Friday, December 30, 2011

The Unaccessible Handkerchief

Okay, is it just my weird sense of humor kicking in again, or is this excerpt from Mark Twain's "Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" absolutely hilarious?
Mark Twain is definitely one of my favorite authors, and I think, though I haven't finished it yet, "Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court." is going to be my favorite. What can be better than an English satire written by a favorite author? I love his humorous way of writing about the smallest things, but things you can relate to so well..Like the time Huck finn was trying to keep from being heard and was trying to stand as still as possible. Then he got an itchy spot which then turned into eight more, and he could hardly stand still for the unbarableness of it (Okay, admit it, that has happened before :)

Okay, I think this excerpt deserves a little history behind the story before you dive into it.
Hank Morgan comes from Connecticut during the 19th-century. In that time, he gets into a fist fight, and ends up getting knocked out... Or maybe better put, knocked back. When upon waking up, he finds himself transported back to the sixth-century. There is a little bit of a culture clash for him. In this scene, he is seen making his way to where he is to meet his challenger in a duel...Enjoy!!!

The Story of the Unaccessible Handkerchief
"About the third or fourth or fifth time that we swung out into the glare-it was along there somewhere, a couple of hours or so after sun-up--it wasn't as pleasant as it had been. It was beginning to get hot. This was quite noticeable. We had a very long pull, after that, without any shade. Now it is curious how progressively little frets grow and multiply after they once get a start. Things which I didn't mind at all, at first, I began to mind now-and more and more too, all the time. The first ten or fifteen times I wanted my handkerchief I didn't seem to care; I got along, and said never mind, it isn't any matter, and dropped it out of my mind. But now it was different; I wanted it all the time; it was nag, nag, nag, right along, and no rest; I couldn't get it out of my mind; and so at last I lost my temper and said hang a man that would make a suit of armor without any pockets in it. You see I had my handkerchief in my helmet; and some other things; but it was the kind of a helmet that can't take off by yourself. That hadn't occurred to me when I put it there; and in fact I didn't know. I supposed it would be particularly convenient there. And so now, the thought of its being there, so handy and close by, and yet not get-at-able, made it all the worse and the harder to bear. Yes, the thing that you can't get, is the thing that you want, mainly; everyone has noticed that. Well, it took my mind off from everything else; took it clear off, and centered it in my helmet; and mile after mile, there it staid, imagining the handkerchief, picturing the handkerchief; and it was bitter and aggravating to have the salt sweat dripping down my face into my eyes, and I couldn't get at it. It seems like a little thing on paper, but it was not a little thing at all; it was the most real kind of misery. I would not say it if it was not so. I made up my mind that I would carry along a ridicule next time, let it look how it might, and people say what they may. Of course these iron dudes of the Round Table would think it was scandalous, but as for me, give me comfort first, and style afterwards. So we jogged along, and now and then we struck a stretch of dust, and it would tumble up into clouds and get into my nose and make me sneeze and cry; and of course I said things I oughtn't to have said, I don't deny that. I am not better than others. We couldn't seem to meet anyone in this lonesome Britain, not even an ogre; and in the mood I was in then, it was well for the ogre; that is, and ogre with a handkerchief. Most knights would have thought of nothing but getting his armor; but so I got his bandanna, he could keep his hardware, for all me.".....later, "I wanted to try and think out how it was that rational or even half-rational men could ever have learned to wear armor considering it's inconvenience; and how they had managed to keep up such a fashion for generations when it was plain that what I had suffered today they had to suffer all the days of their lives. I wanted to think that out; and moreover, I wanted to think out some way to reform this evil and persuade the people to let the foolish fashion die out; But thinking was out of the question in these circumstances.

And Other Excerpts: (If you are still reading :)

Where upon a joker is called into the room..."Sir Dinadan was so proud of his exploit that he could not keep from telling over and over again, to weariness, how the immortal idea happened to occur to him; and as is the way with humorists of his breed, he was still laughing at it after everybody else had got through. He was so set up that he concluded to make a speech-of course a humorous speech. I think I never heard so many ill played-out jokes strung together in my life. He was worse than the minstrels, worse than the clown in the circus. It seemed peculiarly sad to sit here, thirteen hundred years before I was born, and listen again to poor, flat worm-eaten jokes from when I was a boy, thirteen hundred years afterwards."

"You couldn't think where Sandy was. She was a quite biddable creature and good hearted creature. But she had a flow of talk that was as steady as a mill, and made your heart sore like the drays and wagons in a city. If she had a cork, she would have been a comfort. But you can't cork that kind; They would die. Her clack was going all day, and you would think something would surely happen to her works, by and by; But no, they never got out of order; and she never had to slack up for words. She could grind and pump and churn and buzz by the week and never stop to oil up or blow out. And yet the result was nothing but wind. She never had any idea, any more than a fog has. She was a perfect blatherskite; I mean for jaw jaw jaw, talk talk talk, jabber jabber jabber; But just as good as she could be. I hadn't minded her mill that morning, on account of having that hornet's nest of other troubles; But more that once in the afternoon I had to say, "Take a rest, child; the way you are using up all that domestic air, the kingdom will have to go to importing it by tomorrow, and it's a low enough treasury without that."

I know you can download it for free on your Kindle, computer, etc, at

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Break Happenings

This year, as always, we celebrated Kayleen's birthday a little earlier then her actual birth date so that it did not collide with Christmas. We made a meal of her choice, and for the first time in a long time, she was able to eat everything that was placed at the table. As was tradition, we watched, "It's A Wonderful Life". Ania had half of her siblings fighting for her to stay up with us, as it had become part of tradition...she won, of course :)

Jonathon and Ania decided that the opening of each gift would be followed by a kiss between the two of them.

Now, whose birthday is it?

Jonathon got three weeks off of school before starting college again. In that time, he spent a week of it working for the company of "Tidland". He was not quite willing to sacrifice the whole three weeks since he had promised to spend some of that time with Austin over his break.

They started a project together...The creation of a bow and arrow.

He also worked with the 3 youngest to build the gingerbread house that was burning a hole in the box. : )

You may be asking, "What did they do with all that left-over frosting?" Well I will show you...

Only a big brother can do that :)

And the finished product...

And yes, we did finally finish our Christmas baking...Though I'm not sure we have quite enough, do you ? :) Somehow, I convinced Leisel to quadruple the truffle recipe instead of doubling it...We are what you may call, rolling in dessert.

As always, I get the privilege of preparing the dessert plate before our evening activity. This year for our family cinema, we are doing a movie marathon of "Little Dorrit".

We also went caroling to some of our shut-ins that can no longer make it to church.

The little kids sang "Away in a Manger" with the rest of the choir humming in the back round.

Ania, collecting her kiss from Pastor before going out.

This is my favorite time of year, filled with traditions, giving gifts, and LOTS of Christmas baking. But most of all, this season is a time to remember the birth of our dear Savior, and the hope we gained through His humbling himself to become a Babe. And through that, the reconciliation we received through His death and resurrection... Have a very Merry CHRISTmas!!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Baking: The Rest of the Story

Deck your hips with pounds of butter
Fa la la la la, la la la la
'Tis the season to get fatter
Fa la la la la, la la la la

Don we now the extra-large clothes
Fa la la la la, la la la la
New year's resolve can start tomorrow
Fa la la la la, la la la la

See the treats, the party's starting
Fa la la la la, la la la la
Grab some fudge and start a'partying
Fa la la la la, la la la la

Follow me, your waist to measure
Fa la la la la, la la la la
While we talk of puddin's pleasures
Fa la la la la, la la la la

Fast away our figure passes
Fa la la la la, la la la la
Watch the growing, jiggly masses
Fa la la la la, la la la la

Eat we joyous altogether
Fa la la la la, la la la la
No more lighter than a feather
Fa la la la la, la la la la

Jonathon & Lynnae Spafford~

(Gingerbread Castle was found through Google images; no copyright infringement intended.
"Know why candy castles are made out of ice cream instead of candy, boy?")