Dear Readers

Dear Readers
DEAR READERS: Will this slumbering blog ever awake? It's possible but I don't know when. In the meanwhile, sweet dreams!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

At Home

Dear Diary,
This blog is slumbering most of the time
but here's a little post just to keep things going . . .

 We had so much rain last month,
more than usual,
that when the sun finally broke through
the dreary gloom one morning, 
I couldn't help but snap a photo or two
through the dining room window.


 
. . . and turn it into art via my favorite app . . .

I read somewhere that we are ahead
of schedule in our rainfall totals
for San Diego this year.
That's good news!

More rain coming later today . . .



Saturday, January 26, 2019

Unexpected Heart

The other day, or the other week,
I came upon an unexpected paper heart,
nearly lost among the detritus left scattered at the curb
by the recent rains.

Sometimes looking down is a good thing.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Wondrous Skies

We have been treated to the most breathtaking skies lately . . .




As 4:00 approaches each afternoon,
I know it's time to keep my eye on the view outside,
because there is usually something amazing about to develop
as the sun falls lower in the western sky . . .
. . . quite often on these winter evenings
I watch in awe as another of God's masterpieces
begins to unfold before my hungry eyes.
There's no end to the beauty!

And just when I think it's over,
the skies catch fire!



 Those who live far away are awed by Your signs;
You make east and west shout for joy.
Psalm 65:8
Holman Christian Standard Bible

Friday, December 28, 2018

2019 Book List

A list of books read in 2019.
William Worchester Churchill

January 2019
1.  Bel Lamington, D.E. Stevenson
2.  Fletcher's End, D.E. Stevenson
3.  The Baker's Daughter, D.E. Stevenson
4.  Meditations for the 12 Great Feasts: Becoming Fully Human in Christ, Papavassiliou
5.  Still Glides the Stream, D.E. Stevenson
6.  Gerald and Elizabeth, D.E. Stevenson
7.  The Edwardian Lady (The Story of Edith Holden), Ina Taylor, compiler
8.  Our Father, Alexander Schmemann


Thursday, December 27, 2018

2018 Book List

Well, Dear Diary, here's my booklist for the year.
A bit more fiction than in recent years.
It's been a lovely change,
and I am currently back in love
with D.E. Stevenson.
The last four of hers read were marvelous,
and there are two more on hold at the library,
so it looks like 2019's booklist will begin brightly!

********

A list of books read in 2018

Art by Vanessa Bell


January 2018
1.  Wounded by Love, the Life and Wisdom of Saint Porphyrios

February 2018
2.  Great Lent, Alexander Schmemann

March 2018
3.  30 Steps to Heaven: The Ladder of Divine Ascent, Vassilios Papavassiliou
4.  The Ladder of Divine Ascent, Saint John Climacus

April 2018
5.  The Lenten Triodion, Mother Mary and Kallistos Ware, translators
6.  The Lenten Triodion Supplement, Mother Mary and Kallistos Ware, translators

May 2018
7.  The Door in the Wall, Marguerite di Angeli
8.  We Shall See Him as He Is, Archimandrite Sophrony (Sakharov)

June 2018 - none

July 2018 
9.    Driving Miss Norma, Tim Bauerschmidt and Ramie Liddle
10.  The Half-Crown House, Helen Ashton (Jordan)
11.  The Mandelbaum Gate, Muriel Spark
12.  Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, Atul Gawande
13.  Bricks and Mortar, Helen Ashton (Jordan)

August 2018
14.  Carl Larsson's Home,  Family and Farm, (Carl Larsson's paintings)
15.  The Magic Apple Tree, Susan Hill
16.  Kirie, Pirie and Kalikoolin's Pipe, Edward Maze and Percy MacMahon
17.  Dr. Serocold, Helen Ashton (Jordan)
18.  Emma: A Modern Retelling, Alexander McCall Smith
19.  Christ is in Our Midst, Father John
20.  My Italian Bulldozer, Alexander McCall Smith

September 2018
21.  Trains and Lovers, Alexander McCall Smith
22.  The Little White Horse, Elizabeth Goudge
23.  Linnets and Valerians, Elizabeth Goudge
24.  Smokey House, Elizabeth Goudge
25.  The Blue Hills (Henrietta's House), Elizabeth Goudge
26.  The Sister of the Angels, Elizabeth Goudge

October and November - no books completed

December 2018
27.  Katherine Wentworth, D.E. Stevenson
28.  The Wedding of Katherine Wentworth, D.E. Stevenson
29.  Amberwell, D.E. Stevenson
30.  Summerhills, D.E. Stevenson
31.  A Christmas Book, Elizabeth Goudge



Thursday, December 20, 2018

Some Christmas Reading

Those familiar with the novels of Elizabeth Goudge
may find this a lovely reading choice for Christmas.

 The scene on the front cover makes me wish
I could step right into it for a little while
and experience the snowy English Christmas
of an earlier age.


 Which story would I choose to drop into?
I think it would have to be The Dean's Watch.
What about you?


Whichever story, time or place one might choose,
there is no doubt that a generous measure of Christmas light
shines through this entire collection,
to bring a joyful tear to the eye,
and warm glow to the heart,
the occasional touch of humor
and the fragrance of love.

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! 

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.

***********************

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).

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.

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.