Friday, December 28, 2007

What Did You Do on Your Christmas Vacation???

this is what I have been doing since Christmas eve...what happened on your Christmas vacation???

I have been blessed with such wonderful gifts this week...

first this beautiful package arrived from illustrator extraordinaire Tara of silver apples of the moon & tlcillustration...

i opened the gifts with glee in the garage (I could not wait until I went inside)...Christmas stickers...a hand-painted ornament...a pocket sketchbook and pencil like tara carries (will I be able to draw like tara now?!?)... a beautiful card...and lovely chocolate bar...thank you my sweet friend...

then on Christmas eve, I received this as winner of a giveaway from decorating maven Donna of The Decorated House...it is so lusciously beautiful...it has become one of my treasured decorations...thank you...

and a little later that day I received the gift of slowing down...

Not one to be upstaged by Nature Girl...so I was in the garage cleaning (doesn't everyone clean the garage on Christmas eve?)...and leaned these very heavy oak table legs against a shelving unit...
for reasons unbeknownst to me, they hurled themselves over with great speed and vengeance...being the ever-agile ballerina, I tried to leap gracefully backwards...and, not being as fast as I used to be...all of me did not manage to get out of the way... i know they look like matchsticks here..trust me they weight about 30 pounds each...
the events from this point on are a little fuzzy...but, at least two of them, fell on my right foot...after minutes of yelping, crying, spewing forth some very unladylike words for this southern belle, and neighbors running to my rescue...i became nauseated/dizzy/woozy...

the break came from these bolts...
sticking out of the top which made perfect contact with just the right bone under my big toe...feel that big knot under your big toe...that's what I broke...this is the result...sausage toes...
after a percocet, ice bags, my favorite tea, and the entire chocolate bar from tara... I managed to get through the night and Christmas day...whining occasionally...okay frequently...

you can read about the fracture here...

"oh mom, I can't look..."
"let me kiss it and make it better..."
and this is what I am doing most of the waking hours...i am also sketching a lot...i am still taking pain meds cause the darn thing hurts a bunch...so i am sleeping a lot too...i will be back with a big announcement on January 1, 2008...
================================================
Today is the Feast of The Holy Innocents...The children mentioned in Matthew 2:16-18:

Another innocent is gone today...Benazir Bhutto (1953-2007) two years my junior...the world is missing a valuable soul today...tara bradford has a memorial post today...

Rubens' Massacre of the Innocents

"When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more."
Read more about it here and here...


one last shot of sir chancelot among the Christmas greenery and pansies...

xray photo http://www.footankleinstitute.com/Fracture.html

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Birthday My Sweet Lord...

My baby Jesus

My Church Nativity with 6-white roses

Saint Francis' birds are fed on Christmas Eve - a new tradition launched

Blessings of the Season to All who stop here...
Wishing you Peace and Love

Sir Chancelot helping feed the birds

Sir Chance Christmas morn

Surfin Santa in Fernandina Beach, FL


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Joseph...



St Joseph with the Infant Jesus by Guido Reni, c 1635


Who was this man named Joseph...who became the foster father of our Lord? Joseph of Nazareth, son of Jacob, descended from the line of David. He was a carpenter, Mary's husband and Jesus' foster father. That is about all we know...

Joseph, second only to the Blessed Virgin Mary in strength of faith, was given leadership of the Holy Family as a direct assignment from God. Imagine what strength of character it must have taken to fulfill his destiny? He had to provide all that was necessary for Jesus, the son of God, to grow in grace and wisdom. And he was "righteous" in the administration of his vocation (Matthew 1:18). But for many, the essence of this humble carpenter seems to elude us.
Read the Nativity story here...and here...

As I reflect on this father/husband/man and the Nativity story, I think of the virtues Joseph possessed in order to live the life he was called to lead...could I have undertaken such a Divine responsibility? Could you?

  • Obedience...to God through a dream he is told by "an angel of the Lord" not only to take his betrothed Mary home–in other words, to conduct the concluding legal Jewish wedding rite and accept the child with which she is pregnant as holy, to name him Jesus, and to assume legal paternity
  • Patience...with his betrothed, with Jesus, the life he accepted after marrying Mary
  • Love...of God, Mary and Jesus, and all generations to come
  • Righteousness...leading a life that is pleasing to God
  • Prudence...wisdom, insight, and knowledge to exercise sound judgment
  • Humility...to accept Mary and his calling by God
  • Respect...of Mary and her circumstances
  • Wisdom...to raise and guide such a special child
  • Perseverance...persistent determination in face of many difficulties (see tolerance)
  • Tolerance...during many hardships-the journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem to be enrolled as required by the political authorities; the birth of Jesus in a stable; the flight to Egypt and return, the move to Galilee
  • Hope...belief in a positive outcome of his dreams
  • Faith...to believe without reason that his vocation was father of Jesus

St. Joseph's Dream by Rembrandt c. 1645

Jean-Paul Sartre tried to describe Joseph at the crib in Bethlehem: “I would not paint Joseph. I would show no more than a shadow at the back of the stable, and two shining eyes. For I do not know what to say about Joseph, and Joseph does not know what to say about himself. He adores, and is happy to adore, and he feels himself slightly out of it. I believe he suffers without admitting it. He suffers because he sees how much this woman whom he loves resembles God; how she is already at the side of God. For God has burst like a bomb into the intimacy of this family. Joseph and Mary are separated forever by this explosion of light. And I imagine that all through his life Joseph will be learning to accept this.”


Madonna and Child with St. Jerome, St. Joseph and St. Anne by Lorenzo Lotto c. 1534


In the Roman Catholic and other traditions, Joseph is the patron saint of workers and has several feast days (see Saint Joseph's Day). He was also declared to be the patron saint and protector of the universal Catholic Church (along with Saint Peter) by Pope Pius IX in 1870, and is the patron of several countries and regions. He is a rare example of a saint from the early days of the church whose devotional role has tended to increase in the centuries since the Middle Ages.

A 9-day Novena to St.Joseph is here...
I wish you joyous fruits of the Christmas season until I return...


images from:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Joseph
http://www.abcgallery.com/

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas Reflection...

There is no ideal Christmas;
only the one Christmas you decide
to make as a reflection
of your values, desires, affections, traditions.

Bill McKibben*


Mrs. Nesbitt's thought for the day really touched something deep in me. I hate to admit it, but I have been feeling really down, disconnected, and not my joyful self this year because I will be spending the holiday alone...all my children will be at their father's house...I do not like to whine too much, because I have a beautiful and full life...so when I contemplated the above quote, I realized that it is exactly what I believe and bring that makes a holiday joyful...not feeling sorry for myself...

St. Francis Preaching to the Birds - Giotto


So what am I going to do about my feelings of sadness...what I always do when I am too focused on self...I have decided to create a new tradition a la St. Francis of Assisi. St. Francis loved animals because they, too, were God's creatures. He extended special kindness to animals at Christmas. He urged farmers to provide their oxen and donkeys with extra rations of corn and hay "for the reverence of the Son of God, whom on such a night the Blessed Virgin did lay down in the stall between the ox and the donkey." At Christmastide, St. Francis scattered crumbs of bread under the trees, so the tiny creatures could feast and be happy. I am going to scatter bird seed around my tiny island on Christmas eve so that the birds, too, can celebrate...

Read about other Christmas traditions
here...

*
Bill McKibben, author, Hundred Dollar Holiday: The Case For a More Joyful Christmas says, "The Christmas we now celebrate grew up at a time when Americans were mostly poor ... mostly working with their hands and backs. If we now feel burdened and unsatisfied by the piles of gifts and over consuming, it is not because Christmas has changed all that much. It's because we have." ...read article here...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Elf Sisters...Awards...Meme...

I have updated this post with a few new things...so scroll down to see what's new...I am uber busy this week...trying to get the house totally unpacked and in order before the new year...do not want to begin a new year in disarray...wish me luck...it got very cold here (30's) and my furnace is broken...huddled on couch with 2 blankets...sweats, sweater, shawl, sox and slippers, and a dog...my laptop gets warm too...now i know i have gloves somewhere.!.!.!

The part is coming today!!! But it is in the 70's today, so I don't need it now...DUH!!!

I am a winner!!! Donna at the Decorated House told me I won her beautiful Christmas silhouette...YIPPEE!!! I love this beautiful piece and everything she does...

tara of tlc illustration sent me a wonderful bag of goodies...it made me jump with glee...thank you sweetie...i will post a picture when i thaw out...

elfin adventures with my sisters...I wish I could bring this over to the blog, but I can't...just click the link to view a cute elfin shimmy with my sisters...and then you can make your own...
http://www.elfyourself.com/?id=1219812854


PRAYERS for Ally here...and Anna here...

PRAYERS NEEDED here...

Please visit Bossy and give her your heart today...her beautiful daughter, Daisy ...pictured at left... was bitten by a dog and needs prayers lifted for her...

Read about it on her blog...and please show your support...

And learn about protection from dangerous dogs here...and here...and here...

Sweet Carolyn at Magpie Pixie gave me this a few days ago...it makes me smile...


and I am truly humbled that Annie here...nominated me for The Mathetes Award for Excellence in Discipleship. Here's the quote from the original blog post explaining the award:


"Mathetes is the Greek word for disciple, and the role of the disciple (per the Great Commission) it to make more disciples. I'd like to take the opportunity to award five other bloggers with this award and badge for acting in the role of a disciple of Christ. These five all share the message in their own creative ways, and I admire them all for what they do.

Dan writes: In the spirit of this award, the rules are simple. Winners of this award must pick five other "disciples" to pass it on to. As you pass it on, I just ask that you mention and provide links for:

  1. this post as the originator of the award (Dan King of management by God),
  2. the person that awarded it to you, and then
  3. name and sites of the five that you believe are fulfilling the role of a disciple of Christ. I would love for many deserving bloggers to be blessed with this recognition.

The rules of participating:

  1. Copy this post.
  2. Reflect on five bloggers.
  3. Make sure you link this post so others can read it and the rules.
  4. Go leave your chosen bloggers a comment and let them know they’ve been given the award.
  5. Put the award icon on your site.

I will choose my five very carefully in the next few days... with prayerful reflection my first three children of God are:

here..."qualcosa di bello"...italian for something beautiful...and she is something very beautiful...her lovely spirit is living the life God planned for her with grace and deep faith...

here..."Britt-Arnhild's House in the Woods"...is a wonderful place to linger with tea...her joyous spirit overflows...her travels and her recipes are magical...

here..."tongue in cheek"...corey amaro brings a spiritual view to the every day...her caring spirit flows forth in every word and image she shares...

here..."sage and thyme"...sherry brings strength to everyone who reads her musings...

I just pray a blessing over the bloggers that receive this award, and ask that the Holy Spirit use them mightily as they share the Word of God with the world around them. May all of their efforts be fruitful, and their words carry the anointing of the Spirit of God. I Jesus' name, Amen!

Sweet Gillian tagged me for my weirdness...so here goes

  • I break into spontaneous dancing frequently...even without music...
  • I am very silly and very serious...does that mean seriously silly...
  • I love anything in miniature...well almost...
  • I must have piles of books around me everywhere...in bed, the car, by the couch, etc...
  • I eat hummus and flat bread for breakfast with a diet coke, kari/kajsa should understand...it used to be dry cheerios and diet coke...
  • I do not like to have my back exposed...I sit in the last row in a movie...and want my back to the wall in restaurants...but I love to be in the front row in church...go figure...
  • I eat things evenly...one bite for left , one for right...I match my m & m's two red, two blue, if the last ones don't match I give them away...
  • I am fascinated with the feedjit thingy on my blog...i love to watch it to see who is visiting...
  • it is cold here today & my furnace is broken...so i borrowed gloves from my studio stash to keep warm...one leather evening length and one cotton short length...i have used the mates in art...is this creative or weird...i don't do cold well...
  • My friends call me eccentric...

So I tag whomever dares to share their silliness/ weirdness/ eccentricities...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

THIS CHRISTMAS...

U is for understanding...yourself and others...


"Annunciation" by Fra Angelico, 1450

I keep a copy of these words of wisdom in my prayerbook...I read them each morning...I do my best to live it...during the Advent Season I encourage you to do the same...


This Christmas...
Mend a quarrel...
Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust...
Write a love letter...
Share some treasure...
Give a soft answer...
Encourage youth...
Keep a promise...
Find the time...
Manifest your loyalty in word and deed...
Forgo a grudge...
Forgive an enemy...
Listen...
Apologize if you are wrong...
Try to understand...
Flout envy...
Examine your demands on others...
Think first of someone else...
Appreciate...
Be kind...
Be gentle...
Laugh a little...
Laugh a little more...
Deserve confidence...
Take up arms against malice...
Decry complacency...
Express your gratitude...
Go to church...
Welcome a stranger...
Gladden the heart of a child...
Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth...
Speak your love...
Speak it again...
Speak it still once again....

"This Christmas" December 1959 issue of McCall's magazine, written by the editors.


"Dream of St. Joseph" by Rembrandt, c. 1650


What Am I Doing Spiritually This Advent...
I am doing this Advent Retreat here...a series of eight 30 minute talks leading you through the weeks...

I am also doing Prayer Exercises based on Ignatian Spirituality...you can download a pdf here...to see the ways to deeper contemplative prayer...

Icon of Our Lady of the New Advent


A great online Advent Calendar is here...with daily readings...

old Advent calendar


12 of My Favorite Things About Christmas...

I have been tagged with a Christmas meme by Scarlett from the shores of introspect and retrospect...here... Please play along...you've been tagged if you are reading this...

"Legend of St Francis: 13. Institution of the Crib at Greccio" by Giotto (1297-1300). This fresco commemorates one of the oldest living nativity scenes organized by St. Francis.


  1. Advent and the birth of my Savior...each Christmas eve I place six white roses by the nativity creche at my church so there will be something to welcome and honor Him into this world...symbolically...
  2. Midnight Mass...
  3. Placing baby Jesus in the manger Christmas morning...
  4. An actual manger (feed and water trough) found in an archaeological site in Israel (Megiddo). This could well be the sort of "bed" that cradled the infant Jesus. Image courtesy of www.HolyLandPhotos.org.
  5. Doing some acts of kindness anonymously...
  6. Buying presents for my church's angel tree... and lest you think me a saint-I am not...
  7. A scene from the classic "A Charlie Brown Christmas"
  8. Talking to all my children on the phone Christmas day...
  9. A Christmas Night of Lights (Lake Lanier, Calloway Gardens, my hometown, etc.)
  10. The Christmas Parade of Boats on the Intercoastal Waterway...photo by http://www.ruscelli.com/night_photography_creative.htm
  11. My pink Christmas tree in California...
  12. Christmas morning champagne breakfast with Chip and Susie...see video here...scroll down to The Beach House
  13. Christmas Eve dinner and festivities in California...
  14. Playing Christmas carols on my dulcimers...
  15. My undecorated Christmas tree...
  16. Baking cookies and bread and making fudge...
  17. Dancing in the Nutcracker...
  18. The Christmas Eve Luminaries in my hometown of Ravenswood, WV photo http://www.aoc.nrao.edu
  19. The Christmas I was in the hospital and all my family was crowded into my room...
  20. Watching my children open their gifts...
  21. My mother's white fudge...
  22. Watching my father decorate the tree and the house...and his gifts of money inside a walnut...how did he do that???
  23. Rushing downstairs in the early morning to open presents...
  24. The Christmas I got Mr. Muffin...
  25. My grandfather singing carols...

    The Ghost of Christmas Present, a colored version of the original illustration by John Leech (1843)

  26. Remembering Christmas past...and holding those thoughts dear...
Okay I know I did two sets of 12, but once I started thinking about it...I could not stop...I have been very blessed with a full and glorious life...with much to remember... Please continue reading the Buy Handmade post below...to see links to artisan who offer handmade gifts ideas... some images from www.markdroberts.com

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Handmade Christmas...For Me!!!

I took the Handmade Pledge this year...#9469...my gifts to my loved ones will be handmade by me or someone else...I encourage you to do the same...take the pledge here... My pledge ..."Supporting independent artisans... handmade... heartmade... spiritmade..."

I will provide a running list of 25 artisans who are offering handmade items for the next 10 days....until December 15th...the first 25 artisans who send me a link and permission to reprint an image in a comment, from now until the 14th, I will include in this post...

here are my favorites so far...
handmade @ hunger site here...

Wyanne is having a reserve event on December 7th here...

Carol @ Paris Breakfast has her PB Collection on sale here...

Carla Sonheim's ETSY shoppe here...

Constance @ Boutique Rochambeau here...

carmen @ rainbow dreams here...

miss vanessa's fancifil shop is here...

cathy nash's wow characters are here...

kari & kijsha are here...

elizabeth beck is here...

shabby cottage botique is here...

sweet cottage dreams is here...

Joy 4 U is here...

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