Find Joy. Seek Truth. Be Kind.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

November Books

I bought The Curiosities and Every Day at the Tattered Cover when I went down to Denver to meet a friend there for an author event.  I felt all grown up, walking around, sipping wine, eating hors d'oeuvres (really just samples for local businesses), and getting young adult authors to sign my program.  I might have fan-girled just a little, and maybe I shoved some of the chocolate in my purse to take home to the kids.  It was fun!  It's not often I do something just because I want to, kinda think I should do that more often.

After You was a quick fun read, a sequel to You Before Me.  I think I liked it even better than the first.

I'm loving short stories right now, they seem to fit with the bits of free time I have, so The New Voices of Fantasy were a great fit.

I read Country Boy because it's by a friend.  I think it's about the third book of hers I've actually read, although she's written a lot more.  Gay fiction is generally my thing, but honestly?  She's gotten good enough that they're just really enjoyable stories.  Now if only I could get her to write me some science fiction....

Friday, November 24, 2017

$2, what can it do?

What could you do with two dollars?  Maybe buy a cup of coffee.  Or a donut.  Not both.

This is the bill I didn't loose

At our church this last Sunday, we had a reverse offering.  Each person there was asked to take a $2 bill from the offering basket for each member of their house hold.  We were challenged to see what good we could do in the world with two dollars.

I took three $2 bills, one for me, and one for each of the kids still at home.  I imagined that I'd hand them out to my teens and we'd talk about our favorite charities.  It would be a very intellectual and meaningful conversation.  Maybe we'd decide to match the $2 donations to send to one of them.  Or maybe we'd use the combined $6 to buy some baking supplies and sell sweets at church   Even though it was a small amount, it was fun imagining what we'd do.

However, being me, being us, that's not what happened.  First of all, the teens weren't that much into charity, and while the Hot Dog (now 13 yo) thought a $2 bill was cool, Lego Kid was pretty blase.  Second, I had the bills in the side pocket of my purse, and at some point, while I was unloading groceries, two of the bills fell out of my purse, never to be seen by me again.

Of course they did.  That's my kinda of wiener dog luck.  Or, well, I'm a bit of a klutz.  Whatever.

Now, it's not like the loss of $4 is really a big deal, and it's not even that the loss of two $2 bills is really that upsetting.  After all, I can take my money to a bank and ask for it to be exchanged for $2 bills if I want.  It's just... I had plans for it.  Those. Exact. Bills.

I was sad when I got home, and I told Hot Dog about it.  That kid.  He was awesome.
"But maybe they were found by someone who could really appreciate it"

That's exactly right.

Now we got the fun of imagining what happened to those $2 bills.

A homeless person found them and was able to get some hot food from the grocery deli.

A little kid found one and thought it was play  money, until his mom told him it was real, and he could keep it!  He was so excited!!

A squirrel found one, carried it to it's nest to become part of the insulation that will keep it warm all winter.

It got caught in a car, drove away, and fell out, right in front of a little girl who picked it up and give it to her big brother.  He had been sad because his team lost last week, and she was so happy to be able to make him smile.

None of our stories was particularly brilliant, but we had fun imagining what happened to those two bills.  I felt better of the little loss of our bills.  We're so lucky, we know that we'll be able to continue to give to support the work of our church, even with out our $2 bills..  Our church is doing so much good in the community; Faith Family Hospitality, One Family One Village, the Larimer County Mobile Food Bank, becoming a Sanctuary church, these are just some of what we're doing right now.

Now it's your turn.  What would you do with your $2?
Leave your stories in the comments, and if you are moved, make a donation somewhere, maybe even Foothills Unitarian, and tell us what good you hope will come of your donation.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

April Books

What a mixed bag this month's read were.  By far the children's books, The Poet's Dog and When You Reach Me were better than the others.

Confessions.... was a light fun read, really just a Jane Austin fan fantasy, and what's wrong with a little fun?
Diary... was another light read, but not as much fun.  Set in the contemporary south, this romance was distractedly white biased, so not as laid back a read as I had hoped.

On the other hand, The Poet's Dog was a sweet brilliant little book.  Enjoyable, and accessible, and one which I would suggest to any child and parent.

When You Reach Me was not as accessible, I'd suggest it for an older child or teen.  It's not scary or inappropriate, just a nice dense little plot twist that had me wanting to re-read it immediately.  It was suggested to me by my friend Karen, and she was right.  It's excellent.  Thanks Karen!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

February and March Books

I probably lost track of a couple of books from the last two months. Or maybe not.  It's been a bit crazy around here.

A Monster Calls is a beautiful heart breaking book, the kind I'm glad I read.  
Read Orphan Train a while back for a different book group, but didn't mind reading it again.  How I Live Now was one I just pulled off a shelf from the library, unexpectedly engrossing.  Robin McKinley is always worth reading, can't believe I haven't read everything she's done yet.  This Time Together was a light read, but I enjoyed the authors insight.

The Boys in the Boat was for book group, another I'm glad I read.  It also spurred me to find and watch "The Boys of 36" with HotDog.  Documentaries are some of our favorite ways to get our history.

Speaking of history, another favorite way to get it is audio books.  Hot Dog and I just finished listening to The Aviators.  He really enjoyed it!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

I'd do it again

Having children is probably the most selfish thing I've done.

Think about it.

I brought 3 human beings into this world.  I did it knowing that they would suffer, have pain, lose friends and family, giving birth, I knew some day they would die.
I brought 3 human beings into this over populated world.  This world so full of worry, sorrow, horror, and despair.  This world overburdened with Americans sucking up more than their fair share of resources, now has 3 more people living the American dream.

and I'm not sorry.  Not one bit.

I gave 3 human beings the biggest gift I knew - life.  Messy, complicated, challenging, life.  I gave birth to the three people I love best in the world.  Three people who I know, inside and out.  Three people who I will be forever discovering I don't know, because they change and grow every moment, they are not who I thought they were.  These tree people I will be forever discovering.   Three people whose eyes now show me a different world than the one I thought I knew, three different worlds in fact.

I wish it was a better world, safer, cleaner, fairer.  I try to do my part, I recycle, I donate, I volunteer, but the biggest thing I ever did to make this a better world was to give it my best, the very best I could do - be my children's mom.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

January Books

Yay!  I've been getting to read a bit more, again, finally.

I've been on a list serve that Tamora Pierce is on for years, and finally thought, maybe I should read her stuff.  Yes.  Yes I should.  This was a rolicking good read, with a nice strong female character who didn't need to be a pretty little thing to be noticed.

Robin McKinley is always worth reading.  Chalice immediately drops us into an entirely different world, sucks us in, and sweetly keeps us hooked.

Heinlein is a classic, and it's nice rediscovering all his stuff.

vN was not only a good read, but had some provocative ideas that I look forward to investigating in the rest of the series.

And, Connie Willis.... can't believe I didn't discover her until last year.  Bellweather is sci-fi, but barely, mostly it's a thoughtful and enjoyable piece about serendipity, or fate (depending on your perspective) and how discovery is generally messy and chaotic, except when it isn't.

Monday, January 23, 2017

November/December Books

I need to read more Margaret Atwood.  I read A Handmaiden's Tale a long time ago.  It struck too close to home, I was so traumatized I decided I didn't like the author.  Another case of blaming the messenger I suppose.  Anyway, this summer NPR's Science Friday picked Oryx and Crake for it's book group, and got on my library hold list.  :-)

Mythago Wood took a while for me to get into, but once I did, it was immersive.  Lovely fantasy, dark and light all at once.

Sometimes Magic... was ok, but I barely remember it.  I don't know if that's a commentary of my state of the mind during the holiday season, or just the book.

Building a Movement... is a dense book.  I'll have to read it again to fully digest it.  For anyone interested in the need for a new civil rights movement, it's a must read.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Martha and Mary

We all know Jesus loved Mary best, but if we thought about it we'd know it was because Martha did all the work that Mary was free to be lovable.

Mary gets all the glory, washing his feet and all.  But who was it that made sure the disciples had food for dinner and a decent place to sleep at night?  Martha, that's who.

There are the Mary's of the world, pretty, well spoken, knowing what to say and do at just the right time.  The then there are the Martha's.  Martha's can be short tempered, mostly because they're over worked and underpaid.  But without a Martha, doing what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, Marys wouldn't have their chance to shine.  They'd be all like "Here my Lord, let me wash your feet with the expensive oil...oh.  Out of oil.  How about some tears?  I've got those."

So, give the glory to the Marys of the world.  But now and then, give some thanks to the Marthas.

P.S.  If  at first you thought I was talking about Martha Stewart, you're not alone, but you do make me shake my head.  Even this heathen knows the bible.