"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, July 18, 2021

Sunday Salon---July 2021

The joy of summer. Ian and his cousin, Wayde, running through the blueberry field.

Weather: Sunny and warm; perfect summer weather.

Rita and her boys during today's worship service outside. Can you see Jamie peeking over the side of the wagon?

In-person church: Finally. Finally. We gathered today for the first time for in-person worship service since the COVID-19 lockdown last March. When our state ended restrictions the end of June, we weren't nimble enough to start having in-person services quite yet. Today we worshiped outside, without masks. We even sang. Oh how lovely to worship together again.

More summer fun. Don and Ian preparing for a topless drive.

Grocery shopping and dining out:
Today I went grocery shopping without wearing a mask. I almost felt naked. In the last two weeks we've eaten out two times. Nothing fancy-- burgers and pizza -- but we were out in public without a fear of our fellow diners.

Jamie playing peek-a-boo with his auntie.

Carly home: Our youngest daughter flew home  from San Fran this week to attend a friend's wedding. Ah, we miss having her around all the time. She did miss her boys (cats) but I know she was delighted to spend time with her nephews again.

New (old) me: I've had it with grey roots and constantly dying my hair brown to make people think I'm younger than I am. This week I took the first step toward going natural. What do you think? Not sure if you can tell from the photo but the grey highlights are on purpose.

All things bookish:

  • Books completed since my last Sunday Salon (click on titles to open reviews):
    • The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy---a complicated story but I felt like I was on a trip to India. I ended up really enjoying the experience. (Print and audio.)
    • This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger---set in the 1930s, it is a remake of the Odyssey story with Great Depression themes. Clever. (E-book and audio.)
    • Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck---I requested this children's book from the library last November. Not sure what took them so long but I decided to read it in July for fear I'd have to wait another seven months to get it. (Print.)
  • Currently reading
    •  The Cold Millions by Jess Walter. A book club selection. Set in the early 1900s. Audio. 5% complete.
    • The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris. Based on the experiences of a real person, a Jewish man, who was forced to tattoo prisoners arriving in Auschwitz. Another book club selection. Print. 5% complete.
    • Stitches: A Handbook On Hope, Healing, and Repair by Anne Lamott. I've had this book on my night stand for over a year. Print. 22% complete.
  • Classics Club Spin: It is time for another classics club spin book. I made a very generic list this time around with a lot of "something by [different author]". The spin landed on Willa Cather. So I hope to read Death Comes for the Archbishop. We'll see if I can find a copy of it somewhere.
  • Upcoming book clubs this week:
    • Tuesday, SOTH Club; my house; I'm the hostess and the discussion leader for The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. I predict few members will have completed the book. Should be a challenging discussion.
    • Wednesday, RHS gals club; my house; I'm the discussion leader for this meeting, too, where we will discuss This Tender Land. I think the gals will like, not love, the book but we will have a decent discussion.

Vaccine hesitant? Think about the value of vaccines in the quality of our lives. Think about the elimination of smallpox and polio. Think about all those childhood illnesses that no longer are a threat to children: rubella, measles, diphtheria, mumps. Think about others who are immuno-suppressed and can't get the vaccine. Help protect them. Think of this as a 'all-for-one and one-for-all' project. Scared? Ask a friend to go with you and hold your hand. We are counting on you. All of us are in this together. Just do it! On a related note, we just learned that our neighbor has been in the hospital since April with COVID. Since April! It sounds like he is finally on the mend but no one, absolutely no one, wants to be in the hospital for three months for any reason, least of all COVID related complications.

Squirrel nest down: On Wednesday we looked out to see a huge blob of leaves under a tree in our yard. It seemed odd since it isn't autumn and it wasn't windy. On closer inspection we realized that we were looking at a squirrel nest. A friend told us that squirrels knock their nests out of trees when they are finished with them. So don't worry, our furry friends did it on purpose.

A few items to tickle your funny-bone:

This is so clever. I keep looking at it and can't get over how clever these photos are.

Ha. Ha. Anyone who walks a dog knows this one is actually true.

Do you think those folks who keep insisting on flying the Confederate flag will understand this?

And cat owners will agree that this is a likely outcome if their cat were in the operating room.




  1. Love your hair. Going gray was such a freeing, empowering experience. I hope yours is too. I’ve always loved your curls and I bet it’s going to look beautiful. ❤️

    1. Thank you. I am feeling positive about it so far. But the first person who tells me I look old will be a blow.

  2. I admire you for going gray; I've thought about it many times and just need to figure out a plan. I've loved our next two book club reads and look forward to discussing them!

    1. I consulted with my stylist. She was the one who told me how to do it gracefully.

  3. I decided to let my hair go gray about a year before I retired. My hairdresser was aghast when I told her (she loved my $200 every six weeks for color) and I had to find a new hairdresser who agreed to help me. No regrets.

    I've seen This Tender Land all over the place lately. I wonder if it would be a good book for our book club.

    My favorite parts of your post: the comics and your thoughts to share with the vaccine-hesitant.

    1. I should have allowed my hair to grey naturally long ago. This move is overdue.

      I'll let you know how book club discussion goes on This Tender Land. Have you read Krueger's book Ordinary Grace. I like that one better than this.

  4. I decided to embrace the gray, too. After coloring my hair (with increasing frequency) for years, I've switched to blondish highlights that blend with the gray and only need to be touched up every few months. It's a start...

    This Tender Land is on my tbr list. I really enjoyed Ordinary Grace.

    1. ... and that first photo of your grandsons is amazing!!

    2. Thanks for the encouragement on the greying of my hair. So far, so good. I worry that it will age me, but I can't kid myself anymore. Grey roots look worse, I'm sure.

  5. Anne, I stopped coloring my hair in March of 2020 when the hair salons closed down for COVID. It was pretty much the same color as yours and how is pretty much all natural - I love it (mine is different shade of silver). My daughter (46) thinks gray hair is very hip these days. It is very liberating.

    1. I have a friend who asked me to join a grey hair facebook group yesterday. I guess I am shifting in that direction. Ha!

  6. Cute kids. I think your natural look is good. You seem to still have blue skies where you are .... no smoke? That's great - keep it that way. We are socked in here with grey smoke from the wildfires in BC and Saskatchewan too. Ugh. enjoy your week.

  7. Always enjoy your funnies, Anne!! I especially like the butter Stonehenge and the anti-vax research! lol

    Ian is getting so big! Looks like he loves playing with his cousin :) Cousins are the best!

    We also ate out in restaurants twice in the past week, which was amazing! We also went to the movie theater. And I've been to the grocery store without a mask twice now (you're right - it feels super strange!), though I was just wondering today if I should start wearing one again, with the Delta variant out there and numbers rising in all 50 states again :( If only everyone who could would get vaccinated, we wouldn't be in this situation. Thank you for your well-stated plea and especially mentioning those who are unable to get vaccinated due to immune issues - I know many people in that situation.

    Have been hearing a lot about The Ministry of Utmost Happiness (it's a Big Book!) but haven't read it yet - enjoy your book groups. Mine are both on summer hiatus.

    And I am a fan of the natural look for hair! Mine is gradually (though rather quickly) going not gray but white! The hair around my face is still mostly brown, so I don't notice it much, until I see a photo (or the black cape at the hairdresser's after a cut! ha ha).

    Have a great week and enjoy your books -


    2021 Big Book Summer Challenge

    1. Yes, Ian and his cousin are besties. Ian doesn't have any firneds in his neighborhood so my daughter tries to make a point of allow the boys to play together as often as she can. I agree that the look of his face is one of pure joy.

  8. I'm allowing myself to go grey and it feels fine - fortunately it's coming through in streaks so I get to weave it into plaits and think it looks cool!

  9. Ok, the vaccine research vs anti-vax research is really funny!

    I also love the photo of the two boys running through the blueberry fields, there is such joy on their faces.


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