~Living a life of sophisticated domestication deep in the heart of Texas~

Saturday, April 30, 2011

A thing of beauty....

....is a joy forever. It's loveliness increases. It will never pass into nothingness.... John Keats

This is the Eve of Beltane, a time of rejoicing and celebration of new love, rebirth, hopefulness and anticipation of abundance in the months ahead. It's a time of believing in possibilities and a time of reassurance, potentiating that which can/may/will be accomplished and brought to fruition.

Here we are in the midst of spring, but in times of old this was a point where it was the beginning of summer. It's the time when it's time to wait no more, but to be awakened to all sorts of possibilities.

At least that's the way I see it and what my heart tells me about it on this beautiful, sunny day. I hope it's the same for you, at least.

Beltane Blessings!
photo courtesy of our friend Tabitha in Tennessee...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Royal Wedding....

I thought it would be fun to post a picture of the Royal Grandparents, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip on their big day. I don't know how I missed this picture way back when, during the "everything is about our upcoming wedding" period, but here it is now ;+) How about that train, ladies!?! Whew. I've seen some photos that are more close-up pictures of the dress, and I must say, it is exquisite. I was somewhat intrigued by the fact that it has so much detail, contrasting with the "tone it down a bit" mentality that directed the wedding dress designs of American brides during and around the time of WWII.

Here's a bit about their wedding, excerpted from the Internet's version of About.com at Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip's Wedding Profile:

Philip and Elizabeth met in 1934 when Elizabeth was 13 years old at the wedding of Philip's cousin, Princess Marina of Greece. It was love at first sight for Elizabeth and she started writing letters to Philip. The first photograph of the couple together was taken in 1939.
They became secretly engaged in 1946. Because of her age, her family at first opposed her marriage to Philip, but relented. Their engagement was officially announced on July 9, 1947. Her platinum engagement ring had a large square diamond with smaller diamonds on either side. The diamonds came from Philip's mother's tiara.
Wedding Date and Information:
Elizabeth and Philip were married on November 20, 1947 at Westminster Abbey in London, England.
They had eight bridesmaids and two kilted page boys. The wedding ceremony was officiated by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Geoffrey Fisher and the Archbishop of York, Cyril Garbett.
The 2000 guests at the wedding included many royals, Noel Coward, Beatrice Lillie.
Wedding Reception:After the wedding, a lunch was held in the Ball supper-room at Buckingham Palace. Favours for the guests were individual posies of myrtle and white Balmoral heather.
The nine-foot high, four-tier wedding cake, was made with ingredients given by Australian Girl Guides. The wedding cake was cut using The Duke's Mountbatten sword. After the wedding, pieces of cake were given to schoolchildren and institutions.
The couple received over 2,500 wedding presents from around the world and around 10,000 telegrams of congratulations.
Wedding Attire:Elizabeth wore her grandmother's tiara and a beautifully designed wedding dress. In order to be able to purchase the material for her wedding dress, Elizabeth saved up ration cards.
"Made of ivory duchesse satin woven from silk from Chinese silkworms at Lullingstone Castle, the dress was decorated with 10,000 white seed pearls, imported from America, silver thread, sparkling crystal and transparent appliqué tulle embroidery. Attached at the shoulders was a 15-foot star-patterned full court train, embroidered in pearl, crystal and appliqué duchesse satin. The ensemble was completed by a silk tulle veil held in place by a diamond fringe tiara, lent to the bride by her mother as 'something borrowed', and ivory duchesse satin high-heeled sandals, trimmed with silver and seed pearl buckles."
"The Worshipful Company of Gardeners provided the Princess's bouquet, made of white orchids with a sprig of myrtle from the bush grown from the original myrtle in Queen Victoria's wedding bouquet."Source: Royal.gov.uk
"The richly embroidered white satin wedding dress shimmered with her every movement. Softly spaced throughout the dress were garlands of pearl orange blossom, syringa, jasmine and White Rose of York. These were skilfully combined with flowing lines of wheat ears, the symbol of fertility, and worked in pearl and diamante."Source: Wedding Dress Info
"The dress was made of ivory silk, decorated with pearls arranged as white roses of York, entwined with ears of corn embroidered in crystal."Source: Gyles Brandreth, Philip and Elizabeth: Portrait of a Royal Marriage, page 164.
Elizabeth's "wedding ring was made from a nugget of Welsh gold which came from the Clogau St David's mine near Dolgellau."Source: 60 Facts -- Diamond Wedding Anniversary, Fact 27.
Elizabeth wore a "ensemble of a dress and matching coat in mist-blue with mushroom-coloured assesories."Source: 60 Facts -- Diamond Wedding Anniversary, Fact 47.
The day after their wedding, Elizabeth's bouquet was laid on the grave of the Unknown Warrior at the Abbey.
Philip and Elizabeth honeymooned at Broadlands in Hampshire and at Birkhall on the Balmoral Estate.
Note to Elizabeth from her father, King George VI: "You were so calm and composed during the Service and said your words with such conviction that I knew it was all right. I can see that you are sublimely happy with Philip which is right, but don't forget us is the wish of Your ever loving and devoted papa."Source: William Shawcross, Queen and Country: The Fifty-Year Reign of Elizabeth II, page 33.

I love reading about these things.....

I'll be up early Friday morning to watch William and Kate on their happy occasion.



Saturday, April 23, 2011

When you....

....defile the pleasant streams
and the wild bird's abiding place, you massacre a million dreams and cast your spittle in God's face. ~John Drinkwater

Not very cheerful? Well, words to live by, nonetheless.

Considering that it was Earth Day on Friday, tomorrow millions around the planet will celebrate Easter and that we're well into Spring, I thought I'd share this sweet picture taken by our friend in Tennessee....

Into what kind of world do you think these baby robins will emerge? I'll bet it's going to be absolutely lovely.



Sunday, April 17, 2011

What's happening in my part of Texas....

It just wouldn't seem quite right to blog about the birds singing and the roses blooming in the garden, what with all the wildfires going on here in Texas right now. One article stated that 655 square miles have burned, and that's a good bit of our part of Texas, and all those who are suffering or worried or displaced are on my heart and mind today.

These cattle are (or were) in the area of Marfa, running from the flames. One firefighter, a gentleman who served the Eastland Fire Department lost his life the other day, overcome by smoke and consumed by the fire while he lay in a ditch. I told SGTex that Texas lost a real hero, and his loved ones have our deepest condolences.

There's a lot of weather going on in America and no doubts other parts of the world. Nevertheless, we are going to have a lovely Sunday with hopes and prayers for a better week.



Sunday, April 3, 2011

It's bluebonnet time....

....here in Texas. After going out to eat, we took a Sunday drive. It was a beautiful, hot day with lots to see. The mesquite trees are leafing out and I've never in my life seen such a wonderful, lemon-y green. Sure enough, we glimpsed the first bluebonnets alongside the road and SGTex stopped to pick a bouquet. They're so pretty, and I found this lovely picture to give you a glimpse of springtime in our part of Texas.

Enjoy! Shawn


photo courtesy of: AC Kandler Photography

Friday, April 1, 2011

Even the gods love jokes ~ Plato....

"Every spring is the only spring - a perpetual astonishment." - Ellis Peters

There isn't really a lot to say, other than it's been an excellent week. I'm truly surprised that it is already April, and pretty soon the bluebonnets will be bursting out of the earth around here (one of my many favorite things about Texas). Have a wonderful weekend in your part of the world. I hope you get to take some time to relax and enjoy it!
~Shawn~ **** photo courtesy of: John Doyle