30 September, 2010

Taking a deep breath

...before plunging into more 'surgery' ~

(and a brief mention that this is my 875th post!!)

Just about three more steps and it will be finished!

29 September, 2010

Traveling in the New World

I took some time this week to read some of the first pages and the last few pages of journal entries by Sarah Kemble Knight, on her five-month-long journey in 1704 from Boston to New York to settle a cousin's estate. Here you can find a nice map of her apporximate journey. It's a fabulous map, showing the rugged land that she had to cross alone, with only the slight help of a post or mail/message carrier. We've been through many of the same places several times, but thankfully, not on 'hors' as she writes ;-).

Knight's journal is yet another example of the Narrative Historical Literature that we are studying this year in American Lit. here at home.

Next post: a poem about a spinning wheel...or is it?

28 September, 2010



By Edward Taylor

Make me, O Lord, thy Spinning Wheele compleat;
Thy Holy Worde my Distaff make for mee.
Make mine Affections thy Swift Flyers neate,
And make my Soule thy holy Spoole to bee.
My Conversation make to be thy Reele,
And reele the yarn thereon spun of thy Wheele.

Make me thy Loome then, knit therein this Twine:
And make thy Holy Spirit, Lord, winde quills:
Then weave the Web thyselfe. The yarn is fine.
Thine Ordinances make my Fulling Mills.
Then dy the same in Heavenly Colours Choice,
All pinkt with Varnish't Flowers of Paradise.

Then cloath therewith mine Understanding, Will,
Affections, Judgment, Conscience, Memory;
My Words and Actions, that their shine may fill
My wayes with glory and thee glorify.
Then mine apparell shall display before yee
That I am Cloathd in Holy robes for glory.

Analysis of this poem by Kerry Michael Wood found here.



22 September, 2010

Ann Bradstreet Poetry

This year, I am teaching American Lit to our last two teens. We are moving in a Chronological order of time periods, so we began with some Native American writings (including a perusal of The Iroquois Constitution, which is quite sophisticated and inclusive of women, as well). We discussed Anne Bradstreet, the first female American poet today, and read through some of her poetry, which focuses on matters of daily living in the time of the Puritans.

Perhaps the one she best-known for is "To My Dear and Loving Husband."

This is the one we read today in class:

"By Night when Others Soundly Slept"

By night when others soundly slept
And hath at once both ease and Rest,
My waking eyes were open kept
And so to lie I found it best.

I sought him whom my Soul did Love,
With tears I sought him earnestly.
He bow'd his ear down from Above.
In vain I did not seek or cry.

My hungry Soul he fill'd with Good;
He in his Bottle put my tears,
My smarting wounds washt in his blood,
And banisht thence my Doubts and fears.

What to my Saviour shall I give
Who freely hath done this for me?
I'll serve him here whilst I shall live
And Love him to Eternity.

We are also reading a decent chunk of William Bradford's own writings of the Separatists, the important events leading them to remove from England, on to "The Lowlands" and eventually travel to Cape Cod. We've all heard the Pilgrim stories, but I wanted to kids to read an original source document on this time and group in history.

We are taking an "overview" approach, not completely digging into everything with a fine-tooth comb. We'll also be covering different folklore, historical speeches, documents, maps, music, short stories, some journal entries, just a few novels, as well as poetry. Would love to explore a bit of natural history through the Lewis and Clark journals, but I'm not sure that we'll have time for that. I may make it available as an alternate assignment and paper/project.

Hope your school year has begun well! We are finally beginning to get into a decent groove.


10 September, 2010

In Which She Considers a Dresser

...and repaints it! Do you ever have moments of spontaneous inspiration, then find yourself acting upon it? I do, and always have worked this way. It's not just 'the economy these days' which motivates me. Nope. It's just me. Global, concrete-random, intuitive, big-picture, relational, sensing, creative-the-way-God-made-me, Me.

Besides, those of us at the cottage have always pinched our pennies and gone on the hunt for quality thrift bargains. It's part of being good stewards of our funds, and fits our desire to reduce our consumption, reuse and recycle everything that we can, or donate it so that someone else can get good use out of what we don't need anymore.

This dresser belonged to our 15-year-old, youngest son. We found it at a resale shop years ago but it had previously been an unused furniture store floor model. This is pretty common in our area, and it was a big bargain in brand new condition when we first bought it. As you can see in this photo, it now has the years of scratches and general wear and tear that a pre-teen-to-teenage boy might generally dish out over years of usage and room rearranging. I loved this color, but no room in the house carries this color scheme anymore. I considered just touching it up with a slate blue wash, but I don't have this shade on hand. It could have been maneuvered into our laundry room, after said touch-up. However,

I only have warm-toned leftover paints these days.

(in process)

(now the drawers)

and violá!

Good as new, and a lot like a dresser I've been eyeing in the IKEA catalogue.

I had considered selling it as it was, or sticking it in the attic for a while, but now...

I will find a place for it. Maybe in my room. Dear son said he wants it back in his room now (After begging me to get rid of it). Only problem is, he was given a neat, small, dark brown 'pleather' futon which matches his old IKEA cubbies, and has taken the place where his rejected dresser once stood.

Maybe I'll just rearrange my room for the first time in years. Other rooms have had plenty of reodering, shifting and repainting. But now I am inspired to change the master bedroom.

Because that's how I roll.

What fall projects have you begun?