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