Thursday, September 30, 2021
Wednesday, September 29, 2021
Action for Happiness ~ the app
Tuesday, September 28, 2021
Two more books by Joan Uda — plus two others
An inspirational book of short essays with a gentle tone. It probes deeply into life's important matters, celebrates life through telling real-life stories and hopes to bring readers more in touch with the all-loving force in the universe that the author calls God. It has broad appeal to religious and spiritual people, providing only the author's own answers to life's great questions while assisting readers to consider their own answers. Written with simple and compelling honesty, it is easy to read and can provide a basis for personal meditation, group study, and even sermons.
This is Vol. 2 of At the Water's Edge: God's Grace in Everyday Life, in which Joan Uda offers a new collection of simply-written stories showing how God moves in her life and the lives of people she knows. Joan's goal is to show how exploring one's own experiences opens the heart to receive God's grace ever more abundantly. She writes of love-based faith and overcoming fears by learning to trust in God.
A practical, enjoyable approach to learning to play all keyboard instruments. This exceptional beginning method has sound teaching philosophies, music of all styles, strong visual reinforcements and modern technology components. Well-suited for either class or individual instruction, the method includes familiar folk songs, well-known classical themes and popular favorites. It includes theory workbook pages and writing assignments that reinforce student lessons.
Monday, September 27, 2021
September 26 to October 2 is Banned Books Week
- George ~ by Alex Gino. Challenged, banned, and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content, conflicting with a religious viewpoint, and not reflecting "the values of our community."
- Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You ~ by Ibram X. Kendi and
Jason Reynolds. Banned and challenged because of the author’s public statements and because of claims that the book contains “selective storytelling incidents” and does not encompass racism against all people.
- All American Boys ~ by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely. Banned and challenged for profanity, drug use, and alcoholism and because it was thought to promote antipolice views, contain divisive topics, and be "too much of a sensitive matter right now."
- Speak ~ by Laurie Halse Anderson. Banned, challenged, and restricted because it was thought to contain a political viewpoint, it was claimed to be biased against male students, and it included rape and profanity.
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian ~ by Sherman Alexie. Banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references, and allegations of sexual misconduct on the part of the author.
- Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story about Racial Injustice ~ by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard, illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin. Challenged for "divisive language" and because it was thought to promote anti-police views.
- To Kill a Mockingbird ~ by Harper Lee. Banned and challenged for racial slurs and their negative effect on students, featuring a "white savior" character, and its perception of the Black experience.
- Of Mice and Men ~ by John Steinbeck. Banned and challenged for racial slurs and racist stereotypes and their negative effect on students.
- The Bluest Eye ~ by Toni Morrison. Banned and challenged because it was considered sexually explicit and depicts child sexual abuse.
- The Hate U Give ~ by Angie Thomas. Challenged for profanity, and because it was thought to promote an anti-police message.
Sunday, September 26, 2021
Feeling stupid, but still reading and learning
Unbelievable: Why Neither Ancient Creeds Nor the Reformation Can Produce a Living Faith Today ~ by John Shelby Spong, 2018, theology, 10/10
"If God is the Source of Life, then the only way I can appropriately worship God is by living fully. ... If God is the Source of Love, then the only way I can worship God is by loving 'wastefully,' a phrase that I like. ... If God is the Ground of Being, then the only way I can worship God is by having the courage to be all that I can be ... So the reality of God to me is discovered in the experience which compels me to 'live fully, to love wastefully, and to have the courage to be all that I can be.' ... the mission to which my mantra calls me is the task of building or transforming the world so that every person living will have a better opportunity to live fully, love wastefully and be all that each of them was created to be in the infinite variety of our humanity" (quoted from pp. 285-286).
- I can't give you an answer right now; will you check back with me?
- I'm not able to commit to that right now.
- I really appreciate you asking me, but I can't do it.
- I understand you really need my help, but I'm just not able to say yes to that.
- I'm going to say no for now. I'll let you know if something changes.
- I'm honored that you would ask me, but my answer is no.
- No, I can't do that, but here's what I can do.
- I don't have that to give right now.
- Under different circumstances, I'd love to, but right now I can't.
Sunday Salon. Bloggers gather in the
Sunday Salon — at separate computers
in different time zones — to talk about
our lives, our books, and our reading.
Saturday, September 25, 2021
Sept. 25 is National Daughters Day
Friday, September 24, 2021
Beginning ~ in 1946
"In Seoul, Korea, on June 15, 1946, only days before he sailed for home after World War II, my dad, Major Warren William McAllister, was presented with a jade locket by four Korean insurance companies. He carried the locket home in his breast pocket instead of shipping it, because, he said, it was very valuable, and things could go missing if mailed through the military APO."
Until the end of WWII, Korea was a single nation. In July 1945 as the war ended, Joseph Stalin’s Red Army had already pushed south of the 38th parallel in Korea. A group of American military officers, to prevent Stalin from taking all of Korea, drew a line separating North Korea from South Korea, and rushed American soldiers through Inchon Harbor into Seoul. This American action created the division in Korea that still exists today. South Korea has an enormously successful economy, and North Korea is still a starving military dictatorship threatening to send missiles against the USA. Major Warren W. McAllister, U.S. Army, was on the first ship into Inchon. This is Major McAllister’s story, based on two years of research, the major's 201 file, his complete military file of orders and other documents, plus letters, photos, and personal recollections.
"Before I began this memoir, I assumed that the American soldiers heading to Korea from Okinawa would have received an in-depth briefing about Korea" (p. 160).
Thursday, September 23, 2021
The math doesn't add up
Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Homophones = rite, write, right, wright
- rite refers to a religious act or ceremony. Example: "Our ancestors celebrated fertility rites."
- write refers to the act of writing. Example: "She promised to write to me while she's on vacation." It also means to spell. Example: "How do you write your name?"
- right basically means correct or acceptable. Examples: "It wouldn't be right to ignore his request."
- wright refers to a builder or creator; one who constructs or repairs something. This word is often used in combination. Examples: "She's a playwright" or "He's a shipwright."
ho·mo·phone /ˈhäməˌfōn,ˈhōməˌfōn/ noun (plural noun: homophones) = each of two or more words having the same pronunciation but different meanings, origins, or spelling.
- ad — add
- brake — break
- buy — by
- cellar — seller
- cite — site
- dual — duel
- eye — I
- flew — flu
- grate — great
- knew — new
- mail — male
- one — won
- overdo — overdue
- pain — pane
- plain — plane
- real — reel
- rest — wrest
- sail — sale
- tail — tale
- threw — through
- vain — vane
Monday, September 20, 2021
Have a heart, and be kind
Sunday, September 19, 2021
Friendship, an owl, piano lessons, and kayaking
fake book /fāk bo͝ok/ noun = a book of music containing the basic chord sequences of jazz or other tunes.The first sentence in the Introduction even admits that it's a fake book:
"Throw away your bass clef and give your left hand a break — melodies in the right hand, chords and rhythms in the left hand."
This looks like a beginner's book, and in one sense it is. But the women who bought it so I can teach them how to play the piano will be learning only half of what I expected to teach them. It's something. It's a beginning of sorts, but I feel like I'll have to either come up with a way to teach them how to play with the left hand or get us "real" piano books that teach fingering for the bass clef.
Saturday, September 18, 2021
iPhone class via Zoom
"Haptics is that subsystem of non-language communication which conveys meaning through physical contact."
A swipe is a gesture, and punching two buttons is another gesture.
Friday, September 17, 2021
Beginning ~ with a eulogy request
In the beginning, there was a question.
"Will you do my eulogy?"
I don't understand, I said.
"My eulogy?" the old man asked again. "When I'm gone."
- The Five People You Meet in Heaven (Book 1 of Heaven's Books) ~ by Mitch Albom, 2003, fiction, 9/10
- The Next Person You Meet in Heaven (Book 2 of Heaven's Books) ~ by Mitch Albom, 2018, fiction, 10/10
- Finding Chika: A Little Girl, an Earthquake, and the Making of a Family ~ by Mitch Albom, 2021, memoir, 10/10
"And he [Mitch Albom] finally understands what both men had been teaching all along: the profound comfort of believing in something bigger than yourself."
Thursday, September 16, 2021
Live, love, be
This photo is from 2011, when Bishop Spong signed a couple of his books that are now on my bookshelves across the room. I have about a dozen of his books. I just learned today that he has died. June 16, 1931 — September 12, 2021
Monday, September 13, 2021
- In 2019: Gratitude #1 = I found a book (yes, you know books make me happy). Gratitude #2 = I found a book, actually, the same book, which I gave to my BFF Donna to make her smile. I never finished the list.
- In 2020: The first four answers I gave were all about books, so I'll try not to repeat it this time.
Sunday, September 12, 2021
One item on my long to-do list really IS laundry. It's mid-afternoon, and I haven't gotten around to it yet. According to the monthly calendar I post from the Action for Happiness folks, this is what I should do today: "September 12 ~ Get active outside, and give your mind and body a natural boost." It's even a sunny day, and it isn't raining. I decided early today that I would at least walk around the block. I haven't done it yet. Okay, my excuse it that it's 88° out there right now, and it feels like 90°.
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig, 2020, fiction, 288 pages ~ "Between life and death there is a library ... And within that library, the shelves go on for ever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices ... Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?"
Friday, September 10, 2021
Beginning ~ with a woman in a wheelchair
The date is November 11, 1982. On a Midwest college campus, news photographers crowd into a cluttered electronics laboratory. They jostle each other for camera angles. Those who come in last stand on tables or chairs in the back of the lab. A TV camera feeds a view of the scene to the next room. Here reporters from all over the United States and several other countries watch.
All eyes and cameras are on a young blond woman sitting in a wheelchair on a low platform. Her legs are almost hidden in tangles of wires and straps.
Discusses the achievements of a scientist at Wright State University who learned to use electronic stimulation to help people paralyzed after spinal cord injuries recover enough to move and even walk again. Jerry Petrofsky died earlier this year; I know that because his daughter is one of my Facebook friends.
Thursday, September 9, 2021
Library Loot ~ September 8 to 14, 2021
"The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity." ~ Dorothy Parker
"There is always a lot to be thankful for. For example, I'm sitting here thinking how nice it is that wrinkles don't hurt." ~ Unknown
"The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other ages you've been." ~ Madeleine L'Engle
The sign in the middle is my favorite even before I read the book: "Not a Through Street" is also an "Evacuation Route." Yikes! Need I say more?
Acclaimed psychologist Ethan Kross explores the silent conversations we have with ourselves. Interweaving groundbreaking behavioral and brain research from his own lab with real-world case studies — from a pitcher who forgets how to pitch, to a Harvard undergrad negotiating her double life as a spy — Kross explains how these conversations shape our lives, work, and relationships. He warns that giving in to negative and disorienting self-talk — what he calls "chatter" — can tank our health, sink our moods, strain our social connections, and cause us to fold under pressure. The good news is that we’re already equipped with the tools we need to make our inner voice work in our favor. These tools are often hidden in plain sight — in the words we use to think about ourselves, the technologies we embrace, the diaries we keep in our drawers, the conversations we have with our loved ones, and the cultures we create in our schools and workplaces. This book gives us the power to change the most important conversation we have each day: the one we have with ourselves.
This book debunks common myths about aging and cognitive decline, explores whether there’s a "best" diet or exercise regimen for the brain, and explains whether it’s healthier to play video games that test memory and processing speed, or to engage in more social interaction. Discover what we can learn from "super-brained" people who are in their eighties and nineties with no signs of slowing down — and whether there are truly any benefits to drugs, supplements, and vitamins. Dr. Gupta also addresses brain disease, particularly Alzheimer’s, answers all your questions about the signs and symptoms, and shows how to ward against it and stay healthy while caring for a partner in cognitive decline. He likewise provides you with a personalized twelve-week program featuring practical strategies to strengthen your brain every day.
A wife and mother is given the chance to start over at the risk of losing everything she loves. A second chance is the last thing she wants. When 39-year-old Maria Forssmann wakes up in her 17-year-old body, she doesn’t know how she got there. All she does know is she has to get back: to her home in Bienville, Mississippi, to her job as a successful psychiatrist, and to her husband, daughters, and unborn son. But she also knows that, in only a few weeks, a devastating tragedy will strike her husband, a tragedy that will lead to their meeting each other. Can she change time and still keep what it has given her? This novel explores the responsibilities love lays on us, the complicated burdens of motherhood, and the rippling impact of our choices.
After splurging to buy her childhood home in the Catskills, recently widowed Mikki Lincoln emerges from retirement as a freelance editor. With her ability to spot details that others fail to see, it’s not long before Mikki earns clients — and realizes that the village of Lenape Hollow isn’t the thriving tourist destination it was decades ago. Not with a murderer on the loose. When perky novice writer Tiffany Scott knocks at her door holding a towering manuscript, Mikki expects another debut novel plagued by typos and sloppy prose. Instead, she finds a murder mystery ripped from the headlines of Lenape Hollow’s not-too-distant past. The opening scene is a graphic page-turner, but it sends a real chill down Mikki’s spine after the young author turns up dead just like the victim in her story. Mikki refuses to believe that Tiffany’s death was accidental, and suspicions of foul play solidify as she uncovers a strange inconsistency in the manuscript and a possible motive in the notes. Then there’s Tiffany’s grandmother and husband, who aren’t exactly on friendly terms over the local area’s planned rejuvenation efforts. Unable to convince police that they are focused on the wrong suspect, Mikki must rely on her keen eyes to catch the truth hidden in Lenape Hollow. As she gets closer to cracking the case, only one person takes Mikki’s investigation seriously — the cunning killer who will do anything to make this chapter of her life come to a very abrupt ending.
Mitch Albom wrote at the end of The Next Person You Meet in Heaven (2018): "The Next Person is about the mistakes we think we make, and how they are part of what connects us to the human core. Finding Chika is about how those same connections allow us, at any age, even with the most unlikely pairings, to make a family." So I put this book on reserve.
Chika Jeune was born three days before the devastating earthquake that decimated Haiti in 2010. She spent her infancy in a landscape of extreme poverty, and when her mother died giving birth to a baby brother, Chika was brought to The Have Faith Haiti Orphanage that Albom operates in Port Au Prince. With no children of their own, the forty-plus children who live, play, and go to school at the orphanage have become family to Mitch and his wife, Janine. Chika’s arrival makes a quick impression. Brave and self-assured, even as a three-year-old, she delights the other kids and teachers. But at age five, Chika is suddenly diagnosed with something a doctor there says, “No one in Haiti can help you with.”
Mitch and Janine bring Chika to Detroit, hopeful that American medical care can soon return her to her homeland. Instead, Chika becomes a permanent part of their household, and their lives, as they embark on a two-year, around-the-world journey to find a cure. As Chika’s boundless optimism and humor teach Mitch the joys of caring for a child, he learns that a relationship built on love, no matter what blows it takes, can never be lost. Told in hindsight, and through illuminating conversations with Chika herself, this is Albom at his most poignant and vulnerable.