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May 29, 2021


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Enjoy your time with your family. No doubt you will be exhausted in a good way at the end of each day with your grandson there!

Joanne Noragon

I think your mother makes a lovely gift of remembering the loved.


Tomorrow morning? That was fast! You will enjoy it, don't worry. Take things as they come! :)


Your content for today posted twice....weird Typepad! I can tell you're excited for visitors. Everything looks so wonderful. It was great of John to help out. Sorry he's getting bamboozled. That's hard to watch. I have some great, exciting news!!! I'm going to be a MIL!!! You should see it on FB later today (hopefully).


I'm hurting for both your mom and you. It's hard, I know. He was such a wonderful, loving part of your life.
Gosh! It must be nice to have to keep trying to hold your estate to 2 million dollars. But yes, I remember Art's uncle and aunt gifting all their grandchildren $10,000 a year also.


And that peony is awesome! I've never seen that type of peony before.

Donna W

You will make unforgettable memories during this time with special visitors. Take pictures so you don't forget these good times.


I will have to post of Lacey's recent forays past the barricade into the guest room. Maybe next Caturday.

Doug M

Boy Margaret, you seem to be covering a lot in this post--I find myself hoping you can slow down. The rooms shown here look absolutely lovely, but I can't believe they're coming today, it seems like you just got back! (Where is Mari again?) I'm sure it's going to be a fun & love-filled visit. And I'm sorry about your dad not being here, I can't believe it's only been 2 months either... wow. Hope the day ahead is a super one. :^)


Ziggy has the same scratching post as Charlie! He's been transitioning from his old one to his new one until i finally just threw out the old one. It's a good post, lasts a long time. The kids are going all out for their visit! Where is Mari staying, I must have missed that.

Your flowers, especially old Copper, are looking great! I hope you have a great visit.

Bruce Taylor

Cleaning, vacuuming, mowing, my lawd, no wonder you're tired. Enjoy the visit.


You had to hit the ground running when you returned from your trip (and then your bike trip across the Narrows!) Wow. So they must be there now. I sure hope their flight was OK and not too stressful with the little guy. It must seem weird to have Ziggy in your house! I love that cat (even though I've never met him!)

My RSS feed also showed repeats of your post. Odd!


By the time I read this, you are neck deep in family. You'll survive and be grateful for the time.

Financial advisors are human too and make mistakes. When I made that realization, I took control of my money and manage my own retirement accounts. I haven't regretted it yet.

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Book Club Reads

  • 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. (***)

  • Pooley, Clare: The Authenticity Project: A Novel

    Pooley, Clare: The Authenticity Project: A Novel
    A solid 3 1/2 stars--I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it. It felt like a beach read with a bit more depth to it. Still it was often predictable and wasn't particularly well written. (***)