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jessibud2 - Late to the Party... #2

This is a continuation of the topic jessibud2 - Late to the Party....

This topic was continued by jessibud2 - Late to the Party... #3.

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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Feb 26, 6:43pm Top

Well, this is a first for me: a second thread! So, my big question is, how do I transfer my tickers? I will try first to just copy and paste but something tells me it can't be that simple....

Hmmm, I was right. Ok, I will try something else...

Edited: May 31, 8:27am Top

Feb 26, 7:51pm Top

Happy new thread Shelley. xx

Hope you get your setting up complications sorted.

Go back to your thread #1 open up the post you want to bring over, highlight and copy it. Come back to your new thread and on the next new post click into it and then paste and then click post.

You have to do them one at a time to get the touchstones etc right.

Edited: May 31, 8:28am Top

To celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation, I am going to make a concerted effort to read more Canadian books this year:

Feb 26, 8:34pm Top

>3 PaulCranswick: - Thanks, Paul! Of course! I forgot to go into the edit mode to copy and paste. DUH!

Feb 26, 8:41pm Top

Happy New Thread, Shelley! Hooray for #2!!

Just turned on the Oscars.

Feb 26, 9:13pm Top

Hi Mark. I am also watching the Oscars. Jimmy Kimmel is a hoot!!

Feb 26, 9:30pm Top

I think Kimmel is doing a good job too.

Yah, for Ali in Moonlight. I loved that performance.

Feb 27, 12:12am Top

Huzzah! A new thread.

I just noted at Joe's Cafe that were going to the Sally Mann documentary today. I just finished her memoir, Hold Still, and it is just great. I noted at YouTube, but didn't view, a trailer for a documentary about her; I'm guessing it is what you saw. How was it?

Feb 27, 12:55am Top

Happy new thread, Shelley. You'll be an old pro at setting up threads by the time you get to the next one!

Feb 27, 6:44am Top

Happy new thread, Shelley!

Feb 27, 7:52am Top

>9 weird_O: - Hi Bill. I did see the doc about Sally Mann yesterday. I did not really know anything about her before, prior to seeing the previews recently. She is, in and of herself, a fascinating woman and a very talented one. I absolutely loved her use of vintage cameras, those huge things that look like accordions on the front, and the glass plate negative. I can understand how her early photos of her children in the nude could be interpreted as porn, by some people but most (that were shown in the film) were actually lovely. I liked learning about her early life, her family, and her husband and kids. I have to say, though, that I was totally unprepared for - and rather shocked by - the body of work that the film gets its name from: *What Remains*. It refers to an exhibit she did that was comprised of photos she took at a forensic farm, a term I had never heard before. In the film, we follow Mann to this place, where bodies - yes, human bodies! - are left out in the open air, for the purpose of studying decomposition. She talked about how she was fascinated by death and how she found beauty in this place. When I got home, I had to google it. I can understand the need for this; Wikipedia explains it this way: "The aim is to gain a better understanding of the decomposition process, permitting the development of techniques for extracting information such as the timing and circumstances of death from human remains."

I get it. But honestly, maybe I'm just a wimp but I found it disturbing to actually see it. And frankly, I was a bit surprised that SHE was surprised that the exhibit was not well-received. I mean, really. Are these photos that people are going to buy to put on their walls? I hadn't realized how affected by this I was but I am still thinking about it. I had to google after I got home, to see what else I could learn about her. I forget the year this doc was made, but I think it was a few years ago. I was sad to learn that her son committed suicide just last year. I also wanted to see if there was any update on her husband, who had a rare form of muscular dystrophy (which she also chronicled in photos over a number of years). I think he is still alive.

I will check out the links you posted on Joe's thread. Thanks for those. I'd be interested to hear your impressions after you see this one.

Feb 27, 7:53am Top

>10 Familyhistorian:, >11 scaifea: - Hi Meg, Hi Amber! You're optimistic, Meg, but thanks! :-)

Feb 27, 8:14am Top

Good morning, Shelley! Congratulations on thread #2.

Feb 27, 8:22am Top

Hi Karen, thanks! It's going to be sunny and warmish here today but I have 2 days left in the month to finish the 3 books I want so it will be a tug of war, getting the reading in and the pull of the sun, outside...

Feb 27, 9:16am Top

Happy new thread, Shelley, you managed to transfer the tickers I see :-)

Feb 27, 9:22am Top

>12 jessibud2: The knowledge of body farms is more widespread now after all the CSI type shows. I remember there was one episode in the original series where Grissom went to a body farm. Of course, they were always showing glimpses of that kind of stuff, fascinating if seen in small doses.

Feb 27, 9:22am Top

>16 FAMeulstee: - Hi Anita. Yes, miracle of miracles! ;-)

Feb 27, 9:27am Top

>17 Familyhistorian: - Well, Meg, that could explain my reaction. I rarely watch tv at all and never the shows of the CSI variety. I had no idea! I just have zero tolerance for anything with violence or blood and gore, which eliminates a huge chunk of what's out there, and passes for entertainment, I know. Same goes for movies. When reading about such stuff, I can always skim over the worst of it, if necessary. I have no need or desire to see it with my eyes. Yep, I prefer my blinders and cocoon life, thanks....birds, books, nature, that's enough for me..... ;-)

Feb 27, 10:04am Top

Happy new thread!

Feb 27, 11:09am Top

>2 jessibud2: & >4 jessibud2: Yippeee! Hope my little bit helped. xx

Feb 27, 12:06pm Top

>20 drneutron: - Thanks, Jim!
>21 PaulCranswick: - Yep, it sure did! Where would I be without my knowledgeable pals? :-) Thanks again

Feb 27, 12:33pm Top

I knew you could do it! Isn't this community the best?

Feb 27, 3:58pm Top

Hi Shelley, happy new thread my dear, hope you are having a good day.

Feb 27, 7:03pm Top

Happy second thread, Shelley.

Feb 27, 9:44pm Top

Thanks, Linda, John and Beth. It only took me 2 + years to get to a second thread, lol! Can a third be far off....

Feb 27, 9:45pm Top

I finished a great audiobook tonight but will write up a review tomorrow. It was called The Housemaid's Daughter by Barbara Mutch and was 13 discs long, 2 narrators, both excellent. Details to follow.

Feb 27, 11:11pm Top

Happy 2nd thread!! Whoohooo!

Feb 28, 7:35am Top

Hi Kim, thanks for that! :-)

Feb 28, 7:38am Top

WHOA!!!! This is today's contribution for the quote of the day from the AWAD (A Word A Day) newsletter:

We have abundant reason to rejoice, that, in this land, the light of truth and reason has triumphed over the power of bigotry and superstition, and that every person may here worship God according to the dictates of his own heart. In this enlightened age, and in this land of equal liberty, it is our boast, that a man's religious tenets will not forfeit the protection of the laws, nor deprive him of the right of attaining and holding the highest offices that are known in the United States. -George Washington, 1st US president, general (1732-1799)

Someone, send this to dictator-in-chief immediately. He has clearly forgotten (or never knew) the basic tenets of his founding fathers

Feb 28, 11:50am Top

The Housemaid's Daughter by Barbara Mutch.

I finished this audiobook last night and really liked it. The 2 narrators were excellent.

It is the story of two women in pre- and post-apartheid South Africa, and though the main character, Ada, is the voice of most of the novel, her Irish madame's voice is heard mostly though her journal entries. I don't remember any specific dates being mentioned but the time spans decades, from the time Ada is young through to near the end of her life. The story, told in the first person, really gives voice to what life was like in South Africa at that time, life in the townships, the struggles and indignities, and the stark contrasts between the two worlds. Real historic figures come into play, briefly, in so far as they are mentioned to set the time (Steve Biko, Nelson Mandela), but the story is one woman's story, told in her words and through her own experience.

A recurrent theme throughout is how music heals, even in the worst of times and situations, and how love and education can be a door out of hell but can only go so far, when too much of destiny is not in one's control.

I found this to be a gripping story and I think the narration, in the accents of the 2 narrators, made it all the more so.

Feb 28, 3:18pm Top

This is just awful, disgraceful, really:


So, apparently, it isn't just the *targeted* countries. Now everyone is suspect. Has trump personally trained these border bozos? Sure sounds like it.

Confession time: I had planned to go to Vermont this summer to visit my brother, who lives there. Not happening. I have absolutely nothing to hide, no reason to be worried. But then, I suspect that most others don't, either. I love Vermont. I love visiting the USA. My last 2 road trips were there. But I think I will wait for trump to be dumped and sanity to return. Canada has plenty to offer in the meantime.

This makes me both mad and sad.


Feb 28, 4:51pm Top

>32 jessibud2: It makes me mad and sad too, Shelley. And embarrassed and humiliated.

Edited: Feb 28, 6:00pm Top

No reason for you to, Linda. (unless you voted for trump). But it's just so damn frustrating. Every day, it seems, brings another blow.

And believe me, we here in Canada are not immune, and are smug at our own risk. Our own Conservative party is presently in the midst of looking for a new leader. 2 of the front-runners are people I see as trump-wannabees. Kelly Leitch and Kevin O'Leary. Fingers crossed, please, that they don't succeed!! If our government should turn in that direction, there will truly be nowhere left to run to...

Feb 28, 5:24pm Top

>34 jessibud2: I certainly didn't vote for the Current Occupant, but I don't think we can take pride in our country when things are going well if we don't also take responsibility for the crap that goes down. I wish you luck up there, because obviously it can happen anywhere.

Edited: Mar 1, 9:36am Top

>35 laytonwoman3rd: - Oh goodness, I certainly hope it didn't come across as if I thought you did! No, no, no! I just hate that anyone should feel responsible for his (trump's) actions, when he alone is responsible. I suppose those who did vote for him deserve what they get but truly, I don't think anyone deserves trump. Actions have consequences and I don't think he understands that. Or cares

Feb 28, 7:32pm Top

Muhammad Ali's son was detained at an airport recently. I don't understand; if you cannot legally discriminate on the basis of religion, how you can ask people their religion when they return to the US? Unless they are already on some watch list for suspected terrorist activity, in which case it would seem the authorities have bigger things to worry about and the religion thing is mute. And those target lists may get a whole lot bigger now without any validity behind them. Grrrr.

Feb 28, 8:42pm Top

And did you read the article I linked to, in >32 jessibud2:? I mean Mem Fox, for crying out loud! THAT is what I mean, about everyone being suspect. For no reason, other than *because I can*. It makes me want to punch something. But that might land me on death row, for all I know.

shakes head in bewilderment....

Mar 1, 8:51am Top

Hi Shelley!

I'd boycott the US too if I wasn't already here as a cringing and writhing native. It's all so painful.

Mar 1, 9:45am Top

>39 karenmarie: - Hi Karen. Yes, I know. It's such a troublesome situation and it just feels as if the ring is widening. Another book friend (from bookcrossing) was also mentioning how she had been detained and questioned for hours when trying to enter the US (she is Australian). All her papers were in order, everything was legal and above board, she had a letter from her workplace stating the length of her leave and none of it mattered to the extremely rude border guards. Until she produced a letter from the organization she was coming to receive some award from. Suddenly, their attitude changed and that was the only thing that seemed to matter. I mean, HUH? My take on this is that trump has seemed to give permission to awful behaviour, seems to legitimize nastiness and intimidation and worse. And that, to me, is the tip of the iceberg. Where does it all lead and once that genie is out of the bottle, even if he wanted to turn it around (and I'm sure he doesn't), it already seems bigger than him and I doubt he could reverse that trend. What ever happened to common courtesy, common decency?

Mar 1, 1:17pm Top

That is very sad.
And the list is getting longer: a French holocaust historian, Henry Rousso, was "mistakenly detained" and nearly deported :'(
I so hope our elections in two weeks don't go in that direction...

Mar 1, 5:44pm Top

Edited: Mar 1, 6:17pm Top

>32 jessibud2: My husband and I are not planning to cross the US border until such time as the US is rid of Trump. Even though I am born and raised in Canada, as is my husband, and we've got to hide, the current administration Trump is to crazy for me enter the USA.

>34 jessibud2: Kevin O'Leary and Kelly Leitch! I feel relatively confident that they will go nowhere, but you never know. It seems to me that there has been an uptick in " hate crime" or things of that nature even here in Canada. It's like Trump emboldens the " alt -right" even in Canada. I made a donation to the Liberal Party , and also to the Emerson Border issue as a way of trying to offset the Kevin O'Leary and Kelly Leitch, however useless that might be.

Mar 1, 6:55pm Top

>43 vancouverdeb: - Same here, Deb. And you are absolutely right about the uptick in hate crimes. Just today, part of Concordia University in Montreal was evacuated due to a bomb threat, and in Toronto, a classroom at York University (where I went and graduated from) had swastikas and a hate message on the walls of that room. There have been 3 fires in mosques or Islamic Centres in the greater Toronto area in recent weeks, as well. I just feel nervous in general lately and despite the logical thought that it's *unlikely* to happen to me, nothing is logical anymore, as far as I can tell. As for Kelly Leitch and Kevin O'Leary, don't be fooled. Yes, 14 candidates for that party's leadership campaign is far too many and I agree that having that many on the stage for a so-called debate the other night was ridiculous. But no one thought trump would get anywhere, either. Just keep that in mind. That's what I find so scary

Edited: Mar 2, 7:26am Top

>37 Berly: - I just happened upon this link, about the Ali episode: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/26/muhammad-ali-jr-trump-travel-ban-muslims-border-agents. There are 10 necessary tips for US Muslim travelers mentioned that probably apply to most citizens, even those who are not Muslim:

The situation is just beginning, I fear.

Mar 2, 10:44am Top

I am utterly heartbroken, frustrated, infuriated and perplexed by the immigration policies of this administration. That last article you posted at >45 jessibud2: had some excellent tips. If you are a US citizen they HAVE to take you. Otherwise, where would you be deported to?

Of course, it is a Muslim ban. Why are US citizens with Muslim names being targeted otherwise? Why are they being asked about their religious beliefs?


Mar 2, 11:07am Top

So, you are not coming to my April Meet Up? We could smuggle you in?

Mar 2, 11:25am Top

If you move it to my side of the border, I'm in! ;-)

Mar 2, 11:37am Top

Lol. We could hide you in a bookmobile. They would never look in there.

Mar 2, 11:41am Top

Ha! You are right. trump's cronies (like himself) probably wouldn't recognize a book if they tripped over it. On the other hand, if they don't know what it is, they might consider it suspicious.... Maybe I could fly over the border in a drone.... maybe they'd think it's one of theirs... ;-p

Mar 4, 8:13am Top

Explorers House by Robert M. Poole

I have always been a fan of National Geographic. One of the very first things I did with part of my first paycheck, from my very first full-time job, was take out a subscription to the NG magazine which I kept up for several years. The iconic yellow border was always, in my mind, a symbol of high quality photojournalism. And of course, it helped launch the career of Jane Goodall, one of my heroes, among many others.

I found this book to be a fascinating history of the Society and I learned so much that I never knew and never imagined, including some things I wish I hadn't known. I love that at the very beginning of the book, there is a family tree map that shows how the three families (Hubbard, Bell, and Grosvenor) came together to create this organization and how the direct line of this family-run, non-profit organization remained true for 5 generations, over 100 years.

I never knew that Alexander Graham Bell was even involved in the NGS, let alone a one-time president of it! I was somewhat shocked to find out just how close the ties were between the NGS and the government(s) of the early part of the twentieth century. "So many bylines from so many bureaucrats and military officials appeared in the magazine that it sometimes seemed like an extension of the government". National Geographic cooperated and participated with the CIA and FBI, and supplied maps to the armed forces during both World Wars and several other wars, as well.

Worst of all, in my eyes, however, was the overt racism and bigotry that was evident in the early part of the 1900s among the top echelon of the NGS. Membership into the Society was restricted and denied to Blacks, there was blatant anti-Semitism and the elder Grosvenor was a Nazi sympathizer. There are even some passages quoting contributors to the magazine in those early days whose words ring in my ears today, and sound frighteningly like the current Washington administration. I find that terrifying.

This was a fascinating read, on many levels, even if it was not always a comfortable one.

Mar 4, 10:52am Top

>51 jessibud2: Interesting review of Explorers House, Shelley. I didn't know that Jane Goodall got her start through National Geographic nor did I have knowledge of any real background to the organization.

I wouldn't dwell too much on the overt racism of the early 1900s. It was a product of its times. At that time it was very much an "us and them" society. Any one other was "them". I ran into that same ideation in Road to the Isles: Travellers in the Hebrides 1770-1914. There the prejudice was against the native population, the same Gaels who are the ancestors of many of the current main stream population of Canada and the US.

Edited: Mar 4, 11:13am Top

>52 Familyhistorian: - Yes, I realize that, Meg, of course. But I was still somewhat shocked to read this quote: "Racism remained a fact of life in the National Geographic's upper echelon from one regime to the next, remaining that way until a new generation of leaders began to assert their control in the 1970s." That's a long time!!

And yes, re Jane Goodall. The NG, from early days, always looked to help fund, sponsor and promote explorers; that was part of their mandate, and many well-known names got their earliest boosts from the NG: Goodall, Mary and Louis Leakey, Jacques Cousteau, Frederick Peary (and the entire Cook-Peary controversy about who reached the North Pole first; the NG sided with Peary and stuck to their guns, despite so much inconclusive evidence), Bob Ballard and more. I wish I had made more notes throughout the reading so I could reference more facts but I didn't.

Mar 4, 12:16pm Top

>51 jessibud2: Excellent review! I love the photos in NG and got the magazine for years and years. Now I have the online version.

Mar 4, 4:26pm Top

Hi Shelley, hope you are having a nice weekend my dear and send love and hugs.

Mar 4, 4:49pm Top

I'm in love with the idea of smuggling you into the country in a bookmobile!

I've thumbed your review of the NG book. Nicely done!

Edited: Mar 5, 6:42pm Top

I love this! : https://www.thestar.com/entertainment/books/2017/03/05/word-under-the-street.html

Reminds me of my own 1984 story. Have I told it here before? I recently posted it on Madeline's thread.

Here it is, as it is quite apropos, to this article:

re 1984: I read it in December of 1983, deciding I had to read it before we actually got there. I was on the subway, reading, and looked up to check for my stop. There was a guy sitting directly opposite me, and our eyes met as I looked up. He had a book in his hands. As readers do, we both instinctively looked at each other's books. He asked me what page I was on. He, too, was reading 1984! I never saw him again but that is a memory that will always be associated for me with that book.

Mar 5, 6:36pm Top

Oh, I love to spy on what people are reading on the DC Metro. Worst thing about ereaders is that it's really hard to do that. :)

Mar 5, 6:46pm Top

>58 drneutron: - So true! So, another justification (for me, the old luddite) to stick with my paper books and not cross over to the dark side, lol!

Mar 5, 6:56pm Top

Happy Sunday, Shelley! Hope you had a nice weekend and got in plenty of reading.

Mar 5, 7:35pm Top

Mar 5, 10:43pm Top

Happy Second Thread, Shelley!

>57 jessibud2: That is a delightful story. I like "as readers do, we both instinctively looked at each other's books." So true. Sometimes I try to see what someone on the train or bus is reading and I worry that they'll think I'm just being nosey. And I guess I am being nosy but I always want to say "hey, I'm a book-lover. I just need to know what you're reading!"

Mar 6, 6:53am Top

>57 jessibud2: Oh, I LOVE that story! Very cool.

Mar 6, 7:06am Top

>60 msf59: - Hi Mark. I had a pretty decent weekend. Finished one book, and an audiobook, and started another of each. Yours sounded great! Hope you have a good week.

>62 EBT1002:, >63 scaifea: - Good morning, Ellen and Amber. That was such a fun article. I wish they had spotlighted more than just the few they did. I ride the subway here fairly frequently as I refuse to drive my car downtown (parking is either impossible or outrageously expensive) and I ALWAYS look at what people are reading on the subway.

Mar 6, 7:52am Top

Thought for the day, from my AWAD newsletter:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me-- and there was no one left to speak for me.
-Martin Niemoller, pastor, initial supporter of Hitler, concentration camp survivor (1892 - 6 Mar 1984)

Mar 6, 7:52am Top

Another book-snooper here. I'm sure, if the person is a proper reader, they would understand :).

Mar 6, 8:02am Top

>66 lunacat: - Of course they would! ;-)

Mar 6, 8:26am Top

>65 jessibud2: Very honest quotation, Shelley. In a time of fear that sort of enforced silence is pervasive isn't it? I would have liked to have thought that as a left-leaning man who believes every man and woman is born equal I would have had the courage to have spoken out against tyranny such as Hitlers. I fear though that I would not have been brave enough. We always have the mentality that on our own we cannot make a difference - it is the coming together in numbers that can do that.

Mar 6, 9:56am Top

>31 jessibud2: The Housemaid's Daughter sounds really good, Shelley.

The Mem Fox incident is indeed shameful. I hope tourists stay away. The only way some people will speak out is if their finances are affected.

Edited: Mar 6, 11:03am Top

>69 BLBera: - That book was really good and I think listening to it, in the voice and accent of the protagonist made it all the more so. I am also eager to listen to the much lauded new book Born a Crime by Trevor Noah, as his story seems like it might be a modern version of the Barbara Mutch one, told with humour, I am guessing. I am on a wait list at the library for it.

Mar 6, 10:46am Top

Hi Shelley! Happy Monday and I hope you have a lovely week.

>65 jessibud2: It's getting crazier and crazier, and Trump's craziness is getting more and more apparent. I'm in a bit of limbo what with my Mom's stuff to still settle, but after that I'm going to start getting more involved! And I do think I'll go to my Democratic precinct meeting tomorrow night. Haven't gone in about 10 years, and I do think now's the time.

Mar 6, 11:04am Top

Hi Karen. Yes, the old adage *we live in interesting times* has never seemed so appropriate. But you are right, now is certainly the time for involvement.

Mar 6, 11:28am Top

>65 jessibud2: I have seen that powerful quote attributed to other people (mostly on Facebook, of course), but I think it's even more powerful when you know who actually said it.

Mar 6, 11:55am Top

>73 laytonwoman3rd: - Exactly, Linda. There is another quote that came to my mind when I read this one but I have sent an email to a friend asking who the author of it was because I can't remember. Once I have the answer, I will post it, too, because it ties in well with this one.

Edited: Mar 6, 12:51pm Top

Ok, I need to test a theory and I need the help of my LT friends. Those who have cats, that is. A friend just told me something I never knew. She mentioned that cats' noses match their colouring. If a cat is black, its nose will be black, if he is orange, then the nose is orange and if it is multi coloured, its nose will be a mix. I have had cats for most of my adult life and I never knew this, certainly never noticed. So, I just went to check. My Lexi is mostly a black and orange tortie, mostly black though. Her nose is pure black. Mia, on the other hand (the cutie in my avatar pic) is a calico, mostly black and orange but has white paws. Her nose is orange.

I wonder if this is really true or just a coincidence, maybe a folk myth. But for my two, so far, it seems right.

Could those of you with cats please check your cats and report back to me, to test this theory. Thank you.


Edited: Mar 6, 1:01pm Top

I have a cat right here on my lap, so it's easy to check. Molly is mostly white, but with lots of black markings. Her nose is pale pink, with very little white hair over it. I have a friend you has a cat very similarly marked, with more black on the face, and that cat's nose is definitely black.

This is Molly

This is Fred

This would seem to dispute the theory, wouldn't it?

Mar 6, 1:03pm Top

Update? ...
First, they came for the Muslims, and I did not speak out - Because I was not a Muslim.
Then they came for the Immigrants, and I did not speak out - Because I was not a recent Immigrant.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, the Jews, and the Women and I did not speak out because they were not me.
Then they came for me - and there was no one who dared to speak out for me.

Edited: Mar 6, 1:19pm Top

Umm.....definitely not a true theory. We have one grey and black tabby with a pink nose and one with a black nose. And a ginger with a pink nose (although it is always filthy....I've never known a cat care so little for his own cleanliness).

We also have a black with a black nose and a grey with a grey nose which obviously fit, but 3/5 don't.

Edited: Mar 12, 8:15pm Top

>76 laytonwoman3rd: - Linda, those cats are so cute! Molly looks like she has bangs! And Fred's markings are very debonaire!

So, >78 lunacat:, I guess that settles it. I will ask my friend where she got that myth from. On the one hand, it would have been cool if it was true but I guess there is just too much colour variation in fur for one small nose to follow suit!

Edited: Mar 7, 8:36am Top

>77 m.belljackson: - Sigh. Well done. I guess (am hoping) it's up to us all to see that this doesn't happen. *THEY* are really all of US, in truth, though many just never see it that way

Mar 7, 8:36am Top

I could NEVER be a journalist. I would be bald from tearing my hair out, within a week

BBC doc: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Kl3bOeZoUc

Edited: Mar 7, 8:58am Top

Kitty William is a brown mackerel tabby with a ridge of black on the top of his nose but it's mostly pink. Inara Starbuck is a calico, and her nose is pink. I think mine disprove the theory, too.

Sorry, Shelley!

And I got through about half that youtube video before feeling my blood pressure rise.

Mar 7, 9:07am Top

Thanks, Karen. My friend had been doing research (her own, not for anything else) on colouration in cats. I guess she came across something that indicated the nose thing. I told her of my own *informal* survey here and suggested that she not believe everything she reads! lol

Edited: Mar 7, 3:15pm Top

Open Heart by Elie Wiesel. Wiesel was a survivor of Auschwitz, a novelist, journalist, teacher and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. He died last year and though it has been many, many years since I read his work, I decided to pick up this very slim volume for the March selection of the non-fiction challenge. This month's theme is heroes and villains and he definitely falls into the Hero category, in my eyes.

This book was written shortly after his open heart bypass surgery in 2011 and in it, he once again confronts his own mortality and many of the big questions of life that he has been thinking and writing and teaching about all his life. This time, though, he is 82 years old and the perspective has changed. While I have always admired his humanity and his ability to have gratitude and optimism in the face of a world that seems to challenge the very meanings of those concepts, I still have a very difficult time with the *God* aspect of it all. I cannot understand how he can continue to be such a devoutly believing person, in spite of his own personal experiences and evidence all around in this world we live in to the contrary. Yet, I had a sense that he knows there are no answers to his questions, but he is compelled to continue to ask. There were a few passages that I marked as a valiant attempt to perhaps explain to a non-believer such as myself and the words are, as expected from a man such as Wiesel, eloquent:

"I know - I speak from experience - that even in darkness it is possible to create light and encourage compassion. That it is possible to feel free inside a prison. That even in exile, friendship exists and can become an anchor. That one instant before dying, man is still immortal.

"There it is: I still believe in man in spite of man. I believe in language even though it has been wounded, deformed and perverted by the enemies of mankind. And I continue to cling to words because it is up to us to transform them into instruments of comprehension rather than contempt. It is up to us to choose whether we wish to use them to curse or to heal, to wound or to console.

"As a Jew, I believe in the coming of the Messiah. But of course this does not mean that the world will become Jewish; just that it will become more welcoming, more human. I belong, after all, to a generation that has learned that whatever the question, indifference and resignation are not the answer."

That last line rings especially true in my ears these days! And though I doubt I personally can ever be a believer, the last line of this book are words that could be a life lesson for many, and truly needed in the new world of 2017: "I know that eternities ago, the day after the liberation, when some of us had to choose between anger and gratitude, my choice was the right one."

This is why Elie Wiesel is a hero, in my eyes. My next book for this challenge is another book about Mandela.

Edited: Mar 7, 11:04am Top

Morning Shelley! Good review of Open Heart. Thumb. I had not heard of that one.

No comments on the cat question. We are dog folk.

Mar 7, 11:08am Top

>85 msf59: - I was a dog person growing up. I still miss my boy! But when I moved to Toronto and began going to university and working, I couldn't bear to have a dog and never be home enough for him. So I reluctantly converted to cats. Couldn't bear not having an animal in my life. I have to say, I've been a cat lady ever since (not crazy, 2 is my limit). Besides, even though I am retired, the truth is, I don't like to go out and walk in lousy weather and if I had a dog, of course I'd have to. Practically all my friends have dogs and are still on my case to get one. But, I don't think so...


Mar 7, 4:57pm Top

I personally have had more pink nosed cats than black nosed and their coats have been various colours.

Mar 7, 5:35pm Top

Shelley, as to the new furnace issue , we have to replace ours this summer, we are stuck going through the roof. The reason is that our laundry/ furnace / gas water heater room is at the front of our townhouse . So it can't be vented out and forward, or from the ground. Where I live we are about 1 or 2 feet above sea level, so no one has actual below grade basement, just a downstairs and upstairs.So we can't vent upwards other than through the upstairs and attic and through the roof. We can't vent forwards because of the city requirements for the venting to a quite a few feet from out from our dwelling and a certain amount of rise of the piping every 5 or 6 inches. So the configuration of our townhouse is such that yes, we have to through the roof. If we were a end unit , then we could vent through the side, as a couple of our neighbours have done. We'll be the first people to go through the roof, but the strata council realizes that having a furnace is not an optional thing! :)

Mar 7, 6:33pm Top

>Thanks, Meg. I think I've set my friend straight on her *research*... ;-) It's interesting, though, isn't it. Most dogs I have observed have black noses though a few I've seen who are light coloured have pink noses. There seems to be more variety in cats.

Whatever, ;-)

Mar 7, 6:38pm Top

>88 vancouverdeb: - Interesting, Deb. There are so many different configurations for townhouses, even here. Ours are multi-levels. From the outside, it looks like a standard 2-level but mine actually has 5 levels! When you walk in the front door, you walk down 7 steps to a basement or up 6 steps to the living room. Then, 7 more steps up is the kitchen/dining area, then up 6 more steps to nothing but a landing then up 7 more to the bedrooms and bathroom. I nearly died when I moved in and thought, oh my, what have I done. I could barely go up from the front door to the top with out stopping to catch my breath. Now, it's no big deal. You'd think I'd be skinny with all those stairs but not really...;-)

Mar 7, 7:00pm Top

I am very excited. I just got my evite to a book launch that will be happening here in a few weeks. The author is a friend of a friend of mine and the book looks to be very interesting. It's called Newsgirls (no touchstone yet, probably because it hasn't been officially released, I'm guessing).

Here is the synopsis:

Exciting and untold truths about Canadian newsrooms are revealed in the exuberant and charismatic portraits of newswomen from the 1920s to the 1960s, painted by Donna Jean MacKinnon in her debut book, NEWSGIRLS: Gutsy Pioneers in Canada's Newsrooms.

MacKinnon brings to life the stories told by "newshens" such as June Callwood, Simma Holt, Kay Kritzwiser, Dusty Vineberg and many more. With a martini in one hand and a pen and paper in the other, these women dominate the male-run newsrooms of Canada's past.

Their stories tell us how women working in the pre-feminist era would knock-down female stereotypes just as well as they could knock-back a few hard drinks, after a long day of work. Readers will catch a glimpse of a bygone era of the Canadian press, along with cameos of the larger-than-life men who ran the Canadian newsrooms.

Some of these Newsgirls are always in the public eye, pictured among those such as Pierre Trudeau, but most of their stories have never been heard before this book. Today, newspapers trash their old archives and the groundbreakers of Canadian journalism fade from memory. This March, after over 20 years of interviews, Donna Jean Mackinnon will keep the memory of Canada’s founding ladies of the press alive.


This looks to be a nice affair. One free drink ticket per person, and free food, book for sale and at a lovely venue. I am looking forward to it. I don't get to many events like this!

I'll report back after the fact.

Mar 8, 6:52am Top

Morning, Shelley!

Congrats on the book launch invitation - sounds like it'll be a hoot!

Edited: Mar 8, 11:04am Top

Hi Amber! I will report on it after the fact. It's on Wed, March 29, 3 weeks from today

Mar 8, 11:03am Top

In honour of International Women's Day, I want to post here a link to a wonderful interview I listened to this morning with the Nigerian American author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I have not read her work yet but would love to read her newest book, How to Raise a Feminist, as well as her previous works. I also plan to google and watch her TED talk, which is extremely popular. I always seem late to the game in learning about authors but this interview was so engaging, so I think I am hooked now!


Mar 8, 6:49pm Top

Amazing , Shelley, that your townhouse has 5 levels! So interesting! As you say , so many configuration for town houses. We just have the two levels, but three is not uncommon here. I checked out stairs and we have 21 steps from downstairs to the upstairs. Congratulations on the evite!

Mar 10, 6:18am Top

Hi Shelley!

>86 jessibud2: You know that the definition of a crazy cat lady is someone who has one more cat than you do, right?

How exciting! I've never been to a book launch and will be interested in hearing how it goes.

Mar 10, 7:42am Top

>96 karenmarie: - LOL! Karen! If truth be told, I'd have more than just 2, in a heartbeat. I go look at the adoption centre in PetSmart every time I go in there, even though I KNOW I can't bring any more home. I have (mild) asthma and having just the two has always been fine but I do think that any more than that would not be so fine. I've been lucky that my cats have always been healthy and lived long. My previous 2 (Jessie and Buddy, of screen name fame) lived to 17 and 18 years, respectively. My current two are now 17 and 16 years old and still going strong.

I've not been to a book launch either. Very much looking forward to it and will definitely report back!

Mar 10, 11:11am Top

Happy Friday, Shelley! Hooray for a book launch.

I am enjoying Birds Art Life.

Have a great weekend.

Mar 10, 1:19pm Top

>98 msf59: - Ooo, great! I can't wait to hear your report on it. I am on a wait list for it from the library.

Happy Friday to you, too, Mark

Mar 11, 4:35pm Top

Hi Shelley! The book launch sounds like a great event; I am sure you will enjoy it! And I love the sound of your townhouse with all the different floors. Fun and different. And good for keeping shape. LOL Happy weekend!

Mar 11, 11:15pm Top

>84 jessibud2: I agree entirely Shelley. Wiesel was indeed a hero. He won a Nobel prize but ought to have two.

Just realised that trump's VP is Mike Pence and that means Donald and Mickey! Cartoon characters in a graphic novel Presidency.

Now we have donald and Mickey
And I wouldn't mind seeing Melania in a mini.

Have a great weekend.

Mar 12, 8:35am Top

>101 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul. A cartoon presidency! LOL! You might be the first to have picked up on this. Pity what's going on isn't all that funny... I personally prefer the real Donald and Mickey the Disney ones)

And Melania is noticeably absent. We know she is in NY so her son can finish school but I haven't seen any mention of her at all. Yet the First Daughter seems to be everywhere..... interesting

Edited: Mar 12, 8:44am Top

^Morning, Shelley! We could all use a bit of color about now. I will wrap up Birds Art Life early today. Many quotes I plan on sharing.

Edited: Mar 12, 8:57am Top

>103 msf59: - Hi Mark. I just left a note on your previous thread (not the new one). So far today and yesterday (I note this because I participate in the *citizen science* project called Feeder Watch and note and report what comes to the feeder every weekend), I have seen chickadees, goldfinches, juncos, the usual sparrows and for the first time this season, the sweet house finches are back. Yesterday, I saw 6 robins standing together (but not at my feeder). I don't think I've ever seen that many all together! And yes, a lovely cardinal has been around lately too. A cardinal couple used to come to my yard every day but they have been scarce this year.

Can't wait to hear your report of Birds, Art Life! I am on the wait list at the library for it.

Mar 12, 11:10am Top

Happy Sunday, Shelley!

Mar 12, 11:29am Top

I have had two very fat ( maybe pregnant) robins hovering around my porch- I have a flowering plant that has seeds on it year round near the steps.

Edited: Mar 12, 2:41pm Top

Hi Cyrel. I would think it would be too early for chicks! Oh dear, with the weather we are expecting, I sure hope not! But, in case you get the chance to watch babies, near your porch, this is a delightful little video. Have you ever seen it?

4 robins, 4 weeks :-)


(turn up your speakers...and wait for it: Louis Armstrong!)

Edited: Mar 12, 1:36pm Top

In the last few days I have read 3 books of the *lighter fare* genre. 2 were audiobooks by an admittedly favourite author of mine, Elizabeth Berg and while they were enjoyable, I'd have to say they were not her best. One was called A Tapestry of Fortunes and the last one was The Last Time I Saw You. I have read many of her books and these two were definitely not among her better ones.

Then I read a book that had been on my shelf for years, called Mother Goose in Prose by none other than L. Frank Baum, the author of the Wizard of Oz books. Originally written in 1899, it is a sort of back story to a selection of several original Mother Goose nursery rhymes. He imagines the stories behind the rhymes and how they came to be. A bit dated in style by today's standards but still, light fun. Illustrated by Maxfield Parrish.

Now I can get back to more serious stuff! I just started a new audiobook, a Canadian book from a few years ago called The Outlander by Gil Adamson. Not to be mistaken for Diana Gabaldon's Outlander! This one seems more of a murder mystery, not my typical go-to literature but I am trying to read more Canadian books this year, that are already in my house and this is one such book. It had a lot of buzz when it first came out. I actually found this at the library in audio and so far, the narrator seems good so we shall see how it goes.

I also started (last night) and will certainly finish this afternoon the book called I Am Not Your Negro, that is based on the film of the same name which I will likely go see some time this coming week. It is based entirely on the works of James Baldwin and what I like about it is it's a sort of *making of* the film, but the author/ film director tells the back story of how he came to create the film and it is fascinating so far. A short book, I will probably finish it this afternoon.

Mar 12, 1:30pm Top

Hi Shelley!

I'm glad to hear your two kitties are going strong at 17 and 16. My two are 18 and 10.

Nice to get some reading in, even if they were not a favorite author's best efforts. I've found that not best efforts by one author are better than supposedly-wonderful efforts by another author.

Happy birdwatching and Happy Sunday! I'm thrilled that I just saw a Brown Thrasher, sitting on my Crepe Myrtle. I got to observe him for about a minute. And of course as soon as I left to get the binoculars in hopes of getting a close up, he/she left. Now the binoculars are here, next to me, with nobody in the crepe myrtle.

Edited: Mar 12, 5:20pm Top

I Am Not Your Negro text by James Baldwin, compiled for the movie by Raoul Peck.

I mentioned this book on my last thread. I first heard of it when I listened to an excellent interview on CBC radio with the filmmaker, Raoul Peck. I will repost here a bit from my original post:

Synopsis from the imdb site: "In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, "Remember This House." The book was to be a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and assassinations of three of his close friends: Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. At the time of Baldwin's death in 1987, he left behind only 30 completed pages of this manuscript. Filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished."

Here are a couple of links:

clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNUYdgIyaPM

full interview on Q (the CBC radio program): http://www.cbc.ca/radio/q/friday-feb-24-2017-raoul-peck-reginald-edmund-and-more...

The interview is really worth listening to, by the way.

I am really glad to have read this book before seeing the film. Peck writes an introduction, explaining how and why he came to put this film together, and how he came to have possession of the 30 pages of notes that were the beginning of that final book Baldwin didn't live to complete. The book is barely 100 pages but it packs so much power into it, as much of Baldwin's works did. And it is startling how timely his words still are today, maybe even more so than one would expect. And that is not a good thing...

"Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced."

Mar 14, 9:13am Top

I have been cleaning out old emails and found this, that I had saved from a few years ago. Books are educational, of course, but also, so much fun.

Can't do this with a kindle!! ;-)


Of course, I'd hate to be the one to have to reshelve them all.....

Mar 14, 7:29pm Top

>111 jessibud2: Ha! Interesting that one Shelley. I wonder if Hani would let me try something like that with my collection?!

Mar 19, 11:55pm Top

Abby is a tuxedo cat ~~ mostly black with a perfect white shirtfront and four white paws. No white on her tail. Her nose is black but she has a somewhat crooked white milk mustache just underneath that black nose.

My sweet Edgar was a brown tabby -- brown and gray stripes. I think his nose was pink.

Mar 20, 12:10am Top

Stopping by to say hi, Shelley. I read the Outlander by Gil Adamson. It was an unusual but interesting read. I do understand the need for lighter fare at times. I'm PVR'ing CBC's new " Anne of Green Gables " at the moment. I'm not sure if you are a fan, but I loved the books and thought I try out the new series. Here is a trailer from CBC ( scroll down through the article. )http://www.cbc.ca/news/entertainment/anne-green-gables-1.4028193

Mar 20, 9:35pm Top

>113 EBT1002: - Thanks, Ellen. It was a weird and very non-scientific *survey*, the thing with cat's noses, have to admit. But funny. Your Abby sounds elegant. I think most tuxedo cats are.

>114 vancouverdeb: - Thanks, Deb. I watched the original Anne series when Megan Follows was Anne. I loved it. Not sure I am in the mood these days. I did hear an interview on CBC the other day with the young girl (who is from Ireland, I believe!) who plays Anne in this new series. I finished disc #1 of The Outlander (I think there are 9), and returned it to the library as I had to come to Montreal last Saturday and am still here. My mom is in the hospital at the moment and I am still here now. Long long days right now but I brought 3 books with me and she has a few at home that I can read if I finish mine. I may go back to TO on Thursday this week to keep an appointment to do my taxes on Friday then come back here after the weekend. My mom is 83 and her husband is 81 and to be honest, he is quite useless in the house. She is nowhere near ready to come home yet but I have to make sure that when she is, homecare is in place because he is really in no position to be much help. The man didn't even know how to turn on the dishwasher! I think one of the reasons this is particularly hard on my mom is that she has so seldom been sick in her entire life. She has always had more energy than me, and only in the last few years has she showed signs of slowing down as arthritis in her knees have made her walk more slowly. But now she has pneumonia, and some blood issues and we are just waiting on tests and results to figure out next steps. Sigh. The joys of growing old...

Edited: Mar 21, 12:07am Top

I'm so sorry to hear about your mom, and sorry that her husband is so unhelpful. She very blessed to have you to look after things. What a wonderful daughter she has in you, staying at her side in Montreal. Big hugs to you. I lost my dad to cancer nearly 10 years ago, and I do understand those long days and nights when a parent is ill.

Best wishes to you and your mom on relatively quick recovery and to you getting homecare in place for you.

As for the New Anne, I felt it was quite a bit darker than the real Anne of Green Gables, so you did not miss much. It has me shaking my head, thinking this is not Anne of Green Gables.

Take care of yourself, and best wishes to your mom.

Mar 22, 3:41am Top

I'm sorry to hear about your mother's hospitalization, Shelley. Hopefully her husband can step up to the plate and be of some use, and take some of the burden off of you.

Edited: Mar 22, 10:14am Top

>117 kidzdoc: - Thanks, Darryl. No significant progress yet, still just doing tests to try to rule things out. They think there is an internal bleed somewhere and are still trying to find it. I think what is bugging her most is that they are giving her diuretics to prevent clots while she is in bed and she needs to pee all the time. Getting herself up and off the bed is tiring her out but so far, she is still able to do so on her own steam. The physio will be in today to assess and set up a routine and begin the process of looking toward home care. She's had no fever for 4 days but there are other concerns so we continue to wait. I am going home tomorrow while my brother and SIL come in from Vermont and I will come back here when they go home on Monday.

My mom's hubby is just being a man of his generation, used to having things done for him. I hope I am not being sexist but it's how I see it. He is 81 himself and has his own health issues though nothing of this magnitude and I am grateful that he has been playing chauffeur. Because he has been a volunteer at this hospital for years, he has a parking pass and believe me, in this city and in this weather (still lots of snow) that makes a huge difference that we can easily and always park in the hospital's underground lot.

Mar 22, 9:01am Top

I am sorry to hear about your mother's health issues-I hope that you and your brother can advocate for your mother getting a lot of homecare.

Mar 22, 10:14am Top

Thanks, Cyrel. We have already begun the process. The physio who began working with her this morning is very good and I am impressed with her.

Mar 22, 4:17pm Top

Sorry to read your mom is in hospital, Shelley, I hope she'll be able to go home soon, with all the care needed.

>118 jessibud2: I hope I am not being sexist No not at all, my father is the same, although he has learned a little bit in the last years, it still isn't very much he can do.
BTW >115 jessibud2: I wouldn't know how to turn on a diswasher either, as we don't have one ;-)

Mar 22, 5:43pm Top

Hi Shelley, sorry to read that you mom is not too well and in hospital my dear, I do hope you get all her care needs sorted out and that she will be able to go home soon. It is not easy spending long hours by a loved ones bedside and it is good that she has you there my dear, sending special love and hugs to you dear lady.

Mar 22, 6:51pm Top

Hi, Shelley! It doesn't look like I am going to review Birds, Art Life. This happens sometimes, and it has nothing to do with negative feelings. I really liked the book and I shared a few quotes. It will be a book I will keep on shelf and revisit.

I have a cardinal couple visiting me feeders. If I see the female, I always glance around until I spot that flash of red, somewhere in the background.

Mar 22, 8:27pm Top

>121 FAMeulstee: - Thanks, Anita. In truth, I don't have a dishwasher either but also in truth, it isn't difficult to figure out, if one cares to. Put in the soap, shut the door, push the button. haha. He is just a tiny bit lazy. This evening, I have decided to hold back and see if he can find things on his own, instead of asking him where *I* can find such and such. He is a smart man, just needs the proverbial kick in the pants to get off the chair and do it.

>122 johnsimpson: - Thank you, John. Physiotherapy began today and I am impressed with the physiotherapist. My mom is still extremely weak but trying hard to get stronger. She ate well and was a bit cranky, all good signs, hehe. I am heading home tomorrow and I hope that by the time I return next week, I will see lots of improvement.

>123 msf59: - I love those cardinals, Mark and saw one (a male) in a tree here the other day. Well, even if you didn't review it, I am happy that you enjoyed Birds, Art, Life.

Mar 22, 8:39pm Top

Hi, Shelley. Been a bit of a recluse lately, but I did notice that you identified the sterile brick building with the marvelous painting. The one in the photo I posted at Joe's place. My source had no label or caption, and Googling the image yielded only a list of Pinterest dupes of it. I am glad to know where it is. Thank you.

I was also interested in the comments you posted about the Sally Mann documentary you say. Her memoir is still perambulating around in my head.

Edited: Mar 26, 7:56am Top

125 - Hi Bill. It really is a very cool building, that Flatiron Building. Seeing that trompe l'oeil (sp?) up close is something else. Also, tell me what you thought of the Sally Mann memoir. Did you get to see the doc?

Mar 25, 9:29pm Top

Hoping your Moms physio went well.

Have a relaxing weekend, Shelley. xx

Edited: Mar 25, 10:09pm Top

Hi Shelley.. Just checking in!

I am sorry to hear that your mom had to be hospitalized, but I hope she makes steady improvement and is assigned to good home care workers. I used to be a home health care nurse myself, but that sure seems as if it were in another life! I also hope that her husband finally learns how to turn on a dishwasher. My own husband had problems using the clothes dryer when our first son was born, and I was instructed not to climb stairs. That was a generation ago, though, as this son is now 36 years old. My husband figured out the clothes dryer, but now tries to get out of using it. It's easier for him to leave that for me! :O

My husband just applied for his passport today so we're really coming to Canada! I am so excited!! Of course, I couldn't go to apply for my passport today with him because I had a BookCrossing meetup. Priorities are priorities! Oh, well, I will take care of the passport application process sooner rather than later. :)

Mar 28, 5:14am Top

Hi Shelley!

I'm sorry to hear about your Mom and hope that she's doing better.

I hope your week is going well.

(re husbands and appliances - when I got married in 1991 at the age of 38, husband was 35 and had been living on his own since he got out of the Navy at the age of 26. I told him that I didn't particularly feel ownership for his dirty clothes just because we were getting married, and he's continued to do his laundry ever since. Of course I do all the towels and sheets and my clothes, and when daughter was young I did all her clothes, but still. One to two loads per week over 26 years adds up!)

Mar 28, 7:19am Top

>129 karenmarie: - Hi Karen,

Thanks for the good thoughts. I am heading back to Montreal on Thursday morning, not sure for how long. I am the same age as you and I don't think our generation is nearly as bad. I honestly don't remember my dad being *helpless* but also don't remember him actually doing any of the household chores except what was (stupidly) deemed *men's work* in those days: yard work, repairing stuff, etc. It sounds sexist but I honestly think it was just a generational mentality. That said, my mother made sure my brother and I made our beds, did the dishes and laundry and just knew, in general, how to manage on our own. I am sure my sister-in-law appreciates that!

>128 SqueakyChu: - Hi Madeline. My mom may be coming home Wednesday, which is the day they have scheduled for the full body scan to finally be done. She is nervous, as we all are, but in the end, we can only take one day at a time and I will be there on Thursday to make sure the home care is in place. Physically she has been getting stronger, walking now without the walker they gave her last week but other than that, we shall see. They wanted to send her home today but she was scared and I think, wanted to stay until that test was done so she could come home and not have to run back immediately. Good vibes happily accepted.

Edited: Mar 28, 6:35pm Top

>130 jessibud2: Lots and lots of good vibes to you (and your mom) now. Jose's tests came back much better than I expected. I'll do a snail mail letter to you soon (What fun!) to talk about that.

The sooner your mom gets home, the better. I'm glad the scan will be done before she leaves the hospital because she surely does not want to go back there any time soon! Be nervous, but do take one day at a time. Anticipating problems always makes them worse, but we all worry and worry about the worst case scenario. You certainly know that I do that!!

When you get your mom to her home, just be sure to look out for any safety hazards since she has recently stopped using her walker. How long will you be in Montreal? Home care is the best (says this retired home care RN)! :)

I have an appointment to apply for my passport this coming weekend. I hope all goes well. I'll keep you posted.

How did you end up in Toronto with your mom being in Montreal?

Edited: Mar 29, 12:06pm Top

>131 SqueakyChu: - I am going to a book launch tomorrow evening then my other friend Madeleine (Bookgirrl from bookcrossing) is coming in from out of town for it too, staying over and will drive me to the subway in the morning so I can get directly downtown to catch the train. I am planning on staying a week but will take it a day at a time. My mom had the scan today and is awaiting results. I imagine that she will go home tomorrow. Very nerve-wracking time right now.

Good news re Jose! As a chronic migraine sufferer, I can tell you that sometimes what are called tension headaches or cluster headaches can be more severe than migraines and for someone who isn't used to them, probably more frightening.

Mar 29, 10:34am Top

Sending positive thoughts to you and your Mom, Shelley.

Mar 29, 12:08pm Top

>133 karenmarie: - Thanks, Karen. We had news that she has a *mild case* of lymphoma. But what exactly that means, and what the next steps are, regarding treatment, and what the results of some other seemingly (but perhaps not) unrelated issues are, we don't know yet. I think she will be going home today, so at least that is good.

We will take one day at a time and remain positive, as much as possible

Mar 29, 3:30pm Top

Hi Shelley--I hope all goes well for your Mom and that she is discharged soon. It would be great to have you up there to help with the transition back home. Best of luck and safe trip!

Mar 29, 5:18pm Top

wishing the best for you and your mom.

Mar 29, 6:33pm Top

Wishing the best for you and your mom. Take care, Shelley.

Mar 29, 10:34pm Top

Sending prayers for you, your mother, and the rest of your family, Shelley.

Mar 29, 10:45pm Top

>135 Berly:, >136 banjo123:, >137 vancouverdeb: - Thanks Kim. Hope you are on the mend! Take good care of yourself. Thanks Rhonda, Deb and Darryl. I did have a message from her on my phone tonight when I got home and she is home, and happy to be going to sleep in her own bed!

I am leaving early in the morning. Thanks for your good wishes and thoughts.

Edited: Mar 29, 11:30pm Top

>134 jessibud2: Thinking of you, Shelley...and wishing the best that can be under these worrisome circumstances. Take one day at a time. Get as much information as you can. Let's hope for the best outcome. This is scary, but you both have each other. Waiting for some optimistic news! Safe trip to Montreal!

Apr 9, 12:52am Top

Hi Shelley. Joining others in sending thoughts and positive energy your way. I hope things are going better with your mom and all that surrounds what's happening.

Take good care....

Apr 9, 1:07am Top

Thinking of you, Shelley and best thoughts and wishes to you and your mom. Take care. (((( hugs ))))

Apr 9, 2:33am Top

Hi Shelley--Just checking up on things here. Hope no news is good news!

Apr 9, 5:52am Top

Hope all is well, Shelley. Hugs aplenty from afar.

Edited: Apr 9, 9:35am Top

Ellen, Deb, Kim, Paul, thanks. I got home on Wednesday, a few days earlier than planned. I was in Montreal for almost a week but I began to cough, I lost my voice and felt a cold coming on and felt that that was not something I wanted my mom exposed to given her current health situation. But it was an eventful week.

Initially, she was given a diagnosis of *mild lymphoma*. Now, I know (thanks to a consultation with Dr. Google) that there are different forms of lymphoma, not all of which are deadly. It can be treated and many live long and good lives with it. I had never heard the term *mild* lymphoma but whatever. But not all results from the many tests she has had are in yet so we continue to wait. When we met with the hematologist last Monday, she said that the results of the full body scan led her to believe that my mom may not have lymphoma at all and that it may instead be a type of auto-immune disease (of which there are MANY). A bone marrow biopsy was done and those results should determine more precise information which should point doctors in the right direction as to what is really going on. Etc, etc. This coming week will be a reprieve of no appointments at all, then the following week, 3 in a row in which we will hopefully get some of the missing answers. Meantime, she is trying to walk more every day and is slowly getting her strength back. She sounds good, too, when I talk to her. She is also eating regularly which is good. This is the first time in my life that I weigh more than she does (my weight gain of the last few years doesn't help but she did lose a fair bit of weight over this last month).

I actually brought 4 books with me when I went to Montreal, not knowing how long I'd be there. I haven't even finished one. My concentration has just not been up to par lately and now that I am home, my cold in full bloom, I have been napping and just not reading as much. The weather is also turning good, finally, so I hope to clear this personal fog by being outside more, and walking and just breathing deeply.

Apr 9, 8:06am Top

Morning, Shelley! Sorry, I missed the news about your Mom. Hope things are better for her and I hope you are improving as well. Boo, about the lack of reading but you are retired you will catch up. Grins...

The wife is joining me on a bird walk this morning. Yah!

Edited: Apr 9, 10:50am Top

I went to see a wonderful documentary film yesterday afternoon, called Winged Migration. I saw it once before, several years ago, when it first came out. It was about the migration of birds over the course of a full year. It took over 4 years to complete, no special effects, and the cinematography was beyond magnificent. I would love to know more about how they shot it. They had to have used drones because, super zoom lenses aside, it looked and felt as if they were actually flying inside the flocks and I doubt they could have done that with anything that had a loud motor. It showed the planet in its raw beauty and in all its seasons and weathers (can that word be pluralized?). It was just stunning and I was as blown away the second time seeing it as I was the first time. This film really needs to be seen on a large screen though; I can't imagine it on a smaller scale having quite the impact. Have you seen it, Mark?

Apr 9, 10:14am Top

Hi Shelley!

I'm sorry to hear that you've got a cold, and it must be frustrating to not yet have a diagnosis/plan for your mother. Sending positive energy and wishes to both of you.

We saw Winged Migration years ago and loved it. If you can, look for BBC Planet Earth and Planet Earth II. The cinematography in both of these series is stunning too, and there are many scenes where you wonder "How did they do that?" Since they are nature shows there is a lot of natural violence so beware, but there are also scenes of stunning beauty.

Apr 9, 10:51am Top

Thanks, Karen. I think I have one of the Planet Earth shows on dvd. And yes, the natural world is violent, at times, not just beautiful. I watch natures shows a fair bit and usually know when to cover my eyes...

More than the cold, it's the relentless coughing that is getting on my nerves. This too shall pass...

Apr 9, 11:25am Top

Hi Shelley
Sending you and your family my best wishes - if you are coughing- try tea and honey or tea and honey and lemon.( advice from my doctor and friend whose father was a doctor)!

Apr 9, 1:38pm Top

Thanks, Cyrel. I have been guzzling the most disgusting tasting cough syrup and drinking tea with honey. The cough is mostly a dry cough and though it isn't being caused by my asthma - I can recognize the difference - I have used my puffer a bit too, at night. Actually, I have been sleeping pretty well and as far as I'm concerned, that's all that matters. I can deal with the congestion and coughing during the day - it's when it keeps me up at night that I dread. And my throat isn't hurting at all either so all things considered, it's *just a cold*..;-)

Apr 9, 5:43pm Top

I'm so relieved to hear back from you, Shelley. Things seem to be a bit better in your mom's case, but I guess that will be determined when the final hospital tests are in. I'm so sorry that you had to come home with a cold, but I understand your reluctance to expose your mom that that now. I had a miserable cold that my grandson gave me last month. It had me coughing for three weeks, but, like you said, it's "just a cold".

Take care of yourself and keep us posted to how you and your mom are doing.

I finally got my passport application in. Now I have to wait to see when I get it! Since I really want to see/meet you whenever we travel to Canada, I might be changing our travel dates. If we don't go to Canada the weekend we planned, we'll be travelling to friends at the beach in Maryland. Either way, we will make it to Toronto this year.

Apr 9, 6:07pm Top

Welcome back, Shelley, and thanks for the update. It sounds like a whirlwind of diagnostic efforts and I am not surprised to hear that your concentration is affected. How could it not be?! I'm also glad, though, to hear that your mom seems to be gaining strength, showing an appetite, and sounding good when you talk with her. It's a tough journey you and she are on together. I know she draws strength from you; I hope you are able to take good care of yourself, too. Rest up so that cold can go away!

I ADORED Winged Migration when I saw it in the theater when it was originally released. It is a beautiful, heart-wrenching but also soul-soaring documentary. I have such clear visual and auditory memories of some of its "scenes." Your description is perfect.

Apr 9, 6:33pm Top

Thanks, Madeline and Ellen. My mom went for a 15 minute walk outside today! I am sure she is exhausted but it was a delightful 18C (64.4F) and will be 22C (71.6F) tomorrow! She told me it felt so good just to breathe fresh air. Personally, I found their apartment overly hot but it's how they like it so I put their thermostat down a degree or two when they weren't looking, until they noticed. But it's been a good weekend so all we need now is for me to get rid of this stupid cold. The more she improves, the less I feel the need to rush back so quickly, which I of course would do, but it's a 5-hour train ride and not something I love doing so frequently.

>152 SqueakyChu: - Madeline, we will stay in touch re your travel plans.

>153 EBT1002: - Yes, I was amazed at how moved I was seeing it this second time. The friend I went with had not seen it before and she was awestruck.

Apr 9, 6:36pm Top

It is one of my all-time top ten films, no question.

Edited: Apr 9, 7:00pm Top

Wishing you and your mom well, Shelley! I've heard of * indolent* lymphoma , but never * mild * lymphoma. But you know M.D.'s sometimes! I'll never forget many years ago going on a canoe trip with my husband and he somehow came down with ( of all things ) a bladder infection! Finally we had to go the local hospital, a very small place. The ER doctor asked my husband - "could you just give us a whiz in this bottle." I just about died of surprise and laughter, but managed to restrain myself. As my poor embarrassed husband said later - you know, it's just Sechelt, everyone's " just folks."

Apr 9, 7:22pm Top

>147 jessibud2: I heard about the "Migration" doc but have not seen it. Definitely interested in checking that one out. Thanks!

Apr 9, 9:29pm Top

>156 vancouverdeb: - LOL, Deb, at that story! Good for you for holding it together. I'm not sure I would have been able to keep from cracking up!

>157 msf59: - Keep your eyes open for it Mark. Your library may actually have a copy for borrowing, if they have that sort of thing. Our libraries do. But really, if you ever have an opportunity to see it on a big screen, it will have much more impact, I think. Unless, of course, you have a large screen tv at home...

Apr 10, 10:58am Top

Hi Shelley, I hope that your mother receives good news after her consultants' appointments next week.

Apr 10, 9:14pm Top

Just catching up with you, Shelley. Sorry to her about your mom's health issues, and your cold and cough. Helping out our aging parents is SO much harder than caring for children...my mother is 86, and a bit of a trial at times. My dad would have been 89 if he were still with us, and I do have to say he was very useful around the house---he not only knew how to run the dishwasher, he knew how to wash dishes by hand, make a great pot of coffee, fix his own breakfast, lunch and a serviceable supper as well. We were meat and potato people when I was growing up, and he often helped prep the potatoes and other veggies. He used the vacuum cleaner when necessary, and I remember being rather surprised to see him make the bed when my mother was in the hospital in the '70's.

Apr 10, 10:05pm Top

>126 jessibud2: Hi; been lost in the ozone. Or somewhere. Guess if I knew, I wouldn't have been lost.

I haven't yet seen the Sally Mann documentary, but I did talk to my sister, who has lived outside of Lexington, in Rockbridge County, for 30 years or more. I interrupted our train of conversation and just said, "Sally Mann."

"Ohhh," she said. And I knew she wasn't a fan. Turns out that Larry Mann, Sally's husband, is her lawyer. She's in a book club and when Hold Still came out, they read it. She acknowledged they excellence of Sally's photos, but I don't think she approves of the family stuff.

Apr 14, 3:33pm Top

Wishing you a very Happy Easter.

Apr 15, 12:25am Top

Hi Shelley--Crossing fingers on your Mom' tests: may the tests be conclusive so a plan of treatment can be made. More importantly, I hope it is something easy to treat! Hope you are wining the war on your cold, too.

Apr 15, 7:48am Top

>159 kidzdoc: - Thanks, Darryl. I trust you are having a blast in London!

>160 laytonwoman3rd: - Thanks, Linda. My mom is sounding so good on the phone when I talk to her. She has been outside for short walks now that the weather is better and her husband even drove her to the mall so she could get her nails done yesterday! And they went out for dinner the other night! She continues to eat well and is slowly gaining back the weight she lost. She laughed when she told me, saying who could have imagined her *wanting* to gain weight!

Edited: Apr 16, 10:48pm Top

>161 weird_O: - Hi Bill. I will still keep my eyes open for her bio. I wonder if my library has a copy.

>162 johnsimpson: - Thanks, John. And to you and your family too!

>163 Berly: - Thanks, Kim. Well, the big reveal will come next week. She has appointments on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. From the progress she is making, though, I am daring to feel a bit optimistic. She still tires easily but my cousin has been visiting his mom (my mom's sister) the last 3 days (he lives in Alabama), and he says she looks so much better than he expected. I was going to go in next week for just a few days, driving in with a friend who is going to visit her dad, but because I am still coughing and still a bit congested, though not too much, my mom says no, she doesn't want me to come until I am completely finished with the cold, and of course, that makes perfect sense.

Apr 15, 8:18am Top

Glad to hear your mother sounds good and is doing short walks, Shelly.
I hope the testresults give some clarity about what is/was wrong with her.

Apr 15, 8:42am Top

Thanks, Anita!

Apr 15, 9:14am Top

Hi Shelley!

I'm so glad to hear that your mom is out and about! I hope the test results are positive.

Have a happy Easter weekend and sending healing thoughts for a quick recovery from your cold!

Apr 15, 9:39am Top

Morning, Shelley! Happy Easter weekend. And hooray for your Mom.

Apr 15, 10:39am Top

Hi Shelley, I'm so glad your mom is doing better. I know about that lingering cough. I had it myself. Keep it to yourself. :)

I'm hoping for good news for your mom on the day of the big reveal. It must be hard on you knowing that you can't be there with her now, but hopefully you'll see how much better she is when you finally get to Montreal.

Have a happy Passover. I'll keep in touch.

Edited: Apr 15, 11:18am Top

>169 msf59: - Hi Mark. I'd much rather be there than here, if only for the sun (we are having rain at the moment), if nothing else.... oh, yes, there is *something else* going on down your way today... ;-)

Apr 15, 11:17am Top

>170 SqueakyChu: - Hi Madeline, Once today's rain stops, I will head out for some errands. Happy Passover to you, too!

Apr 15, 6:51pm Top

>172 jessibud2: Thanks!

My husband's passport arrived today! Now I only have to wait for mine.

I read in online that tourism is down very much in the U.S. now. People are not willing to travel here much any more due to the unfriendly border crossings. I understand that, and I hope this continues to show that we need a more friendly border policy. Economic pressure seems to be the only pressure that this administration understands.

Apr 15, 8:00pm Top

>173 SqueakyChu: - I agree. I decided that I won't go to the States again until trump is gone. I had planned to visit my brother in Vermont this summer but it can wait. My cousin (who I was going to travel with) is in complete agreement. Instead, I am happy to welcome my American friends who will be visiting me, instead!! :-)

Apr 15, 10:01pm Top

I'm glad to read that your mom is showing signs of improvement! Short walks, going out for dinner , that sounds great! I hope you are soon feeling 100 % yourself. Happy Passover, and I'm hoping for happy results with your mom's body scan. We've got sun today and yesterday!

Apr 16, 12:17am Top

>174 jessibud2: I'll be happy to visit you. I may not want to return! ;)

Apr 16, 2:58pm Top

Or just Happy Sunday!!

Apr 16, 10:43pm Top

>157 msf59: MARK: You have to see Winged Migration. End of sentence. Period.

Hi Shelley! I don't blame you for staying north of the border for the duration. If I'm ever in Toronto, you know I'm going to work with you to arrange a meet-up. :-)

I'm glad to hear that things seem to be improving with and for your mom. And I hope your cold improves so you can visit her. Fingers crossed for the test results...

Apr 19, 8:58am Top

March: Book One by John Lewis. I read this one in practically one sitting and found it very moving. I have not read many graphic novels but was quite impressed with this one. Even though I wear glasses, though, I will admit to using a magnifying glass to read some of the tinier print in the speech bubbles (the *quieter* words spoken in some of the scenes). That would be my only beef, though. Books 2 and 3 are currently *in transit* to my library and I am hoping they will arrive and be ready for pickup by week's end. Although I have read a fair bit (or so I thought) about the Civil Rights Movement, John Lewis was not a name I knew before this book came onto my radar. Now that I am learning more about him, I am wondering how that could be possible! I am looking forward to the next two books. Lewis is a man of such integrity. It makes me despise trump even more than I already do (something I didn't think possible) for how he disrespected Lewis (among many others) so publicly during the election campaign. But that's another whole story and I don't want to waste time and energy on that man (trump) in my thread.

Edited: Apr 21, 1:15pm Top

I have finally finished Sandy Koufax by Jane Leavy. Lots of real life distractions this month so far, so it's taken me far longer than expected.

Koufax has always been a player who has intrigued me but I found this book to be rather odd, in some ways. Leavy never actually *interviewed* Koufax himself for this book. She met with him once or twice, I believe but the whole book is told through the voices of others, which I suppose, was her point. It's an interesting approach and perspective, and not a bad one, really, but for me anyhow, it felt a bit distant. The one *device* that she used throughout, which was initially interesting but one which I found a bit tedious after awhile, was that of using the experiences of random people's memories of a particular game - Sandy's final perfect game, of September 9, 1965. At first, I thought it was neat, and lent the story a special touch, a way of placing a moment in time. But the more she did this, the more random it began to feel. Often, a paragraph would appear, using a name of someone the reader had no idea about. There would be no preface to it, and no follow-up afterwards. I actually began, at one point, to mark in pencil in the margins when this happened but I stopped after awhile.

Overall, it wasn't a bad book. I admire Koufax not only for his talents and what he accomplished in the field of baseball, but for being the type of person he was, a man of integrity and overall decency, qualities often missing in sports figures of the current era. When he first began his career, he was looked upon as weird because he was always reading, for crying out loud! And reading good literature!! I also learned that the author had a difficult time finding a single person who did not admire him, even among his most ardent rivals. I am glad that I read this book, but I have to say, I have read better biographies.

Edited: Apr 19, 1:39pm Top

>179 jessibud2: I definitely have to read the March books. Like you, I was not familiar with John Lewis until the ugly remarks by 45, but now I have so much respect for Lewis, a man who endured so much in standing up for his people...a man of great integrity...a man whom to admire.

Apr 20, 3:55pm Top

>179 jessibud2: Loving all the John Lewis love on these pages. A remarkable man.

>180 jessibud2: Also, I was always a big fan of Sandy Koufax. There is an old Kevin Costner movie - For the Love of the Game - about an aging pitcher with a shot at pitching a perfect game. I always thought Costner's portrayal, particularly the way in which he strode around the mound, was a nod to Mr. Koufax. If you haven't seen it, might be worth digging up.

Apr 20, 4:33pm Top

Marianne! So good to see you back! I hope you have been ok. You have been missed around LT!

Yes, I have always liked Koufax. My dad was a big fan when I was growing up so I even remember hearing about him when he was playing though that was before I ever watched baseball on tv (and certainly before the Montreal Expos brought the game to Montreal, where I grew up).

I haven't seen that particular Kostner film but will look for it, thanks! I did of course see (more than once) Field of Dreams.

I just had a call from the library that the 2 remaining Lewis books are in so I will pick them up tomorrow.

Apr 20, 5:01pm Top

Slowly making my way back - it's nice to have been missed. Field of Dreams is an all time favorite. Even though I have it on DVD, I always seem to drop everything when it's showing on TV. I'll drink in the whole thing -- even though I'll have to watch the commercials! Ha! I'd save more time if I just shoved in the DVD at the point it shows up on TV!

Edited: Apr 20, 5:10pm Top

>184 michigantrumpet: - Heehee, yep, I have it on DVD too! I have to tell you, though, I read WP Kinsella's novel that it was based on, Shoeless Joe and honestly did not like the book. Or maybe, more accurately, his writing. One instance here where the movie surpassed the book. That doesn't happen very often, in my experience!

Apr 20, 6:11pm Top

Hi Shelley!

>180 jessibud2: Good review. I'm from LA, and although I never actually got to see Koufax pitch, I was living in LA during his heyday. We even still have a 45 rpm recording of the 9th inning of his perfect game!

I have a kid's book about Koufax, Sandy Koufax: Strikeout King, but it was written in 1963 way before he did all the amazing things he did.

My Mom was the Dodgers fan of the family, and I remember the radio on in the kitchen when she was getting dinner ready, llistening in the car on vacations, and reading the paper the next day after a Dodgers game.

I love Field of Dreams. I also love Damn Yankees.

Apr 20, 6:42pm Top

>186 karenmarie: - Montreal got a franchise in 1969. I can remember playing hooky from school to go to games with my friends. But our family routine that I remember best was on Sunday afternoons, washing the car in the driveway and listening to the ballgame on the radio. We were all big fans in those days, the whole family.

I have always loved baseball movies. There was a terrific documentary several years ago called Baseball Girls. The step-mother of one of my students worked at the time for the NFB (National Film Board of Canada), which produced the film. She gave me 2 free tickets, 2 baseball hats with the movie logo on them and all manner of pictures and literature about it. My educational assistant in the class and I went and we loved it. It was really a great little film:


Apr 22, 4:30pm Top

Hi Shelley, hope you are having a really good weekend my dear and the weather is good with you, sending love and hugs.

Apr 22, 6:43pm Top

Thanks, John. Back at you!

Today is the global March for Science, with scientists coming out of their labs and getting political, not a natural position for most. But what scientists here in Canada went through during our last conservative government, under Stephen Harper, when he muzzled scientists, many fear will happen (if it isn't already) under the current American president, and spread world-wide. On my favourite science program on CBC radio, called Quirks and Quarks, the host Bob McDonald spoke today to Bill Nye, the Science guy, as well as to Jane Goodall, on why this global protest is so important, and how science is really education, not *alternate facts*.

It's a 15-minute listen but really worthwhile, if the spirit moves you:


Apr 22, 6:50pm Top

Well, for the AAC (American Author challenge) for April, it was poetry month. While I used to write it myself, in my younger years, it has never been a genre that I read, comfortably. Don't know why but it just doesn't work for me, in general. So, to venture out of my comfort zone a bit, I thought I'd ask my friend to lend me one of her many books by Mary Oliver, who has one poem I do know and like, Wild Geese. She lent me Dream Work and though I really tried, I have to conclude, yet again, that this just isn't my genre. Oh well....

I also dipped into a slim volume I have of the poems of Emily Dickinson and again, while some of them were more familiar to me, poetry just doesn't seem to draw me in in the same way a good novel can.

Apr 22, 8:59pm Top

>179 jessibud2: I bought the 3-volume set at our Portland Powell's meet-up last month and I need to take the wrapping off and read them. By the way, I don't know if you "do" podcasts, but my favorite these days is "On Being." Krista Tippett interviewed John Lewis for that podcast in January and it's well worth the listen.

Apr 22, 9:44pm Top

>191 EBT1002: - Non-techie that I am, I am going to admit with much embarrassment (don't tell anyone, ok?) that I have no idea how to *do* podcasts, unless there is a way to just listen to them online, which I think is doable, isn't it? I remember clicking on a few episodes of Malcolm Gladwell's (I think it's a podcast) awhile ago. I like him as a writer and a reader and these were good. I will see if I can figure out the one you mentioned.

Apr 22, 10:13pm Top

>192 jessibud2: Oh, well, this is doable. You can in fact listen on line if you want (I think you can listen if you follow that link I posted). I have a smart phone (iPhone) and I started subscribing to podcasts in which I was interested. I just learned that I can download just one episode if I want. That way the "subscription" doesn't lead to the backlogging of dozens of not-yet-and-probably-never-to-be-listened-to episodes sitting on my phone taking up space. So I downloaded ONE episode of the podcast "Modern Love," recommended to me by a trusted friend but not yet vetted by me!

Apr 23, 12:54am Top

I am sorry to hear about your mom's hospitalization, Shelley, but glad to hear that she was released from hospital. I hope the anxiety of getting things all set up for her has passed.

I was interested to hear that you were invited to a book launch. You are lucky you live where you do. I was invited to a book launch for a new book about Tom Thomson. The launch is on April 25 but it is in Toronto - a little far away for me *sigh*. How did the book launch you attended go?

Apr 23, 7:43am Top

Oh, Meg! Can you tell me more about the book launch for the new Tom Thomson book? I have read a couple of books about him and would be very interested!

The book launch I was at was so fun! It was held at the Toronto Arts Centre, an elegant old house converted to a meeting place. The author read from her new book, and had a slide show of some of the photos in her book. It was about women who were innovators in the field of Canadian journalism. She herself had been a journalist and she knew many of the women she wrote about. There was a nice spread of finger food and a pianist playing in the background. The only problem was that she played so loudly, that it was nearly impossible to hold normal conversation. I'm sure they will learn from this. What was also neat was that the book was published by York University (school I graduated from). It's part of their journalism program and each year they publish 2 books, one fiction, one non-fiction, as they learn about the publishing industry.

Apr 23, 7:51am Top

Hi Shelley! Happy Sunday.

(I'm not up on 'podcasts' either, so don't feel alone.)

Apr 23, 8:36am Top

Morning, Shelley! Happy Sunday! Hooray for the March for Science and speaking of marches I am glad you enjoyed March: Book One. This is a fantastic trilogy and should be read by all.

Seen any interesting birds?

Apr 23, 8:39am Top

>197 msf59: I have seen plenty of interesting birds here in Jacksonville both with and without feathers!

Have a great Sunday, Shelley. xx

Apr 23, 9:03am Top

>197 msf59: - Hi Mark. I started book 2 of March: Book Two last night and am exactly half way through. Will finish it today. And probably go straight to book three!

I will just copy and paste what I just posted to Karen's thread about my birds: I have one feeder, a tube feeder that has a spring-loaded cage that slides closed over the 4 ports if anything heavier than a songbird lands on it. It has been remarkably effective in keeping the squirrels off! :-)

My most frequent regulars lately are the lovely goldfinches, males in full brilliant yellow now, regular house sparrows, chickadees, red-breasted nuthatches, house finches and I am still seeing juncos, too. Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal have been back daily and the usual mourning doves, and as well, I have noticed that the male downy woodpecker has been around the last several days. I had white-breasted nuthatches for a few weeks visiting daily which was cool as that was a first for me.

It's going to be a gorgeous day here so I will head out to the garden centre to buy bags of soil (door-crasher sale!). It's still a bit early to plant into the ground (in my zone, the middle to end of May is usually the date considered *safe* from overnight frost) but I have been cleaning up the winter debris and washing planter pots and just getting ready. I can't wait. It's also fun to see some things already starting to push through and pop up!

Apr 23, 9:04am Top

>198 PaulCranswick: - I look forward to your latest installment of your Florida *dishes*, Paul.... ;-)

Apr 23, 9:15am Top

Love the bird report, Shelley and the spring-loaded feeder sounds good. The squirrels seem to be staying off the feeders lately, so I am happy with that.

I have still not seen a red-breasted nuthatch but I also see your regulars too. The juncos have been absent lately, for some reason. I am loving the white-throated and chipping sparrow visits though.

Apr 23, 9:20am Top

The juncos seem to go elsewhere once the winter is over, I've noticed.

Incidentally, I have one birdbath. I wash it thoroughly once or twice a season but empty it daily, and in summer, several times a day, and usually scrub it with a brush before refilling it. I feel we need to do that because mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water and avian flu or other mosquito-related bird diseases are a big issue here. I don't want to get rid of the water source for the birds (and don't mind if squirrels drink too), but keeping the water fresh and clean is really important. It really isn't a big deal and doesn't take much time at all.

Apr 23, 10:02am Top

Great bird bath recommendations. I may not be able to do it daily but I will try to clean it and change the water, 2 or 3 times a week.

Edited: Apr 23, 11:34am Top

>195 jessibud2: The book launch is on April 25 at the Haligonian Club evite link is here. The author is Angie Littlefield who has written a couple of books about Tom Thomson and family. I was invited because, as a family connection, I had some input into the book.

The book launch you attended sounds interesting. I wish I was able to go to the one on Tuesday.

Edited: Apr 23, 1:06pm Top

We have two bird baths, one of which they visit regularly and the other almost never. Interestingly, the favored one is taller and it's just plain ugly. Made of molded concrete, its surface is a bit rough and we have it kind of hidden away behind the Lilac tree. We can see it, but it's not front and center in the garden. When we tried to replace it with a beautiful blue glazed bath, the birds stopped coming around. My theory is that the rough concrete enables them to get purchase on the side, better enabling them to take a drink without taking a swim if they so choose. Of course, the Robins just hop in and splash around like a 3-year old in a pond on a warm summer day!

ETA: Oh, and we also empty and refresh them every day in the summer. Mosquitoes are less of an issue but still, the water gets pretty icky.

Apr 23, 1:15pm Top

>204 Familyhistorian: - Thanks for that link, Meg! I just registered! I asked for 2 tickets and am hoping that I can find someone to come with me. The one friend I know would want to is out of town and won't be back till Wed (and she will be pulling out her hair at missing this!). I asked another friend but she is a musician and has to perform in a concert that evening though she wanted to come. She told me that if it was just a rehearsal, she might have skipped it but can't back out of a performance. I am waiting for a reply from the third friend (it was the four of us who all went to our last book launch). Anyhow, it looks cool so thanks again for the heads-up. Is your family connection to the Thomson family?

It's being held in a nice venue on Hazelton Ave, a rather swanky part of town. It will feel nice to dress up a bit and get out of my regular uniform of jeans or sweats, lol!

Apr 23, 1:19pm Top

>205 EBT1002:- I think you are right about the surface of the birdbath, Ellen. I used to have a smooth one too and used to put a rock in it for them to land on but the one I have now is smaller but rougher. They all love it. And because several visitors (winged and bushy-tailed) use it for both drinking and bathing, the water sure does get yucky. It's also not too far from the feeder so sometimes I even find seeds or junk from the tree in it. I don't mind tipping it empty and refilling it frequently, especially in summer when the water tends to evaporate more quickly, as well.

Apr 23, 5:14pm Top

>206 jessibud2: That's great, Shelley. I wish I could go with you. I hope you have a great time.

Apr 23, 7:11pm Top

>208 Familyhistorian: - I will come back with a full report, Meg!

By the way, today is Shakespeare's birthday. I found these fun links. Enjoy: :-)


And this is quite the *birthday* cake!: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/81/85/83/81858313e808e295d3a0791a236fc780.jpg

Apr 24, 5:36am Top

>209 jessibud2: That's a fabulous cake!

Apr 24, 7:29am Top

Hi Shelley!

I need to clean the bird bath more regularly. It's cement and heavy, so I usually just tip it to get out as much water as I can, whoosh water through it, then refill it. the cement is good for gripping.

Birds, squirrels, and my calico cat Inara Starbuck all drink from it, not at the same time of course!

>209 jessibud2: That is a beautiful cake! I took cake-decorating lessons when my daughter was little, and all I can think of when I see a cake like that is hours and hours and hours. Fondant, too. *shudder*

Wishing you a happy Monday!

Apr 24, 6:17pm Top

Wow! Quite the amazing cake, Shelley!

Apr 25, 12:44pm Top

I have finished book two of the John Lewis trilogy, March: Book Two and am plunging right into book three. You know, I think a lot about what he (and so many others) did during those incredibly volatile years in the 50s and 60s. I believe what he believes about equality, dignity and human value. This has been an eternal struggle for humans, in probably every place in the world, in every era of human history. But I also think I'm far too timid a person to have been able to put my physical safety (and that of my family) at risk in the ways the people of the Civil Rights movement did. Yes, gains were achieved, steps forward were made. But the sad truth is that if we look around us today, right now, basic human nature hasn't much evolved and these very struggles are still being fought. It just makes me sad. But, all that said, thank goodness for the John Lewises and Martin Luther Kings, and all t hose others. If not for them, we might still be living in caves......

Apr 25, 7:29pm Top

<208 - Sigh. Meg, I didn't go. What happened was that my friend who was supposed to come with me printed out the e-tickets. My printer is not working at the moment. Then, after lunch she phoned me to tell me that she had to have some uncomfortable procedure (some tube down her throat) and wasn't feeling great and decided not to go. I called another friend, hoping to not have to go alone. Not that I wouldn't have but it was too last-minute and she couldn't make it either. So, I emailed the contact person, asking if my name was on an actual list since I couldn't print out the tickets and my cell phone doesn't have a data plan so I'd be unable to access my email, to show proof of confirmation. I never heard back. It was getting too close, time-wise, and the friend who had the tickets lives too far in the opposite direction for me to have gone to pick them up and still make it on time.

I then phoned the actual venue, but got an answering machine where I left my name and number and a detailed message but no one returned the call. Since it was rather cool and damp out, I decided that I really didn't want to schlep all the way downtown (easily an hour or more via subway), and find I couldn't get in. The venue is at a classy address. It could be a fancy enough place not to give me a hard time at all. Or it could be a fancy enough place that without the required paper in hand, I might not get in the door. I just didn't have the energy to take a chance. Sigh... :-(

I am sorry to have missed it. I bet it would have been fun. But I'll keep my eyes open for the book when it comes out.

Edited: Apr 26, 8:50am Top

For the AAC this month, I also read a slim volume of Emily Dickinson Selected Poems. I was familiar with what are probably her two most famous poems, Hope, and A Book. But other than the fact that I noticed she doesn't deviate much from the *melody* and cadence pattern in just about every poem, I also noticed that she is quite obsessed with death.

A Book

There is no frigate like book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul!


Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all.

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chilliest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.


These were the two I knew, and frankly, the two I still liked best, in this book. Moving on...

Apr 26, 7:18am Top

>214 jessibud2: The hassle of modern day life, needing a printer to print your tickets...
I am sorry you missed the event, Shelley.

Edited: Apr 26, 10:04am Top

>216 FAMeulstee: - True. I am sure there will be plenty of other events to go to, though this would have been nice. C'est la vie...

Apr 26, 9:20am Top

Hi Shelley!

I'm sorry about the friend who was feeling poorly and printer woes.

I have a book of Emily Dickinson's poems. Perhaps I should pull it down and take a gander. I'm one of these philistines who prefer poetry that scans and rhymes, except for e.e. cummings.

Apr 26, 10:15am Top

>215 jessibud2: Emily Dickenson died in 1886, yet the poems you posted above are so timely. *sigh*

Edited: Apr 27, 6:42am Top

Truthfully , Shelley, while I am VERY GLAD that O'Leary decided to quit running the Conservative Party, and yes, the scary Kelly O'Leitch also has to go - nobody in the running appeals to me in the very least of ways. Maybe Micheal Chong, but he should really be a Liberal, I think. I used to think that Maxime Bernier sounded okay, until I heard that he would end health fund transfers to the provinces as well as introducing a flat tax of 15 % , up to 200,000 K, instead of our progressive tax system.

Apr 27, 6:35am Top

Morning, Shelley! Sweet Thursday! Good choices on the Dickinson poems. I have read very little of her but i like those. You should share them on the AAC thread. Just sayin'...

Hope the week is going good.

Apr 27, 7:17am Top

>221 msf59: -Mark, I seem to have lost the link to the AAC thread. Help?

>220 vancouverdeb: - I agree 100%. I also think that Michael Chong would be a decent choice. Precisely because he is more liberal. Is Rona Ambrose in the running? I think she might be ok, too. But I have heard that Bernier is NOT a good choice. He is a freaking trump supporter, for crying out loud. And the way that trump spews garbage and keeps flip-flopping, why on earth do we need supporters here?

Apr 27, 8:06am Top

Good morning, Shelley, and happy Thursday!

Apr 27, 12:27pm Top

>222 jessibud2: Noooooooooo! There cannot be any more Trump supporters anywhere on earth!!

Apr 27, 2:09pm Top

Today's special edition of CBC radio's *The Current* was broadcast from Washington, DC, as host Anna Maria Tremonti speaks to a number of different people about trump's first 100 days in office. She is an excellent interviewer and I am cautiously encouraged to hear so many intelligent Americans saying the things we all see as obvious about trump's mental stability, crazy and loose sense of *reality*, and the prospects for impeachment.


Apr 27, 8:23pm Top

>218 karenmarie: - Oops, I think I missed your comments up above, Karen, sorry. I also relate better, I think, to rhythmic poetry, although after reading through the Dickinson volume, it did get a bit tedious, especially when it felt she was pushing, just to stay in the *pattern*. But some non-rhyming poetry can be beautiful, too. I guess I am just not immersed enough in it to appreciate it as much as I could.

Apr 27, 8:52pm Top

>222 jessibud2: Looks like you found the AAC Poetry thread, Shelley. Thanks for sharing the poems over there and I hope you like the Oliver collection.

Apr 28, 12:19am Top

Rona Ambrose is just the interim leader for the Conservatives, Shelley. Let's just hope that the eventual Conservative leader is so unattractive to voters that we get the Liberals back for another four years.

May 1, 4:30pm Top

I have finished all three books in the John Lewis graphic novel trilogy March. It's so difficult to find words to express what still seems beyond belief, though that perhaps says more about the naivete of privilege and time removed from those days, than it does about the work itself. I know, of course, in the same way we all *know* that prejudice, segregation and hatred are ugly, ignorant and despicable, and truly a shameful part of human nature. I am relatively new to the genre of graphic novels, and I have to say, I found this one, at least, to be very powerful. I am queasy when it comes to seeing violence on film and I deliberately don't go to movies if I know there is excessive violence (which, of course, eliminates many, if not most, for me as that seems to be what sells, these days). I just don't find violence to be *entertainment* and will not spend my money on it. Ok, off my soap box, for that. But reading books with text alone, I realize, makes it a bit too easy to skip over the rough spots, especially when there is an important story to tell. While this graphic novel didn't spare the reader, I found it to be just the right balance of visual and verbal, and I appreciated that.

I will use the excuse that I am not American, to maybe explain why John Lewis is a name I had never heard before this trilogy came onto my radar, thanks to LT. I would like to think that his name and his life ought to be at least as well-known as many of the other major players in the Civil Rights movement. I am soooo happy that he lived to witness Barack Obama in the White House. But it just makes me all the more sad (and enraged, if I am honest) that he (and all of us) had to witness what followed. It seems very much like a giant step backward and that has to be so very discouraging.

I highly recommend this trilogy to any who have not yet experienced it.

Edited: May 1, 4:40pm Top

>214 jessibud2: It's too bad it didn't work out for you, Shelley. It sounds like it would have been an interesting evening. I was looking forward to hearing about it. I will have to have a look for the book to add to my Tom Thomson collection.

Edited: May 1, 9:39pm Top

Shelley, I so appreciated what you said in >229 jessibud2:. I have the second March waiting for me at the library. So much eye and heart opening that needs to be done with stories shared. In the most recent NYer mag there is a very interesting article about Pauli Murray who had 2 great fights on her hands, being black and female. It was a very interesting book review by Katherine Schultz one of my fav. writers.

May 1, 7:06pm Top

>230 Familyhistorian: - I know, Meg, I was disappointed, as well. No one from the event or the venue ever did get back to me, even after the fact, which I find a bit off-putting but so be it. There will be other opportunities. I will also keep my eyes open for the book, though, as it is likely to be one I'll want to read.

May 1, 7:22pm Top

>231 mdoris: - Thanks, Mary, for your kind words. I also obtained all my copies from the library and they were worth waiting for. Really, nothing should surprise me in this realm. After all, the entire Black Lives Matter is basically still fighting the same fight. Different times, maybe different details, but basically it's the same thing. What is it about humans that some people just don't evolve, morally? It's tragic, really.

I will check out your link and the NYer mag, thanks

May 1, 7:28pm Top

>230 Familyhistorian: - One more thing, Meg. have you read Roy MacGregor's Northern Light? A friend lent it to me recently and told me it was very good. I have not yet got to it but really want to.

May 1, 9:41pm Top

I would love to know what the new Tom Thomson book is called. I love his work and I grew up going to a summer camp where his turned over canoe was found, Canoe Lake.

May 1, 10:13pm Top

Mary, I think the book is called Tom Thomson's Fine Kettle of Friends. No touchstone yet. I think the author is Angie Littlefield. Not sure when it will be in stores, but I intend to ask, next time I go to Chapters.

Another book I read and really liked (a few years ago) was Tom Thomson Artist of the North. I'd recommend that one if you haven't already read it.

Are you originally from Ontario?

May 1, 10:45pm Top

>236 jessibud2: Fine Kettle of Friends? That is a great title, Shelley.

May 1, 11:18pm Top

>236 jessibud2: yes Shelley, I grew up in Toronto and lived there until after I finished uni. then after many years living here and there, Saskatoon, Kingston, London, Ont. back to T.O., we settled on the west coast. I love the Group of Seven painters but especially Tom Thomson. Thanks for the recommendations.

May 2, 9:35am Top

>234 jessibud2: Roy MacGregor's Northern Light is part of my Tom Thomson collection but I haven't read it yet. I have a couple of books by Angie Littlefield as well which is how I came in contact with her as I emailed her after I read the Thomsons of Durham as I wanted to know about some of the research she had found as this is part of my family line. As I remember I didn't get Angie's book from a book store but ordered them from her website. I am just running off to work or would post a link to her website here. You are so lucky to be retired Shelley.

May 3, 7:02am Top

From my Word of the Day newsletter this morning. The quote alone is powerful, but note the writer! :


The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.

-Niccolo Machiavelli, political philosopher and author (3 May 1469-1527)

May 3, 4:30pm Top

>240 jessibud2:

Uh...I'd rather not! :(

May 3, 5:05pm Top

Hi - I posted a long message for you on Mark's Thread - Hope it works!

May 3, 6:40pm Top

>242 m.belljackson: - Thank you for that, Marianne! I will respond to your comment there (on Mark's thread)

May 3, 6:43pm Top

I may have mentioned once or twice that I am not a fan of Margaret Atwood's writing, generally speaking. There is only one of her books that I have read that I actually liked, Alias Grace. But that said, she has a wicked sense of humour and I have enjoyed some of the articles she has written for magazines and online.

Now, yesterday it was announced here in Toronto that provincial funding for libraries was going to be cut. Cue the outrage. I just caught this tweet from one of our local news reporters and had to chuckle:

"Don't mess with Peggy. After @MargaretAtwood tweet and general outrage from most people who can read, Ontario govt restores library funding."


May 3, 6:53pm Top

>245 vancouverdeb: We certainly have in common that we are not fans of Margaret Atwood, Shelley! I'm glad to know that I am not alone.

I was in the library last night and saw volumes 2 and 3 of March. They look quite dense. I picked up a couple of other books and a couple of graphic novels, but I'll wait until I see volume 1 of March. One graphic novel that I really enjoyed was Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography by Chester Brown. My son had to read it for Canadian Studies in first year of university, and that kind of opened my eyes to graphic novels. I was surprised that they would be used at UBC. A different medium, but very effective.

Wishing you well coping with your mom's illness and hoping all is going well.

May 3, 8:56pm Top

Ok, just a few posts ago, I was on my soapbox about violence in movies and how I simply refuse to buy into that form of so-called *entertainment*. I may have mentioned that I am a member of a Documentary film cinema, and right now, is the Hot Docs Festival. I have been going to one or two films a day over the last few days, including today. Some have been really good, others, so-so. This morning I saw a lovely and inspiring film. But this afternoon, well.....

It was called The Beatles and World War II. I am not sure what I was expecting, but it sure wasn't this. What's interesting and fun about this festival is that often, the filmmaker or directors are present for the screenings and will talk before the show or do a Q&A after. This film's director, Tony Palmer, explained how this film was made and how, he too, was a bit skeptical about its original concept. Basically, it is a montage of video clips of WWII war scenes, moving into other wars and ending with present day wars. No talking other than brief clips of world leaders in contextually relevant moments, but the only *narrative* was unusual and excellent covers of a huge variety of Beatles songs. The opening scene was of Hitler and the song was *Fool on a Hill*. It made me smile and I thought all would be ok after that. But as the war scenes got more and more severe, graphic and gruesome, (and I just knew - and was correct - that they would eventually include the 2 incredibly tragic photos of little Alan Kurdi on the beach), I increasingly had my eyes covered and was just listening. I turned to my friend and said, the message is very clear to me: our stupid species has learned nothing in all these years. What does war accomplish, except to destroy, destroy, destroy. Call me what you will, I have a dark and warped sense of humour, if you can call it that, I know, but I nearly expected the closing scene to be of trump and the leader of North Korea, and the final audio (though it isn't the Beatles), to be Bugs Bunny, saying, "Bdbdbd, that's all, folks!", because, let's face it, that isn't so far-fetched.

It's clear that I found this a very disturbing film, as I am still thinking about it. I like that the words of such great songwriters were used as a powerful narrative; very creative. But it really makes me want to go crawl into a cave. It doesn't help that the book I am currently reading is Strength in What Remains. I was nearly in tears as I was reading, while standing in line before the film.....

Maybe I am just a wimp, too thin-skinned...

Edited: May 4, 8:38pm Top

>246 jessibud2: I love the Beatles, but I would have hated that film in my current mood. I'm getting scared again so I find myself purposely listening to music in the car on CD so I am not inadvertently exposed to hearing the news outside of my daily listening to Robert Reich at night.

I hope the remainder of your films are more uplifting.

May 3, 10:41pm Top

Sorry about the film - I saw "La Chana" at the Hot Docs festival today -about an older Flamenco dancer and her history- very inspiring and she was on Skype from Spain for the Q and A.
My film that I saw yesterday- half the audience hated it and the other loved it- I was in the middle favouring the hated group-the story was about a 91 year old mother and her fiftyish daughter in New York City- the debate about the film was" was there elder abuse taking place and what role does the film maker have in this case."

Edited: May 11, 11:25am Top

>248 torontoc: - The first film I saw yesterday was Integral Man and it was wonderful. What a story! This was about a man (James Stewart) who made a fortune by writing calculus textbooks. His other passion was music so he used his money to build this stunning home on the Rosedale Ravine, and one of his stipulations to the architects was that it had to have a performance space. In the middle of the filming of this documentary, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, yet agreed to continue with the film project. I have never seen the house in person (wouldn't it be fantastic if it was available for Doors Open Toronto!), but this movie shows it spectacularly, in all its small and exquisite details. The Q&A afterwards with the filmmaker was also really good. If you get a chance to see it, Cyrel, I highly recommend it. I also want to see Citizen Jane (about Jane Jacobs); it's playing at TIFF (it isn't part of the festival though it apparently was, last year,).

Edited to add that Citizen Jane is playing at the Bloor Hot Doc theatre at the end of May. I'll be going then

Edited to add these links: https://vimeo.com/169140580 (a preview of Integral Man)

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/life-video/video-integral-house/article23480... (an article from a few years ago about the making of this film)

May 4, 9:12am Top

Hi Shelley!

I'm another person not particularly enthralled with Margaret Atwood's writing. I have seven of her books on my shelves, only Alias Grace marked "read". I keep buying her books and keep NOT reading them. Oh well.

I'm quite sure I wouldn't have liked The Beatles and World War II. I have gotten more desensitized over the years by watching some of the things my husband likes, but the idea of linking songs I love with horrible images is something I hope to continue to avoid as much as I can. It's bad enough to hear songs from my teen years/20s/30s as Musak in the grocery store.

Edited: May 4, 2:05pm Top

>250 karenmarie: - Karen, I can assure you that if I had had even a remote inkling of the visuals in that film, I would not have gone. I am trying to keep perspective and tell myself it is food for thought. Blech. Indigestion, is what it is.

However, as I mentioned to Cyrel in my post >249 jessibud2:, the first film I saw yesterday was magnificent. Check out the video link. It was beautiful. I wish I had seen them in reverse order, so the beauty is what would have remained in my mind's eye throughout the rest of the day

May 4, 3:28pm Top

>246 jessibud2: But it really makes me want to go crawl into a cave
I know that feeling, Shelley, I am afraid there are not enough caves for all of us ;-)

May 4, 4:16pm Top

Hi Shelley, just catching up with all my LT friends my dear. Hope you are having a good week so far my dear and send love and hugs.

May 4, 8:30pm Top

>252 FAMeulstee: - I would guess you are right, Anita! I think the best antidote is to try to balance all the horror out there with at least an equal amount of beauty and good. LT is a good start! :-)

>253 johnsimpson: - Hi John. Hope all is well with you, too. Thanks for stopping by

May 6, 7:40am Top

Happy Saturday, Shelley! I hope you have a great day of bird sightings and reading.

May 6, 10:32pm Top

Your description of The Beatles and World War II reminds me of the Simon and Garfunkel musical collage of Seven O'Clock News/Silent Night, which was recorded over 50 years ago. As one of the YouTube comments pointed out, nothing changes but the names. If there's a little room for me and my books at the back end, I'll share that cave with you, Shelley.

May 7, 1:00am Top

I bought the John Lewis graphic trilogy when I was in Portland last month and I still haven't even taken off the wrapping. I need to read those.

I love that you are a member of a documentary film cinema. And your description of The Beatles and WWII is fascinating. I adore Beatles music but the film does sound disheartening at the least. It is so hard these days to look around and think "how is it that we have only come this far??" On the other hand, I followed your link to Strength in What Remains and I'm adding that to my wish list.

Hang in there and have a good Sunday, Shelley.

May 7, 1:40am Top

I am also not a fan of violence in movies, Shelley, but especially when that violence is "real". The little boy washed up on the beach is one of the most heartbreaking things I have seen in my lifetime and it certainly isn't entertainment.

Have a great weekend.

Edited: May 7, 6:54am Top

>256 laytonwoman3rd: - I remember when that S&G song came out! They are probably my number one favourites of singer-songwriters fro that era and I own any albums of them together, and solo. That sure was a powerful one, and very creative and unusual for that time.

>257 EBT1002: - Hi Ellen. Strength in What Remains was difficult to read in its own way but I didn't feel it was gratuitous. In fact, as horrific an experience as the main character lived through, it is actually a portrait of the goodness and strength in the human spirit and I felt it was a hopeful book. I have about 20 pages left to read and will finish it before I meet some friends for brunch later on so I can pass it on to a friend.

>258 PaulCranswick: - I agree, Paul. So much *violence AS entertainment* these days serves only (in my opinion) to desensitize people. How can we evolve and learn from it if it means *nothing*?

If you want to see the opposite of all this, real beauty, check out the 2 short clips from the other film I saw that day, Integral Man, about James Stewart, the mathematician who used his money to build a house devoted to his other passion, music, and how the filmmaker had to change focus mid-way through filming when the man, himself, suddenly became the focus of the film (initially, the house was the main subject). Another case of a spirit of good, dominating. Just beautiful. Those links are in >249 jessibud2:

Edited: May 7, 8:09am Top

Morning, Shelley! Happy Sunday. Looks like we will get plenty of sunshine today but we are still stuck in a cool pattern. Nothing special to report at my feeders but I may go on a solo outing later this A.M.

Edited: May 7, 10:48pm Top

>261 jessibud2: Such a great comic for a bibliophile, I can relate!

Edited: May 11, 10:08am Top

I saw the film I Am Not Your Negro last night, after having read the book a couple of months ago. The film was very powerful, in ways the book could not be. As expected, though (for me), I had to cover my eyes more than once during the violence. But the film was really well done, excellent, in fact. But as my recent reads seem to have confirmed, the old adage holds true: the more things change, the more they stay the same. I guess the ugly side of human nature is here to stay. Damn it.

However, to counter that pessimism, I also just finished reading a delightful new book, called The Someday Birds and it was wonderful. Got hit by this BB over on Mark's thread. This is a story, told in the first-person voice of 12-year old Charlie, an autistic boy obsessed with birds (among other things), and the cross-country road trip he and his family embark on from the west coast to the east, to visit his injured dad, hospitalized in Virginia. This is a story of adventure, but also of family, change, growth, transformation and acceptance. There are laugh-out-loud moments, and also sad and scary moments, too. The book, originally written, I believe, for middle school aged kids, is one that I (definitely far from that age group!) could not put down. And I don't think that is because of the dark stuff I've recently been immersed in. It's just that good a read!

May 11, 10:46am Top

>263 jessibud2:. What a great review of The Someday Birds. The author is a friend of mine. I am going to share your review with her - I think she will really appreciate it!

May 11, 10:49am Top

>259 jessibud2: I will certainly look out for The Integral Man, Shelley.

May 11, 11:28am Top

>264 alphaorder: - Hi Nancy. Lucky you, and thanks for passing my impressions along to the author! I was very pleased to find that my library system had a copy, being that it is a relatively new book. I have already told 2 of my friends about it! All 3 of us were colleagues when we were teaching (all retired now, :-). We taught at a school for physically and developmentally disabled kids for many years and have all had a few *Charlies* in our classrooms over the years. I knew, from the very first page, that Sally Pla either had to have a child of her own, or had to have taught kids on the autism spectrum, to be able to get inside Charlie's head and heart as well as she did. I love that the book was so multi-dimensional, not just in reference to Charlie, but also to other issues as well. Real life...! :-)

May 11, 11:28am Top

>265 PaulCranswick: - Not sure this little film will find its way over to your side of the planet, Paul, but it ought to! It was really lovely

May 12, 7:02am Top

>263 jessibud2: Hooray, for The Someday Birds. I loved your comments. Hopefully, they inspire someone else to pick it up.

I want to see I Am Not Your Negro. I have heard nothing but good things.

Happy Friday, Shelley. Migration is in full swing here, so let's see if I see anything special today, while walking the route.

May 12, 7:36am Top

Today is the first day of Migration Week here in Toronto. There is a special place here, sometimes referred to as the gas station for migraters, where they stop on their way north to rest and refuel. I have been to the birding festival there several times but tomorrow is the big festival day and I will miss it this year as tomorrow I will be on the train en route to Montreal to visit my mom for about a week or so

May 12, 2:16pm Top

>269 jessibud2:

It would be great to read what you are seeing from the train, as well as dining car and food
descriptions. Down here, AMTRAK has improved a little, but nothing like the raves we hear
about from the Canadian lines.

May 12, 3:28pm Top

Hi Shelley, hope you have had a good weekend my dear and wishing you a really lovely weekend dear friend, sending love and hugs.

May 12, 6:28pm Top

>270 m.belljackson: - Will do, Marianne. I have already packed 5 books though that's probably too many. But how to choose...;-)

Have to go feed the critters (and myself) but I will come back later and do a little update

May 12, 6:29pm Top

>271 johnsimpson: - Thanks John, and to you and yours as well. Do you celebrate Mother's Day this Sunday in the UK, as we do here? I am travelling to Montreal tomorrow and will be with my mum for Mother's Day. I fact, I will be there for about 9 days before coming home

Edited: May 12, 9:19pm Top

>270 m.belljackson: - As for the train ride, Marianne, the trip between Toronto and Montreal is actually a rather boring ride, which is why I prefer the train to driving by car. It's about 5 hours with several stops along the way. I leave late morning and usually bring my own lunch as, even though the food options available are pretty decent, I find them sometimes a bit pricey. I always reserve a window seat in case I want to doze and usually am able to get a fair bit of reading done, as well. Wifi is available but I don't have a tablet or other device and rather enjoy the book in my hand. I have packed 5 books. The books are: Einstein's Beachhouse by Jacob Appel, The Life and Political Times of Tommy Douglas for the non-fiction challenge this month, Tulip Fever because it looks intriguing and I'm just in the mood for a period piece of fiction, and another slim volume called Oatcakes and Other Cape Breton Stories because I am trying to move out of my comfort zone and read more short stories, not a genre I generally gravitate toward. And this one is Canadian, which meets my own personal challenge of trying to read more Canadian books for this, Canada's sesquicentennial. The final book is Their Eyes Were Watching God, for the AAC challenge.

Anyhow, time to go finish up packing. I will check in over the next week from my mom's computer.

May 12, 9:32pm Top

>274 jessibud2:

So good to hear that you received Einstein's Beachhouse!

May 12, 9:47pm Top

Have a good trip and wonderful visit with your Mom in Montreal. Sounds very good, precious times.

May 13, 12:20am Top

Wishing you a safe trip to Montreal and hoping all is going well with your mom. It's so nice you'll be able to spend Mother's Day with her.

May 13, 2:47am Top

Have a great trip Shelley and plenty of good reading on the way there & the way back. xx

May 13, 4:07pm Top

>273 jessibud2:, Hi Shelley, we celebrate Mother's Day in March over here my dear, this year it was the 26th March and next year it is the 11th March. Hope you are having a nice day my dear.

May 13, 7:52pm Top

Hope you enjoy your trip! It sounds like some good reading.

May 14, 4:28pm Top

>263 jessibud2: Great review of The Someday Birds and how cool that you know your thoughts made it to the author! Hope you have a wonderful trip to Montreal. I haven't been there since the Olympics back in 1976 when I was just a little kid.

May 14, 10:10pm Top

I still want to see "I Am Not Your Negro" and I have added The Someday Birds to the wish list.
Migration Week sounds awesome!!!!!

Safe travels, Shelley!

May 14, 10:22pm Top

Happy Sunday, Shelley! Glad to see you sparking more interest in The Someday Birds. This makes me a Happy Camper.

Have a great visit with your Mom.

Edited: May 16, 7:58pm Top

Just popping in to update a bit. I am still in Montreal and it seems we may have a diagnosis for my mum: Lupus. Not 100% but close enough that the doctor she will see in 2 weeks, is the one who will decide on a course of treatment, likely some dose of prednisone, to begin. Lupus in someone of her age is rather unusual but after all the bazillions of test that have been run on her over the last 3 months, since this whole thing began, pretty much everything else has been ruled out. No signs of lymphoma, or any cancer (as initially suspected), and even the biopsy of the nodes in her neck that was scheduled for last Monday was cancelled as the doctor doing it said he couldn't feel them any more. As for me, if it's lupus, so be it. Let's get on with treatment and life. And she agrees. She has begun to drive again, only short distances and is getting back to her other routines, too. She drove me to a bookstore this morning, and guess what? I came out with 3 books! (more on that later) :-)

Today the weather is perfect, sunny, warm, a bit breezy, just beautiful. The next 2 days, though, are going to be downright hot and I will be taking a day off to give myself a museum day! I have not been to the McCord Museum yet and there are currently 2 exhibits that I absolutely want to see: one is a 50-year retrospective of the cartoons of Aislin (aka, Terry Mosher), probably one of, if not THE, best political cartoonists in Canada. I adore his work and own several of his compilations. The other exhibit is about the fashion of Expo 67 (the world's fair back in 1967, here in Montreal. I remember it well. We used to do school field trips there (I was in grade 6), and it was really fun. I suspect that the fashions will be somewhat cringe-worthy to see but good for some laughs.


I have also been reading a fair bit, and acquiring books at an alarming rate, as well. I will come back later this evening with the list of my haul. And the week is only half over, lol!

May 16, 6:13pm Top

If you haven't seen the Chagall exhibit at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts - i would highly recommend it!

May 16, 7:58pm Top

Thanks, Cyrel. I saw that that is there but am not sure if I will have enough time this visit to get to that one, as well. I chose the McCord because there are 2 exhibits I wanted to see in the one location. At least, for now

Edited: May 16, 8:22pm Top

>284 jessibud2: I'm so glad things are a bit more settled with your mom so she can move forward and get back to her life as usual. With her new diagnosis, she'll be cautious, but it sounds as if she's doing so much better...to her and your great relief. Keep up the good news and enjoy your time in Montreal.

Edited: May 16, 8:26pm Top

In my mum's condo, there is a *family room* or *party room*, as it's sometimes called. In it, there are 2 bookshelves, for people to leave or take books. I found one that appealed (actually 2, but I have already put one back, changing my mind). I read and finished this afternoon, August Wilson's Fences. Excellent and now I definitely want to see the film. I had not seen it before all the Oscar hype.

At the big box store in the mall the other day, I also bought 3: Yaa Gyasi's Homegoing which I had been waiting to find in softcover, The Things We Keep, and another, by David Suzuki, called Letters to My Grandchildren. This one was of particular interest to me as one of Suzuki's grandsons is severely disabled, with cerebral palsy and CVI (cortical visual impairment), and was, when he was 7 years old, a student in my classroom for that year. His parents are quite wonderful and besides having read several of Suzuki's other books, I wanted to see what he had to say in this one. He has 6 grandchildren. So far, the book is a good read.

Then, last night, in quite a surprise move, my mum's husband gifted me with a book we had been talking about after hearing an interview on the radio with the author. It is called Distilled by Charles Bronfman who, among other things, was one of the original owners of the (now defunct) Montreal Expos baseball team, in its day.

Today, I went to a tiny little bookshop called *Bibliophile* and bought 3 more books (I am out of control!): Walking on Eggshells by Jane Isey (seemed timely), a slim volume called Oliver Sacks - The Last Interview. There doesn't seem to be any touchstone for this but it is part of a series of *Last Interview* books and looks great. And finally, I found a ER edition of a book by James McBride, a non-fiction called Kill 'Em and Leave on the sale table for $2. I have read McBride's only other NF, The Color of Water and loved it so am really looking forward to this one.

Anyhow, that's it so far and I have a sneaky feeling I am not done yet. There is a tiny, hole-in-the-wall book shop near McGill university that I went to with Ilana, when I met up with her last summer. It is near the museum and is on my itinerary for a return visit tomorrow.....

I may need a larger suitcase to go home...

May 16, 8:44pm Top

I am not in the club of huge Jane Austen fans although I have enjoyed some of her work. But I just got wind of this art installation and thought it was quite cool:


And clever!

May 16, 9:50pm Top

Hi, Shelley. Thanks for checking in. Hope the visit is going smoothly. Glad to hear you are picking up some books. I did not read Fences but I liked the film. I also really enjoyed Kill em and Leave. Sadly, my only McBride.

May 16, 10:03pm Top

I'm glad to hear that things are more settled with your mum, Shelley. I love the idea of a condo with family / party room with books you can take or leave! When my dad was being treated for cancer here in Vancouver, the BC Cancer Control hospital in Vancouver also had a nice big family room / lounge with a couple of computers, quite a few couches, plus a couple of shelves of books. My dad mainly had his own reading material, but I thought it was a great idea to have the books to take or leave.

May 16, 10:52pm Top

>290 msf59: - Hi Mark. I have only listened to the other NF McBride (read by Andre Brougher - what a voice!!! And such an amazing story). But I do have 3 other novels of his lined up for the AAC. I am quite sure I won't read all 3 in the one month but haven't yet decided which one I will choose. And now, I have this new one to add to the decision-making! I may well go with this last one as I have a friend who is a rock and roll freak and even has a rock and roll library of books! I know she will want this one, about James brown so maybe I'll do that one so I can pass it along to her once I'm done.

>289 jessibud2: - To be honest, Deb, my mum has not yet got back into reading since this illness hit. I actually chose 3 books from downstairs for her to try. Her fatigue has been a big part of her not being able to read but usually, she is always reading something (you know where I got that from!), so I am hoping that kicks back in soon, too

May 16, 11:08pm Top

Well, hard as it may seem, I'm glad they have a likely diagnosis for your mom. When I first read it, I had that thought "at her age?" so I was struck by your comment that it is rarer in "older" folks. It's just that the people I have known who had Lupus were all in their 30s or 40s. Anyway, I do hope they can treat it and at least give her some relief. And thank goodness it wasn't cancer.

I'm so interested in your connection to Suzuki. I might be reading Letters to My Grandchildren after you share your reaction.

You've picked up some interesting reads along the way while you're there in Toronto. Keep taking care, Shelley.

Edited: May 17, 8:19pm Top

>293 EBT1002: - Actually, Ellen, I am currently in Montreal, where my mum lives. I have lived in Toronto since 1980.

So, as it turns out, today, to the day, is Montreal's 375th birthday. The celebrations are going on all year but for today, because of the date, all public transportation in the city was FREE! Perfect timing for me! :-) Spent 2 hours at the McCord Museum, an hour at each exhibit, the Aislin retrospective and the Expo 67 fashion one. There was a fantastic poster of Aislin's depicting the best of the Montreal Expos (former baseball team). I was so excited, when it said it was available in the gift shop. Sadly, it was an original or a signed limited print or something and I was not prepared to lay down $125 for it. So, when no one was looking, I took a photo of it. :-) I did buy a small book of Aislin's recent work (the ones I already own are decades old), The Wrecking Ball. His cartoons are mostly political but he has a real gift for satire and caricature of people, as well as social situations, not always political. He is a true national treasure, that Terry Mosher (Aislin's real name). The fashion exhibit was nostalgic but seriously cringe-worthy, as I suspected it might be. Funny and fun, though.

The larger 50-year retrospective book of Aislin's work, "From Trudeau to Trudeau" (no touchstone yet), cost the same at the museum as at the bookstore so since I have a $10 gift voucher to use before the end of the month, I will buy it at the bookstore this weekend. That was actually the only book I had in mind to purchase today. Silly me....

I walked a lot but got on and off the bus all along Sherbrooke St, as I hopped off to photograph street art, then walked around one of my favourite parks, Westmount park, visited the library because it is such a fantastic and gorgeous old building, then came home.

I also went to the small used bookshop that Ilana introduced me to last summer, called *The Word*. It's just off the McGill University campus. I bought 3 books there: All the Rivers Run to the Sea, This is Your Brain on Music, and Two Solitudes which I am embarrassed to say I have never read. I owned it many years ago but never read it. I intend to remedy that soon! I bought myself some lunch and sat on a bench eating lunch in the sun with a ton of others at McGill. There is so much construction/building/renovation going on all over the city that even just walking is something of an obstacle course but it was really such a beautiful day just to be outside, that I honestly didn't mind.

May 20, 12:05am Top

>294 jessibud2: Oops. I have to admit that, never having been to either Montreal or Toronto (but having both on my bucket list!), I can easily confuse the two. But in any case, the 375th birthday of Montreal and the free access to public transport sounds great ~~ and you made good use of it!

I have a copy of This is Your Brain on Music and I had read about half of it before I loaned it to my BIL. I still need to get it back from him because I want to finish it. The first part was truly fascinating!

May 21, 6:50pm Top

>294 jessibud2: Happy birthday, Montreal. Hope your mum is doing well.

May 21, 9:48pm Top

>296 PaulCranswick: - Thanks, Paul. Today was my last day here, homeward bound tomorrow! I am ready to be home again. My mum is doing so much better than I had expected and although she isn't out of the woods yet, and still tires easily, she seems to be getting stronger by the day, if only incrementally. At least it's in the right direction. There was perhaps, one setback, though. The day after her last apptmt, the doctor who originally called for a biopsy of the neck lymph node was apparently not pleased to discover that the doctor scheduled to do it had decided not to. She (original dr) has now said she wants it done!. So, a few days after that apptmt last week, we were back at the hospital talking to a neck surgeon who will not do a needle biopsy but rather, admit her for outpatient surgery and remove a node completely to biopsy. Mum is not thrilled (she thought she got off easy for a moment there) but she will do it. So, sometime with the next 4 to 6 weeks, she will have a CAT scan to determine the best node to remove and then have the thing done. I guess maybe THEN, someone will proclaim a diagnosis and treatment. Tedious as all this is, perspective is important; she admits to being very impressed with the level of care, concern and attention she has received so far from so many. I would have to agree.

Thank goodness for our Canadian health care, is what I am reminded of...

Edited: May 30, 10:31pm Top

Here are a few mini-reviews. Should have been posted ages ago.

Their Eyes Were Watching God - Zora Neale Hurston

This one has been on my physical shelf, unread, for years. Glad Hurston came up in the AAC as that provided the incentive to change that status. The dialect took some getting used to; there were parts I had to read out loud in order to *get* what was being said. However, it was an interesting glimpse into the lives back then, in that part of the world and to see a strong female character holding her own. I did a little googling afterwards and was almost more interested in the life of Hurston herself, than in the story she tells here. Also, she dropped two names I had not heard of before, so of course, I had to goggle those. Wow.




Einstein's Beach House - Stories - Jacob M. Appel

I was honoured to receive a copy of this book (and 2 others!) from the author himself. I actually had not realized that they were all short stories, not a genre I usually dip into. But the time was right and I found this to be an eclectic and creative collection of stories, filled with quirky characters. The stories themselves often took surprising turns and if I am honest, I found myself wishing the stories were longer and more of them. But I guess that's the point (and beauty) of the genre. Thanks, Jacob!


Fences - August Wilson

I knew of this strong story from the award-winning film during this past Oscar season. I have not yet seen the movie so I was happy to find a copy of the book just now, quite by chance. I now want to see, in the flesh, so to speak, how Denzel and Viola give life to the main characters.


The Wrecking Ball / From Trudeau to Trudeau - Aislin

Aislin, aka Terry Mosher, has been a political cartoonist for as long as I can remember being interested in the genre. He is based in Montreal and is easily one of the best in the country. I own several of his older books of cartoons but these 2 books came out now, to coincide with the 50th year anniversary of his work. When I was in Montreal most recently, visiting my mother, I gave myself a museum day and went to see the exhibit of his work at the McCord Museum. I bought the smaller book, The Wrecking Ball at the museum gift shop. It contains his most recent cartoons and is the smaller of the 2 books. The larger, most encompassing book, From Trudeau to Trudeau is a full 50-year retrospective and what I love most about it, aside from the sheer genius of his talent, is that he gives small blurbs as to how he came to create each cartoon. Sometimes the story behind it is almost better than the cartoon itself. His cartoons don't just reflect local politics, nor even always national politics. But, though he is a sharp wit and can be biting, his work is never nasty, never mean-spirited.

He turns 75 this year and is a true national treasure.


Touchstones aren't pulling up the Aislin book, dammit.

May 30, 4:17pm Top

I thought Davis and Washington did an awesome job with Fences---do try to see it.

And so glad that your mom is doing better.

May 30, 5:25pm Top

>299 banjo123: - Thanks, Rhonda. I will definitely catch the film at the first opportunity, hopefully in the not too distant future.
My mum's CAT scan is scheduled for the first week of June and the biopsy, for a few days after that. She continues to sound good so I am hoping not to need to go back there until August, when I will be in Montreal for 3 days, travelling with a friend.

This topic was continued by jessibud2 - Late to the Party... #3.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

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