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?




 Autumn has come early this year.  Flowing in with September, the breezes have been chill and sharp.  The rowan tree in the back of the yard is droopingly full of orange berries, the trees along the streets are just starting to tinge of gold and strew the gutters with their abandoned foliage.  Twice I've heard geese fly over just after seven o'clock in the morning, and droves of sparrows are congregating on the dry grass under our windows.  We've had our first frost now too, ahead of the normal schedule, causing us to wear sweaters and layers even in the house, and sometimes a hat or a scarf outside.  The air is beautifully crisp though, and the clarity of the air lends a certain new perspective to our little corner here.  It just occurred to me that I haven't seen this place in fall light before, and that perhaps accounts for the feeling of particular delight as I gazed up at our rooftop, trees, and sky this evening.

Ben and I were playing catch with the football, (something I always forget that I like so much until I do it again).  It has a very special and familiar feeling, playing football in the fall; just as watching football does at our house.

Collecting leaves and wearing autumnal colors are a necessity at this time of year.  I just finished crocheting the shawl below, in all of my favorite colors, and it has been gratefully used in the last few days.  There are quite a few blankets piled on my bed too, and the weight of them when I crawl in at night has a feeling of immense comfort.  Hot tea is another thing that keeps us warm these days--I love the feel of the warm mug on your fingers, and the smooth warmth down the throat--what is better?
There are plenty of things to keep us busy around here.  Besides my own school, and helping out a bit with Ben's, I help keep the house in order and hopefully smelling of baked goods.  These first chilly days always remind me of pumpkin chocolate-chip muffins (featured in picture number one) and of molasses cookies and other good things.  As a delightful pass-time, I pulled out a great many of our fall-ish picture books and Susan Branch's Autumn, and piled them on the coffee-table for perusal whenever I get a chance.  I also pulled out our huge folder of loose recipes, and leafed through them looking for proper autumnal provender.  I found several, and they are now on top for a quick find when I'm feeling like a bit of cookery.

John Updike's

The breezes taste
Of apple peel.
The air is full
Or smells to feel--

Ripe fruit, old footballs,
Drying grass,
New books and blackboard
Chalk in class.

The bee, his hive
Well-honeyed, hums
While Mother cuts

Like plates washed clean
With suds, the days
Are polished with
A morning haze.

~a very happy thing~
(when Katie and the babies walked over to see us)

... And the party through Will's lens

 ...looks like something Pippin would snitch, doesn't it?

 Katie's hobbit-hole / talan in all its beauty.

 "For there is no friend like a sister
In calm or stormy weather;
To cheer one on the tedious way,
To fetch one if one goes astray,
To lift one if one totters down,
To strengthen whilst one stands." ~ Christina Rosetti

{someone to whisper in your ear
to laugh with in hysteria
to dance with, in a two-foot space
to work beside on sweaty days
and still retain some grace

someone who loves the things I love
fresh air, old books, the smells thereof
gesticulating through the lines
of Caesar's words, or Tempest scenes,
in various designs.~Livi}
Love you Sis!

~ This particular hobbit felt like a queen ~
 properly Lorien-ish if you ask me...
 (yes, I must have descended from the Stoors)

 Really and truly from my dear hobbit-friend?

 Really and truly.  Thank you Jodi!
 "On this occasion the presents were unusually good.  The hobbit-children were so excited that for a while they almost forgot about eating.  There were toys the like of which they had never seen before, all beautiful and some obviously magical.  Many of them had indeed been ordered a year before, and had come all the way from the Mountain and from Dale, and were of real dwarf-make."
--The long-expected party

We watched "Return of the King" afterward~
"Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life." 

Evenstar necklace

 Hobbits give presents on their birthdays, so of course I did too.  This is Katie's new necklace!

A hobbitish party

~a golden-haired hobbit-child of the year 1420... "All the children born or begotten in that year, and there were many, were fair to see and strong, and most of them had a rich golden hair that had before been rare among hobbits."

"He entered behind Haldir, and found that he was in a chamber of oval shape, in the midst of which grew the trunk of the great mallorn, now tapering towards its crown, and yet making still a pillar of wide girth."

"Hobbits have a passion for mushrooms, surpassing even the greediest likings of Big People.  A fact which partly explains young Frodo's long expeditions to the renowned fields of the Marish, and the wrath of the injured Maggot.  On this occasion there was plenty for all, even according to hobbit standards.  There were also many other things to follow, and when they had finished even Fatty Bolger heaved a sigh of content.  They pushed back the table, and drew their chairs round the fire."

~a proper pastry, and thyme for the mushrooms...

"The food was mostly in the form of very thin cakes, made of a meal that was baked a light brown on the outside, and inside was the colour of cream."

~This particular hobbit, yours truly, happens to be fortunate enough to be an elf-friend, and one of them consented to do my hair...

~Josiah makes an exceptionally good hobbit-child: jovial, hungry, and plump... And of course our feet are bare.

...lemon cake        ............       beautiful sister, elf, and hostess

...lemon curd

...whipped cream
...second layer       .......        gorgeous people, lovely aroma.

...with meringue baked onto the top


...exotic-flavored teas 

...bacon-wrapped meatloaf ... mushroom pie ... garlic-y green beans ... marinated tomatoes ... brown-rice pilaf...

...have you ever seen anything so scrumptious?

Sisters!        .......       and yes, it tasted just as good as it looks.
Roses, real roses, for my very own seventeenth birthday!

A great many thanks to all the lovely people who contributed to this, my seventeenth birthday!  My especial thanks to my dearest Sister Katie who planned, prepared, and labored to make this a very special elvish, hobbitish birthday.  Every moment was special, and it was a glorious party!
~*~ I'm afraid that this is only the first wave of pictures....  These are the pictures from my camera, and I have been given carte blanche of Will's pictures from the day, so I will hopefully get some of those pictures up soon, of the supper and present-opening time.  This was one of the most special days ever, and I am going to be entirely extravagant about the number of pictures I am sharing ~ hope you don't mind!