"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, June 1, 2014

Sunday Salon, June 1

Muffy, our Cardigan Welsh Corgi, aka Muff, The Muffster, Miss Muffy, and Muffalump
Weather: Delightful, sunny and warm with temperatures in the mid to high 70s. Perfect work-in-the-yard weather.

Speaking of working in the yard: that is what Don and I did all day yesterday and part of today. Yesterday we cleaned and pressure washed the deck and deck furniture, planted a few plants and cleaned up a few flower beds. Today we patched the dead spots in the lawn (compliments of Muffy) and we'll keep our fingers crossed that the new grass will grow by June 15th, the date of Carly's graduation party.

WWII helmet
Baseball: Last Monday, Memorial Day, the girls took their dad to a Mariners game for his birthday. I came along, too. The day was supposed to be cold and rainy but it wasn't bad when we left the house so we didn't know what to wear. We opted for layers but all of us wore jeans. It ended up being a very warm day and we even got a bit of a sunburn on our arms and cooked a bit in our jeans. It was a very special day to be at the ballpark since the club was honoring veterans and they had 18 old WWII vets out on the field before the game that they introduced. One guy, this cracked me up, was wearing the helmet he would have worn when he was on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. Since Memorial Day is a holiday set aside to remember the fallen military members it was really touching to be with Don and have him tell us about the eleven men his brigade lost while fighting in Iraq and how it is his responsibility to remember them and their service. It made me cry.

Kim: Last week I wrote about attending the memorial service for a friend, Kim, who died from cancer. At the service, the family handed out a CD of the blog entries Kim had written after she learned of her diagnosis until just one day before she died. I read or perused all 429 pages of these entries and was really touched by her spirit even in the face of terrible pain and almost constant medical treatments for the last few years of her life. Her Christian faith truly sustained her and she viewed her blog as a platform to testify to God's love. It was very inspiring. She also used it as a way of communicating to her friends how they could help her, or others in distress, and I found her suggestions practical and humbling. Here are a few of her suggestions: hug and kiss on the cheek-touch is so important; drop by for a short time-read a funny passage from a book, knit together, bring special chocolate; cards and emails- Kim loved for people to share pictures of them doing something silly like blowing bubbles; practical things like cleaning out the refrigerator or weeding a flower bed; coffee dates. I was so glad to see her list since I never know what to do, how to help.

Worm bed: As we amend our flower beds we always use at least a shovelful of compost from our worm bed. We've dedicated a small bed of dirt to our worms and let them take care of composting the dog poo, our coffee dregs, old paper-towels, and fruit and vegetable scraps. In the fall I'll mix in dead leaves and flowers. It is amazing how quickly the worms turn our garbage into rich compost...and it doesn't stink. I highly recommend that your create a worm bed in your yard, too. Investigate in your area to find out who supplies redworms, those are the guys you want.  Take a look at this little information piece on redworm composting. When I decided to start, we ordered my first batch of redworms and they arrived in the mail. They are very prolific and we have plenty now!

Musical Interlude: Don't Give Up by Josh Groban. This is such an important message for those who are struggling with depressed feelings today.

Health tip of the week: make as much of your food from scratch as you can.  Even if it doesn't have healthy ingredients at least you will know the ingredients. (I made a chocolate birthday cake for my daughter last week and my husband wanted to know if it was healthy. I said I doubted it but at least we knew what all the ingredients were and I used a healthy oil-macadamia nut oil.)

Copper River Salmon: speaking of food,  Don and I splurged today and bought a Copper River Salmon filet for dinner tonight. It is the best fish in the world, not your ordinary old salmon, but quite pricey. It was delicious-worth every penny. For dessert we grilled fresh pineapple dusted with fresh ground pepper-that is also a yummy treat. (Sorry girls, your parents indulged without you!)

Book read this week:
  • Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor...weighing in at over 600 pages this was like reading two books, but worth the effort.
Currently reading:
  • The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman, a book club selection. I am reading it even though I won't be able to attend the meeting.
  • The Storied Life of A.J.Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. A delightful tale about a bookstore owner and his bookish moments.
  • Noggin by John Corey Whaley. You can tell when I am not really INTO a book when it takes me over five weeks to make any progress at all. Sigh.
Quotes for this week from the late Maya Angelou:
“Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.” 
“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.” 
“Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud.”  

Sorry I posted so late today. I was busy with church, shopping, gardening, walking the dog. Finally after dinner I found a moment to blog. Have a wonderful week.


  1. Dinner sounds great! Jealous about the salmon and pineapple. Dan and I made a whole wheat thin crust pizza with grilled chicken, red peppers, caramelized onions, and some tomato slices. Dan liked it so much he ate 4 slices! Like you said, we know the ingredients we put into it (except for the sauce, who has time to make a good tasting sauce?!)

    1. Your pizza sounds delicious but Copper River salmon wins! Don spent the whole meal making yummy noises! Ha!

  2. Jealous of the Copper River salmon--my mouth is watering. Even without reading Kim's entries, you did the right thing, Anne. You came over with bananas. You helped me dead head my rhody. You brought me Tear Soup. I will always appreciate you for being there with both inspirational and practical help.

    1. They were such small things compared to what you were going through, Margaret. i was thinking we should have another deadheading party this year but this time you come to my house before i come to your house. Good idea?

    2. Sure, just let me know when. Mine is still in bloom since it's a late one!! I will bring the really thin plastic gloves I have--maybe that will help our hands a bit. :)

  3. I'm so sorry that you lost your friend, Anne. How wonderful to put her blog together on a CD like that.

    The salmon sounds delicious! Salmon is pretty much my favorite food - yum!

    I hope you'll consider joining my Big Book Summer Challenge! You only need to read 1 book over 400 pages this summer, so it easily overlaps with other reading and challenges.

    Enjoy your books this week!


    2014 Big Book Summer Challenge

    1. We were wondering if Copper River Salmon is available nationwide or just in Alaska and the Northwest? Can you get it in Delaware?

  4. Love the quotes from Maya Angelou. Have a great week.
    Book Dilettante


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