Saturday, May 26, 2012

Aunt Epp

I have a page on my blog where I record the books I've read during the year (see above). I keep this list mainly for me, but when I come across something interesting, I share it here on my home page.

I recently finished:

Aunt Epp's Guide for Life by Elspeth Marr

The subtitle of the book is Miscellaneous Musings of a Victorian Lady, which is an accurate description! My daughter, Ashley, picked up this book and thought it was entertaining so she decided to share it with me. The book is broken down into an alphabetical list of categories that Aunt Epp writes about, everything from Apples to War. She has many home remedies that make you glad you live in modern times. :)

This book gave me a new perspective on the Victorian lady, one that shows how transitory intellectualism was during her lifetime. Aunt Epp can be conservative through one entry and quite open-minded (Darwin) the next. I certainly didn't always agree with her, but I felt I got a fresh view of the changes that occurred between the 19th and 20th centuries.

Aunt Epp was a writer, a journaler. I can imagine she would have been a blogger had she lived in our time, despensing knowledge and sharing opinions about everyday topics to a worldwide audience. (Don't you marvel at how cool it is that we get to share our thoughts with people we would have never met, if we didn't live in the computer age.)

My favorite excerpt from the book:


Maintain a diary all your days.  A diary is a doorway to a second life, running parallel to the one you live, and produces even a third life, for by recording the day's events, you preserve the days like berries. You may return to that day, taste it, and live it over again, but without that act of preservation the day has gone; it is nothing.  More than this, by preserving your days, you will allow others to live that day for themselves, that hour, that afternoon, should they read your record, a day culled from the past, perhaps even hundreds of years from now; and this indeed is the aim and enjoyment of all writing, however humble, to seize the day, and to store it away on a secret shelf, out of reach of the Reaper and his swinging scythe.

An original poem by Aunt Epp:


Wars are made by busy men
Just an hour or more,
Women do the clearing up -
Loss a longer chore.

When your boy has done his bit
And lies on foreign plain,
Sit out your life on window seats -
Watch the falling rain.

If the broken bits they brought
Lie under yonder leaf,
Fit with your heart, cross-stitch the grass,
Take time to mend your grief.

Leaders have no time for us,
Heroes do as must -
We are the sweepers-up
Of centuries of dust.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Crazy May!

I'm so thankful the A-Z Challenge was not in the month of May! Good thinking, folks! Anyone else feeling the pressure of the end-of-school activities?

Writing everyday for the challenge was enjoyable and I thought I would just naturally continue writing more often than once or twice a week. Then life happened. :) You know the one!

We just wrapped up our Awana program and one of my girls, Katie, was working feverishly down to the end to get two books completed this year. If she knew the word ogre I think she would have called me that. She had set the goal for two books herself, but lost motivation just two weeks before the finish line. What? I pushed, pulled, prodded, cajoled, maybe yelled, threatened and all the other nice things mommies do. Two days before the final meeting she was barely talking to me. She was next to tears with anxiety, but I knew she had the last sections that she needed memorized. She was good to go, but didn't believe in herself. It's sad when that happens to your child. Anyway, she pushed through it and when she finished on Sunday night she came to me beaming with pride wanting a high-five and a big hug! I'm so proud that she hung in there and got it done! We might have taken her to IHOP that night for a small celebration! :)

Speaking of celebrations, I have two college graduates this weekend! My daughter Ashley will be graduating with a Youth Ministries major and my husband will be finishing up his Bachelors in Business Admin. They will get to walk together! I will be a crying mess, for sure! I'll be sure to take lots of pictures to share with you.

Ashley and her husband plan on moving to the Denver area to attend seminary in the fall and Mark will continue on towards his MBA. Super proud, can you tell?!

Other plans for May: out-of-state family visiting during the month, Mother's Day with both our mothers and daughter, our end-of-year concert (my handbell group and children's choir will perform), finishing up our own homeschool year and taking achievement tests, a year-end party at our farm for my volunteers that serve with me at church (22 families), a year-end picnic for our CoOp, and the regular chores of running a farm: lots of mowing, chicken herding, weeding, and swimming. :)

I'm exhausted just reading the list! Today I did what any self-respecting procrastinator would do, I took a nap. Ha! Really. Sometimes you gotta do, what you gotta do, right? Anyway, it gave me the energy to share with you all that's on my plate. I have high hopes of blogging every day on one of my two blogs. I figured if I set a high goal, you might see me at least a couple times a week. :)

Feeling like...
How about you?

* Participating in the Pinterest Post Party on my cooking blog (see link in sidebar.)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

May 2 - Hodgepodge

I thought I'd participate in Joyce's Hodgepodge today.
If you'd like to participate you may click here.


1. My (Joyce) daughter2 is graduating from university this month and plans to teach elementary school. What are three qualities you most want to see evidenced in a teacher?

the ability to find something loveable/redeemable in each child,
a sense of responsibility, 
and a love of learning

2. You can tell a lot about a person by_____________________.

how they respond to something negative,
how well-behaved their children are,
and how they listen

3. What song makes you think spring?

Just singin' in the Rain

4. May 1st is Mother Goose Day...share your favorite nursery rhyme.

I have a pop-up nursery rhyme book from my childhood and the picture of the following rhyme always intrigued me. I guess I thought it would be fun to live in a shoe with a bunch of brothers/sisters.

There was an old lady who lived in a shoe
She had so many children she didn't know what to do
She gave them some broth without any bread,
She whipped them all soundly and sent them to bed.

Why are nursery rhymes so creepy?

5. What makes someone unforgettable?

Being gracious,
being attentive to others,
and a smile

6. Should music and/or art be part of a well rounded education?

Yep, at our house music and art are as important as all the other academic studies. I think music and art are ways that God displays His creativity - ones in which He allows us to participate. (I can't create a universe, but I can draw a picture, put together a flower arrangement or play a song on an instrument.) I feel a little strongly about this one!

7. What social situations make you flustered or nervous?

I'm not a huge fan of my husband's work parties where I have to make small talk with strangers. Do they hate it as much as I do?

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Joyce will be joining the Our Front Door Pinterest Post Party.

The challenge?  Try some of my Pinterest pins and blog about them every Tuesday and Thursday in the month of May. (Hint: you can follow my Pinterest boards by clicking on the button in my sidebar.)

I'm with Joyce, I may not post about this every Tuesday/Thursday, but it might motivate me to give some a try!

You A-Zers with Pinterest should join us!