In Victor Hugo's “Les Miserables,” Jean Valjean spends 19 years of his early life in prison. After his release from prison, he is befriended by a bishop, who invites him into his home. During the night, Jean Valjean wakes up, steals silver plates from the bishop, and flees. He is caught. The police bring him back to the bishop.
A few weeks ago our friend Evan sat with me in the kitchen while I rustled up some food. Evan is a surgeon by day and a weekend potter. I poured something into a bowl he gave us..
Denton, Texas, is considering a permanent ban on fracking within the city limits. While they are considering the matter, they have banned fracking.
True story -- Friday, June 27, 2014, 3:40 pm:
Robot: Hello! Welcome to AT&T customer service! I see that you’re calling from 555-GET-REAL. Is that the phone number you’re calling about?
My mother suffered with Alzheimer’s disease for an unusually long time, and it took her away from us in small and large pieces that led up to a final physical departure from this earth. In the early stages her disease exhibited itself through a loss of organizational skills, often manifested by an obsessive re-arranging of her extensive wardrobe.
I’m going out of town today, to Blowing Rock for the month of July. This is thrilling for me, since the heat and humidity here have reached approximately the same temperature at which I bake lasagna.
I’ve recently begun the Catie-G’ma Bookclub, an attempt to keep connected with my long-distance 2-year-old granddaughter. It all began a couple months after my Christmas mailing and my son told me that the packages I sent wrapped arrived unwrapped. Standing in line at the post office several months later, I was thinking about a solution to better book sending and missing my little Catie like crazy when I spotted these wild looking festive mailers.
Selling your home is like a formal ball, where you accept an “invitation” from an interested “suitor,” wondering if he’s The One of whom you have dreamed.
I make a lot of fun of my family, telling hilarious stories about my visits to Ohio, about my parents, who are becoming more “seasoned” citizens every day (Dad is 87 now, and Mom turned 86 in March). And yes, hand to God, it is like “otherworldly” crazy up there, like being plunged into a family tornado ... or, maybe a family hurricane, which is not quite as destructive, but is much wider in scope, you know?
I recently inflated my bike tires near the barn and none of the horses took note of the loud whooshing sound that escaped when I pulled the pump off of the valve stem. The horses kept grazing, but Peter’s spotted mule lifted his head and snorted in fear. Cledus was certain that whatever this was, it was out to get him.
“I can’t stop my children from arguing in the car,” a friend told me recently. “But when I put in an audio, it works magic.” So began my journey into exploring recent audio books that might please her children. Her daughter at 3 loves fiction and her son, at 5, is a nonfiction fan. That’s quite a lot of disparity in terms of age and interest, but made a nice spectrum for young interests. She agreed to take some audios on “test drives,” to see if they could shift her children’s moods from squabbling to shared pleasure.
I used to love a good long read. Fat books almost ensured a setting that claimed me, a character I cared about, an intricate plot and full descriptions along the way. Becoming a book critic changed me. I succumbed to the power of deadlines and the reviewer’s curse, “too little time, too many books.” Length was no longer a delight, but an obstacle.
I’m up in Ohio visiting my parents, who are getting along in years. I normally come up at the end of the school year, but I was summoned by my sisters because in the past few weeks the family dynamic has sort of ... uh ... “collapsed” would be a good word.
This is the story of a woman named Cora. She was the only child in her family, and love and affection had been lavished on her by her parents. Her parents were not wealthy, yet they continued to support her, even after she graduated from college. She did not work for a living.
My sister -- who shall remain nameless due to her behavior on the occasion herein described, but let’s just call her Susan -- is celebrating her birthday today, and she doesn’t want anyone to know her age (which is 60) because she’s just sick about it. Not about having a birthday, but did I mention that she’s 60? Not that I want to keep bringing up her age ... which is 60 ... but that’s what she’s having a fit about.