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    Thoughtworthy: I’m Back, Well Mostly

    November 4, 2016 by Brandy Vencel


    :: 1 ::

    On Monday, I returned from Grace to Build! What an amazing conference! You all out there on the East Coast are totally blessed, you know that? Such a wonderful group of people in such a beautiful place. What’s not to like? Since then, I’ve been in my usual post-conference coma. I planned for this, so we have spent the week easing back into our normal schedule. Also, my coma is not nearly as bad as it has been in the past. I think I’m slowly learning some tricks that keep me functioning!

    I’m still playing major catch-up, of course, so if you’ve been trying to contact me … I’m trying!


    :: 2 ::

    My affection for Arnica is pretty much undying. As far as homeopathy goes, Arnica is a staple. I think I mentioned in the past that we’ve used it for head injuries. Because kids. Anyhow, before this trip, I learned that jet lag is often a form of trauma to the body, and Arnica often works as a treatment. I decided to try it — what did I have to lose? It’s not like it’d hurt me to take it. And if it was the right remedy for me, I might feel pretty good.

    Yea, verily, it worketh!

    It was so thrilling! I remember when I did the Texas AO conference and I felt wasted at least half the time. This was yet another hour time difference, and yet I did way better. It wasn’t perfect, of course, but it was such an improvement over previous trips. My return adjustment has also been better. I’ve decided I’ll be carrying this in my travel bag from now on.


    :: 3 ::

    One of the things I’ve realized is that when I’m preparing to speak, one of the best things I can do for myself is to read something on a totally unrelated topic. I packed six books (and then purchased three more while I was away), and this is one reason why. Of course, there are times when we can’t control the books and the ideas jump out and play with each other on the mental playground regardless of how unrelated they seemed when you chose them.

    Be that as it may, I was very pleased with my airplane books. I decided to choose fiction titles that I thought would last me the trip. The flight from San Francisco to Raleigh was about 5 hours, and the first flight home from Raleigh to Denver was about 4 hours. These novels were practically perfect! Nathan Coulter was the one I chose for the flight over, and my only complaint is that it was a 4-hour book, leaving me feeling claustrophobic for the fifth hour. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, on the other hand, was exactly right for my flight to Denver.

    Nathan Coulter was my first Wendell Berry in a year or two, but not my favorite Berry. And yet, I recommend it. I mean, you really can’t go wrong with Berry. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich was my first Solzhenitsyn. I think I’d like to read more of his work!


    :: 4 ::

    If you somehow missed it, Mystie has a fabulous free mini-workshop for you this week.

    If you need a kick in your homeschool pants, as Pam likes to say, this is for you.


    :: 5 ::

    I am a total Wes Callihan fan girl, so I was very excited about this Scholé Sisters episode:


    :: 6 ::

    I’ve got lots to catch up on, as I said. I’m trying to get Newbie Tuesday out next week; we’ll see how that goes. I’ve got a number of blog posts rolling around in my head as well. I need to get back into Vittorino da Feltre, of course, but there are a few other thoughts I’m mulling over as well. So much to write and so little time!


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  • Reply Chelsea November 4, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    😀 I am totally using arnica next spring when we travel across the pond with our 13 month old! Fabulous! I didn’t know it could be used for that!

    PS Weleda’s arnica massage oil is also lovely for bumps and bruises, and it smells delicious.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel November 5, 2016 at 10:17 am

      I haven’t tried the Weleda oil — thank you for the recommendation!

  • Reply Jen Snow November 4, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    So glad that Grace to Build went well for you…and still totally gutted that I was *that close* to getting to see you and didn’t. 🙁 If they invite you back next year….fly to Charlotte. That’s all I gotta say about that. ;P

    VERY interesting about Arnica for Jet Lag. Our mega-Jet-Lag traveling days are more or less over…but I’m tucking that tip away in my back pocket for future reference if needed.

    I finally got my Vittorino book in the mail and am up to about page 40, I think. Totally fascinating. Looking forward to your next installment. (It’s almost making me want to dust off my languishing blog and write again. But I echo the sentiment…So much to write and so little time!)

    • Reply Brandy Vencel November 5, 2016 at 10:18 am

      Yay for getting your book! I’m happy you’re reading along! 🙂

  • Reply Rebecca M November 4, 2016 at 11:27 am

    Be sure to protect your Arnica from the radiation of the X-ray at security. It will destroy the homeopathic remedies. There are special bags you can get or wrap it in foil.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel November 4, 2016 at 3:21 pm

      I request a hand inspection. 🙂 Good reminder!

  • Reply Phyllis November 4, 2016 at 8:11 am

    I read Ivan Denisovich again on the way to TX this year. It must be just right for conference travel reading. 🙂 Solzhenitsyn is my favourite author. I think I’ve read everything he wrote that is easily available in English, and I’ve been working my way slowly back through in Russian.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel November 4, 2016 at 8:36 am

      I love that you can read him in Russian! ♥ So…if I was to read another Solzhenitsyn soon, which one would you recommend? I was eyeing one … I think it’s called The Cancer Ward?

      • Reply Dawn Duran November 4, 2016 at 3:43 pm

        I read about half of Denisovich a couple of years ago and keep meaning to return to finish it. I did so at Karen Glass’ recommendation, actually, because I had expressed interest in jumping into Cancer Ward. I’m still interested in CW, but really want to at least finish ID first.

        • Reply Brandy Vencel November 5, 2016 at 10:19 am

          ID was SO good. I bet it wouldn’t take you long to finish it. 🙂

  • Reply Kathy W. November 4, 2016 at 7:50 am

    Willa Cather’s Somg of the Lark was my airplane read.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel November 4, 2016 at 8:34 am

      Ooh! I will have to put that on my list for my next plane ride!

    • Reply Erika November 5, 2016 at 6:52 pm

      Airplane reads! You mean those things exist when your kids are older? (I may be slightly traumatized by my four international flights and six accompanying domestic flights with between one and three children, the youngest always a lap infant, over the last four years…) Ahh… I begin to see a future for my accumulating book lists!

      • Reply Brandy Vencel November 5, 2016 at 7:02 pm

        Oh my goodness! *I* was traumatized just reading your brief description, Erika! In this case, I was traveling entirely solo, but YES when your children are older there is such a thing as airplane reads. In fact, when we flew to Dallas and back in May, A-Age-11 had her own airplane book stack. 🙂

  • Reply Sara November 4, 2016 at 7:45 am

    I read Hannah Coulter and loved it! I want to read another Berry book but cannot decide which one to buy (my library doesn’t carry them). Which one would you recommend?

    • Reply Brandy Vencel November 4, 2016 at 8:35 am

      Oh, Jayber Crow, for sure! Usually, when you ask someone for their favorite Berry novel, it’s either Hannah Coulter or Jayber Crow. 🙂 If you want a short read, Andy Catlett is really sweet. ♥

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