"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=========

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Sunday Salon, the last of August 2021

Wine grapes at Chateau Ste. Michelle winery

The temperature has come down this week, in fact it even rained one day. It was the first day I remember it raining in months. Egads. It is dry around here. Not good.

The case of the howling dog: Bingley, our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has never howled a day in his life. That is until this past week. I was listening to the YouTube video (below and linked) of a group of individuals performing John Lennon's "Imagine". I was thinking about how lovely it would be if we could all live in peace -- none of this anti-mask, anti-vaxx nonsense -- when Bingley started crying. I looked at him, worried that something was wrong. Just then he sat up and howled with his head thrown up high (just like that quintessential picture of a wolf.) The song was playing and Bingley was howling his sad lament. He howled for about a minute with me looking on in startled silence. Then he looked around, huffed, laid down and closed his eyes. I'm pretty sure he was crying for the sad state of our country right now, too. Song sung. Time for a nap!

I don't know about you but I can barely watch the news any longer. All the news is bad -- fires, politics, COVID infections, Afghanistan. But in the midst of all this bad stuff I have gleaned a few choice nuggets of good news these past few weeks. Click the links if you want to read more about each of these stories.

Enjoying a bottle of Reserve Le Rosé prior to the concert.

First date night in over 18 months:
Don and I went to an outdoor event at the Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery for a Josh Groban concert. We bought a bottle of wine, a limited Rose. It is a winery, so why not? We brought a picnic of crackers, cheese, grapes, pistachios, and cookies which we nibbled on during the evening. It was so good. So, so good. Linked below is a video of Josh singing one of my favorite songs, "She" which I'd never heard him sing before.  As we sat in our seats waiting for the concert to begin, a nightly ritual was unfolding above us with the nightly migration of crows heading back to the UW-Bothell campus nearby where they roost every night. This is no small thing. As many as 16,000 birds flew overhead heading to their night digs from wherever they were during the day. It takes a long time for that many birds to fly over and I was captivated watching them. Read about it here. (UW-Bothell/Crows)

Great-grandma Kay: Don's father's wife came for a visit this week to meet Jamie, who is nearly one-year-old. COVID has kept us apart but now with vaccines we are feeling a bit freer to open up our home and to start visiting those we haven't seen in such a long time. Ian, age three, was in rare form delighting all. At one point he went upstairs to get grandpa to come down to help prepare dinner. He was gone a long time. When he came down he explained that he'd been writing stuff and he had to go back and finish his work. The document, which he typed, and the illustration of a butterflies he drew are not only priceless, but hilarious.


  • Recently completed:
    • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. #1 book in the Chronicles of Narnia series. This is my fifth or sixth time reading it. Read my review here.
    • Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri. The 2000 Pulitzer Prize winner. A collection of stories about the emotional journeys of characters seeking love beyond the barriers of nations and generations. Watch this space for my review soon. 
    • The Creator's Canvas by Stephen Payne. A beautiful coffee table book that was given to us many years ago when Don was diagnosed with cancer. It was a delightful, photographic look at the seven days of creation.
    • The Tale of Kitty in Boots by Beatrix Potter. The text of this unpublished story written in 1914 surfaced in 2015. It was illustrated by Quentin Blake. The story was Potter but her familiar beloved illustrations were sorely missed.
    • Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Boy by Tony Medina. Thirteen poems, plus one, written by Medina with thirteen contributions by illustrators. Big take away. Black boys are boys. They love the same stuff as any boy!
    • It Began With a Page: How Gyo Fugikawa Drew the Way by Kyo Maclear. An illustrated biography about the first artist to include illustrations of children from multiple races on the same page in children's books. I recognize some of her illustrations.
    • Many other children's books I checked out with Ian when we returned to the library this past week.
  • Currently reading:
    • The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich. A book club selection. I'm listening to the audiobook and the going is slow, though I do appreciate Erdrich's story-telling ability. 
    • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. A reread for Austen in August. I'm reading the illustrated version with illustrations from Hugh Thompson. It's been many, many years since I read this favorite and I've watched the movies so many times I've forgotten some of the details the movies leave out.
    • Wade in the Water: Poems by Tracy K. Smith.
  • Most influential book I've ever read: read my answer at this link here.
  • First time back inside a library since March 2020. See what books I got while there. Link is here. 
  • Ten books I wish I could read again for the first time.

Future peach pie:
We had to deal with a box of peaches this morning before they went over to the winey or moldy side. I whipped up one jar of peach pie filling to freeze for a future pie. Maybe something to enjoy in November or December?

 Funnies for the week:

Or in my case, I can't hear as well with my mask on.

It's not too late to donate: Our church is collecting school supplies for students from low income families in our area. If you would like to donate, go to this Amazon link page. Shop. Have items mailed to me (It is the default address or you can choose it.) I'll make sure they get to the right spot in time for distribution. SOTH Deacon's School Supply shopping list . Thanks for chipping in if you can!

Required photos of grandsons and grand-cats:

These boys, who both have a birthday in the next two weeks, found a new playground for fun.

Fred posing; George behind blinds attacking Fred; George makes TV viewing difficult.

No Sunday Salon for me next week. We'll be partying with two birthday boys instead!



  1. You've been keeping very busy! Such adorable little guys and you're very fortunate to have them so close. I did finish "The Night Watchman" and think it could elicit a decent discussion. It wasn't my favorite, but there was a lot in it to talk about. There are so many wonderful outings that include wine; I wish I liked it!

  2. Ok. I totally turn down the radio so that I can see addresses better when I don't know where I am going! I thought it was just me!

    How fun that you have birthday celebrations next Sunday, I'll miss all your news and memes.

    And Imagine is my all-time favorite song so thank you for that video.

    1. I just got back from church where everyone was wearing masks. I swear my hearing is impaired when I am wearing a mask. Ha!

  3. “Imagine” now seems to me just as sad as it does to your dog. I wonder how your dog knows that the promise we thought we saw in the sixties failed to materialize.

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    1. I know. The dog's reaction to that song really struck me as telling of the state of our affairs.

  4. Thank you, Anne, for sharing some good news with us. It's especially nice to see a list of things we can each do to fight climate change.

    So glad you have been able to spend time with your family, especially your grandsons. Taking care of grandchildren gives me fresh appreciation for my grandma who used to keep all eleven of us for a few weeks in the summer!

    The humor is healing, too. I always find a couple to pass on.

    After I read your post about your most inspiring book, I added the whole Lion, Witch, and Wardrobe series to my wish list. I've only read two of the books. I think I will recommend the series to those who are looking for a great fantasy series, too.

    1. Wow. Eleven grandkids for two weeks with one grandmother? I get exhausted when I have to care for the boys for one day alone and there is only two of them.

  5. Your date sounds absolutely wonderful and your grands are so cute. I love visiting my son in California as he lives so close to so many vineyards, each time we go out there we hit a few different ones.
    I hope you have a wonderful week ahead x

    Here is my ink:

    1. We enjoy visiting wineries in CA, too. Our daughter lives in San Fran so we aren't far from some of the best when we visit her.

  6. So much news to absorb here but let me say I loved the cute little kiddo, cats and date night pics. We have a few nice vineyards within 45 min of us but, nothing like in CA i'm sure. Why do we turn down the volume to see road signs. How about ducking when driving under an underpass? LOL Have a great week.

    1. We live in Western Washington. There are a lot of wineries in Eastern WA but few on this side of the mountains. That is what makes Chateau Ste. Michelle so special and so rare.

  7. Love the photos of your grand kids and grand cats. Those made me smile.

    I'm trying to tune out the news. It's very difficult to watch these days. For that matter, even Twitter and Facebook are hard to read with everyone chiming in these days.

    I hope this is a good week.

    1. I agree about the news. So bleak. I try to find positive news to stay sane.

  8. I love a couple of your mask-related things and have to borrow them for my own blog: Leviticus (about covering the bottom of your face) and the one of the woman wearing glasses which are covering her eyes. LOL. Thanks!

    1. Yes. Borrow away. I borrowed them from someone else, whom I'm sure borrowed. We need to keep the opposite point of view front and center so perhaps people will decide to finally get their vaccines.

  9. I know what you mean about the news... it's just relentlessly depressing these days. But how wonderful to go to an outdoor concert! Listening at Chateau Ste. Michelle while sipping a glass of wine sounds heavenly. Have a good week, Anne.

    1. Yes, the wine, the food, the outdoor setting certainly increased our pleasure in the concert. Plus everyone had to show their vaccine cards to enter the locale. Safety.

  10. I love the picture of the grapes! And a trip to the winery for a concert sounds wonderful.

    I re-read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe a month or two ago and am currently reading Prince Caspian. My kids listened to the Focus on the Family Radio Theatre version of the whole series constantly for many years. But it has been a long time since I have read the books, so I am working my way through them.

    Have a great week!

  11. What a full and rich post! Love that verse - so true! Glad you posted it! Take good care!

    1. Leviticus 13:45 “Anyone with such a defiling disease must wear torn clothes, let their hair be unkempt,[a] cover the lower part of their face and cry out, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’


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