Friday, April 30, 2021

Beginning ~ with our chores

Beginning lines
What are care tasks and why are they so hard for people?  Our care tasks are the "chores" of life:  cooking, cleaning, laundry, feeding, dishes, and hygiene.  These may seem like simple or noncomplex tasks to most.  When you actually break down the amount of time, energy, skill, planning, and maintenance that go into our care tasks, we begin to see that they are not always simple.
How to Keep House While Drowning: 31 Days of Compassionate Help ~ by KC Davis, 2020, self-help
Why is it so hard for me to stay on top of my housework?  This book will introduce you to six life-changing principles that will revolutionize the way you approach home care — without endless to-do lists.  Presented in 31 daily thoughts, this compassionate guide will help you begin to get free of the shame and anxiety you feel over home care.  You will learn:
  • How to shift your perspective of care tasks from moral to functional.
  • How to stop negative self-talk and shame around care tasks.
  • How to give yourself permission to rest, even when things aren’t finished.
  • How to motivate yourself to care for your space.
KC Davis, licensed professional counselor and mother of two, says:  "I birthed my second baby in a new city right as the world shut down from COVID-19.  Without access to a support network for months on end, I used every tool in my therapy training arsenal and created a self-compassionate way to address my stress, depression, and ever-mounting laundry pile.  After sharing this unique approach on social media, I gained hundreds of thousands followers within a few months.  I realized the shame over not being able to keep up with housework is universal, and that’s why I wrote this book."

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

You've been ratioed

Word of the Day #1
ratio / 'reɪʃiəʊ / noun = the relationship between two groups of people or things that is represented by two numbers showing how much larger one group is than the other.  Example:  "The ratio of applications to available places currently stands at a hundred to one (100:1)."
Word of the Day #2
ratioed / 'reɪʃiəʊd / verb = on Twitter, getting ratioed is when replies to a tweet vastly outnumber likes or retweets.
According to Urban Dictionary, being ratioed (sometimes spelled "ratio'd") is when a reply to a tweet gets more likes than the tweet it was replying to.  That usually indicates the unpopularity or stupidity of the original tweet.  Example:  "You got 12 likes, and his reply got 271 likes?  He totally ratioed you, bro."

How did I run across this word — for the first time ever, I might add — since I'm not on Twitter?  I read it on Colleen's blog, because she shared something she had seen on Twitter:  "I know I’m going to get ratioed for this but I miss the two spaces after a period."  I still use two spaces after every period here on my blog, because that's the way I was taught to do it in my typing classes back in the 1950s.  So I looked up the word, even though Colleen gave one definition.  Have you ever heard "ratioed" before?

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Two questions for TWOsday

Question #1
Google says it's 450 miles from Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee to my current home in St. Louis, Missouri. How far away do you live from the place you were born?

Question #2
What does my favorite number (nine) have to do with my birthday yesterday?  I turned 81, so let's play with the numbers.  First, 8+1=9.  Also, the square root of 81 is 9, which means 9x9=81.  The 450 miles in #1 adds up to nine, too.  4+5+0=9.  I had Sum fun on 09/09/09.    Yes, it's weird for an English major to also love playing with numbers.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Music makers, bookish thoughts, and a challenge

Decades ago, I bought this 6-hole cedar flute in Cherokee, North Carolina.  I've added the beaded feathers to the green felt bag.  Sheila and I were talking about music and musical instruments recently, and I told her about my flute and my kalimba.

Donna gave me this kalimba many years ago.  Clawdia is in the picture because she wanted to play with (not play) the kalimba when I put it on the bed to snap a picture.  It's a small thumb piano with only a single octave on it, unlike the larger mbira also pictured in this blog post from last year.

I'll be reading children's books next week, when these books on hold at my library are delivered:
  • Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus ~ by Dusti Bowling, 2017
  • Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus ~ by Dusti Bowling, 2019
  • Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer ~ by Traci Sorell, illustrated by Natasha Donovan, 2021

Your challenge
If you think your English is good,
I challenge you to write any word
that starts with C and ends with E

One last thought

Saturday, April 24, 2021

My favorite independent bookstore

Tell us about your local bookstore.
Is it an independent bookstore?  Or not?  An independent bookstore (also known as an indie bookseller) is a bookstore that is not controlled by a larger bookseller chain.  I have two bookstores nearby, both within walking distance, but they are chain stores:  Half-Price Books is a block north, and Barnes & Noble is a couple of blocks south.  The indie bookstore I loved the most closed down in 2006.

Book Buddies is my own personal favorite indie bookstore, even though it lasted only two years.  Donna and I opened it in late 2004 — and named it for our book friends all over the world who had been discussing Oprah's books online.  This little sign was beside our back door to the parking lot.  Support independent bookstores, or they cannot survive.

Friday, April 23, 2021

24-hour Readathon

Anne at My Head Is Full of Books has put a twist on Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon.  She plans to read 24 hours during the weekend, rather than all in one day, rather than stay up all night.  I will stick with Dewey's twenty-four hours, but I'm sharing Anne's option in case you are interested.  Here's where you sign up to take part.  I'll post my updates on this page, if you want to follow my progress.  Meanwhile, here's a Bingo game for ya!

Opening Survey

1)  What fine part of the world are you reading from today?  St. Louis, Missouri
2)  Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?  The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae by Stephanie Butland.  It's a library book I need to return.
3)  Which snack are you most looking forward to?  Triscuits and French onion with bacon dip.  I like salty foods, but they aren't good for my heart and blood pressure.  That's why this is a treat today.
4)  Tell us a little something about yourself.  I'm retired and able to do this regularly.  My cat Clawdia is catnapping the day away and letting me read.
5)  If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today?  Although the first 24-Hour Readathon I took part in was in 2007, when Dewey herself was in charge (see Dewey's comments), I haven't participated every year.  I've always enjoyed doing the mini-challenges, but this year I plan to spend my time reading.

Closing Survey           

1)  How would you assess your reading overall?  I didn't do nearly as much reading as I thought I'd do.
2)  Did you have a strategy, and if so, did you stick to it?  I'm not into "strategy" for reading.  I simply planned to read.  Since reading is what I do most days anyway, I guess I wasn't as inspired as I might have been in other years.  But the reason I read is to enjoy a book, not to achieve a reading goal.
3)  What was your favorite snack?  Talking about snacks during a READ-a-thon has always struck me as irrelevant.  What's snacking got to do with it?  If I'm hungry, I eat.  Period.
4)  Wanna volunteer for our next event?  Nah, I think this was probably the last time I'll bother with this readathon.  What's the point?  It was more fun back when Dewey was doing it, back in the olden days when we were all book bloggers.  Now it's spread out over Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media, and there's no cohesion now.

Word of the Day
co·he·sion / kōˈhēZHən / noun = the action or fact of forming a united whole.  Example:  "Dewey's Readathon lacks the cohesion it once had."

Talk Like Shakespeare Day

Can you translate this?  That is my question.

So how doth one talketh like Shakespeare?  For starters...
  • Instead of "you," say "thou."
  • Instead of "ya'll," say "ye." 
  • Instead of "Hey you," say "hark thee."
  • And rhyme something, if you can.
  • Don't waste time saying "it," just use the letter "t" ('tis, t'will, t'would, I'll do't).
  • When in doubt, add "-eth" to the end of verbs (he runneth, he trippeth, he falleth).
  • To add weight to your opinions, start your sentence with "Methinks."
Thou canst find lots of other ideas on the Talk Like Shakespeare website.  Have fun!

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Spring Fling Concert

I'm listening to our Spring Fling Concert in the parking lot behind our Crown Center buildings.  It's still going.  I'm listening from my apartment, along with Clawdia, who hurried to the open window to see what the commotion was all about outside "her" window.

Oh, they just sang "Happy Birthday to You."  I smiled because my birthday is Monday.  I did not catch the name they sang, but I'll take it, just the same.  And just two days ago, snow covered the cars in the parking lot!

Blessed are the flexible

Marie called me this morning, wanting to know if I could help her with the name of that tall thing along the side of the road that collapses and flutters, waving its arms.  "Do you mean the balloon man things people use to advertise?" I asked.  I grabbed my laptop and looked it up.  Those bendy things seem to be called "wind dancers" or "air puppets."  I kind of like this image of red, yellow, and blue ones all together.
Marie had run across a saying she shared with me:  "Blessed are the flexible for they shall never be bent out of shape.'  She thought of these bendy advertisers, but I thought of how non-flexible I feel in my 80s.  So I looked up "flexible."

I found this photo of a flexible elderly woman.  She's contorted into what I consider an impossible pose.  I'd guess that this old lady has been practicing poses all her life, like the young woman above who has contorted herself into something like a pretzel.  What do you think?  I think red, yellow, blue, black-and-white, or wearing pink — nope, can't do it — I wouldn't even try.  

Word of the Day
flex·i·ble / ˈfleksəb(ə)l / adjective = capable of bending easily without breaking.  Example:  "These two women are more flexible than I've ever been."
Flexible cat, added 4/23/21

Earth Day ~ April 22

I took part in the first Earth Day in 1970 on my college campus.  I came home with information and handouts that day, including one that said "Stop at Two," meaning two children to replace the two parents so we don't overpopulate our earth.  My 6-year-old son nodded and said, "That's a good idea" (or something like that).  I said to him, "David . . . think about it."  I have been pregnant twice, but my first "baby" turned out to be identical twins.  David was born three years later, making him number three.  His eyes widened as realization hit him.

I've celebrated Earth Day on April 22nd every year since then, but I never use the "Stop at Two" slogan.  Never.  David may have taken the advice seriously, though.  He and his wife have two children, a boy and a girl.  Each of his sisters also had two, a girl and a boy.  One twin later remarried and had one other daughter, but that is still only one child per parent.  That youngest grandchild happened to be born on — wait for it! — April 22nd.  Happy birthday today!  What a great coincidence, huh?

Our world is in worse shape now than it was a half century ago when Earth Day was first celebrated.  We need to do more to care for Mother Earth.  I recycle cans and bottles and paper, and I try to avoid anything that may pollute our environment.  What are you doing to save the only planet we have?  Here are a few ways to make a difference.

Click on this image to enlarge it.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Looking downward, upward, and inward

Rain turning to snow
This morning's rain has started turning to snow, which is too tiny to see in this photo.  But it's supposed to be spring!  See the dogwoods blooming on the patio below my window?

Sky colors
Combining colors from different days/times into a single photo fascinates me.  I found this on Facebook.  Someone spent a lot of time working between the lines.

Colorful covers
Wow!  Look at these colorful book covers Deb Nance put together on her blog.  Thanks, Deb.  I seem to be finding "colorful" things online to ponder.

Boxed in thinking
Start with a goal and work in reverse.  Toss that box we seem to be stuck in, and quit saying, "Think outside the box."  I am really impressed by what Jan Edmiston wrote about goals on her blog, and I don't want to lose this link.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

The Lost for Words Bookshop ~ by Stephanie Butland


A book is a match in the smoking second between strike and flame.

Archie says books are our best lovers and our most provoking friends.  He's right, but I'm right, too.  Books can really hurt you.

I thought I knew that, the day I picked up the Brian Patten.  It turned out that I still had a lot to learn.

The Lost for Words Bookshop
~ by Stephanie Butland, 2017, fiction

Loveday Cardew prefers books to people.  If you look carefully, you might glimpse the first lines of the novels she loves most tattooed on her skin.  But there are some things Loveday will never, ever show you.  The used bookstore where she works is her hiding place.  She’s been content as an introvert to spend her days in anonymity as she goes through piles of donated books.  When books from her childhood — the EXACT same books — suddenly begin to show up in boxes, Loveday must face her past in order to pursue her future.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Vertiginous view

Someone shared this postcard of the Lookout Mountain Incline on a Chattanooga Facebook page this evening, and soon a commenter used the word "vertiginous."

Word of the Day
ver·tig·i·nous / vərˈtijənəs / adjective = causing vertigo, especially by being extremely high or steep; relating to or affected by vertigo.  Example:  "The photograph shows the vertiginous drop to the valley below."
Have any of you readers every ridden this incline?  Or another incline somewhere?

Torpenhow Hill ~ really?

Nancy the Bookfool posted this hill-hill-hill-hill look at language on Facebook, and I got a good laugh before deciding to research it and maybe find a picture of Torpenhow Hill in England.  What I found is a YouTube video (see the photo at the top), which refutes the whole thing.  Maybe.  You decide.

Any hills (and roads) around here are more like Dorothy's yellow brick road, which explains my itchy, watery eyes and why I need allergy pills and eye drops this time of year.  But the dogwood blossoms below my window are beautiful.

Beginning ~ with heart failure


It's 3 a.m. here in cardio-thoracic.  All I can 
do for now is doze, and think, and doze again.  
My heart is getting weaker, my body bluer.


The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae
~ by Stephanie Butland, 2018, fiction

This story is about a heart transplant patient who spent the first 28 years of her life dying while she waited to get onto the transplant list and then waiting again for a suitable heart, knowing that someone else has to die in order for her to survive.  When she gets her new, second-hand heart, she then has to learn to live — not live again, but live for the first time.  How does one live a normal life when they’ve never had a normal life?  Ailsa embarks on a journey about what it means to be alive — and to feel alive.

Her father skipped out when he learned that his newborn daughter was dying from a defective heart.  Now her ex-boyfriend is dying from liver failure due to hepatitis and is in need of a transplant to save his life.  Blog posts by Ailsa are interspersed throughout the book.  The author brings out the real issues faced by all sides — donors, recipients, families, friends, life before, and life after.

Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts

Thursday, April 15, 2021

World Book Day means FREE books

Today is World Book Day, which I just learned from reading Helen's Book Blog.  Thanks, Helen!  The good news is that Amazon is offering TEN free Kindle books today.  Just for the record, the children's book is NOT compatible with Kindle, but can be downloaded to read on a Kindle Cloud Reader.  Here's the link to download some of them yourself:

  • The Broken Circle ~ by Enjeela Ahmadi-Miller, 2019, memoir (Afghanistan)
  • You, Me, and the Colors of Life ~ by Noa C. Walker, 2016, fiction (Germany)
  • At the End of the Matinee ~ by Keiichiro Hirano, 2021, fiction (Japan)

  • The King of Warsaw ~ by Szczepan Twardoch, 2020, fiction (Poland)
  • Return to the Enchanted Island ~ by Johary Ravaloson, 2019, fiction (Madagascar)
  • A Single Swallow ~ by Zhang Ling, 2020, fiction (China)
  • Amora: Stories ~ by Natalia Borges Polesso, 2020, stories (Brazil)
  • The Son and Heir ~ by Alexander Münninghoff, 2020, memoir (Netherlands)
  • The Strange Journey of Alice Pendelbury ~ by Marc Levy, 2019, historical fiction (France)
  • Some Days ~ by Maria Wernicke, 2012, children's fiction (Argentina)