Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Sometime Other Than Now

God bless Jennifer Fulwiler. She's obviously very excited to have her memoir, Something Other Than God, finally published. And she should be. Besides the universal fact that it's shake-the-world awesome to have a book published that you wrote with your own brain, Jennifer Fulwiler is one of the most insightful, funniest, most gracious and down-to-earth writers on the Internet. She's easy to read, but it's also so often edifying, or consoling, or enlightening to hear what she has to say about living, sharing, and deepening her love for God. I'm looking forward to reading her book (and I am shamelessly participating in a contest or two of hers).

I haven't received my copy yet, despite having preordered it—in the nick of time, I thought, to get it on her publication day, but no. I wasn't sure for a while when I would get around to buying it at first. I just knew that I would, and as soon as I saw it listed for preorder, I added it to my wish list of Catholic books. That list has so many coveted titles that if I tried to buy all of them at will, my family would go broke.* But as the buzz grew, I thought I'd just check out Amazon's "Look Inside" and read what I could. Believe it or not, I think what clinched it for me was Chapter 6. I love a good love story, and I got one page into the growing courtship of Jennifer and her husband Joe when the Amazon preview ended. It's like asking a friend, "So, how did you two meet?" and having all the other guests arrive before she finishes the story. So I decided to join this party.  Heh—true to form, I get to be a wallflower and watch all the others for a while. See you later, Jen, and congratulations!

*(These coveted titled are not even close to adequately represented. If you are a Catholic writer and your book is not on my list, it's likely an oversight I've been meaning to correct. Either that, or I just need an introducton. E-mail me. Seriously.)

Friday, April 25, 2014


...and Mrs. Elton, in all her apparatus of happiness, her large bonnet and her basket, was very ready to lead the way in gathering, accepting, or talking--strawberries, and only strawberries, could now be thought or spoken of.—"The best fruit in England—every body's favourite--always wholesome.—These the finest beds and finest sorts.—Delightful to gather for one's self—the only way of really enjoying them.—Morning decidedly the best time—never tired ... cultivation-beds when to be renewed—gardeners thinking exactly different—no general rule—gardeners never to be put out of their way—delicious fruit—only too rich to be eaten much of—inferior to cherries—currants more refreshing—only objection to gathering strawberries the stooping—glaring sun—tired to death—could bear it no longer—must go and sit in the shade."
I always think of this scene in Emma when we pick strawberries, which is becoming a yearly thing for us. We haven't successfully grown more than a handful all of any given season yet, but there are two or three places close enough by where we can go to pick our own. 

Especially with as many pickers as we have (and we usually go with a group, too), it doesn't take long to pick all we can eat before they spoil, plus some to freeze or process. We went armed with bonnet and baskets, and everyone very enthusiastically dove into the task of finding the reddest, ripest strawberries they could find. (Except 2-year-old Anwen—she really liked the green ones.) 

Still, it doesn't take long for the little ones to get tired. And since I don't have canning down yet, I don't mind calling it quits as soon as everyone has one full basket, give or take. 

We've frozen about a fourth of the haul. Now I need to figure out what to do with the rest! What feast days are coming up?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Homeschooling: Doing It Right

Hey, Mom, you know that big scratch I got when I slid down a tree? 
"It looks like Alaska!"


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