Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

Feeding Birds
By Rumer Godden

‘Scatter us crumbs we
midget are your charity.’

Charity starts in a nest,
the human breast;
like birds
it needs no words
but sings
when it is given;
has wings
to lift
the spirit up,
by gift
of this small water cup,
to heaven;
and warm and light as feathers the bread
spared to see creation fed.

Love in a crumb is a mystery;
bread is the Body of charity;
little nerves of finch or tit
fly down to feast and quicken it;
robin, blackbird, sparrow, wren,
feasted, quicken it in men.

( above: Orchard Cards , UK)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Sacred Meal

When seeing the list of books to review from
Thomas Nelson Publishers ( Booksneeze),
this one immediately got ordered.
This past fall I had a deeper sense of joy
in taking communion while on a trip.
This made me think deeper to how I was
taking practice to this sacrament. Nora
places this "practice"into her own story
yet examines communion in Scripture and
historically. She developed a hunger for
Communion. I felt challenged in my heart :

" In the clear water of our lives lies
undiscovered wine."

Tasting of the joy of Christ comes sometimes
when there is an attitude amongst all of
" glad and generous hearts"( Acts 2:46).
There are whiffs of that when you follow
Jesus. I never have served Communion
which Nora does do in the Episcopal
church as a lay minister.
The act of serving would make Communion
different, I imagine. I don't think that
is where the joy is that Jesus gave. It is in
the communion with Him and with the
communion of the saints.

Nora challenged me to think about this
sacrament in terms of community, the
body of saints.
" Holy Communion was a web, a web
of people who were being stitched together.
And tomorrow, we would need
to be stitched together again.
Over and over. One person to the next.
And I , today, was doing the stitching .....
I was making basic stitches, nothing fancy,
nothing permanent."

The joy that Jesus said to do in remembrance
of Him (a sacred meal) is found in this
sacrament. Our sins are forgiven. Amen.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Christmas Eve Baby

Bryan who turns 27 today,
very early in the morning, putting
him on Christmas Eve! He is
next to his wife Ashley, who is next to Gordan
and the others on the right:
Evan, Brad, and Emma.

photos taken on Thanksgiving

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Study in Brown words today

Have to write this in brown,
but do read here
at Tonia's blog:

What I really want to be is this morning’s sunrise, a gentle light illuminating dark. I want to be a harp note thrumming constant praise underneath the cacophony; a tiny yellow flower hidden in a vast deep wood; a precious ointment shimmering in an alabaster box, poured out on the feet of Christ in love. And when someday I go home to God I hope to leave behind a trail, marked with the faithful foot scuffs of a woman who was not afraid to let the mystery of Christ speak loudest in her silence.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Gratitude Monday

We are here: the week of
Christmas with all the preparations
and gift giving and singing and
worship and kids coming home
and baking ( although not yet in
our home with Christmas cookies)
and cards and warm drinks.....
Handel's Messiah, a Love Feast,
An Irish Christmas.....
and this
now a stack from the library
which includes this.

God gives us nourishment.
Richness of beauty.
I am so thankful
for the glorious music
this season.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Gift of the Magi

One son is giving the gift of his
hands ~~ handmade gifts to his
girlfriend. She is an artist so has
made him many fun things!
He said " Maybe I will knit her
a scarf." Mind you, he has only
knit once , way back in homeschooling
for our handwork.

He did do a lengthy project on
chain mail ~~ a knight's headpiece
and hood that covers the shoulders.

What he did yesterday:
made an audio book for her.
Harry Potter!

It reminds me of The Gift of the Magi
by O'Henry...........that good Greensboro
writer. He is one of my husband's
favorite writers.

We read The Best Christmas Pageant
Ever last year with all the kids and
their female friends ( one wife). This
may be the story this year , around
a holiday dinner.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Before I loose my place.......Wendell Berry quote

This is a great book to stir up
your soul this Christmas.
I am not underlining but need
to journal on some of the ideas
and great sentences Berry crafts.

" I have been lucky to have a few
friends with whom my conversation
seems never to resume but to continue,
and Hayden is one of them."

From his essay : My Friend Hayden
( Hayden Carruth, poet and friend :
Great poems in Winter North ...
( out of print)
which Berry attributes as a book
that helped him and he treasures)

" I have become his debtor."

Alas, such friends.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Added blog links

This design has my links on the
bottom. So if you are interested
most are people I know. I've added
a few more:

Ivory Blush Roses
who does the most exquisite needle
work! It is snowing on her blog today!

Small Meadow Press: Leslie Austin
The Bower

I've bought notecards from Leslie the
past couple of years. Gorgeous and
a style that makes your heart sing.

Lanier Books
Lanier is a book lover and a word lover.
Read to see! She sells old books too!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Shirley Hughes' new books

One of our favorite picture book
authors and illustrators is England's
Shirley Hughes. I love her because
she writes of the ordinary things a
child does in childhood. Her new
books are just as wonderful! Shirley
is 83 . The first one is based on her
childhood in Liverpool and a mother
with two children and very poor.
It was in Shirley's mind and heart
to write such a story based on the
1930's in her childhood place. It is
a touching story at Christmas of
kindness and loving one another so
don't let the title fool you. It is a
longer book than the one below.

Her other new book tells exactly
what the title says.
Not alot of writing on each page and
the illustrations are priceless.
Lily just doesn't want to go when she
has to stay at a neighbor's because
her mother is sick.

Good interview of Shirley last year
from the Guardian.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Lee: A Life of Virtue (The Generals)

There have so many books written about
Robert E. Lee and this author has focused
on the core of who Lee was to debunk some
of the myths. John Perry tells the story of
a man we should remember for
his high calling in our nation and as a
hero. General Lee gets wrapped into issues
as one studies the Civil War. This book tries to
unravel those issues to the man who
made decisions based on his devotedness to

The book is a bit dry in places but the
premise is good. We need statesmen such
as Lee today . He lead the South, even with
an flaw that was too trusting of his
commanders who believed they had a better
grasp of the situations. But he was honorable
and to not be would have been unthinkable.
He never abandoned his personal standards.
A gentleman. A true warrior.
That is what we need today.

Thomas Nelson Publishers, book review
Find out how you can do this here.

Gratitide this Advent

It is bitterly cold today.
Even more in the mountains
where one of my sons is
finishing up exams. He is
bracing for weather that is
now feels like -10 with the chill
factor. Not sure when this
guy will get home for Christmas!
Surely by the end of the week.

The Messiah was extraordinary
this past weekend at our church.
It was a drama of Handel's life with
choir, soloists , and strings from the
Charlotte Symphony ~~ I've heard
this performance 3 times now and
my eyes still well up with tears at the
beauty. Surely......

"Surely, He Hath Borne Our Griefs/And with His Stripes/All We Like Sheep," 1741

Text from the Bible

I'm thankful for my husband's job that
comes up to 30 years next week. He could
retire but he has some work that greatly
interests him next year with the Big Blue!
Our children are celebrating by taking us
out to dinner. They are thankful which is
a blessing. Tim Keller has a great definition
of blessing but it is in the car and in a book
that is in the car.........and it is too cold to
go out to get it. I'll post it this week!

Friday, December 10, 2010

IN Mitford

We drove up to Boone today
and just as we got near Blowing
Rock , there was the SNOW.
The rest of the day was magical.
Snow, snow , snow.........
Just picking up my freshman
as he finished exams today!

Good timing as I just finished
Jan Karon's lastest book.

Monday's weather in Boone:
Snow squall and temperatures
in the teens with chill factor below
zero. Exams cancelled already.

My senior still has two more exams
to go in that storm.
Yes, two up there just for this year.
You probably have some overlapping
of children where one catches up with
the other and they spend that year
together. Last year was the youngest
two singing with their dad in The
Messiah in the choir. This year only
Dad from our family sings this weekend
for 3 performances.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Winter Song

I finished Jan Karon's new
book that takes place in Ireland.
Winter cold and staying home today
meant a fire. I couldn't
resist drinking my morning tea and
reading. I miss Father Tim once again.

Now getting Christmas books out.
One is Winter Song by Luci Shaw
and Madeleine L'Engle. What is good
about this book is that it goes into
Ephiphany. You can read most of it
on Google Books here. I have an earlier
edition and like the cover better.

Another series are Miss Read's
Christmas books taking place
in English villages. The Village
Christmas and The Christmas
Mouse and No Holly for Miss
Quinn. I also have started
Elizabeth Goudge's Christmas
Book. I usually don't like fragments
of stories in an anthology but I've
read alot of her books so I'm peeking
back into the stories for Christmas.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


When He came, there was no light. When He left, there was no darkness." Martin Luther

Monday, December 6, 2010

Gratitude Monday

I've gotten to see my sister
two times in less than two weeks.
She lives 2 hours away.
Last night we went to An Irish
Christmas with Keith and Kristyn
Getty. We were blessed with joy.
I was thankful for the time together:
a shared concert.
We had Julia Child's Lamb Stew very
late upon returning. Scroll down in
the recipes from the director's favorites.

Quite cold here today.
Emma is caroling tonight.
Many will be blessed on this
cold wintry night. Seems like a lost
art ~~~ singing in December in
neighborhoods. Great choir so
it should sound magical!
She wishes we had snow. They
do up in the mountains. We did
see snow on top of a van in the
parking lot ~~ that tells you how
cold it is!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Roasting to make Turkey Stock
( Norman Rockwell's Freedom from Want)

I am working on my turkey
this afternoon. I'm sure most
have already done that! Me,
I had to let the bird rest and
eat pasta for a couple of days!
Then I really forgot about it
in the basement frig!

Now , the bones are roasted
with this recipe which is from
a magazine but I'm not sure
which one :


Roasting the bones and vegetables
deepens the flavor of the
stock. Can freeze for 3 months
or in frig. for 3 days. ( just remem-
ber 3!!)

Bones from a 12 lb turkey
1 peeled carrot, cut in half crosswise
1 celery stalk , cut in half crosswise
1/4 onion peeled and quartered
4 qts. cold water
1/8 tsp black peppercorns
4 thyme sprigs
4 parsley sprigs
1 bay leaf
Salt to taste

1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Cut turkey carcass into quarters.
Place bones, carrot, celery, and
onion on a jelly roll pan or roasting
pan. Bake for 35 minutes, stirring
3. Place bones, trimmings , vegetables,
water, and all the ingredients
in a large stockpot. Bring to boil.
Reduce heat. Simmer for 3 hours.
Skim occasionally.
4. Strain sotck over a large bowl.
Cool stock and chill for 8 hours or
overnight. Skim any fat.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Magic of the Season

"Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder."
—E. B. White

"The Shortening winter's Day is near a close"
Joseph Farquharson ( 1846-1935)