Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Swim, Bike, Run

Swimming to the bouy and then turn
left to the next one and back to shore.
40 laps = 1ooo meters

Son in navy cap. It was easier to see him. He
pulled it off in the water and the googles as
he swam.

Getting READY, SET .......GO!!!

Coming in from the swim............onto biking

Water before the bike ride

At the finish line with DAD ~~~

That is what you do in a
Triathlon. My oldest married
son did a Half Iron Man last
October in Florida. It took him
12 hours ( half a full ~~ which
means 55 miles of biking, 13 miles
of running ,?? of swimming).
Third son Evan did a Sprint
Triathlon a few weekends ago.
It is always in a lake , swimming
1000 meters or 40 laps. He biked
21 miles ( tire blew at 16 so missed
the last 5) and running 5 miles. why? A goal. A goal
to be in shape and conquer.
To finish. To do it well. They both
did and each has a story now.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Lost ART

This arrived in the mail two weeks ago. It was
made by a friend ~~~ and with ribbons on the
address and around the picture which is a
postcard. Your heart fills when someone
has taken the time to make you a card .
One that you just look at it. Even writing it
means alot.

The other two were photocards by my dear
friend. All were THANK YOU NOTES.
All took time and were filled with love.
It's not a lost art. Not at all with friends
like these.
That's my elbow and that is our Book Club
on Hannah Coulter.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Inhale Autumn

It's a glorious September day.
Cool and it brings to the heart
gratitude. How could it not?!!

I read in Letters on Cezanne
by Rilke a wonderful description
of heather. To take something
so ordinary and start to praise
God for what He has done or made:

"Never have I been so touched and
almost moved by the sight of heather
as the other day, when I found these
three branches in your dear letter.
Since then they have been in my
Book of Images, penetrating it with
their strong and serious smell, which
is really the fragrance of autumn earth.
But how glorious it is, this fragrance.
At no other time, it seems to me, does
the earth let itself be inhaled in one
smell, the ripe earth; in a smell that
is in no way inferior to the smell of the
sea, bitter where it borders on taste,
and more than honeysweet where you
feel it is close to the touching of first

And the way they look: like embroidery,

splendid; like three cypresses woven into
a Persian rug with violet silk ( a violet
of such vehement moistness, as if it were
the complimentary color of the sun.)

...I don't believe these little twigs could
have been as beautiful when you sent them:
otherwise you would have expressed some
astonishment about them. Right now one of
them happens to be lying on dark-blue velvet
in an old pen-and -pencil box .
It's like a firework: well, no. it's really like a
Persian rug. Are all these millioins of little
branches so wonderfully wrought?

One lives so badly, because one always comes
into the present unfinished, unable,

All this from looking at heather.
Be still, the Lord says.
Know that I am God.

holy experience

Friday, September 25, 2009

So that is what Homeschooing is

Emma and I were in the drs. office
yesterday for what turned out to
be allergy symptoms. We had an
interesting conversation in the waiting
room with an 11 year old girl and her
12 year old brother. They both thought
Emma was in high school. She is rather
tall. They assumed she went to their
Middle School. When she said " I am
homeschooled," he said " Oh , Do
you learn how to cook?"

That's what a 12 year old boy thinks
homeschooling is.

We told him she does all her work from
books and me and others, he just started
to give us advice, esp. on her math!
It tickled me. He's going to be a salesman
or a politician. Quite a chatter that one.
I can imagine his teacher has fun with
him. Very interesting to see how he
thought. He loves his school. I like that.
So does Emma.

See I'm a book reviewer now.
Sort of feels imp0rtant!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I found it

I still like thinking about Donald
Miller with Anne Lamott having lunch.
Don't you?! Well, after that little
adventure , I found it and you can
get a free copy also from the publisher
for writing a review. So I signed up.
My Tenn. blogging friend
will get a copy too. I hope I can get
all that is needed to do this with everything
else but it is exciting. Is that too hard for
doing something you love?

The information on the internet

I just got to a twitter as I followed
some sort of twitter thing to get a
free copy of Stephen Mansfield's new

What’s The Story?The Search for God and Guinness by Stephen Mansfield

The Search for God and Guinness is about beer, business, and one of the world’s most popular and enduring brands. But it’s also about:

  • living your faith in the real world
  • innovating for your people as much as your product
  • investing in your community and the world around you
  • all the good that wealth can do when used to the glory of God

I somehow got to a twitter of a girl going to
Franklin, Tenn tonight to the pub where
Mansfield is signing books AND there was
a link to Donald Miller's blog that he had
lunch with Anne Lamott. There was a photo
of her.......and imagine that conversation.
I never found how to get a free copy.
I'll start again. That's my fixing problems
on this machine. Just start again.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Centuries collide

Water Lilies, Claude Monet (1906)

We finished up Hamlet and
Augustine's Confessions yester-
day. I woke up thinking about Anne
Lamott and her conversion story
in Traveling Mercies.

"I also took religion , in deference
to this puzzling thing inside me
that had begun to tug my sleeve from
time to time, trying to get my attention.
I've read that Augustine said that to
look for God is to find him, but I was
not looking for God, not really, at least
I didn't know I was."
Augustine wasn't either.

God was like a cat pattering behind her ,
giving her clues to His love, waiting
to be picked up. Even after
an abortion, she feels his presence
hunched in the corner of her house-
boat. She keeps the image of lily
pads as the steps of coming to faith.
Leaps. "Yet each step brought me
closer to the verdant pad of faith
on which I somehow stay afloat."

I love these sentences:

"She stepped into us, the wonderful
old worn pair of pants that is St. Andrew,
and they fit." ( her pastor)

"It was as if the people were singing in
between the notes, weeping and joyful
at the same time, and I felt like their
voices or something was rocking me in its
bosom,holding me like a scared kid, and
I opened to that feeling---it washed over

"But the church smelled wonderful, like
the air had nourishment in it or like it was
composed of these people's exhalations,
of warmth and faith and peace."

"But it was that singing that pulled me
in and split me wide open."

"I had the feeling that a cat was following
me, wanting me to pick it up, wanting me
to open the door and let it in. But I knew
what would happen: you let a cat in one
time, give it a little milk, and then it stays

There's more for Anne writes in a way that
touches you to tears and so funny that
you chuckle and even laugh! She did that
6 years ago for me when my mom was
passing away. I've always wanted to send
Anne a huge bouquet of wildflowers.
. She collided with Augustine
yesterday and wouldn't she be surprised!

San Rafael, California, 1994

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The days fly by.....

The hummingbirds are still around
and lovely to watch. My lit. class wanted
to sit out on my deck to have class.
It was delightful. Very. Autumn arrived
today. My soup was waiting for us
as I got home later. Soup made yesterday.
Don't you love it when that happens!!
I have another stack of books from
the library where I put books on HOLD.
And there's a magazine swap. Good ones
today. Somehow the house seems cleaner
after reading a great magazine! I was
delighted when I saw the newlyweds after
their day at work ~~~ my son named my
loves in the car: food and books and then

Monday, September 21, 2009

So what's cooking?:

I stopped into a closeby branch
of our library system and found
a Barefoot Contesa In Paris cookbook.
It's a fun cookbook to read. I didn't know
she took a trip to France way back in the
1970's , then came home and got Julia
Child's The Art of French Cooking, vols.
one and two. For the next 7 years, she
cooked her way through those cookbooks.
"It was the best cooking education I could
have had." In 1978, she left Wash. DC to buy
Barefoot Contesa ,then a small speciality
food shop in the Hamptons. ( the east end
of Long Island, NY) The rest is history.
I made her Green Lentil Sausage Stew .
My senior in high school said "Who
is that for?" " Maybe I'll freeze it for a cold
winter day." " NO , you don't eat it that way,
You eat soup fresh!" Well, he could be in
one of the cookbooks. My oldest son was in and
out ( day off from accounting firm) AND he
said " It smells like India in here!" Cumin.
Fresh Thyme. Tomatoes I had frozen. Onions,
celery, carrots, zucchini ( I just had some that
needed to be eaten), green lentils.........and later
some chicken sausage and a bit of wine.

The other cookbook is one to read and learn:
The River Cottage Cookbook
It started in Dorset, UK when Hugh bought a
farm and started rearing small animals, gardening
and self-sufficiency. He has a show in England.
I'm sure I can find a youtube of him. He has a
joie-de-vivre and a bit of Wendell Berry in
sustaining the land and keeping food local.
He has online courses too.

Photos from the triathlon coming. Emma needs
to get them off the camera. Evan made it except
at mile 16 his bike tire blew out! ( out of 21 miles)
They tried tofix it twice and then he came down
the the Staffer's run the 5 mile
and finish!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cooking with Julie and Julia

A dear friend who I teach alongside
gave me a copy downloaded FREE
of the soundtrack of Julie and Julia.
I have been perked up this afternoon
after going over themes of Hamlet: revenge
and who is really the revenger, what are
the consequences and what does the Bible
say. I put the CD on while making calzones
with Trader Joe's pizza dough.

Evan,(bringing some to him,) is doing a
triathlon on Saturday. It's not a full one.
We head up to Boone tomorrow to be
his cheering squad. He gets to swim
across a mountain lake to start out.
My oldest did a half triathlon in Florida
last October. Not my cup of tea but I'm
proud of them. Quite a goal to attain.
So I was transported to France and
Queens this afternoon ~~ want to see the
movie again!

One of my favorite scenes at Le Cordon

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


We got some fall plants planted
this week in the garden so it
was wonderful to see rain late
this afternoon. Thinking of the
blessing of rain in our lives. The
means are connected with the end
but they don't produce it.
says Spurgeon.
Labor is not lost. I'm looking for these
means of grace as we dig a "well."
Useful reservoirs. Blessings.

From Spurgeon:

“Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well, the rain also filleth the pools.”

Psalm 84:6

The pilgrims dig the well, but, strange enough, it fills from the top instead of the bottom.
We use the means, but the blessing does not spring from the means. We dig a well, but heaven fills it with rain. The horse is prepared against the day of battle, but safety is of the Lord. The means are connected with the end, but they do not of themselves produce it. See here the rain fills the pools, so that the wells become useful as reservoirs for the water; labour is not lost, but yet it does not supersede divine help.

Grace may well be compared to rain for its purity, for its refreshing and vivifying influence, for its coming alone from above, and for the sovereignty with which it is given or withheld. May our readers have showers of blessing, and may the wells they have digged be filled with water! Oh, what are means and ordinances without the smile of heaven! They are as clouds without rain, and pools without water. O God of love, open the windows of heaven and pour us out a blessing!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Good words

I found this new blog and
this post made me think
about teaching or even for yourself,
when reading and developing a
Christian worldview:

It's on Shafts of Light while
reading Plutarch , the Bible,
and then on education as
repentance ( George Grant)

The Beehive, by Lynne B.
Amblesideonline advisor

And speaking of knowing and repentance, here's something we teachers all need to learn and repent of: You can't rush shafts of light. They don't give a hoot about your tight schedule or that your genetic code fritzes out mid-afternoon without hot tea. They need space befitting what they are. The same shaft of light that wreaks glare and havoc on the freeway creates luminous glow on a still meadow.

Take a look and think.
Think and be thankful for
others who help us even when
we weren't looking! Thank you Lynne!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Took Time..........

To sit with our neighbors back from
a week in Ohio and had a cuppa of tea!
They brought us corn fresh from the field
on Thursday in Amish county. YUM!
So what are you eating this weekend?

Good book from Wendell Berry out
as a response to the slow food movement.
His essays on Farming and Food ~~ bits
from his fiction:

Bringing It to the Table: On Farming and Food

Friday, September 11, 2009


A clear gorgeous September Friday
here. Great day for laundry!
I'm on my 4th load. Got to the
sheets and hung them out. Makes
me think about Kathleen Norris'
Quodidian Mysteries: Laundry,
Liturgy and Women's Work.
Any laundry tips?
Sleeping will be fresher tonight!

D. Haase's definition:


One of life's liturgies...the light and dark and rinse and spin of the day.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


From Hamlet:

"Or I could make a prologue to
my brains..." Act 5:scene 2

means: before I could alert my

It continues to " they had begun the
play. So before you know it , something
begins and you haven't the time to see
it start. You can't even give a prologue
to your mind!
That happens in the rush of days.
Things begin and you've missed the start.

A new blog I discovered as I searched the
web for Tolkien's essay on Fairytales.
I recommend it for word lovers, for those
who love to see in metaphors. It is
The Quotidian Journal by Daniel Haase
who is a professor at Wheaton College.
Samples of haiku and definitions:


It is the people more than the place. It is the open hand then interlocking fingers and the sway of arms while walking together. It is the decision to love.


If it's good, it is a bound cloister where one, like a monk, is able to enter.

Haiku XIV

The kettle calms down—
Tea leaves steep in hot water.
The prayers have begun.

Haiku XIII

Freshly pressed coffee—
Then a splash of cream, swirling.
My wife’s greeting kiss

You can vote on your favorite
words on the right side. I got swept into the
world of words and the song of them.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Music in the air

Back to school means playing the piano
and singing in choirs for my youngest
and only daughter. This morning a lovely
tune is floating up the stairs from our
basement and I am blessed. Also that she
said "I have to practice my piano." Music
to a mother's heart ~~"have to."

Yesterday's lecture by George Grant included
the Creator/Creature distinction. It is what
Christianity flows out of and up to. We're not
just made out of stuff like the Ancients believed.
We have a Creator. That belief shapes how we
act and build and brings implications within
living. "Great art takes an idea and translates it
sensually so we can experience it." Think about
walking into a Cathedral ~~ awe, your eyes go
up , vastness. You enter in. Music can make you
sad, give you goose bumps, and even move your
feet! Clear antithesis.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Resting ....from our labors

The blessing was my husband and daughter
going to get the new cell phone. Have to have
one Tammy~~ several of my sons only have
cell phones. You'll need one one day. Tammy's
several sites are listed on her main page. She is
a hero of mine!!! Do you have any?

One son called from the coast last
night to say he was leaving to head back to the
mountains to get in a day of studying today.
I thank the Lord for His provisions. We don't take
it for granted the labor done to provide for the
finances. We're thankful for work.
We are anticipating HIS answers to those out
of work. God providing in ways that bring
such glory to HIM that we will sing! Every just
broken out in song because of God's provisions?!!

My second son awaits a January Police Academy
selection after graduating from college in May. I'm now
( after not getting selected for Sept. Academy)
excited that he is our Yard man and cleaning out
the overgrown parts of our yard. Painting is next!
I also have seen TIME given to him.
We sometimes don't know what to do with it. We
are always looking for more of it then here it is:
TIME...and we feel as if we need to be busy.
What is wrong with reading all the books he didn't
read in college? I keep reminding him he won't be
living at home forever either!!!! I'm thankful
for this time with him over coffee and even a glass
of wine!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Splat....into two pieces

My cell phone fell out of my pocket
as I was going to the **bathroom!!!
There is was in two whole pieces.
Two that will not become one.
I didn't need this today, I said to the Lord.
I'll see if I did as I live through the rest of the
day which now has a trip to the cellphone store!

Friday, September 4, 2009


Pondering on time as summer closes and
we have delicious cool air. Time which is
filled with different ingredients than the
summer days. Time which now has school
within its days. Finite and sometimes pressed
in, but God gives us feasting. His Word. His body.

This week was a birthday dinner for a friend
who has served the Lord with a missions
organization for years. Many. It was hosted by
another friend and a sort of membership
that Wendell Berry writes about esp. in
Hannah Coulter. This was a bon appetit
celebration of food a la Julia Child

and sisterhood. Bon Appetit indeed!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Shakespeare and his words

John Williams Waterhouse, 1894, Ophelia

From reading HAMLET today:

Hugger-mugger: a secret

God buy you: God be with you.

I love those two new words!