Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Pleasantest Thing...

My friend Nancy Franson at Out of My Alleged Mind has been on a journey of poetry appreciation. In her latest post on Tweetspeak, she asked the question: "For those of you who love poetry, how did you come to love it?" Here you go, Nan-girl.

"Poetry soothes and emboldens the soul to accept mystery." --John Keats

I owe my love of poetry to my father, who would read to me almost every night when I was very young, tucking me in with Eugene Field's Wynken, Blynken, and Nod, and other poets. He would read slowly and with feeling, savoring every word. Not bad for a guy who had no more than an 8th grade education. Having been placed in a children's home at age 2, and then shipped in and out of foster care, his other parenting skills were less than awesome. Not surprising, really. But man, could he recite a poem. Thanks, dad. Because of you, Robert Louis Stevenson will always have a special place in my heart.

"Oh I do think it's the pleasantest things ever a child can do..." 
-The Swing, R.L.S

*Nope, that's not me in the photo. It's from my vintage pic stash.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Pulling a Rabbit Out of the Hat?

Not a rabbit, a Renee at Southern Gal Thoughts! Congratulations, my little bunny! Heh heh.

My lovely assistant

Renee, send me your info, and I'll mail it off. Once again, I wish I could send everyone a present. Thanks for playing!

Monday, July 22, 2013

It Wouldn't be a Celebration Without "Torta"

Tonight, at 8 o'clock, a winner will be picked for the blog-aversary giveaway! In the meantime, let's discuss cake.

What I really want to do is honor the cake maker, my young friend Audrey. Her family and ours have been long-time friends. Every member of that clan is wildly creative, so our get-togethers are a great source of joy and inspiration. When you visit the D-family, you'll experience aria singing, beer brewing, bee-keeping, gardening, piano/harp playing, painting, drawing, and all manner of hilarious Jane Austen-quoting. Curious Acorn has already featured some of the talents of Joan, Mary, and Fiona (Rachel, your turn is coming next, and I can't wait!)

Anyway, today belongs to Audrey and the magnificent "Cassata alla Siciliana" she made for our visit last week. I've seen the recipe for this cake, and let me tell you, it's daunting. Audrey took up the challenge and was victorious. Way to go, beauteous shield maiden!

*The Cooking of Italy, Time-Life Books



Monday, July 15, 2013

Curious Acorn turns 4--Want a Prezzie?

Continuing in the hobbit tradition - it's my blog's birthday, you get the present. The things I give away are a bit random. Not unlike my blog. They represent the spirit of Curious Acorn and what you'll find when you visit here.

The package will include:

1. A yummy blank paper journal from the Brandywine Conservancy, perfect for sketching or writing
2. A sparkly-warkly glass honey bee ornament
3. A beautiful miniature painting/magnet of Portrait of Miss Mary Dupont (1906) from the Brandywine River Museum (come on, admit it, you know you've always wanted one)
4. A package of absolutely ridiculous and oh-so-pretty flowered paper drinking straws, because everyone needs a bit of nonsense in their lives (after all, "a little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men")

My most favorite thing about blogging is the friendships that I have made. My love languages are gifts and words of affirmation. You've probably guessed that by now. So this is my way of saying thank you for all that you have given.

To get your name in the hat, all you'll need to do is leave a comment. If you're a lurker who has never commented before, introduce yourself for goodness sakes! Deadline is Monday, July 22nd at 8:00PM EST. I'll mail the gift anywhere - it's a small world after all.

P.S. If you've won before, it doesn't mean you can't win again. AND, I will mail it overseas!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Almost FOUR -- Bless me!

It's that time again!  Time for this hobbit to celebrate her blog-iversary.  And, in keeping with Acorn tradition, I'll be having a giveaway.  Because, as we all know, hobbits give presents on their birthdays.  And speaking of hobbits, can you believe I took the photo of this hobbit hole?  Yes, indeedy, I actually got to visit Hobbiton in New Zealand.  Eeep!  A Tolkien-geek dream come true!  But--back to the matter at hand.  I'm running a bit late this year concerning the "party business". 

Wow, tempus does fugit, heh heh.  Four years ago, I started blogging as a creative outlet.  It really has been an adventure.  This year I have had the opportunity to pursue another dream--devoting more of my time to messing about with paint.  Hence I haven't posted as much.  But through Curious Acorn I've met such excellent and admirable hobbits, er, I mean, such fascinating people, and made some genuine friendships to boot.  So, unlike Bilbo, I'm not planning to disappear.  

In a few days time, I'll get back to you, my lovely visitors, on the details of this year's anniversary giveaway celebration.!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Polly-Acorn plays the Glad Game

 As she talked, she did not look at his face. Her rapt eyes were still on the dancing flecks of color from the prism pendants swaying in the sunlit window.
"And that's all," she sighed, when she had finished. "And now you know why I said the sun was trying to play it--that game."
For a moment there was silence. Then a low voice from the bed said unsteadily:
"Perhaps; but I'm thinking that the very finest prism of them all is yourself, Pollyanna."
"Oh, but I don't show beautiful red and green and purple when the sun shines through me, Mr. Pendleton!"
"Don't you?" smiled the man. And Pollyanna, looking into his face, wondered why there were tears in his eyes.~ Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter

Do you remember the film Pollyanna?  Heyley Mills won an award in 1960 playing a character by the same name.  She was the "glass half full" kid who went around cheering up the curmudgeons in her town, introducing them to the "Glad Game", where you find something to be glad about in every situation.  In the movie, Pollyanna transforms the life of one particularly crabby woman simply by hanging some sparkly-warklies in the old dame's window.  Ah, if it were only that easy...

I'm not exactly what you'd call a "glass half full" girl.  I can, if not careful, lean towards the curmudgeon-y, so I work at it.  I've been playing at my own "glad game" by making a ka-razy chandelier for over the dining room table.  

We put in a glass-beaded ceiling lamp from one of those home warehouse stores.  But the very next day, I regretted buying it because it was BORING.  Still the thought of returning it meant annoying my husband and son who installed it, finding the receipt which I probably threw out, and blah, blah, blah.  Til one hap-hap-happy day, I got the idea to start attaching old crystal chandelier prisms and other bits of colored glass to the beaded strands...

I've made a game of finding the sparkly bits at yard sales and what not. It's not quite long enough yet to catch sunlight from the window and shoot mini-rainbows around the room.  So, I'll keep hunting.

I hope I can add enough pieces so it gets really long and dangles and clinks and tinkles eccentrically and just skims the tips of the flames at a candlelight dinner -

Like something you'd find at a Wonderland-esque tea party.
Ooh, Pollyanna meets the Mad Hatter! I'm feeling less curmudgeon-y already. 


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