"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=========

Saturday, December 24, 2016


Our cat, Demi, can't wait for Christmas, too. She is already checking out her stocking to see if anything new is inside it.

Weather: Rain. (Why can't we ever have a white Christmas?)

Christmas plans: Today I am writing my Sunday Salon a day early because tomorrow is Christmas and the day won't afford time for blogging. After our family traditions of stockings, crepes, and sitting around in our pajamas drinking coffee, we will bundle the dog in the car for a drive south to Oregon for Christmas dinner and few days with my parents. Don lost his dad this year and so we are very hyper-aware of needing to spend time with our loved ones while we can.

Christmas Eve: we will spend the day making pies, delivering goodies to our neighbors, and any last minute wrapping gifts.  This evening we hope to spend a few hours with our daughter  and son-in-law and then worship together at the midnight vespers.

Funny and poignant story: Every year I save Christmas cards and then look back through them the following year before I discard them or cut them up to become bookmarks. This year as I was sorting through last year's cards I noticed a bit of money poking out of one of them. I investigated. It was the Christmas card given to my daughter last year. It held a crisp $50 bill. Further investigation netted my daughter an additional $25. The dollar gifts were from her grandfather who died in September. It was such a poignant moment. Looking at these cards, with notes in his handwriting, with money as if he gave one last gift this year. The funny part of the story was my reaction. I was all incredulous about how my daughter could just forget about $75 dollars. I started making fun of her to Don,  However, that judgmental tone in my voice quickly evaporated as I found my gift card from my father-in-law with $100 inside. I'd done the same thing! At this point, Don jumped up and starting searching for his card. Maybe he'd forgotten his money, too. No such luck.

Special gift: Yesterday as Carly and I were finding last minute gifts we stopped by Half Price Books. Carly found a HUGE book of art prints called Charley Harper's Animal Kingdom. Charley Harper is her favorite artist and she has looked into buying prints of his art in the past. She started looking through the book and finally decided to buy it even though it was $39.99 (regularly $100.) As we walked out of the store with the huge book in tow, Carly told me she had spent her "grandpa money" on the book. She is so delighted with it. Thank you, Chet, for your love and generosity. These are the things that don't end with death...love and memories.

Treats: I've made sugared pecans as treats for the neighbors. Carly is baking up a batch of gingerbread cookies right now. Last night she and I made up a patch of chocolate crinkles with peppermint kisses. Today we hope to make apple pie to take with us to Oregon.

Dinner menu for Christmas Eve: Homemade beef stew and corn bread, simple fare.

Books read this week:
  • When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanathi ...a neurosurgeon with lung cancer gives his insights on living and dying. The last bit of the book is written by his wife after his death. It is very moving.  
Currently reading:
  • A Tangle of Gold by Jaclyn Moriarty...finally, finally I am getting traction on this finale to the Colors of Madeleine series. I should have no trouble finishing this before year's end. Progress: 66%.
On deck:
  • The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens...I found the audiobook on Hoopla and have it cued, ready for the trip south tomorrow.
  • Rani Patel in Full Effect by Sonia Patel...I actually read two pages of this YA, Morris Award finalist yesterday. I look forward to digging in.
  • Big Rock Candy Mountain by Wallace Stegner...I also found this book on Hoopla, only problem: It is 25 hours of material. While in Eugene I hope to find a print copy at Smith Family book store. That is too much listening for one book.
Some Fun (Funny), Lovely and Poignant Christmas songs:

May this Christmas, Hanukkah, and Holidays be especially blessed for you and yours. Joyous holidays to you!


  1. Merry Christmas! I love your story of finding money in the Christmas cards from last year; what a nice memory of Don's dad. We'll have a quiet Christmas this year with just 4 of us, but it is nice to be home and not dealing with traveling!

  2. Happy holidays!! I love the story of those gifts that kept on giving...found treasures.

    We've had rain this week, too, but so far, not today. I'm pondering going to the movies, as one of my gifts from my daughter was a pack of movie gift cards (and restaurant gift cards). She knows me so well.

    Enjoy your time together....I can picture those crepes, gifts, and coffee.


  3. Merry Christmas, Anne! It sounds like you'll be having quite the holiday. What a beautiful tree and cute kitty! :)

  4. Love the story of the "hidden" money--a message from Chet to enjoy life and spend it on something fun. Hope your holidays have been special. For the first time ever, I doubt that I'll finish a BC book. No time to read with Ashley here.

  5. It sounds like you guys would've had a great Christmas! Your tree is beautiful and you cat is so cute! :)

    Check out my Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings) + 50/50 Friday and my current giveaway.


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