Thursday, September 29, 2011
They had a hard working French cook who turned out deluxe multi-course meals three to four times a day and plucked his own pheasants etc. They could only use tools and methods that were actually available in the period. An elaborate mansion was leased by PBS and this Edwardian Experiment was filmed as a TV series. Many interviews are given in the book as to how people were feeling and dealing with their new roles. The family above stairs had to get used to entertaining and being waited on to the point of having very little privacy.The servants had to get up before dawn and work all day into the late evening doing everything from keeping fires burning to polishing silver, peeling vegetables and preparing for parties of distinguished guests. This book gave a lot of background history of England in the early 1900's and showed pictures of their elaborate dinner parties and ridiculously extravagant entertainments. The modern participants, including the folks living the privileged life of the upperclass family as well as the servants, found it most difficult to get used to the absolute, unwavering attention to rank and status. They all were very grateful for the opportunity as no expense was spared to make the experience authentic.
What is typical of my style, is that I read the entire book but I have never seen an episode of this series on TV or on the computer. I generally prefer the written version of most things. I would much rather read a review of a movie than see the movie! It took me most of the summer to read this non-fiction book and I found it to be worth my time.
Left neglected by Lisa Genova was a very interesting and up to the minute story of a high powered career couple and their crazy-busy family life in a fancy suburb of Boston .The Mom has a serious, life-changing car accident while texting her business associates. She spends the next four months in neuro rehab because she is no longer aware of ANYTHING to the left of the midline of her body. She cannot see the left side of anything and is not aware that it exists at all. She eats only the food on the right side of her plate and can only read the right side of the page. In fact, she doesn't know that she has a left hand, arm, foot or leg. She can't "find" them and make them move. She eventually comes home from rehab and her husband has to floss her teeth for her nightly which is in complete contrast to the 13 or more hour days she used to work in a fast paced job while raising three young kids (with the help of a great nanny).
Although I had never heard of it, this strange condition can happen to people after a head injury. The author took great pains to describe how it felt and what it was like to have it. Not quite as busy as the Mom in the story, I could only imagine how tragic it would be to suddenly not be able to do for oneself and be this dependent on others for everything. At the end of the story, the woman is able to return to skiing downhill in a special disability snowboard and takes a job in charge of the program at the ski resort. She and her husband move to Vermont to a much slower paced and less expensive lifestyle. She connects with her son who is struggling with ADD because they do similar homework together and help each other.It was a very entertaining story and it was easy to read quickly.
Since, the school year began, I have been reading great children's literature like Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Magic from which I get child-rearing tips, and All -of-A Kind Family about an Orthdox Jewish family of 5 daughters and their wonderful Mamma and Pappa. It has also been great to re-read Sarah, Plain and Tall. Good Stuff! Happy Reading!
Monday, September 19, 2011
By the way, I hated to have to throw out all the water I had stored away. A friend mentioned that it could be used to fill up the washing machine and that is what I did!!!
I am amazed at how busy we are, like every other family, no doubt, since the school year has begun. We work all day at schoolwork, have a modest number of activities and then study, read and do homework until 11pm at night. Then we begin again in the morning. That is why I took an "In-service Day" today to write eleven blog posts. There is no other time. I really enjoy seeing so many students studying daily here, from college age down, because that is the primary occupation of young people.
May God bless all students, teachers and parents and those who support their work this year and help us all to realize that To God Be The Glory as we study and marvel at his Handiwork.