All posts by Kellie

About Kellie

(Blog Editor) lives way on the other side of the planet in her native Australia and gives thanks for the internet regularly. She loves books, her boys, panna cotta, collecting words, being a redhead and not putting things in order of importance when listing items. She credits writing at selwynssanity.blogspot.com as a major contributing factor to surviving her life with sanity mostly intact, though her (in)sanity level is subject to change without warning.

Peculiar Treasures: Barriers? We Don’t Need No Stinking Barriers!

LR329VX2JQ

A 7 year old boy found his neighbor’s sister – lost for 65 years! – using his mum’s ipad and facebook account. Huzzah for technology bridging the divide!

What happens when a town gets together to talk silently to a guy in his own language.  Loving ads put to good use, in breaking down barriers.

President Uchtdorf shares his memories and experiences with being a refugee, and urges compassion for (and by) all, regardless of borders.

Stuck facing the same old bedtime books or recommendations roadblocks? Break the field open with great reads for the little people in your life (and you!) with NPR’s Book Concierge, a brilliant resource (and help to add to your TBR pile) of all the best books of this and past years.

What’s the time where you are? Go left of normal clocks, or the erratic sundial, with a clock that tells the time using flowers.

Groundbreaking publications by women in the Church History Department, all starting with the intriguing job described as “a unicorn in their field”, is cause for celebration and study.

Upping the ante somewhat from what your skull shape or handwriting says about you (or someone you want to know better), copy in text and get an analysis of their personality. (I admit, I did it about myself, using my own blog posts – it was right in some things, including that I am unlikely to click on ads!)

If one day you’re going to write a book, create that website, design that dress, make that bookcase, one day… then you’re in serious idea debt. You’re not alone though, and you can pay it off.

First Draft Poetry is by Kel this week, inspired by the flower clock.

Meadowsong

I have no green thumb

no inclination to grow one beyond

a love of mint and chives…

But I tell the time by the things I have tended

To love deeply

(Quarter past 2, my knobbly, freckled adoration of my gaptoothed neighbour)

To cry over

(17 past midnight my first dog, buried, 1:47am the plot twist I didn’t see coming)

To learn the hard way

(cracked hours pass without a heartbeat, centuries in the pauses, people suck and kindness burns)

Crops and harvests and sowings

(giants newborn to always)

That I tended there,

Then,

Now,

Still,

Breathing deep,

Fresh mint on my fingers and tongue.

Sabbath Revival: My Heavenly Heaven

Today’s visit to the Segullah archives takes us way back to February 2008, with this post by anniegb.  

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I often hear others longingly talk of the Celestial Kingdom. We believe this is the highest kingdom in heaven and that those who are worthy will live there forever with our families. Does anybody smell a rat?

Heck, I ain’t going there. I’ve been a mom, and while I love my children, I don’t want them living with me eternally. They can visit. My husband sure deserves a reward for putting up with me all these years–eternity with me just doesn’t seem rewarding. But if he insists, I’m okay with it. The poor guy.

After I meet Jesus at the gates and shower Him with praise and gratitude, I assume I’ll have a life review. I want to understand where I went wrong and maybe where I didn’t go so wrong. In heaven, I’ll be able to make the amends that have eluded me on earth and kept me from enjoying all the gifts I’ve been given here. (I realize this could take quite awhile.)
After that, I’m going to party! When I get to my heaven, I’m going to fly all over the place. Like a bird (I already do this in my dreams). I’m will fly to Africa’s beautiful jungles and visit the Taj Mahal and the Himalayas and China and Russia and New Zealand.

Then I’ll retire for eternity in a little cottage in the woods that will have all the amenities of Green Valley Spa, soft white pillows, a gas fireplace, peaceful loveliness everywhere. My personal heaven will have a hot tub and color TV, with wonderful shows that are all G-rated. My heaven will have good food and endless books. I want to meet CS Lewis and Walt Whitman and have a really good computer that never does anything I don’t want it to do. I want to be like the dog in All Dogs Go To Heaven, lying on a soft puffy cloud, listening to soft music, getting foot rubs from ministering angels.

My heaven will have all the seasons except summer. Winter will be short, the snow falling softly only to magically disappear from the walks and roads (In heaven, it always snows on Christmas Eve and Thanksgiving.) No mud in my heaven! Winter will segue sweetly into a long and mellow spring. Spring will end in September with brilliant, crisp, invigorating Autumn. Oh, and we will have the best garden! No weeds or bugs, only perfect vegetables.

My friends and family tell me I don’t understand the Celestial Kingdom. They say they’ll be too busy to visit me. I say they’ll be begging to come sit in my hot tub for a few minutes, to kvetch about their millions of children who just won’t mind and their God husbands. Oy, the grief I can live without! If I’ve done my best, and God is truly good and just, my heaven will be truly heavenly.

 

Mixing Pots, Missing Dots, Freudenfreude Hopes and (Incey Wincey) Nopes

2015-06-Life-of-Pix-free-stock-photos-night-grass-stars-jordanmcqueen

Join us for a bit of Monday morning mischief and malarkey as we romp through the treasures we’ve found this past week!

First, Mixing Pots.  There is a recent study linking a variety of subjects, discussion of life and ethics in class, and meaningful interaction with professors in a liberal arts degree all part of baking a successful life. Do you watch how-to videos? Here’s an unexpected recipe you wood probably like, for your recipe box. What do you think of when you read America is “a cultural melting pot”? Photos taken of people travelling through Ellis Island in their native dress is fascinating. What’s the weirdest thing you have seen in a vending machine?  This student filled one with 360 hand-thrown, glazed and crafted ceramics.

Secondly, Missing Dots (which may often come before or after mixing pots?)  This advice to “stop trying to be creative” may seem counterintuitive – or even very seductive – but still may provide some dots on your own creative journey maps (hopefully away/faster towards those “Here Be Dragons” areas). The recent blizzards stopped some hospitalised children’s plans to go outside, but a scrubs-clad wonder filled in the gaps to make snow possible inside.  Family history tends to be full of frustrating gaps – this search tries to find Abuelitas and the goal to “trace my father’s family back to legitimate births”. The struggle of our current family be just as unchartered, though reading (or even writing) the letter your teenager can’t write you may give a glimmer of hope and direction.

Next, Freudenfreude Hopes. Freudenfreude is the delight in the success of others, which is much better for you (and humanity) than schadenfreude, and is celebrated with a great example that reaches from Australia all the way around the world.  If you had your own wave of freudenfreude in the pages of Pride and Prejudice, you may like this illustrated version.  Also glorious and thick with success (however eventual), we have an illustrated missionary journal, about Brittany Long Olsen’s mission in Japan.

Then, NOPES.  I guess, though, like this 99 year old woman found out, waking up in Miami with a South American jungle cat called a kinkajou isn’t THAT bad… definitely compared to this INCEY WINCEY NOPE find – armies of spiders 50,000 strong. (WARNING: I didn’t read this last one, I quickly scrolled and leaned as far away from the screen as possible as I did so…Link contains spiders!!!!!)

Finally, a gorgeous First Draft Poetry from Melonie, inspired from freudenfreude and thoughts of a dear friend.

Son of Germany
For Rich Jackson on his birthday.

He wasn’t born there,
but his life was called
to green –
postcard farms, sweet grass,
tall trees like absinthe umbrellas
over the forest ground,
the wind’s breath silently
moving grain this way,
that.

He ran the damp paths
breathing in his chosen home,
spreading lungs with the air, round and generous
as an umlaut in the back of his throat.

He spoke tenderness
to slick babies hungry for life,
tiny fish from the river of God,
holding them
as the country held him – soft and strong,
an ancient echo,
a fossilized fern,
the thrust of a trout’s tail.

He wove all the colors of Germany
into his soul, spinning rows
of yarn-like memories
until they were
tight, even, and sure-
knit and pearl, knit and pearl-
black, red, gold-
a sweater to keep his heart warm,
a strand long enough to cover an ocean.

When he left,
the moist earth mourned
for his music.
It longed for open windows,
grey shutters flung wide,
funneling the exuberant organ’s antique notes
deep into the ground.

There is a deep hollow in the
space he left behind- a carved out tree.
His homeland grieves
for the touch of his feet, his breath, his hands-
It longs for the green of him
to fill the rattling spaces
of the now empty house,
waiting for him to come home.

Book Recommendations Galore From Segullah

award shows for books

Behind the scenes (and often right out the front too!) we at Segullah love books, and will often discuss and recommend them left right and everywhere.  Just before Christmas there was a discussion around what book recommendations we all had for certain types of readers.  Each dot point is a staff member’s suggestion, with stars after a title indicating how many additional staffers recommended it as well. Note that some areas overlap, with books only listed once.

Hopefully the list here will provide you with some suggestions if you’re looking for great reads and/or to use that Audible, book voucher or discretionary funding!

1) loves history, biographies, and literary fiction

  • I found Swimming to Antarctica to be a little known gem that has stayed with me for a long time. It’s a memoir from Lynn Cox, an American long distance swimmer who set the world record for the English Channel twice-once when she was 15, and the she went back to reclaim her title when she was 16. Her crowning achievement was swimming from the U.S. to Russia (there are apparently 2 islands a mile apart in the Bering Sea, one is American, the other is Russian– who knew) during the Cold War. It’s a pretty cool book for somebody who likes autobiographies.
  • I also thoroughly enjoyed Katherine Graham’s autobiography about her life as the editor of the Washington Post, but I don’t know if somebody without ties to DC would enjoy it as much.
  • Pope Joan (Donna Woolfolk Cross) is a cool historical fiction based on a legend of a pope who gave birth during a processional. Meticulously researched, it’s got very nice prose.
  • At the end of last year there was also an annotated biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder called PIONEER GIRL published by the South Dakota Historical Society that would also be a great gift book.
  • ROSEMARY (Kate Clifford Lawson) was a fascinating look at the life of Rosemary Kennedy. H IS FOR HAWK (Helen Macdonald) was a beautifully written memoir, albeit a little slow and ruminative in places, but would be good for a more cerebral reader interested in single female British college professors who turn to falconry to help deal with grief (as well as the life story of T.H. White, author of “The Sword in the Stone,” who was also a falconer.)
  • THE BOOK THIEF (Markus Zusak), or THE CURSE OF CHALION* (Lois McMaster Bujold), but most of all I recommend OLD MAN’S WAR (John Scalzi). I recommend Old Man’s War for lots of people, especially guys. Yes, it’s usually found in the sci-fi section, but it’s clever, witty and deals in humanity.

2) literary fiction or beautifully written creative nonfiction Continue reading Book Recommendations Galore From Segullah

What We Leave On The Altar

wood

Repentance for me is a bloody process. I’m stalking 40 years of age, and my understanding of repentance is a much darker, more violent and powerful star than the “repentance is like a bar of soap” example given in the Primary cosmos.  Just as “milk before meat” is a component of the gospel, so is the real awareness of bringing “a contrite heart and broken spirit” to our personal altars before the Saviour.  The blood and profound change to His feet is as painful and fundamental as our own pivotal experiences are, leaving us marked and leaking on our way.

I’m searching for deeper examples of repentance, forgiveness, charity and patience not only because I’m parenting teens, but because my own heart and dedication wobble in the course of my days.  Soap’s useless when the issue at hand is internal, gory and nasty. Being washed clean as the first person in an entire family to join the church is a wonderful occasion, but the washing doesn’t rinse away generations of abuse, dysfunction and family habits.  Sometimes the repentance process involves not taking the sacrament, leaving deacons anxiously pressing trays to knees, encouraging to take the morsel, accept the love, unaware of the gnawing of bone going on inside, worrying our broken shards towards redemption somewhere further ahead.

Years ago, I cannonballed in love.  Continue reading What We Leave On The Altar