Friday, July 30, 2010

Sarah, Plain, and Tall Article

Sort of a book share...

Article is from TV Guide

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Something About Alice

A few weeks ago, I was thrilled to come upon a book filled with lovely "Alice in Wonderland" illustrations. Over 100 of them to be exact. There is just something about Alice - you have to love her. Here are a few of the charming illustrations from the past century that bring her to life from the pages whence she came from.

Curiouser and curiouser!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It's Not Trevi Fountain...

...but beautiful nonetheless. Toss in your coin and make a wish with me, so dreams can come true.
"If there is magic on this planet,
it is contained in water.
It's least stir even, is enough
to bring me searching to the window."

~Loren Eiseley

Monday, July 26, 2010

Frozen Charlotte

This is a poem about a girl who goes out in the bitter winter cold without a wrap on to keep her warm. Thankfully, we read this in July when frozen is as far away as can be. There are also other frozen Charlotte's, as you will see.

Young Charlotte (Frozen Charlotte)
by Seba Smith

Now, Charlotte lived on the mountainside,
In a bleak and dreary spot;
There was no house for miles around,
Except her father's cot.
And yet on many a wintry night,
Young swains were gathered there;
For her father kept a social board,
And she was very fair.

One New Year's Eve as the sun went down,
Far looked her wishful eye
Out from the frosty window pane
As merry sleighs went by.

In a village fifteen miles away,
Was to be a ball that night;
And though the air was heavy and cold,
Her heart was warm and light.

How brightly beamed her laughing eye,
As a well-known voice was heard;
And driving up to the cottage door,
Her lover's sleigh appeared.

"O, daughter dear," her mother cried,
"This blanket 'round you fold;
It is a dreadful night tonight,
You'll catch your death of cold."

"O, nay! O, nay!" young Charlotte cried,
And she laughed like a gypsy queen;
"To ride in blankets muffled up,
I never would be seen.

"My silken cloak is quite enough,
You know 'tis lined throughout;
Besides I have my silken scarf,
To twine my neck about."

Her bonnet and her gloves were on,
She stepped into the sleigh;
Rode swiftly down the mountain side,
And o'er the hills away.

With muffled face and silent lips,
Five miles at length were passed;
When Charles with few and shivering words,
The silence broke at last.

"Such a dreadful night I never saw,
The reins I scarce can hold."
Fair Charlotte shivering faintly said,
"I am exceeding cold."

He cracked his whip, he urged his steed
Much faster than before;
And thus five other dreary miles
In silence were passed o'er.

Said Charles, "How fast the shivering ice
Is gathering on my brow."
And Charlotte still more faintly said,
"I'm growing warmer now."

So on they rode through frosty air
And glittering cold starlight,
Until at last the village lamps
And the ballroom came in sight.

They reached the door and Charles sprang out,
He reached his hand for her;
She sat there like a monument,
That has no power to stir.

He called her once, he called her twice,
She answered not a word;
He asked her for her hand again,
And still she never stirred.

He took her hand in his - O, God!
'Twas cold and hard as stone;
He tore the mantle from her face,
Cold stars upon it shone.

Then quickly to the glowing hall,
Her lifeless form he bore;
Fair Charlotte's eyes were closed in death,
Her voice was heard no more.

And there he sat down by her side,
While bitter tears did flow;
And cried, "My own, my charming bride,
You never more will know."

He twined his arms around her neck,
He kissed her marble brow;
His thoughts flew back to where she said,
"I'm growing warmer now."

He carried her back to the sleigh,
And with her he rode home;
And when he reached the cottage door,
O, how her parents mourned.

Her parents mourned for many a year,
And Charles wept in the gloom;
Till at last her lover died of grief,
And they both lie in one tomb.

More Frozen Charlottes~
Frozen Charlotte Victorian dolls
The Folk Song

Frozen Charlotte Dessert (from Imagine Maine dot com)
To make a Frozen Charlotte dessert, line the sides and bottom of a springform cake pan (or other tin mold) with (24) ladyfingers. Soften a teaspoon and a half of unflavored gelatin in a little water. Whip 2 cups of heavy cream until stiff. Put the softened gelatin and 1/2 to 3/4 cup of sugar in a heavy pan and heat carefully until sugar dissolves. Flavor the whipped cream with vanilla or a couple spoonfuls of sherry or rum, then add gelatin mix slowly to cream while continuing to whip with a beater. Fill the lined pan with the cream mixture.
Freeze for several hours until set or overnight. Unmold and thaw slightly if very frozen. Serve with chopped nuts, more whipped cream, cherries, hot fudge sauce or fresh strawberries.

Read the history about the poem here.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Poet at the Breakfast Table

Book Share Fridays:
"The Poet at the Breakfast Table"
by Oliver Wendell Holmes

Better late to share, than never!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tis the Fairy Lady

The fairy lady wears her disguise by day - I am sure of it!

What secret could the hummingbird tell
if only she would rest a spell
Her wings they carry her through the day
She searches out nectar any old way
But when the sun moves to the west
She finds a corner in which to rest

Photo by Arthur Rackham
Photo by National Geographic

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Larkspur Listens

I don't really need an excuse to celebrate flowers - but I found one! Birthday flowers. Not the kind you receive as a gift..., rather, the month you are born in has been given a flower in honor of it.
Have you heard of this? I know about the language of flowers, but birthday flowers are something new to me.
For example, the July birthday flower is larkspur - it's meaning is "lightness and levity." A perfect description for a summery occasion, as well as a flower.
Here are some larkspur beauties~ (the very last stunning photo is of the 'Baker's Larkspur,' which sadly has become an endangered species. To read about them and find out why they are endangered, go here.) Photos are from flowerinfodotorg)

The red rose cries, 'She is near, she is near;'
And the white rose weeps, 'She is late;'
The larkspur listens, 'I hear, I hear;'
And the lily whispers, 'I wait.'

-Alfred Lord Tennyson

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Friday, July 16, 2010

Blooming Fire

Blooming fire.
An accessible burning bush.
I touch the flame.
There is no wound.
Instead a healing balm.
It's beauty penetrates.
Glowing warmth.

High Life in Verdopolis

Book Share Fridays: "High Life in Verdopolis" by Charlotte Bronte

From the book: "A story from the Glass Town Saga...Presented with facsimile illustrations from the manuscript and drawings by Charlotte Bronte herself.

This was written by Charlotte at age seventeen. I found it at a bargain book sale for 5 dollars, and was so happy to see some of Bronte's juvenelia in book form, that it had to come home with me.

The illustration on the cover is a watercolor (c. 1834) by Charlotte that she copied from "William Finden's engraving of Byron's 'Maid of Saragoza,' a source of inspiration for the Angrian heroine, Mina Laury." (original is shown below)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My One Weakness

This came in the mail today...wrapped up all pretty like an old fashioned package~it made me feel a little bit like Dorcas Lane, or Anne Shirley.

As I tore off the brown paper, I saw beautiful scenes on the other side of it.
Not being familiar with Trader Joe's beforehand, you can imagine how happy I was to see this beautiful paper, since one of my addictions is ephemera...

I tucked in some more...

...and was rewarded with this~

A 1947 copy of "Little Men," by Louisa May Alcott, and a gorgeous 1948 illustrated copy of one of my favorite books, "A Tale of Two Cities," by Charles Dickens.
Simply loverly! Old books..., "my one weakness."

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Summer Offering

By Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Walking In Cemeteries

In the "Anne of Green Gables" series - in the book, "Anne of the Island," (if I remember right), Anne spends a lot of time walking in cemeteries. Or maybe I should say she walks in a cemetery.

Yesterday, I went walking in a cemetery...(I always find it charming, captivating, and a learning experience). The mark and history of individual souls written out like beacons, on heavy stone slabs. A few carefully chosen words that tell about a persons whole life. Sometimes they capture the whole life in one sentence, perfectly~

I could spend a whole day just reading headstones and listening to the stillness there.

The cemetery I went to had jackrabbits running around - and a caretaker was off in some nook and cranny, completely unaware of me, whistling a tune as he worked. There were old knobby trees that have seen many years, and lovely little sequestered benches.

Allowing me to step back to another time and place, while connecting past to present. Enchanting.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Immense Journey

Book Share Fridays: Immense Journey by Loren Eiseley

Eiseley has been described as, "The Modern Thoreau" of his time. That was enough for me to want to learn more about his works.

Loren Eiseley Society

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Carousel Ride

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We're captive on the carousel of time
We can't return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

--Joni Mitchell

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Thousand Words

Just read an excellent post at this website. Loved it so much, I wanted to share it here.

The soul requires time amongst the wildflowers,
to hear what they are whispering to the wind.
Their stillness speaks a thousand words.
Photo Credit - Darrell Gulin

Monday, July 5, 2010

En Vogue

En vogue, beau, à la mode, magnifique!

Ces dames parlent de l'ancienne époque française de Marie-Antoinette. Ainsi, en vogue de leur temps, et belle à voir maintenant. Je me demande ce que les dames victoriennes dirait vraiment regarder en arrière!?. Celui-ci semble avoir besoin d'inspection plus poussée!

These ladies speak of the old French era of Marie Antoinette. So en vogue for their time, and beautiful to see now. I wonder what the Victorian ladies would really think looking back!?. This one seems to want further inspection!