A Perfect Excuse

Snowy weather with a forecast of freezing rain:  It’s the perfect excuse to sit by the fireplace in my pjs with a good book.

It is the perfect excuse to have a lazy day.

fireplace

Six Books and Some Quiet, Too

library-books

I brought the kids to the library yesterday, for the first time in forever.

It was worth the wait.

I’d often thought of bringing them over the past few years, but their ages meant that I’d either spend the entire time shushing them, or I wouldn’t have a minute to look for books myself. This time was perfect. I showed them the kids’ section, where to sit, and where to find me. Then I wandered around the corner to browse the shelves.

They loved it so much, they want to come back every week.

So did I.

Relaxation

reading

The evenings are beginning to be warm enough to enjoy our screen house now.

I curled up in the papasan chair with my Oprah magazine last night. With the sun on my back, the warm breeze, and the sounds of the birds, it was a moment of pure relaxation.

I <3 Books

i-heart-books

I stopped at the secondhand store to pick up materials for my mixed media project.

There is something nostalgic and charming about old books. I spend most of my time picking up hardcover books, opening the flaps, and looking for interesting covers.

I was not disappointed. The colours and patterns were artfully aged. The pages were wonderfully discoloured.

I love new books with their crisp covers and never-opened pages, the promise of another world. But I ❤ old books, too, with their untold stories and their vintage character like a tattered and loved teddy bear.

Librarian

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I’m a teacher, but now I’m also a librarian.

I took a leave of absence a year ago, and have been doing some casual work since. Until recently, I was only on the substitute list for teaching. But I also have experience with office work (so I asked to be added to the admin. assistant list), and I have always thought I would love being a librarian (and so I also asked to be added to that list).

For a few weeks, I am now a part-time librarian. I spend a few hours a day in a quiet room filled with books.

This makes me very happy.

This Book

elizabeth-gilbert

I am absolutely captivated by Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book, The Signature of All Things.

It required a real effort to tear myself away from it to get some house cleaning done, but I managed it (all the while thinking of the book). My kids have been playing together fabulously for the weekend, allowing me many quiet moments absorbed in my book.

This book has quickly risen to the top of my all-time favourite books, along with Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible. It is the perfect literary mix of adventure, romance, and travel, and I am loving every word.

Stories for Children

books

As a teacher, the thing I have always loved most was reading stories to the students.

I am on leave this year, but have done a few days here and there as a substitute. While I don’t miss the hectic schedule, I always enjoy those few moments when stories come alive. They take us to another world for a minute. Stories let us travel to places unseen, meet unique people, and engage our imaginations.

Maybe that is why I am so determined to write one…

Not at Bedtime Stories

not at bedtime stories

I’ve never much been one for bedtime stories.

By the time bedtime arrived, especially when my kids were small, reading a book was more of a chore than a sweet nighttime routine. I was always exhausted and as ready for bed as they were.

Besides, reading books in our house always meant questions. My children engage in books – and for that I am grateful – but this has never allowed for a quiet story before sleep.

Earlier in the day though, I am happy to read. With children now aged 8 and 10, I am incredibly thankful that they still enjoy having an occasional book read to them.

Plus now, they sometimes read them to me.

Glossy Pages

glossy pages

There is something about a new magazine, pages all glossy and unread, that I just love.

I start by flipping cover to cover, page by page. Then I go back and read each article while I sit with my coffee.

Some are better than others.

But even when they are shallow and fairly useless, I enjoy every page.

(Pictured is a snippet of the article, “How I Got Over My Empty-Nest Syndrome” by Ann Bauer – neither shallow nor useless – from Ladies Home Journal, September 2013.)

The Writing Life

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Sometimes, it is the words on a page that give me pause.

I love to learn from books, to gather ideas from books. At the moment, I am reading Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. I am slowly beginning to think of myself as a writer, aiming to have published work. But here is always that tiny inner voice, that is cause for hesitation.

This book makes me believe that I can, that I am.

It is the definition of inspiration.