11 April, 2019

Lent and Leftovers*

During the Sundays of Lent we have not displayed fresh flowers on the altar at church during worship; but, rather, twigs, reeds and branches. As we reflect on our need for  God's forgiveness through the sacrifice of his son on the cross, dried arrangements remind us that in our baptism, our sinful self dies and we anticipate the resurrection that we share with Christ as the celebration of his Resurrection approaches. Our congregation is currently being served by an Interim Pastor who has introduced us to this tradition. The concept is new to me, as long as I can remember I have attended or belonged to churches that have used fresh flowers every Sunday, regardless of the season. This has had a powerful effect on me, as a stark visual reminder of the solemnity of this penitent season leading up to Easter. Is this a tradition that you observe or have heard about? Our mid-week Lenten services concluded last night as we prepare for Holy Week. We have been worshiping on Wednesdays with the service of Holden Evening Prayer. I will miss it.

*Leftovers (small little topic posts):

I made up a big batch of my homemade granola, I do this about every six weeks. This is a breakfast staple for me; a third of a cup of this granola topped with plain, homemade yogurt and berries if we have them. I have been making this granola for the last fifteen years, I got the recipe from a bed and breakfast where we stayed in Occidental, CA. If anyone is interested, let me know, I am happy to share the recipe. 

My porch quilts weren't hanging well outside, they would wave and flop and warp. Mr. Goodneedle created a frame and I attached the April edition with velcro to the frame and will continue to add strips in the corners of these subsequent monthly porch-brighteners. A simple fix with a great result!

Spring has a tight grip now, I believe the winter temps. are behind us. Sapphire blue skies and the emerging green leaves yesterday set off the blooms on the Kwanzan Cherry in the background. This is the site of our future screened-in porch. As of yet, we still don't have a start-date with the builder. 

The first of our Iris in bloom. This plant came from my childhood home at least fifteen years ago, I have divided it already many times. It will be time to divide it up for sharing again soon.  
Yesterday I quilted all afternoon with the windows open. You might think that was to enjoy the fresh air and gentle spring breezes; well, there was that, and the fact that opening the windows acted as a deterrent to allowing the male bluebird of our nesting couple from attacking his reflection in the glass! He did it all day until I turned up the music and cranked out the windows. Today he has calmed down. I checked the nesting box this morning, a nest has been built but as of today we're still empty-nesters. 
Quiltkeemosabe gave me this book yesterday, ways to outwit my nemesis. We'll see. I have had plenty visiting our new feeders in our revamped perennial garden space. 😖  The new plants are coming along slowly, but they are growing and establishing themselves. We have discovered a problem with lack of drainage in the back corner of the bed. I have dug up and potted the Russian Sage for now, while we amend the soil and situation there. I am thinking about planting Cardinal Flower back there and moving the Russian Sage; apparently the Cardinal Flower likes wet soil. I am learning that it's easier for me to be flexible with my layout than to fight the conditions. Time will tell. Now, on to the task at hand-- stopping those pesky seed-stealing rodents with long tails. 😉

Enjoy these lovely spring days!
Life is Good!


Ramona said...

My church (I'm an Episcopalian) has a bare alter during Lent. It, too, gives me pause when I see it each Sunday. It also heightens the beauty of all the flowers on Easter Sunday after having nothing on the altar for the season of Lent. I'm so thankful spring is finally here in Virginia, too.

Debbie said...

I would love to have your granola recipe and would appreciate any hints to keep the squirrels out of my bird feeders! They have outwitted all my attempts to keep them away and the poor birds are frustrated that they can't get to the feeders.

Janet O. said...

Our congregation has opted out of fresh flowers altogether, due to severe allergies of some of our members.
Oh, your granola makes my mouth water. I used to make it regularly and have it every morning, too. But my celiac diagnosis took the joy out of my baking for a couple of years, and the price of gluten free oats still has me skittish about making large batches of granola.
What a smart fix for the porch quilts. That Mr. Goodneedle can do anything! :)
Your screened in porch idea is a winner. We so enjoyed the screened porch of my son's in-laws while visiting in Massachusetts. Our mosquito population here makes me want one now!
Good luck with the squirrels. You will have to let us know if anything works.

jude's page said...

I had not heard of no flowers in the church for Lent, but seems like a really good reminder. You will love your renovations whenever it happens, and good luck with your squirrel problem.

Debbie B said...

I love your idea for your porch quilts. Smart. I would love your recipe for granola. I have one called pecan pie granola that I found and sent a big bag of it to my Marine when he was in Afghanistan. It was a big hit with him and his fellow Marines. I think I sent it about 3 or 4 times. I still send it to him every so often. I, too use it for a breakfast cereal. I need to make some today. Thanks for the reminder. Have a great day!

Quiltdivajulie said...

1. Yes to the granola recipe (our son makes his and shares occasionally - which we duly enjoy). 2. Super idea for the porch quilts. 3. I need to get DH a copy of that book for giggles if nothing else. We aren't so worried about the seed in the feeders (annoying) but mostly keeping them out of our attic (serious issue). 4. Beautiful outdoor photos and what a marvelous screened in porch THAT will be!! Good luck with the process.