Monday, January 26, 2009

In Remembrance


This post is in loving memory of Miss Velma who I cared for this past spring. Her health had recently been declining and the Lord took her home on Saturday. I praise the Lord for the opportunity to meet this godly woman and learn from her. She was one of the few old New England stock left who remember taking a horse and sleigh to school in snow up to your ears.
The above painting, "Barn Door" by Jefferey T Larson, reminds me of Miss Velma in it's idea of youth with wisdom beyond her years and a scene of simplicity but hard work.

Some may remember my post from December, Beautiful Hands, which featured a photo of Miss Velma's hands. Some things her hand's touched: a mean game of cards, knit stockings, garden hoe, apples from the orchard, horse's mane, homemade jams and pies, her grandchildren, cookies for her visitors, her hometown news paper, and the hearts and lives of countless friends and family.

Miss Velma was 94 years and had lost her husband Clive just a few short years before. I love the photo below of her looking out of a window, her eyes full of hope. This is how I imagine her just waiting for the day when she'd go home to be with her heavenly father and meet again her loving husband, father, mother who died young from pneumonia, siblings and some dear friends.


I thank the Lord again for letting me know Miss Velma on this earth, tasting her generosity and friendship. I can't wait to see her again in heaven and sing with her the praises of our Savior.

"But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him." - I Thessalonians 4:13-14 KJV


Wednesday, January 21, 2009


pure small

"The real ornament of woman is her character, her purity." - Mohandas Gandhi

Purity of body, mind, soul and heart is what I truly prize in a woman (and also in man) with a certain innocence. This virtue was honored long ago and expected to be retained by young women. A woman without her purity was like a king without a crown.

Henry Crawford, like many men of his time, prized purity in women though he chose not to retain that virtue in himself:

"...a very few months had taught him, by the force of contrast, to place a yet higher value on the sweetness of her temper, the purity of her mind, and the excellence of her principles." - Jane Austen's Mansfield Park, Henry Crawford's thoughts of Fanny

Most importantly the Lord values purity and righteousness of the heart and character:

Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. - I Peter 3:3-4

When I wan thirteen years old I made the commitment to purity of body and since that time have also made the commitment to purity of heart and mind. Some days are more difficult than others especially in the aspect of the mind. But the Lord gives the victory if I just trust and wait on Him.

Painting entitled 'Pure' by Daniel F. Gerhartz who has some lovely works.
It seems like a very long while since I last posted, but what with work and snowstorms and one thing and another... May your day be blessed by the Lord and filled with a song of praise to Him.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

No Enjoyment Like Reading

s 4sm

"I mean never to be later in rising than six, and from that time till dinner I shall divide every moment between music and reading. I have formed my plan, and am determined to enter on a course of serious study. Our own library is too well known to me, to be resorted to for anything beyond mere amusement. But there are many works well worth reading, at the Park; and there are others of more modern production which I know I can borrow of Colonel Brandon. By reading only six hours aday, I shall gain in the course of a twelvemonth a great deal of instruction which I now feel myself to want." - Marianne Dashwood, Sense & Sensibility

"I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library." - Pride & Prejudice

"Emma has been meaning to read more ever since she was twelve years old. I have seen a great many lists of her drawing up at various times of books that she meant to read regularly through -- and very good lists they were -- very well chosen, and very neatly arranged -- sometimes alphabetically, and sometimes by some other rule. The list she drew up when only fourteen -- I remember thinking it did her judgment so much credit, that I preserved it some time; and I dare say she may have made out a very good list now. But I have done with expecting any course of steady reading from Emma. She will never submit to any thing requiring industry and patience, and a subjection of the fancy to the understanding." - Emma

"He was evidently a young man of considerable taste in reading, though principally in poetry;
...she ventured to recommend a larger allowance of prose in his daily study; and on being requested to particularize, mentioned such works of our best moralists, such collections of the finest letters, such memoirs of characters of worth and suffering, as occurred to her at the moment as calculated to rouse and fortify the mind by the highest precepts, and the strongest examples of moral and religious endurances." - Persuasion

"She could not abstract her mind five minutes: she was forced to listen; his reading was capital, and her pleasure in good reading extreme. To good reading, however, she had been long used: her uncle read well, her cousins all, Edmund very well, but in Mr. Crawford’s reading there was a variety of excellence beyond what she had ever met with." Mansfield Park

"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid. I have read all Mrs. Radcliffe’s works, and most of them with great pleasure. The Mysteries of Udolpho, when I had once begun it, I could not lay down again; I remember finishing it in two days — my hair standing on end the whole time." - Northanger Abbey

"Though totally without accomplishments, she is by no means so ignorant as one might expect to find her, being fond of books & spending the cheif of her time in reading." - Lady Susan

"I have read [Byron's] The Corsair, mended my petticoat, and have nothing else to do." - Jane Austen's letter of March 5, 1814


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Front Hall


"...and this kind of discernment enabled her soon after her arrival at Barton decisively to pronounce that Colonel Brandon was very much in love with Marianne Dashwood." said of Mrs. Jennings, Jane Austen's Sense & Sensibility

Poor Colonel Brandon! In the photo above he has no idea what he's in for. In the very next room is the girl he's going to fall in love with and eventually marry, along with the friends who will tease him endlessly! ;)

Here's what Marianne has to say about him when Mrs. Jennings says Colonel Brandon is in love with her:
"Colonel Brandon is certainly younger than Mrs. Jennings, but he is old enough to be my father; and if he were ever animated enough to be in love, must have long outlived every sensation of the kind. It is too ridiculous! When is a man to be safe from such wit, if age and infirmity will not protect him?"

And what a total turn around when at last Marianne marries Colonel Brandon. What perfect equality of mind and taste.

"Colonel Brandon was now as happy as all those who best loved him believed he deserved to be; -- in Marianne he was consoled for every past affliction; -- her regard and her society restored his mind to animation, and his spirits to cheerfulness; and that Marianne found her own happiness in forming his, was equally the persuasion and delight of each observing friend. Marianne could never love by halves; and her whole heart became, in time, as much devoted to her husband, as it had once been to Willoughby."


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Long Walk


"This circumstance was a growing attachment between her eldest girl and the brother of Mrs. John Dashwood, a gentlemanlike and pleasing young man, who was introduced to their acquaintance soon after his sister's establishment at Norland, and who had since spent the greatest part of his time there." - Jane Austen's Sense & Sensibility

I love this shot of Edward and Elinor walking together. Soon Elinor's shawl will drop on one side and Edward will stop to help her set it back to rights. One thing I love about Jane Austen adaptations is the marvelous costumes! Oh the bonnets, the spencers, gowns, hats and greatcoats and shawls!
I've come to really love a shawl, they are so lovely. I bought my first shawl just before Christmas and my first pair of dangle earrings and wore the outfit to The Nutcracker Ballet on the 13th. I was so surprised at how warm a shawl can be! My 17-year-old brother was my photographer yesterday, we did a series of photos outside and some inside (so the lighting isn't great). For the second photo below Andy told me to "put the shawl the way they wear it in those Jane Austen movies". It turned out rather well I think. ;)

Photobucket Photobucket


Saturday, January 3, 2009

Extensive Reading


"...No one can be really esteemed accomplished who does not greatly surpass what is usually met with. A woman must have a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages, to deserve the word; and besides all this, she must possess a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expressions, or the word will be but half deserved."

"All this she must possess," added Darcy, "and to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading." - Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice

Yes, I know the photo is from S&S 08 and the quote is from P&P but doesn't Elinor have a chance at being an thought an accomplished lady? Perhaps minus the modern languages...

Elinor certainly is elegant even at her young age of nineteen. And there's a great deal to be said about good old-fashioned common sense. I dearly love Elinor, but perhaps it's because I'm rather like her. :)

Tomorrow I'll start screencaps from Emma Thompson's S&S. Just another beautiful Jane Austen adaptation.


Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Pile of Hopes and Dreams


"It is with great regret that I obey your commands of returning the letters, with which I have been honoured from you, and the lock of hair, which you so obligingly bestowed on me.

I am, dear Madam,

Your most obedient

humble Servant,


All hopes and dreams destroyed and lay in a heaped up muddled mess. Poor Marianne and Elinor's distress quite the same when she read Willoughby's letter.

Oh the hours the happy pair spent together reading and singing, planning and scheming. May speculations of what they read, Shakespeare or perhaps Byron:

      When we two parted
      In silence and tears,
      Half broken-hearted
      To sever for years,
      Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
      Colder thy kiss;
      Truly that hour foretold
      Sorrow to this.

      The dew of the morning
      Sunk chill on my brow--
      It felt like the warning
      Of what I feel now.
      Thy vows are all broken,
      And light is thy fame:
      I hear thy name spoken,
      And share in its shame.

      They name thee before me,
      A knell to mine ear;
      A shudder comes o'er me--
      Why wert thou so dear?
      They know not I knew thee,
      Who knew thee too well:
      Lond, long shall I rue thee,
      Too deeply to tell.

      I secret we met--
      I silence I grieve,
      That thy heart could forget,
      Thy spirit deceive.
      If I should meet thee
      After long years,
      How should I greet thee?
      With silence and tears.

      ~When We Two Parted, Lord Byron (1788-1824)

(cough, cough. sniff, sniff.)
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