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June 11, 2021


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I'm just so happy for you having your daughter and son-in-law and GRANDSON with you, having the opportunity to really get to know that little guy. I know it's exhausting (we're old for crissakes), but doesn't it bring back memories of "how the hell did we do it?!" when our kids were little? And we "did it." We just did. (And do). It intrigues me how different the Littles can be. There are no stairs here, so that's not an issue, but Quinn never showed one bit of interest with the outlets or other dangerous things. I remember a friend's young one constantly pulling out the books from the bookshelves. Haven't had to deal with that, either. Mostly it has been the animals (Bailey, when she was alive, and always on the stake-out for the cats, who are good at hiding). I highly recommend one of those rugs with roads and parking places printed on them, plus a bunch of those little metal cars and trucks. Even as young as your grandson, Quinn LOVED that. (Also necessary here at just a place to sit and play because of all the hardwood floors). And to be totally honest, a tablet with Baby Shark or something is great for when the adults need a break. But going and doing is so much fun! (As long as it's not eating time or nap time or...you know how it goes).


We are also Buy Nothing folk. I don't understand picking up chump change for items, unless it isn't chump change, of course.


Margaret, I live in the Midwest but I am always amazed at how similar our lives seem to be! Haha you are inspiring to rid myself of my "travel mug collection"! Also my daughter and her husband are coming from out of state for three weeks! I have missed her so much during the last year but what an adjustment to living a quiet life to having to provide meals and space and all the hub bub of the comings and goings. We will make many memories. (and let the testy moments slide! hopefully)


I can certainly understand how tired you must be. It's hard having your usual quiet routine turned upside down but I know you are enjoying it at the same time. Glad you had a nice time at the zoo. Enjoy the weekend! :)

Joanne Noragon

Stay strong, Braveheart. You only have one family and that little one needs every grandma whose lap he can sit in.

Bruce Taylor

When we used to go to the beach in Mexico, I quickly learned that the Stingrays used to cluster very near the water's edge. To avoid contact (by unwittingly stepping on one) we learned to shuffle our feet and apparently the vibrations would scatter them. It worked.


I wish you well settling into your new normal (remember how covid made our new normal so isolating?) It sounds like you are going to be very busy. If anything, so much going on forces us to live in the moment and that is always a good thing (I think children force us to live in the moment as well because there's no time to worry about the past or future when you're so busy surviving the present moment!) So enjoy but also take care of yourself. Maybe you and John can meet for a dinner or drink. Mostly I'm happy your life is filled with people you love. There's nothing better.


I'm so glad you're having a fun, if hectic, time! At our local-ish aquarium there is a ray petting area where basically you hang out with your arm in the pool waiting for them to touch you as they swim by. Still, pretty cool. I became a great fan of the groupers while there. It's hard to keep the attention of a one year old but I hope the adults enjoyed the experience, too.

Pam Donaldson

That's a LOT of mugs! Bet you're glad to get rid of them! (I must go and look up what a rambler is. Here, it's a person who likes to walk in the countryside.)

Marie K

I love giving away things on Buy Nothing. I feel like they will get used and not sit on the shelves of a thrift store for years. Crazy times, indeed, but memories galore.

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Book Club Reads

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    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

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    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

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

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  • Whitehead, Colson: Harlem Shuffle: A Novel

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    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. (****)

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  • Wang, Qian Julie: Beautiful Country: A Memoir

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    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. (***)

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