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Five Things for Friday – What’s on My Mind?

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Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

1. I have an odd relationship with reading. My parents and their families were diametrically opposed where reading was concerned. I have drifted in and out of periods of reading in my life. Right now, I’m in. My mom’s family (and my mom) were ALWAYS in.

2. Speaking of reading, I just started reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, a 2014 Pulitzer Prize winner. (Thanks to Tony and Margie from Back Roads and Other Stories for reminding me of this book.) It made me wonder how many Pulitzer Prize winning novels or other fiction pieces I have read. Not as many as I thought! Here’s a link if you care to see how many you have read. I will be very impressed if anyone has read them all! Pulitzer Prize Winners

3. When I was perusing newspaper articles last week, I discovered a recurring column which listed all the small rural communities and their use of the Bookmobile (did you check out books from the bookmobile?) Our little mountain community always had one of the highest numbers for books checked out and one of the lowest numbers for overdue books. The father of one of my oldest and dearest online friends drove a Bookmobile. She once sent me articles about him. That was sweet. I never knew a Bookmobile driver.

4. Iva Lou Wade is a character in Andriana Trigiani’s book Big Stone Gap. Iva Lou is the Bookmobile librarian/driver. What a great character! I love Trigiani’s character development. I am also very familiar with this very real community of Big Stone Gap as it is not far from where I grew up.

5. Speaking of Adrianna Trigiani, she was a very successful producer on both ‘The Cosby Show’ and ‘Different World’.  So talented.

That’s it for the five things running through my mind on this late Friday morning.

Blog

What Are You Reading?

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I have been reading BeetleyPete’s Blogger’s Books feature. He is kindly featuring the books written by fellow bloggers. What a kind gesture and a great source for new books us to consider. He is posting features daily.

Having just finished the book We Were Liars, I am looking for the next book I want to read. I have one book on hold at the library – The Nightingale – but the wait is several weeks out.

I often ask my friends on Facebook what they are reading every month or so. So many books never make the best seller lists. In the current environment, it is easy to overlook a great book. I also check out what my friends are reading on their Goodreads page.

Going to the bookstores and looking through books was one of our pre-Covid favorite pastimes. It was not unusual for us to hit the book stores several times a month. I have an affinity for old books, too, so finding a good used book store was always a pleasure. We are fortunate to have an exquisite bookstore in our town. The owner is so knowledgeable and generous with his expertise about books it is a pleasure to go there.

So, without further ado, I shall ask the question.

What are you reading right now. Please share!

Blog

Sunday Solitude

My pieces from the workshop – still to be polished

Day 294

I woke earlier than my normal time this morning. It felt cool. I tried to lie down and go back to sleep, but morning was calling me out of my bed. Morning has always been my time of day, although it seems to be a later morning as I grow older. I find myself fighting sleep at night, too, trying to take advantage of every hour.

This past week flew by. I know partially because of my two-day workshop. I am glad to be blogging because it serves as a reference to those days that otherwise escape my memory. I am hoping for a slower paced week this week.

Introverts In Extroverted Activities

My workshop was great. Molly is a wonderful teacher and requires each student to do their own work. I have been in classes before where the instructor had no patience and would snatch a student’s work and finish just to move everything along. Molly has the ability to teach, demonstrate and keep things moving at a pace that fits everyone’s ability. It was a great day.

As I have stated before, I am an introvert. Attending functions, classes, etc., is not a friend-making activity for me. I get so immersed in the task at hand, I tend to block everything on the periphery out. This class was no different. I was labeled ‘the quiet one‘. It’s funny how first impressions lead to labeling. The woman seated to my left had an outgoing personality. She made a comment the last day of class that she was working at ‘shutting up and not talking so much‘. Another woman chuckled and said her husband told her ‘try not to act so much like yourself‘. Why must people feel the need to dilute who they are?

Just observations and food for thought.

Back to the Car Search

Tomorrow we are taking my car in for service and we must leave it overnight. That is never ideal because that means one vehicle for us to share, and let’s just say I am not proficient in driving a stick. Our mechanic is an hour south of us see we will continue our car shopping after we drop my car off for service. After the issue with the A/C (which has mysteriously corrected itself) we are thinking we need to focus on finding a car sooner rather than later.

Two weeks ago, we went back to a dealership where we were evaluating a Subaru and a Volvo. This was our second trip to this particular dealership. We worked with the same young salesman. On our prior visit, the sales manager came to talk to us — very old school techniques. He offered to let us take a car home overnight and talked about the wonderful discounts and incentives they had to offer.

We had narrowed our choices down to two vehicles that we wanted to test drive then bring home overnight. Fast-forward past the test drives. We had decided on a vehicle, but when it came time to run the numbers, everything changed. We were really low-balled on the trade-in which was perhaps to be expected. When the numbers came up, it was above the sticker price. We both said, no, this would not work, we had a budget after all. The salesman asked what we were thinking in terms of a budget so we told him. Then he went back to the sales manager. That’s when things went south.

A few minutes later, the sales manager came back to the table with the salesman. He did not say hello or good day or nice to see you again. Instead he started raising his voice at us in the middle of the showroom. He asked us why we thought they should discount this vehicle so much. My husband and I just looked at each other in total disbelief. The behavior did not subside. I told hm he was being very aggressive and I did not know why. He continued with his tirade when hubby said give me my keys, we are done here.

I could see the salesman cringing and trying to insert himself, but it was too late. I told him we would not ever buy a car from them, that he was very aggressive and we did not deserve his behavior. He then spit out the phrase I hate to hear. “I am sorry you feel this way.” Not, I was an ass, not I am sorry for my own behavior…just that he was sorry we could not tolerate his BS behavior.

Lessons learned. Paying cash for a car hurts you. They have no place to hide the non-existent discounts. There are lots of deals if you finance a car, but not if you pay cash. They love that interest and hope you will finance through their corporate machine.

Nature Goings On

The gold finches have completely de-seeded all but one of our three sunflowers. Makes me happy they can find food in what we provide.

This morning I cleaned the hummingbird feeder and made fresh food. The hummingbirds have been hovering at the window to inform us we were quite slack in our bird feeding duties.

We have been inundated with millipedes and centipedes this year. Thousands of them. We have lived here three years and have never seen them like this. Some are making their way into the house which is annoying because they cannot survive without water. We find them scattered about the house dead. The only recourse is the remove leaf clutter and food sources which is our environment. Not much possibility in getting rid of all of their food sources.

The neighbors’s cat visits several times a day. He gets shooed off when he hangs out under the bird feeders. At 7:00 a.m. this morning, he was drinking out of a puddle of fresh rainwater in the driveway. I am not sure his family cares for him the way they should.

Now to Relax

I am headed over to Teagan’s place to read all about the crossroads in one sitting. I got behind a few weeks ago and decided to wait and read it all at one time. Yay for coffee and reading. Then I will saunter over to Beetley Pete’s blog to read some of his short stories he is reposting for his new readers.

After that it will be time to catch up and respond to comments on my own blog. Seems like a perfect way to spend a cloudy Sunday afternoon.

Later tonight I hope to resume my Sunday video call with friends. Nice way to wind up the weekend, I think..

Blog, education, grandchildren, nostalgia

My Weekly Reader

Day 170

I sat with my 9 year old granddaughter as she did her homework last night. She had an exercise on the women’s suffrage movement. The article was in The Scholastic News. After her work was complete, we talked more about the history and she said “Grandma, how do you know so many things?”

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

Sitting with her reminded me of receiving My Weekly Reader when I was in school. I remember looking forward to Friday when we all received our personal copy. I loved reading the short articles. I also remember one summer when we were given the opportunity to receive it at home over the summer. I am sure it was a stretch for my parents’ budget, but I always looked forward to it.

My Weekly Reader was published from 1928 to 20012 according to Wikipedia. It was them merged into Scholastic News but eventually the Weekly Reader name was dropped.

In reading some recent blogs, there is some criticism on the content of the old Weekly Readers. I am sure the news was not written without the prejudice of the writers and editors of the time. Nothing has really changed about the news, regardless of our age. It is still a very fond memory for me.

I did explain to my granddaughter that my knowledge of our history comes from my curiosity and from reading. She looked up and smiled at me and told me she loved to read, too.

We both decided we should write to each other with an agreement we would always write each other back. I am not sure why I did not do this earlier. I always send our grandchildren cards, but a letter seems so much more personal.

Now, I am off to fulfill my end of the bargain. I feel good about encouraging her to read and write more. In this time of upbringing in a digital world, learning to sit calmly and express her thoughts seems like a great skill to have.

Blog, Writing

Switching Gears

Day 96

Some days just don’t go according to plan. Today was one of those days and that’s ok.

Yesterday we went to a very cool used book store in Asheville — the Battery Park Book Exchange. Is is a very cool and eclectic combination champagne bar and used book store. We had a great time perusing old books. I love first editions and rare books (which I can never afford) but it was still fun to look.

This morning we went for our morning walk and had a relaxing morning. At least it was before I remembered the exterminator was coming. I rushed around to pick things up off the floor and got ready to run my errands.

When I finished my shower hubby told me someone was coming to re-seal the driveway which meant no leaving the house today.

At that point I retreated to my computer where I caught up on my Margaret Atwood writing class and caught up on reading a few blogs I follow.

The rest of the afternoon was spent doing mundane tasks like laundry and cooking dinner.

Last night I did not start my new book nor did I today. Some days you just have to roll with the punches.

So now I am off to bed and will give it a shot again tomorrow.