Exploring on two wheels (and tricycles)

September 28, 2016

uh-oh, can I make it? ;)
lots of bunnies at the playground!

Bike rides were a big hit for everyone here this summer.  It was a great way to end a hot summer day -- a ride down to the playground for an hour and then a bit of exploring around the town on some back roads.  
On my own, I biked along West Ave., a mostly-flat country road directly across the valley.  Though there are some hotter areas, it is shaded for the most part which is a great relief.  I also discovered a small roadside stand on West Ave. and developed a habit of stopping for few cookies whenever I passed by there.  The little kids were thrilled when I brought them home one. ;)  

It's awe-inspiring to ride down that road and look to one side to see rusty red tractors moving across the golden fields wavy with heat cutting hay and straw, and to look to the other side to see a thick forest of maples rife with chattering chipmunks. ;)  For emergency contact, I am always equipped with the old iPhone which has a tolerable camera, but even when I brought Mom's Nikon once, I couldn't seem to capture the serene beauty of that place.  Some of you might recall how much I love wide open fields, red barns, and rundown farmhouse so, as you have already guessed I'm sure, this road is my haven. ;)

What would you guys like to see more of on Lantern in Her Hand??  Photoshoots, life adventures, pictures of babies, ;) photos of the farm?  Comment below!

Pheobe | portraits | summer 2016

September 23, 2016

 I know, I'm crazy.  Posting a photoshoot of a chicken?
This lovely girl is Pheobe.  We're not sure what breed she is because she was given to us by some acquaintances who found her at the side of the road. XD  Anyhow, they named her Mark, but I changed it to Pheobe after discovering she was a girl.

Annika Vera | portraits | June 2016

September 12, 2016

This is ten-year-old Annika, younger sister, friend, and artist.  I am very blessed to have a sister like Annika.  She is always ready to listen to any one of my newest stories and is forever encouraging me. She energetic about anything and everything and always (mostly) ;) has a smile on her face.  Annika enjoys a large number of pastimes, but some of her favorites include: weaving on her many looms, drawing, reading, and entertaining/playing with her younger siblings.  She's always ready to pose for the camera -- always ready to share a smile or a sweet comment, and just bubbles over with contagious happiness. 

"Sing the song of your heart,
and listen to it well." 
- Anonymous


September 06, 2016

She was different, she was.
A fearless one without a scruple
as to where her heart should be.
Her heart was a stony one.
Her eyes were fiery ones.
Her conscience was a foggy one.
The ruts in her road were dark ones indeed.  ​
Never had she smiled.
She was one of those people,
who, after centuries of fruitless searching,
could still not find where they belonged.
And so she hid.
She hid inside of herself.
In the shadows.
In all unlikely places.  
The ice that ran through her veins never thawed.
And the sliver of daylight that shone through
a small corner in her heart
never grew any brighter. 
- See more at: http://majesticgoldenrose.weebly.com/blog/fearless#sthash.A9W7YnbS.dpuf

farewell summer, until next time

September 05, 2016

Wow.  This summer has gone by so quickly and yet was filled with so many amazing things.  I learned a lot this summer about myself and writing, about the importance of being earnest, about the blessing of friends.  From the annual county fair and showing chickens there, to the most remote conversations with friends.  Though I skimped a bit on my reading this summer and spring, here's a list of what I did get to and can remember:
(the * means it was a re-read)

Little Women* by Louisa May Alcott
Olive's Ocean by Kevin Henkes
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie* by Alan Bradley
A Red Herring Without Mustard* by Alan Bradley
The Peterkin Papers by Lucretia Hale
A Lantern in Her Hand (the book my blog was named after)* by Bess Streeter Alrich
The Book on Writing by Paula Laroque
Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande
Crafting Stories for Children by Nancy Lamb
Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
The Old Man and the Sea (x2) by Ernest Hemingway
The Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George
The Semi-attached Couple by Emily Eden
The Semi-detached House by Emily Eden
The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline* by Nancy Springer
Sisters of the Confederacy by Lauraine Snelling
Northanger Abbey* by Jane Austen
The White Company by Authur Conan Doyle
North and South by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
L. M. Montgomery short stories by L. M. Montgomery

If you haven't read some of these books, you must.  All of them were incredible.  Also, I definitely know there were more, but knowing me, I didn't make a list. ;)  What books did you enjoy this summer?

Memorable events from this summer and spring:
Hiking different trails of the Finger Lakes
Gatherings with friends
The hatching of my chicken friends: Tickles, Roger, Bibbiti, and Bobbiti.  I call them The Company (photos and story soon!)
Bike rides around town
How excited everyone would get when it rained
Campfires in the evenings
Cousin Campout 2016 - the fifth annual
The day when we heard that our friends who moved to Colorado two years ago are coming to visit in October
Prepping for school
Listening to books on Audible and Librivox
A book club with a friend
Corning Museum of Glass
Genesee Country Village
Ontario County Fair + State Fair
My new camera + 50mm lens
Getting my ears pierced
Phone calls with friends
Beach visits
Piano lessons which continued through the summer for the first time
Eating half-baked brownies ;)
Using my typewriter
Finding a whole bush of nightshade, including some deadly nightshade!
Enjoying new baby Beatrix
Watching the sunset + big fluffy clouds
Taking photos of heat lightning in July
Trying to find a cool place to write
Picking black raspberries while trying to swat flies and mosquitoes
Summer dinners on the deck
Dad re-painted the house, deck, and picnic table
Writing amidst the roses at Gairloch Gardens in Canada
Pizza parties of all sorts
Attending my first-ever wedding
Beatrix's baptism 
Getting my hair cut on my birthday

I am excited for school and our school-year activities to start up again.  Though I love summer, it is nice to have a routine and a schedule.

Looking forward to: 
Greek 102 starts Septemeber 16 so I have been trying to cram in as much studying as I can!
Homeschool starts tomorrow!  I can't believe I am in highschool!
Nature studies together on Fridays with our friends!  
Seeing the Keys in October!  
Laying in the fallen leaves outside and doing schoolwork!  
Trying to find the time to write once school starts . . . !
Wearing socks and cardigans again!

Annika, me, Sarah, and Beatrix
And lastly, the books my mom chose for me for ninth grade:
Our Life in the Church
How to be a Tudor by Ruth Goodman
Hands of Mercy: The Story of Sister Nurses in the Civil War
Arnold Forster's A History of England from the Landing of Julius Caesar to the Present Day
The Mediterranean: Saga of a Sea (parts I-III)
The Odyssey of Homer
Napolean and the Napoleonic Wars
Clockwork Universe
Wildflowers and the Stories Behind Their Names
Are you Liberal, Conservative, or Confused?
The Count of Monte Cristo
A History of English Literature
Of Microscopes and Men
School for Scandal
The Story of Science: Newton at the Center
The Glorious Adventure by Richard Halliburton
Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini
Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery
The Everything American Government Book by Nick Ragone
Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe
The Struggle for Sea Power
A Tale of Two Cities 
John Steinbeck's The Pearl
The Vicar of Wakefield
Janson's Story of Painting: From Cave Painting to Modern Times
The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean
Microbe Hunters
Wee Sir Gibbie of the Highlands


September 01, 2016

The girl was the only one who had noticed it.  As her eyes lit upon its shimmering, seemingly insubstantial form, she studied it with searching eyes.  It was nestled in-between two rotting logs of pine glinting in the surreal sunlight of the forest.  Surrounding it were tall stately trees -- pine, maple, and oak.  Yes, she was the only one who saw it there strung across those logs.  It was a spider's web, small and insignificant, but she was one who noticed those kinds of things.  It moved in the gentle breeze, waving back and forth.  And then, there in her eyes, I saw something so different from anything I had ever seen.  
The sky darkened as the sun set over the hills across the dark valley, and there I stood holding a fragment of I knew not what in my hands.  It glistened and sparkled a pale blue as if inset with gems.  The gossamer strands holding it together caught my attention, for I then realized it was the web, the one I was caught in.  

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