Sunday (Evening Post)

This week has been filled with trips to the mall to visit and walk the mall with a friend from Las Vegas, and going four days in a row (each day a larger percentage off) to an estate sale down the road where we purchased a bedside table in anticipation of visitors from Boston in June and a roll-top desk as an early anniversary present to each other. We also brought some smaller items none of which we needed, but all  nice additions to our house and lifestyles.  Because of the unusual busyness, I did very little reading.

I finished Vanishing Grace by Phillip Yancey, borrowed from the church library, which I returned this morning.  A review follows soon.

I am continuing to read The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas which deals with a white on black shooting and is so interesting that I am halfway to three fourths of the way through.

I started an old book, Tender Mercies by Taylor Caldwell that a friend brought to donate to my LFL when she attended a book party, and I am wondering why I haven’t heard of it before? It is old-fashioned, but wonderful.

I have been cooking this week: Greek lemon-roasted golden potatoes, spaghetti and meatballs, roast beef in the crockpot, and fresh green beans and new potatoes from a friend’s garden.  We are eating well.

It is hot on the Gulf Coast of Texas, hitting 90 degrees, at least, each day with 0ver 85 to 90 percent humidity.  Whew! With washing clothes, taking extra showers, and watering the plants, I dread seeing my water bill!

The Powerful Women Readers’ “Hen Party” is next Sunday, so I have another busy week ahead, shopping and cleaning in anticipation of that. I have read and prepared book talks on all three “assigned” books, but this get together will focus on food, fellowship and fun.

Sunday (Evening) Post

Happy Mother’s Day.  Although I am not a mother, I had a lovely Mother’s Day Weekend. Saturday my husband and I visited Half-Price Books in Houston and I purchased $30 worth of bargains for my Little Free Library.  While in the same strip shopping center, we went to a consignment store specializing in furniture and accessories, and my husband bought me a lovely basket/vase which I was able to put dried flowers/weeds from a disassembled floral arrangement in, something I’ve wanted to do for a while now.  The clerk at the store said, “Tell me you’re a mother, and you’ll get a twenty percent discount.”  I informed her I was not a mother, but I thought I deserved a discount for being honest.  My Better Half chimed in that I was the only mother our cat, Lena, had ever known, and the kind salesperson came through with the discount!  She made my day. We finished up at Eduardo’s Mexican Kitchen for lunch, thus freeing me from cooking , not only the rest of the day but also for lunch today, thanks to warmed up leftovers.

This morning we cleaned up and moved furniture around in our guest  bedroom, anticipating summer visitors.  It looks so much larger and roomier, and My Better Half hung two pictures on the wall and in the hallway to accommodate the changes we made.  Now to the local Alvin furniture store, Cox’s, for an end table and maybe  a new sofa and loveseat at their Memorial Day Sale.  I told you it was a good weekend, didn’t I?

We worked in the yard again this first full week off from school, planting flowering hawthorne, another hibiscus, a knock-out rosebush, and a lipstick plant in a pot.  Also, our Easter Lillies, hastily stuck in the ground last Easter, are in full bloom for Mother’s Day.  They also have multiplied, so we may have further blooms for Father’s Day, or at least for next spring.

Finished this week: Many Waters by Madeline Engle…great as a part of a series or as a stand alone. (To be reviewed soon) and the very first issue of a delightful magazine, Magnolia Journal, “inspiration for life and home.” As a charter subscriber I was very interested in receiving this magazine, skimmed it ooooohing and aaaaahing when it first arrived, then going back and reading with enjoyment every word. Joanna and Chip Gaines, editor-in-chief and editor-at-large, respectively, are responsible for this excellent piece of readability.

Continuing to read: Have not quite finished today’s edition of The Houston Chronicle, my Sunday afternoon reading material; Who Is Human? a science fiction novel by Gary Pegoda; Beyond Human Nature by Printz; and Phillip Yancey, an excellent inspirational writer who is fast becoming my second favorite inspirational writer (next to Max Lucado) has hooked me on his Vanishing Grace:Whatever Happened to the Good News? 

Started this week: The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas.

I have done a great deal of reading, a chapter here a chapter there, and am probably going to end up with several books to review, all at the same time.

I’ve done little cooking besides warming up from food cooked last week and leftovers I’ve dubbed “Cowboy Stew” which has leftover lean hamburger patties from a lunch and anything in the refrigerator in the way of leftover vegetables that weren’t “spoken for.”  We’ve had it twice, once rolled up in flour tortillas and once over leftover rice from Eduardo’s. Believe it or not, it was most enjoyable.  A friend brought homemade Louisiana gumbo and a scrumptious dessert…more than we could possible eat ourselves, so we were privileged to share with a neighbor for her Mother’s Day.

As I said, it has been a good Mother’s Day weekend.

Sunday (Evening) Post

How can a week be totally uneventful and totally busy at the same time?  I managed to complete an item on my bucket list, visit the Brazos Bookstore in Houston; shop and eat at Central Market not too far away from the bookstore; and celebrate the end of the semester at The Dessert Gallery–all in one day! Wednesday.  This was thanks to our “grandson” driving us from Alvin, negotiating all the crazy traffic (which had us overwhelmed at the thought of driving in it), and returning us safely home at the end of the day.  That’s a good grandson!  It took me a day to recuperate from our adventure, but that, too was a busy day. It seems like the things you have to do (or maybe choose to do, for some of them are fun or productive things) will expand to fill up the time you have to do them in.  I always used to say this about housework, but it seems today my life seems to behave by this principle as well.

This past week I finished reading Memoirs of a Geisha (a selection for this quarter’s PWR) and will try to review it by tomorrow.  I also finished The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, thus checking off the selected book for the Third Tuesday Book Club (thanks to my friend Janet who passed on her copy of the ones reserved on a shelf for us by our fine Alvin Public Librarian.  She has really become an asset to our club and to our city.

I took Printz’s “textbook,” Beyond Human Nature, out into the yard on this beautiful Sunday afternoon, and whether it was the change of scenery or for some other reason, I really “got into it.” I have only about 200 pages left, and although serious, non-fiction is not always my cup ‘o tea, I may be able to finish and can definitely say I’ve read some good evidence and fascinating case studies along the author’s premise. The book could be dry, dry, dry, but the author gives the perfect amount of basic, background review and writes so well that I’m glad I tackled the book. I also am still reading Gary Pegoda’s Who Is Human, but did not get too far this week because it is on my laptop, and I’ve been reading paper books all week. I think I also often slow down to admire the words and the writing.

After purchasing it Wednesday, last night I started The Hate U Give, which tempts me to put everything aside and read from dawn to dusk.  I have a feeling it will “go” all too fast.

I have watched practically nothing, but have worked in the yard, and it does look good.  Thanks to My Better Half for digging all the holes and the watering-in he will do for me this evening when it cools down. I have also cooked in an attempt to smother an unwarranted grumpy mood, and I may mention this in Monday Morning’s post.

A note to PWR members:  Don’t forget we have a get-together at Rae’s on May 28th from 1-4 (or so), and I encourage you to read one of the three books we selected for this quarter: Sea Change (the thinnest), Memoirs of a Geisha (a wonderful book you won’t be able to put down) and Madeline Engle’s Many Waters. I will begin the last mentioned soon, but have copies of both of the others I’m willing to lend.  If anyone would like to volunteer to talk about one of the three books (and spare yourself listening to me!) please contact me by phone or e-mail. I am so hoping some of you can come!



Sunday (Evening) Post

My Sunday (Evening) Post, loosely based on Caffeinated Blogger’s Sunday Post, has turned into an Every-Other-Sunday (Evening) Post. For the past two times, busyness and life “got in the way,” and I missed a week; thus, it’s now been two weeks since I attempted to catch friends up with what I’ve been reading, viewing, and doing.

During the past two weeks since Easter Sunday, I have…

Finished: Big Magic, a definition and exploration of creativity, recently reviewed on this site.

Because I’ve had little time for reading as I attempted to close out the semester at the university, I’ve continued but made scant progress on Prinz’s Beyond Human Nature: How Culture and Experience Shape the Human Mind.  This is an easy book to set aside, not because it is not interesting or well written, but because it is a challenge as well as out of my usual genre, but I hope to discipline myself enough to spend some time with it in the coming week.  I am still enjoying the excellent writing of friend, Gary Pegoda’s Who Is Human, a sci fi novel and am really “into” Memories of a Geisha, which has been my “escape read” throughout a mountain of paper grading.

I started Phillip Yancey’s Vanishing Grace, recommended by my church’s librarian, and at the opposite end of the spectrum, began this month’s selection for my Third Tuesday Book Club, a YA novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian.

On TV I found time for a taped episode of “Scorpion”, always suspenseful and always entertaining and have four more episodes awaiting me.  I have watched three episodes of “Rick Steves’ Europe” , a great PBS travel show which is the perfect thirty-minute entertainment while eating a meal. Several mornings of NBC’s” Today Show,” and am up to date on “Superior Doughnuts” and “The Big Bang Theory.” I managed to reward myself for grading with two movies, Jackie and a French film, The Class when I reached certain goals in my grading progress.

I am pleased to report that the Grading Marathon is over, grades are averaged (Everyone did well.  I had an amazing group of writers this semester, one filled with serious students who took ownership of and pride in their writing and assignments. What a blessing!) and all that remains is posting the grades on line.

It will seem strange not going to class Wednesday, but I plan on an outing with a friend to  Central Market in Houston for shopping and lunch in place of class, so I am one happy camper! I hope your coming week is as promising and that you will find some time in it to read something really wonderful.


The Sunday Post was originally started at Caffeinated Blogger, a fine blog I follow. Many participants post a catch-up on their week’s activities, focusing on what they read during the past week.  I thought it would be an excellent way for PWR to catch up with each other and stay abreast of what we were all reading.  There were so many participants, however, that I altered the meme, inserting (Evening) in honor of the old magazine, Saturday Evening Post. This is a call for readers to post their own comments, catching PWR members and others up to date with their reading (and other) activities.  That said, here is my Sunday (Evening) Post:

What I finished this past week: Who Said I Was Up for Adoption by blogging friend, Colin Chappell, a fine blogger and a fine author. I reviewed it this Saturday here. Also I enjoyed Cat and Dog, a children’s book written by David Lloyd and illustrated by Clive Scruton.

What I am continuing to read: Big Magic, a non-fiction book about creativity; Beyond Human Nature: How Culture and Experience Shape the Human Mind, both in an effort to stretch and challenge my thinking processes.

What I started this week: Last night I read the first three chapters of a close friend, Gary Pegoda’s book, Who Is Human?  It is a sci-fi novel that reads like poetry but carries the reader along in page-turning prose. Also, I began a book I have heard about and wanted to read for a long time (I made it a quarterly selection for PWR, so I’d be sure to get to it soon.), Memories of a Geisha.

What I watched this past week: Three movies–Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Killer; Lion; and The Dressmaker. All were creative, all were well done, but my favorite was The Dressmaker.

Generally, it was not an exciting week, except for Easter Sunday, for “He is risen! He is risen indeed!” as the New Testament greeting goes.  It was a quiet, yet busy week as we begin the big count-down to the end of the semester. I hope to MAKE time for more reading this coming week, but we shall see…

Sunday (Evening) Post

This has been a busy, event-filled week, complete with visits with and from friends, school planning and grading which took up a good part of the week, and a few pensive, quiet moments–some provided by reading blogs from the friends I am following.

And still I managed to do some reading.

Finished last week: Girl Stolen by April Henry, an action-packed YA novel provided by a student who had purchased the book and recommended it to me. It is now in my LFL (Little Free Library) waiting to be read by yet another reader. Also The Fire by Night by Teresa Messino, a gripping, sometimes graphic novel about the horrors of WWII and the nurses who saved lives at, and sometimes behind, the front.  It will be reviewed here in the next few days.


Continuing to read: Who Said I Was Up for Adoption? by Colin Chappell, a blogging friend who has made his excellent book available on Kindle.  The more books I attempt on Kindle, the more I enjoy reading in this medium. I am so close to finishing that I am sure I will be reviewing the book sometime this coming week.  Feeling I hadn’t read any non-fiction in a long time, and feeling the need to do so, I…

…began this week: Beyond Human Nature:  How Culture and Experience Shape the Human Mind.  At first it was heavy going, but once I “got into it” and reminded myself I had once studied the basic philosophers reviewed in the first chapter and that I had read many a student paper on “Nature vs. Nurture,” I found my way and can honestly say I’m enjoying stretching my mind a bit and finding it good reading.  It is by Jesse J Prinz. Heads up, Dr. P , when this one is finished, I will donate it to the “AJP Library.” I also began Big Magic, by the author of Eat, Pray, Love  which reminds me somewhat of Brene Brown’s books.  I like that I am able to apply what I read to my daily life.

I am still looking forward to my friends’ books, Joyful Journey, an autobiography, and Who is Human?, friend Gary Pegoda’s exploration into artificial intelligence and sci fi at its best.  Surely I’ll find time this coming week to start them both.

What I have watched:  In a word, lots of “mindless TV,” but it was most enjoyable.  I  viewed the finale of “Victoria” on PBS, which was superb as well as “Superior Doughnuts,” a delightful sitcom and the ever-popular, ever-entertaining “Big Bang”.  “Shots Fired”, the pilot of a series promises to be a serious, deep drama, which includes a role for Helen Hunt of “Closer” fame. Last week “Rick Steves’ Europe” took us to Paris; this week we toured Provence. IF I finish grading essays today, I hope to watch a movie.  It feels like it has been a long time, and several people have recommended ones I think I would really enjoy.

Today is almost gone, but I am trying to schedule lightly tomorrow and for the coming days, so I can get some reading done.  Wish me luck!

Sunday (Evening) Post

I missed posting the Sunday Evening Post last week, so this week’s post will reflect two weeks worth of reading and watching.

What I finished since last post:  Freeks by Amanda Hocking and The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, both reviewed under “Recent Reads” a short time ago. Both Sunday editions of The Houston Chronicle (practically cover to cover).

Continuing to Read: Who Said I Was Up for Adoption?  by Colin Chappell, a blogging friend, told in alternate chapters from dog owner’s/dog’s point of view. Also The Fire by Night by Teresa Messineo, a story of allied nurses in WWII.

Have begun Ayn Rand’s Anthem, a novel of the future written while she was writing The Fountainhead.          

Watched on TV:  Two excellent episodes of PBS’s “Victoria,” two episodes of “Bull,” two episodes of “Superior Doughnuts” a really funny 30 min. comedy (new this season), Rick Steve’s visit to Paris on “The Best of Rick Steve’s Europe” on PBS,and one episode of “Gray’s Anatomy.”

I am really looking forward to starting: Joyful Journey, a friend’s autobiography which she signed and gave away to about forty friends yesterday, complete with coffee and dessert–a lovely afternoon, and Who Is Human? a novel about a computer that attempts to answer that question, available on Kindle, by Gary Pegoda, a long-time friend.