Tuesday, March 16, 2010

If You Could Read My Mind

Here's a video of Terry playing in Tucson with a couple of his friends. You can't see Mark, the cellist sitting behind them, but hopefully you can pick out his music.

The sound quality isn't great, but it's fun to have a recording of their music. They're hoping to play together again, so when they do, you'll have to come and see them.

Monday, March 15, 2010

One evening an old Sioux told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, "My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.

"One is Evil -  It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

"The other is Good -  It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?"

The old Sioux simply replied, "The one you feed."

I LOVE the truth in this story! Thank you to The Wizard Academy's Monday Morning Memo - I discovered this in the Rabbit Hole.   If you don't subscribe to this weekly newsletter, you should.  It's always very interesting.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Herb Gardening 101

For the last 3 Sunday afternoons I had the chance to attend a class at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.  The class was called "Herbs from Garden to Kitchen".  Our teacher was Catherine Crowley, also known as "The Herb Lady" (this is a link to her blog) and wow does she know her stuff!   I got a notebook full of tips and useful information.
We also toured the Herb Garden on site at DBG and had a chance to touch, taste and smell some unique herbs that Catherine brought in from her own garden.  Have you ever seen Chocolate Basil?  How about Cinnamon Basil?  My favorite was Lemon Basil.  Actually pretty much anything with lemon smelled delicious.  There's also Lemon Thyme, Lemon Grass, Lemon Verbena and even more.

We learned about shopping for plants & seeds, as well as planting, location, watering, sunlight, fertilizing, insects, etc.  I always thought it was nearly impossible to grow anything but cactus here in the desert, but I'm learning that there are actually quite a few plants that will thrive here.  The most important thing is WHEN you plant and how much sunlight the plants will get.  Even though our days a quite warm, Catherine says that EVERY edible plant needs at least 4 to 6 hours of sun each day. 

For the grand finale of the last class Catherine brought in several samples of recipes that she had made with herbs, plus we watched some video of other recipes that she had created.  You can see 4 different kinds of tabouli in the photo above. We got copies of the recipes to take home too.  Oh, by the way, in case you don't know...everything tastes better with fresh herbs!
We're pretty much at the end of our range for springtime planting now, so I wanted to pick up a few things before it was too late.

On Saturday Terry and I did some shopping.  Here's what I planted today.

Yellow Pear Tomatoes, Strawberries, Alyssum, Lavender, Basil, Lemon Basil, Parsley, Rosemary, and Chives.  We also picked up these yellow flowers that I thought were Euryop daisies, but the tag on them says some kind of Butterfly something or other...oh well, they look similar, so we'll see how they do.

We picked up a nice Star Jasmine vine for the atrium in the back yard too.  I hope it does o.k.   The area doesn't get a lot of sun, so it's iffy.   But, I love the scent of star jasmine, so I'm hoping we can make it work.

This last photo is what the front entry area looks like now with our humble little garden...or maybe I should call it my humbling little garden (depending on how it does).

I tried a few things that weren't recommended, but we can't really afford to buy a bunch of big flower pots right now, so I had to use what we had.  The Herb Lady recommends that you use pots at LEAST 2 FEET across if you do container gardening in Phoenix, in order to insulate the plants from the heat.  Most of the pots we have are smaller than that, so I tried to keep them away from the edge.  We'll see how they do....

Eventually we need to extend the water drip lines so we can run one into each pot, but for now we'll hand water them.  And the long term plan is to fill the plant shelves in the front of the house with pots as well.  I think it will add some nice color, scents and even some goodies for eating too.

I really love having God's amazing creation around.  My grandmother made her living as a farmer, but the knowledge wasn't passed down to my generation.  I always thought it would be great to have my grandmother come and live with us for a year or so and teach us how to garden, but unfortunately, that never happened.  Terry did pretty well with a garden when we were in California, but so far he hasn't had the time or inclination for it.  Hopefully this will get us started and eventually our yard will be overflowing with little bits of God's glorious beauty.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bikers rejoice!

Google has just added intelligent biking directions for more than 12,000 U.S. bike trails as a new option inside Google Maps.

The company writes that the new biking features will “include as much bike trail data as possible, provide efficient routes, allow riders to customize their trip, make use of bike lanes, calculate rider-friendly routes that avoid big hills and customize the look of the map for cycling to encourage folks to hop on their bikes.”

The new option now sits next to the current Google Maps standbys — car, public transit and walking — for online routing options, so users can select the new option from the dropdown menu to uncover a Google-recommended bike routes (likely sans big hills!).

You can also turn on a “Bicycling” layer via the “More” tab when zoomed into a particular city in Google Maps. The trails’ green hues should indicate terrain and road type. Dark green equates to bike-only, light green means there’s a bike lane, and dashed green means it’s a decent biking path but one without a bike lane.

Before you get too excited, we should note that as of right now biking is not an option in mobile apps, so make sure to plan ahead before you hit the pavement.

I am not currently a biker, but I hope to get a new bike soon.  This great news reminded me of my brother, Pat who has cycled from Florida to Ohio and West Texas to Louisiana.  He was always looking for a good map that would tell him how he could get safely from one place to the next on his bike.

So on behalf of all bikers everywhere...Thank you Google maps!
(this tidbit discovered thru a newsletter received from www.Mashable.com )

Saturday, March 06, 2010

We're Hoping to go to Bosnia!

Terry and I are excited about a chance to travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina for a short-term mission trip – our first ever! God has provided the opportunity and the availability of time off for us to travel and we are so very thankful. 

If we can raise the necessary funds, we'll go as part of a team from our church, led by Bob and Helen Ryan.  Helen leads Open Door to the World (ODW) an outreach arm of our church, Open Door Fellowship, in Phoenix and her husband Bob is an amazing musician and songwriter.  The Ryans have been working for years with the people and churches of this struggling nation since the war that tore Yugoslavia apart in the 1990’s.  

Open Door to the World, has worked to help bring hope and reconciliation to Bosnia since before the war's end. Beginning with a long-term assistance program to Bosnian refugees arriving in Phoenix, and working to impact the country with yearly teams to Bosnia itself, ODW has formed long-term relationships in the struggle for peace there. 

This year, the Catfish Hunters musical duo (Terry and Bob Ryan) have been invited to perform at various venues in three towns in Bosnia and Herzegovina. What we’ve been asked to do is present songs that speak about forgiveness, hope and reconciliation to this war-scarred country. It's a badly needed message.

Now here’s the awesome part! 

Terry’s part in the team will be to use the musical gifts God has given him to minister in the cities of Mostar, Sarajevo and perhaps one other.  For those who haven’t heard him, he’s now playing guitar, mandolin, banjo, bass and harmonica.  Through the Coffee-bar performances, our Team’s prayer is to reach out to the communities as a connecting point between the Christians and their non-believing friends in those cities.   They'll be playing both at churches, to encourage believers, and in secular “Coffee-bar” venues to bring the message of forgiveness and reconciliation.
I hope to use my photography to capture glimpses of the stories of the Bosnian churches, people and ministries and bring them home to those who want to know more about the work God is doing there.   We also look forward to opportunities to share Christ and to encourage the hearts of the believers, young churches and our own Open Door Fellowship missionary family there (the Tinlin’s) in practical ways as well.    Along the way I hope to provide written and visual updates, whenever Internet access is available.

We hope to be a blessing to the people of Bosnia. And we believe that doing so in God’s name will be a blessing to us. You can share in that blessing – In prayer as we prepare and while we travel, in financially supporting this work, and by keeping in touch with what we find and experience as it happens, through our regular communications during the trip.

In a nation of several million people and fewer than 2,000 evangelical believers, the churches struggle to meet the needs of their members and to have a significant impact on their cities.

Open Door to the World ministry trips are financed through the fund raising efforts and personal contributions of team members.   Your participation with us is a significant investment in the Bosnian churches and their testimony in the surrounding communities. 

And so…
We would welcome any questions you have and will look forward to keeping you abreast of our plans, preparations and travels if you decide to partner with our team. 

Bosnia is still filled with strife and ethnic and political division. Without Christ, there is no solution that will bring these divided people together. Your prayers and financial support will give us the opportunity to use the gifts and talents that God has given us to encourage and minister to the people of Bosnia, using the universal message of music to reach across language and ethnic barriers to share the Good News of Jesus Christ!

We're so excited for the opportunity to use what God has given us. Here are several ways that you can help:
  • Add a comment here or send an email to hannfamily[at]cox.net to let us know that you'd like to join our prayer team. We'll keep you updated all along the way.
  • Terry and I will need to raise a total of $3400 to cover the anticipated expenses for the trip.  We're about half way there! To be a part of blessing the Bosnian churches through our team, you can mail a check made payable to:
Open Door Fellowship
8301 N. 19th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ  85021
Important to Add: BOSNIA in the check memo field 

Or go to www.ODFChurch.org now and click on the Paypal link to donate online.   It's very important to Add: BOSNIA in the memo field so they'll know where it goes.
  • ODW will be hosting a dinner and theater performance fundraiser on April 23rd and 24th. Let us know if you want information about tickets to attend.  Proceeds will help with our trip, as well as others.
  • There will also be a silent auction fund-raiser on that night.  If you’re not able to give monetarily at this time, then maybe there’s a product, craft or service that you’d be interested in donating for the auction.   
  • Become a fan of "The Catfish Hunters' Musical Bridge to Bosnia" on Facebook.  You'll find more information there, have a chance to ask questions about our trip and see what's happening in preparation.
  • To learn more about the goals of Open Door to the World visit www.ODFchurch.org and click on “Outreach”.
We hope you're as excited about this opportunity as we are! Can't wait to get there and see how God will use us to impact these communities.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Playing with Dave Argentati in Tucson
Last Friday, Terry and I drove down to Tucson so he could join his friends, Dave Argentati and Mark Converti to play music at the Glass Onion Cafe.  

They played a mix of 70's covers, James Taylor, Jim Croce and others, as well as a good supply of Dave's original songs.  Terry even sang lead on a couple of old favorites.  One of these days I'll get a video tape of it.
The cafe itself is a quaint little place with about 10 tables or so.  All the seats in the house were full and there were even people standing outside to listen to the music.  The photos behind the guys are called the "Wall of Fame".  The owners take pictures of their patrons and hang them up on the wall.
  Our friends, Doug & Liz Johnson (Liz is in red on the left -Doug is sitting in front of her on the other side of the table) from Santa Clarita, CA moved to Tucson a few years ago.  Liz and I have connected on Facebook and they were so sweet to come and hear Terry and the guys play.  They also brought their son, Zach (in brown) who is in high school now.  The last time we saw him, he was about 10 years old, so he's changed A LOT and is quite a handsome, well mannered, young man.  He was so polite to sit thru 2 hours of oldies and songs that he'd never heard before.  Thanks Zach.
In this photo you can see a glimpse of Mark, the cellist sitting behind and between the guys.  He adds such a beautiful sound to the trio. 

After the concert we had a chance to hang out with Dave, Kathrin and some of their friends.  What a great group of people they are.  It was such a fun night but we didn't leave their house until midnight!  We had a wedding to go to the next day (more on that later) so we decided to do the 2 hour drive home.  Or should I say, Terry did the 2 hour drive home while I slept most of it.  I think we're getting too old to stay out until after 2 am.  The next night we ended up coming home early after the wedding and I slept like a rock trying to catch up after a short night before.  It was well worth it though, and we would do it again in a second!  Maybe next time we'll stay overnight in Tucson.

If you want to see a few more pictures you can go here.