It was supposed to be a quiet weekend after a very busy week once we returned from Chicago. Somehow, it flew by, and here we are at Monday evening already!
Friday night we had dinner with Tracy’s sister and brother-in-law at a new-to-us Asian restaurant. Tom had a Sushi platter, but the rest of us went with a hibachi plate. There are a lot of family events this summer, and we got a chance to talk about logistics among other things.
Saturday, it was my Dining Room Ministry team's turn to serve lunch. We were short-handed, but managed to get a hot lunch for nearly 70 on the table on time. But it was a lot more hectic than usual. Matt, Betsy, and the girls came for pizza. I only got one good photo---of Madelyn once again. She sits still the longest, and hasn’t developed an aversion to Grandma’s phone or camera.
Yesterday after church, I went right to the craft room to make sure all the cards for May were finished. It was a marathon session, and I finished 12, but still would like to make two more before the weekend when we’re off to visit my brother for a few days. It’s been well over a year since my brother and I have been together. And there’s a trip to NYC planned for Saturday---haven’t been there for 16 years!
I finished a book this weekend (well, actually this morning,) and thought I share three books I’ve read recently that I can highly recommend. Two are nonfiction, and one is a recently published novel that I put a hold on at the library.
The first is Becoming Wise: An Inquiry Into the Mystery and Art of Living by Krista Tippa. Many years ago, Sarah asked me if I listed to Tippa’s podcasts, “On Being.” Sadly, I never did. Based on many years of interviewing scientists, novelists and poets, theologians, and philosophers among others, Becoming Wise distills wisdom from these interviews in five sections: "Words: The Poetry of Creatures," "Flesh: The Body’s Grace," "Love: A Few Things I’ve Learned," "Faith: The Evolution," and "Hope: Reimagined." It is a fascinating and thought-provoking read. My To Read list grew a bit longer as I added books written by people Tippa has interviewed.
The Women in the Castle was the featured novel in the Indie Book List pamphlet I picked up in Nashville in March. I had to wait a few weeks for it to reach my name on the hold list at the library, but it was worth the wait. I’ve read more than my share of Holocaust novels over the years. This was no less devastating than many of the others, but the points of view were dramatically different. It is a compelling read, and the current political situation came to mind more than once.
I think I’ve read nearly all of Thomas Friedman’s books. His ability to tell a story to teach a concept is unparalleled. I’ve learned so much from him. He’s latest book, Thank You For Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Acceleration, is no exception. The New York Times calls him an “exploratory journalist,” and in this book he explores the rapid change of technology, and why it’s nearly impossible to keep up; climate change and the impact it’s had on our political and cultural institutions, and the spinning market so connected to the acceleration of the internet. It’s a long book, but a fascinating read.
I also wanted to share a few thoughts and links on “Choosing Joy” and gratitude. I recently joined a new interfaith book group---Christian, Jewish, and Catholic. We’re planning to read theologically interesting and thought-provoking books. Our first selection was Marcus Borg’s Convictions which I’ve now read twice, and could easily read again.
One of the members of that group sent a link to a piece she wrote on Mother’s Day. It’s beautifully written, thoughtful, and compassionate. When I read it I recognized, once again, that I am blessed beyond measure. Gratitude is something I recognize daily in many large and small ways, but for some reason I’ve never been able to keep a gratitude journal for more than a month or two. It’s always bothered me, but this week I read a blog post by Anne Butera (who hosted the Handmade Joy Exchange) in which she reflected that when “life is more joyful, it’s easier to see the joy. It doesn’t take the practice of writing . . . to be able to see it.” Her observation was very comforting, and I’m very grateful that my life is joyful enough not to need a written list.
Enough of rambling. The mail brought my birthday gift (partially funded by generous gifts from my mother-in-law and my husband.) I’ve been eyeing a mirrorless camera for several years, and in January got to see one Adam had purchased. It does most of what my big cameras do, much more than my phone camera, and is less than half as big as the big camera. It won’t replace my big camera, but it’s small enough to fit into a larger purse for a day in the city or a long walk. It’s the first Olympus I’ve owned, and I’m just beginning to figure out the controls. I'll be testing it out in New York City on Saturday. Also in the mail was the stunning Build a Flower: Magnolia stamp by Alenew and a charming pair of scissors from Etsy.
I’ll leave you with two of the cards I made with the new stamp set yesterday for two upcoming May birthdays.
I watercolored this image, and mounted it on a smaller A4 card from The Paper Source.
This one I stamped with a combination of inks from Papertrey Ink and Simon Says. The Altenew layering stamps are pretty amazing. It's adhered to an A2 card from Memory Box and I added a few rainstones from PTI.
Hope your week is off to a good start. I'm waving (a bit late in the day) to Sian at From High In the Sky and the other memo makers!