Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

My aim on Sunday is to use only the one word, letting my photo speak for itself. But I think this photo of the reproduction of a photo of my great-great-grandfather who was born in Derburg, Bavaria, Germany in 1841 deserves a bit of explanation.

His family moved to the U.S. in 1851 or 1852 to farm in Indiana. In March of 1863, he enrolled in Co. F-8 regiment Indiana Volunteer Cavalry, which was with General Sherman during the march through the South. Maybe that’s where I get my love of horses. At the end of the war, he returned to farming, eventually moving to Nebraska. He and his wife had ten children. He lived to age 73 and his wife to 74.

One Word Sunday: heritage

The tidings are still full of great joy to all people. May your Christmas be filled with happiness, love, and the blessing of the Savior!

Luke 2

1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

…I still think of Christmas as white. 🙂

Thanks for being part of my online flock. 🙂 Some of you might already be into Christmas Day when you read this, some are still enjoying Christmas Eve Day. But wherever you are in the world or your celebration, I pray that you have a merry, happy blessed Christmas (or holiday) and the same sort of 2022.

or

I added a bit of sparkly editing today just for fun, but I enjoy having actual sparkles during Christmas. The blue tinsel garland has silver stars in it while the cluster of colorful stars on the right look as if they’re erupting from the base. The two white angels were purchased years ago at a church Christmas sale and are taking a ride in the horseless sleigh. 🙂 In the background in the mirror you get just a peek of our French Christmas table cloth.

This is our Noah tree, gifted to us by my sister-in-law many years ago. The base is the ark, Noah and his wife, and duos of animals while there are two sets of similar small ornaments on the tree supplemented by tiny gardening-themed ornaments from who-remembers-where-or-when. Candle St. Nick/Santa stands ready to deliver gifts over on the left. On the right is one of my latest additions, our Swedish gnome with whom I fell instantly in love at an IKEA visit in southern California. Still deciding on a name. Lars? Sven? Ragnar (more of a Viking sound)? No matter, he’s adorable.

Life in Colour: kaleidoscope

I venture to say that very few have looked forward to a new year quite as much as everyone has looked forward to this one. Thanks for taking this journey with me and welcome to the next stage.

“Hope
Smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
Whispering ‘it will be happier’…”
― Alfred Lord Tennyson

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.”
~T.S Eliot, Little Gidding

“Any new beginning is forged from the shards of the past, not from the abandonment of the past.”
― Craig D. Lounsbrough

“Each New Year, we have before us a brand new book containing 365 blank pages. Let us fill them with all the forgotten things from last year—the words we forgot to say, the love we forgot to show, and the charity we forgot to offer.”
― Peggy Toney Horton

“The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes.”
― G.K. Chesterton, A Chesterton calendar

From Luke 2:

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

© janet m.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Merry Christmas and a 2021 filled with blessings!

When I was growing up, the children’s Christmas service was held on Christmas Eve. We worked for weeks memorizing our parts (no words put up on the back wall or sheets to read from) and at the end of the service, each child was given a brown paper bag filled with nuts (in the shell)an orange and an apple. There may have been some hard candy, too. I don’t remember. Then we would go home and open our Christmas presents. On Christmas Day, we’d drive to my grandparents’ farm for Christmas Day and Grandma’s amazing cooking.

My husband’s family opened all their gifts on Christmas Day, so our tradition eventually evolved into opening stocking gifts on Christmas Eve and the rest of the presents on Christmas Day. One present I enjoy all year long isn’t found under the tree. It’s the gift of having met all of you and today I’d like to share some of my favorite Christmas quotes. Of course for our family, this (and what I’ll share to tomorrow) are the Reason for the Season.

“And when we give each other Christmas gifts in His name, let us remember that He has given us the sun and the moon and the stars, and the earth with its forests and mountains and oceans–and all that lives and move upon them. He has given us all green things and everything that blossoms and bears fruit and all that we quarrel about and all that we have misused–and to save us from our foolishness, from all our sins, He came down to earth and gave us Himself.”
― Sigrid Undset

This year is perfect for following the advice in the next two quotes!

“My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?”
― Bob Hope

“Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.”
― Charles M. Schulz

“And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
the Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!”
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.”
― Roy L. Smith

“Oh look, yet another Christmas TV special! How touching to have the meaning of Christmas brought to us by cola, fast food, and beer…. Who’d have ever guessed that product consumption, popular entertainment, and spirituality would mix so harmoniously? ”
― Bill Watterson, The Essential Calvin and Hobbes

“Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.”
― Calvin Coolidge

“The reality of loving God is loving him like he’s a Superhero who actually saved you from stuff rather than a Santa Claus who merely gave you some stuff.”
― Criss Jami, Killosophy

“Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we’re here for something else besides ourselves.”
― Eric Severeid

And maybe for this year…

“No matter how much falls on us, we keep plowing ahead. That’s the only way to keep the roads clear.”
― Greg Kincaid

At the end of our visit to Descanso Gardens last week, we came across these three fall beauties just as we were about to leave. I wish I could do something as attractive. But even though I can’t, I can recommend an artist who is 50% mine…our younger daughter. She’s updated her website and has some lovely pieces for sale. If you have a moment, please take a look and if you like, send her a message telling her what you think and where you saw her information. If you choose to buy something, that’s also appreciated. 🙂 For an artist who also works a “real” job to make ends meet, the encouragement is such a blessing. Thanks and here’s her site:

https://meganwebb.bigcartel.com/

small batch apparel

art + mixed media

based in Philadelphia

And now to the garden art, not done by our daughter. 🙂

It’s been quite a year, hasn’t it? For a year where we weren’t really supposed to do much of anything (or anything fun), it’s somehow flown by and it’s already the end of November…which in the U.S. means it’s time to give thanks, albeit in smaller groups this year.

Even though it’s easy to think about what we don’t have and can’t do, here are some things that came to mind that call for giving thanks.

Give thanks if you…

…are reading this, because you have a computer/laptop/tablet a/o phone or access to one.

…are healthy.

…have family and friends who are healthy.

….have family and friends whom you can visit in person/via some sort of other technology.

…have a job (if you want/need one) or are retired.

…have a home.

…have food.

…have access to health care if you need it.

…have books/e-books/cable/some sort of entertainment.

…have transportation of some sort.

There are many more reasons to give thanks, some that are particular to you. Even though the Thanksgiving we celebrate today is only official in the U.S., I encourage each you to take a moment to think of the reasons you have to be thankful. Happy Thanksgiving or happy thanks-giving and let’s remember those who are truly suffering due to this pandemic and see what we can to do help them.

Nothing prepared us for for a year like this, did it? Things are very different right now: masks, distancing, stay-at-home orders, and worse: job loss, businesses closing, people dying. Some of the consequences of Covid are terrible. But let’s be real. Many are inconveniences nothing more, what I like to call first world problems, such as having to wear masks, not being able to go into bars, not being able to hang out with friends.

Even if you don’t complain, what do you miss? I think I miss spontaneity: meeting a friend for lunch, going on vacation without wipes and disinfectant spray, finding waiting at the airport a pain only for being boring, walking into a library, hugging someone, going to a craft bar, my yearly trip to France, deciding to browse at a store, and while I don’t have a problem with it, not wearing a mask would be pretty exciting. Without spontaneity, I feel as if I’m just hanging around most of the time.

So, lots of negatives. The more challenging question is has Covid done anything for you? (Spell Check wants to know if Ovid has done anything for you!) I’m not saying we should be glad Covid came along to screw up 2020, but although I know seems as if all its impacts are negative, maybe they’re not. Maybe some good has come out of this year.

Covid has made me realize again what’s important: family; keeping in touch with friends by actual mail, text, or phone; having a home to spend time in; my husband having a job even if he has to work ridiculous hours; how a blog can help me stay in touch with people; how blessed I was to be able to take things for granted; the value of libraries having e-books. It’s also made me realize that many things I complained about really weren’t worth complaining about!

How about you? What do you miss? What might Covid have done for you? ( And if Ovid’s done anything for you, you can let me know that too.)