Happy Lacy Day! – Favorite Made-up Holiday – Friday Favorites

photo by tomhe

A few weeks ago, I guest posted over at Renee’s about one of my favorite high school teachers, Mr. Reichert. I could not let today pass without mentioning him again. He instituted a holiday that will forever live in my family tradition: Lacy Day. Lacy Day is usually about the first week in May but this year is a little early due to the unusually warm weather the Midwest has experienced this year. What is Lacy Day, you ask? Lacy Day is the glorious day on which the leaves of the trees are barely unfolding, appearing as lace against the bright blue sky. I wish I could have taken a picture capturing this beautiful phenomenon, but alas, my phone isn’t working today…so in honor of you Mr. Reichert, I’ll just write a thought or two:

On Lacy Day

Leaves peak from corners of death
peering cautiously, tenderly

and I wonder do I dare reveal myself
this way to You?

Shoots spear through black soil
breaking darkness by sparkling sun

and I wonder do I allow Your light
to expose my black heart?

And I laugh.
What could I possibly reveal to You that You don’t already know?
What could Your light expose that You don’t already see?

And the lacy canopy of budding leaves covers my heart
as Your banner over me is Love.

Spring Green

I did a little research trying to find out whatever happened to Mr. Reichert, and to no avail. Except that I did find this: a comment on another blog. I thought it significant that someone else should remember such a quirky life lesson from this wonderful educator!

Do you have a holiday that you’ve made up?  Or how about a teacher that affected your life?  I’d love to hear about it!

My 5 Favorite Cookies – Friday Favorites

5. Pepperidge Farm – Milano…actually I love any Pepperidge Farm Cookie

4. Girl Scout Peanut Butter Cookie – Don’t they bring back memories?

3. Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies – I can’t stop eating these, so I just don’t buy them.

2. Christmas Snowball Cookies – when these are in the house during the holidays, I won’t stop eating them until they are all gone. Thank goodness Christmas comes just once a year!

1. Alexis’ Brown Sugar Cookies – This is a recipe submitted to Martha Stewart’s Entertaining cookbook, by her daughter Alexis. They are EVERYBODY’S favorite. My friends started asking for them by their own name, “Ugly Cookies”. Over a pound of butter and 4 cups of sugar make the consistency like toffee. Yummm….If you click on the photo, the link will direct you to the recipe.

Happy Eating!

What are your favorite cookies?

Five Favorite Authors – Friday Favorites

5. Ann B. Ross – If you find yourself a little down in the dumps, you need to read the Miss Julia books. I have never laughed so hard in my life! Laughter is a medicine, and I’ve often healed myself reading Ann’s words!

4. Jan Karon – I call the Mitford series “Vacation in a book”. Often times I find myself encumbered by life with too much to do, with the demands of a wife and mother, and maybe filling too empty to give the way that I should. When this happens, I know that it’s time to grab a Mitford book. Her character development is pristine. I know that somewhere there must be a Father Tim and an Uncle Billy. They are too real not to be real. My daughter recently asked me what literary character I’d most like to be, I answered, “Cynthia!” She is so charming, and has such a positive, fun outlook on life. She is who I long to be.

3. Ann Voskamp – Isn’t she pretty? It had been a long time since I read words that stirred my soul the way Ann’s do. Her poetic prose is rich with image and feeling, and she conveys her beautiful heart so effectively. I love the way she thinks, and even more I love the words she comes up with to portray her thoughts; her thoughts the color on canvas, her words the brush. She had me from the first line, hanging onto every word. While reading her book, A Thousand Gifts I found that I would have to put the book down, just to savor the gift she had just unwrapped before me. Sometimes, I’d even meditate a day or two before returning because there was so much to learn from her. Not only is her book brilliant, (and a New York Times bestseller), but her blog draws me into her world as an intimate friend. I feel loved.

2. C.S. Lewis – My first taste of Lewis, was The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. I was in elementary school at the time, and very willing to be on the look out for a wardrobe of my own. The Chronicles of Narnia were a huge part of my spiritual formation. The next book I read was Screwtape Letters, and then Mere Christianity. I admire Lewis’ logic and clear philosophy.

1. Madeleine L’Engle – One of the greatest regrets of my life is having missed the opportunity of hearing Madeleine speak at Wheaton college. I guess I thought she and I had all the time in the world..but we don’t. A Wrinkle In Time is the first book of hers that I read. I so much identified with Meg. I was the geeky, uncomfortable in her own skin Meg with glasses and no self-esteem. Her triumphs were my triumphs. I read all of her young adult books with so much vigor! She opened a whole new world of deep thought to me, and dared me to think outside the box. And then as an adult, I found out about her wonderful non-fiction books. How I love to read her thoughts! I agree with some, disagree with others, but love the originality of her thought. I can not wait to spend time with her in heaven!

Five Favorite Romantic Movies – Friday Favorites

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’d like to discuss my top five favorite romantic movies.  Keep in mind, I rarely go to the movies, so my list may be a little antiquated!

Anne of Avonlea

#5 – Ann of Avonlea – I adore this mini-series. I think I love it mostly because I value the lesson Anne learns: that she doesn’t have to look past her backyard to find her dreams. This movie is a “must see” for every young lady, because it encourages education, and working on self-improvement before allowing one’s self to “fall” into the trap we call love.

Sarah Plain And Tall

#4 – Sarah Plain and Tall – I love the practicality of this story. Love is made and not fallen into. Yet it is still real, tangible, romantic love. Glenn Close is always a favorite, and her rendition of the spinster turned bride makes me smile and cry.

You've God Mail

#3 – You’ve Got Mail – There’s really nothing not to love in this movie. The cast is perfect. I love the whole independent bookstore vs. big bad guys theme, and the characters are so charming! I’m embarrassed to say that I still try to get Meg Ryan’s haircut from this movie.

Return To Me

#2 – Return To Me – The story, the soundtrack the perfect cast…I think this movie is brilliant! As a Chicagoan, I also find it fun that it’s filmed in my hometown. I love how love conquers difficult challenges in this movie. The cast just goes on and on with Bonnie Hunt writing, directing and playing a smaller part in the film. Carroll O’Connell is great as the father. Plus, it’s the first movie I ever saw with Minnie Driver. Love, love, love her!

Pride & Prejudice

#1 – Pride & Prejudice – I am very sorry to all of you BBC Pride and Prejudice fans, but I just don’t see it. Other than the fact that the BBC’s version is closer to the book (which I guess should be a consideration) I see nothing to prefer over the theater version. The photography makes this movie one of the most visually romantic movies I’ve ever seen, and the soundtrack is divine. I LOVE Matthew Macfayden as Darcy, and the whole cast is superb. Although Kierra Knightly is lovely as Elizabeth, I’m not too thrilled at her rather reserved Lizzy, but it’s not enough to spoil my delight in this film. There are two scenes which almost make my heart stop, the rain scene at which Darcy first proposes and of course that dawn scene when Matthew Macfayden comes over the hill in his beautiful coat…(sigh)

I am a little worried about what the choice of these movies say about me…In each one, (with the exception perhaps of Return To Me) the woman is stubborn and headstrong, falling in love despite herself. It makes me wonder, is this how I am and why I relate so well to these characters? Or perhaps even worse, this is the way I long to be?

What are your favorite romantic movies?

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