Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
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Small Town, Saved—By Individuals

Red Cloud Farmer's and Merchant's Bank from NW

Red Cloud Farmer’s & Merchant’s Bank. By Ammodramus (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

There’s a terrific and encouraging article over at the PreservationNation Blog about the preservation of author Willa Cather’s Nebraska hometown of Red Cloud. How was Red Cloud preserved? Why, by the actions of individuals, of course! That’s probably my favourite part of the story—it wasn’t eminent domain, it wasn’t anything overbearing, it was simply someone who learned about and became interested in Cather who decided to do what she could to save the writer’s home town.

The woman in question is Mildred Bennett, who found herself teaching the descendants of those written about by Cather—and then moved to Red Cloud itself, a perfect opportunity for Bennett to learn more about the Pulitzer Prize winner, to the point that she published The World of Willa Cather (afil) in 1951. But that was not enough for Mildred.

Willa Cather house from NE 1

Willa Cather’s childhood home, By Ammodramus (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Realizing the town’s potential, Bennett gathered a group of friends around her kitchen table — her “kitchen cabinet” — and the Willa Cather Pioneer Memorial and Educational Foundation was born. When it incorporated in 1955, eight participants kicked in $20 each, most of which went to pay for the notice of incorporation in the newspaper. Bennett was named president, a post she held on and off until her death in 1989. And with donations, grants, and grit, the foundation began preserving the structures that inform Cather’s work. (via)

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Monday Escape: A Football Team Everyone Can Rally Behind

I have a little tradition this time of year, and there’s no reason not to continue it.

Traditioooonnnnn...Tradition! Even if you don’t like football (as you know, I can take it or leave it), it seems pretty safe to say just about everyone can cheerfully support Team Benedict in his annual start-of-the-football-season Collie Football photo, right? Granted, Team Ben is a one-collie-team, but…he’s a collie. If we’ve viewed the requisite number of Lassie movies or television shows and read the proper minimum of Albert Payson Terhune, we know how amazing collies are.

Have a great Monday (having seen this charming face, how could you not?)!

Grace In Motion

Monday Escape: Happy Customer

Pinning to this page is okay. Photo copyright Jen Baker/Liberty Images; all rights reserved.


One of quite a few pollinators I am (finally) seeing in the garden. This bumblebee was really on the move—I had to chase it all over, as it never stayed with one bloom for very long at all (granted, they’re tiny flowers). It’s always worth trying, though. Bumblebees seem to be among the few creatures that don’t seem to mind a camera lens being shoved into their face.

Have a fine Monday!

A terribly handsome beggar

Ben & The Suet Cake

A cold nose, but a busy one.

I had plans and (a beginning!) for a different post today, but it looks like our furnace is really struggling with the Arctic weather—meaning I’m not too keen on much more than baking (to warm up the house a bit) and hiding beneath a warm afghan, Middlemarch in hand and a hot pot of tea on the coffee table. Well…what else is winter for?

Even so, it seemed wrong to head into the weekend without something fun, so here’s Ben, everone’s favourite collie, “helping” me put up a new suet cake for the birds.

Ben & The Suet Cake

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Scampering Squirrel, embroidered and harmless

Squirrel Pillowcase My sincere apologies for no TCM top 5 post this week; I’ve been slightly under the weather, and really, I wrote two last week, so I hope I can be forgiven. To be honest, I’ve kicked around the idea of it being less frequent anyhow; it takes a few hours every week to write up, and sometimes I’d rather write about other things, but feel obligated to keep to “the schedule”. But this is, after all, my own blog, so it is whatever I make it, yes? Just a heads-up.

Instead, today (as you can see!) I am sharing with you photos of a years-long embroidery project I finally finished a couple of months ago and sent off to the friend I was gifting them to.

Squirrel Pillowcases

Wandering around an antique mall or something of that sort one day, I spotted a pair of crochet-edge, pre-stamped but not-yet-embroidered pillowcases peeking out at me. Continue reading