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RebaRelishesReading in 2020 - Spring Fling

This is a continuation of the topic RebaRelishesReading in 2020 - The new year.

75 Books Challenge for 2020

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Edited: Apr 1, 12:41pm Top

Edited: Mar 31, 2:57pm Top





Edited: Mar 7, 12:00pm Top

Second thread of my 9th year with the 75'ers -- one of my favorite things about Library Thing. I joined LT in 2007 because I wanted to catalog my library but didn't truly appreciate the full wonder of the place until I found this group. It's a favorite part of my morning now. I also love meeting other members in person when possible.

For those of you I don't know, I'll introduce my self a bit. I'm a Californian by birth and by residence although I've lived in Arizona, Connecticut, the Netherlands, England and Ireland at various times in my life.

I have a Hubby of 31 years, an adult son who has a teenaged daughter and a teenaged son, and two step-daughters, one with a 2 year old son (who already has his own LT account).

I'm a retired city planner who travels a lot. I spend my summers at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York where more and more I concentrate on enjoying the music presented by professionals and graduate students participating in the summer program. There is also a visit by an author once a week which is often very good.

I read mostly fiction with a helping of biography or history thrown in. A couple of years ago I finished a personal challenge to read all of the Pulitzer Prize winning fiction. I've also challenged myself to read the Pulitzer wining biographies but I don't seem to be making much progress on that score.

Edited: Mar 30, 6:45pm Top

READ IN 2020>

1. Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Carolilne Fraser****
2. The Indomitable Mrs Trollope by Eileen Bigland****
3. Heartburn by Nora Ephron*** (audio)
4. A Short History of Myth by Karen Armstrong****
5. The Fact of a Body by Alexandria Marzano Lessevich*****
6. The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje***1/2
7. How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran***1/2 (audio)
8. In the Country of Women by Susan Straight****
9. Tin Man by Sarah Winman****
10.Haydn - Componisten Portretten narrated by Thijs Bonger**** (audio)

11. We Cast A Shadow by Maurice Carlos Ruffin***
12. Hotel de Lac by Anita Brookner****
13. Enemies of the People by Kati Marton****
14. All the Names They Used for God by Anjali Sachdeva***
15. Say You're One of Them by Uwem Akpan****1/2

16. Iliad by Homer ***1/2
17. Stones for Ibarra by Harriet Doerr****
18. Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight****1/2
19. My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell **1/2
20. An American Marriage by Tayari Jones ****1/2 (audio)
21. Gandhi: His Life and Message for the World by Louis Fischer ****
22 Other Russias by Victoria Lomasko ***
23. Call Me Zebra by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi **
24. A Start in Life by Anita Brookner****
25. My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite ***

Mar 7, 11:56am Top

All yours now :)

Mar 7, 3:05pm Top

Happy new thread, Reba!

Mar 7, 4:02pm Top

Happy new thread!

Mar 7, 4:25pm Top

Happy new thread!!

May all your pieces fit together. : )

Mar 7, 4:29pm Top

Happy new one!

Mar 7, 9:49pm Top

Happy new thread!

Mar 7, 10:13pm Top

Happy new thread, Reba. Thanks for your advice about a computer printer. I went with an HP because that is the brand of the one that just died. It lasted at least 10 years which isn't bad.

Mar 7, 11:52pm Top

Happy new thread, Reba!

Mar 8, 1:16pm Top

Happy new thread, Reba!

My Brother MFC-J470DW wireless printer connected to my Windows 8.1 laptop stopped printing in color the other day. I use third-party cartridges, thought I'd broken it because of all the official Brother warnings to use their ink, but went online and saw the official Brother recommendation to clean the printhead at least 5 times. 6 times was a charm, with each cleaning getting me more and more of the color. I'm thrilled. I've had this printer for 5 years. Brother has fantastic customer service, too.

Mar 8, 2:24pm Top

Happy new thread, Reba! I love your topper :-) What a great product that would be.

Mar 8, 2:31pm Top

Happy new thread, Reba. I bought a 1000 piece puzzle to do with Belle shortly and I am sure that your toppers (for there are two of 'em!) would come in handy.

Edited: Mar 8, 4:13pm Top

How lovely to log in and find 10 messages waiting for me!! Thank you Anita, Susan, Kim, Anita, Jim, Meg, Stasia, Karen, SusanJ, and Paul for the greetings. It added sunshine to an already bright and cheery day!

>11 Familyhistorian: Hope the new printer works well for you Meg :)

>13 karenmarie: Hi Karen, I've never had a Brother (printer or biological either one) but sounds like they do have good service, which is certainly nice.

>15 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul, thanks for pointing that out. I'll have to think of something to do with the second one.

Mar 8, 4:17pm Top

Stones for Ibarra by Harriett Doerr****

Thank you Bonnie for a great recommendation! It was just the break I needed before heading back to finish the Douglass bio.

Richard and Sara are about forty when they decide to move to Mexico to live in a house his grandfather built in a mountain village and to reopen a copper mine that his grandfather also opened. Stones for Ibarra is the charming story of their life there and their interactions with the villagers.

Mar 8, 5:41pm Top

Happy new thread, Reba!

Mar 8, 5:47pm Top

Happy New Thread, Reba!

Mar 8, 6:37pm Top

>17 RebaRelishesReading: glad you liked it Reba.. 🤗

Mar 8, 8:37pm Top

Hi Reba, Happy New Thread to you! I love the idea of jigsaw puzzles, but sadly I lack the patience. I do buy a new one when I host Thanksgiving (usually with a Christmas theme) so the puzzle people in my family can work it for me. It keeps them out of the kitchen as I work best alone.

I think I read some Harriet Doerr books many years ago but I don't have them listed on LT. I have three on my shelf, including Stones for Ibarra so I will have to get busy and do some rereading.

By the way, congratulations on reading all those Pulitzer Prize winners. I also think it's wonderful that your 2-year-old grandson has an LT account. One can never start too young!

Mar 9, 1:23pm Top

Good morning Rhonda, Roni and Bonnie! Nice to see you :)

You too Donna! I also like jigsaw puzzles but haven't the patience to do a big one on my own. I do quick ones on my iPad a lot though. Thank you for your congratulations on the Pulitzer reading -- I really enjoyed most of those books so it was no sacrifice. I've thought about tackling some other lists but haven't really gotten motivated enough to actually do it. I got Quinn the LT account so I could check it when buying him books to see whether he already had the ones I was considering but his Mom is also using it to keep a record for him of his childhood reading which I think is a very fun idea.

Mar 9, 4:30pm Top

Happy new thread, Reba! I love that topper :)

On my recent puzzling kick (I think I've done 5 in the last several weeks), I am glad to say I have yet to encounter any missing pieces!

Mar 9, 4:37pm Top

>17 RebaRelishesReading: I am hoping to get that one read soon. I have it on hold at my local library, but it has not come in yet.

Mar 9, 6:48pm Top

>23 katiekrug: Hi Katie! on your way yet? When daughter#2 is in the house we often have a puzzle going so I actually own a few and, as far as I know, there are no pieces missing but I thought the cartoon was funny anyway :)

>24 alcottacre: I'm pretty sure you'll like it Stasia.

Mar 10, 1:19pm Top

Re toilet paper -- I was at the supermarket yesterday and needed purse packets of Kleenex so wandered down the paper good aisle and, sure enough, there were some empty spaces there -- primarily for one brand that was on sale. The TP stocking up amuses me though. This is a respiratory virus not gastro-intestinal so why the need for a mountain of TP?

It seems we have our first case of Corona-virus in San Diego now and a woman who lives with the patient is self-isolating. The cruise ship that has been waiting to enter San Francisco Bay is now headed here and the folks aboard will be quarantined at Naval Air Station Mira Mar which is a huge base just north of the city.

Mar 11, 9:51pm Top

Most of the people got off the Grand Princess - my parents and other residents of Northern California are under quarantine at Travis AFB; a lot of other country nationals got taken home (their various governments chartered planes for them); not sure if the residents of the US but not California got off and will be flown to Texas from here, or will be flying from Southern California.

Edited: Mar 12, 12:50pm Top

>27 jjmcgaffey: Yikes Jennifer, I didn't know your parents were on board. I hope they have a relaxing time in quarantine and then come home perfectly well.

According to the San Diego Union Tribune and local NBC news, there were about 1000 CA residents on board and those were to be split between Travis and Miramar for their quarantine. That was a March 8 article but Tuesday the NBC news said they were arriving. The article also said that residents of states other than CA would go to either San Antonio Lackland or Dobbins AFB in Georgia. Better than being confined to quarters on a ship I should imagine.

Mar 12, 12:07pm Top

On a lighter note, we just finished watching The Durrells in Corfu and enjoyed it very much. We also watched the followup about what the real-life family did after they left Corfu and there was discussion of the books by the oldest son, Larry, and the youngest, Gerry. Princess Anne was interviewed during the follow-up and mentioned that she found it laugh-out-loud funny. That seemed like the perfect balance to the rather serious reading I've been doing lately so I ordered it and plan to start it soon.

Mar 12, 5:17pm Top

When the Costco sales flyer came last week I noticed that several things I use regularly were going to be on sale starting yesterday so we postponed our periodic Costco run until today. OMG. That’s the line at 11 am this morning. That strip of white light waaaay down there is the checkout! In usual Costco style they had everything very well organized , lines were moving and everyone was keeping their cool and smiling (customers too).

On the way home we noticed a lot of police cars in the neighborhood and then got a news alert on the phone that someone was shooting from a window about 1/2 block away (in in sight) of us. A few minutes later the swat team van arrived. I haven't hear any shots but I'm staying away from the windows just in case!

I've had enough excitement for the day!!

Mar 12, 5:27pm Top

>25 RebaRelishesReading: My local library let me down on Stones of Ibarra. I put it on hold only to be told several days later that the book is missing. I ordered a copy from ABE Books and am now waiting for it to come in. *sigh*

Mar 12, 5:28pm Top

>31 alcottacre: Hope it gets there soon and that you enjoy it as much as I did.

Edited: Mar 12, 5:34pm Top

Oh yes, also just got a news alert that Disneyland, California Adventure and all of the Disney hotels in CA will be closed until the end of the month. Good move on their part I think, but still -- WOW!

We have a bunch of travel planned, on trip in two weeks to visit family and take granddaughter to visit possible college choices for her but I'm really starting to have second thoughts.
We'll be traveling by car for that one so no exposure or cancellation worries on that count but we'll be staying in hotels so I'm wondering if they will start closing and/or how well cleaned they'll be.

Next trip is the drive to Chautauqua which is scheduled to go via Florida with a side trip to Jamaica for my son't wedding. That means two flights and a stay at a resort -- mmmmm. Summer at Chautauqua should be fine. It's a more rural area than here and if there are still events the venues are almost all outside but we have a trip to Spain followed by a cruise home scheduled for September/October. Don't have to decide that one right now but I don't plan to pay anymore on those quite yet.

Then if the stock market keeps tumbling I won't be able to afford them anyway, lol.

Mar 12, 5:42pm Top

>29 RebaRelishesReading:
I watched the series on PBS all four years it was on our local station and then missed the last episode. BWAH! I have three of the books by Gerry and plan on reading them soonish. The first one is My Family and Other Animals, and that is the one I have on my bedside table. After I looked the trilogy up to find out what the titles of the books were I saw that there was a reissue of the first three books combined after the BBC/PBS series was released. It is titled Corfu Trilogy. I was so enthusiastic about the series that I kept telling a friend of mine about it. She was curious and by mistake she got one of the books by Lawrence Durrell instead of the Gerald Durrell books. She found the first book in the Alexandra Quartet very interesting but asked me when it the novel was going to move to Corfu?
Now I am just as curious about the Alexandra Quartet as I am about the various books written by Gerald Durrell. I am sort of hoping that they close the University this next week and pay off my remaining years of employment so I can find the time to read some of these wonderful books.

Edited: Mar 12, 6:55pm Top

>33 RebaRelishesReading: I also think that many colleges will have shut down orientation activities along with classes. There'll be a lot of wait and see at this point. Also, WOW about that line all the way back to the first bank of freezers! So glad we don't have to go to Costco for another week or two.

Mar 12, 8:31pm Top

>30 RebaRelishesReading: A friend posted a photo of the meat case at her Costco. It was empty.

Mar 12, 10:26pm Top

> Hi Benita. I think I'll probably read the entire Corfu Trilogy but I thought we might want to listen to one or more as we drive cross country so only bought the first volume in paper to see. May try one of the Alexandra Quartet too but they sound a lot less funny that Gerry's books.

> Indeed Roni, I would put it off as possible. We were stunned by how busy they were but also impressed about how easy it was to deal with.

> Hi Lori -- there was plenty of everything except I didn't see any Clorox Wipes and TP and paper towels were rationed. The meat cases we passed were as full as ever.

New restrictions have been announced including a ban on gatherings of 250 or more people. Symphony has shut down until end of March and several local community events. I sure hope this all works to slow this thing down/end it!

Edited: Mar 13, 2:28pm Top

>30 RebaRelishesReading: What a line! I would have been tempted to leave everything and go home.

Happy new thread, Reba.

Mar 13, 4:38pm Top

>38 BLBera: I wanted to take advantage of the sales plus the line keep moving slowly ahead and the whole thing was so well organized and managed it wasn't that awful.

Mar 13, 7:36pm Top

>30 RebaRelishesReading: Holy Moly what a line. I don't know that I'd of had the patience Reba. There are no cases in Western NY at this time but who knows since we can't get tested. I have The Alexandria Quartet on my Kindle where it's been languishing for years.

Mar 13, 8:23pm Top

Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight****1/2

An excellent, very detailed, biography of the famous ex-slave abolitionist which won the Pulitzer for biography in 2019. A bit of an undertaking at 764 pages but worth the effort.

Mar 13, 8:26pm Top

>40 brenzi: Hi Bonnie -- Hubby did most of the line-standing while I gathered things from the part of the store which would have been most difficult to access because the lines went through it. We both managed to keep our sense of humor.

I may get to The Alexandria Quartet eventually but I'm going to start with the Corfu books first.

We've been thinking that we might be better off in western NY. Less density will likely lead to few cases I would think but we hope the worst of this will be over before we get there in June.
Meanwhile, take care and stay well!

Edited: Mar 14, 1:12am Top

I've loved Gerald Durrell's books for years - I have no idea when or which I read first. My Family and Other Animals and Birds Beasts and Relatives are a lot of fun - I haven't yet read Gardens of the Gods, that's a new release. And then he became a bring-em-back-alive hunter for zoos, including his own - there are some amazing stories about that, and being a TV naturalist, and running his own zoo on the Isle of Jersey, and...I'll read anything he writes, I love his stuff.
I have the Alexandria Quartet and several other novels by Lawrence, but haven't read any - the only one of his I've read is Esprit de Corps & Stiff Upper Lip (two very short books combined into one short one - actually collections of short stories). That is amazingly funny, the misadventures of a diplomat - being a diplomat's daughter myself, it perhaps resonated more than with most people, but I think anyone would find it funny. He also wrote Spirit of Place, which I want to read, mostly because Gerald then wrote Fillets of Plaice which is also short stories and hilarious.

>28 RebaRelishesReading: They're pretty happy just to be off the ship and get to go outside now and then. Still being kept quite isolated. But if all goes well they'll be home the week after next.

Things are shutting down left and right around here - schools, the senior center, there are bans on large assemblies - and next week I'm conducting Census training for about 80 people. Whee!

Mar 14, 11:34am Top

>43 jjmcgaffey: I'm planning to start on My Family and Other Animals to day. I've been doing a lot of serious reading lately so it will make a nice break.

Given the governor's orders yesterday...can you space your census takers out with 6' between them?

Hope your parents stay well and find ways to stay pleasantly occupied until their release.

Mar 14, 1:04pm Top

>44 RebaRelishesReading: Yeah, gonna have to work on that...it's a big room, but I'm not sure it's that big.

Mar 14, 8:23pm Top

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (audio) ****1/2

Roy grows up in a small town in Louisiana as an African-American boy in a stable home. They aren't wealthy but they have what they need and he is loved by his father and mother. Celestial also grows up in a stable, loving home but in a much more affluent household. They meet, fall and love and marry but a year later Roy is falsely accused of rape and their lives take a different path. This is a touching story that is very well told. Definitely a recommended read.

Mar 14, 8:38pm Top

I had a lovely lunch with Roni today. My granddaughter is thinking about becoming a child psychologist and Roni agreed to tell her what that would entail and give her some insider tips about that life. Ally was most grateful and excited about what she heard. Thank you Roni!!

It was also an opportunity for Roni to deliver my new kitty cup. It's so-o-o cute! I can't wait to have my tea in it tomorrow morning.

The waitress kindly took some photos with both phones for us but I can't get mine to load onto the Member Gallery so you'll have to check Roni's thread if you want to see us.

Mar 16, 11:34am Top

So the governor has now called for self-isolation for people over 65. We had already decided to do that and I'm glad the governor has made it official now. It isn't convenient but better than getting sick. We've cancelled our trip to family in Northern CA and Oregon that was planned for beginning of April and I even ordered some grocery items like milk, bread, fresh veg, etc. for delivery next weekend. I've never done that before so we'll see how it goes. Stay well out there people!

Mar 16, 12:54pm Top

Reba, oh my word, that line at Costco! Were you tempted to ring them up to ask them to open all the tills, or am I the only one who does that? :-)

Sorry you have to isolate. At least you won't run out of books. And having the groceries delivered will be a huge help.

Mar 16, 12:58pm Top

>47 RebaRelishesReading: Sounds like you had a great meet up. And what a beautiful kitty cup! (saw the photo on Roni's thread). Grocery delivery sounds like a great and convenient idea. Enjoy the rest of your Monday!

Mar 16, 1:12pm Top

Just contacted my BFF to see whether we are going to continue with our tradition of weekly dinner/movie night that we started several years ago when her husband was too ill to go out much and was only comfortable visiting us. He died three years ago and the three of us have continued. Since we're all over 65 I wondered whether we would continue during the self-isolation period or not. Turns out she had her annual physical last Thursday and got a call from her doctor last night that she may have been exposed while at the doctor's office!

Mar 16, 1:20pm Top

>49 susanj67: Hi Susan! All of the tills were open. I think everyone they had ever even thought of hiring that day was working. We were totally impressed with how well they had the whole thing under control.

Indeed I won't run out of books. In fact even before it was required I was happy to self-isolate -- I love "sea days" and now I'll have a couple of weeks (or more?) of them. Of course we realized this morning we don't have enough bread or milk to make it until the delivery comes next Sunday so Hubby is went out to pick up a few things and get some gas (he gets really antsy when he can't go out for more than just his walk plus he won't feel comfortable until the tank is filled -- I think he's expecting the apocalypse).

I saw a report yesterday that showed the U.K. with one of the lowest infection rates -- keep it that way :)!

>50 figsfromthistle: Hi Anita. It was a great meet-up and I do love my cup :) Have a good day and stay healthy.

Mar 16, 1:36pm Top

>52 RebaRelishesReading: Reba, we've just been told to avoid all non-essential contact and travel (including going out) and now people are supposed to self-isolate if even one member of the household has a symptom that could be the virus (not that that affects me, but I can't see how it's going to work if everyone self-isolates because one person has a cough, and then another person has a fever and then a third person gets a sore throat. No-one will ever leave their houses again. They might all have these symptoms and yet not have the virus at all). Also we're not supposed to go to pubs, clubs, theatres etc although the government has not closed them (yet). So if my brother stays in London and we go for a walk, we'll be getting take-out from Pret if they're still open. But I wouldn't be surprised if he wants to go home as soon as his course finishes.

I hope your BFF is OK.

Mar 16, 1:52pm Top

I finished a very long book last night - didn’t expect to do that for a couple of days yet. Today it is cooking time. I want to try a new recipe for a Ramen soup, so will have to brave the world of the grocery store. i don’t have WiFi so can’t order things delivered.

Mar 16, 4:37pm Top

Happy new thread!
If you are still looking for books for 2-3 year olds Ellie (and Chloe) loved Sandra Boynton. We still read Snuggle Puppy and Barnyard Dance almost every night/

Mar 17, 12:23am Top

Hi Reba! I am sorry about your canceled travel, but glad you are staying safe. And I liked American Marriage as well. I am reading Silver Sparrow, now for book group, but don't like it as well. Too bad, as I thought American Marriage would make a great book club read.

Mar 17, 8:05am Top

Hi Reba!

I've avoided Costco since I bought two packages of TP at the end of January. So far my grocery store has had everything I normally buy.

I'm sorry you've had to cancel your travel plans.

>51 RebaRelishesReading: Yikes and double yikes. I'm sorry to hear that and hope she doesn't actually get sick from it.

Mar 17, 9:20am Top

Morning, Reba! Happy new one. I loved the photo of you and your granddaughter with Roni, and how great that Roni could share insights into the career she is thinking about.

I am also happy to self-isolate. In fact, it's my default mode. Birdy, Abby and I have been staying in, but Craig, Rae, And Daniel are still going to work - they do not have jobs they can do from home. They change their clothes and shower as soon as they come home, and we have been very good about wiping down all the surfaces routinely.

Mar 17, 11:31am Top

Just stopping by, glad you are staying home now! We are all so lucky that we love to read.

Mar 17, 11:46am Top

>53 susanj67: I read yesterday that the majority of those who get Covid-19 start symptoms within 5 days of exposure and this will be day 5 for Margie (BFF). I spoke to her last night and she was fine. I think the official "line" here is "self isolation" for those 65 and over and "social distancing" for everyone else.

I'm so sorry this is affecting your visit with your brother!

>54 benitastrnad: Good luck with your grocery adventure, Benita. Looks like you've found a way to get on-line. Hope you were able to file your job applications.

>55 ChelleBearss: Thanks Chelle. I haven't bought the books and, since our trip is cancelled, I probably won't for a while yet so your recommendations are totally timely. Thanks. Hope you're all feeling better.

>56 banjo123: Hi Rhonda. I agree American Marriage would make a great book club read. I'm bummed about not seeing you guys (not to mention our Portland family) but once this is over we'll see about rescheduling -- although heavens knows how we'll be able to fit our travel puzzle back together.

>57 karenmarie: Sounds like you're doing well, Karen. The only thing we've not been able to buy are Clorox Wipes. I always keep them in the house and have some left so we'll be OK I think.

>58 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie. Yes, Roni gave Ally a lot of great info about what her choices will be and what to consider when choosing -- keeping in mind she's a high school junior so things may change before she's actually in the professional world but it's great info like this as she walks that path. I not only changed my major twice in college but I also worked in market research for a couple of years before I went back to school and became a planner so I keep telling both of the grandkids that finding out about career options is important and changing them as you go along is fine :)

Sounds like you're all doing what you need to do to stay healthy (but then you have an in-house expert *smile*). My default mode is also "stay at home and read" so I'm pretty happy but Hubby will have a hard time with this...and I may have as a result :>


Mar 17, 2:00pm Top

What, isolation for those over 65! That's a bit ageist isn't it? Glad we don't have that rule here. We have been encouraged to get out and enjoy the great weather - in small groups of course.

Edited: Mar 17, 3:56pm Top

My real life book discussion group read American Marriage for its December 2019 selection. I liked the book as did a couple of others, but the majority of the group did not finish reading it and only rated it as middling. They seemed to think that it was not that interesting and they didn't get the attitude of the woman in the story. I am not sure why, but this tends to be a more conservative type of group, so think that is the reason. We did have a good discussion about parts of it, but the infidelity in it did not go down well with our group.

As for WiFi, I went to Barnes & Noble, they were still open yesterday. Who knows now?

Mar 18, 12:00pm Top

>61 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg. Well it may be ageist but it's because older people get much sicker and are more likely to die from Covid-19. The rule actually is "over 65 and those with health conditions that make them especially vulnerable". The age has been cited as "60" and "65 and "70" and finally seems to have settled at the middle.

>62 benitastrnad: Hi Benita. Well "different strokes" right? I'm guessing since you're posting you've found another WiFi, or do you do this on your phone?

I talked to friends our age yesterday and they had been out for a drive. I have to keep that in mind when cabin fever threatens to be too much to handle for my Hubby. Yesterday was the first day he had actually stayed home all day and it was hard for him so this may be a bumpy ride lol

Mar 18, 12:47pm Top

Things sure are buzzing here! I have the feeling I could spend the whole day here but I do want to read some books too. It's raining outside which is my favorite reading weather so I think I'll go fix myself some breakfast and grab a book. I'll check back in this afternoon. Take care of yourselves everyone!

Mar 18, 3:26pm Top

My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell**1/2

I was prompted to read this because we had just watched the TV series and enjoyed it very much plus a funny book seemed perfect for current circumstances. Unfortunately I found the book far less entertaining than the TV series. There was far too much discussion of plants, insects and animal pets for my taste and also the amusing family antidotes were are recognizable from the TV series. Remembering those scenes gave me a smile but only a very weak one.

Mar 18, 10:28pm Top

Our book club is going to read American Marriage this year, and I think it will be a good one for discussion as well. I also liked it better than her first one.

Mar 19, 12:44pm Top

>66 BLBera: I haven't read the first one but thought this one would be great for a book club.

Mar 19, 12:44pm Top

More and more areas here are gong to "lock down" for everyone which means you are to stay home except for getting groceries and people providing necessary services. Our local mall (which is open-air) and two outlet malls in the county have closed until the end of the month.
We went from 60 people ill to 90 in the space of 8 hours yesterday, which is a pretty fast multiple.

It rained all day yesterday but at least the sun is shining today.

I heard from a friend with whom we've been trying to set up a lunch date this morning. Afterwards I thought perhaps we could Skype of FaceTime with computers on the table while each couple eats at their own house. A 2020 lunch date. I may suggest that.

Mar 19, 12:49pm Top

>68 RebaRelishesReading: - They've been debating a shelter in place order for NYC for several days. I'm getting to the point where I think they should just do it. People are still acting stupidly. Even here on LT I've seen some real cluelessness. It's disheartening.

Look at you with your futuristic virtual lunch date! Love it.

Mar 19, 1:00pm Top

>69 katiekrug: Last night on the news they were showing a bunch of college kids on spring break at beach resorts acting like there was nothing unusual going on and saying they planned to keep having their vacation as planned. Good luck to their communities when they get home!!

I really like the virtual lunch idea. We need to keep our social connections healthy too :)

Mar 19, 1:25pm Top

>70 RebaRelishesReading:
For college kids there is nothing going on. This is not a danger to them. Car accidents will kill more of them and they do that everyday and think nothing of it. I am in my office. Other than that I have no wifi so am only posting when I come in here.

Mar 19, 1:45pm Top

>70 RebaRelishesReading: - Good luck to their communities, their parents, and their grandparents. Also, France is seeing much more serious cases in younger people than other countries have, and the rate of hospitalization for people 20-54 hospitalized with the virus in the US is 40%, according to the CDC.

The information is out there. Whether people choose to consume it, believe it, or take it to heart is another thing entirely.

Edited: Mar 19, 2:26pm Top

>72 katiekrug: Indeed, Katie, indeed.

There are two "clusters" of people ill here in San Diego. One stems from a Marine and the other a group of young people who attended a concert a couple of weeks ago. They aren't immune and they can be carriers.

Mar 19, 9:38pm Top

>65 RebaRelishesReading: LOL. I love Gerald's books _because_ they're mostly about the animals and insects and etc - I found the TV show rather dull because it was mostly human shenanigans. If you really enjoyed the show, try Lawrence instead - he's much more about people.

Mar 19, 10:02pm Top

Hi Reba, I just saw on Rachel Maddow that your governor has ordered a complete state wide stay at home order. I'm wondering how we will get through months of what's going on while young people thumb their noses at common sense or following the orders of officials. It's all very anxiety producing.

Mar 20, 7:35am Top

Total CA lockdown! So glad you were already pretty much moved in that direction, Reba.

Hang in there.

Mar 20, 2:51pm Top

>74 jjmcgaffey: Good morning, Jennifer! Hope you're keeping well. I may try Lawrence sometime but, for right now, I've moved on from the Durrell's. We did enjoy the human shenanigans diversion at the moment though.

>75 brenzi: Hi Bonnie. Seems CA has been moving that way for a few days now. It may be what it takes to get the young ones to listen-up. Also I read yesterday that it may be worse than thought for the young. Something like 50 or 60% of the cases that required hospitalization were under 65.

>76 karenmarie: Hi Karen. Yes, we've been self-isolating for almost a week. I did go out this morning to get some fresh food items and to stock up on cans. We don't usually use canned goods (except for beans and tomatoes) so had little of that nature on hand. Several stores have started offering "senior shopping" for the first hour each day so that we can get there when the stores are at their cleanest. They also limit the number of shoppers allowed in at a time to 50. I was impressed by the good humor displayed by everyone in line and in the stores. I ended up at three because the first one was pretty much stripped, the second one had more but no eggs and finally the third was fully stocked including those precious eggs!. I did have a good laugh at the second store -- they were carding us as we entered. I told the guy I thought he was just doing that to make us feel better (I haven't been carded for 50 years or so). With this morning's finds I think we're good to stay put for a month or more. I hope we won't have to, but we can.

Take this seriously and stay well folks!

Mar 21, 4:36pm Top

Hi Reba! I saw that California has moved to a total lockdown now. I'm glad that you were able to get into the supermarket for the early morning shopping hour (and find eggs!). Some of ours have started doing that three days a week (and they are also doing it for NHS workers) but as far as I know there isn't a limit on the amount of people that can go in at one time. All our restaurants, cafes and bars have now closed, except for takeaway food and drink, but Pret announced today that it is closing all of its 550 shops completely. So that's going to put more pressure on the supermarkets as there are fewer and fewer options for food. I wonder how many people will discover they can live without fancy coffee, though...

Mar 21, 4:52pm Top

>78 susanj67: Hi Susan! Good that I don't like coffee in any form I guess. I was worried because I do like my tea and I was getting very low just about when the pandemic got to California. I drink, almost exclusively, Vanilla Bean from Mighty Leaf which I buy on-line by the pound. It usually takes a week or more to get here but I put an order in early last week and it arrived two days later! Happy me, I'm now set for a few months for tea. I would be missing Pret if I lived in London though.

Total lock-down really isn't a change for us though because we were already following the advice for "self isolation" for seniors. The restaurants and bars closing will have a bigger impact on the life of the young folks I imagine but things do look pretty quiet out there.

Mar 21, 5:54pm Top

Hi Reba, sounds like you're stocked up and settled in. What strange times. Like you, I rarely get canned goods, but that is what I've started buying lately, though when I've shopped there has been plenty of fresh. I may have read too many WWII novels, as I am now looking at (older) sprouting onions in the pantry and arguing with myself about throwing them out. Marina and I discovered we were both a bit low on shampoo and decided this was one thing we could make do without if we had to. I brought home a few books from my library but don't have time as of yet to read them. If there's one thing we've over stocked on, it's books! Take care.

Mar 21, 6:15pm Top

Hi Reba, glad that you are staying safe. And I am sorry you didn't like My Family and Other Animals, which is a favorite of mine, but I guess we all have different tastes.

Mar 21, 7:25pm Top

Gandhi: His Life and Message for the World by Louis Fischer****

I have seen biopics and read books about Gandhi before but this one went deeper into his beliefs and how he lived them than others. It also gave me a better understanding of the issues surrounding Indian independence and partition than I had. Well worth reading.

Mar 21, 7:29pm Top

>80 AMQS: Hi Anne. Nice to see you here :) Indeed, I'm well stocked up on books. Just Mt. TBR could probably see me through until fall and then there are the ebooks on my iPad and the audio books on my phone...

>81 banjo123: Indeed we do Rhonda and fortunately there are enough books to satisfy them all :)

Mar 23, 1:02am Top

You must feel much better now that you are stocked up, Reba. Enjoy your reads!

Mar 23, 2:00pm Top

>84 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg. It does feel good to have the essentials in the house. I'm hoping not to have to go out again for a long while. I'm surprised by how little reading I'm getting done though but I guess it's: cooking more, spending more time on LT and FaceBook and watching more news. Bored I'm not, though :)

Mar 23, 2:42pm Top

>85 RebaRelishesReading: Reba, I am also not getting much reading done. It's weird - I have no commute any more, and plenty of time...but I'm just not reading very much. I was going to try this evening but now we're getting an address from the Prime Minister at 8.30, and it's 6.45, so I'll probably just fritter away the time.

Mar 23, 2:49pm Top

> 86 obviously you're frittering away in the same way I am :) Someone on LT said yesterday that we should be talking about "physical distancing" rather than "social distancing" (sorry I forget who it was -- bad me) which is a very good point. LT is social contact and it's important!

Mar 23, 5:53pm Top

Other Russias by Victoria Lomasko***

Victoria Lomasko is a graphic artist who, from 2008 to 2016, traveled around Russia speaking with marginalized people, sketching them and reporting on their issues under the headings "invisible" and "angry". Her work is assembled in this volume of "graphic journalism" which presents an interesting view of some of the problems in Russia that we don't hear much, if anything, about in the west.

Mar 23, 7:15pm Top

>41 RebaRelishesReading: I saw that one at the library the other day, but I cannot currently hold books of that size. I still want to read it though!

>46 RebaRelishesReading: Dodging that BB as the book is already in the BlackHole.

>65 RebaRelishesReading: Sorry you did not enjoy that one more, Reba. I have never seen the TV series, but I enjoyed the book quite a bit.

>82 RebaRelishesReading: Adding that one to the BlackHole. Thanks for the recommendation, Reba!

Stay healthy and safe!

Mar 23, 8:25pm Top

>89 alcottacre: Hi Stasia! I read the Douglas book by resting it on a pillow in my lap. It was much to heavy to hold. The Gandhi book is an old one but worth a read if you can get a copy.

Mar 24, 2:00am Top

Reba--I am sorry that we are not going to get to see you this spring, but I think less travel and more distancing is what we need now. Glad you seem to be well stocked and chugging along with the books. Stay well and happy. :)

Mar 24, 1:13pm Top

>91 Berly: Thank you, Kim. I too am very sorry we won't be getting together but hope perhaps it will be possible later in the year. Meanwhile we're fine. Sounds like you're getting lots of good outdoor exercise. Take care and stay well!

Mar 24, 1:29pm Top

Hi Reba! I'm nearly through Day 1 of lockdown :-) Apparently we're allowed outside once a day for exercise, but that seems unwise to me, so I'm putting in some time on my stepper instead.

Mar 24, 1:43pm Top

Hi Susan -- just came from your thread :) We can go out in our neighborhood for exercise as long as we stay 6' apart so I could go for a walk but I really don't want to go out there if I don't have to so I'm just being a sloth. Must stop that and get some exercise one of these days soon.

News from the San Diego front:

Part of our convention center and another building (which used to be used for much smaller conventions) are being converted to centers for the homeless. I suspect they may get more forceful about moving the homeless off the streets until this is over.

Also interesting a naval hospital ship left port yesterday heading for Los Angeles where it will dock and serve as hospital for people requiring care for things other than Covid-19. It has 1000 beds and 800 doctors and nurses. Everyone coming aboard will be tested for virus before being allow on. This is to free up 1000 beds in hospitals on land for Covid patients. Seems like a smart move to me.

My son's California National Guard unit has been activated (he's a full-time officer anyway) and working in food bank distribution centers.

We may have a blithering idiot in the White House but California and New York have government that seems to work.

Mar 24, 2:01pm Top

From Karen via Judy

1. Who(m) are you named after? my father's older sister
2. Last time you cried? I can't remember
3. Do you like your handwriting? It's OK
4. What is your favorite lunch meat? generally not a lunch meat fan...ham I guess
5. Longest relationship? almost 33 years - with Hubby
6. Do you still have your tonsils? no
7. Would you bungee jump? Not only no, but hell no.
8. What is your favorite kind of cereal? granola
9. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? yes
10. Do you think you're strong willed? so I'm told
11. Favorite ice cream? Heath Bar
12. What is the first thing you notice about a person? probably hair
13. Football or baseball? neither
14. What color pants are you wearing? none -- in kaftan and don't plan to dress today
15. Last thing you ate? yogurt with strawberries and granola
16. What are you listening to? silence
17. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? turquoise
18. What is your favorite smell? baby powder
19. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? My BFF
20. Married? yes
21. Hair color? silver
22. Eye color? Blue/green/hazel depends on the light
23. Favorite food? depends...right now bacon sounds wonderful but don't have any
24. Scary movies or happy endings? Happy endings definitely!
25. Last movie you watched In a theater? Downton Abbey
26. What color shirt are you wearing? no shirt -- blue kaftan
27. Favorite holiday? Thanksgiving.
28. Beer or Wine? Wine
29. Night owl or morning person? total night owl
30. Favorite day of the week? don't have one
31. Favorite animal? for a pet: dogs in general I'm also very fond of giraffes and elephants
32. Do you have a pet? no :(
33. Where would you like travel to? pretty much anywhere but I'm especially fond of out-of-the way places like remote islands and feel a real kinship to the U.K. and the Netherlands

Mar 24, 2:12pm Top

>94 RebaRelishesReading: - "We may have a blithering idiot in the White House but California and New York have government that seems to work."

And New Jersey! Super proud of Governor Murphy. Our state, sadly, just passed Washington to have the second most number of cases, but Murphy, Cuomo and the governor of CT have all coordinated their responses, understanding that the tri-state area needs a consistent approach.

Mar 24, 2:17pm Top

Good for NJ! We haven't been getting much coverage from states other than New York ( and CA of course) but we see Cuomo on our news regularly. I'm glad to hear adjacent states are functioning well too and that things are coordinated. One advantage of our desert is that it gives us something of a natural barrier in times like this (one one side at least).

Mar 24, 2:39pm Top

>95 RebaRelishesReading: I like this one a lot!

One unexpected blessing throughout this terrible time is that I am hearing out of the blue - by phone or Facetime - from longtime friends. Isolation does't feel so isolating when you hear from friends. Your answer for last person you spoke with on the phone made me think of this.

Mar 25, 5:36am Top

I love the idea of the Navy ship as hospital! Very smart. And I'll add Ohio's governor to the Good Job list. DeWine is in many ways leading the country in his response.

Mar 25, 12:28pm Top

>98 AMQS: Yes, I'm hearing both from people I care about but don't often see or hear from which is very nice. Also hearing from people I usually see regularly and don't now who want to keep in touch.

>99 scaifea: Good thing we have good local leadership isn't it?

Mar 26, 7:23am Top

Hi Reba!

>95 RebaRelishesReading: And I originally saw it on Peggy’s thread, so this is becoming a well-traveled Get-to-Know-You-Better exercise. And, bacon – I have 3 lbs in the freezer. I haven’t brought any of it out recently. I'm saving it for in case things get really, really bad with the pipeline.

Our state is doing a pretty good job although the Governor hasn't ordered a state-wide shelter in place order. They've closed non-essential business, though, so pretty much everything is closed except grocery and big box, pharmacies, banks, gas stations, the PO. My husband got a letter from his employer yesterday so that if for some reason he were stopped he'd have documentation for why he's out and about.

Mar 26, 2:07pm Top

>101 karenmarie: Sounds like you're doing well Karen. Glad to hear it. I just got a slot for pick-up groceries next Thursday which will be about right for fresh fruit & veg -- hope it works!! Since I don't really trust it (after my delivery order non-delivery issue) I think I'll go out to senior hour tomorrow morning and see what I can find for my current list. A friend referred to her husband as their "hunter/gatherer" the other day -- that's exactly what I feel like when I go out there.

Mar 27, 1:02pm Top

Up at 6:30 a.m. this morning to make it to senior shopping hour at local Kroger's store. I got much from my list which means that added to what I got a Trader Joe's yesterday we should be set for the next couple of weeks (at least). Numbers of ill keep climbing so it seems an ever better idea to just hunker down and stay put.

We have a virtual lunch date with friends today. With a computer on the table in each house we will connect by Messenger and spend time together while we have lunch. I'm really looking forward to it.

Take care of yourselves and each other and stay well, y'all hear?

Mar 27, 7:48pm Top

Call Me Zebra by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi**

I don't know how to describe this book so I will quote Danielle Dutton from the dust jacket:

A penniless orphaned refugee, Zebra knows she can count on two things: literature and death. She builds a fortress out of both, surviving on fury, on memories and manifestos, until life begins to break through...Call Me Zebra is like nothing else I've read, geopolitical and bookish and sexy, quite refreshingly nuts and yet a ripping good read.

To me Zebra seemed to be delusional, whether through drugs or mental illness or both I'm not sure. The book was very strange and not at all my taste.

Mar 27, 7:52pm Top

OK, so I need to recover from Zebra. What shall I read next? Your choices are:

The Century Girls by Tessa Dunlop
A Start in Life by Anita Brookner
Daughters of Chivalry by Kelcey Wilson-Lee

Mar 28, 10:31am Top

>105 RebaRelishesReading: - Not familiar with any of them, so I'll go with the Brookner because I've heard of her :)

Mar 28, 10:38am Top

>105 RebaRelishesReading: Ooh, Daughters of Chivalry!

Hi Reba! Sorry the zebra book was a no for you. That's not what you need when books are the only things to do.

Good to hear you're stocked up again for groceries and don't need to venture out. How did the virtual lunch date go?

Mar 28, 1:27pm Top

>106 katiekrug: Psst, Katie -- I won't tell Susan...they were from her thread

>107 susanj67: I hope more people come by and vote but good to know you pick Daughters of Chivalry over The Century Girls.

Virtual lunch was fun. It started off in a scramble though because our friend wanted to use Messenger which I don't like and rarely use -- never have used it for a video chat which became obvious when I got to the last step only to be told it doesn't support Safari which is what I usually use. So.o. with lunch waiting on both ends I scrambled to move to Chrome, which I have on my computer but on which I had never used FaceTime/Messenger as it turns out and it didn't have my password and I didn't remember what my password was because I have it saved on Safari/Facebook so I had to go through all of the foofaa to get logged in and finally we were connected. The other three were fairly well finished with eating and my soup was rather cool but we had a nice visit. Next time I really hope we use either Skype or FaceTime!!

Mar 28, 3:58pm Top

As you know since you were just at my thread, I also recommend Zoom for virtual get togethers. My bookclub had a great time last night.

>105 RebaRelishesReading: I don't know any of the books or authors so, using eeny meeny miny mo, I got A Start in Life. Which you can ignore if you want. ; )

Mar 28, 4:01pm Top

>109 Berly: Right, I saw that! My church is using that for committee meetings now but I'm not involved. It's great that it can gather people from several places into the conversation unlike the other three (which may be able to do that, I actually don't know).

Thanks for coming by and voting -- even if it was deny teeny miny mo :)

Mar 28, 6:41pm Top

My district is supporting Google Meet for videoconferencing. I used Zoom for the first time early this week for book club. It was easy, and was really nice to see everyone.

Mar 28, 11:01pm Top

>11 Familyhistorian: I think that we will all be more IT savvy when this thing is done. Zoom, google meet, skype. I am also appreciating my mobile phone these days too!

Stay safe, Reba.

Mar 29, 12:49pm Top

We will only be IT save if we are fortunate enough to have access to high speed internet. Regular internet service doesn't work well with any of those means. Once again money counts.

Mar 29, 2:22pm Top

>111 AMQS: Hi Anne. I've been talking to friends here who are participating in meetings vis Zoom and it does sound great. Our church is having Sunday service on FaceBook which works pretty well for that too.

>112 PaulCranswick: Indeed I think we will Paul. I gave my grandson a "coupon" for lunch with Grandma and and shopping for a video game for him. We didn't get that done before we all went into lock-up so now I'm trying to figure out how to transfer money to his PayPal account so he can buy one himself on line. I certainly know how to transfer money to shopping sites for myself but have never done it to an individual before -- learning curve:)

>113 benitastrnad: Good morning Benita. Fortunately more and more public wifi hot spots are being provided

>105 RebaRelishesReading: -- and your votes are...?

Mar 29, 2:23pm Top

Daughter #2 reported from Portland this morning that Powell's has been able to rehire 100 staff members because of the volume of on-line orders :) Keep it up folks!! and don't forget your local indies too :)

Mar 29, 2:35pm Top

Hi Reba! We are exploring different ways of videoconferencing at work for internal education sessions, so I'm interested in all the posts above. I favour LoopUp, without the video function, but that wouldn't work if you actually wanted to see people :-) My view is that no-one needs to see me in my working from home clothes. One of my friends said "I'll have to put my face on and dye my roots if we move to videoconferencing." The struggle is real :-)

Mar 29, 2:46pm Top

>116 susanj67: I hear you, Susan! But I figure we're all in the same boat plus you can always blame it on poor video resolution lol

Mar 29, 3:01pm Top

Hi Reba, I read Call Me Zebra a couple of years ago, and had much the same reaction that you did.

Mar 29, 3:04pm Top

>118 BLBera: Hi, Beth! Thanks for stopping by. It's always nice to have one's opinion confirmed :)

Mar 29, 4:01pm Top

Glad to see that you're coping with the lock down!

>114 RebaRelishesReading: I'm not a church goer but for some reason I found it really shocking when the Church of England services were cancelled here. It seems the sort of thing that just goes on no matter what else is happening in the world.

Mar 29, 6:09pm Top

I don't know two of the books you listed Reba but I just read A Start in Life in January and really liked it so that would be my vote. I had no luck with online ordering for groceries last week with either Whole Foods or Wegmans. Neither could give me an appointment time. So I was forced to go to Wegmans and let me tell you it was one eerie store. Very few shoppers on a Thursday afternoon. I don't know if it was the lack of shoppers or the lack of music but it just didn't feel right. I got pretty much everything I wanted except brown sugar(???). There was one line for checkout and it was very long because people were six feet apart. An employee managed the line and when you got to the front he told you which register to go to. I'll try again this week to order online but I don't need much so I'll probably just ask my daughter to pick up the few items I need. I've been a Wegmans shopper for 30+ years but there was something unsettling about the experience.

Mar 29, 8:08pm Top

>115 RebaRelishesReading: Love that! Callia follows a little bookstore we visited in Lawrence, KS and they are delivering, too.

Mar 29, 8:36pm Top

>120 SandDune: Hi Rhian. Hope you are coping with your lock down well too. Actually I'm basically a home body so it isn't too hard for me. Hubby is doing better than I expected too. He usually needs to go out at least once a day and I was worried it would be hard to keep him in but he's adjusting quite well.

>121 brenzi: I counted you as a vote for Brookner already, Bonnie :) Just finished it and liked it very much. If your Wegman's is a big as the one we use in Jamestown I can imagine it would be strange if there weren't many shoppers. Other than Seniors Tuesday I've never seen "our" Wegman's at all crowded even in the middle of summer. You not finding brown sugar made me smile. It's weird what there is and isn't in the stores here too. I've given up on trying to order groceries for delivery but I do have an order pending to pick up (you drive the car up, open the trunk remotely, they put in groceries and you drive away) on Thursday. If that works well I'll try for another one in about a week. That way we'll have fresh things regularly and I can fill in pantry items as they get low. Keep well :)

>122 AMQS: Hi Anne! Ah Lawrence, isn't that just the nicest town? Hubby got his PhD at KU so we stop in every time we're "in the neighborhood". I hope a lot of bookstores are taking advantage of on-line sales opportunities and that it sees them through this tough time. The Book Passage, which was my "local" when I lived in the Bay Area and which has the most active author speaker series I've ever seen, keeps sending emails about what is cancelled and which will be rescheduled and providing info on the books involved which they have available on line.

Mar 29, 8:42pm Top

A Start in Life by Anita Brookner ****

I didn't get much response to my request for help choosing my next read so I decided to take the shortest one (because I expect to like all of them) and had several lovely hours reading as a result.

Ruth is the smart but rather mousy daughter of an over-the-hill actress and an unmotivated owner of a rare book business. During her childhood her paternal grandmother (organized, good housekeeper, strong woman) lives with the family and there is some order to Ruth's life but after her grandmother dies the household declines into chaos. The main anchor in her life is her academic work and her thesis on vice and virtue in the works of Balzac.

A very enjoyable, quick read and definitely recommended.

Mar 29, 9:45pm Top

>115 RebaRelishesReading: Yes!! That news about Powell's made me so happy. : )

Listening to iHeart Radio concert hosted by Elton John on FOX tv. Wishing you a wonderful Sunday.

Mar 30, 12:26pm Top

>125 Berly: and wishing you one right back, Kim!! I'm thinking about going out for a walk..it's beautiful outside and I haven't been out of the house since Friday 7:30 a.m.

Mar 30, 6:52pm Top

I did go out for a walk It's a beautiful 67 degree sunny day and it felt good to be outside. It also gave me a chance to make serious progress on my audio book, enough progress that I finished it when I got home.

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite*** (audio)

Korede is the older sister and she has always been charged with taking care of her sister, Ayoola, and is always blamed for everything Ayoola does wrong. Korede is a nurse, an excellent nurse, and has a responsible job in a hospital. She always does the right thing, the expected thing. Ayoola is beautiful, very beautiful, and she attracts men like flies. She also has a bad habit of killing her boy friends.

This is a most unusual book. At times I thought I really didn't like it but in the end I decided it was interesting enough to off-set some of the things I didn't like so I ended up giving it a "good". If you like unusual, thought-provoking plots you might like it.

Mar 30, 6:58pm Top

Ha! 73 degrees here, even now. I trimmed the bougainvillea back partway and pulled out grass, so did my bit for today!

Mar 30, 7:00pm Top

>128 ronincats: Hi Roni, I was just at your place seeing photos of the bougainvillea and reading about the apple pie. Sounds lovely. I'm trusting my phone re the temperature but I got good and warm walking -- but then I'm really out of shape so no surprise there.

Edited: Mar 31, 2:43pm Top

Never mind :)

Mar 31, 9:27pm Top

Hi Reba, my morning walk is a sanity saver. When our rainy weather lets up, I may add an evening walk to my routine. I laughed at all the forces conspiring against you as you tried to have your virtual lunch meetup. I hope the next one goes more smoothly. Take care and Happy Reading!

Apr 1, 12:46pm Top

>131 Donna828: Hi Donna, how nice of you to stop by and nice to have you laughing with me over the lunch. It actually got better, in the rush to get that going I had to change my aol pass word and I used something simple to get on with it. Two days later my FaceBook account was cloned. I now have a computer generated difficult password and I hope I can leave that account alone for a while.

Apr 1, 1:50pm Top

We've been rewatching Downton Abbey as something quiet and calming before going to bed. Last night we got to the episode where Spanish Flu enters the house!! After that we watched a train travel show to distract ourselves before we tried to sleep.

It did make me think ... the Spanish Flu was 102 years ago. We haven't had a real pandemic since so perhaps it will be enough 100+ years after this one is over and perhaps the world will be better prepared by then ... at least I hope so.

Apr 2, 12:18am Top

>133 RebaRelishesReading: AIDs may not count as a pandemic, but the devastation within the community was at that level, so for some, one main difference is that it's hitting everyone.

Apr 2, 1:10pm Top

>134 quondame: You're right. I was struck by the similarity between the Spanish Flu and Covid-19 and looking for a ray of hope.

Apr 2, 1:22pm Top

Has anybody heard from Bonnie? I think I lost her thread when I switched to this new laptop.

Apr 2, 1:55pm Top

>136 benitastrnad: Yes, I "hear" from her often. She's fine. (see >121 brenzi:)

Apr 2, 2:10pm Top

>137 RebaRelishesReading:
It's probably my ineptitude with this new laptop. It's a Mac and I can't seem to find anything on it and things don't work the way I think they should compared to my office PC. oh well - we will be back to work soon and I won't have to deal with this machine.

Edited: Yesterday, 11:46am Top

>138 benitastrnad: Once you get used to it you may never want to touch a PC again! I adore my iMac Air and have strong urge to throw Hubby's PC out the window every time I have to use it (or, worse, help with it). Apple's really are much more user friendly and, if you stay all Apple (I have iPhone and iPad) they play together very, very nicely.

Apr 2, 2:32pm Top

Today's big event is a trip to pick-up a supermarket order placed a week ago. It's the first time I've tried "pick-up" (after delivery was a total failure) so I'm anxious to see if it (1) works at all and (2) has everything in it that I ordered. If it's reasonably successful I plan to put together another order for about a week from now.

Yesterday, 3:05am Top

>139 RebaRelishesReading: etc - I'm a computer tech, and as far as I'm concerned Macs and Windows PCs do exactly the same things - in entirely different ways. I strongly recommend to my clients (most of whom are very not computer savvy) that they not switch, in either direction. Someone who's accustomed to a Mac will hate a PC, and vice versa. I'm a PC/Android user and Macs and iGadgets drive me nuts - nothing works the way I expect it to (where's my right click? Where's my back button? What do you mean it makes a difference how hard I press on the screen?). I can use a Mac, and even fix one, but they still drive me nuts.

Edited: Yesterday, 8:53am Top

>140 RebaRelishesReading: Reba, I hope pick-up worked out. What wet wrong with the delivery?

I saw this story in The Times today and thought of you:

"America's 'Netflix for Anglophiles' in streaming battle with Britbox

It is the television equivalent of selling ice to the eskimos.

A niche US streaming company that specialises in providing American viewers with British programmes such as ITV's Foyle's War and The Bletchley Circle is launching in Britian.

Acorn TV will be available from April 29 at ÂŁ4.99 a month - ÂŁ1 cheaper than its direct rival Britbox, the ITV and BBC joint streaming venture that went live last November.

Britbox promotes itself as the home of UK TV box sets but the launch of Acorn TV means that viewers of British programmes will have a choice of streaming platforms."

There's more, but that's the gist of it. And apparently Acorn is getting some original commissions, including one called Queens of Mystery, which is a "warm-hearted whodunnit" by one of the writers of Doc Martin. So look out for that!

Yesterday, 12:26pm Top

>141 jjmcgaffey: That may be it, Jennifer but I worked on PC's all the time when I was working and my first laptops were PC's but switching to Apple took me about 20 minutes and I've been in love since.

How are your parents doing?

>142 susanj67: Hi Susan. You're right to think of us. We subscribe to both Acorn and Britbox and watch them regularly. We pay $4.99 for acorn and $6.99 for Britbox. But then, I'm proud to be an Anglophile so it fits doesn't it?

I will definitely look for Queens of Mystery.

Speaking of Britain, we heard on the news the other day that Prince Charles has tested positive for Covid-19 and was isolating in Scotland. Haven't heard anything more -- have you?

Oh yes...and pick up went very well. Requested delivery of a couple of weeks ago never showed up. I'm now trying to schedule another pickup for in a week or so but no slots available -- just keep trying I guess.

Hope you're well and coping OK with WFH.

Edited: Yesterday, 1:30pm Top

Grocery pick up Yesterday was the big day! Our first pick-up grocery order was scheduled for 3-4 p.m. and it worked beautifully. We drove to the store, found the two spaces marked for pick-up, phoned the number of the sign to say we were there and a few minutes later a nice young man came out with a cart loaded with our order, placed it in the back of the car, picked up our copy of the order with his tip attached, lowered our hatch and we drove off. We got almost everything we ordered and the quality of produce was great. I'm very pleased with the whole thing. Now I would like to order for in about a week but no slots available :( I have the order ready, now I'll just have to keep checking and hope to be there in time for the next day they offer.

masks As of yesterday, the good people of San Diego County are asked to wear masks when in public and for those in jobs that involve public contact (cashiers, etc) it's required. All of us are asked (required?) to NOT wear the kind medical professionals wear of course. I've been tasked with trying to make masks for us and three of our friends -- so I know what I'll be (trying to) doing today. I have an old batch of fabric that I'll check and hope some of it will work because otherwise I don't think I'll be able to get anything else except through the mail which isn't the best idea as to time and as to knowing what I'm going to get.

Yesterday, 1:51pm Top

I just opened a bag of Concord grape Gummi Bears I purchased last summer someplace close to Chautauqua. They taste great! and it made me think of you and Bonnie.

Yesterday, 2:04pm Top

>145 benitastrnad: How nice! Yep, concord grapes and Chautauqua County are a pair for sure. Have you ever had concord grape pie? That a real "thing" in the area in late summer when the grapes are ripe.

Yesterday, 2:05pm Top

I have not been lucky enough to have a Concord grape pie. Maybe this year?

Yesterday, 2:06pm Top

>144 RebaRelishesReading: Glad the grocery thing went well! I am assuming that soon all of us out in the world will have to wear masks, which I'd be happy to do except I don't have any and I suck at sewing! Will have to figure something out. Stay happy and well.

Yesterday, 2:10pm Top

>147 benitastrnad: "Maybe this year" -- one can hope we'll be there this year but I'm not at all sure. The pie is OK but not all that great imho but it's a local specialty so we tried it.

>148 Berly: Maybe some talented person will put them up on etsy -- actually I should check there myself because I'm not at all sure I have appropriate material.

Yesterday, 3:15pm Top

>144 RebaRelishesReading: I have been told to make masks so my husband, who in mid March, gave me a hard time when I asked him to use the hand wipes, can go out and get milk. I downloaded a pattern which fits onto those 1/2 sheets of paper towel, so, at least for a mock up, I'm going to use that & see if it holds up at all. Also I'm going to see if I can do without stitching in the middle of the mask - it seems that if you have holes that's not good, but the video said the masks made with the pattern worked better than others.

Edited: Yesterday, 3:30pm Top

Reba, there are loads of patterns out there and on YouTube. I made a basic pattern, very easy, that I found at Sew Good:


For just public use, this should be fine. I'm going to make mine with the optional ties since I don't have any elastic or hair ties. You can put a wire tie, like for bags, in the top seam lining if you like, for a nose piece.

Edited: Yesterday, 4:39pm Top

>151 ronincats: I am wearing a paper towel, no sew version of University of Florida Prototype that requires scissors, paper towels, scotch tape, staples and 4x15" ties. Out of 2 thicknesses of paper towel I cut out the pattern minus the big wedge in the center which I treat like a big dart taping it on both sides. The only thing that every one is less likely to have than I do is the cloth tape for the ties, but almost any strips of fabric will do and they can be reused. I think it takes less than 5 minutes to make.
(not me, not my mask, but this pattern with a dart where the front seam is.)

Cut and mark double thickness of paper towel.
Fold and tape down 2 side darts then central dart - no need to cut excess
Staple the ties into marked places flat side of staple to inside.

Edited: Today, 8:36am Top

Hey, Reba, I've started making masks, so if you'd like a couple I'd be happy to make and send them to you. I've put a photo of one up on my thread.

Yesterday, 4:58pm Top

>144 RebaRelishesReading: Glad your grocery pick up order went well! I got a delivery yesterday and didn't mind it at all. The produce was iffy on a couple things (melon has a big soft spot and a kiwi was gross) but overall it was pretty good. I haven't decided if I will do a delivery again or just do a pick up order. Depends on the wait I guess

Today, 12:53am Top

Hi Reba, I'm glad to hear of your experiences with grocery delivery and pick-up. I'm going to give it a try. My son-in-law has been doing it for me but I'm starting to feel a little guilty.

I'm adding *A Start in Life* to my shopping list.

Today, 5:23am Top

>143 RebaRelishesReading: Reba, yes, Prince Charles tested positive, but he only had mild symptoms and he's better now. He sent a video message from his study in Scotland, and then yesterday he opened the new Nightingale hospital in London (again by video link).

We haven't yet moved to masks, but I'm interested in the discussion above, just in case we do. So thank-you everyone! (And some of you should write to the White House and ask for Cheeto's masks as he's said that he won't be wearing one, so presumably there are some going spare there).

Today, 5:48am Top

>151 ronincats: nice masks!

Grocery delivery sounds like a great idea. I am not sure if my area has delivery as I live a little outside of the "main" city. Have a fabulous weekend

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