Sigh....there are so many things I should be doing today. That is a word I do not like, I'd prefer throwing it out of the dictionary. However, I can feel the affects of busy-ness coming against me today so I must give in and rest. Otherwise, I'm running the risk of getting sick again just before Christmas. I will do one necessary load of laundry, keep up with the dishes, make something easy for dinner...otherwise, this is the day to go through some of those library books while propped up on the living room sofa.
Last night I skimmed the new book by Sarah Ban Breathnach called Moving On. I loved her first book (Mrs. Sharp's Traditions) and I even got a lot out of her second (Simple Abundance) even though it was so New Agey I was uncomfortable.
It is from that book I learned about making a scrapbook of items that I love (a LOT of old Victoria photos went into that scrapbook). I have written about it before but to summarize quickly, I bought an inexpensive old fashioned scrapbook, the kind used for decades, and I've taped in it pictures that show things I love along with some actual scrapbooking stickers that I had leftover from a couple photo albums finished a few years ago. I even have some poems printed out and put in the scrapbook. It is like having a small vacation when I brew tea and spend an evening looking through it.
Some items are: as mentioned, old Victoria magazine pictures (which I had cut out when I could no longer move them and I'd put the pictures in a file to be used someday), a complete article about Tasha Tudor, pictures from decorating magazines that show scenes that bring me peace and make me happy, a couple pictures of old houses and scenery...visual peace and serenity (as well as ideas). I still have my idea files but the pictures in the scrapbook are those which make me smile as much as give me ideas. They create an atmosphere I can visit whenever I like.
Back to the book, Moving On...I was only able to glean one useful bit of information. I thought it true that behind any physical clutter in our houses, there is often some kind of emotional clutter going on. Other than that, I found I could give it a once over skimming and set it aside. With each book since Simple Abundance, she spends more time in pscho-babble, New Age, Goddessy kinds of chatter that is of no help to me. I actually find myself praying for her, that she know the true Source of Beauty and Peace. This book will be returned to the library soon.
Two other books were perused this morning and set aside to come back to later when I have more time (to take advantage of their very helpful advice). They were just the opposite of the former book, they were sweet surprises! The first is by Mary Ann Esposito (of PBS's Ciao Italia) called What You Knead. It takes three basic yeast doughs and turns them into "Dozens of Breads, Pizzas, Savory Pies, and Desserts". I love the photographs which show, in detail, how to make these breads. This book will go on my list of books I would like to add to my personal library. Although she emphasises making bread and kneading it "from scratch", she also gives instructions for each recipe to be made in a sturdy stand mixer.
The second book is called from a house to a home, simple ideas and projects to enrich everyday family life by Jemima Mills. (What is it with these books and their lack of Proper Capital Letters...it seems to be the rage these days in some decorating books?) I absolutely adored this book. It is the very first "decorating" book I have ever read that shows pictures of rooms as they really are (one picture showing a child's backpack having been flung against a table). It contains not only decorating ideas but things families can do, pages of ideas for children's tea parties (and adults!), crafts that really make things we can use, etc.
As I was looking through the pictures, I noticed a definite British touch to them. Sure enough, the recipes were with ingredients in metric (but American measurements, too). Then I finally had the sense to read the inside of the dust jacket and found the author is an editor at the British Country Living magazine (one I adore perusing at Borders and I have even purchased a couple over the years for particular pictures to put in my above mentioned scrapbook). If your library does not carry this book, get it from inter library loan!
I still have a stack of library books to go through this evening (decorating and cookery-type books). Perhaps tomorrow afternoon I can get started on the fiction which I brought home. Once finished with these, I must go on that self imposed library fast (with the exception of books needed for schoolwork, of course)...at least for a few months. I have a stack of my own books that need attention.
Now, I am going to make some peppermint tea, cinnamon toast, and perhaps slice some cheese. Then prop up some pillows and pull a throw over me (which will attract a certain striped cat) and read for awhile longer.
Picture by Billy Jacobs, allposters.com