Friday, December 31, 2021

Advice for tonight

On the other hand, it's okay to have a book in EACH hand.
Which TWO BOOKS do you have in mind to start your new reading year?

Beginning ~ in a limousine


She marveled at the beautiful landscapes north of Berlin, as she sat beside Horst Richter, head of the Gestapo in Leipzig.

"I believe you will find the manor a welcome respite," he said affably as his black limousine emerged from the woods and a small town appeared before them.

From the Dark We Rise ~ by Marion Kummerow, 2021, historical fiction, 281 pages

1942, Germany:  When the Nazis destroyed all that Margarete Rosenbaum knew, taking everything and everyone she treasured, she prayed only to survive . . . until chance allowed her to disguise herself as Annegret Huber, the daughter of a prominent Nazi.  As Annegret, Margarete had a moment of safety, but now the legacy of her false identity means she must make a devastating decision, and risk everything to save the lives of others.  Why?  Because the true Annegret and her family are dead, and the fortune is all hers — all Margarete’s — a grand house with crystal chandeliers, and a factory with fences built high and topped with cruel curls of barbed wire.  Inside, the workers shiver, their faces gaunt from hunger.  Margarete struggles to hide her gasp when — amongst the faces of the prisoners — she sees one that is achingly familiar.  

Suddenly, she has hundreds of lives in her hands, including one who means more to her than anyone else left in the world.  There’s no question that she must act.  From that moment, Margarete is more than just a girl in hiding; she’s a girl who can save others.  But in her new position of power, surrounded by the Nazi elite, every move she makes is being watched.  Every mistake she makes could lead to disaster.  As the war tears through the country she loves and turns the world dark, Margarete knows she can’t ignore her chance to stand up against evil — even if it means risking her own life to save the innocents in her protection.

Memories are made of this

Please share a MEMORY you have of me (or us), and I'll share something I remember about you (or us together).

When I did this two years ago on Facebook,
  1. Jan remembered our early blogging days,
  2. Shon remembered book club discussions,
  3. Candy remembered dim sum together (with Barbara, now departed),
  4. Sarah remembered reconnecting at the bookstore in North Chattanooga,
  5. Fartema remembered being adjunct professors and lunch at Blue Orleans,
  6. Kathryn remembered us visiting in her kitchen,
  7. Barbara mentioned our mutual friend Sylvia,
  8. Sylvia remembered I took her to Candler in Atlanta,
  9. Leslie remembered having "daisy" rolls for breakfast at my home,
  10. Annette remembered "Bonnie, Donna, and Annette's Excellent Adventure in Atlanta," and
  11. Donna said, "Too numerous to name."

Thursday, December 30, 2021

End-of-Year Survey

I read "only" 103 books in 2021.  I say that because in 2011, I read 208 books (160 adult and YA books + 48 children's books).  I think I'll just list books read in the coming year, maybe even without rating them.  That's mostly because I see that I really didn't have a very good reading year; I didn't rate many as excellent.  Was it the pandemic?  Was it me?  Even books I tried to re-read didn't work out.  I abandoned books by favorite authors that I was reading because they were so good the first time around, I expected them to be wonderful again.  They weren't.  Maybe it was a combination of ennui, staying home because of COVID, days running together, and not getting out.

Word of the Day
en·nui /änˈwē/ noun = a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement.  Example:  "He succumbed to ennui and despair."  Synonyms:  apathy, languor, melancholy, sadness, tedium, weariness, blahs, doldrums, lassitude, listlessness.

What's new?  The year coming up, but otherwise it's still the same ole same ole.

Idiom of the Day

"Same ole same ole" is used to indicate that things remain unchanged.

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Sunday Salon ~ books for this week and next year

What I've been reading

Cat Tales: A Catty Concoction of Quotes, Poems and "Dear Tabby" Advice ~ edited by Suzanne Beilenson, 1992, gift book, 48 pages, 7/10
CAT-NIP = Feline love nip (p. 14)
CAT-CALL = Feline 'fone conversation (p. 15)
CAT-SKILL = Tabby talent (p. 16)
CAT-TAIL = Kitty legend (p. 17)
Nothing Ever Happens on My Block ~ Ellen Raskin, 1966, children's picture book, 8/10
Chester Filbert is sure that his block is the most boring in the world.  Other blocks have haunted houses, ferocious lions and tigers, monsters, astronauts, even fireworks.  His block has nothing.  See what really happens on Chester's block.
My Sister's Keeper ~ by Jodi Picoult, 2004, fiction, 423 pages
Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for her leukemia-stricken sister Kate, a life and a role that she is now challenging.
Reading Challenges
I'm ready to start 2022 with two reading challenges, listed at the top of the right sidebar:  Cruisin' thru the Cozies Reading Challenge 2022 and Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2022.  I'll choose cozy mysteries already on my friend Donna's Kindle, which her sister let me "inherit" after Donna died.  I have always been much more into historical fiction.  Let's see how I do in each category

Deb at Readerbuzz hosts Sunday Salon, a place for us to link up and share what we have read and done during this week.

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Musing on a Caturday

Stop and go kitties?  Really?  I wonder who came up with this idea.
Okay, it's Christmas Day, but notice the RED cat and the GREEN cat.
That makes it kind of Christmas-y, doesn't it?

Let's just go all-out Christmas.  Here, I'm sending you a hug.
One size fits all, and it's easy to return.  Snoopy says so.

Friday, December 24, 2021

Beginning ~ with a reason to be born

When I was little, the great mystery to me wasn't how babies were made, but why. . . . I was born for a very specific purpose.  I wasn't the result of a cheap bottle of wine or a full moon or the heat of the moment.  I was born because a scientist managed to hook up my mother's egg and my father's sperm to create a specific combination of precious genetic material.
My Sister's Keeper ~ by Jodi Picoult, 2004, fiction, 423 pages

Anna is not sick, but she might as well be.  By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood.  The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for her leukemia-stricken sister Kate, a life and a role that she has never challenged — until now.  Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is.  But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister — and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves.

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Wee fish ewe a mare egrets moose, panda hippo gnu deer!

Sandra Boynton is my favorite cartoonist.  She posted on Facebook:
As a Christmas surprise for my friends and family (don't tell them) I decided to redraw this design for a t-shirt.  I thought this would take me maybe two hours.  It took me nearly EIGHT hours.  I have no idea why.  Oh well.  [It's here in my Zazzle store:]

Say the animal names slowly:

  • wee fish
  • ewe
  • a mare (only one)
  • egrets (two, sharing one song book)
  • moose
  • panda
  • hippo
  • gnu
  • deer

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

I'm a hugger!

Pass along the hugs!
(Not the snowman.)
Everybody needs a hug!

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Let's go grocery shopping

I'll post my answers in the comments, too.
Ready, set, go!

Monday, December 13, 2021

How motivated are you today?

I'm motivated to keep exercising.  How do you exercise?  Besides walking, how else are you staying fit?  One possibility is this challenge from SilverSneakers designated the Move Better, Feel Better Challenge.

I'm motivated to practice playing the piano . . . and to teach Debbie as much as she wants to know about it.  Maybe next time, I'll show her these B-notes:  B natural, B flat, B sharp, and B quiet.  Do you read music?  Do you "get" what this joke is about?

B minor, added at 8:30 pm.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Books I'll remember

I posted about "15 books that will always stick with me" on Facebook in 2009.  I decided to do it again, updating that list to include books that I've read in the last dozen years.  So here are 15 books, in alphabetical order, that I think will always stick with me:
  1. Agape Love: A Tradition Found in Eight World Religions ~ by John Templeton, 1999
  2. The Gnostic Gospels ~ by Elaine Pagels, 1979
  3. The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions ~ by Karen Armstrong, 2006
  4. The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith ~ by Marcus J. Borg, 2003
  5. Herland ~ by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 1915
  6. Honest to God ~ by John A. T. Robinson, 1963
  7. Little Women ~ by Louisa May Alcott, 1868
  8. Miss Rumphius ~ by Barbara Cooney, 1982
  9. My Sister's Keeper ~ by Jodi Picoult, 2003
  10. The Mythmaker: Paul and the Invention of Christianity ~ by Hyam Maccoby, 1986
  11. The Red Tent ~ by Anita Diamant, 1997
  12. The Social Construction of Reality ~ by Peter L. Berger, 1966
  13. Talk Before Sleep ~ by Elizabeth Berg, 1994
  14. Time and Again ~ by Jack Finney, 1970
  15. A Wrinkle in Time ~ by Madeleine L'Engle, 1962
I am currently re-reading The Social Construction of Reality ~ by Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann, that I told you about in a recent blog post.  And now I want to re-read some of the other books on this list.

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

Saturday, December 11, 2021


A "time-honored practice"?  Here's another definition:
Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people.
Think about the traditions in your family.
Do you hate any of them ... and do them anyway?
Or have you chosen to let some fall by the wayside?

Thinking about tradition reminds me of Tevye in "Fiddler on the Roof."
Click that link to watch the video of him singing that song.

I have my own tradition about books:  I re-read the really good ones.  I have just added this book to my Kindle because I haven't read it in awhile.  The cover Amazon showed me is NOT the cover of the paperback copy I've read in the past (more than once), but here's the latest cover.

The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge ~ by Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann, 1966, sociology, 189 pages (before the copious notes)
In this seminal book, Berger and Luckmann examine how knowledge forms and how it is preserved and altered within a society.  Unlike earlier theorists and philosophers, the authors go beyond intellectual history and focus on commonsense, everyday knowledge — the proverbs, morals, values, and beliefs shared among ordinary people.  When first published in 1966, this systematic, theoretical treatise introduced the term "social construction," effectively creating a new thought and transforming Western philosophy.
My grandson has gotten a doctorate in physical therapy.

His parents (and the rest of the family) are very proud of him.


Multiple tornadoes touched down in the St. Louis area on Friday evening.  The loud, squawking alert over my iPhone "alarmed" Clawdia and nearly gave me a heart attack as I scrambled to turn it off.  I grabbed the cat leash and two bottles of water from my fridge and went into the bathroom to be away from windows.  Clawdia usually follows me when I go to the bathroom ... so when she joined me there, I closed the door.  That scared her, and she clawed at the bottom of the door, probably hoping she could pull it open as she does our folding closet door.

A tornado had been spotted crossing the St. Louis area, including my county.  Soon, my phone alarm sounded a second time, making me think it must be on top of us.  The photo above (that I found online) shows an Amazon warehouse that was damaged in Edwardsville, Illinois, which is a mere 24 miles east of St. Louis.  Click this link to watch a video.

Just before the alarm sounded, I had been on the phone with my friend Rosie, asking her if it was okay for me to post about our dinner at Bristol Seafood Grill; she had said, "Of course!"  We hung up because she was about to go out the door to come home from visiting her sister.  It was literally minutes later when the alarm sounded on my phone.  I hit "publish" so I wouldn't lose my blog post and headed for the kitchen to grab those water bottles.  It was posted at 8:40 p.m.

Waiting in the bathroom with my cat, I was worried about Rosie ... wondering whether she knew about the tornado warning, whether she was driving right into it, whether she would be okay.  But I didn't want to call while she was driving, especially if she was dealing with a tornado.

It felt like hours later (it wasn't) when the warning expired, and I called Rosie.  Believe it or not, she was — get this — "about to go out the door to come home from visiting her sister."  (Didn't I just write that?)  Yes, she had also gotten the phone warning and had stayed put.

I took our elevator down to the lobby a little later and met her as she got home and walked into our building.  Another neighbor — who lives on her floor — was also watching anxiously for Rosie and pacing in the lobby.  The neighbor and I both hugged her.  I hope Rosie was feeling the love and concern.  I read later that it was 11:30 p.m. before the all-clear was sent out.

Friday, December 10, 2021

Maple Plank Roasted Salmon

Rosie took me to dinner at Bristol Seafood Grill on Wednesday.  I ordered Maple Plank Roasted Salmon with bourbon glaze, herb roasted potato and asparagus hash (see the illustration).  Rosie and I also shared carrot cake with pecan praline filling, sweet cream cheese, with toasted coconut and crème anglaise for dessert (and she got a second one to take to a friend).

Rosie had the Pretzel Crusted Trout, which came with roasted yukon potatoes, french green beans, frisée, warm bacon, and mustard vinaigrette
.  (These are not my photos; I found them online.)

Rosie was born in Italy and moved to the United States when she was eleven.  I like how eclectic the Crown Center is.  We hear both Russian and Chinese being spoken here every day, not just English.

Cruisin' thru the Cozies Reading Challenge

The Cruisin' thru the Cozies Reading Challenge is hosted by Socrates' Book Review.  I discovered this reading challenge when Deb Nance of Readerbuzz  (asking for her book club) posted these questions:
"What is a cozy mystery?  Could you suggest some holiday-themed cozy mystery titles or authors who write cozies with a holiday theme?"
Some of you may be wondering what a "cozy mystery" is, as Deb did.  The comments on her post say (more or less) that they are mystery novels featuring an amateur detective, off-scene violence, maybe romance, but no sex.  They vary from comical to more serious, but are apparently always fast-paced.  And they have fun covers.  Basically, it seems that a cozy mystery is lighter reading than a murder mystery.  I left Deb this comment:

"I haven't read many cozy mysteries, though [like Deb] I think I'd recognize one when I see it.  However, I inherited my friend Donna's Kindle after she died.  I haven't looked at ALL of the books on it yet, but I see that she gave 5 stars to these cozy mysteries (all by the same author)."

  • Croissants and Corruption (Margot Durand Cozy Mystery, Book 1 of 12) ~ by Danielle Collins, 2017, cozy mystery (Virginia), 5 stars
  • Desserts and Deception (Margot Durand Cozy Mystery, Book 2 of 12) ~ by Danielle Collins, 2017, cozy mystery (Virginia), 5 stars
  • Pastries and Pilfering (Margot Durand Cozy Mystery, Book 3 of 12) ~ by Danielle Collins, 2017, cozy mystery (California and Virginia), 5 stars
That's when I decided to sign up for this challenge, starting my list with these three cozies, since Donna gave them top ratings.  Yes, I see that these are not "holiday-themed" (as Deb wanted), but they are cozy mysteries and Donna enjoyed them.  So I'm in!

I'm also planning to do the version of the challenge where I'll read only cozy mysteries of my choice, since I can then read ones that are already on Donna's Kindle.  I just looked again and see a couple more that she gave 5-star ratings:
  • Brew or Die: A Java Jive Mystery (Book 4 of 5) ~ by Caroline Fardig, 2017, cozy mystery, 5 stars
  • Murder Over Mochas: A Java Jive Mystery (Book 5 of 5) ~ by Caroline Fardig, 2017, cozy mystery, 5 stars
  • [I looked up the first three, which are Death Before Decaf, Mug Shot, and A Whole Latte Murder.  They are the three shown in the illustration above.  These three are probably among the hundreds of other books on Donna's Kindle, too.]
The next step is to choose how many books I plan to read:
  1. Level one (Snoop) ~ Read 10 cozy mysteries of your choice.
  2. Level two (Investigator) ~ Read 20 cozy mysteries of your choice.
  3. Level three (Super Sleuth) ~ Read 30 cozy mysteries of your choice.
  4. Level four (Sleuth Extraordinaire) ~ Read 40 cozy mysteries of your choice.
I'll start at the Snoop level, since I don't know how much I'll enjoy cozies.  I've probably read fewer than ten in my whole life.  We shall see.  Anyway, the challenge begins January 1, 2022 and ends December 31, 2022.  We don't have to choose our books in advance and, even if we do, we can change the list at any time during the year.  Okay, I'm in!

Books I've completed:

1.  Croissants and Corruption ~ by Danielle Collins, 2017, cozy mystery (Virginia), 164 pages, 8/10
2.  Desserts and Deception ~ by Danielle Collins, 2017, cozy mystery (Virginia), 128 pages, 7/10
3.  Pastries and Pilfering (Margot Durand Cozy Mystery, Book 3 of 12) ~ by Danielle Collins, 2017, cozy mystery (California and Mexico), 180 pages, 7/10
4.  Oy Vey, Maria! : A Mrs. Kaplan Mystery ~ by Mark Reutlinger, 2021, cozy mystery, 186 pages, 8/10
5.  Aunt Bessie Decides ~ by Diana Xarissa, 2014, cozy mystery, 238 pages, 4/10
6.  Class Reunions Can Be Murder: Every Wife Has A Story (A Baby Boomer Mystery Book 4) ~ by Susan Santangelo, 2013, cozy mystery, 240 pages, 9/10
7.  Retirement Can Be Murder: Every Wife Has A Story (A Baby Boomer Mystery Book 1) ~ by Susan Santangelo, 2009, cozy mystery, 214 pages, 8/10
8.  A Pain in the Tuchis: A Mrs. Kaplan Mystery ~ by Mark Reutlinger, 2015, cozy mystery, 217 pages, 10/10
9.  Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death ~ by Mark Reutlinger, 2014, cozy mystery, 244 pages, 6/10
10.  The Obituary Society ~ by Jessica L. Randall, 2014, cozy mystery, 196 pages, 3/10
11.  Murder to Go (Food Truck Mysteries #1) ~ by Chloe Kendrick, 2015, cozy mystery, 149 pages, 6/10

Well, I passed my goal by one extra cozy mystery.

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2022

Marg of the Intrepid Reader blog is hosting the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge of 2022.  Here are the goals Marg suggested:
  • 20th Century Reader ~ 2 books
  • Victorian Reader ~ 5 books
  • Renaissance Reader ~ 10 books
  • Medieval ~ 15
  • Ancient History ~ 25 books
  • Prehistoric ~ 50+ books
I know I'll read a lot more than 50 books in a year's time, but it is not at all likely that they will all be historical fiction.  So I will aim lower and hope I guess fewer historical fiction than I actually read next year.  Let's see, maybe Renaissance Reader, with 10 books.  Yes, I'll read at least that many, and I think "Renaissance Reader" has a nice ring to it.  If you want to join us in reading some historical novels, click on the link in the first line.

Books I've completed:

1.  From the Dark We Rise ~ by Marion Kummerow, 2021, historical fiction, 281 pages, 7/10
2.  A Light in the Window ~ by Marion Kummerow, 2021, historical fiction, 280 pages, 6/10
3.  War Girl Lotte ~ by Marion Kummerow, 2017, historical fiction (Germany), 180 pages, 7/10
4.  West with Giraffes ~ by Linda Rutledge, 2021, historical fiction, 381 pages, 7/10
5.  The Titanic Sisters ~ by Patricia Falvey, 2021, historical fiction, 320 pages, 8/10
6.  Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre ~ by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Floyd Cooper, 2021, children's history (Oklahoma), 32 pages, 10/10
7.  Maus I: My Father Bleeds History ~ by Art Spiegelman, 1986, history (Poland/New York), 160 pages, 7/10
8.  The Lighthouse Sisters ~ by Gill Thompson, 2022, historical fiction, 439 pages, 10/10
9.  Where the Desert Meets the Sea ~ by Werner Sonne, translated by Steve Anderson, 2019, historical fiction (Israel), 258 pages, 8/10
10.  One Crazy Summer ~ by Rita Williams-Garcia, 2010, YA historical fiction (California), 240 pages, 9/10
11.  Last Train to Istanbul ~ by Ayse Kulin, 2002, historical fiction (France and Turkey), 417 pages, 4/10

Hey!  I slid right past my goal of ten books of historical fiction!  Yay, me!

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Wednesday Workout

Does jumping to conclusions count as exercise?  What if I exercise restraint?  Someone said:  "If you feel the need to exercise, lie down until it goes away."

But seriously, I like SilverSneakers online because I don't have to go anywhere to exercise.  I can do it in my own apartment.

I use this 120-page book on Exercise and Physical Activity, which divides the activities into these categories (p. 13):
  • Endurance — aerobic activities increase your breathing and heart rate.
  • Strength — resistance training improves your muscle strength.
  • Balance — these exercises help prevent falls (important for older adults).
  • Flexibility — stretching can help your body stay flexible and limber.
Over the years, I've collected useful equipment to help me exercise.  I have a set of two hand-weight dumbbells (one pound each), workout bands (light, medium, heavy), 
stretchy resistance bands (medium), and a shoulder pulley (above) that I got to work on my range of motion after I broke my shoulder in December 2012.

Shoved under my desk is also an exercise mini-cycle like this, which can be used with feet or hands.  While healing after breaking that shoulder, I would put this mini-cycle on the desk or a table and use my hands to push the pedals around.  I have  not used it much lately, but — now that I have remembered it again — I think I'll pull it out today, along with my tennis balls and a stiff spongy thing to squeeze to strengthen my grip.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

TWOsday ~ proofreading and smiles

Did you know I used to be an editor?  I still do editing, but now it's only on my blog.  With so many "devices" now in use, I thought I'd share this very important aspect of editing.  Yes, hitting that "send" button does indeed make you suddenly see that one oh-so-obvious typo.  You're welcome.

Monday, December 6, 2021

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Library loot, Crown Center, and good things

The Sentence ~ by Louise Erdrich, 2021, fiction (Minnesota), 387 pages

This novel asks what we owe to the living, the dead, to the reader, and to the book.  A small independent bookstore in Minneapolis is haunted from November 2019 to November 2020 by the store's most annoying customer.  Flora dies on All Souls' Day, but she simply won't leave the store.  Tookie, who has landed the job selling books after years of incarceration that she survived by reading "with murderous attention," must solve the mystery of this haunting while at the same time trying to understand all that occurs in Minneapolis during a year of grief, astonishment, isolation, and furious reckoning.  The story begins on All Souls' Day 2019 and ends on All Souls' Day 2020.

The Doctors Blackwell: How Two Pioneering Sisters Brought Medicine to Women and Women to Medicine
~ by Janice P. Nimura, 2021, biography, 320 pages

Elizabeth Blackwell believed from an early age that she was destined for a mission beyond the scope of "ordinary" womanhood.  Though the world at first recoiled at the notion of a woman studying medicine, her intelligence and intensity ultimately won her the acceptance of the male medical establishment.  In 1849, she became the first woman in America to receive an M.D.  She was soon joined in her iconic achievement by her younger sister, Emily, who was actually the more brilliant physician.  Together, the Blackwells founded the New York Infirmary for Indigent Women and Children, the first hospital that was staffed entirely by women.  Elizabeth Blackwell herself predicted that "a hundred years hence, women will not be what they are now."

Born Curious: 20 Girls Who Grew Up to Be Awesome Scientists ~ by Martha Freeman, illustrated by Katy Wu, 2020, children's, 122 pages

Why do galaxies spin the way they do?  What’s the best kind of house for a Komodo dragon?  Can you cure malaria with medicine made from a plant?  The scientists and the mathematicians in Born Curious sought answers to these and many other fascinating questions.  Without their vision, insight, and hard work, the world would be a sicker, dirtier, and more dangerous place.  The twenty groundbreaking women came from all kinds of backgrounds and had all kinds of life experiences.  Some grew up rich.  Some grew up poor.  Some were always the smartest kid in class.  Some struggled to do well in school.  But all had one thing in common:  They were all born curious.  Are you curious, too?  Then read this book!

Crown Center is in the news

The St. Louis Jewish Light posted this announcement:  "Crown Center for Senior Living has received a $1 million donation from philanthropists Michael and Carol Staenberg to benefit Crown’s capital campaign to construct affordable housing for older adults, and a state-of-the-art community center to be named 'Staenberg Commons.'  Crown is planning to build new, high-quality, apartments for older adults on its site in University City, replacing the original 1960s era high rise.  Construction on the Staenberg Commons is slated to begin in early 2022."  The photo is from the article.  The only person I can identify in the photo is my friend Miriam, third from the left.  They were standing in front of a memorial wall in the Circle@Crown Café downstairs.

Good Thing #1
Women physicians, like my cardiologist and general practitioner.

Good Thing #2
The new building going up next year at the Crown Center.

Good Thing #3
Friendships, like with Miriam (above) and other neighbors at Crown.

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

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Hygge Holiday Challenge

Meik Wiking, author of The Little Book of Hygge, which I read in 2017, says hygge has been called all these things, among others:
  • the art of creating intimacy
  • coziness of the soul
  • the absence of annoyance
  • taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things
  • cozy togetherness
  • cocoa by candlelight
Let's take the Hygge challenge, shall we?  Here's what's on the list in the illustration above, plus a few others I've found:
  1. Take a break.
  2. Be here now.
  3. Turn off your phone.
  4. Turn down the lights.
  5. Bring out the candles.
  6. Build relationships.
  7. Spend time with your tribe.
  8. Give yourself a break from the demands of healthy living.
  9. Cake is most definitely Hygge.
  10. Live life today, like there is no coffee tomorrow.
  11. Get comfy.
  12. Start a gratitude list.
  13. Add relaxing scents.
  14. Sleep in for 15 minutes or more.
  15. Learn a new skill. 
  16. Turn off the phone before bed.
  17. Send a thank-you note.
  18. Have a candlelight dinner.
  19. Go for a 30-minute walk without your phone.
  20. Cozy up with a new book.
  21. Have a tech-free evening.
  22. Invest in a cozy sweater.
  23. Go on a coffee date in real life.
  24. Add some greenery.
  25. Cook a new recipe with family.
  26. Have a game night.
  27. Treat yourself to an at-home spa day. 
  28. Make a new friend.
  29. Let in natural light.
  30. Enjoy some hot cocoa or tea.
  31. Bake your favorite holiday treat.
  32. Get cozy and watch your favorite movie.
  33. Have a dance party.
  34. Pray, meditate, or just breathe.
  35. Give yourself a break.
  36. "Unbook" yourself.
I put "unbook yourself" last so I could show it with this shirt that says, "I can't.  I'm booked."  I inherited Donna's shirt when she died.  I was wearing it this week in our Circle@Crown Café downstairs when Melvin looked puzzled and said, "I don't get it."  In my case, "I'm booked" means that "I'm reading another book; so whatever it is that you want me to do, I can't do it because I am busy reading."  Suddenly, Melvin got the joke and laughed.  He is also a big reader and usually has a book with him in the Café, just in case there's nobody around to chat with.  Be sure to notice that #20 on the list above says:  "Cozy up with a new book."  Heck, it doesn't even have to be new.  It's also fun to re-read old favorites.

Anyway, adapting these lists is the key to making this work for us, so pick and choose what works for you and whatever seems comfy and cozy and makes you smile.  It's okay to repeat any of these that make YOU feel good.  I'll end by quoting the author of that book I read:

"Cuddling pets has the same effect as cuddling another person ― we feel loved, warm, and safe, which are three key words in the concept of hygge."
― from The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking (page 41)