Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Merry Christmas

 The Wise Men knew He had come!
Merry Christmas to you. 
Cheers for the New Year!

GIOVANNI DA MODENA, The Appearance of the Star, c. 1412, Fresco

Image result for The Appearance of the Star, c. 1412, Fresco, Basilica di San Petronio, Bologna

Tuesday, November 28, 2017


“A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe."   
-Madeleine L'Engle

Advent Stars: My Favorite Books & Music for the Journey

One of my favorite words is Annunciation.
Advent is almost here: Announcement: 

                                                       Fra Angelico's Annuciatory Angel

Tuesday, November 7, 2017


                                MAKING ALL SORTS OF BEAUTIFUL THINGS

Jessica Chorley from London:

Caroline Zoob and Oyster Bridge & Co Creative Retreat:

A Visit to David Austin Roses

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Reformation Day.... and a post

 Image result for cornelia meigs, books

This is not on the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation but on a children's author: 
Cornelia Meigs. I am compiling a list for an Evening Chat at Grace to Build 
Retreat next week titled: Buried Treasures.

I found this letter on wikipedia: 

For a glimpse into her life, here are excerpts from a letter sent to an Albert Northrop, presumed husband to her niece Elizabeth (Betty):
January 29, 1950.
Dear Albert,
Your nice birthday letter should have had an answer long before this, but so many things do seem to come between me and writing even the letters that I want so much to write. The birthday was a very portentous one, my sixty-fifth, which means I am no longer eligible for Bryn Mawr after June; they have to keep me until then. By a singular chance they have given me more work to do than ever before, quite regardless of the fact that in six months I shall be considered totally unfit ...
You were so good to speak so kindly of Violent Men and Two Arrows. The former had been in hand for a very long time, quite the largest piece of work I had ever undertaken, but it has been the one that I most enjoyed. I have a real passion for history, which grows as the years go by, and was whetted ever more by my seeing some of it being made first hand while I was doing a very humble job in Washington. I realized that if I did not finish it while I was at Bryn Mawr I never would, so I finally succeeded in getting it finished and out of my hands. The Macmillan Company had it for a long time before they published it, so, since I had promised a child's book as the very next thing, I wrote that last year and they came out rather embarrassingly close together. You were a very good friend to read them both. You always give such nice detailed comments, not like the reviewers, or sometimes even the writer of the blurb on the cover who have visibly not got much farther than Chapter six or so ...
Nina (signed in her hand)

Monday, October 23, 2017

a new book out by Wendell Berry

Just in case you are collecting and reading his books like I am. he has a new book out at the age of 83. Netflix has LOOK AND SEE: A Portrait of Wendell Berry on right now. Robert Redford is one of the executive producers and financial support of this documentary. 
It was different than I thought it would be. Spend an hour watching it if you have Netflix. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Read slowly: The Vision by Wendell Berry

“   ‣ nature   ”

A Vision By Wendell Berry

If we will have the wisdom to survive,
to stand like slow-growing trees
on a ruined place, renewing, enriching it,
if we make our seasons welcome here,
asking not too much of earth or heaven,
then a long time after we are dead
the lives our lives prepare will live
here, their houses strongly placed
upon the valley sides, fields and gardens
rich in the windows. The river will run
clear, as we will never know it,
and over it, birdsong like a canopy.
On the levels of the hills will be
green meadows, stock bells in noon shade.
On the steeps where greed and ignorance
            cut down
the old forest, an old forest will stand,
its rich leaf-fall drifting its roots.
The veins of forgotten springs will have
Families will be singing in their fields.
In the voices they will hear a music
risen out of the ground. They will take
nothing from the ground they will not
whatever the grief at parting. Memory,
native to this valley, will spread over it
like a grove, and memory will grow
into a legend, legend into song, song
into sacrament. The abundance of this
the songs of its people and its birds,
will be health and wisdom and indwelling
light. This is no paradisal dream.
Its hardship is its possibilities.
                                    ─Wendell Berry

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Hello October


 I can't believe I skipped September on this blog. 
I put  my daughter and her roommate on a plane early this morning bound for
school in NYC.( just dropped them off if that is what " put them on a plane" means nowadays)  It's quiet now. Not sure I like this empty nest but it is what it is and I have 
much to be thankful for. I need to remember that big word: thankful.

Updates on life:

- second grand due in Feb. 
- a girl, another granddaughter
- first granddaughter is almost 9 months old
- she is sitting up
- classes I teach are going well
- I am learning alot from teaching these kids who age from 12 - 18.
- I froze broccoli and green beans this morning 
-love my new pastor: Kevin DeYoung
- from him is this : I am not the Christ
- he makes me laugh
- Our God loves laughter
- Reading Jan Karon's new book and Saint Francis by Elizabeth Goudge
- also lots with my students: The Faerie Queene by Spencer, Plutarch, Macbeth, and Beowulf
- what else? wonderful pumpkin tarts at Amelies! ( local french bakery and cafe)

Wednesday, August 30, 2017


The word "new" is a good one. New mercies every morning. 
Add an "S" and you have news:

Here's the news:

-The Little Bookroom Lending Library is opening next week for membership
- Several homeschool moms are coming.
- I teach two classes next week , actually, three. School begins. New Year.

- Another Grand is on the way and she is a girl! Due in late Feb. to #3 son and his wife! 

                                                         by Carl Larsson

Thursday, August 10, 2017


"Restlessness, from being a good servant, might become a hard master; indeed he sometimes does become so....the Daemon of Restlessness possesses [people], and they cannot settle to any kind of work or play because they always want to be doing something else. This is a very unfortunate state to get into, because it is only by going on doing one thing steadily that we learn to do it well, whether it be cricket or algebra; so it is well to be on the watch for the moment when Restlessness, the good servant, turns into Restlessness, the unquiet Daemon who drives us about from post to pillar, and will not give us firm standing ground anywhere in life." (Ourselves, p. 19 by Charlotte Mason)

Is school starting soon where you live? 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Haven't been here for ...

about a month!

Here's a quote to muse on and if you have read the book, I would like 
to hear your thoughts:

"The miraculous survival of goodness was the theme of her life."

    - Humboldt's Gift

It could be this line is just something I saw and want to know more. 
Getting the book from the library to see. 

Onward: 39 years to celebrate with my college sweetheart who I actually 
knew from afar in high school. He had a crush on me!

fron The Murmuring Cottage
Curlew Country

Saturday, June 10, 2017


Right here:

Thursday, June 8, 2017

I really am around

Getting ready to give two workshops in Kentucky at the Charlotte Mason Institute Conference... boy, is that a mouthful. One on writing poetry and the other on 
moving from here to there: middle school to high school. I leave next week and have
 a new friend going with me : a young mom. Dick Keyes of L'Abri is the speaker. I have 
heard him many times at L'Abri conferences. He even has been to a dinner at my house 
many years ago when he came to Charlotte and we had L'Abri talks at a local venue. 
He was down to Gordan Comwell Seminary and we snatched him up to talk one evening. He will be talking on the Imagination. Would appreciate prayers. 

Monday, May 29, 2017

on my mind

In a house which becomes a home, 
one hands down and another takes up 
the heritage of mind and heart, 
laughter and tears, musings and deeds. 
Love, like a carefully loaded ship, 
crosses the gulf between the generations. 
Therefore, we do not neglect the ceremonies 
of our passage: when we wed, when we die, 
and when we are blessed with a child; 
When we depart and when we return; 
When we plant and when we harvest. 
Let us bring up our children. It is not 
the place of some official to hand to them 
their heritage. 
If others impart to our children our knowledge 
and ideals, they will lose all of us that is 
wordless and full of wonder. 
Let us build memories in our children, 
lest they drag out joyless lives, 
lest they allow treasures to be lost because 
they have not been given the keys. 
We live, not by things, but by the meanings 
of things. It is needful to transmit the passwords 
from generation to generation.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Friday, May 12, 2017

Refresh our sensibilites

“O Lord, refresh our sensibilities. 
Give us this day our daily taste. 
Restore to us soups that spoons will not sink in, and sauces which are never the same twice.
 Raise up among us stews with more gravy than we have bread to blot it with, and casseroles that put starch and substance in our limp modernity. 
Take away our fear of fat and make us glad of the oil which ran upon Aaron's beard. Give us pasta with a hundred fillings, and rice in a thousand variations.
Above all, give us grace to live as true men - to fast till we come to a refreshed sense of what we have and then to dine gratefully on all that comes to hand.
the  Drive far from us, O Most Bountiful, all creatures of air and darkness; cast out the demons that possess us; deliver us from the fear of calories and the bondage of nutrition; and set us free once more in our own land, where we shall serve Thee as Thou hast blessed us - with the dew of heaven, the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine. Amen.” 

― Robert Farrar CaponThe Supper of the Lamb: A Culinary Reflection

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Summer time in May

Another school year just about done.  I have had three students in different classes comment on how the Charlotte Mason feast and atmosphere really affected them. They loved learning! They noticed from the education experience they had the previous year. 
One is a Senior and the other two are 11 and 12. 

Tomorrow my students give the Great Speeches of the 20th Century: dramatic presentations of speeches which turned and tuned history. They had to edit the speeches down to 10 minutes. We have Teddy Roosevelt's speech he gave in 1912 when he was shot and finished the speech to George Bush on Sept. 20, 2011. Daughter home from college but has three final papers due in the next days but she is home. Home cooking and writing a paper for Ethics is first on the list. She's playing 
some songs from Lala Land right now. Her roommate from Malaysia is here too. Great 
sisters .... then both are off to Paris for a summer program. Janet is a brave soul. She hasn't been home since August. Her father is a Chinese pastor who runs a school in Malaysia. 
Sweet spirit and brings laughter... her famous saying is " God will show the way. " I have
repeated that phrase many times to myself and as a prayer. 

More on the books, etc... for this course they are taking. I am doing some of the reading too.

Love  Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone dancing: 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Monday, April 3, 2017


As the world slowly turns all shades of green, look at 
Raising Little Shots: blog from the UK but has good US resources too.

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like mud.

Margaret Atwood

March Phenology Wheels


Sunday, March 26, 2017

back in the saddle

Spring Break sometimes is around Easter but colleges and schools take it earlier
and not at the same time. Just back from my Spring Break which I took in NYC 
to see my daughter and relatives and sights. It always leaves me thinking upon 
my childhood on Long Island. We visited Sagamore Hill , home of Teddy Roosevelt,
which is near the village I grew up in. Memories flood my heart and soul. 

We moved South in 1968. 

The Bronte Sisters is on... 
be back later. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Did you know?

 Did you know this book is the basis for the Broadway musical CATS?

 I am teaching T.S. Eliot to middle schoolers and high schoolers right now. 

The names and words tickle the tongue in the poems and are the lyrics for the musical!
 I am  so tickled by this knowledge!

If you ever find this cover, you have found a treasure:

Jellicle  Cats


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

dear women to me

                                    Very old photo of my oldest brother, my mom, my sister,
                                                    and my youngest brother                                                                               

My daughter in high school and she is now in college

Here she is about a month ago.

two daughter-in-laws and daughter 

first daughter-in-law with my oldest son

Before these two got married ... here they are outside Notre-Dame in Paris
newest daughter-in-law with my youngest son 

and the newest girl in the family!
Wish my mom was here to see her.

Thursday, March 2, 2017


It is wonderful to be in Lent, isn't it. 

Heading to this  on Saturday with the ladies from this.

These delectable ladies are staying at my house tomorrow night. 
( yea...)

"Perhaps this is one of the secrets of life--to know 'glory' when we see it." 
--Charlotte Mason

( from The Murmuring Cottage)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

working , working

- on teaching classes
- on reading for those classes
- grading for the classes 
- delightful work from my students 
- catching up on letter writing
- cleaning out  and remembering the word JOY
- thinking, it takes work
- time, working on what gets done first
- so thankful for technology in so many ways
- prayers 
- seeing Spring burst forth

Saturday, February 11, 2017

It snowed in NYC

   Emma and her roommates last Thursday. And this little peanut is almost 2 weeks old:

Sunday, January 29, 2017

ready for book club

I finished The Boys in the Boat today. I copied  many parts into my journal; now the book goes back to the library. I have the audio too. Ed Hermann who played Richard Gilmore in The Gilmore Girls reads it. I am only listening to parts just to hear him read. i loved how he loved his granddaughter Rory.  I loved the beginning of this audio book and the Prologue. 
You can listen : 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


I am back to teaching and reading and excited a granddaughter will be here in a month if she arrives on time. Maybe she will want to see the world and come early?  I  thought that with my first being born on Christmas Eve. He was due in January and came early.  He didn't want to miss Christmas! Maybe she will come Valentine's Day?! We shall see. Here are a few books I am reading:

for Book Club

Going to be teaching Frankenstein in Feb. so reading  this wonderful biography by a favorite author, an author we collect:   

I recently finished Walter Wangerin's new book on writing:

Teaching Langston Hughes to middle school age kids and it is my first time reading his work. 

They are memorizing the title poem:

Bring me all of your dreams,
You dreamer,
Bring me all your
Heart melodies
That I may wrap them
In a blue cloud-cloth
Away from the too-rough fingers
Of the world.