30 May, 2005

We remember for them

For our family members and our friends in the military and in Iraq...For an old church friend who died in Iraq several months back...we remember for them. We listen to their stories so that we can pass them on, and understand their purpose (both the soldiers', their families', and all their stories).

They embody the meaning of what it really is to be a free people.

Disbinding of a book

Disbinding of a book - using a scalpel

This book, copyrighted and printed in 1877, needs a little cleaning, mending, rebinding and recasing. I will retain the original case, as preferred. The boards and papers are in really good shape, overall.

29 May, 2005

G. K. Chesterton

In honor of G. K. Chesterton's birthday, I'll share a couple of good Chesterton quotes, including my most favorite one, listed first.

*A room without books is like a body without a soul.

*Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.

*True contentment is a thing as active as agriculture. It is the power of getting out of any situation all that there is in it. It is arduous and it is rare.

I vaguely remembered some sort of connection between Chesterton and the Charlotte Mason (PNEU) schools. Tonight, while reading some of the
Parents' Review articles online, I read this section from one of the magazines in 1900:

"From the monthly "P.N.E.U. Notes" section of regional comments; a wedding announcement.
Volume XI 1900 pg 861
Edited by Miss Frances Blogg.
Sec.,26, Victoria Street, S.W.To who all Hon. Local Secs. are requested to send reports of all matters of interest connected with their branches, also 30 copies of any prospectuses or other papers they may print. N.B.
Kindly write on one side of the paper only. Miss Blogg is resigning her Secretaryship of the P.N.E.U. at the end of the year. Her place will be taken by Miss J.M. Russell. Miss Blogg is going abroad for three or four months, and will be married shortly after her return to Mr. Gilbert Chesterton."

I find it amusing that her last name was "Blogg." I know that's random, but I'm a global, concrete-random sort of a gal!

28 May, 2005

Currently Listening to...

"Share The Well," a Caedmon's Call project from Fall 2004. It pulsates with a global energy that is also uniquely their own. It includes a message of profound hope, and songs about real people we would otherwise never meet.

On recent trips to Ecuador, India and Brazil, the band drew inspiration from local musicians and villagers alike, gathering personal stories and authentic sounds as they traveled. Upon returning to the states, Caedmon's Call has added their own adept songwriting, colorful percussion elements, and signature harmonies.

This is an amazing album that should get your feet moving and your hands clapping!

27 May, 2005

Famous Birthdays & Quotes

This past Wednesday, May 25th, 1803, was the birthday of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Transcendentalist.

"We are always getting ready to live, but never living."

"We rail at trade, but the historians of the world will see that it was the principle of liberty; that it settled America, and destroyed feudalism, and made peace and keeps peace; and that it will abolish slavery." (Emerson Journals January 1844)

"A chief event of life is the day in which we have encountered a mind that startled us."

Rachel Carson, Naturalist, was born on this day, May 27, 1907.

"The discipline of the writer is to learn to be still and listen to what his subject has to tell him."

"If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in."
~Rachel Carson

24 May, 2005

Worldviews Final Speech

Our oldest son, 16.5, and his friends from Worldviews Class.

Tonight was their final presentation/speech and nobody fainted! In fact, they all did remarkably well. They each had to present the answer to James Sire's seven worldview questions (from The Universe Next Door, slightly revised by David Quine) from the perspective of the men they studied this year: The Greek and Roman Poets, Homer and Virgil; The early Greek Philosophers, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle; and two of the early church fathers, St. Augustine and St. Aquinas. They compared and contrasted these men's views against the Biblical view. The seven questions were:

*Is there a God or Gods, and if so, what are they like?
*What is the nature of the universe?
*What is the nature of man?
*What is the basis of ethics and morality?
*What happens to man at death?
*What is the cause of evil and suffering?
*What is the meaning of history?

Our son answered the question of "What is the Basis of Ethics and Morality" and ended with a quote from the movie, Groundhog Day: "You make choices, and you live with 'em."

23 May, 2005

The Parents' Review

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An original Parents' Review Magazine, founded and edited by Charlotte M. Mason
This one, from 1933, was edited by Elsie Kitching, as Charlotte had died in 1923.
I'm going to make a conservator's portfolio to keep this safe in an acid- and dust-free environment, after de-acidification, of course!

My favorite quote from this volume so far is by Monk Gibbon. I've boldened my favorite lines. The one about the sausage machine caused me to chuckle!

"...surely the future of the P.N.E.U. is this mission of cultural education as against education for the examination test, the qualifying standard, the stereotyped norm? Let others feed the sausage machine and let the P.N.E.U. remain with its few disciples outside the factory. I don't mean let it remain static, but where it moves forward, let it move forward along the line of this ideal, rather than the line of standardisation and tests, emphasising always that the only education that matters is this education of the soul, with all those mental and moral qualities which go to make up character. If we have new books--and why not?--let them be chosen for literary quality, which was Miss Mason's own criterion. If we have new ideas--and without new ideas we shall soon stultify and become a bundle of dried grass in a beautiful vase--let them be tried by the test she herself applied: 'Does this contribute to the enlightened and balanced spirit towards which we strive, or is it only another catch-penny or catch-notice device of the sensation-mongers, the people to whom everything new is necessarily good, everything old necessarily outworn?' P.N.E.U. cannot afford to be behind the age: it must be like all great movements a little--I shan't say in front of, but--outside it; that is, too conservative to been trapped by its imbecilities, too liberal to miss any of its advances. It must be on the watch to absorb all that is good in the new without losing its sense of proportion by embracing what is ephemeral merely for the sake of being modern."

Book Finds

I wanted to share the list of books dh and I gathered on our recent anniversary. These are from one of our favorite old bookshops for our personal and homeschool library collections. Many of these are for summer reading for our family, also recommended by many of our favorite hs booklists.

This is what we found last week:

Buckskin and Blanket Days by Thomas Henry Tibbles, my second copy (excellent, excellent book! but I may be biased, since it's a family book). Based on the unique and vivid memoirs of a pioneer, scout, hunter and friend of the Indians, from his youth in Bleeding, KS in 1856, to his newspaper career as a correspondent at the Battle of Wounded Knee.

A Story of The Golden Age by James Baldwin
nice hb copy of The Golden Fleece and the Heroes Who Lived Before Achilles by Padraic Colum

The Arts by Hendrik Willem Van Loon (second copy for us, helpful with four children)

Winston Churchill's Volume three: The Age of Revolutions (the only one we still needed)

More for hubby's "Library of America" collection:
Mark Twain's Innocents Abroad,
and Mississippi Writings
H. James Travel writings of Great Britain and America

A nice hardback copy of:
Of Plymouth Plantation by Wm. Bradford with extra notes by Samuel Morison

The Second Treatise of Government by John Locke
The Prince (hb) by Niccolo Macchiavelli
Essays by Francis Bacon

Ludwig Beethoven and the Chiming Tower Bells by Opal Wheeler
Chopin by Antoni Gronowicz - seems very similar in style to an Opal Wheeler, but perhaps for slightly older children

Slavic Peoples by Thomas Caldecot Chubb (1962)
from a series of books about "Major Cultures of the World"

The Good Master by Kate Seredy

The Boy's King Arthur Illustrated by N. C. Wyeth
The Scottish Chiefs Illustrated by N. C. Wyeth

The Light Beyond the Forest by Rosemary Sutcliff
The Sword and the Circle by Rosemary Sutcliff
Tristan & Iseult by Rosemary Sutcliff

Two of the four from "The Tripods" series by John Christopher:
When the Tripods Came
The City of Gold and Lead

The Wonderful O by James Thurber
The White Deer by James Thurber

Masterman Ready by Captain Marryat

Doctor Doolittle's Return - hb (I don't usually buy a lot of books in a series, but I though one more Dr. Doolittle might be fun.)

Two Landmarks:
Albert Schweitzer:
Daniel Boone: The Opening of The Wilderness by John Mason Brown

North Star Books:
Indian Wars and Warriors by Paul L. Wellman

Texas Tales by D. K. Sellars (1955)

A nice hardback copy with dj of The Cricket in Times Square by George Seldon
nice hb of The Princess and The Goblin

For my reading:
Books by Harold Bell Wright (Shepherd of the Hills, Ozarks author)
Their Yesterdays
When a Man's a Man
That Printer of Udell's

The Two Vanrevels by Booth Tarkington

Johnson's Dictionary: A Modern Selection by E. L. McAdam, Jr. and George Milne~
The "essence" of his dictionary, as an introduction to the style and wit of Samuel Johnson...which serves as a mirror of 17th and 18th Century England.

I never made it upstairs to the Adult section of Classics/Literature

They had some Gene Stratton Porter books, but none that I didn't already have. Same with Ralph Moody

There were others there that we didn't purchase, as they were priced too high. The older three children have already finished some of the books we bought them for summer reading! Argh! I must admit, though, that this is a *good* problem to have =).

Backing Parables From Nature

Backing and color matching

I was able to make more progress on Parables From Nature this weekend. This may be the project I submit for display (as a student conservation/preservation project) in Iowa this summer, as part of a larger program honoring the career of my teacher's teacher.

22 May, 2005

*The RCM*

The Real Chile Men (tm)

A Story about people who are just like real friends! (inside joke)

These are the "Real Chile Men." They are celebrating (with their families) Hubby's graduation, and Kenmeneezer's two-week leave from Iraq. Hubby is on the back row, left. Guess which one is the Army dude? (grin) Virtual Toblerone for anyone who gets it right!!

Honestly, these are most all of Hubster's best, best buddies. We've been through thick and thin together. Once a year, they go on a journey to New Mexico to hunt and bring home hundreds upon hundreds of pounds of Big Jim chiles to freeze for their families. This summer will be their 12th year to go. They camp, eat, hunt chile, eat, sing and play guitars, mandolins and harmonica around the campfire, eat, swim and hike, eat...you get the picture.

In the late spring, early summertime, these manly men--businessmen, computer dudes, photogtraphers, teachers, a part-time Starbuck's barrista, and a munitions specialist--begin to write poems, ballads and tales in preparation for their journey at summer's end. With apologies to more famous poets and authors of the past, they even create spoof re-writes based on well-known works, such as "Chile, Chile Burning Bright," "Charge of The Chile Brigade," "The Grinch Who Stole The Chiles." They've redone ballads from The Pirates of Pinzance, Poetry of Robert Frost, Edgar Alan Poe, and *so* many others. Twelve years' worth of writing and re-writing.

One of the most notable songs written was a mandolin instrumental by my Hubby. It is called "____'s Lugubrious Lulluby," for one of the RCM (who shall remain nameless) with serious snoring issues. I think these men are brilliant.

This tradition began with Wadeboam, the brightest (clothed) one of the bunch. He grew up in New Mexico, among the chile farmers surrounding the Hatch, N.M. area. Hubby joined him that first year. Now, he makes the journey at the end of each growing season with Normanshalalhashbaz, J-braham, and the rest of his buddies to literally bring home the best chile in the country. It beats store-bought, hands down. The stores around here stock and roast them, now, but their roasting fires are too hot, and they burn much of the good meat, rendering them almost useless, so we continue to grill our own to prepare them for freezing. Then, we have a fiesta of food and music with all of our families!

This year, The RCM (tm) are adding a special family camping trip to our summer, so that the families can join in on ~some~ of their fun. They are all excellent cooks! I think the wives and children will probably do a lot of the clean-up.

Some of the items on the menu:

~ Cheese corn grits with green chiles
~ chile rellenos
~ chicken enchiladas w/ chile
~ cilantro corn, maybe with some green chile added :-)
~ beef tenderloin topped with green chile
~ breakfast burritos with chorizo and green chile
~ and some really scrumptious fried fruit turnovers and dutch-oven cherry dump cake for dessert.

We are blessed with precious friends and family. It's going to be a wonderful summer, even though we will be continuing on with some summer school studies, so the kiddos don't lose ground in math.

17 May, 2005

Graduation Narration

Hubby's graduation day was wonderful, and the weather was gorgeous, to top it all off! Family and some friends stayed at our house until 9 p.m. or so. Both of my brothers and their families were there...niece and geat nephew from Killeen (Ft. Hood), her sister, who is just back from 2 1/2 years of missionary internship in Estonia - Eastern Europe. Friends from our old church were also there, and we all had a great time visiting while our kiddos played. My brothers live in nearby towns, but they've both been so busy with life and their families, that they haven't seen each other in forever! I get to see them separately pretty often, but it was better to have their families together in one place for a change.

Lunchtime was spent at Hubby's parents' home with one of his favorite cousins, who has two Masters Degrees (one from SMU and one from Princeton) and is at SMU working on his Doctorate, now.

Hubby's Mom, Dad, and brother were all at graduation Sunday morning, plus some of our friends. The speeches were excellent. The University's emphasis is on a Western Civ. and Humanities education. The Valedictorian was a Physics major. He was funnnnny! He made references to the "Just Man" who is 729 times happier than the Unjust Man (Plato's Republic, and it was assumed that most people would know the reference...Our oldest son did!), to The Aeneid (He said something like, "Let's face it, The Aeneid is really overrated..."). There were also two references to the Ubiquity of the Eliptic, LOL.

Our oldest son took notes on the Valedictorian's speech . That was awesome. I think the graduation was a good experience for HIM to see/hear, since he will be a junior this fall.

Dr. Louise Cowan made reference to Athena and others...Ha!

Some of the Senior Projects were:

The Blueprint For Big Brother: Educating for Control in THE REPUBLIC and Leviathan

Moral Weakness, Virtue and Grace in Plato and St. Augustine

Doctoral Theses were:

Philosophy and Law: An Interpretation of Plato's MINOS

Constancy as the Ground for Pursuing Truth and Beauty in Jane Austen's MANSFIELD PARK

The brass quintet was a nice touch, and after the closing prayer, the bells in the bell tower peeled loudly.

Doesn't that just sound fun? Hubster's Dad was impressed that some schools and Universities are still teaching kids how to think and reason :-). He didn't think schools like that existed anymore.

I said, "That is one of the main reasons that we homeschool."

16 May, 2005

Guitar Project

guitar project

This is a better view of hubby's guitar building project: The back, fingerboard and neck/headstock

14 May, 2005

Graduation & Anniversary

We've been cleaning, organizing, and getting ready for hubby's Master's Graduation party, which is on Sunday. It is quick and easy to update Blogger with pictures while we are busy, just in case some of you wonder why I'm not writing much these days ;-). I thank all my visitors, both posters and quiet visitors alike, for taking time to stop by.

Our Twentieth Wedding Anniversary is also coming up this week. I'm not sure what all we're going to sneak in to our Anniversary Week. This has been a special time of turning points over the last two months for our family and extended family members. 2005 will be remembered as a special year, just as 1985 was a special year.

Last year, we shopped and spent hours at a couple of our favorite used bookstores, and ate lots of Greek and Mediterranean food, in honor of our honey moon trip to Greece in '85 (when dh worked for the airlines, so we got a *great* deal on the trip). Eating Greek food on each and every anniversary is a tradition with us, for this reason...and we just love Spinach pie, Hummous, Pita bread, Feta Cheese, and Baklava! When we lived in Belmont, MA (not far from Walden Pond) before we had children, we lived two blocks from a terrific little Greek diner called "Andros Diner." The food was incredible, and low-priced. I miss that place sometimes!

Do any of my readers have special events coming up this month?

12 May, 2005

Guitars and Literature

guitar building after American Lit. Class

For some of you who have asked or wondered about Hubby's latest project ~ He is building a guitar from scratch. You can see the top piece (on the left), the neck/headstock, and the back and sides (on the right). His is the official classroom for the "guitar club" in the high school where he teaches.

11 May, 2005

Tigger likes Americana

Tigger likes the Americana section

While dusting and arranging more books today, my kitty decided to explore a new space for nap-taking!

10 May, 2005

Restoring English Lit for Boys and Girls

Silverfish Damage

I found this on ebay several years ago, it was in this condition when I bought it. The seller said it was "tape" damage, but as both covers were firmly attached when I received it, that didn't make much sense.

09 May, 2005

Drying, before pressing

Restoring _Parables From Nature_

Mending some of the pages in the textblock


This is one way to de-acidify and wash off more than a century of pollution, metals, and grime; in a special solution, specific to the problems of this particular book!

08 May, 2005

Mother's Day Journals

Mother's Day Journals

I made the larger two journals with hand-marbled papers.* The Blue book has hand-marbled endpapers, as you can see in the next picture. I used the same artist's paper on the cover of the cream/multi-colored journal. The really nice thing about these is that they lie flat and stay opened when you want them to! They're great for note-taking, for copywork, and for sketching all those lovely spring wildflowers. I'd like to stock and use different colored threads, next time I can shop for more supplies.
*hand-marbling done by a teacher at the guild where I am learning bookbinding and restoration

05 May, 2005

Another homeschooling bookfair

UPDATE: I'm glad I went to the bookfair. Dd and I met up with Queen Shenaynay and her cousin; picked up some terrific, used, and "OOP" books (from Books Bloom) for AO and for fun. Upon her recommendation (read: she thrust it quickly into my already full arms :-) one of the books I bought is _The Daughter of Time_ by Josephine Tey. I've just barely begun to read it, and remember, I read *slowly.* I also picked up Cornerstone Curriculum's Art Galleries ll and lll, since they are literally almost completely sold out, never to be produced in the same form again. Of course, a visit to the bookfair is NOT complete w/o buying some books at the Lifetime Books & Gifts booth!

Photo: Early copy of Bede's English History
British Library

You know, I am just wondering why I am even thinking about going to our local bookfair tomorrow. We don't have any cash, not until summer...and that is already budgeted for other things. Oldest son has Worldviews Classes again this next schoolyear, but we can purhase the materials through his teacher. Budget aside, we don't really need much for the new year right now. With Ambleside Online and House of Education online (link in the sidebar), much of our shopping woes are taken care of. For those of you wondering why I have a scan of an early copy of Bede's Ecclesiastical History, I love old texts, but this is scheduled in year 7 of the aformentioned curriculum. Selections of it can be found online here: Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation

I go to the bookfair to reconnect with old friends in the homeschooling community, and to take our daughter, who will have some money to spend. She enjoys choosing a few things for free reading during the summer, and for the upcoming school year.

What are some of you planning for the next school year?