karenmarie's reading in 2023 - part VII

This is a continuation of the topic karenmarie's reading in 2023 - part VI.

This topic was continued by karenmarie's reading in 2023 - part VIII - my lucky number!.

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karenmarie's reading in 2023 - part VII

Edited: Aug 25, 2023, 9:04 pm

Welcome to my seventh thread of Two Thousand and Twenty-Three!

Bibliomaniac, bibliophile, lectiophiliac, bookworm. Four ways to describe me and books.

The Good: Family, friends, kitties, books, in constantly-rotating order. Jenna being home is wonderful although I know living at home chaffs her and she’d rather have her own apartment and a kitty or two. I’m at 19 weeks post knee replacement surgery. Haven’t used a cane in about a month and am feeling very good about it.

The Bad and the Sad: Wild fires in Canada are still burning and smoke is everywhere. Covid is still in the mix. Ukraine is still fighting for its survival as an independent country. I’m distraught that there are so many state-sanctioned evil things going on in so many countries in the world, including ours. Women’s rights in the US are under continuing and escalating attack. Where do men come off trying to control women’s bodies? Racism is alive and well and able to easily organize on the Internet. Why has this poison not yet been eradicated? The haves keep wanting more and more and the have nots keep getting shafted more and more. Why don’t people here in the US vote with their pocketbooks and not extreme religious beliefs? We’ve entered hurricane season. I’m still pretty much avoiding the news these days, frankly.

Greed 101: On May 2, 2023, at 12:01 a.m. PDT, the Writers Guild of America (WGA)—representing 11,500 screenwriters—went on strike over an ongoing labor dispute with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).
The strike is the largest interruption to American television and film production since the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, as well as the largest labor stoppage the WGA has performed since the last strike in 2007–08. Since July 14, 2023, it has coincided with a SAG-AFTRA strike as part of a broader Hollywood labor dispute.
– Wikipedia.

The Ugly: The Gang of Psychos infiltrating at every level of government, state and federal, to undermine rights, force their religious beliefs on others, and poison our republic.

Like everybody else who gets to 70, I think “How did I get to be old?” Not in a bad way, just a real way. I’ve re-scuppered the whole Hawaii trip. I might visit my aunt and uncle in northern California for 2-3 days.

Here’s what I still feel about being retired, with a new entry:
It’s Killer Diller! It’s the humdinger. It’s also dilly! It’s the Lollapalooza. It’s the lobster’s dress shirt! It's the snail's ankles. It’s bonaroo! It’s the berries! It’s aces, snazzy, hot, smooth, sweet, swell, keen, and cool. It’s also the fox’s socks, the cat’s pajamas, the bee’s knees, the eel’s hips, the monkey’s eyebrows, the sardine’s whiskers, the gnat’s whistle. It's the razzmatazz and the chipmunk's cheeks. It’s jake. It’s hotsy-totsy.

Susan, quondame, wrote this on Stasia’s (alcottacre) thread recently, and I love the way she put it: The most important thing about retirement is to retire the weight of expectations, internal or external and then just pick ones we can harmonize with agreeably.

I read and am a charter member of the Redbud and Beyond Book Club, started in 1997. We met in June to pick books for the next 11 months. No book in July, my book, Lessons in Chemistry, for August. I happily turned over the reins of the Presidency of the Friends and am Immediate Past President. I’ll stay on the Board for however long the next President serves, then completely leave the Board and just stay on the Book Sale Team. The Book Sale Team meets on Tuesdays to sort donations for the spring and fall book sales. I was exhausted the first few times I went back to book sort team Tuesday mornings but now don’t feel it at all.

I have been married to Bill for 32 years and am mother to Jenna, almost 30. The three of us live in our own little corner of paradise on 8 acres in central North Carolina USA.

We have three kitties. Inara – 16 - snuggling, Zoe – 4 ½ - balancing, Wash – 3 ½ - nesting.

Jenna, age 7, absolutely fearless on a large, fast-moving animal, riding English.

My goal last year was 75 books, based on what I thought would be a tough reading year because of my health. Ha. I read over 300 books, mostly on my Kindle, mostly using Kindle Unlimited. They were, as my daughter calls them, smut, and my friend Karen in Montana calls porn. *shrugs* I really, really enjoy reading this subgenre of contemporary fiction/romance and will continue until it no longer interests me. This coming year’s goal is back to 100, but I’ve already read 216 books, am still enthralled with contemporary fiction/romance – smut - with no end in sight. I’m going to leave the 100 book goal as is.


New Year’s Resolutions – 2023 – I think I’ll just posting this all year and make sure I read and update it!

Lose a minimum of 20 pounds.
Work out for cardio health 3 times a week when appropriate given potential knee surgeries. Have restarted 3x per week treadmill.
Get knee replacement surgery (ies?) and assiduously follow through with all PT and other requirements. First one, left knee, done.
Reduce red meat consumption and increase salmon and other healthy fish consumption. More chicken more frequently, salmon about every week and a half.
Continue low-sodium lifestyle and gradually work to reduce sugared items to 2-3 times a week.
Read 5% nonfiction this year if continuing with startling numbers of contemporary fiction - i.e., romances, otherwise 10% if the romance trend tapers off.
Inventory all book shelves in house, ruthlessly cull that which I won’t read/re-read and which Jenna won’t want when I’m gone. ~123 shelves = 10/month.
Finish The Federalist Papers, Pilgrim, re-start and finish Run With the Horsemen, a gift from Peggy.
Read A Brief Introduction to the New Testament by Bart D. Ehrman with friend Karen in Montana.
Maybe read Don Juan by George Gordon, Lord Byron, with Peggy.
Get the Parlour back under control by making a decision about each thing in the room and immediately following through properly: keep and store, toss, donate.
Be in better touch with family and friends. I tend to isolate when stressed.
As Judy says, pay attention.
Express gratitude for what I have - family, friends, intangibles and tangibles - every day.

2023. I have high hopes for familial stability with Jenna living at home and socking money away for the eventual move to an apartment of her own. The new normal for Covid will, I hope, be continued vigilance and an eventual regimen of yearly vaccines as we do with flu. With politics, who knows, but I hope the Democrats continue to keep the Gang of Psychos in check as much as possible and the world does not implode via Putin/nuclear/Ukraine, Kim Jung Un in North Korea ditto nuclear, and the Middle East with Israel and Iran ditto nuclear. See a potentially devastating theme here?

Edited: Aug 28, 2023, 2:35 pm

Books Read - last year was 324

1. Glamorous by Romeo Alexander 12/31/22 1/1/23 202 pages Kindle
2. Commitment Issues by Ali Ryecart 1/1/23 1/2/23 372 pages Kindle
3. Take My Breath Away by Ali Ryecart 1/2/23 1/3/23 395 pages Kindle
4. Out of the Shadows by Ali Ryecart 1/3/23 1/4/23 364 pages Kindle
5. Loose Connection by Ali Ryecart 1/4/23 1/5/23 354 pages Kindle
6. Corporate Bodies by Ali Ryecart 1/5/23 1/6/23 318 pages Kindle
**abandoned Release by Ali Ryecart** 106 pages
**abandoned Time for Love by Laura N. Andrews** 84 pages
**abandoned Imperfect by Ali Ryecart** 52 pages
7. Hotline by Quinn Anderson 1/6/23 1/6/23 276 pages Kindle
8. Alaska by Cate Ashwood 1/6/23 1/7/23 182 pages Kindle
9. Bishop Ridge by Cate Ashwood 1/7/23 1/8/23 187 pages Kindle
10. Copper Creek by Cate Ashwood 1/8/23 1/8/23 198 pages Kindle
11. Bet on Love by A.F. Zoelle and Ariella Zoelle 1/9/23 1/10/23 178 pages 2020
**abandoned First Comes Marriage by Shira Anthony** 145 pages
12. Ex-Factor by CJ Bishop 1/10/23 1/10/23 22 pages Kindle 2022
13. Hot Boss by Scarlet Blackwell 1/10/23 1/11/23 110 pages Kindle 2021
14. The Mechanic and the Surgeon by Steve Milton 1/11/23 1/11/23 115 pages Kindle 2015
**abandoned Captured by Scarlet Blackwell** 82 pages
**abandoned Ironhearted by Cate Ashwood** 156 pages
15. The Best Man Problem by Jace Hadley 1/11/23 1/12/23 248 pages Kindle
16. Show Me Wonders by Riley Nash 1/13/23 1/14/23 327 pages Kindle
17. Hold me Under by Riley Nash 1/14/23 1/15/23 336 pages Kindle
18. Christmas Special by Riley Nash 1/15/23 1/16/23 261 pages Kindle
19. Gruff Touch by R. Cayden 1/16/23 1/17/23 170 pages Kindle
20. Off Limits by Riley Hart 1/18/23 1/18/23 265 pages Kindle
21. Trusting Tanner by Nicky James 1/19/23 1/20/23 197 pages Kindle
22. Not So Nice by Emma Lyon 1/20/23 1/21/23 215 pages Kindle
23. Reunion by Lynn Van Dorn 1/21/23 1/22/23 312 pages Kindle
24. Rebound by Lynn Van Dorn 1/23/23 1/23/23 381 pages Kindle
25. Be My Mistake by Lynn Van Dorn 1/23/23 1/23/23 92 pages Kindle
26. Wild By Nature by Lynn Van Dorn 1/23/23 1/23/23 134 pages Kindle
27. Damage Control by Lynn Van Dorn 1/24/23 1/24/23 426 pages Kindle
28. Delicious by Stella Starling 1/25/23 1/26/23 249 pages Kindle
**abandoned, 8 books** 693 pages
29. Sem by Cora Rose 1/27/23 1/28/23 276 pages Kindle
30. Whit by Cora Rose 1/28/23 1/29/23 290 pages Kindle
31. Emery by Cora Rose 1/29/23 1/29/23 294 pages Kindle
32. Luke by Cora Rose 1/30/23 1/30/23 276 pages Kindle
33. Lex by Cora Rose 1/30/23 1/31/23 233 pages Kindle
**abandoned Save Me by Beck Grey** 86 pages

34. Hard Target by Kelly Fox 2/1/23 2/1/23 246 pages Kindle
35. Full Contact by Kelly Fox 2/1/23 2/2/23 206 pages Kindle
36. Most Wanted by Kelly Fox 2/2/23 2/4/23 220 pages Kindle
37. Goodnight by Kelly Fox 2/4/23 2/5/23 264 pages Kindle
38. Heart of the Steal by Roan Parrish and Avon Gale 2/5/23 2/5/23 296 pages Kindle
39. In The Middle of Somewhere by Roan Parrish 2/5/23 2/6/22 428 pages Kindle
40. Out of Nowhere by Roan Parrish 2/6/23 2/7/23 316 pages Kindle
41. Straight to the Heart by Lynn van Dorn 2/8/23 2/8/23 302 pages Kindle
42. The Loner by Riley Hart 2/8/23 2/9/23 253 pages Kindle
43. The Husband Hoax by Saxon James 2/9/23 2/10/23 278 pages Kindle
44. The Ink Black Heart by Robert Galbraith 11/1/22 2/11/23 audiobook 32.75 hours
45. Pretty Obsessed by J.R. Gray 2/10/23 2/11/23 350 pages Kindle
46. Pretty Toxic by J.R. Gray 2/11/23 2/12/23 228 pages Kindle
**abandoned May the Best Man Win by J.R. Gray, Kate Hawthorne** 116 pages
47. Just Want More by Evelyn Jeannie Hall 2/13/23 2/13/23 203 pages Kindle
48. The New Hire by A.W. Scott 2/14/23 2/14/23 116 pages Kindle
**abandoned Ben's Boss by K.C. Wells** 231 pages
**abandoned Powder and Pavlova by Jay Hogan** 99 pages
**abandoned The Constant Rabbit by Jasper Fforde** 18 pages
**abandoned Sawyer by J.J. Harper
49. Gus by J.J. Harper 2/15/23 2/15/23 120 pages Kindle
50. Pushing the Limits by Riley Hart 2/16/23 2/16/23 322 pages Kindle
51. Giving Chase by Riley Hart 2/17/23 2/17/23 355 pages Kindle
52. Murphy's Law by Riley Hart 2/17/23 2/18/23 343 pages Kindle
53. Hard Knox by Riley Hart 2/18/23 2/18/23 358 pages Kindle
54. Griff's Place by Riley Hart 2/18/23 2/19/23 353 pages Kindle
55. Beautiful and Terrible Things by Riley Hart 2/19/23 2/19/23 386 pages Kindle
56. Snowed in With Benefits by Misha Horne 2/20/23 2/20/23 422 pages Kindle
57. Working Out the Kinks by Misha Horne 2/20/23 2/21/23 362 pages Kindle
58. Just a Bit Bossy by Alessandra Hazard 2/21/23 2/22/23 251 pages Kindle
59. So Into You by S.E. Harmon 2/22/23 2/23/23 312 pages Kindle
60. Stay With Me by S.E. Harmon 2/23/23 2/24/23 272 pages Kindle
61. Chrysalis by S.E. Harmon 2/24/23 2/24/23 238 pages Kindle
**abandoned Texas King by A.R King** 150 pages ugh. got weirdly kinky. I like kink, but not this kink.
62. Charming Him by Louisa Masters 2/25/23 2/26/23 183 pages Kindle
**abandoned The Last Favor by Meg Harding** 15 pages
**abandoned Until You Say Otherwise by Kate Hawthorne** 120 pages
63. Fake It 'Til You Make It by Louisa Masters 2/25/23 2/26/23 39 pages Kindle
64. Eurotour by Jaberona BL 2/26/23 2/26/23 95 pages Kindle
65. Proud by Tatum West 2/26/23 2/27/23 231 pages Kindle
**abandoned Not Used to Cute by Becca Seymour** 40
66. The Last Remains by Elly Griffiths 2/27/23 2/28/23 357 pages hardcover
67. 1066 by Professor Jennifer Paxton 2/14/23 2/28/23 audiobook 3 hours

68. Business As Usual by Alison Hendricks 2/28/23 3/1/23 219 pages Kindle
69. A Kind of Romance 3/1/23 3/2/23 by Lane Hayes 270 pages Kindle
70. Honeytrap by Aster Glenn Gray 3/2/23 3/3/23 336 pages Kindle
71. Honestly Yours by Jaime Reese 3/3/23 3/4/23 364 pages Kindle
72. The Marriage Contract by Aja Foxx 3/4/23 3/4/23 254 pages Kindle
**abandoned Out by Tatum West** 167 pages
**abandoned Forgotten:Luca by Sloan Kennedy** 116
73. Rare by Briar Prescott 3/5/23 3/5/23 302 pages Kindle
74. The Happy List by Briar Prescott 3/5/23 3/6/23 278 pages Kindle
75. The Dating Experiment by Briar Prescott 3/6/23 3/6/23 268 pages Kindle
**abandoned The Terror of History: Mystics, Heretics, and Witches in the Western Tradition** by Professor Teofilo F. Ruiz** .45 hours
**abandoned The Underdog by Briar Prescott** 22 pages
**abandoned Heal My Heart by HQ Kingsley** 24 pages
**abandoned The Long Game by Samantha Wayland** 14 pages
**abandoned Forgotten: Luca by Sloane Kennedy** 100 pages
76. The Inconvenient Love by Briar Prescott 3/7/23 258 pages Kindle
77. Dirty Forty by Mia Monroe 3/8/23 3/9/23 236 pages Kindle
78. His Touch by Elena London 3/18/23 3/18/23 55 pages Kindle
79. Redeem by Christina Lee 3/18/23 3/21/23 238 pages Kindle
80. Undone by Christina Lee 3/21/23 3/23/23 255 pages Kindle
81. Beautiful Chaos by Riley Hart and Devon McCormack 3/24/23 3/25/23 241 pages Kindle
82. Love Me Louder by Christina Lee 3/25/23 3/25/23 236 pages Kindle 2018
83. The Romantic by Riley Hart 3/26/23 3/27/23 270 pages Kindle
84. Destructive Relations by Hayden Hall 3/27/23 3/27/23 244 pages Kindle
85. Pretty Wreck by J.R. Gray 3/28/23 3/31/23 282 pages Kindle

86. Colin by Cora Rose 3/31/23 4/1/23 242 pages Kindle
87. Hard for Tristan by Brady Fox 4/1/23 4/2/23 86 pages Kindle
88. Roommate by Sarina Bowen 4/2/23 4/3/23 297 pages Kindle
89. Reaching Reed by Cora Rose and Nicole Dykes 4/3/23 4/4/23 264 pages Kindle
90. Filthy Sweet by R. Cayden 4/4/23 4/5/23 216 pages Kindle
91. Givers by Casey Cox 4/5/23 4/6/23 281 pages Kindle
92. The Unmasking of Kelly James by Belle Chapin 4/6/23 4/7/23 224 pages Kindle
**abandoned The Faker Rulebook by Baylin Crow** 77 pages
**abandoned Family Rules by Jacki James** 78 pages
**abandoned Moving On by Felice Stevens** 210 pages
**abandoned Filthy and the Beast by R. Cayden** 100 pages
**abandoned Thief of Hearts by K. Evan Coles** 17 pages
**abandoned Hired: Hadley by Nora Phoenix** 112 pages
93. Pretty Things by Devon McCormack 4/7/23 4/8/23 342 pages Kindle
94. The Night Screams by Devon McCormack 4/8/23 4/9/23 203 pages Kindle
95. #ROYAL by Devon McCormack 4/9/23 4/10/23 263 pages Kindle
96. Snowblind by Eli Easton 4/10/23 4/11/23 114 pages Kindle
97. The Trouble with Tony by Eli Easton 4/11/23 4/11/23 111 pages Kindle
98. Beyond the Sea by Keira Andrews 4/11/23 4/12/23 263 pages Kindle 2016
99. Honeymoon for One by Keira Andrews 4/12/13 4/13/2023 269 pages Kindle 2018
100. In Case of Emergency by Keira Andrews 4/13/23 4/13/23 155 pages Kindle 2017
101. Dearest Milton James by N.R. Walker 4/13/23 4/14/23 218 pages Kindle 2021
102. 2 Dead Fish Named Kevin by L.A. Witt 4/14/23 4/14/23 84 pages Kindle 2023
103. Surprise Groom by D.J. Jamison 4/14/23 4/15/23 312 pages Kindle 2019
104. To The Moon and Back by N.R. Walker 4/15/23 4/16/23 209 pages Kindle 2023
105. Prince of Lies by Lucy Lennox 4/16/23 4/16/23 298 pages Kindle 2023
106. IRL: In Real Life by Lucy Lennox and Molly Maddox 4/16/23 4/17/23 267 pages Kindle 2019
107. Say You'll Be Nine by Lucy Lennox 4/17/23 4/17/23 265 pages Kindle 2020
108. Virgin Flyer by Lucy Lennox 4/17/23 4/18/23 254 pages Kindle 2020
109. Facing West by 4/18/23 4/18/23 4/19/23 271 pages Kindle 2017
110. Hearts Colliding by Ali Ryecart 4/19/23 4/19/23 310 pages Kindle 2023
111. Gideon by RJ Scott and Meredith Russell 4/20/23 4/21/23 190 pages Kindle 2020
112. Cover Me by L.A. Witt 4/21/23 4/22/23 386 pages Kindle 2014
113. Hitman vs Hitman by Cari Z 4/22/23 4/22/23 272 pages Kindle 2020
**abandoned Attraction by Kelly Fox** 120 pages
114. Takeover by Anna Zabo 4/23/23 4/24/23 230 pages Kindle 2021
**abandoned Just Business by Anna Zabo** 130 pages
115. Hard for my Boss by Daryl Banner 4/24/23 4/24/23 380 pages Kindle 2017
**abandoned Jerk: An ABCs of Love by Daryl Banner** 140 pages
116. The Intern by Serena Akeroyd 4/25/23 4/25/23 270 pages Kindle 2020
117. Revenge is Sweet by Felice Stevens 4/25/23 4/26/23 273 pages Kindle 2023
118. Make Me Fall by Riley Nash 4/26/23 4/28/23 296 pages Kindle 2022
119. Deadly Lover: Special Edition by Jocelynn Drake 4/28/23 4/29/23 338 pages Kindle 2021
**abandoned The Marriage Runaway by Aja Foxx** 120 pages
120. And the Best Man Ran Away with the Groom by Isla Olsen 4/29/23 4/30/23 185 pages Kindle

121. List Me With Your Best Shot by Isla Olsen 4/30/23 5/1/23 205 pages Kindle 2023
122. Friendly Fire by Cari Z 5/1/23 5/2/23 228 pages Kindle
123. The Art of Possession by Cari Z 5/2/23 5/3/23 171 pages Kindle
124. The Intern by Ally Porter 5/3/23 5/3/23 59 pages Kindle 2021
125. Tate by D Alex 5/3/23 5/4/23 138 pages Kindle 2021
126. Soul to Keep by Garrett Leigh 5/4/23 5/5/23 238 pages Kindle 2018 Jamie and Marc
127. Christmas on Firefly Hill by Garrett Leigh 5/5/23 5/5/23 188 pages Kindle 2022
128. Angels in the City by Garrett Leigh 5/5/23 5/6/23 254 pages Kindle 2020
129. How to Catch a Prince by Ana Ashley 5/7/23 5/8/23 230 pages Kindle 2019
**abandoned No Good Mitchell by Riley Hart and Devon McCormack** 203 pages
130. Checking Him Out by Debbie McGowan 5/9/23 5/10/23 208 pages Kindle 2014
131. Up for the Challenge by Riley Hart and Devon McCormack 5/10/23 5/12/23 358 pages Kindle 2017
**abandoned Felix and the Prince by Lucy Lennox** 148 pages Why, oh why, did I think another Prince of a small European Country and an American would work?
132. The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith 3/1/23 5/12/23 16 hours audio book
133. Addicted to Ellis D by S.E. Harmon 5/12/23 5/13/23 320 pages Kindle 2023
134. Misconduct by Lynn Van Dorn 5/13/23 5/14/23 198 pages Kindle 2023
135. Not That Complicated by Isabel Murray 5/14/23 5/15/23 283 pages Kindle 2022
136. The Trouble With Trying to Date a Murderer 5/15/23 5/16/23 167 pages Kindle 2022
137. Not So Fake by Emma Lyon 5/17/23 5/18/23 Kindle 187 pages 2021
**abandoned Midnight Ash by Ana Ashley** 183 pages
**abandoned Sugar and Sawdust by Debbie McGowan** 33 pages
138. Picking Up the Pieces by Frey Ortega 5/18/23 5/19/23 118 pages Kindle
139. The Boy in the Field by Margot Livesey 5/16/23 5/20/23 254 pages Kindle
140. The Realist by Riley Hart 5/19/23 5/19/23 235 pages Kindle 2023 Marcus and Kai
**abandoned His Personal Assistant by LJ Harris** 120 pages
141. Edge of Living by HL Day 5/20/23 5/21/23 250 pages Kindle 2018
142. Five Night Stand by HL Day 5/21/23 5/22/23 151 pages Kindle 2022
143. Taking Love's Lead by HL Day 5/22/23 5/22/23 248 pages Kindle 2018 Zack and Edgar
144. Gaycation in Paradise by Ariella Zoelle 5/23/23 5/24/23 236 pages Kindle 2021 Rook and Aldo
145. Cinderella in the Sheets by Reece Pine 5/24/23 5/24/23 131 pages Kindle Presley and Louis 2018
146. Always MJ by SJD Peterson 5/24/23 5/24/23 49 pages Kindle Matty and Jared 2012
**The Gift of Strength by M.A. Innes** 126 pages
147. Kept in the Dark by HL Day 5/25/23 5/26/23 202 pages Kindle Dean Justin 2018
148. A Temporary Situation by HL Day 5/26/23 5/26/23 249 pages Kindle 2018 Tristan and Dominic
149. Time for a Change by HL Day 5/26/23 5/27/23 249 pages Kindle Michael and Sam 2018
150. Temporary Insanity by HL Day 5/27/23 5/28/23 258 pages Kindle 2019 Paul and Indy
151. Christmas Riches by HL Day 5/28/23 5/28/23 156 pages Kindle 2019
**abandoned Shai by HL Night** 146 pages
152. Not So Silent Night by HL Day 5/29/23 5/29/23 222 pages Kindle Ferris and Xander 2021
153. Exposed by HL Day 5/29/23 5/30/23 370 pages Kindle Tate and X 2020

154. A Flighty Fake Boyfriend by Z.A. Maxfield 5/31/23 6/1/23 250 pages Kindle
155. A Much Younger Man by Z.A. Maxfield 6/1/23 6/1/23 254 pages Kindle 2020 Beck and Lindy
**abandoned The Office Nemesis Calamity by Hayden Hall** 186 pages
156. Trick Play by Eden Finley 6/2/23 6/3/23 316 pages Kindle Matt and Noah 2018
157. Beautifully Stolen by Charity Parkerson 6/3/23 6/4/23 146 pages Kindle Brett and Roman 2020
158. Sometimes You Just Know by Bill VanPatten 6/4/23 6/4/23 258 pages Kindle Arnie and Peter 2022
159. The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith 5/13/23 6/5/23 17.5 hours audiobook 2014
160. Forrest's #Win by Jennifer Cody 6/4/23 6/6/23 221 pages Kindle Forrest and Blake 2021
161. Poison Hearts by Jennifer Cody 6/6/23 6/7/23 85 pages Kindle Orlando and Shannon 2023
162. The Best Men by Lauren Blakely and Sarina Bowen 6/7/23 6/8/23 326 pages Kindle Asher and Mark 2022
**abandoned A Guy Walks Into My Bar by Lauren Blakely** 138 pages
163. Reckless Roulette by Alice Winters 6/8/23 6/9/23 147 pages Kindle Kade and Len 2023
164. Dealer of Secrets by Davidson King 6/9/23 6/10/23 143 pages Kindle Zaire and Carter 2023
165. Leave No Trace by Michelle Frost and Sammi Cee 6/10/23 6/10/23 79 pages Kindle Trace and Kol 2023
166. Atlas by Eden Finley 6/10/23 6/11/23 257 pages Kindle Atlas and Lemon 2023
167. Snow Falling by Davidson King 6/11/23 6/11/23 236 pages Kindle Snow and Christopher 2017
168. Bullets & Butterflies by Maz Maddox 6/11/23 6/12/23 147 pages Kindle Liam and Cisco 2023
169. Smash & Grab by Maz Maddox 6/12/23 6/13/23 180 pages Kindle Dalton and Simon 2020
170. Sink or Swim by Maz Maddox 6/13/23 6/14/23 220 pages Kindle Jackson and Baha 2021
171. King & Queen by Maz Maddox 6/14/23 6/15/23 219 Kindle Royal and Blaise 2021
172. Lost in Amber by Maz Maddox 6/15/23 6/16/23 219 pages Kindle Yu and Lance 2022
173. Love for the Reaper by Charlie Cochet 6/16/23 6/16/23 80 pages Kindle Dev and Remy 2023
174. Heart Thief by Skylar Sweeney 6/16/23 6/17/23 282 pages Kindle Mason and Rex Blood Brothers 1 2022
175. Power Plays by Tricia Owens 5/28/23 6/17/23 6/17/23 117 pages Kindle Max and Ethan 2018
176. The Bucket List by Tricia Owens 6/18/23 6/18/23 110 pages Kindle Gabriel and Quinn 2016
177. Not So Innocent by Emma Lyon 6/18/23 6/18/23 201 pages Kindle Ethan and Holden 2021 The Real Thing 2
178. Not So Perfect by Emma Lyon 6/18/23 6/19/23 192 pages Kindle Shane and Quinn 2021 The Real Thing 4
179. The Guardian by Tricia Owens 6/19/23 6/20/23 332 pages Kindle Hayden/Dorian and Thomas 2017
180. The Holiday Hookup by Baylin Crow 6/20/23 6/20/23 57 pages Kindle Finn and Hunter 2021
181. Sweetest Hate by Baylin Crow 6/21/23 6/21/23 216 pages Kindle Arsen and Kellan 2021 Guys Next Door 2
182. Booklover by J.E. Birk 6/21/23 6/21/23 240 pages Kindle Jamie and Briar Vino and Veritas 7 2021
183. Mastering the Muse by Peter Styles 6/22/23 6/23/23 137 pages Kindle Arlo and Walter The Billionaire's Consort 1 2019
184. The Date Mistake by Joelle Lynne 6/24/23 6/25/23 296 pages Kindle Trevor and Aaron 2023 standalone
185. Nerdy Talk by Joelle Lynne 6/25/23 6/25/23 236 pages Kindle Micah and Lucas 2022 standalone
186. Wish Me Home by Joelle Lynne 6/25/23 6/25/23 167 pages Kindle Emmett and Cody 2022 Home for the Holidays 2
187. Hired for the Holidays by Raquel Riley 6/25/23 6/26/23 134 pages Kindle Jones and Adam Hearts for Hire 5
188. Faking It by Ali Ryecart 6/26/23 6/26/23 288 pages Kindle Toby and Ben Rent Boys 2
**abandoned Love, Me by Quinn Ward** 57 pages
**abandoned Shared Custody by J.P. Oliver and Peter Styles** 45 pages
189. Ace in the Hole by J.P. Oliver and Peter Styles 6/28/23 6/28/23 178 pages Kindle Oliver and Leo 2018
190. Before You Go by S.J. Conner 6/28/23 6/29/23 139 pages Kindle Leo and Anthony 2022 Holiday MM Romance 1
191. Adam by Reese Winters 6/29/23 6/29/23 69 pages Kindle Adam and Ronin Cockpit Club 1 2020
192. The Billionaire's Proposal by Reese Winters 6/29/23 6/29/23 75 pages Kindle Sebastian and Jude 2020
193. Corporate Merger by Lance Abrusco 6/29/23 6/29/23 41 pages Kindle Jack and Cameron 2015
**abandoned Into the North by Amber Huxley** 200 pages
**abandoned Fighting For You by J.P. Oliver** 60 pages
**abandoned Paladin by Onley James** 262 pages

194. Captive Hearts by Ali Ryecart 6/30/23 7/1/23 296 pages Kindle Dashiell and Billy Deviant Hearts 1 2018
195. LOL by Lucy Lennox and Molly Maddox 7/1/23 7/2/23 277 pages Kindle Scotty and Roman After Oscar 2 2019
196. The Step Bro Situation by Jesse H Reign 7/2/23 7/3/23 321 pages Kindle Luke and Jessie The Situationship Series 1 2023
197. How to Say I Do by Tal Bauer 7/3/23 7/5/23 401 pages Kindle Noël and Wyatt 2023
198. Sainted by Jesse H Reign 7/5/23 7/6/23 277 pages Kindle Saint and Damon (Demon) 2023
199. The List by Felice Stevens 7/6/23 7/8/23 267 pages Kindle Win and Eliot Second Chances 1 2021
200. Stick to the Script by Lane Hayes 7/8/23 7/8/23 88 pages Kindle Wyatt and Jamie Ace's Wild 13 2019
201. The Real Baxter by Lane Hayes 7/8/23 7/9/23 344 pages Kindle Sebastian and Trent The Baxter Chronicles 1 2022
202. Spreadsheets by Jaclyn Quinn 7/9/23 7/9/23 88 pages Kindle Griffin and Jeremy Ace's Wild 8 2019
203. Baxter's Right Hand Man by Lane Hayes 7/9/23 7/10/23 269 pages Kindle Pierce and Lorenzo The Baxter Chronicles 2 2023
204. Up to No Good by Annabella Michaels 7/10/23 7/10/23 60 pages Kindle Miles and Cole Ace's Wild 11 2019
205. Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith 6/6/23 7/11/2023 18 hours audiobook 2015
206. Explicit Transactions by Hayden Hall 7/10/23 7/11/23 215 pages Kindle Luca and Austin Destined to Fail 3 2023
207. Rent Boy by Peter Styles and J.P. Oliver 7/11/23 7/12/23 126 pages Kindle Evan and Jacob 2018
208. The Right Wrong Number by Katie Warren 7/12/23 7/12/23 240 pages Kindle Julian and Liam 2023
**abandoned Up In Flames by Eden Finley and Saxon James ** 240 pages
209. The Jerk Next Door by Mia Monroe 7/13/23 7/14/23 190 pages Kindle Reign and Ace 2021
210. The Easy Way by May Archer 7/14/23 7/15/23 266 pages Kindle Cort and Cam 2017 The Way Home 1
211. I Do (Not) Anni Lee 7/15/23 7/15/23 244 pages Kindle Jake and Trevor 2023
212. See Me by CeCe Bennett 7/16/23 7/17/23 84 pages Kindle Ben and Oliver Requited 1 2023
213. Trained by the Boss by Charlotte Storm 7/17/23 7/18/23 184 pages Kindle Aiden and Griffin 2018
**abandoned Unfortunate by Nicole Dykes** 164 pages
214. Marry Me by Mia Monroe 7/18/23 7/19/23 230 pages Kindle Briar and Jude Tattoos and Temptation 1 2020
215. Not So Sincerely, Yours by A.M. Johnson 7/19/23 7/20/23 442 pages Kindle Ethan and Anders 2021
216. Laws of Attraction by Peter Styles 7/20/23 721 137 pages Kindle Tom and Jay 2016
217. Until You by Briar Prescott 7/20/23 7/22/23 320 pages Kindle Jude and Blake 2023
**abandoned Mr. Big Shot by Isla Olsen** 88 pages
218. My Boss With Benefits by Casey Cox 7/22/23 7/23/23 Kindle Miles and Kyler Elysian Escapades 2
219. The Long Way by May Archer 7/15/23 7/23/23 Kindle Damon and Cain 2017 The Way Home 2
220. Wrong Message, Right Valentine by Romeo Alexander 7/23/23 7/23/23 Kindle Sebastian and Trevor
221. Right-Hand Man by T.S. Ankney 7/23/23 7/23/23 Kindle Eli and Dante 2022 Hot Takes 1
222. Asking for a Friend by JJ Harper 7/23/23 7/24/23 Kindle Lando and Hesketh 2023
**abandoned Beau Pair by Rhys Everly** 128 pages
**abandoned The Unravelling of Julian Gray by Belle Chapin** 134 pages
223. The Kiss of His Blade by Romeo Alexander 7/25/23 7/27/23 387 pages Kindle Dane and Tristan 2022
224. Always the Groomsman by Raleigh Ruebins 7/27/23 7/27/23 253 pages Kindle Zane and Sebastian 2018
225. To Love and Protect by Romeo Alexander 7/27/23 7/28/23 330 pages Kindle Marcus and Adrian 2022
226. Help Me Remember by Romeo Alexander 7/28/23 7/29/23 277 pages Kindle Eric and Dylan 2022
227. Cupid Hates Me by Romeo Alexander 7/29/23 7/29/23 111 pages Kindle Brendan and Ryan 2020
228. Escort by Romeo Alexander 7/29/23 7/30/23 189 pages Kindle Jacob and Max 2021 Greenford 1
229. The Case of the Disappearing Hero by Romeo Alexander 7/30/23 7/30/23 118 pages Kindle Trevor and Cole 2019
**abandoned Stubbed Toes and Dating Woes by Dahlia Donovan** 38 pages

230. Distraction by Kelly Fox 7/31/23 8/1/23 248 pages Kindle Hopper and Liam Mobsters and Billionaires 4 2022
231. An Unexpected Kind of Love by Hayden Stone 8/2/23 8/2/23 277 pages Kindle Aubrey and Blake When Snow Falls 1 2021
**abandoned Romantic Rescue by Blake Allwood** 99 pages
232. Curious by R.G. Alexander 8/3/23 8/3/23 232 pages Kindle Jeremy and Owen The Finn Factor 1 2015
233. Liar's Gambit by KellyFox 8/3/23 8/4/23 90 pages Kindle Nigel and Wilhelm The Elite 5 2023
234. Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall 8/4/23 8/6/23 425 pages Kindle Luc and Oliver London Calling 1 2020
235. Obsession by Beth Laycock 8/6/23 8/6/23 269 pages Kindle Eli and Dominic 2019
236. How to Bang a Billionaire by Alexis Hall 8/6/23 8/7/23 350 pages Kindle Arden and Caspian Arden St. Ives 1 2017
237. How to Blow It With a Billionaire by Alexis Hall 8/7/23 8/8/23 355 pages Kindle Arden and Caspian Arden St. Ives 2 2017
238. How to Belong With a Billionaire by Alexis Hall 8/8/23 8/10/23 452 pages Kindle Arden and Caspian Arden St. Ives 3 2019
239. Love Always, Wild by A.M. Johnson 8/10/23 8/11/23 386 pages Kindle Wilder and Jax For Him, 1 2020
240. Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus 8/6/23 8/12/23 386 pages Hardcover
241. Glitterland by Alexis Hall 8/12/23 8/13/23 286 pages Kindle Darian and Ash Spires 1 2013
242. The London Chance by Lane Hayes 8/12/23 8/12/23 77 pages Kindle Chance and Roman 2023
**abandoned The Boss by M.D. Gregory** 48 pages
243. Waiting For the Flood by Alexis Hall 8/13/23 8/24/23 98 pages Kindle Adam and Edwin Spires 2 2018
244. For Real by Alexis Hall 8/14/23 8/16/23 427 pages Kindle Laurie and Toby Spires 3 2018
245. Pansies by Alexis Hall 8/16/23 8/18/23 438 pages Kindle Alfie and Fen Spires 4 2018
**abandoned Yours to be Forgiven by Hayden Hall** 115 pages
246. Reese Holt: The Dark Side by Laura Baumbach 8/18/23 8/19/23 236 pages Kindle Reese and Alex Reese Holt 1 2016
**abandoned A Bit of Rough by Laura Baumbach** 100 pages
247. Dear Mr. Brody by A.M. Johnson 8/19/23 8/20/23 402 pages Kindle Van and Parker For Him 3 2021
**abandoned Forever, Con Amor, by A.M. Johnson** 233 pages
248. The Endless Road to Sunshine by Nicky James 8/21/23 8/22/23 351 pages Kindle Jason and Skylar 2021
249. The Christmas I Know by Nicky James 8/22/23 8/23/23 145 pages Kindle Xavier and Andrew 2018
250. Adrenaline Jake by Louise Collins 8/23/23 8/23/23 93 pages Kindle Jake and Maddox Jake & Maddox 1 2017
251. Mad Dog Maddox by Louise Collins 8/23/23 8/23/23 117 pages Kindle Jake and Maddox Jake & Maddox 2 2017
252. Bye Baby by Louise Collins 8/23/23 8/24/23 157 pages Kindle Eliot and Donnie 2020 Flowershop Assassins 1 2020
253. Lethal White by Robert Galbraith 7/12/23 8/28/23 audiobook 22.5 hours 2020
254. So Pathetic by Louise Collins 8/25/23 8/26/23 249 pages Kindle Yates and Dylan Flowershop Assassins 2 2022
255. Raging Ranger by Louise Collins 8/26/23 8/26/23 243 pages Kindle Yates and Dylan Flowershop Assassins 2 2022
256. Rocked to Death by Louise Collins 8/26/23 8/28/23 307 pages Kindle Stone and Robin The Bakery Brothers 1 2023

Currently Reading:
Pilgrim by Timothy Findley 6/20/22 486 pages hardcover 1999
Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith 8/28/23 audiobook 2020
Pretty F*cked by J.R. Gray 4/29/23 Kindle 2023 Iris and Caspian
My Cowlick Cop by Louise Collins 8/28/23 Kindle Jude and Luck The Bakery Brothers 2
Husband Material by Alexis Hall 8/11/23 Kindle London Calling 2 2022
The Making of Biblical Womanhood by Beth Allison Barr 6/2/23 trade paperback 218 pages 2021
The Federalist edited by Jacob E. Cooke 5/28/22 656 pages hardcover 1961

Edited: Aug 28, 2023, 2:07 pm

adds - last year was 371, with way too many Kindle books. Kindle Unlimited will reduce that number significantly this year. I hope. We'll see.

1. Kindle - Dangerous Books For Girls: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels Explained by Maya Rodale
2. Kindle - The Mechanic and the Surgeon by Steve Milton
3. Kindle - Hot Boss by Scarlet Blackwell
4. Amazon - Livid by Cai Emmons
5. re-added - A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
6. Amazon - The Dead Sea Scrolls by Betsy Bennett
7. found - New Testament by
8. FoCCL - The New Testament: Greek and English by Kurt Aland
9. Amazon - Everything You Need to Know When I'm Gone: After Death Planner by
10. Amazon - Gun, with Occasional Music by Jonathan Lethem
11. Amazon - What Is Left the Daughter by Howard Norman
12. Amazon - Desperation in Death by J.D. Robb
13. Amazon - No Plan B by Lee Child and Andrew Child
14. FoCCL - Oldtown Folks by Harriet Beecher Stowe Quality Issue
15. Amazon - Call for the Dead by John le Carré
16. Stasia Doster - The War Against the Jews, 1933-1945 by Lucy S. Dawidowicz
17. Kindle - Fake It 'Til You Make It by Louisa Masters
18. Kindle - Eurotour: Age Gap MM Romance by Jaberona BL
19. Kindle - Powder & Pavlova by Jay Hogan
20. Kindle - The Golden Asse by Lucius Apuleius, translated by William Adlington
21. Kindle - Baby Shark by Robert Fate
22. Kindle - Adrenaline Jake: Jake & Maddox by Louise Collins
23. Kindle - The Fresco by Sheri S. Tepper
24. Kindle - Remember Him by Steve Milton
25. Amazon - The Fresco by Sheri S Tepper
26. FoCCL - The Golden Age by Kenneth Grahame
27. Karen - Writers and Their Cats by Alison Nastasi
28. Karen - Call of the Cats: What I Learned About Life and Love from a Feral Colony by Andrew Bloomfield
29. FoCCL - Moby Dick; or, The Whale by Herman Melville
30. found - Days with Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel
31. Amazon - The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont
32. Rhoda - Whoever I Am by Eileen Dewhurst
33. Rhoda - 1222 by Anne Holt
34. Rhoda - Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue
35. FoCCL - Halley's Bible Handbook: An Abbreviated Bible Commentary by Henry H. Halley
36. FoCCL - Resurrecting Jesus: Embodying the Spirit of a Revolutionary Mystic by Adyashanti
37. FoCCL - Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don't Know About Them) by Bart D. Ehrman
38. FoCCL - Abraham Lincoln The War Years by Carl Sandburg
39. FoCCL - The Word Bible Handbook by Lawrence O. Richards
40. FoCCL - The Complete Idiot's Guide to American History by Ph. D. Alan Axelrod
41. Jenna - Le Petit Prince: Avec Dessins Par L'auteur , Antoine de Saint Exupery by Antoine de Saint Exupery
42. FoCCL - Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith
43. Amazon - The Red Sea Scrolls: How Ancient Papyri Reveal the Secrets of the Pyramids by Mark Lehner
44. Rhoda - Bill Slider Omnibus by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
45. Amazon - The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth by Beth Allison Barr
46. Karen - Thrust: A Spasmodic Pictorial History of the Codpiece in Art by Michael Glover
47. FoCCL - The Tao of Zen by Ray Grigg
48. FoCCL - God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens
49. FoCCL - Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why by Bart D. Ehrman
50. FoCCL - A Treasury of American Folklore: Stories, Ballads, and Traditions of the People by B.A. Botkin
51. FoCCL - Jewish Participants in the Civil War by Harry Simonhoff
52. FoCCL - The Bible in Pictures by Rev Ralph Kirby
53. Kindle - Sugar and Sawdust by Debbie McGowan
54. Kindle - Checking Him Out by Debbie McGowan
55. FoCCL - Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie
56. FoCCL - The Monks Of War. The Military Orders by Desmond Seward
57. Kindle - Say It by Sky McCoy
58. Kindle - Los Nefilim by T. Frohock
59. FoCCL - The Obsidian Chamber by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
60. FoCCL - Still Life with Crows by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
61. Amazon - Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
62. Amazon - Slow Horses by Mick Herron
63. Amazon - Bleeding Heart Yard by Elly Griffiths
64. Kindle - The Boy in the Field by Margot Livesey
65. Kindle - Cinderella in the Sheets by Reece Pine
66. Amazon - Salmon Fishing In The Yemen by Paul Torday
67. Kindle - Power Plays: MM Stories of Sin City by Tricia Owens
68. Amazon - Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Q. Sutanto
69. Kindle - Ruth by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
70. Amazon - Fatal Shadows by Josh Lanyon
71. FoCCL - Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
72. FoCCL - Slaughter-House Five or The Children's Crusade A Duty-Dance with Death by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
73. FoCCL - Back Home by Bill Mauldin
74. FoCCL - The Travels of Marco Polo by Marco Polo
75. FoCCL - Sapho by Alphonse Daudet
76. Amazon - The Decagon House Murders by Yukito Ayatsuji
77. Amazon - Encore in Death by J. D. Robb
78. Amazon - Armageddon: What the Bible Really Says about the End by Bart D. Ehrman
79. McIntyre's - Metropolis by B. A. Shapiro
80. McIntyre's - Double Whammy by Carl Hiaasen
81. McIntyre's - Squeeze Me by Carl Hiaasen
82. McIntyre's - Palo Alto: A History of California, Capitalism, and the World by Malcolm Harris
83. Karen - Yellowstone View by Thomas Lee
84. Amazon - My Search for Warren Harding by Robert Plunket
85. Amazon - The Bigger They Come by Erle Stanley Gardner
86. Karen - The Kingdom New Testament: A Contemporary Translation by N. T. Wright
87. Karen - The Beauty of Living: E. E. Cummings in the Great War by J. Alison Rosenblitt
88. Karen - The Journey to the Mayflower: God's Outlaws and the Invention of Freedom by Stephen Tomkins
89. Karen - Dinosaur Lives: Unearthing an Evolutionary Saga by John R. Horner
90. Karen - Librarian Tales: Funny, Strange, and Inspiring Dispatches from the Stacks by William Ottens
91. Karen - Scribe by Alyson Hagy
92. Karen - The Zen of Home Water: True Tales of Adventure, Travel, and Fly Fishing by Jerry Hamza
93. Karen - David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell
94. Karen - Melted Cheese: Gloriously gooey recipes, from fondue to grilled cheese & pasta bake to potato gratin by Ryland Peters & Small
95. Laura - Exiles by Jane Harper
96. Louise - A Field Guide to Western Birds by Tory Peterson Institute Roger
97. Laura - An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
98. Jenna - The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant by Drew Hayes
99. Jenna - Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Live of the Stars by Scotty Bowers
100. Kindle - Our Secret Wedding by H J Perry
101. Jenna - The Crow Trap by Ann Cleeves
102. Jenna - Telling Tales by Ann Cleeves
103. Jenna - Hidden Depths by Ann Cleeves
104. Jenna - Silent Voices by Ann Cleeves
105. Jenna - The Glass Room by Ann Cleeves
106. Jenna - Harbour Street by Ann Cleeves
107. Jenna - The Moth Catcher by Ann Cleeves
108. Jenna - The Seagull by Ann Cleeves
109. Kindle - Off Plan by May Archer - thank you Richard, for sending me the $0.00 link
110. Kindle - Moving Maverick by Lucy Lennox - thank you Richard, for sending me the $0.00 link
111. Kindle - The List by Felice Stevens
112. Kindle - Why Love Matters by Jay Northcote
113. Kindle - Masked Ball at Broxley Manor by Rhys Bowen
114. FoCCL - Donald Has a Difficulty by Peter Neumeyer and Edward Gorey
115. FoCCL - The Dinosaur Hunter by Homer Hickham
116. FoCCL - Regeneration, The Eye in the Door, The Ghost Road by Pat Barker
117. FoCCL - The Library Book by Susan Orlean
118. Amazon - Birnham Wood by Eleanor Catton
119. Kindle - Mission:X by Alan Kim
120. FoCCL - Once Again to Zelda: The Stories Behind Literature's Most Intriguing Dedications by Marlene Wagman-Geller
121. FoCCL - Simon the Coldheart by Georgette Heyer
122. Amazon - Ascending Peculiarity: Edward Gorey on Edward Gorey
123. FoCCL - Letty by Clare Darcy
124. FoCCL - The American Duchess by Joan Wolf
125. Kindle - Husband Material by Alexis Hall
126. Kindle - Glitterland by Alexis Hall
127. Kindle - Farthing by Jo Walton
128. Kindle - Waiting for the Flood by Alexis Hall
129. Kindle - For Real by Alexis Hall
130. Kindle - The Shattered Gates by Ginn Hale
131. Kindle - Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
132. FoCCL - Gandhi's Religious Thought by Margaret Chatterjee Quality issue
133. FoCCL - When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka
134. FoCCL - Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck - mass market paperback
135. FoCCL - The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck - mass market paperback
136. FoCCL - Giant by Edna Ferber Quality issue
137. FoCCL - Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis Quality issue
138. FoCCL - Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver
139. Kindle - For Real by Alexis Hall
140. Kindle - Pansies by Alexis Hall
141. FoCCL - Simon the Cold Heart by Georgette Heyer
142. Kindle - Artifacts by Mary Anna Evans
143. Amazon - The Origin of Satan by Elaine Pagels
144. Amazon Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
145. FoCCL - My Religion by M.K. Gandhi
146. FoCCL - The Mind of the South by W.J. Cash
147. FoCCL - A History of Britain Vol 1 by Simon Schama
148. FoCCL - A History of Britain Vol 2 by Simon Schama
149. FoCCL - A History of Britain Vol 3 by Simon Schama
150. Amazon - Secret Power Wikileaks and Its Enemies by Stefania Maurizi
151. Kindle - Indigo Field by Marjorie Hudson
152. Thrift Shop - Writers & Lovers by Lily King
153. Thrift Shop - Hussein by Patrick O'Brian

Edited: Aug 22, 2023, 7:20 pm

culls - only 88 last year. I hope for more this year with my resolution to completely inventory my catalog yielding books that need to be rehomed.

1. The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows
2. American Sphinx by Joseph J. Ellis
3. The Wandering Fire by Guy Gavriel Kay
4. The Summer Tree by Guy Gavriel Kay
5. The Darkest Road by Guy Gavriel Kay
6. The Chameleon's Shadow by Minette Walters - duplicate
7. Montana 1948 by Larry Watson - trade paperback - duplicate
8. The Bishop's Secret by T.C. Fairley
9. The Billionaire's Vinegar by Benjamin Wallace
10. Closer Than You Know by Brad Parks
11. Sons by Evan Hunter
12. Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
13. The Player by Brad Parks
14. The Fraud by Brad Parks
15. Say Nothing by Brad Parks
16. Eyes of the Innocent by Brad Parks
17. Faces of the Gone by Brad Parks
18. The Politics of Rich and Poor by Kevin Phillips
19. The Forgotten War: America in Korea, 1950-1953 by Clay Blair
20. A History of the Twentieth Century by Martin Gilbert
21. Waking Raphael by Leslie Forbes
22. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury - mass market paperback, 50th anniv edition, duplicate
23. The Autobiography of Henry VIII by Margaret George
24. Complete Works of Lewis Carroll - yellowed
25. Fowler's Modern English Usage - everything I'd ever need is online
26. Lily White by Susan Isaacs - will never read again, Jenna will never want or read
27. The Winner Stands Alone by Paul Coelho
28. Four Spirits by Sena Jeter Naslund
29. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
30. The Fever Tree and Other Stories of Suspense by Ruth Rendell
31. The Killing Doll by Ruth Rendell
32. The Secret Mistress by Mary Balogh
33. All Florence In Colours by Edouardo Bonechi
34. The Boy in the Field by Margot Livesey - trade paperback, given to a friend
35. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz - references to LotR? Seriously?
36. Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof
37. The Melaleuca Wellness Guide 2005
38. The Last Templar by Raymond Khoury
39. Telling Tales by Ann Cleeves - dup of new one given to me by Jenna
40. Hidden Depths by Ann Cleeves - dup of new one given to me by Jenna
41. Divisadero by Michael Ondaatje
42. Half Broken Things by Morag Joss
43. Bridget Jones the Edge of Reason by Helen Fielding
44. Cause Celeb by Helen Fielding
45. In The Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje
46. Neither Here Nor There by Bill Bryson
47. Royal Escape by Georgette Heyer - duplicate
48. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak - I will never, ever read this
49. A History of Britain : At the Edge of the World, 3500 B.C.-1603 A.D by Simon Schama

Edited: Jul 21, 2023, 9:09 am

YTD Statistics through June

193 books read
2 of them on my shelves before 1/1/23 and not rereads
55 books abandoned, 5906 pages abandoned, 1 audiobook, .45 hours abandoned

69.25 audiobook hours
Avg pages read per day, YTD = 277
Avg pages read per book, YTD = 260

Book of the Month: Tie: The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
Bullets & Butterflies by Maz Maddox

Books by Month
January - 33 e-books, 19 books abandoned for 1711 pages
February 34 e-books, 1 paper book, 1 audiobook, 6 books abandoned for 718 pages
March 18 e-books, 7 books abandoned for 443 pages, 1 audiobook abandoned for .45 hours
April 35 e-books, 9 books abandoned for 974 pages
May 32 e-books, 1 audiobook for 16 hours, 8 books abandoned for 1,112 pages
June 39 e-books, 1 audiobook for 17.5 hours, 7 books abandoned for 948 pages

Male 8%
Female 86%
Undeclared * 6%
Non-Binary 2%
* - can't find any info anywhere

Living 100%
Dead 0%

US Born 48%
Foreign Born 33%
Undeclared * 19%
* - can't find any info anywhere

Hardcover 1%
Trade Pback 0%
Mass Market 0%
Audiobook 2%
e-Book 97%

My Library 5%
Library 0%
Kindle Unlimited 94%
Borrowed from a friend 1%

Re-read 1%
Series 61%

Fiction 99%
NonFiction 1%

Author Birth Country
Australia 9%
Canada 4%
Cuba 1%
England 13%
Ireland 1%
Philippines 1%
Portugal 1%
Scotland 1%
UK 3%
Undeclared * 19%
US 49%
* - can't find any info anywhere

Original Decade Published
2010-2019 33%
2020-2029 67%

Contemporary Fiction 97%
Crime Fiction 2%
Informational Nonfiction 1%

Acquisition/Source Date
Kindle Unlimited 181
2014 1
2015 1
2018 1
2022 2
2023 6
Borrowed 1

Average Rating
2.0 - Bad 4
2.5 - Average 7
3.0 - Good 18
3.5 - Very Good 32
4.0 - Excellent 99
4.5 - Outstanding 33
5 - Masterpiece 0

Average Rating 3.81
Books acquired YTD 108
Books culled YTD 40

Edited: Jul 21, 2023, 9:10 am

June Lightning Round

A Flighty Fake Boyfriend by Z.A. Maxfield 5/31/23 6/1/23 Kindle
Workaholic, depressed, single Ryan is invited to his billionaire ex-boyfriend’s wedding. The friend he was going to with bailed, so of course he needs a fake boyfriend. Enter Epic, shortened from his middle name Epictetus. Ryan is in his 30s, epic is 23, and Ryan has a hard time overcoming this until he just realizes that he wants to stop being a workaholic and wants Epic. What I particularly liked about this story was that Epic is dominant and Ryan submissive. It’s very well played and consistent with the personality of the ex-boyfriend, too.. Ryan and Epic have their ups and downs, including Epic’s parents trying to control his life, yet they both fight for what they want – each other. Over-the-top wedding venue, a bizarre request from the grooms, which Epic says “Hell No” to, unicorn pool toys, and it’s a combination of fun and serious. I would have liked for there to be a visit to Ryan’s family in Vancouver because they sound warm and kind and loving, unlike Epic’s parents. Hard-won HEA, and caveat emptor re sex.

A Much Younger Man by Z.A. Maxfield 6/1/23 6/1/23 Kindle
Vet Lindy is 38 and meets Beck, musician, 20. Instant sparkage, but Lindy cannot get over the age gap and keeps pushing Beck away yet is like a moth to a flame. Lindy was rather irritating, frankly, but Beck was incandescent, an old soul, ready to be with Lindy and take care of him. Caveat emptor re sex.

Trick Play by Eden Finley 6/2/23 6/3/23 Kindle
I rarely read sports romances, but for some reason this one appealed to me. Matt, an NFL star, has been outed as gay, in the unforgiving environment of men’s professional sports and his new PR team decided to have him in a fake boyfriend relationship with Noah, an out gay man, blueblood, son of a US Senator. Noah does this as a favor, and sparks fly and we get the eventual HEA. I particularly liked Noah’s standing up to his father and Matt also standing up to Noah’s father when he tries to bribe Matt with a huge NFL contract to stay away from Noah. Caveat emptor re sex.

Beautifully Stolen by Charity Parkerson 6/3/23 6/4/23 Kindle
Brett and Roman have secretly wanted each other ever since they met. Brett asks Roman to fly from Aspen to LA to go to the wedding of Brett’s friends-with-benefits-ex, and Roman agrees. A serious car accident leaves Brett incapacitated, and Roman takes care of him. Feelings ratchet for both of them, but it takes one of them reaching out, and the other willing to share what might be a deal-breaker of a lifestyle, for them to realize what they have in each other. I found this one particularly sweet even if I only gave it 3.5 stars. Caveat emptor re sex.

Sometimes You Just Know by Bill VanPatten 6/4/23 6/4/23 Kindle
Recommended by Richard, a sweet, low angst age-gap love story between Arnie, 30, and Peter, 18. Gulp. Yes. 18. However, Peter’s an old soul and knows as soon as he meets Arnie that here’s a man he can love. Arnie feels a strong attraction, too, when they first meet at Arnie’s boss’s/Peter’s uncle’s house. Arnie is a mass of insecurities, Peter is strong and knows what he wants. Arnie is very good at his work yet is harassed/threatened/blackmailed by a female coworker. Communication between Arnie and his boss and Arnie and Peter and several shocking actions ensue, and we get our HEA. Regarding Peter’s age, I must say here that Peter and Arnie wait 4 years, ‘til Peter graduates from college, before getting married, although they’re engaged when Peter’s 18. And, here’s a shocker: NO caveat emptor re sex. Implied sex, yes. A few kisses here and there, yes. Absolutely no sex.

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith 5/13/23 6/5/23 audiobook
This one is rather macabre, actually, so those who are squeamish about brutal murder scenes should avoid this one. Strike is hired by Leonora Quine, wife of Owen Quine, to locate him. He’s been incommunicado for longer than usual. She thinks he’s at a writer’s conference, but no go. He also might be with his current girlfriend, something Leonora just shrugs her shoulders over – Owen provides for her and their special needs daughter Orlando, loves Orlando, so what he does with his time bothers her but doesn’t cause her to want to divorce him. There’s no money in this one for Strike, but he is a sucker for someone in need. Orlando takes all of Leonora’s emotional and physical energy, and Leonora doesn’t suffer fools gladly. I loved how Galbraith (a.k.a. J.K. Rowling) caught the single-mindedness of Leonora, her complete devotion to and love of Orlando. Her relationship with Owen is a bit more puzzling, but there’s definitely some kink there. As Strike and Robin start working the case, they meet Owen’s publisher, other people in the publishing industry, other writers, and Strike gets to know his half-brother Al Rokeby. Strike’s reluctant to get involved with his bio father’s family, but Al’s like a puppy dog who won’t go away. He ends up being rather endearing and helping Strike out. When Strike discovers that Owen and another author co-own a house, he goes there thinking Owen’s hiding out there for some reason, but discovers his body instead. Once again, Rowling/Galbraith creates brilliant character studies, marvelous plots and subplots, red herrings, and strong and valid emotional content.

Forrest's #Win by Jennifer Cody 6/4/23 6/6/23 Kindle
Forrest is on the spectrum, high functioning and financially successful. Blake’s down on his luck, homeless after his girlfriend kicks him out. He applies for the room/board to manage Forrest’s life – keep him on schedule, shop and cook, and etc. They immediately hit it off. Forrest wants, for the first time in his life, to explore his sexuality and uses Grindr for a hookup. Blake has set up his profile and helped him choose the hookup, and waits in the car. Weird, but in their immediately bonded friendship, it’s not weird at all. It goes terribly wrong. Forrest is raped. Blake beats the crap out of the guy. Neither wants to press charges. Both Forrest and Blake have PTSD – Forrest from the trauma, Blake from the guilt of not protecting Forrest. They work through things with the help of a therapist. And here is where you might consider rolling your eyes, but honestly, even though I’m fortunate in never experiencing the ‘terribly wrong’ situation Forrest ended up in, I benefited from reading about their recovering and moving on with their lives. Blake decides to explore his sexuality with Forrest, and it turns out he’s demisexual for Forrest. There’s a complication with a woman who Blake hooked up with and who stalks Blake and is pregnant with his child, deliberately getting herself pregnant even though Blake used all precautions. She’s put in prison, Blake and Forrest sue her for sole custody, and we get a very sweet HEA. Painfully honest dialog, and caveat emptor re sex.

Poison Hearts by Jennifer Cody 6/6/23 6/7/23 Kindle
Interesting, quick, and effective world building in this novella. Here’s a summary on Amazon: Poison Hearts is a contemporary antihero MM romance with a blowgun vigilante who only has enough spoons to keep six blocks of his city safe and an evil genius with a plan to take over the world, if he ever gets bored enough to do it. Be ready for instalove happening over tree frogs, detailed planning, dark humor, and a menacing minion worth his weight in gold. I particularly like Orlando described as an unaliver – which you have to parse as un-alive-er, so, assassin. They meet in a club, and have to go to Shannon’s building, where Orlando kills all the intruders. Caveat emptor re sex.

The Best Men by Lauren Blakely and Sarina Bowen 6/7/23 6/8/23 Kindle
Asher’s best friend is marrying Mark’s sister Hannah, and after disliking each other intensely at first meeting, Asher and Mark are obligated to go to the Florida destination wedding mansion, courtesy of a friend of former Premier League player Asher, per sister Hannah’s request, to ensure that everything’s under control. Once Asher realizes that divorced dad Mark is bi, there’s serious sparkage and they decide to have a fling through the end of the wedding. Quite a bit of humor around one of Mark’s infamous spreadsheets – this one of his sexual fantasies, so there’s lots of “11B and 16C please” kind of stuff. Both realize that they have feelings, but just as Mark’s going to say that he wants more, Asher says that he’s moving to Europe for a year for a job opportunity. A very sweet and sexy love story, with a wonderful HEA. Well-written emotions and characters. Caveat emptor re sex.

Reckless Roulette by Alice Winters 6/8/23 6/9/23 Kindle
A stone cold casino owner, Kade, and a crazy assassin/problem solver, Len, tangle when Kade needs the services of Len, the only man who can protect him according to Kade’s financial guy Harker, from Norn, who wants to buy Kade’s casino but will take it any way he can get it regardless, up to and including killing Kade. Harker tells Kade that Len won’t take the contract unless he likes Kade, and Kade, not realizing who Len is when he first meets him, immediately antagonizes him. It’s like a 1940s screwball comedy and had me laughing out loud. Len kills dozens of men to protect Kade after deciding he secretly likes him, and Kade falls hard for Len. A very nice plot twist near the end and an excellent ending to the threat that Norn poses. HEA and caveat emptor re sex.

Dealer of Secrets by Davidson King 6/9/23 6/10/23 Kindle
I loved this one. Murder, revenge, and love. Carter makes a promise to his twin brother Gavin, and 5 years later is called to Gavin’s side, where he lays dying. Along with a key card, Carter finds mystery upon mystery that is Gavin’s life – aliases, money, and an invitation to the club Anonymous. Carter shows up there in total ignorance that he’s recognized. Fortunately, Zaire, a dealer in information, picks him up and takes him home, if nothing else than to keep him alive. They work to discover what caused Gavin’s death, start having feelings for each other, and get their HEA. Caveat emptor re sex. Caveat emptor re on-page violence and murder, too. All highly satisfying for this bloodthirsty mystery and revenge lover.

Leave No Trace by Michelle Frost and Sammi Cee 6/10/23 6/10/23 Kindle
Thank goodness it was only a novella, because I missed the word ‘Daddy’ in the description. I do not like Daddy/Little stories, however this one built a nice world and got them together quite well. Trace is the Little, Kol is the Daddy. Caveat emptor re sex and just general Ugh.

Atlas by Eden Finley 6/10/23 6/11/23 Kindle
Third in the Mike Bravo Ops series has Atlas working undercover but completely exposed in a black thong at a strip club in order to find out where the profits are being skimmed off to. He has serious hots for Lemon, one of the performers, who turns out to be the Mother Hen of the strippers. He’s helping Callie to escape his abusive boyfriend. I liked this one more as it progressed, although I gotta say that there was way too much preachiness about how strippers are human beings, too, and No means No. I guess if this was the first book with these sentiments and I needed to hear them it would all be good and helpful, but there was quite a bit of eye rolling by this reader. However, the action picked up, the situation deteriorated, Atlas had to save Lemon, the sparkage increased and caught fire, and the bad guys got theirs in the end. I also like how Atlas got his nickname from his time as a Navy SEAL. HEA for two people who didn’t know how to do relationships until they met each other. Caveat emptor re sex.

Snow Falling by Davidson King 6/11/23 6/11/23 236 pages Kindle
First of three, part of the Haven Hart series. Snow’s been living rough on the streets for 5 years. He rescues a boy, Simon, from a kidnap attempt, and misinterprets the boy’s answer of Eight, his age, for Eight, his name. Cute aside. Anyway, Simon takes him to his house, which is really a heavily guarded mansion, where he’s reunited with his uncle, a mob boss. Christopher is intrigued with Snow, who has developed a rapport with Simon, and wants to know more about him. He won’t let him go until he does. Snow has several secrets he's desperate to keep, Christopher hires him to escort his son to school. Lots of sparkage, lots of action as Snow keeps doing things that put him in danger and Christopher rescues him. Can be read as a HEA standalone. Caveat emptor re sex.

Bullets & Butterflies by Maz Maddox 6/11/23 6/12/23 Kindle
I love assassin books. This one has assassin Cisco using full-time-patch-up questionable characters doctor Liam getting in over his head and pulling in Liam with him. He’s set up to take a very bad fall and goes on the run, unintentionally having to take Liam. Sparkage, of course, violence, blood, and Feelings. HEA and the obligatory warning of caveat emptor re sex. This is the first one I’ve read by this author and I like her a lot.

Smash & Grab by Maz Maddox 6/12/23 6/13/23 Kindle
The first in the RELIC series has Simon, a paleontologist working on getting to the fossilized raptor egg embedded in stone, catapulted into a kidnapping by a crazy fossil collector rescued by a pink-mohawk crazy man. They go on the run and are doing fine until Dalton, the crazy one, can’t control shifting into his Utahraptor self when Simon, who he’s started having feelings for, is threatened by the bad guys still on their trail. I particularly liked the wonder when Simon realizes that the scary feathered dinosaur is Dalton – reminds me of the awe that Sam Neill’s character Grant showed when he first sees a living dinosaur in Jurassic Park. Caveat emptor some really hot sex.

Sink or Swim by Maz Maddox 6/13/23 6/14/23 Kindle
Second in the RELIC series has Baha teamed with outsider but definite shifter Jackson to get back some Spinosaurus fossils stolen during WWII and getting ready to be auctioned on a cruise ship owned by Jackson’s ex Jonas. Jonas is jealous of Baha, a Spinosaurus, who is cranky and rough. Jackson announces that Baha is his fiancé, startling Jonas AND Baha. Of course, there is sparkage between the cranky Spinosaurus and Jackson, who is a Quetzacoatlus, not exactly a dinosaur, but whose skill set works out perfectly when they’re on the run and need to get two cases of fossils off the cruise ship and escape the bad guys. Fun and mayhem, poignant and dramatic moments ensue. Caveat emptor re sex.

King & Queen by Maz Maddox 6/14/23 6/15/23 Kindle
Third in the RELIC series has Royal on the lookout for a possible shifter emerging from an active dig – which they tend to do, apparently – as humans, and disoriented after being asleep for 65 million years. Blaise is trying to get in to get material for a streaming service he’s trying to jump start and gets more than he bargains for when he sneaks in at night and runs smack dab into an Albertasaurus emerging from the site, Royal as a Regaliceratops, and a surprise visitor from Argentina, a tyrannosaur called a Giganotosaurus, who shows up to confuse the issue and oh yeah, spirit away the Al the Albertasaurus. Blaise lives, gets over his shock that dinosaurs still roam the earth, so to speak, and goes on a road trip with Royal to discover who’s carving out parts of fossils and track down Al. Sparkage, but Blaise is offered a job in Canada, while Royal lives with his found family – herd – in Texas. There’s a HEA, though, and Al gets a new name, Henry. Caveat emptor re sex. Reading these books makes me realize that my understanding of dinosaurs is seriously outdated.

Lost in Amber by Maz Maddox 6/15/23 6/16/23 Kindle
Way cool beginning – Lance is on the Roy Chapman Andrews Gobi Desert Expedition of 1922 – a fictional character inserted into a real event – and bandits show up to steal fossils. Lance shoots a bandit then nurses him back to health. Andrews forces him to leave. Fast forward 100 years, where there’s a plethora of groups – fossil hunters and fossil thieves – and it’s rather complicated as to who is what. However, Lance and Yu, the bandit Lance shot in 1922, meet up again. Stolen amber with a baby dinosaur captured inside, a very cute enby microraptor, and some serious sparkage and compromise all make for a HEA, but it’s not 4 stars because of the initial confusion. However, there’s a hint about Montana, the leader of RELIC, so I hope there’s a book 5 of 4. Caveat emptor re sex.

Love for the Reaper by Charlie Cochet 6/16/23 6/16/23 Kindle
Part of the same series as Bullets & Butterflies by Maz Maddox, but even though it’s ‘only’ a novella, just doesn’t quite give the vividness and character development I wanted. Dev is a Ferryman, who provides transportation to bodies or the living, but always to bad men. Remy is an innocent and sees a murder, gets into Dev’s car, and Dev uncharacteristically rescues someone. Sparkage and HEA, caveat emptor re sex, although I must say it’s rather poorly written and how Dev can recover so quickly from two gunshot wounds and a severe beating to top Remy is a mystery. *smile*

Heart Thief by Skylar Sweeney 6/16/23 6/17/23 Kindle
Over the top, occasionally irritating, occasionally marvelous, but always improbable story of Mason, who harasses Rex for 10 years after finding out that Rex literally stole a transplant heart destined for his brother Franklin for himself. Throw in Rex’s brother Wesley, Rex’s found family, and Rex and Wesley’s awful and evil US. Senator father Avery, and you have an interesting, never dull story. Did it reach a level where I was more than amused? No. But, HEA and caveat emptor re sex are sometimes enough.

Power Plays by Tricia Owens 5/28/23 6/17/23 6/17/23 Kindle
Short stories, my least favorite form except for poetry. However, it’s Max and Ethan, of the Sin City series, first serious MM series I read last year, and these stores delivered, especially the last one. Caveat emptor re sex.

The Bucket List by Tricia Owens 6/18/23 6/18/23 Kindle
I don’t know how I missed this one as I kept looking through Owens’ works, but this novella delivered on every level. Novellas are a dangerous form, because so much needs to be crammed into a short form. However, we get both Gabriel’s and Quinn’s back stories, their situation when they meet, and what they both want but are afraid to ask for. One of them eventually gets strong and willing to put himself out first, and the result is sweet and sexy and full of life and possibility. Caveat emptor re sex.

Not So Innocent by Emma Lyon 6/18/23 6/18/23 Kindle
Ethan is out looking for a hookup after being dumped by his boyfriend. Holden is out for a drink. Ethan comes on to Holden, who pretends to take him up on the hookup but puts him into an Uber for him to go home. Imagine their surprise when Holden’s security consulting job turns out to be for Ethan’s US Senator father, who’s received bomb threats. Holden’s living in the basement apartment, Ethan starts visiting. The job ends, Holden rejects Ethan, but there’s a HEA on the horizon. I did not like the conflict of interest of Holden sleeping with Ethan, but once I put my squeamishness on the backburner, I liked this book of personal growth. Oh, and caveat emptor re sex.

Not So Perfect by Emma Lyon 6/18/23 6/19/23 Kindle
Shane owns a construction company, Quinn is a lawyer. After several months of the beginnings of a wonderful romance, Quinn breaks it off and marries a woman. That only lasts a year, and Quinn is hooking up, trying to forget Shane. 3 years after the break up, Shane needs a lawyer and the local lawyer recommends Quinn and others, but Shane calls Quinn. Feelings, fighting off a crooked contractor/lawsuit, and Quinn figuring out that what he has with Shane is more important than not trying to make it work all make for an enjoyable, if not particularly stunning, book. What I found particularly delicious and always do, is the unpredictability of who is dominant and who is submissive. There’s a little bit of kink thrown in, too, but just just enough to not make me twitch. Caveat emptor re sex.

The Guardian by Tricia Owens 6/19/23 6/20/23 Kindle
A very early book by an author I truly love. This is very disappointing, actually, about immortals who, when they paint someone’s portrait make that person immortal. Dorian is hiding from people who want him to paint them and people who want to destroy him because what he does is evil or interferes with God’s plan. The writing is forced, the dialog okay but forced, and the plot grinds along. Thomas is sent to guard Dorian/Hayden and Dorian fights him pretty much every step of the way until he realizes that he needs Thomas. He doesn’t really want to live, but doesn’t know where his own portrait is that would allow him to die. Honestly. And Thomas keeps his face covered and we only get the story almost at the end. It’s forced and overwrought too, but the major reason I kept reading to the end. There’s only a HFN since Thomas is mortal and Dorian isn’t. Caveat emptor re sex and major irritation.

The Holiday Hookup by Baylin Crow 6/20/23 6/20/23 Kindle
Sweet and acerbic novella about Finn, who does NOT like Hunter at all, agreeing to a one night hookup that turns into a weekend that turns into … well. If Hunter gets his way, HEA. Caveat emptor re sex.

Sweetest Hate by Baylin Crow 6/21/23 6/21/23 Kindle
Arsen’s father marries Quinn’s mother, Arsen visits for Christmas and sees Kellan next door stringing Christmas lights. Quinn says hateful things to Arsen and warns him off Kellan. Months later, Quinn, Kellan, Arsen, and bunch of both of their friends are at Arsen’s father’s lakeside cabin – mansion, really – and he and Kellan hook up. Various and sundry misunderstandings, serious sparkage, serious feelings, and there’s a HEA although Kellan and Quinn’s friendship mostly goes by the wayside once Kellan realizes how cruel Quinn was. Caveat emptor re sex.

Booklover by J.E. Birk 6/21/23 6/21/23 240 pages Kindle
Very sweet story of Briar, who has escaped from a bad life and ends up at a bookstore, part of Vino and Veritas, a bookstore and wine shop. Briar has the idea to start a book club and the owner is enthusiastic. Jamie is the son of a dairy farmer, trying to juggle helping at the farm while living an hour away, going to school full time, AND working. Jamie decides to join the V & V Book Club, where he meets Briar. There are things to overcome and obligations to redefine and understand, self-worth to come by and honestly, there were a couple of scenes where I cried because their love story is so sweet. Caveat emptor re sex.

Mastering the Muse by Peter Styles 6/22/23 6/23/23 Kindle
Arlo needs money and so his friend Jeremy gets him an invitations to The Club, where rich men make contracts with young men for … well. Walter is at loose ends and goes back to The Club and his eye is caught by Arlo. Walter immediately realizes that Arlo owns a piece of land Walter wants and has been harassing Arlo over but doesn’t let on to Arlo. They have 3 dates, the first part of what would be the contract, and the sparkage is amazing and both fall in love. Arlo finds out about the land/harassment and leaves Walter. However, both realize they want the relationship and there is the HEA. Caveat emptor re sex.

The Date Mistake by Joelle Lynne 6/24/23 6/25/23 296 pages Kindle
Aaron owns his own sandwich shop, Trevor works for him. Aaron’s supposedly straight, Trevor isn’t. Fake boyfriend trope, with Aaron inviting Trevor to pretend to be his boyfriend at his brother’s wedding, things change and all of a sudden Aaron’s either gay or demisexual. HEA after some serious angst. Caveat emptor re sex.

Nerdy Talk by Joelle Lynne 6/25/23 6/25/23 Kindle
Micah was verbally and emotionally abused by an ex. Lucas tries to pick him up at a bar before starting a new lab job – and imagine that! It’s the testing lab in a hospital that Micah works at and Micah’s tasked with training Lucas. Lucas has a sister who’s a leukemia patient at the hospital, to add a complication. Micah and Lucas dance around each other figuratively speaking for a while, then a Truth or Dare Dare gets out of hand and well… power failure and a closet change things. HEA. Enemies, sort of, to lovers trope. Actually, they are both rather sweet and this HEA is quite nice.

Wish Me Home by Joelle Lynne 6/25/23 6/25/23 Kindle
Emmett and Cody are on a flight out of O’Hare that keeps getting delayed ‘til it’s cancelled. Cody invites Emmett for a drink, there’s sparkage and fun times in the airport, and when they get back to San Diego, Emmett to visit his aunt and Cody to spend the holidays alone, they both realize there was really something serious there. A few mishaps along the way, with Cody in particular acting stupid, but all’s well that ends well. Proximity and romance. Caveat emptor re sex.

Hired for the Holidays by Raquel Riley 6/25/23 6/26/23 Kindle
Rent Boy and rich man trope. Jones always hires dates for the holidays. Adam is his date and Jones is absolutely smitten. He hires him for more things over the holidays and all of a sudden they’re both in love. A tad shallow, but the sex is very hot. So, of course, caveat emptor re sex.

Faking It by Ali Ryecart 6/26/23 6/26/23 288 pages Kindle
Ben is a rent boy living in the same house as several other rent boys and Toby’s best friend, who’s in a committed relationship with a rent boy who’s becoming a plumber instead of plying his trade on the streets. Toby cannot express his attraction for Ben in any other way than paying him, which is fine when he’s hired him for specific jobs after accidentally getting him fired from the high-end escort service, but once it becomes personal and Toby STILL pays Ben, things are off. However, Toby realizes what Ben could mean to him, and Ben has wanted Toby all along. Okay in parts, but honestly, Ben forgiving Toby four times is a tad much. Caveat emptor re sex.

Ace in the Hole by J.P. Oliver and Peter Styles 6/28/23 6/28/23 Kindle
Oliver can’t stand up to his mother’s trying to force him to marry a woman so asks his best friend, Leo, to marry him. Leo agrees. Neither has ever had romantic feelings for the other, but they start having them and continue having them. It’s rather sweet. Oliver plays poker for a living and is quite wealthy, Leo is a waiter. They find common ground in art and sparkage, and when push comes to shove Leo rescues Oliver one more time when his mother tries to sabotage his poker career by setting him up. Caveat emptor re sex.

Before You Go by S.J. Conner 6/28/23 6/29/23 139 pages Kindle
Clumsy intern Ben literally spills coffee on CEO Anthony twice in the same day. Improbably, Anthony invites Ben to come home with him for Christmas to act as a buffer between Anthony and his cold and dysfunctional family. A combination of sweet and stupid. Ben’s parents, sister, and brother-in-law are perfect, Anthony’s parents and brother are awful, just awful. Some kissing, lots of attraction. No caveat emptor re sex in this one, alas. It might have made it more realistic and/or interesting.

Adam by Reese Winters 6/29/23 6/29/23 Kindle
Adam sees a chiropractor, Ronin, and then Ronin goes with a bunch of gay Chiropractors (I know, eye roll) to The Cockpit Club, where Adam works as a dancer and … more. Instant sparkage, instant hookup. Dates, then Ronin is asked about his husband while out at a restaurant – Adam storms off because we need dramatic tension, right? Ronin’s husband died 20 years earlier and eventually Ronin finds a way of communicating this to Adam. All’s well that ends well, but sheesh. Caveat emptor re sex.

The Billionaire's Proposal by Reese Winters 6/29/23 6/29/23 Kindle
What should be a novel has been put out there as 3 novellas, which is irritating. I’m not going to read the rest. Sebastian moves back home, breaking up with his Dom-in-everything-except-the-bedroom boyfriend because his Mom needs him. Jude goes to a BDSM convention and volunteers to be on the receiving end of a demo whipping by Sebastian and immediately enters subspace. Sebastian notes this. Then, Sebastian is the electrician hired to fix emergency electrical problems in the building that billionaire Jude owns - why the electrical problems have been come so severe that they need an emergency electrician and don’t have regular maintenance staff to do the work – have I mentioned that Jude’s a billionaire? – and they meet again. Jude wants to learn more of the BDSM world and being a billionaire offers Sebastian a ridiculous amount of money to ‘buy’ his Dom-in-the-bedroom services for everything except sex. Rather ridiculous, actually, because we’ve also got the Jude is black scenario and the obligatory scene with his parents about how he’s supposed to conduct himself. First of three, Sebastian’s just accepted the proposal. This isn’t really a spoiler since the description of book 2 starts out with this premise. Caveat emptor re Dom/sub stuff mentioned at the conference and the whipping.

Corporate Merger by Lance Abrusco 6/29/23 6/29/23 Kindle
Short and steamy short story that really doesn’t make much sense except as a vehicle for the sex. Not gonna lie, just sex doesn’t hurt my feelings, but I usually like it to mean a little bit more than that. Jack’s a jerk boss, Cam is his assistant and lusts after him. Sex occurs. The End. Caveat emptor re sex.

Edited: Jul 21, 2023, 9:11 am

324 books read

1 Masterpiece
51 Stunning
181 Excellent
48 Very Good
30 Good
9 Average
4 Bad
0 Very Bad
0 Don't Bother
0 Anathema

Best Fiction
The Guncle by Steven Rowley
The Adults by Caroline Hulse
Should We Stay or Should We Go by Lionel Shriver
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
Hopelessly Bromantic and Here Comes My Man by Blake Lively

Best (only) Nonfiction
Woke Racism by Dr. John McWhorter
The Book of General Ignorance by John Mitchinson
The Story of Human Language by Dr. John McWhorter
Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow

Top five overall for the LT Top Five Books of 2022 list:
The Guncle by Steven Rowley
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
Woke Racism by Dr. John McWhorter
The Adults by Caroline Hulse
Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

Edited: Jul 21, 2023, 9:11 am


Jul 21, 2023, 9:07 am

Welcome! The next one's yours.

Jul 21, 2023, 9:59 am

Happy new thread!

Jul 21, 2023, 10:14 am

Oh, Karen. When you start a thread, you START A THREAD!!!!
I look forward to enjoying this one.
Hugs for a good day! (((((Karen)))))

Jul 21, 2023, 10:17 am

New 🧵 orisons, Horrible!

Jul 21, 2023, 10:26 am

Happy new one, Karen!

Jul 21, 2023, 12:22 pm

Happy new thread, Karen

Edited: Jul 21, 2023, 1:53 pm

Happy new thread, Karen!

By the way, how do you get the colored stars for your ratings? I've just recently started to think about how to do that, and I haven't seen any hints on how to add them.

Jul 21, 2023, 1:54 pm

Thought I would check in before I miss this thread entirely like I did the last :)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Jul 21, 2023, 5:14 pm

Hi Karen my dear, Happy New Thread my dear friend. I will try to visit more often as i will other threads although the next week might be a bit sparse on visits as we set off to Scotland on our holiday on Sunday.

I will be taking the laptop with me but going on it at night will depend on how tired we are after wandering around the Fife area or we may be in the pub. We are staying in a flat overlooking the Firth of Forth in Kirkcaldy and we are going to take the coast road to St. Andrews, we may go over the Tay to visit Dundee and the V&A museum and we will spend a day in Edinburgh and i will try and visit as many bookshops as i can.

I hope everyone is OK and we both send love and hugs to you, Bill, Jenna, Inara, Zoe and Wash and Felix sends kitty skritches.

Jul 21, 2023, 7:44 pm

Happy new thread Karen!

>1 karenmarie: Wow, I'm a quotee!

Jul 22, 2023, 7:35 am

Happy new one, Karen

Edited: Jul 22, 2023, 10:00 am

>10 figsfromthistle: Hello Anita, and thank you.

>11 LizzieD: Hi Peggy. I’ve got my routine down exactly on new threads now, and started the first about 2 weeks ago. The others are just copy and paste. *smile*

I did have a pretty good day, see below. (((((Peggy)))))

>12 richardderus: Thanks, RD! *smooch*

Thank you, Katie, Arlie, Irene, Stasia, John, Susan, Shelley!

>15 atozgrl: Irene. Here's info from How to do fancy things in your posts

where green stars source is https://static.librarything.com/pics/sNN, NN = 1-10
where @humoress (Helen's) colored stars source is https://retz.us/deffNN, NN = 05-50

>17 johnsimpson: John. Enjoy your holiday in Scotland. Definitely spend more time with Karen on your holiday than coming to LT! Your trip sounds lovely. We’re doing fine, see below. Sending love and hugs to you and Karen, and thank Felix for his kitty skritches. They are returned 3 times over!

Wordle 763 3/6* adieu, slope, froze


Yesterday was busy. We went to a town 30 miles south of us to pick up Jenna's and our taxes, pay our accountant (gulp), and eat lunch at one of our favorite places. Jenna called at the very end of the meal to tell us that she no longer worked at The Home Center and was on her way home. No surprise - she's been bored and unhappy there for a while, and the final straw was when one of her fellow office coworkers verbally abused her for not wanting children, when ALL WOMEN EVERYWHERE ALWAYS WANT CHILDREN. Even when Jenna told her that she was happy that Rachel wanted children and to go for it but that she, Jenna, didn't want that in her life, she still abused Jenna. I knew Jenna'd be out of there after that, especially when her supervisor did not mention it or try to step in to fix the toxic work environment. Jenna sounded happy. And, she had already put her resume out there and has an interview on Monday.

After we came home I went back out and used the treadmill for 24 minutes and picked up prescriptions.

Last night the US women played Vietnam in the first round of the World Cup and won 3-0. They could have won by more but for the excellent, agressive, and talented Vietnam goalie. Fun match, all three of us watched.

Today is getting trash and recyclables out for Bill to take to the dump and for him to pick up take out for us. My sister will call some time today, too, so that's a good thing. Otherwise puttering, probably watching the replay of the England -? match, which I don't know the results of and maybe another match, which Bill will be recording.

Jul 22, 2023, 10:06 am

>20 karenmarie: Rachel is clearly a boor and a bully, and Jenna deserves a better, more accepting work environment.

Happy weekend-ahead's reads, Horrible! *smooch*

Jul 22, 2023, 10:15 am

GOOD for (((((Jenna))))) for getting out immediately! You din't raise no dummy, (((((Karen))))). I hope she finds something much, much, much more interesting, better paying, and more congenial quickly. I was never abused, but I have had people not let the childless thing go. If my answer didn't shut them up, I walked away. ("We both believe in using family names, and we just couldn't risk having a son and being obliged to name him "Spurgeon Sturgeon McLizzie.")

Good for you for treading! Good for you for Wordle in 3. I'm still in 5-land, doggone it.

Happy Day!

Jul 22, 2023, 11:54 am

>22 LizzieD: we just couldn't risk having a son and being obliged to name him "Spurgeon Sturgeon McLizzie}


Jenna deserves better - good for her for walking away!

Edited: Jul 22, 2023, 7:06 pm

>21 richardderus: Hiya, RDear, and thanks re the weekend’s reads. I just finished a fantastic book, Until You by Blair Prescott. Sadly, I’ve now read all the books by her I want to read. I need to be methodical in going back to authors I love to see if they have new books out. I just started following a couple of authors I like, so we’ll see how that goes.

>22 LizzieD: Hi Peggy, and yes, I’m proud of her. I love Spurgeon Sturgeon McLizzie. *smile*

Tomorrow we both might have an exceptionally good Wordle, right?

>23 PlatinumWarlock: Hi Lavinia, and yes, I’m proud of Jenna. It made Bill twitch a bit, because you just didn’t DO that in the corporate world we came up in. But things have changed, and she’ll be fine.

Jul 22, 2023, 3:04 pm

>24 karenmarie: Briar Prescott's gotten such a passionate response out of so many readers in the MM reading group on Goodreads that I felt compelled to wishlist that one...you're the first person from outside those 1,000 or so women who's mentioned the book. Good enough for me. (PS the touchstone's very humorously wrong.)

Jul 22, 2023, 4:20 pm

>20 karenmarie: Good for Jenna. I know there have always been such women as that coworker, but can't help but worry such open battery is a symptom of the forces decaying the status of women in this country.

Jul 22, 2023, 8:28 pm

>25 richardderus: I am Very Special, of course, loving MM romance and NOT being on Goodreads - well, I'm officially a member, but don't do anything there except look up authors occasionally in case they've put something there about themselves that's not on Amazon or their own websites.

Heh. Just fixed the touchstone a while ago...

>26 quondame: Thanks, Susan. Jenna is a very strong woman, and I'm proud of her for telling her truth AND quitting a toxic work environment.

Jul 22, 2023, 8:29 pm

Another gem from Jenna. I put it on my previous thread, but forgot to re-post it here.

Jul 22, 2023, 8:39 pm

>28 karenmarie: - Now, that is hilarious!!

Edited: Jul 22, 2023, 9:50 pm

>20 karenmarie: It's so weird, at least from my viewpoint on the autistic spectrum.

Person A claims that all X like Y. Person B claims to be an X that does not like Y. Person A feels a desperate need to punish person B, and/or to force them to "agree" that they like Y.

This happens all the time, along with its close cousin, where Person A claims that all X are Y.

The least insane way to understand this is that A is so certain of their false belief that they conclude B is lying, and want to punish them for that. But I doubt it's that simple.

More likely, person A says "all X like/are Y" and means "all X should like/be Y". And they expect that anyone with normal social skills will understand what's really meant, and respect A's superior social status by at least refraining from disagreeing with them.

Jul 23, 2023, 7:07 am

Applause for Jenna!! There's no reason to put up with people like Rachel especially when management doesn't address the behavior. I hope Monday's interview goes well but am confident she will find something regardless.

Jul 23, 2023, 9:16 am

Sunday *smoochings*

Jul 23, 2023, 9:22 am

Happy New Thread!

Kudos for Jenna! Kudos to you (and Bill) for raising a young woman who knows her own mind.

I'm trying to find a word that means a woman who puts another woman down; a man who does so would be a misogynist. Is there a woman-ish equivalent?

Jul 23, 2023, 9:47 am

Good morning, Karen! It was lovely here earlier - cooler by a bit and noticeably less humid. I hope you're getting the same at your place.

Wordle in 3. At long last!

Jul 23, 2023, 10:21 am

>29 jessibud2: Hi Shelley, Canadian friend! I guess the "EH" jokes don't bother you.

>30 ArlieS: ‘Morning, Arlie! There is a lot of hurt behind your examples that I know you’ve faced in your life, and I’m sorry for it.

I’m 70. Certainly not the oldest person in our cohort, but at 70 I’ve seen a lot and experienced a lot and done a lot of thinking.

One of the results of that thinking, especially in recent years, has been the understanding that pretty much every human characteristic is on a spectrum, and these spectrums are to be honored and celebrated, not attacked and denigrated.

I grew up in a very socially constrictive time in the US in the 1900s, having been born in 1953. The fear was pervasive. A girl couldn’t be inclined to sports/science/etc. because she’d be labeled a tomboy – code for gasp! Lesbian! – the fear that a boy couldn’t be inclined to cooking/dance/etc. because he’d be labeled a pansy – code word for gasp! Homosexual! I had to wear dresses or skirts/blouses to school every single year of K-12, except for 2 days each school year grades 10-12, which were ‘pants days’. Hems were measured. I was lucky that I could play sports in the neighborhood with my brother and his friends. However, I remember that in 5th grade (age 10) when we were told to start thinking about what we wanted to be when we grew up, I was told therapist, nurse, librarian, secretary - not doctor, business executive, professor, etc. Somehow or another my intellectual abilities were celebrated not stifled, and I don’t remember much pressure to get married. Heck, I didn’t even seriously date ‘til I was 22.

>31 lauralkeet: Hi Laura, and yes! I’m hopeful about the interview on Monday, but not stressed if it doesn’t work out. They supposedly require a BA or BS, but Jenna’s got an AA, and they want to see her. Thank you.

>32 richardderus: *smooch* to you too, dear RD.

>33 streamsong: Hi Janet, and thank you. My daughter knows what she needs to take care of herself. Her dad twitched once on Friday when I told him she was done with The Home Center and on her way home, but since then he hasn’t said a single negative word or used any body language to express disapproval. He can see, as can I, the spring in her step, the laugh in her voice, the sparkle in her eyes.

Technically, misogynist is anybody who hates women, which includes women, obviously.

In an ideal world, men and women would not need to hate or distrust the opposite sex and all people on the spectrum in between, but alas, social and religious teachings perpetuate hate and distrust. It relates to power and control, usually owned by men. A lot of the current upset and distress and danger to women/women’s rights in recent decades come because men, especially white men, are seeing their power/control erode.

>34 LizzieD: ‘Morning, Peggy! It’s beautiful Carolina blue day with floating white clouds. Temps ‘only’ to 86F, and it is less humid. I hope the walk with your DH was pleasant.

Yay for your 3, as you can see, I squeaked by with a 6.

Wordle 764 6/6* Gads. adieu, clear, steal, fable, angle, whale


Yesterday was take out for lunch, filling the bird feeders, puttering, reading, etc.

Today is some straightening/putting things up to make it easier for Esmerelda and Adela tomorrow, perhaps hamburger patties and air fryer french fries for dinner.

Reading, of course. PT exercises, too.

Jul 23, 2023, 10:48 am

>35 karenmarie: - Nope, they make me laugh. especially if they are funny, clever and harmless ;-)

Jul 23, 2023, 11:04 am

Spectra scare the bejabbers out of dualist thinkers. To me, dualism is a lazy way to perceive the world because one doesn't want to put in the effort to think of individuals as such. Categories are so much easier.

Jul 23, 2023, 12:45 pm

Salutations on your new thread, dear, Karen. xx

Jul 23, 2023, 7:05 pm

Happy new thread, Karen!

Good for Jenna, she stood up for herself, and really I don’t understand people like her coworker!

Growing up, for us it was the same, what was expected, what was NOT expected, for girls. Give people a choice, and allow them to be different. But we’re not there yet, not by far.

Jul 23, 2023, 9:05 pm

>20 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen, for the information about coding the stars. I'll give it a try.

Good for Jenna! I guess I wouldn't do so well working there either, as I never had children. It definitely sounds like a toxic work environment. It's hard to believe management didn't do something about it. Good luck to her on her job interview tomorrow!

>24 karenmarie: I can understand Bill's twitching. I don't know that I would have had the courage to quit without already having another job in hand. But you are right that things have changed.

>28 karenmarie: Love it! I'm glad you reposted that! I saw it on the old thread, but you had already started the new one, so I never got a chance to like it there.

>35 karenmarie: Being only a few years behind you, I can also remember the days of having to wear skirts. But after school administration had some major discussions while I was in Junior High, they finally allowed us to wear pantsuits. But they had to look nice! By the time I was in high school, the dress code had relaxed a lot. Kids were wearing jeans, even ripped jeans.

Jul 24, 2023, 7:00 am

Happy new thread, Karen!

>1 karenmarie: Love the picture of young Jenna on a horse.
I always loved all animals. My first memory is that I was put in the saddle in front of my brother at three years old. Had to wait until I was ten for riding lessons.

Jul 24, 2023, 7:56 am

>36 jessibud2: I’m glad EH jokes make you laugh, Shelley.

>37 richardderus: Bejabbers is a good word and a good way to describe the visceral fear people feel who need things to be only one way or another and defined and fixed in a firm galaxy. One of Bill’s and my first fights was over my statement that I believed in God AND I believed in evolution. This was 32 years ago. I was vehement about my belief in this apparent contradiction (didn’t know about dualism) and he had to back down when I said “You can believe what you want to believe, and I’ll believe what I want to believe.”

>38 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul, and thank you. xx

>39 EllaTim: Hi Ella and thank you. We’re definitely not there and at least here in the US, with all the right-wing wackos in positions of power and authority, we’re going backwards.

>40 atozgrl: Hello Irene, and you’re welcome. It was a decent work environment until it wasn’t, and Jenna’s already sleeping better.

For our high school graduation party we went to Disneyland, in Southern California. They shut down the park to everybody except high school graduates, and you had to go the night your school was invited, not just show up any night of the week they did this. I still have the program from it somewhere. We were allowed to wear pants suits or dresses/skirt-blouse combos, and the pantsuit top had to be a tunic.

When I was 10, I had been given a hand-me-down pair of jeans. Our family was going to go to a movie. I asked Dad if I could wear them and he said no. I don’t remember whether I wore slacks or a dress. This would have been in 1963.

>41 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita, and thank you. I’m glad you like the pic of Jenna on the horse, glad you got to ride even though it took ‘til you were 10 for lessons. That pic’s from the 4H Horse Club. Jenna also got to ride at summer camp every year from when she was 9-ish ‘til she was 17, when she aged out of Camp Seafarer.

Wordle 765 X/6* Boo, hiss. Broke my 89 day record of not being skunked. adieu, stork, golly, polly (messed up there using L again), comfy bobby. It was either bobby or hobby, and I went alphabetical 3-same-letter logic and it didn't work.


Yesterday was puttering and reading. I got the Sunroom/my home office under control. Bill watched a lot of the Woirld Cup but I just wasn't in the mood. The US plays the Netherlands on Wednesday I think. I'll watch more before then, was just stressed and getting ready for Esmerelda and Adela, the cleaning ladies. They'll be here in half an hour.

Treadmill, a little bit of grocery shopping, Library to try to reschedule with Rita.

Jul 24, 2023, 8:11 am

My sympathies for today's Wordle, Karen. I got it in 5 and felt lucky. Chris had 6 and Kate was skunked.

Good luck with the cleaning ladies!

Jul 24, 2023, 9:35 am

Cleaning-lady luck mojo for you, Horrible my sweet.


Jul 24, 2023, 10:07 am

Happy new thread, Karen!

Jul 24, 2023, 10:20 am

Good morning, Karen. I'm back in the olden days as I read your experiences growing up. Since I lack 4 months of being 9 years older than you, I am in full sympathy. A large difference is that we never had a Pants Day at school, and I might not have had a pair of pants to wear if it had been offered. I did get Bermuda shorts in the summer. Those are not days I'd care to go back to for many, many reasons although that seems to be the goal of the others.

Sorry about Wordle. Six for me, and I was relieved even though I had the word on my list after my third guess. SANDY got it in 2!!!!!!!

Our walk was lovely, thank you. I'll shop for groceries today too. I'll also look forward to hearing positive things from Jenna's interview.

Edited: Jul 24, 2023, 10:44 am

>35 karenmarie: Thank you.

5 years younger than you, and living in a large city in Canada, it was AFAICT OK to be a "tomboy", provided you grew out of it at an appropriate age. Of course I might be wrong - when your social skills are weak, it's often hard to know that some innocent-sounding comment is in fact a coded insult.

OTOH, when I was in college one of the school guidance counsellors suggested I think about software documentation as a career. My class background in computer science was a little patchy - I hadn't majored in Applied Math or Electrical Engineering, and while I'd taken all the computer courses I could manage, I'd only started that path in my sophomore year. So I asked "are you saying this because I'm a woman" - and all hell broke loose. The head of the guidance team took over advising me ;-) Perhaps I should have asked "are you saying this because I didn't major in a more relevant field", or even "are you saying this because I write and communicate better than most engineers", but the first thing that occurred to me at the time was gender.

By that time, my love for math and science had many people reading me as a lesbian, even though I was dating a perfectly nice young man. (We're still friends.) Now that I'm retired I'm a lot more visibly butch - but people no longer care.

Jul 25, 2023, 8:29 am

>43 lauralkeet: Hi Laura, and thank you. 5 and 6 and a skunk. Kate and I were in good company. Today’s better with a 4.

>44 richardderus: Thanks, RD! *smooch*

>45 drneutron: Thanks, Jim! And thank you, as always for taking such good care of our group.

>46 LizzieD: Hi Peggy! Happy next day to you. Bermuda shorts… yup. There are two things I’d like to go back to those days for – the sheer joy of living I had and being physically fit in a healthy pain-free body. Although, I did get ear infections quite a bit and several severe colds a year. But that was ‘normal’, as my parents were stoics and you Did Not Complain.

Yay for your six. Sandy got it in 2? I need to visit her thread. Wow.

>47 ArlieS: Hi Arlie! Innocent-sounding comment vs. coded insult – my social skills were combined with the innocence of the suburbs so that I missed quite a few insults, I think. And even now, I review conversations in my mind and see different intentions from what I thought.

Wow, just those 5 years. Software documentation. I’m smiling at all hell breaking loose. And your thinking gender was fair. I wonder if people have ever thought I was a lesbian – my social circles did not overlap my work circles and I have had quite a few lesbian friends over the decades.

I love it that women don’t have to avoid looking butch any more.

Wordle 766 4/6* adieu, mover, sheet, wheel


Esmerelda and Adela were here for 8 hours. They thought it would take 5-6. I showed them every room, every hall, every everything before they came yesterday. They were very thorough, mopping some of the hardwoods multiple times to get them clean. They are going to be almost twice as much as Alex, but they're going to clean every room, dust everything, vacuum/mop everything, de-cobweb everything, and etc. I had to give Alex a list because one person couldn't do it all in the 3 hours I was willing to pay for. *shrug*

This morning is book sorting, brekkie/early lunch, then the treadmill and stopping at the grocery store for a few things, which I didn't do yesterday.

Jul 25, 2023, 9:25 am

Morning, Horrible. *smooch* Yay for Adela and Esmeralda being so very thorough. Enjoy your book-fondling this morning and try not to resent the treadmill time too much. Your continued commitment to heart health is most comforting to me.

Jul 25, 2023, 10:25 am

A really clean house - what a treasure!!!!! It will not happen here.
I'm a 4 for Wordle too and looking forward to a normal Tuesday in July, which should have started a bit earlier. We walked, and that was good.

Happy Day and an echo of Richard's happiness!

Jul 25, 2023, 2:06 pm

I love reading your reminiscences (did I spell that right?) of the social requirements of your youth, Karen. I'm a little younger - born in 1967 - but I went to a conservative Episcopal day school through the 8th grade and there were definitely similarities. A uniform of white tops/navy bottoms was required, we weren't allowed makeup or nail polish or open-toed shoes, and there had to be at least 2" between our eyebrows and our bangs, if we had bangs. 🤣 (I'm sure that was more about avoiding the distraction of constantly brushing our hair out of our eyes.) However, we were allowed to wear jeans (but not shorts), as long as they were navy, but skirts had to cover our knees. Ironically, when I reached my (private, non-religious) high school, jeans were NOT allowed except on the occasional Friday.

I'm a little amused at my reaction to the way kids dress today. I am very much NOT a prude, but I see some of the short, tight dresses on young women and catch myself gasping like my mother. Go figure...

Jul 25, 2023, 6:10 pm

>20 karenmarie: I hope you're having a great day today, Karen! Thanks for the instructions about creating the stars! The instructions for Helen's colored stars worked great. I was struggling with the green ones though. I finally discovered that there was an 's' missing at the end (should be ssNN) over on *How To Do Cool Stuff in Your Threads. But you pointed me in the right direction, and I really appreciate the help!

>48 karenmarie: Wow, it sounds like Esmerelda and Adela are going to work out great! Really thorough cleaning. I need to do better cleaning my own place. I'd have to do a lot of picking up before I could even consider bringing someone in to do all the cleaning. :-P

Wordle was 4 for me today as well.

Jul 26, 2023, 9:03 am

>49 richardderus: Next day ‘Morning, RDear. So far the only thing we can find that they didn’t clean was the floor of the linen closet in the master bath, so not bad at all. Thanks re the treadmill. No fun, but necessary. Although I’ve started reading my Kindle while on the treadmill which makes the time seem to go by more quickly. If people turn on the TV (yuck) or heaven forbid! TALK, I put my earbuds into my cell phone and listen to white noise.

>50 LizzieD: It is a treasure, Peggy. They are coming back on the 10th of August, although I think we’ll settle into Mondays. Yay for the 4 and brava on the early walking with your DH.

>51 PlatinumWarlock: Yes, you got it right, Lavinia. I’m glad you like what I wrote. None of the restrictions against what I wore were religion based because I went to public schools.

I agree that some of the dresses now are short enough to see underwear, and I also am amazed at skinny jeans, although my daughter wears them and I don’t shrug when she does.

The thing that irritates me, though, are the cut-out shoulders on dresses and shirts. It's not prudishness, just awareness that the fashion police should be arresting designers for starting the trend and women and girls for wearing them.

>52 atozgrl: I had a fun and productive day, Irene, thank you. You’re welcome re the stars, glad they’re working for you.

We have way too much stuff out, but we don’t mind clutter and they dust things appropriately and work around things we haven’t gotten up yet.

Congrats on your 4.

Wordle 767 3/6* adieu, meant, heart


The book sorting went well, the lunch was fun. We stayed pretty late - 12:15, and then I went and worked out for 24 minutes. I realize that book sorting and treadmilling shouldn't occur on the same day.

We watched a replay of the Philippines New Zealand Women's World cup match, a huge surprise and upset. The NZ Football Ferns (official moniker - I would have guessed Kiwis - lost after a heartbreak shot at goal that bounced off the side goal and then a called back goal because of a shoulder being offside.

Today I have a massage with a woman at the chiropractor's office I go to. A bit of grocery shopping after.

Tonight all three of us will be watching the US vs Netherlands tonight at 9 p.m.

Edited: Jul 26, 2023, 9:16 am

Ferns? Hm. Not the image I'd've expected, either, though certainly à propos for NZ. I guess the more apt image of a wēta isn't going to play well internationally.

Jul 26, 2023, 10:45 am

>54 richardderus: Ah, Richard. I had to duck to find weta - "giant flightless crickets, and some are among the heaviest insects in the world" - and give the hint for anybody ignorant and interested as I was.

Good morning, Karen! Glad your day was good and a wish that you may enjoy your massage. *sigh* Also congrats on Wordle in 3, took me 4. Oh well.

Stay cool!

Edited: Jul 31, 2023, 10:01 am

>6 karenmarie: Lightening speed for all the books you've read in June! Incredible.

>35 karenmarie: I was born in 1952 and your memories echo mine. It was such a strange time. I remember that in sixth grade the teacher asked the class to write down what we wanted to be when we grew up. I wrote that I wanted to be a writer. When the little newsletter was pulled together and distributed, my description noted that I said I wanted to be a housewife! I remember being fuming mad, but knew nothing could be done.

Years later when I went to college and was struggling with organic chemistry, my father entered the dining room where I was studying and actually said "Why do you want to go to college anyway? Do you want to actually want to earn as much as a man?"

I replied, "No, Dad!!! I want to earn more than a man!"

I will always remember those two instances that propelled my stubborn spirit to move forward! And, yes, we had to wear dresses or a skirt and a blouse -- no slacks were allowed for girls to wear until the year after I graduated from high school.

Jul 26, 2023, 1:39 pm

>56 Whisper1: "No, Dad!!! I want to earn more than a man!"

Ha!! Well said, Linda!

Jul 26, 2023, 1:39 pm

How was your massage? I think I'll get mine tomorrow.

Jul 26, 2023, 1:43 pm

>53 karenmarie: On the subject of underwear being visible... I was thinking about that while watching one of the Wimbledon games recently... the convention, of course, is that tennis skirts are short, presumably so they don't get in the player's way, but underneath the skirt is a built-in layer of some sort, either panty or tight short (like a bike short), which is completely visible when the player moves. None of us question that, and yet women wearing dresses that show underwear is "not the same". Fascinating how fashion rules differ and change!

Edited: Jul 26, 2023, 2:08 pm

>53 karenmarie: What really surprised me was the young lady at a wedding, obviously carefully and thus appropriately dressed, whose bra straps were clearly visible, with no fabric covering them. The rules I internalized would have required one of those uncomfortable bras with support only from below.

>56 Whisper1: A girl after my own heart. Good for you.

Edited: Jul 26, 2023, 2:13 pm

I also grew up in the 'no pants zone'. Since most of us walked to school in Montana winters, we were allowed to wear pants under our dress but we had to make a beeline to the girls' room to remove them as soon as we arrived at school. We could not walk to school without the dress over the pants.

In high school, starting with my sophomore year, we could wear coordinated 'pant suits', which as I remember were mostly polyester. Never jeans. Now I rarely wear anything besides jeans.

The fashion that totally shocked me came as I recently watched a woman on TV consulting a plastic surgeon so that when she wore tight stretchy pants her 'camel toe' would be more visible. I had to look that one up as I had never heard of it. The male equivalent would be tight stretchy pants so that every bulge of the bulge shows. Yuck.

I like the cutout shoulders. When I had breast cancer several years ago they stripped the lymph nodes of my left arm, leaving with me flappy floppy lymphedema on the underside of my left arm. I have to wear longish short sleeves so that I do not look lopsided. The cutout shoulders let me show some skin while hiding my underarm mismatch.

Wordle in four.

Jul 26, 2023, 2:10 pm

>56 Whisper1: Holy Moly, Linda! I never met with that kind of blatant sexism. I will say that when I left my first job, they paid my male replacement $500 more a month than I had made even after a raise because "he was supporting a family". Maybe I wanted only those careers clearly meant for women...........

As to school dress codes and underwear.... Even in the 90s our school had a dress code for girls. I sent only one girl home to change clothes and that was because her skirt was so skimpy and her top so tight that when she sat down, her crack was there in all its glory and she was having to squirm in her seat because she was so uncomfortable. I would have been grateful for underwear.

Jul 27, 2023, 6:58 am

Happy Thursday, Karen!

I don't think I have ever been to a school with a dress code. However my mother had strick ideas about what to wear, and we clashed a lot in my late teens.

Jul 27, 2023, 8:43 am

>62 LizzieD: Underwear was very much UNDER in my school years...one big reason I rebelled against religious school was the uniforms. Categorically refused even to consider a tie in the Rio Grande Valley's heat and likewise with the woolen trousers. The spelling words were bible names, and that's when I snapped. Walked in the front door as Mama dropped me off, out the back door and hung around until lunchtime.

Jul 27, 2023, 10:25 pm

Here's the next readathon: https://www.librarything.com/topic/352566

Jul 28, 2023, 7:16 am

Well, I had lovely responses to all my visitors, played Wordle and got it in 4, and then apparently didn’t post it.

>54 richardderus: And now, in addition to having arachnophobia, I have wetaphobia. Yikes. What awful looking and large insects. *shudder*

>55 LizzieD: Good morning two days later, Peggy! I’ll report on the massage below. Today’s Wordle took me my usual 4. Cool is easy with AC, fortunately.

>56 Whisper1: Hi Linda! The books I’m reading don’t take too much emotional energy but they’re what I want to read these days, so I’m going with it. I do need to start Lessons in Chemistry soon, because it’s my choice for my RL book club. We’ll meet on August 13th here at my house to discuss it.

Your answer to your dad is the best, and that cultural editing/controlling infuriated/infuriates me, too.

Separate but related – I have a mole on my neck. The photographers who took my senior picture edited it out and I was very upset. It’s part of me, isn’t a flaw, and if they’d asked, I would have told them no, don’t remove it from the picture.

>57 PlatinumWarlock: Hi Lavinia.

>58 The_Hibernator: Details below, Rachel.

>59 PlatinumWarlock: It seems silly, Lavinia, but for me, I guess, it’s the thickness of the material in the shorts or underwear. Too thin is underwear, and I don’t want to see it.

>60 ArlieS: Hi Arlie! Bra straps showing is always a call to the fashion police. My wedding gown had a portrait neckline and I was worried that a bra strap would show so I wore a strapless boned bustier, which I still have in a drawer somewhere, 32 years later. And yes, yay for Linda. She’s a keeper.

>61 streamsong: I’ll have to ask Karen about the pants under dresses in Montana. Pants suits were polyester, mostly, and I wear as little polyester as I can. I didn’t know camel toe was a thing, but being short-waisted I remember loads of pants showing mine unintentionally over the years. Yuck is right.

I never thought about cutout shoulders benefiting someone for coverup reasons, so will reset my mindset. Thank you.

Wordle in 4 is always good. Congrats.

>62 LizzieD: Men always get the breaks when it comes to earning money. I never earned the same as or more than a man except my last role in my last job. My IT salary was way more than the Master Scheduler salary range, but they wanted me for it and even gave me 4% to change jobs.

I guess dress codes need to indicate that going commando is not acceptable until college? *smile*

>63 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita, and Happy Thursday on Friday. I’m sorry you clashed with your mother about what to wear to school. My mom complained if I left the house with my skirt rolled up to make it shorter, so I simply did that after I left the house. They complained when I ironed a US flag decal onto the back of a Sears work shirt but didn’t confiscate it. I honestly think they stopped caring by the time I was in high school.

>65 SilverWolf28: Hi Silver, and thank you!

Wordle 769 4/6* adieu, spoke, poesy, ethos


The massage was probably the best one I've gotten. She asked me what I specifically wanted working on, whether I wanted light/medium/heavy pressure, and if I liked essential oils. She worked more on my upper back, which surprised me, but of course she found tightness and relieved it. When she was done with my back she put a hot cloth on it while she worked on my legs and neck. After I turned over and she finished my feet, she put hot booties on them. I left refreshed, relaxed, and in less pain ever since. I'll go back in 2 weeks. After that I ran a few errands before coming home.

Yesterday was an irritating errand to go get remeasured for the JAS SPS Knee. 84 miles round trip for 10 minutes with the DME department. I used the treadmill 25 minutes before coming home.

Today is the treadmill and picking up a prescription for Meloxicam for Inara from the vet.

Jul 28, 2023, 8:59 am

Hi Karen. Not sure if I ever posted this to you but I came across it again and thought it would give you a chuckle:


Edited: Jul 28, 2023, 9:09 am

I don't think you have shared that with me, so thank you, Shelley! Two of my favorite things, of course, kitties and Queen.

Jul 28, 2023, 9:26 am

:-) Welcome!

Edited: Jul 28, 2023, 10:10 am

Friday *smooch*

Never look up a locust if the wēta scares you....

Jul 28, 2023, 10:12 am

Good morning, Karen. Yay for the massage!!!! Boo for the 84 miles to 10 minute session ratio. I wish you a good day. It's overcast here, so it's not heating up as it might.

I lead such a sheltered life. I didn't know that camel toe was a thing. I'm not all that happy for the enlightenment.

Jul 28, 2023, 2:37 pm

>69 jessibud2: NP

>70 richardderus: Ugh to big multi-sectioned and carapaced bugs. Just, ugh. *smooch* back

>71 LizzieD: Hi Peggy! It was wonderful. The only benefit of the 84 miles round trip was more Lethal White on audio book.

Yes, don't you wish you could bleach your mind of camel toe...

We gave Inara a bath. She and Wash have more fleas than usual, and I can't find the Capstar. We'll put Frontline on them again today and then put them in the garage with the Capstar overnight tomorrow night after a new order gets here. But in the meantime she was scratching and biting too much.

Inara didn't scratch either of us although she wasn't happy. We dried her, praised her, picked another flea or two off her, and let her go outside because she was shivering and she'll be back inside sooner than more fleas finding her most likely.

Jul 28, 2023, 5:51 pm

>66 karenmarie: Happy Friday, Karen! Hurray for a great massage! Sorry you had to make such a long round trip for your JAS SPS Knee.

>67 jessibud2: That was hilarious!

>71 LizzieD: >72 karenmarie: I had never heard of camel toe before and had to look it up. I would have been happy to have remained ignorant.

Jul 28, 2023, 6:27 pm

>66 karenmarie: And here I was thinking Wētā was just the initials that the FX company compressed....

Jul 29, 2023, 9:01 am

>73 atozgrl: Hi Irene! I loved the massage so much I've booked another one for August 10th. Thanks re the second measurements trip for the JAS. Yes, ignorance was bliss. I knew what a camel toe was, just not that there was a name for it.

>74 quondame: Hi Susan! Again, ignorance is bliss...

Wordle 770 4/6* adieu, quoth, lucky, curly


Inara finally came back home about 8:30, relaxing in the mulch. I grabbed her and we lavished love upon her skinny little kitty body.

Nothing planned for today except the usual - Bill runs errands, we possibly watch a World Cup match on replay, reading and puttering.

Last night we started a new to us series that Bill found, Silent Witness. We watched S1 E1-2, which we loved. There are 26 seasons, so unless we get seriously tired, will provide lots of viewing in the evenings.

Jul 29, 2023, 9:23 am


Jul 29, 2023, 5:25 pm

Happy new thread, Karen and a belated happy birthday. The reminisces about clothing back in the day bring back memories of the time when mini skirts were in and women were not allowed to wear pants to work. It made for some awkward poses when working as a sales clerk!

Jul 30, 2023, 8:25 am

Morning, Karen. Happy Sunday. Hooray for a fellow "Bibliomaniac, bibliophile, lectiophiliac, bookworm"! Did I miss your birthday? Happy Birthday, my friend. Mine was on Tuesday. A very quiet but pleasant occasion.

We are back. We brought the camper home. We emptied it yesterday but we will make some final touches before I run it back to the storage place.

I hope you are doing dandy and thanks for keeping my thread warm while I was away. It was a great trip.

Jul 30, 2023, 8:30 am

Sunday *smooch*

Jul 30, 2023, 9:07 am

>76 richardderus: Yay for many smoochies! And the very same back to you, RD!

>77 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg! Thank you re my birthday. I can imagine the awkward poses in order to NOT show off underwear.

In 8th grade, one of our oblivious or lascivious male teachers set the classroom up as a horseshoe shape, with his desk and the board behind him closing the open end. The problem was the boys could see right up our skirts by looking across the room. And no, we didn’t think to complain although we should have.

>78 msf59: Hi Mark! Welcome back. You missed my birthday, yes, but yours was on my brother’s, I had it written down, and just didn’t post birthday wishes on your thread. Belated Happy Birthday! Glad you got the hard work done yesterday and only have small bits to do before running it back to the storage place. Do you have another trip planned yet?

I’m doing pretty well, and you’re very welcome about Thread Warming Duties. I look forward to pics and words about your trip.

>79 richardderus: *smooch* back, RD!

Wordle 771 4/6* adieu, steam, leant, bathe


Yesterday was typical - take out after getting all the trash and recyclables into Bill's SUV. Reading, puttering, and then in the evening we got the garage and book bath prepped for Flea Attack Phase II. Inara went into the Book Bath with a blanket and one of the LL Bean kitty beds, water, food, and box after being given a Capstar pill. Ditto the gingers in the garage.

This morning we brought Inara out first, immediately put Frontline on her then got Zoe all Frontlined up, too. Jenna fed them wet food. Wash was hiding in the garage, but after about 15 minutes patient searching, Jenna lured him out. He was then Frontlined, the kitty door opened, and the first round of bedding is being washed. Cat boxes, dry food, and water bowls emptied, cleaned, and refilled. I can't believe what a bad year this is for fleas.

Nothing planned for today except for perhaps watching a recorded World Cup match. The US women plan on Tuesday again.

Reading and puttering, too, with perhaps steak, fries, and salad for dinner.

Jul 30, 2023, 12:22 pm

Happy early afternoon, (((((Karen)))))! You are so good to give your kitties the opportunity to be outside since you have land for it. All that treatment and cleaning demonstrate your true devotion. Our babies stay in the house - or, rather, mostly on the porches. They don't become overwhelmed by fleas, and FrontLine does them very well. SiL's Misty was a different story, but DH has them under control now. She is in the library by herself still, but she's used to being by herself although I guess we'll have to integrate her soon. Her home porch got the afternoon sun and was not sustainable for her.

I hope to read this afternoon!

Jul 31, 2023, 7:59 am

>81 LizzieD: Hi Peggy! Happy Monday to you. I've always had indoor-outdoor kitties. I'm glad you've got Misty now even though it's under sad circumstances, and she's lucky to have you and your DH. I hope you got some reading in, too.

Wordle 772 3/6* adieu, spoke, style


Less scratching yesterday and today. Last night's dinner was the aforementioned steaks, FFs, and salad. I even had a glass of wine!

Jenna and I have hair cuts at a salon 71 miles away at 11:15. Jenna will drive. She used to go to Van Davis Aveda in Wilmington, now we're going to Van Davis Aveda in Winston-Salem. Field trip! Hair, lunch, groceries. My instructions are going to be "I am tired of scraggly old lady hair. If you can give me a cut that brings the curl back, even if it's short, that's what I want." We'll see.

Jul 31, 2023, 8:00 am

Morning, Karen. For the cooler AM, I plan on cutting the lawn and then working on cleaning the truck, inside and out. Not surprisingly, it got a bit trashed on the trip. You asked about our next trip- we are staying much closer and going to a state park, just over an hour away. 2 weeks from Friday. We have never been there.

I should also tend to my neglected feeders. Bad Mark. Have a good day.

Jul 31, 2023, 8:05 am

'Morning, Mark! I just posted on your new thread. I hope your errand day goes well. I like that you're switching trip types up.

My feeders need attention, too, but probably not this morning. Yesterday I had two Carolina Chickadees and lots of visits from Red-Bellied Woodpeckers. And, in a beautifully-timed moment, both Jenna and I saw a male hummingbird on the Begonias outside the Sunroom door.

Jul 31, 2023, 8:30 am

>82 karenmarie: I hope the new hair is photo-worthy, Horrible!


Edited: Jul 31, 2023, 8:36 am

'Morning, Rdear! I spent some time last night flagging a few selfies on my cell phone to show at my appointment. Yes, I'll probably share.

Jul 31, 2023, 9:58 am

Hooray for New Hair!!!! You and Jenna have a wonderful day! I can't wait to see the results. I am at a point that I'll be willing to take Mama for a haircut and get one too if only it will cool off even a little!

Jul 31, 2023, 4:23 pm

Happy new hair days!

Jul 31, 2023, 5:18 pm

Happy new week, Karen! I hope your haircut turns out great! It sounds like you're having a wonderful outing today.

Jul 31, 2023, 8:33 pm

Stopping by to say hi, Karen! I too have curly hair, and despite it being just shoulder length, it can often get scraggly, The curse of curly hair, I think. Some days it's great, other days I wonder, - what happened?

Aug 1, 2023, 7:20 am

Morning, Karen. Happy August! Back to Rehab duties, after taking a couple of weeks off. Update: I put in my notice there- the 15th will be my last day. I did it for a year and a half and now I want my schedule to be more flexible. Of course, I will continue to volunteer elsewhere.

I did tend to my feeders yesterday. I saw a male hummer, several chickadees, housefinch and a downy.

Aug 1, 2023, 8:10 am

>87 LizzieD: Hi Peggy! Day report below. Last good pic of my Covid hair pre knee surgery – my hair started thinning after the surgery – system shock, drugs used during surgery, who knows – and yesterday at a Mexican restaurant. Of course it’s shorter than I want, but she really needed to cut it to that length to get things going right again. I’ve gotten my curls back, and after I wash it and attempt to use a bit of the Aveda be curly curl enhancer product they sold me yesterday (1.4 oz for $14) I’ll post another.

>88 quondame: Hi Susan, and thank you.

>89 atozgrl: Thanks, Irene. We had a productive, fun, and busy day.

>90 vancouverdeb: Hi Deorah. Oh yes, with curly hair every day is an adventure. And not every adventure is happy making. *smile*

‘Morning, Mark, and happy August and happy Tuesday to you. Wow, I’ve sure lost track of time. A year and a half?! Yes, time to do something else. Thanks for the bird report. I’ve got a male Red-Bellied Woodpecker and finches. I saw a White-Breasted Nuthatch earlier. My feeders need attending.

Wordle 773 6/6* adieu, globe, pesky, fetch, teeth, tenth. Whew!


The hair appointments went well. Interestingly, I got a 22-year-old lesbian with a full sleeve and tongue piercing named Bayleigh to cut my hair and Jenna got a 40-something straight man named Chris to cut her hair. (Bayleigh announced her sexual orientation by mentioning that Bayleigh styled 'her' hair.)

We went to a Mexican restaurant for lunch and I had chips/salsa and two wonderful chicken tacos - the meat was barely flavored, which means minimal salt, and I indulged with the cheese and added salsa. Jenna got fish tacos, which looked wonderful. On the way home we stopped at the grocery store and did a full-on shopping trip. Interestingly, although I couldn't find German Chocolate while looking before my birthday and had to order on Amazon, this store has it, same chain, just not the store I usually shop at, so I bought one bar.

Home, relax, etc. Talked with Louise for a bit since she got home on Sunday. I'll talk with her later today and perhaps visit her tomorrow for a good catch up.

This morning is book sorting, then brekkie/lunch. Once home, Jenna and I are going to make a banana cream pie because I put up 2 pie crusts at Thanksgiving, to be used sometime in the future, and the future is now. But if 7 months is too long, then I need to know before making Jenna's Birthday Pumpkin Pie so I can make fresh crusts. 'Tis always something, but banana cream pie, if successful, will be excellent and this will then become a Pie Week.

Aug 1, 2023, 9:06 am

>92 karenmarie: Bet your fellow book-fondlers will like the new 'do. You look ten years younger.

Happy Tuesday! *smooch*

Aug 1, 2023, 6:23 pm

Oooh. I love Mexican sounds like a lovely time.

Aug 1, 2023, 6:36 pm

>92 karenmarie: Your new hairdo looks very good on you Karen! Nice curls! And a nice shopping day. Chocolate!

Aug 1, 2023, 8:33 pm

>92 karenmarie: Oh wow! What a great haircut. You were brave cutting so much of it off at once. It must feel fantastic for the summer!

Aug 1, 2023, 9:31 pm

>92 karenmarie: Looking good!

Aug 1, 2023, 11:40 pm

I LOVE THE HAIR!!!!!!!!! YOU look great!

Aug 2, 2023, 1:37 am

Your hair looks great, Karen! I use Moroccanoil Curl Definer for my hair, after trying nearly everything on the market over the years. I did try Aveeda Be Curly for my hair( along with so many others!!! ) but I found my hair got very dry quite quickly. I think for me it was the hydrolyzed wheat protein in the product that did not agree with my hair. I swear I've tried 20 products if I have tried one.

Aug 2, 2023, 6:52 am

Karen, your hair looks fabulous. It frames your face beautifully. I am envious of your curls (my hair is stick-straight). I hope the product helps with styling.

Aug 2, 2023, 7:31 am

>93 richardderus: Hiya, RD! Happy Tuesday and now happy Wednesday to you, too. Thank you re the new do.

>94 The_Hibernator: Hi Rachel. I rarely eat out, and Mexican absolutely hit the spot.

>95 EllaTim: Hi Ella! Thank you. We had a very good time, and I was stunned to get the package of German Chocolate. Now I’ll need to make another German Chocolate Cake – perhaps September.

>96 figsfromthistle: Hi Anita. Thank you. I admit that having it mostly off my neck is great, plus when I do make a messy bun out of it it’s looking more interesting. I had to do something – hence the ‘bravery’ – and it’s a very good cut. Even frizzed out the next morning it looks reasonable.

>97 quondame: Thanks, Susan!

>98 LizzieD: Thank you, Peggy!

>99 vancouverdeb: Wow, Deborah, thank you! I just checked out their products and splurged on the shampoo and leave-in conditioner and a small tube of the Curl Definer. I was just getting ready to buy more shampoo/conditioner, so perfect timing and I can test Aveda vs. Moroccanoil curl definer.

>100 lauralkeet: Hi Laura, and thank you. My sister's hair is 'stick straight' and she's spent a lifetime on perms, styling, blow drying, and etc. I know I'm fortunate with the curls, although it took me until my early 20s to really appreciate them AND the color - which at the time was bright strawberry blonde.

Wordle 774 4/6* adieu, sleep, fever, beget


Yesterday was busy with book sorting, brekkie out with some of the team, treadmill (30 minutes!) then home. We watched the US-Portugal game in the afternoon and although the US moved on from the Group stage by drawing with Portugal, if they play the next match against Sweden on Sunday like they've been playing so far, they'll be on their way home Monday morning. Just ugh. One win and two draws? Sheesh.

We also watched the England-China game because Jenna loves some of the women who play on England's team. England played brilliantly compared to the US's lackluster performance.

Today will be a bank errand and using the treadmill. Also, making a banana cream pie and the crust for Jenna's birthday pumpkin pie, which I'll make/bake tomorrow.

I need to take care of the bird feeders, read of course, and finalize and post my YTD through July stats and July Lightning Round.

And, if it works out with Louise's and my schedules, I'll go visit her for a bit. She got back from Florida on Sunday and Jenna and I took her plants back to her yesterday but only stopped for about 10 minutes.

Aug 2, 2023, 7:33 am

Morning, Karen. Happy Wednesday. Glad you had a good time on your hair appointment date. Looking good. Rehab duties went well yesterday. I will miss this staff. Meeting my birding buddies this AM, before the heat arrives.

Aug 2, 2023, 7:51 am

'Morning, Mark! Happy Wednesday to you, too. Thanks re our fun Monday. I'm glad Rehab went well, glad you're going to move on to something new after the 15th. Yay for a birding buddies adventure, hope it goes well.

I need to work on my feeders stat. Right now I've got a female Cardinal, a Carolina Chickadee, and a Downy Woodpecker, plus a couple of finches.

Aug 2, 2023, 7:52 am

YTD Statistics through July

229 books read
2 of them on my shelves before 1/1/23 and not rereads
63 books abandoned, 6755 pages abandoned, 1 audiobook, .45 hours abandoned

87.25 audiobook hours
Avg pages read per day, YTD = 277
Avg pages read per book, YTD = 256

Book of the Month: Tie: Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith
Until You by Briar Prescott

Books by Month
January - 33 e-books, 19 books abandoned for 1711 pages
February 34 e-books, 1 paper book, 1 audiobook, 6 books abandoned for 718 pages
March 18 e-books, 7 books abandoned for 443 pages, 1 audiobook abandoned for .45 hours
April 35 e-books, 9 books abandoned for 974 pages
May 32 e-books, 1 audiobook for 16 hours, 8 books abandoned for 1,112 pages
June 39 e-books, 1 audiobook for 17.5 hours, 7 books abandoned for 948 pages
July 36 e-books, 1 audiobook for 18 hours, 8 books abandoned for 849 pages

Male 11%
Female 83%
Undeclared * 4%
Non-Binary 2%
* - can't find any info anywhere

Living 100%
Dead 0%

US Born 49%
Foreign Born 29%
Undeclared * 22%
* - can't find any info anywhere

Hardcover 1%
Trade Pback 0%
Mass Market 0%
Audiobook 2%
e-Book 97%

My Library 4%
Library 0%
Kindle Unlimited 95%
Borrowed from a friend 1%

Re-read 1%
Series 64%

Fiction 99%
NonFiction 1%

Author Birth Country
Australia 8%
Canada 3%
Cuba 1%
England 12%
Ireland 1%
Philippines 1%
Portugal 1%
Scotland 1%
UK 2%
Undeclared * 22%
US 48%
* - can't find any info anywhere

Original Decade Published
2010-2019 33%
2020-2029 67%

Contemporary Fiction 97%
Crime Fiction 2%
Informational Nonfiction 1%

Acquisition/Source Date
Kindle Unlimited 216
2014 1
2015 1
2018 2
2022 2
2023 6
Borrowed 1

Average Rating
1.5 - Very Bad 2
2.0 - Bad 4
2.5 - Average 10
3.0 - Good 21
3.5 - Very Good 42
4.0 - Excellent 111
4.5 - Outstanding 39
5 - Masterpiece 0

Average Rating 3.78
Books acquired YTD 118
Books culled YTD 46

Edited: Aug 2, 2023, 8:25 am

July Lightning Round

Captive Hearts by Ali Ryecart 6/30/23 7/1/23 Kindle
This book could have been about 175-200 pages, 100 less than it was, without all the repeat scenes of emoting and abuse by Frankie, the man Billy lets ‘keep’ him in order to pay his gran’s 24/7 care facility bills. Dashiell rescues Billy from a rape situation and when Frankie asks what he can do to thank Dashiell, he asks for a job. Frankie’s a very bad man, there are crooked dealings going on in the house on top of Frankie being abusive to Billy. There’s sparkage between Dashiell and Billy which they have to keep secret. There is also an undercover sting going on in the house, and Dashiell finally figures out that he knows the agent under over… too much, too long, too drawn out. However, I liked Dashiell’s protectiveness of Billy and how good they are together, regardless of appearing to be so different. Caveat emptor re sex and physical abuse.

LOL by Lucy Lennox and Molly Maddox 7/1/23 7/2/23 Kindle
Slapstick humor, serious sparkage, and a very happy ending made this book take after its name for me. Roman, a movie star, is having a panic attack, rushes off the movie set, and dressed as a cop commandeers a horse carriage in Central Park. Scotty sees a copy and goes. Mayhem ensues, real cops arrive, and Roman gets off scot free but Scotty is fired from his job, loses his medallion, and ends up homeless and more important, barn-less for his cherished Nugget. He arrives at Roman’s NYC townhome and barges in with Nugget in tow, who patiently waits in the foyer while Roman feeds Scotty and realizes the damage he’s done. He offers to take Nugget up to a Vermont ‘cottage’ his friend Oscar is letting him escape to. Scotty takes him up on it, but being homeless with no money figures hiding with Nugget is better than being homeless in the city. Roman finds him, and the sparkage starts. Lots of folks show up, all very eccentric relatives/friends of the cottage’s owner. Eventually Scotty’s mother, a grifter, just released from prison, arrives, ready to rip Roman and Oscar off. More mayhem and sparkage ensue, and I love how Scotty controls the paparazzi to get what they need while giving Scotty and Roman their privacy. Caveat emptor re sex.

The Step Bro Situation by Jesse H Reign 7/2/23 7/3/23 Kindle
Jessie’s mother divorces Jessie’s father and takes Jessie with her to her birth country of Australia. Greg marries Luke’s mother Rachel and Jessie is at the ceremony but returns to Australia. COVID hits. Then things ease up and Jessie comes for a visit. Luke lives in the Guest House, and that’s where they have Jessie stay. Jessie does not remember the sparkage with his step brother but Luke’s been waiting for Jessie to come back for 3+ years. Jessie has serious issues with his father, and anger at the world, and I learned about Parental Alienation - Parental alienation is a theorized process through which a child becomes estranged from one parent as the result of the psychological manipulation of another parent. The child's estrangement may manifest itself as fear, disrespect or hostility toward the distant parent, and may extend to additional relatives or parties. The child's estrangement is disproportionate to any acts or conduct attributable to the alienated parent. – Wikipedia Jessie and Luke become close and sex turns to love. What I loved about this book was how Luke was patient with Jessie and overcame any and all issues that would prevent them from being together. Greg and Rachel knew all along that they’d had crushes on each other, so blended family support. Jessie eventually stands up to his mother’s manipulation and control, and Luke and Jessie get their HEA. Caveat emptor re sex.

How to Say I Do by Tal Bauer 7/3/23 7/5/23 Kindle
Oh my. Romance to the nth degree. Noël is dumped at the altar and is drunk and waiting for his flight to Cancun to celebrate his honeymoon alone and lick his wounds. Wyatt is waiting for the same flight in order to have a bit of a vacation and help make sure things are perfect for his brother’s wedding, sees Noël in dire straits, feeds him, and they sit together on the flight with Noël passed out with his feet in Wyatt’s lap. He invites Wyatt to share the limo to the resort. This is a gay-for-you trope, with Noël being dumped by a woman, and Wyatt being gay but being a mostly virgin. They have a wonderful time, serious sparkage and romance, yet Noël just knows he’s going to mess it up and likes Wyatt too much to ruin his life. Noël returns to hi high-level PR work, and needs the perfect wedding venue, and knows that Wyatt’s ranch and fledgling vineyard is it. Fast forward to lots of ups and downs and lots of emotional angst on both sides, and the HEA is absolutely perfect. Caveat emptor re sex.

Sainted by Jesse H Reign 7/5/23 7/6/23 Kindle
Saint is hired to kidnap Damon and hold him for a week until money is exchanged for his safe return. Damon’s a brat, Saint is attracted. Hijinks while waiting for the money/Damon exchange, yet Saint feels something’s not right and sure enough – it’s a bogus kidnap with murder the intent. Saint keeps Damon alive and eventually there’s the HEA. Caveat emptor re sex. Damon’s brattiness is a lot of fun.

The List by Felice Stevens 7/6/23 7/8/23 267 pages Kindle
Win bought the house next door to Eliot’s, and one night on the way home from his police detective job sees a burglar going into Eliot’s house. He follows him in, takes him down, and sees a list Eliot and his friend Spencer created for Eliot’s perfect man. Win is only out for friends with benefits, Eliot is only out for a relationship and HEA. Both have baggage but there’s just something there, and after lots of miscommunication and hurt feelings, we get the HEA. Caveat emptor re sex, of course.

Stick to the Script by Lane Hayes 7/8/23 7/8/23 Kindle
Novella wherein Jamie comes to Wyatt’s parents’ bed and breakfast to meet up with two porn stars to photograph a naughty series of scenes. A raging storm keeps them away, leaving Wyatt and Jamie stuck together for two days. They read the script to each other and act it out and there’s serious sparkage and interest. Jamie’s high maintenance and all over the place, Wyatt is older and calmer yet the sparks fly. They spend a week together and then as Jamie’s leaving we get the beginnings of their HEA. Caveat emptor sex with a bit of relatively mild kink.

The Real Baxter by Lane Hayes 7/8/23 7/9/23 Kindle
A substantial novel that takes a very high maintenance and insecure movie studio owner, Sebastian, and through a spontaneous offer of a lift to the just-fired stunt man Trent, starts a relationship that’s not a relationship and an attraction that on both sides that grows and becomes meaningful. I particularly liked Sebastian’s growth in realizing that his past relationship with ex Gray has completely morphed into best friends only, and the way his sons Charlie, 28, and Oliver, 12, are written with knowledge of boys and young men and their relationship with their father. Trent has been burned emotionally and is happy for a friends-with-benefits relationship until the PR operation of Seb’s studio makes it untenable to continue that way. A sweet and romantic and hot and sexy read. Caveat emptor re sex.

Spreadsheets by Jaclyn Quinn 7/9/23 7/9/23 Kindle
Jeremy and Griffin meet up at college, Griffin as an IT guy and Jeremy has just arrived at a thinly-disguised UNC Chapel Hill to begin his master’s degree and decides to walk on the wild side and go into a store that has handcuffs on the sign. Griffin’s there, they say hi, and that’s supposedly it. However, Jeremy’s dorm room faces onto Griffin’s bedroom somehow, and they have some hot sexy times via phone sex and watching each other. Griffin has to set Jeremy’s computer up, more sparkage and attraction and they’re a couple. The end. Caveat emptor re sex. Sweet and a short novella at 88 pages.

Baxter's Right Hand Man by Lane Hayes 7/9/23 7/10/23 Kindle
Second in The Baxter Chronicles has Pierce Allen, star of Sebastian’s Baxter movies, meeting an attractive man during a photo op, Lorenzo. Lorenzo works in a shop that provides Mr. Gowan, the elderly widowed gay man who may be Pierce’s mother’s cousin, with all sorts of antiques and boutique items. Lorenzo initially hates Pierce, but a text message invitation for albondigas soup from Lorenzo and ending up in the sheets and leads to secretly meetings as they are seriously attracted to each other and trying to hide from the paparazzi and figure out how much they care and how they can make it work. Pierce is supposed to be dating women, Pierce needs to maintain a low profile, and things are angsty. HEA, but frankly a bit forced. Caveat emptor re sex.

Up to No Good by Annabella Michaels 7/10/23 7/10/23 60 pages Kindle
Miles calls Cole names in high school, supposedly because he’s confused about his sexuality and acts like a stupid teenager. Years later when Cole returns home to live and also to be in his brother’s wedding, he’s forced to spend time with Miles, his brother’s best friend, planning the bachelor party. Kisses and grinding at a club, invitations home, the wedding, and moving in together with a proposal at the end all accomplished in 60 pages. Whew. Some people can write really good sexy times scenes, some just miss making you feel the heat. Unfortunately, Michaels just misses. I won’t read any more by her, even though that might not really be fair after only reading 60 pages. Oh well. And, of course, caveat emptor re sex.

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith 6/6/23 7/11/2023 audiobook
Third in the Cormoran Strike/Robin Ellacott series is, IMO, the most macabre of the series, with Robin receiving a severed leg at work. Strike identifies 3 men from his past who he thinks could have done this, which in his opinion is retribution to what he's done to their lives and/or who he thinks wants revenge. Tracking these men down while trying to keep Robin safe is a juggling act. In addition, a very strange condition called BIID is brought up and explored, something I really wish I didn't know about. Strike and Robin's attraction to one another continues, all the while Robin's trying to keep her marriage alive while Matthew doesn't want her to work for Strike. Glad I re-listened to it, glad I've been able to move on to the next, Lethal White.

Explicit Transactions by Hayden Hall 7/10/23 7/11/23 215 pages Kindle
Oh, how I wanted to like this book. The beginning was luscious, with things hot and steamy, then we got Feelings and Luca’s weird adopted family crime family obligation. The middle and end were sickening sweet AND weirdly bizarre as Luca is kidnapped and Austin, twink that he is, part of the rescue squad. Caveat emptor re very hot and steamy sex.

Rent Boy by Peter Styles and J.P. Oliver 7/11/23 7/12/23 Kindle
Evan is a rent boy, duh, and Jacob hires him to relieve him of his pesky V-card. Jacob keeps shying away, they both develop feelings, and eventually get their HEA. Caveat emptor re sex.

The Right Wrong Number by Katie Warren 7/12/23 7/12/23 Kindle
This book was wonderful, with the right amount of emotional truth and more than the right amount of fun. I mean, how many books have a chapter from a cat’s diary at the beginning and end? Fishsticks is the cat, unhappy after Julian’s husband James doesn’t come home. He’s been dead a year, Julian can barely get out of bed every day, but James’s best friend and Julian’s now-roommate Nora finally makes him start trying to deal with his grief. She tells him to talk to James, which is what she does. Hilariously, Julian decides to text James’ cell phone, not realizing that the number’s been used again. Liam is surprised at texts from ‘Jules’, assumes Jules is a woman because Liam’s nominally straight, and they forge a relationship via text, with a surprising sexting episode. They decide to meet after that, and Liam is blown away by the fact that Jules is a man. They decide to be friends, but Liam is curious based on his initial physical attraction to Jules – a man, to his surprise – and there are fireworks on both sides. There are a few ups and downs, Julian works through his grief although it’s always still there. Liam also gets along wonderfully with Fishsticks, a sure sign that he’s meant to be in Jules’ and Nora’s lives. Marvelous “I love you” scene, HEA, and caveat emptor re sex.

The Jerk Next Door by Mia Monroe 7/13/23 7/14/23 Kindle
Very sweet gay-for-you story of artist Reign and new neighbor straight Ace, who’s just moved to town to get a fresh start. Immediate antagonism and childish battles, then Reign needs a fake date favor to a family do. Turns out Ace’s new boss is Reign’s father. Much Reign and Ace sparkage and eventual sex, HEA. Reign’s former boyfriend gets his come-uppance when he tries to come back into Reign’s life. I liked it and finished it, but by the end there were too many coincidences and just too much everything. And really. Reign and Ace? Caveat emptor re sex.

The Easy Way by May Archer 7/14/23 7/15/23 Kindle
First of The Way Home series, finds Cam reeling from the plane crash that killed his parents and his brother’s fiancé. The pilot’s body was never found. Cort is an FBI agent, brother of the dead pilot, who starts receiving things that only his brother would know about. Cort thinks Cam’s the place to find out the truth, so meets and seduces Cam. It becomes real quickly for both of them, though, and on an isolated island looking for Cort’s brother they find out the truth behind the plane crash. Sweet yet action-filled story with a good HEA. Caveat emptor re sex.

I Do (Not) Anni Lee 7/15/23 7/15/23 Kindle
Jake is a desk clerk for a fancy hotel owned by the Craig Family and managed by Aaron Craig. Aaron tasks Jake with ‘babysitting’ his wayward brother during the stockholders meeting week. Meanwhile, Jake and Aaron both realize but don’t communicate to each other that during the previous weekend where Jake attended his sister’s wedding and Aaron attended a family meeting they drunkenly get married. In the meantime, Trevor and Jake are wildly attracted to each other. Aaron feels pressure from their father to marry a woman and do what’s expected to continue the family, whereas Trevor’s bluntly told their father he is sterile because he had a vasectomy and is gay. Jake’s trying to choose, Aaron’s conflicted, Trevor becomes more and more attracted. Almost too much ut author Lee carries it off nicely. There’s a great HEA. Caveat emptor re sex.

See Me by CeCe Bennett 7/16/23 7/17/23 Kindle
Ben is the driver for Oliver. They grew up together since Ben’s father is Oliver’s father’s driver. Ben has been in love with Oliver since he started driving for him 4 years ago. There’s a lot to unpack in this novella, but it turns out that Oliver’s bisexual and in love with Ben. Ben’s apartment gets flooded and Oliver insists that Ben move in with him temporarily, and the attraction is mutual and sparkage turns into sexy times. Oliver’s father William tries to set Oliver up with women to date and settle down, but Oliver’s been in love with Ben for 9 years, and once this is out in the open, William backs down and we get our HEA. Caveat emptor re sex.

Trained by the Boss by Charlotte Storm 7/17/23 7/18/23 Kindle
Hmm. Once I realized it was a boss/PA, dom/submissive, I wasn’t inclined to finish it. However, Aiden’s parents were trying to force him to marry a woman, didn’t know he was gay, and I wanted to see how that was going to play out once Griffin and Aiden started having their dom/sub relationship. Gay for you Aiden gets beaten up by his father, Griffin’s son betrays them both in a very public way. However, eventually we get our HEA. A tad too age gap-y and kinky for me but still. True love is true love, right? Caveat emptor re sex.

Marry Me by Mia Monroe 7/18/23 7/19/23 Kindle
Roommates Briar and Jude have a good thing going – Briar is a gay baker, Jude is a straight tattoo shop owner. They hang out and are best friends. Briar’s last relationship ended badly and Briar’s invited to a friend’s wedding where the nasty ex will be and doesn’t want to show up alone and pathetic so asks Jude to go as his fiancé. In the three months before the wedding they practice boyfriend stuff, up to and including kissing and a bit of etc. At the wedding, Briar is convinced that Jude is going to tell him they’re going back to normal, but Jude has had a life-changing realization and we get a very sweet HEA. Caveat emptor re sex.

Not So Sincerely, Yours by A.M. Johnson 7/19/23 7/20/23 Kindle
Ethan and boyfriend Chance use Anders’ bathroom for their … ah… reunion after being parted for months. Anders takes offense and hates them both for it. But then Ethan comes back home after breaking up with Chance, staying with friends Jax and Wilder and Anders, Jax’s best friend, does Jax a favor by offering Ethan a part-time office job. Sparkage, clever, LOL emails, and angst on both sides with an eventual HEA. Caveat emptor re sex.

Laws of Attraction by Peter Styles 7/20/23 7/21/23 Kindle
Ugh. I kept reading to try to figure out how the author was going to convert high school homophobic bullying Jay into a valid romantic interest for bullied in the closet Tom. Ten years later Tom gets a paralegal job at the law firm Jay’s dad cofounded. Shallow, cheap backstories… just short enough for me to finish it before abandoning it. It makes me appreciate well-written short novels. Caveat emptor re poorly written sex.

Until You by Briar Prescott 7/20/23 7/22/23 Kindle
I couldn’t get enough of this book. It started with a mystery when Jude overheard his parents saying they were going to have to move again even though they’d promised him they wouldn’t before he graduated high school. They imply that he’s adopted, so he takes a DNA test and all hell breaks loose. Fast forward 10 years. Jude is distrustful, isolated, and is only interested in hookups. He meets Blake on the roof at a party, and after his dad’s watch goes missing Blake gets in touch after finding it. Jude’s like a feral kitten – fascinated but won’t get close. Blake will only have relationships, but won’t and can’t with Jude. The feral kitten starts snuggling, figuratively speaking, and soon they’re living together and Jude’s just ready to tell Blake he loves him. Then the unthinkable occurs – betrayal – and Jude isolates again. Fortunately, there’s a wonderful HEA. The backstory on each of them is stunning and to say more would be to spoil it. Caveat emptor re sex.

My Boss With Benefits by Casey Cox 7/22/23 7/23/23 Kindle
Kyler has a panic attack based on a childhood trauma while he and his boss are returning home after a conference. They get a room at a resort instead of driving through a hurricane, but there’s only one bed… you can see where this is going and that’s where it goes. Kyler loves Miles’s “hefty” self, and it's a major theme in the book. Sparkage, romance, HEA. Caveat emptor re sex.

The Long Way by May Archer 7/15/23 7/23/23 Kindle
Second in a series has Damon come back from the dead, having survived a crash that killed 3 people. Cain is the son of a U.S. Senator who was friends with 2 of the 3 people killed. Damon wants to prove that he was not negligent in the crash, he and Cain have sparkage. A tad preachy and drawn out. The Senator is a piece of work. Caveat emptor re sex.

Wrong Message, Right Valentine by Romeo Alexander 7/23/23 7/23/23 Kindle
So sweet – Sebastian and Trevor have the hots for each other, yet they are boss and employee and have never crossed the line. While finishing up a weekend’s worth of exhausting work, Trevor accidentally sends Sebastian a d*** pic and invitation that were supposed to go to a friend with benefits. Sebastian admits that he wants to take Trevor up on the invite. They do, sparkage and romance over weeks and weeks. While on a business trip with Seb’s boss and her assistant Rachel, they are discovered in a compromising position, but HEA. Caveat emptor re sex.

Right-Hand Man by T.S. Ankney 7/23/23 7/23/23 Kindle
Wildly improbably story of Eli’s first day of work and Dante, the owner of the business coming in and liking Eli’s work when his immediate boss doesn’t. Sparkage on both sides, romance, and sex. Dante makes him his assistant, then there’s the HEA. Caveat emptor re the sex, although the romance and Dante’s caring for Eli were very sweet.

Asking for a Friend by JJ Harper 7/23/23 7/24/23 Kindle
I do not get the title on this one but really loved it. Lando is a MM romance author who writes in a local coffee bistro. He and Hesketh collide and coffee goes everywhere. Lando is extremely shy, and Hesketh slowly tries to woo him with gifts of tea, a tea cup, a saucer, etc. All of them have his phone number inside the boxes, which Lando never opens. Lando wonders why Hesketh doesn’t get in touch, ditto Hesketh. They finally figure THAT one out. Lando has been hurt so many times by boyfriends leaving that it’s his hard limit, and during a planned book signing weekend Hesketh’s brother Rory, who hasn’t been in touch for 15 years, turns up. Hesketh makes a serious mistake in turning off his phone, Lando thinks he’s been ghosted. They finally come back from that, and we get a very sweet HEA. Caveat emptor re bossy bottom sex…

The Kiss of His Blade by Romeo Alexander 7/25/23 7/27/23 Kindle
I love assassin books – Tristan works for a secretive non-governmental agency and is hired to kill Dane. Dane’s the son of a US Senator, is a decorated war hero, head of a charity, and having a rough time reintegrating to civilian life after being, what Tristan eventually calls him, a jarhead (Marine). The first attempt fails because Dane is highly trained. The second attempt also fails, and Tristan’s organization has a rule that if the contract was taken out for illegitimate reasons, the contract is null and void, but the proof of innocence has to be solid. Tristan and Dane have a highly-charged attraction and sex at the end of this episode and have to escape, looking for proof. Chase scenes, confrontations with family members, sharing of history, and etc., and we get our HEA. I really loved this one a lot, including the unexpected reveal of who took out the contract. Caveat emptor re sex.

Always the Groomsman by Raleigh Ruebins 7/27/23 7/27/23 Kindle
Zane goes as a groomsman for the 10th time for his friend Colby. Sebastian is Colby’s best friend, but has never met Zane. Over the course of two weeks there’s sparkage and hurt and misunderstandings on both sides. Lots of sweetness, some heat, a nice HEA. Caveat emptor re sex.

To Love and Protect by Romeo Alexander 7/27/23 7/28/23 Kindle
Adrian is in the Witness Protection Plan and has gone through more agents than imaginable, along with escaping 3 attempts on his life during that time. He gets new agent Marcus, stuck in Pennsylvania suburbia. They drive each other crazy until they don’t, and have to escape another murder attempt. Lots of explosions, bad guys chasing them, brief respites with sex and patching each other’s injuries up… lots of fun. Eventual HEA and caveat emptor re sex.

Help Me Remember by Romeo Alexander 7/28/23 7/29/23 Kindle
Dylan shows up at a clinic in his home town, although he doesn’t know it’s his hometown because he has amnesia. He’s been shot, concussed, and otherwise injured and is recognized for former best friend and nurse Eric, who under Dylan’s insistence that he not go to a hospital, takes him home to look after him. Local gang members and eventually Russian Mafia come after them, and they go to the police, and of course there’s a bad guy embedded in the police there too, with more chasing and hiding and etc. Lots of explosions, bad guys chasing them, brief respites with sex and Eric patching Dylan up, and just like the one before this one, lots of fun. Eventual HEA and caveat emptor re sex.

Cupid Hates Me by Romeo Alexander 7/29/23 7/29/23 Kindle
Sweet novella. Brendan is a chef, Ryan is one of the paramedics called out when Brendan is stabbed in an alleyway while trying to save a boy. Ryan gives him his phone number, Brendan waits a while to call but eventually does. Three dates later, they are boyfriends. Romantic and caveat emptor re sex.

Escort by Romeo Alexander 7/29/23 7/30/23 Kindle
Max is a college student living in the family home with his sister and nephew. He is also an escort, and Jacob needs someone as a fake boyfriend to keep people off his back. He hires Max for ‘dates’ and social events that Jacob has to attend in his role as businessman and member of the Board. They immediately hit it off, and they both keep getting more and more involved although things stay official through the escort service until Max is threatened with expulsion from the college because of one Board member. Jacob and another Board member Hannah bring it to the attention of the Dean that the threat of expulsion is motivated against Jacob, and we get our HEA. Caveat emptor re sex.

The Case of the Disappearing Hero by Romeo Alexander 7/30/23 7/30/23 118 pages Kindle
Trevor is a Sheriff in a small town, who in his off hours rescues 3 girls from traffickers. Cole is the reporter Trevor invites to tell his story. Trevor is in the closet, Cole’s out. There are mysterious efforts to harm Trevor, a homophobic mother to overcome, and true love to win out. Caveat emptor re sex. Okay for a novella, but it just didn’t speak to me as much as other books by Alexander.

Aug 2, 2023, 9:47 am

>105 karenmarie: I can see Romeo Alexander will form part of my Yule gift-card spending. *sigh*

Happy Louise-visiting today, and what an excellent reading month you had!


Aug 2, 2023, 10:28 am

You are a busy woman, Karen. Enjoy every bit of it!!!! Hope you get some time with Louise.

Aug 2, 2023, 5:06 pm

Great haircut, Karen. I use a product I bought at Winners/Homesense (from the TJMax? family of stores). It's called *Honey, That's How I Roll* curl defining cream. Of course, being HomeSense, I will probably never find it again (and I've been looking!). I like it a lot.

Aug 2, 2023, 8:23 pm

>106 richardderus: Hiya, RD! I still owe you info about the Romeo Alexander books – the ones from previous months mostly!

Louise got hijacked by a friend of hers – Louise was supposed to call me when she got home from grocery shopping and I was going to visit. I didn’t hear from her, so on the way back from the treadmill I called and she said that Oomi was there visiting. Louise said to come on over if I wanted to, but I told her that I wouldn’t interrupt her catch up time with Oomi. Since tomorrow’s Jenna’s birthday, Louise and I have tentative plans for me to visit on Friday. *smooch*

>107 LizzieD: Hi Peggy! Yes, I have gotten busy again now that I’m more mobile and need to work out 3 times a week on the treadmill.

>108 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley! Good luck finding *Honey, That's How I Roll* curl defining cream – if you do, buy lots!

Aug 3, 2023, 4:25 am

Happy Thursday, Karen!

>92 karenmarie: Like all others, I love your new haircut.

>104 karenmarie: Congratulations on reaching 3 x 75!

Aug 3, 2023, 8:24 am

Morning, Karen. Sweet Thursday. Wow! You sure churn through those romance novels. It must keep you in a very comforting place. 😁

I have Trail Watch this AM. Meeting my cousin for lunch and then a volunteer dinner tonight. A busy one. I hope I can bookhorn in some reading.

Aug 3, 2023, 10:14 am

>109 karenmarie: Morning, Horrible my dear. Thursday is upon us, and with it, the news that the MegaMillions jackpot is $1.25bn...how many winners do you suspect there will be if it hits? Have to divide it up and not create a new rich person!


Aug 3, 2023, 10:31 am

>110 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita, and thank you very much. I'm still stuck on smut *smile*, love my new cut, too, and am happy for Thursday since today's Jenna's 30th birthday.

>111 msf59: 'Morning, Mark, and sweet Thursday to you, too. Yup, I'm focused on the romance. You nailed it - it's comfort. Busy day for you, have a good'un. Right now I've got 3 Finches and one male Cardinal in the Crepe Myrtle.

>112 richardderus: 'Morning, RDear. I've always said that they should create many winners of a lesser amount - we're in complete agreement.

Wordle 775 5/6* adieu, groan, arrow, stray, party


Yesterday was a bit of birthday prep, a bit of reading, and I went and used the treadmill for 30 minutes. Louise was visiting with another friend of hers yesterday, so we'll get up with each other on Friday.

Jenna's already had her scratch Buttermilk Waffle with sweet Kerrygold butter and real maple syrup and opened cards and presents.

We're going to watch the Japan-Spain match that Bill recorded however many days ago, then I'm going to make pumpkin pie for Jenna's birthday cake.

I may or may not visit threads today...

Aug 3, 2023, 12:26 pm

Wordle took me 5 today too. Great hair do before and after shots. The new shorter cut looks great!

Aug 3, 2023, 12:39 pm

>20 karenmarie: It has been a while since I checked in so I am behind the loop but I have to say "Great going" to Jenna! I sure would like to know why the other woman thinks it is any of her business as to whether Jenna has children or not?! Ridiculous. It is a personal decision - and none of her business IMHO.

Aug 3, 2023, 2:10 pm

>105 karenmarie: Okay, Horrible TVT...you're on the hook for my two early birthday presents to myself: How to Say I Do by Tal Bauer and Until You by Briar Prescott. Today's double-points day so each one netted me 18 points towards later Kindle full-price buys.

...on your head be it...

Aug 3, 2023, 3:46 pm

>113 karenmarie: Happy birthday to Jenna!

Aug 3, 2023, 6:02 pm

>113 karenmarie: Happy 30th to Jenna!

I totally enjoy my own live in 30 yr daughter so can well imagine your joy!

Aug 3, 2023, 10:34 pm

Here's the next readathon: https://www.librarything.com/topic/352748

Aug 4, 2023, 6:02 am

>114 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg. I still love playing Wordle every day, and thanks re my haircut.

>115 alcottacre: Hi Stasia! Glad to see you here. What surprised me was that she just couldn’t stand someone not wanting children and attacking and judging Jenna so cruelly.

>116 richardderus: Oooh, I hope you like them. Tal Bauer has written quite a few I’ve liked:
Never Stay Gone
Secret Service
The Murder Between Us
Hell and Gone
His First Time
How to Say I Do
and I’ve read and liked these by Briar Prescott:
The Happy List
The Dating Experiment
The Inconvenient Love
Until You
>117 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita, and thank you. I’ll be sure to tell Jenna for you.

>118 quondame: Hi Susan! Thank you re Jenna. I’ll pass on the birthday greetings. Our young women are wonderful to have at home, aren’t they?

>119 SilverWolf28: Hi Silver, and thank you.

Wordle 776 4/6* adieu, prank, swarm, chart


Well, here I am, up at a ridiculous hour. Back pain and Si joint pain from doing so much yesterday made for a rough night. Fortunately, there's coffee, LT, and early morning reading!

Yesterday turned out to be a very good day for Miss Jenna. What's the saying? You're only as happy as your unhappiest child? I only have the one, and since she's a mommy's girl and we're extremely close, I feel angsty when things are rocky in Jenna's world.

But yesterday she was happy and bubbly and watched two soccer matches with us - Japan vs Spain and Germany vs South Korea, each excellent in its own way. Cards and presents were appreciated. Dinner of salmon, Basmati rice, and broccoli came out well, as did the pumpkin pie. We didn't cut into the banana cream pie, so there's lots of pie for today.

I've got a meeting with the new President of the Friends this morning to go over proposed by-law changes that I brought up at the last Board meeting. I don't know how to make tracked changes in a Word file, had sent out a version with strike outs and highlighted inserts. Not exactly a Luddite, but just didn't want to devote the brain cells to learning something I may never use again. So we're meeting for coffee at a little place in town I've never been to before called Café Diem. Treadmill, and then possibly that visit with Louise.

Aug 4, 2023, 7:39 am

Morning, Karen. Happy Friday. Sorry about your rough night. Bummer. I hope you get in a nice nap or two, through the day. I am leaving shortly for Bree's. I will bring Jack back here later and we will keep him until tomorrow afternoon. I sure miss him.

Aug 4, 2023, 8:17 am

>120 karenmarie: Café Diem! That's really cute. I'd overcomplicate it by calling it "Carpe Coffea" or "Arabica" or something, which doesn't work either gramatically or as humor. I hope you and Louise get to commune today.

We want to fix things in our kids' lives, so it's maddening and stressful that we can't. Jenna's had good models for dealing with life. She's strong, she's smart, she'll do as well as her needs command and won't ever fall into the deaded Victimhood Mindset. That, my friend, is what we call a parenting home-run.

Aug 4, 2023, 8:44 am

I'm glad Jenna had a nice birthday and that there is more pie to look forward to :)

I hope you can have some downtime in between your errands today to make up for the bad night.

Aug 4, 2023, 10:16 am

Belated Happy Birthday to Jenna and belated Happy Jenna's Birthday to you!!!! I'm glad that she was happy all day and sorry that your sleep was interrupted. No return of those bad old nights, please!

Wordle in 4 for me too. And ----- Happy PieDay!

Aug 4, 2023, 11:39 pm

A belated happy birthday to Jenna! It sounds like you all had a wonderful day! I hope you got some time to rest and recover today, and that you're feeling better.

>92 karenmarie: Your haircut turned out great! Good luck with hair product testing. I hope you find the one that works best for you. I am one who had straight hair most of my life, so I have no experience with products for curly hair. In more recent years I've developed a little bit of a wave, and one of my hairdressers told me it was due to the gray hair coming in.

>92 karenmarie: >101 karenmarie: Oooh, German Chocolate! My birthday is in September! Your discussion about making a cake from scratch on an earlier thread has inspired me. I'll have to see if my store has the German Chocolate, and give it a try, making it from scratch. And maybe try your version doing it as a sheet cake instead of layers.

Have a great weekend!

Aug 5, 2023, 7:24 am

Morning, Karen. Happy Saturday. We are having a great time with Jackson. He keeps us hopping but we can never stop smiling. Our birding club has a breakfast get-together this AM. A little birding and then some eats. Always a fun group. Have a good day.

Aug 5, 2023, 9:46 am

Morning, smoochling.

Aug 5, 2023, 9:48 am

‘Morning, Mark, the next day! Hapy Saturday to you. I ended up taking a 2 hour nap from about 4-6 pm. Yay for overnight Jackson time.

>122 richardderus: Hi RD! It was a sweet little place, with fun teas and coffees and fresh baked goods. I’d just had brekkie so passed, but I’ll go soon, even if it’s just by myself to read, drink coffee, and have a sweet.

Thanks re Jenna. I’m very proud of her.

>123 katiekrug: Hi Katie! I’m having a piece of Banana Cream Pie with coffee even as I type this. Both pies came out well.

I ran all my errands at once, which is what I usually do. When I came back I puttered, read, napped, then etc.

>124 LizzieD: Hi Peggy, and thank you twice. You make me smile – on one of Jenna’s cards Bill had written
30 years old – Wow! Love, Dad

I wrote

30 years + 9 months – more Wow! Love, Mom

I was up and down last night, but ended up sleeping ‘til my alarm went off at 8:40. I’m coffeed, pied, and medded/supplemented and trying to do some more waking up.

Coffee and pie for brekkie are quite wonderful.

Today’s Wordle is in 3 because I got a lucky hit on my first word.

>125 atozgrl: Hi Irene, and yes to all.

Thanks re my haircut. I washed it yesterday and used product and like it even more. I guess some people never get silver/white/gray hair, but I think most of us do.

If you can’t find German Sweet Chocolate, I was shocked to find it at the Food Lion in Siler City even though mine in Pittsboro and a Lowe’s and a Harris Teeter did not have it. I now have one box on my shelves, and of course I’m going to have to make one before my birthday next June. Sheet cake is easier. I’d do it now even if I didn’t have to frost 1/3 of it with chocolate buttercream frosting for Bill.

Thanks re our weekend. It’s a late start for all of us so far. I hope your weekend’s a good one, too.

Wordle 777 3/6* adieu, abode, anode


Yesterday was the aforementioned meeting with Heather, a few items picked up at the grocery store, treadmill, then a visit with Louise. Her time in Florida was a combination of devastating with her SiL's death and aftermath, a few good times with her daughter, but more non-good times with her daughter.

Some mothers and daughters just do not get along. I'm fortunate that i got along with mine, even as there were issues over the years. I think Louise and Cathy have butted heads almost since Cathy came into the world.

Today will be a calmer day - errands, take out, and watching recorded first stage knockout rounds from the Women's World Cup. Not a bad way to spend the day, along with reading and a bit of puttering.

Aug 5, 2023, 10:03 am

Good morning, Karen! Glad to hear about somewhat better sleep and a good reconnecting with Louise. I'm glad she's home. I watch my cousin and her mom misunderstand each other and butt heads as a regular thing. They are very much alike, and "I am in charge here," on both sides doesn't make for an easy relationship.

Shower day, laundry day. I long to read. We've walked, and it was already heating up at 7:45.
Wordle in 3 for me too. It was a reassuring day!

Enjoy yours!

Aug 5, 2023, 12:50 pm

>128 karenmarie: I was just in the local Food Lion yesterday, picking up a few things. But I wasn't in the baking aisle. I'll have to look and see if they have the German Sweet Chocolate here. Siler City is a bit far to drive for that one item! ;-)

I'm glad you had a good visit with your friend, Louise, and sorry to hear that she's having a rough time. At least she did get a few good times with her daughter, and that's something.

It sounds like you'll be having a good day. Enjoy it, and the pie!

Aug 5, 2023, 2:53 pm

>129 LizzieD: Hi Peggy! Good afternoon. Yesterday and early morning were good. Today's been good, too.

Interesting that you watch your dear sweet mama and her cousin butt heads. My different perception of your mama comes, of course, with less than a handful of visits with a centenarian.

I hope you’ve gotten the errands done and are getting some serious reading in.

I’ve gotten trash and recyclables together, cleaned up Senior Kitty’s serious messing up of the kitty box, helping Jenna start the generator because of the 3 hour power outage, eat a good lunch while watching Japan-Norway in the knockout round, and now come back to the Sunroom to add two books to my catalog and update the tags to indicate ones I’ve loaned to Louise. Bill and Jenna shut down the generator properly.

I’ll read here in a bit after filling/refilling the birdfeeders. No cooking for dinner planned since take out was quite filling for all of us.

>130 atozgrl: I hope you can find German Sweet Chocolate at one of the many grocery stores near you, Irene.

Louise is somewhat high maintenance, but I dearly love her. I provide broad shoulders sometimes, other times we talk about birds and books.

My day is good so far.

Aug 5, 2023, 5:59 pm

Hi Karen my dear, hope all is well with you, Bill, Jenna, Inara, Zoe and Wash, we are both well after our holiday. A belated Happy 30th Birthday to Jenna, hope she had a really lovely day.

Sending love and hugs to you all and Felix sends kitty skritches, from both of us and Felix, my very dear friend.

Aug 5, 2023, 6:28 pm

>128 karenmarie: an excellent second word choice there...only could have been topped by ANODE ;)

(I lucked out on the holly, folly, jolly debacle that was a few weeks ago now, and lost my streak).

>104 karenmarie: so many of your recent books were published so recently! I think a lot of mine might be older, possibly as I like to buy second hand. I hardly ever read a 2020+ book.

Aug 5, 2023, 8:22 pm

>132 johnsimpson: Hi John! Yes, we're doing pretty well, all things considered. I'm glad you're well after your holiday. I'll tell Jenna about your birthday greetings. She did have a lovely day, as did we all.

Sending love and hugs to you and Karen, and thank Felix for his kitty skritches. Sending them back to your dear kitty boy, too.

>133 LovingLit: Hi Megan, and thanks re my second word.

I'm reading Kindle Unlimited MM gay romances right now, hence the recent years published for most of them. I am unapologetic and even though I'm getting books as presents and buying them for myself, I'm rather addicted right now. I do need to start Lessons in Chemistry very soon because it's my book for Real Life Book Club here at the house on the 13th.

Well, we watched both World Cup knockout rounds today. Fun stuff. Netherlands plays at 10 p.m. tonight but we won't watch, and we'll be very careful to NOT see the results of the US Sweden match before watching the replay after we're up and coffeed and fed. Bill and Jenna will probably watch the Netherlands match some time tomorrow, I might watch it.

Aug 6, 2023, 6:45 am

Wordle 778 4/6* adieu, color, golly, polyp


We'll watch soccer most of the morning after Bill and Jenna get up. So far so good - I don't know the result of either match although the US might still be playing Sweden.

Other than that, a bit of puttering. I need to starting to plan the nibbles and drinks for book club this coming Sunday to discuss my choice, Lessons in Chemistry, which I actually need to start reading.

Edited: Aug 6, 2023, 8:04 am

Morning, Karen. Happy Sunday. Glad you got your nap in yesterday. Quiet around here without our Jackson. We had a great time with him and we were able to tag team enough with him, so I could bookhorn in some reading. Bree made a nice steak dinner for us last night. Matt made it too. I love it when we can all get together. Not a whole lot planned for today, which is okay with me.

Aug 6, 2023, 8:18 am

'Morning, Mark, and happy Sunday to you. I love napping. I'm glad you had a great time with him and had a great dinner with Bree/fam and Matt.

Enjoy your not a whole planned day.

My family's still sleeping, so I was able to visit a couple of threads I was seriously behind on.

Aug 6, 2023, 11:03 am

I was able to visit a couple of threads I was seriously behind on...
and happy was I when saw that you visited my thread, Karen.

I'm in a similar frame of mind, in that I have starred threads from when the year started, then fell off Talk around late winter.

I love this ~ >1 karenmarie: SUCH an excellent philosophy: The most important thing about retirement is to retire the weight of expectations, internal or external and then just pick ones we can harmonize with agreeably. (originally quoting "quondame").

I hadn't realized until you posted this, Karen, but I, too, tend to isolate when stressed. Thanks for the insight.

Your reading mojo is awesome! Mine is here and thereian... but I'm relaxing and having some 'goodreads'. I think discovering new authors and genre I hadn't expected to like (but do) is the best.

Aug 6, 2023, 12:54 pm

Hi Sandy!

You're welcome re the insight - I've known this about myself for a very long time and hope that you can incorporate this knowledge into a healthier mindset for your own sweet self.

My reading mojo is almost completely male-male romances, but I'm owning it, enjoying it, and gonna continue with it until I flame out.

I have, however, just started Lessons in Chemistry for my RL book club meeting next Sunday. I love the first sentence/paragraph:
Back in 1961, when women wore shirtwaist dresses and joined garden clubs and drove legions of children around in seatbelt-less cars without giving it a second thought; back before anyone knew there'd even be a sixties movement, much less one that its participants would spend the next sixty years chronicling; back when the big wars were over and the secret wars had just begun and people were starting to think fresh and believe everything was possible, the thirty-year-old mother of Madeline Zott rose before dawn every morning and felt certain of just one thing: her life was over.

Aug 6, 2023, 1:05 pm

>139 karenmarie: Woah. I abandoned Lessons in Chemistry, but clearly missed this gem. I resolve to borrow it again and give the novel another try.

Aug 6, 2023, 4:41 pm

How many people are in your book club? Mine has 2, and the other person is always so patient waiting for me to finish the book. She doesn't even think about starting until I'm mostly done. I read too many books at once.

Aug 6, 2023, 5:11 pm

>138 SandyAMcPherson: >139 karenmarie: Isolate when stressed seems good strategy to me.
On our way home from the Barbie expedition we sidetracked to pick up some Popeye's chicken. Silly me I thought we'd enter a parking lot and Mike would go in and pick up a carton full of strips while I read in the car, but I was dragged into a mall with a blaring soundtrack and freaked my way to an exit. Becky brought the car around to near where I was stationed and went back in to fetch Mike and the chicken and we all survived, but really I'm so used to isolation that two "events", movie and Mall are over-stimulation from my pov.

Aug 6, 2023, 7:32 pm

>140 SandyAMcPherson: 27 pages in and lovin’ it, Sandy. What made you abandon it?

>141 The_Hibernator: We have 11 people in our book club, Rachel. The most we had was 12, but one woman moved to Wyoming and we decided to not replace her since we’re all so comfortable with one another at this point. Your friend sounds patient and happy to accommodate your schedule.

>142 quondame: Yikes re the mall and a blaring soundtrack. Two events sounds like one too many for sure. I can’t remember the last time I was in a mall. 5 years ago? 10 years ago?

Well, we finally watched the US-Sweden match on replay and the US played well for the first time in the entire World Cup, except for the penalty kicks, when both Rapinoe and O’Hara, veterans, fluffed their kicks. I don’t fault Smith for fluffing hers since it’s her first World Cup and she played brilliantly the entire time. Sadness, but I’ll continue to watch. Netherlands beat South Africa decisively, but SA were fun to watch.

We’re getting some pretty serious rain although only one thunder boomer in the distance so far.

Aug 7, 2023, 1:09 am

I really liked Lessons in Chemistry when I read it and I imagine it would make for some interesting book club discussions. Enjoy the read!

Aug 7, 2023, 1:51 am

>143 karenmarie: Something of an end of an era for the American team, I feel, Karen. They left things a little too late to come to the party and it is a shame that it was Rapinoe that missed the decisive kick as it will place concentration on her rather than how good the match-up was and how well both teams played.

Leeds United its campaign to return to the Premier League yesterday coming from two goals down to draw with Cardiff. They got hit with two early sucker punches and it looked like it may not have been our day until young Summerville scored at the death to deservedly avoid defeat.

Aug 7, 2023, 7:45 am

Morning, Karen. We tried to go see Barbie yesterday afternoon and it was sold out, despite playing on 2 screens. We were bummed, so we went and had a beer.

Trail Watch duties this AM, if we don't get rained out. No drought here this summer.

A great-horned owl was hooting outside our bedroom window, around 5. It hooted for awhile too. B.A.G.

Aug 7, 2023, 8:54 am

>144 Familyhistorian: Hi Megan. I can already see how it will make for an interesting discussion. Thanks – I hope to make inroads today.

>145 PaulCranswick: I feel that the US could have gone deeper into the draw had they beat Sweden – they played beautifully for 120 minutes and except for Musovic’s brilliant goalkeeping most likely would have won in regulation time. I hope the team can regroup in the 4 years leading up to the 2027 World Cup. There will be many new faces for sure, hopefully including the coach’s.

I’m glad Leeds came back against Cardiff. 24 teams, eh? Of my 3 US players, only Adams is playing for Leeds this season, with Aaronson on loan to Union Berlin and McKennie back with his home club of Juventus. Good luck to Leeds this season!

>146 msf59: ‘Morning, Mark! Happy day after Sunday. I may be the only person not interested in seeing Barbie, but I hope you can get in soon. Yes, I hear it’s fantastic.

I hope Trail Watch duties go well, and very nice that you heard a GHO early this morning.

Wordle 779 5/6* adieu, color, groom, proof, brook. Ugh. Alphabet soup.


We watched US Sweden and Netherlands South Africa. Other than that, reading, puttering, dinner.

I have a chiropractic appointment at 11 today, so will do that and run a few errands in town.

Aug 7, 2023, 8:58 am

>147 karenmarie: Shouldn't Rapinoe be the 2027 coach now that she's not playing?

New-week orisons, Horrible me lurve. My latest read is one you deffo should avoid. The one after that, we'll see how interested you get. *smooch*

Aug 7, 2023, 10:32 am

Morning, Karen. Happy Monday and 5 for me today too. I was relieved to get it, in fact.

Hope the chiropractor leaves you feeling better. When you get home, maybe your package will be there. Did you get my email?

Off to roust Mama and get on with the day!

Aug 7, 2023, 1:53 pm

>147 karenmarie: You are not the only person not interesting in seeing Barbie. I have no interest whatsoever :)

Happy Monday!

Edited: Aug 7, 2023, 9:34 pm

Aug 7, 2023, 6:13 pm

>147 karenmarie: >150 alcottacre: >151 LizzieD: Oh you will miss out on some fun.

Aug 7, 2023, 6:45 pm

>151 LizzieD: No Barbie #4

Aug 7, 2023, 10:51 pm

>151 LizzieD: No Barbie #5.

I saw a filthy but funny joke about Barbie the other day.

Why can Barbie not get Pregnant?
Because Ken comes in another box.

Aug 8, 2023, 7:44 am

Morning, Karen. On my Trail Watch walk yesterday, I saw a peregrine falcon feasting on breakfast and a juvenile bald eagle. This was only the second time I saw a falcon in my county. My Trail Watch partner, not a birder, really enjoyed the sightings too.

I have Rehab duties today. Did I tell you, I put my notice in? Next week will be my last week. After a year and a half, time to move on. Of course, I will continue my other forest preserve duties, but at my own leisure. It was a fantastic experience though and I will treasure many fine memories.

Aug 8, 2023, 8:12 am

>148 richardderus: Hiya, RD! Being a good player doesn’t always translate to being a good coach as we all know, but I’d love to see Rapinoe try. Vlatko Andonovski looked good on paper, but he and his team did not perform well, match against Sweden the exception but for those darned penalty kicks.

Now that both Bird and Rapinoe are retired, it will be interesting to see what they do.

I’ll meander over to your thread after I post here to see what you mean. Here’s a tip for you, and it’s a given that I hate this first title of a trilogy: How To Bang a Billionaire by Alexis Hall. I also finished his Boyfriend Material and rated both 4.5 stars. I’m into the second of the trilogy, have the third queued up on the Kindle, as well as his Glitterland, which I actually purchased. You must check this author out: Alexis Hall And, how can you resist an author who, on his Amazon page, describes himself as having Bette Davis eyes? And I started going down the rabbit hole of Quinque Vult and had to stop because I just don’t have time this morning.

>149 LizzieD: Hi Peggy! Happy next day morning. And another Wordle in 5 for me today. The chiropractor always leaves me feeling better, although it rarely lasts long – 2 or 3 days at the most. Too many unhappy things going on with my right knee, lower back, and right SI joint. However, I also have a 60-minute massage on Thursday in the same office, my second, so yay for that.

I did get your email and just did the adult thing and replied…

I hope your day went well.

>150 alcottacre: Hi Stasia. Ah, from yours and the replies below, I didn’t realize that there are two serious sides to the question of Barbie. I hope your Monday went well.

>151 LizzieD:>154 PaulCranswick: See >150 alcottacre:.

>154 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul. Well, given what I’m reading these days, that makes a whole lot of sense. I don’t have time this morning, but I am going to get Barbie out, put a blouse on her with the skirt my paternal grandmother made for her, stuff it full of Kleenex to make her pregnant, and post the pic here, with her dissolute boyfriend Ken. Later today, I hope. *smile*

>155 msf59: 'Morning, Mark, and happy Tuesday to you. Yay for a raptor morning. You did mention that you put your notice in, and I'm glad you'll gain that time back - either for a new volunteering option or to give you more time with Jackson and Sue/camping.

Wordle 780 5/6* adieu, quoth, curry, bulky, bully


Yesterday was, as advertised, a visit to the chiropractor, grocery shopping, and 30 minutes on the treadmill. I've now got it down to a science by being able to read on my Kindle while pacing along. If there are folks watching the TV (sigh) or chatting (how dare they!) then I have my cell phone set up with ear buds and white noise - all I have to do is put the buds in.

Today is book sort team then brekkie/lunch, gas up the SUV for tomorrow's adventure, then home.

Tomorrow's adventure is going with Jenna and 2 book sort team members to pick up some collectible art books being donated to the Friends with a first stop at Reynolda House Museum of American Art in Winston-Salem with a personal tour by the man donating the books, who is also a docent there. Lunch, book pick up, then home. Books will be delivered to the Library another day, i think, although knowing Stephanie, she might want to get it all done tomorrow. If so, I'll let her, Kent, and Jenna do the heavy lifting and I'll hover around looking important.

Aug 8, 2023, 8:29 am

I'll stick up for poor Barbie. It was a great movie - sly and funny and well-acted.

Have a great Tuesday, Karen!

Aug 8, 2023, 11:10 am

>156 karenmarie: Enjoy the book-fondling sortie, Horrible. I am unsurprised that you loved Boyfriend Material! So did I, and I have Glitterland and Something Fabulous awaiting me on my Kindle.

I want all that guy's artbooks!

Happy lunching. *smooch*

Edited: Aug 8, 2023, 11:44 am

>75 karenmarie: Sorry to be absent so long.

We've started Silent Witness as well, although we didn't see an option to start at the very beginning. So we started with season 7. I'll look around for the earlier ones.

Aha. I went to your profile to see the new haircut. And I agree, it looks great. I too have curly hair, and a good haircut is priceless, isn't it?

Aug 8, 2023, 6:35 pm

I was mixed on the Barbie film as well; while I am glad it exists in the world, I found it unsubtle (to say the least).

Aug 8, 2023, 9:35 pm

>143 karenmarie: Re>140 SandyAMcPherson:, I'll have to borrow the book again before I can answer that!

Aug 9, 2023, 6:53 am

>157 katiekrug: Hi Katie! I’m glad you liked Barbie, and I had a pretty good Tuesday.

>158 richardderus: Hiya, RD! Book fondling went well, and yay for Alexis Hall, right? So far I haven’t been interested in MM historical fiction, but who knows – I like Alexis Hall’s writing so much I might break down with Something Fabulous. Or, is there a MM historical fiction that you'd recommend before this one?

I am tempted to open a box or two once we get home, but will resist, although one book for above-and-beyond might not be unreasonable. *smooch*

>159 ffortsa: Hi Judy! Nice to see you here. I forget what streaming service we’re watching Silent Witness on – I’ll have to ask Bill. I really love it so far, but we’re immersed with World Cup. As there are less matches as we get to the final, we’ll be able to slip some more watching in, although now we’ve got Premier League starting back up on Friday. Lots of choices.

I like my new haircut a lot, but will be happier when it’s grown out a bit. On the plus side, I definitely don’t look like a scraggly old lady. We’ve already got our next appointments scheduled for September 11th.

>160 LovingLit: Hi Megan. I don’t know the plot of Barbie, so just went to YouTube to see the trailer. It’s actually rather cute. Perhaps sometime down the road when it’s on a streaming service we have. Nothing like possibly, potentially changing your mind, right?

>161 SandyAMcPherson: I’d be interested, but don’t go out of your way, Sandy.

Wordle 781 4/6* adieu, bevel, lever, lover


Even with ten of us there, it took 'til almost 11 to get through all the books. So many children's books! Lots of good fiction, too. Lunch out was very nice. I brought home food for Jenna and Bill, and didn't get home 'til 12:30. We watched the France Morocco World Cup match on replay last night. It was interesting, and I loved seeing Nouhaila Benzina, the first hijab-wearing woman, play in World Cup history. And I'm seriously displeased with France's ban against hijab-wearing women playing in French sports, which I only heard about during the commentary in yesterday's match.

So today's the Great Art Book Acquisition and visit to Reynolda House Museum of American Art in Winston-Salem. Jenna and I, along with Steph and her significant other Kent will caravan in our 2012 Ford Escapes - how cute is that? - starting at 8 a.m. to get there by 9:30 to meet up with Rick for a special tour, then lunch, then book acquisition, then the 75-90 minute return trip.

Aug 9, 2023, 8:02 am

Morning, Karen. Happy Wednesday. Sounds like you had a good time with the book fondling. I am doing some solo birding this AM. Looking for a Little Blue Heron. A rarity here. I have seen them in other places but never in my county. Books and Juno in the PM.

I hope you can track those summer tanagers down.

Aug 9, 2023, 9:42 am

I have gotten very far behind on threads...who knows how many I have missed?

I *love* your new haircut. I got my long hair cut short a few years back and was never sorry.

Hope you are having fun on your road trip!

Aug 9, 2023, 9:43 am

Carpet happening now. V v v stressed. Later!

Aug 9, 2023, 10:21 am

>165 richardderus: Yikes!

Good morning, Karen! I'm in a tearing hurry, but wanted you to know that I don't forget you! *grin*

Wordle in 3 today with a lot of luck and an unaccustomed opening word or two.

Aug 9, 2023, 6:16 pm

Oh, art book acquisitions. If you come across any books of Vivian Maier photographs, I'd love to buy them from your library. I'm especially interesting in the ones with her color photographs. Our library branch has one that was out near the front desk, and I really loved it.

Aug 10, 2023, 3:21 am

Happy Thursday, Karen!

Sorry that the US team lost to Sweden. I always enjoyed seeing Megan Rapinoe on the field.
I hope our team gets to the next round.

Aug 10, 2023, 8:29 am

‘Morning, Mark, a day later. I pretty much always have a good time with the book fondling. Yay for the solo birding, and I hope you were successful looking for the Little Blue Heron, and that books and Juno in the PM were fun and relaxing.

>164 witchyrichy: Hi Karen, and thank you re my hair. The road trip was fun and productive, see below.

>165 richardderus: I went over to your thread, RD, and saw that you were mostly settled back in. Love the color, too, thanks for posting a pic.

>166 LizzieD: Hi Peggy, I hope your tearing hurry was in a good way. Congrats on Wordle in 3 – took me 5 today, with a little help from my spreadsheet.

>167 ffortsa: Hi Judy! Hmm… Vivian Maier photographs, I’ll keep an eye out.

>168 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita, and happy Thursday to you, too. It was a tough match, and I hope Netherlands continue to be successful.

Wordle 782 5/6* Ugh. adieu, score, beech, penny, empty


Yesterday went well. Our book donor and docent at Reynolda House, Rick, showed us around. He is my age and has lived in Winston-Salem for all except 11 years of his life, so was very knowledgeable. He treated us to lunch, because he was, as he put it, so grateful to get the books out of his apartment prior to moving to Twin Lakes in Burlington NC. His apartment is filled with books and priceless art - one of the pieces he showed me was an authenticated Ming vase, another a piece of Sevres porcelain from the 18th century. Gorgeous stuff, and the books he donated, from the two books I had Jenna bring in to peek at, have fascinating books in beautiful condition. 30 boxes of books fit beautifully into 2 2012 Ford Escape SUVs. We got home about 4 p.m.

Esmerelda and Adela will be here shortly to clean. I'm going to try to fit in the treadmill before a 1 p.m. massage.

Aug 10, 2023, 9:01 am

Happy Thursday, Karen. Glad your road trip went well yesterday!

My cleaner just arrived - cheers to clean houses :)

Aug 10, 2023, 9:07 am

Morning, Karen. Sweet Thursday. I stopped by earlier but you were still in the bed. I am taking Juno for a bird stroll a bit later. Not much else planned for the day.

I did get my Little Blue Heron yesterday. My pants and shoes were soaked as I made my way through some tall grass and reeds , to get to the pond location. Lots of other cool local residents here too, like- wood ducks, green herons, great blues and great egrets. The Little Blue is a juvenile, so it is all white. When it matures, it turns a nice shade of blue.

Aug 10, 2023, 9:16 am

>169 karenmarie: The grey is a GOOD shade of grey, indeed. I'm so grateful not to look at what my friend Sarah-Hope called "that William Morris does Brutalist" pattern anymore!

Thirty boxes of art books to fondle.


Almost all my books are back in the storage area so my room has the homey charm of a bus station. However, the strokes taught me that there's a good reason to acquiesce, because the gurney didn't fit in here. I'm lucky in so many ways that my outcome wasn't worse. I think the management was both surprised and grateful that I worked alongside the guys and pointed out the crates that should go into storage. Thank the godddesses my thearpist's efforts to teach me about the limitations of stubbornness have paid dividends. I'm listening to onr of my neighbors whose carpet is being replaced today verbally abuse the men doing all the work...I must've been the best surprise ever!


Aug 10, 2023, 5:13 pm

>169 karenmarie: Somehow I've fallen behind on your thread again, more's the pity. I envy your trip to Winston-Salem. It sounds wonderful! Getting to see all the art at your donor's apartment, a private tour of Reynolda House, and lunch! Not to mention the books. Just fabulous!

We aren't planning to go see Barbie either. It's not my husband's cup of tea. I've heard enough good about it to be convinced to go, if there were someone local to go with. More likely I might watch it on a streaming service if it shows up on one that I can get. (One of the things I hate since the pandemic is movies showing up on streaming--either directly or after being in theaters--and they're only on one streaming service that I can't get.)

I did hear that Kuwait and Lebanon are banning Barbie, so there are apparently some ideas in the movie offensive to folks in charge in those countries. Makes you want to find out what's in the movie that they don't like.

Aug 10, 2023, 10:03 pm

Here's the next readathon: https://www.librarything.com/topic/352884

Aug 11, 2023, 6:55 am

>170 katiekrug: Hi Katie, and thank you re the road trip. I am soooo happy with my cleaners. I pay them twice what I paid Alex but get two people instead of one, and yesterday they stayed 4 hours instead of the 3 hours every 2 weeks I paid Alex for. So, if they always stay ~4 hours, I get a better job for less per hour. Yay for house cleaners!

>171 msf59: ‘Morning, Mark, and happy next day. I’m glad you got your Little Blue Heron, and I had read that young’uns are white and tend to hang with egrets.

>172 richardderus: ‘Morning, RDear. I am not a fan of gray, but that seems have hints of blue, which makes it doable.

I’m very tempted to go in today because Reece has put out a Friday book sorting call. We have heavy donations (since Tuesday!) and with the art books possibly needing reboxing after evaluation, it would be better to get ahead of things before next Tuesday.

No envious I.HATE.YOUs needed!

Heh. 'Limits of stubbornness.' I can sooo relate to that. Wednesday's trip to Reynolda included a short 'Karen is feeling woozy and has to sit down while Steph and Kent continue the tour' episode. Jenna insisted on staying with me until we regrouped in time to go to lunch. Gaack to limits, enough smarts to not try to push through the wooziness. Jenna and I were rewarded with seeing a Red-Tailed Hawk swoop in and carry off a critter just outside the enclosed terrace we were sitting in. I was fine by lunch and continue fine.

Congrats on working well with the carpet guys, sorry the neighbor abused them. *smooch*

>173 atozgrl: Hi Irene – I know – people write to other people on threads and all of a sudden we're BEHIND!

We had tapered off movie theater visits well before Covid, but of course we completely stopped then. We’ve now gotten out of the habit and I don’t miss the experience. We have … 5?... streaming services and review what we need constantly in addition to Spectrum Platinum, so enough things to watch and enough patience to endure until things show up on a streaming service.

According to the LA Times, Lebanon and Kuwait have banned Barbie for 'homosexuality' and 'unacceptable behavior'.

>174 SilverWolf28: Hi Silver, and thank you!

Wordle 783 4/6* adieu, grope, cello, hello


Yesterday was the joy of a clean house, a 60-minute massage, meeting Steph and Kent at the Library where they offloaded the art books and took them in, and 30 minutes on the treadmill.

I took a nap from 6 pm to 7:30 pm, then read a bit before watching the Women's World Cup Netherlands/Spain match live at 9 pm. Bill and Jenna were cheering for Netherlands, I was neutral-ish but would have preferred Netherlands to win for them and our own dear Anita.

Today might be book sorting, will definitely be treadmilling and getting food from the new Lowes grocery store (upscale compared to our usual Food Lion) for Sunday's book club meeting here at the house.

Aug 11, 2023, 7:57 am

Morning, Karen. Happy Friday. Jackson Day. Need I say more? I hope to take him back to the park/splash pad. Tonight we have a wedding and then I was invited to Joe & Debbi Welch's anniversary party tomorrow. Busy weekend.

Aug 11, 2023, 9:42 am

>175 karenmarie: Enjoy your book-fondling today, my dear Horrible.

No matter how much I may hate you with all the book-gollum in my soul, I still want you to have good time with it.

*ow*ow*ow* My nice-person muscles are overextended. Must go rest them.

Aug 11, 2023, 10:20 am

Dear Karen, I'm thrilled that your W-S trip was so good and sorry that you overdid it at all. You're smart and learn quickly, so there.

Enjoy your day....... I'm off to gt ours going.

Aug 11, 2023, 10:53 am

>172 richardderus: I feel so sorry for both the workman and the abusive neighbour.

Meanwhile, I wish you had enough space there not to need to put books in storage.

> 173 A female with any kind of agency?

Aug 11, 2023, 7:36 pm

>176 msf59: Hi Mark! Happy end-of-Friday to you. Yay for its being a Jackson Day. Yes, busy weekend for you.

>177 richardderus: I did fondle some books today, RD. We were only there briefly, ‘til 10. I had fun.

Where’s the REAL RDear? This nice-person RD is confusing. *smooch*

>178 LizzieD: Hi Peggy! It was a good trip. I only felt bad for perhaps an hour or so.

>179 ArlieS: Hi Arlie.

We watched the replay of the Japan – Sweden World Cup match and it was a doozie.

Tomorrow morning is the first men’s Arsenal game of the new season at 7:30 a.m. Drat. I’ll be getting up to an alarm.

I worked out for 35 minutes, 5 minutes more than yesterday, and went to the pharmacy after, but didn’t go grocery shopping. I’ll go tomorrow.

In the meantime, I’ll be reading Lessons in Chemistry to try to get it read prior to the meeting on Sunday.

Aug 12, 2023, 6:19 am

Happy Saturday, Karen!

>175 karenmarie: The Women's World Cup Netherlands/Spain was here in the middle of the night, at 3 pm, so we didn't watch it live.
I think I will root for Sweden now.

>180 karenmarie: I hope you are enjoying Lessons in Chemistry

Aug 12, 2023, 7:02 am

Hi Anita, and happy Saturday to you, too.

Sweden's not a bad bet, especially with their goalkeeper. Jenna wants them to win because two of her Arsenal women, Ilestedt and Hurtig, play for Sweden.

I've read 73% of Lessons in Chemistry, and it's fantastic. Six-Thirty, Mad, Harriet, Elizabeth, Walter, etc.

Six-Thirty now knows 648 words. *smile*

Wordle 784 3/6* adieu, guilt, quick


Arsenal plays Nottingham Forest in half an hour.

Later today I absolutely must go grocery shopping for book club here tomorrow.

Jenna's going to dog sit for some friends of hers and will be leaving in an hour or so. She'll spend at least tonight there, perhaps tomorrow, too.

Aug 12, 2023, 8:21 am

Morning, Karen. Happy Saturday. Of course, I had a good time with Jack yesterday, although he had a bit of an attitude at times. We also had a good time at the wedding. Looking forward to seeing Joe and family this afternoon.

Hooray for Book Club!

Edited: Aug 12, 2023, 8:24 am

>182 karenmarie: Morning, Horrible. I've still got sore nice-person muscles so I'll be extra grouchy for a while. You've been warned.

Today's all about this story collection I'm trying to pull my thinks together about: I'm Not Going Anywhere by Rumena Bužarovska...she's really angry. It's such intense and involving writing, but she's SO. ANGRY. As always when confronted with angry art, I'm at a loss to figure out if I'm not angry enough to "get it" or if my anger is just so much more overwhelming that I can't read the artist's through it.

Enjoy book club tomorrow...order in instead of grocery shopping? *smooch*

Aug 12, 2023, 11:00 am

On the Barbie front - I was never interested in playing with Barbie dolls as a kid so my non-interest on the Barbie front is a long-lived one.

Have a wonderful weekend, Karen!

Aug 12, 2023, 5:39 pm

>183 msf59: Hi Mark, and happy Saturday to you. I'm glad your weekend's been going well, and have a wonderful time with Joe and Debi.

I've got the food and drink for book club, and just finished Lessons in Chemistry. As you know, I'm extremely stingy with 5 stars, yet this book deserves no less.

>184 richardderus: Thanks for the warning, RD. I can't think of a single time when you've taken your grouchiness out on me, so I feel okay.

I was more able to read ANGRY WRITING when younger, now I have less taste for it because I don't have as much hope for the things I'm angry about to change. Yet, having said that, I recognize much of the anger in the book I'm reviewing below, although I wrote the review without mentioning 'anger' once.

Living in the boonies it is easier to get things than figure out order in. All I have to do food-wise tomorrow is cut up a few vegetables and put things out on platters and in bowls, put out glasses and beverages, plates, napkins, and forks. No cooking, no baking. The house got cleaned Thursday and has pretty much stayed that way. Low-effort book club meeting for a high-power, masterpiece book. *smooch*

>185 alcottacre: I wanted a Barbie so bad that I spent 6 weeks of allowance on her, Stasia. I internalized some of the 'physical beauty determines value' and associated stress but was able to exorcise most of it by the time I was 18 or so. Not all, mind you, but enough to feel pretty good about myself.

Aug 12, 2023, 5:41 pm

Lessons in Chenistry by Bonnie Garmus
8/6/23 to 8/12/23

From Amazon.com:

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • GMA BOOK CLUB PICK • Meet Elizabeth Zott: “a gifted research chemist, absurdly self-assured and immune to social convention” (The Washington Post) in 1960s California whose career takes a detour when she becomes the unlikely star of a beloved TV cooking show. • APPLE TV+ SERIES COMING LATER THIS YEAR

This novel is “irresistible, satisfying and full of fuel” (The New York Times Book Review) and “witty, sometimes hilarious...the Catch-22 of early feminism” (Stephen King, via Twitter).

A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: The New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, Oprah Daily, Entertainment Weekly, Newsweek

Chemist Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing as an average woman. But it’s the early 1960s and her all-male team at Hastings Research Institute takes a very unscientific view of equality. Except for one: Calvin Evans; the lonely, brilliant, Nobel–prize nominated grudge-holder who falls in love with—of all things—her mind. True chemistry results.

But like science, life is unpredictable. Which is why a few years later Elizabeth Zott finds herself not only a single mother, but the reluctant star of America’s most beloved cooking show Supper at Six. Elizabeth’s unusual approach to cooking (“combine one tablespoon acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride”) proves revolutionary. But as her following grows, not everyone is happy. Because as it turns out, Elizabeth Zott isn’t just teaching women to cook. She’s daring them to change the status quo.

Laugh-out-loud funny, shrewdly observant, and studded with a dazzling cast of supporting characters, Lessons in Chemistry is as original and vibrant as its protagonist.

Why I wanted to read it: For my RL book club's August meeting.

I don’t always do this, but here’s the first sentence of this book:
Back in 1961, when women wore shirtwaist dresses and joined garden clubs and drove legions of children around in seatbelt-less cars without giving it a second thought; back before anyone knew there'd even be a sixties movement, much less one that its participants would spend the next sixty years chronicling; back when the big wars were over and the secret wars had just begun and people were starting to think fresh and believe everything was possible, the thirty-year-old mother of Madeline Zott rose before dawn every morning and felt certain of just one thing: her life was over.
This is a book about a chemist who fell in love with another chemist. They rowed together, loved each other, made a baby together. And then, the boy chemist died tragically and the girl chemist blamed herself. Their dog, Six-Thirty blamed himself, their daughter blamed herself.

Lots of blame going around, lots of people unhappy yet carrying on because that’s what you do.

This is a book critical of how women are treated, how girl children are treated, how some people in religious communities lie and steal and how eventually even with all the sadness that has come before ends up with happiness and family and love.

Six word review: Tragedy, humor, regret, retribution, intelligence, understanding.

Aug 13, 2023, 7:48 am

Morning, Karen. Happy Sunday. You got me with Lessons in Chemistry. Sounds great. I had a nice time at the anniversary party. The ceremony was lovely and I really enjoyed the socializing back at the Welch's house. So glad to finally see their beautiful grandchildren, Rafa & Fina.

I am going to see Oppenheimer with my son this afternoon. Have a great time at Book Club.

Aug 13, 2023, 9:20 am

>187 karenmarie: Six word review: Tragedy, humor, regret, retribution, intelligence, understanding.

Sold! This should be a terrific meeting, with so much to chew over. *smooch*

Aug 13, 2023, 1:38 pm

Wow! I'm impressed that you liked *Ls in C* so much, and I'll now consider it. More time to read! More time to read!!!!!

Enjoy your club meeting. Relax after it's over if you can.

Aug 13, 2023, 1:41 pm

>187 karenmarie: I gave Lessons in Chemistry 5 stars, too! Glad you loved it.

Karen O

Aug 13, 2023, 2:08 pm

I just bought Lessons in Chemistry for my book club this Wednesday. I was hoping against hope that a copy would come in through the library ..... but alas and alack no go, the wait list goes on for months . Ah well, supporting the local small town book store is not a bad thing.

And since writing the above paragraph, I went over to my Good Comfortable Reading Chair and read a few chapters of LIC. Fun!

I was not going to start it until I finished my current read, Harry's Trees, which is seeming more and more of a morality tale with a predictable ending. (Amazon assures me that LIC, HT and Remarkably Bright Creatures are often bought together. I am feeling cynical and considering what that means.)

Aug 14, 2023, 8:59 am

>188 msf59: Next day ‘Morning, Mark! Yay for a BB from me to you. I’m glad you had a good time at the anniversary party, hope Oppenheimer with your son is a good time, too.

>189 richardderus: Hiya, RDear. *smooch*

>190 LizzieD: Hi Peggy! I hope that you’ll more than consider it. I hope you can get more time to read with these dog days of summer, which I just confirmed that I used right:
The dog days or dog days of summer are the hot, sultry days of summer. They were historically the period following the heliacal rising of the star system Sirius, which Hellenistic astrology connected with heat, drought, sudden thunderstorms, lethargy, fever, mad dogs, and bad luck. They are now taken to be the hottest, most uncomfortable part of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. – Wikipedia
Meeting Report below. I did relax, and mostly slept well, too.

>191 klobrien2: Hi Karen! So nice to see you here. Great minds, right?

>192 streamsong: Hello Janet. Wow. Months? I just checked – our Library has 0 of 8 copies available, e-reader copies available, and one audiobook available.

Brava to your Good Comfortable Reading Chair. I hope you get sucked in as quickly as I did with LiC.

Well, if I had to choose between a book described on Amazon as:A grieving widower, a determined girl, a courageous librarian and a mysterious book come together in an uplifting tale of love, loss, friendship and redemption. and a book with two chemists who fall in love, rowing, a daughter named Mad, and a dog named Six-Thirty, I know what book I’d continue with…

Wordle 786 4/6* adieu, slant, spawn, snaky. I needed help to get to snaky with the spreadsheet of 2,309 words. Not enough coffee yet.


And just for the record, I got Wordle in 4 yesterday but didn't post. Thank goodness I noted the 4 on Peggy's thread and was able to see the answer, so as to keep my spreadsheet of Wordle Words Used accurate.

We were a small but cherce group of 5 of 11 yesterday. We had a wonderful discussion, some about the book, some about the experiences we've had, some about Life In General. Interestingly, one of the women who couldn't come to the meeting loved it BUT:
I found it engaging and entertaining, but was quite annoyed by patronizing elements which seemed to be at odds with the empowerment message. Examples include the unsympathetic female coworker being described as “wide-bottomed”, the depiction of all Elizabeth’s fans as flooding (haha) the rowing teams instead of finding their own physical fitness paths as well as their hero-worship of her, the constant references to Elizabeth’s beauty, and the jealousy of the other stereotypical female characters. However, I loved Six-Thirty!
This lead to a discussion of how over-the-top the book was and how necessary that it was over the top. It reminded me of The World According to Garp, but I didn't think of it at the time and probably wouldn't have mentioned it anyway.

Another woman, Judy, who is a good 8-10 years older than my 70 years, took a PhD in one of the sciences - not chemistry - and talked about her experiences at UNC Chapel Hill. She met, fell in love with, and married, another scientist, and was completely ignored by the social wives of the scientist husbands until they got married, at which time she started getting wives invitations. I got my own share of wives invitations when Bill was President of the Chapel Hill Kiwanis Club. Sigh.

One of the interesting things that attracted her to her husband-to-be was his divorced-with-3-children status, a plus as she didn't want children. Well, they had two anyway, so 5 total.

We also had a discussion of carbon footprint and the environment while sitting in my rather large ACd house, but I didn't take offense because I gained lots of brownie points for taking so much time between generations (!) on my father's side - Jenna when I was 40, me when my dad was 32, him when my grandmother was 39, and etc. Another woman shocked me deeply when she said that had they been given the go-ahead to foster children, she and her husband Bill would not have had children of their own. She has a 40-year-old daughter by a previous relationship - marriage? wild nights in Alaska? not sure - but has 2 just-out-of-high-school fraternal twins, a boy and a girl, too. Of the 5 of us, there are 10 bio children and 3 step children.

And we discussed renting wedding gowns instead of buying and electric cars (harrumph) and genetics and DNA matches on Ancestry and 23 and Me.

These women are fascinating.

Louise is coming over in half an hour or so so I can help her with some kind of document that has to be downloaded... something to do with the new washing machine she hates...

Jenna spent another night in Denver, NC, will probably be home today, but I'm not sure about that yet.

I have a few things on my list for today, but all can be done from the convenience of the Sunroom.

Aug 14, 2023, 9:22 am

>193 karenmarie: It sounds like a fascinating party, Horrible. That group's clearly all been drawn together because raeding draws in its own. We're not all that much like others, are we?

Safe travels for Jenna when she's on her way home. Spend a lovely day, smoochling.

Aug 14, 2023, 10:13 am

Sounds like a great book club meeting! I was sort of hoping that Jenna was there to help you clean up after them, but I hope she's having a good time.

Hooray for your own day at home! It's going to be a great day to stay in. It was already noticeably humid on our early walk although a bit of a breeze kept us pretty comfortable.

Aug 14, 2023, 1:38 pm

>194 richardderus: Hiya, RD. I think if I could have chosen the 4 people of the group to show up, it would have been this 4, although Steph, my Winston-Salem book sort team and now Board member, might have required the number to become 6 for my favorite members. We're not like non-reading people, that's for sure. Thanks re Jenna. Today's been fun so far - helping Louise, filling bird feeders, reading another good'un by Alexis Hall: Waiting for the Flood.

>195 LizzieD: Hi Peggy, and yes, it would have been helpful had Jenna been home, before and after, but I paced myself, didn't cook/bake a single thing, and Bill helped, too.

Outside's nasty. The birdfeeders are filled again, and that's the last of my going out today.

The Redbud (now changed to Redbud and Beyond) Book Club was formed in 1997, and we have chosen/read/NOT read (Covid and this year to come), 269 books.

Simply because it's in spreadsheet format and I made a version to send out to everybody that excludes my having finished it and liked/disliked it, here's the list. Mine have an asterisk after the author's name:

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
36 Views of Mount Fuji by Cathy N Davidson
Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi
Annapurna: A Woman's Place by Annette Blum
Evening Class by Maeve Binchy
Six of One by Rita Mae Brown *
The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy
Life Without Water by Nancy Peacock
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Personal History by Katharine Graham
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Timebends: A Life by Arthur Miller
Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier *
Our Guys by Bernard Lefkowitz
Scarlet Music: Hildegarde of Bingen by Joan Channeson
Heading South, Looking North by Ariel Dorfman
Lake of Darkness by Ruth Rendell
God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
The Reader by Bernhard Schlink *
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Lady Chatterly's Lover by D.H. Lawrence
Welcome to the World, Baby Girl by Fanny Flagg
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Woman: An Intimate Geography by Natalie Angier
Weight of Water by Anita Shreev
Life and Work of Barbara McKlintock by Evelyn Fox-Keller
Tis by Frank McCourt
Coming out of the Woods by Wallace Kaufman
Sexing the Cherry by Jeannette Winterson
Silk by Alessandro Barrico
The Wall by Marlen Haushofer
The Night Trilogy by Elie Weisel *
The Red Tent by Anita Diamante
The Floatplane Notebooks by Clyde Edgerton
Into Thin Air by John Krakauer
The Optimist's Daughter by Eudora Welty *
Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors by Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan
A Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman
Leave it to Me by Bharati Mukerjee
Map of the World by Jane Hamilton
The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse by Louise Erdrich
Bee Season by Myla Goldberg
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Samurai's Garden by Gayle Tsukiyama
The Salt Dancer by Ursula Hegi
The Family Tree by Sheri Tepper
Longitude by Dava Sobel *
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
The Nanny Diaries by McLaughlin & Kraus
Blessings by Anna Quindlen
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Regeneration by Pat Barker
House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas Foster
House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
On the Occasion of My Last Afternoon by Kaye Gibbons
White Man's Grave by Richard Dooling
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon
Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund
The Sunday Wife by Cassandra King
Lunch at the Picadilly by Clyde Edgerton
Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger *
Holes by Lewis Sacher
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
The #1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
The Mayor of Castorbridge by Thomas Hardy
The Sari Shop by Rupa Bajwa
Sounds of the River by Da Chen
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
I Am Charlotte Simmons by Thomas Wolfe
Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi *
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
Goodnight, Mr. Tom by Michelle Magorian
The Book Seller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Anne Dillard
Blood Done Sign My Name by Tim Tyson
Sleeping Arrangements by Laura Cunningham
Friedman's Fables by Edwin Friedman
Kingston by Starlight by Christian John Farley *
Wicked: Life & Times of Wicked Witch of West by Gregory McGuire
White Teeth by Zadie Smith
Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin
No more Words AND by Reeve Lindburgh
Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindburgh
Liberating Paris by Linda Bloodworth Thompson
A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka
The Proud Shoes by Pauli Murray
The Stolen Child by Keith Donahue *
Freakenomics by Steven Leavitt
Waiting by Ha Jin
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Seven Types of Ambiguity by Elliot Perlman
Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
A Boy at the Hogarth Press by Richard Kennedy
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Ann Fadiman
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls *
The Merry Wives of Windsor & Hamlet by William Shakespeare
The Far Traveler by Nancy Marie Brown
Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Pretty Little Mistakes by Heather Mcelhatton
The Quiet American by Graham Greene
Independent People by Halldor Laxness
Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart by Gordon Livingston
The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
My Own Country by Abraham Verghese
Unaccustomed Earth by Jumpha Lahiri
Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell
This is not Civilization by Robert Rosenberg
Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell *
The Conjurer's Bird by Martin Davies
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Transmission by Hari Kudzru
The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro *
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
Dreams of My Russian Summers by Andrei Makine
The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi Durrow
One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Lark and Termite by Jayne Anne Phillips
Carry Me Across The Water by Ethan Canin
Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud
She's Not There by Jennifer Finney Boylan *
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
The Shallows by Nicholas Carr
March by Geraldine Brooks
One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus
Mistress Shakespeare by Karen Harper
Room by Emma Donoghue
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
Lili by Annie Wang
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
Twelve by Twelve by William Powers
Truth & Beauty/Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy/Ann Patchett
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague by Geraldine Brooks
The Dry Grass of August by Anna Jean Mayhew
Then Again by Diane Keaton
The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes *
Accidental Birds of the Carolinas by Marjorie Hudson
Searoad by Ursula K. LeGuin
The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka
The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay
The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
Quartet in Autumn by Barbara Pym
Wool by Hugh Howey
Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Emotionally Weird by Kate Atkinson *
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
The Map of Love by Ahdaf Soueif
Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
Telex from Cuba by Rachel Kushner
Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh
Devil in the Grove by Gilbert King
Reading the OED by Ammon Shea
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
Cheri by Colette
The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers
Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt *
Einstein's Dreams by Alan Lightman
The All of It by Jeannette Haien
The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder
The Martian by Andy Weir
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
The 100-Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
Hector and the Search for Happiness by Francois Lelord
Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs by Heather Lende
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
Z:A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler
The Story of Land and Sea by Katy Simpson Smith
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee *
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
Travels with My Aunt by Graham Greene *
Defining the Wind by Scott Huler
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
Glory over Everything: Beyond The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume
The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
News of the World by Paulette Jiles
A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Plainsong by Kent Haruf
God's Kingdom by Howard Frank Mosher
Prayers for the Stolen by Jennifer Clement
Eva Luna by Isabel Allende
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer
The Storied Life of A.J. Fickry by Gabrielle Zevin *
Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
Barracoon by Zora Neale Hurston
The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney *
Circe by Madeline Miller
Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
Educated by Tara Westover
A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline
A Woman in Jerusalem by A. B. Yehoshua
The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Stuff Matters by Mark Miodownik
Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher
Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai
Dark Corners by Ruth Rendell
Prairie Fever by Michael Parker
The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa
Department of Corruption by Harold W.J. Hempstead
Mrs. Caliban by Rachel Ingalls *
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
Less by Andrew Sean Greer
The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Adults by Caroline Hulse
The Sentence by Louise Erdrich
When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors
Less by Andrew Sean Greer
The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
The Book of Disappearance by Ibtisam Azem *
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont
The Boy in the Field by Margot Livesey

The new book club year, 2023-2024:
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus *
Indigo Field by Marjorie Hudson
Shy by Max Porter
An Immense World by Ed Yong
Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
Solito by Javier Zamora
The Scapegoat by Daphne Du Maurier
The Last Ballad by Wiley Cash
Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

Aug 14, 2023, 9:53 pm

>193 karenmarie: What a fascinating group of ladies in your bookclub! Oops, I just reused the word you used for them, but they do indeed sound fascinating. It would be interesting to talk to them. I'm glad you had such a great meeting!

>196 karenmarie: The conditions outside were truly abhorrent today. It sounds like your day today was similar to mine yesterday, when I refilled all the bird feeders, as well as the birdbaths, which had gone completely dry. I came in soaked, and I wasn't outside all that long. I've been staying in as much as possible the last few days.

I'll have to take a closer look at your book club list when I have a little more time. There are a lot of books on there that are still on my TBR list. And others I'm not familiar with. I'll have to investigate. Quite a reading list!

Have a good week, and stay cool as much as possible!

Aug 15, 2023, 1:02 am

Nice to see that your book club had a lot to say about Lessons in Chemistry, Karen. I just saw an online interview of Bonnie Garmus at the Edinburgh Book Festival. It was very interesting and, apparently, they are making a series out of it. Not sure where it will be seen.

Edited: Aug 15, 2023, 2:00 am

>186 karenmarie: To be fair to a scrap of plastic, it was more a symptom than a cause of the beauty=worth burden of not being male, though a prominent one. I organized a whole outlaw bike expedition (we were forbidden to be, much less ride, outside the bounds of dessert naval base on which we lived) in search of a Barbie. Not only did I fail, I forgot my station pass, so we were found out and lost our chance to see The Story of Ruth.

Oh, and Barbie and Lessons in Chemistry do have things in common....

Aug 15, 2023, 7:40 am

Morning, Karen. It has been raining here too but I did get the lawn mowed and the feeders filled before it started around noon yesterday. Today will be my last day at Wildlife Rehab. I sure enjoyed my time there, with the critters and some of the staff but it is time to move on. Of course, I will continue to do other volunteer duties throughout the forest preserve system. I just get to do it, when I want to.

Good luck with your weather.

Aug 15, 2023, 8:25 am

>197 atozgrl: Hi Irene. Our group is definitely diverse. Thanks re the meeting.

I think we’re supposed to be cooling a bit starting tomorrow, but it’s already 80F going to a high of 95F. Ugh.

I always start every book for Book Club, but abandon with glee. The variety of women makes for a variety of books chosen. I hope you have a good week, too, and keeping cool is the priority.

Before I forget - our next Friends of the Library book sale is September 21 - 23. I'd love to meet you, plus there will be 18000+ books, CDs, and DVDs sorted by category.

>198 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg. There are apparently quite a few interviews with Garmus out there – I need to sit down and devote a bit of time to watching/listening. I’ve loaned my hardcover to friend Louise. If they could get Six-Thirty right in a series, then they just might have something.

>199 quondame: Hi Susan. I was not much of a doll girl, and had Barbie not come along, I might have bypassed any more dolls after Betsy Wetsy. My sister had a Chatty Cathy. Sigh.

You’re right – symptom, not cause. I love your outlaw bike expedition, and I do love the occasional unintentional serendipity of topics that show up on 75er threads.

>200 msf59: ‘Morning, Mark. Happy Tuesday to you. Busy yesterday for you. Glad you’ve done such good work at Wildlife Rehab, and I’ll be interested in whether you take on another volunteer gig or devote more time to camping, your Bs, and your Jackson. Thanks re the weather. Today’s going to be nasty.

Wordle 787 3/6* adieu, video, index


Yesterday was some time with Louise - making copies of documents and receipts, helping her figure out what to send where and etc., then she took the 4 boxes of Mason and Ball jars that I'll never use again to her landscape guy Vinston for his wife to use. I told Vinston I'd give him the jars if I got a jar of something - peaches have been mentioned. Other than that, I read and recuperated and watched the Australia France Women's World Cup match on replay. I knew the result but not how the teams got there, Bill didn't know ahead of time. It was a stunner for sure. We're probably going to watch the other match - England/? tonight.

Jenna got home about 6:30 last night. She had a good time with her friends, but was still appalled at how they live - a dirty, messy, doggy-smelling house. She came home, immediately showered, then retreated to the Retreat. I washed her favorite blanket, which smelled Very Strongly of Dog. She was appreciative.

This morning is book sorting then the book sale planning meeting. The book sale is September 21-23.

I'm debating whether to use the treadmill today or be smart and not cram too much into one day. Wed - Fri are three perfectly good days to treadmill.

Aug 15, 2023, 8:47 am

>201 karenmarie: Have a wonderful time today, dear lady. I'm glad for Jenna that her mama knows how to pamper her after the affront to her sensibilities...a clean binky is always a good thing and getting it so as a gift of time and thoughtfulness is homecoming indeed.


Aug 15, 2023, 10:23 am

That's a fascinating list! I've favorited it for further examination.

Happy Jenna not to have to smell somebody else's dog when she went to bed last night!

I half wish that I were a better housekeeper, but I'm not. I don't think we smell, and I don't think the health department would condemn us, but that's about all I can say. I've certainly lost a lot of energy and perseverance in the past few years.....

I'm sure that you will have evaluated whether the treadmill is too much by the time the choice comes around. To overdo or to stay in for the next 3 days - that is the question.

Aug 15, 2023, 7:19 pm

>202 richardderus: Thanks, RD! Books sorted, book sale planning meeting held, lunch consumed.

Yup, her mama knows how important her favorite blanket is, especially de-doggified.


>203 LizzieD: Hi Peggy! We've read some good'uns and some stinkers, as is usual in long lists of books.

As long as your house works for you and your DH, then that's all that matters. Jenna's friends don't care, and it works for them, but Jenna cleaned houses for a living and even though there have been times when I haven't been happy with my house, the happy times seriously outweigh them.

I didn't use the treadmill today. I'll use it tomorrow and go to the pharmacy and the grocery store.

In the meantime, we just watched a replay of the Sweden-Spain Women's World Cup match - wow. Just wow.

I took this pic Sunday morning:

Aug 16, 2023, 5:05 am

Wordle 788 4/6* adieu, churn, lurch, scrub


As mentioned above, a few errands today, and reading and puttering.

Aug 16, 2023, 6:58 am

All caught up!

Glad lessons in Chemistry went over well in book club. It was an excellent read for me.

Happy mid week :)

Aug 16, 2023, 7:53 am

Morning, Karen. Happy Wednesday. The Wildlife Rehab is part of our forest preserve system, so I will continue with my other preserve volunteering duties like Trail Watch, trash-pick up and other things that pop up.

We are getting ready for another camping trip this weekend but this one is much shorter and much closer. Just over an hour away. I will go out tomorrow and Sue and Juno will join me on Friday. Sue works half a day.

Congrats on getting a nice copy of Demon Copperhead. I hope you like it, as much as I did. Joe read it quite reluctantly and ended up loving it.

Aug 16, 2023, 8:12 am

I'm looking forward to getting to Lessons in Chemistry eventually. Glad it was such a good book club discussion!

Aug 16, 2023, 9:04 am


Aug 16, 2023, 8:08 pm

>206 figsfromthistle: Hi Anita! Good to see you here. I’m glad you liked Lessons in Chemistry too. Thanks re my mid-week. So far so good – I hope you’re having a good week, too.

>207 msf59: Hi Mark! Nice to know you have other options within the same system. Ah, a short-and-sweet trip. Thanks re Demon Copperhead. It’s encouraging that Joe read it reluctantly and ended up loving it – I hope I feel the same way.

>208 katiekrug: Hi Katie! I’ll be interested in your take on it, and yes, we had lots to discuss.

>209 richardderus: Awww, RD! *smoochiesmoochsmooch* back at’cha.

I used the treadmill for 36 minutes today, picked up a prescription, and bought groceries. Busy and productive but I also finished another great book by Alexis Hall, For Real.

Edited: Aug 16, 2023, 8:14 pm

>201 karenmarie: Oooh, the Friends of the Library book sale! I remembered you had mentioned there would be one in the fall, and I had recently started wondering when that might be. I still haven't heard anything about Wake County Library resuming their sales, so I would definitely like to visit Chatham's. Looks like yours may be as big as Wake's. And right before my birthday too! {{rubbing my hands together}}

And I would very much love to meet you as well! We'll have to make plans. I don't see any conflicts on my calendar at this point.

Aug 17, 2023, 1:13 am

>203 LizzieD: I would not at all mind living in a cleaner house but am not going to get on my knees to scrub anything or sort stuff when I could be reading. And olfactory evidence of our dogs has long been a feature of our environment, but no way would I be without them.
Alas, our efforts to get people in to clean has been feeble and so far not successful. I do miss our housekeeper of 20+ years.

Aug 17, 2023, 4:32 am

Happy Thursday, Karen!

Here an other fan of Lessons in Chemistry. It was a pleasant surprise, as I expected a romance/feelgood story.

>204 karenmarie: Now looking forward to the final England-Spain. I think I prefer England in this one, we will see.

Edited: Aug 17, 2023, 7:55 am

Morning, Karen. Sweet Thursday. I led a bird walk yesterday and it was a good one too, especially for mid-August. 28 species. There were a few new birders along and they seem to have had a good time.

It will be a busy AM for me. Sue will head over to help with Jackson, before she goes to work. I hope to head out around noon. I am glad another couple will be camping alongside us and they arrive this afternoon.

Have a good weekend, my friend.

Aug 17, 2023, 9:20 am

Thursday *smooch*

Aug 17, 2023, 10:02 am

Good morning, Karen! Enjoy your day!

Aug 17, 2023, 10:06 am

>211 atozgrl: I’d love to meet you, Irene, and what better place than a book sale? And what better way to celebrate a book lover’s birthday than books? I’ll send you a private message after finishing with this post.

>212 quondame: Like you, Susan, I’m past getting on my knees to clean or scrub anything. I’ve had mixed success with cleaning people but hope that with Esmerelda and Adela I’ve found the winning combination. I’m now paying $230 every two weeks, but get 8 hours for it, and 8 GOOD hours. 2 people, 4 hours each. Would I like to pay less? Sure. Do I care at this point? No.

I can’t imagine that the olfactory evidence of your dogs is anything close to the persecution by fur/smell in Jenna’s friends’ house. Until about 10 years you could tell we had cats by the unmistakable and awful smell of the cat box, mostly but not always managed, but we’re Tidy Cat Breeze System converts and can’t say enough good about the product. The only thing I can criticize is when the kitties carry pellets outside the box. Inara has become particularly exuberant in her covering of things and Jenna and I pick up up the ‘poo-lets’ and wash our hands several times a day. Minor cavil compared to sand.

>213 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita, and happy Thursday to you. I don’t remember who got me interested in Lessons in Chemistry – it very well may have been you.

I’m looking forward to the final on Sunday, too. Jenna will definitely pull for England, I’m thinking of pulling for Spain. Either way, it will be a match up of similar styles – very aggressive and dominance for possession. I just love watching Spain’s #18 – Salma Paralluelo – but England’s goalkeeper Earps is brilliant too. Fun stuff either way.

>214 msf59: ‘Morning, Mark! Sweet Thursday to you, too. Congrats on your 28 species yesterday. I hope your camping trip goes well. Our weekend will be, happily, quiet. The only thing planned is to once again isolate the kitties overnight in the garage and use Capstar on them. We cannot seem to control the fleas this summer, even with Frontline between Capstar doses.

>215 richardderus: Thursday *smooches* back at’cha, RDear.

Wordle 789 3/6* adieu, axiom, amiss.


Today might be lunch with Rita the Librarian, will definitely be treadmill.

Aug 17, 2023, 2:57 pm

>217 karenmarie: I imagine it must be such a relief to find some good people to take cleaning off your hands. I struggle with getting my family to help.

Aug 17, 2023, 5:54 pm

Glad you had a good bookclub discussion of Lessons in Chemistry -- that's next up for mine!! I am about halfway through and really enjoying it. It was Barnes and Nobles Book of the Year. : )

Hope the new cleaners work out -- definitely spare the knees!

Wishing you more great reading.

Aug 17, 2023, 10:14 pm

Here's the next readathon: https://www.librarything.com/topic/353058

Aug 18, 2023, 8:38 am

more *smoochiesmoochsmooch*

Aug 18, 2023, 10:03 am

>218 The_Hibernator: Hi Rachel. Getting the house really under control has taken a huge load off me, for sure. I never had a house cleaner until Jenna was little and have had one off-and-on ever since. Now it’s a necessity.

Bill occasionally helped clean the house when we first married, but he never cared as much that it was clean as I did. When Jenna was growing up she had specific household tasks. However, I was always responsible for the house, as I know you are.

I also know you have a lot on your plate right now and trying to get your family to be responsible for household tasks (notice I didn’t say HELP WITH) can’t be high on the list. Hang in there, my dear.

>219 Berly: Kim! Long time no see. I think you’ll have fun with Lessons in Chemistry. I think it was an everybody’s Book of the Year… my Library has 8 copies and even our Librarian can’t get one in a timely manner.

The new cleaners are definitely working out, thanks.

Hmm. More great reading. Our next book club book is Indigo Field by Marjorie Hudson – she lives here in Chatham County and is friends with several of the women in my book club AND apparently served on the Board of the Friends of the Library.
“I grew up in the North,” Marjorie says, “but I got here as fast as I could.”

Marjorie Hudson was born in a small town in Illinois and raised in Washington, D.C., where she graduated from American University with a degree in Journalism and Women’s Studies. After serving as features editor of National Parks Magazine, she moved to rural North Carolina, working as a freelance writer with a column interviewing nature photographers and publishing articles in Garden & Gun, American Land Forum, Wildlife in North Carolina, Our State Magazine, and North Carolina Literary Review. As copyediting chief for Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, she encountered the work of contemporary Southern writers such as Jill McCorkle, Kaye Gibbons, and Clyde Edgerton for the first time. Inspired, she turned her hand to fiction writing, and her first story won a statewide award judged by Shannon Ravenel. She earned an MFA from Warren Wilson College. She lives with her husband, Sam, and feisty small terrier DJ, on a century farm in North Carolina, where she mentors writers and reads poetry to trees.
>220 SilverWolf28: Hi Silver, and thank you.

>221 richardderus: ‘Morning, RDear, and happy Friday to you. *smooch* back

Wordle 790 5/6* adieu, glare, teach, enact, exact


Yesterday was a very nice lunch with Rita, and 37 minutes on the treadmill. We had air fryer chicken and baked potatoes for dinner.

The only thing on my schedule for today is the treadmill. Good thing, because I didn't even get up 'til 9 and am way behind.

Aug 18, 2023, 12:56 pm

>222 karenmarie: ...[A]m way behind. Oh good golly! Me too. Grocery run slated to begin in a few minutes, paired with some mucking about in a couple repositories of used-but-still-goods.

Gracie is in a temporary room in Massachusetts. Got a few photos this morning. Today is her 18th birthday, and she'll be celebrating (ummm) on the practice field. She begins classes on a day and at a time that haven't been revealed to me. (I don't need to know, do I?)

I copied your book club's long list. Wow. I've read quite a few of them, but I was most surprised at how many are squirreled away in the TBR. Another list!

Have a good weekend.

Aug 18, 2023, 1:09 pm

>187 karenmarie: I loved that one too. Glad to see you enjoyed it, Karen!

>196 karenmarie: Wow! That is quite a list.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Aug 18, 2023, 11:54 pm

>222 karenmarie: publishing articles in Garden & Gun! That is an "interesting" magazine title.

It's late and I need to settle down for the night, so I don't have anything else to add right now. Wishing you a great weekend!

Edited: Aug 19, 2023, 12:55 pm

>222 karenmarie: ^^^what Irene said in >225 atozgrl: "interesting" indeed. She ceratinly worked for one of the great modern publishing houses. Lewis Nordan's home for decades and, any Southern company that publishes Wolf Whistle gets my vote.

Saturday *smooch*

ETA touchstone

Aug 19, 2023, 12:34 pm

>223 weird_O: ‘Morning Bill! Thanks for visiting. I like it – ‘used-but-still-goods’.

I always liked knowing Jenna’s schedule so I could visualize her day. One-day-late Happy Birthday to Gracie.

Yes to another list, right? I hope you have a good weekend, too.

>224 alcottacre: Hi Stasia! Thanks re the weekend, I hope yours is good, too.

>225 atozgrl: Garden & Gun is still definitely in business and describes itself as Garden and Gun magazine celebrates the modern South and features the best in Southern food, style, travel, music, art, literature, and sporting culture.. I’ve never seen a copy of it. It’s published in South Carolina.

Wishing you a great weekend, too.

>226 richardderus: Hiya, RDear! I have Nordan’s Music of the Swamp on my shelves from before I joined LT, in a currently-as-yet-to-read status.

Saturday *smooch* back at’cha

Wordle 791 5/6* adieu, moral, match, manga, magma


I putzed and read and treadmilled yesterday, making it a good day.

Today we watched the Australia-Sweden World Cup match, which Bill recorded. Bill's running errands and getting a late-lunch take out now.

My sister and her family are battening down the hatches in SoCal because of Hurricane Hillary, the first hurricane to come through SoCal in 80 years. Her daughter/family, son/family, and Laura/husband are all at risk for moderate to heavy flooding even though one lives in the mountains, one lives 55 miles east of LA, and one lives in Long Beach.

Edited: Aug 19, 2023, 2:05 pm

Hi Karen. Too much to catch up on but I did want to ask you. Somewhere up-thread, I noticed you mentioned a litter box system that I had not heard of but it intrigued me. I spent a good hour or more on the internet, checking out reviews/videos, etc. I already use the Tidy Cat litter but I think I need a change. I only have carpets on my stairs, nowhere else in the house and Owen, bless him, is very good about being clean. Theo, on the other hand, is a holy mess. He bolts out of the box and it scatters everywhere, most of it on the carpet as he races downstairs. He also often has litter still stuck on his legs and bum. For the first time ever, since having cats, I can smell it on the carpets. I am now looking into removing the carpets altogether and replacing them with the same laminate flooring I have elsewhere.

I do like the idea of the pine pellets, and the way they work and how they eliminate odour. I have to do some homework to see if I can find a sifting litter tray. Do you know, is it only available via amazon or do you think I could find it (or something comparable) elsewhere? I don't do amazon and would probably have to find someone who does who would be willing to do me a favour if I order that way.

Edited: Aug 20, 2023, 12:21 pm

Hi Shelley!

It's definitely the Tidy Cat Breeze system that I rave about.

We tried pine pellets for this system at one time, and I recall that they disintegrated and made more mess than they were worth in cost and environmental savings.

If you have any kind of super pet store like we have here in the US - Pet Smart is the one we have about 30 miles away - or even a favorite pet store that might either give good advice or actually order something for you, I'd recommend using them.

The kitties are exuberant with the pellets sometimes - we call them poolets - and we do have to pick 'em up and put 'em back in the box probably once a day - sometimes 5ish, sometimes 20-30ish. Better than sand, In Our Opinions.

Wordle 792 5/6* uncle, begun, erupt, quest

⬜⬜⬜🟨🟨 I'm so sorry that I didn't hide my Wordle answers!!!!!

Jenna and I are just waiting for Bill to wake up so that we can watch the England-Spain Women's World Cup Final. Nothing else scheduled for the day beyond that except for worrying about Hurricane Hillary and SoCal.

Edited: Aug 20, 2023, 9:49 am

Good morning, Karen. The humidity is back, and I sigh and know that it's August in SE NC. I wish you a very good day and note that I got Wordle in 3 today: Hooray! Hooray! We apparently posted at the same time, but you finished first. We're back on our see-saw in the Wordle Department.

Edited: Aug 20, 2023, 9:49 am

This user has been removed as spam.

Edited: Aug 20, 2023, 9:55 am

Hi Peggy! Happy Sunday to you.

Congrats on Wordle in 3 - as you can see, it took me 5. Yes. Back and forth we go. *smile*

It just looks yucky out there, and beyond filling the bird feeders I don't plan on being out in it. I hope you and your DH get or have gotten your walk in early.

Bill's up - time to watch England-Spain in 5 minutes.

Aug 20, 2023, 10:12 am

>229 karenmarie: Hilary is scaring a lot of people who wouldn't ordinarily think a thing about a giant rainstorm...the atmospheric rivers last year woke some folk up. The terrain of LA is perfect for creating flash floods. whee! rich white people will get a taste of the ugly reality of climate change. (Sandy was that for NYers.)

Aug 20, 2023, 10:35 am

>233 richardderus: I'm surprised to find from my news reading that they've apparently pre-declared a state of emergency. I don't recall that being done very often, but I may not have been paying attention.

I'm in California, but beyond the predicted area of effect. (If we're lucky, we'll get a very tiny amount of non-seasonal rain.) This is a big state.

Aug 20, 2023, 11:03 am

>229 karenmarie: - Thanks, Karen. I think I will head out to PetSmart later today. I made myself a little chart of what I found, where, costs, etc, and will see if they compare. If this is something only available on amazon, I doubt PetSmart would carry it but they might have something comparable. Some of the videos I watched when doing my homework yesterday said they used similar sifting trays that worked just fine.

I will also ask my pet sitter if she does amazon. If so, she would probably be willing to order it for me. I know the vet tech at my vet's office ordered a really good honeycomb mat for me. I put it under the litterbox so it comes out about 6 or 8 inches and it works very well to catch scatter. She ordered it for me from amazon and I just paid her cash when it arrived. (it kind of goes against my principle of not using amazon by just having someone else order for me, because I don't want to be supporting them, but sometimes, it's the only option. I just don't want my name or address in their database. It's like facebook, once you are in there, you can't get out and who knows where your info goes from there. Yeah, I know that can be said for many other places but still).

By the way, your Wordle words are not hidden....

Edited: Aug 20, 2023, 1:32 pm

>229 karenmarie: Since Cree has been diagnosed with diabetes, the litter box is much wetter and there is a lot more litter tracking. Ugh. He's also allergic to fragrances, so I think I'll also give the Purina system a try. It's a similar price on Chewy, although you have to spend $50 (not hard) to get free shipping.

>229 karenmarie: Here's hoping that we in western Montana get some rain from Hurricane Hillary!

Aug 21, 2023, 8:10 am

Morning, Karen. As expected, we had a good time camping. More details on my thread. Other than Jackson's Big Day tomorrow, it will be a quiet week, which is okay with me, especially with the soaring temps mid-week. I am squeezing Trail Watch in today and then books & Juno in the afternoon.

Oh yeah- I heard a GHO hooting, when I let Juno out earlier. 🦉😁

Aug 21, 2023, 9:26 am

>233 richardderus: Last night my sister just said that they had a lot of rain and that the Long Beach (CA, not NY *smile) part of the family were okay.

>234 ArlieS: Hi Arlie. Pre-emergency declarations probably freed up state and even possibly federal funds ahead of time. Yes, big state – my aunt and uncle in Aptos were thinking they’d get a bit of rain, possibly.

>235 jessibud2: Hey Shelley. The Tidy Cat Breeze System is on Amazon, but we bought our original one at PetSmart because one of their workers recommended it (thank you, anonymous PetSmart worker!), so don’t know if PetSmart still carries them. They’re definitely available on Amazon in the US.

We have one of those honeycomb mats and love it, too.

We’ll have to agree to disagree about Amazon’s issues. I use ‘em multiple times per week, saving gas, time, and frustration of not being able to get things I need. If they’ve sold my info it was a long time ago, and I haven’t seen any ads on any other website in recent years based on any of my esoteric searches. You have your prejudice against them and I completely understand it. I have prejudices against websites, too.

I’m so sorry about the Wordle words not being hidden. I’ve never done that before, and I hope I won’t do it again.

>236 streamsong: Hi Janet. Ah, poor Cree although I know you’ve gotten the insulin and etc. under control. I hope you get some rain from Hillary, too.

>237 msf59: ‘Morning, Mark! I’m glad you had a good time camping. Yay for a GHO sighting.

Wordle 793 3/6* adieu, clear, beach


Off to the Board meeting in a bit! I'll have to come back to say hi on your threads.

Aug 21, 2023, 9:54 am

>238 karenmarie:, >234 ArlieS: Cali's a big place but tropical storms are even bigger. I'm very glad nothing as horrible as the floods from the atmospheric rivers has occurred.

Happy new-week's reads, Horrible! *smooch*

Edited: Aug 21, 2023, 10:13 am

Thanks, Karen. I went to PetSmart here the other day and they no longer carry it (the gal I talked to told me they used to). So, my search continues. Do you use the litter pellets that came with the Breeze or do you use another brand? Are they pine?

No worries about our differences of opinion. I know I am in a very small minority when it comes to things like amazon, facebook, and the like. So be it. ;-)

Aug 21, 2023, 10:07 am

Good morning, (((((Karen))))). Happy board meeting! Hope you get to spend the rest of the day as you wish.

Wordle in 4 for me today. See-saw.

Aug 21, 2023, 11:23 pm

I'm finally working my way back around the threads after spending more time reading this weekend.

>227 karenmarie: Thanks for the info on Garden & Gun. I had certainly never heard of it before. Maybe I would have if I had worked in a public library. Interesting description too. I guess the guns are "sporting culture."

I hope your family in California have survived the rains/flooding/landslides!

Aug 22, 2023, 6:00 am

Happy Tuesday!

Hope all is well with you :)

Aug 22, 2023, 7:35 am

>239 richardderus: My sister’s only problem was a slightly flooded covered patio, and her daughter/wife reported no problems. Nephew/wife are in Alaska, and there was nothing being reported from Crestline.

Thanks re this week’s reads. I finished a very good book by Nicky James and have started another one by her. *smooch*

>240 jessibud2: You’re welcome, Shelley. The pine pellets I complained about above that disintegrated and got all puffy and yuck would be a disaster in this cat box system, IMO. I just looked and don’t see any non-Purina ceramic pellets for it. Amazon CA doesn’t have the box, but Walmart Canada does. Looks like they only sell the hooded box system, although the Purina website has the original system shown but with no sellers (here for the US). I don't want the hooded box system - way too bulky for my taste.

We can agree to disagree about pretty much anything, Shelley, right? *smile*

>241 LizzieD: Hi Peggy! Yay for your 4, I got it in 4 today. I had a pretty good day, see below.

>242 atozgrl: I thought that, too, guns being under “sporting culture”. I guess they want to report on more than guns, and Garden & Sporting Culture is just a bit too much. We have a friend who is a serious hunter and when deer season comes around he hunts with bow and arrow, black powder, AND rifle. We also joke that he hunts via road kill, because he’s been known to have a friend call when hitting or seeing a deer hit, and if right away, Carl will go get it.

Fam’s fine as reported above. Thank you for asking.

>243 figsfromthistle: Hi Anita, and thank you. Yes, things are pretty well. This is turning out to be another busy week, but Thursday and Friday will only be treadmill and one of them a grocery shopping day.

Wordle 794 4/6* adieu, tripe, spine, spice


Yesterday was productive. I'm very happy with the new Friends President, and I recruited someone in March who's turning out to be a fantastic person and valuable asset as an At Large Member. I also recruited a woman who, after months of dithering and just doing publicity directly for the Book Sale Team has now officially agreed to join the Board. This is important because Publicity is a By-Laws mandated committee, so she should be directed by the Board.

After the meeting I used the Senior Center's treadmill for 36 minutes, talked with a guy (guy in this scenario is always an old man using a seated elliptical machine), stopped at the pharmacy, then got a few things at the grocery store. Bill and i watched arsenal beat Crystal Palace, 1-0 via a penalty kick. I made more of fuzzi's Golden Milk Recipe, and I have to say that I really do think it helps with inflammation. One cup warmed at night, just before I go upstairs and I'm not as stiff in the morning and don't have as much pain with my SI joint.
Golden Milk (Triple recipe) - courtesy of fuzzi via streamsong's thread:

3 C milk (recipe called for almond, fuzzi uses oat milk, as does Jenna. I use cow milk, fat free)
2 Tablespoons honey
(1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla)
4 1/2 teaspoons coconut oil
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon turmeric
3/8 teaspoon ginger (fuzzi rounds it up to 1/2)
1/4 teaspoon cloves
pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Warm slowly in a pan using a whisk to combine ingredients and keep milk from scorching. Do not boil. Will keep for three days in refrigerator.

I warm it up in the microwave for day 2 and 3.
Since the coconut oil re-solidifies, I divided it evenly among 3 coffee cups and put 2 of them in the refrigerator so I can microwave it easily each evening without having to use another container to store it in.

Today's book sorting at 9, then lunch at Virlie's and stopping off at the bank. Esmerelda and Adela, cleaning ladies extraordinaire, come at 1:30. So, another busy day.

Aug 22, 2023, 8:26 am

Morning, Karen. It is nice that I don't have to go Rehab today and my timing is good, since I hope to hang with Jack at some point, to celebrate his big day. With the intense heat arriving, I won't be hitting the trails until Friday. Should get in some quality reading.

Good luck today, with the book handling.

Aug 22, 2023, 9:17 am

Agreeing to disagree is the sure sign of civilized folks, right? :-)

I have narrowed down my litter box choices and have to wait till Friday when one place I went to will be receiving the one they suggested. It's called the Moderna Lift to Sift system: https://www.petonly.ca/moderna-lift-to-sift-cat-open-litter-box

Then will come the biggest hurdle: transitioning the cats from the current setup to the new one. The main reason I wanted to switch to pellets is to prevent the clay littler from sticking to Theo's legs and scattering everywhere as he bolts the box. We shall see... fingers crossed. Do you have just the one box for all 3 of your cats?

Aug 22, 2023, 10:12 am

Good morning, busy Karen! 35 minutes on a treadmill sounds close to Olympic status to me. (In my 40s I did Canadian Air Force exercises and worked to 1 level below Olympic challenge for my age.)

I've merely skimmed the Garden and Sporting Culture talk, but it reminded me of a favorite local hand-lettered sign from years past: TV Repair and Live Bait. You're welcome.

Wordle in 5 for me today; could have been 4, but I was too slow in the brain.

Aug 22, 2023, 10:51 am

>238 karenmarie: Amazon lost most of my business to what, in retrospect, was probably A/B testing, rather than a longer term change.

One day when I searched for books by author's name, most of my results were in the same genre, but otherwise not associated with the prolific author I searched for. About half of the blatantly incorrect results were labelled "sponsored"; the others were not.

The same thing happened often enough for me to conclude this was intentional, rather than a fluke. After that, on the rare occasions when I bought from Amazon, I found the product via google search.

But since I value my time, my last choice of vendor would be one with an intentionally broken search function. Barnes and Noble tends to have slightly higher prices for books, but their search function doesn't prioritize bad matches.

Meanwhile, google frequently found me lower cost providers of commodity goods - often major brick-and-mortar chains, not places likely to be fly-by-night scammers. Some of them even managed free delivery *faster* than Amazon.

Some years later, I discovered that amazon was no longer doing this; I could once again search for a particular book, or author, and get only appropriate results. But I'd gone from happy early adopter (of Amazon) to grudging only-when-theres-no-alternative user. Discovering that they'd fixed their broken search didn't change my new habits.

Also, while I'm slamming Amazon - do *not* buy "Amazon Basics" products. I'm 2 out of 2 on commodity products (usb keyboard, usb mouse) being defective. The second such product I bought (the mouse) lasted 5 days of flakiness before dying entirely. The keyboard lasted rather longer before becoming flaky, and stayed in that state long enough that I replaced it before it finished dying.

Aug 22, 2023, 12:16 pm

>244 karenmarie: Golden milk! Lovely stuff.

Enjoy your Virlie's run, Horrible. *smooch*

Aug 22, 2023, 10:41 pm

>244 karenmarie: "Garden & Gun" also has the advantage of being alliterative, as well as short and sweet. Your story about your friend Carl reminded me of one of Foxworthy's redneck jokes: If you think fast food is hitting a deer at 65 miles an hour, you might be a redneck.

I'm glad to hear that your family did not have much trouble from all the rains!

Thanks for posting the Golden Milk recipe, as I had not seen the original thread. I'll have to give that a try and see if it helps with the soreness in my right leg.

>248 ArlieS: My experience with non-library search engines is that most of them prefer keyword searching, and fail miserably when you want exact match searching. Amazon may be better now than it was when you ran into problems, but it still doesn't do a great job with title searching in my opinion.

Aug 22, 2023, 11:25 pm

>187 karenmarie: Wasn't Lessons in Chemistry a fun read! I'm glad to see you loved it, too.

Aug 23, 2023, 7:52 am

>245 msf59: ‘Morning, Mark. Happy Wednesday to you. I’m glad you’re not missing Rehab, bonus points for getting to hang out with Jack. I hope you also got some good reading in yesterday.

>246 jessibud2: Yes, Shelley, ATD, as Richard and I have always called it, is a sign of being civilized. I haven’t cut anybody out of my life for disagreeing with me about anything offhand that I can think of (except boyfriends who disagreed that we should break up… LOL). My sister and I didn’t speak for 3 years in the early 1980s after she said she was sorry that I was going to hell, but we kissed and made up. I always knew that situation was not a permanent breach. She just had to get her head out of where the sun don't shine, which she eventually did. In the meantime, my parents accommodated my need to not see her at holidays when we weren't speaking - 2 Thanksgivings and 2 Christmases. Mom didn't even blink an eye.

Lift to sift. I hope it works out for you. How much transitioning do Theo and Owen have to make? Is this box more constrictive with higher sides or is the sand different or … both? other?

I have two boxes. We currently keep one upstairs in the shared Karen-Jenna bathroom. It's for 16-year-old Inara because when she needs to go she Needs To Go, and we were having to wash linens a lot, if you get my drift. However, both Zoe and Wash seem to like using it too on occasion.

In normal circumstances I’d still keep the two, just both downstairs, because we only change the pads out once a week on Saturday and would have to do it more frequently with 3 kitties using only one box downstairs.

>247 LizzieD: Hi Peggy! Yes, I was a busy Karen yesterday. I ended up not using the treadmill and will not today either, details below.

I love it – TV Repair and Live Bait.

Today’s Wordle took 5. Good luck.

>248 ArlieS: Hi Arlie! I can understand why you left Amazon. I’ve noticed … interesting … search results recently from Ammie, but it’s usually books in my current genre – MM romance.

The only thing I buy on subscription NOT on Amazon is canned cat food on Chewy. I buy 3 boxes of Fancy Feast every … whatever… weeks and since it’s more than $49, I get free shipping. And they always deliver within 2 days.

I agree about Amazon Basics products, but my bad experience was with whole bean medium roast coffee in 2021 with AmazonFresh. What a disaster. Lots of bean pieces, and even though the best-used-by-dates were reasonable, the coffee frequently tasted stale. I am currently buying ‘Real Good Coffee Company - Whole Bean Coffee - Donut Shop Medium Roast Coffee Beans - 2 Pound Bag - 100% Whole Arabica Beans’. They are not cheap, coffee is not cheap these days that I can find, yet Amazon has never been out even when Real Good Coffee Company has been. I think RGCC prioritizes selling to Amazon over their own website customers, because Bill originally found these beans and set up a subscription there. When they started offering it on Amazon, all of a sudden they were out on their own website. I buy 2 2-lb bags from Amazon on Subscribe & Save and about every 3rd time have to buy an additional 2-lb bag between orders because of our consumption pattern.

>249 richardderus: I drank it again last night, RD, and was once again noticeably less stiff than two nights ago when I didn’t drink it. Details about book sorting and Virlie’s below.

>250 atozgrl: Hi Irene! It is alliterative. I have and love You Might Be a Redneck, having acquired it before I joined LT in Oct of 2007. It’s upstairs in the Retreat, on shelf R81. (location tags)

I’m grateful there were no Hillary problems too. Once it gets bad, it’s usually REALLY bad. Some folks east of LA apparently had/have a rough time of it, and there was some kind of landslide/boulders/rushing water issue in the mountains 40 miles away from my nephew/wife/great-niece.

I hope the Golden Milk helps you. You’re welcome – it really seems to reduce my morning stiffness, plus it seems to be a nice habit to have started. I have been sipping a cup while reading 8:30 – 9 p.m. before heading upstairs to sleep.

I haven’t had problems with Amazon title searching that I can recall, but they don’t always put the searched-for title first and thus some scrolling is involved.

>251 Copperskye: Hi Joanne! Yes, it was a stunner. My neighbor Louise has my copy, and I’m going to check in with her today. She’s started it and loved it so far, was going to recommend it to her daughter but on second thought she’d wait a while since Cathy just lost her husband to pancreatic cancer on July 9th.

Wordle 795 5/6* adieu, clone, there, verse, verve


Yesterday's book fondling sorting went well. Lots of donations, extremely good quality. No boxes of mildewed books, at least. I scored the three volumes of Schama's A History of Britain because I'm occasionally taking things and keeping track of what I have owe to be paid at the sale. I'm up to $20 so far...

Virlie's was fun. There were 8 of us. 2 of us had brekkie, the other 6 had lunch. It was a relief to just go home after instead of treadmilling or running other errands.

My house is clean again, yay. Esmerelda and Adela were here for 3 hours, so 6 hours of work.

Jenna and I will head out about 10:30 for an 11:30 appointment to get the JAS knee brace to help with the final 3-5% of extension. After we'll have lunch at Taziki's Mediterannean Cafe, and stop at Walmart, just across the road, for Tidy Cat System pellets. If they actually have what's shown on their website for the Cary location, they're significantly less expensive than Amazon, to speak a bit to Arlie above. I think I'll get 5 packages of 7-lbs each.

Aug 23, 2023, 8:08 am

Morning, Karen. Happy Wednesday. I spent a few hours yesterday afternoon visiting with birthday boy Jack and he was in a very good mood. He is starting to string a few words together and of course that brings smiles to all of us. Not much happening today, with this HEAT. More reading time with Juno.

Enjoy your AM and lunch with Jenna.

Aug 23, 2023, 8:10 am

'Morning, Mark, happy Wednesday to you, too. Yay for birthday boy Jack, and thanks re Jenna and my having an adventure.

Aug 23, 2023, 8:18 am

Hi Karen.

I currently have only one box (have always had one box for 2 cats and never had any issues with that). It's a big one, and has a cover with an entry from the top. It's great and the box itself is not my problem. Owen is the neatest of all cats I've ever had. He comes to tell me when he's been and, as long as I'm home, I go scoop. He barely makes any mess at all, to the point that I sometimes wouldn't even know he's been in if he didn't come to tell me! It's Theo who will be the one who determines if a transition is a success or not. My main reason to switch is the litter. I have been told, and am hoping, that the pellets won't make such a mess upon leaving the box and also, that they won't stick to his fur the way clay litter does. Time will tell...

Aug 23, 2023, 8:48 am

>252 karenmarie: Brace well today, dear Horrible, and keep up the inflammation fighting. No other single thing does more for chronic pain as well as overall health than reducing inflammatory action inside your entire body.

Taziki's for brunch sounds very very nice for you and Jenna to share. I'm glad the books you fondled weren't mildewy and stinky...and that Schama find arouses my basest envy. Pity the voodoo-dolly making days are behind me. *smooch*

Aug 23, 2023, 9:03 am

>255 jessibud2: Good luck with the new box, Shelley. It looks like it's still sand, though, not pellets?

>256 richardderus: Hiya, RDear. I'm going to research more methods for reducing inflammation. I have a terrible, horrific feeling that white sugar is inflammatory...

I'm glad I'm not going to get voodoo-dolled regarding the Schamas. Bullet dodged. *smooch*

Aug 23, 2023, 9:07 am

I said on Richard's thread that I'd briefly mention what Karen, friend in Montana, and I have been discussing re Christianity recently.

Her bona fides are being a 'cradle Baptist', as she puts it. My ... bona fides ... are being raised by an agnostic who didn't allow his wife/children to go to church as his wife wanted to. Sigh. So I have no experience of regular church attendance or church community.

Karen's very upset at what people who call themselves Christians are doing in the name of their religion.

I'm very upset with what the Gang of Psychos has done, starting with Ronnie Raygun, to weaponize Christianity and perpetuate the religious intolerance brought to these shores in the 1600s.

We agree that the Internet has allowed trolls of all types to more easily get together and egg one another on, gaining power and influence.

Two nights ago, Karen mentioned that she still gets the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association newsletter because her parents gave $$ to Billy Graham. She was appalled that most of the articles were about sex, not about Jesus' message.

I asked her if there are any places in the NT with words attributable to Jesus NOT in the Gospels, and she thought off the top of her head no, but I did a quick perusal of my paternal grandmother's NT just now, and I see red letter words in Acts, Corinthians II, and Revelation. Possibly more, but that's something to continue researching later.

And then she mentioned The Screwtape Letters, which I read a long time ago. She reminded me that, paraphrased, the demon Screwtape said all you have to do is get people to talk about anything but Jesus, mission accomplished. So, discussions about sex and homosexuality and etc. are good ways to not talk about Jesus' message.

Aug 23, 2023, 9:14 am

Hi Karen! We're traveling back from vacation today so I'm just starting to reconnect with the threads. I have no hope of catching up, just doing the "skippity skip," as you like to say. I love that expression!

Aug 23, 2023, 9:28 am

>257 karenmarie: - No, no, I bought a bag of pine pellets. I just haven't opened it yet because I don't yet have the new box. The store says they will get it Friday. Fingers crossed...

Aug 23, 2023, 9:34 am

>258 karenmarie: So, the point that Religion is about social control is made and understood to be made even by those inside the tent. The Screwtape Letters was highly influential on my young mind's embrace of atheism.

As for the words you're seeking, stand on the shoulders of your elders (few though they may be): The Jefferson Bible collates them all.

Aug 23, 2023, 1:05 pm

--- and for some of us non-cradle Baptist Christians who took Bible classes at more liberal mainline Christian colleges --- not everything attributed to Jesus in the Gospels is authentic, but rather, what the church had worked out or was working on decades later. I'm sure that Jesus said, "Love the Lord your God...and your neighbor..." (Of course, that's not all I believe that Jesus said.) I may add what seems to follow from that for myself, but I don't think I'm allowed to demand it of other people. At least, that's where I am now.

Aug 23, 2023, 5:03 pm

Hi Karen! Just sneaking in from elsewhere on the boards to say hi and hope you're continuing your recovery from surgery, and enjoying your reading still. I read your opening post and it sounds like you're doing great on both fronts! (glad the smut is still hitting the spot :D )

I'm well, although at the start of this month I had a nasty bout of covid. I've read fewer books this year than I have for several years, but most of the ones I've read have been 4* reads or higher, so I'm not complaining! Have gone a bit mad with book-buying, but that is making me happy so it's all good.

Aug 24, 2023, 4:12 am

Happy Thursday, Karen!

>252 karenmarie: I have cut people out, not because of disagreeing, but because the other side could not agree on disagreeing. That wears me out...

>258 karenmarie: What is in the New Testament is what is left (and added) after numerous synods in the first centuries. Like Peggy said in >262 LizzieD: it is not all authentic (if at all...).

Aug 24, 2023, 7:03 am

>258 karenmarie: Interesting comments here, Karen. I'm the product of a Catholic-Presbyterian marriage, so I was raised Catholic but "defected" to the Presbyterian church in my teens. Presbyterians (as well as other mainline Protestant denominations) do not take the Bible as literal truth. We can be informed by studying the historic origins of the Bible and which texts made it into what we now know as the New Testament, which were discarded, and why. For example, there's a whole branch of feminist theology that was dismissed by the patriarchy. It's fascinating stuff.

Edited: Aug 24, 2023, 10:03 am

>259 lauralkeet: Hi Laura! Nice to see you, and yes, skippety skip works.

>260 jessibud2: I’ll be interested in seeing how it all works out, Shelley – box, pine pellets, and how The Boys adapt to it. 🤞 for sure.

>261 richardderus: Hiya, RD! I should probably get a copy of The Jefferson Bible, simply because I’ve got so many different Bibles, much less about what he choose to include.

>262 LizzieD: Hi Peggy! Yes, that’s another aspect of any religious document – what men choose to include and exclude, for whatever reason. I am interested in your evolution as a Christian, but perhaps that’s a discussion for when I come down to visit.

>263 Jackie_K: Jackie! So nice to see you here since I’ve temporarily abandoned reading ROOTs this year. My ROOTs rule excludes re-reads, so although I’m coming along on re-listening the Cormoran Strike/Robin Ellacott series in anticipation of the new book at the end of September, I won’t get a ROOT finished any time soon. Yes, smut is still hitting the spot. What can I say? *smile*

I’m so sorry you had a nasty bout of Covid. I hope your husband and A didn’t get it. Yes for 4*+ reads and crazy mad book buying.

>264 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita, and a very happy Thursday to you, too. Good point about both sides having to ATD.

I’ve got at least one book here at the house, Lost Christianities by Bart D. Ehrman, that discusses some aspects of what got chosen and why. Amazon’s description of the book:
The early Christian Church was a chaos of contending beliefs. Some groups of Christians claimed that there was not one God but two or twelve or thirty. Some believed that the world had not been created by God but by a lesser, ignorant deity. Certain sects maintained that Jesus was human but not divine, while others said he was divine but not human.

In Lost Christianities, Bart D. Ehrman offers a fascinating look at these early forms of Christianity and shows how they came to be suppressed, reformed, or forgotten. All of these groups insisted that they upheld the teachings of Jesus and his apostles, and they all possessed writings that bore out their claims, books reputedly produced by Jesus's own followers. Modern archaeological work has recovered a number of key texts, and as Ehrman shows, these spectacular discoveries reveal religious diversity that says much about the ways in which history gets written by the winners. Ehrman's discussion ranges from considerations of various "lost scriptures"--including forged gospels supposedly written by Simon Peter, Jesus's closest disciple, and Judas Thomas, Jesus's alleged twin brother--to the disparate beliefs of such groups as the Jewish-Christian Ebionites, the anti-Jewish Marcionites, and various "Gnostic" sects. Ehrman examines in depth the battles that raged between "proto-orthodox Christians"--those who eventually compiled the canonical books of the New Testament and standardized Christian belief--and the groups they denounced as heretics and ultimately overcame.

Scrupulously researched and lucidly written, Lost Christianities is an eye-opening account of politics, power, and the clash of ideas among Christians in the decades before one group came to see its views prevail.
>265 lauralkeet: Hi again! Ha. Regarding feminist theology, I’m reading a book called The Making of Christian Womanhood by Beth Allison Barr with friend Karen in Montana. I’ve only read the intro and chapter 1 but it’s fantastic so far.

>>265 lauralkeet: Hi again! Ha. Regarding feminist theology, I’m reading a book called The Making of Biblical Womanhood by Beth Allison Barr with friend Karen in Montana. I’ve only read the intro and chapter 1 but it’s fantastic so far.

Wordle 796 3/6* adieu, brood, wordy


Jenna and I got the brace and instructions, and then went to Taziki's for a fantastic lunch. We zoomed over to Walmart to get a few things, then home. Fun and productive. I need Jenna to help me set up the Library with pillows and the right height footstool so properly use the brace. He said 3 thirty-minute sessions a day. With my 3-5 degree extension that I want to get to 0 degree extension, he said it might take one or two months. He said most people get fitted for one of these if they have 5-15 degree extension needing to get closer to 0.

We put the kitties in garage with Capstar again last night, and have decided that we'll probably do it two more nights to try to break the flea egg cycle that way. Frontline just hasn't done the trick, even with trying it twice.

And today is treadmill and picking up prescriptions only, plus brace work. I got up late, sleeping heavily when the alarm went off at 8:40. Coffee and brekkie later, kitties back in the house from the garage and Bill off at PT, Jenna upstairs, I'm finally waking up.

Edited: Aug 24, 2023, 10:02 am

drat. not enough coffee. duplicate.

Edited: Aug 24, 2023, 10:41 am

Hooray for the brace and getting to 0 degree extension! You are the woman!!!

I wish you a happy day. Wordle in 4 for me today, and I was satisfied after just squeaking through yesterday!

Sure. We'll talk theology when we get together in the flesh! Here's one of the classic texts in feminine liberation theology: Feminist Interpretation of the Bible. I started it years ago and got side-tracked. (Like Laura, I'm Presbyterian but from birth. I think I'd love a liturgical church, but when I attend a service, my little Calvinist heart sort of rebels.)

Aug 24, 2023, 10:37 am

Thursday, eh? I wonder where the weeks go. Time being practically infinite on our scale, it's pointless to ask, but I still wonder.

I hope the brace use does as expected in even less time, Horrible, but really you're doing quite, quite well on the rehab front. *smooch*

Aug 24, 2023, 11:01 am

>266 karenmarie: Sounds like you're doing great, and if you're still enjoying the reading, why not?

We were very lucky that both Pete and A managed to avoid the covid - not entirely sure how, because we weren't very strict about isolating me from everyone else indoors. I stayed in bed all day because I felt so rough, but we did have meals together etc. But I'm not complaining, I'm glad that they missed out on it, as I wouldn't wish it on anyone! I'm still feeling quite tired, and haven't quite shifted the post-viral cough yet, but I'm loads loads better than before, and appreciative (again) of the good health I enjoy most of the rest of the time.

Aug 24, 2023, 11:42 am

>268 LizzieD: Hi Peggy. I am trying to be the woman. I just spent an hour catching up on Paul’s thread. Jenna texted me to see when I wanted to the brace stuff… I told her 15 minutes and have 10 until we meet in the Library.

I was raised in a background of Presbyterianism, both sides. I just bought Feminist Interpretation of the Bible. Good companion book to The Making of Biblical Womanhood, IMO, and I have no discipline when it comes to buying books.

>269 richardderus: Yes, I blink, and it’s already Thursday, late August. Thanks for the kind words regarding rehab. I feel it’s an obligation and reward combined. *smooch*

>270 Jackie_K: I am powering through books, Jackie, and enjoying them or abandoning them with glee. I’m so glad to hear that Pete and A avoided Covid. I hope you get over the after-effects quickly, my dear.

Off to Brace…

Aug 24, 2023, 11:47 am

Morning, Karen!

I think that's really neat that fuzzi's golden milk is working for you. I have tried it, but haven't been drinking it consistently, but your report makes me want to give it another try.

Good luck with the brace! Is it uncomfortable to use?

The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth is in my library's sphere of networked libraries - so I ordered a copy and I will quietly read along with you & K.

Aug 24, 2023, 1:20 pm

>271 karenmarie: Yes, I blink, and it’s already Thursday, late August. Thanks for the kind words regarding rehab. I feel it’s an obligation and reward combined. *smooch*

That's a wonderful distillation of how I feel about my own rehab time, and now about my ongoing private work to extend the improvements. I was extremely lucky not to die, assuming one finds that lucky, so I owe it to myself and my close ones to take that reprieve and run with it. There might not be another one.

Aug 24, 2023, 10:40 pm

Here's the next readathon: https://www.librarything.com/topic/353193

Aug 24, 2023, 11:17 pm

>252 karenmarie: Yes, that's just the issue with Amazon and other sites. When you type in the exact title that you are looking for, it may often not be the first result, and sometimes you have to scroll through a bunch of titles before finding it. I have had occasions where it didn't even show up on the first page of results. For those of us who work in libraries and are used to having the option to do exact match searches, it's extremely annoying. Keyword searching can be very helpful, but it's not when you know the exact title you're looking for, and you want that match to come up first.

>258 karenmarie: Karen's very upset at what people who call themselves Christians are doing in the name of their religion.
I feel exactly the same way. It's very disturbing. I was raised in the Episcopal Church, but my husband and I have been attending Presbyterian churches since we got married. We're currently attending a PCA church, but we're not completely satisfied. But we're having trouble finding a church that is neither too conservative nor too liberal. My husband attended a church when he was in grad school at Purdue that sounds like it would really work, but there doesn't seem to be anything like it where we live now. (One of his friends from that church comes to visit every May.) I don't think I'll ever fit in a Baptist church.

At this point in time, I see supporters of the ex-president out there doing and saying things that don't seem at all Christian. I look at them supporting someone who is the exact opposite of what Christ taught us to be and to act, and I wonder how anyone in the future could ever want to be a Christian. It has made me pull back from involvement in the church. Karen's concern is very much my own.

>266 karenmarie: Good luck with the brace! I hope it does everything you want it to do--and without too much discomfort!

Aug 25, 2023, 7:54 am

Morning, Karen. Happy Friday. Mid-80s today so our temps are much better, with a nice weekend ahead, which will be perfect for Jack's birthday party tomorrow. Not much planned for the AM. Bree will drop off Jack here in the early afternoon and he will stay with us overnight. I will tend to the feeders later on.

Enjoy your day.

Aug 25, 2023, 10:00 am

>272 streamsong: Hi Janet! I woke up pretty spry this morning, too, so will continue with the Golden Milk. I have to make a new batch today.

The brace is cumbersome and I have to sit in a chair rather than on the couch. The brace comes almost to where my leg meets my rear end and I have to sit so that the top of the brace is just off the chair. I use this chair with the footstool. Jenna has to bring the brace downstairs from last night’s 3rd session, and I think I’ll just make sure all three sessions occur before I go upstairs for the night. The upstairs chair situation isn’t as good as the downstairs one, although Jenna said she’d bring “The Davidson” chair upstairs (Davidson University, where Bill’s dad and grandfather went). As you can see from this pic, Wash visited while I was taking this pic just now.

Karen mentioned last night, after I’d read this message but before responding to it now, that you’d written to her to let her know you were going to follow along with. So I’ll be reading chapter 2 after I finish here on LT this morning. Glad to have you along for the ride. You two will have so much more to discuss about it than I will, being the heathen that I am (one of Karen’s fond terms for me), but I’m game to continue.

>273 richardderus: Yes, taking the reprieve and running with it. Exactly how I feel about my almost-two-years-ago heart attack. We’re pretty lucky, what with modern medicine and all, RD, aren’t we? *smooch*

>274 SilverWolf28: Thank you, Silver. One of these days…

>275 atozgrl: ‘Morning, Irene. I wasn’t a Librarian but still hate the stuff they ‘find’ before the title I want. Sometimes I have to look by author instead and go through their works.

Well. ‘PCA church’ opened up the large rabbit hole of the history of the Presbyterian Church in the US. I need to do more digging, but it’s fascinating. Looks like you do have a few near you. Thanks for sharing your personal story.

My parents were both raised Presbyterian. When my mother started going back to church in the 90s, she ended up at a Baptist Church, where we held her Memorial in 2007. Bill’s family started off in the First Presbyterian Church of Mooresville NC (I can’t find out which parent Presbyterian organization they’re part of, but haven’t dug too deeply), but his parents switched to the Methodist Church when they moved to Chapel Hill in 1961. Bill’s convinced it’s because the power in town was concentrated there.

Thanks re the brace. I need to finish up here on LT and get the first session out of the way. The pain level is never supposed to get above 2-3, which is totally manageable. The awkwardness is having to sit on a hard chair (even with pillow support).

>276 msf59: ‘Morning, Mark! Happy Friday to you, too. Yay for comfortable temps for Jack’s birthday party tomorrow, and yay for a Jack sleep over. Yup, my feeders need serious attention, too. I saw a hummingbird in the Crepe Myrtle earlier. The feeders are currently empty of both birds and food.

Wordle 797 4/6* I should have not assumed there was no O. adieu, shale, freak, ocean


Yesterday was setting up to use the brace and using it two times downstairs. 3rd time was upstairs with a different setup, but I think I'll just make sure I use it 3 times a day downstairs. Other than that, reading and etc.

Today will be more of the same, although I want to throw treadmill into the mix. We'll see.

Aug 25, 2023, 10:15 am

Morning, Horrible. I'm ever so grateful to you for not dying. It pleases me greatly that you're doing the work to make a second round of cardiac scaries less likely. And if this were forty years ago, we'd both be dead, so modern medicine gets my delighted gratitude on both or behalfs. (I typed "behalves" then went and looked it up because that could not possibly be right...no one addresses the pluralization of that word so there it is for future citation.)

Aug 25, 2023, 12:19 pm

Hiya, RDear! Gratitude is on both of our behalfs for sure. I'm also very glad you didn't die in January.

I'm glad you're glad I didn't die, so am I. More for my daughter than me - I'm not particularly worried about where my soul will end up, only that it will end up somewhere. I still need to be here in this life for her. I had to look it up to get the words right, but I immediately thought of this:

‘To the well-organised mind, death is but the next great adventure.’

Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter series, don't remember which book

Aug 25, 2023, 12:36 pm

>279 karenmarie: ...speaking of quotes: here's a literature clock for your delectation.

Aug 26, 2023, 9:00 am

Morning, Karen. Happy Saturday. As soon as I got up, I threw the windows open. Hallelujah! First time since we got back from camping. Should be a lovely day for Jack's party. Lots of activity at the feeders yesterday, with a highlight being a flicker and a grackle. I also saw several common nighthawks fly over the house last night. Always a neat sighting, during migration.

Edited: Aug 26, 2023, 9:34 am

>280 richardderus: That clock is so cool, RD! Thanks. I might put it in my first message on my next thread. Already working on #8... *smooch*

>281 msf59: 'Morning, Mark, and happy Saturday to you. Yay for open window weather! I just poked my nose out and ugh. 80F now, going to a high of 96F, pretty humid.

I hope Jack's birthday party is a lot of fun. Yay for the sightings. Mine are mostly empty and therefore completely void of visitors.

Wordle 798 3/6* adieu, fight, choir. Lots of help from both spreadsheets - the 2,309 words AND words already used.


Yesterday was a successful 3 times with the brace AND 37 minutes on the treadmill. Reading, catching up on a few threads, and etc.

We'll be watching Arsenal play Fulham in about half an hour, then probably errands and take out for a late lunch. I need to go to the grocery store to buy more milk for Golden Milk.

Aug 26, 2023, 10:11 am

Yesterday was a successful 3 times with the brace AND 37 minutes on the treadmill. Reading, catching up on a few threads, and etc. YOU ARE THE WOMAN!!!!! ((((((Karen)))))

I trust you're enjoying soccer this very now. I'm off to start breakfast and look forward to a day without much to do but stay in and stay cool and read!

Aug 26, 2023, 12:42 pm

>282 karenmarie: >283 LizzieD: I second Peggy, bravo for the brace and the treadmill. Stay cool today! I went out early to refill the feeders and birdbaths and water some plants, and I worked up a sweat from the humidity. Staying in the rest of the day today.

Aug 26, 2023, 3:18 pm

Hope your weekend is a cool one, Karen. The weather is strange these days. Hot and dry here which is not normal.

Aug 27, 2023, 7:14 am

Morning, Karen. Happy Sunday. Jack's party was a smash hit. The weather was great. They have a pool, so the kids had a good time. I am attending a bird walk this AM, (I was getting that itch, it has been a week) and then we are going to see "Barbie" this afternoon. I hope it starts to cool off for you.

Aug 27, 2023, 9:36 am

>283 LizzieD: Awww, shucks, Peggy. Thank you. I was enjoying soccer that very now. It was fun although Arsenal and Fulham drew at 2-2.

Thanks re the treadmill on Friday and the brace. Have a good Sunday.

>284 atozgrl: Hi Irene. I need to take care of the birds here, too, and I’m sure I’ll work up a sweat, too. Definitely cooler today, though, so there’s that. I hope you enjoy your Sunday.

>285 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg. Yes, your area of the country is very weird right now. Our is normal, even a bit cooler than normal. Today will be cooler, possibly even hammock weather.

>286 msf59: ‘Morning, Mark, and happy Sunday to you, too. I’m so glad Jack’s party was a smash hit. Yay for the bird walk this morning, too. Glad you finally get to see Barbie since you were disappointed the other weekend. Yes, much less cooler today.

Wordle 799 4/6* adieu, cream, leach, peace


Yesterday was discussions about Allison and the barns, all good. Jenna went outside to walk the fence lines with her. She'll be bringing her two horses on September 9th. For the first 2-3 months she's going to be cleaning up the stable/barn area, paddock, old vegetable garden (so her dogs can be out here when she is), pastures, and fence lines.

I only managed 2 brace sessions yesterday, but went to a HOA meeting to discuss road maintenance last night. It was nice to see some of the neighbors - we live at the end of the cul-de-sac, behind a (less protective than it used to be) tree line, and don't see or hear much in the neighborhood. We mostly like it like this, but occasionally it's nice to reconnect.

Today WILL be 3 brace sessions and grocery shopping. Reading and puttering, too, of course, possibly some Premier League soccer even though Arsenal played yesterday. Still have my Arsenal socks on, though.

Aug 27, 2023, 9:49 am

Pleasantly-active Sunday *smooch*

Aug 27, 2023, 10:05 am

Well hi there, RD! Thank you kindly. I hope your Sunday is pleasantly-active, too. *smooch*

Edited: Aug 27, 2023, 7:49 pm

While getting caught up on Laura's thread, I decided to post Craig Claiborne's NYT Fresh Tomato Sauce recipe, with significant Karen changes, here, so as to not clutter her thread. We used this for our spaghetti and lasagna sauce for years. It would actually be good to start using it again, since it's not Death by Salt, as are jarred sauces.

Fresh Tomato Sauce
Craig Claiborne’s NY Times Cookbook

3 red, ripe, unblemlished, fresh tomatoes, about ¾ pound
2 T butter
2 T finely chopped onion
¼ bay leaf
1 t chopped fresh or dried thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 T chopped fresh basil leaves

Peel the tomatoes and cut away the cores. Chop the tomatoes. There should be about 2 cups.

Heat 1 T of butter in a small wide skillet and add the onion. When wilted, add the tomatoes, bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook for about 15 minutes.

Pour the sauce into the container of a food processor or blender and blend. Return to the skillet. Reheat and swirl in the remaining butter. Put through a fine sieve, if desired. Stir in the basil leaves.

Yield: About 1 ¾ cups.
Karen’s barely recognizable version of Craig Claiborne’s Fresh Tomato Sauce

Put 3-4 Tablespoons olive oil into a large skillet and put on medium low heat. Add 1 large yellow onion, chopped, and 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced or put through a garlic press. Let this mixture cook slowly, stirring occasionally.

Boil water in a medium sauce pan. Place tomatoes in the boiling water, 2 or 3 at a time, letting them sit in the water about 30 seconds to a minute. (If tomatoes have blemishes or other questionable spots, cut them out before putting the tomatoes into boiling water.) Remove with slotted spoon and put in a large bowl to cool. Remove skin and core. Cut in half and squeeze seeds and liquid out. Chop or squeeze by hand. Use enough tomatoes to yield 6 – 8 cups chopped tomatoes (20 -25 medium very ripe tomatoes). Add to onion-garlic mixture. Add 1 - ½ teaspoons dried thyme, 1 bay leaf, and salt and pepper to taste. Let cook on medium low heat for 20 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, until all clear liquid has evaporated out, but mixture is still soupy.

Remove the bay leaf. Pour the sauce into the container of a food processor and blend thoroughly. Return to the skillet. Add about 2 Tablespoons of butter and 1-2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil.

Cook over low heat until the butter has melted. Place sauce in a bread pan, cover with aluminum foil, and freeze. When frozen, remove and place in freezer zip lock bag or seal with food saver.

Aug 27, 2023, 1:00 pm

Yum! Thank you for the fresh tomato sauce recipe......> into my favorites!

Happy Day!

Aug 27, 2023, 3:18 pm

>278 richardderus: ...if this were forty years ago, we'd both be dead, so modern medicine gets my delighted gratitude...

My dad died of a heart attack about three weeks after his fortieth birthday in 1950. My youngest, Ned, will be 40 on 9/11. It only occurred to me recently that he'll reach the age at which his grandfather died. I can't imagine Ned having a coronary in the next month. Medical science (applied) today is so extraordinarily advanced. I can't think that my dad's heart health would have been mysterious or irremediable with today's care and treatments. This thought opens an unexplored aspect of my life and times.

Aug 27, 2023, 4:07 pm

>292 weird_O: It's a sobering thought indeed, Bill. My mother had a stroke or two in 1999, because of the same malformation of an artery that I've got; she died within three months. My father's 2006 strokes were more massive than mine, and more destructive; but he never walked again. I've failed to die and refused to sit down and be a stroke victim and, thanks to the giant leaps in the past 20-ish years, I've been able to restore quite a lot of what I lost.

...what might've been...

Aug 28, 2023, 6:51 am

Thank you for posting the recipe, Karen. I've favorited it for future reference. Hope your Monday is filled with good things.

Aug 28, 2023, 7:39 am

Morning, Karen. I had a very nice Sunday. The bird walk went well, (gorgeous morning) and we enjoyed "Barbie". I have Trail Watch this AM and then lawn duties when I get home.

Aug 28, 2023, 9:23 am

>291 LizzieD: Hi Peggy. You’re welcome. It’s light and flavorful.

>292 weird_O: Hi Bill. Modern medicine indeed, and I’m sorry your dad died so young. Both my grandfathers died young, both at age 50, one in 1929 and one in 1957. It does make one think, doesn’t it?

>293 richardderus: Hiya, RD. You had some pretty bad cards stacked against you, yet you won the hand.

>294 lauralkeet: You’re welcome, Laura.

>295 msf59: Hi Mark, and happy day after Sunday. Yay for the bird walk, and I’m glad you enjoyed Barbie. Sounds like a busy day ahead.

Wordle 800 4/6* Could have been a dangerous alphabet soup word - adieu, slime, white, write.


Yesterday was using the brace, grocery shopping, short nap, and dinner. Enough for one day, for sure.

I’ve got a chiropractic appointment at 11:15, then just stuff at home.

Aug 28, 2023, 10:11 am

Good morning, Karen! Just speaking.....

Aug 28, 2023, 8:27 pm

Hi Peggy! I had a good morning, hope you did, too.

Off to use the brace and read...

I'll make my 8th thread tomorrow morning. It's all ready to go.

Aug 29, 2023, 7:26 am

I may not play it regularly, but I did play Connections last night.

Puzzle #78


Wordle 801 X/6* drat. adieu, navel, water, gazer, safer, gayer. Word was caper.


I managed 3 times using the brace. Jenna reminded that Justin, the man who fitted me for the brace when I picked it up told us to think of this as a marathon not a sprint, so I have to keep reminding myself that the pain should only be 2-3 on a scale of 10. Other than that, I used the treadmill and did various and sundry.

Today is book sorting. Book fondling, really, and then brekkie or lunch after, depending on how many donations and how long it takes us to get through the boxes and bags. 3 times on the brace, reading and etc.

Aug 29, 2023, 7:32 am

And, for message 300, give me a few minutes while I set up thread 8.

Aug 29, 2023, 11:10 am

>266 karenmarie: Lost Christianities sounds like an interesting read. I might even listen to it if there's an audio.

Edited: Aug 29, 2023, 1:51 pm

I squeaked thru wordle with six - word soup the number of combinations possible!

Aug 31, 2023, 10:50 am

>301 ffortsa: Hi Judy! Looks like Lost Christianities is available on Audible, CDs, and MP3 CDs. I'm sort of collecting Ehrman books but haven't read one yet... he's local, being the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. We see books come through the Friends donations quite frequently.

>302 streamsong: Hi Janet. Wordle is still a joy to me, glad to see you hanging in there.