Tuesday, January 31, 2017


Actually, what I've done was fail to make an appointment with the physical therapist immediately after my doctor recommended one to work with my shoulder.  I have, however, been to the exercise groups I told you about last week.  It feels like I'm "running" all the time, trying to keep up with things I've scheduled, even though I'm retired.

Hosted by Joy's Book Blog

Monday, January 30, 2017

Blogging ~ for ten years

The first thing I wrote for this blog was posted
ten years ago — on January 30, 2007.
It was about Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake.
Chris @ Chrisbookarama also celebrated ten years this month.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sunday Salon ~ Bernice King, daughter of MLK

On Friday, I went to hear the Rev. Bernice A. King, youngest child of civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King.  She shared her own inspirational story and introduced her mother's book.

My Life, My Love, My Legacy ~ by Coretta Scott King, as told to the Rev. Dr. Barbara Reynolds, 2017, autobiography
The life story of Coretta Scott King (1927-2006) — wife of Martin Luther King Jr. and founder of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (The King Center) — as told fully for the first time, toward the end of her life, to the Rev. Dr. Barbara Reynolds.  As a widow and single mother of four, she worked tirelessly to found and develop The King Center as a citadel for world peace, lobbied for fifteen years for the US national holiday in honor of her husband, championed for women's, workers’ and gay rights, and was a powerful international voice for nonviolence, freedom, and human dignity.  Coretta’s is a love story, a family saga, and the memoir of an extraordinary black woman in twentieth-century America, a brave leader who, in the face of terrorism and violent hatred, stood committed, proud, forgiving, nonviolent, and hopeful all of her life.
I left at the end of the evening with this thought about nonviolence:
Violence is holistic; it's how we think as
well as how we act.  It's a way of life.
We must act.  Take action.  That fits with this line from Chapter 1 of Bernice's own 1997 book Hard Questions, Heart Answers:
"We must do more than honor a man of this magnitude with just a holiday; we must honor him with action."
I learned that Bernice King graduated from the same seminary I did — Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta — but three years after I did.  Apparently, she started in the fall of 1987 after I graduated that spring.  I wish her the best in her ministry and in her role as the CEO of The King Center as she continues to uphold her parents' legacy of nonviolence, social justice, and racial equality.

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

Friday, January 27, 2017

Beginning ~ with the color of her hair

"She was called Isabelle, and when she was a small girl her hair changed colour in the time it takes a bird to call to its mate."

The Virgin Blue ~ by Tracy Chevalier, 1997, fiction (France)
Meet Ella Turner and Isabelle du Moulin — two women born centuries apart, yet bound by a fateful family legacy.  When Ella and her husband move to a small town in France, Ella hopes to brush up on her French, qualify to practice as a midwife, and start a family of her own.  Village life turns out to be less idyllic than she expected, however, and a peculiar dream of the color blue propels her on a quest to uncover her family’s French ancestry.  As the novel unfolds — alternating between Ella’s story and that of Isabelle du Moulin four hundred years earlier — a common thread emerges that unexpectedly links the two women.

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

Thursday, January 26, 2017

I Dissent

"It's superhero day at school.  My daughter has been reading the heck out of I Dissent and decided on her own to dress as Ruth Bader Ginsburg, because she fights prejudice and injustice.  Girls who read really are dangerous, to unfairness and outmoded inequalities." — shared by Krista T., mother of a supergirl who chose an excellent superhero!  The first- ever picture book about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was released last fall.  You can see her daughter is holding the book:
I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark ~ by Debbie Levy, illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley, 2016, children's biography, 9/10

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Library Loot ~ January 25

The Jesus Sutras: Rediscovering the Lost Scrolls of Taoist Christianity ~ by Martin Palmer, 2001, religion
In 1907, explorers discovered a vast treasure trove of ancient scrolls, silk paintings, and artifacts dating from the 5th to 11th centuries A.D. in a long-sealed cave in a remote region of China.  Among them, written in Chinese, were scrolls that recounted a history of Jesus' life and teachings in beautiful Taoist concepts and imagery that were unknown in the West.  These writings told a story of Christianity that was by turns unique and disturbing, hopeful and uplifting.  The best way to describe them is collectively, with a term they themselves use:  The Jesus Sutras.

The origins of Christianity seem rooted in Western civilization, but amazingly, an ancient, largely unknown branch of Christian belief evolved in the East.  Eminent theologian and Chinese scholar Martin Palmer provides the first popular history and translation of the sect's long-lost scriptures — all of them more than a thousand years old and comparable in significance to the Dead Sea Scrolls.  Gathered, deciphered, and interpreted by a team of expert linguists and scholars, these sacred texts present an inspiring use of Jesus' teachings and life within Eastern practices and meditations — and provide an extraordinary window into an intriguing, profoundly gentler, more spiritual Christianity than existed in Europe or Asia at the time, or, indeed, even today.

Palmer has devoted more than a decade to seeking the extant writings and other evidence of this lost religion.  His determined search eventually led him to rediscover one of the earliest Christian monasteries.  At the site was an  8th century pagoda still intact.  Within it Palmer and his team found more evidence, including statues, underground passageways, and artifacts, that helped them uncover and re-create the era and rituals of the Taoist Christians.

The Taoist Christians, who wrote the Jesus Sutras recognized equality of the sexes, preached against slavery, and practiced nonviolence toward all forms of life.  In particular, this tradition offered its followers a more hopeful vision of life on earth and after death than the dominant Eastern religions, teaching that Jesus had broken the wheel of karma and its consequent punishing, endless reincarnations.

Vividly re-creating the turbulence of a distant age that is remarkably evocative of our own times, Palmer reveals an extraordinary evolution of spiritual thought that spans centuries.  A thrilling modern quest that is also an ancient religious odyssey, The Jesus Sutras shares a revolutionary discovery with profound historical implications — imparting timeless messages and lessons for men and women of all backgrounds and faiths.
That long description is from the dust jacket, and I also like this quote from Thich Nhat Hanh on the front cover:
"The Jesus Sutras tells a valuable history of the beautiful teachings of a faith built on living practices of brotherhood and peace.  The Sutras show us the interbeing nature of Jesus, Buddha, Tao, people, cultures, transformation, salvation, and unity through deep and mindful living."
Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire @ The Captive Reader and Linda @ Silly Little Mischief that encourages us to share the names of books we checked out of the library, but Claire hasn't posted a Mr. Linky this week.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Two become three ~ on TWOsday

Hosted by Joy's Book Blog
Megan is back!  I added another exercise class to my week yesterday, when Introduction to Movement started up again after a four-week hiatus.

I started a couple of fitness classes at the beginning of the year, so now I'll have group exercises three times a week.  Having these on the calendar help me exercise more consistently.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Fullness of life

The Living God and the Fullness of Life ~ by Jürgen Moltmann, 2015
Modern humanity has accepted a truncated, impoverished definition of life.  Focusing solely on material realities, we have forgotten that joy, purpose, and meaning come from a life that is both immersed in the temporal and alive to the transcendent.  We have, in other words, ceased to live in God.  Moltmann shows us what that life of joy and purpose looks like.  Describing how we came to live in a world devoid of the ultimate, he charts a way back to an intimate connection with the biblical God.  He counsels that we adopt a "theology of life," an orientation that sees God at work in both the mundane and the extraordinary and that pushes us to work for a world that fully reflects the life of its Creator.  Moltmann offers a telling critique of the shallow values of consumerist society and provides a compelling rationale for why spiritual sensibilities and encounter with God must lie at the heart of any life that seeks to be authentically human.
I'm slowly getting back into the study of theology.  So far I've only managed to read the Preface (3 pages) and the Introduction (20 pages) of this book, but it's a start.  This book contributes to the theology of life that Moltmann began with
The Spirit of Life: A Universal Affirmation, 1992
The Source of Life: The Holy Spirit and the Theology of Life, 1997

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Sunday Salon ~ compassion and carnage

Yesterday, I wrote about Carnage ~ word of the day; today I'll meet with Joy and Evelyn and Alyssa and Donna to discuss compassion.  As you can see in the screen-shot, Joy posted Am I More Compassionate? on her blog this morning.  We'll talk about what she said, including this:
"Compassion for myself pulls me away from fretting about things that are out of my control. Compassion for others pulls me toward actions that might make a difference while working with like-minded people."
I've been reading Willis Johnson's Holding Up Your Corner: Talking about Race in Your Community (2017).  It overlaps with our study of compassion, so today I'll suggest that we in my study group take a look at what Johnson is encouraging us to do.  The actions he suggests will make a difference, like Joy's actions while working with like-minded people.  First, we need to listen.
"People who are hurting need to be affirmed in their hurt; people who are angry need to be affirmed in their anger" (pp. 54, 60).
Bloggers gather in the Sunday Salon — at separate computers in different time zones — to talk about our lives and our reading.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Carnage ~ word of the day

After the carnage at Sandy Hook in December 2012
"Carnage" seems to be the word of the day.  I got online this morning to see the top two "blogs I read" on my sidebar were:
1. Paul Krugman, The Opposite of Carnage, 1 hour ago
2. a church for starving artists, Carnage and Me, 13 hours ago
Eventually, I learned that Trump had said yesterday in his speech, “This American carnage stops right here and stops right now."  Twitter had fun with his use of the word, and Dictionary.com reported that the word spiked in lookups.  In case you're interested, here's their definition of the word:
Carnage = the slaughter of a great number of people, as in battle; butchery; massacre.
Merriam-Webster.com also saw a spike in lookups.
"Carnage ('great and usually bloody slaughter or injury, as in battle') spiked in lookups on January 20th, 2017, following President Donald Trump’s use of the word in his inauguration speech.
Okay, did I miss it?  Who was slaughtered yesterday?  Merriam-Webster explained why the word was trending.
"Trump’s use of the word was a decidedly figurative one, as he appeared to not be referring to actual bloodshed, but rather to what he feels is a social and economic desolation."
Ah!  So an American carnage is decidedly different from, say, carnage in Syria or even in Sandy Hook.  The Guardian reported:
"The new 45th president of the United States coined the sinister phrase 'American carnage' to vividly conjure an image of inner cities he said were afflicted by crime, a political elite that had forgotten ordinary people, and a landscape of rusted factories like tombstones."
After the headline "President vows to end 'American carnage'," BBC News said:
"The Trump administration has only listed six issues on the [White House] website:  energy, foreign policy, jobs and growth, military, law enforcement and trade deals.  Critics pointed out the revamped site made no mention of civil rights, LGBT rights, healthcare or climate change."
Let me end with this from Carnage and Me:
"Why do our leaders – especially those with zero military experience – so brazenly threaten war?  DJT on December 22, 2016 on Twitter said that 'The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.'  None of us has yet witnessed the carnage that a 21st Century nuclear war could bring."

Friday, January 20, 2017

At such a time as this ~ HOPE

Two things give me HOPE today:

1.  My friend Scott Sheperd, who lives here in St. Louis, wrote a piece of music called The Power of Hope (21 videos on YouTube) about a metaphorical family of humanity moving through a "day" filled with situations that appear hopeless and refusing to be beaten by them.  They rediscover hope and the power it has to help them face anything, and they tap into the strength of love and of people supporting each other.  I plan to spend part of today watching these videos.  Here's one called Before the Day that I picked randomly.  Scott posted on Facebook today:
"Eventually I want to get it choreographed and danced to locally.  I did have a variation of it performed in Kampala, Uganda.  It is about a metaphorical family getting through a day where it swings from a feeling of hopelessness to a sense of hope and back and forth.  It eventually celebrates all of us who have overcome that feeling of hopelessness and moved forward."
2.  The Rev. Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe wrote a prayer for this day that I, too, can pray.  She prays for these and more:
  • For the good of earth and all of creation...
  • For the poor and the oppressed, for the unemployed, and the destitute, for prisoners and captives, and for all who remember and care for them...
  • For those who faithfully advocate for justice and peace...
  • That we may live our lives in faith and hope, without suffering and without reproach...
My thanks to both of these people for the HOPE they have shared today.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Divided ~ on TWOsday

Holding Up Your Corner: Talking about Race in Your Community ~ by F. Willis Johnson, 2017
This book equips pastors to respond with confidence when crises occur, lower their own inhibitions about addressing this topic, and reclaim their authority as prophetic witnesses and leaders in order to transform their communities.  Preachers want to be preaching prophetically on racially rooted injustice in their communities, but the problems seem irreversible, intractable, and overwhelming.  They do not know what to do or how to begin.  And so, even during times of crisis, pastors and other church leaders typically do less than they know they could and should.  This book provides practical, foundational guidance, showing pastors how to address injustice.  The phrase "holding up your corner" comes from Mark 2: 1–5 in which four people take action in order to help another person.  When we feel empowered to speak out about the injustice or inequity in our community, we are holding up our corner.  When we step up to meet a particular problem of injustice or inequity and proactively do something about it.
Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right ~ by Arlie Russell Hochschild, 2016
Hochschild embarks on a journey from her liberal hometown of Berkeley, California, deep into Louisiana bayou country, a stronghold of the conservative right.  As she gets to know people who strongly oppose many of the ideas she famously champions, Hochschild nevertheless finds common ground and quickly warms to the people she meets.  She goes beyond the commonplace liberal idea that these are people who have been duped into voting against their own interests.  Instead, she finds lives ripped apart by stagnant wages, a loss of home, and the elusive American dream.  Political choices make sense in the context of their lives.  Hochschild helps us understand what it feels like to live in "red" America and answers the crucial question:  Why do the people who would seem to benefit most from "liberal" government intervention abhor the very idea?
The divide in the first book is between Blacks and whites; the divide in the second book is between the Left and the Right.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Jürgen Moltmann ~ theology of hope

Although I haven't finished any of Jürgen Moltmann's books yet in 2017, I've been thinking about HOPE.  For one thing, I chose it for my word of the year, the first time I've ever done such a thing.
And now the picture I've shared above is on my desktop for (at least) this week.  I found it in something posted online about the Women's Marches all across the nation on January 21st, the day after the inauguration.  What are your hopes for this year?

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sunday Salon ~ staying warm and reading

I completed a couple of books this week, both biographical and both about women.

Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race ~ by Debby Irving, 2014, race relations, 10/10
We white people should choose "conver-sation starters that have nothing to do with identifying a person by where they're from, what they do for work, or any other sorting and ranking criteria."  For example (from p. 215):  "So what was the most interesting thing that happened in your day today?"
I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark ~ by Debbie Levy, illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley, 2016, children's, 9/10
"You could say that Ruth Bader Ginsburg's life has been one disagreement after another. Disagreement with creaky old ideas.  With unfairness.  With Inequality.  Ruth has disagreed, disapproved, and differed.  She has objected.  She has resisted.  She has dissented.  Disagreeable?  NO.  Determined?  YES."
I don't seem to be focusing as much on Jürgen Moltmann's books as I had planned, though I'll catch up.  But I know I also need novels and memoirs in my life.  While working in the Crown Center's small library this week, I picked up a novel by Richard Russo.  And I got two books about Ruth Bader Ginsburg from the University City Public Library, the book for children that I read immediately (above) and the one for adults (shown here).

  • Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg ~ by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik, 2015, biography
  • That Old Cape Magic ~ by Richard Russo, 2009, fiction (Massachusetts)
Okay, what else happened this week?  Ice happened!  We've had icy roads and sidewalks and trees in St. Louis for the last few days.  I glanced out my window yesterday morning and saw a woman getting up from the sidewalk after a fall.  Most of us are staying inside.  Our schedules changed at the Crown Center when the staff went home in mid-morning on Friday, and I still don't know if we'll have a memorial service today for Marilyn, who died recently.

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

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Caturday ~ photo

Usually, I get up and move when someone points a camera at me, but I was comfortable and stayed put.  Someone told Bonnie I don't look real in this picture.  What's THAT supposed to mean?  I'm real.  I'm a real cat.  Can I help it if I'm so cute?

Clawdia, 'til next time   >^. .^<

Friday, January 13, 2017

Beginning ~ in a hotel room

That Old Cape Magic ~ by Richard Russo, 2009, fiction (Massachusetts)
"Though the digital clock on the bedside table in his hotel room read 5:17, Jack Griffin, suddenly wide awake, knew he wouldn't be able to get back to sleep."
I got this novel from the Crown Center library.  It's a duplicate copy, so Donna and I culled it to be donated.  I'll read it first.  A summary:
For Griffin, all paths, all memories, converge at Cape Cod.  The Cape is where he took his childhood summer vacations, where he and his wife, Joy, honeymooned, where they decided he’d leave his LA screenwriting job to become a college professor, and where they celebrated the marriage of their daughter Laura’s best friend.  But when their beloved Laura’s wedding takes place a year later, Griffin is caught between chauffeuring his mother’s and father’s ashes in two urns and contending with Joy and her large, unruly family.  Both he and she have also brought dates along.  How in the world could this have happened?  It's about marriage, family, and all the other ties that bind.

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

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Two videos ~ "True Colors"

A PrimeTime investigation showed how racial bias comes into play in numerous interactions when two friends with virtually the same Big Ten collegiate educational background both go shopping and house hunting.  The African-American man is consistently ignored and talked down to by store clerks and car salesmen, while his white counterpart is greeted and glad handed at the same department stores and dealerships.  An undercover news TV crew captures instances of housing, job discrimination, and other racial bias in this thought provoking bit of investigative journalism conducted in St. Louis, Missouri.  It aired on September 26, 1991.  The report is now in two parts on YouTube.

Diane Sawyer "True Colors" ~ Part 1

Diane Sawyer "True Colors" ~ Part 2

Two videos on TWOsday about racial bias in St. Louis in 1991.  Has it changed?  What do you think?

Monday, January 9, 2017

Study notes

The Trinity and the Kingdom: The Doctrine of God ~ by Jürgen Moltmann, 1981
This book provides the long-needed grounding for both liberation and process theologies and a view of both God and the church that emphasizes community based on freedom rather than authority.  People arrive at their own truth in their free and loving inclination towards one another, so Moltmann is inviting us to a "social" understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity.
We used this book in Walt Lowe's class at Candler School of Theology at Emory University in the spring of 1986.  I have notes in the margins and underlined passages through about half the book, which means I never finished reading the whole thing.  Obviously, I don't remember specifics from a class I took 31 years ago, but I learned enough about Moltmann's thinking that I later chose him as the theologian to emulate in my preaching class.  Here are some of the things I underlined:
"The world of growing interdependencies can no longer be understood in terms of 'my private world'." (p. 19).

"In this chapter we are trying to develop a doctrine of theopathy" (p. 25).  Theopathy = religious emotion excited by the contemplation of God.

"The living God is the loving God" (p. 38).

"Awareness means knowing-with, feeling-with and suffering-with.  It is only through pain that living things arrive at awareness of one another and of themselves" (p. 39).

"Misery is the lot of anyone who sins against God.  This misery is already inhyerent in the sin itself.  That is why the sinner is not really a wrongdoer who has to be punished in addition.  He is someone pitiable, and we must have compassion on him" (p. 50).

"True freedom is not 'the torment of choice,' with its doubts and threats; it is simple, undivided joy in the good" (p. 55).

"The triune God reveals himself as love in the fellowship of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  His freedom therefore lies in the friendship which he offers men and women, and through which he makes them his friends.  His freedom is his vulnerable love, his openness..." (p. 56).

"If God is love he is at once the lover, the beloved and the love itself" (p. 57).

"His [Jesus's] kingdom is the kingdom of 'compassion'" (p. 70).

"God is silent.  This is the experience of hell and judgment" (p. 77).

"Finally, it is important to notice that it is only here on the cross that, for the first and only time in his life, the Son addresses God, not as Father but as God (Hebrew Eloheni, Aramaic Eloi)" (p. 80).
Just thinking myself back into Moltmann's way of thinking.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Sunday Salon ~ bookshelves

I'm following the advice of these book shelves by reading my own Jürgen Moltmann books.  Can you see that it says "read your book case"?

This has been a good week, but not what I expected.  For one thing, I didn't complete Moltmann's autobiography, as I had hoped to do.  On the other hand, I managed to get six posts written (if I get to count the one my cat "wrote"), and I enjoyed socializing with friends several times:  visiting with Sandy and Donna over a meal, "Talking It Over" with a group of Crown residents, eating out with Joan, meeting Rosie for lunch in the Circle@Crown Café, and getting to know Miriam over dinner with other residents downstairs.  (I'm Miriam's ambassador, a volunteer who helps a new resident get to know about the Crown Center.)

Book just completed:
  • The Indigo Children: The New Kids Have Arrived ~ by Lee Carroll and Jan Tober, 1999, psychology, 8/10
Books I'm reading now:
  • Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race ~ by Debby Irving, 2014, race relations
  • Stress: The Good and the Bad ~ by Paula Ceccaldi, Agnès Diricq, and Clémentine Bagieu, 2001, health
  • A Broad Place: An Autobiography ~ by  Jürgen Moltmann, 2007, theology
Books up next:
  • The Living God and the Fullness of Life ~ by Jürgen Moltmann, 2015, theology
  • Jürgen Moltmann: Collected Readings ~ ed. by Margaret Kohl, 2014, theology
Bloggers gather in the Sunday Salon — at separate computers in different time zones — to talk about our lives and our reading.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Caturday ~ communication skills

Someone asked Bonnie (I was listening to them talk):  "How do you know what she's saying?"

Humans are so limited in their understanding!  First, I get Bonnie's attention then *SHOW* her what she needs to do.
1.  If I go to the kitchen and sit at my empty bowl, she knows to feed me.

2.  If I jump up on the table beside the place Bonnie keeps my treats, she knows I want treats.

3.  If I run to the door, it means I'm anxiously awaiting our nightly ritual of taking a walk down the hall so I can explore what's going on.  I hear sounds from behind those closed doors, sounds like televisions, and I smell smells coming under the doors of what people have eaten.
Most people are able to learn things like that. I have trained Bonnie, however, to do an additional task.
4.  If I sit on the zippered part of my carrier, she knows I want to go visit Donna.  (I used to have to get inside it before she understood.)
See that photo up above?  Yes, I'm sitting there, but Bonnie was wasting time taking a picture of me.  I watch her to be sure she doesn't get distracted by something like her laptop, but she isn't perfect.  Sometimes she says we can't go because it's the middle of the night.  Sometimes she claims Donna isn't at home, but I say we can't know that until we go check it out.  So c'mon c'mon c'mon, let's go now!

Clawdia, 'til next time or whenever   >^. .^<

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Readers' workouts ~ back in class

Melissa had handouts for our exercise class today.  All of them are from Go4Life.  Click the links to see what's inside each one or to order your own free copy.
My first goal for 2017 was to get started back in an exercise class or two.  Since they meet downstairs in the building where I live, it's only an elevator ride away.  I've learned that good intentions don't always work when I plan to exercise alone in my apartment.  When I'm with a dozen friends and acquaintances, however, I'm more likely to follow through.  So I have started the year by attending two different classes:  Fitness with Melissa and Fitness on Demand.

Hosted by Joy's Book Blog
I already have a few books showing various exercise routines, which I've done on my own. Now I have Melissa's handouts and will read through them as well. This is, after all, "readers' workouts" and I'm a reader.  Besides exercising and reading, I plan to link up with other readers on Joy's Book Blog.  Doing that will keep me focused on my goal of staying as healthy as possible.  Want to join me?

This new exercise book explains the four kinds of exercises that I wrote about in July and then has an entire chapter with sample exercises for each of the four.
"Exercises generally fall into four main categories:  endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility.  Though we describe them separately, some activities fit into several categories.  For example, many endurance activities also help build strength, and strength exercises can help improve balance" (p. 12).
The categories (p. 13):
  • Endurance — aerobic activities increase your breathing and heart rate.
  • Strength  — resistance training improves your muscle strength.
  • Balance — these exercises help prevent falls, a common problem in older adults.
  • Flexibility — stretching can help your body stay flexible and limber.
I'm off and running (well, not literally).  All I can say now is "get thee behind me, Daffy Duck!"

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Teaser Tuesday 1/3/17

Why Are There More Questions Than Answers, Grandad? ~ by Kenneth Mahood, 1974, children's, 10/10
This is a picture book, so the best way to "quote" it is by showing a picture.  The book is about a boy who asks too many questions and is given, by his badgered grandad, an overwhelming task to keep him quiet and out of mischief.  Poor Grandad carries an umbrella (see it on the cover?) to keep from being drenched from Sandy's unending questions.  It turns out that the red book in the attic really does have all the answers!  And here are some more "random" pages.
Click the images to enlarge them.  Sandy gave up on his Grandad's "impossible task" of having this huge room spic and span before dinner.  Instead of cleaning, he opened a large red book he had found.

In the book were "pictures of everything from ARKS to ZULUS, and a lot more besides."  Finding a parrot, Sandy began his usual questions.  "I wonder if parrots can really talk?"  Oh, yeah!  The parrot flew up out of the book saying, "Properly perspicacious parrots prattle perfectly."

And Paddy the parrot knew the book had the answer to Sandy's problem under CLEANING.  They dusted and vacuumed and one thing led to another, until (please excuse my adult language) all hell burst loose.  Soldiers arrived, but their cannon started a fire, which necessitated firemen, of course.

But the firemen flooded the place, and Grandad could be heard coming up the stairs.  Now what?  "It would take a magician to get me out of this!" moaned Sandy.  See the parrot opening the book to M for magician?

For Teaser Tuesday, we're supposed to share two “teaser” sentences from a random page in the book we are reading, without giving away any spoilers.  This is a children's book and preschoolers don't care about spoilers, since they love to read a book over and over and over again.  On the last page (notice that I'm giving you another spoiler), Grandad is the one asking the questions:
"How on earth did you do it? ... What was all that noise about? ... Did I hear shooting? ... Who was playing the violin? ... How did you move all that furniture? ... Where did that parrot come from? ... Did I hear a fire engine? ... Who were you talking to? ... Am I imagining things, Sandy?"  And Sandy tells him, "The answers are all in the book, Grandad!"
Now the surprise I found online.  Amazon has a "poor copy" for £490.00 in the UK, and AbeBooks has a copy for US$ 796.86 shipped from the UK (maybe the same book?) and two in "very good" condition for US$ 334.71 and US$ 15.38.  My copy, found in a free bin at a used book store several years ago, is in poor shape.  Some pages have been torn (but none ripped out), and the book was discarded from a library in Louisiana.  My cover is in good shape compared to the image above that I found online, with only bumped corners.  The pages could be taped back together, and all the words and pictures are there.  Neither of my libraries has a copy.  What would you pay to own this book?

Two old books ~ on TWOsday

Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner ~ edited by Ellen E. Garrigues, 1895 and 1910

This is a slim little volume, with brown covers imprinted with slightly darker brown words.  That's why I photographed the title page instead of the cover.  I'll probably read the book before passing it on.  What fascinates me most is that it belonged to the aunt I was named for.  She wrote her name in the book three times:
Bonnie Reynolds      ― inside the front cover
Central High School

Bonnie Reynolds     ― inside the back cover

Bonnie Reynolds     ― one page in from the back
She also annotated sections of the ballad and wrote a list of words in the back that her teacher must have been trying to teach them:
medifor ― [metaphor]
Presonification ― [personification]
Oops on her spelling!  Since she's the one who taught me lots of big words, like "masticate" (to chew), I'd have fun teasing her if she hadn't died in 1979.  She also goofed when noting the meaning of a word.  "Apostrophe is addressing lifeless things or abstract things as though they were persons."  Nope, that would be personification.  Oh, well, it's fun to think my Auntie was once a girl in school.
1-3-17  Wendy corrected me (in the comments below):
The definition for apostrophe is correct.  It is a kind of personification in which the speaker addresses a concept or object.  An example:  "With how sad steps, o Moon, thou climbs't the sky."

I looked it up and found that Dictionary.com defines "apostrophe" as a digression in the form of an address to someone not present, or to a personified object or idea, as “O Death, where is thy sting?”  Ha!  I knew "apostrophe" sometimes meant a digression, but I didn't realize it was in the form of an address and I didn't connect it with personification.  So thanks to nearly-one-hundred-year-old notes from that teacher's class, Wendy's comment, and this explanation from an online dictionary, I've learned something!  Thanks, Wendy.
Adventures in Appreciation ~ by Luella B. Cook, Walter Loban, and Susanna Baxter, 1936, 1941, 1947, 1949, 1952
I rescued this book from a free bin outside a used bookstore many years ago, because it was one I'd used in high school myself.  Several names I remember are inscribed inside this 718-page anthology, so whoever used it was possibly in my class.  She also slipped a newspaper clipping of a boy in uniform (ROTC?) between the pages.  Since we didn't buy the books we used at our school, I can only surmise that, having stamped it repeatedly with the name of her club and having written all over it and checked each footnote she read, she was required by the school to pay for the damaged book ― and she kept it.
I recognize many of the stories, poems, articles, nonfiction, drama, and a complete novel (Silas Marner by George Eliot) included in this heavy tome (yes, I know that adjective is redundant).  Some of them stand out for me, and I may read them before donating the book to a book sale.
  • "By the Waters of Babylon" (pp. 36-47) ― a post-apocalyptic short story by American writer Stephen Vincent Benét, first published July 31, 1937, in The Saturday Evening Post as "The Place of the Gods"
  • "Outwitted" (p. 208) ― a poem (quatrain) by Edwin Markham
He drew a circle that shut me out ―
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in!
  • "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child" (p. 208) ― the music for this "Negro Spiritual" is on the facing page, and I'll probably run off a copy to play on the piano before I give away the book.

On this TWOsday, I share two old books I found while emptying a box to unclutter my home.