Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Feast of the Found Blue Bag ~ REJOICE

Feast of the Found Blue Bag ~ REJOICE
Luke 15: 8-9 ~ "Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it?  When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.'"
Have you ever hidden something from yourself?  I've done it before, but this one "takes the cake," as the saying goes.  Lauree brought me a gift bag full of goodies, as I wrote on my blog three weeks ago.  I put the cranberry chicken salad in the fridge right away and opened a bottle of mineral water.  I put away the graham crackers for me and the treats for Clawdia, who soon ate her cat food gift.

Then one day, I couldn't find the blue-and-white gift bag.  Thinking "it has to be here," I searched for days.  I hate it when I do things like that.  "It's GOT to be here," I'd think, "but it's NOT."  I couldn't have thrown it away, could I?

Last week, I woke up thinking about the lost bag of goodies, and I had a thought from somewhere (the back of my mind, maybe?).  I got out of bed and went straight to that spot.  Yep, I had hung the gift bag on a handle where I later hung the empty plastic bags from my Instacart order, completely hidden under many brown bags.  It was right there in front of me all the time, but buried.  Now that it is found, I invite you to rejoice with me at what I'll call a Feast of the Found Blue Bag.  All of you readers are my friends and neighbors, right?

Preparing the Feast

Here's the Crown Center crew packing meals for residents last week.  Left to right are Kari, Genevieve, and Judy.  Notice they are all wearing face masks as well as gloves.  Below are the individuals at work.

Judy in the kitchen putting it all together.

Kari in the kitchen cutting up the bread (sounds like lyrics for a song, doesn't it?)

Scott ready to deliver, with the list in his hand.  The delivery person varies, and that was the day Scott brought mine.

More Feasting

Just before noon, as I was taking my blood pressure for a medical study I agreed to do, I got a text message from my buddy Sharon at the other end of my hall:
"Purple people eater blueberry muffin.  I tested it this morning.  Fit for human consumption.  Outside your door."
Sorry, people, but you don't get this at our Feast.  I have devoured it, even the crumbs.  It was so fit for human consumption that every single crumb is now gone.  I didn't even think about taking a picture of it until I was down to the last bite.

While I was typing this, my neighbor Galina knocked on my door and backed away after handing me a small, unopened container of carrot-raisin salad.  I had given her the carrot sticks from one of our recent meal deliveries because it's hard to crunch big pieces of carrot with my dentures.  She thoughtfully gave me shredded carrots which I am able to eat.  Such thoughtfulness among neighbors here at the Crown Center is very common, maybe more than usual during our lockdown.  Like today, Donna got an Instacart delivery and shared her grapes with me, along with some of her fresh bread.

Lest you assume those meals being delivered from the Crown Center are just our normal fare, it isn't.  This is an independent living retirement center.  We have our own kitchens in our apartments.  This is something special they are doing to keep us happy and healthy.  Those who choose to be part of this program during the lockdown get five meals each week, whether we have ever been part of the food program in the dining room or not.  No charge.  We can make a donation later, if we like, but for now they are taking care of a meal for each weekday, if we want them.  Thanks, Crown Center.

Cousins together

My closest cousin is Carolyn, who now lives in California with her son's family.  We had a nice conversation this afternoon by phone, catching up on family news.  She's a year older than I am, but for two days every year we're the same age.  My 80th birthday was Sunday, and she's 81 today.  Happy Birthday, Carolyn!

Sunday, April 26, 2020

There's a cat licking your birthday cake

Here's the birthday girl, wearing my face mask "uniform" as usual when leaving my apartment.  Notice the tissue in hand for punching elevator buttons, so as not to waste a disposable glove just to take the elevator down once and back up.  Donna had ordered me birthday dinner from Panera — Fuji Apple Salad with chicken and apple chips, and a blueberry muffin for dessert.  I met her where deliveries are left on that table next to me because outsiders may no longer roam the halls of the Crown Center.  We met the delivery guy there and each took food to our apartments to eat, all socially distanced to stay safe.

I'll show you what I ate, and it was delicious.  I shared a few nibbles of the chicken with Clawdia.  Maybe it's because they are trying to be extra good to any customers they can get right now, but it seemed to me there were more of all the goodies in the salad today — more sliced up tiny tomatoes, more feta crumbles, more pecans, even more of the chicken.  It was very delicious.  Clawdia concurs.

Donna sent me a singing birthday card, and I've found it on YouTube for you.  If the video here quits working, click on the link to view it there.  The words are appropriate, since Clawdia would act just like these cats.

Cats on an antique player piano
As if one musical card weren't enough, I got another lively one from Mary Grace (Gigi) entitled "Kit Cat Boogie."  She wrote:
"Happy Birthday!  Hope you'll boogie on your birthday, Bonnie!  Last picture I saw of you, you looked well and happy — hope that is still the case.  Enjoy your special day.  xxoogg"
Yes, I'm doing well and have been doing the boogie all over my little apartment today.  My cat didn't lick my cake when I ate a little Hostess cake for lunch.  For breakfast, I ate a small can of Vienna sausages and the last three green olives left in the jar.  There's a back-story for that.
When I was ten, I went off to summer camp with my cousin Carolyn, who's a year older than I am.  Mother sent me a care package that week, and in it were a can of vienna sausages and some green olives.  She knew I loved those special treats.  So for my breakfast today, I gave myself a treat from my childhood and thought about what my Mom sent me seventy years ago. 
Marie brought me a gift last night and, wearing our masks, she handed off the bag she'd used to bring it up to me and backed off across the hall.  I had a hard time deciding whether to open it last night — who would know, right? — or wait for my actual birthday.  I did manage to wait to discover a wooden box full of Tea Drops.  On the side are directions:  "Pour in boiling water, add Tea Drop, stir and enjoy."  Tea Drops, it says, "are pressed teas made with genuine tea leaves that dissolve in hot water."  And inside are five kinds of tea:
  • Citrus Ginger
  • Sweet Peppermint
  • Blueberry Acai
  • Rose Earl Grey
  • Matcha Green Tea
I've had so many text messages and phone calls and long conversations that I had to recharge my phone at midday:  Barbara, Sandra, David, Sheila G., Susan, Sandy.  I got Facebook birthday wishes from Sylvia, three books shopped off her own shelf from Donna (stay-home orders, you know), and these birthday cards from Donna, Miriam, and Marie.

When Clawdia woke from her latest cat nap, we ventured out into the sunshine for the walk she's been wanting for days.  Miriam called happy birthday to me from a distance, while she was out sitting in the sun after days of rain.  We're both 80 now, since her birthday was in March.  As Clawdia sat in the lush grass looking around, I decided the pollen count seems to be down.  The mowers and trimmers were working here on this sunny Sunday, even though they usually come here on Mondays.  Maybe they've gotten their days as mixed up as the rest of us during this lockdown, or maybe they're worried about "rainy days and Mondays."

That's not all, yet.  Later in the day I got a couple of other singing electronic cards, both from Sharon.  One was these goats yodeling, and the other was William Shatner singing to me and putting my name in lights as I posted at the top of the page.  Okay, Sharon, how'd you do that, getting both of them to sing my name?  Thanks for the shout out!

And at the end of the day, more birthday wishes on Facebook from Gina, Toni (who included another birthday cat for today's collection), Annette, Judith, Charlotte, Bonnie M, Jimmy, and Terri.  Thanks to all.

Update 4/27/2020:  Birthday wishes keep pouring in, like floodgates have opened.  Facebook friends continue to send belated good wishes ~ Nancy, Jess, Alyssa, Cindy M, Jean L, Dora, Sharon L, Sylvia, Diana, Laurie, Mary Virginia, Cindy Z, Carol H, Ginger, Rosemary, Vickie, my brother Jim, Pamela, Ginny D, Candy, Sheryn (who added a dog to celebrate with us), and Rosie (who added a cat flying around in a small bi-plane to my cat collection).  And I forgot to include the twenty-plus who have clicked "Like" or "Love."  Feeling very blessed by all of you.

LOCKDOWN ~ humor

For more fun during our lockdown, here's a short video from a music teacher, who has composed a sweet little song.  In her viral video, Liz explains:
"As some of you guys might know, I'm a music teacher, and I've found that one of the best ways that I can process the whole transition to online learning and teaching is to write a song.  So, I wrote a song, and I'd like to share that with you guys now.  Here we go."
 What follows quite succinctly sums up the collective feelings of many, many teachers, parents, and students around the country.  And I'd say, it applies to the rest of us, too.  Shall we sing it with her?

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Earth Day ~ 50th anniversary

April 22nd has been Earth Day for 50 years now.  I celebrated the first one on the campus of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1970, coming home with a couple of buttons after the event.  Wikipedia says:
Earth Day is an annual event celebrated around the world on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First celebrated in 1970, it now includes events coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network in more than 193 countries.
Google has an interesting doodle today about bees and, if you click on it, the little bee moves through the trees and flowers, pollinating them.  Be sure to read about the development of the doodle.  That's where I found this little bee dance to share.

In an article headed by the Earth Day 2020 illustrationn above, the Philidelphia Inquirer suggests How to celebrate Earth Day’s 50th anniversary while following stay-at-home orders.  To see what I've posted here about Earth Day over the years, click on the label below or this link.

Kangaroo Words

Somebody posted "kangaroo words" on Facebook.  Huh, something new.  So I googled and found a list.  A kangaroo word is one that contains the letters of a related word inside it.  To say it another way, kangaroo words contain their own synonyms.  Here are a few examples:
cHickEN = chicken / hen
ROtUND = rotund / round
hoNOraBLE= honorable / noble
BLOssOM = blossom / bloom
conTAmINaTe = contaminate / taint
DEceAseD = deceased / dead
sePARaTe = separate / part
MAscuLinE = masculine / male
alONE = alone / one
SAlVagE = salvage / save
Notice that the letters of the "joey" or baby kangaroo word has to be in the same order, not rearranged.  Who came up with it?  Is this being taught in schools these days?  Were you aware of kangaroo words?

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Two friends doing something special

A week ago, I told you about two of our volunteers who've been making masks to distribute among the residents here.  I didn't have a photo of the two of them until the Crown Center posted this one recently.  Laurie Dyche and Linda Goldstein are long-time volunteers in the Circle@Crown Café.  With the Café closed, they've found another way to do something for the people here.

Our World Tuesday: 20 April 2020 already has 54 submissions when I remembered to do this new-to-me meme, so I'll add it now with ...

... what I was already calling my TWOsday Two post.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Around the World ~ China, Germany, Cuba

Life ~ by Lu Yao, translated by Chloe Estep, 1982 (translation 2019), literary fiction (China)
Lu Yao published only two novels before his untimely death — but their extraordinary influence catapulted the author to the top tier of Chinese contemporary fiction, establishing him as one of the most widely read and respected figures in Chinese literature.  In this first-ever translation of Lu Yao’s Life, we meet Gao Jialin, a stubborn, idealistic, and ambitious young man from a small country village whose life is upended when corrupt local politics cost him his beloved job as a schoolteacher, prompting him to reject rural life and try to make it in the big city.  Against the vivid, gritty backdrop of 1980s China, Lu Yao traces the proud and passionate Gao Jialin’s difficult path to professional, romantic, and personal fulfillment — or at least hard-won acceptance.
The First Mrs. Rothschild ~ by Sara Aharoni, translated by Yardenne Greenspan, 2019, historical fiction (Germany)
It is the turn of the eighteenth century in Frankfurt, Germany, and young Gutle and Meir Amschel Rothschild struggle to establish themselves in the cramped and restricted Judengasse.  But when Meir’s talents as a novice banker catch the attention of a German prince, Meir is suddenly afforded entrée into the European world of finance and nobility, and the Rothschilds’ lives are changed forever.  As proud as Gutle is of her husband’s success, she is also cautious — very much aware of the fact that her husband’s rise is tied to his patrons’ willingness to "see past" his Jewishness.  As their family grows, and a dream of fortune comes true, so does their belief that money will ultimately bring the power needed to establish Jewish civil rights.  This story is told through Gutle’s intimate journals, revealed across decades — from the French Revolution through personal tragedies and triumphs.
The Price of Paradise ~ by Susana López Rubio, translated by Achy Obejas, 2017 (translation 2019), fiction (Cuba)
Havana, Cuba, 1947.  Young Patricio flees impoverished Spain and steps into the sultry island paradise of Havana with only the clothes on his back and half-baked dreams of a better life.  Blessed with good looks and natural charm, he lands a job as a runner at El Encanto — one of the most luxurious department stores in the world.  Famous for its exquisite offerings from French haute couture to Arabian silks, El Encanto indulges the senses in opulent extravagance.  It caters to visiting Hollywood stars, rising politicos, and prerevolutionary Cuba’s wealthiest power players, including the notorious mobster César Valdés.  Falling in love with the mobster’s young wife, Gloria, is suicide.  But Patricio is irresistibly drawn to the beautiful girl with sad eyes, a razor-sharp intellect, and a penchant for both Christian Dior’s clothes and Einstein’s theories.  Within the walls of El Encanto, anything seems possible, even a love that promises to heal them and a desire that thrums with the mambo beat of the city itself.  In a reckless love affair that spans half a century, Patricio’s and Gloria’s lives entwine time and again, challenged by every twist of fate — for in a world of murder, betrayal, and revolution, those who dare to reach for paradise seldom survive unscathed.
These three books are among nine Read the World 2020 books offered free for Kindle through April 24 for World Book Day.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Around the World ~ Argentina, Tanzania, Germany

Out of the Silence: After the Crash ~ by Eduardo Strauch, translated by Jennie Erikson, 2012 (translation 2019), memoir (Argentina)
The extraordinary story of the rugby team who crashed in the Andes mountains in 1972.  One of the survivors breaks his silence to tell a personal story of survival, hope, and spiritual awakening in the face of unspeakable tragedy.  The unfathomable modern legend of the 1972 Andes plane crash and the Uruguayan rugby teammates who suffered seventy-two days among the dead and dying which has become a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.  The harrowing test of endurance on a snowbound cordillera ended in a miraculous rescue.

Four decades after the tragedy, a climber discovered survivor Eduardo Strauch’s wallet near the memorialized crash site and returned it to him.  It was a gesture that compelled Strauch to finally "break the silence of the mountains."  He withholds nothing as he reveals the truth behind the life-changing events that challenged him physically and tested him spiritually, but would never destroy him.  In revisiting the horror story we thought we knew, Strauch shares how surviving on the mountain, in the face of its fierce, unforgiving power and desolate beauty, forever altered his perception of love, friendship, death, fear, loss, and hope.
Hard Rain ~ by Irma Venter, translated by Elsa Silke, 2012 (translation 2020), fiction (Tanzania)
Journalist Alex Derksen’s new assignment in Tanzania should be easy, but he soon finds himself on the wrong side of the news.  It starts when he meets Ranna, a beautiful photographer with something to hide.  Alex stopped believing in love a long time ago, yet here in the middle of East Africa, it’s found him again.  Alex knows a thing or two about chaos — wherever he goes, it follows.  When an IT billionaire washes up onshore after seasonal flooding, he finds himself at the center of an investigation with Ranna as the main suspect.  It turns out she may have a good reason for hiding her past.  Wherever she goes, murder follows.  Alex should be used to these cat-and-mouse games, but this time it’s different.  Should he listen to his heart and help Ranna hide the bloody trail leading to her?  Or should he use his head and run for his life?
Your Perfect Year ~ by Charlotte Lucas, translated by Alison Layl, 2016 (translation 2019), fiction (Germany)
A man consumed by a meaningless life is going to do something he’s never considered doing before.  He’s going to enjoy the day.  For hyper-particular publishing heir Jonathan Grief, the day starts like any other — with a strict morning fitness regimen that’ll keep his divorced, easily irritated, cynical, forty-two-year-old self in absolutely flawless physical condition.  But all it takes to put a crimp in his routine is one small annoyance. Someone has left a leather-bound day planner with the handwritten title "Your Perfect Year" in his spot on his mountain bike at his fitness course!

Determined to discover its owner, Jonathan opens the calendar to find that someone known only as “H.” has filled it in with suggestions, tasks, and affirmative actions for each day.  The more he devotes himself to locating the elusive H., the deeper Jonathan is drawn into someone else’s rich and generous narrative — and into an attitude adjustment he desperately needs.  He may have ended up with a perfect year by accident, but it seems fate has set Jonathan on a path toward healing, feeling, and maybe even loving again — if only he can meet the stranger who’s changing his life one day at a time.
These three books are among nine Read the World 2020 books offered free for Kindle through April 24 for World Book Day.

Around the World ~ Brazil, Turkey, Sweden

Along the Tapajós ~ by Fernando Vilela, translated by Daniel Hahn, 2019, children's fiction (Brazil), 8/10
Cauã and Inaê are a brother and sister living in a small community along the Tapajós River in Brazil.  Here, the homes are on stilts and everyone travels around by boat — even to school.  When the rainy season comes, they must leave their village and relocate to higher ground for a while.  But after moving this year, Cauã and Inaê realize they’ve left behind something important: their pet tortoise, Titi.  Unlike turtles, tortoises can’t swim, and Cauã and Inaê are really worried.  So the pair sneaks back at night on a journey along the river to rescue him.  Will they be able to save Titi?  This picture book, first published in Brazil, offers kids a unique look into the lives of children who live along Brazil’s beautiful Tapajós River.
The Girl in the Tree ~ by Şebnem İşigüzel, translated by Mark David Wyers, 2016 (translation 2020), fiction (Turkey)
A young woman climbs the tallest tree in Istanbul’s centuries-old Gülhane Park, determined to live out the rest of her days there.  Perched in an abandoned stork’s nest in a sanctuary of branches and leaves, she tries to make sense of the rising tide of violence in the world below.  Torn between the desire to forget all that has happened and the need to remember, her story, and the stories of those around her, begins to unfold.

Then, unexpectedly, comes a soul mate with a shared destiny.  A lonely boy working at a nearby hotel looks up and falls in love.  The two share stories of the fates of their families, of a changing city, and of their political awakenings in the Gezi Park protests.  Together, they navigate their histories of love and loss, set against a backdrop of societal tension leading up to the tragic bombing that marked a turn in Turkey’s democracy — and sent a young girl fleeing into the trees.
The Man Who Played with Fire: Stieg Larsson's Lost Files and the Hunt for an Assassin ~ by Jan Stocklassa, translated by Tara F. Chace, 2018 (English translation 2019), true crime or creative nonfiction (Sweden)
When Stieg Larsson died, the author of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo had been working on a true mystery that out-twisted his Millennium novels: the assassination on February 28, 1986, of Olof Palme, the Swedish prime minister.  It was the first time in history that a head of state had been murdered without a clue who’d done it — and on a Stockholm street at point-blank range.

Internationally known for his fictional villains, Larsson was well acquainted with their real-life counterparts and documented extremist activities throughout the world.  For years he’d been amassing evidence that linked their terrorist acts to what he called “one of the most astounding murder cases” he’d ever covered.

Larsson’s archive was forgotten until journalist Jan Stocklassa was given exclusive access to the author’s secret project.  In The Man Who Played with Fire, Stocklassa collects the pieces of Larsson’s true-crime puzzle to follow the trail of intrigue, espionage, and conspiracy begun by one of the world’s most famous thriller writers.  Together they set out to solve a mystery that no one else could.
These three books are among nine Read the World 2020 books offered free for Kindle through April 24 for World Book Day.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Feeling very loved these days

I am astounded by how many people want to share things with me.  My cup runneth over!  This sparkly little basket is the latest gift.  Sharon called and told me there was something outside my door.  When I went to the door, this is what I found.  She had left us not only the grapes and bananas you can see on top, but two cans of Fancy Feast cat food for Miz Clawdia underneath.  I'll have to take the basket out in the sunshine to get a picture of how sparkly it is, with yellow, pink, and pale blue flowers and beads twisted into the delicate wires.

Another time, Sharon gave me a homemade cloth bag full of hazelnut chocolate truffles by Lindor that melt in my mouth.

Drenda brought me a bag with two kinds of Hostess treats in it — carrot cake donuts and small chocolate cakes rolled up around a fluffy white filling.

Lauree, Tiny's daughter, left me a shopping bag on the delivery table just inside the Crown Center.  In it were a big variety of edibles and packets of tea and coffee.  I should've made a list of the sundry things inside that gift bag.

Thanks, everybody.

Caturday's kitty is not a cat!

I want to share with you a blog post from 2010, written by Kiki, my book blogging cat.  It's exactly as she posted it.  Click here to read the earlier comments.  Kiki died in 2012, but her words live on.

Some guy in our neighborhood sent out a message that he'd found a lost kitty.  This is the picture he sent.  Is he crazy, or what?  Here's what the neighborhood lads bandied about (edited to protect the deluded people on the neighborhood email list), starting with the "kitty" finder:
"Hey guys!  I found this cat behind the coffee shop and wanted to know if he belonged to anyone.  No collar, male, black tan and gray, NOT friendly (he may be scared), not house broken.  If this is your cat, let me know."

"Not mine!  But I have seen Matt S. feeding this cat coffee grounds late at night.  Thanks, Matt, for making this dangerous cat even more dangerous!  A concerned neighbor."

"I've seen that cat wandering around.  It always asks people for money.  It's bad for business.  Do we have an officer we can contact about this cat before things get out of hand?"

Surely they jest! If they want to know what a REAL cat looks like, here's my picture.  Notice that I do NOT look anything like that ugly possum!

Kiki Cat, signing off

Friday, April 17, 2020

Self-isolating and social distancing

Can someone please explain to Clawdia about social distancing?  When she can't talk me into doing what she wants (which usually means "feed me NOW"), she takes it upon herself to stop me from blogging by sitting on my hand and arm.  See today's earlier post about Jo's Boys, and How They Turned Out by Louisa May Alcott on the screen?  Yes, she won the standoff today.

Which of these photos captures how you feel while social distancing or self-isolating by staying at home?  Hemmed in?  On a solitary island?  Separately confined like the colorful little fish?

And finally, a memo from HR for those of you working from home.

Click to enlarge the image

Beginning ~ by remembering with pride and pleasure

"If anyone had told me what wonderful changes were to take place here in ten years, I wouldn't have believed it," said Mrs. Jo to Mrs. Meg, as they sat on the piazza at Plumfield one summer day, looking about them with faces full of pride and pleasure."
Jo's Boys, and How They Turned Out ~ by Louisa May Alcott, 1886, fiction
Alcott returns to the familiar precincts of Plumfield.  Ten years later, Jo's pupils have started to make their way in the world, and they find themselves tested:  Josie longs to be an actress; Emil, now a sailor, is shipwrecked; Dan, out West, lands in prison; Nat, studying music in Germany, is tempted into living beyond his means.  Faced with new obstacles, they look back on the lessons learned at home and begin to appreciate the real value of their Plumfield education.
This is the last in the series of Little Women books.  Set in a gentler place and time, these books are taking me away from the isolation I'm feeling, alone in my apartment with only my cat Clawdia, my phone, and my laptop for company.

Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts
Book Beginnings on Fridays.
Click this link for book beginnings
shared by other readers.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Thursday o'clock

Like in this clock I found on Facebook, my days all run together.  Today is no longer Sunday o'clock, but Thursday o'clock.

Someone commented on a book blog last week:
"I think it is funny to read books written in the 40s and 50s.  Life was so different then."
Having been born in 1940 and lived through BOTH of those decades, I find that rather droll.  Looking back at 2020, at least to the early weeks of this year, we can say, "Life was so different then."  Can you relate to what I'm saying?  Life has changed drastically in a short time.

Word of the Day
DROLL /drōl/ curious or unusual in a way that provokes dry amusement.  Example:  "I find that rather droll."
Sandy shared another picture of Louie today, and it's a cheery break in the awful news we get every day.  Hi, Louie!

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Facepalm ~ 'tis a wondrous word

facepalm /ˈfāspä(l)m / noun
A gesture in which the palm of one's hand is brought to one's face, as an expression of disbelief, shame, or exasperation.  Example of how to use this word — "facepalm felt around the world" on this mug.  Who is this man?  Do you know?
Dr. Anthony Fauci, NIAID Director, is the one whose facepalm was "felt around the world."  At least one person I know has become a Dr. Fauci fan, with the mug and a tee-shirt.  Do I need to tell you more about him?  Or are you up on the news these days?  Click on his name to learn more about him  — or click here to see WHY he facepalmed that day.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Face masks and social distancing

Here's a photo Betty took wearing her mask.  I think she must have had her computer snap this shot.  She sent it to me when I checked to see if she needed one of the masks being made by two of the volunteers in our Circle@Crown Café (when it was open before our stay-at-home orders).  Since the Crown Center is now discouraging visitors in the building, Linda Goldstein had brought about a dozen for me to distribute.  Laurie Dyche tells me, "Linda and I are making face shields next."  Here's what we should know about Coronavirus face masks, according to WebMD.

Click to enlarge the images.
Here are a couple of photos from my sixth floor apartment, showing how people are social distancing themselves by walking to the drive-up pharmacy window at Walgreens across the street.  This shows one person with a cart, standing in line between two cars on Saturday.

There were no cars on Sunday, when two people together walked up to the window.  I also had seen one man waiting in a long line of cars several days earlier, but didn't think to snap a picture.  Apparently he was told to "wait over there," because the car behind him rolled up to be served while he waited patiently over by the parked cars across the lot.  Then he went back up to the window, got his stuff (presumably a prescription), and left.

I found a new meme today, found it on Colleen's blog and followed it to Our World Tuesday.  There I discovered I'm not the only one posting pictures of face masks and social distancing.  Here's one (scroll to the bottom to see him wearing his mask), and here's another who is literally social distancing by carrying a sign that's shows how far apart to stay.  Find others by clicking on the home page of Our World Tuesday, where the goal is "to look at and think about our world as a gift to share with our friends around the world."  I decided to join the 61 others who have already added their blog links.

Monday, April 13, 2020

What's your ideal bookshelf?


The idea to create an ideal bookshelf came from this puzzle, using each book's title as a question.  Look at a handful of books that helped make you who you are today.  Can you come up with eleven books, one for each of these categories?
  1. What's your most unforgettable book?
  2. Can you remember a particular book a friend gave you?
  3. What about a book that gave you happy tears?
  4. Do you ever read a book again and again?
  5. Is there a book you would grab to save from a fire?
  6. What's the best book you've ever read?
  7. What was your favorite book from childhood?
  8. Can you think of a book that makes you look smart?
  9. Or remember one that made you laugh out loud?
  10. Was any book you ever read a super fantastic book?
  11. And last, name a book you never finished.
Hey, I can't imagine wanting to keep that last one on my bookshelves.  Maybe it (and the many others I didn't bother to finish) did make me the person I am today, but I have no desire to keep or remember the rejects.  In my own inimitable way, I'm going to make a different list of books for MY ideal bookshelf and list really memorable books I've read.  But first, a slight detour:

inimitable  / in·im·i·ta·ble / unique, imcomparable, matchless.  Example:  "In my own inimitable way, I'm going to make a different list of books."
(Okay, carry on with this blog post, starting at the very beginning, with a couple of childhood favorites.)


One favorite book from childhood ~ Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman, 1899
Why?  Because he is such a clever little boy from India (click the title to read what I wrote over a decade ago about why it is NOT a racist book, as many people think).
Another childhood favorite ~ Epaminondas and His Auntie ~ by Sara Cone Bryant, 1907
Why?  Because I understood how hard he was trying to do EXACTLY what his mother asked him to do, even though it just never worked out as expected.
Book that seems to have stuck with me, even though I have not yet read it ~ Ella Minnow Pea ~ by Mark Dunn, 2001
Why?  Because I woke from a dream one day recently, having been wrestling (in the dream) with the alphabet in a book, thinking, "What was the name of that book with M-N-O-P in the title?"  Just before I woke, I had successfully come up with "L is Ella."  I was smiling as I came awake.  Yes, it was "Ella Minnow Pea."  Say that title:  "L M N O P."  Okay, you know I'm an inveterate word person.  I don't remember specifically thinking about this book in the nearly two decades since it was published, so why did I dream about the title?  Dunno, but maybe it's time to read it now.  So onto my ideal bookshelf it goes.  (And it's available at my library, whenever the stay-at-home order is lifted.)
Ideally, books on my shelves should only be ones I would enjoy keeping to re-read or books I've been meaning to read for the first time.  Any books I know I'll never read (or re-read) should be given to others for their enjoyment — and I am doing the Mount TBR Reading Challenge to try to get rid of the ones on my shelves as I read them.  Consider this the first in a series of posts I hope to write about books that should be on my shelves.  Oh, wait, I need to do one more....

inveterate  / in·vet·er·ate / having a particular interest, activity, or habit that is long-established and unlikely to change.  Example:  "Okay, you know I'm an inveterate word person."