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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Mooch versus Sale

So I have just discovered probably one of the most addictive sites on the internet for a bibliophile like me, www.BookMooch.com. If you have extra books that you know won't be making you the big bucks on eBay, and you are on the lookout for next year's reading material, then this site is for you. The idea is that you list books you are willing to ship to folks either in the US only, or also to other countries (this is your choice). This gives you points with which you can then "Mooch" books that you want from others.

At this point I have
83 books I am willing to give away and I have 50 books I want in my wishlist. I have given 20 books and should be receiving 23.  23!! That is just awesome. It only costs you to mail, and that is done media rate. What I will gain is far more than what I will spend. It is just a lot of fun! If you join, please let me know as I would love to add you to my friends list.
 

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Spring

It is too pretty not to share what is happening in our little corner of the world. I hope you enjoy.


 



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Saturday, March 17, 2007

An Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.



 



 


Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

S Is for Shamrock

If you like alphabet books that are interesting to read, and are all things Ireland, then you will like this book. S Is for Shamrock: An Ireland Alphabet came in for review and I am keeping it! (Sorry Irish reviewers!) :+)


 


It is such a neat look at Ireland with all sorts of wonderful drawings and facts about life there. Here is a sample page. This particular page brought tears to my eyes--though I don't really know why I allowed such a nonsensical thing to happen--because it was not the sweet couple that did it, but the Blarney Stone! Some of you who really know me well will know that I not only kissed the Blarney Stone, but walked away with the gift the blarney (wink wink). If you click on that link you will see the huge castle that holds the stone. It is way up at the top and you have to bend backwards to kiss it. Yes, I have kissed something that has been kissed by people for hundreds of years. That is, in all honesty, pretty gross, but kind of interesting all at the same time. :+) The link has some gorgeous pictures of Blarney Castle as well as some other Irish locations in the Gallery.  Be sure to look at the Cliffs of Moher--they are an absolutely stunning gift to us from God. You just don't see beauty like that every day. If you *ever* get a chance to go to Ireland - GO!




See you on Saint Patrick's Day!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

My Irish Eyes are Smiling

The post below is one I did on my former blog in March of 2005. I figured I would share it here because I so enjoy this time of year and really loved these gorgeous pictures of the Book of Kells! I hope you enjoy.



Since it is March, and so close to St. Patrick’s Day, I thought I would share an ancient Irish treasure with you. As a homeschooler, it almost goes without saying that books are dear friends. I say almost because I *have* come across a few that don’t tend to think that way. However, for those of us who would find a trip to oh, say, the British Library, an almost spiritual experience, this might just be for you. I had the privilege of viewing Trinity College’s ancient manuscript, the Book of Kells. Click on the thumbnail pictures below for a larger clearer version. Once you have the larger clearer version you can click on the small box on the right bottom that pops off and on and enlarge it even more.


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I have a special affinity for hand-written manuscripts, but especially so for ones with a great story. It is understood that Irish Columban monks living on the remote Scottish island Iona, created this manuscript around the year 750. Iona was the center of St. Columba’s influence, and was where his church was located. The Book of Kells contains the four gospels, a section of Hebrew names, and the Eusebian canons, and it is also known as the “Book of Columba.” In 878 “The Annals of Ulster record that following another Viking attack, the shrine of Colm Cille and 'other relics' are taken to Ireland.” How can it get worse than to be plundered by Vikings? (It can!) In 1066 "The Book is stolen for its cover of gold, inset with precious stones. Months later it is found buried under sods of earth in a bog, without its cover." After this point it was evidently kept fairly together, but the final restoration and binding did not happen until 1953! A description of the Kells that follows describes the amazing details and unbelievable talent the artists had in making it:

Almost equally characteristic are the zoomorphic interlacements, coloured representations of fanciful beings, or of men, animals, birds, horses, dogs, and grotesque, gargoyle-like human figures, twisted and hooked together in intricate detail. Other frequently occurring designs are a system of geometrical weaving of ribbons plaited and knotted together, and a simpler ornamentation by means of red dotted lines. The versatility and inventive genius of the illustrator surpasses all belief. Lines diverge and converge in endless succession, and the most intricate figures, in lavish abundance and with astounding variety of ornament, are combined and woven into one harmonious design. In spite of the extent of the work and its thousands of exquisite initials and terminals, there is not a single pattern or combination that can be said to be a copy of another. (Found here.)

I find this last fact simply amazing. Those Irish monks really knew what they were doing and I am so glad they were removed from underneath that bog!

Monday, March 05, 2007

There are too many things happening!

It is wonderful to have such an abundance of excitement in one's life that to try to fit it into one blog post would exceed the word limit (were there really such a thing). :+) I am happy tonight for several reasons:


 


1) The HSB Literary Club is starting Ishmael this week and I am going to read it out loud to my oldest girls. We will enjoy that time so much! Tea, quiet, great book, special time--it does not get much better than that. :+) Now to plan the day so that it really happens!


 


2) I have been working on my family geneology because I *thought* I had a famous Declaration of Independence signer in my family history. Sadly, it was not to be. As far as I can tell, it 'taint the truth. I think I was given a "Read" family urban legend.


 


But you would think I would be blue about that, wouldn't you? Well, we have another very colorful character in our family lineage, the Revolutionary War General, "Mad" Anthony Wayne! I *did* indeed find the direct line from little ole me to great giant old him. There is so much amazing trivia on the net about him and I am just eating it up. His grandfather, born in 1666, joined the forces of William of Orange and commanded a troop of dragoons in his service at the battle of the Boyne. I cannot tell you how exiciting it is to find your own family in the anals of history that we have actually studied.

I had been told that I was a descendent, but I had not proven it until today. It is pretty thrilling to be able to trace at least a portion of my family history back to 1666. Just think of all the things that were happening then. As you all know who have read my blog for very long, history is a big deal to me--I love it! It is just too exciting. What also happened today is that I finally figured out for sure what countries I came from on my father's side. (France, England, and Scottland.) English was the only certainty for me, but now I know from our records for sure. There may be more, but those are the ones I can prove. On my mother's side I am German and Irish.

Having always identified myself as a Euro-mut, there is something very satisfying to know these things for sure. I think it is because I love history so much. I love to understand where we fit in it. My husband also has a colorful history, but in a different way. I look forward to uncovering more of his family tree--there is so much to learn!

Have you uncovered anything strange or exciting in your family tree?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

And the winner is.....

John!! Mr. Pinewood Derby of Troop 107!! He came in 1st place! See that beautiful happy smile? That boy and his trophy and his Daddy/John-made car. It was precious to see.


 


 




He even won a certificate for the Least Amount of Wood Used! LOL There is, if you look closely, a giant hole in the middle of the car and lots of weights on the back. It was very exciting to see the final race and it was a close one.



Congratulations to my boy (and his Daddy!) :+)