Saturday, April 30, 2011


       Today I worked in the garden.  Three hours of digging and transplanting and I finished all I had hoped to, and have been hobbling around with a sore back all afternoon.  There is something about that creative process, and working with living plants (that don't always, or rarely, do what I want them to) that I find satisfying.  And I never wear gloves, I love touching the dirt with my hands.  When I find poison ivy to pull out, I just wait for Bryan. 
     My big challenge right now is the back bed next to the patio.  The soil is clay, or a truer description: cement.  And it's shady.  Plants that will thrive here are few.  I keep digging sickly plants out and moving them somewhere else.  Plants that will live in this bed are few.  These plants I yank out and toss, yank and toss. The bed is so immense, the dirt just swallows up the few green things I plant.  If you know a plant that will really, truly, without fail, live anywhere - let me know!
     Here's the bed the other day, after the rain.  After days of rain the yard was like a river, and we had a waterfall in our own backyard.  Ally and I were laughing about HGTV and our longstanding desire to have a water feature.  The water alongside the house - it's all flowing.  Rushing.  Gurgling down the hill and into the gutter.

Here's my bed after today's work.  There's something I'm not satisfied with, but I can't pinpoint the problem.  I'm wondering if it's just that it all looks new?

     I bought five new perennials this week.  Two hosta and some spotted dead nettle.  For the rest of the plants I divided things I already have growing in my yard, albeit they are growing in sunnier spots.  Are they labeled "invasive?"  Then that's the plant for me, and on that basis I dug up three bunches of Bee Balm and patted them in by the stone wall.

     What I love about gardening is sharing and remembering.  Siberian Iris from Sarah.  Ruffled Daisy from my Grandma.  Bellflowers and Sedum from my mom.  Iris from Catherine.  Antique Hollyhock, pictured right above, from Patty.  Antique Hollyhocks also grace the gardens at Monticello in Virginia.  The top flower is what my neighbor calls Native Orchid ("native" makes me laugh.  When we looked at houses here we asked the Realtor what kind of stone we were seeing.  Native stone.  So there you have it.  Don't know the real name, fall back on native.  It's just here.)  A walk in the garden is a sweet reminder of friendships, near and far.  Because sadly I am the kind of person who digs up garden plants and hauls them across the country for memory's sake.

      In my teeny-tiny veggie gardens I am anxiously watching the peas blossom, my mouth watering.  We're eating our asparagus and tender lettuce leaves in salads and sandwiches.  Can't wait for tomatoes, if they grow this year.  If.  I agree with Habakkuk, "Though the fig tree should not blossom, and there be no fruit on the vines...yet I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation."

Friday, April 29, 2011

Riding the Red Bullet

     Kara was given a little red bike for her third birthday.  Careening around our Pennsylvania neighborhood inspired her to name the bike The Red Bullet.  Arden's been cruising our Arkansas neighborhood on the same little bike, high centering on his training wheels, and we've known for a while now that he was ready.  Ready to balance and ride like a boy, a man, a professional, as he might say.
     Today Bryan asked Arden if he was ready to take his training wheels off.  Nooooo, he would ride with them his whole life.  Then his siblings started encouraging him (homeschool peer pressure), asking if he wanted to be a big boy.  Bryan couldn't resist a little fun, "The other boys will tease you when you're ten."  Okay, Arden thought it through, he'd take the training wheels off at twenty.  Ten?  Five?  Four?  That's the funniest joke of all, he's not even four anymore.
     And so the crew geared up and headed out.  After the chain fell off, a few falls, and the teacher learned the student's tricks, Arden was riding.  When I walked around the corner, coming home from the library, there he was, tongue out Michael Jordan style, pedaling away on the Red Bullet.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Finding Virtue

   This morning, as we paged our way through the school day a familiar boredom crept up on me.  Soon I was feeling sorry for myself as a mundane yet busy day stretched out before me.  Wouldn't I rather shop?  Or have some time off, away from the kids?  Wouldn't I like to lose myself in a little project, rather than attending to the important things that need to be done?  Oh yes, a hundred times yes.
     Ally, Sam and I have been reading Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing aloud together.  We all sit side by side on the couch.  Sam loves to read the parts of Don Pedro or Don John (why the Spanish prefix and English name?) and roll his "r's" to lend a little Spanish accent.  We simply read, then discuss what's happening, focusing on the story line.  This is not English Lit 100, just Shakespeare on the couch.  Today the innocent Hero was falsely accused of immorality by her betrothed, Claudio, as they stood before the friar to be married.  Claudio and the schemers storm out of the church, leaving Hero's loved ones standing over her, first worried her faint signaled death, then considering how to clear her name.  The friar proposes allowing Claudio to believe she has died, to make him regret his actions arguing that,

"...for it so falls out
That what we have we prize not to the worth
Whiles we enjoy it, but being lacked and lost,
Why then we rack the value, then we find
The virtue that possession would not show us
Whiles it was ours..."

Act IV, Scene i

     There I sat, in the morning sun, with my children beside me, all was right in my day, and I?  I prized not to the worth the gift God had given me this day.  But later, when my own little Don Samuel ran off to play before lunch, I went back and read the words again, aloud.  I tried to prize the rest of the day, to see the worth in the ordinary.  As I considered all the families in the South who have lost loved ones or seen their home scattered, all the families who have lived what we have feared, the quote seemed doubly true.  I must see the value of what I possess while it is mine.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


     Yesterday I promised photos, promised that I consider the River Tweed a river worth knowing, one that is a favorite memory of last year's trip to England.
      Late at night my sister and I hurriedly crossed from the train station to our Bed and Breakfast, right across the road.  We chatted with the proprietor and eagerly wondered if we would have time in the morning before breakfast to walk out and see the North Sea.  On our way up to Edinburgh we had seen tantalizing glimpses of sun washed water, and we just wanted a glimpse of those shores.  We left early the next morning, somewhat unsure of the directions but found the stairway that wound down between untended flower beds, down to the River Tweed, and out into wonder.  We walked along the trail and up on the old city walls, the river shimmering beside us.  We found the estuary and beyond...the sea.  We deemed it worthy of an entire quiet day, to play and picnic by the sea.  A day to walk the trail along the green cliffs to the south.  A day for discovering a town not in the tourist books.  But we had only an hour.  One hour then away.  Away on the train over Victoria and Albert's bridge that spans the river, away through industrial cities and to London.  Away to Heathrow and O'Hare.  One hour of wonder that was more than either of us expected.  One hour on the River Tweed, my sister beside me, our footsteps marking the minutes.  God has made a great and glorious world, His glory shining round every corner.  When I poke my head around a corner and the glory catches me unaware, my heart aches at beauty and leaves me breathless as I whisper thanks.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Geographica: European Rivers

     We had a wonderful Easter, filled with friends from morning to night, and a few quiet moments to remember our Savior and the empty tomb.  Always remember, even if it wasn't a good day...we celebrate the resurrection far more often than one Sunday of the year!  Every Lord's Day, every Sunday, we celebrate a Living Savior. One bad holiday won't drag us down or diminish our hope.  We've seen a fair bit of rain here.  Arden describes our yard as a marsh.  Bryan's wisdom regarding the weather is, "Some days it's nice to know you're on the top of the hill and not the bottom."  Monday again and another Geography quiz written by Ally.  I will say that Berwick-upon-Tweed is like a fairy tale land and tomorrow (when I have a little time) I will post a couple pictures and prove it to you.  Until then, trust me that it is well worth knowing.

European Rivers
1.  The Tweed River begins in the Southern Uplands and ends in the North Sea at Berwick-upon-Tweed; the Tweed River is in what country?

2.  The Daugava River begins in the Valdai Hills, Russia and enters the Gulf of Riga to the south; the Daugava River flows into the Gulf of Riga in what country:  Belarus, Poland, Finland, or Latvia?

3.  The Sava River begins in the Julian Alps, Slovenia before joining the Danube in the city of Belgrade; the Sava River joins the Danube in what country:  Italy, Austria, Serbia, or Bulgaria?

4.  The Duero River begins in the Sistema Iberio Mountains before flowing into the Atlantic Ocean in what country?

5.  The Arno River begins in the Apennines of Italy before flowing west into what sea:  the Ligurian Sea, the Ionian Sea, the Thracian Sea, or the Tyrrhenian Sea?


1.  Great Britain
2.  Latvia
3.  Serbia
4.  Portugal
5.  the Ligurian Sea

Friday, April 22, 2011

Out of Darkness - Light

It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land
until the ninth hour, because the sun was obscured;
and the veil of the temple was torn in two.
And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said,
"Father into your hands I commit my spirit."
Having said this, he breathed his last.
Luke 23:44-46

      Yesterday Bryan came home and told me about a Catholic priest he had heard on the radio.  The priest was remembering that while he was growing up from noon until three every Good Friday, his family observed a time of silence.  The quiet, three hours without a noise, impressed upon him the solemnity of that day.  When Bryan told me the story I was in favor of three hours of silence, though not for religious reasons.  I was only imagining a little peace and quiet in this rowdy home.
     Last night I looked up those verses in Luke and have been meditating, quietly, in the midst of stillness and noise, on those three hours of darkness covering the land.
     God's righteousness, justice and wrath snuffed out the Light of the World.  Jesus, who out of darkness brought the sun and stars that fill night and day alike with light.  Jesus whose face shone and men could not look upon it because of the light of His presence.  Jesus who lead the Israelites through the wilderness in a pillar of fire by night.  He who filled the Holy of Holies with His light.  As the Light died, the world was dark.  Darkness was over the whole land, even the sun ceased to shine on that long ago day.  But out of darkness, light; and dawn broke on the third day.  
     His light shines in our darkness, in the darkness of my heart, and shines ever brighter until that day.  That day when darkness will be no more.  The darkness had its moment of triumph, but could not conquer.  Darkness could not swallow One who called Himself the Bright Morning Star.

And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need
of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun,
because the Lord God will illumine them;
and they will reign forever and ever.
Revelation 22:5

Thursday, April 21, 2011


     Baking bread today I had two helpers by my side.  They anxiously waited through the first rise.  How much longer?  We read a book.  Longer?  We played a game.  Longer?  Kara read a chapter of history.  At last!
     Four little hands, beside me as I press and roll and shape my loaves.  Four little hands divide their dough and they create.  Side by side appear a little bread boy and a little bread girl, long lanky legs and arms.  They had raisins for eyes and smiles and buttons.  Kara fashioned a purse and pressed it into a little bread hand.  Arden was busy patting and rolling and pushing and mounding and starting all over again.  When a masterpiece seemed just right he wanted to eat it right then, dough squishing in his mouth.  They added cinnamon and sugar.  They added pepperoni and cheese.  Bread sticks lined up beside bread donuts and they were all popped in the oven.
     We ran outside and took our time weeding, riding bikes, dreaming and one fought a battle behind the hydrangea.  Then we'd hurry back to check the bread.  Coming in that kitchen door, Arden smelled the goodness and was so hungry he wilted.  But they weren't done yet.  Back outside with the sun, the wind, the mailman and the flowers.  Only a few more minutes.
     When the bread was finally done, raised and golden, we were ready to eat it.  A slice of a loaf.  A bread stick, chewy, and just right without butter.  Arden shared his mound shape with me.  We finished up quick then he was ready for more and wanted to share the mound-pressed-down-flat too.  It's different you know and always better when you share.  Then Kara and Arden are off again, warm bread clutched in little hands, perfect for travels, dreams and campaigns.  Perfect for the backyard.
     Will you be making bread soon?  I make my whole wheat bread six loaves at a time and love to devote one loaf to cinnamon rolls and one to small children.  But any kind of bread will do, even a batch made just for fun.  My only rule, as they consider what to make, is that they have to be willing to eat their work.  Share a loaf's worth of dough with your little ones, let them play with their food.  I'm sure you won't regret it.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lurking Words

*Note to the Reader:  Bryan has read and pre-approved this post.  We're just having fun, read to the end and find the punchline.  Being averse to self-incrimination I will mention, in a vague sort of way, that somebody here takes life too seriously.

     Yesterday afternoon we were sitting at the table, eating scones meant to accompany tea.  However, that interminable five minute wait for the tea proved too long to wait for a warm scone.  So we ate, then we drank.  As we chatted, I was challenged on my use of the phrase, "believe you me."  Bryan asked where the phrase originated.  He suggested it was perhaps ghetto talk.  Oh no, I maintained, Old English.  The challenge was on, disbelief in Bryan's voice as he taunted me.  But the computer was handy and I Googled it.  I love the internet for these petty marital squabbles, and I'm blogging about it because I was right.
     Over at World Wide Words he explains that at one time a verb-subject-object sentence construction was allowed, especially in imperative sentences.  "Believe you me.  I am right."  In the King James Bible (1611) you can find the phrases "hear ye me" and "seek ye me."  So although the actual words "believe you me" weren't combined until 1919 or 1926, they represent archaic English sentence structure.  Read the post over at World Wide Words.  I read it with increasing smugness, laying an appropriate heavy emphasis on any word that proved my point.  The last sentence I read out at top volume.  I loved it.  That sentence summed up my position, proved me right, determined which one of us was literate.
     And Bryan?  He had moved to the Living Room.  He was laughing and said sotto voce to Ally, "I love to egg mom on."

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Geographica: Asian Rivers

     How about a geography quiz on Tuesday?  Yesterday was a whirlwind, as Mondays so often are.  My mom and I were laughing on the phone over our need for a recovery day from our "day of rest."  Maybe the contrast between the two days is exhausting?  In any case as I piled through laundry, edited a letter to NASA, read books, weeded the garden, took my walk, cooked dinner, did some shopping and made time to show up at Bible study, I did not leave time for typing up the quiz.  This morning I complained to Bryan that I would never be a great blogger because I just can't post every day, which so many think is important to success, he reminded me I am a wife, a mother, a homemaker first and foremost and blogging is a very limited role in life.  Having my guilt thus assuaged, I blog today, guilt free.

Quiz:  Asian Rivers
1.  Which major Chinese river begins in Tibet and flows through southern China before emptying into the East China Sea?
2.  The Han River, which begins in Odaesan National Park, North Korea, then flows through Seoul into Kyonggi Bay.  Seoul is the capital of which Asian country?
3.  The Edo River is a branch of the Tone River which begins in the middle of an island called Honshu.  Edo, named after the river, is the former name of what island country's capital city?
4.  The Barito River begins in central Borneo before flowing south into the Java Sea, only miles away from the city of Banjarmasin.  Borneo is a major island in what country?
5.  The Godavari River begins just north of Mumbai, then flows east across the Deccan Plateau into what bay?


1.  Chang (Yellow) River
2.  South Korea
3.  Japan (Tokyo used to be called Edo in the middle ages)
4.  Indonesia
5.  The Bay of Bengal

Friday, April 15, 2011

What Will Be

If things created for time are so grand, what will be the things of eternity?
If things visible are so beautiful, what will be the invisible?
If the immensity of the skies surpasses the measure of human thought,
what intelligence can fathom the depths of eternity?
If this eye of nature, which so adorns it,
this sun, which though perishable, is yet so beautiful, 
so rapid in movement, so well adapted in size to the world,
offers us an inexhaustible theme for contemplation,
what will be the beauty of the sun of divine righteousness?

St. Basil

*Photos are from a recent date night.  Bryan and I drove up to Mount Nebo (aptly named) to watch the sunset.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Twice on Thursday

"Hallo, Eeyore.'
'Same to you, Pooh Bear, 
and twice on Thursdays,' said Eeyore gloomily." 
 - The House at Pooh Corner

     Hello, friends.  Just adding a post to draw your attention to the new gadget, now you can follow by email.  I don't subscribe to many blogs that way, so it was low, low, low on my priority list.  But it's not all about me, is it?  So I have added it for you, the Reader.

So Godly It Will Scare You

     Sometimes my pursuit of Christ makes me grouchy.  Imagine I am seated on the couch with my cup of coffee, ready to open my Bible and be fed in those few short minutes of silence.  My daughter passes by, for the third time, with a pressing question.  And with "raised" voice I say, "Can't you see I'm trying to read my Bible?"
     Instead, we're in the car and I am listening to an Improving CD.  The voice of the inventor, the entrepreneur, the visionary begins to plot and plan in the back of the car.  Exercising patience I pause the CD.  I listen to the complicated scheme.  When the Dreamer is almost done, in the sweet voice that can only come from between clenched teeth, I affirm him, "That's great.  Now sweetie, if you keep interrupting I won't be able to finish the CD before we get home."  And the soothing sounds of Improvement carry all the way to the back seat.
     Alternatively, I'm in bed trying to fit in a little quiet time at the end of an unquiet day.  My poor, unsuspecting husband comes in and begins an inane conversation.  After I listen, for a moment, and realize this is no pouring out of his heart, no ground breaking conversation, I cut him off.  "Do you mind?  This is the only time I have."  It wouldn't be disingenuous to add, and it's not for you, but those are the words not said aloud.  Only implied.
     Or, just imagine, God's been convicting me, let's just say concerning watching football on Sunday afternoon.  (Of course, we don't, because we have no TV.  The actual details of this event have been changed to protect the innocent.)  I walk in and say to my man, who has his feet up on the couch and drink by his side, "I don't think any of us should ever watch football on Sunday afternoon again.  It's a sin."  Unfortunately, God failed to make that quite clear either in the Word or to my husband.  He just wants to watch the game.  So I pout, tears in my eyes as I think of my family contentedly sitting together on the couch and unwittingly teetering on the brink of destruction.
     This is the kind of woman I am.  I get caught up in the things I think make me godly.  But this isn't true godliness, a true seeking after God.  This is all self-focused.  This is all about me.  Not God.  Not my family.   True godliness shouldn't make my family miserable.  God lets us live with tension - not the tension my child feels before I snap at him.  No, the tension between needing Him more than I need my daily bread and yet not being a better mother because I've spent 12 straight hours reading the Bible.  True godliness takes time to seek God.  True godliness also bears fruit and our hearts are known by the words our mouths.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, 
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things 
there is no law.  Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified 
the flesh with its passions and desires.
Galatians 6:22-24

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Conversation with the Chef: A Favorite Supper

          Martha Stewart's Chicken Enchilada Verdes are a favorite supper here.  Our faves are subject to frequent change, and with six eaters we don't always love the same meals.  But we all agree on this one, though those pictures don't really make it look appetizing...I'm no photographer.  Also, with six eaters a little rice and bean filler is vitally important to stretch that pan of enchiladas.  When we were two I rarely made a side dish, unless it was a vegetable, but these days the sides are indispensable.
     Here are a few of my recipe tips, because no recipe is ever cooked in this kitchen without some modification.  I often throw a few extra carrots and celery pieces in the pot with the chicken, and freeze that extra broth for soups and other recipes.  We don't use lowfat cheese, we go for a full fat, creamy Monterey Jack.  I don't toast my tortillas.  I'm sure it would taste better, but this is one of my time saving measures.  Lastly, I always double the Verde sauce and freeze half for next time.  I won't lie, it's not exactly a speedy recipe, but the second time I make it, it's a lot quicker.  We have doubled the jalapenos in the sauce, and the adults loved it, but after watching how much sour cream the kids slathered on those spicy enchiladas, I went back to just one jalapeno.
     Scratch cooking takes time, but it's incomparable.  My mouth is watering!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Geographica: African Rivers

     I have a very simple introduction to this quiz of Ally's.  If you know the answers to these questions you are a better student of the world than I am.  Africa's geography is always challenging for me.

1.  What is the name of the river that flows through Khartoum, Sudan, and the Nubian Desert before flowing into the Mediterranean Sea by Alexandria?
2.  Burkina Faso, which used to be called Upper Volta, has the beginning of both the Black and White Voltas that flow into Lake Volta in what country, that used to be called Gold Coast?
3.  Ngonye Falls, Victoria Falls and Kariba Dam which forms Lake Kariba, are on what river bordering Zambia and Zimbabwe?
4.  The Limpopo River forms the border between South Africa and two other countries before flowing through Mozambique into what body of water, between Mozambique and Madagascar?
5.  Name the river that forms the borders of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, and Congo before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean, with a volume of water second only to the Amazon.

And the answers:

1.  Nile River
2.  Ghana
3.  Zambezi River
4.  Mozambique Channel
5.  Congo River

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Treasury: My Heart

"Our hearts, as our Saviour speaks, are our treasury. There we lay up whatever we have, good or bad; and thence do we draw it for our the heart with a sense of the love of God in Christ, and his love in the shedding of it; get a relish of the privileges we have thereby,—our adoption, justification, acceptation with God; fill the heart with thoughts of the beauty of his death;—and thou wilt, in an ordinary course of walking with God, have great peace and security as to the disturbance of temptations."
John Owen, Of Temptation, Ch. 7

      After a long, ever so long, day of work I come at last to the quiet of Saturday night and look forward with anticipation to Sunday.  I look forward to church and the Word preached, and to a day of quiet and rest.  Life is busy, I am often rushed, but Sunday offers up an opportunity to take time to store up treasure.  An opportunity not for physical labor but the work of the heart, to pile God's treasure high and have a store for the week as I walk with Him.

But let all who take refuge in You be glad,
Let them ever sing for joy;
And may You shelter them,
That those who love Your name may exult in You.
Psalm 5:11

Friday, April 8, 2011

If Kisses Were Seen

If a kiss could be seen
I think it would look like a violet.

- Anne of Avonlea

     We did our duty today, school, menu planning and grocery shopping, but as you see, we've had a wee bit of fun.  Bryan proclaimed tomorrow mowing day, and so it was now or never for making violet jam and syrup, a first at our house.  A large part of the fun is simply in the collecting of the violets.  We used Ball low sugar pectin, honey and lemon and violets packed down tight.  (I think I'll try more jams with honey this season.)  The looming question was whether to remove the green end of the flower.  We didn't and I think it "muddied" our jam, so if we try again I may use just the petals.  But it was good, oh so good.  The jam tasted like honey and lemon, tart but with an unmistakable floral essence.  We ate it with Parmesan Cheese Crackers and cream cheese, and it was delicious.  Refreshing, said the friend we shared it with.  I think I'd like to try violet jam with scones and whipped cream, and tea, naturally.

Soule Mama's Violet Jam, including the link to the Parmesan Cheese Crackers which were so good we'll be making them again.  Also, she includes the link to the violet syrup we're trying.  Of course by the time someone in Maine posts a recipe using violets it's far to late for someone down here in subtropical Arkansas, so I've been dreaming of this for a year.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

My Mom

    I fell off the wagon - the blogging wagon.  My mom came for five days and I had genuine intentions to blog anyway, but the bottom line is, I would rather spend time with my mom.  I took one more day off for recovery efforts, house cleaning and reorganizing the boys room, which always feels akin to a search and rescue mission.  Two hours of hunting Legos out of any and every corner sums up our work.  Last night it was beautiful.  Today K'nex were on the floor.  Can I complain?  The toys are signs of real life, being played out in these four walls.
     When my mom visits we inevitably end up doing arts and crafts or something creative.  We've painted a room.  We've put in a stone path.  We've all sat down for a watercolor lesson, resulting in stacks of cherry blossom trees.  This time there was no planning ahead, but oh, we couldn't help ourselves.  Saturday morning as we sat around the breakfast table, sipping the freshly roasted coffee my mom brought along, ideas started flying.  Soon Ally was running for the fabric boxes.  See what they made...

       The plan is to stitch these together into little tote bags and Ally wants to list them on Etsy.  We ran the owls through the washer so that the edges frayed out a little, looking like ruffled feathers.  We're so pleased.
     Monday afternoon as my mom and Ally were still combining and cutting fabrics, we decided to add a little entertainment and started listening to A Bride Goes West (No one even pays me for loving mom came loaded down with Vision Forum books from the recent Economics conference).  The boys set up battles, Kara had a tea party, I sat knitting on the couch.  The afternoon felt quiet and productive, even Victoria Botkin's soothing voice seemed appropriate to the quiet.  We all loved this CD, the boys included.  This is an audio version of a first hand account written by young married woman who traveled from West Virginia out to Montana to start a cattle ranch.  Her adventures and the telling of them do not disappoint.  My mom loaned us the CD set and we're anxious to finish.  I'm sure even Bryan would love them, if I could just get him to start listening.
     The words of Nannie Alderson, the bride, have stayed with me all week.  Particularly when she wrote she realized she was feeling sorry for herself and what a dangerous place that is for a woman.  We all must learn contentment, whether we live in a home of cottonwood logs or a palace.  Or a big old house with green vinyl siding.  No feeling sorry for myself, even if my mom did have to go home and school, laundry, shopping and bills await.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Geographica: World Rivers

     The State Geography Bee was this last Friday.  Ally did not do as well as she had hoped, for though she had studied all year, she did not study for the particular questions she needed to answer to earn her place in the final round.  It was a stinging disappointment, which she bore with grace and a few tears when she was safe at home.  Nevertheless our family enjoyed the day, spent with my mom, and the rare treat of going out to eat and to Starbucks in one afternoon.  We're still so proud of Ally.  She's learned so much about what she can accomplish, the pleasure of hard work, and how to use her time well.  Though she's now too old to try the Bee again next year, the girl just loves geography and spent the afternoon with the atlas on her lap.  She's indefatigable.  And now, today's quiz:

World Rivers
 1.  The Elbe River flows from the Sudeten Mountains in Poland then through the Czech Republic and Germany in to what sea northwest of Germany?
2.  The Salween River flows from Tibet through China into what country before emptying the Andaman Sea in the Indian Ocean?
3.  The Orange River begins in the Drakensberg Mountains of Lesotho then flows through which African country before forming a border with Namibia?
4.  The Swan River flows through which major Australian city before entering the Indian Ocean?
5.  The Negro River flows from the Guiana Highlands in Venezuela south to join what major South American river?

1.  The North Sea
2.  Myanmar
3.  South Africa
4.  Perth
5.  Amazon