Saturday, January 23, 2010

Life in My World

I just came in from the shop. Calvin is putting the finishing touches on the cedar chest he is making for Grace and needed me to help lift it up on the saw horses. (Believe me when I say strong, sturdy gal was on his list of qualifications when we got married.) An old song was playing on the radio when I walked into the shop and he asked me to dance to it right then and there, in front of the fire in the stove, and See-more chewing on his bone. It was the making for a romantic novel, especially because the details of my wet-hair-dried-natural, no make-up, and my paint splattered, baggie clothes could be carefully omitted.

(I borrowed this picture of a used books store in Italy from Ande's blog)

While reviewing life in my world this morning, I discovered that what I read pretty much defined it.

I finished Why Gender Matters by Dr. Leonard Sax and also presented a lecture “Male and Female Created I Them: Moses 2:27” for the LDS institute lecture series held at the college. Interestingly enough my reading also included The Family: A Proclamation to the World, Moses in the Pearl of Great Price, and Julie B. Beck’s talk, Teaching the Doctrine of the Family. It was faith building to see how the reading collaborated without my effort.

After reading a few chapters of Writing & Speaking for Business I have discovered that I am too dependent on spell check. Though I faithfully use a calculator only to “check my work” like my school teachers taught me, I let spell check have free rein in my life. This book is by no means compelling reading, more like taking-your-medicine reading, but I do hope I’m better for it when I’m finished with it.

I finished all but 30 pages of Bell Canto by Anne Patchett. It’s a good thing a friend recommended it, and also taught me the symbolism I missed in it, or it would have just been a novel about an opera singer. I am ignorant in matters pertaining to opera. Can’t say I’d recommend the book, can’t say I loved it, but can say I learned something from it and appreciated my friend’s views.

The Proper Role of Government by Ezra Taft Benson was a great 28 page read. Can say I recommend it, can say it was inspiring, and can say I learned a great deal from it.

The Book of Mormon, in particular the book of Ether and the book of Moroni, was also on the circuit this week. Hands down I’ve read this book from cover to cover more than any other book (even counting the Little House series :). It changes me every single time. It changes others. Watching and feeling the miracle of that change has been an exciting part of my week.

I just started The Queen of the Big Time by Adriana Trigiani last night and am only on page seven. She wrote, “Our farm will never be as beautiful as the houses and gardens in town. Anything that’s pretty on the farm is wild. The fields covered in bright yellow dandelions, low thickets of tiny red beach roses by the road, and stalks of black-eyed Susans by the barn are all accidents.” I think we’re going to get along just fine in this book.

And on that note, getting along fine, I made Jill’s-Michelle’s-Hannah’s Miracle Bread this morning. Usually bread takes me several hours on Saturday, but not today. It is true; the recipe really does only take an hour. I followed the all-white directions but added half wheat-half white flour and the loaves are beautiful and taste good, too. Thank you Jill, Michelle, and Hannah. Now I need to go and finish the batch of rolls that are rising and do the laundry and ironing. And maybe, just maybe, read.

What have you been reading? Does reading define you some weeks?


deidra said...

I've been without a book (novel) for most of this week. And then the one I've had on hold at the library was finally available, but quite disappointing. It's made for a weird week. I need better reading material for next week, or I might lose it!

Deanna/Mimi said...

I don't know how you do it Jane. I am exhausted just reading about what you were doing today. Please bottle up your energy and send me some ASAP.

Jill said...

I just started listening to "Why Gender Matters" this week thanks to your recommendation.

I loved Bel Canto! There were some words I could have done without and one sentence in particular that I blacked out of my copy before loaning it to my mother, but overall I loved it.

I love that you labeled it Jill, Michelle, Hannah's miracle bread!

Julie said...

I love to read! There's nothing better than a chair with a blanket and book snuggled in front of the fire your husband built for you on a cold Norwegian day! My reading choices are not nearly as educational as yours. Steve is reading "Greek Fire, Poison Arrows, and Scorpion Bombs". I don't even ask.

Becky said...

I love everyday romantic moments like yours in the shop...that's the good stuff right there.

I'm in the middle of 3 or 4 books not counting my scripture reading (I'm in 2 Nephi again in the Book of Mormon and about 1/3 of the way or more through the Conference Ensign again).

I'm excited to pick up Why Gender Matters from the library this week. Some of the other books on your reading list sound great too.

When does reading not define me? :)

melanie said...

You are going to get along just fine with that book. I need a good one right now pass along any other recommendations sent your way.

I might just be getting brave enough to try the Jill-Michelle-Hannah Miracle Bread recipe. I'm always so hesitant for a few reasons, 1-the yeast, 2-I don't have a stand mixer and 3- I'm sure I'll want to eat a whole loaf. :)

I always look (or feel) like that when spontaneous romance occurs around here. Thankfully, it doesn't seem to matter.

deidra said...

(Oh, and I think it's time you update your books on GoodReads so I have an easily accessible way to figure out what I'm going to read next.)

Barb said...

I read Why Gender Matters and that talk by Sister Beck in the past couple of weeks thanks to you and April.
I think Bell Canto is a favorite of Elizabeth's, am I right? I haven't read it yet.

michelle said...

Well, I beg to differ. I think you are articulate! I just love the visual of Calvin asking you to dance.

I enjoyed Bel Canto.

I am currently in-between novels and reading several books about typography. See, I'm a letters geek!

Grace said...

I love that picture! I can't wait to start going to book club with you! Also, to read the Why Gender Matters book. I admire how excited you are to learn new things. I learn so much from reading your blog and hearing about things you're doing. I love you!