June 29, 2021

Poem du Jour - Tides


Every day the sea

     blue gray green lavender

pulls away leaving the harbor's

dark-cobbled undercoat

slick and rutted and worm-riddled, the gulls

walk there among old whalebones, the white

     spines of fish blink from the strandy stew

as the hours tick over; and then

far out the faint, sheer

     line turns, rustling over the slack,

the outer bars, over the green-furred flats, over

the clam beds, slippery logs,

barnacle-studded stones, dragging

the shining sheets forward, deepening,

     pushing, wreathing together

wave and seaweed, their piled curvatures

spilling over themselves, lapping

     blue gray green lavender, never

resting, not ever but fashioning shore,

continent, everything.

And here you may find me

on almost any morning

walking along the shore so

     light-footed so casual.

~Mary Oliver

June 25, 2021

Looking Back - A Parting Gift

Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals.

A Parting Gift by Ben Erickson
2000 Warner Books
Read in May 2000
Rating: 4/5 (Very Good)

Publisher's Blurb:

When his eldest son was about to graduate from high school, Ben Erickson, an award-winning furniture maker, decided that he wanted to give him something unique, something that would last him the rest of his life. And so he wrote his son a story, a moving tale of love and loss, friendship and wisdom.

At seventeen, all Josh Bell is sure of is his love of surfing--everything else is up for grabs. The child of a broken home and about to graduate from high school, he has no idea what he'll do with his life. But when Josh meets a reclusive widower named William Davis, he gets some unexpected help. Intent on collecting the stories and hard-won lessons of his eighty-four years, Mr. Davis convinces Josh to help him record his memories. As the colorful tales unfold, Mr. Davis gains something he thought he had lost forever: a sense of purpose and fulfillment. And as he is slowly drawn deeper into the old man's world, Josh realizes that his life is just beginning and that his future is one of new wonders and endless possibilities. 

My Original Thoughts (2000):

A very good, heartwarming story. Not as emotional of a read as Tuesdays With Morrie and definitely not as sappy as Nicholas Sparks' books.

My Current Thoughts:

I've held on to this book for so many years, always hoping to make time to give it a second reading. I remember how much I loved it the first time around, so I hope it doesn't disappoint when I finally pick it up again.

June 22, 2021

Poem du Jour - Today


Today I'm flying low and I'm

not saying a word.

I'm letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.

The world goes on as it must,

the bees in the garden rumbling a little,

the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten.

And so forth.

But I'm taking the day off.

Quiet as a feather.

I hardly move though really I'm traveling

a terrific distance.

Stillness. One of the doors

into the temple.

~Mary Oliver

June 18, 2021

Looking Back - My Last Days as Roy Rogers

Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals.

2000 Warner Brothers
Finished in June 2000
Rating: 3/5 (Good)

Publisher's Blurb:

In an Alabama town in the early 1950s during the last polio summer before the Salk vaccine, ten-year-old Tabitha "Tab" Rutland is about to have the time of her life. Although movie theaters and pools have been closed to stem the epidemic, Tab, a tomboy with a passion for Roy Rogers, still seeks adventure with her best friend Maudie May, "the lightest brown colored person" she knows. Now as they meddle with the local bootlegger, Mr. Jake, row out on the Tennessee River to land the biggest catfish ever, and snoop into the town's darkest secrets, Tab sets out to be a hero . . . and comes of age in an unforgettable confrontation with human frailty, racial injustice, and the healing power of love.

My Original Thoughts (2000):

Pretty good. A quick, light read. Didn't think it was as good as Wait 'Til Next Year (another book set in the 50s). In some ways, this book seemed too childish. Amateur writing? Deals with racial issues, polio, etc., but not in a lot of depth. Many of the characters lacked strong development.

My Current Thoughts:

It sounds like this might have been more suited to fans of YA novels. 

June 15, 2021

Poem du Jour - If I Were

If I Were

There are lots of ways to dance and

to spin, sometimes it just starts my

feet first then my entire body, I am 

spinning no one can see it but it is

happening. I am so glad to be alive,

I am so glad to be loving and loved.

Even if I were close to the finish,

even if I were at my final breath, I

would be here to take a stand, bereft

of such astonishments, but for them.

If I were a Sufi for sure I would be

one of the spinning kind.

~Mary Oliver

June 11, 2021

Looking Back - The Feast of Love

Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals.

2000 Pantheon
Finished in May 2000
Rating: 3/5 (Good)

Publisher's Blurb:

The Feast of Love is a sumptuous work of fiction about the thing that most distracts and delights us. In a re-imagined A Midsummer Night's Dream, men and women speak of and desire their ideal mates; parents seek out their lost children; adult children try to come to terms with their own parents and, in some cases, find new ones.

In vignettes both comic and sexy, the owner of a coffee shop recalls the day his first wife seemed to achieve a moment of simple perfection, while she remembers the women's softball game during which she was stricken by the beauty of the shortstop. A young couple spends hours at the coffee shop fueling the idea of their fierce love. A professor of philosophy, stopping by for a cup of coffee, makes a valiant attempt to explain what he knows to be the inexplicable workings of the human heart. Their voices resonate with each other—disparate people joined by the meanderings of love—and come together in a tapestry that depicts the most irresistible arena of life.

My Original Thoughts (2000):

Interesting novel. It started out great, but kind of went downhill halfway through. It wasn't bad, just nothing special. 

My Current Thoughts:

Nope. Don't remember anything about this one.

June 8, 2021

Poem du Jour - A Thousand Mornings

A Thousand Mornings

All night my heart makes its way

however it can over the rough ground

of uncertainties, but only until night

meets and then is overwhelmed by

morning, the light deepening, the

wind easing and just waiting, as I 

too wait (and when have I ever been 

disappointed?) for redbird to sing.

~Mary Oliver

June 4, 2021

A Month in Summary - May 2021

Little Whale Cove
Depoe Bay, OR
May 2021

May felt like a month of renewal and at times, I almost forgot about COVID. After our camping trip to Nehalem, we enjoyed a visit with my brother and sister-in-law who came up from San Diego to celebrate my mom's 88th birthday. They were our first visitors since December 2019! It was so lovely to see them and we even went out to dinner (indoors!) one night. We enjoyed eating out so well, we went out a couple more times during the month. The restaurant is still operating at 50% capacity and we were seated pretty far from the other patrons, so we felt very comfortable. Plus, it was quiet and we could hear each other speak. ;)

The rest of the month went by in a blur, as we were busy getting ready for our two-month road trip to San Diego. Sadly, my reading suffered quite a bit, but it typically drops off during the summer, so I wasn't surprised. What was disappointing is that both of the books were duds. Oh, well. At least we watched an amazing HBO series (Mare of Easttown)!

Books Read (click on the title for my review): 

Dreaming of the Bones by Deborah Crombie (2/5)

The Oregon Trail by Rinker Buck (2/5)


A Door in the Earth by Amy Waldman 

Movies & TV Series:

Mare of Easttown - One of the best shows I've watched all year. Kate Winslet is outstanding. Actually, the entire cast is great. I could watch it again!

Atlantic Crossing - Meh. Too much of a soap opera. Not nearly as good as The Crown

The Dry - Pretty good, but I liked the book better. 

The Father - Outstanding performance by Hopkins and Coleman, but it's such a sad, depressing movie.

This Is Us - Caught up and now watching as each new episode is released. I'm growing tired of the show, but will watch to the end, just to see how it's all wrapped up.

Little Fires Everywhere - Just started this one, so it's too soon to know if it's any good.



Birthday cake for Rod and Mom.

Beautiful bouquet from my daughter for Mother's Day.

We are on the road (currently in Myers Flat, CA - pretty much in the heart of the Redwoods), so I may not respond very quickly to comments (or do much in the way of blog-hopping) if our cell signal or WiFi is weak. I hope you are all doing well and that you are able to start venturing out as COVID restrictions ease up. Happy Summer! Cheers!

Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals.

2000 Atlantic Monthly Press
Finished on May 20, 2000
Rating: 2/5 (Fair)

Publisher's Blurb:

Susan Elderkin's brilliant Sunset Over Chocolate Mountains explores our places in the lives of our loved ones and in the universe. Theobald Moon lives in a lonely corner of the Arizona desert, tending his spectacular cactus garden, his tiny mobile home, and his astounding appetite. He has fled a stifled, cardigan-and-tea-cozy life in south London for this unfamiliar country and is raising Josephine, who has known no other life than their cheerful yet isolated American one. But when a jangling ice-cream truck finds its way into the desert carrying two ill-fated lovers -- a pregnant Slovakian shoemaker and a mysterious ice-cream man -- it throws Theo's and Josie's careful lives into a chaotic state for which they're totally unprepared. Fantastic upheaval ensues, as well as an inspired redemption.

Innovative and accessible, funny and profound, Elderkin's "beautiful, touching story" (Bookseller) explores love and responsibility, and the joys and fears such emotions inspire. It is a rare and tantalizing first novel.

My Original Thoughts (2000):

When I first started this book, I thought it was going to be great, but it turns out it wasn't anywhere close to greatness. Wouldn't recommend.

My Current Thoughts:

Well, I do like the cover art!

June 1, 2021

Poem du Jour - And Bob Dylan Too

And Bob Dylan Too

"Anything worth thinking about is worth

     singing about."

Which is why we have 

songs of praise, songs of love, songs

     of sorrow.

Songs to the gods, who have

     so many names.

Songs the shepherds sing, on the

     lonely mountains, while the sheep

          are honoring the grass, by eating it.

The dance-songs of the bees, to tell

     where the flowers, suddenly, in the

          morning light, have opened.

A chorus of many, shouting to heaven,

     or at it, or pleading.

Or that greatest of love affairs, a violin

     and a human body.

And a composer, maybe hundreds of years dead.

I think of Schubert, scribbling on a cafe


          Thank you, thank you.

~Mary Oliver