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June 16, 2021


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So glad you are having John over for dinner. I'm sure you will all have a nice time together. The photo of the girls with their babies is so cute, that will be a treasured photo for them later on in years. I want a veggie garden too but don't have the energy to do it myself, and I usually kill plants anyway lol. Glad the plumbing issue is taken care of, that's a relief!

Joanne Noragon

That grandson of yours is looking away, impishly. I'd keep an eye on that boy.


Is that a baby starship Enterprise? Teether?
Nice pictures of friends reconnecting.


I always use gift bags. I wrap like a five-year-old. I think I understand the concepts, but I simply cannot execute.


Sounds like the kids are earning their keep around the house, fixing things and putting in gardens. It is a rare photo I have of our kids as a baby where they and everyone else were looking at the camera.

kayak woman

Having a black thumb, horrible clay-ey soil and a shady yard (which is also a good thing), I am envious of your veggie garden! But I have regained enough confidence in going "oot and aboot" that I went to our farmer's market yesterday and will probably go again Saturday, the next day it's open.


Family photos - so funny! I just looked at my German ancestors family photo - three generations so 12 children and only one is looking at the camera and one picking his nose! Even a few adults aren't looking forward.


Gosh those two boys look like they could be brothers. So so cute! I envy your having the family with you. And how fabulous that John can be part of this too now.


Space...the final frontier. I love Star Trek (the original!), too. Sweet, sweet bebe pics. Ashley's little one looks so much like both of your daughters when they were the same age. Gift bags are the BEST! They can be reused over and over. I just love them. After seeing the mounds of wrapping paper we used to have after a holiday (paper that didn't get recycled back in the 70s :( ), it's nice to exchange things that can be reused. Are the floor fans tower fans? I have a couple of those, and they make a huge difference. My AC was running almost nonstop around the clock when I set it at 78 degrees, and now, with the windows open and tower fans pointed directly at me, I'm not using the electricity at all. Hoping to do that as long as possible.

Marie K

How great to have someone else plant the veggies!


Your "Starship Enterprise" cracked me up.

Vegetables! Fresh vegetables!

Love the pics of the babies! Grandson looks so innocent—or is that side-eye, throwing shade? Lol

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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. (***)