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November 24, 2020


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Looking for lights is more difficult than choosing colors. I have found hanging lights at IKEA of all places, but ended up at Seattle Lighting during our remodel. Of course that's not very handy for you.


I'm thinking there's a Seattle Lighting in Tacoma off the freeway (between 56th and 72nd?) I'm pretty sure I've been there before (eons ago) and I recall they had a sizeable selection. Also, do a Google search of chandeliers and click images and see if anything pops up that you like. Often the picture will take you to site where you could order it, or at least you might get some ideas. Lighting IS hard!! John found several of our fixtures online, and we've been happy with them. (And we never saw anything in the stores--Lowe's or Home Depot--that were anything like them). I think a lot of people have...suspicious taste!

Oh, that's terrible about the Covid spread in John's family! And El Paso!

Donna W

I like the picture over the fireplace.


When we redid our kitchen, we actually gave up trying to find lights online and instead drove to our capital city (90 minutes away) and walked through a huge place that only sells lights. We finally found what we were after in the farthest recesses of the store.

That star one would give me nightmares since I'm tall and have banged my head into many a chandelier.

Doug M

I can't wait to see what chandelier(s) you wind up with, Margaret--I admit to liking that vague sci-fi contraption :) I'm very sorry to read about John's family, and at Thanksgiving too :( I sure hope yours is a nice one...


I'm glad that Mari has such a good place to hide and glare at the painters. Also glad they're finally done. I can't imagine having a bunch of people in my small space for days on end. I'm also just as glad that someone painted my walls a variety of off white/warm beige before I moved in. I like warm neutrals and apparently that's coming back in style. The farmhouse look - with the stark white kitchen is going out of style. Granite, especially the speckledy brown type, is out. Gray walls, I'm sorry are already going out -- if you care about that nonsense. Whatever happened to choosing the color you like and not worrying what is in or out? I admit I like house makeover shows and someone is always choosing paint color based on what will sell -- even though it's the easiest thing to change and the favored color changes like ...something that changes frequently. I've seen all those lights in makeover shows and can't say I'm fond of any of them but I will defend to the death you're right to love them. The electron one is supposed to be mid century modern and I have the same reaction to the giant lamp shade. Nothing wrong with it but why does it cost that much? I am the least stylish person in the world, I think. My house, as furnished, would not be approved by any of those tv designers but I like it.

I'm so sorry about John's family. I hope they all recover easily and that El Paso has the resources they need and can get the virus under control. Such a hard year all around.


I am full of typos today. I apologize!

Pam Donaldson

I'll be fascinated to see what you choose...


Ugh that’s a lot of people to have Covid. We are still waiting to see if we go back to hybrid on Monday after only 2.5 days of remote learning. In those 2.5 days of remote learning we received notification of 3 more cases.

Your house looks amazing

Happy thanksgiving.

Joanne Noragon

I'm wondering what you will choose. We used to have a bonafide lighting store in town, for most of my life. Gone a couple of years ago; out of business. It's where I bought all my lighting, and especially replacement shades.
You dodged a covid bullet via Thanksgiving. It will be that insidious until spring, I think.

Marie K

I remember going to a lighting place with you about 4 or 5 years ago! Neither of us made any changes. LOL Mine are circa 1985...very similar to yours. I'm glad you wear bright colors when you're out and about. So sorry to hear about the C19 cases in John's family. Sending positive thoughts!

Bruce Taylor

Mari may be glaring but she's still a beautiful creature. (You can probably tell I'm partial to black cats!)


Some of those lamps look like they're from the 1970s (especially the one John likes). Scary about John's family members' COVID diagnoses. Sending good thoughts. xoxo


I see that Mari is a climber. Thanks fully, Lacey is pretty close to be grounded.

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Book Club Reads

  • Garmus, Bonnie: Lessons in Chemistry: A Novel

    Garmus, Bonnie: Lessons in Chemistry: A Novel
    4 1/2 stars for this quirky, emotional, sad, joyful, fascinating read about chemistry, relationships and life. I don't know how it will work in a Book Club discussion, but I didn't want it to end. It was cheesy and unrealistic at times yet somehow emotionally fulfilling as well. (****)

  • Perkins-Valdez, Dolen: Take My Hand

    Perkins-Valdez, Dolen: Take My Hand
    This beautifully written and intricate book is my first 5 (or 4 1/2) star read for quite a while. It was powerful and filled with fascinating and well-developed characters. I even liked the ending! Jumping between two time periods isn't my favorite style, but the author handled it masterfully. (*****)

  • Haigh, Jennifer: Mercy Street: A Novel

    Haigh, Jennifer: Mercy Street: A Novel
    4 for the writing which was excellent, and 4 for the characters who were interesting and well-developed. 2 for the non-existent plot. The ending of the book left me extremely dissatisfied. Sadly, there are no discussion questions for it which might force me to reflect on the book's messages. (***)

  • Slocumb, Brendan: The Violin Conspiracy

    Slocumb, Brendan: The Violin Conspiracy
    A solid 3 1/2 stars for me, but a disappointment in general. As a former violinist myself, I was excited about the topic. I love mysteries which was what this novel was billed as. (not much of one and very predictable) I found the writing sophomoric and rather repetitive; the topics of slavery and underrepresentation of POC in classical music were compelling though. As always, I'm hoping for an excellent discussion at BC. (***)

  • Tyler, Anne: French Braid: A novel

    Tyler, Anne: French Braid: A novel
    I can see why some might not enjoy this book (not much plot), but I liked Tyler's writing, the complexity of the characters and the storytelling. Families are like a French Braid; you can never really be free of them since "the ripples are crimped in forever." I'm hoping our BC discussion will be enlightening and personal. (***)

  • See, Lisa: The Island of Sea Women: A Novel

    See, Lisa: The Island of Sea Women: A Novel
    Although it wasn't perfect (sometimes hard to follow the timelines), this book was fascinating on a personal, historical and cultural level. I learned so much while suffering through the tragedies and celebrating the joys of the characters. I'm hoping for an insightful discussion at Book Club, as this novel deserves. (*****)

  • Whitehead, Colson: Harlem Shuffle: A Novel

    Whitehead, Colson: Harlem Shuffle: A Novel
    Extremely well-written, atmospheric and full of fascinating characters and history. Being a mystery reader, I would have preferred more plot though. If you haven't read Whitehead before, I recommend "The Nickel Boys" instead. Fortunately, the book seems like it will elicit a decent discussion. (****)

  • Klune, TJ: The House in the Cerulean Sea

    Klune, TJ: The House in the Cerulean Sea
    This book was hard to rate (***1/2): heartwarming, yet cheesy and predictable. Imaginative, but also preachy. It reads like a YA novel. There were some wonderful characters if you enjoy fantasy. I think it will be nearly impossible to discuss as a Book Club read. (***)

  • Towles, Amor: The Lincoln Highway: A Novel

    Towles, Amor: The Lincoln Highway: A Novel
    This is a exquisitely crafted book and extremely well-written. I didn't always like the way it jumped from one person to another, especially when I was very engaged in the last story. It didn't turn out the way I wanted it to, but the ending was also beautiful in its own painful way. 4 1/2 stars. (*****)

  • Wang, Qian Julie: Beautiful Country: A Memoir

    Wang, Qian Julie: Beautiful Country: A Memoir
    Although it had some fascinating and illuminating moments, this memoir of a young Chinese immigrant facing poverty and prejudice was ultimately a let down. Part of it was the writing and lack of proofreading(too many grammar mistakes) while the rest related to my confusion about whether I admired or disliked the author. She was often mean and dishonest. Much of the time I didn't find her sympathetic. (***)