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Showing posts from October, 2018

A Meditation In Ink - Meditation 10.31.18

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Dear Henry,

Storms are rolling in today and are supposed to be pretty intense.  I am hoping that the weather persons are wrong because of trick or treaters, I can't imagine having to tell little kids that Halloween is canceled.


xoxo a.d.

A Book to Read and Love: The Plum Tree - Ellen Marie Wiseman - Summary and Review

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A short summary of The Plum Tree: To be German, under the Gestapo.

Questions to ponder while reading The Plum Tree: What would you do for someone you love?
How much would you risk under a regime?
My thoughts about The Plum Tree: Engrossing tale.
Good flow.
Engaging plot.

A Meditation in Ink: Meditation 10.30.18

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Dear Henry,

Today I saw a list of food and was instructed to count the number of foods I wouldn't eat.

I got zero.  Yup, ZERO!

I truly love food and I love to eat, but this trait of mine actually has more to do with my parents.

 My parents were of the opinion that saying "Ewww I don't like that" means "I want a second helping".


You learned very quickly to just shut up and eat the damn brussel sprouts. 

So while I may never go out of my way to prepare oysters at home, if they are put in front of me, I will probably eat them.

xoxo a.d.

A Book to Read and Love: The Good Years: From 1900 to the First World War - Walter Lord - Summary and Review

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A short summary of The Good Years: Events from America's Gilded Age.



Questions to ponder while reading The Good Years: Do we (as Americans) still have that attitude?
What have we (as Americans) lost?
My thoughts about The Good Years: An oldy but goodie.
Entertaining read.
Don't let the size scare you.



A Meditation in Ink: Meditation 10.29.18

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Dear Henry,

Today's mediation seems to resemble a roadwork sign, a sort of warning.

"People," say that this type of meditation is supposed to reveal "inner" things.

I am trying to decide what "inner" thing needs a road hazard sign.

xoxo a.d.



A Book to Read and Love: Alexander Hamilton - Ron Chernow - Summary and Review

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A short summary of Alexander Hamilton: The life and times of Alexander Hamilton.

Questions to ponder while reading Alexander Hamilton: Did you realize the Founding Fathers were human?
How do you feel about Thomas Jefferson?
My thoughts about Alexander Hamilton. I love U.S. history.
Alexander Hamilton makes such a great character.
I am glad this became a musical.

A Meditation in Ink: Meditation 10.26.18

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Dear Henry,

I started the week with great plans to prepare for Halloween.  I ended up in pink flowers. 
It is amazing how that happens. 
xoxo a.d.

Meditation in Ink: Meditation 10.25.18

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Dear Henry,

Guess what day it is?  That's right!  It is Picasso's birthday.
He, like Theodore Roosevelt, was a busy man, creating more than 20,000 pieces over his 91 living years and is still one of the most recognized artists.
He also had an incredible name - Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso.  
xoxo a.d.



A Fancy List of Five: WWII, the Pacific - A Book List

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Unbroken - By Laura Hillenbrand An athlete's survival through WWII and the Pacific Ocean.
When the Emperor was Divine - Julie Otsuka Japanese in the United States, one family's experience.
A Pledge of Silence - Flora Solomon What the Angels of Bataan went through while in hell.
The Narrow Road to the Deep North - Richard Flanagan Living through the creation of the Thai-Burma Death Railway.
The Gift of Rain - Tan Twan Eng Phillip's challenges in Penang

A Book to Read and Love: The Gift of Rain - Tan Twan Eng - Summary and Review

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A short summary of The Gift of Rain: Phillip's challenges in Penang.

Questions to ponder while reading The Gift of Rain: What choices would you have made?
Could you have avoided becoming bitter?
My thoughts about The Gift of Rain: WWII was a really, REALLY crappy point in time.
Who knows how they would behave?
Can you love your enemy?

A Meditation In Ink: Meditation 10.24.18

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Dear Henry,

Would you stay at a haunted hotel? 

After long consideration, I am going to have to say I can't imagine doing it, and it isn't the fear factor.

Most haunted hotels are a little pricer. 

I am not against expensive rooms, I love the pampering experience, but, if I am going to pay extra, I want to be either well rested or seeing some ghosts.

These hotels can't guarantee the compliance of their resident ghosts, so a siting is rather hit or miss.

But since I will be up all night waiting to see some ghosts, I won't be well rested.

The whole affair just sounds frustrating.  I may as well spend the night at a Hilton.

xoxo a.d.

A Book to Read and Love: Lord of the Flies - William Golding - Summary and Review

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A short summary of Lord of the Flies: What happens when children are unsupervised.

Questions to ponder while reading Lord of the Flies: Is it human nature to compete?
Are we really just animals?
My thoughts about Lord of the Flies: Rite of passage.
Teenagers are scary.
Don't let your children run wild.

A Meditation In Ink: Meditation 10.23.18

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Dear Henry,

I just finished reading about President Theodore Roosevelt. and I am very tired now.  There are busy people and then there is the former president.  
He did so much and experienced so much and at the end of the day could be said to have truly lived.
I am inspired to try more, although I am staying away from politics.
xoxo a.d.

A Meditation In Ink: Meditation 10.22.18

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Dear Henry,
I hate it when a book is disappointing.  There are a few ways that books can be disappointing, like having a really cool cover, but not having anything worth reading on the inside. Or one that everyone recommends but you absolutely hated and you don't understand what they saw in it that you couldn't see.  and finally, the last kind, one that starts out really good but goes on too long.  Those are the worst kind of disappointments.

I just finished one of those and I am frustrated.  It started out sooooo goooood.

And then, because the story couldn't wrap itself up, I wanted to kill all of the characters (particularly Patty, Walter, and Joey,  but particularly Patty) because their story just took too damn long.

I was bummed.

xoxo a.d.

A Book to Read and Love: Around the World in 80 Days - Jules Verne - Summary and Review

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A short summary of Around the World in 80 Days: Fogg's whirlwind world tour.

Questions to ponder while reading Around the World in 80 Days:
Do you like to travel?
What have you done on a bet?
My thoughts about Around the World in 80 Days: It was ridiculous! I loved it!
It's a good thing I am not a gambler.
I love that this has become a challenge.

A Book to Read and Love: Ethan Frome - Edith Wharton - Summary and Review

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A short summary of Ethan Frome: Ethan's tragic love triangle.

Questions to ponder while reading Ethan Frome: What do you regret doing?
Are you happily married?
My thoughts about Ethan Frome: My sympathies are with Ethan.
A complete tragedy.
Life isn't fair, not at all.

A Meditation In Ink: Meditation 10.19.18

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Dear Henry,

I just read about a most atrocious sandwich.

Peanut butter and mayonnaise.

Yup - big hit during the Great Depression.

I am thinking they were just really hungry.  I can't imagine that tasting good at all, and I can't even bring myself to try it.

xoxo a.d.

A Book to Read and Love: Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons - Summary and Review

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A short summary of Cold Comfort Farm: Flora goes to the country.

Questions to ponder while reading Cold Comfort Farm: Can you find the bright side?
Can you find a bathtub?
My thoughts about Cold Comfort Farm: A feel good and fun read.
Great for motivation.
I wanted to grow up and be Flora.

A Meditation In Ink: Meditation 10.18.18

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Dear Henry,

I am currently reading "Hamilton" by Ron Chernow.  One of a long list of "Founding Father's" books I am reading.

I think we tend to mythologize (and occasionally demonize) our U.S. founding fathers and former U.S. presidents.   I think we forget they were people and that, as people, they were just as fallible as us regular people, some made mistakes doing what they thought was the right thing, some were truly good people, and finally, some were just snakes. Their inherent mix of humanity and errors is no different than that of the common population, nor of the current population.

Although Douglas Adams in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe brings forth a good argument, that anyone who can become the President probably shouldn't be allowed to.

I also think it is important to remember the time they existed.  The world was a different place, with different attitudes and different behavioral norms.  While their actions (for example Thomas Jef…

A Meditation in Ink: Meditation 10.17.18

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Dear Henry,

I love living in a world of crazy holidays. I love celebrating stuff.

It is National Pasta Day and who isn't going to celebrate that!
 I am thinking of doing either a Sausage Rigatoni or maybe a Ravioli.  
With garlic bread.
xoxo a.d.

A Book to Read and Love: Sunset Park by Paul Auster - Summary and Review

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A short summary of Sunset Park: Guilt, immaturity, and self-exile.

Questions to ponder while reading Sunset Park: What have you done because you felt guilty?
Should Miles have sought some help?
My thoughts about Sunset Park: I got frustrated with Miles.
Squatting seems counterproductive.
Losing one's temper often goes badly.


A Book to Read and Love: Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe - Summary and Review

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A short summary of Things Fall Apart: The rise and fall of Okonkwo.

Questions to ponder while reading Things Fall Apart:
What have you done because you were afraid?
What do you consider failure?
My thoughts about Things Fall Apart: I didn't have much sympathy for Okonkwo.
I don't like the results of colonization.
Women have had a hard time in every culture.

A Meditation in Ink: Meditation 10.16.18

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Dear Henry,
I just completed my first political poll.  Normally, I don't take part of these things, but this one was from the University of Arkansas rather than a news source, and I am big on helping out with education.
I don't like the yes or no answers to these things, I think there should be three choices - Mostly, Meh, and Usually Not.  In rare cases is something so black and white.
xoxo a.d.

A Book to Read and Love: This Republic of Suffering - Death and the American Civil War - Drew Gilpin Faust - Summary and Review

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A short summary of This Republic of Suffering: The butcher's bill of the Civil War, dying a good death, and creation of the military funeral.

Questions to ponder while reading This Republic of Suffering: How do you feel about the Civil War?
Do we honor the dead better now?
My thoughts about This Republic of Suffering: Everyone who died was once someone.
Interesting view into our nation's past.
We have an obligation to honor our soldier's deaths.



A Meditation In Ink: Meditation 10.15.18

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Dear Henry,

The world is full of irreverent people, particularly, the residents of Savannah, Georgia.  "Someone" has been gluing googly eyes on historical statues. 
Although I will be the first to admit the wrongness of the act, I am finding it incredibly funny.
xoxo a.d.

A Book to Read and Love: The Painted Veil - W. Somerset Maugham - Summary and Review

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A short summary of The Painted Veil: The callousness of Kitty and her tragic marriage.

Questions to ponder while reading The Painted Veil:
Would you have married Kitty?
Could you have forgiven Kitty?
My thoughts about The Painted Veil: Charlie was such a snake.
Kitty was selfish and drove me crazy.
Walter broke my heart.

A Meditation In Ink: Meditation 10.12.18

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Dear Henry,

There was a "princess" wedding today - the UK's Princess Eugenie got married and I have been enthralled with the pictures all morning.

I love a good fairy tale.

xoxo a.d.

A Meditation In Ink: Meditation 10.11.18

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Dear Henry,

Lazy day today - and I do me lazy.  My son came over and made scones for me.  We talked and ate scones.

That's it.  It was very nice.

There is laundry still waiting to be folded.

xoxo a.d.

A Book to Read and Love: The Talented Mr. Ripley - Patricia Highsmith - Summary and Review

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A short summary of The Talented Mr. Ripley: Getting away with murder.

Questions to ponder while reading The Talented Mr. Ripley: What is wrong with Tom?
Wouldn't you have been suspicious?
My thoughts about The Talented Mr. Ripley: Some people are too trusting.
Some people are too odd.
Some people are too lucky.

A Meditation In Ink: Meditation 10.10.18

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Dear Henry,

Today is World Mental Health Day and here is a staggering fact:
About 20% to 25 % of the population has a mental illness.
Yet, there is such a stigma about mental illnesses that they go unrecognized and untreated.
Clearly, this is a problem.
xoxo a.d.


A Book to Read and Love: What Hath God Wrought - The Transformation of America 1815-1848 - Daniel Walker Howe - Summary and Review

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A short summary of What Hath God Wrought: The U.S. Antebellum.

Questions to ponder while reading What Hath God Wrought: How do you feel about state's rights?
Was this the history you learned?

My thoughts about What Hath God Wrought:
I now *LOATHE* the Polk presidency.
Bigotry has cost our nation so much.
There are (at least) two sides to any history.

A Meditation In Ink: Meditation 10.9.18

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Dear Henry,

I have been thinking about history lessons lately.  I love to read and I love history so learning about the past is an ongoing process in my life.
I wish that textbooks were more engaging, written to sell copies.  I would have learned so much more in school.
xoxo a.d.

A Meditation In Ink: Meditation 10.8.18

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Dear Henry,

How does your garden grow? 

I had seen a video today about helping others, using plants as an example.  In the video, it talked about how we "help" people too much by providing them everything they need and not allowing them to develop their "roots' and foster their growth and we should "step back" and allow them to struggle a little.

I agree with most of what he said, however, I wish he would have mentioned that why it may not be a good idea to remove someone's struggles, I think that the biggest form of help we can provide others is cheerleading. Everyone wants to know that they are struggling forward, not just floundering in a puddle. Telling someone "you got this" or "look at you go" can never be overdone. I think everyone needs to hear supportive messages.

xoxo a.d.

A Book to Read and Love: Auguries of Innocence - Patti Smith - Summary and Review

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A summary of Auguries of Innocence: New poems by Patti.

Questions to ponder while reading Auguries of Innocence: Is your life poetic?
Do poets, like wine, get better with age?
My thoughts on Auguries of Innocence: I am a big fan of Patti's
An eclectic mix
Many perspectives
Can't get enough of Patti? I also recommend her memoir M Train

A Meditation in Ink: Meditation 10.7.18

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Dear Henry,

I went on a long hike today, looking for Pam's Grotto.  I found it after crawling over many precarious boulders.
I am exhausted and my legs are shaking.
It was a great day.
xoxo a.d.

A Book to Read and Love: Winter Journal - Paul Auster - Summary and Review

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A short summary of Winter Journal: Paul's 63 Winter season.

Questions to ponder while reading Winter Journal: Have you ever self-reflected about the course of your life?
What do you regret?
My thoughts about Winter Journal: I, too, struggle with demons.
I, too, with some things were different.
I, too, have wanted to throw something at a cabbie.

A Book to Read and Love: What's Bred in the Bone - Robertson Davies

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A short summary of What's Bred in the Bone: The secrets of Francis Cornish.

Questions to ponder while reading What's Bred in the Bone: Do you know your family's secrets?
What family drama has shaped your character?
My thoughts on What's Bred in the Bone: Despite being #2 in a trilogy, the book stands alone.
Good view of human character.
All sorts of familial wisdom.

A Meditation In Ink: Meditation 10.6.18

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Dear Henry,

Mudslinging abounds and the news and social media seem to fuel the fire even more.
Maybe we should all remember the words of Ian McEwan and remember that people are just as human as we are.
xoxo a.d.

A Meditation In Ink: Meditation 10.5.18

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Dear Henry,

I have been clearing out the garden beds (and disturbing toads) lately.  I already miss the flowers.  But, I love the colors of Autumn and the forced 'rest' that Winter causes.  I just wish there were flowers that bloomed in the cold.
xoxo a.d.

A Book to Read and Love: Blood Meridian - Cormac McCarthy - Summary and Review

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A short summary of Blood Meridian: A runaway's depravity.

Questions to ponder while reading Blood Meridian: What dark things do you desire?
Is this how the West was won?
My thoughts on Blook Meridian: One of the darkest books I have read. (his book The Road is also pretty damn dark)
Snarly, haunting characters.
It is almost too much.

A Meditation in Ink: Meditation 10.4.18

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Dear Henry,

Today is National Taco day. Tacos are one of my favorite foods. It is a great day, there are tacos everywhere.
xoxo a.d.

A Book to Read and Love: Atonement - Ian McEwan - Summary and Review

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A short summary of Atonement: I am sorry I ruined your lives, I made a mistake.

Questions to ponder while reading Atonement: Have you ever misread a situation?
Would you like to re-write history?
My thoughts about Atonement:
Think before you speak.
What you think and what really happened could be two different things.
Sometimes there is no apology.

A Meditation In Ink: Meditation 10.3.18

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Dear Henry, 

I am still reading through a bunch of works about the Antebellum period and currently reading about the Peabody sisters.   
They were incredibly accomplished, literate women, who did things like learning Greek for fun.
For fun, I play Tetris.
xoxo a.d.

A Fancy List of Five: Creepy Classics - A Book List

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The Body Snatchers by Jack Finney - Aliens take over the population of Mill Valley
The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin - Marriage in the Suburbs
Pet Sematary by Stephen King - What is put in the ground doesn't always stay in the ground.
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson - Am I crazy or is this house haunted?
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley - Science reanimates lives, it goes awry.

A Meditation in Ink: Meditation 10.2.18

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Dear Henry,

I just realized I haven't been to at all this year (not even a lake beach).  I am thinking it is time to schedule a vacation.....

xoxo a.d.

A Book to Read and Love: The Body Snatchers - Jack Finney - Summary and Review

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A short summary of The Body Snatchers: Who's your daddy?

Questions to ponder while reading The Body Snatchers: Should "the girls" always make the sandwiches?
Have you checked out your basement lately?
My thoughts about The Body Snatchers: An oldy but goody.
Totally scary.
Must read horror.


A Meditation in Ink: Meditation 10.1.18

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Dear Henry,

Like the Beatles song - "I read the news today. Oh Boy."

It is a circus out there.

xoxo a.d.

A Book to Read and Love: Pierre et Jean - Guy de Maupassant - Summary and Review

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A short summary of Pierre et Jean: An inheritance reveals a mother's secret.

Questions to ponder while reading Pierre et Jean: How do you define a family?
How is your relationship with your mother?
My thoughts about Pierre et Jean: Jealousy causes so many problems.
Everyone has something to hide.
I can't judge Louise.