If I Had a Costume Today…

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…I would dress up like this. I watched The Queen this weekend, and I loved it.

I am known in my family for calling myself the Queen of the World. This is because I am bossy and have fabulous ideas – always. After watching The Queen, I may change my mind about wanting this role for myself. This “based on true events” story is the kind of speculative non-fiction I really enjoy. I know it might be totally untrue, but the fact that it might be a little true – or even possibly true – is enough for me. This movie gives an inside peek at what might have been going on in the secret emotions of Her Royal Highness (that’s HRH to you!) Queen Elizabeth II. Subtle, funny, and touching. Again, I loved it.

The Queen highlights one of my favorite qualities: compassion for those who are different from ourselves. Our world is so segmented, fragmented even. We distance ourselves from each other because we don’t understand each other. This happens to Queen Elizabeth after Princess Diana’s unexpected death. The country moves into this wild public sorow, and the Queen does not know how to handle it. She says (my paraphrase), “In this country, we have always mourned privately.” We see her as a very real person (my favorite is when she drives her old SUV all over the gorgeous English countryside) who comes to terms with her own failure. I felt sorry for her but also saw her strength. It really was beautiful.

So, this is the costume I would wear and I would wear it with humbleness. For tonight, you may call me HRH Queen Elizabeth…We’ll go back to Queen of the World tomorrow!

Two Reasons I Love the Internet

This article on Radiantmag.com is so great! You know how I love a good analogy. This one relates one man’s fight aganst the raging California fires to our need to be vigilant over our own spiritual lives. Loved it.

The other reason today is Facebook. I’ve had my doubts about the reliablitly of online social networks. I mean, are they a truly reliable form of authentic relationship? But today when my inbox said I had a message from an old friend in Sweden, I was giddy with excitement! I heart Facebook today!

You’re It: Where We Read

This was so much fun last week, we have to do it again!

Serenity has posted about her “nest” before, a stash of books that follows her from room to room. I have one too; we get it from our Dad. His has become more of a library now, spilling from his side table onto wall-length book shelves and into boxes in the garage.

My favorite place to read is on my bed because it is in closest proximity to my books, it is comfortable, and it feels like a little escape in the middle of my busy house. Dan and I have enjoyed pulling our bedroom ensemble together over the years. It started with a left-over canopy bed from my parent’s downsize. Then my brother-in-law actually found a drapey, ivory canopy on a clearance sale in Omaha. More clearance sales found the gold comforter and shams. We paid full price for the deep red sheets (at Shop-Ko), but most fun were the pillows from Ikea in Chicago. My bedside table is cleverly organized (my husband may debate the use of “organized” here, but I promise it’s true) into three basic piles: school books, fun books, and God books. I love them all, and you never know what kind of mood you’ll be in when you crawl into bed at night. Or in the middle of the day.

I probably should review books here once in awhile. There are several must-reads for Rare Rocks. Isn’t it interesting how telling our book choices are? And nothing shapes your early identity like reading (or the lack of it!). But, anyway, today’s fun is just about where you read. And I read here:

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Picture Day!

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This one is just for fun.

The Good Girl Lit blog is running a Tag theme today about your favorite item of clothing. This one is mine: a long, tunic-style brown sweatshirt with a cute little drawstring at the waist. I got it on a clearance rack at Gap last year (apparently not everyone thought it was that cool). That’s one of the things I love – it is name brand but I got it cheap. The best part is that it is soooo comfy and still looks like I belong in this decade.

A jacket is one of my favorite items of clothing in general. I’ve heard (check out the After Eve clothing swap) that women wear 20% of their clothes 80% of the time. This is definitely true for me. So, when I get stuck on something, it is nice if that something can be worn legitimately everyday without outing me for a total lack of fashion awareness. The jacket is perfect.

So, that is a picture of me in my fave. I made it silly because today my kids were practicing their Picture Day smiles in my bed before school. I remember the stress of tilting my chin a thousand different directions and moving every part of my body to point toward something else and feeling extremely tense. How can you get a good picture like that? That’s why I made my picture today fun. I was photographer and subject so I did it the way I wanted!

Smile! (And could you move your head a little bit this way, good, now just move your shoulders to the right a little, good, now, up, good, and ….)

Charlotte Temple

American Lit may have paid off this week, Friends. Up until this point this particular class had me asking questions like, do I REALLY want to be an English major? But this week we read the early American novel Charlotte Temple by Susanna Haswell Rowson. I loved its old-fashioned boldness to preach through its story. I realize this is unacceptable in today’s literary world, but Rowson was only accepted as a writer in her day because she did promise to deliver a solid Christian message. Ironic.

Anyway, this is the tale of a young Charlotte convinced by the romantic promises of a dashing soldier to leave her boarding school and elope. Her tragic tale apparently ends in her death in childbirth after being abandoned by her supposed Prince Charming. Not so charming now. Rowson early in the novel (we only read an excerpt) even writes directly to the “sober matron” or mother who will read the book before her daughter. That’s how obvious the message is, but the writing is enchanting and the story is surprisingly transcendent. Of slimy guys who talk girls into doing things they don’t really want to do, Rowson says, “I wish for power to extirpate those monsters of seduction from the earth.” My sentiments exactly!

Here is my favorite line after Rowson describes the predicament Charlotte has found herself in. It is Rowson’s way of saying, Be a Rare Rock!

“…kneel down each morning, and request kind heaven to keep you free from temptation, or, should it please to suffer you to be tried, pray for fortitude to resist the impulse of inclination when it runs counter to the precepts of religion and virtue.”

Yeah, do that! : )