Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Death by Living by N.D. WIlson

" Thank you God for faith and bulk-ordered grace. " N.D. Wilson's new book made my 
heart soar. This is a memoir. It is a story of the present and the past. It is a book of 
remembrance to his grandparents. He made me smile yet beware of his thinking. It will 
take you in a circle . You have to be listening . You have to be thinking. Great paragraphs
will come to take you up the mountain and raise your hands in a benediction. 

"Lay your life down. .. You have lungs. Let them spill with laughter."

"May my  living be grace to those behind me. May I live hard. To the dregs."

Wilson examines Time. We struggle with  the pace. "Our futile struggle in time is 
courtesy of God's excessive giving. " He tells his grandparent's stories. Their
testimonies of those who shaped them and in turn, him. 
" .... And what they did , they did unto the King ( because they did it unto his brethren).
And they tipped tremendous scales as they did it, shaping lives and generations
in ways that can never be undone. .......You have hands. You have words. You have 
something. Touch the scales. Touch the least of these." 

I especially loved this sweet story about his grandmother. 
I brought my future wife here to meet my ancestors and receive their overflowing 
love. My grandmother glowed, eyes sparkling, lips paused,
" Oh , she's lovely. 
I bent down for my hug and got a kiss and a whispered command to keep this lovely 
girl with the blue eyes and the wild hair,

I am richer for reading about " God is a God of galaxies, of storms, of roarying 
seas, and boiling thunder, but He is also the God of bread baking , of a child's smile,
of dust motes in the sun. He is who He is, and always shall be. Look around you 
now. He is speaking always and everywhere. His personality can be seen and 
known and leaned upon."

Book Review for Thomas Nelson BookSneeze for bloggers. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Sweet 16

      Back to back weekends of travel: this time to Georgia.

      We celebrated again ( also in NY) and this time with a cake. 
      You know  how birthdays  can be. You know, celebrating over and over again.
      Sweet 16 is a special one. Her aunt surprised her! 

      We also had a party  for my husband's  mother: 78. 
      She had cupcakes with flowers and balloons on top. So cute. 
      From Publix , which we don't have here but one is coming soon.
      They have good bakeries. 



      We also saw these painting in Atlanta at the High Museum:

                                          The Girl with the Pearl Earring by Vermeer

                                              Rembrandt's Simeon's Song of Praise
                           Rembrandt made this painting in 1631 when he was about 25 and still living in Leiden. 
                                                                    Looks here for a good close up 
                                    plus more from the exhibit if you love Dutch painters.

                                                        Rembrandt's Self-portrait 

I was struck by beauty and stood before Rembrandt's paintings almost in tears. They
were so beautiful.I did well up at  Simeon's Song of Praise.The frame had  Simeon's Lofzang  
One Dutch word for Song of Praise.  His white collar too........ get close, You can see 
every detail. Beyond words. Took my breath away. . 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Oh how I love beauty

words from a new album :

Walking Song by Ron Block

Celtic sounds.........
he sings with Allison Krauss and the Union Station  who sings with him
on this new album. Listen to the link above at the bottom.
I love the word LET.... it has an echo of Genesis . LET there be light.
...... LET there be beauty.
Then , COME. Robert Frost-ish. You COME too.
COME swim and drink.
Jesus' words.

So let there be beauty
For beauty is good
The made and the making
And the bliss understood.
So let there be beauty
For beauty is free
Come swim in the waters.
Come drink from the stream.

Monday, July 22, 2013

a new poet

Finding a new poet to discover thrills me.  Jeffrey Overstreet's book on film,  Through
a Screen Darkly  ( which is so very, very good), introduced me to Jane Hirshfield.


It is foolish
to let a young redwood   
grow next to a house.

Even in this   
one lifetime,
you will have to choose.

That great calm being,
this clutter of soup pots and books—

Already the first branch-tips brush at the window.   
Softly, calmly, immensity taps at your life.
Jane Hirshfield, “Tree” from Given Sugar, Given Salt. Cop

The Phantom

We are back from a  niece's wedding , a celebration of my daughter's16th, and seeing cousins,
 brothers,nephews, nieces, a sister ( I only have one and she is amazing!) , and sites because 
when you go to NY you have to see a play, ride on a train, subway, ferry, and eat NY pizza.
It was hot. Hot each day.  We went to MOMA ( Modern Art) to see two favorite paintings and saw another one I didn't know was there:

                                                     Christina's World by Andrew Wyeth
                                        This is my husband's favorite painting. He had a poster of 
                                        it in his dorm room at college. We have been to the Olson
                                        house in Maine and have a picture of Emma laying on the 
                                        ground like Christina which Andrew Wyeth used his wife
                                        Betsy for the painting. 

                                        Starry Night by Van Gogh.  I am always moved by 
                                         his paintings. They make me ponder, wonder, and I 
                                         taste of beauty. 

                                         One of Monet's Water Lilies expanded across the wall. 

AND The Phantom of the Opera............we are still entranced and were not in the city
the next day for this in Bryant Park: 

More to tell of seeing my childhood home with my kids in two different trips: I now know why
my mother stayed in the little hamlet village on the north shore of Long Island with 8 kids. It is 
hard to fit 10 of us in a 7 passenger van! 

Saturday, July 13, 2013


“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”
- John Muir

Friday, July 12, 2013

A Sweet book

Ever just want to read a good book? I picked this one up from a book shelf , well, it actually never made it to a shelf. It was in a pile. A stack. You know , one of those stacks I have in my house.( Lewis writes about these in Surprise by Joy)  We love Noel Streatfield and collect her books. Her old copies of the Shoe books are wonderful to find. Ballet Shoes, Theater Shoes , Skating Shoes, Dancing Shoes. 

This story  is quite good and has warmed my heart. I am reminded how good "good writers" are! It was also published  earlier under the name " The Magic Summer" and  made into a movie or tv show in the UK. I might just have to find it after I finish because it would be a trip in the summer to England and Ireland. 

Noel Streatfield  is Mary Noel Streatfield.
I wasn't one of those readers who read her  books growing up. I am one 
of those homeschoolers who discovered a world of books when I started 
reading to my children. There were years and years of reading aloud. This one 
I will pass to my daughter for a delightful summer read. She loves her books 
and all the ones we own are her books.I had to tell my daughter one tidbit late last night: the mom was the youngest of 5 with 4 older brothers! ( just like her) 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Even though we have more rain...

"The sun...in its full glory, either at rising or setting-this, and many other like blessings we enjoy daily; and for the most of them, because they are so commom, most...forget to pay their praises. But let us not."     Izaak Walton

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Happy Birthday to...........

  John Calvin would be 504 years old!
 He was born July 10, 1509 in the Picardy
 region of France.

“Bien que les étoiles ne parlent pas, même en étant silencieux, ils crient.” John Calvin

wish I had this book under my belt like my husband does)


Camille Pissaro 
 (1830-1903) was born this day in St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands.

" Pissarro was also known for his teaching skills: Mary Cassatt reportedly said that “He could teach a stone to draw.”

You can read about him here. 

Pissarro's Garden at Eragny, 1898
Pissarro’s Garden at Eragny, 1898

by William Henry Davies (1871-1940)
What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
Pissarro, Fields, 1877
Pissarro, Fields, 1877

Monday, July 8, 2013

Small, good things

IN the Paris Review:

Read here.

Have you read this book by this author  that is mentioned in the excellent article:

The stories of J. F. Powers are cluttered with cassocks and communion rails, including a debate over the merits of wood and glass chalices in the book of papal denunciations that Brother Titus reads to Father Didymus in “Lions, Harts, Leaping Does.”

Friday, July 5, 2013

friday or saturday

Doesn't the day after July 4th this year seem like Saturday?
Especially this year. 
I keep thinking there is church tomorrow morning. 
SO it is like a vacation. 
Another day to be.
Great two letters of the alphabet. 
A state of being. Present. Here. There.
Other two letters of the alphabet:
( rhyming now)
Still like BE.

"People also leave presence in a place even when they are no longer there."

Comfort food tonight: mashed potatoes with dinner. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th

                                                  Years ago down the street

Just here with my daughter. Various reasons especially that my husband went to 
see his mom and we are going at the end of the month for her birthday. So it is 
Emma and a daughter-in-law whose husband is working on this holiday to keep the city 
safe, FOR DINNER.  SO far, we are having Trader Joe's no nitrate all beef  hot dogs
wrapped in biscuit mix. We had a taste at the store on Tuesday so there was our 4th of July dinner. I am not much on Hot Dogs and didn't serve them much to my family but it seemed easy and 
different especially since my "griller" is gone.  I just finished coleslaw a la Tyler Florence 
and added fresh parsley and dill. Easy. Used fresh cabbage from the farmer's market. 
I've been using cabbage more and more. A little bit here and a little bit there. 
Good for you.

Squash and some onion stirfried in a pan.
Salad, do we need an avocado and blueberries and almonds on lettuce? 
(had it for lunch and it was yummy) 

Brownies , very American, for dessert a la mode.

Wish you were here with us girls. 

Looking up recipes made me remember 101 Cookbooks or Farmgirl Fare or Jamie Oliver
Would like a slice of Jamie Oliver's  4th of July NY Cheesecake. 
Might find something to add.

Happy Birthday to our country. 

To honor an American family of painters: The Wyeths

                                           Patriot's Barn by Jamie Wyeth

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Gorgeous Tumblr

The Little Hermitage.


french linen.
(via Simone Says Friday ~ French Linens & Laundry - Fleaing France & French Shopping)

Holiday coming up

It is almost a long weekend with a holiday in between. We've had so much
rain that I don't know if it is too wet for fireworks.  Have to see what two days 

Yearning for slow time. Summer should be sitting on the edge of the sea 
like the two in Monet's painting. I would love to be right in the picture!

Have some cookbooks out of the library: 

I already made Braised Cabbage with wine and nutmeg but I didn't have nutmeg
in the house so left it out. It really is cabbage in olive oil with a half cup of white
wine , then add a pinch of nutmeg, salt and pepper. It was a hit.

I have some recipes in mind but haven't made anything yet but always , yes
always , so good to read Tyler Florence's cookbooks. You want to eat what 
he makes and catch the joie de vivre he has.

I have loved this cookbook and memoir and have kept it out of the library for 
9 weeks! I have made the potato salad, blueberry crisp, breakfast cookies ( no 
sugar , made with bananas) , and looking to try something else before my time
runs out. 

Breakfast Cookies;
Use what you have but you do need 3 bananas. You can substitute flour for 
the almond meal. You can add whatever kind of nuts or dried fruit. 

Combine wet ingredients:
  • 3 large ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
  • 1/4 olive oil (She recommends coconut oil first of all, though.)
  • 1 t vanilla
Add combined dry ingredients:
  • 2 c rolled oats
  • 2/3 c almond meal
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2/3 c shredded coconut
  • 1/2 c chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 c chocolate chips
Scoop onto a cookie sheet, flattening the tops a bit.  Bake at 350 for 14-16 minutes.