Uncle Tom’s Cabin

It wasn’t easy to read Uncle Tom’s Cabin again.  I knew how it was going to end.  It has been about a quarter of a century since I read it the first time, so I didn’t remember details, but it came back to me as I got further along. There came a point where my…

Temple of the Holy Spirit

I want to tell you about a book I am reading, The Catholic Table, by Emily Stimpson Chapman. This book is fortifying me in an interesting way right now. I have really loathed my body this year. It is rare for me to mention that out loud. Typically I don’t talk about my body or…

Masarik Family Fall Clipboards

A number of friends have asked what our school clipboards look like right now. In the last month I have been asking a lot of questions about technique and planning tools in our online homeschool community. I have benefitted from a lot of very good advice from those conversations. I think that our current clipboards…

Cicero’s On Duties

“Cicero, like thoughtful men of every age, knew that the reason vicious leaders like Caesar could rise to power was because the Roman population itself had been corrupted and no longer pursued the old virtues; a leader is, after all, a mirror of the people who choose him or at least allow him to retain…

The Wednesday Witch at Stump Lake

The Wednesday Witch at Stump Lake I could almost believe a whiff of certain smells, caught just right, has the power to physically transport me to another time or place.  Sourdough can be like that for me.  This summer it was the mint in my garden.  Mmm, Oregon cow pasture!  Most recently, though, I experienced…

Turquoise Table

“The Turquoise Table isn’t about entertainment. Or a big party. It’s based on Romans 12:13 which says, ‘take every opportunity to open your life and home to others.’” – Kristin Schell Four years ago, Kristin Schell attended a conference on living out the gospel in community. Frazzled, feeling overwhelmed and disconnected, and generally world weary,…

A Tale of Two Readers

“Friendship … is born at the moment when one man says to another, ‘What! You too?’” – C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves Last July, Jennifer Halverson and I became reading buddies. What felt like an accident was, I am sure, Divine Providence. After repeated casual conversations about books that each of us wanted to…

Pillaging Anne

Stop pillaging Anne. For the love of Lucy Maud Montgomery, please just stop. In the last week I have been called a pearl-clutcher (laughable if you know me), closed-minded, small-minded, an ostrich, and a fear-monger. I guess my post on The Handmaid’s Tale hit a nerve. Mercifully, I knew what I was getting into when I…

Something like Tolkien’s Leaf Mould

This spring Diane, Jennifer Halverson and I re-read one of my top ten favorite books: Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe. A funny thing happened in this reading that I was not expecting. As a child, I feasted on the 1982 made-for-t.v. Ivanhoe movie featuring Anthony Andrews, James Mason, Olivia Hussey, and John Rhys-Davies. When I say…