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Pam in CT

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Pam in CT last won the day on December 5

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About Pam in CT

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    Qualified Bee Keeper

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    Female
  • Location
    CT
  • Interests
    Reading, writing, gardening, taking (not especially good) pictures, knitting. Not interested in: ironing

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  1. I this thread and we don't even have a tree. re upright/narrow conifers The classic narrow evergreen (used for tight patio spaces) is Ilex Pencil Sky, a tree of Many Virtues; but it's a holly and doesn't have that marvelous smell. Cypress, some junipers and thuja occidentalis (arborvitae) are all narrow conifers. The first are slow-growing and relatively expensive, but arborvitae is quite fast-growing and therefore inexpensive; I've seen it in my nursery over the last few weeks marketed as living Christmas tree. (If you want to put it out and winter it over for spring planting you have to be careful about easing it out on a warm day and protecting it; or the shock will kill it.)
  2. ((hugs)). No experience or insight to offer; just grateful on behalf of those kids that you and your husband are offstage but attentive, caring about and pulling for them.
  3. Mmmm. I just thaw it, stick gobs of butter under the skin, shake some salt/pepper/sage over the top, plonk it in a pan with ~1 inch of apple cider on the bottom, and baste whenever the thought occurs to me throughout the day until it's done. Plenty of drippings/liquid for gravy. Stuffing is separate because several in the family are vegetarian, so I make it stovetop, finish in the oven for crispy, and then split into two dishes, one of which gets lots of drippings/liquid. Intrigued by those who do the smoking. How do you keep the top part moist? Do you turn it as it cooks? (Not a lot of smoking in my area!)
  4. re pain that's too hard for friends and family to hold ((Chris)) and ((Danielle)). Yes, this is a thing that happens. I am so sorry, and so hope you found your way back to the people whose support you deserved... or found new people whose support you have. This is breathtakingly beautiful and life-affirming and filled with grace. This thread is making me re-think how important physical manifestations of caring (in contrast to electronica) are to the soul. I've always *liked* cards but some of these posts are stepping up my appreciation considerably.
  5. We love getting cards, and manage to get out a singularly plain card, usually one photo of the nearly-grown kids on front/another of the dog on back, most years. We aim for right after New Years; that seems to work best. We keep a list, with mailing labels, which helps the production a good bit. We send out ~100 and get nearly that many back, not necessarily from the same people. We keep them all in a pretty basket through about March, at which point we make a vague effort to add in people we've received FROM to the list... but the "system" isn't, er, foolproof. And then we pitch all but the most cherishable. If life is too hectic in a particular year, we just skip and pick up the following. It's not a big deal. But most years we manage. Love @happi duck 's tradition of "thank you" cards to people/organizations that have somehow touched us during the year.
  6. re I believe... That is a very solid foundation, certainly enough to go on within most any big-tent religious tradition. And concur with Katie, whose weaver analogy I , that there's nothing "cheating" about working within the tradition you happened to be born into. One (of several) ways I think of religious traditions is as languages, different grammars and rhythms and component parts we use to convey concepts and ideas that (IMHO) lie beyond our cognitive grasp. Christianity is your mother tongue, the spiritual language you were raised in... much as weaving is the visual language Katie's weaver was born to. We work with the tools we have; what's the alternative?
  7. re does this teacher have something to teach me: I believe the bolded is actually the basis of all deep and fruitful interfaith encounter. Whether or not participants "believe" in the Whole Megillah * of one another's worldviews, they are able to listen sufficiently deeply that they are able to extract lessons from one another. This is how Thomas Merton deepened his own faith through extracting lessons from Buddhist teaching, how the Dalai Lama extracted lessons about surviving diaspora from Orthodox Jews, how Thich Nhat Hanh gleaned lessons about compassion from the life of Christ, and a thousand other etc. It's not that participants attach to the *entirety of the other person's worldview*; it's more that they say: You, too, have gifts to impart. I, too, still look to learn more. I can learn from you. I personally believe that such open-ness -- softness, willingness to receive from folks who hold difference-- is a gift. I believe that gift actually derives from the Divine. * google it!
  8. Yes, that book looks very much like how I received Spong's experiment. Thank you.
  9. re wildly different responses / hurling books across the room The landing place he arrives at *is* rather universal (little u); and I can understand how even the title of WCMCoD could push buttons. (I truly don't, FWIW, think that Spong views folks who remain Christ-centric in their worldviews are "idiots"... but that is neither here nor there.) Have *definitely* thrown books across rooms myself! And where I was personally when I encountered him an his work, I wasn't Christ-centric either where I was starting nor where I was headed, so his little-u universalism wasn't an obstacle for me... I can see how it would be for others. I can't even remember which of the early books it was in -- it may not have been WCMCoD, I read a slew of them packed into a short time and they all sort of mashed together -- that so affected me was to encourage the struggler to identify -- to label -- manifested acts of love, as God. You witness a mother picking up an tired & cranky toddler, and responding not in kind but rather with tenderness: name that as God. You see a person handing over a $10 bill to a homeless person, name that as God. You see a middle-aged woman patiently waiting for a frail elderly man to make his way with his walker, speaking slowly and calmly and smilingly as though she had all the time in the world, name that as God. The first couple of days I tried this I felt perfectly ridiculous, fraudulent even, like it was a semantic trick, a sort of human gaslighting of the divine, an effort to overwrite millennia of complex received tradition of the super sensory expansiveness what God was into a secular and -- seemingly -- rational and finite box. Well gracious, anybody can "believe" in God if we redefine God down to *that* dot... And then a few days in something clicked, and I realized that -- semantics aside, all my in-the-head-critical-analysis aside -- if I suspended that critical editorial voice and just went with the exercise for the duration of the exercise something magic happened: it rendered God visible. If for the purpose of a segment of your journey you're willing to go -- just for a segment of the journey -- with a working definition of God as "God is love," and you then walk around the world looking for concrete manifestations of love, all of a sudden you see God every day, in all sorts of odd corners of ordinary life. You also see God not as an externalized Being but in *the spaces in between people,* in encounters and actions and behavior *between* us. For a person long wandering in the desert, thirsty for even a glimpse of God, this was a gift beyond measure. God Made Visible. Available to us all whenever we look. My worldview has continued to evolve since then, and in some respects has settled around more traditional God-imagery (and I will forever be shaped by traditional text... though I -- and Judaism broadly -- grapple with those texts pretty differently than most Christians). But there was an inflection point there that shifted -- and eased -- my journey substantially. And I can understand how that central imagery could be a stable, solid equilibrium that has sustained Spong, and could have sustained RHE, over the very long haul. (And I don't -- FWIW -- think the framing of God-is-love is *mutually exclusive* from a more Christ-centric set of imagery. If God is infinite and eternal, and we're mortal vessels of limited cognitive capacity (AND THIS MUCH, I BELIEVE), there's a sense in which we're ALL using our respective images and texts and teachings as conduits, models, representations of an ineffable that is beyond our finite capacity to grasp.)
  10. RHE wrote so gorgeously -- open, funny, generous-hearted, accessible. She made religious journey-ing seem like the most natural human progression in the world, a simple manifestation of *caring.* No more, no less. Quill, if her writing resonate with you, but wonder if the worldview she arrived at could possibly be *stable* over a long haul -- like she'd arrived at a way station but not an equilibrium-- you might look to any of Bishop J Shelby Spong's writings. He was good friends of good friends of ours when we lived in New Jersey, and I met him a couple of times, and can honestly say that he affected (for the better) my own journey, even though I started in a very different place and was largely headed in an opposite direction. There was one... suggestion? re-framing? exercise? in one of the early books that I return to even decades later. He found a permanent landing in a space I can envision RHE inhabiting as well. Hugs.
  11. If she's outdoorsy, I'd highly recommend all-things-organized Appalachian Mountain Club family camps and trips -- they have both lodge-based options (Highland Center in NH is the most posh of the lot; any person person in decent shape would be up for their lodge-based camps), hut-to-hut trips (where you hike 7-10 miles/day and sleep in a bed every night), and camping trips. (7-10 miles isn't very *long* but it's harder than it sounds bc there's a lot of up-and-down.) I also took my kids for years to all-things-organized Family Nature Camp in Acadia (run out of College of the Atlantic). In that one, you do end up sharing a hall bathroom with others in your section of the dorm. We did a family a REI trip in Ecuador with another family and it was GREAT; highly recommend them as well. I also went to Cuba with a school friend of mine and two kids each (no spouses) with Friendly Planet. It wasn't actually a "family trip" but they let us take the kids. The younger set of were both 12 (the minimum age FP would take), the older set were 16, and everyone else on the trip were adult. It worked great for *us* (don't know how the others on the trip felt about having teens on the bus). We wouldn't have taken that route except that at the time there were limited options getting to Cuba. I'm currently looking at Backroads, which runs family trips all over Europe and Hawaii. Road Scholar will let anyone over 16 go as a "companion" to anyone over 50. My eldest (by then 23) went on one with my mother last year. She was definitely the youngest on the trip but adored all the attention and affirmation. RS does very well organizationally and their trips are quite affordable.
  12. WPI is in Worcester? OK, so, then, your second day in MA: the Lowell National Historic Site (really great on textile Industrial Revolution history; and also Walden Pond. You can actually circumambulate the whole thing musingly in about 40 minutes, pretending you're Thoreau, and then hop right back onto 395. Very efficient. ( I college visit road trips. I should write a book about all the bits of America I've seen with surly teenagers in eyeroling tow, lol... one more to go...)
  13. re Hartford - I don't know when you're going... I think it's quite fun to visit when the legislative assembly is in session (starts Feb 5) -- the hearings are all open in the Legislative Office Building so you can just show up, take a look at the board of what's being discussed where, and wander into the hearing rooms and listen. There's an underground walkway that connects the LOB to the Capitol (usually packed with lobbyists and issue groups wearing sprightly colored T shirts), and then the Capitol itself has cool exhibits. ETA the League of Women Voters gives free daily tours when the assembly is in session, I think at 11:30. Mark Twain's house is definitely worth seeing if you like Mark Twain. And Hill-Stead is DEFINITELY worth seeing and nobody's ever heard of it; one of those wholly unexpected pleasures. Farmington's only another ~18 minutes once you've made your way to Hartford. (Overall, though... New Haven's got more going on, art and culture wise, than Hartford.)
  14. Hmmm -- I can't think of much in CT directly on the route between Storrs and the northern edge of CT. Both Sturbridge (definitely good for ~2-3 hour stop) and my favorite used book store cafe in New England are right the intersection of 84 and 90 shortly after you cross into MA (you literally see my cafe up on the hill coming up 84). If you're willing to detour a bit, Mystic (Charles Morgan, aquarium, super cute town) to the east, or Rocky Hill State Park to the west (actual mudflat with actual in-situ dinosaur prints, I've never seen anything like it anywhere else), or Mark Twain's house and the Wadsworth in Hartford, or Hill-Stead in Farmington (completely implausible impressionist collection smack in the middle of nowhere) are all worth seeing. Skip Hartford's science museum -- y'all have Boston, much better.
  15. You've gotten some good factual suggestions already... two works of fiction with ASD protagonists that I think are quite well done are London Eye (where the ASD character is able to visualize/conceptualize details that crack the code of a mystery) and Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime (which is hard to describe without spoilers, but really innovative in structure and to my mind pretty genius is conveying the experience of a brain processing in a very different way. Also any of Temple Grandin's memoirs point a lamp to a full life lived within a well-articulated insight into her differences.
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