Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Nativity, by Correggio - click here to view full-size image

I just wanted to take the opportunity to wish each one of a Merry Christmas! May you have a blessed and wonderful Christmas with family, with friends, in whatever corner of the globe you happen to be in!

I want to challenge you to remember to take some time out to reflect on all that is beautiful and good on this earth - for there is still true beauty and goodness in this broken world - and it is worth fighting for.

Have a Merry Christmas - and a Happy New Year!

God bless you!

~The Editrix

Current Mood: Sleepy


Ana from In Pursuit tagged me!

Daily Routine


1 - Post the six to ten things that you do on a daily basis
2 - Link to the person who tagged you.
3 - Tag five other people
4 - Leave a comment on the blog of the person that tagged you letting them know that have posted this to your blog.
5 - You must tag at least one person whose blog you have either just found within the last week or some one whose blog you don’t know very well!

1. I read. A lot.
2. I check my blog and forum.
3. I eat. :P
4. I practice guitar.
5. I cuddle and play with my baby sister.
6. I hang out the washing.
7. I bring in the washing.
8. I do various other jobs around the house.
9. I smile at each of my brothers and sisters.
10. I sometimes lose patience with my brothers and sisters - "Could you guys pleeeease be quiet for five minutes?!"

I tag:

And I also have to tag one new friend: I'll tag Laura!

And if you'd like to do this meme but didn't get tagged - feel free to do it anyway!

Current Mood: Blank

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

For North and South fans. . .

I recently stumbled upon this North and South fansite - "Foolish Passion". (They're quoting Mr. Thornton - "I hope you realise that any foolish passion for you on my part is entirely over" - from the end of episode 3. You thought, Thornton! But it wasn't really over at all - teehee! :D )

There's a lot of fun stuff on there - make sure you have a look at the North and South humor page - I had bit of a chuckle over the Fitzwilliam Darcy/John Thornton conversation. And some of the goofy quizzes had me in stitches!

Well. . . I just thought I'd let you all know. I know that there are quite a few N&S fans among my readers! ;-)

And if you haven't seen North and South - why on earth haven't you seen it??!!! Buy it! Watch it! It's better than Pride and Prejudice, better than Wives and Daughters, better than Sense and Sensibility - it's better than any other BBC miniseries, for that matter. Trust me, I'm a period drama fanatic! :D

Current Mood: Satisfied

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Tinkerings on my blog. . .

The Goethe Monument, by Carl Gustav Carus

Hey everyone! I've put together a playlist of a few of my favourite Christmas carols. You can see it on my sidebar, next to the Shoutbox. So, I now have two Playlists - the Christmas one, and the "other" one, which you can see if you scroll down to very bottom of my blog. Oh, and just to warn you - at the beginning of "O Holy Night" there is some loud clapping - so you might want to turn your speakers down just before that track begins, lest you be frightened half out of your wits like I was!

Also, I added to my sidebar my result from a fun quiz I found recently - "What LOTR character are you?" My result was Arwen. I can remember doing another similar quiz a few months ago, and I was told that I was Samwise Gamgee. . . so who knows which LOTR character I am really most like!

I have also *finally* updated my Shelfari widget - have a look to see what I'm reading at the moment.

Last night we all went for a drive through town to see all the Christmas lights. There weren't quite as many as there were last year, and I was feeling rather tired, but we all had a good time. I think I'm finally beginning to get into the Christmas spirit - up until now I just haven't thought about Xmas that much, but now it's starting to sink in that Christmas is just a few days away - and yes, I do believe I am starting to get a little bit excited about it. 

So--have a merry and blessed Christmas! And in the meantime, enjoy the weekend. ;-)

~The Editrix

By the way - no particular meaning is meant to be implied by the painting I included above - I just felt that it seemed to communicate the way I felt while listening to some of the Christmas songs from the that playlist I mentioned. . . silly, I know. :-)

Current Mood: Refreshed

Friday, December 19, 2008

The mask

Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last. To pluck the mask from the face of the Pharisee, is not to lift an impious hand to the Crown of Thorns. . . Appearance should not be mistaken for truth; narrow human doctrines, that only tend to elongate and magnify a few, should not be subsituted for the world-redeeming creed of Christ.

~Interesting words--from Charlotte Bronte's preface to the second edition of Jane Eyre.

Current Mood:  Enthralled

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

People, THIS is exactly what you want for Christmas. . .

. . . A Pride and Prejudice board game!! The idea of the game is very simple: you pick a P&P couple, then move them around the countryside, answering questions about regency life as well as the book Pride and Prejudice itself. The whole aim of the game is to get to the church so that you can be 'married'! What fun! I want one. . . though with the current exchange rate, it will cost a fortune for me to buy one and have it shipped from America. . . Guess I'd better start saving! :D

BTW - did any of you know that it was Jane Austen's birthday yesterday? It would have been her 233rd birthday. Happy Birthday Jane! :-)

Some of you may have already seen this. I thought it was absolutely hilarious - Jane Austen + Facebook = Austenbook = hysterical fun. Do have a look at it!

Finally -- I had a good laugh over some of these, which I found at Jesi's blog. I just couldn't resist sharing them with you all. . . 


Q. What kind of man was Boaz before he married Ruth?
A. Ruthless.

Q. What do they call pastors in Germany ?
A. German Shepherds.

Q. Who was the greatest financier in the Bible?
A. Noah He was floating his stock while everyone else was in liquidation.

Q. What kind of motor vehicles are in the Bible?
A. Jehovah drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden in a Fury. David's Triumph was heard throughout the land. Also, probably a Honda, because the apostles were all in one Accord.

Q.. Who was the greatest comedian in the Bible?
A. Samson. He brought the house down.

Q. Which servant of God was the most flagrant lawbreaker in the Bible?
A. Moses. He broke all 10 commandments at once.

Q. Is it a sin for a woman to make coffee?
A. Yes. It's in the Bible. It says "He-brews".

Current Mood: Peaceful

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Girl of the Limberlost

I had heard a good deal about Gene (Geneva) Stratton-Porter's book A Girl of the Limberlost. A while ago, Emma from Charming the Birds from the Trees included it in her "Feminine Inspiration in Literature" list that she had on her blog at the time. - I think that was what first piqued my interest. After that, I kept hearing about in all sorts of  [online] places. Last week, I finally read it!

A Girl of the Limberlost tell the story of Miss Elnora Comstock. Sixteen years old when the story begins, Elnora is on her way to high school for the first time. But when she arrives, she gets a cruel shock. Country bumpkin Elnora, with her rough calico dress and big, clumsy boots is mercilessly teased by the girls at school. Worse, her tuition fees and books are going to cost more than she ever imagined. Elnora confronts her mother, Kate Comstock, about the matter. Unfortunately, Mrs. Comstock is convinced that they are too poor to afford to send Elnora to high school, and she refuses to spend one cent on Elnora's education. 

Elnora is devastated - but she is determined to go to high school and complete her education. And eventually, she finds a way to make her dream a possibility. After reading a notice asking for insect specimens, Elnora makes her way towards the house of the 'Bird Woman'.

Elnora has a great love of nature. She has made a hobby of collecting insect specimens and American Indian artifacts from the woods and swamp around her house in rural Indiana.

The real-life Limberlost Swamp

Elnora is shocked when she is told by the Bird Woman that many of the moths she has collected are extremely rare and worth a great deal of money to collectors.

So, Elnora is able to pay her way through school by selling moths! Which may sound a little far-fetched, but thankfully it doesn't seem too corny to the reader when read within the context of the book. 

WARNING: Some spoilers ahead! If you're like me and you don't like to know anything about the plot of a book before you read it, you may want to skip the next few paragraphs.

The story picks up again four years later. Elnora graduates from high school and looks forward to spending the summer revelling in nature and collecting moths. . . however, she hadn't counted on crossing paths with the filthy rich, ridiculously handsome Philip Ammon of Chicago, who happens to be holidaying in the country whilst recovering from a serious illness.

There is an instant attraction between the two, but - but - Philip is already engaged! To a girl back in Chicago - the beautiful but spoilt and self-centred Edith Carr.

*End of spoilers.*

Anyways, it's quite a charming and engrossing story. It had me sitting up late reading  several nights in a row. . . naughty me! But I'm always delighted when I discover a 'new' classic. A Girl of the Limberlost is not a classic of the same calibre as, say, Anne of Green Gables, but it is still very good. Definitely worth reading if you like Anne, Little Women, Seven Little Australians, etc.

I found out after I finished reading it that I should have read Gene Stratton-Porter's Freckles first, since A Girl of the Limberlost is meant to be something of a sequel to Freckles. . . oh well! I can personally testify that A Girl of the Limberlost is fully capable of standing on its own, sequel or not.

Gene Stratton-Porter

Gene Stratton-Porter isn't as talented a storyteller as L. M. Montgomery, and her prose isn't as poetic, either. - At  times I found myself wishing that she would include a bit more description in her writing, so that I might get a better idea as to the appearance and the atmosphere of this place, the Limberlost Swamp,  which was so close to Elnora's (and Stratton-Porter's) heart.

Stratton-Porter does however have the gift of making her characters come alive for the reader. In particular, I felt that it was the supporting characters who brought this story to life. Elnora is a very endearing and deserving heroine, but it was the strength of the character of her mother, Mrs. Comstock's, which seemed to steal the show, to some degree. The subplot involving Edith Carr and Hart Henderson was also quite well done. Edith is another very strong, somewhat unpleasant [at least to begin with] character who nonetheless brings colour and depth to the book.

I should also say that I was thrilled to find that the Limberlost is indeed a real place, just like L. M. Montgomery's Prince Edward Island. :-)

From a Christian perspective, A Girl of the Limberlost upholds faith and is certainly morally sound - the goodies are rewarded, whilst the baddies get their just deserts before reforming so that everyone ends up living happily ever after. The characters marvel at the intricate beauty of God's creation, and Elnora's faith helps to sustain her through all the various trials and tribulations she goes through.

All in all, I enjoyed this book very much, and I hope to buy my own copy sometime. It's definitely a book that I want to keep - it's one of those books that is like a friend; 'of the race that knows Joseph', as Miss Cornelia from the Anne books would say. ;-)

Current Mood: Indifferent

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A blog award

My friend Emily from Songs I Sing gave me this blog award!!! I'm so thrilled - and touched. . . it just blesses my socks off to know that there are people out there who really enjoy my little blog. Thankyou Emily! Such a kind gesture - it really does mean a lot to me. :-)

"THE LEMONADE AWARD: The concept behind this award is that the blog creators have shown an uncanny knack for silver linings and making the best of bad situations (i.e., lemonade from lemons)."

Rules: Name ten sites that reflect this silver linings philosophy

Here are ten blogs that I find inspiring. To all you inspirational bloggers: remember that by pointing out the lovely and uplifting things in life, you are helping to make the world a more beautiful place for someone (or perhaps many someones!). Through your blogs, you are blessing others, and that is a truly worthwhile pursuit.

My ten choices [in no particular order] are:

1. The Writings of Jessica Nicole McDonald

2. A Maiden's Wreath

3. Cherith Revisited

4. Old-Fashioned Charm

5. Charming the Birds from the Trees

6. Reflecting on the Simple Things in Life

7. Seven Little Australians

8. A Merry Rose: Blooming as Keeper of My Home

9. Signs and Wonders

10. Pleasant View Schoolhouse

Current Moods:

Bouncy  & Touched 

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Christmas meme

An Angel, by Sir Edward Burne-Jones. Click here to full-size image.

I found this meme at Erin's blog. . .

Welcome to the Christmas edition of getting to know your family and friends.

Okay, here's what you're supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!!

Change all the answers so that they apply to you.

Then tag a whole bunch of people you know. Tis the Season to be NICE!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both. . . probably mostly wrapping paper.

2. Real or fake tree? Fake.

3. When do you put up a tree? The first weekend after my twin sisters birthday (usually the last week of November or the week of December.)

4. When do you take it down? Sometime in early January. . . no set date.

5. Do you like eggnog? I've never tried it!

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Not sure. . .

7. Hardest person to buy for? Often family - funnily enough, sometimes the people you know the best are the hardest to buy for!

8. Easiest person to buy for? Little children

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Old-fashioned mail.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I don't know . . . I think most of my Chrissy presents over the years have been very nice. :-)

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Hmmm. . . does the Lord of the Rings count? What about Narnia? You've got to admit there's something Christmassy about fantasy films. . . okay, my favourite Christmas-themed film is possibly the Muppet's Christmas Carol.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Actually my mother does practically all of our Christmas shopping. But, when I'm older, I'll probably leave it til the last moment - me being the hopelessly disorganised person that I am. . .

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Maybe. . .

15. Favourite thing to eat at Christmas? Do I have to pick just one food? No! Too hard! My favourite things to eat at Christmas are mince pies, fruit cake, Christmas pudding, and any other home-baked goodies. . .

16. Lights on the tree? Yes.

17. Favourite Christmas song? Hmmm. . . possibly Angels We Have Heard on High - I also like Silent Night and O Holy Night and O Come, O Come Emmanuel and. . .

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? We'll have Christmas Day at my [maternal] grandmother's house with my aunts and uncles and cousins. . .

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Nope. . .

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? A star

21. Open presents on Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas morning. . . probably at about 5 a.m., if my younger siblings get their way. ;-)

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? The cynicism towards Christmas that has become so common among adults. We've made a monster out of Christmas - rampant consumerism and hollow traditions have made a soulless consumerist Christmas juggernaut with no heart - and as a result of this, many people have become jaded and disillusioned towards the whole idea of Christmas. We've lost that childlike sense of awe and wonder. . . as a society, we need to rediscover the real meaning of Christmas, and the 'Christmas spirit' of giving and serving others.

23. Favourite Ornament theme or color? Rainbow. ;) i.e., all colours!

24. Favourite for Christmas dinner? Ham and chicken and salad. . .

25. Favourite Decorations? Anything handmade - delicately painted wooden ornaments, crocheted snowflakes, handmade baubles decorated with sequins and beads, etc. . .

26. What do you want for Christmas this year? Books - other than that I'm not sure.


Now, to tag as many people as possible: I tag Isabella, Livi, Bethany, Theresa, Mada, guitargirl, NotMyOwn, Kate, Emily, Jessica, Briar, Cathy, Elizabeth and Charlotte, Elizabeth, Emily, Kate, Andy, dlstaude, and Imogen. Hm, two Emilys, Kates, and Elizabeths! Just a tad confusing?! Oh well. :-)

If you didn't get tagged, feel free to do the meme anyway, and join in the fun!

Current Mood: Okay

Monday, December 8, 2008

To dare. . .

"To dare is to lose one step for but a moment, not to dare is to lose oneself forever" - Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark in a letter to Miss Mary Donaldson as stated by them on their official engagement interview.

Current Mood: Full

Saturday, December 6, 2008

"Oh! that a dream so sweet, so long enjoy'd. . ."

" . . . should be so sadly, cruelly destroy' d" -- [Yes, that is the title of this painting! Bit, of a mouthful, isn't it!] -- by Sir John Everett Millais. Click here to view full-size image.

I love the costume worn by the girl in this painting. The combination of dainty embroidery and black velvet [I'm assuming it's velvet; it certainly looks like it is!] is exquisite. . . also note how the lacy ruffles at the collar and cuffs help to soften and complete the look. . . a very beautiful outfit!


Current Mood: Cranky 

Thursday, December 4, 2008

New Disney retelling of Rapuzel, and Tim Burton to create new version of Alice in Wonderland


I recently discovered that Disney are working on new movie versions of Rapunzel and Alice in Wonderland! 

Rapunzel has always been a favourite fairytale of mine. . . something about the notion of having metres and metres of hair has always fascinated me. . . :D

The official title of the new Rapunzel movie is "Rapunzel Unbraided". It will be CGI animated, another Pixar/Disney collaboration - at least - I think Pixar is involved. . . it may just be Disney this time, I'm not sure.

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair. . . 

The graphics  will  take their inspriration from Fragonard's  painting The Swing. If that be the case, they should be very beautiful! The film will be visually enchanting. . . lets hope they can get the script  right. I'm not sure whether  Rapunzel Unbraided will stick with the original storyline of Rapunzel or if it will be a satire on the traditional fairy tale, similar to Shrek or Enchanted.

It's quite an exciting prospect - not counting Enchanted, it's been over a decade since we last had a proper Disney princess movie.

Oh but I forgot. . . there'll be two Disney princess films in two years. Next year, in 2009, Disney will release The Princess and the Frog. It will be - different. It's set in 1920s New Orleans, and the princess is African-American!

The Swing, by Fragonard

I am also  very excited about the new version of Alice in Wonderland. . .

In my mind Alice in Wonderland has always held a curious kind of appeal, carrying with it undertones that are. . . not dark, exactly. I'm trying to think of the right word - eccentric, quirky, bizarre. . . best summed up by Alice's words from the book, "Curiouser and curiouser. . ." Lewis Carroll's classic was meant to be taken as a nonsense story, but in spite of the nonsense, everything in it makes sense. In this way it perfectly imitates the strange, crazy dreams that we all have from time to time, in which all sorts of bizarre things happen that seemed to make perfect sense while we were asleep, dreaming.   

I think Tim Burton will recognise this aspect of the book. I can't wait to see in what direction he takes this film. . . 

From what I understand, Alice in Wonderland will combine live-action footage with animation, something like Beowulf. Also, it seems that once again the two books Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass will be patched together to make one film.

The  cast that has been assembled is interesting, to say the least!! Young Australian actress Mia Wasikowska will  play Alice, Anne Hathaway will play the White Queen, Helena Bonham-Carter the Red Queen, Alan Rickman will be the Caterpillar; Tim Pigott-Smith (Richard Hale, Margaret's father in North and South), Christopher Lee (Saruman from The Lord of the Rings), will also feature, and get this - JOHNNY DEPP IS TO PLAY THE MAD HATTER!!! Yessss!! He is absolutely perfect for the role! My anticipation of this film increased about 5oo% when I heard about that last little piece of information. . . :-)

Both Rapunzel and Alice in Wonderland are due to be released in 2010. (LOL, two more 2010 films to look forward to. . . see this earlier post about upcoming versions of My Fair Lady and Wuthering Heights.) 

And while I'm in the mood for new movies, here are three films that I think will be made in the next five years:

*A new version of The Sound of Music

*A big-screen version of Northanger Abbey

*A biography of the late Lady Diana Spencer, featuring Keira Knightley as Lady Diana

Just speculation, of course. It's fun to dream. 

Current Mood: Excited!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Worth the wait

Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, by the swift gazelles and the deer of the wild, not to awaken love until the time is right.

~Song of Songs 3:5 NLT

Check out this awesome article. It made headlines on the ninemsn webpage - I suppose our world is so fascinated by pure love stories like this because they are so few and far between. . . 

Current Mood: Lethargic. . .