Books, Baking and Movies.

Regardless of the things that loom large in our lives, collectively, or as individuals, normal activities (eating, sleeping, bathing, reading, etc), still go on. We are living through a season in which everywhere we turn, we’re being reminded of the current crisis. In my opinion, history will reveal that our true crisis is whatever follows this pandemic more than the pandemic itself, but that’s just my opinion. One thing for certain is that thinking about this stuff constantly will do little to mentally prepare us to live a sane, healthy, positive life. With that in mind, here are a few normal living type things we’re doing of late.

On the literary front:

  • Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer is taking longer to read than I anticipated given that it is such a short book. However, I keep feeling the need to step away from it for a bit to really ruminate on a section as I finish reading it. I hope to have a review up sometime next week.
  • The Plague by Albert Camus. I’m almost finished with this one, which I am enjoying and it usually wouldn’t take me so long to finish a novel. But when our library dropped Tucker Carlson’s book on my doorstep, I dropped Camus and hastily read through Carlson’s Ship of Fools. Here is a review if you haven’t read it. I really appreciate Tucker Carlson’s very honest, common sense commentary. I think I just read it to hear someone else say, “No, Els. You’re not crazy!”

On the homefront:

  • I baked the most phenomenal loaf of bread yesterday, and have eaten two and a half slices of it. I also ate two of these “healthy” gluten-free chocolate chip oatmeal cookies last week, and I’m becoming painfully aware of the risks of being at home so much when I’m used to being out and about more.
  • I have been working out consistently, mainly because the walks and jogs are the only time I get away from home most days. That still didn’t stop me from gaining two pounds in March. Gotta get back on the good foot with regard to my fitness regimen.
  • The kids are doing a decent job keeping up with their studies. We’re not without challenges, but that’s mainly because their teachers are doing such a great job of utilizing technology to stay connected to them. Homeschooling has evolved in our house since the elementary years when I did all the heavy lifting.

On the cinema front, here a few movies we’ve watched over the past few weeks:

  • The Case for Christ, which is the true story of atheist journalist turned Christian apologetics author Lee Strobel. This is definitely a Protestant story, but it’s still a good story. Strobel and his wife Leslie are happily married and loving the life they’ve built. In a moment of crisis, a Christian woman is there to help them, Leslie is drawn to the deep faith of the woman and soon converts, putting their marriage in serious jeopardy. Strobel sets out to prove Leslie that all of this is nothing more than a fairy tale, and the rest, as they say, is history.
  • Signs, a 2002 alien movie which we still own on DVD in this the year of our Lord 2020. Mel Gibson plays a farmer and former Episcopal priest, deeply estranged from God after the untimely death of his vibrant young wife. He’s left with to raise their two little children along with his younger brother who moves in to help him. When a group strange extraterrestrial beings arrive on Earth with hostile intent, events unfold that change the trajectory of his family’s life and rekindles his faith.
  • Miss Austen Regrets. This was supposed to be the story of Jane Austen in the aftermath of her failed engagement and as she gained a bit of notoriety for her now-classic novels. It turned out to be a long bit of feminist propaganda as Jane finally notes that she didn’t live her life alone. She lived it “free”.

That’s a little of what’s been happening around the homefront, in the shadow of the lockdowns. Life goes on. The sun still rises in the east and sets in the west. There is still cooking and cleaning and learning and reading and loving. And praying; lots of praying.

You know. The stuff that really makes the world go round.

Stay healthy, sane, and positive!


10 thoughts on “Books, Baking and Movies.

  1. smkoseki says:

    …back to my fitness regimen.

    90%/10% diet/exercise; replace any fitness regimen w/ 2 meals/day sans fruit/grains to eat for satiety & WHtR <0.45.

    The Plague by Albert Camus. I’m almost finished with this one

    It’s in my cart; eagerly awaiting your review.

    E In my opinion, history will reveal that our true crisis is whatever follows this pandemic more than the pandemic itself

    Fascinated by this idea. Wish to read an essay on it! Especially what it means to women and culture…I still have zman’s essay soaking in:

    Probably the most salient aspect to this panic is the role of women. As has been noted too many times to count, the West is now a gynocracy. It is not a matriarchy, as women have stopped bearing children and stopped caring about children. Look around and you see childless women in positions of authority all over the West. In fact, these are women who reached their status by rejecting every aspect of womanhood. The West is now a world run by middle-aged childless women…This virus scare is every middle-aged women’s Hunger Games moment…Like the Great Fear, the Great Madness will leave a mark, or at least it should leave a mark on our society. You never can be sure about these things, as the West seems to be unusually immune to learning from these events…It is too soon to know what this panic means for us. Perhaps it further undermines the legitimacy of the system and the people that profit from it. Perhaps it sets off social changes that slowly transform our society in ways we have yet to imagine. Maybe the fever breaks and this event, like the Russian hoax, gets forgotten. Given what most likely awaits on the other side of the lock-down, it is hard to imagine this great madness being forgotten. There’s always a price to be paid for following madmen.


  2. Elspeth says:

    90%/10% diet/exercise

    I know and agree with this. My cardinal saying is, you get fit in the gym but you control your weight at the table. Working out provides me the experience of pushing my body in ways that I thoroughly enjoy. I don’t mind working out. Thankfully my mama gifted me with a .69 WHR which has held throughout my life except when pregnant and is still holding even in middle age.

    I know that carb restriction works, but I don’t live alone and I’m not the head of my household. But more than that, being on lockdown has unleashed my inner baker. I’ve had to lock her back up, LOL.I ran a fairly brisk home-based baking business several years ago before we got pregnant with #4. My challenge at this juncture is to not allow the increased time at home to tempt me into baking every day and eating the results because I’ll pay for it in the end.

    Fascinated by this idea. Wish to read an essay on it!

    My short answer is more related to the massive shift in civil liberties that aren’t going to be coming back. Think about things like -after 9/11- being groped without complaint by federal TSA workers for the “privilege” of boarding a plane.

    A lot of jobs are not going to reappear with the flip of a switch, a lot of companies (even if they’ve done okay through this) are going to see this as a perfect opportunity to shed workers, and yes, to your point. The state of things for people on their own -women in particular- will be difficult. Among many, many other things, but that’s a tidbit.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Will S. says:

    Haven’t seen the Jane Austen movie – not my bag – but enjoyed both of the other two; found them well done.

    I only like M. Night Shyamalan’s earliest few movies; but one of those, ‘The Village’, is among my favourite movies. An agrarian, 19th-century-type American village, where all is not as it seems. Worth checking out.


  4. hearthie says:

    I don’t think we’re going to know about “what’s going to happen” until the whole thing plays out. I would like to think that I do – but nah. Give it another few months and we’ll have a better idea, I think. I intend to do something if I can… a few somethings.

    It *has* been interesting (to reference SMK) how fear has driven so much of the crazy.

    For me, I am viscerally returned to China, circa 1980… four SHORT years after the cultural revolution burned out. The masks, the feeling of fear of our fellow man, the … yeah. It is hurting me. I don’t care about getting sick. The economy was overdue for a kick in the head. It’s the societal stuff that causes my shoulders to clench and the chocolate to sound really REALLY good. My mom is in the same headspace, and her BFF (whose family fled Nazi Germany) too. If you’ve seen this in person? You’re HURTING right now. I mean that literally. After sewing the now-mandatory masks up this weekend, it’s taken three days for me to loosen up enough to feel how much I hurt. 😦 Which is the space in which I can get some working out done in, which is what I’m agonna go do. I have to loosen up these muscles, stat.


  5. Elspeth says:

    @ Will S.:

    The Village was a good film, if I recall. It’s been well over a decade though, so we may watch it again.

    Thanks for the suggestion.


  6. Elspeth says:

    For me, I am viscerally returned to China, circa 1980… four SHORT years after the cultural revolution burned out. The masks, the feeling of fear of our fellow man, the … yeah. It is hurting me.

    I imagine some of this does stir some pretty vivid memories of your time in China as a kid.

    The economy was overdue for a kick in the head.

    This is true, but for some reason I feel more vulnerable than we were in 2008. We went through that one with very little effect, which was good because my late FIL needed us.

    This feels more ominous to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. hearthie says:

    It’s going to change things more profoundly. 2008 was a “dude, you gave mortgages without a social security number? D’oh!” moment. This is …. not that. Not that at ALL. I think we’re going to see some major changes – as well as ripple effects from the quarantine situations. Will it be a depression/recession? Will it be something entirely else? I dunno. It’s not going to be small though.

    We all know this is where things change. We all want to know “what’s next” – me too!!!! I just don’t think we have enough info -yet- to make extrapolations.

    Have I ever mentioned the food ration coupons? Or the “report on your friends” thing? Or, hey, the “assigned friends” thing, which even I got. At eight. Or being followed? Knowing your interpreter/friend had survived a reeducation camp? The factories. Oh, all the factory tours. We went on a LOT of factory tours. They were kinda mad we liked the ancient art better. Being terrified of what the gov’t might decide to do with your life, so 8yo there studied like college kids here… or the part where my mom had to throw a fit to get our own fridge because they were using fridge access as a weird passive/aggressive + spying thing? How afraid all the adults were – and YET they befriended my folks in real ways… the fear/courage … yeah.


  8. Curly Sue says:

    I second Will S’s recommendation of “The Village.” It provides a good lesson on original sin, which when you also consider ” Signs” has made me wonder about M. Night Shyamalan’s faith background. I’ve never looked into it, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. nellperkins says:

    I’ve never been to China, but I second what Hearthie said. Just because I’ve read a bit about communist China and have been appalled by and frightened of them all my adult life. That is, beyond just the standard USA cold war indoctrination.


  10. Bike Bubba says:

    Never been to China, but I did visit East Berlin 3 months before the Wall fell, and I had a hint of what Hearthie went through. My thoughts about the media downplaying the atrocities of Communism, even as a couple million people rot in political prisons in western China, are…well, not exactly printable. (read your Solzhenitsyn, you blithering media idiots! is about as printable as I can come)

    Bright side, in my view, is that as long as I’ve got the opportunity to work, I’ve got the opportunity to help choose the institutions I want to survive. I can go for takeout at my favorite restaurants and ignore the ones I won’t miss. I’m loving how my family is cooking more (we don’t have that many favorite restaurants!) and baking more. My sourdough is looking GOOD these days, and my “to do” list at home is getting shorter as I use my commute time more effectively. My cars miss me, my bikes are getting some 1:1 time with me.

    Good amount of time for older movies and a Passover meal soon, too. Who knows– L’shana haba’ah b’yerushalayim, and Christos anesti!

    (daughter’s wedding update; mothers’ dresses are about done, half the bridesmaids’ dresses are done except for a hem, other plans are in place, just praying for an end to the affliction by mid-June)

    Liked by 1 person

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