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July 19, 2022


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How many days a week are you babysitting. It is exhausting but exhilarating.

Doug M

That little guy is sweet and funny, love the vacoom truck! It does seem like you're juggling a lot right now, but I was curious how your son-in-law is doing? Does he like his new home?


Commuting in highway traffic is never fun. Your big greeting on arrival does make up for the commute. Margaret, you are a quick study and learning all the little boy lingo will come easily. You are making great progress...Excavator to bulldozer! Hopefully you will go unscathed and not get Covid. Think positive.

Arkansas Patti

Sure hope you all do escape the Covid. I also hope the babysitter is recovering OK. That could be a good sign.
That commute doesn't sound too bad. At least it is rural and ironic that it should be a school bus to give you grief.
Little doubt what LG will be when he grows up. It will probably involve big wheels and noise.

Arkansas Patti

Oops, I was thinking current commute was your old rural commute. That will teach me to pay attention.

DrumMajor Linda in Kansas

The kids are paying some decent taxes to have a ritzy vacuum truck like that! Google it: construction equipment is easier than dinosaur names. Your previous 8-minute drive for work sounds breezy. Most of us are taking highways for 16-45 minute drives. A straighter, non-highway alternate route might be on Google maps. After being side-swiped by a semi, I'm nervous around them on highways. Linda in Kansas

Jenni Elyse

I'm different from you. I'd much prefer to drive on freeways as long as there's no traffic. I hate the stop and go of city streets. I'm glad that even though you have a 25-minute commute, you have a cute reason to go. :D


I know abut getting trapped behind school buses. Most will eventually let you by after several stops. But there was one who zoomed so fast between stops that no one could ever pass her.

Joanne Noragon

When my first company built a new plant five miles from me, I was so happy. Sleeping in another fifteen minutes. Best of all, it was like a raise in pay, back when gas got expensive in the seventies. I never told that to my boss, though. He could just keep giving me those annual, pitiful raises.
It's good you're young enough to handle all this stuff with equanimity.

Karen Sullivan

I hope you're enjoying your new "job!" There's nothing better than spending time with children as far as I am concerned. You can only live in the moment when with them because there's no time to be thinking about anything else!


We have about a 25 minute commute to work everyday. My husband drives so it's quite relaxing but one in awhile I'll drive. Have fun with the little guy. You'll sleep well:)


Regarding your allium. Or OD's allium. Have you tried digging them up? Based on where they're planted I'm thinking they're likely onions or garlic. Might want to harvest them if they are. They're all in the same family and also include leeks and shallots. The greens may be edible as well.

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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. (***)