dual personalities

Let us conduct ourselves becomingly

Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. 11 Besides this you know what hour it is, how it is full time now for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed; 12 the night is far gone, the day is at hand. Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; 13 let us conduct ourselves becomingly as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

(Romans 13:8-14)

On Sunday I read the second lesson in church. This made me very happy, because it was a great passage, especially that line about “salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed;  the night is far gone, the day is at hand.”

In other news I went to the auction as planned on Saturday and made a few purchases. I rescued a little drypoint etching by Ernst Oppler (1867-1929) which no one wanted, but which I really like.

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I also bid on and won an English Pembroke table with drop leaves which is quite nice. There were other nice things, but I restrained myself. I loaded up the amazing Mini Cooper and trundled home.

I spent the rest of the weekend puttering around the old manse, doing laundry, vacuuming, dusting, and reading the newest Longmire out in the Florida room. I finished it and now will have to wait ’til the next installment which should come out in about a year! It was quite a cliffhanger too…

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The OM left for a conference in Philadelphia on Sunday, so I had to make dinner for the boy and daughter #3. I managed to throw something together (toasted ravioli); the babes had some orange food.

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I must also note that today is daughter #1’s birthday! We won’t be able to celebrate together until two weeks from now, but we’ll toast her tonight for sure!MWC.jpeg

You’ve come a long way, baby!

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Here’s to a wonderful year! (And a good week!)

And, oh, what’s that you say? The Cards are only 2 games back from first place?

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Of course, they are.  Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 8.16.25 PM.png

It’s déjà vu all over again

You’ve heard about our family dance parties; the tradition goes back quite a way. In fact, dance parties, like bagpipe music, are particularly helpful for calming babies. I used to dance with the lovely lady on the left in the picture below. Now she’s dancing with her own niece and nephew.

Things were ever thus! Take this letter my mother wrote to me on the 1st of September, 1985, in which she told this amusing tale:

Mary, of course, is a little lamb and misses you VERY much whether she realizes it or not. One day this week she was quite fussy and, as it looked like rain, Katie didn’t bring the stroller [to our house]. I tried everything I could think of to amuse her except standing on my head, and finally put on 45s. Can’t say we have an outstanding collection! She’s not exactly the Stevie Wonder type; and she might like Bruce S. but the recording is rather slow for her. Rod S. is better, but guess what rally turned her on? Alvin and the Chipmunks!! We had to play it several times. All the time we were playing records, I was holding her and dancing, and believe me, I was really rocking away but I do not dance the way Aunt Sarah does and she doesn’t like it nearly as much.

Ah, those were the days. Mary and I particularly liked dancing to Bryan Ferry’s “Slave to Love” — she was mesmerized.

I highly recommend dancing with babies — it may not be as trendy as goat yoga, but it’s a lot nicer.

Next week is “birthday week” across the family, for on Monday Mary celebrates her birthday,  on Tuesday son Chris turns the big 25 (!), the same day that son Tim’s girlfriend turns 21! It’s almost too much cake to contemplate. Unfortunately, none of the celebrants will be here on the relevant days, so my only opportunity to toast them is right here.

Be silly. Goof off!

Captain Facetious and his lovely lady

and if you can’t be with the one you love, Skype!

And why not surprise her by trimming that beard?

Have wonderful birthdays and know that we love you!

 

 

“To perfect eyesight and a full head of hair”*

The end of a short week–Huzzah! I hope the weather holds out through the weekend, because it has been beautiful here in flyover country. No, nothing to complain about here.

For lack of anything else to do the other night, I watched Star Trek Beyond (2016) on Prime, and I have to say, I enjoyed it very much. It held my interest (staying awake on a week night is no small feat!) and the CG action was riveting. It is the thirteenth film in the Star Trek film franchise and the third installment in the reboot series. Chris Pine is a worthy successor to William Shatner as James T. Kirk. I really like him.

pine-stb-header (1).jpgThe rest of the crew, especially Karl Urban as Bones, is good too and so likable. Indeed, the makers of these reboot movies have not forgotten how important all the characters are and they have retained the light touch so important to the series. There are a lot of clever references, such as the motorcycle in this film being referred to as a “Hilts PX70”.  According to Simon Pegg (who, in addition to starring as Scottie in this film, is also one of its screenwriters), it is named after Steve McQueen’s character in The Great Escape (1963). Of course it is.

As you know, I am not a big fan of sci fi/CG movies. But I do like these rebooted Star Trek flicks. And this little lady is awesome.

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As far as plans this weekend, I don’t have many. I’m going to the Fall Gallery Auction at Link Auction Galleries on Saturday. You never know when you might find that Art Nouveau brass fish bowl stand you’ve always been looking for, right?

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We’ll see. And, of course, I can’t wait to see the wee babes!

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Have a great weekend!

*Dr. McCoy toasting to Captain Kirk

Life is what we make it

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“I look back on my life like a good day’s work, it was done and I feel satisfied with it. I was happy and contented, I knew nothing better and made the best out of what life offered. And life is what we make it, always has been, always will be.”

Wise words from Grandma Moses, who was born Anna Mary Robertson on this day in 1860. She died in 1961 at the age of 101. Having worked hard all her life, she then became famous as a renowned folk artist in her seventies. You can read her obituary here.

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P.S. In looking around the internet, I found that everyone from Eleanor Roosevelt and Marilyn Monroe to Hannah Montana are credited with saying, “Life is what you make it!” Several books have been written with this title. I guess cliches are like that.

Well, anyway, here’s a poem from Mary Oliver:

Who made the world?

Who made the swan, and the black bear?

Who made the grasshopper?

This grasshopper, I mean-

the one who has flung herself out of the grass,

the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,

who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-

who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.

Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.

Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down

into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,

how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,

which is what I have been doing all day.

Tell me, what else should I have done?

Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?

Discuss among yourselves.

“Forgiveness is one of the first things”

This struck me as pertinent today. What do you think?

…[W]ho talks about forgiveness these days, other than the people who come to this place, or to places like this? What politician, what public person, do we hear standing up and saying that we must forgive? The message we are likely to hear is one of blame, of how this person or that person must be held to account for something bad that has happened. It is a message of retribution–that is all it is–a message of pure retribution, sometimes dressed up in concern about victims and public safety and matters of that sort. But if you do not forgive, and you think all the time about getting even, or punishing somebody who has done you a wrong, what are you achieving? You are not going to make that person better by hating or punishing him; oh no, that will not happen…

My brothers and sisters: do not be afraid to profess forgiveness. Do not be afraid to tell people who urge you to seek retribution or revenge that there is no place for any of that in your heart. Do not be embarrassed to say that you believe in love, and that you believe that water can wash away the sins of the world, and that you are prepared to put this message of forgiveness right at the heart of the world. My brothers and sisters, do not be afraid to say any of this, even if people laugh at you, or say that you are old-fashioned, or foolish, or that you believe things that cannot be believed. Do not worry about any of that–because love and forgiveness are more powerful than any of those cynical, mocking words and will always be so. Always.

–The Anglican bishop of Botswana in Precious and Grace by Alexander McCall Smith

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The (real-life) Anglican Holy Cross Cathedral in Gaborone, Botswana

Burning down the house

I spent my long weekend strolling through furniture stores and trying out sofas with daughter #1.

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We didn’t buy anything, but we took notes. We also strolled through several antique malls. I bought a book.

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I have been reading it and it is pretty darn good.

We went to a couple of happy hours and sat outside and on a roof deck, because the weather was beautiful. The wee babes came over with the boy and daughter #3 and we had a dance party where we introduced them (the wee babes) to the Talking Heads.

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A whole lot of drooling going on…

We barbequed, of course, and the bud learned some table manners.

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Little Lottiebelle impressed us with her mad skills.

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All in all, it was a fabulous long weekend at the end of which I caught up with daughter #2 in a 2-hour marathon phone convo.

Back to the salt mines and a slower pace. Have a good Monday!

A bad day at work is better than a good day in hell

The weekend promises to be busy, what with two sons home and much to-ing and fro-ing going on. All the activity seems fitting for Labor Day weekend, although the DH and I won’t get Monday off. Still, hard work is worth celebrating, even if Labor Day has been co-opted by retail and politicized. Let’s just get down to the basics. As someone facing work-place struggles, here are a few things I wish my co-workers would remember.

  1. The value of working hard toward a goal depends on the goal. We’d all do well to remember that there’s a difference between working to make money or get ahead and working to improve your knowledge and character, or your family’s prospects.
  2. Remember that your co-workers are working hard, too, and their goals might just be more noble than yours.  In other words, do not run roughshod over other people in order to get what you want.
  3. All work and no play really does make everyone dull and boring. Get a life, but keep it balanced.
  4. When we work hard, we find out what we can do, and we discover inner strength and character. Laziness just makes us dumb and fat. Pull your weight at work.
  5. Although effort is inherently noble, hard work does not always pay off — at least not in money, recognition, promotions, or good grades. But at least we end up with the satisfaction of knowing we tried.

Take a moment this Labor Day to think about why you work and what you hope to accomplish. If your answer is that you don’t know and have no goals, then it’s time to figure that out. Cowboy up!

My Labor Day movie recommendation is John Ford’s How Green Was My Valley (1941) about the struggles of  a family of Welsh miners. Be sure to watch with Kleenex at the ready.

Have a wonderful weekend and remember this:

“Neither happiness nor respect are worth anything, because unless both are coming from the truest motives, they are simply deceits. A successful man earns the respect of the world never mind what is the state of his mind, or his manner of earning. So what is the good of such respect, and how happy will such a man be in himself? And if he is what passes for happy, such a state is lower than the self-content of the meanest animal.”  Richard Llewellyn, How Green was my Valley

 

A tisket, a tasket

Daughter #1 is coming home for the long weekend, and for a moment last night I thought, “Oh, another trip to the airport!” And then I thought, “No! She’s driving home!” Yippee!

Earlier in the week daughter #2 got the online file of the pictures of her wedding from her photographer. She is plowing through them. What a job! It all seems like a long time ago, you know?

Screen Shot 2017-08-31 at 9.09.01 AM.pngThe wee babes were so much smaller!

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Two months later, little Lottiebelle seems so grown up!

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But will her daddy ever catch up on his sleep? Maybe he’ll get a chance this weekend! Of course, he’ll be chasing this little guy around…

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In other news, today the Episcopal church remembers David Pendleton Oakerhater (also known as O-kuh-ha-tuh and Making Medicine), who was a Deacon and Missionary, on their calendar of lesser feasts and fasts. Oakerhater was an honored Cheyenne warrior who fought in the Indian Wars of the late nineteenth century.

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While a prisoner of war in St. Augustine, Florida, he was converted to Christ. After being released, he was baptized, taking the name David Pendleton in honor of his sponsors Sen. and Mrs. George Pendleton, and studied for holy orders in the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York.

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(Side note: Senator Pendleton was the one who pushed a bill through Congress to found  the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania.)  In 1881 Oakerhater was ordained deacon and returned to his tribe in the Indian Territory, accompanied by his mentor, the Rev. John Wicks. Oakerhater addressed his former comrades-in-arms, “…You remember when I led you out to war I went first and what I told you was true. Now, I have been away to the East and I have learned about another captain, the Lord Jesus Christ, and He is my Leader. He goes first, and all He tells me is true. I come back to my people to tell you to go with me now on this new road, into a war that makes peace…”

Wicks retired in 1884 because of ill health, but Oakerhater continued, winning hundreds to Christ. His people called him “God”s Warrior” and “Peace Chief.” He established the Whirlwind School near Fay, Oklahoma, a landmark in the education of the Cheyenne. For nearly half a century David Pendleton Oakerhater was a tower of strength and a symbol of the new faith to his Native American brethren. He died in 1931.

O God of unsearchable wisdom and mercy, you chose a captive warrior, David Oakerhater, to be your servant, and sent him to be a missionary to his own people, and to execute the office of deacon among them: Liberate us, who commemorate him today, from bondage to self, and empower us for service to you and to the neighbors you have given us; through Jesus Christ, the captain of our salvation; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.

You can read portions of the BCP in Cheyenne here.

Have a great long weekend!

Just in the nick of time

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Thanks be to God. I am literally on my last Longmire book and imagined that soon I would be descending into a deep post-Longmire depression. But, hey, a stay has been granted!

Thank you, Amazon, for your daily email alerting me to important things!

Some poetry and art for Wednesday

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When summer’s end is nighing
And skies at evening cloud,
I muse on change and fortune
And all the feats I vowed
When I was young and proud.

The weathercock at sunset
Would lose the slanted ray,
And I would climb the beacon
That looked to Wales away
And saw the last of day.

From hill and cloud and heaven
The hues of evening died;
Night welled through lane and hollow
And hushed the countryside,
But I had youth and pride.

And I with earth and nightfall
In converse high would stand,
Late, till the west was ashen
And darkness hard at hand,
And the eye lost the land.

The year might age, and cloudy
The lessening day might close,
But air of other summers
Breathed from beyond the snows,
And I had hope of those.

They came and were and are not
And come no more anew;
And all the years and seasons
That ever can ensue
Must now be worse and few.

So here’s an end of roaming
On eves when autumn nighs:
The ear too fondly listens
For summer’s parting sighs,
And then the heart replies.

–AE Housman, XXXIX (from Last Poems)

August is nearly over–can you stand it? It is getting darker earlier and the sunrise is later. Have you noticed?

We have had lovely weather this month–amazing for August! I feel kind of guilty enjoying it with all that is going on in Houston. Our prayers go out to everyone down there and to all those teams of disaster relief volunteers who are heading to Texas. Vaya con Dios.

Screen Shot 2017-08-29 at 7.25.09 PM.pngStill, enjoy these last days of summer if you can. Maybe these paintings will help!

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Paintings of summer afternoons are (from the top) by: Franz Bischoff, Kawase Hasui, Andrew Wyeth, Herman Henry Wessel, Childe Hassam, Georges Seurat, Winslow Homer.