"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, October 2, 2016

Sunday Salon, October 2

Chihuly glass chandelier

Weather: Cloudy with a chance of rain, or sun; temperature feels quite brisk. Who knows what the weather will do today?

It was a bad week: On Monday night we got a call that my husband's father had passed away while on a vacation to Arizona. He was diagnosed with congestive heart disease earlier this year but had still been able to handle a modified schedule in his life. His death came so suddenly we were completely shocked. Here is a literary tribute I wrote for my father-in-law. While still in shock and grief about Chet, we learned that my brother's cancer has spread and will knock him out of the possibility of the experimental treatment they thought he could get. I am clinging to the hope that the same treatment that cured Jimmy Carter will be available for my brother.

The light at the end of the iPad tunnel: at the beginning of the school year I entered a dark tunnel known to many as iPad Hell. I am finally nearing the end of the tunnel and can see the light. After launching iPads to nearly 2000 students we have had a steady stream of students with problems with their devices. At one point I think there were something like 200 iPads piled up for the Tech to attend to. As he would fix one, another one would come in the door with a similar problem. Two thing were at play. The district decided to go with a managed Apple ID, if student logged in with any other Apple ID it would shut down the device requiring a reset. The other issue outside our control was the launch of Apple IOS 10 at the moment we were getting the iPads in kids hands. The new operating system had (has) some glitches that don't sync well with the district network. If a student updated his device, a trip to the library to have it reset or returned to the lower IOS was required. It has been a long, long month. We are finally down to under 20 devices needing attention and about that same number of devices that still need to be checked out. Finally! I will be able to do something other than work on iPads like get books into student's hands!?

It has almost been a month since I posted in the Sunday Salon: I don't think I've ever gone that long without my weekly update. In that time we have traveled to Eugene twice for football games and for family gatherings; Don traveled to Virginia for an Army JAG conference; and I don't what else. When one is enveloped in grief it is hard to want to blog.

Books I have read since Sept. 11th, my last weekly update:
  • The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen---this month's book club selection. I listened to the audiobook and think that is the perfect format for this book. I hope to blog about it and the book club discussion we had over it soon.
  • Flannery by Lisa Moore---a YA selection and a delightful coming-of-age tale. Flannery thinks she is in love with a boy so she is willing to overlook all his faults. This causes all kinds of troubles for her. When she finally wakes up she realizes she needs to love herself not some dream of another person.  Good message for teens.
  • The Last Boy and Girl in the World by Siobhan Vivian---another YA selection and an audiobook. I didn't care for this one. The serious situation was handled in too trite of a way. I won't recommend this for anyone to read.
  • The Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse---another YA and audiobook. This one is set in occupied Netherlands during WWII. The main character gets caught up in trying to locate a Jewish girl and learns about the horrors of the Holocaust. The Mystery is quite compelling.
Currently reading:
  • Out of Africa---yes, I am still plodding along on this book. I've made it through 75% of the book. At this rate, I'll be done by Christmas!
  • The Reader by Traci Chee---a YA fantasy novel about the power of books and reading and all other adventury types of things. When I have felt like reading this week, which hasn't been often, I have enjoyed the escape this book allows. 25% done.
  • The Cracks in the Kingdom by Jaclyn Moriarty---a YA audiobook, the sencond in the Colors of Madeleine series. It is odd I would be spending my time right now on this series since the book has been out for over a year, but I want to read the third book as a potential Printz book and don't want to read them out of order. It is a very imaginative series but so far I like the first book better. At the 50% mark.
  • Hondo by Louis L'Armour---the book I picked up at the used bookstore yesterday to read in tribute to my father-in-law who loved westerns. 10%.
Skimming for solace and hope:
  • Jesus Calling by Sarah Young---daily devotions of positive nature which help me focus on giving God my pain and despair and to relax into his love. Here is a one thought from the August 23rd entry: "Entrust your loved one to me; release them into my protective care. They are much safer with Me than in your clinging hands. If you let a loved one become an idol in your heart, you endanger that one---as well as yourself."
  • Psalms for Praying by Nan Merrill---reworded Psalms into prayers. Many have touched my heart this week. From Psalm 6: "Be gracious to me, Heart of my heart, for I am sad and weary. Surround me with your healing Light, that my body, mind, and soul might heal." I am praying that one not only for myself but for my brother.

Classics Club spin is tomorrow: I always look forward to the spin because I am "forced" to read a classic book which I always end up enjoying.  Check out my post which has the list of the 20 possible books and the details.  Join me if you like! You will notice that all of the books on my list are authored by females.  That was my commitment to read female authors of classic books this year. I've done pretty well. So far I have read five books which fit the category, with this one and Out of Africa I may make it to seven for the year. Not bad!

I really recommend you watch this video by comedian John Oliver. I actually think it is helpful in comparing the scandals of Clinton and Trump. They aren't equal.


  1. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your father-in-law. Prayers for you and your family.

    I was in charge of the hundred iPads on our campus and they drove me crazy. Finally our district has decided our campus techs need to handle them rather than the librarians.

    I'm reading The Reader, too. I nominated it for the Cybils.

  2. Thinking of you, my dear friend. In spite of the stress and grief, you did a marvelous job of leading Book Club last week. I had a wonderful time! Thank you for all that you do. xoxo

  3. So sorry for your loss.

    The iPad situation sounds frustrating. Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

  4. I am so sorry to hear about both Chet and your brother; grief and worry are exhausting and all-consuming. I do hope there is good news for your brother's treatment. 2000 iPads. We wish we were doing that, but our district has done 3 elementary schools and the continuation high school for "pilot" that has lasted 2 years. Now with a new superintendent I am not sure where the whole thing will go. Glad to hear the bugs are being figured out and that soon you'll be back to normal in the library

    1. I would never wish 2000 iPads on my worst enemy. The district has hijacked my job without mine or my principal's permission. It has been a nightmare of epic proportions for me and my clerk, and the district Tech assigned to our school.

  5. I'm glad you're seeing the light at the end of that tunnel! Jeez!

    Thanks for sharing that video and good luck with whatever classic you end up reading - I hope it's Kindred! :D

  6. Sorry to hear about your FIL and brother. I hope he can get the Carter treatment too. Nice recap of your week or past weeks. You seem to have your hands full. Hope your October is smoother and nice.

  7. I am so very sorry for your loss, Anne, and for the news about your brother. Does he have melanoma? We went through that with my dad, very similar to Jimmy Carter's case...but about 6 months too soon to make use of that new immunotherapy. I hope that your brother is eligible for it - supposedly, it is a game-changer for melanoma.

    Looks like you've had a lot of good books this past month. I really want to read The Sympathizer.

    My son LOVES the John Oliver show, so I see it when he comes home to visit (like today!) when he watches a bunch of episodes at once. We saw some good ones today, but I haven;t seen this one yet, so thanks!

    My condolences to you and your husband and his family. You and your brother are in my thoughts and prayers.


    Book By Book


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