"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 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.



  1. Love the art piece; love the baby photo, love the Four Seasons hilarity. What a note to end on, right?

  2. The comedic appeal of Four Seasons Total Landscaping provided much needed laughter. What a generous gesture by Rita and her family. You must be so proud. Gary and I are looking at ways to cut Thanksgiving recipes to servings of four. Wishing the love and gratitude of Thanksgiving.

  3. The Brotherly Love pic is precious. Thanksgiving will be different who most everyone this year, well except for those who believe COVID is a HOAX:(

    A little girl in my granddaughter's class tested positive for COVID on Thursday so now no school the rest of the month and all the children and their families must quarantine and get tested. Everyone in our family will be doing their own thing for Thanksgiving this year. I hope you have a quiet, peaceful holiday.

  4. Keep it coming, Anne! We need your insight on the best of what's going on in the world. I especially like thinking that the same people who can't find the Four Seasons are trying to tell us there are thousands of bad votes.

    I know our Thanksgiving will be quiet this year, but that's okay. We just escaped for a week for a safe-as-you-possibly-can-get-these-days hiking trip to Arizona. While we were gone, the election was called (hurray!) and the announcement about the vaccine was made (hurray!)

    I just put a hold on How We Got to the Moon. Thanks for sharing it.

  5. My sincerest condolences to Don for the passing of his cousin. ALS is such a sad illness. Your grandson is beautiful. Congrats again!

  6. The four seasons thing was the perfect moment for this election! It's such a relief to have it all over and if Trump would just admit it, we could all move on. I love that our western governors are working together for sanity. I love the mobile baby shower for your grandson (wonderful photograph) and that you got to see your sister before the travel restrictions came into play.


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