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Saturday, January 2, 2021

My End of the Year Book Haul -- Vintage Saturday

Happy 2021 everyone! Are you starting off the year with all kinds of big goals and plans? I am... I'm a sucker for resolutions, for sure! Last year my reading goal was 50 books---I read 57. This year I thought, "eh, what the heck..." and decided on 70!! Hahaha! Goodbye homecooked meals and well-schooled children---mother is reading.

Thursday my husband took the day off work and spoiled me rotten. First he took me out to the Apple store and bought me a nice MacBook Air to replace my swiftly dying Walmart Special. So kind! Then he took me to my favorite bookstore and said I could pick out whatever I wanted! I got the stack of books above and he picked out these three gifts for me. 

A super cute little owl bookmark; a slim, lightweight book light; and this fun box of Charlotte Bronte themed stationery. It's fun to be spoiled!

Since our trip was unexpected and I didn't have my book wishlist with me, I decided to grab some books that I knew were on the 1001 and classics book lists since I know I'll be working on those goals this year. First up is this copy of The Canterbury Tales translated into modern English prose by R.M. Lumiansky (1971). I think this particular version was required reading the summer before my senior year. I've read some of the Tales, both in modern and original versions, but never in their entirety. This book is found on my Classics Club challenge list.

Next up is a book I've got mixed feelings about.  The Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft (1792) is also on the Classics Club list. I tend to run from modern Feminist garbage like it's got the Plague, but reading the back of this, Wollstonecraft sounds pretty mild by today's standards. 

I think I actually have some of these...maybe all of these...already. BUT---they were pretty cheap and I wasn't sure and I knew they were on my lists, so I grabbed them. The Pickwick Papers (1836), parts one and two; Main Street, (1920) and a couple stories from The Sketchbook (1820) are on the Classics Club list and Main Street is also on the 1001 list. Lorna Doone (1869) is a favorite of one of my English friends and I told her I'd pick it up one of these days.

Letters of a Woman Homesteader by Elinore Pruitt Steward (1913) was on the same shelf as the Wollstonecraft book and looked interesting so I picked it up too. 

I'm pretty excited about this pretty book as I've just started collecting these types of Victorian books of miscellany. This is Lothrop's Annual from 1892. It's a very large, thick book full of stories, poems, advertisements, drawings, and color artwork.

You can read more about the publisher, Daniel Lothrop, here. He published quite a bit of magazines and other literature, mainly for children and young people. This periodical was published the year he passed away. 

How fun to own a copy of this beautiful Victorian magazine. I'll be adding to this collection, I'm sure!

What books have you picked up lately? I'd love to know what you're planning on reading this season. Be sure to check out my reading challenges for some inspiration!

Thanks for stopping by Vintage Saturdays! I'm excited to see what you've got to share. 

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This post was originally published on my sister blog, BellesLibrary.com.

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Wednesday, December 30, 2020

2021 New Year Goals and The Homemaking Party


Welcome to The Homemaking Party! How are you feeling about this coming year? Hopeful? Concerned? I'm feeling pretty positive about 2021 and have come up with several important goals I'd like to meet. 

Health Goals: I think most everyone has a health goal, but I'll admit I've not had one for a couple years. Sickness and circumstances have taken a toll on my hopeful attitude about health and I've ignored things for far too long. This year I have a plan and a goal to stick to it!

Reading Goals: I believe self-education is so important so I read a lot of nonfiction: history, biography, geography---all these are important to understand the world we live in. I also enjoy some well-written historical fiction and most classics. This year my reading goal is 70 books, with a good mix of classics and children's literature added to my usual nonfiction fare.

Skills Goals: In 2020 my mother made 12 quilts!! One for each member of my family and one for herself. On top of that, she made pillowcases for each of us! I was so inspired that I've made a goal to learn some needlework skills I've been dreaming about. This year I plan to embroider some things, as well as learn to crochet. I also want to start working through my huge HUGE fabric stash by making gifts for people.

Spiritual Growth: This year I plan to copy out by hand the entire Torah (first five books of the Bible) and finish reading through the Bible in its entirety. I also have several studies to start or continue, including a very slow and in depth study of the early church that I've been doing with my kids every morning at breakfast.

Miscellaneous Goals: Add something to our savings account each pay check; go visit my parents in Oregon; travel to Western Oklahoma to seek out my grandparents' homestead; make myself three items of clothing; take "school photos" of my kids; keep from cutting or coloring my hair; print all my important online photos; transcribe my online book reviews into journals; print or publish my important blog posts

I'd love to hear about your 2021 goals! Thanks for stopping by The Homemaking Party!

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Monday, December 28, 2020

Our World Has Changed, God is Still Unchanging

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.
Isaiah 40:8

Back in March I wrote a post titled, The World Looks Different Now, But It's Ok. We were 10 days into the unknown and many of us were wondering how long the changes were going to last. Was this a temporary thing? A new normal? We're now 10 months in and we still don't know.

We've just finished up a fun but very different Christmas weekend at our house. Almost everything about our celebration was outside our normal---part of that was due to "the pandemic" and part of it was due to changes within our family dynamic. We had to work around work schedules and celebrate on a different day than normal. We didn't participate in any sort of church Christmas program (probably a first for my 41 year old husband!) We didn't even drive around to look at Christmas lights this year and our whole community missed our yearly gathering on the square to watch the city lights come on. Instead of spending the rest of present-opening day putting together toys and helping the kids navigate a new game or puzzle, the youngers did all that themselves and the teens starting helping our oldest son move into his new townhouse---on Christmas!!!

In other years, I think this change in our Christmas routine would have really bummed me out, but in 2020, it's just par for the course. So much has changed and some things have become that "new normal" I talked about in March, yet there's one thing that hasn't changed, and that is the Lord. 

For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. 
Malachi 3

God's Word, His promises, His truths, His plan, are all still very much the same. He knew our world would take a wonky turn in 2020---none of this caught Him off guard and it does not scare or threaten Him in the least. And if the One in charge isn't worried, why should we be?

The LORD is my light and my salvation-- whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life-- of whom shall I be afraid? 
Psalm 27

That's really the question many of us should be asking ourselves: why are we worried? In Anne of Green Gables, Marilla tells Anne: "God does not want you for a fair weather friend." That phrase has been running through my mind all morning. I think these past 10 months have given us a glimpse into what is meant in passages like Isaiah 40, Job 12:23, and Paul before the Areopagus in Acts 17---some of the many parts of Scripture that remind us God allows kingdoms to rise and fall but He remains unchanged. 

In God, we have a Friend who stays closer than a brother (Prov. 18:24). The more we get to know the nature of this Friend, the more we realize that we have nothing to fear in change. Some of us become really unnerved when we don't know the "next step", yet God's Word brings comfort that He will guide our steps:

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand.
Psalm 37

One thing I'll always remember about my Mom is how she plays Pollyanna's "Glad Game" when things go wonky, choosing to think about the good things---counting her blessings. As a brooding teenager, it would sometimes bug me when she would say things like, "You make your own happiness," but she was right---and adding God's message of hope to the picture makes playing the Glad Game even easier. Things are still different...some things are forever changed...yet God is the same as He always was. As we go into 2021, let's hold on to the hope of our unchanging God and count our blessings. There's always something to be thankful for!


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