Saturday, April 15, 2006

Hopping Down The Bunny Trail

In a few short hours the Easter Bunny will be hiding eggs and various sugary treats in our homes so I thought I would share a site with you that I enjoyed looking at this weekend (warning: this site automatically plays music).

The site is divided into the following:
- Dyeing Easter Eggs--the Natural way!
- Egg Safety
- The Date of Easter
- The Cross
- The Easter Bunny
- The Easter Egg
- Hot Cross Buns (recipe that I am trying tomorrow)
There are some great Victorian Easter pics on this site that are used to divide each topic. Here is a sample (my personal favorite):

After looking through the site I realized there was no mention of the Easter bonnet so I Googled and found an interesting site, nothing to do with Easter, but one I thought worth checking out.

This site is about the community of Gurley, a small southern town in North Alabama founded by Captain Frank B. Gurley. One of things you will find on this site is an interesting collection of old photos that were found in an attic.

In a long forgotten cedar trunk found in a long forgotten Gurley attic, there rested two leather bound photo albums containing photos of early residents of Gurley. One album was a Christmas present given to a cousin named Matilda (Matilda Gurley Walker -1854-1931) from Cousin Clara (Clara McBride). It was dated December 25, 1886. The photos are of people of all ages.

Among those photos I did find a picture of two young ladies wearing their Easter finery. The caption under the photo says, "Jennie and Ola Bell in their Easter Bonnets." I found this photo interesting as there doesn't seem to be a reason for the young lady on the right to be holding a piece of paper. Perhaps she is reading over her Easter wish list, then again, she could be getting ready to go to confession as it seems as if these two fine young ladies are kneeling at an altar of some sorts. In any event, I think it is fascinating to have all these old photos displayed on the internet.

While we are on the subject of Easter bonnets, apparently all the fashionable dogs are getting into the act now.

If you are looking for Easter clipart or pics, may I suggest this site. Samples below.

A Bright Spark Goes Out

Prolific writer, Muriel Spark, died on Friday, April 14th at the age of 88.

Best-known as the author of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie - one of Time magazine's all time 100 novels - Spark created an impressive body of work that includes novels, short stories, essays and so much more. She decided in the 1940's to keep a record of her professional and personal activities, beginning a personal archive that is now one of the largest and most comprehensive held by the National Library of Scotland.

The Muriel Spark archive is unique among the National Library of Scotland's collections of papers of Scottish writers. No other author has so deliberately and carefully preserved a record of their life.

Spark is quoted on the National Library of Scotland's website as saying, "since 1949 onwards I have thrown away practically nothing on paper." When one thinks of the amount of paper created by a writer being saved and archived for future generations it boggles the mind. What a wonderful gift and legacy to leave behind.

I remember reading The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie when I was in my early twenties and thinking, "this broad has guts." What is interesting is the theme of the novel - "standing up against conventionality," - is still relevant today. Just this past week the movie adaptation of the novel was on TV and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed Maggie Smith in the role of Miss Brodie. Oft times the movie adaptations are a let down but in this case I was pleasantly surprised.

Maggie Smith in her role as Miss Jean Brodie

For more information on the amazing Muriel Spark check this out.

Bottom Line . . .

All I Need to Learn about Life I Learned From the Easter Bunny!
Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
Walk softly and carry a big carrot.
Everyone needs a friend who is all ears.
There's no such thing as too much candy.
All work and no play can make you a basket case.
A cute little tail attracts a lot of attention.
Everyone is entitled to a bad hare day.
Let happy thoughts multiply like rabbits.
Some body parts should be floppy.
Keep your paws off other people's jellybeans.
Good things come in small-sugarcoated packages.
The grass is greener in someone else's basket.
An Easter bonnet can cover the wildest hare.
To show your true colors you have to come out of the shell.
The best things in life are still sweet and gooey.
Author Unknown

Friday, April 14, 2006

Food For The Soul

At this time of year many people turn to two of their passions to get through this muddy, pre-blooming season - church and chocolate. I know it might not be right to compare going to church with eating chocolate but one cannot deny the similarities:
- one receives a feeling of euphoria from both
- there are many types to choose from
- some people try to deny themselves of it
- partaking of it often leads to confession
- both are closely linked to Easter

I must confess that I have been worshipping more at the altar of Hershey these days than I have at my local church. It seems at this point in my journey the church provides more questions than answers. Don't get me wrong, I still have beliefs and feel there is a spiritual presence around me at times, but I guess the enlightenment I thought I would receive from the church is missing. When I was younger I participated in all the sacraments and rituals associated with my church and felt content with the status quo but now I feel there is something missing when I repeat the same prayers and partake of the host. Maybe it is a feeling of just going through the motions. In any event, this Easter weekend I will not be surrounded by the smells of incense, lilies, and ancient hymn books but rather the tantalizing aroma of a hollow milk chocolate hen in a basket and the unmistakable scent of Hershey mini eggs.

Now I must go confess my sins to Jenny Craig.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Almost There

Today, as I was looking at my grad picture hanging in my office, it occured to me that this leg of my journey is almost complete. In little over a month I will be attending the Spring Convocation at UNBSJ and receiving my BA/BEd degree.

There were times over the past five years that I felt I was never going to see the day when I would receive my degree. Life has a way of throwing obstacles in your way and there were plenty of them for me to overcome - the loss of my husband, raising my daughter on my own, financial responsibilities, and finding the time to study, read, research, and write papers while working full time. Now that I have time to stop and take a breath, I wonder how I managed to do it all. Somehow I became a master of time management and was able to keep up with my studies, keep my home comfortable, and my daughter happy (even though we had a few rough patches along the way). My friends and family have said all along I should be proud of my accomplishments but I always told them I was only doing what had to be done.

Now that I think about it, they were right, I should be proud of what I have done. So, on May 19th I will proudly accept my degree with a big smile on my face and perhaps, with a little sigh of relief.

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