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?



Happy Halloween/Reformation Day

Today I slept in a little, since I'd gone to bed rather late the night before. I ended up going to a concert last night, at the last minute, with several of my favorite people on earth. I knew Foy Vance was good, but I didn't have any idea how amazing it was going to be. Incredible.
I was planning on buying my ticket at the door, but when I got there someone in line handed me a ticket and said the person it was for couldn't make it. Can't say no to that!

I did some sudoku and crosswords during breakfast, from the Sunday paper... completely forgot to wear anything remotely costume-like. I totally should have worn my Vikings jersey, and blacked under my eyes and such. But I didn't think of it.

On my way to work I began listening to Shepherds Abiding by Jan Karon. A yearly tradition at this time of year. Music to my ears, comfort to the soul, and inspiration for the mind.
Oh, and my whole car smelled like apple pie from the crumble I was bringing as a housewarming gift for later.

Then I worked eight hours, which actually went quite smoothly and didn't drag on, or fry my brain. Then I drove to where the bros live, to watch football at Will's place, and then see Ben's place for the first time!


Guess who I was for Halloween?

For the work day I kept a more subtle look, but I was still going for Ziva David. I didn't have much time after I got off to get ready, so I did most of it in the morning.

Then when I got home right before the party started, I finished off the look:

I even had a wooden gun at the small of my back all night. Great fun. Love Ziva.

We had a bunch of friends over. There was guacamole and pico de gallo (the important info of the evening). Music, dancing and good times. We had some great costumes too!
The evening was nice and cool but not too freezing. The porch made a lovely spot to go and cool off.
The aftermath this morning was not as bad as we expected. We're almost back to normal already.
I went to late service at church this morning--so good--and then came home and made fish curry and a couple of apple crumbles.

Three fictional characters is not enough


I had a terrible time deciding. Maybe I'm a character who can't decide: Charlie Brown? And then there's the way brains work--'I like to cook and eat (a lot). Who does that?' Some do of course, but not in a way that fits into this sort of thing. And of course, it seems like I must be forgetting all the perfect people that are just like me.

Then there's the fact that I live in a fictional world quite a lot. There is a wide store to choose from. Books, hundreds of books that I've been reading since I was six. Movies of course. TV shows, oh my. I've watched more than a few of them. And the thing is, there are so MANY lovely characters. I consider them my friends. But I don't always consider myself to be them. Sometimes of course. But often too, that's just in the reading: I am, for a time, an older priest, a young demigod, a weary soldier. But it's not because I'm like them in real life.

Most of the time, I think of myself as a companion to characters: dashing off on adventures around the world with Tintin, prowling dim streets with Whimsey, kicking back in the shade of Badon Hill with Henry. I'm a first mate by personality. I'm a Watson.
So that character wasn't hard to choose. I'm definitely a Watson, and have been since before the recent tv shows came out; I've been an Arthur Conan Doyle fan since I was a child. But I do love the recent shows, and it was lovely to see a true Watson portrayed by a woman in Elementary. Go Joan!

Juliet I picked because of how she relates to people. She's smart and independent, and herself, but she's constantly interacting with other people, seeing potential, and encouraging others to be great. She's compassionate and loyal, thoroughly amused by the crazy-silly people in her life, but she also sees their deeper side, and appeals to it.

I guess a lot of that can be said of Hermione as well. I had more difficulty choosing the third character. There are many others that came to mind, and could have found their place here: Sam Gamgee, Belle, Clara Oswald, even Jeeves. In the end I went with Hermione because of her brains and books; love of knowledge, problem-solving, and helping those she loves. She's a brave and strong character, and one who grows into her place.

By this time, naturally, I've overthought enough for us all. But I also had a brilliantly good time with this post, and thinking about favorite characters. Now that I've done it, do tell me who I've gone and left out!

I would love it if you would comment with either your three characters, or a character that reminds you of me!

and I'll be all:


Early mornings are extremely enjoyable, when you're not getting ready for work. Early dawn sky, quiet traffic, distant lights, soft puttering sounds of movement through the house. Someone hops in the shower, someone's heading out the door for work. I start banana pancakes "pretend like it's the weekend..." 

Hug one roommate goodbye as she sets off on an adventure that will keep her for a couple of weeks.

There was a desperate moment this morning when I couldn't find my Oxford American Verse. I was wracking my brain (for about 45 seconds) thinking I can't have left home without it! Impossible! I found it in one of my clever and tidy stacks of course. Ahhh... William Cullen Bryant. Ralph Waldo Emerson.

I was just thinking what a delight and a gift it is to have memorized poetry (and verses, and bits of books) as a child. I may not remember all of what I once knew, but the words are still a part of you, and phrases float to the surface sometimes, at opportune moments: When streams run low and on the brooks, In idle golden freighting, Bright leaves sink noiseless in the hush, Of woods for winter waiting.

I did some leisurely computer time and writing, baked an apple cake, worked on a few crafts. For supper I made chicken and veggies: I layered green beans, sweet potatoes, chicken breast, and regular potatoes in a pan, poured honey mustard dressing over all, and stuck it in the oven for an hour and a half. My brothers had come over by this time, and we settled down to work on some music.

We stopped a little for food, but basically worked on music for four hours. By which time we were a bit fried, but Ashley and her brothers had come by that time, so we just chilled and talked for a few more hours. Very enjoyable. Now off to bed to wake up another day!

October's speeding by

A working day at the coffeeshop ~

The Hobbits have met Strider and left Bree ~

Laundromat time--great place for a little NCIS, push-ups, and prayer ~

A pleasant edition of what's-in-the-fridge: stuff for tomato soup, and pumpkin custard ~

Moved my stuff back into my room; don't care if they're not done plastering--must inhabit ~

Enjoying Foyle: especially the World Ward II planes ~

Getting ready for our Halloween party on Saturday ~

I love the smell of fresh sheets; clean lounge pants, and tidy stacks of clothes ~

I can also smell popcorn, and lavender essential oils. I approve ~

Singing sidewalks

Bright lights and city streets
Brick buildings and the sound of many feet
Passing traffic hums and roars
Breadth of teeming life, my spirits soar

Dark alleyways or hopeful lighted shops
Windows, quiet park benches and bus stops
Corner cafe tables, shining booths
The cacophony of city soothes

Blue city skyline
Steel and glass towers intertwine
Spread out before me, rising around me
Movement and newness endlessly

Sabbath (for the soul)

I must have been excited to have breakfast with my friends this morning. I was up and dressed, had eaten (I never go out without eating first) ;) and made quinoa for my pack lunch, all in plenty of time. I sat on the floor and chatted with Ashley for fifteen minutes before I left.

Time with that crew is always a blessing. A love-permeated, heart-growing, spirit-lifting time. There was coffee all around of course. I drank three cups, black. (SShh don't tell anyone I wasn't a coffee person six months ago.) I'm sure it made me talk a lot. But it's an awesome group to be chatty with. There was encouragement, jokes and laughter, plans for next time, much food.

My afternoon was less interesting. I worked all afternoon, the coffee wore off, and the vikings lost. But my day was still a win. I got in on most of a church service before I had to leave for work, and scrawled a page of notes so that I wouldn't forget...

He is better than we know.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness... Blessed are = hearts expanded, growing. Their hearts become bigger, who make peace. 
Love your enemies, so that you may be sons and daughters of your father  . . . He loves his enemies.
So much that he sent his son (and Jesus gladly came) to make enemies into friends.
There is nowhere too far for His love to reach. No sin to great for grace to cover.
He loves his enemies, and then makes us his brothers.

I'm learning so much these days. Most days I'm not sure where my heart is exactly. I'm not aware of all the things God's teaching me. I'm not as in touch with my heart as I hope to be. I sometimes feel like I turn my face to the Son but forget to open my eyes. But I do know my heart is growing.
And that's enough.

Peace I leave you. My peace I give you.

Mostly work

Made food, mailed a package. Worked for a large portion of the day. Listened to more about Butterbur and Strider and the rest while driving. Drank coffee. Took a long bath and listened to a Jason Meyer sermon on prayer. So good. You should definitely listen. peace, my friends

A little catch up

Yesterday the guys came to fix my roof by eight o'clock in the morning, so I got up relatively early to clear most of my stuff out of the way. They arrived while I was eating my spinach omelette, and I just let them in and went about my day. In and out all day, fixing the roof, re-plastering my ceiling. It was kind of fun to have people around; I felt like offering them lunch.

Anyway, I turned on some NCIS and spent some time in the kitchen. I made pumpkin muffins and oatmeal bake, washed dishes, and made quinoa chili. It was very delicious. Filling, spicy, and warm.

I also pulled out my art projects in the afternoon, spread it out on the living-room floor and watched some Bones in the background. The workers were finishing in my room, sweeping up the floors and down the stairs behind them, planning to come back the next day.

I brought the chili out for supper too and made oven fries and brownies to go with it. Ben came over with Joe, and Ashley came home. We enjoyed our supper, and chatting, and then we watched an episode of Due South. Oh nostalgia and good times! We capped the evening off when Grace and a bunch of her friends came back inside and we shared hilarity, jokes, and music until we had to break it up: a few heading off to dancing. I went straight to bed, since I knew I had to get up early.

At four o'clock this morning my routine went: *pushups* *stretches* *lay-on-the-floor-till-you-stop-feeling-faint* then *shower* *oatmeal bake* *rest of day*

Work went fine, but by the time I got home I was wiped out. I'd had a full eight hour day before two in the afternoon. So I didn't get much else done today. Food and napping mostly. Now as I wake myself up again for a little evening before bed ;) I turned on some music to cheer up the soul:

And some bagpipes for the win.

More tomorrow

Headed to bed. My morning starts early. I'll catch up on today in tomorrow's post.

Sometimes life comes to you in (almost) tweet-sized bits

 always with the food #pelicanbreed

Heard Adele's Hello on the radio today, and got a little de-javu from this time last year. Looked it up, and indeed, "Hello" came out on the 23rd--one year ago Sunday. Remember how it was a Thing by
Thanksgiving? #timeflies #wherewillyoubeinayear

Friend: I'm a bird!
Me: If you're a bird, I'm a bird
*explains that I know the quote not from watching chick-flicks but from watching crossfit documentaries*
#winning #richfroning

This person legit reminds me of Brother Oswin #Cadfael #poorsoul

Went to see @theriverthief. Totes recognized the Wilsons on the beach, and saw the polygoner patch. #polygonersforever #greatfilm #snakeriver #itsagift

Stepped outside: it totally smells like snow. Not just cold, I'm telling you, it smells like snow. #already #minnesota

So my ceiling's getting fixed tomorrow. Gonna get up early and move my stuff. #funtimes #betterthanaleak #stopdrippingroof

Starting the day with yoga and pushups improves my mood drastically. #namaste #bemorehuman

The month is amber

These aren't pictures from this year, but they convey the beautiful autumn splendor that surrounds me. I see the most vibrant colors as I drive to work. Sumac, burning bushes, and trees in gold and burnt orange. 

This morning I drank three cups of tea with breakfast, and read through the calendar book of poetry by John Updike, illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman. It is a staple of the seasonal year, and a delight to the picture-book soul. 

I dropped off books at the library on my way to work, not including my most recent acquisition: Susan Branch's 'Autumn'--another one I like to have around at the turn of the year. Full of inspiration and coziness.

I really had a lovely day. The colors of everything. The overall way it flowed from one thing to the next. I've been loving my new prayer/devotional app. I started the day with yoga, and got to talk to Mama just briefly.

I was training in someone at work today, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It wasn't a crazy day. I came home and made oven fries and fish to eat with Ben. We chatted and he played music, and we had general good conversation.


Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run...

Peak color on the sentinel maples

Coffee. Lyrics. Brothers.
Church service. Chicken curry.
Relaxing afternoon and some tv. Ever seen Foyle's War? For one as in love with World War 2 as I am, it's gold.

A trip to Tweite's Farm

It started out as a group activity, and wound up with just the two of us able to go. 
So we went and had a blast anyway!
 A great place to indulge the inner child--life-sized lincoln logs might have been my favorite part.

We found a pineapple, and played not-mini golf (note the mallets and air-filled rubber balls).

And then there was the corn maze of course -- the forty-five-minutes-to-an-hour variety, complete with Pirate-ship shapes, and getting lost. Didn't have to use our cheater map or gps though. Just the checkpoints within the maze.

 Fun playgrounds and slides that we didn't fit in, but went on anyway. Life sized board games. We played a full game of checkers on that huge board. (And we made it so that you had to hop tile to tile yourself, when you wanted to 'jump' in the game.)

It was an all-around fun day, and had great random conversations, spanning many genres--from football to Tintin, and so on. Thanks Joe!

Welcoming close of day

I've been listening to the Fellowship in the car
I've made it to Bree!
Today I felt buzzy and tired, even though I started the day with yoga, ate breakfast, and did some cooking before work. Still, I made it through the eight hour work day, saw some pleasant faces along the way, and am home safe in my bedroom. I'm looking forward to a little out and about adventure tomorrow, so I'll turn in at a reasonable hour. I've already mixed up the quinoa tabbouleh for my pack-lunch tomorrow, and spread apple-butter on some "naan". (GF-DF 'naan' tastes a little... interesting. But the sweet-tart of the apple butter makes it a good snack.)
Rest well, my friends. Fare well wherever you fare!

On fire

 Driving home this evening the fields were even more full of combines, semis full of corn; colored tractors plowing, ripping stalks. Further along, more combines and tractors, this time with their lights on as dusk fell. Standing corn the color of sand... remembering bins full of silage and getting nostalgic about the smell...
 Autumn is here and I close my eyes and welcome the turn of the world.