Wednesday, June 30, 2021

I ought to do it

Have you ever thought about all the things you ought to do before you die?  I have, so do you think I should write my oughtobiography?  I tried to look up that word — it's a word if I use it! — but I got "showing results for autobiography" from Google.  Lest you also assume that I goofed, let's define four related words:
  • Autobiography is the story of a person’s life, written by that person, focused on facts and things that happened.
  • Biography is the story of a person's life, written by someone else, focused on facts and things that happened.
  • Memoir is the story of a person's life, written by that person, but focused on a particular theme or idea.  So a memoir is more limited.
  • Oughtobiography is a story of a person's life, written by that person, with the focus on what she feels she ought to have done (or ought to do) before she dies.
So I ought to do it.  Write an oughtobiography, I mean.  What would you include in your oughtobiography?  Come on!  Get creative.

One more, and then I'll quit playing with words.  Someone on Facebook shared this:  "It was a sad and disappointing day when I discovered my Universal Remote Control did not, in fact, control the universe. (Not even remotely.)"

This is Chris, my newest neighbor.  Nancy, whose apartment is filled with stuffed dogs and dog pictures and who has been wearing a mask during the pandemic that makes the lower half of her face look like a dog, has brought 5-month-old Chris home to live with her.  She's never had a cat before, but she's in love.  Isn't Chris cute?

Below is a bit of cat trivia for you, Nancy.  I hope you enjoy it and have fun with your new kitty.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Two photos to share

Here's the latest look for our sixth floor bulletin board.  I used birds and animals from free calendars to fill the space completely.

I call this photo "Rainy Days and Mondays" from the song.  It's what I saw out my window at 2:00 pm yesterday, which just happened to be a Monday.

Monday, June 28, 2021

Monday Punday ~ once again

Are you old enough to remember hippies waving the peace sign in the air with their fingers, chanting, "Give peace a chance"?  The pea on the left is displaying the hand sign, and the one in the middle is wearing a pendant with the peace sign on it.  A hippie was also called a "flower child" in the sixties, thus the third pea wearing a flower.  Compare the three peas to the symbols on the right.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

A robin, dark skies, and the books I'm reading

I saw this robin when I was out walking on Monday.  He's on the fence between our driveway and the apartments next door.

I saw this dark sky today, while also hearing rumbling.  It has been hot here in St. Louis with a high of 90°F.  But the worst part is been that today's thunderstorms are in the forecast all week long.

I finished reading One True Thing by Anna Quindlen (1994, fiction, 8/10), but I didn't love it as much as the first time I read it — maybe because I'm now a quarter of a century older.  I'm old now, the age of the book's dying generation.  A favorite quote from the book:  "My father . . . did what so many men do:  he divided women into groups . . . the intellectual twins, the woman of the mind and the one of the heart. . . . I had the misfortune to be designated the heartless one, my mother the mindless one.  It was a disservice to us both but, on balance, I think she got the better deal" (p. 281).

The book I'm reading now is The Old Girls' Network by Judy Leigh (2020, fiction).  It's never too late to change.  After a health scare, 77-year-old Barbara goes to convalesce in the English country village of Winsley Green where her sister Pauline lives.  The sisters are very different — Barbara is outspoken and aloof, and Pauline is good-natured — so tensions rise.  When Pauline accidentally knocks down a man named Bisto Mulligan, she finds herself with a second house-guest.  It becomes apparent as he is recovering that Bisto is not who he first seemed and, as they get to know the kind of man he really is, it’s clear he could change their lives.

    Deb at Readerbuzz hosts Sunday Salon
    a place for us to link up and share what 
    we have been doing during the week.

Friday, June 25, 2021

Beginning ~ with the N***** word

The night I decided to confront the middle school coach who called my son the N-word, my hands were stained with permanent marker from making signs for the Special Olympics.  While my son, the very one called a n***** by a White forty-something grown man, slept in the next bedroom, I obsessed over two things:  the exact dressing-down I'd give the coach and the fact that I would go into the meeting with dirty hands — which would be an enormous problem because I talk with my hands.

Dear White Peacemakers: Dismantling Racism with Grit and Grace ~ by Osheta Moore, 2021, racism

This book is a breakup letter to division, a love letter to God’s beloved community, and an eviction notice to the violent powers that have sustained racism for centuries.  Race is one of the hardest topics to discuss in America.  Many white Christians avoid talking about it altogether. But a commitment to peacemaking requires white people to step out of their comfort and privilege and into the work of anti-racism.  Dear White Peacemakers is an invitation to white Christians to come to the table and join this hard work and holy calling.

Rooted in the life, ministry, and teachings of Jesus, this book is a challenging call to transform white shame, fragility, saviorism, and privilege, in order to work together to build the Beloved Community as anti-racism peacemakers.  Written in the wake of George Floyd’s death, Dear White Peacemakers draws on the Sermon on the Mount, Spirituals, and personal stories from author Osheta Moore’s work as a pastor in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Enter into this story of shalom, and join in the urgent work of anti-racism peacemaking.

Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Delcrest Plaza ~ next door to Crown Center

Plans for Delcrest Plaza are still changing.  I photographed my laptop screen to get these two pictures when I attended the Planning Commission meeting via Zoom Wednesday evening.  I posted photos of what used to be there when it was being demolished in May, and I posted earlier plans in 2020.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Paraprosdokian ~ with examples

A paraprosdokian is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader to reinterpret the first part.  Here are some examples:

  • I'm great at multitasking — I can waste time, procrastinate, and be unproductive simultaneously.
  • Did you ever stop to think and forget to start again?
  • Buses stop at bus stations.  Trains stop at train stations.  My desk is a work station.
  • They begin the evening news with "Good evening," then proceed to tell us why it isn’t.
  • Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.
  • The car stopped on a dime, which unfortunately was in a pedestrian's pocket.
  • Hospitality is making your guests feel like they’re at home, even if you wish they were.
  • Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
  • I thought I wanted a career, but it turns out I just wanted paychecks.
  • War does not determine who is right, only who is left.
  • He who laughs last thinks slowest.
  • Do you like a play on words . . . or on a stage?
  • I know karate and maybe two other Japanese words.
  • Why do voters in the United States choose between two people running for president but have fifty running for Miss America?
  • If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.
  • If you are supposed to learn from your mistakes, why do some people have more than one child?
  • A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
  • I'm supposed to respect my elders, but now it’s getting harder and harder for me to find one.
  • The last thing I want to do is hurt you, but it is still on the list.

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where we share words we have encountered in our reading.  The word that intrigued me this week was paraprosdokian.

Monday, June 21, 2021

Today's pun-ishment

A lot of money is tainted — taint yours and taint mine.

A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.

Every calendar's days are numbered.

A hangover is the wrath of grapes.

To the one who invented zero, thanks for nothing.

A will is a dead giveaway.  (Groan)

Towels aren't good at telling jokes; they have a dry sense of humor.

Waking up this morning was an eye-opening experience.

You'll never starve in the desert, if you remember that you can eat the sand which is there.

The Middle Ages were called the Dark Ages because there were so many knights.

Atheism is a non-prophet institution.

Did you hear about the guy who got hit in the head with a can of soda?  He was lucky it was a soft drink.

I’ve started sleeping in our fireplace.  Now I sleep like a log.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Embarking on 21 days of recognizing freedom

Dear White Peacemakers: Dismantling Racism with Grit and Grace
by Osheta Moore, 2021, racism

I downloaded Dear White Peacemakers onto my Kindle last night and plan to study along with Grace United Methodist Church from now until the 4th of July.  In my "book beginnings on Friday," I'll share the opening of this book.  In the meantime, I'm about a week behind and will be reading to catch up with the group, using this calendar.

Sunday Salon ~ my library loot and a bit of history

Library Loot

I Am Yoga ~ by Susan Verde, art by Peter H. Reynolds, 2015, children's, 10/10
"When I feel small in a world so big . . . I tell my wiggling body: be still.  I tell my thinking mind: be quiet.  I tell my racing breath: be slow. . . . I am yoga.  I can be anything."  This is the first in a series of five books with encouraging words for children.
I Am Peace: A Book of Mindfulness ~ by Susan Verde, art by Peter H. Reynolds, 2017, children's, 10/10
Mindfulness means being fully engaged in the present moment.  This book encourages children (of all ages) to breathe, to taste and smell and touch and hear and see, and to be present in the here and now.  It includes a guided meditation.  "You are wonderful.  You are special.  You are peace."
I Am Human: A Book of Empathy ~ by Susan Verde, art by Peter H. Reynolds, 2018, children's, 10/10
Being human means we are full of possibility.  We learn, we dream, we wonder at the world around us.  But we also make mistakes and can feel fearful or sad.  This book affirms that we can make good choices by acting with compassion and having empathy for others and ourselves.  It includes a loving-kindness meditation:  "May you be healthy.  May you be happy.  May you be free from suffering.  May you be filled with peace."
I Am Love: A Book of Compassion ~ by Susan Verde, art by Peter H. Reynolds, 2019, children's, 10/10
Grounded in mindfulness and wellness, this book asks children to look inward when they feel afraid, angry, hurt, or sad.  When a storm is brewing inside us and the skies grow dark, the transforming power of love lets the light back in.  It includes heart-opening yoga poses and a heart meditation.  "Imagine the warmth and light in your heart connecting you to others in the world."
I Am One: A Book of Action ~ by Susan Verde, art by Peter H. Reynolds, 2020, children's, 10/10
Beautiful things start with just ONE.  One seed to start a garden, one note to start a melody, one brick to start breaking down walls.  Each change starts with purpose, with intention, with one, with me, with you.  This is a powerful call to action, encouraging children to raise their voices, extend a hand, and take that one first step to start some-thing beautiful and move toward a better world.  The book includes a mindfulness mediation and a self-reflection activity.
Everything Sad Is Untrue (A True Story) ~ by Daniel Nayeri, 2020, fiction (young adult) 
In an Oklahoma middle school, Khosrou (whom everyone calls Daniel) stands in front of a skeptical audience of classmates, telling the tales of his family's history that stretches back years, decades, and centuries.  At the core is Daniel's story of how they became refugees — starting with his mother's vocal embrace of Christianity in a country that made such a thing a capital offense, and continuing through their midnight flight from the secret police, bribing their way onto a plane-to-anywhere.  Anywhere becomes the sad, cement refugee camps of Italy, and then finally asylum in the U.S.  This tale of heartbreak and resilience encourages readers to speak their truth and be heard.

My hometown is Chattanooga, Tennessee.  Sam Hall has been working on the history of Chattanooga for years.  Yesterday, I discovered this photo gallery he put online and spent an hour or two looking at old pictures.  William H. Stokes took this photo of the town and the Tennessee River from Point Park on Lookout Mountain in the early 1900s, about a century ago.

    Deb at Readerbuzz hosts Sunday Salon
    a place for us to link up and share what 
    we have been doing during the week.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Today is Juneteenth

"Juneteenth has never been a celebration of victory, or an acceptance of the way things are.  It's a celebration of progress.  It's an affirmation that despite the most painful parts of our history, change is possible — and there is still so much work to do."

— tweeted by Barack Obama
  on June 19, 2020

The Ten Juneteenth Commandments
(Read "Make Juneteenth Great Again: The Caucasians' Guide to Celebrating Juneteenthto fully understand these "commandments" for Caucasians.)
  1. Thou shalt not have any holidays before Juneteenth.
  2. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
  3. Thou shalt not whitesplain.
  4. Thou shalt not take the Juneteenth’s name in vain.
  5. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s anything.
  6. Remember Juneteenth and keep it holy.
  7. Lean not into thine own understanding.
  8. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s Blackness.
  9. Thou shalt not steal.
  10. Thou shalt purchase gifts for thy Black neighbors.  (Just kidding. I know you don’t have any.)
Oh, yes, I do!  I have wonderful Black neighbors here at the Crown Center.  The main reason to ponder this list (and the article it was in) is to consider life from a point of view many have never considered.

Friday, June 18, 2021

Two book beginnings ~ (1) in a jail cell, and (2) with a question

I usually have both fiction and nonfiction books going at the same time.  I'm re-reading Anna Quindlen's novel One True Thing (1994).  I've recommended it many times, but had forgotten the book's beginning lines:

"Jail is not as bad as you might imagine.  When I say jail, I don't mean prison.  Prison is the kind of place you see in old movies or public television documentaries, those enormous gray places with guard towers at each corner and curly strips of razor wire going round and round like a loop-the-loop atop the high fence."

A mother.  A daughter.  A shattering choice.  Ellen Gulden is enjoying her career as a successful magazine writer in New York City when she learns that her mother, Kate, is dying of cancer.  Ellen’s father insists that she quit her job and return home to become a caregiver.  A high-powered career woman, Ellen has never felt she had much in common with her mother, a homemaker and the heart of their family.  Yet as Ellen begins to spend time with Kate, she discovers many surprising truths, not only about herself, but also about the woman she thought she knew so well.  When Ellen is accused of the mercy killing of her mother, she must not only defend her own life but make a difficult choice — either accept responsibility for an act she did not commit or divulge the name of the person she believes committed a painful act of love.

I'm re-reading Jürgen Moltmann's Experiences of God (1979, English edition, 1980), that I thought I had misplaced.  When I moved my bed away from the wall, I found it had slid down the wall to the floor.  I first read this book in 1988, thirty-three years ago.  Here's the beginning:

"Why am I a Christian?  What a curious question!  Who is interrogating me like this?  Do I have to put my name on my answer?  The question sounds inquisitive.  Somebody wants to know the reasons that led some-body else to a particular conviction.  It sounds impertinent too — as if the other person is bound to justify his decision to believe."

Enduring meditations on hope, anxiety, and mystical experience, together with the author's personal confession of faith.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Art, weather, animals, and a book about a little dog

We had an art class yesterday, and one aspect was how to frame a picture.  Each of us was given one of these frames with a cutout proportional to a sheet of paper.  I was facing the gazebo, so I framed it as I chose, and whipped out my iPhone to take a photo.

We had the hottest June 11 on record in St. Louis.  Today, it's supposed to be in the mid-90s, but tomorrow is going to 102° or more.

I volunteer to change the bulletin board beside the elevators on my floor, and this is what we've had up this month:  four pictures of cats/kittens and three photos of giraffes in an article about those "gentle giants."

I really loved 
The Little Dog in the Big Plague, a novella by C. C. Alma (2015).  I gave it a 10/10 rating.  Here are a couple of quotes:

"We think Ringo can smell the disease," Joni said.  "He likes people who don't have the bug.  And he likes you, so you're probably immune" (p. 46).
"Ringo felt so happy. . . . They were a pack now, a healthy, cooperative, productive pack.  He had done his job" (p. 64).

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Flowers I texted to two Sharons

I texted these purple and white flowers to my daughter-in-law Sharon last week.  She has a green thumb, and I hope she liked this arrangement that I found online.

I watered plants and collected mail last week for my neighbor Sharon, who was out of town
.  I texted her this photo of her own orchids.  Aren't they beautiful?

Monday, June 14, 2021

Monday Punday

Reading while sunbathing makes you well red.

Those who jump off a bridge in Paris are in Seine.

A man's home is his castle, in a manor of speaking.

Practice safe eating ~ always use condiments.

Shotgun wedding ~ a case of wife or death.