Sunday, March 21, 2010

Old Books

I have an affection for old books  that borders on an irrational passion.  The irrational part is that my affinity for these books sometimes has more to do with the way they look on a shelf, than with the content.  See, told you it was irrational.

When I go to yard sales, used book stores, flea markets, or antique stores, I tend to gravitate towards these kinds of books, and, if a volume has an appeal of some sort as to content, and the price is right (I'm still frugal as the day is long), I might very well bring it home with me.

For a while I felt kind of bad about this and wondered if I was being frivolous.  But what I have found, as I read these books, is that often they turn out to be real treasures!  I've read some old books that have been very entertaining, well-written, and unusual in a variety of ways, and have often closed one of these with a sigh of satisfaction and placed it back on the shelf with a feeling of well-being.  So I've concluded that this "hobby" is enriching my life and, as long as my frugality stays firmly in place, doesn't need to induce guilt feelings.  For now, anyway.

My most recently read "old book": The Royal Road to Romance by Richard Halliburton (that's "romance" in the old sense of the word - meaning adventure, pageantry, heroic deeds).  My current "old book": The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Danya is our Primary Dog.  She is a ten-year-old Australian Shepherd who is, at times, so troublesome all I can say is, it's a good thing she is so cute.  When we got her, we did not realize how high-maintenance Aussies are in some respects (and clearly we don't learn well because we then got another one) but we also didn't know how much fun she would be!

Danya is very smart, and learned certain skills very well.  For example, she excels at Heel and Sit and Platz (lie down).  She only does Come, however, when she's in the mood and often will kind of peek up to see if the person calling her really means it.  I've decided she's a strong-willed dog who tries to come across as compliant - she grovels like the best of them, and fawns all over you, but deep inside, she's generally checking to see if she can get away with ignoring whatever it is you want her to do.  

Danya is good with Abigail.  She will put up with a fair bit of pulling of hair, being crawled on, and eye-jabbing.

Probably the most irritating facet of this dog's personality is her penchant for eating pretty much any disgusting substance she finds.  She clearly operates on the principle that if it turns out she doesn't need it, she can always throw it up later (preferably on a carpet).  I'm guessing Jacob would say her most irritating habit is eating Lego pieces.  She has a deep love for them, along with pencils, particularly Ticonderoga pencils. She thinks they are so choice.

Danya is a most graceful, elegant, modest dog, as is evident from this picture:

We knew when we got her that Aussies are very protective of Hearth and Home, and will bark loud and long to get the point across.  What we didn't know, however, was that this particular Aussie is apparently genetically incapable of NOT barking if her brain is telling her there is Someone Suspect around.  I've often held my hand tightly around her mouth, to the point where I know her teeth are digging into her lip, and she would  still be trying to utter  this pathetic, muffled, inside-the-mouth Woof.  Unbelievable.

But she's ours and we love her.

Monday, March 8, 2010

God's Power

In my Bible Study this morning, the passage was 1 Samuel 5, where the Philistines had captured the Ark of the Covenant, and their god, Dagon, kept getting knocked over during the night (I love that story!).

The last question was, How have you seen God's power recently?

Well, I haven't seen Him knock over any idols, but a few events came to mind which show His power in different ways.

Yesterday afternoon, Terry and I took a walk, and several times we had to stop to watch some geese, returning from their winter jaunt down south.  We both love to watch them, both in the fall and in the spring, and every time I see them, I marvel at the power of God, who created them with that unerring instinct to make that long journey twice a year.  It never ceases to amaze me!

And then last night I talked with a friend who had recently spoken at a women's conference.  She told me that  it was evident to her that the things she shared with these women touched many of them right where they needed it most.  I so often see that happen and I love that God does that.  It seems like such a little thing, and some might call it coincidence, but to me it shows His concern even for the "little" things in life.  And when you think about  it, something that helps a believer deepen their relationship with God isn't really so little, after all!

I'm so glad He gave me sight to see these things.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Battle of the Books, Round 2

Last night was the second round of Battle of the Books.  This one was for grades 4-8, and here are the books they read:

The Pushcart War by Jean Merrill
Eric Liddell by Ellen Caughey
Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne
Wanted....Mud Blossom by Betsy Byars
Ramona and Her Mother by Beverly Cleary
Exploring the Titanic by Robert Ballard
Boston Jane: An Adventure by Jennifer Holm
Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes

The battle was a lot of fun, and everything went pretty well.  This was in great contrast to the awful dream I had the night before...where everything that could go wrong, did.

The room set-up was all wrong
There were some men who just would NOT stop talking
Jordan was there, for some reason, and he was really rude to me, twice
The microphones didn't work
The podium wasn't where I had put it and I was trying to move it but it was really heavy
For some reason, we were outside instead of in the church, and the weather wasn't very good

One positive thing happened though: in the dream, I asked the kids to introduce themselves by giving their name and saying which of the 8 books they liked best.  I decided that was a great idea, and I did actually have the kids do that.  It was interesting for me to hear which ones they chose.

I don't know if any of the kids will come again next year, but I've already started working on my book lists, so I hope they do!

Home, sweet home

Home, sweet home