"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, September 3, 2017

Sunday Salon---Labor Day Weekend

Tea Party participants
Weather: lovely, warm with blue skies.

Labor Day: Tomorrow is Labor Day in the USA which always marks the end of summer vacation and back-to-school for me and millions of teachers and school children. But since I retired this past June, this will be the first time I will not be going back-to-school since I began kindergarten in 1962. I have very bittersweet feelings about it. Did I make a mistake in retiring too soon? I have this little voice in my head saying that sort of thing. This past week I volunteered at the school for eight hours checking-out iPads to returning students. I visited with many of my old colleagues and enjoyed myself but I also got to reflect on the mess we left behind after a long day, knowing I didn't have to clean it up. This week I have plans to join two friends for breakfast, something I could never do on the first day of school.  I am claiming this scripture today as move into my retirement years:
God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. (Hebrews 6:10, NIV)
Tea Party: Last summer my Australian friend, Claire, and I hosted a tea party for my book club friends whom she had met on her first trip to Washington. We made scones and other pastries. Claire made a pavlova which was a scrumptious treat. This year, in memory of last year's party, I invited book club friends to join me at a local tea house, The Secret Garden, for a tea party and a 60 for my 60th celebration. We had so much fun. Tiny tea sandwiches or delicious salads, scones with whipped cream and lemon curd, and so many tea choices it was hard to choose. Thanks gals for joining me. Let's do it again next year! (This brings my 60 for my 60th up to 56!)

Baby watch: still no baby. But we are on watch and not making many plans that can't be easily canceled.

The Beatles obsession continues: I am still obsessed with everything related to my favorite rock/pop group. This week Sirius radio is playing a list of 100 favorite Beatles songs as voted by their listeners. Today Don and I caught the top five as we hopped in the car after church so we drove around for a half hour to listen to the end of the list. We have no idea where some of our other favorites landed on this list. Don said how could we choose a favorite child? We love so many of their songs. Here are the top five in reverse order:
  • 5. While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Harrison wrote this song and many think it was his best. It was on The Beatles album, usually called the White Album. Eric Clapton played part of the guitar solo.)
  • 4. Sun King Medley (Found on the 2nd side of the Abbey Road Album) it includes these songs: Sun King, Mean Mr. Mustard, Polythene Pam, She Came in Though the Bathroom Window, Golden Slumbers, Carry That Weight, and The End.
  • 3. Hey Jude (Released as a single, written by McCartney. This one would have been my #1 vote if I had gone online to vote.)
  • 2. In My Life (Lennon-McCartney composition found on the Rubber Soul album. Lennon said this was the first song he had written which was taken from events in his life.)
  • 1. A Day in the Life (Another Lennon-McCartney composition found on the Sgt. Pepper album. I've always liked this one because of the line, "I just had to look, having read the book.")
(I just got back from a trip to COSTCO and I caught the program again, this time I heard #11-6...11. Eleanor Rigby, 10. Yesterday, 9. Let It Be, 8. Something, 7. Strawberry Fields Forever, 6. Here Comes the Sun.)

Food Chemistry: Before Carly left this week to return to New York, she and I experimented with food, attempted to make fruit juice caviar or balls. I was so hopeful that we would be able to make these delightful oddities. But no. We tried and tried and had no luck. The whole kitchen was in a complete mess and we had no juice caviar to show for it. Ha!

Book Completed this week:
  • Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott. I love Lamont's writing on spiritual matters. This small gem gives me a lot to think about my prayer life.
  • The Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld. A young adult graphic novel, the first in a series. It is an exciting dystopian tale about a community which was destroyed by a spill and a girl who transgresses the barrier intended to keep her out, so she can take photos. It ends o a cliffhanger which makes me eager for the sequel.
Currently reading:
  • Five Days at Memorial by Sherri Fink. About a hospital in New Orleans days after Hurricane Katrina and claims of euthanasia. This is a tome of a book weighing in at over 500 pages. Audio. 63%
  • Thick as Thieves by Megan Whelan Turner. Set in Attolia, a fantasy kingdom, this middlegrade/YA novel is the fifth book in a series, but I am reading it as a stand alone. Print. 22%.
Watching: Don and I watched all six episodes of The Tick in rapid succession one night last week. What a fun new series offered on Amazon Prime. If you have it, we recommend you watch it.
Now we are into Anne with an E on Netflix, a reworking of L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables. Love it.

China: Don and I just bought plane tickets for a trip to China in November with our friends Ken and Carol. We are super excited. It will be our first big trip of retirement.

Have a wonderful week. Happy back-to-school!


  1. China, wow!! I am impressed. The most I've done is plan a trip to Santa Fe in May. I think I've been to that tea place, and it has really good tea and food. And I don't even like tea! I'm big fan of While my guitar gently weeps, and in my life, of the top five. But I also like paperback writer because it makes me want to dance!😉

  2. I love Ann Lamott! She makes me think, but even better, she makes me hope. Very powerful. I hope you follow her on Facebook!

  3. I'm happy to see all you are doing as a retired person. It gives me hope that I will stay busy after retirement too.


  4. My sister is a huge Beatles fan. I'll have to show her the list. I like the Beatles, but my favorite album is The White Album. The Tick was so fun that my wife and I watched the first live action Tick, also on Prime. Silly but fun. In some ways, better than this one, we thought.

  5. I have been thinking of you - wondering how you were feeling in this back-to-school season. Glad you are taking advantage of the time off to see friends!

    Your tea parties sound like fun!

    I have both an Anne Lamott and a Scott Westerfield book on my TBR bookshelves now...but older ones! I need to do some reading.

    I love Anne with an E, but I just can;t bring myself to watch The Tick after all of the struggles with Lyme disease in our house! ha ha

    Enjoy your books this week - and your newly found freedom!


    Book By Book

  6. The first two weeks of school have been exhausting so I haven't read a single word. Very depressing. I do have a question about iPads. We're going 1:1 for the first time this year and distribution has gone well, but it's tiring. Did your school collect all the iPads each June and wipe them clean or did the students get the same iPad back?

  7. I definitely want to try The Tick and the Spill Zone!

    Unfortunately I had to work all weekend thanks to my second job, oh well.


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