"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, May 4, 2014

Sunday Salon, May 4th

My beautiful niece graduated from college yesterday. Here she is with my parents.
Photo taken by my sister Kathy.
Weather: Raining. Earlier this week we had record-breaking heat, now back to spring rains.

Musical selection of the day: What if the coolest song ever written for the cello was actually written for eight cellos? Yes, it is another PianoGuys selection. Love them!

Yesterday: My eldest daughter, Rita, and I drove down to Portland to attend the graduation of niece/cousin Samantha from George Fox University. Actually, to be more precise, we didn't attend the graduation but did attend the after-party/BBQ. It was wonderful to be with nearly my whole family of origin, just missing my youngest sister. Don't my folks look good, too?

FitBit: This past week I had five days with over 10,000 steps, and I only had to march in place next to the bed to get to 10,00 steps once before hopping in! Ha! Yesterday, however, I didn't even have 3000 steps. Six hours in the car to and from Portland didn't give a lot of time to walk.

Health tip of the week: avoid artificial sweeteners if at all possible, especially aspartame. It is excites nerve cells which can deplete our serotonin levels leading to depression and can cause migraines. It excites the bladder muscles and causes irritable bowel syndrome. There are over 900 published studies showing the detrimental effects of this sweetener, with the most serious being blood-related cancers. Plus, and here is the ironic bit, use of aspartame doesn't help a person lose weight and may actually make the user fatter. Watch the video about it here.

"A Card in Every Hand": last week I told you about a project that the public library started in conjunction with our school district where they issued a public library card to every secondary kid in our district. Well, this past week I went to every English classroom and handed out cards and showed the students some of the ways they could use their cards without even going to the library, things like free on-line homework tutoring, all the databases available to them, and even movie/music downloads. I averaged three classrooms a period, some days I presented the information 18 times for four days straight. I was shocked at how excited most students were to get the card. It was exhausting but very rewarding.

Books read this week:
  • Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter. I am obsessed with this book right now. Look for my review later today or tomorrow.
Currently reading:
  • The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson. Another tough topic handled by Anderson: PTSD. This is an audiobook selection.
  • Secret Son by Laila Lalami. This month's book club selection.
Mock Printz reading list: I am attempting to "divine" which books will be the best-of-the-best in YA for the year by compiling a summer reading list. If you have read any YA titles, published in 2014, that you think are exceptional, please let me know. No YA novel has garnered much praise-worthy attention yet so I am having a hard time building my reading list.

Scripture: Isaiah 52:7
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation,“Your God reigns!”
Poem/song of the day: 
A Place in the Choir 
by Bill Staines (Chorus)

All God's children got a place in the choir, 
Some sing low and some sing higher,
Some sing loud on a telephone wire,
Some just clap their hands, or paws, or anything they got now.


  1. oooo I'm so glad you like Beautiful Ruins too!! I can't wait for your review!
    The Impossible Knife of Memory is on my TBR list now. I'd seen it around the blogosphere but hadn't slowed down enough to truly consider it. But my friends daughter is marrying a young vet with PTSD so it's a must now!

  2. Sounds like a wonderful weekend with your family. Glad to hear the library card project is going so well, too.

    As usual, I am way behind so am reading some of the YA books that were hot last year! I am enjoying Maggie Stiefvater's Raven Boys series - just finished The Dream Thieves (not too far behind on that one).


    Book By Book

    Book by Book is now on Facebook!

  3. Nice photo at the graduation, great! I agree about the aspartame tip; it must be terrible for the stomach. I have one can of diet soda a day but I wish I could avoid it. Do you drink coffee or something else instead? Good luck on FitBit, sounds good.


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