Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lent is here again!

In the Orthodox Church Lent started on Monday. On Sunday we had Cheese fair Sunday(or in some circles it is known as Cheese Cake Sunday). It is also Forgiveness Sunday, when we ask all the people in our parish, or outside, to forgive us. We have a service called Forgiveness Vespers at which we do this. It is very moving. It is one of my favorite services.

Also now that Lent has started there will be Presanctified Liturgy. Another of my favorite services! It only happens during Lent on Wednesdays and Fridays. It is done in the evenings. I love this service it is just lovely!

Another exciting thing. Forgiveness Sunday fell on Valentines day 2 years ago. My family was brought in to the Orthodox Church on that day! I always remember that this time of year! :)


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Reading Challenge update

Since it has been a while and I have not posted about my reading challenge. I thought you all might enjoy a little update about it.

I have started with Little Dorritt. So far it have been great, not counting the parts where Dickens goes of on some random character that you have not met before so that that you become confused. It is really good, and I am enjoying it a lot.

I am third of the way through the book. I know that does not really tell you much, but I  don't want to give away anything to anyone who wants to read the book. I don't mind talking about it with people who have already read the book, and if I do end up talking about, I will put a spoiler warning up for you.

I have to admit that so far not of the characters have really struck me as being funny like some characters in his other books. You know the comic characters, that seem to only have the purpose of making you laugh. Perhaps I have just not come across them yet.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

A VERY long fan post :)

 I am in a fan post mood. I am in a mood to do a fan post about....... Loreena McKennitt!! :) I will mix in a LOT of pictures and link to some of her songs on youtube.

 I love her hair, and her outfits are so lovely, romantic, and renaissance like. Her music is really what got me in to the Celtic Genre. The particular song that led me to discovering her was The Highwayman. I found it actually while looking at Robin Hood BBC clips oddly enough, now I will always picture the Highwayman as Guy of Gisborne, and Maid Marian as Bess the landlords daughter. haha! (the video that introduced me to Loreena mckennitt this version has been made shorter and is not as good as the first link I have, I am just sharing the particular video that introduced me to her.) :)

Loreena Mckennit is such a huge musical inspiration for me. She started her own company, Quinlan Road, and funds her own records and tours.  She is independent and has managed herself. Just how she has done her own thing and not let others tell her what to do with her music. 

I love the picture above is is so lovely, and the dress is flowing, and her hair is red! I love red hair! :) 

I was thrilled when I found out she played the piano! I later learned she played the harp, and accordion. She really inspires me with how she plays multiple instruments, and she sings. She writes music and lyrics. 

One of the best things about Loreena is that she puts so many poems to music. The best example would be The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes, which I shared in the very beginning as my introduction to her and the Celtic world. Hence it will always be very special to me. :) It was one of my favorite poems before I heard Loreena McKennitt's version, but it was firmly set after I heard it. 
And this one has a little poem by William Blake in it I don't know what the title is

I am a Shakespeare fan, Loreena Mckennitt is as well. She actually was in the theater for a few years. She was in a few plays, and composed music for the theater as well. It is no surprise then that she has a few Shakespeare pieces set to music. I love how she uses classical literature and stories and sets them to music. 
here are the two she has done. 
Prospero's Speech  is my favorite! It has such a haunting and dream like sound to it. The words are so beautiful as well, as they would be coming from Shakespeare. :) 

I have learned a lot about the Celts because of her. I learned that the Celts spread out to more than just Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England. It is wonderful and amazing to journey to all sorts of places with her music. I know of very few musicians that do that for me. Here is a good map of how spread out the Celts were. It is for little kids, but I found it very cool. :)  
With Loreena McKennitt I have found such lovely Folk songs such as Blacksmith, and the very popular song She Moved Through the Fair
She has done many many other traditional songs. I think one of my favorites is Star of the County Down. It is a happy bouncy song. :) 

One of the songs that I could not stop listening to for the longest time was Bonny Swans, which is based on an old story. I fell in love with the story, the beat, the words, It is so wonderful! :)

I love the picture above, she is so lovely, her hair is so gorgeous! :)

I have always loved to study other cultures, I have my favorites, and those that I don't find quite so interesting. Loreena McKennitt blends Arab and Celtic songs is such an amazing way! The Mystic's Dream is a particular favorite of mine. I love the bouncy, makes-you-want-to-dance sound that Santiago has.

A song that by her that more people would be likely to know is Mummer's Dance. I have heard it once or twice on a particular radio station, during a particular time of year (fall I believe). It have a very fall sound though it is actually about Spring. 

She has done 14 albums from 1985-2012, 4 of them are live albums. She has also made 3 DVDs of concert performances. 

I must say that from the DVD, Loreena Mckennitt is one of those artists that sound great live, if not better than on a recorded CD. 

 This is Loreena McKennitt's Latest CD. It It is Called Troubadour's On the Rhine! IIt is a live recording of herself, her long time Guitarist, and long time Cellist. I am very very very excited since this will have live recordings of her with her latest songs from her Album from Last year, The Wind That Shakes the Barley. I listened to the samples, and am thrilled to hear the piano in songs such as The Parting Glass, and The Wind that Shakes the Barley!! I am sooooooooo excited about that part!!! :) :) :) 

Now that I have gotten all that out of my system, and probably bored you to death. Not to mention that it will probably take you a long time to listen to all the songs, if you do at all, that I have linked too. I do apologize for this being so long, but when you are obsessed with something and you really really like it, you just can't help going on and on about it. You can't help, but want to talk about it. :) I am sure some of you can understand! 


PS. Sorry that I don't have a link for the song The Wind that Shakes the Barley. It is not on youtube, but it is one of my favorites. I think one of the best on that particular album.It has such a sad ethereal sound, the Cello is amazing! And Loreena's voice is perfect for the song! Ah but wait, I think I may have found something! Here There are two songs on this one, the first is The Star of the County Down and the second one is The Wind That Shakes the Barley. :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thoughts from Valentine's Day

So I realized that I didn't do a post for Valentine's Day. Well I could not think of anything more to post other than a "Happy Valentine's Day", and I kind of like to do a little more for blog post, and at the time I could not think of anything else to say, or something about the holiday that struck me. But now I have something to say.

Valentine's Day is a celebration of love. Most people when they think of love think of the romance novel like love. But this is not the only love out there. There is the love that we have for our family; parents, siblings, children, and extended family. There are all kinds of love out there. Unfortunately we only have one word for the many kinds of love out there. On February 14th we seem to only remember the romantic love, so that those who don't have a special someone feel left out. Not that romantic love is not wonderful or anything, I can't really say from experience, since I have not experienced it. 

So on the day that we remember those we love and those who love us we should not forget the one who loves us more than anyone else in the whole world. Jesus. He died on the Cross for us, he made himself man for us. He suffered terribly for us. How many people would do that for me? There is a lot that we can learn about love from the life of Christ. I pray that I may be able to strive to love as he loves us! 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Coming from a family that loves books we are always in need of bookmarks, but just like pencils it seems that we can never find them when we need them, or they get all worn out to the point where they are completely unusable. So I decided to make some bookmarks. Here are just a few.

These were one that I experiment with designs on. 

I put some quotes on these ones.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Book Review: Oliver Twist

Title:Oliver Twist
Author: Charles Dickens
My rating: 4/5

Summary: Oliver Twist is the story of an orphan boy, who seems to be dogged by trouble where ever he goes, even though he does not seek it out. A wonderful tale of trouble, and some comical characters. Dickens second novel that firmly established him in the literary world both then, and for years to come.

Characters: I loved Oliver, he was so sweet, innocent, and kind. He was so polite despite his horrible upbringing. I always wanted to snatch him away and protect him from all the horrible people! Rosa was another one that I loved. She was so much like Oliver, the same sweet, innocent, and kind combo. I will say that I wish I was more like her.

I must say that I found some of the characters so very humorous! There were also those that where creepy. Overall this book had all kinds of characters.

Setting: The movement of the settings from the unloving, uncaring place where Oliver grew up, too the caring and kind places where strangers took him in, was interesting. I found the contrast between London and the country interesting. The portrayal of London as a harsh, dirty, uncaring place, while the country was warm, loving, hospitable.

Overall: Overall this book was one that I would love to read again. I enjoyed the story, the characters, and the setting. It was difficult to put down at some points which is not always how I find Charles Dickens for me. I think this book has become my second favorite Dickens Book.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Charles Dickens Birthday Quiz

It is Charles Dickens week over at The Old-Fashioned Charm! I hope some of you will skip over and have a look at what she has going on! I planed on posting the answers to her questions sooner, but life just got crazy! Any way I hope you enjoy! :)

1. How were you first introduced to Charles Dickens? 
Well I must admit that though I had heard of Charles Dickens, my first true encounter with something related to him would be A Muppet Christmas Carol. :) I totally love the blue, furry Charles Dickens, who hangs out with a rat! haha!! You cannot help but love Gonzo. 

2. Which Charles Dickens novels and stories have you read? Which are your favorites?
I have read 

  • Bleak House
  • Great Expectation 
  • Oliver Twist

3. Which Charles Dickens novel(s) do you most want to read? 
     I really really want to read Little Dorritt. I have started it and and a 5th of the way into it. I would also like to read

  • David Copperfield 
  • A Christmas Carol
  • A Tale of Two Cities

4. What is your favorite Charles Dickens quotes?

"Reflect upon your present blessings of which every man has many - not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some."

"There might be some credit in being jolly"

5. Which Charles Dickens film adaptations are in your top three? (If you have never seen one which 3 would you most like to see?)
I have only seen one and that is Bleak House 2005 done by the BBC(!!!). So I will list three other I would Like to see

  • Little Dorritt (the most recent one)
  • I would like to find a good version of Oliver Twist. (Any recommendations?)
  • There are several versions of Great Expectations

6. Who are your top three Dickens heroines? and Why?

  • I think I very favorite is Esther Summerson. She is sweet, caring sensible, and humble. Everything that I should like to be. 
  • Amy Dorritt is my second favorite. She is shy, and sweet, and does not like to press herself on others. 
  • hmmmm a third one..... I can't think of a third one that I like. 

7. Who are your top three favorite Dickens heroes? Why?

  • I love Arthur Clennam. He is kind, considerate, and friendly. He is also well traveled which I find very cool. 
  • Oliver Twist is sweet, polite, and despite that life seems to go against him, still manages to make it through all the same, without turning into Fagin, or the Artful Dogger. 
  • Pip is alright, he is not quite as good or kind as Clennam, or Oliver. He is a little bit more human. He has his imperfections. 

8. Which Three Dickens villains do you most love to hate? I find I have trouble really seeing who the villians are in Charles Dickens.I know who the "good guys" are, but the bad guys are kind of muddled. The only clear ones for me were in Oliver Twist. I disliked Sykes a lot, I felt sorry for Fagin in the end. I believe Tulkinghorn in Bleak House was the bad guy, but I felt sorry for him too. 

9. Which Dickens characters do you find the most funny? 

  • The Guy in Oliver Twist who always says he is going to "eat his head." I cannot remember his name!
  • Mr. Boythorn from Bleak house always made me smile. :) 
  • The Artful Dodger would make me laugh a few times too. 

10. If you could authorize a new film adaptation of one of Charles Dickens novels, which would it be? It would be Bleak House. As much as I love and enjoy the 2005 version there were just a few things about it that bothered me. Such as Esther's relationship with Mr. Johndyce. It didn't really fit with how I saw it in the book. There were a few other things too, but I can't remember what they were. 

11. If you could have lunch with Charles Dickens today, what question would you most want to ask him?  How in the wide world did you come up with such complicated stories? Really it is quite confusing sometimes Mr. Dickens! 

12. Have you ever read a Dickens biography, or watched a biographical film about him? I am ashamed to say I have not. Though it has been in the back of my mind to do so, for a while now, I have just not gotten around to doing it. 


Friday, February 3, 2012

And miles to go before I sleep

Stopping By the Woods on a Snowy Evening 
By Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know. 
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farm house near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of east wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep. 
But I have promises to keep
And miles to go before I sleep, 
And miles to go before I sleep. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I would like you to meet Edward

When the snow came we went outside to play, and when there is snow, and it is good snow, you have to build a snow man. Well…. that was the original plan.

I had decided that I was going to make the biggest snowman that I possibly could, and my sisters joined in. We knew his name was going to be Edward that never changed. But after a we had the base of the snow man I said he looked kind of like a dinosaur, so then he was a dinosaur. A few minutes latter I said it looked like sphinx. We all got very very excited about making a snow sphinx. So he was a snow sphinx. This was the most fun thing I have ever made in the snow! : )

Here are some pictures!     


   This is not the best, but you can get the I idea.


     Here is a really good one of his front. We tried to get the best head dress that we could, and my sister did a pretty good job on the chin.


Here is a side view!

Sadly Edward is all gone now. But we have pictures!


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Our snow storm

Almost 2 weeks ago we got a really really REALLY big snow storm. At least it was big for us. We had snow, ice storms, and windstorms. I know some people who didn’t have power for 4 days! The snow was fun, but the rest of it was not. We lost power a few times, but thankfully it was not very long. Any way here are some pictures. I will post tomorrow what me made in the snow! : )

We measured the snow and we had about 7 1/2 inches!!!
Most normal winters we do not get snow. This was most obviously this is not normal.
As something else to be noted my dad didn’t go to work pretty much the whole week. At least after Tuesday. That was nice.
We are all very sad, because our Maple tree in the front is down. I know a lot of trees and branches are down. I will just really miss our tree in front.
Our backyard is a carpet of green pine branches of all shapes and sizes. So many branches everywhere have come down!


PS. 18 more days to vote in my poll! :)