Friday, August 31, 2007

Fashion Find Friday

Call me a bag lady.

'Cause I like all kinds of purses, pocketbooks, or handbags (whatever you call it)

Here's a picture of my current organizer/wallet.

Only it's red :)

Years ago, I realized that my sloped shoulders would not hold in place a heavy purse; nor would my shoulders/neck tolerate the stress/pain caused by carrying a heavy handbag or satchel. Furthermore, purses are personal.

I had to lighten up.

First (around 1990), I bought two wallets: one brown and one black and kept them in a larger bag in the car. When I needed to shop, I took into the store only the wallet (which had a strap like the one in the photo.) Eventually those wore out.

Plus I graduated to the 21st century, got a cell phone, and needed a spot to keep it. Hence, the newer organizer/wallet, which I highly recommend.

Loose the over-sized bags that will carry everything but the kitchen sink, ladies!

Be feminine.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Why I Blog

This entry is more a self-reminder to organize my thoughts in this area.

And so, in my *research* to justify the time I spend writing/blogging/reading/surfing,
I am creating a link to a wonderful blurb from Melissa at Mentalmultivitamin, so I won't loose the article. I did print out a copy for myself and will *file* it appropriately.

Filing? Hah!

Have you see my desk?

Now that's what I call *full disclosure!*

Back to Melissa though. She is a good writer: a little outrageous from time to time (she likes Jackson Pollock), but also very down to earth (she likes birdwatching). She recommends a couple of books which I will look into. Actually she recommends lots of books.

I will see if I can come up with an *Artist's Statement*...more so, than my quote from Mrs. Schaeffer.

I have tried to explain myself before. Read this xanga entry.

Have you?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Russell Kirk

Highlighted today is an author whom I first met in 1975. That Fall I headed off to college and took a seminar entitled The Roots of American Order, which is also the title of one of Kirk's book. Two years later, I took another seminar from him, The Adams Family, in which he chronicled the long and illustrious history of this family's influence on American life and culture. My research paper for that class (where all the authors were male) was on Abigail Adams, well-known in her own right.

Thirty years later, I am still chewing on the information Dr. Kirk presented. Off and on, I will pull one of his books off the shelf and read one of his essays. They are inspiring to me. They help keep my thinking in line (consistent) and my enthusiasm for the permanent things high.

Most recently I have been re-reading his works because Cindy keeps writing about the way she homeschools. After looking at her references, I realized that many of the people she's quoting have relied on Dr. Kirk's writings and influence.

You can find where I have mentioned Kirk on my Xanga site by clicking on the authors and/or books tags.

Much of his work is available at his own website.

I am posting this for Laura to encourage her to read more Kirk :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Book Table
Dark Torte by Deborah Mott Davidson
The Turning Angel by Greg Iles
What No One Tells the Bride by Marg Stark
Heart by Gail Godwin
Coot Club by Arthur Ransome
Too Soon to Say Good-bye by Art Buchwald
The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Conservatism by Russell Kirk
St Elmo by Augusta Jane Evans
Life Studies by Susan Vreeland
Redeeming the Time by Russell Kirk
Ex Libris by Ross King
The Judgment of Paris by Ross King
Fifty Celebrate Fifty by More Magazine

A dozen or so books to keep me entertained for the next few weeks.

And a quote, first seen at Quiet Life, then recogized at Writer's Almanac today, where Goethe is remembered because it's his birthday.

"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words."

Monday, August 27, 2007

Happy 80th Birthday!

Born on a farm in Ninette, Manitoba, MIL moved to Thunder Bay, Ontario when she was a teenager. There she worked in a department store where she met her future husband. They married in 1953, and had three children, the second of whom is my DH.

Let's see if these five facts give a good description....

Favorite color: Pink
Favorite meal: Roasted Turkey
Favorite music: Big Band style
Favorite chore: Painting
Favorite pasttime: Redecorating

Friday, August 24, 2007

Fashion Friday

Wooden beads mixed with a little silver strung on fishing line. Inexpensive.

I happened upon this bracelet in a hair salon and it has become a favorite this summer. The *matching* necklace has spent more time in the drawer. Not sure why.

Do you have a Summer *Fashion Find*?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Art and Poetry

Where Are the Shows of Yesteryear?

Where now is Jean-Leon Gerome,
One of the greats of heretofore,
Who made the Orient his home?
His "Woman of Cairo at her Door"
Immortalized an unknown whore;
Imprisoned in its little cage,
Her pretty finch shows evermore
The mark he made upon his age.

And where is Bouguereau, on whom
Fortune outdid herself to pour
Her golden favors? Overcome:
The modernists thought him a bore.
And yet it is hard to ignore
Those nymphets that he loved to stage--
He should have been arrested for
The mark he made upon his age.

Fabres y Costa's Prix de Rome,
His silver medals and much more
Availed not when his time had come
And gone, and left him very poor:
His prices fell right through the floor.
Now exercising righteous rage,
Defenders of the new deplore
The mark he made upon his age.

O Prince, may those well-known before
Find new collectors to assuage
Their disregard and to restore
The mark each made upon his age.

by Charles Martin

PS I had fun looking up the artwork referred to in this poem. At first I was only familiar with Bouguereau.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


One of my duties is to complete/print this form for billing purposes.

And lately, I've been having a little trouble with claims being rejected because the information in ONE of the hundred fields on the form was not printing properly.

Today I figured out a way to correct that.

All by my little lonesome.

Just for the record.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sunday Dinners

Tomato Soup

Roast Beef in Pita

Cheese Straws

Stuffed Cherry Tomato

Easy prepare ahead menu for any time of year, I served this meal after church on Sunday. This is one of the ways I make Sundays special; that is, by having everything ready before church; eating in the dining room, and having everyone help with cleanup.

Are your meals on Sunday


from those on the weekdays?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Tomato Soup

8 cups fresh, August tomatoes, peeled and seeded

NOTE: I strained my peelings and garnished 1 cup fresh juice.

Save it!

1 large yellow onion, chopped finely
6 stalks celery, very finely chopped

Cook the above ingredients in a saucepan for 20 minutes until the veggies are soft. Strain them in order to separate the pulp from the stock, pressing gently to extract as much liquid as possible. As a result, I had approximately 5 cups of cooked tomato pulp ( including onions & celery) and 4 cups tomato stock.

Place the stock only in a small saucepan and simmer until reduced by half. Set aside. Puree the pulp in a food processor. Set aside.

In a large pot, melt 6 Tbs butter; and add 6 Tbs flour, stirring with a wire whisk until well-blended and smooth. Cook until this roux turns slightly brown. Dont walk away! This will burn easily.

Add 5 cups beef stock. (I cheated and made mine with bouillon cubes. This is why I dont have to salt the soup in the end.) Stir the roux quickly as you add the stock to create a smooth base. Add 2 tsp sugar and 1 tsp paprika. Cook over medium heat until the mixture starts to boil.

Reduce to low heat and add the tomato pulp. Stir well. Cook for 5 minutes without boiling. Thin with the tomato stock (I used the two cups mentioned at the beginning of the recipe.) I suppose one could thin with a little warm milk or cream, making the result *Cream of Tomato Soup*, but I'm getting off topic.

DD#3 tasted and approved.

Here's the end result.


Friday, August 10, 2007

Fine Art Friday

Picture Framing

Yesterday I took a field trip with a friend to purchase a frame for her oil painting: an Italian landscaped by my DD#2. She chose this one displayed horizontally. I forgot to get a picture of the finished product, but will do that soon and add it to this post. Here's a link to the painting in progress.

We traveled to JFM Enterprises and spent the better part of two hours *trying on* different frames. This was *work* for me as decorating decisions do not come easily. And as you know, a frame is an integral part of presenting the artwork and can make a big difference.

Here's how a copy of Sargent's The Breakfast Table looks in the above frame.

What do you think?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Italian Landscape

Tuscany 2006
Oil on canvas 18x24

Found a quick photo taken of the landscape in progress. There is more to the foreground - sunflowers and the like. Plus it seems I've cut off the gardener who is in the left-hand side of the finished work. And I'd still like to have a picture of the framed painting in its own setting, ie friend's living room. I will call her.

So, enjoy regarding it.

Imagine we are there........taking a walk on that path.

Oh, yeah :)

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Doing the Next Thing

Saturdays are full of choices: what to do and where to do it?

And today is no different for me. Because it didnt work out that I head to Unicoi State Park to hike the Smith Creek trail, I headed to the office to catch up/get ahead on some ever-present paperwork: posting, balancing, billing, scheduling, filing, organizing, et cetera. Even if I'd stayed at home, there is laundry, cleaning, cooking, and ironing.

It makes me happy to be busy. Read Robert Service's poem.

And for safekeeping, here's a poem used by Elisabeth Elliot, to encourage us in our daily lives.

"At an old English parsonage down by the sea,
there came in the twilight a message to me.
Its quaint Saxon legend deeply engraven
that, as it seems to me, teaching from heaven.
And all through the hours the quiet words ring,
like a low inspiration, 'Do the next thing.'

Many a questioning, many a fear,
many a doubt hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment, let down from heaven,
time, opportunity, guidance are given.
Fear not tomorrow, child of the King,
trust that with Jesus, do the next thing.

Do it immediately, do it with prayer,
do it reliantly, casting all care.
Do it with reverence, tracing His hand,
who placed it before thee with earnest command.
Stayed on omnipotence, safe 'neath His wing,
leave all resultings, do the next thing.

Looking to Jesus, ever serener,
working or suffering be thy demeanor,
in His dear presence, the rest of His calm,
the light of His countenance, be thy psalm.
Do the next thing."

What's keeping you occupied this particular Saturday?

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Spinach Salad

10 oz fresh spinach (Popeye brand-already washed/bagged)
8 oz mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 lg mango, sliced (substitute madarin oranges,drained)
1 egg, hardboiled and diced

Toss with salad dressing of your choice.

Serves 8.

This is one of my favorite foods to take to pot providence dinners after church.

Salad Dressing:

1/2 C safflower oil
1/4 C vinegar
2 Tbs prepared mustard
2 Tbs water
2 Tbs dried parsley

Whirl in blender. Store in cruet in 'fridge.