"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, October 31, 2020

Sunday Salon. Voting edition.

How about our darling grandsons in their Halloween costumes?

An atmospheric river from Hawaii was supposed to move through on Friday bringing lots of rain but it really just brought a lot of wind. One of the street trees in our neighborhood blew over. Will it be nice on Halloween for trick-or-treating?

Family news: Usual pandemic stuff...hanging out in the house a lot with short forays out to shop for food and to walk the dog. Lots of time doing puzzles, playing cards, Zoom Bible Study, Zoom church, and watching politics on TV.  Comfort food has been on the menu. This week I made apple cake, a favorite food from my childhood and a boiled dinner we usually only have on St. Patrick's Day: Corned beef, potatoes, cabbage, and beets. I know. Sounds ghastly but we like it.

Halloween: How's this for our Halloween decorations? These are our pumpkins this year. Recognize the sunglasses?


  • Completed
    •  Almost Everything: Notes on Hope by Anne Lamott. A favorite author, not a favorite book. (Print)
    • Writers and Lovers by Lily King. It is tough work to make dreams come true and to be honest with yourself and others. (Audiobook)
  • Currently reading
    •  A Velocity of Being: Letters to a Young Reader, edited by Maria Popova. Still enjoying these letters written by people to future readers. (Print, 70%)
    • Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo. A new book club selection. Love and polygamy. (Print, 1%)
  • Book club--The RHS book club met in a socially distanced, outside setting (with heaters) to discuss Born a Crime by Trevor Noah. We were all starved for human contact and enjoyed discussing the book and being together.
Vote November 3rd. Participate. Your Vote Counts.

COVID: Sad/Mad/Bad: Our only option now to save our lives is to VOTE!

Good news and information about voting:

1. VOTE. VOTE. VOTE. Don't get worried if the results on Election Night are skewed toward Trump. Mail-in ballots, which more Democrats filled out this year, are counted last and it may take a few days for them to be reflected in the counts. Stay positive!

2. The only polls that really tell us anything are the State polls. One chap, see chart below, has looked at all the polls and has done a little math. Remember the Electoral College target number to win is 270. First he plugged in the "for sure" state numbers red and blue (baseline: Biden 232, Trump 125.) Then he plugged in electoral counts based on polls. Let's hope he's right. (DKos) For wonks, read The Economist and the 538 forecast.

3. And here's a fun activity. Open up another page on your browser to an Electoral College Calculator Map like 270toWin. Start adding and subtracting using the NYT chart below to see the likelihood of a Biden or Trump win.

4. How to vote in your state (WaPo) or visit the county auditor's (election clerk) or the Secretary of State's website in your state.

Or consult this website if you have any questions about voting in your area

 5. Absentee Ballot Deadlines in all States. (Vote.org) DO NOT MAIL YOUR BALLOT NOW OR IT MAY NOT BE COUNTED. Turn it into a voting dropbox in your area or take it to your polling station on election day, November 3rd. MAKE SURE YOUR VOTE IS COUNTED.

6. "R.I. P., G.O.P.--The Party of Lincoln had a good run. Then came Mr. Trump." NYT Editorial, Oct. 24, 2020

Of all the things President Trump has destroyed, the Republican Party is among the most dismaying.

“Destroyed” is perhaps too simplistic, though. It would be more precise to say that Mr. Trump accelerated his party’s demise, exposing the rot that has been eating at its core for decades and leaving it a hollowed-out shell devoid of ideas, values or integrity, committed solely to preserving its own power even at the expense of democratic norms, institutions and ideals.

7. "If Trump wins, athletes might just stop playing." (Intelligencer) No! No professional or college sports? Another big reason to elect Biden!

“If Trump wins, or if he refuses to concede, I’m telling you right now: There won’t be any sports for a month,” he said. “Maybe more. These kids just won’t stand for it...Settling for less in the near term is a reasonable strategy — as long as Joe Biden wins. But what happens if Trump overcomes his long odds and does somehow prevail? I think you will see the largest and most expensive athlete protest in the history of sports. I agree with my executive friend: I think they will simply refuse to play.

8.  20 US Attorneys--all Republican--endorse Biden. (WaPo)

Twenty former U.S. attorneys — all of them Republicans — on Tuesday publicly called President Trump “a threat to the rule of law in our country,” and urged that he be replaced in November with his Democratic opponent, former vice president Joe Biden.

“The President has clearly conveyed that he expects his Justice Department appointees and prosecutors to serve his personal and political interests,” said the former prosecutors in an open letter. They accused Trump of taking “action against those who have stood up for the interests of justice.”

The letter, signed by prosecutors appointed by every GOP president from Eisenhower to Trump, is the latest instance of Republicans backing Biden.

9. Nickelodeon kids pick Biden 53% to Trump 47%. Yay! (Republicans even tried to cheat on this vote, but Nickelodeon figured it out and backed out the illegal votes made by bots. Ha!)

10. Well, this is interesting...

Musical Interlude: This is from 2018 but it is so appropriate for today. WE SHALL OVERCOME. "We shall overcome this day and pray for love to lead the way."  

On the lighter side

1. This has nothing to do with politics, pandemics, or racism. This week my daughter showed me this weather report and I laughed every single time I looked at it. (It is from 2015) Enjoy. We all deserve a little levity to break up the tension right now. (Weather map goes crazy.)


3. Trump knows nothing about climate change. Want to make him shut up? Here's how...

4.Don't let the worst restaurant man win because you didn't vote.


5. I don't even live in Texas so I can't vote for this guy, but I think this political ad is so funny. Hope you enjoy it, too. (TX-01)



Lastly: In the event that things go sideways after the election, here are some resources to help you act to defend democracy. Let's hope that this is unnecessary.

On a national level there are two organizations asking for people to sign up and be ready to act: 


So folks, this is the last post before the Nov. 3rd election. I have found some comfort each week pulling out tidbits of information to share with you. It was my hope that this information helped you make a decision to vote for Biden or the courage to share with your friends/family what you have learned. I have tried to deal in facts not conspiracy theories or "fake news." I wanted to bring you a bit of humor to help lighten up the mood we are are all feeling right now...tense and worried. I hope the "funnies" I found did that. Now we wait and pray for positive results.

A moment of Zen:

Click on this link to listen to Raul Malo play a cover of 'A CHANGE IS GONNA TO COME.' It is a perfect way to usher out this Sunday Salon post. (Thanks Kathy for sharing this with me.)  While you are listening you can meditate on the beauty of trees.

A view of our backyard from the upstairs window. I wish you could experience the beauty of the light as it is filtered through the leaves. It sparkles in golden tones. The photo doesn't do it justice.




  1. Your grandchildren are adorable! I love their outfits!

    Those are some crazy temperatures in that video, that’s brilliant.

    I hope next week brings an end to the madness and Trump goes back to building ridiculous hotels rather than running the biggest superpower in the world.

  2. Hi Anne, The Halloween pictures are so cute.

    I'm feeling good about Biden/Harris yet, anxiety is high. Either way we are in for chaos for a few weeks after at least.

    1. I am sending my positive energy to Biden and his voters.

  3. I'm with Diane above. A bit scared to be too hopeful and terrified about post election no matter what happens. Cute grandsons! I wish I could post a photo of mine. He was a lamb. I'm posting lots of tree photos in the light too. The colors are beautiful right now but they won't last. I'm tempted to donate to Hank; I loved that ad!

    1. I think news channels are trying to make it more of a horse race by scaring us that Trump is catching up. I have to avoid reading that stuff or I will need prescription tranquilizers.

  4. I'm going to miss your political Sunday posts! I hope you keep up with the funnies because videos like that weather one are too good to miss. Let's hope we crying from happiness in a few days.

    1. Thank you. I actually think I will miss creating the political Sunday posts, too. I might go through withdrawal after this week.

  5. Hank Gilbert is up in Tyler, in the middle of East Texas, so I'm happy to see that he is cutting through the ridiculous lies and hatred in that corner of my state. I'm also happy to see the attorneys speaking up for what's right. I will not forget these people who didn't call T down for the damage he has done to people and America.

    That weather report concerns me, as we are leaving for Arizona this week! lol

    I have loved reading your Sunday Salon posts each week, Anne. You can feel very proud of your civic engagement during this election. You spoke up for what is right and you called out the lies and hatred. You've taught me things and encouraged me to speak up and helped me laugh through this very, very difficult time. Thank you.

  6. Fingers crossed from a Canadian for the election.

  7. They are cuties, I hope they enjoyed their Halloween celebrations
    I have no say in your election but I am hoping with everything I have that enough people do and vote out Trump unequivocally.

    Wishing you a great reading week

  8. Apple cake sounds delish, glad you’re able to do stuff on zoom. I do everything on zoom and it’s been great!! News thing is stand up comedy.. not me doing it... learning

  9. Thank you for these posts! I may not have commented every week but I certainly enjoyed these posts and shared many links with others. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we'll turn BLUE after Nov 3rd (or whenever the final results come).

  10. You're reading some interesting books. Your post on the beautiful trees makes me think of the Moving Art series I've been watching on Netflix. It's good to take time to meditate and to explore our beautiful earth.

  11. I've enjoyed these political Sunday posts and am worried about what lies ahead... could be tough gong either way. I'm trying to stay positive. Jealous of your book club meeting, but I'm hoping to get something started with a couple of neighbors. I made apple cake this week, too - delicious!


I look forward to your comments and interactions! Join in the conversation.