Thursday, August 30, 2012

Chair Time


Very plain, but quite comfy.


Mrs. Pringle complaining about her sore leg to Miss Read:

"I saw that young whipper-snapper that Doctor Martin's got to help him.  A fat lot that boy knows!  Gave me a prescription for some ointment, and told me to keep it up, and wear an elastic stocking."

"Sounds sensible to me," I was rash enough to comment.

"Except that's what I've been trying to do for the last twenty years!" snapped the lady.  "What chance have I got to put my leg up?"  (from Summer at Fairacre by Miss Read)

It can be pretty near impossible for the rest of us, too!  So I finally "put my foot down" regarding my budget (putting a splurge on myself ahead of other needs), in order to "put my feet up," and bought my first recliner last spring as an antidote to the hustle and bustle in my life.  (Thankfully, things are calming down nicely.)  

Now, as many evenings as possible, just around 8PM, I have my Chair Time.  I may read, or watch some television, or pet kitties, or just close my eyes and relax, but I zealously guard my Chair Time and look forward to it all day.  (For a long time I tried to do the same propped up in bed, but found myself  fighting a losing battle of frequently shifting about for comfort's sake!)

But the chair ... it does my little heart good, and my legs thank me, too.  :o)

Enjoying some Chair Time right now,
Bess


Saturday, August 25, 2012

When Life Gets Too Busy



"The hurry of life in a large town, the constant putting aside of preference to yield to a most unsatisfactory activity, began to vex me ..."   (William's Wedding by Sarah Orne Jewett)

"When you grew older you required refreshing sleep during the night if you were to be any use at your office during the day."   (Miss Buncle's Book by D.E. Stevenson)


But Jesus often withdrew
to lonely places and prayed.
Luke 5:16

Wishing you a serene weekend,
Bess

Linking to Spiritual Sundays (with Charlotte).

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Thoughts

Watercolor of my mother & friend at Lake Michigan, painted by my grandfather.

"One of the new things people began to find out in the last century was that thoughts-- just mere thoughts-- are as powerful as electric batteries-- as good for one as sunlight is, or as bad for one as poison."   (The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett)

Think happy thoughts, and if we can't think happy thoughts, then we can sing happy songs.  (As the saying goes, we can "argue for our" unhappy thoughts ("limitations") ... but then we get to keep them ... and be unhappy.)

Bess

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Book Talk: D E Stevenson


"The best way to plant happiness is to do at least one thing
every day to make one person happier,
and to do it for God."  
(Mr. Grace from The Four Graces by D E Stevenson)

I'm rather new to D E Stevenson, finding her a couple years ago I think.  Miss Read is still my favorite British author, but I'm very pleased with Ms. Stevenson as well.  I think I counted about 23 of her works at our library, so that should last me awhile.  (Any that are missing I'll get through interlibrary loan.)

The book The Four Graces is the "fourth" in the Miss Buncle series, which also includes Miss Buncle's Book, Miss Buncle Married, and The Two Mrs. Abbotts. Here is a link to a wonderful website that lists Stevenson's books, those having repeat characters or locations, and suggestions as to which books to read prior to or after certain others: destevenson.org  (click on Books, then The World of DES for the chart).  

In addition to the Buncle series, I've read the series which consists of Vittoria Cottage, Music in the Hills, Shoulder the Sky (known as Winter and Rough Weather in Britain), and Bel Lamington.  Next on my list is the Mrs. Tim series.  I don't often "power" read. I like to make my way lazily through a book, to relax with it, replenishing my energy and spirit. (I get enough of speed reading at work!) 

Also this summer I (finally) recently read 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff.  A fun, quick read, even while "slow" reading.  Currently I'm well into the sequel, The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street, which I think is even better.  (One would definitely want to read 84, CCR first.)

And before this summer fades away into autumn, I hope to reread Summer at Fairacre, and Farther Afield, by Miss Read (pen name of Dora Jessie Saint, who passed away this past spring at the age of 98).  I'll have three magazines to work in, too:  Autumn Cottage (I'm waiting until early September to read it ... what self-control!), the British issue of Victoria (Sept/Oct), and the new Victoria Classics Inspirations.  

So much to be thankful for, especially the gift of reading wonderful books, magazines ... and blogs ... that speak to our hearts.

Hope you are finding time to relax this summer and that you are enjoying cooler temps and refreshing days,
Bess

Thursday, August 9, 2012

My Point Exactly



In the book The Four Graces by D E Stevenson, the eldest daughter Liz is thinking:

You had to have something to occupy your mind ....  If you decided not to think about (Roderick)* ... you had to have something else to think about.  You couldn't just not think about ________, there had to be some positive alternative, so that when you found yourself beginning to think about ________ you could immediately switch over.  The problem was what positive alternative should you choose.

My point exactly.  That's why I began practicing singing silently to myself, so that I'd have something to which I "could immediately switch over."  As we keep reminding ourselves that some subjects aren't worth thinking about, and instead: sing, think of Bible verses, or say "thank you, God, for - whatever, over time those "positive alternatives" almost become second nature.  Singing silently to ourselves at night is especially helpful ... in minutes we can be sound asleep rather than fretting over ________.  

Sweet mellifluous dreams,
Bess
*In the actual quote, Liz is trying not to think about Roderick, the man she thought she loved but who has just married her sister instead.  You can fill in the blank with whatever you don't want to think about!  (For more help, see my sidebar.)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

If Only


May I empty myself so that I might be filled with Him.


... if my people, who are called by my name,
will humble themselves
and pray and seek my face
and turn from their wicked ways,
then I will hear from heaven,
and I will forgive their sin
and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14


If only,
Bess