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July 22, 2022


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Well, that's certainly a nice photo of Mari, some striking purple flowers & yourself... shoot about YD, if she does have covid maybe it'll be the Biden variant--just some cold symptoms. And sorry to read about John's mom... when you're 80, these times will seem golden!


Yay! Good news for most on the Covid front.


The Golden Years seem often to be just one more travail on our struggle through life. I've been absent but I still love that Mari!


That is a pretty clingy cat. Will she settle a bit now?


Glad you're covid negative. It just keeps going and going and going...

I need to get out and walk more now that my foot is starting to heal but I'm afraid of overdoing it so I do nothing.


Golden years or life in the fast lane? One seems not come without the other. Your purple lily looks beautiful. Let's hope your Covid status stays negative. I've know some families that experience exposure and only one family member tests positive. Everybody seems to have different outcomes.


Oh man, I feel for John. My own mom was having so many health problems earlier this year, in and out of the hospital. It was a terrible time, incredibly stressful, and then she went into the hospital one last time and died on May 18. Having *two* sick family members must be just awful.

Joanne Noragon

I hope John's life eases off a bit. It spills over to you, too. At least he knows how to get good grub and a beer out of it.

DrumMajor Linda in Kansas

Beautiful Kansas State PURPLE flowers! Might want to check with grandson's pediatrician about testing. If asymptomatic, and positive, I'm not sure what the peds want to do. Tape a stuffed cat to your other leg and see what Mari does. There's that new game on TV called "Stray" that's entertaining cats around the world. Jeanne Moos had an episode about it. Hope John can get some rest. You're both being in the "sandwich" generation. Linda in Kansas


We are having to deal with my 92 year old mom's worsening dementia. I think the isolation is not helping her.

Your purple flowers are gorgeous. Are they gladiolas?

Arkansas Patti

Happy about the negatives but now hope YD is OK. This stuff is all around us.
John really has his plate full with family members. Hope he takes a little time for "John".
Funny about the cat hair. Only funny in that I know what you mean. Hate that when it gets in your nose.


So glad you are negative. I'm still positive and this virus tore through me like a nor'easter in January. I don't know how long til I'm back to normal.
That flower is just beautiful. John is lucky to have you to temper the stress he must be under.

Jenni Elyse

I'm glad you all tested negative for COVID. That's such a relief. I love your pictures. I'm sorry you're getting another heatwave next week. I hope John will feel less stressed soon.


That is a beautiful something! And very purple!

I remember reading that your Stargazer seems to be dying. Did it never propagate? I remember Mom and Dad digging up tulip and iris bulbs periodically and moving them around, so the new bulbs had space. Can you find new bulbs? I hate for you to lose that.

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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. (***)