down time

Since I've added quilting into the rest of my life, I've realized I need to be even more intentional about having down time. Not for the kids (although that is always important) but for me. It is too easy to grab a quilt book and start thinking and planning new projects. Or move from room to room trying to just clean up the clutter. Sometimes I can even dust and sweep but most of the time it is just clutter control. If I sit down, I hop up. This can be good but occasionally my body needs a rest. Reading helps me with this, and my favorite choices are travel memoirs or children's fiction. It is much harder to find adult fiction that will hold my attention. I am picky about the travel biographies too, but if the author is engaging and not too condescending I will finish it.

Earlier this month I picked up Walking the Amazon at the local library. This is not a trip on "dream list"--my son was intrigued though. I did not read it to him. He'll need to wait until he is a little older, or I'll need to use it as a read aloud and edit a few words as I go along. Speaking of words, it was interesting to me that based on Stafford's word choices, I could tell that he was from England or somewhere in that area of the world. The book kept my attention, was funny, and I still don't want to walk the Amazon. He also shared his insights into the importance of the mental battle on his trip. You need to master that to walk for 860 days. The physical aspect of the trip would finish me--the mosquitoes would eat me alive.

I am now rereading Dark Star Safari by Paul Theroux. It is a little slower reading. I own it and realized I could reread it while I'm marching through Africa with the kids. That march is at a standstill since before Christmas--I had to cut something--but I will start again soon. I even have a new Africa cookbook. Also, my children (especially the girl) struggle to eat the usual food on our table, so I try to find some African selections that are close to what they eat. I got to a few countries that, well, I wasn't even sure I wanted to eat that meal. So I need more time to do some research and make it fun for all of us. I also wanted to figure out a better way for Isaac to work on the Africa notebook.

My next book will be one about Alaska, if I can find one that looks interesting. I did watch some Coast Guard Alaska as trip prep last night. One episode even featured Kodiak and some salmon fishing. Last week, well I didn't read much at all. I finished up one of the quilts (and will show pictures soon) and finished prepping the top for the February one. I also worked a few extra hours to help prepare for the community ministry banquet at our church on Friday night, which highlighted the current and new ministries of our church. Ministries for people in my neighborhood and my children's school--and reminders to treat each person we meet as that--a person. Much the same message Martin Luther King, jr. and others since him have professed.

Now I'm off to spend a little time on this holiday with the little people (and one big) in my house!