Friday, February 27, 2015

I LOVE THIS CLIP...Always Try to see Life Around You...

Always try to see life around you like you've just come from a tunnel...

Jimmy Stewart as Mr. Smith to Jean Arthur as Saunders, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)...Mr. Smith is so speaking my language here...I think it's beautiful.  I think of this exchange often as I enjoy the nature and the handiwork of God here at the Forest Cathedral...I remember hearing this exchange when we watched this movie in the suburbs...Jem, my hubs reminded me that the country would provide that beauty...Wouldn't you like to be in the country?  Here I am...and yes, I am sooo blessed to be here.  I love looking out and seeing the trees, the animals, today we saw a coyote on the way to the grocery store...He turned and looked at us and leaped across a field into a forest...

Here is another clip for your enjoyment:

I love the exchange here and so relate with Jefferson Smith...and just look at Jean Arthur's beautiful, beautiful profile, so lovely, just so very lovely.  

I am thanking God for a nice uneventful day.  Eggplant Parmesan the way my Grandma Oddo made it...a sweet secret peek at my husband gently scoooping up and sweetly holding our almost blind little dog, loving that sweet fur angel in such mercy.  

Projects done lately:  A black cotton zinnia skirt...soooo retro.  I made mine in the high waisted, pleated, belted below knee version but I don't belt mine.  I've already worn this skirt several times and it feels so 40s-50s.. Very flattering.  I wore it last Sunday with a fitted vneck sage green quarter sleeve sweater tucked in the skirt with strapped black velvet ballet flats, black capri length leggings.  Hubs and I were at a beautiful park in USO-town, we were sitting in the green grass surrounded by huge twisting oaks...upon a lake with beautiful ducks and geese swimming...Very nice indeed.  A precious maintenance man with beautiful blue eyes named Benito carried on a sweet conversation as we saw him off and on through our little visit.

What are you thanking God for today?  Have you done any neat projects lately?  'Do you enjoy Mr. Smith Goes to Washington'?  It was made in 1939 directed by Frank Capra, do you like that time period as I do? : )  Things have changed but yet maybe not?  

loading ...

Always try to see life around you like you've just come from a tunnel..

Goodnight Loves,  from The Forest Cathedral...God be with you all.    ~amelia

Monday, February 23, 2015

I've Been Thinking...

Hello everyone, just posting some thoughts this wintery Monday eve.

Lately I've been thinking, that's what I do.  That is what my personality does, it thinks and it thinks a lot. : )  I create a lot and I perceive much...I'm an artist of sorts.  I like the quiet, pretty music and really don't care for a herd mentality, I've always been this way, I never liked rowdy birthday parties even as a little girl.  How about you?

loading ...

Sometimes we visit churches.  We love homechurch, we are the Church after all if we are children of God, but sometimes we like to venture out and meet other brothers and sisters in Christ.

One of my favorite churches is the downtown Methodist church.  Oh what a glorious place!  My mom and dad were married there ....I can just imagine people weeping and praying there during WWII...It's a special place.  I know the Methodist church as an organization has a bad reputation, sure it does.  The people at the top have some bad thinking on some things (John Wesley would be grieved) but not every Methodist church goes with that.  More than one person has been ministered to by the lit stained glass windows at night, traveling on the railway next to this old church...Those same folks will go there for help and receive that help.  At night if you look below the stained glass windows you will see dozens of homeless sleeping upon the steps.  This church is known as a safe place.  Are our churches known like that?   The pastor of this huge church will take the time to speak with you after service and you feel like he cares... you just do and you know it.  Salvation is freely spoken of in that place.  We personally know a Chinese couple who attends there whose father was in prison for his faith in China when our friend was a little boy.

I wonder what the Father, what Jesus must think of all of the different stuff going on in some churches.  Lately I've been exposed to how adamant some may be about the King James Only thing.  Wow.  I know there are concerns with the different translations of the Bible and I can surely understand...but what did they do before King James? : )   ...and sometimes it concerns me because I hear the same not-so-good zeal I hear from others with pet doctrines.  Some try to make pet doctrines a salvation issue.

I go to the nursing home and visit my friends there, and let me share...  I really don't think they care what version of the Bible I may be using.  I don't think most of them care what Christian religion I am. They care about my touch, my care, my love.  My time.  They want Christ with skin on to them...

One of the last times I was there, there was a lady and she was so very upset, she was weeping because something had happened with her room.  I never could get the story.  I just knelt next to her wheelchair and I hugged her and even cried a little with her.  I put my hand around her grey long hair and her beautiful dark brown eyes looked at me.. and she said through tears...

That is all I needed, that is all I needed, someone to just sit with me.  

Isn't that the way we all feel sometimes?

The month before this the same elderly lady had told me...

Jesus has me sitting here, so I sit. 

Her sweet compliant heart had been so touching to me and I think that is what especially broke my heart was to see her compliant heart so very broken the next visit.

The Story of Lucille:

More then several years ago there was a precious saint in the nursing home named Lucille, our little girls had made her a red plastic pony bead bracelet the year before.  Poor Lucille was dying, she lay there with her red pony bead bracelet on made by my precious little girls' hands,  red blouse and white pants...she didn't even have a nightgown on, no family was there with her.

My girls, and my friend Margie gathered in her room and I ask her...

Lucille?   Do you know Jesus?   

Lucille smiled radiantly...

Oh yes.  I know Jesus.  I see Him right here in my room, His face is in your faces.

Lucille passed away that very afternoon...wearing the red plastic ponybead bracelet made by sweet little girl hands. That little plastic pony bead bracelet meant that much to precious Lucille.

Do we think Lucille or the brown eyed lady care about pet doctrines and stuff?  No.  They want what is Eternal.  

Where am I going with this?

I think we need to focus on Jesus, the main thing and live it out whether it be with our precious children or out a bit...perhaps bringing our children to the nursing home, it's a great place to share mercy.   Christ's Mercy.  Our daughters are 21 to 32 and  I assure you the nursing home taught and still teaches so many beautiful Life lessons.

Can we love each other and be kind?

And...If I am feeling this way in circles, can you imagine what the world is feeling about things?   For me?  I like to talk to Jesus and He just scoops me up in His love.

I thought this was pretty good, I've always remembered this clip by Sara Groves:

May we live the Life.  Goodnight Loves,   ~amelia

Black and White Photo by Robert Stock

Friday, February 13, 2015

Reaching Down in Mercy

I am reading Dominion, The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy by Matthew Scully and this paragraph, one of many touched my heart today.

Matthew Scully writes on the mules and the way they would frolic for months after being down in the mines in the cruel darkness years ago in the coal mines in the late 1800s.

There is nothing fanciful here.  It is hard realism, facing facts about suffering both human and animal.  Whenever any animal is locked away, or treated cruelly, or hunted or trapped, that is what we are taking away, the grass and trees and breezes and the sun.  Whenever we reach down in mercy to  spare one, as only we can do, that is the gift we are giving back, and what a beautiful gift it is.

Readers, I cannot tell you how our fur angels bless my life daily, they have an innocence in their faces I cannot describe thus the term fur angels.   Most of ours are rescued but one, Charlie would cower down when I would reach to pet his little head, some one had hurt him and now he is a love-bug...Buddy above is gaining our trust and we refer to him as the Lion form the Wizard of Oz, for this large angel is most timid dear ones...He now follows me everywhere and will sit on my feet literally... So precious.  I call him big-baby and kiss his cheek.  Two of our daughters are above enjoying Buddy and our chick.  Here is a complete blog on Buddy .

Why even our hens will crouch down and let us pet them...

Well I must go, Jem and I have a most important meeting.  Guiseppe our almost blind little dog is barking, he needs me.  It's neat.  It's like God takes care of us, He reaches down to us, we reach to the helpless, the vulnerable.  Oh what a blessing.  We are able to give back that Mercy in praise to the Father, and oh such a great Blessing that is.

Signing off this most beautiful eve at The Forest Cathedral Sanctuary,  Good night Loves,  ~Amelia

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A Laurel Tunic and Musings of a Veteran Homeschool Mom, plus my Minestrone Recipe!

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you:  compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline.   ~Colossians 3:12

Laurel by Colette Patterns  One of my re-do creations I made into a Collette Laurel.   I have worn this and worn this and worn this gals!  I made it from a black wool-like wrap around skirt that had become a bit big.  I thought to myself...Ya know?  This is an awful lot of nice fabric! So clip I went, and made a sleeveless  jumper tunic from it.   I like black under black with silver hoop earrings, wide legged relaxed black yoga pants and I'm ready to head on out!  I keep it simple, it's a go-to outfit and I can exhibit kindness and love when I can dress and go feeling good and unhurried. : )

I really like this Laurel pattern from Collette.  I have also made a seersucker one with matching wide leg pants.  These tunics remind me a lot of when I was a little girl, say around '68 and when we went to school and it was freezing outside we could wear pant-suits, not pants but pant-suits and certainly not jeans, you would get sent home in jeans! : )  When we went to church only pant-suits were acceptable. I think they had sense then wouldn't you agree?  I know my daughters would!

When I do these Laurel tunics or my Laurel knee length dress, I personally omit the back darts, that's just me.  On the tunics worn over pants it gives me a bit more wiggle room.  If I do another Laurel dress I may try the back darts, it would probably be rather pretty.  We shall see.   I used bias tape for a quick facing.  And I also omitted perfectionism!   There are some seams here and there from the skirt, where one piece of fabric was not quite large enough.  It's okay, it works!  It works well!  Yay!  If it looks good from three feet away...I'm good.  Yes indeedie.  A 70% works.

I think tunics are great, for one reason, I for one don't really like to display my fanny to the world, I feel vulnerable like that.  *wriggles nose*.

This photo is enhanced a bit.  Edit:  Photo has been removed...Jem took it on my tablet and I applied a few techniques. Not sure if it makes me look better or worse! Such is life, we have to do what we have to do-s to make ourselves look decent in the afternoon...after a tired ol' day.  It reminds me of To Kill a Mockingbird... The opening of the movie with the southern lady narrating...(Could be me)...

...Men's stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning.  Ladies bathed before noon, after their three oclock naps, and by nightfall were like soft tea-cakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum.

People moved slowly then.  They ambled across the square, shuffled in and out of the stores around it, took their time about everything.  A day was twenty-four hours long but seemed longer...

....  Well I don't know what my excuse is but I feel like a wilted something or another even on a sunny winter afternoon!  *big southern smile*.

Speaking of To Kill a Mockingbird, (One of my favorite movies ever)  ..I have been listening to the soundtrack by Elmer Bernstein.  *Oh. So. Lovely*.   It brings back memories of the little town I am from...the homes, no sidewalks..the precious people there.  My dad growing up there, both he and my mom, he a blonde curly headed little boy, mother with dark brown curls...a German family and an Italian family.  Pasta dinners in a simple home, laughter, good eats and love, love, love.  No diamonds, no custom curtains....just love and care from my Italian grandparents.  That is what is real and what is Eternal right?

Getting things accomplished isn't nearly as important as taking time for love.   ~Janette Oke

Here in the forest the soundtrack rings deep in my heart...
  Oh the emotions and memories from these times...How old are you Mrs. Amelia?  I am 54 dear one.  Our daughters are now 21 to 32, they are here too and I enjoy every minute possible, they are in and out doing life.  It seems it was just yesterday I was teaching phonics to our precious little girls...Just yesterday.

Here's some NEWS:

loading ... The book, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee will have a published sequel this summer!  Harper Lee had actually written another book before To Kill a Mockingbird that has been found and Harper Lee in her golden years will be publishing it this summer!   Is that not something?  I am excited about it. Yes indeedie!

What else has this veteran homeschool mom, everlearning been listening to?  Our daughter Joycie and I listened to James Taylor on the way to the grocery store in smalltown the other day...You must picture our drive to the grocery in smalltown.  It's down a skinny road once made for model T cars.  It's through the beautiful forest with dripping oaks and open green pastures... It's magnificent and we count our blessings for this beautiful painting of life here.  It's a simple life and I like that.  The Walmart is the tiniest you've ever seen, shocking if you are from the city, the grocery is the old fashioned size...Dollar General is great fun.  An old 1920's jewelry store is still in operation...It's really great if you see it.  If you really, really see.  

It is my calling to treat every human being with grace and dignity, to treat every person, whether encountered in a palace or a gas statin, as a life made in the image of God.   ~Sheila Walsh

It's a strange feeling listening to this James Taylor song with our 28 year old daughter...I fell in love with this song when I was around eleven...The Vietnam war was raging and things were very uneasy in the culture and I could so sense it as a little girl, I had longed for a sweet childhood and it was turning into a drug culture...It was upsetting to me back then...I sensed it the first time I noticed my Italian Grandma's Life Magazine with Paul McCartney and Twiggy in it..I could. just. tell.  When I saw that magazine I was no older then second grade.  James looks like he is doing well, I think Jesus did look upon him as the song he wrote says.  I like James, he is the same infp personality type I am.   I also like to see him in his older years, for he also reminds me of my stepdad in the 90s who is with God and is sorely missed.  Sorely missed.  Have you ever had someone you loved dearly, and suddenly they were gone?

loading ...

Here are three books I've read or are in the process of reading and am enjoying, or have enjoyed!

At present:  Dominion by Matthew Scully, former speech writer to George W. Bush, he shares some very important thoughts on the rights of animals and how we must not diss the present suffering.   Factory Farms are shameful, there is no way the Lord blesses that!...and many (most) Christians ignore it or are willfully ignorant of it.  The writer is amazing and brings out some much needed, timely points.  Refreshing conviction and common sense coupled with biblical mercy and justice.  He also addresses the unbelievable cold attitudes and jesting about animal suffering that to me?  Totally ruin a Christian witness and personally it grieves my heart greatly.  Please check the amazon link out for more info.  So far, a must-read!

At present:  Sergeant Stubby:  How a Stray Dog and His Best Friend Helped Win World War I and Stole the Heart of a Nation.  Oh my, what can I say?  I just started this book and am smitten!  Fascinating book!  I've fallen in love with this precious dog as I have our own precious fur angels...

Finished and will read again:  The Lessons of Saint Francis, How to Bring Simplicity and Spirituality into Your Daily Life   Great lessons in this book...Francis of Assisi, wow what a neat soul.  The first half of the book is especially good.  It is written by John Michael Talbot.  Are you familiar with his wonderful praise music?  I am not a practicing Catholic, Baptist or any of the above in case you are wondering. : )  I like to consider myself Juris Naturalist.  I go with Christ.

loading ...
Now for my recipe to share!

This Minestrone turned out SO good!

This serves our family of six adults with a bit of leftover too.

Amelia's Minestrone Soup

This is a very filling soup, the quinoa makes for great nutrition and a most soothing addition.  The overall flavor and fragrance is that of an old world Italian home.


2 onions (cut)

8 garlic cloves or so (sliced)

6 fresh roma tomatoes or so (cut in half slices)

3 tsp. dried basil at least

6 yellow potatoes or more if small in size.  (cut in very large chunks)  I leave skin on.

a small 12 oz. bag of frozen green beans

a small 12 oz. bag of frozen italian vegetables

3 small bags of 12 oz. frozen lima beans

1 cup of quinoa (I used the regular size bag which was a little under one cup)

10 cups of water with a couple of veggie broth cubes thrown in

a jar of tomato basil pasta gravy

2 veggie broth cubes

salt and peppa to taste ; )

Olive oil

Now to cook!

I use a most liberal amount of olive oil and simmer the chopped onion until transparent, a little browning won't hurt the taste of onion.  Then I add sliced garlic, but simmer only until fragrant! Any more will make your garlic bitter!  (Just ask my Grandma Oddo from Naples!)

Then add the sliced roma tomatoes and sautee til very soft.

Add salt, pepper and basil.

Add your water and veggie broth cubes, pasta gravy.   When it comes to a boil you may add your frozen veggies.

Last but not least...The last 30 minutes or so, add the yellow potato chunks and quinoa until tender .



I hope you all are having a wowee week.

Let us believe that God is in all our simple deeds and learn to find Him there.  ~A.W. Tozer

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

The close to all who call on Him sincerely.  ~Psalm 45:17-18  

Signing off from the Forest Cathedral,   Til the next time...   Take care Loves,     ~Amelia