Sunday, October 26, 2014

Back to Coloring

I've shared from this little 6" x 7.5" Betsey Clark Coloring Book by Hallmark before, here. That was when I didn't have a decent camera, and today's photos aren't a whole lot better. I did use auto correct in Microsoft Picture Manager to brighten the color, otherwise the colors barely showed. I have done twelve pages out of sixteen designs, and this is the first one I colored with yellow hair. At least the original is yellow, if it doesn't look so above. I guess I had been trying to make them all soft and "mousy" like the cover:

The cover has turned brownish on the edges.

Here's a page done in 1974:

And another done in 2014:

I use colored pencils and as light a touch as possible. I haven't tried markers because I don't think I have the control in my hands for them. I also recently pulled out a Dover coloring book I had and this is my first attempt to color in it:

Forgive the shadows from my sheers, but pulling them aside would have been even worse! Here's the cover, and this book is 8.5" x 11" with thirty designs (designs are on both sides of the pages, unlike the Clark book which has designs on one side only):

If I share more, perhaps next time I'll just try taking photos with the dreaded flash, under lamplight.

I thought this was sweet:

Our Father in heaven,
we thank thee for this day,
for light, for work, for friendship,
for this beautiful earth,
and we ask your help in everything we do.
A grace said by Lady Bird Johnson as found in the Victoria September 1993 issue:

Speaking of work, I'm expecting an especially busy week ahead, so I may not be able to post until next weekend or so.

If you need a soothing, easy way to relax, try coloring! I'm hoping your week is delightful!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

My Prayer, My Desire

Royal Dover Bone China - Made in England

The hymn below has been on my mind lately. Well, just the first line, since I couldn't remember the words until I looked them up. Wow. No wonder God brought it to my mind. It is exactly what my prayer needs to be these days.

I love that about the Holy Spirit. In trying to deal with a frustration or two, I wasn't getting anywhere. So He reminded me of what was needed. Awesome. I'll be memorizing this song so that I can have it with me always:

Spirit of God, descend upon my heart;
Wean it from earth; through all its pulses move;
Stoop to my weakness, mighty as Thou art;
And make me love Thee as I ought to love.

I ask no dream, no prophet ecstasies,
No sudden rending of the veil of clay,
No angel visitant, no opening skies;
But take the dimness of my soul away.

Hast Thou not bid me love Thee, God and King?
All, all Thine own, soul, heart and strength and mind.
I see Thy cross; there teach my heart to cling.
O let me seek Thee, and O let me find!

Teach me to feel that Thou art always nigh;
Teach me the struggles of the soul to bear.
To check the rising doubt, the rebel sigh,
Teach me the patience of unanswered prayer.

Teach me to love Thee as Thine angels love,
One holy passion filling all my frame;
The kindling of the heaven descended Dove,
My heart an altar, and Thy love the flame.
Spirit of God, Descend upon My Heart by George Croly, 1867

I love Verse 4: the rebel sigh. I'm afraid that's me more often than I care to admit.

Since this is the kind of life we have chosen,
the life of the Spirit, let us make sure
that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads
or a sentiment in our hearts,
but work out its implications in every detail of our lives.
Galatians 5:25  The Message

Again, forgive the reruns on my photos (although cropped). But this way my newer readers will get to see them, and I like seeing them again, too. I am trying out the Verdana font instead of Georgia. I think the Georgia is prettier, but the Verdana is probably easier for most to read. (Oh my, I sound just like Brick on The Middle tonight!) I like italics, too, but not everyone does. In case you haven't guessed, I don't care much for change! Quite often I decide on the way I like something, and that's the way it stays, often for years at a time (such as with cupboard, dish, and furniture arrangements).

If you didn't already, I hope you'll take the time to read the lyrics above and ponder them.

You are loved,

Monday, October 20, 2014

Looking Up

Facing west in the evening sun.

I don't have any beautiful fall color to share with you, but today was a gorgeous day. There's nothing like the blue of an October sky.

Facing west northwest in the evening sun.

My maples have been suffering the past three years. They have a lot of dead in them now. At first I thought it was the drought, but with plenty of rain this year, they are still struggling. If I were wealthy, I'd do all in my power to save them. But as it is, I will just have to see what develops.

I think this was shooting pretty much overhead.

Look at that sky. There was no sun in the house anymore, so I took my camera outside to capture sunny leaves and sunny skies. The tree below is a neighbor's. I don't know what kind it is, but it turns a lovely yellow, which the photo didn't bring out very well.

Facing east in the evening sun.

We do have some pretty color around town, just not in my yard! After a hard day, it did me good to go look at the pretty sky and sun on the trees, even if just for a few moments.

When we have a trial or a burden, we must remember: This too will pass. I'm counting on it!

Sorrow looks back. Worry looks around. Faith looks up.
(from my kitty perpetual calendar)

Let's not forget to look up. It's beautiful up there.

Look up at the heavens and see;
gaze at the clouds so high above you.
Job 35:5

Thanks to all of you who write such wonderful blog posts and/or comments that make life that much sweeter.
Blessings to All,

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

My Sentiments Exactly

The pins were my grandmother's; wish the one was really star sapphires, but it's not!

Just a very short post to share this Victoria cover. That's an art easel on the left. But I just love the sentiment: The Pure Joy of Being Home. All I can say to that is a resounding Amen! And I haven't even read it again yet.

I have two copies of this issue (probably because one or the other of them is missing pages), and on the one that was originally mailed, those were the only words on that month's cover, which I found interesting and quite sufficient!

Our homes: gifts from God and a little taste of Heaven to come.

The hibiscus is still blooming, but judging by the lack of new buds, I think it may be going dormant - for awhile at least. Do they bloom inside during the winter months?

Wishing you sweet dreams tonight,

Monday, October 13, 2014

Friday's Child

A gift from my mother in 1972: Zenith Delft Blue, Made in Holland

No, it's not my birthday, but I'm desperate for post material because I'm too worn out to be creative at the moment.

Monday's child is fair of face;
Tuesday's child is full of grace.
Wednesday's child is full of woe;
Thursday's child has far to go.
Friday's child is loving and giving;
Saturday's child works hard for a living.
But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day
is bonny and blithe and good and gay.

If taken as true, being a Friday's Child comes with a big responsibility to others. For many years now, much of my time has been given over to serving others, which can be beautifully rewarding but tiring. It's also very humbling. At times my selfish side (my "flesh") screams for more "Me Time," and I must admit I try to protect it when possible.

How about it? Does the poem fit you? Of course, I think all of us are really a mixed bag of each day- and more. I guess the poem was based on fortune-telling, which would be a no-no for Christians. But now it's just a nursery rhyme, albeit a rather strange thing to tell children. Children need hope and deserve to be hopeful. I think we're all like children that way.

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked them ... Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example
that you should do as I have done for you.
John 13:12-15

Welcome to my new followers. And many thanks to all of you who stop by. I appreciate your support!

May every day feed your hope (Jeremiah 29:11),

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Book Talk: A Jane Austen Education

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A Jane Austen Education - How Six Novels Taught Me about Love, Friendship and the Things that Really Matter by William Deresiewicz:

I just finished reading this 2011 book, and "Reader, I liked it." :O)  It didn't always get good reviews, but some of the few I read were complaining about the very things I thought the author explained and wrote very well. In fact, this book I checked out from the library by chance (don't you love that about libraries?) is worth another read to me, perhaps even worth owning it someday.

Deresiewicz is intelligent, there's no denying that. But rather than being "arrogant," I felt he was forthcoming and self-deprecating. Rather than not telling his own story well, I thought it was done very well, and I enjoyed his memoir sections almost as much as the Austen summaries. 

So if you're an Austen fan, you might give it a go and see what you think. But I think it has to be read carefully, and I suspect many of the comments were from readers who just skimmed the book or else how could they miss what was so clearly there? 

Chapter Titles: Emma: Everyday Matters; Pride and Prejudice: Growing Up; Northanger Abbey: Learning to Learn; Mansfield Park: Being Good; Persuasion: True Friends; Sense and Sensibility: Falling in Love; and The End of the Story. All but the last are very long chapters, but then they'd have to be! (And for the most part, the author only touches on the aspects of each novel that particularly taught him something meaningful he could apply in his own life.)

I'm taking the liberty of sharing a few quotes about the books Emma and Mansfield Park, below:

Writing about Austen's characters in Mansfield Park:  

So poor was Mary in any kind of inner resources, Austen was telling us, any ability to dwell in her own mind - to read, to draw, or simply to sit still and think - that her spirits couldn't survive a few hours alone indoors. Perpetual amusement, the privilege of the idle rich, leads only, it seems, to the perpetual threat of boredom. Being able to get whatever you want, Austen was showing me, leaves you awfully unhappy when you cannot get what you want.

Fanny, I realized, was not just different from the privileged people around her; she was their exact opposite. They had everything and wanted more; she had little and was willing to make do with less. Instead of responding to adversity with petulance and spite, she handled it with fortitude, resilience, and, when necessary, resignation.

But the novel's most important word of all was "useful." ... Because Fanny had to work hard, set aside her feelings, and sacrifice herself for others - to be, in a word, useful - only she possessed the moral strength to rise to the challenge when circumstances arrived ...

Writing about Emma:

... Austen was asking us to pay attention to the things we usually miss or don't accord enough esteem, in novels or in life. Those small, "trivial," everyday things, the things that happen hour by hour to the people in our lives: what your nephew said, what your friend heard, what your neighbor did. That, she was telling us, is what the fabric of our years really consists of. That is what life is really about.

Emma was always looking in the wrong direction ... While she plotted her schemes and dreamed her dreams, her "daily happiness" was right there in front of her, in "affairs, arrangements, perplexities, and pleasures" - the hourly ordinary, in all its granular specificity. The novel had a name for this gossipy texture of daily life, a word I stumbled upon again and again. "Many little particulars"; "I am impatient for a thousand particulars"; "She will give you all the minute particulars." Not just particulars, but "little" particulars ... Life is lived at the level of the little. 

Of course, the terms "affairs" and "making love" (just throwing that one in) did not have (solely, if at all) the same connotation in Austen's day as they do now.

Are you a Jane Austen fan?

Enjoying a beautiful weekend, and hope you are, too!
*Based on the famous quote from Jane Eyre (not an Austen book): "Reader, I married him." Dereciewicz also plays with the quote. Also, I have no connection to the author or publisher whatsoever, and have not received compensation or a book for this brief review.