Books! Catholic Fiction and Non-Fiction

After enjoying a lovely conversation on religion and history, I promised to send a write-up of the books I had mentioned. Maggie, this post is for you. 🙂 Catholic and fun and history. So, I will begin with the works of fiction I thought she would enjoy. Declan Finn writes wild action adventures, in modern settings, but often with historical roots and themes. The Pius Trilogy is my first suggestion. These are: A Pius Man, A Pius Legacy, and A Pius Stand. In addition are books such as Pius Tales which are background short pieces on some characters, and Pius … Continue reading

The Walls of Constantinople

I just watched a wonderful TED talk on the significance of the Walls of Constantinople to the West.  I enjoyed that this video is both concise and clear. The only criticism I have is that those fleeing Constantinople did not only go to Rome, but to many other major cities. It was not so much the crusaders who brought the culture and knowledge from Constantinople to the west as it was the Eastern Romans themselves. Most of our books call them Byzantines, but they knew themselves as Roman. Go watch the video. Use it as part of your Church History … Continue reading

Ordinary Beauty VI: health

Our culture does not value beauty beyond its relationship to function or earning power. Girls are taught to pursue careers and earn good money; they are taught to develop a career before they consider marriage and family. Men seek wives who can add a solid second paycheck; men used to seek wives who had the skills to create a beautiful home for a family. There was a time when the beauty created by home makers was valued. Girls were taught the skills and could expect to have those skills valued.  Those days are long gone. Our culture glorifies the career … Continue reading

SCA: Ancient Hairstyles

The Hair Archeology of Janet Stephens delights even as it enlightens. I learned of her through a post on facebook, and then a reference to her youtube videos. I am now a FAN!  I love my long hair, and these are all simply stunning hairstyles using long hair.  I’ve included one of her videos but there are quite a few others. Enjoy! . I would be thrilled to have someone who could sew my hair into such intricate and lovely styles.  Meanwhile, I shall continue to be content with a twist and a modern clip. Dear Lord, thank You for … Continue reading

Home Education: Teaching History

Teaching History in a Home School setting can be a challenge, especially when we are faced with teaching ages 11 and up through High School. Most of us learned what little history we know from textbooks that sucked the life out of the stories and bored us nearly to death. A few of us were fortunate enough to run across writers of histories who are anything BUT boring. Historians like Dr. Warren Carroll whose books (like the very short 1917, Isabella, and Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Conquest of Darkness, and the heavy duty Christendom series) challenged and delighted … Continue reading

History Blog

I enjoy The History Blog and thought it might be useful for home school.  I could see that reading it could help students select topics for papers, and learn about what is out there in general. All sorts of history comes up on this blog: For example, an item stolen at the end of WWII, returned by the auction house: There is a post with the picture of a cradle from around 79AD: This is a varied and fascinating blog and just reading it could make a person better educated. Dear Lord, thank You for marvelous blogs … Continue reading

Inspiration and Education

I have recently discovered the joys of browsing the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Online Collections. It began with my favorite time period and region to study which is Byzantium during the reign of Basil II.  Someone pinned a photo of a bracelet from around that period on their pinterest page and I saw it and followed the link to see more historical information on this artifact.  Thus began a several day, every spare moment, fascinating walk through the website.  I pinned lots of bits of fabric from around and before my period to aid in finding embroidery patterns that would … Continue reading

A Fun Event: Tourney of Squires, Cadets and Aracarius

I had so much fun this Saturday! Baby in tow, outdoors, social FUN! The fun of an organization like the Society for Creative Anachronism is that it encourages a study of history that is oriented to the people and how they actually lived, then creating aspects of that way of life without the elements that were, well, not so fun. This weekend’s event, only an hour from where I live so I could easily drive there, enjoy the day and drive home, was an outdoor event. Here is the top of the blurb from their facebook event page: Tourney of … Continue reading

History Texts and Learning Resources Recommendations

I used to hate history. It was a boring jumble of unrelated dates and isolated incidents completely focused on politics and economics that had no power to capture my imagination and thus could not be remembered.  BORING! Not anymore!  Several things came along to wake up my brain and make history something that I not only no longer dislike but I happily spend hours studying it! Dr. Warren H. Carroll wrote a series of World History texts titled his Christendom Series.  His writing turned me from a non-history learner to a person who enjoys the study of history. He made … Continue reading

Book Review: Praying with the Orthodox Tradition

Book Review:  Praying With the Orthodox Tradition Introduction by Callistos Ware, Editor Stefano Parenti, translateor and editor Paula Clifford; St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2002. I have purchased this from at the suggestion of an Orthodox friend who knows that I play a persona from 1000AD Byzantium in my Society for Creative Anachronisms (SCA) fun time. The cost of the book was only $10.00 and it was just what I needed! These prayers date from 800AD.  These prayers were in use by Christians from that time and by Orthodox to the present.  PERIOD CORRECT prayers!!  This book includes a good … Continue reading