Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pray One for Another

This morning when I logged onto Facebook I noticed a status update from my longtime friend, Denise:
Such an encouraging way to start the day! 

As I read that I was reminded of a poem that Denise had sent me years ago when we were girlhood pen-pals. I know I saved it in my Quotes Journal. In fact, I think I saved the very sheet of pretty stationery she had copied it onto, in her beautiful handwriting. But do you think I could put my hands on a journal from 30-something years ago this morning? Of course not! (It is here somewhere, though, I'm pretty sure.)

I asked Denise if she remembered it. She didn't, but she was very interested in reading it again. I wracked my brain trying to remember the first line so I could Google it. It has taken me all day to think of it... but I finally have! 

So, Denise, this one's for you!

Pray One for Another 
by Marianne Farningham 

 I cannot tell why there should come to me 
A thought of someone miles and miles away, 
In swift insistence on the memory— 
Unless there be a need that I should pray. 

 Too hurried oft are we to spare a thought, 
For days together, of some friend away; 
Perhaps God does it for us, and we ought 
To read His signal as a call to pray. 

 Perhaps, just then, my friend has fiercer fight, 
Some overwhelming sorrow or decay 
Of courage; darkness, some lost sense of right; 
And so in case he needs my prayer, I pray. 

 Friend, do the same for me! If I unsought 
Intrude upon you on some crowded day, 
Give me a moment’s prayer, in passing thought; 
Be very sure I need it; therefore pray.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Workbasket (Installment #13)

The next issue of The Workbasket that I have is from March 1953-- almost exactly 60 years ago. The only comment I'll make as to the cover is that women's foundation garments in the 1950s were very different from what they are now. Goodness!
 The popularity of cheap, synthetic fabrics amuses me. "This striking fast color makes unusual blouses, curtains, underwear, etc." Wonder what "Green Foliage Pattern Color" looks like, anyway? Can't you just see the housewife's blouse matching her curtains and underwear? I'll say that's unusual!
 "Not a Cold or Heat Wave! Not a Wave Set!" What exactly is it, then? I can't quite tell. "MAGIC CURLERS have a built-in Dupont Sponge Reservoir that holds special, safe curling solution, then releases it quickly, evenly, smoothly in your hair." I still don't understand. Some kind of goop, apparently. I guess I should just accept that it's "MAGIC" and let it go at that. (Notice the "foundation garment" in the illustration?)
 "Easter Bunny and Easter Chick are for a little girl or boy to wear on a lapel in the Easter parade. Besides being bright and clever costume keynotes, the little felt pins will each securely hold a few coins, which makes them doubly useful. Choose your own colors, or make them like our models, with a black hat and white bunny; and a white egg and yellow chick with bright purple cap." Either I'm color blind, or they're mistaken! Is it just me, or is that a red egg and a gray chick with a bright red cap? And why does the chick even have a hat? With a feather in it, no less?
 From the "Women Who Make Cents" department... I'm glad I'm not friends with Mrs. Don C. Harvey! No telling what gossip she would report about me!
 I can't quite make out how this "new invention" is different from the old way of making rice... but something must have caught on. I never heard of changing water or transferring to a colander when making rice. My rice always turns out just as described: "Each grain is separate, tender, non-starchy." (Except, of course, when I burn it, but that doesn't happen too often.) Maybe I have one of these new inventions and didn't even realize it. I just call it a pan.
 Here's a way to garner "spare time earnings" with "no canvassing, no selling, no 'make-it-yourself,' no abusing the good will of your friends..." Yeah, somehow I have a hard time believing that I would "find women all over town flocking to [my] doorstep bringing [me] good cash, and thanking [me] for the privilege." I'm pretty sure it would fall under "abusing the good will of [my] friends."
 Becky has been watching old episodes of Hopalong Cassidy on Netflix lately, and I can promise you, this inflatable toy does not "look just like his famous horse, Topper!" No doubt a kid would have fun playing on it, and pretending to be a cowboy, but he'd really have to use his imagination to think it's anything like a real horse. Of course, kids are very creative in that regard, so I guess it's all right.
"A set of these gay chicks nestling over the eggs at your Easter breakfast table will start the day with smiles." Assuming the traditional definition of the word "gay" to mean "happy"... which is what I'm sure they meant. Um. No. I'm not seeing it. Sinister? Grumpy? Maybe. I think the eyes need to be re-worked.
In conclusion, here's the dress pattern page with lovely 1950s fashions to admire.

What's your favorite "piece" from this issue? I'd really like to know!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Literary Heroine Giveaway

I'm participating again this year in Kellie's Literary Heroine Blog Party. Kellie is offering some great literary-themed prizes at Accordion To Kellie, so be sure and visit our gracious hostess to enter the drawings. Plus... since you're already here... I'm offering my own giveaway of two classic novels as well.

Jane Eyre is a classic I read long ago in my growing-up days. Not too long ago I read it again, and got so much more out of it this time around. Details I hadn't even remembered. It's a wonderful story. And don't you just love the cover?

I'm currently re-reading Pride and Prejudice with this annotated edition, and I'm enjoying the notes, illustrations, and diagrams so much. The story is on the left-hand pages, with tons of footnotes on the facing pages. It's a great way to read a classic! I'm learning a lot about the times, culture, and lifestyle of the time period.

Both of these books are Sonlight titles, and I have a copy of each to give away! To enter my drawing just leave a comment on this post. I'd love it if you'd answer one or more of the questions below in your comment. One person will win both books. (US addresses only, please.)

And now...

The Literary Heroine Blog Party Questions:

Introduce yourself! Divulge your life's vision, likes, dislikes, aspirations, or something completely random!
I've posted lots of random things about myself before, if you're interested in knowing all kinds of trivial things about me. I aspire to be a novelist. I have my novel started, but I'm not working on it regularly just yet. I'm allowing myself time to learn the craft, do lots of research, and think through my story. I still have over a year of homeschooling to teach, so I'm allowing myself that time.

What, to you, forms the essence of a true heroine?
A good heroine has a story to tell, a conflict to resolve, and grows in the process. It also helps if she's intelligent. Maybe not always make the best choices, but at least not be a total ditz.

Share (up to) four heroines of literature that you most admire and relate to.
Anne Shirley, Rilla Blythe, Laura Ingalls Wilder

Five of your favorite historical novels?
Anne of Green Gables, Rilla of Ingleside, The Blue Castle (all by L.M. Montgomery), Little Town on the Prairie and These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Out of those five books who is your favorite main character and why?
Rilla is my favorite because she matures from the somewhat-pampered "baby of the family" to a self-assured, responsible young woman.

Out of those five books who is your favorite secondary character and why?
Anne is a secondary character in Rilla of Ingleside (being Rilla's mother), and I love reading about her in that role after following her coming-of-age and young womanhood through the other novels in the series.

If you were to plan out your dream vacation, where would you travel to - and what would you plan to do there?
I would love to take a road trip all over the continent, lingering in small towns and off-the-beaten-path scenic by-ways.

 What is your favorite time period and culture to read about?
It changes from time-to-time, but right now I am enjoying the mid-20th century... from the 1930s through the 1960s.

 You have been invited to perform at the local charity concert. Singing, comedy, recitation - what is your act comprised of?
Definitely recitation. I love to read aloud.

 If you were to attend a party where each guest was to portray a heroine of literature, who would you select to represent?
Oh! Can I be Mrs. Rachel Lynde (from the Anne books)? I've always wanted to be a nosy little ol' busy-body!

 What are your sentiments on the subject of chocolate?
I can take it or leave it. I'd just as soon have caramel or toffee.

 Favorite author(s)?
Um, yeah. L.M. Montgomery and Laura Ingalls Wilder.

 Besides essentials, what would you take on a visiting voyage to a foreign land?
A camera and a journal.

 In which century were most of the books you read written?
The 20th. I enjoy older novels occasionally, but in the 1800s mainstream novels were written to be morally uplifting (preachy) and not just for entertainment. Yes, I prefer wholesome books, but not so much when the sermon overpowers the story.

 In your opinion, the ultimate hero in literature is…
attentive to the heroine.

 Describe your ideal dwelling place.
I love a house with lots of windows and a wrap-around porch, preferably with a view of the mountains.

Sum up your fashion style in a short sentence.
My fashion style tends to be traditionally feminine but not frilly.

Have you ever wanted to change a character’s name?
Yes. I didn't much care for Gilbert's name in the Anne stories. But it did finally grow on me. Just as Lyle's name did.

In your opinion, the most dastardly villain of all literature is...
I'm coming up with a blank on this one.

 Three favorite non-fiction books?
The Bible, of course. Beyond that, I can't pin down favorites.

Your duties met for the day, how would you choose to spend a carefree summer afternoon?
In a hammock, with a stack of books and a journal at hand.

Create a verbal sketch of your dream hat - in such a way as will best portray your true character.
Time constraints will prevent me from dwelling on this question long enough to come up with a truly insightful answer, so I guess I'll skip this one.

Share the most significant event(s) that have marked your life in the past year.
Spending Labor Day weekend with my mother and her older brother in Oklahoma, gathering information for my novel.

 Share the Bible passage(s) that have been most inspiring to you recently. 
"...that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ... that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection..." --Philippians 3:8-10

Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentine Banquet

Our church had a Valentine dinner for married and engaged couples last night. It was a lot of fun. Each table was set for four couples. We enjoyed visiting with the other couples at our table and getting to know them better.

The young people had set up a "photo booth" and passed out our pictures at the end of the evening. I thought that was pretty cool.

The dinner was delicious. During dessert we enjoyed a mini-concert by a 4-piece string ensemble made up of four siblings who are all 16 and under. They are amazing musicians.

After dinner the pastor and his wife had planned some "activities." They asked for 3 couples to volunteer (or be volunteered). We did not volunteer... but some friends at our table volunteered us... and so we were drafted. We haven't been going to this church all that long, so it was kind embarrassing to be the center of attention like that.

Two tables were set up at the front of the room. One for the 3 ladies... the other for the 3 men. Each table had 6 incomplete projects... half were traditionally "women's work" and the other half "men's work." The projects included: pounding nails into a board, using a socket set to screw bolts into a board, putting batteries into a flashlight, separating egg whites, threading a needle, and folding a fitted sheet. Each person had to complete two of the projects (one "woman" project and one "man" project). My responsibility was to separate the eggs and put the batteries in the flashlight and turn it on. Easy-peasy. I was glad I didn't have to pound the nails. I'm sure they probably would not have gone in straight. And I'm not sure I would have known how to use the ratchet, though I probably could have eventually figured it out. Lyle's jobs included threading a needle (and tying a knot in the end) and pounding the nails. He later told me he was glad he didn't have to separate the eggs. The goal was to see which team could complete the tasks fastest. The women ended up winning but only because the men's flashlight didn't work, I think.

In any case, the three couples who participated each got a gift. Ours is a $10 gift card to Post Falls Coffee Company. I decided that was worth being drafted!

The next activity involved blindfolded men putting their faces in a bowl of whipped cream to eat the cherry at the bottom of the bowl. I was glad we weren't drafted for that one.

The evening wrapped up with an inspiring message on marriage by a special speaker. It was a fun way to spend Valentines Day evening with my sweetheart.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Vintage Valentines

 Vintage Valentines cards are so much fun. I think my favorites are from the mid-20th century. The artwork is so sweet, and the puns are so lame!

Here's a darling one I came across recently and "sent" to my husband, just because of the vintage car and trailer. I have no idea what the message means: "...I'd trailer all around." Is that supposed to be a pun for "trail her"? I dunno. But check out the license plate: "ME4U"! Too cute!

Here's another car-themed one that I saved. It's much more straight-forward in its message: "Let's go together!" Yes, let's!
Here's a patriotic Valentine... probably from World War II, wouldn't you think? I'm not sure. But look at the pun on "US"! With red, white, and blue stripes even. So creative!
The cards above are ones I have come across on the internet and saved just because I like them. I also have a few that were among my Grandmother's scrapbook and letters that my mother saved and has let me archive. Here's one from 1934 that she received as a teenager from one of her Sunday School pupils:
It's actually a pop-up card. The lower part folds down and the other pieces then separate for a three-dimensional affect. Pretty elaborate for a little Sunday School boy! Wonder if he had a crush on her?

This one is from probably the late '50s or early '60s when my grandparents had young children at home. It's personalized! Towards the bottom of the heart on the left is a little penciled notation "Daddy" with an arrow pointing to the boy, and just above the heart on the right is the corresponding notation "Mother" with the arrow pointing to the girl.
It looks like Granddaddy's handwriting to me (but I have to admit, it's kinda hard to tell, being so small and light)... so I wonder if he chose it from a box of Valentines that one of the children had to give their classmates, and labeled it to give to Grandmother? It seems like something he would do. They called each other "Daddy" and "Mother" for as long as I remember... and for much further back than that, I'm sure.

Happy Valentines Day!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Travel Fragments

It's been a busy, productive week. No time on Friday to post fragments... but who says they have to be posted on a Friday, right? I mean, it's not like I get around to posting fragments every Friday anyway. Today's fragments are related to travel. Mostly because I doubt you'd be very interested in the nitty-gritty of the workshops I attended in my training this week.

I love to people-watch when I fly. The airport is such a melting-pot of cultures and lifestyles. You just never know what you might see. The cutest reunion I witnessed was the little boy tightly clinging to Nana's hand and gazing up at her adoringly, while Daddy walked ahead of them with Nana's luggage. Nana was talking to her tiny grandson and clutching a hand-lettered sign reading "Nana" in large letters. Apparently, the little fella had stood beside the limo drivers holding up his sign as they waited for Nana to come from her gate.

As I stood in the line to go through security at the Denver airport, dreading the indignity of the ordeal, I smiled as I watched a family in line ahead of me with two young children. The mother was holding two tiny backpacks. The little girl asked for hers. "You can have it back after we go through security," her mother told her. "The security people have to check it first."

"Why?" the little girl wanted to know.

"It's their job," was Mommy's simple reply. I guess that's really what it boils down to, isn't it? I tried to have a pleasant attitude as I took off my shoes and disassembled my luggage to pass through the scanners and x-rays, and then put it all back together again on the other side.

Flying Southwest airlines this time, I had been told that if you check in online 24 hours before your flight, you can board sooner. Seats are first-come/first-serve, so the early boarders get the pick of the seats. I checked in at exactly 24 hours (to the minute!) before my flight, and my boarding number was still B17, so there were a lot of people ahead of me... but a lot behind me, too. That was okay. Mainly I wanted an aisle seat (to have room for my long legs) toward the front of the plane.

As I boarded, the first aisle seat available was in the front row with plenty of leg room. I was tempted, but I didn't see a place to put my carry-on bag, so I decided on move on back a bit.

Row 4 had a pleasant-looking older gentleman in the window seat with both the middle and the aisle seats open. I chose that one. I was hopeful that the flight wouldn't be full, so that the middle seat would stay empty. It did.

My seatmate and I exchanged friendly hellos and then we both took out books to read as we waited to take off. Once we reached cruising altitude the old guy took out his iPod and put in earbuds. Then he started bopping his head and softly singing along with his music. I was smiling on the inside. Before long he dozed off.

After a bit the flight attendant came along and offered tiny bags of pretzels and peanuts. She didn't disturb my seatmate. Later as she was serving drinks he woke up. Then she came around again to finish distributing snacks. She started to offer them to me again and then noticed that I already had some. My "friend" said, "I didn't get any!"

"How did we miss you?" the attendant wanted to know.

"I think she brought hers with her," the old guy told her, referring to me.

"No. You were snoozing when they came around before," I told him.

"Oh! Was I sleeping? Well, that's what old people do!" he said. I had to laugh because that's exactly what I was thinking.

As we approached Spokane, I noticed the flight attendant taping to the wall a page from a spiral notebook featuring a neatly drawn and hand-colored picture of a Southwest plane in blue-crayoned sky. Aww... some child on the flight had presented it to the staff and they were putting it up where everyone could enjoy it.

After we landed I made my way to baggage claim. Soon after I got there, the red light starting blinking and the whistle sounded to alert us that the carousel was starting to move. Three little boys standing nearby started jumping up and down in excitement. I turned to smile at their mother. She smiled back, "The highlight of their day!" she said.

"Do they happen to be the ones who drew the picture that the flight attendant taped to the wall?" I asked.

"Yes," she said. "My oldest did that. We had a flight from Florida to Denver this morning, and he did one on that flight, too. Keeps 'em busy!"

By then the boys were bumbling about their Daddy trying to "help" him claim their luggage. They desperately wanted to be the one to grab the bags off the carousel but Daddy wouldn't let them. He lifted each bag onto the floor and then told the little guys to "take that to Mommy." Immediately, they would come back to offer more assistant. Reminded me of puppies.

Those are the incidents that kept me smiling as I traveled to Denver and back this week.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Training Trip

This week I'm in Colorado for training at the Sonlight offices for the upcoming homeschool convention season. It's an intense few days with lots of information to process, but it's a time of inspiration, too. Since I "work" at the conventions I attend, this training session has become my annual "shot in the arm" for my own homeschool, as well as my "job" of encouraging other homeschool moms.

My convention season starts next month. I will be hosting the Sonlight booth at five conventions this spring. I'm looking forward to traveling and interacting with other homeschoolers. If you'll be at any of these conventions, be sure to stop by the Sonlight booth and say hi!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Post Falls Coffee Company

Several years ago, when we first moved to this neighborhood, it didn't take us long to scope out the coffee kiosks in the area. We live in the Northwest, you know, where there are tiny little coffee shops every few blocks. Post Falls Coffee Company soon became our favorite, partly because it was only about a mile from our house... but mostly because they make good coffee! (Some of the other kiosks we tried were kinda hit or miss. They might get our order right one time, but not the next. Or the taste wouldn't be consistent from one visit to the next.) It turns out, we're coffee snobs... but, hey, when you spend 3 or 4 bucks on a "frou-frou" coffee, you want it right, don't you?

Anyway, time went along and we began to recognize the young couple who owned the little kiosk down the road. We still didn't know their names, but could always count on a friendly greeting... and they would remember our "usual" orders. (Decaf caramel macchiato for me. Peppermint mocha for Lyle.) One day I noticed that they had Bible verses written in wipe-off marker on the inside walls over the windows.

And then, last summer, we started going to a new church where we didn't know anyone. We thought. On our first Sunday there, during the "meet-and-greet" portion of the service, the couple sitting in front of us turned to greet us. Familiar faces. Where had I seen them before? "The coffee shop!" I gasped. "We know you from the coffee shop!" Turns out their names are Gabe and Mandy, and over the past few months we've gotten to know them a little better now that we go to church with them. That makes it even more fun to stop for coffee and quick visits when we're out and about.

Back in the fall, Gabe had told Lyle that they were hoping to open a second location this winter, with a real sit-down coffee shop and a bakery. We were so excited, because we love to go on coffee dates, but the only sit-down coffee shops here in Post Falls are the big chains, which don't have quite the charm of the locally owned places. Finally, about a month ago, we learned that they had signed the lease on the building and would be opening in February.

We took special interest in watching their progress each time we drove past. Did I mention that it's located between our house and the print shop, right on the street Lyle drives every day to work? So yeah, we pass it practically every day. Last Thursday we noticed their sign was up. Lyle worked late that night. I went to hang out with him. It was about 10 p.m. when we went home, and the lights were still on at the coffee shop. We could see them in there still working. What we didn't realize was that they would be open for business on Friday, February 1st!

This week's Saturday morning breakfast date was for coffee and scones at the brand-new Post Falls Coffee Company and Bakery.

And so... we have a new favorite neighborhood hang-out!