Saturday, December 31, 2011
Carolina blue sky.
I finished the very British Wodehouse book: Right Ho, Jeeves. There were many words to ask my husband!
He is almost like a walking dictionary but a few stumped him. Skijoring; buckedness ( in looking this word up , the lines in the book came up on Google! Must be a Wodehouse word); others and of course:
What ho and Right ho!
Quiet evening ahead after a few weeks of preparations
How about you?
Friday, December 30, 2011
of that southern city. Back from Grandma's new house.
I read while two of my children, Grandma and my husband played Scrabble for the last two nights.
I always keep a Commonplace Book. Nancy has a
blog on keeping one. I always put the date and what I am doing and the weather! Maybe my grands will love that part of reading it when it is passed down.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Son's Christmas Eve birthday.
Best quote in Steve Job's biography:
"I always thought of myself as a humanities person as a kid, but I liked electronics," he said, " Then I read something that one of my heroes , Edwin Land of Polaroid, said about the importance of people who could stand at the intersection of the humanities and sciences, and I decided that is what I wanted to do."
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Lower: Brad and Kara
This week is full of joy for the next year will be the Year of Weddings: Brad is getting married in March.Evan proposed friday night. My nephew proposed Saturday. There's a run on weddings!
We are settling into games , movies, books , and food!
How about you?
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
" St. Stephen's Day was the only day of the year on which all the boys in the town were up well before seven. It was still dark when the streets rang with their shrill hopeful whistling for snow. A snowball fight was the best of all St. Stephen's Day battles...."
Romance, a wealthy man woes his love with the Twelve Days of Christmas , all set to the Twelve Days of Christmas. I won't tell you about how he got 3 French hens or 3 turtledoves! Maybe it is in your library. I highly recommend it. You will chuckle.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
I am walking around a m a z e d.
Glitter is in the air.
I think of these lines from Richard Wilbur's poem
'Love Calls Us to the Things of This World' which comes from St. Augustine :
I have been praying for 2 who have cancer every morning since diagnoses earlier this Fall. Now from writing a letter to one on Tuesday , getting a call last night: they know each other. One sells eyeglasses and the other works for an eye doctor. WHO would have known? I didn't. They didn't until my letter this week to say " I am praying for you."
No kidding God moment!
His amazing love.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
You look up an image and you find a very beautiful blog. Here's where I ended up from the Morgan Library in NYC to Bibliodyssey:
"By any definition, it is one of the supreme Bibles of the gothic period"
[Christopher de Hamel*, Cambridge]
Monday, December 5, 2011
Only a few decorations are up in our house.
Preparation also means finishing. You have to end
something to start something!
Class tomorrow will be the last one at my house. Winding up Rasselas of the dictionary author: Samuel Johnson. H. E. Marshall has a lovely narrative of this author in English Literature for Boys and Girls which we have been reading out loud. Or look at this lovely Google Book with illustrations.
Midterm is on Thursday. Charlotte Mason style.
From Samuel Johnson's Dictionary: 1755
Chrístmas. n.s. [from Christ and mass.] The day on which the nativity of our blessed Saviour is celebrated, by the particular service of the church.
To thee cherubim and seraphim continually do cry. Com. Pr.
Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand. Is. vi. 6.
Of seraphim another row. Milton.
All authors to their own defects are blind;
Hadst thou but, Janus-like, a face behind,
To see the people, when splay mouths they make,
To mark their fingers pointed at thy back,
Their tongues loll’d out a foot. Dryden’s Persius.
By Strymon’s freezing streams he sat alone,
Trees bent their heads to hear him sing his wrongs,
Fierce tygers couch’d around, and loll’d their fawning tongues. Dryden’s Virgil.
By the wolf were laid the martial twins;
Intrepid on her swelling dugs they hung,
The foster-dam loll’d out her fawning tongue. Dryden.
Remembering this line from Hamlet this Advent:
So hallow'd and so gracious is the time.
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Full of students and projects.Wonderful ones on engineering in Antiquity. Emma did a replica of the Temple of Dundur which is at the MET which we saw in September. Caesar Augustus had it built on the Nile. The heiroglyphics picture a Pharoah with Augustus' face! She built the temple which is the building with columns.
Christmas Concert on Thursday night! Aren't live voices better than a recording?!!
We ordered the bridesmaid dress for Emma yesterday. March wedding for her policeman brother.
Saturday. I love Saturdays. Last week seemed like everyday from Weds. to Sunday was Saturday.
Almost done with the leftovers.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
I've had Emma's long black skirt
since early October when Dec. 1st
Concert date seems miles to go.
It does feel like Robert Frost's
"Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep....
The promise is to hem this skirt so she can sing
tomorrow night. All pinned up. Ready for my needle
and thread. Quite a lovely concert with this song by
Eric Whitacre: Lux Arumque ( Light and Gold)
Monday, November 28, 2011
Advent arrived right as Thanksgiving Dinner ushered family back to their place in the world.
Place meaning apartment or college dorm room in our case with our sons.
Second son is planning his wedding for early March. That seemed to be here so quickly
from his engagement last Christmas. NOW to look on my shelf to start a Christmas
Devotion and Christmas Stories. Postings soon.
Dorcas gathered her old brown cloak firmly about her, as though the balmy southwest wind were a savage northeaster, and peered out from the recesses of her brown beaver bonnet like an owl from the shelter of a hollow tree. Nevertheless there was the hint of a smile upon her usually grim mouth. For though she did not admit it, she was enjoying this expedition in search of the erring Polly. The sharp tang of the seaweed lying in shining coils on the sand below her was delightful. The sparkle of the sea in the sunshine raised her spirits. Turning to look at the little town, she found she had forgotten how pretty it was with its steep cobbled streets climbing the hill, its old red roofs all higgledy-piggledy and the plumes of smoke from the chimneys azure in the clear air. (p. 28)
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Sunday in Durham at Duke Chapel for worship, lovely French restaurant for lunch , and seeing The Rockette's Christmas Show.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
I loved TRUTH AND BEAUTY: A Friendship.
Her newest book: State of Wonder.
Need a road trip.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Great time today thinking about where commas go,
how to spell "sententious,"and what is a bromide!
All in a dictation lesson.
We are using the "parvum opus" of Strunk and White: The Elements of Style.
We are also loving " Eats,Shoots & Leaves." There are picture books that are priceless byLynnTruss that even my high school students loved. Laughed. When a writing ends in laughter, it reminds me of
Billy Collin's poetry.
Review: Edwin Abbot. There are lots of
Google books online. Logic and a training
to examine a word and its uses are learned.
Then there is remembering what they read.
Good teaching on both sites. Good books
Monday, November 14, 2011
We had a long weekend just
over the Appalachians to Knoxville
to see our 3rd son Evan.
He's job hunting and taking online
post-grad classes. CPA ahead for him.
It was fun. Very fun to thrift store
shop: Van Gogh print and a drafting
desk that I wish I had!
Lovely drive and Autumn still had
her gay scarf on with gold and reds!
Today is Monday. You know Monday is
the start to the week after the Sabbath.
How's your week starting?
Here the weather has a warmth to it
which brought shorts out for my daughter!
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
I have two batches of
River Cottage's :
Honey and Peanut Butter
Easy. I used the Flax -Peanut
Butter ( you can add flax which
I did add what I had in the house)
from Trader Joe's.
I love the River Cottagecookbooks
from Dorset, England.
It was started in a 17th
century farmhouse in Dorset:
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
I loved to be inspired.
I am listening to a new
Group is from VA.
Playing at IAM next
Friday night in NYC.
Celtic, folk, classical.
Makes me smile.
Clap my hands.
Thinking some sons would
like the sound.
Thinking how beautiful
Sounds a bit European.
Definitely not what's on
mainline radio these days.
Doesn't that say alot for
just listening to them tonight!
Monday, November 7, 2011
Mr. Rochester called Jane
"Janet." We had a most
lovely brunch and skyping
a friend in Austria for our
Book Club on Saturday.
See my friend's post
Such a rich and lengthy
discussion that we only
got half of the book covered!
Do reread it.
You will marvel at Bronte's
insight and rich language.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
From Miss Charlotte Bronte's
book: Jane Eyre
Mr. Rochester to Jane:
" You never felt jealousy, did you,
Miss Eyre -- your soul sleeps , shock
its yet to be given which shall waken
it. -- You will come some day to a
craggy pass of the channel , where
the whole of life's stream will be
broken up into whirl and tumult,
foam and noise; either you will
be dashed into atoms on crag points,
or lifted up and borne on by some
master wave into a calmer current--
as I am now."
" You want to read the tablet of one's
" We know that God is everywhere;
but certainly we feel His presence most
when His works are on the grandest
scale spread before us: and it is in
the unclouded night sky ,where His
worlds wheel their silent course,
that we read clearest His
I had risen to my knees to pray for
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Crept in to my life so fast
Did it to you?
I liked writing October.
November brings in the
holidays and then we turn
into another year older!
I'm reading Jane Eyre again
for our Book Club on Saturday.
I am struck so deeply by her
language and humanity of the
characters. She read and read
as a child at home in their
library. She caught down deep
language. She caught attention
to syntax and vocabulary.
And she caught what love looks
like within Jane.
Friday, October 28, 2011
October 20, 2o11 in Cambridge, Mass.
This reminds me of A Christian
Manifesto by Francis Schaeffer.
( must read in high school)
I got a few of his earlier poetry
books out of the library.
First editions .
Small and tight.
I love such poetry books.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
So amazing the timing!
Wilbur is our poet of the
A Barred Owl
Yesterday, I told my Elementary poetry
students about WHAT happened,
they left my house WHOOOING....
up my driveway on alert to hear
a WHO COOKS FOR YOU back!
Monday, October 24, 2011
Our day with the OWL in our
yard this afternoon.
The OWL who sat on a branch
outside our back porch.
The OWL who had a mockingbird
mock him, swoop at him, and
chatter so much that HE was
The OWL who flew to our front
roof over the front porch. We
sat in Gordan's bedroom and
watched him get something
dead out of the gutter!
The OWL who then flew
to the magnolia tree and
stared at us. YOU know they
stare right at you.
The OWL who then had a
squirrel from his beak.
Back home 3 hours later,
he is sitting on a branch
of the Bradford pears at
the top of the driveway.
Emma hears a shriek.
The OWL is in the squirrel
nest up a pine tree. I yelled
up at him how BAD he was.
Third squirrel in 24 hours
in his beak.
Many FIRSTS to record!
( photos and a video were
taken! Stay tuned.)
I always think of this now:
Book of Firsts.
I made one in a blank journal.
Nancy writes a good blog
on The Calendar of First.
It is a capital plan for the children to keep a calendar––the first oak-leaf, the first tadpole, the first cowslip, the first catkin, the first ripe blackberries, where seen, and when.
( Charlotte Mason)
It builds a habit.
Recording in a book.
Yesterday , my neighbors
and husband all said this as
we sat on their back porch:
"THIS is the first time we've seen
An owl swooped from the trees
to the top of my green roof
with an animal in it's mouth.
He held it down.
We could hear the animal.
Then he flew to a branch in my
front yard. By this time, we
This morning the crows were
cawing and cawing. It was such
a raucous that I looked outside.
They were chasing a hawk.
He just sat there on a branch too.
Well, our Squirrel Nutkin got more
than his tail off and I made sure
our cat Oreo was inside!
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
Farmer Sitting by the Fireside Reading....Van Gogh
“Deeply engaged reading leads to perceptual awakening, stimulation of the core of the intuitive and experiential . . . What reading and writing can teach us is a deeper empathy that leads us to desire the best for others who are entirely different from us, and to long to communicate with them.”- Makoto Fujimura, “Refractions #26: The Epistle of Van Gogh
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
at MoBia's KJV's 400th Anniv.
Exhibit. It is small but glorious.
All the letters were beside the
larger canvas which Makoto
did for each of the Four Gospels.
Each Gospel had it's own wall.
He then illuminated each chapter.
Here is Chapter 1 of Matthew:
My Matthew 1 chapter head initial letter (each initial letter was specifically designed for each chapter) Here you can see the names in Matthew's genealogy listed inside the "T." The shape of the "T" always reminds me of the cross of Jesus.
Monday, October 10, 2011
Monday is a stay at home
day. I get ready for three
busy days, then friday is
a stay at home day.
I finished Donald Miller's
To Own a Dragon: Reflections
of Growing Up without a Father.
over the weekend in a few days.
He wrote Blue Like Jazz and
seems to have a knack for putting
jazz into his writing. I never
thought I needed to read this book.
One of my sons loved Miller's books
but we didn't get this one because
he has a dad. Me: divorce. So reading
this book brought to light a few
things to help me go deeper into that
wound. I recommend it to anyone
who has absence in their life. Absence
of any kind, not just a dad. It also is
one of the best books on manhood!
I found this short interview and wonder
if Miller has done this:
Miller: I’m working on a book called A Map of Eden, which is a biography of a performance artist who, with his art, brings to life social justice issues and calls people to action. Thomas Nelson will publish that.
Are you wondering at the title?
It is in the second chapter:
" I didn't start reading till in college,
but I knew about fairies and dragons
and trolls from hearing about them
at reading time when the librarian
at my elementary school crossed her
long legs and sat silently until we
sat silently. Then she'd wrap her lips
around the simple words of a children's
book, holding her palm against the
crease of the page , turning the book
towards us to display the watercolor
pictures ~~~ a small troll in a big coat
who lived under a bridge, his eyes ever
alert for travelers on the bridge. There
was a book of a boy riding a dragon
through the clouds, smoke and fire...
and I remember wondering what it would
be like to own a dragon.....
I bring this up because in writing some
thoughts about a father, or not having
a father, I feel as though I am writing
a book about a dragon or a troll under
a bridge. For me a father is nothing more
than a character in a fairy tale."
Friday, October 7, 2011
Maybe you saw this if you
knit and read Getting
Stitched on the Farm.
It is another sign of the
times: Kristin Nicholas' Julia
yarn( named after her daughter)
is being discontinued.
Read here and order halfprice
for her scrumptious colors
from her sheep!
photos from Getting Stitched
on the Farm~~
Thursday, October 6, 2011
I am reading the NY Times
tonight about Steve Job.
He put much stock in the notion of “taste,” a word he used frequently. It was a sensibility that shone in products that looked like works of art and delighted users. Great products, he said, were a triumph of taste, of “trying to expose yourself to the best things humans have done and then trying to bring those things into what you are doing.”
and this about consumers
which is what I think (I am
so technically ignorant!)
When asked what market research went into the iPad, Mr. Jobs replied: “None. It’s not the consumers’ job to know what they want.”
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Monday, October 3, 2011
My Students are writing stories.
Richard Wilbur, poet the siblings
are learning this semester, writes about
his daughter writing. My daughter
is writing. He reads it HERE.
I might have to read it
with my students. Several
metaphors and imagery and
that last line~!!
Friday, September 30, 2011
I may write one as the air
of Autumn arrived , sun
brings goodness on its
rays, and the skies make your
head rise up!
Until that poem appears in
my journal from my pen,
I think about Richard
Wilbur's poem that says
the morning is awash with
I found Luci Shaw writing
for Flourish Magazine which
also has a Wendell Berry-ness
to it. Here is a Rilke poem found
there . Must write some letters!~
( see that line , keep that Lost ART
Lord: it is time. The Summer was so immense.
Lay your shadow on the sundials,
and let loose the wind in the fields.
Bid the last fruits to be full,
give them another two more southerly days,
press them to ripeness, and chase
the last sweetness into the heavy wine.
Whoever has no house now will not build one anymore.
Whoever is along now will remain so for a long time,
will stay up, read, write long letters,
and wander the avenues, up and down,
restlessly, while the leaves are blowing.
Autumn Garden, Van Gogh
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
I am looking
at the Yarn Stores for
the NY Yarn Crawl this
weekend. I am not there
or going there BUT
I can pick up needles
and yarn and next trip
Brooklyn General Store
Great video with this song.
It made me smile tonight!
Don't you want to sit in
and take a seat.
born to hum
once in the spring of my 24th year
i had nothing to say.
with a dangling promise and
a terrible past
i threw all the words away.
we were born to hum.
you were the last in my 24th year
to make a demand of my voice.
i tickled your ear and
i laughed in your face and
i gave you my choice.
we were born to hum.
it's a gradual running,
a kind of release
that's settled on my face.
once in awhile i complain to myself,
nothing gets done!
nothing's in place!
but i would rather hum.
i would rather hum.
© 2003 Erin McKeown
Charlotte Bronte did not write
a Preface to the first edition of
JANE EYRE. She did to the second.
She gives acknowledgements and
remarks in the Second Editon's
Preface , giving this at the end to
whom she dedicated the work:
Finally, I have alluded to Mr. Thackeray, because to him- if he will accept the tribute of a total stranger- I have dedicated this second edition of Jane Eyre. CURRER BELL.
I am starting reread Jane Eyre for
the 3rd time in my life. It's the next
Book Club in October!
I remember hearing Susan
Schaeffer Macaulay speak on Reading
and Literature with an admonition
to read Jane Eyre every decade!
I've missed a few but the first time
holds a great story . More on that to
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Ovid ~~ have you read any of this Roman poet?
Plus that is ONE sentence! It's what great writers do.
Monday, September 26, 2011
Saturday, September 24, 2011
I was tagged by Nancy
on her blog for something
A meme is "an idea, behaviour or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.
An Internet meme is a concept that spreads through the internet.
So here goes:
1. One homeschooling book you have enjoyed -
For the Children's Sake began my journey
and I have reread Essex Cholmondley : The Story of
2. One resource you wouldn't be without -
our local library
3. One resource you wish you had never bought -
Saxon Math. Actually I never bought
it . It was passed to me and didn't work well
with my son who loves math. He told me
how it didn't work for him and he loved
4. One resource you enjoyed last year -
Charlotte Mason Archives
5. One resource you will be using next year -
Blogs and books.
My students will do a private blog as a class.
Also doing The Brooklyn Sketchbook Project.
6. One resource you would like to buy -
Museums . Rembrandt coming 3 hours
away soon to NC!
7. One resource you wish existed -
I agree with Nancy on this one :
Non-profit ChildLightUSA Developing New Mason Curriculum
8. One homeschool catalog you enjoy reading -
I love reading book catalogues , Image
Journal , and online blogs, etc... ( Kindling Muse, Books and Culture, the Curator)
9. One homeschool website you use regularly -
Book of Centuries
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Back from a long weekend to New York City with my sister and daughter . We visited my nephew who lives in Brooklyn now. Residency. Long hours in the hospital. We , on the other hand, learned how to get into the city on the subway to go to the MET, Morgan Library, MoBia ( to see The Four Gospels of Makoto Fujimura) " How to Suceed in Business " with Daniel Radcliffe ( yes, he can sing and dance quite nicely!) and NY food. Upon returning I'm reading " Clara and Mr. Tiffany" by
Susan Vreeland: the turn of the century story of his stained glass windows. I had seen several
at the MET and now the story comes alive! Clara was a letter writer besides being an artist of color and beauty.
"What saved Clara Driscoll from obscurity is not any Tiffany Studios catalog, but her passion for writing letters."
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Listening to this tonight. Julie Andrews and her
daughter reading and talking! I wish I had a
young one to put to sleep listening! Fun poems
even some written by them.
Listen to Julie Andrews lovely articulation
( My Fair Lady) and accent!
Came home also with an old copy of
David McCord's poems. Illustrations
are whimsical and delightful.
Doing Picture Study with
high school students is
extraordinary. They described
many paintings of The Garden
of Eden. Training the eyes to see
and the mind to think:
Thomas Cole: The Garden of Eden.... 1828
"We recognise that the power of appreciating art and of producing to some extent an interpretation of what one sees is as universal as intelligence, imagination, nay, speech, the power of producing words. But there must be knowledge and, in the first place, not the technical knowledge of how to produce, but some reverent knowledge of what has been produced...children learn, not merely to see a picture but to look at it, taking in every detail. " ( Charlotte Mason)