Happy Monday! I hope you had a restful Lord’s Day. We’ve been piling up the snow the past several days. It finally looks like deep winter here which is a welcome change. We’ll be experiencing the arctic blast with many of you this week so the view outside my window will remain white for quite some time.
This will be a relatively quiet week for us. We’ll do homeschooling, work, and pursue our various creative endeavors as a creative family. That is our routine at the moment, interspersed a few other responsibilities. I need to get caught up on some of my homeschooling notetaking and paperwork so that will be one of my first priorities today.
I have been ruthlessly removing us from mailing lists. This includes regular mail as well as electronic. When it involves regular mail, I pop on the relevant website and ask them to remove me from all their mailing lists. When it is email, I simply use the unsubscribe link.
If I spend just 3 minutes a day dealing with unwanted mail of various kinds, that’s an hour and a half a month. If I deal with 10 minutes of unwanted mail each day, that’s 300 minutes or 5 hours a month. I surely have better things to do with my time than continually throw out solicitations from organizations and companies that do not interest me.
I printed off a fresh copy of the 5 Minute Homemaking Ideas from A Quiet Simple Life Planner and Guidebook. I hung it on the inside of the cupboard door where our drinking glasses are kept. This is one of the cabinets that is used the most so it will be a constant reminder of its existence. The list of ideas is there both to help me remember little things I want to tackle and also to inspire others in the home to find small ways to pitch in. They already do a great job of sharing the load around here, but giving them a little reminder can only help!
One of my ongoing goals this year is to go through all of our CDs and determine which ones we want to keep and which ones we should pass along. I did that the Christmas before last and we donated a few Christmas CDs we no longer wanted. I had intended to continue doing it this past Christmas, but did not. (We have many Christmas CDs.)
While I know increasing numbers of people have gone to all digital (music, books, and movies) I’m not a fan of that approach. I think there is a danger in not owning physical copies of that which you value. So we keep hard copies of the books, movies, televisions shows, and music that mean the most to us. We read physical Bibles and carry real Bibles to church rather than using an app on a phone. If anything, I have increased my commitment to this approach in recent years.
Last week Caroline and I began our foray into many of my favorite movies. We started with Gwyneth Paltrow’s Emma and then moved on to Emma Thompson’s Sense and Sensibility. She liked them both, but especially enjoyed Emma. I was not surprised and that’s why I chose that one to watch first with her. It has her kind of fast-paced, witty humor. We are planning to watch the newer Sense and Sensibility this week since winter is a good time to watch movies for school.
We finally finished reading aloud Little Town on the Prairie last week and began These Happy Golden Years. Caroline is also enjoying these stories. It’s extra interesting that Laura is currently 15 in the story. She has left home for her first teaching job and is being courted by Almanzo. Caroline is 14 and so it puts the story in some truly relevant perspective as we read and discuss life then and now.
We are now into The Story of the World Volume 2: The Middle Ages. I’m trying to sort out how to go through this at a good pace to keep us on track to finish all four volumes by the end of the summer (as I planned for our relaxed homeschooling in eighth grade) and also fit in some hands-on type things such as the Middle Ages Project Passport.
For our Bible reading, I am reading aloud from the book of Proverbs. We read a half a chapter a day. We’re currently in chapter 18. Reading these aloud has brought about some interesting discussions!
In my own reading, I finished Old Christmas by Washington Irving last evening and added it to My Reading Ticker List as completed. I don’t remember who recommended it in a list of Christmas books. It was a short, but interesting historic look at an English Christmas featuring the customs of a landed gentry family he spent a Christmas with one year.
While I had my tickler list page open, I updated parts of it. I deleted some books I was no longer interested in reading and added others. That’s why I called it a tickler list when I created the page. I’m going to be adding to it and removing books as I go.
Lately I’ve been methodically going through the many free public domain books that have piled up on my Kindle. I’m especially thankful I can download free copies of classics I’ve never read (such as ones in my post 100+ Free Old-fashioned Cozy Books for Kindle). If I like a book, I can purchase a hard copy for our library. If I don’t like it enough to own it, I can keep the digital copy or simply delete it. This has been one blessing of digital books in my life. It has given me the freedom to try books I might not have tried otherwise because there was no cost involved.
The Man Who Planted Trees
Last week someone shared a free PDF translation of this French short story. I believe many of you will appreciate it as it offers much to ponder regarding what we are building around us each day in our own lives. You can read a copy here: The Man Who Planted Trees.
What is going on in your home this week? I hope you’ll leave a comment and share!
Artwork: “Reading Lesson” by Helen Allingham