Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Beginning

The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning.
Ivy Baker Priest, American politician and treasurer (1905-1975)

All around the world this evening bubbles have been raising human spirits. I chose to take my celebratory bubbles in the bath rather than in the glass. Enjoying the relaxed bliss of warm water, cool vino and jazz music in the background, I tried my best to remember the significant happenings that marked each of the months of the past year -- not such an easy task as I figured that my daytimer wouldn't mix well with the water and bubbles. Nevertheless, I recalled with a smile the events that brought joy and satisfaction and I remembered with a nod of acknowledgement those events that tested my abilities to rise a little higher, a little better. All in all, it has been an amazing year to which I bid adieu. Turning from 2014 to face the new year, I am wide-eyed with anticipation that 2015 will bring new adventure and new growth.

As I will be soundly in dreamland by the time that midnight works its way around to my hometown, I wish all my kind readers a new beginning full of hope, full of joy, and full of love.

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Cookies and Milk and Life

Think what a better world it would be if we all — the whole world — had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap.
Robert Fulghum, American author, in All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten (1986)

Driving up the highway, Mom and I went back in time as we entered Jones Bakery. Today it looks pretty much the same as it did in Christmas of 1910. Children stretched themselves to see over the counter; first to point out to their dad the various baked sweets that he should buy and then to carefully select the penny candy, piece by piece, for which they held out their own money to the clerk. How many times has that scene been played out over the eons and across cultures? The child in all of us comes out in moments like this.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

♬ Joy is Now in Every Place ♬

Joy is now in every place,
Christmas lightens every face;
now be with us, in your grace,

May the star that shone that night,
making your poor stable bright,
fill our hearts with love and light,

Through the New Year let it stay,
leading us upon your way,
making Christmas every day,

Now and ever may we find
your good news to fill our minds:
peace and love to humankind,
O hear us, bless us, holy Jesus.
Lyrics of hymn "Joy is now in every place", author unknown

In addition to the joy of Christmastide, there is much joy within my little abode as the quilted door hanging is now complete. It has been a work in progress for more than two years and I was determined to finish it for this Christmas. To my reckoning, I met my deadline because it graces my door before Little Christmas.

For me, the panel rings out joy with the angels and the stars in the heavens while the nobility of the camels emphasizes the glory of the occasion.

Just as the hymn urges, may the joy of Christmas fill our hearts throughout the new year so that we extend peace and love to everyone.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

I truly believe that if we keep telling the Christmas story, singing the Christmas songs, and living the Christmas spirit, we can bring joy and happiness and peace to this world.
Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993), American minister and author

Let's keep Christmas in our hearts throughout the year!
Merry Christmas to one and all!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Bethlehem Creche

The angel said, "Don't be afraid! Look! I bring good news to you – wonderful, joyous news for all people."
Luke 2:10

This evening I was honoured to read the Christmas story to those who gathered for family service at our church. I know the passage well but somehow it seemed all the more moving and powerful as I practiced reading it aloud at home before the service. The original Bethlehem creche is recreated in my little abode in a beautiful, hand-carved creche that Mom purchased in Bethlehem. I will treasure it.

May the hope, joy, peace and love of Christmas fill each of us tonight and shine outwards to others for all our days!

In those days Caesar Augustus declared that everyone throughout the empire should be enrolled in the tax list. This first enrollment occurred when Quirinius governed Syria. Everyone went to their own cities to be enrolled. Since Joseph belonged to David's house and family line, he went up from the city of Nazareth in Galilee to David's city, called Bethlehem, in Judea. He went to be enrolled together with Mary, who was promised to him in marriage and who was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for Mary to have her baby. She gave birth to her firstborn child, a son, wrapped him snugly, and laid him in the manger, because there was no place for them in the guestroom.

Nearby shepherds were living in the fields, guarding their sheep at night. The Lord's angel stood before them, the Lord's glory shone around them, and they were terrified.

The angel said, "Don't be afraid! Look! I bring good news to you – wonderful, joyous news for all people. Your savior is born today in David's city. He is Christ the Lord. This is a sign for you: you will find a newborn baby wrapped snugly and lying in a manger. Suddenly a great assembly of the heavenly forces was with the angel praising God. They said, "Glory to God in heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors."

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Casting the Hook

Chance is always powerful. Let your hook always be cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be fish.
Ovid, Roman poet (43 BC – AD 17/18)

Mom and I presented my uncle with the fish quilt today after having a hilarious time photographing it beside the lake. This is another one of our shared works and I think it turned out beautifully. It began with the inspiration of a "loudmouth bass" (as opposed to a large-mouth bass, as I know them) pattern by Mckenna Ryan and grew from there. My uncle, an avid fisherman, appreciated that he finally caught a pickerel.