Friday, June 30, 2023

Beginning ~ with a chosen name


She went by the name of Belisa Crepusculario, not because she had been baptized with that name or given it by her mother, but because she herself had searched until she found the poetry of "beauty" and "twilight" and cloaked herself in it.  She made her living selling words.

The Stories of Eva Luna ~ by Isabel Allende, 1989, translated by Margaret Sayers Peden, (1991), short stories, 331 pages

Told in the voice of Isabel Allende’s beloved character Eva Luna, a “distinctive, powerful, and haunting” (Los Angeles Times) collection of short fiction by one of the most iconic and acclaimed writers of our time.

Eva Luna is a young woman whose powers as a storyteller bring her friendship and love.  Lying in bed with her European lover, refugee and journalist Rolf Carlé, Eva answers his request for a story "you have never told anyone before" with these twenty-three samples of her vibrant artistry.  Interweaving the real and the magical, she explores love, vengeance, compassion, and the strengths of women, creating a world that is at once familiar and intriguingly new.

Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays.

Dog puzzle toy

I have a friend whose dog barks whenever she leaves the apartment and sometimes even when she's there.  I read that puzzle toys can keep a dog occupied and prevent them from barking.  The idea is to give them something to do so they'll stop barking.  Can anyone confirm this works?  If so, I'll share the information with my friend.

This puzzle I found online dispenses food treats when the dog nuzzles those round white things until a door opens to reveal treats the dog can eat.  Is this the right kind of puzzle?

Word of the Day

nuz·zle / verb = to rub or gently push against something with nose and mouth.  Example:  "The dog nuzzles those movable things until a door reveals treats."

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Thursday Thoughts

Lots to think about today.  Let's see..........
  1. My weather app says there's a 50% chance of rain today, with thunderstorms late tonight.  Today's high is predicted to be 101°F.
  2. We are under two "Severe Weather Alerts":  Heat Advisory and Air Quality Alert.
  3. Hot enough for ya?  High heat and rain tomorrow, too.
  4. Oh, no!  Tomorrow, I'm supposed to go with Risé (my retired librarian friend who is the source of my Risé Recommends posts) to take boxes and boxes of books to trade for some new-to-us books for our Crown Center library.  Yikes!  Rain is not good for cardboard boxes or books!  Now what?
  5. As I'm typing this, I'm also glancing out my window and seeing blue skies with fluffy white clouds.  Okay, some clouds are kind of smudgy gray, since we are also under that Air Quality Alert all day.
  6. I need something positive to focus on.  How about this quote?  It's from page 33 of the book on JOY and ENTHUSIASM:  "Think and practice joy every day. ... Get enthusiasm, think enthusiasm, live enthusiastically!"
  7. So I should think positive thoughts, like something about my brand new apartment.  I can say positive things about my walk-in shower.  In my old apartment, my shower was over my tub, which required a nonslip bathmat with suction cups that could grip the slippery enamel.  Yay, fall risk lessened!
  8. Let's end with a book Risé Recommends:


The Innocents ~ by Francesca Segal, 2012, fiction (London), 289 pages

Newly engaged and unthinkingly self-satisfied, twenty-eight-year-old Adam Newman is the prize catch of Temple Fortune, a small, tight-knit Jewish suburb of London.  He has been dating Rachel Gilbert since they were both sixteen and now, to the relief and happiness of the entire Gilbert family, they are finally to marry.  To Adam, Rachel embodies the highest values of Temple Fortune; she is innocent, conventional, and entirely secure in her community — a place in which everyone still knows the whereabouts of their nursery school classmates.  Marrying Rachel will cement Adam's role in a warm, inclusive family he loves.

But as the vast machinery of the wedding gathers momentum, Adam feels the first faint touches of claustrophobia, and when Rachel's younger cousin Ellie Schneider moves home from New York, she unsettles Adam more than he'd care to admit.  Ellie — beautiful, vulnerable, and fiercely independent — offers a liberation that he hadn't known existed:  a freedom from the loving interference and frustrating parochialism of North West London.  Adam finds himself questioning everything, suddenly torn between security and exhilaration, tradition and independence.  What might he be missing by staying close to home?

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

What is radon, and why do you test for it?

Radon is a naturally-occurring, radioactive gas that can be present in soil and consequently enter the home.  Exposure to high levels of radon over time can cause lung cancer.  Radon testing involves using devices to determine the levels of radon in your home.

You may wonder why I'm thinking about radon right now.  Well, I answered a knock on my door this morning saying that my apartment had been chosen as a place for testing.  I mentioned having a cat, since I'm not supposed to touch or move the two devices they left here, so they put them on top of my fridge.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

TWOsday ~ sharing two photos

I happened to glance out the window beside my easy chair as Alyssa was walking her dog Hazel on the Centennial Greenway.  I'd been meaning to walk over there to take a closer look at some blooms on the bushes, but it's been around 90° Fahrenheit this week, as I told you recently, HERE.

I texted her:  "Do you have your phone with you?  Take a photo of those reddish flowers beside you and (later) send it to my email."

She texted back:  "The name of it is trumpet vine."

Thanks to Alyssa, I'm able to share the beauty of those blooms with you.  And I now see they are actually more orange.  From my window upstairs, they are mere dots against the green leaves.  Great photos, Alyssa.  Thanks!

Monday, June 26, 2023

Musing about quantum physics

I like #13 of Colleen's recent Thursday Thirteen:  "Why do you insist the universe is not a conscious intelligence, when it gives birth to conscious intelligences?"  Roman philosopher Cicero.

Cicero came up with that over 2,000 years ago.  But I'm musing about quantum physics because Colleen wrote in a comment below that post:  "I’m thinking of getting a Quantum Physics for Dummies book."

I had never thought of such a book, but I asked her:  "Is there a Quantum Physics for Dummies book, Colleen?  I want one, too."

Yes, indeed there is such a book!  Unfortunately, it costs $18.99.  Since my library doesn't have a copy, I decided to start with some simple books about quantum physics.  Yep, I'm starting at the baby level and moving "up" to the preschool level, but I really am interested in the subject.  (I took all the science and math subjects I could during high school, like biology and chemistry and physics.)  So here are my first two requests:

Baby Loves Quantum Physics!
by Ruth Spiro, illustrated by Irene Chan, 2017, children's picture book, 20 pages
Accurate enough to satisfy an expert, yet simple enough for baby, this clever board book engages readers in a game of hide-and-seek with Schrodinger's famous feline.**  Can cat be awake and asleep at the same time?  Age-appropriate language encourages baby's sense of wonder.  Adults may learn a thing or two, as well.  With tongue firmly in cheek, this book introduces highly intellectual science concepts to the littlest learners.
Do You Know Quantum Physics?
~ by Chris Ferrie, 2022, children's science, 32 pages
From general relativity to quantum physics, from astrophysics to rocket science and from robotics to climate change, this book will intrigue and teach young scientists a variety of subjects.

** In Schrödinger's original formulation, a cat, a flask of poison, and a radio-active source are placed in a sealed box.  If an internal monitor (e.g., a Geiger counter) detects radioactivity (i.e., a single atom decaying), the flask is shattered, releasing the poison, which kills the cat.  As illustrated, the objects are in a state of superposition:  the cat is both alive and dead. Wikipedia

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Reading makes me think

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz
hosts The Sunday Salon.
"You are only as old as you feel, my dear." . . . "Then I must be a hundred years old."
I am pretty sure that I'm older than either of these characters from page 187 of Lilly Mirren's novel Home Sweet Home, but most days I don't really feel that I'm actually 83 years old.

When I sat down and picked up my Kindle to continue reading a few pages before that, I had just walked to the store and back in heat around 90° Fahrenheit.  I was feeling my age, but NOT feeling "a hundred years old."

In this heat, I would rather exercise inside than take long walks, so I found this chart I posted five years ago, HERE.  I think I will work on these flexibility and balance exercises, rather that taking my usual walks around the neighborhood.  I hope clicking on the chart will enlarge it for you.  HERE's another good chart.

Two more books I've found in moving

I know these two books (found together) were my friend Donna's books because she got Justice signed by the author.  She and I both studied that book, so I have a copy somewhere.

Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do? ~ by Michael J. Sandel, 2009, ethics, 320 pages
What are our obligations to others as people in a free society?  Should government tax the rich to help the poor?  Is the free market fair?  Is it sometimes wrong to tell the truth?  Is killing sometimes morally required?  Is it possible, or desirable, to legislate morality?  Do individual rights and the common good conflict?  His "Justice" course is one of the most popular at Harvard.  See what I posted about it HERE.

Treasury of Joy and Enthusiasm ~ edited by Norman Vincent Peale, 1981, stories, 191 pages
The author says "joy" and "enthusiasm" can be cultivated to make your life better.  He shares insights and wisdom from such people as Helen Keller, Dale Evans Rogers, Thomas A. Edison, Art Linkletter, Charles Lindbergh, C. S. Lewis, Vince Lombardi, and Margaret Sanger.  I may read this book next, since I presented a paper on "Joy or Despair?" at the Southeastern Undergraduate Philosophy Conference at Emory University in the early 1970s, to counter the negativity of the existentialists.  If we choose what to do, as they claim, then why would anyone choose despair?

Saturday, June 24, 2023


Wait, what?!?  A cat in a vending machine?
No, no, no, Clawdia does NOT approve.

Friday, June 23, 2023

Beginning ~ 25 years ago

The clock on the wall ticked, slowly counting down the seconds until Trina Cook regained her freedom.  With a sigh, she tore her gaze from the time-piece and focused instead on the English paper on the desk in front of her.  She had to get at least eighty percent this time if she wanted to keep her marks up high enough to get into university.
Home Sweet Home ~ by Lilly Mirren, 2020, fiction (Australia), 266 pages
Trina is starting over after a painful separation from her husband of almost twenty years.  Grief and loss force her to re-evaluate her life.  She returns to her hometown where she has to deal with all of the things she left behind, a hometown she hasn't visited since high school graduation.  When the police officer who lives next door comes knocking with questions about a tragedy from the past, Trina finds herself exploring the trauma of her childhood and facing the
pain and stigma she's run from for so long.  Trina must confront the ghosts of her past and a mystery that's haunted her adult life.
Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Thursday Thoughts

I got a couple of photos one minute apart the other day, that show how the sky seemed to open up and dump rain on us.  I laughed because I had just read these lines on page 168 of The Great Upending by Beth Kephart (2020, YA fiction, 288 pages, 9/10):

"I think it will rain."
"I thought the skies had forgotten how."
"I don't think the skies think," I say.
"Wish I didn't have to think," he says.

I had to laugh at such a coincidence.  I love Beth Kephart's writing!

Word of the Day

co·in·ci·dence / noun = 1.  a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection.  2.  correspondence in nature or in time of occurrence.  Example:  "By coincidence, a heavy rain started shortly after I read those words."

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

I'm game ~ are you?

Have you ever played Bananagrams?  My friend Sharon texted me a photo, saying, "This is what happens when I have no internet and I'm bored."  I texted back:  "Words and more words."  It looked familiar and rather like Scrabble, so I texted back to her:  "Bananagrams?"  Her:  "Do you want to play?"  Me:  "I don't know the rules."  She assured me, "It's easy."  With nary a pause, I replied, "Shall we try?"  So ....... we ended up downstairs in our new community room with her Bananagrams bag, and she started teaching me.  I won't go through all the details, but Sharon began by saying there are four words to know:
  1. SPLIT ~ begin by turning over all tiles
  2. PEEL ~ pick one tile
  3. DUMP ~ return one tile, and take three
  4. BANANAS ~ end of game
Uh, I guess you'll have to take a look at the actual game to learn all about those words, but the winner of the game becomes the TOP BANANA.

Word of the Day
nar·y / adjective (informal, dialect) = nonstandard form of not.  Example:  "With nary a pause, I got up and went to play Bananagrams!"

As we neared the end of our first game, Alyssa came along while walking her dog, and we invited her to join us.  She didn't know how to play, either, but took her dog home and came back to join us.  Sharon was just as patient as she taught her the game, too.  After several games, we called it a night, with Sharon wondering how long we'd been playing.  I said, "I can tell you."  I grabbed my phone, checked the time we had texted earlier, and that's when we realized our total playing time had been nearly three hours!  WOW!!

This was what my friend Donna came up with back in 2020.  I blogged about it HERE.  You can click to enlarge the photo.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Two books about places

Nowhere Is a Place ~ by Bernice L. McFadden, 2006, fiction, 316 pages

Nothing can mend a broken heart quite like family.  Sherry has struggled all her life to understand who she is, where she comes from, and, most important, why her mother slapped her cheek one summer afternoon.  The incident has haunted Sherry, and it causes her to dig into her family's past.  Like many family histories, it is fractured and stubbornly reluctant to reveal its secrets; but Sherry is determined to know the full story.  In just a few days' time, her extended family will gather for a reunion, and Sherry sets off across the country with her mother, Dumpling, to join them.  What Sherry and Dumpling find on their trip is the assorted pieces of their family's past.  When pulled together, they reveal a history of survival and joy.

"Bernice L. McFadden’s Nowhere Is a Place is a hauntingly-disturbing and redemptive frame story of many generations of a Yamasee Native-American and African-American family from pre-slavery times until July 1995." — Bowling Green Daily News

Tennessee (8th edition) ~ by Margaret Littman, 2019, travel guide, 560 pages

Tennessee is the birthplace of the blues, the cradle of country music, and the home of the Smokies.  This travel guide is designed for history buffs, families, music lovers, and outdoor adventurers.  It has full-color photos and detailed maps so you can experience the best of the state.

I picked up these TWO books from our library here at the Crown Center, and today is TWOsday.

Monday, June 19, 2023

Police K-9 units at work

Citizen K-9
(K Team series #3) ~ by David Rosenfelt, 2022, mystery, 270 pages

The Paterson Police Department has created a cold case division, and they want to hire the private investigators known as the K Team to look into the crimes.  Corey Douglas and his K-9 partner, German shepherd Simon Garfunkel, recently retired from the force.  Plus, another K Team member, Laurie Collins, used to be a cop as well.

Their first cold case hits home for the K Team.  A decade ago, at Laurie's tenth high school reunion, two of their friends simply vanished.  At the time Laurie had just left the force, and Corey was in a different department, so they had no choice but to watch from the sidelines.  With no leads, the case went cold.

As the team starts to delve deeper into the events leading up to that night — reopening old wounds along the way — the pieces start to come together.  But someone wants to stop them from uncovering the truth behind the disappearance, by any means necessary.

Manhunt outside my window?

Four police cars, one of which was a K-9 unit, were right out my window Saturday night as it neared midnight.  Sirens had been screaming up and down the highway — where you can see a lit up billboard — but I have no idea what was going on.  The car on the Centennial Greenway sidewalk out my window arrived driving on that sidewalk, rather than on the street.  I still don't know who or what they were searching for, using not only the K-9 dog (in that middle car) but also a lighted drone overhead.  Who needs a television when I can have live drama just outside my window?  The only problem is that, without audio, I have no closure and no idea what happened.  For that, I need a book.  So I requested that K-9 book above from my library.  I think the storyline looks good, and I should receive the book in my next library delivery.

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Risé Recommends ~ another couple of books

The Scent of Rain and Lightning ~ by Nancy Pickard, 2010, murder mystery (Kansas), 337 pages

One beautiful summer afternoon, Jody Linder receives shocking news:  The man convicted of murdering her father is being released from prison and returning to the small town of Rose, Kansas.  It has been 23 years since that stormy night when her father was shot and killed and her mother disappeared, presumed dead.  Neither the protective embrace of Jody’s three uncles nor the safe haven of her grandparents' ranch could erase the pain caused by Billy Crosby on that catastrophic night.

Now Billy Crosby is free, thanks to the efforts of his son, Collin, a lawyer who has spent most of his life trying to prove his father’s innocence.  Despite their long history of carefully avoiding each other in such an insular community, Jody and Collin find that they share an exclusive sense of loss.  As Jody revisits old wounds, startling truths emerge about her family’s tragic past.  But even through struggle and hardship, she still dares to hope for a better future — and maybe even love.

Never Come Back
 ~ by David Bell, 2013, 
psychological mystery, 448 pages

Leslie Hampton always cared for her troubled son Ronnie’s special needs and assumed that her daughter Elizabeth would take him in when the time came.  When Leslie dies unexpectedly, Elizabeth is consumed by grief.  Then police discover that Leslie was strangled, and they immediately suspect that one of Ronnie’s outbursts took a tragic turn. Elizabeth can’t believe that her brother is capable of murder, but who else could have had a motive to kill their quiet, retired mother?

More questions arise when a stranger is named in Leslie’s will:  a woman also named Elizabeth.  As the family’s secrets begin to unravel, a man from Leslie’s past who claims to have all the answers shows up, but those answers may put Elizabeth and those she loves most in mortal danger.

Risé Recommends

It's been awhile since I shared books that my friend Risé recommends, so here are two more from her list.  I have not read either of them, so I'll see if my library has copies.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz
hosts The Sunday Salon.

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Lapcat Clawdia

I now have visual proof that Clawdia has become a lapcat.  She was happily sitting in my lap with her paws on the arm of the loveseat, and I was able to reach my camera and aim it at us.  The cushion behind my shoulder is indented where she likes to sleep during the day.

Friday, June 16, 2023

Another day, another book

The Feminine Mistake: Are We Giving Up Too Much?
~ by Leslie Bennetts, 2007, women's studies, xxix + 350 pages

Women are constantly being told that it's simply too difficult to balance work and family, so if they don't really "have to" work, it's better for their families if they stay home.  Not only is this untrue, Leslie Bennetts says, but the arguments in favor of stay-at-home motherhood fail to consider the surprising benefits of work and the unexpected toll of giving it up.  It's time, she says, to get the message across — combining work and family really is the best choice for most women, and it's eminently doable.

Millions of working women provide ample proof that there are many different ways to have kids, maintain a challenging career, and have a richly rewarding life as a result.  Earning money and being successful not only make women feel great, but when women sacrifice their financial autonomy by quitting their jobs, they become vulnerable to divorce as well as the potential illness, death, or unemployment of their breadwinner husbands.  Further, they forfeit the intellectual, emotional, psychological, and even medical benefits of self-sufficiency.

The truth is that when women gamble on dependency, most eventually end up on the wrong side of the odds.  The author shares stories of women from a wide range of backgrounds — some triumphant, others heartbreaking.

Here's another book that turned up during my recent apartment move.  I found a bookmark in it, so I know I never finished reading it.  Time to start it over again.

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Thoughts about a special person

1.  My daughter-in-law sent the family a text with good news ~ the latest tests confirm that she is cancer-free!  💖  Hurray!  💖

2.  Word of the Day ~ hur·ray = exclamation; used to express joy or approval.  Example:  💖  "Hurray!  She's cancer-free!"  💖

3.  I think I'll keep adding my thoughts off and on all day, today.  (That's a thought!)  Maybe I'll share various things I do.

4.  I may have company in the late afternoon, so I'll share that (if it happens).

5.  I keep finding books I never finished reading, so I'll write about one of them for tomorrow.  Hmm, which one is calling me now?  Tune in tomorrow to see.

6.  Yes, Lauree came to visit and brought her friend Laura.  Lauree took some photos of Clawdia and me, so I'll try to get one of them into a blog post later.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Unsend ~ quick!

How to unsend an email — HERE.  In my case, I needed to unsend or edit an email in Yahoo.  It's in the Reader's Digest article.  There's also a link there to Apple Support on how to unsend email with "Undo Send in Mail on iPhone" (which is what I have).

How to unsend a text message — HERE.  In the Messages app, you can unsend or edit recent messages, giving you the opportunity to fix a typo or pull back a message that you accidentally sent to the wrong person.  Your recipient sees that you unsent a message and your edit history.

My daughter unsent a text once, as I was reading it.  But it didn't occur to me to ask her how to do it myself.  Well, I'm learning now and hope that I can remember all this stuff.  Things keep changing.
Word of the Day

un·send / verb = use a facility in an email program to prevent (an email that has already been sent) from being received by the addressee.  Example:  "You can unsend emails if you catch your mistake fast enough."

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Two tigers ~ from 2012 and 2015

I have these two tigers, but they are big and I need more space.  Jane gave me the first tiger, and I named it Hobbes (click on the name for details.)  She was hugging the tiger when she surprised me with it, HERE.  Donna gave me the red-nosed tiger, and I named it Winifred.  (Yeah, click on the name to see why she's named Winifred Tiger.)

Since I no longer have room for stuffed tigers, I'm giving them away.  Would you like to have one?  I know that people are less willing to share information these days, so I promise not to reveal names of the winners of this contest on the blog (unless you specifically give me permission).  To win a tiger, tell me which one you like best and why you'd like to have it.  The best story wins a tiger!

Email your story to me at —> emerging DOT paradigm AT yahoo DOT com

Monday, June 12, 2023

Musing about delicious waffles

Dora took me to return equipment to the store the other day because I have changed providers in my new apartment.  We then went to Olivette Diner and had warm waffles.  She got chicken with hers, and I opted for the bananas.  (Thank you, Dora.)

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Old books are resurfacing

The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and How It Has Undermined Women
~ by Susan J. Douglas and Meredith W. Michaels, 2004, sociology / women's studies, 400 pages

Taking readers on a provocative tour through thirty years of media images about mothers — the superficial achievements of celebrity moms, the sensational coverage of dangerous day care, the media-manufactured "mommy wars" between working mothers and stay-at-home moms, and more — this book contends that the "new momism" [that was two decades ago!] was shaped by out-of-date mores, and that no matter how hard they try, women could never achieve it.  Susan J. Douglas and Meredith W. Michaels shatter the myth of the perfect mom and all but shout, "We're not gonna take it anymore!"

An old book on my shelves ~ Moving means books get shifted around.  I'm finding books I've owned for years and never finished reading, including this one.  The pages have browned, but I've pulled it off the shelf to read — finally!  The old bookmark is between pages 38 and 39, but I'll start at the beginning, obviously.  Does this sound familiar to anyone besides me?  By the way, I first wrote about this book in 2014  HERE — ten years after its publication date.

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb Nance at Readerbuzz.

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Thursday Thoughts ~ on women's rights

Photo found HERE
Gender equality

People say we've made great progress towards women's rights and gender equality, but it does sometimes feel as though the needle is moving backwards.  Read what folks on Buzzfeed have to say about 2023 not being kind to women, HERE.

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Wednesday Words

Clawdia has become a lap cat!  This is the cat who has always hated to be picked up or held.  But now she will sit on the keyboard of my laptop, if necessary, just to be in my lap!  I think that means this move into a new apartment has been just as hard on her as it has been on me.  She's also elderly, you know — in cat years.

Word of the Day

lap cat = a type of cat that enjoys sitting in a person's lap and being petted.  They are often quite affectionate and enjoy spending time snuggling with their owner.  (It can also be one word = lapcat.)

By the way, although it looks a lot like her, the cat in the photo is not Clawdia, who has a white spot under her chin.

Monday, June 5, 2023

Musing about Amelia Bedelia

I didn't pick up my book bag that the library delivered last Thursday, because I knew I'd be moving the next day.  I was afraid the books would be misplaced during the move.  So today, I went downstairs to our new office in this new building and picked up my book bag.  In it were three books about Amelia Bedelia and one book by Beth Kephart.

So here I sit in my easy chair in the corner of my new living room, thinking that after the stress of moving, three children's books are about all I can deal with.  Yeah, I'm smiling as I say that.  Here's the first book in the series:

Amelia Bedelia ~ by Peggy Parish, illustrated by Fritz Siebel, 1963, children's picture book, 63 pages

From dressing the chicken to drawing the drapes, Amelia Bedelia does exactly what Mr. and Mrs. Rogers tell her to do.  If things get a bit mixed up, well, that's okay.  When Amelia Bedelia is involved, everything always turns out perfectly in the end!  This book is for kids who read on their own, but still need a little help.  The stories help kids take their next steps toward reading success.

I recently wrote about the other two Amelia Bedelia books HERE and the book by Beth Kephart HERE.