7th day of Chanukah

Attribution Some rights reserved by moonlightbulb
Well I hope the season is finding you all healthy and happy.  Today is the 7th evening of Chanukah. Isn't this an interesting menorah? The shamash is over to the left. and the lights seem to glow in the shape of Star of Davids.
Wes and Bethany left this morning to go back to Humbolt, IA. Bethany had to be at work this afternoon.  Chris, Merri and Tyler came over to say goodbye. Jeff helped Wes put the smoker into the truck along with the presents and their suitcase.
After they left, Chris and Merri decided to go do some shopping with Merri's Birthday and Christmas gift cards, and then Leigh and Jeff went off to buy a new coffee maker. Yes we now have a Keurig. I gave Leigh the reusable filter cup for one so we don't have to just use the individual cups that you buy. Tyler and I spent most of the afternoon together.  Then Jeff and Leigh came home and each had "Tyler Time". 

Well have a great evening and day tomorrow. Happy Chanukah!
Oh if you are in the area on New Year's Eve - we are having the annual family friendly party at 7pm with New Year's Eve celebrations at 8pm, 10 pm and Midnight. It's a bring a dish and we always have a good time!

Merry Christmas! and Happy 6th day of Chanukah

Christmas Tree Menorah
Each Night is a holy night.
And so the children come.
And so they have been coming.
Always in the same way they come --
Born of the seed of man and woman.
No angels herald their beginnings,
No prophets predict their future courses,
No wise men see a star to point their way
To find a babe that may save humankind.
Yet each night a child is born is a holy night.
Fathers and Mothers --
Sitting beside their children's cribs --
Feel glory in the sight of a new life beginning.
They ask: "When and how will this new life end?
Or will it never end?"
Each night a child is born is a holy night.

A time for singing...
A time for wondering...
A time for worshipping...
Sophia Lyons Fahs
Merry Christmas!
Feliz Navidad!
Wesołych Świąt!
Fröhliche Weihnachten!
Sretan Božić!
Heri la  Krismasi!
Un Crăciun fericit!
З Різдвом Христовим!
 کریسمس مبارک

Some rights reserved by andydr

5th day of Chanukah

Attribution Some rights reserved by SharonaGo
Happy Day!  
Spent the morning getting my hair done, then to the store, then home to go through more boxes trying to find all the stockings and the stocking holders.  Bethany finished up sewing one of the stockings and the names are drying on a few of them. Dena and Danielle stopped by for Christmas cheer and to drop off this year's cat calendar for us.  Their cats, Daisy and Dolly are featured on November 8th, 2012. Dinner with Wes and Bethany, then they headed off to Chris and Merri and Tyler's house for a movie.Jeff, Ryan and Christopher stopped by for a chat - hoping to see Tyler.   It is very quiet. Next step to organize the stocking gifts and make sure everything is wrapped!  Oh and to record the book for Tyler and one for Miss Ella.  I am so late getting the present together for everyone...
Happy Birthday to Merri 
(the mother of my darling grandson!), 
Happy Chanukah, 
Merry Christmas Eve. 

4th day of Chanukah

Dec. 14, 2009*
Today was a busy day. Shopping for the weekend food. Going through decorations and weeding out. Make a box of the lights and other things that I will not be using in the future. Merri & Bethany went through it and made a box for each of them, and a small box was left to give a way, (I'll have to check with Heather to see if Jimy and family would like the lights and some of the decorations for next year.)
by Wes Zeitz
We had Reuben sandwiches in honor of the 4th day of Chanukah, then put decorations up in the living room and Merri, Jeff and Bethany decorated the tree. I went through the ornaments and Leigh feed and spent quality time with Little Tyler. Ryan H. joined us and did a great job holding Little Tyler. When we were all done with the tree, Chris and Merri spread out my fall leaves blanket on the ground and Wes took a great picture of Little Tyler in front of the Tree.

Happy Chanukah!

* used with  Some rights reserved by Flavio@Flickr

3rd day of Chanukah

Attribution Some rights reserved by SharonaGott
Happy 3rd day of Chanukah and Happy Winter Solstice!
So what did you do today to celebrate either of these festivals of light?  Today I worked on our outside lights. I weeded through all of our Holiday lights and decided I was not going to let the thief of  Santa get me down and so I put out some more lights and decorations.  Not as much as in previous years at it was a very cold 30 degree F today.  I still have a some lights I want to put out but decided that at 23 degrees F, I will write this post and go to bed hopefully it will be a bit warmer tomorrow during the day.  The other things we did today was go to our friend Ping's house for a Chinese dinner.  She is such a great cook!  We made dumplings and talked and laughed with her, her daughter, Bingqing and Heather.  The we tonight is Leigh, Jeff (our middle son) and myself.  It was a great time. Too soon it was time to come home. We dropped Jeff off at Christopher Hardy's house for a reunion of the two. Tomorrow Ryan comes home and I am sure we will not see them for part of that time.  Well good night all.
Happy Solstice and Happy Chanukah to all my friends.

2nd day of Chanukah

Happy Chanukah (חֲנֻכָּה )

Snow Covered Chanukah Menorah*

Tonight (the 24th day of the month of Kislev in the Jewish calendar) at sunset starts Chanukah. This festival of lights celebrates the rededicated the temple in Jerusalem during the war with the Maccabees. As they rededicated the temple in Jerusalem they found a lamp with just enough oil to light for one night. But with a miracle the lamp stayed lit for 8 days and nights.
There is a special menorah for Chanukah with nine candles - one for the shamash (this one is lit and the others are lighted using the shamash) and 8 for all the days. There are no special colors for the candles. Most of the time the shamash is in the middle of the menorah but it can be at the beginning or set in front of it.
Last night President and Mrs. Obama, Vice President and Mrs. Biden started Chanukah early at the White house.

* image used with some rights reserved by Dominic's pics

More news of the kidnapped Santa!

Have you seen this Santa in a sleigh? He was kidnapped from our home on Sat. Dec. 17, 2011! All but one of the "Flamingo reindeer" survived the mass attack! Two were badly injured but after surgery are recovering nicely. Three other suffered minor injury and are now back home. If you see our Santa he is unique in that all the lights had just been redone on the sleigh with one strand of red and two white strands of rope lights. Please bring our Santa home before Christmas!


Santa Snatched & Flamingo Homicide!

Well Ho, ho ho... so who steals Santa and kills off his flock of flamingos?
"I don't believe you have to be better than everybody else. I believe you have to be better than you ever thought you could be." - Ken Venturi
Today the blog was suppose to  be about how the reindeer didn't show up and "Team Flamingo" comes to the rescue with our old remodeled Santa in his sleigh being lead off to deliver packages by our collection of flamingos. Instead we woke up this morning to a missing Santa in his sleigh and then the following Crime Scene Photos:

Habits and Resolutions

Picture by Chris KZ
"Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken." - Warren Buffett 
Is it time to start thinking about New Year's resolutions?  If so what will you resolve to do during the new year?  Will you try to exercise more? Play games less? Spend more time with your family and/or friends?
I decided to research New Year's resolutions and find out what are the most popular.  What do you think comes out number one?
Special more time with family and friends. What does this say about us?  Are we not spending enough time with our families and friends?
Numbers 2 through 8 are self improvement: getting fit, tame the bulge, quit smoking, enjoy life more, quit drinking, get out of debt, and learn something new.
9 is help others and 10 is get organized.  So what are you going to do in the New Year.

Fuel for the whole!

Her Soup Kitchen
"A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body."
        - Benjamin Franklin 
The picture to the right is of "Her Soup Kitchen" a small place in Iowa City with great food and interesting photos inside.  The food is mostly sandwiches, salads and of course soup.  Leigh had a Pear, cheese and veggie sandwich. We are still not sure who came up with that idea (Mom, Dad or son?) but it was wonderful and Leigh enjoyed each bite.  He had the wild rice soup with it and said it also was delicious!  I had the veggie Club sandwich and it was great! And I really loved and appreciated the veggie tomato soup as it had little salt (you can always add more to your taste) but those of us on a salt free diet this was quite a find! Plus it had great big chunks of veggies. I was expecting a typical creamy tomato soup with small bits of tomatoes and was pleasantly surprise that this was not the case. Dick, the cook came to our table to ask us what we thought and of course we told him it was great.  As for the interior it is charming and homey.  If you are feeling like you are missing the sun, a trip to their unique bathroom is a must.  I won't give it all away, but I felt like I was walking into sunshine.   They do not have a huge menu, which I really appreciated/ they do have limited hours and close or open late because of private parties so check on their facebook page, their website or do like we did Yelp! them. (we used the smart phone version)  We will definitely go back when we visit Iowa City. And next time I will not have as much on my mind. I am feeling hopeful about my University of Iowa Hospital visit, still thinking about it and not ready to write more than I feel like we have a plan of action and I don't feel as anxious about what all is going on inside my body. I really like my new doctor and love the fact that she wants me to keep in touch about what is going on via email... 
As some of you know I have been a bit down about my health, my car and right now lack of a job.  Well Leigh decided to do something about the car. He found out how much it would cost to get the dent (yes he caused it when he ran my car into his truck last August!) and estimated the brake cost and decided to cash in some stocks for a down payment on a car.  He called our friend Troy Knapp at Toyota of Iowa and asked if he had any used Prius' and Troy had one!  It is my favorite color RED! So after the doctor and lunch we went and signed the papers on it!  It will be strange having a car payment again but it will use less gas and makes me smile.  It is a dream to drive, although I feel some what like a pilot with all the screens.  It is raining today, so I'll try to take a picture and post it tomorrow.  (Oh and if you know anyone that wants a used (need TLC) dark green XLE Camry we will have one to sale soon.)
Blessed be

Candle Lighting For Tyler

Looks like a good turn out at Karen's for the Worldwide Candle Lighting remembrance of Tyler.

Chalica - Day 7

Click to join Chalica   
Click to join ChalicaWe have hit over 6,000 views!! If you want to be reminded of Chalica next  year or share your story with others we now have group on Yahoo!

Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
Today I am having a hard time respecting the cold winter here in Iowa.  This year because of my health issues I did not get the motivation to get the Holiday lights up outside our house. I did get Wes, Bethany and Leigh to bring them up to the living room after Thanksgiving and while I did get to fixing many we didn’t get them outside until today. We waited for the temperature to get up to a balmy 31 F (-0.55 C)  Of course the ground is frozen, so Leigh took a large, long nail to pound holes into the ground for our first “Flamingo deer” pulling Santa. I’ll have to work on some harnesses for next year, but in the dark it should look okay!  But just putting that up has zapped my enthusiasm for more.  Believe when I say I usually do too much, but I so enjoy putting up the lights in this dark winter.  I think after my break here we will put up the igloo and then maybe call it quits for outside this year. Remember tonight is also the Worldwide Candle Lighting for Children that have died. (see below for more info)
On the positive side my dear friend Sophia has been busy working on some new chalice designs. In addition to Chalice Palace she now has a shop at Zazzle called Sophia Rose Fine Art. She has given me permission to show you a few of her copyrighted items. There are just so many and so little space here that I had to pick just a few. Of course the first one is her new Chalica design!
This is the bumper sticker, it also comes on t-shirts,
mugs,ties, cards, aprons, bags, postcards and even a mouse pad.
Some of the designs also come as stamps, on tree ornaments, iPhone skins, pendants, and jewelry boxes. And below for all my friends is a $10 off coupon at Zazzle!

Once a year candles are lit around the world at 7pm for the children that have died. The hope is that the light will go around the world one candle at a time. It is always the 2nd Sunday in December. This is the 2nd year for my family to celebrate the life of our blessed Tyler Joel Rudy that was taken too soon from us last October. His mom, my sister Karen opens her home on this day starting at 6:30 pm for his friends and family.  We all miss you Tyler. 

Love to you all,

Happy Chalica

Chalica - Day 6

The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all.  Here's what has been happening at the Unitarian Congregation of Saskatoon they put together Chalica kits. When I asked what are these kits - Mary-Anne Rose Parker sent me this answer: "The Chalica kits were basically gift bags, filled with a flower pot chalice, notepaper and envelope, notecard, penny, and the Chalica instructions that I believe I got from your blog!... I did get the booklet and printed them out for the children."  What a great gift for the children! 
I especially like the small child and the older one working together to light their chalice for their Chalica service.  And then  they had a part where the "Children's and Adult principles were brought together through candle lighting and colour".  Mary-Anne will be writing up how things went and we will post that here next week.  So how is your Chalica going? Are you taking time to reflect?
I have agreed to help my friend Heather with her project of helping a family that is coming back to the USA and our area on an U.S. Department of Immigration's U-Visa program.  One member of the family, Jimy was only 14 years old, had been working 10+ hour shifts and was deported in our famous Postville Immigration Raid in May 2008.  He is almost four years older and his family includes 7 others. They have decided to stay in the Cedar Valley instead of going back to Postville.  The team will be looking for clothing, furniture & housewares, food & incidentals, money and advocates for the family to help them get settled in a home and school.  The family consist of Jimy (18), Reyben (brother, 17), Ruby (sister, 13), Marlene (wife, 18), Alexis (son, 7 months), Esperanza (mother), Pablo (brother, 14), Gerardo (father).  They are coming from Guatemalan and thus will not be bringing a lot of items with them. Click Here for more information about this project.

Chalica - Day 5

.The day started at 9º F (-12.77º C) Brr… The last few days have been very busy with classes ending here at the University of Northern Iowa. Now the weekend and next week will be grading, grading, grading and more grading. But taking a few minutes each day to reflect on Chalica. Today two of the Republican candidates for President got to use their voices at UNI. I have to admit I didn't go see either...I think I just didn't think I would hear anything new, but they still had the right to speak.

I got this following video on my facebook wall from my good friend Chris today. Even little Elijah gets to use his voice.  Note he is very quiet so turn on the Capture Captions (the CC) to read what he says.

Chalica - Day 4

Happy Chalica! The days are moving quickly this year, it is already day four of Chalica. What does the 4th principle, a free and responsible search for truth and meaning, mean to you?

Chalica - Day 3

What will you do to celebrate our 3rd Principle - Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations? If you are looking for some ideas see below.*
Well last night I did attend "Actos Sin Ombre" it was a little different type of theater than I was expecting. It was a simulation on border crossings, the actors were the Coyotes,  the border guards, Grupo Beta, Migra Mexicana Agents, Pandilleros, Casa del Migrante (safe haven), U.S. Border Patrol, Vigilantes and if you made it the person who has you fill out your papers. We the audience were the immigrants trying to cross the border.  I have to say I was not really expecting to be part of the show, and really it was not enjoyable. But it was an eye opener and for some of the "audience" it was very emotionally.  Two of my friends, Heather & Cindy showed up and we quickly became a group and as luck would have it we were the first group the coyote sent on the way.  We were first "put into the trunk" of the coyote's car - this was simulated by putting a sheet over our heads and leading us into the theater. We were "found" by the Grupo Beta and given crackers, water and sardines to help keep up our strength.  Next we meet the Migra Mexicana Agent who decided that only 2 of us could continue - Cindy opted to be deported. Heather and I continued, we evaded the Pandilleros, found safe have but then we got captured by the U.S. Border patrol - Heather was deported and I died!!  I was able to sit and watch the rest of the "show".  Heather and Cindy opted to try again. The actors were very much in character (actually apologized after the show for their actions and language!) The first person to make it and get a job turned out to be a former student of mine, so he joined me and we chatted as we watched what happened to the others til everyone had crossed or died. We then had a discussion with the actors, Jenny & Karen (UNI professors & the directors) about what we had gone through about what would be the differences for someone really going through this type of trip.  I realized I had never thought about this aspect when I was teaching students in the California Juvenile system (read jail), who were only there because they were illegal immigrants.  The audience was composed of UNI students, staff & faculty, members of the community and a group from Wisconsin that are wanting to do something like it for their community.  The Jennie & the Wisconsin group graciously invited Heather and I to join them.  We all headed to Soho and the one rule was you were not to sit next to someone you knew.  It was a wonderful evening of sharing about the "play" and other parts of our lives. Here are some of the pictures: Turns out one of the Wisconsin group was Rev. Roger Bertschausen from the Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (in the video below that is him looking at Chalica and Quest * on my iPad!)

**Ideas - check out  - Just Do It! has some simple suggestions for each day, Lisa Schwartz has some daily ideas and check out the  Chalica! on facebook. TheDays  tab has some Adults Suggestions. And don't forget to check out the Children Chalica for ideas for the kids (remember you can freely print out my Kid's booklet also.

Quest *  was the magazine for the Church of the Larger Fellowship and is now even more as the official website.

Chalica - Day 2

Happy Chalica!  What are you doing today to celebrate Justice, equity and compassion in human relations? I am thinking of attending "Actos Sin Ombre" as they present their simulation on border crossings it was presented last April at the White Privilege Conference in Minneapolis. Again, this is an event that has been well received across the Midwest and would be of interest to students studying intercultural communication and issues related to immigration. Tonight at the University of Northern Iowa, at 5:15pm in Lang 040 and then maybe heading over to a fellow UU's house for a short Chalica service.

Last night I went back to my former UU home to celebrate the first day of Chalica with a couple UU friends.  We went around the circle and talked about something related to the 1st Principle.  Amazing stories - Sheri had been doing an intake at the food pantry and a family came in and filled out the paper work. Sheri just happened to notice that there were quite a few kids in the household and that one child had just celebrated a birthday and another was going to celebrate one shortly. Sheri told the mother to wait just a minute, went into the back and a co-worker found two cakes for the kids. When she brought them back the mother was very touched and close to tears!  And then Jo told about how a co-worker had come up and thanked her for her acts of kindness! Heather told us about the play above and then about her work with a Postville family that had been deported and was now able to come back on this new U-Visa (legally!!). When we finished a few old friends showed up for another meeting and it was good to say hello.
Well must run if I want to see the play.
Love, Kathy

Chalica - Day 1

Happy Chalica! What are you doing today for Chalica? I am going to write some long due thank you notes to some people that have helped me in the past, not necessarily celebrating our differences, but acknowledging that they helped me by giving me their support. I am going to use the new updated Chalica image on them that dear Rose just made. If you are looking for some ideas - check out this blog - Just Do It! has some simple suggestions for each day, Lisa Schwartz has some daily ideas and check out the  Chalica! on facebook. The
Days  tab has some Adults Suggestions. And don't forget to check out the Children Chalica for ideas for the kids (remember you can freely print out my Kid's booklet also.

Daily services:
Unitarian Universalist Society of Black Hawk County
(Iowa) today at 6:30 pm
South Fraser Unitarian Congregation
   (British Columbia) They will be having evening services using Jeff's Videos!

Other places celebrating a service and/or sermon about Chalica on Dec. 11, 2011:

South Fraser Unitarian Congregation
   (British Columbia) (Rumor is Daylene Marshall will be there?)
Unitarian Universalist Church of Tampa

Check out the pictures of the Chalica celebration at the Unitarian Congregation of Saskatoon! They made up Chalica kits to take home.

Don't forget to checkout the Saturday's, Dec. 3 post for more info about this year's Chalica.

For those of you without a church nearby check out the Church of the Larger Fellowship's new online Quest website.

Chalica - Growing

More candles are being light as Chalica catches on and more people are celebrating this fun, non-commercial holiday. All my resources are Creative Commons and so all I ask is that you make sure my name is on anything I have created and that you use.
candle road!, a long row of candles
candle road! by maclisa2

It's been just over a year since I started this Chalica Blogspot and I am happy to say we have had over 5000 hits from all over the world. I really hope to hear from you out there as to how you celebrated Chalica this year. You can leave comments here or let me all know at facebook (I'm the only Klink-Zeitz) or email me at klinkzeitz@hotmail.com.
We have new songs - see the song tabs. Many of the songs have also been recorded and are at ChalicaVids on Youtube.com and others so far we just have the words. The first couple of songs used tunes from others, but now we have some new songs with original words and tunes. These three were first sung last year at Chalica services and Celebrations: Light A Chalice, by evan austin, Chalica (Infinite Light) by Daniel Flores, and The Seven Days of Chalica by Rev. Lisa Romantum Schwartz
Jeff Liebmann has written a wonderful new children's story: Chesna, the Chalica Chipmunk. (Any chance it will become a picture book?)  Jeff is the minister at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of MidlandLast year Jeff made videos called: Chalica Readings for each day of Chalica - they are up on youtube and embedded here on JL's videos.

Rev. Lisa Romantum Schwartz has again been busy and written her third sermon "GETS BETTER, RUDOLPH" for her third chalica service. I can't wait to hear it and will link to it as soon as it is posted on her fellowship's web site. And don't forget her children's story, The Story of Chalica. She is putting together a new story for Dec. 4th based on Edward Harris' Meditation on Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - she will be adding some "It Gets Better" ideas as inspired by Rev. Kent Saleska. She also told me she has a new song this year, but as she doesn't have a pianist for the service we will have to wait a bit more for the song.

Sophia Rose of Chalice Palace has reworked our original Chalica image see above and designed a new graphic at Zazzle for Chalica.  Check it out and don't forget to look at her other wonderful things at Chalice Palace. She also has a Chalice Palace Facebook page for you social media people. I'll be wearing a pair of her chalice earrings this week and hope to use my chalice cookie cutter to make some gingerbread cookies.

‎ Chalica! created by SophiaRoseFineArt.

Happy Day before Chalica!
Other places celebrating a service and/or sermon about Chalica on Dec. 4, 2011:
Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Washington County (Oregon)
First Church Unitarian, Littleton (Massachusetts) facebook page
Unitarian Universalist Society of Black Hawk County (Iowa) adult program  
Countryside Church (Illinois) 
First Unitarian Louisville's First UU Senior High Youth Group will have a RE Chalica service (Kentucky)
Daily services:

South Fraser Unitarian Congregation   (British Columbia) They will be having evening services using Jeff's Videos!

Other places celebrating a service and/or sermon about Chalica on Dec. 11, 2011:
South Fraser Unitarian Congregation   (British Columbia) (Rumor is Daylene Marshall will be there?)
Unitarian Universalist Church of Tampa

 There is usually one at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Ventura but I don't have verification as of this posting.
Blessed Be,