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karenmarie's 2017 reading and occasional other nonsense - part 5

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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Edited: Apr 26, 2017, 3:04pm Top

Welcome to my fifth thread of 2017. Thanks to all who visit!

I joined LT in October of 2007, anxious to find a good place to catalog my books. I never dreamed that I’d make so many friends, participate in so many conversations, and get SO MANY book bullets! My reading has expanded thanks to the 75 Book Challenge. I have also, in that time, doubled the number of books on my shelves, from about 2200 to about 4400. I’ve got the bug bad, I’m afraid. *smile*

My goal is to read a minimum of 100 books and seem to be on track with 34 read the first third of the year. I also want to read 34,000 pages. This will include abandon book pages, so far only 183, thank goodness!

I am reading the Literary Study Bible for the entire year, and am tracking the number of pages read. I'll update it at the end of every month.


Here are most of the books in the Library South Wall on the left and West Wall on the right – all, except for the Agatha Christies (dark blue spines, top 3 shelves of ‘West wall’), the top row of ‘South Wall’, which are my desk calendars going back to 1985, and a few Dickens, still to be read.


My take on the Pearl Rule:

Karen's Rule "If for any reason you don't want to continue reading a book, put it down. You may keep it, get rid of it, re-start it, never finish it, finish it from where you left off, but put it down." A different way of saying it is that I abandon books with glee if they're not working for me.

Apologies to SuziQoregon (Juli) - I have appropriated your 2016 subject line because I like it so much!

And for my own future reference, here's Louise's List of NC Bird Sightings: Louise's NC Bird List

Edited: Jun 15, 2017, 8:56am Top

Books read in 2017

01. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J. K. Rowling 1/1/17 1/3/17 **** 318 pages hardcover
** Defining the Wind by Scott Huler abandoned after 61 pages read
02. The Stolen Bride by Jo Beverley 1/3/17 1/3/17 ** 269 pages trade paperback
03. The Patriotic Murders by Agatha Christie 1/8/17 1/9/17 *** 211 pages hardcover
04. Black Coffee by Agatha Christie 1/10/17 1/11/17 ***1/2 184 pages hardcover
05. The Regatta Mystery and Other Stories by Agatha Christie 1/13/17 1/14/17 ***1/2 185 pages hardcover
06. American Tabloid by James Ellroy 1/4/16 1/19/17 **** 592 pages trade paperback
07. Talking to the Dead by Harry Bingham 1/23/17 1/26/17 **** 378 pages Kindle
08. Witches of Lychford by Paul Cornell 1/27/17 1/27/17 ***1/2 144 pages trade paperback
09. The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths by Harry Bingham 1/28/17 1/29/17 **** 398 pages Kindle
10. Sad Cypress by Agatha Christie 1/29/17 1/30/2017 ***1/2 201 pages hardcover
11. One Good Turn by Carla Kelly 1/31/17 1/31/17 **** 215 pages mass market paperback
12. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway 2/4/17 2/5/17 ***1/2 140 pages hardcover
13. The Dutiful Daughter by Vanessa Gray 2/1/17 2/5/17 ** 216 pages mass market paperback
14. Verdict of Twelve by Raymond Postgate 2/6/17 2/7/17 *** 250 pages trade paperback
15. The Crossing by Michael Connelly 2/8/17 2/10/17 ***1/2 388 pages hardcover
16. The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly 2/10/17 2/12/17 **** 400 pages hardcover
17. My Dark Places by James Ellroy 2/13/17 2/16/17 **** 427 pages trade paperback
18. Jeremy Poldark by Winston Graham 2/17/17 2/19/17 **** 344 pages trade paperback
19. This Thing of Darkness by Harry Bingham 2/21/17 2/24/17 **** Kindle 562 pages trade paperback
20. Bleak House by Charles Dickens 2/1/17 2/27/17 Kindle 830 pages hardcover
21. Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders 2/20/17 3/1/17 ***** 343 pages hardcover
** The Xibalba Murders by Lyn Hamilton abandoned after 122 pages read
22. Warleggan by Winston Graham 2/27/17 3/9/17 **** 471 pages trade paperback
23. The Black Moon by Winston Graham 3/10/17 3/13/17 ****546 pages trade paperback
24. The Pale Horse by Agatha Christie 3/14/17 3/18/17 **1/2 214 pages hardcover
25. The Four Swans by Winston Graham 3/19/17 581 pages trade paperback 1976
26. Birds Art Life: A Year of Observation by Kyo Maclear 3/28/17 3/29/17 ****1/2 221 pages
27. His Excellency: George Washington by Joseph J. Ellis 3/1/17 to 4/3/17 **** audiobook, 14.75 hours unabridged
28. The Angry Tide by Winston Graham 3/30/17 4/9/17 **** 612 pages trade paperback
29. The Twelve Terrors of Christmas by John Updike 4/13/17 4/13/17 12 pages hardcover
30. Amok by Stefan Zweig 4/14/17 to 4/14/17 ***1/2 121 pages hardcover
31. The Stranger from the Sea by Winston Graham 4/9/17 4/17/17 ***1/2 499 pages trade paperback
32. Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama 4/3/17 4/19/17 ****1/2 audiobook, 7.5 hours abridged
33. The Big Year by Mark Obmascik 248 pages, 253 pages trade paperback 4/18/17 4/21/17 **** 250 pages trade paperback
34. The Miller's Dance by Winston Graham 4/22/17 4/26/17 **** 485 pages trade paperback
35. The Dead House by Harry Bingham 5/1/17 5/4/17 **** 500 pages trade paperback
36. Spring Fever by Mary Kay Andrews 5/6/17 5/8/17 *** 402 pages trade paperback
37. The Twisted Sword by Winston Graham 5/9/17 5/12/17 **** 645 pages trade paperback
38. Bella Poldark by Winston Graham 5/12/17 5/17/17 ***1/2 704 pages trade paperback read as e-book on Kindle
39. Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella 5/17/18 5/22/17 ****1/2 272 pages trade paperback read as e-book on Kindle
40. The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah 5/23/17 5/25/17 *** 384 pages hardcover
41. The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston 5/25/17 5/28/17 *** 336 pages hardover
42. Ladies' Night by Mary Kay Andrews 5/28/17 6/1/17 *** 582 page mass market paperback
43. Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris 6/1/17 6/6/17 *** 305 pages hardcover
44. A Cup of Light by Nicole Mones 6/10/17 6/12/17 **** 292 pages trade paperback

Festive in Death by J.D. Robb 6/12/17 389 pages hardcover 2014
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari 3/16/17 416 pages hardcover
The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt 11/15/16 318 pages hardcover 2012
The Literary Study Bible by Leland Ryken and Philip Graham Ryken 1/1/17 1879 pages hardcover plus 18 pages Preface, Introduction, and Features 2007

Edited: Jun 15, 2017, 8:57am Top

Adds in 2017

January - 18
1. Amazon Gift Card American Blood by James Ellroy suggested by Ameise1
2. Amazon Gift Card The Cold Six Thousand by James Ellroy suggested by Ameise1
3. Amazon The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood - suggested by SGiV
4. Bookmooch hide and seek by Ian Rankin
5. Friend Louise Killer View by Ridley Pearson
6. Friend Nancy I Am Radar by Reif Larsen
7. Amazon Full Dark House by Christopher Fowler
8. Amazon The Assault by Harry Mulisch suggested by Paul C. and Anita
9. Bookmooch A Knife to Remember by Jill Churchill
10. Bookmooch Lost on Planet China by J. Maarten Troost
11. Amazon Quiet by Susan Cain
12. Bookmooch Creation by Gore Vidal
13. Amazon The Three-Body Problem
14. Mom Holy Bible
15. Mom Bottom Line's Secret Food Cures
16. Mom Bottom Line's Best-Ever Kitchen Secrets
17. Mom Bottom Line's Best-Ever Home Secrets
18. Mom Hummingbirds by Esther Qusada Tyrrell and Robert A. Tyrrell

February - 42
19. Amazon Verdict of Twelve by Raymond Postgate recommended by jillmwo Jill
20. Thrift Shop Idiot's Guide to Conversational Sign Language
21. Thrift Shop I Am America (And So Can You) by Stephen Colbert
22. Thrift Shop Night Film by Marisha Pessl
23. Thrift Shop The United States of Europe by T.R. Reid
24. Thrift Shop Tales of the South Pacific by James Michener
25. Thrift Shop Closed Casket by Agatha Christie
26. Thrift Shop Affliction by Laurell K. Hamilton
27. Thrift Shop Simply Tai Chi by Graham Bryant and Lorraine James
28. Thrift Shop Hegemony or Survival by Noam Chomsky
29. Thrift Shop Apes, Angels, and Victorians by William Levine
30. Thrift Shop My Reading Life by Pat Conroy
31. Thrift Shop Four in Hand by Stephanie Laurens
32. Amazon The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly
33. Circle City Books My Dark Places by James Ellroy
34. Amazon Racing the Devil by Charles Todd
35. Friend Karen The Trouble with Islam Today by Irshad Manji
36. Friend Karen Goddesses: An illustrated journey into the myths, symbols, and rituals of the goddess by Manuela Dunn Mascetti
37. Friend Karen The Eagle and The Rose by Rosemary Altea
38. Friend Karen Last Call by Daniel Okrent
39. Friend Karen Wildflowers in Color: Eastern Edition by Walter
40. Friend Karen Brooklyn by Colm Toibin
41. Friend Karen The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht
42. Friend Karen Blind Your Ponies by Stanley Gordon West
43. Friend Karen Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas by Tom Robbins
44. Friend Karen Jerusalem, Jerusalem by James Carroll
45. Friend Karen Sweet Thunder by Ivan Doig
46. Friend Karen The Warrior Queens by Antonia Fraser
47. Friend Karen Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof
48. Friend Karen Invisible Acts of Power by Caroline Myss
49. Uncle Oren - New Testament
50. Thrift Shop - The Spanish Bride by Georgette Heyer
51. Kindle - The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths by Harry Bingham
52. Kindle - This Thing of Darkness by Harry Bingham
53. Kindle - The Dead House by Harry Bingham
54. Amazon - Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
55. Amazon - Warleggan by Winston Graham
56. Amazon - The Black Moon by Winston Graham
57. Amazon - The Four Swans by Winston Graham
58. Amazon - The Oxford Companion to the Bible
59. Costco - The Rainbow Comes and Goes by Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt
60. Amazon - The Xibalba Murders by Lyn Hamilton

March - 7
61. Bookmooch - The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon
62. Amazon - A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers
63. Costco - Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
64. Amazon - My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
65. Amazon - The Angry Tide by Winston Graham
66. Amazon - The Stranger from the Sea by Winston Graham
67. Amazon - The Miller's Dance by Winston Graham

April - 64
68. Friends of the Library free for donating time - Dead Man's Time by Peter James
69. Friends of the Library free for donating time - The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris by David McCullough
70. Friends of the Library free for donating time - Viper Wine by Hermione Eyre
71. Amazon - A is for Arsenic by Kathryn Markup
72. Thrift Shop – You Suck by Christopher Moore
73. Thrift Shop – Mansfield Park Revisited by Joan Aiken
74. Thrift Shop – Festive in Death by J.D. Robb
75. Stasia - The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
76. Amazon – The Miller’s Dance
77. Amazon – The Stranger from the Sea
78. Amazon – The Angry Tide
79. - 123. Friends of the Library Book Sale: 45 books
The 26 Letters by Oscar Ogg
Astray by Emma Donoghue
Enemy Women by Penelope Jiles
The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
A Judgment in Stone by Ruth Rendell
Spring Fever by Mary Kay Andrews
The Darkest Secret by Alex Marwood
Not Dead Enough by Peter James
Dead Like You by Peter James
Not Dead Yet by Peter James
The Dark Forest by Cixin Liu
Death's End by Cixin Liu
The Book of Abraham by Marek Halter
Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
Mass Market Paperback - O Jerusalem by Laurie R. King
Audiobook - Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
The Covenant by James Michener
Alaska by James Michener
Caribbean by James Michener
Chesapeake by James Michener
Return to Paradise by ... you guessed it..... James Michener
The Man of Property by John Galsworthy, slipcased
Amok by Stefan Zweig
The Life and Campaigns of Napoleon by M.A. Arnault and C.L.F. Panckoucke - 1852
Murder in the Cathedral by T.S. Eliot - 1935 - first US edition with tattered dust jacket
The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron
Mission to Malaspiga by Evelyn Anthony
The Poellenberg Inheritance by Evelyn Anthony
van Loon's Lives by Hendrik Willem van Loon
Adam and Eve and Pinch Me by Ruth Rendell
The Incongruous Spy by John le Carré - two novels, Call for the Dead and A Murder of Quality
The Twelve Terrors of Christmas by John Updike with Drawings by Edward Gorey
The Poems of James Russell Lowell
The Library Paradox by Catherine Shaw
The Victoria Vanishes by Christopher Fowler
Brother of the More Famous Jack by Barbara Trapido
The Ludwig Conspiracy by Oliver Pötzsch
The Missing File by D.A. Mishani
New Orleans Noir edited by Julie Smith
The Kookaburra Gambit by Claire McNab
Wartime Writings 1939-1944 by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Blackwater by Kerstin Ekman
Copper River by Willliam Kent Krueger
The Ogden Nash Pocket Book by Ogden Nash with Introduction by Louis Untermeyer
124. Cordelia by Winston Graham
125. Amazon – Peterson Guide to Eastern Birds by Roger Tory Peterson
126. Amazon – Bella Poldark by Winston Graham
127. Amazon – The Twisted Sword by Winston Graham
128. Amazon – The Loving Cup by Winston Graham
129. Bookmooch - Tomorrow Will Be Better by Betty Smith
130. Friend Louise - The Appeal by John Grisham
131. Costco - White Trash: The 400-Year Untold Story of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg

May - 5
132. Sanford PTO - Blood's a Rover by James Ellroy
133. Bookmooch - The Faith Club by Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver, and Priscilla Warner
134. Amazon - The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah - Kindle
135. CVS - Ladies' Night by Mary Kay Andrews
136. Amazon Kindle - The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston
137. Amazon Kindle - Bella Poldark by Winston Graham

June - 2
138. Diamond Bar FOL Bookstore - Midnight Crossing by Charlaine Harris
139. Diamond Bar FOL Bookstore - A Study in Scarlet/The Hound of the Baskervilles by A. Conan Doyle
140. Bookmooch - A Cup of Light by Nicole Mones
141. Amazon Kindle - The Man Who Could be King by John Ripin Miller
142. Amazon Kindle - This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
143. Amazon - spill simmer falter wither by Sara Baume

Edited: Jun 1, 2017, 6:33am Top

Culls for 2017

1. The Stolen Bride by Jo Beverley Drivel
2. Defining the Wind by Scott Huler I will never read this book
3. Tishomingo Blues by Elmore Leonard started, abandoned
4. Touch by Elmore Leonard bookmooched but won't ever read
5. Tales of the South Pacific by James Michener duplicate
6. Tales of the South Pacific by James Michener triplicate
7. The United States of Europe by T.R. Reid duplicate
8. The Dutiful Daughter by Vanessa Gray too stupid to keep
9. A Darkness More Than Night by Michael Connelly duplicate
10. A Passage to India by E.M. Forster duplicate
11. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith duplicate
12. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith triplicate
13. A Woman of Independent Means by Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey duplicate
14. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie duplicate
15. Angels Flight by Michael Connelly duplicate
16. Anna's Book by Ruth Rendell writing as Barbara vine duplicate with Asta's Book
17. Balthazar (Alexandria Quartet) by Lawrence Durrell duplicate
18. Black Orchids by Rex Stout duplicate
19. Clea (Alexandria Quartet) by Lawrence Durrell duplicate
20. Justine (Alexandria Quartet) by Lawrence Durrell duplicate
21. Mountolive (Alexandria Quartet) by Lawrence Durrell duplicate
22. A Darkness More Than Night by Michael Connelly duplicate
23. Dinner at Antoine's by Frances Parkinson Keyes duplicate
24. Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper Case Closed by Patricia Cornwell duplicate
25. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift duplicate
26. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift triplicate
27. Cat People by Bill Hayward duplicate (I bought one copy, a friend gave me a second, so I'm keeping the second out of sentimentality)
28. The Xibalba Murders by Lyn Hamilton abandoned after 122 pages
29. A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler meh didn't want to read
30. The Spanish Bride by Georgette Heyer got a new trade paperback
31. David Coperfield by Charles Dickens, duplicate
32. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, duplicate
33. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, duplicate
34. Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand translation by Brian Hooker duplicate
35. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer duplicate
36. The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene duplicate
37. The Elements of Style by Strunk and White
38. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
39. Miracle in the Hills by Maqry T. Martin Sloop duplicate
40. Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad duplicate
41. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
42. Joy in the Morning by Betty Smith duplicate
43. Roots by Alex Haley duplicate
44. Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence duplicate
45. Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling duplicate
46. The Road by Cormac McCarthy duplicate
47. In Search of J.D. Salinger by Ian Hamilton duplicate (kept SGiV's copy)
48. Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey triplicate
49. Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey triplicate
50. The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey triplicate
51. The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey triplicate
52. The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey duplicate
53. Miss Pym Disposes by Josephine Tey duplicate
54. A Shilling for Candles by Josephine Tey duplicate
55. The Singing Sands by Josephine Tey duplicate
56. The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder duplicate in Thornton Wilder Trio
57. Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll triplicate
58. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen duplicate
59. Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain duplicate
60. Casual Day Has Gone Too Far by Scott Adams duplicate, given to daughter
61. Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers duplicate
62. Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers triplicate
63. Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers triplicate
64. Have His Carcase by Dorothy L. Sayers duplicate
65. Verdict of Twelve by Raymond Postgate don't want to keep
66. The Mayor of Castorbridge by Thomas Hardy duplicate
67. A Murder in Time by Julie McElwain don't want to keep
68. The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy triplicate
69. Up the Down Staircase by Bel Kaufman duplicate
70. Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs duplicate
71. The toplofty Lord Thorpe by Kasey Michaels 2.5 stars taking up shelf space
72. The Beleaguered Lord Bourne by Kasey Michaels 2.5 stars taking up shelf space
73. The Ruthless Lord Rule by Kasey Michaels 2.5 stars taking up shelf space
74. The Enterprising Lord Edward by Kasey Michaels 2.5 stars taking up shelf space
75. Journey to Ixtlan by Carlos Castaneda duplicate
76. Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind by Donald Johanson duplicate
77. the lives and times of archy and mehitabel by don marquis duplicate
78. Lord Peter by Dorothy Sayers duplicate
79. QB VII by Leon Uris duplicate
80. Seabiscuit by Laura Hilldebrand duplicate
81. No Second Chance by Harlan Coben duplicate
82. The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff duplicate
83. the Floatplane Notebooks by Clyde Edgerton duplicate
84. Shining Through by Susan Isaacs duplicate
85. Red Sky at Morning by Richard Bradford duplicate
86. The Woods by Harlan Coben duplicate
87. The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles duplicate
88. The Doorbell Rang by Rex Stout duplicate
89. The Doorbell Rang by Rex Stout triplicate
90. Tutankhamun:The Untold Story by Thomas Hoving duplicate
91. Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy duplicate
92. The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy duplicate
93. Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy duplicate
94. Life's Little Instruction Book by H. Jackson Brown Jr. duplicate
95. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner duplicate, contained within anthology
96. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame duplicate
97. Royal Escape by Georgette Heyer duplicate
98. Bulfinch's Mythology by Thomas Bulfinch duplicate
99. O Pioneers! by Willa Cather duplicate contained within anthology
100. The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith duplicate
101. The Sherlock Holmes Novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle duplicate
102. Clouds of Witness by Dorothy Sayers duplicate
103. Unnatural Death by Dorothy Sayers duplicate
104. Whose Body? by Dorothy Sayers duplicate
105. The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club by Dorothy Sayers duplicate
106. Busman's Honeymoon by Dorothy Sayers duplicate
107. The Nine Tailors by Dorothy Sayers duplicate
108. The Balloon Man by Charlotte Armstrong duplicate, contained within anthology
109. The Witch's House by Charlotte Armstrong duplicate, contained within anthology
110. The Gift Shop by Charlotte Armstrong duplicate, contained within anthology
111. The Turret Room by Charlotte Armstrong duplicate, contained within anthology
112. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins duplicate
113. Austenland by Hale, Shannon 2.5 stars
114. The Far Traveler: Voyages of a Viking Woman by Brown, Nancy Marie 2.5 stars
115. Einstein's Dreams by Lightman, Alan 2.5 stars
116. The Private Diary of Mr. Darcy by Slater, Maya 2.5 stars
117. The Great Influenza (The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History) by Barry, John M. 2.5 stars
118. 'Tis by McCourt, Frank 2.5 stars
119. Fire and Ice by Stuart, Anne 2 stars
120. Justinian's Flea: Plague, Empire, and the Birth of Europe by Rosen, William 2.5 stars
121. Fangs But No Fangs (The Young Brothers, Book 2) by Love, Kathy 2.5 stars
122. Fangs for the Memories (The Young Brothers, Book 1) by Love, Kathy 2.5 stars
123. I Only Have Fangs for You (The Young Brothers, Book 3) by Love, Kathy 2.5 stars
124. The Giver by Lowry, Lois 2.5 stars
125. The Member of the Wedding by McCullers, Carson 2 stars
126. The Assault by Harry Mulisch started it, didn't like it
127. My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante started it, didn't like it
128. Astray by Emma Donoghue duplicate
129. van Loon's Lives by Henrik Willem van Loon duplicate
130. The Man of Property by John Galsworthy duplicate
131. Sandy Koufax - Strikeout King by Arnold Hano - will never read
132. Lincoln: A Life of Purpose and Power by Richard J. Carwardine started listening and didn't like the reader's voice and didn't like the tenor of the book
133. The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman - dated, boring
134. Ladies' Night by Mary Kay Andrews - bought in CA, not worth paying to ship home to NC

Edited: Jun 12, 2017, 7:00pm Top

Year-to-Date Statistics through June 12

44 books read
16,253 pages read, 183 of those pages of abandoned books, 667 pages of The Literary Study Bible (May pages not counted)
22.25 hours of audiobooks

Male 68%
Female 32%

Living 57%
Dead 43%

US Born 39%
Foreign Born 61%

Hardcover 32%
Trade Pback 34%
Mass Market 7%
Audiobook 5%
e-Book 23%

My Library 93%
Other 7%

Re-read 2%
Series 55%

Fiction 86%
NonFiction 14%

Author Birth Country
Australia 2%
Austria 2%
Canada 2%
England 55%
US 39%

Original Year Published
1852 2%
1922 2%
1939 5%
1940 5%
1950 2%
1952 2%
1953 2%
1961 2%
1973 2%
1976 2%
1977 2%
1980 2%
1981 2%
1982 5%
1990 5%
1995 5%
1997 2%
1998 2%
1999 2%
2001 2%
2002 5%
2004 5%
2012 5%
2013 2%
2014 5%
2015 11%
2016 5%
2017 7%

Biography 2%
Fantasy 5%
Fiction 11%
Historical Fiction 23%
Literary Fiction 5%
Memoir 9%
Mystery 32%
Nature 2%
Romance 11%

Edited: Apr 26, 2017, 2:55pm Top

Next one's yours!

Apr 26, 2017, 3:02pm Top

Happy new thread, Karen!

Apr 26, 2017, 3:03pm Top

I'm in!

Apr 26, 2017, 3:06pm Top

Hqppy new thread! I'm so impressed that you've culled one more book than you've acquired!

Apr 26, 2017, 3:15pm Top

>7 harrygbutler: Hi Harry and thank you!

>8 SomeGuyInVirginia: Yay, Larry!

>9 streamsong: Thank you, Janet. I noticed that myself today, and am proud. We'll see where I end up the year. Frankly, right now, I have book bloat and except for the ER book I just won (An Atlas of Countries That Don't Exist by Nick Middleton) don't have any books coming to me and don't have any books that need to come off the wishlist and turn into BBs that must be acquired immediately. I'll have to get Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume for July's book club discussion and 2 more for book club before the new year, but my BAD - Book Acquisition Disorder - is temporarily in remission.

I just saw my first House Sparrow of the year, a breeding male just like this guy. I picked this picture to show his gorgeous wing feathers and head/throat markings. Much bigger than the Chippings I've seen.

Apr 26, 2017, 3:44pm Top

Happy new thread!

Apr 26, 2017, 3:49pm Top

Hi Karen, I have a huge owl that hangs out in my backyard, from the back he looks like a big cat in the tree.

Apr 26, 2017, 3:53pm Top

Hi Karen, Happy new thread my dear.

Apr 26, 2017, 4:00pm Top

>10 karenmarie: We have a flock of house sparrows visiting our feeders (and those next door). Like a lot of the other birds, they're pretty aggressive at demanding space at the feeders, but they can be quite attractive — especially when the throat is a vibrant white and black.

I don't think I'm likely to offset purchases with too many culls in the near term, though I am getting better at pruning duplicates and at acknowledging when I'm unlikely to read a book again. I just have to work out a system (maybe with a tag) so that I recognize those books when they come back in from my parents and my aunts and can actually go out the door for good. There are several ongoing series where I want all, or nearly all, that are published, and some small-press offerings where I want to get what I can while they are in operation (given how fragile those businesses are, and how rapidly their publications can rise in price once they aren't in print), so I've got a sizable to-purchase list even if I'm not ready to read them at the moment. :-)

Apr 26, 2017, 4:06pm Top

Congrats on your shiny new thread, Karen.

Apr 26, 2017, 4:23pm Top

Happy new one, Karen!

Apr 26, 2017, 8:54pm Top

Happy new thread! Lovely House Sparrows. I've got lots of them hanging around. They seem to favor the bushes more than the feeder though. Or maybe I just miss their turn at the feeder.

Apr 26, 2017, 8:58pm Top

Happy New Thread, Karen! Nice House Sparrow. I can't believe that is the first one you've seen this year. We have them everywhere.

Apr 26, 2017, 9:30pm Top

>10 karenmarie: - Happy new thread, Karen. House sparrows!! They are the most common and probably the most numerous of the birds around here. So much so, that in spite of their cheerful chatter, I always tend to refer to them as *just sparrows*. Poor things.

Apr 27, 2017, 4:20am Top

>11 drneutron: Thanks, Doc!

>12 beeg: That’s exciting, Brenda. Do you ever see his front? Do you know what kind he is? I occasionally hear owls out here, but not as much as at our old house.

>13 johnsimpson: Hallo, John and thank you!

>14 harrygbutler: Hi Harry! Huh. I guess I’m the only one who only has One House Sparrow. I didn’t notice him being aggressive. It’s the Cowbirds and Jays that are particularly aggressive.
Having a sizable to-purchase list is a good sign, I think. I need to review my wishlist, which is currently at 368 books. Many have been on it for years and probably need to come off as my reading habits have changed.

>15 Ameise1: Thank you, Barbara! Thanks to all my visitors, I’m getting in some good practice at creating them this year.

>16 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie!

>17 nittnut: Hey Jenn! I probably have more than the one. *smile* But I usually am not sitting still long enough outdoors to identify all the birds in our trees and bushes.

>18 msf59: Hi Mark! I’ll probably start seeing more as I have finally identified him. I’ll probably also see a female, soon. That seems to be my pattern, figure out the easily-identifiable males, then look for and see the females.

>19 jessibud2: Poor ‘just sparrows’, Shelley. That male was so gorgeous and gave me such a long time to observe him that I’m still thrilled thinking about it. Simple pleasures for simple minds, I guess, meaning mine…..

Well, I fell off the wagon at Costco yesterday. I just went in there on the way to dinner with a friend to get 2-2lb bags of medium roast whole bean coffee, and of course the books are right there. White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of class in America by Nancy Isenberg leaped out, jumped into my hands, and would not leave me alone until I bought it and carried it home. Sigh. It was on my wishlist but I don’t even remember putting it there.

And insomnia has reared its ugly head again. I’m not overly stressed; am, as a matter of fact, feeling better about Mom’s estate except for the money I’ve fronted for utilities and etc. There may not be enough even to reimburse me, depending on whether there’s any equity in the house, but I’ll know more about that this week as the timing is finally right to get in touch with a real estate agent. It turns out that the real estate agent remembers my Dad from the Golf Club from years and years ago. He was able to drive by the house yesterday and saw our neighbor’s car in the driveway – they’re parking one of their cars there to make the house look occupied.

But for now, I’m going to read some in the 10th Poldark book, The Loving Cup.

Apr 27, 2017, 6:08am Top

Happy new thread, Karen, dear.

The Poldark series is a top one isn't it. I think I have done the first three or four and have the first seven on the shelves.

Apr 27, 2017, 6:15am Top

Happy new thread, Karen.

House sparrows are the most common birds in my garden, I don't have feeders, but they like to hang around. Probably because Chimay hated cats, and cats still don't dare to enter our garden. Other regulars are a pair of blackbirds, great tits, blue tits, and the magpies (my favorites). When the plums are ripe the starlings will be frequent guests, eating most of the fruits in the garden. We don't need much of the fruit, so we are happy to share.

Very good job in culling as many books as aquired! You just had to buy that last book yesterday to make the numbers fit ;-)
Sorry for insomnia, I hope the real estate agent will have good news for you.

Apr 27, 2017, 7:43am Top

>21 PaulCranswick: Thank you, Paul! The Loving Cup is a chunkster at 580 pages. I've already read 109, just since last night. The time will be right for you to continue Poldark one of these days, and I'm sure you will enjoy getting back into the world of the Poldarks.

>22 FAMeulstee: Thank you, Anita! What a nice variety you get! I had to look up great and blue tits and see that they are gorgeous birds. We get blackbirds but not magpies as they are in the western part of the US. The birds will get the fruit from my plum tree, too.

Yes, I'm even again. 131 books acquired, 131 culled.

I never did get back to sleep, so will be gritty-eyed all day. Today's my 26th anniversary. Husband has to trundle off to work, but will leave early so we'll be able to go out to dinner. I'm also held hostage today until his new cell phone gets delivered, so the accountant will have to wait until Monday or Tuesday.

Back to The Loving Cup!

Apr 27, 2017, 7:55am Top

>20 karenmarie: - I used to sometimes go to Costco with my friend. I always said I'd never join. But I did just that, a few months ago. For the cost of gas (for the car) alone (10 cents less per litre, than anywhere else), and the cost of kitty litter, it is worthwhile.

But yes, I have been known to leave with a book or two (or three). It's how I happen to have a copy of Hidden Figures, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, and Glory Over Everything, among others. Oh, and also, my newest favourite, Ingenious How Canadian Innovators Made the World Smarter, Smaller, Kinder, Safer, Healthier, Wealthier and Happier by David Johnston. I LOVE this book. And, it was exactly half the cover price, at Costco. I hard cover, coffee table-type book. I was thrilled

Apr 27, 2017, 8:02am Top

Hi Shelley!

I did save 20 cents per gallon yesterday when I filled up at Costco. My husband was not surprised that I also came home with a book. Coffee, some over-the-counter medicines, batteries, and paper products make it worthwhile for us. Real maple syrup, too, about once a year.

Apr 27, 2017, 8:10am Top

>25 karenmarie: - Oh yes, I forgot about the pharmacy. I actually switched to Costco pharmacy even before I joined (you don't have to be a member to use the pharmacy for prescriptions.) Their dispensing fees are so much less than all other pharmacies. I liked my previous pharmacy, liked the pharmacist who I dealt with for years but the dispensing fees were ridiculous.

Apr 27, 2017, 10:48am Top

Morning Karen. Sweet Thursday. Windy, chilly, day here. Ugh.

There has been hummingbird sightings in our area. Hooray.

Apr 27, 2017, 3:48pm Top

Hi Karen, happy 26th anniversary my dear. Hope you and your husband have a really nice meal to celebrate the occasion.

Apr 27, 2017, 4:24pm Top

Happy 26th anniversary!

Apr 27, 2017, 4:39pm Top

Happy anniversary!

Apr 27, 2017, 5:39pm Top

>26 jessibud2: Hi Shelley! I never thought about the pharmacy, but we do live 28 miles from the closest Costco. I go there if I’m heading in that direction for some other reason mostly.I’m glad you’re saving money.

>27 msf59: Hi Mark! Today’s a bit muggy in the 80s. Yay for hummingbirds!

>28 johnsimpson: Thank you, John. So far it’s been a nice anniversary.

>29 FAMeulstee: Thank you, Anita! 26 years ago we had just left the reception venue and were going back to his house to change clothes and leave for our week honeymoon.

>30 harrygbutler: Thanks Harry! On September 1st of this year we will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of the day we met. Forty years ago. Whew.

Apr 27, 2017, 5:48pm Top

>31 karenmarie: Frank and I met 5 years later (August 1982, eww that is nearly 35 years ago), but we married sooner (November 1984) ;-)

Apr 28, 2017, 12:34am Top

Happy Anniversary, Karen! I hope you have a wonderful day - either today, or when you both get a chance to celebrate!

Apr 28, 2017, 12:39am Top

Happy anniversary, Karen.

Apr 28, 2017, 12:51am Top

Happy Anniversary, Karen! We just celebrated our 26th this month as well. Must be a good month. ; )

Love all your stats and the fact that you have culled as many as you have added--impressive!!

Apr 28, 2017, 4:55am Top

Happy new thread and happy anniversary, Karen!

Apr 28, 2017, 8:43am Top

>32 FAMeulstee: Wow, Anita, married 33 years this year. Fantastic!

>33 vancouverdeb: We had a nice dinner out, Deborah, at S & T’s Soda Shoppe in Pittsboro, NC. The building is from 1916, has mahogany pharmacy cases, tables, and booths, a tin ceiling, and the owners are the nicest people in the world. We’ve been going there since they opened in 1997, when daughter was small and owner Vickie would carry her behind the ice cream display and give her samples of whatever she asked for. Good food, too. I had what is locally called the Cheese Bowl (technically lasagna, but mostly cheese, with noodles and a hint of tomato sauce), husband had grilled skirt steak with onions and huge steak fries. A bustling, busy, local haunt.

>34 Ameise1: Thank you, Barbara!

>35 Berly: Thanks, Berly! April 1991 was a wonderful month, indeed.

I’m not going to make it a rule, but I will try to cull one for every one I get the rest of the year.

>36 DianaNL: Thank you on both counts, Diana!

My lawyer put us in touch with a local realtor for Mom’s house in California. It turns out that his dad and step-mom lived about 6 houses away from us, my brother hung out with Richard’s step-brother, and I played chess a few times with the step-mom. Small world, even in Los Angeles! My sister will be meeting him out there today to let him walk through it.

Today is a haircut and getting my nails done.

I will also will finish through Ezra in the year-long Bible-as-Literature challenge, giving me the weekend off until I start Nehemiah. I'm very disappointed in the group itself because the originator has bailed on us and everybody else is reading different versions of the Bible and bringing in other commentaries, but I am persevering.

Apr 28, 2017, 10:33am Top

Happy 26th! It sounds like a fun place to eat.

Oh dear on the estate. Hopefully the realtor has good news. Mom had sold her home and moved into a retirement village, so we did not have to deal with all that.

Good for you on persevering with the Bible. I read it with commentaries a while back. I think it took me about three years to get it done.

I am being greatly entertained by the House Finch nesting in the tree outside my window. He and Mrs. Finch may be one of the commonest birds around, but he doesn't know that and he puts on quite a show.

Apr 28, 2017, 10:42am Top

>37 karenmarie: Hi, Karen! S & T’s Soda Shoppe sounds like a good restaurant indeed. Have a great Friday!

Apr 28, 2017, 10:53am Top

Morning, Karen. Happy Friday. Yes, we have rain coming but it is very nice at the moment.

There are supposed to be waves of migratory birds passing through or getting ready to pass through, so I am keeping my peepers peeled.

Apr 28, 2017, 11:06am Top

Happy Anniversary!

Apr 29, 2017, 3:00am Top

Happy new thread and happy anniversary, Karen.

Apr 29, 2017, 8:00pm Top

S & T's sounds like a fun place. Happy Saturday, my friend!

Edited: Apr 30, 2017, 6:42am Top

>38 streamsong: Hi Janet! It is. We had fun. You’re lucky your Mom had sold her house. The real estate agent saw the house with my sister but I don’t know anything in detail. I’ll be in touch with him on Monday. Thanks re the Bible. I did get Ezra read, and will start Nehemiah tomorrow. I’ve never read the Bible cover to cover.

Even ‘common’ birds are fun to watch, because you’re right, they don’t know that!

>39 harrygbutler: Hi Harry! I had a happy Friday, more below.

>40 msf59: Late hello, Mark! I hope you’ve been getting some interesting birds.

>41 nittnut: Thank you, Jenn! It’s been a good one.

>42 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg and thank you!

>43 SomeGuyInVirginia: Thanks, Larry!

I’ve been very busy – Friday was a good day. Got my hair cut and my nails done.

Husband and I were relaxing about 7 p.m. on Friday when our daughter arrived – unexpectedly to me, on schedule to my husband! They had arranged it as an anniversary surprise and we’ve been having a good time ever since. Both are asleep right now, just me and my coffee.

Last night we went to Angus Barn for dinner – we had a Christmas gift card from our nieces and nephew (daughter’s cousins) and so the three of us drove the 45 minutes to Durham and had a wonderful dinner. It’s a very nice restaurant - The Angus Barn. You see people in formal attire and shorts and Hawaiian shirts. The atmosphere is casually elegant.

Today will be homemade buttermilk waffles and sausage, early dinner will be Chicken Parmesan. No other plans, except to spend time together. Unfortunately the weather is attempting Summer with some success, so not a lot of outside I’m afraid. We all don’t do well in the heat and humidity.

Daughter will probably leave late afternoon for the 2 3/4 hour drive back to Wilmington.

Off to read The Loving Cup!

Apr 30, 2017, 7:43am Top

Morning, Karen. Happy Sunday. We got a lot of rain yesterday, so my bird walk got canceled this morning, which is fine with me. I plan on curling up with the books. We have been getting a lot of activity at the feeders but no surprises...yet.

Have a great day.

Apr 30, 2017, 7:47am Top

Hi Mark! Thank you. We're supposed to be mid-upper 80s, humid but less humid than yesterday. Have fun with the books today!

May 1, 2017, 12:38am Top

Our spring has been a mix of a lot of rain, with teases of days of sunshine, Karen . I really don't like high temps, so once it gets into the 20's ( 70's) we'll drag out our two portable air conditioners . They are about 60 lbs each, so not really portable at all, but perfect for the summers we get here.

May 1, 2017, 7:17am Top

There is no way I'm going to be able to catch up, Karen, so I'll just say happy monday. I hope you have a good day.

May 1, 2017, 7:46am Top

>47 vancouverdeb: Hi Deborah! I hope you're not a sufferer from SAD - seasonal affective disorder. I've got several friends out here in North Carolina who are affected by it. I hope you get sunshine soon, but then, unfortunately, summer comes.

At least temporarily we seem to be in summer, yuck!, with temps in the low to mid 80Fs, (28C - 30C) and the potential for strong thunderstorms later on today and into the evening. Right now it's mostly cloudy with a few patches of blue as the clouds slide by.

>49 karenmarie: Hi Jenny! I completely understand. I've gotten behind on some threads and will probably just need to draw a line in the sand too.

Three times in the last month or so I've been thinking things are going well and then my sister calls and dumps stuff on me from 10 or more years ago. Some of it is the same stuff, some of it is brand new. She did this again yesterday after our daughter returned to Wilmington. She told me she was mad at me on Thursday, my anniversary, and I told her that it was my anniversary and that could she please hold off until after the weekend? Husband said he had a surprise for me and it turned out to be daughter visiting. We didn't talk after that, but when I texted her yesterday to see how she was doing after daughter left, she said she wanted to talk with me. I completely forgot about Thursday's texts and like a stupid I said sure.

Right now my sister is toxic for me. I hope she and I can get back on an even keel. I will probably go out to CA later this week and finish cleaning out Mom's house.

May 1, 2017, 8:14am Top

Happy new thread and more importantly, happy anniversary!

May 1, 2017, 8:15am Top

{{Karen}} Families can be a real trial sometimes, can't they? I am going through some family stuff, myself, at the moment and (geographical) distance doesn't always help. I hope things can be sorted out for you soon. Stay strong!

May 1, 2017, 8:19am Top

Thanks, Stasia! Anniversary and daughter's visit were quite lovely.

Today is taking friend Carl to a doctor's appointment then speaking with the California realtor about whether it makes to try to sell Mom's house. She had a reverse mortgage on it and the amount due is so ridiculous I can't even bring myself to put it in writing. If the realtor thinks we can get enough to cover the mortgage, commissions, and escrow fees plus any small amount for sister and me, I'll do it; otherwise I will accept the deed-in-lieu-of-foreclosure that is one of the options with the reverse mortgage holder and just be done with it.

Edited: May 1, 2017, 8:22am Top

>51 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley! I actually cried a bit last night, almost unheard of for me, she's got me that worked up. Family things are such a trial for sure. I'm sorry for your having to go through stuff, too, and you're absolutely right, geographical distance doesn't help.

Stay strong! Thank you. I have to keep reminding myself of that. And my husband said I've done nothing wrong, which I also have to keep reminding myself. I can't help it if my sister and her husband's choices have put them in the hole they are in now.

May 1, 2017, 9:32am Top

Happy Monday, Karen! Sorry to hear the end of your weekend was not so good as the start. Wishing you well, and a good week!

May 1, 2017, 12:12pm Top

Well, you forgot about your sister so I hope you had a good weekend with your daughter?

May 1, 2017, 1:28pm Top

Hi Karen! Sending you good vibes for the week. :)

May 1, 2017, 1:35pm Top

I'm sorry your sister is adding to the stress.

And I hope you had fun with your daughter! I don't see mine nearly often enough!

May 1, 2017, 3:33pm Top

((((hugs)))) to you Karen. Sometimes family makes life not so easy....

May 2, 2017, 8:51am Top

>54 harrygbutler: Hi Harry! Thank you so much. Things are actually moving along. I spoke with the real estate agent again yesterday and have gotten the next round of documents from the estate lawyer.

>55 SomeGuyInVirginia: We had a very nice weekend, Larry. Lots of chatting and Angus Barn for dinner Saturday night. I always keep the books I’m going to be getting rid of on the little yellow table. Daughter looked through them, took about 7 or 8, so the rest are available to donate, clearing the little yellow table for the next round of culls.

>56 nittnut: Thanks, Jenn! I’ll take 'em!

>57 streamsong: I must admit, Janet, that I had a few wishes to be an only child Sunday night! We’re still not speaking directly, or even texting like we usually do, but I did copy her on a Mom-related document which she responded nicely to. My daughter lives about 2 ¾ hour drive away in Wilmington, NC but it’s her work schedule that makes the number of visits smaller than I would like. Where does your daughter live?

>58 FAMeulstee: Thank you, Anita! Hugs are always welcome.

I’m having lunch today with a friend from the company I retired from last year. His mother passed away 3 years ago and he was executor. There are 5 children, and I know he went through a lot of grief and heartache what with greed and stealing and etc. At least I don’t have that to worry about, because for all her problems and insecurities, my sister is not greedy and is not a thief.

After lunch, it's over to the accountant to get our taxes finalized and sent off for refunds. I'll also get a Trust Tax ID - the lawyer says I need one, so that's what I'm doing!

May 2, 2017, 8:54am Top

Morning, Karen. Another damp, chilly day in the Midwest. Ugh, but at least I am off work today, but I will be homebound, stuck with my books and my feeders. How painful, eh?

Hey, I picked up my hummingbird feeder and will put it up a little later. Do you make your own hummingbird juice? I plan on it.

May 2, 2017, 9:00am Top

Hi Mark! I was just over on your thread, wishing you happy Tuesday!

Sorry the weather's ugly, but reading and looking at your feeders is not a bad thing, eh?

Yay on a hummingbird feeder! We do make our own 'juice' - the feeders themselves have the recipe on the underside of the feeding ports cover. The recipe is 4 parts of water and 1 part of white sugar. So I usually make up 4 cups of water with 1 cup of sugar, stirred until the sugar is completely dissolved. No red coloring, just clear nectar. Our feeders have red plastic flowers which have attracted at least one hummingbird couple - I've seen the male and seen the female. Never two males or two females at the same time, though.

Good luck!

May 2, 2017, 10:19am Top

My brother is my parent's executor, and he's not greedy or a thief, either. But he is an asshole. I can easily imagine him saying 'I'll settle the estate when I have time, and if you ever ask me about it I'll wait until the very last legal moment to do it.' Hopefully someone else shoots him before I have to.

May 2, 2017, 10:42am Top

Hi, Karen! I hope you're having a great Tuesday!

Thanks for sharing the hummingbird "juice" recipe in >61 karenmarie: — I'll have to give that a try when we hang ours out soon.

May 2, 2017, 4:46pm Top

>62 SomeGuyInVirginia: Hi Larry! Negatives are good - not a thief, not greedy. But positively an asshole is not good. The executor does have all the power. Don't shoot him, wouldn't want Parker to be fostered out 'cuz daddy's in jail.

>63 harrygbutler: So far it's been very productive, Harry, thanks. And you're welcome re the hummingbird nectar. I've seen hummingbirds at the feeders today.

Today I printed out documents from the lawyer and signed/dated the relevant pages to be mailed to him, wrote a check for the copying and filing costs incurred, and got a Trust Tax ID from our accountant when I went to pick up our taxes and pay her fee.

Then home to discover the internet is out - I'm using my cellphone as a hotspot. Reading in the hammock and watching birds for a while, now in the house after paying the gardener for doing the final spring cleanup. I think I'll do a bit more reading before husband gets home.

However, I have to admit to a Book Purchase. While waiting for the appointment time with the accountant, I just happened to stop in at the PTO thrift store and found Blood's a Rover by James Ellroy, hardcover, perfect condition with dust jacket, for $1. I'll be adding it to the library in a bit. I've never even heard of this book before, but really like James Ellroy so had to get it of course!

May 2, 2017, 5:12pm Top

Reading Statistics through the end of April:

2017 YTD through April

May 2, 2017, 6:00pm Top

It's almost paradise today. Perfect temperature, sun, and clouds of river birch pollen flying around my house. Lol
Nice find at the thrift store. A $1 hardcover is a deal.

May 2, 2017, 7:03pm Top

Hi Jenn! Today has been gorgeous. We had to get rid of our river birch because the root structure was threatening our foundation and the septic drain field - the landscape person planted it too close to the house and it was a very healthy tree. I'm sad it's gone, but happy that we won't have foundation problems or septic drain field problems any time soon.

I was pleased with my hardcover purchase.

May 2, 2017, 10:58pm Top

How did I miss the new thread when it really was new???
Well. Belated Happy Anniversary and Daughter Visit. It all sounds perfect.
Patience and inner calm and proportion in dealing or not dealing with your sister. You know her real problem is not you - not that that necessarily helps you fend off what she dumps on you. So - patience and calm and proportion!
You deal in big numbers with the books, and I love looking at your shelves. So neat!!!!!!!
Of course, you deal in pretty big numbers with your reading too, so if I had a hat, it would be off to you.
Wasn't this a lovely day? I wish us a few more before summer bites.

May 3, 2017, 3:10am Top

Hi Peggy!

Thank you. Anniversary, new bird feeding station anniversary gift, and daughter visit were a bright spot.

'Patience, calm, and proportion' is a good mantra to adopt. I will 'chant' it frequently and thank you for your words of encouragement and advice. I will try to be Big Sister and help Little Sister through all the stuff she's going through without adding to her burden if I can help it.

Thank you re my shelves. They make me happy just to look at, too.

I think that my big numbers in reading are attributable to LT. In October I will celebrate my tenth year on LT and I still read lots of mysteries, but have many new authors attributable to friends here on LT. New genres, new series, new types of nonfiction, all because I accidentally got a Book-of-the-Month Club book by not sending in my card saying I didn't want the book. Joe Hill's Heart-Shaped Box was so good that I looked him up, saw the link to LibraryThing on his website, and the rest, as they say, is history. I joined as a lifetime member that very day. And even having read his book I didn't realize he was Stephen King's son; that got me started on Stephen King. And eventually the Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz. Serendipity.

Yesterday was staggeringly beautiful. No humidity here, mid-70s, puffy white clouds. I didn't see any pollen either. It would be great if spring was actually spring for a while instead of early-onset summer.

And so here I am, awake, having stupidly eaten some chocolate last night about 8 p.m. The caffeine always gets to me 6-8 hours later if it's going to get me at all. My remedy is more coffee, freshly brewed, The Dead House by Harry Bingham, and then back to sleep in 3 hours or so.

May 3, 2017, 6:45am Top

Morning, Karen! We are still stuck in a cool weather pattern but at least I should be dry today. Have a good one, my friend.

Edited: May 3, 2017, 9:35am Top

>69 karenmarie: Good morning, Karen. I love Stephen King, Dean Koontz and Joe Hill! I have all their books with a fair number of them signed! I am typing with my right thumb in a restraint since I injured it putting a lift top coffee table together! Table turned out great, thumb not so much! Have a great day!

May 3, 2017, 9:55am Top

Hi Karen, I too found LJ from Joe Hill! LOL I even saved his message to me when I added him as a friend. I did know he was Stephen Kings son which is why I was following his blog in the first place. Gotta love a small world.

May 3, 2017, 10:05am Top

Happy Wednesday, Karen!

Yours was an interesting route to LT; mine was much more prosaic, as I simply was searching for a good way for us to catalog books and have the catalog available when out shopping for more.

May 3, 2017, 12:33pm Top

>70 msf59: Morning, to you! Mine's a good one, so far. Had a bit of insomnia, but went back to sleep and got up at 9:30. I hope you have a good day, too, Mark!

>71 Dianekeenoy: Lucky you, Diane, to have so many signed copies. Have you gotten to meet any of the three?

I'm sorry you injured your thumb. I hope it heals quickly.

>72 beeg: Wow, Brenda! That is so cool, and such a small world!

>73 harrygbutler: Thank you! Today's coming along nicely.

I'm so glad you found LT, Harry. I've not seen anything to equal it for cataloging features, statistics, and the ability to speak with other LTers through groups and threads.

May 3, 2017, 2:07pm Top

I'm glad your day is turning out alright and that it hasn't been too affected by the insomnia.

I'm one before you on the Harry Bingham/Fiona Griffiths books. I'm still not 100% convinced and some elements irritate me but my brain can't cope with too much at the moment and they fit the bill in terms of being page-turners.

May 3, 2017, 5:01pm Top

Today's been okay so far, Jenny, thanks. Still lots of stress about the house and Mom and sister, but coming along. My eyes are a bit gritty but not too bad. I was outside in the hammock just getting ready to doze off when daughter called. It's always good to talk with her yet the nap would have been sooooo helpful.

I really like Fiona Griffiths yet some elements irritate me, too. Not enough to prevent me from continuing to read, however.

May 3, 2017, 5:31pm Top

Every cloud has a silver lining, at least you had a good chat? I hear you on the stress, we're trying to do my mum's house up to sell but she's being a pain in the ** and daring to complain about how long it's taking. I just want to tell her that if she hadn't been so negligent in the first place and taken some responsibility, it wouldn't have got to this point. But I'm biting my tongue. It looks like TheBF and I will have to take out a loan (in his name) to get all the renovations done but we can't sell it with faulty electrics and no heating so that's that.

Sorry for the rant. I hope the things with your mum's house begin to settle soon and you can find a path through to a good end result.

May 3, 2017, 6:20pm Top

Oh yes, Jenny - daughter and I always have good chats, at least in the last 6 months or so. We go up and down, depending on how stressed she is in her life. Last fall she hadn't done her 2015 taxes and had a speeding ticket we didn't know about until she got a court summons. She wasn't much fun to talk to then, for sure. But her dad and I made sure things got done, fronted money, and now she owes us about $1200 but the ticket went away and her taxes got paid. After I get done with Mom's stuff, or at least past the hyperventilation stage, daughter and I are going to work out a repayment plan. To give her credit, she brings it up about once a month but knows I'm more worried about other things right now.

It looks like we're in a similar position, about "Mom's House", although I can sell the house "as is with no warranties, implied or expressed". The oven doesn't work, 3 of the 4 burners don't work, and the dishwasher doesn't work. The backyard grass has died. All of this happened 'way before she got sick in October, it's just that she didn't particularly care.

I hope that when your mum's house sells you can recoup what you're going to be putting into it.

May 3, 2017, 10:00pm Top

>74 karenmarie: I've been quite happy with LT as a cataloging tool, and I've enjoyed the the Talk side of things since moseying over a couple years ago.

Edited: May 3, 2017, 10:58pm Top

In fact, I find myself chanting (or looking back and wishing I had chanted) "Patience, Calm, Proportion," too. I'm blue tonight because I had to take my rings to be resized. I was almost dislocating my finger every time I took them off. Anyway, the wedding band, being an old one not stamped from one piece of metal, cracked when the jeweler heated it to stretch it, as he had warned me that it might. He can fill in the cracks, but I'll see tomorrow how much of the very beautiful hand-engraving inside has disappeared. I'm close to tears, but I realize that this is very much a first world problem.
I'm very interested to see how you found LT! I was in an online group that moved from platform to platform when the old Vines died, and LT and GoodReads were eventually recommended to us. I explored both and found that LT was easier to navigate and had more of what I wanted. I've never looked back. An old Vine friend was already here and offered me an extra lifetime membership which she had been given when her library was messed up. I accepted and am eternally grateful!

Edited: May 4, 2017, 6:56am Top

Morning, Karen. Sweet Thursday, although our current weather has not been sweet. No new news at the feeders. Hoping for a surprise or 2.

ETA- I did see a northern flicker on my route yesterday. First one I have seen there, in several years.

May 4, 2017, 8:36am Top

>79 harrygbutler: Hi Harry! I honestly cannot imagine what life would be like without LT.

>80 LizzieD: Oh Peggy, how sad. I never thought about what would happen to an engraving when a ring is resized. I do hope he has been able to do a good job of filling in and minimizing damage/loss to the engraving. A first world problem is still a problem, even recognizing that it doesn't involve shelter, safety, food, heat/cooling, or water.

Another interesting way to get to LT! I'm grateful too, because meeting you has been a joy. Now all we have to do is get together in RL with Jenn! That may have to wait 'til June, as I am definitely going to CA next week. I have to call Cousin Rebecca, who works for American Airlines. She can get me on standby for less than half of regular fare.

>81 msf59: Sweet Thursday to you too, even with not-sweet weather. No hummers yet, eh? I haven't seen a Northern Flicker yet. Louise has seen 2 flocks of Cedar Waxwings, apparently in migration mode.

Today it's off to the bank to finishing banking arrangements on Mom's accounts. As a rule I have learned to despise Wells Fargo, but the banker in Siler City has been so good to me, so efficient, that even though we personally bank at First Citizens, I will be opening up the Trust Account at WF.

May 4, 2017, 8:45am Top

>37 karenmarie: I confess to being one of the people who abandoned the bible reading year. Sorry, but there was no way for me to keep up. I never even got through Exodus, although I do plan to go back to it when time permits. And I have some study guides as well.

I was just looking at Ezra for another reason, a poem called 'the Gatekeeper's Children' by Phillip Levine. It's difficult to understand, so I was looking up references to gatekeepers and of course that led me to Ezra. I admire you for persevering!

May 4, 2017, 8:59am Top

Hi Judy! I'm bitterly disappointed that our fearless leader abandoned us. Thank you re my persevering.

I don't think people should read books because they have to once they are out of school. Your abandonment might be disappointing for you, but there's no judgment here. I abandon books with glee, but so far feel that this commitment is still doable. However, it's still pretty tough going, frankly. Here's part of today's reading:

Nehemiah 7:14-18 The sons of Zaccai, 760. The sons of Binnui, 648. The sons of Azgad, 2,322. The sons of Adonikam, 667.

Nehemiah 7:66-69 the whole assembly together was 42,360, besides their male and female servants, of whom there were 7,337. And they had 245 singers, male and female. Their horses were 736, their mules 245, their camels 435, and their donkeys 6,720.

Next is Job, but then is Psalms, which I'm hopeful about.

May 4, 2017, 9:43am Top

May 4, 2017, 9:47am Top

Just catching up after a long tax season! Love the birdfeeding! We still have about 10 feeders in our backyard, down from at least 25 at some point in the past. Just don't seem to have the time to get out and fill them much. Before kids, my husband and I had a great bird list and would spend Saturday and Sunday mornings sitting in our breakfast bay looking outside and enjoying the many and varied birds. My one regret was that we never had red-winged blackbirds (I love their song) - but within the past year or so, they have started to visit our yard, which should tell you a little about the mini-swamp in the far corner!

May 4, 2017, 10:19am Top

Hi, Karen! I hope you're having a great Thursday!

May 4, 2017, 10:25am Top

>85 rretzler: Thank you, Robin! Definitely a thpethial day.

>86 rretzler: Ah, tax season. One of our book club members disappears in March and April.

Ten feeders. Impressive. Our new station has 8 hooks, with 5 currently in use. I want to add a hummingbird feeder and possibly a different type of suet feeder in addition to a 2nd sunflower seed feeder. And twenty-five or more. Wow. We buy 40 pounds of mixed seed and 50 pounds of sunflower seed at a time and keep each in a metal trash can in the garage. Raccoons forced us to bring them inside.

Yes, your mini-swamp would attract them. We have a creek on our property. It's not fast flowing, but the area within one curve is usually damp. Now, if I only would take the time to walk down there!

May 4, 2017, 2:09pm Top

I'm mesmerized by water, I'd be down by the creek all the time.

Happy Cinco de Drinko-1!

May 4, 2017, 2:19pm Top

>88 karenmarie: I'd love to have a creek on our property. Unfortunately, we live smack in the middle of the suburbs. We are fortunate though that the property that our back yard borders upon, up until late last year, was a huge field with several broken down barns - so we saw a lot of wildlife - deer, raccoons, skunk, squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, and birds in our back yard. Last year, the property was sold, and the current owners tore down the house and several barns and are currently building a brand new big house. So far we are still seeing most of the wildlife, but I'm not sure what will happen when the house is finished and they move in.

May 4, 2017, 4:09pm Top

Hi Karen, just catching up with all my LT friends my dear and hope you have had a good week so far and that all is well with you and your husband dear friend and send love and hugs.

May 4, 2017, 4:32pm Top

>89 SomeGuyInVirginia: C'mon down, Larry! We just got the flood bridge unclogged, so things should be looking pretty good down there. Happy almost Cinco de Drinko-1 to you, too!

>90 rretzler: Hi Robin! I hope that after things settle down and they get some landscaping in the critters, at least some of them, will return.

>91 johnsimpson: Hi John! So far the week's been okay and we're doing well. Sending love and hugs back to you and Karen.

Last night when I opened the front door to bring in the front porch birdfeeder so the squirrels and raccoons don't get at it, I counted thirteen deer in our pastures. They just looked at me. I called husband to come see them, and they still just looked at us. He went back in, I went over and got the feeder down, and they didn't budge. That's my new world record - 13 deer at a time.

I've booked a one-way flight to California for next Tuesday. I love having a cousin who works for American Airlines - standby is only $136, and you always get your bag checked for free if you're standby.

Edited: May 4, 2017, 5:40pm Top

The Dead House by Harry Bingham
5/1/17 to 5/4/17

The description from Amazon:
Midnight in a country churchyard. A corpse lying at peace. The dead woman looks totally peaceful and there are no marks of violence. But why is she here, in this remote spot? Why does no one come forward to identify her? And why is she wearing a thin white dress on this howling October night? When Fiona Griffiths starts to investigate, she finds a crime creepier than anything she's been able to imagine. And she's about to become the very next victim.

The fifth, and currently last book in the intelligently-written Fiona Griffiths series. Fiona is as sassy as ever, flouting authority, respecting authority, saving lives, and figuring out things that nobody else can figure out.

There’s one sequence where the writing is so authentic that I just knew that Harry Bingham had been in that spot before, and in reading the Afterward he confirmed it. There is a brooding element of isolation and country living in the remote wilds of Wales with the additional metaphorical waft of incense from a monastery.

We are tantalized with Fiona’s continuing search to discover who her biological parents are and why she was abandoned at the age of 2. It’s only a hint, though, as one photo evokes a subtle response from two people, her father and one of his friends, as they touch the edge of the photo. Maybe Fiona’s reading too much into it? I’m so curious about Fiona’s beginnings that each book frustrates me with the lack of information.

I have read two short stories delivered to me electronically by Harry Bingham’s website after I joined his reader’s club – Lev in Glasgow, and The Night Beat, both informative backstories.

Now I have to wait until the next book comes out, all caught up on the series.

May 4, 2017, 5:02pm Top

I'm half way through The Dead House and having the same problem with you re her past. The tiny hints are just irritating at this point. Along with other irritations. I'll keep up with the series but they aren't without their flaws!

May 4, 2017, 5:26pm Top

Hi, Karen! I ended up buying an upside-down suet feeder because I came across a nice enough one before I built mine. Your talk of orange-flavored suet inspired me to give it a try in this new feeder; I'll let you know how it goes.

May 4, 2017, 5:44pm Top

>94 lunacat: At least she isn't talking so much about Planet Normal in this one...

>95 harrygbutler: Ooh, an upside down suet feeder. I'll be interested in seeing how it works out for you, Harry.

May 4, 2017, 5:49pm Top

I think Cedar Waxwings have been seen in our area, but not in large numbers...yet. I saw my first one last year. They don't come to my feeders but you can spot them, in the woods.

May 4, 2017, 5:53pm Top

Hi Mark! I have yet to see one. They are gorgeous and look grumpy just because of their markings:

May 4, 2017, 6:04pm Top

>98 karenmarie: - Oh, one of my faves! So beautiful!! I saw them several years ago when visiting New York.

May 4, 2017, 7:02pm Top

>93 karenmarie: I really wish my local library had that series!

May 4, 2017, 7:06pm Top

>98 karenmarie: Really nice looking bird. The first one I spotted, last year, I was not sure what it was, but thanks to it's distinctive look, I was able to figure it out. It was perched in a tree.

May 4, 2017, 8:55pm Top

>84 karenmarie: Oh, Job is definitely worth reading. Maybe I'll look at it out of turn.

I skipped your review of The Dead House because I'm only two-thirds of the way through the third book in the series. Catching up, though.

May 4, 2017, 9:46pm Top

>97 msf59: >98 karenmarie: At my grandmother's house which was a very small town in the midst of a lot of wooded hills and some farmland, she used to have a lot of Cedar Waxwings. We don't see so many around here - I don't think we've ever seen one in the backyard.

May 4, 2017, 10:09pm Top

>99 jessibud2: and >103 rretzler: They are beautiful and I want to see one! You’re lucky, Shelley!

>100 alcottacre: Hi Stasia! I’ve really enjoyed the series. I started with the second book then went back to book 1. It’s better to start with book 1, IMO.

>101 msf59: Hi Mark! It makes me proud when I can look up a bird by its markings and make a positive ID! Baby steps, so far for me, but definitely a feeling of accomplishment when I am successful.

>102 ffortsa: Hi Judy – one of the books of the Bible that I definitely have never read before, so after I get through Nehemiah, it might get more interesting.

I skip reviews all the time. Most recently it’s everybody reviewing A Gentleman in Moscow because we’ll be reading it for the October meeting.

May 5, 2017, 2:15am Top

>93 karenmarie: Just finished the second in the series. I am trying to stretch them out a bit. ; ) Wishing you good luck with your sister and hope things get on a more amicable level soon. Happy Friday!!

May 5, 2017, 8:18am Top

>105 Berly: Hi Berly! That is the one I read first, having gotten a hardcover version at one of the Friends of the Library Sales. I didn't realize it was a series, loved it, and got the rest for free on my Kindle.

I'm having a hard time choosing a fiction book to read. I'll figure out something, but there might be a few false starts like there were last night with Barrel Fever by David Sedaris.

May 5, 2017, 9:00am Top

Good morning, Karen! Cedar waxwings are great to see; I wish you luck in finally getting looks at them.

May 5, 2017, 9:05am Top

You didn't like Barrel Fever? I don't remember anything about it, but that means I didn't dislike it, eaither.

I agree with you that if a book doesn't speak to me I'll jet it, not regrets.

And speaking of regrets- Happy Cinco de Drinko!

May 5, 2017, 9:13am Top

>107 harrygbutler: Hi Harry! It's possible that they were migrating and I'll have missed them this spring, but I'll see them eventually.

>108 SomeGuyInVirginia: Well, Larry, I only read 3 pages and it just didn't suit last night. I won't abandon it permanently, just temporarily. I'll put it back on my shelves and wait for the right moment. I've loved everything else he's written and love listening to his reading of Santaland.

Ah. Cinco de Drinko. Thank you! I was going to have a glass of wine last night but forgot. Husband and I watched 2 more episodes of Wolf Hall, with only one left to go, and they were so good and so mesmerizing that I simply forgot to get a glass between episodes. Maybe a glass tonight.

May 5, 2017, 9:47am Top

I'm going to try A Closed and Common Orbit, the second book in the Wayfarers series by Becky Chambers. The first one, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet was excellent.

May 5, 2017, 11:12am Top

Happy Friday, Karen. Isn't the Wolf Hall series fantastic? What a terrific cast too. One of my favorite adaptations.

May 5, 2017, 11:35am Top

Thank you, Mark! It is excellent. We're very happy to watch it. I started the book, though, and put it down half-read several years ago. I may or may not ever pick it up again, although Henry VIII has always fascinated me.

May 5, 2017, 12:23pm Top

Happy Friday, Karen.

May 5, 2017, 3:23pm Top

I loved the Wolf Hall TV adaption, Karen, I had a hard time finishing the book.

May 5, 2017, 4:56pm Top

>113 Ameise1: Thank you Barbara! I just took a buttermilk pound cake out of the oven for after dinner.

>114 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita. Wolf Hall love. *smile*

Edited: May 5, 2017, 5:06pm Top

This is the second time I've seen the oddest thing - a Mourning Dove sitting in the tray of the front porch bird feeder. I don't know how he gets in there because he is wider than the tray part, but there he was, gobbling up seed. A male Cowbird was on the other side and an Indigo Bunting fluttered about trying to land but there wasn't enough room.

May 5, 2017, 8:43pm Top

I have had a cedar waxwing at my feeder a couple of times, or as many times as he wanted, but I've seen him a couple of times. *preens just a little*
Today we had a squirrel clinging to the porch screen and screeching at something and fluttering his tail fringe about. I don't know what it was. I went out to investigate after watching him on and off for about 20 minutes, and of course, he popped right off and whatever he was screeching at was invisible. I haven't seen a cat about, I have no idea what it was. Sigh.
Kids are upstairs arguing about nothing. My cue to go put them to bed. Happy weekend!

May 5, 2017, 9:44pm Top

Lucky you, Jenn! Preen away.

I wonder who he was cussing out? A squirrel cussed out our kitty Coco Chanel once for about 10 minutes, bouncing up and down on a tree branch 10 feet above the ground where she was sitting. It was a riot.

I only have the one daughter, but am one of three and remember the arguing about nothing. It wasn't called timeout in the late '50s/early '60s, but our Mom would put us in timeout for daytime offenses - one child per chair, as far apart as the room would allow. The timer was set. No talking. Talking got 10 minutes added. I actually did the same thing with daughter - chair in the kitchen, timer set. Getting up or talking added 5 minutes.

Tomorrow is the Ansel Adams exhibit at the Museum of Art, Sunday quiet except for one Friends of the Library meeting with the outgoing President and incoming President/outgoing Treasurer about how to deal with budgeting and payments for one aspect of the Friends budget for the library.

May 5, 2017, 10:13pm Top

We have had a pair of mourning doves visit our feeders on a regular basis but always on the ground beneath the feeders but never on them. Interesting...

May 6, 2017, 7:07am Top

Hi Mark! We have always had Mourning Doves on the ground, too, and still do at the new feeder.

May 6, 2017, 7:19am Top

Morning, Karen. Happy Saturday. As I was getting my first cup of coffee I noticed we had a cardinal and a rabbit at my feeders. Grins...I guess our furry friend wants to get in on the action too.

I am taking the day off today, so the wife and I plan on going on a walk a little later. Hope to see something.

May 6, 2017, 7:35am Top

>121 msf59: - A rabbit at the feeder? Photo proof??? ;-)

May 6, 2017, 7:38am Top

Hi, Karen! Have a great Saturday! Enjoy the museum visit. Today it's a book sale for us, and the rest of our day is uncertain — we probably should do more garden work, but if the weather is cooperative we may get up to the wildflower preserve for a walk instead.

Edited: May 6, 2017, 7:39am Top

>121 msf59: Hi Mark! Thank you. At least that furry friend won't jump up to the feeders! Have a wonderful day off!

>122 jessibud2: Hear, hear! I agree with Shelley.

I've got a beautiful bright yellow male Goldfinch at the sunflower seed feeder right now, and the Titmouse has discovered that the feeder's back out.

Edited: May 6, 2017, 10:23am Top

>118 karenmarie: Having a twin was wonderful growing up, Karen. Bickering and giggling. Always someone to play with and look out for you and compete with you and motivate you.

Have a great weekend. xx

Edited: May 6, 2017, 2:40pm Top

Hi Paul!

Had I not waited to get married at the age of 38 and had a child at the age of 40, I would have like to have had another child, simply to provide a sibling.

For all that I've been complaining about my sister lately, she's my best friend and I couldn't imagine life without her.

Just got back from the Ansel Adams exhibit. I was a teensy bit disappointed in their not being more info about Adams himself - just one photo with a bit of his bio and a HUGE photo mural (I'm talking 10' x 20') of him standing on top of a 1940s station wagon. This one, in fact:

We also got to see Glory of Venice: Renaissance Paintings 1470–1520 is the South’s first exhibition surveying the development of Renaissance painting in Venice from the second half of the 1400s to the early 1500s.

I got to see a Titian. Most of the paintings were religious in nature, as would be expected. The use of light and color was absolutely amazing. There was also an 8-book display of books printed in Venice during the 1490s-1520s, roughly.

Both exhibits were quite exciting.

May 6, 2017, 3:29pm Top

Two exhibits in a day? You must be exhausted, Karen.
I am more a fan of modern paintings, but through the years I have started to appreciate the older works. Titian made some beautiful works, wich one did you see?

May 6, 2017, 3:43pm Top

I love Ansel Adams and have some prints framed on my living room wall.

May 6, 2017, 5:06pm Top

>127 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita! I felt a bit rushed in the Glory of Venice exhibit, because Louise was tired and Cathy wasn't particularly interested. I didn't buy the exhibit catalog, either, although in hindsight I should have. The painting was of Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus. There was another painting there ascribed to Titian and Workshop, but this one was ascribed to Titian. Bad me to not have noted it in my cellphone notes.

>128 jessibud2: The exhibit was arranged chronologically, which I liked, logical me. I particularly liked the one of Ghost Ranch Hills.

May 7, 2017, 9:37am Top

Morning, Karen. Happy Sunday. I like Ansel Adams too. I should feature some of his work on my thread.

Starting to see some life at the feeders, this A.M. after a slow start. A dove, cardinal, housefinch, a downy and a couple of squirrels...

May 7, 2017, 9:44am Top

Thank you, Mark! Today will be a combination of busy and relaxing. I have a meeting with the outgoing President and incoming President/outgoing Treasurer of Friends of the Library to discuss practical and political considerations for handling one budget item for the coming fiscal year. Tomorrow is the actual monthly board meeting. I'll do a bit of food shopping to make soup for husband because he's acquired a pretty bad cold, then some preliminary packing for my flight on Tuesday to CA. I'm so not looking forward to this trip.....

So far I've seen Cardinals, a Titmouse, and two Cowbirds, one male, one female at the front porch feeder - I only put it out about 10 minutes ago.

May 7, 2017, 12:55pm Top

Hi, Karen! I hope you're having a good Sunday. Not too much going on at our feeders, but I am getting to watch starlings and grackles try to get little pecks of suet from the upside-down feeder.

May 7, 2017, 3:44pm Top

>118 karenmarie: LOL! My mom used to do that with us - there were 6 of us very close in age - we would fight and she'd put us on chairs in separate rooms or as far apart as she could get us. It was torture!

Edited: May 7, 2017, 5:16pm Top

>132 harrygbutler: Hi Harry! Meeting done, food bought, time to start the soup. It must be fun to watch such large birds try to get suet from the upside-down feeder!

>133 nittnut: Six of you! Lots of chairs, for sure. It was torture for us too, usually because my sister had lied and wouldn't admit it and all three of us would get punished. Mom would know it was our sister and hoped that we'd pressure her into confessing. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't.

I forgot to mention that yesterday at the Museum of Art I saw my first Robin of spring and on the drive back over the reservoir bridge saw a bird that Cathy and Louise identified as an osprey. I'm pumped.

May 8, 2017, 9:23am Top

Hey, Karen! I hope you have a great day as you get ready for your trip.

That feeder may not be doing much for the birds, but it is making things amusing for me. I have yet to see the woodpecker at it, but I may have seen a nuthatch there this morning (it flew off before I got a good look).

May 7 seems very late for a first robin. Congrats on the osprey!

May 8, 2017, 12:33pm Top

Hi Harry! I'm sure there have been Robins around, it's just that I haven't seen one to recognize it.

I just had a good look at the front porch feeders - there are Cowbirds, an Indigo Bunting, a Carolina Chickadee, a Tufted Titmouse, and a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird.

The feeders are great - I'm finding the birds amusing too.

Thanks re the osprey. It wasn't a long look but it was definitely an osprey - I looked it up after but never would have even thought of an osprey.

May 8, 2017, 2:07pm Top

Spring Fever by Mary Kay Andrews
5/6/17 to 5/8/17

The description from Amazon:

Annajane Hudgens truly believes she is over her ex-husband, Mason Bayless. They've been divorced for four years, she's engaged to a new, terrific guy, and she's ready to leave the small town where she and Mason had so much history. She is so over Mason that she has absolutely no problem attending his wedding to the beautiful, intelligent, delightful Celia. But when fate intervenes and the wedding is called to a halt as the bride is literally walking down the aisle, Annajane begins to realize that maybe she's been given a second chance. Maybe everything happens for a reason. And maybe, just maybe, she wants Mason back. But there are secrets afoot in this small southern town. On the peaceful surface of Hideaway Lake, Annajane discovers that the past is never really gone. Even if there are people determined to keep Annajane from getting what she wants, happiness might be hers for the taking, and the life she once had with Mason in this sleepy lake town might be in her future.

A light and fun read about a small town in North Carolina, thinly disguised Salisbury, and a regional soft drink based in North Carolina, thinly disguised Cheerwine.

I live in North Carolina, and all the references to Raleigh, Chapel Hill, college football, and Cheerwine make me feel right at home. The writing is breezy, lighthearted and brings the characters to life. It has a few laugh-out-loud moments, but many more smiles and nods of recognition.

The characters almost drift into caricatures, but the essence of writing about small Southern towns is the larger-than-life aspect of the characters. They fall just short of irritating and are endearing.

There’s quite a bit of interesting information about soft drinks and their marketing and distribution, but not so much that you can’t just ignore it if it doesn’t appeal to you.

This is a fun and undemanding read.

May 8, 2017, 2:18pm Top

I remember having to stand in the corner once in grade school, and thought 'This is the dumbest thing I've ever heard of. It's like Dennis the Menace. I'm going to stand here and stare out the window until this is over, which is what I wanted to do in the first place.'

May 8, 2017, 5:30pm Top

I hope you have safe and stress free (or as stress free as possible) time travelling.

May 8, 2017, 6:13pm Top

>138 SomeGuyInVirginia: Parents and teachers need to determine the best punishment for the child.

My daughter hated sitting on the chair in the kitchen. Her best friend Ethan hated to be banished to his bedroom as a punishment because he wanted to be near his parents, so his punishment was always to go to his bedroom.

>139 lunacat: Thank you, Jenny!

May 8, 2017, 8:50pm Top

Karen--Good luck with this next trip, with all the sorting and dividing. Love Ansel Adams. I have one of his prints in my bedroom. Sending you big hugs!!

May 8, 2017, 9:59pm Top

>140 karenmarie: My sister would be banished to her bedroom, with her blankie, her dog, and her book. Just what she wanted, anyway!

May 8, 2017, 10:43pm Top

I hope life is not treating you too badly, with all of your family issues, Karen. Best of luck with this next trip. As for birds, I actually saw a couple of robins last time I was out walking Poppy. I see a lot more water/ shore birds, seagulls, crows, Trumpeter Swans, Mallards, snow geese , Canada geese. I've seen what I think are wrens chirping in the low trees and flying overhead. But the two robins were new to me this spring.

May 8, 2017, 11:33pm Top

Heavens, you have been busy!
Hope your trip turns out to be easy and satisfying!
*Job* is amazing, I think. You may find it overwritten, but that was what was happening back then.
Today was another marvelous, cool day - unheard of for us in May!
June sounds like a lovely time for a Karen/Jenn/Peggy meet-up. I hope we can make it happen.

May 9, 2017, 7:01am Top

Morning, Karen. More damp and cold weather here. Sighs...but we are getting 3 white-crowned sparrows at our feeders.

Have a safe trip to CA, my friend.

May 9, 2017, 7:22am Top

>141 Berly: Thanks, Berly! I really enjoyed the starkness and balance in most of his photographs. And thank you for the hugs, they are greatly appreciated.

>142 ffortsa: Hi Judy! That’s why the three of us and then my daughter sat on chairs. Bedrooms were havens and wonderful.

>143 vancouverdeb: The family issues will resolve, I know, it’s just that going through them sucks, Deborah. I was very excited to see my first Robin, too. It’s nice to be more aware of the birds around me thanks to LT and my neighbor Louise. And Louise loaned me her Western Birds book and a Hummingbirds booklet so I can add Western Birds to my life list.

>144 LizzieD: Hi Peggy! Yes, I have. The trip itself will be fine once I get to the boarding gate. It’s standby so I might not make this 11:39 am flight, which means the 3:49 pm flight. I have enough reading material and although hanging out at the airport is not my idea of fun, it’ll do.

I finished Esther yesterday, so will probably start Job tomorrow. I’m almost afraid to read the Bible in the airport or on the plane simply because I’m a serious introvert and don’t want people either thinking I’m Christian or challenging me.

Yes for June!

>145 msf59: Hi Mark. We’re damp, cold, and rainy here, too. Looks like tomorrow in Diamond Bar CA will be 20% chance of morning showers, then sunny for the next several days with fog in the evenings.

Time to finish packing, finish my coffee, and have husband take me to the airport. I’ll try to give a trip report tomorrow from SoCal!

Edited: May 9, 2017, 12:33pm Top

I just Googled Diamond Bar, it looks like a really nice place.

"because I’m a serious introvert and don’t want people either thinking I’m Christian or challenging me" Ha! Once I read an Agatha Christie book on a flight into Dulles and this perfectly nice lady proceeded to tell me what a fan she was of Christie, and all the books she'd read (all of them) and a lot of other Christie-related stuff. I sat there deadpan, wondering how I could tell her "Madam, I simply don't care," without being the bad guy. There's something to be said about a Kindle's plain black cover. You should read the Bible, and ask the people who sit next to you if they've heard the Word. You might get your own seat!

May 9, 2017, 12:19pm Top

Safe travels, Karen. Hope everything goes as planned

May 9, 2017, 11:04pm Top

>146 karenmarie: Did you love Esther? She's my favorite. A strong woman, doing what needs to be done. And who doesn't love a whole book devoted to a woman in the Bible anyway?

Happy and safe travels. Best wishes for accomplishing all that needs to be accomplished.

Thunder and lightning, Oh my!! I am feeling very pleased that we mowed, trimmed and weeded, then swept up all the "gifts" from the river birch (my they are prolific) before it rained. I am going to pretend that the rain won't have knocked more stuff down from the trees. *grin*

May 10, 2017, 1:11am Top

Happy new thread Karen and how lovely to be able to have "hammock weather" at this time of year. Spring has been rather slow in arriving here on the island this year but we did have lovely sunshine and warmer temps over the weekend, which was nice. ;-)

Wishing you safe and stress-free travels.

May 10, 2017, 12:18pm Top

Safe travels, Karen and happy Wednesday.

May 12, 2017, 3:41pm Top

Hi Karen, hope all is going well with your trip and things are being sorted out my dear, wishing you a really lovely weekend dear friend and send love and hugs.

May 12, 2017, 6:45pm Top

Hi all! No internet ‘til this morning. Trauma! Angst! Cut off from the world.

Anyway . After my original standby flight did not work out, I caught a 3-leg standby flight that ended up in Ontario only 14 minutes after the original one would have landed! I’ve been cleaning out things, making “ sister decision”, “donation”, “trash” piles. My sister and her husband are coming over this afternoon with dinner and then someone’s supposed to come by to look at the onyx and brass table, imported from Mexico in 1967:

I’m stressed but hanging in there. Lots of work to do, realtors to talk with, bills to pay, and etc.

>147 SomeGuyInVirginia: It is nice. Very urban/suburban, way different from my tiny piece of Carolina heaven.

I just open my book and put on a forbidding face. *smile* Fortunately, the only talkers were on the puddle jumper legs, which was okay and I still got reading in on those fights, too.

148 Thanks Shelley! I’m whupped, but a good whupped.

>149 nittnut: Esther was good. Short and sweet, too. Thanks, Jenn! It’s so strange to be here alone, with just memories and a few things. Sister, brother, mother, father…..

>150 lkernagh: Getting yardwork done before “weather” is always a good idea because it may be too wet afterwards for several days. It was disconcerting to get WRAL weather bulletins, in Greg Fischel’s voice, warning me about thunderstorms, here in SoCal.

>151 Ameise1: Thank you, Barbara! Travels were safe, and I have been safely negotiating the freeways here again, too.

>152 johnsimpson: Slow and steady, John! Things are moving along. I am getting a lot done without exhausting myself.

May 12, 2017, 7:01pm Top

Thanks for checking in, Karen. Sorry to hear about all the stress. I hope that improves, my friend.

May 12, 2017, 7:03pm Top

The Twisted Sword by Winston Graham
5/9/17 to 5/12/17

The description from Amazon:

In Cornwall in 1815, Demelza sees a horseman riding down the valley and senses disruption to the domestic contentment she has fought so hard to achieve. Ross has little option but to accept the summons—and travel to Paris with his family, as an "observer" of the French armed forces. Parisian life begins well, but the return of Napoleon brings separation, distrust, and danger to the Poldarks—and always for Demelza there is the shadow of the secret she does not even share with Ross.

This book’s action is split between France and Belgium, with battles and wars and imprisonment and etc., and in Cornwall with the Warleggans and the hapless Music Thomas and his love for Katie. Tragedy, comedy, inspiration, bravery, and secrets abound in this 11th entry in the Poldark series.

This book was first published in 1990, 45 years after Ross Poldark. You would never know it because the style, dialect, conversations, motivations, and characters are seamless from book to book. It's a stunning accomplishment besides being beautifully written historical fiction.

May 12, 2017, 7:06pm Top

Hi Mark! I sure missed LT and all my friends here. And, I've seen a Rufous hummingbird and a Cassin's Finch! He was on the birdbath, about 6 feet from me, even if I saw him through a window. Apparently there's a localized population around here.

Gonna get some birdseed and sunflower seed tomorrow.....

May 12, 2017, 7:16pm Top

What an......interesting......table ;). Definitely not my taste but I hope you are able to sell it!

Also glad to see that you are plodding on magnificently. I hope things go as smoothly as possible, and you carry on getting some good bird sightings.

May 12, 2017, 7:39pm Top

Thanks, Jenny! Interesting is a good word. If I could snap my fingers and have anything from Mom's house in my house, there's not a single piece of furniture that I would want. But she and Dad loved it.

Edited: May 12, 2017, 10:22pm Top

>153 karenmarie:

The onyx table is fascinating - in the long view from here,
it seems to have three separated, concentric parts...
I wonder why.

Each section has its own beauty, yet the combination is unusual.

The colors work really smoothly with the couches!

May 12, 2017, 10:33pm Top

Glad you're there at last, Karen, and able to get back to us here!
That table looks like childhood to me too, not that we had anything that nice, but I recognize the style.
Only one more Poldark --- I'm sorry.
I hope your visit turns out to be more enjoyable than poignant.

May 13, 2017, 2:58am Top

>155 karenmarie: Loved your review, Karen. I really ought to get a move on with the series.

Have a great weekend. xx

May 13, 2017, 4:18am Top

Sorry to hear that you have such a busy time. I hope that everything is sorted out soon. Happy weekend, Karen.

May 13, 2017, 7:03am Top

>156 karenmarie: I hope you have a good weekend, Karen, despite the hassles. Nice bird sightings!

May 13, 2017, 8:54am Top

Hugs for being alone in your Mom's empty house. When I was cleaning out Mom's house, I would feel fine for long stretches, and then something would hit me when I least expected it. May it go smoothly.

Edited: May 13, 2017, 11:58am Top

Thanks to all my visitors! Your visits warm my heart.

>159 m.belljackson: Hi Marianne! It does, separated by what looks like gold leaf but probably isn’t. The top of the table is sealed. The quality and condition are excellent and you’re right, each of the three sections enhances the other two. Last night a couple came from about an hour away to look at it. They might come look at it again today.

When Mom and Dad bought this house Mom hired a decorator. The original carpet was royal blue and they had cream-colored drapes that matched the lightest color in the sectional.

>160 LizzieD: Thanks, Peggy! I finally got on to a California sleep/wake schedule and just got up about half an hour ago. Almost everything in this house is mid 1960s. Frozen in time.

Ah Poldark! I only brought book 11 and finished it yesterday, so downloaded book 12 to my Kindle even though it is sitting patiently on my shelves at home. I will be sad when it ends, but like my re-read of the Outlander series last year, it’s a labor of love. When it’s done though, it will be time for mysteries and thrillers and whatever else Not Historical Fiction captures my fancy.

The visit has been busy cleaning out the kitchen so far, and a few boxes in the dining room.

I met with a realtor recommended by Mom’s estate lawyer Wednesday, which got my sister/BiL upset because I wasn’t using the one my niece knows who lives and works in a very different part of the county. So BiL and I drove around yesterday afternoon and saw the name of a realtor on 2 properties the next street over and called her. Now there’s a question of how many square feet in the house. We remember 2400 but it’s listed with the county at 1908. The difference affects selling price, obviously, and therefore anything left to sister and me. We’re going to have it appraised to at least get a meaningful selling price and work to get the county to re-assess and update their records.

>161 PaulCranswick: Hey Paul! Thank you. It is a fantastic series about one of the periods in English history that I’m most fascinated with – late Georgian and Regency.

My sister has invited me to lunch with her, BiL, MiL, daughter/wife/grandson; early Mother’s Day. I’m not sure I want to go for several reasons, so will see how I feel a bit later. Tomorrow is going to be an alone Mother’s Day, but I’m sure I’ll get calls from daughter and husband.

>162 Ameise1: Hi Barbara! It all has to get done and fortunately I’m under no real time constraint.

>163 harrygbutler: Thanks, Harry. Fortunately I’m a person who does very well alone and on my own, and with Bella Poldark safely downloaded to my Kindle, have a lot of good reading to look forward to.

I was thrilled with the bird sightings. My sister is going to loan me a pair of binoculars.

>164 streamsong: Thank, Janet. You’ve hit the nail on the head – lots of fine-ness, then a sad or melancholy memory.

May 14, 2017, 12:49pm Top

Hi Karen. Wishing you the best as you close things up there. I want to wish you a Happy Mother's Day, which may be hard to pull off as you are alone in your own mother's house and away from your daughter. BIG Hugs.

May 15, 2017, 10:07am Top

Thanks, Berly!

Husband sent a box of goodies to me for Mother's Day and both daughter and husband called. Then sister's evening plans fell through, so she and BiL came over. We went through some boxes we had packed up willy-nilly in December, sorting into Karen, Laura, and donate piles. Then we went to dinner and a movie. I hated the movie (Kong: Skull Island) but they wanted to see it. It was pretty gory and really had no redeeming qualities.

We're going to have a garage sale next Sunday.

Today is paying a bill or two and packing boxes to mail back to NC. So far there are only two, I think.

But first, coffee and reading. *smile*

May 15, 2017, 1:14pm Top

You have got to tell us about the garage sale, I bet it's a madhouse.

Coffee. Yes. Lovely, lovely coffee.

May 15, 2017, 1:19pm Top

>167 karenmarie: Happy Monday, Karen!

After my grandfather passed away, we had a yard sale — and ended up selling the yard! (Well, strictly speaking, the person who ended up buying my grandparents' house made the initial inquiries then.)

Edited: May 15, 2017, 3:14pm Top

Btw, Happy Mother's Day!!!

May 15, 2017, 7:00pm Top

Ugh. Kong. You took one for the team. I hope it counts somewhere that helps you. Lol

May 15, 2017, 7:33pm Top

>168 SomeGuyInVirginia: Hi Larry. It will be crazy – selling furniture, appliances, and stuff. My sister and her husband will be here to help, possibly my niece, too. I’ll report back.

I’m pretty lucky that so far even without my whole beans and grinder coffee-making routine I’ve been able to brew up good cups of coffee.

>169 harrygbutler: Thanks, Harry! It would be lovely if someone expressed an interest. I decided not to go with the real estate agent my lawyer recommended – he told my sister one selling price, me another over the phone, then a different one to me in person. He also wanted me to spend money on painting, landscaping, and etc. So BiL and I drove around the neighborhood, saw 3 different real estate agents with listings, and I called the woman with 2 listings. She was out at the house within 2 hours with the county info pulled about the house and comps. There’s a question about square footage – we think the county originally recorded the finished square footage and didn’t include the additional unfinished 500 sq feet my parents finished as soon as we moved in. So we’re getting an appraisal. The county will eventually have to be updated, but we can probably sell it for a significant chunk more if it comes in at the higher sq footage. We’ll just have to see.

>170 SomeGuyInVirginia: Thank you! Had a nice one, even with Kong. Sheesh.

>171 nittnut: Hi Jenn! Yup, I did take one for the team. The only consolation is that it’s a discount theater and the tickets only cost $4/each. But icky-patooey movie, for sure. I hope it counts somewhere good, too!

I saw a California Scrub Jay today. Exciting. Bigger than our NC Blue Jays.

This evening is quiet. I watched the book 7 2-movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows last week and started the first book’s movie Saturday night and will finish watching it tonight. Tomorrow I’ll go to niece/wife/great-nephew’s to visit and spend the night. The day after we’ll go pick up Mom’s seascape that has been restored and keep it at niece’s, with a personal property rider on it.

And I'm making serious headway in the house AND in Bella Poldark, the 12th and last book in the Poldark series.

May 15, 2017, 9:44pm Top

I'm very glad that you are getting things sorted out with your mom's property . What a process. Best wishes with selling off the furniture etc.

Edited: May 16, 2017, 10:44am Top

Thanks, Deborah!

Mom and Dad never particularly cared to have thing around them, compared with me, as an example, something my sister and I are profoundly grateful for! I'll probably only be mailing 2 or 3 smallish boxes of things home.

It's all still stressful but manageable.

Today I'm going to my niece/wife/great-nephew's and will return tomorrow early to mid-afternoon.

It will be nice to see them without the chaos of my sister/BiL, frankly, and I'm looking forward to getting to know turns-2-in-June Oliver.

Coffee calls!

Edited: May 16, 2017, 10:51am Top

I saw birds do something I've never seen before. Parker was doing that weird juddering meow he does when he sees a bird, and I looked on the balcony and saw a small sparrow (?) on the railing. Then a larger bird (sparrow?) flew and landed next to the smaller bird, then jumped on the smaller bird's back. The smaller bird didn't fly away, even though the larger bird must have jumped on its back several times, and was fluttering all around it. Finally I thought it was time to end the bullying and was about to tap on the glass when both birds flew away.

I wonder what that was about? I just checked, and the larger bird was a House Sparrow like in >10 karenmarie:. Wackiness!

May 16, 2017, 12:48pm Top

Happy Tuesday, Karen. It looks like you're making good progress in sorting out your mum's things. Good luck with the garage sale.

Edited: May 18, 2017, 11:15am Top

>175 SomeGuyInVirginia: Hi Larry! Wacky birds, eh? I love that 'juddering meow' cats make, ad applaud Parker for it. I have no clue about what they were doing, although jumping on backs and fluttering all around sound like a mating dance. Just a guess.....

>176 Ameise1: Hi Barbara! Thank you.

We've gotten an appraisal, final version due early next week, that confirms the house is truly the 2400 square feet we know it is. My father got electrical and building permits and we have the inspection record with final approval. I have to get those scanned and sent to the appraiser. Once I get the appraisal, I will put the house on the market with the second realtor.

We've sold the onyx and brass table for $1000 although it's still here. They will probably arrange to get it over the weekend.

A couple came over to look at it and everything else yesterday. They are estate agents, know how to run estate sales, and confirming that $1000 was an excellent price rather than the $3000 we all thought it worth at a minimum. They bought a few things and we got $180 for them, which was a good lesson in how to value things for this coming Sunday. They said that people will buy almost anything, even things that are broken.

So my sister is going to spend the night, help me tomorrow, then she and BiL are coming back early Sunday morning to set up. Saturday they aren't available, so I'll do more around here to get ready for the Garage Sale.

Monday we'll get a dumpster in here for trash, call Habitat for Humanity or other charities to pick up things, get the Hazardous Material (paint, chemicals, and etc.) properly disposed of, and I hope by the end of that process the house will be so empty that I'll have to stay at a hotel for a night or two!

I spent Tuesday and overnight with niece/wife/great-nephew. Niece and I picked up the Violet Parkhurst seascape from the VP Gallery, and we got it hung on their wall. This isn't a very good photo and doesn't do the picture justice. My niece is going to take a picture of it for the insurance and when she forwards that to me I'll probably replace this 'after' with that one.

Before and after:


Today is more organizing and picking up sister later for our sleepover (tee hee) and work day tomorrow.

Edited: May 18, 2017, 11:18am Top

Bella Poldark by Winston Graham
5/12/17 to 5/17/17

The description from Amazon:

Cornwall 1818. We continue the tale of Ross and Demelza; of the wayward Valentine Warleggan, whose existence keeps open the old wounds of the feud between Ross and George; of Bella, the Poldark's youngest daughter, whose precocious talent as a singer is encouraged by her old flame, Christopher Havergal, and by a distinguished French conductor, who has more in mind than Bella's music; of Clowance, the Poldark's widowed daughter, who considers remarriage to one of two rival suitors; and of a murderer who stalks the villages of west Cornwall.

The last Poldark book left me feeling a bit let down. It could have been simply that it is the end of the series, but frankly, I thought it the least interesting and credible of the entire series.

Perhaps because less of it takes place in Cornwall, perhaps because it seems to end abruptly, perhaps because the youngest Poldark, Henry, is stranded in my mind at the age of 8, the only Poldark child to get so little of the story. Even Julia, their first child, gets more attention.

I would have liked an Epilogue, say 19 years later, (a significant number for Harry Potter fans, *smile*), with suitable descriptions of Ross and Demelza’s final days, how Clowance’s and Bella’s and Henry’s lives are going. What about Georgie, Valentine’s son? What about Dwight and Caroline’s daughters? How does George Warleggan end his days? His wife Harriet? Do Clowance and Edward have children? Does Bella really marry Christopher? Have children?
There were a few descriptions of Henry’s personality traits and a paragraph of Bella’s future career, but not nearly enough.

However, the series as a whole has been a staggering evocation of place and time, with strong and lyrical writing. Remember that it was written over the course of 57 years. The consistency and seamless tone and character development are outstanding. The technicalities of mining and steam, late 18th and early 19th century rural life, descriptions of life and death, love and hate, jealousy and envy, tragedy and comedy, introspection and bold action all make the series a great swashbuckling adventure. I would rate the series overall

May 18, 2017, 11:29am Top

>177 karenmarie: Glad things are starting to work out, Karen.
Good luck with getting sold as much as possible at the garage sale.

May 18, 2017, 1:05pm Top

Thank you, Anita!

I'm pulling things that we had boxed but knew we didn't want and laying them out in the living room to make getting ready early Sunday easier.

Edited: May 18, 2017, 1:07pm Top

^I saw my Indigo Bunting...actually 2 of them, (Not at my feeders but on a walk). These are always a highlight.

May 18, 2017, 1:12pm Top

>177 karenmarie: Sounds like you're on track for getting it all done. Excellent!

The estate people were right -- people will buy anything. At the same yard sale I mentioned, we sold a worn-out recliner that we were planning to just toss in the dumpster when we were ready to close up the house. But the nickel-and-dimers will likely be there; I had someone try to beat us down on the price of some old cookie sheets (from 50 cents) essentially because they were used.

May 18, 2017, 10:54pm Top

Karen, you are valiant and that's a fact.
I'm glad that things are going well and hopeful that that trend will continue through the yard sale.
Congratulations of finishing *Poldark*. You're right about the quality of *Bella*, but I was so happy to be back in their world that it could have been a lot worse and I would have been a fan.
>182 harrygbutler: Used cookie sheets at a yard sale - imagine that!

Edited: May 19, 2017, 9:20am Top

Wow, you got a great price on the table. I've never really known anyone who was completely satisfied with their estate sale, especially when they had high-end things. Buyer's can really take advantage of the seller's short window.

>177 karenmarie: Is that a painting? Nice!

>182 harrygbutler: I knew a guy who would bargain with sellers on stuff he had no intention of buying, it was a sport with him. He'd pick something really expensive and then go back-and-forth for 15 minutes trying to get the seller to keep lowering their price.

May 21, 2017, 3:38am Top

Good luck with your yard sale and the sale of the house, Karen. It's too bad the house wasn't in our real estate market. The prices are sky high and keep climbing.

May 21, 2017, 7:35pm Top

>178 karenmarie: Isn't there a task there for someone to carry on the series a la the James Bond books, etc?

Hope everything else is going well with you, dear lady. xx

May 22, 2017, 7:13am Top

Hope the sale went well and that you are not too exhausted today.

Edited: May 22, 2017, 11:21am Top

>181 msf59: Hi Mark! Congrats on the Indigo Buntings. They are so gorgeous. I hope you’re doing well.

>182 harrygbutler: Hi Harry! People beat us down and we mostly accepted. Unfortunately it turns out that my BiL advertised it as an estate sale “frozen in time” “exquisite pieces”, and we didn’t get many of the nickel-and-dimers. I haven’t added up what we took in, although we did get the $1000 for the onyx table.

>183 LizzieD: Thank you, Peggy! I’m glad to be done with Poldark only because anything else would be end of life stuff for Ross and Demelza and Dwight and Caroline, and even Jud and Prudie.

>184 SomeGuyInVirginia: Painting by Violet Parkhurst. Restored, reframed, sitting safely at my niece’s 3rd floor security condo building with a special insurance rider on it.

We had one woman who was here 2 hours. We had finally settled on stuff from inside the house for $50, then when she gathered up stuff from the garage she wanted to ‘bundle’ it all for the same $50. Didn’t work that way. *smile*

We also told people that we were perfectly happy to donate and get a tax receipt so didn’t get too much haggling.

>185 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. I wish the house was even in the other end of Diamond Bar – the south end – because it’s a better school district and I’ve been told it could fetch as much as $100K more there. Sigh.

>186 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul! Given the popularity of the new series I wouldn’t be surprised if someone is given the right to continue. However, I wonder how many people will actually read all 12 books and want more?

>187 rretzler: Hi Robin! Thank you.

The sale was exhausting. We sold the TV and so now I'll have to watch the Harry Potter DVDs on my laptop!

After my sister and BiL left about 4:30, I went to the grocery store and bought a couple of things then stopped at a fast food Mexican place for a to go order. I came home, ate, took a shower, and basically ached and was wired for 4 or so hours.

I feel a lot better today. Thank goodness for ibuprophen and aspirin!

Today I paid our quarterly car insurance over the phone with our agent. I’ll make a deposit of the garage sale money, go have lunch with my sister and have her scan a document I need for the mortgage company. I’ll also finish Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella, a wonderful book, the basis of the film Field of Dreams.

Major excitement - yesterday I saw a Band-Tailed Pigeon sitting on the bird bath. He was gorgeous. Not my pic -

May 23, 2017, 5:35am Top

That all sounds exhausting but I'm glad it's done with. I wish there was the scope for a garage sale here but they don't seem to happen in the UK. There is SO much I need to sell from my mother's.

Will you need to have another sale to get rid of the last bits or are you donating them now? Hope things begin to settle down again soon and you can get everything done that you need to.

May 23, 2017, 9:37am Top

>188 karenmarie: Sounds like the sale went fairly well. Have a great day, Karen, and congratulations on the Band-Tailed Pigeon!

May 23, 2017, 10:54am Top

Hope the rest of your time out there is less taxing, Karen.

May 23, 2017, 10:58am Top

>189 lunacat: Hi Jenny! Exhausting for sure. How are you able to sell things in the UK?

BiL's still advertising the furniture, but I think it's a lost cause. I'm going to bag up clothes and personal items and kitchen items today and take them to the Goodwill. It's about 4 1/2 miles from here so isn't onerous. I'll have to get more boxes.

I've already mailed 2 boxes to NC. They're waiting at the UPS store 'til the 31st so they won't get there before me.

This week is things to the Goodwill, getting the appraisal, and starting to talk with the real estate agent. I'm hoping my sister will come over one evening and spend the night.

Now it's coffee and The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah, an authorized Hercule Poirot. I put it on my Kindle last night.

May 23, 2017, 9:05pm Top

>153 karenmarie: - What a stunningly beautiful table, and probably very hard to match to a decor, beyond the colour scheme displayed in the pictures. That kind of table requires a bare or minimal room so that it can be the focal point. More art than function. $1000. Nice sale price.

OMG, so sorry to learn that the stress continues but kudos on the success of the garage/yard sale.

Glad to see that all of the hard work is showing results and thankfully, as you mentioned, your parents were not big on surrounding themselves with things. My mom was the opposite and thankfully, my dad is happy to have us kids start working on the purge now so that when the times comes that we have to deal with the household goods, it will be manageable and not overwhelming. Of course, there are five of us to share the burden, which also helps.

May 23, 2017, 9:30pm Top

So much work! It sounds like you are very organized and also getting some down time, which is very wise. :)

I have had a hairy woodpecker at my feeder the last few days. On my walk today I saw a green heron watching the overflow into our pond very intently. I hope he found what he was looking for. Also fireflies!! Which is very exciting and new for me and the kids. At the beach on Thursday I (and my formerly non-bird-watching, but now hooked) friend got to watch a pelican fishing. She said not so much to bird watching, but after a couple days on my back porch, she was consulting the bird book like a pro. *grin*

May 24, 2017, 9:30am Top

Are those authorized Christie's any good? I love Christie, but have always shied away from reading authorized ghosters.

May 24, 2017, 10:49am Top

>193 lkernagh: Hi Lori! We thought it was a good price, once BiL realized we wouldn’t get the pie-in-the-sky $8K he saw a table advertised for last year. He has $$ signs in his eyes and it is hard to cope with sometimes. I’m just glad that a young couple bought it. They also had to pay $300 for professional movers.

5 kids to share the burden sounds nice, as long as you all get along well! Sister and I are getting along well, it’s just my greedy BiL who’s putting bad energy out.

>194 nittnut: Hi Jenn! I’m not killing myself getting things done. I’d rather stay longer if I have to.

Ooh, Hairy Woodpecker. They’re fun to watch. I’ve never seen a Green Heron. They are gorgeous in pictures. We have a Little Blue Heron, but I haven’t seen him this year yet. And fireflies! I hadn’t ever seen them until I moved to NC 26 years ago and they are exciting. I like the way they rise up as it gets darker. And I’m glad you’ve converted your friend. *smile*

>195 SomeGuyInVirginia: Hi Larry! I’m about 25% through (Kindle stats), and it’s definitely not Christie. It’s just a teensy bit off but I’m persevering.

Today the Goodwill, then 80-mile round trip to take my sister out to lunch. Back to pack the car some more, either for an afternoon Goodwill run or Thursday Goodwill run.

I sold the oiled walnut coffee table yesterday for $100, along with a bunch of stuff that was going to the Goodwill but hadn’t been wrapped up yet for $20. The woman stayed 2 hours going through things, which was frustrating, but oh well, $120 is $120.

Off to read and drink some coffee. Goodwill doesn’t open for a while, so brekkie, book, then Goodwill.

May 24, 2017, 11:05am Top

Morning, Karen. Thanks for the update. Getting any reading in? And how much longer do you have there?

May 24, 2017, 11:09am Top

Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella
5/18/17 to 5/22/17

The description from Amazon:

”If you build it, he will come.”; These mysterious words, spoken by an Iowa baseball announcer, inspire Ray Kinsella to carve a baseball diamond in his cornfield in honor of his hero, the baseball legend Shoeless Joe Jackson. What follows is both a rich, nostalgic look at one of our most cherished national pastimes and a remarkable story about fathers and sons, love and family, and the inimitable joy of finding your way home.

This is a remarkable book. The movie Field of Dreams is based on the book and is excellent in and of itself, yet the book is deeper, richer, and even more satisfying.

Ray Kinsella hears the voice telling him “If you build it, he will come.” He plows up part of his cornfield and builds left field, and miraculously Shoeless Joe Jackson appears. As he builds more of the field, more players come.

His quest grows as he realizes he needs J.D. Salinger to watch a Boston Red Sox game with him. At the game both he and “Jerry” hear the voice, sending them off on another quest to find out about an obscure player who played one Major League baseball game in 1905 but never even came to bat.

This is a book about love. Ray’s love for his wife Annie and daughter Karin surround and motivate the story. The love of a son for his father ends up helping Ray see his own father in an entirely new light. And Ray's veneration of J.D. Salinger - which I share - is a book lover's paean to a favorite author.

Mystical, magical, heartland America, slyly humorous, Shoeless Joe is a sweet and rewarding read. If you love baseball, this book’s for you. If you love a man’s passion for a sport, this book is for you. If you love the idea of ghostly players from the Black Sox scandal getting to play again on a baseball field in the middle of an Iowa cornfield, this book is definitely for you.

May 24, 2017, 3:06pm Top

Hi Karen, I have been missing on here for a while, things have been a bit busy for me and I have done a bit too much on some days. The weather here has been lovely since the weekend, sunny and warm and hopefully it will continue. Karen is fine although Monday nights terrorist attack at Manchester Arena brought back some old memories today for her and she has been a bit tearful.

Hope everything is going well with you and your husband and I love reading your reviews dear friend, sending love and hugs.

May 25, 2017, 8:05am Top

>192 karenmarie: >195 SomeGuyInVirginia: Karen, I'm curious to know your thoughts on The Monogram Murders. I've been a huge Christie fan for 45+ years and I did read it last year. I won't share my thoughts right now - "spoilers" - but I'd love to know your thoughts.

May 26, 2017, 3:25pm Top

>199 johnsimpson: Hi John! I'm glad to hear from you - I'm still in California and would much rather be home. The appraisal is due today or tomorrow, meet with realtor, clean more stuff out, get rid of furniture, etc.

I'm stunned at the Manchester terrorist attack. It is so awful, and I'm sorry it has brought up old memories for her.

Sending love and hugs to you and Karen.

>200 rretzler: Hi Robin! It was disappointing. I've read pretty much every Poirot at least twice, know his every twitch and speech pattern, and The Monogram Murders was just .... off. Little things, quirky behaviors that made me think "NO! That isn't Poirot." Too many mentions of the little gray cells, a new "Hastings", and a very questionable and convoluted series of murders. Meh. I probably won't read Closed Casket even though it's on my shelves at home.

May 26, 2017, 9:40pm Top

>201 karenmarie: Oh, that is disappointing, Karen. I had high hopes for The Monogram Murders as it, and the sequel sit on my shelves. It must feel good to have the garage sale over. I hope all the rest of your estate work goes well and quickly.

May 26, 2017, 11:29pm Top

Glad to hear that things perk along, Karen. Also glad that you enjoyed the Kinsella. Of his I've read only The Fencepost Chronicles, but it's one of the funniest things I've ever read. It ranks right up there with the Ferrol Sams *Porter Osborne, Jr.* trilogy, which begins with Run with the Horsemen. I keep pushing these and hope eventually that somebody will read them and be entertained.

May 28, 2017, 9:48am Top

Just stopping by to say hello and happy Sunday!

We're loving the birds: red-bellied, hairy and downy woodpeckers at the suet feeder and ruby-throated hummingbirds galore. We also see an indigo bunting now and then, chewing on the grasses in the back yard. It is hard to mow so we end up with a meadow.

May 28, 2017, 10:14am Top

Hi Karen:

I'm glad things are winding up with the estate sale. Perhaps there are a few things your brother in law could list on Craigslist to keep him happy? I donated everything except for the pieces I decided to keep for myself and the things I thought my brother and his family or other family members might want. I just couldn't face the whole estate sale chaos on my own.

May 28, 2017, 10:36am Top

Happy Sunday, Karen. I think you missed me up there, just before your review.

I hope you are enjoying the weekend.

Good review of Shoeless Joe, by the way.

May 28, 2017, 12:43pm Top

Karen, it sounds like an exhausting job emptying a house. My father had an auction at his house after moving what he wanted into an independent living apartment. The auction was fascinating to me. I am toying with the idea of having a garage sale to declutter my house. I want to downsize but DH plans to die here! I just don't want to leave everything for my kids to do...

May 28, 2017, 4:25pm Top

>181 msf59: Can you believe the incredible color of this bird.

May 29, 2017, 11:33am Top

Just back from Williamsburg. I had my feet propped up on the balcony and read cheesy mysteries all weekend, but this time I paid attention to the birds. I saw:

a) wild Turkeys (really annoying, loud birds
b) Yellow Finches
c) Blue Jays
d) Cardinals
e) some bird with a white throat and black around the eyes that I called 'flying badgers'
f) a bunch of birds that I didn't recognize

So you're a good influence!

May 30, 2017, 6:34am Top

Stopping by to say hello - sounds like you are really busy sorting your Mum's house at the moment. I hope things keep moving so that you can go back home soon.

May 30, 2017, 1:17pm Top

>209 SomeGuyInVirginia: cheesy mysteries! Which ones?

Edited: Jun 7, 2017, 5:13pm Top

>209 SomeGuyInVirginia:

But, when Mom Wild Turkey comes up your driveway with ten little ones (more or less) in line, they are all pretty irresistible.

May 30, 2017, 3:58pm Top

Hi Karen, hope things are going ok for you my dear and you will be home soon dear friend. Sending love and hugs.

May 30, 2017, 11:32pm Top

Just another friend checking in. Hi Karen! Come home soon!

May 31, 2017, 9:27am Top

Earth to Karen, come in Karen. Press one if you're being held captive by a bunch of cosplay Marvel superheros' evil twins, press two if you've run to Vegas for a long weekend. Press three if you need us to post bail. Press four if you got a regrettable tattoo.

>211 ffortsa: The cheesiest! I had five days off so I made a point to read as much as possible, and I got through all or most of The Killing Kind by John Connollly, The Colorado Kid by Stephen King, Deeply Odd by Dean Koontz, After Dark, My Sweet, by Jim Thompson, and Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson, and The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett. I don't usually spend that much time reading, so this was a personal best. It also brought home that I really need to win the lottery because I could get used to that.

Karen and I were kicking around the idea of starting the Cheesy Mystery Book Club, wherein we read group read a cheesy mystery a month. I dropped the reins and didn't follow through, but still think it would be a good idea. I created a list of cheesy books that I think fit the bill, and agree with everything others have added.

Jun 1, 2017, 2:39am Top

Karen--Whew!! What a lot of work. So glad that most of it is over now. Hope you are recuperating and get home soon.

>215 SomeGuyInVirginia: LOL. You're killing me!!

Jun 1, 2017, 11:56am Top

Hi everybody! Thanks for keeping my thread warm.

>202 Familyhistorian: I’m glad it’s over, too, Meg. I need to create an official Personal Category called “If I knew then what I know now.” and add stuff about not relying on my BiL and not trusting his judgment.
The Monogram Murders might work for someone who hasn’t read many of the Poirot books by Dame Agatha. Perhaps my detailed knowledge of and feelings towards Poirot made any attempt by another author doomed from the start for me.

I hated Thrones and Dominations by Jill Paton Walsh, a “new” Peter Wimsey, too. She's written four, and I've only liked A Presumption of Death.

>203 LizzieD: Hi Peggy! I need to make the big leap and get the trash that won’t fit in the roadside pickup trash bin and the recyclables ditto out by calling for an extra pickup. Then I need to hire someone to take out the rest of the furniture because nobody seems to want it. Sigh.

But it’s coming along. I was anticipating going home early next week but it might be the end of next week.

>204 witchyrichy: Hey Janet. I'm getting to the point of calling someone to just come get the stuff. BiL has got $$ signs in his eyes and everything he's listed on Craigslist has been too high to attract the folks who will actually pay money for these things. I'd rather donate to a needy cause at this point, frankly. Just another thing to get BiL mad at me, I guess, but I'm pretty much past the point of caring, even if it upsets my sister that we're not getting along.

>205 streamsong: Hi Karen! I miss seeing my East Coast birds and don’t have quality binoculars to recognize more of my new West Coast birds. I completely understand about the mowing – my husband had to get our riding mower serviced, which took two weeks, and now it’s been raining. It needs to get cut before it requires bush hogging.

>206 msf59: Hi Mark! You’re right, and I apologize. It’s hard to get things right when I’m not in my home office because I don’t have my oversize monitor and am not in my comfort zone. Thank re the review. The weekend was fun because my sister spent most of it with me. Unfortunately BiL came over several times, but we had fun anyway.

>207 Donna828: It is exhausting, Donna, emotionally as much as physically. Garage sales are okay if you can get the right traffic, which didn’t happen with us, unfortunately, as my BiL had grandiose ideas about the types of things my Mom had. Make sure you have enough family members/friends helping. Sounds like you and your DH need to get on the same page, either way, and it’s good to not want to make problems for your kids. The hardest part has been having to worry about the sad state of affairs my Mom left things in on top of the house and its contents.

>208 Whisper1: Hi Linda! They’re just gorgeous, aren’t they?

>209 SomeGuyInVirginia: Larry! I’m envious of the wild turkeys although perhaps once would be enough. I’m glad you’re paying attention to the birds and thank you for considering me a good influence.

>210 souloftherose: Hi Heather! I need to put on my big girl panties and get rid of everything and sign the listing agreement.

>211 ffortsa: Hi Judy! I think you could safely say that this is Larry’s year to read cheesy mysteries. Go find his 75 Book Challenge thread.

>212 m.belljackson: Hi Marianne! I wish I could see a MWT and her little ones….. perhaps next year.

>213 johnsimpson: Hi John! I’m getting a bit stressed out as I have to take irrevocable step like getting rid of all the furniture and actually signing a listing agreement, but it’s just things that have to be done. Sending love and hugs back to you and Karen.

>214 LizzieD: Thanks for the check in, Peggy! God, I wish I was home.

>215 SomeGuyInVirginia: I’m here, I’m here! Ha. Good options, but I have to press five – crap to be done, BiL greediness to cope with, not in home environment where I know who to get ahold of to get things done. Sigh. I joined your cheesy list group but never contributed (at least that I can remember – I’m writing this response in Word then will cut and paste it back in).

>216 Berly: Hi Berly! I am on the final leg of the journey and need to be kinder to myself in recognizing all that I’ve done.

I don’t think I wrote that when I got in the evening of the 9th my sister told me that my BiL was too mad at me to have dinner with me. She left me at the curb of the airport with Mom’s car and she and BiL drove off. I’ve done almost all the physical work of cleaning things out although sister did bring back all the boxes of potential valuables that they kept at their house. She also stocked the fridge and cleaned the sheets and made the bed. But I will never forget the feeling of being left at the airport because she wouldn’t stand up to her husband in order to have dinner with me or to appeal to his better nature to have dinner with me and her. I want to be home and recuperating. I’ll get there soon.

One last BiL story – my sister asked me last week if her sister-in-law, my BiL’s sister, could buy the washing machine for $100. I said sure, it’s just that I needed it until I wasn’t staying in the house any more. So yesterday after driving 80 miles round-trip to have lunch with my sister, I walked into the house with the phone ringing – SiL telling me that her husband was stopping by on his way home from work to get it. I told her I hadn’t agreed to that, that I needed it for the entire visit, and that she could have it after that. I also said I was tired of her brother scheduling things for me without checking first. I’m sure he’ll hear that from her. If I only had to deal with my sister, I’d be doing a lot better.

Today I plan on getting all the last Goodwill things to the Goodwill, getting the last of the trash and recyclables into the garage, and checking in with the lawyer to get his take on listing the house and etc.

Thanks again, dear LT friends, for visiting.

Jun 1, 2017, 2:25pm Top

I am so sorry that you BiL is being a terrible bully. Yes, you will be home and recuperating soon.

You are a good influence!

Jun 1, 2017, 4:03pm Top

Hi Karen, sorry to hear of your travails with your sister's husband, he seems a right pain in the arse ( Pardon the language my dear but we Yorkshiremen can be plain speaking) and there is no need for it. Just who does he think he is scheduling things when you are not ready and what is the rush, can he not wait the prat.

Hope you will be home soon and recuperating from all this dear friend, sending love and hugs by the bucket load.

Jun 1, 2017, 4:58pm Top

That is a lot to put up to by your BiL, Karen, big (((hugs))). I'll be glad when you are safely back home.

Jun 1, 2017, 11:30pm Top

>218 SomeGuyInVirginia: Bully is a good word, Larry, but I am trying really hard to only let him be a bully-wanna-be. Schizophrenic is another good word - I never know which BiL my sister will tell me about or who will call me on the phone. I want to click my Ruby Slippers 3 times and be home.

>219 johnsimpson: He is a pain in the arse in addition to being a bully. Prat, too. It feel good to identify his less than stellar qualities.

Home soon, love and hugs happily accepted. Thank you, John.

>220 FAMeulstee: It is, Anita. Thank you for the hugs, they are greatly appreciated. I'll be glad to be back home too, so I can wander over and visit all you dear lovely LT friends. I just don't have it in me right now to go a-visiting, but I'll make up for it once I'm back under Carolina skies and in my own little piece of heaven.

We sold my mother's cut velvet sectional from 1967, custom made, for $60 today. At least it's out of the house. The living room is looking emptier and emptier.

I also made arrangements for bulky item pick up - 10 extra bags of trash along with the regular trash pick up next week.

And turned down the investors' insulting offer and will call the real estate agent tomorrow after I talk with my lawyer, just to have my ducks in a row.

Being away so long really makes me appreciate being home.

Jun 2, 2017, 2:47am Top

Wow. I think you are doing an amazing job holding it together. The BIL and his sibling sound simply awful. How much longer do you think you have down there? : /

Jun 2, 2017, 7:35am Top

{{Karen}} I am in awe of your strength and clear-headedness in the face of not just the daunting task but also all the emotions at this time, as well. It must also be awkward, to say the least, with the BiL. On the one hand, the anger at what a nasty piece of work he is, and how he is deliberately making a difficult time worse. How awful and sad it must be for your sister to have to live with a person like that. On the other hand, he was her choice and if she can't even stand up to him for something that surely must be at least equally as difficult for her as it is for you, then there must be a bit of pity for her, as well. Sigh.

Just know you are doing a terrific and admirable job and once it is done, you can have the satisfaction of knowing that you did all the right things and did them well. I'm sure your parents would be filled with pride and love for your devotion to such a situation.


Jun 2, 2017, 8:58am Top

What >223 jessibud2: said. You're doing the work beautifully!

Jun 2, 2017, 9:18am Top

Hang in there lady. We will arrange for nice weather when you get home.

Jun 2, 2017, 11:56am Top

>222 Berly: Hi Berly! Thank you. Some times are easier than others, obviously, right now I’m getting ready to have my first cup of coffee so am feeling happy.

I’m aiming to leave next Thursday or Friday, but can leave as late as Sunday. I have a Friends of the Library Board meeting I’m trying to be home for on Monday the 12th. And if, horror of horrors, I miss the meeting, oh well. The goal is to not have to come back here for anything related to Mom’s estate. Only pleasure, and certainly not for a while.

>223 jessibud2: Hi Shelley. My sister said something similar yesterday – she wouldn’t know what to do and was glad I was doing it all. I started to demur, but she said “Just take the compliment, Karen.” So I did.

And so I do from you, too. Thank you.

My sister got married early. She has a beautiful singing voice and could have accomplished a lot with it. Mom and Dad couldn’t afford to send her to college, and that really angers me still, because Dad was an aerospace engineer and Mom worked full time by the time I was 11 years old, making it when my sister was 7 years old. They could have saved money, they could have borrowed money, like they had to do for my first year at Pepperdine. By my second year I was working and paying for my own schooling ‘cuz I didn’t want to deal with the uncertainty of their ability/willingness to borrow. But no, they just told her they couldn't pay for her schooling.

Now, my sister and her husband could have decided to let her go to school full time after they got married at the age of 18. He worked for General Dynamics. They could have gotten student loans. But no, she ended up working for a car dealership, then an insurance company. Then they had kids, and she only started working again when her husband’s business acumen, always low, got him into trouble financially. They’ve been in financial trouble ever since. She’s the breadwinner, he’s disabled, and for whatever reason, after 3 applications and one hearing, can’t get disability. I think he is disabled and deserves it, but his incompetence extends even to that. His lawyers are filing an appeal.

My sister keeps saying her husband is a good person who is lost right now, but he’s been lost for a very long time and is not doing it gracefully at all. He also lashes out and hurts people, especially my sister, emotionally. Not physically, not ever, though.

>224 SomeGuyInVirginia: Thank you Larry. Just, thank you.

>225 nittnut: I’m trying to hang in there, Jenn! I think I’m mostly succeeding.

I must admit that the weather out here is stellar. Cool evenings, mild days. I've been out here long enough that my hip and back don't hurt as much - less humidity, I think. My husband says there’s been lots of rain and that our yard looks like a jungle. The riding lawn mower is back, all fixed and good as new, so perhaps it won’t be a jungle when I get home. My husband always tries to have everything looking good after I return from a trip, inside and out.

Clear Carolina skies, sunshine, and low humidity are my order!

Today is getting trash/recyclables more under control in the garage, calling Mom’s bank about the safety deposit box because I finally found the original lock box agreement, and probably picking my sister up for the weekend! Yay. I tentatively asked her if she’d have any time this weekend, perhaps even spend a night, and she said “Nights. This is a unique opportunity.” That makes me happy. I don’t know if I’ll pick her up or BiL will bring her. I do admit that he was reasonable on the phone yesterday, but he always tries to make himself look good after screwing up so I could see through him. Like his sister would have never called me if he hadn’t asked her to, and he hadn’t checked with me before telling her it was okay to pick the washing machine up – but you wouldn’t be able to tell that from the conversation we had about it. He actually blamed my sister for not communicating back that I needed it the whole time I was here. I’m trying to let his sh*t roll off me like water off a duck’s back…..

Jun 2, 2017, 12:09pm Top

Hang in there and shake hard!!

Hope you get some fun time with your sister overnight.

Jun 2, 2017, 12:21pm Top

Ooh, Berly! Perfect visual and I'll use it everytime I deal with BiL! And thank you re my sister - when she's not listening to stupid things from her husband, she's a lot of fun.

Jun 2, 2017, 12:45pm Top

The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston
5/25/17 to 5/28/17

The description from Amazon:

The #1 New York Times and #1 Wall Street Journal bestseller! A five-hundred-year-old legend. An ancient curse. A stunning medical mystery. And a pioneering journey into the unknown heart of the world's densest jungle.

Since the days of conquistador Hernán Cortés, rumors have circulated about a lost city of immense wealth hidden somewhere in the Honduran interior, called the White City or the Lost City of the Monkey God. Indigenous tribes speak of ancestors who fled there to escape the Spanish invaders, and they warn that anyone who enters this sacred city will fall ill and die. In 1940, swashbuckling journalist Theodore Morde returned from the rainforest with hundreds of artifacts and an electrifying story of having found the Lost City of the Monkey God-but then committed suicide without revealing its location.

Three quarters of a century later, bestselling author Doug Preston joined a team of scientists on a groundbreaking new quest. In 2012 he climbed aboard a rickety, single-engine plane carrying the machine that would change everything: lidar, a highly advanced, classified technology that could map the terrain under the densest rainforest canopy. In an unexplored valley ringed by steep mountains, that flight revealed the unmistakable image of a sprawling metropolis, tantalizing evidence of not just an undiscovered city but an enigmatic, lost civilization.

Venturing into this raw, treacherous, but breathtakingly beautiful wilderness to confirm the discovery, Preston and the team battled torrential rains, quickmud, disease-carrying insects, jaguars, and deadly snakes. But it wasn't until they returned that tragedy struck: Preston and others found they had contracted in the ruins a horrifying, sometimes lethal-and incurable-disease.

Suspenseful and shocking, filled with colorful history, hair-raising adventure, and dramatic twists of fortune, THE LOST CITY OF THE MONKEY GOD is the absolutely true, eyewitness account of one of the great discoveries of the twenty-first century.

Frankly, this book left me curiously flat. It was probably my anticipation of more of the archaeology than adventure story and epidemiological nightmare. I should have read the Amazon description above, although I might have still bought it and not had unfulfilled expectations.

The best part of the story, besides the very scary Fer-de-Lance, was the description of lidar (from Wikipedia: a surveying method that measures distance to a target by illuminating that target with a pulsed laser light, and measuring the reflected pulses with a sensor. Differences in laser return times and wavelengths can then be used to make digital 3D-representations of the target.) Lidar requires visual surveying, and in this case flying over the T1, T2, and T3 areas of the Mosquitia in Honduras. Preston went on some of the flights, cramped in a corner, enjoying every minute of it.

The results of the lidar exceeded their expectations and opened up an entirely new area of archaeological exploration.

And in hindsight, with a few days to digest the book and form more lasting opinions, I find that I am interested in the “horrifying, sometimes lethal-and incurable-disease” that at many of the expedition acquired. Lots of good information, lots of protecting the names of the expedition members who requested privacy. I had absolutely no idea about this disease or its prevalence in the world.

Preston is a good writer. Having said that, he made more than a few unsubstantiated claims, assumptions, really. This is not a scholarly work at all, but my expectations exceeded the scope, no doubt. The book jumped around a lot and I was still left with an unsatisfied curiosity about the people who built and lived in this extraordinary lost city. Let’s hope that the archaeologists and scholars don’t pull a Howard Carter and never publish the scholarly work related to their stunning find.

And finally, most people, especially in Honduras, call it Ciudad Blanca, the White City. Legend until the events of this book, for centuries, The Lost City of the Monkey God is the sensational name for it, used by few. The book title is in and of itself just a tad irritating, even discounted by Preston throughout the book.

Jun 2, 2017, 1:11pm Top

I missed your thread so have just scanned through it. Love your bookshelves at the top - they look very much like how I'd want my own bookshelves to look though I'm torn between wanting white and dark brown (dark wood) ones.

Jun 2, 2017, 2:59pm Top

>230 PawsforThought: Hi! Thank you re my bookshelves. They are inexpensive, with adjustable shelves. I like the adjustable shelves even though I haven't adjusted them in years.

Here's a photograph I found in a cheap frame - a space project, don't know which one, or even when. I found it in a closet recently. It's a good quality industrial photograph, 16" x 20". Dad, why didn't you label it???

Jun 2, 2017, 3:09pm Top

>231 karenmarie: Adjustible shelves are a must for me. Want to get as much shelf space as possible! Also, I don't like when there's too much air between the books and the shelf above it - looks empty.

That's a cool looking space project thing, whatever it is. But all space things are cool, so.

Jun 2, 2017, 4:31pm Top

I'm sorry you've got the emotional burden of your BIL added to the emotional weight of cleaning out the house. He sounds very unempathetic over the loss of your Mom.

Hugs, hugs, hugs.

Interesting review of the Monkey God. Several people here have liked it better; I'm sure others felt like you. The subject seems interesting enough that I will probably give it a try sometime, especially as I don't know anything about the subject at all. It sounds like the author may not have been in charge of the title!

Jun 2, 2017, 5:38pm Top

>229 karenmarie:

What is the name of the "horrifying..." disease?

Thank you.

Jun 2, 2017, 6:10pm Top

>232 PawsforThought: I do a lot of grouping by size, too - what fits on a particular shelf!

>233 streamsong: Thanks, Janet. It' not a bad book, just not what I was expecting. And I fully admit that my expectations were probably ill-judged. Pretty sure you're right about the title, too.

>234 m.belljackson: Leishmaniasis. I'd never heard of it.

Jun 2, 2017, 6:26pm Top

>235 karenmarie: That's pretty much how I organize all my books. Type (fiction/non-fiction), author and size.

Jun 2, 2017, 9:23pm Top

>223 jessibud2: Ditto what Jessie said. I am so sorry for your family woes. Truly, I don't know anyone with a Hallmark family. I've learned to keep my sanity and stay away from my partner Will''s Aunt and his cousin. Looking back, they never wanted me in Will's life. They have tried, unsuccessfully to do much harm.

I sure do hope things get better for you. Sending lots of gentle hugs your way.

Jun 3, 2017, 11:25am Top

Oh wow.... very sorry to read about the unnecessary - and uncalled for - drama you have had to endure from your Bi during what is already a very stressful time. (((Hugs)))

Jun 3, 2017, 4:31pm Top

It sounds like you are having a time of it, Karen. Keep your eyes on the prize (in this case wrapping up the estate so you don't have to do more later) and let the emotional drama wash off your back. Good part is that you get to spend quality time with your sister. Keep up your spirits, Karen.

Jun 4, 2017, 8:03am Top

Morning, Karen! Happy Sunday! Glad you are back home. We also arrived back last night. Nice to be back in the routine.

Jun 4, 2017, 8:29am Top

Happy Sunday, Karen. Just passing through and waving. RL was/is busy.

Jun 4, 2017, 8:10pm Top

>231 karenmarie: Best guess - a fuel or oxidizer tank for a liquid-propelled rocket. Based on the little tiny person at the bottom, it's freakin' huge, which begs for rocket 1st stage component. Plus those things sticking out look like where the skin cylinder would attach.

Jun 5, 2017, 11:28am Top

>236 PawsforThought: Mine are only by size. Fiction and nonfiction, regardless of author, are all mixed in together. The only thing I have separated out now is that the books I've read are in my Retreat upstairs and the unread books and reference books are all in the Library or the Sunroom downstairs. I use location tags to find a particular author/book, tagged grouping.

>237 Whisper1: Thank you, Linda. You’re right – there are no Hallmark families. Some people are toxic even if they are family and you minimize the fallout by avoiding them. BiL has been a bit nicer, but like I said above, I never know which BiL is there, the nice one or the angry greedy one. Thank you for the hugs – they are always appreciated.

>238 lkernagh: Hi Lori! It always seems to be about HIS feelings for MOM, HIS relationship with her, the things HE did for her over the years. It’s very wearing and boring to hear it over and over. My feelings are never thought of. I’m just the money machine and object in the way of $$ for him.

>239 Familyhistorian: It sure has been a time of it, Meg. I’ve made great progress in the almost-month I’ve been out here, and hope to have things be a non-stressful set of activities in the future – pay utilities until the house sells or it doesn’t and we decide to pull the plug and return it to the bank, figure out how much is owed me for the money I’ve fronted and work it out with my sister, etc. All from a distance, fortunately. I’m trying to get the last things done in the next 3 or 4 days.

>240 msf59: Happy Monday morning, Mark! I’m not home, but am anticipating being able to leave either Thursday or Friday of this week, HURRAH! I hope your trip was for a better reason than mine, glad you’re back. I’ll be glad to get back into my routine, soon.

>241 Ameise1: Hi Barbara! I hope things are going well for you. I just don't have the emotional wherewithal to visit, but sure do miss all my dear LT friends. I'm looking forward to being home and catching up soon.

>242 drneutron: Hi Doc! Oooh, exciting. I’ve taken the pristine photograph out of the awful frame and sister has it. Thanks for your opinion.

Today and/or tomorrow will be forwarding Mom’s mail at the post office, filling out the disclosures paperwork at the realtor’s – we listed the house on Saturday and they’ll probably be able to start showing it this coming weekend - closing her safety deposit box, and going to the Tax Assessor’s Office to see about submitting the application to re-evaluate the square footage of the house.

So we knew when the house was bought that it was about 2400 square feet. However, 500 square feet were unfinished bonus room, and even though Dad got building permits for the partitions and electrical and we have the 48-year old ncr copies and final signoff on the inspection card from the county, the tax assessors’ office has only 1908 square feet recorded. This is good and bad obviously – unintended good by reduced taxes for the last 49 years, bad because we had to pay $450 for an appraisal that proved the 2427 square feet and having to go to the Tax Assessor’s office and hope they don’t request any back taxes. It was unintended and not Mom and Dad’s fault, and I don’t think they realized that the county had the wrong square footage. It’s interesting that of the exact other model of home in the subdivision, some are listed as 1908 square feet and some about 2400 square feet.

And joy of joys, today the power will be off from 9 – 4:30 as Edison does some kind of maintenance.

Jun 5, 2017, 3:01pm Top

>243 karenmarie: I'm impressed that you can handle that - I never would be able to. I need books by the same author grouped together, and I'd probably start itching if there was non-fiction mixed in with my novels!

Jun 5, 2017, 4:08pm Top

Hi Karen, you are doing a great job sorting your mom's estate out my dear and you will be glad to get back home hopefully by the end of the week. Sending love and hugs to you dear lady, you deserve it.

Jun 5, 2017, 8:52pm Top

Gah. I don't think it's ever easy, settling an estate, closing down a house you've known for decades, finding old photos and little reminders that bring the past back. In a way, you BiL acting like a tool may keep the blues at bay. Maybe it's not that big an issue and he's just a trying b-tard. I was OK when I closed my parent's house down, but I thought I'd die when I closed my grandmother's house down.

Have you thought about what you're going to do about him and you sister later? It might be a good idea to have an action plan.

My advice to combat everything from the cold to a broken heart is to a) go to the gym, b) go to the movies, or c) have a bracing drink in an interesting place. One from column A, one from column B? C? Anyone? Bueller?

Edited: Jun 5, 2017, 10:35pm Top

>244 PawsforThought: I used to keep authors together alphabetically, but I got so tired shifting books to add a new one, rows and rows, even across shelves. It just became easier to put things wherever. That worked great and I knew where everything was until I had more books than fit in the library. Just about that time I found out about LT and realized that tags would help me. Thus my non-system system was born. Everybody has a strong opinion on how to arrange/classify their books, and I say brava/bravo to each of us! Whatever works.

>245 johnsimpson: Thank you, John. Encouragement and kudos help. I'm getting there. Sending love and hugs back to you and Karen.

>246 SomeGuyInVirginia: It hasn't been easy at all, although I don't have the emotional baqgage about this house that my sister does. I only lived in it from 1967 to 1972, and had no traumatic experiences here like she did. They are hers and private, but I will just say that they have affected her entire life. Nothing that Mom or Dad did, thank goodness, just ..... stuff. So it's easier for me although finding old pictures and strange things has been angsty. Unfortunately no secret hidden caches of cash, though. It is sad, but it's just life.

Option C will work tonight - a glass of Justin Sauvignon Blanc and my book. The venue is Mom's, but that's okay.....

Today I forwarded her mail effective the 8th, started the process of closing her safe deposit box although because my sister/BiL seem to have lost the key I'll have to pay $125-150 to get it drilled out; ironic because I emptied it in October in a once-because-of-DPOA-but-not-to-close-or-get-named-on-the-contract. Sigh. Mom took sister and BiL off the box in 2014, but I have no idea why, so I'll be paying drilling fees and lost key fees. Actually, the trust account will, not me personally, but still. So unnecessary.

I filled out the disclosure documents for the sale, didn't go to the tax assessor's office. I've been trying to get up with the lawyer, but he moved last week and has a new girlfriend. The realtor wants me to apply to have the house square footage re-evaluated, but I'm skittish about any tax repercussions to me or the estate. If not required legally, I won't do it.

The power came back on a 4:30, yay, but I had to call the phone/internet service to reset the ONC box (don't ask...) and after 20 minutes of back-and-forthing got back on line. One step forward, two steps back.


Jun 5, 2017, 11:21pm Top

Courage and peace to you, Karen! At least the SauvB and book should be therapeutic. (Andy Griffith/Barbey Fife fan that I am, I almost wrote "therapetic.")
In my not particularly vast experience, in-laws are more likely to be trouble in settling an estate than the blood kin. Well --- except for the one toxic person that every family seems to have hidden away somewhere. I am sorry that you can't say to BIL, if you don't like what I'm doing, you can do it and I'll be happy to go home.
I'm impressed with your strength and your savvy-ness.

Jun 6, 2017, 4:26am Top

>247 karenmarie: I don't keep them alphabetically. Could never manage it. I just make sure all books by the same author are together (unless someone is both a fiction and non-fiction author, that gets separated).

If I could I'd by you that bottle of Sauvignon Blanc for dealing with taking care of your mum's house and things. Closing down a home like that isn't easy. All the best to you.

Jun 6, 2017, 3:57pm Top

Hi Karen, we are keeping pace with each other on pages read this year my dear, hope things are progressing ok for you and that you will soon be home, sending love and hugs.

Jun 6, 2017, 7:14pm Top

I just finished reshuffling my books, I like the authors in alphabet order. It's a pain for sure, and dusty, did I mention the dust?

Jun 7, 2017, 2:18pm Top

>248 LizzieD: Hi Peggy! Thank you. The SuavB and book were therapeutic. I’ll take the rest of the bottle to the hotel – I’ll be spending tonight and tomorrow night there, and then, if cousin Rebecca can come through with a standby ticket, go home Friday.

BiL has been the most trouble, putting my sister in the middle. Once I realized that’s what she felt, I completely took her out of stuff with her husband. He, unfortunately, didn’t do that with me. He’s still adversarial, but less so as she’s gotten stronger at standing up to him. Rather despicable.

Thank you re strength and savvy-ness. Strong because I have to be – let’s not mention the insomnia, high stress levels, and internal raging….. but as things are winding down, I’m doing better and better.

>249 PawsforThought: Glad your system works. And thank you for the virtual bottle of SauvB and wishes.

>250 johnsimpson: It’s a good pace, John. I hope to pick it up some once I get home and get back to my vast TBR. I would have brought more books if I’d realized I’d be here this long, but I do have thrift shops and my Kindle so am getting along book-wise. Sending love and hugs to you and Karen.

>251 beeg: Hi Brenda! Yay reshuffling. There’s dust on books I haven’t moved in a long time, sorry to say, and yes dust is vastly irritating. But having your books back in order is an incredibly good feeling.

Today was getting Mom’s safe deposit box opened with a locksmith, confirming that it’s empty because I emptied it in October but wasn’t allowed to close it. Now it’s closed, and Yvonne, the customer service manager at Wells Fargo waived the $125 locksmith fee. She didn’t have to, for sure, but I greatly appreciate it.

Waiting for BiL and his nephew to come over to move the rest of the furniture to the garage. Then our realtor can get a cleaning crew over here and the carpets shampooed, and then I’m done with the house. She should be able to even have an open house this weekend, I think. At this point my sister and BiL are responsible for everything in the garage - the furniture, haz mat materials, bulky item trash, and recyclables that won’t fit in the barrel.

Going to shut down the phone and internet tomorrow morning from the hotel since I don’t know how long I’ll be here today getting absolutely everything out of the house. Not much more besides my luggage, but I’m not rushing and have no time line.

Jun 7, 2017, 4:26pm Top

Almost home! I know you'll be glad to be back. You've done an incredible amount of work!

Jun 7, 2017, 5:31pm Top

Just adding my opinion that you've done a monumental job with very little help and a lot of interference. Have a safe flight and enjoy the luxury of your own place as soon as possible!

Jun 8, 2017, 12:05am Top

Hooray! I will arrange for the clear skies and sunshine straight away. I believe I can guarantee it through the weekend. I will see what I can do about the humidity. What do you consider low humidity?

Jun 8, 2017, 12:38pm Top

>253 SomeGuyInVirginia: Hi Larry! Yes, I'm confirmed standby to Raleigh tomorrow. Flight's at 6 a.m. (gulp), but that makes it easy on my husband since he works relatively close to the airport and can just come over from work. That's if I actually get on the flights, but I'm confident.

I should have taken more before pictures.

>254 ffortsa: Hi Judy! I'll be glad to get home, for sure. I feel good about how I'm leaving things.

>255 nittnut: Thank you, Jenn! 40% or less. A pipe dream, for sure.

The caregiver situation for her MiL at my sister's fell through, so I spent last night and will spend tonight here given that they had a spare bed. Saves money, for sure, and today with my sister back at work and BiL having a PT appointment, I'll stay with his mother for a couple of hours. Not how I planned on spending my day but no obligations fortunately.

Jun 9, 2017, 9:06am Top

Well, old friend, you should be seated for takeoff and on your way home. YAY!

Jun 10, 2017, 2:19pm Top

Hi Larry! I made it home yesterday safe and sound, although once again on different standby flights than originally scheduled. The first flight got delayed two hours due to weather in Dallas, so the woman at the Dallas gate immediately put me on standby to the 6:20 a.m. flight to Phoenix/Charlotte, which I made. Then in Phoenix I missed the Charlotte/Raleigh connector by 10 minutes - Phoenix flight was delayed and got in late - but I got on the NEXT Charlotte/Raleigh flight and got to baggage claim in Raleigh just in time to pick up my bag from the original two-hour delayed ONT-DFW-RDU flight!! I kid you not, walked down to baggage claim, sat down for 3 minutes, got up and walked over the baggage carousel and there was my bag. Then, husband was just coming around the corner at Arrivals, so he picked me up within 10 minutes. Serendipity.

I was, and am still, totally whupped. I can feel the adrenaline draining out of my body still, even as I type this. I have no plans to do anything this weekend except do a load or two of laundry, hang with husband and kitties, and call Louise and daughter.

The kitties missed me and Inara slept with me most of the night. Kitty William came in after it was light, telling me all about it, but I went right back to sleep. I slept from 10 p.m. 'til 10:15 a.m. EST. I really needed the sleep because I didn't get good sleep at my sister's. First night was because stupid BiL didn't bring his nephew and I had to help him move furniture so my back was on fire even with meds, and the second night I think I was journey proud plus they keep the hall light on for sister's MiL AND the whole house fan droned on all night because that's what they do.

Last night it was dark out (no street lights), quiet (rural), and my own bed (heaven).

Tomorrow or Monday I'll probably start visiting here on LT again, right now it's time for a nap and perhaps a bit of reading.

I came down this morning halfway through the Women's Final of the French Open and it was really good tennis and quite exciting. The underdog won, but either way would have been fine with me.

Jun 10, 2017, 7:30pm Top

Welcome back

Jun 10, 2017, 8:06pm Top

I hope you get lots more sleep! In your own bed!! And there's more tennis tomorrow. I watched the women's singles today and very much like the newcomer. She's a little erratic, but man, she had some amazing shots!

Jun 10, 2017, 10:02pm Top

>259 beeg: Thanks, Brenda! I have a teensy bit of energy back so hope to get back into my groove soon.

>260 Berly: Thanks Berly! It's time to hit the sheets after a snootful of Justin 2013 Isoceles (a delicious red).

Ostapenko was stunning. Up and down, sure, but when she needed to be up she absolutely was.

The men's final would be better with Roger (being a die-hard Roger fan FOREVER), but I'd like Wawrinka to win because he's Swiss and because he's not Nadal (NOT being a Nadal fan FOREVER).

Tomorrow will be a nice day, for sure.

Jun 11, 2017, 9:20am Top

Yeah! I know you're glad to be with your OWN FAMILY with your OWN STUFF!

Parker had to get his rabies shot yesterday and I saw part of a set at the vet's. I was pretty distracted but one player was totally outplaying the other.

Jun 11, 2017, 9:48am Top

Hope you can curl into a long comfortable stretch with all your favorite things. You have sooo earned it!

Jun 11, 2017, 10:04am Top

Happy Sunday, Karen. Welcome Home! I hope you are doing nothing but R & R today, recharging those batteries. It will be nice to see you back posting again.

Jun 11, 2017, 10:15am Top

>201 karenmarie: Karen, continuing the "new" Poirot conversation from way back - I totally agree with you. I'm the same, I've been reading Christie since I was in the 4th grade - and while its been a few years since I lasted read a Poirot, The Monogram Murders totally fell flat for me. I thought most of what the author had Poirot do was out of character. The biggest thing that bugged me was that he spent quite a bit of time traveling around to various places, as opposed to sitting back, thinking, and letting everyone come to him. I'm not sure how I would have liked the book if it hadn't tried to be Poirot, but instead was a new detective, but I certainly do know that I won't be reading the next book. I'm really surprised that the Christie estate approved this "new" Poirot!

Whew! Rant over! Glad to know that you were also disappointed.

Jun 11, 2017, 12:42pm Top

>261 karenmarie:

Why not Nadal - what have I missed?!

Edited: Jun 11, 2017, 1:57pm Top

>262 SomeGuyInVirginia: You’re absolutely right, Larry! My husband, my kitties, my stuff, my comfort zone.

Poor Parker, kitty shots are never fun. I need to schedule vet visits for Inara and Kitty William – I get e-mail reminders from our vet and in May got many for both kitties.

>263 streamsong: Hi Janet! It’s just nice to be home, sitting in my chair, looking out MY windows at our yards, knowing husband is in the next room glad that I'm home. Husband and I chat every once in a while, and after I finish this we’ll watch something, probably a Bull or NCIS, since by his definition he’s currently in “sports hell”.

>264 msf59: Hi Mark! Thank you. Today is R&R for sure. Neighbor Dwain asked us to come over this morning and gave me some straight-neck yellow squash. I suspect that he hadn't picked for several days and was overwhelmed, but I'm not complaining - I took some over to Louise, along with a little box of See’s Candy I brought back from CA for her. We did a nice little catch up. Back home, had a Greek salad for lunch, ONE piece of my box of See’s Candy (one custom-packed and hand-carried box for each of us, 1 lb each. Yum.) Probably tomorrow for the posting, after the morning Friends of the Library monthly board meeting. Or, if friend Carl needs errands run, Tuesday morning for the posting.

>265 rretzler: We’re in total agreement, Robin. You make good points and state them well. I won’t read the second one, but I think I’ll keep both of them on the shelves to go with all my other Christie books for completeness’ sake.

>266 m.belljackson: Well, Marianne, I’m a Roger Federer fan. I don't talk about it in the 75 group as much, but for a while I was seriously involved in the Tennis Anyone? group and we had a live blog that we'd all sign on to to watch slams. I was beside myself as Nadal came up and Roger couldn’t get a French final. Without Nadal, Roger would probably have been one of the top 2 or 3 clay players ever. Then Nadal started winning other Grand Slams and I hated to see Roger lose to him physically and eventually mentally.

I prefer Roger’s style – smooth, fluid, play with finesse, look effortless. Nadal makes noise, has a bunch of nervous tics (which he didn’t initially have but has acquired over the years), and just slams the shit out of the ball most of the time. I can appreciate what he does, but I’m just not a fan.

Having said that I appreciate that he wiped the court with Wawrinka today. Stan didn’t stand a chance. Roger would probably not have stood a chance had he played the French this year and made it to the final either. Nadal was on fire.

Roger’s the GOAT, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, and others are good but just not Roger Federer. Roger has been a class act ever since he learned to manage his temper when he was just starting off; he occasionally lets slip but rarely. Plus I love his story with Mirka and the two sets of twins.

Sorry Nadal fans, but I'm a Roger fan all the way forever. I'm actually trying to find someone to cheer for like I have for Roger over the years, but so far nobody's doing it for me.

Jun 11, 2017, 2:30pm Top

See's Toffetts!!!

Jun 11, 2017, 2:39pm Top

>267 karenmarie:

Thanks for clearing that up - I thought, with all the recent horrific headlines, from Trump to Cosby,
that I had missed something unpleasant about Rafa!

Yeah, I think he's pretty cool and he seems to be doing a lot for kids.

Paul is another Federer Fan from posts awhile back...

Jun 11, 2017, 3:21pm Top

Hi Karen, welcome home my dear, hope you have had a restful couple of days dear friend.

Jun 11, 2017, 3:32pm Top

You're HOME!!! HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!!
Lavish some TLC on yourself; it's well-deserved. See's chocolates - a very good place to start.
40% humidity --- dream on!
As to animal shots, DH took our May to the vet for a flu shot since dog flu seems to be coming up the coast. We were happy to confirm that she has been getting them for the 2 or 3 years they have been available; got a booster though.
So glad you're home, Karen!!!

Jun 11, 2017, 4:35pm Top

Between the two, I would choose Federer every time. But Federer wasn't in the final so I couldn't root for him and you just have to admit that Rafa was on fire today. He looked years younger and played that way too. I couldn't help but root for him to get his #10. Wimbledon is going to be interesting!!

Jun 11, 2017, 6:21pm Top

Welcome home, Karen!

Edited: Jun 11, 2017, 7:10pm Top

Adding my own welcome home wishes, Karen and I am sure that a period of rest is now very much on the menu. xx

Being a Brit I always cheer on Murray but Federer is a simply sublime player. Rafa, I wanted to win this one but I do tend to agree with you that his grunting and screeching seems to have gotten worse over the years.

Edited: Jun 12, 2017, 8:39am Top

>268 beeg: Hi Brenda! Toffee-ettes are good. They remind me of Almond Roca. However, my custom box is all dark chocolate – Raspberry Creams, California Brittle, Scotchmallows, and Nougat. I broke down and had three pieces yesterday. I need to put the box up .

>269 m.belljackson: No worries about Rafa, Marianne. And Roger seems seriously commited to his Foundation. He’s a fairly well-rounded person for someone in such an intense, personal sport.

>270 johnsimpson: Thank you, John! The weekend was restful. I’m still on California time physically and right now I feel like I’ve been hit with a two-by-four. I had to get up early to enjoy my coffee before heading off to the Friends of the Library Board Meeting.

Sending love and hugs to you and Karen. I’ll be visiting threads later today or tomorrow…..

>271 LizzieD: Hallelujah indeed, Peggy! I’m so happy to be home, knowing I got everything done I wanted to. True, there’s still stuff in the garage, but sister and BiL will just have to step up and get rid of it. Sister has thanked me profusely and frequently for carrying this burden.

I took the front-porch bird feeder out a few minutes ago. I can’t leave it out overnight because then the raccoons and squirrels jump onto the railing and have a feast, leaving Chatham County red clay footprints. In CA, opening the front door first thing in the morning lets in a blast of cool, mid-60s, low-humidity air. Here, it’s already 81% relative humidity and even though it’s only 67F, it already feels nasty.

Glad you got May’s booster shot.

I’ll be saying it for a while, too – I’m glad to be home.

Perhaps you, Jenn, and I can start planning a meet up?

>272 Berly: Hi Berly! Yup Rafa proved himself Best on Clay ever. I couldn’t easily watch the French Open in CA after I sold Mom’s TV, but can watch Wimbledon easily now that I’m home.

>273 jessibud2: Thank you, Shelley! Books, birds, and R&R are still on my agenda. I’m deliberately not opening the 3 boxes shipped home from CA until the last two arrive on Wednesday. By then I might even have completely unpacked my suitcase!

>274 PaulCranswick: Thank you, Paul. Oh yes, rest.

I like Murray, just don’t feel that extra bit that defines the true fan. However, I just looked up Sir Andrew Barron Murray and am happy that he’s #1 in the World (or was until the final?), has a wife (I knew he had married), has a 5-star hotel (knew about that too), and a daughter (didn’t know about her). I was also very happy for him when he won Wimbledon.

Rafa’s grunting and pre-serve routine make me crazy. I can hardly watch, but of course the camera zooms in on the routine almost every serve. At least he doesn’t seem to grab his pants as much anymore (perhaps because he doesn’t wear those tight, below-the-knee pedal pushers).

I’m reading a very interesting book called A cup of Light by Nicole Mones about a 32-year old American woman expert who has been sent to China to evaluate a cashe of pots (porcelain). The cache of twenty, an unheard of number of previously unknown pots, turns out to be more, and we’re pulled into the world of the international art market, the international fakes market, and China porcelain lore. I’m finding it fascinating.

Time to get ready for the Board meeting! I hope everybody's having a good day.

Jun 12, 2017, 8:46am Top

Good morning, Karen! I hope you have a great week, relaxing after your time in California.

Jun 12, 2017, 9:48am Top

Murray is still ranked #1. And I wish the grunting wasn't allowed! I understand that it can give the player more power, but it is so annoying to listen to. The women's final was very noisy. : / Ostapenko moved up 35 notches to #12. On to Wimbledon....

Jun 12, 2017, 4:35pm Top

>276 harrygbutler: Hi Harry! Today has been a combination of relaxing and busy. Right now I'm feeling a bit tired again.

>277 Berly: Hi Berly! Ah, good for Murray. And one of the reasons I like Roger, in addition to all the positives about his game, person, and personality, is that he very, very rarely grunts.

Yay Wimbledon.

I attended the monthly Friends of the Library Board Meeting at 9 a.m. then came home, ate a bit of breakfast, and immediately conked out for about 2 1/2 hours in the hammock. For some reason it wasn't too hot, with a slight cool breeze, and I was able to get some good rest out there.

Then lunch and I finished A Cup of Light, review below. Now to find another book!

Jun 12, 2017, 4:37pm Top

A Cup of Light by Nicole Mones
6/10/17 to 6/12/17

The description from Amazon:

As an American appraiser of fine Chinese porcelain, Lia Frank holds fragile beauty in her hands, examines priceless treasure with a magnifying lens. But when Lia looks in the mirror, she sees the flaws in herself, a woman wary of love, cut off from the world around her. Still, when she is sent to Beijing to authenticate a collection of rare pieces, Lia will find herself changing in surprising ways…coming alive in the shadow of an astounding mystery.

As Lia evaluates each fragile pot, she must answer questions that will reverberate through dozens of lives: Where did these works of art come from? Are they truly authentic? Or are they impossibly beautiful forgeries--part of the perilous underworld of Chinese art? As Lia examines her treasure, a breathtaking mystery unravels around her. And with political intrigue intruding on her world of provenance and beauty, Lia is drawn into another, more personal drama--a love affair that could alter the course of her life.

As incandescent as the light coming from the Meiyintang Chicken Cup, from the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), Chenghua mark and period (1465–87), this book was a joy from beginning to end.

Lia is a genuinely likeable character. She knows her strengths and weaknesses. She has a profession she loves and is good at. She intellectually yearns for love, but doesn’t realize it at a visceral level until she meets Michael.

The other love story is that of Chinese porcelain. There is even a list of Chinese Dynasties and Reign Titles in the back of the book because Chinese porcelain is categorized by the reign it was created in. Many pieces are beautifully described as Lia sees them. I spent quite a bit of time online, looking at images of chicken cups, Yongle sweet-white, and other porcelains as they got mentioned.

This is the type of fiction I like best. It is intellectual, poignant, understated. All of the disparate storylines come together in a very satisfactory way, with historical interludes throughout. These interludes accent and don’t overwhelm the modern day story. There are ironies and adventures, too, as the porcelains are bought and sold. Legitimate and forged documents, frozen chicken trucks with hidden compartments, and a buyer with an irresistible urge to acquire porcelain all round out the story of Lia quite nicely. Or, is it rather the story of the porcelains?

Jun 12, 2017, 7:05pm Top

I've updated my year-to-date statistics. They are actually through today:

2017 YTD through June 12

Edited: Jun 12, 2017, 9:06pm Top

Ship shape and squared away.

Edited: Jun 12, 2017, 10:50pm Top

Yup. Trying to get control over my life again, taking baby steps.

The last bird I identified in California was the Eurasian Collared-Dove, but I didn't actually see one. I was able to positively identify it by its call.

Click on the speaker icon for the ECD to hear its call. It's totally different from that of the Mourning Dove.

Eurasian Collared-Dove Call

Edited: Jun 13, 2017, 1:25pm Top

I have just spent about 2 1/2 hours starting Thread Catch Up, and will continue later today or tomorrow. Now it's off to change out the food in the hummingbird feeders and unpack my suitcase.

And then read. *smile*

Jun 13, 2017, 1:21pm Top

I hate unpacking after a trip. Absolutely detest it for some reason...

Hope your day (other than that part) is a good one!

Jun 13, 2017, 1:27pm Top

Hi Katie!

Got the unpacking done and everything actually put away except for some of Mom's paperwork, which is in an Amazon box out of the way. I hate unpacking too, and have been known to leave the suitcase out for a month or more! So this time it's only been 5 days, a world record. And the suitcase is even back in the closet.

My day is a good one. I have more energy than yesterday, and have been getting back into my routine.

Jun 13, 2017, 3:12pm Top

>282 karenmarie:

Thank you for the Collared-Dove Call link.

We hear the well-loved Mourning Doves now every day and sometimes at night...and will listen for this new call.

Jun 13, 2017, 3:51pm Top

Maybe I'm weird, but I quite enjoy unpacking after a trip. It's definitely better than packing (I always worry about overpacking or forgetting something) and I find it quite satisfying. Mind you, my unpacking mainly consists of me grabbing all the clothes and shoving them into the laundry hamper. And putting the washbag in the bathroom cabinet. And done! (Unless I've been on holiday and have some souvenirs, because then I ooh and aww at them for a bit (and eat them if they're edible.)

Jun 13, 2017, 7:09pm Top

Hooray for hearing a Eurasian Collared-Dove. How cool.

I hope you are getting back in the groove, at Home Sweet Home.

Jun 13, 2017, 7:38pm Top

Glad to hear you are home and settled in. And the Eurasian Collared-Dove is a terrific bird to hear!

We're at the farm enjoying the birds at the feeders: Downy Woodpeckers feeding babies, Red Bellied Woodpeckers calling and then coming in to eat suet, lots and lots of hummingbirds.

Family can be a challenge but you've kept your head up and done right by your mother.

Jun 14, 2017, 8:48am Top

>286 m.belljackson: You’re welcome, Marianne! My sister and I had fun figuring out that there was a different dove on the block – she said that the doves at her house didn’t sound like Mourning Doves, and after we listened to dove calls on the website realized which one it was. Then I heard them at Mom’s house.
Good luck – I hope you hear and see them.

>287 PawsforThought: Easy peasy. Mine’s a bit more tedious. The laptop has to come out and get set up which means a bit of digging around behind the monitor to plug it into the surge protector/battery backup, and reconnect the external speakers, hdmi cable, monitor cable, and external keyboard cable. The extra AC plug ins and cell phone power charging cables have to get put back in their proper places, and then everything has to get unpacked from the LL Bean backpack I use for my carry-on item. It’s got extra glasses, desk diary, books, overnight things in case standby doesn’t work out, and etc. Kindle has to go back on the shelf too.

>288 msf59: Hi Mark! I was jazzed – my first identification by call alone. Home sweet home it is, and I’m happy to be in it. I’m still not sleeping well, but it’s not from stress. Unfortunately I can’t resist eating a couple of pieces of my See’s candy each day, but always forget and eat it in the late afternoon. The caffeine wakes me up about 1 a.m. or so. After that it’s dicey getting good sleep again. No See’s this afternoon.

>289 witchyrichy: Hi Karen! I’m glad you’ve got so much activity at your feeders. Here, right now, not so much, but I just put out fresh hummingbird food yesterday so we’ll see if the pair I had before I went to CA will return. Husband kept the Squirrel Stopper stations filled while I was gone, but not the sugar water. He also didn’t put out the feeder on the front porch, which is the one I can see from the Sunroom. The birds have forgotten about it, apparently, except for the Tufted Titmice and one male cowbird. Early days though.

Thank you. That means a lot to me. I’ve never thought of it in those terms, doing right by my mother, but you’re right, of course.

I’m hoping that the other two boxes from CA arrive via UPS like they’re supposed to today. Then I will open them all, probably starting tomorrow, and put things out and away. Right now, coffee and visiting peoples' threads for a while then reading.

Jun 14, 2017, 9:12am Top

Welcome home! For some reason I had lost your thread, but I've found you now!! :)

Jun 14, 2017, 9:21am Top

Welcome back, Chelle! I'm so glad to see YOU posting again - when I left for CA you had been having some health problems and pet sadness.....

Jun 14, 2017, 9:26am Top

Good morning, Karen! Sounds as though you have a pleasant day planned.

Our feeders have been a bit less busy, but there's still a moderate amount of action. I've yet to see a hummingbird in the neighborhood at all, let alone at our feeder.

Jun 14, 2017, 9:33am Top

I do, Harry! Lots of do-whatever-I-want-to. *smile*

The Rufous Hummingbirds in California were a joy to watch. I remember that when we first moved to that house in 1967 there was a very aggressive hummingbird my Mom named Pugnacious. He chased everybody else away from the feeder. One time Mom squirted him with the hose, and then others were allowed to get some of the sugar water! I kid you not.

Jun 14, 2017, 1:06pm Top

>290 karenmarie: Holy cr*p, that's a lot. I do always have either my laptop or iPad with me, but don't connect to anything unless the battery's about to die. And my handbag or backpack (whatever I'm using for "carry on") just has books, snacks, glasses, etc., which doesn't require many minutes of unpacking.

Jun 14, 2017, 1:11pm Top

>294 karenmarie: Snort, that's hysterical. Sounds like a Blue Jay.

Jun 14, 2017, 4:24pm Top

>295 PawsforThought: Mind you, I didn't know how long I'd be in California so had to cover a lot of bases with what I packed. I ended up sending some clothes home in boxes of stuff as filler, but all my electronics had to be hand-carried. I even brought my electric toothbrush, but had it in my checked bag.

>296 SomeGuyInVirginia: Baby Jay, yes, definitely, by behavior.

Well, the last two boxes came and only one thing was broken - a demitasse cup's saucer. I bought 6 demitasse cups/saucers for Mom and Dad in Athens in 1979, hand carried them all through Greece and West Germany, got them home to Connecticut to mail to parents for Christmas and realized that they had been made in Germany. the joke was on me. But Mom and Dad kept them, never, ever used them though. They're almost 40 years old. I might see if I can get it repaired; it's cleanly broken into 4 pieces.

And a Limoges "The Princess" creamer is missing - perhaps it didn't make it into my boxes and got into one of sister's instead. I have the covered sugar bowl but not the creamer. I'll go through the boxes one more time before discarding, but don't think it's there.

Lots of photos, some of my old high school/college reports, newspapers, etc. Mom's 1949 and 1950 high school annuals. I'd never seen them before, ever. Dad's college diplomas, Bachelor's and Master's. Hugging pigs S&P shakers that belonged to my maternal grandmother. Mom's charm bracelet, two Tom Clark gnomes. A couple of books, a goose-feather baster of the kind my great-grandmother made. Sigh.

Jun 14, 2017, 5:43pm Top

>297 karenmarie: Well, you were away for much longer than I think I ever have been. That changes things (so do the circumstances, of course). I'd say that was more or less a temporary move and packing for a move (and unpacking the move) is always horrible.

Jun 15, 2017, 12:07am Top

>279 karenmarie: I read that several years ago and really liked it. I read a few others of hers as well. I will have a think about it...

Welcome home!

Jun 15, 2017, 6:58am Top

Morning, Karen. Sweet Thursday, my friend. Our heat wave continues but at least we got rain last night.

Not much bird activity to report. Very quiet on the route and the usual suspects at my feeders.

Jun 15, 2017, 8:35am Top

Hi, Karen! I hope you have a relaxing day and get in some time watching the birds at your feeders and some time reading, too.

Jun 15, 2017, 8:43am Top

I kept Mom's charm bracelet, too. I was fascinated by it as a kid and I remembered every single one. Please tell me that you've put in some hammock time so I can live vicariously through your pleasure. I'm visiting Dad this weekend, but won't really have much time to prop my feet up and read on the balcony. Dad can't see but he goes through 3 or 4 audiobooks a week, so he totally gets it when I do want to slink off and read, though.

Jun 15, 2017, 8:46am Top

>298 PawsforThought: Except for my 3 months in Europe in 1979, this was the longest I’ve ever been away from home, wherever home happened to be. May 9 – June 9. When you put it that way, it was pretty good that I only had one suitcase, one laptop softcase, and an LL Bean book bag.

>299 nittnut: Hi Jenn! I liked it better than Lost In Translation and was absolutely fascinated with the porcelain information and lore.

Thank you! So, so good to be sitting here in the Sunroom, watching a Titmouse grab a seed and go to the crepe myrtle and pound it open. Kitty William is sitting next to me, I have had my first sip of coffee, and bacon is cooking. Bliss.

>300 msf59: Hi Mark! Thank you. We got 1.88” of rain last night as per our weather station’s reporting. This was all in less than an hour. At one point it was raining at the rate of 5” an hour. Thunder and lightning, too.

Only the ‘usual suspects’ at my feeders, too. I did see the Indigo Bunting Saturday or Sunday, forget which day.

>301 harrygbutler: Hi Harry. That’s the plan for today, with perhaps a bit of weed pulling then off to the grocery store for a few bits, as johnsimpson would say!

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

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