Sunday, September 19, 2021

Friendship, an owl, piano lessons, and kayaking

National Women's Friendship Day has been observed the third Sunday in September since 1999.  So today, as the name suggests, is our day to express gratitude for all our women friends.  Let's share some names (it's okay to share only first names).  Who is your best friend?  Or which woman has been your friend the longest — and still is?  Ginny is the one I thought of first.  I met Ginny in August 1955, when I started high school by attending marching band practice at City High School (CHS).  Officially, CHS means Chattanooga High School.  Ginny was a year ahead of me in school, and we are only the same age from April until August, when she gains a year.  She has visited me here in St. Louis, and I've visited her in Tallahassee.  Let's see, 1955 to 2021 is ... wow! ... 66 years that we've been friends!  Love ya, Ginny!

A gorgeous owl ~ Someone shared this photo of an owl on NextDoor, our neighborhood group.  Those who chimed in seem to agree that it's a barred owl, after arguing that it is not a barn owl (which is smaller) or a great horned owl (which is larger and "has feather tufts on its head — the so-called horns").  Anyway, I think this is a beautiful picture of an owl, whatever kind it is.

Learn to Play Piano in Six Weeks or Less ~ by Dan Delaney and Bill Chotkowski, 2009, self-help, 111 pages.  

I've made the photo small because I'm not happy with this book.  It is not really a beginner's book, but a fake book.  Do you know what that is?
fake book /fāk bo͝ok/ noun = a book of music containing the basic chord sequences of jazz or other tunes.
The first sentence in the Introduction even admits that it's a fake book:
"Throw away your bass clef and give your left hand a break — melodies in the right hand, chords and rhythms in the left hand."

This looks like a beginner's book, and in one sense it is.  But the women who bought it so I can teach them how to play the piano will be learning only half of what I expected to teach them.  It's something.  It's a beginning of sorts, but I feel like I'll have to either come up with a way to teach them how to play with the left hand or get us "real" piano books that teach fingering for the bass clef.

My daughters have taken up kayaking.
No, I wasn't out on the water with them. 
One of them took this photo of the other.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz hosts The 
Sunday Salon.  Bloggers gather in the 
Sunday Salon — at separate computers 
in different time zones — to talk about 
our lives, our books, and our reading.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

iPhone class via Zoom

A handful of us are taking a Zoom class in "Getting to Know Your iPhone."  Two of us live at the Crown Center.  The class is in two parts:  two hours yesterday, plus two hours this coming Friday.  In the meantime, I'm trying to absorb what I learned and realizing how many new words there are — OR — words that have new meanings.  Here are a couple of the words I'm learning, with definitions that specifically relate to the iPhone:

Word of the Day #1

hap·tics /ˈhaptiks/ technical noun plural = the perception of objects by touch, especially as involved in nonverbal communication.
"Haptics is that subsystem of non-language communication which conveys meaning through physical contact."
Okay, so I've learned to touch my iPhone screen in certain ways to make things happen.  (I'm also learning that with Donna's Chromebook:  tapping with ONE finger does something very different from tapping with TWO fingers.  Yeah, try remembering all this stuff!)

Word of the Day #2

ges·ture /ˈjesCHər/ = listing some examples would be easiest.  
A swipe is a gesture, and punching two buttons is another gesture.
To go to the iPhone's home page, swipe up from the bottom, as in the left example.  To call 9-1-1 or turn off your iPhone, press two buttons, as on the right, and several options pop up.  This Apple Support page has a dozen examples (click on the link to go there). 

We were told that iPhone uses touches, swipes, and pinches.  Pinching is the way to zoom in or out on specific items.  A pinch goes both ways:  pinch your fingers apart to look closer at a photo.  I took a picture of purple flowers on my walk back from the grocery store and, when I zoomed in on the photo (by pinching apart), could see spiky points on the flowers and even where something has nibbled on a green leaf.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Beginning ~ with a eulogy request

In the beginning, there was a question.
"Will you do my eulogy?"
I don't understand, I said.
"My eulogy?" the old man asked again.  "When I'm gone."

Have a Little Faith: A True Story ~ by Mitch Albom, 2009, religion, 254 pages ~ As America struggles with hard times and people turn more to their beliefs, Albom and two men of God explore issues that perplex us:  how to endure when difficult things happen; what heaven is; intermarriage; forgiveness; doubting God; and the importance of faith in trying times.

I've read three books by Mitch Albom already this month:
  1. The Five People You Meet in Heaven (Book 1 of Heaven's Books) ~ by Mitch Albom, 2003, fiction, 9/10
  2. The Next Person You Meet in Heaven (Book 2 of Heaven's Books) ~ by Mitch Albom, 2018, fiction, 10/10
  3. Finding Chika: A Little Girl, an Earthquake, and the Making of a Family ~ by Mitch Albom, 2021, memoir, 10/10
As you can see, they were all excellent books that I couldn't put down.  So now I'm ready to read another one.  At first, Albom feels unworthy of doing the rabbi's eulogy, being thrown back into a world of faith he'd left years ago.  The Jewish rabbi was from his old neighborhood; later Mitch meets a Christian pastor; the tale in this book moves back and forth between their two worlds.  The dust jacket says:
"And he [Mitch Albom] finally understands what both men had been teaching all along:  the profound comfort of believing in something bigger than yourself."


Thursday, September 16, 2021

Live, love, be

Here's a quote from Bishop John Shelby Spong that I like.

This photo is from 2011, when Bishop Spong signed a couple of his books that are now on my bookshelves across the room.  I have about a dozen of his books.  I just learned today that he has died.  June 16, 1931 — September 12, 2021

Addendum (9/19/2021):  Here's a link to the Wikipedia article on John Shelby Spong.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Scavenger hunt

I think I'll do this today.  Do you want to join me?  I've already done it a couple of times on this blog, but it's probably something that would be good to do frequently:
  • In 2019:  Gratitude #1 = I found a book (yes, you know books make me happy).  Gratitude #2 = I found a book, actually, the same book, which I gave to my BFF Donna to make her smile.  I never finished the list.
  • In 2020:  The first four answers I gave were all about books, so I'll try not to repeat it this time.
So now it's 2021, and here are my new answers:

1.  Something that makes me happy . . . Clawia, usually, except when she doesn't.  Here's a favorite photo of her from 2017.

2.  Something to give a friend to make her smile . . . all I can think of, as evening approaches, is sending this honey apple cake eCard to ten of my Crown Center neighbors.

3.  One thing that I love to smell . . . new books.  So I opened one of my library books and sniffed.  Yep!  There it was, the papery smell of a 2021 book.

4.  One thing I enjoy looking at. . . . the view from my window.  Now I'm looking at the neighborhood from six floors up, but here's a view from my window in 2009.
5.  Something that's my favorite color . . . I found a bright green folder on my bookshelf that was full of coloring pages I had printed out.  One was a copy of what I'd given my friend Evelyn in the summer of 2016, which said, "Happy Birthday, Evelyn!  Here are two pages of flowers (and elephants and cats) for you to color."  Evelyn died in 2019, or I could give it to her again to make her smile (as in #2).  She collected elephants.

6.  Something I'm thankful for in nature . . .  the birds.  A bird landed on our windowsill the other day, but flew off rapidly when Clawdia lunged at it.  The bird must have been able to see her through the glass as she suddenly got near.  Donna's cat Sammy once had a bird friend who would come to their window day after day, and bird and cat would chat.

7.  Something I can use to make a gift for a friend . . . my knowledge of music.  Debbie and Gail want me to teach them to play the piano.  I can get them started, using beginners books.

8.  Something that is useful for me . . . and the first thing that sprang to mind was my "screens":  the laptop I'm using to type this, the iPhone beside me, and the Kindle over there beside my easy chair.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Laundry list

Idiom of the Day

laun·dry list /ˈlôndrē ˌlist/ noun = a long or exhaustive list of things.  Example:  "Here's my laundry list of things to do today."
One item on my long to-do list really IS laundry.  It's mid-afternoon, and I haven't gotten around to it yet.  According to the monthly calendar I post from the Action for Happiness folks, this is what I should do today:  "September 12 ~ Get active outside, and give your mind and body a natural boost."  It's even a sunny day, and it isn't raining.  I decided early today that I would at least walk around the block.  I haven't done it yet.  Okay, my excuse it that it's 88° out there right now, and it feels like 90°.
Another example:  "Here's my laundry list of books I want to read."  No, I promise not to give you the whole list, but here's one I want to read soon:


The Midnight Library by Matt Haig, 2020, fiction, 288 pages ~ "Between life and death there is a library ... And within that library, the shelves go on for ever.  Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived.  To see how things would be if you had made other choices ... Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?"

On my to-do list every day, whether it gets done or not, is blogging.  I've gotten this far, since I've almost written enough to call this a blog post.  There's even a book on it!  Yay!  By the way, this book came from my friend Donna's library.

I recently wrote about the good taste of cheddar cheese and a plum together.  Today, I can report that I tried another plum with Swiss cheese.  It's good, but I enjoyed the plum with sharp cheddar more.  And if you are interested, here's an article on The History of 'Laundry List' you can read.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz hosts The Sunday Salon.  
Bloggers gather in the Sunday Salon — at separate computers in different time zones — to talk about our lives and our reading.