Monday, October 29, 2012

Freewrite Fifteen

How appropriate that I am starting my "Freewrite fifteen" at 5:15 am!

I have no specific agenda for this freewrite. There will be no "Well Update" this Monday Morn. I am excited for it to be Monday because I finally get to go to the doctor to find out about this pelvic pain that I have had for a week. It is a dull ache, but it has slowed me down all this last week, and I would like to check it out. Not to mention that I have not had a Pap Smear in more than a year, and I am afraid to say when the last time was! I do not know where the time goes. 

I am studying Romans 9 right now. I have never studied Romans 9 inductively. I know I have "studied" it with lighter studies though, but I like the Precept Upon Precept best. I am at Romans 9:6-13 where we get into fun Old Testament history.

The Jubilee Conference was lovely. It was nice to have the review of the Peacemaker Principles. I do not feel that I have any huge looming fears however. I enjoyed the hour alone with God, and that is one of the things that I love about Suburban. They have things like this! We meditated on Isaiah 30:8-22:

8Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you,
         And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you.
         For the LORD is a God of justice;
         How blessed are all those who long for Him.

19O people in Zion, inhabitant in Jerusalem, you will weep no longer. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears it, He will answer you. 20Although the Lord has given you bread of privation and water of oppression, He, your Teacher will no longer hide Himself, but your eyes will behold your Teacher. 21Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left. 22And you will defile your graven images overlaid with silver, and your molten images plated with gold. You will scatter them as an impure thing, and say to them, “Be gone!”

It is so encouraging to know that God is gracious and just. He knows what really happens, and He is right there, longing to be gracious and compassionate. 

As I prayed, my heart went to the recent revelation that I was slandered once again by people I thought I had resolved something with 2 1/2 years ago. What is so sad is that even the conflict was based on a false notion of what she thought I said that I, most certainly, did not say. While I could apologize for the misunderstanding, I couldn't apologize for saying something I should not have said because I didn't say it, and the accusation of my motive behind saying what I apparently said was a false one. Unknowingly, my motives had been questioned for months, and I thought I was just caring for and listening to that person's many problems. Her tirade was listened to, all the time telling her I cared and was on her side (and continuing to be told what my motives were like being "territorial" with the women). There was quite a bit of projection. I should have just listened and kept my mouth shut. That was my problem. I was trying to reason with a hurting individual who wants to believe lies about herself and others. Therefore, that person is constantly lonely and depressed. 

There was no winning. I realized that it was a quagmire early on when I was getting a tongue-lashing by the husband who had not even heard the first or follow up conversation (while George heard what I said in the second conversation and thought I handled myself well under the stress of having the other party cry hysterically and tell me off once again - after having told me off in an email). I tried to calm them down by gentle responses, but I continued to get rambling email tirades. It was a no win situation. It was devastating, especially when I was caring for her and praying for her and so concerned about her welfare. To be accused of the opposite and to have my motives questioned was such a blow. 

After months of hurt, I went to the beach and prayed for five days, and the cloud lifted. I forgave and moved on. It wouldn't have bothered me had those people not continued to slander me, but this is the second time in the last year that someone has told me things they said about me. The first one was last December when this person said, "I think it is great that you told that person 'what was what' because I have always wanted to. She complains constantly, but I was afraid to say something. I am glad you said something."  The problem was I had not told that person "what was what"!  It was a new thing I had apparently said when I have been very careful to not say anything. I know they are sensitive. So, when I have seen that person, I try to be positive and loving. So, I am not sure why I was accused of saying anything. 

 So that was somewhat of a blow, but I knew I had not guilty in that instance (even though the person was applauding me for speaking truth). That one didn't affect me. 

This latest slander was back to the original thing that happened. To this person's credit, they know the history and other similar conflicts in their life, so she didn't believe a word of what was said about me. I have always had a good relationship with her but have not moved toward her because one of the accusations leveled against me was that I was "territorial" with the women in terms of mentoring them. I knew this person had been a long-time, "mentoree" of my accuser. So, I have stayed away, but this woman is seeking me out now and my accuser is gone. So, I have felt more comfortable meeting with her. 

What is so weird is that I also thought I was being an older woman in the accusers life (I am 20 years older), but she wanted to mentor the women I was mentoring. So, I backed away from the new women so she could do it.  I have done everything possible to stay out of her way. I am repaid with more slander which flummoxes me. 

All that to say is that we are praying about some "right or left" movements to get out of the firing line. Not sure what God has for us there, but the conversation was opened up on Saturday with God and with George when I came home from the retreat. So, we will wait. 

Even though slandered, I know that God is a good God of justice, and He wants to have compassion on us. 

(Ended up being 30 minutes instead of 15!)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

52 in 52 Week 44: Educating Gifted Students in Middle School

I must admit my bias in reviewing this book. I graduated with honors from high school, college, and graduate school without ever having achieved the illustrious title of "gifted" while in middle school. I have a vivid memory of the blonde-haired counselor with the squeaky voice writing different sizes of tanks on the chalk board, explaining that the "gifted" students had bigger tanks in which they could fill. What a bad message to send to the littler tanks! My best friend was one of those people with a bigger tank (the biggest, in fact) and a big "G" next to her name in attendance books (I saw it), and she was constantly treated more special because of her "tank." I went to a school district that had plenty of money to burn (back in the 70's when revenues were not put into a large California tank and distributed equally. Since we had a large oil refinery that paid taxes but furnished no school children, education was abundantly funded). Consequently, there were special programs for gifted students but not for the students who did really well because they worked really hard in spite of their smaller "tanks." I have already told you my outcome. My best friend took a non-academic path in high school and opted for a trade school and community college where she eventually dropped out. She works in customer service in a job that requires no post-secondary education and is very "artsy" with a side business selling scrapbooking items. She was "gifted" in that. The size of your "tank" does not take into account a person's other gifts and abilities. She was happy in the road she took regardless of the size of her "tank"!

So, that is why I take issue with this book. I do not think "gifted" students should be treated any differently from other hard working students. I do not think tests should determine how "gifted" or "smart" someone is because some kids just don't do well on those achievement tests. I believe in equal opportunity for all students, not just the gifted ones. (By the way, I had a high score on the vebal/language portion, but my math always made me not have the "G" next to my name, despite always getting an "A" in math courses.)

The book is clearly written. While it will help teachers, I do not believe it is fair to channel fund's exclusively for "gifted" students, especially when I question the effectiveness of these program. We should reward students who work hard, regardless of the size of their tank. 

52 in 52 Week 44: Prayer Walk by Janet Holm McHenry

I have had this book sitting in my book shelf for over a year as part of the "Early Reviewers" for LibraryThing.  The beauty of cutting back on my schedule is getting things done on my "To-Do" list. I have little"back burner" things like this getting marked off right and left. YIPPEE!

I have been prayer walking since 1980. It was part of what my discipler did with us when we were learning about prayer. We called them "Joshua Walks." Later, I learned personally from Steve Hawthorne about strategic intercessory prayer walking. Eventually, he wrote this all down in a book: Praying Walking: Praying On Site with Insight, and I recommend this one far over the one I am reviewing today.

I heartily recommend prayer walking. When prayer walking, one can look up into the big sky and focus on God's glorious creation (Even if you are in a big city, you can look at the people that He has created and praise Him as Creator!). It leads one into praise and thanksgiving. I have prayed for the "Welfare of the City" (Jeremiah 29:7) in many different cities in the world. Who knew that I could have written a book about this subject? It never would have crossed my mind, even with over 30 years of experience. This woman did it after two. (She didn't continue doing it as she admits in her "ten year anniversary" edition.). 

This book is about baby steps from a neophyte. It is a testimony of her journey after two years. So, it is for beginning exercisers and people who have never had a consistent devotional life, which I am sure are many!  Many people need to be inspired and motivated to find time and motivation. For this, she has found an audience. 

Some people will not need this book though. They can just put on their tennis shoes and start walking and praying. They can find someone who has done it for a while and learn from them. No book needed. It just depends on what kind of person you are. 

Most of the exercise information can be found on the internet for free. The exercise part can be found by googling "Beginners walking program." So, I am really not sure one needs to read this book to prayer walk. 

Learning about prayer can be found in one of the books she quotes in her book, Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home by Richard Foster. One can read this and then just apply the principles while walking.

Most of the book is about how to pray and how to walk. So, what you have left is her wonderful testimony that is very sweet and endearing. She will relate to most working moms who do not know where to start or how to find time in their schedule to pray and exercise. 

For those who want a deeper read in prayer walking. I would recommend the book linked earlier in this review: Prayerwalking: Praying On Site with In Sight by Steve Hawthorne and Graham Kendrick. It is used on Amazon. So, it is much cheaper, and these men are looking at the bigger picture of prayer walking with much more than two years of experience! 

52 in 52 Week 44: Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence

At first, D.H. Lawrence made me want to keep reading. He is an excellent writer. This is a novel from the psychological realism genre, but it got a little too real for me! It was published in 1913 and must have been scandalous for its day. Since reading it, I have read that several of his books were banned.  It is highly sexual in the second half of the book. In fact, it was too sexual, and I ended up really disliking the main character by the end (the son, Paul).

I read that Lawrence's novels "emphasize the liberating effect of sexual love and criticize industrial society for limiting humankind's spiritual, instinctual nature" (The Book of Great Books, p.745). I don't think Paul Morel was in any way "liberated" as a result of expressing his sexuality. He went from a fairly decent human to an animal. YUK!

The first part was so much better. It dealt more with the mother's hard life with an alcoholic husband. It got really dysfunctional in how the mother transferred all her love, hopes, and dreams to her sons.  My interest in reading it was peaked when the author of The Mama's Boy Myth referred to it several times.

Really, the second half was so melodramatic and stupid that I almost put it down. Not my cup of tea. D.H. Lawrence was a man, and maybe he was obsessed with sex in his own life because that is about all the second half contains.  YUK!

The film adaptation was WAAAY too racy for my taste (and ClearPlay didn't have a filter for it since it is an obscure British TV drama). It left a very bad taste in my mouth. I would NOT recommend it!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Well Update

Well-Watered Soul

Trying to tackle Romans 9 at 9:30 am. I am at Coffee Culture waiting to meet with Lisa at 10 am. I "set up shop" realizing that I should have brought my Precept Upon Precept Study! I know I am not totally getting it, and that would help me immensely. Oh well. I will freewrite for a while and keep observing the chapter.

Listening to ""Hymns 4 Worship Radio" on Pandora, and it is my new favorite station. None of that rock and roll kind of worship music. I can only listen to that for so long. This is beautiful contemporary arrangements of mostly hymns, instrumentals, etc. Love it!

Soul is well-watered with a good balance of communion, fellowship, and ministry. I wonder how my spring is doing? I will have to ask Nancy.

Well-Educated Mind

Listening to Nicomachean Ethics while making my chai tea this morning. I really like it. The whole thing on prodigality was amazing. Greeks would have understood the story of The Prodigal Son if they had read Aristotle, and Luke was written for the Greeks!  (Aristotle lived 300 years before Jesus.) That is amazing and something we don't know unless we read ancient literature. It makes me appreciate and understand the Bible so much better to read these ancients. TRULY!

Next after Aristotle will be Thomas Aquinas. Instead of reading the whole Summa Theologica (3000 pages), I will read A Shorter Summa by Peter Kreeft. I might finish the section on Prayer and Contemplation though. I started that several months ago.

I also might listen to Middlemarch on my iPhone too. I cannot WAIT to read that book. I have always wanted to, but I had other books on my list!

Well-Adjusted Heart

Seeing people from my old church this week has been good. It makes me glad I am in a much healthier environment (for me, maybe it isn't toxic for others like it was for me). My heart finds such freedom in the love and acceptance I have with the people of Suburban. Just a different group of people and a different style of relating. I cannot describe it, but it has been 6 1/2 years ago, and I have not looked back.

Well-Tuned Strength

I have written about this a couple of times last week, and I am just going to say WOW! I am a NEW woman!!!  I cannot believe how much better I feel not having to work around my low-level of back pain.. I am bending and cleaning and doing things I was having my men do! I just am trying to be really diligent at doing my exercises every day (and some of them twice a day).

I also have my BodyBugg back on my arm. I got an iPhone. So, now I have my calorie burn linked to it. So, I know how much I am burning every day. I had quite a few more calories to burn before I hit the sack last night so I danced around the room. :) It is nice to move more.

The biggest thing that always needs to change is my eating! But I am maintaining very well and just have a few more pounds to be at my first goal (story of my life!).  Steve gave a great message about overcoming temptation this last Sunday, and that is my application. No ice cream at night! LOL! My ONE true weakness (not really, but I am quoting Dorcas Lane from Larkrise to Candleford).

Monday, October 22, 2012

Well-Watered Soul Update

Well-Watered Soul

Dead to Sin, Alive to Him!

After an hour and a half of puttering around this morning, I finally get to Romans 6 again. After I wrote the above phrase, I was struck by the Spirit. You really are here. Not just mere emotions. It was a definitely awareness of Your eminent presence here with me. I must record. I must proclaim. Yes, You are very, very real.

Thank You.

That's all that needs to be said about my soul today.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

52 in 52 Week 43: Light in August by William Faulkner

LightInAugust.jpgI read along with The Oprah Book Club during the "Summer of Faulkner" in 2005. I was excited that her book club had turned to classics, and I had embraced her "Summer of Anna Karenina" with gusto, even getting my 1 second of fame on her website! (I looked for it, but it has been removed from her website.)

I read As I Lay Dying during a 15 year anniversary getaway and thought that was a very bad idea because Faulkner was so depressing. Then, I read The Sound and the Fury during July and was both depressed AND confused. When August came around, I gave up on reading Light in August because I thought I hated Faulkner.

I wish I had kept on reading.

I honestly believe that, if you have to read Faulkner, this is the one you should read. It is a very good story. It moves along. It has twists and turns, and it keeps you reading. It is about racism and Christian symbolism and the South. Now, I finally understand why people who like Faulkner REALLY like Faulkner. I think he is a brilliant writer.

It is good, but it is LONG. It took me a while to get through it (I started in July and didn't finish until the first week of September, but it was cool to read it in August based on the title. Something I had failed to do in August 2005).

Southern fiction is not my favorite, but I had an epiphany when I read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Angelou said that her mother from California talked so fast compared to people in the south. That made me understand why Southern Fiction sort of bugged me. So, I slowed down and read/listened to it like a Southerner; slowly savoring. It helped that August is the "slow" month in our life and ministry. It made it much easier for me.

Here is the poem I wrote while waiting for George to get off of work at OSU:

Summer breeze
Makes me feel fine
Blue sky beyond leaves of green
I look up as a cloud floats
Listening to slow Southern fiction
On the campus lawn
On my back
 — at Kidder Hall.

Here is what Wikipedia says about the title of the book:

Speaking of his choice of title, Faulkner said,
". . .in August in Mississippi there’s a few days somewhere about the middle of the month when suddenly there’s a foretaste of fall, it’s cool, there’s a lambence, a soft, a luminous quality to the light, as though it came not from just today but from back in the old classic times. It might have fauns and satyrs and the gods and—from Greece, from Olympus in it somewhere. It lasts just for a day or two, then it’s gone. . .the title reminded me of that time, of a luminosity older than our Christian civilization." [2] 
Within the novel itself, the title emerges most explicitly whenever Gail Hightower sits at his study window waiting for his vision of Van Dorn's cavalry raid. The vision always occurs in "that instant when all light has failed out of the sky and it would be night save for that faint light which daygranaried leaf and grass blade reluctant suspire, making still a little light on earth though night itself has come." [3]In 1998, the Modern Library ranked Light in August 54th on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th centuryTime magazine included the novel in itsTIME 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005.[4]

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Well-Tuned Strength - Back Update

I have a whole new set of PT exercises from LOGAN, and they are so much HARDER, but they are making me so much stronger. He could tell the ones that I had been doing were way to easy for me, but that is the whole point of me going to the PT. The whole building block analogy is so true for me (Did I blog about it in the last "Well-Tuned Strength" entry?)! I have a very basic core strength (probably more than your average 53 year old who doesn't have structural abnormalities), but I keep skipping the intermediate step of strength (and the two trainers I have gone to at the club have too) because the rest of my body can handle heavier weight, but my trunk/back/core cannot. That is why I am concentrating on the intermediate core strength building block now (that I had before I injured my toe and got weak and uneven in the immobilizing boot).  Logan is the person to "add on" as he sees I am able to handle it. 

So, I am doing . . .  

Alternate Arm/Leg Extensions on All-Fours: 

Alternate Arm and Leg Extension on All Fours

I do three sets of twenty of these one time per day. He is really having me concentrate on keeping my back and hips totally level. It is harder than it looks. 

Bilateral Leg Lowering:

abdominal strength test

I lower and hover at one inch from the ground and raise it back up. I alternate hovering with letting legs reach the table eight times, one time per day.

Bridging with Straight Leg Raise:

He has modified this one to where I extend my leg first and then raise. It makes it a little more difficult, and I am ready for it after two weeks of doing the other one. I do this twelve time, two times per day.

Side Lunges with Theraband:

I stand with my knees slightly bent, stomach tight. Then, I step to the side with a Theraband around my ankles. I continue sidestepping to a distance of 20 feet (and my hallway is exactly that long!). I repeat it on both sides, two sets, two times a day. 

Then, he has me doing straight leg hamstring stretches, two times on each leg, three times a day for thirty seconds a leg. 

The actual therapy sessions have become KILLERS. He has me doing these stability things on a moving board, Supermans off the end of a table for sixty seconds, two times, Bosu push-up and raising the leg, sidestepping like the Theraband only lifting a 15 pound weight and doing it five times on each side. PLUS the exercises above. Killed me yesterday, but it is what I need to do those intermediate steps back to pain-free living ALL the time (not just when I am not challenging myself). 

I cannot believe how much better I feel! 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Well-Watered Soul Update

What a blessed last two days! I realized this morning that I pretty much took a 2 1/2 month break from the Bible Book Club, and I think that was really healthy for me. The last two days, I have gotten back to it because I will be leading the Romans: Part 2 Precept Upon Precept study starting on November 8, and I wanted to write posts for the Bible Book Club from my Romans: Part 1 study in review.

What a BLESSED time I had yesterday!

I pretty much spent the bulk of the day (after a lovely hour morning walk blessing the OSU campus and listening to my book) in Romans 5 - but also looking back on Romans 1-4 to remember what the "Therefore" in Romans 5:1 is "there for." LOL!  I had my new favorite Pandora station playing (Hymns for Worship - not just hymns but instrumentals and mellow worship song - I cannot handle contemporary Christian radio - sorry) as I meditated on the word PEACE from Romans 5:1.

Peace! What a word.  And what worship through those blessed hours! I cannot explain it. I wish I could, but there is NO DOUBT that God is so real. It makes me sad that James Joyce (currently reading Dubliners) and all those classical authors ( just finished Catch-22) I have read over the last few years did not GET that! UGH. They died in ignorance. SAD SAD SAD to never know their DAD! I wish they could have encountered the REAL JESUS instead of institutional religion. So different. God you are REAL REAL REAL!!!! 

Anyway, I am BACK IN THE BIBLE BOOK CLUB saddle, and I love it!!! Romans is where I need to dwell, and I can dwell there until April 9, 2013 if I need to. LOVE IT!  (I made a decision to skip over the rest of Acts until then - I was stuck there for some reason. God knew I needed the reminder of Romans). 

But the 2 1/2 months were lovely. I really wanted to concentrate on bringing Jesus with me "among the pots and pans" like Brother Lawrence (Practice of the Presence of God).  I brought Him into the remaining books on the 100 Great Books List, and that was good. Hemingway needed the LORD. Man is more than his lusts. So glad I am done with that list, not my favorite one.

I am glad that I will be finishing up my last classical list from Invitation to the Classics. I have 18 more books from that list (many overlap with the other two lists). The thing I love about this list is that it is looking at them from a standpoint of faith. LOVE THAT. The Book of Great Books: A Guide to 100 World Classics was not from this perspective, and I found myself repulsed by some of the selections. The Well-Educated Mind classics list were less so, but I would suggest that she remove some of her selections (at least some of her "suggested poems" by Ginsburg and another female poet whose name escapes me).  Susan Wise-Bauer's book is not necessarily aimed at a faith audience. So, I cannot fault her, even though she is a believer.  But Invitation to the Classics is!

Here is their stated purpose:

. . . to introduce the Western literary masterworks in a clear and simple style that is mature in seriousness and tone and Christian in perspective -- and in doing so, to help reawaken Western people to the vibrant heritage of these classics that are rich in themselves in their two-thousand-year relationship to the Christian faith.
I am so down with that!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Well-Tuned Strength

I am back to no low-level tightness and pain in my back. I think that what was happening was before my tendon guillotine in November 2009, I had built up such a base level of strength that I could always lift and not be injured. Since that time, I had gotten to a base building block, but I needed to add another building block on top of that before going back to a regular weight lifting program. The trainers at Timberhill just are not medical people, and they didn't know what was going on in my body each time they would give impossible programs for me. 

Now I am in that intermediate strengthening stage with these PT trunk stability exercises and SLOWLY adding very light weights. I cannot believe how comfortable I feel. I forgot what it was like to have no low-level pain. I am so peaceful right now and grateful. 

I wish I had done this program many months ago. I think the trainers did more harm than good. I will probably not go back there and do all my lifting at home with our own equipment. The only thing will be if I start training for a triathlon again, but I will cross that bridge when I come to it. I can only say that I am so thankful. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

52 in 52 Week 42: Soldier's Heart by Gary Paulsen

File:Paulsen - Soldier's Heart Coverart.jpgMy family listened to this short book on the way to Gettysburg in July, but I forgot to review it here! I am sticking it in the Week 42 "War and Pestilence" novels. How appropriate that I would remember it right now. 

It is short and to the point, but it helps one get a young man's perspective on war and its costs.  It was excellent. It is based on a true story of a 15 year old who enlists in the Civil War. 

It is written for a younger age, but I had a high school literature teacher recommend it to me. I was not disappointed. 

52 in 52 Week 42: Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Continuing with the Week 42 "War and Pestilence" theme we have . . . 

catch–22 \-ˌtwen-tē-ˈtünoun
plural catch–22’s or catch–22s
often capitalized
[from Catch-22, paradoxical rule in the novel Catch-22 (1961) by Joseph Heller]
1 a problematic situation for which the only solution is denied by a circumstance inherent in the problem or by a rule the show-business catch-22—no work unless you have an agent, no agent unless you’ve worked —Mary Murphyalso the circumstance or rule that denies a solution
2 a an illogical, unreasonable, or senseless situation
b a measure or policy whose effect is the opposite of what was intended
c a situation presenting two equally undesirable alternatives
3 a hidden difficulty or means of entrapment catch

 Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary.  (10th ed.). 

This is the "Theater of the Absurd" with the backdrop being World War II.  It does not seem to be the place for humor, but Heller makes it funny, tragically so though. He has a point.

Heller manages to write a funny anti-war novel, pointing out the absurdity of war, government, bureaucracy, and even religion.  Heller is brilliant but also bawdy and obscene. I wouldn't recommend this to too many people. I see why it is so lauded, but I couldn't wait to be done. It was too obscene and irreverent for me. It was also written by a man who degrades women at every turn. They are just objects for man's lust and serve no other purpose in this novel. ICKY! Maybe he was pointing out the absurdity of that too, but I find that men like this book much more than women do. 

Regardless of my personal view, this book is indelibly marked into the fabric of our society with the term catch-22 defined above. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

This and That Freewrite

I love today so far. I have five hours (Catch-22) and 50 pages (House Made of Dawn) left on my 100 Great Books Journey, and I will be done. It will be almost one year since I completed my last "List" journey, having completed the Well-Educated Mind Journey on November 2. I almost completed a "mid year" list by completing all the Book Babes books that I missed. I just had The Wake in the Wind to read. Actually, trying to complete that "missed Book Babes" list made me decide to drop out of that book club since most of the books just didn't interest me, and they were more of a chore to get through than anything. There are too many books that I really WANT to read to waste time reading books that are just mediocre but popular. (Again, not all were like that but more than half). 

Actually, these last 100 Great Books are somewhat of a chore, but it helps me to know what society was thinking at the time these books became Pulitzer Prize winning books. So, there is a point to me reading these books. Most (not all) of the books from the Book Babes will be easily forgotten and not books that stand the test of time or bookmark a period in history. Some that I liked, others hated. Another indication that I read for a different reason than some of those ladies. We all can agree that  books like The Hiding Place and Blood Brothers were absolutely timeless. I wanted books that stirred people to action, but I realize most people do not want to be stirred but entertained. That is not why I read. Thus, one of the many reasons why I exited it. I can be quite serious. LOL!

Well, that was enough of a little writing warm up even though I have already taken my morning prayer walk, drank my tea, straightened up the house, and listened to my book. I will now do some calendar assessment to respond to the requests for meeting times. (Something that usually takes a considerable amount of time).  I will spend some time in Romans 5 after that. 

Kim will come at 11:15, and we will pray for about an hour. Then, my pictures should arrive, and I can work on those. Then I will truly be CURRENT in all my pictures. I think they are pictures through September 2012 for the family. The boys still need to sort through their pictures for the year, but I can wait on that until they are free during Christmas break. :)  

After the days duties, a date awaits. I am trying to steer our date nights to Tuesday so that we can take advantage of a $5 movie if we want to see one. There are a few we will want to see in the coming months. So, it is prudent to have that night on Tuesday since the only conflict for now will be George's monthly meeting at church. Oh yes, we will be switching our Jesus Community to Tuesdays after Christmas. Oh well. So much for $5 movies!

Well, I will sign off for now.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

52 in 52 Week 42: The Plague by Albert Camus

 The Stranger was on my Well-Educated Mind List, and I really didn't care for it. It was even a little weird. But I liked this book. As much as anyone could like a book about a plague in an Algerian city in the 40's. Reading this made me realize that Camus is a very brilliant writer. If you were turned off by The Stranger, try Camus again!

52 in 52 Week 42: A Farewell to Arms by Earnest Hemingway

And a FAREWELL TO HEMINGWAY!  YAY! After reading FOUR of his books this year because of the 100 Great Books List, I am happy to say FAREWELL! 

I still don't really care for him. I especially realized how much I don't like him because I read his book after the BEAUTIFULLY written book, All the King's Men. Robert Penn Warren was a poet who also wrote prose. Hemingway just seems like a man's man who wrote in such an elementary manner. Plus, the guy just seems like he just doesn't GET anything. Very immature person. Emotionally handicapped IMHO.  I don't think I would have cared for Hemingway. His relationships are so shallow and empty. So, there you go. 

I also think that he is probably more liked by men. He is just a man's man. My husband loves him, and I have such respect for my husband. So, I guess he is just not my cup of tea. He probably wouldn't have liked Austen either. 

I put this right after my review of All Quiet on the Western Front because they are both books written with World War I as the backdrop. Yet, All Quiet is so much more beautifully written and profound! Hemingway fails in my mind, AGAIN!

52 in 52 Week 42: All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

The quote, "THE GREATEST WAR NOVEL OF ALL TIME" on the cover is no exaggeration. This is a masterpiece. Remarque's writing is exquisite!

"This book is to be neither an accusation nor a confession, and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure to those who stand face to face with it. It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped shells, were destroyed by the war."

This is one of those books that I think EVERYONE should read, and I think Hitler should have read it before he started World War II. It puts such a face on war from the perspective of our ENEMY in that war, the Germans! They were young men who were spurred on by older adults (in this case their teacher at the school they all attended) with lofty ideals but without any experience in the HORRORS of war!  

For us lads of eighteen they ought to have been mediators and guides to the world of maturity . . . to the future . . . in our hearts we trusted them. The idea of authority, which they represented, was associated in our minds with a greater insight and a more humane wisdom. But the first death we saw shattered this belief. We had to recognize that our generation was more to be trusted than theirs. . . . The first bombardment showed us our mistake, and under it the world as they had taught it to us broke in pieces.
This book would make anybody a pacifist!

Comrade, I did not want to kill you. . . . But you were only an idea to me before, an abstraction that lived in my mind and called forth its appropriate response. . . . I thought of your hand-grenades, of your bayonet, of your rifle; now I see your wife and your face and our fellowship. Forgive me, comrade. We always see it too late. Why do they never tell us that you are poor devils like us, that your mothers are just as anxious as ours, and that we have the same fear of death, and the same dying and the same agony—Forgive me, comrade; how could you be my enemy?

I LOVED this book and will probably put it in my top ten. It is so compelling. The author makes amazing observations of people too.

Here is a link to a review that is much better than mine and has many quotes from the book:

Friday, October 12, 2012

Well Update

Well-Watered Soul

I am in Romans 5, and I just typed as I listened to it. So rich. So wonderful. I love being in Romans. I am so looking forward to be done with hopeless novels and going to the Invitation to the Classics list that has many spiritual classics.

Well-Educated Mind

Last night, just before bed, I finished off my last Hemingway book on that "100 Great Books" list. I wonder what he would have been like to relate to. So hopeless. I am more than half way through The Plague, and I have begun both Catch-22 and House Made of Dawn. War and pestilence will be over. I cannot wait to be done!

Well-Adjusted Heart

No complaints. It is well with my soul. Always helps to be away from dysfunctional people who want power and don't want to change. I am in a very happy place with my relationships and with all the "groups" that I am involved with. No worries in this respect.

Well-Tuned Strength

I have woken up with a stiff back the last two mornings, but I am been able to work it out by movement. I am adding light weights in addition to the Physical Therapy exercises. So, I think that it why it has been stiff. Logan, the PT, didn't seem to concerned when I went in that way yesterday. He loosened up my hamstrings and made me to hard exercises anyway. I was fine the rest of the day. The trick is always to push yourself a little but not too much. I still do not know that balance.

I am eating sensibly lately. Very pleased.

This freewrite is only 8 minutes, but I want to get back to Romans.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Reading After War and Pestilence

I am going through my Downloads and deleting things. I am finding these free books books of the month from and that I have totally forgotten about. 

So, this is what I want to listen to after I am done reading and listening to books about war and pestilence :)

265 - War and Pestilence

265 - War and Pestilence, originally uploaded by carolfoasia.

Via Flickr:
"Everybody knows that pestilences have a way of recurring in the world; yet somehow we find it hard to believe in ones that crash down on our heads from a blue sky. There have been as many plagues as wars in history; yet always plagues and wars take people equally by surprise. . . When a war breaks out, people say: 'It’s too stupid; it can’t last long.' But though a war may well be 'too stupid,' that doesn’t prevent its lasting. Stupidity has a knack of getting its way; as we should see if we were not always so much wrapped up in ourselves" (Camus, Albert (2012-08-08). The Plague (Locations 524-530). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.).

I looked at my four remaining books from my "100 Great Books" List, and they are all about war and pestilence! Catch-22 and House Made of Dawn address the effects of World Ward II, Farewell to Arms is about Italy in World War I, and The Plague is about an outbreak in Algeria in the 1940's. I think these books would appeal to my husband much more than they appeal to me. Although even he had to have his dad explain to him what was happening in Catch-22 when he read it in high school.

What cheery reading on these fall days!

Monday, October 08, 2012

Backing Up Baby

Update on Photo "Waiting" Goals:

While waiting I will . . .  

-------CULL and BACK UP photos

·      2012 Family June 2 to September 30 DONE!!!!
·      2012 Michael and Paul Jan 1 to September 30 (They need to do this for themselves, but I haven't told them because of beginning school)

George will . . . 

--------BACK UP on old computers

HP Envy - Misc. on his computer when I ran out of memory on computer below  - I realize that most of the stuff was already transferred to my new computer. I still need to cross check, but it isn't very much at all. 

HP dv6000 - Most already backed up, but mainly January - April 2011 - DONE!!!! 
I just need to check on the videos to make sure they were all backed up. Sometimes they lurk in different files. 

Monday Morning Fifteen Freewrite

Well-Watered Soul

Loved this morning so far. I have found a mellow praise music channel on Pandora. So, I had a lovely 5:20 am worship time as I made my chai tea this morning. Then, I prayed through Face to Face: Praying the Scriptures for Intimate Worship. I always come back to this. Yesterday was a spontaneous prayer time around the block. I came to church and found that God had answered several prayers already!

Later that day, I rode my bike and prayed through the heart of downtown.

Jeremiah 29:7 (NASB95)
7 ‘Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare.’
New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation

This is my application from Bible Study this week, to pray for the Corvallis' welfare. I also wanted to pray for opportunities, but there were none that came up; but there may be some day soon. I will pray with Abi for her apartment complex later this morning. 

I have been in Acts for over a month, but I think I am going to go to Romans for a while, at least to Romans 8. I have not ever had the opportunity to finish that in-depth Bible Study, and since I have a big lead time in the Bible Book Club, it will be fun to go forward in my Romans study even though Kim and Rachel cannot join me this year. Lord, would you allow me to make a foundational Romans study that is a bit deeper than the ones we have been doing with DBS. DBS is great for new believers, and I love how there is much more application, but I would love people to learn to go deeper in Your Word. Your will be done in that. 

The last couple of months have been more prayer and presence as I go through my day than Bible study, Bible Book Club. Loving You among the pots and pans, Lord! Maybe Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence should be our next book!  Or Letters by a Modern Mystic.  Lord, lead us in that too!

Well-Educated Mind

Five more books, but I am almost done with one of the five, All the King's Men.  Now that I am finished with my photo goal (at least until the next big sale). I can concentrate on finishing that goal before the end of the year.

Well-Adjusted Heart

A person told me about how the person who blew up at me two years ago slandered me to her, but she knew it was not true because that person dislikes everyone. It did not crush me, but it made me very sad for her and reignited a critical spirit toward her. I am praying for her rather than judging her this week. The good news is that it has been 2 years and 4 months since I have had anything like this happen. I have heard twice over the last year how she has slandered me, but it has not hurt me. That is progress. It was wise to get out of her "line of fire." She always needs someone to criticize.

Well-Tuned Strength

I took a three month medical leave from the club (until December 21). I am seeing a Physical Therapist who is designing a safe weight program for me. The trainers/instructors at the club did not have safe programs for my particular problems. Logan is starting me off with trunk stability exercises and addressing the right side weakness.  Also, he is addressing my exceptionally tight hamstrings. This leads to many back pulls.

In addition, I am doing a massage two times this October. Then, I will go to once a month. This is what seems to be a spendy extravagance, but the doctor recommended that I do so.

I also took a long bike ride yesterday, and I had no problems. I also felt great. I have been mostly walking (and doing the elliptical until I left the club).

I think I will go back to doing the FIRM and quit the club all together. I loved it for many years, but going there has become more of a chore than a delight. I can go to Dixon for half the price and join on a quarterly basis. I just don't use Timberhill that much in the summer time. It will save me to do so.

Well, my fifteen minutes was up a while ago. On to Romans!

Sunday, October 07, 2012

52 in 52 Week 41: The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

Having lived in a Chinese neighborhood overseas for two years. This book was good to read. I have always had such a heart for what the Chinese people have had to go through in this oppressive  country. This gives fictionalized stories of four women who left China and came to America for a better life. Moving and very good.

As the granddaughter of immigrants, it was also interesting for me to see how their culture was lost as the American-born daughters of the Joy Luck Club made their way in American culture raised by Chinese mothers.  Poignant and realistic. It is a well-written book.

I DON'T think it is appropriate for kids though. My friend's fourteen year old was forced to read it over the summer for his World Literature class in high school. He HATED it and was so glad to unload it on me when he heard I was reading it for pleasure reading! LOL!

It is not appropriate for him because

 1) It is a chick book. There are so many OTHER books that would have been more appropriate for a teenage boy

 2) The themes are too mature and sexual for teenagers, male or female.

Enough said.

Movie version: I am watching it on ClearPlay. It is pretty slow and not really well-acted, but it does seem to bring out the essence of the book. It has taken me two weeks to get through it, and it is due at the library tomorrow. So, I guess this is what I will be doing this Sunday.

Update: The ending was good. I have to say that June's father was my favorite actor. The rest were somewhat wooden.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

My AncestryDNA Results

Done Until the Next Shutterfly Sale!

October 2, 2012

While waiting I will . . .  

-------CULL and BACK UP photos

·      2012 Family June 2 to September 30
·      2012 Michael and Paul Jan 1 to September 30

George will . . . 

--------BACK UP on old computers

HP Envy - Misc. on his computer when I ran out of memory on computer below 

HP dv6000 - Most already backed up, but mainly January - April 2011

  • Christmas Scrapbook 2007-2011 (Including page protectors) 
  • 2007-2011 Michael and Paul
  • 2007-2011 Family
  • 2007-2011 Carol365
  • 2010-2011 Michael's Senior Year Photo Book
  • 2012 Family to March 31
  • 2012 Carol365 to Day 238
  • Backed Up 2007- March 2012 from HP Pavilion dv7

Monday, October 01, 2012

BHAG Update

October 1, 2012


·      2012 Family to March 31 

-------CULL from selected photos in folders

·      2012 Family June 2 to September 30
·      2012 Michael and Paul Jan 1 to September 30

  • Christmas Scrapbook 2007-2011 (Including page protectors) 
  • 2007-2011 Michael and Paul
  • 2007-2011 Family
  • 2007-2011 Carol365
  • 2010-2011 Michael's Senior Year Photo Book
  • 2012 Carol365 to Day 238

Tuesday Ten Minute Freewrite

I am going to go great guns for 10 minutes on this freewrite. I am meeting with a person (not sure if she wants direction - she just wanted ...