Saturday, July 31, 2010

It's the end of July already?!

Wow! Where has the time gone?! It's just flying away this Summer. Well, this has been a busy week, so I hardly know where to begin.

Mom and the two of us went "chair" shopping on Wednesday. Elizabeth and Dad really needed some new chairs up in the Library/TV Room as theirs were really worn out. There aren't a ton of furniture stores around here, but we found three of them and literally sat in every chair they had. I never thought that sitting was such hard work! ;)

The next day found me up in the Library cleaning the place out from top to bottom. Boy, was that a job. I was moving furniture and vacuuming all the deep, dark corners. Yesterday the new furniture was delivered, and it's perfect! I'll have to take a picture of it, but Dad got a new chair (a fancy recliner type) and Elizabeth and I ended up with a red, leather loveseat in our corner.

Here is a picture of our hops plant. It is growing up one of the clothesline poles out in the backyard, and all the little blossoms have started to pop out in the last week. Isn't it beautiful?! I am dying to see how it smells, but the blossoms are not big enough yet. This plant is a form of research for our WWII novel, as the characters live on a hops farm. I've read about the hops plant, but it's a lot more amazing in real life! More coming, and there is going to be some exciting news!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

When people speak of great men . . .

"When people speak of great men, they think of men like Napoleon - men of violence. Rarely do they think of peaceful men, but contrast the reception they will receive when they return home from their battles. Napoleon will arrive in pomp and in power, a man who's achieved the very summit of earthly ambition, and yet his dreams will be haunted by the oppressions of war. William Wilberforce, however, will return to his family and lay his head on his pillow and remember: the slave trade is no more."

That is a quote from the film Amazing Grace (2007). In the film the speech is delivered by Charles Fox MP, though is was, in real life, actually given by Samuel Romilly. The message is the same, though. We watched that film last night, and it really made me think of this Bible verse:

As for the saints who are in the earth, they are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight. Psalm 16:3

It is so easy to make "heroes" out of people in this world, and too often it is easy to make heroes out of people who don't deserve to be a hero. This verse is always something that I try to keep in mind, though, sadly, I don't always succeed. Wilberforce was an amazing man who did everything for God's glory, and yet more people do know Napoleon. How many other times does that happen, when the wrong man gets remembered. Yet, God gives us a promise in Proverbs that says "The memory of the righteous is blessed, but the name of the wicked will rot."

Carrying this same topic into life, Elizabeth and I are always struggling to make sure that the people we "admire" (I won't say heroes, because I don't really have "heroes" in the sense of the word. We've known too many famous people, and known that they are just that --- people.). We have scrapbooks for autographs (not to mention that we collect autographed books as well) of movie stars, or any other people we feel inclined to have an autograph from. Some people we may like in one show, and others we may like in lots of shows. Then there are some that Elizabeth likes, but I don't (nothing personal), so I just don't have them in my scrapbook. We're always trying to make sure that the people in our scrapbooks are worth having in there.

This week we were really thrilled to receive a personal reply and autographed photos from Ciaran Hinds (he played Capt. Wentworth in the 1995 film of Jane Austen's Persuasion). What was even more thrilling for us was to find out that he's a Christian! Wow. He definitely got a special spot in my scrapbook already!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Dill Pickles and 'All About Eve'?!

Well, we've seen both in the last week. We got to see another classic film down at The Ohio Theater in Columbus. This time it was All About Eve starring Bette Davis, George Sanders and Gary Merrill. Well, okay, Anne Baxter was in it too, but she played Eve, so you aren't supposed to like her. :)

The quality of this reel was great, and it was impressive on the big screen. Wow! Most of the audience had not seen the film yet, so it was fun to hear people's reactions. George Sanders actually got a round of applause when he finally told Eve off.

We've been busy this week, as we got some of the first fresh produce of the season --- including blueberries! We went to a local produce auction (mostly Amish) and got green beans, cucumbers and tomatoes. We've already made three gallons of pickles and will probably do up one more tomorrow. Mom and Elizabeth made some fresh salsa too, and that was sure nice.

I'm working on another little felted gnome. This time it is another girl, so she is wearing "mary jane" shoes. At the moment she consists of two legs, connected to two feet, which are loosely connected at the hips. Poor thing. She looks quite pathetic --- but she's on her way to feeling better!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

America: Why I Love Her

You ask me why I love her? Well, give me time, and I'll explain...
Have you seen a Kansas sunset or an Arizona rain?
Have you drifted on a bayou down Louisiana way?
Have you watched the cold fog drifting over San Francisco Bay?

Have you heard a Bobwhite calling in the Carolina pines?
Or heard the bellow of a diesel in the Appalachia mines?
Does the call of Niagara thrill you when you hear her waters roar?
Do you look with awe and wonder at a Massachusetts shore...
Where men who braved a hard new world, first stepped on Plymouth Rock?
And do you think of them when you stroll along a New York City dock?

Have you seen a snowflake drifting in the Rockies...way up high?
Have you seen the sun come blazing down from a bright Nevada sky?
Do you hail to the Columbia as she rushes to the sea...
Or bow your head at our struggle to be free?

Have you seen the mighty Tetons? ...Have you watched an eagle soar?
Have you seen the Mississippi roll along Missouri's shore?
Have you felt a chill at Michigan, when on a winters day,
Her waters rage along the shore in a thunderous display?
Does the word "Aloha"... make you warm?
Do you stare in disbelief When you see the surf come roaring in at Waimea reef?

From Alaska's gold to the Everglades...from the Rio Grande to Maine...
My heart cries out... my pulse runs fast at the might of her domain.
You ask me why I love her?... I've a million reasons why.
My beautiful America... beneath Gods' wide, wide sky.