Sunday, January 9, 2011


Originally uploaded by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson
We have a wonderful boutique wine store up the street called Artisan Wine Depot but I never remember the names of wines we try so the benefit is lost on me. I decided to take some notes as that's the surest route to memory.

Having just returned from Spain this summer and enjoyed the albarino and other off-main versions of white wine, our latest trip to Artisan was focused on trying to recapture the tastes of that time.

Yaba, from Spain, is a white wine made from macabeo calatayud grapes (never heard of them before) grown on old vines fifty years old and older. It is a wonderful sipping wine (meaning tastes good without food) with definite tropical fruit on top of mineral notes. The best of both worlds without the nastiness of a proper sauvignon blanc or the sometimes overriding sweetness of riesling.

Yasa is very reasonably priced at $11.99 per bottle and would go well with many hors d'ourves plates such as mini-quiches and mains such as pasta with white sauce and seafood.

Remodeling is Not for Wimps

Remodeling is not for wimps. Just yesterday we began the process of tearing out our carpeting, ruined by a chimney flashing leak plus 15 years of wear and replacing it with bamboo flooring. It will be beautiful. Already I've learned some things and we're only on day two.

The vision of the completed room or space is clear as you. You've selected a contractor who understands the materials, likes your choice and is adding to that vision through design touches. Life is good. Day one of picking up 58 boxes of flooring and finding space in the house that's already turned upside down has gone well.  Life is good.

The vision of the completed room is clear as day to you and every fiber of your being is straining toward the finish line.  Six days the contractor says.  And you believe him.  And that faith sustains you. But when something threatens the smooth progression of that schedule calm as a boat gliding on the water whether with a ripple or a tidal wave, you clench and think Edvard Munch's Scream. Because your life doesn't get back to normal until this is over.  You can't sleep in your bed, cook in your kitchen or even work at your computer undisturbed until the last nail is driven, the tools are packed up and it's time to bust out the Lemon Pledge. You've only got so much in the stress budget to allocate among all the various things that take up that budget and frankly, work has got 100% of it this week.  So you're overallocated.

Then, take a deep breath and remember. Remember a lot of things.  God is in the details so taking time for the details, even if they slow you down - keep you from reaching your end state on time - is important. Remember if God brought you to it he'll get you through it. Remember that it's not the finish on the dining room floors that matters, it's how you treat people, including your nearest and dearest, and the state of their souls. Am I helping or hurting?

No, remodeling is not for wimps.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Will Shoot Barns for Friends

Barn #1
Originally uploaded by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson
My friend Carol loves photographs of barns so I have begun a San Francisco Bay Area barn hunt. They can be anywhere really. I just have to be able to get there to take a picture.

This one is near Sky Londa, California off Highway 84 and is owned by the Mid Peninsula Open Space Preserve. It is creatively known as The Red Barn.

I've dubbed my project 31 Barns and my hope is to find and photograph 31 barns for Carol, one for every day of the month.

If I were sitting in the median at an intersection holding a sign, it would say, "Will Shoot Barns for Friends" It's great to be able to put my skills to good use.

Friends Through Photographs

When cleaning out my Pile O Negatives, I've been returning negatives to people when I have a pile of them of that person. This means finding people I haven't talked to in 10 years. Each person has been excited to have those photos.

This experience had led me to take more photos of people.  As a result, I have been discovering that another way to be a friend is to take photographs at special events. It can be a photo of something they made:

It can be a photo of the group:

Or it can just be of the fun you're having together:
Either way, people like having evidence of how they show up in life.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Humble Friends

Another way to be a good friend is to take the advice of the apostle Paul in Philippians 2: 3-4 (NIV 2010):

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.

I think I'm more often guilty of focusing on how my friends can help and support me.  This was a great reminder to switch that around.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Acts of Friendship

One way to be a good friend is to "Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn." Romans 12:15 NIV 2010

Birthdays are easy times to rejoice with friends and family by remembering to call or send an e-mail or send a card. With Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook calendar this remembrance has gotten more scalable. And with people having often moved away from families, it's a good time to hear "Happy Birthday!" This week I have 3 birthdays to celebrate in some way as a way of rejoicing with those who rejoice.

Deaths in the family are times to mourn with those who mourn.  I know my tendency is to not want to acknowledge the loss, to just keep right on going as if everything were normal.  But it's not. So might as well face up to it and acknowledge the loss of my friend. This week I know of one person who had a death in the family over the holidays. I think just offering to have lunch or coffee would help in this time of mourning.

Have a good first Monday of the year,


Sometimes you overhear the best snatches of conversation. When I do, I'll post them as "Overheard"

~"I have 3 addictions: Oprah, texting and wine."

Sunday, January 2, 2011


There's something in the air about friendship. It's like a drumbeat and the the beats I've heard over the past few months are increasing in frequency:

  1. It all started in the summer when my friend Dar kept persistently and pleasantly inviting me to join the Women's Bible Study. (I had been away for 10 years.)  I went to their summer potluck and at the time was debating but honestly, those ladies are too charming to resist. In the last several months I haven't regretted attending once. 
  2. In December I was telling my friend Emm that I'd like to be a better friend. She said she was thinking the same thing too!
  3. We celebrated A's birthday yesterday. I don't know A well but she's a Bible Study member and I thought it would be fun to just be supportive and enjoy the company of these lovely ladies.  At said celebration, my friend Dar gave everyone unique notebooks, some with decorative quotes.  Mine happened to say, "The better part of one's life consists of his friendships." ~ Abraham Lincoln
  4. Yesterday, at church, the pastor's sermon was all about the value of community, how we strengthen each other, hold each other accountable....
  5. And today, NaBloPoMo is devoting the whole month of January to the topic of friends.

I think I'm getting the message! 2011 will be a year of focusing on friends!