Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve, Gateway to January

Happy New Year's Eve and tomorrow, a NEW YEAR, 2012. 

Founded on pagan traditions, January stems from Janus, the Roman deity with two faces who had the powers to look back (past) and to the future. The first day of January is in celebration of him.

He was the god of doorways and gates, endings and new beginnings, guarding the threshold, and was associated with powers of prophecy, an augur and mediator. At times he is connected to the sun and moon.

Janus was the ruler of Latium, and under his rule was responsible for the Golden Age that brought money, laws and agriculture to the area. It was a time of great peace and abundance.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

From translation of Ovid Fast. 1.17 1-188 from Taylor's article:
"It was Roman tradition at the New Year to give the god honey, cakes, incense and wine to buy favorable signs and a guarantee of good luck. Gold brought better results than baser coins. 

"Then I asked," Why, Janus, when I placate other gods, do I bring incense and wine to you first?" 

"So that you may gain entry to whatsoever gods you wish," he replied, "through me, who guard the threshold." 

"But why are glad words spoken on your Kalends? And why do we give and receive best wishes?" 

Then the god, leaning on the staff in his right hand, said, "Omens are wont to reside in beginnings. You train your anxious ears on the first call, and the augur interprets the first bird he sees. The temples and ears of gods are open, no tongue intones wasted prayers, and words have weight." Janus had finished. 

I was not silent for long, but tagged his final words with words of my own. "What do your dates and wrinkled figs mean, or the gift of honey in a snow-white jar?" 

"The omen is the reason," said he - "so that the sweetness replicates events, and so that the year should be sweet, following the course of its beginnings."
 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

May we not dwell on the past, rather receive the lessons, 
plan for tomorrow, but live in the present. May your New Year be bright 
and filled with great insight, well-being and new beginnings. ~ Diana

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Dave's Garden Calendar for 2012

It just arrived, and I am so excited and honored that one of my photos was selected for October.

Dave's Garden: Each year, Dave's Garden members anticipate the annual Photography Contest and this time, it was no different. Our 11th installment of this long-running feature drew thousands of entries from around the world. The membership voted on their favorites and the winners are featured in our 2012 Dave's Garden calendar. Each member receives a year's subscription to DG and a copy of the calendar. The entry with the most votes overall, is featured on the cover. This year, that honor goes to member 'YAMATO', Susumu Kishihara.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Fine Art Winner!

Thank you all for your kind and generous comments and for participating_ you make it all worthwhile. I'm not sure who receives the most satisfaction from this, you (the winner) or me. Overwhelmingly people prefer The Train Station and it warms my heart to share this with you. What is it that draws people to trains and train stations? adventure, family history, romance, intrigue... ?

About The Train Station: I have always been attracted to buildings with character, those rooted in America and that could chronicle many tales. Abandoned two-story farm homes, old weathered barns, covered bridges, and this station I frequented, all fill me with wonderment and have been the subject matter for many of my drawings and paintings. I love the simplicity of line in this rendering, the solitude, and of course its historic value, and this was an attempt at preserving my memories of it on canvas.

This painting was begun in an attempt to enter a competition for a bicentennial calendar, but as the weeks progressed and the more I became absorbed, I forgot about the deadline. Additionally I failed to put the name of the town on the sign, and that proved fortuitous, as many people who have viewed the complete work since have commented, "I've seen that train station", but of course they may not have seen this particular one but rather one of similar design in a geographic part of the country.

My husband had the honor of pulling the names from my hat, and we thought we should select more than one. How exciting to say Congratulations to the winners!

Sherri, Little House in Paradise
Robin, The Gardener of Eden
Joey, The Village Voice
Larry of Big Dude's Ramblings
Pat Tillett Patricktillett.
Thank you all for participating! I have mailing information for Robin, Joey and Larry. Sherri and Pat, please contact me with your address? I will mail them out right after Christmas.

Thank you all again.

PS: Please don't forget to listen to George's song on ITUNES. It's only $1.29 to download... a great inexpensive present.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Gift For You _ 5 Years

First and foremost, Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband!

Time does fly when you're having fun. This week marks 5 years since I entered the cyberworld with my first blog post and with discussions that followed on many things, a potpourri of economic and market issues, genealogy, travel, garden... and from that I found my voice as Voice In The Garden evolved. Thus, in the spirit of the holidays I'd like to do something fun and put a smile on someone's face.

Many years ago I had a Limited Edition made from two of my original paintings, The Train Station and The Eliot. They are signed and numbered fine art prints. Two years ago I gave away The Train Station in celebration of three years, and today I would like to offer either one or the other.

Art is a very personal thing and therefore not everyone is interested in a particular theme or style of painting. However, should you have an interest in participating in the drawing, simply leave a comment telling me which one you would prefer should you be the winner.

The Train Station

Image size......................... 20 5/8" by 17"
Paper size ......................... 25" x 22"

Unmatted and unframed
on museum quality acid free paper

Based on original oil 34" x 28"

The Eliot

Image size.............................. 18" by 24"
Paper size .............................. 22" x 29"

Unmatted and unframed
on museum quality acid free paper

Based on original oil 30" x 40"

Leave a comment by Monday, December 19 and a winner will be chosen at random. I will mail it right after Christmas.

This is a gift from me to you and my way of saying thank you for being such a wonderful community of thoughtful people and bringing an added dimension to my life.

PS: Don't forget, George has 2 songs currently available to listen and download: georgejohnson, and his Debut soon-to-be-released album, here, which can be listened to in case you want to order. Some great music!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

New Music Release and Debut Album

Today I am mixing it up a bit from my normal postings in order to introduce you to George Johnson, a talented young man and his music.

He has just released 2 songs, Santa's Wearin' Blue This Year and The Reign

The Reign by George Johnson with The Jordanaires & The Memphis Horns 88.2 wav (Album Version)


Santa's Wearin' Blue This Year

George's debut album will soon be released. You can preview it _ Listen to all of the songs for FREE at, and sign up for the mailing list to receive updates on the release. I hope you love the music as much as we do... he has some great sounds, and we have had wonderful feedback from talented musicians who speak highly of George's talent.