Saturday, October 17, 2015

A Feast of Encouragement

Dear Friends, 

I had planned to write an original post today and then my three year old started vomiting last night; so instead, I'll be disinfecting the house and offering my little one sips of Pedialite. 

But in the spirit of resourcefulness and the desire to stay more connected with my blog community, I've decided to share a comment I left at my friend Tim's blog the other day. 

After you read my comment, head over to Tim's place and read his post, "How to Comfort Those Who Are Hurting."

Tim asked this question:

How have you been comforted and encouraged by a person God put in your life?

Recovering in bed at my aunt's house after surgery.

Tim, The most recent time that comes to mind was after my surgery when I went to stay at my Aunt Bonita’s house. She wasn’t able to take off work for more than a day and she was concerned about leaving me alone in the house while she and my uncle were away for several hours. I heard some commotion in the kitchen as I drifted off to sleep that night in her guest bedroom -- the rattling of pots and pans — that sort of thing.
The next morning I woke up alone in soft, clean, white bedding. There was a fortress of coolers around the sides of the bed. I crawled across the comforter and peered inside them. There was yogurt, fruit, muffins, a salad, a turkey sandwich and bottles of cold water. Next to the bed was a small vase of flowers from my Aunt’s garden and a thermos of hot coffee! Every need had been considered and tended to in advance. I felt so loved!
I called to thank her and told her I felt like Sara Crewe in a Little Princess when she and her friend Becky awaken to a feast which had been secretly prepared for them by a compassionate neighbor.
Now it's your turn: how have you been comforted or encouraged lately?
I'd love to know.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

I'm walking again!

Dear Friends,

Where to begin?
It's been so long since I've posted anything that I'm not sure if anyone will even read this!

After months of recovery, I'm now back on my feet and moving forward. Last week I walked a mile for the first time since my surgery -- and let me tell you -- It felt like an enormous accomplishment. I could not believe how sore and tired I felt after I finished. I soaked in a chamomile epsom salt bath until the water was cold! But the experience of walking down a country road fills my senses in a way nothing else can. I've missed it very much.

Since then I've walked the same route every day. Each time I feel a little less sore and a little bit stronger! Still, I bought three bags of epsom salts at the grocery store to be prepared for the worst aches and pains.

You can expect my quest to focus on healthy living in the coming months because that is what I'm into presently. A year of therapy has helped me emerge from a debilitating depression. My feet have been reshaped by my surgeon and restored by time. Now I'm eager to more forward to a stronger, brighter future.

You can also expect me to write more about educating children. I'm now homeschooling my daughters, ages twelve and three years, and of course I still help my three sons with homework in the evenings -- a task that can take up to two hours!

Hope all is well in your corner of the world.

Your busy, yet happy friend,


P.S. I just started the last book on my WEM fiction listPossession by A.S. Byatt. Looking forward to starting autobiographies soon!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Postcard From My Quest

Hi Friends!

I hope you are having a summer full of wonder!

All is well here. Enjoying daily adventures with my family; relishing joy and peace. I'm scheduled to have my second foot surgery soon. Looking forward to getting that out of the way and moving forward to a stronger, healthier future.

More to come from Classical Quest!

Longer letter later! :-)


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Update on my time spent resting in green pastures

Dear Friend,

There are seasons of life when we have to batten down the hatches, tuck ourselves away, hibernate and heal.

Last September I had surgery on my foot. And now, five months later, it feels as though life is finally starting to return to a normal rhythm.

Except that I'm not yet able to take the long country walks I love so much . . .

I'll need to have my other foot repaired in the future -- for now, it's a slow steady pace with a slight limp.

And it's enough.

"All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well."
 -- Julian of Norwich

This time of physical healing has also been a season of spiritual healing. There have been moments of reconciliation. As gentle hands served, old misunderstandings were cleared away and love grew in places where it had once failed to thrive.

Last fall at the silent retreat, dear women -- some of them strangers -- made me comfortable by propping up my fragile foot and bringing me food and drink.

My friend Ana broke the silence to whisper,"Just receive." 

Such compassionate words! Words of communion: Just receive.

"He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake."
Psalm 23:2-3 

"I knowed you wasn't well. Why you try to hide it?"
"I didn't want to be trouble to anyone," I said.
"Everybody has to be trouble to somebody. And you just come from the hospital too." 
I looked up. She sat in the rocking chair bent forward, her arms folded at ease across her aproned lap. Had she searched my pockets?
"How did you know that?" I said.
"There you go getting suspicious," she said sternly. "That's whats wrong with the world today, don't nobody trust nobody. I can smell that hospital smell on you, son. You got enough ether on those clothes to put to sleep a dog!"
~Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man  
I've been missing my blog. I've tried to fire things back up a few times, but the return to normal after a few months off my foot has been a bit of a challenge. I've had a lot of catching up to do! Thank you for reading. And thank you so much to those of you who have noticed my absence and checked in from time to time. I'm as excited as ever about moving forward with my quest. It's wonderful to have faithful readers to come back to.

I'm currently halfway through Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. Then I'll have just five more titles to go and I'll be finished with the WEM novel list. After that I hope to carve out more time to write about what I've read so far. I'm also looking forward to receiving my copy of Pioneer Girl by Laura Ingalls Wilder. In June I'll revisit To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee in anticipation for the release of Go Set a Watchman in July. These titles are pretty much set in stone for me in the coming months. 

Are you making time for deep reading? Don't forget to prop up your feet from time to time. Sip and nibble on delicious, nourishing things.

And if it is your season to receive, don't fight it. 

Just receive.

With love,


Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Dear Friend,

Today is my blogiversary!

And it's also Chocolate Cake Day . . .

And Mozart's birthday.

Such a special day.

To celebrate these wonderful events I'm firing up the ole blog, making my mother's chocolate cake buying a chocolate cake, and taking some time to practice Mozart's Sonata in C Major.

I've made a bit of progress on my quest in the last couple months.

Here's what my WEM novel list looks like now:

  1. Don Quixote – Miguel de Cervantes
  2. The Pilgrim's Progress - John Bunyan
  3. Gulliver's Travels - Jonathan Swift
  4. Pride and Predjudice - Jane Austen
  5. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
  6. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
  7. The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne
  8. Moby-Dick - Herman Melville
  9. Uncle Tom’s Cabin – Harriet Beecher Stowe
  10. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
  11. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  12. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy  Leo Tolstoy
  13. The Return of the Native – Thomas Hardy
  14. The Portrait of a Lady -- Henry James
  15. Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
  16. Red Badge of Courage – Stephen Crane
  17. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
  18. The House of Mirth – Edith Wharton
  19. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  20. Mrs. Dalloway – Virginia Woolf
  21. The Trial – Franz Kafka
  22. Native Son – Richard Wright
  23. The Stranger – Albert Camus
  24. 1984 – George Orwell
  25. Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison
  26. Seize the Day – Saul Bellow
  27. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel García Márquez
  28. If on a winter’s night a traveler – Italo Calvino
  29. Song of Solomon – Toni Morrison
  30. White Noise – Don Delillo
  31. Possession – A.S. Byatt

Just seven more titles to go!

Hope you're having a lovely winter.



Don't forget to listen to Mozart and eat a piece of chocolate cake today. :-)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Classics and the Bible Sunday

Dear Friend,

I have a new post up at my Classics & the Bible blog.  Still working my way through the many biblical references in Anna Karenina.Today I'm exploring some illustrations by French artist Gustave Dore.

Gustave Dore

Hope you are having a great weekend!



P.S. My cast is off but I still can't put weight on my foot for several more days. Physical therapy is going well.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Classics and the Bible Sunday

Dear Friend,

It feels like a good time to revive my "Classics & the Bible" blog with a new post. I've written about a biblical reference which is tossed out with sarcasm by Stephan Arkadyevich to Konstantin Levin as they ride in a carriage through Moscow on their way to visit Anna Karenina. Unpacking three short words was quite an interesting experience! You can read the post here.

Also, I recently wrote another guest piece for my friend Tim Fall's blog -- "Racial Reconcilation: One Ordination Day at a Time."

Out of all the preachers I greeted that day, there was one face which stood out above the rest. I remember him as taller than everyone else, but maybe he only appeared to be. He was gray and distinguished, certainly the oldest man in attendance. I placed my young white hand in his ancient brown one, a small dove in a large nest. His eyes were tender like the eyes of Christ. I felt as if he saw into me. Under the weight of his gaze my eyes moistened.

Hope your Sunday is worshipful and restful.