Thursday, April 30, 2009

Book Club tonight

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson:

Marilynne Robinson

Jill: How did you begin Gilead? What was its genesis?

Marilynne Robinson: It had a long genesis because it came as a result of my interest in theology, and also the fact of my having moved into the Middle West and becoming interested in the history of the Middle West. I read a lot of things that were written in the nineteenth century. Then, for whatever reason, a character came into my mind, or more specifically, a voice, and a lot of things that I'd been thinking about and reading about precipitated themselves as a novel. Who knows why? I was very pleased. I enjoyed writing the novel.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ted Kooser and Wendell Berry

commented that Ted
Kooser's name came to mind
when she looked at Wendell Berry's
books in the library. Both are farmers.
Both are poets and essayists. Both care
deeply for place, the land, and family.
Both write about traditions being lost.
Ted Kooser was Poet Laureate in
2005, I am waiting for Berry to be bestowed
this honor!

From Watch with Me by Berry:

" It was a fine morning in August, dewy
and bright; the Katy's Branch valley was
still covered with a shining cloud of fog.
It was 1916 and a new kind of world was in
the making on the battlefields of France,
but you could not have told it, standing on
Cotman Ridge with that dazzling cloud lying
over Goforth in the valley, and the woods
and the ridgetops looking as clear and clean
as Resurrection Morning. Birds were singing."

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Watch with Me

Wendell Berry. 1994.
Great title , isn't it.
It was a short novel that made me love the
main two characters: Ptolemy Proudfoot
and his wife Miss Minnie!
Berry has his"belonging to the land and
place" worldview through this book
( so that you want to become a farmer!)
as well as the strong marriage of the huge
"Tol" and the tiny "Miss Minnie."

"Tol was a big man. Clothing him,
said Miss Minnie, was like upholstering
a sofa!"

" To some, it seemed that Ptolemy Proudfoot
didn't 'laugh' like a Christian. He laughed
too loud and too long, and his merriment
seemed just a little too self-sufficient--
as if, had there been enough funny stories
and enough breath to laugh at them with,
he might not 'need' to go to Heaven."

You know when a book makes you laugh
and be part of the community, the author
has done well. And then , if you start to say
to your husband: Listen to this and start
reading it to him and he says READ more,
well, it's a very fine book. This one did that.

book cover of   Watch With Me   by  Wendell Berry

Monday, April 27, 2009

A funny line

In the last episode of Little Dorrit
on Masterpiece Theatre last night,
when Fanny Dorrit addresses her
"papa-in-law!" We broke into tears
of laughter. It's one of those wonderful
phrases that makes us still laugh!

Friday, April 24, 2009

To Be or Not to Be

Shakespeare's Birthday today!
We are doing Hamlet with a group
of homeschoolers ages 5 - 14.
There are lots of girls so they are
Kings and men! It is turning out to be
fun because the kids are. Keep it simple
is what I say as we made the script have
all the famous lines but not so long.
"There is something rotten in Denmark!"

Waterhouse's Ophelia




Wednesday, April 22, 2009


From The Bower ,
a beautiful blog. Be sure
to check out her shop:
Small Meadow Press
to see her notecards, etc..
Just so beautiful. Leslie
recently had a Rummage
Sale ~~~ just getting her box
in the mail is a delight!
She also has free downloads
of notepages, calendars, esp.
for homeschooling. Emma likes
the weekly pages for her assignments
she write out! Good training!

Notes on Gratitude-

*newly re-designed set*

Monday, April 20, 2009

Pulitzer Prize winner

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

Rank outsider Elizabeth Strout has won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction with her novel, Olive Kitteridge. Strout beat a pack of literary heavyweights, including Philip Roth, John Updike, Toni Morrison, Annie Proulx, Jhumpa Lahiri, and the hot favorite Marilynne Robinson.

Set in a small town in Maine, Olive Kitteridge binds together 13 short stories. Olive Kitteridge, a retired schoolteacher, hates change but rarely notices the changes taking place around her.

Strout was raised in small communities in New Hampshire and Maine. The Pulitzer judges said the book "packs a cumulative emotional wallop, bound together by polished prose and by Olive, the title character, blunt, flawed and fascinating."

ABE Books

2009 Pulitzer Prize winner Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Joy to the Heart

We sang Joy to the Heart again this morning
in worship. Certainly I will be singing this
throughout the week . It has stayed in my
mind as great joy. That was what the TEA was.
Photos to come.There was a taste of eternity and that great joy as friends and family gathered to share blessings and deep prayers
for my son and his bride to be!

Joy to the Heart by K. Lee Scott

Look there! The Christ, our Brother, comes resplendent from the gallows tree and what he brings in his
hurt hands is life on life for you and me.

Joy! Joy! Joy to the heart all in this good day’s dawning!

Good Jesus
Christ inside his pain looked down Golgotha’s stony slope and let the blood flow from his flesh to fill the
springs of living hope.

Good Jesus Christ, our Brother, died in darkest hurt upon the tree to offer us the

worlds of light that live inside the Trinity.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Stanza

From Robert Frost and Letters from Hill Farm:

The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You're one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
A cloud comes over the sunlit arch,
A wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you're two months back in the middle of March.

Wonderfully cool today. Put the coolness in a jar to
open in the heat of summer! Ahhhh~~

It is Poetry Month either nationwide or at the library.I got a poem put in my book when I checked out books. Lord Byron, no less! Quite regal friend of Wordsworth and Keats. Found this book on the Sale bookshelf:

Fidelity by Wendell Berry: Book Cover

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How about that!!

We finished the BBC Lark Rise
to Candleford , looked it up and found
that it is autobiographical of Flora
Thompson. Lark Rise is Juniper Hill
and Candleford is 8 miles away:

Now How About THAT!

Lark Rise to Candleford

Spring Break was over this week
but Emma and I could NOT stop
watching this BBC production
of this wonderful book. We stayed up
until almost midnight last night!
We'll finish the last episode
tonight to see who marries who
and what happens to all the dear
people of Lark Rise and Candleford
in England! We've grown to love them
and want to be their neighbors. They
certainly took care of each other in
an incredibly covenantal way that we
have lost in Modernity. Wonderful out-
pourings into each others lives. The
Gospel is reflected so deeply in how they
did that. The Post Office was a central
place for even tea. Imagine!
10 episodes about an hour long
each, but on You Tube you can break it
up to suit your time limits.
Thank YOU to Storybook Woods for her
blog that include it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What fun!

We were humming Alleluias
from the Easter Service (that the Worship Director wrote) while washing tea cups and plates and cleaning silver for this upcoming event at our house this weekend. Rubbing tarnished silver is quite amazing. It is like magic to see the black tarnish come off on the rag and then it shines! Emma and I both said "THIS is Fun! ( but we don't do this everyday!)" Even got to ironing the cloth napkins and table

Monday, April 13, 2009

Joy to the Heart

One of the magnificent Easter
songs sung yesterday by the Adult
Choir and the Teen Ensemble. Listen
on You Tube and sung by the American
Church in Paris. Listen to the trumpets!
Joy to the Heart by Lee Scott, composer.
The sanctuary filled with voices and
instruments. I could hear the highest
soprano hit the last note!

Joy, Joy, Joy to the heart
all in this good day's dawning

I've been humming it all day.
I don't know all the words but the tune
has dwelled deep within me to resound!
I thought today about telling myself the
Gospel every morning. Certainly we are
so deeply loved by our Saviour. Excellent
sermon which ended with Christ's work
at HIS Right Hand today. Lots to think
upon. NO matter the day , although today
is a birthday DAY , to have a song run through
your mind is indeed a glorious thing. A thing
of grace!

2oth birthday of our 3rd son today!
Happy Birthday Evan! Now we have only
1 teen and 1 coming up to her teens in a
couple of years!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Lilies

Childe Hassam

On Easter Day

Easter lilies! Can you hear
What they whisper, low and clear?
In dewy fragrance they unfold
Their splendor sweet, their snow and gold.
Every beauty-breathing bell
News of Heaven has to tell.
Listen to their mystic voice,
Hear, oh mortal, and rejoice!
Hark, their soft and heavenly chime!
Christ is risen for all time!
~ Celia Thaxter

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Holy Week

1635 Francisco de Zurbaran The Bound Lamb Agnus Dei

It's been wonderful to go to a
noon service this week on the
Seven Deadly Sins. Lunch is
served or to take with you afterwards. It has helped this whole week
be part of the church calendar,
not just Maundy Thursday , Good
Friday, and Easter Sunday. It
is Palm Sunday bookended with
Easter. Very good meditations.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Up in the mountains of NC!
Our son ( in college up there)
called this afternoon to say "It's
snowing!" Cold here but still so
beautiful. Heading up to Winston
Salem on Thursday to see a dear
friend who will be in town and to go
here. The Reynolda House was originally
of the Reynolds family who were in
tobacco. Big time tobacco. I've never
been there. American Impressionism
exhibit there now AND the church my
oldest son will be married in in 45 days!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Arthur Quiller-Couch

'Q' is Arthur Quiller-Couch
to whom Helene Hanff ,in this
autobiography of her road to
86 Charing Cross ,attributes her
real education to. SO now I've found
a reasonable copy of Quiller-Couch's
biography, which is mentioned by
Hanff. The below book is almost done
and it has lead me to a few more books
to find. She is like me. I love memoirs,
letters, and biographies.

"It was an awesome legacy for a Cambridge
don to have conferred on a lowly pupil
he never knew existed three thousand mile
away." ( pg. 56)

She especially learned from his book
On the Art of Writing.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Spring Break

It sort of started today.
Gileskirk is on break , but I
have several books to read AND
"Q's Legacy" by Helen Hanff

"Q AND I FIRST MET on a summer morning
when I was eighteen, at the main branch of the
Philadelphia Public Library where I'd gon

came in the mail! Getting invitations
made and out tomorrow for an
Engagement Tea for my soon to be
daughter-in-law! Isn't that fun!
Having a dear sister to help and a
bridesmaid: my daughter to help
will be fun too!

The day is glorious. Just perfect to
welcome Spring. The wind is blowing,
the trees are budding with a general
haze of Spring Green ( although that
green is not it, you know what it looks like
and it is just here in Early Spring!)
Just glorious. Puts a good mood in
your day!