Céad Míle Fáilte ~ A Hundred Thousand Welcomes!

Here we seek a rest in the shade, some cool water and a little kindness. This blog is dedicated to peace, truth, justice and a post- industrial, post-petroleum illumined world in spite of all odds against it. I very much like the line about the ancient knight (see poem below) "His helmet now shall make a hive for bees" It is reminiscent of "beating swords into ploughshares" a sentiment I heartily approve of. Thank you for visiting ~ I hope you return!

Waterfall Animation Pictures, Images and Photos

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Angels Unaware

Hebrews 13: 1-2
1 Let the charity of the brotherhood abide in you. 2 And hospitality do not forget; for by this some, being not aware of it, have entertained angels unaware.

As we walk through this word let us not forget that in our extremity, in accident, illness, war or trials, often our guardian angels take form and walk among us. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

From Spirit Daily.


Monday, June 29, 2009

June 29 ~ Sts. Peter and Paul

God our Father,
today you give us the joy of celebrating the feast of the apostles Peter and Paul.
Through them your Church first received the faith. Keep us true to their teaching.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ,
your Son, who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Support A Free Iran

The movement in Iran has now become a global protest against tyranny and dictatorship.
Freedom and democracy is what the protestors want, and they are willing to die for it. Honor their courage and support their cause.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

BBC On The Deep Thinking of Dolphins

I love dolphins and have all my days. Seeing a pod of wild dolphins swim close to shore and stick their heads out, making vocalizations at my niece and myself for a half hour or so was the most amazing wildlife encounter of my life.

These frisky, intelligent and beautiful sea mammals are amazing to watch. They've been the subject of scientific study for years and this short (28 minutes) BBC documentary on their behavior will blow your mind.

dolphins jumpin Pictures, Images and Photos

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tommy Tiernan On the State of the Priesthood

Irish comedian Tommy Tiernan talks about the Mass and the state of the priesthood. This carries an eff-bomb alert "R for language" (for those who might be offended) but it is brilliant. His point about the priesthood needing to look and sound more like John the Baptist definitely waves toward the Eastern clergy, who sport that wild prophet look much more than the Westerners. Made me laugh insanely, anyhow. I like Tiernan's humor.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Time For A Change

More From Lincoln Iran Solidarity March

Why we march:

Free Iran Pictures, Images and Photos

Lincoln NE Solidarity March


Today in Lincoln, Nebraska USA some 30 or so people marched in support of Iranian pro-democracy, pro-women's rights, pro-human rights demonstrators.

College students and citizens, many of Iranian descent, and many others, turned out in solidarity with the beleaguered demonstrators and in support of human rights and freedom.
~~~Photos courtesy the Lincoln, NE Student Facebook group.

Iran Pictures, Images and Photos

We Are All Neda...

"we did not throw rocks at them. we cried 'we want freedom'. they shot us."
We Are All Neda

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Friday, June 19, 2009

Planting Trees

I'm just back from Helen's lovely memorial service, and won't try to recount the glowing eulogies presented by a host of luminaries (among them both a current and a former U.S. Senator, some of her many, many spiritual children). Rather, I share the quote on the tiny blue spruce seedling in a tidy tube - one of which was handed to all of us as we left, which we were advised to "plant very soon" by the officiating pastor. This quote sums up Mrs. Boosalis' approach to life and public service:

The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit."
~ Nelson Henderson

"Plant very soon." Do not hesitate in doing good.

Cheers to my 250,000 strong family here in Lincoln, Nebraska, all of us "Helen's children" today. Let's all try and live up to it.

+ + +

I found my perfect job

It has been an interesting week. I made it exactly 77 days as a retired person and now I am only semi retired. I was offered what I consider to be an almost perfect job for me. I am now a bicycle technician at a local, well stocked and established bicycle store three times a week. This was the first week and I love it! Now I just have to get used to a new schedule again and figure out how to get some writing in also. I also have to figure out how to resist buying any more bikes for a while!
Its funny, I was not really actively looking for a job but the perfect one just presented itself at the right time. It reminds me of the saying by Alexander Graham Bell, “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Analysis of The Tehran Spring

From Asia Times Online. The meaning of the Tehran spring By Pepe Escobar

A must-read. Americans, we are amazed by the intense pro-democracy demonstrations of the Iranian people, especially their youth and women. Our feeble response to a the 2000 election, Diebold-ed and stolen as it was, pales in comparison. Viva Iran's Green Revolution! Power to the people. Right on.
Mousavi Supporters Pictures, Images and Photos Mousavi Supporters

You're Invited!

gold heart Pictures, Images and Photos
Heart of Gold Jewelers
Invites you to help celebrate our
Grand Opening!
Friday June 26, 2009
from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
At Studioville ~ 2634 N 48th Street
Lincoln, Nebraska
Come for an evening of food, fun and festivities in our brand-new store.
Check out our one-of-a-kind jewelry designs as well as pottery,
unique beaded jewelry and photography.
See you there!
~ The Yost Family
Regular hours ~
Open Tuesdays through Saturdays ~
– T,W,F,Sat: 10 AM to 5 PM and TH: Noon to 8 PM

gold heart Pictures, Images and Photos

A Contemplative Sort of Day

Today is a day off work which means a number of little household tasks to accomplish, most of them pleasant. I am in a state of nostalgia due to several converging factors, and reflecting on the ephemera of life's pageant. Wacky philosopher Jonathan Zap says that one should avoid doing things which you will not remember well on one's deathbed, and I agree. I am attempting to chisel my life into that mold.

I began the day with Mass at Saint Patrick's, finishing up with a brief prayer session in front to the Blessed Mother. I heartily recommend that as a great way to start your day.
" ... more honorable than the Cherubim
and more glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim;
without corruption you gave birth to God the Word;
true Theotokos we magnify you ... "

Came home, watered the flowers in the garden, then made a pair of glass bead and Swarovski crystal earrings and matching necklace for Heart Of Gold Jewelers and now I'm blogging, the it's off to do errands and work at the local food pantry. What joy the simple things are.

Live well! Pax Christi.


Theotokos Pictures, Images and Photos

Monday, June 15, 2009

+Helen Boosalis+ + Memory Eternal +

Former Lincoln Mayor and past gubernatorial candidate Helen Boosalis died at a Lincoln hospice this morning. Helen and her husband Mike sat in the pew behind our family's at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church for many years. I served on committees and in clubs alongside her several times, and really have never met a classier, more gracious and intelligent, gifted natural leader. Her charm, wit and sparkling sense of humor set everyone at ease. Her energy was amazing. You will be greatly missed, Helen.

Of historical note, Mrs. Boosalis was the first woman mayor of a city with a population over 100,000 people in the nation. Her race for the governor's seat against Republican Kay Orr in 1986 was also a first for the nation. I think of her fondly every spring when the hundreds of ornamental pear trees she planted along Lincoln streets bloom, and every fall when their scarlet foliage ignites the pedestrian ways with beauty.

As the Greeks say, eonia I mnimi ~ eternal be her memory. Rest in peace, dear sister.

Bradford Pear Trees Pictures, Images and Photos Bradford pear blossoms like the ones on the trees that grace Lincoln, Nebraska thanks to Helen!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Bring Him Home

Dedicated to all men and women in harm's way. From Les Miserables, Colm Wilkinson.

Great Books ~ My Reading List

Outside Fangorn, Gandalf greets Shadowfax Pictures, Images and Photos Gandalf greets Shadowfax outside Fangorn Forest.

Since ExRanger posted his "top ten books" list, I've been doing some thinking about the books I love ~ the "great" books in my spiritual and intellectual development over many years. The ones I come back to, the ones that helped form who I am and what I believe may change some from decade to decade, but the following books are always at the top of the list. The ideas presented in these writings are precious to my soul. If you haven't yet read them, do yourself a favor and put them on your personal to-read list!

1.) The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (The Fellowship of the Ring; The Two Towers; The Return of the King) by J.R.R. Tolkien and also The Hobbit: or There and Back Again ~ I first read Tolkien when The Hobbit was first published stateside, 1966 I think, since I was 13 years old ~ and have been a fan ever since. Have read them all 7 or 8 times. What a nerd.

2.) Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. What can I say. I could hardly love this book more if it were a beloved person. The quintessential book on what it means to be human. Also loved the musical ~ Have read the book twice and seen the play three times! And the Liam Nisson film was pretty good too.

3.) Green Dolphin Street by Elizabeth Goudge. Out of print and worth the hunt. HINT: Many large public libraries still have a copy or two. Read one of those. Ms. Goudge wrote beautifully from a Catholic worldview enchanting tales of much depth and loveliness. This is the based-on-a-true-story tale of a man who married the wrong woman, and made a good thing of it. I've read it many times.
It is a sure-cure for a bad cold, BTW.

4.) Cancer Ward by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn The past master of 20th century fiction on freedom, mortality and the nature of God and man. Very very good. I've read it 3 times.

5.) Freddy and Fredericka by Mark Helprin This one I love because I laughed raucously aloud every 3-4 pages, and it shows the USA in a light not usually seen, very illuminating and clear. Jolly good read and so much fun.

My other Top 5 will be posted later, after I figure out what they are :P

Arwen searches for a book...
Arwen looking for a book Pictures, Images and Photos

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Heart Of Gold Jewelers

Our little gallery

Dear Readers,

We are very excited and happy to let you all know that our new store and gallery, Heart of Gold Jewelers, is now open for business.

We will be having a Grand Opening event on Friday, June 26, from 7-9pm and we invite you to join us for food and fun!
Our location is 2634 N. 48th St in the University Place neighborhood in Lincoln, Nebraska USA.

The building we are in is called Studioville and there is lots of parking in the back. Regular hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10am-5pm and Thursday Noon til 8pm.
We have our original jewelry as well as the work of several other potters, jewelers and photographers and we also do repairs and will be doing some jewelry classes.
Please come see our gallery and tell all your friends and families.

Charles, Deb & Toni Yost

June 13, 2009

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Who Says Women Don't Go To Movies?

I still have house guests, so this will be short and to the point. --- :D ---
I hope...

Who has seen the sweet, funny film "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"? That is one of our favorite films, and after having spent over 18 years of my life visiting the local Greek Orthodox Church, most of that as a convert-member, I have to say that I know those people, those characters are REAL, and as quirky and hilarious as the film makes them out to be. (I think that's why Tom and Rita Hanks decided to back Vardolos first film, it was so very funny and true to the Greek diaspora experience.) I have seen it three times and will watch it again. Family, food, tradition, honoring the elders, deep spiritual connectedness and family pride are all themes moderners could take a point from.

Read Nia Vardolos' post in HuffPo fromMonday 06/08/09 titled "Women Don't Go To Movies" -- Huh? and then run out and see her latest film, My Life in Ruins, with all your friends. Guys too, cuz you know you really did like My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
MBFGW excerpt: [upon learning Ian is a vegetarian] What do you mean, you don't eat no meat? [the entire room stops, in shock. We hear plates break and there are gasps.] ... That's okay. I make lamb.


Reading lists

I love books. I have hundreds upstairs and can't seem to stop collecting them. No matter how many I get though have some that I keep coming back to and re-reading. Here is my top ten list of books I would keep if I had to get rid of all the rest.

CRYPTONOMICON by Neal Stephenson

The Nature of personal Reality by Jane Roberts

ILLUSIONS by Richard Bach

Cloud Hidden, Whereabouts unknown by Alan Watts

TAO, The Watercourse Way by Alan Watts

Zen in the martial arts by Joe Hyams

The Art of Peace by Morihei Ueshiba

Mountain Man by Vardis Fisher

House by Tracy Kidder

Dispatches by Michael Herr

That is my list. I would be interested to see what you would pick for inclusion on your list!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Weddings and Company and Dinners, Oh My!

Blogging from me will be sparse for a few days, since we have our daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter in town for a family wedding and attendant festivities, side trips, extended large meals and smorgasbords, all lubricated by a lot of coffee and tasty beer and wine. ExRanger and Stanford Gabriel will keep things going in the meantime, so be sure and leave some comments for 'em!

Who is this "ExRanger" guy?

Who is this ExRanger guy? Good question. Deb Yost the owner of this Blog asked me if I would like to be a guest writer on The Rosemary Tree and I agreed.
I was raised in the Catholic church in Royal Oak Michigan at the Shrine of the little flower. When I was 12 my family moved to a very rural farm in central Michigan. We were five miles from the nearest village and an half hour from the nearest town of any size. The best thing about it was a fifteen thousand acre state game area that was only a mile down the road. My new best friend and I spent every waking hour when not in school roaming the woods year around. Our parents rarely new where we were at any given time and it made us very independent and self sufficient.
Soon came the end of High School and the need to get a full time job. My friend and I both drove the hour to the GM plant where we were hired and spent the next three decades working. During that time I went on military leave and joined the 1/75th Airborne Ranger Battalion for four years. After my tour I went on a sort of spiritual quest that is still going on to some extent. In the end I chose to follow the Tao.
My experiences in the Rangers changed the way I look at life and made me a very different person. I started writing as a way to share the things that I had learned at great expense with people who might need that experience. If there is one thing I know well it is how to live very rough and travel light. Good things to know when our economy is crumbling and the safety nets are not holding.
So now I have retired from GM and I do other things. I work in the garden, Bicycle many miles, read and study a lot, write some and think about how to avoid the worst effects of the hard times to come.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Be Still And Know That I Am God

From the philosophical East comes a succinct exposition of the injunction from the Bible to "be still and know that I am God". We Christians have a set of "training wheels" to wobble into this state, the Jesus Prayer, or the Kyrie.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Love Lift Us Up

The beloved Cree songwriter sings her perhaps best-known song. A prayer for our times.

No Atheists in Foxholes

There is an old saying that there are no atheists in foxholes and I believe that to be absolutely true. That first close call or brush with mortality and all of a sudden you are praying to whatever higher power you can think of at the time.
In a larger sense I think the same thing is happening on a national level. As our economy slowly crumbles and more and more people are put in situations that they never imagined or prepared themselves for they will suddenly start holding out hope from a higher power that they never really had time for when times were so good. I imagine there are a lot of very late, dark night of the soul conversions going on these days.
What that will lead to is growth in church and other faith based groups and small communities who will help each other through the tough times to come. It will also lead to a turning away from an individual, "I can do it all on my own outlook on life" if only because it is so difficult to pull off. Just look at the old time mountain men in the early years of this country. They were probably the ultimate strong individualist type people we have ever had in this country. And yet when they went to the western mountains they died in droves just because there was too much to do by themselves and no margin for error.
In contrast, look at the Catholic Church as one example. It has survived for two millenia, through revolutions, Plagues, natural disasters and changing societies. And the people who make up the church are going to have the best chances of weathering the hard times ahead in our country if only because they will help each other. There is an infrastructure and set of rules and traditions that those outside of the spiritual community just do not have.
The days of the individualist are coming to a close and the rebirth of the family and spiritual community are one of the few positive outcomes from the coming hard times.

KZUM Lincoln 89.3 FM

I'm adding a link to the best little radio station in the world, Listen live on the worldwide web to community supported radio. KZUM has been bringing eclectic high quality programming to the Lincoln, Nebraska comunity since 1978, and has been available online for a couple of years to listeners all over the world.

KZUM programming features gospel, blues, ethnic music including Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian, African, Latino and more, plus independent thought from Democracy Now, Jim Hightower, Voice of China News and more.

(By the way, I get no kickbacks for endorsing KZUM, I just really like them a lot.)


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Peregrine Falcons Nesting On Nebraska Capitol Again

falcons Pictures, Images and Photos

I have posted with great interest the story of the red-tailed hawk soaring over the US Capitol during the inauguration of President Barack Obama, and explored the symbolism and meaning thereof in this post from January of this year.

My own adopted state of Nebraska, where my family has lived since 1984, has a pair of peregrine falcons nesting and raising a brood on top of the state capital! Not only that, but there is a webcam where you can watch the little buggers hatch and grow up. They are now 21 days old and look like round fuzzy footballs with raptor eyes and talons.

In Nordic tradition, the Falcon represents the huntsman and is associated with the Germanic sky-gods Wodan as well as Frigg and the trickster Loki. In European culture the Falcon is considered a war symbol. The Japanese Ainu thought that it was a helper of humanity. The ancient Egyptians saw them as representations of gods. They were spirit messengers to the Native American Cree, guardian spirits to the Inca, and a symbol of someone on a quest to medieval Europeans.

Essentially, the Falcon represents visionary power, wisdom, and guardianship. This powerful bird awakens visionary power, and leads to one's life purpose. The Falcon carries with it a message of transition and change.

The fact that this Peregrine chose to show itself is a powerful message to Nebraskans. This is a call for us to pay attention to mission, function, actions.
The fact that they repeatedly nest on our Capitol building is a call to live up to a clear vision of the highest possible manifestation of democracy.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Taste and See That The Lord, He is Good

The music of the ancient Christian Church, whose roots have budded in modern times.

Dear Friends of the Melkite Mission of Lincoln NE,

Our next Divine Liturgy will be the First Sunday of June (6/7) at St. George Ukrainian Catholic Church, 3330 North 13th Street, Lincoln.

As always, the Divine Liturgy will be preceded by Morning Prayer. So please remember to come early.

There is now a table at the coffee social where you can purchase Eastern Christian books, CDs, artwork, and jewelry (at the present time it is cash only).

Don't forget to visit our new site on the internet with a lot of new information intended to answer common questions about the Divine Liturgy (recently added Videos and Audio).


The schedule for Sunday is as follows:

9:30 AM Morning Prayer
10:00AM Divine Liturgy followed by Potluck

For more information call: (402) 797-3703

Welcome, ExRanger!

Please join me in extending a very hearty WELCOME to our new author here at The Rosemary Tree, Rod Alton, also known as ExRanger, who has his own fine blog over at WTF! This is not the lifestyle I was planning on.

(Dear Readers, please feel free to welcome Rod and also put in your 2 cents worth on any of the posts here any time. )

Open Doorway Pictures, Images and Photos