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Showing posts from July, 2011

2011 Reading Challenge~~Update

Man of the House and I are reading Oedipus the King together. It's his very favorite book of all time, so I'm hoping to benefit from his knowledge and enthusiasm. But we didn't get very far this week, so I'll just keep it posted as the current book until we do finish along with the book I'm reading by myself. Hopefully next week I'll have two books to write about. :-)

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} ~ July 28, 2011


Remember when I showed you the living room newly put together and said I needed to do something more for a centerpiece on the dining table? This is what I did:

I already had these three little vases (there is a fourth one, but it hasn't emerged from the box it was packed in yet). I bought the flowers at Jo-Ann Fabrics on clearance. I think they were 75 cents. I got the candlesticks in a shop in a nearby town that specializes in gift-y type things but had some antiques too. They were $6 for the pair. I know brass isn't "in" right now, but I like brass and thought they would look good with the yellow walls. I was right! The candles came from my mother-in-law. She gave me a big box of them when we were helping clear out their house before a move. I like the twistiness! I'd still like to get or make a table runner, but this is much better than the cakestand alone, don't you think?


I bought this today! Isn't it great? I've wanted …

My Family

I was tagged for this by Girl of the House. Bear with me. ;-)

I'm supposed to give what I think are correct answers for each family member for the following categories:


Favourite book: Oedipus the King by Sophocles
Favourite song: "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off"
Favourite hobby: Brewing, reading
Favourite movie: The Godfather Trilogy
Favourite colour: Black
Favourite animal: Cat, turtle
Favourite pet name: Capn Salty


Favourite book: To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
Favourite song: "Defying Gravity" or that "loathing" song from Wicked
Favourite hobby: Writing, reading, quilting, making graphics
Favourite movie: Harry Potter series
Favourite colour: Blue
Favourite animal: Cats and dogs
Favourite pet name: Boo-boo


Favourite book: Harry Potter series
Favourite song: Something by Nightwish
Favourite hobby: Reading, cooking
Favourite movie: Pan's Labyrinth
Favourite colour: Green
Favourite animal: Cats

2011 Reading Challenge~~Books #28 and #29

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn is not the kind of book I normally read voluntarily. I don't like delving into the intense suffering of others. The world can be very, very bleak ~ why should I read about it when I don't have to? Don't I get enough of that in that daily news? But wow! Am I glad I read this book. Solzhenitsyn is a master storyteller.

The book really does depict just a single day in the life of Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. It's a slice of life but not of a life any of us would want for ourselves. Through Shukhov's eyes we are given a view of a Soviet forced labor camp in the last days of Stalin's rule in 1953. We see how the prisoners contrive to survive cruel Siberian winters, overwork, and underfeeding. They develop their own micro-society, including a class/power hierarchy and an economy based on personal property. Nevermind that two main tenets of socialism abolish those societal structures.

Solzhenitsyn wr…

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real ~ July 21, 2011


Rainbows were a semi-regular occurance in our old house. There was something about the angle of the light in the evening and the situation of the front porch that made seeing rainbows not uncommon. I've seen more rainbows from our front porch in fifteen years than I've seen in the rest of my life combined. This one is a double!


Sheets on the line make me happy. The fragance of sheets fresh from the line makes me happier still.


The "funny" category is hardest for me each week because we don't have cute little kids doing amusing things anymore. However, we do have an amusing cat who likes to sleep in the weirdest positions. Being black, he's hard to photograph, though!


The thermometer at our kitchen window. The heat has been record-breaking this week.

Man of the House, Girl of the House, and I manned the Lutherans for Life booth at the county fair for three hours today ~ three hot, sticky hours. But we survived and helped to keep …

From My Commonplace Book

"People forgot that the human soul can enjoy a thing most when there is time to think about it and be thankful for it."~~G.K. Chesterton

"There is a good deal to be said for excluding literature from school curricula altogether. I am not sure that the best way to make a boy love the English poets might not be to forbid him to read them and then make sure that he had plenty of opportunities to disobey you."~~C.S. Lewis

"The ordinary arts we practice everyday at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest."~~Thomas More

"To live within a just order is to live within a pattern that has beauty. The individual finds purpose within an order, and security-whether it is the order of the soul or the order of the community. Without order, indeed the life of man is poor, nasty, brutish, and short."~~Russell Kirk

"Gargantuanism and the care of souls cannot coexist."~~Thomas Chalmers

"I am always hopeful that the…

2011 Reading Challenge~~Book #27

Sixpence in Her Shoe by Phyllis McGinley is a book after my own heart. I loved it! In it, McGinley sings the praises of domesticity, and though I didn't agree with her in every little point, I did agree heartily with the major thrust of the book ~ that caring for home and family is an endeavor worthy of our best efforts and expenditures in time, intelligence, and creativity.

McGinley divides the book into three main spheres of a woman's domestic life: the wife, the house, and the family. In chapters with such titles as "How Not to Kill Your Husband," "What Cookbooks Don't Tell You," and "Keeping Up with the Joneses, Jr.," she covers everything from how to be a good car passenger, how to buy good furniture on the cheap, and what to look for in children's literature, plus much, much more. What most intrigued me about Sixpence in Her Shoe was the time it was written: 1960, just a few years before The Feminine Mystique was published but …

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real ~ July 14, 2011


Before we arrived at the parsonage, an anonymous person or persons (may he/they live forever) spruced up the yard and tidied up the landscaping, including hanging these beautiful flowers. It was a thoughtful gesture that made me feel welcome. I love the colors!


O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! There are two bathrooms in this house, a blessing we have not had in all our (nearly) twenty-four years of marriage. But alas, one of the bathrooms has no storage except a medicine cabinet~not an under-sink cabinet, not a closet, nothing. So I had the idea to use this terrific, vintage, metal cabinet a friend gave me a number of years ago. In our old house, it was hidden away and used for food storage, but in this house it would sit out in the open, so it needed a facelift. So two cans of primer and six (!) cans of spray paint later, it looks like this (sorry, I can't get far enough away from it to get a really good picture):

The walls were already light blue, so I dec…

2011 Reading Challenge~~Book #26

Besides being a pastor, Man of the House is also a classicist. That means that whenever one of our girls is learning about ancient history and literature at the high school level, he teaches it since he is the expert. It's very convenient to be married to my very own classicist, but there's one drawback: I never had the necessity to read that literature myself. Except for reading Homer's Odyssey in high school, that area of literature is unknown to me. Agamemnon by Aeschylus was my first attempt to remedy that situation. Man of the House tells me that that is not where he would have had me start, but he gamely read it aloud with me anyway, divvying up the parts between us. I now agree with his assessment. I probably have should started with something a wee bit more interesting, like Sophocles' Oedipus the King (his suggestion). I had expected a little more action and less obfuscating talking. Man of the House tells me it picks up somewhat in the second and thi…

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real ~ July 8, 2011

I hope the good ladies at Like Mother, Like Daughter, who host this feature, won't mind that I'm a day late joining in the fun. I just ran out of time yesterday to post.

{Pretty} and {Happy}

Except for a few finishing touches, the living room in our new house is complete! Man of the House and I hung the curtains yesterday, so now I'm ready to show you some pictures. Tell me what you think!

I want to get a wall decal to go over the piano. There are so many neat ones I'm having difficulty choosing! Also, the big wall in the dining area is still blank because I have to paint a shelf before it or anything else can be hung. We are also going to keep our eyes open for a china cabinet. In our old house, you may remember, there were built-ins in which I displayed my china. Most of it is still packed away until we have a place for it. The china cabinet will go where Girl of House's hope chest is, and the hope chest will go . . . who knows? We'll have to figure th…

2011 Reading Challenge~~Book #25

At times intriguing and at times a little tedious, The Most Reluctant Convert: C.S. Lewis's Journey to Faith by David C. Downing traces the great 20th century Christian apologist's spiritual journey from Christianity to a variety of philosophies back again to Christianity. (If it were Tolkien instead of Lewis, There and Back Again would be a good subtitle. lol) The author has obviously done his homework and is very well-versed in all things Lewis. Downing relies heavily on Surprised by Joy, Lewis's memoirs written in his 50's, but he also draws on Lewis's other writings, other authors' writings about Lewis, and also on books that Lewis read and which influenced his thinking and spiritual development (which is where the tedium comes in from time to time *wink*).

The writing is solid and the research is deep and wide. Downing helps the reader to understand Lewis's thought processes and how he ended up exactly where he started ~ at Christianity, though a m…