BookNotes: Educated

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I have a new reading plan for 2019: 2 fiction (1 read, 1 audiobook), 1 non-fiction (educational), and 1 memoir (or biography) all going at the same time.

  • Cluster 1 consisted of Artemis Fowl (fiction, on audiobook) and Kingdom of the Blind (fiction), New Celtic Monasticism (educational), and Finding Saint David of Wales (biography).
  • Cluster 2 was just completed with Circe (fiction, audiobook) and Cherringham (fiction), The Celtic Way of Praying (educational), and Educated (memoir).

I can’t say I enjoyed this book and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t written for us to enjoy. It did cause me to do a lot of thinking about fundamentalism (in all its various shapes and sizes) and how very vital education is both for children and even for adults.

My own life experience teaches me that the more I learn, the more I grow and change, and the more I grow and change the more I love those around me, the more I see things from their perspective, and the more capable I am of avoiding judgment and simply loving.

Advent 2018

Advent —   Here is last year’s blog post on Advent. It is much more my philosophy and this year’s post is more pragmatic.

Since renewing my commitment to live a small and regenerative life I notice areas where we are doing ok, but could definitely make some improvements. This year, Advent is getting a slight makeover.

Last year: Advent wreath with paraffin candles, and plastic bits and bobs attached to a wreath frame.

Not too bad, but I wanted to look at how the candles of Advent could be carried forward through the year, how we could use non-paraffin candles, and how the wreath itself could be changed for one that could reflect the seasons.

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What I’ve come up with is a wreath made from our grapevines, sitting on cardboard, with glass candle holders, beeswax candles, and seasonal decor filling up the spaces between the candles. Ideally (and ultimately), I want Kelly to bring in a round of wood just the size of the wreath so that it becomes its own little table/stool/home altar.

I melt beeswax into little plastic tea light cups (that I use over and over again). I do have to buy the wicks, but I try to find the hemp ones. About 4 years ago I bought 2 pounds of beeswax and we are still using it for candles and salves. Bees are hopefully getting added to our little farm sometime in the next few Springs. That should make the beeswax even better!

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Each evening of Advent, we light the candle(s) and this year we are reading David Cole’s A Celtic Advent..It is a quiet, peaceful transition into the darker evenings. It lends itself to less television and more reading.  Just the way I like it!

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What I’m reading:  The Celtic Way of Prayer, New York 2140, A Celtic Advent

What I’m listening to: The Last Star and Harry Potter 1 (Sad, but true fact: When we first got Jasper we listened to HP audiobooks every night as a family. Jasper always fell asleep and I would carry him to his bed and then go to bed. Now, he sleeps best if Jim Dale is reading in the background.)

What I’m watching:  Nothing this week

What I’m learning in Welsh:  Lots of vocabulary, a bit of grammar.

  • animals
  • months
  • seasons
  • numbers
  • days
  • plus a ton of review

What I’m thinking about:  Rainwater collection systems, gravity fed household water supply, designing a “sustainable village” for an author, and Advent.

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Another year older, hopefully a bit wiser, hopefully much kinder, and definitely more grey — in essence the same.

I’m still pondering the song “What kind of world do you want?” and still singing “Crazy Horses”. I still love Matt Smith as the Doctor (Doctor Who). My favorite kind of veg-out book is still post-apocalypse.

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What I’m reading:  Harry Potter 3 in German, The Celtic Way of Prayer, Becoming

What I’m listening to: The Ghost Hawk

What I’m watching:  Doctor Who, The Good Place

What I’m learning in Welsh:

  • Dillad: cot law, jîns, teits, crys chyws, fest
  • golch
  • brecwast, cinco, swmper
  • Bwyta: caws, mefus, cig,
  • tegan // teganau
  • ond
  • gwylio
  • prynu
  • ffermwr, nyrs, athro, meddyg, mecanic, actor, athrawes
  • trio, cofio, mynd, mynd i, ymarfer, sut, sut i, angen, dal, gwella
  • fedra I ddim

What I’m thinking about:  Raised garden bed logistics, seed orders, tree orders, and finishing up Christmas gifts.

BookNotes: Forest Church

Forest Church: A Field Guide to a Spiritual Connection with Nature
by Bruce Stanley

Read October 2018

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This might be the most important book I could ever recommend to a Christian environmentalist or someone wondering what we ought to be thinking and doing when it comes to creation care.

It isn’t technical. It doesn’t lay out the answers. It doesn’t tell you to change your lightbulbs (although you should).

What it does is inspire you to take your connection to creation one step further. Just one step . . . But, my goodness where that one step might take you.

Ch 1 — Why Go Outside?

  • thin places = places where the boundary between heaven and earth is at its most transparent.
  • First Nations — mountains, water, woods, rock, and river
  • The Food Story and The Sacred Land — This might have been my favorite section. It breaks down belief, lifestyle, and impact of forager/hunter/gatherer vs food producer. I actually got a lot of good ideas for our little farm from this section.
  • Eco-mindedness and biophilia –embracing  our environmental challenges is an urgent issue that we must address.
  • NDD — Nature Deficit Disorder the only cure is go outside
  • Flow — the end of activity where your skill level in in balance with the challenge lever
    • gapped for air we;;-being
    • walking, cycling, drawing, climbing, foraging, playing, gardening, reading, knitting, journaling, photography,

Cha 2 — Reading the Second Book of God

  • Nature-a wild place, “other than human place,” but size is flexible.
  • 3 ways into Nature/Creation:
    • awe: Isn’t it amazing? deep sense of connection, as we is the beginning of wisdom
    • study: academic exploration, “What is it?”
    • meaning: search for insight and relevance, imagination.

Ch 3 –Participating with Nature

  • Pg 53: Ps 115:16, but “Im not sure were up to the responsibility.
  • Permaculture–people care, earth care, and fair share
    • value in nature should be recognized and protected
    • higher value –>primary use
      • example: pure water –> cook, drink, wash :: grey water –> flush, etc
      • example: energy –>solar or wind ::  No to fossil fuels
      • example: tree –>oxygen, shade :: limbs, dead wood –> heat home
  • Be with nature rather than going “into” nature.  i.e. participate
  • From Dominator to Participant
    • Dominator–nature exists to support humans, raw materials for profit
    • Steward — still seen from human perspective, recognize that their are limits to natural resources, entrusted with use not consumption
    • Partner –nature as ally. Animals as allies. life as an interplay of life forms.I am separate but conscious and ethical. Sustainable, organic, ecological care
    • Participant — I exist within the mix of interdependent and interwoven life forms, I am part of nature, respect because of intrinsic value, eco-centric, set limits. Be regenerative not just sutainable
    • Which am I? How can I move toward participant?  It is imperative that we move to being a participant.
    • Regenerative because we have a long way to go to get back to where our systems were actually sustainable.
      • pause before you enter a wild space
      • slow your soul
      • be aware when you intervene in nature

Ch 4–Developing Your Wild Side

  • well being accumulates daily through nature connection
  • more by walking, eating, sitting, working, reading outdoors
  • sit spot, journaling, giving thanks, wild camping, distance hiking, growing your own
  • following nature’s rhythm: day/night, lunar months, Light Half/Dark Half of year (equinox and solstice)
  • The only equipment you really need is;
    • comfortable footwear
    • decent jacket
    • water bottle
    • snack
    • first aid kit
    • phone / camera
    • notebook with pen or pencil

 

I am planning a series of posts where I explore these ideas more in depth.

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What I’m reading:  Harry Potter 3 in German, Cherringham #11, The Celtic Way of Prayer

What I’m listening to: Arthur

What I’m watching:  Doctor Who, The Good Place

What I’m learning in Welsh:

  • Yn well
  • Yn waeth
  • Gwych
  • wedi blino
  • Pwy dych chi?

What I’m thinking about:  regenerative eco-mindedness . . .

girls’ trip

My best-est friend, since second grade, and I got together for a two day trip this week. We always have such a lovely time together . . . talking, eating, and talking. We spent our time together at Spring Mill State Park in IN.

Weather: mid-upper 80s, partly cloudy, but dry

Activities: walking, talking, and eating

Packing List:

  • wearing: t-shirt, cardigan, shorts, unders/bra, trainers
  • in the bag: pjs, t-shirt, unders, yoga pants (for lounging), swim suit, sandals (for pool), sun hat
  • 3-1-1: shampoo/soap bar, face serum, deodorant stone, toothbrush, toothpaste, lip balm, eye drops
  • Iberian Cube: altoids, Rx & supplements, comb, phone charger, ear buds, mini first-aid kit,

 

 

co-pilot

Tom Bihn Co-Pilot in Aubergine 525 Ballistic and Northwest Sky 200 Halcyon.

Dimensions: 11.8” x 10” x 4.9”, 10 liters, 1 pound

My first reaction upon opening the box was, “Wow! That’s really tiny.” In no time at all I was pushing stuff into it just to see what would fit. And I was AMAZED!

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After the amazement wore off, I began to think more deliberately about what should go in this bag for a short trip. Here is the list of what fit and in the picture below they are laid out in the same general way they went into the bag.

  • Total weight packed:  8 pounds
  • Main back pocket: jeans (size 8), 3 t-shirts (size small), yoga pants & tank top (PJs), 3 pair of socks, 3 pair of underwear, 1 bra, barefoot sandals
  • front left pocket: 3-1-1 bag
  • front middle pocket: water bottle
  • front right pocket: Iberian cube with comb, soap, deodorant crystal, toothbrush, prescriptions & supplements, flashlight, floss, mini first-aid pouch,
  • back zip pocket (this is so cool, it unzips to create a sleeve that can go over a roller bag handle or it is a open top pocket): Aubergine Cubelet with technology stuff (charger, stand, earbuds) and my Kindle

In my purse, also Tom Bihn, are my glasses, wallet, phone, etc . . . normal purse stuff.

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Below are pictures of the bag completely packed. It’s not too bulgy. I added the Co-Pilot to “The List” because it is just that amazing!

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