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)

Weather:

  • 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)

 

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.

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>

A fella and a dog

AKA Michael and Jasper

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Jan 2020 in Review:

yoga: 28 days
meditation: 31 days
strength training: 14 days
walking: 14 days
rest days: 5 days
Tacluso + Ysgubo: 27 days
Outdoor work: 4 days
Daily office + Bible: 31 days
Welsh: 31 days
Study: 12 out of 12 days scheduled

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

An Other Kingdom (NF)
An Uninvited Quest
Living Beautifully (NF)
Spying in High Heels
Killer in High Heels
Started but didn’t finish
Introduction to the Old Testament (NF)
The Hebrew Bible: Feminist and Intersectional Perspectives (NF)
Learning to Walk in the Dark (NF)
Mayhem in High Heels

Weather:

Sunrise on Jan 1 — 8:00
Sunset on Jan 1 — 5:32
Sunrise on Jan 31 –7:49
Sunset on Jan 31 — 6:03
Temperature on 1 Jan — 33-48 degrees (and partly cloudy)
Trend for the month was unusually warm. (We only had a fire 6 days this month.)
Temperature on 31 Jan –36-42 degrees (and snowing)

Low Waste :: Low Impact

Gasoline for Kim: 2 gallons
Electricity for household: 12 kwh (above our solar/wind allowance)
Water for Kim: 20 gallons per day
Garbage for Kim: 1 pound for the month
Food for Kim: $120 for the month
Money spent for Kim: $40 for the month, not counting Rx.

53

I turned 53 a few days ago. My family and best friends gave me some really thoughtful gifts: books that they know deserve a place on my shelves, a new colorful reusable water/tea/coffee bottle, and consumable teas. It was just perfect.

I have no major changes or goals for the coming year. I’m in a good place and healthy this year.

Advent 2018

Advent —   Here is last year’s blog post on Advent. It is much more my philosophy and this year’s post is more pragmatic.

Since renewing my commitment to live a small and regenerative life I notice areas where we are doing ok, but could definitely make some improvements. This year, Advent is getting a slight makeover.

Last year: Advent wreath with paraffin candles, and plastic bits and bobs attached to a wreath frame.

Not too bad, but I wanted to look at how the candles of Advent could be carried forward through the year, how we could use non-paraffin candles, and how the wreath itself could be changed for one that could reflect the seasons.

image

What I’ve come up with is a wreath made from our grapevines, sitting on cardboard, with glass candle holders, beeswax candles, and seasonal decor filling up the spaces between the candles. Ideally (and ultimately), I want Kelly to bring in a round of wood just the size of the wreath so that it becomes its own little table/stool/home altar.

I melt beeswax into little plastic tea light cups (that I use over and over again). I do have to buy the wicks, but I try to find the hemp ones. About 4 years ago I bought 2 pounds of beeswax and we are still using it for candles and salves. Bees are hopefully getting added to our little farm sometime in the next few Springs. That should make the beeswax even better!

image

Each evening of Advent, we light the candle(s) and this year we are reading David Cole’s A Celtic Advent..It is a quiet, peaceful transition into the darker evenings. It lends itself to less television and more reading.  Just the way I like it!

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What I’m reading:  The Celtic Way of Prayer, New York 2140, A Celtic Advent

What I’m listening to: The Last Star and Harry Potter 1 (Sad, but true fact: When we first got Jasper we listened to HP audiobooks every night as a family. Jasper always fell asleep and I would carry him to his bed and then go to bed. Now, he sleeps best if Jim Dale is reading in the background.)

What I’m watching:  Nothing this week

What I’m learning in Welsh:  Lots of vocabulary, a bit of grammar.

  • animals
  • months
  • seasons
  • numbers
  • days
  • plus a ton of review

What I’m thinking about:  Rainwater collection systems, gravity fed household water supply, designing a “sustainable village” for an author, and Advent.

52

Another year older, hopefully a bit wiser, hopefully much kinder, and definitely more grey — in essence the same.

I’m still pondering the song “What kind of world do you want?” and still singing “Crazy Horses”. I still love Matt Smith as the Doctor (Doctor Who). My favorite kind of veg-out book is still post-apocalypse.

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What I’m reading:  Harry Potter 3 in German, The Celtic Way of Prayer, Becoming

What I’m listening to: The Ghost Hawk

What I’m watching:  Doctor Who, The Good Place

What I’m learning in Welsh:

  • Dillad: cot law, jîns, teits, crys chyws, fest
  • golch
  • brecwast, cinco, swmper
  • Bwyta: caws, mefus, cig,
  • tegan // teganau
  • ond
  • gwylio
  • prynu
  • ffermwr, nyrs, athro, meddyg, mecanic, actor, athrawes
  • trio, cofio, mynd, mynd i, ymarfer, sut, sut i, angen, dal, gwella
  • fedra I ddim

What I’m thinking about:  Raised garden bed logistics, seed orders, tree orders, and finishing up Christmas gifts.

BookNotes: Forest Church

Forest Church: A Field Guide to a Spiritual Connection with Nature
by Bruce Stanley

Read October 2018

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This might be the most important book I could ever recommend to a Christian environmentalist or someone wondering what we ought to be thinking and doing when it comes to creation care.

It isn’t technical. It doesn’t lay out the answers. It doesn’t tell you to change your lightbulbs (although you should).

What it does is inspire you to take your connection to creation one step further. Just one step . . . But, my goodness where that one step might take you.

Ch 1 — Why Go Outside?

  • thin places = places where the boundary between heaven and earth is at its most transparent.
  • First Nations — mountains, water, woods, rock, and river
  • The Food Story and The Sacred Land — This might have been my favorite section. It breaks down belief, lifestyle, and impact of forager/hunter/gatherer vs food producer. I actually got a lot of good ideas for our little farm from this section.
  • Eco-mindedness and biophilia –embracing  our environmental challenges is an urgent issue that we must address.
  • NDD — Nature Deficit Disorder the only cure is go outside
  • Flow — the end of activity where your skill level in in balance with the challenge lever
    • gapped for air we;;-being
    • walking, cycling, drawing, climbing, foraging, playing, gardening, reading, knitting, journaling, photography,

Cha 2 — Reading the Second Book of God

  • Nature-a wild place, “other than human place,” but size is flexible.
  • 3 ways into Nature/Creation:
    • awe: Isn’t it amazing? deep sense of connection, as we is the beginning of wisdom
    • study: academic exploration, “What is it?”
    • meaning: search for insight and relevance, imagination.

Ch 3 –Participating with Nature

  • Pg 53: Ps 115:16, but “Im not sure were up to the responsibility.
  • Permaculture–people care, earth care, and fair share
    • value in nature should be recognized and protected
    • higher value –>primary use
      • example: pure water –> cook, drink, wash :: grey water –> flush, etc
      • example: energy –>solar or wind ::  No to fossil fuels
      • example: tree –>oxygen, shade :: limbs, dead wood –> heat home
  • Be with nature rather than going “into” nature.  i.e. participate
  • From Dominator to Participant
    • Dominator–nature exists to support humans, raw materials for profit
    • Steward — still seen from human perspective, recognize that their are limits to natural resources, entrusted with use not consumption
    • Partner –nature as ally. Animals as allies. life as an interplay of life forms.I am separate but conscious and ethical. Sustainable, organic, ecological care
    • Participant — I exist within the mix of interdependent and interwoven life forms, I am part of nature, respect because of intrinsic value, eco-centric, set limits. Be regenerative not just sutainable
    • Which am I? How can I move toward participant?  It is imperative that we move to being a participant.
    • Regenerative because we have a long way to go to get back to where our systems were actually sustainable.
      • pause before you enter a wild space
      • slow your soul
      • be aware when you intervene in nature

Ch 4–Developing Your Wild Side

  • well being accumulates daily through nature connection
  • more by walking, eating, sitting, working, reading outdoors
  • sit spot, journaling, giving thanks, wild camping, distance hiking, growing your own
  • following nature’s rhythm: day/night, lunar months, Light Half/Dark Half of year (equinox and solstice)
  • The only equipment you really need is;
    • comfortable footwear
    • decent jacket
    • water bottle
    • snack
    • first aid kit
    • phone / camera
    • notebook with pen or pencil

 

I am planning a series of posts where I explore these ideas more in depth.

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What I’m reading:  Harry Potter 3 in German, Cherringham #11, The Celtic Way of Prayer

What I’m listening to: Arthur

What I’m watching:  Doctor Who, The Good Place

What I’m learning in Welsh:

  • Yn well
  • Yn waeth
  • Gwych
  • wedi blino
  • Pwy dych chi?

What I’m thinking about:  regenerative eco-mindedness . . .