6 Month Update: Classic Book Reading Plan for 2015

backtotheclassics2015BUTTONI am joining others in an online book reading club. In fact I am joining 2! This first one is a Back to the Classics Challenge hosted by Karen’s Books and Chocolate.

I haven’t read many classics in my life, so I am excited about changing that deficit. Below are the categories and what books I think I will read.

  1. A 19th Century Classic Any book published between 1800 and 1899. Moby Dick (1851) by Herman Melville. I am currently reading this on my Kindle. THIS BOOK WAS SUCH A STRUGGLE TO READ THAT I STOPPED HALF WAY AND READ A DIFFERENT BOOK FOR THIS SLOT: THE WOMAN IN WHITE (1859) BY WILKIE COLLINS  I READ IT IN JUNE 2015. Free on Kindle.
  2. A 20th Century Classic Any book published between 1900 and 1965. A Princess of Mars (1917) by  Edgar Rice Burroughs (Kindle). Here is Part 1 audio-book. MY DAUGHTER & I READ THIS OUT LOUD TO EACH OTHER IN JUNE 2015. Free on Kindle.
  3. A Classic by a Woman Author The Secret Adversary (1822) By Agatha Christie or An Old-Fashioned Girl (1869) By Louisa May Alcott. Both are on my Kindle. I READ THE SECRET ADVERSARY IN FEBRUARY 2015. Free on Kindle.
  4. A Classic Novella Any work shorter than 250 pages. Heart of Darkness (1960) by Joseph Conrad. I READ THIS IN FEBRUARY 2015.
  5. A Classic Children’s Book  A book for your inner child!  Pick a children’s classic that you never got around to reading. Pollyanna (1913) by Eleanor H. Porter (Kindle). READ IT IN JUNE 2015. Free on Kindle.
  6. A Classic with a Person’s Name in the Title First name, last name, or both, it doesn’t matter, but it must have the name of a character. Nicholas  Nickleby (1838) by Charles Dickens (Kindle). FINISHED JULY 2, 2015. Free on Kindle.
  • A Classic in Translation— As in last year’s category, this can be any classic book originally written or a published in a language that is not your first language.
  • A Very Long Classic Novel— A single work of 500 pages or longer, regular-sized print. War and Peace (1869) by Leo Tolstoy (Kindle). Free on Kindle.
  • A Humorous or Satirical Classic—  Humor is very subjective, so this one is open to interpretation? Gulliver’s Travel (satire) by Jonathan Swift (1726)
  • A Forgotten Classic—  This could be a lesser-known work by a famous author, or a classic that nobody reads any more. Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding  (1742)
  • A Nonfiction Classic— A memoir, biography, essays, travel, this can be any nonfiction work that’s considered a classic, or a nonfiction work by a classic author. The Innocents Abroad a travel book by Mark Twain (1869)
  • A Classic Play—  Your choice, any classic play, as long as it was published or performed before 1965.  The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams (1944)

I haven’t come up ideas for A Classic in Translation. But I will think more about that once I’ve finished reading War and Peace. ;)

2 NOTES: 6 of the above books are available for free for e-readers. . . . Article originally published 2.12.2015.

Your Turn . . .

  • Do you read many classics? Tell us your favourite book.
  • Do you have a suggestion for one of my empty spots?
  • To join us in the classic reading adventure, go here for more information.

Related Post . . . Reading to Know Classics Book Club 2015 . . . This blogger/reader has some good ideas for each category.

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Babette’s Feast Shown on Tuesday, June 30

SIGN UP FOR BABETTE’S FEAST

WHO:  All PEP 55+ folks are invited to attend this movie.

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WHEN:  5th Tuesday, June 30, 2015

TIME: 2:30-5pm

WHERE: CNC

COST: Free – Bring your own snacks,

Afterwards Pastor Mike will lead us in a discussion about this movie’s powerful themes.

Please RSVP. I want to make sure we have a chair for you.

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Friday’s Fave Five

Some ministry and personal milestones happened this week which I also mentioned last week. We finished missions week and I had more birthday celebrations. I am looking for this week’s five favourite things because of a meme that Susanne from Living to Tell the Story does each week. Join us in sharing your week’s blessings.

Most adorable and tasty birthday dessert ever. The fruit on the Popsicle stick is 2 raspberries.

Most adorable and tasty birthday dessert ever.

ONE. GREAT BIRTHDAY FOOD. Again I had ice cream and waffles for breakfast although this time it was for MY birthday. And for MY birthday dinner we ate steak salad!

My niece made the most gorgeous dessert: dark chocolate covered fruit with a side of real whipped cream and more berries.  The fruit on the Popsicle stick is 2 raspberries.

 

There were 13 beautifully decorated tables. I sat at this table and our hostess, Rima, was a first timer and was awesome.

Rima used her grandma’s china. Gorgeous!

TWO. MISSIONS TEA. Oh, my, I could do an FFF just on the Tea! And I probably will.

Our speaker, Marcia, spoke on an oxymoron of God’s love: how we are protected by God and yet know we will suffer. Marcia is a senior citizen who has worked, mainly in Africa, for the past 36 years. She has seen PLENTY of protection and suffering and still loves, worships, and serves God.

My hostess, Rima, was one of 13 hostesses. She did an awesome job making us feel welcome & coordinating food for our table.

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Go Giants! The game went into overtime to break a tie score. And then it was suspended because it got too dark to finish.

THREE. BASEBALL GAME. I attended a game because one of the players (who attends my church) invited me. I was surprised at how small the ball looked.  I’ve never attended a Little League game before. My kiddos were into soccer and softball.

It was FUN watching and cheering.

And I found a job that I want to have. I want to be in charge of the lights on the scoreboard. It would be even cooler if I could also be in charge of the fireworks when there is a home run. Although they  don’t have fireworks at Little League games, they should.

 

John's theology of pain has helped me to go though my own dark times better. It was awesome to be able to meet one of my spiritual heroes.

John’s theology of pain has helped me to go though my own dark times better. It was awesome to be able to meet one of my spiritual heroes.

FOUR. JOHN STUMBO VISITED. John is the president of our denomination. This week about 30 pastors and C&MA workers gathered at my church to meet with him. John encouraged us from 2 Corinthians 4, asked us questions about our ministries, and then he and another pastor prayed and said a blessing over each of us.

I first heard about John in 2009 when he was a pastor at an Alliance church in Oregon. He went through a mysterious and severe illness, that looked terminal, which God eventually delivered him from. I wrote a post about it here: Peace and Hope While in the Depth of Pain – John Stumbo’s Story

My online group helps e to not dunk my head.

My online group helps me to not dunk my head. This cartoon was found on wakemedvoices.org.

FIVE. HEALTH SUPPORT. When I was diagnosed with diabetes a year ago, I knew I needed support, lots of it. So I started a Facebook group called B.U.F.F.

We are B.U.F.F. stands for Brilliantly Utilizing Friends & Facts to combat diabetes. We use these two avenues to move ourselves towards a healthier lifestyle where diabetes doesn’t rule. We do!

At times I do really well at managing my health and other times not so well. When I am doing well, it is in part because of this support group. I am figuring out what works especially when allergies are hitting me so hard! This group encourages me to stay the course even though my numbers don’t always reflect my hard and diligent work.

FFF springPlease share your blessings by writing and linking your own FFF or share a blessing in the comments.

Happy FIRST day of spring especially to you folks where there is still some snow.

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Friday’s Fave Five

FFF springI didn’t have to look far to find five blessings this week. After you read mine, why don’t you share some of yours?

ONE. Annual Church  Meeting. Fear not, this was no stuffy, boring time! We now have this government required meeting as a regular part of our church service instead of having an extra meeting time after church. While writing my reports, I found that 70% of the parents and grandparents who use our children’s ministry for their kiddos also volunteer in that same ministry. And I further discovered . . .

  • 22% are teens
  • 45% are adults (under 55 years old)
  • 33% are adults 55+ (in age).

TWO. Women’s Ministry meeting and (my birthday) dinner.  There are only 3 of us on the team, but we sure gel! We made some new plans. Our reveal will be in April. And I am looking forward to getting to know and minister more to the women of CNC.

We put together a short video about what  what our church means to us which was showed at our Annual Meeting.

THREE. Unexpected Meal and Visit. Marsha and I didn’t plan on meeting up for supper and a movie this week. But I wanted to borrow some kitchen tools for some goodies I am making for a Missions Tea on Saturday. Turns out she was in the middle of making this delicious beauty  (don’t let the eggplant scare you away) and invited me to stay. She added Katamari olives and oh, my, this meal is YUMMM. It has a comfort food appeal. It will be on my menu rotation for sure.

FOUR. Missions Week. Every year at church we have a Missions Celebration. Ours is this week. So far I have been to a Missions Breakfast (for those 55 years and older) and a Missions Dessert (both yesterday on my birthday). WOW – both times were so awesome. We got a great overview of the work being done in Africa and heard snippets of their 36 years of ministry. These events were inspiring and showcased God’s power and personal care for people.

FIVE. Birthday Love. My birthday capped off a marvelous week. Days like that (filled with great stories, people, love and food) are so awesome, they are probably illegal!  And I keep listening to these Happy Birthday Greetings from my grand-daughter.

Take some time now to think about what has made your week special. I’d love to hear!

 

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Friday’s Fave Five

It is time to recount five blessings from last week. I had FFF springforgotten
what a great week it was until I looked at the calendar and my photos. Do you ever do that, forget what a great week you’ve had because of looking so intently at the details of today or even tomorrow?

 

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Debbie’s use of glass and shapes is so pretty. The next class isn’t until after Easter.  ;(

ONE. CRAFTING. A friend (Debbie) and I attended a mosaic-making class at a church up the hill from us. This was the first class for both of us. Some people (namely Debbie) are better at this first time craft than others (namely me). I doubt I will be showing ya’ll a photo of my project.

But it was a fun time even though we didn’t speak much. I enjoyed breaking the glass and fitting it into my pattern (a cross). My brain felt very rested after the class.

 

 

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I am on the left. Myrna is on the right.

TWO. CRAB-FEED. This is the first crab feed I have ever attended. I had a wonderful time with the other 3 ladies (Sydney, Myrna, and Wilma) in our group. We chatted about this-and-that. And of course we ATE. I especially liked the shrimp. ;)

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This mother-daughter duo, Wilma & Sydney, formed the rest of our crab-feed party.

THREE. ANOTHER WAFFLE & ICE CREAM BREAKFAST. Yep, another birthday was celebrated last week, my sister’s 50th. I love that my sister’s family has such a unique way of celebrating birthdays.

Happy Birthday, to my favourite sister, Jenny. She cultivates a thoughtful, generous, fun, resourceful, and godly-thinking life. Many are blessed by her (including me).

On a side note: Do you know how this tradition started? Years ago Jenny, Mark and their girls went back East to visit some of Mark’s family. They were there for the 4th of July. The Back East family has a tradition of having waffles and ice cream for breakfast. That idea was transported West and expanded to include birthdays.

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I made LOTS of “play doughs” snakes for Fia to cut up.

FOUR. GRAND DAUGHTER TIME. I took a day off, mid-week, and spent it with some of my Bay Area family. Now of course I LOVE all my Bay Area family. But nothing beats playing with my 2-year-old grand-daughter. Know what I mean?

We played with play dough, bubbles, and at the park. A new sand table, some búho (owl) stickers, and reading took up our time as well.

FIVE. STAFF DAY-LONG RETREAT. I always enjoy these. The concentrated time to plan for the next quarter is so helpful especially in seeing how the various ministries fit in with each other.

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These Dollar Store bubbles were quite the hit. I am amazed at her dexterity.

On a side note: We start all our meetings by answering this question: What is some good news you have to share (from your life or ministry)? This is a great way to start with a positive mind-set. It reminds us that there is GREAT stuff happening and that God is INVOLVED in a powerful, consistent, and loving way.

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Oh, my! Here Fia is on the big swing. I didn’t even know that she graduated from the bucket swing.

BONUS: SOUP, SALAD, & A MOVIE. Another end-of-week meet-up with a dear friend (Marcia). She made an awesome pork and bean soup and gluten-free bread just for the occasion. I even have some leftovers to enjoy over the weekend. And of course I had some kitty snuggles as well. This evening was a GREAT way to end my work week.

We are now caught up with Agent Carter and The Good Witch. The Good Witch is a new series on Hallmark. It will be worth getting attached to.

So, take some time to look over your past week and share some of your blessings. Are you surprised by any of them? Check out other Friday’s Fave Five posts or share your own at Susanne’s Living to Tell the Story.

READ THIS FOR A SMILE While I was pushing my 2-year-old Fia on the swing, a 3-year-old boy came up and pointed to the bucket swing.

“This swing is for babies.”

He then pointed to the swing Fia was in and said, “This swing is for big boys. And I am a big boy.”

Fia was happy to trade, but as soon as he left, she went right back to swinging on the “big boy swing.”

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Friday’s Fave Five

This week has come to a close and so it is time to share five blessings. To read other lists or to link up your own list go to Friday’s Fave Five at Susanne’s Living to Tell the Story.

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This photo made the cutest stamp.

ONE. I sent out Valentine’s Day cards. And to make them extra special, I mailed them with stamps I ordered from Stamps.com. At this site you design stamps with a photo of your choice. I made stamps with my precious granddaughter’s photo.

This darling even made a card for me using a heart-shaped potato stamp and red paint.

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Kadie enjoys rugby, knitting, eating sushi, and making snapchat videos.

 

TWO. Valentine’s Day is always extra special because we also celebrate the birthday of one of my nieces, Kadie. She came home from college for the festive weekend. This sweetheart is caring, funny, talented, godly, and a joy to be around.

THREE. Besides having our traditional birthday breakfast of waffles and ice cream, we also had a birthday dinner. Family and friends gathered for good food, lots of visiting, and even some rowdy singing. We sang pop and Christian music with guitar and ukulele accompaniment.

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“Repent and be faithful to the Gospel.”

FOUR. Lent started this week. Even though I didn’t grow up in or currently attend a liturgical church, I enjoy observing Lent. I wrote this post of ideas to help me (us) observe Lent. On Wednesday night I attended a Lent service with some Catholic friends, Joe and Geri. It was a moving and meaningful service. Afterwards we ate fish tacos. Read about my 1st Ash Wednesday service here.

FIVE. Last night I gathered with the gals (Reggie and Bip) from the Women’s Ministry Team (from church). We assembled the magnets for our annual women’s missionary tea. I think this is our 10th  tea and every year we give out a magnet. This year’s magnets are soooooo cute. And to top it off, they only cost about $0.45 each. I will post a photo of them after our tea. Until then they design is top-secret!

Have a happy and warm week and be sure to look for items for your next Friday’s Fave Five.

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Lenten Ideas to Help Us Focus on and Become More Like Jesus

On Lent Eve (AKA Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras) I ate pancakes and decided my Lenten plan. And I wrote about the following: When I wake up on Resurrection Sunday morning, how will I be different? What am I preparing for? (Question by Rachel Held.)

On Lent Eve (AKA Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras) I ate pancakes and decided my Lenten plan.  . . . .  And I wrote about the following: . . . . . When I wake up on Resurrection Sunday morning, how will I be different? What am I preparing for? (Question by Rachel Held Evans.)

I dabble in Lent. For the past 8 years I’ve done various things: given something up (social media, unnecessary spending), added something (usually a spiritual discipline), donated (money and items) to a good cause, and prayed more. I’m not of a liturgical bent, so I don’t really know what I am doing.

I never did well at fasting. I never spent extra time in confession. And come to think of it, many of my other attempts were also lame.

But I did these things to prepare myself for Easter. And while they were done imperfectly and probably incorrectly, I did achieve my goal. By the time Easter came around, I was a little more focused on the Redeemer of my soul, Jesus. My thoughts & actions were a little more like His.

Here is a cool video about Lent. It is only 1 minute 15 seconds. “Lent is not a list of Catholic Resolutions nor is it a Catholic Endurance Test. . . . It is a campaign for holiness. Instead of giving up chocolate, how about giving up sin.” OUCH!

This year I am keeping it simple. The idea generator in me wants to add a bunch of things to this list. But I typically over-estimate my available time, energy, and resources. So there are only 3 things on my list.

(1) I am giving up negativity in all forms: pessimism . . . uncalled for anger . . .  criticism . . . complaining . . . worry . . . gossip . . . impatience . . . swearing . . . mean talk . . . pride . . . discouragement . . . hyper independence . . .  and victim- and scarcity-thinking. . . . I want to be purposeful about my thoughts and about what comes out of my mouth.

I don’t normally have a problem with negativity, but I think these next 40 days will show how well I do or don’t do in this area.

(2) I am adding in Gratitude. I will write down one thing I am grateful for every day. And I want to be more purposeful abut looking for God’s presence in my life and in the world. I am sure this will give me many things to write on my gratitude list.

(3) I will read only about Jesus. I want my thoughts to be more focused on Him. Right now I have the following books in mind.

Here are some other Lent ideas. As I get the time and energy, I will pop into the following links and try one or two of their ideas.

40 Days of Prayer Doodling.  This is a visual, concrete,and different way to pray.

40 Days of Signs & Symbols.  Each day a different sign or symbol from Christian history or art and its meaning will be posted. Your challenge is to consider its meaning for you today OR post a picture of something you saw today with a similar meaning OR share a thought as you reflect on this symbol.

40 Ideas for Lent Rachel Held Evans has compiled a list of 40 ideas to help us in this season of reflection, penitence, and preparation. I especially like how she starts off the list with 5 questions. If nothing else, do the 5 questions.

A Lent Where #BlackLivesMatter: 10 Ideas for Black History Month and the White Church. Use the Lenten season to truly immerse yourself in Black history and the current reality of people of color… if a white congregation has truly observed Black History month, then it will have naturally found itself wading, likely deeper than ever before, into the themes of Lent, that season of self-examination and repentance.

Declutter 40 Bags. Focus on getting the unnecessary stuff out in one spot per day. Don’t go nuts and tackle five spots because you want to prove something. Don’t get all bummed out because you missed a day (or ten). Just focus on one. spot. per. day.

Do Lent Generously. 55,000+ people are doing 40 days of giving back, doing good and living generously.

An infographic list of 20 odd ideas for teens (or anyone really).

Lenten Wilderness Meditation Practice. Every day for 40 days, we invite you to spend 10-20 minutes OUTSIDE in prayer/meditation/just being (rain or shine)!

Photography. InstaLent Photo Challenge or this photo-a-day project.

Write 40 Encouraging Notes. 

Your Turn . . .

  • If you’re participating in Lent this year, what will it look like?
  • Have you tried any of the above ideas?
  • What would you add to the list?

Related Posts . . . Read about my 1st Ash Wednesday here.

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57 Thing To Do During my 57th Year

The Big DayMarch 12th, 2016
8 months to go.

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57 Things I’ve Done by March 2016

1. Bought Personalized 2015 Photo Calendar
2. Bought Personalized Stamps
3. Wrote 2 Blackout Poems
4. Movie Marathon: The Good Witch Films (7 of them)
5. Movie Marathon: Star Wars: Phantom Menace
6. Family Special Time (Lennon, Kadie)

57 Books I’ve Read by March 2016

1. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.
2. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
3. Inspiration Sandwich by SARK.
4. A Man of Grit and Grace: Paul by Charles Swindoll
5. Prayer: Life's Limitless Reach by Jack R Taylor
6. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
7. The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie
8. MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend by Rachel Bertsche
9. I'm Glad I'm a Mom: Inspirational Stories of Love, Laughter, and Everyday Life by Hearts at Home
10. The Great Divorce by CS Lewis
11. The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
12. Lay My Isaac Down by Carol Kent
13. A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
14. Living Oprah by Robyn Okrant
15. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
16. What's So Amazing About Grace? by Philip Yancey
17. Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter
18. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
19. The Blessing: Giving the Gift of Unconditional Love and Acceptance by John Trent & Gary Smalley
20. The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter's 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds by Rip Esselstyn
21. The Pursuit of God Paperback by A. W. Tozer
22.-25. Last Light, Night Light, True Light, & Dawn's Light (a Restoration Novel Series) by Terri Blackstock
26.. Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
27. The Hope Quotient by Ray Johnson

Stuff I’ve Written and When

Book of Braille Sculptures

By Elizabeth Symington

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