Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Top 3 Girl Detectives from My Childhood

Summer feels made for reading, doesn't it?  It's what I spent most of my time doing when I was a kid and the days stretched long and hot before me.  There was no Netflix where I could watch anything I wanted on demand.  (I can still remember some of the line-up on WTTO Channel 21 that included The Beverley Hillbillies and Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. )  There were no iPads for playing games; my parents had to drive me to the city library where I would go to the circulation desk and ask for the floppy disk box containing Oregon Trail.  That was always so exciting, even though most of the time I never made it to Oregon, having lost all of my possessions crossing a river along the way.  

Is it possible to carry that much food in a wagon?

The kids and I walked to the library yesterday, and I walked away with a small stack of books to read over the next three weeks.  Ella borrowed a book she's already read and enjoyed once before, and it made me think of the young girls and ladies that I read about over and over growing up. These were my favorites, again and again.

I only ever owned three of these books, but I re-read them on a consistent basis.  Maybe I'll go on an e-bay quest to find more.  Trixie was the more relatable of the amateur female detectives I read.  She was certainly the youngest at 13, which still seems so grown-up when you're 9 or 10.  I learned so many useful things from these books, like how to use a tourniquet if you got bit by a copperhead and that there was a lot more to New York state than the city of the same name.

Of course I read this lady.  What a time capsule for what 18 can look like!  At 18 years-old Nancy could be trusted to stay on a budget with the money her father gave her for clothing, pay attention to the sermon at church, and she held the unwavering respect of Chief McGinnis of the River Heights police force.  She handled being chloroformed and tied up by ne'er do well criminals with aplomb.  Nothing that came her way could take away her desire for the next mystery to solve.  She was always doing exciting things like taking the overnight train to New York, a steamer boat to South America, or driving down to New Orleans in her infamous blue convertible.  She's still my hero.

There was a shelf full of these at my local library growing up, and I didn't re-read them as often as Trixie and Nancy, but Cherry was a good heroine just the same, pursuing her career sometimes as an army nurse and in other books as a house visitor.  And of course, there was always a healthy dose of detection on the side.

Who were your favorite girl detectives?  Is there someone amazing I missed?

"Ned said 'Nancy Drew is the best girl detective in the whole world!'
'Don't you believe him,' Nancy said quickly. 
'I have solved some mysteries, 
I'll admit, and I enjoy it, 
but I'm sure there are many other girls who could do the same.'"

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


Happy summer holidays to us!  Having a few weeks without our "regularly scheduled programming" is surely what the doctor--or more rightly--a kind providence ordered.

Summer is coming downstairs to your kids snuggled up watching Ninjago together.
Let's take a moment to celebrate having big kids that don't wake you up at the crack
of dawn needing your immediate attention and care.  Is this the pinnacle of parenting?

We began our summer holidays with a week in Keswick for the Keswick Convention with several members of our church family.  We had a really good time and enjoyed an especially sunny and warm day on Monday when we drove to Grasmere to visit the cottage where William Wordsworth lived.

What a happy fortune to live here indeed!

We joined a guided tour of Dove Cottage where we learned a lot about the poet and his life.  I'm just so thankful I am not living in such small, dark and damp rooms as the ground floor of this cottage had!

The main downstairs room they spent a lot of time in had this lovely window at least!  The windows in the dark kitchen were so small, and we were told they had been increased in size by a third to let in more light.  

This was a his and hers washstand Wordsworth and his wife, Mary Hutchinson, were given as a wedding gift.  The other side would come up as well, the precursor to the double bathroom sink!

This was a pleasant and beautiful room on the first floor (or second floor if you're an American).

This small case is all Wordsworth would carry with him when traveling as far off as France. He inked his name into the top of the case and ran out of room for the H.  It's good to know even great poets do stuff like that.

The garden was lovely and more on the natural and wild side than gardened with a heavy hand.  The Wordsworths would have had a clear view of Grasmere (the lake) when they lived here, but these days the view is somewhat blocked by some houses built in Victorian times.

Stones with various lines written by William and his sister Dorothy lined the upward path to a poet's nook where Ella sat and wrote a little piece of poetry of her own.

I noticed so many beautiful ferns growing in The Lake District.  Perhaps they thrive with all the water?


K.J. took the kids off to put the inflatable kayak in the lake where they had a small misadventure when they discovered a leak.  Meanwhile, I was sent to discover some nationally renowned gingerbread recommended to us.  It was indeed, the most amazing of gingerbreads.  I also found the Wordsworth graves.

 Oh, the smell of ginger emanating from this tiny room!

The rest of these pictures were taken out the car window as we drove the winding road back to Keswick.  What a beautiful place.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

July Flew By

July 1 - An Afternoon's Walk

July 3 - Farm Shop Beauty

July 4 - Sparkler Fun

July 5 - Homeschool Smiles

July 6 - My boys love games.

July 7 - Spotted a hat among the books

July 8 - A Surprise Sunny Saturday

I missed a lot of days in July apparently!  It was busy with the end of school.

July 13 - After School Popcorn

July 14 - Ballet and Tap Exams

July 16 - Sweet Friends

July 17 - Sports Day Winners (just had to hide a child's face in the background)

July 18 - A Slight Breeze

July 20 - Evening Light

July 21 - End of School Barbecue Treats

July 22 - Kids' Keswick Escape

July 23 - Beatrix Potter Country

July 24 - William Wordsworth's Home

July 25 - A Misty Lake Morning

July 26 - A Cheese Platter set up by the Lovely Sally

July 27 - Mint Chocolate Gelato with My Girl

July 28 - The wildflowers are really beautiful in the summer.

July 29 - Just a little sunset picture by K.J.

July 30 - Babies with Ice Lollies, i.e. Popsicles

July 31 - My hydrangea is finally blooming again, and it is lovely.