Friday, December 30, 2016

the SIGH week between Christmas and New Year's

from themurmuring cottage

We are all thinking about the past year and the new year and soon to write 17 at the end of 20. This year ends with a tragic death in my sister's family. Her neice's husband had a sharp 
pain in his forehead on Christmas morning, volunteered to a call for a fire that afternoon, was up at 5:30 the next morning with his head about to explode. Blood on the brain. 
He was airlifted from Pinehurst to UNC and died Tuesday morning. Brain tumor. He had said on Christmas night ( my sister told me )  how busy the season had been as an asst. worship leader at his church. He loved to praise the Lord  and leaves his high school sweetheart wife who is almost 30 and two kids.

Makes you love more deeply.

You never know... and you also want to know they will be in the Presence of Jesus. 

Picking up my oldest brother this afternoon from Texas who already flew in Christmas Day but returned Tuesday so he could tie up end of the year To Dos plus had  another funeral.  
( Retired Am. Airlines) The tiny church in a small NC town will be overflowing with tears tomorrow morning. There will be no more tears in heaven but tomorrow's will produce a flood. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

skillet recipes & books

Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookies Recipe

                                                                recipe here

                     Easy Skillet Apple Pie

                                                               recipe here

Books read so far in December

Thursday, December 8, 2016

something to make

Decadent Hot Chocolate Mix from Smitten Kitchen

and if you are really ambitious, you can make homemade marshmellows. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

checking off the leftovers TO DO list

Sweet potato Muffins in the oven and I adapted the recipe like the first link 
and put coconut sugar on top. I will put most of the muffins in the freezer.
My sister always has muffins for guests. Morning guests or for tea in her freezer. 

I used cashew meal flour instead of the whole wheat with bleached flour. 

recipe here

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen -- a favorite cooking site who adapted the recipe from Gourmet magazine


Monday, December 5, 2016

is your to-do list getting checked off

I have started to say this is the month of writing: Christmas Cards. 
I also try to plan sending them when I think they will arrive.
College students now. 
Overseas now.
Far away in the states : soon.
In town : next week

Gifts: love having the doorbell ring when they arrive ( getting deals online)

Wrapping: to be done and soon so I remember who gets what and to lighten the TO DO 

What else? 
I baked brownies today to bring with pizza and a salad to a former student's family. The mom was in the hospital and out now. Comfort food. This made me think of Christmas cookies 
which I haven't made in years because daughter did. She might when she gets home. 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Battle for Christmas

Song from GOLDEN HOURS : a blog by Lanier Ivester and her friend  on Christmas
where the title comes from: 

I did get a little overwhelmed Monday night—can’t even remember why now. But it was a very near Christmas-spirit-fail and took a great long talk with Philip, including a bunch of strategizing for the following day, in what he’s now calling The Battle for Christmas. 

PLUS there is a GIVEAWAY by Weds: here

Friday, December 2, 2016

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Advent I

My book stack for this week of Advent:

                        Reading  with my students reading the author who was a pop star in his                                                  time... I call this A.C.C. by C.D. AND we will act out some scenes. 

               There is a chapter on Christmas in this book. I will reread some of Miss Read's                                                                            Christmas stories too. 

                Hope to get to this book soon.....mine has a Christmas tree as the book cover


Saturday, November 26, 2016

christmas is coming

It will get here fast! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


Arrivals are hard. You have to wait. Daughter and her roommate are now over 2 hours late leaving the runway up North. 

Other kinds of arrivals are hard too.... like waiting for Christmas when we were young. 
Thanksgiving never had a waiting time to arrive until my kids flew the coop! Love having them come back. Only part of them this year as we have to share. Both sides and you know we can't go back to childhood days. 

Waiting for this daughter to come so I can watch The Crown ( she saw John Lithgow on Jimmy Fallon a few weeks ago in person) and Gilmore Girls with her. 

Waiting for arrivals. Got any? 

Little Dorrit actress and Dr. Who actor

and these Gilmore Girls....

Thursday, November 17, 2016


Do not fret. It leads only to evildoing. Trust in the Lord. Do good. 

Sarah writes: 
I am always a little startled at the way that Psalm rebukes my worry. It’s not even a casual, ‘trust God, don’t worry, be happy and smile,’ it’s a smack in the face to the angst that seems so innocent and reasonable and yet will lead, so the Psalmist claims, to ‘evildoing’. I’d pay less attention to this dramatic claim if I wasn’t so convinced of its truth.
 Angst and fear, they’re poisonous things that seep into sight and conversation, they tinge moments of joy, and steal trust. Fretting leads to suspicion, to insecurity, to shut doors and a shrunken world that keeps at bay any person or thing that may threaten my sense of well-being. Fretting leads to disintegration, of self, of hope, of healing.
Read it here.
Thoughts worth pondering.....
( photo from the murmuring cottage)

Sunday, November 13, 2016

November thoughts

It has been a few weeks since I have posted. So here are a few thoughts: 

- Magnaminous citizens.... how we need them
- Grace to Build Retreat energized my soul.
- Heard Steve Garber up at Montreat College on The Fall. He opened with Mumford and Sons to 21 Pilots to Bob Dylan's Nobel Prize with the words of his song "Everything is Broken." The artists led the way and get there first in culture. 
- The Little Bookroom is progressing. Private lending library opening next year in the basement. 
- How very precious are my students. How important their lives are. 
-  TEXT that friday morning from my daughter: I got  free tickets to Jimmy Fallon. Rocked her " little sister" in her house by taking her along. So there is a BIG then a Little then A Big then a Little: senior, junior, sophmore, and freshman) High Fived Fallon too!
( Susan B. Anthony is their house, they won the basketball tournament - every student at The Kings College is in a house and compete academically and in sports and volunteer together)
- holidays upon us... trying to make them simple... ANY IDEAS you can share? 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

if you countdown, I don't

59 days to go!

From the UK: Wildflower Illustrations

cold upon us..

This is a glorious time of the year.  Busyness with our business is  like this squirrel gathering winter food. Sometimes it is  pressing on to  what is next and remembering others like birthdays and simmering tea to keep us going. Sigh.
Lessons to plan and books to read so lessons can happen.  

Feeling sighs but so glad at this time of the year the world is and will be turning 
majestic colors.

- Heading up to the mts. on friday to attend this retreat:

Grace to Build 

- Rooming with Liz from Living Books Library

. Heat is not working well in the house. Having it worked on today. New heat pump in the summer but not doing well with heat. It runs and runs. The workman is here today, 

- and prayer... do not forget the strength of the Lord and needing his help and transforming your mind and heart. 

- Hoping also to turn around and go to this with some students just for the day on Tuesday. 

Montreat College 

- really good post for teachers here from Nancy

Sunday, October 23, 2016

days got colder and still more to come

This isn't my sweater but the sweater days are here. My mind goes back to my childhood and sweaters. I loved wearing sweaters. ( New York)

More soon to catch up on books read, lessons taught, cookbooks, and then there is a season of prayer. 

BLESSED Lord, who hast caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning; Grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience and comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace, and ever hold fast, the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.  

Friday, October 21, 2016

will catch up soon...

Needing some of this... but soon I will catch you up on my thoughts and days. 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

working ...

Fall Break is over for me.... and my daughter. She is back at school and so am I. 
Here are a few things I ran into tonight while working on my next couple of days 
of teaching and some do not have anything to do with what I am doing but you know how that is when you see something so beautiful: It possesses you:

This Little Red Riding Hood

from the Morgan Library exhibit of the Brontes on Instagram and the illustrators site is here
Cheers to Samantha Dion Baker (@sdionbakerdesign)! This page from her sketchjournal is inspired by a recent visit to the exhibition "Charlotte Brontë: An Independent Will." You can see more from#sdionbakersketchjournal by checking our her Instagram feed.

CHALLENGE: Post a drawing with #MorganLibrary for the chance to see your artwork featured here. Whether it's after a work from our collection, a special exhibition, or a part of the campus (interior or exterior) we can't wait to see what inspires you!
#MorganLibrary #Bronte200 #CharlotteBronte

well , there is more but I need to get some THINGS done for tomorrow. 
Just popped in to say HI and how's it going and isn't OCTOBER glorious now that 
that Matthew has gone and left so much rain!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

sabbath poem

Lord, make my heart a place where angels sing!
For surely thoughts low-breathed by Thee
Are angels gliding near on noiseless wings;
And where a home they see
Swept clean, and garnished with adoring joy,
They enter in and dwell,
And teach that heart to swell
With heavenly melody, their own untired employ.
John Keble (1792–1866)

( they have alot of sweeping to do in mine! )

Thursday, September 29, 2016

almost friday

and I finished Kate DiCamillo's new children's book which made me cry and laugh. I read it in two days although it has 51 chapters. Not sure what level this is for but I would start with adults and go down to maybe a 10 year old who has seen life , so to speak. 

I was right. It say this on her site: 

Flora & Ulysses
available April 12, 2016
read an excerpt
Candlewick Press, 2016
ages 10 and up
ISBN 978-0763681173

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

caring about words

I couldn't resist posting  this cute hare. Love the etymology. 


From the allusion that a harebrained person has the brain as small as a hare’s. From Old English hara (hare) + braegen (brain). Earliest documented use: 1548

mountain hare

“Hagrid had some harebrained scheme in hand, which might make him miss Sirius.”
JK Rowling; Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; Bloomsbury; 2000.Art: Louise BurstonPhoto: Karen van der Zijden

Monday, September 26, 2016

Robert Browning's words

It was these 3 lines in bold  that sparked my soul this morning from The Cloud of Witness.
I found these part is from a Robert Browning poem called " Christmas Eve."
Christmas Eve is when my first son was born, very early in the morning so I labored 
on December 23rd. My mama's heart being fed by the Holy Spirit. 

"God who registers the cup
"Of mere cold water, for his sake
"To a disciple rendered up,

"Disdains not his own thirst to slake
"At the poorest love was ever offered:
"And because my heart I proffered,
"With true love trembling at the brim,
"He suffers me to follow him
"For ever, my own way,--dispensed
"From seeking to be influenced
"By all the less immediate ways
"That earth, in worships manifold,
"Adopts to reach, by prayer and praise,
"The garment's hem, which, lo, I hold!"

 suffers: To endure; to support; to sustain; not to sink under.
Our spirit and strength entire,
Strongly to suffer and support our pains.

To allow; to permit; not to forbid or hinder. Will you suffer yourself to be insulted?
suffer them to enter and possess.
Thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbor, and not suffer sin upon him. Lex.19.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

more thoughts on motherhood

from Rebecca Reynolds

Thoughts from an older mom (#568)
I think it's okay to share funny stories involving your kids, and by "funny," I mean those little foibles they can laugh about now or soon.
However, sharing your teenager's grave or humiliating mistakes, character flaws, or rebellion with the world is wrong--and it is especially wrong if you are using those mistakes as examples to fuel your own Biblical teaching.
Teenagers need space to grow up.
They need room to goof up.
They need the sacredness of the circle of family in which to fail.
Teenagers don't need predator parents trying to build mommy-writer/speaker platform on the quivering years of adolescence.
I don't care what sort of teaching gifts you have.
I don't care how many likes you get when you expose your children's flaws to the world.
I don't care if writing either Super Mom or Fatigue Mom posts wins trust with other parents.
You are a mother first.
Do motherhood well, then worry about building the kingdom up.
And yes, motherhood done well should cost you some blog posts, because motherhood is loyal. Motherhood is kind. Motherhood sees past the present into the future of a child.
Motherhood cares more about what's good for her kids than what is good for her audience.
If you can't illustrate your point without taking advantage of your own kids' weaknesses, don't illustrate your point. No wisdom you think you have to impart to strangers is worth your child's heart.
Whatever identity you are trying to gain as a teacher isn't worth the trust of the disciples you already have.

Friday, September 23, 2016

the world is upside down


The world is watching our city every day and every night. 
Have a son down there protecting us. 
Lord have mercy. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

studying up for Picture Study tomorrow

found this gem on the way to Whistler: 

                       The Quiberon coast in Brittany, France by Leon Duval-Gozlan 

                           found while looking for The Coast of Brittany by James Whistler

The Coast of Brittany (aka Alone with the Tide) - James McNeill Whistler

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Almost done with this book

My daughter want to read this book after reading "Surprised by Oxford" this past summer.
Both are memoirs and I have found good writing to encourage me. She took Carpe Diem and did this with it : take hold of God–carpe Deum!

Perhaps the answer lies in when carpe diem evokes worship, whenit is a form of honoring the God who is honoring us with his presence. Put another way, when carpe diem becomes carpe Deum, or, translated loosely for our purposes here, "seize God!" Scripture constantly reminds us to seize God.

(page 97)

Peek into is Carolyn's website. She has a new book of poetry out. 

making these to freeze and eat

Breakfast Cookies
from Bread & Wine
Serves 12

3 large ripe bananas, well mashed (about 1 1/2 C)
1/4 C coconut oil warmed to a liquid (you can also substitute olive oil)
1 t vanilla
1 C rolled oats
2/3 C almond meal
1/2 t baking powder
2/3 C shredded coconut
1/2 C chopped walnuts
1/4 C chocolate chips


In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork, then add in coconut oil and vanilla.

Add the oats, almond meal, salt, and baking powder, and stir until combined.  Add the coconut, walnuts, and chocolate chips, and stir again.

Form the dough into 12 balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet and flatten them a little bit.  Bake at 350 degrees for 14 to 16 minutes.

Saturday, September 10, 2016


I have been thinking about the vocation of motherhood this week. 
I had the best mom and hope you did too. She cared for my heart and soul
until she died. She always wanted to make sure all was well. 
I have been thinking about this vocation and how God made us as mothers. 
Any thoughts? 

Sunday, September 4, 2016


This is the month for school. I listened one morning early to see if there were any buses coming into our neighborhood. Most of the kids have grown up. There was the hum...
and it was so early. Not being a morning person, I thanked the Lord I didn't have to get up way so early when I was young. This year I start my classes at 10:00 or 11:00 depending
on which day. There is a peacefulness already to the pace. 

I am very thankful for a British educator: Charlotte Mason. I wish I had gone to one of her schools. I always wanted my own children to go to a PNEU school. The best they got was me and then the books of teachers like Shakespeare, etc... 

I guess the best news around here is that a baby granddaughter is coming in Feb.  

 ( from the murmuring cottage)
untitled by gg.ranee on Flickr.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Do you sometimes think about doing something over again? Good and 
things that would be better today.  Like who would have thought we would 
have computers in our hands and pockets. Like maybe we should have gotten
on the technology bandwagon earlier.... like how I homeschooled. 
Like what else? Just pondering today some things. Not regrets but how to 
help the next generation as I start teaching next week.

Ideas matter. 
The world is changing fast. 

1. The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;        5
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,        10
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.        15
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.        2