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?




Anne:  'I don't know--I don't want to talk as much,' she said, denting her chin thoughtfully with her forefinger.  'It's nicer to think dear, pretty thoughts and keep them in one's heart, like treasures.  I don't like to have them laughed at or wondered over.  And somehow I don't want to use big words any more.  It's almost a pity, isn't it, now that I'm really growing big enough to say them if I did want to.  It's fun to be almost grown up in some ways, but it's not the kind of fun I expected, Marilla.  There's so much to learn and do and think that there isn't time for big words.'

And some P.G. Wodehouse:
"There is no surer foundation for a beautiful friendship than a mutual taste in literature.”
“The cup of tea on arrival at a country house is a thing which, as a rule, I particularly enjoy. I like the crackling logs, the shaded lights, the scent of buttered toast, the general atmosphere of leisured cosiness.”
Book Stack
Here is the pile of books I have enjoyed reading lately... the well-used binding on the bottom of the pile is a Brother Cadfael Omnibus.
A coffee-table puzzle of a Netherlands canal.
A selection from my English Literature today...

Here first the Eternal Father, guard of all,
Of heaven and earth, raised up the firmament,
The Almighty Lord set firm by His strong power
This roomy land; grass greened not yet the plain,
Ocean far spread hid the wan ways in gloom.
Then was the Spirit gloriously bright
Of Heaven's Keeper borne over the deep
Swiftly.  The Life-giver, the Agel's Lord,
Over the ample ground bade come forth Light.
Quickly the High King's bidding was obeyed,
Over the waste there shone light's holy ray.
Then parted he, Lord of triuphant might,
Shadow from shining, darkness from the light.
Light by the Word of God, was first names day.

from the Paraphrase, often attributed to Caedmon, ancient English poet.
Curtain beauty....................................Snow on the ground

And a short video of the happy sparrows on our feeder.  We don't get much other wild-life at this time of year!

January days


 Sunday afternoon muffins ~ to ward off hunger while dinner was being made.

 Gluten-free ginger and molasses muffins, dark and rich.  With a bit of whipped cream to top off.

 Yes, those two are sitting in the snow...
..waiting for the griller-men to be ready.

And it tasted so delicious-- roasted potato-fries and green beans with the steak.
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I have missed my blog recently, and I hope to be back with more words and pictures shortly.  Real life has a way of sweeping me away with it--not a bad thing--and I have enjoyed reading several real books lately (with hard covers, and pages that smell good & whisper as you turn them).  Our January is just beginning to be wintry, and I am enjoying the snow out the windows (I haven't been out in it much :).

Beneath the cold and quiet exterior, there is plenty to stay busy with in a winter home like ours.  There is the customary baking and cooking, along with the fact that now, most of that is gluten-free.  This takes more time and thought, but it is challenging and fun to learn the particular twist to cooking that way.  Music fills the hours: I will be practicing for both a choir concert and a piano recital in the next couple of months.  Studying and reading of all sorts fits into the cozy, lamplit corners of our days and rooms; as well as a few dreams about leafy trees, flowering window-boxes, and cheery migrating birds.  These thoughts are inevitable in the winter months, and should not be entirely extinguished, as they support morale.  Thoughts of crafts that get done on winter afternoons, and snowball fights that you remember with a grin, and hot chocolate and muffins, should also be encouraged.  Winter is indeed a lovely time--we shouldn't forget.

So enjoy your steamy mugs, bookstacks, and cooking pots, friends.  I hope to be back soon!