Sunday, July 3, 2016
I wasn’t too surprised when I saw this little viola growing through the crack in the cement. Violas are very hardy and are prolific re-seeders. I’ve often had them “come up volunteer”, as my grandmother would say, in a spot close to where they were planted the year before. They don’t require a lot of water or any special care; they just grow and flower until the season is over. Even though the plant itself is strong it still had to grow and establish itself in virtually no soil while relying on rainfall to nourish it. It wasn’t stepped on and crushed or plucked hastily out of the tiny crack. In spite of its circumstances it survived and thrived!
Even so, when I saw it the word “determination” immediately came to mind. After some consideration I decided the correct description should be “perseverance”. The viola determined that it would grow there and so it did, it persevered. Job went through some real trials and lost everything except his life; yet, God showed him mercy and favor after his time of perseverance. The New Testament relates of Paul’s struggles and the hardships he endured for the sake of the Gospel; yet, he also persevered and gave thanks in all circumstances.
In the last week I’ve thought about this little plant whenever I felt weakness or inability to complete a task. It has survived and thrived in spite of all obstacles and it never complained once. It just kept growing and blooming. Good advice from a little viola!
Sunday, June 12, 2016
I've always loved stained glass whether it is in a church or a public building. Just like with quilts it is the colors and shapes that pull my eyes to it. I don't know which came first - my love of quilts or my love of stained glass. I see quilts in stained glass and I see stained glass in quilts!
On my recent trip I visited the (New) Mississippi State Capitol twice. The first time I did the self-guided tour and afterwards realized that I needed the guided tour to see everything, so I returned again at a time when I could catch the tour. I'm so glad I did because this building and its stained glass is something to behold!
This is the ceiling of one of the hallways. I knew I would fall on my face if I tried to walk while looking up, so I just stopped!
These three panels were designed by Louise Millet of Chicago and are located on the first landing of the grand staircase. They represent three iconic figures of the state: the American Indian, Mississippi, and the pioneer. They were hard to photograph because of their location, but I did get this detail of the pioneer - isn't he still handsome after all these years?
Sunday, June 5, 2016
The Southern Traction Company provided interurban transportation between Corsicana and Dallas from 1912 to 1941. Its sister company, the Texas Traction Company, provided service between Dallas, Denton, and Waco; in 1917 they would merge to form the Texas Electric Railway. The interurban trains would stop to pick up passengers when flagged down and offered affordable and more frequent service than the steam rail lines.
Car number 305 was one of 22 passenger cars that ran on this line. Travelers were offered a choice of a smoking or non-smoking section, one toilet, and a water fountain. After 1932 there was no conductor and cars were configured for pay-as-you-go commuters. Just to note that there were 2 seats on either side of the narrow aisle where travelers were squeezed together much like passengers on an airplane today!
The Visitor Center didn't open until later in the morning on the day I was visiting, but I looked through the windows and they had a nice display of memorabilia and informational resources. I'll stop in on my next visit.
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Albizia julibrissin Mimosa, Silk Tree origin: first imported from China 1745
It's that time of year again - mimosa time! No, not the orange juice kind, the tree kind!
The blooms aren't as profuse as they usually are, but the fragrance is super strong! This poor tree is so crowded by the gigantic oak tree in my back yard, but it keeps faithfully blooming every year. I can't bear the thought of cutting it down and not having these lovely blooms every spring that remind me of my grandparents' trees.
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Sunday, April 24, 2016
At a recent used book sale one of the first things I found was a small Book of Common Prayer. I’ve always loved reading prayers from this book and had browsed online for a copy, but was so confused about the many versions that I gave up the search. When I saw this little book I knew it was mine, especially after I saw the inscription on the fly-leaf dated 1943! I quickly checked and, yes, it was a copy of the 1928 version of the Book of Common Prayer that was published in 1935 by the Protestant Episcopal Church; just what I wanted. I had to wonder about the giver and receiver of this book and what it meant to each of them, as well as how it ended up at the PTA used book sale; I’ll never know.
The Book of Common Prayer is a collection of prayers and liturgy assembled for used in Anglican worship. The first version of the Book of Common Prayer was published in 1549 as a result of the Protestant Reformation with a second version following in 1552. It was banned during the time of the Puritans control of England. The fourth version would be issued in 1662 and is still the official version used by the Church of England. Today the Episcopal Church uses a version approved in 1979. (If you would like to see a timeline click here)
While the “thees” and “thous” may be a little too heavy for some readers, the prayers and liturgy are very poetic and graceful. Reading them slowly and thinking about the content is very peaceful, much like slowly reading a Bible passage and absorbing the message. Many of the prayers are based on Psalms incorporating familiar passages. There are prayers for just about every life circumstance, birth, death, marriage, sickness, thanksgiving, Advent, Lent and Easter. There’s liturgy for every event in the church from confirmation to ordaining a Bishop!
Direct us, O Lord, in all our doings, with thy most gracious favour,
and further us with thy continual help; that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in thee,
we may glorify thy holy Name, and finally, by thy mercy, obtain everlasting life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who hath taught us to pray unto thee.
(from the Book of Common Prayer, 1935)
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Long ago I accepted the fact that I have an invisible sign in my front yard. It has various inscriptions such as "Hungry, stop here and go no further" or "Pregnant and homeless? Stop here. The kind hearted soul will feed you, care for your young, and have you spayed afterward so you can live happily ever after".
So I was not surprised when this battle scarred kitty started hanging around. I tried to run it off and it just laid down in the yard and looked me like it was saying, "I'm not a bad kitty, I really just want to hang around here, please, please". It got along well with Lacey (surprisingly) and I think the thing that suckered me in was that it appeared to be starving. So I began feeding it twice a day. Lucky kitty.
I had previously seen it and several other felines hanging out at a house across the street and down the way. The lady that lives there leaves one of the garage doors up just a bit which is a sure clue to owning a cat. But this poor thing was starving, so I wasn't sure if it really belonged there or not. Plus it was wearing a dirty green collar, so I felt it had to be somebody's pet even if it appeared to be starving. It spends most of its time in the bushes in front of the house, but I hoped it was up on the porch during the horrific storms we had during the last week. It would approach me like it wanted to be petted, but would only let me briefly stroke it before it would walk off as if to say, " that's all you get for now".
This morning it was waiting for the morning rations and sporting a new yellow collar. Tonight at the evening ration time I saw a dainty little tag hanging from the collar. Yep, there was an address for the suspected house on the tag. I think I need to go meet the neighbor and find out the kitty's name. That way when I feed it I can at least call it by its given name.
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Sunday, April 3, 2016
Back in January while visiting my sister in Houston we drove through a very Art Deco neighborhood. There was a Starbucks in the AD style as well as a specialty grocery store that had taken over an AD theater. Other buildings had my mind whirling, but I had to forcefully stop myself from exclaiming over them or the other occupants of the car would probably have kicked me out. I will return by myself to enjoy these treasures!
Weekend before last I took Bentley to Fort Worth for a dog show. It was a big show with back-to-back specialties on Friday. Let's just say that his ring performance wasn't stunning, but I enjoyed myself. But what really topped off the trip was the discovery that Fort Worth is the capitol of Art Deco! Little did I know!