This Week in Pictures

This Week in Pictures

Last weekend we started a bunch of seeds. Some tomatoes and peppers. A bunch of green leafy vegetables and some sunflowers, marigolds and nasturtiums.

Bella and Sophie both helped.




Sophie put this outfit together all by herself. She’s got Bella’s snow boots on with a sundress, pants, sweater, and of course the hat.


One morning I opened the curtain in the girls room and was greeted by a festival of pink flowers.

Here Bella shows Sophie the peach flowers.


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  • Love your story here, Melanie. Familiar but with different details. Love the quote from Herman. Sometimes it’s easier to see in someone else’s story the answers to struggles in my own. 

    One of my favorite parts of being a mother is being able to return to all those good children’s books when our attention spans are shortened…

  • Melanie, thank you for this post, which I may try to pass on to my high school senior daughter.  It conveys, better than anything I might be able to say, why we don’t want to pay for her to go to a standard-issue college – for academic reasons (she understands what we think of dorm life).  Most of the time she just can’t believe that academia is as tough an intellectual environment as we see it to be.
    And thank you for the sense of what we need to find in fiction.  I never did like the Romantics myself (too much of a struggle to read the French ones in high school).  But the realists left me cold, too.  I tended to find what I sought in the older works in French, and in Trollope (who has bits of romanticism, but not too many) and other writers who create a world where you can sense joy and meaning even when they write about tragedies.

  • Thank you, I adored your post!!  Our lives have shared many similarities. My love was History.  I too had to go through the Romanticism purging.  I too was trying to make my way through academia looking for God’s hand in all of it.  It is refreshing to know similar hearts exist out there when academia can burn and dull your soul. I have many war wounds from the whole experience despite all the accolades and awards received.
    I agree that it is amazing how motherhood changes you into a new woman.  The new topics and adventures in this new life do leave your past loves altered.  How I long for academic leisure again too, but I am excited about this new path that He guides me on, as you are too.
    Thank you

  • I’m curious what you mean by “aesthetic”—is it a mode of creation, or a tool of analysis, or both?

  • By aesthetic I mean a philosophy of beauty and of art. I’m not sure what you mean by “mode of creation”. An artist’s philosophy of art would certainly inform his creative process. But I’m not an artist so to me how that works is rather theoretical. I’m more interested in a philosophy of art from the point of view of a reader/ observer/critic. You could call it a “tool of analysis”, though that’s rather a crude way of putting it and misunderstands the nature of philosophy. Philosophy is an act of the intellect, a seeking for truth. It is a way of thinking not a tool for thinking.

  • Fair enough. It sounds to me like you belonged in a philosophy department, not a literature department.

  • “It sounds to me like you belonged in a philosophy department, not a literature department.”

    Not really. I took four philosophy classes as an undergrad and liked it well enough but only did middling well. I don’t really think like a philosopher. To me philosophy is like a skeleton with no flesh. All hard ideas and no emotion. In philosophy words mean one and only one thing rather than the play of symbol and metaphor and image that exist in poetry. 

    I should add that I know plenty of philosophers who would disagree. We’ll just have to agree to disagree. That’s how they know they are philosophers and how I know I’m not. No, literature always has been the discipline for me.

    On the other hand, I do believe that philosophy is properly the underpinning of all the liberal arts. If you don’t have a philosophy, all you have is an ideology. Philosophy, as the search for truth, is the proper pursuit of all people who wish to be fully human.

    I suppose it really depends on what you think the proper job of a literature department is. I’m old fashioned, I suppose. I think most literature departments have gone off the rails and lost their way in a dark woods of ideologizing. They don’t really know exactly why we read literature in the first place. (Many can’t even agree what literature is.) They go about imposing their pet theories onto the poor innocent books rather than asking what the books might have to say of their own accord. So, yeah, if you look at the state of the discipline such as it is now, I don’t belong in most contemporary literature departments. However there isn’t anywhere else in academia that I belong either.