In lieu of trying to belong to any number of societies: Chesterton, Sherlock Holmes, the Inklings, and so on: I propose and establish one of my own. Don your intelligence cap at the door; dust off your logic and imagination; did you bring your inspiration and encouragement? We are shapers, my friends; lit lamps; light-bringers. Bring quotes*; poetry should be uplifting and thoughtful, or witty and clever, (or both). Humor is encouraged; laughter is invited back. Pull up a chair. Anyone for tea?



Dead to Self. . .

. . . and Alive to God

Are you now trusting in Jesus Christ alone for the forgiveness of your sins and the fulfillment of all God's promises to you, even eternal life?
. . . I am.
Do you forsake Satan and all his works and all his ways? . . . I forsake them.
Do you intend with God's help to obey Jesus' teaching and follow him as your Lord?
. . . I do.
Siblings all over again

With a Christian home I was greatly blessed
For knowing God was always stressed
Foundations deep were layed of trust
My God was always known as just
Doctrines true were taught to me
And "to be saved" I longed to be
I aught to "do His will" I learned
I took small steps; in faith I yearned
So many more things I needed to know
In knowledge of sin I continued to grow
Forgiveness for failing I asked o'er and o'er
For graces I thanked Him and learned more and more
And then as I walked on, He showed me His face
The great peace of knowing!--I thanked Him for grace
I continue to follow with stumbling tread
A new joy I found in Christ raised from the dead
Such worth in His person! Such value I see!
He formed every cell, all the land, all the sea
His greatness, and love for me, glory above
Once shown of these beauties I cannot but love
Creation I can and cannot comprehend
So you see I cannot see my Creator's end
How I long to go up and see Christ on His throne
So that I could love Him with all of my own
But right here on earth I shall stand till He call
To show Jesus' value to you and to all
If I can have Christ, you can take all my stuff
For by Him I've found and know: Christ is enough

My Cathedral

~one of my favorite places to go--the cottonwoods south of the place~

Sweetest days of childhood, playing in the deep woods,
Stomping through the creek and feeling oh-so-much alive.
We`re camping in the forest, we join the cricket chorus,
Hum our songs of gratitude around a crackling fire.

Out here in the stillness, I found my house of worship
With column trees and canopy of stars, here in my cathedral.

It was beneath the blue skies, I ran down to be baptized,
I felt the river wash me clean and dried beneath the sun.
To this day believing I`m wide awake or dreaming,
Scan the ancient sky and understand where I belong.

Cause out here in the stillness, I find my house of worship
With column trees and canopy of stars, here in my cathedral.

This is where I find my soul, out where holy men of old
First knelt in soil and thanked You for the rain.
Wrote the songs that filled the air, harold angels sang their prayer,
Out beneath your darling constellations.

Let me off and wander, Robin song and thunder,
Surrounding me with stained glass leaves that change with every breeze.

Out here in the stillness, I find my house of worship
With column trees and canopy of stars, here in my cathedral.

--Chris Rice


". . . after a short interval [Ratty] reappeared staggering under a fat, wicker luncheon basket.
.......'Shove that under your feet,' he observed to the Mole, as he passed it down into the boat. Then he untied the painter and took the sculls again.
.......'What's inside it?' asked the Mole, wiggling with curiosity.
.......'There's cold chicken inside it,' replied the Rat briefly; .......'coldtonguecoldhamcoldbeefpickledgherkinssaladfrenchrollscresssandwidgespottedmeatgingerbeerlemonadesodawater--'
.......'O stop, stop,' cried the Mole in ecstasies: 'This is too much!'
.......'Do you really think so?' inquired the Rat seriously. 'It's only what I always take on these little excursions; and the other animals are always telling me that I'm a mean beast and cut it very fine!'".......~KENNETH GRAHAME
First--Cucumber Sailboats with cheese sails

"What is in that hamper?" asked Albert as he came running out of his house.
"I don't know," said Frances. "Nothing much. Hard-boiled eggs and whole fresh tomatoes. Carrot and celery sticks. There are some cream cheese-and-chives sandwiches, I think, and cream cheese-and-jelly sandwiches too, and salami-and-egg and pepper-and-egg sandwiches. Cole slaw and potato chips, of course. Ice-cold root beer packed in ice, and watermelon and strawberries and cream for dessert. And there are other things I forget, like black olives and pickles and Popsicles and probably some pretzels and things like that. And there are salt and pepper shakers and napkins and a checked tablecloth, which is the way girls do it."
"Could I come along on the eating?" said Albert.
"You mean outing," said Frances.
"Outing, I mean," said Albert. "Could I come along? . . .".......~RUSSEL HOBAN

. . . my brother and companion, supporting the forward end of our laden picnic basket.

~Our destination: or rather the view therefrom. . . the south side of the grove, open to the considerable sunshine and blue sky; the surroundings being dappled with leaf shadows, and subject to the mewing of the catbirds, and all the other regular birds, whose songs we are so accustomed to that we don't notice anymore, unless we remember to. The ripening corn still stretches into the blue heavens, the leaves rustle in the coolish and welcome breeze, and all the familiar plants are about--loads of milkweed, milky-milkweed with loaded pods; stinging nettles, there's loads of that too, but to be cautiously avoided; grass, hot grass, that had been so cool and wet when I took my morning walk; burdock of course, crowding the path and catching at my skirt; all of these constitute a normal amble or excursion in our patch of woods.
They could never keep me away of course. I always wonder why I don't do it more often once I'm out there. I love the birds and the wind in the trees; the dead-wood logs for benches, and the dry tickly grass. A certain part in the path crosses a sort of trench to jump over, that is almost always muddy, and in consequence it's banks are covered in rich moss. I love moss. . .
Unpacking. . . and the Ingestion of the basket's contents. . .

~ice-cold lemonade


. . .and the conclusion


"Packing the basket was not quite such pleasant work as unpacking the basket. It never is. But the Mole was bent on enjoying everything, and although just when he had got the basket packed and strapped up tightly he saw a plate staring up at him from the grass, and when the job had been done again the Rat pointed out a fork which anybody ought to have seen, and last of all, behold! the mustard pot, which he had been sitting on without knowing it--still, somehow, the thing got finished at last, without much loss of temper."....~KENNETH GRAHAME

Literature and the Culinary Art

A cozy bookshelf--one of many in our literary home. . . with maps above it of our favorite places--some of them we have been to, and some of them we have not. Books are some of my favorite things in the world--some of my best friends--and they too have increased my natural love of geography. . . as well as history and words and . . .
But I do love to bake too! And I recently made these "Oatrageous Chocolate Chip" cookies--a household favorite. And pizza that night. These are some random pictures. . .

:: :: :: :: ::

. . . homemade pizza crust rising before its first baking: I gave it 'freckles' with some whole wheat flour, a little rye flour, a dash of spelt flour, and a sprinkle of flax meal.

:: :: ::

. . . fennel seeds toasted in olive oil, a little onion, a lot of garlic. . . crushed tomatoes, a dab of tomato paste, oregano, basil, salt . . . and a little more garlic.
Mama roasted some chopped zuchinni, onion, and garden tomatoes.
My family loves pizza, and it is one of my favorite things to make.
:: :: ::

Can't you almost smell that?

A Day in the City

Last Saturday my family and extended family drove into the city to visit the Science Museum. We all drove in the same van, so niece, nephew and friends made the time go pretty fast. I love the tall brick many-windowed buildings, and the old architecture. Because I love picture-books like Nana's Birthday Party, and Bravo Maurice, they remind me of cozy families on the twenty-seventh floor, with drifting music and potted plants on the fire-escape. It may be a view closeted from hard realities, but the best authors are only drawing to our attention the real beauties in unexpected places; teaching you to see them; inspiring you to make them true. It's a good lesson in optimism; not giddy naivety, but an eye for the beautiful things in this life. And these should point us to God. For truth and beauty are His, and we should look up those rays to the Son.
This is a signboard for the Omnitheater show we saw. It was the first I had been in and I loved sweeping over the landscape and cities, and seeing inside their homes. I love learning about places and cultures.
One of the main exhibits was of the Dead Sea Scrolls, ancient manuscripts from the Old Testament Scriptures, and a few others, dating back to Jesus' time or before. They were discovered in caves around the Dead Sea in 1947, and many people have been occupied in study and preservation of them, since. It was extremely interesting, both from an archeological point of view, and because it shows how God preserves His Word, but we weren't allowed to take any pictures there.

. . . several of these pictures were taken from a dining patio, open to the sky and the view, in the Science Museum.

~my sweet niece, Greta Rosie~

'Come walk with us'. . .
I am very much enjoying our morning readings in 'Peril and Peace'. I love learning about our Fathers in the Faith. 'Peril and Peace' is about the ancient church, dealing with our first martyrs: Ignatius, Polycarp, Cyprian, Justin, as well as some of my other favorites: Augustine and St. Patrick. This last chapter was about Patrick's early slavery in Ireland, and then his resolve to return there to spread the gospel of Christ.
~sweet iced tea with lunch preparation

The turquise turtle knot, courtesy of a recent library book. :) I am rather fond of learning about knots and sailing ships and how they work, so Dad brought home a sizable stack of books on sailing for both our benefit and enjoyment. Also in his stack of library books were several on the Declaration of Independence and Benjamin Franklin, which supplement very well my current interest in American history. I have been reading Paul Johnson's 'A History of the American People' like a novel these past few weeks. The section on Revolutionary America is exceedingly interesting, and I am learning new details about George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin (did you know he discovered the Gulf Stream?)and gaining a much deeper
knowledge of all our early history. I love all the things there are to learn! Especially history. . .
~My favorite current piano piece--fast, complicated, and really fun!
. . . And a sort of shelf in my room--I think you can enlarge it--of all the things I love best.

~and this is my outfit--the different blues were making me happy :)


. . .Okay, does anyone else think that Hogan's Heroes is a really cozy thing to watch?
I think so--especially on a rainy afternoon. World War II resistance is one of my favorite things to play with my brother Ben. Or detectives. We have a lot of fun, making up separate identities for our imaginary lives in the 1940's.
Thanks for putting up with my ramblings. . .