Books on Demand

When I was growing up, a trip to the public library was a real treat. My parents always let me ride my bike to the library. I could stay there for hours. I even loved the bookmobile that used to stop at a park by my house. 

I loved to read and wandered the stalls looking for something to catch my eye.  Sometimes I had something specific in mind, but often I just checked out a book that caught my eye.  

As I grew up, reading for pleasure became less common.  And I stopped going to the library somewhere along the way.  If I wanted a book, I would find a paperback to buy.

I began to frequent bookstores. Does anyone remember Borders?  I liked wandering around there and other bookstores with our daughter, who is also an avid reader.  Now no trip to Portland is complete without a trip to Powells, the world’s largest independent booksellers.

When I find a good bookstore, I usually don’t leave empty handed.  But I am trying to stop acquiring books.  I don’t reread them and they just end up taking up space. My one exception is Canadian literature. I always buy at least one book by a Canadian author when we travel to Canada.

Enter e-books or books ‘on demand’!  They don’t take up any physical space and I can have the exact book I want in the time it takes to download it.  I have my list of must reads and don’t browse other possibilities.

At the beginning of the pandemic, I discovered library e-books.  I could check out the one I wanted and it would be delivered to my Kindle (providing someone hadn’t beat me to it).  I have become a frequent ‘virtual’ patron of our public library.  It has been handy for both e-books and audiobooks.

I just got a notice from the library that my eCard was expiring and I had to get a real library card. I am embarrassed to say that I have never been to my local library!  It is all of 5 minutes away by car.

So off I went to the library.  It is a super cute little building with very nice staff.  I would say that they don’t have a huge selection.  But going there made me think about my younger days.  Maybe sometime soon I could visit the library, just to browse. If I can’t make time for that now, when can I?!

Before I close, I want to do a ‘shout out’ to my friend, KJ.  She is a devoted library patron and I am sure she visits her local library once a week. 

The only thing you ABSOLUTELY have to know is the location of the LIBRARY.

Albert Einstein




I had two IRL (in real life) experiences this week and both were noteworthy – in my opinion.

First, I met up with my longtime work chums for cocktails, snacks, and dinner.  This is the crew I go to Portland with each year.  In fact, the last time we spent IRL time together was a trip to Portland November 2019 – just before the pandemic.  We take the train (while enjoying Bloody Mary’s), have lunch at our favorite French restaurant, do a little jewelry shopping at Grayling Jewelry on Alberta Street, hang out in the Pearl District and always work in a leisurely hour+ at Powell’s Bookstore.  On our trip home, we sample some Moonstruck chocolate, courtesy of my daughter, and find something to drink.  We made this an annual event for 3+ years!

We haven’t all been together in IRL for 19 months.  Was it awkward? 

Heck no!  We have known each other for over 10 years and have had each other’s back through the highs and lows of work….and life.  We truly didn’t miss a beat and are planning a shopping trip to University Village this summer.  Bring it on!

My next IRL experience was an in-person yoga class at my yoga studio.  I tried ZOOM yoga at the beginning of the pandemic and it didn’t take.  I signed up for a 6-week gentle yoga class with an emphasis on self-care.  Self-care is one of my summer themes so the class is timely. There were 4 of us in the room and the rest participated via ZOOM.   We are a fairly well vaccinated community, but I still wouldn’t feel comfortable hitting the mat in the studio if I wasn’t vaccinated. 

My work chums have had a hell of a year, actually more than a year!  The pressure has been unrelenting and the thanks few and far between.  I think it was good for them to finally get together and spend some time nurturing their longstanding friendship. 

My yoga teacher says she thinks the next Superpower needs to be Gentleness.  I think she is on to something!

Have a good weekend and I will be back on Monday.



We met up with our grandson, age 19, last summer.  It was right after Joe Biden got the Democratic nomination.  Our grandson said that Biden was like Dumbledore.  I believe he meant that sarcastically 😊!

I am a Harry Potter fan and when I shared his insight with my friends, they said, ‘what’s wrong with Biden being like Dumbledore?’.

You Harry Potter fans know who Dumbledore is/was.  But for those of you who don’t, Dumbledore was the beloved long-term headmaster of Hogwarts’s, the wizarding school that Harry attends.

Here are some quotes about Dumbledore (from Wikipedia):

  • ‘Considered the most powerful wizard in the world, Dumbledore is benevolent and wise, a good wizard in the style of Merlin.[citation needed] He exudes an aura of serenity and composure, rarely displaying intense emotions of anger or fear. Yet despite his benign nature, it is said that Dumbledore is the only wizard Lord Voldemort ever truly feared.’
  • ‘More than anything else, Dumbledore has a deep capacity for love, frequently reminding Harry that love was the greatest magic of all. Dumbledore believes in the good in everyone and insists on giving second chances.’
  • ‘Dumbledore is highly perceptive and emotionally intelligent; his knowledge of a person’s true personality goes beyond simply being a good judge of character.’ 

I even found a blog post about Dumbledore as a leader!

And here is his ‘obituary’:

‘’Albus Dumbledore was never proud or vain; he could find something to value in anyone, however apparently insignificant or wretched, and I believe that his early losses endowed him with great humanity and sympathy. I shall miss his friendship more than I can say, but my loss is as nothing compared to the Wizarding world’s. That he was the most inspiring and the best loved of all Hogwarts headmasters cannot be in question. He died as he lived: working always for the greater good and, to his last hour, as willing to stretch out a hand to a small boy with dragon pox as he was on the day that I met him.

Albus Dumbledore’s obituary

As I took a deeper dive into Dumbledore as a leader, I think that our grandson is right.  President Joe Biden is like Dumbledore and maybe that is exactly what we need right now!

See you on Friday!


Worth a Re-Read?

My best chum plans on re-reading her favorite book from 2020, The Second Mountain A Quest for a Moral Life by David Brooks.  At least I think that is the David Brook’s book she is re-reading.  Frankly, you can’t go wrong with anything by David Brooks!

That got me thinking about books that I re-read.  While many of my friends re-read fiction, I rarely do. I always have too many new fiction books calling to me. It is probably because most of my fiction choices are mysteries and one read is usually enough. I also try not to collect many books because I don’t have room for them.

I do have one fiction exception: Winter Wheat.  It is a beautifully written book by Mildred Walker and set in Montana’s dryland farming country in the 1940’s. My mother’s family homesteaded in E. Montana and my aunt taught in a one room school so I related to the story. It was originally published in 1944 and I vaguely remember my mother reading it.

There are a host of non-fiction books I have re-read many times, including:

  • Anything by Anne Lamott
  • Mireille Guiliano’s French Women series
  • Alexandra Stoddard’s Living a Beautiful Life Books
  • My countless simplicity books: my favorites continue to be the older ones by Elaine St. James
  • Books by Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Books on healthy living by a variety of authors

As 2020 drew to a close, I read Wintering The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times by Katherine May.  I easily give it 5 stars.  I think it is spot on for the times in which many of us find ourselves. 

I devoured it the first time I read it and want to go back for a slower re-read. It will no doubt be one of the books I read many times.

I like one of her insights at the end:

‘Nature shows that survival is a practice. Sometimes it (nature) flourishes…..and sometimes it pares back to the very basics of existence in order to keep living.’

Katherine May

So read or re-read one of your favorite books and I will see you on Wednesday.


There’s No Place Like Home

When I was growing up, my mother always accused me of having ‘ants in my pants’.  It wasn’t because I was super active (I wasn’t), it was because I never wanted to stay home.  The ‘ants’ have followed me into my adulthood until……

The pandemic!

At the beginning of the shutdowns back 10 months ago, I had a hard time staying home.  I really struggled with not doing our usual travel and just running around.  Over the summer, I got into a routine and it helped to be able to be outside for exercise and to safely meet up with friends and family.

As the fall rolled around and the weather began to shift and activity moved indoors, I expected to get pretty antsy.  While I do have my moments, I am pretty content to hang out at home. 

My comfort zone has shrunk a great deal.  I want to stay safe until we can be vaccinated.  So that means I go to the grocery store early in the day, take walks in my neighborhood and go to a few other places when it is quiet.  My contact with friends is via Zoom or, on a rare day when the weather cooperates, an outdoor visit.  Most of the time I just hang out at home with my husband, take a walk in the neighborhood or run errands close to home.

Speaking of home, I have no real desire to do a makeover., although an update would be a good idea.  I did find this great post on looking at our homes differently, thanks to COVID 19. I agree with much of it.  I would like a dedicated exercise room and the idea of creating an outdoor space that is livable year around. I will be curious to see how much our stay at home experience during the pandemic impacts home design in the future.

As I was writing this post, I found myself wanting to re-read some books that I have had forever. One is Living a Beautiful Life by Alexandra Stoddard, from 1986!  I still find some of it pretty timely (even though who has a Filofax these days) and I like her ideas about rituals.  Another book on my shelf is Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin from 2012.  I never finished it, so now might be a good time to do so.  And, failing those, I can always reread one of my million simplicity books 😊! 

For the first time in my life, I can honestly say ‘there is no place like home’ and I breathe a sigh of relief when I walk through the door.

“Safe, safe, safe the heart of the house beats proudly”

Virginia Woolf

Stay safe at home this weekend and I will see you on Monday.