"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, March 7, 2021

Sunday Salon, March 7th

Raccoon at Northwest Trek showing off for us

Ian loves the river otters
Weather: We just squeezed in a walk with the dog. It was raining earlier but it cleared just in time. It was cold and windy, though, so we didn't take the long route.

Family: Yesterday we went to Northwest Trek again. It is near our home and we are trying to get our money's worth since we bought a membership for my grandson and I for the year. He loves the play area. I love the animals. The little raccoon above was the most photogenic of all the critters we saw. Well, unless you want to consider Ian as a 'critter.' Here he is hugging a sculpture of an otter.

Earlier in the week I took a weird tumble down the stairs oddly hurting my shin. I think what I did was slipped in my socks and my opposite leg hit the stairs on my shin bone. I am not crippled at all but the swelling and the coloring of the bruise is pretty nasty.

Jamie fell asleep finally once he was in the stroller. It was a lovely spring day, too.
Even though I am not vaccinated yet I am starting duty as weekly babysitter for my grandchildren. Wednesday was my first day on duty and I certainly don't have my grandma muscles built up. Jamie is a bit of a chunker so I might build up some strong muscles by the time summer hits as I carry him around. Jamie doesn't want to miss anything going on so talking him into taking a nap is hard, even if he is tired. I resorted to a long walk with him in the stroller, which seems to have a soporific effect on him.

Books: It was a good reading week.

  • Completed
    • Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang. A YA Graphic Memoir by the illustrator/author about his school's basketball season. This book is great and I highly recommend it. It was a Printz Honor book in 2021. Print.
    • Fifty Words for Rain by Asha Lemmie. This is a book club selection for April. Set in Japan right after WWII about tradition and acceptance. I think the writing is strong but I didn't care for the story. E-Book and Audiobook.
    • The Last Resort by Marissa Stapley. Another book club selection. This one is a mystery. What happened to Miles? I can't say anything nice about this book. Print.
  • Currently reading
    • Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell. Yet another book club selection. This is historical fiction about Shakespeare's son Hamnet. Print and audiobook. 1%.
    • Ready, Player Two by Ernest Cline. I started this audiobook in December but had to set it aside  after listening to only about 15% of the book because other commitments pushed it out of the way. This week my daughter joined me in listening to it and we made great progress. It is a fun sequel to Ready, Player One. 78% audiobook.
    • Fury and Grace: 40 days of Paintings and Poetry From Prison by Rev. Riley Pickett. I am enjoying this Lenten devotional. Each daily reading is only a few pages so progress is slow, as it should be. 42% print.

Cancel culture? The silliness in the right-wing press about the cancellation of a few Dr. Seuss books is astonishing to me. My sister shared this excellent article "Dr. Seuss and the Bible" in Emmaus Always. I highly recommend that you read the whole thing but let me pull out a few quotes that may be helpful in framing the discussion with people who want to be outraged about this.

  • "The decision to cease publication of those six books is not in any way an effort to ban Dr. Seuss from the school libraries or to tarnish the image of Theodore Seuss Geisel, the creator of Dr. Seuss. It rather simply recognizes a much deeper truth that racial bias is baked deep into our world and even in something so beloved as Dr. Seuss."
  • "One of the key principles I learned in seminary for interpreting scripture was to be aware of the “canon within the canon.” “Canon” refers to that body of literature one considers to be holy. Within that body are passages which you might say are holier than others, or which you use as a guide to understand the meaning of the whole... The example I often used in preaching was to compare Psalm 137:9, “Happy shall they be who take your little ones and dash them against the rock!” to the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” There is simply no way that one can read those two texts as equal guides for living a godly life."
  • "Is there a canon within the canon of Dr. Seuss? That might be stretching the concept a little far when considering the merits of green eggs and ham v. red fish, blue fish! But Geisel did produce a volume of other literature that may provide some clues on his values and beliefs. In Horton Hears a Who! Geisel writes, A person’s a person, no matter how small! It does not take great imagination to insert descriptions of race, gender, religion, gender identity or any other characteristic in lieu of size and to read that as an affirmation of all humanity."

A few funnies:

Today my husband and I were just talking about how achy and creaky we are becoming...

Disgusting... not funny at all.

This would be Carly's cats...

Speaking of Carly's cats: The puzzle cats were busy this week. We finished one puzzle and are well into a second. Hard work for a cat to supervise this much puzzling.



  1. I would love to be able to help out with grandson, but as you note, it's HARD work, both physically and mentally. There's a reason why people our age don't have young ones! I admire you for doing so, and know that you are providing them with lots of enrichment, fun and grandma loves! Sorry to hear that about Fifty Words; I was really looking forward to that one. I am struggling with "Hamnet" myself. I found "Exiles" interesting although I didn't think the writing was as strong as "Orphan Train." I look forward to discussing them all!

    1. I was so desperate the soothe Jamie when he was here I broke out the apple sauce and let him taste real food for the first time. Since then his parents have started him on cereal. Rita thinks he likes the spoon best.

  2. Looks like a great day with your grandson.
    I am eyeing Ready, Player Two as I really liked book one.
    I appreciate your comments on Cancel Culture. It is sad that a few easily offended people (and/or those looking for chances to cancel) can push their feelings and narrow mindedness on the rest of us.
    Memes/cartoons have always been a means of expressing sarcasm, satire and comments through caricatures but sometimes they go to far.
    Cute kitty situations.
    Have a great week and Happy Reading!

    1. I've been shocked that the right-wing media has been blaming the Dr. Seuss cancellations on the Democrats. It is silliness, all silliness if you ask me.

  3. I also really liked Dragon Hoops. I got a couple graphic novels this week and am looking forward to reading them. I've also got ahold of some of the YMA winners.

    1. Oh good. I am not alone in my quests to read YMA books. I'm in line at the library to get the Printz Award book but it may be months before my turn.

  4. I'll be curious to hear what you think of Hamnet. Enjoy the time with your grands!

    1. Me, too. It was on a lot of 2020 Best Books lists. Let's hope it is good.

  5. I admire your willingness to care for your grandchildren on a frequent basis. My husband and I are quickly exhausted when we take care of ours (5 and 2). We dearly love having them over, though, and I know this will be a time you will always remember happily.

    I nominated Dragon Hoops for best graphic novel for the Cybils. I enjoyed Hamnet though it was a heavy book.

    Thanks for sharing thoughts about the controversy over the Dr. Seuss books. These are very helpful.

    If I had that much help from cats, my puzzle would be finished, too.

    1. I am still worried about watching my grandsons without the vaccines. wish I could jump the line.

  6. I appreciate what my mom did for me caring for my (2) when I was a working single parent and finishing a degree as well. I love my 3 granddaughters but, could never watch them full-time, it is exhausting. I liked Fifty Words for Rain and Hamnet but, I didn't love them as much as some.

    1. What I love best about watching the grands on a regular basis is the relationship that I build up with them...just me not a relationship through the parents. When we went to NW Trek Ian's mommy was with us but Ian kept interacting with me as much as her did with her. It is now a special bond.

  7. I love those racoon pics! Cute. Your grandson is adorable hugging that little otter. Glad you are able to babysit your grandchildren and enjoy that time with them. I do hope you are able to get your vaccination soon, though!

    Cats and puzzles! Yes to that! lol. So funny. My cats do the same thing...

    I hope you have a wonderful week!

  8. So nice you get time with your grandsons :) I like the photo of Ian - my sons and I used to love the adorable river otters at our tiny local zoo - so much fun to watch play!

    I want to read Dragon Hoops and have been hearing rave reviews of Hamnet! My husband is reading Ready Player Two now, so I'm next!

    I'm way late (as usual), but I hope you're having a good week and enjoying your books -


    Book By Book


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