Sunday, December 29, 2013
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Originally uploaded by sbrent
Our church has hundreds of our members volunteer to create an "evening in Bethlehem and living nativity scene", and 1,500 people attended over the two evenings.
There were live animals, a petting zoo, hay ride, photos with Santa and a Bethlehem cafe.
We had a surprise when the young man portraying Joseph went to his knee during the enactment of the Nativity scene in the stable and proposed marriage for real to the young woman portraying Mary.
Wow. She said yes! This was filmed when the evening was being filmed so I got to see the proposal.
Now that is a proposal that will never be topped and will always be remembered.
"And she gave birth to her first born son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger." Luke 2:7
One tiny baby,
One manger stall,
who sent His Son
to show His love for all.
Merry Christmas to One and to All.
Monday, December 23, 2013
We did something dramatic this year. After decades of buying a real tree each Christmas we bought a beautiful artificial tree. There are pros and cons to each type, I know. This one we bought at Sears, it is seven and a half feet tall, and the needles are a soft green with a modulated color, so it looks very like a real tree.
Merry Christmas to each and every one of you, my friends.
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Crèche de Noël, Église de la Visitation, Montréal
Originally uploaded by Marie Berne
When the song of the angels is stilled,
when the star in the sky is gone,
when the kings and princes are home,
when the shepherds are back with the flocks,
then the work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost,
to heal those broken in spirit,
to feed the hungry,
to release the oppressed,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among all peoples,
to make a little music with the heart...
These words have long been favorites of mine and I read them in Terry Hershey's wonderful email newsletter recently.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Perissa, Santorini through the church bells of Ag Irini
Originally uploaded by GanMed64
The time draws near the birth of Christ:
The moon is hid; the night is still;
The Christmas bells from hill to hill
Answer each other in the mist.
Four voices of four hamlets round,
From far and near, or mead and moor,
Swell out and fail as if a door
Were shut between me and the sound.
Each voice four changes on the wind,
That now dilate and now decrease,
Peace and goodwill, goodwill and peace,
Peace and goodwill to all mankind.
Voices in the Mist, by Alfred, Lord Tennyson 1809-1892
And thank you to Carol, you sweetie, for writing about my book on your blog today; at Buttercup Counts Her Blessings Be sure and visit Carol and say hi, recently she is blogging about NYC's spectacular holiday decorations.
For ordering info and reviews of my book visit Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Window at Parish Church of St Peter, Frampton Cotterell, England
Originally uploaded by DanieVDM
"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign.
Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."
Isaiah 7:14 ASV
Saturday, November 30, 2013
Here is a poem I like, and I hope you like it too.
A Prayer of Thanks
Thank you God for the beauty
around me everywhere,
The gentle rain and glistening dew
the sunshine and the air,
The joyous gift of feeling
the soul's soft whispering voice
That speaks to me from deep within
and makes my heart rejoice.
Poem written by Helen Steiner Rice
I took the photo of our Thanksgiving color themed flowers today.
Friday, November 22, 2013
Monday, November 18, 2013
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
If you have been following my blog for a while you know I adore growing potatoes, and these were grown in a five gallon pail.
I promptly took five small taters I had grown and planted them, since I think they grow year round here in California. I feel like a complete peasant woman when I dig up potatoes, a great feeling, and they taste fabulous, very smooth flesh and almost sweet.
Monday, November 11, 2013
Saturday, November 9, 2013
Originally uploaded by bayasaa
Cue the fireworks and celebration, as the winner of a copy of "Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts: Stories to Warm Your Heart and Tips to Simplify Your Holiday" was selected using random.org
Snap That AKA Joyful is the winner. Her blog is snapthatpenny.blogspot.com and she lives in Canada. Please contact me with your mailing address Joyful!
Monday, November 4, 2013
I am giving away one copy of my book "A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts: Stories to Warm Your Heart and Tips to Simplify Your Holiday".
This is a pretty book with silvery stars on the cover, full color on each page, and it is full of fun and frugal tips for celebrating Christmas, family activities, ideas for helping your kids learn to share with others in need, delish recipes, our favorite Christmas themed books and movies and also my green thumb tips in each chapter.
How to grow amaryllis, Christmas cactus, myrrh, and how to nurture living Christmas trees, and much more.
My co-authors share lots of super ideas from how to create a Santa chair to their favorite charity to support and the practice of giving children three gifts, as the three kings gave to Jesus.
For a chance to win, leave a comment on this post.
I use random.org to select a winner.
The winner will be announced November 9.
No matter what country you live in you are eligible, dear friends.
Here is a link to lots of reviews, and to where you can buy the book
Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts
Oh, and for a second chance to win, visit our book's blog and leave a comment there too.
Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts blog There are 400 posts there, with many ideas, recipes, etc.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
My grandpa, Elmer Pelkin, was a professional magician in the 1920s, 30s and 40s, and here is a poster from one of his shows. I think it is a fun poster for this Halloween holiday.
Right in tune with all the fervor over zombies on tv now, including The Walking Dead. I am a fan of this tv show though I close my eyes upon occasion when the zombie gore is too much for me.
My grandfather was Elmer Pelkin and he toured the USA east of the Mississippi, with his wife (my grandma Leah) and four of their five children as the troupe of performers.
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Above is a photo of a Mary garden near our home, and to the right is a photo of my own Mary statue and her pink rose in our garden. I call the rose our Mary Rose.
"My Garden of Prayer"
My garden beautifies my yard
and adds fragrance to the air,
But it is also my cathedral
and my quiet place of prayer.
So little do we realize
that the glory and the power
of Him who made the universe
lies hidden in a flower!
poem written by Helen Steiner Rice
I bought her book "The Poems and Prayers of Helen Steiner Rice", compiled by Virginia J. Ruehlmann. I like books of poetry, prayer and quotes which group the contents by subject, like this book does. This book has 400 of her poems in it.
Do you have a favorite book of poetry?
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Originally uploaded by tony4carr
Many gardeners are preparing their gardens for future freezes and letting their gardens sleep in the cold months to come. Not my friends in the Southern Hemisphere of course.
And not me since I live in climate zone 8, where it rarely freezes.
So a few days ago I separated a huge garlic clove in to individual cloves, and planted the cloves pointed side up, in a 3 feet long by 6 inch wide container. The container provides good drainage and prevents our gourmet gophers from eating the tasty garlic.
We especially like the taste of the green leaves which look like chives, and have a light garlic taste. They are delicious in a salad or on a baked potato.
The other planting thing I did was plant Shelling Pea seeds for a hoped for late season crop of peas.
We gardeners live in hope, don't we?
We have room for a small hydrangea and I found a Bombshell Hydrangea in a local nursery. It is smaller than the typical hydrangeas which grow four to five feet tall, and the Bombshell is said to grow two feet tall, or no more than 3 feet tall. I planted it in a chicken wire gopher cage to keep the previously mentioned gophers from chewing up all the roots.
The bush I bought is dormant and because of that doesn't look appealing, and the gal who rang up the sale said "only a real gardener would buy a dormant plant like this one."
I smiled and told her "we gardeners are hopeful people, and I am a Christian, and we are also people of hope."
Sunday, October 6, 2013
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
I think a catastrophe like this could actually happen.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Thursday, September 19, 2013
The chapter titles give you some idea of the fun ahead for readers: "Jesus take the wheel: this girl's outta control", "Did someone say DIY? The Wannabe gets crafty, " "Frazzled and frustrated: this mama's stressed out", and her wise words too, like "Remember, God isn't calling you to be perfect ... He's calling for you to mother your kiddos to the best of your abilities."
Her book is a fun and info packed read for all new moms and for moms of older kiddos too.
Jenny often has give aways on her site at www.jennysulpizio.com especially in September which is her book launch month.
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Yes friends, this is an experiment to see if I can repost an older post!
Two patio scenes, the top one is of a fiery orange red lily given to me by a friend in 2009 and this lily is a very happy and faithful bloomer. The second photo shows a little scene with quite a few dainty succulents in a pot, one is blooming with lavender flowers, bless its heart.
The subtle colors of succulents are so pretty I bought several and put them in one pot recently. Actually the one that has flowers I already had in a huge pot, so I broke off a piece and put it in this container, but I bought the others. As you may know you can break off a piece of succulent and put it in dirt and it will usually thrive and grow.
And yes, that is my lavender color chair from my previous post. I like the effect of the new paint job, and a fellow blogger inspired me to paint the chair. I linked to her in the previous post.
Happy gardening, painting, crafting and most of all, no matter your passion, happy June.
Friday, September 13, 2013
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
I am posting this with love for Judy.
No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
I must say, I am a big fan of Downton Abbey. It achieves close to perfection for a tv drama, in my view and I would love to visit Highclere Castle where it is filmed.
Since Downton Abbey does not run 24/7 (insert sobs here) all year, I was pleased to find another tv series, The Cazalets. We borrowed the DVDs from our local public library and enjoyed watching it. A nice surprise is that the patriarch of the family is played by Hugh Bonneville, also the head of the Downtown Abbey family.
The six episodes were filmed in 2001 for the BBC, and cover the middle/upper class Cazalet family and their estate in Sussex. The time is 1937 to 1942. The house employs plenty of servants but is not at all as grand as the home in Downton Abbey.
I read a recent interview with Elizabeth Jane Howard who wrote the 4 books the Cazalet series is based on, and she is now a vibrant looking 90. The Telegraph shows a photo of her, at 90 she is gorgeous, strong looking, uses a wooden cane and is holding a tiny brown cigarette. Even better, she is writing book 5 which will answer lots of my questions about the people in the tv series and what happened next.
The first book of the Cazalet Chronicles is The Light Years, which I want to read.
Have you read the Cazelet books or seen the shows?
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
The book is a memoir written by my friend Wei Wei and the title is "Tracing Our Footstep."
Thank you to all who left comments.
On about Dec. 1 this year I will give away a copy of the first book I co-authored, "Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts: Stories to Warm the Heart and Tips to Simplify Your Holiday."
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Wei will send one copy of her book free to some lucky reader of this blog; to enter just leave a comment on this blog post.
I will select the winner using random.org on August 20 and the author will mail you your very own copy of her compelling memoir.
Monday, August 5, 2013
Yep, folks, potatoes are growing in a five gallon pail on our patio.
When the greenery turns yellow it is time to gently dig out the potatoes.
I posted about this a while back and how it makes me feel like a peasant woman when I harvest potatoes, and very connected to the earth.
I did not plant this batch but apparently I left a potato behind when I harvested last year.
For me planting in a pail has several advantages: the soil has excellent drainage and no gophers dine on them!
I also have a small potato plant growing in our garden in the soil, also a volunteer from an overlooked potato from the previous harvest. However, the pail plant is much more vigorous.
Just put holes in the bottom of a big container, I use a 5 gallon pail, and put in 5 inches of potting soil and a few (maybe 5 to8) potato starts. I bought organic Yukon Gold starts two years ago. Then cover with 3 inches of soil and when the leaves push through, add three more inches of soil, and keep doing this till the pail is full. The top layer should be about 5 inches of soil.
The blue potatoes interest me now. Maybe next season I will buy some.
I like with gardening that you can never know it all, and the choices of things to plant are limitless.
In answer to two questions: best planting time is spring or early summer, and in temperate climates with little or no freezes like where I live, you can plant in midsummer for a fall harvest.
From 4 little potato sprouts in a pail you may get 20 medium to large potatoes, and some smaller ones too. One potato start can yield 20 or 30 potatoes, I plant extra starts to be sure some will succeed. If you plant lots of potato starts out in your garden you can see how you can harvest hundreds of potatoes.
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
The house of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Concord MA
Originally uploaded by pablo.sanchez
Emerson lived in this house from 1835 to 1882 and here is a quote of his that I like.
"We do not live an equal life, but one of contrast and patchwork; now a little joy, then a little sorrow, now a sin, then a generous or brave action."
When I was a child my uncle gave me some old editions of books written by Emerson and I have admired his writing and his character ever since. Emerson lived from 1803 to 1882.
Thursday, July 18, 2013
I think you can build a bit of a picture of someone by knowing their favorite movies, tv shows, or books.
Here is a list of my favs.
Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
The Thin Man, the whole series with Nick and Nora Charles and dog
Bringing Up Baby
Never Ending Story
Master and Commander
Lincoln starring Daniel Day-Lewis
and thanks to Laurie's comment, I am adding Christmas Story (the young boy wanted a Red Rider rifle). I also add The King's Speech.
Monday, July 8, 2013
On June 11 Lavender Dreamer posted her Happy List, and I like the idea. See her list here
Of course, my list is potentially so long I could do a happy list for very many posts, ha ha, so that's why I call this part one.
You could probably guess that any pretty flower is on my list, and also any fragrant flower. The flowers in the vase are Canterbury Bells I grew. They typically have flowers the second year so we learn patience as we wait. This blue color is my favorite, they also come in white and pale pink.
Delicious veggies that grow in my garden.
Any of thousands of books and authors. I recently bought and read Rhys Bowen's "Her Royal Spyness" which has an upbeat heroine, Georgie, 34th in line to the British throne.
Horses. They are so graceful and often are so kind. The book "Horse Heaven" conveys a horse's thoughts quite well, I think.
Let me know if you decide to post a Happy List so I will be sure to visit and read it.
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
July 4 2010 Chapel Hill Fireworks (52)
Originally uploaded by tommaync
Thinking about July 4 here is Abraham Lincoln, from his First Inaugural Address.
“Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him, who has never yet forsaken this favored land, are still competent to adjust, in the best way, all our present difficulty.” – Abraham Lincoln
My husband and I watched "Lincoln", starring Daniel Day-Lewis in a tour de force performance, which is what he often does, and I give this movie a 10 out of 10. I listened to each word, it was that engrossing. It also reminded me that all the political dysfunction today by our President, Congressmen and Senators was occurring then too, so maybe there is hope after all.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
At the foot of the chaise lounge this is what I see.
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Her blog is Just Between You and Me and my contribution is at http://grandmayellowhair.blogspot.com/2013/05/blogazine-guest-terra.html
I share about how I co-authored 2 books with gals I met in an online Christian writers' group.
Our most recent book is full of tips for moms, and proof that our two adult sons still love us is that my hubby, sons and I just returned from a lodge and camping trip where a good time was had by all involved.
Bicycle riding, a bag of 55 fresh raw oysters picked from the bay right that minute before we bought them, a roaring campfire, and s'mores were part of the fun. I read a book while two of my guys rode bicycles (mountain bikes) and one rode his new motorcycle. The book I read is "Her Royal Spyness" by Rhys Bowen.
Hey it is June already, how did that happen?
The summer looks promising here, and I hope for you too.