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Showing posts from December, 2011

2011 Reading Challenge~~Books #50, #51, and #52

Here we are on the eve of 2012 and I have finished my reading challenge! I will post a wrap-up soon with some statistics and final thoughts. In the meantime, here are the last three (quick) reviews:

I stumbled upon the audio version of The King's Speech: How One Man Saved the British Monarchy by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi at the public library. Mark Logue is the grandson of Lionel Logue, the speech therapist who proved so valuable in helping King George VI (aka Bertie) overcome his life-long speech impediment. Interestingly and atypically, the book came after the movie and fills in a lot of missing details from Bertie's early days as the second son of King George V to the end of his life as the much beloved King George VI. In listening to this book I came to admire both the man who was one of the early pioneers in the field of speech therapy and the man who never wanted nor expected to be king. I like stories of perseverance and hard work and triumph over difficulties a…

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} ~ Dec. 17, 2011

This is the "better late than never" edition of {phfr}!

For the last few years I've been enjoying the simple beauty of evergreen for Christmas decorations. Instead of packing a lot of things away and replacing them with Christmas-themed doodads, I've been just adding a sprig of evergreen here and there. It adds a festive touch without a lot of rearranging. Here is the shelf in the kitchen all decked out with boughs of, well, not holly, but evergreen. Isn't it {pretty}?

When my in-laws were moving to a new house a few years ago, we helped them go through forty-plus years of accumulated stuff. My mother-in-law didn't want this nativity set anymore, so she gave it to me. I don't know how old it is, but it comes from a refugee camp near Jericho in Jordan. I'm {happy} to have it! I put it on top of our microwave in the kitchen. This is the only nativity set we own in which Baby Jesus, who will make his appearance on Christmas Eve, can be removed fro…

2011 Reading Challenge~~Books #48 and #49

The Pace of Hen: Ways to Fulfullment for a Housewife by Josephine Moffett Benton is a book I expected and wanted to love but which I only moderately liked. Her main premise is that a housewife has so many opportunites open to her that there is no reason for her to languish in boredom and unfulfillment. I agree completely with that thesis. The author writes about many ways a woman at home can enliven her experience, and I think that is a message that needs to be shouted from the rooftops. Feminism has convinced many in my generation and those subsequent that there is nothing worthwhile to do at home. Feminism couldn't be more wrong. This book, written in 1962, one year before The Feminine Mystique was published, explains how a wife and mother caring for her family and community makes a vital contribution to the well-being of our society. Young women especially need to be told this. Mrs. Benton was a woman of wide experience and understanding who clearly has not been stifled…

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} ~ December 8, 2011

Since there was no {phfr} on Thanksgiving and I totally missed last week, I have a lot of pictures to share. Let's dive right in!


This counts as {real} too because I wanted these to bloom over Christmas and they've been blooming for a week now. I followed the instructions on the box, but I guess the bulb hadn't read them because the flowers appeared much earlier than they were supposed to. Early or not, aren't they gorgeous? I love they way the perk up this room!


Lots of {happy} this week! Over Thanksgiving we visited Man of the House's parents, and Girl of the House was finally able to give them a present she had intended for last Christmas. Alas, her illness prevented her from finishing it on time, but G'ma and G'pa thought it was worth the wait! Didn't Girl 2 do a great job? We got the idea for the color scheme from a quilt we saw at an antique store. We knew it was just the thing to help keep the grandparents warm in winter.


2011 Reading Challenge~~Book #47

Every Christmas I treat myself to some form of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Sometimes I listen to a recording, sometimes I watch a movie or play, sometimes, like this year, I read the book. Oftentimes I do more than one. It's a compulsion every December for me to fellowship with the Cratchitts, nephew Fred, the ghost of Jacob Marley, and even ol' Ebenezer Scrooge himself. I have nothing original add to the volumes that have already been written about A Christmas Carol, so I won't try. I will, however, recommend a book I read two or three years ago called The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits by Les Standiford. Though it is the story of how Dickens came to write his best-known novel, it is much more. The book is part biography, part literary analysis, and part social history. It was an easy, fun read that filled in the backstory to one of my favorite holiday tales and…