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June 21, 2022


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DrumMajor Linda in Kansas

What a funny photo of Mari. She looks like she's in prison. The flowers are beautiful. I'll send my worn-out Tropical hibiscus to you for rehab. Linda in Kansas


I don't think you're tedious or pompous!


Yes it has been kind of oppressive here lately. A storm went through last night bringing some high winds but not much else. This morning it is only 70 but the humidity is 87%. If feels like a warm washcloth when you step outside. Your daughter better take the little guy to Grahams Dairy to cool off. However my preference is a small yogurt shop downtown called Polar Express. Their toppings for the yogurt are to die for.

Arkansas Patti

Hope they have A/C in Iowa. That is really hot with the high humidity.
Good to look for the positives and on those A++ days, not to let an F bring you down. Way to go.


You know the drill. Such is life... Your potted plants look so good and a bit of water during the heat will keep them in good form. There's been no significant rain in MA for a week so I water my urns and pots daily. As for the grass, like you, I let it wait for the next rainfall.


"... try not to obsess on looking backward to what I can't change or forward to what I can't control." Oh I'll keep this thought in my back pocket. I love its unspoken Zen - be in the now. Enjoying the flowering garden is certainly one way to stay in the now!


I know what I should do but I tend to focus on the negative and it always drags me down. On the outside I look fine but on the inside I hurt, even when I'm laughing and I do love to laugh. I said to a coworker the other day, I feel like a shit magnet but in reality I think I'm just a doormat. One day at a time.


Here’s to both Endeavour and Morse. I do consider Morse to be the standard by which other shows are measured although some may actually surpass Morse. Morse will, however, always be loved as the irascible curmudgeon that he is (or was). Why is he so appealing?

BTW 78 with blue skies is perfect anywhere IMO, but you probably get them more than most places.

Tonya Watkins

We are currently immersed in "Endeavor" (season 6? or 7?) and I think we have a love/hate view of it. We're not enamored with the writing. So many of the plots are convoluted, and it's sometimes difficult to keep track of all the characters. But we keep watching, I suppose because all of the main characters are supremely flawed and human. I've never watched the original Morse, and I'm not sure (?) if we will.

Yesterday was so beautiful! I watered my deck flower pots for the first time since planting them in April! John had squirted them once since then, but they just haven't needed it with all the rain. Today is back to clouds and gray.

Jenni Elyse

I'm glad you have such a positive attitude about life. I have such a hard time doing that. I know it's because of my mental health issues. I'm trying to be more positive.


That dianthus is amazing! I just threw ours out it was looking so terrible. I didn't know they lasted more than a couple of years. Maybe I should try to put it in the ground? (It's in the yard waste bag.)

I liked Endeavour a lot but I haven't seen more recent seasons. I should catch up.


Ross watched "Morse" and "Endeavour" but I never did. Sorry about your cousin's son - how dreadful. Still, joie de vivre is the way to go, if possible. xx

Joanne Noragon

I've become the family elder, though that job has pretty much gone to my younger sister, who may or may not fill me in on the news. And having been privy to the several deaths in the family without wills or last instructions (men can be so pig headed about that!), I made the title to my new car to be transferrable on death to my granddaughter, to keep it out of probate.

Ally Bean

Mari doesn't bother the vertical blinds? Our cats couldn't be trusted with them, a fact I found out after we purchased the blinds. I don't know of Endeavour-- of course I'm rarely up-to-date about anything. Your dianthus is inspiring.

Matt Shifley

I am glad you still have your joie-de-vivre.
Also glad that you found something to help you stay positive and make the best out of it.
Cutting out the toxic folks helps as well.
It took me a long time to get where I am at with my mental health and some days are a struggle but it has made things a lot better.
Writing a gratitude journal and using mantras like "never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat" has really helped.

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Book Club Reads

  • Perkins-Valdez, Dolen: Take My Hand

    Perkins-Valdez, Dolen: Take My Hand

  • 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. (***)