Monday, January 28, 2013

The Rules

By The Pleasant Times' Etiquette Lady, Miss Rose

There are certain rules to life that used to be just floating around in the air we breathed. Unfortunately, due to climate change, these rules are no longer present in large quantities in the air, and have been so diminished and diluted that society will have to start issuing them in print as a reminder. Here is one of the most neglected rules, appertaining to the purity and sacredness of marriage:

Rule #1
Men and Women should Not live together before Marriage.

This used to be called living in sin.

Rule #1a A couple who are living in sin should be gently corrected by their families and friends.

Rule #1b
An unrepentant couple who are living together before marriage should not:
  •  Plan large, far-off in the future weddings, but should get married as quickly as possible.
  • Ask people to buy them wedding gifts, since they have already set up housekeeping together.
  • The Bride should not wear white (no matter what the new experts say it symbolizes now, it meant purity and still does in most people's minds).

Rule #1c
Couples that listen to correction, repent, and live chastely apart until the wedding may have Rule #1b amended.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Gray Days to Glimmering Blog Party

I'm going to do something unusual and join a Q&A blog party! I liked the name of this one! What a nice thing to do on a gray day-- try to make it glimmer! We are fogged in, so it is very grey around here, but it is glimmering at the same time, since everything is also covered in ice and frost.

 It really isn't grey outside-- there is a lot of light bouncing around in the fog!
 It's just too cold to be out there.
 Someone put some peacock feathers in an old rusty post next door, and even they were covered in fine frost.

1) What's your favorite thing to do when you've been feeling uninspired? 

 I am not sure I have a favorite thing to do, but I know what I tend to do: read a book or magazine, watch a period film, be alone and think, or pour a cup of tea and talk to my mother. I usually get a jump-start on an idea from one of those things.
I actually have a lot of inspiration buzzing around in my head, I just lack the time to do!

 2) Tell us about a really great movie/show that you've just discovered. 

I'm not sure I have watched anything since last year. I can think of some really good books that should be turned into movies, though, so if anyone in filmmaking wants to talk to me, please do. I may or may not charge for an Expert Movie Watcher Consultation.

 3) What do you like to do to change your mood? 

 Take a walk, or go on a drive.  

 4) Your favorite drink is currently... 

 Bengal Spice tea (from Celestial Seasonings) with whole milk. 

 5) When you hear the word exuberant, what's the first word that comes to mind? 

 A happy, jumpy-up-and-down little girl.  

 6) What made you smile last? 

 A sloppy baby grin, aimed at me. 

 7) What five songs would make a playlist to describe your week? 

 I've been listening to a lot of songs on a real playlist, actually-- I made one here for our congregation last week. Some are to learn and some are old favorites. Since I've been listening to them so much I'd say they colored my week!  But to answer the question more accurately-- I'm in an organizational wreck right now, boxes and bags to sort everywhere, so any five songs that include "help Lord!" are probably appropriate.  

 8) What's at the top of your creative 'To-Do' list? 

 Sew a lot of dresses, and make a lot of scrap quilts.  

 9) The last thing you crossed off the above list was... 

 Nothing. I am currently doing utilitarian sewing. Hemming rod pockets is rather dull. 

 10)  Quickly - the first movie quote from the top of your head, please! 

 Mr. Bennet! 

 11)  The best thing about January is... 

 The new beginnings. The white light when it snows (I hope it will snow!). 

 12) The worst thing about January is... 

 Missing church because of colds-- but so far so good this year! 
Constantly writing the wrong year number--that can go on until spring!

 13) What's your #1 resolution for 2013? 

 Write in my journal every day. I managed it for the first week! 

 14)  And lastly, share a quote or verse that you've found especially inspiring lately. 

The first seven verses of Proverbs 13.

Here's a question of my own: gray or grey? I seem to use both-- possibly an influence from reading English novels!

Thanks to my photograher, IJ, for the frosty photos.

"God Thing?"

By The Pleasant Times' Etiquette Lady Miss Rose

As many long-time readers of this column would guess, I like to err on the side of "traditional." I think the "traditional" way of doing, dressing, saying or behaving is probably the safest way in many cases.  I feel very strongly that we should stay with tradition in our language. There are many areas of language I could write about today, but lately I am particularly rankled by some new (to me) religious terms that are being used, so that is what I will address today.

This article is not about criticizing people's feelings or their walk with God.
It is about criticizing some of the expressions used when referring to God, the Bible, Christ and His church.  I advocate that we be careful and reverent when referring to the Almighty, All Powerful, Holy God, no matter what the new trend is, or how it makes us feel. Let's all feel closer to God, yes, but let's speak of Him with respect!

Let me begin first of all by telling you that I love God. He has been with me all of my life. He is close to me and loves me. I feel that He is near to me and that I can always talk to Him no matter what. He sent His Son to die for my sins, and for your sins, too. He made a way for me to be with Him in heaven. He is my heavenly Father.

But I'm not going to call him by a nickname.

I want to be careful how I speak about Him. I want to show the Lord respect. I want to show Him that I am His humble and grateful servant, and that He is so much better than anyone else. When you feel that way about someone, you do NOT speak to them or about them casually.

Henry Le Jeune
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 The following is going to sound very picky, perhaps; but calling God "THE GOD" or "A GOD" without the "OF"  is a trend that I think is irreverent.

 The following combinations have been used to refer to the Almighty Lord and His wondrous works:
"The God vote" (referring to religious voters)
"The God people" (referring to believers)
"The God thing" (referring to spiritual life-- or some mysterious force?)
"The God _______" (what have you)
(Some of these phrases use "Jesus" instead of God)
This use not only grammatically changes God from His place in our language from a proper noun into an adjective, but it smacks of unbelief! I can see an atheist using similar terms, or a reporter using them when trying to take a jab at Christianity, but should Christians use them? They put God in a box. They turn Him into just an idea, which may or may not be real.  Remember the traditional "The God of Abraham" or "The God of the Universe?" Is there something wrong with those phrases that folks do not want to use them? They have a lot more depth of meaning to them than the other.

 Though some may innocently use "It's a God thing" to refer to blessings or the Providence of God, are they aware of what it sounds like?  Do we want to demote God and His gifts to a thing? Is this really the best way to talk about God?

"Saying Grace", November 24,1951
"Saying Grace",...
Norman Rockwell
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We should not lose sight of the old way of talking about and referring to God, Christ, the church and the Bible.

He sent redemption unto his people: He hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is His name. -Psalm 111:9

For a rich study, go to Scripture and see the many names of God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, the church, and the words used to talk about all of His wonderful works. Since they are from the Inspired Word of God, you cannot really go wrong using them!

Jean-François Millet (II) (Evening Prayer) Art Poster Print

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Super Easy Pineapple Smoothie

Giant Pineapple on Cart, Hawaii
Giant Pineapple...

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This was popular with our Saturday breakfast. Makes 4 servings.

1 can pineapple
1/8 teaspoon coconut extract
4-6 ice cubes

Blend until smooth. You may want to double or triple the ingredients, as it is so good you'll want seconds!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Tea Cup Thursday: The Colclough Ladies

Today I want to show you to my two Colclough tea cups. 
I am not sure what the pattern is officially called-- I call it Crinoline Lady. 
Though they look like identical twins,  upon closer inspection there are some interesting differences. 

One was bought at a thrift store, another at a bargain price at an antiques shop. Neither came with its proper saucer. The one above is on a saucer from another (I think maybe older) Colclough tea set, the gold design of which exactly matches the gold floral motif on this tea cup. 

This is the saucer that was bought with the first cup; it says "Empire England" on the back. It is made of a heavier china than the Colclough cup. Though the little bit of garden architecture (detail above) looks as if it would go perfectly with the strolling lady among the flowers, it is in fact the wrong set of colors to match the cup. It does a good job with its impersonation, though. 

The lady wears a crinoline skirt in yellow, with what looks like a blue bodice and a blue shawl with yellow trim. She wears a yellow hat tied like a bonnet and holds a basket on her arm. She looks as if she is concentrating on her task as she strolls through her garden, amongst the hollyhocks and roses, gathering flowers for a bouquet. Or perhaps she is thinking that the gardener needs to spray those aphids. Or, perhaps she is tired from the glare of the sun and is headed to the house for a cup of tea. We may never know.

The other side of the teacup shows one of the lady's garden rooms. A flagstone path leads to a sundial on a pedestal. The design on the back seems more centered than the front. Notice the handle shape and size. 

The bottom of the cup says "Colclough, Bone China, Made in England."

Now for our twin lady. Notice the thickness of the gold floral motif, and how its leaves hit milady's hat. Also note that this cup's colors are brighter than the other. This scene also seems off-center.

The back of this cup show the thicker gold on the rim. Notice the handle shape and size, and how it differs from the previous cup. The handle looked as if it may have been repaired at some point-- or there was a hairline crack in it.

The saucer paired with this cup is not the proper one, but the clever shop owner picked a good match for the cup's bright colors and theme. 

The bottom of the cup.

One reason that I joined Teacup Thursday was because I had been cataloging by photo all the teacups in the china hutch, and if you are a blogger, all photos are fair game for posting! I'm very glad I did take photos of this pair, for these teacup twins have since  suffered tragedy. The aforementioned handle flaw turned into a fatal break, and other mishaps occurred that befall all teacups in the end. This duo has now been laid to a temporary rest in the broken fine china box; though they are out of hot water it is far from the end of their useful lives. Someday I am going to start a new hobby, and these lovely ladies will appear as centerpieces on mosaic tables or trays (like these!), surrounded by even more roses in their gardens.