Gathering Graces 3/9/2018

*I spent some time this morning writing, one of which was a letter to a friend.  I also spent time finishing the book Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan that my book group would be discussing later that day.
*One of the highlights of my month is gathering together with my Huckleberry Book Club and talk about the book we discussed, and a lot of other topics as well.  Typically we gather together at one of our homes for a meal and discussion.  Today Vicki decided to host our gathering at City Limits Pub in Wallace.  It was a nice change.  And we had quite a good discussion about the book.  We often don’t talk about how an author writes the book.  Usually our discussion focuses on the subject, theme and characters of the book.  But this book was different.  This author writes very well, and we talked about how she cleverly wove different stories and characters together very well, and didn’t confuse the reader.  It was a delight to read, and a delight to discuss.  In fact, we loved her writing so much that we have decided to read another of her books for our April book discussion.  In 2010, Egan wrote A Visit From The Goon Squad.  It was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.  Thank you Vicki, Mary-Gail, Debbie, Nancy and Susan for an always enjoyable afternoon.
*Paul and I thought it would be a good night to watch a movie.  We looked at our options on Amazon Prime Videos, and decided to rent Darkest Hour, Gary Oldman’s fascinating portrayal of Winston Churchill’s first weeks as Prime Minister of England. (He also won the Oscar for this performance.)  There were times as many of the characters in the movie were describing Churchill, many of the same words are used  to describe our current president.  We have also been watching The Crown, and it was interesting comparing Oldman’s portrayal of Churchill to John Lithgow’s portrayal of Churchill. (Lithgow received an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.)   In both, there is portrayed a very special and loving relationship between Churchill and his wife Clemmie.  Have any of you ever read a good biography about Winston Churchill?  I think it would be a fascinating read.  Let me know if you have read one you liked.
*On my last shopping trip to Costco, I had purchased two bags of avocados, and they were quickly turning ripe, and ready to eat.  I read up on what to do with avocados, and found out if you make guacamole, it can be frozen.  So I took six avocados, and I had some Litehouse guacamole spice mix I had purchased sometime back to make guacamole, and I added the spice mix, salt and lime juice to the avocados, and made a delicious guacamole.  I put it in three containers.  Two of the containers were put in the freezer for later use.  We will see how it tastes once we thaw it out in a week or so.
*I am fortunate to have men in my life who are wonderful, and who have not used their power to act inappropriately toward women.  Yes, there are men who respect women, and I am surrounded by them each and every day.  My  husband, my brother, my many brother-in-laws....this list goes on and on.  And I need to remember these men, especially on days like today when I am listening to, or are in conversations about men who take the power of their position, and act inappropriately toward women, through words and actions.  I was saddened to hear the story come out this last week of author Sherman Alexie, and the accusations against him.  As I was working in the kitchen yesterday afternoon, I asked Alexa to play the podcast This American Life. The episode was called Five Women, and here is the description:  A different kind of #MeToo story, about several women who worked for the same man. They tell us not only about their troubling encounters with him, but also about their lives beforehand. Who were they when they entered the workplace, and how did their personal histories shape the way they dealt with his harassment? As I listened to these five women (one of whom was his partner/wife), tell their stories, it was hard.  In fact, I didn’t finish.  I need to return to the episode and hear Kristen’s story of how she was the first to accuse Don of sexual harassment, and to listen to Vivian, the partner, give her final thoughts. 
*I loved this portion in our Lenten devotional this morning that talks about faith:  Faith is like a small window through which you can see a vast landscape, and the landscape in question is the sovereign power of the creator God and the overwhelming glory of Jesus himself.  We stand at the window, doing our best to wipe it clean from the condensation of our own unbelieving breath, and holding on, as we do so, to those for whom we want to pray.

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