Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday Mindfulness ~ DON'T hurry up!

Do you say, "Hurry up" to your child, maybe even more often than you say, "I love you"?  One mother wrote about The Day I Stopped Saying "Hurry Up".  She admitted:
"I was a bully who pushed and pressured and hurried a small child who simply wanted to enjoy life."
She did finally learn, however, that "Pausing to delight in the simple joys of everyday life is the only way to truly live."

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sunday Salon ~ moving takes time

The two windows in the center, just above the tree (and the van/bus) are mine.  Count down from the tenth floor (10-9-8-7-6) to my windows on the corner of the sixth floor.  On the left is my bedroom, on the right is my living room, and my kitchen window is around the corner, facing the street, but hidden in the indented part of the building.  I overlook the connecting portion between the two buildings of the Crown Center.

I finally have wi-fi in my new apartment, so I can get back to blogging now!  I'm still unpacking boxes, of course, but it looks like home now.  It's almost July, and the weeks of June have been filled with unpacking, one box after another.  Eventually, I'll show you more of my new place than the windows above the trees.


New books — yes, I can see it may not be a good thing that Barnes and Noble is only a block away.  And because it's just across the parking lot from my new grocery store, I can't really avoid it, can I?  Of course not!

We Make the Road by Walking: A Year-Long Quest for Spiritual Formation, Reorientation, and Activation ~ by Brian D. McLaren, 2014
Explore what a difference an honest, living, growing faith can make in our world today, and create a life-changing learning community.  The readings offer insightful reflections and transformative practices to guide an individual or a group of friends through a year of interactive learning and personal growth.
The Voice Bible ~ published by Thomas Nelson, 2012
This is a faithful dynamic equivalent translation that reads like a story.  It invites readers to enter into the whole story.  It recaptures the passion, grit, humor, and beauty that is often lost in the translation process.  The result is a retelling of the story of the Bible in a form as fluid as modern literary works, while remaining painstakingly true to the original manuscripts.
Bloggers gather in the Sunday Salon — at separate computers in different time zones — to talk about our lives and our reading.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sunday Salon ~ books and family

I arrived "home" in St. Louis just before midnight last night and don't have my car completely unloaded yet.  But I got a lot done in Chattanooga during the past week.  (You may have noticed I haven't posted lately.)  Here's a photo of me with my great-granddaughter Raegan as I was leaving my daughter's house one morning after Raegan had arrived to spend the day at Nanny's house.  It's still hard to believe I'm the mother of grandparents!  I made the sign for "love," which Raegan repeated after me.  Then she wanted us to make the sign with both hands and touch our extended fingers.  Anyway, I'm ready now to unpack the rest of the boxes and get settled in my new place.

I got my car serviced one last time by Mike Higgins, my excellent mechanic in Chattanooga.  While waiting, I picked up that day's newspaper lying on an adjacent chair and spotted this color photo of my own granddaughter!  I'd just been visiting with her the night before.  I snapped this using my cellphone, and sent it to family.

I read a couple of children's books at my daughter's house:  The Pink Party by Maryann Macdonald, illustrated by Abby Carter (1994) and How to Talk to Your Cat by Jean Craighead George, illustrated by Paul Meisel (2000).  Since I occasionally mention children's books on this blog, I asked my daughter which was the "best" of a stack of books Raegan had been reading.  She said, "Probably this one," and handed me The Pink Party.  When I opened it, I was surprised to see my own name.  I didn't remember giving Raegan the book, but upon closer inspection, I saw the rest of what I had printed inside.  I gave it to Raegan's mommy "with love from Grandmama Bonnie, July 14, 1995."  That means I read this very same book before giving it to my granddaughter when she was five years old.  As Raegan is now.  What a coincidence that's the book lying there, that my daughter chose as "best" for me to read, that turned out to be a book I had chosen nearly two decades ago for my grandchild, who is now mother of the newest reader.

During my drive between cities, I was able to listen to the six audio tapes of Awakening Compassion: Meditation Practice For Difficult Times by Pema Chödrön (1995).

On Wednesday, June 25th, the St. Louis book club I've been invited to attend will discuss The Homesman by Glendon Swarthout, 1988 (with an Afterword, copyright 2014, by the author's son Miles Swarthout).
Bloggers gather in the Sunday Salon — at separate computers in different time zones — to talk about our lives and our reading.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Beginning ~ with Marmee and Louisa

Marmee and Louisa: The Untold Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Mother ~ by Eve LaPlante, 2012, biography
"Who is Louie?" my oldest daughter asked, holding up a small book with a worn, embossed cover.  She and I were kneeling on the dusty floor of my mother's attic, rummaging through a huge metal trunk containing our ancestors' belongings.  The trunk had arrived decades earlier following the death of an aunt, who likewise had inherited it from her aunt.
In 1951, sixth grade was still a part of elementary school.  One sixth grade teacher decided to put on a two-hour play of Little Women, looked over the fifth-graders, managed to get the cast she wanted assigned to her class the next year, and chose me to play Marmee because she considered me "stately" (yes, 63 years later I still remember the word "stately").  We spent the whole school year practicing our parts, had authentic costumes made for each of us, had a complicated stage background made for us, and were pictured in the Chattanooga newspaper article about our production.  We performed the show twice, for the students and also separately for the parents and community.  It was a wonderful event in my life.

I came to love Little Women (if I'd been part of that family, I would have wanted to be Jo, of course) and I especially loved Marmee.  I'm still friends with Shirley, who played the part of "my" daughter Meg, whose "twins" in the sixth grade play were dolls belonging to my sister and me.  Shirley is now taller than I am (more stately, in other words), and I'm the one who had twins in real life, rather than Shirley.  It should come as no surprise to you that, when I saw Marmee and Louisa on the shelf when I went to the St. Louis County Library to get a new library card, it's the book I chose to check out.

Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays.  Click here for today's Mister Linky.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Monday Mindfulness ~ becoming free of clutter

Clearing clutter from my life is helping me have MORE, not less.  How, you ask?  By getting rid of stuff that has accumulated, I'm making room for MORE of what really matters.  I'm giving myself MORE breathing space and MORE contentment.  Now I have room for new things in my life.  And the empty boxes are being carted out to the dumpster behind my new apartment building.  Ahhhhh!  Breathing room!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sunday Salon ~ timeless prose?

Today, I remembered that I'm in the Central time zone, now that I've moved to St. Louis, so I changed this blog to reflect that.  However, Blogger went back and changed ALL of my nearly two thousand posts back an hour.  Wait!  No, no, that doesn't work!  Those I set to post just after midnight all these years now say they were posted an hour earlier, making them show up the day BEFORE they really posted.
Friday Book Beginnings ~ on Thursdays?
Throwback Thursday ~ on Wednesday?
Monday Mindfulness ~ on Sunday?
Sunday Salon ~ on Saturday?
Caturday ~ on Friday?
Tuesday Teaser ~ on Monday?
No way!  Just ... NO ... okay?  That means, the time stamp for this blog will continue to be Eastern time, even when I'm out of it.  I guess this means posts will show up an hour earlier than I write them.  Or something like that.  Go figure (if you can).


Listened to the audio while traveling to St. Louis
The Practice of the Presence of God ~ by Brother Laurence, published in 1692, read by Bob Tetreault, 2000, memoir, 8/10
Read this borrowed book in a couple of days
The Homesman ~ by Glendon Swarthout, 1988 (Afterword, 2014, by the author's son Miles Swarthout),  fiction (Nebraska), 8/10
Bloggers gather in the Sunday Salon — at separate computers in different time zones — to talk about our lives and our reading.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Beginning ~ with an indomitable woman

The Homesman ~ by Glendon Swarthout, 1988 (Afterword, 2014, by the author's son Miles Swarthout), fiction (Nebraska)
"In late summer Line told him she was two months along.  Another mouth to feed.  And besides, she said, forty-three was too old.  She said it would be a melon-head or all crippled up or have a hare-lip because God must be angry with them because look what had already happened this year."
I moved to St. Louis this week, and a woman I met two days ago has already let me borrow this book so I can discuss it with her book club in about three weeks.  The first lines make me want to continue reading, and so does this summary of the story:
In pioneer Nebraska, a woman leads where no man will go.  This devastating story of 1850s pioneers in the American West celebrates the ones we rarely hear about — the brave women whose hearts and minds were broken by a life of bitter hardship.  A "homesman" must be found to escort a handful of them back East to a sanitarium.  When none of the county’s men steps up, the job falls to Mary Bee Cuddy — ex-teacher, spinster, indomitable, and resourceful.  Brave as she is, Mary Bee knows she cannot succeed alone.  The only companion she can find is the low-life claim jumper George Briggs.  Thus begins a trek east, against the tide of colonization, against hardship, Indian attacks, ice storms, and loneliness.
I like reading about indomitable women.  Okay, Mary Bee Cuddy, let's see how you deal with frontier life.

Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays.  Click here for today's Mister Linky.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

TBT ~ story skeleton

My son with his first grandchild, a couple of years ago.
In a boxful of my children's artwork and school work, I found an undated "fill in the blanks" story outline to guide children's creativity at school.  The mimeographed sheet, with its purple ink, was titled A STORY SKELETON.  I don't know how old my son was when he wrote this, but he could print well (so was probably not in the first grade), but had not yet learned cursive.  Maybe second grade?
One day I met a boy called___Charlie Crabbtree.  He said he lives on 66 Avenue.  That's about a block from where I used live.

He was walking with a friend who was___about seven years older than I was.  They were carring something that was in a giant paper sack.

I said to them,___ "What in the world is in that paper sack"  they did't say a thing.  So I asked again.

But all they replied was,___"None of your buissness kid.  So I knock him flat.  They started to run away.

After they left I saw that they had dropped___thier giant paper sack

I didn't know what to do with it, so I___ took it home.

That was foolish because suddenly___ I opened sack and a thousand WASPS CAME AFTER ME.

The only thing I could do was___run for my life.  One stung me on the leg.  I couldn't run more.  I asked Charlie to take his wasps back.  He said he wouldn't.  The wasps went back to thier nest.  And that is the end of that.
I think I detect too much television in the "knock him flat" sentence.  The old Saturday morning cartoons, 40-some years ago, were all about violence, which has only gotten worse over the years.  The spelling and punctuation, by the way, were left just as my son laboriously printed this story.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

St. Louis, Missouri

Yesterday, I smiled when I saw the arch in the distance as I approached St. Louis.  Today, I signed the lease, the guys unloaded the truck, and I now have a million boxes in my new apartment.  But I'm in it!  I'll tell you more about it in the next few days, but now I'm tired to the bone and planning to sleep long and hard tonight.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Texting and tweeting ~ not very mindful

These students walking and texting are not mindful of each other or the greenery around them.  Will we have a whole generation whose only connection is through hand-held devices?  These may seem funny to us, but walking and tweeting and texting and driving don't mix.

Lots of people aren't paying attention these days.  Basically, that means they are not being mindful.  I have seen people at restaurants on their mobile devices, not paying attention to each other.  Once I watched a mother and her young child, whose feet didn't reach the floor as he sat at the table, and they never spoke during their meal.  Both were playing with their iPads or droids, or whatever they had.

My online Book Buddies are working on the idea of mindfulness this month.  Have you given this any thought?  Have you seen people so obsessed with texting that they miss what's happening around them?