Monday, March 26, 2007

I found this image here. You can send images as postcards or make your own calender. Today we celebrate all expectant mothers - why not send a beautiful postcard to an expecting mother you know!

Friday, March 23, 2007

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

"You have a shy personality. You tend to hesitate before trying new things or meeting new people. But once people get to know you, you open up and show the world what you are really all about."

Thursday, March 22, 2007

"When I got as far as the Methodist Church, I was halfway home. I can remember how glad I was when there happened to be a light in the church, and the painted glass window shone out at us we came along the frozen street. In the winter bleakness a hunger for color came over people, like the Laplander's craving for fats and sugar. Without knowing why, we used to linger on the sidewalk outside the church when the lamps were lighted early for choir practice or prayer meeting, shivering and talking until our feet were like lumps of ice. The crude reds and greens and blues of that colored glass held us there." - from My Antonia by Willa Cather

This passage really struck me when I read it a couple of weeks ago. Perhaps it's not just warmth and sunlight I crave in the winter months but color! And I realized how much I wish our church had stained glass windows.

Hmm...where can I visit next winter to remedy the bleakness of winter and get a color fix?

Churches that do have stained glass windows

My favorite yarn shop

A fabric shop

The florist

My grandmother's books on English gardens

A museum - if only the Met could hold an exhibit of Fra Angelico's work every winter!

Or the gift shop where I found this - (perhaps I could justify one or two more as an investment in my mental health!)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Flower Carol

Spring has now unwrapped the flowers,
Day is fast reviving,
Life in all her growing powers
Towards the light is striving:
Gone the iron touch of cold,
Winter time and frost time,
Seedlings, working through the mould,
Now make up for lost time.

Herb and plant that, winter long,
Slumbered at their leisure,
Now bestirring, green and strong,
Find in growth their pleasure:
All the world with beauty fills,
Gold the green enhancing;
Flowers make glee among the hills,
And set the meadows dancing.

Through each wonder of fair days
God himself expresses;
Beauty follows all his ways,
As the world he blesses:
So, as he renews the earth
Artist without rival,
In his grace of glad new birth
We must seek revival.

Earth puts on her dress of glee;
Flowers and grasses hide her;
We go forth in charity-
Brothers all beside her;
For, as man this glory sees
In the awakening season,
Reason learns the heart's decrees,
And hearts are led by reason.

Praise the Maker, all ye saints;
He with glory girt you,
He who skies and meadows paints
Fashioned all your virtue;
Praise him, seers, heroes, kings,
Heralds of perfection;
Brothers, praise him, for he brings
All to resurrection!

This is from one of my favorite book for Lent and Easter - The Easter Book of Legends and Stories selected by Alice Isabel Hazeltine and Elva Sophronia Smith - check your library or used book dealers - it has poems, stories and even a couple of small plays. A real treasure. The above was noted to be translated from the latin. Hmmm..could I find the latin? Yes
And it turns out that our selection for copywork and recitation can also be sung to the tune of "Good King Wenceslas"!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

My sister (who also made the vase above) surprised me with two little purple passion plants this past Christmas and they are still doing well. They are a perfect plant to display during the lenten season. They are very easy to care for and have a wonderful soft fuzzy texture. Eventually as they grow they will take on a more vine-like appearance at which point I will find a place for them to hang. Once established and mature these plants are very easy to start new plants from - a snip of a cutting in a jar of water will grow roots to then transplant in a new pot. I can't wait to share!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Here's another view of Mother Earth (scroll down to see the whole scene) with her root children all tucked around her. On her arm are the flowers' spring dresses and a particularly small "seed baby" is cradled in her other arm. This time of year brings our thoughts to gardens and the coming of spring. These figures are inspired by one of our favorite stories "The Story of the Root Children". This Mother Earth figure has seen better days but is still much anticipated by all the children each spring and fall (when she welcomes all the flowers home again). I am also very sentimental about her as she is the first wrapped wool figure I ever made.

In our house, our little nook is called the Festival Table and through the year I may highlight a particular Feast day or season of the liturgical year (hence the purple cloths) or a story that seems to suit the season reflected in the world outside - or a combination of all three! This is also the place where any small treasures found outside may be displayed. My tip - although many folks adorn their tables with silk cloths (which do look lovely) I have always used less expensive pieces of cotton cloth and I especially like burlap for the table top covering. This way I have no fear of candle wax and can pin items to the back drop without fear of ruining a piece of silk. Besides - I would much rather see the silk cloths used for play and dress up - or for silk marionette puppets.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Our women's group at church is hosting soup suppers for lent this year. This week I walk in with my large pot of soup - Lip Smackin' Lentil ( a variation of a Mollie Katzen soup from one of my many Moosewood cookbooks. I have to admit that I do have a private little chuckle because many of the older ladies bemoan trying to find meatless soup recipes for lent. But for someone who was vegetarian for 10 years it is more a fond trip down memory lane than an act of penance or mortification. Now abstaining from all refined sugar and chocolate - there's mortification for you (well at least for me and mine - she says thinking back to earlier that afternoon and the wails of the seven-year old on being told that - no, lent is not over - we're having pretzels for snack. How on earth did these children come to expect a sweet snack *every* afternoon?)

There are many soups to choose from - almost too many! The compliments begin to fly and there is already talk of a cookbook. The smells and warmth of good soup can only relax and sooth after a long week. Conversation and laughter further set a cheerful tone.

After soup we walk into the church and experience a sightly different mood - silence - blessed silence - which is hard to find even at church - a hello here and there - a bit of chit chat behind you. Silence is a rare and wondrous thing in these times I have found - especially for a homeschooling mother! The songs unaccompanied by music are a further treat - there is something so moving about a large group of people simply singing. Then comes the chanting of evening prayer, the incense, Benediction, and Stations of the Cross. The whole evening is like a healing salve after confronting my inner most demons all week - it just naturally seems to happen that whatever virtue I choose to seriously work on completely eludes me and those things that I really want rid myself of coming bubbling out to the surface.

My two girls (12 and 10) also came this week with a just a bit of reluctance (feeling a little tired) but they both had a refreshed look about them afterward and were glad they came. See what a little good food for the body and soul can do!

Friday, March 02, 2007