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Maggie, aka Karen, is baaack! Reading and searching for a doggie companion.

The Green Dragon

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1maggie1944
Apr 13, 2017, 10:39am Top

OK. I'll confess I've been hanging out mostly in the 75 books group, and my competitive nature had me trying to read lots and lots of books. And then the pressure I was putting on myself collided with my living in a new home, in a new retirement community, and my eyesight not being as good as I wish it were. Dang! Reading lots and lots of books was just not in the cards.

So, now, I've lost my beloved companion for the past 12 years when I had to put my miniature schnauzer, Greta Garbo, down due to horrible cancer. The very nice vet said "her body is just riddled with cancer". Broke my heart, I can tell you that and I still look for her in my apartment. I walked in the other evening after a meeting and the apartment was dark, cold, and quiet. It has not been like that forever. I walk right back out and walked down the hall to watch TV with a friend for a few minutes, and I was able to pet her new cat. I love my community, but I really, really miss my Greta.

I am reading an interesting book about Butch Cassidy written by a man who knew some of the old timers who actually new first hand of the Butch and the wild bunch of crooks he led. The Outlaw Trail: The Story of Butch Cassidy and the "Wild Bunch". It is not written in a gripping style, more a solid workman-like accounting of local history with a liberal sprinkling of enticing details. It is a book I would recommend only to aficionado of western cowboy history.

I hope to hang out here, read a little, and live a lot. I've found a nearby private pet rescue organization and I think I'll start volunteering there while I look for a new companion. That worked for me 15 years ago when I found my first miniature schnauzer, Nicky; I imagine it will work again.

2MrsLee
Apr 13, 2017, 10:42am Top

Glad to have you back Karen. Many loving thoughts have been winging their way to you the past week. *Hug*

3Bookmarque
Apr 13, 2017, 10:43am Top

Oh Karen I'm so sorry. Recently I had to euthanize my Thomas who I also had for 12 years. It's painful I know and I did the same thing - looked for him during the day when I knew he was gone. I hope you can find another companion to love and share your big heart with.

4SylviaC
Apr 13, 2017, 10:55am Top

Nice to see you back here, Karen. I've updated your listing on the reading journal master thread. Sorry to hear about Greta Garbo. I always enjoyed your posts about her over the years.

5hfglen
Apr 13, 2017, 11:27am Top

Welcome home! And good luck in finding the right dog for you.

6clamairy
Edited: Apr 13, 2017, 12:13pm Top

I'm offering you hugs in this thread as well. I really do hope you'll stick around. You've been missed, my friend.

7pgmcc
Apr 13, 2017, 1:36pm Top

Great to see back in the Green Dragon. Has anyone offered you a drink yet? What are you having?

8maggie1944
Apr 13, 2017, 3:49pm Top

A nice little cup of tea (oops, I mean gin) would be just lovely.

Thanks

9catzteach
Apr 13, 2017, 10:40pm Top

Glad to see you! Sorry about your loss. We had to put down two of ours over the holidays. We still look for them. I hope you are able to find the right companion soon.

10NorthernStar
Apr 14, 2017, 12:27am Top

Good to see you back here. So sorry about Greta Garbo. I can relate, as I lost my lovely dog Hamish to cancer at the end of February. I'd had him for almost 11 years. They sure leave a hole in your heart and your life.

11maggie1944
Edited: Apr 14, 2017, 9:23am Top

Hi, nice to see you.

News: I've been on the computer hunting for a miniature schnauzer, the breed I've come to love, and there were three adults up for adoption because their human recently died. I received a phone call yesterday saying that my application for another dog, previously, led to the agency considering me for one of these dogs. Wow! In one day, I gave them two names for references, plus the name of my Veterinary group, and they were able to make the contacts. Today I'm told I should expect a home visit...and tomorrow these dogs could arrive near here from California.

The dogs are adults and the one the agency is putting forward for me is named Gretchen, and is 8 years old. She has much the same look as did Greta. This is very fast but looks like an unusual opportunity. I'm not quite ready but here she comes. I think this may very well work out well. I hope. I am excited. This is not like getting married within a week of your spouse's death! I hope.

12MrsLee
Apr 14, 2017, 9:47am Top

>11 maggie1944: This is not like getting married within a week of your spouse's death! I hope."

Decidedly not! Taking in lost and forlorn critters in their time of need is a good thing. I would only advise, be sure you see Gretchen for who she is, and not who you want her to be. Does that make sense? You will always miss Greta, but your heart is big, and perhaps there is room in it for you to be the balm Gretchen needs right now, as well as she being a balm for you.

13pgmcc
Apr 14, 2017, 9:52am Top

My wife, her sister, niece and our daughters went to a Dublin hotel for a "Girls' afternoon tea". Afternoon tea is an occasion when sandwiches and pastries are served on multi-tiered cake stands with tea. A china tea service is the norm for such occasions. This used to be common in the 1960s and earlier. It is coming back into fashion as a little bit of luxury. In some hotels it is necessary to book afternoon tea some months ahead now that it has become fashionable once again.

The hotel visited by wife and girls' gang has a menu of afternoon teas. Some options vary the nature of the sandwiches (though cucumber sandwiches would be the most traditional) and pastries; others the tea. My wife and family opted the afternoon tea "special". This presented a variation on the content of the teapot. The teapot contained mojito. There they were nibbling sandwiches and pastries while sipping mojitos from delicate china cups.

14maggie1944
Apr 14, 2017, 10:28am Top

MrsLee, I exactly what you mean. I looked again at the site where these dogs were pictured and realized that Gretchen has docked ears which is not what Greta had, for ears, and that will help me see Gretchen for who she is, I hope.

Peter, the Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia, has "high tea" also with those three tiers filled with small sandwiches and sweets etc. etc. Cost a pretty penny, as the saying goes, and yet my good friend took me there for my birthday in 2014 when I turned 70! Lovely. I think having alternatives in the tea pot is a very clever ploy! In the end, I was glad to have done it once, and probably will not return.

I did like the baseball cap the Empress sold - black with rhinestones. The back of the cap had "the Empress" on it. I loved that "crown".

ah, life!

15AHS-Wolfy
Apr 14, 2017, 10:34am Top

Karen, Welcome home! We've missed you here. Sad to hear about Greta but looks like serendipty has come your way with the potential new arrivals. Hope it works out for all concerned. I'm also glad to hear that you've settled well in your new community.

16pgmcc
Apr 14, 2017, 10:40am Top

>14 maggie1944: Yes, high tea here is a pretty penny too.

I think the most famous high tea has to be the one in The Importance of Being Earnest for which Earnest was so insistent that the cucumber sandwiches must be ready for Lady Bracknel.

17catzteach
Apr 14, 2017, 10:20pm Top

>11 maggie1944: sounds like a perfect arrangement! May Gratchen be everything you both need.

18maggie1944
Apr 18, 2017, 10:23am Top

>15 AHS-Wolfy: Dave, thanks for the welcome. It does feel like home, here, doesn't it. So last night was the second full night with Gretchen, the newest pup in my life, and we were successful in her NOT wetting in my bed. Whew! First time was probably my fault for not timing the bathroom breaks and the trips outside smartly enough.

As for the community, if feels quite perfect. Good friends, always something interesting going on, a book group, a library, good food (really good food), reasonable price. I feel as if I've been rewarded for having spent some time searching for the right place for my retirement years.

Going to a meeting of my "Library Thing Book Group" this evening. It is a small group of steadfast readers who are willing to drive to some place where we actually meet face-to-face. I know it just does not happen like that much these days.
We will discuss The Outlaw Trail in part because one of our members has a relative who lived in the area and in the time of this story. There really was a Butch Cassidy and a Sundance Kid. Who knew? And the movie which so many of us loved was pretty accurate in many aspects. We will also talk about the "new pup" who will be there to greet everyone in the parking lot.

>16 pgmcc: Peter, thanks for stopping by. In my little retirement community we have one member who as a hobby rallies the old folks into a kind of readers' theatre which is a hoot for all who act in the play and all who watch it. I will look for the "high tea" scene. I also think I need to borrow a copy of 'The Importance of Being Earnest" and read it before they give it a go.

>17 catzteach: Hi, Cindy. Sorry I missed the Portland Meet-Up and I look forward to finding another time to get together. Maybe this summer in Seattle?

19hfglen
Apr 18, 2017, 12:08pm Top

Woof! sniffsniffsniff ... etc.

20Bookmarque
Apr 18, 2017, 12:37pm Top

Funny about the names. When I was a little girl my aunt and uncle had one German Shepard after another - the first one was Gretchen and the second was Greta.

21maggie1944
Apr 18, 2017, 2:10pm Top

Hugh! ha ha ha ha ha! She's been doing a lot of that!

Bookmarque, that is a funny coincidence. I do catch myself calling my new girl "Greta" and then I fumble about for "Gretchen". She definitely knows her name, and calling her "Greta" gets no response at all.

22maggie1944
Apr 20, 2017, 6:07am Top

Good morning, LT buddies. I'm awake at an unreasonable time in the morning, which I do every so often, and I know I'm not supposed to get on the computer, but it is comforting to know I have friends all around the world. And I can say, good morning.

23Bookmarque
Apr 20, 2017, 7:34am Top

Good morning. Glad you're trespassing in the forbidden zone.

24reconditereader
Apr 20, 2017, 3:08pm Top

Good afternoon to you and your doggie!

25jillmwo
Apr 22, 2017, 10:42am Top

>22 maggie1944: There's always someone lurking about these parts, my dear, at all hours of the day! Give Gretchen a pat or rub her ears (whichever she may prefer) and enjoy your weekend.

26maggie1944
Apr 22, 2017, 11:50am Top

Thanks, everyone. I've felt very welcome back, and Gretchen is a happy puppy who right now is begging to go for a walk. Need to put on my shoes and off we go before the rains hit us today.

27clamairy
Apr 24, 2017, 10:09pm Top

I'm very happy that life with the new pup is working out so well for both of you. :o)

So... what are you reading these days, my dear?

28maggie1944
Apr 24, 2017, 11:03pm Top

Ah, yes, I picked up A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles, a book much praised by my friends in the 75 books group. Also, one of my friends in the F2F group which struggles on really recommended it, and when I was selling a lot of unread books she "ordered" me to not sell it.

It did grab me on the first page, and I'm sneaking reading time in here and there.

Busy life in the Silver Glen Cooperative retirement community. We are going through the agony of changing our Bylaws, and having an Annual Meeting to elect new Board members. Seems like there's a real possibility that I will be asked to be President. Sigh.

29catzteach
Apr 25, 2017, 12:07am Top

Oooh, Amor Towles. I really liked Rules of Civility. I think I'll have to check out this one.

A meet up would be good! I have many friends in Seattle. Not sure when I'll make it back up there. I'm hoping to get up there the next summer or two for a workshop. I'll holler when that happens.

I'm glad Gretchen is working out!

30pgmcc
Apr 25, 2017, 3:21am Top

>28 maggie1944: I have pondered over whether or not to buy A Gentleman in Moscow but your comments have pushed me over the line. I have some birthday book tokens so it will not be a financial decision. Thank you!

Good luck with the election, Madame President!

31Sakerfalcon
Apr 25, 2017, 4:13am Top

A belated welcome back to you! My internet has been up and down lately so I've not been able to post as often as I'd like, and I had a message all ready to post here when I got disconnected and couldn't get back on. I'm glad Gretchen is settling in and that you are reading a good book. That one is on my wish list.

32Bookmarque
Apr 25, 2017, 7:42am Top

I read Gentleman last year and it made my top 5 novels of the year! I hope you love it too.

33maggie1944
Apr 25, 2017, 8:36am Top

I continue to love the book. I'm noting the author loves words, and the excellent turn of a phrase; and, this does not detract from the story. Nicely done, Mr Towles. I'm early going but I'm sure this book will be a delight all the way through.

In fact, I'm going to shut the lap top and go back to reading.

34maggie1944
Apr 30, 2017, 8:09am Top

I'm also reading Will's Red Coat which is an excellent dog book, one which inspires me to be a good companion to Gretchen, my little old lady of a rescue doe.

35jillmwo
Apr 30, 2017, 10:14am Top

>34 maggie1944: Had you read Tom Ryan's previous book. Following Atticus? Just curious about how you happened to learn of this particular title about taking in an old dog.

36maggie1944
Apr 30, 2017, 2:41pm Top

Oh, yes, Jill. I read Following Atticus several years ago and it is one of my favorite "dog books". I admire Tom's approach to his dogs and loved reading of his adventures. When he announced he was working on Will's Red Coat I went immediately to Amazon and signed up for a prepublication place in line. I received the book the day it was released. I'm quite a few pages into it, and am loving it.

37maggie1944
May 2, 2017, 10:06am Top

I finished reading Will's Red Coat and I loved it. It helped me deal a bit with my grief over Greta Garbo's death. I am so grateful for having spent twelve years with this lovely classy dog, and I miss her. But Tom's work with Will to let him live his best for a couple of last years helped me "let go".

I do recommend the book to all who love dogs, and who understand the connection between ourselves and our pets can teach us wonderful life lessons.

38maggie1944
May 2, 2017, 7:04pm Top

Books read in 2017

1. Humans of New York - a lovely account of a young photographer becoming increasingly interested in photographing the average citizens of New York city. I enjoyed both the photographs and the accounts of conversations had.

2. Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

3. Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard

4. The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin

5. Snow White: A Graphic Novel by Matt Phelan

6. Local by Brian Wood

7. Maman, What Are We Called Now?

8. Will's Red Coat by Tom Ryan

A very sweet book about Tom and his sidekick Atticus (hero of an earlier book: Following Atticus) as they "adopt" Will, a very sick abandoned miniature schnauzer. Will came to Tom and Atticus nearly blind, and totally deaf as well as barely able to walk for himself due to arthritis and who knows what else. Tom nurses Will as if he were a millionaire able to hire the best and most selfless of servants. The little dog recovers a good life, and Tom finds a new spiritual understanding of how being a servant in life is the best of discoveries. I recommend the book to those who love dogs, and who understand the spiritual side of all life, human, animal and plants.

39maggie1944
Edited: May 6, 2017, 1:48pm Top

Books read in 2017

1. Humans of New York - a lovely account of a young photographer becoming increasingly interested in photographing the average citizens of New York city. I enjoyed both the photographs and the accounts of conversations had.

2. Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

3. Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard

4. The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin

5. Snow White: A Graphic Novel by Matt Phelan

6. Local by Brian Wood

7. Maman, What Are We Called Now?

8. Will's Red Coat by Tom Ryan

9. His Bloody Project by Roderick Macrae. I read this book as the next book for my little F2F book group, meeting next on May 16. I mention the date because this is the first time in a long time that I was able to finish the chosen book well before the meeting.

The author received the honor of having the novel on the Man Booker Prize, 2016, finalist list. It was a very interesting, and unusual novel, but not at all hard to read. It is described as a "historical thriller" but I was impressed by its historical nature much more than its being a thriller. It is definitely a mystery, and the tension to arrive at the conclusion was well built in the final chapters; however, I think the majority of the book was spent in describing the condition of rural Scotland in the mid-1800s. And I, lover of history, and descendant of a Scottish immigrant to the USA, enjoyed this aspect of the book very much. The physical descriptions of a typical Scots highlander were compared, by me, to the physical characteristics of my father, my brother and myself. Silly me!

I also was interested in the accounts of the early development of criminal psychiatry and the dead end ideas of hereditary criminality and of moral insanity.

All, in all, a good read. Kept me in my chair despite it being a lovely Saturday morning, with sunshine, when I should have been out walking the dog.

40reconditereader
May 7, 2017, 4:50pm Top

If you liked that, you might like The Alienist by Caleb Carr. (Although I think its sequel, The Angel of Darkness, might be even better!)

41pgmcc
May 7, 2017, 5:09pm Top

>40 reconditereader: I enjoyed The Alienist many moons ago. I did not read The Angel of Darkness but may have it lurking somewhere in the house.

I did read his, The Italian Secretary, which I did not realise until I started reading it was a "Further Adventure of Sherlock Holmes", a detail not mentioned on the cover of my copy. It was mediocre. Had I known it was a Sherlock Holmes story written by someone who was not Sir Arthur Conan Doyle I would not have read it. I have an aversion to an author's creation being used by other authors. It is too much like seeking attention and sales on the coattails of someone else's work. Oh, hang on. It's not like that. It is exactly that.

42maggie1944
May 7, 2017, 6:26pm Top

>40 reconditereader:, I did read The Alienist and liked it very much. I may have also read The Angel of Darkness but sadly I don't remember it.

>41 pgmcc: I agree that borrowing a famous character out of someone else's body of work seem very much like cheating!

43reconditereader
May 7, 2017, 9:46pm Top

Agree with you both. I don't really read Sherlock Holmes (or other character) books written by some other author after the original author dies. For people who do, there's a lot out there, of varying interestingness and quality. Surprisingly, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has a Sherlock Holmes book out. Not bad.

44maggie1944
May 26, 2017, 10:50am Top

Just checkin' in. I'm busy with trying to keep ahead of the paper work associated with being on my retirement community's Board of Directors. Also, try to read at least a bit of the NY Times every morning, and some of the New Yorker magazine before the next week's issue arrives. I do love the cartoons in The New Yorker but I wish it had more movie reviews. Articles are good, and they are on top of keeping the Trump machine humble.

Spring has arrived in the Pac NW and the sun is very cheerful this morning. I"m dedicated to get a lot of paperwork taken care of today and it will be more pleasant in a sun filled apartment.

Also, hoping my next door neighbor will feel well enough to go the The Seattle Storm basketball game with me. I'm pretty sad as the nephew has more interests in life and therefore more conflicts with the game days. I cut back the number of tickets I purchased but even this was not enough. I continue to be disappointed when he cannot go to the games because he is going bowling, or going to Boy Scout camp, or playing football. Ah, the grief of an abandoned great aunt. I need to beef up my own list of friends who will go to basketball. The next door neighbor is a great candidate except that her health is beginning to fail her, and maybe tonight she will just not be able to go. I have one more candidate and once it is a decent hour in the morning I'll check on whether she could go.

So, I guess you can see why I do not have another book to list as finished. But among things which are finished, I guess my little book "club" is a goner. Too many "members" find reasons to not attend, or to "oops" forget to attend. Last meeting was me alone, with my small cup of ice cream. The ice cream was good.

Thanks for visiting my pity party. Next time I'll have more interesting stuff to post, I promise.

45hfglen
May 26, 2017, 11:57am Top

Hmmmmz. Thinks: I wonder if Kloof library gets the New Yorker. Must check next time I'm there.

46NorthernStar
May 26, 2017, 1:33pm Top

>44 maggie1944: - always hard when lives change and groups, friends, and family we spent time with move on. Living in a small town with a pretty transient population, this is something I've also had to deal with many times over the years. I hope you will spend more time with us at the Green Dragon in the meantime!

And how is Gretchen doing?

47maggie1944
May 26, 2017, 2:26pm Top

Glen, I hope you can find copies of The New Yorker to look at from time to time. The articles are usually quite good.

Gretchen is doing very nicely. She's much more relaxed and enjoys going for walks at a pretty quick pace. Good for my old legs. We also found a off leash dog park not too far away, and not too large. She loves to be on the loose, and she does try to "play" with the big dogs, and she does squeal when they are a wee bit overwhelming. She does come hide behind my legs if I'm close enough, so I know she knows who is her safe companion. There is a lovely large dog park which we may visit when I'm sure she'll stay close enough to me.

Thanks for stopping by.

48SylviaC
May 26, 2017, 11:26pm Top

I love the New Yorker cartoons, too. I have several old collections of them, and now I follow them on Facebook, where they are always up-to-date and topical.

49clamairy
May 28, 2017, 5:45pm Top

>44 maggie1944: & >48 SylviaC: Yes, the cartoons are awesome. So are the articles, but I could never get through a whole magazine full of them. Even in a week. My 'adult onset' ADD won't let me.

Glad to hear Gretchen is settling in so well.

50maggie1944
May 29, 2017, 1:12pm Top

yup, I have some adult onset ADD, too. Without the hyperactive behavior, which I might welcome to keep the muscle tone.

Gretchen is quite the clingy doggie, and that takes a little getting used to for me. She's on my lap now, so the lap top has to balance on the arm rest. Good fun!

51Sakerfalcon
May 30, 2017, 8:52am Top

Glad to hear that Gretchen has settled in and claimed you as her human.
I miss the New Yorker but would never find time to read the whole thing weekly.

52maggie1944
May 30, 2017, 9:09am Top

I don't even try to read the "whole" The New Yorker every week. I'm lucky if I read one good article, and see all the cartoons, and skim the movie reviews. It is worth it, IMHO.

Thanks for stopping by. Yesterday, I attended a small "picnic" outside of our center building, and took Gretchen with me, staked her on a patch of grass. She put up with it for a while, but eventually she wiggled her way out of her halter, and walked right over to me, naked as the day the was born. I guess I can claim she is bonded to me. She is very sweet, and affectionate.

53maggie1944
Jun 4, 2017, 9:00am Top

Ha ha ha, I just spent the last couple of hours of very early morning walking and feeding the dog, and then reading a Sherman Alexie story in The 6/5 & 6/12 edition of The New Yorker. The story made me smile big, and wish I had Mr. Alexie as a friend. He exhibits an admirable ability to see people as they behave in a very ordinary way and yet he captures their genius and luminosity of being human. I love that.

It is tough to get four people together consistently every month for a book group. I think successful groups are large enough so that they can stick with one certain day, and then show up in sufficient numbers that a few absences are not a huge problem. I did not like being stuck with not one person showing up last month.

I'm reading Born a Crime by Trevor North which might be a good book for the group. It is a quick, easy, and amusing read while letting us learn more about South Africa's very complicated history.

Also, our Silver Glen book group is reading The Geography of Genius which looks to be fascinating. Also could be a good next book for the group.

I think my group should just bite the bullet and cancel the meeting for June, and maybe July. It is hard to meet in the summer. I'll go over the book group's thread and suggest it.

How do the rest of you who are in book groups keep up the enthusiasm, and commitment?

54suitable1
Jun 4, 2017, 11:13am Top

How do the rest of you who are in book groups keep up the enthusiasm, and commitment?

Wine and cheese?

55jillmwo
Edited: Jun 4, 2017, 12:18pm Top

Well, from a leader's perspective, what I find is important is the ability to find different hooks into the particular title. For example, when I did a book discussion of The Bone Garden, I researched Boston's Night Watch that plays a part in the story as well as noting some additional information about the Underground Railroad. There's the hope of being able to relate an author's technique in the book under discussion to other books that the group has read, as that allows discussion to include those who may not have read one book but have read other titles with the group. It's another way to keep the discussion flowing -- noting tidbits of information that may not appear in the book, but which are relevant to the book.

One of my groups is very small (from 4 women down to 3) and sometimes it is difficult to keep conversation going if the title is unsatisfactory for one of the trio. Again, it helps to have looked at a variety of book reviews -- both positive and negative -- as it makes it easier to comment on what others encountered. (I will note that this book group meets at idiosyncratic intervals. Sometimes it's only 3 weeks between gatherings, sometimes it's six. Is that possible for your group?)

Fostering conversation is also fueled by asking questions. When one of the members of my group(s) is fumbling for why she did or didn't like the book, it's sometimes useful to ask highly specific questions about events or episodes within the narrative to help the person identify what exactly it was that they found problematic. The more you engage with a person, the more they feel as if their thinking is valued. (I once had one woman tell me she's stuck with the library book group for as long as she has, because it was the first group that had ever acted as if her opinion about a book had validity.)

I always end up having sheafs of paper that I can refer to over the course of the 60-90 minutes of a discussion, so that when the group goes silent, I can jump-start it again.

For the record, one of my groups failed because I actually did try to keep it to the same day every month. Sometimes that's an aid to attendance, but it really can be a barrier. It's an issue of rhythm, I suspect. And sometimes, the problem is that what people are looking for in their leisure reading and discussion is just out of sync with the larger portion of the group. One woman I know (a dear friend) once told me that she found my book groups to be very intense and sometimes just too much work for what she could give. It was kind of disappointing, but it was valuable feedback as well.

56maggie1944
Jun 4, 2017, 1:37pm Top

Wow, Jill, this is really helpful. I'm going to grab it and post it in our book group's thread. I don't know how soon it will be read by members but I think it could be helpful.

Thank you, very much!

57maggie1944
Jun 12, 2017, 8:59am Top

June 14, 2007 is when I joined Library Thing! Ten years! That is an eternity in "on line life".

58MrsLee
Jun 12, 2017, 9:48am Top

Happy Thingaversary! A bit early, so I don't forget. :D

59Bookmarque
Jun 12, 2017, 11:18am Top

Hey congratulations! May the next 10 be just as wonderful.

60AHS-Wolfy
Jun 13, 2017, 9:41am Top

Happy Thingaversary Karen! Congrats on the new badge.

61jillmwo
Jun 13, 2017, 5:19pm Top

Happy Thingaversary indeed! So glad you've been a part of this place.

62Sakerfalcon
Jun 14, 2017, 4:35am Top

Happy Thingaversary! I hope you find an appropriate way to celebrate.

63maggie1944
Jun 14, 2017, 6:50am Top

It does make me want to evaluate my ten years here. First of all, I joined because I wanted to organize my huge library. Well, that is a bust as of today. I've sold the bulk of my books, I've not paid any attention to the "library" here under my name. I read less than I used to do.

Why? 1. My cataract surgery was difficult on my reading eyes. I do not have the stamina. My eyes are dryer, and I forget to use eye drops. I sit and read and within 20 minutes to a half hour I want to get up and move around, doing something.
2. I have less patience to read "difficult" books. This is probably in part because I have less willingness to sit still and read for a protracted period of time. 3. The damn political situation has me glued to the TV for far too much of my days. 4. My responsibilities in my new retirement community take up a good deal of time. 5. I'm still downsizing and settling into my new nest. 6. I have to walk my dog.

Whah whah whah

Silly me. I'm having a pity party on my anniversary.

Today is the actual day, and I do want to celebrate. My budget is strained just now after $$$ spent on the car, $$$ spent on my precious Greta Garbo's last illness, and what all. So I'll not be buying 10 books, with one to grow my library. I did buy Sherman Alexie's new book: You Don't Have to Say You Love Me. And I am hoping it will arrive today.

64clamairy
Jun 15, 2017, 9:35pm Top

Well, I guess 'Happy' might not be the correct word to use then. Ummm.... Congratulations on your 10th Thingaversary, then. Don't fret too much. :o/ We've discussed having dry spells in here before and for most of us they do pass. *big hugs*

65maggie1944
Jul 10, 2017, 10:01pm Top

I am stopping by to say I'm not running out to buy 11 new books. I have a few piles of unread books here in my living room, and some in my bedroom, too. I read a few pages today. That was a good thing, and I talked about the book to one of my neighbors here at SG, she seemed interested. Says she no long can read print books, and we both hoped it is available on Kindle. She also loves games and crossword puzzles. We have some lovely people here. And I can say it is a great delight that we are all retired.

66maggie1944
Edited: Jul 26, 2017, 8:48am Top

I saw a moving account by Sherman Alexie on Facebook where he described the emotional impact of his having written this memoir, and his decision to cut his book tour short due to his being very emotionally raw and vulnerable. I am so very impressed by this man who through his writing has one foot in the 21st Century, reaching out to people of all backgrounds to share his human experience, and one foot in his heritage and family history. A great deal of courage is demonstrated.

I find reading You Don't Have to Say You Love Me along side of Trevor Noah's Born A Crime to be very moving. I'm delighted to see both these courageous men using humor to illuminate the very unfunny reality of racial divides in the 21st Century.

edit: fixed touchstone

67jillmwo
Jul 19, 2017, 7:24pm Top

So what was the title by Sherman Alexis? You didn't specify. (And how are the eyes doing?)

68maggie1944
Edited: Jul 19, 2017, 8:02pm Top

Hi, Jill. The Alexie book is You Don't Have to Say You Love Me. Sorry I did not make it more clear that title, and author. His name is Alexie, not Alexis (as corrected by auto correct).

69jillmwo
Edited: Jul 20, 2017, 7:18am Top

I think the issue was the touchstone link in #66. It's going to a different work altogether -- one by Saara Manning. The touchstone in #68 goes to the correct book and author. Thanks for the clarification.

70maggie1944
Jul 26, 2017, 8:49am Top

Thanks, Jill. I fixed it.

71clamairy
Jul 26, 2017, 11:16am Top

Just put Alexie's book on hold with OverDrive. I may snag the Audible version of Trevor Noah's.

72maggie1944
Jul 26, 2017, 5:18pm Top

Trevor Noah does his own audio and is very good. He has a natural born funny bone and it shines through the audio version of his book.

73maggie1944
Aug 4, 2017, 8:35am Top

So, I've had my sweet Gretchen for 3.5 months now and she has settled in very nicely. She loves people, more the females than the males, but she is generally friendly and approaches people easily. She loves going to the dog park as she gets to socialize with others of her species, which I'm sure she misses as she used to live with two siblings. She loves going for walks which is great as that is what I need: something to get me out of my reading chair, and getting moving. She is very affectionate and likes falling to sleep in my lap/arms.

She will never be Greta Garbo who was beautiful, and stately. A friendly dog but mostly just happy to be a dog, doing what dogs do. Gretchen is a bit ungainly looking with a head way too small for her body, and legs a wee bit too short. She ends up looking a little bit like a pot bellied pig, and she does snort a bit. "Miss Piggy" - but she does not have the personality of that muppet character, thank goodness.

I'm sitting on a huge number of books started, but not finished. Currently, I'm reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society for the small, but happy, book group which meets in a few days. (This group started from a LT Meet Up in Seattle several years ago). The book is sweet and cheerful, just what I need. It talks about how wonderful books and friends are and indeed that is true.

I'm also reading The Geography of Geniuswhich is on the list of books to read this summer for the "Book Club" here at the retirement cooperative where once a month a medium sized group gets together to discuss a book. I really want to finish this book by September, but it is one of those "hard to read, but I committed myself to do it".

It is quite warm here in the Pacific Northwest corner of the USA, unusually so. We've not had rain for some weeks and the landscape is beginning to show the stress. I feel generally grateful that our climate here is very friendly and this brief bout with "heat" is not too bad, but it does demonstrate how much we need to change our human ways and let our planet heal itself.

74MrsLee
Aug 4, 2017, 9:53am Top

>73 maggie1944: Good to hear from you. Glad Gretchen is settling in and you are enjoying each other's company.

I have two outdoor cats which have decided that I am their human within the last week. One for the front porch, one for the back, and both extremely jealous of my time and affection, so that makes for some real cat drama around here. I think they were probably brother and sister, but they were abandoned by neighbors who moved, and so have issues. She was sleek and not too skinny when she came to us because she is a hunter. He was skin, fur and bones. Looking better now, and his neutering is only two weeks away. She was already spayed. Now the issue is to keep other strays from eating their food. May have to feed them in the house if they will. Jinn ate in the house this morning, but Brindle is not comfortable. She will come in, but the minute she thinks the door might close she is OUT.

Sorry to tell you my pet woes! :) Are you enjoying the Guernsey book? Have you read it before? That is one I loved and intend to read again, but haven't done so yet.

75maggie1944
Aug 4, 2017, 10:22am Top

Ah, cat wars. They screaming can be quite piercing, and unnerving. I had cats all the time I was a working woman. Dogs only arrived in my retirement. I am impressed with your desire to treat some outdoor kitties nicely. Good luck.

Yes, I have read the Guernsey book previously, but it was long ago and I am re-reading it with a sense of discovery. I kinda remember it, but not really. I am enjoying it. It is pretty light and an easy read, but also amusing and engaging.

Thanks for stopping by and saying "hey".

76catzteach
Aug 4, 2017, 10:31am Top

Gretchen sounds like a fun doggie. I'm glad she has settled in.

I really enjoyed the Guernsey book. It would be a good re-read.

77maggie1944
Aug 7, 2017, 7:18am Top

Hi, Cindi, yes, Gretchen is a fun dog. Her personality is coming out more and more and she makes me happy. She likes to fall to sleep in my lap which is nice and cozy, but in this hot weather not always comfortable. Yesterday, she kept wiggling and finally I put her down on the cooler floor. We were both happier.

I did like the Guernsey book better the second time around. Fun how that goes. I have a hard time frequently with re-reads. Somehow if I know "how it turns out" I just don't want to read it again. But truthfully, the second time is a good time to appreciate the writing even more.

78catzteach
Aug 7, 2017, 2:04pm Top

I don't do many re-reads either. I usually remember too much of the book to enjoy it. There are a few I like to re-read, like To Kill a Mockingbird, but not many. I am re-reading the first few books in the Wheel of Time series because I want to read all of them and it's been years since I read the first six or seven.

79maggie1944
Aug 7, 2017, 2:24pm Top

I know what you mean. I've been thinking about re-reading some of my favorite childhood books, and I started today by reading a bit in The Wind in the Willows.

80maggie1944
Aug 14, 2017, 8:29am Top

I continue to be bedeviled with a lack of making time to read. Yesterday, I had a surprising number of interruptions from the community. I am being called upon to settle disputes and I'm nervous that this is an arena in which I have little experience. I hope my good intentions, and good listening skills, will be helpful. I'm sure I'll end up like many a "leader" with half of my friends being happy, and the other half being unhappy with me.

This week I also have to weave going to Jury Duty into my life. Yikes. The use of mass transit from where I live to downtown Seattle may take as long as two hours, so 2 + 8 + 2 = 12 hours dedicated to my civic duty. The other 12 must be divided between eating, walking the dog, washing up, and sleeping. Where's my reading time? Oh, yeah, on the bus. In the jury waiting room. Thank goodness for my Kindle. Must go plug it in.

81reconditereader
Aug 14, 2017, 1:14pm Top

You can get quite a lot of reading done in the jury waiting room. Bring earplugs. Good luck!

82catzteach
Aug 14, 2017, 8:26pm Top

Jury duty. Yep, all I did was read when I had it. Makes a long day for you, though.

83maggie1944
Sep 3, 2017, 9:01am Top

I finished reading John Lewis's trilogy about the civil rights movement from his perspective of being a member and leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. I spent a couple of years on the University of Washington campus raising money and awareness for SNCC and was very passionate about that work. A best friend went to the Mississippi Freedom Summer to help try to register voters in face of violent and unlovable white prejudiced society. The 1960s were very dramatic even before the anti-war movement began.

I'll not write about what my response to John Lewis's books is until after our little book group meets on September 19.

I do think the format of graphic nonfiction is very effective.

84maggie1944
Sep 16, 2017, 11:08am Top

The book group moved its meeting back a week at my request due to the fact that EVERYTHING wants to happen on Tuesday nights. Frustration galore. I sometimes have a choice of three things I want to do. Wah!

85maggie1944
Sep 16, 2017, 11:10am Top

Here's what I have to say about March: Trilogy Slipcase Set by John Lewis: Brilliant. A iconic account of John Lewis' part in the 1960s- 1970s Civil Rights movement, including all the nasty stuff. Murders, beatings, police dogs put on protestors, fire hoses and all the bravery and boldness of the new generation of Americans in the south who would not put up with segregation of lunch counters, public bus lines, and public bathrooms and who would not stand down in their insistence that all American citizens have the right to vote.

The books were accurate to the era I lived through; and they were lovely with illustrations which did not candy coat the violence of those days.

86maggie1944
Sep 19, 2017, 10:45am Top

Here's what I'm trying to read now:

Al Franken: Giant of the Senate was both informative and funny. I read it fairly quickly because it was not ponderous, and not preachy. I have finished reading this book, and I do recommend it.

What Happened by Hillary Clinton - I have just started it and I cannot say that, so far, it offers anything new to me. But of course I'm addicted to MSNBC on the TV so I have heard lots about what happened. I came to the book believing that in many ways the Clintons have both created their own difficulties and have been the victim of those all too happy to take advantage of everytime they made poor decisions.

Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire - again, I've just started this book. I bought it due to a review declaring it was the most important book about what is going on. It is an interesting romp through the history of the United States of America, from the beginnings. I'm not sure it is "most important" but does provide an interesting glimpse into the tendency of the citizens of this brave new world, of this young experiment in government by the people, for the people, and of the people; the tendency of these citizens to picture reality through the lens of fantasy, not reality.

Unbelievable by Katy Tur. Yet again, I've only started this book, but I have watched Katy Tur cover, for NBC/MSNBC, Donald Trump from the beginning of his campaign. She is intelligent and gutsy. She tolerated being verbally abused by Trump from his "pulpit" and by his followers who caused the Secret Service to protect her occasional retreat from the field. I look forward to read her interpretation of what his character and behavior told her.

Lastly, I'm also reading Reclaiming Epicurus about this Greek philosopher who recommended "moderation in all things".

87maggie1944
Sep 27, 2017, 6:29pm Top

Well, having learned that I should read 3 books at a time to fully enjoy each of them, I went on a buying spree:

1. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
2. Little Charlie's Big Adventure in France by Kyle Campbell Miller
and
3. Clos de Paris: Tales of Restoring a Normandy Farmhouse by Kyle Campbell Miller

The last two are written by a friend of a friend, who moved to France and also restored an old farmhouse. What an adventure. When I visited her in 2008 it was only inhabitable in two large down stairs rooms, three bedrooms, and two bathrooms. Charming. Full of potential. It is for sale... if any one wants to buy a restored farm house in France, let me know.

I just cannot stick to one book. The book club which started with LT folks and is still functioning is reading #1 above for the month of November, so I guess I'll put the priority there for now.

88maggie1944
Oct 6, 2017, 7:59am Top

Reading The Sons of Profits by Bill Speidel. Mr. Speidel lived in Seattle during my childhood and I heard of him many times. I thought I had read is book, but now that I have it, and have dipped into it, I realized "nope, have not read it".

It is a hoot! He loves to dig into relatively recent history (about 150 years ago) and debunk all the glamour and class ascribed to Seattle's "founding fathers". He uncovers some real renegade characters who "came west" to avoid being civilized. I'm not finished so I"m not writing a review, I'm just enjoying reading it, and wanted to tell someone.

It is cool and beautiful in Seattle these days. The leaves are beginning to turn, the sky is often deep blue, and the temps are completely comfortable.

89pgmcc
Oct 6, 2017, 8:40am Top

>88 maggie1944: I know the feeling of wanting to share the joy of a good book while I am reading it and understand your post perfectly, especially as you appear to be enjoying the weather and surroundings as you read.

P.S. I am really enjoying Ken MacLeod's Corporation Wars: emergence, the third book in the trilogy.

90clamairy
Oct 8, 2017, 5:50pm Top

I'm happy that you appear to be reading quite a bit again, my friend! (But three at a time would be too much for me!)

91maggie1944
Edited: Oct 15, 2017, 7:49am Top

Hi, Clam. I have had actively open books numbering at least 2 before. Used to have one book that I could take to the tub, and the other might be a hard back, too heavy to read in the tub, or a Kindle. But I don't think I buy the theory that you pay more attention to each if you are reading multiple books. I think I pay attention when the book's author does a great job at writing.

I am also happy to be reading more but I confess I do suffer from my eyes not being as good as they were. I think mostly now I feel they become tired sooner.

Sigh. The rest of the body does so, too.

92maggie1944
Edited: Oct 15, 2017, 7:51am Top

Books read in 2017

1. Humans of New York - a lovely account of a young photographer becoming increasingly interested in photographing the average citizens of New York city. I enjoyed both the photographs and the accounts of conversations had.

2. Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

3. Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard

4. The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin

5. Snow White: A Graphic Novel by Matt Phelan

6. Local by Brian Wood

7. Maman, What Are We Called Now?

8. Will's Red Coat by Tom Ryan

9. His Bloody Project by Roderick Macrae.

10. March: Trilogy Slipcase Set by John Lewis

11. On Power audio tape by Robert Caro

12. Clos de Paris: Tales of Restoring a Normandy Farmhouse by Kyle Campbell Miller

Well, the experiment of reading 2 or 3 books simultaneously continues. I picked up the shortest one and finished it early this Sunday morning. It is very quiet and peaceful at 4 AM on a Sunday, I tell you!

Kyle Miller is a magazine writer, and a life long traveler. She and her husband purchased Clos de Paris as a second home, and embarked on restoring it, including such joys as supervising someone who chipped out all the old, multicolored, grout from their outside wall in order to replace it with a uniform colored sand based grout which would breathe with the weather, coming and going.

I read the book because Kyle is friends with my friend Annie who has spent the last few years doing much the same with a lovely farmhouse in Normandy. I visited Annie in 2008 on what I called my one and only trip to France. I had a wonderful time, and so reading this book gave me the opportunity to revisit my memories. Annie helped Kyle and so I was treated to mentions of her's and her husband's names throughout.

I enjoyed the book primarily because of all these personal connections and also enjoyed the whole restoration story, albeit completely foreign to my life.

Clos de Paris: Tales of Restoring a Normandy Farmhouse by Kyle Campbell Miller

You can look see at www.closdeparis.com

93MrsLee
Oct 15, 2017, 10:15am Top

I guess I wasn't the only one up at 4 a.m. this morning! I spent my wee hours starting a rich broth cooking.

94jillmwo
Oct 21, 2017, 11:18am Top

>91 maggie1944: I think I pay attention when the book's author does a great job at writing. Yup! That's the ticket. And like you, I think I find reading print (rather than something on the Kindle) is less taxing on the eyes. And at least for me, better in terms of retaining what I read!

95maggie1944
Edited: Nov 7, 2017, 8:09am Top

I had a lovely weekend in Fairbanks, Alaska. I joints other members of The Mountaineers' Photography committee to fly up north to see, and hopefully photograph, northern lights. Trip went well, but clouds obscured the northern lights phenomena. No photography but much exploration of a different locale, always good for enjoying and appreciating home.

While gone I received Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit by Chris Matthews and Papa à Grand Pas by Nadine Brun-Cosme. The latter a book to help me practice my child-like French language skills.

96Sakerfalcon
Nov 7, 2017, 10:04am Top

>95 maggie1944: That sounds like a great trip even without the northern lights. I imagine it was pretty cold at this time of year?

97maggie1944
Nov 7, 2017, 10:05am Top

A bit, but we all brought layers, and could layer up if needed. More often, we were taking layers off. Funny. I never really felt the cold.

98Sakerfalcon
Nov 7, 2017, 10:08am Top

Good layering always does the trick!

99pgmcc
Nov 7, 2017, 11:06am Top

>95 maggie1944: Great trip.

100maggie1944
Nov 7, 2017, 1:21pm Top

Gretchen, miniature schnauzer the third, is home! Sitting next to me like glue on an envelope flap.

101NorthernStar
Nov 8, 2017, 12:13am Top

>95 maggie1944: Sorry you missed the northern lights. I was just watching them out my living room window a few minutes ago, and they were spectacular; the best I've seen for a while. Lots of times I miss them by just not looking at the right time, but I am lucky enough to live in a location where they are often visible.

102jillmwo
Nov 11, 2017, 12:34pm Top

Just stopping by to wish you a very Happy birthday! Hope you and Gretchen are happily wrapped up against any chill.

103maggie1944
Nov 11, 2017, 3:23pm Top

Thank you, Jill. We are doing very nicely. Although she still HATES the rain, and our early morning walks are sometimes not very productive. Mostly she just hunkers down and head right back to the door into the apt. building.

104maggie1944
Dec 18, 2017, 5:00pm Top

I am house sitting for my niece, watching over her dog, bird, and one fish. Also, watching their three cars. I started up the big truck who (I mean "which") paid attention to how small I am compared to its normal driver. I had very little to do in order to be able to see out in all directions. It did all the seat adjustments. I practice driving it down the block and back. Amazing.

I am opening the door for the dogs, and when it is raining neither wants to go outside. Luckily, it stopped raining.

Naps, too. Reading the last of Sapiens, also need to look at Born A Crime soon as I have a book discussion to lead.

105MrsLee
Dec 19, 2017, 8:15am Top

>104 maggie1944: Sounds nice. Wishing you well. :)

106jillmwo
Dec 19, 2017, 8:30am Top

I am tickled by the image of you driving the truck up and down the block. I assume Gretchen and your niece's dog both get to sit up there on the seat with you?

When you have a chance, tell us about the book discussion of Born a Crime as that one sounds interesting.

107maggie1944
Dec 19, 2017, 9:12am Top

oh, no! No dogs in the "master's" truck. He would not like that one little bit. I left the dogs at home, and they did just fine. They get along.

I did some more practice yesterday by driving to the local Target store, and the post office. I have a package to mail today. Had to go get one of their boxes.

I am mostly just being a couch potato and watching more TV than I usually do. Watched a lot of a Star Wars marathon for the first 2 days I was here.

By the way, Born a Crime is a very interesting book in that it explains how a interracial couple were able to avoid being arrested and having a baby boy. Then it explains how this interracial lad was able to navigate schools where the "blacks" were segregated from the "whites" and here was he, half and half. No wonder Trevor Noah has a unique ability to cut through the crap and call it as he sees it. Well worth the reading of his book, or listening to the audio version.

108maggie1944
Jan 2, 7:05am Top

Happy New Year everyone.

Fresh starts. My resolutions for the day are to drink more water, take good care of my aging and complaining eyes, work harder at de-cluttering my apartment. That's enough for now.

Reading comes naturally, no need to make a resolution.

109MrsLee
Jan 2, 9:07am Top

>108 maggie1944: Happy New Year! May your resolutions be realized and may your year be joyful.

110maggie1944
Jan 19, 8:11am Top

Still intending to take good care of my eyes. No really long periods of uninterrupted reading, TV or computer watching, etc. Must blink more often. Tears in a bottle! Drink water, and rest those eyes a couple of times a day.

111maggie1944
Feb 9, 2:18pm Top

Well, distracted I am. Lots happening at my community, lots happening with my general health, and so forth. I'm still reading The Big Sky and enjoying it when I can find the time to read. Did not want this thread to become "inactive".

112MrsLee
Feb 10, 4:36pm Top

Always good to hear from you, whether it is about reading or not.

113maggie1944
Feb 10, 9:46pm Top

Thanks! I am also reading Gut. Maybe it will suggest something’s to do to improve my health🙏

114cmbohn
Feb 10, 10:45pm Top

Glad to read your thoughts about Born a Crime. It's been On my radar a bit.

115jillmwo
Feb 11, 11:59am Top

>111 maggie1944: I'll be interested in hearing more about that one. I'm completely unfamiliar with either the title or the author.

116maggie1944
Feb 11, 11:08pm Top

>114 cmbohn: I think you will enjoy Born a Crime. It is quite uplifting.

>115 jillmwo: The Big Sky is a wonderful western fictional history of the end of the early exploration of the west, mountain men, last of the buffalo, many native people still fighting for their land and their way of life. The author also wrote Shane, another iconic western. If you've not seen that movie, find it on Netflix or somewhere, and see it! Very authentic feeling. Not for the faint of heart, tho, a bit brutal in places.

117misskate
Feb 14, 3:44am Top

So sorry about your doggie. My little guy just had his 9th birthday and is the love of my life so I know how they fill up your days and nights with their warm presence. I hope you will find consolation in remembering him and maybe adopt another pup to fill your heart. Happy reading.

118misskate
Feb 14, 3:45am Top

Wow! I really go for an older dog. Hope all works out.

119maggie1944
Mar 10, 9:30pm Top

Life with my miniature schnauzer is much less boring. She had a big dental procedure, cost me a bunch of dollars, but she is so much more comfortable and perky since she is not dealing with infections in her mouth. She is very affectionate and fun.

She is 8 - 9 years old, and could live to be 15 +/-; but then again she could decide to not live that long.

120maggie1944
Mar 21, 12:25am Top

I tried to read Doomsday Book by Connie Willis for my real life book group, and only made it about 60% through it. I am too damn old to read books which do not grab me by the neck and force me to pick them up every day or so. So, I put it on the shelf after the group met, and picked up our next selection: One Square Inch of Silence by Gordon Hampton. It is a book I've had for years and have always wanted to read. Never was able to get into it on my own, so I'm relying on my sense of responsibility to my real life buddies to get this book read, all the way through.

Happy first day of spring, everyone.

121jillmwo
Mar 24, 11:49am Top

I understand the impulse to spend time only with the compelling reads, but remember that sometimes authors surprise you with how they construct something so that the final denouement is stunning. (I do also know that sometimes an author's idea of the big pay-off still wasn't worth the slog...) But I'll look forward to hearing what you think of One Square Inch of Silence!

122maggie1944
Mar 25, 12:33pm Top

Hi, Jill. Thanks for stopping by. I'm going to go get that book and read for a while right now.

123Darth-Heather
Mar 26, 2:14pm Top

>121 jillmwo: sometimes authors surprise you with how they construct something so that the final denouement is stunning

The first thing that comes to mind is A Prayer For Owen Meany, which seemed like a lot of irrelevant incidences until suddenly... it all comes together.

124maggie1944
Apr 25, 7:50pm Top

bump

125maggie1944
Edited: May 14, 10:10am Top

Well, I've finished a book that I choose to read for no other reason than it appealed to me. The author spent a year trying to not go "shopping"; that is, she limited her expenditures to only that which she truly needed.

But it ended up being a book about so much more. Cait Flanders wrote the year of less: how I stopped shopping, gave away my belongings, and discovered life is worth more than anything you can buy in a store, c. 2018

She knew all about "quitting" addictive behavior. Her first quit was drinking which I share with her. Secondly, she quit eating for all the wrong reasons and began to eat to support her health; and then... ta da.... she decided to go beyond the fad of "decluttering" to the challenge of the economic system within which we all live. She stopped buying things and stuff which were based on "I want it"; she went straight to "do I really need this"?

Her book is very human, and she allows her vulnerabilities to shine through. She takes her readers along with some very sad time, some very challenging times, and yet, she did it! She saved a huge portion of her income, and she followed her best self into self employment, and saving to do what she loves - traveling. She makes a "good living" and she really knows why she works for money. She know why she spends what she spends.

I don't recommend this book for everyone, it may be too much of a "self help" book for some. But for me, I share much of the same psychology as the author, and I recognized myself in many parts of the book. I am not hunting for a new way to make money, nor do I spend my money traveling.

I want to spend less, and save more for the day when I am sufficiently old that I'll need help with daily chores. That kind of help is very expensive and right now I could not afford what I might need. So I need a fill my treasure chest.

I like the idea of buying only what I need, and saving most of the rest.

126Darth-Heather
May 14, 11:40am Top

>125 maggie1944: I like the idea of buying only what I need, and saving most of the rest

I like that idea too, but for me it's a challenge because I feel inundated by so many things to want. If you tell yourself "NO" to 49 things, it's really easy to "allow" yourself to give in to the 50th one and still feel like you've been relatively disciplined. But when you are tempted by hundreds of things, even giving in to a few still adds up to Too Much Stuff. Maybe the key is to limit exposure to Stuff?

127maggie1944
May 14, 3:05pm Top

I do keep my lap top on my lap when watching TV, so that way I can ignore the ads on the television.

128maggie1944
May 14, 3:56pm Top

I have a favor to ask. Is there any one in this group who owns, or knows of, a good decibel meter app for an iPhone? I'm curious about the ambient noise here, and would like to search for a quiet place to walk. I want to test out how much noise I can tolerate and still call the place quiet.

You can either answer here or send me a PM. Thanks.

129MrsLee
May 16, 9:34am Top

>125 maggie1944: That sounds like a terrific book. I try to keep in mind not to buy anything except to replace something I use which is truly worn out or broken. However, I haven't made it a firm plan yet. I am going through all the personal product items I use, lotions, toothpaste, shampoo, etc. and finding ways to accomplish the same goals with less product, or natural products. Coconut oil and baking soda for the win! :)

130maggie1944
May 16, 10:30am Top

I think it is a trend which has much to give back to regular people. More money to spend on what you really want: travel, good food, time to spend with friends and family.

131maggie1944
Jun 5, 10:54am Top

bump

132maggie1944
Jun 16, 2:23pm Top

I am writing from the Washington State Democratic Party State Convention, and I read the Platform of the party, to be adopted here today. How many of you know what is in the platform of the political party with whom you most closely identify. It is a good read!

133reconditereader
Jun 17, 2:04pm Top

Sounds like an awesome time!

134catzteach
Jun 17, 4:57pm Top

>125 maggie1944: I read a decluttering book a couple of months ago. Since then we’ve only been buying what we feel like we need and not just want we want. It’s amazing how much we have saved now that we are really keeping track of our money.

135maggie1944
Jun 18, 7:48am Top

Years ago I read Your Money, Your Life with started the whole "watch your money" movement with a simple calculation as to what your time earns. Something like divide your net salary, pay, income... whatever.... by the number of hours that you work. Know what the society thinks your time is worth in money. Then know when you spend it, what you are spending. For example, this cup of coffee is costing me 45 minutes of work, or whatever it is. It is a great perspective on the whole "shopping" aspect of modern life.

In any case, I'm attracted now not only by "only buy what I NEED, not what I want" movement but also "eliminate plastic in all discretionary choices". Sadly, I cannot make the health care industry to stop giving me plastic containers for my medications, which are not discretionary but I can stop buying water in plastic bottles, and I can stop accepting plastic bags when I shop.

You get the point. It is not an easy task but it does seem like the moral thing to do. No more micro plastics in cosmetics in my house, I hope.

I am sorry if this seems "preachy" but along side of Zero Tolerance for Separating Children from their Parents it seems like a nonnegotiable call to action today.

136jillmwo
Jun 18, 9:37am Top

(((Hugs))) It's good hearing your voice on these kinds of things, maggie1944. You're a role model for me. You remind me to think of more than my "work cubicle" concerns.

137maggie1944
Jul 10, 10:35am Top

It has been a long time since I received a book from the LT program....

Reading from the corner of the oval by beck dorey-stein

So far, I'm loving it. I'm an absolute politics addict and reading about this young woman's incredible luck at landing a stenographers job in the White House has been a very enjoyable, and fun, read. We'll see what I think when I finish it.

138catzteach
Jul 11, 10:50am Top

>135 maggie1944: I’m with you on the plastics thing. I really wish companies would stop using it for packaging when they could use glass instead. There is a group of high schoolers in town that are leading a movement to get rid of plastic bags in the stores. I hope they succeed.

139reconditereader
Jul 12, 7:26pm Top

the problem with glass is, it's heavy to transport as well as fragile, and when it breaks it's a health hazard.
Less packaging overall!

140MrsLee
Jul 13, 9:02am Top

>135 maggie1944: I don't know how to get around the medical industry packaging. Not without increasing the potential for fraud and tampering, etc.

However, I now buy very little processed food, and eliminate most of that packaging. We eat mostly veggies and some meat, beans, pasta and or rice. I suppose if I bought all my meat at the butcher, I could even save on that packaging, but it isn't convenient or budget do-able. Of course in California, you either bring your own bags or pay to buy some at checkout (the fee is minimum, and the bags are extra sturdy, so they last a few trips, anyway). In the produce isle, I have stopped using bags for anything I will either peel or not eat the outside of.

The packaging I hate is for things like toys, tools or small electronics which are in molded plastic shells which take an act of God to open, then when you finally get it out of the shell (I'd rather spend that effort on an oyster), you have to find something to cut the stiff plastic bands which are around it usually on more stiff cardboard. Or when I used to buy processed foods, and there would be a food in plastic, with a cardboard cover, sometimes then wrapped in plastic again, or attached to a second with a plastic shell. :/

141maggie1944
Jul 13, 3:03pm Top

Exactly!

I think we all need to work to eat from the veggies and fruits section of the store, add a little meat, and some rice. And then no troubles with packaging.

Except of course the toilet paper, and ... you know. There are always exceptions.

Let's all just keep trying.

142MrsLee
Jul 14, 9:41am Top

>141 maggie1944: Yep, I was just reading an article about recycling which is both sad and hopeful. Sad, in that many people put things into the recycle bins which should not be there, and rather than sorting through this, the companies that collect them dump them into the landfill. This is not a bad on the companies. Most of our recycling material is shipped overseas to China. Here is where the hopeful comes in. China no longer accepts contaminated materials because they do not want to have children and families sorting through garbage anymore. They want to employ people at factory wages. So now we are shipping to other countries in Asia, who presumably still have people sorting our garbage. :/ Ah what a world.

I know that in our community, there is a program to get businesses on-board with recycling. They come to the business, train the workers, provide receptacles, and in the end it saves money because less garbage is created and the monthly bill goes down. Hopefully. I'm working to get my employers in this program, but inertia and other factors are still in play. Not many folks want to work sorting out other folks garbage.

I would like someone to come up with practical ways to deal with adult and baby diapers. A huge burden on the landfills, and yet, such a blessing to those who have incontinence issues.

143maggie1944
Jul 14, 11:45am Top

Oh, boy, I really did not want to start the day thinking about adult and baby diapers. At least, with the babies, we could go back to using cloth and laundering them. I know it is not fun but there is lots about life which we have to do which is not fun.

But, talking about fun: I have started reading Naomi Novik's Spinning Silver and I think it is going to be awesome. I'm already wanting to recommend it.

144clamairy
Jul 15, 12:29pm Top

>143 maggie1944: I adored Uprooted so I hope it's as good.

And I'll just pretend I didn't read the first part of your post.

145maggie1944
Jul 25, 11:43am Top

Finished Spinning Silver and enjoyed it. I'm less inclined to read fantasy books these days but I liked this one because it was based on old folk tales coming out of eastern Europe, western Russia, I think.

146maggie1944
Jul 25, 11:44am Top

I'm off to buy a copy of Overstory today I think. I saw a friend's comments about it and she made me want it. I will not be denied.

147YouKneeK
Jul 25, 9:05pm Top

>145 maggie1944: I’m glad to read you enjoyed Spinning Silver. I haven’t seen too many reviews for it yet amongst the people and threads I follow. I’ll probably try it eventually since I really enjoyed Uprooted and also her Temeraire series.

148catzteach
Aug 16, 11:28pm Top

>145 maggie1944: I'm on the hold list for Spinning Silver. Not sure where on the pecking order I am. I loved Uprooted and am really looking forward to reading Silver.

149maggie1944
Aug 17, 9:14am Top

I'm definitely experiencing the whole "attention deficit disorder" in my reading practice. Ha! I bought Overstory and started it. Liked it, but did not get that "I must get back to that book" feeling. So it languishes, and today I'm trying out Anne Lamott's Grace (Eventually).

I think you both (147, 148) will like Spinning Silver.

150catzteach
Aug 17, 11:52pm Top

>149 maggie1944: I get to pick Spinning Silver up tomorrow! I'm excited, but I do have two books to read before I get to it.

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