Sunday, December 31, 2023

Putting it all together ~ a lighthouse, a dragon, a book, and a coincidence

Fascinating Fact
Boston Light is America's first lighthouse and dates back to 1716.  Sally Snowman became the first female keeper in its history when she was appointed in 2003.  Boston Light was automated in 1998, but was still staffed by resident Coast Guard keeper, Sally Snowman until December 30, 2023.  Yep, she retired yesterday.  With our new technologies, there are now no more staffed lighthouses in America.  Read more HERE.
Chinese New Year

I don't remember how we got onto this subject, but my friend Dora and I were talking about the Chinese New Year yesterday.  So I looked it up and found that 2024 is the Year of the Dragon, and green is the designated auspicious color.  I was born in the Year of the Dragon, but I hadn't realized that's the one coming up in January.  Made me smile.  Not only that, but green is my favorite color.  This dragon (found HERE) has green on it.

The Undercover Secretary ~ by Ellie Midwood, 2023, historical fiction (France, Germany, and the Netherlands), 264 pages

Dora has lost everything to the Nazis.  Her dearest friends have disappeared into thin air.  Her parents have been imprisoned in concentration camps and murdered for the crime of simply existing.  She has no idea if her darling husband, the devoted and brave Alfred, is even alive.

Though her world is crashing and burning around her, Dora refuses to give in to Hitler’s tyranny.  The Nazis may have broken her heart, but they will not break her spirit.

Secretly working for the underground network in France, Dora risks her life on the most dangerous mission in the history of the local resistance.  She goes undercover as the secretary of the Head of Gestapo; a soldier with a brutal reputation.  A cold-blooded killer.

She is tasked with leaking the names of the SS to the British press.  Every day, she rubs shoulders with the enemy.  She makes coffee for the people she despises.  She types letters for the monsters who killed her family.  At any second, she could be found out.

Can she survive, turning the tide of the war and saving thousands of lives?  Or will those she loved the most in the world, and millions of other innocent people, have died in vain?

Coincidences ~ I love 'em.  After talking to my friend Dora on the phone (see above), I immediately went downstairs to get in a few more steps (I try to walk at least a mile a day).  Going through our little library, I noticed that novel above on the new book display and picked it up.  It looked interesting, so I checked it out.  Only while writing up this post for the Sunday Salon did I notice that the main character in the novel is named Dora!  I talked to Dora, and then I checked out a book about another Dora.  Yes, I'll send a link to my friend Dora about this coincidence.

Deb at Readerbuzz hosts Sunday Salon.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Two more books for TWOsday

The Further Education of Oversoul Seven ~ by Jane Roberts, 1979, fiction, 198 pages
The ageless, timeless entity Oversoul Seven must deal with the problems of an unusual assortment of mortals that includes a young man reluctant to be a father, a student contemplating suicide, and a woman unhappy with her reincarnation.
Oversoul Seven and the Museum of Time ~ by Jane Roberts, 1984, fiction, 134 pages
In this third saga, Seven is instructed to take up residence in a human body while also journeying to the Museum of Time in search of the "Codicils."  The Codicils are eternal truths that bring about the greatest opportunities for vitality, understanding, and fulfillment.

These books are the second and third books in the "Oversoul Seven Trilogy," which I wrote about on Friday, HERE.

Friday, December 22, 2023

Beginning ~ with an examination


Oversoul Seven grimaced at Cyprus and began the examination.  "Let's see," he said.  "In Earth terms, using an analogy, I'm a man on Wednesday and Friday, a woman on Sunday and Thursday, and I have the rest of the time off for independent study.

"Actually, because of their time concepts this is somewhat more complicated," he said.  "Each life is lived in a different, uh, area of time to which various designations are given."  Cyprus smiled, and Seven continued.  "As Lydia I'm in the twentieth century, as Josef in the seventeenth, as Ma-ah in 35,000 B.C., and as Proteus in the 23rd century. A.D.  Then there's the further background in space, uh, different locations called countries.  Then there's the ages of the personalities."

The Education of Oversoul Seven ~ by Jane Roberts, 1973, fiction, 240 pages

This is a playful parable of time and space that opens up a whole new vision of life.  In this story, Seven explores the true nature of his being as he learns to communicate with four of his "incarnations" — four all-too-human people whose lives are separated by centuries, yet who also coexist.  An online comment:  "I read somewhere that 'the past, the present, and the future all happen at the same time,' and I could not wrap my brain around that idea — until I read this book."

I also plan to read the other two books in the "Oversoul Seven Trilogy," so I'll say more about the others later.
Rose City Reader hosts

Thursday, December 21, 2023


I'm adopting “What” as my motto, but let's add a question mark:  "What?"  Yeah, I go around asking questions about things all the time.  :D  Why do I suddenly need to adopt a motto?  It's all Colleen's fault (#13, HERE).

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Wearing purple

Warning: When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple ~ by Jenny Joseph, 2022, poetry, 32 pages, 10/10

In "Warning," written in 1961, the poem's respectable middle-aged woman indulges in her fantasy of the gabby old crone with her outrageous clothes and dotty behavior.  It now appears as an illustrated book with drawings by Pythia Ashton-Jewell specially designed to suit its unique character.

Today, I also let Kate borrow my larger book about this poem.  I've blogged about it several times before.  HERE is one of those times.  During a big event today, I sat down with a couple of my friends, and more than one person came over to mention that all three of us were wearing purple.

Monday, December 18, 2023

White Working Class

White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America ~ by Joan C. Williams, 2017, social science, 154 pages

This book explains why so much of the elite's analysis of the white working class is misguided and rooted in class cluelessness.  Joan C. Williams says that many people have conflated "working class" with "poor" — but the working class is, in fact, the purportedly disappearing middle class, who often resent the poor and the professionals alike.  But they don't resent the truly rich, nor are they particularly bothered by income inequality.  Their dream is not to join the upper middle class, with its different culture, but to stay true to their own values in their own communities — just with more money.  While white working-class motivations are often dismissed as racist and hostile toward foreigners, Williams shows that they have their own class consciousness.

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Another cozy mystery

Nursing A Grudge (Book 4 of 15: A Maternal Instincts Mystery) ~ by Diana Orgain, 2015, cozy mystery, 190 pages, 6/10
Kate Connolly would like nothing more than to cuddle with her new baby, except to solve her next case and become a bona fide P.I.  She gets her chance when San Francisco’s hottest critic writes a particularly scathing review about the trendy new restaurant, Philosophie.  The critic’s boyfriend falls to his death under mysterious circumstances from Painted Rock Cliff, and Kate fears that the restaurant critic may be targeted next.
I found this cozy mystery on the Kindle that I inherited from my friend Donna and decided to read it in spite of it being the fourth of fifteen books in a series, with none of the others on the Kindle.  The author mentions too many people on every page, sometimes five or six.  I had a hard time keeping all the characters straight in my mind.
Deb at Readerbuzz hosts Sunday Salon.

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Cats curled up on books about cats

(Click to enlarge; image found HERE)

Sunday, December 10, 2023

The Yellow Wallpaper ~ two versions

The Yellow Wallpaper ~ by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, with the original magazine illustrations by Joseph Henry Hatfield, 1892, novella, 34 pages
This version for Kindle has the short story as it was originally posted in The New England Magazine.  It also includes "Why I Wrote the Yellow Wallpaper" on pages 7-10.  The short story itself starts on page 11.
The Yellow Wallpaper ~ by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 1892 (afterword by Elaine R. Hedges, 1973), novella, 63 pages
The author was a leading female activist and voice in the woman’s movement in the early portions of the 20th century. “The Yellow Wallpaper” is her short work that depicts one woman’s fight against the “rest cure” she is ordered to follow to cure her depression.  This classic story was adopted as a feminist tale for the modern age; this edition was published by The Feminist Press of The City University of New York.

Deb at Readerbuzz hosts Sunday Salon.

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

What's up with "UP"?

(What's Bugs Bunny UP to now?)

The English word 
UP has more meanings than any other two-letter word and is listed in the dictionary as:
We all know UP means toward the sky, but why do we say we wake UP in the morning?

Why does a topic come UP at a meeting?

Why do we speak UP?

Why are officers UP for election, and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report?

People stir UP trouble, line UP for movie tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.

George Carlin
And some people are stand UP comedians.

To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP has a completely different meaning.

After an argument, we kiss and make UP

We seem to be mixed UP about UP!

A clogged-UP drain must be opened UP.

We open UP a store in the morning, but we close it UP at night.

And what could she be UP to?

I could go on and on, but my time is UP, so I'll wrap UP this post.

If you want to continue this list, it's UP to you!


This was also written UP more than a decade ago and posted on this blog.  Hmm, counting the title and illustrations, how many times have I used UP in this post?  I love words, especially this one!

Oh, wait!  I just thought of another example!  Have you ever told a horse, even a pretend horse when you were a child, to "Giddy UP"?

Word of the Day

giddy up <gid·​dy·​ap ˌgid-ē-əp> = a command to a horse to go ahead or go faster.

Sunday, December 3, 2023

A road less traveled and a universe less traveled

A Universe Less Traveled (Book 1 of Intersecting Worlds) ~ by Eric von Schrader, 2020, science fiction (Missouri), 384 pages

Kirkus Reviews: Von Schrader's debut novel should especially captivate readers familiar with St. Louis, but even those unacquainted with the city will find this parallel-worlds yarn worth a visit. ... Von Schrader's prose is butter smooth, and the chronological jumps the narrative makes back and forth throughout history (in both universes) are never tangled or confusing.  An enjoyable, gentle fantasy that gives new meaning to the phrase "Spirit of St. Louis."
St. Louis Post-Dispatch:  For St. Louis sci-fi buffs, "A Universe Less Traveled" amounts to Must Reading — and then some.

This book's title is obviously derived from "The Road Not Taken," a Robert Frost poem that I've written about before on this blog (click on the title below to go to one of those times):

by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Deb at Readerbuzz hosts Sunday Salon.

Friday, December 1, 2023

Walking and other ways of exercising

I've been walking up and down my hall every day, since it's been either too cold or too rainy to walk around the neighborhood.  Since I usually do it late in the evening, I'm the only one in my hallway.  So I've been adding a few things, like shrugging my shoulders up and down as I walk (which would look pretty strange if I were passing others along the way).  I have added moves like that one on the right, with my forearms up and pressing inward and back to the side as I walk along.  In other words, I'm trying to move various parts of my body while also getting in something like 5,000 steps a day, or more if possible.  I could go to the weekly 30-45 minute group that exercises together while sitting in chairs.  Or I could try to get in more of those moves in the drawings above.  Today, I found this drawing of exercising in a chair that I had used in a blog post back in 2020 and decided to put it here so I'd remember it.