Thursday, October 30, 2008

Humor in Scott's book

One of the best scenes is a Post
Office scene. Picture Mrs. Mailsetter
( yes, she handles the mail in 1816)
and Mrs. Sweetgoods ( the wife of the
baker) being the source of gossip for
the little town as they know everyone
who gets mail and even reading the
ones that the wax seal has opened.
Today as my students read this chapter
out loud, I pictured a Masterpiece Theatre
with Judi Dench and Maggie Smith!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sir Walter.....Scott!-

I'm just about done teaching
and reading part of The Antiquary
by Sir Walter Scott. It was his
favorite book that he wrote. He
wrote to preserve history and heritage
and thought to the future generations
of what would be lost. Tales were being
lost and history forgotten. He wrote about
a longing for things that last and matter.
The main character is Jonathan
Oldbuck who loves old things and history.
Scott gets better as you read into the books.
Charlotte Mason went to bed every night
with a Waverly Novel. A dear friend says
Scott brings peace to her soul. Here's
today's quote: ( for knitters or crocheters)

"The sheep , which, during the ardent heat
of the day, had sheltered in the breaches ,
and hollows of the gravelly bank, or under
the roots of the aged and stunted trees, had
now spread themselves upon the face of
the hill to enjoy their evening's pasture, and
bleated to each other with that melancholy
sound which at once gives life to a landscape
and marks its solitude."

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Kathleen Norris' new book

Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer's Life

Search inside this book

I started this last night and was sadden to read her husband died in 2003. I knew he had cancer. Acedia is the spiritual side of sloth. OH.......
She thought of the book
30 years ago. Now she writes it.

Go to this site and hit
links to listen to her
in short and long

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dick and Jane Quilt

This is
the baby
quilt for
my nephew's
new baby:
So what
is Jackson
to me?
My great-

Out at "A Barnful of Quilts" two
weekends ago.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Fall Break is Over

Our two in college are back to
school after Fall Break.
So good to see the one who is
up in the mts. I sent him back
with a pile of blankets and was
glad to have put one on each bed
here at home. It was very winter
like this morning. The other college
son lives in town with his older
brother, who is out in the finance
world. That one is doing a half-
triathalon in Florida on Saturday.
He did a trial this past weekend and
finished in just over 8 hours. He'll
have a crew to cheer him on as part
of the family travels down with him.
Me ~~~ I'll stay here to have some

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Autumn's chill in the air

Chilly Sabbath morn with
brillant blue skies. Potato
soup on the stove simmering
for this evening. Sermon was
on How to Vote for the President.
Excellent biblical teaching from
I Peter 2: 1-4. I'm still simmering
on it.

Above is another Winslow Homer!

Friday, October 17, 2008

soup and soup and soup

Laughter , soup, salad and
a special friend( birthday girl)
and other friends whose lives
are in the tapestry of my life.
Hosted by my dear friend:
Soup Serenade!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I finished HOME by Marilyne
Robinson last night. The end
was not what I expected and since
I haven't finished Gilead , I was
so surprised. Sort of the same ending
of the recent Mitford book.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


"The great intellectual tradition that comes

down to us from the past was never

interrupted or lost through such trifles

as the sack of Rome, the triumph

of Attila, or all the barbarian invasions

of the Dark Ages. It was lost after the

introduction of printing, the discovery

of America, the coming of the marvels of

technology, the establishment of universal

education, and all the enlightenment of the

modern world.It was there, if anywhere,

that there was lost or impatiently snapped

the long thin delicate thread that had

descended from distant antiquity;

the thread of that unusual human hobby:

the habit of thinking."

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Barnful of Quilts

A friend who quilts came with
down to Waxhaw, south of Charlotte
to a horse farm ( with llama's ) for
this Quilting show. Just driving
down the long driveway to the farm
was worth the drive. The highlight
was Ellen Guerrant's quilts and I
was inspired by the two knitting
stores represented in the horse
stalls! It's wonderful to come
home and feel nourished with
peacefulness AND to want to make
something besides dinner! I do like
that too, but that is everyday and
creating with your hands is a different
kind of nourishment. Sort of like
getting a letter in the mail. It's from
the heart.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


New exhibit at the Mint Museum
here in town : Andy Warhol. It was
interesting to see what he thought
was important in life. He made lots
of money with it. Lots. That was one
of the quotes up on the wall. Art is
about money. It's about business.
He made it into one. Great to examine
in the history we are studying:
Modernity. He included himself in a
series of 10 Myths: Icons of Culture.
So alongside Mickey Mouse, Superman,
the Wicked Witch of the West, Santa
Claus, ....was his shadow. I chuckled.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Caught Billie Collins and Donald
Hall , two poets and Poet Laureates,
this morning on Diane Rhem. ( NPR)
I have Hall's book "Unpacking the Boxes"
on hold at the library.
Collins new book in 3 years ....hmmm.......
need to see what that is about. Ballistics.
Just put that on HOLD.
Not sure what I think of the title.

Who is the Poet Laureate today?

Charles Simic, the fifteenth Poet Laureate
of the United States (2007-2008), was born
in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, in 1938, and immigrated
to the United States in 1953, at the age of 15.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Just 10 minutes

What do you do when you
have 10 minutes for literature
class? You hand back papers,
give out syllabus ( starting
Sir Walter Scott~~ The Antiquary)
and go over
how to read this book full of
Scottish brogue! READ it out
loud. Maybe a field trip would
be better. To Melrose to Abbotsford do those things
would be lovely, but everyday
I come home with thoughts not
in the stock market.
Knees. A good place to be. ON THEM.
Living in quite historical times.

picture of Sir Walter Scott and his literary friends at Abbotsford
view larger picture of Sir Walter Scott and his literary friends at Abbotsford in new browser window

Sir Walter Scott and His Literary Friends at Abbotsford, by Thomas Faed

A photographic reproduction of the original, which was painted in 1849 working from pre-existing portraits.

Portrayed from left to right are:

Seated: Thomas Thomson, James Ballantyne, Archibald Constable, Thomas Campbell, Tom Moore, Sir Adam Fergusson, Francis Jeffrey, William Wordsworth, John Gibson Lockhart, George Crabbe, Henry Mackenzie, Scott, and (on footstool) James Hogg.

Standing: Sir Humphrey Davy, Sir David Wilkie, Sir William Allan, Prof. John Wilson.

Monday, October 6, 2008

A good swim today

Emma and I went to the Y
early this afternoon and caught
the lull at the pool. Only a few
older ladies and two avid swimmers
in the lanes. I got all my joints
limber and had fun tagging along
behind Emma as we did laps!
We'll have to keep it up. Certainly
with a warm October day , it was
easy to go, get wet and come home.
Not so in the cold! We'll see if we
can make this a routine.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


I started HOME by Marilynne
Robinson a few days ago , along
with The Antiquary by Sir Walter
Scott that I will teach in a few weeks.
Home today with new screen and glass
doors being put up by my husband
and neighbor. So nice to have a good
neighbor! Good friends too. Emma
adores their 18 year old and they
are like sisters. Leann adores her too:
her "little sister!"

Welcoming Autumn every morning!

Nature XXVII, Autumn

by Emily Dickinson

The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry's cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.
The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I'll put a trinket on.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

New Poet

A Doxology of Barns

Oh standing tall you split the sky
in red, white, weathered by and by.
Such praises from these boards you bring.
Is such a witness worth the King?

Of human hands that toil below
for corn and cows and blessings flow.
All livestock, grain, and hay within
trust not in human hands therein.

For sheltered barn and weathered board
trust goodness from your hand afford.
In keeping, guiding, tending care
farmer and old red barn doth share.

Now certainly such care and keep
do weathered, failing boards now speak.
Raise praises to come-coming King.
"Lord, gardener come soon!" they sing.

Come raise our boards and paint our doors.
Fill granary, use our hay mow floors.
Give light, restore the failing beam
cupola, roof above redeem.

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye Heavenly Host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

by Phillip Jensen

Barns by Wolf Kahn

The First Spy Novel

The Thirty-Nine Steps.
John Buchan wrote it in 1915. A
new genre is birthed. I read this
book in 3 nights. Brillant literary
style and my heart pounded, the
pages turned and I couldn't wait
to find out if Richard Hannay would
be found! Reading the sequel which
is in WWI in Jan. with my students.
The end of the first page says:
"I was the best bored man in the United
Kingdom." Brillant to what happens to
him. Buchan must have chuckled
as he wrote this.

We welcomed Autumn today with
it's bright blue skies and cool air.
Makes you want to put on a sweater
and have a cup of tea and grab a
book. Or knit. Makes you forget
the troubles in the world at the
moment. can be so
quiet that you can escape from
the lack of gas, financial woes,
and even an election. Pray in that
quiet. Pray fervently.