Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Almost Finished

I probably only have one or two more nights of reading the book I searched long and diligently for. Finally locating a copy of it in the Library of Congress. They were generous enough to make me a Xerox copy of the book. I can understand why they would not want the hard copy of the book to be lent out. The book was published in 1917 so it is almost 100 years old. There are just a few copies of it in the U.S. On Amazon, the best price was in the $400.00 neighborhood. There were a few copies that were over a $1000.

I am so happy that the Library of Congress copied it for me because I get to keep it. My friends are lining up for a turn to read it.

As I'm reading it, I'm trying to understand what I, as a 9 year old, loved so much about this story. Reading it now, more than a half a century after 4th grade, it seems so quaint. Soooooooo much has changed. This book was written before TV, cell phones, computers, leisure air travel (if you were going to the continent, you went by steamship - and it took a loooong time.

I think that, first of all, the main character, Mary, went to a boarding school and that fact had me quite enamored of her. Maybe even a little envious. A boarding school..............(swoon)- she stayed there overnight and had her own room, lived with her friends. To me, this was nirvana. She didn't go to a plain old ordinary school, like I did, nor sleep in the same room with two sisters like I did.

She had blond curls, not dark, straight hair done up in braids, like I did.

And she had this uncle who spoiled the living daylights out of her. He was her mothers brother. He had a special place in his heart for her because she was an orphan. ***

The relationship that the two had would probably be looked upon with some suspicion today but in those much more innocent times, it seemed enchanting. An uncle who doted on his sisters child, lavished her with tiny gifts and visited her often would have seemed like I died and went to heaven.

I think I have discovered why I was so enamored by this story when I was in 4th grade. I loved hearing about a girl my age who seemed to have a storied life. She lived in an idyllic setting - a convent school, went on sleigh rides to sing Christmas carols, had a steady supply of playmates, had beautiful clothes, a loving uncle, blond curls, got to travel to her classmates homes for holidays...........She also had much sadness in her life but the drama of that also made her seem attractive to me at 9 years old.

I am so glad I found a copy of UNCLE FRANK'S MARY and grateful for my friend, Patty, who got me on the fast track which eventually led to my getting a copy that's all mine.

***note: I have a sneaking suspicion that it will soon be discovered that she is not an orphan but I haven't gotten that far in the book yet.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Successful Search

A couple weeks ago, I told you about a book I was searching for. It was full of happy childhood memories for me. I had searched for it for years and years. This lovely story was read to me by my fourth grade teacher. She read it to the class every afternoon and we would race back into her classroom after lunch and all sit quietly, in rapt attention, to hear the next chapter of UNCLE FRANK'S MARY.

My searches always ended in dead ends until a Christmas-time outing a few weeks ago with my friend. Our girlz day out ended with a visit to an antique mall where I went into search mode again. My clever friend said to me "have you ever checked Amazon?".

Well, you know, with all that searching, I had never looked on Amazon. It never occurred to me to look there. In my mind, Amazon was for new books. As soon as I got home, I did search Amazon...............and they had it but, alas, the price was excessive.

I looked for it at other venues and finally entered the word "borrow" into a google search. And, voila! several libraries had a copy, including the Library of Congress. After inquiring at the Library of Congress, I was directed to my local library through which I would make an "inter-library" request.

I HAVE the book in my hand now. The Library of Congress did not send me an actual copy of the rag covered book published in 1916 but instead made me a photo copy of the book. Therefore, I can keep it!!!!! It does not have to be returned. I can let friends borrow it if they put up security of their first born. (just kidding)

As you can see from this picture, the book is quite thick - 265 pages.

I haven't begun to read it yet although I am very anxious to get started. I have another committment - a library book that I do need to return and I'm racing through it so I can start on UNCLE FRANK'S MARY, and savor every word.

Thank You, God, for photocopiers.............

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

My Goals for 2012

One of my CASTTEAM-mates made this challenge: instead of making resolutions for 2012 set 12 goals for yourself to reach in 2012. You can find her blog at:

I turned this idea round and round in my mind for a week or so. Several goals quickly came to mind. But I was stuck at about #6. Then the inspirations came little by little - bit by little bit..............until, voila!! there were 12

Some of my goals will require a developement process (step by step until it's finished), some are chores that once finished will just make life a whole lot more convenient, some I'll do once and then it'll be over-done-finished, some are lifestyle changes which I hope to practice steadily until they become part of my DNA. This is what I'm hoping to accomplish in 2012.

1 - when I receive a HolySpirit impression - get right on it - don't put it off even if I'm in the middle of brushing my teeth - because if I do, I'll have forgotten it by the time I leave the bathroom. Sometimes I'll just put this insight on my list of things to do today (I always refer to my list - I cross of what I've taken care of). Other times, I will stop on a dime and do His bidding.

2 - Continue to meet with Jesus - first thing each morning.

3 - Clean up and organize spaces to house etsy inventory more efficiently.

4 - Organize yarn stash on bookshelves that are already cleared for this purpose.

5 - Do a much more effective etsy bookkeepping system.

6 - Plan a trip to Florida (maybe two)

7 - Clean out and re-organize household file

8 - Work-out 3-4 times per week

9 - Become familiar with the BIBLE CLUB MINISTRY resources (Empire State Bible Clubs, Inc.). Praying also for the launch of this new club which I will co-facilitate

10 - Organize, delegate, plan, a Christmas Craft Show at my church for late Fall 2012 as a fund raiser for the new kitchen.

11 - Self publish the family recipes cookbook

12 - Read through the Bible - this time in THE MESSAGE.

My goals look like this one week old infant. Tender, tiny, delicate and new. With a lot of growth and development needed over the next 51 weeks of this New Year.

"So neither he who plants is anything nor he who waters, but (only) God Who makes it grow......" 1 Corinthians 3:7