Thursday, July 25, 2013

46. Call the Midwife: Shadows of the Workhouse

Just like the first volume, Worth's memoir delivers! This is less about descriptions of midwifery and the sisters and more about people outside.

The first section is about workhouse children and focuses on Jane (Season 2), Frank, and Peggy (brother and sister from Season 1, Episode 5). It is not easy reading! It is so hard to read about the inhumanity of those places.

The second section is about the trial of Sister Monica Joan. What a character!

The last section is about the Joseph Collett, the elderly man and former soldier whom Jenny befriends in Season 1.

I continue to be amazed at how well PBS has adapted these books! I have the third one on my Kindle ready to go!

45. Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis

 I am not a huge science fiction fan, but I have grown to love and appreciate C.S. Lewis. His writing is so profound that sometimes he would make my head hurt, but now I am older and better able to understand his deep thoughts. He has deep thoughts in this book too, only in fictional form. His writing is lyrical, and I loved this. I cannot wait until the next one! I might even like this better than Narnia!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wednesday Freewrite

I cannot keep up with the progress of my soul right now. I have had a great two week break (starting tomorrow) from writing, but I am itching to get around to seeing how I can publish the Bible Book Club e-books. I have no idea how I might do it, but there was a free e-book offer on Facebook about writing books in a weekend. So, I downloaded.

It is good to take a break. It has left me more available for Elizabeth as she has been here since July 15. I am available to take her places in this hot weather, and yesterday, we had quite a few hours together bringing crutches to and talking with Cully (bad ankle sprain) and going to lunch at Sunnyside Up. I offered to have us continue watching Downton Abbey, but she visited with her friend. She came back and said she wished she had watched DA to re-energize for her dinner with the Trivetts and 9-11:30 pm time with Aaron. She was bushed in the afternoon, but she got up this morning and left by 9:15 am to go somewhere with another friend. 

Oh to be 1) young (33 years old) and 2) a TRUE extrovert! I would be crawling in a hole after yesterday (I should mention she also talked with me for two hours in the morning and then went to Coffee Culture for another 1 1/2 hours with another friend BEFORE we went and delivered the crutches!).

Anyway, I have had almost two weeks off from writing. I have a few goals for the rest of the summer. 

1) Possibly make a video of making the Jesse Tree with Rebekah and/or Kim; but that will depend on their schedules

2) Cull, process, print, and book pictures since November 4. I quit printing then, and I have hardly taken any pictures; but I never finished posting for Carol365 2012 because I wanted to have one goal of finishing the Bible Book Club and saving my back from camera overload and sitting too much processing. I am ready to start that up again and have closure.

3) Become a certified personal trainer

4) Make e-books 

5) Early review Lisa's book and finish Call the Midwife series and C.S. Lewis Space Trilogy. Then I might take a reading break (yeah right). 

6) Maybe paint and carpet living room and kids' bedroom?

But all that will have to wait until AFTER my backpacking trip to Idaho with Debbie and her friend. I will be able to start August 1st. Elizabeth leaves that day, and then I have a quiet house. I do not know if anyone else will be joining us for TOAG next year. I sure hope so, but I do not know who to recruit. I wish I was better at that, but I am not very good at it.

Well, now I have those things written out. I am going to go and pick up my orthodics. I did not have to get new ones, but new covers on top. That was great! I have to wait one more day for them to "cure," but it will be in time for the backpacking trip on Sunday. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Movie Reviews March - July

I was going to do this every other month and have forgotten. I have a few minutes for short reviews.

16. The Hunger Games

Rewatch with our kids (since they read the book). Excellent acting and adaptation of the book. Jennifer Lawrence IS Katniss. The hand-held camera is a big annoying but adds to the tension of the film. This is a movie AGAINST violence. People just do not get that sometimes.

17. Funny Face

Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire. Need I say more? It was so delightful. A woman becomes a model after working in a book shop. Amazing dancing, music, and great fun. S'Marvelous, S'Wonderful!

18, 35. Atlas Shrugged I and II (III is in production)

I think everyone needs to see this trilogy. The acting is somewhat wooden, but it follows the book pretty faithfully. "Who is John Galt?" It is an interesting commentary on capitalism versus socialism. 

19, 22, 23, 26, 27, 32. Doctor Who: Series 3 and 4, The Other Doctor, Planet of the Dead, The Waters of Mars, The End of Time: Part 1 & 2. 

David Tennant rocks. I love these. They are just SO good. The ending is so phenomenal. After a bad day, Doctor Who will always put a smile back on your face.

20. Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged

It really is somewhat scary to see how much of her prophecies have come true. Capitalism is successful. 

21. Quartet

So sweet. Some of our favorite British actors with the wonderful Maggie Smith and Pauline Collins (from the original Upstairs, Downstairs!). The classical music throughout is enchanting. The people in the rest home for retired musicians really are famous retired musicians, and they really are playing the music. Enchanting and good job, Dustin Hoffman, on your directorial debut!

24, 31 The Duchess of Duke Street Series One and Two

This is the mother in the Emma Thompson version of Sense and Sensibility. What a great actress. It is great series based on a true story of a woman who rose up to be the best chef in London and successful manager of her own hotel. 

25. Hope Springs

I was so disappointed in this movie. I thought it would be funny,and it was just pathetic. Meryl Streep should have picked a better script!

28. Evening

I wanted to see something with Claire Danes, and I think it was OK. It was nothing phenomenal though. 

29. You will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger

Wanting to see the Duchess of Duke Street in another role. She is really the only one that is remarkable. Very forgettable movie.

30. Evan Almighty

I was surprised at how much I liked this. Steve Carell is pretty funny, and the movie is pretty clean. 

33, 42 Mad Men Season 5 & 6

This is my father's era of work. My dad was Don Draper without the adultery! He had a similar commanding presence (at 6'8") and slicked back dark hair. It has some racy stuff, but ClearPlay can take care of that. The writing is very good though. 

34. William Faulkner: Famous Author Series

I read my last Faulkner this year (Go Down, Moses), and I wanted to understand him. What a messed up man. It comes out in his writing. Helped me understand him.

36. Call the Midwife: Series 2

I have this on my ROKU, and it is such a better picture than Comcast! HD is fantastic, and these are so beautifully done. I so heartily recommend this series. I almost like it as much as Downton Abbey.

37. Beasts of the Southern Wild

What an interesting look at that part of the world. It was nominated for so many things so I wanted to see what the fuss was about. Very intriguing look at poverty in the south. 

38. Margin Call

The language is strong, but it is about the economic crisis. The acting is very good. Capitalism at its worst.

39. Hamlet

I love all things David Tennant, and I think this is my favorite Hamlet, to date. He is amazing in this role, and the supporting actors are so good!

40,41,44 . Horatio Hornblower: The Duel and The Fire Ships, The Duchess and the Devil

We have wanted our kids to see these for forever so we brought them to the cabin we stayed at in Mount Rainier. This is a rewatch for us, but I think the kids liked them!  We love Ioan! 

43, 49. Doctor Who Series 5 & 6 (still watching)

Matt Smith is a hard act to follow after David Tennant, but we love him just as much. He is more comedic, but SO GOOD. We LOVE Amilia/Amy Pond too! I think she is my favorite companion, to date. She tells us so much with her facial expressions. I love the addition of another male companion in Rory! We are hooked! Love the Special Features on how they make the episodes.

44. Perfect Pitch

I would ClearPlay this because of the language and some of the potty humor, but the music is amazing, and it is funny. Just warning you about the language.

46. Sister Wendy's Story of Painting

I watched this years ago when I was teaching the kids about art. Oh my, she is SO GOOD. I credit her for teaching me to love art. You can get her four series on one DVD set now!

47. Doctor Who: Christmas Carol

I have to give this one its own entry because it is so good. It made me sob. Katherine Jenkins steals the show in this moving adaptation of this classic. I am tempted to buy it. 

48. What to Expect When You're Expecting

I just put it on since it was free on my Amazon Prime trial. I wanted something to watch while working in my room. It was OK. The disadvantage of Amazon Prime is that I cannot ClearPlay out the language!

49. Watership Down

My book club read this, and I usually try to do a comparison with the movie version. It is animated, and it follows the book pretty faithfully, leaving out much at the end for time. I wasn't very exciting, but I also got a bit bored with the book toward the end too. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Nine More Posts to 1000

I have had this blog since Fall of 2004, but I have only posted 991 times! I have posted so much more in the last couple of years than all the years combined because I started doing book reviews! 

I am back to physically journaling in a book now that the Bible Book Club writing is done. So, I might possibly not journal here very much anymore. I will like that change.

I am pretty tired. I think I got borderline heat stroke/exhaustion yesterday. I could feel myself getting sicker and sicker as I pedaled home from the grocery store on my bike. 

I came home and drank water. and I rested until I had to work to get ready for Elizabeth's party. I felt better by then. 

Well, I am going to go read my book so that I can enter for another drawing at the library! I might not finish it today, but I would like to!

Tomorrow is my 23rd wedding anniversary. So, I am gone for all day playing up in the Portland area!

Monday, July 15, 2013


"The true secret of happiness lies in the taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life."
- William Morris

Watch the one-minute movie, The Years Are Short.

From Gretchin Rubin's The Happiness Project daily email.

So reminds me of taking a picture a day. I looked at things more deeply and enjoyed them more. I so want to take my camera on my backpacking trip, but I cannot have the extra weight in my pack. :)

share on Twitter Like Moment of Happiness -- The Happiness Project on Facebook

Friday, July 12, 2013

Sleepless Elite?

I thought I had "slept in" this morning only to find out that I had 5:04 hours. Sigh. Above is my sleep average for the last seven days. I always say I only need 6 hours. Here is the proof from my BodyBugg data. I try to sleep more, but it just that gene that I have in my body. I have finally contacted the researcher, and I am going to participate in their "Sleepless Elite" study in August. I just have to wear their device for 10 days, journal before falling asleep and when I wake up, and take a DNA test. I hope I can help those who have chronic sleep problems. 

Here is the article that explains it. I do not need a DNA test to know that I have the gene. :) The traits describe me to a "T"! (Except I do not think I am "hypomanic" LOL! Enthusiastic and vivacious, YES!)


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Handel is My Hero

But more importantly Jesus, the Messiah, is my hero, and Handel (and Jennens) helped me see Him even more clearly. 

I finished my devotional journey through Messiah at 3:53 p.m. today. :)

WOOHOO! Now off to dance the rest of the afternoon away. :)

44. Handel's Messiah: Comfort for God's People by Calvin Stapert

Messiah in June and July!

This is my third time reading this. I listened to it on audio the first two times, and you can see my review below. I bought the Kindle version because I wanted to be able to underline things in it and use it as a reference book for writing my devotional on Messiah

It is so much better to read it than to listen to it! I am convinced the narrator is not the best "voice" for the author. I liked it so much more just reading the printed version. It is heavy on the music, but I needed that since I am not an expert on Italian oratorio, secco recitatives, arias, etc.! I learned so much more being able to see it in print and think I really understand and appreciate Handel's Messiah even more! (Is that even possible?).

Here is my review from last year. It is not everyone's cup of tea, but I am a nerd when it comes to Messiah:
When I first started trying to listen to this in 2010, I thought: BORING! The narrator sounded a bit stuffy, and it went on about Italian Oratorio and all that, but I gave it a second try Christmas season 2011. I sat down and really listened to it. It is a WEALTH of insight and information about this masterpiece! I loved it. If you are a Messiah Geek like me, it will benefit you greatly to understand the ins and outs of this gift from Handel! 
If you are not a Messiah geek, it may be a bit too academic, but I listened to it again this Christmas, and I found myself wanting to write down quotes.  I listened to a little of the book and then the part of the music he had just described. I love that I would go to bed and wake up with these Scripture songs in my head during the Christmas season because CHRIST is what the season is all about!   
It will be my annual tradition!
My devotional will be the whole month of December and will be at the BIBLE BOOK CLUB . Lord willing, I might make it into an e-book and/or a nice Christmas devotional book with pictures! We will see!

43. Forty Days with the Messiah by David Winter

I thought I had this novel idea to write a devotional book through Handel's Messiah, but someone had already done it! My emphasis is a bit different, but this is a wonderful little book, and I even corresponded back and forth with the parish priest in Oxford, England who wrote it! He even had a parish in the Cotswolds; a place I dream of going to one day (think of a pastoral English countryside, and that is the Cotswolds). 

He has written many books, and he was delightful and so flattered that I would want to quote his book in a few points in my devotional!

Here is his response to my request to quote him in my blog. So cute: 

Hi Carol
What a lovely e-mail! I'm so glad you're doing your devotional blog on Handel's Messiah (or rather, I suppose, My Jenning's selection of words from the Bible which Hanndel [sic] set to his unforgettable music!). By all means quote as much as you like from my book - I'm just flattered.
You don't say where you live - probably not in the UK, I guess. USA? Oxford is indeed 'worth a visit' - I took some American relatives round it last year and they were awe-struck (well, they kept saying 'awesome'!). And the Cotswolds are lovely, of course. My first parish (as a vicar) was in the Cotswolds.
You've obviously checked me out well on the internet! My 45th - and probably last - book comes out in November. It's called At the End of the Day - Enjoying life in the departure lounge. Next it's take-off for the biggest adventure of all . . . In Christ

Toward the Finish

June and July have been awesome months for finishing BHAGS. Last month, I finished the classics journey. Then, I finished the desire I have always had to study and then lead people through the entire Bible. Now, I am closing in on writing a devotional for Handel's Messiah! I am 2 1/2 posts away with 15 minutes 54 seconds of music, 10 pages of one reference book, and 3% of another (on Kindle so do not know pages left) from completion! It has been a lovely journey. I love waking up every morning with Scripture set to Handel's beautiful music playing in my head.

Two days ago, I was having a good day, but I went to work out in the facility here in the hotel, and I did some channel surfing while on the elliptical, and there was a British movie with some of my favorite actors: Ramola Garai, Jeremy Northam, Bill Nighy, Eddie Redmayne, Jenny Agutter, Christopher Lee, Hugh Bonneville, and even David Tennant (although his character was out of the movie by the time I tuned in, but I saw him in one flashback!). I was hooked, but it turned out to be a very dark, suspenseful movie and some of those favorite actors were also very dark! It derailed me for a few hours when I came back to work ,and I had to call on Nancy and George for warfare prayer! (The movie was called Glorious 39 by the way, but it wasn't very glorious IMHO.) 

The next day, I kept my heart clean of the pollution of darkness and just focused on Messiah, and it was an absolutely wonderful day. There is a lesson in this: Keep focused on Jesus and turn away from the darkness! 

On to the finish!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wednesday Freewrite

I have been listening to a sampler of, what is supposed to be, one of the best performances of Messiah. What a great way to start the day. :)

I struggled mightily through Psalm 2 (it is playing right now on the sampler). God telling Jesus He will "break" the nations is sometimes hard to swallow. 

Now the sampler is on "Hallelujah Chorus"! I will start my day on that and hopefully make my way through a good chunk of Part III today. No news from the realtor though. I am up here waiting in this hotel for her to have time to show us houses, but it is already Wednesday and now she has jury duty. What is the point of putting us up in a hotel if we are not going to do what we came for? I have many other realtors who are chomping at the bit to talk to us and ready to show us places, but we have to use the one George's company has assigned. Seems like a big waste of money to put us up in a hotel for four nights if half of them have gone by without any showing of homes. Just my opinion though.

Not that it is a waste. I had been thinking of going to a coastal hotel to write without distractions, and this is what I am able to do. 

I finished the whole Bible in June, but this is another BHAG - devotionally writing through Handel's Messiah! I heard from another author who wrote another devotional. I did not know he had written it when I decided to do this one, thinking that I had an original idea! I asked him if I could quote him, and he was flattered! He is an Anglican priest at Oxford. His first parish was in the Cotswolds! OH MY! My dream place to live. I wonder if Oxford needs a statistician? LOL!

One last thing, I wrote the head of the "Sleepless Elite" study, and he was more than eager to have me as one of the participants. I need ten days to wear a device to measure my sleep rhythms. Since there are only 1-3% of the population that has this gene, I felt it was my duty to help in the study. I tried to do it another time, but I did not have enough time to wear the device. I am going to do it in mid-August. 

Well, the Messiah Sampler is over, and it is time for me to finish the writing of the "Hallelujah Chorus" post. Then, it is on to Part III, the final part (and much shorter than the other two!).

TTFN (I am sort of like a Tigger you know)

Tuesday, July 09, 2013


Finish Messiah Part Two by Tuesday!
Finish Messiah Part Three by Thursday!

Monday, July 08, 2013

42. Swann in Love by Marcel Proust

So I continue with the soap opera! I am addicted to this great narrator and the beautiful classical music between each section. 

I guess I am not in for tackling a long Dickens audio right now (even though I have 36 hours and 33 minutes of Our Mutual Friend loaded and waiting for me on the iPhone). These abridged sections of Remembrance of Things Past by Proust are only 3-4 hours long and are nice for a couple of days of walking. I know I am not getting the full effect, but maybe I will tackle all of Proust when I am retired. 

Remember I said that I must have missed the homosexual undertones. Well, I do not think they were in the first audiobook. They were in here, but they were tastefully done. The French aristocracy seemed to be pretty lose in their morals back then. I will have to learn more on that front.

This is about Swann who falls in love with a woman who is really more of a "tart" than a dignified woman. She is not intelligent, but he is in "lust" (but again, the lust is tastefully done to the point where I wondered if they were really sleeping together or just flirting). 

I will probably listen to the whole series. I am such a silly girl (but not a tart). 

This narrator really is one of the best I have ever heard.

Monday Fifteen

I decided to do my freewrite in the afternoon today. I wanted to get straight to writing for Bible Book Club (Messiah Meditations) instead of warming up my fingers. It is better for me to do it now because my brain always starts to shut down at about 2:30. I know it coincides with the dip in my serotonin/dopamine and change in my cortisol levels at this time of day. For the first time all day, I am craving food. I am never really hungry until 2:30, and my concentration goes awry now. I wish we could check into our hotel at three, but I have to wait until George gets off of work. I am hoping that this will kick my brain to get this last post I have been working on done before he gets off work. I really love where I am in Messiah. This is the part that makes me SING! Psalm 68 where He ascends, and we get the Holy Spirit and the GLORY GIFT for the spread of the GOSPEL. That is truly exciting for me!!!

It is pretty cool because I am writing a post slated for December 21, but the post for tomorrow is Ephesians 4! And that is what I need to really put the finishing touches on this post. I need to ruminate on it overnight no doubt. So, maybe I should just pack it up and go for a walk until George gets off of work OR sit and read my book in a comfy chair downstairs! 

Ah, but the CLOSURE CAROL kicks in and says PUSH TO FINISH it! I know I won't really finish it because I will need to polish it up a bit tomorrow, but I can get the rough draft down on the post and clean it up tomorrow with the background of Ephesians 4 with the current post. WOOHOO!

I am really excited about tomorrow. I am going to stay in the room and write. I won't have to worry about all the background noise Although the people in the library QUIET Reading Room today are actually QUIET! The sweet girl from Kansas studying for the Oregon Bar is not here. She is quiet, but I don't think she realizes that everyone in the room can hear the lectures she is listening to on her computer even WITH her headphones on. I wonder why. I have not had the heart to tell her though.  I do not know where she is today, and the sweet Libyan woman studying for her medical boards isn't here either today. Most are strangers here with the exception of the loud, munchy Chinese girl that ate all day last time I was here. I do not think she is eating today since she got in big trouble with the librarian last time for eating. But I do see all her food on the table, and I wonder if she will defy authority again! (Tee Hee) Stay TUNED! 

Well, I think it has been fifteen minutes. I think I might work until 4 pm on the rough draft then pack it up and walk until George gets off of work.

Bye. No proofreading. Do not think less of me with punctuation, grammar, spelling, and typo mistakes! (Well, maybe it would be good if you did. Then I would grow as a person through your disapproval.) 

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Saturday Morning Moment

I am sitting upon my ball in my dining room typing for the Bible Book Club. I look out on the beginnings of a gorgeous Saturday in my backyard. I love these quiet moments before the background noise of boys (young and old) that murmurs low but usually present. I have this moment right now where I know You are here. You smile.

I cannot help but smile back with the inexpressible joy that comes from being in Your presence (Psalm 16:11 comes to mind). Meditating on Psalm 24 does so send me into orbs. Listening to Handel's rendition sends me further beyond. There is a life in the Spirit that is unexplainable, and so beyond all earthly joy. You cannot bottle it or bring it to someone to savor for they must go to that place all on their own, in the way that You deem it to be so. Yet, will they go there? Are they willing? "Is the reason we're not still to hear You speak because we don't believe you will?" (Michael Card "In Stillness and Simplicity")

I am concerned but am powerless to make it happen for anyone but myself. Yet, I have those in my inner sphere who have tasted that heavenly gift. I want more to come to that deep place, but must only lead by example. 

Well, I must leave now, but will walk to Book Club with Psalm 24 in mind:

Psalm 24:7-10

Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
Who is the King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
Who is the King of glory? The Lord of Hosts, He is the King of Glory.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Friday Fifteen Freewrite

This is my favorite day to do a freewrite. I guess I like the alliteration in "Friday Fifteen Freewrite"!  

I am experiencing a good bit of joy in my heart right now. For several years now, and in my talks to women's groups in the past, I say that JOY is 


There is this sense of His presence inside of me that is so endearing. I do not know what today will hold because sometimes my early morning, introverted, quiet time with God is shattered by a cacophony of voices from without, but I will try to hold this time in my heart and do the "Brother Lawrence" thing by Practicing His Presence throughout the day. I do get better at it as I get older, but I know I can always do better. I also know what will get me back on track when I am so "prone to wander" and "leave the God I love." I wonder how many people do not realize how they have wandered from the God they love through worry or anxiety or fear or anger or frustration or people pleasing or making people or things their idols rather than "lifting up their heads" and "letting the King of Glory come in"! It helps to start my day off listening to Messiah in the morning. I love this grand chorus after the resurrection of Jesus. It is pomp and rejoicing over victory over Hell and the enemy. It is the 
"joy of a father at the return of the prodigal son, or the joy of a nation on first hearing the news of liberation after an occupation: for the moment all thought of what is to come is suspended, unrestrained happiness fills life and existence. But the chorus is a conscious manifestation of gratitude and jubilation, an acclamation to the conqueror at his entry into the city. It is far more a question of an organized act of homage" (From Stapert's Handel's Messiah: Comfort for God's People and quoting somebody else, but the footnotes are not formatted on my Kindle. I will look it up later).

I only quoted that because I was talking about listening to that, and it was right next to me on the other pane of my computer. So, I didn't have to take my fingers off the keys even though I was quoting someone else. It was appropriate for my theme of joy! LOL! I wrote a thankfulness 

Freewrite on Facebook already today, and I will cut and paste it here:

Thankful today for sunshine, cooler temperatures, blue sky, legs to walk in it, my daily "walk around the block", chai tea, pictures of loving friends that I see here on Facebook (The bride and groom above are in town, and we are seeing them tomorrow!!!), a calorie deficit even after eating pie on 4th of July, just enough soreness after a little bit of running yesterday, Handel's "Lift up Your Heads -- He is the King of Glory" song that sends me dancing in my living room, Calvin Stapert who wrote a beautiful book about Handels' Messiah (and answered an email I sent him with a question), Ephesians 2 and forgiveness, and a lunch with two sweet sisters who used to babysit me growing up in El Segundo, California (my dad was best man in their parents' wedding in the 40's). "My heart overflows with a good theme" (Psalm 45).

What are you thankful for? I did a freewrite about it just now.
Michael's alarm just blared, and my peaceful quiet of the morning will be shattered, but I will hold this time in my heart throughout the day and be peaceful. I hear George's ankles clicking. He is such an extrovert. He loves to talk once he wakes up enough to talk. I am living on borrowed time, but it is blessed time even when they are up and stirring. I realized yesterday what a blessed family I have because we all get along so well, and there is no tension when we have nowhere to go on 4th of July, and it is just us. Even when we were down at the neighbors' houses watching their fireworks, my kids were standing watching and talking and laughing between themselves. They are very nice kids. They have a nice father to look up to so how could they be otherwise?

Happy 5th of July as the buzzer rings, and I send with no proofreading!   :)

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

41. Swann's Way by Marcel Proust

I only registered on this book about 9 years into my 10 year classics journey. They say it is one of the most beautiful books in all of literature. Who knew?

After I saw an old Shelby Foote interview on CSpan2 BookTV, I decided to read (listen to) an abridged version of the first book of the total work called In Search of Lost Time/Remembrance of Things Past. Shelby's mother gave him the entire novel in four bound volumes when he was 17 years. He had read through ALL the unabridged volumes nine times between 1933 and 1993, and the entire work is 3,000 pages! 

I admire Shelby Foote so much (he wrote the definitive Civil War history and was made famous when he appeared as an historian on Ken Burn's Civil War series) that I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.  

When asked why he had read them so many times, he said he read them for two reasons: 
"One is pure enjoyment. Proust is one of the most intransient (permanent) writers that ever lived. And the second, he can teach you something, you can always learn. A writer can always learn from Proust, and he can indeed, we were talking about Shakespeare earlier, that's the grand master teacher."
With that glowing recommendation, I listened to abridged version and was pleasantly surprised at how accessible he is. He is a beautiful writer with vivid descriptions that made my walks with Proust enjoyable! The musical interludes on the audio version are also quite lovely. 

I think I got the sanitized version in the abridgement because I guess there is more homosexual undertones in the unabridged version, or maybe I didn't get it in the abridged?  

I can say I read Proust now. WOOHOO!  Not sure if I will read the rest of them, but I did love this narrator!

In fact, here is a video of the narrator introducing Proust. It is excellent!

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Tuesday Twelve Freewrite

I am not feeling well this morning. I stayed inside from the pollen all day yesterday but still woke up with a raging headache. I am really needing complete rest, and I will hopefully have it after my house guest leaves today. I love entertaining guests; but on the heals of a busy week up in Hillsboro, it probably wasn't such a good idea and especially since it ended up being only 1/2 hour buffer between coming home and entertaining.  It did not help that I walked around the Hillsboro Airport for two hours with such a high pollen count. Grass doesn't usually bother me, but I have not felt well for three days now. I will go ahead and take some Sudafed because that seemed to really help yesterday.

I am also disappointed because not going out and being active has caused me to stay inside and EAT! I am eating way more than I should be lately, and I am not happy about that. Again, hard when you are entertaining. I need a few days of just being by myself, but I also know that we will find something to do on 4th of July and we are probably going to the Renzonis on the 5th. So, that sort of shoots myself in the foot. Then, it is back up to Newberg/Hillsboro and lots of people contact. Maybe I should go away to the coast by myself for a couple of days, but I do not have a car because George has the car up there, and Michael needs our other car down here. What to do? Confessions of a true Introvert that needs some "I" time to cope!

Well, I do not want to sit too much. Gotta' move to keep that weight off! So, I am doing a Tuesday seven instead of a twelve today.

This was a depressing post, but that GOOD NEWS is that Jesus has RISEN in my Messiah writing. So I am excited to explore that! 


Monday, July 01, 2013

Monday Musing

"In 1970 I felt so lonely that I could not give; now I feel so joyful that giving seems easy. I hope that the day will come when the memory of my present joy will give me the strength to keep giving even when loneliness gnaws at my heart."
- Henri Nouwen, The Genesee Diary

I like this quote. 

Allergies were bad yesterday afternoon and this morning. I avoid Allegra because it constipates me (pardon the graphic nature of that sentence), but I am trying Sudafed right now and seeing if that helps. It seems to have helped, but I only got 61% sleep efficiency compared to my usual 90+% (Body Bugg Measures this, btw).

So, I am not hopeful for a super productive day, but Heather is going out to lunch with friends and out to friends' house at night. So, I will just rest and read today and stay inside. It is supposed to be bad all week. When I start feeling better, I will go and work out and drive there (I hate to drive to a workout. It seems so counterintuitive to do so). 

Oh well. PRAISE GOD FOR AIR-CONDITIONING, and outside looks so beautiful from my artificial world! LOL!

Praying for a very good day and for Egypt. 

My BodyBugg sleep pattern for last night:

I went to sleep at probably 11:15 but notice all the lighter colored lines. These are all the times I woke up in the middle of the night. I usually have this kind of pattern:

Notice the 98%. I sleep less (usually 6 hours is great for me because I have the "Sleepless Elite" gene), but I usually have great efficiency when I sleep.

This is all so interesting to me. Notice that the total amount of "sleep" is the almost the same 5:53 versus 5:21 (I would have slept later but George left for Hillsboro at 5:50).  I usually need close to 6 hours, but if I sleep inefficiently, I seem like I am sleeping longer. 


Here I go for fifteen minutes. I did not do the fifteen-minute freewrite Friday as I thought. And I totally missed this last Friday. So, I a...