Seven Quick Takes – Southern Winter Edition

Take 1

The grocery store doesn’t carry turnips. We can easily buy bananas, mangoes, and pineapples in January, but staple winter root vegetables are unavailable. What a fascinating modern age we live in…

Take 2

I love book lists. What books are in your to-be-read pile right now? Are you in the middle of anything good? Any must-read recommendations for the year?

Right now I’m creeping through John Buchan’s Sick Heart River and Sinclair Lewis’s Babbitt in bits and pieces. Blood Done Sign My Name by Timothy Tyson, The Bielski Brothers by Peter Duffy, The Care and Feeding of Husbands by Laura Schlessinger, and several books on vegetable gardening came home from the library this week. Also in the lineup thanks to Christmas gifts: Pezeshkzad’s My Uncle Napoleon, Decision Points by George W. Bush, Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset, Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy, and quite a few others.

If you’re wondering what to read next, check out this fantastic list by The Provincial Homemaker . Australian literature is a new realm to me, and I’m looking forward to exploring.

Take 3

The ice storm brought down trees and numerous branches around the yard. I spent several hours hauling branches, splitting a tree that fell across the fence, and sawing up firewood. Little known fact: cutting firewood is my favorite chore. Getting this in the mail made my day – featherlight and cuts like a hot knife through butter. Just give me an ox and call me Paul Bunyan

Take 4

After attending a church luncheon for the wives of deployed soldiers I stopped by the Goodwill thrift store. A mother and her teenage son stood arguing in the book section. National Geographic would’ve used them as the cover photo for a profile on the redneck, Nascar-loving, long-haired, hound-dog raising, trucks-on-cinder-blocks rural South.

The mother tossed her head: “Ah don’t care what that man claims. He ain’t no born-again Christian, not using language like that all the way through his book!”

“Oh yeah? Then what you gonna do when you git to heaven and he’s there Momma?”

“What would I do? Well, I, I…I’d die from disbelief, that’s what I’d do!”

“But you’d already be dead Momma.”

Take 5

If your spouse is deployed, don’t watch the YouTube videos of soldiers returning from Afghanistan to their exuberant spouses, parents, and children. You’ll just feel jealous and need to comfort yourself with chocolate. If, however, you’re looking for a good excuse for chocolate, by all means watch the videos and have  at it.

Take 6

The movie Defiance retells a little-known story from World War II. Several brothers from the Jewish Bielski family fled to the Naliboki forest when Germany invaded their region. As the Nazis penned Jews into ghettos, shipped them to concentration camps, and slaughtered them, the Bielski brothers secretly rescued Belorussian Jews and escorted them into the forests. Together, they built a hidden community deep in the woods and carried out numerous guerrilla raids against railway lines, German installations, and Nazi supporters. Despite German attacks, brutal winters, and frequent food shortages,the Bielski brothers saved more than 1200 Jews by the end of the war.  The movie isn’t strictly factual, but I enjoyed it thoroughly. As a bonus, you get to watch Daniel Craig (James Bond) and Liev Schreiber faking Russian accents, which is pretty entertaining in its own right. 

To find out more about the actual facts, I borrowed the History Channel’s brief documentary The Bielski Brothers from the library, and also checked out The Bielski Brothers: The true story of three men who defied the Nazis, saved 1200 Jews, and built a village in the forest by Peter Duffy for a little reading over the coming weeks.

Take 7

I’m pretty sure the sink creates extra dirty dishes when my back is turned. Just saying.

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2 thoughts on “Seven Quick Takes – Southern Winter Edition

  1. GLad you liked the list. With regard to quick take 6, our government held its welcome home parade for the “final troops leaving Iraq” when my husband still had 5 months of deployment ahead of him. I was plain ropeable:)

  2. Wow, that must’ve been pretty infuriating.

    There was a lot of talk going around this fall saying that U.S. troops deployed to Iraq would no longer be receiving combat patches for their service. That made the soldiers who are still fighting there quite angry. It sounds like the decision may have been reversed (or just a rumor) which is wise – you really don’t want several thousand soldiers mad at you :-).

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