"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunday Salon, Feb. 23, 2014

Weather: Grey and depressing. Winter skies in the Northwest are the worst. I actually have to use a light box in the winter months to keep myself from spiraling down emotionally/mentally because I have S.A.D. (Seasonal Affected Disorder.) Today's weather reminds me to spend some time in front of the light box for sure.

Musical Interlude: I listened to the classical music radio station on the way to church this morning. This piece by Handel lifted me up and carried me away. Click the play button and have a listen while you read my blog. I hope it elevates your mood, too.

This past week: was a short and long one. Have you ever felt that way? We had Monday off work for President's Day. Then we had no students on Tuesday for teacher in-service. The work week was short. But by the end of the Wednesday I thought the week would never end, it had been such a busy day.

Birthday week: My birthday celebrations started last week-end and continued through Wednesday, may actual birthday. As I reported last week my daughters took me to high tea on Saturday. We had a big family dinner that evening. Two days off (Friday and Monday) made the long week-end seem like a gift to me. Fr dinner Wednesday my husband and I went to a favorite Thai restaurant but had to rush through the meal because Don had a meeting at the church. He gave me a very blingy new ring made from green quartz to match other jewelry he's given me over the years. I know I am spoiled when my husband and the local jeweler are on a first-name basis. He tells her what he wants and she makes it happen. She even knows my ring size. Spoiled brat, I know.

Birthday greetings and gifts: I heard from my parents and all my siblings. My mom, who is busy sorting and giving away treasures she has kept for years, gave me a Tri-Delta pendant that her "little sister" in the house gave her in 1962. Since we were both Tri-Delts while we were in college, mom knew I would enjoy this trinket. She also gave me an envelope full of family photos. I am not very photogenic, that is for sure. My mom is so precious.

Educators Night at the Museum: Thursday was a special night at the Tacoma Art Museum set aside for educators. An art teacher from my school and I went together and had fun looking at the art and getting to know each other better. We entered a raffle for one of three prizes. Two of the prizes were signed prints by Eric Carle. We both swooned over them. The third was a goodie bag of undisclosed items. As we prepared to leave the event we stopped by the booth to see if we had won anything. Both prints were awarded to someone else and they hadn't done the drawing for the bag of goodies yet. The next day I got an email from the TAM. I won the goodie bag drawing. Now I must go back to Tacoma to claim my prize.

Soups this week: Minestrone (reprise, since I still had all the ingredients on hand from the last batch I made) and Coconut Chicken Curry, which was spicy and delicious.  After a week of eating birthday food and cake, I am happy to report that I didn't have any net gained weight thanks to eating soup the rest of the time.

Health tip of the week: Back when I was teaching Health classes (nine years ago) I found an article in Newsweek magazine that talked about healthy and unhealthy oils. At that time canola oil seemed like a healthier option than corn, soy, or vegetable oil so I added it to my shopping list and have used it whenever olive oil didn't seem right. This week I learned that canola oil is probably the absolute worst oil to use. I've been sick to my stomach thinking how I may have been poisoning my family for years. Obviously, I have thrown away all our canola oil and won't buy it again. The most recent information I've found on fats in our diets is related to what I used to think of as the enemy, saturated fats. This clip talks about the health benefits of coconut oil. I have started using it and find it to be very pleasant. Have a listen and decide for yourself.

Books read this week:
  • Earth Girl by Janet Edwards...touted as a dystopian novel but the world is really a fairly nice place populated with generally nice people. Click the hyperlink for my review.
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman...a new favorite. I listened to the audiobook which was read by the author. Look for my review later today or tomorrow.
  • "The President has Been Shot" by James Swanson...this audiobooks was ranked as one of the top audiobooks of 2013 by Audiofile. It was read by Will Patton one of my favorite voice actors and included actual recordings of Kennedy giving speeches. Look for my review this coming week. I have a lot to say about this wonderful recording.
  • The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Sheinkin...a nonfiction account of an almost forgotten WWII tragedy involving black sailors. Click on the hyperlink for my review. I chose this to read in honor of Black History Month.
Currently reading:
  • Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein...I've had the book on my nightstand since before Christmas and it was obviously not being opened. This week I got the audiobook from the public library and finally have it started. My goal is to finish it before the end of the month.
  • How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare by Ken Ludwig...I just want to savor and linger over this book. But alas, it is due back at the library so I might not have a chance to finish it.
Scripture: Mark 2:17 "Jesus, overhearing, shot back, 'Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? I'm here inviting the sin-sick, not the spiritually-fit.'" (from The Message version of the Bible)
I am working on my health and attempting to eat and live a more balanced healthy life so this scripture spoke to me today.

I hope you have a week filled with books, fun, family, and good food.


  1. Enjoyed the Handel -- thanks! I've been listening to Handel and other Baroque composers lately, but this piece is particularly lyrical.

    I'm glad you had a happy birthday!

    I was very disappointed to learn how processed and refined canola oil was after it was sold as the healthy choice for so long. We found coconut oil didn't have a high enough smoke point for our stir fries. We use extra virgin olive oil for low heat cooking and pure olive oil for high heat cooking. I've also started buying butter from pastured cows when I can get it because it's supposed to have a healthier ratio of the subcomponents of fat.

    Joy's Book Blog

  2. Enjoying the Handel. I've been fighting some work-related anxiety this evening so its very soothing!

    Walk to Emmaus is a very special retreat. here's the desciption:
    The walk to Emmaus is an experience of Christian spiritual renewal and formation that begins with a three-day short course in Christianity. It is an opportunity to meet Jesus Christ in a new way as God’s grace and love is revealed to you through other believers.

    You have to be sponsored in by a previous attendee from the area. While it is a function of the Methodist Church it is open to members of any denomination.

    It is also one of the most renewing, empowering, and humbling experiences I've ever had the privilege of receiving. :)

    Ask your pastor maybe. I know there's a Puget Sound community. You'll never ever regret it!

    ps... the scripture spoke to me as well. I been feeling a nudge to eat more 'responsibly' to the world and myself.

  3. Thanks for sharing the music link! I'm not much of a classical music fan, but I did as you suggested and listened while I read your post, and it was very nice.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Hope you had a great day - sounds like it was a good birthday week (birthday celebrations always last a week or so at our house). I love chicken coconut curry soup - yum. I included an easy soup recipe on my Weekend Cooking post this week.

    Enjoy your books this week -


    Book By Book

    Book by Book is now on Facebook!

  4. So glad you had a fun Birthday week! I just finished reading Where'd You Go, Bernadette, which is set in Seattle and the weather is quite an issue for the main character :-)


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