Thursday, June 26, 2008

Lazing and exploring the West

Summer days have been a bit lazy. Shower time has gotten later and later and Cali, Amanda, and I are alternating between reading, playing video games, watching tv, and going to the pool. I don't think I have had a summer like this since I was 12. So far the reading has been quite good. Cali and I went and saw Leif Enger talk about his latest book, So Young Brave and Handsome, a few weeks ago. This is his second book. Peace Like a River was his first and it is one of our favorites. We have trouble keeping it stocked because we tend to recommend it and give it away. This latest book ended up being quite good, but I didn't like it as well as the first. His books have kind of a Western feel and fantastic characters. When we heard him speak he talked about how the characters always come to him first. He generally has several characters floating around in his head and eventually he gets to the point where one or two won't leave him alone and he has to tell their story. Interesting.

The latest character I read about was Hondo, the star of an old Louis L'amour (that can't be his real name right?) book. Has anyone read him? It was actually kind of good. Maybe sometimes borderline sexist and occasionally borderline racist, but all in all good clean fun. Hondo was a tough hombre. And of course their was a woman. Not just any woman. She was "all woman" (that's how Hondo described her). Anyway if you are looking for something fun and a little silly to read, I recommend it. I think maybe sometimes I like books with a bit of a Western feel. It is an escape from the trials (or lack of trials) of suburban life.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Pictures from New Orleans

We had a great time in New Orleans for our 5th year anniversary. I have included pictures of some of the highlights. We went on a swamp tour and saw some interesting trees and many alligators. The sunset picture is from our steamboat dinner cruise. The best thing about New Orleans is definitely the food and the music. Although we went to some fancy places our favorites ended up being Acme Oyster house, and Cafe Beignet. Cafe Beignet had great outdoor seating and music going every night. They also had some great musician statues (Cali with Benny Goodman).

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I just finished this really terrific book on interior peace. It mainly talks about being peaceful within which allows God to speak to us. The author gives the analogy that calm water is able to reflect the sun while water in turmoil does not. In the same way when we are worrying about things and are minds and hearts are full of clutter we don't hear God's voice. Trying it out in my life I have found it to be very hard. For instance, with our condo I want to just trust God, but instead I find myself fretting over every detail. It is difficult to trust that God will take care of us.

One of the other challenges of this book is to be patient. I was struck by the fact that we can desire good things but fall into sin by desiring them in the wrong way:

"Because the thing that we want is good, even seen as desired by God, we feel justified in wanting it with that much more impatience and displeasure if it is not realized. The more a thing seems good to us, the more we are agitated and preoccupied to realize it!"

Another quote from the book....

"That is to say that our wanting must always be caring, peaceful, patient, detached and abandoned to God. It should not be an impatient wanting, hurried, restless, irritated, ect."

Interesting, eh? The book is real short and it is called Searching for and Maintaining Peace by Father Jacques Philippe.