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?



Before the trip

Some of the books I've read over the summer...
Lovely days here, wrapping up summertime.  Sunshine and birds, some time at the pool, seeing a migrating flock of monarchs, and most importantly just lately--preparing for my trip to Washington D.C.  I am immensely looking forward to this new adventure as you can imagine; seeing that historic city, visiting relatives.  Not to mention my first airplane flight! 
My dear Grammy Rose is taking me on this much-anticipated jaunt, and she will make a marvelous traveling companion.  I have been well instructed (mostly by family members wishing they could fit in my backpack) to enjoy everything, take lots of pictures, bring back memories.  And I plan to journal the beauties as well, so that hopefully on my return, I will be able to post all about our 'expotition' to our capitol.  I'm thrilled to think that next week I'll have seen several of those historic buildings and lovely old sights..  And I won't say that I won't be imagining myself in National Treasure.  Or a Bourne movie. just a few pictures from this week leading up, and then, farewell!
Packing and things~
My new Vikings shirt: 


Morning posy
Teatime with the littles..

fighting your own pirates

I was very inspired recently by Lanier's re-post here. Especially by the part where she begins: "If there’s anything God has been teaching me in the past year, it’s that flying in the face of fear is one of the best ways to shock my soul awake". I feel very much the same, for lately I have had a few new fears of my own, and that has set me thinking.

I have had very little to fear in my life, and yet every small situation can bring an awareness of my own short-comings, and a fresh dependance on God, which is the very prayer of my heart. So aren't these small fears a blessing? They drive me to prayer, something I need so desparately but still seem to forget. Even that first cry for help is an answer, in a way; an immediate reliance on the One that is greater than life, breath and the universe around us.

And I don't want that to end. 'Flying in the face of fear' is a sort of conquering, the kind we can do everyday. I want to be the sort of adventurer who goes outside her comfort-zone to do hard stuff and learn new things, be it writing for others to see and criticize, or learning a new language or skill that will humiliate me at times (ahem... driving?) or simply keeping silent when I may be misunderstood. They'll be my own personal pirates to fight. They'll keep me from drifting complacently through life; and they'll drive me to prayer and to laughter.

Thank you Lanier, for saying it so well; for your inspiration; and for sharing this quote:

Chesterton: “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.”
Well, yes! And being able to 'laugh at the days to come'--and even at yourself--is a good habit to cultivate. 
... And yes, now, more than ever I want to learn French:  Malheureusement, je ne parle que petit peu de francais.

Inspired by dwarfs

"And immediately, mixed with a sizzling sound, there came to Shasta a simply delightful smell.  It was one he had never smelled in his life before, but I hope you have.  It was, in fact, the smell of bacon and eggs and mushrooms all frying in a pan." -- Horse and His Boy, dwarf-breakfast.
That, mixed with my hobbit-ish love of mushrooms inspired this, my favorite lunch in all the world.
Mushrooms and onions, bacon and egg, sizzling in bacon grease and smelling heavenly.
 Motherdy recommended greens and vinegar, so I immediately added them to my tomatoes for underneath, added a bit of salt and pepper...
 And the bacon grease mixing with the balsamic vinegar, the tomato juices, and the yoke from the egg made a glorious combination.  My 'desert island dish'.
And then a bit of afternoon under the rowan:
(not necessarily inspired by dwarfs, but most certainly enchanted by sunlight and delighting in the fairytale-quality of trees.)

August sunlight

 Recently finished 'Scent of Water' ...words cannot express its inspiring and comfortable loveliness.
Southern light, ships at sea
 stacks under the window...
 And my window-box garden, that I've wanted to share.  So I decided to take a little video. 
 I just loved the light flickering on the water, and the church bells in the back-ground.

Wodehouse Wednesday

"The Aberdeen terrier gave me an unpleasant look and said something under his breath in Gaelic"


“What ho!” I said.
“What ho!” said Motty.
“What ho! What ho!”
“What ho! What ho! What ho!”
After that it seemed rather difficult to go on with the conversation.”


It was one of those parties where you cough twice before you speak and then decide not to say it after all.


A certain critic — for such men, I regret to say, do exist — made the nasty remark about my last novel that it contained ‘all the old Wodehouse characters under different names.’ He has probably by now been eaten by bears, like the children who made mock of the prophet Elisha: but if he still survives he will not be able to make a similar charge against Summer Lightning. With my superior intelligence, I have out-generalled the man this time by putting in all the old Wodehouse characters under the same names. Pretty silly it will make him feel, I rather fancy.


From my earliest years I had always wanted to be a writer. It was not that I had any particular message for humanity. I am still plugging away and not the ghost of one so far, so it begins to look as though, unless I suddenly hit mid-season form in my eighties, humanity will remain a message short.


(Quite random, but entirely Wodehousien and pleasant, I think.)

hues of joy

" This world of ours is a happy world, so that God is our end, so that we can say to Him, "Thou art my God."  Then everything takes new hues of joy and love.  Our daily comforts have a soul in them, for they abound in thanksgiving; our daily infirmities or crosses have a special joy in them, because they are so tenderly fitted to us by the medicinal hand fo our God; the commonest acts of life are full of deep interest, because their end is God; daily duties are daily joys, because they are something which God gives us to offer unto Him, to do to our very best, in acknowledgement of His love.  It is His earth we walk on; His air, we breathe; His sun, the emblem of His all-penetrating love, which gladdens us.  Eternity!  Yes, that too is present to us, and is part of our joy on earth.  God has given us faith to make our future home as certain to us, as this our spot of eath; and hope, to aspire strongly to it; and love, as a foretaste of the all surrounding ever-unfolding, Almighty love of our own God. " --E. B. PUSEY,  Joy and Strength

Shades of Summer

August, like a late afternoon, follows quietly the peak of summer heat.  We are just beginning to weary of summer, to take for granted the security of warm sunshine.  Almost I spend too much time indoors, when I ought to be savoring this last hot month.  For already the evenings dip into chill, the windows are left open, breezes flip-flapping at my curtain, and I pull the ship quilt over my sheets at night.  Gently we are reminded that summer is waining, and that soon the days also will be cool.  However much I look forward to the crisp clarity of autumn weather, I still feel a pang of something akin to regret as these August days roll in.  Did I notice the shades of summer, each change of this season?  Did I appreciate these sun-drenched days, those rain-pattered and thunder-dotted moments?  Was I grateful enough for this beauty?  No.  Always there is more, always more to see and love and savor.  But I have enjoyed it greatly; I have revelled in the sunshine and the breezes whipping my hair, I have listened for the cicadas and crickets, smiled at the flit of the gold-finches as they finally found our feeder.  We swam, we had some time in boats and being pulled by them, we had parties, we saw fireworks and fireflies, we played games until we were sore and well-tanned.  But still my gratitude falls short of what it aught to be, and I catch myself going too fast again, to give proper thanks to the Father of creation, giver of all delights.

So I'm trying to slow down a bit, and not let my artistic thoughts get so dreamy that I don't see the art in nature and every-day.  The varying colors of sky and trees from one window as I climb the stairs, the growing and blooming of my moss-roses and geraniums in my window-box, and the zinnias in the garden; nighthawks croaking outside my window, rowan berries coming out on the trees, loons on the lake as I fly by...

I do plan to post more pictures and things soon, but at present I can't find my camera, which makes the whole business a bit difficult, if you see what I mean.  I miss this place, though, and can't wait to get back to regular posting.  The picture at the top is of my window garden a few weeks ago, complete with my mini-birdbath I got one Christmas.  (I love the little brown birdies!) 

Adieu for now, my friends; and fare well wherever you fare!