"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 19, 2019

Sunday Salon: May 19

Fort Point and Golden Gate Bridge, May 1st
Weather: woke up to rain but it is sunny right now.

Yesterday: was one of those perfect days. We had our grandson with us the whole day as his dad was working and his mother was participating in a team challenge course with inflatable things. (Don't ask me to explain but it sounded fun.) So Ian was with us and every moment was sheer delight. He went with us to the hardware store to buy a rose trellis and interacted with other shoppers. He played in the yard and then took a long nap. Then off to the park for a long session of swinging and climbing and sliding. Later his parents joined us for a BBQ dinner and cake to celebrate Don's 62nd birthday. Nothing that remarkable happened it just all came together in a big, complete way and I was very satisfied at day's end.

Politics: I can't even begin to express my dissatisfaction with the events this past week concerning full and total abortions. I read this tweet from a pastor in Alabama from a sermon he made last year. This pretty much sums up my thoughts.

I ask that you read it and think about what Dave Barnhart is saying, rather than shutting down completely. Thank you.
Ian wearing his new light-up shoes (not shown) and holding his new balls, with blankie, and the car dragon, Roar, who wait patiently for rides with his boy.
Mother's Day: Last week I didn't post because if was Mother's Day and my hubby was busy planting all the flowers we bought to put in the yard and in planters. Rita and Ian came over and we had a sweet little brunch. Ah, the joys of family.

San Francisco Conservatory in Golden Gate Park
San Francisco: the week before, we were in SF visiting Carly, our other daughter and we had perfect weather for all the touring we did: Alcatraz National Park, site of the old penitentiary in the SF bay, Fort Point right under Golden Gate bridge, the Conservatory and botanical gardens in Golden Gate park, an evening at the theater watching a play of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and a tour of wine country. Wow we crammed a lot into a few days. Plus we got to see where Carly works (or worked, since her whole office moved after we left.)

Carly and Don wine tasting at Medlock Ames Winery.
Reading: I confess to be in a bit of a slump and I blame it all on East of Eden. I started this book as part of the Classics Club Spin challenge and I am not making good progress on it...I've only read 100 pages in the last month. Each night I try to read I only fit in a page of two before closing the book and my eyes. I've decided to re-work my plan for this book, admitting I won't finish it by the deadline for the challenge, and challenge myself to read 10 pages a day. If I make my own little daily mini-challenge then I am free to read whatever else I want to read the rest of the day. I'm hoping this will shake me loose of this slump. So far in May I have only finished three books, which might sound like a fine amount but isn't good for me:

  • The Friend by Sigrid Nunez---a Pulitzer Prize winner. Audio.
  • The World Accord to Bob by James Bowen---a sequel to the first book about the cat, Bob, and his master, James, and their life on the streets on London. Print.
  • The Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti---a Printz Honor book. Audio.
Currently reading:
  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck---print, 17%.
  • The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin---re-read for book club, audio, 50%.
  • The CBS Murders by Richard Hammer---nonfiction, e-book, 4%.
Movies: I watched two movies that I borrowed from the public library:
  • The Hours, starring Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, and Julianne Moore. The story of the last days of Virginia Woolf. Three stories in one. What do they all have in common? Mrs. Dalloway, Woolf's novel.
  • Goodbye Winnie-the-Pooh starring Will Tilston as Christopher Robin, whose life was wrecked by the fame that came with the book.
Our backyard earlier this month.
The earth laughs in flowers.-Ralph Waldo Emerson


  1. We all have reading doldrums; you'll come out of it! I get more in to reading when we choose our new set of books for BC because I can't wait to attack them. :) I too am discouraged over what's happening and think the tweet/sermon perfectly expresses the frustration and anguish of many of us. Thank you for sharing it.

  2. I like the quote by the pastor. Thanks for sharing it. Your plan to read 10 pages a day of your spin book sounds good. I know some people would just say don't finish it, but there are those books you do want to say you've read, right? I did something similar with The Count of Monte Christo just to pace myself and not give up or get burnt out. Good luck!

  3. My sister urged East of Eden on me, but I was terribly disappointed to find that nothing about that book worked for me. I saw it through to the end, but I forced myself to read it, and that's the worst sort of reading, I think. You know that you can always delete it from your list and replace it with something else.

    The little article you posted on the unborn made me think about the issues the author brings up. True, I think. There is no issue in our country that seems to push buttons faster than this one, though surveys show that most Americans feel much the same about the issue. I think politicians want us divided sometimes.

    I wrote a long, long blog post this week about alienation and politics in America, but I haven't had the guts to post a link to it on Facebook. I sent it off to my son today and asked for his honest thoughts. He encouraged me to post a link on Facebook. Maybe I will. I certainly want to do everything I can to bring people to talk at the table.

    1. I just can't sit back and say nothing anymore. I just have to learn how to be as diplomatic as possible when I speak, though. One of my old colleagues keeps me on my toes. She is a good person but unable to see both sides.

  4. Your trip to SF looks like fun. I'm just across the bay from the City but I don't play tourist in it much. My weekly update

  5. It sounds like a perfect day with your grandson.
    I am in agreement with the pastors words, I’m horrified by the decisions made in Alabama and other states in US. Whatever happened with to the separation of religion and state?

    Have a great reading week

  6. Your day with your grandson and family sounds pretty perfect to me, too. Politics is just killing me these days. Saw that tweet yesterday and couldn't agree more. Sorry to hear you're struggling with East of Eden. Have you enjoyed Steinbeck's other books? Maybe he's not an author for you?

  7. The day with your grandson sounds marvelous!
    I read that same tweet and totally agreed.
    Sorry you're not enjoying East of Eden. I've never read it.

  8. I love days where it all just seems to come together, even if nothing "big" happened. It sounds blissful. And, I am right there with you about Alabama, Missouri, and other states who are writing these awful new laws; that minister's quote is fabulous!

  9. Wow, you've had a wonderful two weeks, filled with family & fun! And your yard is just gorgeous.

    That pastor really got to the heart of the matter, didn't he?

    I also did not find East of Eden all that compelling, though it is the all-time favorite book of one of my best friends! Good luck with it - hope it picks up for you - AJ Fikry provided a nice break for you, I'm sure!

    Interested to hear what you thought of Good-bye Winnie the Pooh - I haven't seen it yet but love Pooh & the rest of the gang.

    Hope you are enjoying your books this week -


    Book By Book

  10. Wow it seems you really had good weather in San Fran. My sister's family lives right over the bridge there. So much to see & do there, and it seems you did a lot! I have long had a copy of East of Eden but have not started it -- it still sits on the shelf waiting. Maybe it would make a good audio?


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