"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."

5.


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.

-Anne

25 comments:

  1. And the chips need to be shaped like toilet paper rolls! I just finished the latest Robert Galbraith and am feeling bereft. It was a tome (over 900 pages) but I got very into it so it was difficult to see it end. Your decorations sound perfect; we can decorate as much or as little as we want. I may not do any; I'm still deciding. How lovely to connect with your family in person and by computer. I'm thankful for technology!

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    1. I decorate for myself. I like my Christmas decorations and love seeing them again after being tucked away for eleven months. Put up decorations that give you joy and give the house a splash of color.

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    2. I agree. I got our decorations out yesterday and felt I was being reunited with old friends.

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  2. Your cat is very photogenic. I like the one where he’s trying to be ET.

    be well... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. I hadn't thought of the ET connection until you mentioned it here. That makes me love the photo even more.

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  3. Thank goodness for Zoom! It's how I'm keeping in touch with most of my friends. I love the cat pics. So beautiful your kitty.

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    1. Our network at home is pretty picky and so we were the family who was all slowed down and sluggish. Ugh.

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  4. Poor baby Jesus and the T-Rex! :-D

    I love the pictures of your cats. They're lovely. Everyone's pictures of curious cats exploring Christmas decorations make me miss my sweet calico kitty even though she's been gone 10 years.

    I don't know how teachers are making it this year. My aunt is a teacher's assistant and I know she feels exactly like Tommy Boy up there.

    Enjoy your week!

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    1. The T-Rex's attack on Baby Jesus makes me laugh when I think of it. Years ago a student told me that she didn't believe in dinosaurs. I said there is nothing to believe or not believe since there are bones. She wasn't convinced. The story of T-Rex attaching Jesus now confirms it. The dinosaurs were alive during Biblical times.

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  5. Sounds like you had a nice Thanksgiving and I love that you were able to catch up with family with Zoom. Politics is still driving me crazy. I need to stay away from Twitter. I hope you have a great week!

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    1. I keep finding myself on funny Twitter threads and that saves me. People are so clever with their political humor.

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  6. Your tree is absolutely beautiful and I'm delighted that you had a gathering of the clan for your meal and a get-together for Zoom. Thank goodness for technology. We are still in lockdown, so can only meet up with folks within our cluster and no more than 6 at that... Luckily that includes my daughter and grandchildren - but not my parents or Himself's parents. As far as politics is concerned the rearguard action going on in the States is a source of bemusement. But we have our own problems, for in January we will be officially no longer part of the EU - and I dread the consequences... Ah well. Deep breath and grab another book! Or manuscript... Have a great week, Anne - and maybe that T.Rex who had a go at Baby Jesus would like to sort out a few politicans...

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    1. I agree that politics can really be frustrating. I need to check my blood pressure now that the election is over. It was creeping up prior to the election.

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  7. Give your dog extra scratch 'ems today from me. Very sweet. LOVED the orange juice and toothpaste flavored chips-- that's exactly what 2020 is. My school is all remote this week, and it's just as stressful as being in the building and constantly wiping things down. No winning. Hope you have another good reading week, at least!

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    1. Oh man, I feel your pain. Remote teaching must be the worst.

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  8. You are so fortunate to be able to be with your circle of family this Thanksgiving. We were planning to be with our son and his family, but a serious health issue has struck my daughter-in-law's mother and they, as they should, spent the day with her. We will have time to spend with them this week in a celebration. And we will see my dad from a distance outside this week.

    I'm glad you are enjoying your beautiful tree, too. I love the picture of your animals resting near the tree. Somehow they are enjoying it, too.

    I'm thinking hard about ways to build positive connections in my little town, post-election. There are not many ways to do that right now other than walking and greeting my neighbors from afar. But it's a start. And I'm relieved that I can start building instead of expending so much energy trying to protect the important issues I love from attack.

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    1. The cat, Fred, was sleeping in the chair by the tree but I had to drag the dog into position for the photo. Ha!

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  9. Great post! I am so ready to move on from the election (groundhog day)! LOL.

    I love your cartoons and reminders that there will be a great cleansing in the upcoming weeks.

    Thanks for sharing.

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    1. It does feel like we are on a cleaning cycle. Whew. I can breathe again.

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  10. I must say it's nice to be able to focus on something else other than politics and Trump's antics. I have hope that, come January, things will feel safer and calmer. Your Christmas tree looks wonderful!

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    1. Thank you. It is artificial and just the right size for the allotted space.

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  11. Sounds like a lovely Thanksgiving with your family :) Love the photo and caption of your grandson - reminds me of the years gone by when our boys "played guys."

    Sorry you are in a bit of a reading rut. All I've read of Backman so far is A Man Called Ove (on audio) - I definitely want to read more of his!

    Thanks for the funnies, as always! I especially like the chips one and the Ohio State one. It's a bit easier to laugh now, isn't it?

    Hope you have a good week and are able to enjoy your books -

    Sue

    Book By Book

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    1. Yes, laughter feels correct again. I am no longer laughing AT someone but with others.

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  12. I'm new to your blog but I really enjoyed your post! And especially that last photo of your cat in the doll cupboard.

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  13. Love the Christmas photos and well, of course the animals that make the house a home:)

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