Friday, September 6, 2013

Croquet Anyone?

I seem to have a memory of playing croquet.  Perhaps it is just an image I made up because I wanted to wear a lacy white dress, a wide brimmed hat, fingerless lace gloves, and languidly fascinate handsome boys in linen suits.
Rather like this...
An invitation to a tea party this week, made part of that vision come true.  I did indeed play croquet.  However, my hat was red, and there were no boys in white linen suits.  Only a gathering of women of all ages and one intrepid gentleman that liked wearing something a little different than their every day attire, using linens and real china, and drinking tea served from a silver tea set.

Marlene and Joan had little experience with hosting high teas, but live next to my daughter Brittany who has had a lot of practice at the tutelage of her Auntie Roz.  So Brittany pitched in to help.

Set in the lovely north valley garden of these two nuns, Joan and Marlene, we embarked on rounds of rowdy croquet guided by Marlene, a Franciscan Sister who had indeed played a lot of croquet as a girl.  She purchased her croquet set at a thrift shop for $5. 
Marlene is  turquoise dress explaining the rules

The rules seemed fluid at best, but no one minded except perhaps the fiercely competitive other Sister, Joan.
Joan in black hat watching the action
This ninety year old wowed us with her hard accurate hits!

Marlene, laughing too hard to get up after tripping over a wicket.
This ninety-year old in the lady-like blue dress was really a tiger on the field!

There were elegant moments of course.  Lovely hats....
 Well appointed tables...
 Flowers, fountains, and statues...

Our Lady of the Bees
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady of the East at the center of a spiral walk.
 And a few guests not invited for tea...
Bees helping themselves at the Hummingbird Feeder
 My thanks to everyone, especially Sisters Joan and Marlene (and my daughter Brittany) for a wonderful afternoon of high tea.
Apologies for not photographing the goodies.  I was too busy enjoying them!  For those of you dieting that may be a very good thing!

Sister Joan Brown is the Executive Director of New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light and works tirelessly to help faith communities address global warming in concrete ways.  Click here to listen an interview with her.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Next Best Thing to Being a Cowgirl...Knowing One

As a child I loved horses, learned to ride at all the stables on the air bases where my Dad was stationed, and wanted to grow up to be a cowgirl.  I thought this a reasonable goal even though I lived most of my childhood far from the ranch.  What ranch?  Well the Huston ranch between Hobbs and Lovington, New Mexico owned by friends of my grandparents.  Every summer, the highlight of my sometimes short and sometimes weeks long visits to my grandparent's house would include at least one visit to the ranch.  One memorable summer included a round-up of calves.  And why do you round up calves?  Well... to brand them and, horrors, neuter the males.  I was told that the bits that were cut off was considered quite a delicacy by the wranglers.  Fortunately no one offered me any.  

This somewhat dampened my ardor to be a cowgirl, but at least I still knew one!  Sally Huston (now Seed) was my idol at that age.  Smart, funny, had great clothes, rode horses, was in college and lived on a ranch! Sally was no country girl, however.  She was and is sophisticated and cultured with a wonderful taste in contemporary artwork.  Her hot pink upholstered couch layered with a brilliantly hued throw, made me dream of using such vibrant colors when I eventually had my own house to decorate.

I still like cowgirls.  So perhaps, I can talk my husband into taking me to Santa Fe on Friday to see my neighbor Aimee Hoyt, who will be performing at 
 I just happen to also love BBQ!  I have not sampled the Cowgirl's BBQ, so cannot yet recommend it, but will let all you all know if it is good, if indeed we do end up going.

 Aimee plays and sings with The Bootleg Prophets and will also be performing in Silver City at the

5th Annual Pickamania! Sept. 13-15, 2013

Monday, September 2, 2013

A Sherbert Sort of Room, A Navy and Green Room, and a Jungle Room

Perhaps I was hungry that day.  Maybe the fact that I had a gallon of lime green paint (left over from painting my studio) informed the color choice for this room.
Maybe the fact that the shelves were already orange, although a clownish sort of fifties orange influenced the eventual sherbert color scheme for the Seasons of the Spirit classroom at St. Mark's. 
Hmmm...need to iron that banner!

Fabulous vintage fifties chairs, holding up well after all these years.
The Rite - 13 Class chose their color scheme themselves based on several different choices: navy and orange, green and navy, or navy and red.   I created three different color schemes, all using navy and pinned examples on Pinterest.  We were working with two existing vintage Bertoia chairs and navy blue leather couches and chairs that had languished in storage for the past five years.  Here is the result...
Opps, still need to paint that bottom shelf.

At the open house, many parents exclaimed, "it looks like a Starbuck's."  I think they meant that as a compliment.  These young teens are delighted with new more grown-up space.

Our older teens who are now in Journey to Adulthood decorated their classroom last year, but are now thinking of re-furbishing their space.  Perhaps a little competition is spurring them on to greater decorating heights!  Sorry, the photo of this room did not turn out.  I will try to remember to re-take it and do a "before" and "after" when this age completes their re-do.

The Godly Play classroom moved downstairs this summer due to the construction of our new Montessori school that opens on Tuesday (more about that in the next post!)   Here is their bright and airy classroom.
Story Telling and Worship Space
Art Response area

And finally, this Children's Worship Space, called Joy Jungle, was created when I first worked at St. Mark's with the help of a lot of talented folks.  

Twenty-five years later (with a few changes) it is still functioning as intended.  Here children are introduced to lesser known Bible stories not covered in their classroom curriculum's, re-tell the stories through puppets plays and theater, celebrate the seasons of the church year with special crafts, play Bible games, and watch Bible videos. 
 What is in that treasure box you ask?  Well God's Word of course, and also the rules the kids made of for behavior standards.  Take a look...

Added the week the news media was all about a middle schooler being expelled for bringing a gun to school.
The child who wrote this explained that people hardly ever dared you to do something good.

Written by someone (OK, me!) who once had to pick up every single puppet off the floor. 

 My personal favorite, since the trees are made of wire and paper mache.

We are currently learning about the Fruits of Spirit.  We have a great curriculum developed by Shining Star Publications (sadly, no longer in business, although an internet search will bring up several sites that have used copies) with lots of activities.
We have several books with CD's by Anthony Paul on some of the Fruits of the Spirit.
Purchased way back in the 90's from Bibles Plus
And, of course, there are the resources found online.  Thanks to Tony Kummer  for rounding up lots of ideas including the highly successful Bingo Game by Kristin Charles.  Visit Kristin and Tony at for more exciting and fun games to learn Bible stories.  We also used a two posters from DLTK as visual reminders of the lessons.  One is a very upbeat cadence that was fun to  use with our rhythm instruments.  

Thanks to Asher Barreras, professional musician, for facilitating this activity. Asher is one of team teachers for our Rite-13 class and is also starting a youth praise band at St. Mark's this month. Visit St. Mark's website for more information.