This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
  • LibraryThing
  • Book discussions
  • Your LibraryThing
  • Join to start using.

jessibud2 reads off her own shelves in 2019 - chapter 4

This is a continuation of the topic jessibud2 reads off her own shelves in 2019 - chapter 3.

75 Books Challenge for 2019

Join LibraryThing to post.

Edited: Jun 23, 11:38am Top

Just remove the words *holiday* and this is me, on my frequent comings and goings to and from Montreal these days. Now, if I could only finish a book or two, we'd be in business. I don't think I have started and abandoned so many books in ages.

I forgot to put my ticker in so I will stick in this first post:


Edited: Jun 17, 9:18pm Top

Well, today was quite the scene in Toronto. It was, shall we say, Toronto Raptors Day:

We Are the Champions

They are saying that there were close to 2 million out on the streets to celebrate our NBA Champs. The weather was perfect and our City Hall Square, Nathan Phillips Square, was so crowded that the famous Toronto Sign could barely be seen. There is no way in hell I would ever go anywhere near such a crowd. All it takes is one nutbar to ruin a perfectly good party. And even here, in *Toronto the Good*, it has happened. And sadly, it happened again today. I was listening to it on radio, live, because I was in my car, when, in the middle of the mayor's speech, an announcer took the mike, and announced, calmly, that there was an *incident* and for people to remain calm, and not panic, just remain calm. Amazingly, most did. In the end, it seems 4 people were shot but none seriously. The weapons were found, 2 people apprehended. And, crazily, the celebrations continued. I guess that is the way things go, in this day and age. I have never liked large crowds, but most especially large, uncontrollable crazy crowds.

It's such a pity that some people just feel they have to ruin things with violence. Thankfully, our police and emergency responders were well prepared and did their jobs today. It could have been a lot worse.


Jun 17, 9:34pm Top

Happy new thread Shelley! I love the suitcase topper.
That is a horrible story about shooters at the Raptors' success party. I watched the last quarter and they were dynamite. Congrats T.O.!

Jun 17, 9:36pm Top

I saw some of Toronto's celebration on the news but I didn't catch the story about the shootings. I can't believe that nothing has been done about your repairs yet. What are they waiting for?

Happy new thread!

Jun 17, 10:06pm Top

Hi Shelley! Happy new thread, and what better way to start than with Saint Thomas à Gauld.

Jun 17, 10:18pm Top

Happy new one!!

Jun 18, 8:47am Top

>3 mdoris: - Hi Mary. I could barely watch the final game. Too much tension. Every time I tuned in, the score was one point apart, in favour of one or the other. I knew when I heard fireworks going off in the neighbourhood that it had ended well!

>4 Familyhistorian: - Hi, Meg. I am actually going to put in a call today to the Law Society. They offer a service of a free half hour consultation and I intend to ask how long is considered *reasonable* for something like my situation to be addressed and the repairs made. It really is negligent on the part of our property managers and condo board and I am way past fed up at this point. I need to know what my next steps are because this has to be resolved before winter.

>5 richardderus: - Hi, Richard. Yes, he does seem to capture me well, doesn't he? ;-)

>6 figsfromthistle: - Hi, Anita, thanks!

Jun 18, 9:15am Top

Happy New Thread, Shelley!

Sorry to hear about the violence at the rally. I guess these days if you gather almost 2 million people. . . I hope the rest of it was the joyous occasion it should be. Congrats again to the Raptors.

Jun 18, 1:16pm Top

Happy new thread!

Jun 18, 3:55pm Top

Happy new thread Shelley my dear.

Jun 18, 4:22pm Top

>1 jessibud2: Yup, I recognise that suitcase Shelley. Years ago I co-ran a storytelling and poetry club with my sister, and one evening she delighted in telling the audience that when I went away I packed books and no knickers. I corrected her in saying I only packed books and knickers. Can't read in a draft!

Jun 18, 5:00pm Top

Happy new thread, Shelley!

Jun 18, 8:50pm Top

>8 jnwelch: - Thanks, Joe. In truth, it could have been a lot worse. A LOT worse. Once the *excitement* settled down, the festivities did continue. Hard to believe but they did. Today, and going forward, the city planners are doing a *post-mortem*, to try to determine what went wrong and how they can improve for the next big event. All things considered, and keeping in mind that there were only 3 days to put this thing together, I suppose it was a success. But seriously, it really is a miracle that there weren't more injuries. One guy who called in to a radio talk show this morning, said he was inured just from being trampled, His shoulder was displaced when people swarmed and he fell and someone stepped on him and ruptured his achilles tendon. Poor guy, a Raptors fan from day one and it came to this. Who knows how many others like him are out there.

One of the reasons I will never go to such an event is because I too, was once trampled. I was 11 or 12 and a local radio station was giving away free tickets to the first Beatles movie, A Hard Day's Night in the parking lot of the station. I went down with a friend and her older sister. I am only 5 feet tall now so you can imagine, I was probably smaller then. It was chaos there and I ended up losing a shoe. That was the worst of it though and we made it out, otherwise just fine. With tickets in hand. But it is not an experience I care to repeat.

Jun 18, 8:52pm Top

>9 drneutron:, >10 johnsimpson:, >12 kidzdoc: - Thanks, Jim, John and Darryl.

>11 Caroline_McElwee: - LOL, Caroline! I have been known to forget to pack pajamas, but never books! ;-)

Jun 18, 9:29pm Top

Happy New Thread, Shelley. Love the Gauld topper. That reminds me, I will be packing soon, myself...

Jun 19, 7:15am Top

>15 msf59: - Have a great vacation, Mark, and say hi to Bill! Meetups ought to be part of all vacations! ;-)

Jun 19, 8:28am Top

Hi Shelley! Happy new thread.

I got all caught up re your Mum's move from your last thread. You're a wonderful daughter even though I know how much it takes out of you (I was Mom's durable power of attorney after her stroke and then her executor after she passed away. It's all stress and strain and on top of the logistical and legal stuff there's the sadness of watching a parent decline.) I hope she's doing well in her new situation, away from That Man.

I also hope your reading is coming along - it's funny how stress takes us all differently. I read much more when stressed, to the point of letting important things slide.

Take care of yourself and *hugs* from me.

Jun 19, 2:58pm Top

>17 karenmarie: - Hi, Karen. I feel more settled down this week than I did last week. I was a raging mess last week, partly because of the usual Mom stress, partly because of the long highway drive (twice) and partly because of the idiot. But I have been just doing things by myself for the most part, my default comfort zone, if I am honest, and it seems to be working. I think.

As for the reading, still up in the air. I am trying to like the first in the Elena Ferrante Neapolitan Novel series but so far, not so much. I just got a graphic novel from the library that I am hoping will kick start me again. I am surrounded by books but nothing is calling to me at the moment.

I can't even do audiobooks because the CD player in my car died during the drive. Nissan wants what I consider way too much money to fix or repair it: $450 or $875, depending on which brand it is and of course, they have to remove the one in the car to see the brand. Ka-ching, ka-ching. I am not sure I am willing to do that. Had my A/C maintenance check this afternoon and a new A/C may be in my near future. Hoping not but the prospect of facing another suffocating summer with the A/C at less than optimal working condition is not appealing. It is old, at least 10 or 12 years old so it is not unreasonable that this is happening now. But still. I'd rather have A/C than CD, if you know what I mean. A lottery win right about now would be nice. But of course, I'd have to be buying tickets, wouldn't I?

Jun 19, 3:06pm Top

>18 jessibud2: The best one can say about one's odds of winning the lottery is that they're non-zero; but no ticket-buying behavior means the chance of winning moves to zero, as you astutely point out. So what does a lottery ticket cost? Ours are $2 and I spend $4 a month on them, but only if the jackpot is over $100MM. Even *I* can afford two $2 tickets a month and, well, non-zero is better than zero.

Jun 19, 4:31pm Top

>19 richardderus: - I go through phases. Sometimes I buy tickets every week, usually the $2 or $4 ones, never the $10 ones. I sometimes enjoy the scratch BINGO ones, too. When I was still teaching, we used to have a pool at work where we paid in, I forget, something like $10 a month and the guy (usually one of our bus drivers or caretakers, ) would purchase tickets weekly for the group. Once and once only, I won $1000. Woohoo! Mostly, if I win anything, it is a free ticket or, at most, $5 or $10. Still, someone has to win, as they say...

Jun 19, 6:09pm Top

>7 jessibud2: Did you contact the law society, Shelley? It would be the ideal time for work to be done on your foundation problems. I thought the plan was to get to it as soon as the snow was gone.

Jun 19, 6:21pm Top

>21 Familyhistorian: - I thought so too and was led to believe just that. I have an appointment tomorrow, Meg, with a lawyer, to find out what my rights are and what their (condo board and property managers) obligations are. To be honest, I do not want to mess up the back garden that I have been working so hard to make beautiful. I would not be sad if nothing happened till the fall. But what I really want is communication. To know that someone is actually working on a plan and taking this seriously. I have had zero communication unless I have emailed to ask for updates and even that results in barely anything.

Jun 20, 4:42am Top

>18 jessibud2: I didn't get into the Ferrante novel either Shelley, despite all the love everywhere for it.

Jun 20, 7:53am Top

I'm sorry about your CD dying and your AC potentially dying, Shelley. I'd choose AC, too, although what about a portable CD player in the car? Not the same if it can't tap into the car's sound system, but perhaps better than nothing.

I don't play the lottery regularly but should really spend a bit every week. I just checked out our state lottery and see that you can buy tickets online now - but they also have a Play Responsibly Tab and lots of info on gambling addiction. Sheesh. I'll probably just go to the gas station on the way in to town.

Good luck getting your reading mojo back. It's scary when it deserts us bibliomaniacs.

Jun 22, 7:12am Top

Happy new thread!

Jun 23, 11:31am Top

>23 Caroline_McElwee: - Well, thanks, Caroline. Always good to know I am not completely alone in this. I have abandoned it and will give the book (and book 2 in the series, which I also have), to a friend. My own *rule* is 50 pages or one week, before ditching. I barely made it to 50 pages and just can't force myself to keep at it. Oh well.

>24 karenmarie: - Hi Karen. Yes, I will have to come up with something for the car. Right now, our stupid condo board has not approved the A/C unit I want to purchase as it says its decibel level is too high (just a few numbers above the condo standards). So, it's back to the drawing board. Every direction I turn these days I seem to hit a brick wall. No to the A/C (for the moment), no luck with the CD, no action at all so far on my basement/backyard issues, no books really grabbing me, plus the whole Montreal and mum issues. I really wish I had a cave I could go to to hibernate for a few years...

>25 ChelleBearss: - Thanks, Chelle.

Edited: Jun 23, 11:37am Top

I just finished the graphic novel Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story by Peter Bagge. I heard about this one from Meg. I enjoyed learning more about Sanger, about whom I knew nothing other than that she was the push behind birth control. But I have to say, I was rather turned off by the author's cartoon style. Sanger's story is important and she lived a ton of lives in her one life. But the illustrations felt to me almost like a mockery. The figures were almost *Simpson*-like, and the faces, when they didn't resemble apes or pigs, were just grotesque. The bodies were *rubbery*, with arms that always seemed too long and round, ape-like, and I just did not like this style at all. Which is a pity because I did enjoy the bio. At least I finished it!

Now to find something on my shelves that will pick me up a bit!.....

Edited: Jun 24, 7:22am Top

Just wanted to put a link here to today's edition of the Brain Pickings blog. It talks about a book I recently read and loved (Mary, too!) called The Lost Words An Illustrated Dictionary of Poetic Spells Reclaiming the Language of Nature by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris:


This book was a visual and aesthetic delight.

Jun 23, 3:25pm Top

>28 jessibud2: it is a wonderful book Shelley.

Jun 23, 3:39pm Top

Hi Shelley. Back to your prior thread, I bought that same collection of Bibliophile notecards. I've only sent a couple of them so far but I think they are quite nice.

I'm sorry to hear about the ongoing stress and the addition of financial difficulties to the family stuff. You really deserve a break! I do buy lottery tickets every now and then, most often when I'm miserable and wanting to retire. But I realize I haven't bought a single one since moving to this new gig despite my general dissatisfaction with my new situation. Hmm.

I'm going to check out the Brain Pickings blog. And The Lost Words looks terrific.

Jun 23, 3:43pm Top

I want a copy of The Lost Words. It just looks so beautiful!

Edited: Jun 23, 5:18pm Top

>28 jessibud2: Oh Shelley, you beat me to it. RL has been demanding and I am far behind on the threads but I read BrainPickings today too and thought I would post the link but you already have. I put the Adam Gopnik A thousand Small Sanities on reserve and thought the Walt Whitman was interesting too but I'm sure glad that the Lost Words is getting some exposure. What a great and beautiful book! We have had visiting cousins and I made Darryls' (kidzdoc) rhubarb /strawberry pie that was a huge hit.

Hoping life settles for you very soon and you can get those aggravating things off your list (AC,DVD, water issues and book doldrums).

Jun 23, 8:30pm Top

Inspired by Charlotte, I thought I"d post a few pics from my own tiny garden. One of the only things so far this summer that is working out well! I will attempt 3 pics. Not sure if they will all fit in one post but I will try.

The clematis in my front yard. It has always been a healthy climber but usually only produced a handful of flowers. This year, it has exploded! Mostly pale lavender in colour with a few darker purple flowers.

Jun 23, 8:34pm Top

Brunnera Sea Heart with pale yellow Columbine. I love the textured leaves of the Brunnera:

The Columbine with daisies:

Jun 23, 9:28pm Top

>33 jessibud2:, >34 jessibud2: Such lovely colors! A happy summer sight.

Jun 23, 9:53pm Top

Gorgeous photos!

Edited: Jun 23, 11:22pm Top

>28 jessibud2: My granddaughter's 4th grade class did an art project inspired by The Lost Words. The art teacher took them on a nature walk, where they recorded what they found, and incorporated it into a final picture. Her words were "Asleep Autumn Trees", with the letters scattered about a drawing of a large tree and filled in with fall colors, leaves, nuts, a squirrel, etc. Very cool.

Jun 24, 8:01am Top

>35 richardderus:, >36 mdoris: - Thanks Richard and Mary. I never tire of what comes up in the garden and since I don't always remember what I've planted, it's almost always a surprise! Of course, I am trying to slowly convert my garden to be mostly perennials but I do add annuals each year for more colour.

>37 kac522: - Kathy, what a fantastic and creative project! Those are the types of activities that stay with students for life. They combine so many disciplines: art, literature, science, organizational skills, focus, and bring them all together to feed inspiration. Wonderful!

Edited: Jun 24, 7:18pm Top

I will be going downtown later this morning to see another documentary film. It's from The Netherlands and is in Dutch with English subtitles. It's about service dogs who live with and help people with disabilities and is called


Scroll once to the right to watch the trailer. It looks very good. Anita and Ella, have you heard about this one?

Edited: Jun 26, 9:40pm Top

Being the ice cream freak that I am, I am always up for something new. Today was that day, and I hit the jackpot. I have a new favourite flavour. I don't know if this franchise, YogenFruz, is elsewhere in Canada or in the States at all, but it's been here for a long time. It's actually frozen yogurt, not ice cream. They serve, as ice cream places do, in a cup, in a cone, soft serve and as smoothies. I passed by today and noticed a new soft-serve sorbet flavour on the board: it's black in colour and called, I think, Black Sesame. In the picture, it did look black but when I received my cup of it, it was lighter, sort of gray. But it was really delicious. Tasted almost like peanut butter. I just had a peek at their website and it isn't listed there so I don't know if it's still in the testing stage. But wow, I will be having more of that one next time! I did notice, on the website, a flavour called Toasted Marshmallow. I have had that as ice cream before and that too, is outstanding.

Ok, back to the books. I may have mentioned before that I am a member of postcrossing com. It's a site where you can exchange postcards with people across the globe. Sometimes, communication goes a bit beyond the exchange of one postcard, with back and forth emailing and discussion of ideas, or interests. As in LT, most people write a bit of a profile so folks can get a sense of what you like, who you are, etc. So, I was having such an exchange with someone in the States who is an artist. Some people state in their profile that they like homemade cards; others state that they do NOT. Seeing she was an artist, I made a homemade card and envelope (I use pages from old calendars to create envelopes). Happily, she really liked them and in her reply, mentioned some books she was reading. One of them I had never heard of, neither the book or author but afterwards, I did some googling and it looked like just the thing that appeals to me. Nature essays, called The Anthropology of Turquoise: Reflections on Desert, Sea, Stone, and Sky by Ellen Meloy. I ordered it from Abebooks and it arrived in my mailbox today. It's billed as an invigorating mix of memoir, natural history, and adventure. I am thinking that this may be just the thing to drag me out of my current book funk. I sure hope so.

Jun 25, 2:46pm Top

I hope your new book helps to haul you out of the book funk, Shelley. Too bad the drawing in the Sanger bio didn't appeal. It didn't bother me but then I didn't really enjoy the visuals except that they added another dimension understanding her life. Those are beautiful photos of your garden!

Jun 26, 5:06pm Top

>39 jessibud2: Looks good to me, Shelley, but I hadn't heard of this documentaty. I am never up to date with films ;-)
I do know about dog training projects for disabled, it is so wonderful what dogs can do! My own dogs were never officially certified, but acted as service dogs for me, they managed to get me outside in the worst time of my phobias.

Jun 27, 12:16am Top

Love the suitcase topper and all your flowers! Sorry that your CD player died and good luck with the lawyer. And happy new thread!!

Jun 27, 11:17am Top

Finally making it over Shelley.

>1 jessibud2: Pretty much resembles any luggage I have owned.

Edited: Jun 28, 7:13am Top

-Northern Mockingbird

Happy Friday, Shelley! As you heard, I had a great trip east and now I can enjoy a few days at home, before returning to work on Tuesday.

Did not see many birds, but heard plenty, including this joyful mockingbird.

Edited: Jun 28, 3:29pm Top

>41 Familyhistorian: - Thanks, re the garden pics, Meg. At least something is doing well here this year.

>42 FAMeulstee: - It was a nice film, Anita. If you have a chance to catch it, I think you would enjoy it. I think it was ade 2 years ago or so.

>43 Berly: - The lawyer consult proved to be a colossal waste of time. A joke, really. Thanks goodness it was free (except for the $3 or $4 in change I paid for parking).

>44 PaulCranswick: - Yep, Tom Gauld knows LTers, doesn't he? ;-)

>45 msf59: - Thanks for the pic, Mark. I have never seen one of those (to my knowledge)

Edited: Jun 28, 7:23pm Top

Well, the A/C finally bit the dust. I left the house yesterday morning and turned it on but when I got home, the indoor temp was 26C. I turned it off and just turned on all my table fans and the standing fan in my bedroom. Thankfully, today is overcast so no directly beating down of the sun but it's still far too hot for me. I did manage to get the condo board's approval for the new A/C unit I want to buy but it looks like they have no dates for installation before I leave for Montreal on July 4. ACK.

As Gilda used to say, it's always something!

The good news is that I think I have finally cracked the reading funk. I am currently reading 2 books that are keeping my attention and are quite good so far. In my bag for transit reading is The Badass Librarians of Timbuktu and my bedtime reading is Ready for a Brand New Beat. Thank goodness. This ricocheting off the books in this house without landing anywhere was getting old.

Jun 28, 7:14pm Top

>47 jessibud2: Sorry to hear about your failed A/C system, Shelley.

I'm eager to find out what you think about Ready for a Brand New Beat. Naturally that song is now playing in my head, which I don't mind one bit.

Jun 28, 7:23pm Top

>48 kidzdoc: - The author, Mark Kurlansky, is reputedly a very good writer. I have another of his books on my shelf, though as yet unread. I like NF books about music and I like that he places and relates this story in the social history of the time. I have read a lot about that era, the Civil Rights movement, and the 50s, and 60s in general. So far, the narrative is holding my interest well and so far, I would agree that Kurlansky is a good story teller. Did you ever watch the Ken Burns series called Jazz? I am not even a fan of jazz, generally speaking, but I found the history Burns revealed to be riveting and really loved that series. I'm still early on in this book but Kurlansky is doing a similar thing, explaining and placing the roots of blues, rhythm and blues and jazz, as the sources of rock and roll, and the genesis of Motown, as it evolved. I will do a proper review once I am finished.

Jun 28, 7:29pm Top

>49 jessibud2: I've read two of Mark Kurlansky's books, 1968: The Year that Rocked the World, and The Basque History of the World, and I thought that both were superb.

Even though I'm a huge jazz fan I've only watched some of Ken Burns' Jazz, although I loved his PBS series on Baseball.

Edited: Jun 28, 8:24pm Top

>50 kidzdoc: - I loved his series on Baseball, also. Have you seen his much shorter doc about America's first road trip? It's called Hortatio's Drive. I saw it on tv then got the audio version from the library as well. It's quite a story and is terrific, as only Burns can do!


I have seen many of Burns' doc series, starting with The Civil War.

When I started watching the Jazz series, I did so by borrowing one DVD from the library. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it so I kept borrowing the rest of the series, one DVD at a time. I tried to do it in order but I couldn't always get them in order (my branch only had 3 on the shelves so the rest were ordered from other branches). It didn't really matter in the end as I just liked them all but it probably would have been better in order.

Jun 29, 7:03am Top

>51 jessibud2: I hadn't heard of Horatio's Drive, but it sounds interesting! Hopefully I can stream it, and Jazz, online.

I should be more interested in the Civil War, the war itself and the series, but I'm probably like many African Americans who are descended from slaves in being angered by the war and its aftermath. I'd much rather read about the Spanish Civil War or the Estado Novo in Portugal.

Jun 29, 8:26am Top

We all know about Little Free Libraries, I presume. But I learned something new today and it's very cool. It's kind-of like a spin-off of the LFL idea. They are called Tiny Sheds and encourage neighbours to share things other than books, such as seeds, tools, etc. I subscribe to an online blog/newsletter called Garden Therapy written by a gardener in British Columbia. This week, she has an article about this:


Edited: Jun 29, 11:50am Top

>51 jessibud2:

When you reach the last of Ken Burns Jazz DVDs, it might be illuminating to note that he barely mentions the last 50 YEARS (and more = Ornette!)
of the entire Creative Free Music "Jazz" Movement, with the cornerstone of Improvisation. There's a whole new world that was not touched.

(Mr. W. Marsalis is NOT a representative of these musicians!)

Jun 29, 10:37am Top

>53 jessibud2: Nice idea Shelley. My neighbourhood in town has several Little Free Libraries. At the allotment we share books, and seeds and plants. One of my friends has a sharing bookcase near the entrance to her garden, she puts all kind of things in it that she would like to give away, for anyone who wants them.

Jun 29, 9:06pm Top

For some reason, I've yet to a little free library in Richmond, Shelley . I did see one last summer briefly on city property, but it is gone now. I'd create one myself , but in a townhouse with the common property issues, I don't think it would be possible. I am so sorry for all the difficulties that our piling up your way. The air conditioning, I sure hope you can that sorted out soon - oh it looks like the A/C is on it's way. I'm a book funk myself at the moment, which I am hoping to crack. Not sure what my problem is.

And yes, YogenFruz is in Vancouver . I like ice cream very much, but for calories sake I try to avoid it. We do have an excellent place in Richmond - Steveston called Timothy's Icecream. They have a mix of gelato, icecream, frozen yogurt and all sorts or berries and different toppings. I am chocolate only kind of girl. Or perhaps Rocky Road! :-)

Your garden is looking great. My best to you as you go back to Montreal. I'lll be thinking of you, Shelley. (((( Hugs))))

Jun 30, 6:21am Top

>53 jessibud2: Nice idea, community shared places (like libraries) are so thin on the ground these days.

Jun 30, 10:25am Top

Check-in Sunday post. Hoping all is as smoothly functional as is possible.

Jun 30, 11:01am Top

Any talk of libraries makes me yearn for the trappings of home. Malaysia is not awash in libraries and I miss my home library. When I was young and unable to buy books we used to get a visit from a mobile library to our village weekly. I loved looking through the back of that van!

Have a splendid Sunday.

Jul 1, 4:53pm Top

Hi, Marianne, Ella, Deb, Charlotte, Richard and Paul.

Deb, I am also in a townhouse so, as you know, the space for a garden is quite small, but we are allowed, if we want to, to make a garden. But only flowers in the front, no veggies. Veggie garden can be in the back but I get no sun in the back so I can't have one. That was a shock to me when I bought the house. I had no idea and was very disappointed not to be able to have veggies. When I lived in an apartment, I faced wet and had gorgeous veggies in pots on my balcony. Oh well.

The ice cream was not actually ice cream (at Yogen Fruz); it was sorbet which I think has fewer calories. Since I never eat anything cold in winter (or hot in summer; yes, I know I am weird that way), I make up for it in summer with ice cream, frozen yogurt, etc.

Jul 1, 9:12pm Top

^I hope you are enjoying the holiday, Shelley.

Jul 1, 9:18pm Top

In the spirit of a couple of great astronaut memoirs that I have read lately (Endurance: My Year in Space by Scott Kelly, and An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield), I just watched a great interview with another Canadian astronaut, Dr. Dave Williams, talking about his experiences and his new book, Defying Limits: Lessons From the Edge of the Universe. I can't wait to read this one!

Here is the interview, if anyone is interested: https://www.tvo.org/video/ground-control-to-dr-dave

Jul 1, 9:19pm Top

>61 msf59: - Thanks, Mark!

I think you might enjoy the book I just wrote about in ^ the last message.

Jul 2, 1:23am Top

>62 jessibud2: Just popping in to say Hi! and to wish you a fantastic July! I love books about astronauts--so thanks for these.

Jul 2, 3:24pm Top

Hi Shelley my dear, Happy Canada Day. Hope all is well with you and the reading is going well for you. It has cooled down a little since the weekend highs but it I still nice and I can get out into the garden and do a bit of work. Have a great week and send love and hugs to you from both of us dear friend.

Edited: Jul 2, 5:32pm Top

>64 Berly: - Hi Kim. Canada Post also just issued a new stamp commemorating the role 2 Canadian engineers played in the design of the lunar module's landing gear legs back in 1969 for the moon landing. Apparently, the legs remain on the moon. Who knew. It's a lovely stamp, by the way.

>65 johnsimpson: - Hi, John. Not cooling down here any time soon, I"m afraid. And my A/C died a few days ago.

Edited: Jul 2, 5:32pm Top

Not that I need an excuse but I bought myself a present today. Just because. It was at the bookstore, of course.

If this doesn't say Shelley all over it, I don't know what does. (it doesn't mention the piles on the floors, though...Thankfully.)

Jul 3, 6:06am Top

Jul 3, 3:59pm Top

>67 jessibud2: love it Shelley.

Jul 3, 9:40pm Top

>67 jessibud2: I think 75ers should get a bulk discount on that one.

Jul 3, 10:24pm Top

> 67 Oh so true as I try to dejunk my place! My husband says I have far to many books all over the place and it's true. Thinking of you tomorrow as you travel to Montreal. Take care and I will be thinking good thoughts for you . ((((( hugs)))))

Edited: Jul 3, 10:29pm Top

>68 FAMeulstee:, >69 Caroline_McElwee:, >70 richardderus:, >71 vancouverdeb: - Thanks, Anita, Caroline, Richard and Deb. I agree, Richard, it would work well here, ;-). Deb, I got this at Chapters. Only $7 if you spend at least $30, which really wasn't that difficult. Otherwise, as a stand-alone purchase, it was $16. Good strong canvas and big enough for several books. Of course. They had different designs but for me, this was a no-brainer. I bought an extra one, too, as I plan to gift it to a friend.

PS - thanks for the good wishes. It is supposed to be even hotter in Mtl than it is here in Toronto. Yuck. Good news is that my new A/C will be installed the day after I get home next week. If I don't melt first.

Jul 4, 12:27am Top

>67 jessibud2: Lovely book bag purchase. All the best in Montreal. Hope the travel and the visits go well.

Jul 5, 9:35am Top

Hi Shelley!

>33 jessibud2: and >34 jessibud2: Beautiful flowers and photos. Thanks for sharing.

>47 jessibud2: A friend gave me The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu for Christmas last year. I’ve tagged it to be read this year. Fortunately she thinks of personal libraries as I do – places where books reside until the right time, and so hasn’t bugged me about reading it yet.

Gilda Radner… I have read It’s Always Something several times over the years and keep a copy on my shelves.

I’ll keep reading to get the AC update, but in the meantime I’m sorry it finally broke.

>50 kidzdoc: I’ve had The Basque History of the World on my wish list forever and finally broke down and just ordered it.

>53 jessibud2: Since I have to take our trash and recyclables to the dump (rural, no trash pickup services), I frequently take things we don’t want any more. They have a covered area with shelves and I’ve taken things and found things, too.

>59 PaulCranswick: We had a mobile library when I was a teenager. I loved it.

>67 jessibud2: Excellent.

Safe travels.

Jul 6, 8:59am Top

>73 mdoris: - Hi Mary. Well, it's hotter, temp-wise, and much more humid in Montreal than in Toronto and this is NOT my kind of weather. In my mom's place, only their dining room seems to be air-conditioned. And I am the only one there not wearing a sweater!! We bought her a good tower fan and it is doing its job but she doesn't want an air conditioner in her apartment. ACK.

Other than that she seems to be doing well and all is as good as can be expected at this point. No complaints.

Edited: Jul 6, 6:44pm Top

>74 karenmarie: - Hi, Karen. I am enjoying The Badass Librarians of Timbuktu so far though it's in my suitcase at the moment until I finish the bio of Charles Schulz. I want to leave this one for my mom. I should finish it easily before I go home on Tuesday and will continue with the Librarians on my trip home. I am also reading another book, by Mark Kurlansky, and am enjoying that one, too. Both are with me, as well as another small book. You know, just in case. :-)

(see topper in this thread)

Jul 6, 12:49pm Top

>76 jessibud2: ...and if the just-in-casenik you packed isn't doing it for you, I understand that Montreal has a few of them there newfangled book-purveyin' emporiums.

Jul 6, 1:44pm Top

>77 richardderus: - Hehe, yep. I am aware of that, Richard... I am more of an indie book store type (though not really all that picky when it comes to book stores). A fairly newly discovered (by me) fave is a tiny, independent shop called Bibliophile. I've only been there 3 times but have always found something (well, more than *one* something)…

Another indie fave is downtown, just off McGill campus, called The Word. Small, cramped but excellent and the guy who owns/runs it is very knowledgeable about every book in it. If it wasn't so freaking hot and humid outside, I'd hop on a bus and just go. But I did too much walking around outside yesterday and today is a headache day (paying the price) and a stay-inside-and-read day. Maybe next visit.

Jul 6, 6:09pm Top

I'm glad to hear that the trip is going as good as you could hope for, save the hot weather. WE have a cool cloudy day here . Take care, Shelley.

Jul 6, 6:47pm Top

>79 vancouverdeb: - During dinner, I noticed out the window that it suddenly looked quite windy. When we got back upstairs, I ventured outside onto the balcony to see if it had cooled things down at all. It had not. ;-p

Jul 8, 8:55am Top

Hi, Shelley.

Little free libraries have proliferated in our city environment, I'm glad to report. It's not quite one a block near us, but it's pretty close. We love it. Besides finding old favorites like Dick Francis, we've found a bunch for our teacher daughter to use in her little kids' classroom. We've of course also been contributing our own non-keepers.

Jul 8, 11:38am Top

I'm stopping by to say hello. Each day I hope to visit a few threads and get back to participating in the group. It is a rainy day. I'm glad for the rain. The last week was blistering hot with the need to water plants twice each day.

Happy day to you!

Jul 10, 6:30am Top

I am home. I slept in my own bed last night! And not a moment too soon; today is the big day: New A/C on the way. The news just reported that it will be 31C here today, with a humidex value making it feel like 38C!! I don't envy those guys who will be working hard to install the thing but I sure do appreciate it!

Jul 10, 6:54am Top

^Dickcissel. One of the cool birds I saw yesterday, on my stroll. These are found in open prairies. I was hoping to find one of these beauties.

Hooray for the A/C, Shelley. Enjoy! Back hot & humid here today. Ugh!

Jul 10, 6:44pm Top

>83 jessibud2: Seems the new A/C comes at the right time, Shelley, 31C is no fun.

Jul 10, 8:37pm Top

I hope that by now you are enjoying your townhouse in the cool from a new A/C unit, Shelley.

Jul 11, 12:30am Top

New a/c joy!! What a relief. 38C humidex (we call that "real feel") is no way to spend even one day.

Edited: Jul 11, 7:07pm Top

Hi Mark, Anita, Meg and Richard. Well, blessed air, COOL blessed air. At last...! One hurdle done and dusted.

Anyhow, today was just another in what feels like a year-long stream of crappy days. I found out this morning that my older cat, Lexi, has cancer. She is 19 and I will not be spending money I don't have to go to any extensive measures for her other than to keep her comfortable and pain-free. She is actually still behaving just fine, eating, drinking, using her litter box, all as usual. She is as cuddly as ever. But she has lost a whole pound in body weight since February, which is not normal, despite still having a voracious appetite. I actually took her in today for the bumps that appeared on her ears and body. In previous years, this was a seasonal allergy that responded well to a shot of something (forget what, just now). But the vet has given me 3 weeks of prednisone pills for the bumps and we will see if that helps. I will take her back to see the vet in 3 weeks. She also detected a large lump at one of the nipples and said she was fairly sure this was a tumour. Sigh. Lexi is 19. I knew this time was coming. I just really hoped it wouldn't be now, this year.

Anyhow, after I brought her home, I needed a bit of retail therapy. Honestly, I have been relatively good this year in keeping book acquisitions down. Relative, being the operative word here. So, back to the bookstore I went. Now, is this me, being cranky and overly anal or is there a trend going on? As I scanned the tables of books, I noticed that so many of them - MANY! - had cover pictures of people, taken from the back. I remember once posting about 2 books with different titles and by different authors, which used the identical cover photos. But this wasn't like that. This was either a woman (or more than one) or a man, and what we see are their backs. Just so weird, almost to the point of absurdity. These are the titles of the books; maybe the touchstones will show the covers. I am just too damned lazy to try to post pictures of them all here, even though I did take a few photos on my phone so I would remember the titles for this post):

The Daughter's Tale, The Huntress, Light Over London, A Gentleman in Moscow, Before We Were Yours, Resistance Women, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, The Traitor and the Spy, Becoming Mrs. Lewis, The Alice Network, A Man Called Ove, The German Midwife, The Secret Orphan, The Runaway Daughter.

Seriously. Is this weird or what? I meant to ask the guy at the cash if this display was intentional, with all those *theme* covers, but by the time I got to my turn, I forgot.

Anyhow, the 3 books I did buy are: Becoming Mrs. Lewis, The Overstory and Dear Evelyn. I don't even know when I think I am going to get to them as I am currently reading a library book, have two more in transit to the library for me right now and 2 more after that still on hold.


edited to add that the covers that show in the touchstones for The Spy and the Traitor, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek and The Runaway Daughter are not the covers I saw today.

Jul 11, 8:23pm Top

Shelley, so sorry to hear about your cat Lexi. That is not easy times when a lovely companion who has been in your life for so long is losing weight and not up to par. Retail therapy sounds like just the thing! Right now I am a concrete assistant on a BIG project so little time for reading. I am reading a challenging book too, The Grapes of Wrath and for me it must be read super slowly. Steinbeck ROCKS!

Edited: Jul 12, 5:32am Top

>88 jessibud2: Sorry to hear about Lexi, Shelley. It's always hard losing fury companions, but she has reached a fine age, and so glad she is at least comfortable, so you have a little more time together. Photo please...

It's funny how there are trends like that with book covers. I wish they'd prefer to be more original, than behave like sheep.

Jul 12, 2:49pm Top

>88 jessibud2:

Unless there's a different Canadian cover, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is facing forward, just headless.

Glad that your cat's final days will be without pain and filled with love.

We had a wonderful vet who came to our house for our dog's last morning...

Jul 13, 7:54am Top

Thanks, Mary, Caroline and Marianne.

Mary, I read The Grapes of Wrath back in high school so it's, ahem, quite some time. I wonder if it would hold up as well it I did a reread now.

Caroline, I will try to get a photo or two up later, of Lexi. She is not nearly as photogenic as Mia, but she is quite a character and much more cuddly. And yes, those book covers were just so odd. I wonder if there is some unspoken trend or competition among publishers or whoever decided such things. Just weird.

Marianne, the 3 titles I mentioned as having different covers in the touchstones did indeed have the *back of the person* covers in the bookstore. Whether it is Canadian version or just a newer version, I don't know but they did fit the theme as I saw them.

I have also done a bit of homework and there is a vet practice here in Toronto who do home visits for many things including euthanasia. I know it will be more expensive than if I just went to my regular vet but of my 2 cats, Lexi is the one who is most anxious going to the vet so I will definitely explore this option.

Jul 13, 10:19am Top

Current library reads on the go:

Diary of a Bookseller
Good Talk
and a dvd I need to start watching tonight if I am to get through it all by the due date (Tuesday): Ken Burns' PBS story of Jackie Robinson

My own books I am in the middle of that I have set aside for the moment in order to read the library books:
The Badass Librarians of Timbuktu
Ready for a Brand New Beat

And there are still 4 holds at the library that will surely all arrive at once, very soon...

Jul 13, 10:23am Top

>93 jessibud2: That's a busy reading weekend, right there, not that it's impossible...just crowded. You'll spread it out, of course, but I was thinking of it as a solid block of time.

Jul 13, 1:52pm Top

>92 jessibud2:

That's odd about the The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek cover being changed -
the headless facing forward one definitely draws a reader's attention...and thankfully has nothing to do with the plot.

Jul 13, 2:17pm Top

Shelly, How very sad that you had to say goodbye to Lexi. I know this experience is so very difficult.

Thinking of you and sending lots of love

Jul 13, 2:36pm Top

I think Shelley reading a masterpiece at any stage that it will always ring bells. Probably with maturity, experience and understanding more about the world brings something to the reading. I might have read it in my youth, don't remember but I'm sure getting something out of it at my present stage. It is very slow going though (dense) and I don't want to miss an image or a beautiful phrasing. i might be kicked out of the 75's when I don't get to the magic number in December!

Jul 13, 3:43pm Top

My sympathy regarding Lexi, Shelley. That's got to be a hard one to go through.

I'm glad you're reading Diary of a Bookseller and Good Talk. I liked both a lot. I just gave GT to our BIL for his birthday.

Jul 13, 6:20pm Top

>96 Whisper1:, >98 jnwelch: - Oh, Linda and Joe, she is still with me! She is a feisty one and could kick around for quite a bit longer. But the vet just confirmed the tumour (well, confirmed without the benefit of a biopsy which I won't put Lexi through at this stage). She is 19, after all, so she is definitely closer to the end than ever but she is still her sweet self and hopefully will remain so for awhile. I have gone through this before with previous pets and when it's time, I will know. She will let me know. For now, I still have 2 senior girls (well, 3, if you count me!)

Jul 13, 8:55pm Top

Shelley, you have a had a bad year indeed, with so much to cope with . I am sorry and extend hugs and my best wishes. Retail therapy is the best idea. I have a friend with an 11 year old dog named Spirit and just a month ago she discovered that her dog has a congestive heart failure. Last night I met her walking with her newly adopted dog and she believed that Spirit had a " heart attack " and was at home with a pulse but was unconscious. I had expected to hear that Spirit has passed away today , but instead Spirit was conscious and wagging his tail, though he was just lounging on the ground inside. It is so hard when you have to face the end of life stages of a fur-baby. I've had to do it a couple of times in the past, but I'm not sure it ever gets easier. I'm very glad to hear that Lexi is still doing well, though as you mention, she is 19. Poppy, who is only turning 6 this fall apparently has a slightly enlarged heart. We had her in at the vet this week, and she shows no symptoms , but it was picked up on a x - ray. The vet told us not to worry about it. I guess from year to year will just keep an eye on her heart and keep an eye out for any symptoms. Our previous dogs lived until 15 years and 13 1/2 years, so I hope that wild old Poppy will live a good long life. She growled so much at the vet that the vet could not tell if she has a heart murmur or not. Like Lexi, Poppy is feisty thing. Actually, she shakes like a leaf at the vets , but when the vet tries to listen to Poppy's heart , Poppy growls. We have to muzzle Poppy at the vet. She is a handful.

Edited: Jul 13, 9:24pm Top

Thanks, Deb. My other cat, Mia, is such a lady. No behavioural problems (at least, not at the vet's). But it takes the vet and at least one other vet tech, just to get Lexi's vitals, never mind take her temp or give her a shot. She'd rip their hands off, given half a chance. Yet, she lets me pill her, groom her, poke and probe, she is truly a *pussycat* at home. Weird.

I saw an interesting documentary this afternoon. It's part of a newish trend, I think, of museum exhibitions on screen. This one was called Van Gogh and Japan. I knew that Van Gogh loved and was influenced by Japanese art but had no idea of the backstory. It was quite good.

Scroll down for the blurb or once to the right for a trailer.

Jul 14, 4:33am Top

Hugs to you Shelley.

So many of us seem to be having tough years in 2019.

Hope your weekend is a peaceful one. xx

Jul 14, 5:24pm Top

So sorry to hear about Lexi's health issues, Shelley. I hope that your year starts getting better soon.

Jul 14, 8:45pm Top

Thanks, Paul and Meg. Yes, I will be happy to see the back end of 2019.

I just finished my library copy of Good Talk by Mira Jacob. It was excellent. For one thing, the concept of turning tough conversations between her young son and herself, as well as herself and the older generations, into a book was brilliant and certainly much needed in these troubled times of ours. But I also found it visually appealing. For one thing, as a graphic novel, I appreciated that her text was large enough to be easily read. I have often had to use a magnifier to read the teeny print in other graphic novels I have read and enjoyed, always wishing my eyes were younger. Not so here. Also, I liked how her images were layered, the background picture usually a colour photo while her characters are drawn, black and white and superimposed on top of the photo. I just found this creative and effective and liked it a lot.

Of course, I had to google afterwards and found a few articles and interviews with Jacob. I also am going to see if my library has her first book, a novel. Jacob only came to my radar from you guys and now I want more.

Back to my other library book: Diary of A Bookseller. I am enjoying that one too!

Jul 15, 6:46pm Top

Who could resist reading about a bookshop in Wigtown, Scotland?! It's like Skookumchuk, British Columbia: The name's enough.

Edited: Jul 15, 9:08pm Top

Just an aside.....we used to have a summer place nearby and did the annual hike into the Skookumchuk. It is a tidal narrowing and with tide change it has a very dramatic and powerful swirling of water, rapids that you would not be slipping a boat through. Our kids used to call it "The Poop-Upchuck" as they were a bit loathe to do the hike. Too bad, we said!

Jul 15, 7:25pm Top

>105 richardderus:, >106 mdoris: - Lol! Mary, what a story! Richard, I thought you made that up! It reminds me of a story from when I was small. My dad would sometimes tell me I was being a pain in the sacro-iliac. I swear, until about 5 years ago or so, I thought it was one of his made-up words (he did that sometimes). That was when I had a severe lower back attack and could barely move or walk without excruciating pain. Imagine my surprise when the physio told me that it was my sacro-iliac. And imagine HER surprise when I burst out laughing! Dad would not steer me wrong, he was just trying to be polite! LOL!

Edited: Jul 15, 8:47pm Top

Mary and Shelley, you will get a laugh out of this. I too have been on the hike to Skookumchuk . Being the city slicker that I am, when Dave and I were dating , he had lived in Sechelt with his family for some 8 year and then moved to Vancouver to train as aircraft mechanic. I had never visited the so called " Sunshine Coast" including the Skookumchuk. I had visited Dave's parents in Sechelt, but when Dave suggested the hike to the Skookumchuk, he suggested taking along some water and something to eat. I said to Dave - surely such a big tourist draw as the Skookumchuk will have a concession stands and washrooms etc. Dave replied that they had not been there when he had visited, but I felt certain that by now the place would be positively brimming with tourists, like places in the Vancouver area . Well, I was surprised! I do believe there were some out houses. Live and learn :-) LOL at myself.

Jul 15, 8:52pm Top

>108 vancouverdeb: - LOL, Deb! I bet many people have stories like that....;-)

Edited: Jul 15, 9:07pm Top

Deborah we might have passed you on the path!

>105 richardderus: The mystery is ....how does Richard know about Skookumchuk Narrows?

Edited: Jul 17, 1:53am Top

By the way , Shelley , I really enjoyed Dear Evelyn when I read it earlier this year . I hope you do too . And yes, Mary , perhaps we did pass each other on the path to the Skookumchuk Narrows. I was always a great fan of Ruby Lake for careful canoeing . A lot of beauty on the Sunshine Coast . And yes , impressive knowledge from Richard , knowing about the Skookumchuck .

Edited: Jul 17, 11:14am Top

The iconic South African legend, Johnny Clegg (The White Zulu) has died. He was only 66, far too young. He broke barriers in a country where apartheid made that nearly impossible. Music can do that, though.


Here is a video of Clegg, with Nelson Mandela. About the 3:40 mark, Mandela comes on stage:


One of his bands, Savuka:

Jul 17, 11:52am Top

>110 mdoris: Well really, Mary, Skookumchuck is such a great word...I saw it on a map and zeroed in on it because HAW!! It's a funny sound. Then the discovery phase led me to the Provincial Park, and the Hot Springs, the town...it's all very droll, said the man whose hometown is near Dime Box...

>112 jessibud2: My favorite of Clegg and Savuka's stuff is Talk to the People from the late 80s. It always made me sad that his stuff never caught on in the US.

Edited: Jul 17, 9:34pm Top

>113 richardderus: - I never had the pleasure of seeing Clegg perform live though a good friend of mine did, here in Toronto, many years ago. But he is a legend and his music is not unfamiliar at all. Toronto has a lot of *world* music: festivals, radio programs, and just local talent who have come from everywhere.

Here is the address he gave in 2013 when presented with an Honourary Doctor of Music degree in South Africa. Inspiring indeed:


Edited: Jul 19, 6:59am Top

Lovely moon landing tribute as the google doodle today, narrated by Mike Collins.

Also, I just heard an amazing interview on the radio with Ben Feist, one of the guys behind a new website, billed as a "real-time" interactive journey through the Apollo 11 mission with audio, video and photos. The voices of every person in the Mission control room, etc. I can't wait to explore this!


Jul 19, 9:57am Top

I saw more *back* photo book covers (see >88 jessibud2:) on the bookshelf at the pharmacy yesterday:

The Winemaker's Daughter by Kristin Harmel (only one touchstone and it is the wrong one) At the Mountain's Edge, The Lost Letter of Morocco (weird, no touchstone at all for this one; it's by Adrienne Chinn), A Stolen Summer

Jul 19, 1:35pm Top

Today and tomorrow it is disgusting weather outside. 34C (that's 93F), feeling, with the humidity like 41C (105.8F). Thankfully, the sun of this morning is now gone and it's raining. Not that it helps much. I hate this weather. Give me 12 months of autumn and I'd be a happy camper.

Jul 19, 6:47pm Top

I have been staying in air -conditioning today -even my pottery studio has a good air conditioning unit.

Jul 20, 4:14pm Top

Hi Shelley my dear, I hope you are having a good start to the weekend despite the extremely high temperatures you are experiencing. Sending love and hugs dear friend.

Jul 21, 10:54am Top

>117 jessibud2: So sorry for the hot weather, Shelley, here even higher temperatures are expected next week :-(
Completely agree with prefering autumn, maybe we can go for a second home in the southern hemisphere?

Jul 21, 12:11pm Top

Hi Shelley!

I’m so sorry to hear about Lexi’s health problems. We went through that earlier this year with Kitty William and it’s never easy. *hugs* to you

>117 jessibud2: Your weather sounds like our weather – 94F and 105F heat index. It’s nasty and dangerous. Thank goodness for your new AC, right?

Edited: Jul 21, 4:16pm Top

Reading for our times. Especially the *Fahrenheit 451*...!

Jul 21, 4:23pm Top

>118 torontoc: - A bit better today, Cyrel but still.

>119 johnsimpson: - Hi, John. Hope your temps across the pond aren't this bad!

>120 FAMeulstee: - Great idea, Anita! Stay cool!

>121 karenmarie: - Hi, Karen. Yes, thank goodness for the new A/C which is performing perfectly. And Lexi seems to be doing nicely so far. The allergy bumps that were the reason I took her to the vet in the first place, completely disappeared after only 3 days on the prednisone, amazingly. Yesterday was Mia's turn at the vet's. Awaiting results tomorrow for her blood work. She is the one who is the sicker of the 2 (thyroid and kidney) and she too has lost weight. She is now down to 6 pounds 3 oz and is a bag of bones. I am not scheduled to go back to Montreal until September but I really dread going when they are sick. It stresses them so much even though they stay home and my friend comes in twice a day. Oh well, one day at a time...

Jul 21, 4:33pm Top

>123 jessibud2:, Hi Shelley, it has been a mixed few days but today was bright and warm but from tomorrow things have to warm up right through the week with temperatures in London expected to hit 35C by Wednesday and Thursday. Nice warm weather for us to enjoy and then it drops to around 23 or 24C on Friday as we fly out to Madeira to have two weeks of around 28C.

Jul 21, 7:46pm Top

I'm really glad you have your air conditioning in your place, Shelley! I've been hearing about the " heat dome " over your area. It sounds dreadful!

Jul 21, 8:38pm Top

>124 johnsimpson: - Have a wonderful vacation, John! I am sure you will!

>125 vancouverdeb: - I don't think I could have survived this past week without it, Deb. Today was better but other than to hang up the feeder, fill the birdbath and do a bit of gardening cleanup, I stayed inside. I read, I napped, I did laundry. Perfect Sunday.

Jul 21, 8:53pm Top

>126 jessibud2: I saw the "Real Feel" was 40C today. I trod not a trotter out of doors.

Jul 22, 6:38am Top

Hi, Shelley. I hope you had a nice weekend. We have finally cooled off here. Yesterday was lovely, despite the rain and today looks equally as good. Hope your weather has turned around too. Nothing to report on the bird feeders. Just the summer regulars.

Jul 23, 12:06am Top

HI Shelley, I know what you mean about the heat. We are in Denver where it is hot, hot, hot with thunder and lightening and flooding. Hope it cools off for you soon.

Jul 23, 1:25am Top

I was chatting with my SIL who lives in Barrie ON with my brother and their two kids. She was saying that the heat had been so unbearable that they had barely taken their dog for a walk. They do have central A/C, but outside it sounds really dreadful. She tells me it was a little cooler today. I hope it is okay in Toronto.

Jul 23, 2:13pm Top

Hi Shelley, has cooled off a bit for you in Toronto? I hope that Mia's blood results were good.

Jul 27, 6:39am Top

Happy Saturday, Shelley. We have seen a Hairy Woodpecker at our suet feeder, a couple times this week. First time of the year, for these guys. Also had a Northern Flicker drop by on the ground, for a few hours. Enjoy your weekend.

Jul 28, 9:00pm Top

HI Shelley. hope it's cooled off a bit for you in Toronto. How is the new air conditioner? Hope it's working well.

Edited: Jul 28, 9:30pm Top

>127 richardderus: - I also have no problem staying inside in weather like this.

>128 Caroline_McElwee: - :-)

>129 msf59: - Hi, Mark, we did have some relief but the last few days it's been hot and humid again. Not quite as bad as 2 weeks ago but still, not very comfortable. The breeze helps but barely.

>130 mdoris:, >134 mdoris: - Hi, Mary. It's still rather sticky out there. Thank goodness for the A/C. It is performing perfectly.

>131 vancouverdeb: - Well, Deb, I personally can't wait for fall! Let's leave it at that.

>132 Familyhistorian: - Hi, Meg. Mia's blood results showed her thyroid to be way off again so we've upped the dosage. But her kidneys are failing, which they were before, too, but she has lost over a pound since January which is not good. She is down to 6 pounds and is a bag of bones. The vet prescribed Vitamin B12 pills and I will give it a week or so. She has stopped vomiting (tmi, sorry) so that is good but if she isn't doing well by next week, I will take it as a sign that the time has come. If she was 6 or 7, with a life ahead of her, I might do what I could to prolong it, but she is 18 and a half. She has had a long and happy life. Her personality is still there so I am not rushing, and she isn't in pain. But I know the time is getting close. Lexi, thankfully, has bounced right back to her old feisty self.

>133 msf59: - I've seen a few hairys at the feeder in the past few weeks but it's the downies that I see mostly. And the regulars: gold finches, house finches, cardinals, nuthatches, mostly. The occasional chipping sparrow and blue jay.

Jul 29, 12:35am Top

Shelley sorry to hear that you're facing some tough times with Mia. She sounds like a beauty and that she has had a very good long life with you.

Jul 29, 10:50am Top

I hope the end comes gently for Mia.

Make the week as quiet as possible.

Edited: Jul 29, 1:01pm Top

>136 mdoris: - Thanks, Mary. She is a beauty, my sweet, thoughtful, photogenic girl:

>137 richardderus: - Knowing how you feel about cats in general, Richard, your kind words are especially appreciated. Thank you. She is still talking to me so that tells me she isn't quite ready just yet. But I trust she will let me know when that time comes.

Jul 29, 2:45pm Top

>138 jessibud2: what a darling she is Shelley. Keeping you both in my thoughts.

Jul 29, 4:43pm Top

>139 Caroline_McElwee: - Thanks, Caroline.

Jul 29, 5:47pm Top

>138 jessibud2: She's gorgeous. Thanks for sharing the photo!

Jul 29, 10:26pm Top

Sorry to hear your cat's health issues- she is beautiful!

Jul 29, 10:30pm Top

>141 mdoris:, >142 torontoc: - Thank you, Mary and Cyrel

Jul 30, 3:46pm Top

>138 jessibud2: It's true I am...less than fond...of them, but I'm quite fond of you and hate that you're in such an unhappy position. I just hope the situation is resolved with your participation and not by surprise.

Jul 31, 7:11pm Top

>138 jessibud2: Wow! Great photo of your photogenic friend!

Jul 31, 8:15pm Top

>144 richardderus: - Thanks, Richard. Not this week, she is saying.... I can wait.

>145 jnwelch: - Thanks, Joe. She is a real character in her own way. And funny, too. But this is one of my favourite shots of her.

Aug 4, 10:05pm Top

>138 jessibud2: Very cute, looks almost hand-painted, Shelley!

Aug 5, 6:43pm Top

Happy civic holiday!

Aug 5, 6:53pm Top

Thanks, Anita. It was pretty hot here today and humid. I stayed inside, moping.

Aug 8, 10:03am Top

The deed is done (>138 jessibud2:). After losing a whole pound since February, I had taken her to the vet a couple of weeks ago and she was down to 6 pounds. We tried a vitamin B12 to boost her a bit but by this past weekend, I knew it was time. It was a long weekend here and the vet was closed on Monday. I really wanted the last appointment of the day and the first one of those she had was yesterday. Mia had lost another whole pound since 2 weeks ago, and she was ready. I have gone through this with 2 previous cats and a dog, but it never, ever gets easier. And Lexi, bless her, knew and understood and stayed with me last night. I don't know how they know, but they do. I remember with my last 2 cats, when I had to put Jessie down, I came home to find Buddy curled up under the dining room table. That had always been Jessie's place, never Buddy's. But he knew, too.

Aug 8, 10:17am Top

>150 jessibud2: I'm so glad Mia had a safe and gentle passing. I'm sad with you, my friend.

Aug 8, 10:25am Top

Needless to say, my reading has been the shits this year. I am just unable to focus and concentrate on anything for very long. I will be lucky to reach 60 this year, never mind 75. Still....

The last 2 books I have finished were both ones I had hoped to like more than I did.

Where Nests the Water Hen by Canadian writer Gabrielle Roy. How I never read anything by her is a mystery to me. I seem to remember that most schools had The Tin Flute on their curriculums but mine didn't. I do have it on my shelf somewhere and maybe will get to it at some point. Anyhow, she does a decent job of evoking the remoteness of northern Manitoba and of living such an isolated life back in the first half of the last century. As a teacher myself, I couldn't imagine trekking out there for 6 months to teach in such conditions as she described yet that was indeed the reality in those times. I just wasn't as grabbed by the story as the bookcrossing friend who gifted the book to me.

The other book I just finished was The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer. I probably should have liked it better because I love non-fiction and it was a fascinating story. But though I really loved the chapters that told about the manuscripts themselves, and their history, I felt my eyes glazing over as I tried to keep track of the names of all the many and various jihadists and members of Al-Quaeda and other terrorist groups. I also got sick to death of reading the gory details of their massacres and what humans will do to other humans. And the utter lack of respect for what is in fact their own precious history and culture. What a depraved species we humans can be. I finished the book with a feeling of real despair, rather than the hope that all the hard work by Haidara and his friends put into saving and preserving the precious manuscripts was worth the efforts and that the future would justify those efforts. I somehow don't see how that can happen as the terrorists seem to be getting stronger in that part of the world as time moves on. Quite discouraging.

Anyhow, I need to be reading lighter fare, I think, and was all set to pick up something else entirely when, all of a sudden (of course) 3 of my holds at the library have all arrived at once. All are BBs from here so hopefully, they will engage me. I may pick up only the first one today: The Hundred Year House and wait a few more days to pick up the other two:

The Catcher Was a Spy and Around the World in 80 Trees

Aug 8, 10:28am Top

>151 richardderus: - Thank you, Richard. It's gray and gloomy outside this morning, and will rain any minute, which feels entirely right. This too shall pass.

Aug 8, 10:33am Top

>152 jessibud2: I read The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu when the betrayal of the US was still raw and fresh in 2017 so I was inclined to view it as a clarion call to action to resist, resist, resist. That probably influenced my positive response to the story.

Aug 8, 10:36am Top

So sorry about Mia, Shelley.

Edited: Aug 8, 10:48am Top

>155 katiekrug: - Thanks, Katie. She had a good long run with me (2001-2019). I brought her home from the Humane Society in 2003 when she was still a youngster.

>154 richardderus: - It was a story of true heroism on the part of Haidara and his cohorts. But I will admit to skimming the bloody bits and just knowing that Boko Harum, among others, are still alive and well and carrying on today, well, the human race in general doesn't give me a lot of hope. Yeah, I am a pessimist. Just give me a cave to hibernate to (with my books) and I'll be fine.

Aug 8, 11:30am Top

What a wonderful long life Mia had with you Shelley. I do know how you are feeling though and it isn't easy. Hugs to you my friend.

Aug 8, 12:19pm Top

My sympathy about your having to say good-bye to Mia, Shelley. So many years with a sweet pal like that; that is a good long run all right, but it's got to be very tough for you to lose her. Sending hugs, my friend.

Aug 8, 12:24pm Top

Adding to the hugs and thoughts for the parting with Mia, Shelley. But I am sure you have many sweet memories.

Aug 8, 1:38pm Top

Eighteen years of Beauty and Love!

Aug 8, 1:50pm Top

So sorry, Shelley, it is the hardest act of love.
Hugs to you.
Vale Mia.

Edited: Aug 8, 3:16pm Top

I am so sorry to hear about Mia. Sending hugs your way

Aug 8, 2:50pm Top

Shelley, I, too, am so sorry. It's an act of tough love to give them release, and your strength is to be commended. She was lucky to have you for her human mom.


Aug 8, 7:36pm Top

I'm very sorry that Mia has died, Shelley. It's remarkable that you two had each other for so long, although I imagine that it makes it that much tougher to accept that she's gone.

Aug 8, 8:06pm Top

I am so sorry to hear about Mia, Shelley. I know losing a pet is a painful thing. Sending healing vibes, to my friend.

Aug 8, 8:10pm Top

>157 mdoris: - Thanks, Mary. I think only those who love animals and have gone through this truly know.

>158 jnwelch: - True, Joe. It was a tough one. But that's the cost of loving them, I guess. We know it going in, but that doesn't make it any easier when the time comes.

>159 Caroline_McElwee: - Lots of memories, Caroline. She had quite the personality and some very funny quirks. Lots of laughs over the years.

>160 m.belljackson: - Thanks, Marianne. Very true.

>161 FAMeulstee: - Thank you, Anita. It sure is.

>162 figsfromthistle: - Thanks, Anita. Always appreciated.

>163 karenmarie: - Thanks, Karen. I know your own experience of this wasn't too long ago.

>164 kidzdoc: - I have been very blessed with healthy pets, Darryl. My dog lived 15 years, and my former 2 cats (littermates I brought home at 5 weeks of age) lived 17 and 18 years. Mia was 18 and a half, and Lexi, the one remaining with me, is 19 and a half and may outlive us all, as she prances around, still thinking she is a kitten.

Pets really ARE family and I believe that no matter how long they are with us, they enrich us in so many ways. It's never easy to say goodbye.

Aug 8, 10:12pm Top

Pets really ARE famly and no matter how long they are with us, they enrich us in so many ways. It's never easy to say goodbye.

Very well said Shelley!

Aug 8, 11:03pm Top

Sorry to hear about Mia- I had to arrange the same for my dog of 13 years when his quality of life had changed to really bad- it is a difficult decision to make.

Aug 9, 9:59am Top

So sorry! It never gets easier. Hope you are doing ok

Aug 9, 2:13pm Top

>165 msf59: - Thanks, Mark. A bit better today. Slowly...

>167 mdoris: - Thanks, Mary. Any date yet on the puppy?

>168 torontoc: - Thanks, Cyrel. Was yours recent? I am so sorry.

>169 ChelleBearss: - Thanks, Chelle. Slowly...

Aug 9, 5:17pm Top

I went to pick up my 3 books that came in to the library for me. Except one of them was … wrong. It had my *7635* number on it but as I got to the checkout machine, I noticed it was, well, shall we say, not the book I had reserved. It was Captain Underpants. Ha! I am a bit past that stage, for sure. So I asked the librarian to help me find the right one. We checked the hold cart, and she checked in the back. Then I had the idea to ask her if she had a way to check on her computer who might have reserved the good Captain. Eureka! She found the name, and looked on the cart for that name and number and sure enough, there was my book with that kid's info. Problem solved. No offense to Captain U but I would much rather be reading about Moe Berg, baseball player/spy. Just saying...

There is some construction going on on the road to the library and I had to do a major detour to get there so I decided to just take out all 3 books at once instead of staggering them, to extend my borrowing time. I guess I will just have to renew as many times as I am able to. All three books are in the 300 page range and the way I have been (not) reading lately, that just seems a tall order for me at the moment. But I will put aside the book I am currently reading (again), and start the first one tonight: The Hundred Year House.

Aug 9, 5:21pm Top

So sorry to see that you lost Mia, Shelley. For little creatures they become such a large part of our lives.

Aug 9, 6:48pm Top

Thanks, Meg. You are one of the few people here who has met Mia. Madeline (SqueakyChu being the other one).

We are doing better today and I am grateful to still have Lexi around.

Aug 9, 10:02pm Top

>173 jessibud2: I did meet Mia and am so sorry about your loss.

Aug 9, 11:08pm Top

My dog story is not recent- but I still remember!

Aug 10, 12:54pm Top

>174 SqueakyChu: - Thanks, Madeline.

>175 torontoc: - You know, Cyrel, I still remember with my dog, too. His was the first time I went through this with a pet. It was in the 1980s and I still miss him.

Aug 10, 2:00pm Top

Shelley, I got the heads up that you had to say goodbye to your dear Mia. I am so sorry!! I KNOW how hard that is, what an empty space it leaves in your heart and your home. They reach in and wrap strings of lights around our hearts. And we wish they could stay forever. ♥️

Aug 10, 9:00pm Top

>177 EBT1002: - Thanks, Ellen. It seems quite a few of us have had to go through this this year. That famous club no one wants to be a member of... :-(

Aug 12, 7:11am Top

I subscribe to a daily newsletter devoted to language. It's intelligent, interesting and usually, quite fun. The creator of this newsletter is named Anu Garg (originally from India, I believe, but a long-time American citizen). He usually has a theme for the week and begins the Monday newsletters with a short intro to what the week's theme will be and why. Each newsletter also ends with a quote for the day, by someone whose was born on that particular day (not necessarily related to the theme).

All that to say, today's intro was excellent and the theme this week are words related to space travel. Here it is:

with Anu Garg

Once upon a time American presidents inspired people to do great things (nowadays, they are known for tweeting “total loser” and “fake news” to anyone telling the truth). Speaking in 1962, John F. Kennedy said:

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

President Kennedy inspired people to build a spaceship and land on the moon (nowadays, presidents inspire people to build a wall and con them into thinking someone else is going to pay for it).

Just seven years after Kennedy mobilized people to dream big, dream out-of-this-world, on July 20, 1969, we had landed on the moon. This was an improbable effort, but never underestimate the determination of a people united in a common cause, a cause beyond themselves.

At one time we considered ourselves a part of the rest of the humanity -- one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind -- but now, we get off putting little refugee kids in cages.

Houston, we have a problem. How far we have traveled in those seven years (240,000 miles to moon, but light years in progress) and yet how far back we have traveled in just last couple of years.

To mark the 50th anniversary of moon landing, this week in A.Word.A.Day we’ll see five words from the world of space exploration that have now entered the general parlance.

Aug 12, 7:40am Top

I was sorry to read about the loss of your cat Shelley, we are taking care of our own elderly cat right now, and we can see it coming for us too.

>179 jessibud2: Very well said! Now if only we would accept that same challenge, but now to save our own earth. Choose to do it instead of denying.

Aug 12, 8:33am Top

Thank you, Ella. Keeping you and your cat in my thoughts, too.

And yes, choosing to act instead of denying the obvious reality would be the logical thing to do. Sadly, logical isn't *politically sexy* for those who actually have the power and authority to make the big differences. I see that in my own country, too. Thankfully, though, many regular citizens around the world are awake and aware enough and are taking action into their own hands and working from the ground, up. I only hope we aren't too late.

Edited: Aug 12, 9:22am Top

>179 jessibud2: We mobilize. One person at a time. Our goal: to erase the current stains on humanity. Thanks for sharing that article, Shelley.

>181 jessibud2: Even if we are "too late", we must have hope. Elie Wiesel said that is the most important thing. We can't change what others do, but we can influence them to change by changing what we do.

Aug 12, 5:28pm Top

Shelley, I'm so sorry about the passing of Mia. Our furbabies our so special to us. I hope each day feels better to you. I'm glad you still have Lexi with you. (((Big Hugs))).

Aug 12, 5:47pm Top

>179 jessibud2: I've been a fan of Anu's for almost this entire century. I love his verve and his magpie's eye for wonderful words.

And DelanceyPlace.com, the book-pushing arm of Anu Inc, frequently adds to by TBR.

Happy Monday.

Aug 12, 7:00pm Top

>182 SqueakyChu: - Well said, Madeline.

>183 vancouverdeb: - Thanks, Deb. Mia was the vocal one and Lexi doesn't have much of a voice so it's mighty quiet around here. The only voice I actually hear these days is my own! Weird!

>184 richardderus: - I subscribe to Delancey Place, too, Richard. And have subscribed to both for as long as I can remember. Love them both. I am not sure if I knew they were related, though!

Edited: Aug 13, 11:15pm Top

I saw a really fascinating documentary film today, called Mike Wallace is Here

I have watched 60 Minutes for years. I haven't always liked Wallace's aggressiveness but I did admire his tenacity. He also has quite a backstory, and was a complicated man. The sheer number and variety of people he interviewed in his lifetime was staggering and this film showed clips of many of them, including a rather startling 30-something year old Donald Trump, who was as arrogant back then as you might expect. The film itself is new but some of the old clips were very prescient of what is happening in the world of journalism today. This was a fast-paced and riveting doc. Scroll twice to the right to watch the trailer and scroll down to read the blurb.

Next weekend is the Woodstock weekend of docs at the theatre. I will probably go to see the David Crosby one, not sure if I will catch any of the others.

Aug 12, 10:28pm Top

Lucky you Shelley to be smack dab in the world of films in Toronto. Nice!

Aug 13, 5:38pm Top

>186 jessibud2: I loved watching him patiently dismantle Ayn Rand on his 1958 interview show.

What a pity there isn't a new one of him anywhere!

Aug 18, 2:02am Top

>179 jessibud2: Anu Garg has pointed out a very interesting contrast there, Shelley.

Edited: Yesterday, 5:24pm Top

I finally got to see the doc film about David Crosby: David Crosby: Remember My Name

It was interesting enough; he was a complex guy. But I have to say, he wasn't a very likeable guy. He is in his late 70s now and repentant and thoughtful about his earlier life. Still, not someone I'd want to meet or have dinner with. I did love CSNY (Crosby, Still, Nash and Young) though, musically speaking.

I also had a stop at the bookstore on my way home. Surprise, right? I was very happy to see another in the *Last Interview* series and I grabbed it. This one is on Martin Luther King, Jr. I already own the ones on Oliver Sacks and Jane Jacobs and have also read but no longer have the ones on David Bowie and Nora Ephron. I really like this series but they are not that easy to find, apparently. I'd love to get my hands on the one of James Baldwin.

I am still reading The Catcher Was a Spy about baseball player Moe Berg, as well as Around the World in 80 Trees and am enjoying them both. I'll finish the latter on time to return it to the library before it's due. I am learning a lot of interesting trivia about trees and I have to say, the sketches/artwork in this book are stunning. I will likely have to renew the baseball book but there doesn't seem to be much demand for it so renewing won't be problem. I also know I won't be able to resist diving into the MLK Last Interview book...

Aug 20, 6:59pm Top

There are 2 more documentary films coming very soon to my doc cinema and I can't wait to see these:

Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles
Scroll down for the blurb and once to the right for a trailer. This one looks terrific. I had no idea Lin Manuel Miranda was in a production of Fiddler!

Marianne and Leonard: Words of Love
For those who can't get enough of Leonard Cohen. Again, down for the blurb and twice to the right for the trailer.

Both opening in the next couple of weeks.

Edited: Yesterday, 5:24pm Top

Just arrived in my inbox:


I think my favourite, after the top winner, is the Little Egret. Just wow!

(not sure why the link code didn't work but never mind)

Edited: Yesterday, 4:58pm Top

Shelley, your documentary viewing is making me green with envy. I have looked at the Film Circuit selections for the next season and they look fantastic. I wish you it was possible to do a live streaming of these films!

Gorgeous bird photos. Thanks for sharing!

Yesterday, 5:26pm Top

Mary, what docs are coming up for you? Any overlap with our Hot Docs? If you click on any of the doc links I provided, you can scroll month to month through the calendar by using the arrows at the top next to the month's name. To read more about any film or watch trailers, just click *more* in any day's square.

Yesterday, 6:53pm Top

I loved the award winning photos, Shelley. Thanks for posting the link. As you know I love my Snowy Owls, and that is a gorgeous photo, and I really liked the Cattle Egret too but my favorite would probably be the little kingfisher, followed by the black skimmer. All great photos, though.

Yesterday, 6:53pm Top

Shelley I'm reading on the last pages of Yes, Chef and must thank you for your recommendation. It was for sure a worthwhile read!

Yesterday, 6:56pm Top

>195 msf59: - Yes, that kingfisher is a beauty, Mark!

>196 mdoris: - The only thing better than reading that book, Mary, would have been listening to the author read it, on audio. That's how I read it and loved it. What a life he has had!

Yesterday, 6:57pm Top

A friend just sent this to me. I have no idea if or when I will make it to New York City but this makes it awfully tempting:


Yesterday, 7:11pm Top

>198 jessibud2: You're drooling? I am downright concupiscent!

Yesterday, 8:01pm Top

>198 jessibud2: - I hope you do make it to NYC some time, Shelley! Meg will be visiting in September - I hope she sees this post :)

And thank you for sharing it - there are a couple of places I wasn't aware of. I'd especially like to find John the book vendor!

Edited: Yesterday, 9:04pm Top

>200 katiekrug: - It's on the bucket list, Katie. The last time I was there was in 1980-something!

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2019

324 members

83,693 messages


This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.




About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 137,422,843 books! | Top bar: Always visible