Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Bluebird of Happiness (a longish post)

Today was a very special day - something truly wonderful happened.  This has only happened once before in my life, the first time was in April 1996, just a few days before Robin was born, I was in the Bernheim Forest.  Today we were in the car leaving church and it happened again...I saw a Bluebird.  It was beautiful.  I felt so joyous.  I saw it twice, the second time Robin saw it with me - and I believe it is a sign of very good things to come, of immense happiness.  Here is what Wikipedia says about bluebirds:  "The mythology of the bluebird of happiness has deep roots that go back thousands of years. Indigenous cultures across the globe hold similar myths and beliefs about the bluebird. It is a widely accepted symbol of cheerfulness, happiness, prosperity, hearth and home, good health, new births, the renewal of springtime, etc. Virtually any positive sentiments may be attached to the bluebird.  Many Native American tribes consider the Bluebird sacred."
I have also seen an Indigo Bunting once, many years ago in Pennsylvania.  But this Bluebird today was a messenger of happiness and joy, I'm sure.  I have stitched a bluebird before, I found it the other day.  I do still have a few of the the things I have stitched over the years, I'm so glad I saved this one:

It isn't framed yet.  At the same time, I also stitched some charming sheep.  Both were Bent Creek kits.  Here are the sheep, also not framed yet:

I've also knit a little bluebird, though the pattern was supposed to be for a baby pigeon, it looks like a bluebird to me.  The pattern was from the knitting book Stitch London. 

We saw a really neat movie this week:  Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.  I would highly recommend it for its romance, humor, scenery, and thought provoking ideas.  Definatley the kind of movie I'll want to see many times again.  Good old Redbox.  I had a coupon, so rented it for 75 cents.  We love bargains.  Robin had a charming outfit she put together again this morning for church, every morning I love to see what she comes up with. 
My little scholar has finished all her high school work.  We will have a little ceremony and party for her next summer before she goes to college.  She continues to read like a machine, and we have had countless fascinating discussions about her reading and about the books we have both read.  She has definately out-read me, though, no wonder one of her nicknames is "the reading machine".  I am amazed how she remembers and evaluates everything she has read.  We have also had many compare and contrast discussions.  I asked her to keep a list of her high school reading, which she has and I will share here, though I know this is only a partial list, for she only adds titles she deems worthy.  Any modern novels or newer literature she does not deem worthy to add.  Some of the books on the list she has read more than once, such as DeToquevilles's Democracy in America, which she really enjoyed and wrote a paper on.  She also did a thesis on war.  Anyway, here is just part of her high school reading list in the order that they were read - to save typing I'll skip some of the more well known author's names:

2010 - 2012
The Bible
Peace is Every Step
Ghandi: The Man, His People, and the Empire
Democracy in America by Alexis DeToqueville
The Journals of Lewis and Clark
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Civil Disobediance by Henry David Thoreau
A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
The Maine Woods
Little Men
An Old Fashioned Girl by Alcott
Native Tongues by Charles Berlitz
Jo's Boys
Eight Cousins
Rose in Bloom
Lincoln the Unknown by Dale Carnegie
The Oxford English Dictionary
The Dictionary of Disagreeable English by Robert Hartwell Fiske
The Lincoln-Douglas Debates - The First Unexpergated Text
The Bridge of San Luis Ray by Thornton Wilder
A Patriot's Handbook by Caroline Kennedy
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Anne of Avonlea
Anne of the Island
Anne of Windy Poplars
Anne's House of Dreams
Anne of Ingleside
Rainbow Valley
Rilla of Ingleside
Chronicles of Avonlea
Akin to Anne
55 Successful Harvard Law School Application Essays
Ralph Waldo Emerson Nature & Henry David Thoreau Walking
Kilmeny of the Orchard
Pat of Silver Bush
Magic for Marigold
The Blue Castle
The Doctor's Sweetheart
Jane of Lantern Hill
The Road to Yesterday
Mistress Pat
Further Chronicles of Avonlea
Betsy and the Emperor
A Tangled Web
The Story Girl
The Golden Road
The Forgotten Woman - the Untold Story of Kastur, Wife of Mahatma Ghandi
Galileo's Daughter by Dava Sobel
Christmas With Anne and Other Holiday Stories
Maid Marion, a novel by Elsa Watson
A Condensation of Napoleon by Emil Ludwig
Along the Shore, Tales by the Sea
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle
Against the Odds Tales of Achievement
The Merriam Webster Dictionary
The Blythes are Quoted
Real Mosquitoes Don't Eat Meat by Brad Wetzler
Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
The Moon-Spinners by Mary Stewart
Sugar Blues by William Dufty
Puttin' on the Ritz - a Fred Astair Biography
Laugh Your Way Through Grammar by Joan D. Berberich
Pride and Prejudice
Sense and Sensebility
The Lambs Supper - The Mass as Heaven on Earth by Scott Hahn
Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
How to Stop Worrying and Start Living
The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking
Mansfield Park
The Man Who Planted Trees by Jean Giono
Wild Fruits by Henry David Thoreau
Her Little Magesty The Life of Queen Victoria by Carolly Erickson
The American President by Kunhardt
The Book of Virtues by Bennett
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Verne
Around the World in 80 Days
The Mysterious Island
Five Weeks in a Balloon
We Two Rulers, Partners, Rivals by Gillian Gill
Victoria's Daughters by Jerrold M. Packard
An Unfinished Life John F. Kennedy by Robert Dallek
Animal Farm by Orwell
To Kill a Mockingbird
Our Town by Thornton Wilder
Backwoods and Along the Seashore by Thoreau
The Three Muskateers by Alexandre Dumas
Ophelia's World by Michele Durkson Clise
The Oxford Illustrated Dictionary of Britian
Rediscovering Catholicism by Matthew Kelly
The Better Part by Thomnas Keating
Tales from Shakespeare
Profiles in Courage by John F. Kennedy
Amelia Earhart the Mystery Solved by Long
Nicholas and Alexandra the Story of Love that Ended an Empire by Massic
Beatrix Potter A Life in Nature by Linda Lear
The Federalist Papers by Hamilton, Madison, Jay
Finding the North Pole Cook and Peary
All Creatures Great and Small
All Things Bright and Beautiful
All Things Wise and Wonderful
The Lord God Made Them All By Herriott
Every Living Thing
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
The Brothers Karamozov by Dostoesvsky
Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky
Gone With the Wind by Mitchell
War and Peace by Tolstoy
The Miracle of Mindfulness
The Queen Mother by Shawcross
The Lost Peace by Robert Dallek
Climbing the Mountain by Anne a Lay Apostle
Napolean's Wars an International History 1803-1815 by Esdaile
Founding Brothers by Ellis
Glory, Passion, Principle by Bohrer
Another Day in the Frontal Lobe by Firlik
His Excellency George Washington by Ellis
Louisa May Alcott by Cheever
Great Expectations
Franklin and Winston by Meacham
Truman by McCullough
Eisenhower Soldier and President by Ambrose
Much Ado About Nothing
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
Twelfth Night or What You Will
The Tempest
Pilgrims Progress by Bunyan
Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana Jr.
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
Measure for Measure
Timon of Athens
The Comedy of Errors
The Merchant of Venice
The Taming of the Shrew
Julius Caesar
First Part of King Henry VI
King Henry VI part two
Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War by Buchannan
American Courage by Herbert W. Warden III
King Henry VI part three
King Richard the Third
King John
The Complete Tales and Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh by Milne
King Richard the Second
King Henry the Fourth part I
King Henry the Fourth part II
King Henry V
Troilus and Cressida
Antony and Cleopatra
King Henry the Eighth
General Patton by Hirshson
Stalin the Court of the Red Tsar by Montefiore
Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler The Age of Social Catastrophe by Gellately
A Tale of Two Subs by Jonathan J. McCullough
Oliver Twist
David Copperfield
A Tale of Two Cities
How Hitler Could Have Won World War II The Fatal Errors that Lead to Nazi Defeat by Alexander
To Kingdom Come by Mrazek
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
Utopia by Sir Thomas More
Our Sacred Honor by Bennett
The Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Beetle The Life of General Walter Bedell Smith by Crosswell
The Count of Monte Cristo by Dumas
From the Earth to the Moon by Verne
Round the Moon
A Journey to the Center of the Earth
No Ordinary Joes by Larry Colton
Flags of Our Fathers by Bradley
The Gathering Storm by Winston S. Churchill
The Grand Alliance by Churchill
The Hinge of Fate by Churchill
Triumph and Tragedy by Churchill
Retribution The Battle for Japan 1944-1945 by Max Hastings
Fly Boys by James Bradley
The Last Good War the Faces and Voices of WWII by Thomas Sanders
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by Shirer
The Atlantic and its Enemies by Norman Stone
The Irregulars by Jennet Conant
In Enemy Hands by Claire Swedberg
First Into Nagasaki by Weller
The Pacific by High Ambrose
Treasure from the Attic by Pressler
A Perfect Hell the True Story of the Black Devils the Forfathers of the Special Forces by Nadler
Nicholas Nickelby
Silent Night the True Story of the WWI Christmas Truce by Weintraub
Anne Franks Tales from the Secret Annex
In Time of War Hitler's Terrorist Attack on America by O'Donnel
Mein Kamph by Hitler
The Odyssey by Homer
The Illiad by Homer
Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Stevenson
The Red Badge of Courage
The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis
Eric Liddell by Catherine Swift
The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
Bobby and J. Edgar by Hursh
Fighter Boys the Battle of Britian by Bishop
The Forgotten 500 by Freeman
Danger's Hours the Story of the USS Bunker Hill and the Kamikaze Piliot Who Crippled Her by Kenndy
Our Mutual Friend by Dickens
Bleak House
The Scarlet Letter by Hawthorne
The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Master Man by Tolstoy
Little Dorrit
The Old Curiosity Shop
Notes from Underground by Dostoevsky
Hard Times by Dickens
The War of Wars by Harvey
The Gift of Fear by Becker
Winnie Ille Pu (Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh in Latin)
Fateful Choices by Kershaw
The Berlin Wall by Taylor
The Nuremberg Interviews by Goldensohn
Commander in Chief by Perret
Dresden Tues. Feb. 13, 1945 by Taylor
Young Stalin
John F. Kenndy by O'Brien
Human Smoke by Baker
RFK By Heymann
Eleanor Roosevelt Vol. 1 1884 - 1933 by Cook
Eleanor Roosevelt Vol. 2 1933 - 1938
President Reagan A Role of a Lifetime by Cannon
Operation Jedburgh by Beaven
Kremlin Rising by Baker and Glasser
15 Stars Eisenhower, Macarthur, Marshall - Three Generals who Saved the American Century
Unbroken A WWII Story of Survival, Resilience,and Redemption by Hillenbrand
Supreme Power by Shesol
The Candy Bombers by Cherny
After the Reich by Macdonogh
What we Knew by Johnson...
Sea Cobra by Melton
Operation Exodus by Thomas
Ivan's War by Merridale
Vanity Fair by Thackery
Tom Jones by Fielding
The Phantom of the Opera by Leroux
The Man in the Iron Mask by Dumas
Treasure Island by Stevenson
Frankenstein by Shelley
Dombey and Son by Dickens
The Pickwick Papers
Night and Day by Virginia Woolf
The Idiot by Dostoevsky
Dick Sands, Boy Captain by Jules Verne
Lady Susan by Jane Austen
Cobra II by Gordon...
Neptune's Inferno the U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal by Hornfischer
Quiet Hero by Cosby
Without Hesitation General Hugh Shelton
How Wars End by Gideon Rose
Without Fidel By Bardach
Agent ZigZag by Macintyre
Fundamentals of Nursing The Art and Science of Nursing Care by Taylor...
Psychology in the New Millenium Sixth Edition by Rathus
Guide to Physical Examination by Bates
Nursing Student Handbook I and II
Lusitania by Preston
Shadow Five Presidents and the Legacy of Watergate by Bob Woodward
Character is Destiny by John McCain
The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
America the Last Best Hope Vol.1 by Bennett
America the Last Best Hope Vol. 2
Command of Office by Graubard
Empire of Liberty by Wood
1984 by Orwell
The Possessed by Dostoevsky
Don Quixote by Cervantes
The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Hugo
Agnes Grey by Bronte
The Kreutzer Sonata by Leo Tolstoy
The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
The Night the Bed Fell by James Thurber
The Dog Who Bit People by Thurber
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
The Age of Innocece by Edith Wharton
The Mystery of Edwon Drood by Dickens
The House of Mirth by Wharton
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy
The Skin of our Teeth by Thornton Wilder
The Matchmaker by Wilder
The Divine Comedy by Dante
Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Hardy
Lorna Doone By R.D. Blackmore
The House of the Seven Gables by Hawthorne
Washington Square by Henry James
Anton Chekhov the Complete Novels
The Works of Oscar Wilde
The Selected Poems of Robert Frost
The Selected Poems of Emily Dickenson
The Works of Robert Browning
Germinal by Emilie Zola
The Gambler by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Twenty Years After by Dumas
The Well-Beloved by Hardy
Jude the Obscure by Hardy
Desperate Remedies by Hardy
The Mayor of Casterbridge by Hardy
A Pair of Blue Eyes by Hardy
The Trumpet-Major by Hardy
The Wings of the Dove by Henry James
Daisy Miller by James
The Ambassadors by James
The Way we Live Now by Anthony Trollope
The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy
The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
Medjugorje the Message by Wayne Weible
A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Hemingway
Death in the Afternoon by Hemingway
True at First Light by Hemingway
Silas Marner by Eliot
Nostromo by Joseph Conrad
Lord Jim by Conrad
Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis
Middlemarch by George Elliot
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Sometimes a Great Notion by Kersey
The Glimpses fo the Moon by Edith Wharton
Ethan Fromme
The Reef
The Americans by Henry James
Demons by Dostoevsky
Shirley by Charlotte Bronte
Daniel Deronda by George Elioit
My Antonia by Willa Cather
The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald
Ward No. 6 by Anton Checkhov
Marie:  A Story of Russian Love by Pushkin
Typhoon by Conrad
The Forged Coupon by Tolstoy
Poor Folk by Dostoevsky
Pioneers by Willa Cather
The Lady of the Lake by Sir Walter Scott
Villette by Charlotte Bronte
The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud
Republic by Plato
The Art of War by Sun Tzu
The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf
Heart of Darkness by Conrad
Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
Why England Slept by John F. Kennedy
Barnaby Rudge by Dickens
Jacob's Room
Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
The Decamercon by Giovanni Boccaccio
Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
Lost Illusions by Honore de Balzac
Adam Bede by George Eliot
Pere Goriot by Balzac
The Red and the Black by Stendhal
The Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck
Across the River and Into the Trees by Hemingway
Resurrection by Tolstoy
Ulysses by James Joyce
Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence
John Brown's Body by Benet
Victory by Conrad
Quentin Durward by Sir Walter Scott
Kenilworth by Sir Walter Scott
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Doyle
A Long Fatal Love Chase by Alcott
The Marble Faun by Hawthorne
Elmer Gantry by Sinclair Lewis
Slaughterhouse Five by Vonnegut
Catch-22 by Heller
Candide by Voltaire
Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini
The Scarlet Pimpernel by Orczy
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Mice and Men
Confessions by Saint Augustine
Nana by Emile Zola
The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman
Free Air by Sinclair Lewis
Lady Chatterlys Lover by D.H. Lawrence
The Graduate by Charles Webb

Ok I have to stop typing now!  Anyway this is a very long but very partial list.  One morning last week she read three John Grisham novels, but of course, modern novels don't make the list. 

So when I hear any type of comments about homeschooling I smile to myself, and I thank the God of Heaven for my amazing and wonderful daughter who is my daily bird of happiness.


  1. What a fantastic blog Shari!! So glad you decided to make it public. I lOve seeing all your beautiful projects- you are so inspiring! I don't think I ever realized the extent of Robins reading passion- that list is exhausting just to look at!!! And I love her outfit, she looks smashing! Xoxo laurel

    1. Thanks so much Laurel! You are the first to comment on my blog, it means a lot to me! XXX Shari

  2. What a beautiful bird I would love to see a bluebird but I do not think they are native to Saudi Arabia or England, I have seen a few kingfishers though and they are beautiful too.

    1. Denise, thanks so much for your comment - have a lovely day! XXX Shari

  3. I have a birdhouse that has a bluebird couple living in it. They are beautiful birds!

    I love the stitched & stuffed bird you have at the top of your blog! It's so cute!

    Thanks for sharing your blog. I've subscribed through google reader.

    1. Hi Pam, Thanks for your kind words. I would love to see your bluebirds! Thanks for noticing my stuffed pea hen at the top - I made her out of a vintage tablecloth, with the eye being a flower in the fabric. Have a happy day, come back again! Shari

  4. Found you! And you're right that list is insane!! Love all the pics of Ms. Robin! She is such a wonderful girl.