The Ponder Days

I am just a sojourner, an artist wandering through life with a sense of wonder about it all. Come ponder with me. This year is about observation and perspective.

This blog is interactive and is at its best when comments are left and opinions shared, lively discussions generated, and perhaps with your favorite beverage.

I would love to read your comments. Please, don't be shy...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Wrapping Paper Trail

I've been bothered by the gift wrap pheomenon for many years. This year, I fully intend to do something about it. I have tried over the years to be frugal, earth-friendly and recycle, but in the face of the big picture, they have been limping, if not fully lame, attempts.

Here's the thing:
Wrapping paper is bought for the express purpose of throwing away. Very few people save and reuse it, or if they do, it might just be once and then the next recipient throws it away. Think about it - we pay to buy the gift wrap, and then we pay someone to haul it away...and it ends up in a landfill somewhere. That's just disturbing.

So don't complain unless you have a solution, right? Here's the idea. This year, I will use bags; reuseable, of course. No tissue paper. Shredded newspaper will do - to be recycled or composted. Then, perhaps, large fabric bags (handmade) like Santa sacks, with several unwrapped gifts inside. These to be returned next year to be refilled or given back with next year's gifts inside them.

We'll see how it goes...maybe a new family tradition will be born, maybe I'll be banned from the gift wrapping society. I'll let you know.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

After the Thanks

As we moved through the Thanksgiving holiday, my thoughts went to the Native Americans that sacrificed their land and their lives and so much...that this day represents not so much Thanksgiving, but Mourning for them...that we, as humans, really have not come as far as we would like to think.

Although it is hurtful to think of all the atrocities humankind puts on one another, the truth is that we still do.

Even those of us who think of us as a civilized society still contribute in some small way to the making of weapons or the technology of war. Albert Einstein once said "Our technology has surpassed our humanity." I am so sorry to say that I believe this is true.

There is a small group, I know, of gentle soldiers trying to bubble the way to the surface and employ peace and harmony, but in light of the greed recently made evident by the downward turn of economical events, it is a steep, uphill climb.

May those of you peacekeepers and peacemakers continue to shine your lights, continue to set examples, and continue to refrain from the avarice that will bring us all down.

Peace and be well.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Pondering Understanding

It is a beautiful anAdd Videod cold Sunday. As I take a break from my weekend tasks, I find myself thinking about how frequently we are misunderstood, or even more, how frequently we misunderstand others. This happens in small increments on a daily basis and then grows to huge and global proportions. I wonder if we'll ever get it right. I wonder if it is even possible.

We do not understand as much as we think we do. We think we are right and others wrong far too often. In striving for peace, we must strive for understanding. Communication is so easily misconstrued.

Especially in these days of e-mail and instant messaging, the lack of the use of adequate words to express emotion can send ambiguous messages, and misunderstanding will lean to the negative before it will lean to the positive. We take many shortcuts, but the written word should not be one of them.

Even in the best writing, it is so easy to misinfer. An excellent piece by Rick Kleffel on NPR's Morning Edition illustrates this beautifully. You can access it HERE.

Thank you for stopping by. Ponder everything. Have a safe day.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Pretzel Soup

I met with study group for a few hours today to work on our combined project. We will all be so happy when this is over. Our brains hurt. I am so glad I rested yesterday!

I love this time of year, cold and crisp with the leaves falling, and bundling up just warm enough, but not having to spend 20 minutes layering.

Soup. It is definitely soup weather. I had Pretzel soup last week when I was feeling under the weather. I remember having this as a child, and looking back on it now, it may have been because my father was out of work and there wasn't a lot to eat in the house. I don't know if it is an old Pennsylvania Dutch recipe or from the depression, but it definitely makes me feel warm and cozy. Here's the recipe:

Heat enough milk for each person to have 3/4 to 1 cup. Pour hot milk into bowls and float a pat of butter on top. Place a large bowl of THIN pretzels in the center of the table and everyone crumbles pretzels into their bowls.

The trick to this is eating all the pretzels while they still have some crunch left. Kids seem to love this, and you can always add more pretzels to the remaining soup, er, milk in the bowl. For a dessert soup, add some cocoa and sweetener before serving.

This is definitely a wonderful warmer upper!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Autumn Daze

There is always so much to do, but a rainy Autumn day is the perfect time to cozy up with some vanilla truffle hot chocolate, needles and yarn, a good movie and get in some warming time. Warming of the body, the mind, and the spirit; recharging for the days ahead, so full of holiday planning, work and school commitments, and family time that is so important.
I look at the house around me and the chores needing to be done, but my chocolate is hot and ready, the couch looks inviting, full of pillows and a favorite afghan, and I am taking the time to fully enjoy this moment...