Tuesday, March 22, 2011


It's a bit of an ugly snowy day/week here and E and I are a bit cranky. 
To keep herself busy, E decided that perhaps it was a good day to start a knitting project.

However, unfortunately, she discovered that she'd bitten off more than she could chew--happens to the best of us sometimes. 
The project was a little too complicated and required more brainpower and energy than she had.
So she decided to take a nap instead.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


PossessionPossession by A.S. Byatt

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I can't remember the last time I read a book that both challenged me intellectually AND was a page turner. It's fiction and yet it is not. It is a classic Victorian novel, and yet it is not. It is poetry and prose; detective fiction and romance and history.

Byatt is brilliant. As another reviewer commented, you immediately get a sense of just how smart she is (Cambridge educated). Her grasp and explanation of literary criticism is thorough...it really forced me to call to mind everything I learned way back during my English degree. But she does not shove the various theories (ie. those of Lacan, Derrida etc) down your throat, they simply flow out of the story.

And the characters. I love a story with well-developed characters, and this was no disappointment. While Byatt is good at describing them physically (fashion is sadly stuck in the 80s), she is even better at simply allowing the characters show who they are...their foibles and hang-ups and strengths.

I came across this book after discovering the movie. The movie did well in casting, but covers NONE of the depth of the story. This book should be made into a miniseries rather than attempting to cover it in two hours. And I would love to see that happen.

View all my reviews

Participation in Lent

Traditionally, one gives something up for the forty days of Lent, to sacrifice or go without in recognition of Christ's ultimate sacrifice.
Historically this meant meat, dairy, sugar, or for some days, food altogether. (On a related note, a good movie about a modern practice of Lent is Chocolat).
In years past, I've given up dessert, Facebook and television.

This year, however, as I thought about what I was going to give up, I had a hard time thinking of anything that would be both significant and achievable. My life these days is pretty quiet and simple, with not a lot of extraneous activity.

So I decided that this year, instead of giving something up, I would add something. To pick a quality that Christ exemplified and try to model that better in my day to day life.

You may ask, and what is it that you're going to do? And I will respond that you're going to be disappointed with my answer.
I'm not going to say.
It may seem like that's the easy way out, not telling anyone, because then there is no one to hold me accountable. But I'm accountable only to God and my conscience anyway. And besides that, I'm abiding by Christ's command regarding prayer:
"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

My Lenten offering is not something "to be seen by men" but meant rather to be a quiet offering to God. (Well, not so quiet, since I'm blathering on about it here...)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Sometimes songs say exactly what you are thinking, especially when you are not able to say it yourself.

When the rain is blowing in your face,
and the whole world is on your case,
I could offer you a warm embrace
to make you feel my love.

When the evening shadows and the stars appear,
and there is no one there to dry your tears,
I could hold you for a million years
to make you feel my love.

I know you haven't made your mind up yet,
but I would never do you wrong.
I've known it from the moment that we met,
no doubt in my mind where you belong.

I'd go hungry; I'd go black and blue,
and I'd go crawling down the avenue.
No, there's nothing that I wouldn't do
to make you feel my love.

The storms are raging on the rolling sea
and on the highway of regret.
Though winds of change are throwing wild and free,
you ain't seen nothing like me yet.

I could make you happy, make your dreams come true.
Nothing that I wouldn't do.
Go to the ends of the Earth for you,
to make you feel my love

to make you feel my love

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I have learned that the word Lent comes from the Saxon word for length
which specifically denoted springtime

So, once again, the church calendar is specifically connected to the seasons in the natural world. 
This connection seems apropos considering the weather we have of late...
It's beginning to feel like--dare I say it--spring?? 
The snow is melting into giant puddles; the sun's strength means heavy winter coats and toques aren't necessary; little E took her afternoon nap outside.

Friday, March 11, 2011


We thought she didn't like oatmeal...turns out she just wanted to feed herself.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fat Tuesday and Beyond...

Our 'Fat Tuesday' [International Pancake Day] was a great success again.
The pancakes were delicious; the company was delightful.
We've been doing this tradition of celebrating Pancake Day for three or four years now. It's really rather silly and more of an excuse to eat a big delicious meal of pancakes than anything else. And we love it.

But it also gives me cause to stop and contemplate the day and season afterwards.

Lent. The forty or so days before Easter.
The Catholics count it from Ash Wednesday to Maundy Thursday; excluding Sundays, which equals thirty-eight days.
Some Protestants count from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday, equaling forty days.
The Orthodox Church counts from the Sunday seven weeks before Easter and go til Good Friday, also equaling forty days.
Regardless of the exact number of days, or of whether some days are excluded, or of when it starts or ends,
Lent is a time to stop
and quietly take stock of ourselves in relation to, and our response to, the sacrifice Jesus made.

As my devotional says,
"to embrace a spiritual gravity, 
a downward movement of soul, 
a turning from our self-sufficiency, 
and sinfulness."

Much more on this to come.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Through Her Lens

Saturday we picked up our long lost sad broken camera which is all fixed up like new! So now I have my own camera to use, which means I should be able to take many more pictures, and post many more pictures. This makes me very happy.

Many changes coming to our lives in the next month, with a little friend coming to play with E two days a week, and spring ever so slowly creeping up on us, meaning the coming of landscaping work and finishing the house exterior. There are always projects on the go around here.

And tomorrow is the last day before Lent. In other words, Mardi gras, Shrove Tuesday and International Pancake Day. Celebrations will be had. But I'm not sure what to do for Lent this year.