Friday, December 31, 2010

True Grit

Proverbs 28:1 are the opening lines to the recent re-make of this John Wayne movie.

The wicked flee though no one pursues,
but the righteous are as bold as a lion.

Actually the Coen Brothers left off the second line, but I'm including it because it's just as important.

Before heading to the local theater and forking over too much money, we watched the 1969 film on DVD at home.  While the younger crowd thought the first was *cheesy*, I loved it and looked forward to seeing how Hollywood would *update* it.

In short, well done!

I give five stars to both versions and have added Mattie Ross to my top-five list of cinematic heroines.

Talk about true grit.

Mattie's character surpasses Rooster on many levels, modeling admirable traits ~

1)  Family loyalty, i.e. honor thy father (and mother)
2)  Negotiation skills, par excellance
3)  Educated, manners and diction
4)  Determination, appropriately channeled  and
5)  Maturity, beyond her years but not misguided

Overall, I preferred Hailee Steinfeld's interpreation and presentation of Mattie.

What do you think?

PS Do you own the book on which the film is based?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Happy 30th Anniversary

Dana & Ken

A good relationship has a pattern like a dance and is built on some of the same rules.

The partners do not need to hold on tightly, because they move confidently in the same pattern, intricate but gay and swift and free, like a country dance of Mozart's.

To touch heavily would be to arrest the pattern and freeze the movement, to check the endlessly changing beauty of its unfolding.

There is no place here for the possessive clutch, the clinging arm, the heavy hand; only the barest touch in passing. Now arm in arm, now face to face, now back to back -- it does not matter which. Because they know they are partners moving to the same rhythm, creating a pattern together, and being invisibly nourished by it.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Gift from the Sea

Photo compliments of mmcarthystudio aka DD#2

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Beet Salad

Now that Grandma is no longer with us :-(  I'm in the business of fixing this traditional family recipe.

It's one of those dishes that graced the holiday (celebratory) tables next to the omnipresent black olives and ubiquitous pickles.

She never wrote out a recipe.

So, here's my stab at actual measurements.

4 cans chilled beets, well drained and finely chopped
4 stalks celery, very finely diced
5 Tbs mayonnaise
small amount of finely grated onion
salt and pepper, to taste

Chill for several hours before serving.

Sounds pretty simple.  But I'm telling you,

it just doesnt taste the same as when she prepared it.

We miss you, Grandma!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Santa Claus

Red-suited men sporting long white beards are everywhere:

 in stores,

 on TV,

at parties.

There is no one who doesnt recognize these fellows.

As a youngster, I was afraid of him.  As I got older, I figured him out, but kept the information to myself.  Later, when I had my own children, we gave them gifts from Santa Claus on Christmas morning, but never took them to visit him or sit in his lap.

Now I continue to believe in the gift of giving .

So, I embrace the symbol and prefer to be positive about *him*.

Any one who says *there's no such thing as Santa Claus* looses credibility.

Clearly, he exists.

One of my favorite poets explains ~

Nicholas, Bishop of Myra's See,
Was holy a saint
As a saint could be;
Saved not a bit
Of his worldly wealth
And loved to commit
Good deeds by stealth.

Was there a poor man,
Wanting a roof?
Nicholas sheltered him weatherproof.
Who lacked a morsel
Had but to ask it
And at his doorsill
Was Nicholas' basket.

0, many a basket did he carry.
Penniless girls
Whom none would marry
Used to discover to their delight,
Into their windows
Tossed at night
(When the moon was old
And the dark was showry),
Bags of gold
Enough for a dowry.

People, I read,
Grew slightly lyrical,
Calling each deed
He did, a miracle.
Told how he calmed the sea for sailors
And rescued children
From awful jailors
Who, drawing lots
For the foul design,
Liked pickling tots
In pickle brine.

Nicholas, circa
Fourth cent. A.D.,
Died in the odor of sanctity.
But fortune changes,
Blessings pass,
And look what's happened to Nicholas.

He who had feared
The world's applause,
Now, with a beard,
Is Santa Claus.
A multiplied elf, he struts and poses,
Ringing up sales
In putty noses;
With Comet and Cupid
His constant partners,
Telling tall tales to kindergart'ners,
His halo fickle as
Wind and wave.

While dizzily Nicholas
Spins in his grave.

"Origin of Species"
 by Phyllis McGinley

Friday, December 03, 2010

Fashion Friday

Not your typical Christmas green, I'm having fun with teal and turquoise this Fall/Winter.

The puffy vest is new (onsale), but the blouse is not ~ one of those items re-discovered when sorting through my closet. That's the basis of my fashion posts - giving new life to an old item and thereby adding a punch to my style.

One holiday season, I dressed my four daughters in pink and white.  Again, not your typical Christmas colors.  But it proved fortuitous by making it easy to spot them in a crowd.  That was the year we went to the Festival of Trees at the World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta..... if any of you four are reading ;-)

So, now that the holidays are upon us and many have decorated homes, tell me....

Do you dress differently in December?

Bonus FAF (Fine Art Friday)
Still Life after Harnett
Pencil on Reeves Paper
by DD#1

Monday, November 29, 2010

Steal Away

DD#3 sang this spiritual as the special anthem during yesterday's worship service.   The words are haunting and not unlike a favorite of mine, Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.

It was coincidental that Sunday, November 28th, 2010, was the 152nd anniversary of the slave ship's, Wanderer's, arrival at Jekyll Island, GA where she unloaded over 400 Africans who were immediately sold.   Here's a link to a short review the book, The Wanderer.

Steal away, steal away, steal away to Jesus!
Steal away, steal away home,
I ain’t got long to stay here.

My Lord, He calls me,
He calls me by the thunder;
The trumpet sounds within my soul,
I ain’t got long to stay here.


Green trees are bending,
Poor sinners stand a-trembling;
The trumpet sounds within my soul,
I ain’t got long to stay here.


My Lord, He calls me,
He calls me by the lightning;
The trumpet sounds within my soul,
I ain’t got long to stay here.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day Before Thanksgiving Menu

Honey Baked Ham
Potato Salad
Stewed Cabbage

Cavit Pinot Noir
Sweet Tea

Vanilla Ice Cream
Chocolate Chip Cookies

O most merciful Father, who hast blessed the labours of the husbandman in the returns of the fruits of the earth; We give the humble and hearty thanks for this thy bounty; beseeching thee to continue thy loving-kindness to us, that our land may still yield her increase, to thy glory and our comfort; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Healthcare Answers

Be there or be square.

Link to other posts about healthcare.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New Manchester Mill

Several weeks ago a friend and I took advantage of a ranger-guided tour through the remains of this successful cotton mill destroyed by the Yankees on July 9, 1864.

It sparked my memory and I returned to my own family history where a great-great-great uncle raccounts the destruction of the Planters Factory on the Ocmulgee River this very week 146 years ago.  Read a short clip about it on my other blog.

While I got my exercise that day, learned some history, and absorbed some beautiful vistas, I couldn't help but recommit my body and being to resisting the continued encroachment of the Federal government into the hearts and lives of all Americans.

General Sherman wanted to do it then.

Legislators and politicans continue that mission by overstepping their bounds, most recently demonstrated in the body-scanning practices and full-bodied patdowns of the TSA
the multiplying tentacles of big government invading our privacy all the way down to our personal medical records.

Howl, please.

and then

Howl some more.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Birthday, (Father) Abraham!

"Oh, no single piece of our mental world is to be hermetically sealed off from the rest, and there is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: 'Mine!'"*

Today remember this fine historian, theologian, philosopher, writer by reading something by him.

It's his 173rd birthday!

The Christian Classics Ethereal Library makes it easy with their online articles.

Or at The Kuyper Foundation.  I'm particularly interested in To Be Near Unto God, 110 essays inspired by Psalm 73.

Also, Happy 76th Birthday to my father who introduced me to this Kuperian principle!

*"Sphere Sovereignty", in James D. Bratt, ed., Abraham Kuyper, A Centennial Reader, (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1998) (p. 488)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fall Menu

Beef with Currants
Baked Barley
Steamed Carrots
Sauted Kale
Buttered French Bread
Black Swan Merlot (2008)

Dessert (recipe link
Vivian's Apple Pie a la mode

Memory Verse of the Week ~

So teach us to number our days,
that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

Psalm 90:12

Friday, October 08, 2010

Fashion on Fridays:Handbags



*Drifter* Shoulder bag

Complete with many of the colors from the Fall 2010 Pantone Palette, she's sporting:

Chocolate Truffle
Oyster Gray

  Versatile beyond measure, this pocketbook is serving me well this fall ~ zippered compartments, sturdy straps, and a wide opening, I am highly recommending this new brand of leather and linen from a Hilton Head designer.
Spartina449 came to my attention from the owner of a local gift shop, The Chamberhouse, newly remodeled and always resourceful.

So, tell me about your handbag and how much you like it .... or not.


tell me about a favorite gift shop in your town.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

A Woman's Answer to a Man's Question

Do you know you have asked for the costliest thing
Ever made by the hand above—
A woman's heart, and a woman's life
And a woman's wonderful love?

Do you know you have asked for this priceless thing
As a child might ask for a toy,
Demanding what others have died to win,
With the reckless dash of a boy?

You have written my lesson of duty out,
Man-like you have questioned me;
Now stand at the bar of my woman's soul
Until I shall question thee.

You require your mutton shall always be hot,
Your socks and your shirt be whole;
I require your heart to be true as God's stars,
And as pure as heaven your soul.

You require a cook for your mutton and beef;
I require a far better thing.
A seamstress you're wanting for socks and shirts;
I look for a man and a king.

A king for the beautiful realm called home,
And a man that the maker, God,
Shall look upon as he did the first
And say, "It is very good."

I am fair and young, but the rose will fade
From my soft, young cheek one day,
Will you love me then 'mid the falling leaves,
As you did 'mid the bloom of May?

Is your heart an ocean so strong and deep,
I may launch my all on its tide?
A loving woman finds heaven or hell
On the day she is made a bride.

I require all things that are grand and true,
All things that a man should be;
If you give all this, I would stake my life
To be all you demand of me.

If you cannot do this — a laundress and cook
You can hire, with little to pay,
But a woman's heart and a woman's life
Are not to be won that way.

Mary T. Lathrap
1838 - 1895

[Written in reply to a man's poetic unfolding of what he conceived to be a woman's duty.]

Photo taken Fall 1977
Hillsdale, Michigan

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fashion on Friday:Denim and Linen

Desperate for a wardrobe change by this time of year, I remind myself to check the weather report hoping for cooler temperatures and a soaking rain.

But yesterday, the first full day of Fall, the thermometer registered 91 degrees.

Hence, the sleeveless denim shirt.

While I consider denim a year-round fabric choice, I stop wearing linen at the end of September.  Sienna brown is a favorite color, unlike the chocolate truffle color (which seems to have a touch of purple in it) on this season's report.

This multi-colored linen skirt has been in my closet for six seasons and always rejuvenates the attitude during these weeks of transitional weather.

And that's the basis of my Fashion Friday ~ no new purchase.....

What did you find in your closet this past week that added a bit a flair to your style?

Bonus FAF (Fine Art Friday)
(in the background)

Head Study After Bouguereau
Oil on Canvas
by Margaret Jago 2003

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Top Ten: Walking Routes

Mark Fenton's book is the one which helped me establish a walking program.

Truth be known ~ after purchase, it sat on the shelf for a couple of years.

And then I took his simple advice.

I hopped got out of the car (waiting in carpool line) and walked five minutes in one direction, turned around, and walked the five minutes back to the car.

Quickly I built up steam and stamina.  However, it always takes a bit of mental discipline to get up and going.

Here's a short list of my favorite ordinary routes with links a one-time blog entry.

1)  Larkwood
2)  Heritage Park
3)  Boling Park
4)  Canton Loop
5)  Canton Stretch
6)  Canton Historic
7)  Canton Bluffs
8)  River Green
9)  Prominence Point
10)The Basement

Early on, I determined that I didnt want to train for competition (racewalking), but for health and pleasure. 

Learning the local history and trying to keep in shape are motivators enough.

But I think I may work through this PBS series on walking to help me stay on task.

And remember J M Barrie's* sound advice ~

 Make your feet your friend.

Where do you like to walk?

*Author of Peter Pan

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fashion Friday:Fall Colors

Autumn officially begins next week.

Wednesday, September 22, at 11:09pm to be exact.

I'm not ready.

It's still hot here.

90 degrees today...

But blogging buddy Carol's wonderful words are urging me on...

Out with the decaying petunias in pots; hello you gorgeous gerberas.

Out with the pathetic wispy plants that always look so good in May; welcome merry mums!

See ya' summer salads; gotta fix some soup and bake some sweet potatoes!

See ya later 8 o'clock twilight; greetings to reading by lamplight!

Who doesn't love autumn?

After reading these words, I promptly bought some hardy chrysanthemums at the grocery store.

I think they qualify as *Golden Glow*.

What do you think?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Genealogy:William Ferguson Smith

My maternal great-great grandfather was born on this date, September 16, one hundred forty five years ago (1845).

As you can see from the photo of the dust jacket, he is the author of of The Rival Lovers: a story of The War Between the States.

It is an authentic and original tale of a solider, citizen and public servant written in 1877, originally published in serial form in the Butts County Argus.

Even more interesting are the second and third parts of the book which contain first a biographical sketch entitled William, The Man; and then Essays: Other Writings of William Ferguson Smith.

He is mentioned in the New Georgia Encyclopedia as a *mover and shaker* of 19th century Butts County because of his overall leadership, most notably as editor of the newspaper and president of the railroad.

In his remarks when he took charge of the Flovilla and Indian Springs Railroad (1888?), he challenged his listeners to act their parts as patriots and save the Republic.

Now I leave you with his actual words which continue to be appropriate in the perennial task of cultural renewal.

Can we - will we - perpetuate this Republic for the benefit of the children of both races?  Or will we allow race prejudice and sectional hatred to rob us of reason, smother our patriotism, and engage us in factional strife, while our great Republic goes down under the grasp of financial despotism?

I present these questions for the thoughtful, prayerful consideration of the great middle class of the American people to consider, with the hope, the prayerful desire, and the sincere belief, that the great responsive heart will answer in the affirmative.

Take heart over these issues.

Remember our great Constitution, as tomorrow is Constitution Day.

Preserving that permanent thing...

maintains liberty and justice for all.

Many thanks to my cousin, Harriet Ann Stovall Kelley (Editor) who discovered WFS papers and took the time to preserve them for posterity.  Read one of her poems here.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Privilege of Corporate Worship

Even the sparrow finds a home,

and the swallow a nest for herself,

where she may lay her young, at your altars,
O Lord of Hosts,
my King and my God.

Psalm 84 was written by the Sons of Korah for the express purpose of singing the prayer in the temple.  Thousands of year later I am blessed to be able to read it, understand it, and perform the noble exercise of praise and thanksgiving so described.

Dont miss the opportunity to be a doorkeeper in the house of God.

Then sing about it!

For further study ~

Listen to a sermon expositing Psalm 84: A Bird's Nest in God's House.

Issac Watts's hymn Lord of the worlds above is based on this psalm.

Friday, September 10, 2010

US Constitution Day

"Great states with good constitutions develop when most people think of their duties and restrain their appetites.

"Great states sink toward their dissolution when most people think of their privileges and indulge their appetites freely. . . .

"And no matter how admirable a constitution may look upon paper, it will be ineffectual unless the written constitution, the web of custom and convention, affirms an enduring moral order of obligations and personal responsibility."

Quoting Russell Kirk's Rights and Duties: Reflections on Our Conservative Constitution, I'm reminding myself (and you) of the upcoming Constitution Day celebration.  Some begin as early as September 16th and continue through Saturday, the 18th, framing the actual signing date of September 17, 1787.

Read ~

First Principles, ISI's web journal,  houses a host of fine articles addressing constitutional liberty.

Brad Birzer's review of Kirk's Rights and Duties.

Then act ~

Contact your representative and learn how s/he feels about voting in line with the principles he swore to uphold.

Protect the future ~

Join in the fight to restore our Republic.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Final Summer Roses

WHEN roses cease to bloom, dear,

And violets are done,

When bumble-bees in solemn flight

Have passed beyond the sun,

The hand that paused to gather 

Upon this summer’s day

Will idle lie, in Auburn,—

Then take my flower, pray!

Thinking of those we lost over the summer.....

Miss Dickinson supplies the words.

Here's a link to Emily's lexicon where I learned that Auburn is the name of a cemetery which boasts an impressive list of residents.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

The Thinking Conservative

The Thinker (Le Penseur) is an easily recognizable icon for intellectual activity and that's how I'm using it today.

Most schools and colleges are back in session which means that many of us have abandoned our summertime routines in favor of more rigorous schedules involving academics.

I followed suit by listening to George Grant challenge a crowd to don their thinking caps.

The enthusiasm is catching!

Which in turn made me ponder the characteristics and convictions of the citizens who would ideally comprise civilized society.

And one of my favorite authors, Russell Kirk, neatly defined the model with this short list of ten principles.

From this essay found at The Kirk Center

1)   The conservative believes that there exists an enduring moral order.

2)   The conservative adheres to custom, convention, and continuity.

3)   Conservatives believe in what may be called the principle of prescription.

4)   Conservatives are guided by their principle of prudence.

5)   Conservatives pay attention to the principle of variety.

6)   Conservatives are chastened by their principle of imperfectability.

7)   Conservatives are persuaded that freedom and property are closely linked.

8)   Conservatives uphold voluntary community, quite as the oppose involuntary collectivism.

9)  The conservative perceives the need for prudent restraints upon power and upon human passions.

10)The thinking conservative understands that permanence and change must be recognized and reconciled in a vigorous society.

One of my favorite conservatives was Larry McDonald.  I always think of him in September because that's when he died and that's when Constitution Day is celebrated.

What about you?

Do you have a favorite conservative?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fashion on Friday:Exercise

Coral Fusion-colored exercise skirt and top notwithstanding, I have fallen out of synch this summer, even though Living-Coral (Pantone 16-1546) is showing up on the Fall 2010 Color list and keeping me fashionable.

Yes, I have exercised regularly, but my eating habits have gotten out of wack.

I need to retake this test in portion control because,
there's just a little too much of me in this picture.

You're probably thankful that I'm not as brave as Jamie Lee Curtis (link to photo), although I do appreciate her frankness in an effort to be real.

So, it's time to make a public confession by listing my bad habits and shaming myself into shape.

Here's what I look like after walking 45 minutes in my hilly neighborhood.

Pretty red in the face, huh?

Despite the drawstring pants,

I still claim fashion points for sporting shorts that qualify as

Herb (Spring report color) and

Woodbine (Fall report color), okay?

Here's the list of habits to fashion together with this fitness plan.

1) Drink more water.
2) Drink less alcohol.
3) Eat more fruit/veggies.
4) Eat fewer chips/chocolate.
5) Eat more protein at breakfast.
6) Eat less fat at dinner.
7) Increase exercise to 4 hours per week.
8) Decrease telly time to 10 hours per week.
9) Improve the mood.
10) Disprove the scales.

Are you ready?



Friday, August 20, 2010

25th Wedding Anniversary Celebration

(l-r) Norman, Carolin, Vivian, Dan, Dana, Ken
Charlottesville Road, Newfane, New York

Sunday, August 20, 1978

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Whereas, Bert Jordan is one of the pre-eminent attorneys in the State of Alabama (2010),  whose legal skill and acumen are virtually unparalleled in the legal profession;

Whereas, Bert Jordan's practice of law is well known to be consistent with the highest ethical standards, exceeding by great measure those standards to which attorneys are expected to adhere;

Whereas, Bert Jordan is well known to possess the highest level of integrity and honesty in both his personal and professional life;

Whereas, Bert Jordan has, for many years, served the Alabama Republican Party and its candidates and members faithfully, dutifully, and tirelessly;

Whereas, Bert Jordan's efforts on behalf of the Party and its candidates have resulted in innumerable successes at the ballot box, in the courtroom, and ultimately, in public policy, and have advanced the causes of justice, liberty, and democracy in the State of Alabama;

Whereas, beginning in 1994, Bert Jordan served as one of the attorneys in the year-long struggle against Sonny Hornsby and the Democratic Party that culminated in the vindication of the rule of law with regard to the proper treatment of absentee ballots and concluded with Chief Justice Perry Hooper, Sr., becoming the Alabama?s first Republican Supreme Court Justice since reconstruction;

Whereas, Bert Jordan served as chairman of the Jefferson County Republican Executive Committee from 1995 to 1999, and, while serving in that position, was instrumental in facilitating the process by which ten judges of the Jefferson County bench left the Democratic Party at one time and joined the Republican Party; and

Whereas, Bert Jordan's good name and reputation have been unjustly and inappropriately sullied by an outrageous and politically-motivated prosecution that was initiated as retribution for his successful work on behalf of the Party and its candidates;

Therefore, be it resolved by the Alabama Republican Party,

That the Alabama Republican Party hereby expresses its gratitude to Bert Jordan for his long and distinguished service and looks forward with great anticipation to his continued involvement with and contribution to the Party, its candidates, its principles, and its ideals;

That the Alabama Republican Party hereby expresses its dismay over the wrongful and politically-motivated prosecution of Bert Jordan, its outrage over the erroneous judgment entered against him, and its confidence that he will ultimately be exonerated of those baseless charges of which he has wrongly been convicted; and

That the Alabama Republican Party hereby calls upon all Republicans to convey their expressions of support for Bert Jordan through their words, prayers, and resources.

January 2006

Art Credits ~
Pencil Study
by M L Jago

ARP website

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Patrick's Path

Wishing you always

Walls for the wind

A roof for the rain

And tea beside the fire.

Laughter to cheer you,

Those you love near you

And all that your heart may desire.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Okra, Corn and Tomatoes

Making use of plentiful summer produce, I concocted this tasty vegetable dish to share at Sunday's Fellowship Meal.

Okra and Tomatoes were compliments of neighboring gardeners.

Corn kernels ~ frozen.... (sigh).   But their color and shape enhance the combination immensely.  In addition, they're nutritious.

Okay, this recipe is a keeper, precisely because it was

That means, if you think you don't like stewed okra, you should try this recipe anyway.

This first detail seems to be important.  So, dont skip it.

For 30 minutes (or about the amount of time it takes to prepare the other ingredients), soak in ice cold water (to which 1/3 cup of fresh lemon juice has been added) 8 cups sliced fresh okra.

In the meantime, peel, seed, and chopped enough fresh tomatoes to equal 4 cups.

Then in a very large saucepan, saute 1 large chopped sweet onion and 3 cloves minced garlic in 3 Tbs safflower oil until translucent.

Drain the okra and add to the sauteed onions.  Add 3/4 cup water and cook for 30 minutes, stirring often.

When the okra is soft, add the tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook for five more minutes.  Remove from heat.  Add 16 oz frozen corn.  Cover and allow medley to *stew* before serving.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Fashion on Friday:What Not to Wear

Despite my regular bragging about how I re-vamp an article of clothing taking up space in my closet, I dont think I'm brave enough to participate in the television show What Not To Wear.

And I think Stacy needs to wear her hair shorter.

But that's beside the point ;-)

First introduced to me by DD#2, I have watched occasionally... and appreciated the transformations.

More entertaining though is to read this article about the reality show from Salvo Magazine.

Which prompts me to develop my own Fashion Meme.

1)  Have you ever watched What Not To Wear?

2)  Where do you get (or not) your fashion sense?

3)  What's been your favorite outfit this summer?

4)  What's your fashion weakness?

5)  What's your fashion strength?

Sunday, August 01, 2010

A Divine Cordial

Thomas Watson, 17th century non-conformist English preacher, prescribes a little liquor for all of us.

The recipe is all things work together for good to them that love God.

You may recognize these ingredients from Romans 8:28.

But dont allow the familiarity of these words or the age of the writer to keep you from reading more about them.

Watson's words are available free online  at the Christian Classics Ethereal Library.

So, retrieve your best stem from the cabinet.

Pour out this libation.

Enjoy the Word of God expounded.

You will be invigorated and exhilarated.

Here's an excerpt from the preface:

Christian Reader,

There are two things, which I have always looked upon as difficult. The one is, to make the wicked sad; the other is, to make the godly joyful.  Dejection in the godly arises from a double spring: either because their inward comforts are darkened, or their outward comforts are disturbed.

To cure both these troubles, I have put forth this ensuing piece, hoping, by the blessing of God, it will buoy up their desponding hearts, and make them look with a more pleasant aspect. I would prescribe them to take, now and then, a little of this Cordial: all things work together for good to them that love God.

To know that nothing hurts the godly, is a matter of comfort; but to be assured that all things which fall out shall cooperate for their good, that their crosses shall be turned into blessings, that showers of affliction water the withering root of their grace and make it flourish more; this may fill their hearts with joy till they run over.

Now I am looking with a more pleasant aspect.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Brothers and Birthdays

Ten reasons to celebrate the birthday of my younger brother with a cake baked by my daughter ~

1)  He never fails to remember mine.
2)  He leaves messages on my voice mail.
3)  He likes my cooking.
4)  His wife is nice to me ;-)
5)  His #1 son answered my email.
6)  His #2 son enjoyed a Summer Sunday with us.
7)  His daughter writes sweet thank-you notes.
8)  His #3 son's lacrosse game prompted this get-together.
9)  He remembered to share a book with me.
10)He shows his appreciation.

Here he is on the left, posing with DH.

Both fellas have July birthdays.

Brothers and Birthdays.....

Just go together.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summer Supper

Chicken Salad-stuffed Tomato
Fruit 'n Nut Bread
Fresh Pineapple Chunks

Pinot Grigio

Home-grown tomatoes are prized possessions in the South and I dont pretend that I can grow them.  I do, however, gladly receive them from friends and give them their place of honor at mealtime.

Just because we'd already enjoyed BLTs earlier this week did not mean that we couldnt have tomatoes once again. 

Tomatoes inspire not only new menus (chicken salad creation by DD#3), but also gastronomic verse in the style of Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Here's some tomato love poetry which I copied from a 2006 Washington Post article.

 Sonnet #43, Kitchen Style.

How do I love thee, tomato? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and might
My palate can reach, when remembering out of sight
Your peak month of August, when you bear fruits of juicy Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most urgent need for a BLT, by sun or moon-light.
I love thee with abandon, as Venus might her Mars or Vulcan
I love thee purely, as surely as the summer wanes
I love thee with the passion of my appetite
Above all fruits, and with my childhood's eye of Georgia tomatoes
As if they were falling from the sky.
I love thee with a hunger I seemed to lose
With my lost innocence (and the icky mealy tomatoes of January)! I love thee with the smell,
Unlike no other in the garden, and your vine-ripened sweetness
That bring me smiles, tears, only at this time of year! -- and if the farmers choose
I shall but love thee better after many bowls of gazpacho.

What your favorite summer garden vegetable or fruit?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Summer Sunday

Watermelon Soup and Collard Green Pie were two of my contributions to the fellowship meal held after our morning service today. 

Practically speaking, I opened the refrigerator last night trying to decide what to prepare for the next day's meal.  I was determined to use what was already there ~ a very large watermelon from the family reunion and collards from last Sunday's dinner.

Recently we had enjoyed a perennial summer favorite, Gazpacho.  That cold vegetable soup together with the soaring summer temperatures inspired me to consider more cold options.
With only minor variations I followed the watermelon soup recipe found at Great Cold Soups. For example, instead of a Riesling, I used a homemade sweet white that I had on hand (a gift from a friend).  In turn that made me choose sparkling water where the recipe called for sparkling wine.  Then impulsively right before serving, I added some finely diced cucumber (not pictured) for contrast.

The collard green pie is crustless and made with seasoned greens, a combination of ricotta and cottage cheeses, eggs, butter, and flour.  The brown topping is crumbled homemade croutons.  I'm still working with this recipe which I'm trying to re-create from a teenage memory.  I think it needs less cheese and a puff pastry to be more in line with what I remember from my summer abroad.

Overall, it was lots of fun to share new food with old friends.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Let dogs delight to bark and bite,
For God hath made them so;
Let bears and lions growl and fight,
For 'tis their nature too.

But, children, you should never let
Your angry passions rise;

Your little hands were never made
To tear each other's eyes.

Isaac Watts
1674 - 1748
English poet, hymnwriter

Monday, July 05, 2010

My Hero

On the battlefield, when surrounded and cheered by pomp, excitement, and admiration of devoted comrades, and inspired by strains of martial music and the hope of future reward, it is comparatively easy to be a hero, to do heroic deeds.

But to uphold honor in ordinary circumstances, to be a hero in common life, that is a genuine achievement meriting our highest admiration.

Booker T. Washington
1856 – 1915

Friday, June 25, 2010

Fashion on Fridays:Turquoise

Meet the 2010 Color of the Year!

Dont take my word for it, read all about it in this Pantone Color Report announcement.

I have always loved this color, but not been bold enough to wear it always.

Imagine a seafoam turquoise like Carribean resort waters, not the southwest American Indian blue turquoise.

True to the premise of my fashion outlook - I focus primarily on what is already in my closet - I'm promoting the idea of refreshing my wardrobe s.i.m.p.l.y.

Choosing the right color is the answer!

While these capris are new (for the upcoming family reunion), I recently wore an old navy blue linen suit with a turquoise T-shirt instead of the standard *white* - and felt more stylish.

So, identifying a new(er) color or hue is sooooo much more economical that purchasing skirts/pants in the newer cuts and styles every few years.  There are always over ten fashion colors to choose from.  Surely you can find one that you like.

Furthermore, consider updating with accessories: like a watch with a colorful band or a new pocketbook.

Make a statement.


Afterall, handbags are like girlfriends ~ one is never enough!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day Menu

Smithfield Spiral-sliced Ham
Squash Casserole
Steamed Cauliflower
Marinated Button Mushrooms
Herb-buttered Rolls

Chocolate Box Shiraz

Chocolate Creme Pie

Dinner table conversation was lively because not only did we ask my parents to describe the personalities of their fathers, but we also debated the merits of homemade versus store-bought pies.  Whoops, almost forgot!  We fine-tuned our recipe for margaritas scheduled for release during CWAC, our annual family reunion at Callaway Gardens.

My father's three adjectives for his father were quiet, calm, and affable.  He practiced medicine (obstetrics) in Birmingham AL for over fifty years, delivering lots of babies, some of whom are now seeing his grandson (my brother) for vascular disease.  Living to age 90, he is remarkable for having served in both WWI and II.  Here's a link to a pencil portrait of him.

My mother's three adjectives for her father were teaser, competitive, and respected.  As an Atlanta general surgeon, he was admired and loved by many, unfortunately dying of heart disease at the young age of 58.  Here's a link to a portion of his inaugural address before the Fulton County Medical Society.

Now it's time to turn my attention back to my heavenly Father on this the Lord's Day by reading John Witherspoon's sermon addressing Psalm 76:10.  Although first delivered in 1776, on the eve of the War for Independence, it's message is timely, especially now as Americans' civil liberties are being assaulted on all sides.

The title is The Dominion of Providence Over the Passion of Men.  Three adjectives for my Heavenly Father demonstrated in Psalm 76 and exposited in Withersppoon's sermon are omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent.

Here's the link at

On second thought, I'm stopping after five pages, pacing myself at five pages per day for morning devotions.  And now I will fold clothes and watch Lucia di Lammermoor because my daughter sang in the chorus of the Ann Arbor Opera's recent production.

 A Bientot!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Fashion Friday:Tartans

In honor of the Kerr line in our family's genealogy, I hope DH will wear this handsome tartan tie for his mother's memorial service on July 3rd.

DD#1 has been on a mission this Spring to pin down the exact birth, death, and marriage dates of members of Grandma's family tree.

In addition to online research, she made a special trip to the Canadian Archives in Toronto.  Which in turn opened doors into the Vital Statistics of Manitoba. 

The real bonus in all of this puzzle is a new friend named Maggie.  Thanks to her we have scans from local genealogic records, pictures of headstones, and her own account of the life and times in Ninette.

Now we know the rest of the story.

Here are the details about the tartan which I purchased from Mountain and Sackett.

The Kerr Wool Tartan necktie is cut from the finest Scottish wool, and is handmade in New York City. Each tie is 3 1/2 inches wide and 58 inches long. The Kerr family, said to be of Norman descent, is recorded in the Borders in the 12th century. The two main families were the Kerrs of Cessford, now represented by the Duke of Roxburghe, and the Kerrs of Ferniehurst, represented by the Marquis of Lothian. This authentic Scottish Tartan is a timeless classic whose historic design has withstood the test of time.

How about your family tree?

Any tartans?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fathers, Cars, and Dogs

Reviewing Jan Karon's latest book, Home to Holly Springs, caused me to ponder fathers, in general, and our relationships with them.

More specifically though, I began thinking about their cars and dogs... and what that says about them, if anything.

Uncharacteristically (at least in my mind) does Father Tim drive a red mustang convertible!  His mutt is no less than a Bouvier with a lot of Irish Wolfhound named Barnabas, nick-named Gentleman.

My father's dream car was a 1968 Pontiac GTO convertible. This army green antique is still in the family, in the predictible possession of my younger brother who was the last to drive it.

His dog?

My father's family dog was a white Sptiz named Snow. There is an hilarious story about a special encounter between Snow and the family cat, Saggy.  It's worthy of its own post.... another day ;-)

 As an adult, we had Weimaraners. Legend and Otto. Oh, the stories about those family pets.


So, join in.

Tell me about your father, his car, or his dog.

And if you dont know, invite him for dinner this week and ask him.

It's family history.

Better late than never.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Bless This Food, O Lord

Shrimp 'n Grits, Pickled Beets, and Green Beans
French Bread

Cavit Pinot Grigio (not pictured because it's all gone)  ;-)

We enjoyed this meal after hearing a sermon on Psalm 75.  This marks the halfway point in our pastor's preaching through the book of Psalms.  In his introductory remarks, JCMIII marveled at how this divine poetry *gets inside us*.  Despite the vernacular, I grasp his meaning and concur.

My prayer is that the words of the psalmist(s) become so familiar to me that they would always come easy in conversation.  Even more so, I hope that they spill out of my mouth when I am old and gray, and perhaps not in my right mind.

Then this food, this bread, this Word of God, would truly be a blessing.

We closed the service by singing Psalm 75 to the tune Belmont C.M.

Here's the paraphrase ~

To Thee, O God, we render thanks,
To Thee give thanks sincere
Because Thy wondrous works declare
That Thy great name is near.

When my appointed time is come,
I'll judge with even hand.
Though earth and all its dwellers melt,
I make its pillars stand.

I to the boastful said, "Boast not!"
To vile men, "Lift no horn!
Do not lift up your horn on high,
Nor speak with neck of scorn!"

For not from east nor west nor wilds
Comes exaltation nigh,
For God is judge, debasing one,
Another raising high.

The LORD pours out a foaming cup
Which well-mixed wine contains,
And every wicked one on earth
Must drink; the dregs he drains.

But I will tell it evermore,
To Jacob's God sing praise;
And horns of sinners I'll cut off,
But just men's horns I'll raise.

From the Book of Psalms for Singing, copyright 1973 and published by the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America.

Bless this food, O Lord,

and us to Thy service.

In Jesus' Name, I pray


Friday, June 11, 2010

Grandma Jago

Mrs. Vivian Lillian Jago, age 82, died on June 8, 2010, at her home following an extended illness.

Her children and grandchildren were at her bedside.

Reared on a farm in western Canada, Mrs. Jago emigrated to the United States in 1969 with her husband and children. She then resided in Newfane, New York; Charleston, South Carolina; Beverly, Ohio and finally Canton, Georgia, where she has spent recent years enjoying the company of her children and grandchildren.

In addition to being a creative homemaker and loving mother, she was a licensed Real Estate Agent. She was active in her church and belonged to several organizations, including The Red Hat Club. She maintained an avid interest in collecting and refinishing antique furniture.

Mrs. Jago was preceded in death by her husband of 48 years, Norman S. Jago.

She is survived by three children, Daniel (Deanna) Jago of Portland, Oregon; Dr. Ken (Dana) Jago of Canton; and Carolin (Jim) Knight of Woodstock; and seven grandchildren.

Her remains were cremated, and a memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, July 3, at 2:00 p.m. The service will be held in the chapel of the First United Methodist Church of Canton.

Memorial contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Church of Canton's Prayer Quilt Ministry (930 Lower Scott Mill Road, Canton, GA 30114).

Please contact the family to make arrangements for flowers.

Grandma is reading the poem in her birthday card.  It's by George Eliot

You love the roses -- so do I.  I wish
The sky would rain down roses, as they rain
From off the shaken bush.  Why will it not?
Then all the valley would be pink and white
And soft to tread on.  They would fall as light
As feathers smelling sweet; and it would be
Like sleeping and like waking,
all at once!

Monday, May 31, 2010


Memorial  (Decoration) days have long been set aside to remember and honor war heroes.

 Principally after the War Between the States, most legislatures established specific dates scattered throughout the Spring.  Georgia (and Florida) chose April 26th; North and South Carolina May 10th (Stonewall Jackson's demise); Kentucky and Louisiana chose June 3rd (Jeff Davis's birthday). 

Here we are now, the fourth (or final) Monday in May, celebrating since 1967, the federally-legislated holiday.  Many strive to keep us true to the purpose and others ignore them, thinking that *memorial day* signifies the beginning of Summer.

Sigh ~

I have four nephews in the Army right now.

I wonder what each is doing today?

One is in Jerusalem, according to his FB status for R&R.

One just returned from his honeymoon, again FB status info.

The activities of the third and fourth are unknown, but neither are in Afghanistan.... at the moment.

But whom I really like to remember is William Ferguson Smith, Confederate soldier and great, great grandfather. I've written about him here.

All in all, we'll enjoy our traditional summertime fare and pray for our soldiers before we partake.

BBQ Babyback Pork Ribs
(recipe compliments of Janet Walworth)
Oriental Coleslaw
Corn on the Cob
Toasted French Bread

Iced Tea or Beer

Ice Cream Sandwiches

What do you think?

I'm reading up on the Battle of Seven Pines.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


This poem is posted as a complement to my book review of Helen Simonson's Major Pettigrew's Last Stand. The painting is W. A. Bouguereau's Childhood Idyll, also mentioned in the book.

God gave all men all earth to love,
But, since our hearts are small
Ordained for each one spot should prove
Beloved over all;
That, as He watched Creation's birth,
So we, in godlike mood,
May of our love create our earth
And see that it is good.

So one shall Baltic pines content,
As one some Surrey glade,
Or one the palm-grove's droned lament
Before Levuka's Trade.
Each to his choice, and I rejoice
The lot has fallen to me
In a fair ground-in a fair ground --
Yea, Sussex by the sea!

No tender-hearted garden crowns,
No bosonied woods adorn
Our blunt, bow-headed, whale-backed Downs,
But gnarled and writhen thorn --
Bare slopes where chasing shadows skim,
And, through the gaps revealed,
Belt upon belt, the wooded, dim,
Blue goodness of the Weald.

Clean of officious fence or hedge,
Half-wild and wholly tame,
The wise turf cloaks the white cliff-edge
As when the Romans came.
What sign of those that fought and died
At shift of sword and sword?
The barrow and the camp abide,
The sunlight and the sward.

Here leaps ashore the full Sou'west
All heavy-winged with brine,
Here lies above the folded crest
The Channel's leaden line,
And here the sea-fogs lap and cling,
And here, each warning each,
The sheep-bells and the ship-bells ring
Along the hidden beach.

We have no waters to delight
Our broad and brookless vales --
Only the dewpond on the height
Unfed, that never fails --
Whereby no tattered herbage tells
Which way the season flies --
Only our close-bit thyme that smells
Like dawn in Paradise.

Here through the strong and shadeless days
The tinkling silence thrills;
Or little, lost, Down churches praise
The Lord who made the hills:
But here the Old Gods guard their round,
And, in her secret heart,
The heathen kingdom Wilfrid found
Dreams, as she dwells, apart.

Though all the rest were all my share,
With equal soul I'd see
Her nine-and-thirty sisters fair,
Yet none more fair than she.
Choose ye your need from Thames to Tweed,
And I will choose instead
Such lands as lie 'twixt Rake and Rye,
Black Down and Beachy Head.

I will go out against the sun
Where the rolled scarp retires,
And the Long Man of Wilmington
Looks naked toward the shires;
And east till doubling Rother crawls
To find the fickle tide,
By dry and sea-forgotten walls,
Our ports of stranded pride.

I will go north about the shaws
And the deep ghylls that breed
Huge oaks and old, the which we hold
No more than Sussex weed;
Or south where windy Piddinghoe's
Begilded dolphin veers,
And red beside wide-banked Ouse
Lie down our Sussex steers.

So to the land our hearts we give
Til the sure magic strike,
And Memory, Use, and Love make live
Us and our fields alike --
That deeper than our speech and thought,
Beyond our reason's sway,
Clay of the pit whence we were wrought
Yearns to its fellow-clay.

God gives all men all earth to love,
But, since man's heart is smal,
Ordains for each one spot shal prove
Beloved over all.
Each to his choice, and I rejoice
The lot has fallen to me
In a fair ground-in a fair ground --
Yea, Sussex by the sea!

by Rudyard Kipling

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Primrose

Upon this Primrose hill,
Where, if Heav'n would distil
A shower of rain, each several drop might go
To his own primrose, and grow manna so;
And where their form and their infinity
Make a terrestrial Galaxy,
As the small stars do in the sky:
I walk to find a true Love; and I see
That 'tis not a mere woman that is she,
But must or more or less than woman be.

Yet know I not which flower
I wish; a six, or four;
For should my true-Love less than woman be
She were scarce any thing; and then, should she
Be more than woman she would get above
All thought of sex, and think to move
My heart to study her, and not to love;
Both these were monsters; since there must reside
Falsehood in woman, I could more abide
She were by art than Nature falsified.

Live primrose then, and thrive
With thy true number five;
And woman, whom this flower doth represent,
With this mysterious number be content;
Ten is the farthest number; if half ten
Belong unto each woman, then
Each woman may take half us men;
Or if this will not serve their turn, since all
Numbers are odd or even, and they fall
First into this, five, woman may take us all.

John Donne
English Jacobean Poet
1572 - 1631

Centuries later, primroses continue to enchant humans.

Read my short review of Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic
 The Spring Cleaning.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Child, though I tell you in this sunlit cove

This cup of captive sea is ever blue,

For you it may be equally as true

That it is nacre, emerald, taupe or mauve.

Youth, though I say to you our days are scrolled
In hues allied to charcoal, chalk or steel,
For you it may be equally as real
To name them carmine, coral, or yet gold.

Experience and age have tossed a bone:
The right to paint life as it seems to me,
And you may heed the colors that I see,
But never let them blind you to your own.

Ethel Barnett de Vito
McCalls Magazine, September 1960

This poem caught my eye as I was perusing my personal anthology and think that it's a nice compliment to Dominion Family's ongoing examination of schooling.  Specifically, here's a link to one didactic post describing two types of teachers.

What kind are you?