Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Elspeth Thompson

The blog world gives news.
Even news of deaths.
Letters from a Hill Farm
gave me the news today. I have
read Elspeth's blog . She wrote a
gardening column in the UK. She
recently made a home in Sussex in
a railroad car! Of course, she was
revitalizing the garden.

She had written a book
called The Wonderful Weekend Book:
Reclaiming Life's Simple Pleasures.

She also cowrote HOMEMADE:
Gorgeous Things
to Make with Love, with Ros Badger.
Here are her words about her dear

They have a new book due out in the Fall:

Homemade: 101 Beautiful and Useful Craft Projects You Can Make at Home by Ros Badger and Elspeth Thompson (Hardcover - Nov. 1, 2010)

Here is her blog.
Here is the obituary.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Helen Oxbury and John Burningham

Two illustrators who are married!
Did you know that?

He did Mr. Gumpy's Outing.
She did a wonderful Alice in Wonderland.
They wanted a NEW Alice and she did it.
She gave her a new look , a new little girl.
It took her 3 years. Then she came back
to Alice Through the Looking Glass and
decided a few years later to illustrate it.
You can listen to a short interview and
hear her wonderful British accent here.

Here's another book she illustrated:

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sing Hosanna

Websters 1828 Dictionary Hosanna HOSAN'NA, n. s as z. [Heb. save, I beseech you.]
An exclamation of praise to God, or an invocation of blessings. In the Hebrew ceremonies, it was a prayer rehearsed on the several days of the feast of tabernacles,in which this word was often repeated.

Oxford English Reference Dictionary
n. & int. a shout of adoration (Matt. 21:9, 15, etc.).

It is the beginning of Holy Week.
We are living the week of the Passion of Christ.

Today I had a package in the mail.
An unexpected gift from Melissa.
Thank YOU , my blogging friend.
You know if we lived closer, we would
be go to coffee , book, etc.. friends.
I'm blessed by her words
every week as she strengthens me to love
God more and deeper ~~ leaning not
on my own understanding! She blessed me

I think about Grace as Holy Week starts.
It came in the mail today.


holy experience

Thursday, March 25, 2010

24 What?

At the Police Academy , when a cadet
has a birthday, he has to do what for
how many years old he is?


No, physical training is part of the whole
schooling, so have you guessed yet?

Not 24 laps. That was 7 miles yesterday.

Brad is 24 today.
24 pushups in front of the class.

Me, I won't tell you my age but a clue:
my 5th decade and I'll be halfway to the
next in May! Boy, would I hate to do that
many in front of any class. I would hate
to even try!


( Christmas 2009~ Brad with his sweetheart

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Good news

The Library Board voted to keep all
the branches open, hours will be cut,
some jobs cut.........but this is good news.

Stack  of Books.jpg

Keeping an eye out on the changing times

Teachers being laid off.
600 in our county. Performance

Library closings being discussed
downtown as I write.

Who wants to be a teacher now?
Where will they get a job?

Who wants to be in the medical
profession? Need to ask my brother
who is a PA. What is the talk in his
office now? My nephew is in his
third year of Medical School.
Wonder what his take on this is.

Need to Keep our eyes on Jesus.
So much changing. Too fast.

Any comments on where you live
with all of this. Encouragement

Monday, March 22, 2010

Being thankful is sometimes hard

We walked into the library branch we
use that is not closing and found them
purging books , moving books and then
I saw a friend. A friend who is a librarian.
She was laid off on Friday. I almost cried.
I thought the libraries and their employees
were closing. NO,they are moving some to
other branches and others at the branches
still open will have to leave in 2 weeks.

I almost cried also because I was on the tail end
of a phone call with a friend who is mourning
the freedoms in our country.
What other freedoms will change?

Another friend was laid off from her job
on Friday. So now my prayers are full : mercy.

It is hard to be thankful when loss comes
God is good.
I am thankful.
He is merciful.

Well, here's a interesting thing to be thankful
for: Snow up in the mountains!

I am thankful for Mercy.
Every morning.
Every morning.

The sun still comes up every morning.
The artists still capture its beauty.,-Sunrise-1845.jpg

Norham Castle, Sunrise 1845

holy experience

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Sympathy Card for the loss of the libraries

This dear friend
who keeps letters
in my mailbox to me ..........
and to my daughter .........

sent me a Sympathy Card about the
loss of the 12 libraries in our city-
county. Changes that aren't good.
Not just the sign of the times but
a clear worldview to the community
of what is important.

What is? Definitely not the closing of

Thursday, March 18, 2010

on NO, some of our libraries are closing

Very sad news here in Charlotte:
12 branches of the Library System
are closing on April 3rd.

I am mourning the loss.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

New Julia Child Book: Her Letters

As I have a passion for real
letters , finding out about this
new book of her letters to Avis DeVoto
on the web on Makoto Fujimura's
Twitter! Coming out in the Fall.
So remember. There should be some
media hype!

“As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto,”

Read here in the NY Times.

Berry Poem

A Purification
by Wendell Berry

At start of spring I open a trench
in the ground. I put into it
the winter's accumulation of paper,
pages I do not want to read
again, useless words, fragments,
errors. And I put into it
the contents of the outhouse:
light of the sun, growth of the ground,
finished with one of their journeys.
To the sky, to the wind, then,
and to the faithful trees, I confess
my sins: that I have not been happy
enough, considering my good luck,
have listened to too much noise,
have been inattentive to wonders,
have lusted after praise.
And then upon the gathered refuse
of mind and body, I close the trench,
folding shut again the dark,
the deathless earth. Beneath that seal
the old escapes into the new.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Great lesson ....

I'm going to put a plug in for
Gileskirk ( High School Humanities Curriculum)
which will soon be
available again.

Lessons learned about the
King James Bible and why and
what it did to change culture and
the world:

"Sometimes what looks like failure
can be the very thing that God will
take to shape and change the world."

If you know anything about James I,
you may get why this absolutely beautiful
version of Scripture, written by 47
Geniuses , and how God answered William
Tyndale's prayer as he was burned on the
stake: " Oh , Lord, Open the King of England's

Monday, March 15, 2010

George MacDonald's well crafted sentences

This is not today:

" The air was clear and clean,
and full of life. The wind was

( What's Mine's Mine, George
MacDonald, 1886)

Today is quite blustery.
The Weather Channel keeps having
thunder sounds ( if you were sitting
right here by me, you would hear!),
but the winds keep blowing the skies
to that clear , cloudless blue,
I love seeing the day change. Life in
the sky.

A Monday to think upon Gratitude:

Today I am thankful for the Word.
Richly drinking from it as Jesus has
told us to do.

I'm thankful for these of my own( from Ann

Mamas memorize moments.

I'm thankful for prayers that keep being
answered. You pray them for your children
and now are living the days when they
have grown up and God keeps answering.
His memory is not like mine.

I'm thankful for the Lord being so
full of Mercy.

Mercy is the second
daughter in the above book. Yes,
from Pilgrim's Progress. You can
guess her sibling's names!

holy  experience

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Lemondrops and Bluebirds Journal

Lemondrops and Bluebirds Journal

Emma bought this journal yesterday
while we were at B&N for a gift card.
On the back is the ribbon that the
bluebird is holding with this written
on it:

"where troubles melt like lemon drops"

t has 3 colored sections with each
page framing the lines with a date on the
top right by a gorgeous design and a finger
pointing to start here for this day.

She got it home and thought it needs a special
pen to write in . Maybe Calligraphy.

She didn't watch this that morning but it seemed
like she did. I did:
Dr. Grant on Journals, Pens, and what he
does to provoke creativity.

You will want to get out your journal and stop

Friday, March 12, 2010

66 Love Letters


by Dr. Larry Crabb
Thomas Nelson Publishing

I picked this book from BookSneeze
because I know who the author is. He
is a pychologist and an author. It is
his deep thinking that was the attraction
to pick this book. It is an excellent devotion
in letter form with God as one of the writers.
Each chapter takes a book from the Bible
and Crabb gives God's perspective: mainly
His infinite, abiding, everlasting , merciful
Love. It is not to be read fast. We are not
use to meditating and going slow. We like
to spin through even our Bible reading to
see what is up at the top of the ferris wheel.
On the way the scenery is a blur!
But Crabb takes you slowly through the 66
Books of the Bible with God as the writer of the
letter to you, so you will be closer to
God. I was always thinking about God's voice
while reading it. I was always thinking about
His plans which are always good, always working
things out, esp. in suffering. It was edifying and
led me to be more full of praise.

I recommend this book for those who
have a good knowledge of Scripture and want
to grow deeper in their praises unto Him.

YOU ARE MY TREASURE. ( believe God is saying
that to you.)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Who Stole our Reading Time

Good article or blog on this
at the Guardian's Book Blog.

Culture changed quickly and permanently in the last decade. That pregnant, mental pause of reading has come under threat like never before.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Who Could Have Planned it?

As I finished teaching on George
Macdonald at 1:30, I thought that
I would go to the coffee shop during
Emma's choir at 3:15 and read or grade
tests or write a letter. As I got out of the
car, there at the outside table were two
dear young moms. We did Hamlet together
last Spring. One had emailed me over the
weekend about writing and how much
her kids should be doing. I had JUST
emailed her late last night with a
"I'm getting to your question soon."
I have been there .....wondering
what is enough. Are we doing what we
should be doing? How are they growing
and how do we measure it? You know
those questions that still come no matter
how long you have taught your children.

Who could have planned in busy lives to
have an hour together , being intertwined
by the Spirit? We couldn't have planned it.

I came home smiling to my other son safely
home with his wonderful girlfriend from
that kayaking!

Those details of gratitude. A Way of Seeing.
( Edith Schaeffer's book)
( old cover)


Monday, March 8, 2010

Capers Island

Spring Break is this week for 3rd son
who is in school up in Boone and they
have had lots and lots of snow.
He will head in here tomorrow
from a long weekend camping and
kayaking on this undeveloped island
near Charleston. A bit of some sun
and in need of a shower! Water was cold!
The Outdoor Adventure Club
from APP State sponsored the trip.
He did tell me on Saturday that they
have the Coast Guard's number and not
to worry!
This son will hit a milestone birthday next month:

Police Academy son , who turns 24 soon,
shot 300 rounds today on the firing range.

Well, there's an update!

Hopes of Spring

Wash Day, A Back Yard Reminiscence of Brooklyn by William Merritt Chase, 1886.

It is Gratitude Monday and
the habit of thinking upon
things to be thankful for is
what God wants us to do.
I will use my journal to write
down some things, seeing clearly
into the days. Enumerating them
as Ann has done.She spoke
at a Benedictine Abbey this
past weekend. Or maybe was just

I'm so thankful for the warm air
descending into our days. Hopes
of blooms and greenery and color
in our landscape.

It is 64 degrees out and feels like 64
degrees. I'm so thankful I hung a load
of laundry outside!

Here to study the verse:

1 Thessalonians 5:18

in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

King James:
in every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Geneva Study Bible:

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

(f) An acceptable thing to God, and such as he approves well of.

Wesley's Notes:

5:18 For this - That you should thus rejoice, pray, give thanks. Is the will of God - Always good, always pointing at our salvation.

Calvin's Commentary:

18 For this is the will of God — that is, according to Chrysostom’s opinion — that we give thanks. As for myself, I am of opinion that a more ample meaning is included under these terms — that God has such a disposition towards us in Christ, that even in our afflictions we have large occasion of thanksgiving. For what is fitter or more suitable for pacifying us, than when we learn that God embraces us in Christ so tenderly, that he turns to our advantage and welfare everything that befalls us? Let us, therefore, bear in mind, that this is a special remedy for correcting our impatience — to turn away our eyes from beholding present evils that torment us, and to direct our views to a consideration of a different nature — how God stands affected towards us in Christ.

Chrysostom's example of "Praise For All Things"...

Three hundred years after Paul lived John Chrysostom, a good and brave man who preached very plainly against iniquity of all kinds. The empress was not a good woman, so she schemed to have him falsely accused and banished. He died an exile from his home.

Thirty years later, his body was bought back to Constantinople for burial in the imperial tomb. Chrysostom's motto was inscribed on the tomb: "Praise God for everything!"

As his friends testified, "When he was driven from home, when he was a stranger in the strange land, his letters would often end with that doxology, 'Praise God for all things!' "

William Law wrote in 1729 in his famous book A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life wrote that...

If anyone would tell you the shortest, surest way to all happiness and all perfection, he must tell you to make it a rule to yourself to thank and praise God for everything that happens to you. For it is certain that whatever seeming calamity happens to you, if you thank and praise God for it, you turn it to a blessing. Could you, therefore, work miracles, you could not do more for yourself than by this thankful spirit, for it heals with a word speaking, and turns all that it touches into happiness

Spurgeon admits that...

I have not always found it easy to practice this duty; this I confess to my shame. When suffering extreme pain some time ago, a brother in Christ said to me, "Have you thanked God for this?" I replied that I desired to be patient, and would be thankful to recover. "But," said he, "in everything give thanks, not after it is over, but while you are still in it, and perhaps when you are enabled to give thanks for the severe pain, it will cease." I believe that there was much force in that good advice.

As John Piper asks

How can we not be thankful when we owe everything to God? (A Godward Life)

Give thanks (2168)(eucharisteo [word study] from eucháristos = thankful, grateful, well-pleasing - Indicates the obligation of being thankful to someone for a favor done <> in turn from = well + charízomai = to grant, give.; English - Eucharist) means to show that one is under obligation by being thankful. To show oneself as grateful (most often to God in the NT).

Scottish minister Alexander Whyte was known for his uplifting prayers in the pulpit. He always found something for which to be grateful. One Sunday morning the weather was so gloomy that one church member thought to himself...

Certainly the preacher won't think of anything for which to thank the Lord on a wretched day like this.

Much to his surprise, however, Pastor Whyte began by praying...

We thank Thee, O God, that it is not always like this.

That's the habitual attitude of gratitude Paul is calling for in all of God's children, beloved. Gratitude is an attitude that like all spiritual disciplines, needs to be consciously developed and deliberately cultivated in the dependence on the Holy Spirit and the grace in which we stand. There are some practical steps that can cultivate the gracious attribute of gratitude. For example, you can make thanksgiving a priority in your prayer life (Col 4:2-note) rather than focusing only on petitions and requests. There may even be blessed times when your prayer time consists of nothing but gratefulness to the Almighty. You can always thank Him for the various wonderful aspects of your salvation (adoption & sovereign care, forgiveness, inheritance, the gift of His Spirit, freedom from sin's power and Satan's authority, etc) Have you had any prayer times like that recently? And you can thank Him for the "smaller" blessings of life, those things we all to often take for granted. You can ask Him to make you very sensitive to grumbling and mumbling complaints which are the polar opposite of a thankful spirit. You can utilize spiritual songs (Ep 5:20-note) to cultivate an attitude of thankfulness, allowing the words of a wonderful hymn to lift your eyes and heart in a way that nothing else can. Thank people who bless you in even the smallest ways. It will complete your enjoyment of the blessing, and it will increase your capacity to thank God. Reflect on and serve those less fortunate than you. This will remind you of how gracious God has been to you, how far He has brought you, and how much He has blessed you—which will in turn motivate you to be grateful to God.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Milestone Birthday: 18

I dropped off
Gordan this
afternoon at
The Tinder Box!
He wanted to buy
a cheap cigar!
He is 18 today.
The 4th son.

He's going to
college in the Fall.
Waiting to hear from one more university
and then he will make his decision.

I've got to scoot to make lasagna for the
large birthday table of 10 tonight. Julia
Child will appear with a Chocolate Sponge
Cake with Choc. Buttercream Frosting!
Plus a homemade ice cream cake. YUM.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Speaking of Beauty

This came
in the mail

Isn't the cover

Google Books
has it.

From Publishers Weekly

How we talk about beauty-"how they, you, and I talk about it, and why we say the things we say"-is the theme of this densely packed meditation, aimed at those who delight in, say, anyone's daring to call a poem "gorgeous." Donoghue assumes a reader as well read as he, a flattering assumption from a distinguished New York University professor and prolific critic (Adam's Curse; The Practice of Reading; etc.). His tone, lucid and jargon-free, reminds rather than instructs.

Named a New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year.

Review for the NY Times here. "Clearing A Space in the Mind."

Denis Donoghue is University Professor and Henry James Professor of English and American Letters at New York University.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

the sound of clicking

It was like the music in
Atonement but different.
In the movie, the typewriter
is used as a percussion instru-
ment. Today in my high school
class, it was the sound of PCs.
Listening and typing. It is
what we all do. Mulitask.
Hard to think someone is
listening when they type.
They all do it. I do it, but
not well; you know "MOM
are you listening!" "What
did I say?" ( it happened tonight
with my daughter holding

So will libraries become all
technical ~ what will happen to
books? Will everything look different?
Yes, our library system will be
cutting back with some closings
and some hour changes. Sort
of like the Post Office. Two of
my favorite places.

If you want Shelf Life, Dr. Grant
has a SALE here.

If you want a list about A LIFETIME
go here.

If you want to hear him read,
go here.
Where he finds the time and
what he is reading.

Woman Reading in a Landscape, 1869, Jean Baptiste Camille Corot

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My question to Lauren

"How will reading and writing
change with technology changing
how we read and write? " That was
what I wrote on a small piece of paper
to put in the box of questions for
Lauren Winner as she left a bit of
time at the end of her Writer's Workshop.
She picked it up at the end , right at
almost 3:00 and stopped the day by
just reading it.

My 4th son, who is almost 18 , tells me
that I will have a Kindle one day.
I laugh and chuckle because I have
a house full of books. Real leather,
real paper, even dust. He says that
because at one point I wasn't going
to have a cell phone and now it is
a must. All of my older sons only
have cell phones. So I wonder if I
will have a kindle in my lifetime.

I found a blog on the subject
( Why You Should Write in Your Books
Now) which examines the future
of real books made with paper.

The sun is starting to set on the golden age of the printed book. ....

Your writing is what will make your books cherished artifacts to your descendants.

There are virtual bookclubs, blogs,
new ways of reading and connecting
online and how will that change us?
We are already.

I found this through a link
from Ann Voscamp's blog, Holy
Experience. I think she is becoming
a household word. I smile at that,
thinking how God takes a mom on a
Canadian farm to write and glorify
His Name! God's way for sure.

9781581820430: Shelf Life: How Books Have Changed the Destinies and Desires of People and Nations
View Larger Image

Monday, March 1, 2010

A New Month for Gratitude Monday

My sister left this afternoon and
we had such fun going to a local
thrift store: 5.00 a bag! It was
contagious and addicting to fill
it up with clothes! How could we
leave something when it costs so
little? Anyways, we met another
set of sisters who mirrored us:
one brunette and one with grey
hair! Getting a good deal is fun.
It is something to be grateful for.
It is another thing to share it with
a sister. For those of you with sisters,
close ones, you know that deep kind
of gratitude!

Then we came home for a salad and
laughed until we cried. One bag at the
thrift store was less than the 2 books
and 2 videos she bought at the Christian
library across the street. I mean 2.00
for a hardback compared to 25 cents.
( about what the sweaters, dresses,
tops amounted to , you know, you see
how much can go into a grocery bag!)
It makes you feel very frugal and that
makes it weird. The books seemed so
expensive compared to our bags.
We laughed so hard we cried.
We could not even talk
because each word brought another
funny thought . THAT laughter is good
for the soul.

We were thankful to get new things
that were really others old things!

holy experience