Sunday, August 31, 2014

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Thursday, August 28, 2014

What you find on a piece of paper?

I haven't read by Tim O'Brien:   The Things They Carried
yet I am going through some papers in a bag I carried
to my class last year. 

Here are a few of the places to visit on a piece of paper:

The Ragged Cot ( pub and rooms) in England

If you are planning a trip, read this from The Guardian.
If you are not planning a trip, read it anyways. It will lift your heart to England. 

Quintessentially English: a shop and online for organic handmade beauty products. 

Another  name no longer exists  as a blogger or artist from my piece of paper.
Isn't it amazing I can hold onto a small piece of paper thinking it has important
information on it!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

all the world's a stage

Getting ready for 16 students ( 2 missing so 18 ... our top number like this PNEU school
in Cambridge) are coming tonight with snacks and a play : As You Like It.

A musical comedy by the Bard: more songs than any other play. Thinking of Much Ado about Nothing  with its songs.  Thankfully, I have many musicians in the tutorial. 

Looking up performances:

Helen Mire, who I just saw in 100 Foot Journey, played Rosalind in 1978.

Lawrence Olivier played Orlando in his first Shakespeare performance: 1936

Kenneth Branagh, my favorite Shakespeare actor, directed a performance set in Japan?
2006. Kevin Kline got an award for his performance as Jacques. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Monday Prettys

It was and still is such a pretty day. A pretty Monday!

Pretty things: 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Catching Days

IMG_1789“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time.”
Annie Dillard from The Writing Life

New  blog to read : Catching Days
and she is reading through all of Shakespeare's plays, 38 in the order he wrote them!
Plus she interviews authors to see how they spend their days. Good tips on writing from 
a student of Annie Dillard: here.

12 plays read / 26 to go

names of paintings on a sheet

Cleaning out papers and found the sheet from the HIGH MUSEUM
in Atlanta when we went to see Vermeer's " The Girl with the Pearl Earring."

Here are a few of the other paintings I wrote down from the Dutch Masters.
A good book to read  online or find a copy:: 

Great title to this one and wonderful to do as a Picture Study: 

Jan Steen, ‘So the Old Sing, So Twitter the Young’, c.1665, oil on canvas.  Mauritshuis, The Hague

Found this online and so precious and you can see the size of the painting:

Rembrandt's Simeon Song of Praise ( 16690 was extraordinary and breathtaking:
( Simeon's Lofzang)

Ter Berch's Woman Writing a Letter

I have this name down and this French  art critic bought many of Vermeer's paintings:
Etienne Thore 

The Old Lacemaker by Maes

Pieter de Hooch (Rotterdam 1629–1684 Amsterdam) 
A Man Smoking and a Woman Drinking in a Courtyard, ca. 1658–1660. 

Carel Fabritius (Middenbeemster 1622–1654 Delft) 
                                                                            The Goldfinch, 1654. 

I love this painting ! It is by a student of Rembrandt and has no Rembrandt-ish influence.  I have Donna Tartt's book to read. If you like language, here is how to pronounce some of the Dutch artist's names:  here  and for Rembrandt  here. 

List of movies on Vermeer: here. 
Wonderful full site here

I love Signatures.
The Love Letter (detail), Johannes Vermeer
The Love Letter (detail)
Johannes Vermeer
c. 1667-1670
Oil on canvas, 44 x
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Signatures of Johannes Vermeer and Catharina Bolnes

Johannes Vermeer and his wife Catharina Bolnes, they had 15 children.

Portrait of Giovanni(?) Arnolfini and his Wife (detail of signature and date), Jan van Eyck
Portrait of Giovanni(?) Arnolfini and his Wife
(detail of signature and date)
Jan van Eyck
Oil on oak, 82.2 x 60 cm.
National Gallery, London

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

to be here

Ireland, West Coast, County Kerry

loving the word " spacious"

This morning four seniors came to jump start the year and see around the bend.
I told my 4 seniors about this word " Spacious living" and used " magnanimous"
alongside it. Charlotte Mason said ,

“The question is not, -- how much does the youth know? when he has finished his education -- but how much does he care? and about how many orders of things does he care? In fact, how large is the room in which he finds his feet set? and, therefore, how full is the life he has before him?” 
( School Ed. , Vol. 2)

They have traveled into the world this summer and  now step into this last year of high school.
A thesis paper stares at them. We talked about being passionate about something to spend 
so much time in books and then writing to persuade the reader to your causes. We prayed.
We ate. We talked about this quote: future seemed to stretch out before me like a straight road. I thought I could see along it for many a milestone. Now there is a bend in it. I don’t know what lies around the bend, but I’m going to believe that the best does. It has a fascination of its own, that bend... ( Anne of Green Gable, chap 38)

They  left full. 
We talked about kingdom pace living. 
We prayed. 

They left and then it rained. 
I imagine grace was falling upon them. 

spacious: vast, extensive, wide, having large amble room 

( not my window but isn't it lovely)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

are your days spacious?



February 7th. by -hannah * honey & jam- #flickstackr

Le Coin Perdue


 good breakfast recipe here in this kitchen

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Had some of this THIS weekend

                                    “Le DĂ©jeuner,” an early painting by Claude Monet
                                     means " to have lunch." 

    Good , good essay on this: Looking at lovely things—and people—can improve quality of life.
                From Atlantic Magazine: here. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

the best day in August

 Blue Carolina sky.
Windows open. 
Wash out on the line. 
Wish I could have a tea outside, well , I did by myself.

Here are some very cute things:

                                                               Sweet Pea Felts

Cabbages and Roses in London

Look 2                    -SHOP-

Look 4                   -SHOP-

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I finished

In the cool of the evening , I finished Jayber Crow. 
I will miss him. He may be behind the 
scenes of another Berry book., for they all live in Port Williams
or nearby. 

 His life's calling made me be. 

His love made my eyes see brighter and deeper.

He made me be quiet as the evening chirps rose up to a chorus. 

The very last sentence in the story  was brillant.

Next re- read:

Using this book for me:

Reading Like a Serpent: What the Scarlet A Is About by

Marilyn Chandler McEntyre

Also we will be  reading her book: CARING FOR WORDS IN A CULTURE OF LIES

Monday, August 11, 2014

Jayber Crow: looking for a well lived life

I am almost done with Wendell Berry's favorite book: Jayber Crow.

My favorite is Hannah Coulter. BUT I want my students to read a story
about "calling." 

Steven Garber calls it a book of pilgrimage. "   with the ability to grow one's heart."

How is the vocation of a barber similar to being a pastor?
This book illustrates many, many stories of a place called Port Williams where 
many give each other a cup of cold water. Isn't that what Jesus said to do?!
How do you love your neighbor?
Breath deeply. 
Stay put. 

"On Sunday mornings I go up to ring the bell and sit through the service. I don't attend altogether for religious reasons. I feel more religious, in fact, here beside this corrupt and holy stream."

Do you see Berry's weltanschauung? 

“If you have lived in Port William a little more than two years, you are still, by Port William standards, a stranger, liable to have your name mispronounced” 

Trust takes time.  We feel as those in Port Williams: the crushing feeling of modern life. 

There are echoes of Dante : Jayber's love for Mattie Chatham is like Beatrice and a few
lines referring to the circles of Hell made me smile. The Inferno. 

Your heart feels just like it does in Jan Karon's Mitford , although it is harder to break into Port Williams and there is agrarianism , farmers abounding.: “One was, I felt at home. There is more to this than I can explain. I just felt at home. After I got to Port William , I didn’t feel any longer that I needed to look around to see if there was someplace I would like better” 

I don't know of many books that give wisdom within a story as to how to be content 
and to examine life. Jayber's gives us his  journey of vocation and belonging. You want to have him cut your hair!

What I sent my students tonight with a map and geneology of Port Williams:
( Wendell Berry)
As you read Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry:
Remember to copy sentences or ideas that strike you for beauty, goodness and truth.
Just copy in your journal Beautiful crafted sentences.
( disregard the curse words...! It is the flavor Berry gave the book )
Jayber wrestles with the big ideas of life. THINK upon how he tests what he believes.
It took him a lifetime to live into the questions he posed to Dr. Ardmire in the beginning of the book.
( in seminary)
Think about as you read:
Did Jayber  become wiser?  What is membership?
What is community ?
Berry pronounces so much to be good  in this story  which is being crushed by modern life.
Wendell Berry’s  “weltanschauung” ( worldview) is mirrored in Jayber’s life story and introspection.
Think about what is important to living a life well lived.
This is a story about calling.
How did Jayber  Jayber find what he was called to do?
What is education? What does his vocation do for others?
This is Wendell Berry’s favorite novel.
Mine is Hannah Coulter.
Mrs. Buckingham
a fun quote:
He famously doesn’t own a computer and has written all of his books in longhand.
Wendell announces that in response to our culture of instant messaging, he has just founded a new cause, the Slow Communication Movement. Certainly we embody that spirit today, and it feels good. ( interviewer using a small notebook) It is a more leisurely, more deliberate form of communication, and it isn’t limited to 140 characters.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

willingness to trudge

“All that is required of you is a willingness to trudge. 
There is no point in hurrying because you are not actually going anywhere.
 However far or long you plod, you are always in the same place: in the woods.
 It’s where you were yesterday, where you will be tomorrow. 
The woods is one boundless singularity.
 Every bend in the path presents a prospect indistinguishable from every other, every glimpse into the trees the same tangled mass.
 For all you know, your route could describe a very large, pointless circle.
 In a way, it would hardly matter.
 At times, you become almost certain that you slabbed this hillside three days ago, crossed this stream yesterday, clambered over this fallen tree at least twice today already.
 But most of the time you don’t think.” 

Bill Bryson, A Walk in the Woods*

photo from The Murmuring Cottage

Thursday, August 7, 2014

To Die For by John Blase

I keep rereading this poem.

To Die For

I’m sure I don’t understand everything that was involved
but some evenings when the breeze is slight but jazzy

and the shadows are almost honest I feel I’ve a hunch
as to why God thought this world was to die for.

I’ve got nowhere near the courage God has but I’d like to
believe that if presented with the same chance to take

one for the team that I would have taken it, shame and all.
Again, this would not be due to broadly shoulders but rather

of possessing a ticker that’s a sucker for lemonade stands
manned by the pure of heart that refuse to close up shop early

because surely there’s one more righteous neighbor willing
to pay for a cup of cold sweetness before the day’s end.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

and another poem

Love Poem No.18

I wasn’t looking for you when I first saw you.
What I’m saying is you surprised me. I don’t usually
like surprises but I liked the looks of you. Maybe that’s
why my young man plans became as dross and you
became every waking thought, and a few asleep too.
To think I could have missed seeing you that day
chills me now, for where then would my heart be?
I suppose I would have married another and had
other children and lived a different life, an expected
life. But it would not be the one that took me by surprise.
What I’m saying is when I thank God for my life
what I’m really talking about is seeing you.

New poet

The Next Day

There are times when as a writer
you must practice forbearance.
Some evenings the pall of death
is so heavy halfway around the world
that you search for paper and pen
to try and make your sense of it.
Better to go mow the emerald grass
in diagonal rows and pull purple thistles
from the fence and startle the grey rabbit
beneath the shade tree and speak to your
very much alive neighbors as they walk by
while the summer wind chills the sweat inching
down your back and for reasons unknown
you suddenly recall the sinful smell of your
grandfather’s tobacco mingled with the
memory of the tears in your wife’s eyes
as the doctor placed your firstborn son in the
crook of her arm and life demanded on.

Monday, August 4, 2014



We turned the page of the calendar and many books over the weekend.
I went in and out of town and brought back books. New and old. 
I almost have first semester planned. Well, I am one who grabs onto ideas
right when I am doing something or about, so I have a list of books, paintings,
composition books, geography books, and rereading our summer read: 

I am halfway done with Jerram Barrs' Children's Literature course from Covenant Seminary. 
I have a few books to read for it before I move on. 

"And I remember how, as the days and the winds passed over, the foliage shifted and sang." 

from the Murmuring Cottage