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Saturday, February 26, 2005

Mixing Nuts and Rocking Out!

There is something marvelous about headphones, DC Talk, and turning up the volume! I am sitting here compiling a column and I am having such a great time. I am actually having fun working and that does not always happen now does it!? :+) I remember how much I enjoy smiling and dancing and just, well rocking out! I love love love loud bumping music. DC Talk fits that bill marvelously. I *also* love 80's club music - I admit it! There is a radio station near us that is an 80's music-all-the-time station. When I am alone in my ultra-stylish minivan, I turn it up and return to the clubs of my early college days. Not the bad parts, mind you, but the fun dancing-man-I-am-so-skinny-can-eat-anything-because-I-dance-all-the-time days. I would like to return to that skinny part - how does one include 80's dance parties to the homeschool curriculum?! I would be the skinniest denim-wearing post-five babies homeschool mom on my block. Sigh... I can dream, right?!

~*~

I recently watched the interesting Vanity Fair with Reese Witherspoon. I have not read this 700 page work, but I might in light of the movie. I liked it for its amazing splendor - the hair and costumes are spectacular and the Indian influences throughout the movie are really lovely. It is a visual feast there is no doubt. The reality of the movie, the vanity of the main character - and many living at that time - was truly heartbreaking. I cannot really imagine myself living in this time - if you were not fabulously wealthy you were trying to be and the pressure to fit into the privileged set must have been enormous. What a desperate and morally bankrupt way to live! From this Christian's perspective the movie reveals a life completely absorbed in the world's goods and the never-ending desire for more. Becky Sharp, Witherspoon's character, is in a continual climb up the ladder at almost every expense.

So why watch it? Well, that is funny, it was just really spectacular in so many ways and it is hard to put a finger on. It is not because I desire to be Becky or to be in her position, but to hope for better and see the beauty of what a life worth living really is I guess. I mean sure, it would be nice to be gloriously beautiful and fabulously rich, but would that change me at the heart? Would that make *me* any different? Well, there is no real threat of the former and the latter, while possible, it is also highly unlikely we will ever come into great sums of money so I will have to content myself with imagination. Her choices would not ever be my choices. My husband is my true soul-mate, my children, my earthly treasures. I would not willingly part with them in any remote manner for all the world and the universe combined. She was willing to sacrifice so very much - and for what? Vanity! What a difference Christ makes in my life - it is a clear path that lays before me in every way and what a complex and murky way is the life without Him! What is the guide? Becky was her own guide and she found that the end of the road was not what she anticipated. Anyway, it was quite a movie - and I recommend it.

~*~

Another recent watch was Rudy, with Sean Astin. Based on a true story of a learning disabled young man with huge goals - almost unattainable really - that his family continually discourage him from attempting. It was really a big movie for me with regards to dreams and the power of the words we say to our children. I am not a person that tries to convince my children they cannot do something, but neither am I the one to encourage them to be or do anything either. I am a middle-of-the-roader I guess. If they were to express to me the passion that Rudy had, well then I would certainly be careful what I said in response! Is it wrong to be careful in what we encourage? I am not talking about things like going to college or becoming a doctor, I am talking about saying, "You can do **anything** you want!" Ought we to be careful before promising the world when it might not be deliverable? I would love your thoughts on this - I want to be careful either way - not to discourage either - it is so painful to be discouraged.

Anyway, it was a good thinking movie for me! Rudy was a devoted Notre Dame football fan and he was really not cut out for college - at least that is what everyone told him. I will not give anything away - it is a good viewing. :)

~*~

Northanger Abbey was a recent fly-through. I love to read Austen - it is harmless, fun, and romantic and my lighter side really appreciates it. I can get into a good theology book when I feel the compulsion, but man, I love an Austen novel! I came across this write-up of Northanger Abby and found it really well done so I thought I would share it with you as why redo a good write-up, right?

Northanger Abbey was written in 1798, although it was not published until after her death when it was compiled with her final novel, Persuasion. It is notable for being a fierce parody of the late 18th century Gothic style's fainting heroines, 'terror' (giving hints of something fantastic but dreadful, only to quash it later with mundane truth) and haunted medieval buildings. Austen targets with particular venom Ann Radcliffe's extremely popular The Mysteries of Udolpho and has her characters reading and mimicking it whilst the author undermines it at every opportunity. Austen's comparatively thin novel as good as destroyed Radcliffe's reputation for almost two centuries and the exciting gothic writ large of Udolpho is only now being reassessed. Northanger Abbey itself concerns a typical Austen heroine, the young Catherine Morland who is taken to the fashionable resort of Bath with the her friends the Allens. From there she travels to the eponymous medieval abbey, the seat of the Tilneys. As an impressionable girl, Catherine becomes obsessed with the possible atrocities going on at Northanger Abbey, inspired by Radcliffe's novel. As ever, Austen cannot resist injecting a little romance into proceedings and she puts Captain Tilney under the spell of the unpleasant, scheming Isabella Thorpe. The novel's central theme, common to Emma and Sense and Sensibility is the peril of confusing life and art: in this instance literature.

This same site has the book online for those of you who like that. It is a shorter book than her more famous ones, but it still has a good deal of spunk. It is a lesser work in my opinion, but enjoyable none-the-less! From my understanding it was also her first work, and in many ways that is easy to see. It is not as endearing a work to me as Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility, but I recommend it anyway; after all, it is an Austen!

And speaking of Regency...

I am going to encourage my daughters (of which there are many so the chances are good one will go along with me...) to do a Regency wedding! This website is really neat! My mom can do these for us if we ask her to because, well, she can do anything with a sewing machine, and I mean ANYTHING. What fun and how beautiful my sweet girls will look when they are sweet women! I am SO glad I have many many years until then, but hey, it is fun to think about it - and even more fun to know I have so many years left. God is good!

Warmly,
Kate

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

More Questions! I hope you answer them too!

Thanks to The Home Realm for these great questions! This type of thing really is a lot of fun.

- Has your theology changed over the years?
Yes, absolutely. Reformed theology is the only theology that lines up Biblically. I love the sense in it and the truth of it.

- How would you describe your "personal style"?
Oh boy, well, um, I don't think I have any! :-) I suppose I would if I chose to spend a lot of money, but my clothes are rather eclectic and while I don't always scream "Homeschool Mom" I don't scream fashion model either.

- Which subjects have you studied in the most depth throughout your life?
Creation, Theology, Floral Design, and History

- Coffee or Tea?
Both, just not at the same time. Life is good with Earl Grey as well as with a dark French Roast.

- What is your best quality? Your worst?
I am a loyal and true friend. I do not have much patience and can be quick to anger.

- If you were given $100,000 today, what would you do with it?
Pay off my mother, buy a brand new van, and invest the rest.

- What were your favorite books as a child?
The Secret Garden and Janette Oke books.

- Do you have a good singing voice?
Only in the shower.

- Do you like liver
That is a filtering organ and I would not be caught dead eating it. :-)

- What is your philosophy of government?
A Moral Republic

- If you could suddenly have any talent, what would it be?
To play the piano. (Really it is to be able to fly, but that is just slightly fantastical.)

- Do you make your own pizza?
Yes, white ranch sauce, freshly made dough, garlic and cheese. YUM!

- Do you exercise?
Weellllllllllllllll, I am getting there. We did today!

- If you could visit any foreign country, which would you choose and why?
I would go back with my whole family to Ireland and England and stay for a year touring with someone else's budget. :-)

- What is your most unhealthy habit?
Cream in my coffee - real cream.

- How is your home decorated?
Scattered toys, various stuffed animals, several computers, with a splash of country and lots of dust. [Honesty is the best policy!]

- Do you plan your meals or choose what sounds good that day?
Choose what sounds good that I can prepare with what is on-hand that day!

- What talents or strengths do you see in your children?
Creative, interested, funny, happy, love to play and learn.

- Do you speak any foreign languages?
Un petit morceau de fran├žais. [A little bit (small piece) of French.]

- What do you do for the first hour you are awake in the morning?
Stare at the computer screen reading blogs wondering what to make for breakfast.

Anyone care to answer these? If you do answer them, feel free to do it in my comment section or on your blog - just let me know you did so I can read them!
Kate

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

On a Very Serious Note

I am including this here because of its important information. It is hard to believe that this woman may die due to her husband's horrible treatment, and that the state is sanctioning it. As a Christian, this is abhorrent to me in every way. Thanks for reading.
Kate

Dear Pro-Life Friend,

I’m taking the unusual step of emailing the entire pro-life blogs mailing list because of a critical situation that has developed in the case of Terri Schiavo.

Today, the courts rejected the pleas of Terri’s parents to stop her husband, Michael, from withholding food and water from her. He has promised to begin starving her tomorrow at 1 pm.

Most of you are aware that Terri is not a “vegetable” or “brain-dead” as Michael and his lawyers claim, but responds to others and is aware of her surroundings. She laughs, smiles and, according to her nurses, has a small vocabulary.

Terri is not on life support and is healthy. She needs help eating and is fed through a tube (helping someone eat and drink who is impaired has never been considered artificial life support).

While Michael asserts he is carrying out Terri’s wishes, he waited until after he received a large sum of money from a lawsuit against her doctors before making this claim . During the lawsuit, he alleged negligence and motivated a financial award with the potential cost of Terri’s rehabilitation.

However, Terri has been denied rehabilitation that experts testify could allow her to eat and talk. The courts in Florida have consistently blocked appeals to give Terri proper tests and therapy that would improve her life.

Terri may not have the capabilities she once had, but she is no less valuable and no less a person.

Here is what you can do to help Terri:
~ Pray for Terri and her family.
~ Blog - communicate the truth about what is going on and rally support for Terri and the Schindlers.
~ Visit BlogsforTerri ( http://www.blogsforterri.com) for information and to join the team of blogs for Terri.
~ Deluge Gov. Jeb Bush with emails and phone calls. He has the power to intervene. Here is his contact information:

Governor Jeb Bush
jeb.bush@myflorida.com
850 / 488-4441850 / 487-0801 (fax)
Support HB701 (click here).

Important - Bypass the Mainstream Media - pledge support a paid advertisement in the St. Petersburg Tribune to inform its 450,000 paid subscribers about what is really happening to Terri. [http://www.blogsforterri.com/pledge.php]

Your participation in help is desperately needed.
Thank-you for standing-up for Life.
Tim

prolifeblogs@gmail.com
http://www.prolifeblogs.com

P.S. I’ve set-up a special aggregator that displays only posts about Terri Schiavo. You can see what our 200+ members are saying here [http://www.prolifeblogs.com/articles/aggregator.php?schiavo=1]
More Information at www.TerrisFight.org

Questions! Questions!

Since no one but the brave Pilot Mom, Claire Bug, was willing to play, I will provide her with some interesting questions and offer them to any who wish to answer them. No need to ask anyone else to answer further questions, the buck stops here! :-) All I do ask is that if you answer them, please post a comment so that I know to look. I cannot always make it around to everyone's front doors each day with five children and a homeschool to run. Here they are:

1. What two fiction books have affected your life in such a way as to make a difference?

2. If you could transport yourself into any particular time period, but had to stay there forever with your family, where would you go, and what kind of person would you be?

3. What is one thing that most people do not know about you?

4. If you could make a public announcement for everyone to hear, what would you say?

5. Why do you blog?

I do hope to hear the answers to these from lots of you!

Have fun,
Kate

Monday, February 21, 2005

Interview Time!

Kim from The Upward Call is in the process of interviewing me. Here is the Q&A:

1. What did you do before home schooling?
Well, big snore, but I was a "Word Processor" or rather a servant to the favored in the real estate world. :-) I typed my little fingers off day in and day out and was happy as a clam (if there be truth to the tale of happy clams) to leave and be a MOM.

2. What is your favourite kind of scone?
Cranberry orange with lots of clotted cream, eary gray tea with sugar and cream.

3. I know you're a history buff; what's your favourite era of history?
This is an unfair question because I really do love so many periods in history. :-) I think if I truly had to choose just one it would be the middle ages. I know it is dark and dreary, full of death and vicious behavior, but it is truly romantic in some oddly archaic way.

4. What do you like in the morning; coffee or tea?
Coffee with cream or a mocha made with milk and half and half.

5. What is one of your biggest pet peeves?
Parents that leave their children to the world to parent and do not take an active role in their children's lives.

Here is the rest of the story:

The first five to comment asking will be participants:
1. Leave me a comment saying “interview me.”
2. I will respond by asking you five questions.
3. You will update your blog/site with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions. (Write your own questions or borrow some.)

Now, off to the comment races!
:-)
Kate

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Shall we dance?


Two nights ago my husband and I watched this movie. There were several things in it I was not too crazy about, but there was enough in it that I liked to make it worth mention. I love to dance. I love to swing dance especially with someone who really knows how to do it - to dip an everything. There is something wonderful about flying across the slick floor with a silly grin of happiness on your face.

Dancing has been a part of my family's history for a long time. Many years ago my grandfather sat in the balcony of the local dance hall and watched who would become my grandmother swinging away with her girlfriends. After many nights he worked up the courage to ask her to dance. They danced for years and years together as husband and wife. When my grandfather could no longer physically dance, he still shared with me the wonder of that time to him. After more than 50 years of marriage he still had that same love for her, that same affection that he had so many years ago.

My mother and her husband can really dance. I mean they can really swing, they can waltz, they look *good* on the dance floor. I envy their ability to have such fun! They taught us to waltz for our first wedding dance. You see, we are young enough not to have learned how to dance in our public schools. What a shame! We missed something - the schools missed something there - by taking out the dance classes. I think there is a sense of accomplishment when you learn to glide like that with a partner. It was the one solidly beautiful and completely ours-alone moment in our entire reception. We stepped away from the crowd, from the frenetic pace of the day, to have that special moment together and it is forever etched in my mind.

There was some very beautiful dancing in Shall we dance?, but that is not only what I liked. I liked what Susan Sarandon said about marriage. She was asked: "Why do people get married?" Her answer was interesting to me: because we want a witness to our lives. We want someone to mark our being here and to care that we are. At the end of it all, it will not matter much if all our laundry got done on time - and I guess that is a good thing because I will not be known for that. It will not even matter if we have read all the great books we wish to read, but what will matter is what notice we have taken, of our children, of our spouse, of our extended families, of our friends, and most importantly, of our God.

I pray that in the busyness of my life that I take notice, that I love all that I can, that I am a witness for what matters.

Dancing with my man,
Kate

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Emotional Cats

In the Great Search for the next family cat we are trying to be socially responsible. What I mean by that is that we are searching all the SPCA websites in our local area. This is actually much more fun than one would think, especially when one is feeling creative and witty late at night. Here are some of the better face shots of some of these available felines and my commentary below.


"Most people say I look like Eddy Murphy."

"Just SHOW me the litter box, OK?!"

"Ahhh, my little chickita, come into my den!"

If any of you locals are interested in these little guys, you can check them and more out here: http://www.sspca.org/ViewAdoptablePets.html
:-)
Kate

Monday, February 14, 2005

Recessionally speaking...

A nod of thanks to Mr. Puppdaddy (a very funny homeschool *dad* blog) for reminding me of "the recessional." It is the oftentimes serious and sometimes funny song that you walk back down the isle to after the wedding ceremony. Our ceremony was a beautiful one, full of serious meaning, beautiful music and singing. Our recessional just *had* to have some spunk so we choose this:

Shenandoah: Next To You, Next To Me Lyrics

Ridin’ down the road in my pick-up truck
Ya’ better be ready ‘cause I’m pickin’ you up
With a full moon a shinin’ and a little bit a’ luck
We’ll run out outta gas and maybe get stuck

We could get lost baby I don’t care
I ain’t worried as long as you’re there
There ain’t no place that I’d rather be
Next to you, sittin’ next to me
There ain’t no place that I’d rather be
Next to you, next to me

Barbecue chicken in aluminum foil
Just enough money for my gas and oil
Who needs your shrimp and your caviar
I’d sooner have you just the way you are
Rich people got their money to hold
Mansion on the hill and diamonds and gold
It can’t compare as far as I can see
Next to you sittin’ next to me
There ain’t no place that I’d rather be
Next to you, next to me

Radio playin’ our favorite song
I’ll change the station if the news comes on
When the signal ain’t comin’ in too strong
We’ll make our own music honey all night long
If the Good Lord’s willin’ when we’re old and gray
The kids are grown up and moved away
We’ll be rockin’ there side by side
With barbeque chicken and the tv guide

Well, there ain’t no place that I’d rather be
Next to, sittin’ next to me
No, there ain’t no place that I’d rather be
Next to you, next to me
There ain’t no place that I’d rather be
Next to you, sittin’ next to me

Next to you, next to me
Next to you, next to me
Next to you, next to me
Next to you, next to me
****
And the truth is, after twleve an a half years, there ain't no place that I'd rather be.
:-)
Kate

Happy Happy Birthday my 8 year old girl!

To a delightful energetic happy-to-be-living girl named Abigail, my precious daughter, my Valentine's Day baby, have a lovely, happy, stupendous birthday with all our love!

And to all of you who have a precious husband like I do, remember him today! And to use a semi-Dyism,

Love those babies!
Kate

Friday, February 11, 2005

A great link

I really enjoy Christine Miller's, Classical Homeschooling website. There is just so much to feast off of not only visually, but also the many many lists and essays all there to help us homeschool moms! A list I came across today is entitled 100 Pivotal Events of Western History. She is unabashedly a young earth creationist and this is where she starts. From there it just keeps marching though time up until 2001 and the attacks on the World Trade Center. I look forward to printing this list out and reading though it. I thought you might all find it interesting too!

Warmly,
Kate

Which SV?

Nope, not talking about SUVs in this post. :-) I am actually talking about Bible versions. I recently entered to win a new ESV Bible along with The Holiness of God (and you can too if you click the book link below. This was edited by R.C. Sproul (a man I much admire) and used to be known as the New Geneva Study Bible. I have been an avid NASB gal for some time and really appreciate the word for word translation, but I am open to reading an even better one if it is out there. The Holiness of God is one of the best books I have ever read and would love to gift that to a friend should I win as we already own it.

Study Bible

If any of you have experience with the new ESV edition and would care to share it, I would like to hear it.

****

My still-intact wisdom teeth are moving again. I have immense sympathy for babies cutting their teeth because I know what it feels like and let me tell you - IT HURTS. It is simply not available to me right now to have them removed so here I sit CRANKY because of it. Good old fake asprin helps, but I am working my way to the stuff that numbs it; ice cream. I figure why not, it has cream in it and I need the relief it will bring me. It is as good of an excuse for ice cream as any I can come up with, and this one happens to be true. :-)

****

No sign of the cat yet. We might get a puppy. This time a SMALL one that knows it is at the bottom of the totem pole. (Cody, our former dog, thought he ruled the world.) We will see. I am not sure. Any dog lovers out there to convince me we need a dog? At least my kitchen floor might be in better shape regularly, eh? I do desire to have that snuggly dog, and certainly the children and their daddy do, but do I have it in me? Doubtful, but we shall see. At least I would not be allergic to it! We still miss you Ambulance!!

Wishing you and yours a lovely weekend and don't forget that loved one on Monday!

Warmly,
Kate

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

As you walk along the way...

Today was one of those amazing conversation with the children days where things just click and they get it - and we really talk about important subjects. It was during our Bible time (which is not always nearly this fruitful however much *I* take from it) that the subject of "What if I didn't believe in the God of the Bible - what is the alternative?" came up. Does it make sense? During the course of my Christian life there have been times of struggle in my belief and I shared this with them - is this God for real? I would always ask myself, what is the alternative? That I mean nothing, that I am truly equal to a slug, that I came from nothing, that everything around me comes from nothing, that nothing is truly important, and that I am a "nothing" in the great universe.

If you take the humanistic philosophy to the logical conclusion (as I did with a dear friend who happens to be one) even he was willing to admit that what happened at Columbine wouldn't be considered "wrong" in the sense that we all know it is. I was pretty surprised he was willing to say that, but glad he could see the truth in the statement. To him, morality came from society and that is why it is "wrong" in the public's eye. How can wanton cruel death be OK in any way?

So what is the alternative - humanistic evolution, something as complex and marvelous as humans are born out of a big bang, over millions of years and all for what? It is a hopeless philosophy. I think in every heart - even those most deceived - there is the inate knowledge that we are indeed sinners. To say otherwise is only to fool yourself. What, like Christian in Pilgrim's Progress, do we do with the heavy heavy burden and weight of it? It is overwhelming. The beauty of knowing the God of the Universe fashioned me for a purpose, like Himself, to be conformed into His likeness, that we *have* a purpose to be used for His glory - it is almost too much to think about. It is too wonderful.

Even in the depths of the deepest sorrow or despair there is this amazing scripture: "But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us." Through Him who loved us! Not only that, but that nothing can separate us, the certainty with which Romans 8:37-39 was written - it never ceases to encourage me. I am so grateful for the love, for this certainty, for the truth written in His word, that He is indeed, the way, the truth and the life.

May you know Him today,
Kate

At least we know they have a sense of humor!

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (AP) — The city's tax superintendent has been suspended without pay for a week for trying to inject some humor in the city income tax filing instructions.
The attempt at humor by Linda Stubbs was called "misguided" by city Finance Director John Lyons.

The forms — with such lines as, "If we can tax it, we will," — were sent last week to all Middletown businesses and residents who pay city income tax.

Lyons said revised forms were sent out immediately at a cost to taxpayers of about $5,500.
Among the lines that city officials didn't think were very funny was this one:
"Free advice: if you don't have a profit in a five-year period, you might want to consider another line of work."

Middletown is about 25 miles northeast of Cincinnati.
(Article from: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,146792,00.html)

----

Tell me you wouldn't crack a smile if you came across those quotes in the IRS forms? It is nice to know that *some* tax folks have a funny bone.

Kate

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Playmobil for the Birthday Boy!

Six years ago this time today I was rejoicing in the birth of my one and only son, John Henry. It was a difficult birth as Di can attest to because she was there to see it - and a few days later had her own sweet boy. Such a dear special friend! He is my beautiful brown-eyed young prince and I just love him to pieces. You can see his sweet boy face HERE if you have not already in the previous blog entry where I featured his darling grin. :-) Can you tell I really like him? Anyway, my JH turns 6 today and it is hard to believe he is already that old. Time flies so those of you with new babies - enjoy them!

We gave him this:

and for only a meer $30 that is a fabulous deal for all the "Argh, mateys!" he will get out of it. We love Playmobil here - all of us, from age 35 down to the two year old! It is an affordable (for the most part unless you want the Fairy Castle) toy that lasts and lasts. There are many small parts, but don't worry, they go through the intestinal system. I can attest to that. :-)

Happy Birthday to our Best Boy. He is truly a gift from God and the best boy we could ever ask for.

Warmly,
Kate

Monday, February 07, 2005

Thoughts

I am a little down tonight. I have a lot of work to do, not enough time in the day to do it, and our cat is missing. He has been with us for close to seven years and is very special. He has been missing for almost five days. I have no real hope of his being returned although I do know God is certainly capable. I am just down because it seems SO unlikely that he would even wander off at all. His name is Ambulance and he is a black kitty with white feet and a white goatee. I am not even a cat person really, but there is a hole here and it just makes me sad he is missing. There is a possibility we will find him in a shelter, and we are praying to that end. That is all for tonight - I hear my baby needs me.

Kate

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Charlotte Bronte's Love Letters


My dear husband and I finished watching Jane Eyre last night with William Hurt as Mr. Rochester. It was a good version and true to the book for the most part. Not as full of emotion as the Cirian Hinds one, but still very good. The book, of course, if 100 times better, but that goes without saying. In the "Extra Features" section there was a program about the film and about Charlotte Bronte. To say the Bronte's had a hard life would be understating it mildly, but there was one fact about her life I was completely unaware of. She wrote love letters to a former teacher in Brussels who just happened to be married. This was pretty surprising to me, but not for any particular reason. I think I just did not expect it. Here is the story:

Bronte love letters on show

Martin Wainwright
Saturday June 5, 2004
The Guardian

Four of the most poignant love letters in English literature have returned to the Yorkshire village where their misguided writer posted them 160 years ago. After a century in storage at the British Library, the heartfelt notes from Charlotte Bronte have gone on display at the parsonage in Haworth, where she agonised over their phrasing during periods of depression in 1844.

Their pathos is heightened by jagged tearmarks where their exasperated recipient, the Belgian schoolteacher Constantin Heger, ripped them up and threw them into the bin. They were saved by his suspicious wife who sewed the fragments together, probably as potential evidence that Charlotte, who trained as a teacher with the couple in Brussels two years earlier, might have tried to lead her husband on.

Written in French, the letters later became historically valuable as Charlotte's fame grew, but Heger attempted to bin them a second time when his daughter showed them to him as he lay dying. They were bequeathed to the British Museum by Heger's son to help an accurate record of the writer's tormented youth.

"They've spent most of the time in storage and accessible only to scholars," said Sarah Carr, collections assistant at the Parsonage Museum.

"So it's marvellous that visitors can now see them, especially in the house where they were written."

The letters are also important as source material for Villette, Charlotte's claustrophobic novel of a young English woman's unhappy passion for a Belgian teacher. Like her plain and gloomy heroine Lucy Snowe, the writer confesses to the agonies of fearing unrequited love.

One letter says: "If my master withdraws his friendship from me entirely, I shall be absolutely without hope." Another confesses the naivety which led the writer to misread Heger's kindness: "I should not know what to do with a friendship entire and complete... I hold on to it as I would hold on to life.'

Heger is thought to have behaved honourably throughout the episode, spotting Bronte's writing skills during her stay in Brussels and strongly encouraging them. "It appears that she mistook his enthusiasm for something more," Ms Carr said.

Jane Eyre was published in 1847 followed by the rest of the great novels before her death aged 38. Heger became one of the most eminent professors at Belgium's Athenee Royal academy, dying in 1896, 41 years after his unhappy admirer.

~ * ~

Love is so beautiful when it is in its right place. I am so grateful for my true love.
Warmly,
Kate


Friday, February 04, 2005

Something the Lord Made

I just finished watching a powerful movie called Something the Lord Made. It was intriguing to me on many levels. It was a dramatization of the two men, a black man and a white man, and their pioneering work on heart surgery. It may sound dry, but it is far from it. It was moving in so many aspects, and really fascinating. There is some language, but because we have the TV Guardian, I cannot tell you what. It was a movie that I can honestly say was really worth the time I took out of my life to watch it. Not only did I learn a lot because of the fascinating subject, but I learned a lot about human behavior. It is an incredibly introspective movie for several of the characters and you can really feel their minds working. I would have to say that this is one of the best biographical dramatization I have ever seen.

Kate

Java! Java! Java! Cap ooo cheeeno!

There is something wrong with a morning when it begins with foul coffee. I ran OUT of both good coffees, the one given to us as a six month Christmas gift (a pound a month from a different roaster!), and the one from my dear husband. SO, what does a desperate pain-in-the-head-you-stayed-up-too-late gal do? Well, I stumbled in my coffee walk. I admit it, I stumbled because in my way of thinking desperate times call for desperate measures. I used over-a-year-old pre-ground, packaged gift coffee from last Christmas. Yep, my less than lucid state of mind said, "How bad can it be?" Let me tell you, it. was. bad. I do not think that even Denny's coffee could get this bad. All the cream and sugar in the world could not make up for what this coffee lacked. I just could not do it. I could not defile my inner self with it so I tossed it. "ANYTHING is better than this." So I had some tea. Sigh. It is not the same I will say, but there *is* caffeine involved with tea so I was on the upswing.

Then I went shopping. I bought 28 ounces of dark French roast beans. The kind that is sealed shut and when you open it you think you are in Peet's coffee with the oily beans. Even my beans were oily albeit not from Peet's. I was imagining the bliss and went in search for my half and half. Now in all honesty, I really really really wanted whipping cream. I have this no-so-secret love of cream that is beyond reason, but I maintained my cool since the only size sold at my local Smart and Final (or Dumb and Temporary as we like to call it) is a quart or a half gallon and while I like whipping cream, even *I* have limits. So I bought the half and half and came home.

Is anyone still with me? Well, anyway, I brewed two cups, one for my dear coffee-loving husband and one for myself before I even finished putting away the groceries. I thought, Nirvana is close at hand! It was NOT strong enough. I had miscalculated, due to hurry, the amount of scoops needed for a proper cup. We are not weak coffee drinkers, but we like it to be chewy (well, OK, not really, but you get the idea). I only had a little and left it to get cold. Enough! I said to myself this afternoon, what is the day coming to without a proper jolt of black gold? I just made myself a thick dark mocha with my half and half/milk mixture, Hershey's cocoa mix, and a dark dark espresso. I am a HAPPY mama.

:-) Kate



Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Master of the Blog Universe!

A Circle of Quiet, albeit listed without the all important "A," is currently up for the Best New Evangelical Blog Award from Evangelical Undergroud. It is indeed her site linked on their entry page and since I think she ought to be master of the blog universe, and will certainly place my vote her way, chads and all, I thought you might wish to know this too!
Here is how you enter:
Nominations will be taken beginning today via email until February 14th. Voting on will last for two days with finalist winners being announced on the 18th.

So start sending in those nominations! Be sure to post about this on your blog to encourage your readers to nominate you.

Winners will receive prominant links on various blogs, a special graphic, and deep-rooted emotional fulfillment. [And to think all this for free - no mood mist whatsoever!]

Nominations can be sent to eblogawards@gmail.com

You GO Di! Thanks for sharing the information, Anne!
Huzzah! Kate