Sunday, November 30, 2014

Agnus Dei

It was the first Christmas carol of the Season. There is something captivating about Joy To The World when the people around you are singing their hearts out. No one was at all timid about it. We all rose to our feet as the music, and our hearts, swelled, the group on the stage smiling and welcoming and ready. 

Joy to the world! The LORD is come!
Let earth receive her King.
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing!

I had noticed the boxes of Kleenex on each pew, and wondered. But as soon as that music started, I understood the Kleenex! and reached for one automatically.

We only knew 5 people there that day. But I must tell you, it felt as though there was not a stranger among us. There were babies and young parents, there were hipsters, and older parents, and sprinkled here and there we saw the grandparents and beyond. It was the sweetest thing. All were welcomed, and every hand was shaken. And in the midst of all of this and the laughter, the music began again and we were caught up in the first verse of Angels We Have Heard on High!

Tomorrow it will be December, and the month of celebration ahead looks terrifically inviting. Already gift ideas are being whispered abroad, and already we are emphasizing what the gifts are all about. It is an electrifying conversation to have with small people, because they love and understand gifts. It is splendid to watch as they hear again about the greatest Gift, the Gift of Jesus, within whom all gifts find their Meaning. They instantly look forward to their own opportunity to be generous. Giving means more, now.

The Christmas carols were nearly finished, but the final words we all sang together meant the most, I think. From the Agnus Dei..

For the Lord God Almighty Reigns.

Holy, are You Lord God, Almighty
Worthy is the Lamb, Worthy is the Lamb,
You are Holy

Some had never heard it, but you wouldn't have guessed this by the sound of the voices. Louder and fuller, the tune and the words caught us each, and held.There was no doubt about why we were all there. The central Theme. It will be proclaimed this month and beyond, many a time. Perhaps you will find yourselves there.

Perhaps I will see you and we might sing together, "Let every heart prepare Him room, and Heaven and nature sing."

Oh, to be a part of That. 

See you along the Way!
the SconeLady

Saturday, November 29, 2014

What Have You Got Left?

It is the age-old theme that never seems to fail: Boy meets Girl. It doesn't matter how many movies or television shows are flung at us, if they build on that theme, we will come. 

I watched one of the quintessential films of that theme, the other night - White Christmas. In all honesty I must state here that Bing Crosby does it best. Here he plays the busy Broadway producer and performer, too overloaded to find time for love. That is, until the day his best friend becomes firmly and bluntly honest:

"Well, my friend, when what's left of you gets around to what's left to be gotten, what's left to be gotten won't be worth getting whatever it is you've got left!"

Couldn't have said it better.

Enter the two sisters who just may be the solution to this conundrum. Their brown eyes/blue eyes bat just a time or two, and BAM! the plot instantly thickens.

Maybe we like this movie so much because of its sweetness. Its innocence. I mean, absolutely no one needs a bedroom scene and it would have been gross to introduce one. The emphasis is on falling in love rather than grasping at something that ISN'T YOURS YET.

And may I tell you one slightly shocking thing about this movie? Bing Crosby was almost 51 years old when it was filmed. Yes! he was, just look it up. Bing was born in 1903, and the film came out in 1954. So let's have none of this nonsense about it being 'too late for love'. Obviously the box office results ($102,000,000 in adjusted dollars) prove that true love can strike at any age. Hurray!

Granted, there are the hurdles. Aren't there always? Some of the hurdles were:
  • the sad lack of snow in Vermont
  • the repercussions of making things happen rather than letting things happen
  • an 'accidental' encounter next to the Lodge fireplace
  • the placing of the man on a pedestal in the eyes of the lady
  • the unfortunate falling off of the pedestal by said man
  • the silly eavesdropper who throws a wrench into the works
  • the sudden and saving arrival of the snow
  • the climbing back onto the pedestal by the man

Do you mind a spoiler here? Especially since it is 2014 and the film has been out for 60 years? 
  1. boy gets girl

Too often just now we walk into a theater and find the following plot points instead:

  1. boy meets girl
  2. boy spoils girl

(The wrong kind of 'spoiler'. Hello.)

But I am not so naive as to assume it is all the boy's fault. The movie star girl usually has the ability to prevent the spoilage. Doesn't happen like that though, not so very often. And so we must resort to films such as this one, or Roman Holiday, or An Affair To Remember, or even Frozen, where everybody seems to acknowledge what the right thing is. 

Luckily, Hollywood made quite a few of these sweet-and-innocents before somebody got to them. Yes! they did, just look it up.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Very Best in Small Town Diners

The SconeLady discovers Kevin's Diner, in western Oregon

A 5-mile walk brought me to an out-of-the-way spot that I had never yet discovered. But today was my day, I think.

Small town diners hold a special spot for me, in memory of the very best small town diner ever. Only I guess it wouldn't really be called a diner. Cafe is actually the better name. The cafe I loved most in this world (until it disappeared) was the D&F Cafe, in a tiny eastern Oregon town. My home town

For its first few years it was known as the A&F Cafe, which stood for Al and Fairie. I think Al cooked while Fairie waited tables. When Al died suddenly, Fairie was devastated but kept on coming to take care of her customers. Eventually she remarried, and as her new husband's name was Dale, the cafe now became the D&F. 

It was the local hangout. Teenagers perched on the 50's style stools while families and friends sat eating hamburgers in the red vinyl-covered booths. The juke box was always running ("Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain, telling me just what a fool I've been'...).

My favorite taste was a large chocolate sundae for 25 cents, and sometimes the short stack for a dollar. But everything on Fairie's menu was delicious, substantial, and cheap. She herself was quick and precise, minding everybody's business without anybody really minding.

We all wanted to be in there - you never knew what you might learn.

But one day we were told that Dale had died, and Fairie decided to close. It was horrible. As the building emptied out, the town mourned both the man, and the cafe. If only Fairie had found a third.

So today, when we discovered a new small town spot, we were hopeful. Would it remind me of that favored spot I had searched for these last decades? Would there be a saucy waitress-owner on her second or third husband, telling jokes and shamelessly meddling?

Maybe we'd be lucky. I sure hoped so.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

photo credit: <a href="">Seattle Municipal Archives</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Best Things Happen While You Dance

How many of you remember enjoying a Christmas movie as the sun set on Thanksgiving Day? I, for one, remember it. And here we sit watching Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, dancing and singing as if there were no tomorrow. I think it is the perfect way to usher in a new Christmas season. 

We have been surrounded by family, this day. Everyone contributed their love, and their favorite dishes. Men and women alike helped to dish up and serve, and to clean up when all serving had ended. Everybody laughed a lot, and it was all the sweetest thing.

The SconeLady makes hot rolls

At a strategic point in the festivities, someone FaceTimed and we made it come up onto the big screen TV. The room full of people here saw and loved the room full of people 1,000 miles south. Pretty soon another cousin showed up on a separate FaceTime and joined the conversation. Indeed, we had the technology.

Just moments ago the last of our group drove away and into the night. As we watched them go, I couldn't get over what beautiful young people we all have. Every single one is lovely on the inside and the out, with the light of hope in their eyes. There are struggles too, in there somewhere, because none of us gets to avoid all struggles. But their hope is not dimmed by the struggling, and may it never be.

I notice that the rest of us are drawn to them (as moths are to a light). Who wouldn't be? I don't remember being that dynamic, or beautiful, or energetic! - but perhaps my mother would say that I am. She sees the vitality, the beauty, the energy that I think might have gone missing. Maybe I should let her confidence rub off on me!

But for now, I am a little too tired for all that energy. Instead, I will watch as the age-old message of boy meets girl plays out. To see beautiful young people dancing as if there were no tomorrow. Hmmm... Maybe the best things really do happen while you dance.

It might be fun to try it.

Happy Thanksgiving!
the SconeLady

photo credit: <a href="">Zellaby</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Home Baked Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving aromas have been a wonderful part of today. All sorts of tasty items have been prepared, are being prepared, or will be prepared tomorrow. Besides this, texts and emails have flown back and forth between cooks young and older. It has all been the most great fun!

As for the SconeLady, she has been baking. Hot rolls are one of the cornerstones of Thanksgiving, and it is an honor to have that job. We love lots of butter and jam on our rolls, but did you know that this is not the norm in England? They would typically not serve jam for use on yeast rolls, at dinner time. It is something to do with sweet and savory, and not mingling the two. 

There are numbers of yeast roll recipes to choose from and each year, I think about which I would like to do this time. I have recipes short and long, complicated and simple, and all of them taste better than anything you will find in a restaurant. It's always a win-win.

The roll recipe this year comes from a friend - an Air Force officer's wife whom we knew early in our adventures. She was kind to me and welcoming, bringing me into the friendship and camaraderie of the OWC (Officer Wives Club). Both her friendship and her roll recipe have followed me for 30 years, and both are highly valued. 

I doubled the recipe today, but here is the single:

The SconeLady's Hot Yeast Rolls

2 tablespoons dry yeast
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons very warm water
1/4 cup sugar
   combine these ingredients gently, and let sit for 10 minutes
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 1/2 cups flour (you amy add more gradually, if too sticky)

  • I mix these with a dough hook just until the dough is of a consistent texture - about 30 seconds.
  • With floury hands, pick up and roll a handful of dough. Place in baking pan sprayed with PAM non-stick baking spray. I use round pie pans for this.
  • let rise until puffy, about 45 minutes (depending upon how warm your kitchen is)
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 13 minutes. 
  • Loosely cover with foil and bake 3 more minutes. This final 3 minutes gives the rolls a chance to brown on the bottom without over-browning the tops.
  • Let them sit for 5 minutes, then tip out of pan onto serving dish. May be made and frozen ahead.
*Hint: My mother-in-law gave me a great tip today: when forming the rolls, wear disposable rubber gloves - the type dentists use. Then you can just throw them away when finished, and won't need to wash all that dough off your hands. I love it!

May your Thanksgiving Day be blessed, tomorrow. And may you enjoy lots of yummy hot rolls! With, or without jam. There is just nothing like it.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

photo credit: <a href="">Don McCullough</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Hunger Games - MockingJay

Admittedly, I did not read the third book and so did not know what would happen at the movie tonight. Yes! I did finally see it. The Hunger Games, Mockingjay. But not only did I not know what was coming, I really did not remember what had gone before.

This may not really make for a rich film-going experience. That, combined with Dramamine, took the wind out just a bit.

During the opening credits I quickly cast back to the second movie in order to gain context. It had been quite a while, and the fact that I found NO CONTEXT was not the filmmaker's fault. I just should have called it up on Wikipedia, and been ready to face Mockingjay all prepped up.

To be honest, I must really see this film again in order to report upon it justly. The reason for this is that I FELL ASLEEP through much of it. Sad! and Bad! I saw the opening credits, fell asleep, watched as arguments took place about how to rescue Peta (forgetting why he needed to be rescued), fell back to sleep, then watched as the miracle of Peta coming back rejuvenated the hordes of nice people who had been decimated by President Snow.

That is almost all I got out of it. Therefore, anyone who enjoyed this film will be incensed at my lameness, tonight. But I will go back. Promise. In the meantime:

  • The characters are super interesting. 
  • The weaponry is frightening. 
  • The fact that Philip Seymour Hoffman died during the time it was filmed, is and was sad. 
  • Jennifer Lawrence looked pretty but I kind of missed her fire-clothes.
  • Peta looked skinny

Those are only a few of the bits and pieces I can contribute. But I will see you back here, just as soon as I have another view, and we can discuss it all afresh.

One conversation we had on the way home was, "How many boyfriends can one girl possibly have? They seemed to be everywhere." I don't know this myself. It's too complicated. But there was so much fighting and bombing that it was far too busy for her to think of things like her love life. Peta and Gale, I understood. But that other guy?

Perhaps I should just Google it.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

photo credit: <a href="">duncan</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Monday, November 24, 2014

My Comfort Food of Choice

One of the funnest bits about travel in England is the experience of its food. Indulging in food anywhere will be fun, but in a foreign country it is especially so. And one really ought not to skimp on it.

My sister has visited England with me, as well as New Zealand. These great distances cost us some money, and as a result we become squeamish to spend much on meals. We now realize this need not have happened; we need not have skimped - one must eat, after all. But we both budgeted strictly, because that seems to be a habit of ours.

Yet even with all of this frugality, we loved what we did eat. For instance, I learned early on of an especially tasty bit of food that might not be extravagant. Soup. Soup is readily available everywhere in England (and New Zealand), and is usually deliciously home made. Therefore soup became a staple, something we could always fall back upon when the pounds and pence seemed to fade.

All of this experience of British soups made me search for some right here at home. And I found one! It is Italian Sausage, Kale & Sweet Potato Soup (the very words made my mouth just now water). You, too, can find this delight in this sweet woodland town. If you do make your way here, request it - the taste, the texture is guaranteed to astound and amaze. We now live 1,000 miles away, but will always grab a bowl of it whenever we visit. I did so, today. Take a look:

Italian Sausage, Kale & Sweet Potato Soup
(is it not gorgeous?!)

I also absolutely love the fact that you can always find a bowl of homemade soup + homemade bread in the menus of Cornwall. 5 pounds will get you this yummy treat, and who can't spare the occasional 5 pounds? There is a pet phrase for this, in England: 'Value for Money'.

I highly recommend it.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Sunday, November 23, 2014


Post Apocolyptic SciFi isn't really my deal. But it is my husband's, so I was slightly intrigued about seeing the new film InterstellarHave you seen it? I was pretty sure I wouldn't understand it much, but thought Jessica Chastain and Mathew McConaughey might make up for that. So we went.

As expected, great swathes of the film made little sense to the SconeLady. When it comes to imminent-earthly-disaster, I drift a bit. But everything else was so interesting that it didn't really matter.

Jessica Chastain's character was, of course, in her thirties. But her character ('Murphy') also appeared earlier as a 10 year old girl, and so the filmmakers had to find someone who looks JUST like Jessica Chastain. Only younger. And they actually did - Mackenzie Foy. Her part in the film made it super interesting because she was smart and cute, loved her father and was neither rude nor difficult. Not the typical mouthy young person. It was great.

But the hardest thing about futuristic SciFi is the fact that they nearly always portray our futuristic Earth as teetering upon the edge of disaster. Usually these movies insert dinginess, dirt, smog, or dust in every frame. In Interstellar, DUST was the big deal. Choking, ugly, grisly dust was everywhere. 

But Matthew McConaughey ('Cooper') and daughter Murphy come to the rescue. The job is to find another planet where mankind can live, while there is still time. But there are intricate problems that must be solved (gravitational waves, binary coordinates, wormholes and time dilation, to name a few) - none of which I know about, nor wish to know. But it is rather nice to follow this thing to its conclusion, and see how such a thing might be done. At least in a movie.

With the help of Matt Damon and Anne Hathaway, the film made it worth our entry fee. Yes, it was a really LONG MOVIE. But instead of constantly checking the clock, I was actually surprised when the thing ended

Maybe post apocalyptic isn't ever going to be my deal. Maybe chic flick is more likely, for me. I would much rather watch normal people falling in love not having to worry about where their next breath will come from. Perhaps on top of the Empire State Building. 

Sleepless In Seattle, anyone?

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

photo credit: <a href="">theglobalpanorama</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

photo credit: <a href="">GabboT</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Big Hero 6. Again.

It was snow-raining, and everywhere there were cars. All the cars in town seemed to be out en route to some emergency, so we took our time and tried to avoid the craziness. But it was ok, because we were going to pick up Mother. For a movie. In short, for Big Hero 6.

We had seen it, but wanted to again - some things are just meant to be relived. Mother had neither seen nor heard of it but was game, because she would be with her daughters. And that is always an adventure.

We two pulled up outside her apartment building, scooped her up, and were off. We remembered going with her to a movie in 1968 called Thoroughly Modern Millie while on a trip to Canada. It was fabulous because Mary Tyler Moore and Julie Andrews were in it and were fabulous. Today it would be a nerd kid and Squishy Marshmallow Man - maybe not really yet fabulous, but close.

We hoped to arrive in time NOT to miss the Disney cartoon we loved and wanted to see again; stood in a slow line (Mockingjay. Need I say more?); and said, "Three for Big Hero 6, please."  But the girl replied, "This one is in 3D, ladies. Do you still want tickets?" as if by looking at us she knew we might not. But we weren't going to stop now. Oh no, nothing would keep us from taking our mother to see our favorite character, Baymax.

So we were handed our 3D glasses and our tickets, and slid into the seats just as the Disney cartoon began. It was even better the second time! Hahahaha!

Our mother had never experienced 3D movies before. We barely had. So we checked with her after the cartoon to see how it felt (some people report feelings of dizziness, and we were taking no chances). "It's great!" she said, as the opening credits began.

It was so much fun. The three of us sitting in a theater with dark glasses made quite a picture and I, of course, had to take a Selfie.

Watching it, I was reminded of Terminator 2. Remember? Arnold Schwarzenegger defeating the bad guys with the young John Connor. Huge muscle man/squishy marshmallow man with diminutive kid, forging a bond and winning the battle? Yep. Fun.

I think seeing Big Hero 6 for a second time was sweet. A lot like Thoroughly Modern Millie up in Canada - we saw it twice too. Because some things are just meant to be relived. 

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

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Friday, November 21, 2014

The Hunger Games Rides Again


The lovely daughter always keeps me current, and this time was no exception. "Mom. The Hunger Games - have you read it?"

I had not ever heard of such Games, and did not know that they existed. But of course I was curious.

"Nooo, I haven't," I replied. "What are they?"

"Well it's a book series about young people who find themselves in fights to the death. And the main character wants to save her family and her friends. And she goes about doing it. It's smashing."

This sounded promising and I was willing to give it a go. The part about fights to the death, I wasn't terribly sure about; but saving her family was along my lines. My daughter brought out the first book, and I never looked back.

She was right - it was smashing! It takes me a while to read books, which meant that she had to wait quite a while to hear my reactions, whether or not I had 'met Haymich Abernathy', or 'Caesar Flickerman'. But I eventually did get to these characters (I really really like Haymich), and in fact spent the summer carrying the book around with me. This was especially popular with restaurant waitresses.

"Oh my goodness, are you reading THE HUNGER GAMES?? Where are you in the story?" they would breathe. And off we'd launch into an in depth discussion of the injustices of the System, and how we were just SURE Katniss would win the day. Total strangers on a level playing field. In a restaurant.

I remember something similar happening to me a few summers ago when I was reading that Vampire book series, which I just momentarily forgot the name of. But now I've remembered it - Twilight. Restaurant waitresses in Carmel glommed onto me then too, when they saw I was carrying one of the books. I've never made friends quite so quickly.

So the SconeLady will soon make it inside a movie theater to view this third in the movie series. Mockingjay. I have been warned, though, of certain amounts of carnage. From time to time I've had to call out, "Spoilers!" to protect myself from an early Reveal. We are away from home right now or I would certainly see it with the lovely daughter. She could explain the unexplainable, should anything confusing show up. That would be fun.

What is really hard to understand is how these authors get such amazing ideas, and make billions of dollars or pounds out of them. Take for instance J.K. Rowling, who wrote her first chapter of Harry Potter on a napkin, or something. From a napkin to billions of dollars?

Now how is that fair?

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

photo credit: <a href="">KendraMillerPhotography</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

photo credit: <a href="">Nomadic Lass</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Gallery Where She Once Lived, and Died

I was enchanted by the sculptures she had designed and created and left for us. She was in many ways a reclusive sort of artist, as were many in and around St Ives Cornwall. But reclusive or no, the world knew her work and wanted it.

The day I visited her gallery, housed in the place she had called home for nearly 25 years, was a calm and sunny day. Alone, I began in the big room which held the largest collection of her pieces on the premises. The sheer number of media stunned this gallery patron that day: bronze, brass, copper, wood, string, stone, marble, limestone, painted plaster, alabaster, concrete, silver, and aluminum! Are you shocked?  Amazed? Who wouldn't be?

1956-1959 Brass and Cotton String on Teak Bast
by Barbara Hepworth

The lovely thing was that I could take all the time I wished, in looking. No one would hurry anyone along. The Docents were available and hovering, if needed. Knowledgeable; kind. I did speak with someone, eventually. But not just at first.

I think my favorite items were crafted of wood and string. Or perhaps just wood. It makes no difference which, for all of her pieces hold a special fascination. And each piece is explained for you on a laminated card that you carry with you but are meant to leave behind. Don't worry, the SconeLady left hers behind! (although I wished I did not have to).

From the larger room I ascended up and out, toward one of her work rooms. They contained the tools of her trade and were left largely as she herself had left them; sitting on benches or tables, ready to be picked up and utilized the next day. The general hue of all her rooms was white - something I love! - and no area was really scoured or completely organized for a 'company' visit. I liked that, because it seemed to make her work more real, more like 'us'.

From the work rooms I proceeded out of doors to gaze at the sculptures in the afternoon sun. As I moved slowly around I noticed a maintenance man raking leaves, piling them, taking them off. He smiled, and I kept meandering. Soon I came upon the tiniest little bedroom anyone could ever wish to have. I do not think I would have liked sleeping inside of it, myself. I thought, 'Could this possibly have been HER bedroom? 

Really?' The maintenance man continued his raking, but looked over at me looking.

"Hello, do you have any questions, Miss?" He kindly asked.

"Well yes. I was just wondering - is this her bedroom? It is awfully small.."

"It is indeed hers." he said, and I waited for more. 

"But it is so unlikely," I continued, after a silence. 

"Yes, it is where she always slept. She wanted to be alone, and had this built to accommodate her."

I had not heard of the circumstances of Ms. Hepworth's death, except that there had been a fire. I ventured, "Umm, did she die - near here?"

"Oh, well, she died right here, Miss, right here," and he pointed to the tiny bedroom.

"What?" I exclaimed. "HERE?"

And the story poured forth. "Ms. Hepworth was fond of a bit of a drink, shall we say, and liked to have it just before bed. At the same time, she liked her little bit of a cigarette.."

I was fairly well stunned by this, and stared. "Good heavens. What happened?"

"She fell asleep smoking, that's what happened," he said. "The fire brigade were called and they came to the rescue but it was too late.."

"Oh my. Did you live in St Ives at the time?"

"Oh, yes, Miss, I did. In fact, my father was in the fire brigade and was the one that found her. But, as I said, it was too late."

There seemed nothing to be said to this except "How very terribly sad," to which he responded, "Yes, oh yes, indeed..." and picked up his rake once more.

And thus did I meet the son of the fireman who tried to rescue Barbara Hepworth. How very, terribly, sad.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Land of the Saints

Detail from the painting "Cornubia, Land of the Saints" by John Miller, painted in 1980 to help celebrate the Truro Cathedral's centenary. It shows the outline of Cornwall with every parish church marked with a small Celtic cross.

The painting was a stunner, and I wish I had had time to peruse it deeply. It is called "Cornubia, Land of the Saints". What would it mean to be a Land of the Saints? I wondered.

Our somber, though sometimes humorous, guide spoke to this. "It is a painting done by artist John Miller, to acknowledge every parish church in Cornwall. He believed each to be God-planted, and wanted to lose track of none."

John Miller. I instantly liked this man.

We stared at the painting and saw that each church had been designated with a small Celtic cross. The little bits of light looked almost as if they were directed there by Heaven itself. 

And then in the midst of Cornwall, a larger shaft of light descended from a height, drawing the observer's attention and consideration. It was this flash of light that indicated the Cathedral. Truro Cathedral. Our little group of 4 or 5 stood gazing. We wanted to stay gazing, but heard the guide's kindly voice calling us onward. "But - the painting!" I softly protested; and no one heard.

I promised myself I would search this painting out at some later time. Find out more about John Miller and his inspiration, his appreciation for each parish church in Cornwall.

He must have loved Cornwall at least as much as I do, having poured such an enormous amount of love and time into his painting. For me, it represented the view point from on High. As though we were looking down from where God sat, considering it and praying for it. Much more than a Bird's Eye View - a bird would have perished had he flown so high. But God? Distance presents no difficulty for Him. The tiny specks of light and Celtic crosses draw the Eye downwards, and each one has a name:

  • St Ia's Parish Church
  • Fowey Parish Church
  • St Illogan Parish Church
  • Parish of Par
  • Camborne Parish Church
...and so on.

Wouldn't you just love to travel to each? To seek and find them, some perhaps obscure, others somehow distinguished. This painting gives me a keen affection for them, for all they have done, and are doing, and will continue to do. 

So that's what it means to be the Land of the Saints.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

"A vision of Cornwall. That shaft of light shooting up into the sky from Truro Cathedral is also the artist’s personal vision."
The Vaishnava Voice

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


*(all is well, and many would not have been so unsettled as the SconeLady! I certainly have miles to go in the area of trust).

It was scary. And so I was scared. Coming suddenly upon thick ice, in the dark, miles from home, was not funny. 

It wasn't a very welcoming prospect, but there was nothing for it now but to forge ahead.

We had thought it a smart idea to go on and finish the long drive in one go. Why not? The roads looked good, online. Clear. Dry. But then the phone rang and it was Mother, gently letting us know that perhaps there were accidents ahead, and ice, and uncertainty. It had been on the news, but I tried hard to reason with myself that it would all be gone before we reached it.

Only it wasn't gone, and in fact was worsening as the temps swiftly fell. Yikes! What to do? Well, you are in the situation without any really viable way out; you must just do. Home, and Mother, were a mere 30 miles away, and I desperately wanted both. The only way to get them was to forge.

Of course, I prayed a whole lot. Made rash promises that feel a little embarrassing now, but were fervent and sincere then. Rather like the soldier in a trench. But I knew from long experience that He listens to them all, and knows. Understands.

Being scared in a pickup truck in winter with inches of ice beneath is no comforting place to be. 

It had happened in an airliner when, just moments after takeoff the huge craft suddenly dipped in a downward motion, and everyone screamed. We later learned that the pilot had had to avoid 'something'; we never knew what.

It had happened when I, and 3 others, had hurtled down a steep cliff on top of an inverted truck hood, in the snow and in the dark.

It had happened when I was told I would have spinal fusion surgery to insert a long titanium rod, and loose my mobility in the neck.

And, it had happened when I found myself tumbling over inside a car without a seatbelt, and the world became a gray and noisy tin can.

It had happened numbers of other times. And will happen again. But always, there have been the prayers. There will always be prayers. Because there will always be God. And my promises to Him are not nearly so important as His, to me. 

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Deuteronomy 31:6King James Version (KJV)

Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

Hebrews 13:5-6

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."  So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"

photo credit: <a href="">vgm8383</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Monday, November 17, 2014

Whose Halo

I saw a baby today! O.M.Goodness.

It was all wrapped up in a fluff of Pink, and I am positive that there was a halo. In a McDonald's on I-5. It seems impossible, but that little corner table in the back was a small slice of heaven. 

The halo seemed to have enveloped the two women who were with the baby, for they positively glowed. You could tell just by looking that this was the first baby to grace this mother and grandmother. Grandmother was feeding this tiny and precious thing a bottle. It may seem mundane to the uninitiated; but to those few of us who happened to see, it was the Earth.

Of course, I wanted a photo. But though I longed to pull out the phone and click away, I just couldn't. And I'm all the better for it, too.

The young mother was weary, it was plain to see. Her baby was perhaps two weeks old, and we all know the changes that little household has gone through. But although tired, she was obviously blessed - and knew it.

I stood several feet away trying not to be too obviously enamored - but failed. The grandmother glanced up, and smiled. She was tired too. But in that moment, being tired meant nothing compared with the sweet bundle she held.

But it was time to go, and I tore myself away. As we neared the door, I whispered to my husband, "Honey - look at that Baby!!"

We glanced back, and saw the tiny head being patted by both women. In the instant just before we left, I caught the look between them. Mother, daughter. It is an ageless look, really; one that I treasure myself. And it happened in a McDonald's. On I-5. 

There is a phrase for moments such as this one, coined by a friend: 

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

photo credit: <a href="">Insight Imaging: John A Ryan Photography</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

photo credit: <a href="">Ella's Dad</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>