Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Year with G. K. Chesterton

I have loved all of this author's books on Chesterton so picking another one to review is 
a  pleasure especially if you are a Chesterton fan. Each day has a quote or short passage
 from Chesterton's works plus what GKC was doing on that day.  You will chuckle at 
GKC's  wit and think upon his wisdom and marvel at his intellect and hunger for more 
wonder.  He makes you think about something you never wondered about before.
Here is an example:

"While in London during World War I, a woman asked him why he was "not out at the Front," with "the Front" referring to the battle lines of their fellow countrymen. Chesterton promptly replied, "If you go round to the side, you will see that I am."

Chesterton is the master of paradox. He commands language to say succinctly deep 
truth and fierce beauty. I recommend this book to all who love the power of words 
and love this  English journalist, poet, essayist, and novelist. I really like the way "ON THIS DAY" of GKC's  life had tidbits you wouldn't normally see on a timeline.  Highly recommend.

** Thomas Nelson Book Sneeze Review

Saturday, December 29, 2012

fierce beauty

Les Miserables.

I cried.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

added blogs

Hope it was a Merry Christmas!
It was here with some more Mrs. Buckinghams!
It was festive.

More blogs added on my sidebar. 
Really beautiful handwork and knitting. 
My hands are still itching !

I'm thinking about Ann Voskamp's word for the year as I think about 
a word for the New Year. This past year was the Year of Weddings for me. 
Any ideas?

Monday, December 24, 2012

Best Christmas Present Ever

Our first son was born today: 29 years ago!
He was the best Christmas present ever.
It was 7 degrees here in Charlotte that year.
He came at 12:59 a.m. and two weeks early and we were very ready for his arrival . 
He is now the tallest of 4 sons: 6'5" and married the longest. 
Profession: accountant. 
Best quality: thoughtfulness. perseverance.
Best quote:  " not my problem."
Best achievement: 1000 points  in basketball  during 4 years in high school
Favorite verse: Micah 6:8
Favorite book: Dave Ramsey and Narnia
Favorite meal: steak 

So, can you guess what we are eating tonight?

Bryan with his wife of 3 and 1/2 years: 

Friday, December 21, 2012

library books for the hands

These have been in my back seat since Tuesday! Just came out to look at during the holidays.
I did say to the librarian that I must have been reading blogs and put books on hold with all of these! I haven't done any handwork for Christmas at all. My hands are itching:

Links to blogs of the Moda Bake Shop Chefs here.4

                                                 Jane Brocket's blog:  Yarnstorm

                    but was looking for her recent book from her blog of using quilts to tell stories

 with some of  the designs: 

picked up this book that I had seen at The Purl Bee blog of the Purl Soho,  s in NY which we did get to go to in Sept. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas thoughts

"We all come with different personal feelings to the Christmas 

festival. One comes with pure joy as he looks forward to this 
day of rejoicing, of friendships renewed, and of love...Others look for a moment of peace under the Christmas tree, peace from the pressures of daily work...Others again approach Christmas with great apprehension. It will be no festival of joy to them. Personal sorrow is painful especially on this day for those whose loneliness is deepened at Christmastime...And despite it all, Christmas comes. Whether we wish it or not, whether we are sure or not we must hear the words once again: Christ the Savior is here! The world that Christ comes to save is our fallen and lost one. None other." --Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

warmth with Tasha Tudor

PLUS a very rare book:

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Just listened to Ann Voskamp interviewed on Desiring God:

I am thankful for her.
Aren't you?

I picked up a stack of books for handwork today from the library.
I said to the librarian: must have been reading blogs!
Post Christmas reading!

Monday, December 17, 2012

The week before Christmas

Irving Berlin's A White Christmas is on while the tree gets clothed. She is bright 
with lights but bare with her decor! We needed a tall guy to reach up high so now 
#4 son is home. We spent the weekend celebrating the White Coat Ceremony of 
a new daughter-in-law.  So proud of her ! It is a beautiful trip over the Appalachains
 to where they live. No snow but it was misty and foggy coming over the high elevations

I am halfway done with Anna Karenina. 
Then , I want to watch as many film versions. 
It all started with Joe Wright's movie starring Keira Knightley. 
It helped to have seen it when I started the book. 
Although I do have different images in my mind  of the main characters rather than
 Keira or Jude Law.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

New cookbooks

I am making cocoa brownies.
New cookbooks from the library: 

FUN website that brings you right into the city :  Fat Witch Bakery
( name is because the brownies are wicked)
New York's Legendary Brownies :  Chelsea Market. 75 Ninth Avenue. 

I came across the cookbook in the library: 

Organic and Chic : Cakes, Cookies , and other Sweets that taste as good as they look
by sarah magid: ( she lives in Brooklyn )  

Her is her website: Organic Cakes 
Sarah has a blog called Thoughts and Ideas

Brownies just came out of the oven and need to cool for ONE HOUR.
I'm going to ice them and decorate them for celebrating the WHITE COAT CEREMONY
of my daughter in law. 

 The brownie cookbook has so many recipes for the various ways you keep chocolate on hand! 
Plus variations. You start wanting chocolate looking at the photos. 
You want to go to NY and walk in the door!

Smells so good. 
Am I making you hungry?!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

All is bright

Now digging into Advent poetry myself.
Reading slowly through these books  for this line that struck me deeply:

I am layered in Advent.

 Will move to Elizabeth Goudge and Miss Read soon for Advent stories.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

All is calm

A hush is upon the house this late at night. 
The hustle and bustle of today's comings and goings have ended.
It was the last day of class with Poetry Recitations and Christmas Poem Readings.
Book of Centuries were displayed. Thesis paper topics brainstormed as we 
look ahead to January. Until then, Christmas is upon us in two weeks. 
We hummed Handel's Messiah all day Monday. Two performances this past weekend~
I am very intrigued to read John Newton's sermons  ( 50) on Handel's masterpiece.

I wish I had a book instead of a screen to read them.
Must see about that......

The AMEN chorus still rings and sings and lifts and brings tears to my eyes.. 
I am sort of jealous of my husband and daughter singing the parts.
I could hear the Amens in Revelation. It will be that glorious one day.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Thinking upon the change in writing as we daily compose  with texting, Facebook, blogs, 
and where else do we as a community write?  There is a great community of writers
at the Rabbit Room. This photo was posted today. It captured my imagination and 
I wanted to be Lucy. 


 Last of all he said, “Lucy, Eve’s Daughter,” and Lucy came forward. He gave her a little bottle of what looked like glass (but people said afterwards that it was made of diamond) and a small dagger. “In this bottle,” he said, “there is a cordial made of the juice of one of the fire-flowers that grow in the mountains of the sun. If you or any of your friends are hurt, a few drops of this will restore you. And the dagger is to defend yourself at great need.
                                                   For you also are not to be in the battle.”  

    “Why, Sir,” said Lucy. “I think—I don’t know—but I think I could be brave enough.” 

    “That is not the point,” he said. “But battles are ugly when women fight. And now”—here he suddenly looked less grave—”here is something for the moment for you all!” and he brought out (I suppose from the big bag at his back, hut nobody quite saw him do it) a large tray containing five cups and saucers, a bowl of lump sugar, a jug of cream, and a great big teapot all sizzling and piping hot. Then he cried out “A Merry Christmas! Long live the true King!” and cracked his whip and he and the reindeer and the sledge and all were out of sight before anyone realised that they had started.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Midterm tomorrow

Just finished printing off my English Midterm: 6 pages.

I really love reading the answers too. 
I hate grading. 
Does that make sense?
I love when a student digests the readings we have done and starts to intertwine the ideas as they write.
Sometimes they don't know what they really know until they do a term exam.
Sometimes they don't know alot.
Sometimes the exam sings.

Tuesday is Poetry Recitation plus a Christmas Reading of a poem of their choice.
I can't wait. 

Then holidays begin. 
Sort of. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

It is something.....

THE GREAT MINIMUM  by G.K.Chesterton
It is something to have wept as we have wept,
It is something to have done as we have done,
It is something to have watched when all men slept,
And seen the stars which never see the sun.
It is something to have smelt the mystic rose,
Although it break and leave the thorny rods,
It is something to have hungered once as those
Must hunger who have ate the bread of gods.
To have seen you and your unforgotten face,
Brave as a blast of trumpets for the fray.
Pure as white lilies in a watery space,
It were something, though you went from me to-day.
To have known the things that from the weak are furled,
Perilous ancient passions, strange and high;
It is something to be wiser than the world,
It is something to be older than the sky.
In a time of skeptic moths and cynic rusts,
And fatted lives that of their sweetness tire,
In a world of flying loves and fading lusts,
It is something to be sure of a desire.
Lo, blessed are our ears for they have heard;
Yea, blessed are our eyes for they have seen:
Let thunder break on man and beast and bird
And the lightning. It is something to have been.

YOU can read Bryana Johnson's poem she wrote after reading Chesterton's poem here.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A passing

Leslie, of Wisteria and Sunshine, Small Meadow Press, and The Bower, has cared for 
her mother so long that we readers have felt we knew her. We read about her days and 
now her passing. Leslie writes in Under My Wing: a caregiving blog :

It is tradition. And I am learning on a whole new level how much tradition and ritual and ceremonials, large and small, take us into the heart of Things...and will lead us out the other side.

Heart is full this morning like the moon these past days. Light pouring out . Luci Shaw writes: Light has the particular quality of transforming what it touches, like gold foil over the wood.

Missing my mom this morning. Here are my parents with my oldest brother , way back during WWII, right here where I live now. They go to Long Island , NY, after the war, to have and  raise 7 more children:

Growing up in the first picture. I am the first girl with my twin on the laps of my parents. This is before my sister and youngest brother are born.
 Second phtoto is for my grandparent's 50th anniversary.
Third photos is for my mother's 70th surprise birthday party. I had just had # 4 son.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Warm wrists

Easy little project, maybe?:

Runrig Free pattern 
Pattern here. 

This looks easier: WRIST WARMERS from Little Cotton Rabbits  with pattern here 
( she has beautiful photos)

I like her words at the end:   Wear or give.

in a word or two

"God doesn't have grandchildren. He has children."  George Grant

" If the church of Jesus Christ does not become central to the life of growing cities
than the cities will become mere geographies of no singular place."  Thomas Chalmers

"The wider a man's knowledge becomes , the deeper should be his humility;
for the more he knows the more he sees of what remains unknown. 
The wider the diameter of light, the larger the circumference of darkness." 

~~Thomas Chalmers 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Opens Friday here

still November

I am so thankful it is still November.
We will flip the calendar next weekend , followed by  Handel's Messiah the next weekend. 
Emma and her Dad are singing in it for two performances.

Until then, the sun shines brightly here in the South.
Dry and cold at night.

Until then, hoping to get a chunk of ANNA KARENINA read to see the movie if it 
ever graces our theaters here in Charlotte. 

Until then, reading THE HOBBIT again. ( with my students) Movie comes out
in 3 weeks. 

Until then, don't think I will read Les Miserables before Christmas. How about you?
Aren't you excited for these wonderful films during the holidays?!

Friday, November 23, 2012


 Traditions to the table:

One daughter in law's  grandmother is in the hospital. Pneumonia.
Her grandmother's  tradition (for over 25 years) is to give Christmas ornaments to every grandchild.  

Tradition is  my mother's stuffing which is just Pepperidge Farms package recipe.

This year I made one recipe to stuff the turkey and another homemade.
Both were delicious. Thanksgiving is not Thanksgiving without it!

We moved Thanksgiving to late afternoon because one son ( above with ornaments) went to in laws for lunch.  Therefore, we could sit in jammies watching the Macy's Day Parade 
and start the rolls rising. It was quite a lovely day.

#1 son always has Thanksgiving tomorrow with his in-laws.

Apples to Apples ~ favorite game before Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving. 

The unguessed blessings of our being here,
The warp and weft that no one can unravel.
So I give thanks for our deep coinherence
Inwoven in the web of Gods own grace
( Malcolm Guite's lines from sonnet below)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Sonnets

Two from over the Atlantic to where English has an accent we love to hear:

You will see that we have both been influenced by the ideas and language of CS Lewis’s fellow inkling Charles Williams.

Malcom Guite

his poet friend

Holly Ordway

Day before Thanksgiving

No pants in that pile of laundry that came home last night!
He has pants here ~ thankfully.

Baking a paper bag apple pie while listening to this wonderful 
sermon by George Grant on the end of Phillipians.
Really good to soak into and lift your eyes to Christ as we celebrate with 
family Thanksgiving: 

Living as If People Matter

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


College son is home. He sat in traffic for an hour when it should have taken
about 30 minutes. Everyone must be going home. 

Laundry going.
He said " I just brought my laundry instead of packing.  Figured it was easier!"

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving photos



                                Hoping we can get 2012 with two new daughter in laws but 
                                       one of the newlyweds will not be here until Friday.
                                 What did we do last Thanksgiving? I know #3 son was 
                                      not here but with his bride's family. Same 
                                                                     this year. 


Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I met a woman last night who knew my name.
"Aren't you Bonnie............?"
When someone already has seen your name somewhere or heard of you, you hope it
has good thoughts alongside what they are going to say!
I think of words my mother would say when she called in a certain voice " Bonnie?!"
She sort of had that tone so my heart was bracing.
She asked, " How do you know Makoto Fujimura?"
Our eyes twinkled! She had seen my name on his facebook.
Guess what? She went to high school with him in New Jersey!

Introductions are the topic I am working on in writing with my students.
Titles and how to bring your reader in with listening ears as you write.
Here is a blog  What's in a  Title? from The Rabbit Room.

ON my way to the website , I found this  With Bach's Resolve by Sarah Clarkson on something
Emma's choir director does and then goes on to the sacredness of creating : each composer has a color hue.  I read it to her and  my voice quivered as my eyes well with tears.

"But I’ll write on, like Bach, to empty house or full. The audience size doesn’t matter. The depth of the beauty does, for it was a gift. To write it is my thanks. "

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Weekend doings

It was  very warm Autumn weekend here. 
Farmer's Market, watered garden lettuce, mulched the  garden, made broth,
made pumpkin choc chip cookies, ate dinner with friends who live close-by 
to where Emma was at a friend's 16th party, read , and worshiped  this morning.

I am getting reports from my brother on Long Island, NY on the  hurricaine destruction.
The snow is gone now. ( even in Conn. as an update from my sister-in-law)
There were so many old trees blown over.

Halfway through A World Lost by Wendell Berry. It is Andy Catlett looking back 
on the death of his uncle Uncle Andrew. His namesake. It is my post election read.
Place and family. Still reading Berry's poems. I seem to be stuck in those themes
and words and it is good.  

What are you reading post election?

Movies coming out very soon.
Getting excited.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

poem for this day after

Sabbaths 2002, X
Teach me work that honors Thy work,
the true economies of goods and words,
to make my arts compatible
with the songs of the local birds.

Teach me patience beyond work
and, beyond patience, the blest
Sabbath of Thy unresting love
which lights all things and gives rest.

Wendell Berry

Monday, November 5, 2012

Heavenly Singing

I am sitting on the living room couch listening to Emma play Chopin and Schumann
and now singing up the scales. TENEBRAE lifted our souls into a place in eternity
with their acapella singing of 15 singers with a sound  like a multitude of angels. Some
of the angels are bass! I found myself being led into prayer and worship as we sat
under the great Gothic ceiling of Duke Chapel. 

Emma was struck by their volume in singing. Her choir director is a voice teacher and taught them not to be at 10 volume. It ruins their voices. So most of the Vespers service was at 3-4 and then up to 7-8 just at points in songs.

from Twitter:

Concert 4 in the beautiful surrounds of Duke University Chapel capped off the first half of the tour on a high.

Friday, November 2, 2012


Today was home in the garden , in the leaves, in the kitchen cooking, with pen and paper ( letters) , seeing a dear friend to pass on our Book Club book, dinner here with a policeman
( my son) , and eating lettuce from the garden.

Today was good. Friday.
How about you?

Going to hear Tenebrae in a Gothic Chapel:  ( Duke Chapel)
on Sunday:

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Lamb and cold

We have had some sort of stew or soup almost every night as winter and the storm 
came through. No rain. Wind. Colder. Heard from all my relatives in NJ and NY that they are safe but in the dark. No power. College son was snowed in up  the NC mts. and no classes at the beginning of the week. They are equipped for snow but it kept snowing. So early. 
Must get out my Nature Notebook. Or you can write in your journal for the generations to come to read about this disasterous hurricaine named Sandy. 

Tonight was this recipe with wild rice instead of barley and I added carrots:

Lamb Neck with lemon and barley from River Cottage in the UK.

I used lamb stew bones.

All ok with anyone you know in the Northeast?

Monday, October 29, 2012

watching the storm

While reading Frankenstein!
Seemed to be a horror story , yes, Mary Shelley was given a dare.

Finished AMAZING GRACE by Eric Metaxas and yearning for a Clapham Circle.
DO you have one?

Reading Margie Haack's book for Book Club:

I do recommend her memoir.
I don't live in northern Minnesota but she has brought me to the land.
Margie has dug deep into her childhood and strikes my heart deeply as she yearns
for unconditional love. We who love Ransom Fellowship and Critique and Margie's 
TOAD HALL, have been waiting for her published book.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Autumn : giving thanks

It has been one of the most beautiful weeks with Autumn colors and the cool mornings 
changing to warm afternoons. Two of my days have been full. Up to the top. 
You know like drinking off the overflow before it spills over. Somehow joy  is brought
when we give out even when we feel like a day is pressed. Somehow the  sparkles seep through the cracks and light shows us the place we are in. I'm at the end of such a day and am surprised by timing. 

 I was told to look for an old book in a thrift store and I saw it Tuesday.  I didn't buy it.
But I thought yesterday  about who the author was. Wilberforce called her witty. He knew her.
She was one of the Clapham Society. Her name kept running through my mind and I 
wondered why I didn't buy her book for 12.00. Who would pass up a book by someone who knew Wilberforce and fought alongside against slavery? Was I stupid?!! Most paperbacks today are way over 12.00. This was a first edition. Old. Yellowed but readable. 

 So today , I ran into the shop while Emma was at piano lesson.The book was still on the shelf: Hints towards Forming Character or a Young Princess by Hannah More  ( 1818) and next to Caesar's Gallic Wars. ( which I also got for 3.00. Published in 1886). Then I looked around  to find a wide crinoline for 1.00! We went from piano to a Costume Check  for Little Women musical (next Feb) Emma is in. She   has  my sister's wedding dress crinoline but this one poofed out much larger to make her post Civil War ballroom dancing dress almost hooped!

I feel blessed.