"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, May 2, 2021

Sunday Salon, First of May edition

Colors of spring. The world is so colorful right now.

I had to step outside to check. I couldn't tell from the window. It is currently sunny but there are big grey and white clouds hovering close by. The temperature is in the mid 50s. Yesterday it maxed out in the low 60s. Just when I climbed in the hot tub, it started raining. It is pretty typical for this time of year around here.

Update on the freezer project---Turkey dinner: Every year around Thanksgiving I purchase two turkeys because they are so inexpensive. I freeze one and cook the other for Thanksgiving dinner. The second turkey I hold in reserve for Christmas dinner when I thaw it and cook it if the family gathers for a big meal. The past few years, due to COVID-19 or traveling, the second turkey remained in the freezer long after the December holiday. When I cleaned out my freezer last week I pulled the big bird out of it and set it in the fridge to thaw. Five days later, I cooked the turkey and served it to my family along with a side of cranberry sauce, and cranberry wine (that I also purchased around Thanksgiving.) Let me tell you, if you have a turkey in your freezer, too, I recommend a turkey dinner in April or May. My family ate it with relish as it really is comfort food to us. And turkeys allow for a lot of leftovers, a bonus. BTW-here is the link for the best cranberry wine. It tastes just like cranberry cocktail juice so it is easy to gulp down one or two glasses before you get tipsy and are reminded that it is really wine. Ha!

Books and reading:

  • Reading projects:
  • Completed this week:
    • The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Dare: A book club selection. This is quite possibly my favorite audiobook I've listened to in years. A powerful story of a Nigerian girl who triumphs over her circumstances in the end. Highly recommend. Audiobook.
    • Saving My Enemy by Bob Welch. I was asked by the author to review the book and I am so glad I did. It is about an American GI and a German Soldier who met 60 years after the Battle of the Bulge of WWII and became friends. Their friendship provided absolution for the battle wounds (internal) they both carried. A very powerful read. Request that your library purchase this book and then be the first in line to read it. Click the hyperlinked title to read my review. Print. 
    • I Can't Talk about Trees Without the Blood by Tiana Clark. A poetry book which deals with difficult topics like racism---the trees and blood in the title are references to lynching. This collection of poems is not a favorite of mine. Print.
  • Currently reading:
    • The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict. A novel about the famous actress, Hedy Lamar, and her involvement in WWII projects which may have helped tip the war in our favor. It is based on her life and actions. Another book club selection. Print, 10% complete.
    • Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz---another poetry collection I attempted to read for April's poetry month but didn't finish in time. Diaz is Native American and many of her poems deal with related topics. Print, 51% complete.
    • Metamorphosis and Other Stories by Franz Kafka. I am reading this classic collection of short stories as part of the Classics Club spin event. I've not read Kafka before and am having a hard time settling in to enjoy his style. But I haven't read far. Print, 10% done.

Health update: For the past few years I have been dealing with achy joints. Age is probably the key indicator and my weight. But recently I've noticed if I eat foods which likely contain contaminates of the herbicide glyphosate, found in the common herbicide Round-up, I really experience achy joints the most. But if I consistently only eat organic grains, especially wheat and oats, the achy feelings diminish. A lot of people who think they were gluten-intolerant are probably reacting to glyposate and would be okay if they ate an organic diet rather than just a gluten-free diet. I can purchase organic bread and flours but recently it has finally occurred to me that all regular crackers, cookies, cereals, and baked goods are likely suspects, too. This calls for a diet overhaul and I am attempting to make the changes. Here is an article about why this common chemical causes problems with joints, maybe even to the point of becoming an autoimmune disease. Common Ground: Hidden Health Issues of Glyphosates. Eek!

Biden's First 100 days in three minutes. Watch it. It will help make your feel good about the direction he is taking this nation. (Click link here to view on your phone) or watch below:

I hope you also got a chance to watch his address to congress and the nation on Tuesday evening. It will also make you feel good about the direction we are going under the Biden-Harris administration. 85% of people polled after the speech felt that way.

Death of a friend: This week a friend from my Corvallis days died. Prior to her death she sent out a farewell on Facebook, a first for me, and ask us to all do those special things we've always wanted to do but put off for later so there are no regrets at the end of life. Her big regret was she never got to see Bruno Mars live.  I wrote her a note and told her one of the things I regret is not keeping in better touch with old friends, like her. Then I reminded her of a few fun things we did when we were in school together. It wasn't much. I hope it gave her a smile or two. Good advice. R.I.P, Billie.

Today I'm praying for: a little boy in our church who has serious scarring to his esophagus due to food allergies. It is so bad it may start affecting his breathing. And a prayer for a young couple, friends of my daughter, who just lost a baby, born too early. Life is fragile, folks. Tread lightly!

We start renovations on our bathroom tomorrow. Don and I cleaned out the cupboards, medicine cabinet, and shower yesterday. We threw away a lot of old, expired meds, yucky old creams, and products we haven't used for years. Today Don's back hurts. Wonder why? Could it be that he had to haul all that crap out to the garbage can outside after we were done sorting?

The hydrangeas are still in need for deadheading (a task I should have done in April) so I will close with one funny and the prerequisite pet and grandson photos before I run out to work in the yard:

You are welcome. Now you no longer have to feel like you need to read these classics since you've read the abridged versions. Ha!

Bingley enjoying a nap in a spot of sun with his teddy bear as a headrest.

Dryer left open so guess who went inside to investigate? George, of course. Note the Obama/Biden magnet has been on dryer since 2012. Guess it's time to take it off. Ha!

Look carefully. Jamie is enjoying his sweet potatoes a lot. And he doesn't care that there is a glob of them on his nose. This boy loves to eat solid foods. Forget the soft baby food, give this boy something of substance.


  1. I think the Obama/Biden magnet should stay until you get a new dryer. Our turkey is awaiting a June dinner. I’m glad all is well.

    1. The Obama Magnet has been up so long I don't see it any longer. It will probably stay up for more years at this rate. Ha!

  2. Jamie is obviously enjoying his food. My Niko does as well! I laughed the hardest at "Ulysses" because James Joyce was the bane of my existence in college English. I have very much enjoyed "The Girl with the Louding Voice." I hope there are good questions for it. Remember to take before and after pics of your bathroom remodel. I missed doing so for one of mine and it bugs me to this day! :)

  3. Turkey is comfort food. I plan to roast a chicken next week. It will have the same effect on me.

    I hope that turning to organic oats helps your achy joints. It makes sense that it is not a good idea to eat food grown using herbicides.

    Love the abridged classics!

    Nothing like babies to make me smile. Adorable!

    Off to request Girl with the Louding Voice on audio. Hope I can find it.

    1. I hope to have my review of The Girl with the Louding Voice up early in the week. I hope you like the audiobook, too.

  4. Good luck on the renovations. What if George gets into mischief there? I need to ask if you could understand the audiobook of Abi Dare's novel with the accent? I started it but then thought maybe the print version might be better for me. Glad you liked it.

    1. I tried the print version and had trouble reading the vernacular. It took about 10-30 minutes to get used to the accent and vernacular used but once I caught on, I found it delightful.

  5. It is really scary that just the traces of Roundup left in flour could bring on such a reaction. Maybe there are traces in other produce as well. It’s been widely used — and irresponsibly promoted.

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

  6. Oh, I love your idea of turkey dinners in spring! Comfort food indeed!

    I loved the Biden speech and how uplifting he is...just what we need after the horrific past four years! Please, let's not ever have another idiot and mentally deranged person in the WH!

    Watching babies eat and smear their food always makes me smile.

    Cute kitty photo, too.

    Enjoy your week, and I'm sorry about the loss of your friend. As time goes by, I dread those losses becoming regular.

  7. There's so much to think about and comment on in tis post! The glyphosate information is fascinating so I will look into it more. I hope the change of diet helps you feel better.

    I love that you all had a huge turkey dinner with the fixings in April. We should all do our equivalent more often. This matches up with death/loss and keeping in touch with friends and family. I am thankful that the pandemic has me reaching out to people in my life more often.

  8. Well now you have me craving turkey dinner, too! Maybe I'll see if I can get a small turkey breast this week, since I don't have one in the freezer.

    I'll look forward to your review of The Girl With the Louding Voice... it's on my tbr list. I listened to an audio sample and think it would take me a little while to get used to the accent.

  9. I love rain this time of year. May seems to have brought with it warmer temperatures and sunshine here though. At least I can open the windows a bit. Hopefully it won't get warm enough for the air conditioner to come on. The cats much prefer the open windows (they are indoor only cats).

    I am glad you enjoyed The Girl With the Louding Voice. I have a physical copy and hope to read that soon.

    Metamorphosis is one of those stories that has stayed with me for many many years . . . I don't know if I'll ever re-read it, but I have never forgotten it.

    I am so sorry about your friend's passing.

    Love the photos--so many happy memories captured. :-)

    I hope you have a wonderful week and month of May.

  10. The Girl With the Louding Voice sounds great. I'll have to check that one out.

    I'm so sorry about the loss of your friend.

    Love the Obama/Biden magnet and all the photos.

    I hope you have a great week!

  11. I'm so sorry you lost your friend. I'm sure just thinking of you brought a smile to her face.

    A festive holiday gathering with all the trimming sounds like just the thing to celebrate spring!

    I love your abridged classics!

    Enjoy your week!

  12. I'm so sorry about your achy joints! I hope the diet overhaul does the trick. Good luck with your renovations as well! Sounds like some big projects and big life stuff.

    I'm so sorry about your friend. Glad you were able to reach out before the end and share some good memories. I hope that little boy in your congregation is ok.

    I love that abridged classics meme! lol. So good.

    That cranberry wine looks delightful. I'll have to look up a bottle next time I make it to Washington. I wish I could order it in but alas I'm not allowed to in my state. So glad the turkey dish was a hit in April. Great idea for the future on my end.

    I hope you have a lovely week!


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