Monthly Archives: December 2012

A Little LOTR Wisdom

Jack and I made Lembas or Elvish Waybread and then wrapped it in paper Mallorn leaves.

Jack and I made Lembas or Elvish Waybread and then wrapped it in paper Mallorn leaves.

We got Jack all three Lord of the Rings movies for Christmas. I had only seen them in the theaters and it was so much different to watch them each a day apart. The story is so good. I love, love, love big epic stories of good vs. evil.

I think what I enjoyed the most is how in the movie there are many grey areas between those forces. Sam, the kindest of all the characters (in my opinion) must slay orcs in order to save Frodo. Gandalf, a “good” wizard, must also fight in many battles, and kill many.

The Ring itself pulls the worst from those who possess it.

I really liked that. I fancy myself a kind person in general, but I have my moments of lesser character. Also, the older I get, the more I realize how much grey there is in the world, and how little black and white. There are no simple answers when it comes to “good vs. evil.”

There was one part in each of the films that resonated with me deeply, and I wanted to put them down here so as not to forget them.

Frodo – “I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened”
Gandalf – “So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”

“Frodo: I can’t do this, Sam.
Sam: I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.
Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?
Sam: That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for.”

Frodo- “How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on when in your heart you begin to understand there is no going back. There are some things that time cannot mend. Some hurts that go too deep that have taken hold.

I hope to think on these as we enter the new year.

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Resolute!

Ok, my 2012 resolution is basically done. I wanted to run five 5ks and the Warrior Dash. I ran in 4 different registered 5ks and I did the Warrior Dash (2nd year I’ve run it, both times completely by myself). The problem is the run that happens here on NYE is sold out! I can’t even believe it, I didn’t even know that could happen.

Yes, I could just show up and run it, but I feel like a jerk doing that. I did run a 5k on my own Thanksgiving morning (because I really didn’t have the time to do the Turkey Trot), and I may try to actually run on NYE in my neighborhood anyway.

I’m glad I did so many. Even without a lot of training or prep I managed to get better with each one. At the last one, two friends even came out to cheer me on, and then we went for brunch.

I didn’t want to make one that had something to do with weight loss or exercise or anything. Truth be told, I can really only exercise when the mood hits me. I also hate doing it outside when it’s cold out. We’ve already drastically reduced our wheat consumption over here though, which is something we are going to keep up in 2013.

For homeschooling: I might try out a new writing curriculum with Jack, not positive yet though. I do want to implement a minimum of 30 minutes private reading/day, and another 30 where I read to him each day. And this leads to the next resolution….

The main thing I want to focus on this year is reading. I’m amazed that even though I majored in English there are a bunch of classic novels I’ve never read. It’s shameful really. (I may even try to read Pride & Prejudice, because I refused in high school, but we’ll see….)

Each month I am going to read a different novel and I’m going to read a different one to Jack. Just yesterday we started reading The Hobbit. Yay, a few days ahead of schedule! I am going to begin with A Hundred Years of Solitude because I’ve owned it for a million years, and still haven’t read it.

I have a loose list in my head of some of the others. I think I’ll finish up all of the ones I’m sure of first, and as others come along I’ll add those to my list.

What’s your resolution?

Land of Enchantment ~in photos~

Some photos from our amazing trip to Santa Fe. Everyone should go there at least once in their life, especially at Christmastime.

icicles

icicles

Buddha in the snow

Buddha in the snow

blue glass chile ristra

blue glass chile ristra

glass pumpkins

glass pumpkins

Palace of the Governors, Indian Market

Palace of the Governors, Indian Market

giant snowball

giant snowball

Apache Spirit Dancer

Apache Spirit Dancer

Apache Spirit Dancer, up close

Apache Spirit Dancer, up close

sunset

sunset

tree outside Loretto Chapel

tree outside Loretto Chapel

candle prayers, Loretto Chapel

candle prayers, Loretto Chapel

state flag

state flag

 

On Gifting This Year

the last of the rum balls

the last of the rum balls

As usual, I gave a lot of homemade gifts this year. I started planning for this early….very early. At the end of summer I did a whole bunch of canning, which helped immensely this winter.

I love putting up food, but have realized I’m awfully bad about actually consuming it all. So I made certain things I knew would make great gifts. I made some jams, mustards, relishes, and ice cream toppers. I also started some vanilla extracts months ago, but they still seemed fairly weak for now, so I only gave away 2 jars.

Chris makes some excellent beef jerky, so I gave little baggies of that to my meat-eating friends. I even wrote up the recipe over at From Scratch Club too, in case you want to make some for yourself.

I also wanted to do a few non-edibles. I used this tutorial to make some whipped body butters, and I got a few items from Mountain Rose Herbs to make salves.

I made some close friends and family knitted items as well. Those really need to be started in November, at least for me, to make sure I finish them in time.

For Jack and Chris I’d say we spent a little more than usual (which by traditional standards is still pretty low), but I feel really excited about all of the gifts I bought for them. Chris has been planning out some elaborate gift for me too, and I can’t wait to see what it is.

Plus we are gifting each other tattoos in the new year, since the last time we got them done was when we lived in Washington, over 4 years ago!

Now that we live somewhere with a lot of friends, all of the advanced work really made a difference. I was able to give to more people than usual this year. Next summer I’m going to keep this in mind as I work my way through gardening/canning season.

What homemade goodies did you give or receive so far this year?