WELCOME to the Take Joy Society. We are a group of ladies who first met because of our love of Tasha Tudor's art and lifestyle. We are broadening our focus to include other artists/writers/people of interest who embody Tasha's philosophy to Take Joy in all the good that life has to offer. Here you will find a record of our get-togethers and resources to help you see that the gloom of the world is but a shadow so that you, too, can Take Joy!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Becoming Real

Sarah Ban Breathnach uses the story of The Velveteen Rabbit, written by Margery Williams in 1927, to talk about authenticity.   She writes, "For a long time, the bunny remained just another plaything in the nursery.  But he didn't mind because he was able to carry on long, philosophical discussions with the old Skin Horse who was very old, wise, and experienced in the strange ways of nursery magic."  One day the rabbit asked the Skin Horse , "What is REAL?  Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"  The horse replied . . . .

Sarah says, "In order for us to become Real, we must become lovers of real life in all its complexity and uncertainty....The Velveteen Rabbit isn't alone in wishing to become Real without any uncomfortable or unpleasant things happening."  She suggests growing gradually into our authenticity to alleviate some of the discomfort that comes with change.  She says, "As you learn to acknowledge, accept, and appreciate what it is that makes you different from [everyone else], the process begins.  As you learn to trust the wisdom of your heart and make creative choices based on what you know is right for you, process becomes progress.  As you learn to endow even the smallest moment of each day with Love, progress becomes reality perfected."

When we are children if we feel neglected we too often try to please those around us so we will gain their love and attention.  Sometimes we give up and just go for their attention which can be gotten either in the form of getting into trouble or becoming perfectionists.  You may not even realize that you are not your "real" self because it's the only self you've ever known.  That is the hard part of becoming real--digging deep, tearing away the layers, and finally reaching the most sensitive part of yourself.  If you have someone in your life who will love you no matter what, the process will go more quickly.  Their unconditional love will enable you to begin to change.  It helps to let the people in your life know that you've begun this journey and ask for their understanding and support.  In the end, though, it's your own commitment to do what your heart leads you to do.  

For me, this has been my spiritual journey--discovering who I was created to be, and how that would play out in what I do.  My process began when I realized that I could not become a lover of real life unless I knew there was Someone who was able to look out for me.  As my faith grew I realized that the God who created me is good and wants only what is best for me.  I knew He would love me no matter what--that I could go to Him when others did not understand.  And that even the hard things work together for my good.  

Skin Horse said, "You can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."  Once I became  confident in God's love I no longer needed others' approval.  Now I am beautiful in God's sight, and that's all that matters.  

For a taste of The Velveteen Rabbit:


If you'd like the entire story read to you, here is an entertaining young man to read it to you:  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6

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Take Joy!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

November Celebrations

Over the river and through the wood
Trot fast, my dapple-gray!
Spring over the ground
Like a hunting hound,
For this is Thanksgiving Day.
--Lydia Maria Child

In November Mary Mason Campell writes in her book, The New England Butt'ry Shelf Almanac, illustrated by Tasha Tudor, that the herb, Rosemary, means "Remembrance." Besides being used to flavor foods--I love it in potatoes and bread--it can be used as tea, and has medicinal properties, as well.  Mrs. Campbell suggests adding a bit to your Thanksgiving Turkey gravy. Rosemary is not winter hardy even here in Maryland so I must bring in my plant each Autumn.  There is an old adage that "The Mistress rules the house where Rosemary flourishes."  Another reason to have it in the house! ☺︎  Here is her recipe for Turkey soup.  No doubt her dried herbs included Rosemary. . . .

(To print, drag to desktop)

The highlight in November for Tasha Tudor was Thanksgiving because she would always roast her turkey before the fire in her tin oven.  But November was also the month she made her year's supply of candles and her Christmas gifts. . . .
(Click to enlarge)
"A Time to Keep"

"Around the Year"
I grew up loving Thanksgiving.  It was always a big family celebration in our household, whether we went to one of my grandparents' or people came to our house.  I've continued my mother's tradition of making "Heavenly Hash" (also called Ambrosia) every year.  Sometimes I become very nostalgic for my Mamaw's Chess Pie, and even though no one else in my family likes it, I will make it in addition to our traditional Pumpkin and Apple pies.  

Do you have a traditional dish for Thanksgiving besides the Turkey and stuffing?

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Take Joy!