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Showing posts from June, 2015

Why I Like D.E. Stevenson's Books

1. Her heroines are full of grace and know how to hold their tongues in most all situations. 2.  Most of her stories involve a trip to Scotland where good food, picnics, tea, wild landscape, and a doting elderly lady bring about revitalization to a tired woman. 3. She accurately portrays difficult people. And then she shows how they are pitiable and need love. 4. She understands how the presence of children, an absence of housemaids, and no vacations make a mother exhausted. 5. She is able to create women who talk abundantly and sometimes in silly ways, but are still kind, unselfish, and likable. 6. She shows how WWII affected the everyday life of the simple people of England who stayed home and continued trying to have regular meals. 7. The romances in her stories don’t dominate her pages. They take a backseat to the comings and goings of everyday life. 8. She inspires me to describe the simple things in life like the style of my furniture, the types of clo

The Faithful. The Reliable. The Hardworking.

I tell him that Rose is getting into Lee’s books. She’s pulling them off Lee’s bookshelf and tearing the pages. “I need a gate that Rose can’t open, but Lee can.”   We come home from church, and Phil goes marching into the house, drops his things and says, “I’m feeling inspired to fix something.” And then the breakfast porch door isn’t hanging askew anymore. He takes both children for a walk Sunday afternoon so that I can clean up the kitchen and make peanut butter cookies and drink tea while listening to celtic music. He spends his evenings drafting on a sluggish computer so that we can have extra money to pay for insulation in our attic or tumbling classes for the children or a new rug in our bathroom. After dinner when my love and patience for my children feels rather absent, he takes them into the front yard and throws Lee in the air or has Lee fetch the whiffle ball that he knocks into the air with a giant green bat. Or he’ll announce that he wishes to run an

Library Finds: Great Books for Children

Once again our frequent library visits have supplied us with a number of excellent children's stories.  Here are our favorite library finds this month. Wolf's Coming!   by Joe Kulka: A clever rhyming story about a scary but dapperly dressed wolf who is out for his evening stroll. All the innocent critters are  fleeing  before him. They hide in one animal's residence where they await wolf's arrival. He opens the door and SURPRISE! It's  just  a birthday party. Lee enjoyed this one over and over again. (Book Rating: 8) 20 Big Trucks in the Middle of the Street   by Mark Lee: Beautifully illustrated truck book, and believe me, I've seen my share of truck books. Excellent rhyming poem about a traffic jam outside a boy's house. Lee thoroughly enjoyed. (Book Rating: 9) Ooops by Authur Geisert: Another Geisert disaster book. Disaster meaning the book is about a family of pigs who accidentally cause their house to collapse by spilling some milk at the d

Put in the Garage

I dug my dulcimer out of the garage the other night when Phil was working late. I brushed the cob webs off its trapezoidal case and slapped the padded sides to encourage the dust to go elsewhere. Then I brought it into the living room and laid it on the carpet. No one was stirring in their beds. No one knew about the treasure I was about to open. And I liked it that way. I wanted to peek at it by myself. So I unzipped the case.  It was just as beautiful as I remembered. Those 102 lustrous strings glinted in the lamplight like a spider’s web stretched across the maple, rose inlays and the black-stained soundboard, smooth and polished. It’s like an instrument out of the past when carved furniture was passed down from generation to generation and when butter was made in a churn and women’s skirts showed off a lady’s wealth not her legs. The strings are anchored at one end on a hitch pin and are stretched taut over the side bridge, under the treble bridge, over the base bridge, an