Saturday, February 28, 2015

When Lions Roar

This is not Aslan or The Lion King but the secret meeting
of Winston Churchill and Joseph Kennedy in the 1930's
at Chartwell, Churchill's home near London. The opening
page has a quote from The Taming of the Shrew:

"Have I not in my time heard lions roar?"

Winston Churchill is quoted : " Some people pretend
to regard me as the British Lion. But I am
not the Lion. I am simply the Roar of the Lion."

This is a good title. I never knew the two families
had a relationship so the book intrigued me. It is
a very long biography of two men who changed the world.
Their wives and sons are shaped by the sense of
duty, loyalty, and ambition. Later,  JFK  finally
meets Churchill on Aristotle Onassis' yacht!
You know the rest of that story with Jackie.

I recommend this book to those who love history,
the Kennedys, and the Churchills. It is the legacy
of two dynasties. I recommend this book to those
who love to hear lions roar!

being thankful

Aren't you amazed when you find an expected reference
to a quote that will send you on a hunt to find a treasure?

This just happened to me in starting a biography of Willa 
Cather by Hermione Lee (a wonderful biographer). 
I just found a reference to earlier American writers which
sent me to D.H. Lawrence's Studies in Classical American 
Literature. ( that author of those books 
of those shocking books  I read in college) 

 My class is reading Moby Dick. One student 
is writing a paper on Edgar Allen Poe. There is a whole 
chapter on Poe: "Poe buries himself under it ( mastering 
space) , in what D.H. Lawrence calles his 'horrible underground
passages of the human soul." 

So thankful for footnotes and good writers and good stories.

Friday, February 27, 2015

so what is Page CXVI

It’s drawn from the page number in a particular copy of The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis, the brilliant passage where Aslan begins to sing Narnia into creation out of a black void.

“In the darkness something was happening at last. A voice had begun to sing. It was very far away and Digory found it hard to decide from what direction it was coming. Sometimes it seemed to come from all directions at once. Sometimes he almost thought it was coming out of the earth beneath them. Its lower notes were deep enough to be the voice of the earth herself. There were no words. There was hardly even a tune. But it was, beyond comparison, the most beautiful noise he had ever heard. It was so beautiful he could hardly bear it.”

~ C.S. Lewis

You can receive 16 songs free here. 
No kidding.
16 from  Page CXVI : 116 


Thursday, February 26, 2015

things I have been doing

- woke up to an inch of snow
- cleaning out my attic
- burning boxes and papers in the fire
- staying in like on Tuesday 
- made blueberry muffins from the Superfoods Kitchen cookbook
- planning some trips
- talking: lovely conversations 
- Bible Study on Romans 5 
- reading the Charlotte Mason archives
- watching the schools closings and then cancelled our class
- reading my Lent devotions
- keeping up with the psalm readings I am doing
- laundry
- cooking
- a winter walk
- to the library 
- to the grocery
-  listened to good music
- sat in front of the fire
- has to be more? 

 Isn't this pretty! We were to get 4-6 inches of snow. It could have looked
like this house from this tumblr. 

Image via We Heart It

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

snow and the warmth of music

By Audrey Haick
It was a day like any other
their weary feet bathed in dust, dirt
a burst of light in the sky
Lord, Elijah, Moses
captured radiance
Peter awestruck
heart’s ablaze
Faith sealedLight
Put yourself in the shoes of Peter and take it all in as best you can. Remind yourself that just as God was present in this scene, He is present with you right now. Be present with Him as well.
Read more here and listen to Stufan Stevens. 
Later in Matthew 16:21-28, Jesus proceeds to explain that His vocation as the Son of Man is to suffer and die at the hands of His enemies.
His vocation- ( from the 1828 Dictionary which usually has a sentence after the definition)
 VOCA'TION, n. [L. vocatio, from voco, to call. See Voice.]
1. Among divines, a calling by the will of God; or the bestowment of God's distinguishing grace upon a person or nation, by which that person or nation is put in the way of salvation; as the vocation of the Jews under the old dispensation, and of the Gentiles under the gospel.
2. Summons; call; inducement.
What can be urged for them who, not having the vocation of poverty to scribble, out of mere wantonness make themselves ridiculous!
3. Designation or destination to a particular state or profession.
None is to enter the ecclesiastic or monastie state, without a particular vocation.
4. Employment; calling; occupation; trade; a word that includes professions as well as mechanical occupations. Let every divine, every physician, every lawyer, and every mechanic, be faithful and diligent in his vocation.

The good vocation of Stufjan Stevens, Cat Steven's son and now listening to his beautiful album: Come on the feel Illinoise: 

Monday, February 23, 2015

for those who love books

Books and Art tumblr

"Since I turned the key on my study I have almost forgotten the familiar titles on which my eye rested whenever I took a survey of my book-shelves. Those friends stanch and true, with whom I have held such royal fellowship when skies were chill and winds were cold, will not forget me, nor shall I become unfaithful to them." from here

A Moonlight Boy. E W Howe. Boston: Ticknor and Company, 1886."About the time I began to realize that I was a moonlight boy, I also began to realize that among the instruments scattered about my home was a violin, and that I was expected to learn to play it; indeed, I believe now that the first time I ever thought seriously of violins, I found one in my hands…"
"About the time I began to realize that I was a moonlight boy, I also began to realize that among the instruments scattered about my home was a violin, and that I was expected to learn to play it; indeed, I believe now that the first time I ever thought seriously of violins, I found one in my hands…"

wish you could smell my kitchen

Emma is making French Onion Soup for her French class 
Culture assignment and the American cooking project 
she has for another class. Oh my. It smells good in here. 

Moby Dick is being read by all the Brits and Scottish and 
a few American readers from Moby Dick Big Read from 
Plymouth University in the UK. 

I am editing student papers. 
Thesis papers. 

This is a day after the Oscars!
My favorite actor won and I loved the movie he was in. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

a little book

 I found a little book to add to my collection of Paul Gallico's books. 
He  wrote The Poseiden Adventure.
 I found Snowflake  last weekend at the used bookstore. 
This book was written in 1952.  The story is told by the snowflake
from the moment she is formed to her fluttering to the earth. 
I found many  cheap copies online and ordered one to give 
to my friend who is the  book rescuer. Gallico ackknowledges the One
who made the snowflake and the beauty she encounters is very
Thoreau-like in his words. 

She is bedazzled by the sunrise as the most glorious thing she has 
ever seen. Then she sees the next beauty...

Alas, in this age , you can have the book read to you
You miss the beauty of the tiny illustrations though. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

icy snow day

Schools are closed.
Icy mix left this morning. 
It is not what snowmen are made of!

My husband is shoveling the driveway so he can 
get out early tomorrow morning to help with a breakfast 
for the homeless. He is a rooster and the early hour is perfect
for him. We shall see if he makes it because it may be 
too icy. 

from the Murmuring Cottage

I finished another book. It feels so good to get to the end. It was 
excellent. Everyone, every high schooler , everyone should read
The Declaration of Independence. 

I would love to be in her college class. 
She is a writer and speaker to watch for in  the days ahead. 
She will have a voice. One minute : 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

finishing Lila

I read half of this about a month ago and had it out as long as I could. 
Three weeks. 
I just got it back and finished reading it today. Marilynne Robinson
wrote it with no chapters. I think she is brave. I love her for writing
one long prose piece and editors letting her do it. 
I do think I need to reread it in one long sitting over days. 
Here were my favorite quotes near the end: 

A letter makes ordinary things seem important.” 

" The wind would be clapping shut, and prying open everything that was meant
to keep it out, bothering where it could, tied of it's huge loneliness. Had she ever
seen a windmill that hadn't lost half itself to the wind, like a blown milkweed?"
( reminds me of last night's howling wind)

" Calvin says every one of us has thousands of angels tending to us."

" His preaching was a sort of pattern of his mind, like the lines on his face."

"Eternity had more of every kind of room in it than this world did."

Review from the NY Times here

National Book Award Finalist here

Washington Post here : 

Marilynne Robinson’s ‘Lila:’ an exquisite novel of spiritual redemption and love

Iowa … All three books link life in Gilead to the history of what Robinson calls 'the Middle West'.

Iowa … All three books link life in Gilead to the history of what Robinson calls ‘the Middle West’. Photograph: Kevin Schmidt/Kevin Schmidt/ZUMA Press/Corbis

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine Song for you

Read the circumstances that became a song by Chris Slaten at The Rabbit Room.  
I love his honesty and we all have said something we regret.
Chris lives in Chattanooga and is an English teacher and musician. 
We adore his songs. 

Son of Laughter

from a slip of paper

Emily Dickinson wrote on slips of paper and backs
of envelopes and even recipe cards.

Here is what is on a slip of paper I have saved
from sitting at Barnes & Noble and writing down
websites from beautiful magazines:

Elana  Stokes : Monet quilts is what I wrote on my slip of paper.

Sue Pelletier: mixed media

Kelli Nina Perkins: a book: Stitch Alchemy

Happy Valentine's Day!

First edition of Poems by Emily Dickinson (1890)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

it seems like friday

But it is not. 
The North Wind is blowing in .
The fireplace is going. 
I am going to sit here.

from here

I have read alot.
A Winter Walk by Thoreau ( started in class today and reading it slowly)
Moby Dick ( wonderful readings here: Benedict Cumberbatch is Chap. 58)
Psalms ( reading through  slowly with my sister and oldest brother from Tim Keller's book on                Prayer )

The Glamour of Grammar ( do like this book )

My book club book needs to be picked up again: Eric Metaxas' Bonhoeffer.
I am halfway done and have a month to go. It is as long as Moby Dick but 
it is different than going after a whale. The Germans were going after the world. 

Valentine's Day is upon us. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

new friends from across the sea

Tales of ''Snowdrop Cottage '

Sarah -Jane down the lane

Country Rabbit

embroidery on Pinterest
and here 
 and gentle works
from the blog by the name

A Mermaid's Tale

She is collaging a wall! She owns The Sea Cottage 
in Cornwall.  She writes: 
I am just open on Saturday and Sunday afternoons at the moment

The papering of the walls is still going on....and on....and on.....

Saturday, February 7, 2015

book rescuers

I know many who love to rescue books.
Aren't you one of them?

 ( from here

They look in  library sales and used bookstores.
One friend had a pile last week . She said she
feels like she is a book rescuer. She will find a home
on her shelf, in her children's hands, or to a friend. 
She is so afraid libraries will throw out these old
friends in the stories. Throw out the books. 
I did throw out a tax textbook this week: 2008. 
My son said : toss it out. 
I am sure the information is dated already. 
But the old books, no.

Today I had a grand time in a good used bookstore. 

This looks easy to make for Valentine's: 

and one more thing:

Sally Lloyd- Jones' new book is out and is precious . 
Beautiful illustrations and of course, Sally takes your heart
and makes you become a child again. I got it out of the library!

very short book trailer

The book reminds me of this :
( from here)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

fiddle songs

It may be that the souls of all children are waiting for the call of knowledge to awaken them to delightful living.” ( Charlotte Mason, A Philosophy of Education, p. xxv) 

My students wrote fiddler song lyrics.
Some wrote music and one really touched my heart
as she picked up her violin after years of it laying dormant
and wrote a song. Awakened. Something happened to her soul. 

Right before my eyes, students with "shining eyes"
sang and played.No testing, just writing from their imaginations and gifts.
Now to send them to the author after we edit and listen and fine tune.

Monday, February 2, 2015

to the sea

I took my husband down to the sea for his birthday weekend.
What a good idea!
He fell asleep on the sand, just like in the summer. 

Very good poem to sink into in this winter light
and moonlight and shadows. It is a prayer:

( here it is read by Eliot) 

O Light Invisible

О Greater Light, we praise Thee for the less; 
The eastern light our spires touch at morning, 
The light that slants upon our western doors at evening. 
The twilight over stagnant pools at batflight, 
Moon light and star light, owl and moth light, 
Glow-worm glowlight on a grassblade. 
О Light Invisible, we worship Thee! 
           We thank Thee for the lights that we have kindled, 
The light of altar and of sanctuary; 
Small lights of those who meditate at midnight 
And lights directed through the coloured panes of windows 
And light reflected from the polished stone, 
The gilded carven wood, the coloured fresco. 
Our gaze is submarine, our eyes look upward 
And see the light that fractures through unquiet water. 
We see the light but see not whence it comes. 
О Light Invisible, we glorify Thee! 
           In our rhythm of earthly life we tire of light. We are glad 
  when the day ends, when the play ends; and ecstasy is too 
  much pain. 
We are children quickly tired: children who are up in the night 
  and fall asleep as the rocket is fired; and the day is long for 
  work or play. 
We tire of distraction or concentration, we sleep and are glad 
  to sleep, 
Controlled by the rhythm of blood and the day and the night 
  and the seasons. 
And we must extinguish the candle, put out the light and 
  relight it; 
Forever must quench, forever relight the flame. 
Therefore we thank Thee for our little light, that is dappled 
  with shadow. 
We thank Thee who hast moved us to building, to finding, to 
  forming at the ends of our fingers and beams of our eyes.

What Ken Buckingham did on his birthday :