Feb 2020

February is such quick month. I don’t simply mean in terms of days. The whole thing just flies by as the days grow longer, I spend less time consumed with keeping warm, and I spend more time outside.

So in review:

  • yoga: 28
  • meditation: 29
  • strength training: 12
  • walking: 14
  • rest days: 4
  • Tacluso + Ysgubo: 22
  • Outdoor work: 2
  • Daily office + Bible: 29
  • Welsh: 29
  • Study: 16

Read: *Practicing Depth Year with re-reading old fiction books that I already own on my Kindle rather than buying new.*

  • Learning to Walk in the Dark (NF)
  • Undercover in High Heels
  • The Road Back to You (NF)
  • The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective (NF)
  • Walking in Wonder (NF)
  • Alibi in High Heels
  • Tribe
  • Mayhem in High Heels
  • Started but didn’t finish
    • Introduction to the Old Testament (NF)
    • The Hebrew Bible: Feminist and Intersectional Perspectives (NF)


  • Sunrise on 1 Feb — 7:48
  • Sunset on 1 Feb — 6:04
  • Sunrise on 29 Feb — 7:15
  • Sunset on 29 Feb — 6:35
  • Temperature on 1 Feb — 36-44 degrees
  • Trend for the month was normal for February
  • Temperature on 29 Feb –26-41

Low Waste :: Low Impact

  • Gasoline for Kim: 2.3 gallons
  • Electricity for household: ?
  • Water for Kim: ?
  • Garbage for Kim:  12 oz
  • Food for Kim:
    • $32 (first week)
    • $12 (second week)
    • $32 (third week)
    • $ 8(fourth week)
    • $15 (food, not from home)
  • Money spent for Kim:
    • ($12) haircut at Bruce’s Barber Shop *100% local, so I don’t count it.*
    • $24 sports bras at Target
    • $20 study books
  • Money spent on Jasper:
    • $19 nutritional powder (Just Food for Dogs)
    • $23 Omega 3/Fish oil (same as above, will last several months)
    • $21 for chicken (spinach, carrot, apple, and rice all from family grocery trips)


Saint Matthias

Men Saint Icons Saint Matthias Icon Monastery Icons

His story: After the ascension of Jesus, the disciples gathered to choose a replacement for Judas Iscariot. The lot fell to Matthias. See Acts 1:15-26

Tradition says he preached in Judea, Colchis (modern Georgia), and Cappadocia (Turkey) and north to the Caspian Sea. It is claimed that the remains of Matthias were taken to Italy and that part of these relics are interred in the Abbey of St. Mathias in Trier Germany.

On a personal note from Kim: I have seen his icon written on the wall of a cave city in Turkey, and we visited this Abbey when we lived in Germany. Trier was Michael’s favorite city. He loved the plaza, Porta Nigra, the “monkey man,” and the pastry shop just to left of the plaza. He still remembers!

Collect for the Day: Almighty God, who in the place of Judas chose your faithful servant Matthias to be numbered among the Twelve: Grant that your Church, being delivered from false apostles, may always be guided and governed by faithful and true pastors; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

BookNotes: Walking in Wonder

John O’Donohue — I am sorry there won’t be anymore words from him. I found him late and have really loved his poetic vision. I love to read one of his books while reading a more challenging academic book. I feel he balances out my “tendencies” quite nicely.

Tribe — Um, not my favorite. It was recommended, but just didn’t quite click for me. I think it was the assumption that violence is at our very core of being. I think we are called to a higher and better position.

In other news, happy belated Valentine’s Day or as the Welsh say, “dydd Santes Dwynwen hapus” Saint Dwynwen is the patron saint of lovers and animals. Her saint day January 25, but I didn’t know that until learning how to say it in Welsh this morning.

A few things about her:

  1.  Dwynwen means “she who leads a blessed life.” She was a Welsh princess who lived in what is now the Brecon Beacons National Park is thought to have died in about AD465
  2. Dwynwen devoted herself to God’s service and became a nun after she was unable to marry her Prince.
  3. She set up a convent on Llanddwyn Island – just off the west coast of Anglesey – the remains of which can still be seen today, along with Dwynwen’s well. You can visit Santes Dwynwen’s church on the tiny tidal island of Llanddwyn.
  4. Santes Dwynwen is also considered the patroness of farmers’ beasts.
  5. A Welsh love spoon is traditionally given as a Santes Dwynwen’s day gift.

BookNotes: Learning to Walk in the Dark

It’s still February. The days are slowly getting longer. It doesn’t really feel that way yet. I still turn on all the fairy lights and turn off the lamps. I still wake in the dark, do yoga in the dark, and tidy my private space in the dark.

But February also means afternoon walks in the woods or on the road, games in the evening because we can see the floor, and dinner before the sun goes down.

February this year brought a new habit. One chapter an evening of a nonfiction book, not scholarly, no note taking, just read a chapter and contemplate for a few minutes. I chose Learning to Walk in the Dark as my first book.

The Kinship Project

On 2 February 2020, I presented the following forum at my church. It is part of an ongoing parish spiritual formation series.

The Kinship Project: Protecting, Enriching, and Serving our Immediate Environment

We are at a crossroads. The science is clear. We must reduce our carbon emissions (and carbon equivalent emissions). We have a decade, at best, to make significant changes or we will face a future that looks radically different than our past, our future, or the hope filled world of Star Trek. It is a world where untold millions will suffer from extreme temperatures (hot and cold), fires, blizzards, tornadoes, hurricanes, crop failure, drought, floods, famine, disease . . . but, it doesn’t have to be like that. We, as individuals, can do a lot. We can speak truth to our churches, our neighborhood communities, our cities, our mayor, our Governor, our Members of Congress, our President, etc. We can practice truth by reducing our own CO ee emissions.

These facts are causing stress and anxiety among our younger generations. They see and know that they are the ones who will live and die with these changes. As I watch the young climate activists, I notice they all have the same exasperation. We tell you the facts, and you do nothing. We tell you that we are less likely to die of old age than you are, and you do nothing. We tell you that the world is in crisis, and you recite “fairy tales of eternal economic growth” and do nothing.

We have failed our younger generation. We have failed them and we wonder why they don’t show up at our church doors.

<Note: As of January 2019, according to the IPCC, we had a carbon budget of 360 gigatons before we reached the tipping point. That is total gigatons, not per annum, left to emit.>

With all this swirling in my head, as I stopped to think about this forum, as I double-checked my research, one thing became crystal clear to me. No amount of knowledge, no amount of scientific fact, no list I give you can really make a difference.

The only thing I have to offer is a “why” :: a value statement. Values aren’t understood simply by our intellect. They are understandings derived from inner experience.

As our Presiding Bishop often reminds us, This is the Way of Love. Where does this idea of love being the center come from? . . . <Read Matt 22: 36-40>

  • Love God
  • Love neighbor

And so I’d like to share the Creation Story of our Kin the Hebrews . . . <Read Gen 2, creation of man>

  • man formed of soil :: stresses our kinship and dependence, we are made of earth not just upon earth
  • till :: ‘avad
    • to cultivate
    • a right to make a living from the soil, we must work the soil to eat from the soil
  • keep :: shamar
    • to preserve, to defend
    • a duty to care for the soil, we need the soil and it needs us.

I would like to suggest that these biblical ideals (Love God, Love Neighbor, Protect the Garden) serve as our reason for practicing Creation Care.

The IPCC suggests that each person living with a carbon budget of 2-3 tonnes per year is the target we should be aiming for. <Of course, businesses must also follow the guidelines, but as they say, “vote with your dollar” and the companies will listen.>

  • Worldwide average = 4 tonnes
  • American average = 21 tonnes
  • That is roughly an 85% decrease in individual emissions.

The factors that have the largest impact on your carbon footprint are:

  • the number of children you choose to have
  • food choices = agricultural methods, meat consumption, plastic wrap, shipping distance, biodiversity
  • Housing = electricity (coal, natural gas), heating and cooling, refrigerator, hot water, washing machine, lighting, landscape maintenance,
  • Personal transport = car, fuel, planes (vs buses and trains)
  • Consumer goods = use of plastic, fast fashion, banking, electronics, healthcare, entertainment, education, lawn

Let’s have a family meeting and see what we can think of . . . remembering that we are focusing on our immediate environment.

When Martin Luther was asked what he would do if the world was ending tomorrow, he replied, “Plant a Tree.”

An Audit

Gasoline: The average American uses 500 gallons per person per year for personal transport

<1.3 gallons per day>

Garbage: The average American throws out 1643 pounds per year

<4.5 pounds per day>

Water: The average American uses 36,500 gallons per year

<100 gallons per person per day>

Consumer Goods: The average American spends $12,000 per year

<$33 per day>

Food: The average American household spends $7000 per year

<$19 per day>

<$4050 at home, $3150 away from home, $483 alcohol>

Electricity: The average American household uses 12,000 kwh per year

<30 kwh per day>

Natural Gas and Propane: The average American household uses 1100 therms per year

❤ therms per day>

Saint Day: Brigid

St Brigid

St Brigid with her crook, cross, and fire. — Feb 1

*Picture source: google images*

St. Brigid of Kildare (c 451-550):

According to tradition, Brigid was born in the year 451 AD in Ireland. Tradition says that her mother was Brocca, a Christian pict slave who had been baptized by Saint Patrick and her father as Dubhthach, a chieftain of Leinster.

As she grew older, Brigid performed miracles, including healing and feeding the poor. According to one story, as a child, she once gave away her mother’s entire store of butter. The butter was then replenished in answer to Brigid’s prayers. Her habit of charity led her to donate her father’s belongings to anyone who asked. Dubthach was so annoyed with her that he took her in a chariot to the king of Leinster to sell her. While Dubthach was talking to the king, Brigid gave away his jeweled sword to a beggar to barter it for food to feed his family. The king decided not to keep her. Brigid went on to establish and lead several abbeys, which is represented in the icon by her shepherd’s crook. Women kept the sacred flame at the Kildare abbey walls which is represented in the icon by the flames behind the St. Brigid cross. 

Brigid is the patron saint of cattle, fire,blacksmiths, poets, motherhood, abundance, and healers. 

Here is a link to a video showing you how to make a St. Brigid’s cross: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WErPG3DiT24