These Are the Books That Put Me Where I Am Part 1

As a kid, I was a hell of a reader. I remember going to the library in elementary school and checking out the same books over and over again. Middle school and high school I was able to buy my own books. I didn’t think it was a big deal, but people will tell me they remember me in school with a book in my hands or hunched over drawing. I’m grateful my parents always let me buy books from the scholastic catalog that they would hand out in school. It was like Christmas for me. Nowadays, a lot of parents don’t encourage enough reading. It’s the video game era and children are glued to the television. I know, I know. I play tons of video games, but I always make time to read. I have a library of books that contain a little bit of everything. It’s good not to limit yourself to one genre. Reading can make you more intelligent so why wouldn’t you read all the time? Nothing gets me more agitated than someone who is illiterate and cannot use proper grammar. If I just met a person and they tell me they have never picked up a book or hate to read, I immediately have a NOPE moment and walk away.

How can you not get excited from this?

How can you not get excited from this?

I’m glad books and reading are becoming more popular recently. I’m not glad that it’s books that are trash. Snooki? Really? For shame. Don’t get me started on Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey/Gray….whatever. Firstly, Twilight isn’t literature. It is a fanfiction by a middle aged woman. Secondly, Fifty Shades is a porn about a rich brat with mommy issues. Give me some credit though. I tried with all my might to read them. Now before I get assassinated by Twitards, let’s move on.

The first books I remember reading are the American Girl series.

These be mah bitches.

These be mah bitches.

The elementary school I attended had ALL the books. I read ALL of them….well, what they had in the mid-nineties. My favorites were Samantha and Molly. If you want your little girls to have a good influence, put these books in her hands. They have good morals and wonderful story lines. They teach what life is like with each girl: the struggles, the good times, historical events. I would want my daughter to read these instead of something by Justin Beiber.

After these I moved on to some Newberry Award winners:

Oh, this book... I'm gonna fangirl

Oh, this book… I’m gonna fangirl

I was soooo addicted to this book in school. It’s a historical fiction that takes place in 1832. The main character is a thirteen year old girl named Charlotte who is traveling from England to Rhode Island. She finds out that she is the only passenger and female on the ship, which is call the Seahawk. This girl was raised in an upper-middle class family. Meaning she never really had to work for her things, therefore; she’s narrow minded and naive to the world of those who are below her. It’s one of those transformation stories that has twists and turns all throughout it. It teaches you the hardships of being a sailor, what it’s like to sail, and describes what overthrowing a horrible power feels like.

The Feels

The Feels

This is the book based on the movie adaptation that came out in 2002. Wonderful movie. I loved Sissy Spacek as Mae Tuck. It’s a book that teaches the hard decisions accompanying immortality. No, not vampires. It’s about a family who stumbles upon a fountain of water under a tree in the forest. The water gives them everlasting life. Enter Winnie Foster who falls in love with the family and later learns their secret. She goes out of her way to protect them from a nasty villain. Soon she is left with a difficult decision. This book will bring you to tears.

Who doesn't love a good WWII story

Who doesn’t love a good WWII story

This book is based in Copenhagen, Denmark during WWII in 1943. It’s about a girl named Annemarie Johansen. I cannot give a short description because there is too much to say. So here is the Wiki entry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_the_Stars

I hope the schools still let children read stories from WWII in the future.

9780064402057

This book is the first in a five book series. If you’re looking for the second, it’s call Skylark. It is a bit difficult to read for some children, but the end result is worth it. It shows that if you have to deal with a drastic change, you might get used to it and eventually come to accept and love it.

So there are the first five. I’ll have another five ready soon. If there are any books that made an impact on you in your childhood, please share. Maybe someone will take your suggestion and share it with their children.

~Blessed Be

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Winter Solstice/Christmas 2012

Last year for the Solstice, Jesse and I did a small ritual where we welcomed the sun’s return. This year due to working schedules, we were only able to a quick and simple ritual at the end of the day. Usually we burn a Yule or Juul Log in the stove and celebrate with all sorts of food, drink and stories as it burns. In our current situation we could only do something small. Hopefully in the future we can celebrate the way we want.

Christmas was quite surprising this year. I did have to work on Christmas Eve, which resulted in my crying to the managers because some vile woman called me every insult imaginable. Retail is awful. Nonetheless, Jesse and I were able to visit family that night and enjoy each others company the rest of the evening. It was when I woke up that Christmas really set in.

I heard music coming from the television. Bing Crosby crooning in the air and rustling by the Christmas tree. I sat up to see Jesse had bought a CD and thought he would wake me up by playing it. Best way to wake up on Christmas morning. I was suddenly buried beneath wrapped presents he tossed onto the bed. I didn’t realize he had gotten so many.

So many goodies.

So many goodies.

Pictured are: A stuffed Fizzgig, a Chamberlain figurine, a tarot card bag, a pendulum made of quartz, a cast iron cauldron, WWII Monopoly, and special edition of the first season of Game of Thrones complete with Dragon Egg.

Oh it was wonderful. I got him a few things too. A leather bound, gold edged copy of The Hobbit; a special order from Paladium Books consisting of three or four RPG books (all signed), a tshirt and sketchbook from one of the artists; and finally a complete strategy book including DLCs of Skyrim.

I think it turned out to be a wonderful Christmas and I wish everyone else enjoyed theirs as much as I did mine.

Happy Christmas/Blessed Yule/ Happy Holidays

Lesson in Humility

A long time ago when I was going to church, our youth group was led by a husband and wife team. They were passionate about leading young people to Christ and showing them how to live a good Christian life. I had many wonderful times with them and I miss the love I was shown. Things have changed since I left the church and most of it isn’t for the best. They have their own little church outside of town. They aren’t what they used to be.

It’s also not the point of this post. I had to introduce them in order to get my point across.

I watched a video from someone whom I’m subscribed to on youtube. From there it took me to a Mormon channel that had their song with a movie about Jesus. Jesus was a great guy. He had good morals and loved everyone no matter who or what they were. He knew how to handle an argument and took care of those in need. It may be a faerie tale but I think the story of Jesus holds a good message. Anyway, in this video I saw the bit where Jesus was washing the feet of his disciples. For some reason I went back many years ago to an Easter service our youth group had on a Thursday night. The husband and wife were there and I believe there were other adults. They spoke of how Jesus loved his disciples and washed their feet to teach them a lesson. We listened to the sermon and I noticed the other adults were bringing wash basins from the kitchen. They had towels and anointing oil and carried them to the front where they moved the chairs to make two semi circles. At first I thought that we had to wash their feet. Second thought was,”The fuck?”

They split the group into two (boys and girls) and had us sit in the chairs. One of the strangest things that has ever happened to me, happened in the next few minutes. The wife went one by one to each girl and removed their shoes. I watched as she gently untied and pulled off shoes, sandals, socks, toe rings until our bare feet surrounded her. The husband was doing the same to the boys. It was kinda funny seeing the uncomfortable faces at a grown man touching their feet, but it wasn’t meant to be intimate. Our youth leader then moved the wash basin to the first girl and proceeded to place a foot inside. She then took a pitcher of warm water and poured it over the girls foot. I watched a grown woman wash a child’s feet. She wasn’t scrubbing away, but making sure the water cleansed the feet. She was keeping her head bowed and stayed on her knees as she lovingly washed the girls feet. She did this to every one of us.

When it was my turn, I couldn’t help but get this overwhelming sense of pure compassion and love from my youth leader. She washed my feet one by one and poured anointing oil over the water and rubbed it in. She used the towel to dry them and kissed the tops of my feet. For some reason I started crying. I couldn’t help it. This woman who was a teacher and a leader to us was prostrating herself and washing our feet, something only servants did for their masters. I was genuinely humbled by that. I could feel that she was absolutely sincere as to what she was doing. She loved us. She loved these little misfit children who came to church for a family we didn’t have at home. It wasn’t the fact that God compelled her to do it. It was the love she felt for us.

I honestly can’t say the same for the husband. I still see the wife out and about. She knows how I am and what I do, but she doesn’t let that get in the way of giving me a hug and telling me she loves me. Every time she sees me she never fails to do that. I believe she’s one of the few Christians left in my life who actually practices the teaching of Jesus. And for that, I thank her.