Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Words of wisdom

 Words of wisdom, perhaps, and definitely food for thought!

🚩Between 60 and death. It's time to use the money you saved up. Use it and enjoy it. Don't just keep it for those who may have no notion of the sacrifices you made to get it. Remember there is nothing more dangerous than a son or daughter-in-law with big ideas for your hard-earned capital.


🚩Warning: This is also a bad time for investments, even if it seems wonderful or fool-proof. They only bring problems and worries. This is a time for you to enjoy some peace and quiet.


🚩Stop worrying about the financial situation of your children and grandchildren, and don't feel bad spending your money on yourself. You've taken care of them for many years, and you've taught them what you could. You gave them an education, food, shelter, and support. The responsibility is now theirs to earn their own money.


🚩Keep a healthy life, without great physical effort. Do moderate exercise (like walking every day), eat well, and get your sleep. It's easy to become sick, and it gets harder to remain healthy. That is why you need to keep yourself in good shape and be aware of your medical and physical needs. Keep in touch with your doctor, do tests even when you're feeling well. Stay informed.


🚩Always buy the best, most beautiful items for your significant other. The key goal is to enjoy your money with your partner. One day one of you will miss the other, and the money will not provide any comfort then, enjoy it together.


🚩Don't stress over the little things. You've already overcome so much in your life. You have good memories and bad ones, but the important thing is the present. Don't let the past drag you down and don't let the future frighten you. Feel good in the now. Small issues will soon be forgotten.


🚩Regardless of age, always keep love alive. Love your partner, love life, love your family, love your neighbor and remember: "A man is not old as long as he has intelligence and affection."


🚩Be proud, both inside and out. Don't stop going to your hair salon or barber, do your nails, go to the dermatologist and the dentist, keep your perfumes and creams well stocked. When you are well-maintained on the outside, it seeps in, making you feel proud and strong.

🚩Don’t lose sight of fashion trends for your age, but keep your own sense of style. You’ve developed your own sense of what looks good on you – keep it and be proud of it. It’s part of who you are.


🚩ALWAYS stay up-to-date. Read newspapers, watch the news. Go online and read what people are saying. Make sure you have an active email account and try to use some of those social networks. You'll be surprised at what old friends you'll meet.


🚩Respect the younger generation and their opinions. They may not have the same ideas as you, but they are the future and will take the world in their direction. Give advice, not criticism, and try to remind them that yesterday's wisdom still applies today.


Never use the phrase: “In my time.” Your time is now. As long as you’re alive, you are part of this time.


🚩Some people embrace their golden years, while others become bitter and surly. Life is too short to waste your days on the latter. Spend your time with positive, cheerful people, it'll rub off on you and your days will seem that much better. Spending your time with bitter people will make you feel older and harder to be around.


🚩Do not surrender to the temptation of living with your children or grandchildren (if you have a financial choice, that is). Sure, being surrounded by family sounds great, but we all need our privacy. They need theirs and you need yours. Even then, do so only if you feel you really need the help or do not want to live by yourself


🚩Don't abandon your hobbies. If you don't have any, make new ones. You can travel, hike, cook, read, dance. You can adopt a cat or a dog, grow a kitchen garden, play cards, checkers, chess, dominoes, golf.


🚩Try to go. Get out of the house, meet people you haven't seen in a while, experience something new (or something old). The important thing is to leave the house from time to time. Go to museums, go walk through a park. Get out there.


🚩Speak in courteous tones and try not to complain or criticize too much unless you really need to. Try to accept situations as they are.


🚩Pains and discomfort go hand in hand with getting older. Try not to dwell on them but accept them as a part of life.


🚩If you've been offended by someone – forgive them. If you've offended someone-apologize. Don't drag around resentment with you. It only serves to make you sad and bitter. It doesn't matter who was right. Someone once said: "Holding a grudge is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die." Don't take that poison. Forgive, forget, and move on with your life.


🚩Laugh. Laugh away your worries Remember, you are one of the lucky ones. You managed to have a life, a long one. Many never get to this age, never get to experience a full life.


My valued friends, enjoy peaceful life at this point in your life ...

Don't worry... be happy. 🥰


Friday, December 2, 2022

Library books

I panicked last week.

 I was down to my last library book and no more of my reserves had been filled. So I grabbed some of the books I already own and re-read them again while I waited for more library books. 

Don't you hate it when, you've just been to the library and gotten a few books and the very next day you're informed that the book you have been waiting for is finally ready for you to pick up?

 So - another trip to the library.

 Luckily, it's close by. 

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Christmas tree


If you have no pine tree, substitute something else.

Friday, November 25, 2022

Snoopy postage stamps are available - sort of

 I tried to get the Snoopy stamps before the raise in price of stamps in January. Tried several post offices - they were out. Went online and worked my way through the ordering system of the US Post Office. Then waited 3 weeks. They never arrived. Hmmm. I also didn't get an email saying that I had ordered them. Hmmm. 

So, I went back online, ordered them again, and discovered that there was one more step of the ordering process that I evidently had missed the first time. Completed that last step and now I'm waiting for my order to arrive. 

By mail. 

No mail service yesterday. (Thanksgiving got in the way)  

 Maybe it'll come today. Or tomorrow

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Zoom backgrounds

 I was always envious that one of my friends would zoom (is Zoom a verb now?) on her back porch with a beautiful view, until a few months ago when I realized Ive been seeing that very same view from the very same position and came to the conclusion that she had some sort of picture for her background. (envy) 

I also envy those who use a photograph of themselves on zoom calls, instead of video of themselves sitting around in pajamas - or something. 

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Life in the early 1950s

 There were NO ticks in the Pennsylvania mountains where I roamed. Mom would put a peanut butter sandwich in a bag and I'd walk up the mountain through woods and pastures until the sun was overhead. Which meant that I usually ate my lunch sitting on a rock in the middle of a sheep pasture. I also knew that sun-overhead meant that I had to turn around and hike back down the hill in order to get home in time for dinner. 

(I never made it up to the top of that hill.) 

I was in second or third grade and we lived in the Poconos of Pennsylvania, and I went to a two-room school one block away. 

But nowadays children aren't allowed to roam like that and there are ticks all up and down the east coast and have spread to the rest of the country.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Having a hot Halloween (candy) time

 I only buy Halloween candy that I like to eat. M&Ms are good. This time I bought a variety bag of them - and nobody came to my house. (Turns out they everybody and their next of kin went to the neighborhood haunted house, instead.) So now I get to try some of the newer varieties of M&Ms that I have never had before. 

I love to tear the top off these small, single serving bags and warm the candies in the microwave until the chocolate melts inside that candy coating, and the coating cracks. Yummy!  So -- this time I put one of those purple single serving bags into the microwave. The Fudge Brownie ones. Accidentally heated it for one minute. (Usual time to heat that small amount is 30 seconds or less.) 

Suddenly smelled smoke.  Pulled the bag out and it smelled smoky and burnt.  Tossed it into the trash, but had a thought -- it was still hot. Would it set my trash on fire?  Took it back out of the trash. Hot Hot Hot !!!  Put it into the sink and ran water over it. Still hot and smoking and sizzling. Turned it over (with a fork) to cool the other side.  It sizzled for several minutes. When I peeked inside - everything was melted together and was black, not chocolatey brown. 

I'll never heat up (or eat) the Fudge Brownie M&Ms again. 

Monday, November 7, 2022

The Ogress and the Orphans

 Just finished reading Kelly Barnhill's The Ogress and the Orphans. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin, 2022.

(So much better written than her 2017 Newbery Award book, THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON, which seemed as if it were several different books mooshed together. 

This is the one that should have - or will - get the Newbery.)

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Writers quotes -- Patricia Wrede

I have a couple of favorite sayings from author Patricia Wrede:

1 - Editors don't make house calls -- You've gotta send them out.

2. - Writers have three hats
First is the Writer hat
Secondly - the Editor hat
Thirdly - the business person's hat
The important thing is not to wear the Wrong Hat.  
When you are writing, keep that editor's hat off.  Only put it on when you are looking over what you wrote and are revising.  
And never, never wear your business person's hat when you write.

Of course she said it better, this is only a summary
She has said this many times, many ways. 
Ah - I've found a copy of one of her long lectures -- here's the beginning of it:

Patricia Wrede says:
"Writers have to wear many hats.  There's the Editor Hat, the Creative Artiste Hat, the Accounting and Finance Hat (often neglected, but really quite important, especially if one hopes to make a living from this), and so on. 
 A great many problems arise if one is wearing the wrong hat for the job."  (and so on)

Saturday, October 1, 2022

We lived in a Colonial Stone Farmhouse

We inherited a colonial farmhouse (called The Cub Hill House - the area around it was named after it) from my husband's parents. The original huge amount of land around it that had been farmed for several centuries had been sold off for development in the 1930s and all was left was three acres and the farmhouse and surrounding buildings. His parents could only afford the house, some buildings plus 2 acres. Another person bought the falling down barn and turned the slightly more modern garage into their house. 

The house was a wreck, a real fixer-upper and when we moved in, we continued the fixing up. The house used a hand-dug well that often ran dry in the summertime until the 1980s when we finally connected to the city water lines. The reason his parents had never gotten city water was that the water lines didn't pass our house.  The development built on the Cub Hill house land, got city water the minute the houses were built. We didn't have access until a development was built on the wooded lot across the street.

The house had no inside heat.  So his parents used kerosine heaters, which produced a greasy deposit on everything.  And it could only get the temperature in the house up to about 50 degrees in the wintertime. (Winter temperatures go below freezing often in Maryland winters -- at least it used to.) Each room also had fireplaces.  (of course -- Colonial times that's the way they cooked and heated.)  So my husband and his brother also used them in their bedrooms  the wintertime. 

After we moved in, we helped fund electrical heat in the kitchen/ dining room and began using a wood stove to heat the living room - which brought the temperature up into the 70s. nice.   We still used individual portable electric heaters in our bedrooms.  

Shoveling out after snowstorms was still difficult because of the long driveway to reach the road.  My husband used a snowplow attachment to his heavy duty lawnmower (a Gravely) to do a lot of it, but we also had to do a lot of hand shoveling. 

Now you know why I moved to southern California to be with my girls after my husband died -- I just couldn't handle the upkeep of this property by myself. 

There's an article about this house on Wikipedia which is only halfway correct.  The original writer actually used a picture of a different house that was build down the road from the actual Cub Hill House and some of his information was wrong.  My husband corrected the entry several times, but the original writer kept changing it back.  Too Bad. 

It was declared a historical site some years ago.  Near that traffic speed sign is a plaque stating it. 

Friday, September 30, 2022

Writing advice from Will Smith

Smith, Will with Mark Manson. WILL. NY: Penguin Press, 2021.

Besides the fact that this is a really good read, there's great advice for writers here. See pages 268 to 270.

He begins with Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces; the basic theory of the Hero's Journey.  And then he breaks it down so it's easily understood and applies it to both historical storytelling and modern movies.  

You don't have to read Campbell's book; there's a shorter interpretation of it in Christopher Vogler's The Writer's Journey.  

You don't have to read Vogler's book because Will (and Mark) have it summarized down in those three pages. 

It's the path of the caterpillar becoming a butterfly; it is universal arc of transformation.


Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Did you do this?

 In the 1950s, we would put pennies on the track and come back later to collect the squashed pennies. 

In 2006, when I arrived at grad school on the train, I noticed a family waiting by the tracks. The didn't get on the train. Instead they waited until the train left and then gather up the squashed coins they had placed on the track. 

What do you know? Kids are still doing this. 

Sunday, September 25, 2022

A surprise purchase

Headed to Office Depot for more printer paper yesterday. But decided to go the opposite direction to Staples because I remembered the Miramar Air Show (with the Blue Angels) was close to Home Depot. I thought I'd also try out some of the office chairs because I've always hated mine. 

For years I had used a secretary chair while my husband used an antique office chair. When I moved to the West Coast, I brought his office chair to use. However, it never fit me right; the arms were too high and I hated it. 

So, I tried the office chairs at Staples and they also had annoyingly high arms. But I found a comfortable office chair with no arms!!! Very tempting. Should I get it? (news note - I did) I'm sitting here typing in my so comfortable new office chair. 

Oh. Yes. I also bought more printer paper.  

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Look for the Helpers

 An elderly man came into the library where I was working and asked for help finding his nephew's house. The Fallston library is not located in a town, It's in the middle of a field with a development behind it, so it was the only building he could see from the road. After a discussion with him, I realized that he really didn't know where he was or where he was going, but when he mentioned his son, I asked him if he knew his son's phone number. When I called his son, the son was shocked that his father had driven so far away - because he had Dementia. The son came to get him and guided him back to his own home. 

Even in his reduced mental ability, this man knew he could get help at a library

 Mr. Rogers always said, "Look for the helpers."  This man knew that he could get help at a library.  

Friday, September 2, 2022

The first word processor v. coffee

 One of my jobs as I worked my way through college was as a typist in the engineering department. Nice people, mostly. However, most if not all the professors were male with us typists all being females. One day I was ordered by the head of the department to make the morning coffee. I tried to explain that I didn't drink coffee and didn't know how, but he cut me off. So I tried. They never asked me to make coffee again. In fact, I think they might have figured out that I wasn't simply a high school grad, but was actually in grad school there, so they moved me from being a simple typist into a separate room with the very first MT/ST machine that had just been invented. (The IBM MT/ST was a model of the IBM Selectric typewriter, built into its own desk, integrated with magnetic tape recording and playback facilities) In other words -- the first word processor.  

Now, Imagine the shock of those professors - and businessmen all over -- when their companies dropped a desktop computer on their desk and fired all the female typists. What? Type their own reports? That's women's work. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

More adventures with clothing

 Since I've lost so much weight (others gained during the pandemic, but I lost weight), I was looking through my favorite clothing websites (LL Bean and Talbots) searching for smaller clothing.  I happened  upon a nice white skirt at  Now, I had put my original white skirt into the Donate to Thrift Store pile, so I was interested.  Then I noticed it was available at my (sort of) nearby Talbots store.

So I drove up to that store, only to discover that the website was wrong - they had already sold it.  It wasn't a wasted trip though, my favorite Mexican restaurant was nearby so I got a take out meal that lasted me four days. 

When I got home, I got back onto the computer, only to discover that the website told me that the skirt was now sold out.  (insert crying emoji here)

Four days later (this morning) I got back onto the computer and just for the heck of it looked for that Talbots skirt.  Hey! it was available again.  So I ordered it.

It will arrive mid-September.

The clothing rule is - don't wear white after Labour Day.  YIKES! (insert crying symbol here)


Oh, Lookee -- Blogger now HAS emojis!

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Why are there Supermoons?

 I had never heard the term SUPERMOON until the past few years. Granted, the moon looked larger in the Fall of the year and was called the Harvest Moon, but Supermoon? 

When the first one was announced a few years ago, they said it was unusual and seldom happened. But recently there have been more and more Supermoon events. 

And I've been a moon watcher all my life. What could be causing the moon to seem larger/ to be closer to the earth/ to have changed its orbit? Could it possibly be those rockets (most lately from other countries) landing and taking off there? Pushing it a tiny bit out of orbit? (For every action, there is a reaction and tiny actions can cause larger events) One of the things that I worry about in the middle of the night 

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Parking my car in a crowded parking garage

 Once I managed to park my car in a tiny space, made tiny because of the flashy sports car that was trying to take up 2 spaces. I managed to get out of the car without damaging his. (did I mention this was Christmas time and the parking garage was full, full, full.) 

When I returned with my purchases, I was accosted by that car owner (a guy, of course - showing off for his girlfriend) and a police man. Arrest her! he said. What? I said to the policeman, You need to arrest him. Look at that? He parked way over into my parking space. The car guy was soooo mad. He claimed that he had taken two spaces in order to protect his car. He accused me of scratching his car with my car door and insisted that I unlock my car and open the driver's door to prove that my door matched the scratches on his car. Sure, I said and did it. They did NOT match. (Did I mention that I was pregnant at the time and actually did need to open my car door wider than normal.) After a lot of huffing and puffing and swearing at the cop who refused to arrest me, he pulled out of the parking space and left.  

Actually, those scratches might have been made by my car, no matter how careful I'd been, because when I got out of the car, my weight placed the car door at a different angle than opening the car door with nobody in the car. I knew that, but didn't tell those men, because what man in those days thought that any woman knew anything about cars? 🙂

Friday, August 19, 2022

The perils of losing weight

 Yes, I know that a lot of people have gained weight during the pandemic, but I've lost weight.

Intending to do some shopping, I rummaged through my closet looking for a skirt to wear.  This one was too large.  That one was too large. (they dragged on the ground)  So was another one.  YIKES!

So, I looked online to buy a smaller size long skirt. (that's what I wear -- long skirts.)  Sold out on the Talbot's website and none to be found on LL Bean. (that's where I shop because I know what fits me there)

I thought that maybe, the skirt I had wanted to buy might still be available in stores, so I headed to La Jolla to the nearest Talbot's store.  You would not believe the traffic just wanting to get into La Jolla.  I finally gave up and headed back home. On my way home, I discover the other roads leading to beaches were also clogged.  Which was a surprise because schools are in session in my area of Southern California. (then I remembered that the surrounding schools don't begin until next week, so I guess that parents and kids are starting their last weekend before school headed for the beach.

Meaning that 

1) I'll have to find a Talbots that's not located near a beach and 

2) I'll have to keep on avoiding the beaches for another couple of weeks if I want less traffic and less people on the beaches when I do my daily walk.  

For those of you who knew me during the mid-2010s, I've lost 30 pounds since I graduated from VCFA. 

Monday, August 15, 2022

Book Recommendation

 If you like Georgette Heyer's sweet romance/ mystery Regencies, or are a fan of Nancy Springer's Enola Holmes mystery series which takes place in the 19th century, you'll love the new series by Tirzah Price.

Her first one was = Pride and Premeditation.

And now she has come out with Sense and Second-Degree Murder. NY: Harper Teen, 2022. 

Yes, both are based on Jane Austen's books that have very similar names. 

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Book review: Healer & Witch

 I just finished reading Nancy Werlin's excellent new middle grade fantasy = 

Healer & Witch.  

Highly recommend.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Ask a Librarian -- you know they can help

An older gentleman came into the library where I worked and asked for directions. He was trying to find his niece's place. From his vague description, I finally found it on a map, but when I tried to show him how to get there, his conversation kept wandering so much that I asked him if he had his son's phone number so that his son could help him get to his niece's place. The old man searched his pockets and came up with a piece of paper with his son's phone number, so I called it. The son was shocked that his dad, who has Alzheimers, actually was able to drive so far away by himself and had actually had the sense that librarians could help and had stopped at a library. 

Saturday, June 18, 2022

The first year of school is important

 My child's kindergarten teacher told her kids that she was 100 years old. And therefore since she's older than their parents, she knows more than their parents. (she was younger than me by far) Oh, and she also told them she was a witch and if they misbehaved she'd turn them into a flowerpot - pointing at the flowerpots with flowers in them at her windows. 

Of course the children believed every word. 

(they also behaved, loved her, and learned a lot from her.)

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Writer's brain takes a Left Turn

Today I gave up on the book I had been trying to piece together. Put it aside and went back to revising my will - which I should have been doing months ago.  

Completed my will revisions and turned back to my writing... and decided I actually didn't want to work on it anymore. My brain took a complete left turn and began shoving ideas for a similar but quite different book.

Ho-Kay. Off I go on a new bit of writing, one that needs a lot MORE research than the one I've abandoned. But it tickles my interest more, which means my readers will enjoy it more - when it's finally done.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

The futile Act of saving things digitally

 The problem with digital is that things change.

 I wrote my first book and many magazine and newspaper articles on a typewriter. Had paper copies done with carbon paper. (If I had kept them, they'd be all smeary today.) Then I wrote on a Commodore 64. There was no digital record saved. Wrote more on various Apple computers, but nothing can read those 5-inch floppy disks anymore, so I tossed them. The next books were recorded on 3-inch disks. Also now in the trash.

 In the late 1990s and early 2000s, my husband told me to stop printing out copies of what I wrote because they were all saved on the computer. Yeah - Right. (not) They were saved , but no way can my 2022 computer read those old versions of AppleWorks and ClarisWorks. 

Now, my latest Apple iMac grabs everything to save on the 'cloud.' Which means I can't access them if I have no internet service. (which is why I now save writing stuff on Dropbox, because I can work on those files even without internet as long as I save them to Dropbox once I reach Internet service again.)

 I imagine that saving digital files of photographs may have gone through the same history -- and that everything saved today will be unreadable in the future.  🙁

Friday, May 27, 2022

Attacks on schools - too many attacks on schools

 Every time there's a mass shooting, parents worry about their own children in school. Many of us have had similar, if not quite the same thing happen.  Too many of us. 

A few years ago I was sitting in my car in the school parking lot along with other parents of high schoolers who lived too far away to be able to walk (and California has no free bus service for schools) when no kids showed up. We waited and waited. 

One of the parents was able to overhear police reports and discovered that several schools, including this one had received bomb threats. So the school was locked down while police searched for the possible bomb. The teens had not been told. At this point, every teen had a cell phone, so we parents were able to text messages to them to keep them from panicking. Eventually the kids were being let go, building by building, so we parents let the kids know. My kid was in building 4, so it was a while before that building was released. 

Did they not tell the kids to keep them from panicking and running? Even though they were sitting quietly, they still were frantic and it was only the ability to text to their parents that kept them relatively calm. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Why families need two cars

I worked for a few years after college, then retired to have a baby.

Therefore, we gave one of our cars to my newly graduated sister. I did a lot of walking to the (over a mile away) grocery store with her in a baby carriage, using the carriage to get bags of groceries home. 

But when she was one-year-old and got sick, I had to wait until my husband got home (at 9:30 in the evening) before we could take her to the hospital. (had called the Doctor and he order us to the hospital - she had croup and had gotten worse while I waited for my husband to get home) Believe you me - we got a second car after that, so that I could handle emergencies, and eventually went back to work part time. 

Our doctor happened to be the head of pediatrics at the hospital, so we got immediate care. They were going to cut her throat open (a tracheotomy) so she could breathe, but our doctor held them back from doing that and tried other remedies first, which did work. 

Oh the tales I have about that hospital stay. I brought board books for her to look at in her oxygen tent thinking they would be sturdier in that damp environment, but -- she kept thinking the pages were just stuck together, so she kept trying to tear them apart. (All our books at home were regular picture books, not board books.) 

I told the nurses to NOT let her see how her IV tube was attached when they changed the tubing but of course they didn't listen (all children are dumb, don't cha know), so she immediately unattached the tubing and was gleefully spray painting the plastic sheeting of her oxygen tent with the liquid spurting out from the tubing.  🙂 They attached it more securely after that. 

They warned me, but I was still shocked that, when we brought her home after a week's stay at the hospital, she didn't want to associate with us at all.  She was mad at us for abandoning her at that strange place.  (news note, we were there with her most of the time) 

Friday, May 13, 2022

Zoom meeting, Video, and me

I participated in a Zoom meeting this week. For several years I didn't turn the video on in these meetings. Just had a black square with my name on it. Then I figured out how to do it. Don't have a ring light, but I do have a window that would put light on my face. Also a sliding door to the right.

At the meeting this week I logged in and had no video of me. Just an orange square. Couldn't figure out what happened. Halfway through, I realized that I had a posta note over the video camera on my computer. HA! So I removed it.
(forgot about opening the blinds that would put light on my face, so I sat there, sideways, with the light from my sliding door on my back. It worked.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Memories of The Lion King show

 I once went to a showing of the touring company of The Lion King, knowing that I had tickets for me and my granddaughter , and that I had put them in a 'safe place.' And then couldn't find them. So I took her there anyway. Told the ticket booth people my sad tale. Of course she could find my name on any ticket holder -- because someone else had bought a whole group of tickets. Thought of my friend's name. Nope, not on their records. I finally remembered the name of the school. Someone at that school had bought a bunch of group tickets. 

Naturally the ticket booth people didn't know which seat I had tickets for, but I was allowed to go in. So I stood in the aisle (in the balcony) in the general area our group was to sit and waited while all the rest of them filed in. Finally we figured out the two empty seats, which had to be ours. Yes, we very much enjoyed the show. (granddaughter was seven - and it turned out that the song her dance class performed at the dance recital was one of the Lion King songs. (That's MY song! she gleefully whispered)

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

A Wizard's Guide to Defensive Baking

 I just finished reading (and loved):

Kingfisher, T. A wizard’s guide to defensive baking. Dallas, TX: Argyll, 2020.

(self published but very good fantasy by author, Ursula Vernon.  
I’d place it in middle grade, myself instead of YA. Although she writes YA horror under this name, I hope she does more like this one, and gets a traditional publisher who will place it solidly in middle grade)

NOTE: just because I occasionally talk about books I've read, this does not mean that you can ask me to review your book, because I'm not a professional book reviewer anymore. Thank you for not sending.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

State of Terror by Clinton and Penny

 Wow. When a great crime writer and a great politician/ Secretary of State get together to write a political thriller the result is an edge-of-the seat read! I highly recommend Hillary Clinton and Louise Penny's new book = State of Terror.

They thread together Clinton's experience with being Secretary of State with the fact that, when the Soviet Union broke up lots of fissionable material went missing - enough to make many bombs. What if terrorists planted those bombs in cities around the world? In the United States? In the White House? 

 The writers say there were three nightmare scenarios that woke Clinton up in the middle of the night. This was just one of them. I'm hoping they're going to write about the other two as well. 

Friday, March 25, 2022

Girls don't go to college (in olden days - 1950s-60s)

 My mother went to college in the late 1920s and met my dad there. Therefore as the oldest girl who was given the responsibilities for everything at home, I assumed that I would go to college, too - in the late 1950s. 

Nope, they were only saving money to send my brother to college. I could be a salesclerk or something. Still determined to go to college, I negotiated going to a Junior college (now called Community college). Got a Yes, but only if I prepared for a career - so signed up for the secretarial course. Once there, I transferred into the academic course in the second year. 

Since my parents only promised 2 years of post high school training for any of us four children, I worked summers and had part time jobs during the school year. My husband and I continued with college plus working part time and getting scholarships after we were married, finally both of us graduating with a MSLS 10 years after we had graduated from high school. 

(as for my brother -- he didn't go to college. He went right into the Air Force after high school.)

Yes, almost EVERY male I met in the 1960s in college assumed I was only there for my MRS. degree. And yes, I gave those guys a glare and a cold shoulder.

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

You need to Read this Book


I highly recommend everyone read Lisa Yee's latest middle grade book - Maizy Chen's Last Chance.

It's getting rave reviews:

Review: Packed with surprises, heart, and stories within stories, this irresistible novel from an award-winning author celebrates food, fortune, and family
Rave review: “I love this book. This is a big story and brings up much-needed discussion about the importance of community, history, and truth.” —Rita Williams-Garcia, Newbery Honor-winning author of One Crazy Summer.
Heartfelt, personal, and real—this book is a gift. Readers will cheer and feel for Maizy as she bonds with her grandparents, discovers the joys and pains of growing up, and learns about her family’s Chinese American history.” —Tae Keller, Newbery-winning author of When You Trap a Tiger
“Bursting with humor and heart, Maizy Chen’s Last Chance celebrates the power of food, family, understanding our roots, and stepping up to help others when it mattersthe most.” —Kate Messner, New York Times bestselling author of Breakout and Chirp

Friday, February 25, 2022

Three types of Rejection

 When writers send out manuscripts to editors, there are three types of responses they'll get.

1 -- Nothing. No response. They've read your submission on their computer or cell phone and just deleted it and went on to read the next submission.

2 -- A rejection, usually by email, which often makes a comment about your lovely writing and that they like it, but that they just didn't love it enough to buy it.  Sometimes they include a statement that they'd like to see more of your work, which is nice.

3 -- Acceptance.  They want to buy it and publish it !!!

Recently I've been mostly getting numbers 1 and 2.  

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Talking to cats when they talk back

 We were given a cat along with his vet record and discovered his 'name' was Eliot. Who the heck gives a cat that name? 

But we continued to call him by that name, and he was the first (and only) cat who would come when we called that name. Huh. How about that? He would also answer when we called. He would Meow a 'hello' when we let him inside and he did expect a response from us, so we would. 

Monday, February 14, 2022

Part time college jobs -- the typing pool

 One of my part time jobs in college was in the science department typing pool. I was moved from the typing pool into a separate room to use the just invented MTST machine. What an amazing change. I could type with the Selectric typewriter on paper while a wire connected my actions into a desk high 'computer' sitting beside my desk and my actions were recorded on computer tape. Then I could edit the paper copy, mark corrections, then have the computer type out what I had written while I had the ability to stop it and make corrections, which were instantly saved on the tape in the computer. Once everything was corrected or re-written, I'd order the computer to print out a fresh copy - perfect. !!! Next to the computer box was a large storage cabinet of typing supplies and fresh computer tape. Yes, this was the first 'word processor.'

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Adult books I read in 2021

 And here's the list of the books for adults that I read in 2021:



Anthony, Piers and Mercedes Lackey. If I pay the not in gold. Riverdale, NY: Baen, 1993.

Bradley, Marion Zimmer. Domains of Darkover. (Edited by Marion Zimmer Bradley)  

            NY: DAW books, 1990.

Cline, Ernest. Ready player two, a novel. NY: Ballantine Books, 2020.

            (Sequel to Ready player one)

Deveraux, Jude.  The girl from Summer Hill. NY: Ballantine books, 2017.

    ….   As you wish. NY: Mira/ Harlequin books, 2018. (2nd Summer Hill book)

    ….   Met her match. NY: Mira/ Harlequin books, 2019. (3rd  Summer Hill book)

    ….   A forgotten Murder. NY:  Mira/ Harlequin books, 2020.   (Third of her mysteries)

    ….   Meant to be, a novel. NY:  Mira/ Harlequin books, 2021.

Deveraux, Jude and Tara Sheets. Chance of a lifetime, a Providence Falls Novel. NY: 

            Mira/ Harlequin books, 2020.   

    ….   An Impossible promise. a Providence Falls Novel, book 2. NY: Mira/ Harlequin books,


Follett, Ken. The pillars of the earth. NY: William Morrow and Company, 1989.

    ….   World without end.  (book 2 of The pillars of the earth.) NY: Dutton, 2007.

    ….   A Column of Fire. (book 3 of The pillars of the earth.) NY: Viking, 2017.

    ….   The evening and the morning, the prequel to The Pillars of the Earth.  NY:

             Viking, 2020.  (Re-reading his Kingsbridge series – this is the prequel to it.)

Harkness, Deborah. A Discovery of Witches. Book 1 of series. NY: Viking, 2011.

    ….   Shadow of Night. Book 2 of series.  NY: Viking, 2012.

    ….   The Book of Life. Book 3 of series. NY: Viking, 2014.

Heyer, Georgette. The Black Moth. Originally published in Great Britain.

            (her first book published in 1921 and has been continually in print ever since)

    ….   These Old Shades. Originally published in Great Britain in 1926. She made the villain

             from the Black Moth into the hero of this book with a slight name change.

    ….   Devil’s Cub. Originally published in Great Britain in 1932. This tale focuses on the son

             of the hero and heroine from These Old Shades.  

    ….   The Corinthian. First published in USA in 1941; Bantam/E.P. Dutton edition, 1974.

    ….   The Foundling. First published in USA in 1948; NY: Harlequin edition, 2003.

Holmberg, Charlie. The paper magician, a novel. Book 1. Seattle, WA: 47North, 2014.

    ….   The Glass Magician, a novel. Book 2 of the Paper Magician series. Seattle, WA:

             47North, 2014. 

   ….    The Master Magician, a novel. Book 3 of the Paper Magician series. Seattle, WA:

             47North, 2015.

    ….   The Plastic Magician. a novel. Book 4 of the Paper Magician series. Seattle, WA:

             47North, 2018.

    ….   Spellbreaker. Seattle, WA: 47North, 2020.

    ….   Spellmaker. Seattle, WA: 47North, 2021.  (sequel to Spellbreaker)

Korelitz, Jean Hanff. The Plot, a novel. NY: Celalon Books, 2021.

Lackey, Mercedes. The complete Arrows Trilogy, in a single volume. NY: Daw books, 2015.

            Includes— Arrows of the queen. NY: Daw books, 1987.

                        Arrows Flight. NY: Daw books, 1987.

                        Arrow’s Fall. NY: Daw books, 1988.

….       Take a thief. NY: Daw books, 2001.

….       Moving Targets and other tales of Valdemar. (edited by Mercedes Lackey) NY: DAW

             books, 2008.

   ….    Beyond, the founding of Valdemar, Book 1.  NY: Daw books, 2021.

Lackey, Mercedes. The Fire Rose. NY: Baen Books, 1995.

            (This is actually her first Elemental Masters book, where she figured out the rules of this

             world.  However, this one is in San Francisco, CA, USA around 1906, whereas the rest 

            are in Europe &Great Britain. All are based on folk tales. This one Beauty and the Beast.)  

    ….   The Serpent’s Shadow. Elemental Masters, Book 1. NY: Daw books, 2001.

    ….   The Gates of Sleep. The Elemental Masters, Book 2. NY: Daw books, 2002.

    ….   Phoenix and AshesThe Elemental Masters, Book 3. NY: Daw books, 2004.

            The Wizard of London. The Elemental Masters, Book 4. NY: Daw books, 2005.

    ….   Reserved for the catThe Elemental Masters, Book 5. NY: Daw books, 2007.

    ….   Unnatural Issue. The Elemental Masters, Book 6. NY: Daw books, 2011.

    ….   Home from the sea. The Elemental Masters, Book 7. NY: Daw books, 2012.

    ….   Steadfast. The Elemental Masters, Book 8. NY: Daw books, 2013.

    ….   Blood RedThe Elemental Masters, Book 9 NY: Daw books, 2014.

    ….   From a High Tower. The Elemental Masters, Book 10. NY: Daw books, 2015.

    ….   A Study in Sable. The Elemental Masters, Book 11. NY: Daw books, 2016.

    ….   A scandal in Battersea. The Elemental Masters, Book 12. NY: Daw books, 2017.

    ….   The Bartered Brides. The Elemental Masters, Book 13. NY: Daw books, 2017.

    ….   The case of the spellbound child, The Elemental Masters, Book 14. NY: Daw books,

             2017.   (Actually the title should say ‘children’ because there were lots of them)

    ….   Jolene. The Elemental Masters, book 15. NY: Daw books, 2020. (read twice)

Lackey, Mercedes. The Fairy Godmother, a tale from the Five Hundred Kingdoms.

            NY: Luna/Harlequin, 2004.

    ….   The Snow Queen, a tale from the Five Hundred Kingdoms. NY: Luna/Harlequin, 2008.

    ….   Beauty and the Werewolf, a tale from the Five Hundred Kingdoms. NY: Luna/Harlequin,


   ….    Briar Heart.  NY: Little Brown & Co., 2021.

McCaffrey, Anne.  The Wings of Pegasus. NY: Build America Books/DelRay/ Ballantine Books.

                        (Actually, it contains two other books under this title: To Ride Pegasus, 1973

                         And Pegasus in Flight, 1990. These are two of the three prequels to 

                        The Rowan/ The tower and the hive series)

    ….   Pegasus in Space.  NY: Ballantine Books, 2002. 

                        (Third prequel - a new novel in the saga of the Talents.)

    ….   The Rowan.  NY:  Ace/ Putnam, 1990.

    ….   Damia, sequel to The Rowan. NY:  Ace/ Putnam, 1992.

    ….   Damia’s Children. sequel to Damia. NY:  Ace/ Putnam, 1993.

    ….   Lyon’s Pride. sequel to Damia’s Children. NY:  Ace/ Putnam, 1994.

    ….   The tower and the hive. sequel to Lyon’s Pride. NY:  Ace/ Putnam, 1999.

McCaffrey, Anne and Elizabeth Moon. SassinakVolume one of the Planet Pirates. NY: Baen 

            books, 1990.

            Generation Warriors. NY: Baen Books, 1991. (last book in her Sassinak/ Planet Pirates

                         series. I can’t find the rest.)

Putney, Mary Jo. The bartered bride. NY: Balantine Books, 2002.

Quinn, Julia. How to marry a marquis.  NY: Avon/ HarperCollins, 1999. 

   ….    First comes scandal. NY: HarperCollins, 2020.

Schwab, V.E.  The invisible life of Addie LaRue. NY: Gale/ Thorndike large type, 2020.

Smith, Alexander McCall. How to raise an Elephant, a No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency novel. 

            NY: Pantheon Books/ Penguin Random House, Great Britain: Little Brown, 2020.

Sutanto, Jesse. Dial A for Aunties. NY: Berkley/ Penguin Random, 2021.

Tevis, Walter. The Queen’s Gambit. NY: Vintage books/ Random House, 1983.

            (heavy with chess movements – made into a streaming series)

Thomas, Will. Some danger involved, a novel. NY: Simon & Schuster, 2004.

            (The first Barker and Llewelyn mystery)

    ….   To Kingdom Come. NY: Simon & Schuster, 2005.

    ….   The Limehouse Text. NY: Simon & Schuster, 2006.

    ….   The Hellfire conspiracy, a Barker & Llewelyn novel. NY: Simon & Schuster, 2007.

    ….   The Black Hand. a Barker & Llewelyn novel. NY: Simon & Schuster, 2008.

    ….   Fatal Enquirya Barker & Llewelyn novel. NY: Minotaur books/ St. Martin’s Press, 


    ….   Anatomy of Evil. a Barker & Llewelyn novel. NY: Minotaur books/ St. Martin’s Press,

             2015.  (based on the search for Jack the Ripper, discovering the actual Ripper.)

    ….   Hellbaya Barker & Llewelyn novel.  NY: Minotaur books/ St. Martin’s Press, 2016.

    ….   Old Scoresa Barker & Llewelyn novel.  NY: Minotaur books/ St. Martin’s Press, 2017.

    ….   Blood is Blood. a Barker & Llewelyn novel.  NY: Minotaur books/ St. Martin’s Press,


    ….   Lethal Pursuit. a Barker & Llewelyn novel.  NY: Minotaur books/ St. Martin’s Press,


    ….   Dance with death, a Barker & Llewelyn novel.  NY: Minotaur books/ St. Martin’s Press,


Winspear, Jacqueline. The consequences of fear. NY: Harper, 2021.



B-Bly              Goodman, Matthew. Eighty Days – Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s history-

            making race around the world. NY: Ballantine books/ Random House, 2013.

                        (This was my introduction to the fact that two women raced)

B-Bly              Kroeger, Brooke. Nellie Bly, daredevil, reporter, feminist. NY: Times books/

             /Random House, 1994.  (very readable, also very thick – 400 pages or so)

B- Broom        Broom, Sarah M. The yellow house. NY: Grove Press, 2019. (autobiography) 

B-Fitzhugh.     Brody, Leslie. Sometimes you have to lie, the life and times of Louise Fitzhugh,

             renegade author of Harriet The Spy. NY:  Seal Press, 2020.  

                        (Lesbian life as we never knew it.)

B-Fox              Fox, Michael J. A funny thing happened on the way to the future, twists and turns

             and lessons learned.  NY:  Hyperion, 2010.

B-Fox              Fox, Michael J. No time like the future, an optimist considers mortality. NY:

            Flatiron Books, 2020.

B- Packard.     Moore, Kate. The woman they could not silence – one woman, her incredible fight 

            for freedom, and the men who tried to make her disappear.  Napperville, IL: 

            Sourcebooks, 2021. (she helped pass laws against men putting outspoken women in

             mental institutions and exposed the horrible treatment therein.)

B- Priestley       Johnson, Steven. The Invention of Air – a story of science, faith, revolution, and

             the birth of America. NY: Riverhead books/ Penguin, 2008. 

B- Takei          Takei, George. To the Stars – the autobiography of George Takei, Star Trek’s 

            Mr. Sulu. NY: Pocket books, 1994.  

            (the first chapters of this are used in the Graphic Novel.)

GN B-Takei    Takei, George and Justin Eisinger and Steven Scott. Illus. Harmony Becker.

            They called us enemy.    San Diego: Top Shelf, 2020.   

            (San Diego Library 2020 ONE BOOK of the childhood of the actor

             who portrayed the much loved Captain Sulu of the original TV show, StarTrek)

B-Washington             Shirley, Craig. Mary Ball Washington, the untold story of George

             Washington’s mother.  NY: Harper, 2019.  

            (is actually a bio of George Washington with occasional mentions of his mother)

B-Washington             Saxton, Martha. The widow Washington, the life of Mary Washington.

            NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019. (highly praised as the best book about her)

B-Washington             Coe, Alexis. You never forget your first, a biography of George 

            Washington.  NY: Viking/ Penguin Random 2020. 

            (So much better, much more readable, much more interesting than Shirley’s)






070.92             Bly, Nellie. Around the World in Seventy-two Days and other Writings

            NY: Penguin Classics, 1890/ 2014.

302.231           Stephens-Davidowitz, Seth. Everybody lies – big data, new data, and what the

             internet can tell us about who we really are. NY: Day St/ William Morrow, 2017.

306.512           Wilkerson, Isabel. Caste – the origins of our discontents. NY: Random House, 

            2020. (compares caste in India to the black and white division in the USA) 

324.2734         Benen, Steve, The Imposters, how Republicans quit governing and seized 

            American Politics. NY: William Morrow/ HarperCollins, 2020. 

324.2734         Stevens, Stuart. It was all a Lie, how the Republican party became Donald

             Trump.  NY: Alfred Knopf, 2020.

358.388           Baker, Nicholson. Baseless – my search for secrets in the ruins of the freedom of

             Information Act.  NY: Penguin Press, 2020. (Info about Biological Warfare in 1950s)

363.283           Leonnig, Carol. Zero Fail, the rise and fall of the secret service. NY: Random

             House, 2021. 

363.32             Perlroth, Nicole. This is how they tell me the world ends, The cyber-weapons arms

             race. NY: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2021.  

                                    (It turns out that there’s a lot more about this that we didn’t know.)

576.5               Zimmer, Carl, She has her mother’s laugh – the powers, perversions, and

             potential of heredity. NY: Dutton, 2018.

614.5924         Lewis, Michael. The Premonition, a Pandemic story. NY: WW Norton Co, 2021.

616.898           Kolker, Robert. Hidden Valley Road, inside the mind of an American family

            NY: Doubleday, 2020.  (family of 12 children, half of them with schizophrenia)

818.6               Seinfeld, Jerry.  Is this Anything?  NY: Simon & Schuster, 2020.

            (If you are a Seinfeld fan and want a book of his jokes – this is it.)

910.41             Goodman, Matthew. Eighty Days, Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s history

             making race around the world. NY: Ballantine books/ Random House, 2013.

940.9725         Fox, Margalit. The confidence men – how two prisoners of war engineered the

             most remarkable escape in history. NY: Random House, 2021.

970.0049         Nesteroff, Kliph. We had a little real estate problem, the unheralded story of

             Native Americans and comedy. NY: Simon and Schuster, 2021.

973.93             Osnos, Evan. Wildland – the making of America’s fury. NY: Farrar, Straus and 

            Giroux, 2021.

973.933           Leonning, Carold and Philip Rucker. I alone can fix it – Donald J. Trump’s 

            catastrophic final year. NY: Penguin Press, 2021.

973.933           Schiff, Adam. Midnight in Washington, how we almost lost our democracy and

             still could.  NY: Random House, 2021. (behind the scenes of two impeachments.)

973.933           Wolff, Michael. Landslide, the final days of the Trump presidency. NY: Henry

             Holt and Co, 2021.

973.933           Woodward, Bob and Robert Costa. Peril.  NY:  Simon & Schuster, 2021.

976.403           Burrough, Bryan and Chris Tomlinson and Jason Stanford. Forget the Alamo – 

            the rise and fall of an American myth. NY:  Penguin press, 2021.  

            (excellent close look at this legendary place)