Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Songs from Sunday, Heartfelt Sightings and Sharings

Live your life while you have it.  Life is a splendid gift -- there is nothing small about it. 
-Florence Nightingale

Half the joy of life is in little things taken on the run.  Let us run if we must --even the sands do that--but let us keep our hearts young and our eyes open that nothing worth our while shall escape us.  And everything is worth its while if we only grasp it and its significance.  -Victor Cherbuliez

As we go on to know Him better we shall find it a source of unspeakable joy that God is just what He is.  -A.W. Tozer

Yesterday:  It's Monday, I'm sitting on the screened porch typing here...I think this will be my writing room today.

What a lovely Sunday Jem and I had.  I will share sights below.  We took a drive into town, listening to a Zac Poonen short sermon and then pretty musics.  Even when I was very young we would listen to 'pretty musics' together.  Jem got that and I appreciated it.

Beware, some of these photos are taken in a moving car by a sentimental brunette named Amelia.  And yes, I say music - musics.  

God uses musics in my life.   He created it of course. You can listen to this song with us as we travel along, love this song, gives a good rush I think.  Jem is also a musican by the way.

The lyrics are very appropriate for my life in many ways these days...

Sunday had started in a foggy kind of way, Jem takes a prayer walk with the fur angels.

Things clear up..the weather changes like the wind.

Who has seen the wind?  Neither I nor you....  -Christina Rossetti

We then got ourselves dressed up and went on that trek to Midtown to eat at a fun Greek restaurant...It's a nice treat with the outdoor seating.

Jem was amused...At this...

Very merry firemen, making a stop to eat some good Greek foods!

After lunch Jem takes a drive down Main, he said he hadn't been down there in a while...and what greatness do we come across...

This old church built in 1917-20.  It's the Episcopal church my Uncle Wesley was married in.  As you may know if you keep up with this blog I've been on an emotional adventure of sorts.   

Jem thought at first it was the old Catholic church he would visit when a little boy, but then I saw it was Episcopal.  Wait, I think that is the church Uncle Wesley was married in!  I felt it in my heart.  After checking that 1940 society page?   It was indeed.   My heart melted.

Minutes away, the  Rice University entrance where Uncle Wesley attended.  A beautiful, untouched campus.

The Museum of Fine Arts...My sweet mother attended art school in the area as a single young lady.  She and another student, Delores, another conservative young lady met and became lifelong friends.  Delores was married to a farmer and became an art teacher, teaching until she had children.  She, her husband and children would come to visit us and us children would watercolor at the kitchen table.  I'll always remember that...so fun.  They were such sweet people, I like sweet people don't you?

Our youngest daughter also attended the art school in the area.  I thought it was wonderful that she was able to do that.

I've always loved this area of town, just look at the beautiful tree canopies...This older classic area is a comfort for both Jem and me.  It's interesting, many of the trees in the city are much like the shape of the many trees here in the Forest.  The city is a great place to visit every once in a while.

Here is another song we listened to that I think is just beautiful.  This was played at my Italian grandma's funeral right around the time of this video.  I'll never forget that day in the old stone chapel on the lovely grounds, it felt so European.  My Grandma was born in Naples, Italy.  Her family arrived in Boston and moved to New Orleans where she grew up into her teens then  moved here.  When I cook, I think of my grandma.  She always said, We'll have good eats and lots of laughs...  In her simple home that is the way it was on holidays, and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.  There was always eggplant with pasta gravy and lots of pasta of course.  Do you know that many Italians call pasta gravy, gravy not sauce?  I can identify another true Italian when I hear...the words pasta-gravy.  Our pasta gravy is savory, and I love that about it.  Now back to that beautiful music...

Andrea Bocelli is a favorite of mine, a fellow prolife advocate.  

I hope you all are having a nice week so far and that Valentines day is a sweet, pleasant, uncomplicated holiday for you. : )   I have a neat sewing project in the works, a maxi skirt with a great art print.   I'll be putting together a bracelet for a nursing home resident as well.

Every day is a journal page what will we compose?  

Signing off, until the next time! 

We'll have good eats and lots of laughs....


Happy Valentines Sweet Friends!
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Photo by Robert Stock

Thursday, February 2, 2017

PEACE, PICS, PETS, THOUGHTS and Us HUMANS at Home in the Forest

We do not need to search for heaven, over here or over there, in order to find our eternal Father.  In fact, we do not even need to speak out loud, for though we speak in the smallest whisper or the most fleeting thought, he is close enough to hear us.   -Teresa of Avila

I'm plodding along, trying to simplify and declutter.  In this way I can *see* a bit better!  The less I have to deal with the more I can *see* to minister to others whether it be an encouraging note or perhaps designing a simple Little Dress for Africa.   Here in the U.S. most of us with sense are rejoicing despite some most strange liberal and hostile activity. 

I for one think President Trump is doing an outstanding job and am so proud of his decisions of late.  I thank God for him, and I think it's God's grace and mercy that he is our President.


...I will tell everyday life with photos...

Going to Smalltown is a peaceful thing in the evening or anytime... Every day yields a different personality as the sky tells its story and shares its mood.

Jem and I eat at a cozy little restaurant for dinner situated in an old lumber warehouse as only Smalltown can do.  Smalltown in the rain.  Neat.

 At home.  You remember our resident new mommy, Gracie, our rescue hound?  She was near death last year at this time.  She is quite a personality now, all seventy pounds.  She is here with her new baby-kitty that she cares for, Elbee our now junior kitty, also recently rescued from the country road. Elbee is a white kitty as you may or may not see and he blends into the white quilt so you have to look closely, quietly so as to not scare them.. ; )

This expression is *so* Gracie...I see that glamorous Maybelline look, Gracie...You are quite glamorous, dear one.
I always say:  Ask the animals and they will teach you.    -Job

Evening walks in the Forest.

 The trees say:  See the art in me...  (from a Jars of Clay song)

 This photo reminds me of an old mysterious black and white movie, something perhaps like, 'Rebecca'  (1940) with Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine.

 As you may know Jem and I take little rides on occasion as we get the druthers.  Downtown, Midtown.  Just the cadence of those two words makes me want to do a dance. : )  Jem and I were born blocks away, delivered by the same doctor. 

Jem takes me to another part of town on the outskirts of town where his cousin lived.  His cousin's story is a neat one.  An anesthesiologist now.  The city is a dog lover's haven, I love that about it.

 I thought this photo should be in a book, something like the Humans of New York..Yes, something like that.  I think it speaks multitudes.  I was only able to quickly get a shot of half of it, in entirety it said Jesus Christ on both sides of the fence.  I love the older homes, they have the neat wooden porches and stuff.  I wonder what stories they could tell?

We get back to the country...and are glad; it's a bit like taking a deep relaxing breath.

Long evening shadows...

Reflection.  What do we reflect?  I hope we are kind and keep our plumb lines to God straight.

 Last but not least, Becs was in the kitchen cooking one of her healthy soups, and I thought this design on her cut cabbage was beautiful.  You can't improve on God's design. 

I'll close, friends.  A lot of quiet pondering going on here.  I found my cousin on facebook by her nickname of all things.  She resembles me.  Mar messaged her and enjoyed a brief message exchange, she was friendly enough, a self-proclaimed character.  I haven't heard from her though even though she shared she was always sad that she had not much family.  I do know now that my Uncle Wesley supported her even as a young man at 23 when he died after her mother and his divorce back then in the early 40s. I know that Uncle Wesley in his cowboy mode, not only slept under the stars on the West mansion grounds along side his friend, the black Cowboy Will but he attended Georgetown as well as Rice. My cousin told Mar her grandma would tell her, "He was a handsome rascal!" she wrote, lol with a heart emoticon. 

It's eerie the similarities...She is a conservative politically, also an only child, a fellow patriot like me but she claims Judaism as her faith, quotes the new testament as well as old and is interested in animal rescue and their well being. She majored in Art History.  She likes to write.  It came out that she loves and misses the country but lives in Uptown; she loved to ride horses she shared, as Mar shared Uncle Wesley had a beloved horse, Punkin'.

I am keeping things in God's hands since I have not heard from her, it is surprising since I know so much about her father besides the obvious.  We pray that God would open the proper doors if any and that's plenty enough for me.    For years I have tried to find her, now I have, I have done my part.  What happens next is completely up to God and there is such great peace in that. 

Why are you not on facebook Amelia?  ...Far too many bad witches (as Dorothy said).   My daughter, Mar tells me, Facebook would not be a good place for you.   ...And I believe her.

Closing with this old song I heard a radio speaker share most recently.  When in highschool I would listen to Carly Simon over and over again, just loved her. 

To promote her 1995 album 'Letters Never Sent', Carly surprised travelers through Grand Central Station with this unannounced concert. 

She is very tall, isn't she?   It always interests me as an artist, the various builds of people! : )

I hope everyone is doing well.  It's a foggy day here in the Forest.

Signing off for now,     Amelia

Image result for Jesus and His lamb

Friday, January 13, 2017

But This Music...A Neat Discovery...Cozy Recipe for You to Enjoy

I'll open up with this quote I found on a Midtown church site:

'When any church will inscribe over its altar as its sole qualification for membership the Savior's condensed statement of the substance of both the law and the Gospel, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself” that church will I join with all my heart and soul.'  -President Lincoln

It hits right-on doesn't it?  

I found the church site as I've been looking for my only first cousin on my father's side.  I knew if I could find the maiden name of my Uncle Wesley's young wife I could most likely find their once baby girl.  The other night it was on my heart to do another check.  I do that from time to time as I feel prompted and I googled her first name and Uncle Wesley's full name together.

I gasped and my heart skipped a beat as a 1940 society page came up from the university they had both attended.  My cousin and her mother, the bride of course, had the same first name thus it came up.  It was the wedding announcement and full description including the church they were married in.  I have found the cousin's online info, she is quite a bit older then I, at 75 she lives in the city, she was born a year after their marriage.  Her mother back in the 40s took the baby girl (my cousin) and had left.  My father was only around twelve years of age when this occured and was away at military school so didn't know detail or does and doesn't tell.  Knowing some control issues with my German grandfather it makes sense what happened.  Control as in controlling people is a bad thing, it comes in many forms and to all nationalities as we probably all know, If you don't know it, then you may be a controlling person.   Are you a good witch or a bad witch? asked Dorothy.  ; ) 

My uncle died several years later of cancer at 23, way too young.  I have his pocket watch, his Rice yearbook, his dress gloves from military school and his Kappa Sigma book, I even have his chaps he wore when he fence walked at the West Mansion with his horse, Punkin and his friend, Cowboy Will, (a most kind black cowboy).   Cowboy Will worked at the estate, he and Uncle Wesley were buddies and would sleep under the stars.  Uncle Wesley so loved those weekends at the estate grounds.   

Uncle Wesley and my father also enjoyed acting in their young years,  I actually have one very funny story I'll have to share in the future on my dad playing a monk in a most solemn scene, having to wear too short of tights on stage (climbing stairs). : ) 

To make this brief (yes, I shortened it), all of this hits way down into the soul as you may imagine.  My mother said she knew who Wesley was, he would walk in a room and everyone would turn to see this tall handsome young man with a Jimmy Stewart stature.  My Italian grandma said he and my father's eyes were like stars.    

With much prayer, a written note may be sent to my cousin.  We shall see.  It takes time and prayer for a possible release in my heart to do that.

Life is an adventure and a journal page.  I hope I make the most of  what I compose everyday.


I was listening to the light classical station and this came on, it seemed such perfect timing: 

Beautiful music.  Very fitting for the mood.  I have this song on a music cd I own as well.

Here are some relaxing shots at the Forest Cathedral..

We name almost everything here, and this little running buddy vehicle is no exception, he is named:  Sparky.  Cute isn't he?  Sparky was bought used and Jem painted him up.  Cute little Sparky was used for football games at a school on the field at one time.  I think he likes it here much better. : )   Jem (here) and our girls use Sparky for running things back and forth.  ..So cute I think.

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An adventure...I love old buildings.  Yes, I'm carrying my camera these days, it's rubberbanded together but I always remember the quote from Ansel Adams, it was something to the effect of...You can use a box camera and get good shots with a good eye. 

loading ...  I would like to share a recipe you all may enjoy.

The base recipe is here but I made it my own so to speak. : )

When Jem asked what it is (I always try to think up a fascinating name) ; )...I said it's Confetti Casserole!

Or we could call it Confetti Frittata!

Oven Baked Confetti Frittata

One large packagae of frozen hashbrowns

dozen certified free range eggs

1 chopped bell pepper

2 chopped onions

few chopped Roma tomatoes if you have them on hand

olive oil

garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Okie Dokie, let's get started...

Get your 13 x 9 baking pan and pour a little olive oil in the bottom.  Put your hasbrowns in that, sprinkle with garlic powder, a little bit of salt and peppa.

Pop it in the oven and brown the hash browns.  You may want to give it a stir.  I finally put it on broil for a minute to give it a good and final crisp.

In the meantime saute your bell pepper, then onions, then tomatoes.  This will be juicy but that's good, you won't need to add any other liquid.  Season a little with salt and pepper.

Scramble up your eggs and veggies plus the juice (broth) the veggies made.

Pour that over the hashbrowns and  bake til done, at around 425 or so.   Slice in squares as served.  Boofet (buffet) style.  My Italian grandma always pronounced, 'buffet', like boo-fet.  This makes me *smile*. 

This was a good comforting dish.  You could mix and match many different veggies, as long as you  keep those wonderful aromatic onions in. : )

This fed four big eaters plus a very large serving the next day. 

I served this with some baked broccoli florets from the oven.  I just put two bags of some frozen broccoli florets on a pan with olive oil, season and bake. 

I sure hope everyone is having a nice day.   Take care now, may we all remember that every day is a journal page, what shall we compose?  ...And that goes double for me.  *big smile*

Mo-Mo our sweet kitty says hello...  She is my little i.n.f.p. buddy.  

I'll close with more of my favorite music that suits the current mood in a good way, the theme to one of my most favorite movies:  To Kill a Mockingbird.   (1961)  Scout is very much me as she opens her cigar box...  How about you?

Signing off from the Forest Cathedral, take care until the next time!     -Amelia

(All black and white photos are by Robert Stock)

Sunday, January 8, 2017

TOTO, I've a Feeling We're not in Kansas Anymore...

On the way home from Midtown with Jem.  Ethereal.

Isn't this beautiful? 

A day in smalltown...

Clifford and Goat-Goat my friends and pretend pets.  We like to sip on tea and once again enjoy watching our friends from afar by the drive-thru after a big grocery trip.

 Why wouldn't anyone not understand enjoying these sights?  Peace and quiet, quiet and peace.  

An enchanting walk through the forest.  Would you like to come along?

Perfect for our walks in the forest.  A Turner Classic shirt with Dorothy and Toto in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre.  "Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."  ...And my old faithful tweed blazer.  I do find that particular quote quite handy at times. : ) 

A movie I so enjoy every year.

'Tenth Avenue Angel'.  (1946)  

Everytime we see this movie, Jem says:  That really is a good movie .

You see, at 3:15, little Flavia praying is touching to my heart in a personal way.  I love how the cow kneels just as the animals kneeled on the night of Jesus' birth.  The end of the movie is a happy one.  I do recommend!  Enjoy. 

 One evening here in the forest.

 By the way, do you like pretty music?  You may enjoy this!

I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore...