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karenmarie's book journey of 2016, thread #2

This is a continuation of the topic karenmarie's book journey of 2016, thread #1.

This topic was continued by karenmarie's book journey of 2016, thread #3.

75 Books Challenge for 2016

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Edited: Jul 16, 2016, 11:06pm Top

Welcome to my second thread! Based on current reading rate I should get through about 110 books this year but it will probably be more than that. I'm currently in the middle of the Outlander Series by Diane Gabaldon, each one of the 8 books a serious chunkster. I'm enjoying them immensely. I'd also like to continue the Poldark series, and based on watching the TV series, re-read the Harry Bosch books by Michael Connelly. Sigh.

Too many books, too little time.

Here's the list of what I've read so far this year:

1. van Loon's Geography by Hendrik Willem van Loon 11/1/15 01/02/16 ***1/2 505 pages hardcover
2. *reread* The Island at the Center of the World by Russell Shorto 12/9/15 1/7/16 ***1/2 **audiobook** 622 pages hardcover
3. Dearly Devoted Dexter by Jeff Lindsay 1/2/16 1/8/16 ***1/2 292 pages trade paperback
4. Pacific: Silicon Chips by Simon Winchester 1/3/16 1/24/16 ***1/2 444 pages hardcover
5. At Home by Bill Bryson 1/8/16 1/28/16 **audiobook** **** 560 pages hardcover
6. The Unstrung Harp by Edward Gorey 1/24/16 1/24/16 **** 64 pages hardcover
7. The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker 1/24/16 2/2/16 **** 640 pages trade paperback
8. *reread* Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie 2/2/16 2/3/16 **** 212 pages hardcover
9. Desert Heat by J.A. Jance 2/3/16 2/4/16 *** 373 pages MM paperback
10. The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson 2/4/16 2/8/16 *** 376 pages hardcover
11. A Key into the Language of America by Roger Williams 2/8/16 4/4/16 *** 205 pages trade paperback
12. *reread* Green Tea and Other Ghost Stories by J. Sheridan LeFanu 2/8/16 2/9/15 **1/2 92 pages trade paperback
13. Savannah Breeze by Mary Kay Andrews 2/9/16 2/12/16 ***1/2 427 pages hardcover
14. *reread* The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith 2/1/16 3/4/16 **** **audiobook** 464 pages hardcover
15. The Case of the Moth-Eaten Mink by Erle Stanley Gardner 2/14/16 2/15/16 **1/2 226 pages mass market paperback
16. Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin 2/13/16 2/16/16 ***1/2 228 pages mass market paperback
17. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins 2/16/16 2/17/16 **** 323 pages hardcover
18. Fox Evil by Minette Walters 2/17/16 2/24/16 **** 369 pages hardcover
19. No Shred of Evidence by Charles Todd 2/24/16 2/26/16 **** 341 pages hardcover
20. Ross Poldark by Winston Graham 2/27/16 3/1/16 ****1/2 455 pages trade paperback
21. Demelza by Winston Graham 3/3/16 3/4/16 **** 432 pages trade paperback
22. Save the Date by Mary Kay Andrews 3/8/16 3/11/16 *** 464 pages trade paperback
23. My American Duchess by Eloisa James 3/12/16 3/15/16 **1/2 404 pages mass market paperback
24. Girl Jacked by Christopher Greyson 3/18/16 3/21/16 ***1/2 218 pages trade paperback
25. *reread* The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith 3/21/16 *audiobook** 455 pages hardcover
26. Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben 3/25/16 3/27/16 **** 387 pages hardcover
27. Anatomy of a Murder by Robert Traver 3/27/16 3/31/16 **** 437 pages hardcover
28. Fixer Upper by Mary Kay Andrews 3/31/16 4/2/16 *** 419 pages hardcover
29. *reread* Funerals are Fatal by Agatha Christie 4/4/16 4/5/16 ***1/2 226 pages hardcover
30. The Reluctant Widow by Georgette Heyer 4/8/16 4/10/16 ***1/2 316 pages trade paperback
31. *reread* Outlander by Diana Gabaldon 4/10/16 4/14/16 **** 850 pages mass market paperback
32. *reread* Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon 4/15/16 4/24/16 **** 947 pages mass market paperback
33. On the Choice of a Mistress by Benjamin Franklin 4/22/16 5/24/16 ***1/2 59 pages mass market paperback
34. *reread* Voyager by Diana Gabaldon 4/24/16 4/30/16 **** 1059 pages mass market paperback
35. *reread* Griffin & Sabine by Nick Bantock 4/29/16 4/29/16 **** 48 pages hardcover
36. Sabine's Notebook by Nick Bantock 4/29/16 4/29/16 **** 48 pages hardcover
37. The Golden Mean by Nick Bantock 4/29/16 4/29/16 **** 48 pages hardcover
38. *reread* Drums of Autumn by Diane Gabaldon 4/30/16 5/8/16 1070 pages **** mass market paperback
39. The Pharos Gate by Nick Bantock 5/8/16 5/9/16 **** 60 pages hardcover
40. The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon 5/8/16 5/17/16 ****1/2 979 pages hardcover
41. Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler 5/25/16 5/30/16 ****1/2 375 pages hardcover
42. A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon 5/17/16 6/2/16 **** 980 pages hardcover
43. An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon 6/2/16 6/23/16 **** 820 pages hardcover
44. Written in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon 6/23/16 7/1/16 825 pages hardcover
45. The Fireman by Joe Hill 7/2/16 7/14/16 ***1/2 748 pages hardcover
46. Enough Rope by Dorothy Parker 7/14/16 7/14/16 **** 110 pages hardcover
47. Who Stole Sassi Manoon? by Donald E. Westlake 7/13/16 7/14/16 ***1/2 178 pages hardcover
48. String Theory by David Foster Wallace with an introduction by John Jeremiah Sullivan 07/14/16 07/15/16 **** 138 pages hardcover

Currently reading:
The Quartet by Joseph J. Ellis 3/23/16 248 pages hardcover
Clarissa Harlowe, or The History of a Young Lady by Samuel Richardson 4/3/16 1534 pages
Penguin Classics being read on Kindle
Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters 07/15/16 326 pages hardcover

Edited: Jul 16, 2016, 11:10pm Top

1/3/16 - I used some Christmas money from my mother and pre-ordered No Shred of Evidence by Charles Todd, the newest Ian Rutledge mystery, received in February and End of Watch by Stephen King, third in the Bill Hodges Trilogy, due in June. A nice way to keep Christmas going.

January - 16
Amazon Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey
Amazon The Kill Artist by Daniel Silva
AbeBooks Shooting Stars by Stephan Zweig
Bookmooch Pay Dirt by Rita Mae Brown
Bookmooch Murder at Monticello by Rita Mae Brown
Thrift Store Savannah Breeze by Mary Kay Andrews
Thrift Store The Pope's Rhinoceros by Lawrence Norfolk
Thrift Store The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma
Amazon A Catholic Interlinear Old Testament Polyglot Volume 6 by Paul A. Boer Sr.
Journal Subscription Lapham's Quarterly Volume IX, Number 1, Winter 2016:Spies by Lewis Lapham
Amazon The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain by Bill Bryson
Thrift Store The Black-Eyed Blonde by Benjamin Black
Thrift Store The Stolen Bride by Jo Beverly
Thrift Store The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker
Thrift Store The Confabulist by Steven Galloway
Amazon The Fountain Overflows by Rebecca West

February - 9
Circle City Books Used Books Desert Heat by J.A. Jance
Circle City Books Used Books The Arrangement by Suzanne Forster
Amazon Dead in the Scrub by B.J. Oliphant
Bookmooch The Murderer's Daughters by Randy Susan Meyers
Amazon - Christmas Money No Shred of Evidence by Charles Todd
Bookmooch Remains of Innocence by J.A. Jance
Bookmooch Portrait of a Killer by Patricia Cornwell
Amazon A Monstrous Regiment of Women by Laurie R. King
Amazon Ross Poldark by Winston Graham

March - 10
Amazon Demelza by Winston Graham
Amazon Jeremy Poldark by Winston Graham
Thrift Store Dark Places Gillian Flynn
Thrift Store Outlaw Mountain by J.A. Jance
Thrift Store Damage Control by J.A. Jance
Thrift Store Dead Wrong by J.A. Jance
Amazon Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
Neighbor Larry Nightmares and Dreamscapes by Stephen King
Neighbor Larry The Talisman by Stephen King
Costco Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben

April - 80 (76 Friends of the Library Sale, 4 Amazon)
Amazon Lexicon by Max Barry
Amazon And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
Amazon Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
Amazon The Sherlockian by Graham Moore
Easton Press 4 1/2" x 6 1/2" leather-bound books of poems by: Browning, Burns, Byron, Coleridge, Longfellow, Shakespeare, Shelley, Tennyson
The Friendly Jane Austen by Natalie Tyler
The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig
Life for a Life by T. Frank Muir touchstone not working
Flood of Fire by Amitav Ghosh
The Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh
An Impartial Witness by Charles Todd
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
Love Story, with Murders by Harry Bingham
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler
Shakespeare's Wife by Germaine Greer
Night Train by Martin Amis
The Arts by Hendrik Willem Van Loon
The Reluctant Widow by Georgette Heyer
Lila by Marilynne Robinson
Ladies Night by Mary Kay Andrews
On the Choice of a Mistress by Benjamin Franklin
The Chessmen by Peter May
Blowback by Peter May
The Lewis Man by Peter May
Exit Lines by Reginald Hill
A Duty to the Dead by Charles Todd
Bruno Chief of Police by Martin Walker
The Marx Sisters by Barry Maitland
Police by Jo Nesbo
The Janissary Tree by Jason Goodwin
One Man's Flag by David Downing
Dark Mirror by Barry Maitland
Folly du Jour by Barbara Cleverly
The Blood Royal by Barbara Cleverly
The Oxford Companion to Classical Civilization by Hornblower and Spawforth
How to Do Everything by Courtney Rosen & the eHow Editors
Three Exemplary Novels by Miguel de Cervantes
King of the Confessors by Thomas Hoving
Heloise & Abelard by James Burge
Insatiable by Meg Cabot
Memento Mori by Muriel Spark
Rooms by Lauren Oliver
The Future for Curious People by Gregory Sheryl
Jefferson's Legacy A Brief History of the Library of Congress by John Y. Cole
Founding Brothers by Joseph J. Ellis
Under the Banner of Heaven by John Krakauer
The Diary of a Napoleonic Foot Soldier by Jakob Walter
Nora Webster by Colm Toibin
The Gift of the Magi and Other Stories by O. Henry
Passing on by Penelope Lively
The Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman
The Illustrious Dead by Stephan Talty
Impulse & Initiative by Abigail Reynolds
The Game of Thirty by William Kotzwinkle
Autumn, All The Cats Return by Philippe Georget
The Commoner by John Burnham Schwartz
The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld
The Intern by Gabrielle Tozer
The Ritual Bath by Faye Kellerman
The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz
The Preacher by Camilla Lackberg
The Spellmans Strike Again by Lisa Lutz
Fiddlers by Ed McBain
In a Dark House by Deborah Crombie
A Sight for Sore Eyes by Ruth Rendell
Monday Mourning by Kathy Reichs
Disclaimer by Renee Knight
Where God Was Born by Bruce Feiler audiobook
America's Hidden History by Kenneth C. Davis audiobook
His Excellency George Washington by Joseph J. Ellis audiobook
Paris by Edward Rutherford audiobook

May - 19
Family 9 Bibles
Family 2 New Testaments
Neighbor Louise Cold Vengeance by Preston & Child
Amazon The Pharos Gate by Nick Bantock
Bookmooch Sudden Death by Alvaro Enrigue
Amazon The Prague Cemetary by Umberto Eco
Amazon The Bird Artist by Howard Norman
Amazon The Scottish Prisoner by Diana Gabaldon
Friend Karen Justice Hall by Laurie R. King
Friend Karen The Moor by Laurie R. King

June - 18
Thrift Store Betty Crocker's Ultimate Cookie Book
Amazon The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes
Friend Karen North Carolina Architecture
Friend Karen North Carolina Pottery
Amazon The Romantic Egoists
Amazon 10-day Green Smoothie Cleanse
Amazon To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
Amazon - Christmas Money End of Watch by Stephen King
Amazon The Story of Land and Sea by Katy Simpson Smith
Thrift Store lightning by Dean Koontz
Thrift Store Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner
Thrift Store Ape House by Sara Gruen
Costco The Fireman by Joe Hill
Amazon The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye
Amazon Villa America by Liza Klaussmann
Amazon Written in My Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon
Amazon The Outlandish Companion Volume 2 by Diana Gabaldon
Amazon Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear

152 January - June

July -
Amazon Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters
Friend Karen Hot Guys and Kittens by Audrey Khuner
Showed up on Shelves - probably from Friends of the Library Sale Rooms by Lauren Oliver
Amazon Who Stole Sassi Manoon? by Donald E. Westlake
Amazon String Theory by David Foster Wallace

Edited: May 6, 2016, 6:59am Top

Statistics through End of April 2016

Male 58%
Female 42%

Living 68%
Dead 32%

US Born 51%
Foreign Born 49%

Hardcover 48%
Trade Pback 19%
Mass Market 22%
Audiobook 8%
e-Book 3%

My Library 37 100%
Other 0 0%

Re-read 27%
Series 49%

Fiction 81%
NonFiction 19%

Original Year Published
1643 2.7%
1932 2.7%
1934 2.7%
1945 5.4%
1946 5.4%
1952 2.7%
1953 5.4%
1958 2.7%
1987 2.7%
1958 2.7%
1974 2.7%
1987 2.7%
1991 5.4%
1992 5.4%
1993 8.1%
2002 2.7%
2004 2.7%
2005 2.7%
2006 2.7%
2009 2.7%
2010 2.7%
2012 2.7%
2013 5.4%
2014 5.4%
2015 8.1%
2016 8.1%

Edited: May 6, 2016, 6:47am Top

Is it safe? Congrats on your new thread, Karen. :-)

May 6, 2016, 6:55am Top

Hello Barbara! Yes. I only wanted the first three messages and saved them immediately after I started this thread. Welcome.

Edited: May 6, 2016, 7:02am Top

Insomnia has struck and I've been up for 3 hours. I will finish this cup of coffee and try to go back to sleep for an hour or two.

I had planned on planting my vegetable garden today, but it rained most of the night, and it will be much too wet to plant. Maybe tomorrow.

May 6, 2016, 10:15am Top

Insomnia sucks, sorry you're going through that.

May 6, 2016, 10:21am Top

Happy New Thread! Hope you're at last sleeping the sleep of the righteous..

May 6, 2016, 11:31am Top

I'm sorry to hear about your insomnia. Here is hope zhat's getting better soon.

May 6, 2016, 1:08pm Top

Hi Karen, I just got my veggies in, super late here in the south but big rains and life got in the way. Wanna race cucumbers?

May 6, 2016, 3:01pm Top

Happy New Thread!
Sorry about the insomnia, I've had plenty of that. But you must be made of sterner stuff than me because I could never drink coffee and then try to sleep. : D

Edited: May 6, 2016, 3:18pm Top

>7 SomeGuyInVirginia: Thanks, Larry. Fortunately, I didn't have to stay up and go to work. :)

>8 LizzieD: I got about an hour's worth of sleep. A bit gritty-eyed right now, but not tired.

>9 Ameise1: It's usually only a night or two here and there, so I anticipate a good night's sleep tonight.

>10 beeg: Yay! The latest we've ever planted before this year is May 2nd (husband's father's birthday) so this will be the official latest day planted when we get things in tomorrow. I do, however, have very good soil and am using a raised bed, so the heat and amended soil should produce lots of cucumbers quickly! You're on.

11> Thank you! Caffeine after about 2 p.m. does me in, but for some reason early morning coffee doesn't prevent me from going back to sleep.

May 6, 2016, 10:21pm Top

Happy new thread Karen.

Am of course slightly partial to soaking up your stats - it is interesting that you have read more male authors than female as that tends to slightly buck the trend that guys tend to read more by guys and ladies more by ladies.

Have a glorious weekend.

Edited: May 7, 2016, 9:01am Top

Hi Paul! Male-female turns to 64%-36% if you consider that the Robert Galbraith books I counted as female were audiobooks read by a male reader. :)

I do not like audiobooks read by women. I'm trying to think of a single one I've finished. There may be one or two in the far off distant past, but I won't even buy them/get them from the library any more. I'd rather hear a man attempt the female voice than a woman attempt the male voice.

Perhaps it is because I love history so much, especially US history, and most of the authors I read are male.

I'm continuing the Outlander series, written by a woman, but intend to read more of the Poldark series this year, written by a man. And if I can get back around to it, I'd like to re-read the Harry Bosch books by Michael Connelly.

Too many books, too little time.

And my glorious weekend will include putting in my vegetable garden this morning after brekkie and, of course, the US celebration of Mother's Day tomorrow. I'll call Mom tomorrow and hope she's received her cards and the flowers I've ordered. I don't think daughter's going to come home, but she and her dad have been known to spring surprises on me. If not, then tomorrow will be reading, hanging out, possibly a Costco run for a new UPS for husband's PC and a set of small Bluetooth speakers for my PC.

May 7, 2016, 9:37am Top

Congrats on your new thread and also enjoying your not-so-new retirement.

Your day planned tomorrow sounds lovely.

May 7, 2016, 12:25pm Top

Thanks, Janet!

The weather is supposed to be gorgeous.

May 8, 2016, 4:13pm Top

I need to run the stats on my books read this year. I bought 10 books at a local lie-berry sale yesterday, noticed most were by women and thought 'I'm reading all women lately', but I looked at my list and it's M 78% and W 22%. Surprised me.

Nyquist wins the first jewel! Whoo-hoo!

Oh oh oh! Have you listened to Nadia May, the audiobook narrator? I love her voice like I do Morgan Freeman. Almost. I've got a few favorite audiobook narrators- Frederick Davidson because he sounds like he's reading while drinking scotch and smoking a Dunhill. Or some other English lord. That said, I can't abide Scott Brick.

May 8, 2016, 5:51pm Top

Hi Larry! Stats are fun. Seriously male-author reader so far this year.

We watched Nyquist. We watch in honor of husband's mother, who loved horses and horse racing. She went to the Derby a couple of times with rich Virginia friends. We watched American Pharoah last year win the triple crown..... exciting.

Nope, haven't listened to any female audiobook narrators except when I listened to My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. It had men narrating the mens parts and women narrating the womens parts - it was broken up into chapters by character which made it easy to follow.

Do you pick audiobooks by author or narrator or some of each?

I got my vegetable garden finished today and about did myself in. I either need to get in better shape or give it up and pay someone to put it in next year. I'm still dehydrated and tired. But, we just came back from eating dinner out, which was fun, and we stopped at a house being built and walked through it - no sheet rock yet, which is how we like looking at them.

Off to read.....

May 9, 2016, 8:50am Top

Best part of Nyquist running is that I got to explain to the Minister of Music at my church about undersampling and Nyquist frequencies and all sorts of digital processing stuff... Yeah, I'm weird. :)

May 9, 2016, 9:10am Top

Hi doc - did her/his eyes glaze over? Statistics and math are only the other side of music, after all, so the Minister should have been enthralled!

Well, it's already a 3-ibuprophen day. I took some last night before bed and slept the night through, but this morning my back and legs are seriously complaining. No hard labor today, for sure.

May 9, 2016, 9:18am Top

Not so much glaze over as poke a bit of fun - I'm the resident geek in the band. he's used to me by now. :)

Hope the ibuprophen helps!

May 9, 2016, 11:04am Top

>21 drneutron: The ibuprophen kicked in. If I move my back wrong I can feel it, but I'm trying to avoid that type of movement.

We've got a mowing/cleanup service over to weed eat, trim, lay mulch, and etc. so that I won't feel guilty any more looking around the yard. We have 40 yards of mulch from a fall tree-cutting frenzy, and that's getting placed around the landscaped beds. They've trimmed the dogwood 'way back, trimmed the tulip tree away from the gutters, and etc. By the end of the day it should look pretty good. Not cheap, but definitely worth it as husband and I don't have the tools, energy, or skill to do this type of work.

I read The Pharos Gate by Nick Bantock, the final set of correspondence between Griffin & Sabine before .... they jump through The Pharos Gate to love and happiness and escape from the wicked Frolatti. Excellent epistolary, beautiful artwork, wonderful to take letters out of envelopes and read them.

May 13, 2016, 9:45am Top

I'm still reading The Fiery Cross, on page 407 of 959 hardcover.

Hardcover books are getting harder and harder to physically read, especially if they are chunksters like this one is. Almost my entire career was using a computer. I had successful carpal tunnel surgery on my left hand in 2006 and retired this January. Less time on the computer on a daily basis, but I've unfortunately ramped up my cell phone "playing" and can't seem to STOP. So my thumbs hurt sometimes, and it is amazing how much thumb strength is involved in holding a book.

I have started sitting in the sunroom (also passes for my home office) to read during the day except when I'm in the hammock. Hammock reading is hard on my hands, sunroom reading isn't. As we get closer to summer I'll be spending less time in the hammock because North Carolina summers are the absolute shits. Hot and humid, with lots of bugs. Indoors in the air conditioning is my preferred living space from about 2-3 weeks from now 'til September.

Tonight we're visiting friends for a pizza party because they moved to Tennessee 18 months ago but had a house here in NC that didn't sell quickly. It's sold now, and their official tie to NC will end on Monday when the house closes. Tonight will be the last event at their old house. Sad. But, we'll have fun visiting with them.

Tomorrow is lunch with different friends at a new "Asian Fusion" restaurant halfway between Chapel Hill and our own little Pittsboro. We've been there twice and liked it a lot.

Husband hasn't had any nibbles on jobs yet. I'm stressed.

May 13, 2016, 9:54am Top

Happy New Thread, Karen! Happy Friday! Sorry, to hear about those NC summers! We get pretty humid here too.

I just want it to warm up here and stay that way. We have had a cool, damp spring.

Hope the books are treating you well.

May 13, 2016, 10:15am Top

>24 msf59: Hi Mark! Today will be reading and possibly continuing on the Media Room closet, with the end in sight. My goal was to get 2 shelves for photographs and genealogy stuff and I'll be able to attain that goal! Can you say "Throw Away Husband's Old Magazines (With His Permission)" - all 400 or them?

I'm in the middle of the Outlander series, being inspired by the Starz TV series of the same name. I'd read the first 4 eons ago and have just finished re-reading them and am on the new-to-me Book 5, The Fiery Cross.

May 14, 2016, 7:46am Top

Happy weekend, Karen.

May 14, 2016, 8:49am Top

I ain't reading nuthin' called 'The Fiery Cross'! My great aunt had a cross burned in her NC front yard. I tell everybody, right after I tell them I'm from the South so their first reaction isn't I'm a racist bastard. Being from the South you have to be comfortable with ambiguity, but I've always hated bullies and I've always hated the klan.

Ugh, carpal tunnel. Have you tried a tablet? I've got an older Samsung Tab 3 and love it. It's my preferred way to play games, watch movies, etc. The (whatever you call it) where you drag your finger over the keyboard and it types the words out for you is awesome, too. I've never read a book on it, but you can get a lap tray that will hold the tablet up while you read sitting up or stretched out. Oh oh oh! Have you played Ken Ken? Totally addictive.

Jeez, I envy the hammock reading. I know you're going through a tense time and I'm really sorry. You will feel better about things. And doesn't cleaning out clutter feel great?!

May 14, 2016, 10:53am Top

Oooh, reading in a sunroom and a hammock sound so wonderful!

Darn on the carpal tunnel! Earlier this year, I bought a little itty bitty carpal wrist support on Amazon. I'd never seen anyone wear one and neither had our OHS people. But it's helped a lot with all the repetitive movements I do in the lab. It doesn't interfere with wearing gloves or with finger movement and is much less intrusive all the way around than the bigger wrist and hand supports. Might be just what you need for your phone!

May 14, 2016, 11:01am Top

>26 Ameise1: Thank you, Barbara. What a sweet picture. I think my blood pressure dropped just looking at it!

>27 SomeGuyInVirginia: Wow. Horrible. A cross burning in your great aunt's yard here in my adopted state of NC. *shudder*

I've lived here 25 years and am still shocked that there is still racism. Ignorant, paranoid, and insecure people need racism to feel better. Unfortunately there are lots of them around and lots of them here in good ol' NC. I agree with you about bullies and the Klan. Apparently the Klan is largest in NC these days. I know they're very active in Saxapahaw, less than 20 miles from where I live.

The Fiery Cross mentioned in this book relates to a Highlands custom (fictional or real before the '45 I don't know) of lighting a cross to call in clansmen (spelled with a "C" not a "K") to fight or raid.

I have a tablet but haven't start using it yet. I think I need to get going with it.

Yes! Cleaning things out makes me feel very good. I got the outside-the-Media-Room closet cleaned out yesterday, got rid of the extra empty but not usable boxes and all the junk ON the stairs. It looks fantastic if I do say so myself, and there are now two shelves of space for photos and genealogy stuff, 7'3" each. One for husband's stuff, one for mine and "ours". We can walk all the way into the closet, which we couldn't do before.

Ken Ken, eh? I'll check it out.

Thursday we went out with friend Carl for lunch and then to cruise on down to a Gun Shop that has really good ammo prices. This is one of Carl's favorite places in the world and I wanted to start getting more ammo and shooting again, so we had lots of fun.

Today is lunch with David and Terri at Moon Asian Bistro.

And reading and hammock. They are great stress reducers for sure. I'm really trying to keep things calm and peaceful. No screaming into pillows, no punching walls like my brother used to do. Calm, supportive, take my frustrations out on closets. :)

The garden is doing well. The Kentucky Wonder Pole Beans have poked their heads through the mulch. I had germinated the seeds in damp paper towels for only 24 hours, planted them 1" then covered them with 2-3" of mulch, and they are already 2" or so, probably 3" by now. I will monitor them and get them started growing up the fencing and start having to figure out how to keep the deer and the damned ground hog from eating them. Probably netting of some sort on the outside, tacked down. Our friend Carl has offered to come over with his bow and shoot any ground hogs that have the temerity to eat MY garden. I might take him up on it. He also has a live trap, but I don't want to capture our kitties.

May 15, 2016, 11:32am Top

Happy Sunday, Karen! Hope you are enjoying your weekend. Is it cool there too? We will only be in 50s today and it didn't even make that yesterday. Sighs...Hey, at least the sun is shining.

Hope you get some reading in today.

May 15, 2016, 3:47pm Top

Hi Mark! I am enjoying my weekend, and yes, it's cool. Too cool, in fact, for the hammock. I tried a while ago and was too cold to enjoy it. It is a rope hammock, a mixed blessing; keeps you very cool when it's hot but doesn't help insulate against the cool air running underneath. I just poked my nose out again and it's still too cool, so looks like today is a Non-hammock day.

I am definitely reading a lot, and brought down a bunch of photograph albums that need to move to their new home in the just-cleaned-out outside-the-Media-room closet. Down one flight of stairs, up a different one.

I also plan on adding the 6 Bibles I found in one of the boxes when cleaning out the previously mentioned closet to my LT account. Husband's step-mother probably packed the box, and that would have been in 2012. We've never seen these Bibles before. Family and genealogical gold. The oldest is dated "Christmas 1920" from husband's grandfather to his mother.

Edited: May 16, 2016, 9:21am Top

Wow - another good reason for cleaning out - finding a stash of hidden treasure. Hooray to your mother in law for realizing their worth!

Edited: May 16, 2016, 11:31am Top

>32 streamsong: Yes, MiL did good. She was a wonderful, thoughtful person, who appreciated memorabilia and as a Christian I'm sure couldn't bear to get rid of them.

After I cataloged them, I stacked them in front of husband. He looked through each one, which is more than I did as I was focused on cataloging them. He found a newspaper clipping taped to the inside back cover of one - husband's aunt's engagement picture/announcement. It was in husband's father's New Testament, so we're sure he's the one who put it there, as she was his only sister. He also found old, old pictures of his Great-Grandfather's funeral service announcement and three old sepia-toned pictures (small, about 2" x 3"). They are all of the family headstone in the cemetery in Waycross GA, one of just the headstone, and two with different men in them. We aren't sure who they are, more's the pity. And a sheaf of grain (wheat?) and a small yellow feather. I wish we knew the stories!

I now have 22 Bibles or New Testaments cataloged. Some are from my side of the family, some from husband's. Daughter suggested I get them all on one shelf, except for the massive "family" Bibles that are on the 1928 White Sewing Machine in the living room. Perhaps a project for this week - I would have to clear off a shelf for them. Hmm..... perhaps L74, Romances, filling in on other "Romance" shelves.

May 17, 2016, 3:10pm Top

I love finding stuff people have stuck in books, it makes me think of young love and summer days.

May 17, 2016, 4:25pm Top

Hi Larry! You're right about that. One of these days, when I'm not quite so lazy, I will bring down the book from The Harvard Classics, originally known as Dr. Eliot's Five Foot Shelf, that has a penciled in note, somewhat extensive, about how "she" (can't remember her name) acquired them. I think from her sister, but can't remember. I'll have to get the step ladder and go through them. I do think it's in one of the ones that is fire damaged..... I got these at the Thrift Store when daughter was young and we were doing volunteer work there in the evenings, all for $8.

I just got back from my annual physical exam. Only I didn't have one last year due to lots of stress. It went well and my doctor said that since I'm not taking any prescriptions (high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol), that he rather thought seeing me in 2 years was indicated. Sold! Obviously if I felt anything strange or bad to come in.....

And I'm close to being done with The Fiery Cross, 5th in the 8 book series by Diana Gabaldon.

May 17, 2016, 6:17pm Top

I just finished The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon. ****1/2 for sure. Stunning. Her writing moves me to tears.

Next will be book 6, A Breath of Snow and Ashes.

May 17, 2016, 7:23pm Top

Ugh, yer making me want to re-read, as soon as I finished up The Passage trilogy I'm there.

May 17, 2016, 8:33pm Top

Wow, that must be powerful. I tear up at movies, but I can't remember the last time I cried over a book.

Jebus! That book is almost 1500 pages long?! Too rich for my blood. That's like 6 Agatha Christies!

May 18, 2016, 9:51am Top

>37 beeg: Ugh indeed, in a positive way! I've got 980, 820, and 825 pages to go. The series will be 7,530 pages total (first 4 paperback, last 4 hardcover). I'm committed, and addicted. And resigned to reducing my totals for a while.

>38 SomeGuyInVirginia: It is powerful, Larry. You absolutely feel like you're there, wherever there is - Scotland, France, Boston, colonial America. Her descriptions of the landscape are minute without being boring. And her grasp of writing emotionally without being sappy or trite is stunning.

I like when an author takes enough time to describe things that are peripheral to the main action but add to the knowledge about a character or scene. They don't have to put these scenes in there, but they vividly explain some aspect of their characters or the physical environment that impact the plot.

Other authors I love who did this or do this are Dorothy Sayers, Jane Austen, J.K. Rowling. It's like they're confident enough in their writing and their ability to hold you that they can go that extra distance and share more of their vision.

So, in keeping with the above, I started A Breath of Snow and Ashes last night and read 32 pages before keeling over into dreamland.

I had an anxiety dream early this morning for some reason - trying to make Thanksgiving dinner. Not in my kitchen, couldn't find things, the oven was filthy, people were impatient, etc. Very vivid. It was somehow combined with work, too - maybe some of the people. I can't remember how.

May 18, 2016, 12:10pm Top

Oh god I hate those dreams. I haven't had one in a while, though, and I don't know why not. I hope that doesn't mean that I've given up!

May 18, 2016, 1:02pm Top

Don't question, Larry, just be glad!

May 18, 2016, 1:23pm Top

>36 karenmarie: A series and it is good & historic... I certainly have to start with the Outlander series too, someday :-)

May 18, 2016, 9:01pm Top

Right, work with what you've got. I'm really envying the whole hammock thing, even if it's not the best weather. You have a beautiful house, it must be a pleasure to lay there and read all day.

May 19, 2016, 9:15am Top

>42 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita. I recommend it without reservation.

>43 SomeGuyInVirginia: The hammock thing is wonderful. Thank you re our house - we do love living out here. From the sunroom, where I am right now, I love looking out and seeing just trees and sky out of windows on 2 sides of the room. In the hammock I can watch hummingbirds and hear birds chattering, hear the horses gallop up and down the fence line when they are so inclined, and have kitty visitors. Our 16-year old boy, Kitty William, has even gained the confidence to jump up on the hammock (swaying, rope hammock) to come visit. He makes his way to the wooden bar and pillow and parks himself just above my head. Inara likes for me to pick her up and hold her, but she never stays long. KW will stay as long as I'm out there.

Today is a massage (last minute cancellation from massage therapist and the called to see if I wanted it and I said yes) and lunch with a friend.

May 19, 2016, 9:55am Top

I get those vivid dreams too - sometimes I think reading too many "dark books" has an influence on my sleeping. I try to alternate the dark with the lighter books. Have a wonderful day with your massage and lunch with a friend. I wish you a happy day!

May 19, 2016, 10:16am Top

It's funny, I bought all the books in the Outlander series for my daughter for Christmas and I've never read them myself! It looks like I should probably start borrowing them from her. You're making them sound very good.

May 19, 2016, 3:48pm Top

>45 vancouverdeb: Hi Deborah! Interesting theory of dark vs light books. I don't remember having vivid dreams when reading the Dexter books which are DARK DARK DARK. A mystery. For me personally it might have to do with stress, although that's not an accurate predictor all the time either. Maybe they are our interpretation of what's being told to us by angels or God or aliens.....

Thank you - had a great massage and a wonderful time with my friend. We had good Mexican food and took a 2 hour lunch! Me it doesn't matter so much, but she took extra time from work; fortunately her bosses don't mind very much.

>46 Dianekeenoy: Does your daughter like them? Does the LT oracle think you'd like them? I'm 133 pages into book 6 and still loving it and obsessed by it.

Speaking of obsession, husband and I are watching Twin Peaks. Neither of us had ever watched it and it's quirky and weird and David Lynch-y enough for us to be binge watching it 2-3 episodes per night. I don't think I would have wanted to watch it when it came out, 1991 ish, which is when I moved to NC and got married, but now it's perfect. Deliciously abnormal.

May 19, 2016, 5:48pm Top

>47 karenmarie: Oh Karen, Twin Peaks :-D
Such good memories, when it aired here, then again between Chrismas and New Year in 1996 on tape and recently we bought the DVD, we will watch it again and love it again.

May 19, 2016, 6:35pm Top

>48 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita! I'm glad to hear that you liked it, liked it again, and again when you bought it on DVD. True devotion.

May 19, 2016, 6:46pm Top

Hi, Karen! I was a huge fan of the original Twin Peaks too. Also a big Lynch fan. Not at all excited about the reboot though. Really?

I hope you continue to enjoy it, as much as I did.

May 20, 2016, 9:51am Top

>47 karenmarie: My dad was addicted to Twin Peaks, but I've never seen it. Is it available on Netflix? I'll give it a look.

May 20, 2016, 9:58am Top

Huge Twin Peaks fan!

May 20, 2016, 10:29am Top

I see your dream as related to the decluttering conversations. :-) I often have that ohmigod where did I put ? in real life - don't have to be asleep to have that feeling.

May 20, 2016, 6:36pm Top

>50 msf59: Hi Mark! We're still on the original series, second season. So fun and strange.

>51 SomeGuyInVirginia: Larry, we're watching it on Amazon Prime.

>52 beeg: People seem to be coming out of the woodwork about it, beeg.

>53 streamsong: That's very possible. I'm amazed at how often I misplace things. And, I therefore spend a lot of time finding them.

I just finished a fun LT project. After cataloging the 6 Bibles/New Testaments that I found in >31 karenmarie: above, I got to thinking about all the Bibles and New Testaments we have and decided to put them all on one shelf. Of course, the first thing I had to do was to remove the existing books from that shelf and update the location tags. Did that, found all the Bibles and New Testaments, and on shelf L34 alone, now, there are 18 Bibles and 6 New Testaments. The oldest New Testament is from 1846. Unfortunately, there are no inscriptions or names or anything of a personal nature in that one.

There are 5 more Bibles and 2 more New Testaments (one of them is in Dutch, from 1918), plus husband remembers that he still has his small green New Testament given to him by the Navy in 1976. I think I saw it in one of the boxes I repacked recently.

May 21, 2016, 7:38am Top

>54 karenmarie: Wow Karen that is a lot of Bibles! I have an Oxford edition of the King James and a very battered copy of the Book of Common Prayer which I still get solace from from time to time even having left Christianity in its organised state behind. I have three translations of the Koran also and irritate Hani gleefully by pointing out that there is no prohibition against alcohol in its pages - only warnings to beware of its dangers.

Have a lovely weekend. xx

Edited: May 21, 2016, 10:02am Top

>55 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul! It is a lot. It turns out that one of them is my brother's, one my grandmother's, one mine, one my mother's, one my daughter's, a few miscellaneous, and the rest from husband's family.

I don't have a copy of the Torah, but have two copies of the Talmud. I have the 1934 English translation of the Qu'ran by Abdullah Yusuf Ali. My physical copy was printed in 1989. I've got a total of 89 books tagged 'religion', but probably should go back and look for more.

There are a lot of things people attribute to their religious texts that aren't there. There is a lot of cherry picking, at least in Christianity as I have experienced it here in the US. I wonder how many people read the entire religious text or texts that govern their religion/belief?

I was going to say, as I have for many decades, that I am a Monotheist, but after researching a bit realize that I am not; the most I can say is that I am probably a Liberal Theist. I believe that there are multiple paths to true spirituality and that "God" is all-encompassing and inclusive.

Interesting thoughts for a Saturday morning. And, I've only had 1 1/2 cups of coffee!

My Experience with Christianity. Feel free to skip.
I was never in Christianity. My Dad had some kind of bad experience related to the Presbyterian Church way before he met my mother, and we never went to church with my family when I was growing up. Ever. I've only been in a church twice with my Dad, when my sister got married in 1975 and when I got married in 1991. I went to church with a school friend for a while when I was 10, but don't remember the denomination and have never been baptized to my knowledge. My sister got religion in 1974. We did have one period in the mid-1980s when we didn't speak for 3 years because I was offended when she said I was her special burden with God and that she was sorry I was going to hell, but we've since made up, don't talk about religion too much although she occasionally spouts, and are best friends. My Mom returned to the church in about 2002 or so, going to Sunday School without my Dad, who refused to go. Husband's family was quite religious but he isn't, otherwise I wouldn't have married him. Mixed marriages and all. :) The remaining family on the "step" side of his family are all very devout Christians albeit in different ways and in different denominations of Protestantism. I only respect one of those families who I consider 'walk the walk'; the others 'walk the walk' but 'talk the talk' ad nauseam, patting themselves on the backs all the time for being such good Christians. Once when in high school and during most of my 20s I felt that I had the face that launched a thousand conversions, as I was frequently bullied and otherwise chivvied into converting by Christians in California AND Connecticut. The attempts weren't successful, but gave me a disgust of and suspicion of (most) Christians who I met at the time. I live in the northernmost reaches of the southern Bible Belt (25 years now) and usually just keep my mouth shut about religion.

May 21, 2016, 10:06am Top

My great grandfather and great grandmother eloped from Donegal in the 1890's. My GGF was a catholic whilst my GGM was protestant and they sought refuge with cousins in Yorkshire. The whole family grew up not really caring which church we went to.

Edited: May 21, 2016, 10:09am Top

Good for them and you! I think there is entirely too much negative attitude and behavior and hurtfulness when people get on their high horse about their religion and how everybody should conform to their beliefs.

Edited: May 21, 2016, 10:20am Top

Today is overcast and cool. We've had rain off and on for 4 days and I heard rain in the night. According to our rain gauge, we had .37 inches of rain. Aha! I see a few wisps of blue sky amongst the clouds. It might clear up.

I used an Amazon gift card to buy a speaker system for my laptop - I use an over-size monitor and separate keyboard rather than the laptop itself and it's disconcerting to hear the sound from the laptop on my right instead of stereo sound. Husband researched and found a good little system for me, and I was happily reminded that I had the gift card that would just about cover the cost AND be a good reminder of the generous friends who gave it to me. It arrived yesterday and I need to get the necessary energy to completely clean off my desk, unplug all equipment, and re-build the physical layout of hardware. A fun challenge.

May 21, 2016, 1:49pm Top

I see I have some serious catching up to do over here. Sorry to hear about the double computer/crown woes. I am still running Windows XP on my main computer at home and had a heck of a struggle to stop the new tablet from starting to download Windows 10 without my okey-dokey. Glad to see you have settled into retirement so smoothly. I know a couple of former work colleagues who haven't quite come up with a new routine. Looks like you had a very successful book haul in April! Sorry to learn about your husband's job situation.

The absolute hardest thing about getting married 25 years ago was that I've rarely gotten to have time alone in the house ever since. I am an introvert and need time to regroup alone. Husband is an extrovert and needs people to be his best self. Sounds like the perfect description for my other half and I, except we never got around to the "getting married" bit. We don't do that great when we are both off and at home at the same time for long stretches. Thankfully, we both realize we need our own space and I am always relieved when one of the other half's friends want time with him.

Glad to see you have been devouring the Outlander series and sorry about the insomnia.

Congrats on getting the vegetable garden planted and sounds like you have your speaker system the way you want it.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend, Karen.

May 21, 2016, 3:26pm Top

>59 karenmarie: Ooh, rebuilding your computer set-up sounds like something you will need lots of energy and concentration for. I like the idea of new technology but really resist getting it because I hate setting up and getting used to new stuff. Sadly Windows 10 did a number on my main computer - it shut the whole thing down and my son resuscitated by setting up Linux. What is frustrating is how many programs are Windows based so I am planning to get a new laptop *sigh*.

May 22, 2016, 2:48am Top

Happy Sunday, Karen. We've got finally the first warm and sunny weekend. Therefore I spend the most time outside (of cause with lots of readings ;-))

Edited: May 22, 2016, 9:40am Top

>60 lkernagh: Thanks Lori! It's a battle to keep our devices from automatically downloading software that is not compatible with our hardware. I'm seriously pissed at the time and $$ I wasted and hearing about other people having to spend time avoiding something they don't want.

I had a little bit of a retirement routine going until husband got laid off. Well, I guess I now have a new retirement routine, but I don't like it at all. Don't get me wrong. I love my husband AND I hate the TV being on all the time and him sitting there watching NCIS reruns and House reruns (like and loathe, respectively) and playing on his cell phone. He's never gone. AND, when friends do plan lunches with him, he tries to time it for a day when I'm out on dentist visits, doctor visits, or lunches with MY friends. Sigh. Sounds like you and I are alike on the introvert/extrovert significant other setup.

>61 Familyhistorian: I'm sorry about your experience with Windows 10, Meg. And doubly sorry that you couldn't get back to Windows and now have to get a new laptop. I despise Windows for how they've done this.

Computers/tablets/smart phones are insidious. They've wormed their way into our lives to the point where we can't do without them at all. I love my devices and hate them.

>62 Ameise1: Hello Barbara! Good weather for reading outside, could hardly ask for better. I hope it continues all weekend.

Today is supposed to get to 71F. Definitely hammock weather, as was yesterday afternoon. I'll check on the vegetable garden too. From a distance it doesn't look like things need to be invited to climb the wire fencing, but I bet the cucumbers are trailing on the ground and need a boost.

I started clearing stuff off the desk yesterday - taking three boxes of pictures up to the newly-available shelves in the closet outside the Media Room. I rediscovered a 45RPM metal record case that I'd forgotten was on the floor behind a metal file cabinet; it has family photos from husband's mother's aunt's side of the family. I will carry it up today to join the 3 boxes taken up yesterday.

My goal for today is to get the desk cleared off of everything except hardware. This is no small undertaking - I'm looking around at books, wire racks of 2015 Christmas cards, radios, piggy banks, phones, inboxes, a wooden organizer that's about 30" long filled with stuff, office supplies, and etc. The real problem is that I don't have anything to put this stuff on unless I bring out a card table..... yup. I'll have to do that.

I'm about halfway into book 6 of the Outlander series. It is just so damned good. Not for the impatient, not for those who want straightforward action and resolution. Certainly not for those who just cannot stomach long books or long series. The vignette about the funeral of Mrs. Wilson is a wonderful case in point. Not critical for the plot, not important for any character development. Mrs. Wilson has died, Claire, Jamie, Roger, and Brianna go, taking food and drink. Mrs. Wilson rises up halfway through Roger's sermon, not quite having died of an abdominal aneurysm yet. Discussions of funeral traditions including professional mourners, wakes, the sin-eater, etc. All wonderfully informative and interesting, with laugh out loud moments.

May 22, 2016, 10:23am Top

Morning, Karen! Happy Sunday! Hooray for "hammock weather"! I am not comfortable in a hammock but I like the idea...

>56 karenmarie: I appreciated your thoughts on religion and Christianity. It is something we should be able to have an open conversation about. I have religion ingrained in me, since childhood, so it is hard to shake completely but I try to keep my options open. LOL.

May 22, 2016, 11:10am Top

>64 msf59: Hi Mark! Sometimes my lower back complains after the hammock, but it's totally worth it and subsides with an ibuprophen or two (or three).

Regarding religion and Christianity. We should be able to have open discussions about them. Another spoiler, though - I am appalled and have always been appalled at what's been done in the name of religion, not just Christianity. I have read voluminously and widely since I was very young and have never understood the "My way or the highway" attitude of many, not all of course, religious people. But by the very definition of religions and denominations and sects, religious people define who and who may not attain heaven/redemption/being saved. My relationship with God is just that - mine - without interference, interpretation, or attempted guidance. I hesitated to write >56 karenmarie:, but since I put it in "spoiler" mode, people are free to read it or not. Here, too, people are free to read it or not.

Bottom line, I am happy for people who gain strength, fellowship, spiritual peace and growth, heaven/redemption/being saved, and social benefits through their religion. Just don't expect me to believe the same as you do. And if I'm wrong, then I'll find out when my time on earth in this life has ended.

Edited: May 22, 2016, 1:07pm Top

ETC, sorry I was playing around with the spoiler html code and hit post by mistake. I didn't have a spoiler, just forgot how to do it, looked it up, and hit enter. Like a schmo. I mean pro!

I'm sorry your husband is going through this, and you, too. It must be devastating for him. But you're lucky, because I remember you writing that he would work at a grocery store if he had to. So he'll work it out, and I'm thinking lovely thoughts for you both.

May 22, 2016, 1:05pm Top

>65 karenmarie: I am completely with you, Karen! Do or believe in anything you want, if it makes your journey through life, any easier. And do not judge. Simple, right?

May 22, 2016, 2:48pm Top

>66 SomeGuyInVirginia: Hi Larry! I was thrilled when I remembered the spoiler stuff. You are a pro! And since I loved MASH by Richard Hooker and the original movie so much, I'll go so far as to say "the pro from Dover".

My husband will do what's necessary, although I would love for him to get a good salaried-with-benefits job that doesn't demand too much physically. He will work it out. I just have to de-escalate when he gets really frustrated and gripes about everything. And don't get him started on politics. And thank you for the lovely thoughts. They are always appreciated.

>67 msf59: You'd think it was simple, Mark, but NOOOOO. Too much ego and too much insecurity.

Visited my neighbor Louise - her husband has severe dementia and last week had colon cancer surgery. So on top of not remembering who Louise is or what their last name is or why he's living in the house he's living in, he is chafing at the bags and belts and such that he has to wear now. Poor Louise is exhausted. I just meant to stop by and drop some brownies off and leave, but she seemed to want the company so I came in for a while.

The card table is out, ready to start accepting things.

May 24, 2016, 3:04pm Top

OK, today is hammock weather! The sun was out when I woke up and all that light was such a change from the past several weeks that I thought there must be a fire.

May 25, 2016, 11:42am Top

>69 SomeGuyInVirginia: Hi Larry! Yesterday was only hammock weather for about an hour and a half. I had my final dentist appointment in the saga of the defective crown. It was a total of ELEVEN dentist visits, starting in December. It didn't cost me a penny directly. The indirect costs were gas, time, and stress. Yesterday took 1 1/2 hours from a 2 p.m. appointment, so I got home about 4:15. I immediately went out to the hammock and read a bit then napped until 5:30. I woke up with the sun directly on me. The nap kept me up 'til about 2:30 a.m., and I didn't get up til 9:30 this morning. I still feel a bit out of sorts.

I got my computer/desk/sunroom reorganization 3/4 done. All to do now is either put the things on the card table back on the desk or put (most of them) away. My new speakers sound fantastic.

Daughter has made an effort to carve time from work and is coming home tonight through Saturday a.m., with a friend visit Saturday/Sunday morning then back to us for Sunday afternoon before she has to get back to work on Monday. We haven't seen her since Christmas. She's missed her Dad's 60th birthday, our 25th wedding anniversary, and Mother's Day and will miss Father's Day, my birthday and hell, even her own birthday in August. I admire her work ethic and loyalty to her company, though, and am just glad that we'll get to visit. (Plus she's going to go through the books on the little yellow table, take what she wants, then I'll take the rest to the thrift store.)

Today's going to be a bit of straightening, grocery shopping, and taking our younger kitty, Inara Starbuck, to the vet. She's losing weight, throwing up, and her nose has been warm for about 3-4 days now. Poor thing.

May 25, 2016, 1:41pm Top

Someday I will have a hammock but in the meantime I have a back porch.

Poor Keycat

May 25, 2016, 6:23pm Top

Oh so sorry to hear of the crown saga - eleven visits to the dentist starting in December. I think that would be my undoing. But I guess you do what you must. Sorry to hear of your husbands current job situation. My husband still works, and I think he will continue to do so as long as he can - but he is the sort that could easily adapt to being retired, I think . He loves flying stunt kites and has bunch of buddies he flies them wiith, and they do it all year round. Then we have energetic little dog, who takes three walk a day - two of them being over an hour long. My husband also enjoys reading and just puttering around - he has no end of things to do. We live in a townhouse and in his spare time he'll be outside fixing up the garden - he's the sort that can always find something useful to do. When we can afford for him to retire, I'll be delighted.

Oh sorry to hear about your kitty! I hope she is doing better.

May 26, 2016, 10:55am Top

Any word on Inara Starbuck?

Edited: May 27, 2016, 3:05pm Top

Hi beeg, Deborah, Larry.

I was offline since Wednesday a.m. because our ancient modem died. We're on Century Link (boo, hiss) and have worse internet than pretty much anybody in the entire state of North Carolina. It turns out that they sent us e-mails telling us we needed to upgrade our modem FIVE YEARS AGO, but husband somehow didn't see them. And instead of just shutting it off and turning it back on Wednesday, I reset it, thus completely destroying the handshake protocol to their server. So we've got another modem enroute to us today.

In the meantime, it was data reset day yesterday on our cell phone plan and we were too close to the limit to use my cell phone as a hot spot until today, when we've now used 0 of 22 GB. So I'm actually connected to the internet on my cellphone, using data until we get the modem. Sigh.

Inara Starbuck is in good shape except for her urine and the fact that she has "small kidneys". We spent $235 at the vet and they took blood and urine and should have some information for us today on what's really wrong with her. The vet dewormed her on principle but since she's an indoor-outdoor kitty I've seen no evidence of worms since she mostly uses the outside as her litterbox. I took her to the vet two years ago with what I thought was blood in her urine. They didn't take a sample, and said that blood was probably caused by stress. It turns out that her urine is cloudy and dark and I mistook that for blood. The vet we saw apologized for the prevous vet's clear lack of knowledge of what the problem might be and we now feel we're on the right track with "Dr. Cindy".

Daughter's home and we've had a relaxing time. I've done a bit of cooking and except for husband and me going out grocery shopping, we lazed around the house all day. It's started getting hot and we like air conditioning.

Daughter doesn't want to do much of anything - she won't have any weekends off through Labor Day and wants to "not do any adult things" as she put it. (we offered to take her to get her cell phone replaced, but that's apparently one of those "adult things"). So husband's outside mowing the yard (a 3-4 acre effort), daughter's using her Xbox on our TV in the living room, and I'm here catching up electronically. I was getting twitchy not looking at e-mail and being here on LT, although I won't stay here long gulping data.

Tomorrow our friend/carpenter Cary is coming over again to continue the windows/baseboard/outside trim/etc work. He does lovely work and charges us about 1/4 of his normal rate, but the problem with that is sometimes we don't get the priority we were getting when he was less busy.

I have installed my speakers and cleaned the sunroom floor/baseboards/etc, just haven't looked at any of the stuff on the card table to either put away or back out on my desk. Probably won't get to it until Monday, although with daughter gone tomorrow visiting her friend Amber I might spend a bit of time on it.

In the meantime I've put aside A Breath of Snow and Ashes in order to read Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler for our bookclub meeting on the 5th of June. It's good and I'm enjoying it.

May 27, 2016, 11:44am Top

Happy Friday, Karen! It looks like you have all your ducks in a row. Enjoy the holiday weekend and the time with your daughter.

May 27, 2016, 3:24pm Top

>73 SomeGuyInVirginia: The vet has told us that Inara has a bladder infection. I drove the 8 miles into town to pick up the antibiotic - $33. Yeesh. I crammed a pill down Inara's throat a while ago, so we're on the right track with getting our kitty healthy again. Everything else is good - all her bloodwork and white cell count overall were excellent.

>75 msf59: Thanks, Mark! Quack, quack. The modem arrived a while ago and we've now got 3 cell phones and 2 computers hooked up to the wireless.

Back in business. I hated being "offline". I felt insecure.

We're watching repeat college women's softball, which husband and daughter absolutely love. I like it well enough, I suppose.

Dinner will be salmon croquettes, skillet pilaf, and cucumber/feta cheese/kalamata olive/green pepper salad for daughter and me and sliced cucumbers for husband.

Off to hang out....

May 29, 2016, 2:37am Top

I hope the antibiotics will do their work. Happy Sunday, Karen.

Edited: May 31, 2016, 10:29am Top

>77 Ameise1: Thank you, Barbara! We had a very nice Sunday with our daughter - she had spent Saturday night at a college friend's parents' house and returned about 1 p.m. She was able to stay 'til 6 p.m., then had to get back to work today.

Our baby kitty (well, she's 9 but she's our baby) seems to be getting better. She has more energy and her appetite is better. Yay for antibiotics.

I have finished Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald and am as fascinated by the Fitzgeralds and the Lost Generation as ever before. I gave it a 4 1/2 star rating - stunning - and am so pleased I read it. I've ordered The Romantic Egoists by Matthew Joseph Bruccoli, "A Pictoral Autobiography from the Scrapbooks and Albums of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald". Can't wait for it to arrive. I've been burning up the internet with references from the book to people, places, and books.

Back, in a happy frame of mind, to A Breath of Snow and Ashes, book 6 in the Outlander series.

Jun 1, 2016, 9:17am Top

I'm glad Inara's problem is so fixable. The proper antibiotics are miracle drugs!

Ah, not-so-grown-up daughters! Mine was running around the SFF con in a hugely elaborate costume. We ran into each other on and off all day between panels (I went to author panels, she went to armor making and sword fighting). We collapsed late afternoon about the same time and went out for sushi. It was a treat to see her.

Jun 1, 2016, 10:10am Top

>79 streamsong: We're grateful that it's fixable with antibiotics and relatively minor. I was envisioning cancer, kidney disease, all sorts of horrible things.

Sounds fun, the SFF and bumping into your daughter off and on. I know my kid would like to go to DragonCon in Florida - a friend of hers always goes with his family. She's frugal, though. My husband's mother, one of my 2 MiLs, always used to say of herself that she was Scotch, meaning thrifty/frugal/cheap. Daughter picked it up and calls herself Scotch all the time. It's cute. And it's true - the thing that makes her most proud right now is that she pays all her own bills. She's been talking about a PS4 for a year now, told us not to buy it for her, that she was going to buy it for herself, but hasn't taken the plunge yet.

Continuing the chunkster A Breath of Snow and Ashes, on page 778 of 980. I stayed up til about 12:30 reading.

We're going to go out for lunch in a while and a bit of food shopping, then I'll visit neighbor Louise in the afternoon. She actually woke me up this morning when she called but I didn't tell her that - it was 9:30!!! I woke up at 7 and told myself "You're NOT getting up at 7." Closed my eyes and then woke up at 8:30 and told myself "I'll just doze a few minutes and get up." Then Louise called and I didn't even realize what time it was until we got off the phone. Sheesh. My husband said he was just getting ready to check on me.

Jun 1, 2016, 2:38pm Top

Whew! I was 72 posts behind! How could that have happened??? I know I was away 4 days, but sheesh - 72!
Hope your sleep issues are settled, that Ms. Inara is responding well to the antibiotic, that your daughter keeps right on being Scotch, that your husband gets some realistic job offers, and that *Outlander* stays good for you - that probably means it will be good for me when I get back into them.
I'd love to talk to you about religion someday ----- churches have a lot to answer for.
The KKK --- I so heartily recommend that everybody find a copy of David LaMott's White Flour, a children's book about a Klan march in Knoxville, Tenn. One of the few good times that my home county got good national press was in the mid-50s when the local Native Americans broke up a Klan rally out in the country.
Our dear Chibby used to dive onto our Pawley's Island hammock and swim around on it. I was always afraid she'd hang herself, but that wasn't what took her in the end.

Jun 2, 2016, 1:43pm Top

Hi Peggy! 4 days away, and the LTers will play. :)

Thank you for all your good wishes. What I need to do is to take a slight detour on the way to or way back from visiting daughter in Wilmington. We can discuss lots of things including books, kitties, KKK, religion, etc.

I was fearful of Kitty William hanging himself in our Pawley's Island hammock too, but he only gets on it if I'm there.

I had a nice visit with Louise yesterday. I took her some Beau Monde Seasoning and my version of the recipe for beau monde chicken. She wanted me to have something to remember her by and already had a card and box ready for me - she was a bit morbid yesterday. She gave me a beautiful little crystal duck from her own collection.

Today's chiropractic visit went very well. And, the water conditioning system people are out here because we discovered water damage in the water conditioner closet. Fortunately, it's only a condensation problem, not a leakage problem. However, that means replacing sheetrock, reinstalling an electrical outlet that fell out of the rotten sheetrock while husband and water conditioning guy were figuring out the problem, and either replacing the door or cutting a hole in it for a ventilation vent.

Jun 2, 2016, 5:23pm Top

Southerners are the most morbid people outside of a convent catacombs. Or I'd say 'ghastly', because there is pleasure in it and ghastly seems like it has room for pleasure but morbid does not. My grandmother used to read the obituaries out loud to the assembled tribe. Go with it, the card, box and especially the duck are tokens of real love.

Jun 3, 2016, 8:59am Top

Hi Larry! Oh, I do. Real love rings true and I feel that from and give it to Louise.

I'd agree about Southerners, mostly. When I was growing up in SoCal in the 1950s, my father's mother came to live with us when I was perhaps a year old. She was 73 at the time, from a very small town in Nebraska, but spent at a minimum (my researches are not complete) about 47 years in Omaha prior to moving to LA. I think had she stayed in Omaha, she would have followed the obits religiously and possibly even did through correspondence with her friends. Some of it was her Victorian approach to life, having been born in 1882, some of it was a large, close circle of acquaintances.

I used to read the obits in the Los Angeles Times and, for a while, in our local Pittsboro weekly; nobody I ever knew, just obits. Even though we still get the weekly paper, I very rarely dip into it. I need to start reading it again, though.

I finished book 6 of the Outlander series, A Breath of Snow and Ashes last night. Whew. Another wonderful ride through Claire and Jamie's lives, with rich details, fully-fleshed subplots, and beautiful, emotive writing. Almost of the subplots were effectively wrapped up.

Naturally I started book 7, An Echo in the Bone last night.

Jun 3, 2016, 9:20am Top

Are you a fast reader? I'm not, and it's really frustrating to me. I've read 700 page books before, but I still think they're daunting. I loved loved loved Great Expectations, though. That's a door stopper, and one of the great books in the Western canon.

Edited: Jun 3, 2016, 10:09am Top

Yeppers, I am a fast reader. I've always been a fast reader. Once I get wrapped up in a book, I can read hundreds of pages at a sitting. I must admit that the Outlander series is daunting, but I am persevering because the story is so rich and interesting. If I didn't read as quickly as I did, I might be intimidated out of attempting all of them. I still have about 1645 pages to go if memory serves - 820 pages in this one and 825 in the last one (less the 14 I read last night).

However, reading a series as they come out, over many years, if I wasn't a "fast" reader, would probably be much more satisfying.

I was hesitant, but took a break last week from Outlander to read Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald for bookclub. I have abandoned the last 5 books of this year's bookclub's list and didn't know what I'd do with this one but became fascinated and zoomed through it. And, fortunately, coming back to A Breath of Snow and Ashes was easy.

I've never read Great Expectations. Having just looked it up on Amazon (my book Bible), it sounds very interesting. I have two copies of it on my shelves.

However, after Outlander, I think I'm going to foreswear chunksters for a while to get my numbers back up and have a bit of variety for a change.

Jun 4, 2016, 9:15am Top

I love Great Expectations esp the use of "rampage"

Jun 4, 2016, 9:57am Top

>87 beeg: Hi beeg! Another reason to read it.

Jun 4, 2016, 10:07am Top

Happy Saturday, Karen! I also think Great Expectations, is one of Dickens best works. You are a fast reader and would knock it out quick.

Jun 4, 2016, 10:28am Top

Another here who needs to read Great Expectations. I try to read a couple books each month from 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die and there are a **lot** of Dickens on that list.

Edited: Jun 4, 2016, 10:41am Top

>89 msf59: Hi Mark! Hmmm. Okay, I'll pull it off the shelves and see if I get inspired to read it soon. If I don't have a book near me, I tend to forget about it.

>90 streamsong: Hi Janet! I'd suggest a "group" read, but I'm notorious about not reading books to a schedule. Let's just agree that if we both we read it we can discuss it!

And, re the above, one of my new goals is to put all the books I've read in either the library or my new set of shelves in daughter's rec room, henceforth renamed The Retreat - daughter said I can put her stuff up as long as I don't throw anything away and use the room as mine. Except for a few select authors or special books, everything in the sunroom will be things I haven't read. That won't include all my tbrs, but quite a few of them. Just calculated that I have 1397 books in the sunroom, so that will get about 84% of them max.

Jun 4, 2016, 10:50am Top

Okay, just pulled Great Expectations off my shelves. It is now staring at me.

Jun 4, 2016, 11:42am Top

>90 streamsong: >91 karenmarie: I wonder if there'd be any interest in an online LT group read?

You have a beautiful house and grounds, Karen. I know you get a lot of pleasure from it and I'm glad.

Jun 4, 2016, 2:22pm Top

>93 SomeGuyInVirginia: Hi Larry! Never been involved in an LT group read before but I like the idea.

Thank you, Larry. I do love our house and grounds, especially after recently getting a bunch of pruning done and mulch spread. My vegetable garden is doing well, and when I look out the sunroom all I see are trees, sky, and my concrete and shed. Summertime foliage has blocked neighbor Kim and Ronnie's house.

I'm also continuing to get things under control inside with closets being cleaned and starting to work on The Retreat as mentioned above. I should do a bit more today.....

Jun 6, 2016, 10:42am Top

>90 streamsong: >91 karenmarie: >92 karenmarie: >93 SomeGuyInVirginia: >94 karenmarie:

Yikes I have read it but could almost fit in a re-read considering especially the quality of the company proposing to read it!

Competes with A Tale of Two Cities and David Copperfield as my favourites of Dickens' books.

Jun 6, 2016, 11:30am Top

Great Expectations

Chapter 1

My father's family name being Pirrip, and my Christian name Philip, my infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip. So, I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip.

Group read teaser.....

Jun 6, 2016, 11:35am Top

>96 karenmarie: Come on then Karen, it is incumbent upon you to take the lead and set up a group read page. If you do I, for one, will definitely support. xx

Jun 6, 2016, 12:15pm Top

Yipes, Paul! I will need guidance. How does one go about setting up a group read page? Are there ones I can look at as templates?

Jun 6, 2016, 12:43pm Top

>98 karenmarie: Karen if you look at the group Wiki it lists "important threads" including the group reads.

Jun 6, 2016, 2:27pm Top

Okay, so it looks like there are a couple of steps:

1. Add an entry in the Group Reads section of the Group Wiki - or does drneutron have to do that?
2. Add a message to Group Read Organization thread announcing the group read
2. Create a thread that says something like "Group Read - Great Expectations by Charles Dickens" ?
3a. How do I get a picture of a dust jacket into the first message like most of them seem to?
3b. Should the subject contain a time frame?

Do most group reads try to follow a schedule or do people just say they're going to read a book then decide to discuss it? How do spoilers get handled?

Did I get it right or am I off base?

I be ignorant.....

Jun 6, 2016, 2:37pm Top

>100 karenmarie: You just start it like a normal thread Karen actually.

There are no rules as I can think of really in terms of time, etc.

I will set it up for you if you like and then you can take over.

Edited: Jun 7, 2016, 9:27am Top

1. I think Jim does that.
2. This would be good - I always think the more the merrier and you can ask when people would like to do it. Right now I'm buried in library books and would prefer it a bit later. August? September?
3. You can start the thread anytime.
4. Go to the book page and right click on the image. Click on properties and copy the location.
the code is: img src= copied location. Add opening and closing > sharp brackets

addy for this cover: http://pics.cdn.librarything.com/picsizes/a4/ca/a4ca2730a9fec01597759485441434f4...

code: img src=http://pics.cdn.librarything.com/picsizes/a4/ca/a4ca2730a9fec01597759485441434f414f4141.jpg

Add opening and closing sharp things ( can you tell my level of techno geekness here?)

I hope this makes sense. Parts of this message keep disappearing whenever I add a sharp bracket anywhere.

Edited: Jun 8, 2016, 8:33am Top

>101 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul! Thank you for the offer, but especially with what Janet has given me above, I'd like to start it myself. I appreciate the offer, but I need to learn for myself.

>102 streamsong: Thank you Janet! Even though I had two #2s, you answered all my questions.

Based on Janet's request and a new wrinkle for me (next paragraph), let's consider a September start. I've put a note in my desk calendar mid-August to start the process.

Yesterday my sister called with the news that she thinks we need to get my mother moved to an assisted living or 24/7 living arrangement. My mom still lives in the family home with an indigent friend living with her there and helping mom as much as she can, but she's not a trained nurse or nursing technician. Mom may able to stay at home with home health nursing assistance, but her situation needs to evaluated and the correct decision made. This will be a HUGE battle with my mom regardless, but we're going to work with her doctors to see what's needed and then I'll probably go back to CA to help sister make the solution happen. It may take an extended visit or more than one visit.

Also yesterday, the morning got away with me trying to figure out why, when I download my entire catalog to Excel, 31 of my books don't make the transfer. The Download message tells me it's fetched all my books, but when the actual Excel spreadsheet opens up, they're not all there. So I spent quite a bit of time trying to identify the culprits. Thank goodness for my location tags! By comparing the # of entries per tag to on the spreadsheet and the # of entries per tag on LT, I identified the discrepancies then identified the individual books. I'm going to make some tests today - I tagged those entries "wexp" so can do some fun stuff. Worst case scenario is that I forward the problem to LT folks.

The afternoon was taken up with taking Inara Starbuck back to the vet to make sure her UTI was cleared up but it wasn't. $85 later and 8 more days of antibiotics, we're pill-popping the kitty again. Bank stuff and dinner with a friend completed the afternoon, then I was personally happy with the political results.

I'm not really looking for a discussion here, but as it is my personal thread I do want to say that I am a yellow-dog Democract, a woman, and happy that Clinton has secured the nomination. I honestly think that Trump is a fascist and disaster waiting to happen, and Sanders is a socialist, instead of a Democrat. Clinton is also the only person with experience on the world stage. I do think Sanders' input at the convention will strengthen the party and help Hillary. I'll leave it at that.

Practice run:

Whoo-yah! Oh yes!

Jun 8, 2016, 9:20am Top

Mozel-Tov on Hillary's nomination! And September, I'm in.

Jun 8, 2016, 10:48am Top

>103 karenmarie: I am sorry your cats UTI hasn't cleared, Karen, did they take a sample for culture to know what anibiotic WILL work?

Edited: Jun 8, 2016, 10:59am Top

>104 SomeGuyInVirginia: Hi Larry! Do you give any credence to the theory that Trump's campaign is a "false flag campaign" to help Hillary Clinton become President?

>105 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita: They did bloodwork and urinalysis and when I asked if another antibiotic was indicated Dr. Cindy said that it was such a bad one (long story there) that 2 rounds was not unreasonable. Inara is much much better, so I do think it's working. Thank you for asking.

Garden visit - had to re-route the green beans away from the tomato cages back onto the fencing. I've got tons of cute, baby cucumbers, and one that's already 6" and almost ready to pick.

Jun 8, 2016, 11:58am Top

No, nobody had the foresight to set it up. Someone would have had to have known that it would come down to Trump as the Rep nomination, and nobody thought that.

Have you seen the video Obama presented at the WH correspondent's dinner? It's hilarious. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJJTVZRe3f0

This has been the weirdest election I have ever seen.

Jun 8, 2016, 1:04pm Top

September is also good for me Karen. xx

I have said elsewhere that I am not a fan of Ms Clinton but she really does need to win this election.

Jun 8, 2016, 4:29pm Top

>107 SomeGuyInVirginia: Larry, that video is hilarious. Couch Commander and asking advice from Boehner.

It has been the weirdest election I've ever seen too. Sort of like looking at a train wreck, right?

>108 PaulCranswick: Yay, Paul! September it is.

There are a lot of people that feel as you do, but oh boy! does she really need to win this election. In addition to heralding the end of the US as we know it, I just hate the idea of being the laughingstock of the world.

Jun 8, 2016, 7:19pm Top

>109 karenmarie: Yes, I have my reservations about Hilary especially as I think she was a less than adequate Secretary of Stae, but Trump - seriously USA?

Jun 8, 2016, 11:20pm Top

I am a yellow-dog Democract, a woman, and happy that Clinton has secured the nomination. I'm with you 100% on the first two. I voted for Bernie, but then, I voted for Eugene McCarthy too.... Hillary has to win, and that's all there is to it!
Oh, yeah! Obama at the WHc's dinner - priceless! If he needs to make $ after retirement, he can always hire out as a stand-up comic.
Meanwhile, I'm sending good wishes to Ms. Inara S. And I'm sorry to hear that your mother's situation is deteriorating. I hate to put it this way, but sometimes retirement comes at precisely the right time. It was like that with my mom. She had heart valve surgery the summer I retired, and I was more thankful than I can say that I didn't have to go back to school in August.

Jun 9, 2016, 8:28am Top

>110 PaulCranswick: So many countries have embarrassing/dangerous/criminal leaders. I was never in the position of thinking that about the USofA until Baby Bush stole the election in 2000 in Florida and possibly stealing the 2004 election in Ohio.

>111 LizzieD: Hi Peggy. I hope that all folks who voted for Bernie convert their support to Hillary.

Thank you for your good wishes for Inara Starbuck. She's getting perkier and perkier - I feel bad that she had to get so bad before we took her back in and got the correct diagnosis, but she isn't holding it against us - in fact, although I haven't tracked it down yet, I think she left a .... present.... in the upstairs bedroom. There is a smell. She wasn't hunting quite so much but is now Diana. She brought a live frog in last night but husband gently escorted it out. In fact, she followed him out the front door. He pretended to let the frog go, came back in with the frog, went out the back door, leaving Inara searching in the front, and released it. A sweet gesture.

Ah, yes, my mother. It is what it is, and I'm glad to be in the position to help my sister, who lives 40 miles away, not 2600. And visiting my family is always wonderful, regardless of reason. I'm glad you could be there for your mother without stressing about work.

My sister has gotten in touch with Mom's GP's nurse, and expressed concerns and desire to have Mom evaluated. They are going to get a Home Health Nurse out for an evaluation. Sister was going to tell Mom last night on the phone - don't know if she did that or not - and I told her to give me half the credit/blame so Mom can be angry with both of us. Mom is extremely defensive about her independence and ability to still live at home, but it is really getting past the point where that is viable.

I've put some books in one of two cleaned off shelves in Karen's Retreat and am going to change the tag location on them to reflect where they are now.

Edited: Jun 9, 2016, 9:09am Top


42 books read so far this year
17 of them are ROOTs
80 books culled - removed from shelves and given to daughter or Friends of the Library
146 books acquired - in my defense 76 of them were acquired at one event - the Friends of the Library March sale. Although putting it that way, that means 70 were otherwise acquired.

And the 49 Eve Dallas (J.D. Robb) books are updated to location tag R81.

Jun 9, 2016, 9:21am Top

Hadn't seen the Obama video. That was great!

The place that Mom is in has four tiers of living.

- Totally independent apartments.
- My mom is in the second level: Independent apartments with kitchens, but two meals a day are served in the dining room. There is housekeeping service and drivers to get you to your doctors' appointments or shopping. There are voice activated intercoms and the option of wearing a 'panic button'. (Mom does, since she has fallen a few times). Residents that don't appear for a meal are checked on. Mom has a outside lady come in once a week who runs errands for her and helps give her a thorough shower. When Mom first moved there, she was still driving, but has now given up her car.
- Assisted living for those who need help with daily tasks like bathing, and taking meds. In the area I live, assisted living tends to mean 'almost requires nursing home or memory care placement.'
- Memory care units - the doors are locked since residents may wander off. And then there is a nursing home next to the complex for people needing more physical care.

There are lots and lots of activities - movies, games, trips, restaurant outings, concert outings, library outings, gardening groups.

It's still a bit of a shock to move from a house and yard and takes most people a while to adjust, but then they usually enjoy it.

Jun 9, 2016, 9:46am Top

>114 streamsong: Hey Janet, thank you for the information regarding your mom's living arrangements and the levels. My husband's mother was in a similar community, except that there were 3 levels instead of 5.

-independent living, totally independent but could take advantage of activities and buy various levels of meals in the cafeteria.

-assisted living sounds like your second level independent living.

-24/7 which is memory care, your assisted living, and the nursing home combined.

My mom is pretty social - until very recently she went to Sunday School, had pool therapy every week, and visited and had visitors once or twice a week. Plus, she plays bunco once a month. But ever since her two falls - one in December and one last month - she's getting weaker and weaker. My sister thinks her heart is giving out. She, Mom, had bypass surgery in 2007, and sister thinks she is just wearing out. Sigh.

Jun 9, 2016, 10:09am Top

Morning Karen! Sweet Thursday! Glad to see you reading Great Expectations. The bonus is, it is one of his shorter works. I hope you enjoy it.

I am overdue, reading a Dickens. I will have to select something...

Jun 9, 2016, 10:12am Top

>116 msf59: Hi Mark! We've delayed the group read of Great Expectations until September if you'd care to join us then. I'll start getting the thread up mid-August or so. I've never managed a group read before, should be interesting.

Jun 9, 2016, 1:32pm Top

I picked my first cucumber today, there are some zucchini and bell pepper getting close.

Jun 9, 2016, 6:10pm Top

Wow, beeg! Fantastic. I've got one cucumber out there that might be ready this weekend, but that's all for me so far. :(

Jun 9, 2016, 6:12pm Top

Didn't we plan to race cucumbers? I win!


Jun 9, 2016, 6:13pm Top

>117 karenmarie: I have read Great Expectations twice, so I would really like to pick something of his, I have not read. But, I appreciate the invite.

Group Reads are a piece of cake, especially with LT readers. It almost runs itself.

Jun 11, 2016, 8:16am Top

Just flying by and wishing you a great weekend, Karen.

Jun 11, 2016, 11:50am Top

As a Brit, I grew up enjoying cucumber sandwiches. Love them pickled and especially love them in salads. Japanese cucumbers are wonderful.

It is fasting month, Karen, so I spend more time than normal obsessing about food!

Have a lovely weekend.

Edited: Jun 12, 2016, 3:06pm Top

I had been remiss in following up on everyone's threads these past few weeks and it seems you have been quite busy over here! BTW, one of my favorite quotes from Great Expectations has to do with being the kind of person "for whom living had become a bad habit."

And per >113 karenmarie:, your stats are amazing.

Jun 12, 2016, 7:01pm Top

>124 jillmwo: Hi Jill! Excellent quote, thank you and I've put it on a post-it note in my copy of Great Expectations so I'll remember to look for it when we start the group read!

And thank you re my stats. Books are very very important to me.

I've cleaned out most of daughter's stuff from what was the rec room and is now Karen's Retreat. It's taken me over a week. Vacuumed, base boards cleaned, walls magic-markered, stuff organized and boxed and put in the closet, closet stuff re-organized to take on her soft animals and boxes of stuff from rec room. I will start moving books with the tag 'read' from the sunroom up there starting this week. Husband's going to re-configure the media portion of Karen's Retreat so that I have a flat screen TV, blu-ray player, surround sound, and whatever else he thinks is good. It's my birthday present (birthday is in a couple of weeks).

And I continue with An Echo in the Bone, lagging a bit as I've been busy around the house and it's in a bit of a lag right now, too. Gabaldon introduced a new character in this book, and I haven't fallen in love with her/him yet so reading those parts are a tad tedious.

Jun 13, 2016, 7:56am Top

Today I am joining the Friends of the Chatham Community Library as a Member of the Board. I was invited after the last sale and am flattered and excited. I hadn't wanted to start making commitments after retiring in January, but this one involves books and some of my favorite people, so it's a win-win situation for me.

Tomorrow we're spending a ton of money (literally, $2000), to replace our water softening system. It's 18 years old, put in when we built this house, and recent leaks and water pressure issues make it necessary. Just one of those things. I look forward to consistent water pressure.

Jun 13, 2016, 12:59pm Top

My Dad lives in Williamsburg and I never feel like I've gotten the soap off after a shower when I visit. Is that why you need a water softener? I've always wondered about those.

Jun 13, 2016, 2:06pm Top

>127 SomeGuyInVirginia: I guess I should say conditioning - it's mostly to control the amount of iron in the water. The water doesn't feel too soft, fortunately.

Jun 13, 2016, 6:06pm Top

Stopping by to say hi! Good for you, joining the Friend of the Library as Member of the Board! Sounds lovely! Congratulations! As for soft water / vs hard water, though were I live we have very soft water naturally, I recall my grandparents having well water and it was so hard, the toilets and bathtubs were so all red ringed and most soaps would curdle in the water. I recall the the water softner and how we had to drink water that my grandpa toted from the city a few times a week. I am not sure how my grandma put up with it, having lived in the city all of her life and then close to my grandpa's retirement , they moved out to a hobby farm and had to use the well water.

Jun 15, 2016, 1:32am Top

I have to chime in on the water thing. Our water is so super delicious, bore wate from deep underground. But unfortunately, I fear that the intense dairying in the area will affect that soon. So many nitrates are leaching down there, the water quality is predicted to suffer in the future, and it would make sense.

Jun 15, 2016, 4:08pm Top

Aak! How do you do it??!! I couldn't sleep, got up at 3 to do laundry, and now I am so tired I have flop sweat! God I am not young any more.

Edited: Jun 16, 2016, 7:22am Top

>129 vancouverdeb: HI Deborah! Thank you. The monthly Board meeting went well. I had lots of questions, but maintained a low profile, for now. Tonight is the Annual General Meeting where they elect officers - all current officers have offered to remain for one more year for sure, so I think it will be a quick meeting. Budget approval, too..... I have lots of questions about that, too! But won't bring them up tonight. Not the right venue.

Our water isn't too hard, but it isn't really soft. It's just perfect. I'd rather it be harder than softer because at least I can feel clean with harder water. I can't imagine changing from city to country close to retirement as your grandparents did. I hope it was a good move for them. I've at least had 25 years to adjust to NC and except for the horrible humid summers, I love it. Of course, I am totally embarrassed by our Republican Governor and the evil conservative house members who passed HB2. NC is a laughingstock right now and it hurts.

>130 LovingLit: Hi Megan! We have a creek further down the hill on our property that gets runoff from upstream dairying - we always made daughter take a shower after playing in the creek. Our well water is NOT affected by the creek, fortunately. I'm sorry that you have poor water quality to look forward to. Once the aquifers get polluted, it's hard to recover.

>131 SomeGuyInVirginia: Hey Larry! Do you take vitamins? I know that the they're beginning to say that vitamins are not proved beneficial, but I swear by them. They have helped me get through two major projects at work, in 2006 and 2012, and now they're helping with my stress levels (until husband gets another job).

I'm sorry you're whupped. Getting up at 3 is awful. I hope you get good sleep tonight and feel better tomorrow.

We've been watching a lot of the UEFA Euro 2016 Men's soccer and really enjoying it. We have no horse in the race, per se, but some matches we have a preference. Like today, France beat Albania, and as France is the host country, I thought it would be nice if they won. They did, and will definitely go to the knockout rounds (please pardon me, dear international friends, if I didn't say that right!)

Jun 17, 2016, 3:06pm Top

Congrats on joining the Friends of the Chatham Community Library as a Member of the Board, Karen, and on surviving low profile the first monthly meeting!

Edited: Jun 17, 2016, 4:09pm Top

Thanks, Anita! Too many questions too soon might be off-putting. They run things much more loosey-goosey than I'm used to with tax-exempt organizations

Today is more UEFA 2016 soccer, making sure daughter's books are properly cataloged on the 2 shelves I'm putting her books on, early Father's Day shopping for husband, and laundry.

I've made some good progress in An Echo in the Bone, finally, and am at page 423 out of 820. I have discovered that if I get up early, I can have the house without the TV on, drink coffee quietly, and get some good reading in.

BTW, our Inara kitty is very much improved after the second dose of antibiotics. I'm going to get a urine sample from her by the simple expedient of putting Kitty William in the garage overnight with the Other catbox, food, and water, and leave Inara in the house and with the Tidy Cat Breeze catbox sans pad so that the urine collects in the tray. Easy peasy, and don't have to take her back to the vet. I'll do this in the next couple of days so that I can drop the urine sample off Monday. Ah, the joys of kitty ownership!

Jun 17, 2016, 5:27pm Top

If all you've given the car is antibiotics, can you sell me some? Asking for a friend.

Jun 17, 2016, 5:42pm Top

No spare antibiotics, but I do have some pain meds that have probably expired by now. :)

Well, darned if they don't just ooze out of the woodwork! Husband was cleaning his home office today (he's doing it in phases and has gotten rid of 4 huge black trashbags of papers so far) and found two more Bibles. One is his mother's mother's confirmation Bible from 1916, and the other is his mother's father's mother's Bible, published in 1883. Lots of interesting things in them, not the least of which is a deed transferring land ownership dated 1836.

There are now 25 Bibles and 8 New Testaments in this house.

Edited: Jun 17, 2016, 8:38pm Top


Jun 18, 2016, 8:19am Top

33 bibles? Wow! How many per room?

Morning Karen! Happy Saturday! Hope you have plenty of book time lined up for the weekend.

Jun 18, 2016, 9:36am Top

Hehe. I don't know why I talk trash. I go through security clearances and background checks, and one day they're going to question some off the dumb stuff I've put online.

This is perfect hammock weather, Karen! Enjoy the day.

Jun 18, 2016, 2:34pm Top

>137 beeg: Hi. It's actually rather ironic in that for all that our relatives were and are Christians, neither my husband nor I are. We didn't raise daughter in a church for this reason; although I'd consider myself deeply spiritual, I can't peg it to one religion or denomination.

We respect their beliefs and honor them in keeping their Bibles and New Testaments. I've stated above in >56 karenmarie: that I am a Liberal Theist and I guess I'll leave it at that.

>138 msf59: Hi Mark! All except for the three huge family Bibles are in my Library. Most are on one shelf.

We've been watching UEFA soccer off and on today, ran errands and ate lunch out. I'm back now and, as Larry notes, perfect hammock weather. I think I'll blow off the last soccer match and continue reading the 7th book in the Outlander series in the hammock.

>139 SomeGuyInVirginia: They're gonna get you, Larry! We all put dumb stuff online, and they're gonna get all of us.

Just going out to the hammock now, thanks! It is absolutely beautiful here in central NC with very low humidity. It's more like a spring day than a nasty summer day like those we've had recently. I had debated bringing the hammock in for the summer, but not yet.

Jun 18, 2016, 4:36pm Top

If they get all of us, we might all be in there together...... could be fun!
What a nice weather break we're having!
Happy Weekend!

Jun 18, 2016, 5:19pm Top

>141 LizzieD: Hi Peggy! A whole bunch of LTers together? Could be lots of fun!

I read and napped for a while in the hammock, and Kitty William was up there with me the whole time, bless his little kitty heart. Then I came in and watched an apparently unheard of event - Portugal's Renaldo hasn't scored in the first two matches of UEFA's Euro 2016. I saw him miss a penalty kick and be offsides when he would have scored otherwise. The commentators were going nuts, not believing his unheard-of performance.

I'm now going to start moving books that I've read from the sunroom to Karen's Retreat. I've pulled 11 and will carry them up the next time I go up there. Fun stuff.

Jun 19, 2016, 6:30am Top

>141 LizzieD: & >142 karenmarie: One thing for sure is that we wouldn't be stuck for something to say!

Have a lovely Sunday, Karen.

Jun 19, 2016, 8:44am Top

Happy Sunday, Karen.

Jun 19, 2016, 10:34am Top

>143 PaulCranswick: You're right, Paul! Books are always a stunning topic, leading to areas of interest.

>144 Ameise1: Thank you, Barbara!

Sunday is good so far. It is Father's Day in the US. Daughter couldn't come home because she's working and will call this afternoon. I bought husband cards, candy, and a new RFID blocking leather wallet. Wallets are personal, like purses, and it was a risk; however, husband loves it.

I think it's a hammock morning.

Jun 20, 2016, 9:20am Top

Hammock morning!! It's supposed to be beautiful here for the next few days.

Jun 20, 2016, 9:33am Top

>146 SomeGuyInVirginia: Hi Larry! It's 72F, definitely hammock weather. Off I go for about an hour, then will pack up a mattress pad to send to daughter and we'll have lunch at Moon Asian Bistro, a decent "Asian fusion" restaurant that opened up this year. It's only 20 minutes from the house. The only other Asian food restaurant within 45 minutes of us gave husband serious food poisoning 2 years ago and we have never gone back.

There are many joys of rural living, but proximity to good restaurants is not one of them.

Jun 20, 2016, 12:59pm Top

Oh, I would like to have a hammock day.

Jun 21, 2016, 6:38pm Top

You do pick some wonderful name for your kittens! Poppy, which of course I love too - as that our dog's name and I see that you have a kitten named William too! That is the name of our younger son! Great going with the names, Karen!

Jun 22, 2016, 1:41am Top

33 bibles! Wow that is a good clean out of the house if it produced that many 'good books' and you aren't even religious! A clean up of my house would produce exactly zero bibles, and my mum was raised as a catholic.....

What fantastic historical accounts they are though, I love the trout of these special books being handed down the generations and containing important annotations or papers.

Edited: Jun 22, 2016, 9:14am Top

>148 Ameise1: Barbara - I know you've been extremely busy lately, so hang in there. Less than 4 weeks before your break. Hammocks are quite wonderful, aren't they?

>149 vancouverdeb: Deb - Thank you. Cat names are important, and don't always manifest right away. With Kitty William he was just "Kitty" as we tried every avenue to find his original family. Once he became ours, daughter, then 9, decided that he had to have a middle name. My husband's middle name is William, so Kitty William it was. We're also especially proud of Inara Starbuck. We got her from the county shelter when she was 15 months old. Her name was Rusty, which was just so NOT right. We took a couple of weeks to figure out Inara from the TV show Firefly and Starbuck from the TV show Battlestar Galactica, the newer one where Starbuck is a woman. I think Inara was just waiting for a good name, because she never seemed confused or unaware that it was hers.

>150 LovingLit: Megan - I have a varied and often antagonistic relationship with Christianity. I've explained some of it in >56 karenmarie: and >65 karenmarie: as spoilers so anybody who doesn't want to read about it doesn't have to click.

Both husband and I come from a long line of devout Christians, who respected the Holy Bible and never, apparently, got rid of one. The oldest one I have is a New Testament from 1846, from husband's side of the family, but, frustratingly, it is one of the few that doesn't have the owner's name in it or any interesting genealogical info or items tucked among the pages. So far we've left everything where we found it in those that do have interesting tidbits in them.

Today is the chiropractor, a couple of items from the grocery store, moving more books upstairs, and reading. And soccer, and probably getting caught up on The Americans TV series tonight.

Edited: Jun 22, 2016, 10:12am Top

Ooh, hammock weather...we had one of those days yesterday. Storms, some severe, will be moving through our area today. No hammock swinging for Moi.

Happy Wednesday, my friend.

Jun 22, 2016, 10:18am Top

Hi Mark! This week is too humid for the hammock, alas, but I might sneak in another morning or two on the porch with a nice thermos of coffee.

Jun 22, 2016, 10:24am Top

Poppy is our third dog, and the first one that we named ourselves. Our first dog, a border terrier came to us from a breeder and he was already 5 months old and the breeder had called him " Geordie' . I had never heard of such a name, but we did not have the heart to change it and I came to love the name. Our second dog came from a shelter, and her name was Daisy. Once again, we did not not have the heart to change her name and we just got to love it. Poppy's mom was rescued from a shelter and was pregnant. So we got Poppy from a dog rescue group at 8 weeks old. They were calling her " Posh" , but at 8 weeks old, we felt okay changing her name. We had a few discussions as to whether to call her Rosie or Poppy , but my husband loved the name Poppy, and I was fine with that.. She is so cute. Inara Starbuck is a wonderful name!

I sure hope you enjoy Maisie Dobbs when it arrives in the mail. I just love the series. This book that I am currently reading is very intriguing to me A Lesson in Secrets. I see we both enjoy Susan Hill's Simon Serralieur ( sp ) series. I am keen for her to put out another in that series. I really love a mystery with some family/ social commentary with it

Edited: Jun 24, 2016, 6:33am Top

>154 vancouverdeb: Hi Deb! I love hearing stories about animal names. I've had a lot of animals over the years, and they all seemed to fit the animal. That's why we changed Rusty to Inara Starbuck - it just didn't sound right. This poem gives me joy:

The Naming Of Cats by T. S. Eliot

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there's the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey--
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter--
But all of them sensible everyday names.
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular,
A name that's peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum-
Names that never belong to more than one cat.
But above and beyond there's still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover--
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.

Yes, I am an avid reader of the Simon Serrailler series, as much for the family commentary and storylines as for the mysteries. I just wish Simon would find someone!

Maisie Dobbs arrived in the mail two days ago, along with the 8th and final book of the Outlander series, Written in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon and The Outlandish Companion Volume 2.

I had intended to read The Story of Land and Sea by Katy Simpson Smith and read about 50 pages last night. It was a disappointment, so I put it down about 10:30 p.m., came back downstairs, and grabbed Written in My Own Heart's Blood. I read 57 pages last night. It's just so darned good, right now I don't want to read anything else.

Last month I reluctantly stopped to read the June book club read, Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald and loved it, but The Story of Land and Sea was just irritating. It's perhaps unfortunate that it's roughly the same time period as Outlander, and it is extremely vague compared with the crispness of Claire and Jamie's story.

Ah well, I've liked 4 out of 10 of this year's book club reads, which is a little below average for me. I usually like about 60%, averaged out since inception of our book club in 1997. Our last two books are The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman and Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee. The Harper Lee book is my choice, and I am still amazed that I've never read or watched To Kill a Mockingbird. I've been told that should read that first.

Jun 24, 2016, 7:42am Top

Happy Friday, Karen! A gorgeous day in Chicagoland. I have not read Maisie Dobbs. Bad Mark? I have wanted to read Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald since it came out. I had it on audio at one point. And I have been meaning to read The Light Between Oceans forever. I think some mixed LT responses, have prevented me from jumping in.

I have not read Go Set a Watchman, either. My plan is, to team it up with a reread of TKAM.

Edited: Jun 24, 2016, 8:28am Top

>156 msf59: Thank you, Mark! It's a bit overcast here and will be hot and humid. I envy you your gorgeous day. No, not bad Mark. Too many books, too little time. Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald was wonderful, if you like the Jazz Age, the Lost Generation, and the Fitzgeralds. if you don't, as 9 of 12 book club members emphatically declared at our June meeting, then stay away.

And, if you can make the Harper Lee books an August double read, I can participate - our bookclub meeting of September 11th will be discussing GSAW. Let me know, otherwise I'll be launching into Harper Lee's books on my lonesome.

I'm reading book 8 of 8 in the Outlander series, and although there could have been hundreds of quotes to pepper my thread with, I didn't feel compelled to share until now:

The little girls were curled up like a pair of capped hedgehogs under a tattered quilt by the hearth, back to back and snoring like drunken bumblebees. page 74, hardcover edition, Written in My Own Heart's Blood.

Vivid, tender, sweet.

Jun 24, 2016, 8:41am Top

Remind me about the Harper Lee books, Karen. That just might work for August. A perfect excuse to get started.

Jun 24, 2016, 3:41pm Top

>158 msf59: Okay, Mark, I will!

Jun 24, 2016, 8:15pm Top

I love your poem - the naming of cats! I have sister and coupe of friends who are big cat fanciers! My sister has a cat named Harriet. I'm not sure how she picked it out, but it is unique and kind of fun. My friend adopted a cat not long after my sister got her cat, and my friend asked for suggestions for her cat on facebook. She liked Harriet, but because my sister had used that name ( and we are all friends ) she decided on Lucy. It seems like most of the cats I know have retro names. When I am out walking with Poppy, I am amazed at the variety of names that I hear. Some are fairly common, but there is a William, Nacho, Basil, Gus, Farley , Max, another Poppy, Aurora, Little Roger , Spirit - so many fun names! :)

Thanks for the author suggestions for Dave.

Now, naming kids, that is not easy either. :)

Jun 24, 2016, 8:17pm Top

Oh by the way, I do hope Maisie Dobbs is to your taste. If not , well, we all have what we love. I am not fortunate enough to know anyone in a face to face book club , but I think it would be fun, except of course if you have to a read a book way out of the sort of book that you enjoy.

Jun 24, 2016, 11:11pm Top

>160 vancouverdeb: Now, naming kids, that is not easy either. :)
I seem to be obliged to tell you my response to people who demanded, "Why don't you have children?" when I was young. I'd say, "My husband and I both believe in giving family names. That means that we'd have to name our first son Spurgeon Sturgeon McL., and we couldn't bring ourselves to do that to a child."

Edited: Jun 25, 2016, 8:27am Top

Oh, I love hammock. Only three weeks to go and than, Hopefully I'll get plenty of hammock days. :-)
Wishing you a lovely weekend.

Jun 26, 2016, 4:07pm Top

>161 vancouverdeb: Hi! I had a cat named Harriet - I named her Miss Harriet Vane for Peter Wimsey's love interest in the books by Dorothy Sayers. She was a very sweet kitty. You're welcome re the suggestions for Dave.

We were having problems with a girl's name when I was pregnant in 1993 - couldn't name her after husband's mother because his parents were divorced and it would have just about killed his father so nothing with Anne in it. That let out Leanne, which I really liked. Husband liked Loreena, which I hated. No names on my side would do, being old fashioned Americanized versions of Bohemian names. At one point I had so much indigestion that we were going to call her Burpee Louise - I actually love the name Louise and were thinking of it as a middle name for a while, but once we heard the name Jenna we fell in love with it. At the time we'd never heard it; now it seems that around then that name was rather common. We gave her my middle name Marie, too, so Jenna Marie.

>162 LizzieD: Spurgeon Sturgeon would have been beyond devastating for a child. My parents thought to name me Pamela because that was a popular name in the early '50s, but my maiden name begins with a P so PP would have just been cruel. And my parents ended up choosing names for my sister and me that cannot be turned into nicknames - well, not easily, that is - Karen and Laura. My sister hates to be called Laurie.

>163 Ameise1: Thank you Barbara. Good weekend so far. No hammock weather, but that's okay - other things have been fantastic. I know you're on the countdown, so I hope it goes quickly and well. :)

Jun 27, 2016, 9:23am Top

If I had been born a girl I'd have been named after my paternal grandmother- Olivia, nickname Lollie. The mind ogles.

I like Jenna, too.

Jun 27, 2016, 10:31am Top

>165 SomeGuyInVirginia: Oh, Larry! Lollie indeed. I bet you're glad to have a Y-chromosome! I think Olivia is a retro name these days. Jenna went to school with some Olivias.

My mother has first cousins (I think they've both passed away now), twins, who were named Olive and Oliver. Oliver's a cool name - my niece and her wife named their son Oliver last year without even knowing it was a family name. They realize he will probably get called Ollie in school, but by then it will be his battle. Olive would not be easy on a child these days.

My dad was named John Milton Pomeroy but went by Milt. He was, as I was (my hair's now light brown with a few silver hairs), and my daughter is, a redhead. He got called Ginger and apparently had many fistfights over it. I never got called that, but daughter likes it and talks about being a Ginger all the time.

Thank you re Jenna. Some times her dad calls her Jen-Jen, and some times I call her Jenika Marika.

Off to the porch to read a bit - it's getting warm and a bit humid, but I'll take advantage of it while I can.

Jun 27, 2016, 3:24pm Top

>156 msf59: that is a great idea ...to team up Go set a Watchman with a reread of TKAM. I might do the same!

Jun 27, 2016, 7:03pm Top

>167 LovingLit: Hi Megan! As long as Mark sets it up for August, I can participate as we're discussing GSAW September 11th at my book club meeting. It's my book, so I have to read both in August since I've never read TKAM and I've been told to make sure to read it first.

Jun 28, 2016, 2:41am Top

>168 karenmarie: I wonder if Harper Lee is is AAC author for August? I may have to go check....

Jun 28, 2016, 3:14am Top

Naming kids - I must admit that Dave and I did not really struggle much with that one - we had so much time to consider a name, and we both agreed on " traditional "sort of names. With our first, we had decided on Daniel or Matthew if it was a boy and Sarah or Holly for a girl. When our first was born, the nurse asked me after 5 or 10 minutes - so what is his name? I thought I'm not sure, but I'm too embarrassed to say that. So I said " Daniel." And Dave was in the delivery room with me. In the recovery room, I asked Dave - is Daniel okay with you - would you prefer Matthew? I suspected I must have preferred Daniel more since it was the name I came up in the delivery room -and Dave said he was fine that. Then with our second, by 18 weeks we knew that sex and we decided on William for our second son. We had our "emergency girls " name just in case, as the sex determination was based on an ultrasound. Our " emergency " girls name were Rose or Laurel or Sarah. The middle names were a little more complex , but not a big deal . If my dad had his way, I would have been name after my two grandmas - Hazel Helga / or Helga Hazel. Thanks goodness my mom Deborah prevailed. Pretty grateful about that :)

Harriet is a great name for a cat! :)

And Jenna = and Jenna Marie is lovely for your daughter.

Jun 28, 2016, 4:28am Top

>155 karenmarie: Naming cats? Always liked TS Eliot.

On my three terrors:

When Yasmyne was born we couldn't agree on a name or names and finished up with the cumbersome Kyra Yasmyne Amanda.
The two subsequent children were then lumbered with us trying to fit the same initials to the name (don't ask me why as the initials have no specific meaning).

We then got Kyran Yousuf Adrian (Kyran) and Karyn Ysabelle Amylea (Belle).

Edited: Jun 28, 2016, 10:34am Top

>170 vancouverdeb: Hi Deborah. Great recovery room story. Daniel it was, then. And of course I love the name William as it is husband's middle name (he goes by Bill) and Jenna gave Kitty the stray the middle name William in honor of her father. And in saying that I'm glad your mother prevailed, it only means that kids can be cruel and family names do get lost.

>171 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul. I've only read Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats and The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by TS, but just pulled The Waste Land: A Facsimile and Transcript of the Original Drafts Including the Annotations of Ezra Pound and now think I want to at least read the poem itself. There is an introduction by his second wife Valerie, and the annotated facsimile pages are on the left and, hurray!, typed versions of the same on the right with the annotations by Pound in red. if I like the poem enough, having decided to read it first, then I can wallow in the various changes and annotations of the whole previous book.

And I looked up Valerie Eliot and here's a pic of her on the day she married the 40-year-her-senior T.S.:

I have several long-held author and poetic obsessions: Salinger, Christie, Heyer, Sayers, she being Brand, I sing of Olaf, O Captain! My Captain!, Dulce et Decorum est, Jabberwocky being a few.

I am charmed by your story of your childrens' names and thank you for sharing. Giving them names with the same initials is copacetic, in my opinion. We would have named a son after his father, giving him the designation IV and calling him Will, but the X chromosome prevailed. We didn't find out prior to daughter's birth what the sex of the baby was. We wanted to be surprised. We got lots of yellow and turquoise baby clothes as gifts as a consequence! But daughter never loved pink anyway and has always looked better in jewel tones, taking after me.

Off to the deep-tissue massage therapist. An indulgence I haven't given up on even though funds are tight. Then reading (possibly The Waste Land before Outlander, lunch, soccer, and etc.

Jun 28, 2016, 1:34pm Top

Hi Karen, I see a massage therapist every two weeks, I think of it as more a prescription - a facial is an indulgence ;)

Jun 28, 2016, 3:00pm Top

>173 beeg: I bow to your superior knowledge, beeg, and appreciate it. I guess I think getting a mani/pedi is an indulgence then - I've never had a facial.

BTW, I'm getting in enough cucumbers to start making pickles. My cucumbers are so sweet and crisp..... but I can only eat so many of them in a day, so pickles it is.

Jun 29, 2016, 2:38pm Top

>172 karenmarie: There are so many allusions to the classics and history in The Wasteland that it pays to get an annotated version with the full explanatory notes. Fantastic poem - difficult but ever brilliant. I read through it today once again also and it always stirs me.

Thank you so much Karen for all your kind and thoughtful contributions at my place recently. xx

Jun 29, 2016, 10:43pm Top

>175 PaulCranswick: I read the poem today, too, Paul. I used an online translator for the German, French, and Italian. Whew. Frankly, it was too much like schoolwork, and I felt like I was failing. Some of it was lyrical, most of it was opaque. I think if you get the allusions and references cool, but I didn't, and I don't want to have to read it in an annotated form to be able to grok it. I'll put the book back on my shelves. Perhaps my daughter might be interested in it eventually.

I admire your ability to be stirred by it. 5% stir and 95% whipped for me.

And Paul, I always feel like my words are inadequate, but they always come from the heart.

Jun 30, 2016, 8:07am Top

Today is day 2 of two different batches of pickles, both sweet; one 8-day and one 13-day. The 8-day pickles are my great-grandmother's recipe and made with apple-cider vinegar, the 13-day are a recipe from my husband's side of the family made with white vinegar. Both are yummy if you like sweet pickles.

Neither my husband nor my daughter got the pickle gene so I make them for myself and friends.

I made huge inroads into Written in My Own Heart's Blood yesterday and am on page 549 of 825. I may dedicate much of today to reading. It would be a nicely-timed finish to a wonderful series.

Jun 30, 2016, 7:33pm Top

Enjoy making pickles! I used to be keen on dill pickles, but over time , I don't mind the odd one, but we do not usually keep them in the house. A lot of work! Our daughter in law seems to enjoy making Strawberry jam, so we have been enjoying a jar of homemade jam.

I've read The Wasteland and also The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock . My grade 11 teacher was keen on T.S Elliot but when I took a short stories and poems course at college in my late 30's, the poems had so much more meaning to me than at the age of 17 .

Bravo - 549 pages into 825 pages . You are brave to take that on.

Jul 1, 2016, 9:17am Top

Page 549?! Wow, that's amazing. I'm totally envying that whole hammock thing.

Edited: Jul 1, 2016, 10:24am Top

>178 vancouverdeb: Hi Deb. I got 119 pages of WIMOHB read yesterday between pickle making, neighbor visiting, lunch out and errand running, and power outage-generator starting activities last night.

I have many of the "Classics" on my shelves but somehow managed to get through high school and college and personal reading without reading any of them except for Shakespeare, Aristotle, and a few poets. Sad, eh? And compared to most of my friends, I'm considered literate. But the allusions remain just that, allusions. I do occasionally like to read something out of my comfort zone; however reading is my main passion, and I don't give myself brownie points for pushing through something I'm not enjoying. I abandon with glee.

Right now Kitty William is sitting on my book. Actually, he's sitting on the Outlander book and his tail is touching The Oxford Companion to Classical Civilization. Pretty erudite for a kitty, eh?

(I will now officially become dangerous as I have figured out how to display pics from my junk drawer)

>179 SomeGuyInVirginia: Good morning, Larry! Even more amazing, I am on page 668. I did use the hammock a couple of days ago but don't see it as being a viable option today with a high of 90F and humidity.

Edited: Jul 1, 2016, 10:11am Top

Statistics through end of June. I want to start reporting stats quarterly, so here's through June:

Male 52%
Female 48%

Living 72%
Dead 28%

US Born 58%
Foreign Born 42%

Hardcover 53%
Trade Pback 16%
Mass Market 21%
Audiobook 7%
e-Book 2%

My Library 100%
Other 0%

Re-read 28%
Series 53%

Fiction 36 84%
NonFiction 7 16%

Original Year Published:
1643 3%
1932 3%
1934 3%
1945 7%
1946 7%
1952 3%
1953 7%
1958 3%
1987 3%
1993 3%
2002 3%
2004 3%
2005 3%
2006 3%
2009 3%
2010 3%
2012 3%
2013 7%
2014 7%
2015 10%
2016 10%

Edited: Jul 2, 2016, 8:56am Top

I finished Written in My Own Heart's Blood tonight, the 8th and what I thought was final book in the Outlander series, but there is apparently a 9th in the works. It makes sense, based on where book 8 ended. If it was the end of the series I'd be saying "What?! But, but..." The books came out in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 2001, 2005, 2009, and 2014. I'll have to be patient for the next one. There are related books, a related series, and novellas, short stories, etc.

But just the series, all 7,530 pages in my combination of mass market paperbacks and hardcovers, is absolutely stunning. It is primarily the love story of Jamie Fraser, a Scot born ~1722 and Claire Beauchamp Randall, born 1918. There is magic and time travel and some of the most vibrant emotive writing I've ever read. The tone and genuine love of the story and characters are miraculously consistent across all 8 books. I've had tears in my eyes more times than I can count. It is historically believable as to motive, behavior, and representation of actual events. There are princes and generals, physicians and conjure-women, Mohawks and pirates, merchants and wives, good and bad people. Diana Gabaldon is an author of stunning intelligence who can share her story dramatically yet simply and throw in scenes of such humor and wryness that I found myself laughing out loud. I don't know what else to say except that if you like historical fiction and are willing to commit to a large chunk of time for 8 chunkster books, you should read this series.

And, now what? Maisie Dobbs or Timequake? I'll dip into one or the other and see if I can immerse myself in something else. And oh yes, I do have The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second Revolution, 1783-1789 by Joseph Ellis. I started it months ago. I'll have to see if I can continue from page 90.

Jul 2, 2016, 9:34am Top

You should post the above to Amazon, it's very compelling. Hey! I just bought Outlander for the Kindle! $3.99, a bargain. I've got a bunch of other stuff on my TBR pile, but I really like the first line, "It wasn't a very likely place for disappearances, at least at first glance."

I've got the reading jones. I'll have to dig around in the pile of books I got last weekend and come up with something. I really do envy the hammock on days like this!

Edited: Jul 2, 2016, 9:53am Top

Thanks, Larry! I hope you can start it soon. I love Claire's voice - some of the book is told from her first-person viewpoint, some from the third-person viewpoint. I really hope you enjoy it. I know you have said you're a slow reader, so large books are a big commitment, but are you one of the people who can keep multiple books going?

I'm not sure today is a hammock day - it's supposed to be 90F with humidity. It may be a Karen's Retreat day for reading. (Most of) daughter's stuff is boxed away, I've started taking books up there, and except for errands, lunch, and France vs Iceland today at 3 p.m., a haven from the TV.

Just to be clear, though, I do watch TV with husband - we usually find an interesting series on Amazon Prime and either binge watch 2-3 episodes a night until done, or binge-watch until we catch up to it and have to patiently await each new episode. We've done this with Firefly, Six Feet Under, Big Love, Doc Martin, The Closers, Grimm, The Americans, Indian Summer, Downton Abbey, and etc. We're currently watching Veronica Mars, of all things - it reminds us strongly of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which it's about time to watch again. We also watch sports, although I am very picky about those. We're currently watching UEFA Euro 2016 Mens Football (soccer in the US). Except for soccer, husband calls this sports hell, since most of whatever else is on right now is golf. He's watching US swim team qualifiers, but that doesn't interest me.

Jul 2, 2016, 9:55am Top

Happy Saturday, Karen. Hope you are doing well and making a dent in those TBR stacks.

We are on the homestretch of our vacation and I am also on the homestretch of Underground Airlines. It is an amazing read.

Jul 2, 2016, 5:21pm Top

>182 karenmarie: I hope I am going to like the rest of the Outlander books as much as you did :-)

>184 karenmarie: Husband is watching soccer: Germany-Italy, a very good match, I sit with my laptop next to him and look now and then at the TV-screen, second half of extra time and still 1-1...

Jul 3, 2016, 9:12am Top

>186 FAMeulstee: I hope so too, Anita. It took me 2 1/2 months of reading hardly anything else to go through this series. I wanted to, was compelled to, and 7,530 pages later, feel it is something I could read again sometime down the road.

Husband and I watched Germany-Italy too. It was a dramatic penalty-kick final. We couldn't believe how many kicks were actually missed, in addition to those that were blocked. We were glad Germany won for the childish reason that husband has been furloughed from and I retired from an American manufacturing plant owned by FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automotive) and got a first-hand exposure to Italians. Our opinion of them, as a nationality, is, unfortunately, not high.

Today is the France-Iceland game. We're excited to watch that one too. I'd like for Iceland to win simply because their story is so improbable, but if France won I would be okay with it.

I dithered around a bit yesterday, trying to find something to read. I have settled on The Fireman by Joe Hill and so far so good, at 40 pages. Of course it would be another chunkster at 747 pages!

Jul 4, 2016, 1:53pm Top

Jul 4, 2016, 11:05pm Top

>188 PaulCranswick: Thank you, Paul! We had a quiet day. I did bake a peach crisp with fresh local peaches and made a shrimp-and-new-potato chowder.

When our daughter was young we would have fireworks at the house, but as she got older she went to camp every summer for 4 weeks and it always included the Fourth of July. Being retired means that I don't crave the 3-day weekends either. What a party pooper I am!

On a positive note I am really enjoying The Fireman by Joe Hill.

Edited: Jul 5, 2016, 11:07am Top

>189 karenmarie: Yum, yum, your menu sounds wonderful.

I skip the fireworks, too, although I was certainly surrounded by them last night. Huge ones, too, since one can purchase all classes of fireworks on the nearby reservation. Mostly I tried to convince the dog that the end of the world wasn't happening. Even her cat friend stayed cuddled up to her, licking her ears from time to time. The other cat was safely hidden under the bed, because in the case of the end of the world, under the bed is clearly the best place to be.

I know there will be more tonight as people shoot off their leftovers.

Jul 5, 2016, 2:13pm Top

>190 streamsong: Hi Janet! My sister, who lives in a suburb of Los Angeles, had to give her dogs homeopathic dog tranquilizers because the neighbors had been shooting off fireworks ALL WEEK.

Today I'm going to experiment with a gluten-free flour mix for a different peach-oat crisp.

The peaches we get are extremely tasty with a fantastic texture, but they are cling instead of freestone, which is a royal pain.

Jul 5, 2016, 3:43pm Top

Good lord that all sounds dee-lish. Peaches are the only food I like better than spaghetti. Parker was spooked by some fireworks but since I didn't panic in the end he just sat on the widow sill and stared at me until it was all over. He's the most people-oriented cat I've ever seen.

Jul 5, 2016, 4:22pm Top

Any hope that you are willing to share your recipe for Peach Crisp? The Pub loves recipes.

Edited: Jul 6, 2016, 10:56am Top

>192 SomeGuyInVirginia: Good morning, Larry! You're lucky in Parker D..... he sounds like a perfect kitty.

The peach-oat crisp came out really good except for the fact that I didn't actually like the oats in it. I love apple-oat crisp and was surprised at my reaction.

Today, final experiment, a gluten-free flour peach crisp without oats.

Regular Peach Crisp recipe to follow, but now I have to leave to watch Federer-Cilic. It's 2 sets to 1 in favor of Cilic, but I'm a Roger fan so back I go!

edited to add:
Roger won the 4th set, so it's a 5-setter. This match is giving me fits.

Jul 6, 2016, 11:40am Top

Morning, Karen! Ooh, the crisp sounds tasty. I wish I had it along for my lunchtime dessert.

Jul 6, 2016, 4:02pm Top

Yay and double yay! Roger won a 5-setter. It was brilliant. He saved 3 match points. Now we're watching Portugal-Wales UEFA Euro 2016 semi-final.

Recipe still to follow.....

>195 msf59: Hi Mark! It is good stuff, but ONLY if you get good, ripe, juicy, tasty peaches. Mealy dry ones, like from the store, just don't work.

Jul 6, 2016, 4:17pm Top

Hi Karen, thanks for posting your posts on the talk posts thread. How remiss of me not to have paid your thread a visit before now, I will remedy this immediately by starring you. I see you are reading the Outlander books, I love them and will get onto book eight at sometime although after last years chunkster reading I thought I would have a rest this year but chunksters will be back on reading radar next year. I will make sure I pop by on a more regular basis from now on.

Jul 6, 2016, 6:16pm Top

>197 johnsimpson: Hi John. You're welcome and welcome here any time. I like the Talk Posts exercise and never even knew about those stats before.

I've finished the 8 Outlander books, all 7,530 pages of them! However, I've only read Lord John and the Private Matter out of all the novellas, short stories, and related novels.

I wanted to get my book numbers up and was going to read a few short books of 400 pages or less, but what did I do? I picked The Fireman by Joe Hill, which checks in at a hefty 747 pages. I've read about 250 pages or so and it's very interesting so far.

>193 jillmwo: Here, Jill, is the recipe for the Peach Crisp. It's actually the Apple Crisp recipe from the 1971 Joy of Cooking.

Note that in recipes in Joy of Cooking anything in parentheses (like the 2 tablespoons or lemon juice or kirsch or 1 teaspoon of cinnamon below) is OPTIONAL. And although it may seem annoying to those not used to Joy, this is pretty much the format of all their recipes.

Joy of Cooking page 662

Apple Crisp or Fruit Paradise
6 Servings

This dessert can be baked in an ovenproof dish from which you may serve at table. Its success, when made with apples, depends on their flavor.

Preheat oven to 375F.

Pare, core, and slice into a 9-inch pie pan or dish: 4 cups tart apples

or use the same amount of: Peaches, slightly sugared rhubarb or pitted cherries

Season with: (2 tablespoons lemon juice or kirsch)

Work like pastry with a pastry blender or with the fingertips:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon salt, if butter is unsalted
(1 teaspoon cinnamon)

The mixture must be lightly worked so that it does not become oily. Spread these crumbly ingredients over the apples. Bake about 30 minutes. Serve hot or cold with: (Sweet or cultured sour cream)

1. I used fresh local peaches, straight substitution of 4 cups for 4 cups apples. They are very juicy when cooked.
2. I used an 8" x 8" pyrex pan
3. I did not include the ingredients in parentheses (in other words, exclude lemon juice and cinnamon). But for an apple crisp I would use both of them.

I plan on doubling the recipe into a 9" x 13" pyrex pan and making a separate 8" x 8" pan using gluten-free flour for my bookclub meeting Sunday night and serving with vanilla ice cream.

Jul 6, 2016, 7:01pm Top

Thank you!!! I love stuff like this.

Edited: Jul 7, 2016, 9:57am Top

>199 jillmwo: You're welcome, Jill! I hope you have success with it.

Jul 7, 2016, 10:11am Top

>198 karenmarie:, My aim for this year was to boost my book numbers and so far the longest book has been 519 pages but next year I will have a lot of big ones to go at. Also I wanted to try and complete a few series or at least whittle some down to a few books to read but with 225 series ongoing I think this is going to be a long term project.

Jul 7, 2016, 10:16am Top

>201 johnsimpson: Good day, John! 225 series ongoing? Mind boggling. I have so many books on my Mount Everest of books to read that I can't imagine starting another series. Lately I've even stopped going into the thrift stores in town in order to avoid buying more books.
My cucumbers have been coming in prolifically, and I have made 8-day pickles and am in the process of finishing up a batch of 13-day pickles. Here are the 8-day sweet pickles, my great-grandmother's recipe.

Jul 7, 2016, 10:24am Top

I love Charity shops for books but need to stop for a while with nearly 2,200 books in the house to read I am ok if I stop buying until I am 82 at my present reading rate.

Edited: Jul 7, 2016, 11:04am Top

>203 johnsimpson: 2,200 tbr. You have me beat. My tbr is 1632. The last several years have been rough on my number of books read because of stress, and this year because of the Outlander series being just 8 books with 7,530 pages! I read 44 books through June. Extrapolating to 88, I have 18.54 years of books by number of books.

Perhaps more telling, I downloaded my tbr. There is a page count column. All the blanks and weird ones I changed to 250 pages, that sounding like a reasonable average since I didn't want to look every book up and update my catalog.

569,260 pages in my books tagged 'tbr'
38,288 estimated pages for 2016; actual of 19,144 pages through June x 2
Years of books : 14.86

So without buying a single book, I have almost 15 years of books I could read at my current rate of reading by number of pages, 18 by number of books.

That takes me to either 78 or 81.

And will I stop buying books? No, but I might tone it down a bit. Then again, there are always the Friends of the Library sales and my current resolve to avoid the thrift stores is probably just temporary as I get the book itch.

Jul 7, 2016, 11:42am Top

Sweet Thursday, Karen. I could not keep track of pages to read. Keeping track of books to read is stressful enough. LOL.

Ooh, The Fireman. I have that in my audio rotation.

Jul 7, 2016, 4:26pm Top

>204 karenmarie:, I have 945,665 pages on my TBR to read excluding current added pages in July minus pages read in July so probably add 2,700 to my total. I was at 20,227 at the end of June so I should get to 40,500 by year end. I have kept an A5 notebook of every book read since 1st July 1995, I have read 915 books and am at 430,700 pages read, I just love statistics as you may have gathered.

Jul 7, 2016, 11:58pm Top

Wow! I confess I don't know how many books I have on my shelves. But certainly not more than 500 books - if that. Oh the peach crisp sounds delicious!

Jul 8, 2016, 1:34pm Top

Gah! Bring that hammock indoors! It was 85 this morning.

Jul 8, 2016, 1:37pm Top

>205 msf59: Hi Mark! Thanks. Yesterday was pretty nice, when all was said and done.

This is the first year I've tried to keep track of pages read - when I start a book and note that I'm reading it on my thread, I automatically put the number of pages there right off. When I finish the book and note the info in my spreadsheet (I know, I know.....) the info is there and can be totaled.

The Fireman is coming along nicely. I won't get to read too much this weekend as I'm preparing for book club at my house Sunday night - appetizers, meal, and dessert for 11. Just got the menu finalized and the shopping list done. Some parts of the downstairs are under control, some not. I'm not stressed about time - yet!

>206 johnsimpson: Wow John! Fantastic info. Glad to see that my assumption of double the pages based on June results is being used by someone else. I haven't kept track of books read until I joined LT in 2007, though. I just never thought of it, even though reading has been a passion since I was a youngster.

>207 vancouverdeb: Deb! The only way I know how many books I have is that I've cataloged them on LT, otherwise I would have seriously underestimated what I have. It's a lot of work keeping my catalog accurate, but to me well worth it.

Jul 9, 2016, 10:55pm Top

>206 johnsimpson: John, for heaven's sake don't get me started!

Have a lovely Sunday, Karen.

Jul 10, 2016, 2:21am Top

>198 karenmarie: we would call that a fruit crumble. I love apple crumble with custard and ice cream. My dream pudding!

Jul 10, 2016, 8:02am Top

Happy Sunday, Karen! Hooray for Book Club! I hope things begin to cool off for you.

Jul 10, 2016, 5:06pm Top

Happy 'I Don't Have to Run' day! Any hammock time?

You've been a good example, I added up all the pages I read so far this year. Not that much, but more than I thought it would be. Whoo-hoo!

Jul 11, 2016, 10:03am Top

>210 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul! I had a busy Sunday. Book club meeting was at my house, so I was cooking, baking, cleaning, and etc. all weekend. Plus yesterday we watched Andy Murray beat Milos Raonic and Portugal, amazingly, without Ronaldo, beat France.

Book club was discussing The Story of Land and Sea by Katy Simpson Smith. I put it down after about 50 pages, reading it just after finishing the Outlander series. The contrast could have hardly been greater, and perhaps another time I'll pick it up and love it.

>211 LovingLit: There's a funny story with my Peach Crisp, Megan - it turned into a Blueberry crisp! Store bought peaches can be mealy and lacking flavor, so 2 weeks ago I went to a local stand to buy their peaches. Their crop got damaged by a late frost this year, so they were having peaches brought up from "the Sandhills", an area south of us. The peaches were good. But they took forever to ripen and I lost track of time, so I lost my window to get more that would be ripe for Sunday. I bought some at the grocery store - they looked good, felt good, smelled good. But, yesterday at 2 p.m. when I started removing the skins and cutting them, they turned out to be .... surprise.... mealy and lacking flavor. They're in the refrigerator, along with the receipt, to return to the grocery store today for my money back.

So at 2 p.m. yesterday I could either go get frozen peaches, or use blueberries I had in the freezer from last summer. Blueberries at home beat peaches from the store, so I made Blueberry crisp instead, served with vanilla ice cream. Everybody loved it. I love Apple Crisp more and will make one or more this fall when my apple tree starts producing.

>212 msf59: Hi Mark. Book club was a success. Everybody always likes the food I make and yesterday was no exception. I have fun planning menus and trying new things. Yesterday's happy experiment was Roasted Asparagus and Purple Onion quesadillas with pepperjack cheese and lime-cumin sour cream. Yum. Entrees were a red leaf/napa cabbage salad with lots of neat things in it including shrimp, and a chicken-mayo-sour cream salad. I had left-over chicken salad just now for breakfast - lots of good protein!

I think today's supposed to be a tad cooler. My left hip really hurts today, so I'm going to baby it and mainly read and do a lot of nothing. I've ibuprophened up and am waiting for it to kick in.

>213 SomeGuyInVirginia: No hammock time today, Larry. It's supposed to be 89F with high humidity. Yay air conditioning.

Good for you, adding up your pages! It's a fun, different way of looking at your reading. This year's the first time I'm doing it, and it's a lot of fun. 'Course I've got the chunkster series from hell leading the way - Outlander - with 8 books totaling 7,530 pages. And as I mentioned above somewhere, instead of choosing a few books with few pages to boost book numbers after Outlander, I just had to pick up The Fireman by Joe Hill, which is another chunkster at 747 pages. I'm just over halfway through and expect to make progress today. But I've read over 19,000 pages so far so am feeling good even though my book number isn't high.

Jul 11, 2016, 10:50am Top

Hooray for a successful Book Club. The roasted asparagus sounds dreamy. I hope you saved me some.

And hooray for doing a whole lot of nuthin'...

Jul 12, 2016, 9:51am Top

>215 msf59: Well, er, umm, no. They all got eaten. They were wonderful, as a matter of fact. I'd make them again in a heartbeat.

Yesterday I did successfully do a lot of nothing. Reading, writing a letter to a dear 92-year old friend, hanging out on the computer, putting up a few of Sunday's clean dishes.

Today we're going to run errands and eat lunch out - Virlie's has a good grilled chicken salad that's calling my name.

I need to go to the vegetable garden, haven't been there in a week. I need fresh cucumbers for Greek Salads.

Jul 12, 2016, 10:51am Top

YUM! I guess the book club does love to meet at your house! That's an amazing menu..... (I never use the word without a thought from my erstwhile student, "I like to go to Macdonalds because they have the dollar mean you.")

Jul 12, 2016, 1:48pm Top

Hi Peggy! They are like locusts and will eat anything, but I do pride myself on providing things that are interesting and flavorful. Everything from scratch, of course.

I went out to the vegetable garden about half an hour ago, after we returned from errands, and I had a goodly number of cucumbers. Some of them were 15" long. Now, normally, you'd think they'd be bitter, but even these ginormous ones are sweet and crisp.

Greek Salad for supper!

And I am sterilizing jars for the 13-now-15-day pickles.

Jul 12, 2016, 4:20pm Top

Hi Karen, hope you are having a good day my dear.

Jul 12, 2016, 9:59pm Top

My grandmother used to make pickles, too. She got us together to make apple butter one fall, ina huge copper cauldron and a long stick to stir it with. Took all day. Good times.

Jul 12, 2016, 11:31pm Top

I envy you your pickles. I made my last ones on the 100°+ day in my un-air-conditioned kitchen when my DH walked through and said, "Aren't the ones you buy in the grocery store just about as good?" They are now!

Jul 13, 2016, 8:52am Top

>219 johnsimpson: Thank you, John. I had a pretty nice day, when all's said and done. Lunch out with husband and a friend of his, reading, watching 2 episodes of Outlander Season 2. Tonight is the finale, 90 minutes. (We record them).

>220 SomeGuyInVirginia: Yay pickles! And I've never made apple butter. I think it must really be a lost art. People I worked with make their own tomato juice, put up green beans, etc. I think I'm the only one I know who makes pickles.

>221 LizzieD: Husbands have a way of de-motivating us, don't they? Homemade pickles are always better because of the effort and love that goes into them. Neither my husband or my daughter like pickles, so I make them for myself and friends.

Today is lunch with my old IT department. We've had a hard time getting together this summer, and one of us is out of town, so there will be 5. We'll get together next month too. Americanized Mexican food - yum. And I get to listen to my audiobook, Career of Evil, which I've read but am now listening to. One of the very few things I dislike about retirement is that I don't drive much, and miss 7 1/2 hours a week of audiobook time. I'm seriously considering starting to listen in my Retreat. Just gotta get the equipment in there.

Jul 13, 2016, 10:21am Top

Karen, I use earbuds with my cell, and listen while cleaning house. Makes dishwashing and folding laundry way more interesting :)

Jul 14, 2016, 10:00am Top

Yeah, what beeg said. Audiobooks are awesome. Do you ever think about just taking a drive and listening to a good book?

Jul 14, 2016, 10:04am Top

Morning Karen! The humidity has backed off a bit, so that is a relief.

I hope you enjoy Career of Evil. I have that one saved for later in the year. I really liked the first 2 on audio.

Edited: Jul 14, 2016, 10:29am Top

>223 beeg: I've used earbuds with my cell, but I do better with the sound around me. I may take equipment into my Retreat today.

>224 SomeGuyInVirginia: HI Larry! I could, I suppose, but that means using gas when I'm trying to save money. Okay, I'll bring equipment into my Retreat. I've got an old (and I mean old, from about 1988) Onkyo 6-disc CD player. All I have to do is attach it to the receiver in the Retreat - there is good sound with a subwoofer, center channel, and 4 speakers in the corners of the room. Okay, resolved. Today it is!

>225 msf59: Glad your humidity is down, Mark. I hate humidity. I just opened the Sunroom door and poked my nose out - it's like a wet heavy blanket out there. On a bright note, though, it's good for the tomatoes and my crepe myrtle is getting to be gorgeous:

Edited: Jul 14, 2016, 1:02pm Top

I finished The Fireman by Joe Hill about 20 minutes ago. I give it 3 1/2 stars, mostly because it was just too long at 747 pages plus Coda. It could have used more editing.

I have mixed feelings about it. It felt like there were 3 separate novels embedded in one – the Dragonscale plague and its world-wide implications, the playing out of relationships, emotions, and power in the face of the crisis in one small community, and the search for safe haven and succor for Harper Grayson and others afflicted with Dragonscale. Don’t expect a novel about The Fireman as much as one about Harper. She is strong and principled, and I liked her very much. The Dragonscale is an interesting variation on the theme of plagues. As I was reading it I thought about abandoning it, but Harper’s story kept me going. Absolutely make sure you read the Coda, which is embedded in the Credits. It’s good without the Coda, but much more satisfying with the Coda.

I also read an entire book of Dorothy Parker's poetry today, Enough Rope, first published in 1926. From Wikipedia:

The collection sold 47,000 copies and garnered impressive reviews. The Nation described her verse as "caked with a salty humor, rough with splinters of disillusion, and tarred with a bright black authenticity". Although some critics, notably the New York Times reviewer, dismissed her work as "flapper verse", the volume helped cement Parker's reputation for sparkling wit.

I had to remember that being published in 1926, this verse was daring, cynical, and not at all traditional. Here's one I particularly like:

Men by Dorothy Parker

They hail you as their morning star
Because you are the way you are.
If you return the sentiment,
They'll try to make you different;
And once they have you, safe and sound,
They want to change you all around.
Your moods and ways they put a curse on;
They'd make of you another person.
They cannot let you go your gait;
They influence and educate.
They'd alter all that they admired.
They make me sick, they make me tired.

Her poems speak of death, disillusionment, romance.

And I've read 20,002 pages so far this year!

Jul 14, 2016, 1:18pm Top

Good lord, that's just over 102 pages a day. Ho-lee cow!

Jul 14, 2016, 2:07pm Top

Hey Larry! Well, I guess it is! Happiness.

And I'm 68 pages into Who Stole Sassi Manoon?. We've just met Jigger. I'm liking it.

Edited: Jul 14, 2016, 5:05pm Top

Boy, am I on a roll! I've been sitting here pretty much all day reading. I finished The Fireman, started and finished Enough Rope by Dorothy Parker and continued from page 46 and finished Who Stole Sassi Manoon? by Donald E. Westlake.

And another book showed up in the mail today - darned that Place Your Order button on Amazon - String Theory by David Foster Wallace. I just might have to start it today, too.

Jul 15, 2016, 12:59am Top

Whoa, 747 pages! What a long book The Fireman is. Gorgeous photo @ 226!

Jul 15, 2016, 4:24am Top

>226 karenmarie: wet heavy blanket! Great description of humidity...but unpleasant to live in!

Jul 15, 2016, 7:21am Top

"20,002" pages! Hooray!

Happy Friday, Karen! Love the crepe myrtle photo! Nice Parker poem.

Sorry, the Fireman didn't ring more of your bells. It sounds like Joe, is much like his Dad. Everything has to be so damn long.

Edited: Jul 15, 2016, 10:24am Top

>231 vancouverdeb: Thank you, Deborah! It might not have seemed so long except that I've just finished the 8 books in the primary Outlander series, 7,530 pages, and should have picked something shorter. But now I'm reading short books for a while. :) And, the crepe myrtle is even prettier today.

>232 LovingLit: Hi Megan. Definitely not fun to live in. We are mostly prisoners of the air conditioning. Today's supposed to get to 94F.

>233 msf59: Thanks, Mark! I have read Hill's Heart-Shaped Box and Horns, and they were not too long. Haven't read NOS4A2 yet but read and gave away the short story collection 20th Century Ghosts.

I have never thought King's stuff is too long. In fact, I read The Stand in it's as-originally-published form then re-read the Uncut version. Under the Dome is a doorstop, as is 11/22/63, but they had enough meat on their bones to justify the length. I guess I'm saying that I didn't think The Fireman justified the length.

I'm reading String Theory, a collection of five tennis essays by David Foster Wallace with an introduction by John Jeremiah Sullivan. I have read the essay Federer Both Flesh and Not half a dozen times and am glad that it's included here. This book has 4 additional essays and in reading this book I'm reminded about how intelligently written his essays were. His book Both Flesh and Not, which obviously refers to the Federer article, has a quote on the back from A.O. Scott, New York Times:

"His voice.... Hyperarticulate, plaintive, self-mocking, diffident, overbearing, needy, ironical, almost pathologically self-aware... it was something you instantly recognized even hearing it for the first time. It was - is - the voice in your own head."

Wallace was a brilliant writer, absolutely brilliant. I haven't tackled any of his fiction yet, but have The Broom of the System on my shelves.

Today is Sangria Friday. My friend Vanessa and I go to dinner every once in a while. I have known her since 2009 when our daughters were in high school marching band. And, in fact she was my assistant Treasurer and took over when my daughter graduated and I left the organization. Since I've been retired we've gone to lunch several times in addition to the occasional dinner. Two other people from band boosters and Vanessa work near each other, so they have been going to lunch on Fridays and they invited me this week. They've taken to calling them Sangria Fridays for obvious reasons.....

Jul 16, 2016, 12:36pm Top

Happy weekend, Karen.

Jul 16, 2016, 1:59pm Top

Karen, by all means jump into Broom of the System (and WHY does The Iliad come up???). You will laugh and laugh and laugh, and then - he's got you where he wants you!
Happy Weekend!
At least it's overcast here today, but the dew point is at least in the high 70s. Sheesh! I'm going to continue to read today too --- making progress through Troubles, which is so so, so good!

Edited: Jul 16, 2016, 2:55pm Top

I finished String Theory by David Foster Wallace yesterday. Here's my review:

String Theory

Edited: Jul 16, 2016, 6:06pm Top

Husband finally pulled his "old" blu-ray player out from wherever he had it hidden away for my Retreat - we just hooked it up! Can't watch anything yet, but can listen to CDs and audiobooks.

Jul 16, 2016, 6:22pm Top

Happy Saturday, Karen! Hooray for finding the "old blu-ray player!

Sorry, I did not get the books out this week but I will, early next week. Sound good?

Jul 16, 2016, 11:19pm Top

>235 Ameise1: Thank you Barbara! I wish the same for you.

>236 LizzieD: Hi Peggy! The touchstones are truly amazing these days. Broom of the System comes up as The Iliad, but The Broom of the System comes up to the correct book. They've become way too finicky. We had overcast weather most of the day too. I haven't gotten too much reading done today - company tomorrow - but plan on going upstairs now and read for a while.

>239 msf59: Hey Mark! The 'old' blu-ray player sounds wonderful. I listened to most of Alice's Restaurant by Arlo Guthrie - one of my all-time favorites and the first CD I grabbed when husband said I needed something to put in the player for testing. Anytime you can find for sending books is good, Mark - at this rate I've got Underground Airlines started, The Broom of the System slated, and The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman required reading for August book club meeting. Of course I don't always read the book club books. Of this year's, I've only completed 4 out of 10. I have absolutely no tolerance to continue reading a book that doesn't hold me enthralled.

Jul 17, 2016, 11:21am Top

I'll have to dig up my copy of Consider the Lobster and give it a shot, I've always liked essays.

Jul 17, 2016, 12:16pm Top

I'll be interested to see what you think of The Light Between the Oceans. I've seen several people mention it.

I hear you about the book club choices. I'm now plowing my way through Benjamin Franklin: An American Life for this month's book club. This is not my cup of tea, but author Walter Isaacson writes highly readable biographies, even if this one is almost six hundred pages. This is the third Isaacson biography the bc has chosen over the years I've been with it.

'hold me enthralled' is a pretty tough standard!

Jul 17, 2016, 12:26pm Top

>240 karenmarie: Seems like the touchstones want to keep plugging Jane Austen and the Brontes for some strange reason. You are right they are pretty freaky.

Have a great Sunday.

Jul 17, 2016, 6:50pm Top

I'm slogging through Thomas Jefferson by Jon Meacham for a RL book group. Light summer reading. It seems to assume more background knowledge than I have, so I keep having to look up basic facts.

Jul 18, 2016, 12:20am Top

>214 karenmarie: Mmm, crisp I either make apple or blueberry crisp. I think I tend to like blueberry more except if I put lots of cinnamon in the apple crisp (love cinnamon). I have been known to make pickles as well. I have pickled beets but the best pickles I made were peach chutney. Yum. Makes me want to go out and buy peaches to make chutney.

Jul 18, 2016, 6:08pm Top

Hi, Karen! The books are in the mail, my friend. Drop me a PM, when you get the package.

Edited: Jul 19, 2016, 3:26pm Top

>241 SomeGuyInVirginia: Hi Larry! I volunteered at Quailridge Books (Raleigh NC) yesterday to help them in their move to their new store and was putting fiction in order and moving holding shelves books to their permanent locations. I worked about 2 1/2 hours before getting whupped, and only on the way home did I realize that although DFW mostly wrote non-fiction, they had all his works in fiction. I drooled over Infinite Jest, but yesterday was not the day to buy books. I am staring at Both Flesh and Not, 3 feet away, and considering that I might want to read one essay a day for 13 days (having just read the 2 tennis essays, I'll count them as read already).

>242 streamsong: I bought The Light Between Oceans in 2013, started it, got interested in something else, but knew I'd want to read it. Well, now's the time, I suppose, right?

We very rarely read non-fiction in our book club. We have one woman who is extremely vocal about her dislike of non-fiction. We've read 20% non-fiction over the years.

hold me enthralled might be an exaggeration, but not by much. I abandon books with glee. :)

>243 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul! Sunday was busy if fun - some friends of husband's came over for lunch. I had home fried tortilla chips w/queso dip, salsa, and guacamole for appetizer, fresh sweet melon and sliced rare beef and chicken for sandwiches as the meal, and peach pie with vanilla ice cream for dessert. We've never had them over before, and the only strange thing was that when I was in the kitchen getting things ready, Terri, the wife, stayed in the living room with Bill and David. I can't think of a single other occurrence of that ever happening, where I was alone in the kitchen getting stuff ready while the other woman didn't at least offer to help. Sexist generalization, I know, but true. We did have a very good time, even if I did less visiting.

>244 qebo: qebo, yuck. Light summer reading is better. And poor Janet is slogging through a bio of Benjamin Franklin. Patriotic heavy summer reading for both of you.

>245 Familyhistorian: I'm a late comer to loving chutney, Meg, but did make a very good mango and date chutney last year for a tuna salad - mayonnaise, chutney, toasted coconut, toasted slivered almonds, celery, sweet red pepper, chopped cucumber, raisins, orange zest, S&P. It was wonderful and book club loved it.

>246 msf59: Good morning, Mark! There is almost nothing better than being able to anticipate books in the mail! Thank you, dear friend! I'll let you know when they arrive.

I finished listening to Career of Evil last night in my Retreat - yay for blu-ray player. Comfy, not worried about traffic, able to focus completely. And Career of Evil is the 3rd book in the Cormoran Strike/Robin Ellicott series and so very good. I want book 4!

Today is lunch with friend Carl at a great little local place in the small town of Goldston, NC called Rufus' Restaurant. Then we're going to House in the Horseshoe to visit the site in anticipation of going to the annual re-enactment of the 1781 skirmish between Tories and Whigs on August 6th.

Jul 19, 2016, 10:09am Top

Morning Karen! Looking forward to Career of Evil. I have it slotted for later in the year.

Jul 20, 2016, 10:56am Top

Hi Mark! It's a good book. I've read it once and listened to it once.

Off to the new thread.....

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2016

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