Monday, January 26, 2015

bracing the storm from afar

Hearing from my relatives in the northeast ( NY and Conn. )
and sort of wish it was snowing here. Wouldn't you love to 
be stuck inside for a few days of utter timelessness? 
Everything seems to stop and we rest from the business.

from headlikeanorange tumblr

Plus it is snowing all over this tumblr: Midwinter-Dream

Might try this quote  from a blogger who commented on my previous blog:
( Gladsome Lights ) 
( from Northern California which I have never seen in person but have been 
told I would love to visit) 
It is warm at her home and flowers are springing up!

Friday, January 23, 2015

psalm for the january thaw

Here is my daughter's poem . I had 
my students write their own from Luci Shaw's poem.

Blessed be God for bare branches,
for dry crackling leaves crunching 
beneath worn out boots. For the trickling 
water in the creek, the buds of daffodils
promising their grand entrance, and 
the chirping birds  who are laying eggs 
for the coming season.

Glory be to God for the spinning 

of the earth that never ceases. 
For nature's cycles- spring, summer,
fall, and winter. Birth, life, and death.
Nothing stands still in God's creation. 
It is an ever moving benediction. 

from patterns in chaos tumblr

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


This month has given us very cold days and now today I hung
my laundry outside: 2 loads. All dried. The sun is making shadows
 very low now in the shadows. It is waking up the other side of the

I opened a few windows to bring fresh air into the house.

from dailydoseofstuf tumblr

This is a rather long poem by Luci Shaw about the thaw
of January. I read this morning a good sentence about
poetry by CS Lewis in Reflections of the Psalms: 

For poetry too is a little incarnation, giving body to what has been
before invisible and in audible. 

Psalm for the January Thaw
Blessed be God for thaw, for the clear drops
that fall, one by one, like clocks ticking, from
the icicles along the eaves. For shift and shrinkage,
including the soggy gray mess on the deck
like an abandoned mattress that has
lost its inner spring. For the gurgle
of gutters, for snow melting underfoot when I
step off the porch. For slush. For the glisten
on the sidewalk that only wets the foot sole
and doesn't send me slithering. Everything
is alert to this melting, the slow flow of it,
the declaration of intent, the liquidation.

Glory be to God for changes. For bulbs
breaking the darkness with their green beaks.
For moles and moths and velvet green moss
waiting to fill the driveway cracks. For the way
the sun pierces the window minutes earlier each day.
For earthquakes and tectonic plates-earth's bump
and grind-and new mountains pushing up
like teeth in a one-year-old. For melodrama—
lightning on the sky stage, and the burst of applause
that follows. Praise him for day and night, and light
switches by the door. For seasons, for cycles
and bicycles, for whales and waterspouts,
for watersheds and waterfalls and waking
and the letter W, for the waxing and waning
of weather so that we never get complacent. For all
the world, and for the way it twirls on its axis
like an exotic dancer. For the north pole and the
south pole and the equator and everything between.

       by Luci Shaw

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

lovely bookshops

Hugues de Latude

take a look at this and more here

Monday, January 19, 2015

warm Monday

I do believe it felt like Spring today.
Got up to 63 degrees. 
It sure does give you energy.

I am almost done reading The Fiddler's Green by Pete Peterson.
It is the second book of two . ( The Fiddler's Gun )
I have not been able to put it down. 
Hoping my students are doing the same and maybe did what 
I did: sit in the sun reading on the front porch. 


Did you know Jan Karon is writing another book?!
Good news. Yeah!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

no snow but ...

icy this morning so my Bible Study was cancelled. There we were all ready 
to go when I looked at emails. So , my daughter and I went out to breakfast
with a book to read in hand. I ended up seeing a friend, one who prays, 
and sat with her. She just happened to be alone. I wouldn't go to Paneras 
alone. Well, maybe ? I would have a totebag full of things to read and a  journal. 
I left with more to prayer for. That is what happens when you get with a prayer 

Isn't this adorable: 

 You buy a Tom's and they give a child a pair.

A good conversation with my #3 brother who is healing from falling before Christmas
and being in the hospital for 3 and a half weeks. Reminded me of my mom. She loved
to talk! She always kept up with her 8 children and knew a phone bill was a gift to them.
It was how she showed her love. She was right on the cusp of cell phones and computers
when she died. Another brother (#4) always has the latest technology and he was
already calling her FREE on the weekends. We were all amazed! The rest is history as
we say!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


I took some snapshot glimpses of life today.

Glimpses of goodness:

- a dapper  white headed bearded man with a bouquet of flowers and his Trader Joe's bag
going to his car. Who were they for?

- saw an acquaintance who I adore in Trader Joe's  and she thanked me for posting a link
for this book club ( for kids and adults ) of Andrew Peterson's Wingfeather Saga 
books. This past summer, I saw boys ( maybe about 10 years old) have their books signed by Andrew and then go sit on the floor and start reading. Imagine being that kid!
So encouraged by a simple  " seeing someone!"

- library parking lot was almost full and I almost couldn't find a parking space.
Were they all reading books?

-  then I got a call from my husband to ask if I bought his shampoo which I had forgotten 
at TJ so I had this feeling I was going back for a reason. Walked in and there 
at the first check-out was a dear friend I have not seen in a while. I had been waiting 
to see her with news of a death. Knew that forgotten shampoo was this. 

- my phone hit Facetime and all of a sudden I was doing this to S.D. Smith of 
The Story Warren and author of The Green Ember! This was during my class, mind
you!  ( we were in a small den in front of a fireplace so it was very cozy) I had to text him 
what happened. One of my students sent him a poem about his book so we were 
not strangers!

- a student looked up where Kent was from reading about Millet which made me
in awe for the timing of studying this French artist right now.  She declared 
"It  is so pretty there" and my heart warmed. 
While other Frenchmen are generally dark and thick-set, the Norman is, as a rule, a tall, fair- haired, blue-eyed man, not unlike in build to our Yarmouth fisherman, or our Kentish labourers. In body and mind, there is something about him even now which makes him seem more nearly akin to us than the true Frenchmen who inhabit almost all the rest of France.) 

- then we prayed for France

- it might snow 

Mid-winter dream tumblr
( in the Netherlands)

tickledgrey tumblr

Saturday, January 10, 2015

running into Wendell Berry

I read this gripping piece: The Sins and Sorrows of Selma
and ran into this quote: 

As Wendell Berry says, “Love is never abstract. It does not adhere to the universe or the planet or the nation or the institution or the profession, but to the singular sparrows of the street, the lilies of the field, ‘the least of these my brethren.’ Love is not, by its owndesire, heroic. It is heroic only when compelled to be. It exists by its willingness to be anonymous, humble, and unrewarded.”

I went looking for where this quote came from and now listening 
to him read and he made me laugh ( I am not a critic of my writing, he said)
and then he read   Fly Away Breath which starts with Andy Catlett. 

Worthy of time to read and listen. 

Made my afternoon running into him. 

lamb stew on the stove that kind of looks like this:
( from The Murmuring Cottage)

Friday, January 9, 2015

the weekend

is here
and it is very cold
and I just can't take my Christmas tree down
because it still smells wonderful
but it is drooping a bit
and it was put up mid-December
and still the lights 
and ornaments bring me joy.

BUT the New Year is here. 
Must get on to it.

Tree coming down this weekend.

new tumblr: Delta Breezes who makes me hungry and 
want to go somewhere: 

Katie Rodgers

Caulin Grant

Thursday, January 8, 2015


Just reading THE RABBIT ROOM post by a favorite
writer/ poet , Rebecca Reynolds.

Miracle on Demand

I know part of her story and it would make a non-believer
say " See , is that how you treat people? Who wants your 
God?!" ( husband -pastor was let go for a business driven
pastor to grow the church) It is not the first time nor the last 
to hear such stories. 

AND so this former pastor wife , teacher of 11th grade rhetoric,
poet, lyricist with Ron Block of Allison Krauss and the Union Station,
and one I learn from writes as I nod my head:

For several years, I’ve been disappointed that God’s rescue is so slow. I’ve seen bad people do bad things without consequence, and I’ve seen good people suffer in ways that aren’t fair. I’ve prayed and prayed, and God refuses to do what I want.

( read on above)

She ends with the words  Jan Karon uses all over Mitford:
Not my will, but Thine.

repeat: Not my will, but Thine.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

things I am fearful of

- letter writing is getting harder to do because of emails

- the economy

- the next generations' choices  and losing faith

- another shooting now in Paris

- being numb to the news

- silence from God

My students wrote poems yesterday after an exercise from a book called
Poemcrazy. The poem starts with answering  questions to I am.... and questions
 like  "What kind of tree? What color? What season?  What are you afraid of?"
and then put them into a poem. I was so touched by their silliness and  honesty 
which seeped into their 16 answers. I was very touched by one student who fears rejection
and longs for friendship. Another who  is quiet and  struggles with thinking he is liked , 
read his three lines saying so much is going on in his head. 
Another knew what googolplex is when I asked " what number are you? infinity,
 googolplex, eight..." scored and we clapped for him.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

oh my... some people's lives

Do this: transform a chateau in the Pyrennes in France to make
it liveable: Chateau de Gudanes

the full story here.

Sunday, January 4, 2015


From this morning's worship: 

"Let Jesus shepherd your heart." 

" I am making ALL things NEW."

From this website

From my reading: ( last 3 words to remember)

“We must learn what it means to live at a Kingdom pace: deep and slow." 
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Lanier writes ...

I don’t feel that I’ve kept Christmas this year, so much as it’s kept me—which is a very beautiful thing. The older we get, the more loss we have under our belts, the more complicated our tenderest times become. But as Sarah Bessey so wisely and bravely said in this breathtaking essay,

Read the whole blog here.

misty saturday

the holidays are almost
started taking down some of the decorations... and
graded papers....
lots of them ( 19) ( yes, crazy , isn't it).. which 
connected with my students in my mind while correcting their work... which
helps for next week... but 
could zone out again and not think about the work ahead. 

tree is still up....
( Epiphany on Tuesday)

- loved this devotion this week on Jan. 2. 
- saw The Imitation Game to learn about the father of computers and to 
see Sherlock in another role
- the movie Mr. Turner has not come here yet
- love this English sort of day
- this came in the mail from a dear friend

Detail of Fra Angelico's Madonna Della Stella...
"She holds her child fondly, and he, with responsive affection, nestles against his mother, pressing his little face into her neck." - The Madonna in Art, by Estelle M. Hurll (1899)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

reading in the New Year

                                                                rowan tree.... Psalm 1 

From PRAYER by Timothy Keller, I started ( along with my sister) to
read the Psalms and summarize each one. 

For Book Club, I started Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas and 
will give you a taste:

" But the welter of wonderfulness that was their heritage seems to 
have been a boon, one that buoyed them up so that each child seems
not to have stood on the shoulders of the giants but also to have
                danced on them."

I had to read that out loud yesterday to  my daughter Emma  who was 
reading out loud sentences from John Adams by David McCullough 
to me. She is learning about marriage and I am learning about a heritage.

From Bonhoeffer's childhood: 

" Under the rowan-trees out our meadow Dietrich lovved to sit and read
his favorite books, like Rulamann, the story of a  man of the stone age, and 
Pinocchio, which made him roar with laughter and whose funniest passages
he read out loud to us again and again . He was about ten years old at that 
time, but he retained his sense of high-spirited comedy. The book Heroes
of Everyday moved him very much. They were stories of young people 
who by their courage, presence of mind and selflessness saved others' 
lives, and these stories often ended sadly, Uncle Tom's Cabin kept him 
busy for a long time. Here in Friedrichsbrunn he also read the the great
classic poets for the first time, and in the evenings we did play-reading
with different parts. "
( One of the last books he read was Plutarch's Lives. He parted with it hours
before his execution.)