September 2009


Quite a lot of ordinary normal life going on here.  Hence the internet silence, and no book review either.

Have been reading In Soft Garments by Ronald Knox, an ancient copy mined from the treasure trove of my parish library.   Sturdy apologetics in Knox’s readable, witty style.  If you like Chesterton and Lewis, you’ll like Knox.   Even though the book is strongly catholic, there are chapters of definite interest to non-catholic christian apologists.  Don’t know where you find a current, in-print, version of the book though.   (For all I know, it’s widely available.  I just don’t know.)

In school news: So far so good.  In all we have a decent rhythm going, though between regular visits from our friendly neighborhood GI virus (a different child every time! Always at 4 AM!), and your hostess’s naturally lacksadaisical personality, let’s just say that we’re doing admirably under the circumstances.

CCD got off to a great start last week.  Big thank you to 6th grade public-school Spanish teacher Chris Craft (google him, I don’t have a link this week) whose helpful tips made a huge difference in getting the classroom running smoothly right off the bat.  You should book Chris next time you need good basics-of-sound-teaching-for-any-age conference for your collection of educators.  [He’s the Chris Craft who teaches at Crossroads Middle School in South Carolina, if that helps you with your googling.]

And I like my excel-created timeline enough I’m thinking of printing out another one for my hallway at home.  We have a time line made out of a neutral, geometric-patterned wallpaper border, but I never seem to use it.  Tragic, for children whose mother is a social-studies major.

[Our textbook covers several saints or bible heros every chapter, so I wanted a timeline so the kids could see where everyone fits in the scheme of things.  I also put up some maps so they can see where the saints lived.  So far we’ve got St. Augustine of Hippo up there.  And some question about how to pronounce his name.]

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That’s the news for now.  What else?

-I’m an SCA flunkie — haven’t been to fighter practice in weeks, have already missed 50% of the two events I had planned to attend this fall — but the garden looks okay.

–> SuperHusband said he was thinking of getting me a net book for my birthday.  I voted for a guilt-free trip to the nursery.   And my first round of plant-buying happened when their was a rose sale — whoohoo.  (You do know that roses are edible, right? So I can justify buying extra, on that count.)

– And other notes: Not much camping so far this fall — see ‘overwhelmed mother’ — ailment holds steady, and the cat with the deathwish finally got too close to harm’s way.  We did not adopt a pit bull, and our tadpole has feet!  Just in time for winter!  Quick, must install waterfeature in back yard before this thing starts hopping in my kitchen . . .

See you around, hope your vocation is a lively as mine, in a good sort of way.  My apologies for typos, gotta run.

So I kinda put off picking another book to review for the Catholic Company, on account of having taking six million years to get my Angels review up.  Procrastination pays.  Went to check the available-books list early last week, and there was the 3-Book Set of Mark Shea’s Mary , Mother of the Son.

Clicked hopefully, not quite believing this could be real.  Books arrived just minutes before I headed out for Labor Day weekend.  Happy Birthday to me!

Sailed through the first two books while out camping, and skimmed the third.  Verdict: Excellent.  Highly recommended.  (Which you didn’t need to hear from me– I *knew* they were good because A: I’m a Mark Shea dittohead and B: The books have been getting very favorable reviews by people much smarter than myself.)

Official book review coming soon.

Meanwhile, I’ll say that if you have a blog and like reading top-quality, newly-released catholic books, the Catholic Company’s reviewer program is very well run.  It does, of course, mean that you can’t get autographed copies like you could if you purchased directly from the author, but then again, you can afford to buy a *second* autographed set after you’ve confirmed how awesome the books actually are.  Since you know you’ll need to have a set of spares for loan anyway.

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[Hey, and if anyone has had success making the Tiber River review program work, please let me know how.   They sent me an e-mail asking me to sign up, so I did, because how can you refuse more book-reviewing fun, even if you do have a history of being an unpredictably-paced reader??  But in my efforts so far, I have only managed to get mighty confused.  Haven’t, of course, employed any adult problem-solving skills such as, say, e-mailing the guy in charge of the program.  But you could save me that display of maturity by telling me what the scoop is. Thanks!]

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PS, weather was great camping this weekend, and it was kinda nice to skip out on school for a few days.  It sure pays to start homeschooling before Labor Day, so that you get that first vacation weekend right off the bat.  Otherwise it could be weeks and weeks before you get some good excuse to cut class.

And let me add: Putting six growing people in a 26′ Airstream for long weekend is an excellent way to make your previously-cramped house seem just enormous.  I mean, wow, there is *so much* space here!  We have, you know, bedrooms and stuff.  I love it.