Share Four Somethings – March

Something Loved

Meditations in Motion

Readers of this blog are probably tired of reading about it, but I absolutely loved the trip to Costa Rica my hubby and I took in March. The wildlife was plentiful and spectacular, the beach was gorgeous, the scenery was amazing, and the company was outstanding. The picture above was the little nook by the pool at our hotel where we ate breakfast and leisurely sipped our bold, rich Costa Rican coffee most mornings.

Probably my two favorite parts of the trip were the Costa Rican people (Ticos) I met and the absolutely delicious food.

I especially enjoyed talking with the guides on several of the tours. One guide explained to us that the poor in Costa Rica are given their own houses for free in an effort to eradicate poverty. The family must live in the house for 20 years, then they own it free and clear.

Not only is this a good idea economically (it must be cheaper to give a poor family a small, no-frills house than subsidizing rent indefinitely as we do in the U.S.), it gives struggling families the opportunity for homeownership and the resultant source of pride. Plus, homeowners will spend money on home improvements that renters would not do, putting more money into the local economy. It’s a win-win for a developing country such as Costa Rica.

Bill and I keep a list of our favorite restaurants we have visited over the years (more on that in a future post). We just added one more to that list – The Dragonfly in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. Not only do I love the name (I’m a big fan of dragonflies), the beautiful open-air setting, friendly bartenders, and exquisitely prepared food – I got mahi-mahi over rice and vegetables in a coconut milk sauce – added up to an amazing dining experience.

Something Said

Meditations in Motion

And we pray, not for new earth or heaven, but to be quiet in heart, and in eye clear. What we need is here.“- Wendell Berry

This quote by one of my favorite authors reminds me of my return to outdoor running after recovering from a hamstring injury. I can burn the same amount of calories and run the same speed and distance on a treadmill as outdoors, but the unquantifiable benefits of running outside make it my favorite pastime.

Running on a quiet bike path or forest trail helps me to clear my mind, quiet the chatter, and calm the jitters. It’s not just like taking one deep breath, it’s as though you are taking thousands of deep breaths, one after the other. Everything I need for stillness and calm can be found there, through movement.

Something Learned

Meditations in Motion

A TED talk I heard on NPR in February about a man who tried something new each month inspired me to try something similar. He did the new activity every day for 30 days, then assessed whether it was a habit he would like to pursue.

For my first month’s “new thing” I tried adult coloring. Being a cheapskate, I didn’t want to invest money before determining whether I enjoyed coloring. I found plenty of free downloadable patterns to try and appropriated my grandsons’ markers. The picture above was my first attempt.

The verdict: I like it. I don’t love it, but it’s something I may keep doing. It was relaxing and satisfying, with one caveat. I think I would like it better if I drew the pattern myself. That may be the “new thing” for another month. Making my own patterns would make the whole endeavor seem more creative and give me more ownership of the product. Here is a photo of the page I am working on now:

Meditations in Motion

Something Read

Meditations in Motion

I read “The Overstory” by Richard Powers for my book club last month. I purchased it late, with less than a week to go before our meeting and did not get a chance to read much of the 500-page book before our discussion.

When my friend, who recommended the book, asked me if I liked it, I told her I did. After reading the entire book, I realize I was not nearly effusive enough in praise for this book. I loved everything about it. I loved the plot, the character development, the descriptions, and the way the structure of the story was modeled on the structure of a tree (you must read the book to understand what I mean by this).

Yes, this is a book about the vital role trees play in our lives and our ecosystems. Powers gets his message across in a non-preachy kind of way. In fact, he gave one of the best pieces of writing advice I have ever read: “The best arguments in the world won’t change a person’s mind. The only thing that can do that is a good story.

So, facts don’t convince individuals to change their minds, statistics don’t convince people, only a well-told story can convince them. Before you can change a person’s mind you must first connect with them, get their attention; a compelling story is the way to do that. If more social media posters would buy into that one line, the world would be a much more polite and happier place.

I cannot give this book a higher recommendation. It is one of my favorite fiction books ever.

 

I am linking up with Heather Gerwing for her “Four Somethings”. Thanks, Heather, for giving the opportunity to think and write about four such compelling topics.

Also linking with Jessica and Amy at Live Life Well, Raisie Bay for Word of the Week, Crystal Twaddell for Fresh Market Friday, Fairytales and Fitness for Friday 5, Spiritual Sundays for Welcome, Susan B Mead for Dancing With Jesus, Embracing the Unexpected for Grace and Truth, Counting My Blessings for Faith ‘n Friends, Lyli Dunbar for Faith on Fire, and Morgan’s Milieu for Post, Comment, Love.

 

 

 

 

 

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83 comments

  1. I like the idea of trying new things. Like you, I tried adult coloring a few years back. I liked it as well but did not love it either. I am really into crossword puzzles daily though. Gives me a sense of accomplishment

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your words intrigue me to consider Costa Rica for a trip sometime. I like that 30 days idea too, trying something new every day would help the slow arrival of spring seem less slow?! Thanks for sharing your book information, I’ve added it to my Want To Read list in GoodReads. Have you read The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben? If you enjoyed learning about trees, it is a good read too. Happy Spring to you, Laurie – enjoy your runs in solitude and prayer, those moments no doubt connect and feed the soul!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I enthusiastically recommend Costa Rica. It was beautiful and relatively inexpensive. I have heard of that book, but never read it. Adding it to my TBR list, which is actually getting a little bit thin right now!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m adding Costa Rica to my to research list. My reading list is looking thin too. I have a bunch there, but few I feel like reading right now. Must be Spring fever!?!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It sounds like an amazing trip to Costa Rica and that little nook looks a lovely place to spend some time!
    My teen loves colouring and has a few of the adult books. She finds it so relaxing. I don’t have the patience for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Our little breakfast nook was a wonderful way to begin the day. I probably wouldn’t have patience for coloring if I was still working, but now that I am retired, I have more time. I find it relaxing too.

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  4. Thanks for the book recommendation! It sounds fascinating, even though I don’t yet know what it’s actually about, LOL.

    I keep a journal and I record where we eat out, what we had — even at home. The problem with that, though, is that then I have to know *when* we were somewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Judy, I could just not think of how to give a brief synopsis of everything in the book. It begins by introducing about 8 different individuals and follows them and their relationship to trees. It sounds kind of weird, but it was compelling. I started out not really connecting with it, but could not put it down by the end of the book.

      I love that journal idea.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for a little more insight into the book.

        My planner is where I keep everything: running journal, gratitude journal, my to-do list, meal plan, and yes, where we eat when we go out & what I had & whether or not I enjoyed it. I use different colored markers for everything & that makes me happy.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Costa Rica sounds amazing, the housing scheme seems like a really good one and very well thought through. There are so many properties standing empty here in the UK there really is no need for anyone to be homeless. I might give that TED talk a listen, it sounds really interesting. #wotw

    Liked by 1 person

    • Costa Rica was amazing. I love their housing philosophy. There is so much homelessness here in the big cities. The TED talk was really interesting. I love them. Could listen all day!

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  6. What an interesting scheme to give houses to raise people out of poverty. It does sound a wonderful country to visit. I’ve not tried the adult colouring books. I have so many hobbies that I’m a bit afraid to add another one. I do like book recommendations. Another one to add to my list. Hope you have a good weekend. #wotw

    Liked by 1 person

    • I loved that idea. It makes so much sense. I probably will not keep doing the coloring books after the 30 days are up, unless I come back, to it at some point and make my own patterns to color. Hope you have a great weekend too!

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  7. My four are coming next Sat.

    Costa Rica is on my list. Looks so beautiful.

    That’s funny. Last year I tried coloring because everyone was doing it. I didn’t love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I like the idea of trying one new thing every month for a month. I’ve loved your reveries of your Costa Rica trip, it sounds like an amazing place. The books sounds intriguing too.
    Thanks for linking up to #Wotw x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I get excited to try my “new something” each month. Costa Rica was absolutely amazing. I recommend it if you get a chance! Thanks for the chance to share.

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  9. I love coloring! It is very relaxing and I like mixing new color combinations or coloring something other than it’s normal color. It is something I do a lot when watching TV because I can’t just sit and watch – I have to keep doing something with my hands for some reason. Yours are wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Four Interestings! The Overstory looks right up my alley with the plot, so thanks for the recommendation. We used coloring a lot where I used to work. They can be a great meditation. They have books where each page comes with a quote with the intention of thinking about its meaning in your life while you colored. It’s a cool concept I think. And it was funny to see adults furrow their brow at the idea and then come out loving it in the end. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope you enjoy The Overstory if you decide to read it. I was a little unsure whether I liked it at first when the characters were first introduced. By the end, I could not put it down. The next few books I read were disappointing, I think, because I was comparing them to The Overstory!

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    • Everyone in my book club is a runner and we all loved the book. I have to warn you, I did not think I was going to like it at first, but by the end, I could not put it down. I hope you enjoy it!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I definitely recommend both Costa Rica and The Overstory. Costa Rica was amazing and the book was one I could not put down. I do have to warn you, it is a little bit slow to start, though.

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  11. I like all the descriptions you have given about Costa Rica thus far Laurie – it sounds as beautiful as all the photos I’ve ever seen of it. That is a wonderful idea to let people have these homes free and clear after 20 years – the pride in ownership can buoy these people’s spirits, people who otherwise might sink into despair knowing they can never own their own little plot of land (in this case no white picket fence) as so many other folks here in North America do. As for the drawing your own pictures, I tucked this link away awhile ago. I was looking on Pinterest for something and saw “how to draw” … many decades ago I took an art class offered by the City of Lincoln Park. Every Wednesday, all Summer, a City Parks and Recreation bus took us around town to sketch different sights, one was a graveyard that I wrote about in a post. We had an artist that conducted the class. When I retire, I want to do some more charcoal sketches like before. I was also inspired by the two painters who were doing watercolors at Heritage Park last Summer (I also featured them in a post) … so try this link out or get some drawing books to help you along. I did buy a few drawing books after the class was over, but school resumed in the Fall and I never got back to it. Who knows … you could be the next Marjolein Bastin:

    Drawing step by step: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/493636809142718620/?lp=true

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Linda. I will check it out. I once read “How to Draw on the Right Side of the Brain”. There was a series of exercises designed to teach you how to be a better sketcher. I was working at the time and didn’t have time to finish the book. Now I have pulled the book out of retirement. I always loved to draw and in fact, my first major in college was art, not chemistry!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well that’s interesting Laurie that your first major was art. I enjoyed the class I took all those years ago, and when I worked at the ad agency right out of college, I’d watch the art directors effortlessly sketching designs for their storyboards – it all looked so easy. I wrote a post about my sketching one time. It was when I first began my blog and my style was a lot different than now – no pictures, one long paragraph and a one-word title. I’m putting it here so that when you do your first nature sketch and show us that sketch and how you colored it, you might want to include this nice quote:

        https://lindaschaubblog.net/2013/05/18/sketchbook/

        Liked by 1 person

    • I think you might like the book, Dennis. I know you are more of a Russian Literature/non-fiction guy, but this has a science background and it was really interesting for this former science teacher to read.

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  12. You and Shelley both got away in March to wonder warm climates while the rest of us like the Grinch just stood ankle deep in the snow. I am glad that you both had a great time and took wonderful pictures. It helps the rest of us remember what warm looks like. I too enjoy adult coloring. On nights when my brain wont stop, it helps derail it. I will have to check out your book recommendation. Have a great weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. You like trees. You like Ted Talks. If you listen to podcasts, I think you’d enjoy this one from Radiolab. This is a link to a summary of the episode and a link to it. It’s my other blog. https://pursuingpodcasts.wordpress.com/2019/02/24/from-tree-to-shining-tree-radiolab/.

    If you want to draw your own pictures, and you find patterns interesting, you might like zentangle drawing. I took a basics class with a friend and there’s a meditative aspect to it. They also would be fun to color in when done!
    https://zentangle.com/

    I love the idea of trying something new. I took a shot a puzzles. I think I need to give that another chance.

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. There is a lot packed into your four little things. 🙂 First, I don’t know if I’ll ever grow tired of reading about Costa Rica. You’ve made me want to travel there. Also, I love the idea of trying a new thing every month. Thanks for sharing with us at #LiveLifeWell

    Liked by 1 person

  15. We’re heading to Costa Rica in 2020 and I’m already salivating . . . and Overstory is now going to the top of my To Be Read list, based on your sterling recommendation. As for coloring, I purchased a horse anatomy coloring book and a box of good colored pencils a while back and found it an effective and soothing way to learn where stuff is inside a horse. Which, for a horse addict like myself, is a big payoff. And I am SO happy for you that your injury has healed and you can get back out on the trails, you fleet-of-foot Valkyrie, you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, I don’t know about Valkyrie…more like a Stumblefoot, I think. Please let me know what you think about The Overstory. I was unsure whether I would like it at first, but it is so well written and by the end, I couldn’t put it down. I think you will love Costa Rica. It’s an easy country to explore and everyone there was so friendly. I am ready to go back! 🙂

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  16. We’ve not been to Costa Rica, but it sounds lovely and like a great place to add to our travel bucket list. I’ve not tried adult coloring, but don’t think it would be my thing. Of course, don’t knock it until you try it, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I never thought I would like adult coloring, either. Then I tried it on a whim and kinda like it. It’s satisfying to finish a picture. I think I would like it better if I made my own patterns, though. Maybe that’s next.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Costa Rica sounds like such an amazing place and I like the idea of trying to eradicate poverty by providing housing that people will own after living there for 20 years. I’m with you on liking rather than loving colouring – although I love drawing so the idea of doing your own patterns sounds good. Always good to try new things. #WotW

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I LOVE it when you post these! It always gives me something to think about and new things to try. I will definitely have to check out that book, it sounds amazing, and I love the quote. I think that at times the same is true for sharing our faith.

    Thanks for linking up @LiveLifeWell!

    Blessings,

    Amy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Amy. I hope you like the book if you read it. It is a little bit of a slow start, but eventually, I couldn’t put it down. Thanks for the chance to share!

      Like

  19. I, too, prefer running outdoors over on a treadmill. I enjoy the change of scenery, the quiet, and the fresh air. I like that quote from the book you read. It’s definitely true how impactful story can be to someone. Thanks for the reminder!

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    • Yes, running outside is so much better than running on the ‘mill. I learned when I was a teacher that to get kids’ attention, you sometimes need a good story! 🙂

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    • Haha! Thank you, Jeanna. I am sure all of my friends wish I would just shut up about the trip! 🙂 I loved our breakfast nook. It was probably the prettiest place I ever ate breakfast.

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  20. This is a great round- up, Laurie! I loved reading about Costa Rica and that’s a great idea to try something new each month! I’ll need to check out The Overstory. I have a friend who was full of praise for it too.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. enjoyed this post (I am new to your blog and decided to have a look around – and so – I was not tired of the Costa Rica trip – ha)

    the chairs are cool – and I also like the idea of that one thing a day for 30 days – it allows us to get a feel for it

    Liked by 1 person

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