Thursday, February 26, 2015

Timbers and the Fire, Chicago

   We took in our first Timbers game last night. An auntie was very gracious to share two tickets, and we were able to pick up two more cheaply through StubHub.

   Unfortunately, we didn't make it to Portland in time to eat at Kenny and Zukes. Maybe next time. I also missed seeing the sawing off of one round of the Douglas Fir log they keep behind their home goal. This, after their first, and only goal. However, the sound of the Timbers chain saw kept the game humming along. FYI, the game ended with a 1:1 tie.
   It felt like the Timbers did a lot of standing around last night, but it was a pre-season game. We learned where to sit, and where not to sit, for future games, i.e., behind the goals. Ear plugs came in handy, but I sense things were pretty sedate last night. Thankfully, we didn't hear much inappropriate language. It's amazing how a little beer in the mix makes people messy. 

   The stadium was a homogeneous green. Amusing. Portland is known for its eclectic individuality, but one didn't see that within the environs of Providence Park last night. I bet it's a riot of green when there's a St. Paddy's Day game.

   While it was great to finally watch a Timbers game, we love the quiet sportsman like Oregon State games. OSU has some highly competitive players, the game pace is very fast, and the environment in Corvallis is a bit more kid friendly. Oh, and the games are free!
   The Timbers may have headed home as pictured above. Thankfully, we did not! Where's brother? He doesn't make an appearance here because his head was in the game. He didn't want to be disturbed and mostly kept his eyes on the futbol. Here's to the beginning of a great futbol season!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

   I have read my first Jules Verne book. Dare I declare such information? Shame or pride? Suffice to say, I wasn't introduced to classical books as a youngster, unless you count National Velvet in that lot, but as I'm re-living 6th grade with my daughter, I'm acquiring education anew. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Only love can be divided endlessly and still not diminish. 
Don't wish me happiness
I don't expect to be happy all the time...
It's gotten beyond that somehow. 
Wish me courage and strength and a sense of humor. 
I will need them all.
The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, 
too greedy, or too impatient. 
 To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, 
but lack of faith. 
Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches.
Patience and faith. 
One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach
—waiting for a gift from the sea. 
All quotes & poems are from Anne Morrow Lindbergh's,

Beachy Kid Books


Oregon Beach To-Do's Near Newport

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Rovering and Writing, Adventures

 Thrilled to be in the Winter 2015 Rovers North.
How quickly the seasons fly by. 
More adventures draw nigh. 

 * There's a few typos (not mine), including my name and web address, but isn't that life? When you are adventuring, stuff happens, and you roll with it!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

An Oregon Valley Valentines

 February sheds tears, both joyful and sad.
Release the burden, burst into bloom.
 Hike. Wander. Wonder.
Steel grey ponds
Great Blue Heron
American Coot
Scrub Jay
Canadian Geese
Dabbling Ducks
Red-tailed Hawk
Wood Peckers
Lambs in fields of grassy green
 A new friend for new adventures.
Sharing, and sharing a birthday.
How amazing is that?
 Come soon spring, so soon.
 Pie for Papa
Happy Valentines!

Friday, February 13, 2015

On Valentine's Eve: Oregon's Birthday and Kitzhaber

Sadly, Salem has seen better days. 
We worked our way to Salem today. 
In order to see the Oregon State Constitution, rarely on display.
Oregon's birthday is tomorrow.
We wondered what we would see.
Knowing, all has not been well.
It was a sad day for Oregon, its citizens, and its leaders. 
 We watched this news outside the Oregon Senate Chambers.
Thirty feet from the Governor's door.
   We had some interesting conversations last night about what we might see today, but in the moment, they were not at all concerned with the state troopers and camera crews literally camped out behind their heads. They were focused on seeing the Oregon State Seal.
   Here's to spring in the capitol. 
May the new year bring citizen leadership and healing.
 May Oregon's citizens learn, act, pray, vote, and give back.
Let us live intentionally within the communities we call home. 
What we plant, will bloom.

Monday, February 9, 2015

For the Love of Learning, on Monday

 There must be a limit you put on P.G. Wodehouse.

   Wow, it's really been a Monday. If only it would pour patience. In a home filled with book nuts, it's not easy to put down pleasure books on Monday and hit the text books intentionally. Yet hit the books we must, as we skipped school last Friday, venturing to Seattle to see a doctor. So very thankful for good reports and continued healing. We came home bearing goodies and Mee Sum Pastry for the boys.
Reading for Pleasure
The Secret of the Key, & all the Sixty Eight Rooms Adventure books.
Sixty Eight Rooms is based upon the Thorne Rooms.
Sis has really enjoyed the Great Tales of English History series.
Life in Motion, Misty Copeland
 Learning, Loving, Living
AIA Portland
Biology Lecture by Kelly Benoit-Bird, an OSU scientist. She discussed the use of sound/sonar/acoustics to study species abundance in the ocean based upon prey density vs. prey abundance.
Indoor winter soccer
Ceili dancing 
Archery, when we don't have to skip because of homework. 
Science Saturdays at the University
 Pondering These Great Articles/Sites
Teacher Expectations Influence Student Performance (NPR),
True for parents too, whether we home school or not.

   This NY Times article is really important for our girls. While, we don't feel sis has been limited in any way by her teachers (except me some days :-), we are already seeing how hard it is to help girls grow in their love of science, technology, and math. STEM is often a lonely world, lacking females. I don't know the root of it, but sis is already learning that if she wants to get involved with technology, math, or science, she'll be in the minority. Boys and men still dominate, especially in engineering. Every opportunity she's offered to work with other women and girls in STEM is so appreciated. She's learning how to forge ahead with a forehead like flint (with the boys), while yet exhibiting manners. What a dichotomy! Programs such as Discovering the Scientist Within are truly important for our girls.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

More Rohr, Simplicity, The Art of Letting Go

...and so technology has gone on developing, but not our wisdom. 
  Since this book is late being returned, and since I'm racking up fines, I might as well share Rohr's words. He's still speaking to me.

  At Pentecost the Spirit came down on “all,” (Acts 2:1) giving them the power to recognize and affirm life within themselves and in one another. That is the richest meaning of authority. It is the power to author life in others.

  The love of power does not have the capacity to nurture anything that it cannot explain or control.

  For far too long we've preached the Gospel only in individualistic fashion. We thought we could have a personal relationship with Jesus without calling into question the systems and institutions we participate in and to which we belong.

  Bartimaeus is the blind man who isn't blind – in contrast with the rich man, who's really poor. Between these two stories Mark presents a great warning from Jesus against the real enemies of the Reign of God. These are the three great obsessions: power, prestige, and possessions. In the Sermon on the Mount it's quite clear that these are the three great barriers we have to overcome to understand Jesus and understand the Reign of God. But in Christianity we have always been concerned with ecclesiological questions, with sacramental questions, sacerdotal questions, and, needless to say, sexual questions – questions that Jesus practically never bothered with.

  Let's all be honest and admit that our various denominations (and yes, other religions too) have picked out only certain Bible verses that backed up our theological biases.

  This time (with Bartimaeus) Jesus takes the initiative: he knows that he can really give this man something – the rich young man wasn't open to that. With this man there's an openness, a readiness, an emptiness. He is not stuffed full of prefabricated answers and theology; he's full of desire, full of longing. We have no proof that this blind man ever did anything “ right” in his life, but Jesus says: “Go your way; your faith has made you well.”

  It could be that Jesus will lead us to a place where we ourselves don't even know any more whether we're holy, where all we know is that we have to do what we have to do, where we have to obey the word we have heard in our heart. Often we don't even get the satisfaction of being in the right; and there's no security that everyone will agree with us.

  I think a large part of Jesus' teaching is a critique of “mammon” sickness. Jesus describes that disease as follows: Those afflicted by it are continually driven by unrest, cares, and anxiety, (ouch) because the present isn't enough for them. But for those grounded in Christ the present contains great abundance, even though we don't yet live in the full Reign of God. This is precisely the peace that the world can't give, and the peace the world can't take away from us. It's the only real gift we can bring into the existing system: the health (salus) of a central life.

  As for the Reign of God, why should God give us something that we don't even want? Why should God give us something that we're not ready to work and do our utmost for? Why should God give us something that we at most pray for, but don't strive for? God doesn't believe just in our prayers.

  And yet prayer moves mountains. I believe this. Prayer is the foundation upon which we get up and act as people, have the courage to live intentionally, and one of the primary ways we hear the voice of God. Further, prayer shows us the way to head because He says in Psalm 25:12, that He will show those who love Him the path to take. Of course, we have to listen for that path.

  It seems to me that a Christian is a person who has the freedom to feel the pain that's part of being human. This means a person who has the freedom to enter into solidarity with the suffering of the world, precisely because this person is sure of the Father's love.

  The final effect of mammon disease is that we've lived with a split consciousness, that we're incapable of really integrating faith with the tragic mystery of things.

  And the reality: there is a lot of tragic. If my twenties was idealism, my thirties was a perpetual wayside stopping of reality checks, and learning my limits. And now my forties, seems to be about the fortitude required, in ever more abundance, needed to get up each day and face a world that seems to be melting away.

  Why have we made faith into a kind of security blanket? We've taken what for Jesus was a journey into the unknown and turned it into a life insurance policy. I'd be glad to find a clear economic plan in the Gospel; but the only thing Jesus gave us unequivocal enlightenment about was the great danger of wealth. He said quite clearly that we're not supposed to get rich. We live differently in the poverty and ignorance of faith- which consists in our having no plan. Faith has a much higher price than I ever would have expected; the willingness to walk in darkness makes other people see you as naive.

  The no plan thing? It goes against the grain, big time. It rubs hard against the get up and live intentionally. Intentionality is the only way to ever get where we're going, but what of the compass? Rohr constantly challenges my compass. If advertising bombards us each day, and if the world becomes my compass, I find that so familiar emptiness seeping in and sapping my joy. When I'm using the wrong compass, the world's emptiness begins to gnaw at me. Dissatisfaction takes over.

  I believe circumstances change us, not sermons. We're changed when we move on to a new place and when we expose our selves to the truth of a different standpoint, one that's not our own....Religion is a very dangerous business. I always say, it's the surest way to avoid God.

  Where I go on Sunday, is surely not as important as what I live on Monday. Certainly being fed on Sunday, living in community, and what I intake is important, but who I am Monday through Saturday is more important to God.

  A Christian is someone who's animated by the spirit of Christ, a person in whom the spirit of Christ can work. That doesn't mean that you consciously know what you are doing. As it says in Mathew 25: “When have we seen you hungry? When have we seen you thirsty?” These people had no idea that they did what they did for Christ.... But Christ said: “Because you did it, you did it for me.” This is the final consequence of the Incarnation of God. The Word is no longer word; it has really become flesh. That means it never depends upon whether we say the right words, but whether we live the right reality.

  We are slowly, through Safe Families, being invited to get a taste of the Word made flesh. To see if we will stick it out. Live it. Know Him in the flesh. To throw open the door of our home in ways we have never done. We are intellectually aware of what the journey will entail, but emotionally and spiritually naive as to what the journey will require. We have lived an incredibly sheltered life, but we want more. We don't have a clue what we are doing, but we trust He does.

 ...In our time something wonderful is happening:. For the first time in its history the Church is becoming truly universal. This means the Gospel is being reread and rediscovered by altogether different eyes. In the process altogether different questions are being raised.

  For a few years we dance around on the stage of life and have the chance to reflect a little bit of God's glory. We are earth that has come to consciousness. If we discover this power in ourselves and know that we are God's creatures, that we come from God and return to God, that's enough.

  Less is really more. Only those who have nothing to prove and nothing to protect, those who have in them a broad space big enough to embrace every part of their own soul, can receive the Christ. And Christ himself will lead us on this path. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Girls in Education, January Middle School Book Group

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. ~ Nelson Mandela
The Red Pencil
     Half the Sky, shares the stories of women and girls worldwide who need justice, hope, and help.  Acceptable for jr. high and high school, but I do not recommend for students younger than 14, as these are exceedingly difficult subjects. 

   Sheryl Wu Dunn, speaks at TED on the global oppression of women worldwide. Appropriate for jr. high, high school, and some mature middle school students.

 Freedom of Movement  
  Use a twin sheet and dress in a "sari" for class. How well do you manage moving around in a tight dress? 


Creating Opportunities for Women, Girls, and Families

The pen is mightier than the sword. ~ Malala 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

A Pearl in Portland, The Center for Architecture

   After weeks of working to arrange schedules for five very busy families, one Executive VP/CEO, and one amazing historian and tour guide, we got it done! Friday, our First Lego League robotics team visited The Center for Architecture in Portland. 
   Set in the heart of the Pearl District, The Center for Architecture encourages architects in their inventing, designing, and building.
   A dual purpose building, it hosts the offices of the Architectural Institute of America, AIA Portland and AIA Oregon, and The Center for Architecture. In what was once the old Mallory Stables, you now find a space bringing Oregonians pivotal new designs, inventions, and buildings for the next generation. 
    Our day began with a quick talk and presentation by Robert Hoffman, the Executive Vice President/CEO of The Center for Architecture, AIA Portland, and AIA Oregon. He was incredibly kind to arrange this tour for us, welcome us to Portland, and give the kids his time. While his presentation was short, it was almost impossible to keep the kids from rolling around in the fabulous AIA chairs. I think architects must enjoy rolling around on their ideas until they gel.
   Next, we headed out the door with Portland expert Eric Wheeler for a tour of the Pearl District. A historian, teacher, and expert on all things Portland (and many other cities), Eric generously shared his time, showed us around the Pearl, and taught us why the Pearl is so very special in terms of modern urbanization. 
   An old warehouse area, east of Burnside, the Pearl District was not an area we ever explored when I was a kid, as it was not considered safe. These days, it's a fabulous example of modern urbanization done right.
Looking and learning in the EcoTrust Building
Portland still has her Mounties, and they are loved.
Snack time on the loading docks. 
We did not need snacks; we had cupcakes before our walk.
 A goofy art installation in the Wieden and Kennedy Building
Does this remind anyone else of the Seattle Gum Wall?
The Gerding Theatre is located in what was once The Portland Armory.
 Of course, we had to make a stop at Powell's.
This oldie, but goodie, was also spotted in the Pearl.

Portland in the News
The new Tilikum Bridge - the first of its kind in the nation.
Portland Design Week, Portland fosters partnership in design
ADX, a Portland Maker Space 
The American Institute of Architects