I could talk books all day long! Well, sometimes I could talk all day long on a lot of subjects. But this is definitely a favorite topic.

I haven’t read a book outside of the bible in ions. But I listen ALL. THE. TIME. I am in awe of the opportunities we have to access information and entertainment. It’s the ultimate juggle. Listening while I do housework, yardwork, putting on my makeup, making my bed, weeding the vinyl in my JoniTDesigns, working on a Juggle Source project, riding my bike, or taking a walk.

I sometimes use Audible, but mostly I use Overdrive through the library system. It’s a great way to preserve money. It does mean that sometimes I’m listening to two books at the same time, because if I don’t finish it within the 21 days it’s loaned to me, I have to request it again, and while I’m waiting, I’m on to another book.

Most of My All Time Favorites are books I have purchased and stay in my very small library.

Right now I’m listening to On Writing, by Stephen King, and Moneyland by Oliver Bullough.

My interests are all over the place, but mostly I gravitate toward non-fiction.

These are the books I’ve documented or remembered. They’re not in any particular order. I often forget to document them; I’m sure I’ve missed some.

I didn’t indicate the topics or why I like the books, so I’m happy to tell you if you want to ask. I love love love discussing books! Ironically, I’m not in a book club, largely because of time, but equally, because I have so many I want to read, and I don’t want to be limited to a book I’m required to read by the book club.

So, Happy Sunday, and Happy Reading, or Listening!

PS: Darn… I forgot to add the other book that MADE ME A READER!

“Don’t Stop the Carnival” by Herman Wouk.

Happy National Lipstick Day!

I haven’t written in a couple of months. I just can’t think of anything to write about.

Ha. There’s so much to write about, my inexperience and writer’s block can’t narrow down the enormous content in the limited time I find between Juggle Source and JoniTDesigns.

But hallelujah, it’s National Lipstick Day! No controversy, just happy, beautiful, and colorful lips. Don’t you love them? There’s a color for every mood and motion. How can you not love lipstick?

Andriyko Podilnyk

Tamara Bellis

Nojan Namdar

Amanda Dalbjorn

Ken Mages

Karly Jones

I think this was a Russian name, so this is the handle! @eugenivy_reserv

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t mind controversy. I love conversation, exchanging ideas and opinions and could talk until I’m red in the lips. But these days everything seems to turn to discord that evolves into attacking each other, so lipstick it is!

My very good friend who lives in NZ hates lipstick! I think she’s possibly got lipstick PSD from a bad experience that involved a clown as a young child. Yes, LT: Comment on my blog and prove that it’s true!

I guess lipstick does invoke a tiny bit of controversy:

MASKS! When masks began to emerge, like many people, I resisted them. I stayed home and obeyed orders and went out only when necessary. I didn’t think there was a future for all the people who were making them, and I figured I needed one, maybe two.

I now rotate about eight, the bulk of which I got from this Etsy site.

It didn’t take too long for me to see I was wrong, in particular after a shopping trip to my local Safeway, where I left nearly in tears. It wasn’t so much because we had to wear masks. It was more about what it symbolized: that this thing called COVID 19 was serious and our world was in trouble, and that was before George Floyd was killed.

Our masks are an inconvenience to which I’ve adapted, and quite well, considering the grumpiness about them that I had to overcome. Mostly my annoyance is the hassle of remembering it, washing it, but yes, not seeing our faces. It’s true that we can’t see each other smile. And if we’re wearing sunglasses like most of us are on 90 degree days, then our faces are downright covered.

But I wear my lipstick anyway. Not that I look at myself much during the day, but when I do, seeing color on my lips makes me happier. It’s like my wardrobe seatbelt; I just don’t feel like I can go down the road without it. Or these days, down the hall.

And you know, mask or no mask, I just think that somehow the energy I get from my beautiful colored lips comes through. It surges past the mask, into my eyes, and affects the tone of my voice when I say hello. When I talk to the cashier, or pass someone on the way into the store, I think they sense my lipsticked smile; because when they smile, I know it, too.

So, Happy National Lipstick Day. Besides being a favorite thing, it’s also useful for mask hygiene. It forces me to wash my masks often, ensuring that they are well cleaned and ready for another day.

Photo Credits to the photographers of Unsplash (names under each photo). Since COVID, I am far more grateful for the access I have to resources on the Internet.  Unsplash has thousands of photographs they allow us to use for free. Thank you, Unsplash photographers!

 

 

Right now we’re getting a lot of lists with recommended books to help us understand the black community from their perspective.

I haven’t seen a few books that I’ve read over the last couple of years on those lists. All three of these books I couldn’t stop thinking about during and after I read them. Well, I need to correct that. I mean, “listened” to them. Listening to books is my go-to these days. I hope to return to reading one day, but for now, this is the way I can achieve productivity in my life, and still be blessed with the pleasure of a book, which is, kind of amazing.

The three books are:

  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin – Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • The Invention of Wings – Sue Monk Kidd
  • Born A Crime – Trevor Noah

Here’s a brief breakdown of each:

Uncle Tom’s Cabin

I had never read this and finally got to it last year. It had a profound impact on me. This is a classic piece of literature for good reason. There were so many quotes that left me in awe. Having been written in 1852, it withstands the test of time. Harriet’s message then is the same as today, that with God’s love, we can overcome prejudices and treat all people with dignity.

I get teary-eyed as I recall the main character, and how I fall so short of the grace he gave everyone, including those who abused, mistreated, and tortured him. The story is so rich with character development and perspective that provides insight into the personalities and circumstances, I felt I was part of the story. So much so, I wanted to know more about Harriet Beecher Stowe. I wanted to understand how she came to be so capable of seeing what others could not see, or maybe, how she came to articulate what others would not articulate, in spite of slavery being commonplace, and without the benefits of communication mediums that we enjoy today.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin is at the very top of my list.

The Invention of Wings

This book was recommended to me by a teacher acquaintance when I worked at my school. Julie said I would love this book, and she was right. It is a much newer book than Uncle Tom’s Cabin, but takes place in the early 1800s, before Uncle Tom’s Cabin was written, making the young women in this book even more heroic. Sue Monk Kidd writes as if she knew the two sisters around whom this book is centered.

The story is of slave owners, in particular a young girl who is awarded her first slave as a birthday gift. You read that right. Ugh. It’s painful to even write that.

You will watch two young women emerge from within the confines of Charleston culture and their privileged life. You will witness the family upset as the young women explore their curiosities and upset the norms of their family expectations, while simultaneously working toward the rights of women. They were the original protestors before protesting was protesting. They had no crowd, no social media, no protection; just them and their convictions.

I don’t know why this book isn’t on every list.

Born A Crime

I totally stumbled on to this book a couple of years ago when I was looking for something on the Washington County Library Services site that I wouldn’t have to wait for. I got lucky and came across this book. I had no idea who Noah Trevor was. When I told my son about this great book I was listening to, I discovered I was out of the pop culture loop, because Bradley said, “Everybody knows who Trevor Noah is.” Oops… he’s got one of those names that works both ways. It’s Trevor Noah.

Trevor Noah was born and raised in South Africa during apartheid. His mother is black, and his father is white, which was not cool, hence the name of the book. Trevor narrates his story on audio, and while the story is good on its own, listening to Trevor narrate his own story is like listening to an eight-hour comedy show, except that it’s not funny, yet he is laugh out loud funny. He shares his intense Christian upbringing in a way that shows utmost respect for his mother, but one can’t help but laugh at the absurdity of some his illustrations. Trevor is relatable on so many levels. I am grateful for the illumination of his personal experiences as a mixed-race person in South Africa. I don’t follow him, but I’m a forever fan.

I finally made it up in time to see the sunrise. I love being up early, but getting up is another story!

I can’t shake the image of the video I saw of George Floyd. I was late seeing this because I had turned off the TV and extra social media for a couple of days in an effort to focus. Now that I have seen it, it’s definitely difficult to focus.

I think about the emphasis we put on tolerance. But tolerance isn’t enough. Tolerance doesn’t welcome and embrace. It only scratches the surface of what our creator asks of us. Tolerance doesn’t switch courses for the sake of another person. Tolerance doesn’t interrupt one’s bias, sacrifice, or swallow pride. Tolerance is something we do for something, not someone. For many people, tolerance fulfills man’s capacity and is a disguise for something far greater.

God did not say, “Thou shalt tolerate your neighbor.” He went deeper and further than we can imagine. He commanded us to love our neighbor as ourselves. When asked, Jesus said that all the law, and the prophets, hang onto this.

This is not love as we know it. We cannot grasp this kind of love without seeing it through the eyes of our creator. We get a glimpse of it in 1 Corinthians 13:1-13We will begin to understand it when we practice it.

Tolerance is not enough.

It’s here; Mother’s Day 2020, and the lily has opened. I’ve been willing this bloom all week to hold out for today. I’m not sure it’s opened any further since yesterday, but I’m claiming that for Mother’s Day it’s bigger and better. In the midst of a pandemic, if a little imagination, or exaggeration helps us see the forest through the trees, or see a lily increase its bloom size by a minuscule amount, then hooray for us. That would be called a victory.

The sun is shining, my yard is blooming, and my favorite show is featuring Bobby Flay and my favorite breakfast.

I will see my kids with some spacial distancing later. I can enjoy this day.

I know moms whose day is not much different today than it was yesterday. That while I’m rejoicing in lilies and sunshine, they can’t see beyond a child tugging on her PJs, asking for breakfast, the potty, or protection from an aggressive sibling. She does her best to suppress guilt as the TV blares in the background, and in zombie mode pours breakfast into a bowl.

She needs extra prayers. She needs extra help, extraordinary strength, and words that propel her to the next step, the next day.

She needs to be reassured that cereal is ok. That TV isn’t the bad guy, and that being there is what her child needs.

That she is the Horton who hatches the egg.

OK… I did reposition the book for the photo shoot. It’s often underneath on the lower shelf.

When Bradley was born we received the book, “Horton Hatches the Egg.” (Jan…if you read this, it’s from you). It is my favorite Dr. Seuss book. I won’t go into how much I love Dr. Seuss, but I would be happy if someone like him appeared on my EHarmony matches. The book sits on my coffee table.

The most beautiful message of all are on these pages. It’s about love that Paul speaks of in 1 Corinthians 13:1-7 (even though it’s difficult to stop at verse 7). Love that leans in and perseveres. Love that requires sacrifice of self and pride.

The opening page says:

“Sighed Mayzie, a lazy bird hatching an egg: “I’m tired and I’m bored

And I’ve kinks in my leg

From sitting, just sitting here day after day.

It’s work! How I hate it!

I’d much rather play!

I’d take a vacation, fly off for a rest

If I could find someone to stay on my nest!

If I could find someone, I’d fly away-free…”

You can see where this is going.

Horton the elephant (a dude) is the someone who rescues Mayzie’s egg, when she decides to take a rest, and doesn’t return. I know I should save this for Father’s Day, but it doesn’t matter who you are, when it is you who commits to the nest.

The final pages end with Horton hatching an Elephant Bird. The crowd says:

“My goodness! My gracious!” they shouted. “MY WORD! It’s something brand new!” IT’S AN ELEPHANT-BIRD!!

And it should be, it should be, it SHOULD be like that!

Because Horton was faithful! He sat and he sat!

He meant what he said

And he said what he meant…”

…And they sent him home HAPPY, One hundred per cent!”… that’s how Seuss wrote that, not me (which is why I love him… oh, sorry, not getting into that).

So for that mom who doesn’t have a crowd, or a person, applauding and affirming all she is and all she does: YOU ARE ADMIRED. One day, you will be sent home happy…

ONE HUNDRED PERCENT.