Metamorphosis/New Life

On Wednesday, August 22, I spied a (Monarch) caterpillar hanging from the bottom of a leaf. I’m been checking on the chrysalis regularly, hoping maybe to see the butterfly when it emerges. (I will be adding photo frequently until the chrysalis is empty and the birds have flown away — or I have, as I will be heading to California for Mina’s ninth birthday.)

Right near the chrysalis was a bird’s nest — goldfinches are raising their brood. I try hard to not disturb the birds.

An Anabaptist Learning Workshop

Following Jesus Together While Having Very Different Beliefs

How does kimchi relate to following Jesus? Pablo (Hyung Jin) Kim-Sun and Jinah Im were quite happy to explain last Saturday (April 7).

Kimchi Ingredients (Simple version) Congregational Ingredients
green onions varying genders
chives singing styles
sea salt praying styles
red chili powder ‘heart’ language (first language spoken)
fermented shrimp who is Jesus?
anchovy sauce what is the meaning of Jesus’ death
onion what is the meaning of Jesus’ resurrection?
Fuji apple how do we live faithfully?
Asian pear what does it mean to live justly?
garlic (and many more)
sticky rice


  • There are hundreds of varieties of kimchi, just as there are hundreds of varieties of congregations.
  • Most of us recognize cabbage kimchi, but other vegetables can also be used. Those of us in the workshop are ‘European’ Anabaptists, but often now our congregations include people from other parts of the world.
  • Kimchi has evolved over the centuries; Napa cabbage and chili powder are more recent additions to traditional recipes. Our Anabaptist beliefs and understandings have also evolved over the last 500 years and hopefully will continue to do so.
  • Some ingredients in kimchi get blended together, some are left distinct. So too the ingredients of our congregations, some things get mashed together, some things stay distinct.
  • Kimchi needs time to ferment, to create that unique flavour, each day tasting a little sharper. Can we recognize how the church also needs time to ferment, how over time we can become more flavourful?
  • In Korea making kimchi is a community event. So together we learned how to make kimchi and how we might use diversity to demonstrate the vastness of God’s love to the world.

On the Anabaptist Learning Workshop website

Furred & Feathered Friends

I admit I am impatient for spring. Winter seems to want to drag on (though in reality, this is probably normal April weather). However, over the last week I’ve been enjoying the furred and feathered creatures that have been visiting our backyard.

(Thanks also to brother Jim who took some of these photos.)

Soft Sculpture Dolls

I’ve long liked making toys.

Original pattern pieces

About 35 years ago I started making soft sculpture dolls. It was the beginning of the Cabbage Patch Kids craze, and I thought I could do a better job — so I bought a pattern for Miss Martha’s (?) “Little Sonshine Baby.” It was a 14″ doll.

Pattern pieces transfer to graph paper

Not being satisfied with that size only I graphed the pattern and enlarged it, first to 18″ and finally to a 24″ doll.

Pattern enlarged

I took orders to make and sell these dolls. Friends, family, and strangers ordered dolls with varying skin, eye and hair colours, hair styles (or bald), freckles or not, some  dressed, some not. These order sheets represent over 60 dolls that I made.

Order sheets

I made only two 24″ dolls, for my own kids.

My daughter on her 5th birthday with her new 24″ doll, Randi.

I take great joy and satisfaction knowing that at least some of these dolls are still being played with by another generation.

Randi, sitting on my granddaughter’s bed, 2018
My niece’s and nephew’s dolls, now played with by their children
Sammy, 24″ doll made for my son; Baby, 14″ doll made for my granddaughter in 2011 (brought home for repairs); my first ever 18″ doll.