Saturday, July 23, 2011

Burnt Verdure, among other things...

So the Dude and the oldest boy (Martin) are gone to a guy thing at church, and I've thrown the 3 Youngers outside to play before it's +100F for the day.  I'm sitting here thinking that you and I haven't had much time to talk, and it's about time we caught up.

Firstly, it's S*mmer (so euphemized because it's just plain dreadful.)  Morale has not been very high, and it's somewhat of a struggle to find joy and contentment in our situation.  T*xas (also euphemized, when the need arises) is wearing on us.  I mean, it's worn on me for like, ever, but the Dude is at last itching and forlorn for all the same things as I am.  Woohoo!  Being entirely unable to initiate an evacuation, we're simply praying...and waiting on the Lord to agree with us.  ;-)

Second, I've managed to form thoughts about my children's education into an actual method and approach.  (And the crowd goes wild.)  You may remember that we've been homeschooling for...wait, four years?  My word, it is four years!  It's taken reading, listening, watching, interacting with other families/kids in the community, speaking my own ideas aloud, doing school, and so on...and I'm feeling much more confident than I was.  The Four seem pretty well-rounded, after the emphases we've placed this year.  But I'm no longer fretting about it.  Besides, as with any branch of education, there's always a limitless amount to learn and discover.  Whatever we don't get around to now, we can do later.  (One of my favorite aspects of Homeschooling, that.)

Thirdly, a college-aged girl working in the kitchen at a camp center we were at recently accosted me as I was returning my dishes.  The purpose?  To ask me if I worked out.  paha!  That weekend was completely crazy, and at that particular moment in time, a comment like that was the least thing I was expecting.  Besides being pretty cool.  My innate vanity could have a party, if I allowed...*cough*...but in short, I'm more than happy to have tangible results after a year of Exercising For Real.

Fourth, you'd be shocked if you knew how many books I'd read in the last year or so.  I mean, I'm shocked.  It wasn't so long ago that I despaired of ever having time to read again.  *blink*  More on this later, but what started out as reading-ahead-for-Martin (11 now!) turned into a recommendation for the Kindle app by my brother, which turned into me having the entire world at my fingertips, despite being stuck in Smalltown, TX.  Who could've even predicted this?  Definitely not me -- sworn protestor of electronic "books".  Hum!

But I've got to keep this quick.  So let me at least leave you with a quote from one I've just started!

Brief background:  The BBC's recent version of Little Dorrit was recommended highly a couple years ago, and the Dude came across it just last week in our own Smalltown Library.  We're on episode 11...nearly finished.  It's not quite what I expected, even as a faithful Dickensian, but it's terrific and very well done.  Since I'd just finished Mary Barton on the Kindle app, I downloaded Little Dorrit for my new bedtime book.  (Mom read it to us ages ago, but I didn't remember the story.)  It opens simply and beautifully, and is going to be a great read.

 "A blazing sun upon a fierce August day was no greater rarity in southern France then, than at any other time, before or since.  Everything about Marseilles, and about Marseilles, had stared at the fervid sky, and been stared at in return, until a staring habit had become universal there.  Strangers were stared out of countenance by staring white houses, staring white walls, staring white streets, staring tracts of arid road, staring hills from which verdure was burnt away.  The only things to be seen not fixedly staring and glaring were the vines drooping under their load of grapes.  These did occasionally wink a little, as the hot air barely moved their faint leaves."

That it stirred within me memories of another place in which an August sun blazes, producing "hills from which verdure is burnt away" and "vines drooping under their load of grapes" is only somewhat nostalgic.  The fact remains that Dickens is a master.  His characters with their various layers and curved noses is just a bonus.

Hope to speak to you again soon, dahl-ing...

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