"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, November 29, 2020

Sunday Salon, First Sunday of Advent 2020

Bingley (dog) and Fred (cat) are enjoying the 2020 Christmas decorations. There is something about Christmas trees that have always made our pets want to hang out in the living room.

Weather: It was nearly freezing this morning but now it is sunny and clear. Beautiful.

Family News:

  • Thanksgiving: Thursday we gathered with our direct family, seven all together if you count Jamie who is 2 months old. We attempted to recreate the whole greater family traditions in terms of food choices but few of the foods tasted as good as those eaten in years past when we gathered with parents, siblings, cousins, and a pile of kids. But we were very thankful to be together with our own children and grandchildren. The coronavirus was a shadow over our dinner but one that passed over our house, leaving us to celebrate our health and togetherness.
  • Zoom Thanksgiving: At 1 PM PST my whole family gathered for a chat. We were located in four states, two countries, and three time zones but it was so wonderful to see everyone. Technology can really enhance our lives in surprising ways.
  • Right now, Sunday afternoon, Don is outside putting up our Christmas house lights. It is the last of the decorating for the holidays this year. Yesterday we put up our tree and some of our other special decorations. We figured there was no point in going crazy on the decorations since it is doubtful that anyone will see them except us. We also avoided putting out special, breakable decorations because of the two large kittens who are visiting us this year. The favorite nativity set made out of homemade play-dough by my sister is too precious and fragile to risk being knocked over by a cat or two. And my miniature angels collection seemed vulnerable so it stayed boxed up until next year. So far the cats haven't tried climbing the tree which we worried about so we may be in luck on that score. 
  • Right now I am listening to a new favorite Christmas album, 'Simply Christmas' by Leslie Odom Jr. It is a nice combination of old favorites and songs I've never heard before. I try to listen to holiday music every chance I get from the first day of advent until New Year's Day. Do you have any other good suggestions I should check out?
  • Yesterday my daughter posted this photo of our grandson playing with his Nativity set with this hilarious caption: "Starting to get in the Christmas spirit
    ... shortly after this picture was taken baby Jesus was bitten by a T-Rex..."

  • Today I was the guest preacher on Zoom Church as our pastor is on vacation. My topic was about the need for fellowship even if we can't be together in the traditional sense of the word. I recorded the sermon on Tuesday but started getting nervous about it on Friday, even though it was already recorded. Ha!
    George posing near our bedazzled Norfolk Island pine in the Family Room.
  • Books: another week where I did not finish a book or even make very much progress on the ones I'm working on. I did start Anxious People by Fredrick Backman last night. I love his writing. I had to set aside Cemetery Boys because it was too spooky for me. I liked the writing however so if you can do horror, look for it.  I am still hopeful to finish the audiobook for The Blind Assassin before the library checkout expires. This week. Maybe this week!

Good News---

  • Political:
    •  Biden is still winning even though the Trump campaign is refusing to give up the fight. But they are losing at every turn. If you want to read more, the link in the tweet opens up the website for Democracy Docket which explains where things are in the open fourteen cases and the results of the others. I found the site confusing but maybe you can understand legalese better than me.
    • The Georgia State Election Board passed two new rules ahead of the Senate runoffs: The first extends the use of secure, monitored, drop boxes available 24/7. The second requires counties to begin processing absentee ballots 8 days before Election Day, January 5, 2021.
    • Biden has started naming his cabinet members. (WaPo) In an introduction ceremony this week each of the nominees were given a chance to speak. In her remarks, Linda Thomas-Greenfield said, "Diplomacy is back." What a sigh of relief.

  • Nonpolitical: 
    • Researchers at the University of Alberta think they may have found a cure for diabetes. Great news! (CTV
    • Rev. Graham vs Rev. Barber. Their messages sound very different. (4 min. long.) Watch here. .
    • "I'm Not Sure I Want To Call Myself a Christian Anymore." Is an excellent and thought-provoking article written by my niece's husband. I recommend you delve in and see if you don't agree. (Bobby Powers)
    • A Letter to the Editor written by my mother, age 91, last week. In it she reflects on what she is tankful for and how we should all be grateful for our humanity. (Eugene Register-Guard)

On the lighter side:

1. It does feel like a nice cleansing bath is happening now, doesn't it?


2. I feel so sorry for my teacher friends and relatives. It does seem like they have an undoable job.We feel your pain.

3.  The Hamilton Trump Parody---"I'll Be Back". Very funny. Have a listen by clicking the link. (YouTube)

4. Trump: "I won by a lot." Everyone else: "Um, no you didn't."


6. Football fans will understand this...

7.  I'll end on this note.
One more cat photo:
George in my messy doll cupboard.

I'm thankful for you, my blog readers. Please leave me a comment. I'd love to hear from you.


Thursday, November 26, 2020

Review and quotes: HOW WE GOT TO THE MOON

: How We Got to the Moon: The People, Technology, and Daring Feats of Science Behind Humanity's Greatest Adventure by John Rocco

Book Beginnings page:

Friday56 page:

Summary: "To understand how we got to the Moon and why we decided to go there, we must first travel back in time. this story begins in 1957, a dozen years after the end of WWII." So begins a book about the moon landing, one of the most ambitious, thrilling, and dangerous ventures in human history. It is a meticulously researched and illustrated book which tells the stories of thousands of people---engineers, mathematicians, seamstresses, welders, and factory workers---their innovations in technology which allowed NASA to accomplish the seemingly impossible task of sending men to the Moon before the end of 1960s decade.

Review: John Rocco is an author-illustrator who wanted to create with this project a book he would have loved to read as a kid. He accomplished his goal in spades---creating a beautiful and comprehensive book which not only kids but all people should want to read and savor.

I decided to read How We Got to the Moon because of my role as a Cybils judge for nonfiction books. It had such good reviews it dawned on me that it might end up on my reading list and I wanted to get a jump start. I am so glad I did. It was the perfect book for a reviewer (me) to read during a time of huge political and cultural upheaval. It is easily digested in small chunks with each double page explains one of the issues that the Apollo program had to address on its march toward the moon. For example, the illustrated page below discusses how the engineers solved the issue of parachutes to slow the entry of the re-entry capsule so that it wouldn't burn up. Or on the Friday56 page the reader is introduced to several of the people instrumental in some aspect of the mission's success.

Though marketed to younger readers, 5th-9th grade, I highly recommend it for all readers. Rocco breaks information down into digestible and understandable pieces and his illustrations are very helpful as well. It is the best book I've read about the Apollo program by far.

Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Rose City ReaderShare the opening quote from current book.
e Friday56 is hosted at Freda's VoiceFind a quote from page 56 to share. 

Visit these two websites to participate. Click on links to read quotes from books other people are reading. It is a great way to make blog friends and to get suggestions for new reading material.   


Sunday, November 22, 2020

Sunday Salon, We're Still Here in Election Limboland

Beautiful fall walk yesterday in our neighborhood

Weather: Beautiful with blue skies, Saturday, perfect fall walking weather. Sunday overcast with while skies and much cooler.

Family News: Ian and Jamie visited several times this week with their mommy. Ian, a three-year-old, is so imaginative. He and I took a hot-tub soak together midday and played at all kinds of imaginary story-lines including making the maple tree seed pods into tiny wings so we could fly away.

 Jamie playing with Grandpa. They have such a special relationship. Don't you love the hair?


  • Completed
    • How We Got to the Moon:  The People, Technology, and Daring Feats of Science Behind Humanity's Greatest Adventure by John Rocco--- The author/illustrator created the book he wished he had as a kid. I loved every aspect of this book, the only book that my harried brain could attend to, even if it was for only a few pages a day. The illustrations are so helpful in explaining aspects of the Apollo program at every stage. For every level of readers, not just kids.
    • The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy---love, love, love this little illustrated book full of wisdom. This is a book I want to own.
    • The Witch Doesn't Burn In This One by Amanda Lovelace---a poetry collection full of lots of triggers around sexual assault, righteous female anger toward men, the perpetrator. Unfortunately I reacted negatively to all the anger more than I did to the awful topic. That is a problem if the medium is worse than the subject. I do not recommend it. 
    • The Psalms: An Artist's Impression by Anneke Kaai---This big book was donated to our church library. I loved the paraphrased versions of the Psalms but the art, which was the point of the project, didn't do much for me.
  • Currently reading
    •  Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo---a book club selection set in Nigeria. The main character's husband takes a second wife since she hasn't gotten pregnant in the first four years of their marriage. Her attempts to get pregnant lead to mental illness. This is all set against the horrors of a government gone wrong. (Print, 38%)
    • The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood---my second turn on the library audiobook. It is a long story with a book within a book in it. I wish the action moved more quickly. Maybe this is why, years ago, I set it aside. (Audiobook, 53%)
    • The Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas---an exciting and culturally enlightening book about a family of boys who guard the cemetery and guide those spirits who are lingering home. The YA book blogging world is buzzing about this one. (E-Book, 11%)
  • Book Club --- both of my book clubs have to be canceled due to state restrictions on meetings. Even though we planned to meet outside, the allowed number---five---made it unattractive for the effort. Stay With Me will be set aside by the SOTH group for a future month if the club desires. The Vanishing Half will be discussed by the RHS group in January. Sigh.

Good News: Don had to "talk-me-off-the-ledge" several times this week as the Trump team have continued to make attempts at stealing the election and it seemed like those attempts were getting traction. At one point I didn't think I'd find any good news this week, but I did! Thanks, Don, for keeping me grounded.

1. Georgia finished its recount and the result was the same. They certified their election results. Biden wins the state.

2. "Democracy fights back. Lawsuit alleges that Trump violated the Voting Rights Act." A lawsuit filed yesterday seeks to bring an end to such racist games in vote certification.  Three black voters in Detroit and the Michigan Welfare Rights organization filed THIS LAWSUIT accusing Donald Trump individually, and his campaign, of violating the Voting Rights Act. (DailyKos)

The complaint alleges that the Trump Campaign has “openly discussed their strategy of disenfranchising voters in Detroit and Wayne County.”  The complaint quotes Rudy Giuliani appearing to do just that in his press conference where he claimed what he described as “illegitimate ballots”  that stunningly “were all cast basically in Detroit that Biden won 80-20.“ Giuliani asserted “it changes the result of the election in Michigan, if you take out Wayne County.”  Yes, if you just don’t count the votes of black people, everything changes. 

3. "Trump Ally Confuses Minnesota and Michigan in the Affidavit 'Proving' Voting Fraud." Trump's lawyers seem to have confused Michigan and Minnesota. In their filing alleging campaign fraud in Michigan, they listed townships in Minnesota. The incompetence is mind-boggling. (Forbes)

4. "Tucker Carlson from FOX News bashes Trump attorney Sidney Powell for lack of evidence in voter fraud cases." He complained , “We invited Sidney Powell on the show. We would have given her the whole hour,” Carlson said. “But she never sent us any evidence, despite a lot of requests, polite requests. Not a page. When we kept pressing, she got angry and told us to stop contacting her." If Tucker Carlson, who talks about UFOs on his show, sees that there is no credible evidence, you know the GOP has nothing. (WaPo)

5. Mask-wearing works to prevent spread of coronavirus. Two real-time examples in Republican-led states. I know I am singing to the choir here, but you may know someone with whom you can share this info. (DailyKos)

Lighter Side: I honestly thought we'd be done with this category now that the election is done, but this week was ripe with humor.

1. Rudy Giuliani seemed to be literally melting down before our very eyes. Comedians and Twitter had a heyday, rightfully so. How can anyone take this guy seriously? One Trump campaign adviser texted a Washington Post journalist as the black streaks inched toward Rudy’s jowls: “Is he deteriorating in real time?” 

See if you can find the Trevor Noah clip about this event. His take is hilarious. Here it is, it is about 5-8 minutes in. (The Daily Show)

Rudy Giuliani won this category two weeks in a row!

2. This is the second funniest thing I've seen all week. Watch the clip all the way to the very, very end. (It's only a minute long.) The guy, who tells the reporter that he isn't stupid, proves he is. Ha ha! Stop the recount. Do a recount.

3. Spoken truth. Sadly the Republicans are working on mass distribution of the virus (not the vaccine.)

4. Geraldo Rivera suggested that the coronavirus vaccine should be named for Trump because of all he has done to help develop it, or some such nonsense. Brian Williams, on his show The Eleventh Hour, was taking a different take on that suggestion---one involving LOTS of sarcasm.


6. Bob Ross, back from the dead, helps us color Georgia...blue.

6. Librarian humor:

Thanksgiving prayer: This prayer, from the poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson, is a family tradition to recite together before important meals. This Thursday we will gather with our immediate family for a scaled down Thanksgiving meal. But we are thankful that we'll be together and that no one has COVID-19. Staying safe is more important than gathering in a large group and exposing people to the virus!

Cats and boxes: Fred and George are enjoying a big box that makes playing so much more fun. It reminds us of a few lines from the book Jillian Jiggs by Phoebe Gilman:

"Oh, look at the boxes! Yippee! Hooray! It's hard to believe someone threw these away. I'm mad about boxes. Boxes are fun. No one will guess who we are when we're done."

Happy Thanksgiving! (USA)


Monday, November 16, 2020

TTT: Characters I Would Consider Or Have Named My Pets After

 Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I have or would consider naming a pet after

Sleepy dog. Bingley is not usually allowed on the bed so he is taking full advantage of his good luck this day.

1. Bingley---My Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is named after Mr. Charles Bingley of Pride and Prejudice fame. His full name is actually the same: Mr. Charles Bingley, Bingley for short. When searching for a name we wanted one which sounded very British and went to Jane Austen for inspiration. Pretty perfect, huh?

Demi and Bingley cuddling together recently.

2. We have had several cats named for characters from the musical "Cats", which was inspired by the poetry of T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats.

  • Gumbie---"I have a Gumbie cat in mind..." She was a beautiful black and white long hair.
  • Jellicle, Jelly for short--- "Because Jellicles can and jellicles do..." He was a lovely, sleek black cat with a few white markings and a very mischievous disposition.
  • Rumpelteazer, Teazer for short---"Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer were a notorious couple of cats..." She was a long-haired tabby, a stray who found herself at our door one day. 
  • Victoria, Tori for short---Victoria was the dance captain in the Broadway production and the center of the story in the film but no songs mention her name. Our cat was a beautiful, but neurotic half Siamese, half Rag Doll long-hair.
  • Demeter, Demi for short---"There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter, Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames, Such as Plato, Ademetus, Electra, Demeter. But all of them sensible, everyday names..." Demi is still living, though quite old and decrepit. She is a long-hair of a silky variety with one blue eye and one yellow eye.
  • Other names I would consider from this book of poems if we have cause to name a cat in the future: Mr. Mistoffelles; Skimbleshanks; Bombalurina. The poetry collection is a treasure trove of cat names.

George (up) and Fred (under covers)

3. Fred and George Weasley---My daughter adopted/rescued two ginger cats named Fred and George named for the twins in the Harry Potter books. When the veterinary office referred to them as Fred and George Bennett, our last name, she wanted to correct them and say their last name was Weasley.

  • Other Harry Potter characters I might consider naming a pet: Crookshanks; Luna Lovegood; Dobby; Dumbledore; Cedric Diggory; Wilhelmenia (Grubbly-Plank).

Elphie. My daughter's beautiful but elusive pet.

4. Elphaba,
Elphie for short---my other daughter has a long hair black and white cat named for the green witch in Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.


Sunday, November 15, 2020

Sunday Salon, November edition

UNRAVELING. Art installation made by church members from 34 looms made of scraps from our lives. Making beauty out of uncertainty and when everything seems to do unraveling.

Weather: Cold, rainy and windy. It is snowing in the mountains. Lots.

Family News: 

  • Don's cousin died on Saturday from ALS. She was diagnosed with this deadly disease in March, just in time for pandemic lock downs and limited contact. Though we are terribly sad, it is such a blessing that she is with God now. The disease robbed her of everything except her sense of humor and, of course, love. Rest in peace, Cathy. You will be greatly missed.
  • Thanksgiving plans have reduced down to our immediate family. The governors of Washington/Oregon/California are all limiting interstate travel, requiring two weeks of quarantine before travel. It isn't worth risking the chance of catching COVID-19, so we'll stay put and FaceTime with family instead. Fortunately my sister was able to squeeze in a brief visit before these restrictions took hold. She needed/wanted a quick visit with my grandchildren and my dog, Bingley, who is such a lovey boy and so adoring of my sister. Loved the visit, Kathy.
  • We watched all seven episodes of The Queen's Gambit on Netflix this past week. Wow. I didn't want it to end.
  • Last Sunday our church hosted a drive-by baby shower for our new grandson. About 15-20 cars lined up outside our home and drove by slowly so they could see little Jamie and congratulate his parents. Because my daughter and her family live in a very small house right now and they have lots of clothes from an older brother and two cousins, they asked that church members give them disposable diapers which they will donate to local charities. Great idea, huh?
  • Books: I've been reading so little since the beginning of November it is hardly worth mentioning. One book has carried me through and I am giving it a big shout-out: HOW WE GOT TO THE MOON written and illustrated by John Rocco. I also started a new e-book, THE CEMETERY BOYS by Aidan Thomas which a lot of YA reviewers are talking about. And after getting back in line after not finishing it the first time, Margaret Atwood's THE BLIND ASSASSIN is back on my phone as an audiobook.
    BROTHERLY LOVE.  Jamie and Ian with their mommy. (Jamie slept through the whole photo session.)

Good News: Now that the election is over I thought I'd fade back into my regular pattern of reporting news from my small life: what I'm reading, eating, watching, etc. But during the election season I caught the bug to look for and report on good news discovered in the past week and I'm not quite ready to give it up yet. Here's hoping you find this information interesting enough to explore the links provided.

  • Political
    • Biden moves ahead with transition plans despite Trump's attempts to block him at every turn.  Biden said he was not a "pessimist" and when pressed on how he would work with Republicans if they can't even accept that he won, Biden quipped, "They will." (CNN) He said it with a smile. I love his attitude already!
    • Biden seems to follow the advice from General Grant given to other generals during the Civil War: Move forward and don't worry about what Trump is doing:

    • Biden-Harris Transition announces members of Agency Review teams. “Our nation is grappling with a pandemic, an economic crisis, urgent calls for racial justice, and the existential threat of climate change. We must be prepared for a seamless transfer of knowledge to the incoming administration to protect our interests at home and abroad. The agency review process will help lay the foundation for meeting these challenges on Day One,” said Senator Ted Kaufman, Co-Chair, Biden-Harris Transition. (Build Back Better)
    • Meanwhile, as of Saturday morning, it looks like Trump's legal challenges are all falling apart. 
  • Coronavirus
    • Small, limited studies have encouraging results that show several over-the-counter or common drugs are useful in reducing COVID-19 effects and/or reduced incidence in users: Low dose aspirin, melatonin, and a prescription drug, fluvoxamine, used for depression. Read more, links to the actual research are included in the article. (DailyKos)
    • Biden's transition team has already formed a COVID-19 task force made up of people with expertise in the field. "The board’s three co-chairs are Marcella Nunez-Smith, a Yale physician and researcher; Vivek Murthy, a former U.S. surgeon general; and David Kessler, a former FDA commissioner. Also on the advisory board are well-known medical figures, including Obamacare architect Dr. Zeke Emanuel, bestselling author Dr. Atul Gawande and Trump administration whistleblower Rick Bright, who led the government's production and purchase of vaccines." Check the link for the full list of names (there are none of Biden's children on the list or any pillow salesmen.) (Stat)
    • Pfizer announces they are at the 3rd stage of developing a cornanavirus vaccine that is 90% effective. (GNN)
    • "It's Time to Hunker Down." With cases rising at horrifying rates and the holidays ahead of us, we really need to make our world very small again for a while. "All of this is unpleasant, but the alternative is much worse. There is a Turkish saying for times like these, when we can see a light at the end of the tunnel: “Time passes quickly if we can count the days until the end.” We are no longer in the open-ended, dreadful period of spring 2020, when we did not know if we’d even have a vaccine, whether any therapeutics would work, and whether we’d ever emerge from the shadow of this pandemic. We can see the cavalry coming, but until it’s here, we need to lock ourselves down once again."
      (The Atlantic)
  • Black Lives (and all people of color) Matter
    • Black voters steered the election toward moral clarity with over 90% voting for Biden. (USA Today
    • Native American tribes in Arizona voted big for Biden and may have been the difference in a state which went for Biden by only 11,000 votes. Check out this map: (Buzz Feed)
    • On having the first person of color as our Vice President (and a woman to boot)---"Kamala Harris empowers the Black woman, she encourages the Black woman," Baker said. "Little girls of all races, not just Black girls and Black women, will be able to see that the impossible is possible." -Quandra Baker

  • Random 
    • Thale Cress: Cinderella Weed kills breast cancer cells. "Scientists have found that Arabidopsis thaliana, also known as mouse-ear cress or thale cress, stops the growth of breast cancer without damaging the healthy cells. It could help the development of chemotherapy treatments without side-effects." (The Times, UK
    • I was recently asked to list one positive, uplifting word that starts with the letter A, the first letter of my first name. It seemed like all the good words were taken so I searched and found this word bubble. Suddenly I felt so affirmed, able, appreciated, accepted... Try it with your name. See what you come up with.

On the lighter side: While the world was holding its breath as it waited for the 'Biden wins' announcement, Trump and his team led by Giuliani, were gearing up to claim voter fraud by holding a presser at the Four Seasons. Only thing, they didn't check the fine print and ended up at the 'Four Seasons Total Landscaping' business in North Philadelphia instead of the fancy Four Seasons hotel near the Liberty Bell in Center City. The jokes just seemed to write themselves from that point forward.

1. Start by reading this account of the event: "The One Where the Dummies Hold a Press Conference at the Wrong Four Seasons."

2. The location of the event was all the more precarious due to neighboring businesses:a crematorium across the street and a sex shop next door.

3. The above photo makes the location look presentable. The back side, where the presser was held, not so much. The writers for the hit TV show, 'The Veep', were jealous they didn't think of this for one of their episodes. (Show Biz 911)
4. And just at the moment when this high quality press conference was getting started, the networks called the election for Biden. The timing couldn't have been any more comedic.

5. After some introductions, the first man featured at the presser was a convicted sex offender and a perennial candidate in New Jersey, not even a resident of Philadelphia as claimed. (Politico) You can't make this stuff up.

  •  “I started watching it and all of a sudden I was like, ‘there’s New Jersey’s perennial candidate claiming to live in Philadelphia and Giuliani claiming him to be a poll watcher and Philadelphia resident," Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora said in a phone interview. 

6. Even the owner of the sex shop next door thought the whole thing was funny. (Slate)

"I was pretty much in awe of the funniness of the whole situation."

7. And the memes and tweets just started rolling in

"Are you from Four Seasons Total Landscaping?"


Enough? Okay, I'll stop but I laugh every time I think about it. I hope you got a few laughs from the GOPs inadvertent antics, too. Have a good week. Please drop a comment on how you are doing now that the elections is over.


Sunday, November 8, 2020

Sunday Salon, Special edition

I spent the day Saturday, after the early morning announcement that Biden had won the presidency, victory scrolling the internet for more details on the happy news. After four days of anxious waiting to find out the results since election day on Nov. 3rd, it was a sweet, sweet announcement. I just couldn't get enough of the reports about the happy celebrations that broke out everywhere. Since I had been working on my usual Sunday Salon post all week, a lot of what I talked about on it related to "waiting" for results and the counting. I focused a bit of attention on Trump's lawsuits claiming election commissions should keep counting or stop counting the ballots. His lack of understanding about how a democracy functions is mind-boggling.

I posted my Sunday Salon, Biden Wins edition on Saturday morning, then surprisingly felt a jolt of energy and headed outside to prune the roses before the cold sets in. Periodically I had to stop and pinch myself. This really happened. Biden won. Our long four-year nightmare is nearly over.

Tonight as my family and I gathered to watch Biden's victory speech in his hometown, Wilmington, Delaware, it occurred to me that posting my Sunday Salon a day early was premature. I was witnessing the good stuff that should have been included in the post. So here I am typing out a special edition.

President-elect, Joe Biden and wife, Dr. Jill Biden

Joe Biden, President-elect

  • In his victory speech, Biden promised to be "president for all Americans, not just those who voted for him." Read the whole speech here. (NYT)
  • Listening to the whole speech was like taking a long drink of cool water on a hot, dry day. It was soothing and comforting. Here are a few quotes I loved:
    • “Let us be the nation that we know we can be,” he said. “A nation united, a nation strengthened, a nation healed.”
    • "I said from the outset I wanted a campaign that represented America, and I think we did that. Now that’s what I want the administration to look like."
    • "And to those who voted for President Trump, I understand your disappointment tonight. I’ve lost a couple of elections myself.  But now, let’s give each other a chance. It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric. To lower the temperature. To see each other again. To listen to each other again. To make progress, we must stop treating our opponents as our enemy. We are not enemies. We are Americans."
    • "We must restore the soul of America. Our nation is shaped by the constant battle between our better angels and our darkest impulses. It is time for our better angels to prevail."
  • Near the end of the speech, Biden spoke about a hymn which has brought him comfort and he hoped would comfort those who have lost someone to COVID. He then quoted the words of the song, which are based on Psalm 91, Book of Exodus 19, and Gospel of Matthew 13: 'And He will raise you up on eagle's wings, bear you on the breath of dawn, make you to shine like the sun, and hold you in the palm of His Hand.' (Listen to the song here.) It was one of many moments I cried during the speech. For the past four years we have had a President who clearly wasn't capable of offering any kind word or gesture of comfort. 
  • Joe Biden celebrates the moment with his family.

  • Networks find moments of JOY in the Biden 17 minutes victory speech. News anchors respond to its message and his speech making. One journalist said,  "Words can't do everything in (a presidency), but they can do a lot." (USA Today)
  • Celebrations break out at Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, D.C. and all over the nation. (WashingtonPost Video
  • Sunday morning President George W. Bush called Biden to congratulate him on his win. 
    • I just talked to the President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden,” the statement reads. “I extended my warm congratulations and thanked him for the patriotic message he delivered last night. I also called Kamala Harris to congratulate her on her historic election to the vice presidency. Though we have political differences, I know Joe Biden to be a good man, who has won his opportunity to lead and unify our country.” (Transcript)
  • Happy first couple-elect, who clearly love each other.

  • DOTUS-elect. We will once again have a dog (two, actually) in the White House. Meet Champ and Major. (New York Post)
    1st dogs-to-be: Major (with Joe); Champ (with Jill)

Kamala Harris, Vice-President-elect

  • I would have voted for Biden no matter who he picked as his running mate, but today I was blown away by my emotional reaction to the news that the first woman in our whole history will hold the second highest position in our government. Tears flowed.
  • Kamala Harris ushers in a 'New Day in America' with her victory speech. (HuffPost
  • Think of it.

  • Kamala just broke though a huge glass ceiling.

  • And you know what happens when barriers are broken.

  • These adorable photos say it all.

  •  Here Kamala and the Second-Gentleman-to-be, Douglas Emhoff, hug after they learn that the Biden/Harris ticket won. Remember this? Couples who actually love each other?
    And here is the hometown celebration in Oakland, California. They call it the Oaktown Crosswalk.

The World was watching and celebrating

  • London set off fireworks and Paris rang church bells when Biden's win was made known. (The Hill)
  • "Welcome back, America!" Messages from many world leaders. (CNBC) and (DailyKos)
  • This is how a newscast in Ireland closed it's show last night:
  • Then there's this...

Reactions by people of color to the Biden win

  • Van Jones breaks down in response to Biden win. Character matters. If you haven't seen this yet be sure to watch it, but get a Kleenex ready. (CNN) It is really obvious that racial tension has been awful under the Trump Administration. It is hard for me to not think of every Trump voter as a racist. (Repeat from yesterday's blogpost.)
  •  Black men got the right to vote in 1870. The nation had just survived a terrible civil war and was a afraid it would happen again. They granted black men the right to vote to reaction to that, hoping their vote would keep the nation from going down that path again. Black women did not gain the right to vote until 1920. Black men (and women) voted to save the nation with their support for Biden in the 2020 election. I was unable to find the source link for this information to an interview done by Joy Reid on MSNBC in the past few days. The professor who is a black man, was also crying as he shared the information about how blacks are continually called upon to save our nation from civil wars. (Read more on Black suffrage here.)
  • "We are always in search and pursuit of a more perfect union. The Biden/Harris win means we are going to get back on track toward that goal." -Rep. Clyburn from South Carolina 
  • 'Black people believed in our founding ideals even when our founders did not'. -Nikole Hannah-Jones, one of the authors of the 1619 project. (MSNBC)
  • "Black voters repudiated Trump like he was a piece of used gum." (The Nation
    • "That rejection should be respected, and celebrated. Trump is the first president to lose a reelection bid since 1992, and he lost it because a coalition of basically everybody other than white cis-hetero Christians overwhelmingly united and turned out against him. We saved America. You’re welcome."
  • And this...
    Rosa sat, so Ruby could walk, now Kamala can run (and win!)

A few final words on Trump and the election

  • "Biden beat Trump but had to do so with one hand tied behind his back." This is a very interesting and maddening article about the ways that Trump, his associates, the GOP, the RNC, and the electoral college all tried to game the system to secure a win for Trump. Yet Biden prevailed. (HuffPost)
  • Now the hard work of repair has to happen.

  • Donald Trump is the only President who is in all three of these sucky categories: Impeached, lost the popular vote, lost second term.  Do you see his face in the middle of this Venn diagram?
  • It's time, Trump. It's time.


Signs of health and healing. The press is playing up the bad trouble that Trump-supporters are and will make about their dear leader losing. I remember what it felt like when Hillary lost in 2016. I went into a fairly deep depression for months. I'm guessing that indeed many of his followers are just sad and mad but will eventually just get back to life without too much trouble caused to society. Let's hope that is the case. It has to help that Biden addresses them every time he speaks: "I will be your President, too." "I know you are hurting and I hope to help heal those hurts."

One of many spontaneous parties that broke out all over the nation. This one is at a gas station with Mariah Carey belting out "All I Want for Christmas Is You." Yes, Biden, thank you for the early Christmas gift.

And just for fun, this comment from Mark Hamill aka Luke Sywalker...

So once again, I sign off. This time with a happy and hopeful heart. Please leave a comment below to let me know your thoughts. Thanks for visiting and reading my blog.