Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bleeding Hearts and Daydreams

Bleeding Hearts and Daydreams

With this blog I intend to gently nudge my readers to ponder ideas of how and why to take part in Mother Culture. If you are a homeschooling mother you will have many demands upon you. Reserving a little time for yourself, for the refreshment and renewal of your soul, will bring blessing to the whole family because the advantages of Mother Culture do not end with yourself. Rather they are the kind of blessings that will overflow to those you love and serve.

I planted the bleeding heart you see in the photo. The cameraman is my husband, Dean. He is keen on taking pictures and so is happy to click away. If you’ve read my books you know I am smitten by this delicate shade plant that blooms in early May for a short time but returns each year bearing more pink dangling hearts to charm and feed the bumblebees. Taking an afternoon to drive to the nursery was a refreshing change from household chores. I was home in time to prepare supper but that hour was a delight. The plant only cost a few dollars. The renewable pleasure of anticipating bleeding hearts each spring will by far outweigh the initial cost. I think I will move it over some because it blocks the view from my kitchen door of our bright blooming rhododendron.

“Brush away the cobwebs from your daydreams . . .” The Moody Blues

I listened to this song recently (I love it) and scribbled this line down to share with you. I allow myself to daydream. Can you see the flat rock that was left at the edge of our lawn by the builders? It made its appeal to me this spring to be turned into a seat for an upcoming courting couple perhaps. (Our son still lives with us. His sisters are married.) Daydreaming transformed a plain rock into the centerpiece of a romantic setting. (I surprised myself because I am much more like Jane Austin’s Eleanor than her Marianne.) Flagstones in front, the bleeding hearts and some other flowering plants here and there among the hostas, have transformed the place into the beginnings of a restful spot. I say “beginnings” because perennials take time to fill out and give the appearance of belonging -- as if having sprung up entirely on a whim. The spot needs some serious weeding which Dean and I already started doing since the photo was taken. A delivery of mulch was dumped in the driveway this week. Weeding and mulching aren’t what I relish about gardening but they are practical and do remind me to supply myself with what I need to flourish as a person while giving the garden what it needs to flourish. Daydreaming alone is not enough but it can be the start of something wonderful.


  1. Dear Karen, my favourite author. I'm so glad you have started a blog, I look forward to each post.
    The bleeding hearts in your garden, I always pictured them as ballerinas as a little girl.
    Thankyou for your email letting me know, I really appreciate it.Blessings,Renelle

  2. Dear Karen,

    What a beautiful and peaceful setting with that large rock and the pretty flowers. Truly a spot where one can sit and daydream and relate to the beauty all around.

    I like what you said about being more like 'Eleanor' than Marianne. That is such a wonderful movie based on Jane Austen's writing, "Sense and Sensibility". I always felt that I too am more like "Eleanor". You have given the impetus to me to pull that movie out and watch it again, though I have seen it many times, I always find something 'new' in it when I watch it.

    It reminds me of how wonderful it is to renew our minds to the good things in our lives, and I thank God for waking up each day and being able to spend time with my family, who are not only human, but my family of kitties that keep me busy. :)

  3. Hi mom,

    Your love of flowers has enriched my life across the years. No matter where we lived,a home in town with a postage stamp back yard or thirty acres in the county, you always took time to spread some color and cheer each spring with at the very least a few marigolds. I remember as a little girl flipping though the gardening books you brought home from the library for yourself along with the stack of books for us kids. The lush photos of English gardens bursting with color and overflowing with climbing roses transported me to a different world. One that I as an adult understand you attempted to create as best you could. I now dream of those same gardens for my little cottage. I bring the same beautiful books home from the library along with baby William's train books. The harsh heat of Maryland is not as accommodating as the moist and mild air of England but I do my best. Sometimes I feel discouraged when the sun beats down on my poor little one dollar a pack petunias and I see them wilting into the thinly spread mulch. (Not the full and lush flowers beds I see in my head.)But I remember that you persevered even in Tennessean when you had to nestle your plants in red clay and sand. All our top soil had been scraped into the neighbors yard to level things out during construction. I continue to learn about the best plants to grow here outside of Baltimore. I am also blessed to live in a home that is over 60 years old and has some mature, shrubs and plants that provide privacy and shade under which my little boy plays.
    I am happy that you can finally start planting flower beds which you will be able to enjoy for years to come as you watch them mature and fill out.
    Your bleeding hears are beautiful and I hope to plants some here next spring.

  4. Karen~
    I am so excited to know about your blog. You are THE reason I found Charlotte Mason. Your book, A Charlotte Mason Companion, gave me the courage to homeschool my own three blessings. I just love you!

  5. Hi Karen,
    I was delighted to stumble upon your blog. I loved seeing your picture with the bleeding hearts. They are a favourite of my mothers and hse has them growing inside in her sunny hallway.
    Also I want to say how much of an encouragement and an inspiration you are to me. I am an older tire homeschooling Mum and your books are uplifting and soothing to the old tired soul :-)
    Bless you Karen. I look forward to visiting again.

  6. Dear Renelle, Elena, Sophia, Heather, and Miss Sandra,
    I am happy you have all come to visit. Your compliments are so sweet. I feel like I have received a bouquet of fragrant flowers from friends.

    Renelle, I am touched that my writing is so valued by you. Thank you for sharing this with me.

    Elena, The film Sense & Sensibility with Emma Thompson as Elizabeth is special to me in many ways. I notice something new each time, too, such as the dress Elizabeth wears when she enters her father's study near the end of the film. The fabric is covered in little snow drops (a delicate February flower that I am so fond of).

    Sophia, my lovely daughter, I did not know that you remembered all those details from your childhood but then again, you were always an observant child. And now you are a green-thumb. And your little William is watching closely all that you do.

    Heather, The courage you have comes from your own desire to teach your children and keep them near to you. It is good to know that my book put you in touch with it. Aren't Charlotte Mason's ideas invigorating?

    Miss Sandra,
    To sooth a tired soul is my desire. It is no surprise that a homeschooling mother can easy become drained. Her heart is magnanimous and her days are full of serving. I wish to come along side and encourage.

    You've all put a smile on my face. Karen A.

  7. Elena,
    I've gotten carried away with my Jane Austin films. Emma Thompson plays Eleanor in S&S. It is the character Elizabeth of the six hour Pride & Prejudice film who wears the dress I like so much. I find these two films to be enthralling.
    Karen A.

  8. Hi! Karen,

    I am thrilled, thrilled, thrilled to find that you have started a blog! You are my absolute favorite homeschool author! I have read Pocketful of Pinecones each year for the past seven years. It's my "go to" book to get motivated for the next school year. Thanks so much for the inspiration you have given me through the years!

  9. Hello Karen!
    I've begun my journey through your blog. Have you read your blog from beginning to end recently? I've been reading my own, and I've read a couple others this way. It's a wonderful way to remember, and to get to know the writer as you glean ideas and wisdom for your own life...even if you were the writer! I've encouraged myself greatly through reading my own posts of God's faithfulness. ~smile~

    Be blessed my dear, and be ready to read a few comments from me along the way on your old posts.

    P.S. Feeling much better today. I'll find out about surgery late this week.

    1. Wow, Laura. You really are going back. I'm honored. So glad that some of your stamina has returned after all those medical treatments you have endured. I admire your fortitude of spirit. Karen