( Indigo Christal Clear Soaps Army.)
I have not always enjoyed reading, and have learned to find things that I am interested in to keep my skills and mind sharp. I do enjoy reading books about plants, gardening, glass blowing, kiln work, cooking, and anything I can get my hands on about soap formulating natural beauty products. This may not interest everyone, but it sparks a lot of interest in me and is a great way to help keep me motivated during the winter season while helping grow my skillset. Here are some of the traditional and non-traditional books that I enjoy reading.
(Be Here Now, on vacation with us.)
Be Here Now by Ram Dass, was given to me by a good friend on my 30th birthday. Be Here Now, is something that has become an intention set for my daily life. Being present and in the moment can be challenging and frustrating. There are many different things that this book talks about, and many ways to perceive it. Each time I read this book or even flip through it I notice something different. It helps me with many things, for example working on not always wanting more and being happy with what I have, and understanding that material things can lead to unwanted attachment. Even just the words are here now help me to enjoy the little things in life and enjoy what I have at the moment, reminding myself that it is ok to slow down and just enjoy the process of life itself. This book is special to me and is one of my favorite gifts to give to friends.
(Our First Crawfish Boil.)
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein, this book reminds me of my childhood. The first time I heard this story my Father read it to us for a bedtime story, and my Grandmother had the old cartoon version we used to watch as children. I read the whole series, The Lord Of The Rings growing up, and was delighted to see them come out in theaters. Many of my family members are short people and we often call ourselves hobbits. As someone who also loves food, I admire the way the hobbits love their meals and eat often.
(Locally harvested mushrooms from the spring.)
Plant Identification Books are some of my favorite things to read. At first, I never understood why people would ever want to take the time to learn at least three different ways to say a plants name, or what family it is in, but after being forced to learn hundreds of plants in school, it has become something that has grown on me and is now interesting in ways I never knew I would enjoy. Now I am able to tell you quite a bit about many plants just by hearing or seeing a name. I have spent hours reading and re-reading, taking notes, marking pages, and revisiting pages over and over while I walk in the woods, garden in my yard, or visit a friends house, just to find a specific plant or unique usage, of a plant that is in one of my books.
( Oyster mushrooms found in our friend's yard!)
Gardening Books, growing tradition, and non-traditional ways is another thing that I am interested in and have spent many hours reading and re-reading about. Trying new things each year, to help our yard become efficient and fruitful while working towards the goals of being more eco-friendly and as good for the bugs and wildlife as it is for our family. I enjoy learning about what is the best time to save or collect your rainwater, how to create beautiful black gold soil from composting, what bugs are “good bugs” and how to help them be productive, and what “weeds” are beneficial and medicinal uses of anything I can find on walks or in our yard. Plants and gardening have been a way for me to use my mind and body and be able to enjoy myself and the outdoors more every year. I would love to encourage you to learn about local plants in your area and you may also fall in love with learning all about gardening in a new way.
These two books often accompany us on our travels and road trips.
(Lampworking a bead.)
Glass workbooks have become another favorite for me. I have a few of them and always love to look through them just like it is my first time. Learning skills and being self-taught in many of my hobbies has helped to give me a love for books, and the creators who are willing to share knowledge and take the time to educate those who are willing to learn. Growing up I always was in love with glass and have wanted to know how they are able to get the color to be inside of clear marbles, and mesmerized by the way glass flows so beautifully. If it was not for many of the books I have collected and used religiously, I would have not been able to create precise elaborate designs inside of a tiny pendant. Glass lampworked bead books are often what I will be looking for at a book store if I am not in the gardening section. To this day it still amazes me to watch glass being worked, I enjoy watching the glass dance effortlessly in the flames the way a ballerina dances on stage while knowing all of the hard work, blood, sweat, tears, and failures that have taken to make something look so perfect, and smooth.
( My favorite smash book or junk journal made by my talented friend Wendy.)
Reading is a beautiful tool and has become something that I can enjoy as an adult much more than I was ever able to as a child. If you do not like reading, or you have children that do not like to read yet, help them find books on their interests and hobbies, you never know where books can take you if you find ones that you enjoy. Do you have any books that have been gifted to you and made an impact on your life?