February has ended and once again I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer to talk about some things I’ve been into this month.
February was not nearly as productive a reading month as January. I made it through only four books, but all four were excellent. Two of those, Renee Ahdieh’s The Wrath and the Dawn and The Rose and the Dagger, I read in 48 hour period. I couldn’t put them down. They were a really fun YA adaptation of 1001 Arabian Nights. Sunny Jae-Jones’ Wintersong was an excellent addition to the “human girl falls for troubled immortal” genre. Finally, Kate Bowler’s memoir Everything Happens for a Reason and Other Lies I’ve Loved was poignant and thoughtful and well worth reading. She tells the story of going through her own diagnosis of terminal cancer and living in the shadow of death, and she also draws on her expertise as a scholar of the history of the prosperity gospel. As usual, you can keep up with the books I’ve read this year here.
I saw two movies in theatres this month: Paddington 2 (Kevin from Good Christian Fun advertised it as “Paddington discovers the prison industrial complex” which was a really hard sales pitch to resist) and Black Panther (Shuri was my favourite character). I also quite enjoyed When We First Met, a Netflix romantic comedy involving time travel and a lead who’s initially pretty entitled but gets a lot better as the movie goes on.
We also saw two plays this month: a K-W Musical Productions showing of Shrek the Musical (one of my favourite soundtracks, and the guy who played Farquaad was especially good) and the off-Mirvish/Studio 180 production of King Charles III, a play in the style of a Shakespearean tragedy that imagines a possible future after the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Sadly, it is a future without Meghan Markle, since the play was written before she and Harry started dating.
I found a copy of Jennifer Knapp’s Kansas at my local thrift store, and it’s been in pretty heavy rotation since then. It’s such a good album, there isn’t one skippable track.
I also recently remembered that Plumb exists, so I’ve been listening to her a lot the past week or so.
We hosted a board game party this month and, as a treat, I decided to try out a few winter lemonade recipes. This Spiced Vanilla Meyer Lemonade and Blood Orange Cranberry Lemonade were not cheap to make, but they were delicious. I do always enjoy the chance to go all out with party snacks.
I’ve also continued my efforts to use my cookbooks more, to good effect. This roasted tomato and broiled cheddar soup from the Smitten Kitchen Every Day cookbook was phenomenal, and I was frankly surprised at how flavourful and delicious this cream of barley soup from the Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook was.
These sweet potato chocolate chip cookies from the Joy the Baker cookbook were a flavour combination that would never have occurred to me, but they were really good (and incidentally dairy free). I brought them along to a Bible study I’ve been leading at church, because I am not above bribing people with food to come study covenants in Genesis with me. I also made these chocolate lime whoopie pies for the same purpose.
Did you know that there are cross stitch patterns for clocks? I was a bit skeptical, but I decided to try this one out and I really love how it turned out. The pattern suggested keeping the hoop and just attaching the clock movement to the fabric, but I wanted more support so I glued the fabric to a wooden clock face instead and finished it off with ribbon. I’m so pleased with how it turned out and it looks really good hanging in our dining room. You can find the pattern here.
In addition to working on the clock, I tried out another fancy friendship bracelet pattern, again with elephants. And, in case you’re curious, I finally found a use for all the bracelets I’ve been making lately–I use them as bookmarks and mark off the passages we’re studying every week in different Bible translations.
And finally, I bought myself a colouring calendar at the beginning of the year, and I’ve really been enjoying working through these pictures as a small monthly project.
Online and IRL
I achieved a minor goal of mine this month and went viral on Twitter. Obviously there are different degrees of viral, but this was enough that I couldn’t possibly keep up with all the responses, which has never happened to me before. It’s slowed down to a trickle now, but I still get a handful of strangers sharing childhood anecdotes in my mentions every day, which is delightful.
While, as I said, I couldn’t possibly keep up with all the responses, this one was my favourite of the ones I saw. It still cracks me up every time.
Offline, all the major events in my life this month have been church-related. I got to preach again on the first Sunday of the month. The sermon was on the story of the Syro-Phoenician woman in Mark, a passage I find really challenging, and I appreciated the chance to grapple with it more deeply.
Then, just last Sunday, my husband and I were received into membership at our church. This was a big deal for us because until now the churches we’ve belonged to haven’t been accepting new members, so we were both still members on paper at our respective parents’ churches. Of course, in many ways this is a formality. We participated fully in the life of the other churches we belonged to, even if we weren’t members on paper, and even though we’ve only been at Stirling a year and a half we’re both deeply involved already. Even so, it was deeply meaningful to have our official status reflect the fact that we’ve come to call this community home, and we’re so glad that we’ve found a church home where our whole selves fit. The candles pictured below are a gift given to every new member as a symbol of our interconnectedness.
That’s it for me for the month, be sure to link up with Leigh to see what other folks have been into.