Monthly Archives: October 2010

HOUSE NEWS: Family and Friends Roundtable and Blanket Thank You

For more details on what’s happening this week, click here.

Thank you so much for the outpouring of blankets! While it’s hard to imagine ever actually needing them again while it’s in the 90s, more cold weather is around the corner. It will be so good to answer, “yes!” when folks start asking again.

The Wednesday Cafe was a big success; we were about back up to our regular numbers again. It’s so rewarding to have a full house – especially for those cooking.  Our October chefs are preparing Baked Bean Soup and Beans and Greens this week. Please drop by between noon and 2 if you have the chance.  It will be good.

Last Thursday’s Roundtable was so interesting thanks to Scott Robertson and all the participants. A few more meetings like that and we’ll be able to start the Revolution. If you weren’t there, here’s some of what you missed. We plan on inviting Scott back soon to continue the discussion. This week  though, the last Thursday of the month, we’ll host a Family Roundtable, no planned discussion – just good food and table conversation for friends and family. If you’ve never been to the house, this is also a great way to become acquainted!

Hope to see you this week!

Resources for Radical Solutions to Feed the World

Scott Robertson’s roundtable discussion on “Radical Solutions to Feed the World” was a wonderful gathering of folks looking at very practical issues regarding sustainability in the context of “values.”  “How do we do the right thing as individuals?  How do we help each other get to where we need to be for the good of those who come after us and for creation itself? These two questions are intertwined when we talk about issues that affect us globally.  And so they become “spiritual” questions themselves, concerned with value, meaning, responsibility, and hope. It was a good conversation that we hope to continue soon.

In the meantime, Scott sent those present a handy resource list of inspirational and practical websites and books. Take a look and keep in touch. We’re looking forward to our next roundtable on this subject.

Thanks Scott!

HOUSE NEWS: Radical Solutions to Feed a Hungry World


Scott's Hawaiian yurt - Home on a lava bed


For more details on this week’s schedule, please click hereNOTE: We’ve moved the cafe back to Wednesdays (see below)!

Changes are coming this week: Cafe changes back to Wednesday, and knitting will happen every Monday night – both by popular demand. We were puzzled why so few were coming to the Cafe on Monday, and we think we may have figured it out. A guest asked us last week if we could change the timing so he could come more often. It seems the downtown library is showing a movie and serving snacks at the exact same time. So it’s back to Wednesday with the Cafe! We’ve got our Cafe Chefs for October, but we could use your help serving and cleaning up between 11:45 and 3. Let us know if you’re willing.

In addition, we’re changing the once/month Monday knitting to EVERY Monday night this semester – between 7 and 9. So much to knit so little time . . .  plus the cool weather is both inspiring the knitters and bringing folks to our door looking for warm things to wear. We invite you to come and learn to knit, teach someone, make a hat or scarf from our yarn stash, or work on something of your own.  Crocheter welcome too!

We are looking forward to an exciting Roundtable this week led by Scott Robertson, who just returned from a “Wwoofing” stint in Hawaii. Come discuss and learn about the divergence between traditional and commercial agriculture. Explore Gainesville’s potential for food sovereignty. Learn about fertilizer trees, super-efficient rocket stoves, and why our culture is incompatible with renewable energy. Scott will discuss his experience with agroforestry as a WWOOFer on the Big Island in Hawaii. Find out about the exciting opportunity as a Willing Worker On Organic Farms across the globe. We’ll have taste tests between local and imported produce and discuss USDA labeling standards. Help us fathom why Monsanto (the world’s largest chemical corporation that brought us DDT, Agent Orange, and the Manhattan Project) has teamed up with billionaire Bill Gates and Xe (formerly Blackwater), the largest mercenary army in the world. Bring some food to share if you can, if not just come.


This week, we were visited by two immigrant families and their small children. The children were hungry, and one of the mothers confided that their household was struggling to put food on the table. We offered the children a snack and, as we were slicing bagels and cheese at the tall kitchen table, three little sets of huge, brown eyes – barely high enough to see over the table – watched the food preparation seriously and with longing.

Today, during the meditation portion of morning prayer, I opened my eyes for a moment and saw a friend’s face lifted up, rather than bowed, as she prayed.   I thought of those hungry children – their upturned, serious and hopeful faces – and my own deep pleasure in preparing something they needed and were asking for.

I am not sure how prayer works honestly, or if it “works” at all in the way we might think, but this seems like a good posture to take regardless – watching and hopeful, honest in your longing and need.

The prayer this morning was lovely, too – from John O’Donohue:


Somewhere, out at the edges, the night
Is turning and the waves of darkness
Begin to brighten the shore of dawn.
The heavy dark falls back to earth
And the freed air goes wild with light,
The heart fills with fresh, bright breath
And thoughts stir to give birth to colour.


I arise today

In the name of Silence
Womb of the Word,
In the name of Stillness
Home of Belonging,
In the name of the Solitude
Of the Soul and the Earth.

I arise today

Blessed by all things,
Wings of breath,
Delight of eyes,
Wonder of whisper,
Intimacy of touch,
Eternity of soul,
Urgency of thought,
Miracle of health,
Embrace of God.

May I live this day

Compassionate of heart,
Gentle in word,
Gracious in awareness,
Courageous in thought,
Generous in love.

ACTION: Parking Lot Garden Joins Global Work Party

This weekend we were happy to join our gardening efforts to Sunday’s “Global Work Party” organized by Bill McKibben’s Scientists say that 350 parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere is the safe limit for humanity – but we’re currently at 388. encouraged folks worldwide to band together to start projects that will help curb climate change. Our humble effort to lower food miles by sourcing our food closer to home at our next door parking lot was in solidarity with nearly 8000 projects worldwide – some big, some small. Climate change is one thing we’re going to have to figure out a way to work together on. It was heartwarming to see our little garden in this context. Thanks so much to Santa Fe Colleges “Saints for Sustainability” for their support and hard work!

Click here to read the rest on Kelli’s blog.

HOUSE NEWS: So many things…


Handmade crosses - Art for All project


Last week was busy – and prayerful. David Cheney led us in our first weekly morning community prayer on Wednesday (9-9:30) and Dave Chynoweth led a discussion and experience of centering prayer at Thursday’s roundtable. The Art for All project provided a beautiful space to create some more lovely crosses. Kendera’s artistic leadership and ability to make our home such a welcoming environment is a gift to our house and to everyone who enters it. We are also extremely grateful to our September chefs for creating Monday’s cafe with aplomb. Kelli was out of town visiting Ben at school and it was wonderful knowing the cooking was in such competent hands.

This week we are looking for new sous-chefs (or soup chefs!) for the rest of October. Chefs-in-training learn to prepare soup and other dishes and bake bread between 9 and 12. It’s a fun way to learn to cook from local ingredients, to cook from “scratch,” and to make something delicious and healthy for folks who could really use it. Please let Kelli know this weekend if you would like to commit to the Monday mornings of October! We’ve got some great ingredients coming in from the farmers market to work with!

We also need cafe servers on Monday afternoon between 11:45 and 3. Let us know if we can put you on the schedule!

Art for All will be happening on Tuesday from 1-5 and Saturday from 1-3. We are creating quite a collection of art to sale at our Handmade Christmas sale in December. Please join us; we’ve got crafts for all levels of confidence and competence – and fun things for children too!

On Sunday, we’ll be joining the Global Work Party sponsored by in celebration of 10/10/10. We’re particularly interested in the justice aspect of global climate change and how it will affect “the least among us.” The National Catholic Rural Life Conference has a great study guide on the subject available here. Creating and sustaining local sources for healthy food – community gardens and small farms – is one way to curb climate change by eliminating all the extra “food miles” required to get a vegetable to your plate (about 1600 miles on average). The Saints for Sustainability from Santa Fe College will be helping us get things planted on Sunday, and you are welcome to join us! We’d love to have your help keeping things watered and weeded throughout the fall. Another planting party is planned for early spring when we’ll expand the garden.

And our monthly Knitting Night is this Monday from 7-9!  Knitters or wanna-be knitters or other hand-workers are invited to learn, teach, share, work on a hat or scarf for someone out in the cold (we’ve got yarn) or work on your own project!

One last thing: We need some stuff! The Art for All projects are created mainly from “up-cycled” material. We could use some more of the following:
  • bottle caps
  • pop-tops from soda (beer) cans
  • magazines with great photos like National Geographic and gardening catalogs
  • glass or ceramic beads and other beading supplies
  • yarn
AND WE NEED BLANKETS! Folks have been knocking on the door and stopping us on the street ever since the weather turned. If you have an extra blanket, we’re in need!

AND A TENT – A young woman who lives out in the woods had her tent shredded by raccoons (she had left some food in it). If you have a tent you don’t need, she could really use it.

Thanks for all your help. We hope to see you!

HOUSE NEWS: Art, food, and lots of prayer

For more about what’s happening this week, please click here.

This week we begin gathering for morning prayer on Wednesdays between 9 and 9:30 am. We hope some of you can join us. We’ll also reinstate our tradition of community prayer on the first Thursday of the month. Fr. John Phillips will regularly celebrate mass on those evenings, with others putting together a prayer service when he is not available. This Thursday Dave Chynoweth will lead the prayer. A potluck dinner will follow.

A group called “Be the Change” joined us on Saturday and made beautiful Christmas cards under Joan Prado’s direction.  We are grateful for their help and excited to have more “inventory” for our upcoming Handmade Sale planned or December 4! This Week “Art for All” will continue with creating beautiful wooden crosses embellished with beads, paint, and interesting found material.

We’re also forming a new team of chefs for October! We’re getting a late start because Kelli is out of town this Monday and we needed the September chefs to take over (there is a method to this madness..). If you would like to learn to cook delicious food from local ingredients during the remaining weeks of October, please email Kelli at gvillecw[at]yahoo[dot]com.

Please check out the other activities keeping the house abuzz this semester. We’d love to have you join us!