Tuesday, June 14, 2005

I've moved

My new blog is at:

  • Rivendell Press

  • Thanks for reading. :-) Karen

    Monday, June 06, 2005

    On Youth Groups

    My oldest ds Ben turned 12 a few weeks ago. He's excited because this brings various new opportunites at church such as youth group involvement, going on missions trips and such. I'm excited for him, but I don't think I like this youth group thing.

    Friday night I arrived early to pick up said son from youth group. The group was in the sanctuary singing hymns and praise songs. My son has lots of computer experience so he's been working the powerpoint, another feel good about getting older privilege for him. Imagine my surprise when I see ***FIVE*** girls hanging all over my son, teasing him and mock arguing over him to each other. Helllllll-o! Momma of course casually walked over, and in essence told to chippies to scram.

    So darling Lou (my husband) and I spent the weekend talking to to my son about girls, flirting, personal space, and what God wants for him. ::Sigh:: I did not expect to be having this conversation at 12, 15 or 16 maybe, but 12?!?

    If I just start talking will anyone notice I've been gone for 3 months?


    Friday, March 18, 2005

    Poems from Sense and Sensibility

    One of my favorite movies is "Sense and Sensibility" starring Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, and Alan Rickman. Emma Thompson did a wonderful job with the adaptation. I especially love the contrast between the sonnet recited by Willoughby and the stanza read by Col. Brandon in light of Marianne's views on second attachments. I wanted to hear the parts of the poem not included in the movie. So for your enjoyment, here are the complete poems with the exception of The Faerie Queene which is simply too long. 8-S

    The Castaway by William Cowper

    OBSCUREST night involved the sky,
    The Atlantic billows roared,
    When such a destined wretch as I,
    Washed headlong from on board,
    Of friends, of hope, of all bereft,
    His floating home for ever left.

    No braver chief could Albion boast
    Than he with whom he went,
    Nor ever ship left Albion’s coast
    With warmer wishes sent.
    He loved them both, but both in vain,
    Nor him beheld, nor her again.

    Not long beneath the whelming brine,
    Expert to swim, he lay;
    Nor soon he felt his strength decline,
    Or courage die away;
    But waged with death a lasting strife,
    Supported by despair of life.

    He shouted: nor his friends had failed
    To check the vessel’s course,
    But so the furious blast prevailed
    That, pitiless perforce,
    They left their outcast mate behind,
    And scudded still before the wind.

    Some succour yet they could afford;
    And such as storms allow,
    The cask, the coop, the floated cord,
    Delayed not to bestow.
    But he (they knew) nor ship nor shore,
    Whate’er they gave, should visit more.
    Nor, cruel as it seemed, could he
    Their haste himself condemn,
    Aware that flight, in such a sea,
    Alone could rescue them;
    Yet bitter felt it still to die
    Deserted, and his friends so nigh.  

    He long survives, who lives an hour
    In ocean, self-upheld;
    And so long he, with unspent power,
    His destiny repelled;
    And ever, as the minutes flew,
    Entreated help, or cried ‘Adieu!’

    At length, his transient respite past,
    His comrades, who before
    Had heard his voice in every blast,
    Could catch the sound no more:
    For then, by toil subdued, he drank
    The stifling wave, and then he sank.

    No poet wept him; but the page
    Of narrative sincere,
    That tells his name, his worth, his age
    Is wet with Anson’s tear:
    And tears by bards or heroes shed
    Alike immortalize the dead.

    I therefore purpose not, or dream,
    Descanting on his fate,
    To give the melancholy theme
    A more enduring date:
    But misery still delights to trace
    Its semblance in another’s case.

    No voice divine the storm allayed,
    No light propitious shone,
    When, snatched from all effectual aid,
    We perished, each alone:
    But I beneath a rougher sea,
    And whelmed in deeper gulfs than he.

    Sonnet VII by Hartley Coleridge

    Is love a fancy, or a feeling? No.
    It is immortal as immaculate Truth,
    'Tis not a blossom shed as soon as youth,
    Drops from the stem of life--for it will grow,
    In barren regions, where no waters flow,
    Nor rays of promise cheats the pensive gloom.

    A darkling fire, faint hovering o'er a tomb,
    That but itself and darkness nought doth show,

    It is my love's being yet it cannot die,
    Nor will it change, though all be changed beside;
    Though fairest beauty be no longer fair,
    Though vows be false, and faith itself deny,
    Though sharp enjoyment be a suicide,
    And hope a spectre in a ruin bare

    Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare

    Let me not to the marriage of true minds
    Admit impediments. Love is not love
    Which alters when it alteration finds,
    Or bends with the remover to remove:
    O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
    That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
    It is the star to every wandering bark,
    Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
    Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
    Within his bending sickle's compass come;
    Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
    But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
    If this be error and upon me proved,
    I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

    The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser
    Book V Canto II stanza 39

    Of things vnseene how canst thou deeme aright,
    Then answered the righteous Artegall ,
    Sith thou misdeem'st so much of things in sight?
    What though the sea with waues continuall
    Doe eate the earth, it is no more at all:
    Ne is the earth the lesse, or loseth ought,
    For whatsoeuer from one place doth fall,
    Is with the tide vnto an other brought:
    For there is nothing lost, that may be found, if sought.

    Tuesday, March 15, 2005

    CAESAR: The Ides of March are come.

    People ask me, "Why do you spend so much time and energy on a classical education. Are your children really going to use latin, logic, or rhetoric?" This scene from Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" is a good example of why I do.

    Act III, Scene ii:

    We will be satisfied; let us be satisfied.

    Then follow me, and give me audience, friends.—
    Cassius, go you into the other street
    And part the numbers.—
    Those that will hear me speak, let 'em stay here;
    Those that will follow Cassius, go with him;
    And public reasons shall be rendered
    Of Caesar's death.

    I will hear Brutus speak.

    I will hear Cassius; and compare their reasons,
    When severally we hear them rendered.

    The noble Brutus is ascended: silence!

    Be patient till the last.
    Romans, countrymen, and lovers! Hear me for my cause; and be
    silent, that you may hear: believe me for mine honour, and have
    respect to mine honor, that you may believe: censure me in your
    wisdom; and awake your senses, that you may the better judge.
    If there be any in this assembly, any dear friend of Caesar's, to
    him I say that Brutus' love to Caesar was no less than his. If
    then that friend demand why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is
    my answer,—Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome
    more. Had you rather Caesar were living, and die all slaves, than
    that Caesar were dead, to live all freemen? As Caesar loved me, I
    weep for him; as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was
    valiant, I honour him; but, as he was ambitious, I slew him.
    There is tears for his love; joy for his fortune; honour for his
    valour; and death for his ambition. Who is here so base that
    would be a bondman? If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who
    is here so rude that would not be a Roman? If any, speak; for him
    have I offended. Who is here so vile that will not love his
    country? If any, speak; for him have I offended. I pause for a

    None, Brutus, none.

    Then none have I offended. I have done no more to Caesar
    than you shall do to Brutus. The question of his death is
    enroll'd in the Capitol, his glory not extenuated, wherein he
    was worthy;, nor his offenses enforced, for which he suffered

    [Enter Antony and others, with Caesar's body.]

    Here comes his body, mourned by Mark Antony, who, though he had
    no hand in his death, shall receive the benefit of his dying, a
    place in the commonwealth; as which of you shall not? With this
    I depart—that, as I slew my best lover for the good of Rome, I
    have the same dagger for myself, when it shall please my country
    to need my death.

    Live, Brutus! live, live!

    Bring him with triumph home unto his house.

    Give him a statue with his ancestors.

    Let him be Caesar.

    Caesar's better parts
    Shall be crown'd in Brutus.

    We'll bring him to his house with shouts and clamours.

    My countrymen,—

    Peace! silence! Brutus speaks.

    Peace, ho!

    Good countrymen, let me depart alone,
    And, for my sake, stay here with Antony:
    Do grace to Caesar's corpse, and grace his speech
    Tending to Caesar's glory; which Mark Antony,
    By our permission, is allow'd to make.
    I do entreat you, not a man depart,
    Save I alone, till Antony have spoke.

    Stay, ho! and let us hear Mark Antony.

    Let him go up into the public chair;
    We'll hear him.—Noble Antony, go up.

    For Brutus' sake, I am beholding to you.

    What does he say of Brutus?

    He says, for Brutus' sake,
    He finds himself beholding to us all.

    'Twere best he speak no harm of Brutus here.

    This Caesar was a tyrant.

    Nay, that's certain:
    We are blest that Rome is rid of him.

    Peace! let us hear what Antony can say.

    You gentle Romans,—

    Peace, ho! let us hear him.

    Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
    I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
    The evil that men do lives after them;
    The good is oft interred with their bones:
    So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
    Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
    If it were so, it was a grievous fault;
    And grievously hath Caesar answer'd it.
    Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest,—
    For Brutus is an honourable man;
    So are they all, all honorable men,—
    Come I to speak in Caesar's funeral.
    He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
    But Brutus says he was ambitious;
    And Brutus is an honourable man.
    He hath brought many captives home to Rome,
    Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
    Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
    When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:
    Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
    Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
    And Brutus is an honourable man.
    You all did see that on the Lupercal
    I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
    Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
    Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
    And, sure, he is an honourable man.
    I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
    But here I am to speak what I do know.
    You all did love him once,—not without cause:
    What cause withholds you, then, to mourn for him?—
    O judgment, thou art fled to brutish beasts,
    And men have lost their reason!—Bear with me;
    My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
    And I must pause till it come back to me.

    Methinks there is much reason in his sayings.

    If thou consider rightly of the matter,
    Caesar has had great wrong.

    Has he not, masters?
    I fear there will a worse come in his place.

    Mark'd ye his words? He would not take the crown;
    Therefore 'tis certain he was not ambitious.

    If it be found so, some will dear abide it.

    Poor soul! his eyes are red as fire with weeping.

    There's not a nobler man in Rome than Antony.

    Now mark him; he begins again to speak.

    But yesterday the word of Caesar might
    Have stood against the world: now lies he there,
    And none so poor to do him reverence.
    O masters, if I were disposed to stir
    Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage,
    I should do Brutus wrong and Cassius wrong,
    Who, you all know, are honourable men:
    I will not do them wrong; I rather choose
    To wrong the dead, to wrong myself, and you,
    Than I will wrong such honourable men.
    But here's a parchment with the seal of Caesar,—
    I found it in his closet,—'tis his will:
    Let but the commons hear this testament,—
    Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read,—
    And they would go and kiss dead Caesar's wounds,
    And dip their napkins in his sacred blood;
    Yea, beg a hair of him for memory,
    And, dying, mention it within their wills,
    Bequeathing it as a rich legacy
    Unto their issue.

    We'll hear the will: read it, Mark Antony.

    The will, the will! We will hear Caesar's will.

    Have patience, gentle friends, I must not read it;
    It is not meet you know how Caesar loved you.
    You are not wood, you are not stones, but men;
    And, being men, hearing the will of Caesar,
    It will inflame you, it will make you mad.
    'Tis good you know not that you are his heirs;
    For if you should, O, what would come of it!

    Read the will! we'll hear it, Antony;
    You shall read us the will,—Caesar's will!

    Will you be patient? will you stay awhile?
    I have o'ershot myself to tell you of it:
    I fear I wrong the honorable men
    Whose daggers have stabb'd Caesar; I do fear it.

    They were traitors: honourable men!

    The will! The testament!

    They were villains, murderers. The will! read the will!

    You will compel me, then, to read the will?
    Then make a ring about the corpse of Caesar,
    And let me show you him that made the will.
    Shall I descend? and will you give me leave?

    Come down.


    [He comes down.]

    You shall have leave.

    A ring! stand round.

    Stand from the hearse, stand from the body.

    Room for Antony!—most noble Antony!

    Nay, press not so upon me; stand far' off.

    Stand back; room! bear back.

    If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.
    You all do know this mantle: I remember
    The first time ever Caesar put it on;
    'Twas on a Summer's evening, in his tent,
    That day he overcame the Nervii.
    Look, in this place ran Cassius' dagger through:
    See what a rent the envious Casca made:
    Through this the well-beloved Brutus stabb'd;
    And as he pluck'd his cursed steel away,
    Mark how the blood of Caesar follow'd it,—
    As rushing out of doors, to be resolved
    If Brutus so unkindly knock'd, or no;
    For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar's angel:
    Judge, O you gods, how dearly Caesar loved him!
    This was the most unkindest cut of all;
    For when the noble Caesar saw him stab,
    Ingratitude, more strong than traitors' arms,
    Quite vanquish'd him: then burst his mighty heart;
    And, in his mantle muffling up his face,
    Even at the base of Pompey's statua,
    Which all the while ran blood, great Caesar fell.
    O, what a fall was there, my countrymen!
    Then I, and you, and all of us fell down,
    Whilst bloody treason flourish'd over us.
    O, now you weep; and, I perceive, you feel
    The dint of pity: these are gracious drops.
    Kind souls, what, weep you when you but behold
    Our Caesar's vesture wounded? Look you here,
    Here is himself, marr'd, as you see, with traitors.

    O piteous spectacle!

    O noble Caesar!

    O woeful day!

    O traitors, villains!

    O most bloody sight!

    We will be revenged.

    Revenge,—about,—seek,—burn,—fire,—kill,—slay,—let not a traitor live!

    Stay, countrymen.

    Peace there! hear the noble Antony.

    We'll hear him, we'll follow him, we'll die with him.

    Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir you up
    To such a sudden flood of mutiny.
    They that have done this deed are honourable:
    What private griefs they have, alas, I know not,
    That made them do it; they're wise and honourable,
    And will, no doubt, with reasons answer you.
    I come not, friends, to steal away your hearts:
    I am no orator, as Brutus is;
    But, as you know me all, a plain blunt man,
    That love my friend; and that they know full well
    That gave me public leave to speak of him:
    For I have neither wit, nor words, nor worth,
    Action, nor utterance, nor the power of speech,
    To stir men's blood: I only speak right on;
    I tell you that which you yourselves do know;
    Show you sweet Caesar's wounds, poor dumb mouths,
    And bid them speak for me: but were I Brutus,
    And Brutus Antony, there were an Antony
    Would ruffle up your spirits, and put a tongue
    In every wound of Caesar, that should move
    The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny.

    We'll mutiny.

    We'll burn the house of Brutus.

    Away, then! come, seek the conspirators.

    Yet hear me, countrymen; yet hear me speak.

    Peace, ho! hear Antony; most noble Antony!

    Why, friends, you go to do you know not what.
    Wherein hath Caesar thus deserved your loves?
    Alas, you know not; I must tell you then:
    You have forgot the will I told you of.

    Most true; the will!—let's stay, and hear the will.

    Here is the will, and under Caesar's seal.
    To every Roman citizen he gives,
    To every several man, seventy-five drachmas.

    Most noble Caesar!—we'll revenge his death.

    O, royal Caesar!

    Hear me with patience.

    Peace, ho!

    Moreover, he hath left you all his walks,
    His private arbors, and new-planted orchards,
    On this side Tiber: he hath left them you,
    And to your heirs forever; common pleasures,
    To walk abroad, and recreate yourselves.
    Here was a Caesar! when comes such another?

    Never, never.—Come, away, away!
    We'll burn his body in the holy place,
    And with the brands fire the traitors' houses.
    Take up the body.

    Go, fetch fire.

    Pluck down benches.

    Pluck down forms, windows, any thing.

    [Exeunt Citizens, with the body.]

    Now let it work.—Mischief, thou art afoot,
    Take thou what course thou wilt!—

    Thursday, January 27, 2005

    The Juvenile Orator

    An encouragement for our young students and their teachers

    You'd scarce expect one of my age
    To speak in public, on the stage;
    And if I chance to fall below
    Demosthenes or Cicero,
    Don't view me with a critic's eye,
    But pass my imperfections by.

    Large streams from little fountains flow;
    Tall oaks from little acorns grow;
    And though I now am small and young,
    Of judgement weak, and feeble tongue,
    Yet all great learned men - like me -
    Once learned to read their A, B, C.

    And why may not Columbia's soil
    Rear men as great as Britain's isle,
    Exceed what Greece and Rome have done,
    Or any land beneath the sun?

    Those thoughts inspire my youthful mind
    To be the greatest of mankind;
    Great, not like Caesar, stained with blood;
    But only great, as I am good.*
    ~ David Everett.

    * The last line makes my reformed mind twitch a bit(lol).

    Pressing On

    It has been really hard to get back to my responsibilities since the death of my brother. I have spent the last week mourning, being angry at everyone from my brother that passed away, to my brother who lived with him, to his doctor, to my mother and father, at the world for not stopping. Praise God I haven't tarried long in any of those places. So each day is pressing on, knowing that death is not the end, but with lingering saddness because I miss my big brother and I'm not sure where he is today. There have been some reports from believing familiy members that my brother, his name is Richard by the way, had been turning his heart toward God's call. I find comfort in that. But, ultimately my greatest comfort has come from God's words, His Spirit, and his people.

    Now, to steal a line (somewhat) from one of my favorite bloggers - Go Kiss Your Siblings :-)

    Monday, January 10, 2005

    Taking a Bite Out of the Big Apple

    January 9, 2005 started out like any other Sunday. We were all rushing around trying to get ready for the 8:30 AM church service. My husband is one of the worship leaders and since I thought he was leading this day there was even more angst in our ablutions. Normally we would take 2 cars, but since January 9 is my birthday we decided on riding together so after church we could drive over to our favorite family restaurant for a birthday lunch together.

    We were running a little behind schedule and dh was given his usual, "Come on, let's get going." pep talk. Finally we are all in the car and on our way. Now my dh is a wonderful man, but he gets lost in thought when he's driving and will often miss an exit. Therefore, I did not think it unusual when he passed the first exit we could have taken for church. "Honey, you missed the exit." said I. "Rats! I was thinking of the music. Now I'm really going to be late." he said. I did my shake the head thing that I sometimes do when dh isn't thinking. It's 2 miles to the next exit and he's in the middle lane. We go about a mile and a quarter, and then unable to hold my tongue I say, "Are you going to get in the right lane or what :-/." He begins fumbling around, trying to move over, but there is a car on our right that prevents us from doing so. We miss the exit. Now I'm a little annoyed because this is one of his habits that is, well, annoying to me. "Now what?" I say in a little snotty tone. He is trying not to laugh. "What's so funny darling?" He then tells me we are not going to church. We are dropping the kids at his sister's and we are going out for the day. Gotcha!

    I spent a wonderful day in Manhattan. We had lunch at Trattoria Dell’ Arte on 7th and 57th. It was delicious. Our meal ended with the wait staff singing “Happy Birthday Total Stranger” to me and then an entire ladder company for the NYFD showed up! We were eating our dessert when 1 truck, then a 2nd, then a 3rd, then a 4TH! truck parked in front of the building. Firefighters entered with axes and some had their masks on. Then 2 HazMat trucks pull up along with another fire truck and 2 NYC police cars. 7th Avenue was completely blocked. Hello? Should we be evacuating the building or should I just finish my cannoli? Turns out, someone in the back began coughing, sneezing, and had teary eyes before fainting and the thought was there may have been some hazardous chemicals around, but they didn’t think it would get to us. O.K. I never saw so many tourists taking pictures of firefighters in my life! I wonder if the firefighters are feel a bit of celebrity since 9/11. Not that they would want it.

    After our exciting lunch, we walked the theater district for a hour or so. There is a Starbucks on every corner. I am not exaggerating, every corner and they were all standing room only. I still didn’t know what play we were seeing. Dh led me to Momma Mia, no not Mamma Mia. Then he led me to Wicked, no not wicked. Hairspray? No (thank goodness). Finally we cross the street and are at Little Women. Little Women? I thought it didn’t open until 1/23? Well it turns out that all plays have a time of preview before the official opening night. This was my 6th Broadway show and I didn’t know that. Now I do :-)

    It was funny and touching. I cried a lot in the 2nd act. One unfortunate, unintentionally funny part happened during Beth’s goodbye scene to Jo. They were flying a kite in Cape Cod and it was supposed to fly away but got stuck on a rafter that was clearly visible to the audience. The stagehands were tugging from back stage and then a big gaff came out to try to grab it. It was hard to concentrate and I’m sure the two actresses were wondering why not a few people were giggling during such a touching scene. Mercifully, the stagehands gave up their quest until the end of the scene and then the proper flowing of tears resumed. I can’t say any of the songs were particularly memorable but the performances were outstanding as is the adaptation. I recommend it if you have the chance.

    Thursday, January 06, 2005

    The History of Coffee

    While I was researching the history of coffee I came across a few amusing facts in the coffee timeline:

    1453: Coffee is introduced to Constantinople by Ottoman Turks. The world's first coffee shop, Kiva Han, open there in 1475. Turkish law makes it legal for a woman to divorce her husband if he fail to provide her with her daily quota of coffee.

    1668: Coffee replaces beer as New York's City's favorite breakfast drink.

    1732: Johann Sevastian Bach composes his Kaffee-Kantate. Partly an ode to coffee and partly a stab at the movement in Germany to prevent women from drinking coffee (it was thought to make them sterile), the cantata includes the aria, "Ah! How sweet coffee taste! Lovelier than a thousand kisses, sweeter far than muscatel wine! I must have my coffee."

    1773: The Boston Tea Party makes drinking coffee a patriotic duty in America.

    1971: Starbucks opens its first store in Seattle's Pike Place public market, creating a frenzy over fresh-roasted whole bean coffee.

    1995: Coffee is the worlds most popular beverage. More than 400 billion cups are consumed each year. It is a world commodity that is second only to oil.