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Five Things for Friday

I’m just going to get right to it. There’s a lot of great things this week.

One

Oh. My. Goodness.
I don’t know if you subscribe to A.Word.A.Day by
Wordsmith.org but if you do, the usage citation was probably familiar… yes, that was Confessions of a Little Black Gown being used to represent the word, “Woolgathering.” I was, and still am, over the moon.

Here is a clearer view of the post. If you don’t get this daily email—and why wouldn’t a group of dedicated readers, aka lovers of words, not want a daily word?!—you can subscribe here.

Two

A dear friend of mine who READS everything declared she was “sick and tired of World War II books.”

I’m still unable to resist—probably because I grew up begging a steady stream of stories of WWII from family friends and relatives. My favorite: Rody, please tell me again how you escaped from the POW camp!

(Which, btw, is a thrilling story of how a young Rody, dodged being given over to the Russians, got aided by ordinary German citizens, and found his way back to the American lines.)

So clearly I’ve digressed, but this week, I picked up and read The Spies of Shilling Lane by Jennifer Ryan. She also wrote The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir. which according to Amazon I have on my poor, overburdened Kindle.

The Spies of Shilling Lane is more fun and emotional than thrilling and dark danger. Our middle aged heroine, Mrs. Braithwaite, has been drummed out of power in her small village after her husband divorces her, and now an outcast, she goes to London to find her missing daughter. As they say, hjinx ensue.

I thought it sweet and tender at times, as Mrs. Braithwaite, so sure of herself and her standing in the world, comes to see herself with new eyes. We all need a little bit of Mrs. Braithwaite in our life.

Three

After our sweltering heat wave in Seattle—did I mention it was 108?—we’ve all been looking for new ways to stay cool. Mine? I reached back to my childhood for homemade popsicles. I bought a set of molds, and now when I make smoothies and there is a bit left, I freeze it for another day. Such a treat!

If you have a favorite popsicle recipe, send it along. I’m looking for some to try out.

And speaking of the heatwave, just as we were about to have a bonanza crop of raspberries, the heat cooked them on the vine. I lost about 40% of my berries. Sadly, so did all the commercial growers. Did you know that most of the raspberries in the United States come from my corner of the world? So if you find some, eat them up, because they will be scarce this year and next year as well.

Four

As I said last week, you all outdid yourselves providing reading suggestions, or rather, books you love to reread. So here are more of your favorites:

Cerese confessed a love for Summer Sisters by Judy Blume. I have to agree. And a great summer read.

Michelle suggests that if you like historical fictions, try Conn Iggulden’s novels. She likes his War of the Roses books. (Great, an entirely new author with tons of books to read. My Kindle is groaning. That’s not really a complaint, but you knew that, didn’t you?).

And Shaleah sent me a great list of books she loves to reread:

  • Beauty by Robin McKinley, a YA retelling of, you guessed it, Beauty and the Beast. (Which by the way, is one of my favorite tropes! How did you know??)
  • Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas. (I think this was my first Kleypas as well. Oh, so good.)

  • Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen. (Yes. And YES.)
  • Anything by Ilona Andrews. (Elizabeth Bennett would add that this is a universal truth that always bears repeating. LOL)

Five

Last month, we went to Chicago for a family wedding and to spend time with our oldest son who just graduated from college. While there, we made a trek to the Field Museum of Natural History and got to see the wonderful exhibit Becoming Jane, on the formative years of Dr. Jane Goodall.



(Those dinos! Always right there ready to photo bomb a selfie!)

At the end of the exhibit, they ask everyone to take a pledge to do better by our planet by taking one simple step a day, such as taking a walk outside, and avoiding products that harm our environment. So I did.

I pledged to use less single use plastics. It was something I’ve been trying to do for a number of years, but I got serious and ordered a roll of Bee’s Wax Wrap.

Photo credit: Bee’s Wax Wrap

I got the roll so I could cut my own pieces and so far, I love it. It keeps food so much nicer than plastic wrap does. I should have done this years ago. If you have questions about it, Bee’s Wrap has a thorough FAQ that will answer all your questions.

And yes, I did just share a picture from the inside of my fridge. We’ve gotten to that point in the newsletter relationship.

That’s it! See you next week, when I’m probably going to ask your help in deciding what color to paint my office.

Also, the winners from last week’s contest for the autographed copies of Sonali Dev’s books are Jenne of Denton, TX and Jo of Little Rock, AK. Watch for your books—they are in the mail. If you haven’t heard, Sonali’s newest book, Incense and Sensibility is out now.

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