March Reflections

March has been springy one day and wintery the next. But I am glad spring is officially here, and soon the weather will settle in to consistently warmer days. We’re enjoying the blooms and buds appearing in the yard and around the neighborhood. Both the warmth and new life are welcome after the cold, drab palette of winter.

We celebrated my husband’s birthday this moth as well as “Pi Day” on 3.14 (really an excuse to eat pie). We didn’t do anything for St. Patrick’s Day this year. In the past I’ve made corned beef and cabbage or at the very least played some of my Irish Tenors CDs.

Otherwise, it’s been a fairly quiet month. Except for car situations. Jason had one tire blow, then had to place an order for new tires, then found the place he orders from had been hacked and closed down. It took a while, but he finally got his tires. Then Jeremy’s car was sideswiped by a hit-and-run driver, thankfully not while he was in it. His car is in the shop now. Then when Jim got out his lawn mowers, both the riding and push lawn mowers didn’t work. After ordering some parts, changing spark plug, etc., he got both of them going.

Timothyisms

While energetically pretending that a cardboard box was a boat in a storm, Timothy said, “My abs are popping out.”

Creating

I just made one card this month for Jim’s birthday. He has taken Timothy fishing once and would like to again soon. So I decided to base his card on fishing.

masculine birthday card about fishing

This Cricut silhouette reminded me of this photo from the former fishing venture:

Watching and Listening

We had some hits and misses in the viewing department. One of the not-so-good ones was The Angel of Auschwitz. The premise was good and based on a true story: Stanislawa Leszczynka was a Polish Catholic midwife who was sent to Auschwitz after being arrested for helping Jews. There she delivered over 3,000 babies. Unfortunately, one of the nurses (?) in the camp was tasked by Mengele with drowning newborns. I didn’t remember until after the film that Mengele was called the “angel of death,” and then realized this film meant to contrast his activities with Leszczynka’s. But I think the film’s makers tried to be too artsy about it. There were a lot of scenes where we didn’t know what was going on, like the agonizingly slow opening.

One that would have made a good candidate for Mystery Science Theater mocking was Flight World War II about a modern-day overseas flight that passes through a weather anomaly and ends up over Europe during WWII. Even suspending disbelief over the premise, there were so many improbable situations and plot holes, we ended up laughing through the last half, even though it wasn’t meant to be a comedy (warning: 3 or 4 bad words).

The only one I recall that we did like was Casablanca. Somehow, even though I was familiar with some of the iconic lines and scenes, I had never seen the whole film. I enjoyed it.

Jim also watched This Beautiful Fantastic with me–not his usual style, but I wanted to see it again, and he tolerated it. 🙂

One night while Jim was away, I watched Finding You, which I had seen recommended by a few people. The film is based on a book by Jenny B. Jones (which I haven’t read), who usually writes Christian YA novels. There is no Christian content in the film except a verse on a tombstone and a vague mention about prayer and not being alone. But the film was sweet and cute. A violinist, failing to get into the conservatory she wanted, takes a course in Ireland. There she meets a teen heartthrob actor doing his latest film with his supposedly girlfriend/costar. The violinist immediately doesn’t like or trust the actor, but circumstances throw them together. She finds there is another side to him–but which is the real man?

I also enjoyed watching Letters to Juliet one night when Jim was away. The premise is based on a place called Juliet’s Balcony in Verona where people leave letters asking advice about their love lives, and “Juliet’s secretaries” answer them. In the movie, an American girl, Sophie, flies with her boyfriend to Verona. He’s a chef and busy looking for supplies, touring vineyards, etc. She goes by herself to Juliet’s balcony, meets the secretaries, and joins them for a while. She finds a 50-year-old letter in a crevice and answers it, leading to the recipient traveling to Italy to search for her long lost love, and she asks Sophie to accompany her. My favorite part is that Vanessa Redgrave plays the older woman, and her long lost love is played by Franco Nero, her real-life husband. They were Guinevere and Lancelot in Camelot in 1967.

Also while Jim was away, I watched the new remake of West Side Story (some great parts and music, but a little vulgar in places) and the 2016 Anne of Green Gables (with Martin Sheen as Matthew). I don’t think any version of AoGG will ever beat the 1985 Megan Follows series. This one was ok in the first half, but changed the “puffed sleeve dress” scenario and the way that Matthew and Marilla decided to keep Anne, plus added in some scenes not original to the book.

Reading

Since last time I finished (titles link back to my reviews):

  • 100 Best Bible Verses to Overcome Worry and Anxiety, a devotional book by various authors. Good.
  • Be Successful (1 Samuel): Attaining Wealth That Money Can’t Buy by Warren W. Wiersbe
  • The Enchanted Places: A Childhood Memoir and The Path Through the Trees, both by Christopher Milne, A. A. Milne’s real-life son, reviewed together here. The first book tells of Christopher’s childhood; the second tells of his adult life. He enjoyed the fame of being “Christopher Robin” at first, but resented it later on.
  • Just 18 Summers by Michelle Cox and Rene Gutteridge, a novel about several families in different stages of child-rearing, realizing the time is short to have an influence on their kids.
  • The Small House at Allington by Anthony Trollope (audiobook), the fifth in his Barsetshire Chronicles, had numerous threads, but the main plot focuses on a widow and her two daughters who live in a small house on the property of her brother-in-law, who owns the manor house and never liked his sister-in-law.

I’m Currently Reading:

  • IBS for Dummies by Carolyn Dean and L. Christine Wheeler. Just picking this one up here and there. I need to get done with it.
  • Another Gospel?: A Lifelong Christian Seeks Truth in Response to Progressive Christianity by Alisa Childers. Excellent so far.
  • Be Restored (2 Samuel & 1 Chronicles): Trusting God to See Us Through by Warren W. Wiersbe
  • I Must Decrease: Biblical Inspiration and Encouragement for Dieters by Janice Thompson
  • Ten Time Management Choices That Can Change Your Life by Sandra Felton and Marsha Sims
  • The Last Chronicle of Barset by Anthony Trollope (audiobook)

Blogging:

Besides book reviews, Friday Fave Fives, and Saturday Laudable Linkage, I’ve posted these since last time:

  • How Well Do We Know Him? We like to be known for who we truly are. But do we know God as He truly is, or our preferred version of Him?
  • We Don’t Know What to Do. When we don’t know how to pray, we can borrow Jehoshaphat’s prayer: “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
  • The Dangers of Success. “There are scores of books, articles, blog posts, podcasts, and sermons about dealing with trials and suffering. And that’s good, because we need them. But I don’t know that I have ever seen any material about the dangers of success. What danger can there be in success? Especially success that we’ve prayed and trusted God for?”
  • How Do We Adorn the Doctrine of God? I explored this question after coming across the phrase “adorn the doctrine of God our Savior” in Titus.
  • Comforted by the Ways God Uses Us. I felt out of my element much of my time caring for my mother-in-law. God taught me much through my weakness and inability, but recently I saw ways He used the skill set and personality He gave me.
  • From a Weight of Care to a Weight of Glory. When Paul says “this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18), he’s not minimizing our affliction. He’s saying the glory will be that much greater.

Writing

I actually have gotten back into the book I am working on! I’m wrestling with the hardest chapter: it has so much information, I am trying to figure out the best way to present it without having readers’ eyes glaze over (or worse yet, causing them to skip the chapter).

As April comes to a close, we look forward next month to more warmth and growth as well as Easter and Timothy’s birthday.

How was your March?

(I often link up with some of these bloggers.)

8 thoughts on “March Reflections

  1. Wow — that’s a lot! A few thoughts — I love the card; even the hats are right 🙂 I’ve been to Juliet’s “actual” (I know she’s fictional) balcony in Verona, and at the time at least, I don’t think the letter tradition was happening. I too saw the new WSS and enjoyed it mostly. I’m with you on loving the Megan Follows AGG too. I remember taping it on a VHS tape back in the ’90s and showing part of it to my sixth graders. I loved it so much and wanted them to experience it too.

  2. It does seem that I just read your February recap!!
    Thanks for the recommendations. I am always on the lookout for things to watch with Calvin. Chuckled over your husband’s “tolerance.”

  3. Pingback: Friday’s Fave Five | Stray Thoughts

  4. I’m so glad you’re working on your book! May the Lord give you wisdom as you ‘wrestle out’ the hard chapter. Thanks for the movie recommendations, I’ve been wanting to watch a movie, but I hate trying to find one that’s worth watching.

  5. Wow, Barb, for a quiet month I’m exhausted reading your recap! Great reads, watches and listens! Adding several to my list! Great work in getting back to your book, may God give you wisdom in wrestling that hard chapter out in a way that will bring it all together!

  6. Car troubles are never fun. Sorry to hear of Jason and Jeremy’s troubles but glad they weren’t bodily affected in either situation. You make the prettiest cards! I’m sure everyone appreciates that you personalize them in such special ways.

  7. It is amazing how quickly these monthly recaps roll around. Your cards are always so unique and special to each person! May your writing all come together in a way that will be enjoyed by many!

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