## Real Life Arithmetic, 1943, Grades 3 and 4 Story Problems:

These are fun for the same reason I like reading Grace Livingston Hill, the little homely details of the time.  Typos are mine.

On Saturday just before Easter Mrs. White took Helen to the store to buy her a new outfit of clothes. She bought Helen a coat for \$5.35, a pair of shoes for \$3.35, a dress for \$4.78, and a pair of stockings for .85¢.
What did she pay for it all?

I can buy coats at the thrift shop for five dollars today, although those who buy them new probably spend, at a minimum, five times what Mrs. White spent for her daughter’s coat.
Stockings and dresses seem to have gone up less than coats, proportionally speaking.

Real Life Arithmetic, 1943, Grades 3 and 4 Story Problems:Ross and Dick are brothers. They live on a large farm. They belong to the Boy Scouts. These boys are buying little by little boy-scout hiking outfits for themsleves.
Here are some of the questions they have to answer:
1. What will 2 knapsacks cost at .89¢ each?
2. Will they need two tents or will one be enough?
3. What will two scout suits cost at \$4.65 each?
4. What will two pairs of hiking shoes cost at \$3.25 each?
5. What will be the cost of 1 Axe at .98¢ and it’s sheath at .18¢?
6. The cost of 2 scout hats at \$1.38 each will be ______.
7. They will need two scout knives. What will they cost at .87¢ each?
8. One day they bought 2 suits and 2 hats. What did they spend that day?
9. Another day they bought a tent for \$5.65 and an axe with its sheath. What did these cost?

Real Life Arithmetic, 1943, Grades 3 and 4 Story Problems:One day Sue’s mother told her to go to the store adn buy whatever she wanted for the family’s dinner. The following are the things Sue bought:
1. for the salad, Sue bought bananas that cost 10¢, a head of lettuce that cost 6¢, and a can of pineapple that cost 18¢.  What did she pay for the things for the salad?

2. She bought a loaf of bread for 9¢ and 1/2 a pound of butter for 19¢.  What did the bread and butter cost?

3. She bouth 2 pounds of veal steak at 26¢ per pound.  What did the meat cost?

4. She bought for dessert a brick of ice cream for 28¢ and half a 50¢ cake.  What did the dessert cost?

5. She paid 10¢ to have the groceries taken home.  Add the answers to Problem 1, Problem 2, Problem 3, and Problem 4 and add the 10¢ that Sue paid the delivery boy.  What did Sue pay in all for the things that she bought?

6. Dinner was served at 5:40.  The family left the dinner table at 6:30.  How many minutes was the family at the dinner table?

7. After dinner Sue read until 8:15, then she went to bed.  How many minutes did she have for her reading?

8.  How many minutes equal 1 hour and 45 minutes?

Real Life Arithmetic, 1943, Grades 3 and 4 Story Problems:

Canning Beans by 4-H Club Girls
Jean’s wax beans are ready for canning.

Joan’s pole beans won’t be ready until next week.

So Joan is helping Jean this week.  Here are some of their problems.

1. There are 18 hills in each of 4 rows in Jean’s patch.  How many hills of beans in the 4 rows?

2. To find how many pounds in Jean’s patch, they picked three hills and weighed the beans.  They weighed 2 pounds.  About how many pounds of beans in Jean’s patch.

3. Jean found, that when she stemmed the beans and snapped them, 3 pounds would fill 2 cans.  About how many cans would it take for her beans?

4. The pressure cooker will hold 8 cans at a time.  How many cookings will be needed to can Jean’s beans?

5. It takes 2 hours to fill the cans and cook the beans for each cooking.  How long will it take to can Jean’s beans?

6. If the girls do half of the work today and th eother half tomorrow, how many hours will they work each day?

7.  After Jean had pulled up the bean stalks, she found she could set out 12 late cabbage plants in each of her 4 rows.  How many plants would she need?

Real Life Arithmetic, 1943, Grades 3 and 4 Story Problems:

There are several problems like this, where a story is told in first person by a child, leaving blanks for the answers to the math problems, and the children are supposed to figure them out and write the answers on a separate piece of paper.

Here is Jane’s story…..
I spent the summer on the farm with my cousin, Nora.  We found many problems in arithmetic.  Can you work them?

1. In going to the farm I rode on the train for 142 miles, and then rode on the bus for 28 miles more.  In all I rode _______ miles.

2. It was much cooler in the country.  My aunt said that the temperature was 78 degrees.  It was 92 degrees back home when I left.  It was _____ degrees cooler in the country.

3. The day after I got to the farm Nora and I rode our bicycles to teh home of another cousin who lived 5 miles east and 3 miles south.  That made the distance ______ miles going.

4.  The trip to the other cousin’s home and back again was _____ miles.

Real Life Arithmetic, 1943, Grades 3 and 4 Story Problems:

More of Jane’s Story (it’s a two part lesson in the book)

1. One day Aunt Martha asked Nora and me to pick the strawberries.  She wanted to can them.  Nora picked 11 boxes and I picked 10 boxes.  Together we picked ____ boxes.

2. When Aunt Martha had washed the berries she weighed them.  They weighed 21 pounds.  That means that oen box of berries weighs about ____ pounds.

3. Aunt martha asked us to ride down to the store and buy sugar for canning the berries.  She said she used 1/3 as many pounds of sugar as the weight of the berries.  That means we should buy ______ pounds of sugar.

4.  The store man said sugar cost 6¢ a pound.  So we paid him ____ cents for 7 pounds of sugar.

5. One day Nora and I went for the eggs.  Nora got 28 eggs and I got 35 eggs.  Together we gathered _____ eggs.

6.  Aunt Martha said that she had promised 6 dozen to a lady in town.  But I said there were _____ eggs in 6 dozen eggs and we gathered only 63, so we needed _____________ more.

7.  Aunt Martha said there were a dozen eggs left from teh ones she had gathered yesterday.  So we took enough to make 6 dozen.  That left ____________ eggs.

8.  Eggs were worth 28¢ per dozen, so the lady gave us _____.

Real Life Arithmetic, 1943, Grades 3 and 4 Story Problems:

1. Dick said to Bob: “you have your paper route and I deliver packages every evening.  We each earn about 45¢ an evening. “  How much does each boy earn in 6 days?

2. How much do they both earn in 6 days?

3. “Yes,” replied Dick.  “let us buy that radio that we saw in teh store yesterday.  The prie was \$24.  The price tag said it could be bought with 1/6 down and 1/6 for each of 5 months more.”  If they buy the radio and share the cost, how much will each boy need to pay down?

4. How much would each boy have for other things each week after paying his part of 1/6 of the price of the radio for that week?

5. How much would you need to pay down to buy a bicycle that costs \$42 on the installment plan with 1/6 down?  How long would it take to pay the rest if 1/6 is paid down and 1/6 is paid at the end of each week until it is all paid?

Real Life Arithmetic, 1943, Grades 3 and 4 Story Problems:

A few random story problems:
Henry’s dog eats 15 pounds of meat a month.  How much meat does the dog eat in 12 months?

Ned earned 25¢ a day delivering papers.  How much did he earn in 23 days?

Mrs. Pope’s milk bill is 24¢ a day.  How much is that for August?

The Wards pay \$36 per month for the rent of the apartment in which they live.  How much rent do they pay per year?

Frank’s father works in a machine shop.  He is paid 95¢ an hour and works 34 hours per week.  How much does he make each week?

Mrs. Davis bought a 7 pound turkey for \$2.80.  She wonders how much she paid per pound.  Can you tell her?

Carl’s mother said the food for her family cost her \$14.00 per week.  How much was the cost for each day?

Hazel’s older brother is working in the city.  He pays \$5.60 a week for his meals.  How much does he pay for each day?

Real Life Arithmetic, 1943, Grades 3 and 4 Story Problems:

There are three children in Helen Drew’s home.  Helen’s uncle and aunt are coming over for Christmas dinner this year.
Here are some problems Helen’s family had to work in getting ready for their company.

Helen bought 7 candles that cost 15¢ each.  How much did she pay for the candles?

2. Mrs. Drew bought a 7 pound turkey for \$2.80 How much did the turkey cost per pound?

3. Helen bought 7 pounds of cranberries that cost 8¢ per pound.  What did the cranberries cost?

4. Helen put 2 forks at each of the 7 plates.  How many forks did she use?

5. After dinner was over they all went to the movie.  How much did Mr. Drew pay for 4 tickets that cost 55¢ each and 3 tickets that cost 33¢ each?

6 How much did he pay for 1 lb of candy at 60¢ a pound?

Real Life Arithmetic, 1943, Grades 3 and 4 Story Problems:
Random problems:
Mrs. Jones bought for the church 24 Lily plants at 8 ¢ each.  How much did they cost?

There are 8 boys in roy’s Sunday-school class.  If each boy brings 16¢, how much can they pay for a present for their teacher?

A man worked 26 days in January at \$8 per day.  How much did he earn in the month?

There are 8 boy’s in Ned’s Sunday-school class.  They want to buy a present for their teacher.  The present costs \$1.60.  How much will each boy pay if they share the cost equally?

Mr. Owens makes \$6.40 for 8 hours work.  How much is he paid for each hour?

George makes 40¢ per day for mowing lawns.  How much does he make in 14 days?

Maud practices her music 45 minutes each day of the week except on Sunday.  How many minutes does she practice in a week?

When 8 yards of dress cloth cost \$3.52, what is the cost of each yard?

You can walk a mile easily in 20 minutes.  How many minutes will it take you to walk 9 miles? There are 60 minutes in an hour.  See if you can figure out how many hours it will take you to walk 9 miles.

## Free4Kindle: Paleo, Low-Carb; Devotional; Christian Fiction

All of the books below (except the first) are either cookbooks or they are listed under the Christian/inspirational heading. I don’t know how theologically (or nutritionally) sound they are. They looked interesting, and the fiction titles have good reviews. But I can’t vouch for more than that.=)

Ketogenic Diet Vitals – Feed Your Body With Ø Carb Fuel ( Ketogenic Diet Myths, Ketogenic Diet And Fat Loss, Ketogenic Diet In Bodybuilding, Ketogenic Diet And Cancer, Keto EAQ’s )
Blurb: HERE ARE SOME OF THE BENEFITS THAT YOU WILL GET FROM THIS BOOK:
Knowing what the Ketogenic diet is about;
Learning about how you can reach ketosis and check the levels of ketones in your body;
Knowing why the Ketogenic Diet is great against Cancer, Epilepsy and other diseases;
Knowing about which foods are allowed and prohibited in the diet;
Learning about health conditions that may interfere with the diet and it’s side effects, if any
And ketogenic diet myths will be busted right in front of you!

Paleo Lunch Box: Easy and Delicious Paleo Lunch Recipes for Kids
Blurb: From the Author
I have experienced person success with improving and maintaining my health with the Paleo Diet, so I wrote this book to help others see the same results. Whatever the reason for improving your health is, I’m here to support you and wish you the best of luck. I hope this resources gets you started on the right path to improving your family’s health with healthy and delicious Paleo Lunch Box recipes!

- Kim Dewalt
Kim Dewalt is a wife, mother of 3, and a fitness / healthy cooking expert. She has personally used the Paleo Diet to help not only herself get in better shape, but many others as well. With this book she looks to do the same for YOU through these tasty Paleo lunch box recipes!

Blurb: Welcome to another addition of the Naturally Sugar Free diet cookbook series.

Inside, you will discover 25 awesome, simply to make recipes that are designed to fit in to your sugar free, low-carb lifestyle.

Make sure to check out the other Naturally Sugar Free titles -

Sugar free desserts
Diabetic snacks
Diabetic baking
Sugar free on the go

and many more!

Please note that these recipes also fall under the no-cook category.

All Natural Recipes – Natural Lunch: All natural, Raw, Diabetic Friendly, Low Carb and Sugar Free Nutrition
Blurb:Looking to detox, lose weight, increase energy, reduce blood pressure and feel more vibrant?
The All Natural Recipes series is the one-stop solution that will help you reach whatever health goals you have in mind.

These recipes can fit in to the Sugar Free Diet, Raw Diet Food, Diabetic Friendly ways of eating and even the Low Carb lifestyle!
Look for the other titles and discover an amazing variety of natural recipes.

Totally Wheat Free – No Cook Dessert Recipes: Wheat Free Cooking for the Wheat Free Grain Free, Wheat Free Dairy Free lifestyle
Thanks for checking out the ultimate wheat free cooking series – Totally Wheat Free!

Inside these books, you will find 25 No Cook Wheat Free recipes!

In this series, you will discover amazing tasting wheat free recipes that are wheat free, grain free, and completely free of other harmful processed ingredients.

These recipes are perfect for someone who’s pursuing the wheat free living practices; whether it’s for health goal or weight loss reasons!

As space becomes a valuable commodity and people are becoming aware of the role fresh vegetables play in their health and well-being, more attention is brought to the forefront of the advantages of growing your own food in containers.

Containers can be used anywhere
No hard manual labor is required
No need to buy expensive tools
Plant only what you can eat with no waste
The benefits of growing your own vegetables are also many:
You can grow food organically if you wish
You’ll cut down on your grocery bills
You won’t be worrying about pesticides and GMO’s
You will discover tastes you never thought possible in vegetables
This book contains all you need to know to start growing your own vegetables. Everything from choosing the right sized containers and soil, to choosing the right varieties of vegetables suitable for growing in containers is covered here.

Past Forward:The Beginning
ast Forward is a serial novel released weekly on Kindle.

Alone without friends or family to comfort her after the death of her mother, Willow Finley’s idyllic life is over—and just beginning.

When Willow Finley awakes on a hot summer morning, she is unprepared for the grief that awaits her. Jerked from a life of isolation with her mother, Willow learns what alone really means when she finds her mother still in her bed, never to awaken again in this life.

From the moment Willow arrives in the police station with her startling announcement, Chad Tesdall fights the friendship he knows he can’t avoid.

Follow as Willow’s story unfolds past forward.

Released weekly (and FREE for a limited time) as a serial novel.

Alone without friends or family to comfort her after the death of her mother, Willow Finley’s idyllic life is over—and just beginning.

When Willow Finley awakes on a hot summer morning, she is unprepared for the grief that awaits her. Jerked from a life of isolation with her mother, Willow learns what alone really means when she finds her mother still in her bed, never to awaken again in this life.

From the moment Willow arrives in the police station with her startling announcement, Chad Tesdall fights the friendship he knows he can’t avoid.

This collection of the first five episodes of Past Forward starts with Willow’s life-changing discovery and gently guides the reader through aspects of her life–the past weaving through the present and into the future. Experience her first morning in church, her first movie, and the culture shock of her first trips to the city. A birthday party and a street faire add welcome diversion from butchering, canning, and the beating of area rugs. Disaster strikes. Will she be able to continue her life, or will an offer in the city change it all? Find out in this first volume.

Follow as Willow’s story unfolds past forward.

Quiet, timid, and still haunted by the murder of her childhood guardians, Maggie Sheffield wants peace and healing—not an opportunity to uncover truths so frightening that they threaten to forever unravel the world she thinks she knows. But when a dying friend gives her an ancient scroll that purports to contain just such truths, Maggie finds the lure of understanding too hard to resist:

For the power that killed Maggie’s guardians was not human—and she has reason to believe the same power is controlling the Seventh World.

Leaving her hopes for peace behind, Maggie sets out to carry the ancient scroll to the far eastern city of Pravik, seeking the only man in the world who can read it. Along the way, Maggie falls into the companionship of a charismatic young wanderer called Nicolas Fisher, who has secrets of his own that he has long been trying to keep hidden.

Together, their journey plunges them into a strange new world of colourful Gypsies and ancient legends, of death-hounds and beautiful witches, of wilderness treks, unexpected love, and political rebellion. But the price of truth may be too high: for Maggie, Nicolas, and the rebels of Pravik are tearing at the veil between the seen and the unseen, between good and evil, between forgotten past and treacherous future—and when that veil grows thin enough, it’s anyone’s guess what may come through.

Worlds Unseen is Book 1 of the Seventh World Trilogy.

Reader Review: “His next words are burnt clearly into my memory, though they meant nothing to me as he first spoke them. Certain I’d misunderstood, I repeated them over in my mind several times as the head councilman waited patiently. Though they sound like nonsense, I’ll produce these words of his exactly as I remember them”.

“You traveled to our world through the Path. Our worlds exist in different dimensions, or at least very far apart in space–we cannot know for sure. The Path is a link between them, and it is unstable. The last time we know the link to our world was open, it was about a century ago from our perspective, and, judging by your appearances, won’t open on your end for another five or ten years in your future”.

This is a story about two brothers somehow entered into a mysterious land where a princess and the royal guard are held hostage by trolls and the two brothers helped them escape. The princess is grateful and wants to introduce the boys to her father and kingdom.

This king is a wise man and he has laws and morals that all should obey. His Captain is very knowledgeable and thinks through every situation before acting. The younger brother Mark shows promised to be enlisted into the secret knighthood but he has to be tested first in the morals and temptations the world live by. He is tested their incidents and events from fighting trolls to protecting the Captain of the Royal Guards against the foes.

On their journey to the healing mineral waters the Captain is responsible to tutor Mark in their ways and show him teaching him which was the right choice to be decided in times of need. There is a lot of adventure as the characters fight off their enemies as they cross the lands to their destiny

From the author:

I have made it a point to uplift strong moral values, and to show that having clear ethical standards does matter. I believe it is very important in our time of moral relativism when good and evil are almost blended together, and there is a quick excuse and justification for almost everything. I remember reading old classics where such concepts as “honor” and “duty” meant the world, and it went without saying that the hero wouldn’t lie, or that the heroine would rather live the rest of her life alone and in poverty than marry a rich man she did not love. You just wanted to hold your head up after reading those stories; you admired those people and wanted to be like them. I have tried to bring this back in my book.

Abort73.com founder and director, Michael Spielman, explains why abortion-vulnerable children are as qualified to wear the “least of these” label as any victim class in the world. Whatever we fail to do in their defense, we fail to do for Christ.

Blurbs (which, you should know, are usually, though not always, written by the author): A riveting tale of fate and faith as a whirlwind of events lands, seventy-three year old Louisiana native, Daniel freeman in a hospital bed; and then, in a confessional, telling his life story to a young local priest who is well respected in the Community. As the priest and Daniel delve into old trespasses of the past, it becomes more apparent that the priest and Daniel’s life have been mysteriously connected by these exact events.

Lucifer Travels is Book #1 in the staunchly Christian, young adult, mystery series

Reader Review: A action-packed, depth filled tale set in Bolivia, 2017.

Wara Cadogan is a missionary in Bolivia, struggling to put her less than perfect past behind her, when she finds herself captured by a Muslim organization known as the Prism.

Alejo is one of the leaders of the Prism, among whom he fights against the many social injustices, but the discovery of a Bible in his native language might just be the beginning of something new.

When Alejo, sees Wara taken hostage by the Prism he knows what he must do. How far will he go to protect her, and at what cost?

This book kept me up late on weeknights, burning the midnight oil! Filled with well-rounded characters, so real that you can’t help but believe they are living people, well conveyed descriptions, and plenty of action, Prism brought Bolivia to life right before my eyes.

One of the things that really stands out in this book is the question, how far would you go for your faith? There are devoted Muslims who believe they are paying the highest tribute possible to Allah setting off bombs, killing many innocents among the targeted on one end of the spectrum. And a Christian missionary family that struggles with whether they should fight for what is right at the risk of their ministry.

Leavesly (The Leavesly Years)
by Reni Huang

Best friends Lexi Lin and Elliott Lee are excited about beginning their freshmen year in college. But all Julia Kyoto feels is apprehension. Determined to shed her shy girl tendencies, Julia makes a pact with God to help her overcome her inhibitions with a little step of faith. All seems well, until Julia’s diary ends up in the wrong hands, that of unattainable Wynn Yoshida. Follow Julia and her friends as they strive to figure out how to live out their Christian faith once they leave home and set out on their own during their college years.

The new preacher in a small, East Texas town stops by the Cooper’s house for a visit and finds no one home but nine-year-old Becky Sue. She sits him down on the front porch with a glass of lemonade to wait for Mama and Daddy, and entertains him with her photo album. It just so happens the photos are of her fellow parishioners, and the preacher learns more about them from Becky Sue than he wants to know.

Brimming with hope and laughter, and spiced with a pinch of sin, Becky Sue Cooper’s Photo Album takes us back to 1964. Sit back and enjoy the ride.

“You shall love the Lord you God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” – Matthew 22:37

Our highest call in Christ is to love God completely, with every part of who we are. If Jesus is the desire of our heart then loving Him with our entire being is to be our focus and goal. But is it really possible to love God with all our heart? And if it is possible, how can we experience the reality? How can we know and love Jesus in a way that is all-consuming, intimate and real?

Tycho (The Tyke McGrath Series, Book 2)
In the year 2154, sixteen year old Tycho McGrath is an advanced genetics student at the prestigious John Brooke Academy for Math and Science in Tampa, Florida. Life seems fairly dull, until he accidentally discovers that in less than a week, a recently designed bacterium known as the Orion Strain will wipe out every human being on earth.

In a desperate bid for survival, he flees to the partially-terraformed Moon in an experimental spacecraft, along with 31 other hastily gathered recruits, ranging from a Nobel Prize winner to a part-time drug dealer. But Tycho and the others soon discover that the Moon has its own dangers. Horrific storms, radiation poisoning, and mutant insects all lie in wait, and worst of all, the betrayal of one of their own.

……….“As I’ve mentioned, the problem with seeing the world through worldly eyes is that evil disappears from your view. Yet it never really disappears. You think that you are walking in a kingdom of light, but in reality, you are walking in the wrong kingdom – and you don’t even know it. And the problem with walking in the wrong kingdom is that sometimes that kingdom can come and start to walk in us. We may not even realize it – but sooner or later – we begin to figure it out.”…………….

The James Family had it all: Dad, a dashing Navy fighter pilot, now skillfully flying commercial planes; Mom, a compassionate small town attorney with her own law firm. Their 4 children completed the picture: smart, athletic, successful, beautiful. This is the perfect story of how, by American standards, they had finally ‘arrived’. Yet, it is also the story of how while living the American Dream, they woke up in a nightmare. And in this nightmare, life unraveled as they desperately fought to save their children – from hell itself. Join them as they equip you for the same battle.

…………“… never in a million lifetimes would I have guessed that within 2 short years…; I would be back at the little cottage… – and that I would have one hand holding desperately to Christ and the other trying to pull my daughter back from the pits of hell. I was in a tug-a-war with demonic creatures that I had had no clue of until they manifested – and attacked. All I knew was that I could not let go – if I was dragged into hell itself. I would not, and could not, let go. For this was my child, flesh of my flesh and heart of my heart. Even though I no longer recognized her – I knew that she was in there somewhere. And if Satan had her captive, then by gum, he had me too; but unlike Rachel – I was still able to fight.”………….

This short book is just a sampling of what each book is about in an attempt to provide overall meaning of the Old Testament Scriptures. It will provide insight to a new believer, to one who may be seeking for truth or for someone who has never found the time to read the whole Old Testament Scriptures on his or her own. This is a quick overview of the Old Testament in order to help give meaning to the Bible as a whole. It is quite common for people to struggle through the Old Testament and therefore miss the relevance and vitality that the written Word has for the prophetic revelation of Jesus and the reason for His life on earth. This small book gives just a foretaste of the feast to come for those who believe. I hope you sense the essence of God’s Word as it applies to us today, and then prepare yourself for the challenging goal of reading and digesting the entire Old Testament for yourself.In the back of the little book is a diagram I hope you find useful to share. Littlescribes.com

Housekeeping:

Subject to change without notice: Free Titles were free at the time I copied and pasted the links. But they don’t always stay free.

Same for reduced price titles.

Shameless money grubbing: I thought this was common knowledge, but it turns out it’s not- these are affiliate links. If you click on a free title and download it, I get….. nothing.  If you click on a free title and while you are at Amazon also buy something else, I get….. something.  Depending on what you buy, it will probably be somewhere between 4% and 7% of what you spend (I don’t get a percentage on penny sales) but I don’t pretend to understand how all of that side works.

If you like these listings, you should also like my Facebook page, because I list other free and bargain priced titles there several times each week. Most of the blurbs and book descriptions above are not mine, but come from  reviews on Amazon’s page.

Don’t have a Kindle? : You don’t have to have Kindle to take advantage of these offers. You can read them on various free reading apps. I often read mine on my laptop if they are short enough books, even though I have two kindles.  That’s because my kids keep taking off with the Kindles to read their school books and they don’t remember to recharge them before returning.  I wouldn’t say I’m bitter about it, but I might be a little disgruntled. If you’re curious, this is the Kindle I have, and I have used others and mine remains my favorite. Mine has Keyboard 3G, Free 3G + Wi-Fi and I don’t have commercial screensavers.  The second Kindle is actually one I was given in exchange for some writing work, and I gave it to my two teens.  It does not have 3G, which is why it’s their Kindle.  Personally,  I don’t like Kindle Fires.

Yes, my Kindle gets slow because I stuff it too full.  You can left click on a title on your Kindle anddelete it from your device, while still keeping it in your list of titles at Amazon in case you want to add it back to your Kindle later without paying for the title all over again.  Don’t delete it from folder at Amazon unless you want to rid yourself of it permanently.

## Thunderstorms

I used to love thunderstorms.  Rain remains my favorite kind of weather, thunder, not so much.

One of my PTSD things is a pronounced, and I do mean pronounced, startle reflex.  It’s called hypervigilance by the people whose job it is to name such things.  It’s utterly ridiculous and it’s so exaggerated that I go around making other, perfectly normal people jump with my jumps. I jump when somebody walks in the room. I jump when the phone rings. I jump out of my skin at night if my husband turns out the light without warning me. I do it again when he turns it back on because I scared him.

There’s this one dumb commercial on VIKI that has some dude jumping out of a window. I’ve seen it a hundred times. I know it’s coming, and I still jump every. single. time. Sometimes that stupid commercial is on 3 times in a row in a back to back to back loop,  and I still jump three times. The only thing that helps is if I remember to mute the sound, but I have to remember to do that the first time, because after missing it the first time, I’m usually too focused on clutching my chest and gasping to think about muting the sound the next two or three runs through.

In short, everything makes me jump. And then the more I jump, the jumpier I am.

And right now we’re having one of the loudest and closest thunderstorms we’ve had so far this year.

I made myself jump just turning on my own music in an attempt to distract me from the thunderclaps (didn’t work).
One of the grandbabies clapped her hands in time to the music and the sound of her little hands, about as loud as the wings of butterfly passing by, made me jump.
I startled myself just opening up a new window in my browser.

I really hope all this accelerated heart rate stuff counts for aerobic exorcise rather than contributing to my untimely death by heart attack.

I feel a little less silly than I did fifteen minutes ago, though.

Shasta and Equuschick were over here with the kidlets. Mrs. Shasta was out taking care of the horse, and had just come in when we had a really booming clap of thunder.   Shasta, my fellow PTSD sufferer (except I feel like he deserves it as a war veteran while I am just defective), was upstairs and didn’t know his wife was inside. He thought she’d been struck by lightening. So, sensibly, he went to the deck and started yelling her name out into the storm. Equuschick says she guesses that he expected her corpse to answer and get up and come inside.

He was yelling loudly enough to wake the dead.

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## Why We’re Okay With (some) Magic In Our Reading

Somebody asked me if I’d ever articulated our position on why we’re okay with magic in some of our entertainment.  That was a good question.

This was my not so great answer, because I can’t say that we’ve ever sat down and hammered out any kind of a policy on it, and my husband, by and large, has mainly left the decision entirely up to me.

So, I don’t remember that I have ever written in detail about it, and I don’t know if I can articulate it, and I couldn’t find an previous posts (that doesn’t mean they don’t exist, just that I didn’t come up with good search terms).
Have you read G. K. Chesterton on fairy tales? http://www.orthocuban.com/2009/12/g-k-chesterton-on-fairy-tales/  Chesterton has definitely influenced my thinking:
“Fairy Tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”
Thinking further on keyboard (I often do not know what I think about something until I start typing it out):
• I do not indiscriminately allow all magic.
• I allow it if it’s clearly fantasy/fairy tale.
• Except I don’t do vampire stories at all.  Mainly this is because I have a lot of issues with that first really popular vampire series and they have little to do with the vampires/occult and everything to do with giving girls entirely the wrong idea about romance and putting themselves at risk and just, ugh.  I don’t like this kind of thing for my girls at all.
• I don’t care for stories where normal human children in normal earthly settings can learn and practice spells. Harry Potter we allow, for instance, because you are born with magic or you are not- there is no amount of learning that will help you become a witch. The magic is just an extra talent, and it tends to be quite specific to the person, like a talent at skating, dancing, writing, etc . So we allowed Potter.  However, I cannot deny that perhaps the biggest reason we permitted Potter in the first place was Dame Maggie Smith playing Professor Minerva McGonagall in the movies.
• I’m not presenting these as correct standards for others, just sharing some of my own standards, if standards is even the right word for it.
Do you screen all your kids’ books?
I screened my kids reading material until they got to their very early teens, and then I slowly backed off- how long I screened was based on the kid (and sometimes based on the kid’s own preferences- one of them wanted me to screen her books for much longer than I wanted to do it). Then sometimes we did another compromise, where I let them read, say, Ender’s Game; The Hunger Games; Harry Potter, for every so many reads of their choice, they had to read a set number of books of my choice in between. The numbers varied, based on the children. I did not need to do this with all of them.
I screened for writing style as much as for content and really tried hard to limit or even eliminate twaddle for the children.  I was trying to help form, shape, develop, and elevate their taste in literature so that shoddily written tripe would not be as satisfying to them as it sometimes is for me. I was more successful at this with the oldest four.
Posted in Books | 3 Comments

## News and Headlines from Last Week

Just read: Sudan releases Merriam! State Dep’t meeting tomorrow: http://bit.ly/1wnMsh5

The Middle East:
Honestly, I am so horrified by what’s happening all over the Middle East that I have neither the heart nor stomach to give it the attention it deserves.

ISIS Issues Mandate To Single Mosul Women: “Mujahideen Have Right To Rape You” http://27x.net/303t   #YesAllWomen will be showing their support for women of Mosul in 3, 2, never.

Iraq’s Christian Exodus – Jamie Dettmer reports from Iraq http://thebea.st/1ywOwW7

Ted Cruz to President Obama: Demand the Release of Meriam Ibrahim http://buff.ly/TfuleI

I guess her hashtag is #YesAllWomenButThisOne.  =(

Even Politico calls Obama the man who broke the Middle East.

The Consequences Of Syria. “The Syrian civil war is no longer the Syrian civil war. It’s a regional war that started in Syria, has expanded into Lebanon and Iraq, and has drawn in the Iranians and to a lesser extent the Kurds and the Israelis. Wars in North Africa tend to stay local, but wars in the Levant spill over and suck in the neighbors. There’s no reason to believe this war has finished expanding or that an end is in sight.”

The Central American Migration Issue:

Border patrol is restricting media access for, IMO, bogus reasons:http://bit.ly/1pWgiZs

Gov’t may move many migrant children to empty monetary in Chicago: http://bit.ly/1roOHOg

Border Patrol dealt w/378 unaccompanied children ages two or younger, 95 younger than 1 yr. since Oct. Lord have mercy. http://fus.in/1ismiXr

Children from Honduras as young as five are being kept in U.S. holding cells and treated worse than Gitmo prisoners http://thebea.st/1r8slAu

DHS solicited vendor bids to handle 65,000 unaccompanied minors — back in January!  http://tinyurl.com/q88fhjl

Oops: Officials seeking shelter for young illegal immigrants thought hotel was vacant http://www.buffalonews.com/city-region/grand-island/officials-seeking-shelter-for-young-illegal-immigrants-thought-island-hotel-was-vacant-20140620 …

Fed won’t reveal # of children held or released, or where they are being sent. http://nyti.ms/1lBlfUj

I am in favor of open borders, but I am also in favor of facts, and there are some distinct differences.

There seem to be more unaccompanied children this time because the President has told this group of immigrants that he won’t deport children. That, like most left policies, *sounds* kind but is actually horrifying in its obvious consequences and ought to be causing concern for everybody, left and right. It’s grossly irresponsible as it places those children is serious danger of abuse and exploitation.

Another difference is that coming by ship limits the geographical access points, so immigration officials in the past could screen those coming in more easily.

Those in the past were not told by our President that he’d ignore existing laws on their behalf.

And in the past, immigrants who came were dreaming of freedom. of the social mobility America has always provided (Liars like Zinn to the contrary). With current entitlement programs, we entice people not to work hard, but to come for the free programs, which give everybody a sense of entitlement and undermine a sense of personal responsibility and hard work over time.

This last concern- the way our entitlement programs created a nation of childish and selfish dependents is, at this point, a bigger problem for those born here. One of the reasons businesses continue to hire illegal immigrants isn’t the pay, it’s that the hispanic illegal immigrants are known to be hard workers, unlike American employees.

Hilary Clinton:

“Contrary to what you may have heard over the past week, Clinton’s successful defense of the rapist Thomas Alfred Taylor is not “old news.” On the contrary: For a CV that has been scrutinized so closely, references to the rape case in the public record have been rather thin. One of those references came from Clinton herself. In 2003, when she was a senator from New York, and published her first memoir, Living History, Clinton included a brief mention of the case, mainly as a way to take credit for Arkansas’ first rape crisis hotline. And in 2008, Glenn Thrush—then at Newsday—wrote a lengthy article on the subject.

Don’t remember it? There’s a reason. “My then-editor appended a meaningless intro to the story, delayed and buried it because, in his words, ‘It might have an impact,’” Thrush said in a June 15 tweet. Well, the editor got his way. It didn’t have an impact.”  http://freebeacon.com/columns/hillarys-people/

” I did not expect, when I arrived at the office Wednesday, to find a letter from a dean of the University of Arkansas sitting on my desk, informing me that the Free Beacon’s research privileges had been suspended because we failed to fill out a permission slip, that we were in violation of the University of Arkansas’ “intellectual property rights,” and demanding that we remove the audio of the Hillary tapes from our website. (Both the letter from Dean Allen and the response of the Free Beacon’s lawyers can be read below.)

Now, we obtained these materials without having to fill out any forms and without being provided a copy of any university “policy.” The university has yet to prove that it owns the copyright to the Reed audio. Nor has it explained how, exactly, that audio does not fall under fair use. And remember, too, that the institution protesting our story is a library—which ostensibly exists for the sole purpose of spreading knowledge and literacy and information and print and audio and visual media. That is what libraries are for, isn’t it?

Puzzling. Less puzzling, though, when I discovered that the author of the letter, Dean Carolyn Henderson Allen, was a donor to Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign, and that the University of Arkansas Chancellor, David Gearhart, is a former student of the Clintons, and that his brother, Van Gearhart, worked at the same legal aid clinic as Clinton at the time of the Taylor case.”

“No matter your view of Hillary Clinton, no matter your position on legal ethics, the recording of the Reed interview is news. It tells us something we did not already know. It tells us that, when her guard was down, Clinton found the whole disturbing incident a trifling and joking matter. And the fact that so many supposedly sophisticated and au courant journalists and writers have dismissed the story as nothing more than an attorney “doing her job” is, I think, equally disturbing. Dana Bash to the contrary notwithstanding, Hillary Clinton was not forced to take on Taylor as a client. It was her choice—and not, for her, a hard one. Certainly that complicates our understanding of the former first lady as an unrelenting defender and advocate of women and girls.”

I don’t really have a problem with Hillary defending a child rapist even though she believed he was guilty. The principle that even the guilty are entitled to a sound defense is a strong Constitutional principle that keeps us all safe from kangaroo courts and rail-roading judges (or should).  I do object the Clinton camp lying to us and telling us she ‘had’ to- she didn’t, she wasn’t required to take the case, she did it as a favor for a friend.  And I am offended at the way she breaches client privilege on those tapes and I am horrified by the way she chuckles over the case.

That 12 y.o. rape victim, now 52,says Hillary put her ‘through hell.’ Heartbreaking story.

Part of Clinton’s strategy was the old ‘attack the victim,’ and challenge her credibility: ““I have been informed that the complainant is emotionally unstable with a tendency to seek out older men and engage in fantasizing,” Clinton, then named Hillary D. Rodham, wrote in the affidavit. “I have also been informed that she has in the past made false accusations about persons, claiming they had attacked her body. Also that she exhibits an unusual stubbornness and temper when she does not get her way.”

Clinton also wrote that a child psychologist told her that children in early adolescence “tend to exaggerate or romanticize sexual experiences,” especially when they come from “disorganized families, such as the complainant.”

One of her attackers was never charged. The other is the one Clinton defended, getting the rape charges plea bargained down to ‘fondling a child,’ and he spent less than a year in prison.

This is what these men did to their 12 year old victim:

““When I heard that tape I was pretty upset, I went back to the room and was talking to my two cousins and I cried a little bit. I ain’t gonna lie, some of this has got me pretty down,” she said. “But I thought to myself, ‘I’m going to stand up to her. I’m going to stand up for what I’ve got to stand up for, you know?”

In her interview with The Daily Beast, she recounted the details of her attack in 1975 at age 12 and the consequences it had for both her childhood and adult life. A virgin before the assault, she spent five days afterwards in a coma, months recovering from the beating that accompanied the rape, and over 10 years in therapy. The doctors told her she would probably never be able to have children.”

And Hillary Clinton chuckles over how she managed to get this child rapist back on the streets.

http://thebea.st/1lQ08Jx

I do have a problem with Hillary herself, many of them, actually.  One is that four years *before* theLewinsky scandal when Hillary publicly blamed that ‘vast rightwing conspiracy,’ and said on television that of course, if the allegations proved to be true the American public would have reason to be upset, the Clintons had already written memos on how to deal w/Bill’s sex scandals because they knew he had a problem (I mean, how could they not know?)  http://thecommonroomblog.com/?p=26206

She’s kind of backed down from her claims of having left the White House ‘dead broke,’ and struggling, although she still claims that really, even though, yes, she owns several houses, and yes, she gets 200,000 Thousand dollars for appearing at corporate retreats, she’s just one of the plebes.

I don’t really begrudge her the money they have. I just resent her pretending that she’s known poverty (her husband has, as a child.  She, never), and the hypocrisy.

Authoritarian Library Demands Censorship After Publication of Anti-Clinton Files http://bit.ly/UVdJds

IRS:

Watergate: independent-minded special prosecutor appointed. IRS: none.  http://bit.ly/1ikm6cY

“It’s a beautiful thing when the IRS can destroy all evidence of wrongdoing, then use as a defense that there’s no evidence of wrongdoing.” Via Twitter

Paul Ryan: “is there any decent IT guy at the IRS we can talk to?” IRS: “No, he got accidentally lit on fire. Craziest thing.” Twitter

Missing 18½ minutes of tape: SMOKING GUN!!! Missing 2 years of email, hard drive recycled, backup/storage company cancelled: phony scandal. source

IRS had a contract which would have preserved Lerner’s emails (and those of the other six employees which are now lost, coincidentally, six other employees implicated in the IRS abuse of power and egregious overstepping of authority) Email archive company Sonasoft has backup of all emails since 2005 http://www.sonasoft.com/company/customers/ …

IRS cancelled contract with email backup company right after Lerner’s computer “crash”, recycled the back up tapes, and destroyed the hard drive- all about ten days after Congress first requested the emails.  More here.

million dollar bounty for information leading to the conviction of IRS ringleaders.. http://foxnewsinsider.com/2014/05/21/%E2%80%98-people%E2%80%99s-bounty-truth%E2%80%99-group-offering-1m-new-info-irs-targeting-scandal …

Sarbanes-Oxley requires public companies to keep all email for 5 years. Destruction = 20 yrs in fed prison. I would love to see jail time for this, but I doubt it will happen.

IRS says it was OK to lose Lerner’s emails because they weren’t “records.” Wrong, under IRS’s own guidelines: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/06/on-the-missing-irs-emails-two-observations.php …

“White House Learned of Lerner’s Crashed Hard Drive 6 Weeks Before Congress”: http://proteinwisdom.com/?p=54095

I hate that, too: I HATE it when me & a bunch of other people have simultaneous unrelated server crashes which delete data we were just subpoenaed to provide.

IRS Commissioner, in March testified under oath that Lerner’s Emails Are ‘Stored in Servers’ http://ow.ly/yg70x

Dems probably not too concerned about “lost” emails because Dems were in those emails http://ow.ly/ygbTr

If it were Sarah Palin’s emails missing, the media would care. IRS abuse of power? Shrug. http://bit.ly/1lLQW8Y

The IRS scandal is working for the IRS because they know that they are part of a government that no longer can be held accountable.  If you are one of the dolts who believed that this whole mess was just a rogue office in Ohio, you are one of the useful idiots who made this lack of accountability possible.

Other government scandals:

all 470 senior execs at the VA were rated “fully successful” or higher the last 4 years http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/21/us/every-senior-va-executive-was-rated-fully-successful-or-better-over-4-years.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&smid=tw-nytimes&_r=0 …

Intentional destruction of govt. computer files. Not IRS but EPA. New finding. http://sharylattkisson.com

NSA program taps huge flow of world’s private data, equivalent to 5,400 HD movies every minute http://interc.pt/1l4arhG

Report: California Illegally Sterilized Dozens of Female Inmates http://bit.ly/1ytKJZC

Mom of Marine held in Mexico says she hasn’t heard from Obama admin http://wtim.es/1uHauRk

Global Warming:

Scandal- global warming data falsified. Earth’s been cooling since 1930′s.http://bit.ly/1p76XPd

It would be nice if this actually changed anything, but it won’t.  The success of this scam goes too deep.

Pro-Life:

This was beautiful: Former Kansas lead singer has a gorgeous video out about his daughter’s birth-mother: http://bit.ly/1nXiAo8

Czech Govt Adviser. called Disabled Babies “Monsters,” Said to Euthanize Them. At least he was forced to resign. http://buff.ly/1l2f7jm pic.twitter.com/3PRCuLTgWT

Accident at sea. Assuming you can save only one other, do you save your dog or a human stranger first? Why? http://bit.ly/1l1AQYV   I find the answers of most people to be alarming and disturbing- and selfish.  On my FB page where I posted this, somebody pointed out that in the comments at the link many people explain they would choose the dog because the dog loves them while the humans probably wouldn’t give them the time of day- so it’s clearly not about the compassionate heart of those animal lovers- it’s selfish to the bone.

Planned Parenthood Ignores 71 Studies Linking Abortion, Breast Cancer http://buff.ly/1lXE2Fd

Reminder: early feminists were mostly pro-life, and did not consider abortion access inherently feminist.

Images Of Human Life In The Womb http://buff.ly/1nV6b44

One-Child Policy Drives Chinese Father of Four to Commit Suicide So His “Illegal” Kids Can Attend School http://bit.ly/1igxiaH

Walmart fact-checked the New York Times article, since the Times didn’t.  It was pretty  funny: http://bit.ly/1p79Jnu
And yes, I do shop at Walmart. The nearest alternative is 40 miles away, plus, I prefer to save my money..

Sports:

I’m really not into sports that much, but yesterday’s World Cup game between US and Portugal was a doozy (being the weirdo I am, I mostly ‘watched’ via twitter updates).  And, as I told my highly offended son, Jeremaine Jones’ goal was very, very pretty:  http://huff.to/V3psXs

My son didn’t like my choice of adjectives.  But pretty fits. It was elegant, beautiful, a  very pretty shot.

The final goal was made in the final second of the game, when Varella dramatic and impressive head shot gave Portugal a tie.   The pass that gave Varella the ball was not pretty, but it was impressive: http://bit.ly/1sxHXBV

Pop Culture:

Tim Lambesis of Xtian band As I Lay Dying, was recently charged with trying to hire somebody to kill his wife.  He says has been an atheist for yrs. Says so are most Xtian bands he’s met. http://bit.ly/1kVQghn

I don’t really know who he is. I pretty much listen exclusively to K-Pop and murder ballads. Don’t judge. Okay, I take that back.. You can judge if you like.  But anyway, it’s pretty interesting to read the above link where he basically shares his steps to leaving his faith, and then read this link where Keller makes that connection as well.

I know this isn’t technically pop culture, but I dunno, our national pastime of stupid lawsuits may be part of our pop culture after all.

dlvr.it/63lyJX  There’s a class action lawsuit because people are upset to learn that Greek yogurt isn’t, gasp, made in Greece.  It’s antecedents may not even be Greek.

Can we have a lawsuit because Lucky Charms aren’t actually lucky?

Still awaiting citizenship confirmation, but I now suspect my Belgian Waffles may not be Belgian at all.

I was just noticing that I have some sweetened, chewable Vitamin D pills by a company called NatureMade. I am suddenly struck by the suspicion that perhaps nature did not make these purple, grape flavored pills.

Other readers shared more of these shocking discoveries on the FB page.

Raw cookie dough bites- almond butter, coming up.

Fifty freezable whole 30 meals- wow.  What a handy resource!  What is whole30?  Basically, you eat only real, whole foods, AND for 30 days you eliminate grains, dairy, and added sugar from your diet.

On daughters and dating, and being women of intelligence, strength, and no compromising that strength or wisdom.   Remember that the real Proverbs 31 woman is clothed in strength and dignity, and she opens her mouth with wisdom.

This is the coolest thing- tie a scarf into a racer back vest- the long, flowy kind with asymmetrical hemline, so it’s longer in front than back.  My favorite.  For plus-sized women, just buy some yardage (make sure it’s super lightweight) or a swimsuit wrap.  I saw somebody wearing this just last week and I asked where she got the vest, so she laughed and told me it was a swimsuit wrap with a single strategically placed knot.  I  asked her how she did it.  She explained it to me, but I forgot so I had to google it.  I love the internet.

Make your own cork trivets for putting under hot pans- a pair of these with a pan, or a couple of hot pads (home-made or not), and a recipe would make a nice bride gift.

Some of these are the sorts of books I categorize under my Kindle as ‘Mama Reads.’ Because these are titlest that are free due to being in the public domain, they are older books.

Some of them are quaint and charming in their reflections of a different era. Some of them are quaint and have a some jarring elements (there’s at least one ‘colored mammy’ in the books below, who leapt out of the pages to startle me).

Some of them have some good food for thought. Some of them could be quite pernicious if you take them seriously as a model for life or as a goal for godly womanhood rather than just as a pleasant, old-fashioned read for some escapist literature some lazy afternoon.

Some of them are classics, but still at the lighter end (you’ll find Dickens and Austen, for example, but not the Russians).

Listing the books below means I thought they might be pleasant, easy interludes for escapist reading, or pleasant reads with some thought provoking moments. It does not mean I endorse every jot, tittle, or even main idea. That clarified, here we go:

Grace S. (Smith) Richmond is a new author to me. I stumbled over her while browsing free titles. According to Wikipedia, “Grace S. Richmond (Pawtucket, Rhode Island, 1866 – 1959) was an American writer. She wrote the “Red Pepper Burns” series of popular novels. Her father was a Baptist clergyman, Charles Edward Smith.” There are two more paragraphs about her here, including this one: “Her first short stories were published in various women’s magazines including the Women’s Home Companion, Ladies’ Home Journal, and Everybody’s Magazine as early as 1898. Richmond wrote 27 novels between 1905 and 1936. ” Encyclopedia Brittanica for Kids Online says: “She started her career writing short stories for various women’s magazines, including the Ladies’ Home Journal. Her traditional, patriotic tales of strong men and modest, subservient women were quite popular, and soon she began writing novels. ”

Books:

Reader review: “I first read this book years ago, when I was thirteen. An avid reader, I read it in one sitting! It is by far the best book by this author…at least in my opinion. The story is about a vivacious young lady named Georgiana, who selflessly and sacrificially cares for her invalid father. Her father’s illness prevents her from furthering her education and nearly reduces her family to poverty, so Georgiana decides to take in a border, a unusual young man she knows as Mr. Jefferson. As she learns to put the needs of others first, she is rewarded far above anything she could imagine. Ms. Richmond does an excellent job of incorporating humor, romance, good old-fashioned character, and a spelbinding plot into this book! Highly recommended.”

Strawberry Acres
Early 1900s. My own review based on just a reading of the first two or three chapters: 3 brothers and one sister left penniless by their father’s death, cared for in part by an equally penurious uncle. They inherit a large, ramshackle, former mansion five miles outside of town on acreage and attempt to put the family fortunes back in order and restore the farm. People who liked this book also liked books by Grace Livingston Hill and Isabella Alden (Pansy).

The Red Pepper books:

The Dr. Red Pepper books seem to be amusing reads (skimmed through about 20% of 3 of them), but you should know Dr. Pepper has nothing but scorn for those of his patients he considers to be mere malingerers, selfish women with the vapors who just need to start thinking of others in order to get over their emotional hissy fits. He is a man of his times, and his times were an era where the doctor’s word was law and he was expected to be an expert in both physical medicine as well as psychological issues. Dr. Red is, I believe, supposed to be seen as a strong, wise, no-nonsense man of virtue, integrity, and wisdom. I found him sometimes tediously and blindly arrogant.
Red Pepper Burns

Reader Review: My grandma introduced this book to me and I have since collected all the “Red Pepper” books. Red Pepper Burns is a doctor with red hair and a temper to match it, but he has a big heart. He drives at top speeds in this car the “green imp.” He provides amusement and aid to his neighbors who live on either side of his house. He never comes to their dinner parties on time because his is “always on a case.” He is well-loved by his friends and neighbors. He meets a widow who is living with his neighbors and proceeds to court her is a regular “Burnsy” fashion.
Mrs. Red Pepper

Dr. Redfield Pepper Burns, who naturally has auburn hair, has just brought home his bride, Ellen, now, of course, Mrs. Red Pepper. After a sweet and earnest discussion on the drive home from the honeymoon they agree to leave bride and groom at the cross-roads and continue on as husband and wife, ready to about their own work and do their best for each other, themselves, and mankind.

Red Pepper’s Patients With an Account of Anne Linton’s Case in Particular
This one is after they’ve been married a bit- they have two children, the younger one is two years old.

Reader review: Red Pepper Burns is a doctor that Grace S. Richmond writes about in several books. I recommend that RED PEPPER BURNS should be read first. This is an interesting book about a country doctor and his patients in the early 20th century. It also has an underlying love story. I highly recommend this book.

The Brown Study
My review based on two chapters: Mr. Brown seems to be a kindly man of sound sense. Everybody comes to him for advice. In one early chapter a visitor is explaining that he’s about to lose his job and he just can’t cope any more:

“It’s in the air, that’s all I can say. I wouldn’t be surprised to be fired any minute—after eight years’ service. And—it’s got on my nerves so I can’t do decent work, even to keep up my own self-respect till I do go. And what I’m to do afterward—”

Brown was silent, looking into the fire. His caller shifted in his chair; he had shifted already a dozen times since he sat down. His nervous hands gripped the worn arms of the rocker restlessly, unclosing only to take fresh hold, until the knuckles shone white.

“There’s the wife,” said Brown presently.

The caller groaned aloud in his unhappiness.

“And the kiddies.”

“God! Yes.”

“I meant to mention Him,” said Brown, in a quietly matter-of-fact way.
“I’m glad you thought of Him. He’s in this situation, too.”

Romantic melodrama with a lot of he-man strong male, noble womanhood stuff and a strong regard for marriage (the moral elements reminded me of Casablanca, the movie).  Here’s an excerpt:

Excerpt:

“Now tell me,” said the doctor, gently. “Why did you leave town, your many friends, your interests there, in order to bury yourself down here, during this dismal autumn weather? Surely the strain of waiting for news would have been less, within such easy reach of the War Office and of the evening papers.”

“I came away, Sir Deryck, partly to escape from dear mamma; and as you do not know dear mamma, it is almost impossible for you to understand how essential it was to escape. When Michael is away, I am defenceless. Mamma swoops down; takes up her abode in my house; reduces my household, according 26to their sex and temperament, to rage, hysterics, or despair; tells unpalatable home-truths to my friends, so that all—save the duchess—flee discomforted. Then mamma proceeds to ‘divide the spoil’! In other words: she lies in wait for my telegrams, and opens them herself, saying that if they contain good news, a dutiful daughter should delight in at once sharing it with her; whereas, if they contain bad news, which heaven forbid!—and surely, with mamma snorting skyward, heaven would not venture to do otherwise!—she is the right person to break it to me, gently. I bore it for six weeks; then fled down here, well knowing that not even the dear delight of bullying me would bring mamma to Shenstone in autumn.”

The doctor’s face was grave. For a moment he looked silently into the fire. He was a man of many ideals, and foremost among them was his ideal of the relation which should be between parents and children; of the loyalty to a mother, which, even if forced to admit faults or failings, should tenderly shield them 27from the knowledge or criticism of outsiders. It hurt him, as a sacrilege, to hear a daughter speak thus of her mother; yet he knew well, from facts which were common knowledge, how little cause the sweet, lovable woman at his side had to consider the tie either a sacred or a tender one. He had come to help, not to find fault. Also, the minute-hand was hastening towards the hour; and the final instructions of the kind-hearted old Duchess of Meldrum, as she parted from him at the War Office, had been: “Remember! Six o’clock from London. I shall insist upon its being kept back until then. If they make difficulties, I shall camp in the entrance and ‘hold up’ every messenger who attempts to pass out. But I am accustomed to have my own way with these good people. I should not hesitate to ring up Buckingham Palace, if necessary, as they very well know! So you may rest assured it will not leave London until six o’clock. It gives you ample time.”

Therefore the doctor said: “I understand. It does not come within my own experience; 28yet I think I understand. But tell me, Lady Ingleby. If bad news were to come, would you sooner receive it direct from the War Office, in the terribly crude wording which cannot be avoided in those telegrams; or would you rather that a friend—other than your mother—broke it to you, more gently?”

Myra’s eyes flashed. She sat up with instant animation.

“Oh, I would receive it direct,” she said. “It would be far less hard, if it were official. I should hear the roll of the drums, and see the wave of the flag. For England, and for Honour! A soldier’s daughter, and a soldier’s wife, should be able to stand up to anything. If they had to tell me Michael was in great danger, I should share his danger in receiving the news without flinching. If he were wounded, as I read the telegram I should receive a wound myself, and try to be as brave as he. All which came direct from the war, would unite me to Michael. But interfering friends, however well-meaning, would come between. If he had not been shielded from a  bullet or a sword-thrust, why should I be shielded from the knowledge of his wound?”

The doctor screened his face with his hand,

“I see,” he said.

The clock struck six.

Excerpt: “Oh, Tony! And on this very trip when we needed it most! How could you leave it behind? Don’t you always carry it next your heart?” 15

“Is that the prescribed place?”

“Certainly. I should doubt a man’s love if he did not constantly wear my likeness right where it could feel his heart beating for me.”

“Now I never supposed,” remarked Anthony, considering her attentively, “that you had so much romance about you. Do you realise that for an extremely practical young person such as you have—mostly—appeared to be, that is a particularly sentimental suggestion? Er—should you wear his in the same way, may I inquire?”

“Of course,” returned Juliet with defiance in her eyes, whose lashes, when they fell at length before his steadily interested gaze, swept a daintily colouring cheek.

“Have you ever worn one?” inquired this hardy young man, nothing daunted by these signs of righteous indignation. But all he got for answer was a vigorous:

“You absurd boy! Now go to work at your measurements. I’m going upstairs. There’s one room up there, the one with the gable corners and the little bits of windows, that’s perfectly fascinating. It must be done in Delft blue and white. Since I haven’t the photograph”—she turned on the 16 threshold to smile roguishly back at him—“memory must serve. Beautiful dark hair; eyes like a Madonna’s; a perfect nose; the dearest mouth in the world—oh, yes——”

She vanished around the corner only to put her head in again with the air of one who fires a parting shot at a discomfited enemy: “But, Tony—do you honestly think the house is large enough for such a queen of a woman? Won’t her throne take up the whole of the first floor?”

Then she was gone up the diminutive staircase, and her light footsteps could be heard on the bare floors overhead. Left alone, Anthony Robeson stood still for a moment looking fixedly at the door by which she had gone. The smile with which he had answered her gay fling had faded; his eyes had grown dark with a singular fire; his hands were clenched. Suddenly he strode across the floor and stopped by the door. He was looking down at the quaint old latch which served instead of a knob. Then, with a glance at the unconscious back of Mrs. Dingley, sitting sleepily on the little porch outside, he stooped and pressed his lips upon the iron where Juliet’s hand had lain.”

I’ve skimmed quite a bit of this one, and I think it may be my favorite, particularly as it’s more than a ‘happily ever after’ story, as about 3/4 of it is about the couple after their marriage. In one of the later scenes the couple is totally out of sorts with each other and in order to relieve their feelings, they have a spontaneous fencing match while strolling through the woods.

Here’s an excerpt from the earlier section:

““I don’t like it,” repeated… , obstinately, and shook his head for the fifth time. “I’ve not a word to say against Anthony, my dear—not a word. He’s a fine fellow and comes of a good family, and I respect him and the start he has made since things went to pieces, but——”

… waited, her eyes downcast, her cheeks very much flushed, her mouth in lines of mutiny.

“But—” her father continued, settling back in his chair with an air of decision, “you will certainly make the mistake of your life if you think you can be happy in the sort of existence he offers you. You’re not used to it. You’ve not been brought up to it. You can spend more money in a forenoon than he can earn in a twelve-month. You don’t know how to adapt yourself to life on a basis of rigid economy. I——”

“You don’t forbid it, sir?”

“Forbid it?—no. A man can’t forbid a twenty-four year old woman to do as she pleases. But I advise you—I warn you—I ask you seriously to consider what it all means. You are used to very many habits of living which will be entirely beyond Anthony’s means for many years to come. You are fond of travel—of dress—of social——”

“Father dear,” said his daughter, interrupting him gently by a change of tactics. She came to him and sat upon the arm of his chair, and rested her cheek lightly upon the top of his thick, iron-gray locks.—“Let’s drop all this for the present. Let’s not discuss it. I want you to do me a particular favour before we say another word about it.”

One of the genre popular at the time- boarding house stories. At least, that’s how it begins. The boarders move on, though their friendship with the landlady remains, and the first dozen or so chapters of the book continue the life stories of the boarders introduced in the first few chapters.

Each of the first four or five chapters details a visitor to the boarding house- always young ladies.  These chapters provide an interesting character study into different types of girls and their strengths and weaknesses.  The next few chapters shows each of these girls after marriage, and again, we have an interesting character study into how their flaws were either corrected, or how they were left unaltered and what sort of marriage that produced.    I found this one amusing and more worthwhile reading than some of the others.

The last few chapters are stand alone tales.

Here’s an excerpt from the third chapter.  Dahlia is the shameless flirt visitor:
“From this time on there was concerted action on the part of our two men. Where one was, the other was. The Gay Lady and I received less attention than we were accustomed to expect—the two men were too busy standing by each other to have much time for us.

“I’m so sorry,” said Dahlia, coming over after dinner on the tenth evening, “but I’m going away to-morrow. I’ve an invitation that I’m simply not allowed to refuse.”

The Philosopher’s face lit up. He attempted to conceal it by burying his head in his handkerchief for a moment, in mock distress, but his satisfaction showed even behind his ears. The Skeptic bent down and elaborately tied his shoe-ribbon. The Gay Lady regarded Dahlia sweetly, and said, “That’s surely very nice for you.”

“I think,” observed Dahlia, looking coyly from the Skeptic to the Philosopher, “that I shall have to let each of you take me for a farewell walk to-night. You first”—she indicated the Philosopher. “Or shall it be a row for one and a walk for the other?”

She and the Philosopher strolled away toward the river. There had been no way out for him.

“The Englishman, the Scotsman and the Irishman,” began the Skeptic, in a conversational tone, “being about to be hanged, were given their choice of a tree. ‘The oak for me,’ says the Englishman. ‘The Scotch elm for mine,’ says the Scotsman. ‘Faith,’ says the Irishman, ‘I’ll be afther takin’ a gooseberry bush.’ ‘That’s too small,’ says the hangman. ‘I’ll wait for it to grow,’ says the Irishman contentedly.”

Whereat he disappeared. When Dahlia and the Philosopher returned he had not come back. I was amazed at him, but my amazement did not produce him, and the[Page 42] Philosopher accompanied Dahlia home. When they were well away the Skeptic swung himself up over the side of the porch, from among some bushes.

“‘All’s fair in love and war,’” he grinned. “Besides, the campaign’s over. Philo’s gained experience. He’s a veteran now. He’ll never be such easy game again. Haven’t we behaved well, on the whole?” he asked the Gay Lady, dropping upon a cushion at her feet.”

Here’s a publisher’s blurb from the time: “This is a charming story of a group of girl and men friends and the effect of their pairing off upon the narrator and her “Philosopher.” Althea, Azalea, Camellia, Dahlia, Hepatica—and their several entanglements with the Promoter, the Cashier, the Skeptic, the Judge and the Professor, form an admirable background of diverse personalities against which grows the main love story. One sees these charming groups through the eyes of the one who tells the tale—and very shrewd and delightful eyes they are, seeing life in its true perspective with much real philosophy and true feeling. Mrs. Richmond has never written anything more fresh and human and entertaining.”

Reader review: an old novel written about 1905. It is about a large family and the trials they endure. The main character, Charlotte, plays second violin in the family orchestra. It is interesting how the family works together to address their problems. It is also a love story. It held my attention and I enjoyed reading about how life was in every day living in this period of history. I would highly recommend this book.

Another reader said that readers should have some knowledge about orchestra terms to make it really enjoyable.

Here is a list of her books at Gutenberg.

Little Women, this one, of course, needs no introduction. I think I had read it four or five times by the time I was 13. I took it on several family camping trips and disappeared to isolated spots to read it. One of the most memorable was a shady cave created by large boulders at the top of Painted Rock in Arizona. We used to came there frequently when I was a child, and we were allowed then to scramble all over the petroglyph covered rocks.

Most girls read this book and want to be Jo. I felt I was already clumsy, tomboyish, awkward, inkstained Jo. I didn’t like apples, but I struggled with social graces, preferred the uncomplicated company of boys to girls (this continued into my teens, even when I had crossed a certain awkward stage and now made those relations complicated on purpose), and I wrote copious amounts of bad poetry and melodramatic stories. I wanted to be Meg.

Other Louisa May Alcott books I enjoyed:

Rose in Bloom is the sequel to Eight Cousins, and for a time it was the FYG’s favorite.

Kate Douglas Wiggins, influential in bringing Froebel and the Kindergarten to America, is best known for writing:

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, which, somehow, is my least favorite of her books.  I prefer:

Mother Carey’s Chickens, which I consider her best and the most indispensable of her works.

The Birds’ Christmas Carol, which is almost as wonderful as Mother Carey’s Chickens.

Grace Livingston Hill, of course, never offers her readers any surprises or shocks to their tender systems. It’s formula, but it’s clean as a whistle formula with an eye for details, and I do love the little details of life in the early 20th century. I read these when I am sick, but too fractious to sleep it off. It’s like aspirin, or a nice cup of white willow bark tea, for the brain.

Author bio from Amazon: “Grace Livingston Hill was born on April 16, 1865 to a Presbyterian Minister, Charles and a published author, Marcia, in Wellsville, New York. For her twelfth birthday, Hills Aunt Pansy had one of her stories published in a book of short stories. This was the beginning of Hills career as a writer. In 1886, Hill and her family moved to Winter Park, Florida, where she got a job teaching gymnastics at a local college. She wrote her first real book there, in an effort to raise money for a family vacation to Chautauqua Lake. The book was called Chatauqua Idyl and was published in 1887 by D. Lothrop and Company, the same publisher that printed her first story when she was twelve. Hill was eventually married and began a family, but lost her husband to appendicitis. At this point in her life, her writing was the only means she had to keep food on the table and money in her pockets. In her lifetime, Hill wrote over a hundred books, only two of which were non-fiction. Grace Livingston Hill died in 1947 at the age of 82.”

Reader review: “This is the first GLH book I ever read and it remains my favorite, after having read most of the others. Again, we have a poor family–father deceased, mother very ill, numerous children–being taken care of by the oldest daughter on her small stenographer’s salary. The dilemma is that their cheap rented house is about to be torn down so they must move in a few weeks. But how can they do this without money? Taking her only savings (10 cents), the oldest daughter takes advantage of an unexpected afternoon off from work to ride the train out to the country in the faint hope of finding something suitable and affordable. Once well out in the country, she overhears a conversation between other travelers about a barn in sight from the train tracks, and decides to get a closer look. Impossible though it seems to her at first, the lovely setting seems to be just what is needed to regain her mother’s health and provide the children with space to play outdoors. Quickly tracking down the owner, she meets with his handsome son and timidly proposes the rental of the barn for their home. He is immediately sensitive to her dignity and hesitancy and need, and goes out of his way to help her and her family. The description of the barn remodeling is fun, with several side stories and characters. The romance is slow in developing, but results in the usual GLH happy ending.”

A Voice in the Wilderness
Reader review: ” It’s great to see how Margaret befriends a bunch of rough-acting cowboys and they become her most loyal friends, even rescuing her when a jealous teenage girl plays a cruel trick that leaves her stranded alone in the desert.
One of the funniest parts is when several cowboys take a very bad excuse for a Presbyterian minister out and dunk him in a water trough after he preaches about how you don’t need God in your life as long as you do good otherwise.”

Reader rewiew: “…traces the coming to faith of a young man in the early 1900s. Early on you can see that it is based in part at least upon Paul’s Damascus Road experience. The story opens with a young Christian college student named Stephen being, in today’s terms, “bullied” by his peers while the protagonist stands by with the others’ coats at his feet. The young Stephen dies heroically as a martyr and his experience, witnessed by the protagonist, becomes the spark of what becomes a radical, life-transforming faith in Christ. The story is well-paced and offers glimpses of both a simpler time and the timeliness of the gospel message.”

Cloudy Jewel
REader Review: “The story is largely about the re-established relationship between the aunt and her college-aged niece and nephew, and how, through the loveliness of the aunt’s character, her example and guidance, they come to know God. All the usual storyline elements are included. The aunt, who has been the silent suffering servant for most of her life, is rewarded with the love of the two (wealthy) children of her dead brother, to fill the place of the children she never had. Unkind relatives try unsuccessfully to thwart their plans. She and the niece and nephew find a house and make it into a beautiful home, in which many of their college friends enjoy spending time. Also, romance enters the picture for each of the main characters. A lovely, truly spiritual book that examines various Biblical issues.”

Similar in theme and characters to Cloudy Jewel.

Reader Review: “This 1912 book is very similiar to 1920′s Exit Betty. Major plot elements are the same in both books, but the later book is much more enjoyable because of the depth of the secondary characters, something that is left out of this relatively slight novelette.

Tryon is a young man who encounters a mysterious woman at the train station. Although she is shockingly sans hat and refuses to share any details about herself, he determines that she is a real lady and resolves to help her escape peril. The course of true love runs relatively smooth despite a plot involving an evil cousin.”

At her wedding, just as she gets to the groom, collapses in a little white heap on the ground. She’s moved to a quiet room to rest, but when they go back to get her, the window is open and the bride has disappeared.

Reader review: “Poor little rich girl almost forced into marriage with an evil step brother finds happiness and learns about God and basic house keeping skills in the country home of a chance met friend.”

Marcia Schuyler
This one is just slightly different from the others as far as setting- during the wedding the family discover that the bride has abandoned them, this time, not because there’s anything wrong with the groom, but because the bride is a hussy and a hoyden who doesn’t take anything seriously. In order to save the situation socially, her little sister, Marcia, steps in, and then is immediately whisked off to her new home with the groom. It’s GLH, so we know how this ends, but it’s a fun journey. One of the things that made this one especially interesting to me is the interest the young groom takes in the new technology of the day- like the railroad, and the descriptions of his opinions and those of people around the about these new fangled things are entertaining.

One of my favorite books when I am in the mood for an amusing memoir is Elizabeth and Her German Garden, by Marie Annette Beauchamp, who also wrote under the name Elizabeth von Arnim”. It is charming, contemplative, dreamy, and it makes me smile.

An English woman married to a German count, she followed her husband to Germany and bore him five daughters in fairly rapid succession. Her German husband, being a count, owned a hosue in the country, although the first five years they lived in a flat in town. Of this she writes:

We had been married five years before it struck us that we might as well make use of this place by coming down and living in it. Those five years were spent in a flat in a town, and during their whole interminable length I was perfectly miserable and perfectly healthy, which disposes of the ugly notion that has at times disturbed me that my happiness here is less due to the garden than to a good digestion. And while we were wasting our lives there, here was this dear place with dandelions up to the very door, all the paths grass-grown and completely effaced, in winter so lonely, with nobody but the north wind taking the least notice of it, and in May—in all those five lovely Mays—no one to look at the wonderful bird-cherries and still more wonderful masses of lilacs, everything glowing and blowing, the virginia creeper madder every year, until at last, in October, the very roof was wreathed with blood-red tresses, the owls and the squirrels and all the blessed little birds reigning supreme, and not a living creature ever entering the empty house except the snakes, which got into the habit during those silent years of wriggling up the south wall into the rooms on that side whenever the old housekeeper opened the windows. All that was here,—peace, and happiness, and a reasonable life,—and yet it never struck me to come and live in it. Looking back I am astonished, and can in no way account for the tardiness of my discovery that here, in this far-away corner, was my kingdom of heaven.

She discovered what a little bit of heaven this was when she was invited to come down and open a village school and combined the trip with an investigation of the property, and suggested that they ought to live there:

My other half being indulgent, and with some faint thought perhaps that it might be as well to look after the place, consented to live in it at any rate for a time; whereupon followed six specially blissful weeks from the end of April into June, during which I was here alone, supposed to be superintending the painting and papering, but as a matter of fact only going into the house when the workmen had gone out of it.

How happy I was! I don’t remember any time quite so perfect since the days when I was too little to do lessons and was turned out with sugar on my eleven o’clock bread and butter on to a lawn closely strewn with dandelions and daisies. The sugar on the bread and butter has lost its charm, but I love the dandelions and daisies even more passionately now than then, and never would endure to see them all mown away if I were not certain that in a day or two they would be pushing up their little faces again as jauntily as ever. During those six weeks I lived in a world of dandelions and delights.

She goes on for several paragraphs about her blissful time in the house, emptied of furniture for new paints and paper, and then was brought up short when:

…he appeared suddenly who has a right to appear when and how he will and rebuked me for never having written, and when I told him that I had been literally too happy to think of writing, he seemed to take it as a reflection on himself that I could be happy alone. I took him round the garden along the new paths I had had made, and showed him the acacia and lilac glories, and he said that it was the purest selfishness to enjoy myself when neither he nor the offspring were with me, and that the lilacs wanted thoroughly pruning. I tried to appease him by offering him the whole of my salad and toast supper which stood ready at the foot of the little verandah steps when we came back, but nothing appeased that Man of Wrath, and he said he would go straight back to the neglected family. So he went; and the remainder of the precious time was disturbed by twinges of conscience (to which I am much subject) whenever I found myself wanting to jump for joy. I went to look at the painters every time my feet were for taking me to look at the garden; I trotted diligently up and down the passages; I criticised and suggested and commanded more in one day than I had done in all the rest of the time; I wrote regularly and sent my love; but I could not manage to fret and yearn.

And so she terms her husband through the rest of the book- The Man of Wrath.

Author Elizabeth (“Enchanted April”) von Arnim’s 1901 novel is a cautionary tale to all of us who set out doing good for our fellow man without taking the time to get to know him first. Or her — in this case.

Anna Estcourt’s stifled existence in late Victorian England takes a turn when an inheritance grants her a German estate. Determined to make it a house of happiness for 12 deserving ladies, her good intentions run afoul of schemers and inflexible cultural morays. And an unlooked-for romance threatens her plans in subtler ways.

This is a comical story told with excellent insight into both English and German mindsets, but capable of taking turns toward surprising gravity, particularly with a harrowing ending that threatens Anna and kindly Herr Lohm with real disaster.

For those interested in insider details, the author was writing almost autobiographically towards the end. She married a German count and throughout their difficult marriage, was frequently at odds with German social conventions. Her husband insulted some influential bankers and they in turn framed him for fraud and had him thrown into prison (as Herr Lohm suffers in the book). I won’t reveal the outcome, because it would give a spoiler to the book, but this terrible experience was too grueling for Elizabeth von Arnim to get out of her mind, so she wrote it into the book.

The Enchanted April- also a charming movie.  Three ladies take a summer rental in Italy, and three very different but equally delightful romances result (at least one of them involving the rekindling of a marriage).

The Scarlet Pimpernel is a classic novel, though it is hard to categorize. It is part romance, part adventure, part spy thriller, and part superhero fiction. All of these elements went into the pot and the resulting stew is extremely entertaining.

The book follows the adventures of Sir Percy Blakeney as he seeks to help French aristocrats escape the guillotine during the French Revolution. Since official English policy forbids this, Blakeney adopts a masked identity as the Scarlet Pimpernel to remain anonymous. The French, of course, detest this interference in their affairs and set out to trap and kill the Pimpernel at all costs. As part of his effort to deflect suspicion from himself, he plays the fool in every day life and he does it well. His own wife considers him a useless fop… and that’s where the story really gets interesting.

it was readers here at the Common Room who introduced me to his one:

Mother
by Kathleen Norris

One reader review: Mother is a very short work, only 7 chapters, but it is profound. As an intimate look into family life and motherhood, Mother is a beautiful and intricate story that paints the struggles and victories of motherhood, as well as that of young women brought up in a feminist, anti-family, materialistic culture. Just as relevant as it was when it was written in 1911, Mother is honest, poignant, and in the end, one of the most beautiful stories ever written on family.

Dickens is a little less escapist and a lot more worthy than Grace Livingston Hill, and he’s the author of something more than ‘mama novels,’ but I still like to read him when I am in a certain escapist mood, but I want something more substantial than cotton candy. Here are two of my favorites:

Pride and Prejudice
No introduction here, either, one hopes.

George MacDonald’s books:

Reader Review: “The Princess and the Goblin is all that is good about fantasy and literature in general. There are heros and heroins and lots of nasty creatures for them to prevail against. It is a simple but elegant tapestry of storytelling.”

Reader Review: “At first it was hard to get into because for a while the story seems to wander aimlessly. MacDonald describes Fairy Land beautifully, but I just didn’t see any plot to connect the seemingly random events. Also, it was sometimes a chore to get through the long sections of poetry (as I’m not a big fan of poetry).

BUT at about halfway through the book, a story started to take shape, or rather, the “story” was hinted at all along, and the central struggles finally came to the surface, like love vs. possessiveness, and sacrifice. It’s really a connect-the-dots kind of book, but not in the sense of a detective story: in a deeper sense of seeing the picture that MacDonald paints of the human heart, a picture that at first looks like random splotches, but then, as if we were watching the picture being painted, becomes more and more recognizable as the separate shapes are connected and finally find their meaning as a whole. MacDonald has painted not only a fairy story, but he has painted us, our own heart, in all its joy and pain.

Once I saw this, it really changed my attitude toward the book. I read the second half in one sitting! I’ll definitely read it again sometime because I’m sure I missed a lot of the layers and hidden meanings.”

“Lilith is equal if not superior to the best of Poe,” the great 20th-century poet W.H. Auden said of this novel, but the comparison only begins to touch on the richness, density, and wonder of this late 19th-century adult fantasy novel. First published in 1895 (inhabiting a universe with the early Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, and Oscar Wilde–not to mention Thomas Hardy), this is the story of the aptly named Mr. Vane, his magical house, and the journeys into another world into which it leads him.
Meeting up with one mystery after another, including Adam and Eve themselves, he slowly but surely explores the mystery of the human fall from grace, and of our redemption. Instructed into the ways of seeing the deeper realities of this world–seeing, in a sense, by the light of the spirit–the reader and Mr. Vane both sense that MacDonald writes from his own deep experience of radiance, from a bliss so profound that death’s darkness itself is utterly eclipsed in its light. –Doug Thorpe

The stories contained are:

The Light Princess: A princess is cursed to lose her gravity, and her parents are left to deal with a daughter who is light-headed, light-hearted and light-bodied.

The Giant’s Heart: A brother and sister get lost in Giantland and end up in the house of a giant who wants to eat them. They escape, but decide to go in search of the giant’s heart.

The Golden Key: When a boy finds a key at the end of the rainbow it sets him and a friend on a Quest to find a distant and magical country.

This is my favorite of his non-fantasy novels.
“Gibbie is a young, mute boy with an alcoholic father. He has a kind heart and is extremely gentle. His good friend, Sambo, is murdered, and he runs away. Gibbie is just a small boy in a large, cruel world, and he is treated badly by everyone on his journey but one woman, Janet. The variety of places he lived and the things he had to go through really taught me that not everyone has a full roof over their head, or enough clothes to cover more than a few body parts. This book gave me a lot to think about, such as the fact that some children are abused and don’t show it at all to anyone. Or that most people just make assumptions about things that they know nothing about. I realize that I am guilty of these things, as everyone else is.
This book was very compelling and I learned a lot about grace and mercy from it. The forgiveness that Gibbie shows his father towards the end is unbelievable, and I thought it was amazing that a tiny, mute boy could show so much more faith, wisdom, and emotion than anyone I have ever met, or read in a book. The story definitely had an impact on my view of how the world treats people and how the smallest child (who isn’t even real) could change your life. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone – it is extremely good!”

The Celestial Omnibus and other Stories
by C. S. Forester (Passage to India)

Reader Review: There truly are riches and wonders in this collection of six short stories, but to appreciate their essence, one is going to have to give up the hard boiled cynicism of the 21st century and embrace the romance, mystery, and pure wonder of fin de siècle Great Britain. The mature reader who will let Forster speak for himself is surely in for a treat. In these tales you will meet a spoiled young man whose life is changed by a visit from an ancient god (The Story of a Panic), question whether life is a rat race or maybe something more (The Other Side of the Hedge). If you are willing to pay for the ticket, you’ll visit a land where the works of great authors (if not the authors themselves) have a Heaven all their own (The Celestial Omnibus) and that classic myths can be repeated again and again (Other Kingdom) to great tragic effect. You’ll also meet an irreverent faun who becomes the best friend of a reverent clergyman (The Curate’s Friend) and discover that the call to wonder can be found in the strangest places (The Road from Colonus) as well as the price that must be paid to ignore it.

So pack your bags and get ready for a trip. The ticket is free, but if you truly have a soul that is sensitive to what C. S. Lewis called the numinous, like all good travelers, you may bring back more from the trip than what you left with.

Sarah Orne Jewett, American classic, New England characters and scenery

Reader review, which I like especially because of her reference to the White Heron, which was my first SOJ story as well- I stumbled across it when I was a child of about 10 and for some reason it became a permanent part of my brain’s DNA.
“To say that Sarah Orne Jewett is a beautiful word crafter would be an understatement. As an example, Hannah, an elderly spinster in the short story, “A Bit of Shore Life,” describes her deceased mother, “I should have liked to kep’ her if she’d lived to be a hundred, but I don’t wish her back. She’d had considerable many strokes, and she couldn’t help herself much of any. She’d got to be rising eighty, and her mind was a good deal broke.” “A Bit of Shore Life” is one of seven short stories written in the late 1800′s by Miss Jewett and compiled into a wonderful book, Old Friends and New (1879).

In 1993 I was gifted a book of nature prose and poetry by women. I read my way through the works and when I came to A White Heron (1886) by Sara Orne Jewett, I fell in love. I’ve continued to read her stories and was pleasantly surprised to recently find Old Friends and New.

Miss Jewett was said to believe in subjects that “teased the mind” and so chose to tell tales of the rural fisherman and farmers who inhabited the Atlantic seacoast area of southeastern Maine. A native of New Breton Maine, she knew firsthand how these tough Northeasterners lived. Again in “A Bit of Shore Life,” the female narrator of the story remarks, “I think the life in me must be next of kin to the life of the sea, for it is drawn toward it strangely, as a little drop of quicksilver grows uneasy just out to reach of a greater one.” I too live by the sea, and as I read these stories I feel as though Jewett’s beautifully crafted words wrap me in a warm blanket of storytelling.”

The story tells the tale of Fanny, a young independednt Jewish girl from a small midwestern town who’s drive to become a business woman soon takes her from the small town she grew up in and plops her down in the middle of a large city where she takes a job as a sales lady, determined to prove herself. Through light humor and a playful tone Ferber shows the reader how Fanny at first struggles, but then succeeds in turning a thriving business completely around, and giving the company a whole new meaning to life. Though at first I didn’t think this book would be any good at all, I encourage everyone who has ever strived for a goal in life to read this book–it will give you such a respect and admiration for Fanny that you won’t be able to put it down until the very last page.
….
The daughter of a Hungarian-born father and Milwaukee-native mother, Edna Ferber spent much of her childhood years in small midwestern towns. Her family, while not observant, always closed their store for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, never missing a Passover seder. Ferber felt that being Jewish was to be subjected to anti-Semitism. In 1917 she wrote Fanny Herself, based largely on the experiences she had while growing up in Appleton, Wisconsin and later in Chicago, Illinois. Her’s is a tale of a young Jewish girl trying to become a successful businesswoman in early twentieth century America without denying her Jewish roots or subverting her social conscience.

How can it be possible that Edna Ferber wrote this book over 100 years ago? She had to be so cutting edge at the time, because the story of Dawn O’Hara is valid even today. Or, perhaps, our lives really are not so different from the lives of yesterday.

Her writing is beautiful, yet sometimes challenging. There are German discussions that you may not understand, but you easily grasp what’s being said. For things I really wanted to know, Google translator helped, but I only wanted to use it a couple of times.

Dawn is our main character, a female reporter living in NY, who moves back to a German settlement in Milwaukee to emotionally recuperate from a disastrous marriage that she’s stuck in.

She finds love that can’t be acted upon, and finds friendship with the people in the boarding house she lives in. Best of all, she finds herself.

By the author of Daddy-Long-Legs. Short episodes in the life of a very spunky and delightful girl named Patty. I can imagine my grandmother as one of her room-mates, or Patty herself, based a journal of my grandmother’s when she was in high school.

Just Patty is the first book of the Patty books- Patty is a senior at St. Ursula’s boarding school, and has quite a reputation for cheerful mischief making.

Housekeeping:

Subject to change without notice: Free Titles were free at the time I copied and pasted the links. But they don’t always stay free.

Same for reduced price titles.

Shameless money grubbing: I thought this was common knowledge, but it turns out it’s not- these are affiliate links. If you click on a free title and download it, I get….. nothing.  If you click on a free title and while you are at Amazon also buy something else, I get….. something.  Depending on what you buy, it will probably be somewhere between 4% and 7% of what you spend (I don’t get a percentage on penny sales) but I don’t pretend to understand how all of that side works.

If you like these listings, you should also like my Facebook page, because I list other free and bargain priced titles there several times each week. Most of the blurbs and book descriptions above are not mine, but come from  reviews on Amazon’s page.

Don’t have a Kindle? : You don’t have to have Kindle to take advantage of these offers. You can read them on various free reading apps. I often read mine on my laptop if they are short enough books, even though I have two kindles.  That’s because my kids keep taking off with the Kindles to read their school books and they don’t remember to recharge them before returning.  I wouldn’t say I’m bitter about it, but I might be a little disgruntled. If you’re curious, this is the Kindle I have, and I have used others and mine remains my favorite. Mine has Keyboard 3G, Free 3G + Wi-Fi and I don’t have commercial screensavers.  The second Kindle is actually one I was given in exchange for some writing work, and I gave it to my two teens.  It does not have 3G, which is why it’s their Kindle.  Personally,  I don’t like Kindle Fires.

Yes, my Kindle gets slow because I stuff it too full.  You can left click on a title on your Kindle anddelete it from your device, while still keeping it in your list of titles at Amazon in case you want to add it back to your Kindle later without paying for the title all over again.  Don’t delete it from folder at Amazon unless you want to rid yourself of it permanently.

Posted in Books, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

## How to Have a Happily Fermented Family

(There probably was a better blog title out there somehow, but this is the one The Equuschick likes.)

To Get Your Small Children to Take Kefir- Depending on how strong your kefir is or how brave your children are, you may not have much trouble. The Ladybug was always fond of it in fresh fruit smoothies, and she never really objected strongly to taking it straight either. The Dread Pirate Grasshopper has been kefir-resistant from day one. The Equuschick (as is always the case with the DPG) went through a variety of strategies, such as different kinds of fruit smoothies and different kinds of flavoring, before she finally came to terms with the fact that he was never going to like it and only the head-on method would work. So she simply presented him with a medicinal eye-dropper and said, “Dude, take it.” This may not work with your children and she wouldn’t necessarily recommend it to others, it is simply what worked for him. He never had to take more than a strictly medicinal amount but once he accepted that he would have to take that much, no matter what, he simply did it. Straight up like a man, and it was easier than trying to trick or wheedle him him into liking something that he knew for a fact he did not like, thank-you very much.

And now things are even easier, because The Equuschick found a cheap supply of raw honey and now the arrangement is a complete win-win for everyone. Take your cup of kefir, get your spoonful ofY.S. Eco Bee Farms Raw Honey – 22 oz . Ta da.

To Get Your Small Children to Eat Their Feremented Vegetables- Let your children help make them. It gets messy and chaotic, but life is about the process and not the destination. Both the Ladybug and the DPG love to help tear up the cabbage and pour in the whey, and then watch the jars with eager interest for the next three days. The DPG gets especially excited when they start to bubble. Neither of them were fond of the flavor at first, but whatever fears children harbor about their mother’s cooking they are always much more eager to try their own. So they kept nibbling at it, and now the DPG will sit himself down with a fork and a jar and help himself. (The Equuuschick used the basic recipes from Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats at first, they were the simplest.)

To Get Your Husband to Like Kombucha- Feed him kefir first. For months. And then suddenly introduce him to a tall iced glass of kombucha with sliced strawberries. (The Equuschick keeps wanting to stick a little toothpick with a parasol on it on top.) He will think he has died and gone to heaven.

Seriously though, the kombucha has been the easiest sell in The Equschick’s household. Shasta knows now how to prep it and make it himself and the littles love helping, because what 4 year old boy wouldn’t love to handle something so disgusting looking as a Scoby? The Dread Pirate Grasshopper says it looks like a jellyfish.

## My Crazy Life

So.  Transparency.  Sort of.

On a long list of my crazy symptoms is an irrational fear of something happening to my kids, except that, given our history, I just don’t feel like it’s all that irrational.  How many people do you know who have a kid whose horse kicked her in the pancreas, who have a kid who shattered her leg her first time ice-skating, who have had 3 ambulance rides in 8 weeks, or have had a kid blow up a mound of gunpowder in his face, or have had…. well never mind.  Those are mostly the minor things.  The list is long and reciting it isn’t something I do even quietly to myself.

I’m a mom. We all have that to some respect,  but this is different in size and scope and, honestly, if it were entirely up to me and nobody else had to be consulted, I’d board the windows and doors, wall off a courtyard area for sun, but not give it a gate, and have all our groceries delivered and we’d live, Rapunzel like, in relative peace and safety.  Of course, even I know that’s…. well.  Not true.  I don’t believe that would really be all that ridiculous.  I just know that I couldn’t get anybody but the Cherub to go along with me on that one, and the Cherub’s acceptance of, well, anything, isn’t really a recommendation.

The FYB and his friends have been planning a camping trip, in tents, with just the boys, all independent like, up by one of the Great Lakes for weeks.  The hitch in the plans was me.  Well, really it was my husband, but he was only being a hitch for my sake. There are four boys going, my son is the youngest. The oldest is 20.  The second oldest is 19 going on 32.  He’s an old soul who is pretty much known for his sound, well grounded common sense.  The next youngest is his little brother, and then there’s my son.  In spite of the things he does at home which you hear about, he actually has a pretty strong reputation at our church for leadership skills.

He really wanted to go on this trip.  I knew this not because he pestered me, nagged, and begged and pleaded, but because he only mentioned it two or three times and I could hear the restraint in his voice.  I mean, he asked.  And he told me how much fun it would be, but, unlike other times and situations, not on an hourly or even daily basis.  That made it harder to say no.

But I couldn’t say yes, either, because that was just a bridge too far.  The most I could manage to do was to tell him that I knew how much fun it would be, how good it would be for him to get out of the house and go do guy things with his friends, etc, but I couldn’t bring myself to say, “Yes, you may go.”  However, I could manage, “I won’t say no.”

He did beg me to tell his dad that, so I did.  He also has strict instructions to humour me and whatever he does to stop and make a careful assessment of the danger levels as I would see them, and then as he would see them, and he may choose halfway between what I think is dangerous and what he thinks is safe.

My son and his friends have probably just finished setting up their tent.  Last night by the time I went to bed I was already regretting my tacit acceptance, and every time I closed my eyes I had to jerk them back open again to fend against the tumbling cascade of visions of all the ways my son could come home maimed or worse.  There were drownings, car accidents, body fractures playing sand volleyball, lost in the woods, axe murderers, lightening strikes, tree falls, getting shot while mouthing off to a cop, getting shot while trying to be a hero, getting shot while stumbling over a secret marijuana farm, and more.  I fell asleep at 5 this morning and then woke up at 8.

He called when they arrived and told me which campground they were at, and also exactly which tent spot they were using.

51

That will be easy to remember.   Area 51

Adding abducted by aliens and spending the rest of his life in a secret federal internment camp because of stumbling over clandestine government operations to my nightmares because, inexplicably, they weren’t already on my list.

Update: He kindly called me three times- once when they arrived, once halfway, and once on the way home, all three times to say, “Hey, Mom.  We’re still alive.”

He made it home alive and in one very sunburned and ridiculously happy piece. He took a shower immediately because he says he had sand in parts of his body he had formerly been unaware existed.  Due to their father’s much-greater-than-Elizabeth Warren-Indian heritage the FYB and FYG seldom burn, and on the rare occasions they have, they do not peel, they just tan more.  But this time he is so red that I think his face, at least, might sluff a layer.

They did get lost once, but they found their way back. One of them did get told to come back in by a lifeguard, but it wasn’t my son.  One of them has cuts on his foot from the beach grass, but it wasn’t my son.

He says they want to do this bimonthly until it’s too cold.  Yes, the Proverb about inches and miles does come to mind.

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

## Orange Cream Cake

From American Cookery, Volume 24

Orange Cream Cake
Cream one-third a cup of butter; gradually half a cup of sugar, then well beaten yolks of two eggs, mixed, a second half cup of sugar, and alternately half a cup of milk and one cup and three fourths of flour sifted with two and one half level teaspoonfuls of baking powder.
Lastly add the whites of two eggs beaten dry.

Bake in three layer cake tins of small size and put the layers together with an orange cream filling.

Spread the top very lightly with the filling. Into this press orange sections sprinkling the whole with powdered sugar.

Orange Cream Filling

Scald one cup of orange juice with the juice of half a lemon and one third a cup of sugar. Into this stir two and one half tablespoonfuls of cornstarch mixed with a second third cup of sugar. Stir and cook until the mixture thickens then cook over hot water about ten minutes. Add a tablespoonful of butter, a few grains of salt, and the yolks of two eggs beaten very light. Then add lastly the whites of two eggs beaten dry.
Use when partly cooled .

Posted in cookery, vintage cookery | 1 Comment

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