Sunday, January 31, 2016

Even If

Found 1.29.16 scribbled on a piece of scratch paper in my handwriting.

Even if the walk is
with immeasurable pain,
self-doubt and depression.
Even if life turns out
to have gone 180º
in the opposite direction,
God can be trusted,
even and especially then.

Mundane Living, Little Joys

Homemade snowflakes in "la cocina verde."

January clouds
Boredom grey
Project looms while
Gloom peek-a-boos
‘Round the stairs

Great-grandma's hand sewn quilt made from flour bag scraps of fabric. Mended once by mom before passed down to me. 
Severely pruned chrysanthemums, Grandma's favourite, show new life with robust baby leaves.

Snapchat boy
Details green
Blooms and plants
Says, “Come on, let’s play”
It’s a dare.

Vintage linen reserved for weekends, baking and general cheer.
School calendar, a countdown to Easter, and the last of January blessing prompts.

Housebound mom
Subtle colours
Camera snaps
Mundane living, little joys
And here we share.

- dedicated to Mark

Sombra always looking for another handout.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Intimate Veggie Bake

Fresh today just for two:
Onion, tomato, zucchini, yellow squash, or you can also use eggplant - Slice thin.
After drizzling on olive oil, sprinkle on Italian seasoning, lemon pepper, sea salt, onion & garlic powder. Then add vegan mozzarella to the top. Bake 375 approx 25-30 minutes, depending on how firm you like your veggies. I loved them today al dente.

Verduras Horneadas
Fresco hoy solo para dos:
Cebolla, tomate, calabacín, calabaza amarilla, o también puedes usar berenjena - Todo en rodajas finas.
Después de aliñar con un poco de aceite de oliva, espolvorea el condimento italiano, pimienta de limón, sal marina, y la cebolla y el ajo en polvo. Entonces añade mozzarella vegano.
Hornear 375ºF /190ºC aproximadamente 25-30 minutos, dependiendo de la firmeza con que te gustan las verduras. Me encantaron hoy al dente.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Caritas in Veritatis, Speaking the Truth in Love

Christians can be some of the kindest, most gracious people on the planet, but when it comes to dealing with difficult family situations they hate honest confrontation at all costs. Then, when they are desperately needed to speak out most and battle for good, many lose their nerve, don't feel it's their place or somehow don't think it would be Christian-like to advise another about how to treat his wife and family. This is especially true when it comes to marital difficulties and abuse. And, it's particularly the case with men.

Our wide circle of Christian friends and community at large was oblivious to anything other than the outward appearance of our nice-looking family, active with four wonderful children, all doing interesting things... and when I finally got brave enough to share our troubles, they chose to believe that the ongoing emotional and verbal abuse I had experienced with the children over the years and that had intensified was just a bump in our family road. We all struggle. We all have our demons. In their defence, I myself perpetuated their denial by remaining silent on many occasions. I chose to be as positive as possible in my outward portrayal of my husband and situation. I was naive and firm in my own "trust that God would heal us to a testimonial level". But, obviously, that healing didn't take place.

When I did finally reach out, so stressed and no longer well emotionally, those who knew us and the abuse preferred benign neglect, offerings of prayer and empty consolations to real straight-up talk. Where were those friends, especially those men who my husband might have listened to, when I was in critical need, when he needed to be held accountable with direct confrontation and when our family was desperate for timely intervention? Where was the following conversation?

Don't you see what you're doing? You are going to lose your wife! You have been married almost a quarter of a century and you have both spent your lives creating a family, a legacy. All this time your wife has built you up, encouraged you, given you a good name, home, children and life. Nothing's perfect, but a beautiful mess, a tangle of hope and healing. If you continue, however, in your pride, and your hard-heartedness rules, your family will never be the same.
Choose love. Choose to care for her instead.
Choose to tell her you still love her, whether you feel like it or not at the moment. Fight like a champion for your relationship, for your marriage and children.
Live separately, if you need to, but support her financially as you go through this struggle. Don't abandon her.
Don't punish her. And don't kick her out of the home you've created together! Don't force her to make desperate decisions. She needs you now more than ever.
She is worth it. Love her. Fiercely. Forever.

Last night I watched a video of Paster Saeed's return * to American soil after three unimaginably horrendous years of torture and imprisonment.
"None of us in America can begin to understand or appreciate what Saeed has endured after being imprisoned in Iran because of his Christian faith," Franklin Graham, head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, said in a statement.
* I believe this is Saeed Abedini's sister, not his wife, Nagmeh, in the video.

I can never imagine walking in Saeed's footsteps. Only God knows his and their pain, their struggles. In the end only God can heal. I've prayed for Saeed almost daily during these last three years. I've posted things on my facebook wall, have a photo of Nagmeh and children on my computer and have been distressed that Obama and the US Administration would strike a deal with Iran while American citizens, Saeed and three other American prisoners languished, near death sometimes, in prison.

Then, last week I read of Nagmeh's private confession of abuse within her marriage that unfortunately became public. I immediately understood her unwillingness to speak out openly and her experiencing anguish over how to stop the abuse and make a stand for change. You know, a woman's bravery can end a marriage. I trembled to think of her first steps toward healing and the repercussions and began to pray for her and those around her.

Before going to bed I scrolled through hundreds of comments about this looking for one Christian man that confronted this situation directly and honestly. There are many things I might not understand, but I simply want to ask the community around this precious family to boldly speak the truth in love, starting with my personal plea:

Dear Pastor Saeed,
We all care so much about you and your family. Do you see what is happening? You might lose your wife! You have been married all this time and through the most terrible of circumstances and your wife has stood by you, fought and lived for you. 
All this time your wife has built you up, given you a good name, children and a life together. Not perfect, but a beautiful mess, a tangle of hope and healing. If you continue unchanged, however, your family will never be the same.
Choose love. Choose to care for her.
Choose to tell her you still love her, whether you feel like it or not at the moment. Fight like a champion for your relationship, for your marriage and children.
Live separately, if you need to, but support her as you go through this struggle. Don't abandon her! Don't punish her! Don't force her to make desperate decisions. She needs you now more than ever. She is worth it.  Love her. Fiercely. Forever.
Thank you and God bless you.

Best articles on the situation - A Final Word on Saeed AbediniAs my friend, Moorea, said, "Go Dark and Keep Praying.
Naghmeh Abedini reveals why she filed a domestic relations case against Pastor Saeed

Friday, January 15, 2016

First Feis

Ten years ago today Mark, his three older siblings and mom danced their first Irish Feis (dance competition.) After he saw Michael Flatley his enthusiasm led us all to sign up to learn to reel and jig together. To Mark and dancing to this day. 

Hace diez años Mark, sus tres hermanos y su madre compitieron en su primer Feis, competición de Danza Irlandesa. Después de que Mark vio Michael Flatley su entusiasmo nos contagió a todos y nos apuntamos a aprender a danzar el carrete y plantilla todos juntos. Para Mark y la danza que no para.

Thursday, January 14, 2016


As a result of tenaciously connecting in the cyberworld when possible with my kids I've began reading the Instagram posts a young travel writer and Executive Editor @Wilderness magazine, Jedediah Jenkins (I don't know if that's his real or pseudonym.) He is poignant, witty and linguistically clever, all of which make me appreciate his photo commentaries sufficiently to take the time to read them in my pitiable shortage of free time.  

"The economics of scarcity: the less of something there is, the more precious it becomes. Time..."

I 'd continue by saying that now time spent with those I love is the most important thing ever.

I wait for those split seconds. 

I save those photos and remember. 
Sometimes they make me sad, really sad instead of happy because they are simply that, 
a photoshoot moment that I insisted on, or a maybe second when we all looked happier than we felt. Still, and this is the important thing, we were together in that second.
And, regardless, I'm grateful for that.

"How wild is a photo? It captures all the light in a moment of time, and lays it flat to stare at. The opposite of life:  it does not move or change. It says look, it was like this once, for a split second, and never will be again."

Ed Sheeran song, Photograph,
We keep this love in a photograph
We made these memories for ourselves
Where our eyes are never closing
Hearts are never broken
Times forever frozen still.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Remembering Leon's Kings on Kings' Day

Every January 6th (Epiphany), the festival of the The Three Wise Men, or Three Kings, is celebrated in the Basilica of San Isidoro with a high mass and responsal remembering the Kings of León, many whose remains are resting in the Kings' Pantheon. Enrique, together with the other members of The Very Illustrious, Royal and Imperial Brotherhood of the Miraculous Banner of Saint Isidoro, organize this mass every year led by the Bishop of León and sung by the Isidoriana Choir.

Cada 6 de enero (Epifanía), festividad de los Reyes Magos, se celebra misa solemne y responso por los reyes de León en la Basilica de San Isidoro, en cuyo Panteón de Reyes descansan los restos de muchos de ellos. Enrique, junto con los otros miembros de La Muy Ilustre, Real e Imperial Cofradía del Milagroso Pendón de San Isidoro organiza, como cada año, esta misa presidida por el Obispo de León y cantada por la Coral Isidoriana.

The brotherhood was founded by Emperor Alfonso VII of León the year 1147, (the only crowned emperor in the history of the Iberian Peninsula). It is the oldest brotherhood still in existence today in its native land. I never knew about brotherhoods until coming to Spain. They were the imaginary stuff of films like National Treasure. There's not even a good translation for the word, Cofradría. So, I didn't realise the historical significance, the rich beauty of hundreds of years of culture and tradition. There are no words to express how this is a most singular experience.

La "Muy Ilustre, Real e Imperial Cofradía del Milagroso Pendón de San Isidoro",  fue fundada en el año 1147 por Alfonso VII de León, el Emperador, (único emperador coronado en toda la historia de la península).  Es la Cofradía más antigua de las existentes en la actualidad en todo el territorio español. Nunca sabía de cofradías antes de venir a España. Eran como fantasías de película, como National Treasure. Ni siquiera existe una buena traducción para la palabra "cofradía."  Por eso, no entendía el significado histórico y la rica belleza de cientos de años de cultura y tradición. Me faltan palabras expresar que, desde luego, esta es una experiencia única.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

San Wich

Con tantos santos que no se nos olvide San Wich (Sandwich).
With so many saints we can't forget Saint (San) dWich.

Sunday, January 3, 2016