Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Artisans Find Simple Pleasures in Constructing Homemade Toys

Note: Someone has written, "Plastic toys are sold later at a garage sale, but handmade toys are a part of your family history that you hold onto forever." In hard economic times, why make the huge chains rich while ordinary people get poorer in debt? Many are returing to old fashioned simplicity, and the children will love it today and way into the future. They'll never be able to look at those toys without thinking of you---SH

Conventional wisdom says that the hottest Christmas gift, regardless of whom it's for, will have an electrical plug attached to it. Apparently, Kerry Dortch didn't get the memo.

Standing in a corner of the upper level of the Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center on the first day of Christmas Made in the South, the Ila, Ga., native was showing off the gangly, furry puppets that he's been selling there every year since 1992...Not far from Mr. Dortch's "Puppet Farm," Francis Martin, the owner of Martin's Wooden Crafts, oversee old-fashioned slingshots, boomerangs, rubber-band guns, cars and trucks, swords and shields...Mr. Martin, a native of Cantonment, Fla., is a sixth-generation wood carver, and like Mr. Dortch, a long-time participant in Christmas Made in the South.

Decent values never grow out of date...


"Mr. Martin has made toys a full-time occupation since 1987, and he relies on family members to build and sell them. He visits 30 shows a year and travels as far as Nappanee, Ind." ...Read it all


Values can never be 'old fashioned'. There's only good and bad values; terms like "old fashioned" or "progress" are so often just plain nonsense-language and sales pitches...A real toy is one that decently engages the child's own creativity and imagination. We can make the family rich again, in memories, in love; and leave the wealthy multinationals and Walmart with their business relationship with brutal China to whither, as on a bad vine.

The Story?

I saw this curiously painted woodcut (is it a woodcut?) on Abbey Roads a year or so ago, and it immediately got me wondering what is the story it tells. The colors, the soldier, the monk, the little boy and more....If it tells a familiar story I am not aware of it; but even if it does, wouldn't it be something if some homeschool or other students could fill in the blanks, as it were, and write the story that is not? Certainly it is rich in details (a mere cursory glance can miss much)...and it could be a marvelous exercise in the intelligent use of imagination.

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things ---Robert Brault

We learn from our gardens to deal with the most urgent question of the time: How much is enough?---Wendell Berry

Martin the Cobbler

Written in 1885 by Leo Tolstoy. Tolstoy entitled this children’s story: Where Love is There God is also!

In a certain town there lived a very honest cobbler called Martin. He lived in a tiny basement room. Its only window looked out onto the street. Of the passers-by all he could see was their feet. But since there was hardly a pair of boots or shoes that had not passed through his hands at one time or another for repair, Martin was able to identify the passers-by by looking at their shoes.

But life had been hard on Martin. His wife died, leaving him with a young son. However, no sooner had the son reached the age when he could be of help to his father than he fell ill and died. Martin buried him and gave way to despair, taking to the bottle at the same time. He gave up the practice of his religion. But one day an old friend of his dropped in. Martin poured out his soul to him. At the end of it his friend advised him to do a little reading from the Gospels each day, promising that if he did so, light and hope would come back into his life...Read it all

--->The Separation Between Study and the Interior Life ---by Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. (click), for lack of which unity people fall into vanity, contentiousness and bitterness, or fall away altogether.

--->Out in the cold: Program cuts mean mentally ill homeless often reduced to wandering the streets...

--->Big Business Multinational Abortion Industry Fights Parental Notification
. AUL condemns 2nd Circuit Court ruling against pro-life conscience case...

--->Free PressUnder Fire? Journalists arrested last week outside School of the Americas rally...

---> Every Religious Order That Has Left Off the Habit is Dying; and Conversely...

---> Spread of HIV in Europe and Central Asia is scary, says UN AIDS chief. Russian Federation and Ukraine account for nearly 90 percent of newly reported infections in the region..."

--->Orthodox Jewish communities hope guilty plea in sex case changes approach to predators...

--->SKorea's defense chief resigns
over NKorea attack...

--->Journalist contends "As a result of the death of JFK, the National Security State “secret government” – or the ‘deep political’ system, as it is more accurately described, got exactly what it wanted with the escalation of the Vietnam War...

--->UN Partners With NGOs to Push Abortion in Africa...

--->Glenn Greenwald: Root Cause of Terrorism: They hate us for our occupations... [Isn't it time to get real if we want to be safe here at home? Or is everywhere now supposed to be 'home'?}

--->Politico: IRS to Jewish group: 'Does your organization support the existence of the land of Israel?'...

--->Irish gov't proposed budget is the harshest in Irish history in spending cuts and new taxes...

--->Wikileaks Founder Under Squeeze. Swedish police have issued an international arrest warrant for the Australian founder of WikiLeaks...

--->CW House opens in East London... named after Guiseppe Conlon, father of Gerry Conlon.

--->US warns allies on Wikileaks' potential diplomatic leak...

--->N Korea warns war drills take region to 'brink of war'...

--->Pope links failure to tackle abuse with 1960s reform...“The prevailing mentality was that the Church must not be a Church of laws but, rather a Church of love: she must not punish . . . This led to an odd darkening of the mind, even in very good people.”...More Note: I think that in this we hear the death knell for the so-called "progressivist" interpretation of Vatican II. Their works have become manifest.

Homeschooling, click"Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living" (Rm 14,9). Christ's Ascension into heaven signifies his participation, in his humanity, in God's power and authority. Jesus Christ is Lord: he possesses all power in heaven and on earth. He is "far above all rule and authority and power and dominion" (Ep 1,20-22), for the Father "has put all things under his feet." Christ is Lord of the cosmos and of history. In him human history and indeed all creation are "set forth" and transcendently fulfilled (Ep 1,10)---CCC 668

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