The Valuable Time of Maturity by Mário de Andrade

The Valuable Time of Maturity
by Mário de Andrade

I counted my years
and realized that
I have less time to live by,
than I have lived so far.

I have more past than future.

I feel like that boy who got a bowl of cherries.
At first, he gobbled them,
but when he realized there were only few left,
he began to taste them intensely.

I no longer have time to deal with mediocrity.

I do not want to be in meetings where flamed egos parade.

I am bothered by the envious,
who seek to discredit the most able,
to usurp their places, coveting their seats,
talent, achievements and luck.

I do not have time for endless conversations,
useless to discuss about the lives of others
who are not part of mine.

I no longer have the time to manage
sensitivities of people who despite their chronological age, are immature.
I hate to confront those that struggle for power,
those that ‘do not debate content, just the labels’.

My time has become scarce to debate labels,
I want the essence.

My soul is in a hurry. . .

Not many cherries in my bowl,

I want to live close to human people, very human,
who laugh of their own stumbles,
and away from those turned smug
and overconfident with their triumphs,
away from those filled with self-importance.

The essential is what makes life worthwhile.
And for me, the essentials are enough!

Yes, I’m in a hurry.
I’m in a hurry to live with the intensity that only maturity can give.

I do not intend to waste any of the remaining cherries.

I am sure they will be exquisite, much more than those eaten so far.
My goal is to reach the end satisfied
and at peace with my loved ones and my conscience.

And per Confucius “We have two lives
and the second begins when you realize you only have one.”

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Pressers and Clappers

Just when you think we’ve figured it all out, some new gadget or ruler or method shows up in the quilting world.  At the quilt retreat a couple of weeks ago, I learned about wool pressing mats and clappers.  I’d never seen them before.  They are amazing!  And they are the tools our grandmothers used.

I was excited to try them, and my orders have been delivered–a tabletop pressing mat, an ironing board-sized mat, and 2 clappers, 6″ and 9″.  The wool mats hold the heat when you press a block.  The clapper is heavy wood and it smashes the block flat.  When you use the two together, it’s especially effective for keeping your blocks perfectly flat as you sew.

I’ll use my large ironing board-sized mat to press my pinwheels.  There are oh, so many seams to keep flat!  I counted 4,608 pieces of fabric in this quilt so far.  I’ll add a bit more for borders.

Here’s the next project I’ve cut out–a delightful Dresden Plate!  I have 600 blades ready to sew!

 

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Aaron and Abbey’s Wedding Day, 15 April 2022

We woke feeling excited.  The air was cool and crisp.  We got ready to drive to the Draper Temple.  Aaron drove early with Adam and the rest of us followed.  The Draper Temple is high on the side of the Wasatch Mountains, overlooking the south end of Salt Lake Valley.  It was beautiful.

In the temple, they made covenants to each other and to God.  Abbey’s father, Kevin Pinegar performed the sealing.  It was a joy to be there with loved ones supporting them. After they were sealed for time and all eternity, we went outside to wait for them to exit the temple doors as husband and wife.

Here are some photos from our happy day–

Paul and Leslie Laemmlen

Ben and Mace Camp with their boys, Summit, River and Cove, and Barb and Lowell Camp

John visiting with Chris Owens, Gary Lassen and Dave Lewis

Aaron’s cousins: Adrienne and James Lewis, Garrett and Aubrey Lewis

Kevin Pinegar, John Lewis and Gary Lassen

Aaron’s good friends: Jason Allred, Molly and Ryan, Austin Stephan

Claire and Adam Lewis

Pinegar family members

Jeffrey and Kathleen Lewis

MIke, Barb and Lowell Camp

Abbey’s sisters

As Aaron and Abbey came out:

Family pictures:

Abbey’s family:

Abbey’s Family

Abbey’s grandparents, Mary and Richard Cook

Kevin and Susan Pinegar, Abbey and Aaron, John and Ann Lewis

John and Adam Lewis

Graham and Claire, Abbey and Aaron, Adam (Heidi was too pregnant to come)

Aaron and Adam Lewis

Destiny

Somewhere there waiteth in this world of ours
For one lone soul another lonely soul,
Each choosing each through all the weary hours
And meeting strangely at one sudden goal.
Then blend they, like green leaves with golden flowers,
Into one beautiful and perfect whole;
And life’s long night is ended, and the way
Lies open onward to eternal day.

– Sir Edwin Arnold (1832-1904)

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A Grand Musical Production: A Pinegar Family Tradition

Tonight we were introduced to a huge Pinegar Family Tradition.  The night before anyone in their extended family gets married, the family puts on a full Broadway theater production, re-written to fit the story of the young couple.  Abbey’s aunts re-write the script and the music and add all the props.  It’s a big deal.  Every family member is invited to participate with speaking or musical parts.  The only rehearsal is held the hour or two before the show.  I had no idea what to expect when we showed up at local stake center.  I was absolutely astounded!

Every person was handed a personalized script for their portion of the program.  I watched the rehearsal with my jaw dropped.  This is a seriously fun family and they have skills!

After the rehearsal and before the show, we enjoyed a delicious meal catered by Costa Vida.  We had pork or chicken salads with all the toppings, chips and salsa.  There were taquitos for the little kids and BYU brownies for dessert.

Brown paper packages tied up with strings were on each table.

And then the show began.  I’ve copied the entire script with all the lyrics at the end of this post, just to keep it safe for posterity.

A highlight of the show was a pre-recorded song sung by the fathers to the tune of Eidelweiss,  Abbey’s father, Kevin was at home tonight, resting after cancer treatments.  He hasn’t been able to be in crowds of people because of the COVID risk.  He and John sang “My Advice” instead of Eidelweiss.  It was tender and good.  You can enjoy it here:

Here are a few family photos taken after the show:

Abbey and her siblings:

Abbey’s aunts, who created this production, told me they do this for each engaged couple the night before each marriage.  They want the bride and groom to feel the love of their families surrounding them as they go to make sacred covenants.  They said it’s important that we all meet, as one big family, before we are in the temple together, so when we arrive there, we are friends.  Friends forever.

These were the props:

And here is the full script:

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A Man Shower for Aaron

Abbey’s mom, Susan is introducing members of their side of the family: Zane and Lexy, Abbey, and Allison 

Tonight the Pinegar family was introduced to one of our many Lewis Family Traditions:  The Man Shower.  Years ago, as new brides in the family were showered with girl gifts and kitchen wares, the boy cousins said, “What About Us??”  So we introduced boy parties with boy gifts and we call them our Man Showers.  Tonight it was Aaron’s turn.

We typically serve some sort of manly food.  Tonight it was grilled burgers.

We also give very manly gifts like power tools and tool boxes full of useful man stuff.

Mostly, it’s an excuse to get together with cousins and aunts and uncles and celebrate the upcoming creation of a  new Lewis family.  We are so happy and excited for Aaron!

Adam is showing off pictures of the bike ramp he built for his kids with his manly tools.

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Doll Quilts for Josie and Margot

I had a few scraps leftover after making a princess pillowcase for Margot and a unicorn pillowcase for Josie.  I thought I’d throw together a couple of simple little doll quilts for them to match the pillowcases.  I cut some 4″ squares from the leftover fabric and then made 4-patches with other scraps.  It went together quickly.

I think these will be just the right size for the girls and their little dollies.

Here’s the last batch of pillowcases I’ve sewn.  I think I’ve done enough to last a while now.

Adam and Heidi picked out the ones they wanted for their kids (pile on the left).  The rest will be saved for whomever wants them next.

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Our First Monthly Neighborhood Cookie Walk

John and I serve as our ward Activities Committee leaders.   While we were in Africa, a whole new housing development with up to 60 new homes has been added to our ward.   We are now part of “the old timers” in this neighborhood.  We have been thinking of ways to mix everyone up a bit so we can all get better acquainted.

Here’s an idea we discovered that we started here this evening.  It’s called a Cookie Walk.  Below is a description and some instructions for the host families that John put together.

COOKIE WALK ACTIVITY

Stonewood 4th Ward

OBJECTIVES:

  • Get to know ward members better in a casual setting.
  • Foster interaction with everyone in the neighborhood, regardless of church affiliation.
  • Collect donations for community service initiatives.

OVERVIEW
Once each month, everyone in the neighborhood is invited to take a walk through the neighborhood on a designated evening and stop by the “Host Homes” who will have cookies to share.  People start when they want and move at their own pace, stopping to visit in the streets or at the Host Homes as they choose.  Host Homes will change each month.

NAME:  We need a name that clearly describes the activity.  Here are the names we have considered so far, with some additions:

  • Cookie Walk
  • Sweet Stroll
  • Sunday Treat Tour
  • Treat Tour
  • Treat on the Street
  • Parade of Cookies (playing off Parade of Homes)

FORMAT

  • Second Sunday of the month, 6-8pm, beginning 10 April (Palm Sunday, the week before Easter).
  • Ward Activities Committee will send email reminders each month, plus posts on ward website.
  • Four homes are chosen to be “Host Homes” each month. The Host invites their surrounding neighbors to bring 2-3 dozen cookies to their home before 6pm.  They could simply text their neighbors and see who is willing.  The Host sets up a table on their driveway and maybe a water dispenser with paper cups, if they would like.  Non-LDS neighbors may also want to participate by bringing cookies and are more inclined if involved by their immediate neighbors.  If a Host has insufficient response from neighbors or needs a table, they should contact the AC for help.  It would be nice to always have the Host Homes distributed throughout the ward.
  • The AC will come up with a sign to be planted in the front yard of the Host Homes so everyone recognizes it as part of the ward activity.
  • The AC will notify the Hosts if we are looking for donations for community service initiatives during a particular month (e.g., cans of food). There may not be a collection every month.  The AC will be responsible to collect the donations afterwards and deliver them to the appropriate organization (e.g., United Way).
  • This effort should be easy and pretty stress-free for the Hosts. We are mainly looking for social interactions and connections among those who stroll by and sample cookies.  No frills.

Here are the instructions John sent out to the host families:

THANK YOU so much for being our Cookie Host Homes this coming Sunday, April 10th.  You are the pioneers for this monthly ward activity and we are grateful for your help.

The idea is that everyone in the neighborhood is invited to take a walk through the neighborhood between 6pm and 8pm Sunday evening and stop by the “Host Homes” who will have cookies to share.  People start when they want and move at their own pace, stopping to visit in the streets or at the Host Homes as they choose.  We will plant a sign in front of your home on Sunday morning.

To prepare for the Cookie Walk, we hope you will invite your surrounding neighbors to bring 2-3 dozen cookies to your home before 6pm Sunday.  You might want to just text a few neighbors and see who is willing to help.  You’ll probably need 10-15 dozen cookies at your home.  If you end up with extras, share them with neighbors you noticed didn’t make it or just gobble them up yourselves!

Hopefully, you have a portable table you can set up on your driveway to lay out the cookies.  If you feel like it, you could also have a thermos of cold water and some paper cups available.  But please don’t feel like you need to do anything fancy.  These should be no-frills cookie stations that we want everyone to feel capable of hosting.  Also, we want everyone to continue walking and mingling, so don’t feel any need to invite Cookie Walkers into your home.  Feel free to close up shop at 8pm.  We’ll come by and pick up the signs.

If you have insufficient response to the cookie requests or if you need a table, please let Ann or me know and we’ll help you out.

That’s about it!  If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.  We look forward to mingling and snacking Sunday evening.  The weather looks like it will be great Sunday evening!

The ward activities committee

Our first Cookie Walk was a Huge success!  Our neighborhood streets were full of neighbors and friends walking and talking together between the host families.  The kids especially enjoyed it, almost as much as Halloween!

Best of all, we got to meet and make many new friends.

Everyone is already looking forward to our next Cookie Walk!

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A Lewis Family Shower for Abbey and Aaron

This morning we had a really fun Lewis family bridal shower for Abbey at Aunt Diana’s home in Alpine.  Di is the queen of event planning and parties in our family.  She was a perfect hostess today.

Claire, Natalie, Katie, cousins

We all chipped in to help with the food.  We had delicious soups and salads and homemade rolls.

This is the favorite salad I brought:

Magic Pan Salad
★★★★★
DRESSING INGREDIENTS:
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. vinegar
1/2 cup salad oil
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, minced

CANDIED ALMONDS:
1 cup sliced almonds
3-4 Tbsp. sugar

SALAD INGREDIENTS:
1 small can mandarin oranges, drained
2-3 green onions, sliced
1 head each: Romaine, red leaf and iceberg lettuce

DIRECTIONS
PREPARE DRESSING: Mix ingredients and shake well. Prepare ahead and refrigerate.
PREPARE CANDIED ALMONDS: Brown nuts in the oven on 375˚ for 5-10 minutes; watch carefully to avoid burning. Melt sugar in nonstick pan over low heat. Once sugar has melted, sprinkle almonds and stir to coat. Cool on parchment paper; break apart into small pieces.

PREPARE SALAD: Tear lettuce into small pieces; toss with drained mandarin oranges, sliced onions and candied almonds. Just before serving, toss with dressing.

I also made a vegan, gluten free Italian soup.  Here’s what I put in it: vegetable sausage, onion, vegetable bullion, stewed tomatoes, chopped celery, yellow squash, zucchini, cabbage, carrots, and red and yellow peppers. The sausage was spicy. I added Italian seasoning, a can of white beans and some GF pasta made from yellow peas.  To thin the soup, I added some V-8 juice and more broth.  It was delicious!

Cousin Cami, Aaron, Aunt Kathleen, Aunt Barb

Katie, Sadye, Aunt Di and a friend

Abbey’s mom and sister, Anna, Abbey

Ann with Aunt Leslie Laemmlen

Everyone was kind and generous, welcoming Abbey into the family.

Di presented Abbey with the famous Lewis Family Cookbook!

We are all so excited for Abbey to get to know our side of the family.  It feels like we are bringing two amazing families together.  This is going to be fun!

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Celebrating 35 Years in our Book Club!

This year my book club is celebrating 35 years of good reading.  We met together this evening in our yearly dinner party where we each bring suggestions for next year’s reading.  I have really missed these friends.  It’s good to be back with them.  I learned this week that it’s my turn this year to be our president.  This is a group of well-read capable women.  We’ve been together through thick and thin.

After our dinner at the Riverside Country Club, we went to work, with our book suggestions.  Each person can recommend up to 5 books to be considered by the selection committee (the previous year’s officers).  You are allowed 5 minutes total to present your suggestions.  Not everyone comes with 5.  I always come with 5, and usually a couple extra just in case one of mine has been suggested by someone else.

As I thought about my suggestions for our coming year, I looked back in my Goodreads account and searched through the 110 books I read while we were in Africa to pick the ones I thought would be best for our group to discuss.  These are the 5 star favorites I brought:

Someone Knows my Name by Lawrence Hill
The Light of Days: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler’s Ghettos by Judy Batalion
The Trees by Conrad Richter (first in a trilogy)
Gods and Kings by Lynn Austin (first in a set of 5 Old Testament historical fiction novels)
The Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Next month we’ll get our reading list for the next year.  Oh, the possibilities!!

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Container to Mali FINALLY Departs!

Oh my, it’s finally going!  We thought we said goodbye to this container weeks ago, but with the sanctions and political problems in the world, the red tape just got thicker and thicker.  We finally got clearance, and this morning we sent the container off on its way.  Thanks to Dick Loomis from the Ouelessebougou Board and to the great guys from the Mosquito Abatement District who came to celebrate with us.

This container is filled with mosquito abatement supplies and loads of Days for Girls supplies for our sewing enterprise in Mali.  It’s like Christmas in a box!

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