Friday Fave Five- March 11

FFF birds on a wire

Every Friday, Susanne over at Living to Tell the Story hosts Friday Fave Five. Participants share five favorites from the week in an  effort to focus our thoughts on our blessings.

1. Spring Weather  We had one last snow last Friday and it was lovely.

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I took the pups out for a hike along the river and got some lovely pictures.  But now it’s sunny and in the 60s & 70s and we’ve been to the park nearly every day this week.  Absolutely wonderful.

2. Sewing  My friend’s daughter is learning to make a quilt and she came over this week to baste her backing-batting-front together.  It looks so lovely and I’m so proud of her for working so hard on it. Unfortunately I didn’t snag a photo but will try to get a good one when we finish up the binding.

3. Audio Books  I’m not much of an auditory learner but in all the craziness of life I haven’t been able to keep up with my reading like I’d like to.  So I started borrowing audio books from the library (you can even download them to your phone/tablet via the OverDrive app) and even purchased a few on my iBooks account.  This way I can ‘read’ a book while doing dishes or driving to and from appointments.  I love it!  And the kidlets love it too- they’ve already listened to Paddington and an unabridged version of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. I’ve borrowed Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone from the library to listen to next.

4. Swimming  A friend invited me to swim at a local aquatic center with her.  The moment I hit the water my soul was refreshed. Swimming is the only sport I’ve ever been any good at and it’s the one exercise that makes me feel invigorated WHILE I’m doing it.  So grateful to have been reintroduced to it.

5. Sweet Puppies  They bring so much joy to our life, despite their constant need to be taken to the bathroom and their propensity to chew ev.ree.thing. Par for the course for a 100+ pound puppy, I suppose.  Each month they seem to get better, so that’s progress.  🙂 Ape will be 9 months old this week!

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Ape (8 months) & Shep (1 year)

Does anyone know where our puppies’ names come from? (HINT: the kids named them)

What are some favorites from your week?

Autumn, Anniversaries, and Book Piles

Happy First Day of Autumn!

I love this season so much, I got married on the first day of Fall nine years ago.

wedding day

My mother-in-love sent us the sweetest anniversary gift- matching Mr and Mrs mugs with “I found the one my heart loves” written on the inside.  I’ve definitely already used them and I love them!  Perfect for the ceramic year. 
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Of course, when Hubby unwrapped his, he exclaimed, “And Judas went out and hung himself! What kind of mug is this?”  I just love his quirky, hysterically funny sense of humor. It’s strange and sometimes dry, sometimes goofy… and it fits me perfectly. ❤

I have way too many piles of books around my house… and have passed the habit on to my son!  Every room in the house has at least one, sometimes more, pile of books that someone is actively reading at the moment.

What’s in my current reading pile:

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Deadly Companions: how microbes shaped our history – Hubby got me this for Mother’s Day (he totally gets me ❤ ).  I’m about half way through- it’s interesting. Certainly not the best journalistic take on bio-cultural systems and disease that I’ve read, but very interesting still. From this genre, I would be more likely to recommend The Great Influenza by John M Barry or The American Plague by Molly Caldwell Crosby.

Wounded Warrior, Wounded Home: Hope and Healing for Families Living with PTSD and TBI – Only a third of the way through this one.  It hits close to home and I need frequent breaks to process.  If you or someone close to you cares for a loved one with PTSD or TBI (or both), I highly recommend it.

On Intelligence: how a new understanding of the brain will lead to the creation of truly intelligent machines – Whoa, that’s insanely long sub-title.  This was a Christmas gift from my big brother, Dr P.  I’m about 2/3 of the way through this book and have found it very fascinating.  Hawkin’s premise is that the industry’s lack of success to develop true artificial intelligence is rooted primarily in its failure to define intelligence properly. He then lays out a theory of intelligence based on neuro feedback loops, etc.  It’s a bit techy at times, but definitely still accessible to the lay person (i.e. ME ).

To Repair the World – I haven’t actually started reading this one yet.  It’s next up.

Reimagining Global Health – Fantastic book.  As with all Paul Farmer books, I highly recommend it.  This particular book is geared toward people in the public health sector and reads more like a text or compilation of articles.  For a more all-around or non-technical look at healthy systems, disease and poverty, I’d recommend one of his other books, such as Infections and Inequalities or Pathologies of Power. Pulitzer Prize winning author, Tracy Kidder, also wrote a fascinating biography about Paul Farmer called Mountains Beyond Mountains.

Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God – my bible study is reading this and I’m really enjoying it.  I love all Tim Keller books, though.

I’m also listening to Til We Have Faces by CS Lewis and Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell on audio book.  I listen to Til We Have Faces while I paint or knit and Hubby & I listen to Outliers in the evenings after the kids are in bed.  I definitely have enjoyed and would recommend all of the Malcolm Gladwell books I’ve read thus far!

I need to work on finishing up some of these books so I can start the next ones! 🙂  I am really enjoying audio books right now because I can work on other things as I listen. Today I’ll be having a finishing party- weaving in all the ends for quite a few finished projects and hopefully finishing up Til We Have Faces.  Tomorrow I’ll give you a peek at what’s on my needles these days.