Friday, January 21, 2011

This and That...

Today Hubs and I needed to make a trip to town to pick up a few sundry items before we fly away on our trip to Sunny Arizona.  We leave Monday and will be gone for a week to visit friends and to check out a college that Youngest Child is planning to attend.  We are all looking forward to a week of mild, possibly even warm temperatures for a change. This was the view from our car as we drove to our small town and then we went beyond it over near those mountains to the big city in the Black Hills.  Isn't this picture a lovely combination of blues?  God is so good to give us delights for the eyes, if we will just take the time to notice. 

As we were in our small town, we met up with the Only Daughter and she and I took a little drive to our favorite store, The Bakery, where we browsed the fabrics and then sauntered to the other side of the store to Bluestem Studio.  This lady has lots of handcrafted items that she and other locals create as well as a few antiques and vintage items.  I found this vintage table lamp that I couldn't resist for just $15.  You can't really see it, but it has a crystal piece just underneath the switch.  I think I'll paint the bottom part, but for now, I need it on my side of the bed for reading.  The lamp shade was not pretty at all but I liked the shape, so I used some adhesive spray and put a white piece of muslin around it and then tucked this piece of lace over it.   I may change the shade again, but for now, it suits me.  This old teacher's chair, salvaged from a country school from days gone by,  serves as my night stand.  It's really not much good for sitting in.  I tried it.  I don't know how teachers did it.  Surely there was a cushion or some padding in this rigid chair?  It's terribly uncomfy.

I have been enjoying a very good book most nights before I turn out the lights.  It's called Pilgrim's Inn by Elizabeth Goudge.  I read another of her books a long while ago called The Scent of Water which I just loved so I figured I couldn't go wrong reading another of her novels.  I was right!  The story is presented against a background of fragrant English countryside, magic woods, and the healing grace of the old house itself, whose history as an inn for pilgrims provides one exciting adventure.  All the elements which Elizabeth Goudge's vast following expect in her books are here:  humor, compassion and understanding; the vivid descriptive passages and the sharp characterization; and above all, the rich satisfying story, beautifully told. (as quoted from the dust cover)  The family in the story continuously refers to the book The Wind in the Willows which I own, but have never read.  I am now certain that I will make it the next book on my reading list.  Or maybe I'll just begin now and read it alongside Pilgrim's Inn.  If you are interested, Fraise Lachrymose has invited a few guest bloggers to share their thoughts and ideas about The Wind in the Willows.  Pom Pom also has a nice blog post about annotating The Wind in the Willows here.

Not only have I been reading a good book, but I've been playing with Sharpies and color crayons every evening too.  Pom Pom piqued my interest in another book called Creative is a Verb If You're Alive You're Creative by Patti Digh.  It is so refreshing to someone like me who enjoys being creative even though I don't think I'm very good at it.  There are many exercises that require the reader to draw and write on index cards which are very non-intimidating.  It's doable, isn't it, to scribble a small bit on an index card?  I've decided that I will kill two birds with one stone:  I will sketch on the cards and send some of them as postcards to friends.  The idea of sending postcards was another inspiration from Frances at Left-Handed Housewife.   Thanks, ladies, for your encouragement and inspiration!

A quote I copied down from Pilgrim's Inn:
"Struggle is divine in itself, but to ask to see it crowned with success is to ask for that sign which is forbidden to those who must travel by faith alone.  Each fresh leap of the flame from the charred wood lights your footprints a little further through the dark." 


  1. How funny. Clarice always says The Scent of Water is her favorite book. That settles it. I must read it. Too many women of good taste love it so I probably will too.
    Enjoy your trip to Arizona, Jody. Soak up the sun. You will appreciate it, coming from the chilly north...It's good for you.

    Angie in WA

  2. Angie,
    I think I first heard about The Scent of Water from Clarice, and it, too, is one of my favs. You can bet I will be soaking up the sun! Thanks for stopping by.


  3. I will have to read Pilgrims Inn, & The Scented Water.

    I did read Wind in The Willows to the boys outloud. Fantastic book. How we loved Frog & Toad!:)Hazel will love it in her older years.:)


  4. I don't know this author at all- I'll look this up today! What I am growing to love, love, love about blogging is the warm cross-referencing od thoughts. They mill around and seep through and find expression in someone else's context- it's all most inspiring on a very personal level! I love that you "draw" so many things together in this post! Thank you, for this in itself is great creativity! Have a great trip- Cooking Catherine is at exactly the same stage with Son 3.

  5. Hi Jody!
    I'm so glad you are enjoying the creative book. I like it, too.
    I am going to order Pilgrim's Inn right this minute.
    I would like to skip down to Arizona, too. My mom and dad live there during the winter months and I am craving a visit.
    Did you see the moon last night?

  6. "God is so good to give us delights for the eyes, if we will just take the time to notice."
    That is exactly how I felt when I was out the other day. People are too busy to notice those glorious details. I saw a sun dog in the sky this past week and was so excited I had to pull over to beautiful!
    Enjoy your time away in Arizona!
    Safe Travels!

  7. You *must* read Wind in the Willows! What a charming book. And the children's videos of it are adorable too - but read the book first. Thanks for the link to Pom Pom's blog; I loved her post. Have fun in the sun!

  8. "The Bird in the Tree" is my favorite novel. Elizabeth Goudge is a fantastic writer.
    I'd never heard of her until I picked up a book on prayer, or healing, or something by Leanne Payne. She quoted from "The Scent of Water" and from there I was hooked.
    So glad to know other people are still discovering her. She really has something to say.

  9. Lovely little lamp!
    And I adore E. Goudge! Many years ago (I mean 20+), a good friend gave me an old paperback copy of "The Heart of the Home", and told me E. G. was one of her very favorite authors. She became one of mine as well. You might also like "The Little White Horse" (which I think is her only children's book?) -- the recent movie, "The Secret of Moonacre", was based on it. I'm also enjoying reading "The Wind in the Willows" along with Pom -- fun, isn't it?
    Have fun in Arizona!

  10. I must seek out this author...the books sound fantastic, thank for sharing! Enjoy your trip to warmer climes! xxx

  11. I'm going to look for Eliabeth Goudge books in my favourite second-hand bookshops in future! And re-read Wind in the Willows!

  12. Oh the blues and whites you were treated with on your trip to town are fabulous. I really enjoyed Pilgrim's Inn. The Bird in the Tree along with two other books in a series she wrote about Dameroseshay are wonderful, too. I finally read Wind in the Willows last year inspired I'm sure by Goudge. Loved it.
    Enjoy your journey to the sunshine!

  13. What a sweet lamp and a great read!! How funny I leave on Monday for San Diego. Have fun xoxox Clarice

  14. I adore E Goudge -and you've made me want to pick up Pilgrim's Inn and read it again - for the??time. I'm not sure :) Scent of Water is such a beautifully written book and deals with depression in a lovely and sensitive way.

    You've never read Wind in the Willows?? You are in for a treat! Our family loves it - we listened to an audio version on a long car trip and laughed the whole way!

    Now I shall have to go look up your encouraging creative book. Love colours but am not always happy with my drawings.

    Enjoy the sunny south!


  15. I've just put The Scent of Water on hold at the library. How wonderful to discover a new author! Thank you, thank you. Enjoy the warmth of Arizona. Bask in it. Send some my way, please! Our NC winters have gotten entirely too cold.


  16. I started reading Gladys Taber because you've receommended her; now I'm going to look into Elizabeth Goudge. I appreciate the suggestions.


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