Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Good reads

What is everyone reading? Does anyone have any good suggestions?

If I find an author that I like I tend to go on reading jags until I wear that author out. Right now I'm reading all of the books by Lee Child, who I read about on someone's blog. I usually have a number of books going at any time, and one of them is always a mystery/thriller/espionage type book. Until I finish the Child books, they will be filling that category. I have several books by other authors on hold at the library, but the wait for books by popular authors in these genres is often as much as six months.

I also usually have one self-help type book going. Most of them don't do me much good. I'm still a disorganized procrastinator. But I have been reading/working on a book for the last week that is really helping me at least get my office organized. It is Getting Things Done. I'm hoping it will help me do just that!

I'm also trying to keep up with my two oldest children, so I try to read one classic at least every month or so. I just finished The Magnificent Ambersons and it was such easy reading that I feel like I cheated! I enjoyed it tremendously, so I just added The Gentleman from Indianapolis to my pile. But more Tarkington will have to wait until I finish Swann's Way, because I just picked that up from the library. This may be the first work of literature in a long time that I read before either of my older children.

In the non-fiction department I just started Devil in the White City. I also have Larson's Thunderstruck on hold. I usually have some kind of book on language or writing going, but I currently have two of those on hold, so I guess I'll just have to spend a bit more time with Jack Reacher.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

New library

One of the first places I always visit when I move to a new town is the library. I can still describe in minute detail the Carnegie Library in the town where I did the majority of my growing up. Among the many disappointments in the last place we lived was a small, dark, out-of-date library.

When we moved to Fort Wayne and I visited the downtown library I was pleased because it was large and busy, but it was also crowded, so I wasn't surprised when, soon after we moved here, it closed and moved for a rebuild. During that time I have mostly made do with my nearby branch, where I can pick up any book that the system has in a few days by just requesting it from my computer at home. The only time that I went to Renaissance Square was if I wanted to visit the genealogy department.

Saturday the new library finally opened and it is going to be gorgeous. I say going to be because there is still some finishing to be done, but it is spacious and light. The new home of the largest public genealogy collection in the country is wonderful. I wandered around for a little while yesterday after I took Bethany to work and I can't wait to spend a lot more time there.

Lovely, lovely snow

In a little while I hope to have some pictures to put up, but it is gorgeous here today. Of course, I didn't love it so much when I was driving across town this morning, but now that I'm in for most f the day, I'm really enjoying the snowy view outside my office window.

The boys are having breakfast and then will be suiting up and heading into the snow.


Monday, January 29, 2007

Oooh, three days in a row

I have really missed blogging. Several posts have swirled through my head and off into the ether the past couple of weeks, but I just didn't have time to capture them. Life really has been that hectic. Chaotic.

There has been the good kind of busy-ness that comes from having a full life. We've had family stuff, church stuff, friend stuff, work stuff, homeschooling stuff. We got to attend a wonderful Lutheran wedding. We got to see the Colts make it to the Super Bowl. My sons are learning Greek. We had a pot luck. (I love pot lucks.)

But we've also had the other kind of busy-ness. I've had some dealings with government folks and insurance red tape. (Boy do they know how to waste your time!) Grandma has taken some extra attention because she's not doing so well. We're dealing with a very troubling situation in our extended family that has meant many hours on the phone recently. My boys seem to be suffering from cabin fever and are not the buddies that they usually are.

But I am back. Blogging helps to keep me sane in the midst of the insanity around here.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Lutheran Carnival is up

If you are looking for some good reading, the Lutheran Carnival is up at House, M.Div.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Not hunting today

Next week I'll be back into the photo hunt, but for today you can enjoy these images of spring at Foster Park.

Saturday, January 13, 2007


Today's photo hunt topic is technology. I like technology as much as the next internet and cell phone addicted person, but I don't take many pictures that have anything to do with it.

There is, however, a piece of technology that has saved my life on many trips away from home. Here it is at the scrapbooking retreat I attended last November:

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Saturday Photo Hunt

Today's Photo Hunt theme is Memory.

This photo of my grandparents was taken one year ago on January 1, 2006 at the party we threw for their 70th wedding anniversary.

We cherish the memory of that happy day and their love for each other. Grandpa died in October at the age of 93.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Revisiting Harry Potter

One of the few good things about being sick is the opportunity to read. Over the past couple of weeks I have been re-reading the Harry Potter books, because the first time through I read them really fast so that I could pass them on to the next family member. I am enjoying this second trip through the books, picking up details that I missed and seeing things through the eyes of someone who has read all of the books and heard lots of conversations about their ultimate meaning, their Christian symbolism, etc.

I'm almost finished with Half-Blood Prince again and I feel like I have a clearer picture of the story, but I'm still not making any predictions about book 7.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Death and Starbucks

I have been to a lot of funerals in the past couple of years, and I've had a couple of others that I couldn't get to because they were too far away. Some of the sermons I've heard were good and some made me want to scream.

Yesterday I heard one of the good ones at the funeral of a 19 year old member of Redeemer who had been in a long struggle with leukemia. It was a sermon full of the joy of a young man released from his suffering here to join his Savior in Heaven, but it didn't deny the sadness of those who mourn.

It was also very interesting to me that although the service was in Spanish, I almost always knew what was being said. A bit of this can be attributed to my two years of high school Spanish, but I had the same experience in a church in Germany when I knew no German. This is a wonderful strength of following a liturgy and using common prayers.

The funerals of young people are always sobering. As a parent I could only imagine the grief of Juan's parents at the loss of a child. During the sermon and the committal, my eyes were often drawn to the faces of our five acolytes--ranging in age from 11-19--who served yesterday. Several times I saw features struggling for composure as they saw the grief of the family and listened to the words of the sermon.

I was privileged to drive them out to the cemetery. After the graveside service we got back in the van, cramming in the five boys with torches and Celtic Cross, and as we were pulling out of the cemetery, one of them suggested a trip to Starbucks. My first reaction was, "No. I have to much to do. We need to get back to the church." But I decided that they really had earned a treat, and I'm always up for Starbucks.

So from the seriousness of the funeral we moved on to the very comical sight of five boys in cassocks and surplices piling into Starbucks in downtown Fort Wayne. The barista thought they were a choir. Too bad Pastor Cholak wasn't there.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

I'm ready for a break

Considering the fact that my husband just went back to work this morning after over a week off work, and the added fact that I've been something akin to a slug for the past week, this desire for a break seems a bit bizarre. But Polly's post struck a chord, and, judging from the comments, not just with me.

I had looked forward to a three day at-home "retreat" this week because Colin & the kids were supposed to be skiing, but the trip fell through, and I lost my shot at solitude. (Actually, I had invited my friend Lori over for one of the days. Total solitude isn't my thing.)

I'm also having a severe beach craving. My brother and his wife and girls were with my mom and wickedly wonderful stepdad in Florida last week, which only increased my always present desire to run away to the beach. Fortunately, the countdown has begun. In 55 days we leave for a spring break trip to Sarasota. Bethany was supposed to go to Germany for break, but the trip was cancelled. I thought that a trip to Florida might help ease the pain. I know that looking forward to it will make the trip through January and February much more pleasant for me!