"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=========

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Sunday Salon...Weekly Update on Wednesday

The Painted Hills, part of the John Day Fossil Beds in Eastern Oregon
Weather: It has been hot and smokey. We were in Eastern Oregon this past weekend and during our drive over we couldn't see any of the mountains in the Cascade Range. Sunday driving up the Willamette Valley into Washington and then home it got smokier and smokier. Ugh. Forest fires everywhere. The meteorologist on TV tells us to beware and NOT go outside it we can help it.

Mr. Bingley, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Meet Mr. Bingley: Our new puppy is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel so we named him a British-sounding name after a beloved character in the Jane Austen classic, Pride and Prejudice. He is all play and all sleep. 1/2 hour on, two hours off. Right now my cat, Demi, is attempting to sit on his face as he sleeps. Grandson Ian is just the right size and the puppy thinks Ian is a great big toy. Ian has spent the morning putting his arms up, essentially asking me to pick him up to save him from the dog.

Don and Jon look over the meadow where they scattered their father's ashes
Final resting place: Don's dad, Chet, died almost two years ago while on a vacation in Arizona. He was cremated but there was a slight delay getting the ashes back. Chet had asked Don to scatter his ashes somewhere in Bear Valley where he loved to Elk Hunt, among the trees he loved so much as a forester. Don and I, Rita (our eldest daughter) and son, and Jon and Laura (Don's brother and wife), finally got together this past week to lay Chet to rest. Don found a beautiful meadow at the edge of the forest near the spot where the hunting was always good. We sang songs, told jokes and remembrances, toasted with wine and licorice (Chet loved black licorice.) We said our final goodbyes. Ian, sweet Ian, who never met his great-grandfather, was the comic relief of the day. He laughed long and hard about a joke that Laura told, as if he could understand it. It was a lovely but emotional day.

The rest of the weekend: was spent attending the Grant County Fair and the Lonestar concert in the grandstands there on the grounds; watching the fair parade down the middle of town in John Day. We also made a quick detour to check out the amazing Painted Hills, part of the John Day Fossil Beds, a new National Monument, before we drove to Eugene to pick up Bingley and to visit with my sister/brother-in-law and my parents.

New fence: Our back yard is ours again after a two-week project to demolish our old fence and build a new one...just in time for Bingley's arrival.

Currently reading:
  • The Name of the Rose by Eco. This is my Classics Club SPIN book and it's a toughy. Not sure I would recommend it to anyone. But I'm not quite half way finished. (53%, audio and print)
  • Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Sloan. A re-read. I encouraged Rita to read it and then decided I needed to have a second go round on it, too. (57%, audio)
  • Life Inside My Mind: 31 Authors Share Their Struggles edited by Burkhart. Authors writing about their own experiences with mental illness. This should be required reading. (55%, print)
Books read (last two weeks):
  • The Book of Pearl by Timothee de Fombelle. YA, translated from French. A true fairy story set in both a magical kingdom and out world. I liked this one. (Print)
  • Cries of the Spirit: More than 300 Poems in Celebration of Women's Spirituality edited by Marilyn Sewell. A poetry anthology with a decidedly woman's point of view. Read my review by clicking the hyperlink. (Print.)
  • The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza by Shaun David Hutchinson. YA. Elena is tasked with saving the world by healing as many people as she can. My review coming soon. (Print)
  • Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen by Deborah Hopkinson. Children's picture book. A sweet introduction to a favorite author. (Print.)
  • Northanger Abbey: a graphic novel by Nancy Butler and Jane Austen. A fun retelling of Austen's least well-known book. (Print)
  • The Lost City of Z by David Grann. A re-read and next month's book club selection. This is a nonfiction account of the greatest exploration mystery of the 20th century, the disappearance of the Percy Fawcett on his quest to find the lost city of Z. (Audio)
Thought for the week: We can make a difference in the lives of others for good or bad. Choose the good.


  1. Love your thought for the week. We must try to do the best we can.

    I like the books that celebrate Austen in August. I read the picture book bio of Austen, too, though I forgot to review it.

  2. A series that I need to re-read is Heather Lende's books, especially "Find the Good." They were life changing for me. Loved Mr. Penumbra(think I recommended it to you) and "Name of the Rose." It was a tough read though, as I recall. Just finished Eleanor Oliphant and want to re-read it again right now. What a treasure of a book!

    1. I sure hope we can read Eleanor Oliphant for book club. There is a lot to discuss. I will look for Lende's books.

  3. Oh, and I love what you did for Chet, and that you now have a cute new puppy. You already know that I adore Ian. He is a sweetheart!

    1. It was a very special time saying goodbye for the last time. That photo of Don and Jon makes me cry every time.

  4. I also loved Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. Stay safe and thanks for visiting my blog.

    1. Penumbra is a re-read for me. I liked it so much the first time.

  5. Chet's resting place is beautiful and I am so glad your family got to be together to remember him. I think that is so important. I hope your air quality isn't too bad, wear your N-95 mask! We wore them for weeks after our December fire and checked the air quality daily.

  6. Wow, what a busy time for you!

    Your photos are just gorgeous. I especially like the one after scattering your FIL's ashes - what a beautiful, peaceful spot and such a fitting send-off for him.

    I still haven't read Mr. Penumbra yet - it's on my never-ending list!


  7. Aww, Mr.Bingley is just as handsome as his namesake! What a cutie :)


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