"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, March 22, 2015

Sunday Salon, March 22nd

Weather: overcast at this moment but threatening to rain. Yesterday after it poured and hailed there was a terrific rainbow.

One-of-a-kind art: the photo above shows the original art that my husband commissioned for my birthday. It is a thumbprint picture of my top 60 favorite books. It was created by Cheryl Sorg (check out her webpage) after we sent her the titles of the books and several of my very smeary thumbprints on card stock. Isn't it wonderful? Now I have to figure out how to frame it and where to hang it.

I am playing around with the idea of showing just an excerpt. Please click on the READ MORE message below to see the whole post. Let me know what you think. Do you prefer full text showing on the post or just an excerpt showing?

Kentucky: Don is still in Kentucky on orders from the National Guard. Yesterday, on his day off, he traveled across the state to visit Mammoth National Park. The route he took to get there had him fording a river on a two-car ferry (he was thrilled about that), crossing a time-zone from Eastern to Central time (weird), and touring inside the huge labyrinth of caves. He said it was a fantastic tour. He sent me this picture of Fat Man's Misery. I guess it is a part of the cave that would be torturous for a fat man to get through. Apparently, according to an early visitor, it is a "grand, gloomy, peculiar place." It is now on my bucket list.

Irvine, California: Carly is traveling today to University of California at Irvine for a grad school interview. We are keeping our fingers crossed that all goes well. All week she has been preparing for the interview by practicing her interview skills, purchasing clothing that looks professional, and watching the TED video about acting powerful and confident. She and I have been practicing the pose, too.

From the kitchen: Corned beef dinner (March 17th and 18th); Corned beef hash (March 19th); Corned beef hash and eggs (March 20th for breakfast); Reuben sandwiches, made with corned beef (March 20th for dinner, March 21st for lunch.) We are now out of corned beef. Good thing.

40-bags-in-40-days update: three more bags out of here this week---
  • I cleaned out a box of "treasures" stored in the guest room closet. Many of the items in it we inherited from Don's grandparents. In the bottom of the box I found a bag of money, coins and bills, all from Australia, New Zealand,  Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan. All of the coins were dated 1940 or earlier. We figured out that this pile of money was collected by Don's grandfather at the end of WWII. He was stationed in the Pacific and must have collected the money on his ports of call.
  • I cleaned out a cabinet at work and tidied it up. There is still too much unfiled paperwork on it but it looks a lot neater.
  • Carly and I cleaned out the hall cupboard that contains all of our games. I found a box of Easter decorations I have been looking for for years. I sorted out puzzles to go to school for the puzzle table, Carly piled up games that belong to Rita, and we discarded plenty of junk.
Books read this week:
  • Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) by Jerome K. Jerome---published in 1889, this humorous book has never been out of print.  The only thing, humor is very tied to its time and place and I didn't think it was as funny as the reviews of the book said.
  • Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle---an odd and disturbing book told in reverse. I'm still trying to decide if I liked the book or not.  See my review here.
Currently reading:
  • All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven---this is the first YA book I have read in months that I actually WANT to read and try to make space and time to do so. It was just published in January but it already to optioned for a movie. Read it quick!
  • The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx---a reread, or more precisely, a re-listen. I love this book.
Gotta run and drive Carly up to catch her flight.  Bye!

Thanks, Kathy, for this link to Josh Groban's hit. I, too, fondly remember our time together at his concert!



  1. That thumbprint picture looks pretty cool...now I'm going to have zoom in to see some of the titles and see what books we like in common. So now that you're not eating corned beef, what are you going to eat? ;)

    1. Good question. We weren't even sick of corned beef yet but we were nearing that point. I just learned that Corned beef isn't really an Irish thing...more an Americanization of some type of beef often eaten in Ireland. Oh well. We still like it.

  2. Awesome art!

    An Corned beef sounds really good right now....thanks for stopping by my blog. Enjoy the week!

  3. Your post has me wanting to tell you all sorts of things:
    1. I love your thumbprint art. That is very cool!
    2. We have been beginning to plan/talk about our summer vacation. Mammoth Cave is on our list as we plan to road trip to North Carolina to see one of my best friends and her family.
    3. I really enjoyed All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. I stopped and started it a lot, which I wish I wouldn't have done because I didn't catch on to some things very quickly. I hope you enjoy it.

    Have a great week!

  4. That thumbprint picture is so cool!

    I've got Three Men in a Boat on my TBR because I see it referred to in other books. I feel like I'm missing stuff, the same as if I didn't understand references to Romeo and Juliet or MacBeth.

    Joy's Book Blog

  5. Like the thumbprint picture. Pretty cool. The cave is alluring but alas I get claustrophobia, like the name though: Fat Man's Misery?! UCI is a great school. I will cross my fingers for her.

  6. WOW!! That book thumbprint is amazing! What a cool birthday gift :)

    We have been to Mammoth Cave and loved it. We have always spent our vacations traveling across the US and visiting national parks, and our sons especially enjoyed cave tours. Glad your son had a chance to see it.

    I have been wanting to read Wolf in White Van - have heard so many good reviews of it! Will have to go check out yours next.

    Have a great week and enjoy your books!


    Book By Book

  7. What a fabulous birthday gift! That’s amazingly creative :)


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