“The Cats Would Love This Thing!”

(The audio podcast for this post can be found at this link.)

Today’s adventure:

Tim came from the carpet/counter/tile place today to take measurements for our new counters. He brought this way cool gizmo that uses a red laser to measure the dimensions of our counters. I was transfixed by this thing. I stood there, grinning in delight, as the machine beeped and zapped and laser-tagged our kitchen. “The cats would love this thing!” I told Tim. And “Ooooh! This is kind of like that machine that they use in the Mission Impossible movies to make those face masks!” (I started singing the Mission Impossible theme song.) Scott soon came in and stood next to me, equally fascinated. We stood in happy silence for a while – just watching the red dots move around our kitchen. “Boomer entertainment!” I said to Tim and he laughed.

After Scott left for work, I stayed there with Tim, watching him enter measurements and information into his tablet, and chatting with him. He had a Seahawks cap on and I told him I was feeling concerned about next season. He agreed with me that it was going to be different without Russell Wilson. We talked about other sports teams then – the new Kracken team – and Tim brought up the loss of our Sonics. “Were you even born when we lost our Sonics?!” I asked Tim – he looked too young to know anything about the Sonics. He laughed and said he was around and he remembered.

He asked me if I’d been raised in this area and I gave him a little of my history. Then I asked him if he’d gone to school locally – he said he’d been born in Kazakhstan, actually, and had come to the United States as a boy. His grandmother had been German and his grandfather Russian – they’d met in a concentration camp during WWII and had escaped to Kazakhstan at some point. From there, his parents had come to Washington State. He shared that he was married to a woman of Ukrainian heritage. I asked him if she still had family in Ukraine and he said that she did. We talked about the trauma of the latest war and the insanity of it.

Tim finished feeding information into his tablet and packed up the cool laser gizmo. I asked him if I could get his picture and write a public post about meeting him today, and he gave me permission.

We wished each other a good day, and he left to go to his next lucky customer.

There are some really nice people in this world. There are also some really cool machines that beep and play laser-tag with kitchens.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

We Almost Lost Our Democracy That Day

Posted this on my Facebook wall this morning. Thought I’d share it here, too:

I’ve made an effort to keep politics off of my wall the last year or so. I haven’t always been successful with this, but I’ve tried. And why? Because I guess I’ve wanted to move past the divisions in our country – try to focus on the things that unite us all: family, pets, loss, grief, birth, rejoicing, humor, the beauty in sunsets and sunrises and humanity.

But this morning – when I’m reminded again that there are so many places in the world where people are, literally, dying for the right to speak and write freely – I’ve decided to use my “wall” and my freedom as an American citizen to express my thoughts about the state of our democracy.

January 6th, 2021, is still with me. What happened that day in our capitol was terrifying to me. It was a BIG DEAL. And I have a hard time wrapping my head around the words and thoughts of anyone who tries to make that day sound like it was just another day in America – or worse, like the attempted insurrection that day was somehow noble and patriotic. WE ALMOST LOST OUR DEMOCRACY THAT DAY. I saw it happen in real time in front of my television – this wasn’t some slanted propaganda being fed to me by the “left-wing” media – the violence and insanity of that day was not some made-up “fake news” – it was there for all of us to see.

And I guess I hoped that everyone would recognize what they were seeing that day was over-the-top insanity. Afterwards, I was bewildered when I found there were people who thought the attempted insurrection was great. A year later and I am bewildered to discover there are STILL people who thought what happened that day was great. Capitol police officers were violently attacked that day, defending our democracy. The lives of our vice president and our legislators were seriously threatened. Thugs and bullies stormed their way into our capitol building and tried to force their will on our democratic process. This is not noble or “great.”

Joe Biden won the election – he got 7 million more votes than the other candidate. SEVEN MILLION! This tally was certified (over and over and over again) by judges and state officials of BOTH parties. If you think it’s alright to disenfranchise the 81,282,903 American citizens who voted for Biden by storming the capitol building to overthrow a legitimate election, you are not a patriot. If you think YOUR vote somehow matters more than my vote and the 81,282,902 other people who voted for Biden, you might want to consider moving to a country where elections just don’t take place at all.

Our system is flawed – there’s no doubt about that. How we ended up with the candidates we ended up with in 2020 is beyond me. But those were the candidates we were given. We all voted for the one we thought would do the best job (or cause the least harm), and Biden won. Why – after all that happened on January 6th and since then – there are still people proudly flying Trump flags in their yards is mind-boggling to me.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

Noemi Ban: Book Launch for *Remarkable Resilience*

Diane Sue has written an extraordinary book about an extraordinary woman. Diane’s book, Remarkable Resilience, is about the life of Holocaust survivor, Noemi Ban. I had the great priviledge of meeting Noemi when she spoke to my middle schoolers about her experiences in Auschwitz. Diane Sue has asked me to join her, Noemi’s family, and others who had the priviledge of knowing Noemi, to talk about Noemi when she launches Remarkable Resilience with a zoom meeting on May 1st at 10AM (Pacific Time). All are welcome to attend this meeting. Here’s a link: https://zoom.us/j/8964525730

I Need to Stop Thinking So Small

(The audio podcast for this can be found at this link.)

Our salvation is bigger than what we could wish,
and not dependent on what we “accomplish.”
It’s bigger than what our little egos can give –
bigger than how we “die” or how we “live”
or how many letters come after our names –
salvation doesn’t come from awards or fame.
We are saved because we are made for God,
made by Truth, made of Love.
Guilt and shame and blame play no part
in our at-one-ment with the divine Heart.

I need to stop thinking so small.
I need to know myself as in the All-in-All.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace…”
– II Timothy 1

Praying for My “Enemies” Is Praying for Myself

Praying for my “enemies” is praying to be healed.
Recognizing the God-child in those who would harm me
is my own salvation, protection, and shield.
To see all of God’s children as She sees them –
innocent and good –
lifts a heavy burden of fear from my shoulders
and gives me freedom to love beyond borders.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
-II Timothy 1

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father-Mother in heaven. She causes her sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father-Mother is perfect.”
-Matthew 5:43-48

Earth Day 2022

Bow, WA:
A no car day. Walked to the post office and saw tulips and blossoms and green growing things, and red-winged blackbirds flitting among tall stalks. Picked up my mail. Had a scone and mocha at the bakery across from the post office – sat at a little table and felt my body soaking up the friendly warmth from the sun. Finished my scone, hitched my backpack back over my shoulders and started the hike home. Birds singing and people waving and smiling as they drove past me. Collected some cans and plastic lying on the side of the road – thought that seemed like an appropriate thing to do on Earth Day. And then came home and pulled up weeds and spruced up my garden a little. Finished Season 2 of “Stranger Things.”

It has been a lovely day.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

“EARTH.  A sphere; a type of eternity and immortality, which are likewise without beginning or end…To material sense, earth is matter; to spiritual sense, it is a compound idea.
– Mary Baker Eddy

For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” 
– Isaiah 55: 12

Earth Day (Wordle Poem #4 with Photos)

green brown
parks towns
river ocean trees field
prays world heals
cedar pines aspen alder birch
spring water = earth juice
snowy sunny rainy magic
windy fiery fires smoke
roots trunk cloud
fumes noise crowd
dried woods
polar melts
brace storm fears
earth cries tears
prism cloud after
child laugh
rouge boots splash
seize trash
hikes trail
human being
Mamma Earth
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

(All photos by Karen Molenaar Terrell.)

Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell.

April: Wordle Poem #3

sleep mourn
waves beach
outer reach
alone rainy
wound heals
quiet feel
quite still
enter birds trill
plant rises
comes awake
renew takes
fresh grass
green spree
bunny lambs
prune clean groom
tulip bloom
April trail
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

Spring green trail. Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell.

Prayer for Today

(The audio podcast for this post can be found at this link.)

Feel Love’s presence.
Feel the power of Love.

Listen to Love’s voice:

You are so loved.
You are My precious child.
You are always with Me.
And I am always with you.
You are Love be-ing.
The belief that you can ever be separated
from Me is a lie,
for you are embodied in My Body.
You are one with Me.
You are in the womb of Love.
There is no power that can usurp My government
or the governing of My own ideas,
for I am ever-present,
never-ending Love.


The Intrepid Little Sunflower

(The audio podcast for this post can be found at this link.)

Recent events in the world have made me think about my irrepressible, intrepid little sunflower of two years ago. I’m thinking it might be time to retell that story…

(Originally published on July 13, 2020.)
One happy story has emerged from the Slug Battles this summer: The Story of the Intrepid Little Sunflower.

The slugs and snails have been voracious this year. When my little sunflowers first sprouted I covered them every night with jars. When they outgrew the jars I would sometimes wake up in the middle of the night and go on Slug Patrol – looking for any snails or slugs that might be chowing down on my sunflower youngsters (in the morning I would take the slugs and snails out to our wetland – what I’ve dubbed my “Snail and Slug Refuge” – and ask them to please stay down there). Eventually I started wrapping copper tape around the bottom of the sunflowers’ stems and that seemed to work pretty well – UNTIL one morning I found a slug or snail had chomped through the stem of one of the sunflower youngsters and the top three inches were hanging from the bottom three inches by mere threads. I tried to tape it together, but that didn’t work well. Finally, I pulled the top part off and – finding I didn’t have it in me to toss it in the compost – I put it in a little bottle filled with water and put it on top of a book case, and waited for nature to take its course.

But the little sunflower did not die. In fact, it appeared to me that it even grew a few inches.

A couple weeks went by and the leaves started turning yellow. It was obvious to me my little sunflower teenager needed nutrients. On impulse, I put about half an inch of soil in the bottom of the bottle and made sure the bottom of the sunflower stem touched the soil – I hoped the plant would somehow suck up the nutrients it needed – maybe it would grow roots? I wasn’t sure how that worked – but it seemed possible to me.

And today when I looked over at the sunflower teenager he seemed to have grown six inches overnight! I looked at the bottom of the bottle and there were roots in there!

I planted him in a planter out on the deck. Right now he is out there, straight and getting taller, and waving happily in the breeze at me.

(Originally published on September 13, 2020.)
You may remember the story about the intrepid little sunflower who was sawed in half by a slug earlier in the summer and grew new roots in a bottle. I transplanted her to a pot and put her out on the side of the house by her sister – where she’d originally been when she was attacked in the infamous Slug Wars. She thrived and grew out there and now she’s blooming!

Because she’s in a pot I was able to move her away from the dark background of the house for a photo of her in the sunlight. Check it out…

(Here’s a photo history of the Intrepid Little Sunflower.)
-Karen Molenaar Terrell