Tag Archives: space

Man Cave: Of sanctuaries and retreats

(A Room Decoration and Demarcation)

It’s been said that the adult male human regularly needs some “down time” after a work day (a.k.a. Cave Time) to rejuvenate, find refreshment, recharge, gain clarity, and so on.

BUT-I doubt–a LOT–that “cave time” is truly a need reserved for the masculine of the species.

As many men will attest, females also enjoy and feel the need to retreat, and find refreshment. For some women it looks like taking a walk alone, reading a book while soaking in a bubble bath, or even not being alone–such as, sharing emotions with a trusted friend or ally.

Whatever this time looks like, it is a demarcated boundary of sanctuary, and vitally important to good mental health, and a balanced life–notwithstanding the spiritual benefits.

My husband doesn’t feel he needs a “den” or a man gym set up in the basement to get his man cave time in. He most enjoys a vigorous bike ride through the beautiful countryside on his road bike. I most like a variety of sanctuaries and refreshing conduits–both with others and without.

It’s not a weakness or a shame to realize you need space, and find your own space routinely (be it physical space, quite down time, mental respite, or beneficial time of social interaction). It is part of how we [all] live out our humanity fully, and how we are better able to best rejoin to loved ones, and others in our work or social lives in the most healthy way. If you don’t alreadly, encourage your loved ones to carve out demarcated time for this human need, as well as maintain your own. Seriously. Put in on the calendar or in your planner. It’s really that important. Be systematic so you stick with it, and keep your appointments with yourself. You will be surprised how much everyone will benefit.

Do you get the “cave time” you feel you need?

What does cave time look, or sound like for you?

Any body know Scripture that encourages ‘cave time’?

I look forward to your responses. Thanks.

Magi Star Gazing: (Jan & Feb) (Party Kit)

January Epiphanies cont.

Many of us don’t brave the cold in January and February to see the constellations.

In January, many people throughout the world celebrate the Visitation of the Magi, who followed a bright star to find the Christ Child. This extends the Christmas Season celebration.

Perhaps we could be more mindful of our surroundings, our place in the universe, and other January Epiphanies if we bundled up at least once during January or February, grabbed a blanket and some hot chocolate, coffee, or Irish coffee, and went out for 10-15 minutes of thoughtful star gazing on a clear night.

That is my challenge to you. But, why not make it a group venture, family activity, or a party? Maybe exchange home made presents or goodies, inexpensive but thoughtful gifts, or white elephant surprises, to Magi it up a bit. If you’d like to include related Scripture readings for your time, try Isaiah 60:3 and Matthew 2:1-12.

Below is a fantastic recipe for slow cooker hot chocolate, plus an image of a star map for January and February–for the Northern Hemisphere, (it’s most accurate during 9-10p.m. Eastern Standard Time.) For Southern Hemisphere, click here. Face in the proper direction, and find the star patterns from the map. Show or teach them to your friends, family, children, or youth group.

And please remember: If it’s cold, dress in layers, a hat, gloves, and warm coat.

Please ~ Let me know how it goes, okay?

Hot Chocolate Ingredients

  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 6 cups milk, (or 4 cups milk and 2 cups half and half)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 (12 ounce) package milk chocolate chips
  • Garnish:
  • Whipped cream 
  • (other options) Cinnamon, Coconut flakes, Sprinkles, marshmallows, marshmallow fluff, Candy canes


  1. Stir together the whipping cream, milk, vanilla, and chocolate chips in a slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, until mixture is hot and chocolate chips are melted. Stir again before serving. Garnish with whipped cream or other  garnish, as desired.

If you try this recipe, use this map, or have a good time star gazing soon, I’d LOVE to hear about it. Who says the holidays are over?


(Click here for another January Northern Hemisphere sky map resource)

Star Map for Northern Hemisphere (Jan & Feb)

Transforming Nebula

The Hubble telescope is operating again, and got gorgeous photos of the Minkowski 2-9, also called, the Butterfly Nebula. Quite gorgeous, right? It fills me with awe.


I thought this was a great symbol of transformation, process, and creation rolled up into an unfathomable, beautiful, and yes, nebulous package. We’re all works in progress. In the past, Hubble never capture this image so well, but through the corrected lens we are able to see the beauty of an organic wonder. I see the parallel for our lives in this. Correcting our perspective, can do wonders for our outlook on our lives, and progress too.

What do you think of this photo?

What transformation do you seek, ultimately?

Leave any comments you’d like.

When Pluto was a Planet


My daughter, a kindergartener, told me about the 8 planets in our solar system, and she could name them in order. At first I was thrown off. What was the matter? 9. We have nice planets, right? Oh, that’s right Pluto was kicked off the list last year. My daughter will never know anything but 8 planets. I thought I’d look it up a little. Most people can say, “I remember when our solar system had 9 planets.” But, just when you think the solar system is getting simpler or smaller, terms like “dwarf planet” and “small solar system body” change the game.

To some it seems small, distant Pluto, the Roman god of the underworld (Greek Hades) dejected, slumps–only a rock. Actually, its demotion is more like a clarification. Since objects cross its orbit in the asteroid belt of Kuiper, and its mass is small, it is considered a dwarf planet by the International Astronomical Union who finally came to a consensus on celestial bodies. Its moon Charon keeps its moon status.

There are two other dwarf planets nearby. One is Ceres, found in 1801, our largest asteroid, inhabits some space between Mars and Jupiter in the big asteroid belt. In 2003, “2003 UB 313” was found beyond Neptune. This provisional name will be exchanged for a permanent one in a few months.

With the Hubble Telescope repairs, we should be able to locate dozens more dwarf planets near and beyond Pluto. Small solar system bodies are objects orbiting the sun that do not possess enough mass to have a spherical or near spherical shape. Hundreds of these will be found in the near future.

All this makes me think I really should look at the night sky more often. There’s a lot going on, on a whole different scale, and it puts things in perspective, once you start to take it in. Planet means “wanderer,” and it’s funny that even though we are on firm ground, really, we are planets too.