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Showing posts from February, 2011

2011 Reading Challenge~~Books #8 and #9

With the aid of my trusty CD player (yes, I still use old, antiquated gadgets), I listened to Wendell Berry's A World Lost, another in his Port William series. I was rapturous about Hannah Coulter a couple months back, remember? Berry did not disappoint me in this book either. He writes with a beautiful simplicity and clarity about people I wish I knew. A World Lost is about a murder, but it's not a murder mystery; indeed, we know almost from the beginning who the murderer was. The story focuses on the nephew of the murdered man and his discovery over the years of what really happened to his beloved Uncle Andrew. Berry reveals few details about the incident; instead he shows the reader the imperfect but likable character of Uncle Andrew. If you're new to Berry, don't start with this book. Hannah Coulter is a better starting place. But you could read it second like I did. :-)

The Penderwicks is a children's book I've wanted to read since Girl of the House …

Two Great Men

Two great men were born on this day: George Washington and Man of the House. One of them is famous and has had many books written about him. The other is obscure, ordinary, and unimportant in the eyes of the world but is so very significant, extraordinary and important to his family.

To My Husband~

I have watched you over the years forego many of your own desires in order to grant the desires of your wife and daughters. You have gone without and sacrificed many things for us. You have worked harder, longer, and more tirelessly than anyone should have to to provide so abundantly for us. Thank you.

You have kept your family at the center of your life (with Christ as the center of that center) and blessed us with your time, attention, and commitment. You have never let hobbies or work come before us, and I've never once doubted your love and faithfulness toward us. Thank you.

You have consistently and faithfully acted as the "house pastor" of our family. You've led …

2011 Reading Challenge~~Book #7

Finally! I finished Jane Eyre! I didn't love it, but I liked it, liked it quite a bit, in fact. I liked the plot twists and surprises (though I wasn't surprised as I have seen a couple film versions). I liked Jane and Mr. Rochester, and I thought the author drew her characters fully and richly. I didn't always relish the amount of detail Bronte showers on the reader, though. At times it was tedious and I found myself impatient with it. It wasn't just the wordiness. I am used to nineteenth century English literature and the flow of many words in novels of that era. I thought she flooded us at times with details we didn't need to know and that didn't add to the story. And some conversations seemed nearly endless! How many times and in how many ways can Jane say no to St. John? Bronte explored them all. Nevertheless, I am glad I have finally read Jane Eyre, a book long in my mental TBR pile.

What I found most intriguing was Bronte's use of some wor…

Interesting Links

Here are some bits and pieces from around the web~~

Around here, winter is weakening, and, wow, what a winter it has been! Just in case you aren't tired of snow, here are some neato winter pictures.

On a related note, here's an article that explains that the climate is not getting more extreme.

An oldie but goodie from Mark Steyn

Since my husband is a Latin teacher, I'm always on the lookout for articles extoling the virtues of the language.

Studying Latin and/or (preferably "and") studying the grammar~the nuts and bolts~of your own language will help you to avoid making this kind of error.

When you look at the origins of the cosmos this way, materialism makes little sense.

Archeologists in Israel have found the remains of a 1,500-year-old church. Amazing!

Eye candy: the world's most beautiful libraries

Ear candy: Tolkien Recites the Ring Verse

2011 Reading Challenge~~Book #6

Jane Eyre is not going as fast as I had hoped, so when I began to see that I was not going to get it finished this week, I began listening to an audio version of Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto. I spied it at the library, had heard of it, and thought it looked interesting. Unfortunately I didn't much like it.

Pollan makes some good, commonsensical points about what we should eat: fresher is better than foods that have sat around awhile, whole foods are better than processed foods, don't believe everything the nutrition and medical community tells you, for a few examples. The problem is, I already knew all this. His advice has been around for a long time; still it's good and helpful advice if you've never heard it before. On the other hand Pollan's suggestion that each nutrient has a context~that is, nutrients should be ingested as food, not as supplements, because the relationships among the nutrients in each food are symbiot…

On My Mind~~Waiting for Spring Edition

Who isn't waiting for spring (among us North Americans, that is!)? I bought these flowers a week ago as a winter pick-me-up. February is the hardest month for me because, though I enjoy many aspects of winter, by this time I'm tired of it and longing for flowers, green grass, and warmer temperatures, especially after the particularly frigid and snowy winter we are having. Next week promises to deliver a few days in the 50's. Now that is surely a sign that winter is loosening its grip! Hurray!

Thanks to Rhonda at the delightful Down to Earth blog for hosting this Friday feature! (Hey, it's Friday in Australia!)

Girl of the House Turns 14

A pile of presents~

Plus a birthday pie made by Girl of the House herself~

Plus a gaggle of girls. Two specimens~

Plus warm birthday wishes~

Equals a very happy birthday!

2011 Reading Challenge~Book #5

I knew this week would be a busy one with Girl of the House's 14th birthday at the end of it, so I opted for listening to an audiobook and beginning another ink-and-paper book to get a jump on next week. The book I listened to was The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse (Blackstone Audiobooks); the one I began reading was Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

I first heard of P.G. Wodehouse back in the '90's, and then several years ago some friends lent us a season of the BBC's Jeeves and Wooster television series. Watching the young Hugh Laurie (whom I first encountered as Mr. Palmer in Emma Thompson's Sense and Sensibility) and Stephen Fry was hilarious! Since then I've listened to enjoyable dramatized versions of several books, similar to old-time radio programs, but I wanted to experience Jeeves and Wooster unedited and unabridged. The library had The Code of the Woosters, so off I went on a rollicking ride.

Bertie Wooster is a young, happy-go-lucky English g…

Happy 400th Anniversary, KJV!

2011 marks the 400th anniversary of what is probably the greatest literary achievement of the English language: the completion of the Authorized Version of the Bible, a.k.a. the King James Version. Many people dislike the good ol' KJV, citing the archaic language, but listen to Leland Ryken, English professor at Wheaton College, and Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, extol its virtues and you may change your mind.

After quite a few years ignoring it and quite a few years before that actively (and foolishly) talking people out of reading it, my appreciation for the KJV has grown considerably the last few years. Just quickly off the top of my head, here are a few reasons to read the KJV:

1. It's a faithful translation of the Scriptures.

2. The language is beautiful and memorable.

3. Many allusions in English literature will likely be missed if the reader is not familiar with it.

Can you think of others?

In honor of this anniversary, though m…