Saturday, April 30, 2022


Inside a cat scan

Friday, April 29, 2022

Plant a tree to celebrate Arbor Day

National Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April to encourage people to plant trees.  Communities often organize tree-planting events on this holiday.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

I was hacked

My Facebook account was hacked.  Be aware, if you were my FB friend.  If you hear from "me" on FB, it isn't me.  I first deactivated my account, then decided to completely delete the account.  I was already tired of the negativity on there and had decided to stay off Facebook.  Now my "staying off" will be permanent.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Sunday Salon ~ my Kindle books

Just completed

Remembering a Great American Hero Marian Anderson: "The Lady from Philadelphia"
~ by Emile Henwood, 2020, biography, 132 pages, 8/10

This book is a "condensed chronological compilation," not a biography as I thought when I added it to my Kindle.  What makes it worthwhile, though, are three links to YouTube videos about her:  HERE (page 36) and HERE (page 68) and HERE (page 70).  From there, you can find many more videos showing her legacy.  Have fun!

Just downloaded

A Span of Moments ~ by Robert Beech, 2020, fiction (Florida), 302 pages

A story of coming home to an old Florida island and struggling to save its way of life and native beauty:  Midsummer 1994, a disillusioned Jake Crawford quits a prominent scientific career and retreats to the island home of his youth, longing for its old Florida way of life.  Within hours of his arrival, he becomes entangled in a tragic series of events involving a billionaire real estate developer and a reclusive bridgetender with a long-hidden past.  Jake's struggle to navigate those events will determine whether Marcosta Island preserves its culture and native beauty or succumbs to the same overpopulation and environmental harm that has befallen the rest of southwest Florida.

Reading now

The Easy Life in Kamusari ~ by Shion Miura, translated by Juliet Winters Carpenter, 2021 (in English),  contemporary fiction (Japan), 205 pages

In this coming-of-age tale, a young man is thrust from city life into the trials, mysteries, and delights of a mythical mountain forest.  Nine days ago, I wrote about getting this book, and now I'm ready to read it.  I've read one other book by Miura, his 2011 novel The Great Passage, which I rated 8/10.
Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Checking today's weather

Do you feel like this, too?  It may be hot; it may be cold.  It may be sunny, or it may be wet.  We may have snow, or we may have rain or sleet or icicles or a heatwave.  Maybe it will just be cloudy today.  Who knows?  Not even the weather forecasters get it right every time.  Perhaps I should adopt the attitude of Snoopy and Woodstock and dance:

Friday, April 22, 2022

Today is Earth Day

My daughter called this last one "Earth Day in action."

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Signal Mountain Road

Signal Mountain Road is the Highway up and across Signal Mountain near Chattanooga Tennessee. The road is wider now, and those trees on the left are long gone.  When my dad's younger brother Jeff was little, he noticed that "big rock" above the road and said it would "hurt his little toes if it fell."  Click here for an older photo of the road.

Point made, but the second one? Who's that stupid?

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Words from Weather

My friends Toni and Sandy and I have come up with two dozen words from these letters so far.  What words can you make with the letters in WEATHER?  Leave a word or more in the comments.  Weather is definitely a "wondrous word."  I'll start with a tiny word:

1.  at
2.  ate
3.  tea

Update:  I just discovered my friend Genies came up with five more words.   Also, my friends Carolyn and Jenn added another dozen words (before I posted this on my blog).  Hurray to Genies, Carolyn, and Jenn!

Update #2:  People kept coming back to share more words, so here are words that people made and shared (I'll post this in early May, also):

Toni:  ate, we, her, the, wet, wrath
Bonnie:  wreath, thaw, haw, hew, hat, hare, heat, hear
Sandy:  wheat, wart, heart, wrath 
Genies:  thaw, what, wear, rate, threw
Bonnie:  awe, raw, war, hate, eat, tea, awe, were, ware
Carolyn:  wheat, what, the, rat, eat, there, her, here
Bonnie:  there, haw, whee, what, whet
Jenn:  where, heart, eater, water, reheat, wreathe, ether, earth, whereat, hewer
Wreathe and whereat both use ALL the letters.  Ding, ding, ding!  Jenn wins Facebook today!  She is definitely the Queen of Words today!
Bonnie:  at, art, ear, wee, taw, tar, ether
Shon:  we, eat, her, at, the

Some may be repeated, but none of these people had seen what the others sent me.  We were all having a grand time.  If you want to sort out the words and tell us a final number, please do.  The letters in W-E-A-T-H-E-R make a lot of other words!  It feels like they can make a "million" words.  Toni wrote, "It said five, so I stopped my brain at six !!!! amor."  She was quoting the post we'd found on Facebook, which suggested we try to make five words from the letters in WEATHER.  Even though she screeched to a stop, she couldn't help finding that sixth word.  Way to go, Toni!

If anyone finds another word (or two or three or four), let me know and I'll add them to our list.


I could probably do a couple of these, maybe
even five.  But the one circled is my favorite.

Monday, April 18, 2022

Why do you read?

Under my profile, I posted these words about myself:
"I read to explore ideas."  It includes all of these things.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Very unusual

Looking back, on this Easter Sunday

My children on Easter 1967 with their Easter baskets.
Same three on April 4, 2010, but he got taller than his sisters.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Punday on Caturday

Mu?  Really?  This kitten seems awfully young to be speaking Greek already!

Friday, April 15, 2022

Ten books for World Book Day

The Puma Years ~ by Laura Coleman, 2021, travel memoir (Bolivia), 321 pages
The rapturous story of one woman’s liberating journey in the Amazon jungle, where she fell in love with a magnificent cat who changed her life.
The Ardent Swarm ~ by Yamen Manai, translation by Lara Vergnaud, 2021 (in English), literary fiction (Tunisia), 204 pages
A stirring allegory about a country in the aftermath of revolution and the power of a single quest.
North to Paradise ~ by Ousman Umar, translated by Kevin Gerry Dunn, 2022 (in English), memoir (Ghana), 159 pages
The inspiring true story of one man's treacherous boyhood journey from a rural village in Ghana to the streets of Barcelona.
Where the Desert Meets the Sea ~ by Werner Sonne, translated by Steve Anderson, 2019, historical fiction (Israel), 258 pages
A heart-stirring story where the boundaries of love and friendship are challenged by the intractable conflicts of war.
An Eye for an Eye (Detective Kate Young Series) ~ by Carol Wyer, 2021, thriller (England), 430 pages
A detective spiraling out of control works to uncover the truth and stop an elusive killer before they strike again.
The Other Man ~ by Farhad J. Dadyburjor, 2021, book club fiction, 299 pages
A heartwarming and transporting romantic comedy about finding happy ever after on your own terms.
The Easy Life in Kamusari ~ by Shion Miura, translated by Juliet Winters Carpenter, 2021 (in English), contemporary fiction (Japan), 205 pages
In this lively coming-of-age tale, a young man is thrust from city life into the trials, mysteries, and delights of a mythical mountain forest.
Mother Dear ~ by Nova Lee Maier, translated by Jozef van der Voort, 2019 (in English), psychological thriller (Netherlands), 443 pages
A nightmarish home invasion prompts one woman to do the unthinkable to protect her family.
To the Sky Kingdom ~ by Tang Qi, translated by Poppy Toland, 2016 (in English), fantasy (China), 460 pages
Spanning a millennium of tangled lives, this story delves into the powerful forces that drive mortals and gods alike toward revenge, loyalty — and love.
The Caiman ~ by Maria Eugenia Manrique, translated by Amy Brill, illustrated by Ramón París, 2021 (in English), children's book (Venezuela), 40 pages
The unforgettable story of how one man's friendship with his alligator sparked a lasting legacy.
Now for the good part — all of these are free right now.  CLICK HERE if you want to download some or all of them before the giveaway ends April 27th.  By the way, different places seem to celebrate World Book Day at different times, even different months.  But since I just learned about these free books, we are celebrating it right NOW.  Go for it!

What do you think of this pricing?

Summary (just in case you can't read the sign in the photo):  "To continue serving our overnight guests, our overnight pricing (11pm to 5 am) is higher than the menu board."  Someone on my neighborhood listserv posted this, saying:
"I saw this sign at the Hardee's on ... I think it's crazy.  What do you all think about this?  I don't think I'm going to be back here because people are already paying so much inflation."
I left out the location and edited some of the comments below because the way folks post without checking capitalization and spelling drives me crazy.  But seriously, is this pricing the new normal?  Is it only fair to the company?  What do you think?  Here are some of the comments (also edited) that the original poster has received so far:
  • "They’re just reacting to the market."
  • "I understand, but then give us the late night menu prices to see.  They can’t just make up prices as they go!!!  Or say there is an up charge of 20% — SHOW US THE COST."
  • "I used to get paid an extra ten cents an hour for working holidays and late night, so it doesn't surprise me."
  • "I would want know what the cost is before I order."
  • "I believe the sign makes sense.  Because of inflation, salaries and cost of materials, utilities, etc. are up; because of the pandemic, etc. patronage is down.  To keep staff on at night and the restaurant open, it is more expensive."
  • "It think that's better than having to close.  So many places are randomly closed because they can't get employees these days."
  • "I assume this reflects the cost of providing overnight/24 hour service — which not all restaurants feature.  The alternative would be for Hardee's to raise prices across the board."
  • "Guess what!!!!!  No one NEEDS Hardee’s."
  • "I get it…BUT, if they are going to do that they need to make a separate menu like they do for breakfast.  If people can’t see what they are paying, what’s to keep someone from charging more and pocketing the cash?  Nope for me unless I see posted prices."
  • "I suspect that if they don’t increase night prices, they will either have to spread the price increase across all items for all customers at all times, or they won’t be able to be open at night anymore."
  • "It's like shift work in a factory that pays people more to work the hours no one else wants to work.  Hard to get any workers these days."
  • "At least they are letting you know.  Then the choice is yours.  A premium price for odd hours service is not unreasonable.  It costs more to keep a place open during non-peak hours."
  • "This price gouging by businesses who are making record profits while we are still fighting a pandemic is shameful and unethical, if not proof positive that business can not self-regulate.  We need our anti-trust laws back and regulations to slap the hands of bad boys who just can't control themselves and their runaway GREED."
  • "Hopefully this is because they are paying their help premium pay for night shift.  If that is the case, I approve of it.  If it's just so the corporation can make more money, I do not approve."
Here's my take on it.  Yes, there may be a legitimate reason to charge more overnight, but please tell us how much more.  I myself would not order and pay for something BEFORE knowing how much it costs.  That's ridiculous, in my opinion.  Maybe it would work if I asked before ordering, "How much is this?  How much is that?"  Maybe this Hardee's location has already placed an order for an updated sign with new prices, but somehow, tell me how much, please!

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Information, Please

When I was a young boy, my father had one of the first telephones in our neighborhood.  I remember the polished, old case fastened to the wall.  The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box.  I was too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination when my mother talked to it.

Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived an amazing person.  Her name was "Information Please" and there was nothing she did not know.  Information Please could supply anyone's number and the correct time.  My personal experience with the genie-in-a-bottle came one day while my mother was visiting a neighbor.  Amusing myself at the tool bench in the base-ment, I whacked my finger with a hammer, the pain was terrible, but there seemed no point in crying because there was no one home to give sympathy.  I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway.

The telephone!  Quickly, I ran for the footstool in the parlor and dragged it to the landing.  Climbing up, I unhooked the receiver in the parlor and held it to my ear.  "Information, please," I said into the mouthpiece just above my head.  A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear.

"I hurt my finger..." I wailed into the phone.  The tears came readily enough now that I had an audience.
"Isn't your mother home?" came the question.
"Nobody's home but me," I blubbered.
"Are you bleeding?" the voice asked.
"No, "I replied. "I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts."
"Can you open the icebox?" she asked.
I said I could.
"Then chip off a little bit of ice, and hold it to your finger," said the voice.

After that, I called "Information Please" for everything.  I asked her for help with my geography, and she told me where Philadelphia was.  She helped me with my math.  She told me my pet chipmunk, that I had caught in the park just the day before, would eat fruit and nuts.

Then, there was the time Petey, our pet canary, died.  I called, "Information Please," and told her the sad story.  She listened, and then said things grown-ups say to soothe a child.  But I was not consoled.

I asked her, “Why is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring joy to all families, only to end up as a heap of feathers on the bottom of a cage?"
She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, “Wayne, always remember that there are other worlds to sing in."
Somehow I felt better.
Another day I was on the telephone, "Information Please."
"Information," said in the now familiar voice.
"How do I spell fix?" I asked.

All this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest.  When I was nine years old, we moved across the country to Boston.  I missed my friend very much.  "Information Please" belonged in that old wooden box back home, and I somehow never thought of trying the shiny new phone that sat on the table in the hall.  As I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations never really left me.  Often, in moments of doubt and perplexity I would recall the serene sense of security I had then.  I appreciated now how patient, understanding, and kind she was to have spent her time on a little boy.

A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down in Seattle.  I had about a half-hour or so between planes.  I spent 15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister, who lived there now.  Then without thinking what I was doing, I dialed my hometown operator and said, "Information Please."

Miraculously, I heard the small, clear voice I knew so well.  "Information."
I hadn't planned this, but I heard myself saying, "Could you please tell me how to spell fix?"
There was a long pause.  Then came the soft -spoken answer, "I guess your finger must have healed by now."
I laughed.  "So it's really you," I said.  "I wonder if you have any idea how much you meant to me during that time?"
"I wonder," she said, "if you know how much your calls meant to me.  I never had any children, and I used to look forward to your calls."
I told her how often I had thought of her over the years, and I asked if I could call her again when I came back to visit my sister.
"Please do," she said.  "Just ask for Sally."

Three months later, I was back in Seattle.  A different voice answered, saying, "Information."  I asked for Sally.

"Are you a friend?" she said.
"Yes, a very old friend," I answered.
"I'm sorry to have to tell you this," she said.  "Sally had been working part time the last few years because she was sick.  She died five weeks ago."
Before I could hang up, she said, "Wait a minute.  Is your name Wayne?"
"Yes," I answered.
"Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down in case you called.  Let me read it to you.  The note said, “Tell Wayne there are other worlds to sing in.  He'll know what I mean."

I thanked her and hung up.  I knew what Sally meant.  Never underestimate the impression you may make on others.  Whose life have you touched today?

End of story.  It brought tears to my eyes again, even though I've heard it before, probably several times over the years.  I'm old enough to remember seeing phones like that hand-crank one at the top.  We had a yellow kitchen phone like this on our kitchen wall.  I can also remember "information, please" from my childhood and having party lines.  One of my daughters still has a phone on her wall, even though they each have a smart phone.  As you can see in the photo below, it's on the wall around the corner from her own artwork.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

A dog, a fish, and a bird look at a duck

Today, I'm thinking about how animals get around.  Dogs walk, fish swim, birds fly, and ducks?  Well, they do all three, though I'd say the way a duck walks is more of a waddle.  I rather doubt that a dog wants to fly.

Word of the Day

wad·dle /ˈwädl / verb = to walk with short steps and a clumsy swaying motion of swinging the forepart of the body from side to side.

Example:  "The duck waddled across the road to swim in the lake."

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Monday, April 11, 2022

Think about potatoes ~ no, really

Which of these are your favorites?  I cannot pick only one.  My top three today (I think) are french fries (when they are crispy), potato salad (the way my mother made it), and baked potato (with cheese and black olives, when I buy it at the Circle@Crown Café).

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Eating and reading

Emma came to have lunch with me on Friday (April 8, 2022) at the Circle@Crown Café.  She had the Avocado Panini with onion on it, and I had a Mediterranean Panini and a baked potato.  Speaking of food . . .

Here are a couple of easy recipes.  Hmm, now I'm hungry for that salad and banana bread.  I think they would be delicious together.  I also enjoy Greek food, but here's someone who doesn't like Greek eggs and lamb:

April is National Poetry Month, so a pun about Dr. Seuss is appropriate today.

What I'm reading now

We Turn to Face the Sun ~ by Stephanianna Lozito, 2022, fiction, 290 pages

Jennifer Rossi is a 35-year old professor who is tormented and exhausted by a broken and painful relationship with her younger sister, Tara.  When Jennifer receives shocking news about Tara, she begins a quest to uncover answers she may not want to find.  As she learns more about her sister, she becomes more alone and confused.  Jennifer must face up to her complicated relationship with Tara — or lose herself in the process.  This story examines sisterhood's loving bonds through the complexity of death, grief, loss, and love.
Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz.

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Friday, April 8, 2022

Let's laugh a little

I've never been reincarnated (that I know of), but I have gotten around.  I have never been in Cahoots.  Apparently, you can't go there alone; you have to be in Cahoots with someone.  I've also never been in Cognito, either.  I hear that nobody recognizes you there.  I have, however, been in Sane.  They don't have an airport, so you have to be driven there.  I've made several trips there already.

Do you know why English is so much fun?  It's because a sentence like this one actually makes sense:
"All the faith he had had had had no effect on the outcome of his life."

On this 8th day of April, the Active April calendar tells us to "Give your body a boost by laughing or making someone laugh."  I hope I've succeeded in at least making you smile by reading today's blog post.