Books for Spring

photo by nanetteturner via Flickr.com

Anne, on her blog, Modern Mrs. Darcy, has just posted 11 Books that are Better in the Spring.  My reading list has just grown by leaps and bounds!  I thought you might want to check it out.  

I’m on my way to Amazon Kindle to download the free samples. Hopefully by the time I get to these books, I will find them on sale. 

I am dreaming of a big glass of sweet tea and a rocking chair on my porch with one of these books.  

Have a great day!

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Back from Amazon:   Amazon Kindle has many of these for $0.99 right now. Jackpot! 

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Quiet by Susan Cain

 

Kindle Edition

Currently on sale for $8.99

Ironically, I can’t stop talking about this book.  

Cain says that we have moved from a culture of character (think Lincoln) to a culture of personality (think Dale Carnegie or Zig Ziglar or any number of celebrities) in the last 100 years or so.  We have gone from believing that character was of utmost importance to believing that the most gregarious among us have the best ideas, are the smartest, are the best leaders.  Research says this just isn’t true. 

Anywhere from 1/3 to 1/2 of people are considered introverts. These are the people who prefer thinking to talking and quiet dinners over parties. They typically enjoy their own company and must recharge after interactions with groups.  They may not have quick answers but generally have thoughtful answers.   

We have minimized introverts in education to the point that our desks are arranged in pods and our assignments require multiple group meetings to complete. Introverts may be particularly uncomfortable for most of the school day. 

Quotes from Quiet

“We need to do teacher training to educate them about what temperament means. Shyness is painful and you want to help a child with shyness – but the underlying temperament of being a careful, sensitive person is to be honoured, valued and respected.”

To some extent, we’ve always had an admiration for extroversion in our culture. But the extrovert ideal really came to play at the turn of the 20th century when we had the rise of big business.”

In our society, the ideal self is bold, gregarious, and comfortable in the spotlight. We like to think that we value individuality, but mostly we admire the type of individual who’s comfortable ‘putting himself out there.”

The bias against introversion leads to a colossal waste of talent, energy, and happiness.”

Many introverts feel there’s something wrong with them, and try to pass as extroverts. But whenever you try to pass as something you’re not, you lose a part of yourself along the way. You especially lose a sense of how to spend your time.”    

Here is a TED Talk by Susan Cain. 

This reminded me about my post called Margins.  You can read it here

Let me know if you have read this. I would love to talk to you!





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Photo Challenge: Ephemeral

I thought I might be skipping this week’s photo challenge by WordPress.  The word is ephemeral which means lasting for a very short time.  However, when my friends and I ordered Caledonia Scotch Eggs as an appetizer for lunch, I knew they would last a very short time.

Ephemeral:  Caledonia Scotch Eggs

Ephemeral: Caledonia Scotch Eggs

They are boiled eggs with a crust of sausage and bread crumbs.  It was served with a spicy brown mustard.  They were so good!

We were at McNamara’s Irish Pub in Nashville.  It was a really nice break from a long Saturday of classes.

McNamara's Irish Pub

McNamara’s Irish Pub

I found a recipe online.  Click here for Scotch Eggs recipe.  One lady said that she baked these at 350 for 35-40 minutes instead of frying them.

Have a great day!

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The Oldest Church Building in Arkansas

smyrna churchI took one of my classes on a field trip today.  We went west of town to the Old Smyrna Church and Cemetery.  Smyrna Methodist Church on Highway 36 and Jaybird Lane is the oldest church building in Arkansas.  After studying the wood that was used to build the church, the historians determined that it was built in 1857 and some of the trees that were used to build the church began growing in the early 1600s.

roberts-at-cool-springs-meth-web-readyWe also visited the cemetery.  Many of the headstones are so old that I could barely read what was written on them.  Some of them are more modern.

It was a gorgeous afternoon to be outside.  The students collected information from headstones (shapes, dates and epitaphs) and we will analyze it and draw some conclusions next week.  It is a cross-curricular study at its best.  We will be able to study math, art, literature, science, and history all from the same experience.

On a deeper level, I think it is good for us to think about death as a part of life.  Our culture seems to acknowledge death as little as possible.  I felt a connection with the people that were buried there and had lived their lives in that community.  The cemetery represents so much loss and sadness but it also represents life.  Some of the people had long lives and  had lived into their 90s.   Some were short and had lived only a day.  But each one matters.  Every one of those people matter.

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Book Clubs

 

 I love Book Clubs.   I’ve never been a part of one but I think I would love it. I mainly read about others who blog about their Book Clubs. 

I think I have an informal book club with friends during chance meetings at the grocery store or at church.  It’s so exciting to find a friend who has just read the same book or who has a great book suggestion.  It fits my schedule really well!

Today on the blog, Modern Mrs. Darcy, she has a list of 40 great novels for a book club. Click here if you are interested in reading her list. 

My reading queue has become quite long after reading her blog. She reads a lot and shares her opinions on her blog. The comments are also full of great ideas and books I haven’t read yet. 

Have a great day!

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What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

Alice falls in spin class, has a concussion, and loses 

Kindle Edition

  her memory of the last ten years of her life.  She thinks she is happily married and about to have her first child. In reality, she is on the brink of divorce and has three children.   

This book held my attention in the beginning but I started skimming it towards the end.  

It did make me think about my own life and what has changed over the years and how I have changed. It does make me wonder if my self from ten years ago would approve of my self now.  

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The First Psalm

The book of Psalms was written and arranged 

  over the course of about 600 years. After all this time and attention, this is the Psalm that starts it all.  A beatitude introduces the Book of Songs.  

Psalm 1

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked

Nor stands in the way of sinners

Nor sits in the seat of scoffers

But his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree planted by streams of water

That yorlds it’s fruit in its season 

And it’s leaf does not wither.

In all that he does, he prospers. 

The wicked are not so

But are like chaff the wind drives away. 

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgement 

Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous

For the Lord knows the way of the righteous

But the way of the wicked will perish. 

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The central question of this Psalm is what directs life.  In the manner that you live and the places or people from whom you seek advice, you choose what directs your way.   There are Ultimately 2 routes to follow. There is the way of the righteous and the way of the wicked. 

The fulfillment of the way of the righteous is not so much a reward as it is a result of having one’s way directed by the Lord.  The second way is really an illusion that has no more merit than chaff that the wind drives away. 

Resource:  Interpretations:  Psalms by James L. Mays


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Photo Challenge:  Fresh

 Edit 

The weekly photo challenge on WordPress is fresh.  I snapped this on Saturday of one of my horses being fresh (impertinent or presumptuous with someone) with a visitor to our stables.  The group had just arrived and they were observing the horses in the arena. This particular horse came over to the group and went back and forth to different individuals. He zeroed in on Alex. 

  

  

  

There was an obvious connection between these two throughout the entire day.  This horse would follow him all around the arena, turning when Alex turned, stopping when Alex stopped.  Sometimes people and horses just click. They definitely clicked. 

Fresh.  A bit presumptuous. 

Photo Challenge


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Thank a Jehovah’s Witness

 

My Trusty Gavel by steakpinball via Flickr

 Religious freedoms have come from different sources but one source that has continually challenged the First Amendment and religious freedoms is the Jehovah’s Witnesses. In the 1930s and 1940s, the Jehovah’s Witnesses brought 23 First Amendment cases before the United States’ courts.  Some of the cases concern the right for school children to not be forced to say the pledge if their conscience objected (they believe that one can only pledge allegiance to God any other allegiance is idolatry) , the right for adults to refuse medical treatment, the right to gather and worship peacefully, the right to share one’s faith without a permit, and the right to refrain from joining a war.  

I may not agree with their stance on every issue but I am so very thankful for their willingness to stand up for their convictions and challenge the courts on religious freedoms. 

“I think the Jehovah’s Witnesses ought to have an endowment in view of the aid which they give in solving the legal problems of civil liberties.”

          Supreme Court Justice Harlan Fiske Stone

“All religions have the Jehovah’s Witnesses to thank for the expansion of that freedom.”

      Tony Mauro, USA Today

 

Thank you, Jehovah’s Witnesses. 

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My Latest Audio Book

 

 I just finished No Ordinary Time by Doris Kearns Goodwin.  It’s super long. However, I went with the abridged version. For one, it’s only 6 hours but for another, it concentrated on the people of the FDR presidency. It’s an intimate look at the marriage of FDR and Eleanor and all of the people that seemed to flood the White House.  There were so many people coming and going that some described the White House as a hotel or a boarding house.  The Roosevelt’s closest friends would come to visit and then stay for weeks or even years.

The unabridged version tells the story of WWII in Europe and at home. The war strategies, etc. are left out of the abridged version. 

 It was interesting and I would definitely recommend, especially, if you are interested in history.   

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