Saturday, April 08, 2006

Signs of spring...

It's dull and rainy here.
And I've been fighting a migraine headache this week...


The crocuses are blooming,

and the emerald green grass, for which Prince Edward Island is legend, is beginning to show through the dead, yellow grass of winter

and our famous - or infamous - red clay roads are drying up...

PEI is made of red clay. It is everywhere. Most of our roads are paved but a number of unpaved roads remain - some are designated heritage roads and are protected by the government. They are beautiful except maybe in the spring for a few weeks - they turn into red muck with deep and impassable ruts.

Anne Shirley, upon her arrival to PEI, was mystified by the red roads...

"I've always heard that Prince Edward Island was the prettiest place in the world, and I used to imagine I was living here, but I never really expected I would. It's delightful when your imaginations come true, isn't it? But those red roads are so funny. When we got into the train at Charlottetown and the red roads began to flash past I asked Mrs. Spencer what made them red and she said she didn't know and for pity's sake not to ask her any more questions. She said I must have asked her a thousand already. I suppose I had, too, but how you going to find out about things if you don't ask questions? And what does make the roads red?"

"Well now, I dunno," said Matthew..."

Chapter 2 Anne of Green Gables

And I'm not sure either although I have heard that it has to do with the high iron-oxide (rust) content in the soil.

Whatever the reason, they are a lovely sight and a sure sign of spring is when the neighbours will say to one another "Well now...isn't it a warm day and the lane is almost dry."

Photo #1 - Rinda Dean

Thursday, April 06, 2006


There is a lot of booktalk going around the blogosphere (Donna, Rebecca, Amanda ,Diane and M-mv) so I thought that I would add my 2 cents worth.

I've made a list of all the favourite children's books that were mentioned in the comments of my post "Storytime" (and a few more, too good to miss!)

What a fun thread and so many bloggers commented! It was a lovely "gift" even if I did ask for it :)

Feel free to add more to this list. I'll update and put it in the sidebar.

I'd also like to start a favourite grown-up booklist...but that's a later post.


Favourite Children's/Teen Books - over 140 books!

Charlotte's Web - E. B. White
The Wheel on the School - Meindert DeJong
Anne of Green Gables (any "Anne" book) - L.M. Montgomery
The Cat in the Hat - Dr. Seuss
The Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis
Pat of Silverbush and Mistress Pat - L.M. Montgomery
My Friend Flicka and Thunderhead by Mary O'Hara.
Lassie Come Home by Eric Knight
White Fang by Jack London
Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly
Pookie the Flying Rabbit - Ivy Wallace
Old Yeller - Fred Gibson
Black Beauty - Anna Sewell
Little House on the Prairie series - Laura Ingalls Wilder
Frog and Toad - Arnold Lobel
Morris the Moose - B. Wiseman
Gone With the Wind - Margaret Mitchell
Agatha Christie mysteries
Grace Livingston Hill romances
The Five Little Peppers and the Five Little Peppers Midway
Beautiful Joe - Margaret Marshal Saunders
Peace Greenfield trilogy - Ruth Alberta Brown
Tabitha trilogy - Ruth Alberta Brown
Emily of New Moon series by L M Montgomery
Jane of Lantern Hill by L M Montgomery
Nancy Drew series - Carolyn Keene
Cherry Ames - Helen Wells and Julie Tatham
Rabbit Hill - Robert Lawson
The Hardy Boys - Frank W Dixon
Hitchock's suspense books for young people
Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
Sue Barton series - Helen Wells and Julie Tatham
Wells without Water - author?
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
James and the Giant Peach - Roald Dahl
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM - Robert C. O' Brien'
King of the Wind - Marguerite Henry
Lord of the Rings trilogy - J R Tolkien
Winnie the Pooh - A A Milne
The Princess and the Goblin and The Princess and Curdie - George MacDonald
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes - Eleanor Coerr
Any books by Shel Silverstein
Any books by Maurice Sendak
The Black Stallion Books - Walter Farley
The Bobbsey Twins - Laura lee hope
Peter Rabbit Beatrix Potter
Any books by Rosamund Du Jardin
Hardy Boys books
The Little House by Virginia Lee burton
The Tuckers - Jo Mendal
The Happy Hollisters - Jerry West
Honey Bunch and Norman - Helen Louise Thorndyke
Little Britches series - Ralph Moody
Books by Judy Blume
Books by Eleanor Farjeon,
Books by Eleanor Estes,
Books by Rumer Godden - especially An Episode of Sparrows
Andrew Lang's fairy tales
Scott Corbett's books: The Lemonade Trick, The Limerick Trick, etc.,
Encyclopedia Brown books - Donald Sobel
Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom - L. M. Alcott
The Door In The Wall and other Marguerite de Angeli books
Freddy the Pig series - Walter Brooks
Strawberry Girl and other Lois Lenski books
Gone-Away Lake, The Melendy family series and others by Elizabeth Enright
Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
Island of the Blue Dolphin and others by Scott O'dell
Biographies--Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, J. C. Penney, George Washington Carver, Harriet Tubman, Abigail Adams, Annie Oakley to mention a few.
Half Magic and other books by Edward Eager,
The Railway Children and other books by Edith Nesbit
Swallows and Amazons series - Arthur Ransome
Billy and Blaze books - CW Anderson
The Tim books - Edward Ardizzone
The Phantom Toll Booth - Norton Juster
Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle
Trixie Belden -
Julie Campbell and under the pseudonym Kathryn Kenny
The Campfire Girls series - Jane L Stewart
Miracle on Maple Hill - Virginia Sorenson
The Country Child - Alison Uttley
The Beanie Malone series - Lenora Mattingly Weber
The Betsy-Tacy series - Maud Hart Lovelace
All of a Kind Family series - Sydney Taylor
The Big Wave - Pearl S Buck
The Sky is Falling trilogy - and other bookss by Kit Pearson
Look Through My Window and other books by Jean Little
The Hatchet - Gary Paulsen
The Thief Lord - Cornelia Funke
The Star of Kazan - Eva Ibbotson
The Secret Garden, Little Lord Fauntleroy, The Little Princess, The Lost Prince - Frances H. Burnett
The Grandma's Attic series - Arleta Richardson
Heidi - Joanna Spyri
Wind in the Willowws - Kenneth Grahame
Billabong series - Mary Grant Bruce
Good luck to the Rider series - John Marsden
Freckles and Girl of the Limberlost - Gene Stratton Porter
Recollection Creek by Fred Gibson
Bunnicula - Deborah and James Howe
From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler - EL Konigsburg
Mrs. Pickerell books - Ellen MacGregor
Henry and Ribsy and all the Ramona books - Beverly Cleary
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
Windy Foot series Frances Frost
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken
The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge
Understood Betsy - Dorothy Canfield
The Tasha Tudor Book of Fairy Tales
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm - Kate Douglas Wiggin
What Katy Did and others by Susan Coolidge
Kidnapped - Robert L Stevenson
The Scarlet Pimpernel - Baroness Emmuska Orczy
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
The Maida books by Inez Haynes Irwin
The Forgotten Door by Alexander Key
Meet the Austins by Madeleine L'Engle
Ballet Shoes, etc., by Noel Streatfield
The Five books by Enid Blyton
Baby Island - Carol Ryrie Brink
The Witch of Blackbird Pond - Elizabeth George Speare
Stevie Diamond Series by Linda Bailey
Captain Underpants Series by Dav Pilkey
Ripley's Believe It or Not! series from Scholastic Book
Island, Dive, Bruno and Boots series - Gordon Korman
Calico Bush - Rachel Field
Adopted Jane - Helen F Daringer
Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates - Mary Maples Dodge
Harriet the Spy - Louise Fitzhugh
The Good Master by Kate Seredy
The Borrowers series - Mary Norton
Call It Courage - Armstrong Sperry
B is for Betsy books by Carolyn Haywood
The Belgian Twins and other international twin series - Lucy Fitch Perkins
Baby, Sarah Plain and Tall and other books by Patricia MacLachlan
Pippi Longstocking and other Astrid Lindgren books
The Great Brain series - John Fitzgerald


Tuesday, April 04, 2006


I am thinking of words...

I find delight in words - in a well turned phrase - a pithy statement - a descriptive passage.

I like to look up the meaning of words in the dictionary.

I like to linger over words.

I was reading a recipe this morning for whole wheat bread and I read the words "sea salt".

Now... salt is an everyday word - a partner for pepper - commonplace - ordinary.

But.... put the word "sea" in front of it and everything changes.

sea salt is evocative - I read the phrase and my mind was filled with images...

a long stretch of beach - the white-capped waves - the cry of the gulls - the sticky, salty spray on my lips - the rhythmic pounding of waves on the shore - the tangy ocean air - laughing children with sand-covered bodies and wind-tangled hair...

beautiful thoughts and memories just from reading a recipe and allowing a phrase to linger in my mind...

Sometimes my life is so filled with words and phrases and speaking and sound that they become just noise rather than a way to communicate meaning.

I'm in a hurry and I miss too much.

I hear but I do not listen.

I am just following a recipe so I measure out the salt and forget the sea...

appreciate - to grasp the nature, worth, quality, or significance

I have discovered that I need quiet to fully appreciate words... to be still and know. 1

aware - having or showing realization, perception, or knowledge

I have discovered that I need time to become aware of the meaning behind words - time for my eyes to be opened so that I may recognize Him. 2

Mary pondered things in her heart. 3

Mary, the sister of Martha, sat and listened at Jesus' feet. 4

I am learning to be quiet - to take time - to ponder - to listen.

His words are powerful agents of change but only to the degree that I allow them to permeate my thoughts - reshape my thinking - and feed my soul.

linger - to be slow in parting or in quitting something.

I am learning to linger - in His word - in His presence - finding joy in Him and in His words.

"When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight." Jer.15:16

Sunday, April 02, 2006

The Missing Hour

It's not only socks that have gone missing....

Daylight Saving Time

In Spring when maple buds are red,
We turn the Clock an hour ahead;
Which means, each April that arrives.
We lose an hour
Out of our lives.

Who cares? When Autumn birds in flocks
Fly southward, back we turn the Clocks,
And so regain a lovely thing -
That missing hour
We lost last Spring.

Phyllis McGinley