Tag Archives: reading books

April Reads

I have decided for the month of April, I am going to engulf a portion of literary hours in Children and teenager titles. I had so many on both the “Unread” and “Reread” lists that it took me a while to eliminate to the bare minimum. None-the-less, I am pretty excited!!! ūüôā

Kindle_cartoon fluffylinks.com

Unread choices:

  • Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  • The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden

Reread:

  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

What about you? What are your favorite Children or teen books? Have any recommendations? ūüôā

PS. March reread was¬†Safely Home¬†by Randy Alcorn. I truly recommend it–Hebrews 13:3

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Thoughts on Paper

I’ve been a bit distracted lately. Not in a bad way, it just seems to be that I would rather have my nose in a book than anything else.¬†After finishing a few chapters at breakfast, I got up to start the rest of my day–randomly, I laughed out loud as I pictured the scene from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast where¬†Gaston is talking to Belle about having her nose in books…

Gaston: How can you read this? There’s no pictures!

Belle: Well, some people use their imagination.

Although books do cause my imagination to stir, most of what I read just enables me to think. Think deeply. I am not sure why I have taken a strong passion to reading so much over the past few months. The only “explainable” proposition I came up with in my mind a few days ago was that reading is a place where I hear everything. All the thoughts on paper: I don’t miss a word. There is no lack of communication, no frustrations in lip-reading, because I am in the conversation in reading the thoughts the author has penned on paper, like a conversation flowing.

Almost ironic as it sounds, becoming a more avid reader, I have seen myself emerge out of the “silent-reader-shell,” and start conversations about what I read, whether it is in person or through social media sites, such as Good Reads. So,¬†I suppose the greatest question I have been asking is simply,”Where is this going?” This new passion of reading, sharing, learning, growing: It’s the start of something. The passion kindles–it’s exciting, and I am ready to discover more of what lies ahead.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. ~Psalm 119:105

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I’m still here.

This morning was dark, rainy and grey. And the coffee had coffee grinds at the bottom of the pot. I sat at the table just sort 0f staring out the window. Even two cups of coffee¬†wasn’t helping much in getting me awake, not that it works that instant anyway.¬†Mornings are my favorite time of day: my typical routine usually means getting breakfast, than enjoying coffee with my morning readings. But this morning my mind was just wandering. Then I thought of something funny in terms of my cups of coffee and lack of writing blog posts this week–in a name: Cryin’ Bryan Dern.

I can’t speak for my sisters, but if someone asked me what our favorite pastime was while growing up, I would place listening to Adventures in Odyssey as the number one candidate.¬†In the summers, we could¬†spend hours listening to¬†episodes on cassette tape while coloring or doing crafts; Mom would eventually tell us “One more episode then you need to go outside.”¬†During the school year, we would listen to the episodes at 6pm over the radio.¬†It was always when Mom was cooking¬†dinner;¬†when she used the hand¬†mixer (yes, the old-school kind) it¬†would make the radio have bad static (it already did anyway.) Buzzz…”Mom!!!!!!!”¬†Poor Mom–even if it was an episode we had heard before,¬†the static confusion¬†seemed¬†like a traumatic event¬†and would result in this unanimous outcry.

I had a few favorite episodes, but one that stands out in my mind..that I thought of this morning…is titled, “Top This!” In the episode, there are two story lines:¬†Courtney’s cousin comes to Odyssey to visit for a few weeks. The¬†two cousins, who have a history of competition against each other, embark on an unintentional¬†“race” to see who can make the most money in fundraisers for church youth camp. Losing focus on the real reason for the fundraisers, Mr. Allen helps Courtney learn to not focus on¬†her own winning, but¬†being humble¬†towards her cousin and supporting her when she “wins” just by letting her win.

The second story line involves the outspoken radio host, Cryin’ Bryan Dern. The Odyssey 105 is in need of votes in order to save the station. Bryan Dern sets up this gig in which he takes over the studio and¬†turns the Odyssey 105 into a 24-hour Polka station. As soon as the public¬†hears about¬†Dern “taking the Odyssey 105 station hostage,” the votes begin to pour in–even though it is all fake. It is during this time, Dern has some of the best quotes. And I thought¬†of a few this morning that made me laugh.

Over the course of his 95 hours on the air, Dern gives away countless amounts of Polka cd’s while he¬†starts to get annoyed with the music himself. By the end, with his coffee enthusiasm long gone (in his 25th hour on the air, he already had gone with 30 cups of coffee), Dern¬†goes on to have a moment of silence for a caller’s sick hamster named “Binky;”¬†thinks that Polka music needs something–like, words; and eventually¬†gives¬†up the whole gig altogether when he can no longer think or see straight.¬†I am not as crazy as¬†Dern, but for some odd reason, his question over the air in his final hours– “Whaddaya wanna do?”–somewhat reflected how I felt this week about writing blog posts.

It is not that I’ve had nothing–my week¬†was full¬†of typical tasks that most often¬†I overdid myself. It is as if this “normal routine,” without¬†any doctor appointments or major health slides, has left me with a sense of¬†urgency: to do it all, before anything comes up again.¬†In reality, that attitude will only last me like Bryan Dern’s 95 hours on the air, because¬†there is no foundation if I stand¬†on my own.

“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”¬†~Proverbs 19:21 ESV

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Filed under Family Times, Funny Stories, Random, Uncategorized

Like Plain English

I have never been a Shakespeare fanatic. Mostly because I never understood the language of his plays. In high school, I read and watched a few plays (movies) in English class and did the homework discussion questions but always seemed to grasp the scenes differently than others in the class.

“So what is going¬†on in this scene here?” Or, “What does¬†this character mean when he says this?”¬†I would¬†sit¬†and¬†hope¬†that I would not be chosen. I didn’t want anyone to think that I was not understanding.

Don’t get¬†me wrong, I didn’t have this problem all the time–only when discussing Shakespeare or poetry (like his Sonnets.) I¬†love books,¬†English class, creative writing¬†and diagramming sentences.¬†However, if I made a¬†list of my favorite classic authors of all time, Shakespeare would not be in the top five. But I have discovered something that is helping me appreciate the works of Shakespeare. It is called, “plain English language.”

Barnes and Nobles could just very well be what I consider a great hangout place. It is almost like a huge library where you have freedom to chat and walk around with your coffee. I often go in to the local store just to look around at the bargain books, read a few children books and see what is newly released. In this meandering a few months ago, I headed towards the playwright section. Mom and I had watched James Stewart’s old film, Harvey, and I knew it was based on the play of the same name¬†by Mary Chase. I wanted to see if there was a copy of the original play. There wasn’t, but I found the play Our Town, by Thorton Wilder, and skimmed through the text remembering seeing the play in the Creede Repertory¬†Theatre and crying during the final scene. Excellent play.

What fascinated me the most in this section was the amount of Shakespeare plays available. I think all (even his Sonnets) were on the shelf. I didn’t bother to skim through them, but picked up this instead:

9781411401006_p0_v1_s260x420 www.bn.com

It is genius! This morning I sat at Beans-n-Cream sipping¬†my Pumpkin & Spice coffee and found that I was not only enjoying the play, but understanding the play. Shakespeare is on the left page–plain English translation is on the right page. Maybe this is considered a “cheat sheet,” but in my opinion…if it allows me to understand the text of someone who is considered¬†to be one of¬†the greatest writers in the English language, then it is worth the modern translation.

My everyday conversations can parallel much to that of a Shakespeare play. As much as I do my best to lip read, words and phrases constantly¬†get mixed up; I miss context or transition clues to next conversation; and I sometimes just say, “I have¬†idea what you’re talking about.” Lately, if it really important– after attempting fingerspelling, but obvious that¬†I still am missing one or two words–my parents will write it down. Like plain English and I understand.

When it comes to translation in communication, I think I use a lot of different methods: sign language interpreters, text messages, closed captions on television or movies, and a Captel service when talking on the telephone. After my hearing dropped and I returned the Phonak¬†Cros,¬†I decided a better investment would be a Cap Tel landline phone. Up until this point, I have been using an internet caption service through Sprint. It was free and accessibly convenient in college. But it is getting more inconvenient:¬†To make a phone call, I would have to start my computer, get on the site, log in, put my number in and then the person’s number who is receiving the call, press enter, wait for Sprint Cap Tel to call me, press send and finally¬†be set¬†up for the conversation.

It is not like a TTY or landline phone where captions are fast, accurate and promising not to cut out of a conversation. (Believe me, many times during chats with credit card companies gets frustrating as¬†you never get the same representative.)¬†I¬†will say that I found humor¬†though…because the captions¬†are based¬†on voice recognition, there were many¬†laughable “read between the line” moments.¬†I can relate–happens to me in real life daily.

But these woes are no longer my concern. I am now the owner of a Cap Tel captioned phone!!!

MI_6356www.adcohearing.com

It works fantastic and I finally understand the whole phone conversation! It provides accuracy and convenience (especially safety for emergency phone calls). On the bottom of the screen there are little boxes…the left is mine and the right is the person I am calling. When talking, the box flashes, so I know when to listen and when they are done speaking. My box flashes too, and st often in red, which means I am talking too loud. Ironic, since most¬†of the time people¬†say I talk too quiet. This phone allows me¬†to receive¬†calls, make my own appointments, and best of all-talk to my grandparents (as¬†well as¬†other family and friends.) Out of all the new accommodations made recently and still to come–this¬†is placed in the top five favorites, perhaps even as number one.

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply. ~Stephen R. Covey

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Filed under Adjusting to NF2, Books and Movies, Family Times

A Fresh Look

I don’t know if this is something hairdressers¬†learn in their training schools, but¬†how they can¬†take a woman¬†who comes¬†in the hair salon looking like she just got out of bed (which I practically did) and have her leave feeling completely fresh is beyond me. This was my morning.

I woke around 8am. To get my day started, I did my physical therapy exercises and then planned to read a little over breakfast.¬†The latter never happened.¬†Mom found me asleep on my exercise mat at 9:15am…late for my chemo dose, I scramble to the kitchen and take my medicines,¬†cram in a bowl of cereal,¬†fill my¬†Tervis of¬†coffee and then head out the door. I get in the car and state, “I think chemo is making me more tired.” I think it is true.

My body changing quickly over the past few weeks has¬†set me in a place where I have been going through insecurities about my physical state,¬†especially the beauty aspect of it. It is easy to hear, “You are beautiful!”, but¬†look in the mirror and¬†see¬†the opposite. Lies also wear you down…they make you tired. I was at this point¬†a few evenings ago.¬†After dinner, I decided to devote my evening just to reading with a cup of peppermint tea to help my sickly-stomach feeling. A few chapters later in my book, I come across this verse:

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, of self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7

I went to my bathroom mirror and excitedly wrote the verse with a purple dry erase marker. The verse does not say, “You are beautiful!”, but I think it is implied. Choosing¬†to believe it is now like a¬†fresh look at the day…will I leave empty or satisfied?

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Filed under Adjusting to NF2, Books and Movies, Random, Uncategorized