Saturday, October 31, 2009


I'm sorry about the quality of the pictures. I was fighting with the camera-- it just wouldn't behave.




Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Complaint by William Wordsworth

There is a change––and I am poor;
Your love hath been, nor long ago,
A fountain at my fond heart's door,
Whose only business was to flow;
And flow it did; not taking heed
Of its own bounty, or my need.

What happy moments did I count!
Blest was I then, all bliss above!
Now, for this consecrated fount
Of murmuring, sparkling, living love,
What have I––shall I dare to tell?
A comfortless and hidden well.

A well of love––it may be deep;
I trust it is––and never dry;
What matter? if the waters sleep
In silence and obscurity.
Such change, and at the very door
Of my fond heart, hath made me poor.

Friday, October 23, 2009

And Yet Shew I Unto You a More Excellent Way

Though I speak
With the tongues of men and of angels,
And have not charity,
I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy,
And understand all mysteries, and all knowledge,
And have not charity,
I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor,
And though I give my body to be burned,
And have not charity,
It profiteth me nothing.

Charity suffereth long, and is kind;

Charity envieth not;

Charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

Doth not behave itself unseemly,
Seeketh not her own,
Is not easily provoked,
Thinketh no evil;

Rejoiceth not in iniquity,
But rejoiceth in the truth;

Beareth all things,
Believeth all things,
Hopeth all things,
Endureth all things.

Charity never faileth:

But whether there be prophecies, they shall fail;
Whether there be tongues, they shall cease;
Whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

For we know in part, and we prophecy in part.

But when that which is perfect is come,
Then that which is in part shall be done away.

When I was a child,
I spake as a child,
I understood as a child,
I thought as a child:
But when I became a man,
I put away childish things.

For now we see through a glass darkly;
But then face to face:

Now I know in part; but then shall I know
Even as I am known.

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three;
But the greatest of these is Charity.

I Corinthians 13

Monday, October 19, 2009

Happiness by A.A. Milne

If you have ever seen a toddler in his very first pair of cowboy boots/winter boots/galoshes, you have witnessed the spirit of this sweet little "pome":

John had
Great Big
Boots on;
John had a
Great Big
John had a
Great Big
Mackintosh --
And that
(Said John)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Candle Apple

Aravis cored an apple and put a tealight in. Isn't it nice?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

To Autumn by William Blake

O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stained
With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit
Beneath my shady roof, there thou may'st rest,
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe;
And all the daughters of the year shall dance!
Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.

"The narrow bud opens her beauties to
"The sun, and love runs in her thrilling veins;
"Blossoms hang round the brows of morning, and
"Flourish down the bright cheek of modest eve,
"Till clust'ring Summer breaks forth into singing,
"And feather'd clouds strew flowers round her head.

"The spirits of the air live on the smells
"Of fruit; and joy, with pinions light, roves round
"The gardens, or sits singing in the trees."
Thus sang the jolly Autumn as he sat,
Then rose, girded himself, and o'er the bleak
Hills fled from our sight; but left his golden load.

A Quick Summary of Everything

Well, not everything. For instance, I'm not going to summarize cellular biology, or literary terms, or principles of frugality. But what have we been doing lately?

We went to Mississippi and Alabama. I've never actually stopped down and visited those two states. The people we met were warm, friendly, hospitable, and really resistant to guests helping in the kitchen, but I helped anyway. We stayed in a beautiful home in the woods down in Hattiesburg, and on a family farm near Tuscaloosa, and felt like we'd known these folks forever. All my pictures were wiped from my camera for some reason, but the memory of that little guy singing 'Kaw-liga' on the porch of the dogtrot Saturday night will always be present in my mind.

On the way home, we stopped in Vicksburg and tried to picture the horrific 47 days in which the brave people of the city attempted to go about their 19th century lives while being beseiged with modern weapons I had never before considered part of the 19th century. I mean, armored ships? I know, everyone reads about the Merrimack and the Monitor, but those two names are just Concepts To Study As Part Of The Civil War. We walked across an actual armored ship in Vicksburg. We saw artifacts that had been dredged up from the Yazoo River. I never realized how very real and armored those ships were. We must be so careful as teachers to not simply Place Concepts in Boxes and Check Them Off.

We saw photos and read accounts of the ships trekking down the Mississippi past Vicksburg, dodging fire from the bluffs. We saw the stretch of sand and water (now a canal, since the Mississippi has deviated course) and could imagine startled soldiers manning cannon, could see Grant land down river and make his circuitous way to Vicksburg, that key to winning the war. We saw the Union and Confederate trenches, then so torn-- now serenely covered with green grass that belies the monuments to battle. It was astonishing to realize the vehemence and strength of conviction with which both sides fought.

We visited the Old Courthouse Museum and found a plaque commemorating the first Primitive Baptist church in Alabama, which descended in direct line from the little Welsh church. Dad took pictures, and we bought some Gordon Cotton books. Dad's preaching appointments were the reason for the trip, and we are so glad he invited us to go. He caught a cold the last few days, though. Poor Dad.

The day after we got back from Alabama, I received an email from a dear friend, who said they would get to visit us Columbus Day weekend after all. Yay! We spent the next two days doing some schoolwork, catching up laundry, and preparing our house to be the scene of fun. ;o) The weekend was wall-to-wall girlishness, with one sweet five-year-old boy to keep us from overdoing. Makeup, books, dancing, music, gymnastics. And visiting. I love visiting.

They left Tuesday morning, and Mariel promptly got sick. She has strep. The adventure continues...