Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Small infinities

Pausing in my walk, I was able to watch this leaf slowly drift down from the branch above and wedge itself in the snow. God's creation is so infinitely beautiful.

To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.
-William Blake

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


I have a few minutes here before I have to sign off to head to class so I thought I should write something even though I spent a bit of time lastnight writing approximatly 5,000 words... well, actually I don't know the real total since those words are only the ones I deemed saveable. It was probably closer to twice than before revision and deletion took their toll.
But I must admit, putting the words down is not the hard part of essays. The hard part has more to do with the necessity of their making sense. That is why this blog is so much easier and I don't mind writing on it despite my present brain-fatigue: I don't have to make sense on here. I don't have to wonder if my thesis is clear throughout. I don't even have to have a thesis! I can write "don't", I can write run-on sentences, I'm free!
Highlighting my freedom from essayic restraint (not as bad as pharisaic restrain, however) this post is here, a beacon; a lighthouse of insanity in a normally regulated world. Sometimes ya just gotta have fun.

Monday, February 19, 2007

pictured at last

In celebration of:
living in the best country in the world
living where winter is a part of life
living in the best city in the world
living where the canal is easily accessible
having a warm coat to enable me to enjoy the above
having good friends to enjoy things with
looking forward to a relaxing and fun-filled week
having a camera to record aspects of all the above...

here is a picture from yesterday's fun (although really cold) skating time on the canal!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

our decorating today

On a nesting note, some more advice from the AW'sEHD. I think the reason I enjoy this book so much is that I find her thoughts to be both practical and quaintly expressed (I like her use of quotations, too).

Order can be taught a child if he is early given 'a place for everything' and shown how to put 'everything in its place'...follow his development step by step, guiding his taste but recognizing it as his own. Let him have some of his 'treasures' around, just as you have yours.

Our decorating today may be inspired by a tradition of the past; but we are interpreting it to suit our own sweet will and today's manner of living.

Choice of pictures is very important. Their function is to please the eye in colour and stimulate the imagination by the subject portrayed.

Sometimes we receive gifts that, though delightful in themselves, do not fit into our decorating schemes. We must then use discretion.

(this is where re-gifting comes in...)

pride and praise

Although I know that there are times when it is important for other people to evaluate my character without having had the opportunity to meet me or get to know me at all, I still find it hard to fill out forms about my strengths and skills. As with a resume, I feel as though I am being forced to toot my own horn. I start to wonder if I really am a 'good listener' or a 'team player' or if that's just something I'm saying because I like myself but that they'll find out to be a gross exaggeration when it comes down to it. Let's face it, most people have a fairly high opinion and biased view of themselves. Of course my modesty in this could merely stem from a desire not to disappoint. I am a cautious person and take to heart the advice not to place oneself too high only to be brought down (rather, enjoying the occasional times of sitting too low and being brought up). Perhaps in letting another man praise me my motives are merely to hear my praise from someone else. Not so good. Also, most of the good traits that I posses (I admit I have some) are ones that deal with the external facade and really has nothing to do with the heart. Of course I suppose that all means of evaluation available to man are fallible in this way since only God can look into our hearts. That thought can be both unsettling and comforting. I think I shall choose to think of it as comforting!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Heart

There were so many things I could write (or quote from someone else) on Valentine's Day that I almost didn't write anything but I thought I should do something to mark the date.
I was at Augustine for Restless Hearts last night and thoughts on that theme and some of the material presented there have inspired this post.

"The Heart Knoweth its own Bitterness"*
When all the over-work of life
Is finished once, and fast asleep
We swerve no more beneath the knife
But taste that silence cool and deep;
Forgetful of the highways rough,
Forgetful of the thorny scourge,
Forgetful of the tossing surge,
Then shall we find it is enough?

How can we say 'enough' on earth--
'Enough' with such a craving heart?
I have not found it since my birth,
But still have bartered part for part.
I have not held and hugged the whole,
But paid the old to gain the new;
Much have I paid, yet much is due,
Till I am beggared sense and soul.

I used to labour, used to strive
For pleasure with a restless will:
Now if I save my soul alive
All else what matters, good or ill?
I used to dream alone, to plan
Unspoken hopes and days to come:--
Of all my past this is the sum:
I will not lean on child of man.

To give, to give, not to recieve!
I long to pour myself, my soul,
Not to keep back or count or leave,
But king with king to give the whole.
I long for one to stir my deep--
I have had enough of help and gift--
I long for one to search and sift
Myself, to take myself and keep.

You scratch my surface with your pin;
You stroke me smooth with hushing breath;--
Nay pierce, nay probe, nay dig within,
Probe my quick core and sound my depth.
You call me with a puny call,
You talk, you smile, you nothing do:
How should I spend my heart on you,
My heart that so outweighs you all?

Your vessels are by much too strait:
Were I to pour, you could not hold.--
Bear with me: I must bear to wait,
A fountain sealed through heat and cold.
Bear with me days or months or years:
Deep must call deep until the end
When friend shall no more envy friend
Nor vex his friend at unawares.

Not in this world of hope deferred,
This world of perishable stuff;--
Eye hath not seen nor ear hath heard
Nor heart concieved that full 'enough':
Here moans the separating sea,
Here harvests fail, here breaks the heart;
There God shall join and no man part,
I full of Christ and Christ of me.
-Christina Rossetti

It is not your average love poem but I really appreciate the sentiments expressed; the way that the poem shows how after everything, the only love that makes any difference is Christ's for us. He is the only deep that can call our deep.

*This poem is full of Biblical allusions; the title is a direct quiote from Proverbs 14:10. There are many other references to Biblical passages and themes in this (and many other Rossetti poems). I have listed a few touched on in this poem:
-Proverbs 14:10
The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy.
-Luke 12:48
But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
-Haggai 1:6
Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.
-Ezekiel 18:27
Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.
-Ecclesiastes 2:16 (indeed, the whole book deals with these ideas)
For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how dieth the wise man? as the fool.
-Matthew 16:26
For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
-Acts 20:35
I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
-I Samuel 1:15
And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD.
-Jeremiah 24:7
And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.
-Psalm 139:1
O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.
-Song of Solomon 4:12
A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.
-Psalm 42:7
Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.
-Proverbs 13:12
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.
-I Corinthians 2:9
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
-Mark 10:9
What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Irresistible Peanut Butter Cookies

All week long I have enjoyed these peanut butter cookies. The recipe was on the inside of a Crisco lard box and my Mom and Grandma decided to try it. There is nothing fancy about this recipe but for some reason I found them really tasty. We ate the last few tonight and I'm trying to convince them to make another batch for the coming week. I'm in a homey mood right now; we just got back from enjoying the ice sculptures and the wintery weather and I have a cup of hot cocoa in my hand (that sounds more homey to me than 'hot chocolate'). I now wish that we hadn't finished the cookies after supper so I could have something to eat too but such is life. I'm too lazy right now to make a batch myself (and I have to get at that Latin homework) so instead I'll write out the recipe, both so that I will not lose it and for the general enjoyment of my vast readership.

IPBCs [see title of post]
3/4 c creamy peanut butter
1/2 c shortening
1 1/4 c packed brown sugar
1 egg
3 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375 deg F. Cream first six (wet) ingredients in large bowl until smooth. Combine dry ingredients, add to creamed mixture gradually, beating at low speed until thoroughly blended. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Press lightly with tines of floured fork. Bake at 375F for 7-8 minutes or until set and just beginning to brown. Cool slightly, then remove to rack.
For variety add chips. Preparation time approximatly 15 minutes, baking time 7-8 minutes. Yield about three dozen cookies.

tasty bits

More advice from The American Woman's Encyclopedia of Home Decorating from the practical to the abstract:

Whatever you do, don't have fancy curtains in your bathroom.

I should like to write a book on nothing but lamps.

...don't forget colour; it's your strongest ally.

[If] you want individuality... have around you the things you like.

Genius can't always glow unless it has a place of its own.

Monday, February 05, 2007


There is a frostbite warning today from the bitter windchill. But rather than dwell on the cold aspects of it, I shall quote a couple poems that both deal in a similar way with the mystery of the unseen...

Who Has Seen the Wind?
Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you;
But when the leaves hang trembling
The wind is passing through.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I;
But when the trees bow down their heads
The wind is passing by.
-Christina Rossetti

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. -John 3:8

Wind on the Hill
No one can tell me,
Nobody knows,
Where the wind comes from,
Where the wind goes.

It's flying from somewhere
As fast as it can,
I couldn't keep up with it,
Not if I ran.

But if I stopped holding
The string of my kite,
It would blow with the wind
For a day and a night.

And then when I found it,
Wherever it blew,
I should know that the wind
Had been going there too.

So then I could tell them
Where the wind goes...
But where the wind comes from
Nobody knows.
-A.A. Milne

Thursday, February 01, 2007

O Lord, when Thou didst call me

O Lord, when Thou didst call me, didst Thou know
My heart disheartened through and through,
Still hankering after Egypt full in view
Where cucumbers and melons grow?
--'Yea, I knew,'--

But, Lord, when Thou didst choose me, didst Thou know
How marred I was and withered too,
Nor rose for sweetness nor for virtue rue,
Timid and rash, hasty and slow?
--'Yea, I knew.'--

My Lord, when Thou didst love me, didst Thou know
How weak my efforts were, how few,
Tepid to love and impotent to do,
Envious to reap while slack to sow?
--'Yea, I knew.'--

Good Lord, Who knowest what I cannot know
And dare not know, my false, my true,
My new, my old; Good Lord, arise and do
If loving Thou hast known me so.
--'Yea, I knew.'--
-Christina Rossetti