Thursday, December 31, 2020

A Feel Sorry New Year's Eve

~ A Few British Ornaments on the Tree ~

Adrian Henry's Talking After Christmas Blues

Well I woke up this mornin' it was Christmas Day
And the birds were singing the night away
I saw my stocking lying on the chair
Looked right to the bottom but you weren't there
there was
. .. . aftershave
but no you.

So I went downstairs and the dinner was fine
There was pudding and turkey and lots of wine
And I pulled those crackers with a laughing face
Till I saw there was no one in your place
there was
nuts and raisins
. . . mashed potato
but no you.

Now it's New Year and it's Auld Lang Syne
And it's 1 2 o'clock and I'm feeling fine
Should Auld Acquaintance be Forgot?
I don't know girl, but it hurts a lot
there was
vodka dry Martini (stirred
but not shaken)
.... and 12 New Year resolutions
all of them about you.

So it's all the best for the year ahead

As I stagger upstairs and into bed
Then I looked at the pillow by my side
. . .I tell you baby I almost cried

there'll be


. . . . and Winter

all of them without you.

[all ellipses in original]

Adrian Henri (1932 - 2000)
Thanks to Curtis for the link

Friday, December 25, 2020

Ideal Stable Conditions

It's just possible that any star will do!
“Early-stage religion is largely preparing you for the immense gift of this burning, this inner experience of God, as though creating a proper stable into which the Christ can be born. Unfortunately, most people get so preoccupied with their stable, and whether their stable is better than your stable, or whether their stable is the only 'one, holy, catholic, and apostolic' stable, that they never get to the birth of God in the soul. There is no indication in the text that Jesus demanded ideal stable conditions; in fact, you could say that the specific mentioning of his birth in a 'manger' is making the exact opposite point. Animals at least had room for him, while there was 'no room for him in the inn' (Luke 2:8) where humans dwelled." (13 - 14)

by Richard Rohr, Franciscan Friar (b 1943)
from Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life


A Nest on the Floor

Mother & Child

Holy Family

Tuesday, December 22, 2020


What better exclamation to capture both
the spirit of the season and the spirit of the photo?!
Look at my Grandma & Grandpa Carriker in 1959 (and 1953)! They are practically riding in a one - horse open sleigh! Of course they had a car in 1959, so I'm not sure why they are in this apparently horse - drawn carriage. Perhaps it was some kind of throw-back community historical event, a harvest festival, or barn raising -- or maybe just a fun photo op. True, the photo portrays neither horse nor snow, yet the tree looks wintry. And they look dashing! I love their accessories -- Grandpa's hat and string tie, and Grandma's scarf!

Speaking of dashing, here is
a dashing Christmas card
from a sweet grand-daughter
A festive two - horse - drawn carriage
featured on a Christmas card from 1961
sent from my sister (age 11 at the time)
to our Grandpa & Grandma Lindsey & Uncle Earl.
Recently rediscovered in a box of greeting cards
that Grandma had saved over the years.
“A warm and friendly wish
for Christmas
and the coming New Year

Merry Christmas to All
To Grandma, Grandpa & Earl
From Peggy”
“How are you? We are all fine.
We are busy but having fun. It
is now Thursday. We had snow
today when I was in school. It is
about 1” deep now but it might do
some more tonight. It is real cold
out here. I had better close it now
because I am running out of space.”

Grandma & Grandpa on a cycle in their backyard
Willard Samson Carriker
~ "Jack" ~
Dec 6, 1898 - March 6, 1974

Melvina Adeline Beavers Carriker
~ "Shug" [as in "Sugar] ~
May 17, 1901 - November 18, 1981

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Mildred's First Christmas Tree

One thing you can say
about Aunt Ethel & Uncle Harry:
They sure knew how to put up
a stylish Christmas tree!
On the back of this photograph,
my Grandmother Rovilla has written:
"Mildred's first Christmas tree
On Burn Street in Independence, Kansas"

[Mildred was born in January 1913,
so this must be December 1913]
Unfortunately, there is no note on the back of this one.
I know it is my Great - Aunt Ethel, who was married
to my grandmother's brother Harry Heideman.
But I'm not sure if this is their daughter Mildred
(born January 23, 1913)
or her sister Ila Maxine (born March 29, 1917).
Notation on the back,
presumably written by Ethel or Harry:
"Our Xmas tree this yr"
In my grandmother's handwriting: "Harry's"
~ but no date given ~
Mildred, Ethel ~ Baby Ila, Harry
~ sometime in 1917 ~

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Visions of Sugarplums

Outdoor Ornament Reflection
photographed in 2013 by my cousin Steven aka AJ

Throwback holiday nails . . .
. . . from back in the day (2015) when I didn't search my soul before every mani - pedi, but just went on a whim whenever it seemed fun...and visions of sugarplums danced in my head.

As my sister Di so sweetly sadly expressed it:
"I too miss the olden days of not weighing the risk of every whim."


To cheer us up a bit in preparation for the holidays,
British treats of every kind from my sister-in-law Tee!

Monday, December 14, 2020

Festive Fencepost

"Now by the post-and-rail fences . . .
the spirits of friends, dead or alive, thicker they come, a great
crowd, and I in the middle . . .

. . . there I wander with them . . .

~ Walt Whitman ~

"There where the dim past and future mingle
their nebulous hopes and aspirations
there I lie. . . .

~ Lenrie Peters ~


For more fencepost poetry and decorations

see my current post:

"Fencepost of Homestead Past"

@The Fortnightly Kitti Carriker
A literary blog of connection & coincidence;
custom & ceremony

~ First Snow of the Season ~
December 16th, 2020

December 16, 2008

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Songs for Hanukkah

~ Solid Brass Maccabee Menorah by Artist David Klass ~

Light One Candle

Light one candle for the Maccabee children
With thanks that their light didn't die
Light one candle for the pain they endured
When their right to exist was denied
Light one candle for the terrible sacrifice
Justice and freedom demand
Light one candle for the wisdom to know
When the peacemaker's time is at hand

Don't let the light go out!
It's lasted for so many years!
Don't let the light go out!
Let it shine through our hope and our tears. (2)

Light one candle for the strength that we need
To never become our own foe
And light one candle for those who are suffering
Pain we learned so long ago
Light one candle for all we believe in
That anger not tear us apart
And light one candle to find us together
With peace as the song in our hearts

Don't let the light go out!
It's lasted for so many years!
Don't let the light go out!
Let it shine through our hope and our tears. (2)

What is the memory that's valued so highly
That we keep it alive in that flame?
What's the commitment to those who have died
That we cry out they've not died in vain?
We have come this far always believing
That justice would somehow prevail
This is the burden, this is the promise
This is why we will not fail!

Don't let the light go out!
Don't let the light go out!
Don't let the light go out!
1982 ~ Music and lyrics by Peter Yarrow 
of Peter, Paul and Mary

Also by David Klass

The Dreidel Song

I have a little dreidel. I made it out of clay.
And when it's dry and ready, then dreidel I shall play.
Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I made it out of clay.
Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, then dreidel I shall play.

It has a lovely body, with legs so short and thin.
When it gets all tired, it drops and then I win!
Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, with leg so short and thin.
Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, it drops and then I win!

My dreidel's always playful. It loves to dance and spin.
A happy game of dreidel, come play now let's begin.
Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, it loves to dance and spin.
Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel. Come play now let's begin.

I have a little dreidel. I made it out of clay.
When it's dry and ready, dreidel I shall play.
Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I made you out of clay.
Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, then dreidel I shall play.

1927 ~ English version by Samuel S. Grossman (lyrics)
and Samuel E. Goldfarb (music)

~ as I recall from my very first piano lesson book ~
~ way back in 1966, a gold star on the Dreidel Song! ~

Friday, December 4, 2020

All Through the Night

Moonrise ~ 7:36 p.m. December 1, 2020
Moonset ~ 7:31 a.m. December 2, 2020
Starting with A Child's Christmas in Wales (listen at 48:32), I have long been familiar with the song "All Through the Night" as a lullaby or a Christmas song with slight variations in the lyrics:

All Through the Night

Sleep, my child, and peace attend thee
All through the night
Guardian angels God will send thee
All through the night
Soft the drowsy hours are creeping
Hill and dale in slumber sleeping
I my loving vigil keeping
All through the night

While the moon her watch is keeping
All through the night
While the weary world is sleeping
All through the night
Over thy spirit gently stealing
Visions of delight revealing
Breathes a pure and holy feeling
All through the night
All through the night . . .

More recently, I have learned of the hymn:

God That Madest

God, that madest earth and heaven,
darkness and light;
who the day for toil hast given,
for rest the night;
may thine angel-guards defend us,
slumber sweet thy mercy send us;
holy dreams and hopes attend us,
this livelong night.

Guard us waking, guard us sleeping,
and, when we die,
may we in thy mighty keeping
all peaceful lie;
when the last dread call shall wake us,
do not thou, our God, forsake us,
but to reign in glory take us
with thee on high.

Reginald Heber (1783-1826)
& Richard Whatley (1787-1863)

And the earlier Welsh version:

Ar Hyd Y Nos

Holl amrantau'r sêr ddywedant
Ar hyd y nos
"Dyma'r ffordd ifro gogoniant"
Ar hyd y nos
Golau arall yw tywyllwch
I arddangos gwir brydferthwch
Teulu'r nefoedd mewn tawelwch
Ar hyd y nos
Hyd y nos.

O mor siriol, gwena seren
Ar hyd y nos
I oleuo'i chwaer ddaearen
Ar hyd y nos.
Nos yw henaint pan ddaw cystudd
Ond i harddu dyn a'i hwyrddydd
Rhown ein golau gwan i'n gilydd
Ar hyd y nos.
Hyd y nos.


All the stars' twinkles say
All through the night
"This is the way to the realm of glory,"
All through the night.
Other light is darkness
To show true beauty
The Heavenly family in peace
All through the night.
Through the night.

O, how cheerful smiles the star,
All through the night
To light its earthly sister
All through the night.
Old age is night when affliction comes
But to beautify man in his late days
We'll put our weak light together
All through the night.
Through the night.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

A Silvery Advent

Holly Fairy by Cicely Mary Barker
Happy December & First Week of Advent

Featured Previously in Red & Gold;
here's a silver set:
Silver & Gold

Silver and gold, silver and gold
Ev'ryone wishes for silver and gold
How do you measure its worth?
Just by the pleasure it gives here on earth

Silver and gold, silver and gold
Mean so much more when I see
Silver and gold decorations
On ev'ry Christmas tree

Sung by Sam the Snowman ~ Burl Ives
Music & lyrics by Johnny Marks

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Thanksgiving Turkey

Happy ~ Thanksgiving ~ Turkey!
Grade School Art & Poetry
by my twin brother Bruce ~ 1965 (or so)

Valleys lay in sunny vapor,
And a radiance mild was shed
From each tree that like a taper
   At a feast stood. Then we said,
   "Our feast, too, shall soon be spread,
          Of good Thanksgiving turkey."

And already still November
   Drapes her snowy table here.
Fetch a log, then; coax the ember;
   Fill your hearts with old-time cheer;
   Heaven be thanked for one more year,
          And our Thanksgiving turkey!

Welcome, brothers—all our party
   Gathered in the homestead old!
Shake the snow off and with hearty
   Hand-shakes drive away the cold;
   Else your plate you'll hardly hold
          Of good Thanksgiving turkey.

When the skies are sad and murky,
   'Tis a cheerful thing to meet
Round this homely roast of turkey—
   Pilgrims, pausing just to greet,
   Then, with earnest grace, to eat
          A new Thanksgiving turkey.

And the merry feast is freighted
   With its meanings true and deep.
Those we've loved and those we've hated,
   All, to-day, the rite will keep,
   All, to-day, their dishes heap
          With plump Thanksgiving turkey.

But how many hearts must tingle
   Now with mournful memories!
In the festal wine shall mingle
   Unseen tears, perhaps from eyes
   That look beyond the board where lies
          Our plain Thanksgiving turkey.

See around us, drawing nearer,
   Those faint yearning shapes of air—
Friends than whom earth holds none dearer
   No—alas! they are not there:
   Have they, then, forgot to share
          Our good Thanksgiving turkey?

Some have gone away and tarried
   Strangely long by some strange wave;
Some have turned to foes; we carried
   Some unto the pine-girt grave:
   They'll come no more so joyous-brave
          To take Thanksgiving turkey.

Nay, repine not. Let our laughter
   Leap like firelight up again.
Soon we touch the wide Hereafter,
   Snow-field yet untrod of men:
   Shall we meet once more—and when?—
          To eat Thanksgiving turkey.

~ by George Parsons Lathrop (1851-1898)

For another glimpse of Thanksgiving

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Cecilia, Patron Saint of Music

Feast Day of St. Cecilia ~ November 22
Saint Cecilia and an Angel
Painting by Orazio Gentileschi (1563–1639)
and Giovanni Lanfranco (1582 - 1647)

A Hymn for Saint Cecilia

Sing for the morning’s joy, Cecilia, sing,
in words of youth and praises of the Spring,
walk the bright colonnades by fountains’ spray,
and sing as sunlight fills the waking day;
till angels, voyaging in upper air,
pause on a wing and gather the clear sound
into celestial joy, wound and unwound,
a silver chain, or golden as your hair.

Sing for your loves of heaven and of earth,
in words of music, and each word a truth;
marriage of heart and longings that aspire,
a bond of roses, and a ring of fire.
Your summertime grows short and fades away,
terror must gather to a martyr’s death;
but never tremble, the last indrawn breath
remembers music as an echo may.

Through the cold aftermath of centuries,
Cecilia’s music dances in the skies;
lend us a fragment of the immortal air,
that with your choiring angels we may share,
a word to light us thro’ time-fettered night,
water of life, or rose of paradise,
so from the earth another song shall rise
to meet your own in heaven’s long delight.

by Ursula Vaughan Williams
Set to music in 1960,
by English composer Herbert Howells (1892-1983)

Some background on the writer Ursula Vaughan Williams and
her husband, composer Ralph Vaughan Williams:
Joan Ursula Penton (1911 - 2007)

married first, in 1933, to Michael Forrester Wood (b? - d 1942)

married second, in 1953, to Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872 – 1958)

who had been married first, in 1897, to Adeline Fisher (1870 - 1951)
Ursula met Ralph in 1938, and became the caregiver for his wife Adeline, who was suffering from severe arthritis. Ursula and Ralph began an affair at this time, while married to their respective spouses.

They eventually married in February 1953, when Ralph was 81 and Ursula 42. She encouraged him to resume his music, assisted in his composition, and wrote his definitive biography; she also wrote her own autobiography, several novels, and numerous poems, including the above "Hymn for St. Cecilia."

Ursula and Ralph were on my mind when I read Alex Clark's article in the Guardian: "Never date a poet. They’ll always do the dirty on you " - about T.S. Eliot.
Eliot (1888 – 1965) dated Emily Hale (1891 - 1969) from 1912 - 1914.

He was married to Vivienne Haigh-Wood (1888 - 1947) from 1915 - 1933)

He maintained a correspondence with Emily Hale between 1932 and 1947.

He married Esmé Valerie Fletcher (1926 - 2012) in 1957, when he was 68 years old and she was 30. She "devoted her life to the remainder of his and the subsequent management of his legacy."

Thursday, November 19, 2020


Spinning the Web ~ Taken September 3, 2020

The Jeweled Books ~ Taken October 17, 2020

Eating Poetry ~ Farmers Market

You Will Be the Light
July 16, 2019 & July 3, 2020

Ephemera ~ Taken August 5, 2020

Petunias ~ July 2019

Fourth of July ~ Las Vegas ~ 2019
See Penn & Teller?

Gerry ~ Vaca! ~ July 2019