Sunday, May 20, 2018

Sunday Salon ~ friends, family, and books

FRIENDS
This is "my" usual table when I eat dinner here at the Crown Center.  I wasn't there when they celebrated Cardinals Night.  Left to right are Gail, Susan, Sheila, Mickey, Adeline, and Donna.

FAMILY

My youngest grandchild graduated from high school yesterday.  Congratulations, Cady!  She'll be starting university life in the fall.

BOOKS

The library loot I wrote about last week hasn't been as difficult to get through as I had expected.  I've already completed three of the seven books...
  • Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer ~ by Barbara Ehrenreich, 2018, sociology, 9/10
  • The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale ~ by Carmen Agra Deedy, illustrated by Randall Wright, 2011, children's chapter book, 7/10
  • Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor ~ by Robert Burleigh, illustrated by Raul Colon, 2016, children's picture book, 8/10
...and have gotten well into a fourth library book.


These are quotes I want to remember from Ehrenreich's book, Natural Causes:
"Once I realized I was old enough to die, I decided that I was also old enough not to incur any more suffering, annoyance, or boredom in the pursuit of a longer life. ... As for medical care: I will seek help for an urgent problem, but I am no longer interested in looking for problems that remain undetectable to me. Ideally, the determination of when one is old enough to die should be a personal decision, based on a judgment of the likely benefits, if any, of medical care and — just as important at a certain age — how we choose to spend the time that remains to us" (p. 3).

"Not only do I reject the torment of a medicalized death, but I refuse to accept a medicalized life, and my determination only deepens with age. As the time that remains to me shrinks, each month and day becomes too precious to spend in windowless waiting rooms and under the cold scrutiny of machines. Being old enough to die is an achievement, not a defeat, and the freedom it brings is worth celebrating" (pp. 12-13).

Quoting physician John M. Mandrola: "The default should be: I am well. The way to stay that way is to keep making good choices — not to have my doctor look for problems" (p. 9).
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Saturday, May 19, 2018

Clawdia's Caturday post

Oh, look!  Somebody must have been watching me when I tried to get Bonnie's attention.  It doesn't look much like her, but the artist has drawn me ... purr-fectly!

Here's how I sit on Bonnie's computer, telling her to pay attention to me.  ME.  Not a picture of me, but the real ME sitting on her and staring at her.  See?

Clawdia, 'til next time  >^..^<

Friday, May 18, 2018

Beginning ~ with soft ice cream

We sit together outside the Fosters Freeze at a sea-green, metal picnic table.

All four of us.

We eat soft ice cream, which has been plunged into a vat of liquid chocolate (that then hardens into a crispy shell).
Counting by 7s ~ by Holly Goldberg Sloan, 2013, YA fiction
Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s.  It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life – until now.  Suddenly Willow’s world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world.  The triumph of this book is that it is not a tragedy.  This extraordinarily odd, but extraordinarily endearing, girl manages to push through her grief.  Her journey to find a fascinatingly diverse and fully believable surrogate family is a joy and a revelation to read.
I am most intrigued by this blurb on the cover, which is too small to read on the full cover at the top.  So here's a close-up of it.  (And here are the words, just in case.)  Also, notice in the small cover above that the red fish is swimming against the tide of blue-green fish.
"If you're lost, you might need to swim against the tide."
I came across a review that makes me really want to read this book.  Maybe you'd like to read it, too.
"In summary, it’s the story of Willow, a twelve-year-old girl who is obsessed with gardening and diagnosing medical conditions. She also takes comfort in counting by 7s. It’s clear from the outset that Willow isn’t an ordinary girl – she’s gifted, a loner and a worrier."


Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays. Click here for today's Mister Linky.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Wednesday Words ~ toe and tow

Someone wrote, "He needs to tow the line."  Tow and toe sound alike, but they don't mean the same thing.  They are homophones.  Wanting to use these two words for a Wednesday post, I googled "tow toe" images and discovered these "pink toe trucks."  They are actual tow trucks in Seattle.  The owner obviously had a great sense of humor, and I'm sure people remember it.  The truck in front, the one with the left big toe, was on its way to a history museum when this picture was taken.

Toe = five on each foot
Tow = to pull something

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

TWOsday ~ later in life

Over What Hill? (notes from the pasture) ~ by Effie Leland Wilder, 1996, fiction (South Carolina), 9/10
Hattie McNair chronicles the adventures of the residents of the FairAcres retirement community while her own writing career gains momentum.  Except for being 20+ years ago, this sounds a lot like my retirement community.  Well, except their population of men seems to be bigger than ours.  On my floor, we now have eight women and two men.  I still thought it was funny in a sweet sort of way.  We also are much more active than the people in this little novel, with lots of activities and trips, gardening and a cafe for the whole community.  Still, I do recommend this book.
The Third Chapter: Passion, Risk, and Adventure in the 25 Years After 50 ~ by Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, 2009, sociology
Demographers are recognizing the significance of a distinct developmental phase:  those years following early adulthood and middle age when we are "neither young nor old."  Whether by choice or not, many in their "third chapters" are finding ways to adapt, explore, and channel their energies, skills, and passions in new ways and into new areas.  This process of creative reinvention redefines our views about the casualties and opportunities of aging.  She challenges the still-prevailing and anachronistic images of aging by documenting and revealing how the years between fifty and seventy-five may, in fact, be the most transformative and generative time in our lives, tracing the ways in which wisdom, experience, and new learning inspire individual growth and cultural transformation.  The author captures a new moment in history and offers us insight and hope about our endless capacity for change and growth.
This book's title mentions "adventure."  At 78 years old, I am apparently now in the "fourth chapter" of my life.  When I was still (barely) in that "third chapter," I moved from Chattanooga to St. Louis.  It's the first time I've ever lived west of the Mississippi, and I'm almost 500 miles from my birthplace and my whole family and where I lived most of my life (with a few years in Atlanta, Knoxville, and Morristown, Tennessee).  Yet all during the four years in this town, I've been telling people it's my great adventure.  Yes, there's that word.  At 74, it felt like I needed to go ahead and do it, since I wasn't getting any younger.  And I'm loving it here at the Crown Center for Senior Living!  Was it a risk?  Yes, I guess so, but it just feels right to be here.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Sunday Salon ~ library loot

Library Loot

Why do the books I put on reserve at the library one by one over many weeks all show up at the same time?  Natural Causes cannot be renewed, so I should start with that one.  But The Cheshire Cheese Cat sounds like fun and is (after all) "only" a chapter book.
  • The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale ~ by Carmen Agra Deedy, illustrated by Randall Wright, 2011, children's chapter book
  • Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor ~ by Robert Burleigh, illustrated by Raul Colon, 2016, children's picture book
  • Counting by 7s ~ by Holly Goldberg Sloan, 2013, YA fiction
  • What Changes Everything ~ by Masha Hamilton, 2013, fiction
  • Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer ~ by Barbara Ehrenreich, 2018, sociology
  • No One Ever Asked ~ by Katie Ganshert, 2018, fiction (Missouri)
  • When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir ~ by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele, 2017, memoir
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Saturday, May 12, 2018

Transformation needed

The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed, and apathy ... and to deal with those, we need a spiritual and cultural transformation.

"I am beginning to realize that lack of a spiritual and cultural commitment in my life has added to this lack of empathy, compassion, and selfishness in the world," says my friend Donna Carey.  "I need to find a regular place to practice my spirituality before I can be fully committed to the cultural transformation that Gus Speth talks about."

Cross-posted on my Greening the Blue Planet blog.