Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Joie de Vivre

I finally took the plunge the other day and ordered a couple of books from Amazon and I was not only pleased with the service but my selections also. One of the titles I got was Joie de Vivre: Simple French Style for Everyday Living by acclaimed restaurateur Robert Arbor. I read it over one weekend and found it as delightful as I had hoped it’d be after reading sample pages using Amazon’s “Search Inside” feature at

The book’s title, which is French for “enjoyment of life,” captures the essence of its message: life is meant to be savored one sip at a time, not gulped down indiscriminately. Arbor is a French expatriate who has owned and operated several successful French-style eateries in New York City and still maintains a residence in the French countryside.

What I loved about the book is its elegantly simple approach to living a life full of meaning and merriment with the ones we cherish. Coupled with artful photography from the author’s wife, the book’s chapter titles are arranged in a type of culinary order, from the French love of breakfast to gardening, farmer’s markets and other simple pleasures.

For the cuisine-minded, recipes are sprinkled throughout the text, but in an unobtrusive manner for those of us more inclined toward the message than the menu. As Arbor writes, “A big part of comprehending 'joie de vivre' is understanding that enjoyment in day-to-day life is the true key to happiness. Finding happiness in small things means that ordinary days are filled with pleasures rather than obligations.”

Friday, August 17, 2007

To Be Continued...

My television viewing, that is. My last post dealt with both of our televisions dying within a two-week span last month and how it caused me to consider not replacing one or both of them. And after much thought and prayer, the verdict was to replace the primary one and dispose of the secondary one.

However, during the course of researching a prospective replacement online, I came across an advertisement for a local family-owned and -operated television repair place. The good news is after the manufacturer suggested that I carry our primary set to the curb, I was able to get it fixed, and to the tune of about a hundred bucks, much less than the cost of replacing it with a new one that had less features.

As for the secondary set, it was indeed carried to the curb this morning, and I am already feeling much better about owning only one television. Also, we have resolved to be even more discerning when it comes to what we allow through our eye and ear gates. Our guiding light is a favorite scripture of mine: “Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts [Proverbs 4:23].”