"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=========

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Sunday Salon onTuesday...My weekly update.

Weather: Nice. Not hot. Very pleasant. We had a lovely weekend in Eugene, too.

Eugene: I went to Eugene on Tuesday to spend some time with my parents. Don joined us on Friday after taking the train from Olympia to Eugene. Dad had a stroke about a month ago. After a few days at home Mom realized she needed help, so she took him to a care center in town to begin the therapy he would need for any chance of some recovery. Because he didn't enter through the "hospital" route, insurance wouldn't pay, so they hoped that the time spent in the facility would be short and fruitful. My brother came up from California when Dad was released, so that Mom would have an extra pair of hands around in case she needed help. When Tony had to leave, it was my turn, so I drove down a day after we got back from New York. Mom said my job was to see what needed done and do it. Her job was to take care of Dad. Sounded fair to me. When Don got there, his job was to tend to the vegetable garden, plant some flowers in pots, and take a load to the dump. Bigger jobs than they sound.

The sad thing about aging---is having to give up what you love. My Dad loved to putter around in his yard and in his wood shop. A few years ago, after a table saw mishap involving several fingers, Dad had to give up the wood shop. Now, after this stroke, he has to give up the yard. He wanted so much to come out and tell us what to do while Don and I worked in the yard. I'm sure it was hard for him not to join us. His goals for his recovery are to regain his strength enough to walk to the bathroom on his own and to be able to go back to church. Such precious, dignified goals.

Movie: "Pope Francis-A Man of His Word." If you are Catholic or Protestant; Evangelical or Mainstream; if you are Muslim, Hindu, or Buddhist; if you are agnostic or atheist; or a human being of any faith or no faith, you must see this movie (which is probably playing in a movie theater near you right now.) This film and this pope's message is important. What Pope Francis has to say is vital for all of us and not preachy at all!

Our chicken dinner and the table decorations---irises
Irises: Yesterday Don and I decided to stop and look at the irises we could see blooming in a field near the freeway north of Salem, Oregon. Little did we know that we'd be stepping into an alternate universe, and a party to boot. Schreiner's Iris Gardens was hosting a Memorial Day weekend arts festival. The iris gardens were in full bloom, so visitors could walk around inhaling the heavenly scent of irises and other late spring flowers (such as peonies). After we tired of flower gazing, we purchased a complete chicken dinner for $11 which included a half chicken, baked potato, coleslaw, roll, a beverage, and a mint candy. While eating, a dixieland jazz band played favorite ole' timey hits for our musical entertainment. Artists had booths here and there, some even creating the art as we watched. Then, as a special treat, we bought a dozen iris stems for a mere $7.50 to take home and enjoy. We soaked it all in and reveled in the memories of it as we drove the rest of the way home, enjoying the perfume of the irises. Hope you enjoy my iris photos.

Wipeout ( In your mind hum "Wipeout" by the Ventures as you read this paragraph.): Don gave me a Fitbit for my birthday in February. Since then I have tried - usually unsuccessfully - to walk the recommended 10,000 steps a day. While in Eugene, I would head out for frequent, short walks, trying to reach my goal. The weather was lovely, the neighborhood so pretty. One day, as I was admiring someone's lovely roses, I tripped on a raised slab of sidewalk and went sprawling with hands and knees hitting the sidewalk first. Everything was skinned. I sat dazed on the sidewalk for a few minutes before I limped back to my folks home. I swear the exercise gods have it out for me. When I try to do something good for myself, a barrier presents itself.

Back to New York: Friday I fly back to New York to join Carly on her cross country trip back home after her two years in grad school. We both have four or five audiobooks cued up on our devices to listen to as we drive along. Like minds! Our route will take us along I-80 until it meets up with I-90, around the Great Lakes, on to the Badlands and Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota, continuing through Montana over the Rockies, and then home.

Books I am currently reading:
  • Artemis by Andy Weir...author of the Martian. This one my be even a little too science-geeky for me. 55%, audio.
  • Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman...the 2nd book in the Arc of they Scythe series. I love the writing and the plot is so unique but the book was due at the library last week and I think I will have to return it unfinished and request it again or pay through the nose on overdue fines. 50%, print, YA.
  • Rumi's Little Book of Life by Rumi...poems. Ah! Got this one on a trip to the Smith Bookstore in Eugene. 40%, print.
Books I completed this week:
  • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi---includes Nigerian myths and magic. Very unique story. Ends on a cliffhanger. Argh! YA. Audio and print.
  • Love Found: Fifty Classic Love Poems edited by Jennifer Lewis. Print.
  • Less by Andrew Greer. The 2018 Pulitzer prize winner. I loved this book. Fun and thoughtful. Audio.
  • Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World by Penelope Bagieu. A graphic novel with shorts on famous and not-so-famous ladies throughout history. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Print.

See you on the flip flop! (I'll be on the road next week, somewhere between New York and Ohio, I think.)
Yes, black irises!


  1. LOVING all the iris photos. They are my favorite. Last year my garden gave me 10 irises and this year I got about 40 to 50, all purple. It made me so happy.

    1. I was wondering how fast they spread. Good news, Now I think I will order some bulbs.

  2. Lovely flowers and time spent with loved one s. Enjoy the road trip!!

  3. Those irises are spectacular! Your dad's goals are heartwarming and I hope he reaches them soon. Have a great trip with Carly and enjoy the time and sights along the way. See you soon! Love you!

  4. Glad you were able to get up there to help your mom and dad out, and that your dad's recovery is progressing, slowly but surely. For my dad in his last year with cancer, it was not being able to go golfing anymore, something that brought him such joy!! Luckily, his second-favorite activity was reading which he enjoyed almost to the end.

    We have some deep purple irises in our yard, which I love, but I really like the yellow ones in your photos, too - so vibrant! And I;ve never seen black before.

    Enjoy your trip with your daughter. As you know, we LOVE a road trip here!! Especially one well-equipped with audio books. And one of our all-time favorite places to visit is the Black Hills region - we have family there, so we go fairly often. Enjoy the trip.

    And when you get back, remember that it is summer again....and time for another Big Book Summer Challenge! I hope you will consider joining the fun again!


    2018 Big Book Summer Challenge

  5. How nice that you got to enjoy the Iris festival! I agree that it is hard to watch your parents' world shrink. My dad was a news photographer who traveled the world. In the last few years of his life, he took pictures of flowers we brought him and of the cats in his adult foster care home.

    Enjoy your road trip and your audiobooks!

  6. I hope that I have a chance to see the Pope Frances film. It sounds so meaningful. I also want to see the RBG film.


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