Showing posts with label Books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Books. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Enduring Waiting Without Anger

Well, I am guessing the evil spirits of Halloween or the good spirits of All Saints Day have worked their magic as I am almost back to normal today.  Just the rare achy night and not being able to run are my worst problems!  Still cannot see my inside ankle bone, but swelling is only a 10th of what it was.

I was totally fascinated by the gradual healing which I monitored daily.  I could not push it faster whether I rested more or exercised more.  Yet, every day, probably because I no longer work and can stay at home and have few distractions, I noticed a measurable improvement.  This slow healing reminded me of so many things in life that move forward at a snail's pace.  (Actually these last two days I have been able to noticed a faster improvement if I took two aspirin in the late afternoon and then put my foot under a heating pad...this blood rush did make things better more noticeably.)

  • The slow emergence and growth of a seed into a plant.  You can check it each day and see the growth, but there is nothing dramatic or surprising in its changes, unless some rodent eats it to the ground.
  • Losing weight requires endless patience and if you give up just one day you will not see measurable loss.
  • Babies change so slowly if you are able to study and watch them each day.  They look toward your sound, than at your face and finally are able over time to focus on your eyes and then respond to your smile.
  • Good poetry must be read slowly, then re-read (out loud for me) and then over time it grows on you and thickens with meaning.
  • Love, real love that goes beyond sex and eye candy, takes such a long time.  The melding of good and bad habits and trust happens over days, weeks, months and becomes a strong if not beautiful foundation only over decades after all of life's tests and challenges have been met.
  • Developing an expertise in something comes only with time.  Talent you may be born with, but honing that into an expert skill requires time.  Malcolm Gladwell ( a somewhat controversial author) in his book "Outliers" writes about how long it takes to really become an expert. "Gladwell explains that reaching the 10,000-Hour Rule, which he considers the key to success in any field, is simply a matter of practicing a specific task that can be accomplished with 20 hours of work a week for 10 years. He also notes that he himself took exactly 10 years to meet the 10,000-Hour Rule, during his brief tenure at The American Spectator and his more recent job at The Washington Post."

I do not think it will take me 20 hours of walking for 10 years to be an expert at walking, because clearly I never had the talent to begin with!  My point is that everything worthwhile seems to take a lot of time and therefore we all better learn patience.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Williamsburg, VA

I do not think I have ever met anyone who did not like the town of Williamsburg, Virginia after visiting there.  It is Disney World for American history buffs.  It is Disney World for middle class history buffs.  Most of the food and shopping are expensive, although, with care, it can be done economically. The historic area was surrounded by children from private schools on spring holiday.  I was there recently for a two-day garden seminar.  Something we elitists do when spring arrives and we have planted all that we dare to before the last frost date.

There is nothing more entertaining for a husband than following sensible women with sensible haircuts in sensible shoes around sensible historic gardens all afternoon.  There was some variety in attendance as some of the women attending were those charming 'Southern Bells' who wear lovely hats, Town and Country clothes and nice jewelry.  They knew and were willing to share their knowledge of the scientific names of most of the plants with a maple syrup accent as their fragile husbands in nice suits stood quietly by... my, my!  Even more exotic, the weather was perfect!

The historic district is romantically and accurately preserved with lots of Colonial architecture, some winding lanes, staff in Colonial dress doing Colonial era activities and or staffing the many cutesy little shops.  We bought two of the Early American jar birdhouses for our fence posts.  Did I mention that being there in the spring is wonderful?

Unfortunately, our favorite (and expensive) restaurant, The Trellis, was closed for renovation.  This is the restaurant that produced the famous Death by Chocolate dessert that has been mimicked by every high-end restaurant on the East Coast the last few years.  Fortunately we found plenty of other good places to eat.

On the last day, I found a true treasure.  There is a very small used bookstore called Mermaid Books located beneath a wine/deli restaurant on a side street off the Market Square.  Before this trip I did not know of its existence.  We had a long lunch hour to fill and were perusing the shelves for some good historic references on plants and gardening, stimulated by the recent lecture we had heard, when I came across this!

The bookstore owner actually hesitated in selling it to me.  He hemmed and hawed and then felt he must have another copy in the back, because he had planned on scanning it for the wonderful woodcut illustrations inside.  I told him to let me buy it and he could mail it to me when he was done scanning it.  He finally relented and let me purchase it then and there.  Now I will see if the memory of enjoying reading this book when I was much younger still holds true.  Have any of you ever read this book of fantasy? It is a male's version of a romance.  It is not copyrighted in the U.S. and is downloadable at the following URL, if your are interested.

Or you can search the title and find it online in several places.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Tag, Your It

Darlene tagged me for a meme. I do not usually play along with these, being a bit of a spoil sport,but Darlene has a most compelling blog, so I will do so. In addition, I actually played this meme once before...but it was on Facebook and I was reading All Fishermen are Liars. The rules are to pick the book nearest to you, turn to page 161 and copy the fifth sentence.

I will post the meme from the book closest to me right now...I am not actually reading it as it is a reference tool published in 1999 and already out-dated, Real World Digital Photography by McClelland and Eismann:
  • "a 2MB board provides 16 million colors up to 800 by 600 pixels (or 832 by 624 pixels on the Mac). If you raise the resolution of the monitor above that, you have to drop the number of colors that can be displayed at a time to 32,000 or fewer."
The book(s) that sit on my end table near my bed and which I am currently reading actually are:

From Onions to Pearls by Satyam Nadeen, a kind of weird book about awakening. I don't know if I am going to like it or not. Bought it at a used book sale.
Outliers by Malcom Gladwell. Another good book of his; this one is about demographics and genetics and the luck of the draw.

(And, of course, anyone who wants to play along, please do so.)