Thursday, April 11, 2019

Be the Tapestry

It's Wednesday night, and I am nursing a Cosmopolitan while the radio plays popular music.  Spousal Unit is downstairs, reviewing Game of Thrones episodes in advance of the Season 8 premiere this week.  A perfect time to pen my next post.

My options are legion, but I lean toward March's lingering photos, and perhaps a re-cap of my 2019 resolutions.  Or I could do both!  Don't you like to get two for the price of one?

You're right, I did write about some of my resolutions in my March 14 post ... but don't worry, dear reader, this is new material.  Are you sitting comfortably?  Then let's begin.

And already I have writer's block.  I would like to share my efforts in the area of "true charity".  As you may recall (or not) I am committed to working on this virtue throughout the year as a result of an event I attended in January.  So why the hesitation?  Well, is it charity if you blow your own horn?  I think I can convince myself that it's not self-serving, but in fact might inspire someone out there in blogland.  OK.  Here goes.

Once a week, I assist several fifth-grade students with math.  This came about through one of my neighbors, a teacher in the school.  I told her about this calling to true charity, and she described a long list of students at her school that could use help.  I was ready to jump in.

Reading our Church bulletin one weekend, my eye was drawn to a paragraph about Sparrow's Nest, a homeless shelter dedicated to ensuring safe supportive housing and resources for unaccompanied homeless high school students in the Flathead Valley.  I contacted them and my support thus far has included writing thank you notes and organizing donations.
Environmental issues are critical to me.  Last year, I collected signatures for an initiative to expand alternative energy sources in Montana, but we did not garner enough support to place the initiative on the November ballot.  I am still deeply interested in these issues, but I am casting about for the best way to have an impact.  During March, I attended the kick-off presentation for the Montana Lakes Conference, held in Whitefish.  I think we can all find an action to implement from this list.  You may ask, what does this have to do with true charity?  Well, don't we all want to leave the planet in better shape for our children and grandchildren?

On a smaller scale, I think sometimes the people in our very neighborhood may need support.  I don't know why my friends come to Munch and Make, but part of me sees it as a community service.  Is that a stretch?

OK, I am feeling pretty good about that goal.  What about one that's not going so well?  Drinking 64 ounces of liquid a day.  Keeping in mind that alcohol and coffee do not count, I have managed to achieve this approximately 15% of the time.  I just like coffee too much!  It probably doesn't help that I asked Spousal Unit to buy me a Pour-over Coffee Brewer so that I can make just one cup of coffee at a time, particularly in the afternoon.  Otherwise, I would be reluctant to turn on Mr. Coffee for just one or two cups!

Let's keep on with "not going well."  Archiving my blog.  I conducted a web search and found a process for saving my blog content and theme.  Of course, this does not create a document that you can view, but you can use the resulting XML file with Blogbooker to fashion a book.  I say fashion because the initial output I saw was low resolution and poor formatting.  A fellow blogger recommended Blog2Print.  My investigation revealed that you can order a book from the site (expensive at $34 for 20 pages) or create a pdf for only $9.95 (up to 60 pages).  As a trial, I created a pdf and was disappointed with formatting that does not reflect the actual look of my blog, such as captions that are out of place, and it lacks the border elements of my blog.  To be fair, I have not had a chance to follow up with the company about this.  That's my next step.  In the meantime, I am hoping against hope that the bugs in the machine don't decide to nibble away at my blog anytime soon.

OK, let's wrench this out of the gloom.  I am faithful to my daily reflection using Streams in the Desert by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman.  Here is a poem from February 12 that struck a chord.

No chance hath brought this ill to me;
'Tis God's own hand, so let it be,
He seeth what I cannot see.
There is a need-be for each pain, 
And He one day will make it plain
That earthly loss is heavenly gain.

Like as a piece of tapestry
Viewed from the back appears to be
Naught but threads tangled hopelessly;
But in the front a picture fair
Rewards the worker for his care,
Proving his skill and patience rare.
Thou art the Workman, I the frame.
Lord, for the glory of Thy Name,
Perfect Thine image on the same.

Practice piano for 30 minutes every third day.  My track record on this one is fairly solid, and I have improved enough to play a song or two for my Mom during a Skype call, per her request.  I also received a call from our Piano Man, Daryl.  He investigated our piano and learned that it was manufactured in 1909.  Sounds pretty good for 110 years old, doesn't it?

For a while it looked like the stalagmite and stalactite might
actually join up
Continuing on an upbeat note (pun intended, LOL!)  Sit in a different spot every day.  I am hitting this about 50% of the time, but this will be easier now that it's staying light longer.  (Quite often, by the time I get "around to" sitting, it's gotten dark and there's not much to see.  I probably need to move past the idea that it's about "seeing", and I could also make more of an effort to park myself somewhere else earlier in the day.)

Regardless of my location, I try to be more observant, such as when a bird strikes our windows, necessitating a rescue.  This pine siskin recovered quickly, but many of the birds end up on their backs.  Almost always, if we turn them over and put them in a sunny spot, they survive.  A neighbor of mine told me this may be because birds' lungs collapse easily when the bird is on its back.  By flipping them over, we prevent this from occurring.
Being in the moment allowed me to notice that the bluebirds had returned in search of nesting sites.  This occurred sooner in the month than we expected, requiring a quick fix to our bird boxes that had been gnawed by squirrels last spring.  Thanks to the birder who suggested adding the metal washer - we have seen some ongoing interest, but no nest-building yet.

What is your most satisfying accomplishment thus far in 2019?  Can you "Be the Tapestry?"

Linking to:

I Like Thursday
Saturday's Critters


  1. Such a fun post and hooray for all you're doing. It's not self-serving to right about it at all, it's an inspiration to others. Thanks for joining the Thankful Thursday Blog Hop!

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  2. You are an inspiration for sure, Angie. When we are willing the opportunities will present themselves. Well done with the piano. Thanks for the bird on it's back info. We have been helping out birds that have crashed into our slider! Oye! Poor little creatures. Hope you have a lovely weekend coming up!

  3. You are doing some wonderful things to help people. I like the Munch and Make idea for building community - I think so many are lonely and don't have a lot of connections. Loved hearing you play the piano!

  4. Much and Make. Excellent. We have the same brewer - Rob loves it. I know birds are really sensitive about opening sizes - a difference of a quarter inch can be enough between loving it and not nesting in it. My father has had to add metal shields to prevent chewing, too. I hope the bluebirds come back to nest!

    Lots of good stuff this week!

  5. Hello, you an an inspiration. I have a Mr. coffee maker that just makes 2 cups or 2 mugs, lol. Since retiring I am thinking I need to be more involved, maybe some kind of volunteer work. I feel sorry for the birds that hit my windows. I have moved some and left some, only 1 has died. I enjoyed this post and your photos. Enjoy your day, have a great weekend ahead!

  6. I feel a tinge of guilt that I'm not better at setting goals (and then following through!). You have some very worthy ones listed here. Love the shot of the icicles and that beautiful blue sky!!

  7. Ah, very impressive. I am not charitable minded at all. I volunteer with my son because he is required to at the school he goes to and he needs my help. I saw a coworker at the foodbank a few weeks ago and she was all fired up about it. I saw her again at lunch today and she said that the our company is going to organize 4 hour volunteer sessions after work and at lunch and would I help her organize it. And to her shock, NO, not interested in four hour shifts and not interested otherwise in anything after hours. So I guess I am a terrible person.

    I like your insert about methane emissions and hydrocarbons and all that. Although I will tell you that there is no difference at all between fracked gas and conventional gas, its all the same. Regardless, methane is much worse than co2 ever though of being and should be controlled. The EPA rolled out their so called Quad O regulations to deal with it during the Obama era and despite some grumbling industry had accepted it and was implementing it and our dumbass in chief is trying to dump them. Big mistake!!
    My industry is full of climate change denialist. Anybody who is technically trained recognizes that the greenhouse effect is real. One can quibble about this model and that model and other things that don’t matter but if you have studied the basic theory it is sound.
    Anyway, you are an inspiration and I am a hedonist!!

  8. Good post. You have lots of great goals. I volunteer twice a week, doing respite care. It gives me a purpose.

  9. you an an inspiration.... I am planning to be a volunteer in my community

    have a great day

  10. ...Angie, thanks for linking this wonderful post. You and many others remind me on a constant basis of the 'in my bubble' life I must live. A Cosmopolitan, Game of Thrones are just two of the many things that have never hit my radar screen. Enjoy your weekend.

  11. All your activities to help people sound great. Especially that you teach the pupils some math. Environmental issues are high on topic here right now: on tv and novels as well. I have read a few that sure give ideas and also climate anxiety!

    I love coffee too, but try not to drink too much :) I did not make any new year's resolutions but now that my ankle allows I walk every day!

    Nice playing - keep on rehearsing!

  12. I'm not sure what you mean by bugs in the machine nibbling away at your blog. I've used blogger since 2007 and currently have 1694 posts and all are still there. I do back up my blog monthly just in case I have to reload it some day due to a glitch. Interesting about software that can change a blog into a book. I've been working on a book for about 10 years, but I think using the blog as it is as the basis would be very difficult getting any kind of content to flow. - Margy

  13. Interesting post. I did not know that about poor little birds. I used to volunteer regularly but now not so much. I do some volunteer work online and also donate a lot of stuff to thrift stores. I haven't found the right opportunity around here.

  14. Definitely not tooting your own horn. You are sharing. Sharing is caring. Caring = compassion = inspiration. I really wish it was easier here to donate. There are so many things I would like to do, especially where crochet is concerned. Much easier in the States where systems and organizations are already in place. There's certainly much to be gained from Munch and Make where folks can commune and craft. Environmental issues are definitely on my mind as I see the wastefulness, plastic pollution, clearing of trees and denial by many of what's truly happening to the land and our world. It is imperative that we each do our own part to make a difference any way we possibly can.

  15. Hello, Angie!
    I enjoyed this post and your cute Pine Siskin. It is good to have goals, also nice that you a involved with the environmental issues. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend! PS, thanks so much for leaving me a comment.

  16. Interesting post. I'm so happy that little bird recovered. Sounds like you have a lot of things you are passionate about. That's a good thing.

  17. Your cheerful cross stitch is very cute, Angie. I could have used a person like you as a fifth grader! Finally overcame math/statistics when starting to take the required research courses. Love what you made at the Munch and Make you hung at your fireplace - artsy and bright. Your life sounds "full" - how do you have time left to blog:):) Mine is too full right now, and have to restrain myself to keep my comments short (I failed at this already here, lol). Thank you for linking to All Seasons and have a lovely week, Blog Friend!

  18. A wonderful and inspirational post - you are doing some wonderful things to help people.

    Our local Church has a get-together lunch club that is well attended, and has a good number of volunteers to help run it. It is for older members of the community and it's great that they have the opportunity to get-together have a great lunch and chat … so many of them are on their own.

    Take care, my good wishes.

    All the best Jan

  19. Wonderful post Angie, having your group over to your place certainly does count, we have no idea how getting together in a group helps peoples mental health. People do not always let on how they are coping with life. Keep it up!! I didn't know about the birds, thank you for that. We sometimes have birds flying into our front windows. For 2019 I have been to a stitching weekend that was 1000 km away and had a wonderfult time with blogging friends, I have also made three quilts that will be going to the local hospital for the oncology ward. Not rocket science but it makes me feel good!! 😊😊

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