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February 25, 2022


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I thought YD and her boyfriend broke up; did I miss something? Whatever the trouble is, hope it resolves soon. Man, I don't miss the days of painful romances, do you?


Well, the mow-lines in your yard are very straight and I know how you like that! Margaret you can't question your parenting for issues with another adult, c'mon. She's a grown woman now. Anyway, I never tire of seeing the amazin' Ziggy, and that's funny but I feel grandson's pain! Hang in there, both of you.


Sorry things are tough at home. I honestly feel like it's harder having adult children than it was when they were throwing themselves on the floor having tantrums.


It must be awkward there.

Ally Bean

You mowed your lawn! I cannot wrap my head around that mowing thing quite yet. Wow, spring really is a'coming.


Maybe it's a good time to get away and take a break from the drama? I'm so sorry it's so stressful.

When I get too much cat food I put it in those heavy duty freezer bags and stick it in the freezer. Or I use my vacuum sealer but gracious those bags have gone up in price.

Our Ozark mountains, which are the oldest blah blah blah and have been worn down over time into hills - are now being questioned re whether they were ever mountains at all. Even your foothills look pretty mountainy.


Can you have John-in-waiting pop over to check on your house and Mari while you're gone?
We have mountains in Kansas: the Flint Hills. They're about 10" taller than the flat highway that crosses the eastern part of the state.
Linda in Kansas

Arkansas Patti

Had to smile about the "foothills". When I moved here from Florida I swore these were mountains. I have finally realized it was just that comparison to the flat lands of Florida that made them look majestic. Someday hope to see some real mountains.
Sorry you and your daughter are at odds. Hope it irons out soon.


The sun has been glorious for walking these last few days. I can totally let go of stress when I'm out and moving. I hope things settle for you and you are still able to get away.

Donna M Wood

I'm pretty sure most parents have times in the adult lives of their children when they feel like a failure. I know for sure my mom had times she gave up on me. I, too, have a daughter I worry about, and she's practically middle-aged. Sometimes I wonder if it's payback for how I behaved once I was living away from my parents' house.


I think even good parents can't control their children's decisions...

Christie Hawkes

Parenthood is hard...no matter your children's ages. Wishing you peace of mind. I laughed at the foothills/mountain comment. I live in Utah, where the mountains are large and close to town, so I can relate to your response. I just spent some time reading through your "About" page. I feel almost like I know you. Thank you for being so open with what you shared. Hoping you find joy in this week, Margaret.

Pam Donaldson

Oh, of course you're a good parent. She just needs to find a nice man, then all will be well. Ooops, that doesn't sound very 2022, does it? I really mean that she needs to find her own contentment with life. You can't solve all her problems; just being there is all you can do.

Focus on the trip to see that lovely squashy little person. The rest will be resolved...


You brought your girls up well, but some lessons have to be learned firsthand, I'm afraid. Sorry that there's so much tension at home right now. I almost can't believe it's coming up on the 1-year anniversary of your dear dad passing. Wishing you and your mom comfort and peace.

Tonya Watkins

Your lawn looks LOVELY!

I sure hope YD settles. "The quality of your life is based on the decisions you make."

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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

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    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. (***)