Friday, March 29, 2013

Entombment of Jesus

A Picture from Edna

Good Friday - It is finished, but it is not over.
And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave [him] leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.” (John 19:38-42 KJV)
Mural of Jesus from the Crypt at Washington National Cathedral The chapel that contains this mural is located on the crypt level of the cathedral. It contains New Testament imagery that show the promise of eternal life: Jesus’ birth, his death and entombment, and his resurrection. This somber mural tells the story of Jesus’s entombment following the crucifixion. I snapped the photograph at the CHAPEL OF SAINT JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEA. Joseph was the wealthy man who gave his tomb for the burial of Christ's body after the crucifixion.

The image, Mural of Jesus, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Neddy's flickr account.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Easter Moon

Watch the Easter Moon of 2013 shine all night tonight, from Sundown to Sunup. Welcome Easter this coming Sunday. Wherever you live worldwide, look up to the heavens tonight for the brilliant full Easter Moon to illuminate the darkness from dusk till dawn. The moon will be low in the East at dusk and at its highest point in the sky around midnight. It will be low in the West before Sunrise tomorrow.

The Easter Moon tonight in Northern Virginia, March 26th, 2013.

  Moon FAQs

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Saint Patrick Shipwrecked

Legend has it that about 1,500 years ago Patrick, a native Briton of Roman parents, was stranded on the tiny island of Ynys Badrig, also known as Middle Mouse, off the north-east coast of Anglesey, north of Wales. He then swam the treacherous one mile to Anglesey and lived in a cave before building the church of Saint Llanbadrig, which still stands today at Middle Mouse. The Briton is more familiar as Saint Patrick, one of the world’s most beloved saints and Ireland’s patron saint. He was said to have driven the snakes out of Ireland, and to have taught the Irish the mystery of the Trinity by using their own native shamrock. His legend is celebrated across the globe on March 17th each year.

In 2004, the tiny island where Saint Patrick was shipwrecked, Middle Mouse, was on the market for a mere £895,000. The island made history 1,500 years ago when the Irish patron saint was stranded on Ynys Badrig, off the north-east coast of Anglesey, off north Wales. He then swam a treacherous one mile to Anglesey and lived in a cave before building the famous church of Saint Llanbadrig. Since the Saint’s days Saint Patrick's Island - also known as Middle Mouse - has been much improved, with additional lands added to its holding making it to be a 160-acre estate. The island's rugged terrain also includes a six-bedroom country house, the ruins of a clay works, and a private beach. Real estate agent Elfyn Hughes, of Beresford Adams, said: "It is real one-off" in case anyone knows what that means.

Saint Patrick’s Benediction


According to ancient folklore, Saint Patrick lit the first paschal fire on the Hill of Slane in defiance of the druids and the pagan kings of Tara. When they saw the flames, the followers of Patrick were arrested, however Ireland's future patron saint spoke so eloquently to King Laoghaire that the pagan ruler pardoned him and granted him the freedom to preach across the Erin Isle. The rest is history, as they say, and today, more than 1500 years later, we celebrate Saint Patrick, as always, on March 17th. The future "Apostle of Ireland" was born as Maewyn Succat in Scotland between 387 and 390. At about the age of 16, he was kidnapped from his village on the British mainland and transported to Ireland as a slave. While shepherding in the mountains he spent his time in prayer until he had a dream commanding him to return to Britain. After escaping bondage, he studied abroad in continental monasteries, becoming a Priest and later a Bishop. Pope Saint Celestine sent him to evangelize England, and then Ireland. During his 33 year mission he effectively converted all of Ireland turning it into the "Land of Saints". During the Dark Ages, the Irish monasteries became the great repositories of Christian learning in all of Europe, all a consequence of Patrick's ministry. Patrick died 461-464 at Saul, County Down, Ireland.
"I came to the Irish people to preach the Gospel and endure the taunts of unbelievers, putting up with reproaches about my earthly pilgrimage, suffering many persecutions, even bondage, and losing my birthright of freedom for the benefit of others. "If I am worthy, I am ready also to give up my life, without hesitation and most willingly, for Christ's name. I want to spend myself for that country, even in death, if the Lord should grant me this favor. "It is among that people that I want to wait for the promise made by him, who assuredly never tells a lie. He makes this promise in the Gospel: 'They shall come from the east and west and sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.' This is our faith: believers are to come from the whole world." ~~from The Confession of Saint Patrick
Happy Saint Paddy’s Card

Saint Patrick Shipwrecked

Saint Patrick's Blessing:
May the road rise to meet you, May the wind be always at your back, May the sun shine warm upon your face, The rains fall soft upon your fields and, Until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
The statue of Saint Patrick is located at the top of his mountain in Western Ireland. The image, The Benediction of Saint Patrick, was originally uploaded by starbeard. It is posted here from flickr

Delicious Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

One year, I resolved to make Irish Soda Bread for Saint Patrick's Day, but before I got it made, Easter had arrived. This bread actually tasted a lot better than it looks in the photograph, and it sliced beautifully. Oh, was it ever easy!

I cannot remember if I ever made this before, so I went to my favorite on-line Recipe Book - Elise's and sure enough she had a nicely illustrated recipe. Then I got to pondering myself: "how authentic would it be to use a recipe from a Californian?" So off I went seeking something a bit more authentic, ... meaning Irish. The first I found claimed to be the "world authority" for "authentic" Irish Soda Bread. All I could find at that site, besides the pop up ads, were warnings of what ingredients NOT to use. No nuts! No raisins or even currants! No orange rind! No sugar, honey or treacle! What's treacle? No eggs! No shortening! No whiskey! NO Whiskey?? And, ... if you dare to use any of those forbidden ingredients  - you will be making CAKE  not bread!  So there! Since I never did find Any recipe at all, I got bored and a bit rankled. Let them eat soda bread! I tried another Irish site, and it was the opposite -- too many recipes using too many ingredients, most of which I did not have on hand, especially the hot peppers. And again it was so full of advertising that I felt myself in a maze. So it was back to Ms. California Elise's and I kinda followed her instructions and all went well. Of course, as always, I improvised. I halved her recipe and since I didn't feel like hunting to see if I had any pastry flour, I just used what was in the flour bin. I used table cream with vinegar instead of sour milk. I used a whole egg, instead of a half, since I halved the recipe. Yes, I used the sugar, even though the Irish site said it was verboten. And just to be extremely devilish, I tossed in some freshly grated orange rind. I think that made the bread extra tasty. HA! Next time I go for the whiskey. After-all, it is IRISH bread, isn't it?

I cooked it in a Corning ware dish instead of cast iron and used a much lower temperature - 325 degrees, as I was in no hurry, and I didn't want it to come out as brown as the one in Elise's picture. Here's Elise's recipe:

 The image, Irish Soda Bread, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Barneykin's flickr account. Visit Neddy's Archives for more of Edna's writings.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Raglan Road - A Poem

On Raglan Road of an autumn day
I saw her first and knew
That her dark hair would weave a snare
That I might one day rue
I saw the danger and I passed
Along the enchanted way
And said let grief be a fallen leaf
At the dawning of the day

On Grafton Street in November
We tripped lightly along the ledge
Of a deep ravine where can be seen
The worth of passion's pledge
The Queen of Hearts still making tarts
And I not making hay
Oh I loved too much and by such by such
Is happiness thrown away

I gave her gifts of the mind
I gave her the secret signs
Known to the artists who have known 
The true gods of sound and stone
And word and tint I did not stint
I gave her poems to say
With her own name there
And her own dark hair
Like clouds over fields of May

On a quiet street where old ghosts meet
I see her walking now
Away from me so hurriedly my reason must allow
That I had loved not as I should
A creature made of clay
When the angel woos the clay
He'll lose his wings at the dawn of day

The poem "On Raglan Road" was written in 1946, by the great Irish poet, Patrick Kavanagh, of Inniskeen In County Monaghan. Kavanagh's poem was set to music using the traditional air "Fáinne Geal an Lae" composed by Thomas Connellan in the 17th century. Patrick Kavanagh died almost penniless in Dublin, Ireland.  

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Words from DaVinci

Quotes from Leonardo da Vinci:

  •  "Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been, and there you long to return."

  •  "As every divided kingdom falls, so every mind divided between many studies confounds and saps itself."

  •  "Anyone who invokes authors in discussion is not using his intelligence but his memory." 

  •  "As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death."

  •  "Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art." "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."

Friday, March 01, 2013

The Groundlings

I know I am really ancient now because, even as my eyesight diminishes, I see Groundlings everywhere. Groundlings have conquered our American culture. They appear upon movie screens, home televisions, tablets, adorned in fancy tattoos and skimpy clothes, spewing four-letter words, singing of once unspeakable acts, and preaching inclusive diversity for all, except for those whose faiths condemn the base behaviors that the Groundlings enthusiastically celebrate.

Don't be a Groundling! And don't be a Gudgeon either!