Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Day Before April

The day before April
Alone, alone,
I walked in the woods
And sat on a stone.

I sat on a broad stone
And sang to the birds.
The tune was God's making
But I made the words.

by Mary Carolyn Davies

Just wondering if y'all are all ready for National Poetry Month?

I couldn't wait so I highlighted one today here and over on my Xanga site.

Photo is of Sixes Mill, where I will be taking my walk this afternoon. For the purpose of *truth in advertising*, I should tell you that it is cloudy and overcast today - not sunny like in the picture.

Rain drops were falling at 6p when I was ready to walk, so I'm postponing this excursion for Thursday.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Carpenter Bee

Notice the white triangle on his head.

Some call him the Wood Boring Bumblebee.

I've heard they dont sting

In this picture borrowed from Flickr,

the photographer calls the insect a white-faced bumblebee.

I cant really see the white.

He's gathering nectar.

What makes him *white*?

I'm confused.

Are there lots of white-faced bumblebees out there?

I want to be able to identify them.

Any suggestions?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Rebecca Sue Earnest, R. I. P.

Becky died early this morning and I thought my girls might like to see this happy photograph of her. We were picking her up for school that day in late February 1991: Grandparents' Day at The Heiskell School.

She was always delighted to be our honorary grandmother, since she had never married and not had any children of her own. She would have been 91 on her next birthday, May 31st.

A reader and a leader in her own right, she regaled us with many stories about growing up in Atlanta and being the first female air traffic controller at the airport.

Here's a link to one of the last family gatherings with the girls.

Fittingly, this afternoon I'm attending the Cherokee Community Chorale's performance of John Rutter's Requiem.

I think Becky would have enjoyed it, too.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Fine Art Friday

Leo X by Raphael
Oil on Panel 60.6 x 46.9 in
1518 - 1519
Galleria degli Uffizi

This painting came to my attention while I was reading an interesting article by the outrageously liberal Camille Paglia. And in light of my comments about art opening doors (good for teaching purposes), I'm posting this artwork because I remember the intrigue, but I didnt know Raphael was commenting on it.

Paglia pins Leo for dividing Christianity. His ego would have appreciated that. But I'm not sure he deserves that much credit.

If you'd shown me this painting, I wouldnt have recognized the Pope.

Not sure I would recognize the current one either, except for his garb and entourage.

But I am trying to pick familiar faces out of this recent painting by three Chinese artists. See Shirley Temple?

How many do you recognize?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Orange Roses

Still having fun tying scarves in different ways, I'm wearing this one today. I had to go back and rewatch Big Mama in order to remember how to make that knot.

The orange is significant because I like to talk about my Protestant (Scotch-Irish) heritage and counterpoint the green-loving Irish Catholics... on this man-made, Hallmark holiday.

Sounds a little rebellious, huh?

Just a little.

How are you celebrating St Patricks Day?

This year's reading assignment is Chapter 2: Domestic Life of the Lowland Scot.

Quotes to follow :)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Dinner Menu - Late Winter

Here's what I'm thinking for after church tomorrow

And how it turned out.

Bloody Mary Pot Roast (Venison)
Corn Casserole
Steamed Cauliflower
Sweet Peppers 'n Onions

Garlic Bread

Gallo Merlot
Iced Tea

Ghirardelli Chocolate Cake

It's raining and chilly here today. Although Spring is trying to appear in the form of blooming daffodil bulbs and bradford pear trees, I have to remind myself that it is still Winter. Easter is four weeks hence. We're bound to have crazy weather until then.

Time for Saturday chores.

See ya 'round!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Fashion on Friday

I'm really sticking my neck out here...


The big question?

Should I have photographed the necklace by itself on black velvet?

Or given you this glorious shot of my 50-year-old neck?

Nora Ephron, here I come honey!

Actually the issue at hand is to prepare my wardrobe for Spring and Summer and in my effort throw off the winter doldrums, I wore this statement necklace earlier this week.

I bought it about five years ago at a jewelry party and find that it makes certain outfits really standout. I doubt there's another exactly like it, but you will see in the stores now a plethora of big jewelry.

Wear some.


It will make you feel better.

PS Just to give you encouragement and let you know that you can wear a something like this even if you're staying at home all day.... the cutest rendition of the style I've seen lately? A middle-aged women wearing jeans, a turquoise zip-up sweatshirt, with a colorful, beady necklace.

Just do it!

Take a picture, too.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Where Do We Go From Here?
Chapter Eleven
All God's Children and Blue Suede Shoes

Mapping out the long and winding road through popular culture, author Ken Myers addresses all the groups affected by the trends of popular culture and challenges them to action.

The intellectuals, the parents, the teachers, the industry workers, and finally church leaders - all are called to understand the nature of culture (popular, folk, and high) making sure that their views are consistent with the context in which God created it.

Is it a mad dash?

No, I dont think so. I identify with the turtle in the fable: slow, plodding, determined steps toward the finish line.

Dash toward what?

I am free to engage with the people and institutions around me because as a born-again believer my affections are rooted in Christ's culture (kingdom). I must seek protection from Him and regularly at that. Then and only then will the idolatrous culture not rule my life.

Myers states that
one can enjoy popular culture without compromising Biblical principles as long as one is not dominated by the sensibility of popular culture, as long as one is not capitvated by its idols.

Engaging the culture on all fronts is the key that starts the cars we're driving on this long and winding road. Christians cannot and should not avoid certain arenas on the pretext that they are ungodly.

I'm using the Bible as my road map.

What are you using?

Monday, March 09, 2009

Nine in 2009

Seems like a good day to revisit some New Year's Resolutions and see how I'm doing. One of the things I like about blogging (and categorizing my entries) is that it really makes it easier to check up on myself.

Sometimes it's difficult to stay focused.

For a couple of years I have read and contemplated Doug Phillips' year-end assessment. His is so lengthy (albeit excellent) that I have never started it other than in my mind. I do think I would have more success with his if I followed it throughout the year, creating an album that would be finished at year's end.

At any rate, here's a link to a short AJC article that I'm using this year for structure.

1) Get the family up and moving.

Not doing so great in this area, unless you count the fact that DH and I *relax* together in the evenings by NOT MOVING. Actually we have walked together as a family and now that it's staying lighter longer, I think we can work this into the schedule. In the spirit of full disclosure, I have yet to make good use of the stationary bike mentioned in this entry.

2) Give your spouse 15 minutes per day.

Since I work with DH, I think he appreciates when I dont talk to him :) No, really. The advice in this area is noteworthy: no griping during this check-in time. (I could be more careful about that.) But if I count in 5-minutes snatches, I'll bet we rack up 15 minutes with any problem at all.

3) Count your blessings.

Easy to do here. My list is long and I have no grounds for complaints. What I could do is *tell* those people more often that they are a blessing to me.

4) Reach out.

I'm on the receiving end in this arena. I have a *new* friend whom I met on Facebook! I did pay visit with an old neighbour in January; need to write that thank-you note; and have yet to clean out the closet.

5) Be optimistic.

Not a problem... I think I'm wired that way. Actually, no, I think it's a gift from God. I wake up happy and ready for each day the Lord gives me.

6) Do at least one thing each week that brings you enjoyment.

Collecting (books) and reading (fiction and non) - I carry them around with me; even if I dont have time to look at them when I'm at the office, I like knowing they're there.

See that book review in the upper right-hand corner? It's written by my favorite college history professor and prompted me to buy Dr Kirk's book.

7) Take a little time to answer tough questions.

Cindy over at Dominion Family gives me the opportunity to address signficant questions. We've been discussing pop culture in an online book club.

Carol at MagistraMater always writes about interesting topics. Thanks for suffering through my comments, Carol!

Plus I've been reading Calvin's Institutes of Christian Religion - that's a real brain-teaser. Check out the site at Princeton Theological Seminary. I hope to post more about Calvin in honor of his 500th birthday (July 9th).

Per Phyllis McGinley:

Housewives deserve well-furnished minds. They have to live in them such a lot of the time!

8) Dont fall into a weight-loss trap.

I'm hopelessly trapped, weighing myself daily. I only *record* the number once per week. I know that I weigh TEN pounds more this March than I did last. There I said it! Now everyone knows!

I should have signed on with Amy at Humble Musings and dieted with that group. I'd be in much better shape. I might even be richer :)

9) Be good to your feet.

This resolution is interesting because wearing the right shoe size makes all the difference in the world. About five years ago, a good friend mentioned that she'd purposefully gone up a size, with amazing results.

With walking as my exercise, I've never experienced knee pain (hip or back either), but I routinely moan about my feet. Even with no regular pounding during this past winter, my right heel continues to hurt. That means I need to do more stretching exercises (per DH-MD).

And... time to schedule a pedicure ...

So I'll be ready for some new peep-toed shoes!