Monday, October 24, 2011

kitchen day

Ahh, Central New York has apples, so many kinds of lovely apples. . .and I have memories of our orange Fiat, full of windfall apples in Oregon and crates of apples in Zacatlan de las manzanas in Mexico-years and years ago.
So-it's nice to spend all day in the kitchen. . . well, not every day-but from time to time, especially when there are at least 2 cooks, each focused on her recipe; then over a coffee good talk fills in the cracks.
Abi and I spent one entire day in the kitchen. . .we baked scones in the morning for tea guests, and in the afternoon she baked 3 loaves of bread while I cooked up 2 different soups- Abi's kitchen has just one pot large enough for soup. (we are resourceful women)
Then we took a break from the kitchen and delivered 1 soup and 2 breads to a friend who has a new baby; finally we sat down-and ate the other soup and bread.
But the pinnacle of our kitchen day was Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake-here. it was so good, chunks of apple rolled into a cardamom yeast dough.
So, if you like apple and sweet bread. . . carry on!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

a carpet and a quote. . .

The leaves make a carpet. . .and one day over lunch, we purused quotes by G..K. Chesterton--here's a favorite . .

Feminism is mixed up with a muddled idea that women are free
when they serve their empl0yers but slaves when they help their husbands.

Monday, October 17, 2011

one about focus. . .

brown eyes, blue eyes

I'm trying to become a better photographer. . . Florence and her sweet Mama make a lovely subject, don't you think? So, I'm practicing with aperture and shutter speed, attempting to figure out lighting and focus-I'm working at it.
And I'm studying for a teaching opportunity at the end of the month. Think biblically, I scribbled at the top of my page. Biblical thinking is a lot like focus with my camera. Sometimes the wrong image is in focus, the bush rather than the boy- sometimes everything is out of focus- Blurry! I notice how my camera focuses on what appears to be the prominent image--but really, I need to tell it where to focus!
Likewise, by thinking biblically, I'm telling the lense of my mind where to focus. . .I choose to view my circumstances through the lense of the gospel, remembering that I've been redeemed wtih the precious blood of Christ, He loved me and delivered himself up for me!
And I view my life through the lense of eternityItalic-set your mind on the things above where Christ is. . .and through the lense of truth, God's Word-for the grass withers and the flowers fade, but the Word of God endures forever-

Hmm. . .so we'll see where this takes me--with my camera, with the teaching topic at hand-and in my life, amid it all. . .where I chose to focus the lense of my mind.

We make it our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to the Lord (2 cor 5:9)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Sink Room

I love to have people in for visits and overnights. I tell them, "Overnight at the Newton's is a bit like camping." (mmm, I just need to say it. . .)

I arrived in New York on Friday while Abi and Nathaniel were hosting out of town guests; so I spent a night with Jeremy and Lucinda, on the hill in the big yellow house. I slept in the sink room.

I climbed the stairs with Lucinda and peeked in the doorway--windows and light, lace, a curved wooden bed frame, an arching lamp with a little table beside- and of course, a tiny sink at one end of the room, just right for washing up.

I think the sink room is perfect - well, not a perfect magazine kind of room. . .a lovely room in an old house, with vestiges of 12 children who filled it, grew up and went away.

I wonder if Lucinda is ever tempted to add a postscript, "Overnight at our place is a bit like camping."

(Really, friend, overnight at your place is lovely)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

brother banter

Yesterday I arrived in New York- I'm visiting Nathaniel, Abigail, and sweet Florence; tomorrow we'll drive to Vermont for a family wedding and I'll see autumn in the Northeast-for the first time!
But I'll miss the 24 hour bicycle race in Texas next weekend- my boys are competing in the race. (sometimes it seems like my children perform their lives on revolving stages. . .)
Think about it, mountain biking for 24 hours, in the dark-it's crazy, but they love it.

Recently John and I spent the weekend with these 2 -they're hungry to win. I overheard them talking about the other brother,

"Tell him to eat more meat- he better bring his A-game to the team or we'll replace. . ."
Then I remembered years of loving exhortation - Boys, encourage each other, don't cut your brother down, no sarcasm, don't choke your brother, love each other. . . (back then was my voice sweet?)
And now they're grown men- still brothers, still a team. . .
I"m glad-

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

make no provision

The women at Tuesday Bible study answered the question, How does God provide help for every woman's struggle against sin? "Put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh in regards to its desires." (Romans 13:14)

"So, how do you make provision for the flesh? And how do you make NO provision for the flesh?" I asked.
A vigorous discussion insued. It was really good, a worthy pursuit. (no wonder I never make it to the end of a lesson. . .)
And throughout the week the question and application resurfaced-over lunch on Tuesday, during a skype conversaton on Wednesday, over coffee at my house on Thursday, at a fast food restaurant on Friday, in an email correspondence, again and again- How do you make no provison . . . it wasn't the other women who needed application and encouragement-it was me, really.
It all begins in my mind, maybe like this. . . my married children all have wonderful new families (but I have to learn to share). I'm tempted to think, "Ah-again, my daughter is spending time with that other family. . .they've forgotten us." I wallow in my mind. I'm filled with envy in a heartbeat-I crash over the cliff.
(and of course, I can choose to make no provision- by believing the best, by being thankful that they have new families who love them. . .)
Ah, yes, every woman struggles against sin . . . But Jesus, "He can sympathize with all our weaknesses; he has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, to receive mercy and grace to help in time of need." (Heb 4:14-16)
Lord, this is one of my times of need . . .

Monday, October 3, 2011

assembly required

When you must rip out knitting-and sometimes you must. . . then the yarn looks like ramen noodles-til you knit it up again, or throw it in the trash, or give it to your darling grandson to trot around in his pocket.
So, I've ripped this little boy vest-ripped 3 times and started again with renewed confidence.
One day I was ripping and muttering.
John said,"Knitting--assembly required!"
I kept ripping.
"That's a joke. . .you're suppose to smile." he said.
he makes me smile- and this post is for Rachel, who faithfully rips to create something more beautiful!