Wednesday, June 22, 2005

There's no place like home....

for learning. We had an absolute blast last week, but we weren't home much at all. It is so good to be back with our stacks of unread books, art journals, windows for staring out of, and even our own weeds to pull. There is a lot of pleasure to be had right here.

An aside: for that stack of unread books, we now have a name: ballycumber. It is defined as: "One of the six half-read books lying somewhere in your bed." - Douglas Adams & John Lloyd

Isn't that a great word? Thanks, Ms. Hornblower.

I have been reading, drawing, and scrolling through some favorite blogs in my quiet home hours. Here are some bits of brain food to share:

From favorite blog spots:

Intent talks about children being disconnected from nature. In a quote from her local paper:
"The growing child-nature gap has profound implications for the future, including the mental, physical and spiritual health of generations to come--and for the earth itself... Ironically, at the very moment when more children than ever before are unplugged from nature, science is finally demonstrating just how important direct contact with the outdoors is to healthy human development."

Wittingshire talks about church, special children and Henri Nouwen. From an article by Philip Yancey:
"It had been difficult for him (Nouwen) at first, he said. Physical touch, affection, and the messiness of caring for an uncoordinated person did not come easily. But he had learned to love Adam, truly to love him. In the process he had learned what it must be like for God to love us-spiritually uncoordinated, retarded, able to respond with what must seem to God like inarticulate grunts and groans."

Mungo's Mathoms linked an article from the Washington Times on education:
"It has always been a peculiarity that human beings seem discontent with what works and feel compelled to change, or 'improve,' what for centuries produced desired results."

If my husband was home, and we were the "AMEN, Brother!" types, our house would sound like a good gospel church service during a gripping sermon. Compelled to change what works, indeed.

Miz Booshay at Quiet Life lists great movie quotes. My husband loves Casablanca; we saw it on one our first dates at the (no longer there) New Varsity Theater in Palo Alto. I slept while he wrote down all his favorite quotes. Upon further review, though, I agree with him. Great movie.


Way back on May 21st, HMS Indefatigable wrote about her time on a barquentine. I love Master & Commander, Horatio Hornblower, Midshipmann Quinn, and every other book we have found on the Napoleonic Wars, but I am uneducated on ships. She kindly linked this site to help me figure out what is what, and I have finally had a chance to take a look. For a visual learner, this is a great resource.


In books:

Keys to Drawing, by Bert Dodson:
"The art of drawing is an act of uncanny coordination between the hand, the eye, and the mind. Each of these is subject to training and habit. For many students, improvement in drawing simply lies in breaking bad habits and replacing them with new and useful ones. For example, what do you think of as you draw? Can you remember? Perhaps your mind wanders. Perhaps you think of nothing at all. If you are like most of us though, you do, from time to time, carry on an internal dialogue as you work. This dialogue will either help or hinder your ability to draw, depending on which of two basic types it is."


Of Pandas and People: The Central Question of Biological Origins, by Percival Davis and Dean H. Kenyon:

"Any view or theory of origins must be held in spite of unsolved problems; proponents of both design and unplanned descent acknowledge this. Such uncertainties are part of the healthy dynamic that drives science. However, without exaggeration, there is impressive and consistent evidence, from each area we have studied, for the view that living things are the product of intelligent design."


Being back home this week serves to remind me of why we live the way we do. Exceptions to the "at home" rule are welcome and important, but we are glad to live with them as exceptions. Those bumper stickers that say, "Mom's Taxi" and "Chauffeur For Hire" have always caused a gag reflex in me. Sure, we have to go places. Sure, as the children get older, their world expands and the demands expand with it. But, we continue to build on the strong foundation of a quiet home life where there is time to stare, time to read, time to be in touch with nature and with each other. A little give in the schedule, a little peace in the daily routine, makes me a saner person. And everyone else, too. It's good to be back to the work of peace and quiet and good tilled earth.

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