Thursday, September 14, 2006

What I've Been Doing

I have had a lovely few weeks here. We had the great pleasure of visiting with our dear friend and my former roommate over the past week. She was not so much a houseguest as a temporary family member. Houseguests don't wash your dishes or care for your child while you take a shower. Nor, I might add, do they comfortably cream you in card games.

While she was here, we took the opportunity to play tourist in our own area. We went island hopping in the San Juans, spending several hours each on Orcas and San Juan Island. It was so beautiful. We really do live in one of the most beautiful places on earth, I'm sure of it. One of the best parts of our day in the islands was that my parents-in-law (who happen to live in the town that houses the ferries that service the islands) babysat all day. No strollers!

So we had a grand time. To our great delight, our friend will likely be moving back to this area in the very near future. (So for those of you who know her and didn't get to see her, she'll be back shortly.) In the meantime, I have been assigned a few books to read and a few videos to watch, and I am looking forward to them all.

In other news, I am becoming rather frustrated by a lack of volunteers. I coordinate the volunteer nursery workers at my church. This is a job that I typically enjoy as it affords me the opportunity to get to know many wonderful people, including kind volunteers, parents of young children, and of course, my personal favorite, young children themselves. Lately, though, it has been like pulling teeth to get anyone to commit to working with the kids. I'm quite concerned about the upcoming Wednesday night program. It begins next Wednesday and there are no nursery workers! And I can't do it because I work with the older kids on Wednesday nights; otherwise I would just do it myself. Sigh. I have heard that George Muller, the great founder of many of world's Christian orphanages in the 19th century, never once asked anyone for money to fund his charities. In fact, I believe he never even made anyone aware of his monetary needs. He simply prayed, and the needs were met every single time. What faith! Sometimes I think I should do that. Not ask for volunteers, not make an announcement at church that we are short-staffed; just pray.

A few weeks ago, I received a message from my friend Janene that stated she had taught herself to knit. This was very inspiring to me. We have another friend who is quite an expert knitter (in my opinion), and she makes the loveliest scarves and socks and sweaters and hats, as you can see if you go to her site. Well, Janene and I have long admired her work, and Janene has crocheted for many years, so she took the plunge and picked up some knitting needles and just taught herself to knit. I admire people who are not afraid to learn. So I took my cue from Janene and went to the library in search of some good "how-to" crochet books. (I said I was inspired by the knitting; that doesn't mean I'm ready for it. I am inspired by people who climb Mt. Everest, therefore I might walk around Greenlake.) I found the most wonderful book that explains each crochet stitch step-by-step. Most of them show you two stitches and then say, "Now you can crochet anything with simple variations of these two stitches." That is technically true, but if you don't know how to make those variations, it doesn't do you a bit of good. So this book that I found explains all of the variations in great detail. And I am crocheting a small afghan! I am quite excited about it. The pattern calls for smaller stitches, softer yarn, and softer hues than I am using. It is supposed to be a baby blanket. I decided to use slightly larger stitches, not-so-soft yarn (it's less expensive, and I did not think it prudent to invest in high quality, expensive yarn for my first project), and a deep red yarn that matches the stripes in my sofa. It will just be a throw or lap blanket, not a baby blanket. I am really enjoying the project.

Now I want to read the biography of George Muller. I have it, and it is a small book, but I have never read it. So many books, so little time!


Bob said...

Assigned books? Movies? Do share the titles.

Holly said...

Indeed! The books are John Adams by David McCullough, The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King, and The Brothers K by David James Duncan. Actually, she recommended The Brothers K some years ago, and I have read about half of it, but have not finished it yet.

The movies are the older, six-video version of Pride & Prejudice. In all fairness, Janene has been recommending this to me for some time. I believe the unofficial plan has been to have a "girls' day", or probably multiple days, with the usual three women, to watch the videos. It just hasn't happened yet. There was another BBC series that was recommended, but I cannot remember the name of it, so I'll have to get back to you on that one.

Bob said...

Hum. I've read one of those books (John Adams was quite a good book, and I have a copy if you would like to borrow it) and I think that version of Pride and Prejudice to which you refer is the A&E version. I've actually been interested in seeing that since I've heard it's the definitive translation to the screen, though I think I would give the "girls' day" aspect of it all a miss.

Holly said...

Ah, yes, you are right. It is the A&E version.

Well, it wouldn't have to be a girls' day, although I'm not entirely sure we could recruit many other men. But we don't paint our nails or anything like that. You would be welcome. However, I did buy the series at a used bookstore last week, so if yarn and tea are not your - well, your cup of tea, then you are welcome to borrow the videos to watch at your leisure.

Denny left the McCullough book for me to read. Thank you for your offer. I was going to ask if you had read it. She said it was the first of its kind that she had read, and she really enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to it. I don't read enough biographies.