"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, July 1, 2018

Sunday Salon...San Francisco Version

Ian and his mama at the wedding. So dapper!
Weather: foggy, windy and cold. Ha! What a cliche. How does the oft misattributed Mark Twain quote go?  “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”

Last stage of launching Carly: Don and I are currently in San Francisco helping Carly move into her new digs prior to the start of her first job as a genetic counselor working for Sutter Heath. Of course, as all parents know, we have been preparing Carly her whole life for this moment but this last leg has taken a lot of our attention. We couldn't be more proud of her right now. I confess to feeling a bit weepy, however. I am happy for Carly, but will miss her tremendously, too.

35 nights away from home: Launching Carly and other family concerns have taken a lot of our attention these past two months. First, we attended Carly's graduation ceremony from Sarah Lawrence University in mid-May. We spent a week with her in New York, mostly celebrating with her but also starting the moving process. After returning home, I spent a week in Eugene with my parents, then returned to New York at the end of the month for the actual move and the cross country car trip. After being home for less than a week, Carly and Don flew down to San Fran to find and secure her an apartment. They found one the first day so cut their trip short by three days. By the middle of that week we were on the road again, this time to attend a family wedding and reunion in Oregon. Less than a week later, Carly was heading out with a full car for her move to California. We chased her a day later in Don's pickup truck full of the other half of her stuff. We stopped for a night mid-journey at Jon and Laura's home in Grants Pass, Carly was just one day ahead of us. Thank you for hosting us, J and L! By the time we get home on July 5th, I will have spent 35 nights away from home over the course of the previous eight weeks. That's a lot of nights sleeping on bad pillows!

"I Do Care" as compared to Melania's "I don't care. Do you?"

Carly and Don at the rally.
FAMILIES BELONG TOGETHER: Our first official San Francisco thing we did together as a family was attend the Families Belong Together Rally at the steps of City Hall. We didn't get our act together in time to participate in the march that happened before the rally. In our opinion, the Trump administration's policy of separating families who are seeking asylum in the USA is not only illegal but tragic. We cannot stay silent.

Dinner at the Pacific Cafe: the second official meal we had in San Fran was at the famous Pacific Cafe where mainly delicious fish items are on the menu. We dined with friends Ken and Carol, who are visiting the area from New Jersey. We just happened to be in San Fran at the same time. Thanks for dinner, K and C! We enjoyed it but loved the conversation and time spent with you more.

Bride Rachel and Kathy
Rachel and Michael wed: My niece Rachel wed Micheal in a lovely and fun wedding on June 23rd. They made a whole weekend full of pre/during/post activities for family and friends so we had lots of time to celebrate with them. The ceremony was held at Mt. Pisgah County Park, which was a lovely, nature-filled setting. The capper to the long but fun reception was music by a Zimbabwean marimba band. It got everyone up and bopping! My sister Kathy, Rachel's mother, looked lovelier than I've ever seen her. What fun to celebrate good times with family.

The family reunion: was held in Florence, Oregon. Dad was able to make it, which makes my heart just sing, as well as his only surviving sister, Betty, and her daughter. Two of my three sibs and portions of their family totaling sixteen people were able to attend and the weather was lovely. Rita, Dan, and Ian joined my branch of the family. (Don and Carly had to go home after the wedding.) Ian was the little star, allowing almost everyone a chance to love-up on him at one time or another. At one point he sat in the middle of the room on the floor and looked up, way up, as my tall nephews walked up and talked to him as they we passing by on the way to supper. Kathy shared leftovers from the wedding, including a lot of the yummy wedding cake (carrot!)

Books I've completed since my last Sunday Salon post (June 10th):
  • When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandyha Menon... Carly and I listened to the first half of this book on our cross country trip and finished it on our trip to Oregon a few weeks later. This YA book about Indian-American teens who meet at a camp about computer programming the summer prior to their freshman year of college. Honestly this book had so much potential but it just didn't live up to the hype for me. I rolled my eyes so many times as we listened. I wanted more about the computer programming and the summer contest to develop a great computer app. What we got was mostly a rom-com (romantic comedy). YA. Audiobook.
  • Truth Like the Sun by Jim Lynch...set in two time periods, 2001 and 1962, the book tells the story of the Seattle World's Fair and one (fictional) man who made it happen. I enjoyed it, but it was oddly written in a style which kept the reader at a distance from the action and the characters. A book club selection. Print.
  • The Place Between Breaths by An Na...a high school senior lives alone with her widowed father who is obsessed with finding a cure for schizophrenia, the disease which took is wife away. The girl is worried that she, too, may be succumbing to the disease. I can't recommend this book in good conscience because it is SO confusing. I was never sure who was talking and what time period was being represented at that moment. It is a short book and I am sure it makes a good point about how confusing mental illness is, but I think there are less confusing books which make similar points. YA. Print.
  • The Leavers by Lisa Ko...a timely book about the frustrating and terrifying consequences on families of illegal immigration. I kept thinking, also, about the importance of parental blessings if children are to grow up with healthy self-concepts. I recommend this one. Another book club selection. Audiobook.'
  • The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill---a lovely, delightful middle-grade fantasy. This would be a perfect book to read aloud with upper elementary-aged children. Read my review (hyperlined title). MG. Audiobook.
  • The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert---this is the YA book everyone is talking about but I am not sure how many people actually like. It is about fairy tales and I would categorize it as horror genre. I liked it and passed it on to Rita, who loves fairy tales. I wonder if she will be able to finish it before it is due back at the library. YA. Audio and print.
  • The Little Friend by Donna Tartt---I checked out seven audiobooks for our California trip. I knew we couldn't listen to all of them but wanted to give us some options. This is the one we picked first. It is a mystery, a coming-of-age tale, and a superbly written book. Tartt, the author of The Goldfinch, is a not-to-be-missed writer. Even though this book wasn't my favorite of hers, I did think it was quite suspenseful and well-done. Audiobook, read by the author (another treat!).
Currently reading:
  • Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance---about time, huh? Insightful and disturbing. It explains a lot but makes me frustrated at the same time. Audiobook. 75%
  • Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert---this is my Mock Printz read for June (oops, it is July and I'm not done.) So far I am confused about what is going on but I haven't gotten very far. Pint. 11%.
  • Three different poetry books. What can I say?
IKEA: Today we spent hours at IKEA helping Carly select and purchase some furniture for her room: a dresser, a small desk and file drawer, a desk chair, and a comfy chair. Every time we go to IKEA I come away feeling overwhelmed. Today was no exception. Carly and Don are about halfway through building the dresser, the first item they decided to build. They make a good team. I am staying out of the way. It will be a long night if they think they are going to build all the pieces today. It is 7:30 PM right now. HA!

Enjoy this remake of Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie's We Are the World by Broadway performers. (Thanks, Kathy, for sharing this with me.)


Ashland and Grants Pass: tomorrow we point our car toward home. We will stopover in Ashland to see two Shakespeare plays, we will spend one more night Grants Pass to spend the 4th with Don's brother and wife, Jon and Laura, then home. I confess that I am ready to spend time at home just puttering around and sleeping in my own bed. I've had enough traveling for a while!


  1. That is a LOT of traveling and you are right, the pillows are what do me in when I don't sleep at home. It sounds like you made many wonderful memories though too. Glad your dad has improved! I find IKEA overwhelming also, and can't put together their furniture. Ashley is quite good at it. So was Patt. :)

  2. Boy you have been so busy over the past two months. It sounds like a time of emotions and big life changes! My parents head to Ashland next week for a week; they go every summer. My daughter and I are going to San Francisco this Thursday for a few days; it will be a nice change as a heat wave hits southern California.

  3. Wow, that IS a lot of travel in a short time! We have also had a very hectic couple of months but not so much travel. In fact, I am in desperate need of a vacation!

    How wonderful that Carly is starting her adult life in SF - what an amazing place! I'm surprised she was able to find affordable rent there, though.

    The Leavers was great - it was one of the 2017 Booktopia selections so i got to meet Lisa Ko, too. I just noticed that my local bookstore chose it for their August book club book, so I am thinking of trying to attend. And I've never heard of The Little Friend! I thought I'd read all the Tartt novels. I loved The Goldfinch but was just so-so on The Secret History (too dark & totally unlikable characters).

    Enjoy the rest of your trip and then some relaxing time at home!


    It's Monday! What Are You Reading? We are all focused on Big Books here, for my Big Book Summer Challenge! I'm still reading Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon (book 2 in the Outlander series), and it is still wonderful! My husband didn;t have much reading time last week but is still reading Cloud Atlas by David Mitchel, one of my all-time favorite novels. Our son just moved onto Book 10, Crossroads of Twilight, of the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan (he ALWAYS reads Big Books!)

    What are you and your family reading this week?

    2018 Big Book Summer Challenge

  4. Congrats to Carly!

    You know, a few weeks ago I visited IKEA for the first time ever - what a maze!

  5. Congrats to Carly on her new digs. I've wanted to read The Leavers and I think I'll get to it. Also thanks for letting me know that Donna Tartt reads for the audio of her book Little Friend. I didn't realize that -- I will look for it.


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