Monday, February 27, 2012

Flowers in the House

Stock cut with the stems cut short and arranged in a silver wine bottle holder using a frog, and two pots of tulips, all from Trader Joe's
Today I am linking to Small But Charming for Jane's Monday "Flowers in the House" party.  I am cheating a little because I am also including some photos of the flowers on my recent trip to Belize which were not in houses, but in various other places.  To begin, above are the most recent flowers in my house.  Trader Joe's is the closest place to my house where I can buy flowers...which must be purchased this time of year at my house since there is still snow on the ground.  But honestly, I think I would drive right past other shops to get to the Trader Joe's store because they have such a nice selection of flowers at prices that cannot be beat in Albuquerque. 

Too cold for tulips!  Not to mention that the ground squirrels dig them all up. 

These flowers were purchased because I hosted a Vestry Retreat for the St. Mark's vestry on Saturday.  My Mama always used flowers when entertaining, and although I never need an excuse to have flowers in the house, I never have a party without flowers.

And just for a little contrast here are some flowers from Belize:
At a restaurant.
Arranged in a slice of bamboo to echo the chairs made of bamboo.
New Mexico grown orchid at my house
Rare black orchid grown by Belize poet who shared this with me when he saw I was taking photographs of flowers near his home.

Friday, February 24, 2012



For the past ten summers, Camp Stoney, located ten miles outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico has been transformed into Hogwarts, that magical school of Witchcraft and Wizardry, created in the powerful imagination of J. K. Rowling,  and for a week I become someone else.  The transformation spell cast is so powerful, that one summer, at the end of the week a young camper came up to me with a puzzled look.  She stated, "Professor McGonagle, the actress they got to play you in the movie doesn't look a thing like you!"  Startled for a moment, I finally managed to say, "Darling, you know that we are just pretending this week, don't you?"

As deputy Headmistress, Minerva McGonagle, my fellow professors and I spin a web of mystery and fantasy to introduce the Bible themes that J.K. Rowling so cleverly disguises in her mega-popular Harry Potter series of novels for children and young adults.  Themes such as courage, self-sacrifice, being willing to die for others, and standing against evil and prejudice.

Dumbledore and the Sorting Hat

 Elementary (going into the second grade and up), Junior High, and High School students are sorted into Houses for the week.  Each house attends some classes together, eats together, and competes for house points in field games and Trivia.  The High School group meets separately for some of the activities and in the evenings for fellowship and program designed for their age group.

Drama, Magical Classes, Arts and Crafts, traditional camping activities such as hiking, archery, sleeping overnight in tents, swimming, singing around a campfire, prayer, worship, and silly activities like Jello Slurp contests, eating dinner with kitchen serving utensils, and water balloon fights all combine to enhance the campers' week long experiences.  Live long friendships are formed.  Positive young adults models are observed.  Worship skills are developed.  Lots of love and positive reinforcements are lavished on campers and we never neglect to have FUN.

Magical Classes:

Herbology Class
Sewing Jerseys for Quidditch
Astronomy Class
Care of Magical Creatures
Owl rescued by the Santa Fe Raptor Club

Potions Class

 Silly Fun:

The Jello Slurp Contest
On Your Mark

 Hats Off and Go!

Water Balloon Fight
The High School group staffs the Haunted House at the Hogsmeade Carnival

Nobody gets by me without the password!

 Delivering Owl Mail

  Skit:  "Harry in Potions Class"

Skit:  Baby Harry is left at the Dursleys
 Madam Pomfrey and Madam Hooch
waiting in the wings.
Field Games:
  Quidditch Strategy
 Defending the Goal
Moving the Quaffle
 Madam Hooch checking the flying conditions