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Posts Tagged ‘Sue Grafton’

28-29 Dec: books and cats

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Calvin felt better today, after yesterday’s visit to the vet, and had only one smallish coughing fit.

I finished my Seaside Knitters book and had time to read a cooking memoir, which proved to be well-written and funny and poignant and informative.

She had me at greeting the toads.

Even the recipes (I say “even” because I don’t cook) are entertaining.

You might see why I like the author so much:

Later, when she became a baker:

Sort of what I try to do as a gardener.

It got me thinking about how, during my first decade here, I used to think that in the winter I would have time to Figure Things Out and find my purpose, which felt just out of reach. Each winter passed without enlightenment. I eventually realized I had found my purpose when I mostly stopped working for individuals and started doing public gardening, for the pleasure of people who come here as an affordable vacation, people who cannot afford Paris but at least can take a drive to the beach.

I’m fortunate that my desire to do public gardens, which began when I created the volunteer boatyard garden sometime around the year 1995, segued into paid work.

But I digress.  Here is Gesine-Bullock Prado’s description of discovering Vermont, where she opened her bakery after leaving Hollywood.

The same book was also published under the title My Life From Scratch.

I finished Gesine’s book and had time to start another, which is just how a staycation day should be.


Friday, 29 December 2017

Little did these two cats know that a trip to the vet awaited them (a disruption that would also curtail my reading for today).


But first, we met with our insurance broker, because Allan’s medicare application has hit some rough waters. The odd and unusual glitch that has stalled the prescription part will require a trip to the social security office in Astoria next week to sort out.  Even though our problems are minor, I do feel that relaxed staycation hibernation is not happening yet.

The weather today was wild and windy with flood warnings for the nearby river valleys.

in Long Beach

We dropped off a woolly hat at the free hats and coats rack in the Sandpiper Mall.

Allan’s photo

Returning home for half an hour, we managed to catch the cats unawares and bundle them into their carriers.

At the Oceanside Animal Clinic, I met a cute dog.

And admired a wall of Christmas cards; we must send one next year.

beloved vets

We saw our Tony and Scott on the wall!

Reading material in the waiting room:

This would be a good place to donate animal-related books.

Dr. Raela was pleased that Calvin’s coughing had decreased.  He may need a shot once a month.  Skooter’s hair loss problem was addressed with an anti-itchy shot and both cats got fitted with eight month flea collars.

On the way home, I checked the news on my phone and burst into tears when I saw that a favourite author, Sue Grafton of the Kinsey Millhone “alphabet mysteries”, had died suddenly of cancer at age 77.  I had just read Y is for Yesterday.  I am not being facetious when I say that I had one thing on my so-called bucket list: to live long enough to read Z is for Zero, the book whose proposed release date was 2019.  Now, as Sue’s daughter wrote, “The alphabet ends with Y”, and I am bereft at missing the final installment of Kinsey’s story.  I used always to wish the best of health and happiness to Sue Grafton so that she could live to finish her own writing goal and beyond.  I had often pictured myself sitting down in 2019 and reading the last book and then saying, “I can die happy now!”  This is not to be.

from my reading day of Nov 21, 2017

My long ago significant other, Bryan, loved that she drove a bug just like Kinsey did, although Kinsey would not have gone for this license plate, not helpful for a P.I.

In reading this afternoon’s articles, I learned that Sue was a gardener and I then cried even harder.

I found this article with a few photos of her garden.

I loved Kinsey’s quirks, independence, lack of interest in clothes, habit of cutting her own hair with nail scissors, and simple tiny house lifestyle.  The mysteries were incidental to me; what I wanted and got out of the books was the story of Kinsey herself.

Her books were just great stories, not ones from which I saved quotations or passages.  However, here are a few Sue Grafton (Kinsey Millhone) quotations, as collected on Goodreads.

“Ideas are easy. It’s the execution of ideas that really separates the sheep from the goats.”

“Thinking is hard work, which is why you don’t see many people doing it.”

“Insecure people have a special sensitivity for anything that finally confirms their own low opinion of themselves.” B is for Burglar

“Everything happens for a reason, but that doesn’t mean there’s a point.” C is for Corpse

“There are days when none of us can bear it, but the good comes around again. Happiness is seasonal, like anything else. Wait it out. There are people who love you. People who can help.” D is for Deadbeat

“What could smell better than supper being cooked by someone else?”  E is for Evidence

“I hate nature. I really do. Nature is composed entirely of sticks, dirt, fall-down places, biting and stinging things, and savageries too numerous to list. And I’m not the only one who feels this way. Man has been building cities since the year oughty-ought, just to get away from this stuff.” F is for Fugitive

“The hard thing about death is that nothing ever changes. The hard thing about life is that nothing stays the same.”  J is for Judgement

“Ghosts don’t haunt us. That’s not how it works. They’re present among us because we won’t let go of them.” M is for Malice

“I can do a few things well enough. Everything else, I try to avoid. Once in awhile, I learn something new in spite of myself, but that’s about it in the way of my accomplishments.” Y is for Yesterday

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