Monday, November 30, 2009

Wow... ArtSlant has me as a November Showcase Winner!

I have some of my assemblages on the ArtSlant, Chicago site and have entered their monthly competitions pretty regularly over the last couple of years. This is the first time, however, that I've won an award from them. I am one of the winners in their November showcase competition, which involves artists from other cities too... Los Angeles, Paris, Berlin, New York, Miami, London and more. Check out all the entries, there are LOTS of wonderful artists there!!

I entered my "Factotum" assemblage this time, and received this email a couple of days ago (and I noticed that the award is posted today on my ArtSlant site):
Dear Artist: Congratulations! You have been selected as a Showcase Winner in the November 2009 Showcase!
The ArtSlant Curatorial Team is very pleased to welcome you into our special group of winning artists. Showcase Winners have been designated as promising artists by our team of professional art watchers.

SHOWCASE WINNERS PREMIUM PLACEMENT: Your winning work will move into the Showcase Winners premium placement program.
HOMEPAGE SPOTLIGHT: Your winning work will be randomly exhibited in our spotlight showbox on our Homepage. This new exhibition space has been developed specifically for our Showcase Winners. Look for your work on our homepage next to the Big Black museum and openings box.
GALLERY PANEL JUDGING: Each Showcase winner will go before our Gallery Panel for review and judging over the next week. Our gallerists will select the top Juried Winners, who will be eligible for the Golden Frame competition which will be held in March 2010.

Maybe this can help me get some things into a gallery showing somewhere in the Chicago, Milwaukee area? That would be very cool! Thank you ArtSlant, I appreciate the honor!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Hunters Are Home....

John and son, John arrived home from the annual deer hunt this afternoon. It appears we are going with plan B for business customer gifts (fruit boxes) since they didn't have a successful deer hunt, so there will be no venison landjaeger or sausage for business customers this Christmas. Ahh well, maybe it's a fruity year for us all anyway..*L*

John said they had a good time upnorth with the hunting buddies despite the lack of venison coming home. He probably needed that time, since now he has just 10-11 days until his back surgery ... lots to do before then in getting things ready and hopefully work for the crew too!

I'm glad they are home! Thank you Lord!

One of my entries is included in the ECVA call to artists "Full of Grace"

The Episcopal Church and Visual Arts has calls to artists several times per year. I'm honored to have one of my entries be included in the latest call "Full of Grace".

One of my entries this time included a photograph I took. I'm not really a photographer (even though I take hundreds of photos for the church newsletter and family photos), but my daughter, Kasey is a professional photographer, and she let me borrow her fancy camera one day. I've learned a few things from Kasey in taking photos, so I was fortunate to get a nice photo of fall leaves on Delavan Lake, which is the piece featured in "Full of Grace", titled "God's Glory".

And another really cool thing is that one of my assemblages is featured on the home page of ECVA too. It's an honor for me to have it featured there as well.

Thank you to the curator of the latest call to artists, Moses Hoskins, and to the Episcopal Church & Visual Arts for featuring my work.


"Advent" taken from the Latin word "adventus," meaning "coming."
During the season of Advent, we are called to prepare ourselves, it's a season that teaches the value of waiting and patience. We are not called to passive waiting, but to using our time to prepare and anticipate. Just as we take time to prepare a special dinner or dress the nursery for a new baby, in Advent we prepare our hearts to welcome the Christ.

May “peace on earth, good will to mankind”
be more than a season, may it be a way of life.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Happy New Year's Eve!!

No, I am not a month ahead of myself .... today COULD be considered New Year's Eve, since tomorrow (Sunday, Nov. 29th) is the first day of Advent. Advent is one of the "seasons" of the Church Year, (other seasons include Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Holy Week, Easter, Pentecost, and Ordinary Time/After Pentecost). Advent was the last season to be officially added to the church calendar, in about 600 AD. It was made the first season of the church year because it begins the story of the events of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. Advent always includes four Sundays before Christmas, this year (2009) beginning on November 29.

"Advent" is taken from the Latin word "adventus," meaning "coming."

During the season of Advent, we are preparing for the coming of Christ, both in His Birth at Christmas & at the Second Coming. Each Advent we are called to prepare ourselves, it is a season that teaches us the value of waiting and patience. We are not called to passive waiting, but to using our time to prepare and anticipate. Just as we take time to prepare a special dinner or dress the nursery for a new baby, we should prepare our hearts during the Advent season to welcome the Christ.


Twas the Beginning of Advent

'Twas the beginning of Advent and all through the Church
Our hope was all dying-- we'd given up on the search.
It wasn't so much that Christ wasn't invited,
But after 2,000 plus years we were no longer excited.

Oh, we knew what was coming-- no doubt about that.
And that was the trouble-- it was all "old hat."
November brought the first of an unending series of pains
With carefully orchestrated advertising campaigns.

There were gadgets and dolls and all sorts of toys.
Enough to seduce even the most devout girls and boys.
Unfortunately, it seemed, no one was completely exempt
From this seasonal virus that did all of us tempt.

The priests and prophets and certainly the kings
Were all so consumed with the desire for "things!"
It was rare, if at all, that you'd hear of the reason
For the origin of this whole holy-day season.

A baby, it seems, once had been born
In the mid-east somewhere on that first holy-day morn.
But what does that mean for folks like us,
Who've lost ourselves in the hoopla and fuss?

Can we re-learn the art of wondering and waiting,
Of hoping and praying, and anticipating?
Can we let go of all the things and the stuff?
Can we open our hands and our hearts long enough?

Can we open our eyes and open our ears?
Can we find him again after all of these years?
Will this year be different from all the rest?
Will we be able to offer him all of our best?

So many questions, unanswered thus far,
As wisemen seeking the home of the star.
Where do we begin-- how do we start
To make for the child a place in our heart?

Perhaps we begin by letting go
Of our limits on hope, and of the stuff that we know.
Let go of the shopping, of the chaos and fuss,
Let go of the searching, let Christmas find us.

We open our hearts, our hands and our eyes,
To see the king coming in our own neighbors' cries.
We look without seeking what we think we've earned,
But rather we're looking for relationships spurned.

With him he brings wholeness and newness of life
For brother and sister, for husband and wife.
The Christ-child comes not by our skill,
But rather he comes by his own Father's will.

We can't make him come with parties and bright trees,
But only by getting down on our knees.
He'll come if we wait amidst our affliction,
Coming in spite of, not by our restriction.

His coming will happen-- of this there's no doubt.
The question is whether we'll be in or out.
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock."
Do you have the courage to peer through the lock?

A basket on your porch, a child in your reach.
A baby to love, to feed and to teach.
He'll grow in wisdom as God's only Son.
How far will we follow this radical one?

He'll lead us to challenge the way that things are.
He'll lead us to follow a single bright star.
But that will come later if we're still around.
The question for now: Is the child to be found?

Can we block out commercials, the hype and the malls?
Can we find solitude in our holy halls?
Can we keep alert, keep hope, stay awake?
Can we receive the child for ours and God's sake?

From on high with the caroling host as he sees us,
He yearns to read on our lips the prayer: Come Lord Jesus!
As Advent begins all these questions make plea.
The only true answer: We will see, we will see.

Pastor J. Todd Jenkins
First Presbyterian Church, Fayettevile, Tennessee

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Christmas Carol Production

Tonite we attending the opening of A Christmas Carol at the Pabst Theatre in Milwaukee. I treated my daughter, Kasey, daughter-in-law Janel, and grandsons Jake, Josh and Jeff. We met my sister, Erica there.. her son, my nephew, Conner was in the production, for the third year, he played Tiny Tim, and he did WONDERFULLY!!

It was a fun night.. and even though the grandsons were a little young (and portions of the play went over their heads), I think they still had a good time, despite Josh falling asleep in the last 10 minutes of it. *L*

As we arrived prior to the start, the grandsons LOVED the lights and the giant Christmas tree in the lobby, it must have been 3 stories tall!! And the smaller trees were also a hit!

To see their amazement at it all, and hear their comments, some pretty funny, was a lot of fun too! It was fun to see Conner doing so well in his parts, and the grandsons were excited to see him onstage too. WELL DONE CONNER!! We're ALL proud of you!

Here are some photos from the evening... and some comments from the grandsons during the event, and following it as well, about the parts they liked the best.

Looking for a bathroom prior to the start led us past a small art gallery the boys stopped to look at.

In our seats, waiting for the start.

The grandkids had gone to see the latest version of A Christmas Carol (a Disney movie) just a week or two before this at the movie theatre, so they were familiar a bit with the story. Some fun comments from them as we watched the play:

At the start of the production, as we could see the candles being lit behind the see thru curtain, Jeff (age 3) said, "Whoaa, I've never seen THIS part before!"

When Bob Cratchit was handing Ebenezer Scrooge his tophat and cane as they quit work for the day, Jeff said loud enough for all around to hear..."Is he going to do a magic trick now??" (seems Jeff is used to those costume props only for magic shows..*L*)

When snow started falling during one scene Josh asked if it was real snow, then declared that he knew it wasn't real snow, but it was "sugar powder snow".

When Tiny Tim's coffin was rolled in, Josh turned to me with a sad face and asked, "Is Conner really dead?" (Conner played Tiny Tim.)

Josh also said his favorite parts of the play were the special effects...he loved the fog and the snow, and he loved when the actors decorated the stage so quickly with wreaths, and garland and ribbons and candles, etc. He also liked the bars, walls and backdrops associated with the Spirit of Christmas Yet to Come, and the evil spirit guys.

Jeff and Jake both liked the scene where the gravediggers let the "dead" Scrooge's body slide off into the big hole in front of the stage (the large common gravesite). Jeff commented real loud.. "WHOOOAAAAA" as the body slid off the cart into the hole. *L*

Following the production, we went to the lobby to congratulate Conner on a job well done. Here are the grandsons with Conner.

As we headed out, the boys discovered the fabric covered wall that could be finger colored on or written on... *L* I wonder whose job it is to go and "comb down" the walls everyday??

It was a long night... and a LATE night... the grandsons crashed in the car on the trip home... hope it was something they'll remember for a long time!

God Bless Us EVERYONE!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Family Thanksgiving ... 55 of us, more or less

My side of the family had a feast this afternoon at my sister and brother-in-law's house, (Chellie & Bill). Not everyone could be there (some were working, some upnorth deer hunting, some came later too), but over 55 of us enjoyed delicious food, the Packer win, and each other!

Here is my Dad carving the two turkeys... one was 48 lbs and one was 12 lbs, both were pretty much gone by the time we left.

The family keeps growing as more babies are born. Here's the newest member of the family, Adin and his Mom, Cassandra, with Grandpa Todd and Gramma Susan.

And here's Gramma Peggy with Hailey... and to think, my sisters said "I" was old being a gramma and all... ha! Welcome to grandmahood Peggy and Susan! *S*

Brother in laws, Bill and Mark were forced to watch the Packer game from seats in the bedroom with all the coats ..*L*

The rest of the photos are just SOME of the family that gathered (I didn't venture outside in the cold to get photos of the kids who were playing their own game of football after dinner, or some who came later either, so not everyone made it into the photos)...but, I am thanking God for all of them!!

Happy Thanksgiving to All!!

Here is our back deck at approx. 12:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day ... our first measureable snow. Luckily it was a wet snow, and although at 8:30 a.m., there is still snow on the ground, it's not on the roads here. Good news, since Kaine decided to sleep in (he works nights and has odd sleeping hours compared to what we are used to), and he will be on his way home soon... (prayers for safe travel and no speeding tickets!)

Making a wish... getting the longest part of the wishbone...

So, here is our wishbone from our Thanksgiving turkey... I googled some info on how the breaking of the wishbone tradition came about, and found this... interesting stuff!

Apparently the origins of the Thanksgiving tradition of breaking the wishbone date back to 2,400 years ago with the Etruscans who lived on the Italian peninsula.

The Etruscans believed fowl were fortune tellers because the hen announced she would be laying an egg with a squawk and the rooster told of the coming of a new day with his early morning crowing. A circle was drawn in the dirt and divided into twenty wedges that represented the twenty letters in the Etruscan alphabet. A piece of grain would be placed in each wedge. A hen would then be allowed to peck at the grain. As she ate, a scribe would list the letters in order and those letters would be interpreted by the high priests to answer questions.

When one of these chickens was killed, its collarbone was considered sacred and left under the hot sun to dry. Anyone was permitted to stroke an unbroken bone and make a wish, thus, the name wishbone. The Romans took many of the Etruscan customs as their own and since everyone wanted good fortune, they fought over the bones, breaking them.

It is said that the phrases “I need a lucky break” or “I never get a break” come from being the loser in this tug of chicken bone contest.

The English heard of this superstition from the Romans and called their wishbones merrythoughts after the merry or happy wishes that most people desired. When the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth Rock in the New World, they brought along the custom of breaking the wishbone. When they discovered the northeastern woods of North America were filled with turkeys, they changed their custom from the chicken bone to the turkey bone.

We used to dry out our wishbone, when I was a kid, and not get to make the wish for several days after Thanksgiving... when my kids were little, they would just break the wish bone right away hoping for a granted wish. *L*

What I wish for this Thanksgiving, whether I get to break the wishbone or not, is for Peace... Love...Forgiveness...Safety... Good results for John's upcoming surgery .... Loving Christian spouses for my kids - I've prayed this prayer for my children from the day they were born, (we been blessed so far having that happen with one of our kids!)... and I give THANKS for all the many blessings we have already... with LOVE in Christ Jesus...I wish for ALL a blessed Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Getting Ready For Thanksgiving Dinner....and Thanking God for ALL Things.

For Thanksgiving we all bring a dish to pass, my sister, Chellie requested I bring "snowball salad". Usually I make that for Christmas dinner, but I guess since it's snowing out right now, that it's pretty apropos that I am making it tonite and bringing it tomorrow for our feast. That is, IF there is any left after this turkey gets done with it... *L*

I roasted a turkey today too... so we'd have leftovers to eat. For me, the leftovers are the best part of the feast, and since there are over 55 - 60 of us at our Thanksgiving dinner, there usually aren't many leftovers. I love the smell of a turkey cooking, and our house smells SOOO good right now... yummm!!

Tonight at the Thanksgiving (eve) Church Service, Father Bill asked in his sermon some questions that I think we all need to use for some self-examination of our lives, and how we give thanks...if, infact, we do give thanks at all?
He shared how we all are quick to ask God for help in this or that, ask for prayers for those we love who are sick, or without a job, in trouble, need, etc. But, how often do we just thank God for ALL things? How much time do we spend in thanking God in our daily prayers, how much time in adoration and praise? It's probably true that the majority of my prayers, on some days, are more about asking for this or that, rather than just giving thanks for what I have, and giving thanks for Who God IS.

I hope that I can remember to always give thanks to God for ALL things, and extend my thankfulness in actions, not just words, to help others in ways that they too will know and say, "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His love endures forever!"

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Passing on Memories ...

Today, after Church, I went up to the attic and went thru some of the boxes from 37 years of Christmas decorations and stuff to take over to our son, John, and daughter-in-law, Janel's house for Janel to pick through and to have for keepsakes from both our stuff, and some of Aunt Evelyn & Uncle Chick's things I received yesterday.

The grandkids were eager to decorate for Christmas having seen some Christmas movies & cartoons on TV already.

I have quite a bit of Christmas "stuff"... but I don't decorate like I used to, and a lot of it has been sitting around for many years, so I was glad that Janel was happy to get them.

I had a full size artificial Christmas tree I hadn't used for about 15 years... actually, I have 3 more artificial trees still..*L* I have a cool pencil tree, which is nice because it's narrow and I don't have to move furniture out of the living room to use it. And I have two table top trees that are nice too, and lately, I've been using both of the table top trees, they are easier to carry up and down steps. So, I gave Janel and John the one tree, and some ornaments, some that John-John made when he was in grade school, some that Aunt Evelyn passed on to us, and some I had made myself. Here are Jeff & Jake helping decorate that tree.

I used to do craft shows many years ago. My sister Peggy and I were in a few of the Junior Women's Club juried Craft Show each November... we would have tons of stuff made up, for at least 3 months prior to the show, and then we'd add up what we COULD have made if we sold it all!!....ahhh, dreamers, we were..*L* We did sell quite a lot, but we also had quite a lot left to give away for Christmas gifts too! This is Josh, today, with one of the Santa Trees I used to make, and one I saved for myself, but that I don't use anymore. I'm glad they like it and can use it at their house!

So, not only did I make the grandsons and my DIL, Janel, happy, but I cleaned out a few more things that were piling up in the attic (which makes ME happy too!) ... and venturing back up there today, I also took out about 5 bags of JUNK to the dumpster... old, broken stuff, that I have NO idea why we even saved it?? (What WAS I thinking?!)

Today was a good day... Fun passing on memories... the Packers won! (GO PACK GO!!), and it was 60+ degrees today... hard to believe, the 22nd of Nov. and it's so warm!! In fact, it's been so warm the last week, that my once dead (or so I thought) geranium at the foot of my porch steps began to re sprout flowers!! As is true for many things...out of death, comes life again.

Thank you Lord for ALL these things, and more!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Assorted Odds and Ends....

Dictionary: Odds and Ends
Miscellaneous items, remnants, or pieces.

A motley assortment of things.

Miscellaneous items, fragments and remnants, as in I've finished putting everything away, except for a few odds and ends. This expression may have originated as odd ends in the mid-1500s, meaning "short leftovers of some material" (such as lumber or cloth). It had acquired its present form and meaning by the mid-1700s.


The last few days have been a motley assortment for sure of stuff. Hubby and older son left for deer hunting on Thursday, Kasey and I have been trying to see a movie, but seems the theatres have technical difficulties when we show up..*L* We've stayed up late talking, watching TV, eating, and playing on the computers. Did a little work in there somewhere as well.

Last night Josh and Jeff came over for a short overnight, Jake is heading out early for a day of hockey, and soon I'll be heading out for Portage, after dropping off the grandsons.

Kasey is holding down the fort till I get back later today ... I'm just hoping that with the opening of deer season (rifle season) this morning that I don't have to dodge a lot of deer that will be running out from the woods and fields on my way upnorth and back... Lord, hear my prayer!

More about today later.....


We all had a nice visit with Aunt Evelyn today. She invited us to come for lunch and to get together to pick out some of her and Uncle Chick's Christmas decorations, and some other nice things. It's hard to believe that Aunt Evelyn will be 90 years old in a few months. She is getting around pretty good despite having some back problems which she is going to be having some surgery on after the holidays.

This is me, Aunt Evelyn, Sherry, back row, Mary, Donna & Arvona.

Thank you Aunt Evelyn, the ornaments and other things that you gave us will be shared with our kids and grandkids, and will be treasured just as you and Uncle Chick both are treasured and loved by us!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Anamnesis / Remembrances

an·am·ne·sis noun, pl. an·am·ne·ses (-sz)
1. A recalling to memory; recollection.
[Greek anamnsis, from anamimnskein, anamn-, to remind : ana-, ana- + mimnskein, to recall.]


A friend of mine recently was laughing at some stories of my childhood. She told me I should write a book. I was thinking about some of the MANY things I have fond (and not so fond) recollections of, they are things I cherish about my life, and they ARE pretty amusing.

So, before I get soooo old that I can no longer remember them, I thought I'd post a few ... and especially since I plan on making my blog posts this year into another blogbook, it may be fun reading for generations of my kids and grandkids who may read that book or my blog long after I'm dead?! Sooo, for your reading enjoyment, or for a sleep-aid, here are some sharings of my past, as I recall them....

When I was a kid, our family was not rich. In the snowy months, we had snow boots that we wore for several winter seasons, and they would, in turn, get passed down to the next child to use. Even though I was the oldest child (of 8), I too had hand-me-downs at times from family friends who had kids older than me. So often, our boots had small holes and they leaked. To alleviate that problem, we wore plastic bags in our boots so our socks would remain dry. The bags we used were bread bags.

I remember how slippery those bags were inside boots that were a bit too large, and how embarrassed I was at school to take off my boots and have other kids see I had to wear bread bags over my socks.

The kids in our family were not the ONLY ones however who wore bread bags. I was relieved to see that there were several kids in my class who had bread bags inside their boots....however, I found out that even among bread-bag wearers, there was still some snobbery that went on.

Our family had GENERIC bread bags, cheaper bread brands ... and the other kids all had WONDER bread bags, so we were not only laughed at because of the bread bags, but also because of the generic labeled bread bags...ohhh the shame! *L* I can remember begging my Mom to buy Wonder Bread but to no avail. Somehow, I lived through those episodes, and still laugh when I recall my own kids protesting wearing bread bags in THEIR boots, even though I went to the trouble of buying WONDER Bread! Talk about ungrateful kids, eh? *G*



Summertime was always a fun time. We had neighbors close by to play with, a large wooded area behind our property where we often went and made "forts", climbed trees and spied on neighbors from those lofty heights.

We had a "sky-flier" swing that was the envy of kids from miles away. Dad hooked a large cable between two trees that stretched the length of our backyard, he added a large pulley, with a rope swing attached. There was a metal stopper at the end of the cable, far enough from the tree to allow us to hit the stopper and swing up in the air without hitting the tree. At the other end of the cable was a high wooden platform with a ladder that we climbed up onto to get into the rope swing, and then jump off the platform, slide down the cable, hit the stopper and swing back halfway up the cable, and back down again, several times.

We played on the skyflier everyday, for hours... it was especially fun when Dad would oil the pulley and make us go faster and swing higher at the end! We had so many kids there one summer, my sister and I tried to make some money and charge the kids a nickel per ride, until my Mom found out and put a stop to THAT! Dang! We could have been millionaires!! *L*

The Skyflier is STILL in operation. It's been made quite a bit shorter (due to one of the big trees dying years ago), and it's not at all as high as it once was, but now our grandkids are enjoying it every chance they get at Nana and Papa's house too... and they will have fun memories to share as well!

One of our regular summer time treats was a glass of ice cold Kool Aid each afternoon. Mom would call us in to get our drink, and we'd head out into the yard to find the small white clover flowers (that we hoped hadn't been peed on by our dog Tipper - *L*).

I'd pick about a dozen or so, and then spend the next 15 - 20 minutes laying back at the foot of the swingset slide, dipping the clovers into my Kool Aid and eating them one by one, while looking at the clouds and savoring my afternoon snack. Ahhh, the joys of childhood...and CHEAP snacks too! *L*

Monday, November 16, 2009

Rest in Peace Father James Jensen....

JAMES JENSEN’s Obituary JAMES JENSEN Obituary: JAMES JENSEN’s Obituary by the Daily-Chronicle. We heard at Church yesterday that a former priest of our Church (from 25 years ago)died suddenly on Saturday sometime. Very sad for all... my prayers and thoughts are with the family and friends of Fr. Jim. (This photo was one posted in an online obituary: Fr. James Jensen speaks during a Christmas Eve service at Grace Church on Elizabeth Street in Utica, Wednesday, December 24, 2008.)

Fr. Jim was one of the priests who was very instrumental in inviting me (just as I was then) into a living and loving relationship with Jesus, and for that I will always be eternally grateful. It was Fr. Jim who asked me to consider being Treasurer of Christ Church over 25 years ago, one ministry position I still hold - (and at the time I thought people were clamouring to be treasurer! ha!)

Here is an article from a paper near where he lived about Fr. Jim... (or click on the link above, where there is also an online guestbook you can sign)

The Very Rev. James M. Jensen, 62, of New Hartford, N.Y., rector of Grace Church, Utica, and dean of the Utica-Rome District of the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York, died suddenly Nov. 14, 2009, at Wilson Medical Center, Johnson City, N.Y.
He was born Nov. 28, 1946, in Racine, Wis., the son of Marny and Joyce Jensen.
Rev. Jensen graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1969.
He graduated from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill., in 1972.
He was ordained to the priesthood in 1972 at Grace Episcopal Church in Madison, Wis. He served parishes in Greenville, Mich., Joliet, Delavan, Wis., DeKalb and Hinsdale, prior to becoming rector of Grace Church, Utica, in 2001.
Rev. Jensen also served the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York as a member of the Executive Board and the Standing Committee.
He is survived by his wife, Kathryn, of New Hartford; his son, Gregory Jensen of DeKalb; his step-son, John Buzzard, and step-daughter, Alison Buzzard, of New Hartford; a brother, Michael Jensen, and two sisters, Jeanne Jensen and Barbara Blackshear, all of Wisconsin; and his former wife, Bonnie Jensen of DeKalb.
He was predeceased by his parents and brother, Jerry Jensen.
The funeral will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, at Grace Church, Utica, where a Requiem Eucharist will be celebrated by the Rt. Rev. Gladstone B. Adams, III, Bishop of Episcopal Diocese of Central New York. Calling hours will be 3-6 p.m. Thursday at Grace Church.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Grace Church Music Fund or the Sisters of St. Margaret – Haiti.
For information, call Friedel Funeral Home at 315-724-6105.

Almighty God, we entrust all who are dear to us to thy never-failing care and love, for this life and the life to come, knowing that thou art doing for them better things than we can desire or pray for; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


UPDATED INFO: This is another photo of Fr. Jim, from his wife, Kathy's blog, Lady of Silences, that I recently found. If you go to her blog, you'll find some of Fr. Jim's sermon's and more information. I never knew Kathy, but I send my love and prayers to her and the family as well as to Bonnie and Gregory. xoxoxo

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Diocesan Convention - Day 2

Convention continued today... mostly being the business part. Debates and votes over resolutions, nominations, budgets and more. This photo is our full delegation from Christ Church: Me, Deacon Bill, Fr. Bill, Deacon Marlyne, Pat, Ann, and Bill.

It was a good day, getting out by 2 p.m. ... some interesting comments made during debates... several mentioning "secrets going on in the Diocese"...hmmm, they must be good secrets, I haven't heard about them anyway..*L*
But distressing nonetheless to hear people feeling mistrust of brothers and sisters in Christ. Something to commit to prayer for sure!

On the way home, I took a scenic route, lovely end to an overall good Diocesan Convention.

Diocesan Convention - Day 1, WI Dells

I have attended Diocesan Conventions as a parish delegate for over 25 years, and I think the workshops I attended this afternoon at Fall Diocesan Convention were some of the BEST ones I've been to. The "Bible Not Broccoli!" workshop was fun, entertaining & informative, with great examples and good ideas. The "Praying Again for the 1st Time/Recapturing the Essence of Life with God" workshop was not only a good refresher course, but also a great witness to a contemplative monk's prayer life. And the "Parish Mission Projects" sharings in the 3rd workshop made me wish we had our youth group back again, so we could do some of the things we used to do, as well as the ones that some of the people who shared, are now doing. Great testimonies and good works!

The Convention Eucharist was a good worship service and the sermon by the Lutheran Bishop of LaCrosse was very good too. The banquet had delicious food, and good company. Here are some of our delegation from our Church; Ann, Pat, Me, Bill & Deacon Marlyne. Tomorrow Fr. Bill and our other Deacon Bill will be joining us too for the business part of Convention.

Since the Banquet was done before 9 p.m., and others were going back to their rooms to relax and sleep, I decided to go to the movie theatre to see the newly released movie, was a late & long movie, but sure was a good one for special effects (albeit many things pretty unbelievable!!) But, I liked it a lot! I didn't get home till after now it's time for sleep... tomorrow's another day, and a busy one.

Oh, I forgot to mention, one interesting thing we found out... the Presiding Bishop, Katherine Jefferts Schori will be attending our next year (2010) Diocesan Convention held in October in Milwaukee, and the Diocesan Altar Guild is sponsoring a church art and artifacts display, asking for people to send in applications for displays after Jan. 1st, - the notice in our folders said, "...let us know what you are willing to display for the pleasure & edification of all." I was thinking maybe I could do something with some of my assemblage art? ... maybe a prayer room like I've done at other workshops? Wonder if those responsible for next year's convention would want something like that? Exciting possibility to explore!

Friday, November 13, 2009

LTNP = Long Time No Post

It's been a busy week ... after having our granddaughter, Jorden, and son, Kaine, home for the weekend last week, there was a lot to catch up on for work... and getting ahead of the game because I knew of things to come...

I went with John on Thursday, who is having more surgery on his back... he had pre-surgery tests, x-rays, blood work, ekg, and more at the clinic in Milwaukee. (He passed the tests, surgery set for Dec. 10th)

Plus bookkeeping for both jobs to finish up before I head to Diocesan Convention at Chula Vista, in WI Dells on Friday and Saturday. (done!! hurrah!!)

...and so, I am heading out this morning... just me and my Garmin (GPS) and we are heading up the back roads, looking for treasures and junk, as I travel to WI Dells for the Diocese of Milwaukee annual Fall Convention.

I am hoping that the banquet on Friday night ends in time for me to maybe go see a movie .. I've been wanting to see 2012 at the theatre, and maybe I can do that late Friday nite at the Dells... already smelling theatre popcorn!! Yum!

... More to come... well, that is IF our hotel (cheaper hotel than the Convention one) has wireless internet access... we'll see....

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Jorden's Photo Shoot with Kasey K Photo

These are just a few of the photos that Kasey took of Jorden yesterday. Unfortunately even this cute Packer cheerleader couldn't help the Pack win today. *sigh* But she's STILL a cutie!

Here is Jorden as "Bling Baby"...*L* It's VERY difficult to get her to keep a hat or headband, or ANYthing on her head for very long, but we managed to distract her from remembering she had the beaded headband on for a few photos. In the other one, she is wearing an old fox fur that was her great-great grandmother's that I have hanging on a torso in my bedroom, and a matching fur hat. Such glamour, huh? *L*

Such an angel, isn't she?? *S* Kasey will probably be appalled at how I've edited some of these, changing the saturation a bit and playing with other photoshop things... hey, gotta learn somehow eh?

Grandpa John and Jorden reading a book together.

Still editing some....MORE TO COME .....