HOUSEKEEPING by Marilynne Robinson: A Review


Walker Percy has described this strange 1980 publication of Robinson’s first novel as a “haunting dream of a story.” The characters are strange; the plot is strange; and the ending is strange, open to more than one interpretation. Even the characters are strange enough to wonder if they are sane or not. Ruth, the older of two sisters has never fit in, nor never wanted to. Her younger sister, Lucille is just the opposite, desiring to be popular and to lead a “normal” life. Eventually, the sisters come under the care of their mother’s sister, Sylvia Fisher, the strangest of characters I’ve ever read. She is described as “eccentric” and “remote,” a definite understatement.

Underlying the story is the river and the railroad that crossed the river once, sending a whole train and all its passengers into the glacial waters so deep no one ever found the train or any traces…

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The Trials and Tribulations of Having Curly Hair.

Some Words That Say What I Think

I have thick, unruly, frizz-ridden, curly hair.

As a result, pretty much every single day of my life has been a bad hair day.


Deep down, I know that my hair has massive potential and I have spent my entire life trying to figure out how to style it in a way that expresses its true beauty.

Unfortunately, I still have absolutely no idea how to control it.

My hair is at its most tame directly after I step out of the shower.


However, as my hair begins to dry, it starts to rebel.

HairIt has visions of a new better future for itself – a future in which it will rise up into a set of full, luscious, voluminous curls.

HairUnfortunately, by the time my hair has fully dried, this rebellion has deteriorated into something that it never intended or planned for.

HairIn my teenage years, I had a…

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Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – Animals do the craziest things! And old farmers!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

An old Farmer……..Trust me there is an animal in here somewhere…..

An old farmer had owned a large farm for many years. He had a large pond out the back, fixed up nicely with picnic tables, BBQ and some apple and peach trees. The pond was properly shaped and fixed up for swimming when it was built.

One evening the old farmer decided to go down to the pond, as he hadn’t been there for a while, to look it over. He grabbed a large bucket to bring back some fruit. As he neared the pond, he heard voices shouting and laughing with glee.

As he came closer he saw it was a bunch of young women skinny-dipping in his pond. He made the women aware of his presence and they all went to the deep end of the pond.
One of the women shouted to him, “We’re not…

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This 2015 mystery by Amy Stewart is based on a real person, the first female crime fighter, and the plot comes from a newspaper clipping. It is set in the days in America when cars are just beginning to be used instead of horses. The opening scene has a horse and buggy driven by and carrying three sisters being “attacked” by a new-fangled auto.  It is a lively scene which demonstrates the “sides” of the horse vs auto debate. The auto is driven by an inebriated Henry Kaufman of Kaufman Silk Dyeing Company.  It is a hit and run, and Miss Constance, the oldest of the three maidenly sisters does not intend to let him get away with it. Other sisters are Miss Norma, the homebody, and the much younger, very attractive Miss Fleurette, the only one injured (slightly) in the accident.

The Dallas Morning News describes this novel-based-on-fact as a “fresh, winning, and delightful mystery with a warm heart, impish humor, and a heroine (Miss Constance) who quietly shatters convention.” I found this description to be apt.

Sheriff Heath comes into the investigation not as a love interest, but as a man who comes to admire Miss Constance and respect her skills in the solving of the mystery that occurs in the events before and after the accident and the harassment of the three sisters by Mr. Kaufman and his thugs.

There are moments of danger, moments of humor, and moments of moral courage as both family mysteries and the current mystery are examined and solved. It is a very satisfying read.


After reading a summer book tag taken by James J. Cudney at “This Is My Truth Now”, I decided I’d like to play along. If you would like to participate and be “it,” just answer the questions I am responding to in the Comments section at the end of the post. There is plenty of room.

  1. What book cover makes you think of summer? The Second Chance Grill by Christine Nolfi. It’s cover depicts the Second Chance Grill all decorated for the Fourth of July.
  2. What book brightened your day? Because it was such a delight to read and a diversion from what I usually read, Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart (based on a true story) brightened my day each time I got back to it.
  3. What book cover is yellow like the sun? The Golden Son (pun intended) by Shilpi Somaya sits on my TBR shelf waiting for me to pick it up. It looks fascinating, and I hope to get to it before summer.
  4. What is your favorite beach read? Anything by Dorothea Benton Frank
  5. What action book had you running for the ice cream man? Give a Boy a Gun, the story of a school shooting/hostage situation (fictionalized but loaded with details and facts from actual school shootings plastered on almost every page) had me holding my breath, then dying of thirst and needing something to cool off.
  6. (sunburn) What book left you with a bad or painful ending? None
  7. What book cover reminds you of a sunset? The Gates of the Alamo by Harrigan sits on my TBR shelf with a picture of the historic mission at sunset. I have heard it’s a wonderful book, and I am looking forward to reading it.
  8. What is one book you hope to read this summer? Leviathan Wakes by James A Corey; a friend gave me this book with a high recommendation, and I haven’t started it yet.

These are my answers looking forward to summer reading plans.  What are yours?



I can’t believe Sunday is here again already. Its rapid arrival gives a whole new insight into the old saw, “My, how time flies”! The highlights of this past week were teaching my own class Wednesday where we began our blogging, teaching my grandson’s classes on Thursday, and Easter Sunday. Overall it was a good week and one in which I actually did some reading.

Finished this past week:

Holes, a YA novel by Louis Sacher, which I’m sure starts many conversations among kids who have read it

I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Wasn’t) by Brene Brown, a researcher and social work lecturer at UH Main Campus, part of the UH system for which I teach. The research and the book deal with shame, the definition, the concepts and all its many ins and outs.  She specifically introduces her terms “Shame Web” and “Shame Resilience,” helpful tools…

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