Monday, March 31, 2014

So long, March.

:: Last minute trip to the airplane museum
:: Anticipating spring flavors
:: Birthday cake and a visit from my mom
:: A reflection of life
:: Working hard on speech therapy
:: Fun with play dough birthday cakes
:: Strawberries and chocolate 
:: Spring flower arrangements
:: Gifts from dear friends
:: First signs of new life 
:: Ready for April 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Essays of E.B. White

I came across an older link in Atlantic Monthly to an essay by E.B. White, entitled Death of a Pig. I enjoyed reading it so much, that I checked to see what else he had written and then requested some of his essay collections from our library. Three books came in at once, so I have been digging into them and thoroughly enjoying myself, laughing and grinning my way through each paragraph.

Here are two snippets about Hurricane Edna from an essay called The Eye of Edna written in September of 1954.
It became evident to me after a few fast rounds with the radio that the broadcasters had opened up on Edna awfully far in advance, before she had come out of her corner, and were spending themselves at a reckless rate. During the morning hours, they were having a tough time keeping Edna going at the velocity demanded of emergency broadcasting. I heard one fellow from, I think, Riverhead, Long Island interviewing his out-of-doors man, who had been sent abroad in a car to look over conditions on the eastern end of the island. "How would you say the roads were?" asked the tense voice.
"They were wet," replied the reporter, who seemed to be in a sulk.
"Would you say the spray from the puddles was dashing up around the mudguards?" inquired the desperate radioman.
"Yeah," replied the reporter.
It was one of those confused moments, emotionally, when the listener could not be quite sure what position radio was taking--for hurricanes or against them.
A few minutes later, I heard another baffling snatch of dialogue on the air, from another sector--I think it was Martha's Vineyard.
"Is it raining hard there?" asked an eager voice.
"Yes, it is."
"Fine!" exclaimed the first voice, well pleased at having got a correct response.
Not only were the movements of the storm hard to follow but the voices were beginning to show the punchy conditions of the poor, overworked fellows who had been blowing into their microphones at seventy miles per hour for so many hours. "Everything," cried one fellow, "is pretty well battered down in Westerly." I presume he meant "battened down," but there was no real way of knowing.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

forming souls

"Thus when we teach our youngest children by means of rhymes and songs, we do not so merely because rhymes and songs are effective mnemonic devices. We do so because we wish to form their souls by memory: we wish to bring them up as rememberers, as persons, born, as Caldecott points out, in certain localities, among certain people, who bear a certain history, and who claim our love and loyalty." ~ Anthony Esolen, writing in the Foreward to Beauty in the Word by Stratford Caldecott.

Cindy announced a book study through Beauty in the Word, starting last week and for once, thanks to Amazon Canada(, I could get the book at a great price and in time to participate. (And with thanks to my in-laws for birthday money they sent, I did not have to justify buying myself more books. They were basically a gift. Yep.)
Stratford Caldecott's books have been on my wish list for a couple of years now, so this seemed like a great time to dig in, with Cindy at the helm.
I chose this quote from the Foreward because as I read it last night, I was glad to hear someone else say what others around me are saying too. I want to our children to know their people's history and culture and to know that they belong to a certain group of people. We are part of Western civilization and it has many aspects worth conserving and remembering.
Recently I watched Wesley Callihan give a tour of his personal library, shelf by shelf. (I posted a link to it on March 22 on my new Facebook page, more details down below.)
His library is organized chronologically from ancient/ classical up through the early church writers, through the Middle Ages and on into the Reformation and Modern era. They are books that tell the story of Western/Christian civilization. It is a past worth remembering.

On another note, I wanted to announce that back at the end of Feburary, I created a Facebook page to be a companion to both this blog and my Tumblr blog, Whatever is Lovely.  Over the years since Facebook came into existence, I have pondered whether to create a page for Prone to Wander on Facebook.  But wanting to keep some order and control over the content-management prevented me from doing so. Two years ago, not very happy with Pinterest, but liking the visual array it presented, I started a Tumblr blog to create a place where I could post pleasant photos and images. Along the way, I have somehow collected a couple hundred followers who can see what I post on Whatever is Lovely. But I really only post with me in mind. And you, if you enjoy beautiful images and photos.
So I finally happened to consider that perhaps if I started a Facebook page as a companion to my Tumblr blog, it could also serve as a way of sharing items similar to what you would find on here and still make me happy with social media managing the content.
So to summarize, my announcement is that I have created a Facebook page called Whatever is Lovely and you are invited to go check it out and like it. And I think that the link should work even if you don't have a Facebook account. I have tested it, but please let me know if it works for you. That is all.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

food for the Kingdom

Many years ago now, I read Noel Piper's Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God and this excerpt from her chapter on Esther Ahn Kim has remained lodged in my mind ever since.

"She made a habit of buying complete lots of poor produce from the poorest vendors, at full price. Then she culled through and gave what was edible to her mother and sister. She ate what was left. She was preparing for the rotten beans and millet she expected in prison." p. 118

I think about this all the time, without even meaning to, just wondering what it would be like to think of food this way. How would it change me as I grow, shop, cook and organize the food in our family's life?

I do recommend Noel Piper's book, and also Esther Ahn Kim's autobiography called If I Perish.

Monday, March 10, 2014

January/February Book List

I had a bit of an incident with this original draft over the weekend in which I unintentionally deleted the whole post replete with photos, excerpts and comments of the books I was listing.
In order to get on with life, I'm posting just a list of the books read in January and February. If I am able to, I will rewrite a new version of the book post and get that up whenever. I know I don't have to, but part of me is a major stickler for consistency. But at least for now, this is my list of books read since the beginning of this year.

Favorite Picture Books

Winter Eyes by Douglas Florian
The Llama Who Had No Pajamas by Mary Ann Hoberman
The Amazing Impossible Erie Canal by Cheryl Harness
The Dark by Lemony Snicket
The Blizzard by Betty Ren Wright


Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child by Anthony Esolen
Loving the Little Years by Rachel Jankovic
Fit to Burst by Rachel Jankovic
Bread, Jam and a Borrowed Pram by Dot May Dunn

Classics and Other Such Books

The Stonewycke Trilogy by Michael Phillips and Judith Pella
At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon
A Light in the Window by Jan Karon
These High Green Hills by Jan Karon
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Thursday, March 06, 2014

this doll is real

Did I ever tell you about the September day last year when I was cleaning up in the girls' room, putting clean clothes away and sorting clothes that were too small or out of season when I happened to pick up this doll, with her winter boots laying nearby and wondered if the boots would still fit her for the upcoming winter?
I laughed at myself and then realized that for just a moment there, I had slipped out of reality.
I'm back now and still laughing at this picture I took to remind myself how for a little while I thought the doll might be one of my little girls who had outgrown her winter boots.

(Her name is Rosy Cheeks and she came from North American Bear Co.)

Monday, March 03, 2014