Prairie Avenue by Arthur Meeker

Talk about a cozy book for the season! Prairie Avenue by Arthur Meeker is that! Prairie Avenue was a really fancy neighborhood in Chicago in the early 1900’s. This story highlights the world that goes on behind closed doors—really fancy ones—and in rooms—really fancy ones with large stone fireplaces and indoor gardens. Despite what we may see, trouble can brew anywhere and people can be in pain even though their life may look grand on the outside. Arthur Meeker highlights this kind of paradox and I highly recommend it! It’s one of my favorites and it is one of the few books I would read again. .

Richard Rohr’s Essential Teachings on Love

Will finish Richard Rohr’s Essential Teachings on Love today—have about 20 pages left. Richard Rohr is a Franciscan Christian Mystic whose vocation is to teach unconditional love based on the inspiration he gained from the writings of Saint Terese of Liseaux. I really enjoyed this, he articulates himself well, and I enjoyed the personal stories tied into his lessons.

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Like I said before I really ‘get’ the mystics—they speak my faith language, so I’m usually open to anything they have to teach me.

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The Ambassadors by Henry James

Trying to read The Ambassadors by Henry James on a full charter bus. I grabbed it because it was small enough to fit in my purse. However my decision to start a new book on a loud bus with children and parents talking all around me was probably mistake. How did I forget I need complete silence or white noise to read? I can’t even listen to music because it’s so loud. And now they’ve just turned on a movie so I guess I’ll give up (the speaker is above my head) and stare into the abyss. I feel like the story in the book is going on without me since I’m not comprehending it but rather eavesdropping on the conversations around me against my desire to do so. Oh well. Everyone has got an interesting story to tell.

What about you? Can you read in chaos? Or do you need silence like me?

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Paul’s Letter to the Colossians

Let your conversation be always full of grace, ‘seasoned with salt’,
so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

‘Salt’ is one of the most significant words in the whole Bible. We usually hear it in reference to God’s people – ‘salt of the earth’. Because of salt’s preservative nature, Christians, generation after
generation, preserve His name. Also, salt was hard to come by and expensive; Christ’s followers are rare and priceless to Him as He is to us. The words of God give us balance and purify our life as does
salt, as it balances the taste of food, bringing out all the subtle elements which make a flavor more delicate, synchronized, and desirable. Salt is also a necessary nutritional element to life itself; God is also—if only to enjoy in full capacity your life here on earth. Paul is saying here that when we speak, we should have a
little of this good salt on our lips or at least peace, love, and understanding, a balance, a purity. It will make difficult things
easier to say, and it will give mundane conversations life. Because I think to ‘live’ is to recognize that every day is a significant opportunity to cultivate a greater understanding of life, and share
the conundrum of its complexities with one another using the salt on our lips to do so. And in that, even discussing the weather will have as much significance as giving birth to life itself.

The Book of Numbers

*I have no authority to teach you lessons from the Bible, I only hope you will find something useful. You might disagree with my interpretation and that’s OK!

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“When you cross the Jordan in to Canaan, drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you. Destroy all their carved images and their cast idols, and demolish all their high places.” –Numbers 33:51

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OK verses such as the above are what gives God a bad rap. It sounds violent and scary and seems to advertise war. But I will tell you that you must not look at the surface for the meaning in scripture, people that do often miss the truth and can interpret wrongly. Go deeper and this verse takes on a different shape entirely: Before your spirit can settle in peace with God and with yourself, drive out all things that are holding you back from a true and pure existence—all that you consider an ‘idol’ should be destroyed. For me, for a long time, my ‘idol’ getting traditionally published. I prayed and prayed for this to happen. But it wasn’t until I read this verse and saw my own folly in holding that goal on a pedestal of importance over many other things, and asking myself exactly WHY I wanted my books out there (was it for selfish reasons, or was my goal to help people?), that I was able to give up the idea and decide instead to be happy no matter what happened to all my books, poems, essays and dedicate my writing to the purpose of GOOD. Once I did this I found a publisher. Call that whatever you like, but I know where this gift came from. Have faith and hope that God will show you the way, but we must be patient and trust Him with all our hearts. That’s what I think anyway.

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Lower Than Angels by Walter Karig

Lower than Angels by Walter Karig. Finished this book late last night and so promptly took these pictures while in bed. I couldn’t put this coming of age story down. Walter Karig displays the life of Marvin Lang at the turn of the last century. Every chapter is a different year of his life starting in 1900 up through 1919. At times it was vulgar, as Marvin does like the ladies, and I’m a total prude, but it is a story which kept me interested and reading to the point of distraction. This doesn’t happen often. It was fun to be completely swept up. .

.Pictured is an out of shape 1945 edition completed with a disclaimer about the paper conservation orders of the War Production Board. .

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For the Bride: Today is our Wedding Anniversary

For The Bride: A scrapbook for brides from 1920’s. My mother gave me this as a sort of joke on my anniversary one year along with a book called, The Silent Hostess, also another inside joke. .

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My husband and I were married 14 years ago today. I was 22 years old. It was 70 degrees in Michigan, and the leaves were still brilliantly colored on all the trees. We were indeed blessed. It was before everyone got really creative with wedding pics. Ours are very standard and professionally posed. Nothing fancy like people all jumping at the same time or pictures of shoes and rings, etc. Some details I remember: Our photographer had been hit by a car that day and had managed to limp his way to our wedding despite this. There were ladybugs flying all over the place, got themselves caught in my veil, on my gown, in the hair of bridesmaids and groomsmen. My uncle Jack flew in from California to surprise me on this day, and my dad asked if I was nervous before he walked me down the aisle. I denied being nervous but hummed Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture because I WAS nervous (and because I’m a weirdo). I couldn’t find Bryan for most of the event, and everyone kept asking if I was pregnant. 😂 .

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Here’s to all the brides out there!

Cheers 🥂 .

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