Thursday, September 30, 2010


I don't consider myself a full-blown photographer; I'm more of a person with an interest in photography. In any case I do enjoy taking pictures. Here are a few (okay, maybe more than a few) that I am submitting to Maidens of Virtue photography contest. The theme is Pure. Enjoy!











 (Can you tell I love taking pictures of clouds?)










Feel free to ask any questions on the story behind a picture!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

جون ٣:١٦

فور جود سو لوفد ث وورلد ذات هي جاف هيس اونلي بجت سن ، ذات وحفر بيلييفيس إن هم شال نت بريش، بيوت هاف يفيرلاستينج ليف .
جون ٣:١٦
No, my blog didn't get hiijacked by anybody (not even Michael again *smile*). The above writing is John 3:16, in English, but in the Arabic script. I came across a book in the Junior Non-fiction section of the library that immediately intrigued me: Sugar comes from Arabic: A beginner's guide to Arabic letters and words. So I checked it out and started studying the Arabic alphabet! Arabic is not something I had a particular interest in before, but I really enjoy learning other languages and letters in general, and it is quite pretty. It's interesting, because you cannot transcribe it letter-for-letter with English. First of all, a lot of the vowels are not written. Pronounced, but not written. And then there is no corresponding letter for v, p, or g (you substitute f, b, and j). And then there are several Arabic letters that have no corresponding English letter: "strong S", "strong H", "strong T", and 3 other throat-noise letters. But I don't worry too much about those since I'm just writing English words. And going right-to-left isn't so bad once you get the hang of it.

It's like learning a ready-made secret code! Now nobody can understand what I write in my margins, hehehe. ;)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Seeing Red

We had a fantastic tomato harvest this year! I love growing tomatoes almost as much as I love eating them. :)
Laura was a great helper for picking the tomatoes. We had about 14 plants. Compare this picture to when we first planted!
We planted a couple varieties: I don't remember what the huge ones were, (Early Girl, maybe?), but the medium ones were Beefsteak (thanks, Ert!), the oblong ones were Roma, and of course the wee cherry tomatoes.
This is one day's pickings! It had been a few days since the last picking, but we were literally picking buckets at a time. The cone has cherry tomatoes in it.
This was the same day, but combined with the rest that we had on hand. There's no way we could eat them all raw (not everyone likes them as much as I do), so my mom has been making batches of tomato sauce.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Scottish Chiefs

I understand better now.

Being a reader of Eric Ludy's blog, and now going to Ellerslie, I could hardly help but hear about the book The Scottish Chiefs. In fact, in my acceptance letter to Ellerslie, there was a recommendation (not a requirement) to read it if I hadn't already, because of the insight it gives into the heart of Eric Ludy. Also, the name Ellerslie originated from it, being the name of Sir William Wallace's estate.

"Ok", I thought, "I'll look into it." Instead of buying the book, I looked it up at the library. They didn't have an unabridged version in the entire interlibrary system but they had the above edition (edited by Kate Douglas Wiggin and Nora A. Smith, 1949), so I put it on hold. Before too long, it had arrived, and I checked it out.

It didn't take me very long to realize that I had uncovered a treasure! It has everything: adventure & old-fashioned romance, vice & virtue, history & battles, vivid characters both good and evil. It is pretty fast paced (at least in this edition), with many exciting plot turns, yet it lasts for 500 pages! That's something I like, because I don't like a good book to be over quickly!  Men are manly, and women are feminine, and both are valiant and honorable... the good characters, anyway. It wasn't till the end that I caught on to the allegory in it as well.

I haven't seen the movie Braveheart (I know you love it with a passion, Shane) but I think I have just discovered the better alternative. The book's always better than the movie, right? (Star Wars being the exception.) This book is the most incredible, majestic novel I've ever read. I don't think I knew what honor was before I read it.

If you have a mustard seed of tolerance for old books and rich vocabulary, I heartily recommend that you read The Scottish Chiefs. You won't be sorry.