Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Quickie

 It's been a week since I last posted (holy cow, the days do fly) and I wanted to pop in and say hello to everyone. We've had a week of excellent spring weather. Over the weekend my husband, for the first time in his life, started taking an interest in gardening. I'd picked up a few more plants to put in, including some cantaloupe seedlings, and he helped me dig the grass and weeds out of a new bed so I'll have somewhere to put them. That's hard work and I was so grateful!  A couple of weeks ago we tore down a crumbling wooden picket fence on our property and salvaged as many pickets and boards from it as we could, and now he's planning to help me build a trestle with some of them for the melons to grow on. The tomatoes, peppers, and herbs I planted are doing great....knock on wood. Tonight the temperature is supposed to drop to 38 degrees and while that's still well above freezing, it's awfully cold. I hope I don't lose anything because of it. I suppose it's still early in the season, though, and small plants can be replaced if need be. 


That's a basket of flowers I got for my mom, since her birthday was last week, but now it looks like I'll be keeping them for myself. After not seeing her for almost a year (between the huge fight we had last fall and Covid I haven't been in any hurry to resume a relationship) I was trying do the right thing and spend the day with her and my dad for her birthday. We had plans to go out and eat on Saturday but she messaged me on Facebook at the last minute and made a weak excuse to get out of it. It made me a little sad, but more than anything I was just relieved. I'm not comfortable....at all...around my parents anymore, particularly my mother, and so I was actually dreading the reunion and its almost inevitable awkwardness. Maybe she was too. Ah, well.

On a happier note, I'm really looking forward to tonight. My book club is finally meeting again after 14 months! We're all vaccinated now so we can. It's going to be wonderful to see these friends again, and I've missed our club more than almost anything else this past year. I'm about to get off the computer and go make some guacamole to take along. My friends love my homemade guac and since this is our reunion meeting I wanted to bring something. We read and will be discussing This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger. Here's a brief synopsis from Goodreads:

In the summer of 1932, on the banks of Minnesota's Gilead River, the Lincoln Indian Training School is a pitiless place where Native American children, forcibly separated from their parents, are sent to be educated. It is also home to Odie O’Banion, a lively orphan boy whose exploits constantly earn him the superintendent’s wrath. Odie and his brother, Albert, are the only white faces among the hundreds of Native American children at the school.

After committing a terrible crime, Odie and Albert are forced to flee for their lives along with their best friend, Mose, a mute young man of Sioux heritage. Out of pity, they also take with them a brokenhearted little girl named Emmy. Together, they steal away in a canoe, heading for the mighty Mississippi in search for a place to call home.

Over the course of one unforgettable summer, these four orphan vagabonds journey into the unknown, crossing paths with others who are adrift, from struggling farmers and traveling faith healers to displaced families and lost souls of all kinds. With the feel of a modern classic, This Tender Land is an en­thralling, bighearted epic that shows how the magnificent American landscape connects us all, haunts our dreams, and makes us whole.
 

I don't have time to write up a proper review here, but I can tell you that this book was wonderful. One of the best things I've read in the last couple of years. I highly recommend it!

Well, off to mash some avocados....back soon. 

32 comments:

  1. Thank you for the book recommendation. I will get hold of itand see if it is suitable for me to choose for Book Club when it is next my turn.

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    1. I remember that you wrote on your blog how your club loved Where the Crawdads Sing. My group read that, too, and loved it. I'll let you know tomorrow how the rest of the group liked This Tender Land, but I have a feeling it will be a favorite! :)

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  2. YAYZ for meetup! and don't feel guilty about your mom; you owe her nothing.

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    1. I don't feel guilty. A little sad sometimes, but not guilty.

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  3. It is great to have help when you work on the garden! I met up with old friends for lunch today for the first time since COVID struck. It was so great to sit and gab! I know you will enjoy your book club meeting - sounds like a nice story! I will check my library for it...

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    1. It's already out in paperback so chances are pretty good your library will have it. Give it a go!

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  4. I've never heard of that book, but it sounds like something I'd like to read. I am sorry about your mom. I gave up trying to put words to it, because it's just not something that others understand.

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    1. I feel like it's hard to explain to people who have normal, happy relationships with their parents what it's like. Thank you Debby.

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  5. Melons! I would love to plant melons!

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    1. Well, we'll see how it goes. I'm not at all confident that I can actually produce melons!

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  6. Give a man a house to work around and you just don't know what will happen. I'm glad you have help preparing the soil; that is some job you took on to garden.

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    1. It's a lot of work, but we both enjoy being outside on these nice spring days.

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    1. The guacamole was delicious and everyone loved it! The meetup was really nice, too.

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  8. It has been very Spring-y here lately, hasn't it?
    Family is tough, which is why so many gay folks create their own families.
    Good luck with the garden; we did tomatoes, and herbs and peppers this year; fingers crossed they deliver some kind of bounty!

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    1. Good luck to you too! How cold did it get in your part of the state last night? It was 38 here when I woke up an hour ago.

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  9. Your garden sounds wonderful! I love cantaloupe. That was the only thing I had cravings for when I was pregnant. How exciting that your book club is meeting in person! I'm sure you enjoyed it and that book sounds good.

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    1. We had a great time and the book was very good!

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  10. Thank you for the book recommendation. I can imagine how much you all enjoyed your first book club meeting after 14 months! I guess when I will finally see my family and friends in Yorkshire again after who knows how many months, I will squeeze them so hard a few ribs might break!
    The flowers you got for your mother are beautiful. You could still send them to her... or just keep them.

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    1. It was so good to see everyone again! Of course life has moved along and some things have changed so we still have a lot to catch up on.

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  11. Maybe you'll soon be finding yourself living with Mr. Greenjeans. Sorry about the situation with your mother, but I'm relieved for you. And you have those beautiful flowers.

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    1. Yes, the flowers are pretty. I separated out the petunias from the other stuff and made myself two new container plants.

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  12. Thanks for alerting me to "This Tender Land". Sounds like my kind of book - something of a cross between "Huckleberry Finn" and "Nomadland".

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    1. It was very much like a Depression-era Huckleberry Finn crossed with The Wizard of Oz....you'll see what I mean if you read it. I definitely think you'd enjoy it, Neil!

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  13. The book sounds like a good read. Must look out for it here.

    Great to get some gardening help from your husband. In my case, I'm lucky to get any gardening help from Jenny!

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    1. Gregg has never shown any interest in gardening until now. When I talked to his sister the other day I told her about it and she laughed at the fact that their mother is finally coming out in his personality...she loved working outdoors and gardening with a passion!

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  14. Sounds like a good book! Sorry the meeting with your mom didn't happen, but maybe it's just too soon for both of you. The petunias will be fine with the cold -- not sure about the peppers and herbs, though! (We've been having nighttime temps in the mid-30s here too. Ugh!)

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    1. My garden seems to be okay, thank goodness! I was so worried about it that I even dreamed all my tomatoes died!

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  15. Jennifer- any mother who would not want to be close to a daughter like you has some form of mental illness.
    And that is what I have to say about that.
    You keep those lovely flowers for yourself and enjoy them.
    Your plants will be fine as long as it doesn't get below freezing.
    I hope your book club was fabulous!

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    1. I wish I had a mother like you, Mary. I know that your family feels the great love you have for them. I've been saying for years now I wish I could be adopted by the Moon clan. ❤

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  16. I listened to an audio of This Tender Land recently - the sort of novel Woodie Guthrie might have written I thought.

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  17. The book sounds good. So great that Gregg joined you in the garden.

    Love,
    Janie

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