Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Random News and Quotes

Jenny has her friend Janane over today. I just overheard part of a conversation in which they figured out when they're inspired by nature. "When I see sheep in a green field against the sunset." Oooooo, yes!

While the girls were outside getting inspired by nature, they found a bug of a "clear different species" than they had seen before. They wanted it for Jenny's collection, so they put it into a quart jar and then the freezer.
Steven thought this was terrible, and pontificated, as only he can orate while doing dishes, about the morality of killing bugs.
Me: It's a humane way to kill them, Steven. When you freeze to death you just fall asleep.
Steven: But first they get all cold. Then they turn blue...
Ben: Steven, they don't have a central nervous system!
Steven: They can't feel?
Ben: They can't think, they can't PROCESS.
Me: Sigh. [Some of us think and process way too much.]

Yesterday Jenny was all excited about Janane coming today. “TOMORROW!!!!!” she squealed while I was doing her hair. So I started singing, “Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I love ya, tomorrow. . ."
And Jenny said, “Mom, it’s so funny when you try to copy someone that can sing really good.”
Sigh. Yeah, I know.

Today by a strange set of circumstances I met the Holiness Beachy Boy himself. By an even stranger set of circumstances, he and Paul are [we think] the only two Mennonites in history to graduate from AWC, the little Holiness Bible college in Salem, Ohio, 29 years apart.

HBB is very nice and interesting to talk with, as is the charming person he was with, who happens to be the reason he came to Oregon.

I also had fun today helping Suzanne the neighbor girl with her algebra. She's homeschooling and sometimes gets into waters deeper than her folks can figure out, and comes to me, which is good for my self-esteem. Today she was factoring and it all came back to me with a whoosh, the thrill of turning x2 + 4x -5 into (x+5) (x-1). Amy saw my page of scribbled equations afterwards and guessed that Suzanne had been over, and enthused about the fun of factoring. Love it, love it when I can enjoy something with a daughter--tea, old British books, old purses, factoring, whatever.

I have this bad habit of fiddling with stuff. I go into one of the girls’ rooms to tell them something but first I pick up a pen and lay it down, run my hand down a scarf, feel the cool little figurine, and so on. It drives Emily, especially, absolutely nuts. “Mom, just SAY it!”

So I was intrigued with this passage from North and South: [But first, why didn’t I ever hear of Elizabeth Gaskell back in the days when I was all into Charles Dickens and the Brontes and other old-timey English authors? Weird. But yeah, back to this passage…]

“. . .her father wished to speak to her. He made her take a chair by him; he stirred the fire, snuffed the candles, and sighed once or twice before he could make up his mind to say--and it came out with a jerk after all--’Margaret! I am going to leave Helstone.’
‘Leave Helstone, papa! But why?'
Mr. Hale did not answer for a minute or two. He played with some papers on the table in a nervous and confused manner, opening his lips to speak several times, but closing them again without having the courage to utter a word. Margaret could not bear the sight of the suspense. . .”

That sort of rang familiar.

And then there was the dinner party, which rang familiar in a different way--

“It was rather dull for Margaret after dinner. She was glad when the gentlemen came, not merely because she caught her father’s eye. . . But because she could listen to something larger and grander than the petty interests which the ladies had been talking about.”

I confess there have been many occasions when the men’s conversation was way more interesting to me than the ladies’. Like: Matt was home for supper and expounded on health care and the Compromise of 1850 and filibusters and corn subsidies. Good stuff.

But this is very much ladies’ conversation material:

I am doing really really badly at matchmaking. Sorry I can’t give details, only that my fine ideas and efforts keep coming to naught, and people keep going off and dating someone other than the one I matched them up with in my head, or they start dating and then after a while don't like each other after all.

Ok, maybe this can be men’s conversation as well, if we put it in the right terms:

Quote of the Day:
"So, Mom, you’re about 0 for 8?”


  1. Ah, it's a relief to know that I'm not the only one that usually finds the men's conversations more interesting!

  2. Rosy (from Plain City)1/20/2010 3:03 PM

    I enjoyed Elizabeth Gaskell's Cranford Cousin Philip, several years ago...She is delightful!

  3. I've been a fan of the Beachy Complex for a long time and have always wondered who HBB was. Now I know.


  4. Who's Peter Byler? I'm not Peter Byler. :)

    Thanks for the link and the kind words, by the way.

  5. Bummer! Back to square one, I guess.

  6. I had a good giggle, I've been singing "Tomorrow" to my kids lately(it's been raining alot)and they keep asking me to stop, even the 3 yr olds don't like it when I sing. I love that song.