"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, May 6, 2018

Sunday Salon, May 6

Bird's nest on our porch. If you look carefully at the first photo you can see the nest peeking out of the top of the wreath.
Weather: Lovely spring weather, with light showers predicted but temperatures in the 60s.

Update on my father: My mom was finally able to get my dad into a care facility and the physical therapy has begun. When I spoke to my mom on Friday, she sounded relieved and said that she thought dad was doing well, even walking a few steps with minimal assistance.

Update on my health: I seem to be emerging from the malaise that settled over me with this cold/allergies/cough thing I have been struggling with for two three weeks. Hopefully my ears will clear before we fly to New York the end of this week.

Good news: Carly, our soon-to-be graduate, made a trip out West this week to interview for a position in Tacoma and to visit a site in San Francisco where she'd already been offered a job. With a little salary negotiation, she accepted the job in San Fran. We are so proud of her.

Long, lost friend: I drove down to Vancouver to visit two college friends on Monday. I haven't spent much time with Jan since some time in the early 1980s, over thirty years ago. It was so good to reconnect. And what has taken us so long? We live only two hours apart? Anne Marie and I reconnected last year at this time, and it is always nice to spend time with her. Love you both!

Flower pots planted: for Mother's Day, Don usually gives me a day of planting flowers in the pots after a visit to a local nursery. Since we will be gone for Mother's Day this year, Don and I went out yesterday and bought enough plants to fill up ten pots and then we spent the afternoon planting them. For those of you who don't live in the PacNW, it always seems so late when we can finally get the plants set out, but our nights are usually quite cold, so our soil doesn't warm up enough to plant annuals until mid-May, and sometimes that is too early. Thanks, Don, for my Mother's Day gift!

Book overload: Hilariously four books and six audiobooks all arrived at the library after being on hold for months. I am not sure why this always seems to happen but now I am facing an untenable situation to try and read/listen to too many books in a short three weeks. The list:
  1. Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World by Penelope Baglieu. I should finish this one first since it is a graphic novel about famous/not-so-famous women throughout history. I hope to be a judge for the Cybils again and it is likely that this will be one of the books under consideration. Print.
  2. Thunder Head by Neal Shusterman. Sequel to a Printz honor book, Scythe, I have been waiting for this book for two months. Now that it is here will I have the fortitude to just dig in and read it? Print.
  3. The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan. I've heard wonderful things about this YA novel. Print.
  4. Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card by Sara Saedi. Another potential Cybils nonfiction selection. Of the four print books, this is the least interesting to me, at least on the surface. Print.
  5. The Bear and the Nightingale by Kate Arden. Many bloggers have recommended this book. I placed it on hold months ago, and now it has arrived with a batch of other audiobooks. I'm guessing this one will go back on my hold list. Audio.
  6. Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood. I can't even remember anything I've heard about this book other than it is authored by one of my favorites. Audio.
  7. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. This is a re-read for me but one I need to listen to again for an upcoming book club. I am actually around 50% completed. Audio.
  8. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein. I actually requested this book a week ago when I had nothing in the wings for a next audiobook. This book is on my Classics Club list but since it isn't in demand, I will send it back and request it again some other day. Audio.
  9. Less by Andrew Sean Greer. The recent Pulitzer Prize winner and an upcoming book club selection. This book is up next. Audio.
  10. The Optimist's Daughter by Eudora Welty. See note on Stranger in a Strange Land. Same. Audio.
Books completed this week:
  1. Devotions: Selected Poems of Mary Oliver. I've been working on this 400+ page poetry collection since January. Loved every minute. Print.
  2. Sgt Pepper at Fifty: The Mood, the Look, the Sound, the Legacy of the Beatles' Great Masterpiece. I bought this last year in the midst of my own personal Beatlemania stage. Not especially well-written but I did learn quite a bit. Print.
  3. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. A YA book written in verse about a young Dominican-American who has a hard time communicating with her mother. Print.
  4. Gulp: Adventures of the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach. I started this book three years ago and finally got back to it. Interesting and gross information about everything related to digestion. Did you know that it is likely that Elvis died of constipation? Audio.
Birds: The hummingbirds have returned. I thought I killed them by leaving the food out too long so it got moldy. This year we have a pair of Anna's Hummingbirds, a male and a female. A sweet little bird, I think it is a house finch, has made a nest on our porch. I just checked. She is still faithfully sitting on her eggs and gets so put out with us every time we come and go from our own front door.

Best guitar solo EVER? Who knows. Maybe it is. I am not sure how I avoided seeing this video taken at the Rock and Roll Hall of Frame ceremony honoring George Harrison in 2004 after his death. It features so many famous people, several now dead themselves. Keep watching all the way to the end for Prince's solo. OMG. So good.


  1. Great signs of spring!

    Enjoy those books, too, and it's always great to reconnect with old friends.


    1. Yes, my reunion with my friends was the highlight of my week!

  2. Glad to hear about your father and that he is doing better...and about you, that you are doing better too...I love Mary Oliver, always one of my favorite poets...that Prince solo is one of my favorites, right next to one he did at Coachella, covering Radiohead's "Creep." He was such an amazing guitar player.

    1. I didn't really follow Prince's career and so had no idea what a talented musician he was until after his death. What a pity that he and his talent are gone.

  3. I am hoping I did not kill my hummingbirds! There were lots all winter, but none for the last month or so . . . hoping they come back like yours did!

    1. I hope you didn't kill your hummingbirds, too. I read something about them getting sick from our feeders if we don't change the solution often enough. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

  4. I am so excited that your daughter will be fairly near you and that she has a job post-graduation; that's wonderful! I can't believe how many books you got all at once from the library. That's overwhelming! Americanized is okay, not great so I would read others first. I really want to read the Neal Shusterman and Poet X.

  5. I love your photos, especially of the bird nest. I can just imagine that little bird glaring at you when you dare to use your front door! I

    I haven't been by in a while (sorry! I've been crazy-busy) so I hadn't heard about your dad's stroke. I'm glad he seems to be doing a little better. Hopefully the PT/OT at the rehab place will make a big difference and he can come home soon.

    Have a good week and I hope you can get through at least a few of those library holds! I had to laugh; I had paused the hold a bunch of mine because I had so many, and forgot to change the date that they would automatically go back on the active hold list. I had 28 books or audiobooks come in at once! Major oops! I gave most of them back right away, and will just put them on hold again when I have some time to read them.

    1. The holds at the library are so random. I place a hold on a book or audiobook file and they say you are 27 of 39 people in line so I think I have lots of time and then I put another hold. This one I am 10 of 12, then another I'm 65 of 90. Suddenly and inexplicably I get them all at once. Ha! But you have me beat with 28!

  6. Great to hear about your dad, and congrats to Carly! San Francisco is close. I'm happy that Ashley got the Vassar job, but not thrilled about the distance. I love hummingbirds!

  7. Our soil starts warming up in February here, so we can plant very early. Everything starts getting too hot in late May, though, so there is that.

    I’m stuck on reading books about Italy (I picked up one yesterday that is over 600 pages) so I need to add some of your choices to my list. Thanks for sharing what came in for you.

  8. Great song & video, thanks! Makes me miss them. That nest on your wreath is amazing. We have a robin's nest in our bush right by the front door. We are trying not to disturb the momma robin sitting so many hours there. Must be Spring. Congrats to your daughter on the SF job; that's terrific! Great City too!

  9. So glad to hear your dad is progressing, Anne. And congrats to your daughter on her new job! So exciting!! My son graduates in 3 weeks - not too many prospects yet, but he keeps applying and has had one phone interview. Fingers crossed!

    That nest is amazing!! I'm so short, I probably would never have noticed it! ha ha

    Wow, that is a long list of books! I loved Station Eleven, and my whole family enjoys Heinlein.

    Enjoy your books this week - you better get busy! Plenty to read on the plane :)


    Book By Book

  10. I'm glad to hear that you and your father are both doing better! Getting to watch the bird nest on your porch over time seems like it would be a lot of fun :)

  11. I love those photos! It sounds like you've got a lot of great reading a head of you...


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