By other things, I mean reading, baking brownies not from a box, and focusing on everything I've been neglecting like my closets and budget.
I just finished Miss Hargreaves, a fantastic novel by Frank Baker. From the Amazon description:
When, on the spur of the moment, Norman Huntley and his friend Henry invent an eighty-three-year-old woman called Miss Hargreaves, they are inspired to post a letter to their new fictional friend. It is only meant to be a silly, harmless game—until Miss Hargreaves arrives on their doorstep. She is, to Norman’s utter disbelief, exactly as he had imagined her: enchanting, eccentric, and endlessly astounding. He hadn’t imagined, however, how much havoc an imaginary octogenarian could wreak on his sleepy Buckinghamshire hometown.
I'm currently reading a book that may kill many brain cells before building them up, but it's worth it: Scripture, Culture and Agriculture: An agrarian reading of the Bible by Ellen F. Davis. Last year I read Wendell Berry's latest collection of essays, Bringing it to the table: On farming and food, and Davis's book is taking the conversation several steps deeper into the agrarian worldview of the biblical authors and readers. It's very difficult for me to read, mainly because my own modern, Western worldview is so antithetical in many ways, but it is a challenge worth taking, and I have already been greatly encouraged through the reading.
And when I can't handle that, I switch back to a book I read 6 years ago and loved enough to read again. A passion for the impossible: The life of Lilias Trotter is a biography about a truly incredible woman who left the upper class life of Britain at the end of the 19th century to pursue a life in Algiers, North Africa. She spent her life loving the people of Algiers and the northern Sahara, and this is a beautiful retelling of her story.
Now that Brandon is finished with school, we are working on our plans for the coming year (nothing anywhere near concrete yet, so I will leave it at that). With those plans comes a need to go back over things like our budget (because we actually didn't have one until a few days ago), and I'm working on making that as simple as possible. One website that I've heard others talk about, that really may be as good as they say, is Mint.com. I've tried using other budgeting websites before but they've all been really
And of course those brownies. Sorry, no direct links. It's a recipe from The Joy of Cooking. If you don't own it, you should. It is one of three cookbooks that I actually use and has a wealth information beyond basic recipes.
I hope you are all enjoying the beginning of this new year -- and new decade!