I’m On a Boat

So today marks a very special day here at Jane Austen Runs My Life. It is our fifth anniversary of blogging!

Yay!

Thank you all who have been a part

So I was trying to think of something for the fifth year-the traditional gift being wood.

I thought and I thought…and I had nothing.

All I could think of is what Nick says in Gone Girl:

“There’s no good gift for wood.”

So I started doing another post and when I was looking through my pics and I saw this:


Persuasion

And it hit me! Boats are made out of wood! Why not give myself a boat for my anniversary.

I thought I could do a little boat like in The Phantom of the Opera

And I didn’t want one that would sink like in The Little Mermaid.

I want something strong and sturdy. Something that has the ability to wage through every storm, obstacle, or army navy that comes my way. I want Captain Wentworth’s boat.

And if you give the girl a boat, chances are, she’s going to want a captain to go with it. And not just any captain, oh no, I want this one:

Yep, I want him with his broodiness, good humor, and amazing writing skills/romantic heart. How can you resist such words?

I only have one reply:

*swoon*

So thanks for the past five years of awesomeness, and here’s to many more!

For more of my anniversary posts, go to Here’s to Another Year

For more Persuasion, go to Read Jane Austen, Wear Jane Austen

For more anniversary celebrations, go to You Put the Jedi in Pride & PreJEDIce

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Hot Humid Days are Reading Days

I don’t know about you all, but it is HOT here.

It has been in the 100s, so not pleasant at all. This being the first day of summer means it will only get worse.

In fact I don’t want to do anything, and I most certainly do not want to do anything outside.

I mean it feels like you are stepping out into an oven. Immediately sweat pours out of every pore.

So what is a girl to do?

Iced Tea

Yep, it is the perfect weather to sit indoors enjoying your air conditioning, iced tea, and a good book.

For more on hot weather, go to Summertime

For more book filled posts, go to Book Club Picks: The Undoing of Saint Silvanus

For more Jane Austen Quotes, go to The Darcy Monologues: Part I, The Regency

 

Book Club Picks: Sandcastle Kings

So in my book club, we read a book for a month, then discuss it. There is no theme, other than with each month, a different member gets to pick a book, whichever one they want. I went first, so this next month was someone else’s turn. They choose:

Sandcastle Kings: Meeting Jesus in a Spiritually Bankrupt World by Rich Wilkerson Jr.

This book is part memoir about Pastor Wilkerson’s life, while mostly instructing how we can stop being sandcastle kings but connect better with God.

Sandcastle Kings, is the term Pastor Wilkerson uses to describe how we are when we try to control our lives instead of allowing God to have the control. We try and build and do all we can, but is like building out of sand; it is only temporary and too easily destroyed by everything. It make me think of the Doughnut Man song about the wise man and the foolish man.

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:24-27

In his book Pastor Wilkerson analyzes four different interactions with Jesus Christ in the New Testament:

  1. The Faith of the Centurion, Luke 7: 1-10
  2. Jesus Raises a Widow’s Son, Luke 7: 11-17
  3. Jesus and John the Baptist, Luke 7: 18-35
  4. Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman, Luke 7: 36-50

I thought the book was excellent and two stories really stood out to me:

The first was his interpretation of The Faith of the Centurion. 

When Jesus had finished saying all this to the people who were listening, he entered Capernaum. There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this,because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.” So Jesus went with them.

He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof.That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.”10 Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.

First we see that the Centurion respected the culture of others and instead of going straight to Jesus, he instead spoke to the Jewish leaders to have them request on his behalf. Then the Centurion sends a servant to tell him that he is unworthy to have him, unworthy to make such a request; this powerful man humbling himself before Christ, asking only for Jesus to say the word and knowing that his servant will be healed.

This spoke to me as how often to we have a cavalier attitude around Jesus and God. Often we don’t humble ourselves or treat Christ with respect, demanding, whining, sometimes only doing things if we will get something out of it. Here he, the Centurion, recognizes the power of God and also that the mercy He gives is not because of anything we do, but because God wants to. We need to remember that too, that God’s love is nothing because of what we do but because of His Love.

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:10

In another part, Pastor Wilkerson, shares a story about how people treat things that don’t belong to them. For instance, when one stays in a motel they throw their wet towel on the ground, they don’t make their bed, they make messes, etc. People don’t treat things they don’t own or borrow very well. I’ve talked about that before-

With this it made me think of how we treat ourselves. God created us and we belong to him, but sometimes we forget our worth and treat ourselves horribly.

I thought it was a good, quick read, and of you are interested in developing a better relationship with God, or looking to read at Luke chapter seven in a new way, than this book is for you.

For more on my book club, go to Book Club Picks: The Secret Of Chimneys

For more on Jesus, go to He Has Risen

For more C.S. Lewis quotes, go to Perfectea, A Perfect Cup of Tea or Tea for Two

So Sandcastle Kings is not the only King I am going to talk about. We are going to discuss the King of Kings as today is Palm Sunday.

Just kidding, the Palm Sunday:

We are starting off with the Triumphal Entry of Christ into Jerusalem from the Florence Baptistery by Lorenzo Ghiberti.

“As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’”

They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go.When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it.Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,

‘Hosanna!’

‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’

10 ‘Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!’

‘Hosanna in the highest heaven!’

11 Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.” Mark 11:1-11

This piece was only created because of a contest. In 1401, Arte di Calimala (Cloth Importers Guild) proposed a contest to create gates for the Florence Baptistry. Originally the doors were going to depict scenes from the old testament, the challenge to show the sacrifice of Isaac (Genesis 22:1-18). There were seven finalists which included Lorenzo Ghiberti, Filippo Brunelleschi, Donatello and Jacopo della Quercia. Out of them Ghiberti won the commission, although later art historians found Brunelleschi’s work to be more impressive with his use of perspective.

They later changed the doors to being from the New Testament and it took Ghiberti twenty-one years to complete the twenty panels of the life of Christ and eight on the saints. He was forty-two when he finished.

Ghiberti, like Duccio, tended to cram his space with figures trying to showcase every one involved. In the center is Christ seated on the donkey mentioned in the text, surrounded by his disciples and the Jewish people praising him. We can see one laying his coat down for Christ to walk over.

In the middle background you can see the temple and to the far right, the fig tree that occurs in the next section of the bible, (Mark 11:12-26)

While this scene is crammed with figures , not as realistic as we would see in later artwork, it still is a beautiful piece that evokes movement (although squeezed) and full of amazing details. Look at the beards and hair on the figures heads, the leaves on the fig trees, the faces, etc. Ghiberti doesn’t have a whole lot of space to work with, as each panel is limited by size, but he creates some amazing pieces.

I also like how the donkey looks out at you, reminding and almost challenging you with the question “what would you do for the son of God?”. Well, what would you?

For more depictions of Jesus’ entry, go to Entry into Jerusalem

For more depictions of Christ, go to The Death of Christ

Come With Me and You’ll Be in a World of Pure Imagination: Happy 100th Birthday Roald Dahl

So today marks the 100th Birthday of Roald Dahl.

Yay!

Yay!

He was such a big part of my childhood. I mean…how do I explain?

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I mean Matilda was the anthem for kids everywhere who loved to read a lot, and were misunderstood by others

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Then there was the wonderful magic and adventure of Charlie & the Chocolate Factory. I mean who didn’t want to visit Wonka’s and get a glimpse at all the wonder inside?

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

And you might think it weird that I did a pic from the film, but Roald Dahl actually wrote the script for most of it. The parts were rewritten later as the director thought that it was too much like the book, but the heart of the piece is him.

The sequel, Charlie & the Great Glass Elevator wasn’t as good as The Chocolate Factory, but still extremely fun. They go into outer space, save astronauts, and have to fight Vermicious Knids.

Space Mountain

The B.F.G. was such a great book about finding a family, as orphan and outcast Sophie finds a kindred soul in the runt of the litter and always picked on, B.F.G. (Big Friendly Giant).

Family

In James & the Giant Peach; dreamer James finds himself the owner of a gigantic peach and sets off to New York City with a crew of insects that range from a spider, to a grasshopper, to a centipede, and more. They have to fight countless obstacles and outwit his cruel aunts.

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In Fantastic Mr. Fox, a hardworking father tries to care for his family and the forest creatures; all the while trying to outwit the farmers of their wares.

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Sometimes he’s “got this” and other times he really doesn’t.

In George’s Marvelous Medicine, George is constantly tired of his grandmother’s abusive remarks. So he cooks her up a “special medicine” to release his anger, one that she actually drinks! It causes her to grow 20 times her size! Will George be able to change her back? And will he be able to remake the recipe to be sold?

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Boy: Tales of Childhood is a memoir and a great read. Dahl sure was a little scallion when he was growing up. These tales are extremely entertaining, especially the rat story.

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Happy Birthday Dahl and thank you for all the wonderful memories and moments you gave me.

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Such an amazing imagination was an inspiration to us all.

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Read a Dahl book today!

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For more on Roald Dahl, go to A Book Only a Reader Could Write

For more book-filled posts, go to It’s Always Tea Time

A World of Teas

Recently I was given a collection of five teas; A World of Teas by Tea forté. 

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As I was about to try them out, I started thinking, which books would best suit the teas? After all nothing goes together better than a good book and a delicious tea.

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You guys ready?

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Tea #1: Bombay Chai from Bombay, India

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This tea was spicy with layers of taste. The first thing that popped in my head was the scene from Sense & Sensibility (1995) when Colonel Brandon says the air is full of spices. This made me think that this book was the perfect pairing.

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Its range of spices and many layers make it just like Colonel Brandon.

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At first glance an average soldier, but as you read you see there are many parts to him. Plus it seemed as if it would be something he would drink after his time abroad.

For more on Sense and Sensibility, go to The Dashwood Sisters Tell All: A Modern Day Novel of Jane Austen

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Tea #2 Moroccan Mint from Morocco

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This tea was refreshing and cool, but also predictable. This was a familiar taste with no real surprises, however that didn’t make it any less enjoyable. For that reason, I choose Death on Demand by Carolyn G. Hart.

DeathonDemand

Death on Demand is the beginning of the series and follows amateur private detective and mystery bookstore owner, Annie Laurence, as she tries to figure out which of the many possible suspects killed an annoying, blackmailing, author. She is racing against the clock as if she cannot find the real killer, she will end up being thrown in jail!

While at times it may be predictable the character and stories always leave me coming back for more.

For more on Death on Demand, go to It’s Fantastico!
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Tea #3 African Solstice from South Africa

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So this one started off good, lots of flavor and taste; but then I had the rooibos. I don’t like rooibos, as for me it has a weird aftertaste that I just don’t agree with. Once those came in, this tea was lost on me. The book I thought would be the best pairing is Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

ThingsFallApart

Things Fall Apart is the story of Nigerian Okonkwo, an Ibo leader. The book chronicles his life, family culture, and ambitions. An accident causes things to derail for Okonkwo, and he is sent away. While he regroups and plans how to re-achieve his prior success, the British arrive with their influence and missionaries changing the structure of the villages. Will Okonkwo be able to adapt? Or will he fall under the British wheel of “progress”?

Like this African tea, I really enjoyed about two-thirds of the novel. The rooiboss of the the novel, for me, was the ending. I thought it built up perfectly, but ended way to soon, with enough falling action. It is like when you bake a cake and open the oven too soon, causing the cake to fall. That’s how the ending of this book and tea were to me, too soon.

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Tea #4: Sencha from Japan

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This tea at first seems simple and plain, but as you drink it you realize there is a whole lot more going on, and it has an incredible flavor. I finished this tea off first of all the others in the collection.

This actually made me think of two books. The first being Mansfield Park:

mansfieldpark

At first glance Mansfield Park seems simple and a lot say it is boring. Fanny is a placid girl, often being the tool of others instead of going after what she wants. However, as you continue reading you see that Fanny has a lot more to her character than meets the eye. She is often passive as she is grateful for being pulled out of a bad situation; but when one tries to force her to do something she really does not want to (marriage to Mr. Crawford, a first class rake) she becomes a will of iron and will not be bent. She completely encompasses the old Japanese proverb of being bamboo, willing to bend with the wind but not break.

The second being Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale

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Now I don’t want to spend too much time on this book as I am planning on reviewing it in the winter as part of my 30 Day challenge.

However, Hale is a master crafter as she takes the simple fairy tale of Maid Maleen and turns it into this incredible adventure full of bravery, romance, and supernatural elements.

For more on Mansfield Park, go to Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can’t Lose: Superbowl 50

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Tea #5 Estate Darjeeling from Darjeeling, India.

mr knightley drinks tea

I’ve had other Darjeeling but didn’t like them, I thought they were too sweet and didn’t care for them. However, this one was fantastic! It was an amazing surprise.

Originally I thought I would pair this with Emma, but instead I think two other books would be better:

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When I first had read the Jane Austen novels, I had heard of all of them (and seen film adaptions) except these two. Not only had I never heard of Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, it appears most fans of Jane Austen also don’t really know much about them. Why is that?

Anyways, when I first read them I was so surprised with how amazingly great they are that they knocked my list of favorites all about. Perfect match with a surprisingly fantastic tea.

For more on Northanger Abbey, go to The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen
For more on Persuasion, go to Captain Wentworth’s Diary

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After all:

blanceTea&Books

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For more on tea, go to My Trip to Teavana

For more book-filled posts, go to Post Approved

Folio Fatigue

Have you ever read a book and became so invested in the story?

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So much that afterwards you find yourself in a fog and not quite ready for reality.

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It’s like you’ve just been rudely awakened, and instead of doing things you have to, all you want is a comfortable chair and your book back.

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So the other day I was at one of my jobs. I run the front desk and if no one comes, then I get to spend my whole time reading a book.

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Sweet right?! Well the other day we had hardly anyone come in as there were a tone of Christmas parades, Christmas parties, Christmas craft fair, Christmas stroll, etc.

At Christmas

So I just spent the whole time reading.

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But then afterwards I had to run some errands before I headed out to the cookie exchange that I baked all those cookies for.

I went to the post office to mail some things, but it was like a fog had descended on my brain.

fog

I was still back in the book I had just finished and unable to answer questions immediately. I even put my pin number in wrong. All my mind could do was think back to the book I had just finished.

Oh well, I rather have my brain getting messed up on books than any other thing.

BookAddict

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For more book-filled posts, go to I Hate Those Kinds of People

For more on my everyday life, go to A Baker’s Four Dozen

For more Jane Austen Quotes, go to You’ve Got to Accentuate the Positive

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Wolf Science

Today’s Christmas Carol is Christmas Don’t Be Late by Alvin & the Chipmunks.

As a kid I grew up watching their TV show and films, so they were always a staple, and this song was definitely sung around the holidays. It was written and sung in 1958 by Ross Bagdasarian Sr., otherwise known as Dave Seville.

It is a funny silly song that every kid can relate to as they can’t wait for Christmas to arrive.

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For more Alvin & the Chipmunks, go to Werewolves Roam Among Us: Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman (2000)

For more on Christmas Don’t Be Late, go to On the 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd, and 1st Days ‘Till Christmas: The Music of Christmas

For more Christmas Carols, go to The 12 Days of Christmas

Crazy Book Lady

So you all know how much I love to read, right?

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So the other day I was at church when someone gave flowers to their spouse for their wedding anniversary. I was telling my friends that I think flowers are nice but they die. And what does that say about how you feel?

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I mean they are nice, but they really don’t send the right message. You know what would be better. A book.

Say What

Think about it, a book lasts forever (or typically longer than any human will and much longer than flowers). You can take it any where with you. Enjoy it over and over and over again. Yes, books are PERFECT !!!!!!!

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Yep:

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So as I was telling my friend this, a young boy overheard our conversation and said that if I loved reading books I was boring and was going to live the rest of my life alone.

How rude

So I guess instead of being a crazy cat lady, I guess I will be a crazy book lady.

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Sounds good to me!

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For more book filled posts, go to Preowned Perfection

For more of my everyday life, go to Walking on Pins and Needles