"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, August 28, 2016

Sunday Salon, August 28

A view of Mt. Rainier hiding in the clouds at sunset last evening
Weather: the weather has turned from hot and stifling to cool and pleasant. The change occurred yesterday with a very breezy morning. Temperatures today should be in the 70s.

New York: I didn't post a Sunday Salon last week because I was in New York helping my daughter move into her new digs in Yonkers, readying herself for two years of graduate school. She is living in an upstairs duplex with two other girls in the same program, Genetic Counseling. The apartment is large with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a large living room, dining room, and a kitchen. Once they get settled I'm sure the girls will be comfortable.

Road trip: Don and Carly left here on Sunday, August 14th en route to New York with Carly's Subaru stuffed to the top with as many of her things as she could cram into it. The trip took them five days. They stopped for the night in Missoula, Montana where they spent the night with Courtney and Alec A. longtime friends; Murdo, South Dakota, a little out of the way spot but didn't get to see Mt. Rushmore; Madison, Wisconsin where they stayed with my Aunt Betty, my dad's only living sibling; Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania was the last layover before arriving on the East Coast in Westfield, New Jersey where they joined me after I flew in the day before. Our friends Ken and Carol hosted us for a night before we borrowed Carol's brother-in-law's truck and drove to Yonkers to begin our search for used furniture and get Carly settled.

Licence plate game: Don and Carly attempted to spot all 50 states on their road trip. They saw all but three: Hawaii, they knew this one would be hard as soon as they left Washington State where sightings of the 50th state's plate isn't that unlikely; Mississippi, they saw a semi with these plates but no cars; and Delaware, this is always one of our hardest states to spot. Do folks in Delaware not travel outside their tiny state?

Audiobooks: I'm jealous. Don and Carly listened to two podcasts and four audiobooks on their road trip. I've read none of the books so now I am outside the loop. They seemed to like them best in this order:
  • Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsberg by Irin and Knizhnik---our Supreme Court Justice who has been a witness for women's rights. I've added this to my TBR pile.
  • A Thousand Miles to Freedom: My Escape from North Korea by Eunsun Kim---apparently an amazing survival story of two women from North Korea and what life is like in that private country.Don says it was a good companion to a book he recently ready, Without You, There is No Us by Suki Kim,about the author's experiences in North Korea.
  • Dead Wake: the Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson---this one has been on my TBR pile for a year. I am jealous my family got to it without me.
  • The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of An American in Britain by Bill Bryson---they obviously thought the book was funny because they kept quoting from it, but they didn't necessarily like the narrator of the audiobook. Don's comment about Bryson's biting wit is that it works best when Bryson narrates his own writing, but the comments sound mean-spirited when read by someone else.
It may be aqua-colored but it matches. We scored finding this used dresser.
Used furniture: We spent three days in Yonkers getting Carly a bed and attempting to find used furniture to help furnish her apartment.  We succeeded in finding a free desk, six Crate and Barrel wooden chairs for the dining room, a very used and ugly coffee table to use as a TV stand, a used but nice end table for the living room, and floor models of a living room chair and ottoman which looked beat up but are very comfortable.  We filled in the marks in the faux leather with a brown sharpie. Her roommates will need to get additional furniture. We went back, after our initial visit, to the second hand store for a dresser which was painted aqua colored.  It just so happened her room decor is the same color. Dressers are hard items to find second hand and in decent shape.

The Color Purple: "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"...so we did stop the cleaning and shopping long enough to drive into NYC to see the Broadway production of The Color Purple with Cynthia Erivo singing the lead role of Celie for which she won this year's Tony Award. Wow. Wow. Wow. Heather Headley also stars in the Suge Avery role. If you get a chance to see this show, do it. What a show! Thanks Ken and Carol for joining us for this show. What a fun night!

Saying good-bye was tough: Carly, our youngest, has always lived close by to us. She attended college in Seattle so she was only an hour away. It was a rarity if we went longer than a month without seeing her. Leaving Carly in New York for her schooling and a new life was tough. We are still feeling the absence of her presence. It is our first true empty nest experience since our daughters were born. Even the pets seem to be out of sorts. It will take us all some time to adjust, no doubt.
One of our last meals together at the Shake Shack not far from Carly's new home.
Back to Work: The day after we returned from New York I returned to school full time in preparation for the new school year and I am so BEHIND. Arg. There is so much to do. Our first day with students is Thursday, September 1st but we have meetings for the three days prior to that so I am back to work. Will this be my last year? Retirement is a word I hear coming out of my mouth quite frequently these days.

Wedding: Don and I attended the wedding of our son-in-law's brother, Byron, yesterday evening. It was set at a barn and pasture owned by the bride and her father. It was a unique and delightful setting. The bridal party arrived for the ceremony in a wagon pulled by a tractor and the bride and her father arrived in a big tractor. Cute. We sat on bales of hay and danced on a refurbished floor in the barn. About half way though the father/daughter, all fathers-daughters in attendance were invited to join the bride and her father on the dance floor.
This is the view of where we parked and the where the ceremony was performed.

We sat on bales of hay arranged around an alter.

Don and Rita dancing the father/daughter dance.

Signs point the way to a happy marriage
Books read since I last posted:
  • Draw the Line by Laurent Linn---another YA book with a LGBTQ theme, this one is a part-graphic novel. I liked it.
  • The Memory Book by Lara Avery---a heartbreaking YA novel about a girl who is losing her memory due to a genetic condition which will eventually end her life. I sobbed.
  • American Girls by Alison Umminger---Another YA novel, this one about a girl who joins her sister in LA in an effort to get away from her mother who is neglectful and unkind. She embarks on a project for her sister's friend to find out information about the Charles Manson girls. I didn't really like this book but I finished it.
  • Essential Maps for the Lost by Deb Caletti---an audiobook and another YA novel. This one is set in Seattle, which I always think is fun. I liked this book alot and want to reread the last fifty pages just to remind myself how the story winds up. Loved it.
Currently reading:
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling, et al...I got this new book for my library and I am attempting to finish it before school starts. I didn't realize when I bought it that it is written as a play script. 16%.
  • Arcadia by Lauren Groff...an e-book and this months book club selection. 15%.
  • When We Was Fierce by E.E. Charlton-Turjillo...The reviews I've read for this fall into two categories, ones and fives.  I hope I am a five. This is my new audiobook and I haven't started it yet, though I have downloaded it to my iPod.
Our hose in the front yard sprung a leak while we were gone, so I need to go find a replacement. Warm weather is still with us and the plants will still need to be watered. Bye!


  1. It looks like you had a wonderful time in New York. I used to make fun of my sister; she was so sad when her kids went off to college in Waco. Then my Ben fell in love and moved to Chicago to be with his girl. Of course they married and her family is from there, so he will never live close again. Sad indeed.

    I'm thinking this may be my last year. Not sure....

    1. I'm not sure either but as the beginning of this school year starts to unfold I am thinking about retirement very seriously.

  2. Cross country is a long move - but I commend the courage of both daughter and mother. Her room looks GREAT!

    The Memory Books sounds great, but I will definitely have to be in the right frame of mind to read it.

    Good luck with this first week of school.

    1. Yes. It is tough knowing my baby is way across the country.

  3. Sounds like a fun trip to New York! And great luck in finding furniture! It's funny how we're all hearing the word "retirement"... I'm thinking the end of next year for me and then this weekend I started thinking of "retirement" projects! Ha!

    1. Finding used furniture was harder than we expected because we were not willing to drive all over the area looking at Craig's list offerings.

  4. We were expecting a change to cool weather but it hasn't arrived yet. So great that you got to see a Broadway Show. Cynthia Erivo was amazing at the Tony Awards.

  5. New York will be a great place to visit her!That's how I tried to look at it. There is also skype, FaceTime, email, FB messenger and phone. Ashley and I just had an hour long FB messenger chat between Puyallup and Niodior, Senegal. Happy for the cooler weather, and not too excited to start school, especially with all the changes.

    1. I know you have experience the separation and survived so I am looking to you as a role model.

  6. What a lovely photo of Mt. Rainer, which reminds me of how much I love both Oregon and Washington.

    That road trip for your husband and daughter reminds me of the ones our family took years ago, stopping to visit people, and playing games in the car.

    I love finding used furniture, and there once were some great shops here where I would occasionally pick up dressers, tables, bookshelves, etc. But those resources seem to have dried up. I guess there are still places, if I checked more completely.

    How great that you got to see a production while in NY...you have the incentive now to fly back occasionally.

    That wedding in a barn looks like fun. Thanks for sharing all your many activities, and enjoy your new school year.

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I am looking forward to my reread of A Map of the World, but don't have anyone in my "real" life to talk it over with, as most people I know don't read these kinds of books. LOL.

    1. We forgot to check out antique stories while looking for used furniture but I think we ended up with some good stuff but we certainly had to pick through some really awful stuff.

  7. Sounds like you've had quite a time! What a road trip - cross country move - Wow! I've been to Murdo - aside from the Pioneer Auto Museum one of the things that really stood out to me was watching a street sweeper go from a paved road right onto a dirt side street and keep right on sweeping... :)

    School starts on the 1st for you? That seems so late. I'm at a public library so it's different for me, but anyway most of the schools in my area started the week of the 15th (which is about a week earlier than normal).

    1. Oh, I thought you were a school librarian...now I see the difference. Ha!

  8. School already started for us two weeks ago. Craziness. Beautiful picture of Mt. Ranier! I've been to Seattle once and been able to see it, as well as making my parents drive out to see Mount St. Helen while we there too. Hope you have a great week coming up!

    1. We are so lucky to live in the shadow of such a gorgeous mountain, I must admit.

  9. Whoa. That was one busy week. How is Carly liking New York now that she's been there a week?

    The Color Purple? Very jealous. We really hadn't heard of it until watching excerpts from The Tonys this year (we were watching for Hamilton but caught a lot of other good shows in the process) and what we saw and heard was amazing.


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