SYW: Money vs Love, Music, & Mythical Animals

Yesterday was Monday, and Melanie has posted a new set of Share Your World questions.

QUESTIONS: 

Which would you rather throw away: Love or Money?
Money, of course. This was the theme of the Beatles’ song Can’t Buy Me Love.

Do you believe you should do one thing a day that scares you?
No, what an odd question. Why should I do something I’m scared of every day? I’m retired and enjoying life. Scary moments will happen, no doubt, but I’m not going to put myself into a position to be scared voluntarily.

What’s the last thing you do at night?
Read. I sit in bed in my nightwear and read a little or a lot from the book I keep next to my bed. Whether it’s a little or a lot depends on how tired I am and how engaging the book is.

If you could own a mythical creature (unicorn, phoenix, etc.), which one would you pick? (A nod to the soon ending 2021 A-Z Blogging Challenge, my topic this year “Mythical Creatures”) 
I would choose either a unicorn or a phoenix, because I could ride on either one. The phoenix would take me soaring through the sky; the unicorn would gallop through meadows, fields of flowers and on the beach. All along the way, I would take stops to pick a flower or feel the water on the beach between my toes.

On the other hand, SOME people prefer dragons.


GRATITUDE SECTION (Always Optional)

I am grateful for my husband, Dale, who has been so good to me the last few days! I injured my left big toe last week, and he said I should get it x-rayed because it hurt so much. Then it started to get swollen and even more painful so on Sunday he took me to an immediate care clinic, where they x-rayed my foot and found I had a fracture! So now I am hobbling around in one of those special shoes you get from doctors’ offices when you hurt your foot, and I have to wear it for six weeks, and keep my toe “buddy bandaged” with the toe next to it. Dale has patiently driven me to places I normally walk to, he changed the bandage after my shower this morning, and he sewed a button on a shirt I wanted to wear. (He can sew, I can’t or won’t.) Yesterday I had to have my heart defibrillator replaced because the battery drained very fast – it shouldn’t have had to be replaced for at least 6 more months. The procedure was excruciating because they didn’t sedate me completely so I could feel some of the pain from cutting me open. Afterwards, they gave me Fentanyl for pain, but then gave me an even stronger pain killer called Norco. Just as it was taking effect, I was discharged! I could barely walk and since my stomach was empty, I threw up multiple times. I was given some graham crackers, but I threw those up too. When I got home, Dale helped me to the front door, and right in front of the door I threw up again! He helped me go to bed and while I slept he cleaned up the mess. Then he served me chicken noodle soup and toast. What a guy!

He has health issues of his own, and I am patient with him, but not like he is to me. I am lucky to have met and married him 26 years ago!

Truthful Tuesday: More on Reading Preferences

Truthful Tuesday continues this week on the subject of books and reading.

  1. Are there any books that you can read over and over again, and never seem to tire of?
    Yes, but not too many times and usually there is a space of several years between readings. I have read Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice three or four times, and some of her other novels twice. Like I said, I have to be in the right frame of mind, so it doesn’t happen a lot. There are just so many books and so little time!!
  2. Have any of your favorite authors written any books that you just didn’t care for?
    Of course. No author writes a masterpiece every time, and of course, what constitutes a masterpiece is a matter of opinion usually. One of my favorite authors is Barbara Kingsolver, and I will usually buy and/or read anything she writes that I come across, but occasionally it doesn’t interest me much. Not all of Jane Austen’s novels are great, but the worst is the one she didn’t finish, and the version I have, the author who finished it for her wrote a very dull tale. Sometimes an author will write a trilogy or a series of books about the same topic, or set in the same place or with the same characters, but then I decide to read something else he/she has written, and don’t care for it. This happens especially with mystery writers who then write something else. I’m sure there are other examples but I can’t think of them right now.
  3. When it comes books, do you prefer reading fiction or non-fiction? The genre is unimportant.
    I like both fiction and non-fiction. I actually got on a non-fiction jag for awhile, but non-fiction books often take more time to read so fiction is easier. But you know what they say: Truth can be stranger than fiction!

    Also I am in some book groups so I read whatever the book selected is, whether fiction or non-fiction. I like book groups because I get out of my comfort zone and read something different, and often it is wonderful!

    My favorite genre is historical fiction, where I can learn about a time and place and at the same time enjoy the story. The only problem is knowing which parts are true and which are not. But usually I don’t care too much.

Truthful Tuesday: Reading

Frank has some great questions this week for Truthful Tuesday about one of my favorite subjects: books and reading!!

The Questions

  1. Do you consider yourself an avid reader?
    Not “avid” but enthusiastic, for sure! (Avid is a woman in one of my book groups who checks out ten books a week and finishes them all! I actually have a life outside reading!) I grew up being encouraged to read, and I read a lot of the books kids, particularly girls, read in those days. But I wasn’t a great reader because it took me a long time to read most books. I avoided classes and majors that required a lot of reading, to my detriment. I now know why: I have ADHD, and get distracted, so if I’m not totally engaged, I will forget what I’ve read by the time I get to the end of a page or am thinking about something else and not what is on the page.

    When I was in my early 30s, I resolved to become a better reader, and set a goal for myself of 12 books per year – doable, only one per month, but more than I had been reading. One of the authors that inspired me to read more was Jane Austen, and I read all of her books as well as some “spin-offs” and “fan fiction.” My resolve to read 12 books a year put me on track to read more and regularly. Especially after I retired, I’ve been reading more and more. Now I have an account on Goodreads, which has a reading challenge every year. I set my own goal (which is now 40 books a year) and am conscientious about achieving it! I’m also in two book groups, so I read different types of books.
  2. What was the last book you read all the way through, and how long did it take you?
    Unmarriageable, by Soniah Kamal, picked by a book group I participate in. This book is Pride & Prejudice updated to Pakistan in 2000-2001. Being a Jane Austen fan, I found the story highly entertaining. It took me 4-5 days to read it. If I really love a book, I will spend hours reading, neglecting my blog for days!
  3. Are there any books that, try as you might, you just haven’t been able to bully your way through?
    I’ve been trying to get through a book of speeches by Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I read a page or two, then go back to another book I’m reading (I often read more than one book at a time) that I enjoy more. I’ve been on page 204 for weeks. I want to finish it, but I don’t know when and if I will.

Book Challenge: Classics, Cover Art & Personal Reading

Day 28: Classic novel you haven’t read but plan to: I looked up my “want to read” books on Goodreads, and right at the top was Middlemarch by George Eliot. There are 57 books currently on my “want to read” list on Goodreads! And instead of reading them, I read other books that interest me at a particular time.

Day 29: Book cover you love: That’s a hard one! Some books are great but their covers are awful. Yet I suppose people may be attracted to a book by its cover art. The cover I love is a book I have not read, but the cover art is by Gustav Klimt. It is a biography of the artist, Gustav Klimt: 1862-1918 by by Gilles Néret.

Day 30: Book you are reading right now: I’m just starting 11/22/63 by Stephen King. This is not one of his usual horror books and is the book that will be reviewed in September at one of the book groups I am in. It is a very long book (!) about a time traveler who tries to prevent the assassination of President Kennedy. In order to read it, I am putting aside The Twelfth Transforming by Pauline Gedge, a novel of ancient Egypt set in the time of the “heretic” king Akhenaten. (I’m obsessed with ancient Egypt right now – it takes my mind off the pandemic and Trump.) This is also a long book, but it’s on my Kindle and the Stephen King book is from the library.

Thank you, Sandman Jazz for this June challenge!

Book Challenge: Bad Guys, Strong Women & Ancient Civilizations

3 more days of Sandman Jazz’s Book Challenge.

Day 25: Book villain you actually love: This was a hard one! I finally came up with Severus Snape, from the Harry Potter series. That is, I THOUGHT he was a villain, working for Voldemort. Of course, this turned out not to be the case, so he wasn’t really a villain, but he seemed like one long enough to qualify, in my opinion!

Alan Rickman as Severus Snape

Day 26: Biography you think everyone should read: I don’t read many biographies, but I think everyone (especially white men) should read a book about a strong and influential woman or person of color, to understand a different perspective. The two I recommend are actually autobiographies: My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and Becoming by  Michelle Obama.

Day 27: Book you read every year: I don’t! There are too many books, too little time! So I will say The Bible, because I have not read it from cover to cover but I read bits of it frequently. I’m not a particularly pious person, but I do attend church and often there is something in the Bible reading that I want to explore more about. And there certain parts I enjoy reading over and over. Right now, I’m slogging through the Book of Exodus, more for historical context, sort of a reference book. I’m interested in ancient civilizations. 

Moses & Aaron plead with Pharaoh Ramses II

All images courtesy of Google Images.

30-Day Book Challenge: 19, 20, 21 – concerning Irish accents and poets

This post is in response to Sandman Jazz’s June 30-Day book challenge.

Day 19: An audiobook you like because of the narrator’s voice: I have listened to very few audiobooks because my ADHD doesn’t allow my brain to concentrate for long on spoken narration. But one that I really loved was Angela’s Ashes read by the author Frank McCourt – this is a sad story but listening to him read it, I about died laughing! His Irish accent and expression really made it for me!

Day 20: A book with an unreliable narrator: This one really stumped me. Is the character that is narrating unreliable or is the narration itself unreliable? I confess I have no answer for this one.

Day 21: An anthology you love: I can’t think of any anthology that I have read except poetry, and I don’t read a lot of poetry. Here are three poetry anthologies that I have either read in their entirety or have read parts of:
The Heath Guide to Poetry – edited by David Bergman and Daniel Mark Epstein. This was the textbook for a poetry class I took in grad school. I like it because it has a variety of poems & poets, and there are notes about each of them, helping me to understand them. I gained an appreciation for poets I had never heard of and poetry in general in that class. (I even began to write poetry once in a while!)
Cool Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Growing Up Latino in the United States, edited by Lori M. Carlson with an Introduction by Oscar Hijuelos. There are several of my favorite Latino poets in this anthology and the poems are sometimes funny, sometimes relevant, sometimes sad, sometimes poignant.

Collected poems of Ogden Nash – I have several anthologies of Nash’s poems, which I inherited from my mother. His poetry is light, funny, and often a veiled critique of society.

SYW: On being old, rainy days, why I don’t play golf, and love of flowers

It’s time for Melanie B. Cee’s weekly Share Your World!

When you’re 90 years old, what do you suppose will matter most to you?
I think it will be whether I am healthy enough to have a good quality of life. I’d like to be able to travel, but if not, I would want to be able to look forward to something. If I am in pain or suffering from a disease or health condition that isn’t going to improve, at that point I would rather die.

old person eating ice cream
When I’m 90, I want to still be able to eat and enjoy chocolate ice cream!

What’s the best way to spend a rainy afternoon?
I know this sounds cliché, but I like sitting on the porch reading a book. I love the sound of the rain and the smell of fresh earth; I find it very relaxing. If I don’t have a book, I am content to just sit there and watch the rain coming down. Thunderstorms can be awesome to watch!
Reading-On-A-Rainy-Day.gif

What is one thing you don’t understand about yourself?
Why I am competitive. It’s something I don’t want to be and I don’t admire it in myself. I want to win and if I am playing something (a sport, a game) that I can never win, I lose interest and give up. Logically, I would rather be the type of person that just enjoys what I’m doing regardless of whether I’m good or bad at it. But instead, I compete, even if it is with myself. Then I am hard on myself when I don’t succeed.

Cute Little Girl Playing Golf On A Field Outdoor
I never liked golf because I am lousy at it; therefore, I refuse to play it.

When was the last time you tried something to look ‘cool’ (hip), but it ended in utter embarrassment? Details?
Unfortunately, it’s unfit to print!

This is an opportunity to share a picture, a story or event that shows your gratitude.
I am grateful for flowers:
to be able to appreciate them
the eyes to see them
and hands to draw or photograph them.
sunflower-aug.-18.jpg

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First three photos: downloaded from Google Images.