Our church is a part of something called the Advent Conspiracy this year. Check out the website with it's fabulous tag line: Restoring the Scandal of Christmas. We're working at reflecting it's values this Christmas, which are: Worship More, Spend Less, Give More, Love All. There's been a really great art show in the Brickhouse, our coffeehouse/gallery that corresponds with these themes. Anyway, today we talked about getting off the hamster wheel that the 'holiday season' becomes (definitely no longer a 'holy-day') and try to refocus. I agree with it all whole-heartedly. This year has been difficult. I think because there are so many things I want to do, all good fun, even worshipful things, like Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve at Holy Cross Church (getting my yearly dose of bells, smells, and illicit Communion.)
Strange and Plain Things: A Christmas Play
And then there's that other thing that is good, fun, worshipful and creative, but is seeping into our time like water trying to find the lowest point: I'm talking about the Christmas play. We were tapped to help write the thing, which felt extremely gratifying in late August/early September. "Aah! Finally a great collaborative project! Isn't everything wonderful?" That was the feeling a few months ago. Now, it's more like "How did we get here?" Because, you see, B and I are somehow directing the play too! Now, there's plenty of other people involved, and honestly, we've been less involved than directors probably should be (nice to use G as an excuse), but still-life is a little....wacky right now.
Church Life
Let's see, we are the team leaders for the Toddler Room, I'm the church librarian, I also do consulting on landscape design/management of the gardens and grounds, I'm part of the Spoken Word team and now this. Whew! I think all my time couldn be easily eaten away in the context of church life, which is interesting, because I've never been really really sold on church anyway, and often it's been a teeth-gritting experience. But I really like Vintage Faith Church, in ways I haven't known I could like a church.
Jane? Get Me Off This Crazy Thing!...Called Christmas
And so, the dilemma: how to appropriate the tenets of the Advent Conspiracy, particularly the ways in which we slow down and get off the holiday hamster wheel, while still carrying off this production? Which will be very cool, and I hope you all can come. But still, this last week is a mite crazy. Pray for us!

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Read Your Way Through the Garden: Choice Tomes From Garden Literature

  • A Book of Salvias by Betsy Clebsch
  • Botany for Gardeners by Brian Capon
  • Making Bentwood Trellises by Jim Long
  • RHS Encyclopedia of Plants & Flowers
  • Rose Primer: An Organic Approach to Rose Selection & Care by Orin Martin
  • Start With the Soil by Grace Gershuny
  • Sunset Western Garden Book
  • Sunset Western Landscaping Book
  • The Book of Garden Secrets by Patent & Bilderback
  • The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Botany
  • the Gardener's Table: A Guide to Natural Vegetable Growing and Cooking by Richard Merrill & Joe Ortiz
  • The Gardener's Year by Karel Capek
  • The Hutchinson Dictionary of Plant Names: Common & Botanical
  • We Made A Garden by Margaret Fish

lotsa latin: rosa's botanical & etymological ruminations

  • vespertinus: flowers in the evening
  • vernalis:spring
  • veni vidi nates calcalvi: we came, we saw, we kicked butt. This was printed on a T shirt I bought at Abbot's Thrift many years ago. It encircled the NEA symbol. I wish I knew why.
  • superciliaris: shaped like an eyebrow ex: sturnella superciliaris, the White-browed Blackbird
  • rosa-sinensis: species of Hibiscus: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. Lit. Rosa of China, so named by British plant hunters.
  • placentiformis: shaped like a cake ex: discocactus placentiformis
  • nudiflorus: flowers before leaves show ex: flowering quince, magnolia
  • nivalis: growing in or near snow ex: galanthus nivalis (common snowdrop)
  • muralis: growing on walls
  • mirabilis: marvellous, wonderful
  • formosa: beautiful ex: dicentra formosa, a.k.a.western bleeding heart/dutchman's breeches/lady in a bath
  • carpe vitam: get a life
  • Carolus Linnaeus: Latinized name of Carl von Linne (1707-1778), Swedish naturalist considered the father of plant taxonomy. Whatta guy.