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.

NaNoWriMo

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!

And then there were none…


Donna Leon is a New Yorker who has lived and worked all over the world and now makes her home in Venice, locale for her Commisario Guido Brunetti books.

Have I ever talked about these books and how much I love them? I was at one of Louise Penny’s booksignings years ago when someone sitting next to me said that if I liked Penny’s mysteries, I would surely like Donna Leon’s.

I downloaded one to my Nook, read it, then began downloading them S-L-O-W-L-Y. There were so many, but I knew if I devoured them the way I wanted to, there would be none left to read. So I savored them over YEARS. And now I have finally come to the last of them on my battered little Nook.

I love the books for her characters and for her ambiguity both in those characters’ choices and the novels’ plots. Sometimes the endings don’t offer tidy resolutions, but where Brunetti may not always deliver justice, he is unwavering in his compassion toward those who have suffered.

I guess there’s nothing left to do but reread these until she publishes another.

A man and his sleuthing dog

Tonight there was a booksigning and gathering for fans of Dudley, the dog who’s the writer of The Dudley Files for Cary Robinson. At least that’s who Cary says writes this series. I think maybe he’s being modest, the same way he’d be if he knew I was praising him for all he does for Houston’s Homeless Animals. He is a hero for the voiceless, and many is the dog I’ve photographed on transport day because Cary became a passionate advocate for his or her rescue. Tom volunteers with him at BARC, and that only scratches the surface of all the time Cary donates to shelters and rescue organizations. Dudley contributes, too, from the sale of his books.

I was really disappointed that I didn’t get to attend this event, but I’m doing some software training this week that’s kicking my butt. Eventually, it will make my job more efficient and maybe even allow me some free time other than in the middle of the night when actually, I’d just as soon sleep.

Tom was able to go and brought home the third book of The Dudley Files, SOUL HEELER, so I’m about to curl up and enjoy some reading time before I fall asleep.

Poet’s Day


August 21 is Poet’s Day. I was going to pull some of my favorites from the shelves, except then I felt I was slighting others, and all of them are brilliant to me for different reasons.

So off the top of my head and in no particular order,

WordsworthShelleyColeridgeKeats
YeatsAudenHughesHopkinsJongShakespeareThomasDickinson
MillayDonneBishopMonetteAngelouBlakeDotyEliot
WhitmanFrostBrowning(s)RilkeByronCummings

Who are your favorite poets?