Sunday, December 29, 2013

Gratitude jar

(source: farthest trackback I found was 28 Days of Gratitude, but she says she found it elsewhere but doesn't list a source. Thank you, OP.)

Gonna start doing this. I think it's super important to also document things to be able to find them during the year -- thus the blog, which is more searchable than tracking back thru FB or a handwritten journal, but a year's summation of good times and moments sounds incredible.

Happy 2014!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Love languages

I know Gary Chapman says the love languages are quality time, acts of service, physical touch, giving gifts, and... ummm...
...words of encouragement! That's it! (Came up with those out of my head; very pleased I didn't have to look them up.)

But I submit to you there are at least two more love languages. For example, Big Frog's mom's primary love language is quantity time -- not necessarily doing something or having an experience or going somewhere, just being physically together. Words are not even necessary; being in the same room and each, separately, reading a book is just fine. That's quantity time.

I recently discovered in myself just how strong my Chinese grandma love language is. This arguably could be any culture in the world: Yiddish, for example, or German, or Polish, or Italian. I have had grandmas of many different heritages1 and all of them speak the all-important love language of food.

1 We lived geographically far from our biological grandparents, so we adopted local grands -- people we knew from my parents' work, from the neighborhood, etc. We had literally dozens of grands.

I also grew up in a food culture of the family table, everyone tries some of everything off everybody's plate. It's by request and exchange, we're not reaching forks across the table to spear our favorites or anything, but Big Frog did not have that experience growing up. So when we eat out, I usually want a bite of his whatever, which he gladly2 gives, but he usually resists trying mine.

2 Or at least graciously.

Just yesterday, at Purple Fiddle, he didn't want to try my apple-turkey-pesto-hummus sandwich and I was forced to remind him, "Ily food!"

And then today at Tip Top Cafe, he gently declined to taste yet again. I had a brioche bun with, among other things, local proscuitto, provolone, leeks, and morels. And Big Frog said, "No thanks," yet again. He is polite, I'll give you that.

But this sandwich was amazing. Yesterday's sandwich was amazing. How can you turn this down? This IS the good stuff!

So I had a little outburst:

Why are you fighting me on this? It's like God's hot pocket!

He tried the sandwich.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


I commend to you NPR's recent interview on on Paper Sons.

I also highly recommend The Chinese-American Family Album, which is in a line of different cultures' American family albums: Jewish, Irish, Italian, German, African-American, etc.

Tangenially, on other aspects of the Chinese immigration/assimilation experience, I love the kids' novel In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson, which is about an 8yo (10 by Chinese reckoning) who immigrates to the states and has to learn what it means to be American without losing being Chinese.

Graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang's American Born Chinese (ABC) weaves three stories about family and heritage, and his Level Up is about parental expectation and personal preference for second-generation ABCs.
Personally speaking, when my grandfather was finally able to come clean about his identity, he got a declaration page that something like seven different aliases would all be known as R____.

Over the course of time, my mom and every one of her sibs actually had their names changed to add in the true family name. Some added it as a middle name, others as a surname.

Dads are important.

Mine has been married to my mom for 46 years.

He worked hard to provide for the family for 29 1/2 years at his first job out of college. And when corporate decided that he was expendable, he worked contract engineering jobs until he found a place to stay for 10 more years until he retired.

There are a lot of times when he and I don't speak the same language, let alone love language, but he's my dad, and my personal PR person (to the point of embarrassment), and always a wonderful supporter. When I was little, we built (OK, assembled, but I was 4) metal bookshelves together for the basement. He came on school field trips with me. He still drives me to the airport whenever I need to fly out of DC (and I leave my car at my parents' house instead of in long-term parking). And just ask him about interpreted theater... no matter that it took four years of "Your oldest child! Your only daughter!" to convince him to come up to see me interpret a show, he now raves about the experience to anyone who will listen.

We had an interesting conversation recently on encouraging in a way that encourages rather than expects overmuch... (there were kleenex involved, on one side anyways)... but for "all the daddies with little girls who aren’t old enough yet to ask for what they need from you", I encourage you to read What Little Girls Wish Daddies Knew.

source: My baby book! Ostensibly mom took it.

Note to self... hopefully I'll remember for next Christmas

image source: GeekMom Lisa Kay Tate.

1) On gilding gifties. Take pre-loved toys, clean 'em up good, and SPRAY PAINT THEM. Brilliant. I want a shiny silver steggy. Someone get on that. Bring on the glitter glue.

2) Gift exchange at a distance -- gather the family via Skype, adults on both ends make cocktails, kids at each location read out to whom the gift goes, unwrap on their behalf, and then mail later. That makes so much sense. Any excuse to see cousins, even via screen.

News & Notes 2013

Because I use this to track things, I wanted to throw my newsletter online. But because it is a public blog, I've redacted News & Notes. I'm not quite sure what I think about that.

Merry Christmas!
I find I want to greet with "He is risen!" which traditionally is an Easter greeting, but honestly, if Jesus is not risen, there's no reason for him to have come at Christmas.
In light of that, "He is risen indeed!"

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

My 2014 goal: Filled to the full, so walk worthy.

Colossians 1:9-16 AMP

For this reason we also, from the day we heard of it, have not ceased to pray and make [special] request for you, [asking] that you may be filled with the full (deep and clear) knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom [in comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God] and in understanding and discernment of spiritual things– That you may walk (live and conduct yourselves) in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him and desiring to please Him in all things, bearing fruit in every good work and steadily growing and increasing in and by the knowledge of God [with fuller, deeper, and clearer insight, acquaintance, and recognition]. [We pray] that you may be invigorated and strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory, [to exercise] every kind of endurance and patience (perseverance and forbearance) with joy, Giving thanks to the Father, Who has qualified and made us fit to share the portion which is the inheritance of the saints (God's holy people) in the Light. [The Father] has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, In Whom we have our redemption through His blood, [which means] the forgiveness of our sins. [Now] He is the exact likeness of the unseen God [the visible representation of the invisible]; He is the Firstborn of all creation. For it was in Him that all things were created, in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, whether thrones, dominions, rulers, or authorities; all things were created and exist through Him [by His service, intervention] and in and for Him.

(emphasis mine)

Monday, December 23, 2013

ASL storytelling

I've got a surprise for you:

That was the good surprise. Here's the shocker, though:
Rhymes don't mean anything in ASL.
Mother Goose?
The rhythm and cadence of "Jack and Jill went up the hill" kind of gets lost in JACK (sign-spell-sign to establish a namesign) JILL (sign-spell-sign) HILL GO WALK.
This is not to say that they don't sign the children's poems. They are part of the larger cultural experience. But poetry in ASL is a visual experience, not an auditory one.

As Hermione told Ron re Beedle the Bard, Muggles have entirely different stories. (I am not saying Deaf are Muggles. In fact, the Hearies are probably the Muggles in this analogy, in not knowing about an entire society that exists right within the larger community.)

When I first studied ASL, we learned several children's stories from within Deaf culture. For example, TRAIN STORY tells of a wild west train ambush, all by using the handshapes for the numbers 1-15 in order. (The first version of the story I learned, the white people surrender to the Native Americans. Later I learned a version in which the calvary swoops in and capture the Native Americans. Revisionist history?) We also did MAGIC POT to work on classifiers, using handshapes to illustrate size and motion. (Even without ASL, use your hands to show me the size & shape of a baseball. A basketball looks different, although it also is a ball. A high-bounce ball you'd probably only use one hand to show me the shape. A marble, maybe only two fingers.)
Meet Sheena. She's 4yo and Deaf-of-Deaf. She is Deaf and her mother is Deaf. (Approx 90% of Deaf people are born to hearing people.) (And when Deaf have a Deaf child, there is rejoicing to have a child who is "like us". Like recognizing a family nose.)

She tells Twas the Night Before Christmas in full ASL (her native language). Please read this article before you watch the video. It will help you appreciate the linguistic complexity of what this little girl is doing.

Thanks to Tim for the find!

P.S. This spring's CVHS musical is Children of Eden, a retelling of the Adam & Eve, and Noah's Ark stories. It is a Bible-as-literature version, not a Christian perspective. A lot of fun, but we'll set aside the theology of it. Interpreted matinee Tues 4/8/2014.


me: Big Frog, how was Saturday #2?
Big Frog: It was great!
me: And what's tomorrow?
Big Frog: Saturday!
me: How many Saturdays do we get?
Big Frog: LOTS!!
It's a whole other world here.


Big Frog is drinking a beer-you-can-chew (that's how I describe anything in the same vein as Guinness) from a mason jar, in front of a door with a stained glass window mended by duct tape, in front of a cafe stage. We are loving The Purple Fiddle.
Found a new cool group: Loves It. Folk-rock. Super fun. Two guitars, also sometimes violin and banjo. Big Frog is rubbing off on me. I really enjoyed their opening number, Katydid, and also a new, unrecorded song ("Lay it"... I think), which has an amazing boogie-woogie bass line on blues guitar.

They have been touring constantly for three years. Their goal was 200 gigs/year for two years. Tonight was the last of a very long run.
(Also, they had tees with glow-in-the-dark dinosaurs at their merch table.)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

My new favorite tap video.

I don't know what I love most about this.
Could be the style of tap.
Could be this cover of the song.
Could be the syncronicity.
Could be the vintage look.
Could be the triptych.
Could be a latent love of Gap ads.

Doesn't matter.

I. Love. This. Video.
(When I grow up, I wanna tap like her.)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Family history of bargain shopping (and hoarding).

Hoarder tendencies can be explained by a lot of things. My mom, for example, has lots of stuff, but she can find just about anything you need at the drop of a hat. She is one serious recycler, which is to say, reuser/repurposer. One time she was asked for coffee cans for a project... she came up with close to 40 cans of the right size, even though no one in our household drank coffee!

Her parents, my GungGung & PorPor, came to the States prior to Mao coming to power in China. And they raised five kids (born within a 6 1/2 year span) without a dollar of government welfare. Families sponsored other family members to come to the States and housed them as they learned a trade until they could stand on their own two feet. My mom remembers having as many as 17 people living in their home, above the Chinese hand laundry. To say they lived frugally is an extraordinary understatement.

source: Eugene Leong. Photo from 1951.

Also, some photos of old photos1 of the extended family, including my mom's parents. This one is GungGung & PorPor at mom's brother's wedding, 1971.

1 Album is on snapfish. You will need a (free) login & password to access the family photos

Recently I asked my mom if she had any index card file boxes. She found three of her parents', and we found a treasure trove in them.
All this was in three index card boxes! I was expecting to find recipes, or perhaps just empty boxes.

Typeface. These were bundled up like a small pile of matchsticks in a tiny square of cellophane. I asked mom, but she didn't know anyone who actually had a printing press. Murg thought they were typewriter letters to swap out. It wasn't until we unbundled them that he realized what a laborious process printing was. These make me glad to live in an era of blogging.

A size comparison w/ galena & silicon. Don't you have mineral samples around your house for this? Mom actually used to work at Cranbrook Institute of Science, which has a fabulous rocks and minerals display, and a better public display than the Smithsonian puts out. FWIW, the galena weighed about the same as the typeface, and each weighed about 20x what the silicon weighed. Size aside, the density difference was remarkable.

Gung Gung's pincushion. He was a man whose faith could move mountains. And what an evangelist -- I remember him sitting me down to show me how the Chinese characters for man appear in come2 -- a cross on which was a big man in the middle, and a smaller man on either side. A picture of the crucifixion. My Sunday School kids also get GungGung stories about snakes, figs, and faith on a regular basis. Jesus Saves indeed.

2 Come.

source: left:; right:

Frog buttons from where? and when?: These wired frogs (frog buttons is redundant, but makes for greater clarity) are so much prettier than western buttons (although my knitting friend Dee gets some pretty nifty ones, like the Legos she put on a pair of mittens recently). The fasteners are frogs, regardless of the shape of them. These particular ones are frogs shaped like butterflies.
Interesting bit about these frogs. First notice they're from Toronto. I asked mom when her parents would have been in Toronto. She said they were back and forth across the border all the time. Sure, but that was when they lived in Detroit. My grandparents moved from Detroit to the San Francisco area before I was born. Then take a look at that phone number! There's an exchange on that phone number. So these frogs are at least 50 years old.

Mom says her parents were big on finding "good deals". Then they'd tuck them away and find a use for them later. Well, even years after they went home to Jesus, their treasures made for a delightful evening of discovery and storytelling for my family.

This kid thought his parents were breaking up after 20 years, but he was wrong.

I used to listen to Snap Judgement on NPR every week on the way over to meeting with my mentors on Sunday evening. Tiny changes can effect huge differences. This story was voted the 2012 Snap Judgement top performance. Powerful stuff.
My parents celebrated 46 years married this past summer. Big Frog's celebrated 51 years in the spring. We're both grateful for their example of longevity and perserverance.

Also, when our 2002 Saturn SL2 topped 200k in May 2012, we made a special both-of-us excursion in which we sang 500 Miles by The Proclaimers, held our breath in the last mile or so, topped 200k, and celebrated with ice cream. Yay us!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Yarnflower: Forever Blooming

To make: Forever Blooming Flowers. Thanks to Joyful Darkness for the pattern.

Source: The Crochet Crowd

What a creative God we serve!

10 Macro Photos of Individual Snowflakes

Anyone want one?

Nameplate, anyone? Completely customizable. Made using my 3Doodler, in this case using glow-in-the-dark blue extruded plastic.

I've worked out my system & am enjoying making these... now all I need is a marketable name. And to figure out etsy. And to figure out a packing-shipping system, because they're definitely too big for the small flat-rate boxes. But other than that.

In other words, nothing is figured out yet. But if you're local (-ish, or local to my parents) and are interested in throwing money at me, I accept.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Dream big! (And tell Santa. Just in case.)

O Canada!

Westjet Airlines put an interactive Santa in their terminal, then fulfilled gift requests at the baggage claim at the end of the flight! (Full article in The Huffington Post)

Also, an outtakes reel. I particularly like Santa's response when, at 1:55, a woman requests a pair of warm socks.
I'm also delighted to be involved in redditgifts' 2013 Secret Santa gift exchange, making a stranger's day as part of a 160+ country, 110k+ Santas exchange. It's more than doubled in size since last year's, which was itself, a Guinness World Record exchange. If you get right on it, the redditgifts Holiday Cards 2013 exchange is still open for signups thru Thursday, December 12!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Steggy got yarnbombed at Cranbrook Institute of Science, in Bloomfield Hills Michigan. Mom used to work there and we always visited, every time we went to Detroit.

To add to my project list: Dino hat, with spikes, with this as the base hat.

Or maybe this Steggy hat?

Monday, December 2, 2013

My parents used to be my age.

Sometimes it's particularly good to be a firstborn.

Over Thanksgiving at my parents' I went digging through old photo albums. Among other things, I found my baby book and my younger brother's. Let's just say mine is significantly more filled-in than his.

That being said, my parents had other "loaner" kids before they had me and my brother. Much like my hubby and I are involved in our godkids' lives on an active basis, my parents loved to love on their nieces and nephews. One summer they had cousin Optimista & her brother L over for a whopping seven weeks. A few photos are here. (It's a snapfish album. You will need a (free) login and password to view.)

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Monkeys & typewriters

Dilbert, 5/15/1989

Honest congrats to all participants in this year's Nanowrimo, no matter whether you hit your goal or just made progress on particular projects.

I don't think this of your work.  You rock, authors!  My brother showed me this strip today in context of my 3Doodler art which, as I told him, I spent minutes perfecting, and I just fell out!

When pictograms fail

Pearls Before Swine, 6/23/2013.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Incredibly high expectations, or "I think you're just that good."

My dad is a groupie.
And when he latches on to a group, they're stuck with him, for good or ill. He is your most passionate unpaid PR guy.
I just need to learn how to communicate with him so I feel encouraged by his zealotry instead of crushed by overwhelming exectations. For example:

The Tap Pups: LIVE dvds finally came in from this past year's spring show. (The show was June 29, and dad's queries about when to expect the dvds started in July.) Vicki blessed us with the opportunity to share our first viewing together; often there's a bus trip or similar and we can see watch the previous year's show on the way up. This year, without having a road trip in the plans (for the week of Thanksgiving, no less), she rented Midtown Cinema and we got to see ourselves on the big screen. (Great new tradition! Sure hope we do that every year!)

Dad was beyond delighted to get his own copy of the DVD this year. My parents purchased one for themselves because 1) their oldest child, their only daughter, was in five dances plus the opening number, and 2) last year the whole borrowing-my-copy thing, which had worked in previous years, went sadly awry and there was much indignation about who had it when in its circuit thru MD, never mind that I-the-owner had it for a week before ceding it at Thanksgiving and getting it back at EOPS.

Dad's favorite dance of all time is Acapella. Which is, admittedly, fabulous and one of my favorites as well.
But his question to me about it was:

Did you memorize it?

By which he meant, "You could throw that down, right here, right now, couldn't you? Of course you could."
He knows I'm not in Advanced. It doesn't seem to matter.
My stupefied, dumbfounded, spluttery response was, "How? From seeing it?"
Dad, cool as a cucumber, pointed out that

"One" you knew even before you were at that level.

Somehow he missed, in all the conversations he and I had leading up to the show, that we worked our brains out for One. We worked our butts off for One. And those of us who learned it new for the 2013 show danced full-out but very much tucked away in the corner of the back row. And we still felt a HUGE sense of accomplishment just at that. For me it was an incredibly emotional experience.

Vicki, you have been warned. The bar is set very high. Evidently the Tap Pups are so good that people in the stands now think we learn by osmosis.

I better practice some more. That helicopter step in this year's piece...

I better practice some more.

Thursday, November 28, 2013


We skip the whole Thanksgiving travel headache by waiting until most people are already with their families to embark. The geography of our family works out well that way. This year that also meant we missed traveling in snow. Ain't God good?

So we took on a new Adventure, capital "A" Adventure, in our Thanksgiving leadup. (Our godkids, when they hang out with us, don't necessarily come over to our house, or go to the same place, so every time is an "Adventure with Auntie Middle Frog & Uncle Big Frog".) We had the kids, M&D, aged 5&3, stay at our place overnight.

My mom has always maintained, since I was little and asking if I could sleep over at a friend's or have them sleep over, that such an event is not a sleepover but a stayover. Sleep is not a priority. But fun is!

Some highlights included:
  • Making monkey bread in the crockpot. They were very excited about it at the making stage, and not at all interested in eating it in the morning. Curious.
  • "Building" a bed. When I told him that was our next project, he wanted wood and a hammer. What I meant was inflating the airbed. No matter. Big hit regardless.
  • Classic family film: SpaceCamp. Hadn't seen it in years, but I loved it as a kid. With the kids' interest in astronomy and aeronautics, it was a huge hit. Bonus: Did you know Joachim Phoenix was in it? That was back when he went by Leaf. And Kate Capshaw (Willie Scott in Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom). And Lea Thompson (Kate Kennish in Switched at Birth; Lorraine Baines McFly in Back to the Future). And Kelly Preston.
  • Watching the Macy's parade in the morning, and talking about balloons so big that they need dozens of people to keep them from flying away. (resource: Geekmom article -- Did you know you can see the balloons being inflated the night before the parade?)
Big bonus: Kids got a full night's sleep, albeit skewed from their normal sleeing times, and they woke up happy in the morning. Win and win.

All in all, a huge success. And we would do it again. But not tomorrow... or next week... When we told some friends that we were hosting an overnight for our godkids, we got such responses as, "Testing the water?" And we really do love our littles. But we're still at the catch-and-release point in our lives.

Saturday, November 23, 2013


Safford's Millionaire University - 7h straight of Tom Safford (who was recently highlighted in Primerica's Freedom Lives Here blog).
Here are a few of the things that most struck me.

One can affect many.

Affirmations re imprinting:
My mind is a tape recorder.
My mind is a sponge.
My mind is a copy machine.

All riches and all material things that anyone acquires thru self-effort begins in the form of a clear, concise mental picture of the thing one seeks. (CCMP)

All means ALL. All riches. All things.
Anyone. Not all white people or all old people or all ___. All means all.
Begins: starts, forms
Clear not fuzzy. Concise, shouldn't take you forever to explain. Mental picture, staring at you all the time.

The common denominator of success -- the secret of success of every man who has ever been successful -- lies in the fact that he formed the habit of doing things that failures don't like to do. ~Albert Gray, The Common Denominator of Success

There are only two kinds of habits: good ones and bad ones. You need to learn to maximize your good ones or your bad ones will kill you. ~Saff's advice to each of his grands when they turned 18

The first step towards wealth is the most difficult. Consequently most don't take it. Most don't have a plan for wealth, therefore they get mediocrity or normalcy at best and oftentimes poverty.
(Wealth is not just in $$ -- wealth is in all areas of life: spiritual, physical, emotional, relational, etc.)

Manage the moments, not the day.
Plan your day in 15min increments.

Excel and max out in whatever talent God has given you.

Dream while it isn't working.

Every adversity carries within it the seed of equivalent or greater benefit.
Your responsibility now is to discover what's the equiv benefit.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Take this candle. Light it. And pray.

source: The Christmas Candle Facebook page

Go see The Christmas Candle right away.

Opening weekend. Make time. THIS Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

I can count on ONE FINGER how many movies I've seen in theaters since last Thanksgiving. And that movie is Les Mis, which I've since seen at Toby's, twice, live theater. (Read about that here and here.) So when I tell you to go see The Christmas Candle right away, you need to understand the urgency I'm putting behind it. Coming from a girl who waits for movies to come to dvd, and then further waits in the "library netflix" (holds) queue to see things months, even years after they were at peak popularity, this is a really big deal.

Our church, New Covenant Fellowship (PCA), was honored to host an advance screening of The Christmas Candle, followed by a Q&A session with the CEO of the production company, former Senator Rick Santorum. The Christmas Candle will open in approximately 400 theaters in the US and UK on Friday. In Central PA, it will be playing in three locations, the Regal Cinemas in Harrisburg, Lancaster, and York. (Harrisburgers, that's the theater at Harrisburg (East) Mall.) A complete list of theaters is available online. Let's fill the movie theaters. Request the film come to more locations as well! I am dismayed that there is not one single theater in the whole state of Maryland that is playing it opening weekend. EDIT: In Maryland, it opens Friday at the Regal in Silver Spring, although the movie website does not list it. I also recognize that there is a higher-budget, better-advertised, post-apocalyptic, dystopian-society movie also releasing on Friday. That is all the more reason why we need to rally behind The Christmas Candle. Dollars talk in changing how Hollywood sees faith and culture. On a frigid Wednesday evening, our sanctuary was packed. I talked with people who traveled 90 minutes just to see this film. Think about how our communities would be different if our church pews were filled like this every Sunday, and then we went out to love and serve the least and the lost. (Thinking is a start. Then we all have to DO something about it!)

All worship services should be SRO: Standing Room Only. photo: Lisa Yee Swope

photo: PennLive

photo: Jeff Coleman

What if the movie theaters were packed to Standing Room Only for a movie that celebrates miracles?
What if people stopped cursing the darkness and started lighting candles?
What does faith look like, lived out?
How does love show up on your hands and feet to serve others?

In The Christmas Candle, a priest leaves his work with the London poor when he is called to serve in a tiny town. The villagers expect him to preach all through Advent about the expected miracle: that as has happened once every 25 years for the past two centuries, a single candle will be touched by an angel and will grant a Christmas miracle, a direct answer to the prayer of the bearer. But in a modern, 1890's world, an electrical and steam-powered world, the progressive new minister wants to end this fairy tale and see instead the miracle to take on human form, acts of kindness and good deeds. Then God steps in. And God's ways are indeed exceedingly, abundantly, beyond all we ask or imagine.

source: The Christmas Candle Facebook page

There is so much symbolism to candles. A few near and dear to my heart include:
  • My childhood advent calendar. I used the same one for advent scriptures every year growing up, and the very first day was Isaiah 9:2. "The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned."
  • The opening of the gospel of John. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." This also was the first of Mrs Who's quotation in A Wrinkle in Time that I could identify the source.
  • Hanukkah. A single night's oil burned for eight nights, long enough for more oil to be pressed for use at the temple. Don't let the Light go out (Peter, Paul & Mary).
  • In a similar Jewish vein, the Sabbath Prayer song from Fiddler on the Roof. "May the Lord protect and defend you..."
  • Matthew 5:14-16 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father."

Who else might enjoy The Christmas Candle?
  • Max Lucado readers -- he wrote the book upon which the movie is based.
  • Les Mis fans -- Samantha Barks, who played Eponine in the movie version, plays the antagonist-slash-love-interest. In fact, the night after she sang at the Oscars, she was in the Cotswolds to start filming.
  • Susan Boyle fans -- not only is this her acting debut, she also sings the theme song, which is also featured on her newest CD.
  • Downton Abbey viewers -- as I understand it, all the costumes are not replicas but are original to the time period. They are gorgeous1.
  • Christmas movie lovers!
1 Except for some of the vestments, which within the movie one of the parishoners lovingly crafted with more enthusiasm than...taste. Our pastor remarked that he was glad that we didn't didn't use vestments in our congregation. So really, all I need is ONE Lutheran or Episcopalian congregation or priest who's got ONE extra... outfit? robe and stole? I don't even know the words! for THIS Sunday. Any takers?
What if people stopped cursing the darkness and started lighting candles?

Go see The Christmas Candle. And please, tell others. Let's change the way Hollywood sees faith and families.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Live theater

You know you're a theater lover in a theater-loving town when the final announcement before the start of Les Mis, on closing night, in a sold out, absolutely packed house is,

"Please refrain from singing along.
We know you have the score memorized
and you sing it all the time
at home, in the car, and in the shower,
but you did not practice with us."

Without caveats like the one above, I have no doubt things like THIS AWESOMENESS would happen.

Kudos to Toby's for a fabulous, beyond fabulous run.
(Javert still had the Best. Death. Scene. Ever.)
Interviews "Beyond the Barricade at Toby's" from DC Metro Theater Arts. Links to the full series
I particularly commend to you Part 4: The Boys of the Barricade and Part 8: Javert, played by Larry Munsey

Saturday, November 9, 2013

~ ♥ ~

Heart Rose
I made this more difficult for myself by not learning it with regular yarn. Honestly, as much as I love the look of all the fancy and vareigated yarns, I work best with just-plain-yarn. But here I used RedHeart Symphony, which I assumed would be more like Homespun but which turns out is mostly fluff on a sport-weight yarn.

Magic Ring

One ring to rule them all!

Why did no one ever show me this before? So THAT's how to start without leaving a hole in the middle. Thank you, Planet June.