Thursday, January 7, 2016

Readers' Resolutions

Time in a Bottle Collection
After our years of living in the South, we learned the importance of eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day if we expect good luck in the coming year.  So, dutifully, we fixed our black-eyed peas with jalapeno and ham and baked some corn bread to go with it.

Several of you shared your own New Year's Resolutions via face book, e-mail, and a comment to the blog.  One of my favorites was the suggestion by CH to read more books in 2016!  

On the practical side, JBB challenged her friends to a 91 day de-clutter program to get their houses in shape, and HJG suggested practical steps for a more healthful diet in 2016--dieting being a popular New Year's resolution.

GLW-T's very personal resolution was  "To continue 'releasing myself to the peace of knowing' and do my best to 'handle all the imperfections perfectly.'  And, yes, create a healthier environment so my mind, body and spirit will be a happier me."

RB, a talented photographer, decided his idea of starting a photography blog might make a good resolution for 2016.

Time in a Bottle Collection
It was RM who offered a great continuing resolution idea for those who, like me, are feeling saddened by all the bad reports we hear on the nightly news.  He suggested starting the New Year with an empty jar and adding a weekly note with a good thing that happened that week.  Then, fifty-two weeks later on New Year's Eve, empty the jar to read all the amazing things that happened during the year.  It isn't too late to take his advice and start your "Good Things Jar" for 2016!

For many of us, the pledge to exercise has already lagged, the diet has failed, and other resolutions are getting tiresome.  Don't berate yourself too harshly.  Mark Twain knows just how you feel:

Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions.  *   *   *   Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual."

All three of the antique New Year's cards pictured in this blog were found at, and the merchants offering them for sale are shown under each image.  

The illustrator of all three cards was Frances Brundage, (1854-1937), who was known for depictions of children.  In addition to cards, she also illustrated books by Louisa May Alcott, Johanna Spyri, and Robert Louis Stevenson, among others, and her work remains highly collectible even today.

Victorian Dreams Collection
She was taught by her father, Rembrandt Lockwood, and it was fortunate he had taught her well, for when she was only seventeen he abandoned his family and Frances became a professional artist.  Her first illustration was of a poem by Louisa May Alcott, which the author herself purchased.  Frances was in her early 30s when she married artist, William Tyson Brundage.  A tragic twist to her life was that although she is known for her lovely depictions of children, her only child, daughter Mary Frances, died at the age of 17 months.  She remained active professionally into her late 60s and died at the age of 82.

Because she illustrated books such as The Arabian Nights and Robin Hood, as well as calenders and prints, and she was working professionally in the 1880s and 1890s, it is quite possible that Isaac B. Werner might have seen her work.

A great way to conclude is with the resolutions of EPD.  "... be positive and ignore negativity... [and] do just one thing every day, no matter how small, that I have been putting off."

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