Monday, October 31, 2011

An Announcement

Dearly beloved, something quite tragic has happened to me.

Somebody has supplanted Mr. Darcy in the right to my fangirl devotedness.

The somebody.

Yes, I have fallen under the spell of the irresistible Mr. Thornton.  I could not help it.  Even when my poor mother said that she had watched the film a long time ago and hated it, I went right ahead and watched it on YouTube, little knowing how I'd be affected.

My dear readers, I shall never be the same again.  I am now one of those strange people who are devoted fans of this intriguing BBC miniseries:

It's a lovely film and I highly recommend it.  It has more conflict and plot than a Jane Austen story, and is more thought-provoking.Perhaps whenever I read the book I shall write about the story with more depth and seriousness - perhaps.  I am currently incapable of more than squee noises.   And I'm sorry that I don't have any pictures up that aren't of Mr. Thornton. *blush*

PS - I must leave you with this beautiful theme from the film:  Don't worry, it's quite short.  (Too short, in my opinion.)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Kingship of Christ

Pilate therefore said to him:
Art thou a King then?
Jesus answered:
Thou sayest that I am a King.
For this was I born, 
And for this I came into the world.
- John 18

Those of you who follow the new calendar will no doubt be confused by the timing of this post.  I know that the new calendar places this feast later in November, but, as Traditional Catholics, my family and I follow the old calendar, which places the feast today, the last Sunday in October.

I don't know about you, but I sometimes wonder if perhaps the world could be significantly improved by the re-institution of real monarchy.  I've thought that if only good men could become kings, a great many problems might be solved - but silly me!  My human mind cannot seem to retain the fact that the world already has a king.  Yes, a great king.  Not only a good man, but the most perfect Man ever to live: a Man who is also God.  So why then, you ask, is the world so erring?  It's quite simple, really, and quite sad.  We do not acknowledge Him.  We see Our Lord as a nice friend, or as a kind spirit who grants favors, and we completely ignore the fact that He is our King - One to whom we swear fealty in baptism and confirmation.   And what a king He is!  Could you imagine having an earthly king knock on your door one day and ask if he could stay a while?  Sounds preposterous, doesn't it?  Well of course we know that Our Lord does just that when we receive him in the Holy Eucharist, only He goes further than our living room - he enters our very being, and rests in our heart.  No wonder it's a mortal sin to receive communion with mortal sin on one's soul.  It would be like inviting a king into your house when everything's dirty and the children are sick!  No, we must acknowledge Christ as our true King and give the reverence which is due Him.  

Well, I went off on a bit of a tangent there. There is just so much to say, and it's so hard to find the right words to say it with!  I wanted to explain so much about the kingship of Christ and how wonderful and helpful it is for us....oh well.  If one of you lovely readers would like to fill in my gaps, do your own post about Christ the King, or simply comment here. 

Vive le Roi!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Journaling Page - Sunlight and Idleness

Emily has given me permission to do journaling pages rather like hers.   I intend for this to be less about what I'm doing, and more a fairly good excuse for me to ramble on with whatever I'm thinking about.

Before I start, though, I must introduce you to My Precious.  My Precious doesn't have a picture uploaded of him yet, but you must know that he's my new laptop, and we loves him very much, gollum, gollum.  You will have him to thank if I post more regularly, because he has a lovely keyboard and I can use him whenever I want. (Within reason.)  So: Precious, meet my lovely readers. My readers, meet the Precious.

Now that we are properly introduced, we can begin.

Outside my window... the sun still retains his early-morning glory, though it's quite late.  The trees behind my yard glow with a scarlet that only God could have imagined; they're like the stained-glass windows of the natural world.  I wonder if the first person to make a window with bits of colored glass got his inspiration from colored leaves?  The sky is pale blue, and there are a few monstrous cotton balls - excuse me, I mean clouds - floating to and fro at their own sweet will.
As much as I love cloudy days, sunlight has a unmatchable beauty, especially at sunrise or sunset, when it seems so close.  I never liked noonday sun because it's so faraway and harsh.  Rising or setting sun is so much lovelier.
This morning there was broken glass on the path behind our back yard.  The sun rays caught it, and it glittered more brightly than diamonds.  Why pay millions for those silly crystals when you can look at a broken glass bottle glimmering in the rising sun?  (By the way, our neighbor went out there and swept it all up a while ago - still quite early.  What a thoughtful act of mercy!)

I'm listening to... Chanticleer's plainchant version of the beautiful hymn Ave, Maris Stella.  Gregorian chant always makes me feel so calm and industrious.  Occasionally it's made me cry because it expresses so perfectly the joy and peace of religious life, which I hope to enter someday....  (And yes, I do cry rather easily.....*insert embarrassed expression*)

I'm thinking about... various things.  My mind skips around so fast that my thoughts give me headaches sometimes.  I was just thinking that I really ought to be doing schoolwork, and just because I have a party at three doesn't mean I can't do school until then.  Before that I was wondering if this journaling thing is a good idea or not - just because I like writing it doesn't necessarily mean that you will like reading it.  I was also thinking about beauty, and how it's almost everywhere, if we look for it.  Except in grocery stores.  Most of them are quite devoid of beauty.

I'm creating... well, this blog post, of course.  Other than that...I have a scarf in progress....I finished a grocery list for my mom this morning (and I decorated it with scroll-y stuff at the top, so it does count as creating)...later today I'm making cheesecake with my dear friends Victoria and Amelia.....
I feel so un-creative sometimes.  I know other girls who bake, cook, knit, sew, draw, and write, constantly.  I do things by spurts - dabbling with pastels for a bit, spending a day doing lots of cooking (which I don't enjoy much), obsessively practicing piano.  But never constantly.  It's so true that the Devil can attack you better when you're idle, and I'm so very lazy...... anyway.  No ranting.

Around the house... it's amazingly quiet.  I think at least some of my siblings (who share in or exceed my laziness) are still asleep.  Tsk-tsk-tsk....  My dad has left for work, and I need to hurry up and finish this so I can help my mom clean.

One of my favorite things...when you get up nice and early, getting things done before anyone else is even up.  You have time for truly devout morning prayers, a cup of tea, and doing things that you've been putting off for a while.  It's very fulfilling to get up early....too bad it's so difficult.  *sigh*

A picture thought...  Isn't this sketch of Waterhouse's lovely?  I wish I could draw like that, and I wish I knew the girl.  She looks so thoughtful, like she's thinking of a beautiful truth or lost in a cherished daydream.

via Google Images  

PS - Doesn't sunlight and idleness sound pretty?  It's fun to pick random things in a post and make a title out of them.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Stylish Blogger

I'm excited to announce that I won a stylish blogger award!

Isn't it lovely? *grin*

Now, maybe you're thinking, "oh, congratulations...but it's really not a big deal."  Okay.  Maybe not.  But see, I've seen these awards all over the place, and I always saw them as something that only professional, well-known bloggers got.  AND NOW I HAVE ONE!
Thank you so much, Imogen!  (And congratulations on your award, too.  I tried to comment on your blog, but I don't think it went through.)

Now I believe the rule is that I must tell you seven things about here goes!

1.  I write poetry, occasionally.

2.  My favorite colors are green and blue. 

3.  I'm 5 feet, 2 inches tall.

4.  I wear skirts every single day.

5. I hate tennis shoes.

6.  I love Narnia and LOTR, and I despise Star Wars.

7.  My favorite subjects are English and history.

There.  Do you know how hard it is to think of seven semi-interesting things about myself?

Now I shall proceed to pass the award on to five lovely bloggers.

1.  The Catholic Young Woman.

2.  My mom at Mrs. Rabbit's Musings.  Not just because she's my mom, but because she writes on interesting topics!

3.  Shealynn at Shealynn's Fairy Shoppe.  I hope she hasn't gotten this award already...

4.   Annie at Pixels and Stories.  Such beautiful photography!

5.  Emily at Meaningful Words!

Thank you again, Imogen!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Song Saturday

Hello again, my dear!  Today's Song Saturday features three of my absolute favorite melodies, because...
MY BIRTHDAY IS WEDNESDAY!   Yes, perhaps I'm a bit excited.  See, I've always seen sixteen as the quintessential almost-grown-up-young-lady age.  I used to think that sixteen was so old, and I thought I'd be able to do just about anything I wanted once I was sixteen.  Thank goodness, I was wrong about that.


First today is the lovely Orla Fallon's Who Knows

Next is Enya's Only Time.  (You knew that I was going to put an Enya song in here, didn't you...)  My whole family knows this song, and I've unconsciously heard it since I was small, so it has some sentimental connections.

Last is my very favorite, The Call by Regina Spektor.  I'm quite sure you all have heard this, given it's appearance in Prince Caspian, but I'm posting it anyway.  It's too lovely to not listen to it again, even if you have it on your iPod, like I do.   
The Call has a peculiar attraction for me because I feel like the lyrics really apply to me.  Being part of a military family, I'm always leaving places, promising I'll come back one day, starting everything over.  To me, that's what this song expresses.  I daresay I'm putting my own meaning into it, but I don't care.  It's perfect.



She Who Loves Required Reading.

Yes, I am odd.  I get so excited when I get to read new things for school!  As weird as it may sound, I am truly grateful to Seton for providing me with such awesome literature, such as:

The Scarlet Pimpernel.  This is now one of my all-time favorite novels.  My mom read it immediately (and I mean immediately) after I finished it, and she loved it as much as I did.  Now I'm reading Petticoat Rule by the same author - only, I'm using Project Gutenberg, because it's out of print.  *insert guilty glance at the Pledge to Read the Printed Word  button in sidebar*  But anyway, this is a really awesome book.  Please don't just see the movie instead: it's rather different from the book, and it has some quite inappropriate parts.

Lay Siege to Heaven. The story of St. Catherine of Siena, this was very inspiring for me.  I actually wrote the book analysis for this one (as opposed to my BA for The Scarlet Pimpernel, which I never did....) and though I didn't grade too well on it, it made me think about the story more deeply.  It's beautifully written - much more like a novel than a biography.  I can't wait to read Louis de Wohl's other novels, like The Quiet Light and The Living Wood.  Definitely try this one!

The Screwtape Letters.  Okay, so what if this is for eleventh-grade English and I'm still stuck with tenth-grade English?  I couldn't help but "preview" it, and it's so very good - amusing and scary and lesson-teaching, all rolled into one unusual story, which takes the form of letters from a devil to an under-devil.  Weird, right?  I was skeptical too, but now I'm converted. (No pun intended.)  Hopefully I'll get to read Lewis' other works soon...I'm especially interested in Till We Have Faces.  If I ever get to read this, it may mean another literature feature for my lovely (and long-suffering) readers!

A Tale of Two Cities.  Charles Dicken's famous, well-beloved, and well-hated novel.  (HOW COULD YOU HATE THIS BOOK, PEOPLE?)  I don't believe I can write very coherently about it, especially without giving Important Things away.  Suffice it to say that it's a beautiful tale of love, injustice, and sacrifice.  And it'll probably make you cry, unless you are one of the above-mentioned haters.

 Well, that's all for now.  Now tell me:  have you read any of these books?  Did you like them?  Got any suggestions for the bibliomaniac?  Tell me everything!  I'd love to hear from you.

PS - Would you happen to have anything that you'd like me to post about?  Let me know, if you do!

Thursday, October 13, 2011


...My mom's blog, Mrs. Rabbit's Musings!  I'm quite happy to have inspired her.... okay fine.  I'm only kidding.  She inspired herself. :p
So, check it out!  She'll post about herbs, knitting, natural know.  Or maybe you don't.  But it's okay, I forgive you. 

Now, go and learn/stalk/be bored/be amazed - whatever it is you do.

 - she-who-is-in-a-hyper-mood, a.k.a Victoria

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Where Random Meets Beautiful

You must check out this post of Emily's.   She decided to write whatever random train of thoughts came into her head, and look how lovely the result is!  Emily, I really enjoyed reading that.  Thanks!

Gone with the Wind - Ashley

Ashley Wilkes is probably the most despised character in Gone with the Wind.  The common opinion is that he's a boring sap, and everyone hates him for being, indirectly, the cause of the beloved Rhett's unhappiness.

As you may have guessed at this point, I have rather a different opinion of Ashley Wilkes.  Before I go any farther, I shall honestly confess that I was totally in love with Ashley in the beginning of the book, and I hated nasty old Rhett.  (Yes, I'm rather a slap-judgment kind of person.  At that point in the history of my relationship with Gone with the Wind I had not delved into the chemistry and reasoning and underlying faults and tragic flaws and....well, you get the picture.)  Even after I had read the whole book (twice) and thought long and hard about the characters, it was hard to lessen my knight-in-shining-armor idea of Ashley Wilkes.  I guess I have more in common with Scarlett than I thought...

I've done a lot of thinking about Ashley, and I've come to the conclusion that he's a pattern tragedy figure, with the classic all-destroying tragic flaw.  (Okay, so maybe Seton's required analysis of Animal Farm did teach me a lot about tragic characters.  Seton students, you might know what I'm talking about.)

I think Ashley's tragic flaw is really his inability to let go of his pre-war life.  All he wanted was to continue being a country gentleman, surrounded by books, his beautiful plantation, and his daydreams.  Once the Civil War was over and everyone's life was upside-down, none of that was left.  He had to work hard, in an ugly, unfair world, and he was quite unhappy and rather unskillful in this setting.

It is true that Ashley lacked backbone.  He lacked the ability to let go of his physical love of Scarlett, and he lacked the ability to take on his new life after the war destroyed his old life.  I can forgive him his "tragic flaw", though, because I completely understand how it could come about.  Sometimes I wonder if Margaret Mitchell meant Ashley to be a kind of representation of the Old South - cultured, mannered, and completely broken by the war.

Despite this flaw, I still don't see how anyone could completely detest him.  He's warmhearted and chivalrous, and he realizes the importance of honor.  (Oh, and by the way, despite the way the movie portrayed him, he's terribly good-looking.)  He's almost the quintessential gentleman.  I say almost because, in my opinion, the quintessential gentleman should be strong enough to bear adversity well and be a support to the women around him.  This, Ashley was not.

Ashley Wilkes is, as even Scarlett recognizes, a very complex person.  Like Scarlett herself, you can't completely hate him.  (Can you?  If you really understand his character?)  This is what makes Gone with the Wind such a compelling novel.  It's not just the plot, it's not just the writing; it's the characters.  Their personalities and just plain realness is what really makes the book.

Before I forget, here's a link so that you can buy the book, if you've become interested:

Last but not least, what do you think of Ashley Wilkes?  Do you agree with my analysis of him?  Oh, and would you like me to finish this series with an analysis of Melanie, or do you think that she's straightforward enough that she doesn't need to be analysed?  I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Apple-Picking Season

A couple weeks ago we went apple-picking at a local orchard, and I took lots of pictures that I thought my dear readers might like.

It was ever so much fun...I really enjoyed pretending to be a peasant maiden picking apples for the lord of the manor.  Or perhaps I was a Waterhouse painting.  Either one will do.

A dear friend who shares my name. She and her family were with us on our apple-picking expedition.

Have you ever smelled an apple orchard?  It's so strange - sort of a heavy sweet smell.  I never liked it when I was little, but now I love it because it's nostalgic.  It reminds me of Germany.

We picked two bushels of apples.

Well....I did a lot more photography than picking, but my family picked two bushels.  I contributed whenever I found a particularly pretty apple, but otherwise I talked to Victoria, took pictures, and enjoyed the scenery.  It was lovely. 

We took all our apples home, dehydrated some, made applesauce with others, and ate the rest.  They taste rather different from the bland, waxy, chemical-treated apples you buy from the supermarket.

Have you ever gone apple picking? Do you have a favorite recipe?  Anything else apple-related to share? Do tell!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Feast of the Guardian Angels

The "angel of God" prayer in Latin.  Picnik collage made by me.

Today is the feast day of all the guardian angels. 

I feel that angels are rather misunderstood in modern culture.  They're represented as little more than fairies.  This is quite sad, because real angels are pure, powerful spirits.  Guardian angels especially are important to us humans, and we miss out on a lot if we don't invoke their help.  They can do anything from saving you from death to helping you with homework - if you only ask.  Guardian angels can even make good friends!  Instead of telling everything to your dog, tell everything to your guardian angel: the angel might give you some answers, and the dog most certainly won't.

I found a beautiful article on guardian angels here.  Also, there is a lovely book called All About the Angels
 which I own and love to death.  I try to read it at least once a year, because it reminds me of all the help I could be getting if I paid more attention to my poor angel.

Today, try to remember your guardian angel.  Tell him your troubles, ask him to help you keep your temper or understand your math lesson, and see how much smoother things go.  Also, don't forget to say at least the Guardian Angel Prayer every night before bed:

Angel of God, my guardian dear,
To whom God's love commits me here.
Ever this day be at my side,
To light and guard, to rule and guide.
From stain of sin O keep me free,
And at my death my helper be. 


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Song Saturday

Well, it's that time again - time for me to bombard you with my musical tastes. Yay!

First off, may I present Orla Fallon's lovely version of Siuil a Run.  (Remember my first Song Saturday? This is the same song.)  I have a soft spot for it notwithstanding it's propensity to get stuck in my head.


Next we have Athair Ar Neamh by the ever-talented Enya.  (And no, I can't pronounce the title.)*  I don't know what the words of this song are.  All I know is that listening to this makes me feel all calm and ethereal and lovely.  And that's always nice.  Especially during geometry lessons, which are the complete opposite of all that is calm and ethereal and lovely.

And yes, I did just realize that both of my song selections for today are in Gaelic. Oh well.  Hope you liked them!

* Thanks to Mary MacArthur, I now know the pronunciation and meaning of Athair ar Neamh.  Mary says that it's pronounced Ah-her air Navv, and that it means Father in Heaven.  Thank you, Mary MacArthur!
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