Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Your vote is your voice

Thanks to Left Bank Books for this photo.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

National Black Cat Day ~ for Clawdia

Oh, no!!!  I almost missed National Black Cat Day!  This Caturday post celebrates my very favorite black cat ... CLAWDIA ... yay!

Friday, October 26, 2018

Beginning ~ in an old building

The Center squatted on the corner of Juniper and Montfort behind a wrought-iron gate, like an old building used to guarding its territory.  At one point, there had been many like it in Mississippi —  nondescript, unassuming buildings where services were provided and needs were met.  Then came the restrictions that were designed to make these places go away.
A Spark of Light ~ by Jodi Picoult, 2018, fiction (Mississippi)
The warm fall day starts like any other at the Center — a women’s reproductive health services clinic — its staff offering care to anyone who passes through its doors.  Then, in late morning, a desperate and distraught gunman bursts in and opens fire, taking all inside hostage.  After rushing to the scene, Hugh McElroy, a police hostage negotiator, sets up a perimeter and begins making a plan to communicate with the gunman.  As his phone vibrates with incoming text messages he glances at it and, to his horror, finds out that his fifteen-year-old daughter, Wren, is inside the clinic.

But Wren is not alone.  She will share the next and tensest few hours of her young life with a cast of unforgettable characters:  A nurse who calms her own panic in order to save the life of a wounded woman.  A doctor who does his work not in spite of his faith but because of it, and who will find that faith tested as never before.  A pro-life protester, disguised as a patient, who now stands in the crosshairs of the same rage she herself has felt.  A young woman who has come to terminate her pregnancy.  And the disturbed individual himself, vowing to be heard.

This is a story that traces its way back to what brought each of these very different individuals to the same place on this fateful day.  How do we balance the rights of pregnant women with the rights of the unborn they carry?  What does it mean to be a good parent?  This novel will inspire debate, conversation ... and, hopefully, understanding.

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

Thursday, October 25, 2018


A picture may be worth a thousand words, but you know I'll add lots of words anyway, don't you?  I went down to the Circle@Crown Café for brunch this morning and had the breakfast special of pancakes and a fruit cup.  And tea, of course.  Always tea.  And nearly always iced tea.  After eating with another Crown Center resident, I refreshed my iced tea and went to sit off in the corner, facing the hallway.  I was sipping tea and reading Not Quite a Scot by Janice Maynard (2016) on my Kindle when I came across these passages:
"Mealt Falls at Kilt Rock sounded like an auspicious place to start my month of Scottish photography" (p. 64).

"The waterfall over the Kilt Rock formation was breathtaking. It plunged at least fifty feet into the ocean below. Beyond the falls, dramatic headlands carved by centuries of wind and water jutted against the sky" (p. 65).
That's when I took out my flip-phone camera and took a picture of my own surroundings.  Okay, even on a nice sunny morning, the inside of a cafe is not on a par with seeing a breathtaking waterfall.  So here I am, back in my apartment, typing up a blog post and googling that waterfall in Scotland to see what the protagonist of this novel is seeing, hoping it's an actual place in Scotland.  Yes!  I found a photo of Mealt Falls (see above).

I've done this before, using my electronic devices to be able to see the locale of a novel I'm reading.  Here's one example, taking a leap to Nantucket via Google.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Cute as a button

I've been helping an Iranian American man learned more about our English idioms and words that don't always make sense, if you didn't grow up hearing them.  Does anyone think buttons are cute?  A few months ago, he asked about "follow your nose."  Recently, I printed out the idiomatic fridge for him, showing idioms like "top banana" and "bad apples."  I keep running across interesting things to share, like these from my wordsmith friend Colleen Redman on her blog Loose Leaf Notes on October 10, 2018:
  • "Spot on or on the spot?"
  • "Snopes (fact checking site) has the word nope right in it."
Aren't words fun?  Can you think of any fun (or funny) words or phrases to share?

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Remembering Mom

Today is my mother's 101st birthday.  I took this picture of her in 1987, when we moved into my first parsonage after seminary.  The bishop wanted to know the people living in parsonages in Holston Conference, so I had her stand at the end of the driveway on Avalon Circle with that beautiful old oak tree over her shoulder.  It's my favorite photo of her, framed and given to me by my best friend Donna when mother died in 2004 at the age of 87.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Gyn/Ecology ~ by Mary Daly

Gyn/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism ~ by Mary Daly, 1978, 1990, women's studies
Daly argues that men throughout history have sought to oppress women.  In this book she moves beyond her previous thoughts on the history of patriarchy to the focus on the actual practices that, in her view, perpetuate patriarchy, which she calls a religion.  Daly's "New Intergalactic Introduction" to this edition explores her process of writing Gyn/Ecology, "this Thunderbolt of Rage" that she hurled against the patriarchs in 1978 and again in the re-surging movement of radical feminism in the 1990s.
I read Daly's Beyond God the Father in the 1970s, but I don't think I ever got around to reading this book.  It looks intriguing, so I bought it for my Kindle today.  Read more about the author in this short piece:  Feminist Theologian Mary Daly Remembered.  (After posting, I finished reading the article and apologize for posting something about Mary Daly that concludes with the opinion of a MAN who disapproves of her and says she'll be "only a footnote."  Good grief!)

Friday, October 19, 2018

Beginning ~ with the first family

Jesus Wants to Save Christians: Learning to Read a Dangerous Book ~ by Rob Bell and Don Golden, 2008
The first family was dysfunctional.  At least, that's the picture painted by the storyteller in the book of Genesis.
Nothing surprising here.  This is nonfiction about how to read the Bible, not a novel where we wonder what's about to happen.  I'm interested enough that I paid more for the Kindle edition of this revised book today than I would have paid for the hardback.  Here's what it's about:
This book calls upon the church to break from its cultural captivity and challenge the assumptions of the American Empire.  Anyone who has ever questioned their faith or is looking for answers they cannot find in their own church’s standard teachings will discover a new creed in Bell and Golden’s provocative and spiritually enlightening work.

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

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Food for thought

My source was Analytical Grammar on Facebook.  Comments added more food-related idioms that could have been put into that fridge:
  • good gravy
  • two peas in a pod
  • humble pie
  • chopped liver
  • big cheese
  • apple of her eye
  • in a pickle
  • bun in the oven
  • cup of tea
  • sour grapes
  • cutie pie
  • cool beans
  • cold turkey
  • bad eggs
  • whole hog
  • food for thought
  • a grain of salt
  • salt of the earth
What else could we add to this list, wordsmiths?

Friday, October 12, 2018

Beginning ~ with celebrity chefs

Who Cooked the Last Supper? : The Women's History of the World ~ by Rosalind Miles, 1986, 2001, history
Who cooked the Last Supper?  If it had been a man, wouldn't he have a saint's day by now, with a fervent following of celebrity chefs?  Questions like this got me into trouble from my earliest schooldays, when it seemed that all history, like everything else in the world, belonged to men.
I bought this for my Kindle quite some time ago, but until I started looking to see if I'd mentioned it here on my blog, I didn't realize I once had the ORIGINAL version in hand, back in 2014:  The Women's History of the World.  Did I buy it?  Did I borrow it from the library?  Did I read it?  It isn't on my shelf with other books on women's issues, but I moved a couple of months after I posted about the book in late March, so it could still be in a box somewhere, if I own it.  My guess is, though, that I borrowed it from the library.  Wow!  So now I get to read it on my Kindle in all its original glory!  The author says it has now been published the way she wrote it, humor and all, because "the subject is far too serious not to joke about" (loc. 103).

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

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Words that begin with DW

Is it true that only three words in the English language begin with DW?  I asked about words beginning with DW at dinner last week, and Sandy (sitting next to me) quickly came up with one.  Before I tell you what I've learned, I'm curious if any of you can name a DW word.

Don't scroll down
think of
at least one
word that
with DW.
I looked for DW words in my 1991 Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary and found the first three words here (with their variations).
Dwarf ~ the word my friend Sandy came up with.
Dwell ~ cliff dwellings (don't dwell on it too long).
Dwindle ~ the days dwindle down to a precious few.
Dweeb ~ how is this different from a dork or geek or nerd?
According to Wiktionary, "dweeb" is college slang from 1968.  Dork and dweeb are both missing from my 1991 dictionary, while "geek" comes from geck (fool) and is...
"a carnival performer often billed as a wild man whose act usually includes biting the head off a live chicken or snake."
What?!?!?  My, how that word has changed since 1991.  What got me thinking about DW words in the first place?  I was having lunch at our Circle@Crown Café with a new friend whose name starts with DW, and she mentioned the scarcity of words beginning with DW.  I thought of a man's name that qualified.  Remember Ike?  He was otherwise known as Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th president of the United States.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

One hundred years ago today

My dad was born on October 9, 1918.  That's one hundred years ago today.  This photo was probably taken in 1945 or late 1944, when he was drafted because of World War Two, even though he already had two children (me and my brother Billy) and my sister Ann was born three months after he left.  He served in the Philippines and in Japan.  No, really, he SERVED.  What he served was food.  The Army made him a cook because he owned a grocery store, which means food, which equated with being a cook in someone's mind.  Happy Birthday, Dad!

Compassion, empathy, kindness, and charisma

The Compassionate Life: Walking the Path of Kindness ~ by Marc Ian Barauch, 2009
"A compassionate life is more fulfilling.  It's only when the ego bows out that the curtain rises on real life.  That it's more blessed to give than to receive is not some moral nostrum, they say, but a prescription for authentic joy" (loc. 130).
Empathy: Why It Matters, and How to Get It ~ by Roman Krznaric, 2014
"First, let's get the meaning clear:  empathy is the art of stepping imaginatively into the shoes of another person, understanding their feelings and perspectives, and using that understanding to guide your actions" (loc. 56).
The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism ~ by Olivia Fox Cabane, 2012
"People really do love to hear themselves talk.  The more you let them speak, the more they will like you"" (p. 130).
The Power of Kindness: The Unexpected Benefits of Leading a Compassionate Life ~ by Piero Ferrucci, 2016
"Cooperation is intrinsically rewarding.  Giving a gift will make the brain happy just as much as receiving it" (loc. 193).
Simpler Living, Compassionate Life: A Christian Perspective ~ edited by Michael Schut, 1999
"Discerning how much is enough is made particularly difficult in our culture, which teaches that security lies in 'having more than I have now'" (p. 26).
These five books are (currently) together on my Kindle, making me notice the primary words of their title.  Do you have compassion, empathy, and/or charisma?  Do you want them?  What do they mean?  How are they related, if at all?  Notice that three of the five deal with compassion in one way or another and two deal with kindness.  Are compassion and kindness the same thing?

Monday, October 8, 2018

Notorious RBG

"Frat boy Kavanaugh will have to face the icy glare of the Notorious RBG at least once a week for his days on SCOTUS until we impeach him."

I took part of the words from a meme on Facebook, but couldn't simply share the whole thing because of the words I would never use.  This is the gist of it, the part that matters.  Will he be impeached?  I doubt it, but maybe.

I watched the documentary "RBG" on Saturday about Ruth Bader Ginsburg developing a legal legacy and also becoming a pop culture icon.  I read somewhere that she bought a bunch of Notorious RBG tee-shirts and gives them to her friends.  I love it!

Last year, I got a couple of books about her from the library:
  • I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark ~ by Debbie Levy, illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley, 2016, children's
  • Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg ~ by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik, 2015, biography

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Offering light ~ on this Caturday

We need a little light in this time of darkness for so many.  Is this little beastie a cat, perchance?  Ding, ding, ding!  Caturday post!

Friday, October 5, 2018

Beginning with ~ the small things

Present Day
It was the small things she took pleasure in.  (loc. 84)

March 1973
This time she was going to die, of that she was certain.  (loc. 106)

The Letter ~ by Kathryn Hughes, 2013, fiction (England)
Tina Craig longs to escape her violent husband.  She works all the hours God sends to save up enough money to leave him, also volunteering in a charity shop to avoid her unhappy home.  Whilst going through the pockets of a second-hand suit, she comes across an old letter, the envelope firmly sealed and unfranked.  Tina opens the letter and reads it ― a decision that will alter the course of her life for ever.

Billy Stirling knows he has been a fool, but hopes he can put things right.  On 4th September 1939 he sits down to write the letter he hopes will change his future.  It does ― in more ways than he can ever imagine.
I'm rather tired of books covering different people in different time periods, wondering how the authors will bring the whole thing together in the end.  But I'll give this one a chance.  I've read about 30% of this one on my Kindle (no page numbers to share here), and I'll keep reading to find out what happens.

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

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Book or sleep?

Is that why you can't get to sleep?  I almost named a name, but I think this is actually more MY problem than any of my friends.  Of course, being retired, it isn't really much of a problem for me, since I can just sleep late the next morning.  Book or sleep?  What a silly question!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Batyah is my name

When I studied basic Hebrew in 1966, the cantor who taught the class gave me Batyah as my Hebrew name.  Bat means daughter, and Yah (or Yahweh) is the name of God.  So I'm a daughter of God.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Two ways to see a tree

There's only one photo here today (which happens to be Tuesday, day TWO of October), but it shows two ways to see the tree.  I first noticed the tree's reflection in the water, full of leaves.  Only then did I see the "actual" tree had no leaves.  What a perfect photo!

To see why the leaves didn't float away randomly, click on the photo to enlarge it.  The pool of water appears to be very shallow.  I love it!  Something on which to meditate.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Optimistic October

Click on the calendar to enlarge it.
We've had Happy January, Friendly February, Mindful March, Active April, Meaningful May, Joyful June, Jump Back JulyAltruistic August, and Self-Care September.  Now it's time for Optimistic October, found by searching for "calendar" on the Action for Happiness (AfH) web site.  Here are the first seven days of this new month.

October 1
~ Write down your most important goals for this month.
October 2
~ Do something constructive to improve a difficult situation.
October 3
~ Think of three things that give you hope for the future.
October 4
~ Set a goal that links to your sense of purpose in life.
October 5
~ Focus on a positive change that you want to see in society.
October 6
~ Take the first steps toward a goal that really matters to you.
October 7
~ Be a realistic optimist.  See life as it is, but focus on what's good.

"You are never too old to set a new goal
or dream a new dream." ~ Anonymous