Friday, February 19, 2021

Friday's Fave Five, 2/19/2021

 LINK to Friday's Fave Five Host Blog

1. My sister and her friend are safe in Texas.  They were very cold, and not having electricity and heat for almost a week was difficult, but they did have a small generator, so were better off than most people.

2. A three-day weekend.  Having a Monday off from school (this time it was President's Day) makes any weekend seem so vacation-like.  All weekend long it's like "Oh yes, I don't have to go to work on Monday!"   

3. Flowers delivered at school last Friday!!  From Mike.  A treat!

4. A lab that I did at school with a track that I did not know was available.  It was originally built for an activity at a children's home, and was stored in a back storeroom.  It was perfect to do experiments with motion and momentum with my 9th graders.  Sometimes teaching physical science can be difficult because not many experiments can be done, but this was great.

5. Pine siskins have arrived at our feeders!!  They are only around every few years, during an invasion, and they've been in our area for several weeks - but just last weekend came to our place.  They are aggressive, and they will eat us out of birdseed house and home, but they are fun to watch.

Saturday, February 6, 2021

God in the Rainforest by Kathryn T. Long


This is quite a book. Detailed, thoroughly researched, well written and well edited, it took me a couple of weeks to get through it. This is the story of the Waorani (Aucas) from the time of the martyrdom of the five missionaries in 1956, until now. Long writes as an objective observer, presenting all sides of the story. At times it is not pretty. Long almost goes too far in presenting the opposite side of almost every decision, every personality, and every problem that was encountered in this incredibly complex situation. The government, SIL/Wycliffe, the oil companies, the environmentalists, the anthropologists, the Bible translators, the early missionaries and the later ones as well - all have a part to play in this huge story, which is further complicated by the way it became the face of missions for many years. 

I was affected in my thinking about the entire story by the details given in this book. There are many facets to it - many that are not represented in the average book written about it, of which there are scores. 

Friday, January 29, 2021

Friday's Fave Five, 1/29/2021


LINK to Friday's Fave Five Host Blog

1. On my birthday, my daughter gave me a beautiful flower arrangement.  I liked it so much that I had it re-done in silk by a parent of several of my students who does this as a side business.  She just sent me these pictures, and I'm very happy with it.

2. Son and daughter-in-law gave me this picture frame at Christmas, filled with several of my ECN articles. Mike hung it this week.  My DIL always gives thought fun gifts, and this is just another example.

3. Went to the farm with Mike last Saturday.  I was very tired, but got the chance to rest some while I was there.  This blanket is what I gave Mike at Christmas.  I saw the fleece at a fabric store, and it said "Gone to the Cabin" as well as "The Great Outdoors."  One of my students who loves to make blankets knotted it for me to make a little Christmas $$.  I took a nap under it while we were down there, and it is toasty warm.

4. I also had the energy to get to Target this week to return a Christmas present from my dear daughter, something that just wasn't going to work right.  I needed a new hairdryer, so with her permission used the $$ to get a new one.  And since it was a gift, I splurged on a nicer one.  :-)

5. Today is my dad's 91st birthday.  Happy birthday to Dad, on the slim chance that you are reading this!

Friday, January 22, 2021

Friday's Fave Five, 1-22-2021


1. I went back to work on Tuesday for the entire week, and for the most part did fine.  Yesterday I hit a wall by the afternoon, and went home an hour early - and promptly napped for close to an hour and a half.  But today was a great day and I felt essentially. . . .normal.  Even did dissection of worms with the seventh grade, and that takes a great deal of energy.  I'm posting this picture because it's hard to identify anyone individually on it, which we have to be careful of these days.

2. These are birthday slippers from my sister, and they have felt so good this chilly January week!

3. The blanket in the picture above is one that's been in the closet for awhile.  I unwrapped it this week and it is very soft and comfortable.  I'm thankful to be warm on cold days.

4. I had a gift card from a student, and we had an additional $20 deduction from a DineRewards program, so we had a nice dinner at Outback tonight that cost us $2.26. :-)  Friday nights eating out are great.

5. Thankful once again that my COVID case, though not fun and lasting several weeks with the fatigue, was not serious enough to have to go to the hospital or to develop pneumonia at all.  We know several who have had critical consequences, and I could have just as easily been a casualty instead of just a minor statistic.  Very thankful.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Friday's Fave Five, 1-15-2021


LINK to Friday's Fave Five host blog - Susanne's Space

I haven't done this in quite awhile.  Seems like all of a sudden Fridays are over and I haven't done a FFF.  But this week - in the after-throes of Covid, I have time to do this.

1. I am so thankful to have gotten through this without any pneumonia or having to go to the hospital.  Many prayers went up from many people that that would be the case.  I have a history of bronchitis and pneumonia (3x), so in many ways was a prime candidate for complications from Covid.  After two weeks of being confined to my bedroom (for the most part), I don't think I'm contagious anymore - but the main difficulty now is fatigue.  And it is a wrenching fatigue.  When it hits, there is nothing to be done but get to a chair or bed and take a nap.  Now.  But I have four more days with nothing I have to do but recuperate.

2. Very grateful for a dear friend who is available to substitute for me in a situation like this.  She taught for me when I had major surgery three years ago.  She is flexible and she is willing, and she does a good job.  And my dear friend who is also a colleague was right at her side, helping with the classes she did not know as much about.  That is a huge blessing to know that my classes are well cared for during these two weeks.

3. Mike has taken super care of me (from six feet away of course), and has not gotten sick.

4. My mom has brought us some food and we have also used restaurant carry-out several times.  So we've eaten well.

5. And this book came this week.  So glad to have had the opportunity to read it.  Elisabeth Elliot is a hero of mine, and it's always a pleasure to read anything new and well researched.  I wasn't completely sold on it, and reviewed it on Goodreads as well as copying it to this blog.  But reading it was a bright spot in a very, very quiet week.

I hope anyone reading this is spared this awful virus.  It is weird and it is unpredictable and it is rough.  I am once again very grateful to have come through relatively unscathed.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Becoming Elisabeth Elliot

The perfect read for the upswing of Covid recovery. Elisabeth Elliot has been a hero of mine for over 40 years, and this is a well-researched "authorized" biography of her. Many new details emerge from her life; many blanks filled in. The issue of making Christian icons into "perfect saints" was, I felt, handled well - she was neither placed on a spiritual pedestal, nor, at the same time, torn down from a realistic one. Her early years - her anguish at the loss of Jim - what to do after his passing - all these were full of insight into EE's thinking and decisions. Anything read by EE or about her causes any thinking Christian to consider the same issues in his or her own life.

I gave it a 4 for things that bothered me: 

--I felt like there were a few things that were included that would have mortified EE - such as us being told that she "peed herself" upon a meeting with the head lady of her boarding school. Not sure that was necessary. 

--I felt like the language used to describe the Waodani couples was a little bit too earthy for a biography of this distinguished lady. 

--And just because Elisabeth Elliot, in a depth of frustration, wrote "To hell with zeal!" - it was gratuitous to use that as a chapter title, to draw people in with "Elisabeth Elliot said WHAT?" 

--I saw a few places where the punctation did not appear to be properly edited. 

--I also felt like the author inserted herself in a few places where she could have stepped aside. 

But overall, this is a thoughtful, detailed work, and I am eagerly awaiting Volume II (and wish that the fact that this book was Volume I had been stated as part of the title).

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Merry Christmas 2020

                                                         Christmas Letter 2020


Merry Christmas from Mike and Ann!  We are coping with current circumstances just as everyone else is.  We’re thankful that many have been only mildly affected, although we know several who have dealt with significant illness.


We hosted some of Mike’s family for Thanksgiving at the Due West farm.  It’s been a great place for such activities because we can spread out and easily social distance.  When this is all past we can perhaps use it for more occasions.


Mike stays busy with keeping up the property and taking people hunting.  I keep busy with teaching and am just not quite ready to hang it up yet.  I actually somewhat enjoyed the shutdown last spring due to having a five month semi-break for the first time. . . ever.  


Andrew faced a difficult layoff due to Covid loss of revenue for his company.  He is currently working as an EMT for our local ambulance service and deciding on his next steps.  Teah is still teaching 7th grade language arts and doing well.  Mary Lee is teaching 4th grade in the Lowcountry and has a great class this year.  It was good to have her with us for Thanksgiving.


When Mike and I went through big surgeries three years ago, Teah made a beautiful calligraphy picture for us with the Bible verse phrase “So we do not lose heart” (II Cor. 4:18).  That verse is a reminder to us today that God is in control of our future.  I also see that every time I look at the constellations that I taught to students for so many years - the same ones that come up in the same positions, year after year after year.  They are reminders of our God who is in control of the universe and of our lives.  May we take that to heart as we face the future.


                                        Love, Mike & Ann

Sunday, August 2, 2020

The Good Earth by Pearl Buck

The Good Earth (House of Earth, #1)The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Easy to see why this is considered a classic. Written in an older style (since it is early 20th century) and character driven, but with a plot that follows it throughout - the place of the land in the life of Wang-Lung and what will happen to it and him.

Yet another book that shows that truth is "written on our hearts" even when Bible principles are not part of a culture. Wang Lung's life had struggles but was going well until he takes a prostitute in his home. The principle remains - we reap what we sow, and Wang Lung did just that. Many unfortunate incidents in this book, mostly due to the choices of the characters. There are objectionable elements but they are handled without being gratuitous or explicit.

I enjoyed Pearl Buck's writing style, but I appreciate books with understated plots and greater character development. I also enjoyed this because of having read one of her short stories in the past ("The Frill") with my sophomore literature students, which also reveals great details of the people and their lives. She obviously intimately knew the culture about which she was writing. I found this book to be a learning experience as much as an entertaining one.

View all my reviews

Friday, July 3, 2020

Friday's Fave Five 7-3-2020

 LINK to Friday's Fave Five host blog

I haven't done FFF for awhile.  Most of it can be related back to my busy-ness with the first thing on my list:

1. Blueberries.  Blueberries.  Blueberries.  Blueberries.  Blueberries.
We have a dozen blueberry bushes on our farm.  The season was over before we closed on the property last summer, so we didn't know what we were in for.  So far we have gotten over 30 GALLONS of berries!  This past Monday Mike and I picked 6 gallons, just the two of us!! That is about 6 hours worth of picking.  I've put 50 pints in the freezer, given away bags and bags, and made everything I know that includes blueberries and is low-carb (as well as a few things that are not).  My entire month of June has been filled with blueberries.  I'm not complaining.

2. A beautiful arrangement of hydrangeas from my neighbor.  She was so kind to bring it by.  She's the manager of one of our favorite restaurants, and if one of us is having a birthday, or sometimes for no reason at all, she'll send us a free appetizer or dessert.  The restaurant has not yet opened back up, so she's bringing things like this bouquet from her yard.  Very kind.

3. More fresh produce.  (Notice the. . .blueberries. . .in the back of the picture.)  Some of this was given to us; some I got at our farmers' market.  Either way, it's the best time of the year for eating.

4. Aldi's.  I stopped by there this morning.  I can get stevia, almond flour, etc., there for MUCH less $$ than the other stores.  I really appreciate having one close by.

5. Finally - 35 years of marriage.  We celebrated on Monday by. . . picking blueberries.  :-)  We aren't going to take a trip of any kind right now - at least no trip is in the plans - but I hope to in the future.  We did go out to a nice restaurant Monday night and get a lovely meal.   Not the most romantic of pictures below, but it will do.  :-)  I think I'll keep him, especially since the warranty has run out.  :-)