"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=========

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Sunday Salon, August 23rd

 Ian is not quite three years old, but he knows how to wear a mask!

Weather: It has been lightly raining occasionally on Friday and Saturday. A needed relief from the dry conditions of our summer weather.

This week: Let's see, what did I do this week? Oh, I remember. I watched the Democratic National Convention four nights in a row followed by listening to all the talking heads discuss it afterwards. See my suggestions for viewing the high points below, if you didn't get a chance to see it all.

Book Clubs: Both of my book clubs are back in operation, meeting at my house, sitting outside on the covered deck, while wearing masks. It is good to be with other humans again, even in these limited and careful interactions. SOTH book club discussed WHY I JUMP written by a thirteen-year-old autistic boy. RHS GALS book club will meet on Wednesday to discuss VALENTINE, a disturbing view of the ways women are treated and mistreated by men, but a hopeful book because the women are strong and determined.


  • Completed this week--
    • Be the Bridge: Pursuing God's Heart for Racial Reconciliation by LaTasha Morrison. Our class ended on Tuesday. It was a valuable experience reading this and discussing in community. E-book.
    • Ten Poems to Last a Lifetime by Roger Housden. One of the books in the "Ten Poems" series, it is a reread for me. Poetry is what I can read these days. Print.
    • Tinkers by Paul Harding. A Pulitzer Prize winner which I didn't care for at all. Print.
  • Currently Reading---
    • Given: Poems by Wendall Berry. This is my first time reading poems by this famous poet. Print. 20% complete.
    • The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa. A cute book narrated by the cat. (I know "travelling" is misspelled but that's the way it is on the cover.) Translated from Japanese. Print. 18% complete.

Good News:

1. Highlights from the Democratic National Convention (DNC):

  • Day One
  • Day Two
  • Day Three
    • Prince Royce sings "Stand By Me"
    • Hillary Clinton and Keep Rising Women, a montage of women (fast forward to 51 min.)
    • Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony and President Barack Obama speech (same link, fast forward to 1:31:00)
    • Meet Kamala Harris and her acceptance speech (fast forward to 1:56:00)
    • Jennifer Hudson sings "A Change Is Gonna Come" (fast forward to 2:22:00)
  • Day Four - Watch the whole thing, if you didn't get to see it live! I know it is long, but it will make you fall in love with Biden and what he represents in contrast to Trump.
    • The Pledge of Allegiance (led by a darling little boy) (fast forward to 30 min, 30 sec), followed by our National Anthem sung by The Chicks.
    • Sister Simone Campbell delivers the invocation (32:47), followed by Sen. Chris Coons on Biden as "Man of Faith and Conscience."
    • Tribute to John Lewis (44 min), followed immediately by "Glory" performed by John Legend and Common.
    • Presidential Historian Jon Meacham (who wants to be on the right side of history by endorsing Joe Biden) (54:50), followed immediately by Rep. Deb Haaland, a 35th generation American.
    • Brayden Harrington, a 13-year old boy Biden helped confront his stuttering (1:46.54)
    • Meet Joe Biden intro video, followed by his acceptance speech (1:56:00) and the ensuing outdoor, socially-distanced celebration complete with fireworks over the parking lot, concluding with benedictions by a Rabbi, a priest, and an Imam (not the beginning of a joke!)
    • Julia Louis-Dreyfus, as emcee, roasts Trump (highlights). (Very funny!)



4. Joe Biden's super power is empathy. Follow this link to the original interaction Biden had with Brayden Harrington about stuttering. (DKos)

5. The #BlueWave2020 is coming Nov. 3rd. Watch the trailer.

 Other Good News 

1. LeBron James altered a MAGA hat demanding justice for Breonna Taylor (Chicago Sun Times)

2. Most Americans say they couldn't make it through the COVID lockdown without their feline friends. (GNN) We are so grateful that our daughter has two feline friends, Fred and George, that she got three days before lowdown started. Fred (red harness) and George (grey harness) are good companions.

 3. Just sayin', we need a US Postal Service.

4. The pandemic has been good for animals. "Pandas mate in Hong Kong zoo after ten years of trying, possibly because no one was watching." (BBC) "There is an 'elephant baby boom' in one Kenyan park." (NPR) Can't really give the coronavirus credit for this because elephants are pregnant for two years, but it is still good news!

On the Lighter Side:

A. John Legend sings a preview of the DNC Convention. You will recognize the tune, but the words are new:

B. The former President of Mexico, Vincente Fox, is running for President of the United States. This is hilarious, if not a little crass. Great snark!

 C. Oh boy. Ain't this the truth?

D. This is so sad, so selfish...

E. After Brayden spoke about Biden's help with his stuttering, I'm sure Trump wants to do something similar.

Closing comment: After the DNC this week I am feeling cautiously hopeful. How about you? Please leave me a message below or on my Facebook link. Thank you. -Anne


  1. Love those pics of cute Ian wearing his mask! :D

    1. He and I were playing around and I got him to cooperate with me. It was fun.

  2. We had good news with Bannon’s arrest and 45’s tax return dismissal. The DNC was a necessarybreath of fresh air. I won’t be watching the RNC bc I’m afraid I would break the tv after hurling something. Ian is such a smart kid.

    1. I will probably only watch the bits of the RNC they show on the shows afterwards with the talking heads analyzing it.

  3. I have to sheepishly admit in the face of your fervent enthusiasm that we did not watch any of the DNC this week, but it took place just a few miles from here! Or at least, that's where Biden was. And it was fun to see the national newscasters broadcasting from our city each morning, as they recapped the previous night.

    So, I appreciated your recap very much :) and I caught clips of most of the highlights. Love that last John Legend video, especially the ending I didn't see. coming ... "pasty"! ha ha! Oh, and my son and I always watch highlights from Colbert, Noah, and Myers after the fact, too - he's 26, so those are his favorite ways to access the news! (though he did read a NYT article this week to get the in-depth details on one story). We both like when Trevor Noah or Seth Myers do in-depth pieces. I am extremely alarmed by what's happening with the USPS - both for the election and long-term.

    Thanks for the highlights!

    Oh, and how exciting that your book groups are meeting again! Nice that you can manage that! You must have small-ish groups. One of mine finally had a Zoom meeting last week, and I am hoping to convince the other one to try it, too, in September (we always take summers off anyway). Ah, September! I am so happy that hot, humid summer is almost over!

    Enjoy your books and that adorable grandson this week, Anne -


    Book By Book

    1. I hope you click on a few of the DNC links. So many inspirational moments...and Joe is a Delawarean! You must feel so much pride! I do think that humor helps us survive these troubled times, for sure.

  4. Great wrap up. I'm cautiously optimistic too although I know things are going to get ugly now *sigh*. It is nice to see a little class return to our national discourse, though. So overdue! And I love Rubin's tweet- so true!

    Love LeBron's hat, too.

    1. I think Rubin's tweet needs wide distribution, for sure!

  5. Your grandson looks older than 3 - so cute. I loved watching much of the DNC, so well crafted and a hopeful message to return our country to some sort of order, calm and decency. I had a tear in my eye several times but, the young boy from NH who stuttered and how Joe B helped him really moved me. I do fear for some sort of civil unrest when the election is over.

  6. PS...I meant to add the (2) grandcats are adorable and that our 2 sibling cats have helped so much during these trying times.

    1. I will finally meet Fred and George this week. So excited.

  7. I feel refreshed to have visited your blog. You hit all the high notes and you pushed buttons for both my tears and my laughter. I can think of no time in my life that I have felt like I needed more hope. Thank you for offering up that hope.

    I love the comparison between the postal service and the for-profit services. We have to keep remembering, I think, that everything can't be judged strictly on whether or not it makes money.

    The photos of your little grandson are great. I think my niece needs to make a video of her son, born at 25 weeks and thriving at three, to share with people who refuse to take precautions during the pandemic. His little lungs literally could not function when he was born. How selfish of others to disregard him now.

    Thank you for all you do to help our world get back on a good path, Anne.

    1. My grandson and I had a great time taking the photos for the mask collage. He is such a little ham. He's not even three yet so that shows what a precocious child he is. I heard today that some employees of the postal service in Texas and other states are repairing the sorting machines without permission. That was the most ridiculous thing I've heard of to save money! Dismantle a machine that saves manpower. Ugh.
      Yes, we all need hope. I love the Seamus Heaney poem that Biden quotes from: "This is Our Moment to Make Hope and History Rhyme."

    2. I've got family that needs to get their prescriptions delivered with their Medicare and they can do that because of the Postal Service. It would cost a ton more if they had to do it with a private company. There are so many reasons to keep the Postal Service! Thank you for the meme.

  8. I do hope that we can have Book Club again in September. Can't wait!!

    I've received a copy of The Traveling Cat chronicles for my 40th birthday. That's almost 2 years ago... And I still haven't read it! Really need to.

    Hope your week will be great!

    Elza Reads

    1. Book club met on Tuesday and seven of us sat on my deck in our masks. Several gals who came said they didn't read the book, but they came because they are so starved for human contact and they knew this setting was safe.

  9. Great summary... I watched most of it or at least listened live as I walked the dog or prepared for a garage sale I participated in this weekend. :-) I'm also uplifted but so cautiously optimistic. I've felt a lot like Charlie Brown these past 4 years. Just when I think "this is it!", the football gets pulled out. Always enjoy your perspectives.

    1. Thanks Kathy. I was really touched by many moment of the DNC, most of them were the personal touches like the little kid saying the pledge of allegiance. If you get a chance, watch the Mexican Prsident running for Pres of USA. It is hilarious!

  10. Thanks for sharing those highlights, I am hopeful the right choice will be made, because even though Trump is not my president I believe he is a danger to the safety of my country.

    I’m glad you are able to recommence your book club meetings.

    Wishing you a great reading week

  11. I saw some of it and read other highlights of the DNC. I'll take some time this week and get the rest I missed so thank you for taking the time and putting it all down in an easy format! I love that you take the time to give us the highlights. Thank you!

  12. That Vicente Fox video is amazing. Talk about just putting it all out there!

  13. Great post! Love the child's response to those groaning about masks and how they squelch their liberties....

    Great moments, and the one about Trump trying to get "help" from a kid. He can never do anything just for the spirit of doing good. Oh, right, not in his wheelhouse!

    Great convention! Staying away from the RNC lies.

    Enjoy your week, and thanks for visiting my blog.

  14. I watched all the nights of DNC and came away feeling really good. This upcoming week with the RNC scares me, though.

    Hope you have a great week!

  15. Well done Ian! Some adults could learn a lesson from you!


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