Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday Flash 55 & 3WW CCLII - "A New Fragrance" & "Zealous Bells for Imaginary Garden

A New Fragrance

Fervent resolutions
quiver upon my lips
affirmations eager to be sworn,

toasted with bubbly
"To a kinder, healthier, more organized me!"

soon to be transformed
with subterfuge

into excuses.

If only the zeal at the eve
of every New Year

could be bottled
and dispensed sparingly

not demolished
by the end of the first week!

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, December 30, 2011

This is for Mr. KnowItAll's "Friday Flash 55" a story in 55 words... no more, no less!   And for "Three Word Wednesday CCLII".  This week's words were Demolish, Resolution, Transform.


for Imaginary Garden with Real Toad's "Mary's Mixed Bag" challenge, I have "re-mixed" the above a bit and the poem is below.  The theme is "Ring out the Old, ring in the New".  Go see what the fun is all about by clicking on the "Garden's" link!

Zealous Bells

Ring out, zealous bells, ring out!
Swing, sway and flash your silver
as I toast and count on you to deliver
affirmations eagerly sworn as I spout

from fervent lips, resolutions declared
to the beat of your to and fro.  A frenzy of sorts,
as enthusiasm and eagerness cavort!
Tolling bells, ring in the New Year.  I am prepared!

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, December 30, 2011

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Magpie Tales #97 & Poetry Jam - "A Character Invented"

Image:  Bert Stern
A Character Invented (I)

The world's most recognizable laugh
bestowed red loveless kisses
that floated
and landed
upon adoring fans
who worshipped a character invented
in front of a cold piece of glass.

A friend that didn't lie
as she stood with eyes naked,
unable to hide her true allure:

but fame insisted she pay her debt.

So, with lips painted red,
hair fair and eyes dark,
she hid from image reflected,
trapped, solitary,
inside a world of make believe.

Waved, smiled,
and delighted her fans
with the world's most recognizable laugh.

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, December 27, 2011

This was written for "Magpie Tales 97" and the prompt is the photo above.  I also wrote this for "Poetry Jam" - The theme for this past week was "solitary" and I am linking up late (a new theme comes out tomorrow) AND linked this up to a FUN blog "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads" - Open Link Monday. I also have another version of this poem below.  If you have the time to read both, which do you prefer?  Also linked up with dVerse's "Open Link Night #24 "

A Character Invented (II)

Red loveless kiss
floats, lands
on adoring fans

who worship
a character
invented in front of a cold piece of glass.

Her friend doesn't lie.
She stands,
eyes naked,

Fame insists she pay her debt.

Lips painted red.
Hair fair.
Eyes dark.
Hiding her reflection.
inside a world of make believe.


The world's most recognizable laugh.

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, December 27, 2011

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas from my Family to Yours

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!  Drama Queens (and Kings) each and every one of us!  :)

Off to watch the third movie of the "Lord of the Rings" Trilogy (watched the first two a couple of nights ago... and I do recommend the directors extended editions!)  How can it be that I have never seen these movies nor read the books?  Well, I will be reading them now.

I hope you are all enjoying time with your loved ones.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Greetings with a "Prehistoric" twist!

Credit:  Photo: Chelsea Bednar.  "Where's the dinosaur" game?:  my 4 year old son
I will not be posting anything new until after Christmas day, but I hope to swing around and enjoy each of your blogs a bit when I can squeeze it in.

OK, well... I DID manage a quick Friday Flash 55 (a story in 55 words - no more, no less) and it will be linked up with Mr. Know it All's "Friday Flash 55" tonight at 8pm.

Setting the 55 up tonight is soft violin music....

Peace & Joy to All

Our sweet Lord born within a manger
wrapped in white cloth, protected from danger.
Mary knelt beside her sweet love,
worshiping her Son, thanking Father above
while Joseph stood tall, amazed;
awed as upon a miracle he gazed.
"Peace and joy to all", promised a shining star...

(music "screeches" to a halt)

...even the dinosaur?

 by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, December 22, 2011

* * * * *

Merry Christmas, my friends!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Old Salem Inn, Continued and a Poem "Salem Tavern Inn" & "Barn Charm"

Salem Tavern Inn is now a restaurant
The above photo is for the "Creative Exchange"

The dining area

With indented seats, 
curved backed
straight or slatted,

an offering was made
to stranger as friend, 

the chair's legs braced
to take the load 
from shoulders weary.

Traveler  slid upon patina, smooth
 or stretched shiny rattan a bit,

as by hearth they sat,
warming belly with malt beer,
claret, or cyder royal.

Followed for sure
by conversation,
dinner with ham roast, boiled,

all dependent upon coinage 
in one's purse.

and then sent off two, 
three men to a bed,

with good proof whiskey, 
brandy, or West Indies rum.

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, December 19, 2011

The hearth in the dining area - I wish more homes still had real fireplaces!
The Bar located in the front entryway hall

This was the owner's quarters, between the kitchen and dining room
A simple upstairs room, usually shared by 2 or 3 men
* * * * *
The exterior photo of the Salem Tavern Inn (a restaurant today) is the addition made when the business expanded and more space for lodging was needed.  Back in the day, both buildings were connected.  The interior photos are from the original (first) building below (for some reason I forgot to get a front photo of this building. 

One interesting point to be made, is there are no front windows on the main level.  This was done on purpose to address the concerns of the residents;  they did not wish the activities inside to be visible from the streets.

The exterior front porch of the original Salem Tavern Inn

And the following is for "Barn Charm" - a closer look at how the Old Salem Tavern Inn barns were used:

The barn had two big "holding" areas on each side of the barn under the hay loft.  Each had a long trough that ran along its length.  My best guess is the mares were kept on one side, geldings in the other and they all had to get along rather quickly.  No individual stalls I could see.  If anyone knows horses, I can't imagine doing that today - I would be so afraid of the kicking and biting that might go on.  And mares can be so dominating; oh the squealing that must have gone on!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Magpie Tales #96 - "Unseen"

image: Lee Friedlander, 1966 (used for Magpie Tales #96)

Santa Claus is for real, like Pharcellus wrote,
(from 1897's New York's Sun, I quote)

"there is a veil covering the unseen world"...
"only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance
can push aside that curtain" 

and offer a glance of

"supernal beauty and glory beyond"

Seek not I, such evidence,

"real and abiding"

to give life relevance and resonance,
for affected not I

"by the skepticism of a skeptical age"

I fill my days aspiring
to keep alive my hope,
if not with intelligence
then with simplicity of a childlike heart

Spied, I have, many a clue
that Santa's alive and real,
unseen by most, a transparent veil
casting shadows at times

"make(ing) glad the heart of childhood"

Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, December 18, 2011

* * * * *

I KNOW I have said this before, but this Magpie Tales #96 was the hardest prompt I have EVER been challenged with as this photo did not initially inspire me at all!  But I stuck with it and gave it a whirl.  I'm not sure if I succeeded with what I set out to do...  But anyway, thanks Tess!

Here is a link to the actual newspaper clipping by newsman Francis Pharcellus.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

d'Verse "Silver Lining"

Olive Hue Designs  for dVerse "Out the Sketchbook"
Silver Lining

A ratty red dress
makes everything right

as it wraps about me warm;

a mother's embrace.

I have many streets
and miles to travel

With my pretty red dress,
I don't feel alone.

Some have money
and buy their days happy,
carry enormous umbrellas

keeping rain and grey at bay.

But with arms outstretched
I thank the downpour
for the joy that is mine is for free
from an old alley box, dented and dirty.

A gift I found at the end of the rainbow.

A ratty red dress
makes everything right.

Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, December 17, 2011

* * * * *

This is for dVerse "Out the Sketchbook".   Please help me with a dilemma:

My son (home from college) thinks this poem should be entitled "Buy Her Day Happy".     My son says Ratty Red Dress makes him think of a dirty prostitute and "The Police" ... (the Roxanne song)   He likes "Buy Her Day Happy" because it is "colloquial", it is so incorrect it is beautiful - she CAN'T ever "buy her day happy", so finding this red dress gives her the ability to pretend and escape the reality of the situation...  (I think he just summed up my poem in a phrase! :) and it escapes the beaten to death, hyperbolic, overused CLICHE of "the red dress".

OK, that's enough, my son has ranted enough... ( he is a passionate poet, can't you tell?)

Which do you like better?  (and it is OK to agree with me! :)

I liked "Ratty Red Dress", but around 12:30 got up from bed and changed it to "Silver Lining".  It means a hopeful or comforting prospect in the midst of difficulty. (a comment from "Morning" got me thinking along this line)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Poetry Jam "Preoccupied" and Old Salem, Continued


Beauty comes in different shapes, sizes, colors,
each radiant in their own way,

but instead of cherishing uniqueness within the frame,
demands are made for all to be the same.

With much "pane" the self is sealed within,
shutters firmly closed, diversity now unseen.

And yet, some are unsatisfied, preoccupied
with what is boarded up, declared "unclean", least it escape

and contaminate, unwilling to focus upon the reflected image
and rotting odor emanating from within themselves.

Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, December 16, 2011

* * * * *

This is linked up with Poetry Jam.  (this week's theme: occupy) This poem is NOT a reflection of Old Salem, but an overall feeling of what I think we humans are guilty of time and again throughout history... well, since the beginning of time! 

The images here are of some of the beautiful and simple windows of Old Salem.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Old Salem, continued & "Friday Flash 55 - "Love One Another?"

Love One Another?

Old Salem Tavern, a necessity
based upon need, not desire,
in 1784 banished to the edge of town
offering comfort to weary traveller.

"Freedom of worship", the Moravians cried,
but not "Freedom for all", not even for Salem
as many a head rested upon linen washed
by hands bound with invisible chains.

"Love one another ... "  ?

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, December 16, 2011

* * * * *

This is linked to Mr. Know It All's "Friday Flash 55"  (a story in 55 words - no more, no less).

President George Washington did stay at the Old Salem Inn for two nights in 1791.  He was touring the southern battlefields of the Revolutionary War and while here attended a service and studied the waterworks system.

I asked a guide if they knew what room Washington used and they said as the rooms have been rearranged many times, they really didn't know.  My guess is if he stayed in this buidling (as another one was built next door to expand business and is now a restaurant) he stayed in the room depicted above.  It is on the main floor, and much larger and has its own fireplace and has room for a desk and eating table and was the closest to the dining area and bar.

Below is an example of the few rooms upstairs.  They were heated by a central wood burning stove that is stationed in the hallway.

Here are views from the rooms upstairs. I contemplated Photoshopping the vehicles out of the photo, but this shows the main roads through the "living" museum are still very much used today.  An occasional Percheron drawn carriage is seen on the streets.

I will be posting more of Old Salem in my upcoming posts...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Three Word Wednesday "Past & Present" Old Salem, continuted.

Past & Present

Eyes glazed, shoulders distraught, alone,
immobile and dazed he stood.  He almost moaned.

Without his Ipad, TV, and DS, he was paralyzed,
surrounded by games he didn't recognize,

music he'd never heard.  His mother said, "What a treat!"
A bow glided upon strings of music so sweet,

little men upon a table stood, with horses so bold.
The proximity of days gone by hovered, took hold,

and he played, intrigued with the past,
his smile ever widening, his imagination vast

as triangles and squares became ships!
Thirty minutes of activity; when asked to leave, a guilt trip

he gave his mother, a fine retribution you see,
as the gift shop she truly wanted to proceed,

but the lure of the past was strong.  The child

played on as mother gave in, smiled,

as the bow still sweetly played, kindred
spirits of past & present dancing together, joyfully indeed.

* * * * *

This is for Three Word Wednesday #250 (3WW CCL)  This week's words are:  Immobile, Proximity, and Retribution.   I invite you to join in the fun - the link is open for a full week.

This is a continuation at a look at my day trip to "Old Salem", a small "living museum" in Winston-Salem, NC.

* * * * *

And below are photos for Watery Wednesday #165  The Heritage Bridge of Old Salem connects the Visitor's Center to the Historic District.

A Puddle Reflection
"Heritage Bridge (1999) built to resemble historic bridges of the 19th century"

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Old Salem Tavern Inn (part 1) and Barns

The above is the back view of the Salem Tavern Inn.  Notice the left side of the house... that is for the kitchen fireplace that made the amazing apple dumplings in the post below.  My next post will take you through the inside of this simply designed home.

The photos below are of the taverns barns and where travelers horses stayed... notice the cribbing that took place on the feeding troughs... horses will always be horses!  I linked up the barn photos to this week's "Barn Charm #63".

The following I copied and pasted directly from regarding the "Salem Tavern".

The Salem Tavern dates to 1784, when it was rebuilt in masonry after an earlier wooden tavern burned to the ground. Parts of the basement walls are from the original 1775 Tavern building.

The Tavern was an important facility for the town of Salem. Leaders decided to place the Tavern on the outskirts of town to avoid the influence of “strangers” on the town as much as possible; however a tavern was necessary for the town to prosper. Food & lodging were needed for the customers Salem leaders hoped to bring in for their store and for their craftsmen.

The Tavern was owned and operated by the Moravian Church who selected a married couple to run the facility. It was important that the couple could run a successful business as well as set a good example of the Moravian community. In addition to the couple, the Tavern required several workers. A hostler and female workers were usually part of the workforce. An enslaved African American family also lived and worked in the Tavern in 1791.

Many important meetings took place at the Tavern, and several important guests stayed there. Salem's most famous visitor stayed here in 1791. President George Washington, touring the southern battlefields of the Revolutionary War, spent two nights in Salem, attending a service, studying the waterworks system, and speaking to the townspeople.

The building reflects the special concerns of the residents, such as no front windows on the main level so that activities inside would not be visible from the streets.  It had a larger lot to accommodate the barns and facilities needed for the visitors. This was also the first building by mason Johann Gottlob Krause, who built most of Salem's largest and most important masonry buildings in the subsequent 20 years.

The wood and storage shed

A view of the horse barn from the Old Tavern Inn

The Feeding Trough

Monday, December 12, 2011

Imaginary Garden & dVerse - Open Link Night "Homemade Apple Dumpling" & 1796 Apple Dumpling Recipe

Homemade Apple Dumplings

Pudgy and warm
love lies in my hand
rolled, rounded, and
buttery sweet.

Above the serving tray
I loiter and hover,
inhaling an indulgence

as sprinkled cinnamon
teases my tongue. I ponder
the well known etiquette:

Politness dictates
I only take one...

by Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, December 12, 2011

* * * * *

Linked to "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads" - "Open Link Night" and to "dVerse's" Open Link Night #22.

My daughters and I returned to Old Salem, NC this past Saturday.  This week I will be sharing photos from that day trip and evening lighting of the Christmas "tree".  I am linking the above photo to "Creative Exchange".

The recipe below is from "The Art of Cooking Made Plain and Easy" Hannah Glasse, 1796

To Make Apple Dumplings:

Make a good puff-paste (*), pare some large apples, cut them in quarters, and take out the cores very nicely; take a piece of crust, and roll it round each apple, and make them round like a ball, with a little flour in your hand; have a pot of water boiling, take a clean cloth (**), dip it in the water and shake flour all over it; tie each dumpling by itself, and put them in the water boiling, which keep boiling all the time; and if your curst is light and good, and the apples be large, they will take an hours's boiling; when they are enough, take them up and lay them in a dish; throw fine sugar all over them, and send them to table, have good fresh butter melted in a cup, and fine beaten sugar in a saucer.

*  Puff-Paste - Old Elizabethan Dessert Recipe:  

Take fine Flour half a Peck, the Yolks of five Eggs and one White, one Pound of Butter, half a pint of Cream and a little fair water, break your Butter in little Bits and do not mould it too much, but roul it aboard so soon as you can, and let the Butter be seen in spots, for that will make it hollow when it comes into the Oven, then put in your Meat or Fruit, and close it over, and wash it over with the Yolk of an Egg and Cream Beaten together, just when you set it into the Oven; let your Oven be quick, but do not let it stand too long, for that will spoil it.

** Instructions for boiling dumplings:

In boiled dumplings, take great care the bag or cloth be very clean, not soapy, but dipped in hot water, and well floured.  Make sure the water is boiling and move the dumplings in the pot now and then.

* * * * *

Don't you love the measurements (or lack thereof!) and the vague temperature, and that some knowledge of cooking is assumed in these old recipes.

I can't tell you how wonderful these dumplings smelled!  My girls and I are going to try these - but in our oven at home.  Can you even imagine cooking in that fireplace?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Magpie Tales #95 - "Almost"

image by Mostafa Habibi


Within sight, my dreams hover,
a new frontier of hopeful expectation
beckoning, "Jump in and swim!"

Fears and insecurities, long a crutch,
now banished as I round the corner
of youth and leap into middle age.

Undauntingly I embrace new opportunities,
my "freestyle stroke" much improved,
no longer held back, I feel young
and carefree for the first time,

Who knew it would take half a lifetime?

Margaret Bednar, Art Happens 365, December 11, 2011

Do you have a reaction to the above photo prompt?  It is for "Magpie Tales #95". hosted by Tess Kincaid of "Life at Willow Manor".

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Fences #11 - Mare and Foal

This is linked to "Friday Fences #11".  This was a farm we drove by in Michigan last year... do you see the lake in the background?  If you see an interesting fence, photograph it and come join the fun!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sebastian - Creative Exchange & Poetry Jam "A Secret Preserved"

I know I have a horse blog (Just Horses) where I post most of my stuff about horses, but thought I would plunk these photos here today.  The photo below is for "Creative Exchange".   These three photos are of my 1/2 Friesian horse, Sebastian.  He and my Quarter Horse, Oberon (not pictured here) are my de-stressers!  I love spending time outside at the farm and trail riding I ADORE!  The horses and I "suffer" through ring work, but it is good for us.  If you click HERE, you will see my trainer, James Cooler, showing off without a saddle, bridle or halter!

And for those who enjoy poetry, I linked to "Poetry Jam" this week - the topic is "Past & Present. My entry is an old one written this past summer.  If you are interested, click on the link and I am number ten.