Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Seagulls

For as far back as my memory goes, these seagulls have been perpetually in flight. My earliest trips to Aunt Minnie's house included viewing them soaring over her living room sofa in the 1950's. They are a set of four from the Beswick Pottery in England. I think from the Potters mark on the back of them that they were made in the late 30's. They are so nicely painted and realistic in their eternal flight.
My mother greatly treasured them, and brought them to Oregon with her on their retirement in 1980. They now grace a guest bedroom, which is fondly known now as 'The Seagull Room'.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A German cake

Taking a quick break from inherited items....
Our friend Doris has been itching to get into the kitchen and bake some of her traditional desserts for us. After looking through this German cookbook, she decided to phone relatives in Berlin and she got a 60-year old recipe for us to try. The dough was somewhere between a bread and a cake, since it had yeast mixed in.
We were taking the cake for refreshments at our weekly Bible Study on Tuesday night, so decided to make two...and as Doris said "have plenty of left-overs." We let the dough raise by the fire for about 30 minutes.

We rolled out the dough and placed in on parchment paper, since we needed to lift it from the pan after baking. We let them rise again for about 30-40 minutes, then topped it with a caramelized almond topping before popping them in the oven.

Here they are cooling on a rack...and meanwhile we made homemade vanilla pudding, and cooled it too.

We sliced the cakes in half (no small feat...we did it with heavyweight crochet thread) and spread the cooled pudding on for a filling. Then we replaced the top, and they came out looking like this...

They tasted delightful...but different from anything I have ever tasted, like a bread with a sweet smooth pudding filling and a sweet yummy top.

Doris was very proud of her efforts, and everyone enjoyed the treat that night...not least the insurance man and Doris!

Monday, February 15, 2010


Continuing on with items passed down from Aunt Minnie... This is Amelia...a china doll that has lived with us for 30+ years. Aunt Minnie received her for Christmas in the late 1880's. Her sister Mae had one similar. Amelia never had a name that I heard about, so about 10 years ago I decided it was time, and chose Amelia. Now I have a granddaughter Amelia, so someday she will have this pretty doll with the same name.
Amelia is in her original clothing. I have the box that Aunt Minnie kept her in, along with a different dress that her mother must have made. However, this dress is pretty well sewn right on the doll, so it would be a trick to change it. I 'googled' china dolls this morning and found that Amelia is known as a 'low-brow' china doll (due to the hair molded over her forehead and ears). There were hundreds of these made in Germany in the late 1880's and 1890's. However, there are many fewer blonde dolls, as most had black hair. Doesn't she have a sweet pretty face with her blonde hair?

One year we discovered that Amelia's right hand did not belong to her. It is sewn on backwards...although it's hard to see in the picture, the thumb is actually on the bottom of the hand. So...she has two left hands. I imagine that a hurried Mother repaired the doll and sewed on the wrong hand. I imagine that sister Mae's doll had two right hands? It will forever be a mystery as that doll disappeared long ago. The sewn on left hand does prove that Amelia was played with, although her dress looks almost as good as the day she came to live with our family.

Friday, February 12, 2010

A wonderful white metal bed frame and a firm/soft cushy mattress makes for a very good guest bed. This bed has played many roles in my life, and has sported several colors. My Mom's Aunt Minnie and Uncle George used it for many years as their own bed. In those years it was a brownish metal. Eventually we moved in to care for Aunt Minnie and it became my bed in my own room. I remember my Dad painting it white for me...and then painting it several times as the paint would chip away. Aunt Minnie's furnishings became my mothers' after her death, and after Mom and Dad's retirement to Oregon the white bed became their guest bed. Lots of good memories of grandchildren in the white bed, and it was always where the insurance man and I slept on visits.
In the 90's we inherited the bed, and decided to powder-coat it a nice cream color. That was a great decision, as it looks so serene and beautiful..but never scratches or peels. Now days it resides in our guest room to welcome more grandchildren and guests.

Isn't it marvelous that I love rosebuds?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A very fine desk

Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE old things. Most of my everyday furnishings are things handed down or inherited, or found in antique stores. I thought I would post on our blog a few of the beautiful items I inherited from my Mom from her Aunt Minnie.
The first one is a beautiful desk, probably made in the 1920's. I am not too good with woods, but this is either mahogany or stained to look like. I love all the cubbies and drawers. When I inherited this it still had all the fun office things in the cubbies from 1930-1960's. While my Mom had this desk it sat in their entrance hallway. I never really investigated it then, but always admired how the light brought out the beauty in the wood grain.
I love mysteries too...and closed doors and drawers reveal mysterious contents.

One day I found that the two decorative side bars pulled out to reveal...

a hiding place. They each will hold things I want to 'hide', or in my case just special things that I want to pull out and remember occasionally. Is there any furnishing more wonderful than a desk with hidden caches?

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Beauty of Protection

by John Morgan 1861
I have recently been serving on Jury Duty for Deschutes County here in my hometown of Bend. I naively went tripping off to 'do my duty' two weeks ago. The first trial I sat on was for shoplifting from Costco. There were some unpleasant moments, but for the most part everything went smoothly and I think that justice was served. Then this week things changed. I went through an all day jury selection process for a lengthy trial involving 8 counts of sodomy. In the end 14 jurors were selected, and I was not among them. God had protected the innocent yet again. I sat there all day thinking of how I had gotten myself into this, and there was no way I wanted to sit on this jury for a month and hear the testimony forthcoming. The thinking process then began...and it has led me to thinking out loud on this blog this morning, and hope you will bear with me.
First of all, did you notice one thing on the picture above? The jury consists of men only. When our forefathers believed passionately about every person's right to a trial by a jury of their peers, they were talking about men. Juries in all centuries before the 20th, consisted of people who had the right to vote. That meant men, and usually only landowners. They knew what we have forgotten...namely that heads of households (or grown sons) went to serve the cause of justice, and in the meantime protected their wives and daughters.
Now, in our day and age, this concept has long been abandoned. Women are the equal of men right? We deserve the right to vote, and the responsibilities that come with that, right? No, I don't think 'right'. People have scoffed over the years that I am very sheltered at home. Yes, I am and praise be to God for that. I will take being sheltered from sin and it's ugly devastation every time! I am OK with the idea of not voting. We do talk over the issues and candidates at home, and then the insurance man as representing our household will do the actual voting. It's taken me some time to think through that, having been raised that it my civic duty to vote, and women worked so hard to get the vote. But those women were feminists, devoted to the cause of equality for men and women. Is that what I believe, or want to promote? How about your thoughts here?
Now, having come to the conclusion that I should be protected from trials like the one I described, how best to go about that? In talking with Julie and her husband Peter who is a Pastor, we realized that older women are more vulnerable to jury duty. Julie would fill out an excuse form that she is needed as her children's teacher, and be excused. Older women are summoned more frequently as retired or more available. It is difficult at best to be excused if you are not working or otherwise needed. So, what are the consequences of not agreeing to jury duty. Well as I am writing, Peter is looking into the legalities of refusing to serve. What are the laws, and when can you lawfully ask to decline...if there is such a time. While I am waiting on that, I was thinking of the process I went through. Once you are in a pool of potential jurors, you have no say in what trial you are assigned to, and you do not know until entering the courtroom what kind of trial it is to be. After the attorneys begin their questioning however, they usually give potential jurors the right to express their feelings about serving on the jury. This could be a good time to speak up about moral objections to the trial and sitting on the jury. It retrospect I wish I would have spoken up at that time. No one else did for moral reasons, and I know of at least one other Christian woman who was selected for that trial. I am praying for her and for God to protect her mind and heart.
As I didn't speak up, I believe God shielded me, and I thank Him for that. But for next time I or one of my daughters is summoned, I do want to be prepared with my beliefs on exposing women to terribly sinful situations.
I realize that not all women have a head of household to protect them, or step in the gap. And yet, I believe that should be the role of Christian men in the fill that gap for single, divorced or widowed women. Let me be very clear on one thing...I do believe the person on trial in the above mentioned case should be tried for the things accused of him, and if found guilty sentenced. I just don't want to be there to hear the trial and it's evidence. I wouldn't want the insurance man to have to sit through it either, but that is the role God gave him as the head of our protect us women and deliver justice when necessary. Today I am back to enjoying beauty in my home, duties and outside my windows in God's creation...thanks to a God who protects and defends.
What do you think? I would welcome comments and thoughts on this issue.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The people
are aching
The banks
are breaking
The poor
are poorer
The rich
are richer
The children
don't know
The clouds
are descending
The rains
are drenching
The dreams
are holding
The tears
are pounding
The lands
are shaking
The streets
are hard
The footsteps
are shell-shocked
The voices
The people
are aching
Written by Carol Blackwell
I belong to a writer's group, and last night at our meeting Carol presented us with this poem she had written. I felt it was such a timely statement that I asked her permission to use it here. My only addition is to add: Aren't we blessed that God has chosen us for His children, to watch over and be with us in the hard times?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Sunrise on a snowy morn

"Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me and I shall be whiter than snow." Psalms 51:7

"Though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.." Isaiah 1:18

"Like the cold of snow in the day of harvest, is a faithful messenger to those who send him, for he refreshes the soul of his masters." Proverbs 25:13

"Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?" Matthew 6:26

"O sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done wonderful things...the Lord has made known His salvation; shout joyfully to the Lord all the earth, break forth and sing for joy and sing praises! Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy before the Lord." Psalms 98:1,4

"My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the Lord...the bird also has found a house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even Thine altars O Lord of Hosts, my King and my God. How blessed are those who dwell in Thy house! They are ever praising Thee." Psalms 84: 3,4