It is the small simple things of life that bring us peace.



Sunday, April 24, 2016

Common Prayer 1943


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

Wednesday 04.20.2016

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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

Wednesday 04.13.2016

Once again, it's amaryllis time!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The capitol of Art Deco


I have always favored Craftsman style homes with Queen Anne slightly behind.  This came after I got over the "antebellum" stage of life.  But now my love of all things historic has also expanded.  I have decided that my current love is.....Art Deco.

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!


 

I had not been to Fort Worth in 30 years.  I realized very quickly that it is the exact opposite of Dallas.  Fort Worth is laid back, easy going, and it seems to say "hey ya'll"  in a slow relaxed drawl. 
 
 
 

 I saw so many buildings that called to me, so Fort Worth hold on.  I'll be back for more!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Monday, March 28, 2016

Flash thoughts

This will not be a deep, insightful post.  As I was getting out of bed this morning I had a number of thoughts about a topic I've been thinking about all jump into my head. All at once, in a split second.  As I went through the day I thought about these thoughts and, while I didn't come to a grand conclusion, I did feel like I made some progress in my thinking. 
As I tried to write the thoughts down and record the experience I realized what happened.  I had had a flash thought!  Just like the flash mobs that appear, except this was my thoughts that all gathered in one split second in my brain.  Flash thoughts!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Maundy Thursday

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This is an edited re-post from 3 years ago.  This painting and it's artist intrigue me, so I'm sharing again.

Leonardo da Vinci’s painting of the Last Supper is probably the most well know image associated with Maundy Thursday and the disciples last meal together. I’m fascinated with the painting and the man that painted the original fresco on one of the walls of the Dominican monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan. Matteo Bandello, who was a novice monk at the time, recorded that Da Vinci would sometimes work on the fresco from sunrise to sunset without stopping and at other times would spend hours a day standing in front of the work with his arms folded across his chest staring at the figures on the wall. Bandello also reports that on one occasion he saw Da Vinci leave another job site and walk quickly across the village in the hot sun to the monastery only to pick up a paintbrush to paint one or two strokes.

Da Vinci based the figures of the Last Supper on real people, people that he encountered and people that he just saw in passing. Detailed sketches of faces and body features, such as hands and studies of the folds of cloth for Peter’s sleeve are found in his sketchbooks. He also made lists of possible reactions of the disciples, such as twisting the fingers of a hand or turning to look at a companion. Leonardo also broke with a tradition from the Middle Ages in which the disciples are shown as being stiffly linear in their arrangement at the table.

Work began on the fresco in 1495 and concluded sometime after 1497 (a fire at the monastery destroyed records so the dates are based on other documents). Sadly, within a few years the paint had already begun to flake and crumble. Leonardo had used a dry-wall painting technique that was appropriate; however, it was his experimentation with mixing oil and tempera for the painting on the dry plaster that was the cause of the subsequent flaking off of the paint. Working on dry plaster enabled him to work slower and to be able to re-paint but resulted in the paint eventually flaking off the surface. Moisture and dampness in the refectory also contributed to the incompatibility of the paint and prepared wall surface.

Restorations have taken place from time to time. Recent efforts have revealed many hidden details such as a hand drawn sketch done on the prepared wall before the final preparatory coat of gesso and imprimatura. Several authentic copies of the fresco have survived and have been invaluable in restoration efforts. The fresco is so fragile that extensive work is not practical. Today’s viewer sees only about 20% of the original version of the Last Supper and while it appears ghost-like on the wall of the ancient monastery viewers still witness the expressions and gestures of the apostles and the details of the table set for the meal that were painted over 500 years ago.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Picnic in the park

Somethings just never change, thankfully.  The simple pleasures that delighted our grandparents and those even before them still delight us today.
On a recent visit to the Texas State Capitol I discovered that one of the plaques on the grounds shared that a small lake had once existed in that spot.
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 "In December 1906, the Austin Daily Statesman described the Capitol grounds as, "...a favorite resort, for young and old, at all seasons, and during the summer months are the scene of nightly concerts that attract the music lovers of the city." A small lake occupied the large depression that still exists west of here, at one time supplied by an underground spring in the area.  The lake was difficult to maintain and produced hordes of mosquitos. As then State Gardener J.A. Lott explained, "...it was not built right and every rain filled it with mud and trash...the pool in fair weather was unsightly with an accumulation of trash," so the lake was drained by 1926." Copied from the plaque on the west side of the Capitol, facing Colorado Street.
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The depression where the lake was located is hard to see today, but it is there.  And, amazingly there are still groups of people picnicking on the Capitol grounds, enjoying themselves even today.  What is it about a picnic in a beautiful spot?  That has to be one of the simple little things of life!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Wednesday 03.16.2016

Shadows on the stairs at the McNay Art Museum intrigued me as much as any of the art.  I would love to have sat down on the top stair and watched the light move through the lattice!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Friday Fives 03.11.2016

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Tonight I have many things for which to give thanks.  Here are 5:
  1. I'm thankful for the much needed rain that has fallen on my part of the earth this week.  The color green has reappeared in the landscape and the wildflowers are now starting to come out.  I'm also thankful we were spared from flooding and am concerned for those who are dealing with it tonight.
  2. I am thankful for leftovers.  Yes, leftovers that I can warm up on a week night and enjoy. A tasty meal with no cooking, what more could you ask for?
  3. I am thankful that Daylight Saving Time begins this weekend.  I am ready for a little more light in the evening.  A little more time outside is always a good thing.
  4. I am thankful for discoveries that I make.  I delight in finding something new (to me) and then finding about it.  This includes technology! Or finding people who lived long ago, yet their lives are still with us today.
  5. I am thankful for stories with happy endings.  For stories of pets reunited with owners, for families that find housing when they expected none, for people who turn their lives around or who survive great crises. Happy endings, we need more of them.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Wednesday 03.09.2016


A woman is like a tea bag - you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.
(Attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt)