Friday, December 30, 2011

Annunciation - Donne

by John Donne

Salvation to all that will is nigh;
That All, which always is all everywhere,
Which cannot sin, and yet all sins must bear,
Which cannot die, yet cannot choose but die.
Lo, faithful virgin, yields Himself to lie
In prison in thy womb, and though He there
Can take no sin, nor thou give, yet He will wear,
Taken from thence, flesh, which death's force may try.
Ere by the spheres time was created, thou
Wast in His mind, who is thy Son and brother,
Whom thou concievst, conceived; yea, thou art now
Thy Maker's maker, and thy Father's mother;
Thou hast light in dark, and shutst in little room
Immensity cloistered in thy dear womb.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Musical Monday: It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

I never paid much attention to this hymn until last year, but it has since become a favorite.  Many of the public domain recordings include only 3 of the 5 verses, but Sinatra's includes the same 4 that our hymnal does, so I've linked to his familiar version:

It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold;
“Peace on the earth, good will to men,
From Heaven’s all gracious King.”
The world in solemn stillness lay,
To hear the angels sing.

Still through the cloven skies they come
With peaceful wings unfurled,
And still their heavenly music floats
O’er all the weary world;
Above its sad and lowly plains,
They bend on hovering wing,
And ever over its Babel sounds
The bless├Ęd angels sing.

Yet with the woes of sin and strife
The world has suffered long;
Beneath the angel strain have rolled
Two thousand years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not
The love-song which they bring;
O hush the noise, ye men of strife
And hear the angels sing.

And ye, beneath life’s crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow,
Look now! for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing.
O rest beside the weary road,
And hear the angels sing!

For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophet-bards foretold,
When with the ever circling years
Comes round the age of gold;
When peace shall over all the earth
Its ancient splendors fling,
And the whole world send back the song
Which now the angels sing.

To Those Who Wait

I do believe this little fella could be the most long-awaited gift in the history of civilization.  A slight exaggeration?  Perhaps.  But long-awaited and highly-anticipated nonetheless.  I have coveted this thing for about 8 years now...ever since I used first used one and realized how superior a product it is. 

This little beauty belongs to me now and is EVEN BETTER than I expected...the V-8 Hemi of vacuums.   Yeah...we're talkin' serious power...practically self-propelled.  And it has a BAG for the dirt.  Yep.  No more nasty, messy, modern dust cups to empty.  Just a good old fashioned BAG.

Good things DO come to those who wait. (Well, at least good things that can be purchased with money...)

Disclaimer:  this post is not intended in any way to disparage Steve.  I always talked myself out of getting the vacuum b/c it is hard for me to spend lump sums of's MY fault I never had it before now.

Subconsciously Brilliant

Why is it that my most brilliant and profound thoughts come to me in those ethereal moments when I'm hovering halfway between reality and dreamland?  It's unfortunate, really.  Complex problems, thoughts, philosophies, relationships, and ideas which have occupied and baffled my waking mind, come sharply into view, presenting workable solutions, fresh arguments, clear pathways...and stunning blog posts, I might add.  Yet somehow, all that brilliance, profundity and clarity evaporate upon the assumption of full consciousness, leaving behind only the memory of brilliance and the exhilaration of the experience.  The substance?  Gone forever.  Sigh...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Christmas Baby

68 years ago, a little girl was born on Christmas morning...the sole present for her 4 unappreciative, and perhaps slightly resentful, older brothers.  Throughout the decades, Little Martha continued to share her special day, not only with her own mother who was also born on December 25th, but also, of course, with the celebration of her Savior's birth. 

This year, Little Martha finally had her turn.  It was simple and short, but nevertheless, it was HER celebration.  Little Martha (in case you don't already know) is my Momma.   Our extended family had decided not to get together for Christmas until December 29th this year, so Daddy secretly invited us all to come by to honor Mother and have birthday cake ON HER BIRTHDAY.  All about Christmas celebration with them that day...just my Momma's birthday.

It was wonderful.  She was entirely surprised and thrilled that all of us showed up, and shocked that Papa had pulled it off without the least suspicion on her part!  Daddy had bought a beautiful birthday cake for her and we celebrated together for about an hour. 

My Momma is one very special lady.  Her life has been complicated, to say the least, but she has received and rested in the grace of Christ to carry her through all kinds of joys and testings.  She is my dearest friend who, in spite of knowing me thoroughly, has listened to me, understood me, suffered long with me, and showered me with grace and love. 

I love you, Momma.  Happy Birthday.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Those Winter Sundays

Those Winter Sundays
by Robert Hayden

Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather, made
banked fires blaze.  No one ever thanked him.

I'd wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he'd call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him
who'd driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know of
love's austere and lonely offices?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Blessing or a Curse?

About 12 days ago, a little sprite (whether angelic or demonic is yet to be determined) delivered into my hands 6 heavily-laden garbage bags.  A gift!  Yes.  A gift.  A gift comprised of........oh........I'd say about..... TWENTY FIVE THOUSAND pieces of fabric!!!  

I had to make a choice.  1) Promptly remove said bags to my sewing room where they would be out of my way...and would likely remain unopened and unexplored for 5-6 years.  2) Promptly carry said bags to my car and deliver them to someone else's doorstep to be dealt with by THEM.   3) Promptly dump contents of said bags onto my living room floor to sort through immediately. 

Because it is Christmas time, and wrestling season, I have nothing at all to do, so I wisely guessed it!  OPTION #3!!  Which is why, 12 days later, my house still looks like THIS:

We have no Christmas tree.  No Christmas lights.  No Christmas presents.  No figgy pudding.  But all is not lost!  Afterall, WE HAVE FABRIC!!  I must be at least halfway through sorting, organizing and eliminating fabrics I'll never use.  I have cut hundreds of quilt squares for future use.  And, I might add, I have completed my first...and perhaps last...project from this lovely assortment of scraps.  Here it is:

Why is it when I get a hankerin' to sew, I make PINK things?  I'm not exactly a girly girl.  Ah, another of life's great mysteries: tough girl likes pink.  Hmmm.

You'll excuse me now while I go wade through the remaining 11,000 pieces of fabric?  See you when I come up for air in a two weeks...just in time to throw up a tree and celebrate Christmas!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Musical Monday: Forest Mountain Hymnal

Thanks to Alicia Donathan for introducing me to this duo:  Forest Mountain Hymnal

Check out their website and discography here.  The credits from their recent Christmas release read as follows:

Jonathan Alan Moody: vocals, guitar, banjo, charango, autoharp, glockenspiel, recorders, clarinet, jingle bells, clapping, snapping

Rebecca Rose Moody: vocals, autoharp, clapping, snapping

So, yeah...he's slightly talented.  ENJOY!

Welcome Back, Me

In my absence, I feel certain that many of you have been waiting breathlessly at my virtual doorstep, clamoring for that next riveting commentary on my daily routines or demented musings.  As I said, I feel certain of it...and whether or not that certainty is grounded in reality is entirely irrelevant and I'll thank you not to mess with my version of reality.  

My days have been filled with busyness and frantic running to and fro.  Hopefully the causes have been worthy and have resulted in an experience of joy, companionship or beauty for others.  I am still running...but if I don't take a few moments and declutter my mind by dumping some of it's thoughts onto paper, you just might find yourself observing a colossal mental and emotional breakdown.  And trust me, that is not a pretty sight.

Writing is essential to my nature, as is attempting to make people laugh.  Both of these energize me.  The really great thing about the blog is that I don't have to actually make you laugh or hear you say, "Yes, yes.  That is helpful and profound, Lori."  I only have to imagine those things happening, and wah-lah!  Instant energy.  And trust me, I have a very active imagination.

So now that I am energized, I gotta run deliver 60 bags of cookies to the St. Trinity Food Pantry in South City.  

I haven't said a thing, and I feel better already.  Am I easy or what?!  Catch ya later, Y'all.