Friday, February 5, 2016

Poisonwood Bible RAL - Week 1 Discussion

Thank you for joining me for the read-along. I am so glad to have people sharing their reading momentum with me to help get me through a great book!

I admit, I had to take a little time this week to learn more about The Democratic Republic of The Congo, a place I learned in school as Zaire. It is a country with unimaginable natural resources including cobalt, tin, uranium, diamonds, copper, gold, and oil. The land is shrouded by tropical rainforest and goods and be shipped to and from the nation's metros via the Congo River, the second largest river in the world.

Congo shares borders with Angola, Rwanda, Burundi, Central African Republic, the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville), South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. It's border with Rwanda is considered the most deadly international border in the world.

A land that was well-developed and sophisticated in the 15th century was discovered by Portuguese traders in 1480. In addition to the natural resources of the area, the traders discovered their greatest Kingdom of Kongo commodity: the human slave. In order to displace the existing political system, create anarchy and reap the spoils, the Portuguese started funneling modern weaponry and funds to Kongolese gangs who eventually toppled their home military forces. This started a decline from which the country has never recovered.

We join the Price family there in 1959, the final year of the colonial Belgian Congo where three main facets of society kept order: the state, the missionary, and the private company. From Wikipedia:

"During the 1940s and 1950s, the Congo had extensive urbanisation, and the colonial administration began various development programmes aimed at making the territory into a "model colony". One of the results was the development of a new middle class of Europeanised African "évolués" in the cities. By the 1950s the Congo had a wage labour force twice as large as that in any other African colony."

This increased boom in middle class society caused the pro-independence movement to surge.

1. In what ways is the book as you thought it would be? In what ways is it different?

  •  For re-readers, is there anything you had forgotten since you read it the first time?

2. Which character is your favorite?

3. Which character seems most like yourself, at heart?

4.  Talk about Adah.

5. What parts of our reading have you scratching your head at this point, or make you wish for more development?

6. List three things worth strapping to your body if you were headed for a year in the Congo.

Reading Schedule:

Feb 1-7: Genesis, Revelation
Feb 8-14: Judges, Bel and the Serpent
Feb 15-21: Exodus, Song of the Three Children
Feb 22-20: The Eyes in the Trees

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Amanda Makes - 06 - Moth Probs

nature colors / yarn colors :: finished baby sweater :: sock progress

I am simultaneously delighted by a finished project and lamenting an apparent moth issue. Yay and eek all at once. I am fairly confident the moth problem was confined to our old house because we would have all kinds of buzzing things inside with no recourse because we had 13 ft ceilings. While I don't think I have moths in the house now, I discuss a bit of the aftermath and rehab in the podcast. What do you do to thwart moths?

Also, I've spent too many minutes hours this past week wondering about the proper yarn selection for a project my sister has requested. I kept pouring over the Knit Picks Chroma Fingering colorway selection but rumpling my nose and thinking, all of these colors are so "out there." Why can't I get yarn in good nature colors? Since then, every time I step outdoors I have noticed that nature comes in yarn colors!

Featured Books
The Shepherd’s Life  < Read this book. 

Featured Yarns
KP Chroma Fingering (Weathervane, Fog Bank, Red Velvet)

Featured Patterns

Featured Folks
Ginny's Sheller @ Small Things
Sarah @ LoveSockWool

Monday, February 1, 2016

Monday of doing

It's just the framer/drywall guy and me today - just what I needed after last week's incessant banging and scurrying about of the plumber/electrician and his two apprentices.  Imagine Uncle Si from Duck Dynasty and you've got a good handle on my framer. Last week he sort of ruffled my feathers by telling me that he wouldn't come so early each morning so I'd have a chance to put my face on. This morning, he insisted on helping me make my bed before we covered it with plastic, since we were late to rise and I hadn't gotten it done before he came. I felt pretty embarrassed by the whole thing but he said, "Don't worry about it, you're making the bed, I'm just saving you the trip to the other side."

That and the pretty weather has gotten my Monday started on the right foot. It is 8:56am and 54F outside. I have put the garage-sheltered plants out on the driveway, filled up the bird feeders and pruned the rose bush. The birds are now poking around the flower bed in disgust,  like my pruning has ransacked their place, like they've come home from a fun morning out to find that the dog has chewed the pillows. I am heading back out now to pull some weeds in the herb bed and breath the crisp air of this February thaw.

Happy Monday!