"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 14, 2016

Sunday Salon, Valentine's Day!

Rain in Vancouver
♥Vancouver, B.C.

♥Weather: Rainy

♥Vancouver: Yesterday Don and I drove up to Canada to spend two nights in Vancouver for a Valentine's Day get-away! We got a later start than we hoped and by the time we got through the border crossing and were entering Vancouver it was starting to get dark and it was raining. It was the icky kind of rain which makes driving treacherous even if you know where you are going, and we didn't. But we made it fine. Our hotel is near the downtown area of the city and we have already walked to a grocery store for grape, salami and cheese to go with the wine we bought at the border in the duty free shop and the crackers we brought from home. we had our own little picnic for dinner last night.

♥Weird history: We live in Washington State so traveling to Vancouver isn't a much further away for us than going to Eugene or Spokane, yet we have only stayed in Vancouver twice before this time. Both of those times were under sad circumstances and both of those times it rained the whole time we were here. We've driven through Vancouver plenty of times on our way to Whistler, so we know can be sunny here. We were hoping to break the pattern of sad and rain in Vancouver, but alas we haven't, at least the rain part. Thankfully no sad circumstances this time.

♥Moisturizer: Recently Don had a conversation with a young gal on his staff. The subject of age came up. When he identified his age, she exclaimed, "You are almost 60?! What moisturizer do you use?" We've been laughing about this comment all week. BTW-Don does have nice skin with few wrinkles.

♥Lent: This past week marked the beginning of Lent with the Ash Wednesday service. Lent is the period of time on the church calendar for repentance and reflection prior to Easter. Most people decide to give up something during this time period so they can focus on heavenly things while purging themselves of worldly things. I have decided to give up gossip about people. I know this sounds like a "mean girl" thing to say but it is so easy to slip into the mind set of talking about people when one works at a large high school.

♥Poetry Lesson: Years ago I read a book called Poem Crazy. I got all excited about the idea of writing poetry from that book, or more specifically, about teaching the writing of poetry. After finishing the book I wrote a whole lesson plan which I have been sharing with English teachers whenever they ask me for ideas related to poetry. Well, this week I had to put my money where my mouth was. A teacher asked for poetry ideas and I shared the lesson plan with her. Then she said she'd be willing to try one of the ideas if I would co-teach it with her. (Put up, or shut up, Anne!) I gulped and said yes. The particular lesson was to name a flower (from a wildflower photo) and the process was to write a poem which revealed the name. Years ago I had cut up a wildflower book and had laminated the pictures for use with this lesson. As I thought about the lesson I realized the details were too sketchy for good implementation, so I modified the lesson which encouraged each student to fill in a sort of mad lib formula which would help the student identify the name of the flower. The lesson WORKED and it was so much fun. The teacher raved about the process and the kids chattered away about their flowers as they wrote their funny and clever little poems. Yippee! Poetry won out again! (If you are an English teacher or a librarian and would like a copy of my little lesson plan, email me. I am happy to share.)

♥♥Grad School interviews: Carly has heard back from four of her ten grad schools and has three interviews, hoping for a slot in their genetic counseling programs. We anticipate there will be a few more interview offers this week, too. So far she will be flying out to Boston, New York, and Salt Lake City. Yippee.

♥♥♥History of Valentine's Day: Here is a cute and informative video link from the History Channel about this romantic holiday. Take a peek. 

♥For your listening enjoyment: Peter Hollens sings Loch Lomond. A Scottish Love song for the day.
Books read this week:
  • The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George---an audiobook. I liked the first and last fourths of the book and thought the middle bits were a bit cheesy but overall would give it a positive rating of 3.5.
♥Currently reading:
  • Sanditon and The Watsons by Jane Austen---her two unfinished novels. I have read them before but finished by someone else. I'm really struggling with them now in their unfinished state.
  • Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng---a book club selection about a family tragedy and what it reveals about the family members who don't really talk to each other.
  • Flight by Sherman Alexie---five of Alexie's books are highlighted for the Pierce County Reads book event this year. This book, which Don and I are listening to together on audiobooks, is about a homeless Indian teen who ends up time-traveling to reveal parts of his history and our history and how it relates to his feelings of anger today.
♥Quote for the day:
 “And we are put on this earth a little space that we might learn to bear the beams of love”. Wm Blake
♥Happy Valentine's Day!



  1. Valentine's Day getaway? Woo hoo...despite the weather. I think our next trip is planned for November, not sure where, but it's our 20th wedding anniversary then so we're going somewhere.

    So what moisturizer does he use? ;)

    I hear you on the gossip. I work at a small town library and it's easy to do there too.

    I haven't read Flight yet, but I love Alexie, especially The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.

    1. Don washes his face with Mink Oil soap. He swears by it. We have to buy a dozen bars every year at the State Fair!

      We finished Flight on our way home from Vancouver and I found it to be very compelling. I recommend you give it a go.

  2. Happy V-Day Anne. Vancouver seems like a perfect get-away place, even if it's raining (which it almost always is). We like walking around the sea wall there in the mornings, and visiting used bookstores downtown. Hope you have a great time!

    1. We have decided to revisit Vancouver in the summer. It was too rainy to experience all the joys of the city. We did make it to the conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park and enjoyed photographing all the birds.

  3. Happy Valentine's Day! Enjoyed Loch Lomond -- thanks. Have a great time on your get-away!

  4. It's a shame that you didn't get away from the rain, but the rest of the trip sounds wonderful. Great news for Carly! Does she have a favorite? I like that you gave up gossip instead of the more mundane Lent sacrifice of chocolate or coffee. 😉

    1. She doesn't know yet which will be her favorite but we are pretty excited about her prospects. Sarah Lawrence (NY) was the first Genetic Counseling program in the country and has a great reputation so we are very happy she was invited for an interview there. But any of them would be good and she still has six schools she hasn't heard from yet. Who knows if others will over her interviews, too?

  5. I have never been to Vancouver (haven't been farther north in the Pacific NW than southern OR!) but would love to go. Gorgeous photo. Glad you had a nice weekend away!

    Sounds like some great books you have going now - enjoy them!


    Book By Book

    1. I've never been to Toronto or Montreal and would love to explore the Eastern seaboard of Canada. You are welcome to come and visit us in Washington anytime, too.


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