Thursday, November 18, 2004

What's in a name generator?

Here is something that is a lot of fun, if you happen to be a Lord of the Rings fan. It's a Hobbit Name Generator! Here are my results:

Your Hobbit Name: Lalyan Brandybuck of Westmarch

Your Elven Name: Thril-Gadia Felagund

Your Dwarf Name: Cecla , Queen of Khazad-dûm

Your Human Name: Gwithiel of the Woses

Your Wizard Name: Annatar Istar

Have fun!

Monday, November 15, 2004

Once upon a time...

...I had a book box. Okay, I still do. You're wondering what a "book box" is, aren't you? Well, just before graduating from college, I decided to make a real effort to get back into reading, because it is something that I have loved for as long as I can remember. But you know how it goes -- there is so much forced reading when you are going through school that there is hardly time for any pleasure reading.

As luck would have it -- okay, it's just because I find it hard to throw things away -- I had kept a "suggested reading list for AP English" from high school which listed 151 titles of literature including novels, plays and a few poems. Here is where you will discover my true...I don't know, nerdiness? Maybe just strangeness. I wrote each title and its author on a small slip of paper, folded it, and dropped it into a small cardboard box. The idea was to read everything in the box, but to make it more interesting, I would not know what I would be reading next. So, in mid-July, 1999, I held up the book box, shook it, and pulled out one of the slips of paper. Anna Karennina was my first selection.

I only had two rules for my book box. I had to read what had been drawn from the box -- no trading -- with only one exception, which was the second rule: I could not read the same author twice in a row. In over five years, I have only once broken rule number one, and even then I replaced the book I was currently reading (Tristram Shandy, yuck) with a much larger one: The Lord of the Rings.

I am currently reading Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor. I believe it is my sixty-second selection. I mentioned that the original list contained 151 titles of literature, but as I have told many people about my book box, they all seem to want to add something to the box. I ask for one suggestion, and I believe I've added every suggestion (minus one, but I'll get to it soon enough!) to the box. I know at one point there were about 206 titles in the box because of all the wonderful suggestions I was given.

I read, on average, one selection a month. That means that if I do not add to the list I could be done with my book box when I'm in my early 40's. But I'm assuming the reading will really slow down once we have kids! I don't think I'd ever want to be done with my book box. It is too much fun. I know that there are those of you who despise reading (something I find hard to understand), but there are also those of you who are like me and absolutely devour books, be they old musty library books, e-books, or audio books. And I have several friends and acquaintances who have since started their own book boxes, so I'm very glad to have passed the book box trend along to others.

I may be crazy doing this, but if you feel you have a great reading selection please let me know so I can add it to the box! And I would love to hear of anything you do that is similar to my book box idea.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004


I wish I had more to say in this post...but I don't. I just want friends and family to know how much I appreciate them being in my life. There are those who don't have so many wonderful people surrounding them, and much worse, they don't have God in their lives.

My weekend wasn't what I would have wished it to be, having not felt so good and having spent a majority of my time on the couch -- but I thank God that I am feeling better today! I hear or read about people who are in such incredibly trying physical circumstances, and compared to them I am in amazing health.

I encourage you today to keep in mind all that God has blessed you with. I need to do this so much more often, and it is so easy for me to complain when things go wrong...but there is a wonderful saying that goes like this: "The more thankful you are, the more you find to be thankful for." Have a blessed day!

Monday, November 01, 2004

The falling leaves

It's November already! Hard to believe...but I've talked before about time flying and all of that, so I'll spare my readers.

Yes, the Red Sox won, and yes, the Cardinals lost. I was mostly disappointed for Casey, who didn't even watch Game 4. I said, "Hey, you never know, they might be in the World Series again next year!" I've got to encourage where I can!

I never mentioned what a great time I had seeing my family weekend before last. What a blessing it is to have family members that will take time out of their very busy lives -- probably all busier than mine -- to see me and Casey. It was so heartwarming, and so good for my overall wellbeing. I got lots of wonderful hugs, especially from my nephew and my two nieces, and I'll take all I can get once again at Christmas. I came back refreshed and more content than I've been in a long time. We always want these little blocks in our lives to fall perfectly into place, and we think that until they do we cannot be fully content. So what is the answer? I love reading Paul's words in Philippians chapter four:

"...for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength."

What wonderful and true words. And God blessing me with my family, and their taking the time to come and visit overrode any other thing that was not "in its place" for me. How could I complain about anything else when I had so much love coming my way in those couple of days? It was so nice, and I now know that twinge of really missing loved ones and realizing all the more how precious they are. But with God as my strength, I can be content, even miles and miles away.

For those concerned about my "caffeine fast", as one named it (I think I'll stick with that one, Lori!), I am doing alright. I have to laugh at myself, and you may as well, because I've already made a trip to the coffee shop -- yesterday! -- for a vanilla latte. Mmmm! And those chocolate-covered coffee beans are incredilicious! But then I woke up this morning and knew that I would be having juice instead of coffee with my breakfast hot pocket. And actually, it wasn't so bad. After all, I have been on decaf, so it's not like I'll get the big caffeine headache. Some have asked, "But why are you doing this?" Oh, I don't know...I guess some people can drink coffee for years and years and never get tired of it. As much as I love a great cup of coffee, it was really wearing on me. It was even yucky sometimes. Yes, yucky. I was drinking it every morning out of habit, and I'd get to the bottom of the mug and just not feel good. I know that this may sound ridiculous to some, who are out there asking, "Why in the world didn't you just stop drinking the coffee?!?" Well, how many habits do we have that aren't helpful or productive in our lives, yet we continue them day after day? I guess it just became a habit that I had tired of and was finally going to take action. Yes, I will probably continue to visit the coffee shop on occasion, and you know you'll keep on (insert old habit here).

I mentioned the knitting earlier. I am thinking of starting a knitting club early next year. There are a couple of other girls interested, and I don't know exactly how it all will work, but it sounds like so much fun! And if we don't get much knitting done, we'll get lots of great visiting and fellowship with one another!

Happy November!
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