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July 16, 2022

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Maureen

Just lovely! I'm commenting from Amsterdam and your words make me long for my homey life.

DougM

Busy, busy, busy! Amazing how far their new home has come, and the livingroom looks great--that's wonderful how quickly OD is getting her professional life moving, and that's a super picture of YD there at the end!

Nancy

That's a great picture of your younger daughter.

AC

Pleasant times for all, it seems.

Arkansas Patti

Hum, kind of wonder if those "dogs" are housebroken:)
It all seems to be coming together. Love that rug and the grilled cornbread looks delicious.
Nice shot of YD enjoying the evening outdoors.

Kathy

Nice! I want to go to Cafe Flora...

Pixie

I find time outside, in nature, is always the best medicine. I'm so glad you get to spend more time with your grandson now.

Susan

Everything is coming together very nicely at the new house. Enjoying the beauty of the outdoors is always relaxing and fun. You definitely live in a beautiful area of the US. The beauty of nature never disappoints.

StoicWannabe

The rug adds some zip to the room, though it looks like it wants to curl. Probably easily remedied with some kind of tape.

Yummy looking food, especially the toast. I never would have thought to grill cornbread.

I didn't realize there were so many volcanoes there. Great views and nice pic of YD atop the mountain! Noticing details of nature seems to slow everything down and give a brief respite from the tasks and worries of everyday life. I walked with a friend in the park the other day and was delighted to see a chocolate-colored mink run across the path!

Jenni Elyse

I'm glad you had a great time with your oldest daughter. Those cheesy grits looks delicious. I love grits. And, the pictures your youngest daughter took are gorgeous. I love the mountains. I couldn't live without mountains. I'd also love to be close to a beach so I think the PNW is the perfect place.

Debbie

Looks like everything is coming together nicely! What fun that you got to help OD out. I remember a few event coordinating gigs that were work- lots of work, but so much fun. The ponies... wouldn't have expected that in Seattle- or maybe I should!

Pam

That all sounds pretty nice, if not peaceful. (Yes, that plant is definitely from the onion family.)

I'm surprised at your "scone-like biscuit". That looks like a scone to me - biscuits here are always flat and crisp! Ah, language...

Karen Sullivan

The new house looks so nice. The hike looks spectacular!

Joanne Noragon

Sweet, charming, balm. If not the beginning of a lovely new life, it is a good segue.

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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

    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. (***)