July 17, 2013

May 31, 2013

  • Hidden Art: Gardens and Gardening

    Adding Where Garden Meets Wilderness to my library and TBR list, I thought my fellow book-clubbers might be interested in E. Calvin Beisner’s book as well.

    Edith Schaeffer mentions ecology and environmental concerns in her sixth chapter of The Hidden Art of Homemaking.  

    Ecology is a subject everyone is now discussing in a worried sort of frenzy. (1971) 

    Mrs. Schaeffer presents perspective immediately by reminding us homemakers that our duty is first and foremost to our own plot of ground.

    Nevertheless, we all know that we are bombarded with environmental data, challenged to re-cycle, and restricted by regulatory authorities.

    That’s the reason for reading the analysis of a trusted writer who has researched the issues.  

    Here’s a link to a 2006 informative interview of Beisner by Bill Moyers where you will get a glimpse into the debate.

    While this title was originally published in 1997, Dr. Beisner continues to write about Christian stewardship of the environment at the Cornwall Alliance.

    I rely on his insight and commend him to your attention.

    A Christian, who realizes he has been made in the image of the Creator and is therefore meant to be creative on a finite level, should certainly have more understanding of his responsibility to treat God’s creation with sensitivity, and should develop his talents to do something to beautify his little spot on the world’s surface.
    Edith Schaeffer


    Read along with our book club by visiting Cindy Rollin’s blog, Ordo-Amoris.


May 7, 2013

  • Hidden Art: Music

    We sing to Him, whose wisdom form’d the ear,
    our songs, let Him who gave us voices, hear;
    we joy in God, who is the Spring of mirth,
    who loves the harmony of Heav’n and Earth;
    our humble sonnets shall that praise rehearse,
    who is the music of the Universe.
    And whilst we sing, we consecrate our art,
    and offer up with ev’ry tongue a heart.

    Henry Purcell
    English Composer
    1659 – 1695

    Author of The Gift of Music:
    Great Composers and Their Influence,
    Jane Stuart Smith, is the *Jane* whom
    Edith Schaeffer references in her book
    The Hidden Art of Homemaking,
    as well as L’Abri

    I enjoyed listening to this interesting interview of her from 2008.

    Join us online book clubbers as we read Hidden Art and learn to develop our talents.

April 30, 2013

  • Spring Illustrated

     Nothing is so beautiful as Spring –         
       When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;         
       Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush         
    Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring         
    The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
       The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush         
       The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush         
    With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.         


    What is all this juice and all this joy?         
       A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
    In Eden garden. – Have, get, before it cloy,         
       Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,         
    Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,         
       Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.   
    by Gerard Manley Hopkins
    Photo by Yours truly taken on recent hike of Pine Log Creek Trail on the border between Bartow and Cherokee Counties, GA.  Flower is dwarf crested iris which native plant is fond of moist soil.

April 26, 2013

  • Fine Art Friday:Melvin






















    Meet Professor Clyde Kilby*.

    I never had the opportunity, but this portrait painted by my college friend, Deborah Melvin Beisner, makes me feel like Professor Kilby is talking with me.

    In fact, he came up in my Facebook feed this week.  Actually, it was a photo of this portrait.  It was linked to John Piper’s reference to some of Professor Kilby’s wisdom. Then while reading a friend’s blog (Soli Deo Gloria), lo and behold, Kilby surfaces again. 

    Kilby’s challenge to help us all see clearly dovetails delightfully into the online book club discussion I am enjoying with Cindy Rollins at Ordo-Amoris and lots of virtual friends.   In honor of Edith Schaeffer’s recent death at age 98, we are reading and blogging through her treatise, The Hidden Art of Homemaking, an obvious favorite of mine since it is the inspiration and moniker for my two blogs.

    One commenter wondered why we are saddled with so many preconceived notions of art.  I propose that the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel explains our confusion. Thankfully, Mrs. Schaeffer rightly defines art at the beginning of the book, establishing the LORD God as the First Artist.  Here’s a link to my synopsis of the first chapter.

    Look and see what He has done.  Creation (the world) is right here in front of our noses.  Dont miss it.  

    Join the group and be inspired to represent His Image faithfully.



    *Dr. Clyde S. Kilby, oil, 1987, in the collection of The Marion E. Wade Center, Wheaton College, 32″ x 35″



April 24, 2013

  • Back Yard Art

    Here’s an unedited picture of my backyard taken through the window screen.  I am sitting in the chair at one end of the kitchen table and gazing at our *garden of eden.*



    On the far right is a 50-year-old flame-colored azalea that I hope to propagate, since it’s from the landscape where I grew up.  On the deck is a container with cora bells and a butterfly bush.  On the treads of the stairs leading up to the deck are pots of pansies that have given color all winter.  In the upper left-hand corner is a tell-tale sign of the magnolia we planted only 2 years ago.  Other hard woods on our half-acre are tulip poplars, oak, and blank.  Leaves should be raked up by the end of the month and the centipede grass will take off.


    This post is related to online book club discussion of Edith Schaeffer’s Hidden Art of Homemaking.

    Link to my review of Chapter 1: The First Artist.

May 25, 2012

  • Fine Art Friday:Memorials


    Confederate leaders and their horses carved into the side of the largest exposed piece of granite in the world give renewed meaning to memorial days and monuments.

    Georgia’s Stone Mountain Park is home to this fine expression of honor.

    This largest bas-relief in the world depicts three figures of the Confederate States of America:  Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and Jefferson Davis as well as their beloved horses:  Blackjack, Traveller, and Little Sorrel.  The entire carved surface of the Memorial Carving measures three acres, larger than a football field. The carving of the three men towers 400 feet above the ground, measures 90 by 190 feet, and is recessed 42 feet into the mountain. The deepest point of the carving is at Lee’s elbow, which is 12 feet to the mountain’s surface. 

    First begun in 1916 the carving took 56 years and three sculptors to complete.  Not without its own setbacks this public artwork fits well into the remarks of art professor, Michael Lewis, PhD, who addressed the issue of the decline in America’s monuments and memorials.  Read his insightful remarks (link) delivered earlier this Spring at Hillsdale College’s Center for Constitutional Study and Citizenship in Washington, DC.  Here are a few clips ~

    As traditionally understood, a monument is the expression of a single powerful idea in a single emphatic form, in colossal scale and in permanent materials, made to serve civic life.

    It is because of their ability to transcend time by connecting to primal human activities—passage, gathering, shelter—that the best monuments never look dated.

    Monuments and memorials today are discursive, sentimental, addicted to narrative literalism, and asking to be judged on good intentions rather than visual coherence.  


    As you read Lewis’s remarks, don’t miss the mentions of Frederick Hart and Emily Post, two of my favorite reference people.

    I think Lewis would approve of our Memorial Monument.

    What monument or memorial in your area fits the bill?

April 13, 2012

  • Prelude


    (To Departmental Ditties)

    I have eaten your bread and salt.
    I have drunk your water and wine.
    The deaths ye died I have watched beside,
    And the lives ye led were mine.

    Was there aught that I did not share
    In vigil or toil or ease,—
    One joy or woe that I did not know,
    Dear hearts across the seas?

    I have written the tale of our life
    For a sheltered people’s mirth,
    In jesting guise—but ye are wise,
    And ye know what the jest is worth.


    by Rudyard Kipling
    English poet, novelist,
    short-story writer

    1865 – 1936



    Today’s poetry selection came to my attention as I began to read a novel by George C. Roche III, who wrote much non-fiction.  Kipling’s poem sets the stage for Dr. Roche’s (disguised) memoir, Going Home and I wanted to remember that.

    It is always interesting to note what inspires writers, especially two of my favorite.

    What poem would you select to introduce your writing?

April 11, 2012

  • A Little Bird

    A Little Bird came to me,

    Once of a summer day,
    And he told me secrets
    from here and there
    And some from far away.
    How a dewdrop sits on the top
    of a rose
    And does not roll away,
    A little bird told me
    Once on a summer day.

    A little bird came to me
    I think the time was fall.
    And he told me secrets
    bigger than big,
    And none of them were small.
    How the leaves turn to yellow
    and gold and brown
    Before they fall away,
    A little bird told to me
    Once on an autumn day.

    A little bird came to me,
    Once on a snowy day,
    And he told me secrets
    I did not know,
    Though why I can not say,
    Where little birds go, away
    from the snow
    For a nice warm place to stay,
    A little bird told to me
    Once on a winter’s day.

    A little bird came to me,
    Once on a bright spring day,
    And I asked for secrets
    of here and now,
    And some from far away,
    How little vines creep, and
    little birds cheep
    And little buds burst
    From their long winter’s sleep–
    These would I have him say.

    A little bird looked at me
    On this a bright spring day,
    And he answered questions
    I never asked
    But brushed my own away.
    “We can not know what’s beyond
    the beyond,”
    Was what he seemed to say,
    As he lifted his wings,
    Those bright magical things,
    And with them,
    he flew away.

    Eugenia Talitha Linch
    1907 – 1988
    Author of  My Flovilla

    Illustration by Henriette Browne
    “A Girl Writing”
    Oil on canvas 

April 9, 2012

  • Seven Stanzas at Easter

    Make no mistake: if He rose at all 
    it was as His body; 
    if the cells’ dissolution did not reverse, the molecules 
    reknit, the amino acids rekindle, 
    the Church will fall.

    It was not as the flowers, 
    each soft Spring recurrent; 
    it was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled
    eyes of the eleven apostles; 
    it was as His Flesh: ours.
    The same hinged thumbs and toes, 
    the same valved heart 
    that — pierced — died, withered, paused, and then
    regathered out of enduring Might 
    new strength to enclose.
    Let us not mock God with metaphor, 
    analogy, sidestepping transcendence; 
    making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the 
    faded credulity of earlier ages: 
    let us walk through the door.
    The stone is rolled back, not papier-mache, 
    not a stone in a story, 
    but the vast rock of materiality that in the slow 
    grinding of time will eclipse for each of us 
    the wide light of day.
    And if we will have an angel at the tomb, 
    make it a real angel, 
    weighty with Max Planck’s quanta, vivid with hair, 
    opaque in the dawn light, robed in real linen 
    spun on a definite loom.
    Let us not seek to make it less monstrous, 
    for our own convenience, our own sense of beauty, 
    lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are 
    embarrassed by the miracle, 
    and crushed by remonstrance.

    By John Updike
    American Poet/Novelist
    1932 – 2009