Can I talk about my flowers? Feature: Sweet Woodruff

Can I talk about my sweet woodruff? I only grow it because Vita Sackville-West suggested it in her many garden books. It is one of my favorite flowers in my garden now. Not only can it be used in tea & scented sachets, I also use it to make simple syrup for cocktails. Today I made May wine!

Cut 20 sprigs, rinse and toast them in oven at 275 degrees for five mins. Immediately drop them into a bottle of cheap white wine, sweet wine I’m told works best. Shelf it in cool dry place for three to five days, and you’ll have a nice little drink for spritzers or whatever you’d like!

The Living Forest by Arthur Heming

The Living Forest: Two young boys in the Canadian Woods is a book I enjoyed very much. Written initially for children, it is the story of two boys and a man who has lived with the indigenous tribes of Canada his whole life. Together they take a trip through the wilderness in 1891 and along the way the reader is taught how to make sinew rope, a canoe, how to build a proper fire and shelter, and we get to enjoy the marvelous sketches of Arthur Hemming, a famous Canadian painter and novelist, while we’re at it. Swipe to see 👉. It is a lovely wilderness story.

The Gospel according to Mark

Is it wrong to say I found the book of Mark a little dry? It is wonderful to have the stories of Jesus told to us several different ways through the Gospels of Mark, Luke, John and Matthew, but I have in my notes from a year ago that I thought it was the driest version of Jesus’ ministry on earth. When I researched this a bit I learned that the Gospel of Mark was written by John Mark who was not a close follower of Jesus but who hung around Peter and sort of wrote down Jesus’ story through what Peter (an apostle) had to say about Jesus. It is the shortest of the gospels (which basically means, the good news), and the first. Mark’s gospel, some say, was meant to remember verbatim in order to recite or to use as a sermon, which explains its dry, straightforward quality. Which makes this post equally dry and straightforward. I put a link to the video I watched about this in my bio. I find this scholarly stuff really interesting. If any of this information is incorrect, I apologize, as it was gathered from the video. 🙂

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The Ambassadors by Henry James

Trying to read The Ambassadors by Henry James on a full charter bus. I grabbed it because it was small enough to fit in my purse. However my decision to start a new book on a loud bus with children and parents talking all around me was probably mistake. How did I forget I need complete silence or white noise to read? I can’t even listen to music because it’s so loud. And now they’ve just turned on a movie so I guess I’ll give up (the speaker is above my head) and stare into the abyss. I feel like the story in the book is going on without me since I’m not comprehending it but rather eavesdropping on the conversations around me against my desire to do so. Oh well. Everyone has got an interesting story to tell.

What about you? Can you read in chaos? Or do you need silence like me?

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Lamiel by Stendhal

Lamiel, which means devil’s daughter, was the unfinished last novel of Stendhal or Henri Beyle. Because it was unfinished I think Stendhal, if he would have lived, would have made it very different had he the time to edit it. Because it was so sparse regarding detail it is called his best work. I don’t know about that. Lamiel, the protagonist, is on a ‘journey’ to find out what love is. However she is what I would call someone without feeling(a sociopath?)she wants instead violence, she’s frustrated by men if they’re too gaga for her, she plays games with them for her own gain. She’s a hateful character. I really didn’t enjoy the book, plus it’s unfinished, the last half is quickly summarized in one chapter. Critics at the time it was published said it is very true to life, which it isn’t at all. But Stendhal was known for putting a microscope on the psychology of human characters, so as far as that is concerned the work is superb. .

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It’s a cute little copy: 1953. It is rare and in good condition. .

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The Book of Numbers

*I have no authority to teach you lessons from the Bible, I only hope you will find something useful. You might disagree with my interpretation and that’s OK!

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“When you cross the Jordan in to Canaan, drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you. Destroy all their carved images and their cast idols, and demolish all their high places.” –Numbers 33:51

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OK verses such as the above are what gives God a bad rap. It sounds violent and scary and seems to advertise war. But I will tell you that you must not look at the surface for the meaning in scripture, people that do often miss the truth and can interpret wrongly. Go deeper and this verse takes on a different shape entirely: Before your spirit can settle in peace with God and with yourself, drive out all things that are holding you back from a true and pure existence—all that you consider an ‘idol’ should be destroyed. For me, for a long time, my ‘idol’ getting traditionally published. I prayed and prayed for this to happen. But it wasn’t until I read this verse and saw my own folly in holding that goal on a pedestal of importance over many other things, and asking myself exactly WHY I wanted my books out there (was it for selfish reasons, or was my goal to help people?), that I was able to give up the idea and decide instead to be happy no matter what happened to all my books, poems, essays and dedicate my writing to the purpose of GOOD. Once I did this I found a publisher. Call that whatever you like, but I know where this gift came from. Have faith and hope that God will show you the way, but we must be patient and trust Him with all our hearts. That’s what I think anyway.

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St. Teresa de Avila by Herself

Finished this over the weekend. I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to entrench themselves in faith reading. At times it was frightening, especially when she talks about seeing visions of the devil. Those were times I wanted to put it down, because that does scare me, and I don’t even believe in such a thing but rather an evil presence in the ether around us. But she also saved me from ever being afraid if I did think otherwise. ‘It’ can’t harm us, she says, because ‘it’ can’t do anything without God’s permission and if we keep God near what can ‘it’ do? With this happy thought I carry on. .

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“Then I snap my fingers at all the devils; they shall be afraid of me. I do not understand these fears which make us cry, ‘The devil, the devil!’ When we might be saying, ‘God! God!’ and make all the devils tremble.” —St. Teresa de Avila

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