* I am reading Jan Karon's At Home in Mitford again because I saw an extra paperback copy on my mother's bookshelf and thought I'd borrow it since I gave mine away to someone who was supposed to be on bedrest for a difficult pregnancy. I doubt the person read it, but now I get to enjoy the hunt of getting another copy or two. I have most of the collection in hardcover, but paperbacks are comfier to hold, even if they are not as beautiful as their more rigid counterparts. Oh I how love her writing style. Even though I know the story, I get caught up in it anyway.
* I am also reading Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child by Anthony Esolen and have asked two close friends to buy it and read it with me so we can talk about it together however we can. I have good friends like that who will buy books because I ask them to, although admittedly I'm not as likely to return the favor.* I am also in the middle of some other sets of older books by Michael Phillips and Judith Pella, collectively called The Stonewycke Trilogies that I also took from my mother's bookshelves. Really I shouldn't be left alone with other people's books. I have read them all at least twice since I am a teenager, but do you think I can remember the storyline? There are six books total, which form two trilogies but follow the same family tree. I finished the first set and then Mitford beckoned and the rest of the set awaits. If all I read was fiction, my reading lists would sound a bit more impressive, but throw in all the non-fiction I read and it feels like I barely make progress on my shelves.
* Speaking of non-fiction, I am in the middle of Sheldon Vanauken's Under the Mercy, Michael O'Brien's A Landscape With Dragons, Tracy Lee Simons, Climbing Parnassus, and ah, yes, several others too numerous to mention. And the library notifications keep coming in for books I've requested. Many of those I just peruse though to see what they are like. Some immediately go on my wish list, others go immediately back to the library.
* My kids have been sick this week, so all my lesson plans went downhill after Monday in which I had satisfactorily checked every item off only to wake up Tuesday to find out that some stomach bug germs had invaded our home. On the positive side, most of my lesson plans for next week are done, so I don't have to spend as much time this weekend on them. Of course, Shane and I are waiting to see if we succumb to some version of the sickness, so perhaps I will need to come up with another positive side Monday morning.
* Over the Christmas break, Shane and I went away for two nights at the same Inn we spent our honeymoon more than a decade ago. By the second day, I was getting used to not having some aspect of childcare or housework to do, and by the morning we were to return to the kids, I wondered what on earth I would do with my time if we did not have children or if we did not homeschool them. What a different life we would have, indeed. All of the photos are from the grounds of the Inn.
* After drinking more coffee in the last few months than I have drank my whole life, I'm back to tea, three times a day, two cups of regular Lipton and usually one of my Stash teas after dinner. I'm not counting the cup of coffee I hurriedly drank this past Sunday at church in my classroom before the rest of my Sunday School students showed up. Kate and Laura were already there of course with me and it seemed like coffee in a styrofoam cup was the most expedient way to help me remember why I signed up to do this year after year after year. It's fun for sure, that particular cup of coffee just helped me get through the fun. Heh. Turning back to the tea discussion, my most recent Stash variety is the Black Forest which has a hint of cherry and strangely enough, a woodsy scent. Who knew that the tea name really was that literal.
* A seed catalog from Terra Edibles arrived in the mail last week and I've already started my order list. I know its only January, but thinking and planning helps keep the winter blues at bay.
*The first day the kids were sick, it was just Seth, so while he rested and the girls played, I went on a baking spree with cookies and homemade bread. The cookies were Snickerdoodles and by the time I went to bed, I had eaten so many I really did lose count. But after the first batch which I let in the oven a minute too long which made them slightly more dry than I like, I carefully monitored the rest of the trays and practically tasted one off each tray and then a few more after dinner with my dessert tea. The rest went in the freezer and promptly came out one bag at a time, one day at time. I just took the last bag out this morning to thaw. I put them in small bags, but really they are just too good to last much longer. I keep thinking I should get another batch going since the butter is already softened, but now I'm afraid to. Even Shane, after wrinkling his nose over the unfamiliar name of the cookie, handed the bag back to me after eating several, cautioning me that he might eat the rest of the bag if he held on to them much longer. When I reclaimed the bag to help preserve his waistline, the now very light bag only had two lonely cookies staring up at me. And the cookies were small, how much damage can they do I argue calmly with myself. That's the way home baking is, the stuff tastes so good, it scares you. Don't ask me how many banana chocolate chip muffins I eat the day I make them. Usually two and then I remind myself they will still be there in the morning. That's not scary at all, that's worth getting out of bed for, right after the children of course.