Arrr! (Celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day) Thar be a hunt for treasure, Mateys!
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Maggie1944, aka Karen, 2017 page 1

This topic was continued by Maggie1944, aka Karen, 2017 page 2.

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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Dec 21, 2016, 6:54am Top

Well, I'll open this page up and just say I'm here, will do some lurking, some posting, and will list books read this new year. I've found that I'm a much slower reader since I moved into a lovely, and busy, retirement community late in 2015. I'm also wearing a FitBit and trying to maintain some physical strength as I age, and I have learned that moving around is good for that where as reading may not always be the best way to spend the whole day.

Don't misunderstand, I still love and thrive when I have "Do Nothing But Read" days.

I also participate in a very small, loosely connected to this group, Book Club which meets in real face to face encounters once a month. We decided last night that our first book for 2017 will be Ancillary Justice in January, and then we will experiment in February with a "read what you choose, and come tell us about it" meeting, perhaps to alternate between group reads and individual reads after that. I'd be interested if any of you belong to a face to face, read what you choose, kind of a group?

Dec 21, 2016, 9:57am Top

Welcome back! I'm not in any fac-to-face book clubs - no time to get together. :)

Dec 21, 2016, 10:15am Top

Hi Karen, happy reading in 2017.
I am not in any book clubs as anything I "have to read" tends to turn against me.

Dec 21, 2016, 6:03pm Top

>1 maggie1944: And I will put this post to say that I will be here............often in 2017. xx

Dec 21, 2016, 8:52pm Top

Dropping a star to keep track, Karen.

Dec 21, 2016, 10:16pm Top

Hi Karen! I'll be lurking too until the 1st. Too many things to catch up on.

re your question about face-to-face book clubs: I'm in two of them, and they are both for specific books on specific dates. That sometimes is good, and sometimes frustrating, as I don't have as much time and attention to wander as I'd like. But friends are worth the trouble, so I keep on. Let us know how the 'read whatever you want' meetings go, won't you?

Dec 22, 2016, 7:43am Top

Hi Karen. I belong to a book club with Morphy and another member. Lately we've been picking a book and meeting whenever people (that means me) have finished it.

Dec 22, 2016, 11:55am Top

Dropping off my star!

Dec 22, 2016, 2:31pm Top


Dec 23, 2016, 4:33pm Top

And my wishes for the holiday season...

Dec 27, 2016, 10:52am Top

I'll be here!!

And I am in two RL book clubs. One meets monthly and we decide the next book each month. The other meets every other month and we decide the year's agenda in December at our holiday party. They are most of the reason why I don't do too many monthly challenges here on LT--it would make my reading too scheduled!

Dec 28, 2016, 4:00pm Top

Nice to meet you Karen! I can't wait to see what you read. We started a book club for the staff at my elementary school this year and we read by themes each month. Last month was "friendship" and this month is "good vs. evil." Gives us choices but also a jumping off point for discussion.

Dec 28, 2016, 4:41pm Top

Starred you Karen!

Dec 28, 2016, 6:34pm Top

Gosh, I have been neglecting this thread thinking it wasn't 2017 yet. Silly me. hi, Jim. Thanks for getting us off to a roaring good start again this new year. Thanks for dropping by, Anita. I look forward to the lively conversations we have here in the 75ers group! and yes, Paul, I look forward to seeing you often (at least as often as I can manage, I am not really in the massive posting numbers league; nonetheless, we shall have a great 2017, no doubt.

Welcome back, Gail. I look forward to your visiting here. Judy, nice to see you here, too. I hope your holidays were/are great! Rachel, lucky you to be able to have a book club with Morphy! I know what you mean about fitting it in when you can. I feel very much that way myself, and I do not always attend the book club meetings held here in my retirement community. Thanks, Ellen, for stopping by. Kim, thanks to you also for stopping in to see my little thread. I hope it will be a fun filled year with many interesting books. Welcome, Jennifer, I hope you will enjoy the lively discussions here with all the 75ers, but be sure to not let it overwhelm, just read what you want. Nice to meet you, too. Rhian, nice to see you again.

OK! I finished "reading" (if you can call it that when it is mostly a book of photographs) Humans of New York this morning, and I'm trying to finish off at least 30 books before the midnight of New Year's Eve arrives. I have bought March - Book One and its two following graphic accounts of John Lewis's experience of the civil rights movement. I think I can make it through them in a day or two. We shall see.

I think I'll hang out at my last year's thread until then. It is here if you'd like to drop by: http://www.librarything.com/topic/231284

Dec 29, 2016, 6:21am Top

Happy New Year!

Dec 29, 2016, 2:46pm Top

Dropping off my star! I regularly consider joining and RL book club...and then I start to think about actually having to read a book that I'm not interested in just for a meeting and I drop the idea!

Dec 29, 2016, 6:08pm Top

Hi Karen!

I'm in a RL book club that is going on its 20th year. There are 12 of us, so we have a moving year - 1 meeting to pick the next 12 months books with assigned dates and hostessing schedule. We then meet for 12 months to discuss that month's book. The person who chose the book hosts the discussion in any way she wants. I read some of the books and don't read some of them. But I almost always at least start them. :)

Here's to a great 2017.

Dec 29, 2016, 6:18pm Top

Stopping by to say hello!

I am joining the monthly book group at my library...not sure how they pick the books, but the librarian knew what the books were for the next two months. She tries to get extra copies for book group members.

Edited: Dec 29, 2016, 6:50pm Top

Hi Karen. 17 Your RL book group sounds decidedly more serious and organized than ours has ever been. We just love to get together and talk, sometimes about books, sometimes about other stuff. We do have the experience of reading widely because we are very different one from the other; and we all love it that we end up reading books we would not otherwise read.

18 Hi, another Karen, it is a gaggle of Karens, I think.

And then today, I saw that the Barnes and Noble which is just around the corner, within walking distance, is having a huge clearance sale because they are closing that store. The mall did not renew their lease. Sad, sad face!

So, that news + the rebate I received from B&N due to their over charging on e-books = BOOKA Gentle BUYING... fun, fun, fun.

I bought A Gentleman in Moscow: Rules of Civility by Amor Towles, Destiny of the Republic by CandiceMillard, and Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies by Ross King. I saw it was 50% off! I am thrilled. I spent a total of $23.82 on two hard backs, and one paperback. Somedays life hands you a gift or two.

I also went grocery shopping and was trying to find some Ghee. Had to ask at the Customer Service desk whether they had any and the gentleman who was there to help just lit up with happiness. I'm guessing he is Indian or Pakistan in origin, and he announced he used it all the time. So, no they did not have any but then I showed him my butter and said I was going to make some.... and he said "how?" and I told him what the cook book said.... It was fun. Nice to make a person feel good by being interested in the food they eat all the time.

Well, onwards. The weekend should be nice but New Year's Eve is predicted to drop into some cold temps for us, and the cold should hang around for about a week. Sunshine, too. Nice for walking the dog.
Edit | More

Dec 31, 2016, 8:20am Top

Edited: Jan 18, 2017, 9:57am Top

I am part of the group.
I love being part of the group.
I love the friendships bestowed upon my by dint of my membership of this wonderful fellowship.
I love that race and creed and gender and age and sexuality and nationality make absolutely no difference to our being a valued member of the group.

Thank you for also being part of the group.

Dec 31, 2016, 6:59pm Top

Happy New Year!

We are a gaggle of Karens for sure.

Onward into 2017.

Dec 31, 2016, 7:09pm Top

Happy New Year Karen.

First time popping into your thread, looking forward to see what your reading this year.

Dec 31, 2016, 9:18pm Top

Adrienne, (23), you are very welcome here. You do not, repeat.... do not need to be named Karen to join in the fun.

I'm getting ready to host 3 "little ole retired ladies" to play Rummikub and nibble on crackers and cheese, have a little bubbly, and probably given up and go to bed well before midnight. However, we will have fun, and will wish each other Happy New Year,

as i do you, too! Happy Book Reading New Year it is!!

Dec 31, 2016, 11:29pm Top

I loved playing Rummikub as a kid. I think we have a set around here somewhere. I wonder if I can get MrMorphy to play a game with me. Happy New Year!

Jan 1, 2017, 9:02am Top

Happy New Year to you, too, dear friend. I hope your year has many fewer challenges and many more good books read, and good times all about.

Jan 1, 2017, 2:21pm Top

Hi Karen! I have you starred.

Jan 1, 2017, 7:39pm Top

Your gathering for New Years sounded like fun. Its great that you landed in such a wonderful community. Best of the New Year to you and you are lucky to only have cold temperatures. Just to the north of you, we have had snow on the ground since the beginning of September. What, Vancouver doesn't do snow - I think that everyone can tell that because the cities have blown through their snow clearing budgets for this winter already and January is just starting.

Jan 1, 2017, 9:40pm Top

Hi Karen--will try to do more than just lurk on your thread this year. Did you have snow down in Bellevue? We have a couple of inches up here and it's not melting so far.

Best wishes for the New Year!

Jan 2, 2017, 5:47am Top

Jan 2, 2017, 11:29am Top

>27 kgodey: Happy New Year, Kriti, and thanks for stopping by and leaving a star. I'm looking forward to some good reading this year!

Jan 2, 2017, 11:30am Top

>28 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg, I know snow which persists can be very tiring for those of us who are not accustomed to dealing with its cold, slippery, wet, and uncomfortable stuff! Yuk. The good side of course is it gives us a good excuse to stay inside and read a good book, or any book for that matter.

Jan 2, 2017, 11:31am Top

>29 arubabookwoman: Oh, Deborah, it is nice to see you stopped by. Happy New Year to you, and hopefully we can find a way to have a f2f meeting this year! Meet-Up anybody?

Jan 2, 2017, 11:33am Top

>30 Berly: Thanks for dropping by and sending those good wishes; and I'm turning them around and sending them back to you in bold type! Happy New Year!

Jan 2, 2017, 3:18pm Top

>32 maggie1944: Snow is a good excuse to stay inside and read a good book, Karen. Too bad my employer won't accept that as an excuse *sigh*. Just wait until next year and I won't have to deal with that anymore as I plan to retire in October.

Jan 2, 2017, 4:19pm Top

Meg, congratulations on your impending retirement. From the other side, I highly recommend it!

Jan 2, 2017, 6:53pm Top

Happy New Year, Karen! Looking forward to talking about books and other stuff with you in '17. You've put Humans of New York on my radar. I'm pretty sure you'll love A Gentleman in Moscow.

Jan 2, 2017, 11:10pm Top

>36 maggie1944: Thanks, Karen. It seems a long way off yet.

Jan 3, 2017, 9:45am Top

Congratulations! I've been retired 11 months and am very happy at not having to work any more.

Jan 3, 2017, 10:34am Top

Happy new year, Maggie!

Jan 3, 2017, 3:41pm Top

>33 maggie1944: Karen--I'd love to get together at Crossroads sometime.

Jan 4, 2017, 9:39am Top

Happy new year, Karen! I'm catching up just a little from the madness that was the transition between groups 2016/17.

I am in one face-to-face book group, one I facilitate for work at the library. We plan a whole year's worth of reading at once, so towards the end of the year I ask everyone for recommendations, add a couple of book selections myself, and give them all a list to vote on. Once the votes are in, I tally them up and use a weighting system to break any ties (I have people vote 1-10, 1 being the one they want to read the most, and then have a weighted score as well as a tally), then our 12 most-voted titles are our reads for year. I know of other book clubs in town where each person take a turn picking month-to-month, so there are definitely different systems.

Jan 4, 2017, 3:47pm Top

I am on my way back to work in Alabama and found your thread. Glad to have done so. I hope you get the christmas letter because it explains some things from the last year.

I belong to a Real Life book discussion group. There are 6 of us who attend fairly regularly. I also do several digital book clubs. The funny thing is that the digital groups have the same problem as the real life one - nobody talks.

Jan 4, 2017, 3:48pm Top

I made paneer cheese over the Christmas break with my cousins. We had a great time doing it and then three days later I made a wonderful cabbage dish with the cheese. I found that recipe in an Indian cook book and can't believe how easy it is to make cheese.

Jan 5, 2017, 10:10am Top

Starred you

Jan 10, 2017, 9:02pm Top

I just returned from my annual visit to old friends in Pennsylvania. Most of them are retired now but they are old teachers so still end up talking about education and kids and teaching. But we also talk books and I walked away with both volumes of Maus brought by one friend. It's nice to get caught up with them and start imagining my own retirement. I am sliding in that direction by giving up a client in the new year.

Jan 10, 2017, 10:18pm Top

Karen, the first little while of retirement was interesting. It did take me a while to adjust, but now I love it.

Jan 10, 2017, 11:35pm Top

Happy new year, Karen!

Jan 13, 2017, 1:12pm Top

bump, still reading

Jan 13, 2017, 2:24pm Top

bump back!

Jan 13, 2017, 2:42pm Top

The semester has just started here and I have been busy. Mostly, dealing with hardware and software problems. Sometimes I think that our Technology offices on campus don't know what day classes will start. I don't think they ever look at the academic calendar.

Jan 14, 2017, 10:58am Top

Books Finished in 2017

1. Ancillary Justice by Ann Lecki - A mind bending science fiction "space opera". The first big chunk of the book was pretty close to indeciperable to me and if it were not the book I was reading for my f2f book group I probably would have abandoned it. The last little bit made some sense, and I could see how picking up the next two books in a trilogy would be tempting if I was not a busy, busy girl. I'm moving on, need to read The Unwinding for a group read here with some 75ers, and because I've started a Progressive Caucus here in my retirement community and I want to be able to tell them my response to the book. So, onwards!

Jan 14, 2017, 11:00am Top

Yeah, that one is pretty mind-bending for the reader what with the way it plays with gender and how it's treated in English. I swear the full trilogy, though, is awesome!

Jan 14, 2017, 11:48am Top

Jim, thanks for stopping by and giving me your perspective on the trilogy. I might get to it, if I can find some spare time. I do like science fiction as it is so outside my usual box. I can see this has some promising constructs.

Jan 14, 2017, 1:49pm Top

>52 maggie1944: I've started a Progressive Caucus here in my retirement community

Good for you!

Jan 15, 2017, 7:28am Top

It is pretty remarkable. There are a few people who think "we should not talk about politics here at all" - fear of controversy, no doubt. But oddly enough we are well educated and know that the First Amendment to the Constitution no only protects "free speech" but also "freedom of assembly". Well, now, I think we are doing find. Several of us are planning to drive into Seattle to join on local "Women's March" or the protest march which is perhaps a more accurate description.

Our first open meeting attracted over 40 people out of a population of 150+/- And now our email list has 25-30 people on it. I'm impressed. I hope we can do a few important things.

Jan 15, 2017, 11:22am Top

I loved the Ancillary Justice series! I have recommended it to many readers. I had no trouble adjusting to the gender bending and the language bending as well, however, I know many others who have had trouble with it. One person who read it was shocked by the language bending and couldn't seem to get past it.

What I loved about the trilogy is the way the characters solve problems without violence. Breq goes on to appointed as a roving ambassador and travels to deal with some other cultures. I also found the idea AI, as presented in this book fascinating and much less frightening to me, than what I see in reality.

I agree with you that life is to short to waste on reading books you don't want to read or don't enjoy. I recently Pearl Ruled a book. It amazes me that I sometimes feel guilty about that.

Jan 15, 2017, 11:23am Top

I love the idea of a Progressive Caucus in your community. It is wonderful to be able to talk about issues in a civil manner with all kinds of people. I do admit that I have trouble reading about some viewpoints and so in that regard I am probably not as civil as I should be.

Edited: Jan 15, 2017, 12:35pm Top

My sister and I are 180 degrees opposites on politics, and I've given up trying to speak with her about them.

I've mentioned this elsewhere, but I'm reading a book called The Righteous Mind:Why Good People Are divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt (pronounced height). From Wikipedia: Haidt attempts to reach common ground between liberals and conservatives. Haidt argues that people are too quick to denigrate other points of view without giving those views full consideration. He makes the case in the book for morality having multiple foundations, and said in an interview that morality “is at least six things, and probably a lot more than that” and “religion and politics are … expressions of our tribal, groupish, righteous nature.” Haidt himself acknowledges that while he has been a liberal all his life, he is now more open to other points of view.

I'm finding it fascinating, and it is helping me to understand what happened last fall, although I still Don't Like What Happened At All.

Jan 15, 2017, 4:31pm Top

>52 maggie1944: I'm glad you stuck it out with Ancillary Justice, Karen. I loved the trilogy, and agree with Dr. Jim in >53 drneutron:. I do give a warning to people I recommend it to that it takes a while at the beginning to get your bearings as a reader, but to just stick with it. By the end of the trilogy the reader, IMO, becomes completely used to the concept and the gender use.

Jan 15, 2017, 4:40pm Top

Good on you for starting a progressive caucus in your community!

My husband is down at the protest in Seattle right now. (I don't do well in big crowds so my job for now is writing letters).

Edited: Jan 15, 2017, 4:47pm Top

Benita, and Jim, thank you for the encouragement about continuing with the trilogy. I suspect I will get very tired of reading on politics and science fiction is a good opposite, even if it sometimes plays with political ideas.

Karen, (>59 karenmarie:) avoiding talking about politics is very understandable. I don't have problems with understanding conservatives of good character have good and plenty reasons for having arrived at the point of view they hold. I can talk about that. I even understand people who are against abortions. They problems I have is their inability to see that their positions may have the consequence of severely hurting people. I understand those who think centralized health care is dangerous and inadvisable but I cannot understand how they think that throwing people off health insurance absent a new program they can use is a good idea. I truly worry for the millions of people who just have known the security of having insurance only to find the rug is pulled out from under their feet.

And personally, in relation to the health care debate, I imagine I am safe having my insurance through the retired teachers relationship with state government however my costs may change for the worse or for the better. I have no idea. But I do know that if I did not have state supported insurance I could easily lose my insurance because of the Rheumatoid Arthritis and I would then be in a position of having to pay for my medication which could easily use well over 50% of my income. Sends shivers up my spine.

Edited: Jan 16, 2017, 12:22pm Top

>62 maggie1944: Hi Maggie!

Last night at book club one of our members, who retires at the end of January from the state (librarian at one of the state universities) was complaining that her deductible was going to go up to $1200/year. She was appalled. Every body else at the table, however, was stunned at what a great plan she will be getting and took no time in telling her so. Sheesh. Our deductibles are $7000/each for husband and me. I don't know what they'll be under the company insurance he will be eligible for in 3 months, but it's a small company and I can't imagine that it will be too wonderful.....

Nothing related to health care or insurance seems to be stable any more. I do hope that yours doesn't change negatively, for sure.

Jan 16, 2017, 3:55pm Top

Cruising through, saying hello, applauding the progressive caucus.

And being appalled at what could happen to health insurance. If only congress had to have the same health insurance as the rest of us...

Jan 16, 2017, 4:37pm Top

I like the title for your group. I have been bothered by the tendency to turn the word progressive into a bad word. (like what was done to the word liberal, only this is being done by left-wing people to right-wingers. It is the same as fourth grade name calling.) Progressivism is not a bad thing. It was Republican Progressives of the ilk of T. Roosevelt who brought us the Food and Drug Act of 1905. These were radical improvements then and still are today. This kind of Progressivism was all about what was good for society in general and turned into law with the realization that people often would not vote for such things on their own and needed leadership from government to create and enact such laws. We need government to provide this kind of leadership.

Jan 16, 2017, 11:46pm Top

Hi Karen! How did you like today's warming temps!?

Okay, all the comments herein have me convinced to give Ancillary Justice another try. I think starting it immediately after completing the long Lilith's Brood just made me feel I was ODing on Science Fiction (which, as you know, is not my usual preferred flavor).

I plan to start The Unwinding either tomorrow or on the plane on Wednesday.

Edited: Jan 17, 2017, 4:16pm Top

Hi, Karen, yes, I know what you mean. I've not met many here yet who are willing to say they are nervous, but I'll bet there are some. I usually don't become too nervous about life, believing I've been privileged enough that I will muddle through. I have had preparation meet opportunity often enough that I believe that will still be true. But there are no guarantees.

Gail, I am appalled by the whole deal: Trump's winning, his appointments, his tweets, yada yada yada

I don't think putting the Congressional folks on our health insurance would help much as they make enough income to handle most everything except catastrophic health challenges.

Thanks for stopping by, and expressing solidarity.

Ellen, I think pairing Ancillary Justice with The Unwinding is a good idea. The first is mind bending, the second is food for thought.

Jan 17, 2017, 2:03pm Top

>67 maggie1944: I'm not just nervous. I'm scared. Really scared.

Jan 17, 2017, 4:17pm Top

Morphy, I hear you. You are not alone. And I look forward to seeing the Women's March on Saturday. it will remind us there are millions of Americans who believe good health insurance is a necessity.

Jan 17, 2017, 6:09pm Top

>70 streamsong: It's exciting that you're going to the Women's March in Seattle. Did you see that I will also be participating in the one in Helena?

When I was talking with my brother about it on the phone the other night, he was supportive and somewhat bemused although concerned about roads and passes this time of year. My SIL was less supportive saying, "It doesn't matter what you do, he's still going to be our president."

Jan 17, 2017, 6:19pm Top

>69 maggie1944: It is exciting that you are going to the march; you, too, >70 streamsong:! I am looking forward to hearing your reports.

Jan 18, 2017, 9:36am Top

I believe one way to cope with this new horror in the White House is to act whenever, and wherever, I can! And, just a thought, I've heard reports that the President-Elect is worried that so many people are demonstrating against Repealing "Obamacare".

BTW, I've stared Hamilton and I need to read a good 20 pages every day from now until my f2f book group meets again. Very lively writing, and I think reading this Door Stop book will be a joy!

Jan 18, 2017, 9:42am Top

I'm very nervous about Trump, too. After I get back from my trip to CA for my Mom's Memorial Service next Monday, I'm going to start getting involved in whatever level of protest and resistance I can. Not yet sure what that will be, but I do have The Indivisible Guide to Resisting the Trump Agenda and will use it as a starting point.

I can't even write President _______ and will never call him that. Keith Olbermann, GQ's The Resistance voice, says to just say "Trump". I guess I can do that.

Jan 18, 2017, 11:31am Top

Karen, I think ways to protest and be engaged will evolve and what you, personally, can/should do will be come clear as time goes by. Do not let it depress you to a position of inaction. Do not let the turkeys get you down.

Jan 18, 2017, 5:35pm Top

I will join your chorus of "I am worrieds" because I am worried. However, I have faith in the system. As long as they don't start messing with the system, I can stand four years of the cheeto-topped ding-dong. Like many of you, I can't bring myself to give him the dignity of the title so won't do that.

It is clear to me that I have to get more vocal and make my position known. That means that I have to contact my congresspeople every time they do something I don't like.

Jan 18, 2017, 5:38pm Top

How exciting that you are going to Helena to participate in the protest. I can't believe that women were so willing to forgive that guy for all the ugly things he said about women. I hope that the numbers this weekend make Drumpf sit up and take notice. I don't think it will make him act any better, but perhaps his flunkies will find ways to circumvent his nasty mouth. I can only hope that eventually he won't find anybody to work for him.

Jan 18, 2017, 10:12pm Top

I'm very sorry not to be in Seattle for Saturday's march. It would be good to be there, to at least make a statement, for what it's worth.

Jan 19, 2017, 6:49am Top

Benita, try contacting your representatives in Congress when they do something you like, or if they're doing mostly stuff you don't like (e.g. voting for that crazy woman to head the Dept. of Ed) find a way to support whoever opposes them. Nothing bugs a politician more than being opposed by someone who has wherewithal to definitely threaten their position.

Absent that, find a place where the Democrats are running a reasonable person against some Republican. We must take away from Trump his feeling of security with a Republican House and Senate. We only have two years.

I love listening to his foolish attempts to convince the American people that he has a "mandate" when clearly there seems to be a good chance the protest march on Saturday will beat his Inauguration 2:1. We can hope!

Jan 19, 2017, 6:53am Top

Ellen, I'm having a bit of a RA flare time so I'll not march, but I'll be happy to send off a small group from Silver Glen, with their pink "pussy hats"! I am so glad I decided to start the idea that we could organize ourselves and support each other in doing at least something. Last night, I attended the local Democratic organization while they voted in new officers to start a new organization. There must have been somewhat of a dust up as the last Chairperson resigned before his term was finished. I connected with a couple of people who will help me continue connecting with local political efforts. (As if I really needed one more thing to do, but I just can't sit on my hands. I'm completely disgusted by his appointment of that anti-public education woman to the Dept. of Ed....)

Jan 20, 2017, 8:11pm Top

Karen, good for you for getting active. It's great that you have a Progressive Caucus in your community.

I'm marching tomorrow in New York, and trying to unknot my stomach from watching today's inauguration. Oh well, as my good friend says.

I agree that most of congress has the wherewithal to support high deductibles in health insurance, but I recall reading that Biden was about to sell his house to pay for his son's cancer treatments. Big bills can hurt a lot of us. It would be really good if the congress had to find health care the way others do, especially others who don't work for corporations generous with benefits. I don't know if they have any benefits other than Medicare when they retire - probably they do, and they shouldn't. There's nothing like sharing the pain to make the paind real.

Jan 20, 2017, 10:07pm Top

Sorry to hear about the flare up but good for you for your involvement and support! The nominees are all terrible but it seemed like there was more overt disappointment and disgust with the education nominee than with some -- I asked some folks I know in Florida (from high school) who were saying they "voted against HRC but this woman is nuts" to contact their senators, since it seems like Republican senators need to know that their constituents, especially registered republicans or independents, will support them if they oppose her appointment. I fear it was a waste of breath.

Anyway, tomorrow I will be going for a long walk to a couple of bookstores here in Tampa. I will try to resist the impulse to purchase. :-)

Jan 21, 2017, 8:47am Top

Judy, thank you for marching. I am so happy my feelings are being acted upon by hundreds of thousands of citizens and others, around the world. Sadly, Trump is so narcissistic he will reject any reporting of the numbers of people protesting, but I imagine some of his Republican supporters will notice. He will have an increasingly hard time to accomplish anything if the congress begins to flee him.

Ellen, enjoy your time in Tampa and walking to bookstores! Yeah! That is an excellent choice. I was in a bookstore yesterday, "accidentally" and picked up a copy of Shūsaku Endō's Silence. It looked too intriguing to pass up. And I just ignored the fact that I have multiple "started" books laying about in my apartment. Sigh.

Jan 21, 2017, 8:49am Top

Ellen, it is true that the candidate for the Dept. of Education is woefully inadequate for supporting any kind of public education from pre-Kindergarten to post-university. A truly sad day, but I don't think the federal government has enough "dogs in the fight" to destroy all the public schools in the country.

Edited: Jan 21, 2017, 12:57pm Top

I must say I am a little bemused by the marches organised against trump upon his inauguration. I don't like the guy and I am fearful a little for what he might do but surely he hasn't struck a bat yet?

The time to march and organise and come together as a united body politic was in November. What a shame that the choice was between two frankly woeful candidates. As Elizabeth Warren has said, and I paraphrase, it is time to support him where necessary and fight him tooth and nail and claw if he attacks any of the hard fought liberties gained. I appreciate and admire the sincerity of many of those marching, some of my friends amongst them, but I wish the alternative leaders had been apparent much earlier to vocalise decency and internationalism.

Who knows trump may unwittingly have galvanised the public into a concern for its own well being and helped to create a movement for change albeit one that would have him out.

Have a great weekend, Karen.

Jan 21, 2017, 5:37pm Top

>84 PaulCranswick: I'm afraid that no one is listening. And those that are listening, simply don't care.

Jan 21, 2017, 6:35pm Top

Paul, and Morphy, sometimes the "masses" need to be shocked to take action. These world-wide marches were organic, no major political entity attempted to organize these "demonstrations". I'm sure more than one of these people will hear someone say to them, "where were you when it was time to vote for Clinton?". Many will answer, I was in a blue state. The complexities of the Electoral College are part of the reason that all these folks were unable to effectively oppose him when it was voting day. Also, can't ask the Parisians that question, nor the Londoners. Why did they demonstrate? Maybe because Donald Trump said that "global warning is a hoax from the Chinese".

But now.... there may be new energy in watching what he does. I saw his Press Secretary just squander his first Press Briefing in scolding the press for misreporting the size of the Inaugural crowds. And scold some poor reporter who misreported that the bust of MLK Jr. had been moved out of the Oval Office. Its all about image, nothing about issues. Nothing about why the nominee for leading the CIA had been delayed in Congress. Nothing about why the Park Service was ordered to shut down their twitter accounts, which they use to help with search and rescue. What a way to go, Trump Team.

I think there are people listening, Morphy. There are members of Congress who see these numbers. They know. And they care. Maybe not exactly the way I want them to care, or the members of the Pussy Nation want them to care, but there's change happening.

And I love seeing all those demonstrations, and I'm sure there's something changing.

Jan 21, 2017, 9:41pm Top

>86 maggie1944: There was and has been so much pessimism abounding in the aftermath of trump winning, Karen. Don't you think that this belated political engagement is a move towards positivism? Hopefully the force of public opinion will keep the new administration concerned more with image than anything else and they won't try to draw back American liberties. Some of the ideas of trying to keep some jobs in America and making the rest of the world pay its share definitely resonates but some of the frankly bigoted remarks that sneak through hint at a darker agenda.

Jan 21, 2017, 9:58pm Top

Paul, thanks for some very thoughtful ideas. If only he would stay concerned with image only. Unfortunately, he has some very dangerous right wing nuts surrounding him, and I believe he may be fairly easily manipulated.

Oh, well, perhaps I'm a pessimist. I can hope it is not going to be too dark.

I'm reading Hamilton and it helps me with perspective. We have a very precious representative democracy here, and I pray everyone is anxious to preserve it.

Edited: Jan 24, 2017, 6:46pm Top

I spent the Monday after the march meeting with my state representatives as part of an education lobby day. I waited outside in line in sometimes heavy rain for an hour just to get through security and into the building because so many educators showed up to support public education! Someone in line did point out that the "powers that be" seemed to be making it a real challenge to participate in government. These lobby days happen every year so it shouldn't have been a surprise but I wonder the protests and marches had an impact on attendance. People are trying out their voices.

I wasn't able to actually meet with the reps but have already heard back from legislative aide that my delegate would like to have a meeting. I work in educational technology and offered myself to her as a resource who can help her understand the issues being faced by schools.

It is good to protest but the energy has to continue into smaller, personal relationships with our elected officials at all levels. When was the last time you attended a town council or school board meeting? Not pointing fingers here...I haven't been involved in this way either. I tend to avoid conflict and confrontation and the little I know of my local leaders, there is often real contention as they grapple with challenges around poverty and economic decline that define the community.

Jan 24, 2017, 9:07pm Top

Karen, I applaud your efforts. Good on you.

And I totally agree that developing personal relationships with your most accessible political office holders is an excellent way to be involved. They can help you also focus your contributions in areas where they will have the best impact.

You go girl! Keep it up.

p.s. I'm having problems finding time to read... too much reading of stuff on line. Can I count it as a book?

Jan 25, 2017, 5:24pm Top

Hi Karen! Interesting conversations and points of view. I'm sorry you couldn't march.

>90 maggie1944: p.s. I'm having problems finding time to read... too much reading of stuff on line. Can I count it as a book? It's reading. I read a lot online, and have never thought of counting it before. I don't know how - # of articles? Hours spent? Hmm.

Jan 25, 2017, 6:21pm Top

I happened to be in Atlanta on the day of the march. 60,000 people marched against Trump. One could ask why they didn't vote for the other candidate. Many of them did. Atlanta is a huge city, and many of the counties that contain Atlanta and some of the suburbs around the city did vote for Clinton. However, big as Atlanta is, it still isn't the entire state of Georgia, and the rest of the state was able to carry the state into the Trump camp.

It is a comfort to me that someday soon, maybe before the next election, Atlanta will have a large enough population that it will be able to carry the state.

Jan 25, 2017, 6:22pm Top

My sister and friends from the Lutheran Church in Bozeman, MT drove to Helena and marched. In conservative Montana, they managed to have 10,000 marchers.

Jan 25, 2017, 7:07pm Top

My standard answer to the question "why did they vote against Trump in the election" I would usually yell at the TV, because they live in a blue state, or region, dummy. They cannot travel to a Red place, live there, get legally registered to vote, and vote against him where it might count. Duh!

The marches were amazing and I really hope most of those participants find some way to be politically active. Contact their representatives in Washington and complain if they vote for Trump's appointees, so many of whom are dedicated to destroying the organization they will "lead". I cannot believe the nominee for Sect'y of Education has never worked in, attended, or gave any volunteer time to PUBLIC SCHOOLS, for goodness sakes. She does not support public education, and as they go down, the only kids who will get decent educations are those with parents who know how to shop for and pay for private schools. That is a return to the 18th Century!!!

Can't tell I'm fired up, can you?

Jan 27, 2017, 7:32pm Top

Hamilton, albeit a huge book, is a very easy read. I think I might have a Do Nothing But Read Day this weekend.... except I'll go to dinner.

Jan 28, 2017, 10:46am Top

>90 maggie1944: I agree about the reading...there is so much to read and absorb online that curling up with something fiction and fun seems frivolous, perhaps.

>94 maggie1944: You are fired up and that's good. I work primarily with public school educators and we are trying hard to convince our legislators to reject DeVos. I'm making phone calls almost every day to register my concern. I'm reading Inequality in the Promised Land and it makes the point that you make: even kids in the SAME school do not often get access to the same level of education and resources because their parents don't know how to navigate the system. Vouchers, especially, are often just tax breaks for people who could already afford to send their kids to private schools and do nothing to help those they claim to support. Instead of funneling money out of public schools, we need to make the public schools the best they can be.

Here's a clip from The West Wing that will fire you up even more: I call it the "schools should be palaces" clip. Link

Jan 28, 2017, 11:27am Top

oh, gosh, didn't we all love West Wing. I thought the clip was hysterical. Would that it was that cool in the White House right now.

I'm going off to a Democratic party forum sponsored to let the state level legislators meet with their voters. Could be interesting. No Do Nothing But Read today, maybe tomorrow.

Jan 29, 2017, 1:37pm Top

I am fired up about the rejecting immigrants executive order. WTF? People who had already been vetted with visa's turned away? Again WTF? I am writing a letter to my representatives and complain about it, even though one of them is Terry Sewell, who is Black and a Democrat. She needs to know that her district is supporting her.

Jan 29, 2017, 2:34pm Top

>93 benitastrnad: Montana is not only conservative, but only has a million people in the whole state. 10,000 marchers was wonderful!

>96 witchyrichy: Wonderful clip, Karen! I'm watching West Wing for the first time around. I just finished season six.

>97 maggie1944: Yay, Karen! Go girl!

Jan 29, 2017, 2:36pm Top

Good for you, Karen. Hope everything else is going well.

Jan 29, 2017, 3:48pm Top

Hi, Benita, Janet, and Joe! The community forum was very interesting and I like our local representatives. Our state house of reps is Democrat majority, but the state Senate is Republican. Makes for interesting times.

I'm still trying hard to stay politically active with my retirement community. We had several people make the effort, and it was an effort, to get into Seattle to march in the post-Inaugural Day Women's March! Fired up! We are meeting at least once a month to plan what's next.

I'm still reading Hamilton although I have probably a half a dozen other books laying around with book marks in them.

Jan 29, 2017, 9:00pm Top

I called my Representative to talk about DeVos just to find out it's only Senators making that decision. And both our Senators are Democrats. One of them being Franken who has rallied all the Democrats against DeVos and I believe is trying to get some Republicans on board.

Jan 30, 2017, 6:44am Top

Morphy, I envy your having Franken represent you! He's pretty good, isn't he?

Jan 30, 2017, 10:30am Top

Hi Karen! I'm going to start dipping my toes into activism this week for the first time in many decades - just have to get over a cold that caught ahold of me last Thursday.

>102 Morphidae: Lucky indeed, to have Franken represent you.

Jan 30, 2017, 10:30am Top

Hi Karen! I'm going to start dipping my toes into activism this week for the first time in many decades - just have to get over a cold that caught ahold of me last Thursday.

>102 Morphidae: Lucky indeed, to have Franken represent you.

Edited: Jan 30, 2017, 10:53am Top

Franken is indeed awesome. We also have Klobuchar who is also pretty neat but much quieter.*

*Or maybe not. I'll have to read more on some possible current statements of hers.

Jan 30, 2017, 12:32pm Top

I just downloaded the Indivisible Team's packet of how to resist Trump. I will read it and report back.

Jan 30, 2017, 4:30pm Top

>106 Morphidae: There is some stuff on Klobuchar on DailyKos that makes me think you might want to give her a call and state your case for denying DeVos. She may need to know her people are behind her (and pushing).

Feb 4, 2017, 5:17pm Top

OK, life has thrown me a couple of curve balls. We had a power outage on Monday and I did a bit too much walking around the site in my slippers. Tuesday my left knee was swollen, red, and sore. So I pretty much stayed down all day with ice, rest, and some pain meds. So then on Wednesday, I felt better until my sciatic nerve flared up in my back and right leg. So, I'm down again. On the floor doing some exercises, up in a chair to sit for a bit, then do a short chore, and then back to the floor. Sigh. I'm glad I've got some good pain meds, and then I also went over to half-price books and bought two more books on taking care of backs. One is yoga for the back, one is a general back book. Also, was clever enough to take sufficient # of books to sell so that when I checked out at the counter, I left with two books, and a nickel in change! Smile.

"Life beneath your means" is my current mantra.

So I'm reading: Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow; Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard; Better Back by Dr. John Tanner; Treat Your Own Back by Robin NcKenzie; and, The Yoga Back Book by Stella Weller. All three of the bad books have good exercises for dealing with the sciatica. I'm grateful to know that doing back exercises will reduce, maybe even eliminate the pain in time. Now its up to me to do the work.

Feb 4, 2017, 6:04pm Top

>109 maggie1944: Best of luck with healing your back, Karen. I am a firm believer in exercise to help fix and maintain pain and mobility issues.

Feb 4, 2017, 6:17pm Top

>109 maggie1944: Sciatica. *shudder* A pain like no other. I hope you are doing better soon, Karen.

Feb 5, 2017, 5:16am Top

Thanks, Meg and Karen. I am starting to do these exercises once every two hours. And I read that I'm not supposed to sit with my legs straight out in front of me, as I do when I take a warm tub. So, I'll go visit the hot tub at our pool....

I'm sure it will bet better. Just hard first thing in the morning.

Feb 5, 2017, 11:07am Top

Drat on the back problems! I'm glad your knee is better, though.

If you like, I could send you an invite to our local Post-March Women's Action group on FB. Even though it's local to this area, you might be able to get some ideas to use in your group. Have you heard about the Valentine's Day postcards?

Feb 5, 2017, 12:06pm Top

I'm sorry about the back problems, Karen. They can be truly devastating.

Looking forward to your remarks on Hamilton.

Feb 5, 2017, 2:43pm Top

I did a bummer this morning. It was raining when I went out to get my Sunday newspaper. I had on my nightgown and bathrobe. I turned my ankle and fell right there in the driveway. I ended up with bruised and skinned hands and a skinned knee. The knee wouldn't stop bleeding, but the worst was that I was wet. Now I have to wash my bathrobe and get it dry so I can wear it tonight. Other than that I wasn't hurt and a nice soak in a hot bath made me feel better about the world.

Edited: Feb 5, 2017, 3:06pm Top


I'm so sorry you are experiencing high levels of pain. Take good care.

Belated Happy New Year to you. May it be a healthy year, and may your ailments cease soon.

Feb 5, 2017, 11:07pm Top

Oh Karen, I am so sorry to hear about your back pain. Ugh.

>102 Morphidae: But it's important to call the legislators who are on our side, too, Morphy! They need the support and they need to be able to accurately represent their constituents. I called both our senators (Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, both relatively liberal Democrats) about DeVos. In addition to urging them to oppose her appointment, I thanked them for their good work.

I have made more calls to legislators in the past two weeks than in my entire prior life, I think. That probably doesn't speak well of my prior involvement in our democracy, and for that I feel regret.

Karen, THANK YOU for the small posters you sent! They made it safely and one is up in our front window. I also found out that one can order yard signs, t-shirts, post cards, etc. from spreadlove2017.com

Take care, my friend. I hope the pain eases soon!

Feb 6, 2017, 1:56am Top

>109 maggie1944: Maggie--Hope your back and knee recover quickly!! What a pain...literally. : (

>115 benitastrnad: Benita--I hope you feel better, too. And stay warm and dry. ; )

Feb 6, 2017, 9:54am Top

I'm still reading Alexander Hamilton.... my new mantra. I do love it, but now, of course due to the back issues, I have to be careful about sitting too long in any one position. I read in one of my "back" books that sitting with legs stretched out in front of me is not too good a position. I laughed. Because of course, that is the position I use when reading in bed, and when soaking in a warm water bath. So, for a while, I eschew warm water baths and use the community hot tub next to the swimming pool. Yeah. I do love my community.

Thanks, all, for stopping by. Monday morning up date: knee has given no additional signals of pain, stiffness, or swelling. Back is better, an occasional twinge. Doing my pelvic tilt exercises, plus some gentle extensions. Also, considering going shopping for a "relax the back" chair for reading. There's a Relax the Back store nearby.

Snow on the ground this morning. Don't know if I'll go out in the car at all today. Looking at my emergency food supplies!

Should be a quiet day.

Feb 6, 2017, 10:00am Top

I'm glad to see your back is improving. Back exercises are a godsend to me, when I'm strict enough with them. I hope you can find something that works for you and keeps it happy.

Feb 6, 2017, 12:10pm Top

See >109 maggie1944: for the books I'm using. So far the pelvic tilts are a great help. Also, some extra time just laying flat on my back on the floor seems to help.

Feb 6, 2017, 7:15pm Top

The Relax the Back chair is really a thing. (I googled it.) Who knew? Well, you knew, but I sure didn't! It looks very comfortable. I hunkered down today and I hope you did, too. But maybe tomorrow is a day to shop for that chair.

I am falling far behind on Alexander Hamilton but expect to do a bit of listening this week. I'm getting into The Unwinding and he is quite the storyteller. I am enjoying the various threads of lives from which I assume he will weave a cohesive thesis.

Feb 7, 2017, 7:53am Top

I could have written your message ... I'm afraid there is no way I'll finish Hamilton by our next meeting. BTW, I've forgotten will you be there?

I love looking at the snow as long as it does not pile up and get into my good shoes. Greta Garbo does not really love the snow although she will reluctantly go outside to do her business. She likes sleeping much more.

Feb 7, 2017, 1:54pm Top

I'm planning to be there!
I listened some more this morning and will make a more concerted effort to find listening opportunities in the next couple of weeks. It really is quite good.

Feb 8, 2017, 9:22am Top

Hi Karen - glad to hear you're doing some better.

One of the women in my book club saw Hamilton in December and has raved about it ever since. She's also reading Alexander Hamilton and has a serious case of fangirl going.

Feb 8, 2017, 9:58am Top

thanks for the good wishes, Karen. The whole back thing is a "one moment at a time" kind of thing. Sometimes I'm only mildly uncomfortable; other times I am in big pain.

I am loving Hamilton, too. I just wish I had a really comfortable chair and that I could read for hours on end.

Feb 8, 2017, 9:12pm Top

Ouch. sorry to hear about the knee and the back and the sciatica and the fall -- stop doing that!

Seriously, I hope that you find all this eases off quickly.
I have a backsaver-style chair that a friend gave me, and it's great, in that it supports me with my knees bent to take pressure off my back. So far, so good. If you like to read with your legs out, you might just put something under your knees so that they stay comfortably bent.

Feb 9, 2017, 6:17am Top

Thank you, Judy. I'm coping and doing the best I can. I'm about ready to call "uncle" and write to my primary care physician and ask for either advice, or an appointment.

Some reading: check. Attending to responsibilities to the community: check, as best I can. Working to facilitate our little "resistance" group: check (meeting today).

Now here for the stupid behavior: I did do a little light furniture rearranging yesterday, I'm trying really hard to get my little tiny apartment organized to support what it is that I do here. I'm not trying to imitate magazine pictures of cool NYC apartments, no matter how tempting.

I did do some back exercising yesterday, and the pain is lessening, but not yet gone gone gone

Reading: The New Yorker magazine, the New York Times newspaper, Alexander Hamilton, Destiny of the Republic, TOPS News magazine, and my daily stroll through Facebook, emails, and Library Thing. So, yes, I'm doing some reading, although not as much as I would like.

Feb 9, 2017, 6:44pm Top

>128 maggie1944: Since I live in a supposedly cool NYC apartment, I must tell you it's not all that cool (the decor, I mean), although by the window it is cold!

Feb 10, 2017, 4:22pm Top

Judy, don't you know none of us live in those magazine picture places. They look very inviting but who would put out meaningless "object d'arts" which aren't art, just objects. My flat surfaces are covered with pictures, and pretty things I've picked up through my stroll through life, and the general flotsam and jetsam of life... magazines, envelopes with bills sticking out, books with book marks in them (lots of these)....

any way, you know what I mean. I like the furniture arrangement I came up with, and am sitting now at a little desk for my computer with my drafting table right behind me so if I want to go all artsy, all I do is turn around.

Feb 11, 2017, 3:01pm Top

>130 maggie1944: Drafting table. Sigh. I once had a really old wooden drafting table that I scrounged from one of my father's offices, just because I thought it looked wonderful, and I could read the newspaper on it. Eventually I gave it away, but I miss it years later.

Feb 12, 2017, 8:17am Top

Ah, that is a great message to read, Judy. This "down sizing" is a tricky deal. There are "land mines" of choices to let things go, and then face the fact that afterwards there may be regret.

I do love my drafting table, and it allows me to do a lot standing up, which I hear is good for us.

Thanks, for stopping by, and reminding me to take care with what I send out.

Feb 12, 2017, 11:15am Top

Just stopping by to say hello, Karen. I also had a drafting table way back when; I'm not even sure where I got it from. It folded up, and traveled around the country with me for a while when I lived in various places. Like Judy, I miss it.

Feb 12, 2017, 12:05pm Top

Hello, back to you Joe. I've been seeing your time in New Orleans. Looks like a great good time! Congratulations on hitting the retirement road!

Feb 12, 2017, 12:49pm Top

Thanks, Joe. Congrats on beginning retirement with a great trip, good food, and excellent good times!

Feb 13, 2017, 12:19pm Top

My husband got a drafting table when he was in architecture school 40+ years ago. Now it's in my studio, and I use it for cutting fabric, ironing and many other things.

I hope you are feeling better Karen. I love that you are so politically active, and your "village" sounds like a great place to live.

Feb 13, 2017, 2:50pm Top

I know some people who "move around" with audiobooks..... as long as it doesn't bring you in dangerous situations getting distracted it might be an idea.
Always wanted to join a face-to-face bookclub, and just did, the "Classic Reads" in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, with The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein as first book.

Feb 13, 2017, 5:29pm Top

I had one of those big old drafting tables. My dad got it for me when I was taking a drafting class and wanted to be an architect when I grew up. I was the only female and the sexism just in that high school class was so rampant that I nearly failed they class and decided that it just wasn't for me.

Karen, how are you feeling? Did you go to see the doctor?

Feb 14, 2017, 6:04am Top

My daughter just got one of those desks that you can change from sitting height to standing height and she is thrilled!! Karen--Hope your back continues to improve.

Feb 14, 2017, 7:38am Top

Hi, Hans! Glad to have you join in the fray! I've tried audio books, and have a whole pile of them sitting in my Kindle; however, I made the mistake of listening as I fall to sleep in bed, at night, and now whenever I tune in to an audio book I'm very likely to start to nod off. Sometimes if the book is really compelling I can keep focus, but certainly not when I'm doing anything else, like walking even. As I age I am more and more impressed how little I can handle doing two things at once.

Morphy, I do feel sorry you experienced those attitudes and that is dissuaded you from doing what you were interested in doing. I think architecture is so unique in that it combines rigorous logical reasoning along with some ample opportunity for creativity.

Yes, I did go see the doctor. She gave me a referral to PT and I'll have my first appointment on Thursday. Then she assured me that what ever exercises PT and I settle on are ones which I need to do for the rest of my life if I want to avoid future sciatic incidents. I also saw on the news this morning that the medical establishment is advertising using heat and exercise before using prescriptions for lower back pain. I think exercising has been a big help. I'm on the floor at least twice a day. I expect I will survive but I admit I've been very hard to live with during this episode. Cranky am I.

Hi, Kim, thanks for your good wishes. It is improving slowly but surely and I'm grateful that I'm retired and can interrupt regular schedules to do what I need to do. I think today I'll be sure to squeeze in a trip to the hot tub! Tough duty, eh? I'm glad you daughter is enjoying her new desk. I've heard it said that "sitting is the new smoking" - a big contribution to less than good health. Too bad for us reader types. I'll see if I can schedule myself a trip to the Relax the Back store.

Feb 14, 2017, 9:54am Top

Hi Karen!

I'm glad to hear that your back is improving, even if slowly. I hope the PT helps. I've had back problems for 42 years, ever since I was rear-ended when I was 21. I was going to a chiropractor for a while with a deep-tissue massage either just before or just after the adjustment. I've stopped going to the chiropractor, but have found that for me, deep-tissue massage once a month has been helping with my back problems.

Feb 14, 2017, 12:24pm Top

>140 maggie1944: Be sure to let us know how PT goes. This is one instance where the personality mix is extremely important. If the PT and patient don't connect, some real damage can be done. But if they do connect, magic! (Or in between, of course.)

Or have you had PT before and I'm trying to teach grandma to suck eggs? LOL.

I have to admire women who are in male dominated fields like science, math, and architecture. The crap they must put up with must be unbelievable. I couldn't make it through one class.* They are not only making in through years and decades, they are succeeding brilliantly.

*But then I'm conflict avoidant. An argument starts or someone insults me and I shut down. I lose the ability to even speak at times. Or I just start crying which carries the same result. So as I say, I really admire those women.

Feb 14, 2017, 1:17pm Top

KarenMarie, you reminded me I did get the name of an acupuncturist and I need to try to call them. I love massage but find that I need a person who really knows their stuff, and the usual run-of-the-mill is not good enough, regardless of how much I pay. Bah! Humbug!

Morphy, you and I are polar opposites when it comes to conflict. Something pops up and I'm ready to go, unless I'm smart enough to catch myself. I've learned that jumping into the me/you back and forth is really very useless, and sometimes a tad dangerous. So, I usually can talk myself down, and out of the area quickly.

As for the PT, yes I've done it before for both hips, and then this last foot surgery. Also, had the sciatica before and did the PT that time and it worked very well. So, I'm good for it. But this time the Doctor said "do it for the rest of your life". Well, that might be daunting, but I'll give it a good go!

Feb 14, 2017, 6:10pm Top

Well, I'm glad you went to the doc and I hope the exercises you get from the PT are helpful.

I have a sit-stand desk at work and I love it, but I have to be careful to increase the amount of time spent standing gradually -- overdoing it can lead to alternative problems!

I'm on my second day at home sick and I'm not sure there won't be a third. This is a nasty bug that has set up housekeeping in my system.

Hoping for improvement in the back and knee for you....

Feb 14, 2017, 6:24pm Top

oh, get well soon, Ellen! Thanks for your good wishes for me; and so, turn around is fair play: Good Wishes Back At You, X2!

Feb 15, 2017, 6:43pm Top

Maggie--I am loving your travel flexibility for meet-ups!! Can't wait to see you.

Feb 15, 2017, 7:52pm Top

Nice to hear! I like seeing LT buddies, too!

Feb 18, 2017, 7:50am Top

Well, I am shocked and disappointed to note that I've just finished my first 2017 completion. A month and a half into a new year I am just now finishing a book. Oh, my! Well. I'll just have to carry on reading what I can, when I can, and let you all in on my progress.

Books Finished in 2017

1. Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard. This is a well written, well researched, account of a very sad moment in the history of USA. James A. Garfield is not often remembered probably because his time in the Presidency was remarkably short. I was delighted to read of what a remarkable man he was, and in the end he suffered greatly for his country. He was shot by a mad man who was disappointed because he did not get a job from Garfield. Garfield's tragedy became the stimulus to a beginning of the civil service in federal government. Today, because of him and his sad story, most of the people working for the federal government are protected from politicians; only a few people come and go with each change of President, most stay on doing their work to the best of the ability and preparation.

Also, important in this story is the progress of science. Garfield's suffering was made greater by the ignorance and stubborn traditionalism of the physicians who treated him. They were convinced that the newest ideas coming from Europe regarding infection, and the need to guard a wound from infection by being clean, were wrong headed. They unintentionally infected Garfield with their methods and he suffered greatly. After his death, and the evidence of the infections which riddled his body, the American medical institution had to be more open minded to the newest developments in medicine.

Also, a parallel story was Alexander Graham Bell's dedication to finding a way to find a bullet in Garfield's body is accounted. It was a remarkable time in American history when science was moving the country into an interesting future, where we all live today with telephones, x-rays, antiseptics, and long comfortable lives.

Millard does an excellent job of writing history in a way which allows the reader to fully enjoy the humans in the story, to care about them, to be impressed by them, and in the end to remember them. James Garfield, his wife, his family and his times have a new place in my appreciation of American history.

Feb 18, 2017, 8:31am Top

>149 witchyrichy: Destiny of the Republic sounds fascinating!

Mostly stopping by to say hello...been away from LT due to work and travel but finally a quiet Saturday morning to get caught up.

Hope your back is better. I feel better when I can get onto the yoga mat every day.

Feb 18, 2017, 11:25am Top

Hi, Karen. Nice to see you have stopped by to say hello. I'm glad you have a quiet morning for catching up. I know what it feels like to feel the need to just catch a breath in a busy life!

I am in process of developing that habit of getting onto the yoga mat every morning. I just was able to get through three exercises while listening to AM Joy on MSNBC and this white guy was on to have a dialog with Joy, and two Latina women, well known, well qualified media members. The women would ask a question and he would begin to talk without taking a breath, it seemed, not answering their question but pivoting to what he wanted to bring up about he subject. Never have I seen a clearer demonstration of "white privilege". OMG, this man thought he could duck the questions of three women by just bowling them over with his words, never once allowing them a follow-up comment or question. Made me get right up off the floor.

Whew! Politics. I do love it. And I do love reading history. But there are moments these days when I just have to walk away!

Next, I am picking up Alexander Hamilton. I have no hope of finishing the book before my f2f book group gets together this coming Tuesday. I put it down because I found it to be too daunting, but it is a good book, and I guess I'll just get as much of it read as I can. I do enjoy my book group friends, and I know they'll forgive me for having been so lacking in commitment.

Feb 18, 2017, 11:49am Top

I hope your back is feeling better!

I had to go to the chiro yesterday and get mine re-aligned. It feels so much better today. No more sixty pound bags of dog food from Costco for me, I guess. I'm going to do a three day try out at a local gym. I plan on taking both a senior exercise class and a gentle yoga class during the three days.

You may not be reading a great quantity, but the quality is impressive.

Have a great one.

Edited: Feb 18, 2017, 8:43pm Top

>150 maggie1944: Maybe some relaxing music instead of politics ;-)

Do Yoga With Me is a great free website and they have a sciatica practice that I have found very helpful.

Feb 19, 2017, 8:13am Top

Janet, yes! the back is better, but sadly not totally without discomfort. I woke up this morning feeling like I did something wrong by sleeping. Putting some ice on it this morning while drinking coffee seems to help. Thanks for your comment regarding "quality" of reading. I found I've completely lost the ability to be interested in the books I like to call "super market books". Those are the few which are next to the cash register for impulsive buyers, usually some versions of romance or adventure. I picked up The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin - not that I don't have multiple books with a book mark in them, signaling me that I've started them, but not finished. I think sometime today I'll search the book shelves and put all the "started" books on one shelf.

Karen, yes, sometimes I have put that on, but then I get curious about what's happening and go back to the politics channels. Thanks for the suggestion on the website, sounds very interesting.

Edited: Feb 19, 2017, 8:14am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Feb 19, 2017, 1:16pm Top

I laughed when I read this. I can't seem to keep my mouth shut. When I hear something I think is wrong I speak up. That causes no end of problems. Both for me and for the person on the receiving end.

Feb 19, 2017, 1:20pm Top

About twenty years ago I started doing yoga three times a week. The reason I started was that my back hurt just getting out of bed in the morning. I figured I was to young to have that happen to me and I knew that exercise, while effective, was a long-term solution. It worked! It took several years for it to really become part of my life, but it kept me pain free for many years.

In the last four years things changed for me at work, and I was unable to keep to that religious three times a week schedule. That has proved to be a mistake. My back hurts all the time now. I have even started having trouble with my neck. I keep trying to get back to yoga but the traffic problems on campus make it difficult for me to get to the classes. However, this semester I am really really trying to make them, and I don't want to be thinking about my aching back when I have other things to think about.

Feb 19, 2017, 4:00pm Top

Benita, if you can't always get to the class you can find a book which parallels what you are being taught and practice at home, any time. That's my approach to the Tai Chi. I've not felt up to going to class for three weeks but I have a CD, I promise you I will watch it sometime today and practice. And then practice every day next week until it is time for class.

Thanks for stopping by. The environment here at Silver Glen is avoidance of any conflicts so we can live happily and peacefully together. So, I do try to avoid arguments. Sometimes the best thing to do is avoid certain people.

I've been reading The Aviator's Wife and frankly it reminds me way too much of romance novels. I don't know if I'm going to keep it up, or shall I take it to Half Price Books and sell it?

Feb 23, 2017, 11:29am Top

Books Finished in 2017

1. Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard.
2. The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin

A historical novel based on good research which made it quite believable. Anne Morrow Lindbergh was married to Charles Lindbergh, famous pioneer pilot who flew over the Atlantic Ocean, solo, for the first time. The Lindberghs also were famous due to their first born child being kidnapped, and murdered. The novelist wrote from the wife's POV making the descriptions of the couple's life very poignant. At first, I reacted to the novel as if it was a romance novel written for young adults but I learned later that it read that way because in her early life Anne Morrow Lindbergh was a romantic young woman, an ambassador's daughter. As the novel progressed it did become more sophisticated and complex, as did her life. In the end I was very glad to have read the book and I do recommend it, especially for small book groups who enjoy talking about women's lives.

Feb 24, 2017, 8:22pm Top

Looking forward to seeing you at the Great Portland LT Meetup in a few weeks!

Feb 24, 2017, 10:28pm Top


Feb 26, 2017, 10:01am Top

Just a fly by to wish you a lovely Sunday dear lady. xx

Feb 26, 2017, 10:10am Top

Paul, how nice to see you stopped by to say hello. I am afraid my reading habits are changing rather radically, and I've recently decided to sell most of my library of unread books. I just do not have the inclination nor the ability to read the great quantities I used to do. So as a consequence I also spend much less time reading and posting here in the 75ers group, and in LT in general.

I'm not leaving, just repeating a bit.

Feb 26, 2017, 6:29pm Top

I spent two hours today booking a trip to Berlin for spring break. I will only get to spend a week there, but it will be a grand opportunity to see friends I haven't seen in 10 years. I still need to do my taxes, but I want to watch the lovely dress parade on TV tonight, and do some knitting while doing so. At least I have one exciting trip planned for before my retirement.

Feb 27, 2017, 8:41pm Top

Hope your back is better and the yoga is progressing.

I'm wondering if you appreciate your reading more as you read less? I don't always read as deeply as I should, I think, as I finish book after book.

Your community sounds wonderful!

Feb 28, 2017, 4:14am Top

Hi, Karen. Thanks for stopping by.

The back is getting better, I'm using physical therapy exercises, some pain meds, and recently have added in some acupuncture. Before the whole back thing came up I'd started taking classes in Tai Chi which is also an "eastern" practice but is quite unlike yoga. It is a martial art but is not taught from a fighting perspective. It is a standing practice which focuses on balance and ability to move smoothly and naturally. it is delightful, and as I've learned the moves I find that the learning is more muscle learning than it is intellectual learning.

The Tai Chi does not place any stress on my back, and if I get tired early, I can leave early.

The acupuncture practitioner is trained in both Western medicine and Chinese medicine. She provides me advice which treats me as a whole person, not just focused on my back. So we've talked about my restless sleep which seems to be related to chronic nasal congestion and she suggested some nasal spray and a humidifier in my bedroom. I'm thinking that if I sleep more restfully, my back will heal more fully. It is all in one body.

I think of the whole deal as "my job" in the process of aging. I want to age as gracefully and as comfortably as I can, so I'm willing to have diet, exercise, and balance between action and rest, all be a part of the "deal".

I know you didn't ask for all that information, but I guess it was in my thinking and it spilled out on to my computer screen.

Reading - I just don't do it for hours at a time any longer. I find it is hard to find time to pick up the books, and harder to stick to reading when other stuff keeps creeping into my attention. It is kind of like walking into the kitchen and forgetting I went in for an apple, I get busy with washing dishes.

Oh, well, it is an interesting life, trying to figure out adjustments to a new life. Older body, busy community, a needy dog, and volunteered obligations to being a Board member, and a good neighbor; and, of course, keeping up with my family who are not as near to me as I'm used to having them be.

I finished reading a book today! Our public library has a mobile van which stops by once a month. I'd placed some books on hold and they deliver them to me, and the rest of the reading public who live here.

Books Finished in 2017

1. Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard.
2. The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin
3. Snow White: A Graphic Novel by Matt Phelan is a lovely retelling of the Snow White fairy tale, including the 7 "dwarfs" who are street kids in a 1930s urban setting. The art is very evocative, and provides a lovely way to "read" the story with minimal words. The characters are all there: Snow White, a child and young woman; her father and mother; and later a step-mother who conflicts with Snow White after her father dies. She ends up "on the street" where street kids are her companions.

I think I will be looking for more works by Matt Phelan.

Feb 28, 2017, 12:48pm Top

Hi, Karen.

I'm glad your back is doing better. Good for you for taking the whole body approach. I love the look of folks doing tai chi. I took kung fu way back when, which in some ways is a sped-up, combative version of tai chi. I like the rounder movements better than martial arts like karate.

Thanks for the comments on Snow White: A Graphic Novel. I'll take a look at it. How lucky you are to have the bookmobile deliver your holds. I'd love that.

Feb 28, 2017, 7:38pm Top

Hi, Joe. Thanks for coming by to see if I'm still kicking. I'm sorry I've not been able to keep up with your threads. So much to do, so little time!

I think you'll like Snow White: A Graphic Novel!

Mar 1, 2017, 9:29am Top

Hi Karen!

It's interesting how your focus has shifted recently and your recognizing and embracing it. Good for you. Aging gracefully is my goal, too.

My doctor told me that I should doing Tai Chi. The local senior center (sob! senior center !?!!) has classes, but until I get things more resolved with my mom's estate (trips to CA), I might just read and start from a book I picked up recently - Simply Tai Chi by Graham Bryant and Lorraine James.

Mar 1, 2017, 9:54am Top

Karen, I hope you are able to find some good suggestions to prepare for learning Tai Chi in person. I've found it very helpful to be with others to model my moves. I think some generally warm up moves and some walking with consciousness can be good, too.

Thanks for stopping by and keeping up with me, on my slow walking.

Mar 2, 2017, 6:49pm Top

>165 maggie1944: I understand your new 'job', as it's mine too. And I've discovered I'm not very good at establishing good work habits, alas. I'll do something new for a while and find it helpful, and then it's as if my internal kid says "ok, enough of that; BOOOORING" and I stop. But seeing other people in my family and Jim's family is inspiring, as the negative examples predominate. We always come away from a visit saying "I don't want to be like .... when I'm older".

Mar 2, 2017, 7:32pm Top

Judy, yes, I too have those "I don't want to do it that way" moments; and luckily, there are folks here who are doing their aging so gracefully. It is inspiring. Just about everyone one has aches and pains and limps and lurches but still folks dress up a little bit for dinner in the dining room, they smile and say they are fine when we pass in the hallways, and generally are not overly involved in complaints. We are, after all is said, and thought, incredibly lucky.

We had a city council member here last evening sharing some news about developments around us, in this neighborhood. A great deal of housing is being built, and our sort of "out in the woods" environment is disappearing. But she also was able to say to us: "do you know how lucky you are?" She has her father here and also another member of her family so she knows exactly what having this Cooperative here, means. Affordable housing for people over 55 years old in the midst of high employment, tech companies developing before our eyes, and lots of development. Wow!

Mar 3, 2017, 8:47pm Top

>168 karenmarie: I'm looking forward to being able to take classes at our local senior center, as of this summer (I turn 50). They have better classes (more interesting ones) than the adult school, and for cheaper. My mom's been going a while, and occasionally she sneaks me in. I haven't tried Tai Chi, though I've done various forms of yoga (and karate, in college...that was a while ago!).

Mar 4, 2017, 8:52am Top

Jennifer, I enjoy being free to take classes, too, in my retirement! I also enjoy just sitting and reading!

Mar 4, 2017, 5:57pm Top

Karen--delurking to say Hello! Hope your back cooperates and after your slow start reading, you have definitely picked up steam!!

>159 arubabookwoman: >160 maggie1944: Can't wait to see you both in person. : )

Mar 4, 2017, 10:57pm Top

Books Finished in 2017

1. Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard.
2. The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin
3. Snow White: A Graphic Novel by Matt Phelan is a lovely retelling of the Snow White fairy tale, including the 7 "dwarfs" who are street kids in a 1930s urban setting. The art is very evocative, and provides a lovely way to "read" the story with minimal words. The characters are all there: Snow White, a child and young woman; her father and mother; and later a step-mother who conflicts with Snow White after her father dies. She ends up "on the street" where street kids are her companions.
4. Local by Brian Wood

I did not get this book. The art work was remarkable. The illustrator definitely caught gestures and postures and scenes from cities with great talent and execution! But the reason for the book, well, I did not understand. If you think you might be interested I recommend you go get a copy, and sit down for a minute or two before buying it, and decide after you have flipped through some pages. Bottom line for me: I'm glad I read it because it was recommended by people who's opinions I value, but I am not glad I read it for the joy of reading. I did not have any joy of reading in this book. Just me.

Mar 6, 2017, 7:16pm Top

Ah, too bad about Local, Karen. As you know, it's a favorite of mine. I wish it had been a better experience for you. This five minute video review by someone else might help you understand its purpose - it's all about Megan. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhfGshOZs2o

Mar 6, 2017, 7:48pm Top

Hello, Karen!

Mar 6, 2017, 8:28pm Top

Hi Joe and Stacia! Thanks for the link, Joe.

Mar 7, 2017, 6:49pm Top

I am reading Berlin Now by Peter Schneider in preparation for my trip to Berlin. I am learning much about the city in the last twenty years, and some of the essay's are hilarious. I found the title listed in Rick Steves web site. I was amazed at his list of suggested books and movies to watch about Germany. I was impressed that he stresses the fact that people should do some learning about the place before they visit. In my case I am cutting it close as I will be leaving the upcoming Monday for Berlin and will be there one week. At least I know what I will be reading on the plane.

Mar 7, 2017, 7:57pm Top

Have a great trip Benita!

Mar 7, 2017, 9:21pm Top

Just swinging by to say hello!

Mar 8, 2017, 9:07am Top

Hello back to you, Morphy, with affection.

Mar 18, 2017, 1:08am Top

Just swinging by to say hello and to wish you and Greta a good weekend. I hope she is doing better.

I will listen to Alexander Hamilton during my drive to Portland. That will give me some momentum!

Mar 18, 2017, 10:45am Top

Hi, Ellen. Greta is much the same and I'm thinking a visit to our vet is due.

I visited your thread just now and summarized my reading progress.

I'm enjoying Maman, What are We Called Now?, reading The New Yorker magazine, and the New York Times. Still addicted to watching MSNBC and paying attention to what I can do to turn the tide of these awful politics.

Mar 21, 2017, 6:32pm Top

Hi, Karen. Sorry we didn't get to connect this weekend. I hope Greta does better soon.

Mar 21, 2017, 8:14pm Top

I am taking her to the vet tomorrow. She has lost 3 lbs in 3 months. Too much for such a small dog. At her very top weight she was 22 pounds, she's down to less than 17 now. Sad. I hope the Vet has some good ideas on what to do.

Mar 22, 2017, 12:50pm Top

Hugs for you and Greta Garbo. May the vet visit go well today.

Mar 22, 2017, 1:09pm Top

Thank you, Janet. I am definitely worried. She ate only about 4 bites of soft food this morning, and turned away and went back to bed.


Mar 22, 2017, 5:12pm Top

>188 maggie1944: I'm so sorry Greta is "off her feed." My hope is that the vet can find out what is wrong and that it's easily treatable. *hugs*

Mar 22, 2017, 7:50pm Top

Back from the vet. No definitive conclusion. Took a little blood, and a little urine, and will tell me when they get results. Gave me some Appetite Stimulation meds, and I have Greta her first dose in some fried eggs. MMMMMM she loved that. Then I gave her little more dog food mixed in with egg, and that works too. I'm going to feed her some more people foods mixed in the dog foods so she'll get the appropriate dog nutrients and have the people food be an enticement.

Mar 22, 2017, 8:04pm Top

>186 maggie1944: I do hope that the vet finds a way to improve the health of your little dog, Karen. xx

Mar 22, 2017, 11:11pm Top

Thanks both to Morphy, and to Paul. I appreciate all the good wishes I can collect.

She is doing better this evening as I've found that magic ingredient: eggs. Dogs do love the eggs!

We just came in from a bit of a walk and she was stepping' up. She stopped at the food dishes and had a bite or two of the kibbles I leave there all the time.

Mar 23, 2017, 12:11am Top

Oh, I so hope you've found the key to getting her interested in her food. Glad to hear that she was stepping up as she was stepping out.

Best to you both!

Mar 23, 2017, 10:45am Top

Eggs are healthy for dogs, Karen, good way to get Greta eating.
I hope she continues to improve.

Mar 23, 2017, 12:01pm Top

I hope Greta continues to feel better and that her appetite stays now that you've found the magic ingredient.

Mar 23, 2017, 3:09pm Top

What Anita and Jenny said, Karen. Sending positive thoughts for the vivacious Greta.

Mar 23, 2017, 9:31pm Top

OK. Eggs are good. Little sweet carrots are OK. The eating has improved. She ate almost a whole can of food today mixed with eggs, a few little kibbles, some carrot. She picked at it all day... must have walked over to the food station a dozen times to take a few bits at a time. Yay!

I really appreciate all you stopping by to cheer us on. The vet called and said neither blood nor urine was abnormal. Good news. Either she is just being extraordinarily picky (which is a real possibility), or there's something else going on. I'm going to keep trying what I'm trying plus the appetite stimulant the vet gave me. If it does not work then we'll look at doing an ultrasound to see if there's something going on inside. (we are not thinking about cancer) (I have a very good friend here who's son is fighting a most likely losing battle with some rare cancer, so I've been finding my eyes leaking occasionally. I just want to wrap my friend up in the biggest comforting hug possible. Her baby boy! (He's well and plenty grown up with a wife, and a 10 year old girl)). So sad.

I am reading still. What Are We Called Now is definitely a lovely book about a horrendous time, WWII in Paris. I recommend it highly!

Mar 24, 2017, 10:25am Top

I'm so glad to hear Greta is doing better.

Mar 24, 2017, 10:35am Top

I have been reading about Greta's eating issues and am glad that you've found eggs! I hope it was just a temporary digestive upset, although she'll probably always appreciate eggs. I have a friend who gives her little dogs the occasional green bean or carrot. And my MiL used to cook chicken, brown rice, and carrots for her darling Lulu.

I'm sorry about your friend's son and hope he can beat the odds.

Mar 24, 2017, 5:27pm Top

She has retreated a little as yesterday's banquet resulted in somewhat loose .... well, you know. She was shivering a little this morning after relieving herself. But she has had two small meal: dog food, egg, and carrots. She is on the mend I think but I'll have to baby her, that is clear.

Mar 26, 2017, 3:18am Top

>200 maggie1944: I reckon she just knows how to wrap you around her little paws, Karen.

Have a lovely weekend.

Mar 26, 2017, 8:53am Top

Paul, thank you so much. Yes, she's pretty good at that. She just crawled out of her bed... 3 hours after I'm awake and drinking coffee. We had a little walk, and relieved she went right back to bed. What a diva!

Mar 26, 2017, 2:43pm Top

Mostly stopped by to say hello after being out of touch for most of the month. But I need to leave a special wish for Greta. I'm glad she is feeling better.

Mar 27, 2017, 7:39am Top

Good Monday morning! I finished a book! I'm feeling odd over the fact that I just do not read as much as I used to do.

In any case, I finished reading a compelling, little book: Maman, What Are We Called Now by Jacqueline Mesnil-Amar. published first in 1957, only a bit over a decade after WWII ended. Mrs. Mesnil-Amar wrote a diary of the days in Paris between 1942-44 when the city seemed to hold collective breath awaiting the liberation from the Nazi occupation. Her diary is breath taking.

Books Finished in 2017

1. Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard.
2. The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin
3. Snow White: A Graphic Novel by Matt Phelan is a lovely retelling of the Snow White fairy tale, including the 7 "dwarfs" who are street kids in a 1930s urban setting. The art is very evocative, and provides a lovely way to "read" the story with minimal words. The characters are all there: Snow White, a child and young woman; her father and mother; and later a step-mother who conflicts with Snow White after her father dies. She ends up "on the street" where street kids are her companions.
4. Local by Brian Wood
5. Maman, What Are We Called Now by Jacqueline Mesnil-Amar

Mar 30, 2017, 11:44am Top

I am back at work after my grand adventure in Berlin. What a wonderful trip! I got to spend a week with a friend of mine from Tuscaloosa and we were joined during that time by other friends from the University.

Years ago, we had a lunch bunch who met everyday for lunch together. There were two Germans in the group. One was a chemist and one and engineer. (Go figure!) My chemist friend was a great traveling companion when he was here in the U. S. and when he moved back to Berlin in 2013 I missed him. He is retiring now, and so it was a good time to visit. We were joined for a long weekend of touring the sites in Berlin by our engineer friend who returned to Germany in 2007. It was a fun time and meals were filled with talks about the current world situation and our lives. Both guys said that they were glad they had left the U. S. as it is a different country now than it was when then came in the 1990's. I have to say that Germany looks like a great place to retire to. At least for a few years.

Mar 30, 2017, 12:42pm Top

Have you tried some plain rice and chicken for Greta? It always worked wonders for our dogs, both in settling their tummies and keeping them interested in food.

Mar 30, 2017, 2:20pm Top

Glad to hear Greta seems to be feeling better. I was sorry we didn't get to enjoy your presence at the last meet-up, but I am sure there will be another one.

Edited: Mar 30, 2017, 4:05pm Top

Benita, I'm jealous. Your trip sounded like great good fun!

Jenny and Kim, good news! Greta is eating much better. Even has eaten some of the canned food, no grains included, without my having to bribe her with added scrambled eggs. And when it is gone, she dives into the kibbles (for dogs with food sensitivities). She has, I'm sure, started putting some weight back on! Hooray! and she is acting much more happy.

I think we have survived the crisis.

Now, I need to find time to read. Just spent about 4 hours straight through on a Board meeting, with a Town Hall discussion following. We are adopting new Bylaws, so as you can guess there were some long discussions. Sigh.

Mar 30, 2017, 4:07pm Top

Go, Greta! That's great news, Karen.

Ugh, Board meeting, Town Hall discussion, new By-Laws. I know whereof you speak. Treat yourself - you deserve it.

Mar 30, 2017, 6:34pm Top

Thanks, Joe. You are absolutely right. Tonight, I'm the "hostess" at dinner which means I help herd people to their appropriate tables at the right time, for which I gain a dinner for free!

I think I can feel treated by just living here! It is work, yes, but fun work. And it is not a full time job. Lots of hanging out time allowed. And swimming. Tomorrow morning I think I'll go swim.

Mar 31, 2017, 11:13pm Top

>208 maggie1944: Yay! That is great news. Phew.

Bylaw discussion...blech. ; )

Apr 5, 2017, 7:44pm Top

Sorry to hear that Greta is not doing well. I hope that you are doing better than she.

Apr 5, 2017, 10:17pm Top

Hi, Benita. She is on her way to the vet tomorrow for an ultrasound. She has been getting rid of whatever she eats out both ends. She just seems to be able to eat small bits at a time. I don't think that is a good sign. Hopefully, the ultrasound tomorrow will tell us something.

I am OK, although a bit depressed over my puppy's not doing well. I really am not prepared for her to be really badly sick.

I'm reading The Outlaw Trail: The Story of Butch Cassidy and the "Wild Bunch" - published first in the 1930s and based on the author's interviewing some "old timers" who knew some good stories. Very believable but also written in a very dry, workman style. I am enjoying it, and it reminds me of the old "western" TV shows we watched in the 1950s when the "old west" was not so long ago. Hop-A-Long Cassidy. The Lone Ranger. Sky King.

I hope you are well, and happy, too!

Apr 6, 2017, 7:33pm Top

So sad, just now. Took Greta back to the vet for a ultrasound and they are pretty sure they've found stomach cancer. Lymph nodes, stomach, and maybe the spleen are involved.

Any one had any experience with cancer in a dog? I'm thinking chemotherapy would be mostly therapy for the human, not so much the dog. Likely to make her feel more miserable in the days she has left. Any thoughts from my very well educated and caring friends here on LT?

Apr 6, 2017, 7:42pm Top

So sorry to hear the news. I haven't had a dog of my own for many years. I know my brother kept his yellow lab as long as the dog was relatively comfortable, but I don't think he did chemo. And your assessment is probably right. Did the vet think it would facilitate a cure? Or just delay things? Chemo isn't kind to any of us, of course.

Apr 6, 2017, 8:23pm Top

I believe chemo in dogs is, in fact, far better tolerated than in humans (so says my friend who is a vet, and another who is a vet nurse). I believe it is because they do not give it in doses intended to 'cure' the cancer, but more as a way of controlling or subduing it, so that the symptoms the dog experiences are a lot less. There aren't usually any of the horrendous symptoms that are involved with humans.

I've known a few people do chemo with dogs, in order to improve their quality of life and give them time to enjoy things, have cuddles, say goodbye etc. Then, when the bad symptoms start showing up again, it's a fairly simple (though, of course, heartbreaking) decision in terms of when to let go.

I think (though I could be very wrong) that chemo is usually given in conjunction with high dose steroids that often give the dog a spring in their step for....well, it can vary dramatically in timelines. We gave our dog steroids for a month I think, when she was diagnosed with an array of tiny tumours in her lungs, and she was the life and soul for that month, until one day they stopped working and we knew it was time.

I really hope that you and the vets can work out a treatment program to enable you a little more time with her, comfortable and happy, but of course it sometimes isn't meant to be. Losing a pet is so hard.

Apr 6, 2017, 11:44pm Top

Hugs for you,Karen. And scritches for Ms. Garbo.

I am so, so, sorry.

Apr 7, 2017, 3:53am Top

Today, and this may change, but I just don't think I can stand it. Greta is very much not herself already. She sleeps a great deal, and when I sit down next to her she leans in to me. She was such a dignified and sweet, loving everybody, dog. And I just don't think I see that in her now. I think she is suffering a bit and I do not want that for her.

Apr 7, 2017, 8:38am Top

So sorry that Greta's not doing well.

Apr 7, 2017, 8:46am Top

I can understand your feelings. It is such a hard decision to make but if she is suffering and clearly not comfortable, the best could well be to let her go. It's so difficult though. Thinking of you and Greta.

Apr 7, 2017, 9:21am Top

Sending strength and comfort.

Apr 7, 2017, 9:28am Top

I haven't sensible advice to offer, Karen, just love and prayers and best wishes. xx

Apr 7, 2017, 11:09am Top

>214 maggie1944: DARN!!! I'm so sorry, Karen. I know you love that little girl.

I have not had experience with cancer in a dog but many years ago I had a friend who had a cat who developed cancer. She did treatments and it worked for a while. Kind of like with humans, you have to weigh the costs against the potential benefits. I will say that our friend took it further than I would have done. I felt like she was keeping the dear sweet cat alive to postpone her own grief, past when I thought it was time to let the kitty go. But these are decisions we each have to individually make. When I lost my beloved Edgar, I was willing to do treatment as long as there was hope and as long as he was not in pain. When both of those ran out, which happened in less than a week after he got sick, I knew I needed to let him go. You know how heartbroken I was. And it comes with the territory of love.

Karen, let me know if you need anything. I can come over, I can help, I can be there if you need companionship or someone to visit with Greta, whatever.


Apr 7, 2017, 11:10am Top

>218 maggie1944: (((((Greta))))) and (((((Karen)))))

Apr 7, 2017, 11:42am Top

>214 maggie1944: Very sorry to hear this. We went through this unfortunately.

Apr 7, 2017, 11:45am Top

So sorry about Greta, Karen, hugs for you both.

As I understand it, dogs don't have the nasty side effects with chemo. It can add some quality time to their life, but it is a lot of money.

Apr 7, 2017, 1:49pm Top

Lots of hugs, Karen. So sorry to hear about poor Greta. I can't add anything on the chemo, unfortunately. How hard to have your dear furry friend in this situation.

Apr 9, 2017, 12:16am Top

Just checking to see if you'd posted anything. Thinking about you and Greta.

Apr 9, 2017, 7:44am Top

Update: I talked with the animal doctor yesterday (Saturday) and she said that really the cancer had spread pretty much throughout Greta's little body and most likely she is not going to be feel well for much longer. Dr. said she did not have experience with this degree of disease and could only guess. Her guess was a couple of weeks, and truth be told, Greta did not act as if she felt very well yesterday. After a little "forced" water intake with a large syringe, and some food she perked up and went on a long walk with me. But she home and next to me on the sofa, she leans into me for support.

I'm going to take her to my niece's place today so the little kids can see her and say goodbye. I know when I was a kid and my mother just did not consider my feelings when pets had to "leave", it really really made me angry and sad.

The youngest, Jocelyn, has known Greta Garbo from the first day she arrived to stay with me when her mom went to work. When she was on the floor, Greta was there. When she crawled, Greta was there to encourage her. When she learned to walk, she had Greta by her side. Good memories, and some excellent photographs, Thank You, Greta!

Depending on how the dog acts I may take her for her last trip sometime next week. So sad.

Apr 9, 2017, 6:11pm Top

Karen, I am so sorry but it sounds like you are processing it all, and as heartbroken as I know you are, I love the image of her sitting next to you on the couch, leaning on you for both physical support and the warmth that comes with you being her person.

I'm also glad you're taking her so the kids can say goodbye. It's so important.

Consider yourself hugged.

Edited: Apr 30, 2017, 7:53am Top

Thank you. I do consider myself hugged. The kids and their Dad came here, from the church they attend which is about 1/2 the way here from their house. Saved me a trip up there.

Both youngsters are very sad, and were glad to say good bye. We were able to go on a little walk. The Dad, and the oldest, were willing conversationalists, and Jocelyn sat at my desk and drew me some pictures. She thinks of herself as an artist, and musician. Logan chattered as usual, and was moved to tears more than any of us. He gave me many hugs and kept saying "i'm so sad". Sweet kids! The older boy is now with a Learners Permit and drives! He also borrowed a WWII book from me: Why The Allies Won. He is in high school and quite the historian! He is after my heart! (Me - U.S. History major, Political Science and Sociology for Minors)

Apr 9, 2017, 6:30pm Top

It sounds like a sweet visit, Karen. I'm glad they stopped by.

Apr 9, 2017, 6:31pm Top


Apr 10, 2017, 5:08pm Top

RIP, Greta Garbo, 4/10/17 at 11:45 am. Good bye, sweet puppy.

Apr 10, 2017, 5:35pm Top

I'm so sorry, Karen. I know she took a piece of your heart with her.

Apr 10, 2017, 5:46pm Top

I'm so so sorry Karen :(

Apr 10, 2017, 5:47pm Top

Hugs and condolences, Karen. xx

Apr 10, 2017, 6:53pm Top

Janet, you are so right, she did grab a piece of my heart as she faded away. I really loved that dog.

Thanks for stopping by everyone. I appreciate your warm comforting thoughts.

Apr 10, 2017, 7:04pm Top

Karen, I am so sorry. Sending hugs to you.

Edited: Apr 10, 2017, 8:01pm Top

I am sorry for your loss, Karen.

Apr 10, 2017, 8:38pm Top

Karen, I am so sorry for your loss. When our sheltie Simon was transitioned it felt like a kick in the stomach. I am thinking of you. Even though you know you did the right thing, still, it hurts. Much Love

Apr 10, 2017, 10:18pm Top

Again, I am very grateful for all my friends here, all who understand the pain of letting go of a beloved pet. She was a very special dog, and I will miss her forever. But I could not be selfish and hang on to her when she felt so rotten. She is free of that now.

Apr 11, 2017, 5:51am Top

Vale Greta, hugs to you Karen.

Apr 11, 2017, 10:10am Top

Karen, my friend, I am SO sorry. I read your RIP post and tears immediately popped into my eyes. Rest in peace, indeed, sweet and beloved puppy.
Holding you firmly in my thoughts, Karen.

Apr 11, 2017, 1:59pm Top

Karen, so sorry. Our bond with our dogs is precious and marvelous. I've lost three dogs in my lifetime, and they each left a big hole in my heart. {{{{{hugs}}}}

Apr 11, 2017, 4:38pm Top

Anita, Ellen and Judy, each day is a little less full of grief and sadness. Silver Glen is filled with good and caring people, I've had hugs, cards, and many a sweet condolence. I have been scrolling through all my photographs, and have been printing some of my favorites, and have been talking to her.

I also (shhhh) have been scrolling through the pet rescue sites....

I should probably just go finish reading the book on outlaws in the old west.

Thanks for stopping by and letting me know you are thinking of us, and that you care.

Apr 11, 2017, 6:02pm Top

My sympathy re sweet Greta, Karen. I'm glad you're in such a good, supportive community.

Apr 11, 2017, 6:49pm Top

Thinking of you today, as you begin to figure out life without Greta. I'm glad you have so many happy memories, and such good support around you.

Apr 11, 2017, 6:54pm Top

Joe, and Jenny, thanks for your kind words. I'm adjusting. Spent a bit of today just walking about as I do every day, except this time I did not have a leash. I also am back at the rescue sites. I'm think it is pretty obvious I will be getting another dog.

Apr 12, 2017, 12:29am Top

My copy of The Outlaw Trail arrived (finally!) today. I read a bit on the train and will read bits and pieces in the next week or so. I don't think I'll finish it before we meet but I will have finished some of it!

Still sending you hugs and glad you are surrounded by good caring people.

Apr 12, 2017, 12:39am Top

>249 maggie1944: Karen--I am so sorry about losing sweet Greta. Sending lots of hugs.

Apr 12, 2017, 8:10am Top

Ellen, I think I can say the same about finishing the book.

Kim, thank you. I am beginning my second full day without that sweet pup in my life, and I still feel the "hole" in my life. Last evening, after a late afternoon meeting, I walked into my apartment and was hit, almost viscerally, by the quiet emptiness of the place. No little tail wagging to welcome me home. Sheeeesh!

It is going to be a while before I feel normal again. Maybe until I find a new pup to share my space.

Apr 12, 2017, 5:25pm Top

Hi Karen!

It's funny how some people want and need a new dog right away, like you and my in-laws, and others need to wait months or even years.

I'm glad you're thinking about a new pup not to fill the place Greta has in your heart, but to open up a new one. Good luck!

Apr 12, 2017, 7:19pm Top

I am sorry for you. I know what it is like to have to make that decision and it is very hard. Peace.

Apr 12, 2017, 9:22pm Top

Thank you, Karen, and Benita.

It is funny.... went to do some actual shopping for a "replacement" dog. Saw a sad boy who had lost his "dad" to death, and who is now hanging out at a shelter, and I saw him perk up when he heard a man's voice in the hallway. The dog was not interested in treats, much, nor toys, at all. I decided to pass on him although he did pull on my heart strings. So, too, did the little terrier mix who is recovering from puppies. She might be in the running for moving in with me. I need to wait until they do a complete health check. And then there is the little, tiny ShitzTsu boy who was too scared to even move. Poor baby.

The shelter is a "high end" shelter and the dogs have very nice accommodations and are given lots of love. I think the two scared dogs were just due to circumstances.


Apr 13, 2017, 3:44am Top

>255 maggie1944: Glad you are looking for a dog to fill the void, Karen. I totally understand, as we haven't been without one (or two or three) since 1982...
Some dogs need time to adapt to a new place, so how nice the shelter may be, they won't feel comfortable for some time.

Apr 13, 2017, 3:50am Top

I hope you can find the right fit for you, and I'm sure that whoever eventually gets to find their home with you will be over the moon. I find it almost impossible to go to a rescue place as I want to rescue them all :/.

Apr 13, 2017, 7:12am Top

Anita, yes, I'm pretty sure I'm going to find some good dog. The apartment is just too quiet and empty.

I know what you mean, Jenny. The small male who seems to be sad was hard to walk away from. But he looks like a nice dog, and affectionate, so I'm sure he'll find a good forever home.

Still reading the book about the outlaws. Wow! The wild west really was pretty darn wild. And it reminds me that in some parts of the west it still is a bit lawless. And empty.

Apr 13, 2017, 10:33pm Top

I'm glad you're checking out new possible canine companions. No one will ever replace Greta but you have much love to give and there are sweet pups who need homes. I keep seeing dogs on or near campus and feeling the pull toward having one. It won't happen yet, at least not until Abby is done filling our hearts with her presence, and then at least not until P retires, but I would love a dog companion.

Apr 13, 2017, 11:02pm Top

I'm so sorry about your loss of Greta. I know she was a big part of your life, and our pets are truly members of our families. Our little guy is 14, and so far seems healthy and full of life, but as with Greta these things can happen suddenly, and always before we're ready to let them go. I'm glad you've decided to give another puppy a good home!

Apr 14, 2017, 9:31am Top

Ah, Ellen, and Deborah, life has its unexpected gifts.

I found a site (Aberdeen Scottish Terrier Rescue) which was helping re-home three schnauzers from a California home where the owner recently died. I over looked these three, on the web site, because I imagined they would look for a home for all three together but no, they were advised by the rescue group in California that the pups could be separated. Asked me if I would be interested in one.

Yes! They have a female, named Gretchen, smaller size, 8 years old, coloring much like Greta's and I said yes. So they checked two references, and talked to my Veterinary office; I'm to expect a home visit today. I think this may very well work. It is very soon. A bit too early, but I think I can cope. And I am excited. I will never ever forget Greta Garbo, the best dog I have ever known, and I will use my memories of her to inspire me to be a good companion to this new girl who has lost her home, and needs someone to love her.

Stay tuned.

Apr 14, 2017, 12:24pm Top

To love a dog in need so soon after your heart has been broken is such a gift. RIP Greta and many hugs for you

Apr 14, 2017, 2:53pm Top

OK! the rescue people have talked with references, and today did a "home inspection"; and I received an email saying it is all a "go". Tomorrow I'm to meet them in Tukwila (south of here) and pick the dog up from a transporter who will have brought Gretchen and the other dogs up to Seattle area from California.

I've already made an appt. with a vet to check her out. I'm excited!

Apr 14, 2017, 4:15pm Top

I found a miniature Dachshund for my mother on a Dachshund rescue site. He was an older dog (I think he was 6) but in the end Mom decided that she did not want another dog because losing it would be to painful for her. It was the right decision for her, but I know that when I get ready to get a dog, this kind of rescue operation will be where I will go to get one.

Edited: Apr 14, 2017, 4:59pm Top

So glad to hear another companion is coming your way. I hope you find that she fills a small amount of the void in your heart, and that it isn't too soon. I always feel the need to get a new pet immediately after losing one as I can't bear not having a furry friend around me. I'm sure that Greta would be thrilled to have another dog experience the love you gave her.

Apr 14, 2017, 11:03pm Top

It is hard to know the "right" thing to do when one is feeling such strong grief; however, I do long to have a companion in my home when I'm reading, or coming in from dinner, or just getting ready for bed. Greta stopped wanting to sleep in my bed some time back, but perhaps this new "girl" will be interested in some warmth through the night.

We will see.... I am all approved and scheduled to pick her up tomorrow some time after noon.

Apr 14, 2017, 11:32pm Top

I'm happy that you found another companion. Post a pic or two when you get the chance!

Apr 15, 2017, 6:45am Top

Yes, I will.

Edited: Apr 15, 2017, 9:21am Top

I'm so glad you've found another dog. May you be good for each other's hearts and healing!

Have a good trip today!

Apr 15, 2017, 9:35am Top

I hope all goes well today and Gretchen turnes into a wonderful companion for you.

Apr 15, 2017, 10:12am Top

Thank you, and thank you.

I'm off to see a pet store and hunt for a crate that I like at 9 am, and then hang around at loose ends until the rescue people call me with a more definite arrival time for the van which has transported the dogs here from California. Then I drive down to the office park where I'm suppose to meet the van, and get my dog! Yay!

I sure appreciate all the good cheer and coaching I'm reading here. LT people are the best, aren't they?

Apr 15, 2017, 10:22am Top

How exciting, Karen! I hope that things go well today as you welcome Gretchen into your home and heart.

Apr 15, 2017, 11:33am Top

Another thank you. I love all the well wishes; and I wish it goes perfectly, too.

Apr 16, 2017, 12:29pm Top

Hi Karen--Hoping that Gretchen is your new best buddy. I know you will never forget your Greta, but we always have room to love anew. Best wishes!!

Apr 16, 2017, 12:36pm Top

Happy Easter to you and Gretchen, Karen! I am hoping that this is the first of many holidays the two of you spend together.

Apr 16, 2017, 3:09pm Top

Wonderful to see the photo of Gretchen on FB. I hope she settles in really well, and that this is the start of a delightful companionship.

Apr 16, 2017, 4:26pm Top

Gretchen and I are spending our first full day together and it is good! All the visitors have been impressed how sweet and friendly she is. We've walked about a couple three times and we're going to a nearby park with a neighbor, and dog, later today. Hopefully she will be able to play with the dog.

Apr 16, 2017, 5:18pm Top

So sad to hear about Greta but so excited about your new companion!

Apr 16, 2017, 8:27pm Top

Oh, Karen, so sad to hear about Greta. ((hugs))

Gretchen sounds like she was meant for you!

Apr 17, 2017, 8:14am Top

Thank you, everyone for doing such a good job of letting me know people understand and care. I still am totally broken-hearted without my girl, Greta Garbo. She was a classy dog.

Gretchen is a wee bit more timid. Evidently, no one played with her with squeaky toys because when I squeak the ball or the little stuffed bear she backs up and looks for cover. Also, I tried to give her a treat for sitting up on the little trampoline like thing I have for a dog to sit on while waiting to start a agility course, and oh, wow, it took a good deal of courage to even put one paw on it. Progress, not perfection, is what we look for! She's a good girl, and is making friends right and left here at the community. Spent a bit of time yesterday in the lap of one gentleman who's well into his 90s and has been feeling very depressed recently. I think he enjoyed the visit, and I'll check with his wife to see if he would like to see Gretchen on a more regular basis. Our own little therapy dog.

Thanks again for keeping my book reading thread alive absent much reading on my part.

Apr 17, 2017, 8:17am Top

>280 maggie1944: My daughter's dog, Skittles, is very timid when it comes to treats too. Even though we have had her for 9 years now, she will still almost cringe if someone offers her a treat.

Apr 17, 2017, 8:22am Top

Oh, its not the treats that Gretchen fears, its new stuff; and, oddly enough sneaky toys are new as is the trampoline thingie.

If you want to see my one picture of her, look at my Facebook page.

Apr 17, 2017, 10:13am Top

>280 maggie1944: Some dogs really dislike the sound of squeeky toys. Our second Chow Chow was like that, sqeeky toys and women with high, shrill voices should be kept far from her...
Glad Gretchen is adapting in her new life and is making friends.

Apr 17, 2017, 10:23am Top

Yay for Gretchen! She's adorable. Lots of changes going on in her life right now, but I'm sure she'll settle in.

Apr 18, 2017, 12:56am Top

Hi Karen, I was just remembering when we got Chica, who was a rescue from Mexico. We really underestimated how stressed out she was when we first got her. I think shelters can be tough for sensitive animals. She was super sweet and friendly, which she still is, but not as relentlessly. I think part of it was survival strategy from her homeless years. And she had no idea how to play with toys.... eventually one of our cats taught her. I think that she was hyper-alert a lot of the time, which was not so good for her immune system, and she got pretty sick with kennel cough, and had a rough time recovering from spaying.

The good news, we got through that, pretty soon she figured out that she had a home, and became super-bonded with us. She still is ambivalent about treats from strangers (except at the bank, which is apparently different) But she loves pets and praise.

Edited: Apr 18, 2017, 7:58am Top

Anita, Thanks for coming by and checking on us. I don't think she dislikes the squeak as much as fears it; she backs up, and starts to leave the space. But then, there's that treat in my hand, so back she comes. But now she is beginning to show me some treat fatigue, not so interested. I think that is partially because she's been getting two good meals every day.

Janet, I am happy to see your comments. I think she will settle in, but I am concerned with a few fear postures which seem to be habitual. She may not be able to lose those. We shall see. I hope the animal doctor has some good ideas about the raspy breathing.

Rhonda, I hope you are right. She does seem to be more perky and her schnauzer personality is coming out more often. She is quite strong minded about some things. At first if I left her off leash she would stay very close, now she starts off at a brisk walk and clearly is on a mission of exploration. I have to hustle to catch up to her. She also is walking much more briskly, with ears up and tail relaxed.

Also, thank goodness, we made it through the second night on my bed without accident.

Apr 18, 2017, 5:30pm Top

Hi Karen. I just wanted to confirm that I am planning to come to RLBG tonight! I don't think I'll be able to leave work as early as I sometimes do, so I may not be there until closer to 7:00.
I'm looking forward to catching up!

Apr 18, 2017, 11:41pm Top

I enjoyed seeing you and introducing you to Gretchen. I like our little group and how we make decisions.

Gretchen was a bit cold and scared when I got to the car. Poor baby, I need to not leave her so long.

Apr 20, 2017, 7:22pm Top

Hi Karen!

I'm happy that Gretchen seems to be coming along, although I'm sure it will be one step forward and one step back for a while, still.

Apr 21, 2017, 1:52am Top

I am just catching up with your thread, Karen. I am sorry to hear about Greta. It is difficult to lose companions who have been part of our lives for so long. I hope that you and Gretchen adapt to each other's habits quickly so you can be as comfortable together as you and Greta were.

Apr 21, 2017, 9:17am Top

Yes, Gretchen seems to be adjusting and I'm becoming very fond of her. She is very different from Greta who was self confident and relaxed. Raising Greta from a puppy ensured that nothing really bad had affected her attitude towards life and people. Poor Gretchen has had some rough handling in the past and has a pretty deeply seeded fear. I'm focused on giving her experiences which can build her confidence. She is very attached to me, and looks for comfort from me.

There is still a very sad spot in my heart about losing Greta to cancer. She was a real partner for me and I appreciate her memory more than I can say.

Apr 22, 2017, 3:06pm Top

Hi Karen, just checking in here for the first time in awhile and getting caught up. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss of a dear companion like Greta. She sounds like a lovely dog. On the other hand, I'm glad to hear you've adopted Gretchen and are getting to know her as well. How sweet that she would keep a man company like that. I wish you a wonderful weekend.

Apr 22, 2017, 10:19pm Top

>288 maggie1944: "I like our little group and how we make decisions." LOL - or how we don't make decisions! No, really, I agree with you wholeheartedly. I love that we are explicitly struggling with finding our area of common interest. It's kind of cool and I think a lot of groups just bail without staying in it with one another.

Apr 22, 2017, 11:50pm Top

I'm so sorry to read about Greta Garbo, Karen, but glad to see that you opened your heart to a new companion. The loss of a good dog is so painful. I'm glad you found Gretchen.

We lost Copper to lymphoma just over a year and a half ago. Cancer sucks.

Apr 23, 2017, 8:53am Top

Oh, yes, I still feel the loss of Greta Garbo acutely. Eyes fill with tears easily these days, but Gretchen is a love, much more affectionate than Greta was, and that does help.

I picked up A Gentleman in Moscow yesterday afternoon because it was so appreciated by my LT friends. And as advertised here, it grabbed me within a page or two of starting it. My eyes continue to distract me from having that wonderful "sitting and reading and getting lost in the book for many minutes" experience. I continue to need to put it down after 20 minutes or so, and come back to it later. But the book is not to blame for this at all, it does call to me several times during the non-reading times of the day. Yay! That is why we love to read!!!

This topic was continued by Maggie1944, aka Karen, 2017 page 2.

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