Dear Readers

Dear Readers
DEAR READERS: This is my NEW blog of the same title. If you followed me before and still wish to, simply choose one of the "Follow" options below.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Pink and Blue Skies

Dear Diary,
Finally, after FIVE months of complete laziness,
I have managed to get myself out the door in the mornings
for a walk around the neighborhood.
Hooray!

Here are a few photos of the pink and blue skies I saw this week.






But, my goodness, was I sore after the first day's exertions.
It seemed easier than I had expected to trudge up the hills around here,
but my old body complained heartily the following day.
So . . . I toned things down and am going every other day
and not pushing myself too hard.

Oh for the days of youth!
However, let us not moan and complain, Dear Diary!
No, instead, I will say how truly grateful I am
for mobility and general good health.
May it long continue, please God! 

Live-Stream Church

Sunday church was attended live-stream.
I'd rather be there in person, of course,
but it couldn't be helped for various innocuous reasons.
So . . .
I am thankful for this much at least.
Just a few more days till Christmas Eve
when, God willing, 
I shall be there in body as well as spirit!

Sunday, December 16, 2018

In the Bleak Midwinter

It's time once again to re-post this beautiful Christmas carol.  I never grow tired of it.  I hope you haven't either!  Click the links at the bottom of the post to hear something lovely.

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Christmas is almost here and I cannot let it come and go without sharing (yet again) a favorite Christmas carol.   Somehow I managed to live over five decades completely unaware of this wonderful song.  But several years into the 21st Century my ignorance was remedied at last.

The text was originally a beautiful poem written by the English poet, Christina Rossetti (1830-1894) and was later set to music as a Christmas carol titled In the Bleak Midwinter.   Rossetti's poem follows, and below that are three links for those who want to listen and enjoy.

Strasbourg Cathedral, France


A Christmas Carol
Christina Rossetti, 1872

In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold him,
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When he comes to reign;
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty
Jesus Christ.

Enough for him whom cherubim
Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk
And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for him whom angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
which adore.

Angels and archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air,
But only his mother
In her maiden bliss
Worshiped the Beloved
With a kiss.

What can I give him
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man
I would do my part—
Yet what I can I give him,
Give my heart.

As author Emilie Griffin describes in Wonderful and Dark is This Road, page 99:
In one of her best-known poems....Christina Rossetti expresses her deep love of God. Her poem looks beyond Christmas to the Second Coming of Christ, "when he comes to reign." She draws contrasts between heaven and earth, riches and poverty. Rossetti's devotion to Christ is shown intensely in her last stanza.
You can hear it sung by the Gloucester Cathedral Choir HERE.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir HERE.
And HERE is a gorgeous version by Susan Boyle (apologies for the noisome ad that pops up first).

Monday, December 10, 2018

Little bits of prettiness

Dear Diary,
just a few pretty little things . . .
. . . all are tacked onto my bulletin board above my desk.

They serve no practical purpose, I suppose . . .

Nonetheless, I consider them essential . . .
. . . food for the soul . . .
. . . happiness of thought . . .
. . . thankfulness of heart . . .

Real treasures.







Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Reading Fiction

I just finished this and its sequel, 
The Marriage of Katherine Wentworth
by D.E. Stevenson.  
Both were a delightful read, and I wish there were more,
because I've grown very fond of the characters
and really would love to know
how the rest of their story turns out.

I'm thankful the public library 
still has old copies available for borrowing,
which is how I obtained these two.

Next up:
Amberwell, and Summerhills
Another D. E. Stevenson series,
this time about the Ayrton family.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Saint John of Kronstadt

The Lord is everything to me...

A little reminder I put on the bulletin board over my desk.
One small drop pulled from the vast ocean of wisdom
to be found in My Life in Christ,
extracts from the diary of Saint John of Kronstadt
(Russia 1829-1908) 


 It's the light blue book among those on my desk.
I bought it almost four years ago
and delve into it every now and then.
It's not the sort of book to be read straight through.
It requires a little taste here and there
and a bit of contemplation
about whatever nugget has spoken to one's heart.


Throwing a little art into the mix . . .
again, made with my favorite Waterlogue App.

Monday, November 19, 2018

What the frog sees . . .

A frog's eye view . . .
. . . not a real frog; he's oh so faux.

This was a cloudy sunset a few weeks ago,
before the heat wave and dry air arrived.

Glad to report it is getting chilly at night now . . .
. . . perhaps, just perhaps, we will soon enjoy long stretches of coldness . . .
It's all relative of course,
our "coldness" might seem rather warm to some.
After many years of seeing on your blogs and facebooks
all the wonderful and dramatic changes of season
many areas experience, 
I find myself thinking how nice it would be
to call such a place home.

I am thankful to have friends and family who live in such climates
that I can visit now and then for a real-life experience.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Food and the ease of that other platform . . .

Dear Diary,
as you may have noticed,
my presence here on the blog has become quite sketchy,
ever since I opened an account on one of those other platforms . . .
. . . where it is so very easy to publish quick little mini-posts
from my smart phone.

When I am preparing food in the kitchen, for example . . .



I have noticed over the past few years
that more and more bloggers are abandoning their blogs
for FB or IG, or both.
And I suppose I'm quite behind the curve;
there are probably other new platforms emerging by now
of which I am blissfully unaware!

But however it is accomplished,
connection with others in the big wide world out there
can be a very satisfying, inspiring and even hope-filled activity.

So thank you all . . .
. . . wherever you may be found . . .
for sharing all the lovely things that interest you.

I am happy you are out there,
you enrich my life.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Mince Pies

Dear Diary,
there's a certain well-known shop featuring wonderful things
from all over the world
including, but not limited to, food items.
It's always a delight to browse the aisles,
and especially so at this time of year.
They are well stocked with delectable Christmas pastries of all kinds.


Isn't it sweet?


 So very miniature . . .


Nine to a box.


It barely lasted two days.

Consequently, I don't visit this particular shop very often!
But I know where to go when I want something really delicious
and different from the usual everyday supermarket fare.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

A little Autumn

Dear Diary,
I've nothing really to say . . .
. . . but here is a little autumnal color for you . . .

 Enamel on copper.  A gift shop in Old Town San Diego.


 Jessie Willcox Smith never disappoints.
 
James Tissot, A Convalescent; I adore those pale gold glowing leaves!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Hair

Dear Diary,
I do not enjoy going to the hair stylist.

And anyway, I don't have a personal hair stylist . . .
. . . that one person who knows your hair and how you like it . . .
. . . whom you can trust to make you look good . . .
(or as "good" as your personal attributes may allow).
 
Perhaps I would feel differently about
the dreadful tyranny of a monthly trim
 if I did have someone like that.
 
I'm too cheap to spend much on getting my hair cut
so I go to one of those inexpensive places 
that seem to be on every corner
(please excuse the hyperbole) . . .  
and you never get the same person twice.

Consequently, I don't go very often.
Sometimes many months, even a year, can go by.


 For example, this is my hair nine months ago . .
I had (obviously) been letting it grow out for quite a while. 
Since I've never colored my hair (and never will)
it is now two-tone, as you can see . . .
A faded red on top, and white all around the edges.


But then I suddenly felt like going shorter again.
"Much more appropriate for my age," I say to myself.
"It goes better with my old-lady turkey neck."
So I got it all cut off,
and kept up the monthly trimmings for a while . . .

. . . but the truth is, I adore long hair.
Even if it may not be "appropriate" for a woman of my age.
Even though I sometimes worry about how out of step I am
with what those very fashionable mature women 
around me are doing.
Do I stand out like a sore thumb?

Why do I care?
I do care, sometimes . . .
. . . sometimes I feel very inadequate.
Just not fitting in.
Why this social pressure?  
Whose rules are these?
And why do I sometimes feel I must abide by them?
They are not what matters.  
They are not really important.



So, Dear Diary, it's back to long hair again . . .
It's the easiest thing in the world to achieve.
 
 There are more important and productive things
to spend my energy on
than worrying about my hair
and whether or not
the ubiquitous and dreaded "they"
approve of it.

In less than two years I will be 70.
As long as my arms can still lift a hair brush
and wield a shampoo bottle,
I'm going to enjoy having long hair while I still can!