jessibud2 WILL read off her own shelves in 2020! - Chapter 6

Converses75 Books Challenge for 2020

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jessibud2 WILL read off her own shelves in 2020! - Chapter 6

nov. 9, 2020, 7:14 pm

I said it last month but this time, I think it's true: this is likely my final thread of the year.

Since the LT revamp, my ticker is messed up and I can't get it right so I will ignore it. Last thread, it said both 6 books read and 20 books read (or something like that), neither of which is even close to accurate. It was fine before the revamp but I have been keeping track, myself, and I am up to #71, so far, with my goal being 85. I may or may not make my goal but no matter, whatever.

Editat: nov. 10, 2020, 7:30 am

Editat: nov. 9, 2020, 7:24 pm

I am in Canada. It is November. The world is currently upside down on so many levels that this next bit shouldn't be any more unusual than anything else that has happened so far in 2020, but wow, it IS!!

And now, the weather: Last Sunday, Nov. 1, we had our first snow. On Monday, the 2nd, I had an appointment to get my snow tires put on my car. Tuesday, the temperature suddenly warmed a bit, the snow melted and we had the most spectacular sunset:

I took several shots of this as the sun set quickly but I think this is the best of the bunch. This was also the beginning of what I have come to call August in November. Over the rest of last week, through the weekend and into tomorrow, Toronto has broken several longstanding temperature records for these dates. We have been on or above 20C (68F). Unbelievable for November.

On Saturday, my friend and I went to the area of town known as The Beach. It's a gorgeous place to walk. We walked the boardwalk with many others, including many dogs out for a stroll, while cyclists rode on the bike paths and crazy people in bathing suits played volleyball on the beach sand. The kites were out, the sun was shining, and after a good long 2+ hour hike, we sat and ate gelato.

Editat: nov. 10, 2020, 7:33 am

We walked all around to the other side of the lake (Lake Ontario), known as Ashbridge's Bay. Fewer people, less activity but greater beauty:

Editat: nov. 9, 2020, 8:09 pm

One more. It was actually a nicer pic but I had to crop it because LT said it was too big:

Editat: nov. 9, 2020, 8:20 pm

We apparently have one more day of this weather and then November begins to return.

I am currently reading Kamala Harris's memoir, The Truths We Hold. Admittedly, I haven't been reading much this past week. I saw this lovely article about her today:

I have Jill Biden's memoir lined up next: Where the Light Enters, which I will get to next.

I watched Jeopardy tonight, and was touched by the executive producer's opening comments. He was quite emotional and I thought he might lose it, but it was ok. He said that the next 35 pre-taped shows will proceed as planned, which was Alex's wish. No word yet of what will come after that but I guess we will have to wait and see. There was a lot of coverage and many tributes to Alex Trebek all day today on CBC radio, where he first got his start. If I were not opposed to hopping on public transit these days, I would have gone downtown to pay my respects at his square on the Walk Of Fame. But I did not.

Editat: nov. 9, 2020, 7:36 pm

Lovely pictures especially:

Ontario Skylight

The caramelised sky of twilight.
Burnished and honeyed;
An encroaching darkness
With the light of the day retiring behind.

Happy new thread, Shelley.

nov. 9, 2020, 8:32 pm

>7 PaulCranswick: - Thank you, Paul. That is lovely. Perfect for >3 jessibud2:.

nov. 9, 2020, 8:43 pm

Happy new thread!

nov. 9, 2020, 9:02 pm

Happy new thread. Great pictures!

nov. 10, 2020, 6:01 am

Beautiful photos Shelley.

nov. 10, 2020, 7:31 am

Thank you, Jim, Anita, and Caroline.

nov. 10, 2020, 8:02 am

Happy new thread, Shelley!

Thank for sharing those lovely pictures, the colors of the sunset are beautiful.
We also have unusual warm weather, records were broken in the last two weeks. It makes me more worried about the climate...

nov. 10, 2020, 8:04 am

Happy New Thread, Shelley. Love the kitty and beach photos. Have the juncos returned? They have here.

nov. 10, 2020, 9:01 am

Happy new one, Shelley, and thank you for sharing the photos!

nov. 10, 2020, 9:30 am

Hi Shelley, and happy new thread!

>2 jessibud2: Very handsome boys.

>3 jessibud2: - >5 jessibud2: Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

nov. 10, 2020, 9:33 am

Hi Shelley, the threads are really hopping aren't they? I'm way behind, having saturated myself with too much online activity last week.

I'm reading a lengthy (592-p) novel by Tana French (In the Woods) and have to really put in some fast reading to get it finished before its due date. I am *not* a fast reader, either. I let this book linger a bit too long before I got started.

Your Ashbridge's Bay photos are lovely. And yeah, my husband told me not to shovel snow, so my back is not stressed by moving the results of the 2-day blizzard we had.

nov. 10, 2020, 12:24 pm

>13 FAMeulstee: - I know, Anita, I am feeling the same way. It's hard to complain about such a wonderful, unexpected *gift* in November, but you and I are not alone in worrying about what this means for winter, and for climate in general. Our meteorologists (weather forecasters) on tv and radio have been talking about this, too.

nov. 10, 2020, 12:26 pm

>14 msf59: - I took my feeder in a week or so ago, in a desperate attempt to rid myself of the growing number of pigeons who keep coming. Thing is, they are not coming to the feeder, per se, just to the lawn. Since there is no feeder, I haven't seen any so I may try again. But of course, no feeder= no other birds and I can't tell you how sad this makes me. I haven't seen any juncos but before I took in the feeder, I had a lot of downy woodpeckers, house finches, chickadees and sparrows. Also a few blue jays.


nov. 10, 2020, 12:33 pm

>15 katiekrug:, >16 karenmarie: - Thanks, Katie and Karen. I am going through some rough times at the moment with the boys. Theo is a really bully toward Owen and though Owen has made some progress and allows me to pet him a tiny bit, he drew blood the other day when he swiped at me, and, in addition to that, I am beginning to have my suspicions that he may be deaf, or hearing impaired. Which might account for why he startles so easily and often. I really need to get him to my vet for a thorough checkup (he also scratches himself a lot, and there is no way I will be able to trim his nails, and that needs to be done as well). I know I will have to use my long oven mitts to get him into a cat carrier and they may even need to sedate him to do the check up and everything else properly. It is stressful, probably more for me than for him (he doesn't know what's coming; I do), but I think it's time. It's 5 and a half weeks since he's with me. Sigh...

nov. 10, 2020, 12:35 pm

>17 SandyAMcPherson: - Hi Sandy. I actually love to shovel, especially at night. I live in townhouse so really only have my own short walk and driveway. I find it peaceful and soothing and I know how to do it to protect my back. But last year, I did pull something in my back, for the first time in my life of shovelling. Maybe I am just getting old....:-O

nov. 10, 2020, 3:11 pm

Hi Shelley! A world of 20C/68° year-round would be like heaven to me. Lovely photeaux up top.

Happy new thread.

nov. 10, 2020, 3:41 pm

OMG. We have reached 24C this afternoon!! 24.1, to be precise.

It all ends tonight but this is insane! I am only inside now between outside jaunts!


nov. 10, 2020, 3:42 pm

Hi Shelley my dear, Happy new thread and i just love your thread topper photos, it looks absolutely lovely where you live dear friend/

nov. 10, 2020, 5:18 pm

>24 johnsimpson: - Hi John. We have been able to enjoy this weather for a full week. It ends tonight but Toronto does have a lot of parks and green space. The boardwalk down by the lake is special in its own way.

Editat: nov. 10, 2020, 11:18 pm

Hi Shelley!

Happy new thread!

That sunset is spectacular, but my favorite picture so far on this thread is the one of the Beach where I once went walking with YOU, Barbara and Jose! That seems like decades ago. I haven't seen Barbara for eight months, although we text almost nightly.

I strongly suspect you might be right about Owen and possible hearing problems. I have the same issue with people approaching me that I cannot hear. We can't help but startle. Once at work, I was approached from behind by a nurse who startled me because I did not know he was there. I screamed, and he jumped back and knocked over the whole wall of the cubby. It was funny, but not funny. The best way to deal with this would be to approach Owen from the front if possible. If you don't know where he is, try stomping on the floor, talking very loudly, or knocking as you look for him. I got this nurse to always knock on my cubby wall from then on before approaching me from behind (as I was always sitting looking down at papers on my desk or at a computer screen). That saved my cubby wall from further collapse (and me from fainting or having a heart attack!). :D

nov. 11, 2020, 1:24 am

Happy new thread, Shelley. Not sure if you saw my post on your last thread. Love the pictures.

nov. 11, 2020, 6:55 am

Hi Shelley! Happy new thread. Lovely pictures up there, and a spectacular sunset!

Owen is really a beautiful cat. It is stressful to have to take a cat to the vet, isn't it? I hope you manage it OK.

I used to have two cats as well, big brother and his little sister. Big brother liked to play rough, and they did a lot of play fighting. I sometimes worried that she was bullied by him, but they used to sleep together curled up in one basket. So I don't know how serious this was. He didn't really hurt her, but he did pounce on her a lot. Maybe you could ask the vet about it?

nov. 11, 2020, 7:35 am

>26 SqueakyChu: - Hi Madeline. Yes, the Beach is a great place to walk. And I will make the call to the vet later today. I think Owen is mostly startled by Theo. I don't think I ever come up from behind him as he mostly is on his chair under the table and I always kneel down to talk to him and try to reach out a hand. Or he is on my bed or on the landing between the upstairs and the kitchen level so he can always see me coming. Anyhow, things will work themselves out eventually. I just hate that he has to go through this.

>27 Familyhistorian: - Hi Meg. Thanks, I think I must have missed you last thread, sorry about that.

>28 EllaTim: - Hi Ella. My first 2 cats were littermates and I had them at a very young age. That play fighting was common so I never had this type of problem. My previous 2 cats Mia and Lexi, though unrelated and adopted from the Humane Society shelter, simply never displayed these problems. It took them exactly one week to overcome suspicion of one another and then they were bonded. But these 2, well, it's a new challenge. I already love them both so somehow, we will get through this but it isn't easy so far.

nov. 11, 2020, 8:37 am

Today is Remembrance Day here in Canada. I remember learning this poem by rote when I was in school, though today, if pressed, I could only recite the first few lines from memory. Here it is, as recited by the inimitable Leonard Cohen:

This year will be different, pretty much everything virtual, thanks again to covid.

nov. 12, 2020, 9:21 am

Hi Shelley!

>20 jessibud2: I’m sorry about the fur boy issues, especially Theo bullying Owen. Getting Owen to the vet may be stressful – I’m looking at Wash’s first vet visit since I adopted him in December last year with trepidation – but it would be good to have him checked out by the vet. Good luck. Any chance of keeping them separated at least part of the day with their own boxes, food, and water? Just a thought.

nov. 12, 2020, 9:38 am

>31 karenmarie: - No chance of that, Karen. My townhouse is very open concept. The only doors are to the bedrooms and bathrooms. The behaviour is still not fun but lo and behold, just now, I got up and went to get something in my bedroom, and for the first time EVER, I saw them BOTH on my bed, snoozing, Owen on the folded blanket at the foot of the bed, and Theo, stretched out taking up the rest of the bed (as he loves to do). I was thrilled!! So, maybe there is hope,, maybe we are turning a corner.

I am still convinced that Owen may be deaf but that doesn't change anything, really. Obviously, I can't appeal to Theo to be kinder, so I just have to continue to monitor things. I haven't called the vet yet, but I will, at some point today, if just to talk to her and get her feedback. I agree that getting Owen to her office may not be easy and may not be worth the stress for him but we'll see.

nov. 12, 2020, 9:38 am

S'ha suprimit aquest usuari en ser considerat brossa.

nov. 12, 2020, 10:26 am

All caught up with you, Shelley. I loved the photos on this and your previous thread, and your sunset photo is stunning. I am sorry for your loss of Lexi - she was so beautiful and sounds like a sweetheart. I am happy that you have adopted the boys - they are adorable. I hope things settle down soon for you - finding them both on the bed together is a good sign, I am thinking.

nov. 13, 2020, 9:37 am

Yesterday, I watched another great doc. It was unlike anything I expected it to be and it was terrific. It was about Jimmy Carter and is called Jimmy Carter - Rock and Roll President (scroll twice to the right for the trailer). Honestly, at that time, I wasn't aware enough of politics, to be knowledgeable of much of what was going on. I do remember the hostage taking in Iran, of course, but I was fairly ignorant of pretty much everything else.

I had no idea he was so into music, and how much music and musicians played a role in his campaign and presidency. They said he used music as an ambassador and I think it's true. He was (is) such a decent human being and that has been so sorely missing in recent years. There are TONS of cameo appearances by so many. I will just name a few here: Allman Bros, Willie Nelson, Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks, Paul Simon, Rosanne Cash, Ray Charles, Aretha, many jazz greats, and brief sightings of John & Yoko, Lorne Greene, Pavarotti, Muddy Waters, Muhammed Ali, Diana Ross, and on and on and on. For that alone, the film was fantastic but some of his speeches downright gave me the chills, especially given the surreal warped reality we are currently living in. In one of his speeches when he was campaigning, he said (I am paraphrasing), "We have lost some precious things that have historically bound our people together. We have been hurt, and disillusioned, there has been a failure of leadership...we want truth again, we want faith again, we want to be proud again....this is a time for healing, a time for the people to run the government and not the other way around!".. And in his acceptance speech after being sworn in as president, the first words out of his mouth were to thank his predecessor.

(another advantage of streaming online is that I could stop and start the film to jot down notes! :-)

When Paul Simon performed, he dedicated his song, American Tune to Carter. I love this song.


And I just got a notice from my library that the new Obama book, A Promised Land is on its way to me! I thought it wasn't being released until next week but I am not arguing!

nov. 14, 2020, 10:02 am

>35 jessibud2: I think Barack's memoir well-worth waiting for

~ In this queue, yes?

Editat: nov. 14, 2020, 10:28 am

>36 SandyAMcPherson: - I just checked and our library system says it has 378 copies of the book (which isn't supposed to be released until Nov. 17, I thought), and over 400 requests for copies. I was lucky and was only #20 in line when I placed my hold request. So that is why I think the notice that it is *in transit* to my branch for me, shows on my account. It could still be awhile until it actually tells me it's ready to be picked up.

I am hoping to finish Kamala Harris's book this weekend.

Editat: nov. 14, 2020, 10:28 am

Miracle of miracles! The last 48 hours have been amazing. For the first time in the 6 weeks (today!) since I have brought the boys home, Owen is relaxing. He has spent a large part of his time on my bed, WITH Theo! He is letting me pat him a lot more (though I do so guardedly, and for short bits of time as I still value having 2 hands). Look!

Of course, Theo is still being Theo, and chases Owen when he can but he is content to hang off the edge of the bed and just chill and they have even been there as I fall asleep (though not when I wake up).

nov. 14, 2020, 12:03 pm

Great photos, Shelley! So great that they are settling in. And I love how Theo is hanging off the bed! Birdy used to fall asleep like that all the time - she would be talking non stop and full of energy all day long and then just drop right off as she got into bed, sometimes with one foot still on the floor.

nov. 14, 2020, 1:25 pm

>39 Crazymamie: - He actually does that a lot! It's pretty funny. And his tail is so long, too!

nov. 15, 2020, 12:42 am

>35 jessibud2: What a wonderful performance by Paul Simon and a demonstration of a songwriter at the very peak of his powers:

And I dreamed I was dying
And my soul rose unexpectedly
And looking back down at me
Smiled reassuringly.

Wonderful stuff.

nov. 15, 2020, 9:31 am

Hi Shelley!

>32 jessibud2: So good to read that both boys were snoozing on the bed. Obviously, I can't appeal to Theo to be kinder, I’ve always wished for 5 minutes with each of my kitties, where I spoke kitty or they spoke English, to ask a few questions and establish a few rules on both sides. Of course with your possibly deaf boy a miraculous understanding of kitty sign language by both of you would be necessary.

>38 jessibud2: Excellent photos. Yay for détente on the bed.

nov. 15, 2020, 10:40 am

>41 PaulCranswick: - Paul Simon remains my #1 favourite singer-songwriter, Paul. I love his voice, too. So clear, and pure.

>42 karenmarie: - Hi Karen. Owen continues to favour my bed during the day and evening, as opposed to his *safe chair* under the dining room table. He was even there when I woke up this morning. Theo, however, has been a madman this morning, tearing around the house like crazy. I swear, I am exhausted just watching him. I do hope this kitten energy wears off soon. Either none of my previous cats were this nuts, or I simply don't remember. Either way, it's a bit much, at times. I keep telling him how lucky he is that he's so cute....

I did write an email to the woman who runs the cat shelter, asking for any other info she might be able to provide, how long Owen had been there before I adopted him, if she remembers where he was picked up, under what circumstances, if she knows if he ever had any ear infections, anything that might give me a clue as to whether his hearing issues are congenital or acquired. No word back yet. I suppose, in the big picture, it doesn't matter, but it would be helpful to know, I suppose.

nov. 15, 2020, 10:41 am

Did anyone (in the US or Canada) watch CBS Sunday Morning this morning? Barack Obama was on, talking about the new book and his reflections on the last 4 years and current situation. He is also going to be interviewed on 60 Minutes tonight. I love that man. I can't wait for his book to arrive for me at my library! It's *in transit*.

Editat: nov. 15, 2020, 11:26 am

I've just pre-ordered A Promised Land.

>43 jessibud2: Our two gingers run around like maniacs, usually early evening. Sometimes they knock Bill's drink over, sometimes they are just amusing. Then they conk out, one on the sofa and one on the chair, although that will change as we start using the propane stove in the living room more often. There's already a blanket down there waiting for them...

nov. 15, 2020, 12:24 pm

>45 karenmarie: - Theo is zonked out on the chair next to me now. I hope he stays that way for awhile. I'm exhausted, just from watching him!

I think my puzzle days from covid may be on hold for the foreseeable future....;-)

I will purchase Obama's book too but I kind of wanted to wait for the soft cover to come out. I put a hold on the hard copy from the library as well as the audiobook because I was hoping they'd arrive around the same time and I could listen to him read it to me while I followed along. But I will buy it at some point.

nov. 15, 2020, 2:00 pm

>38 jessibud2: Great photos Shelley. Good friendships take time. I'm sure they will be good buddies going forward.

>36 SandyAMcPherson: My copy of the Obama autobiography is due to land on Tuesday, though I'll not get to it till next month.

nov. 15, 2020, 6:25 pm

Shelley, I just cracked up at a post on your prior thread about Theo and Owen sleeping under your bed and waking you up with a loud sneeze -- and the snoring. LOL. Carson is a bit of a sneezer, as well.

>38 jessibud2: That is very good news and those two boys are adorable. Of course, since my Carson of the substantial tummy is a ginger, I love the pics of Theo although they are both truly adorable. I'm glad Owen seems to be relaxing a bit.... It does take time. We've had Carson for a bit over six months now and while he joined the family after three weeks, he is still relaxing more, getting more settled in and more attached. Earlier today he was meowing and meowing (begging) and I couldn't figure out what he wanted. He had food. I finally sat down and put a blanket on my lap and he was up here and curled up and purring so fast it made my head spin. That seems to be what he wanted!

Editat: nov. 16, 2020, 10:02 am

>47 Caroline_McElwee: - Hi Caroline. I am hoping they become good friends. When I brought Mia and Lexi home from the Humane Society, they were unrelated, 2 and 3 years old. It took exactly one week before the hissing stopped and they were grooming each other. I guess they spoiled me.

>48 EBT1002: - Hi Ellen. They are coming along. More in the last few days but there is still enough chasing and bullying that we are definitely not there yet. But it's looking and for me, feeling, better than last week at this time. So there is that! Theo is Mr. Personality and is also very photogenic. So is Owen but he is harder to catch a good shot of. So far.

nov. 15, 2020, 6:53 pm

I watched another wonderful documentary film this afternoon, about the late Dr. Oliver Sacks. Scroll twice to the right to see the trailer,:

Oliver Sacks - His Own Life

Here is the official blurb:
In 2015, shortly after learning that he only had a few months to live, legendary neurologist and storyteller Oliver Sacks sat down with filmmaker Ric Burns for a series of filmed interviews. With astonishing candor and clear-sightedness, he spoke of his life and work, his dreams and fears, his abiding sense of wonder at the natural world, and the place of human beings within it. Drawing on these riveting reflections, along with interviews with family, colleagues and friends, Oliver Sacks: His Own Life is a deeply illuminating biography, as well as an exploration of the science of consciousness and meditation on the deep and intimate relationship between art, science, and storytelling.


One of the (many) people who spoke in this film was Dr. Atul Gawande. I stopped the film a couple of times to jot down what he said because he summed it up really well. He said that he (Gawande) was still in med school when he first read Oliver Sacks and it was like a revelation to him. He said Sacks showed him that there is truth and knowledge and important things about the human experience that you just don't get from medical textbooks. That there are truths to be found by going deeply into people's lives and seeing what happens to them and how it unfolds over time. Gawande said that Sacks is the most important person in showing what a doctor should be, what a good doctor is.

I just heard that Joe Biden has appointed Atul Gawande to his team of medical advisors so seeing him in this film was especially timely and wonderful. I have always loved his writing, too.

And the director of this documentary, Ric Burns, is the brother of Ken Burns. Just a bit of interesting trivia....

nov. 15, 2020, 8:26 pm

Oh, your kitties are so cute! It sounds like they are getting themselves sorted.

Editat: nov. 15, 2020, 8:28 pm

>50 jessibud2: Shelley, did you know that Oliver Sacks is (somehow--not sure how) related to Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the former Chief Rabbi of the UK, who died last week?

I read Oliver Sacks' last book Gratitude, which was very powerful. I've read one or two books by Rabbi Sacks, and want to get his latest book Morality: Restoring The Common Good In Divided Times, which just came within the past year.

nov. 15, 2020, 9:02 pm

>51 banjo123: - Hi Rhonda. Thank you. They are cute, despite the bumps on the road these last few weeks. :-)

>52 kac522: - I am not familiar with the rabbi, Kathy, but he may be a cousin. Hmmm, I just googled to see if I could find out and it appears they are not related. But who knows.

I also read Gratitude as well as several other titles of his though I still have several unread ones on my shelves.

nov. 16, 2020, 12:41 am

>53 jessibud2: I think you are right, Shelley. I don't know where I read it, but it was some years ago, and it was obviously incorrect. Live and learn! Oliver does have a nephew, Jonathan Sacks, who wrote this piece, but he's not identified as the rabbi:

Plus Oliver had a brother David, and Rabbi Sacks' father was named Louis David. Sheesh.

nov. 16, 2020, 10:06 am

>54 kac522: - Thanks for that link, Kathy. It's a lovely piece. I think I remember seeing Oliver's nephew Jonathan's name in the credits so he may have been in the film for a short bit, but there were so many that I couldn't say for sure. The film is almost a full 2 hours long so I don't think I'd go back and watch the whole just to find out (we have 48 hours from the time we first watch it to watch it again, when we click to start streaming). I have several more docs lined up so there is that. Hard to sit for so long!

Editat: nov. 18, 2020, 4:55 pm

Well, I have developed a small patch of ringworm on my arm. It's itchy as hell but I know what it is and yesterday I went to the pharmacy and got some anti-fungal cream and already today, it's feeling better, not quite so itchy. The only way I could have contracted this is from the cats. And likely, Owen. So since he has mellowed considerably over the past week, I called the vet and made an appointment for this morning.

Well, that didn't go well. I started at 8:30 by giving him some of his favourite crunchies. I patted him. I made a little path, Hansel & Gretel style, from his bowl to the carrier. He inched closer, sniffed and nibbled a few but when I tried to reach for him, he was on to me and escaped. I waited, tried again. I even put his actual bowl into the back of the carrier and made sure he watched me putting more crunchy into it.

No chance. Meantime, it didn't help that, despite putting food in Theo's bowl, to make sure he kept away, I had to keep pushing Theo away because HE wanted to get into the carrier. Geez.

In the end, I called the vet and cancelled. It wasn't going to happen today and the last thing I wanted was to re-traumatize Owen.

A Gabapenten wasted (it's a capsule that I empty and mix into his food 2 hours before; it's supposed to calm him). It never really worked for Lexi and clearly, not for Owen, either.

And, for the first time in my life, I had to work hard to get Theo OUT of the damn carrier. Did you ever hear of a cat who doesn't want to come out of a carrier?

The gal at the vet's office told me she would squeeze me in next week if I have any more success. Sigh...


Hmm, I just had a thought. Next time I try, I think I will get Theo into a carrier first and then shut the door. Then I will try for Owen.

nov. 18, 2020, 6:45 pm

>56 jessibud2: Sorry to read you didn't manage to get Owen to the vet, Shelley. I hope you have more luck next week.
I have never had a cat that wouldn't come out of a carrier, except of course at the vet.

nov. 18, 2020, 8:09 pm

>56 jessibud2: Sorry to hear about the ringworm. Thankfully, the vet can see Owen soon-ish.

nov. 19, 2020, 7:06 am

>57 FAMeulstee: - No kidding! That was exactly what I was thinking, Anita! Theo sure is a character!

>58 figsfromthistle: - Hi, Anita. Hopefully, next week...

Editat: nov. 19, 2020, 7:38 am

So, on Tuesday, I somehow managed to put a small tear in my left knee (meniscus). I felt the exact moment it happened. I was putting the bins out for collection early in the morning. It was also yard waste collection day so I bent down to cut some dead foliage off the potted mum plant that was ready to go. Trying to protect my lower back, I didn't bend from the waist, I bent my knees. I must have turned just a bit awkwardly and boom! It happened. I can walk but bending the knee is not easy. I was at physio yesterday afternoon and will be back there again soon.

2020 - the year that keeps on giving...

nov. 19, 2020, 7:21 am

>60 jessibud2: oh no Shelley, that sucks. Hope it mends quickly.

nov. 19, 2020, 10:44 am

Any chance the vet could come to you and Owen?

nov. 19, 2020, 3:00 pm

>60 jessibud2: Oh NO!! Ringworm's annoying, but a torn meniscus is Very Very Annoying!


Editat: nov. 20, 2020, 9:14 am

>61 Caroline_McElwee: - Thanks, Caroline. Me too!

>62 m.belljackson: - Not a chance, Marianne. For one thing, they are not doing house calls during covid. And even if they did, she would never be able to catch Owen. He is fast and once under the bed, forget it. I will get him there, sooner or later. Just seems like it may be later...

>63 richardderus: - The cream is doing its job, Richard and there is no itch left with the ringworm. But I will keep using it until it is no longer visible. And for the knee, I am babying it. Ice, heat, rest, pain killers. I even bought some supplements for cartilage and joint pain. I'm just a big baby when it comes to pain. My pain threshold is pretty low....

nov. 19, 2020, 6:07 pm

Oh, dear! Well, 2020 is almost over! Hope that your knee heals soon and the ringworm goes away.

nov. 19, 2020, 10:04 pm

Shelley...ouch, ouch, ouch. I am sorry that so many things are happening back/back.

Life just does not seem fair at times! I'm so sorry that you are experiencing way too much in such a short period of time.

nov. 20, 2020, 8:59 am

Hi Shelley!

>46 jessibud2: My Covid puzzle days – one puzzle attempted, one puzzle failed – worked fine with the new kitties because I had the puzzle on a card table and kept it under a large towel weighted down with books when I wasn’t trying to work on it. Zoe even slept on the books occasionally. Use heavy books. After 3 months of staring at the card table and NOT working on the puzzle, I put the pieces back in the box, put the card table back in its slot next to the bureau, and put the towel in the laundry. Nevermore.

The Promised Land arrived yesterday safe and sound – I’m pretty scatty right now between pandemic worry and a woefully-daughterless Thanksgiving to look forward to, so I don’t know when I’ll attempt it.

>56 jessibud2: I’m sorry the ringworm and about the aborted vet visit. I was going to suggest gabapentin but you were way ahead of me. I’m going to have to use gabapentin for Wash’s first visit to the vet, just need to work it out with the vet and then schedule the appt. I still have gabapentin from Zoe's prescription. I like your idea of getting Theo out of the way first in another carrier. Good luck!

>60 jessibud2: Yikes. You’re right – 2020 just keeps on giving in oh, so many bad ways. I hope your regimen of ice, heat, rest, pain killers and supplements for cartilage and joint pain works.

Editat: nov. 20, 2020, 9:33 am

Thanks, Cyrel and Linda.

Karen, I brought home only one of the library books yesterday, When Stars Are Scattered, a bb from Joe, I think. It's a graphic novel format of a memoir by an amazing young man from Somalia who lived in a refugee camp for years and years, caring for his disabled brother, before being allowed to emigrate to the USA. It is quite riveting and beautifully done. I am sure I will finish it today and then, when I return it, I will bring home the Obama book. I will never get through the 700+ pages in the 3 weeks I have it for (and am certain there are too many waiting for it to be allowed to be renewed) but that's ok.

As for your puzzle plan, that would never work around here. Theo practically salivates waiting for the opportunity to burrow under anything that smacks of *don't go there*. I can't even make my bed in the morning without him trying to sabotage my efforts.

In fact, I am feeling a bit of despair these days because of Theo. He waits with twitching bum for Owen and then either pounces or chases him (or both), grabbing poor Owen at the neck. I don't think he does any damage but Owen screeches and if I had any windows open, I'm sure any passerby would think I was skinning them. It's awful. Then Owen runs under the bed, Theo follows and all is calm for awhile. I just don't know what to do about it. Yet, at other times, they can spend all afternoon on my bed, just chilling out and snoozing. Lexi and Mia were also unrelated kitties who I brought home from a shelter at the same time and all it took was one week for them to adapt to one another and start grooming each other. The 2 I had before them were littermates so that was never an issue. Tomorrow will be 7 weeks since I brought these 2 home and while it may not be getting worse, it sure doesn't seem to be getting better. It's exhausting me.

nov. 20, 2020, 1:02 pm

Oh Shelley, it sure sound like you have some troubles right now and hope that you will be feeling better soon and sure hope those kittens start behaving. It sounds exhausting! Hope the knee mends soon and your arm too.

I have been asked to join my former bookclub mates as they are meeting by zoom these days which could include me far away. So we are reading a Gerald Durrell book My Family and Other Animals which I have always meant to read. Fun for me!

nov. 20, 2020, 2:16 pm

Hi Mary. Thanks for the sympathy. Theo will turn one in January. That means he will officially no longer be a kitten then. I will expect him to behave like a big boy so I will just have to suck it up and be patient till then. I am probably the one most freaked out by it all as Owen, despite the screeches and the chases, has not retreated to his safe chair. So, there is that.

Well, we are having another unexpectedly warm day here. I'd go for a long walk, if I could walk more easily so instead, I drove over to Costco to pick up a prescription and unintentionally (ahem) walked past the aisle with the books. I had no intention AT ALL of buying the Obama book until it came out in paperback. But there it was, nearly half the cover price. I caved. I also caved and bought another book, too, Michael J. Fox's new memoir, No Time Like the Future - An Optimist Considers Mortality. I have read all his other books and I love this guy. Anyhow, this was just the pick-me-up I needed and someone at the library will be happy when I cancel my hold on the Obama book.

nov. 20, 2020, 6:38 pm

Well, Toronto (and another nearby region) is officially in lockdown again, starting Monday, for a month. The announcement came this afternoon. It will be hard, and possibly a death knell for small businesses, but it had to happen and, in my humble opinion, maybe if our premier had done this a week or 2 ago, instead of just hinting and threatening since then, we would not be at this point now. Some hospitals are already at or over capacity, meaning that so many surgeries have been cancelled (including for things such as cancer) because there just isn't the staffing to care for the covid cases that keep coming in. Our numbers are over the top and there aren't enough beds to accommodate them. It's terrifying and outrageous. I will go out in the morning to top up whatever stock I might need (mostly milk, bread, cat food and supplies), hopefully before the crowds begin. I have enough tp, and though there are assurances that supplies are plentiful and no need for hoarding, you know how people are; they will hoard. Sigh... here we go again....

Why are the numbers out of control? Hard to know exactly but for sure it's at least partly because there are people who simply refuse to do what is asked of them, no matter how simple it is: wear a mask, keep human contact to a minimum, small groups. How difficult is that??? And thanks to the idiots who think this doesn't apply to them, we all suffer. Grrr

nov. 20, 2020, 7:59 pm

I agree- there are people out there who don't wear masks and sometimes staff in stores are afraid to tell them to do so- this has been observed by some of my friends recently. This will be a good to sit down with some really big books that I have ( A Suitable Boy at 1400 pages)

nov. 20, 2020, 9:27 pm

>72 torontoc: sometimes staff in stores are afraid to tell them to do so

It has been observed that the staff expected to address the people not obeying the health mandates are those who are:
~the lowest paid (cashiers, shelf-stocking, etc.)
~ the youngest and least likely to confront older people
~ new employees (the most vulnerable to lay offs and likely with little experience)

Civil service office staff in our city (who weren't wearing masks recently) said "It's only a suggestion".

In my view, why would the infection NOT be rampant?

nov. 21, 2020, 8:06 am

Here is where we are at with the lockdown, starting Monday. Not all of it makes sense to me, but whatever.

I don't go to too many places, Sandy and so far, I have been lucky in that I haven't personally witnessed many blatant violations. Even the few times I have been to the mall, it has felt relatively empty and people seemed to be adhering to the arrows and standing circles on the floors while waiting in lines. That said, at the very beginning of covid, when mask were just beginning to be mandatory indoors, say, around April or May, I was shopping for groceries once, and I remember noticing 2 supermarket staff not wearing masks. I mentioned this to a cashier and she was rather blase about it. I paid, then went to the service desk and asked why the rule was not being enforced. I was told that they were probably on a break. I said if they were on a break they should be outside. And that this wasn't fair to everyone else. Maybe they actually listened to me because I never saw that again. Or maybe the rules just got stricter, I can't remember. But it is just as likely that what you said was happening, a reluctance on the part of any staff to police the others.

nov. 21, 2020, 12:21 pm

Here, in tiny Token Creek, Wisconsin,
the Grocery Delivery,
as well as United Parcel and Fed Ex and substitute mail delivery people
are all NOT wearing masks. Calls to companies have yielded no followup.

The Governor issued a Masks in Public order last week.

Why many people want to take a chance on killing themselves or others is a mystery.

nov. 21, 2020, 3:20 pm

Maybe people need to start reporting them, maybe on social media or the local tv station. What about to the governor's office? Over and over again. If the public order has been issued, and they are ignoring it, why aren't they being fined? I swear, people can be just so stupid. I know you can't legislate intelligence but one can try....

nov. 21, 2020, 3:26 pm

I'm sad for the people whose livelihoods are under threat, but more angry because they aren't being bailed out like "big business" is.

nov. 21, 2020, 3:40 pm

>77 richardderus: - So true, Richard. And I had another thought, too. Wouldn't it be helpful (not to mention, a tad more fair) if the big box, and big business stores were made to close during a lockdown, allowing the small independent and mom and pop shops to remain open and recoup some of the immeasurable losses they have suffered. The big ones had made a killing over the last few months and would likely not even feel a pinch, while the smaller ones, well, many won't survive.

Editat: nov. 22, 2020, 12:10 pm

I was going to call this a quick review but I do tend to go on sometimes, so maybe *quick* isn't the right word. In any case, here we go:

When Stars Are Scattered by Omar Mohamed and Victoria Jamieson
This remarkable memoir in graphic novel form tells the story of Omar, a Somali boy, and his younger disabled brother Hassan. They had to flee Somalia during the war when Omar was only 4 years old. Separated from their mother, they made it to Kenya and spent the next 13 or 14 years or so in a refugee camp, under the care of a wonderful woman who became their surrogate mother. Omar tells of his devotion to caring for and protecting his brother, his desire to go to school and some of the harsh realities of life in the refugee camp. The books also chronicles his life as he prepares to be resettled in the United States. I was mesmerized by his story, by his loyalties, his dreams and his determination. I loved that there was an afterward that brought the reader up to date with Omar's life. He has become a strong, and wonderful man, a social worker who devotes his life to helping refugees, and who better to walk the walk. I believe this was a bb from Joe (or someone else here) and I highly recommend it.


The Truths We Hold - Kamala Harris

This woman is the real deal. She is so uniquely and perfectly qualified to step into the role that awaits her in January. My goodness, what a life and what an accomplished life! She is intelligent, experienced, compassionate, brave and has a sharp focus, cutting through all bull, mincing no words. I am going to include some quotes here, some especially prescient and timely, given where the world is right now, and especially, since she wrote this book before the word covid was part of anyone's vocabulary.

some quotes:

- (she never mentions trumpty dumpty by name, but she doesn't have to): "The words of one prominent, powerful bully have been mimicked and adopted as the rallying cry of bullies everywhere"

- (discussing when the immigrant children were separated from their parents): "This was just one of many documented cases of family separation at ports of entry. A blind six-year-old was taken from her mother. So was an eighteen-month-old. This wasn't just a tragedy; it was a violation of international law. It was a human rights abuse.....Let's call it what it is. The White House and DHS were using children - babies - as pawns in a profoundly misguided and inhumane policy to deter immigration.....For an added dose of cruelty, Sessions got rid of the right of women and children to seek asylum because of domestic abuse."

(on some of the separated mothers in detention): "She pleaded with the agents not to take her kids, but to no avail. She had to wait fifteen days to call her sons because detainees were charged 85 cents per minute for calls and she didn't have any money. She had to earn money by working at the facility. Morena had worked for seven days straight and was paid only four dollars.....It is hard to imagine anything crueler than such blatant state-sponsored child abuse...This behaviour is not just immoral; it is inhumane... A society is judged by the way it treats its children - and history will judge us harshly for this. Most Americans know that already. Most Americans are appalled and ashamed. We are better than this. And we must make right the wrongs that this administration has committed in our name."

- (on climate change): "We will also have to cope with the realities of climate change, which is as much an economic crisis as it is an environmental one.....When it was finally my turn, I focused on a subject area that seemed to surprise Pompeo and others on the committee. I wanted to know how his public position rejecting the science of climate change was going to impact his role at the top of America's intelligence apparatus.....For example, climate change will lead to droughts. Droughts will lead to famine. Famine will drive desperate people to leave their homes in search of sustenance. Massive flows of displaced people will lead to refugee crises. Refugee crises will lead to tension and instability across borders.

"Climate change also increases the risk of deadly global pandemics making their way to the United States. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention reported that between 2006 and 2016, the number of Americans infected by diseases like West Nile, Zeka and Lyme more than tripled. As temperatures continue to warm, diseases are flourishing in parts of America where they wouldn't have been able to survive in the past. In fact, the CDC has already identified nine types of infections that had never been seen before in the United States. The hard truth is that climate change is going to cause terrible instability and desperation and that will put American national security at risk."

The bold is mine. Remember, she wrote this in 2019, before covid. I am glad this book is my own copy; I marked so many passages!

Harris touches on, and takes a deep look at so much in this book, from health care, to water, to prisons, to education, and so much more. This is a worthy read at any time, to truly understand the reality we (and not just Americans) are living. But especially now, as she prepares to step into a position of true power, despite the crap she is stepping into, it is truly encouraging to know that such an inspirational, clear-eyed and intelligent woman is the one to lead the clean up.


Edited to add that Harris does talk a fair bit about her mother, her family and friends and mentors who encouraged her and inspired her along the way, growing up and beyond. She talks about her childhood, and the lessons she's learned along the way. The one omission that was rather obvious, to me anyhow, was her father. Except for the very beginning when she talks of how her parents met, and 2 photos of him, as well as 2 photos of her paternal grandparents, there was barely another mention of him throughout the entire book. I did/do wonder about him, and their relationship. I wish she had talked about him (and their relationship) more because you just know that the media (or tabloids, anyhow) will do so and who knows how much of that will be true. Oh well...

Editat: nov. 21, 2020, 6:36 pm

>79 jessibud2: I am so thrilled that Kamala Harris is to be our next vice president. I enjoyed reading your wonderful review of her book.

>74 jessibud2: I am also discouraged by the behavior or Americans as the hollday of Thanksgiving is approaching. We have simple guidelines from the CDC. People I know are not following the guidelines. These are not political extremists, by any means. These are simply people who don't want the "inconvenience" of not seeing their family on Thanksgiving. One friend is having dinner at her brother's house along with her sister-in-law and her sister-in-law's mother (who lives elsewhere). Another friend told my husband about his family (several siblings) who are traveling out of state with their children to all celebrate Thanksgiving with their mom. Now is just not the time to do this. We are not going to get over this crisis any time soon. It is just going to get worse as we try to navigate through this holiday season. People are so selfish.

nov. 21, 2020, 7:00 pm

>79 jessibud2: Well said indeed, Shelley. I have cautious hopes for this administration, if they can be prevented from heeding the orders from the banksters not to tax them or their pals.

nov. 22, 2020, 1:48 am

Sounds like you are going through a lot with ringworm, your knee and trying to get Owen to the vet, Shelley. Good luck with it all. Our news was showing people in Toronto stocking up for the lockdown. Our rules became more stringent too, limiting social gatherings to those in your own household except in the case of singles who can still see a core group of 2 or 3 but then there's something about not going outside of your own community.

nov. 22, 2020, 7:04 am

>80 SqueakyChu: - Hi Madeline. I just edited in another observation on the book that I forgot to put in yesterday. And I agree with you 100% about the selfish behaviour of people who just can't/won't seem to understand the importance of just doing the right thing right now. They are the main reason this virus is going to be around for far longer than necessary, even with a vaccine.

>81 richardderus: - Thanks, Richard. I think Biden and Harris can and will be strong. The problem I see is that there is just so damned much to fix!!

>82 Familyhistorian: - Hi Meg. Yes, it was a bit nuts yesterday, with line ups at most places I passed along the way. I have a feeling though, that it wasn't just stocking up on groceries and tp. I think people also had the idea of possibly doing a bit of Christmas shopping, as well, since most places other than essential services, will be closed as of Monday. That will certainly impact Christmas shopping and that only left yesterday and today to do it.
The ringworm is nearly gone and the knee may be on the mend because there are actually times during the day when it doesn't hurt so much. Like when I am in bed, or on the couch. But that too, shall pass...As for Owen, we shall see....

nov. 22, 2020, 11:34 am

Hi, Shelley.

Yes, I'm probably the one for When Stars Are Scattered. I'm so glad you liked it! So did my bride. It's made at least one "Best of the Year" list. So well done.

Lots of lovely photos on your thread. Good to see Theo and Owen, and the spectacular sunset, and your day of good weather on the Beach and elsewhere.

Sorry about that torn meniscus. Ouch! Is it doing better?

Editat: nov. 22, 2020, 5:44 pm

Hi Shelley!

Interesting review of The Truths we Hold.

Sorry to hear about the upcoming lockdown. It's more or less the same here, lots of people wearing masks, but still also lots refusing or being sloppy about it. We are now mainly visiting one supermarket where the rules are kept better than in other shops. And the small shops because they don't have crowds.
There has been a kind of semi-lockdown here, but the numbers are not going down fast, schools are still open, and that doesn't help. Good for the kids, but not for the virus. I'm afraid Christmas will be a problem. And I haven't seen my mother for over six months, that is too long.

Hope that knee will heal fast, but be careful, knees are tricky.

Editat: nov. 23, 2020, 11:42 am

Hi, Joe and Ella. The knee feels remarkably better today, thanks, though I still feel it. But definitely not as painful as last week. Not sure about my physio appointment later in the week. I will have to phone and see. They may not be open, because our lockdown is in effect as of today. I guess having a lot of stairs in my house is useful for one thing: exercise. I am still careful and did NOT go out to shovel the snow we got all day yesterday. Temps are going up so it is going to melt anyhow, and besides, I am not going anywhere so it doesn't matter.

There was a wonderful (and somewhat long-ish) interview on cbc radio this morning with Barack Obama, his only Canadian one. Matt Galloway, host of the national program called The Current, interviewed him (Matt, like Barack, is of mixed race parentage, though I doubt Obama knew that, nor does it matter). When Matt asked him what he missed about his former gig, I LOVED his answer. He said, the mental challenge of solving really difficult problems. SO MUCH was UNsaid in that statement, ie, that the current resident is not only NOT solving any problems but he is incapable of any *mental challenge* that involves words of more than 2 syllables, not to mention *wanting* to actually put in the work. Eek. Anyhow, it was a terrific interview.

Here is the link. Worth the listen:

Oh, and I actually teared up at the musical surprise near the end!

nov. 23, 2020, 11:49 am

Good that your knee is healing well - as for cats,
there's a new online ad for pet "Calming Beds."

nov. 25, 2020, 10:01 am

And now for something completely different (well, maybe not, for word lovers). Because we could all use some diversion:

A cook that leaves Arby’s to work at McDonald’s

The act of torching a mortgage.

What a crook sees through

What a bullfighter tries to do

Clumsy ophthalmologist

A short, ugly inmate

Workers who put together kitchen cabinets

What an English barber does for a living.

What the bank robbers did when their bag was full of money.

What a man in a boat does

What you see from the Eiffel Tower

Two physicians

A helper on a farm

What penguins see through

Remove your spouse from in front of TV

What trees do in the spring

What you do to relax your wife

What the owner of a seafood store does

Brought litigation against a government official

Twenty cents


nov. 25, 2020, 12:24 pm

A short, ugly inmate


I needed that! Thanks, Shelley!

nov. 26, 2020, 1:23 pm

>88 jessibud2: Those are fun, Shelley. I hear you about getting lots of exercise in a townhouse. Mine is three stories too and I have a computer desk on the top floor and one on the bottom so I'm always leaving something at one desk or the other that I need for what I'm working on.

nov. 28, 2020, 9:16 am

Sorry about Toronto being in lockdown again. I fear the rest of Ontario will follow soon if things don't improve.
We have finally had covid enter our life in small town Ontario. There was a case at Chloe's school, but thankfully it didn't spread. The school has been really great with keeping the classes all separate and the kids all wear masks, even though it's not enforceable under grade 4.
One of my coworkers has caught it, but while on vacation for a wedding in Toronto and wasn't at work after she caught it. And one of Nate's coworkers has it now, but caught it while doing a training course from home so thankfully he wasn't exposed.

nov. 28, 2020, 11:46 am

>87 m.belljackson: - Marianne, if I could get them to stay in one place, a calming bed might be useful. At this point, not so much.

>89 richardderus: - Those are good ones, aren't they, Richard? :-D

>90 Familyhistorian: - Hi Meg. When I first moved here, after the second day or so, my thought was: oh my god, what have I done??! But I got used to it after awhile and now, as I age, I am trying very hard to not let those stairs do me in.

>91 ChelleBearss: - Hi Chelle. Yikes. So far, I don't know anyone close to me who has covid but I do know of some not so close. I have been pretty careful, myself about going places, and I am also happy to report that so far, in this second wave, my mom's assisted living place in Montreal has managed to keep the virus out. But the residents are not allowed out and not allowed visitors to come in and my poor mother is bored and trying not to get depressed. It drives me crazy to hear of the idiots who defy lockdown, defy mask-earing, and just blather on about *rights* and *freedoms*. Geez. What I see as a big problem here is the lack of stronger enforcement. There are signs everywhere saying no mask, no entry, same on public transportation. I understand that drivers don't want to throw people off the bus if they aren't wearing masks but don't let them on in the first place. Its pretty clear to me by now that *asking nicely* isn't working, for some people. Bylaws have to be made and enforced. Desperate times call for desperate measures. People want to be able to get together for holidays and such, then they should have to do the work and abide by the (truly not difficult) rules to get to that place.

End of rant, stepping down from my soapbox...

nov. 28, 2020, 11:53 am

>92 jessibud2: Personally I think handing out fines might be the only way to go. I saw the ridiculous BBQ place that was in the news. I seriously don't understand people.

Editat: nov. 28, 2020, 12:02 pm

>93 ChelleBearss: - That restaurant guy was nuts!! As were the dimwits who came and filled his restaurant. Spiteful, that's all it was. I hope they get the maximum of maximum fines. Truth is, I haven't heard of many fines being handed out. Maybe if more were, people ight heed the rules. As for Ford, I would bet money that despite all his bluster, his Christmas is spent with his entire family. He was the first to tell people not to go to cottages back in the spring, then he went to his cottage. *eye roll*

nov. 28, 2020, 12:23 pm

>94 jessibud2: We won't be doing Christmas with my family as my mom has COPD and is on oxygen. We had relaxed our thoughts on this and went to visit her at Halloween (all wearing masks) and that same afternoon we found out Chloe's school had a covid case. We have since been banned from her home lol

We will do Christmas with Nate's parents, but they are in our bubble as they do babysitting for us. We won't be seeing any of the extended family this year and are mailing and porch dropping gifts.

nov. 28, 2020, 8:38 pm

So sorry about your ringworm and your knee! And hoping that Theo and Owen calm down.

The Kamala Harris book sounds good....I am going to try to read it soon.

We are also on lockdown, which doesn't change my life very much. Let's hope it helps.

nov. 28, 2020, 9:08 pm

>94 jessibud2: I saw that on the news as well. That guy is insane!!!! Unfortunately, fines are rare.

nov. 28, 2020, 9:10 pm

>95 ChelleBearss: - Yikes re your mom, Chelle. I hope she is managing to stay clear of the current germs!

>96 banjo123: - Hi, Rhonda. Better news on the health front: the ringworm is more or less gone though I can still see it but the itch disappeared within 24 hours of starting the cream and the knee is much improved, as well. Seems likely that it wasn't a tear, after all, but rather a strain or stretch of the meniscus. I was at physio again the other day and I am now able to do all of the stretches I have been tasked to do.

As for the beasts, well, that's another story. Theo is still Theo, only more so, if that's possible. But just today I saw Owen swat Theo for the first time so maybe he is beginning to feel brave enough to stand up for himself. It's been 8 weeks, today, that they have been here and I am still trying to keep a step ahead of them, cat-proofing the house. Just when I think I am safe, they fid something else to get into trouble with.

nov. 28, 2020, 9:22 pm

Where the Light Enters is Dr. Jill Biden's lovely memoir. The Bidens were not much on my radar during their 8 years with the Obamas but it is wonderful to get to know them through this book. Jill is a very accomplished woman in her own right and she writes very candidly and touchingly about her own background, childhood, values, and life as a Biden. Unlike her husband, she is an introvert who has had to learn to compartmentalize parts of herself in order to adapt to life in the public eye; it doesn't come naturally to her at all. I empathized greatly with her struggles with that aspect of her personality and admire her strength and ability to do that. I actually didn't know all that much about Joe, either so this was insightful in that way, too.

Reading this book right after finishing Kamala Harris's memoir, it is truly encouraging to know that such intelligent, compassionate and articulate people will once again occupy that space. This book also confirmed for me why I am always drawn to the genre of memoir: I really like to get to know the people behind the headlines. Sure, values, politics, and all the rest are important, but I look for the integrity of a person, the genuineness (is that a word?), and I found it in this book.

nov. 28, 2020, 10:11 pm

Shelley: ringworm and torn meniscus. Rats!!!!

>99 jessibud2: Hmm, it sounds like I want a copy of Where the Light Enters, along with The Truths We Hold. I am so impressed with the Biden/Harris team: smart, compassionate, courageous, and unflappable. I am not exactly optimistic about our democracy given all that Trump and the Republicans are doing to retain power, all that they are willing to sacrifice in order to retain power, but I'm still glad the good guys won the election!

" is truly encouraging to know that such intelligent, compassionate and articulate people will once again occupy that space." Amen to that!!!

>88 jessibud2: Love it.

Hang in there, Shelley!!!

nov. 28, 2020, 10:47 pm

I just watched the free film for Hot Docs members " The Woman Who Loves Giraffes" directed by Alison Reid- it is the story of Anne Innis Dagg and quite wonderful!

nov. 29, 2020, 7:25 am

>100 EBT1002: - Thanks, Ellen. Why they aren't wrapping him in a straight jacket and carting him off is beyond understanding. He certainly has to be as dangerous as any terrorist.

>101 torontoc: - I saw it last year, Cyrel, in the theatre itself, back in those days when we actually went there! She was the Jane Goodall for giraffes and just never got the recognition that Goodall had. Canadian, too, and before this doc, I had never heard of her. But it certainly was a great film.

Another freebie for members is this one, Integral Man. I have already seen it when it was first shown but I plan to watch it again because it is so beautiful. If you haven't seen it yet, do take the time. The trailer gives just a tiny peek but doesn't do justice to the scope of this man's life (and house!) and what he accomplished. It makes me sad that the house seems now to always be on the market. Click on the title then scroll twice to the right for the trailer. I remember in the Q&A after the film, the filmmaker told us that he set out to make the film about the house alone, but Stewart got sick in the middle of filming and in the end, it turned out to be as much about him as about the house. Serendipitous, but poignant. For those who can't see this film, James Stewart was a math teacher who made his fortune writing calculus books. But he was also a musician and he built this magnificent house in a wooded area of Toronto called the Rosedale Ravine, in which he hosted concerts. Sounds simple but this house is a masterpiece of architecture and one musician was quoted as saying that when he plays in that house, he feels he is inside his instrument. Just watching the film, you are immediately transformed and immersed in the music and nature, at the same time.

nov. 29, 2020, 12:11 pm

I did see the film and it is fabulous!

nov. 29, 2020, 8:21 pm

>102 jessibud2: That really sounds wonderful Shelley, but I get access denied :-(
I tried to google the house and found some beautiful architecture. Bridge houses, dream away, in places like that as well. But I don't think they were the house you meant. I like that kind of documentary and saw a very good one about a Japanese architect some time ago.

des. 4, 2020, 6:53 pm

Well, it's been awhile since I last posted, I see. I am currently reading Barack Obama's A Promised Land and while I know I won't be able to keep pace with the discussion thread, I am enjoying the discussions there and am, if I am honest, happy that it's a tome. I am barely into Part 1 and already, I don't want it to end!

I also recently picked up a book from the library and started it today. It's called Stories From Suffragette City, and I found it via a BB from someone here, I want to say maybe Richard? I am not usually a fan of short stories but I was intrigued by the concept. I think it's 13 different authors, writing about one single day, when women marched in New York City in 1915 (I hope I am getting the date right; the book is downstairs at the moment and I am not). The stories are all different but the core theme is consistent. This reminds me, in a way, of the concept of The Frozen Thames. Anyhow, so far so good. I am only on the second story so far.

I entered photos of my boys into a photo contest fund-raiser for the shelter where I adopted them from. I paid to $10 enter the contest (my contribution to the fund-raiser) and each vote costs $1. I wonder how many votes they will get. They really should get a lot because they are simply the best-looking cats in the contest (but I could be biased...;-))

It snowed big fat heavy flakes all morning and was quite pretty from this side of the window. But it turned to rain in the afternoon and it's a slushy mess out there now. I was quite happy to stay in today.

des. 4, 2020, 6:55 pm

>104 EllaTim: - Hmmm, I wouldn't have thought you would be denied access to just watch the trailer, Ella. Sorry about that.

des. 4, 2020, 7:51 pm

Richard told me about Stories from Suffragette City, and I immediately bought a copy for myself. I'm also giving my aunt a copy for Christmas. Glad to hear you're enjoying it!

des. 5, 2020, 11:14 am

>105 jessibud2: I wanted to read Michelle Obama's book when it cam out in paperback but I'm still waiting here and I am planning the same with her husband's memoir. Great man - I just wish he had had a cooperative legislature with him when he was Commander-in-Chief.

Have a lovely weekend, Shelley.

Editat: des. 5, 2020, 3:56 pm

>105 jessibud2: Good luck with your boys entry Shelley.

I too am enjoying the Obama. Aiming for half way by the end if my long weekend.

Editat: des. 6, 2020, 7:24 am

My goal this weekend is to finish another of the stories in the Suffragette book, and to finish Part One of the Obama.

>108 PaulCranswick: -Thanks, Paul. I had originally intended to wait for the paper version, too, but I saw it for nearly half the cover price and decided to treat myself.

>107 katiekrug: - Thanks, Katie. It must have been Richard, maybe on your thread, though, where I first heard of it.

>109 Caroline_McElwee: - Hi Caroline. I entered the 2 photos I posted here in >2 jessibud2:, but so far, mine are the only votes. Ha. Oh well. You are way ahead of me in the the Obama book.

des. 5, 2020, 8:19 pm

I am glad that you are enjoying the Obama book! Definitely one that I want to read.

des. 6, 2020, 1:13 am

Hi Shelley, I was eyeing the Obama book at Costco when I was there a few days ago. I'll probably go back and pick it up before it gets too crazy there with the Xmas shopping. The suffragette book sounds good too, although I don't do well with short stories.

des. 6, 2020, 7:29 am

>111 banjo123: - Hi Rhonda. The man can write! And it's very cool to get the insider view of things, not just what you read about in the papers. I am particularly enjoying and appreciating how candid and honest he is about his inner thoughts and his ability (in retrospect) to analyze and see his own flaws and mistakes. With humour, yet! Not everyone (certainly not many politicians!) has that ability.

Oh, and though it's probably irrelevant to anything, I love the paper the pages are printed on. So smooth and just lovely to the touch. I don't know, these things just please me. I must be a bookaholic or something.

des. 6, 2020, 7:32 am

>112 Familyhistorian: - That's where I bought my copy, Meg. It was nearly half the Canadian cover price, how could I resist?

I don't usually go for short stories, either, but I have an interest in the suffragette movement and this one sounded intriguing. I have only read the first 2 stories so far and will read another one today. I have 3 weeks before it's due back so I am not rushing though it. It's not like a novel or memoir, where the best you can hope for is to not want to put it down.

des. 6, 2020, 8:59 am

LOL! I just came across this brilliant send-off of 2020. There is actually a link to a *clean* version, but seriously, a few F-bombs seems totally appropriate for 2020, no?

The year in Christmas Carol style:

Randy Rainbow, move over! ;-)

des. 6, 2020, 12:09 pm

You can't script stuff like this. He sat like this for a good 5 minutes while I nearly died laughing. This screams out for a caption contest. I came up with 2, myself. He is the naughtiest cat I have ever had but probably the funniest, too. Theo:

My captions:
1) What? me, worry?
2) You wanted dignified? you shoulda got a Siamese.

I'm open for more..... :-D

And, in case you are wondering about the *naughty*? I can barely keep up with him but here, he clearly didn't get the memo about not sleeping on the dining room table:

There are more. Plenty more, but let's leave it at this....;-)

des. 6, 2020, 1:00 pm

>116 jessibud2: Oh that is a gem Shelley. ROFLMAO.

Editat: des. 7, 2020, 7:44 am

>116 jessibud2: Happy Monday!

Thanks for those priceless pics. I was having a bad morning but that cheered me up!

des. 8, 2020, 10:25 am

>117 Caroline_McElwee:, >118 figsfromthistle: - Thanks, Caroline and Anita. Theo continues to be Theo. He is such a character. The past 2 days, though, he has been jumping on me at 5 am. As Calvin reminds his dad, his recent behaviour has lost him polling points.

des. 8, 2020, 3:29 pm

>99 jessibud2: I'm most impressed with her "debt-free community college" proposal...she's going to be the kind of FLOTUS that Michelle Obama was, praise be, and I am so here for it.

des. 10, 2020, 2:16 pm

Love the cat photos. I can't post as my junk drawer is not working.

des. 11, 2020, 11:34 am

>120 richardderus: - Hi Richard. I am currently reading Barack's book. The man can write!

>121 mdoris: - Hi Mary! As you probably know, I don't have a clue how to use the junk drawer. I just download photos from my camera (phone) to my computer and upload from the computer to my LT gallery and then grab them from the gallery to my thread. That is probably the long way to do things but it works for me and I try not to mess with what works. Hehe.

des. 11, 2020, 12:28 pm

>119 jessibud2: I once had to housesit a house with two cats who did just that: they jumped from the top of the wardrobe, clothes cupboard in the bedroom right on top of one's stomach. Awake in one bang! A definite Nono to me. But how to raise a cat with proper manners?

des. 11, 2020, 3:51 pm

>122 jessibud2: Putting a picture in your junk drawer goes exactly the same, Shelley. Only difference is to choose "junk drawer" instead of "member gallery" at the pop-up screen. The pictures in your member gallery can be viewed by others. Pictures in the junk drawer can only be seen by other members if you put them in a thread.

des. 11, 2020, 4:51 pm

>123 EllaTim: - Hi Ella. Well, cats are not known to be *trainable* in the same way dogs can be. And I suppose I could just shut my bedroom door at night and not allow them in. But I don't like to shut the bedroom door because then, I can't hear anything in the rest of the house. Anyhow, I just try not to give them (him, because it is really just Theo who is doing it) the attention he thinks he deserves. Not at that hour! But thankfully, it has only happened those 2 nights so maybe he has already given up. Fingers crossed!

>124 FAMeulstee: - Well, that sounds easy enough, Anita. I have just never tried it. Until someone mentioned it once, not long ago, I never even knew that was a junk drawer! I just try to stick with what works for me. Until it doesn't, then if I have to, I will try to learn something new. Just call me lazy...;-)

Editat: des. 12, 2020, 9:26 am

I have decided to ditch the short story book I had borrowed from the library. It seems every time I push myself to try again, mostly I succeed only in reinforcing why I am not a fan of short stories. I read 4 of the stories in this volume Stories From Suffragette City. The first 2 were ok until one of them just ended, as if in the middle of something. My reaction was, "What? This is the end??!" I enjoyed the story by Christina Baker Kline (author of Orphan Train) but another of the stories felt just too one-dimensional and almost slapstick. I decided to just cut my losses there. It will go back to the library today. Maybe I can learn something from this experience, once and for all.

But I was very excited to learn that the audiobook of Barack Obama's A Promised Land is finally in transit to me so I await its arrival at my library branch. I am sure my reading of this book will go much faster as he reads it to me!. So far, I am only on chapter 8, barely in, but I am savouring every bit of it.

des. 12, 2020, 5:54 pm

I wish it was easier to load pictures on LT! I do it as you do, though once in a while I remember to use the junk drawer.

Editat: des. 14, 2020, 10:51 am

A lovely article today from author Margaret Renkl (author of Late Migrations), on why books matter now, more than ever. I hope you are able to read the link:

Editat: des. 21, 2020, 2:17 pm

How cool is this! Remember a few years ago, when the flash mob was all the craze? Well, this is art's take on it. Rembrandt's *Night Watch*, brought to life:

Edited to add in this, as well, the making of this amazing feat of choreography:

des. 14, 2020, 8:55 pm

Thank you so very much for sending the books to me for little Andres, last week, we spent a lot of time learning about barn owls. He loved the stickers!!! It was a great teaching experience because he learned the word hatching, and then described the babies approaching fevers as fluffy. He carefully matched the words with the stickers and placed them in a notebook I purchased for his learnings.

We are having great fun!

des. 14, 2020, 8:57 pm

>128 jessibud2: The acting of Rembrandt's Night Watch was fascinating!

des. 15, 2020, 9:57 am

Hi Shelley!

I’ve been keeping caught up on your thread, but realize I haven’t posted since November!

>116 jessibud2: Perfect shot! I also like the one on the dining room table. This morning Wash was doing his “I’m all alone, where is everybody?" crying meows and when I went to find him he was staring at me from the end of the breakfast room table. Mine haven’t gotten the memo about staying off the tables either.

>129 jessibud2: Loved it!

des. 15, 2020, 6:23 pm

>132 karenmarie: - You know, Karen, I have had cats for nearly 40 years and maybe I was just spoiled. But I have never had - or at least, don't remember having - such behavioural issues with a cat. Even my first 2, who were both kittens (I got them at 6 weeks old, littermates), didn't seem so crazy. Theo is very sweet most of the day, when he is sleeping or on my lap. He is sweet except when he is not. Owen, thankfully, is getting braver and allows me to pat him (though still not pick him up) but Theo still terrorizes him on a regular basis several times a day and that truly drives me crazy. Maybe one day Owen will turn around and give it back and that will be done with. Who knows.

des. 17, 2020, 3:47 pm

Great pictures of Theo, Shelley. What is it with animals and tables. In one house we lived in the kitchen was the sunniest room and we came home to find our dog napping in the sun in the middle of the kitchen table. I say middle but it was more than that because she was a fairly large dog.

I went back to Costco a week after I spotted the Obama book but there were none left. There had been a decent size stack the week before.

des. 17, 2020, 5:33 pm

Holiday cheer, Shelley. That's what I got. Holiday cheer.

des. 17, 2020, 6:13 pm

>129 jessibud2: Excellent, if somewhat startling if you were there I imagine.

Editat: des. 17, 2020, 6:45 pm

>130 Whisper1: - You are welcome, Linda. I am just so happy to be able to send these books to someone who loves them.

>131 Whisper1:, >132 karenmarie:, >136 Caroline_McElwee: - I know! I can't imagine how much coordination and effort it must have taken to create this art piece!

>134 Familyhistorian: - Oh, pity Meg. Check back though. They may get more in, you never know. I just picked up the audiobook from the library so I may listen to it to catch up to where I am in the book and then let him read me the rest. I got lost down the youtube rabbit hole this afternoon, watching interviews with Obama and various late night tv hosts, about the book and more. I love that guy!

>135 weird_O: - Hi, Bill. And holiday cheer to you too! :-)

des. 17, 2020, 6:48 pm

My brother lives in the south end of Vermont. He told me today that Burlington, about an hour or so north of him, got around 3 inches of snow. His area got closer to 3 feet! He was snowed in and the bank he works at closed all its branches today because of it. Here in Toronto, the dusting we got hasn't even covered the grass. I could go out wearing shoes, no boots necessary, if I wanted to but I wear boots anyhow because it's warmer. But I wouldn't mind some snow, to be honest.

des. 18, 2020, 11:26 am

>134 Familyhistorian: >137 jessibud2:

For those with native, high school or above Spanish,
there's a really sweet interview with Barack Obama in PEOPLE en Espanol.

des. 18, 2020, 11:42 am

Shelly, I want to thank you again for the books you sent to me for my learning project with my six year old buddy. He is coming along remarkably. A few nights ago, he walked into my house and said "I'm here; I'm ready to learn; I want to learn!"

des. 18, 2020, 1:06 pm

>134 Familyhistorian: - Meg, I just got home from Costco (picking up a prescription at the pharmacy there) and I checked the book table. Lots of copies left. Too bad you don't live closer! ;-)

>139 m.belljackson: - That wouldn't be me, Marianne, but yesterday, I watched quite a few on youtube and was suitably charmed.

>140 Whisper1: - Ha! From the mouths of babes, as they say! So funny and adorable, Linda!

des. 18, 2020, 1:18 pm

Well, I hit my 75 the other day but since I am currently reading Barack Obama's tome, I doubt I will get to #76. Although, you never know. My goal for this year was either 80 or 85, I can't quite remember now (and I won't get to either) but I can't check back on previous threads because something happened when the new LT kicked in and my ticker is totally screwed up now. It shows 2 totals under the ticker and no end goal. The 2 numbers indicate either 6 books read or 19 books read, neither of which is remotely accurate. I am not going to bother fighting with it and will hopefully just start fresh in the new year. I am quite pleased that I am ending this year with Obama. I can think of worse ways to go out.

Anyhow, it's a gorgeous bright sunny day with little wind so I am heading out for a walk. Later, when I get back I will pop in the audiobook and listen while I clean out a closet. Since the cd player in my car broke a few years ago, I have not listened to an audiobook and am somewhat out of practice. I feel I need to be doing something else at the same time (if not driving).

des. 18, 2020, 4:40 pm

>142 jessibud2: So it is time for congratulations on reaching 75, Shelley!

des. 18, 2020, 6:44 pm

Thanks, Anita. There were times when I seriously doubted I would even reach it at all this year. This was cutting it close but I am satisfied.

des. 19, 2020, 9:38 am


des. 19, 2020, 10:14 am

Thanks, Jim. I am listening to the Obama audiobook while reading along in my hard copy. I may actually finish it before the end of the year!

des. 19, 2020, 1:15 pm

I managed to wrap 3 presents and repot some succulents while listening to 2 discs of the Obama audio. I am going to grab some lunch, then spend the afternoon on the couch, with the book open on my lap, following along, as Barack reads to me. Not being American, many of the politicians he talks about were not on my radar at all, in the lead-up to 2008. I am finding it fascinating, following and learning about all the backstories. And oh, the tension!

And I've said it once (at least) already but I will say it again (and again): the man can write!

des. 19, 2020, 1:49 pm

Hi Shelley! Happy Saturday's busyness. Reading 75 is amazing already, given how many people read 0-4 books a year.

Enjoy your Obama-ing.

des. 19, 2020, 3:34 pm

Hi Shelley my dear, congrats on reaching 75 books read for the year. Sending love and hugs from both of us dear friend.

des. 19, 2020, 3:40 pm


des. 19, 2020, 8:24 pm

Thanks, Richard, John and Cyrel.

des. 19, 2020, 8:39 pm

Congratulations on reaching your 75 books read, Shelley!

des. 19, 2020, 9:33 pm

Thanks, Ella.

des. 19, 2020, 9:34 pm

Does anyone know the folksinger, Joe Jencks? I am watching a live performance right now. What a voice!

des. 19, 2020, 9:58 pm

>154 jessibud2: Thanks for the link, Shelley. I hadn't heard of him before, but his voice and style remind me of Stan Rogers, if you remember him.

Editat: des. 19, 2020, 10:12 pm

>155 kac522: - Kathy so interesting that you say that! I was just telling a friend that his voice has that quality of Garnet (and Stan) Rogers, that deep timbre. And of course, the ballad style. I am loving this concert. My friend had mentioned him many times to me but this is the first time I am hearing him.

Garnet Rogers is a fave of mine. I have seen him in concert many times.

Editat: des. 19, 2020, 11:04 pm

>156 jessibud2: Have heard Stan and Garnet's recordings for many years on our Chicago classical radio station, WFMT, which hosts the Midnight Special, a folk show, on Saturday nights. There's a new host this year, so I don't recall that she's played them lately. But they were standard fare for the old host Rich Warren.

Are you familiar with Lee Murdock? He sings and writes songs about the Great Lakes:
Murdock wrote a song about the Lady Elgin, which was a ship that went down in Lake Michigan in 1860 near Winnetka. Two of my ancestors were lost on the ship and my gg-grandmother was a survivor--my family history claim-to-fame ;)

des. 19, 2020, 11:09 pm

>157 kac522: Wouldn't you know--Midnight Special is playing Lee Murdock's Christmas Tree Ship song right now! It's about a ship that brought Christmas trees down the lakes to ports along the lakes.

des. 20, 2020, 7:13 am

Adding to the congratulations for 75 reads Shelley.

des. 20, 2020, 7:43 am

^Great Kiskadee. One of the amazing birds I saw on our trip.

Happy Sunday, Shelley. Congrats on hitting #75! Yah!

des. 20, 2020, 8:58 am

>157 kac522:, >158 kac522: - I had not heard of Murdock, Kathy, but I will check out the link you gave, thanks. I had not heard of Stan Rogers until his untimely death but when they played clips and tributes, after that tragedy, I fell in love with his voice. It was shortly after that that I *discovered* younger brother Garnet. I own several cds of both of them

>159 Caroline_McElwee: - Thanks, Caroline. I may make it to one or 2 past and will be content with that. All things considered, this year, like so many others who thought we'd up our reading with so much time on our hands, my concentration took a hit, but I am happy to have at last made 75.

>160 msf59: - Thanks for the Kiskadee, Mark. I saw it on your thread and wow, what a beauty!

Editat: des. 20, 2020, 9:34 am

Happy Sunday Shelley. I send all good wishes to you for a wonderful holiday!

des. 20, 2020, 10:56 am

>162 Whisper1: - Thank you, Linda. Of all the wonderful and beautiful illustrations you post on your thread, this may be my favourite.

By the way, the link to the concert in >154 jessibud2: will be kept live for re-watching, he said at the end. Do check it out, if you have some time. This man not only has a wonderful voice, but his storytelling, love and kindness radiate out of him and it's a great gift, not just at this time of year, but in THIS year, in particular.

des. 20, 2020, 11:08 am

Hi Shelley!

>133 jessibud2: I hope the boys settle down sooner than later.

>138 jessibud2: 3 feet of snow. We’ve never, ever, had that much here. The record at our house is 22”. I want some snow this winter, but definitely not 3 feet.

>142 jessibud2: Congrats on #75. And a worthy book to end the year with.

des. 20, 2020, 2:13 pm

>164 karenmarie: - Today is a good boy(s) day so far, Karen. I hope I didn't just jinx that...

I grew up in Montreal where tons of snow was the norm, every winter. We always had snow days and the piles, after shoveling, reached the roof of our house. I have some pics of that somewhere. Of course, with climate change, that may be different now but still. Toronto is in some sort of pocket, possibly because we are on the shore of Lake Ontario, but the city never seems to get as much snow as everywhere else in the province. I kind of miss it, especially now that I am retired and no longer *have to* drive anywhere in it. ;-)

I was going to head out to the supermarket but it's such a gray and dreary day here, I don't even feel like getting dressed. So I will, instead, spend the afternoon with Barack and go tomorrow. That's my plan.

des. 20, 2020, 5:43 pm

Congrats on reaching your reading goal!

des. 21, 2020, 2:20 pm

>166 figsfromthistle: - Thanks, Anita. How are those shelves coming along? ;-)

des. 21, 2020, 2:28 pm

Tachyon Publications, an SFF house, posted this on Twitter. Says it all, no?

des. 21, 2020, 2:44 pm

>168 richardderus: - HA! I actually wrote those very words in several of the Christmas cards I sent out this year, Richard! A common sentiment, no doubt, world-wide!

des. 21, 2020, 2:57 pm

>169 jessibud2: Heh, I think no matter what the language, this is the sentence to sum up the year.

des. 22, 2020, 3:25 pm

Congrats on hitting 75!

des. 22, 2020, 3:36 pm

... and here's to a better 2021!

des. 22, 2020, 4:06 pm

Editat: des. 22, 2020, 4:50 pm

Happy everything to all. Here's to good health, above all, and of course, good books. I have dropped this all over the place here and I hope (with fingers crossed) that I haven't missed anyone! In case I have, please know it wasn't intentional!

des. 22, 2020, 5:37 pm

>167 jessibud2: I have to admit that I have not arranged my shelves into categories yet- or catalogued any of those books! I am hoping that I will have time to do so soon. Every time I begin, I am interrupted or I get distracted by my piano. It's on the opposite side of the wall and soo tempting to play ;)

des. 22, 2020, 7:36 pm

Happy Christmas Shelley. Good health and good books, and a better 2021!

des. 22, 2020, 8:35 pm

Thanks, Chelle, Karen, John, Anita and Ella.

des. 23, 2020, 9:37 am

What a holiday! time for some reading and cooking! Take Care!

Editat: des. 23, 2020, 1:01 pm

Merry Christmas, Shelley. And fingers crossed for a much better 2021!!

des. 24, 2020, 5:03 pm

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
May 2021 bring you less need for masks, loads of peace and joy, good health and, of course, books!

des. 24, 2020, 5:12 pm

I hope there are some treats, some relaxation, and some reading over the festive season, and that 2021 is a kinder year to everyone.

Hoping there will be some fine reads among your parcels Shelley, and plenty f furry fun with the boys.

des. 24, 2020, 11:03 pm

Hope you have a great Christmas!

des. 25, 2020, 11:12 am

I hope you get some of those at least, Shelley, as we all look forward to a better 2021.

des. 26, 2020, 10:30 am

Happy Holidays, Shelley!

Love the photos of Theo the Casual Cat. :-)

des. 26, 2020, 6:53 pm

Can anyone give me a link to the ticker site? The one I have for the old one comes up defunct when I click on it. Maybe that's why it was screwed up for me after the LT re-jig awhile back.

I'd like a ticker on my 2021 thread, if I can find it again. Thanks in advance.

des. 26, 2020, 7:19 pm

>186 SqueakyChu: - Thanks, Madeline. I will try again

des. 27, 2020, 9:39 pm

>116 jessibud2: It must be ginger cats! Carson sits like that and it's as if he has no bones. So adorable. Our vet has told us we must put him on a diet. He's up to almost 15 pounds.... so he gets four scoops (1/8 cup each) per day, no more. It's actually going very well as we have gotten into a routine. He gets a scoop when we get up (5:45am when I am working, more like 7:30am on weekends and holidays), one at 11am, one at 4pm, and one around 9pm/bedtime. Or, you know, thereabouts for each. He's handling it better than I thought he would. I'm also learning that when he cries, he's as interested in play time and attention as he is in kibble.

Hi Shelley and an early Happy New Year from me! I am glad you are reading the Obama tome. I almost bought it but the price tag put me off. I will get it -- I adore that man!! -- but I may wait until it comes out in softcover.

des. 27, 2020, 11:57 pm

Congrats on the 75! And Obama sounds like a great book to end on.

des. 28, 2020, 12:47 pm

>188 EBT1002: - Theo is just under 10 pounds and will turn one year old in January. I love him to bits but am having serious issues with his aggression toward Owen. I am not sure what to do. I will expound on that in some other post, when I can. And yes, the Obama is a tome but, for what it's worth, I got it at Costco for nearly half the cover price. It was a birthday present to myself and I don't regret it. I borrowed the audio from the library and am following along in my book as he reads it to me. A special treat.

>189 banjo123: - Thanks, Rhonda. See my note to Ellen ^

Editat: des. 30, 2020, 10:05 am

This will likely be a long post. Just an fyi, in case you want to skip it.

I love Michael J. Fox, always have. Besides his enormous talent, he also happens to be a really good writer. I have read his 3 previous books and enjoyed all of them. I found his newest one, No Time Like the Future and couldn't resist purchasing it. He also happens to be a real mensch, a purely decent human being. Given the cards he's been dealt in his life, he has not only remained an optimist, but has faced adversity with grit and humour. This latest installment chronicles his last several years and how that optimism has been tested. His humour shines through in his chapter titles, almost all, subtle (or not so subtle) plays on words, phrases, nods to popular culture, including his own contributions to it. Here are some of them: Family Man, Loco Motion, Unsafe at any Speed, What to Expect From my Back in the Future, Metaphysical Therapy, A Crowded House, Breaking Dad, A Wing and A Proverb, The Only Thing to Fear, All Things Considered, Midnight in the Garden.

Fox has had Parkinson's Disease for the last 29 years, but in the past 2 years, has had back surgery to remove a tumour that was strangling his spinal cord, and then, 4 months after that, fell and broke his arm. I am going to include here some quotes that show his insights and character, as he dealt with all of this:

- (with regard to the brain/body disconnect in communication, and Mike's getting used to using a walker for the first time, post-surgery):

"Stay inside the frame," they keep telling me, but as Parkinson's only amplifies, my brain and my body are barely on speaking terms. This will prove to be a lasting issue. That's the exhausting part. Every movement, every command, everything that should be reflex, is a negotiation between Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi. (I don't have to tell you which one is the brain)."

- (on the increasing difficulty of walking, especially post-surgery) -

"Back in the days of carefree ambling, I would have considered the topic of walking to be rather pedestrian. Now the acts of stepping, strolling, hiking, and perambulating have become an obsession. I watch Esme (his daughter) gliding through the kitchen...I spy on a man with a slight limp...I secretly watch the way they all move. Easy, breezy, catlike, or with a limp, every one of them is far better than me. It may be that the most difficult, miraculous thing we do, physically, is to walk. It's one of the first things on the agenda, and we do it before we realize how impossible the whole exercise is. Tracy and I have 4 children. We know the drill. My mind can pull up images of Sam (his eldest), for example, at age one. With a pat on the butt, I sent him trucking across the living room rug. I counted each tiny footfall. After some confident toddling, Sam reached the edge of our ottoman coffee table...Standing suddenly alone, he saw Tracy waiting for him. He quickened his step, stumbled, and fell into her arms. Now, on occasion, her husband does the same thing."

"It's tough. With PD and the aftermath of the surgery, something as simple as remaining upright is often sabotaged by a rogue army of misfiring neurons."

- (on the difficulties of physiotherapy and his feelings and commitment to those who are invested in helping him):

"Will (his PT) is focused on helping me develop my own system of kinetic priorities. The key to walking to the other side of the room is not being there, but getting there. I rise from chairs and lean forward to the point where I'm convinced I'll topple over onto my face and break my nose. I pick up a beanbag from one end of a table, walk around a series of traffic cones to reach the other end, and put the beanbag in a cup. Then I sidestep around the table to the stack of beanbags, and do it all again. I'm over any curiosity as to why these specific exercises are beneficial - I figured they're too weird not to have a purpose. But Will explains it anyway. For him, PT is a serious endeavor, taken on with honourable aspirations. I feel a responsibility to him to succeed, just as I felt a responsibility to Dr. Theodore to not fall, injure my back and damage his work....Will knows how to separate one condition from the other. Parkinson's dictates the speed and trajectory of my movement while the stress on my spinal cord creates a lack of sensation and affects my proprioception. We work on the mechanics and kinetics of walking, with attention paid to both of these issues. It's a complex algorithm, and there are no easy shortcuts."

- Four months after his back surgery, Michael falls in his kitchen and badly breaks his arm:
"Counterintuitively, Parkinson's and the tumour on my spine were easier to accept than the broken arm. They had been there for years; stealthy and insidious, they crept up on me. The arm crisis was there in an instant, an explosion... I wasn't prepared for the fallout. My mood darkens. Even with all my health issues, I don't believe I've ever fully grasped the very real depression and marginalization experienced by many who are ill and suffering...But we can only live our own lives. In my life, at this moment, I am stretched by what I have to deal with...Now I've been pelted with too many lemons to even think about lemonade...My optimism is suddenly finite."

And finally, from the epilogue:

"A not-so-funny thing happened on the way to finishing this book. In the midst of personal introspection...the world exploded, or rather, imploded. Actually, both...The travails and triumphs of one man suddenly seemed insignificant among the struggles of seven billion people, living and dying through a global pandemic...I never thought of it this way, but for years I've been practicing my own version of social distancing - in my case, the length of an arm plus a cane between myself and others, as a means to protect people from the dangers of me...Everyone kept a safe distance, concerned about their health and that of friends and family. Whatever our previous issues were, we all now shared the same big problem, and none of us new what would happen next.


I both laughed out loud as well as cried real tears as I read this book. It was a great read. I will also finish the Obama book before the end of the year. Both memoirs, two very different men, but both, men of strength, intelligence, compassion, and integrity. A great way to end an otherwise rather dismal year.

des. 28, 2020, 2:08 pm

>191 jessibud2: Thanks for that peak between the covers of MJF's latest. I hovered over getting it when you mentioned you had. I certainly will in the new year. Someone with that level of equilibrium, despite his challenges, will definitely be a valuable companion.

Editat: des. 28, 2020, 2:53 pm

>191 jessibud2: Wow! Kol Hakavod for MJF being able to tell his story with grace and humor despite his difficulties. Each person’s struggles are both less than and more than another person’s struggles.

des. 29, 2020, 12:52 pm

Hi - What does the Vet say about Owen's aggressive behavior?

des. 30, 2020, 10:11 am

>192 Caroline_McElwee: - Hi Caroline. I don't think you will be sorry. In addition to all he is, and all he has been through in his life, he is also a great writer and such a good human being (if a bit crazy, at times; his risk-taking is more than I would tolerate in my own life, but apparently, this goes back to his childhood!). He is also quite insightful and very quick to show his gratitude to all who have touched his life, and to admit how blessed and lucky he is.

>193 SqueakyChu: - Each person’s struggles are both less than and more than another person’s struggles.. Very well said, Madeline. Ain't it the truth? I was well aware of this and of the need for me, myself, to keep this in perspective as I sometimes feel drowned and wallowing in my own day-to-day stresses.

Editat: des. 30, 2020, 10:24 am

>194 m.belljackson: - Hi Marianne. Thanks for asking. It's actually Theo's aggression I have been stressing about, mostly, and how it is affecting Owen. She says she can attribute the aggression to 2 things, mainly: the fact that he is still a kitten (until January, then he is officially a *big boy*), and the fact that I have 2 males (both neutered but still).

Nothing to do about the kittenhood except wait it out and try to use behaviour modification, of a sort, to redirect his energy and socialize him to be more appropriate, but I do wish the shelter had warned me about not taking 2 unrelated males. It would have been easy enough to just choose a female. My first 2 cats were male and female (littermates), my last 2 were both females. This last week has been particularly stressful and I have actually thought about maybe trying to rehome Theo, though I truly don't want to. I just feel that Owen is always on high alert for *attacks*/pounces, and he can never relax. I have been told that his screeches are just so loud because he doesn't hear himself and that seems to be his only defense. His deafness also means he can't always anticipate Theo's approach. Theo doesn't hurt him; the aggression is not in anger or meanness, but more of *I'm the boss, so there* type of play, the way kittens often play-fight with one another. Owen, of course, is no longer a kitten (he's 2 and a half yrs old).

I wonder if he were an only cat, if his timidness would disappear. All that said, though, they still often spend hours together on my bed, snoozing away the afternoon, with no problems at all (not touching, of course, but together in the same space. Go figure.

In any case, just the idea of letting go of Theo has made me very sad and even teary at times and I am not inclined to do it. I will just suck it up and wait it out. One day at a time.

des. 30, 2020, 10:29 am

I am on chapter 21 of the Obama tome, disc #21 (of 28). I am determined to finish it by the end of tomorrow and it's a quick read, so that will be my reading in bed book as the audiobook remains downstairs in the living room. So I may well end out the year with 78 books. Update tomorrow!

des. 30, 2020, 4:14 pm

Happy New Year Shelley.

des. 30, 2020, 7:36 pm

Congratulation on reading 75 and beyond, Shelley! We actually had snow here for Christmas. Our first white Christmas in decades, I think. Your post about snow in Montreal brought a smile. When I lived there it was my job to shovel the driveway in our family home and I can remember it being above my head (not that that would take much). It was over everyone else's heads too.

All the best for New Year 2021!

des. 30, 2020, 8:50 pm

>198 johnsimpson: - Thank you, John. And to you and Karen, too!

>199 Familyhistorian: - We had more snow this morning, Meg, but by noon, it was raining and it is all gone now. Two words: Climate change.

des. 30, 2020, 8:54 pm

And in case any of my American LT friends think your leader and your country are the only ones messing up on the covid front, here in Ontario, we could use a real leader too, the sooner the better. Our useless premier is a master of sending out mixed messages and breaking his own rules. Just today, he lamely tried to cover up and pretend he didn't know his next in line had left the country for a vacation, on the heels of a most important message to Ontarians to not leave your house unless it's for groceries, medicine or something essential. Then he had to backtrack and admit he DID know. I hope they both get the boot, immediately:

Disgraceful. And our numbers continue to get worse, by the day. This year can't end soon enough.

des. 30, 2020, 11:36 pm

>201 jessibud2: Your finance minister made our news, Shelley. What he did was bad but faking stuff on social media so that he looked like he was toughing it out with everybody else was even worse.

des. 31, 2020, 1:26 am

Time to take out the trash!

des. 31, 2020, 12:43 pm

>202 Familyhistorian: - If Ford doesn't can him today, there will be calls for heads to roll, including Ford's. Never a dull moment...

>203 weird_O: - Thanks, Bill. Perfect!

des. 31, 2020, 9:40 pm

I just finished A Promised Land by Barack Obama. I listened to it on audiobook while following along in my hard copy. I will wait till tomorrow to write up my review. But what is so clear is his intelligence and his humanity. And not just in comparison to the drek that followed him into the office. As a stand-alone, it is astounding not just what he accomplished but the thought, energy and integrity that went into everything he did, every decision he made and the way in which he handled and carried himself.

That was book #77 for me this year and I am going to try to finish up one more, the wickedly delightful Trumpty Dumpty Wanted a Crown by the very talented John Lithgow. I started it last night and I think I can manage to finish it off before the clock strikes twelve.

Happy New Year, everyone! Tomorrow will be my visiting threads day, too.

des. 31, 2020, 9:42 pm


As the year turns, friendship continues

gen. 2, 2021, 6:31 pm

All the best reading in 2021 Shelley. I will be following your kitten challenges and sorry that it is giving you stressful moments!