Monday, February 26, 2024

Let's be cheesy today

Who Moved My Cheese? ~ by Spencer Johnson, with a foreword by Kenneth Blanchard, 1998, parable, 96 pages

This simple parable is an enlightening story of four characters who live in a "Maze" and look for "Cheese" to nourish them and make them happy.  Two are mice named Sniff and Scurry.  And two are "little people," beings the size of mice who look and act a lot like people.  Their names are Hem and Haw.

"Cheese" is a metaphor for what you want to have in life, whether it is a good job, a loving relationship, money, a possession, health, or spiritual peace of mind.  And the "Maze" is where you look for what you want, where you work or your family or your community.

The characters are faced with unexpected change.  Eventually, one of them deals with it successfully and writes what he has learned on the wall of the maze.  Thus, you eventually come to see "the handwriting on the wall" and discover for yourself how to deal with change.

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Lots of advice today, plus a book on communicating

Looking through my box of greeting cards recently, I found four "advice" cards:  Advice from a Polar Bear, Advice from a Penguin, Advice from a Glacier, and Advice from a Sea Turtle.  (Hmm, the first three are rather icy, aren't they?)

Anyway, I decided to post something here about advice and decided to look for a picture online.  That's when I found "a million" things offering advice, both animate and inanimate.

My favorite was the one above from a cat.  Why?  Because it's a black cat and reminds me of Clawdia.  Oh, I just noticed my favorite word in there!  See that word "joy" near the bottom?  Cat plus joy, so naturally it must to be purr-fect advice for me.  I decided to pick some advice to share in a post.

Advice from 
I like "2B or not 2B" on this #2 pencil, so I'll start here.
  • Advice from a Pencil ~ know when to draw the line
  • Advice from a Bicycle ~ know when to put the brakes on.
  • Advice from a Polar Bear ~ keep it cool.
  • Advice from a Pumpkin ~ be well-rounded.
  • Advice from a Cardinal ~ it's okay to be a little flashy.
  • Advice from a Tree ~ remember your roots.
Oh, I like this tree's advice, so here's the whole picture:

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts   by Gary Chapman, 2010, communication, 263 pages.    Marriage should be based on love, but does it seem as though you and your spouse are speaking two different languages?  Here's how to identify, understand, and speak your spouse's primary love language:  quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, or physical touch.  Discover your unique love language and learn practical steps in truly loving each other.  Each chapter ends with specific, simple steps to express a specific language and guide your marriage in the right direction.
Deb at Readerbuzz hosts the Sunday Salon

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Do you use emoticons? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I like this shrug emoji ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ even though I haven't seen it used in several years.  The shrug emoji is used to convey a sense of indifference, uncertainty, or a lack of knowledge about a particular topic.  It is typically interpreted as a gesture of raising one's shoulders in a nonchalant or "I don't know" manner.  Some creative person made it out of French fries on that plate in the top photo.

Word of the Day #1

e·mo·ji / iˈmōjē / noun = a small digital image or icon used to express an idea or emotion.  Example:  "An emoji can liven up a text message or a blog post."

Word of the Day #2

e·mo·ti·con / əˈmōdəˌkän / noun = a representation of a facial expression such as :-) representing a smile, formed by various combinations of keyboard characters and used to convey the writer's feelings or intended tone.  Example:  "Use an emoticon such as this smiley face :D to make your feelings clear."

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Book discussion, anyone?

The Teacher of Warsaw ~ by Mario Escobar, 2022, historical fiction, 368 pages

The start of WWII changed everything in Poland irrevocably — except for one man’s capacity to love.  In 1939 on the first of September. 60-year-old Janusz Korczak and the students and teachers at his Dom Sierot Jewish orphanage are outside enjoying a beautiful day in Warsaw.  Hours later, their lives are altered forever when the Nazis invade.  Suddenly treated as an outcast in his own city, Janusz — a respected leader known for his heroism and teaching — is determined to do whatever it takes to protect the children from the horrors to come.

When over four hundred thousand Jewish people are rounded up and forced to live in the 1.3-square-mile walled compound of the Warsaw ghetto, Janusz and his friends take drastic measures to shield the children from disease and starvation.  With dignity and courage, the teachers and students of Dom Sierot create their own tiny army of love and bravely prepare to march toward the future — whatever it may hold. This book is a reminder that one person can inspire hope and love in others.

** Does anybody want to discuss this book with me online?  I haven't started reading it yet, and I have a blog where we can carry on our extended conversation.  It's called Book Buddies, and it's found HERE.

Monday, February 19, 2024

What my friend Joan is currently reading

Book recommendation:  I heard about this book earlier today when I called my friend Joan Uda in Montana.  I suggested we have lunch "together" by phone, and we talked across the miles as we ate lunch in different states and different time zones.  She also suggested a couple of other books, and I told her what I was reading.  When we got off the phone, after nearly an hour, I put this book on reserve at my library.

The Lost Tomb: And Other Real-Life Stories of Bones, Burials, and Murder ~ by Douglas Preston, (Foreword by David Grann), 2023, true stories, 320 pages

Douglas Preston, author of the bestselling The Lost City of the Monkey God, presents the jaw-dropping discovery of a vast Egyptian tomb containing dozens of sealed burial chambers.  What’s it like to be the first to enter an Egyptian burial chamber that’s been sealed for thousands of years?  Where might a blocked doorway or newly excavated corridor lead?  And what might this stupendous tomb reveal about the most powerful pharaoh in Egyptian history?

The book brings together an astonishing and compelling collection of true stories about buried pirate treasure, enigmatic murders, lost tombs, bizarre crimes, archaeological mysteries, and other fascinating tales.  Preston broke the story of an extraordinary mass grave of animals killed by the asteroid impact that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs, he explored what lay hidden in the booby-trapped "Money Pit" on Oak Island, and he roamed the haunted hills of Italy in search of the Monster of Florence.  In other words, Douglas Preston has written about some of the world’s strangest and most dramatic mysteries.

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Books for snowy days

Cat Out of Hell ~ by Lynn Truss, 2016, cozy animal mystery, 176 pages
The scene: a cottage on the coast on a windy evening.  Inside, a room with curtains drawn.  Tea has just been made.  A kettle still steams.  Under a pool of yellow light, two figures face each other across a kitchen table.  A man and a cat.  The story about to be related is so unusual yet so plausible that it demands to be told in a single sitting.  The man clears his throat, and leans forward, expectant.  "Shall we begin?" says the cat.
Sam Hall posted this 1966 snow photo on his Chattanooga history page:  Remember When.  I was looking out my window in St. Louis at the 7-8 inches of snow that had fallen the day before when I chanced on Sam's historical photo.  In 1966, I lived on Signal Mountain, north of the Tennessee River at Chattanooga.  So I'm sure I had even more snow than this downtown area had.  The mountains always get more snow.

When I wrote about M. L. King's book The Measure of a Man (
HERE), Deb commented:  "I wonder how MLK, Jr. defines the three dimensions.  I think I understand length."  This is what I learned in reading the book:
  1. LENGTH = being concerned about self and how long we live (looking in)
  2. BREADTH = being concerned about others (looking around)
  3. HEIGHT = being concerned about God (looking up)
Deb at Readerbuzz hosts the Sunday Salon

Friday, February 16, 2024

Another book for Black History Month

The question "What is man?" is one of the most important questions confronting any generation.  The whole political, social, and economic structure of a society is largely determined by its answer to this pressing question.
The Measure of a Man ~ by Martin Luther King Jr., 2001, nonfiction, 56 pages

These two meditations contain the theological roots of MLK's political and social philosophy of nonviolent activism.  In supporting reconciliation, Dr. King outlines human worth based on scripture, encouraging the reader to know each person has worth, rational ability, and an invitation to fellowship with the Creator.  In addition, he explains the three dimensions of life (length, breadth, and height) must all be present and working harmoniously in order for life to be complete as an individual and as a community.  Black and white photos from Dr. King's life and one of his simple prayers round out this short book.

Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays.