Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Midwest Healers Group Fall Gathering

I received notices today of the upcoming fall Gathering of the Midwest (Quaker) Healers Group. - sm

A WEEKEND OF HEALING: Jackie Speicher and Nancy McCormick

Dear Friends,

We are excited to invite you to our Fall gathering of the Midwest Healer's Group, to be held on October 11th and 12th at the Hadley Farm near Clarksville, Ohio. This is a beautiful new retreat center with ample room for worship, healing sessions, group discussions, etc. There are several bedrooms and plenty of bathrooms, but beds are limited to Queen size, double, and a couple of twins - so they will need to be shared. If you do not like sleeping double, please bring a sleeping bag, pad or air mattress; there is plenty of floor space. If you like pitching a tent the Hadley's have a lovely back yard just suited for such a purpose.


(If you would like to arrive at 2:00 and relax please come early - Nancy will be making soup) There is a hot tub and nice country roads to meander.
5:00 Gather
6:00 Carry-In Supper/ clean-up (bring something toward the meal)
7:00 Introductions and worship
7:30- 9:30 Movie on Healing
9:30 Discussion
10:00 Break

9:00 Breakfast (provided for you)
9:45 Worship
10:15 HEALING DEMONSTRATIONS/ Would you like to share?
1:00 Lunch (provided for you)
2:00 Healing exchange
3:30 Closing session, schedule date for Spring gathering


Willing to share a double or queen bed? Yes______ No ________

Preferred sleeping partner _______________________________________

Bringing own sleeping bag ___________

Bringing tent __________

Your own towels, wash cloth
Swim suit for Hot Tub
Journal - reading material
Any information to share regarding healing work
Walking shoes
Hand work etc.

Nancy McCormick
429 Tilton Road
Wilmington, Ohio 45159

Registration can be mailed to Nancy, checks made out to Midwest Healers Group.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Darkness and light, day and night, geek heaven

We arrived in Seattle not long after Lammas, and Fall Equinox is now fast approaching. We've been noticing how dramatic the change has been in the number of hours of daylight, and in when the sun rises and sets. So when it seemed awfully dark this morning, I decided to see what the objective data say over at the US Naval Observatory about what time the sun is rising and setting.

And I discovered a couple of neat things! (Such geekdom...)

First was the "Duration of Daylight/Darkness Table for One Year," which lets you request a table for an entire year for any location with the number of hours of daylight (or darkness) on each day. This is on the Data Services page, which has all kinds of cool things -- complete sun and moon data for one day, info on the rise and set of major solar system objects and bright stars, what fraction of the moon is illuminated, positions of celestial bodies, dates of solstices and equinoxes...

I also discovered the Astronomical Information Center, with all sorts of FAQs about the sun, the moon, how time is computed, etc.

One really neat tidbit: have you ever checked how long it was light, and how long it was dark, at Spring or Fall Equinox, and noticed they're not actually equal where you are? Their "Length of Day and Night at Equinoxes" page explains the relationship between this and how far one is from the equator, etc., and whether day or night is slightly longer at the Equinox, depending on where you are.

I realize this is getting too geeky for some, but it all rather delighted me. :)

Have fun!

Monday, September 15, 2008

afghans for Afghans update

I really enjoyed this update, and thought you might, too. - sm

Dear Knitters, Crocheters, and Weavers for Afghanistan,

** Rectangle Shawls for New Mothers **

Drum roll, please ... crashing cymbals ... strike up the band ...

The count on the Rectangle Shawls for New Mothers campaign was 554!

554 first-rate shawls for the women receiving services at CURE Hospital in Kabul.

Oh, these shawls are gorgeous! Volunteers across the US and Canada truly knocked themselves out in terms of color, design, and fiber quality. The shawls are large rectangles to conform to Afghan customs for modesty (and warmth, too!)

Many of you modeled the shawls and posted photos on your blogs and a few on our site ... wearing the shawls in the Afghan way ... a moving cross-cultural gesture. Among the 554 rectangle shawls are about 80 superb hand-woven shawls (generated through the leadership of Syne Mitchell of WeaveCast, thank you!).

Can you imagine the new moms in Afghanistan receiving these shawls? Picture that! We hope this pleases all of you and is our ultimate thanks. We are eager for the shawls to get to their recipients, but like most of our shipments, the shawls take several months to arrive in Kabul. Our cartons are aggregated with medical supplies being shipped on containers. After the shawls are distributed at CURE Hospital, we will receive a report back and ask for some photos. We
will share this information with you when available.

Thank you for using your time, talents, and resources to tangibly show your concern, friendship, and respect for the women of Afghanistan. Thank you for sharing the work of your own hands with people who have little material goods and are surviving in difficult times. Our rectangle shawls will be a special treat of comfort and beauty -- and warm the torsos and hearts of the recipients.

Many of you have emailed to ask if we are going to make rectangle shawls again ... we would love to have a similar campaign in the future, but no plans yet. We have to wait for CURE Hospital to give us the OK. They may want to wait until these shawls arrive before making a decision. We'll keep pressing for the idea.


** Vests for Youth Campaign are OK, Too! **

Just a quick note to say that we forgot to mention *vests* on our last email announcement about hustling on the Youth Campaign in time for winter.

Wool vests for the girls and boys (ages 7-14) are also a much-needed garment and can be whipped up in time for our October 14 due date (October 3 for Canadians via elann.com in BC). Pullover vests are terrific for layering across the seasons. If you make a button-front style, please be sure that buttons close up against the cold, from top to bottom. Consider neck and armhole coverage when picking a pattern -- room to fit over another garment, but not too much exposure.

Youth campaign details are here for reference --

Mailing addresses and general guidelines are here --

There's still time for volunteers to knit and crochet for the kids, if you start this week. Please knit socks and knit and crochet mittens, if you can't squeeze in a vest or sweater. Or, get together with friends and make a group blanket. We don't need as many hats, so no need for us to encourage the hats (but if you made hats already, do send them in, not to worry.)

We estimate that we have about 40 of the 80 needed cartons filled now. With about a month to go.

After arriving by plane (what a treat!), our wool garments and blankets will be distributed to girls and boys at health and rehabilitation centers in Kabul and Bamiyan this winter. Your handmade gifts are going to make a difference for these kids very soon and when needed the most. Soon enough, we'll all be reading the articles about the brutal Afghan winter. Thank you for jumping on this opportunity to help the most vulnerable on the other side of the world.

Thank you continuing to remember the people of Afghanistan and for taking action. Your participation matters.

Much gratitude,
Ann and colleagues at afghansforAfghans.org