Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Evening Pages ~ A Couple of Books, Reading, and Fancy Rice

A couple of weeks ago I started reading a book called Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever by Mem Fox. I finished it this morning. I was pulled toward this book because of my future volunteer work as a reading tutor for young struggling readers. I would have likely checked it out otherwise, since the topic is interesting to me. I don’t have kids myself, but as many of you know, I still love children’s picture books and check them out periodically—more so now as I love knowing that I will be sharing and learning about new picture books from this opportunity.

What I found most interesting in Reading Magic is that when parents started reading to their children when they were just months old how much this impacted their reading skills as they grew older, as well as instilling a love of reading.

I recently attended the training for those of us who will be tutoring. After going over the details of what we could expect, what the goals are when we sit with our students—one-on-one—as well as some techniques to help engage the children, I felt ready. But, I will remember to go into this without expectations. We were instructed to bring a few books to our first tutoring session just to be prepared, since the students may or may not bring their own books. 

After first learning some nuts and bolts in training, we were then paired up with a partner and took turns reading to each other from Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion with pictures by Margaret Bloy Graham. I was paired with an older gentleman in his late sixties. When we were done reading, I asked him a question and it led to him telling me that he had kept all of his son’s children’s books that he had read to him when he was a child. He said that his son didn’t understand why he kept them and told him he should get rid of them. To his son, he replied, one day you’ll thank me. I told him that was fantastic and that I wished that someone had saved all my children’s books.

I’ve continued to re-explore my astrology chart and have re-visited several astrology books and added a couple to my collection. I’ve looked at my houses and re-looked at my ascendant and rising sign in more detail. I definitely re-discovered insights that made sense and shed some light on things I’ve long “felt” and have known on an intuitive level. Each time I put my chart away and come back to it, it’s like coming back to it for the first time—in a way. It has been very satisfying thumbing through the different books and absorbing the information. It can be overwhelming because there are so many different pieces to look at and some authors focus more on one piece than the other. One small thing that I forget is that there is a lot of fire in my chart. I feel that fire in myself often—even without the chart. It’s all interesting to me and satisfies my quest for continuous learning in the astrology department. But, it’s almost time for me to put it away again, until next time.

I finally made my first risotto—mushroom risotto—only it was from a healthy dinners magazine and was sans the butter. That must be why it had sausage in the recipe, which I didn’t care for. Next time I make it, it will only have mushrooms, onion, and garlic, and the other ingredients that make a risotto a risotto. When my significant other sees it on the plate, he only sees rice, so I’ve started calling it fancy rice with him. I’m just happy that I finally made a risotto. I enjoy ordering it when we go to restaurants that have it on the menu. Each risotto I have had has been different, as though the personality of the chef comes through on each plate.

Another book that I recently purchased, and I wasn’t looking, but my eyes caught Dante’s Inferno on the store bookshelf in the same section is a small book of haiku poems called haiku mind: 108 Poems to Cultivate Awareness & Open Your Heart By Patricia Donegan. I’m savoring this one morsel by morsel. What I like is that each haiku selected by the author also has a short, thoughtful reflection on each haiku and a small bit about the author. I’ve felt inspired and further quieted by this small gift of a book.

slice of moon
brushes up high
cradles me inside


Sweet dreams…or sweet morning…wherever you are.

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