The UPS man just left behind a box of seven books that I had ordered using the book store gift card my brother gave me for Christmas. I wish now that I'd had my epiphany from earlier this week before I ordered the books--I might have made some changes. For example, I would have bought another copy of "Your Money or Your Life" by Joe Dominguez--a book I had before, but accidentally gave away. (don't ask)
However, I'm still excited by what I did get. I went crazy in the bargain bin - seven books under $25 - I think that's thrifty. :)
Among them were "Ciao Italia - Bringing Italy Home: Regional Recipes, Flavors and Traditions as Seen on the Public Television Series Ciao Italia" by Mary Ann Esposito (I always loved that show); "Edit Yourself: A Manual for Everyone Who Works with Words" by Bruce Ross-Larson (I need that - I can edit others, but not myself); "The Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures" by John & Caitlin Matthews (I've heard this is great for people who write books with magical elements) and Stephen R. Covey's "First Things First."
Looking at the Covey book, I was a little sceptical about somebody known for working with corporate leaders being able to put "first things first", but I came across this in the first few pages. After explaining some of the sections, he says: "Finally, we'll take a look at "first things"--and our basic human needs and capacities to live, to love, to learn, and to leave a legacy--and how to put them first by using our inner compass to align our lives with the "true north" realities that govern quality of life."
Aligning our lives with our "true north." I like that idea. I'll let you know more about the book once I finish reading it. In the meantime, as you can tell by the existential angst I've been pouring over this blog the past few days, I'm desperately trying to align my outer life with my inner life. I'm truly a simple person at heart; I could easily live in a one-room cabin in the woods (as long as I had an Internet connection *g*) and be quite content. I've read lots over the years about women who turned their backs on the corporate world, or head out to the country because it was a long-standing dream, or who raised families on their own with very little money--sometimes because they had no choice, sometimes because they chose to spend more time with their families. I find them inspirational.
Since I'm fairly tired right now, and since my computer keeps freezing, I'm just going to leave you with a link and a small tip. The link, The Garden of Simplicity by Duane Elgin has a nice article about the meaning of simplicity. As for the tip, if you've ever read a woman's magazine in your life you may have read this before; if not, here's one of my favorite "frugal living" tips. :)
Save the wrappers from sticks of butter or margarine. There's still enough butter on the wrapper that you can use it to grease baking pans. (You can keep them in a baggie in the refrigerator - if you have more than one, put a piece of wax paper between.) It really does make a nice, quick way to grease cake pans without wasting anything.