How many directions can a mom stretch before she breaks?

Originally published on Today.com Parent Contributors


The 4-year old wants to have a tea party and a play date, but the oldest needs to have his lessons given to him and lunch needs to be cooked.

The dog just had surgery so she needs extra attention.

The cat is out of food and lets me know.

The oldest is now hungry and is asking for dinner

The husband is home and needs to share about his day and I want to hear about it.

I want to be everything to everyone all at once.

I’m trying to listen to the podcast of a psychologist who is trying to advise me on how to manage a mental crisis and she’s yammering on about a box – some box that you have to place your thoughts in to get through a moment or put people in a box or I don’t even know what the bloody hell she is saying about the box because all I can hear is the emotional blackmail of a 4-year old asking me why I’m not playing with her while I hold a piece of raw chicken and a knife in my hand and am standing by the stove.

Gasp.

Breathe.

“Slow your breathing. Freak out in the love zone.”

The South African accent of the neuroscientist, the psychologist, whatever she is, is supposed to be soothing but all I want to do is fling the knife at her and tell her to freak out in her own love zone, whatever a love zone is.

There are days I simply can’t keep up. It’s all moving so fast but at the same time going nowhere.

I thought I’d be so much further in life by now. But at the same time, I’m shocked with all I have. I am a twisted mess of contradiction.

Some days I am completely contented where I am in life – a stay-at-home, homeschooling mother who rambles on her blog and take photographs of her life.

Other days I mourn what I thought I’d be – a well-known writer or photojournalist traveling the world.

With the hours my husband works, I rarely find guilt-free time to write or take photos. When I’d rather be writing I should be folding laundry, or loading a dishwasher or cooking a meal. When I’d like to go to a park or travel somewhere to use my camera to interpret what I see, I should, instead, be planning my son’s assignments for the week or playing with my preschooler.

It isn’t that my husband makes me feel this way. It isn’t that my children make me feel this way. It isn’t that I resent them for my own feelings. Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t an extreme feminist hit piece. It’s just where my feelings are some days.

I feel stretched thin, some days.

I feel pulled ten different directions, some days.

I feel splayed apart like a dead frog in a science experiment (if they even do such things anymore), some days. But, I also feel complete, some days.

Complete and whole. Whole in that my family is whole, mostly healthy and held in the hands of an all-seeing, all-knowing, always loving God.  We all get stretched too thin, pulled too much, pressed down and poured out.

I’m stubborn and weak and whiny and I don’t always do what I know I should; let Him pour back in, stretch gently for growth, pull softly in the right directions and press down only for our own good and progress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My week in books

I’m in the midst of the same books I’ve been reading, so I don’t have a lot to report on the book front for this week for the weekly “Sunday Salon”.

First a little bit about when I read and how (playing off my brother’s post from last week). I read any hardcopy books during the day and books on my Kindle I read mainly at night so I can use the backlight on the Kindle, but not use the way-too-bright book light I bought on Amazon for my hardcopy books. So, I usually have at least two books going at a time – one hardcopy and one Kindle.

This week I’m reading the fourth book in The Cat Who series (The Cat Who Saw Red) on the Kindle and the fifth book in the Mitford series by Jan Karon in hardcopy version. I could have bought the Jan Karon book on the Kindle, but it was $5 more on Kindle than a paperback and I got stingy and bought a used copy of it online instead. I bought that used copy and then realized I actually had a copy of the book in my collection so I didn’t need to buy it after all. Oops. Now I have two copies.

I read the Mitford series years ago – or so I thought. It turns out I missed a few books so I’m going back and rereading them. Book 5, ‘A New Song’ takes place on White Cap Island, which is obviously not the main character’s hometown of Mitford. Actually, Mitford isn’t Father Tim’s hometown, but it’s where he’s lived for 16 years since becoming the parish priest of the local Episcopal Church.

If you haven’t already guessed, or don’t know about the Mitford series, the books follow the everyday life of Father Tim Kavanaugh and the characters he meets, adopts, or has becomes friends within the small North Carolina town of Mitford. I can relate to these books because my mom is originally from North Carolina and she is even familiar with some of the towns mentioned in the book, except for Mitford, which is fictional. Plus I live in a small town and some of the characters in the fictional Mitford remind me of real-life characters in the small town I grew up in.

Almost all of the books in the series take place in or around Mitford, with exception of A New Song and A Home to Holly Springs (when Father Tim returns to his hometown). In A New Song, Father Tim has retired from his parish in Mitford and has been assigned, temporarily, to a church on an island, so we are introduced to an entirely new cast of characters, while also hearing from the old ones.

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I won’t mention too many other characters other than Father Tim or I’ll spoil some of the books for you. If you’re looking for something hard hitting, you won’t find it in these books. They do feature some tough moments, some moments that will bring tears of sadness to your eyes, and maybe a cringe or two from the seriousness of the subject, but for the most part, you’ll take a peaceful walk with Father Tim, with a bit of drama thrown in from time to time. In other words, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry…etc., etc. You get the drift. I find I run to Mitford when the rest of the world seems to be crashing down around me. It’s a great, often light-hearted escape (unless Mrs. Karon decides to kill off a favorite character or two and then I end up bawling about how her books are too stinking real and life sucks and hand me the chocolate ice cream already!)

The Cat Who books by Lillian Jackson Braun are similarly fairly light, but are mysteries. As I’ve mentioned before, the books follow Jim Qwilleran and his two Siamese cats Koko and Yum Yum. Koko is mysteriously brilliant for a cat and always seems to help Qwill, as he is called affectionately throughout the book, solve mysteries that Qwill shouldn’t even be involved in. Braun refers to Qwilleran as Qwilleran throughout the books. He’s a newspaper reporter who often gets assigned the lame beats, like fashion or cuisine, or something else he deems as beneath him because his start was in the crime departments of bigger newspapers than where he is working now.

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I can relate to the Cat Who books for a couple of reasons. First, Qwill is a newspaper reporter, which I was for 14 years and my husband still is. Second, Qwill is in his mid-40s and I’m almost in my mid-40s. Braun does seem to describe him a little too often as graying and old, which reminds me I’m graying and old, but Qwill’s quirky cats and personality make up for that for me.

So how about you? What are you currently reading this week? Want to see what others are reading this week? Then join Readerbuzz’s Sunday Salon, Or Caffeinated Book Reviewer, where other readers (most of them really cool book bloggers, unlike this blogger who is sort of a “whatever blogger) and if you want, add your own post about what you are reading, watching, doing, thinking, eating, or whatevering this week.

For those of us who celebrate Easter – I leave with you one of my favorite Easter songs, adaptly titled “The Easter Song” by Keith Green.

 

Week in review in photos

The headline is a bit misleading because this is going to be a bit of a “photo dump” of my last couple of weeks. I haven’t really touched my camera much in the last three or four months, due to depression and losses of friendships and then more depression  (would you like me to talk about my depression some more? No? Good, because I’m done talking about it.)

The weather started to warm up a little so we spent some time drawing on the sidewalk in front of the house with sidewalk chalk, exploring at my parents, playing outside and generally all the stuff you do when you begin to emerge from the cacoon of Northern winters.

I’m hoping I get back my love of photography and begin to use it again as a therapy for the times I’m the lowest emotionally.

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Fiction Friday: He Leadeth Me, Part 2

There is aliteration, Fiction Friday, so I’ve chosen Fridays as my days to share some fiction, if I have any to share a particular week. This is the second part in a story called He Leadeth Me. To find the first part, click HERE.

He Leadeth Me Part I


Part 2: Dancing in the moonlight

“Have you yet had the chance to dance in the moonlight in India?”

He was standing in front of her with one hand out toward her.

His uniform had been replaced with khakis and a plain white button up shirt like those commonly worn by the Indian men.

“I can’t say I have,” she looked nervously at her feet, unsure how to react to this pivot in their conversation.

“Well, come on,” he said with one corner of his mouth turned up. “Let’s be brave and see what happens.”

“There’s no music.”

“I can hum a tune or two.”

His hand was warm, the palms rough from days of working hard to build hangers for the Indian Air Force planes. He gently pulled her closer and placed his other hand lightly against her waist but pulled it back again.

“My apologies. Is it ok if my hand rests there?”

She immediately felt embarrassed and looked down at her feet.

“Um… yes? I guess so.”

She was ashamed to admit she had no idea how to dance and had never had a man ask to dance with her.

His hand barely touched her as he began to sway and gently guide her movements.

“Over in Killarney

Many years ago,

Me Mother sang a song to me

In tones so sweet and low.

Just a simple little ditty,

In her good old Irish way,

And l’d give the world if she could sing

That song to me this day.

 

“Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, Too-ra-loo-ra-li,

Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, hush now, don’t you cry!

Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, Too-ra-loo-ra-li,

Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, that’s an Irish lullaby.”

 

She couldn’t look up as he sang.

Her heart was pounding and her head felt light.

What would her father think if he knew she’d come to India to care for orphans and tell others about the love of God but now she was dancing in the moonlight with an Irish airmen? And if pastor Franklin saw them? What might be said? Thoughts raced fast through her mind but she couldn’t seem to pull away, reveling in the feel of her hand in his and the smell of his cologne. She’d met him only a couple weeks ago before at the market, looking for vegetables and lamb for the mission and orphanage kitchen, and now here she was letting him lead her in a dance in the heat of the Indian summer.

He stopped singing, leaned back so he could look into her face and she looked up to see his blue eyes staring into hers.

“Tell me Emily Grant, the American girl with the very Scottish name, have you ever thought that God has made you for something more?”

The muscle in his jaw jumped a little as he started talking about what he expected for his future, not waiting for her answer.

“I mean, I grew up with my family, on a farm, thinking ‘There must be more to life than this.’ My brother loved farming, the shoveling of manure, and rounding up cows, but I just knew there was something more for me and I knew when I saw those children at the mission, my something more was here in India or at least in helping others.”

“Does it sound arrogant to say I believe God has a plan for me? A plan to show others His love not by what I say but by what I do? Is that what brought you here to India with your mission group? Did you think God would do something grand? That life could be something more and beautiful; the more you showed love and felt it back?”

 

Emily didn’t know what to say.

 

She felt her face growing warm.

 

She knew exactly what Henry meant but she’d never known how to explain it. Her parents couldn’t understand why she had signed her name to the list to travel to India with the missionary who had been visiting. They were worried for her safety, terrified she’d be killed by people her father called “Devil Worshippers” and “dark skinned heathens.” Emily had read the Bible. She believed God had created all humans and if that was true, then he had also created the Indian people and He loved them as much as he loved a white-skinned American farmer’s daughter.

 

“It doesn’t sound arrogant,” she said. “It sounds true and real and wonderful. I believe God has a plan for me, but I truly don’t understand it yet. All I knew was something inside me said I needed to follow Pastor James and Margaret here.”

 

Henry was still looking at her, eyes intensely focused on hers.

 

When his eyes glanced to her mouth as she spoke she tensed, suddenly self-conscious.

“Maybe God meant us to be here at the same time. For us to experience all this beauty together, ” he said.

His voice had slipped into a whisper.

He was too close.

Her heart was pounding too fast.

And when his lips touched hers it was too soon.

They’d only known each other two weeks and she hadn’t come to India to fall in love. She’d come to learn more about God’s will for her life.

She pulled away from him quickly and looked quickly at the ground.

“I’m past curfew at the mission. They’ll be concerned about me.”

She walked into the darkness before he could speak.

“Let me at least walk you home,” his voice followed her. “It’s dark and dangerous here at night.”

She paused and nodded an acceptance of his offer.

He fell in step beside her, silent as they walked. When they reached the gate of the mission she placed her hand on the gate and he reached out and wrapped his fingers around hers.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to overstep. I’ve never been so bold before. Will ya’ forgive me, Emily? I’ve enjoyed our time together. I hope you won’t disapprove of seeing me again.”

“It’s okay. I’m just – it’s – I’m here to be a servant to the mission. I shouldn’t get distracted. I don’t know – I just – wasn’t ready.”

She felt foolish as she spoke.

Wasn’t ready for what? To be loved? To let this young airman who spoke of wanting to serve God love her?

“I have to get to bed. We have open clinic in the morning for the village women. Thank you for the dance Henry.”

She pulled her hand from his and rushed through the gate, closed it and walked down the path toward the mission.

In her room, with the door closed behind her, she touched her fingertips to her lips, closed her eyes and remembered the warmth of his mouth on hers. She breathed deep, shook her head to clear her mind of the memory, and reached for her Bible to take her mind off the distraction she felt God didn’t want her to have.

 

 

Just because you battle depression, doesn’t mean you are a bad mom

The mother in an online support group for moms with anxiety and depression asked all us faceless mothers on the other side of the screen: “Why can’t I get it together?”

She asked because she felt alone

Many of us let her know she was not alone, we were right there with her.

We all had felt less than. We all had felt not enough.

We all had wondered why we couldn’t seem to “get it together.”

We moms look for anything that proves we are a bad mother. We do it without even realizing we are. We may not say it, but we think it, dwell on it, speak it over ourselves.

At night, in the dark, we whisper lies to our soul.

“I’m a horrible mother.”

“What was God thinking making me their mother?”

All moms overthink motherhood at some point in their journey.

We overthink about what others think we should be doing.

We overthink about an article that listed what shouldn’t be doing and mentally check off those things we have done.

We overthink mistakes we think will ruin our children.

We overthink and overthink until our thoughts spin so far out we can’t remember where they started.

“Did I hug him enough today?”

“Did I play with her enough today?”

“Was I too easy on him when he made that mistake?”

“Should I have told her she couldn’t play that long on the phone today?”

“Is that stomachache something worse?”

And when you throw in depression? The overthinking happens even more. Thoughts spin even more, spiral us down into dispair and the inability to move forward.

Depression clouds thoughts. It stifles truth.

It tells us we are bad mothers because we deal with depression.

The reality is, all moms are flying by the seat of their pants. We trust our motherly instincts and doubt them at the same time. We are a mess of contradictions.

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_DSC5801.jpgAll moms struggle. All moms wonder why we don’t have “it” together, why we can’t just GET it together.

So often I wonder, ‘what does it mean to “get it together” anyhow?’ What are we getting together? Whose standards do we think we need to meet before we have it “all together?” Does anyone really have it, whatever it is, together?

I don’t know any human being who is perfect. They may look perfect, but we know they’re not because we’re not.

Maybe one mom doesn’t have anxiety or depression, but she has a physical limitation.

Maybe one mom looks beautiful on the outside but inside she holds on to ugly secrets.

Maybe one mom feels like slowing down and letting go of looking perfect will show she is unworthy of what she thinks she has to earn.

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Anxiety strangles me most days.

Depression whispers in my ear that I’m never going to be worth anything and I’m never going to be a good mother, writer, photographer, friend, wife, child of God.

Those are the moments I have to fight, even when I’m too tired to fight. I have to learn to expect that all things will work together for His good and His glory – even anxiety and depression.

Sometimes anxiety slows me down. Sometimes slowing down is a gift.

Sometimes slowing down makes me focus on what I have.

Sometimes slowing down reminds me what others may, or may not, be thinking about me doesn’t even matter.

Depression doesn’t make you weak.

Depression doesn’t make you wrong.

Depression doesn’t make you unworthy, unloveable.

Depression doesn’t make you a bad person.

Battling depression and anxiety doesn’t make you a bad mother.

The battle will make you stronger even when you feel weaker.

 

 

 

 

Weekly Round Up and Favorite blog posts

I thought I’d start a weekly tradition of wrapping up my posts from the past week and also share some favorite blog posts from other bloggers. Hopefully, it will be a tradition. It may just be a one-off thing, knowing me.

Tuesday I shared my monthly 10 on 10 post, which is part of a blog circle with other photographers. We share ten photos from the previous month, from either one day, event, or subject, or simply our favorite photos from the month.

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On Wednesday I rambled about what books I’m reading and some of the cons of getting back into reading – like forgetting to feed my children. Oops.

On Thursday I shared the latest installment in a story I have been writing, based on the story in the Bible about Jesus raising a 12-year old girl from the dead.

For some of my favorite blog posts from this week, (disclaimer: I actually read some of them last week, but I’m SHARING them this week, so hey, that’s how it works in my world):

Blessings by Me wrote this post about 5 Indoor Plants That are Hard To Kill. I found this interesting because I’m a plant killer and I don’t have hope that I could keep even the plants on this list alive. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve killed at least one of them at least once, if not more than once.

Michelle at The Green Study cracks me up because she puts such a creative spin on the highs and lows of life. This post, “My Misery Brought A Plus One” is one of the more creative posts I’ve read about being sick.

As a fellow mom, this post “You pretty, Mommy,” by Cheyenne on Chey’s Corner, gave me “all the feels” as people younger than me say. It’s a great reminder for mom’s that our children don’t see us the way we see ourselves. They don’t see the flaws or shortcomings. They just see the mom they love.

bryanI wouldn’t normally promote my brother’s blog because it gives him a big head (like the photo he uses for his blog header), but I did like his post for the Sunday Salon this week when he asked how people read but also WHEN do they read. His post was part of a link up of other bloggers who read or review books and then write about it on their blogs. Most of them are strictly book bloggers and it’s a great list of links where you can find some good ideas for new books to read.

So what did you post this week? Read any good posts by other bloggers? Let me know in the comments. I’m always looking for new bloggers.

 

Risen Part 4

This is a continuing fiction story, based on a series of verses from the Bible. To read the other parts of the story click the following links:

Risen Part 1

Risen Part 2

Risen Part 3


“Josefa! Can you come to the stream to play?”

Her friend Caleb was peering at her through the curtain of her sleeping quarters window.

She rubbed the sleep from her eyes.

“After chores, yes.”

The sun wasn’t very high in the sky when Josefa finally took off her sandals and placed her feet in the stream near the olive trees. The water felt cool against her skin and she closed her eyes to enjoy the coolness of the water and the warmth of the sun.

“I heard another story about demons and Jesus’ followers,” Caleb leaned in close to whisper to her.

“Caleb. Now, stop that. There is no such thing as demons.”

“There totally is! They said Jesus’ follower named Matthew spoke to the man and said there was a demon in him. The man who told me said the man with the demon spoke funny and fell to the ground.”

Caleb fell on the ground and his face twisted up while he jerked around with his arms against his chest and then flailing back and forth.

“Like this!” He jumped up and stuck his tongue out at Josefa and shook his head back and forth vigorously

Josefa burst into laughter and put her hands up as if to push Caleb away from her as he continued to distort his face.

Caleb stepped back and stopped laughing.

“Then the man yelled back at Matthew and told him he lived there now and he wasn’t leaving, but Matthew said ‘You have no place here, demon and in the name of the most high God I command you to leave.’”

Caleb pointed at an imaginary man and made a stern face to imitate Matthew.

“In the name of the –“

He stepped closer to Josefa as he continued to point. He lifted his chin and looked sternly at her.

“The most high Gawd! Be goooone!”

Josefa put her hand over her mouth and giggled.
The sound of footsteps startled the pair.

Caleb’s older brother smirked as he looked down at them.

“Who do these men think they are? Acting as if they have authority to mess with the possessed?” he snapped.

Caleb’s older brother knelt next to the stream to fill his wineskin. He shook his head.

“No one asked you, Levi.”

Levi snorted.

“These are the words of children. Stories. That’s all they are. Only a baby like you would believe them.”

“That’s not true! I heard them talking about it in the market. That man named Matthew called a demon out.”

Caleb made a weird face again and staggered toward Levi. “I am a servant of the devil!” he said, pretending to be the possessed man.
Levi stepped away from his brother and rolled his eyes.
“And, besides, Jesus raised Josefa from the dead!” Caleb’s voice was loud and defiant.

Josefa’s cheeks flushed red.

“Caleb..”

“What? He did! You should tell more people! They should know the truth about Jesus and his followers and who they really are.”

“You speak foolishness, Caleb,” Levi said.

Levi turned toward her and she found herself unable to look up into his green eyes. Her heart pounded fast and furious and the palms of her hands grew moist.

“Is this true, Josefa? Tell me what Jesus really did.”

She could hear her heart in her ears now.

“I don’t want to talk about it, Levi.” She kept her eyes down, looking at the olive branch in her hand.

“Why? Because it is a lie? Right? What the people in your neighborhood said happened is a lie isn’t it?”

Josefa turned to look at Levi. A rush of warmth filled her.

“He asked us not to speak of it –“

Levi laughed. “Of course, he did. Because nothing happened.”

“They were already holding a time of mourning for her, Levi. You don’t know! You were out with the sheep. But it’s true! I was there! I was crying!”

Levi shook his head and tied his wineskin to his belt and reached for his staff.

“She was probably just asleep. You cry over everything. You’re still a boy.”

“She wasn’t breathing. I saw her! I touched her!”

Josefa looked at Caleb. She hadn’t known he’d been with her.

“You were there?” she asked softly.

Caleb’s cheeks were red now.

“Yes. I came because I did not want to believe it. I didn’t want to believe you were gone. I was there when Jesus came with those men and then he told us all to leave.”

Levi’s haughty laugh interrupted their exchange.

“of course Jesus wanted everyone to leave. So he could pretend Josefa was really dead.” He ruffled Caleb’s hair and Caleb slapped his hand way. “Okay, little one, I’m leaving you and your friend to your childish tales. Take care of mama while Joseph and I are gone to find the lost sheep.”

He paused and looked at Josefa, half turned away from her.

“Take care, Josefa. I don’t believe you were truly dead, but I am glad you are still alive.”

“Thank you, Levi,” her voice softened to a whisper and she tried to form the words “But I was dead.”

The sound of a passing cart drowned out her voice.

Levi walked around the children and called out to his older brother.

“Joseph wait for me!”

“Why didn’t you tell him?” Caleb asked as Levi and Joseph disappeared down the road.

“I don’t know. Jesus said to tell no one. I wasn’t sure –“
“But so many already know, Josefa. They know the truth about what happened to you. If it was me, I wouldn’t be ashamed. I’d be excited to let everyone know that I had been dead but now was alive.”

Josefa flicked at the water with her fingers and stared at the pools rolling into each other.

“But what if no one believes me?” she asked.

“But what if some do?” Caleb countered.

There are a few bad things about getting back into reading

In the last several months I’ve cut way back on social media and found myself very lonely. The loneliness sometimes leads to depression, which isn’t good, but what is good is the fact I’m now back into reading and writing.

I find I now look forward to bedtime, not because I have time to mindlessly scroll through social media without feeling guilty that I should be spending time with my family instead, or not because my old age makes me want to sleep more. Now I look forward to bedtime because I can escape into a good book before sleep. In fact, thanks to the diminutive appearance of my Kindle I can escape into a good book almost anywhere.

I can not tell a lie – I feel a bit of a rush of rebellion when I stay up late with a book and I know it’s because of all the nights I spent with my head under the covers with a flashlight so Mom wouldn’t catch me up reading pass my bedtime. To this day I still feel the urge to pull the covers up over my head when reading a book after midnight. I realize I probably need therapy. My mom wasn’t against reading, in fact she read so much it’s probably why I have a love for it, but she was against me being very tired for school the next day because I had been up too late reading.

 

Rekindling (pun intended) my love for reading is almost entirely a good thing. Still, it does have its’ drawbacks.

First, there is the fact I often stay up too late when I’m caught up in a good book and pay for it the next day when grogginess causes me to forget to turn on the stove to cook dinner or that I put the dog out an hour ago. Much to my chagrin, I have to admit my mom was right about that needing sleep thing.

Then there is the fact reading, much like blogging and writing short stories, is yet another way for me to procrastinate cleaning the house, folding laundry, loading the dishwasher or feeding my children. Why are kids always so hungry anyhow?

Another drawback to returning to the love of reading is the reminder of how stupid I really am because I have to keep highlighting words in the Kindle dictionary to learn the meaning of them. Truthfully, I could skip the word and keep going but since that nifty dictionary feature is already built into the Kindle it seems a shame to let it go to waste the same way I apparently let my brain go to waste.

Then there is the drawback to being able to look up words with the tap and slide of a finger: realizing you’re not only stupid for not knowing words but also because you keep trying to tap and highlight words when you are reading an actual, hard copy of a book.

Yet another drawback is when a book either is too exciting or jumps the shark and leaves me laying there in the dark all pissed off, tossing and turning, fuming, writing letters of disgust in my head to the writer. I was recently in the midst of a very well written Christian fiction book when it went off the rails into fantasy territory and I was left all theologically pissed off because miracles don’t happen like that in real life. So there I laid lost in deep thoughts about why we don’t see miracles today, instead of accepting that it’s JUST A BOOK! Hello! I decided then I needed to read less theological books before bed, instead focusing on books like The Cat Who… books or The Mitford series.

Despite the disadvantages to becoming a voracious reader again, I’m glad to have a way to escape from both the mundane boredom of my own life and the insanely, way too exciting events of the world around me. Currently, I’m switching between a Cat Who book by Lillian Jackson Braum ( a series of books about a newspaper reporter and his crime-solving Siamese cats) and the fifth book of the Mitford series by Jan Karon.

How about you? In the midst of any books you are using to avoid the responsibilities of life?
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To read more from some readers who read more and write more about what they read, you can click over to Readerbuzz’s Sunday Salon on her blog, or on Facebook.

Spring is Here! 10 on 10

Spring weather finally came to Pennsylvania this weekend and week. Forecasters kept saying we’d have rain, but each day the sun, and warm air, stayed and we stretched our time outside more and more. As I write this today all of our windows are open and we are reveling in the warmth, even though the pollen blowing in is attacking my son’s allergies. Sunday we made our weekly pilgrimage to my parents to have lunch and visit for the day. The day before we visited my brother and sister-in-law about an hour and a half away for my sister-in-law’s birthday. Each day we were warned we might have rain, but nope, this is one time I was glad the forecasters were wrong.

Colder weather is set to come into the area tomorrow and the rest of the week, but we know it’s only a matter of time before the warm weather will be here to stay. And then, of course, we will all complain it is too hot.

What is the weather like where you are?
This post is part of a monthly blog circle where a group of photographers share their favorite photographs from the month. To continue the circle, click on Erika Kao’s link and follow each link to see what other photographers around the country and world have been up to.

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