Thursday, April 21, 2011

April 21, 2011 One Reason I Love to Read

With my health problems, I have really taken to reading as a way to occupy my mind and as a form of learning and escapism from being in pain. I have always loved reading and learning but now it is one of my favorite activities and I really look forward to the evening before going to bed so I can read.

I try to always read my scriptures first because I know if I don’t I will get carried away with my latest book and get too tired to read them or not do it at all. That is a habit I don’t want to get into so I start with the ‘good book’ then move on. Sometimes I am in pain at night and I wake up, so I will read a bit then until I can relax and go back to sleep. I have a fear of sleeping pills, I am afraid of them. They make me groggy and it is really hard to wake up if I have used one. Also, in my not so happy times of pain I have thought of taking too many of them so I try not to use them at all.

Some of my favorite genres are historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, classics, Italian stories and subjects, and all things written by Hugh Nibley. I am also a fan of young adult books because they can tell entertaining stories and are generally clean from smut. I have a hard time tolerating smut especially when it does not have anything to do with the story! I can tolerate love scenes or whatever if it is a part that advances the script or shows the characters in a way that helps the reader get to know them or identify with them. But not just to have it in there because someone thinks it helps sell books, or because the author’s mind is in the gutter. I run from those types of books that have a ‘Fabio’ type guy plastered on the cover though!!! I am happy with my own love life, thank you.

I also have low tolerance for extreme cruelty when it does not advance the story either. Yeah, he or she is a real bad guy but I do not need to read many worded descriptions of how they did this or that evil deed. Just tell me that they did it, ok? Don’t give me every gory detail…cringe. I have sworn off some stuff by Tad Williams and Diana Galbaton because of cruelty and smut that did not have much to do with the story being told. After reading some of that stuff (and putting it down) it is refreshing to read a YA story and clear the palate, so to speak.

Presently I am working my way through the Tennis Shoes Series by Chris Heimerdinger, Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files books and The Ember series by Jean DuPrau. On and off over the years I have also been working through the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. It has been getting a bit too tedious though. There are lots of sub-plots and extraneous stuff thrown in, just get on with the story will ya? Now that Brandon Sanderson has written one of the books wrapping the series up, I have become interested in it again.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Mini Bird Feeder, a simple nature craft

Mini Bird Feeder

Supplies needed for each mini feeder:
1 clean metal lid from a frozen juice can (or other similar disk of metal such as a home canning lid)
Peanut butter
Boondoggle plastic threading/cord
Bird seed mix
1. Punch a hole in the top area of the metal disk, using an awl, ice pick or other similar tool.
2. Attach a length of boondoggle to the hole and knot, to form a hanging loop.
3. Spread peanut butter all over the metal disk, on both sides.
4. Dip the disk into bird seed so the seed sticks onto the peanut butter.
5. Hang outside, in a tree, for the birds to enjoy.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Carmina Burana

Fortuna roto volvitur: descendo minoratus; alter in altum tollitur; nimis exaltus.

(At the turn of Fortune’s wheel one is disposed, another is lifted on high to enjoy a brief felicity.)

We had the pleasure of attending two concerts at Weber State featuring the Symphonic Band and the Chamber Choir. (My son is in the Symphonic Band.) It is an enlightening evening when one can drink in the emotion of the music and enjoy people sharing their musical talents with one another.

The band and choir performed selections from a musical work by Carl Orff entitled “Carmina Burana”. Orff derived the inspiration for his work from a 13th century manuscript collection of songs and poems written by wandering poets, monks, scholars and travelling story tellers. This manuscript was discovered in a monastery in the Bavarian Alps and it contains over 200 songs and poems covering a variety of topics from religious contemplation to extolling life’s beauty, to the tenderness of love, to the cruelty of the fortune of life. Let’s hear other round of applause for the Chamber Choir and Symphonic Band.

O Fortuna, velut luna, statu variabilis (O fate changeable like the moon)
Semper crecis aut decrescis (waxes and wanes)
Vita detestabilis (hateful life)
Nunc obdurat et tunc curat ludo mentis aciem (you torture and pamper us as you wish)
Egestatem, potestatum, dissolvit ut glaciem (poverty and power, melt like ice)
Sorn immanis et inanis, rota tu volubilis (like a monstrous spinning wheel)
Status mabus, vena salus, simper dissolubilis (fame, fortune and good health fades away)
Obumbrata et velata michi quoque niteris (veiled in disguise, you attacked me also)
Nunc per ludum dorsum nudum fero tui sceleris (I yield to your cruel pleasure)
Sors salutis et virtutis michi nunc contraria (you have threatened my health and virtue)
Est affectus et defectus simper in angaria (you exploit my weakness and emotions)
Hac in hora sine mora corde pulsum tangite (so at this mournful hour, let’s play a tune to