We are excited to share our favorite songs, recipes, poems, essays, etc.


The Summer Day

Book of Hours I,5

The Summer Day

Who made the world? 

Who made the swan, and the black bear? 

Who made the grasshopper? 

This grasshopper, I mean- the one who has flung herself out of the grass, 

the one who is eating sugar out of my hand, 

who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down- 

who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes. 

Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face. 

Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away. 

I don't know exactly what a prayer is. 

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass,

how to kneel down in the grass, how to be idle and blessed,

how to stroll through the fields, 

which is what I have been doing all day. 

Tell me, what else should I have done? 

Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon? 

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

- Mary Oliver

Wild Geese

Book of Hours I,5

The Summer Day

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees

for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body

love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain

are moving across the landscapes,

over the prairies and the deep trees,

the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,

are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

the world offers itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -

over and over announcing your place

in the family of things.

- Mary Oliver

Book of Hours I,5

Book of Hours I,5

Prayer by Maya Angelou

I love the dark hours of my being

My mind deepens into them.

There I can find, as in old letters,

the days of my life, already lived, 

and held like a legend, and understood.

Then the knowing comes: I can open

to another life that's wide and timeless.

So I am sometimes like a tree

rustling over a gravesite

and making real the dream

of the one it's living roots 


a dream once lost

among sorrows and songs.

- Rainer Maria Rilke

Prayer by Maya Angelou

CONTINUE: a poem by Maya Angelou

Prayer by Maya Angelou

Father, Mother, God,
Thank you for your presence
during the hard and mean days.
For then we have you to lean upon.
Thank you for your presence
during the bright and sunny days,
for then we can share that which we have
with those who have less.
And thank you for your presence
during the Holy Days, for then we are able
to celebrate you and our families
and our friends.
For those who have no voice,
we ask you to speak.
For those who feel unworthy,
we ask you to pour your love out
in waterfalls of tenderness.
For those who live in pain,
we ask you to bathe them
in the river of your healing.
For those who are lonely, we ask
you to keep them company.
For those who are depressed,
we ask you to shower upon them
the light of hope.
Dear Creator, You, the borderless
sea of substance, we ask you to give to all the
world that which we need most—Peace.

Essay by Maya Angelou

CONTINUE: a poem by Maya Angelou

CONTINUE: a poem by Maya Angelou

CONTINUE: a poem by Maya Angelou

CONTINUE: a poem by Maya Angelou

CONTINUE: a poem by Maya Angelou

My wish for you
Is that you continue


To be who and how you are
To astonish a mean world
With your acts of kindness


To allow humor to lighten the burden
Of your tender heart


In a society dark with cruelty
To let the people hear the grandeur
Of God in the peals of your laughter


To let your eloquence
Elevate the people to heights
They had only imagined


To remind the people that
Each is as good as the other
And that no one is beneath
Nor above you


To remember your own young years
And look with favor upon the lost
And the least and the lonely


To put the mantel of your protection
Around the bodies of
The young and defenseless


To take the hand of the despised
And diseased and walk proudly with them
In the high street
Some might see you and
Be encouraged to do likewise


To plant a public kiss of concern
On the cheek of the sick
And the aged and infirm
And count that as a
Natural action to be expected


To let gratitude be the pillow
Upon which you kneel to
Say your nightly prayer
And let faith be the bridge
You build to overcome evil
And welcome good


To ignore no vision
Which comes to enlarge your range
And increase your spirit


To dare to love deeply
And risk everything
For the good thing


To float
Happily in the sea of infinite substance
Which set aside riches for you
Before you had a name


And by doing so
You and your work
Will be able to continue


This Little Light of Mine - Odetta

Where Have All The Flowers Gone – Pete Seeger


Bertha Peterson’s Rolled Sugar Cookie Burnside, Iowa

(This is the Christmas sugar cookie recipe that has been used by Stephanie’s family since the 1930’s).

Step 1:

Whisk these ingredients together:

3 ¼ cup flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 small tsp baking soda

Step 2:

Cut 1 cup of white shortening in to the dry ingredients:

Step 3: 

Blend these ingredients together in a separate bowl.

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

¼ cup whip cream

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp lemon flavoring

Mix dry and wet ingredients together, divide dough in to 3 portions. Wrap each dough portion tightly in wax paper.

Take out one dough portion, cut in half and place the other half in wax paper. Roll out half on floured surface, (make sure there is a sleeve on the rolling pin.) Cut shapes in dough with cookie cutters of your choice. Continue with the other portions, one at a time.

Bake on a cookie sheet at 325 for 8-10 minutes.  Do not let the cookies brown. Place carefully on cooling racks.

When the cookies are cool, decorate with frosting, colored sugars, and other edible decorative cookie bling.