art ~ jewelry ~ interfaith devotions ~ peace to you...

12/25/14

simple christmas

Time with family. Food and games. A few gifts. A little decor. A lot of happiness and cheer.

Small tree

A few ornaments
Handmade cards
Homemade Fudge

12/1/14

violence: a poem



Print by Roary Tubbs of Oklahoma



By the time my daughter turned 16 she lost three friends, one to a car accident and two through violence. This is her poem.



VIOLENCE

Whether we like it or not
It's a part of our lives.
And each and every day
There is one life that strives.

Long ago,
I had a friend.
And sadly enough,
Violence brought his end.

By seeing what's happening
Day after day.
I hope we can teach people
Not to act this way.

Violence is not a game,
Or a fun thing to play.
So look in your hearts
And find a way.

A way to peace,
A way to love.
Because hatred is something
We don't need more of.

I hope you all
Realize the choice.
The choice we have
To raise our voice
And stop the violence!

Sally M.




9/11/14

life after israel

My last post was in April during the time I was preparing to relocate back to the states. I didn't plan for so much time to go by, as I enjoy posting to my blog and making bloggy friends, but sometimes life just happens and something's gotta give. This is a "catch-up" post of the last five months all rolled into one!

I'm happy to be home and near loved ones again, but it's bittersweet. My time in Haifa, serving at the Baha'i World Centre, holds a very special place in my heart along with the many friendships and memories made. I miss it often.

Onward! (For fun I've added links. I'm not paid for anything, I'm just sharing information) 

Since April...

1. I left Israel in early May and made a side trip to Ireland. I loved Cork City! Will post more later, with photos, even though it's old news there's lots to share about this beautiful country. 

The River Lee runs through Cork City


2. Got caught up in all the relocation stuff that happens, and since I came back with very little I had to shop for clothes, shoes and a car...didn't mind the clothes shopping, disliked car shopping. I was happy without a car for almost three years and didn't miss it at all.

3. As soon as I had wheels I went on the road to visit family up and down the Colorado Front Range and as far south as Raton, NM. It felt so good to see everyone in person instead of Skype! But sure glad to have had Skype while in Israel.


Raton Pass


4. After the first month I found a place to live in a small town, with a roomie! Sure cuts down on the cost while unemployed and it's relatively private.

5. Unpacked a storage unit (more like a big closet) and still felt like I had way too much stuff. Completely overwhelmed and still in the process of letting go. It helps to read stories about simplifying. My favorite is Miss Minimalist.

6. Job hunting!! Oh yes, this takes tons of time. All those websites, signing up and filling out each and every application and attaching resumes and hoping it sticks. Sometimes it doesn't.

7. I signed on with a professional temp agency and started my first assignment the first week of July and that just ended last week. I learned a lot but it was very stressful. I was an office support person for a substance abuse and mental health crisis center, an area I have never worked in before. I want to add that the staff I worked with were very dedicated to the clients and worked very hard. I was amazed. I don't know how they did it.

8. My 10 year old niece and sister organized a Cousin Camp over 4th of July weekend. It was a hit with everyone, and it's a big family so the fun never stopped! And what a way to bring the younger generation closer together, deepen their bond with each other and give them lasting memories! (The adults set up tents in the front yard, filled a swimming pool in the back yard and supplied pizza makings for "make your own pizza" night and so much more.)


And this isn't all the cousins! Maybe next year...


9. I had plane tickets to Seattle the following week to see my daughter and grandchildren!  My grand-daughter (and BFF) celebrated her 6th birthday while I was there. We went to lunch at the Queen Mary Tea Room, just her and I, where they served a special children's lunch for the birthday girl. She was in heaven and that made me happy.


Birthday tea with bunny


10. I've spent a few hours exploring my new neighborhood, but need to do more before the snow comes! I'm close to designated open spaces, nature reserves, rivers and reservoirs, prairie grass and wide open sky. Lots of water and prairie birds to watch. Whoot!


Northern Colorado prairie


 That brings me to the present. I'm setting up a small work area for jewelry making and re-opening my Etsy shop. Last but not least, I plan to spend time catching up with old friends and stay in touch with new friends across the sea and will keep them and all Israeli's in my prayers for a peaceful end soon.

Memories of a special time in a special place tug at my heart and remind me to be grateful for everything I experienced. 

It's good to be back.


PS...If you are interested here's a link to all my Israel posts. I lived in Haifa for 2 1/2 years. It was my first time living overseas and was quite an adjustment. I'm so glad I did.



4/12/14

devotions: thoughts of peace


dawn at the Shrine of The Báb in Haifa, Israel


"Do not think the peace of the world an ideal impossible to attain. 

Nothing is impossible to the divine benevolence of God. 

If you desire with all your heart friendship with every race on earth, your thought, 
spiritual and positive will spread;

it will become the desire of others,
growing stronger until it reaches the minds of all men."

~ Bahá'i Writings



2/9/14

devotions: war or peace

Dedicated to the children of Syria, many of whom are being cared for in hospitals in Israel.


Agamon Hula Park Israel with the Golan Heights in background


"How is it possible for men to fight from morning until evening, killing each other, shedding the blood of their fellow-men: and for what object? To gain possession of a part of the earth! ... The highest of created beings fighting to obtain the lowest form of matter, earth! ...

I charge you all that each one of you concentrate all the thoughts of your heart on love and unity. ... Thoughts of war bring destruction to all harmony, well-being, restfulness and content.

Thoughts of love are constructive of brotherhood, peace, friendship and happiness."


~ Bahá'i Writings


2/5/14

single snapshot: kitty in the mosque




Kitty is perched on an inner wall partition that separates the entry from the prayer area in the center of the al-Jazzar mosque in Akká.



2/2/14

devotions: healing



This week's devotion is dedicated to my sister who is recovering from brain surgery and a dear friend who is recovering from a stroke - both of which took place this past week.


Aloe plant in the garden near the Shrine of the Báb


"Thy name is my healing, O my God, and remembrance of Thee is my remedy. 
Nearness to Thee is my hope, and love for Thee is my companion.
Thy mercy to me is my healing and my succor in both this world and the world to come.
Thou, verily, art the All-Bountiful, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise."

~ Bahá'u'lláh







1/31/14

art in the afternoon: oil pastel resist

An art friend introduced me to an elementary art project using oil pastels and paint to create a resist effect. I drew a collection of simple designs in pencil (that's my speed - simple!), colored them in with oil pastels and painted over the whole thing in a watercolor layer. More than one watercolor shade could be used. I enjoyed learning something new (and simple!). It would be fun to experiment further to enhance the watercolor effect. Even more fun - doing this with my grandkiddies!


























Unfortunately I was enjoying myself so much I forgot to snap photos of the process! I have no photos of the "before" watercolor layer. I was living in the moment!





1/29/14

january: Ridván Garden

The last time I posted photos of the Ridván Garden (a Bahá'i Holy Place in Israel) was in May and everything felt very vibrant and alive with color then. This time, in January, even though there were flower blossoms and fruit hanging from the trees, it felt more calm and peaceful. Reflective.






























1/26/14

devotions: have faith


sea of Galilee Israel



There is a small green island where one white cow lives alone,
a meadow of an island.

The cow grazes until nightfall, full and fat,
but during the night she panics and grows thin as a single hair.

"What will I eat tomorrow?
There's nothing left!"

By dawn the grass has grown up again, waist-high.
The cow starts eating and by dark the meadow is clipped short.

She is full of strength and energy,
but she panics in the dark as before and grows thin overnight.
The cow does this over and over and this is all she does.

She never thinks,
"This meadow has never failed to grow back.
What should I be afraid every night that it won't?"

The cow is the bodily soul.
The island field is this world where that cow grows lean with fear
and fat with blessing, lean and fat.

White cow,
don't make yourself miserable with what is to come or not to come.

~ Rúmí




1/24/14

art in the afternoon: bead play

A few friends met for an afternoon to create necklaces with beads for the first time, using simple stringing techniques. We talked about color, design elements, balance and expression. Great fun!











1/22/14

photos: stair study

Sometimes I'm so taken with photographing an object or a spot that I take many shots before I've had enough. This staircase is one such instance. Taken today during pilgrimage, on the lower level of the House of Abbud, in Akká Israel.


























1/20/14

spinach pastries: super easy



A friend gave me some ready-made puff pastry which I have always wanted to try, with the right recipe... but the pastry label instructions were printed in Hebrew and I didn't have a recipe so it truly was experimental. My favorite kind! Makes me feel like a scientist ;-)

I rummaged around for filling ingredients and I came up with frozen chopped spinach (thawed), crumbled feta cheese and chopped walnuts. Kind of a Greek theme. I added one egg, garlic and the following dried spices: basil, dill and zatar, plus salt and pepper.

This was also the perfect time to try a new pastry tool I found in a local kitchen shop. It cuts the pastry, then holds it while filling, folds it over and pinches it shut. But don't squeeze too hard, yikes!

Here's a visual summary of the steps:



Before popping them in the oven brush each pastry with a little egg wash to make them shine! These were popular at the last potluck party and easy to travel with (especially when walking)!


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