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August 18, 2022


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DrumMajor Linda in Kansas

How did Ziggy get up THERE? What ARE the funny green things growing? A banana pepper? With his eyes closed and expressionless sleep, Mr. Dig now looks like his Dad; a little. Linda in Kansas

Arkansas Patti

I'm wondering how Ziggy got up there too. I guess if he digs gravel and puts it in your hand, that makes you the dump truck:) He is just too sweet and that sleeping shot with Dad is why people can't wait to have children.


That is a funny picture of Ziggy! I'm sorry that Typepad lost your pictures. I'm glad you're enjoying spending time with your grandson, and also that I don't live in an earthquake zone!


Strapping the house to the foundation sounds like a huge project. It's very important and once completed must bring peace-of-mind. Ziggy loves high places. Good job he did not get accidentally enclosed in one of those openings! The vegetable garden looks amazing and very productive. Your time with N is precious and you have a great bond. That's a cute photo of N napping with his Dad.


I figured there was an issue as I looked for a post last night (per your typical schedule) and just saw craziness. I'm glad this one is working for now! I suppose I never even considered earthquake retrofitting for a house, and when did that become code for homeowners? You know I can empathize with the driving, long days and tiredness. It all can be draining. Give yourself permission to let other routines go on those long, long days.


Cute cat pic and of course the grandson sleeping one. Sounds like a tiring week. Have a good weekend.

Ally Bean

Did Typepad lose your photos or is there a limit to how many photos you can post? On WP once you hit a limit, you have to delete some or pay more money. Old craftsman-style houses are delightful, but I've never known anyone who didn't have many issues to deal with. Kind of the unspoken thing about them.


I have been worried more than once about the lack of ties holding houses in my area down to the foundation, especially older ones. Both of the ones I have lived in have only had a few nails shot through the sill plate into the concrete. But we don't have earthquakes and thus far, both are still standing after tornado like winds. Perhaps only because I have too much heavy stuff holding them down!

Jenni Elyse

Love that picture of Ziggy, doing what cats often do. And, I love reading about your interaction with your grandson. It's so cute and he sounds so smart and adorable. :) Sorry Typepad isn't working right. Your post looked fine to me.


Wow! Strapping the house down sounds like quite a job to do, but a necessary one to keep that house together in case of an earthquake.
How fun to be the nanny granny though. I know it wears a person out but how wonderful to spend that time with grandson, and help out your daughter and son in law. So typical of a little boy to play in the gravel and dirt and fill your hands up.
I planted NO tomatoes this year except for some honeygold mini tomatoes for the daycare kids to eat off the vine.

Doug M

Margaret I'm very sorry about your blog, I hope this was a temporary setback! On the plus side, Ziggy gave me a real chuckle in that top photo and is it just me or does your son-in-law resemble your OD? Anyway, love the grandson stuff and is purple poop for real?? Ha! 😄


Typepad should be taken out and shot. But so should WP now and then. I hope your photos have returned.

I love Ziggy in the ceiling. I can picture my old cats doing that - don't think Zoe would do so. What is that vegetable? Some kind of eggplant? tomato? pepper? So glad she's enjoying her garden. Think of all she can grow next year!

Does grandson sleep deeply enough that Dad could get up if he needed to? They do make a sweet pair.

Joanne Noragon

My brother's house, built around the turn of the century, was not fastened to the foundation. He discovered that when he set out to replace the lathe and plaster. As it had stood for a hundred years, he let it be.


Sigh... You are so lucky. I haven't seen my grandsons in 3 years and now they're moving to Sri Lanka because of daughter-in-law's job. Sigh...

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Book Club Reads

  • 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. (***)

  • 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. (***)