Sunday, March 29, 2009

Red Velvet

Life is ever so full, bursting with color and sound and texture, with love, and life, and loss.  Valentine's Day expresses much of it.  

My family and I celebrate the holiday a trifle differently than how it is commonly celebrated.  We have the traditional valentines, cards with "heart-y" themes, 

... jam packed with messages of how much a person means to the lives they touch. 

 The hearts may be the same, but making valentines has turned into somewhat of an art in our house, each card made special for its recipient.

The evening begins with a special meal,

with sparkling grape juice,

with homemade rolls, warm from the oven,

with herbed brown rice, and Chicken Cordon Bleu.

Then we retire to the living room to pass out the Valentines.  They bring tears, and laughter, and smiles all around.  We linger so long, that times passes much too quickly.  It took us nearly two hours this year, each person reading their valentine one at a time, while the rest of us, sat, listening with quivering hearts.

Then before the evening is over, comes one last celebration.

We gather again around the table, and dessert is served...

Waldorf Astoria Red Cake

Cream together...

1/2 cup  shortening
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs

Make paste of 2 oz. (or 1/4 cup) red food coloring and 
2 tablespoons cocoa.  Add to above mixture. 

Add alternately:
1 cup buttermilk.
2 1/2 cups cake flour and 
1 teaspoon salt.

Add 1 teaspoon vanilla
Blend in 1 teaspoon soda with 
1 tablespoon vinegar

Put batter in two paper-lined 9 in. cake pans.  
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Ice with cream cheese frosting.

May you be full of joy,


Note:  Photos #1. and #9 - #16 were taken by Sam Ramsey

Thursday, March 12, 2009


My voice is silent tonight. I am resting the thrumming of my vocal chords for tomorrow's dawning.

My sisters and I will be performing tomorrow, sharing our voices and our hearts, filling the air with songs that are dear to us.  We are singing songs reminiscent of days gone by, when voices like The Andrews Sisters and Bing Crosby were heard through the airwaves.

The preparations for this performance have been long and hard, and, in the few short hours that will pass with the night, we shall be standing upon a platform in all our vintage finery, melding our voices to the tunes of  "I'll Be With You In Apple Blossom Time", "On Moonlight Bay", Shoo, Shoo, Baby", and  "Loch Lomond".  If you'd like to know more about it, we have built a new blog dedicated to what we call, "The Ramsey Sisters", here.

The night feels cold, worry stalking our hopeful hearts, telling us disheartening lies.  The chill frightens me.

But the cold of a fearful night can bring a of morning of glorious silver frost, the darting crystals of heaven-sent splendor pulling sharply at our souls, reminding us of his glory.  Just as the sun melts away the momentary jewels left by the cold, God's whisper will melt the cold descent of Satan's lies.

Will you pray, dear friends?  We will be doing our half hour set three times tomorrow, and the taut intensity inside me reminds of the strings on Sarah Anne's violin, tightened to crisp unity before running across the strings.  We all feel that way, holding our minds and hearts still, ready for the opening of the curtain, ready to push our feet across the stage, ready to unveil our months of hard work on whatever audience may stand before us.  May God guide our hands and our feet, and thread his love through the fabric of our songs.

Tomorrow is a new day.  Our hearts await its touch.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Ever So Awarded

Spring is creeping up on us, with the softness of arriving color.  The rain-clad sky is shading the dull earth with tinges of pink.  Browny-pink knobs dot the ornamental pear tree, awaiting the touch of warmth on their smooth skins to break into bloom.  The deep green moss on the trees is yellow with the damp, and small purple blossoms are sending an amethyst haze over the ground.

I have pushed myself into the enveloping warmth of a living-room chair with a resolution.  I will catch up this blog!

I have always wanted to be awarded, wanted to know my blog was something good, something that other people enjoyed.  I was always on the edge of my seat when I noticed someone with an award, wondering if I'd ever get them.  And then, suddenly, awards began to rush in on an overwhelming flood.  I was thrilled.

Not until now have I had the chance to thank everyone, and post the awards and pass them on. So, without any more chit-chat, here goes.

Everly Pleasant at Clickety-Clack nominated us for the Snowflake Award.

The snowflake represents beauty and individuality. No two snowflakes are alike. This is the way we are in God's eyes-special. And just as he designed each snowflake, he designed each of us with great care, beautifully and fearfully, before we were even "knit in our mother's womb."

This award goes to people who notice "the snowflakes" in life. The tiny, often overlooked, but beautiful and unique things. While everyone else was walking all over snow, caring nothing about snow, Wilson Bentley was appreciating individual snowflakes and photographing them so that they could be cherished for a long time. He said:
"Under the microscope, I found that snowflakes were miracles of beauty; and it seemed a shame that this beauty should not be seen and appreciated by others. Every crystal was a masterpiece of design and no one design was ever repeated., When a snowflake melted, that design was forever lost. Just that much beauty was gone, without leaving any record behind."
So this award goes to those who not only appreciate The Little Things but...

To someone who captures The Little Things before they melt. They record them in words, photographs, however they choose.

We nominate...

Hannah at Honey and Jam

Elise at Ribbons of Light, and the Three Spinsters at Pretty Wit, awarded us this...

The qualifications for this award -- you give this award to five bloggers who:

1. Inspire you
2. Make you smile and laugh
3. Give amazing information
4. Are a great read
5. Have an amazing design
6. And any other reasons you can think of that makes them uber amazing!

Rules of the award are as follows:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 5 blogs (can be more) that for you are Uber Amazing! ***if you don’t have 5 that’s okay.***
3. Let them know that they have received this Uber Amazing award by commenting on their blog.
4. Share the love and link to this post and to the person you received your award from.

I know many of you have already been awarded, but nevertheless, we nominate...

Shannon, at A Maiden's Musings
Tiffany, at A High Calling
Emily, at Songs I Sing
Laura, at Actually Laura
Chelsea, at Writer's Blog

And dear Emily, at Songs I Sing, awarded us this..

The Lemonade from Lemons award, for those bloggers who have shown themselves to be handy at discovering silver linings and making the best of bad situations.

Rules: Name ten (or less if that suits you better) sites that reflect this silver linings philosophy.

We name....

Amy and Julia, at For Lack of Anything Better

Thank you everyone so much for nominating us, for blessing us with these gifts!  Yes, I see them as gifts.  It gives me a pleasant feeling down inside, knowing our blog, and the things we share through it, are worthy of praise.  It is not a prideful feeling, but it warms my heart the way hot herbal tea does, rushing through my body and tingling at my heart, sending a fiery flush over my cheeks.

Bless you all...