Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Barn to House Thee

There was no room for Him, once long ago,
Only a cold and drafty barn, and, like a blow,
The smell of dung did greet
Him, Who came from heaven, none to meet
Him, save the displaced cows and sheep
Whose restless night disturbed His sleep.
Only some sheep men came to pray.
No scholars came to mark the day.
Still as of old the world denies
Room to its King and from Him shies,
The Cross His only gift from men
And man as brutal now as then.
Lord, if again a barn do not offend Thee,
This dung and filth would comprehend Thee,
Here is my heart, with its unclean floor
A barn to house Thee, as of yore.

~ R. J. Rushdoony, 1951

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Chocolate Martini

Chill two martini stems ~

Fill a large cocktail shaker with ice cubes and add these four ingredients in order.

3 oz Absolut vanilla vodka
3 oz Godiva chocolate liqueur
3 oz Patron dark cafe liqueur
3 oz half and half (not pictured)

Shake vigorously.  Dampen the rim of both glasses and coat with powdered cocoa mix.  Shake mixer once again.

Strain into stems.

PS  Light a candle, place a flower, and grab your napkin - Cheers!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Christmas Colloquy

THE country farmer has his joys 
Of little city girls and boys 
When brother Thomas brings his brood 
Of motherless brats in Christmas mood 
To try our country air and food. 
And O what splendid pies and cakes 
Their pleased and pretty grandma makes! 
And O what squeals and stomach-aches! 

Poor Thomas shepherds him a flock 
Of city souls as hard as rock, 
And though they will not fill his larder 
He only preaches Christ the harder. 
But Ann, though seven years my niece, 
Is still a pagan little piece, 
And as she often hints to me 
She hates the sound of piety. 
Fair Inez is my ancient setter 
Who lies by the fire when we will let her: 
Alas, this amiable dog 
Heard all the bitter dialogue 
That passed between my niece and brother 
Misunderstanding one another. 

Father, what will there be for me 
To-morrow on the Christmas tree? 
Have you told Santa what to bring, 
My pony, my doll, and everything? 

My daughter, Santa will know best 
What to bring you, and what the rest. 
But father and his little girl 
And everybody in the world 
Should dwell to-night on higher things, 
For hark! the herald angel sings, 
And in a manger poor and lowly 
Lies little Jesus, high and holy. 

Father, don't talk of little Jesus, 
You're only doing it to tease us, 
It isn't nearly time for bed, 
And I want to know what Santa said. 

Jesus is better than any toys 
For little sinning girls and boys, 
For Jesus saves, but sin destroys. 

And O, it gives him sad surprise, 
There must be tears in Jesus' eyes, 
When little girls with bad behavior 
Forget to own their Lord and Savior. 

I didn't, you know it isn't true! 
I say my prayers, I always do, 
I know about Jesus very well, 
And God the Father, Heaven, and Hell. 
O please don't say it any more, 
You've said it so many times before, 
But tell me all about Santa instead, 
And about the horns on his reindeer's head, 
And what he will bring me on his sled. 

This night he was born on earth for us, 
And can my daughter mock him thus, 
And care more for her worldly pleasures 
Than Jesus' love and heavenly treasures? 
For Jesus didn't like to be 
So crowned with thorns and nailed to tree, 
But there was a sinful world to free, 
And out he went to Gethsemane-- 

And left the twelve and went apart-- 
O father, I know it off by heart, 
Please, father, please don't finish it out, 
There's so much else to talk about! 
I ask about Santa, and there you go, 
And now you're spoiling my Christmas so, 
And you are the wickedest man I know! 

Disgraceful scenes require the curtain, 
But lest the moral be uncertain, 
I briefly bring the good report 
That valiant Thomas held the fort, 
And wicked Ann was quite defeated, 
In vain denied, in vain entreated, 
In vain she wailed, in vain she wept, 
And said a briny prayer, and slept. 
While Inez, who had been perplexed 
To see good kinsfolk so much vexed, 
When peace descended on the twain, 
Lay down beside the fire again.

John Crowe Ransom
American literary critic, poet, essayist

Bonus Link to Robert Penn Warren's essay
 John Crowe Ransom: A Study in Irony

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Fall Poetry:Rylant

In November, the earth is growing quiet.
It is making its bed,
a winter bed for flowers and small creatures.
The bed is brown* and silent,
and much life can hide beneath its blankets.

In November, the trees are standing all sticks and bones.
Without their leaves,
how lovely they are,
spreading their arms like dancers.
They know it is time to be still.

In November, some birds move away and some birds stay.
The air is full of good-byes and well-wishes.
The birds who are leaving look very serious.
No silly spring chirping now.
They have long journeys
and must watch where they are going.
The staying birds are serious, too,
for cold times lie ahead.
Hard times.
All berries will be treasures.

In November, animals sleep more.
The air is chilly and they shiver.
Cats pile up in the corners of barns
Mice pile up under logs.
Bees pile up in deep, earthy holes.
And dogs lie before the fire.

In November, the smell of food is different.
It is an orange smell.
A squash and a pumpkin smell.
It tastes like cinnamon
and can fill up a house in the morning,
can pull everyone from bed in a fog.
Food is better in November
than any other time of the year.

In November, people are good to each other.
They carry pies to each other's homes
and talk by crackling wood stoves,
sipping mellow cider.
They travel very far on a
special November day just to
share a meal with one another
and to give thanks for their
many blessings -
for the food on their tables
and the babies in their arms.
And then they travel back home.

In November, at winter's gate,
the stars are brittle.
The sun is a sometimes friend.
And the world has tucked her children in,
with a kiss on their heads,
till spring.

Cynthia Rylant

*I changed this word from white to brown because where I live there is never any snow in November ~

Friday, November 15, 2013

Fall Poetry:McEntyre

See how she turns to greet what comes,
surprised but untroubled, not quite
welcoming.  She looks askance
at one who has, unmasking, disturbed her
solitude.  Her greeting concedes what it must,
but she remains turned to purpose of her own.

This, too, she will turn to her purposes,
an encounter she expected, not knowing
just when, or what she should expect.
She has kept her own counsel;
It will serve her now.

Breeding has taught her that all-bearing look.
Poised to take what comes, she receives
with grace, gives back what befits
her modesty and station.

Cordelia would have done no more.

Richly presentable in linen and pearls,
wrapped in a light that fits her like her scarves,
she rises to the occasion, self-possessed,
accustomed to possession,
relinquishing solitude with dignity,
who will not be forced,
neither eager not reluctant,
not defensive, not submissive,
willing to speak her "Fiat mihi"
In her own time.

Marilyn Chandler McEntyre

Monday, November 11, 2013

Fall Poetry:Paine

THESE are the times that try men's souls.

The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.

Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.

What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.

Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.

Thomas Paine
The American Crisis

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Fall Poetry:Bonar

Thy way, not mine, O Lord,
However dark it be;
Lead me by Thine own hand,
Choose out the path for me.

Smooth let it be or rough,
It will be still the best;
Winding or straight, it leads
Right onward to Thy rest.

I dare not choose my lot;
I would not, if I might;
Choose Thou for me, my God,
So I shall walk aright.

Take Thou my cup, and it
With joy or sorrow fill,
As best to Thee may seem;
Choose Thou my good and ill.

Choose Thou for me my friends,
My sickness or my health;
Choose Thou my cares for me
My poverty or wealth.

The kingdom that I seek
Is Thine: so let the way
That leads to it be Thine,
Else I must surely stray.

Not mine, not mine the choice
In things or great or small;
Be Thou my Guide, my Strength
My Wisdom, and my All.

Horatius Bonar
Scottish churchman/poet
Tune: Invitation by Maker

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Fall Poetry:Hood

No sun--no moon!
No morn--no noon!
No dawn--no dusk--no proper time of day--
No sky--no earthly view--
No distance looking blue--
No road--no street--no "t'other side this way"--
No end to any Row--
No indications where the Crescents go--
No top to any steeple--
No recognitions of familiar people--
No courtesies for showing 'em--
No knowing 'em!
No traveling at all--no locomotion--
No inkling of the way--no notion--
"No go" by land or ocean--
No mail--no post--
No news from any foreign coast--
No Park, no Ring, no afternoon gentility--
No company--no nobility--
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member--
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds--

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Fall Poetry:Lowell

They brought me a quilled, yellow dahlia,
Opulent, flaunting.

Round gold
Flung out of a pale green stalk.

Round, ripe gold
Of maturity,
Meticulously frilled and flaming,
A fire-ball of proclamation:

Fecundity decked in staring yellow
For all the world to see.
They brought a quilled, yellow dahlia,
To me who am barren
Shall I send it to you,
You who have taken with you
All I once possessed? 

by Amy Lowell

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Fall Poetry:Morris

November wears a Paisley shawl
To keep her sagging shoulders warm.
Her bonnet's deck with rusty flower,
An apple basket's on her arm,
And with a dusty, rustly sound
Her wide skirts sweep along the ground.

She trudges up the sunset hills,
In spite of winds a-blowing,
To seek a shelter on beyond -
She must know where she's going -
For, wrapped in Paisley red and brown,
She rustles, rustles through the town.

Hilda Morris

Monday, November 04, 2013

Fall Poetry: Dickinson

Besides the Autumn poets sing
A few prosaic days
A little this side of the snow
And that side of the Haze—
A few incisive Mornings—
A few Ascetic Eves—
Gone—Mr. Bryant’s “Golden Rod”—
And Mr. Thomson’s “sheaves.”
Still, is the bustle in the Brook—
Sealed are the spicy valves—
Mesmeric fingers softly touch
The Eyes of many Elves—

Perhaps a squirrel may remain—
My sentiments to share—
Grant me, Oh Lord, a
 sunny mind—
Thy windy will to bear!

Emily Dickinson
American Poet
1830 – 1886

Photo Credit:  Mine -
Taken from the kitchen window looking out onto  the deck where squirrels not only enjoy the birdseed but also the pansy blossoms.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Fall Poetry:Psalter

With grateful heart my thanks I bring,
Before the great Thy praise I sing;
I worship in Thy holy place
And praise Thee for Thy truth and grace;
For truth and grace together shine
In Thy most holy Word divine.

I cried to Thee and Thou didst save,
Thy Word of grace new courage gave;
The kings of earth shall thank Thee, Lord,
For they have heard Thy wondrous Word;
Yea, they shall come with songs of praise,
For great and glorious are Thy ways.

O Lord, enthroned in glory bright,
Thou reignest in the heavenly height;
The proud in vain Thy favor seek,
But Thou hast mercy for the meek;
Through trouble though my pathway be,
Thou wilt retrieve and strengthen me.

Thou wilt stretch forth Thy mighty arm
To save me when my foes alarm;
The work Thou hast for me begun
Shall by Thy grace be fully done;
Forever mercy dwells with Thee;
O Lord, my Maker, think on me.

Based on a line from Psalm 138, this poem establishes a theme of thankfulness (gratefulness) as I endeavor to highlight a poem each day for the month of November.

As our opening hymn at church this morning, we sang all four verses to Dimitri Bortniansky's tune St Petersburg.

JCMIII preached on Acts 17:16-34 and Romans 1:18-25. 

The exposition is the fourth in a series focused on the Apostle Paul.  Having just returned from a trip to Greece, Pastor is expanding his travel lectures from various locations of Paul's ministry into full-fledged sermons.

The preached Word is powerful.  I listened to this message twice.  

Here's the SermonAudio link, if you'd like to listen too.

Several  years ago another RCPUS minister preached about the Mars Hill address.  Here's what I thought about Bob Lester's sermon.  Here's the SermonAudio link.

The "take-away" from both messages ~

Acts 17:30-31

30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Fall Poetry:Bryant

Yet one smile more, departing, distant sun!

One mellow smile through the soft vapory air,

Ere, o'er the frozen earth, the loud winds run,

Or snows are sifted o'er the meadows bare.

One smile on the brown hills and naked trees,

And the dark rocks whose summer wreaths are cast,
And the blue gentian flower, that, in the breeze,
Nods lonely, of her beauteous race the last.
Yet a few sunny days, in which the bee
Shall murmur by the hedge that skirts the way,
The cricket chirp upon the russet lea,
And man delight to linger in thy ray.
Yet one rich smile, and we will try to bear
The piercing winter frost, and winds, and darkened air. 

by William Cullen Bryant

Photo Credit:  Margaret Jago McCarthy

Friday, November 01, 2013

Fall Poetry:Willson

I like the fall
The mist and all
I like the night owl’s lonely call
And wailing sound
Of wind around

I like the gray
November day
And dead, bare boughs that coldly sway
Against my pane
I like the rain

I like to sit
And laugh at it
And tend my cozy fire a bit
I like the fall
The mist and all

Dixie Willson, poet

Instagram photo borrowed from friend Tamara Koperda who captured the moment driving early one October morning to a meeting in north Georgia (Hall County)

Saturday, August 31, 2013

LPMcD & KAL 007

30 years ago early in the morning I was awakened by a frantic phone call from a friend who as wondering if I'd heard the news?

Was it for real?

Larry McDonald was on a plane that had been shot down by the Russians?

I had known the congressman all my life, campaigned for him as a teenager, worked for him as a young adult, and admired his dedication.

So, I commend to you this weekend Rescue 007 detailing the horrific act when 269 innocent civilians died.

Here's a link to a CCN article citing the 30th anniversary of the event as well.

Here's a link to my earlier posts about Larry.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Dream MLK-style

Unfortunately, King’s conservative Dream has been hijacked by the Left to promote causes King never would have dreamed of supporting, including the legal rights to abortion and same-sex “marriage.” 

King rightly saw that the principles of the Declaration of Independence are rooted in “the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God,” and not in the repudiation of Nature and God for the sake of radical autonomy and equality.

 In severing the essential link in America’s founding principles between law and its trans-political ground in Nature and God, the American Left is making the “rough places plain,” not for the realization of King’s Dream, but for a statist Nightmare.

Author Nathan Schlueter is an associate professor of history at Hillsdale College, my alma mater.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Justice of the Peace

In 1896, my paternal great-grandfather was sworn in as a Justice of the Peace in Marshall County, Alabama.

John Cabell Breckinridge (JCB)
JORDAN  was 35 years old and the father of 7 children (3 more followed).

Mary Elizabeth Morris was his wife.

This made me wonder who are the justices of the peace in my county.

Magistrate Judge is another name for this position.

Apparently, jury duty also supplied another source of income to this homesteading farmer.

Information gleaned from family booklet The Jordans of Brindlee Mountain.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Sacred Harp Singing

Heading to another family reunion this weekend, I'm reading through old records and was reminded that my paternal grandfather's family were good singers.  The following is clipped from a transcribed (and recently reprinted) oral history entitled The Jordans of Brindlee Mountain.

JCB, Sheffield, and Tom were accomplished Sacred Harp singers.
  Old singing minutes describe how they conducted class, 15 minutes each. 
 Herbert also loved Sacred Harp singing and was a great bass.

Here is a link to the family church, Rocky Mount Primitive Baptist Church, where my cousin, Matt Jordan is pastor.  I think I need to learn how to sing this way ~

Listen up!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Hidden Art Book Club: Chapter 14


The concluding chapter of Edith Schaeffer's The Hidden Art of Homemaking is a culmination of previous thirteen.

In other words, the sum of the pieces creates the whole.

As we act on our talents (or not), we have a hand in the finished product.

Whether we recognize that principle or not.

Mrs. Schaeffer freshens our understanding of an old truth.

I call it *atmostphere*

That special mood or feeling associated with a place.

our conversations, attitudes, behaviour, response or lack of response, hardness or compassion, our love or selfishness, joy or dullness, our demostrated trust and faith or our continual despondency, our concern for others or our self pity 

-- all these things make a difference to the people who have to live in our environment.

That far-reaching influence is a matter of prayer.

May God through the power of His Holy Spirit allow me to glorify Him in these many areas of my life.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sundays are Special

Each week Sunday's routine is set apart from that of the other six days.  One way we express honor to our King is that we dress differently.

Another way is to enjoy a fellowship meal after congregational worship (sometimes at church, sometimes at home).

Today DD#3 blessed us with her baking skills:

Peaches 'n Pecans Cake

But first we have to eat our vegetables ~

Cauliflower Maranca

Steamed Green Beans

Grilled Yellow Squash

Pickled Okra

Toasted W.W. Biscuits

Sweet Tea



Beans, squash, and tomatoes are compliments of neighbors' gardens.  Pickled okra from the local farmers market.  Peaches and pecans Georgia-grown as well!

Saturday, July 20, 2013


Posting this so that I can reference this quote, especially the part in bold (mine)

In 1890, Andrew Bonar commented in his diary on the effect of reading The Life of David Brainerd. Without at all questioning the excellence of that man of God, Bonar wrote:

It seemed to me that he [Brainerd] did not hold fellowship with the living Saviour as he might have done, and did not see himself covered with Christ's merits whereby God's eye was turned away from his imperfections, corruptions, ignorance, failures, because the obedience of Christ was imputed to him. I would be like Brainerd every day, mourning and sad, if I did not see myself so covered with the obedience of Christ that the Father saw me in Him to be beautiful and attractive, because of the garment of righteousness [July 20, 1890].
Beautiful and attractive? Not in ourselves, nor need we try to make ourselves so, but our 'beauty is perfect, through my comeliness, which I put upon thee, saith the Lord GOD' (Ezekiel 16:14).  

Friday, July 19, 2013

Cauliflower Maranca

from Mollie Katzen's Moosewood Cookbook

Prepare 1 1/2 cups (dry) brown rice, so that you will have three full cups for the base of this yummy main dish.

In a large pan over medium heat, saute in butter with the juice of one lemon:

1 lb mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, chopped

Set aside.

In same pan, saute 3 cloves pressed garlic in 1Tbs oil.  Add 1 lg head cauliflower, washed and trimmed into bite-sized flowerettes.

Stir until coated.  Add liquid from mushroom-onion saute. Cover and steam for five minutes until cauliflower is tender.

Return the mushrooms and onions to the pan.  Add 3 cups cooked brown rice, and 2 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese.  Stir until combined.

Turn into 9x12 buttered baking dish.

Bake (covered) for 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until lightly browned.

Serves 5-6 adults.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hidden Art Book Club: Chapter 13


There is no real possibility of an integration that is true and meaningful in the total sense unless it is based on the inner integration which God has made possible through the second person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ.

Defining terms and illustrating with Scripture establish Edith Schaeffer's platform as she delves into the touchy topic of segregation.

Wholeness seems to be a reasonable synonym for what we are striving for, when we are thwarted by complicating factors such as mixed languages, fierce competition, various rivalries, and stilted categories.

And just when we are overwhelmed by weight of the matter, Mrs Schaeffer directs our vision to the proper area of our influence.

The home.

Start with practicing greater sharing within the family.  Mealtime is the perfect opportunity.

That is the homemaker's model.

The most real something you can do is within the family unit, as you open it up to others, to a cross-section of ages and peoples, or the gathering together of community life on a small scale.

The Schaeffer's devoted their lives to this principle at L'Abri.

On a very small scale, I hope my home can be a shelter characterized by the art of conversation and peacemaking.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Hidden Art Book Club: Fashion

Two things I am sharing to wind up the conversation about clothing per Edith Schaeffer in her fine volume, The Hidden Art of Homemaking.

First, Pantone's color card for the upcoming Fall/Winter season.  I print and store one in my handbag for shopping purposes.  Another hangs on the wall of my closet.

Second, a well-known poem. It describes the most effective way of maintaining beauty, a fashion that never goes out of style. It was originally written for the poet's granddaughter, but popularized by actress Audrey Hepburn.

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.

For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.

For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.

For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.

For poise, walk with the knowledge you'll never walk alone.

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; Never throw out anybody. 

Remember, If you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm.

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.

The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.

The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows, and the beauty of a woman with passing years only grows!

by Sam Levenson
American humorist, writer, journalist and television host
1911 - 1980

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Hidden Art Book Club: Francis Schaeffer's Style

Francis Schaeffer could also be explored as a case study in the crippling evangelical weakness for spiritual celebrities.

Much of American evangelicalism consists of independent parachurch organizations founded by ambitious spiritual entrepreneurs.

These organizations depend on popular support so they must project favorable public images of themselves. This typically involves lionization of the founder, which usually traces back to the founder’s own self-promotion.

Ever since George Whitefield crafted the public persona that made him the first true celebrity of the British North American colonies, American evangelical entrepreneurs have followed his lead.

Schaeffer was no exception.

He created and maintained the public persona of a countercultural sage come down from the mountain with a new word of wisdom from the Lord.

Such a mythic image could only be sustained through the art of illusion.

This began with his costume.

I copied the above paragraph from an article published in the Evangelical Studies Bulletin Issue #70 (Winter 2008-09).

I found the photo of  Schaeffer in his co-authored book, Whatever Happened to the Human Race.  When I heard him speak in 1979 or '80, he was dressed as pictured.  

Bonus link about judging the book by its cover.

Postscript ~
I *like* Francis Schaeffer and do not mean to disparage his reputation by sharing Michael Hamilton's insightful review of two Schaeffer biographies.

Post-postscript added 3/10/15
Link to article about celebrity pastors

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Hidden Art Book Club:Mrs Schaeffer's Style

In a time when evangelicals were suspicious of all things worldly, Edith reveled in music and dance, in her neat little figure and in beautiful clothes:

 "I was 5-foot-2 and weighed 102 pounds and wore clothes that looked like they had come out of the best shops" she tells us, breathlessly, as an example of why she didn't measure up to the standards of Christian womanhood at that time, which, apparently, included dowdiness as well as a rejection of culture. 

She was intelligent and full of conviction. She had a lot to say.

As a young pastor's wife and mother, she single-handedly catered weddings, complete with hand-filled cream puffs. She sewed beautiful clothes for her children, read to them from the classics, and took them to art museums, all, of course, while keeping her figure and continuing to wear good clothes, pearls, makeup, Chanel No. 5.

Read the rest of Rachel Marie
 Stone's article at her-meneutics ~

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Hidden Art Book Club: Chapter 12


Broadly speaking, author Edith Schaeffer is really addressing communication skills in her timeless book, The Hidden Art of Homemaking, which I am reading with Cindy and others for an online book club.

Few things speak more loudly than how we dress.

Because we Christian ladies are representing the Creator, it behooves us to understand that He dresses us and that we should dress for Him.

Once that tone is established, I think most things will fall into place.

Mrs. Schaeffer cautions us to have an approach that is both balanced and serious, yet avoids dogmatism.

She reminds us that fashion can open up lines of communication.  Some governing factors include occupation, climate, appropriateness, comfort, creativity, and beauty.

Finally, Mrs. Schaeffer encourages us to look past the covering and search for what's inside.

Overall, this chapter ties with the one about food as my favorites.  In my blogging, I have referenced them the most.

For a while I had fun highlighting fashion on Fridays.

My premise was to find a piece of clothing that I had not worn in a while and rework it.

Below is the Pantone company's 2013 Spring and Summer recommendations that I am using to organize my closet right now.

I found that by focusing on a seasonal color palette that I felt more stylish. 

 I stopped trying to wear the style (or cut) of attire that was newest and often not flattering to my figure.

 I started highlighting the colors that were more up-to-date.

Off to work now in Monaco Blue and Poppy Red ....

 My jumpers are in the attic  ;-)

Here's a link to fun article about dressing styles ~

Thursday, July 04, 2013

The Rising

Our Independence Day plans may have been rained out, but not our sentiments. In addition to reading this poem (don't miss link at the end of the post) with my family, we're going to be re-reading the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution.

Out of the North the wild news came,
Far flashing on its wings of flame,
Swift as the boreal light which flies
At midnight through the startled skies.
And there was tumult in the air,
The fife's shrill note, the drum's loud beat,
And through the land everywhere
The answering tread of hurrying feet;
While the first oath of Freedom's gun
Came on the blast from Lexington;
And Concord, roused, no longer tame,
Forgot her old baptismal name,
Made bare her patriot arm of power,
And swelled the discord of the hour.

Within its shade of elm and oak
The church of Berkely Manor stood;
There Sunday found the rural folk,
And some esteemed of gentle blood.
In vain their feet with loitering tread
Passed 'mid the graves where rank is naught;
All could not read the lesson taught
In that republic of the dead.

How sweet the hour of Sabbath talk,
The vale with peace and sunshine full
Where all the happy people walk,
Decked in their homespun flax and wool!
Where youth's gay hats with blossoms bloom;
And every maid with simple art,
Wears on her breast, like her own heart,
A bud whose depths are all perfume;
While every garment's gentle stir
Is breathing rose and lavender.

The pastor came; his snowy locks
Hallowed his brow of thought and care;
And calmly, as shepherds lead their flocks,
He led into the house of prayer.
The pastor rose; the prayer was strong;
The psalm was warrior David's song;
The text, a few short words of might,-
"The Lord of hosts shall arm the Right!"

He spoke of wrongs too long endured,
Of sacred rights to be secured;
Then from his patriot tongue of flame
The startling words for Freedom came.
The stirring sentences he spake
Compelled the heart to glow or quake,
And, rising on his theme's broad wing,
And grasping in his nervous hand
The imaginary battle brand,
In face of death he dared to fling
Defiance to a tyrant king.

Even as he spoke, his frame, renewed
In eloquence of attitude,
Rose, as it seemed, a shoulder higher;
Then swept his kindling glance of fire
From startled pew to breathless choir;
When suddenly his mantle wide
His hands impatient flung aside,
And, Lo! he met their wondering eyes
Complete in all a warrior's guise.

A moment there was awful pause,---
When Berkeley cried, "Cease, traitor! cease!
God's temple is the house of peace!"
The other shouted, "Nay, not so,
When God is with our righteous cause;
His holiest places then are ours,
His temples are our forts and towers,
That frown upon the tyrant foe;
In this, the dawn of Freedom's say,
There is a time to fight and pray!"

And now before the open door-
The warrior priest had ordered so-
The enlisting trumpet's sudden roar
Rang through the chapel, o'er and o'er,
Its long reverberating blow
So loud and clear, it seemed the ear
Of dusty death must wake and hear.

And there the startling drum and fife
Fired the living with fiercer life;
While overhead, with wild increase,
Forgetting its ancient toll of peace,
The great bell swung as ne'er before;
It seemed as it would never cease;
And every word its ardor flung
From off its jubilant iron tongue
Was, "War! War! War!"

"Who dares?" - this was the patriot's cry,
As striding from the desk he came,-
"Come out with me, in Freedom's name,
For her to live, for her to die?"
A hundred hands flung up reply,
A hundred voices answered, "I!"

Thomas Buchanan Read
American poet and portrait painter

Here's a link to YouTube with my pastor reading this poem aloud.