Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Monday, December 15, 2008


Yes, I read it - after much pressure. Now I'm posting my thoughts here where I doubt those who recommended the book so highly will find them. To them I may present my opinions more tactfully:)

Overall, I think it's simply drivel, and not worth a long post here. There are thousands of good books to read that will provide more satisfying romance and suspense in a healthier atmosphere. However, there is one distinction I'd like to make.

Edward is widely esteemed, even adored by young women for possessing "unearthly self-control". He does, in one respect. He can control his desire for Bella's blood, but this should not be confused with his self-discipline where Bella herself is concerned. Their relationship is marked by a stereotypical impetuosity and ignorance that can only harm those involved. Ladies, before placing him on a par with Edward Ferrars, take a caveat from the character of his other namesake, Edward Rochester, noteworthy for his weaknesses.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Something someone fowarded to me

From Magnificat magazine. It struck me as very Chestertonian, and an excellent reminder of what Advent allows time for.

It becomes very evident why our Lord tells us to become as little children (MT 18:3) and what is involved in it; we can see how it is related to the theme of 'vacate', taking a break from being God, to let Him be God. Little children do not have piles of important correspondence on their desks, nor rows of shiny telephones to handle all their important business transactions. Becoming as a little child means unlearning the false solemnity of adolescence, unlearning the false maturity and self-importance of ideology and Puritanism. It means forgetting to run the world, forgetting to run one another's lives. It means forgetting even to run our own lives. This sheds light also on Saint Paul's words that we must not be conformed to this world. If we would learn the true sense in which God is a God of order, we must first unlearn that kind of order which we try to impose on the world and on ourselves and on one another, simply to subject everything to ourselves, to protect us from the wideness and freedom of God's world. The mystics leave us in no doubt that any real growth in prayer, in communion with God, leads us into the desert, into the place of wild wide wastes, where we can get no bearings. We must come out from behind the security of our homemade identity, our self-appointed responsibilities, into the spaciousness of God's world, a spaciousness whose dimensions and orientation we shall only gradually learn to recognize as freedom, within which we shall only gradually discover our true responsibilities.
Fr. Simon Tugwell, O.P.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Oh. Really?

Hat-tip Love2Learn Mom

You Are Scrabble

You are incredibly clever and witty. You can talk your way out of (and into) situations easily.

You are an excellent decision maker. You are good at weighing the options in front of you.

You're the type of person who can make something out of nothing. You are very resourceful.

You know a lot of things. Most importantly, you know when people are wrong - even when they won't admit it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Obvious! Halleluia!

I have just rediscovered a glorious truth - let it be known throughout all realms and passed on to all generations that five times twelve equals sixty!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Hurrah! I can post!

Rarely before have I felt even the urge to post, yet now, after so long of having no Blogger ID, I understand and appreciate the ability to afflict and enlighten (ha!) the world with my musings.

Perhaps now I will blog something about WYD SYD 08...

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Another cake

Our Teen Catechism group just met for the last time this schoolyear. We've been reading and discussing Jesus of Nazareth, by Pope Benedict XVI, and after over a year of work, finished the book! I spent another afternoon in the kitchen in honor of this momentous occasion, and built this sweetly unhealthy but singularly appropriate confection.

The lappets and cross are white chocolate, the rest cake and buttercream. Not having a patented papal-tiara baking pan, I gave it a slightly unconventional shape, but you get the idea:)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

'Nother one!

Found another quiz! Admittedly, I never post anything else lately, but I have found quality ones. Here's the newest

This test brought to you by Blakeney Manor.

Find out:Which Scarlet Pimpernel character are you?

Pray do not misunderstand - I don't dislike sentimentality in the least - nor does Sir Percy! Mushiness, however, ought indeed to be dispensed with... Why can't all romance be Austen-ified?

Sunday, February 03, 2008


Little Brother B celebrated his 9th birthday this past month, and being 97% cowboy*, requested a "rattlesnake cake" and a "Red Ryder BB gun!" As the culinary crackpot of the family, I enthusiastically undertook the challenge. Two hours of complete abandon and concentration produced this masterpiece, of which I am undeniably vain.

* He is also 1% each Angel, Genius, and Fury

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I've been tagged

1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.

"I know you too well to suppose you would allow such a thing to pass you."

"I burnt it, for fear that even a fragment should remain; for that letter must have effected your condemnation."

"And the destruction of your future prospects," replied Noirtier; "yes, I can easily comprehend that."

~ The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexander Dumas

Five people? besides the Chesterteens? Uh...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Monday, December 17, 2007

Friday, December 14, 2007


Although I had this dream a few days ago, it's stuck in my mind and it's so Chestertonianly accurate that I must record it.

It began with a down escalator, at top of which stood Algernon, my little sister, and me. Algernon, in loco Father Brown, was explaining, "Men may keep a sort of level of good, but no man has ever been able to keep on one level of evil. That road goes down and down. The kind man drinks and turns cruel..." as we all gazed at the escalator, from the bottom of which was echoing "the litany of the dark angels" (I had just watched The dagger with wings). After that, things got a little confused, but someone ended up dying, possibly me. Next thing I knew, however, Coyote was getting married, and Ria and I went shopping for a dress with her.

Notice, that the only friends of mine who made it into the dream were Chesterteens.

Back to the wedding dress. We went to this one department store, that looked pretty ordinary, but the owner, who was showing us around, unnerved me. His glasses caught the artificial light at absolutely any angle, so that wherever he turned his eyes were obscured. Equally alarming were the dresses he showed us. Ria and Coyote were all raptures, and told me I was being most unsociable. What they couldn't be brought to see was that something on every dress was the wrong shape. I didn't know I could imagine up such ugly frills, severe swirls, or ungraceful bows. the majority of each dress was well made, artistic, and elegant. But one detail, usually in the trimming was downright ugly, an accessory so small that it was not immediately visible, but wrong enough that it disturbed the overall image.

I kept pointing out these crooked minutiae, but was asked in hurt tones if I didn't think it was a profoundly beautiful dress. If all I objected to was the lace, which Coyote, the bride, was fine with, I ought to keep my criticism to myself. My in-real-life-brilliant friends didn't get my point - a point I stressed more and more as we went deeper into the store, which narrowed like an Egyptian temple.

As the wall to our left began to bend at the top, just a few inches below its meeting with the ceiling, growing increasingly into the shape of Father Brown's telltale piece of paper, I grew frantic. Somehow my carefree, giddy friends must be put on their guard.

I pointed to the bend in the ceiling, horrifically evident now, and drew the parallel of Chesterton's story in vivid terms for two confused-looking young ladies. After staring at me in silence for a few moments, they asked sweetly, "Don't you feel well?"

In rage, incredulity and despair I turned away. My Chestertonian friends, the girls I love and look up to, thought I was insane, and were walking blindly into -

Well, what? Was there really something deplorable waiting beyond the next display? Surely. Was I insane? Or was the owner? Were my friends? I settled it thusly: I was, at least partially, and therefore by far the most logical of the party. That heady and dismal conclusion being reached, I faced my friends and my responsibility once again.

I received a bit of a shock. There, chatting pleasantly with the girls, and slowly drawing them back out towards the light, was a person who fit the exact description of Gabriel Gale, fictitious patron of lunatics. Gratefully commending my friends to his expert management, I cast one despising glance at the owner, whose glassy eyes wouldn't meet mine, and whose Mona Lisa smile could be defined (by me) as nothing but nefarious and hateful. With this leer hovering before me, I woke up.

Monday, December 10, 2007

two-way one-way conversations

Our parish is having a Church mission, and last night there was a 'just for teens' talk, which I attended. The speaker was engaging, hilarious, creative, and broke the ice almost instantly. Many present, I feel, could have handled more substance than was offered, but never mind. One question he gave us was "do you have conversations with yourself, you know, two-way-one-way conversations?" YES. And I think I'll record one of them, taking place the same night. We had been divided up into small groups, and were asked to thoughtfully discuss and answer "why modern teens don't get into the God-Faith-Church thing". One guy said "drugs. alcohol." From the rest of the guys came grunts of assent and from the girls chirps of "totally agree!" with valley-girl gestures and batting eyelashes.

Emotional, in the moment me thinks: GROW UP! Girls, that appendage you just flipped and cocked coquettishly was intended for a much higher purpose! USE IT TO CONTEMPLATE THE QUESTION!

Retrospective, Objective me thinks: Relax. You snot! They are self-conscious and tense, a state of mind that doesn't lend itself to deep thought, especially to people not often exposed to perspicacity.

I say: don't you think there's more to it than that? Drugs and alcohol are just temptations, that people like us don't often encounter until they are teens. I think it's the religious examples parents set that make a bigger difference.

"Whl*, I think that like, the parents themselves can't like, make a big difference. Cuz seriously, no one like, listens ta their parents anymore. They think it's like, not cool." came in gutteral tones from a slouching girl picking at her nails. More grunts. Copious, simultaneous, "yeah. OH MY GOSH, my friend, like..."'s from the girls.

E M: Congratulations! you actually succeeded in making a point! Too bad it was unintentionally. Now just imagine you have a spine, and I'd like you.

R O M: Just imagine how she feels at the moment - just the way she looks, uncomfortable, awkward. Besides, at least she's not behaving like the others. Be charitable.

E M: But it's thoroughly bogus! Just look at them! A gaggle of gossipy girls and a lump of inertial guys, unwilling to have or form their own opinions. No wonder teens don't get into the
"God-Faith-Church" thing, if they're too lazy even to find out why they don't when they don't!

ROM: You yourself are scarcely being logical. That rant my have let off steam, but you've begun mixing your terms. Besides, it's time to take your seat and listen to the other groups.

EM: Hee hee! I rather suspect I'll be laughing up my sleeve at some attempts, judging from my own group!

ROM: Just mind it stays entirely up your sleeve.

It didn't, I'm ashamed to say.

*Well. The ludicrous spelling is an attempt to illustrate the dialect adopted by this character, as are the 'likes' which came only too infrequently in my rendition.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Reading Quiz

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Literate Good Citizen
Book Snob
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

Big Surprise!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Dramatic Ditzing

After last autumn's theatrical catastrophes involving unwilling thespians, puerile, putrid script, no rehearsal time, and that little in a hectic, boisterous atmosphere, myself and two others who had been victim to these depressing circumstances decided there was only one thing to do -form our own troupe. Partly at my suggestion as pertaining to our personalities, we gave it the eloquent, sophisticated name Totus Mundus Agit Historionem - before it was even formulated. We thought to save ourselves the chaos and panic of last-minute planning, so we began recruiting in May. Alas, what with being perpetually absented from each other all summer, and other activities obtruding themselves on our schedules, we were unable to fix a day until August, by which time many, many others had conflicts. In spite of this we have a group of fifteen energetic and talented Dramatis Personae, and a script portraying Alice in Wonderland with undiluted satire and vocabulary.

Everything is going well and we've been having great fun. For example, yesterday we were trying to synchronize the 'ALL' lines during the croquet scene and the trial. We sat solemnly (or otherwise) in a circle, one person would say the line, then repeat it. On the repeat the next person joined them, matching there expression and meter. So it went, around the whole circle. It can easily be imagined that by the time everyone was chanting together, it became most rhythmic, and how could we keep from dancing? A few even improvised descants and percussion. From here it was but one step to the fact that we must do a musical. We got halfway through casting before coming back down to earth.

Monday, July 23, 2007


What I've been up to this summer:
  • Organizing a theater company
  • volunteering at the library and a local historical site
  • visiting Margaret's college
This one needs elaboration. On the way, we stopped in Iowa for a baby shower, Sioux Falls Sou' Dakota to meet another homeschooling family, the Badlands, Sturgis, Sou' Dakota, and the Black Hills. Once in Wyoming, the vicinity of the college, we visited Thermopolis, South Pass, Popoagie Falls, Popoagie Sinks, and (naturally) the college itself. Making our way to Colorado by way of Independence Rock, Devil's Gate, and Register Rock, we stopped in Colorado Springs to visit our Aunt and Uncle. There we saw Pike's Peak, Florissant Fossil Beds, two tornadoes, our THIRD hailstorm in two weeks, Garden of the Gods, and went rafting. We thus began our journey home - through Agate Fossil beds, Wind Cave, Mount Rushmore, and once again, the homeschooling family in Sioux Falls.
To continue with my list:
  • Reading all the Sherlock Holmes stories
  • Counseling for a summer camp
  • Going on a mission trip!!!!
Once again, elaboration required. I went with my Church youth group, 32 teens in all. Our mission site was Logan, WV, a diminutive, impoverished town. When finally there, after two days of driving, we split up into two groups, to take on two different tasks; painting a house and running "Kids' Club", a local summer camp for kids who couldn't afford the usual thing. I did Kids' Club. We made friends with some remarkable children, put on Bible story skits, sang at nursing homes, and played 4-square. With the people we met, the experiences we faced, and the friendships we made, it was unforgettable, and the fun goes on.
Came home and:
  • Bade a prolonged and pathetic farewell to Margaret, who is contentedly installed in college. (how anyone can be so joyous without their younger sister is a mystery to me)
  • Spent a week on my Grandparents' farm while Margaret was shuttled out West. A major highlight of this visit was learning to mow the lawn, on a joystick-controlled machine weighing about a ton. I described it in an email to Margaret.
"... Seeing Grandma cruising, whipping, barreling, veering etc. in her nifty, handy-dandy pocket-sized lawn mower....Lurching, zig-zagging, plummeting, lashing, etc. myself on that identical vehicle. At best, I was redoubtable. At worst, I was a mortal danger to all living things within a hundred yards, including trees, bushes, flowers, and corn. You might say even to rocks, railroad ties, and the mower itself. But man, I loved it."
  • TRIED AND LIKED SUSHI. I am the princess of picky eaters. My palate rejects turkey and all variety of cooked fish. It is therefore a cataclysmic phenomenon that I can enjoy fish uncooked.
  • participated in a music camp
  • went to Six Flags with my friends from South Dakota
  • seized the last few days of summer to morph back into my scholastic self, and catch up on sleep.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Some Screwtape Letter Snippets

Written by C. S. Lewis as treatises on the science of Tempting from a senior demon to a junior, I'm finding these so interesting, I can't disengage myself. The main quotes that are haunting me are,
"Ideally, Screwtape's advice to Wormwood should have been balanced by arch-angelical advice to the patient's guardian angel. Without this the picture of human life is lopsided. But who could supply the deficiency? Even if a man - and he would have to be a far better man than I - could scale the spiritual heights required, what "answerable style" could he use? For the style would really be part of the content. Mere advice would be no good; every sentence would have to smell of Heaven....(At bottom, every ideal of style dictates not only how we should say things but what sort of things we may say.)"
If such, then, is true of heavenly writing, couldn't the same be said of Satanic writing? How close can a human come to the state of mind of a devil? Logically, it is simpler to fall than to rise, but isn't there a line that can't be safely crossed? I think C. S. Lewis had something of the sort in mind when he wrote,
"Though it was easy to twist one's mind into the diabolical attitude, it was not fun, or not for long. The strain produced a sort of spiritual cramp. The work into which I had to project myself while I spoke through Screwtape was all dust, grit, thirst, and itch. Every trace of Beauty, freshness, and geniality had to be excluded. It almost smothered me before Iwas done. It would have smothered my readers if I had prolonged it. "
I didn't read this till I had read the first chapter, and was astonished by the first point made by Uncle Screwtape to Nephew Wormwood, namely that if his (Wormwood's) patient was to be safely brainwashed into materialism, it was not to be because he understood it, and discussed it openly. Reasoning was to be avoided, and vagaries about materialism's "strength, starkness or courageousness," used instead.
"The trouble about argument is that it moves the whole struggle onto the Enemy's own ground. He can argue too; whereas in really practical propaganda of the kind I am suggesting He has been shown for centuries to be greatly the inferior of Our Father Below. By the very act of arguing, you awake the patient's reason; and once it is awake, who can foresee the result? Even if a peculiar train of thought can be twisted so as to end in our favor, you will find that you have been strengthening in your patient the fatal habit of attending to universal issues and withdrawing his attention from the stream of immediate sense experiences....Teach him to call it'real life', and don't let him ask what he means by 'real.'"
I need to stop now, but (hint,hint) Love2learn Mom, I think this would be a succulent discussion book, even though I'm not half done.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


Love2Learn Mom, my Latina magistra, has announced our Latin scores!!!!! Congratulations to my classmates Monkey and Beth who received silver medals along with me, and Ria who missed it by only one point!!!!! Ria and I, attempting the Latin II Exam, didn't expect to do so well!!!! I'm vastly relieved.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Fable Fun, sequel

Having a few spare minutes that aren't fit for any other employment, I thought I'd post my Fox and Crow rendition.

Lessons at Leisure

On a genial afternoon in May, in a majestically swaying young maple tree, there resided a nondescript crow, whose ordinary aspect rather marred the poetic atmosphere of the day. Surveying this tableau from the surrounding forest, a bright-eyed fox noted an object yet more out of place; a particle of cheese, residing temptingly in the bird’s mouth. The crow, proudly appraising her cheese, did not observe the fox sauntering forward with convincing nonchalance. Politely interrupting her reverie with an unobtrusive cough, he determined on introducing a topic of conversation.

“Madame,” quoth he, “You make too elegant a picture to refrain from commenting on. In this graceful young tree, surrounded by such gloriously animated countryside, your plumage glinting as though fashioned of onyx, your eyes holding a deep enigmatic luster…” He persisted with this device, fluently fabricating foolishness for the crow, who inflated noticeably with pride. “Indeed,” he continued, “the only element lacking in this paradisiacal scene, the one touch that can complete the atmosphere, is music: one delicate, satisfying melody, as only a magnificent bird such as you can bestow.”

It was enough. The gullible crow, in her ignorant vanity, could not resist; it was either sing or detonate with the conceited delight the fox’s lavish admiration had kindled. Although she tried her best, the one, brief note she gave was exceptionally sour, particularly because it quickly morphed into a scream of disappointment and indignation. Feigning still to be amiable, the fox, who had dexterously snapped up the rapidly descending cheese, intoned, “To be sure, there is nothing in existence as delicate or satisfying as a fragment of Gruyere, though never have I before known it to be defined as a melody.” Complacently chuckling, he strolled blithely away, leaving the crow to ponder this lesson in a rueful sense of injustice.


Saturday, March 10, 2007

Fable Fun

As a writing exercise last month, I re-wrote the fable of the fox and the crow, originally by Aesop. When I commenced the assignment, bells began clamoring through my head, and stray fragments of poetry zipped across my mental field of vision. Delving into The Harp and Laurel Wreath, by Laura Berquist, a poetry book utilized frequently in my elementary years, I located the poem and laughed over its simple yet sophisticated phraseology. Having enjoyed it, I chose to post it as the poetry for this week, mayhap following it up with my own composition later on.
The sycophantic Fox and the gullible Raven

By Guy Wetmore Carryl

A raven sat upon a tree,

And not a word he spoke, for
His beak contained a piece of Brie.
Or, maybe it was Roquefort.
We'll make it any kind you please --
At all events it was a cheese.

Beneath the tree's umbrageous limb
A hungry fox sat smiling;
He saw the raven watching him,
And spoke in words beguiling:
"J'admire," said he, "ton beau plumage!"
(The which was simply persiflage.)

Two things there are, no doubt you know,
To which a fox is used:
A rooster that is bound to crow,
A crow that's bound to roost;
And whichsoever he espies
He tells the most unblushing lies.

"Sweet fowl," he said, "I understand
You're more than merely natty;
I hear you sing to beat the band
And Adelina Patti.
Pray render with your liquid tongue
A bit from Gotterdammerung."

This subtle speech was aimed to please
The crow, and it succeeded;
He thought no bird in all the trees
Could sing as well as he did.
In flattery completely doused,
He gave the "Jewel Song" from Faust.

But gravitation's law, of course,
As Isaac Newton showed it,
Exerted on the cheese its force,
And elsewhere soon bestowed it.
In fact, there is no need to tell
What happened when to earth it fell.

I blush to add that when the bird
Took in the situation
He said one brief, emphatic word,
Unfit for publication.
The fox was greatly startled, but
He only sighed and answered, "Tut."

The Moral is: A fox is bound
To be a shameless sinner.
And also: When the cheese comes round
You know it's after dinner.
But (what is only known to few)
The fox is after dinner, too.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Downtime entirely unintentional

Yes, I do have a halfway reasonable excuse for not posting as I said I would. Two, actually. Firstly, I was absent most of the weekends(s) and didn't have the time to post, and secondly I haven't been able to sit down and read St. Valentine and now the penitential poetry appropriate for the season.

I found this sample
refreshing, as far as text-filled Kyries go. My psyche has undergone excessive stress recently on account of some appallingly horrific, flimsy, sodden lines interspersed through the Penitential Rite - and, as a matter of fact, the rest of the Liturgy. I assure you, however, that no such atrocities will confront you here
"...and you may safely read." - G.K.C.

Lent, 1869

By Richard Storrs Willis


We like sheep have gone astray,
Kyrie eleison!
Each his own misguided way,
Kyrie eleison!
Wandering farther, day by day,
Kyrie eleison!


Shepherd kind, oh! lead us back;
Christe eleison!
Wrest us from our dangerous track,
Christe eleison!
Lest the wolves thy flock attack;
Christe eleison!


Ope for us again thy fold,
Kyrie eleison!
Night approaches, drear and cold;
Kyrie eleison!
Death, perchance, and woes untold;
Kyrie eleison!

Located on Catholic Poetry from various resources

Monday, February 05, 2007

Mea Culpa

I apologize; I was busy yesterday and the day before and so did not post any poetry, and the Sunday before I was absent. Therefore, I am now going to post a poem that deeply ensnares my fascination. A quirk about my mind is that I am strongly attracted by shipwrecks, the stories, causes of, precautions taken against, etc. The one I read about first was not, as you may suppose, the ever-classic Titanic, but the Lusitania, in memory of which this poem was written. It would seem that before the Lusitania's last voyage in 1915, in the midst of WWII, the Germans published newspaper articles warning citizens to boycott the vessel. The warnings went unheeded, and that spring Lusitania set out with 3000 passengers, 1198 of which never returned. A Nazi submarine sunk the ship on May 7th, in only forty-five minutes. America's first explosion of indignation was summed up in Joyce Kilmer's passionate poem:

The White Ships and the Red

(For Alden March)

With drooping sail and pennant
That never a wind may reach,
They float in sunless waters
Beside a sunless beach.
Their mighty masts and funnels
Are white as driven snow,
And with a pallid radiance
Their ghostly bulwarks glow.

Here is a Spanish galleon
That once with gold was gay,
Here is a Roman trireme
Whose hues outshone the day.
But Tyrian dyes have faded,
And prows that once were bright
With rainbow stains wear only
Death's livid, dreadful white.

White as the ice that clove her
That unforgotten day,
Among her pallid sisters
The grim Titanic lay.
And through the leagues above her
She looked aghast, and said:
"What is this living ship that comes
Where every ship is dead?"

The ghostly vessels trembled
From ruined stern to prow;
What was this thing of terror
That broke their vigil now?
Down through the startled ocean
A mighty vessel came,
Not white, as all dead ships must be,
But red, like living flame!

The pale green waves about her
Were swiftly, strangely dyed,
By the great scarlet stream that flowed
From out her wounded side.
And all her decks were scarlet
And all her shattered crew.
She sank among the white ghost ships
And stained them through and through.

The grim Titanic greeted her
"And who art thou?" she said;
"Why dost thou join our ghostly fleet
Arrayed in living red?
We are the ships of sorrow
Who spend the weary night,
Until the dawn of Judgment Day,
Obscure and still and white."

"Nay," said the scarlet visitor,
"Though I sink through the sea,
A ruined thing that was a ship,
I sink not as did ye.
For ye met with your destiny
By storm or rock or fight,
So through the lagging centuries
Ye wear your robes of white.

"But never crashing iceberg
Nor honest shot of foe,
Nor hidden reef has sent me
The way that I must go.
My wound that stains the waters,
My blood that is like flame,
Bear witness to a loathly deed,
A deed without a name.

"I went not forth to battle,
I carried friendly men,
The children played about my decks,
The women sang -- and then --
And then -- the sun blushed scarlet
And Heaven hid its face,
The world that God created
Became a shameful place!

"My wrong cries out for vengeance,
The blow that sent me here
Was aimed in Hell. My dying scream
Has reached Jehovah's ear.
Not all the seven oceans
Shall wash away that stain;
Upon a brow that wears a crown
I am the brand of Cain."

When God's great voice assembles
The fleet on Judgment Day,
The ghosts of ruined ships will rise
In sea and strait and bay.
Though they have lain for ages
Beneath the changeless flood,
They shall be white as silver,
But one -- shall be like blood.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Sensations under a Staircase

A few days ago, I walked into a spacious new library with Margaret, the tantalizing prospect of a bit of quiet reading dominating my mind.

After seeing Margaret off with her Latin tutor, I settled in a warm, shadowed nook wedged between a large staircase (the principal one of that building) and a convenient wall. Dropping into a plush chair, I pulled out Virgil's Aeneid, and fell gently through the pages into Carthage, where Dido cried, implored, and raged in vain, and Aeneas slowly followed an unusually insistent Mercury down to the shore. As Dido opened her mouth to defy Aeneas' immortal parentage, what should reach my ears but the sound of a heavy fall, apparently from several millenniums ahead.

Rather curious, I surfaced from my fantastical daydream, and as Dido's shrieks grew faint, I became aware of a fluent stream of profanity. As the library came back into focus, I glanced upwards, and beheld a passerby prone upon the staircase that rose above me, now angrily uprighting herself and fabricating the colorful phrases that had interrupted me.

Not thinking this of any particular importance, I drifted back to Dido. I shadowed her through her insanity, her countless sacrifices, and her suicide, only to have my attention seized at the crucial moment by labored breathing and a panted, "Good - exercise; keep - it up." Upon examination, there proved to be a ponderous lady ascending the evidently popular and relatively long staircase.

Mildly amused by a double encounter with expressions not meant for my ears, and marveling slightly at the coincidence, I rejoined Dido, only to find that she had died in my absence, and I was now to attend the funeral games of Anchises.

The boat race, my favorite event, came first, and I joined the Nereids in propelling the foremost vessel, Scylla, to victory. As I watched Aeneas dole out the prizes, a strange voice muttered, not far away, "Knees, knees, knees!" My attention was instantaneously reverted to the staircase, from whence I supposed this extraordinary exclamation to issue, and sure enough, there was the speaker, an elderly gentleman nearing the top step. I very much wanted to laugh, but waited until Margaret and I were packed in the car on the way home, as I attempted to relate the tale.

Monday, January 22, 2007

How Fanciful

This is rather interesting. It's a quiz to see which classic Heroine you're most like. My results are not quite what I expected them to be. According to the quiz, I am
50% Lizzie Bennett
46% Emma Woodhouse
38% Juliet Capulet
36% Wendy Darling
27% Jo March
26% Maid Marian
24% Jane Eyre
21% Helen of Troy
16% Eowyn of Rohan
11% Anne Shirley
I agree wholeheartedly with Lizzie Bennett and Emma Woodhouse, but where did they get Juliet Capulet?????

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sunday installment

I'm going to follow Love2learn Mom's example and post poetry once a week. This will probably occur on Sundays, because I feel most poetic then. Here is a poem I enjoy every time I read it. It reminds me of the poem 'Only to Rise' in The Shadow of the Bear.

A Day Dream

By Emily Bronte

On a sunny brae alone I lay

On summer afternoon;

It was the marriage month of May

With her young lover, June.

From her mother’s heart seemed loath to part

That queen of bridal charms;

But her father smiled on the fairest child

He ever held in his arms.

The trees did wave their plumy crests,

The glad birds caroled clear;

And I, of all the wedding guests,

Was only sullen there.

There was not one but wished to shun

My aspect void of cheer;

The very grey rocks looking on

Asked, ‘What do you do here?’

And I could utter no reply-

In sooth I did not know

Why I had brought a clouded eye

To greet the general glow.

So resting on a heathy bank

I took my heart to me

And we together sadly sank

Into a reverie.

We thought-‘When winter comes again

Where will these bright things be?

All vanished like a vision vain-

And unreal mockery!

‘The birds that now so blithely sing-

Through deserts frozen dry,

Poor specters of the perished Spring

In famished troops will fly.

‘And why should we be glad at all?

The leaf is hardly green

Before a token of the fall

Is on its surface seen.’

Now whether it be really so

I never could be sure-

But as in fit of peevish woe

I stretched me on the moor

A thousand thousand glancing fires

Seemed kindling in the air-

A thousand thousand silver lyres

Resounded far and near.

Methought the very breath I breathed

Was full of sparks divine

And all my heather-couch was wreathed

By that celestial shine-

And while the wide Earth echoing rang

To their strange minstrelsy,

The little glittering spirits sang

Or seemed to sing to me,-

‘O mortal, mortal, let them die-

Let Time and Tears destroy,

That we may overflow the sky

With universal joy.

‘Let grief distract the sufferer’s breast

And Night obscure his way;

They hasten him to endless rest

And everlasting day.

‘To thee the world is like a tomb-

A desert’s naked shore;

To us-in unimagined bloom

It brightens more and more.

‘And could we lift the veil and give

One brief glimpse to thine eye

Thou wouldst rejoice for those that live

Because they live to die.’

The music ceased-the noonday Dream

Like dream of night withdrew,

But fancy still will sometimes deem

Her fond creation true.

Now, I know I once posted on Liber Parma about my preference of Charlotte Bronte's writing over her sister's, but Emily's poetry is far more eloquent in my eyes. Some is, alas, rather morbid and depressing, but there are hopeful poems as well. I've been meaning to read more of Anne Bronte's poetry, too, and there's always plenty of Chesterton to be absorbed, and re-read, I want to get through Dante's 'Divine Comedy'....Why was it called a Comedy anyway???

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Ahhhhh, rapture!!!

I am absolutely ecstatic!!! I have joined The Word Nerds, a new Love2Learn blog for multiloquent minds. I have a fetish for words, and am anticipating effusive diversion, both in reading and writing.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Mythological Headache

I have recently come upon a contradiction in mythology. You might say, 'that's 'cause it's mythology, not history', but this is more serious than whether a crab was involved in a certain labor of Hercules or not. Namely, when was Eros/Cupid/Amor born?? and to whom??? One source (D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths) says he was the son of Aphrodite/Venus/Lady of Cythera, and another (Guerber's Myths of Greece and Rome) that he was born to Aether (light) and Hemera (day) before the beginning of the world.
Imagine how frustrating!!!! If anyone has any explanation for this calamity I would be most grateful for it. Is there a preferred version??? Are there two different gods of love, as there are two sun gods???

Saturday, December 02, 2006


Cathy and I just received our Lit assignment, requesting us each to write a Diamante. As you probably know, this is a diamond-shaped poem about a pair of opposites. We chose to do them about us and our sisters.

sarcastic, operatic
singing, doodling, laughing
joy, melodrama, vivacity, extroversion
intoxicating, bubbling, bouncing
optimistic, voluble

contrary, abstracted
ditzing, imagining, reading
melodrama, verbosity, contemplation, precision
contradicting, observing, studying
calm, quiet

Our friends from Love2learn know this portrays us perfectly!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


I got to sing with the Sollerod Girls' Choir from Denmark!!!!! Thanks to our choir director, who was their contact here in the US, my homeschooled youth choir got a chance to perform several songs with them during their tour through this part of America. In addition, we went to the mall with them today!!!!! It was amazing to hear how well they harmonize and how closely they listen to each other. I had a blast singing with them. I also enjoyed trading fashion ideas!!!!!