Welcome to SnowCal!

We’ve actually had something that passes for winter in Southern California this year…and this past weekend, we got SNOW! Well, we didn’t here in my town, but they did over in the San Fernando Valley.
Actually, there are places not too far north of Los Angeles – but at rather higher elevation – that get snow pretty regularly. This photo was taken at Fraser Park a few winters ago. 
Hey, in just a few more weeks, it’ll be spring!

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Sunday Salon: Reading Plans, and the lack thereof

Sunday Salon: Reading Plans, and the lack thereof

  We’re entering the ninth week of 2011, and I’ve read and reviewed nine books this year…a perfect book-a-week pace! I’m not projecting that it’ll continue that way, but by my standards, it’s not a bad start. However, I knew going into it that my reading for the first couple of months of the year would be somewhat regulated by commitments; I had books to read for the category I was evaluating in the Indie […]

F’n’F Roundtable #1: Talking about *Certain Women*

F’n’F Roundtable #1: Talking about *Certain Women*

Members of the Faith and Fiction Roundtable – a reading and discussion group that I talked about earlier this week – are discussing our first read of 2011 today; if you’ve also read it, or have thoughts on the themes it brings up, we’d love to have you join in on any or all of our blogs: My Friend Amy Linus’s Blanket Tinasbookreviews Bookjourney Roving Reads Books and Movies Book Addiction Word Lily Ignorant Historian […]

Week-End Review: Fill-ins, Facebook, and Finds on Friday

Week-End Review: Fill-ins, Facebook, and Finds on Friday

Friday Fill-Ins 2011-8 1. Ooooh, I have just over a week left wearing the Ultrasling!. 2. The Academy Awards-related street-closure traffic jam around my office – I can’t stand it! 3. How the heck did I end up with so many books in TBR Purgatory? 4. The orthopedist’s office is NOT one of my favorite places to visit. 5. I’m not a helpless one-armed invalid, I’m not! 6. If it’s covered in chocolate it has […]

Book Talk: *Devotion*, by Dani Shapiro (TLC Book Tour)

Book Talk: *Devotion*, by Dani Shapiro (TLC Book Tour)

Devotion: A Memoir Dani Shapiro Harper Perennial (2011), Trade Paperback (ISBN 0061628352 / 9780061628351) Nonfiction/memoir, 272 pages Source: publisher, for TLC Book Tours Reason for reading: blog tour, personal interest Opening Lines: “A woman named Sandra was cradling my head in her hands. We were in a small room – just the two of us – and it was so quiet I could hear the ticking of her watch. The air smelled faintly of eucalyptus.” […]

Book Talk: *Certain Women*, by Madeleine L’Engle

Book Talk: *Certain Women*, by Madeleine L’Engle

Certain Women: A Novel Madeleine L’Engle HarperOne (1993), Paperback (ISBN 0060652071 / 9780060652074) Fiction, 368 pages Source: purchased/personal copy Reason for reading: Jan./Feb. 2011 selection for Faith and Fiction Roundtable discussion; personal re-read Opening Lines: “The Portia, a shabbily comfortable fifty-foot boat, was tied up at the dock of a Haida Indian village a day’s sail out of Prince Rupert. Emma Wheaton perched on the side of the bunk in the pilothouse, where her father […]

I Believe in Questions; or, Why I Joined the Faith and Fiction Roundtable

I Believe in Questions; or, Why I Joined the Faith and Fiction Roundtable

I was honestly a bit surprised when my application to join the 2011 Faith and Fiction Roundtable was accepted. After all, Amy has heard me call myself a heathen. But she’s also heard me – sometimes, still – call myself a Catholic, although it’s been a while since I’ve been active in the Church where I was raised. However, I’ve found that you can take the girl out of the Church but you can’t take […]

Appearances can be Deceiving

Appearances can be Deceiving

A California Winter Scene…in Summer Mammoth, CA June 2006 (Yes, that’s the correct date. In one of the photos I didn’t post, we’re throwing snowballs…and wearing shorts.) Subscribe to Blog via Email Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Join 2,420 other subscribers Email Address

Sunday Salon: On the Border(s), in a changing bookstore climate

Sunday Salon: On the Border(s), in a changing bookstore climate

  Some time in the mid-1990s, the way I shopped for books changed. Borders Books and Music opened their first store in the Memphis area. Just inside the Germantown city limits, it was located at Carrefour along Kirby Parkway, between the Poplars (Poplar Avenue and Poplar Pike), I’d never seen a bookstore that offered its variety of titles and genres – and it was a five-minute walk from the apartment I lived in at the […]

Week-End Review: Friday Fives, plus a quizzical bonus

Week-End Review: Friday Fives, plus a quizzical bonus

Five things to tell you: I went back to the office for three days this week (worked at home the other two, since I didn’t have transportation). I’ve found I’m productive in different ways in each space. On my second day back, I invited you to my workplace and asked for your help – a simple online vote – to get a new program off the ground. If you haven’t done that, there’s still time… […]

Bullet Points; or, me and a gun

Bullet Points; or, me and a gun

Image by ksbuehler via Flickr Whenever there’s a newsworthy shooting somewhere in this country – most recently, the one in Tucson earlier this year – the debate about guns gets revived. America is a nation born from war; it wouldn’t have come into existence without firearms. Our Constitution’s Second Amendment was meant to ensure our right to bear arms in defense of ourselves, our families, and our country. However, all too often, they’re used for […]

Book Talk: *At Home: A Short History of Private Life*, by Bill Bryson

Book Talk: *At Home: A Short History of Private Life*, by Bill Bryson

At Home: A Short History of Private Life Bill Bryson Doubleday (2010), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover (ISBN 0767919386 / 9780767919388) Nonfiction (reference/domestic life), 512 pages Source: purchased (e-book for Amazon Kindle: ASIN: B003F3FJGY) Reason for reading: Independent Literary Awards non-fiction short list Opening Lines: “In the autumn of 1850, in Hyde Park in London, there arose a most extraordinary structure: a giant iron-and-glass greenhouse covering nineteen acres of ground and containing within its airy vastness […]

NECHAMA. The word means “comfort.” Help those who need it find it.

NECHAMA. The word means “comfort.” Help those who need it find it.

I went back the office yesterday for the first time since my surgery, so the timing is just right…   I usually talk about my job in pretty vague terms here, but today is different. Today I am taking you where we’ve never gone before on this blog – to my workplace. I promise I won’t make a habit of dragging you there with me, but it’s for a special project, and we need your […]

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Send your own NPR Valentine! Subscribe to Blog via Email Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Join 2,420 other subscribers Email Address

Packing my Bags – With Books! (Weekend Assignment #357)

Packing my Bags – With Books! (Weekend Assignment #357)

Weekend Assignment # 357: The Art of Packing When you go on a trip, do you travel light, or try to make sure you have everything you might conceivably need? Specifically, what do you bring along by way of electronics? Extra Credit: What’s the most important thing you ever lost, broke, or forgot to bring on your trip? I don’t usually pack for a trip until the night before I leave, but I’m thinking about […]