World Book Day

April 23 is World Book Day, certainly a day I can support. What are you reading?

This has been my day with books so far:


I finished re-reading this book from 1985. I pulled it from the shelf because I couldn’t remember it. I do remember going through a big Ann Beattie phase in the 1980s, however.







I started this one that’s been on my Nook for a while. I love this series and will always be grateful to Murder By The Book for introducing me to Alan Bradley.



This children’s book is on the way to me at the suggestion of Timmy, and I’m looking forward to reading it. Honestly, it had me at “Tupelo.”




Debby and I sent this one to Geri as part of her belated birthday package. It was the only one in the shop where I bought it, so I had to order one for myself since it charmed me. Maybe I can find a way to make it charm you, too.

One week later…

It’s been a week since my birthday, but I thought I’d post a few happy photos so I can remember it.

First off, I received an email from Charles The Boss that Monday morning telling me I needed to come to a mandatory meeting at the clinic. I was all, No! On my birthday? But the topic was one of my ongoing concerns so I dragged myself there. Charles’s door was closed, and he wasn’t back from an off-site meeting yet, so Morgan, our Rescue Team Lead, said we could start the meeting in his office without him. I AM SO CLUELESS.

There was no meeting. It was a set-up from the foster, rescue, and medical teams who were at work that day and even some people who came in on their days off with cake and birthday love for me. I WORK WITH THE BEST PEOPLE. But as I later told Charles, now I know that he and everyone else WILL LIE TO ME.

I forgot to take a photo of the cake before we all fell on it like starving lunatics, but it was SO GOOD.

Also a few little goodies from people who know me too well.

That night, Tom and I met Debby, Tim, Lynne, Rhonda, and Lindsey out for (at least in my case) a steak dinner at one of my favorite casual restaurants. After dinner, we split a couple of pieces of decadent chocolate cake (I was good and only took a small bite of my second cake of the day!), while I opened a few of my presents.

This is a super cool organizer Lindsey’s been giving her friends who like to color. It’s for those times you want to take your coloring book and colors out with you, but you don’t want to be burdened with your 5,023 pencils, pens, and markers (wait, maybe that’s just the number in my collection?). The ones in here now mysteriously showed up with my coloring supplies long after the flood, and I think they may have been some Lynne purged when she was moving. She’s very sneaky. (And no, Lynne, I have NOT put that one particular set of pencils back in that coloring book set in an OCD frenzy–unless it was Debby who forbade me to do that, but I think it was you).

Those cards for coloring came in a letter I received from Marika some time back. I LOVE MARIKA’S snail mail. Her letters are like getting creative little gifts full of thoughts and humor, tales of Mighty Monte and adventures in writing and St. Pete, and reminders of inside jokes that leave me cackling. They never make it home from the post office unread. As soon as I get to my car, I have to open and devour them.

Speaking of Lynne being sneaky, these dachshund sheets she gave me are a cool addition to Houndstooth Hall.

Unfortunately, they came with a price tucked among the folds.

Yep, the coasters are home. FORTUNATELY, Timothy cancelled them out with these he picked up while on a trip to Maine.

Thank you, Tim, and you’re welcome, world, for your daily cow.

This was one of the things I had wanted, and a little bird told Lynne, who delivered it.

Yes, we all know I’ve never been a big fan of Bush, but I admire his second act. He has devoted himself to learning a new creative passion and to honoring people whose Commander in Chief he was. I think often of those who serve. People who thrive on creating discord on the Internet love to “speak” for our service members and how they feel about the White House. But searching photos will show you many, many occasions under all administrations of our leaders surrounded by smiling members of the military. I can’t envision a world without the Internet anymore, but I can sure envision an Internet without comments.

On the matter of former presidents, one of my favorite things during Obama’s eight years in office was the Flickr White House account that featured Pete Souza’s photos. Thanks to Lindsey and Rhonda, I now have this book that I failed to get before it sold out before Christmas. So grateful for its success and its second printing, and for the trusting relationship between a president and his official photographer that provided unprecedented access to the executive branch and families.

Related to the executive branch families, I’m delighted to add these to my collection. I always follow the children of presidents with interest and hope they find fulfilling lives beyond the White House years. So many parents and teachers are using these books to encourage the aspirations of young girls.

In the Department of Shiny, here’s a brooch from Lynne.

And what do you see in my new crystal ball from Debby?

I’m hoping it’s more good things for all of you reading.

Thanks to all for many fantastic birthday wishes!

Celebrating a friend

My friend Dean James, writing as Miranda James, had a signing at Murder By The Book for Claws for Concern, the ninth book in his Cat in the Stacks cozy mystery series. I was a few behind both with this series and his Southern Lady Mystery series, so I now have plenty to read! (I promise I’m still going to read A Wrinkle in Time before I get started on these.)

In even better news, Dean signed a contract that means there’ll be more in this series. I’m happy for Dean and his many readers who enjoy these mysteries centered around librarian Charlie, his cat Diesel, and the small town of Athena, Mississippi.

once again, it’s always about time

When we saw The Last Jedi in the theater, we also saw the previews for A Wrinkle in Time. I really want to see this movie, and I’ve never read the book. Neither has Lynne, so I picked up copies for us so we could read it before seeing the movie.

Life and work keep getting in the way, and I haven’t started it. I REFUSE to delay this so long that I don’t get to see the movie in the theater. Someone needs to hold me to this.

weather and water and weasleys

We are having a below-freezing cold snap in Houston while I’m sick. The cold froze one of our pipes, and we have no hot water. It’s okay. I’m snuggled in bed and have been rereading the Harry Potter books. I asked Tom to get a photo with my phone for Instagram, and only you guys also get the outtakes.

Attempt 1:

Anime looks unsettled, Delta isn’t sure where she wants to be, and Jack is sort of out of sight on Tom’s pillows.

Attempt 2:

Anime’s still trying to get comfy, Delta’s giving Tom the stink-eye, but Jack is creeping into the photo now.

Attempt 3:

Anime is clearly worried that Jack is blocking our view of Delta.

FINALLY, the one that made it to Instagram. They’re all listening in their own way.

the restaurant at the end of the universe

Man, I miss this kid. Today is the day Aaron was born in 1993. I can’t believe he’s been gone more than five years. There are still times that I’m reading something or watching something and think, I bet Aaron would like this! I think of him with every One Republic song I hear. There was a funny comment I just read in Chris Weitz’s “The Young World” teenage dystopian fiction trilogy (Aaron loved all The Hunger Games books) about “Katniss,” and all I wanted to do was buy Aaron this whole series so he could read it and we could talk about it.

I believe it was my nephew Daniel who said something that made me read the Douglas Adams books that inspired this blog title. I never stop learning from him or being introduced to books, music, and other things I might otherwise not have found. I wanted this with his brother Aaron, too.

Most of all, I wanted Aaron to experience all the wonders that life has to offer.

We love you so much, Aaron. I’m sending out a happy birthday to the restaurant at the end of the universe where in my mind, I’m sharing birthday cake with you.


Now that National Novel Writing Month is almost over, I wonder if any of my friends participated and how they did.

I, of course, don’t even have time to write short emails. However, every night before I go to sleep, I write scenes in my head between two of my favorite characters. Usually that helps me drift off, but there are the nights that the scenes interest me so much that I may as well be up writing; I’m certainly not falling asleep.

But staying up all night writing would wreck my health and mess with my day job, which I happen to love. So…

At least I hope my friends and favorite writers are finding time to create, and it sounds as if some are. I wish you much success!