Sunday, August 31, 2014

Last Gasp

This is it. Monday we start.
So... today we played!
At church today we celebrated the 92 birthday of a very sweet woman whose plans for rest of her day were "to weed." Given that I sat beside her in the service and helped her hunt through her purse for her check -- she pulled out Food Lion receipts and old church bulletins, hopefully inquiring whether any of them might be her check, because her vision has become very poor -- I am curious about how her flower bed looks after a good weeding. Bound to be better than ours,anyway, which was recently mown to the dirt by someone in a fit of thoroughness. Maybe in the fall (meaning, October or so. September doesn't count) we'll buy a few plants and try again.

In reading news... well, I've been. Currently I'm enjoying Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere very much, I'm listening to Marc Morris's The Norman Conquest (it is also very good). I'm reading The Three Musketeers aloud the kids (we read the first three in the Hitchhiker's Guide series, and Travis and I were ready for a break. Katie was not.) and massacring French names left and right. But The Three Musketeers brings me to my funny (to me) bookish thing this week. In a book I read this month, Joe Abercrombie's The Blade Itself, one of the characters, an inquisitor, has assistants called "ordinaries." I assumed the name was just part of the author's world creation, but then... in Chapter II of The Three Musketeers, there they are again, "...the sovereign appointed Treville Captain of his Musketeers, who in devotion or rather in fanaticism were to Louis XIII what his Ordinaries had been to Henry III and his Scots Guards to Louis XI." Isn't that something? And then, same week, I was flipping through Keith Thomas's Religion and the Decline of Magic, looking for something I've forgotten, when I ran across a "cunning man." A cunning man is a late medieval/early modern wizard or magician, but I'd seen the term for the first time only a week or two before, in Daniel Abraham's The Dragon's Path (a book which started well but soon became so dull I finally gave up on it. And I rarely give up on books.). Again, I thought the author had made the term up, but it is actually a real thing! (Relatively speaking, I suppose, in the case of wizards. But you know what I mean.)
I'm also reading Augustine's Confessions. Slowly. But I've got some Facebook friends reading it with me now, so I really will read it. But not very fast, because the same charming but enabling group of people proposed that we (we readers of ambitious books) would also enjoy War and Peace (they recently finished Anna Karenina). I've never read War and Peace, and the edition suggested is an absolutely lovely shade of blue. So...

Anyway, back to today..
We went to Widow Falls after church. It was a lovely day, but lots of people there. 

Then ice cream. Someone was sitting on "our" porch swing, so we sat inside. Which means we'll have to make another trip, on a less popular day, so that we can get our yearly picture of the kids swinging and eating ice cream. I had Moose Tracks, and it was an excellent choice.

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