Wednesday, November 22, 2017

It's the Hodgepodge, Thankfully!

 Thanksgiving (October) 2016 hayride
Our non-traditional Early Thanksgiving
This is the difference between celebrating Thanksgiving mid October
and celebrating it early November, (cold, drizzly, yukky) as we did this year.
Hopefully we can go back to October for next year.

Join Joyce and the Gang

She writes the questions;
we write the answers.
Plug them into your own blog post
and Join in!

Thanks, Joyce!

1. tightly do you cling to tradition when it comes to holiday gatherings and celebrations? For instance do you always do the cooking, never eat at home, always go to grandma's, never miss the parade, always watch football, never change the menu, always eat at 2 PM, etc.? Have you ever celebrated Christmas or Thanksgiving away from hearth, home, and family? How did that feel?

I'm not sure how tightly I cling to tradition, for my goal is to celebrate Thanksgiving with the family, whenever most of them are available to get together. Thus, our Thanksgiving this year was on November 4. What's taking the rest of you so long?? ;-) BUT, If Thanksgiving is going to be celebrated at our house, there will always be turkey and stuffing. It works out well for Mr. C. and me to roast the turkey (with stuffing) and ham here, cook the potatoes and squash, and ask the others to bring the other sides and dessert. We don't ever eat out for our family Thanksgiving. Never ever watching football is a time-honored tradition, and usually eating at 1 PM works best for us.

One year Mr. C. and I flew to London on Thanksgiving Day evening, although the kids who were left here at home had already had their Thanksgiving dinner with us before we left. So we were at St. Paul's Cathedral for the First Sunday of Advent. How did that feel? Pretty wonderful!

 Yesterday at 11:30 AM
From the Porch

 Yesterday at 1:30 PM
Same porch

2. it easy for you to ask for help or are you a do-it-yourselfer? How is that a good/bad thing?

It's not particularly easy for me to ask for help. I was raised to be a self-sufficient type, as were my parents, and I think we passed that on to our kids, which I now kind of regret. I say 'kind of' because I do love that they are responsible adults, thankfully. I don't think there is a fine line between being able to ask for help and being totally unable to do anything for oneself, but you know that old slippery slope.. I err on the side of self sufficiency, I guess. Not that I don't ask Mr. C. for help moving boxes of books (among other things), but you know it doesn't count that I ask Mr. C. for help. :-)  

On the other hand, I constantly ask God for his help and mercy. I would say 'often,' but I think constantly is slightly more accurate.

3. Abundance...what is there an abundance of in your kitchen?

Refrigerator magnets, mostly photos of the family, some souvenirs. This is limited to the refrigerator, thankfully. Oh. And coffee mugs. Yeah, quite a few. And I keep meaning to do a blog post on those mugs.

4. Name...the smallest thing you're thankful for? the biggest?
 She put on her builder hat and asked me what she should build.
I said, 'Build me a castle.' This was her response.
3.5 years old. What a fun age!!

The smallest: the Micro SD card for my camera. Technically, I'm sure there's something even smaller that I'm thankful for, like microsurgery. But...
The biggest: our family

But the by-far-way-biggest: God's grace in the person of Jesus Christ, Lord of all.

5. Key...What do you think is the key to living a more grateful life?

I think that every American should visit a third-world country to see how most of the world lives. That helps a lot. When you see the majority of people (including children) who struggle daily just to survive, it reminds us how trivial many of our 'needs' truly are.

6. State your own random thought here.

The you-know-whats are not allowed on the table or countertops, but it was sure nice to have Tommy's company as I was sorting through books yesterday in one of the bedrooms.

I'm thankful that Tommy doesn't have to be considered a meal.

 Happy Thanksgiving!


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I needed supervision.

Friday, November 17, 2017

More Photos of Canterbury Cathedral - Anglophile Friday

 Canterbury Cathedral Gate

This is another installment of our September/October England trip with my brother and his wife. A few weeks ago I showed you a few photos of the exterior of Canterbury Cathedral covered with scaffolding, and a few interior shots of the cathedral. So today, I have other photos to share, most of which I'm not thrilled with because of my new camera. What was I thinking! But, oh well.

Pulpit with Canopy or Tester overhead

 At the front of the nave, looking eastward toward the rood screen

 Past (east of) the rood screen into the choir (quire)

 Some tourist got into my photo.

Actually, that's my brother with his audioguide. Isn't he cute?
We all had audioguides, which are very helpful.

 High Altar

 Entrance, south
Steps with many centuries of wear
Becket Memorial
Becket Flame

If you don't know the story of Henry II and Thomas Becket, you can read it HERE . It's a tragic story of friendship, allegiance vs. conscience, and misunderstanding.

 Burial of Christ


"Items that are crafted for the Cathedral or given as gifts often have a tale to tell too. One such item is the bronze Burial of Christ statue located in the Corona also known as the Chapel of the Saints and Martyrs of our Time. It stands on a plinth to the left of the chapel.

"Collections revealed close up The statue consists of four figures carrying the body of Christ wrapped in a shroud. It is thought that the figures may represent apostles carrying Jesus to his burial place after his crucifixion. This is a popular subject in religious artwork and has been depicted notably by Michelangelo and Caravaggio amongst others. The statue really captures the struggle that the four figures are experiencing, both physically and emotionally; three are looking ahead of them, their faces lined with grief, whilst the fourth holds his head in his hands. Their clothes are thought to be a traditional dish-dash or thawb, a traditional African garment."  Read more about this sculpture HERE

 St. Eustace mural

"This wall painting, dating from around 1480, was uncovered in 1830 when lime wash was removed from the wall of the north aisle of the choir.  It shows the story of St Eustace, a legendary Christian martyr who lived in the second century AD.  The setting is a series of wooded landscapes with details of ships, hamlets, churches, castles, monkeys, and a river meandering to the sea.  The story starts at the bottom, with Eustace on his knees before his quarry, a white stag, between whose horns can be seen an image of Christ.  It ends with Eustace and his family roasted to death in a large bull placed over a fire (!)" - from

Some of the beautiful architecture
and stained glass

 Ancient monks' dormitory
within the cathedral close


 Another time, without scaffolding on the west end

 Fun traveling companions!

And see that sign?
Nicholson's. They're everywhere!

I think we'll now move on from Canterbury, although I could have stayed there a very long time. And I love that cathedral. As I've said many times in the past, it is truly an awe-inspiring house of worship.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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