Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Newly discovered Pits add to Stonehenge mystery

Reported today in the MSNBC "Cosmic Log":
Researchers say they've found two pits to the east and west of Stonehenge that may have played a role in an ancient midsummer ceremony. The discovery suggests that the 5,000-year-old circle of stones we see today may represent just a few of the pieces in a larger geographical, astronomical and cultural puzzle.
Read more here 

But if you really want to know -

Monday, November 28, 2011

HooDoo? VooDoo!

Last week was my daughter's anniversary. Her husband is in Southern California taking care of his mother who is recuperating from surgery. She has been understandably sad this week. One of her favorite treats is a doughnut. Polly stopped on her way to dinner at my house and picked up  a "Bucket O' Doughnuts" from the world famous "Voodoo Doughnut" to cheer her up. What a good sister.

You might have seen Anthony Bordain pronounce their Maple Bacon Bars worthy of of seconds, or the cameo appearance on the new TV show being filmed here in Portland, called Grimm.

While Polly was waiting in line, the couple behind her said they had come from New Jersey and had driven through Portland on their way to Seattle, just so they could go to Voodoo Doughnut. Yes, it is that famous. 
 For $5 you can get a huge frosting bucket filled to the brim with all the leftovers from the first batch of the morning. They change every few hours with all fresh doughnuts. If you stop in at just the right time, you win!!





Voodoo has teamed up with Rogue Breweries to produce a Bacon Maple Ale. We tasted it last Thursday, Thanksgiving. Interesting...
Portland has some of the best breweries in the US. The wine is world famous. There are several distilleries producing some very fine gin, vodka, and other liquors and brandies. It's a foodies paradise, too. So many local kinds of produce and meat are used in great restaurants. Portland's reputation as a city of gourmets is well deserved.

Distillery Row in Sunset Magazine

Sunset Magazine pitted Seattle and Portland against each other in a foodie (and drinkie) showdown. Portland handily smacked down Seattle in the booze and caffeine category.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Advent 1

I wish you all the joys of the Advent season.

The Collect for the first Sunday in Advent begins:
ALMIGHTY God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light. . .
As we light the first candle of Advent, we anticipate the all the wonderful preparations, activities, and celebrations leading to the feast of Christmas. I hope you will pause to remember that this is a time to prepare for celebrating the best Gift of all.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Not Even Toxic, Like Compact Fluorescents



Every time Lafayette resident Carrie Bunkley walks to her kitchen pantry, she wonders whether the light bulb will click on or her pantry will be without light for the first time in a half century.

"We built this house 52 years ago," Bunkley says. "And we have never had to replace them. They don't make Westinghouse anymore. I have had the same Westinghouse oven for 52 years, too."




60-watt "eyesaver" Incandenscent bulbs
Westinghouse knew something about electricity. Of course, back then, politicians and bureaucrats weren't involved. Today, they make up the specifications; this keeps companies in check. Left to their own, they just might produce stuff that lasts. Can't have that!
  







The world's oldest working light bulb turned 110 years old Saturday and the 60-watt incandescent globe is still glowing, if a bit more dimly than when it was first turned on in 1901, according to its own Centennial Bulb website.

The Dangers of Fluorescent Lights
Fluorescent lights will save money, but use them with caution. 
Add caption
This energy savings is not without cost, however. The use of fluorescent light bulbs comes with health and environmental risks from exposure to mercury and radiation. Before attempting to clean up a broken fluorescent bulb, open the windows to the room to encourage ventilation, which will circulate the mercury gases out. Leave the room during this process to avoid inhaling the gases. Do not use brooms or vacuums since this will only trap mercury particles and spread them to other areas of the house. Instead, put on rubber gloves and scrape larger pieces off of surfaces with stiff paper and use sticky tape to pick up small glass shards and residual mercury dust. Immediately wipe down all surfaces with a damp paper towel. Place the broken shards, papers, towels and gloves in an airtight bag and seal it. Place that bag into another bag and seal it as well before throwing it in an outside trash can. Thoroughly wash your hands to get rid of any residual mercury.

Even with manufacturer and government guidelines regarding the proper methods of disposing of fluorescent bulbs, they still contaminate our environment and water supply. An article in The Scientific American has more guidelines.  The final disposition of the bulb depends entirely on the person who purchased it. If you choose to dispose of it by tossing it in the trash, the mercury that each light contains ends up in a landfill. Through rain and natural leaching of the soil, mercury can find its way into the water supply. The mercury contained in each fluorescent bulb is "enough to contaminate up to 6,000 gallons of water beyond safe drinking levels." Dispose of fluorescent bulbs according to the manufacturer's recommendations. Dispose of CFLs as required in your community.

Physics or Ballet?

You may know that the period of a pendulum is proportional to the square root of the length of the line suspending the weight - ie., the longer the pendulum, the slower it swings.
 

Harvard students built a device with a series of 15 pendulums in a row, each one slightly longer than its neighbor, then set them in motion and filmed the result.
The resulting patterns in this short video are quite fascinating to watch....sure it’s physics but maybe it's ballet.
 

What it shows: Fifteen uncoupled simple pendulums of monotonically increasing lengths dance together to produce visual traveling waves, standing waves, beating, and random motion. One might call this kinetic art and the choreography of the dance of the pendulums is stunning! Aliasing and quantum revival can also be shown.
 

How it works: The period of one complete cycle of the dance is 60 seconds. The length of the longest pendulum has been adjusted so that it executes 51 oscillations in this 60 second period. The length of each successive shorter pendulum is carefully adjusted so that it executes one additional oscillation in this period. Thus, the 15th pendulum (shortest) undergoes 65 oscillations. When all 15 pendulums are started together, they quickly fall out of sync—their relative phases continuously change because of their different periods of oscillation. However, after 60 seconds they will all have executed an integral number of oscillations and be back in sync again at that instant, ready to repeat the dance.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Mobile Phone

When did you get your first mobile phone? Do you use a mobile or do you still have a land-line house phone? I haven't had a land-line for 10 years. I don't see the point in having one, any more. What mobile phone do you prefer?
My husband had his first car phone in 1987. It was such a novelty.
My daughter got her first, when we returned to the US. She was working until after dark and I felt more at ease knowing she had one. Looking back it seems so large and cumbersome. It looked something like this:
I now have another Blackberry that was my daughter's. This is how it works: she gives me her old phone when she gets the latest and greatest. I'm on my 3rd "hand-me-down". 
 



I'm just glad to have one. It is my security blanket. I feel really naked without it. I have turned around and gone home for it when I've forgotten it. I don't use the internet features, as she does, but then I'm never too far from from my Mac.







 Here is a great old film of the "first mobile phone".

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving



Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thes. 5:18
MOST gracious God, by whose knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew; We yield thee unfeigned thanks and praise for the return of seed-time and harvest, for the increase of the ground and the gathering in of the fruits thereof, and for all the other blessings of thy merciful providence bestowed upon this nation and people. And, we beseech thee, give us a just sense of these great mercies; such as may appear in our lives by an humble, holy, and obedient walking before thee all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all glory and honour, world without end. Amen
A Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the Fruits of the Earth and all the other Blessings of His merciful Providence, from The Book of Common Prayer, 1928
 
 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What a turkey

 As all my American Blogging friends are getting ready for the big day, let me tell you where we got the name of the big brown bird we are going to devour tomorrow.
When Europeans began consuming exotic birds, they had problems keeping up with where they came from. These ancestors initially thought that guinea fowl came from Turkey, so they first called guinea fowl turkey-hens and turkey-cocks. Once the origin of the guinea fowl was correctly ascertained, the names turkey-hen and turkey-cock were left over, so they were transferred to what we call turkeys today. Thus, turkey comes from the name of the land of the Turk by means of two mistakes. But the English were not the only ones to mistake the origin of turkeys. Other Europeans came to the conclusion that turkeys came from India, hence the Russian name indushka, Polish indyk, and French dinde from coq d'Inde "bird of India". In Portuguese a turkey is called a peru!
Thanks to Dr. Goodword at the Alpha Dictionary 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

And I bought mine

I grilled salmon for dinner, this evening, for my daughter, Peggy, and me. And to think, I had to buy mine. If I had only known they were free for the grabbing! We have had diluvial rain for the last 2 days. If you don't believe me, just take a look at this:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Today is Stir Up Sunday

The name, "Stir Up Sunday" comes from the opening words of the collect for the day in the Book of Common Prayer of 1549 and later.  The collect (pronounced cŏ' llect) is the prayer of the day that "collects" up the themes of the old testament, Epistle, and Gospel Bible readings during the liturgy (the daily service).
STIR up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may by thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Collect for the Sunday Next before Advent - Book of Common Prayer

 
 
 
Christmas Pudding
 The tradition grew up when the family, returning from church on this Sunday, would each take a turn to stir the Christmas cake or pudding. Pudding would be the method of cooking the same mixture by boiling or steaming in a special bowl suspended in a large pot of water. Most village houses didn't have ovens, with food being either roasted or boiled in the fireplace.
There are as many varieties of Christmas cakes and puddings as there are cooks! Depending on the wealth and personal taste, ingredients can be varied to a great extent. This is the recipe I have used for years. It is from a Sainsbury's baking cookery book I bought there when we lived in England. It is about as good as I've ever eaten - here, or there. Sadly, last year was the last year I'll ever make it. Earlier this year I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. Since I live alone, and neither of my daughters care for it, I, unfortunately, I won't be making it anymore. But that is no reason you shouldn't. It is so decadent and delicious.
 Ingredients:
  • 9oz/ 275g plain flour (all purpose)
  • 1½ tsp mixed spice*
  • 8 oz/ 250g butter, slightly softened
  • 8 oz / 300g soft brown sugar
  • 1 T black treacle (dark molasses )
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 68g /2½ ground almonds
  • 5 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 13oz/325g currants
  • 9oz/ 275g sultans (golden raisins)
  • 5oz /150g raisins
  • 3½oz / 100g mixed candied peel, finely chopped
  • 3½oz / 100g glacé cherries, halved
  • 3½/ 100g blanched almonds
  • 2 tbsp brandy, plus extra for feeding
  • apricot jam
  • 1½ lb almond paste or ready made marzipan
  • Royal icing

Preparation:

Heat the oven to 275°F/140°C/Gas 1
The temperature is low as the cake needs a long slow bake. It is packed with sugars, fruits and brandy and if the temperature is any higher the outside of the cake will burn and the inside be undercooked.
  • Line a 9 inch cake tin with 2 thicknesses of parchment or greaseproof paper. Tie a double band of brown or newspaper paper around the outside. This acts as an insulator and to prevent the cake from burning on the outside. (don't skip this, it makes a big difference)
  • In a large roomy baking bowl mix the currants, sultanas, raisins, peel, almonds, and cherries with the flour, salt and spices.
  • In another large bowl cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the lemon zest. Add the beaten egg to the butter mixture a little bit at a time, beating well after each addition - do not try to rush this process as the mixture could curdle. If it does curdle simply add a tbsp of flour and mix again, this should bring the mixture back together. If it doesn't come back together, don't fret, the cake will still be delicious.
  • Carefully fold in half the flour and fruit into the egg and butter mixture, once incorporated repeat with the remaining flour and fruit. Finally add the brandy.
  • Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared cake tin making sure there are no air pockets. Once filled smooth the surface with the back of s spoon and make a slight dip in the center (this will rise back up again during cooking and create a smooth surface for icing the cake).
  • Finally, using a piece of paper towel clean up any smears of cake batter on the greaseproof wrapping, if left on they will burn, and though it won't affect the cake, it doesn't smell too good.
  • Stand the tin on a double layer of newspaper in the lower part of the oven, if you have a gas oven ensure the paper is well away from the any flame, and bake for 4 hours. If the cake is browning too rapidly, cover the tin with a double layer of greaseproof or parchment paper after 3½ hours. During the cooking time avoid opening the oven door too often as this may cause the cake to collapse.
  • After 3½ hours check the cake is cooked. The cake should be nicely risen and a deep brown all over. Insert a skewer or fine knife into the center of the cake. If there is sticky dough on the skewer when you pull it out it needs cooking longer, if it is clean, the cake's done and remove from the oven.
  • Leave the cake to cool in the tin on a wire rack for an hour, then remove from the tin and leave to cool completely. Once cooled prick the surface of the cake with a fine metal skewer and slowly pour over 2 - 3 tbsp brandy. This feeding should be repeated every two weeks up until Christmas.

    The cake should be stored wrapped in greaseproof or parchment paper in an airtight tin until ready to decorate. Shortly before Christmas, spread a thin layer of jam to help the marzipan stick to the cake. Roll out a 9" disk and place atop the cake. Let this air-dry for 24 to 48 hours. When dry to the touch, cover with royal icing - either smooth, or with fluffy peaks to resemble snow. Decorate with ribbons and Christmas ornaments.

*English mixed spice  (a mixture popular in England to flavor cakes and other desserts. The proportions are: 2 t. allspice, 2 t. cinnamon, 2 t. cloves, 2 t. nutmeg, 2 t. ginger, 1 t. cardamom, 1 t. coriander)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Madeleines for French Class

It's been a long, long time since one of my daughters has volunteered me to make treats for her class. Seems like only yesterday one of my girls would come home and announce that she had volunteered me to paint scenery, or make costumes, make treats, or chaperone a dance or field trip. Yes, it seems like only yesterday and here she is doing it again - and this Mama is loveing it!
My eldest daughter is taking a French class as a part of her degree work. She was laid off last spring and decided to go back to school to pursue a degree in accounting/business administration. She needed a foreign language credit and since she had taken French since Kindergarten, she thought it would be easy - she is a bit rusty and so is having to work really hard. Tonight they are watching a French movie so she volunteered to bring treats - Madeleines being the chosen sweet.
Madeleines for French Class
I posted a recipe last March. They are really easy, only seven ingredients, and not a very difficult process. Just follow the steps and they taste fabulous.

BTW - here is a look at what I see out my window:
ominous clouds

Friday, November 11, 2011

An American Patriot

We hadn't been married long when my husband, Jack was deployed to Na Trang, Viet Nam with his dog, Felix. He had had an older dog, Pat, but was given a new dog to train with which was much younger, and more fit. He came home, and we settled down and started a family. He had always hoped he could to return, but sadly, he died before Americans could visit the country. It was a beautiful place and he enjoyed meeting the people. He loved the french food, especially the bread. Being a Californian, he missed his favorite Mexican specialties, such as tamales and chile. We sent him canned things (not the best, but better than nothing).
He was justifiably proud of his service. He was a great American patriot. I honor him on this day, and always.

In Flanders Fields - 11/11/11

IN FLANDERS FIELDS
by John McCrae
 
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
WE SHALL NOT SLEEP,
THOUGH POPPIES GROW
IN FLANDERS FIELDS. 
American Cemetery in Normandy
To see more about this click here

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thank you

My son-in-law served in the US Marines. Today I'm thankful for his service and for all the Marines everywhere protecting the best country in the world!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

the Jasmine Pearl

©
Today I took my daughters out to lunch. After we ate, we strolled up 23rd St. (one of Portland's great shopping district) doing a little window shopping, stopping in a couple of our favorite shops. 
Later, Polly took us over to East Portland to The Jasmine Pearl. The company is a wholesale dealer of exceptional fine teas. All the teas are blended and packaged  right there. You can click the title and find out more about the concept and their company. I love supporting local business. 
Chuck, pictured in the middle below, was our guide and teacher for the tasting. His patience was proof of his love of tea, as he encouraged us to try about 10 different teas. He brewed each tea and then poured it from a lovely handmade stoneware pot, into little Chinese tasting cups. Just enough
As the readers of this blog know, I'm not a flavored tea fan. I like good strong black tea sweet and milky. I don't like green tea, and I really dislike tisane. Polly likes flowery teas and Peggy likes the herbal/tisanes. We were all happy with our choices. I ended up buying an ounce of Darjeeling and an ounce of Lady Grey. I have always wanted to taste Lady Grey. It is a lighter version of Earl Grey, with the addition of orange zest, lemon myrtle, with the Oil of Bergamot that gives Earl Grey that familiar citrusy flavor. It will be nice mid-morning when I need a little pick-me-up. An ounce of tea sounds like a small amount, but it is really quite a bit, due to the fact tea is really rather light. My girls also bought some teas to take home. What a great time we had. I really look forward to returning soon, to discover some new varieties. I may even been persuaded to try some green teas.
As you can see in the picture there are rows and rows of tea. In the middle of the store a large table where teas can be opened and smelled before tasting. In the last picture you can see the long cement bar with stools to sit and sip tea. Lovely day, but it is always a lovely day when I'm with my girls.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Dem Bones

Last year when my doctor ordered a bone density scan, I was afraid they might come back with a report that my bones were completely textbook parsimonious. My late husband was such a generous and giving soul. He didn't have a parsimonious bone in his body. In fact I think that's what pushed me in the direction of pinny-pinching and saving - or maybe it was my parent,s who had grown up in the depression when everything was precious and to be saved, reused, or re-purposed. If that weren't bad enough, my father was Scots and my mother was French and well, you know their reputation.
Yesterday when I was re-potting some paperwhites I'm forcing for Christmas, I got out a zippy bag of glass pebbles to put around them. I started to put the baggy back in the cupboard, and I thought, "Whoa, it's only a zippy, you don't need to clutter up a shelf with something you may will never need again." It made me think of all the little bits and bobs I have stored for years - "just in case I need them". What foolishness. Maybe that makes me a Jr. Hoarder. I don't know, but I think it is time to stop this silliness.

So, dear bloggers, my question to you is, do you save every little thing or do you discard easily?

Wait your Turn !

 I just want to say, if you neglect Thanksgiving, you are missing out on one of the truly American holidays.
What a shame that other stores can't be like Nordstrom's Department Store, and wait until after Thanksgiving to start bombarding us with "Christmas items". Even food stores are displaying baked goods and candy that would surely be stale by Christmas.
After all it is still only the first part of November - still Autumn, still a month and a half until December 25th, and still several holidays and traditions to go before Christmas. Take time to enjoy each one of them. I think you'll be glad you did.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Beauty of Women

I could watch this for hours. It is so beautiful.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

FEMA test

Robin of the Paisley Pumpkin wrote:

PSA

I was wondering about all the "remember, it's just a test" commercials that I've seen on TV lately. Now it makes sense...what doesn't make sense to me is the lack of a message. Why isn't there a message?


Please take a moment to review the following and share with everyone;

FEMA Emergency Alert System Test - November 9th

Please be advised of an upcoming national emergency alert test that FEMA will be conducting. Please forward this to others in hopes of eliminating, or at least substantially reducing, unnecessary anxiety related to this event.

On November 9th FEMA, DHS and FCC will conduct the first national test of the Nationwide Emergency Alert System test. This test will kick off at 2:00 p.m. (EST). The test will be nationwide, running concurrently across all time zones.

The test will run on all radio and TV bands and the message will run for three minutes. The fear is that the lack of an explanation message might create panic. Please share this information with your family and friends so they are aware of the test.

Below are two Web sites that will provide more information.


http://www.fema.gov/emergency/ipaws/eas_info.shtm  

https://nationaldialogue-emergencyalertsystem.ideascale.com/

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Bonfire Night

On this day in 1605, thirteen young men planned to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Among them was Guy Fawkes, Britain's most notorious traitor. On the night of November 5th, throughout Britain, the capture of Guy Fawkes is commemorated with bonfires and fireworks, potatoes baked in the ashes, Parkin (recipe following) and by burning an effigy of the Guy. Children have always delighted in reciting this jingle:
I've included the story of this event in English history for you to read. When you have read it, you might want to play this amusing game, provided by the BBC:

After Queen Elizabeth I died in 1603, English Catholics who had been persecuted under her rule had hoped that her successor, James I, would be more tolerant of their religion. James I had, after all, had a Catholic mother. Unfortunately, James did not turn out to be more tolerant than Elizabeth and a number of young men, 13 to be exact, decided that violent action was the answer.
A small group took shape, under the leadership of Robert Catesby. Catesby felt that violent action was warranted. Indeed, the thing to do was to blow up the Houses of Parliament. In doing so, they would kill the King, maybe even the Prince of Wales, and the Members of Parliament who were making life difficult for the Catholics. Today these conspirators would be known as extremists, or terrorists.
To carry out their plan, the conspirators got hold of 36 barrels of gunpowder - and stored them in a cellar, just under the House of Lords.
But as the group worked on the plot, it became clear that innocent people would be hurt or killed in the attack, including some people who even fought for more rights for Catholics. Some of the plotters started having second thoughts. One of the group members even sent an anonymous letter warning his friend, Lord Monteagle, to stay away from the Parliament on November 5th.
The warning letter reached the King, and the King's forces made plans to stop the conspirators.
Guy Fawkes, who was in the cellar of the parliament with the 36 barrels of gunpowder when the authorities stormed it in the early hours of November 5th, was caught, tortured and executed.
It's unclear if the conspirators would ever have been able to pull off their plan to blow up the Parliament even if they had not been betrayed. Some have suggested that the gunpowder itself was so old as to be useless. Since Guy Fawkes and the other conspirators got caught before trying to ignite the powder, we'll never know for certain.
Even for the period which was notoriously unstable, the Gunpowder Plot struck a very profound chord for the people of England. In fact, even today, the reigning monarch only enters the Parliament once a year, on what is called "the State Opening of Parliament". Prior to the Opening, and according to custom, the Yeomen of the Guard search the cellars of the Palace of Westminster. Nowadays, the Queen and Parliament still observe this tradition.
On the very night that the Gunpowder Plot was foiled, on November 5th, 1605, bonfires were set alight to celebrate the safety of the King. Since then, November 5th has become known as Bonfire Night. The event is commemorated every year with fireworks and burning effigies of Guy Fawkes on a bonfire.

Yorkshire Parkin
  • 350g/12oz medium oatmeal
  • 175g/6oz self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 175g/6oz soft brown sugar
  • 175g/6oz butter
  • 250g/9fl oz golden syrup
  • 50g/2oz black treacle (if you can't find these syrups in your area, just sub dark molasses for both)
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 110ml/4oz milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2 and line a small, deep baking tray with parchment paper. Combine the oatmeal, flour and ginger in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Melt the sugar, butter, syrup and treacle in a bowl in the microwave or in a saucepan over a low heat. Pour the melted ingredients into the flour with the eggs and milk and stir well.
  3. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking tray.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes until golden brown, but still soft and sticky on top. Reduce the oven to 130C/250F/Gas 1 and bake for a further 30 minutes until firm to the touch.
  5. Allow to cool, before tightly wrapping in cling film. Store for at least three to five days to mature.
 And just in case you haven't had enough of Fawkes, here is a totally accurate pretty good completely daft  re-enactment of the events:

    Thursday, November 03, 2011

    Autumn decorations








    This is a fine old set of shutters, all white and chippy as are so popular right now. After a trip to the local Re-Store (Habitat for Humanity), where my friend, Mary, bought a new set, she gave me her old ones.  I'm thrilled with the size and condition. They help block off a drafty hall.




    I love using squash and Autumn flowers and leaves for decorations at this, my favorite time of year.













    I have a garland of them above my old armoire, and a wreath above my red chair.
     
    It has been snowing in our local mountains which is making the skiers and snowboarders really happy. Mt. Hood is world famous for its fantastic ski runs. Last Olympics there were plenty of athletes up there practicing. The Timberline Lodge is beautiful, and there is the Mt. Hood Railroad, that goes up that always has special events and excursions.

    Tuesday, November 01, 2011

    La Toussaint (All Saints)

    Today is All Saints Day, when we remember all those who have gone before us. The hymn below, a favorite from my childhood, expresses the idea that being a saint is not an impossible task, but one obtainable by us all - and as the last verse says, For the saints of God are just folk like me, And I mean to be one too.

    "I Sing a Song of the Saints of God" by Lesbia Scott (1898-1986), set to music by John Henry Hopkins, Jr. (1820–1891). The lyrics were written by the 20 year old, English mother for her own children, and first published in 1929. Another hymn written by Bishop Hopkins that might be more familiar to you is the Epiphany hymn, "We three Kings of Orient Are".
    I sing a song of the saints of God,
    Patient and brave and true,
    Who toiled and fought and lived and died
    For the Lord they loved and knew.
    And one was a doctor, and one was a queen,
    And one was a shepherdess on the green;
    They were all of them saints of God, and I mean,
    God helping, to be one too.
    They loved their Lord so dear, so dear,
    And his love made them strong;
    And they followed the right for Jesus' sake
    The whole of their good lives long.
    And one was a soldier, and one was a priest,
    And one was slain by a fierce wild beast;
    And there's not any reason, no, not the least,
    Why I shouldn't be one too.
    They lived not only in ages past,
    There are hundreds of thousands still.
    The world is bright with the joyous saints
    Who love to do Jesus' will.
    You can meet them in school, or in planes, or at sea,
    In church, or in trains, or in shops, or at tea;
    For the saints of God are just folk like me,
    And I mean to be one too.
    I understand, now, that some of you aren't familiar with this hymn, so I have included a link to the tune

    LinkWithin

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