Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Pauline Baynes, Perseids, Olympics, and "Mozart and Mud Pies..."

Illustration from Farmer Giles of Ham, by Pauline Baynes.

(I actually put up this post late last night, but I pulled it because I wanted to add some things to it early this morning. Early morning has come and gone, and I still haven't gotten to it, so I'll post this now and maybe add a second post later. So, when you read "yesterday" or "today", it is now actually "two days ago" and "yesterday.")

I found out today that Pauline Baynes, my favorite Narnia Chronicles illustrator has passed away. My kids love her illustrations. I love her illustrations. And so do many others. I followed a blog trail to the story, and I can't remember exactly how I got there. But there was a link to a very nice tribute to Pauline Baynes by Brian Sibley. If you're a fan of the illustrator, you'll enjoy reading this. If the article has moved down the blog, it's dated August 4, 2008:


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At 4:00 this morning, I was outside by myself, bundled in a warm jacket and wrapped in a quilt. I sat on a chair in my front yard, staring up at the starry sky. I was watching the Perseid meteor shower, and I was not disappointed. Early on, I abandoned the plan of looking toward the northeast. It didn't seem to matter where I looked-- meteors were streaking all over the sky, or so it seemed to me. So, I looked straight up, hoping to catch more of them in my peripheral vision that way. It seems to have worked. I loved being outside in the cool, quiet darkness. I could hear an owl hooting, and before I came back inside, I could hear cars way off in the distance, moving along the country road toward town. They were likely headed for work, probably for the early 5 a.m. shift somewhere. I'll be going back outside tonight. The Perseid show is peaking right now, but it will go on for awhile, so if your skies are cloudy, don't despair. And be sure to get out there-- this only happens once a year!

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Have you been watching the Olympics? We don't have a TV, but if we did, I would be parked in front of it. I've always loved watching the Olympics, and this year, I'm paying close attention to Michael Phelps and his attempt at a record-setting 8 gold medals in one Olympics. So far, so good, but the 4x100 relay sounded really scary. What an amazing comeback at the end of that race. Five down for Phelps, three to go. I always like to see what's going on with gymnastics, and usually, track and field is my favorite to watch. During the Olympics is the only time I ever get TV envy, especially when Aaron says he made brownies and tea to have while watching them. Wish I could join you, Aaron!

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I've been reading the blog Mozart & Mudpies ever since Ann started keeping it, and immediately she became a very favorite blogger. This is a perfect place for new homeschoolers and mothers of young children to visit, but I love reading Ann's blog even though I'm a "retired" homeschool mom.

Ann's way is simple, generous, gentle, lovely, and a whole lot of fun, and I think Mozart and Mudpies is an encouraging place for anyone to spend some time.Ann has a couple of recent posts that I think are just wonderful. She gets behind the practical, lesson-oriented details of homeschooling to the spirit that will feed and nourish a person and help to create a wonderful learning environment. And both of these are so very important.

Go have a look. You'll be glad you did.