Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Saturday, March 19, 2011

In Fields of White

The stand of irises at the corner of my yard reminds me of my visit to the Heian shrine in Kyoto, Japan, some years back. There, cluster after cluster of irises lined the banks of the peaceful lake within the walls of the shrine. They were everywhere, providing a calm and peaceful refuge in the middle of a busy city. I loved my visit to Japan and want to return some day.

My irises were salvaged from the alley about three years ago. When I planted them I had no idea what color they were or whether they would even make it in my newly carved out bed. But last year they bloomed for the first time. I was expecting the classic purple, but found, to my surprise, beautiful white petals instead.

This year there are more flowers than ever. They have bloomed very early and their timeliness weighs heavy on my heart. Kyoto, of course, is far away from the physical devastation, but ever close in heartache for their countrymen lost to the earthquake and the tsunami.

Flowers have long been ascribed meanings in world cultures. The iris has held a place as a sacred flower. In Greek mythology, the iris is associated with death. To the Japanese it symbolizes faith, valor, and wisdom. It is an important symbol in Japanese art. The iris is also believed to purify evil energies or to provide protection.

In Eastern cultures, white is the color of death, while in Western cultures it represents purity and peace.

Every day my irises remind me of the courage with which the Japanese people are facing terrible suffering and death and the heroism shown by the workers at the nuclear power plant in the face of grave danger. But my flowers also call me to prayer for the Japanese, for peace in the midst of the chaos and for wisdom to face a future beyond such difficulty.

For the people of Japan...Father, protect them from evil and give them hope.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thrifty Thursday

I have been off work this week for spring break. I had high hopes when the week began that I would accomplish great things, but my left eye has been quite troublesome for the last two months and it was no better this week. I do go to see the doctor in the morning and hopefully can get some answers.

I had started the week telling myself I would not go to the thrift stores this week, but feeling discouraged in other areas, I decided maybe it might perk me up. So after an errand downtown, I kept on heading west to hit the three stores on the other side of town.

And I have to say, it was worth the effort.

I never find my glasses at the thrift store, but today I found three iced teas and one old fashioned. I'm particularly in need of the iced teas.

The cabinet in the basement is full of canning jars, so I shouldn't have bothered, but you rarely see the taller quilted jars and this one came with a non-rusted ring as well.

The lemons on the one quart pitcher are in perfect condition and my Tang pitcher lids fit this as well. It's really cute.

And, of course, I couldn't pass up another one cup measure. This one has the measurements molded with the glass so they won't wear off. And check out the spouts on three sides.

I have a fabulous tin that friend Gwen gave me a few years ago for Christmas that I use for my on-the-go quilting project. But I am on the hunt for another tin to take on a trip this summer where I can't use my other one. This one was cheap enough even if I don't end up using it.

3 iced tea glasses = $2.97
1 old fashioned = $0.20
tall quilted jar = $0.25
lemonade pitcher = $1.49
1-cup measure = $0.99
cookie tin = $0.15

Total for the day = $6.05

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday