"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, April 11, 2021

Sunday Salon, April 11

Weather: Lovely. It is supposed to get nicer and nicer all week culminating with temperatures in the 70s. I know that isn't a good thing in the scheme of things but it will be nice for the short term.

Captivated by blossoms: The photo collage above is of blossoming trees in our greater neighborhood. This year, maybe because the skies aren't so cloudy, the trees seem extra beautiful. 

Sick: A week ago Friday I got my second COVID-19 vaccine. I have been sick ever since but I actually think it is just a coincidence. What I have has all the signs of a seasonal cold and I've been pretty miserable. It dawned on me as I snuffling around the house not wanting to get too far away from the Kleenex box, that I haven't been sick one day during the whole past year of lock downs and face masks...until now.

Books: Lots of poetry this week.

  • Completed:
    • The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country by Amanda Gorman. I listened to her recite this wonderful poem during the inauguration but thoroughly enjoyed reading it for myself again. 
    • Light for the World to See: A Thousand Words on Race and Hope by Kwame Alexander. A clever insightful book which is a poem about racial tensions.
    • Long Life: Essays and Other Writings by Mary Oliver. I appreciate the help she gives me through her writings at viewing nature and my world.
    • DMZ Colony by Don Mee Choi. The National Book Award for Poetry in 2020. The poems were hard to understand but I found myself to be very emotionally affected as I read them.
    • Dearly: New Poems by Margaret Atwood. At first I was prepared to give a negative review of these poems by a favorite author, then the second half of the book changed my mind and I think the collection is quite profound and very touching. Look for my review soon.
    • A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor by Hank Green. The second book in the Carls series. Carly and I listened to the audiobook together which delayed our progress. This week we finally made time and excuses to listen and we finished listening to it while we made an unnecessary trip to a neighboring town for a milkshake. It was an excuse to listen to the audiobook in the car. Watch for my review.
  • Currently reading (books I made progress on): 
    • Whale Day and Other Poems by Billy Collins. This poet his very funny and so are his poems. The first poem in the collection is about how poetry saves the author from a completely boring life. If you want to try reading poetry but don't know where to start, I recommend picking up one of Collins' books. Print book checked out from the library, 25%.
    • Dune by Frank Herbert. I have crossed the 50% mark on this lon...g.g..g... audiobook. Not bad. The story is pretty confusing and seems to lack some transitions which would allow for time for back story but overall I am enjoying the experience and looking forward to crossing it off my list of books to read. Audiobook purchased on Audible. 51%.
    • The Atlas of Happiness by Helen Russell. I seem to have slowed down off my pace of reading one or two sections of country-words for happiness. Print book that was given to me as a gift. 60%.
    • The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Dare. This is a book club selection for an upcoming month. I have only just started it and think I might look for the audiobook instead. E-book from the library. 4%.

Puzzle Cats: What are Fred and George up to this week since we don't even have a puzzle out at all? Well, they have discovered the bag of empty, plastic Easter eggs that I haven't put away yet. They climb up on a chair, get an egg out out of the bag, then bat it around the house until it goes under a couch or another piece of furniture. Then they go back to the bag and start the whole process again. I bet we have over 20 eggs under the furniture right now. Pictured (above) is Fred chilling on a chair. Note the weird way that he is draped over the arms of the chair. George is in the background, hoping someone will open the back door and let him out. (We won't. He must stay in.)

A Visitor: Several years ago we had an almost nightly visit by a racoon momma and one of her babies. They were so brazen as to actually bang on the glass of the sliding glass door in hopes we would give them food. Since that time we haven't noticed any visits from our masked marauders. Until last night. We woke up to notice the water bowl we leave on the back porch for the dog was full of muddy, dirty water and muddy paw prints on the deck left no doubt who visited during the night.

A Spring Break Trip:
My daughter, a middle school teacher, is on Spring Break this week. She and her family are taking a trip to see my mom who turned 92 last month. None of us have seen Mom since last August when we took a socially distanced vacation together. She is meeting her great-grandson Jamie for the first time. Can't wait to see the photos of their first encounter. Above is a cute photo of Rita and her family taken last week at Easter. And below is a shot of Ian, three, on an egg hunt.

Challenge: This week I challenge you to find a funny poem, or some funny lines inside a poem. I'll start. The quote below is from the poem "Zombie" by Margaret Atwood.



  1. Hilarious about the cats and the plastic eggs! Have fun rounding them all up! Also funny about the raccoons banging on the door, begging! They do tend to be bold, but that's never happened to us (our deck is up on the second floor, so mostly just squirrels from the nearby trees).

    I am always impressed by your ability to enjoy poetry - I struggle with most of it. One April, I got huge compendiums out of the library, and I did enjoy some of Whitman's and Frost's poems, especially those about nature. My favorite was Celebrations by Maya Angelou, and I did love hearing The Hill We Climb on inauguration day. I should try Mary Oliver - I keep hearing friends' rave reviews of her poetry.

    There's a Hank Green sequel out? How did I miss that? Thanks for the heads up! I enjoyed his first novel.

    Sorry you aren't feeling well - hope this next week is better for you.

    And what gorgeous photos of spring blooms!! I wish I knew how people make those photo collages ...

    Enjoy your books and your spring weather this week, Anne -


    Book By Book

  2. I love all the blossoms you discovered. We are slow to bloom here along the Gulf Coast of Texas after the big freeze, but what is coming back is richer than ever before.

    I do love poetry. I should buy Hill We Climb. I should support poetry I love with a little bit of cash. And who doesn't love Billy Collins? I remember my son giving me the Collins' poem, The Lanyard, one Mother's Day on a card.

    We have similarly brazen squirrels. One is sitting in my bird feeder right now, looking at me, daring me to drive her off. I just can't do it.

    Love the photo of your daughter's family.

    Here's my response to your challenge: Anything Billy Collins. Or Louis Jenkins. ("The Speaker" or "Lucky") Or Ron Padgett ("How to Be Perfect").

  3. Adorable family shot of your daughter's troops. So cute too Fred & George batting around the eggs. I hope you feel better soon and that it might just be from the shot? Perhaps it'll disappear soon. The flowers in your neighborhood sure look great now. take it easy.

  4. Glad you got your second shot, but sorry to hear you haven't been feeling well. I got my second on Thursday and within a few hours had a bad headache and sniffles. By evening, I felt pretty rotten then had a fever, chills, and muscle aches overnight. Was better later the next day, but the arm pain persists. All worth it though. Those blooms are gorgeous... thanks for sharing!

  5. Cute photo of the Adams Family! And Ian is looking so grown up these days. I am enjoying the weather, but not the yard work. The more I'm outside, the more I see to do!

  6. Those flowers are stunning! And you did so much reading this past week, that must feel good. Except, maybe you read so much because you aren't feeling well. I'm sorry you are sick. Feel better!


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