Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fall in Tennessee

Some photos from my visit home this week. The leaves were pretty much gone, but there still was plenty to see. I love, love, love this time of year!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Art and Life

"Not all are called to be artists in the specific sense of the term. Yet, as Genesis has it, all men and women are entrusted with the task of crafting their own life: in a certain sense, they are to make of it a work of art, a masterpiece." Letter of Pope John Paul II to Artists

I don't believe that God has called me to be an artist in the specific sense of the term. I do believe that he's called me to surround myself with beauty and share it with others.

This is the photo which won The Heritage Award in Photography at our local county fair last week. I've tried for years to win first place. Finally, it happened. This has been a good month for me, photographically speaking. One more thing to mark off the ole' bucket list.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Comments on my Blog

I've been thinking for some time about responding to comments left on my blog. I've always felt rude for not commenting but wasn't sure of the best way to respond; do I e-mail the commenters or comment on my blog directly below the comments?

I've finally decided that the easiest and best way is to just comment below each of your comments. If anyone knows of a better way, please let me know.

So look below your comment if you want to hear my response. Libbyquilter, you said I have my settings at 'no reply'. What does that mean? If it's not a good thing, how do I change it?

What We Need

What we need is not new light, but new sight;
Not new paths, but new strength to walk in the old ones;
Not new duties but new wisdom from on high to fulfill
Those that are plain before us.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Busy, busy days

I didn't post at all last week, because my life right now is super busy; busier than I like it to be. But what do you say when your daughter wants you to keep her four boys for four days so she can have a little r & r with her husband? Yes, of course.

And what do you say when your son calls from Ft. Benning and says that he's coming home for the weekend? Yes, of course!

And what do you tell a twelve-year-old daughter who wants to enter things in the fair which means taking those things there one weekend and picking them up the next? Okay, I reckon.

So now with all those things behind me and my birthday coming up on Wednesday, I'm heading for the mountains! It'll be a short trip, but I don't care. I HAVE to see the mountains in the fall and get apples at Mercier's Orchard in Blue Ridge, Georgia. Check them out on the internet.

After tending to so many family needs these last two months, I'm going home to be pampered by my parents. It's nice to be little again every now and then.

P.S. The photo is one taken last Christmas of us and our five children. It's a photo of a photo, so the quality is pretty poor.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Tea Olive Beauty

I confess that I bought my tea olive bush because I liked its name. Little did I know that it would grow so big or smell so good. It smells like an orange tree or something mighty similar. It's blossoms are tiny yellow flowers that all fall off the same day and make this lovely, mass profusion of petals.
I wonder why it's named Tea Olive? And does it only grow in the South? I've never seen one anywhere else. Does anyone know the history of this plant? Do you have one?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Tea Olive, An Autumn Bouquet, and Pink Damask

I bought this lovely bouquet at Wal-Mart last week. It was forgotten in the car until the next day when it was discovered with no lasting damage. A quick cutting off of the stems and a little packet of miracle reviver added to the water, and it is good as new.

I treated myself to a slow walk-through of a favorite thrift store yesterday, and I found this mint condition pink damask tablecloth with ten matching napkins. The reason it isn't on the table is because of the 4-H mini-booth you see in the background. I hope to reclaim the table for Sunday dinner as the project has to be turned in to the fair this Saturday.

And the scent of the tea olive is divine this time of year. I can smell it from every room. It grows about fifteen feet high at the bottom of the back porch steps and reaches all the way to the roof of the second-storey balcony attached to our bedroom. I just love the way the blossoms fall like rain and look so lovely on the steps.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Engaged... by the grace of God!

Well, our son, Garrett, FINALLY got back from Iraq on Tuesday. He came home for the weekend and brought a female person with him. She had flown down from Chicago the day before and was coming to "meet the family". They met when she was assigned to his office as an interpreter and were pretty much twitterpated. Anyone know where that word comes from?

I knew he was going to pop the question, the big one, and was trying to help him think of a way that both would remember for a lifetime. I came up with this: I was having a photography exhibition in the main gallery of our local art gallery. The Emma Kelly Theater is the building beside it. I arranged with the director to have WILL YOU MARRY ME LINDA put on the marquee outside.

It all went beautifully, but because I was inside making a speech while he was outside making his, I didn't get to see it. There are pictures (thanks, Charlotte) that I'll post later.

She said, "Yes!" So in order to show her what kind of family she was marrying into, everyone but me got up at 5:00 the next morning and went dove hunting. She borrowed some shoes and a jacket from Darcie and a camo shirt from Gayle (her future father-in-law). I'll have to say that she's a good sport!

I said, " the grace of God" in the title because when Garrett left for Iraq he said, "How am I going to be able to find a wife in Iraq? I AM NOT marrying anyone in the army!" I said, "Well, you never know how God is going to work things out. I just know that it'll be at the right time and it'll be good."

I knew he was very skeptical and doubtful, but finding a wife there anyway, who wasn't in the army, has been a big boost to his faith. God can do in abundance more than we can ever imagine.

More pics later as they become available. No wedding date has been set yet, but since soldier son has to be in Ft. Sill, OK in May, it'll be before then...and in Chicago...and an Eastern Orthodox Assyrian affair. I'll bet she'll have lots to teach this southern family.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Take This Fun Test

I found a new blog called The English Muse that had this blog post "I write like...Kurt Vonnegut??"

I took a five-second test to see whose writing mine most closely matched. The results were Cory Doctorow. I don't know who he/she is but will definitely have to find out. I was hoping for Jane Austen. Maybe I'll be surprised after reading some of Mr./Ms. Doctorow.

Take the test and let me know who you write like. It's fun!
I write like
Cory Doctorow

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

More Grandboys

Two more reasons I love being Nana.

Our Soldier's Home!!!

The long-awaited day finally came, and we picked up our son. It's been the longest year of my life and the most prayed over one. But that won't stop. He now has to get his old life back, and that may take a little while. Who knows what issues are going to pop up as he goes about his daily life?

I'm constantly being amazed at how much our four adult children are being prayed over. I remember when they were very small and we were visiting my Grandma Collins. I had grown weary from the dailiness of my life and made this comment, "I'll be glad when it's just the two of us again and the children are married and settled." She started laughing and I started thinking, "This can't be good. Why is she laughing?"

Then Grandma, in her wisdom and experience, said, "It'll never be like that again, because you'll always keep adding more people to worry over and pray about. First there'll be spouses and then grandchildren."

My shoulders slumped as I realized she was right. I knew that I'd just have to put on my big girl panties and deal with it. Further slumping of shoulders.

Sometimes I think that I can't add one more person or thing to think and pray about, but God knows better. He's bigger than that. add to my oldest daughter who is struggling (and doing very well...much better than I did) with four little boys, my favorite son-in-law (so far) who likes to trade cars and build Legos for sale on E-bay, my next son who just returned from Iraq, the middle son who is looking desperately for a job and direction in life, the youngest son who is finishing up his last semester in college and trying to decide where to go for more schooling, the daughter-in-law who wears many hats while her husband finishes school, and the twelve-year-old daughter who delights in horses and cute boys...add to that a first-time meeting with soldier boy's new girlfriend he met while in Iraq. Lord, help us all!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Inventing Your World

Invent your world. Surround yourself with people, color, sounds, and work that nourish you. Sark

Friday, October 1, 2010

Art for God's Sake-Part 1

Whew! This has been a crazy week. I'm still working on getting the photo exhibition together. It's due Monday. I have one more photo to handtint and several more to finish framing. I have two and a half days left to work. I think I can do it.

Garrett, my soldier in Iraq, is coming back Monday night. We're meeting him at his base and spending the night and next day with him. He can't leave until he takes some classes on how to re-enter the real world and what signs to look for in case he develops post-something-syndrome that soldiers get. I can't remember the name of it right now.

I've just re-read Art for God's Sake by Philip Graham Ryken. It's a great book and a short read. I'm trying to learn to articulate why art matters from a Christian perspective and what art should be and look like. Not all art is good art, but why? I want to be able to answer that question. I come in contact with artists all the time and would like to be able to speak about art from God's perspective.

Here are some passages from the book: "At its best, art is able to satisfy our deep longing for beauty and communicate profound spiritual, intellectual, and emotional truth about the world that God has made for his glory."

This refers to man being made in the image of God. "The characteristic common to God and man is the desire and the ability to make things."

"God wants all of the arts to flourish in all the fullness of their artistic potential, so that we may discover the inherent possibilities of creation and thereby come to a deeper knowledge of our Creator."

John Calvin said, "All the arts come from God and are to be respected as divine inventions."

This quote is talking about the many different art forms available and how we are free to choose, according to our ability, which one(s) we will pursue and how we go about it. "The latitude God gives to the arts, however, does not mean that anything goes. God has high standards for art, as he does for everything else. God's aesthetic standards include goodness, truth, and beauty. And these standards are not relative; they are absolute."

"What constitutes excellence in art is inherent in the art forms themselves, and thus it comes from God as part of his general revelation. The difference between good art and bad art is not something we learn from the Bible, primarily, but from the world that God has made. But what the Bible does tell us is that God knows the difference, and that he has a taste for excellence. To be pleasing to God, art must be true as well as good. Truth has always been one important criterion for art. Art is an incarnation of the truth."

"Art is always an interpretation of reality. The kind of art that glorifies God is good, true, and, finally, beautiful. In a world that has been uglified by sin, the Christian artist shows the plausibility of redemption by producing good work that is true in its beauty."

I don't want this post to be too long so will continue it another day. Point: God does care about art. Many biblical references were given in this book including the case text of Exodus 31, the building of the tabernacle. God handpicked the artists who worked on his tabernacle and gave them the ability to do skillful, excellent work on this very important structure.