Archive for January, 2012

Ah, the promise of Spring . . .

January 31st, 2012 Comments off

Tom King has found the first sign of Spring at his home in Pocahontas, Arkansas.

He writes:

“I just found this early riser near the southwest corner of my house!  This is the first one this season.”

Thanks Tom.  I am sure it is good to know that regeneration is still at work.  Hold on to that promise!


And not to be out done . . . John Hayter in Illinois made his own discovery today!

January 31st, 2012 Comments off

             John writes:  

I looked out my bedroom window this morning and saw, due to the unseasonably warm weather, the first crocus in bloom.  This is not ‘snow crocus’ which can bloom under the snow.  Yesterday, the  temp was 64℉ which broke the record for 30 January at this longitude in Illinois.

A Great Find in the Thrift Shop

January 31st, 2012 Comments off

My son was about a year old when I stopped at a local thrift shop to look at the books in the window display.   In those days I was on alert to find rare books to go with my very small collection.  

You can imagine how thrilled I was when I saw this book:  “Timothy Taylor, Ambassador of Goodwill,” by Helen Husted.

Today you can get personalized books with your child’s name on every page, this is not the same. This is an authentic book with historical significance.  (Published in 1941, by Coward-McCann, Inc. New York.)



For their own protection during World War II, many children from Europe were sent to live with friends/relatives in America.  This lovely story, written in rhyme, is about the experience of a real little boy named Timothy, from England.

The dedication on the inside, “To Patricia from Ruth,” is dated 10/10/42.  (My Tim was born 10/09) It has a ‘Merry Christmas’ sticker from 1942 (The year I was born.) 

 I hope that when I get a daughter-in-law that she will take good care of this special book.  I’m counting on her  to pass it on to the next little Timothy Taylor.

Vitamin D

January 31st, 2012 Comments off

Otesa Middleton Miles  writes for Arthritis Today magazine that Vitamin D is critical for you body to absorb bone-strengthening calcium . Sunshine stimulates your body to generate vitamin D, but shorter winder days, the sunscreen you should be wearing daily and dark skin pigmentation lower production.  Here are four easy ways to get more vitamin D.

1.  Fortified foods. Vitamin D is added to some milk, yogurt, soy products, juices and cereals.  If the label says “fortified”, eat up.

2.  Fatty Fish.  Enjoy fatty fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel.  A 3 ounce serving of salmon has nearly a day’s worth of D.

3. Supplements.  You can get vitamin D with calcium supplements, on its own or from cod liver oil (it is not the same as fish oil supplements), which now comes in different flavors and in capsule form.

4. Lose weight.  Body fat can trap vitamin D.  Losing weight may raise D levels – and ease arthritis symptoms, too.


Benji, and Five Rivers Animal Aid

January 31st, 2012 Comments off

 Cool Dog – 1 year old Terrier Mix – Benji

  This notice came out in the Pocahontas Star Herald 1-12-12. Hopefully Benji has found a home by now.

Every time I look at that face I feel like a human is looking back at me.  Do you feel that way too?

By the way, the Five Rivers Animal Aid is always in need of donations, if you feel so inclined. It is manned by folks who have a heart for animals and they do the best they can with limited finances.  I am sure they would be extremely appreciative to receive a contribution of any size .

To see more pets available for adoption go to

You can also contact them at 870 275 3655  or

A Flower Without Color

January 31st, 2012 Comments off


A flower without color

A day without sunshine

A face without a smile

mwt ’12

Essays of Elia: Sounds like a blogger to me!

January 30th, 2012 Comments off

Thank you to niece Lori, who added to my small but prized rare book collection by sending me a 1926 printing of Essays of Elia, copyrighted in 1905. I was interested to learn more about this author and his essays. 

Essays of Elia is a collection of essays written by Charles Lamb;  it was first published in book form in 1823, with a second volume, Last Essays of Elia, issued in 1833. 

The essays in the collection first began appearing in The London Magazine  in 1820 and continued to 1825. Lamb’s essays were highly popular and were printed in many subsequent editions throughout the nineteenth century. The personal and conversational tone of the essays has charmed many readers; the essays “established Lamb in the title he now holds, that of the most delightful of English essayists.”

Lamb himself is the Elia of the collection, and his sister Mary is “Cousin Bridget.” Charles first used the pseudonym Elia for an essay on the South Sea House, where he had worked decades earlier; Elia was the last name of an Italian man who worked there at the same time as Charles, and after that essay the name stuck.

The essays cover a wide range of topics, just as I do on this website, so I say Charles Lamb would have loved the freedom to express himself as a blogger.  He was born 230 years too soon!

Mona Lisa, as sung by the great Nat King Cole

January 30th, 2012 Comments off


Mona Lisa 

Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa, men have named you
You’re so like the lady with the mystic smile
Is it only ’cause you’re lonely they have blamed you?
For that Mona Lisa strangeness in your smile?

Do you smile to tempt a lover, Mona Lisa?
Or is this your way to hide a broken heart?
Many dreams have been brought to your doorstep
They just lie there and they die there
Are you warm, are you real, Mona Lisa?
Or just a cold and lonely lovely work of art?

Do you smile to tempt a lover, Mona Lisa?
Or is this your way to hide a broken heart?
Many dreams have been brought to your doorstep
They just lie there and they die there
Are you warm, are you real, Mona Lisa?
Or just a cold and lonely lovely work of art?

Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa 

#4 James Madison

January 30th, 2012 Comments off

James Madison (1751-1836)
Fourth President (1809-1817) 

As a central figure in framing the Constitution, James Madison had a good deal of influence over the shaping of the American presidency. But helping to conceive that office did not guarantee success in occupying it, and much of Madison’s own presidency was marred by his inept handling of the War of 1812 and the bitter criticism that it engendered. Derisively labeled “Mr. Madison’s War,” the conflict, one commentator railed, had been “commenced in folly . . . carried on with madness, and . . . will end in ruin.”

The advent of peace in late 1814, however, mellowed feelings toward Madison. Although many of the issues that had spawned hostilities remained unresolved, the war had produced enough military glory to satisfy national pride. In the process, Madison emerged as the American David who had dared to take on the British Goliath.

In 1829, Madison came out of retirement to attend a convention for revising Virginia’s constitution. While there, he posed for this portrait by the Massachusetts painter Chester Harding. This last involvement in public affairs rejuvenated the now-frail Madison. According to one observer, his “stock of racy anecdotes was the delight of every social board.” 

Chester Harding (1792-1866)

Oil on canvas, 1829-1830 
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

Prayer: Pastor Rick

January 29th, 2012 1 comment

Hello Friends,

I want to thank the Schoolmarm for taking me out of her imagination and allowing me to share my thoughts on Sunday mornings.  Today I am thinking about prayer.  

The painting of Jesus in Gethsemane (that is posted today) is usually shown only at Easter, but as a child it was in my Bible story book and I saw it often.  It made me sad to think that his friends couldn’t stay awake with him.  I wondered if I could have stayed awake or if I would have fallen asleep too.  As an adult it still presents me with the same question. 

Prayer should be a wonderful time of coming into the presence of God, yet we often feel awkward in praying. We run out of things to say rather quickly, or we recite a litany of needs and wants, like kids to Santa Claus.  I believe he just wants us to come to him as a child to a parent, expressing love and sharing what is going on in our lives.  That way he is not a stranger, not unapproachable, but he is our loving Lord, and we are comfortable with him even as we are in awe of his majesty.

We too may stare death in the face some day, as he was doing.  He taught us to get on our knees and come into agreement with God through prayer.  If you haven’t actually bent your knees in prayer, try it some time.  In fact, I would suggest trying it often.  It gives much more importance to the words that come out of your mouth and heart.

Until next time,

Pastor Ricky


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