Sunday, January 30, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Henry Miller on Light

The writer Henry Miller, who made his home in Big Sur, California, had this to say about light: "There are two magic hours of the day which I have only really come to know and wait for, bathe in, I might say, since living here. One is dawn, the other sunset. In both we have what I like to think of as 'the true light': the one cold, the other warm, but both creating an ambiance of super-reality, or the reality behind reality....Everything is brush and cones, umbrellas of light-the leaves, bought, stalks, trunks standing out separate and defined, as if etched by the Creator himself."

Since so many of my photographs are taken at these two magical times, I most assuredly agree with him. I love the warm nature of the slanted sunlight. It makes everything delineated and magical; sharper and softer at the same time.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Wise Quote from Samuel Rutherford

"When I find myself in the cellar of affliction, I always look about for the wine."

A little history on Samuel Rutherford. He was born around 1600 near the borders area of Scotland. He was a Scottish Presbyterian theologian and author.

His most famous work is Lex, Rex, a political book presenting a theory of limited government and constitutionalism.

After the Restoration of Charles II of England, the authorities burned Lex, Rex and cited Rutherford for high treason, but his death intervened before the charge could be tried, lucky for him!

He was also one of the Scottish commissioners to the Westminster Assembly. This group of righteous men was appointed by England's Long Parliament in order to restructure the Church of England. They met for six years from 1643-1649. Out of this assembly came the Westminster Larger and Shorter Catechisms, the Directory of Public Worship, and the Confession of Faith. These are the major confessional standards of the Presbyterian faith, of which I am an adherent.

Andrew Bonar, a minister of the Free Church of Scotland, edited Samuel Rutherford's letters. Andrew was the youngest brother of Horatius Bonar, the great hymnist, whose songs we sing including Blessing and Honor, Here Oh My Lord I See Thee Face to Face, Not What My Hands Have Done, No Not Despairingly, Thy Works Not Mine O Christ, When The Weary Seeking Rest, and Yes, For Me He Careth and many, many more.

So the next time life gives you sour grapes, remember Samuel Rutherford and look for the vintage bottle of wine

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Zest for Life

Is there anything more beautiful than a sleeping child? I've taken photos of all my grandboys this way, and they're some of my favorites.

This particular one is grandboy #2. His given name is Landing but is nicknamed Crash. He's the one who runs at life head-on. He comes up to me about fifty times an hour to hug my legs and say, "I love you, Nana!"

He doesn't do anything by halves. I love his vivacity and cheerfulness. He never meets a stranger, and within two seconds they're lifelong friends. He loves and lives hard. He's a good example for us all.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Be Curious Today!

"Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect." Samuel Johnson

A new week filled with new hopes and possibilities. What are you curious about today? What have you always wanted to know something about? What new thing have you always wanted to try?

Try it today, or at least plan out how you can start learning this week. Take a small step toward your dream, and you'll be one step closer to seeing it realized.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Keeping Warm

This is how our animals are keeping warm during the winter. Princess, the loner cat, is the only one missing. She sleeps in the barn by herself.

Beau, the white furball of a puppy, is growing so fast his head usually has to hang over the side. Just a few weeks ago they all fit inside the bed.

Bella, the Siamese, and Allie, the other orange kitten, are growing fast, too. Punkin, the biggest orange cat, is pregnant. I think it's definitely time for two beds.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Sweet, Brown-Eyed Baby

I love this baby! He's my youngest grandson, and the one that looks the most like his mama, my oldest daughter. He and I had a rare quiet moment alone on our last trip to Williamsburg. So of course I spent it taking pictures of him.

Art Submissions For New Show

Our local art center is having a juried show in February called The Art of Love-The Love of Art. These two photos of mine were accepted.

The bundle of letters was written to me by my grandma and covers about twenty years. They're one of my most prized possessions.

The second one is the marquee of our local theater the night that Garrett, our oldest son, proposed to his bride-to-be. Their wedding is in February, so in the midst of wedding preparations, I'm preparing for this show.

Today is the day I make a very detailed timetable on when things needs to get done. Beginning now....

Monday, January 10, 2011

Finding Your Sweet Spot

I'm reading Max Lucado's book Cure for the Common Life-Living in your Sweet Spot. In chapter 3 he invites us to READ OUR LIFE BACKWARD. He says to think back and remember what you loved doing as a child; what entranced you.

I made a list of things I could remember. Here they are: 1. Reading 2. Writing 3. Playing the piano 4. Painting 5. Solitude 6. Photography 7. Gardening 8. Being outdoors 9. Decorating 10. Sewing

The thing that amazed me is that these are EXACTLY the same things I love to do today.

He also says, "The oak indwells the acorn. Read your life backward and check your supplies. Rerelish your moments of success and satisfaction. For in the merger of the two, you find your uniqueness."

I've spent too much time trying to be what I'm not. I'll never be a public speaker or know much about how things work, but I could take a photo of both and love it. Not that trying these things hasn't been beneficial for me. I have learned things along the way; mostly I've learned what I never want to try again!

I just don't want to spend any more time trying to do things I hate or things that other people want me to try or to be. I want to focus on culivating what I'm already good at and what makes me happy. That's my sweet spot and where God will use me to His glory and my bliss. The two merge and make me the most effective I can be for His kingdom on this earth.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

My Bliss-Solitude and a Book

"Everywhere I have sought rest and not found it, except sitting in a corner by myself with a book." Thomas a Kempis

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Book Number 1...Finished!

I've finished one of my book choices for January; The Pace of a Hen by Josephine Moffett Benton. This is a book that I'll probably read every year or so. It's short, only 100 pages, but just full of wisdom and things to think on.

Here's a paragraph about a poetry group she was involved in that describes how I'd like for my own bookgroup to be. The chapter is entitled Sacred Idleness.

But once more we moved. And again heart's ease was found in a creative reading and writing group that came to be known by the sign of welcome upon the front door, "Poets Walk In." On first and third Tuesday afternoons we who opened the door walked in, to beauty and delight and imagination and love. We left outside the unfinished ironing, the unsolved budget, our mundane cares. Here for two hours we would not "look before or after, or pine for what is not, but live in the holy carelessness of the eternal now."

I think that's a lovely description of a couple hours hidden away in the heart of a cozy home with like-minded sisters who share a love of the written word. I started my bookgroup twelve years ago when my youngest was a baby. I brought the world to me when I needed to be homebound most of the time. It's been going strong ever since. Members have come and gone, and some years are better than others.

But it's a time I anticipate every month, not only for the yummy tea we have, but for the communion with each other and with authors past and present.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Thoughts and Quotes on Art

As I see it, the world is made up entirely of photographic subject matter...with pictures you can say what you can't with words. Peter Sekaer

It seems that the artistic personality has a certain contrariness

to it. If you are conventional, than perhaps there's no impulse to create. Author unknown

Art comes from a desire to make sense of the world and one's experience in it. It's intended to make up for the separation that we feel between us as humans and beauty. The artist tried to recreate make the world whole again. Author unknown

Monday, January 3, 2011

Goin' Home

Here are some photos of our family land up in Tennessee during the snow on Christmas Day. We waited until the roads were clear and hightailed it up there to play. It was pretty deep as you can tell by my boot prints.

Darcie made uncountable bowls of snow cream. I ate my fair share. Good stuff!

My husband made his first-ever snowman! I'll post pictures of it tomorrow.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

January Reading

Here are the books I hope to read this month. Each month in 2011, I'm going to try and read one biography or autobiography, one book from my collection, one book about Ireland or by an Irish author, one spiritual book, and one creative book. If I finish these five, then I'll read library books. That will give me inspiration to read quickly as I LOVE going to the library and perusing the stacks.

Last year I read 63 books. I hope to read more this year. I know this is ambitious, but I like to aim high. If you aim at nothing, you hit it every time, right?