Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Power of Words



"As words have a power of affecting our hearts on all occasions, as the same thing differently expressed has different effects upon our minds, so it is reasonable that we should make this [an] advantage of language, and provide ourselves with such forms of expression as are most likely to move and enliven our souls, and fill them with sentiments suitable to them."  (from A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life by William Law)

Even though Law here is talking about the use of our language in praying to God, to me his words define the logic behind positive thinking.

All the days of the afflicted are evil:
but he that is of a merry heart
hath a continual feast.
(Proverbs 15:15   KJV)

Working on having that continual feast,
Bess

Monday, September 24, 2012

An Autumn Tribute to an Artistic Aunt


Autumn Greetings to You!  I wanted to share this post again because it is one of my favorites (and took awhile to prepare!).


In my post today I'm sharing about my Great-Aunt Addie. Not everything in the above photo was hers, but rather I chose some other items to complete my "Autumn Vignette." Here are some photos of my Auntie:

The photo on the left is dated 1910 (she's top right & my grandmother is top left);
the center photo is dated 1946 (in San Antonio); the largest photo is undated.
The little Disney figurines were hers.

Auntie was born in 1897, never married, took care of my mother for a time, and I believe she worked as a secretary. We know she also worked one week in Indianapolis in 1936 for the husband and wife actors, Ben Lyon and Bebe Daniels. I briefly glanced at Wikipedia and they started out as silent film stars, and both had long, successful careers:



 Auntie was very intelligent, had a great sense of humor, and made wonderful drawings.  Her sketch of Rudolph Valentino is my favorite:

The watercolor painting was done by my grandfather.


 Here are a couple more photos of her:


 The little odd instruments are ocarinas, also informally called "sweet potatoes."  Webster's New World Dictionary (1964) says: "a small, simple wind instrument shaped like a sweet potato and usually made of terra cotta, with finger holes and a mouthpiece: it produces soft, hollow tones."

Here is some of Auntie's school homework:


In the book Betsy was a Junior by Maud Hart Lovelace, Betsy, Tacy and Tib are supposed to create herbariums during the course of their junior year, which would have been circa 1908/1909 because as I recall they graduate in 1910.  In typical Betsy fashion, the girls put the assignment off until the very last day before it's due, scrambling and staying up most of the night:

"They were supposed to be making herbariums for botany but not Betsy nor Tacy nor Tib had begun.  The fall flowers were still abundant.  It seemed such an easy thing to do to pick and press just one of each kind, that they forgot to do it."

" 'A herbarium,' said Betsy, 'is a collection of dried and pressed specimens of plants, usually mounted or otherwise prepared for permanent preservation and systematically arranged in paper covers placed in boxes or cases.' "

"Mr. Gaston awarded a grim 75 to Betsy, to Tacy and to Tib.  'Never, never in my whole life,' said Mr. Gaston, (he was twenty-four), 'never in my whole career as a teacher,' (he had taught for three years), 'have I seen such herbariums!  Not a fall flower included!' " 

Apparently, by the time my great-aunt had to create her herbarium in 1915, she was able to use a pre-made 2-ring notebook.  I cherish this book, and here are just a few photos of the 35 entries:


The first entry is April 17, 1915.


The last entry is dated May 19 (1915).


Aunt Addie made a special folder to hold some of her drawings:



This one must be for our friends in the Southern Hemisphere! :o)





My aunt lived to be 85.  At some point in her life she developed a horrific tremor in her head and extremities.  My mother said Addie had the tremor even when my mother was a youngster.  I don't know if she kept drawing, but I do know she was able to embroider and sew.  Most importantly, I never knew her to be, as evidenced by her letters and in person, anything but positive and upbeat.  

The plasticine box bears her initials.

I've so enjoyed sharing my Autumn Vignette with you, Dear Readers.  I leave you with one last drawing from my beloved aunt:


 Happy Autumn!
Bess

I hope to be linking this post to the following wonderful places/posts. Please go visit them, you'll be glad you did!

Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday
Cielo at The House in the Roses for Show Off Your Cottage Monday
Kathy at A Delightsome Life for A Return to Loveliness
Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Table Top Tuesday
Mary at Very Merry Vintage Style for Share the Love Wednesday
Kim at Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays


This Old Cat


This is a repost from about a year ago.  I'd never republished before, so wanted to test the process on a post that I wouldn't be totally devastated over if it disappeared.  Misty says she's insulted.  She is more frail this year, but is still doing well.

Ms. M, or "Misty" on this blog, was our mother's kitty. She is the oldest by far of the five kitties that live with us (see here). We think she has to be at least 16. But she's very young at heart, loves to play with her kitty toys, and comes running anytime someone is in the kitchen (hoping for a treat) ... or the bathroom! She loves her people, but prefers any contact to be on her terms.


She was lying completely in the sun, but by the time I ran to retrieve my camera she had shifted a bit. Her fur is exceedingly soft, almost like angora. I love her sweet dusky rose pads on her paws, too, even though they look gray in these photos.



This post is for my family, especially my sister-in-law, who recently asked about the kitties on the blog. She basically wondered if they had a following. Unfortunately, no, but maybe someday they will. I don't believe I've ever had one single search on cats that has brought someone to my blog. Guess I should have named one of them Hyacinth Bucket! :o)


Blessed by another gorgeous day today,
Bess

Saturday, September 22, 2012

An Interesting Point



Miss Read talking with James, husband of her good friend Amy:

"...no matter how happily people are married, they are still individuals, and have to have time now and again to realise it."

"Yes.  It's a point to bear in mind."

"Dear old Donne,"  I went on, watching Amy waving to a departing car, "stressed that no man was an island, and so on.  But I think each man is an island, and no one knows his neighbour completely.  That's what's so shattering when someone we think we know well does something horrifying like stealing or committing suicide."

James laughed suddenly.  "Do you want me to have night terrors?  No more sermons now, or I'll burst into tears!"
(from Summer at Fairacre by Miss Read)


Such an interesting point, and so true.  We are only truly, really, deeply known ... by God.

At present we are men looking
at puzzling reflections in a mirror.
The time will come when we shall see
reality whole and face to face!
At present all I know
is a little fraction of the truth,
but the time will come
when I shall know it
as fully as God now knows me!
1 Corinthians 13:12  (Phillips)

Happy Autumn Weekend, Dear Readers!
Bess

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Blessed Solitude






"I had my tea in the garden, relishing all these delights, and watching Tibby rolling on the gravel nearby.  If only one could have more of this blessed solitude, I pondered, just enjoying the simple joys about one, when 'every prospect pleases', how good and loving and noble one would be!"  (from Summer at Fairacre by Miss Read)

Hope you'll be enjoying some "me time" this weekend,
Bess


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Mettle




I was thinking about the word "mettle" the other day. Webster's New World Dictionary (1964) defines the word thus: "quality of character or temperament; especially, high quality of character; spirit; courage ..."

Then I searched on the Net and I liked that definition even better (no site was given that I could tell; it just came up): "A person's ability to cope well with difficulties or to face a demanding situation in a spirited and resilient way."

The reason I was thinking about one having mettle was because I had just finished a phone conversation with a family member who's been going through quite an ordeal health-wise. Really going through the mill. And I could tell from our conversation that he was handling the whole thing beautifully. He has mettle.

The best way to develop mettle is to love, study, focus on, and walk with, Jesus. Through whatever. And when someone has mettle, what a wonderful testimony his/her life is.  

I'm just admiring grace under pressure as it unfolds before me, and praying for an excellent outcome.

You will guard him and keep him in perfect
and constant peace whose mind
[both its inclination and its character]
is stayed on You, because he commits
himself to You, leans on You,
and hopes confidently in You.
Isaiah 26:3   (Amplified)

Love you- Family O'Mine,
Bess

The book in the photo is Still Life, the Art of Nurturing a Tranquil Soul by Mary Jenson, 1997.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Reasonable Service





As there is but one God and Father of us all, whose glory gives light and life to everything that lives, whose presence fills all places, whose power supports all beings, whose providence ruleth all events; so everything that lives, whether in Heaven or earth, whether they be thrones or principalities, men or angels, they must all, with one spirit, live wholly to the praise and glory of this one God and Father of them all.  Angels as angels, in their heavenly ministrations; but men as men, women as women, bishops as bishops, priests as priests, and deacons as deacons; some with things spiritual, and some with things temporal, offering to God the daily sacrifice of a reasonable life, wise actions, purity of heart, and heavenly affections.  (from A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life by William Law)


I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God,
which is your reasonable service.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
(Romans 12:1-3   KJV)

(I'm not Catholic, but I did seriously consider it once, and I've probably had the rosaries for over forty years.)

Our God is an Awesome God,
Bess
(William Law, 1686-1761, was an English cleric and writer.)