"Language, as well as the faculty of speech, was the immediate gift of God." ~ Noah Webster

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pick Up A Book

Wow, it occurred to me recently that I can read just about any book I want to at any time I want. I have mystery books, adventure books, political books and animal books….and since closing my bookstore, I also have a lot more time to read these days. I have biographies and history books, kid’s books and classics. Honestly, I know I don’t have to read, but sometimes I get just a bit overwhelmed with the fact that all these books are at my fingertips, and I would be a fool not to read as many as is humanly possible.

Anyway, I have a storage unit full of books, but what did I do last week? I went out and bought a brand new one. I won’t tell you which one, but I will tell you it is a political biography and you would have to be a bit of a political junkie to enjoy this book….But guess what? I’m enjoying it and finding a lot of truth in it. If I am really struck with it by the time I am through with it, I will probably want to share it with everyone I can, so you will see a post here about it.

I also just finished a book by Mark Fuhrman about the Terri Schiavo case…Silent Witness. If you are unfamiliar with this story, this is the euthanasia case that took place in our nation a few years ago and it was hugely controversial. This is a heartbreaking story written from the perspective of one who has no political agenda, but rather investigated and wrote from a detective’s perspective. You will remember Mark was the lead detective that was demonized on the O. J. Simpson case, merely from being in the position he held. That is a whole other story, but Mr. Fuhrman does a great job telling this story of a young woman that basically ended up with less Constitutional rights than criminals on death row. This is a book I would highly recommend, not just because of the obvious issue that it covers, but also because it provides some transparency into the sometimes messy aspects of our judicial system.

Sometimes I will read two or three books at a time. Depending on my mood, I may want to escape for a time into mere adventure; or I may want to learn something, or read something to reinforce what I already believe. (Yes, I do, do that!) But the “escapism” books that I am enamored with at this time are the books written by James Oliver Curwood. Mr. Curwood was an author during the early 1900’s. He has a series that was written mainly for teen boys, but they are so well written and heart-felt that anyone will enjoy them. He was a bit of an environmentalist of his time, but his is a practical ideology that does not infringe upon the rights of mankind, or place the environment in any type of importance above humans. It is a healthy environmentalism that is really as things used to be and still should be. Almost a Biblical perspective of being good stewards and taking care of our world and all that Mother Nature (rather, our Father God) has blessed us with. Anyway, some of the more popular books that he has written are: Kazan, Baree, Son of Kazan, and Grizzly King. Kazan and Baree are books for boys about a wolf family and they are absolutely captivating. He writes from his own knowledge as an environmentalist, but also a hunter which he had eventually given up. Grizzly King is written in the same light, but of course about a grizzly bear. Another one of my favorites of Mr. Curwoods, is Flower of the North. This one is a bit of a romance probably written for the mom’s of those teen-age boys (Like me!) that he was capturing with his wolf series. It has adventure, native history, romance and a good old fashioned happy ending. I am hooked on these books written in an era when it seemed all the world and its created beings were in balance.

Added to my list of recent reads is: Sarah Palin’s - Going Rogue; John Ashcroft’s - Never Again (there is that political side again); and a true story about two young ladies that were forced into a mistaken identity….which is exactly the name of this book. Mistaken Identity is an amazing story that will speak to you in that small whisper that is God’s when He is trying to tell you something important.

Though written from a Mormon’s perspective, I also recently read Bringing Elizabeth Home by Ed and Lois Smart. I’m not sure I gained too much from this one. I think the Smarts may have written because they had been requested, rather than feeling any sort of need to write. They clearly were very protective of anything that might be revealed, as they should have been. There was little to gain from their statements of faith, and there was little more information than what we already knew through the massive news coverage of this story. Still it was heart-warming to read about a family reunited.

Ok, well that is a bit of what I have been doing. Not terribly interesting, but I had to quickly think of something to write about, because I had also written a political opinion that I am not sure anyone is ready to endure. That may still show up on my blog at some point, but it will come with a “viewer warning”. But hey after all, those of you that know me, know I have an opinion on just about everything; but I do want to spare any from reading what I write that may not think like I do. ;-)

One more favorite book before I close: It is not one I have read recently, but it is a favorite of mine that I will mention….well, just because. The title of it is: They Thought for Themselves by Sid Roth. This is a book of short testimonies by Jewish people that have completed their faith by coming to know our Savior, Jesus Christ. It is filled with love and hope and life and mission. It will give you pause to think about a number of things as you read. But for me, the biggest thing I took away from it was why throughout history we have seen such a destructive, relentless campaign to destroy the Jew. This book brings awesome clarity to that discussion, but I am afraid that is for another post as well.

For now, I must close…but not without a suggestion to pick up a book….

Recent Reading List - (in no particular order)
  • A Christmas Carol ~ Charles Dickens (re-reads)
  • The Grizzly King ~ James Oliver Curwood
  • Kazan ~ James Oliver Curwood
  • Baree, Son of Kazan ~ James Oliver Curwood
  • Flower of the North ~ James Oliver Curwood
  • A Time of Departing ~ Ray Yungen
  • South to Alaska ~ Nancy Owens Barnes
  • It’s All About Him ~ Denise Jackson
  • Faith Undone ~ Roger Oakland
  • New Wine or Old Deception ~ Roger Oakland
  • When New Wine Makes a Man Divine ~ Roger Oakland
  • Cross and the Switchblade ~ David Wilkerson (re-reads)
  • The Vision ~ David Wilkerson (re-reads)
  • Bring Elizabeth Home ~ Smart/Morton
  • Silent Witness ~ Mark Fuhrman
  • The Quiet Little Woman ~ Louisa Mae Alcott
  • Never Again ~ John Ashcroft
  • Together ~ Betty White
  • The Alaskan ~ James Oliver Curwood
  • Ruby Ridge ~ Randy Weaver (re-reads)
  • Our Lord’s Life ~ Charles Dickens
  • Mistaken Identity ~ Cerek/Van Rhyn
  • Going Rogue ~ Sarah Palin
  • Deceived on Purpose ~ Oakland
  • Courage and Consequence ~ Karl Rove
  • The Alaskan ~ James Oliver Curwood
  • The Country Beyond ~ James Olive Curwood 
  • Spoken From the Heart ~ Laura Bush

Sunday, March 14, 2010


An old friend that I went to grade school and high school with stopped by to see my mom and dad the other day. We were neighbors with his family back then, and he still has a home on his folks’ old property. My parents and the old friend had a good visit and at some point the conversation turned to some of the other kids that he and I had gone to high school with. My old friend (whom I will call “Jesse”) commented how one of the smartest boys in our class ended up being a janitor. The conversation went to the subject of intelligence in school not always paying off. When my mom was telling me about the visit and conversation - though my mom didn’t know - I knew exactly who my old classmate meant. At our ten year high school reunion, the planning committee had sent out little questionnaires asking about our lives so others would know where our lives had taken us since high school. I remembered that this A-student classmate had answered “janitor” on the question asking about his current occupation.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Mountains are Home

I saw the first bluebird of the season a day or two ago. They are early this year; but it is no wonder with the mild winter we have enjoyed, and the early spring that seemed to arrive even before winter began.

As soon as I saw the little female bluebird, I sent Matt out to clean the boxes for me and get them ready for the little families that will soon be coming. It won't be long before we will have Western Bluebirds and we will have Mountain Bluebirds. The Mountains are my favorite. Maybe, because they are our state bird; but more likely they are my favorite because they are such a reminder of my childhood. Growing up, we were always able to see the Mountain Bluebirds where we lived. As the area grew and more and more houses sprung up, we no longer saw the little birds. When my own family moved to our current home, our area was a favorite spot for both the Mountains and the Westerns. For me, it was like coming home to see these birds in my yard; and I might add with the melodious warble of the meadowlark in the background.

I also favor the Mountain Bluebird over the Western I believe, because they are usually the underdog. When competing for a box, it will usually be the Western that wins, being just a bit more aggressive than the Mountain. Once, a Mountain has nested however, there will be no battle that little mama won't win. And daddy will be right there with her. When the little ones are ready to fly, we will watch with rapt attention and protection. The bluebird family will stay together for the duration of the season.

I will never forget the first year we were in our new home. I was at the kitchen window the day mama decided the babies were ready to fly. I counted 4 small males that flew that morning. As I was watching these little guys find their wings, I saw one fly into the side of our house. He was a bit stunned for a minute, but he was soon OK. To my horror, I also saw my dog, Bella pick one up in her mouth as he landed in the yard for a bit of a rest after his first attempt at flight. I ran out the door yelling at Bella to drop the baby bird, which thankfully she did. Fortunately, Bella did not puncture the baby, but his wing seemed a bit twisted. I straightened the wing, and put the little bird directly under the box that was in our field. At the time, I wasn't sure the family would come back to the box, but that was all I could think to do. Just a few minutes later, I saw that one of the awkward fledglings had flown into our garage, as the garage door had been left open. There he was sitting on top of the garage door opener, obviously scared to death. Matt got a ladder and the little bird let him pick him up in his hands. We put this little guy back under the box where we had put the other young fledgling.

We had an appointment that morning and so we had to leave directly. I hated to leave, but we had done all we could. As I was backing out of the driveway, I saw the daddy hover over the spot where we had laid the inexperienced babies. They say these birds won't hover, but that is the only word I can use to explain his actions. It looked like hovering to me. I took great comfort in knowing that daddy knew where his babies were.

When we arrived home from our appointment, I ran out to the field to see if the nestlings were still where we had put them. They were both gone...I looked around the box to see if they had wandered anywhere around the box. They were not there.

The Lord blessed us greatly that year, to allow us to see that there were four young male birds fly out of the box that spring day. We watched a family of 6 (five males and one female) for the rest of the summer make their home around our yard. I believe the Lord allowed us to be there to aid the little family and He allowed us to see the "fruit of our labor" for the rest of the summer. It was awesome!

The next year, we changed the direction of that particular box, so when the nestlings are ready to fly they won't be flying directly into our yard. Every year we look forward to the arrival of these delightful creatures of God's creation. I think some of my friends and family think I am "a bit over the top" when it comes to these birds. I never thought I would become a "bird lady", never fully understanding birders. But I can't help it; I love watching the bluebirds, not only because they are so beautiful, but because for me they represent coming home.

The mountains are God's majestic thoughts.

The stars are God's brilliant thoughts.
The flowers are God's beautiful thoughts.
~Robert Stuart MacArthur

And if I may add:
The birds are God's joyful thoughts.