Cakes and Ale by W. Somerset Maugham

Currently reading! I searched for this book in every bookshop for years—it was probably the only book of Maugham’s I didn’t own. He is a favorite of mine. I eventually found it in @johnkingbooksdetroit , a surprising find since I had looked multiple times before this with no luck. King’s always has a good supply of Maugham’s work, I suspect a deceased lover of his work donated their entire collection, of which most belongs to me now. 😄

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.Although literal ‘cake’ and ‘ale’ is probably not what Maugham meant, here it is anyway with some Screamin’ Pumpkin ale from @griffinclaw and a piece of my mother’s delicious cake. 😋

The book of Ecclesiastes

The absence of God leads to a life of vanity & vexation. This is the main theme of Ecclesiastes. What are we filled with when God is absent from our souls? Ego, pride, vanity—the ‘self’. When we are consumed with ‘self’ all we produce and put into the world is filled with ‘self’ and therefore false. Without God we are empty vessels with no foundation, empty because anything we put in our vessel falls right through the bottom and we spend our lives hastily trying to fill it up again with no success. I have watched people spend their lives this way, and any mention of God makes them laugh. God hasn’t yet touched them, and they have not yet touched God. It is a mutual reaching out. I like to think of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel when I picture this union.

Ecclesiastes is a special book to me because it began my deeper journey with God. It was the moment God reached out for me, woke me up and unlocked the door on which Christ was perpetually knocking my whole life. You see, it all began because I had a dream. A woman came to me and told me to read the Bible, Ecclesiastes specifically. It was a profound dream and it changed my life, because I listened to the woman, I read Ecclesiastes the next morning and the rest of the Bible too. And now I write these posts for the public as evidence of His calling. Christ is always knocking, waiting, calling. It is the person who listens for His voice that gets called. Those who volunteer themselves for His work and pray: ‘I am listening. What is it you’re calling me to do? Use me as you wish for good in the world.’ Then listen carefully with the ears of your soul and watch carefully with the eyes of your soul. Then make use of time to discern what you are hearing & seeing is truth, denies ‘self’ and promotes love. If it does all of these then act on that nagging notion, because God is calling

Irish Poem…

A SONG OF FREEDOM

by Alice Mulligan .

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In Cavan of little lakes / As I was walking with the wind / And no one seen beside me there / There came a song into my mind / It came as if the whispered voice / of one, but none of human kind / Who walked with me in Cavan then / And he invisible as wind. .

Another Hilarious Tidbit from the Letters of Horace Walpole

One more tidbit… possibly more as these letters are hilarious.

To his best friend, Sir Horace Mann, who apparently had not responded to his letters for two weeks so Walpole became “angry” and wrote that he won’t continue to give news reports to Mann, because “he’s not a newspaper.” And he repeatedly told his friend that he won’t update him on personal gossip…

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“The Duke is expected over immediately;I don’t know if to stay, or why he comes—I mean, I do know, but am angry, and will not tell.

I have seen Sir James Grey, who speaks of you with great affection, and recommends himself extremely to me by it, when I am not angry with you; but I cannot possibly be reconciled till I have finished this letter, for I have nothing but this quarrel to talk of, and I think I have worn that out—so adieu! You odious, shocking, abominable monster! 🤣 —Horace Walpole July 14th, 1748

Journal or Diary writing..

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As you can see, I do!! I started keeping a diary when I was about 9. Most of what I wrote was complete nonsense, and more than once my friends would chime into the pages saying obscene things to be funny. I think I will burn all of these someday, but for now they stand as proof of my journey through the ups and downs of my life, through immaturity to semi-maturity 😄, to all kinds of human relationships, marriage, kids…you name it. The words written inside them are merely my ‘outer-sheddings.’ They do not represent who I am, but rather where I’ve been and some of the dirt I collected along the way. I would like to think I’m cleansed of all the yuck now. Please burn them upon my death. (That line is stolen from my grandma)

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Pictured are the diaries of my life in chronological order, except the left hand side with the deer are all my Bible journals. Some of them have been tossed.

The Second Book of Samuel

I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes.” -2 Samuel 6:21

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We should not be ashamed to make fools of ourselves for God’s sake. We may have seen people preaching on the street, holding signs, singing in church, maybe even dancing. Perhaps we feel embarrassed for them, perhaps we would like them to stop or we hurry by hoping to not catch their glance? Perhaps we think their display perverts our own vision of God? It is something I struggle with myself. I wish so badly I could be different. Everyone sings and I can not, everyone dances and I can not. My pride will not let me. I have a dangerously high level of self-awareness and it affects the way I allow myself to enjoy things in public. As some of you already know, I grew up with a born again Christian grandpa that would make us bow our heads and pray at public restaurants, he’d even want us to hold his hand while doing this! In those moments I could not fight the redness on my cheeks when I was asked to bow my head and pray in front of strangers. On the other end of this my brothers and my dad wouldn’t put up with it and verged on or dove into atheism. My mom and I were in the middle somewhere and had to find our way, tip toe, so as to not be seen by either side lest a judgmental eye strike us down in our quiet pursuit of God’s peace, discreetly going to church, praying our silent prayers. It is still hard to talk about my faith to many who have left it. And we are told not to preach to nonbelievers because our precious words will be wasted on “thorns”. But I can’t help thinking, surely if I am a lily among thorns, I should not be ashamed to let the light pass through my petals and the dew form on my leaves. So with this thought I am teaching myself to slap away that ego thing we call pride. #babysteps

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Proper Mourning by Me 🦉

One more year brings a greater distance from those with whom I spent so much time. .

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My little creation was completed in 2017/2018 and received a 5/5 for reader appeal, plot structure and pacing from a Writer’s Digest judge. As with other art forms, writers grow and perfect their craft over the years. I have learned so much since I clicked the publish button on this work. If anyone out there is considering writing a book, just do it! …And I would love to answer your questions! .

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I have placed a copy in the free library on the paint creek trail park entrance. If you live in the area and happen to pick it up please consider writing a review on Amazon and kindly pass it on. The more reviews the more readers will find my book based on how the algorithm works. Thank you all for following my blog thus far. Have a wonderful new year. Yay to a fresh start!

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.her is a link to its amazon page if you’d like to check it out! Proper Mourning by Brianne Turczynski

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Some books on violin making 🤗

My Christmas gift last year were these two books on violin making. I started playing the violin three-four years ago. Fed up with rental fees and my fear of tuning and touching the violin in anyway other than playing it, led me to find some cheap violins and take them a part and put them back together with new strings bridges, pegs, and in some cases a new coat of varnish. I have three violins now, one of which (the darker one pictured) was found in someone’s garbage, and the others were cheap finds on Craig’s list. I have carved bridges and made a varnish from an old 18th century recipe. I have even shaped fingerboards. My goal is to one day build my own from scratch. I continue to practice playing though not as much as I should. I like learning Irish jigs and folk songs especially. Soon I will finally finish the darker one you see pictured here. It’s finished, but I needed to reconfigure it’s bridge since it didn’t sound quite like it should. There is a lot of engineering that goes into it, but it is all very interesting to me and will give me, I’m sure, a lifetime of entertainment and teaching.

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Ingredients for making the varnish were found at @kremerpigmentsnyc in New York City

The book of Judges

“Then the Lord raised up judges who saved them out of the hands of these raiders.” –Judges 2:16

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Judges is one of my favorite books of the Old Testament. In this book, God raises up 12 judges over the course of 325 years to help keep the Israelites on the right path. I enjoyed this book because it helped me realize that I too had judges raised up for me in my life to help guide me. When my great grandpa (my grandmother’s father) died, I went 12 years before another person ‘passed through’ my life to lead me further to God. And I was lucky to have the perpetual guidance of my mother and grandmother. My other grandpa (my mother’s father) was a born again Christian and had a very aggressive approach to evangelism, but his wrong way guided me also, because I didn’t want to be like that. Since, I have thought much of my judges, and I give thanks to/for them and pray for them—which, to me, is basically any time I think of them with pure love and gratitude and meditate on their well-being with the knowledge of God’s presence(in this way many of us have ‘prayed’ without realizing it was prayer). Let us all give thanks to those who may have been our guides in the dark.