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Showing posts from March, 2011

Sit Down

Allow me a teeny rant, please. It used to be that a standing ovation was given only at truly great and wondrous performances. A regular concert-goer should expect to give possibly ten in his whole life. I myself have only twice been so awed by a musical performance that I felt compelled to stand, and they were both when I was in college. How is that I can't recall a single performance of the past decade that has not resulted in the audience leaping to its collective feet? High school musicals, preschool Christmas pageants, the Vienna Boys Choir, Aunty Tilly playing "The Old Rugged Cross" on her musical saw at the church talent night~~they ALL receive standing ovations. It is now a meaningless gesture. Stop and think about this for a moment: If we honor Aunt Tilly and the VBC equally with a standing ovation, what is left when we as an audience really do sense that we've just witnessed something extraordinary and want to express our awe and appreciation? Or can …

2011 Reading Challenge~~Book #13

I first read~no, devoured~Keeping House: The Litany of Everyday Life by Margaret Kim Peterson two years ago and have been eager for a re-read ever since. Each of the one hundred sixty-five pages is a gem! Peterson delves into the theology of housekeeping and shows us why it matters, even in its repetition and ordinariness. In fact, it is because of those things that it matters in the first place. We are embodied creatures. On the sixth day of creation God made Adam in all his physicality and declared him "very good," and it is precisely because of our creatureliness that things like beds and lunches and clean underwear matter. We live in this world through the medium of our bodies, and our bodies demand certain things. Because we are not only bodies, these things nurture our souls as well, our whole being. Keeping House is a book about the why's of housekeeping. Our modern age has done us a great disservice by teaching us that housekeeping is mindless drudgery …

Family Culture II

Let's continue with quotations from books and movies that my family often uses in conversation. The list continues to grow, although at a slower pace, as we think of more so that we are now on page 7! You might think that we never say anything to each other that is not a reference to something else, but we do, we do.

Try to guess which book or movie these are from:

I recall it with perfect clarity.

This here's science. (pronounced "scance")

A good driver doesn't need brakes.

Taters, precious, what’s taters?

There are so many responsibilities on a person's mind when she's keeping house.

Les incompetents

When I drink whiskey, I drink whiskey, and when I drink water, I drink water.

Keep your knees opened and closed.

We'll all be ruined!

It's a particular morning thing. It has to be done in the morning.

Clang! Look it up!

I’m going inside. All this fresh air’s getting in my lungs.

What a lot of correspondence you have, my dear.

We could have been killed, or w…

2011 Reading Challenge~~Book #12

I am addicted to taking Communion. I need it for the health of my soul. For years I have had the great blessing of attending churches where weekly communion was the norm. As a Calvinist, the Lord's Supper was important to me as a visible reminder of what Christ has done for me by taking my sins upon Himself. My faith in His redemption of me was strengthened each week. As a Lutheran, those benefits are still mine, but now I also understand that Christ's body and blood are physically present in the bread and wine. Communion is a vehicle by which God imparts His forgiving grace to me. Cavinist or Lutheran, why would I not want the blessing of participating in this feast each Lord's Day? Alack and alas, the two churches where Man of the House is serving as interim pastor offer the Lord's Supper only twice a month. I sorely miss it the weeks when it's not offered, but the bright side is that on Communion Sundays, I get to take it twice!

The Blessings of Weekly Co…

On My Mind~~Cute and Fuzzy Edition

For some reason I don't fully understand~~it's probably because we are softies when it comes to cats~~Man of the House, Girl of the House, and I have been trying to domesticate a stray cat. Feral cat would probably be a better term. This kitty was born in our neighbor's yard and often wanders over here to see what she can see. She likes to sit in our front window and watch us, and she will even let us pet her through the open window. Of course, we have to feed her! But she won't come in or let us get too close when we are on the same side of the window as she is. Man of the House has dubbed her Nausicaa after the princess in Homer's Odyssey who meets Odysseus when he's washed on shore after a shipwreck and he's lost all his clothes. Nausicaa (pronounced with four syllables!) has just become of marriageable age. So has this cat, so to speak. What we will do with her if she really does adopt us I do not know, but we can't resist getting to know he…

2011 Reading Challenge~Book #11

Events conspired against me getting my planned book, The Blessings of Weekly Communion by Ken Wieting, finished this week. I had volunteered to be a test administrator for our local homeschool support group's standardized testing this week. That in itself would not have hindered me from completing my book, but Girl of the House caught that nasty stomach-bug-followed-by-upper-respiratory-gunk that seems to be going around these parts. She has been sick all week. Man of the House wasn't 100% either. All those convergences greatly reduced my reading time, alas. So I will keep plugging away and give a full report next week.

All was not a total loss, however. I listened to another P.G. Wodehouse book, How Right You Are, Jeeves, which was a bright spot in a rather dreary week. (Did I mention the rain and dark clouds which descended early on and stayed for almost the entire week? No? No doubt you have heard about the rain and flooding on the east coast. Thankfully, no floodin…

Family Culture

Every family has its own culture. That culture is based on shared experiences such as dinnertime rituals, vacations, holiday traditions, and sometimes trials and tribulations. Those experiences give families their own language and inside jokes and references. Just as many families have done, our family language has borrowed extensively from books and movies. Last week I began making a list of the lines we've borrowed and that are now an everyday part of our family culture. The list is six pages long and I'm still adding to it as we think of new ones! I thought it would be fun to share some of those from time to time. I'll give some below, and you try to guess the source. Some are more obvious than others, and I don't guarantee that I have the quotes exactly correct, but they should be recognizable. Feel free to leave your guesses in the comments. The prize is the knowledge of a job well done. :-)

Here we go:

The proprieties must be observed at all times.

There’s more to h…

2011 Reading Challenge~~Book #10

Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved pioneer stories. I read my copies of the Little House series until they were falling apart. I still have them. When my girls were little, we read Little House and many other pioneer stories, including the Kirsten series from American Girl and Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink. When Girl 2 came home from a library sale with Journey Cake by Isabel McLennan McMeekin I was intrigued. When several years later I still hadn't read it, I thought it would be a good candidate for this reading challenge, and I wasn't disappointed. Journey Cake was 226 pages of pure delight!

The story revolves around the five children of the Shadrow family whose mother has recently died (alas) and whose father has gone ahead to the Kentucky wilderness to begin a new life for his family. When summer arrives, the children are to travel from their old home in North Carolina to meet their father in Kentucky, accompanied by their freed slave woman and her…

Three Guesses What This Is

As I've mentioned before, last summer Man of the House was accepted as a minister in The American Association of Lutheran Churches. Though he has served in campus ministry and as an elder in a Reformed baptist-type church, this is his first time in a liturgical tradition (which we are loving, by the way). So I have to get used to seeing odd things about the house, such as this:

Know what it is? A jar of palm ashes for use on Ash Wednesday. Man of the House needs to experiment with the proportion of oil to ashes before then. The joys of being a novice . . .