Tuesday, December 30, 2014

almost the end of a year

Everyone is gone. 
Christmas company and family gatherings.

Honoring Turner with the blog headliner painting.
New movie out: Mr. Turner
and hope to see it this weekend.

Today we saw a coyote in our backyard.
Quite weird when my oldest brother asked what was in the backyard
and then we all said , "A wolf?" " Coyote?"
Good thing our cat was inside.

It has been a good holiday. 
Another brother got out of the hospital yesterday after 
a severe fall about a month ago. He has broken ribs, shoulder,
and sternum to heal. We visited him on Sunday for 3 hours.
So good for my soul. 

My kids came over on Christmas morning in Onesies.
Yes, 6'5" guys in onesies. It was Christmas cheer.
They made us breakfast even with mimosas! 
It was  one of those Proverbs 31 days when your children
rise up and bless you! 

Needing sleep. How about you?
Are you sleeping in?

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve and a baby

It was a cold Christmas Eve three decades ago . My oldest son 
came earlier in the morning. High for the day was 7 degrees.
Happy Birthday Bryan!

Just reading from PRAYER by Tim Keller: 

''One of the greatest descriptions of prayer outside of the Bible 
was written by the poet George Herbert in his Prayer (I). The poem
is remarkable for tackling the immense subject of prayer in just 
100 words and without a single verb or prose construction. Instead,
Herbert gives a dozen word pictures. 

.... a defintion seeks to reduce things to the essence . George Herbert
wants to go in the opposite direction. He wants us to explore the richness
of prayer with all its infinites and immensities. He does so by overwhelming
both our analytical and imaginative facilities."

Prayer (I)

Prayer the church's banquet, angel's age,
         God's breath in man returning to his birth,
         The soul in paraphrase, heart in pilgrimage,
The Christian plummet sounding heav'n and earth
Engine against th' Almighty, sinner's tow'r,
         Reversed thunder, Christ-side-piercing spear,
         The six-days world transposing in an hour,
A kind of tune, which all things hear and fear;
Softness, and peace, and joy, and love, and bliss,
         Exalted manna, gladness of the best,
         Heaven in ordinary, man well drest,
The milky way, the bird of Paradise,
         Church-bells beyond the stars heard, the soul's blood,
         The land of spices; something understood.

Happy Birthday Jesus !
My blog painting is featured today on Biola's Univ. Advent. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

joy & love

What is joy if it goes unrecorded?
What is love if is not shared?

These are the very last words of the very last
 last CALL THE MIDWIFE last season. 
I just finished watching it ... again.

I cried.
Chummy's mother died.
The doctor and Sister Bernadette got a baby girl.
Jennie leaves and has met her husband to come
in days ahead.

I think about my mom. She passed away 11 years
ago tomorrow ( December 23) and the last months of her life were filled with 
such words. Miss her.

                                   2003 : my oldest brother, mom, sister, and youngest brother

Watching this movie ,wrapping presents, 
 and I may cry again:

Still Mine

Friday, December 19, 2014

in the stack

This may be my favorite read into the New Year. I may have to buy it because
it makes me read slowly, grab my journal and my bible. Keller wrote it because
he didn't have a book on Prayer to recommend to this new generation. He does
go back to the greats: Jonathan Edwards, John Owen, etc... He gives personal
testimonies. Makes me think of Father Tim in Mitford.

This is a present to me for Advent. I always grow my collection each year. I love
the poems and bits from literature Sarah has chosen. Her blog is God-Hungry Imagination

                                                      Grandma Moses' son:

                                                  very pretty cookbook to read

                  Finished this MISS READ and always rereading her Christmas stories:


I don't think I have read this one:

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

inspired by the post below:

to do this at my back door:

Not sure why I never thought of this before!
Off to the library for a stack of books waiting for me. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas at Downton Abbey


and of course this coming for a fund raiser commercial:

being read to

Malcolm Guite reading Chesterton and Belloc on Christmas and it is
delightful to hear his British accent with these lovely stories.

I should make this:

and finished this while on the road to Georgia this past weekend:

Read some of the chapters in this book and it is quite good:

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Friday, December 12, 2014

Thursday, December 11, 2014

tree being decorated tonight

Moving between the legs of tables and of chairs, rising or falling, grasping at kisses and toys, advancing boldly, sudden to take alarm, retreating to the corner of arm and knee, eager to be reassured, taking pleasure in the fragrant brilliance of the Christmas tree.
— T.S. Eliot 
Tree decorated tonight so it is beginning to feel like Christmas. We saw the Rockefeller Plaza tree last Weds. before it was lit , when the lines were starting to grow and the misty air made us yearn to be inside. We came to the lit tree on Sunday night. Here is Emma's photo: 

A Kitchen in France by Mimi Thorisson

 Isn't this a beautiful book! I was transported to  Mimi Thorisson's life with 5 children, 
2 older step-children , 14 dogs and a photographer husband in a farmhouse in Medoc, 
France  The cookbook is stunning ! Food recipes  are divided into the four seasons. 
Simple, delicious recipes which make my mouth water and are easy to make.
Mimi's style is elegant: cooking in heels and a dress.  She is very much akin to Julia Child in her cooking  style. Or maybe Downton Abbey style.  This means "YUM." 

I just ordered another copy as a Christmas gift. If you know anyone who loves
to cook or bake or eat, this is an excellent choice. Visit Mimi's blog Manger to get 
a taste. 

Thank you for this free book and my friend Melissa who shared about this 
beautiful book too. 

You can friend Mimi on Facebook too!

 "I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

today's word: Scandent

Today's word from A.Word.A.Day which comes into my emails daily :

Scandentadjective: Climbing or ascending.

I chuckle at all I learn about words and other things like this fun 

"They come and vegetate -- early-goers and scandent socialites -- loitering about and small-talking on the pavement; gradually they edge indoors to the crawl of ivy and creeping plants, spreading like gossip through rooms and around corners."
Kol; Fools; Xlibris; 2012. 

From Latin scandere (to climb). Ultimately from the Indo-European root skand- (to leap or climb), which also gave us ascend, descend, condescend, transcend, echelon, and scale. Earliest documented use: 1682.

The artist, Leah Palmer Priess,  illuminates WORDS. 

Here is another example for the word : oneric

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Awake my soul

I am catching up on Biola Univ. Advent Project this morning and 
December 5th has captured my heart. Awake my soul awake my tongue
is the song you can hear and a thoughtful painting of the morning. 

I am thinking about time. Doing the next best thing. 
I need to lean into this line: Christ came to redeem for all times and seasons. 

and this :  
I try to awake to the truth that every day is as sacred as the next, and that God’s invitation to salvation, holiness, and hope shimmers just as brightly as the magis’ star if I manage to open my eyes and wake up. 

                                       Patty Wickman, “Passion Painting”. 1999, oil on canvas.

I “feel” Christmas most on the actual day—“feel” the most determined to live a life that honors the phenomenon of the Incarnation.  But what about July?  What about those “common” days seemingly removed from the symbolism and communal celebration?  In her book, For the Time Being, Annie Dillard reminds us, “There is no less holiness at this time—as you are reading this—than there was on the day the Red Sea parted, or that day in the 30th year, in the 4th month, on the 5th day of the month as Ezekiel was a captive by the river Cheban, when the heavens opened and he saw visions of God.”

Christ came to redeem for all times and seasons.  

 Awake my Soul, Awake my Tongue Lyrics
Awake, my soul, awake, my tongue,
My glory wake and sing,
To celebrate the holy birth,
Of Israel’s King!
Oh awake, oh awake my soul
Oh awake, oh awake my soul
Oh awake, oh awake my soul
Awake my soul, my tongue, awake me
O happy this night that brought forth the light,
Which makes the blind to see,
The Dayspring from on high came down to thee
In Bethlehem the Christ child he lies,
Within a place obscure,
Your Savior’s come,

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

back in town

and looking towards Christmas....

( The Murmuring Cottage )

How about you?

St. Patrick's is almost cleaned but still has scaffolding 
near the front. Here is the back looking up:

and here is Emma and another student/ friend right outside 
Macy's spectacular Christmas windows :

quick view at the windows of Alex and Bella , his dog, who go out into the universe
with Santa in his sleigh. 

wish I was a kid seeing this...

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

and added these today for the THOMAS COLE PAINTING


The Holly and the Ivy which goes right into the song below:

While Shepherds Watched Their Sheep by Night

Monday, December 1, 2014


 It is December.
My class will be doing a Picture Study of the new painting in  the headliner
by Thomas Cole which I saw years ago in Norfolk . I remember turning
into the room and this painting is huge. It covered the wall and felt
like being in the field with the shepherds. 

And we  listen to this by Sally Lloyd-Jones 

and then write a first person narrative as one of the shepherds.

Then off to NY on Weds. Doesn't this look yummy!

Sweet Fine Day has a food calendar and they own a Brooklyn Confectioners
called Whimsey & Spice.   Recipes online on the blog. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


                           my daughter a year ago on the Prime Meridian in Greenwich

COURAGE, n. [L., the heart.] Bravery; intrepidity; that quality of mind which enables men to encounter danger and difficulties with firmness, or without fear or depression of spirits; valor; boldness; resolution. It is a constituent part of fortitude; but fortitude implies patience to bear continued suffering.
Courage that grows from constitution, often forsakes a man when he has occasion for it; courage which arises from a sense of duty, acts in a uniform manner.
Be strong and of good courage. Deuteronomy 31.
( 1828 Dictionary)

This daughter , the one at the bottom of 4 older brothers, has much courage these days as a Senior. She is writing essays for Honors Colleges at state universities, applying for a full scholarship to a school in NYC, and presenting this speech next week at the school. My stomach turns.
I am praying it does not come down to bottom line but she is called to a place. I pray she knows. 

Charlotte Mason wroteWe all have Courage.––The word courage comes to us from the time when Norman French was the language of the court and when chivalry was the law of noble living. The Normans perceived that Courage was of the heart, as the word shows; Courage was the whole of character to a man...

She lists these areas: 
Courage of Attack, Endurance,  Serenity, of Our Affairs, of our Opinions, of Reprove, Confession,  of Frankness and of Capacity. 

Then there is what we may call the Courage of our Capacity––the courage which assures us that we can do the particular work which comes in our way, and will not lend an ear to the craven fear which reminds us of failures in the past and unfitness in the present.

       September in Plymouth , Mass. wearing heart sunglasses from my nephew's wedding

Sunday, November 23, 2014

grey sabbath

Rain and Sabbath rest hold hands. 


Will-lessly the leaves fall,
are blown, coming at last
to the ground and to their rest.
Among them in their coming down
purposely the birds pass,
of all the unnumbered ways
choosing one, until
they like the leaves will
will-lessly fall. Thus freed
by gravity, every one
enters the soil, conformed
to the craft and wisdom, the behest
of God’s appointed vicar,
our mother and judge, who binds
us each to each, the largest
to the least, in the family of all
the creatures: great Nature
by whom all are changed, none
are wasted, none are lost.
Supreme artist of this
our present world, her works
live and move, love
their places and their lives in them.
And this is praise to the highest
knowledge by the most low.
by Wendell Berry
 ( underline all the words that give God glory!)

Safe with Somebody Good by Jan Karon. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Silence of God

Essay prompt for my students from the last chapters in Caring for Words:

Read the last two chapters on Prayer and Silence . 

In your journal: Gerald Manley Hopkins wrote "Mine, O thou lord of life, send my roots rain."

Write an essay using the quote and the chapters.

( from Hopkin's poem in the reading)

Here are some snippets from the students:

Boredom can't listen.
Silence is rejuvenating.
It is food for the soul. 

Prayer doesn't always weed words and prayer is not graded.

Debussy: Music is the silence between the notes. 

One  student also referenced this song : The Silence of God by Andrew Peterson

the science of relationships: Charlotte Mason Carnival Blog 

Monday, November 17, 2014

busy week and stopping to do what this says

( from The Murmuring Cottage)

See ahead to this pre-Thanksgiving week and it is full.
You know how that happens , don't you!
For me, many wonderful "can't say no to" and planned a long 
time ago are this week. 

Book Club.
 Author coming to speak to my class
 Author speaking on Stories to parents.
 Writing Seminar by this author.
 Daughter's choir performance.
 Bible Study on Romans.

Leading a discussion tonight on Chapters 14 - 16 of School Education
by Charlotte Mason. 

It is raining cats and dogs. (Wouldn't that be lov-er-ly!)

Needing these words:

Psalm 108

My heart is ready , O God,
for song and melody.
Awake my soul! awake , my lute and lyre?
Let me awake the dawn.

Sandra McCracken's beautiful song : Can't Help Myself
( from Psalm 121)
and here is the video that I can't get ON THIS BLOG 

and a live performance. SO beautiful for this Monday.
Words below...

I confess the things I am afraid of: thorns and danger just around the bend
I pray for tongues of fire and bands of angels to come and circle 'round me like a fence
I lift my eyes to the hills, where comes my help?
I lift my hands--empty hands--I can't help myself
I can't help myself; no, I can't help myself

My enemies surround me like an army--within, without, the battle's raging on
I pray the Spirit will be strong and mighty for courage through the night until the dawn
I lift my eyes to the hills, where comes my help?
I lift my hands--empty hands--I can't help myself
I can't help myself; no, I can't help myself

Oh, oh................

Oh trust the Lord--my soul and all that is in me--oh trust the light to show your darkest parts
With wounds of truth and love, a friend who has known me; a fool would keep his secrets in his heart
I lift my eyes to the hills; here comes my help
I lift my hands--empty hands--I can't help myself
I can't help myself, can't help myself

Can't help myself; no, I can't help myself; I can't help myself

Friday, November 14, 2014

good words to put your thoughts to


" What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven
to our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position 
and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the 
position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which
obedience and work flow."

Martin Luther


many books in the stack

                    This lovely book is to review , thanks to Melissa for sending me the information
                                                             to do this...

Cold here. 
How about where you are?