies for baking this weekend. We got home, cleared the table and all sat down with our white pizza, chips and soda and soaked in the Friday of the night. There may not be a show this weekend or a night out with friends till dawn. More importantly, for 48 hours there are no long meetings or counting of work hours. It is Friday night. :) Thank God it's Friday. Click here to join in on NaBloPoMo 12 thankful posts down, 19 to go!

Elephants never forget

At book club earlier this week, the topic of memory came into the discussion. We talked about the different kinds of memory we all have and use. People cramming text books of information into their heads just long enough for college exams, people reciting phone numbers long enough to get in touch with a plumber, or learning a poem so it can be recited for a Christmas program. So much memory is held in that temporary file and exchanged throughout the day, I got to thinking. What memories and thoughts do we really hold on to? Its often said that elephants never forget. When I was a kid I used to picture an elephant with all sorts of strings tied around it's trunk, limbs and tail when that would be said. I'd often wonder why anyone or anything would want to remember everything they've ever seen, experienced or said. Even now, I can't imagine retaining all that information. There are things I wish I could remember better though. When thinking of fuzzy memories of love

Meme of 6 random things

So far two of my blogging friends ( Da Youth Guy and Marko ) this week have participated in the "Six random fact about me" writing exercise, so in the pace of writing everyday for a month I thought I'd jump in on this meme . Join in as well and fill the blogging world in on 6 random facts about you too! 1. My middle name is Lamont. There has been a great deal of question concerning why and how I ended up with the middle name "Lamont". I was not named after the TV show, Sanford and Son. My Mom tells me that she had a friend in high school who was either from France or her parents were and her name was Lamont. Apparently, my Mom was impressed with with her kindness, sophistication, and uniqueness of coming from somewhere other than Irwin, PA. My first name was given for the song, "Tara's theme" from Gone with the wind. What a mix of culture, the American south and France. Now I just need to get to Paris. 2.My favorite foods are Greek. Baklava, Gre

Meme of what I've done... so far

What have you done with your life so far? Bold ones are done! 1. Started your own blog 2. Slept under the stars 3. Played in a band 4. Visited Hawaii 5. Watched a meteor shower 6. Given more than you can afford to charity 7. Been to Disneyworld 8. Climbed a mountain 9. Held a praying mantis 10. Sang a solo 11. Bungee jumped 12. Visited Paris 13. Watched a lightning storm at sea 14. Taught yourself an art from scratch 15. Adopted a child - through World Vision! 16. Had food poisoning 17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty 18. Grown your own vegetables 19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France 20. Slept on an overnight train 21. Had a pillow fight 22. Hitch hiked 23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill 24. Built a snow fort 25. Held a lamb 26. Gone skinny dipping 27. Run a marathon - ran a 5k! 28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice 29. Seen a total eclipse 30. Watched a sunrise or sunset 31. Hit a home run 32. Been on a cruise 33. Seen Niagara Falls in person 34. Visited th

SWB: Lightening rods, momentos and celebration

Lightening rods It was a year ago this weekend that Phyllis Tickle came to the church I was serving at for a weekend long retreat to discuss the emergent/emerging church and her then upcoming book, "The Great Emergence" . This year there was another weekend gathering in Tennessee called, "The Great Emergence" . They had additional speakers, ( Tony Jones , Doug Pagitt , Nadia Boltz-Weber , Lisa Samson and many more!) but the main focus was on Phyllis's newest book discussing the shifts and changes occurring in the church today. In recalling last year's mini preview event, I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to meet and get to know Phyllis as well as Karen Sloan , (author of "Flirting with Monasticism" ) who attended and led a session last year. It is exciting to have people in our lives that are something like lightning rods. People who challenge us, help us focus on the important things, and help us to remember the importance of jo

Pause

The pause button is almost ready to be pressed. Calls can be returned. Emails can wait. But the pause that is coming is needed. I can't wait... for a pj day or shopping in a leisurely way. I can't wait... for a moment or two with nothing planned to do, except whatever happens to happen. I can't wait... for some time to reflect on a week full of events and pondering the possible of tomorrow. Pause Pause Pause Reset. Click here to join in on NaBloPoMo 7 thankful posts down, 24 to go!