Sunday, November 13, 2011

It's been a quiet blogging about you?

I find it ironic that in the two weeks of HSBA voting, being nominated in both the Thrifty and Encourager categories, I've managed to post very little of either.  It's been a pretty quiet week here, and feels even quieter compared to the lives of those who have been paddling through rainforests or battling evil raccoons.  Or writing fifty-plus-page plans for a mission to Mars (the Apprentice).  My most exciting thrifty activity this weekend was bagging two trays of clearance tomatoes and cooking them down all afternoon to make puree.  (Mr. Fixit helped me put it all through the applesauce mill.)  I've been working on some ideas for the holidays, but to be honest, it all feels like it's coming at us a bit too fast this year...same as last year, when we didn't even get the Nativity scene up until New Year's.  Last year I had a lot of yarn, a lot of fabric, so I did a lot of crocheting and sewing. This year my stockpile of those things is depleted, and the gray skies and harsh winds are not exactly encouraging my pre-holiday creativity.  On the other hand, a trip yesterday to the discount department store (think Christmas Muzak and all that) was enough to make me want to wait a bit longer. [Creativity Boost Update:  Check out this November's annual gift-making tutorials at Sew Mama Sew, starting with this post.  New ideas every day this month.]

Now if the HSBA had a Tonstant Weader category, maybe I'd have more to say.  This week I've been working on  lectures by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch ("Q") that I've been trying to finish for way too long (the footer on my printout of the first few confesses a date of two years ago).  Like Helene Hanff, I find Q's writing forces me to go slowly, but  I'm determined to finish, eventually.  I also re-read an essay by Gene Veith, and one of my favourite posts I had printed out from Coffee, Tea, Books and Me.  They all tie in together somewhat.

So what have you all been doing in November?  Writing a novel in one month?  Growing a moustache? Planning Advent observances?  Planning an awesome first birthday party?  Sending family members off on a very important mission?

"C.S. Lewis in his classic essay "On the Reading of Old Books" recommends reading at least one old book for very three new books. This is not because old books are necessarily superior but because every age has its blind spots: "We all, therefore, need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of our own period.  And that means the old books." To break out of the narrowness of our own time, in which it is assumed that the way people today think is the only way that is possible, we must enter the thought-forms of other ages.  These, of course, have errors and narrowness of their own, to which we are less likely to succumb. But in order to transcend the limits of our own day, we must "keep the clean sea breeze of the centuries blowing through our minds, and this can be done only by reading old books.""--Gene Edward Veith, "Flex the Brain"

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