Monday, December 31, 2018

Today's poem by Emily Huntington Miller

The last verse of this poem was on December 31, 2018 (the only day from the old year) of my 2019 The Old Farmer's Almanac engagement calendar. I buy one every year and keep it beside the computer. Everything goes in there. Vet and farrier and shearing appointments, amounts of blueberries we buy, and amounts of eggs the chickens are laying. Along with family birthdays, always circled, and anything else that comes up. 

I had never heard of Emily Huntington Miller. You may read more here

         New Year Song

They say that the year is old and gray,
That his eyes are dim with sorrow;
But what care we, though he pass away?
For the New Year comes tomorrow.

No sighs have we for the roses fled,
No tears for the vanished summer;
Fresh flowers will spring where the old are dead,
To welcome the glad new comer.

He brings us a gift from the beautiful land
We see, in our rosy dreaming,
Where the wonderful castles of fancy stand
In magical sunshine gleaming.

Then sing, young hearts that are full of cheer,
With never a thought of sorrow;
The old goes out, but the glad young year
Comes merrily in tomorrow. 

Emily Huntington Miller
American poet

December books

I really am going to try and write some book notes about the books I read each month, and who knows, maybe I will even write a whole entry on one book, like my book reports of earlier years. We'll see.

59. Sunday the Rabbi Stayed Home - book 3 in the Rabbi Small series
by Harry Kemelman
mystery 1969
finished 12/3/18
American writer/American setting

60. Monday the Rabbi Took Off - book 4 in the Rabbi Small series
by Harry Kemelman
mystery 1972
finished 12/8/18
American writer/American setting

In the marathon jotting down of my monthly books, I said how much I love the Kemelman books. I hadn't read them for many years, but I do remember how much I learned about what it means to be Jewish. And reading them again continues to teach me. There is a mystery in the books which is solved by the Rabbi using his education. A fascinating concept for a book series. 

61. The Christmas Letters - A Novella
by Lee Smith
fiction 1996
finished 12/8/18
American writer/American setting

This is the fifth time I've read this dear Christmas book. I wrote about it eight (!!) years ago here.

62. Tuesday the Rabbi Saw Red - book 5 in the Rabbi Small series
by Harry Kemelman
mystery 1973
finished 12/14/18
American writer/American setting

The Rabbi Small books are set in the 1960s - 1990s. We see how society changes and how those changes affect, or don't, the Jewish life. In just about every book one or more of the temple board of directors want to get rid of the Rabbi, for various reasons. 

63. Christmas in London
by Anita Hughes
fiction 2017
finished 12/18/18
Australian writer (now lives in US)/English setting

I first read about this book here. It was a little romance-y, a little bit like a couple of Katie Fforde books I've read, and I don't mean that as a criticism. I liked the story, the characters, the descriptions of food and of places, and of course the setting! 

64. Christmas in Nuala- book 5 in the Inspector de Silva series
by Harriet Steel
mystery 2018
finished 12/19/18
English writer/Sri Lanka setting (Ceylon in the story)

I've already written about how I enjoy this series. More, please!

65. Wednesday the Rabbi Got Wet - book 6 in the Rabbi Small series
by Harry Kemelman
mystery 1976
finished 12/23/18
American writer/American setting

66. Thursday the Rabbi Walked Out - book 7 in the Rabbi Small series
by Harry Kemelman
mystery 1978
finished 12/28/18
American writer/American setting

Every book is different, though they all take place in a fictional Massachusetts town. I don't read many books with a New England setting. I'm going to search out more. In a couple books the Rabbi goes to Israel, which also makes for very interesting reading.

67. Conversations with Rabbi Small - book 8 in the Rabbi Small series
by Harry Kemelman
fiction 1981
finished 12/31/18
American writer/American setting

Now this one was not a mystery. The Rabbi and his wife have gone to a resort for a little vacation. She leaves to visit her father who is in the hospital. Two of the young guests come to visit the Rabbi, and they have a million questions about what it means to be Jewish. Just so interesting to me. Kind of funny to be reading these books during the Christmas season, but there is a lot about Christianity, as well. 

Addendum: Not sure what happened with the font. I copied and pasted some, so that's probably why. I like the font.

2018 book facts

As I've said before, I can't imagine anyone really caring about these geeky little book facts, but I enjoy them (too much?!).

In 2018, I read 67 books.


Mysteries - 36
Fiction - 16
Crime Fiction - 3
Nonfiction graphic novel - 1
Nonfiction - 9
Young adult fiction - 1
Fiction and nonfiction collection - 1

Kindle - 51
Print - 16

Gender of author:

By men - 30
By women - 34
By both - 3

Publication dates: 

1930s - 8
1940s - 6
1950s - 3
1960s - 4
1970s - 4
1980s - 5
1990s - 1
2000-2010 - 1
2011-2019 - 35

Rereads - 13

Library books (all on Kindle) - 10

Birthplace of authors:

US - 31
England - 28
Australia - 1
Iceland - 2
Republic of Ireland - 2
Scotland - 2
India - 1

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Christmas thoughts

We had all planned to get together at Windy Poplars Farm for Christmas - Michael, Estée, Campbell, Indy, Margaret, Matthew, Hazel, Tom, and I. The "kids" wanted our gathering to be here. It was supposed to be on Sunday, the 23rd, but Margaret's whole family had a days-long flu. We tried to find another time, but with work, and other winter sicknesses it doesn't look like it will happen while the tree is still up. Perhaps there will be a January day when we all can be here, but once the New Year gets going, life gets busy.

Addendum: I realized as I wrote a comment back to a reader that I should have said that I'm not upset or sad about this. I'm a very go with the flow kind of person when it comes to activities. And I see them all a lot! In fact, I texted everyone and said this:
I don't feel sad because I am a luckylucky mother that my kids and their families live so close. I am ever thankful. It is Christmas every day that I see you.

So, I came up with a brilliant (?!) idea for 2019! The plan is to have our family celebration on the Solstice. I looked it up, and it is December 21 next year. This gives everyone a year's time to tell any workplaces that they want that day off! And hopefully, no one will be sick. This leaves Christmas Eve clear for an annual party Estée's family has, and leaves clear Christmas Day to be with their own families. I'm thinking if we can make this a date on the calendar then it can become a permanent day of celebrating Christmas together! We'll see. We all know what John Lennon did or didn't say about making plans, and what Robbie Burns said in his sad poem to the mouse. But for now, it seems optimistic to me and I'm already looking forward to it.

And now, it is time for me to walk around taking down the month-long decorations of Christmas. It has been lovely, but now it is time for that clean slate that January brings.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Quote du jour/Monty Don, and gardening plans for 2019

In any garden, change is the only constant.
Monty Don on
Gardeners' World

Recently I wrote this in a book post.
My family and other dogs
by Monty Don
nonfiction 2016
finished 7/1/18
English writer/English setting

This is the year that Monty Don has come into our lives. Britbox began offering the English television program Gardeners' World. It is one of the best shows I've ever seen. Monty Don is the warm, calm, reassuring, enthusiastic, humble host. I bought two of his books, follow him on Instagram, and am also watching some other shows he has done via Netflix. Wonderful how we can get these programs over here now! Nigel is his aging Golden Retriever. He and a younger Golden, Nell are the real stars of Gardeners' World. Don writes about the other dogs in his life, telling a bit about his own life in the bargain. Really wonderful. I loved it.

Honestly, this man has changed my life just by showing up every week on my television. He has encouraged me to get back into serious gardening.

In 2009 we made the decision to go with raised beds. The first post about them is here. They were fine for a while, but the wood began to rot, it wasn't easy to mow right up to them so that involved the extra work of using the big trimmer along each side, which wasn't easy because it might hit the wood.

Eventually we removed them, and put flowers in the areas where the raised beds were. I think we went a year without growing vegetables. And then I wrote about the new idea of a terrific garden right beside the patio/entranceway.

It has worked well, but was very crowded. Last year it felt like outdoor clutter with stuff all over the place. In the fall we made a lot of changes. We decided the patio garden would be just flowers, not a combination of flowers and vegetables. We transplanted iris, peonies, daylilies, aquilegia, and others into that garden. We also planted daffodils across the road - all varieties that we heard about from Monty; Bath's Flame, Ice Follies, and Thalia - 30 in all. This whole area is now full of daffs.

Early in the year we had taken up the flowers that were in the former raised beds on the lawn and put in 6 raspberry plants - those little sticks that you see.

And then a couple weeks ago, I found myself saying to Tom that I wanted what I called a "real" vegetable garden, a big garden with rows. I want to grow tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, leeks, onions, peas, corn, potatoes, basil, parsley, cabbage, garlic. It will not be off the kitchen, where the raspberries are and which is the fenced in yard for Lucy. Instead it is going to go just beyond the daffodils, in that open area past the clothesline.

Yes, it will be work, but it is good work. I need exercise. Walking just doesn't happen every day no matter my good intentions. And fresh vegetables at the Co-op or at farmers' markets are not cheap. The plan is to have the rows between vegetables wide enough that the Mantis can till there, and remove weeds, so the only weeding I'll have to do is between plants. 

I think a lot about what I call "subtraction". I read so much about people my age scaling down, going smaller, getting rid of things. Well, I don't want to do that. I want to add; add a vegetable garden, add a second or third dog in a few years. We don't have the money to travel, but we are lucky, lucky to have family close by. We are lucky to have a home and animals. We are lucky to so far be healthy except for this knee of mine. PD James has a book that she wrote when she was 77 (which I plan to read when I turn that age), called Time to Be in Earnest. Well, the title is what I want to do now. If not now, then when? I want my grandchildren to see us as vigorous vegetable growers. I've always thought the best death was Marlon Brando as the Godfather dying in his tomato patch. Though I wouldn't want the grandchildren seeing it, as happened in the movie!

Gardeners' World and Monty Don have changed me and influenced me. I am quite positive that show is why I have this new plan. This season Frances Tophill

shared an allotment with a young fellow, and their enthusiasm for fresh, right out of the garden food made me miss what was always such a part of me. I'll be forever grateful that Britbox brought this program to the US. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Quote du jour - Call the Midwife 2018 Christmas special

There are always angels everywhere. Perhaps we only think to look for them at Christmas when their wings can be seen, when their halos glow with light. But they are always there. There in the quiet corners, there in the shadows, there in their ordinary clothes and they are beautiful. Make room for the angels for they will catch you unawares and fill your heart in ways you never could imagine.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Mrs Bale is singing, I'm dreaming of a white Christmas

And I'm pretty sure the dream will come true!

After some rain, we've had green grass for a few days.

It began snowing late this afternoon, just as it should on Christmas Eve.

And now we've now got a respectable amount of snow on the ground.

Mrs B 

and I are happy, happy!

Friday, December 21, 2018

The Last Books ...

I found this here, and she got it from here. I could be vacuuming and/or writing cards, but this looks like too much fun to put off!

1. The last book I gave up on
 Greenglass House by Kate Milford.

2. The last book I reread
 Tuesday the Rabbi Saw Red by Harry Kemelman.

3. The last book I bought
 Lovely Beasts: The Surprising Truth by Kate Gardner. For the grandchildren this Christmas.
The last book I bought for myself
 From a Distance by Raffaela Barker.

4. The last book I said I read but I actually didn't
 I've never said this. Ever.

5. The last book I wrote in the margins of
Not since a college textbook! I don't write in books.

6. The last book I had signed
Gosh, probably a Tomie dePaola book when the kids were little.

7. The last book I lost
I assume by "lost" it means, loaned to someone and never got it back.
Can't recall the last one, but there have been a few over the years.

8. The last book I had to replace
Hollyhocks, Lambs, and Other Passions: A Memoir of Thornhill Farm by Dee Hardie. I couldn't bear to ask for it back. I love the person I loaned it to too much to ever do that. Let her enjoy it. I've got a new one.

9. The last book I argued over
I don't think I have ever argued over a book. But a book I was given by a friend because she loved it, and I just couldn't read more than a few pages:
 A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. That friend reads my blog so, yes, I will try it again, I promise!

10. The last book I couldn't find
I have a few of them because I moved shelves of books to other places when we got Tom's mother's dolls. I plan to do a post on them sometime. Seven shelves of books were distributed around the house, and I don't know where they are. When I look for one, I go right to the shelf it was on! The last one I was looking for is The Jewel Garden by Monty and Sarah Don. One of my first jobs in the New Year will be to organize my books, and put them together in some kind of order so I can find them again! I don't want to do one of those organizational online things. I tried it once and I thought I'd rather spend the time reading than typing out all my books and where they were in the house.

If you want a few minutes off from the Christmas bustle, you might give this a try. I enjoyed doing it a lot!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Jacob's Room is Full of Books - December

"I come inside. And close the door."
With these words, Susan Hill ends the month of December, and this wonderful book. I felt a sadness that surprised me. I am thankful I'm going to begin her book The Magic Apple Tree in three days, but I am still hoping so much that she will continue writing these nonfiction gems which are Howards End is on the Landing and Jacob's Room is Full of Books. I don't really have words for how much these books mean to me. She pulls me into her heart and into her thoughts over and over again. And it is just where I want to be.

If she continues on, I hope that she writes about the book which the title comes from. I was hoping for a few pages on Jacob's Room by Virginia Woolf. I am missing VW. It has been too long since I have been completely caught up in her books. I believe Mrs Dalloway was the last one I read, and that over a decade ago. I would also like to read Howards End again. It has been ages. I tried to watch the latest television version but just didn't enjoy it.

After reading,
Some words, some sentences, some names, some stories are part of the fabric of my mind, part of the store of references and images I was certainly not born with but which I began to acquire and memorise as a child and continued to absorb through all my growing up and into adulthood. I heard the Bible being read and the prayers of the Church of England services - the words of Morning Prayer, the Eucharist and Evensong, the Collects - all from The Book of Common Prayer and the hymns from The English Hymnal. I am still surprised at how much I know of all this by heart, and I was not from a vicarage family. I wasn't alone. Everyone used to know chunks of the Bible because they heard it without fail every Sunday, and those who could not read it did not really need to, they listened and remembered over the years. ...
It makes me sad that the Bible, the Prayer Book, the Classical canon are not part of my own children's fabric. The rot set in forty years ago or more. I doubt if they know anything much by heart and it is not their fault. Schools regard learning by rote as time-wasting and sterile and how does a rich store of literary and cultural references help one in Real Life? 
The Collects are a particular source of beautiful cadences and deep meaning. They are inspiring, and comforting, and they are all quite short, so reading the Collect of the Day each morning takes only a couple of minutes. You need not be a believer to gain a lot. This reading is a form of meditation and mindfulness and goodness knows, those are all the rage. I think the Collects strengthen one's mental immune system and guard against all manner of ills. Is that just me? 
Oh God, 
you know us to be set
in the midst of so many and great dangers,
that by reason of the frailty of our nature 
we cannot always stand upright:
grant to us such strength and protection
as may support us in all dangers 
and carry us through all temptations;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. 
I decided that I'm going to take her words to heart and begin reading a Collect every day from the Prayer Book I received when I was confirmed.

She tells a lovely little story about being on the beach at this wonderful time of year when not many people are about.
A man came towards me and said in a low voice that on the old gate down there was an arctic finch. I followed his pointing finger to it. Pretty, nervous little bird, but sitting bold as brass on the top strut of the gate, and unmistakeable. 
Soon some birdwatchers appear. "Word had got out, It only takes one text message." But as she walked back to her car she was "hugging myself with secret delight that for a moment or two, the quiet man and I had had it all to ourselves."

She mentions in passing a book that I bought almost three years ago for Tom.

He loved this book, and learned a lot from it. Susan Hill said it was a best seller! Who would have thought. Makes me very happy.

And she introduced me to something completely new! Fat balls. I'm sure all my UK readers know exactly what they are. Over here we call it suet, and it comes in little square plastic containers. No plastic with the fat balls. I'm looking into getting some. They sound like a great idea. For my American readers, this is what they look like.

There are special holders/feeders for them. There's even an Alan Titchmarsh one!

So, Collects and fat balls! I ask you, does a writer get more eclectic than this?!

The pleasure I've gotten from reading this book over the past 12 months is immense. As I did with Howards End is on the Landing, I'm certain to read it again. And, as I said, I do so hope she continues on.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Paul Hollywood's Soda Bread

I bought this book after I started watching The Great British Bakeoff. This is the first thing I've made from it. I went online and got the US equivalents for the British measurements.

Soda Bread 

500g (2 1/2 cups) plain white flour, plus extra for dusting

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (what we call baking soda)

1 tsp salt

400 ml (13.5 oz) buttermilk

I didn't have quite enough buttermilk so I used some regular milk.

1. Heat (we would say preheat) your oven to 200º C (395º F) and line a baking tray (cookie sheet) with baking parchment (we say parchment paper) or silicone paper. I used parchment.

2. Put all the dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix well, then stir in the buttermilk to form a sticky dough. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and shape it quickly into a ball. Flatten the ball a little with your hand.

3. Put the dough on the baking tray. Mark it into quarters, cutting deeply through the bread, almost but not quite through to the base. Dust with a little flour.

4. Bake for 30 minutes or until the loaf is cooked through - it should be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the base. Leave it to cool on a wire rack. Soda bread is best eaten within a day of baking. It freezes well.

It looks pretty darn good! But I could hear Paul telling me I could have baked it just a wee bit longer. Though the picture below is blurry, you might be able to see it is a touch underdone. 

Also, instead of an all-purpose flour, which I think is the equivalent to what the British call "plain", I used what I've learned from GBBO, is "strong flour."  

I guess I just assumed this would be right. Next time I might try the all-purpose, or part all-purpose. Also, he says you can use half wholemeal (whole wheat) which I will definitely do next time, though I wanted to make it his way the first time. And yes, I will make it again. It was so quick and easy and really delicious, even if it could have used maybe 5 minutes more in the oven.

You may visit Beth Fish Reads for more food related posts.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Today's picture/An update on the crèche picture from two days ago

This is what I found after Hazel went home today. She brought every figure in - the Wise Men, the shepherds, and all the animals so that they are all close to and gazing at the Child in a manger. It made me cry. "Through the eyes of a child" indeed.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

November books

Finally, I'm caught up! I just got it into my head that I had better do this now. 2018 is slip, slip, slipping away! As with all these posts, read from bottom to top. Sorry for confusion. This was just the easiest way for me to list them.

November - 8

57. Saturday the Rabbi Went Hungry - book 2 in the Rabbi Small series
by Harry Kemelman
mystery 1966
finished 11/27/18
American writer/American setting

56. Friday the Rabbi Slept Late - book 1 in the Rabbi Small series
by Harry Kemelman
mystery 1964
finished 11/22/18
American writer/American setting

I read the Rabbi Small books years and years ago. I listened to them on Recorded Books tapes. I learned so much about what it means to be Jewish. The rabbi is great friends with the local policeman, who is Roman Catholic. He solves crimes through logic and the Talmud. Fascinating. I'm quite sure that nothing has ever been written like these books. They are informative, interesting, and just plain fun to read. This is one of my favorite mystery series.

55. Still Life with Bread Crumbs
by Anna Quinden
fiction 2014
library book
finished 11/19/18
American writer/American setting

And I loved this one, too. Very different story, but it was just terrific. How do writers come up with ideas like this? Or any other fictional books. It is a miracle to me that one could invent a whole world, peopled with interesting souls.

55. Miller's Valley
by Anna Quindlen
fiction 2016
library book
finished 11/17/18
American writer/American setting

I haven't ever read any of Anna Quindlen's fiction before. I've sometimes caught a word or two about the books, and the subject matter just didn't appeal, but I knew when I first heard about this book that I would like it, and I more than liked it. I thought it was a great book. I don't want to say much about it because it is nice to discover a story on your own. The time period was about the same as my growing up, so there was a lot of familiarity, but even if you are older or younger, it is still such a good, good story.

54. Quiet Girl in a Noisy World
An Introvert's Story
by Debbie Tung
nonfiction graphic novel 2017
finished 11/16/18
English writer/English setting

Along with the Garrood book below, this was my favorite of the year. I thought the drawings were fantastic, her story so interesting. It was just perfect. I am definitely an introvert, which I knew already, but this book pointed out new facets and I just nodded my head. I am so fond of this author who I don't even know.

53. Night Blind - book 2 in the Dark Iceland series
by Ragnar Jonasson
crime fiction 2015
finished 11/13/18
Icelandic writer/Icelandic setting

I so liked the first book, and couldn't wait to read this one. In it we have gone ahead five years. The third book goes back to just after the first book. Interesting way to do it. I heard that the author was supposed to be at the Malice Domestic conference, which shows that, as I noted before, this is not noir. The head of the police is shot dead, which so upsets the balance of this small town in Iceland. I really enjoy this series.

52. The Conqueror Inn - book 18 in the Bobby Owen series
by E.R. Punshon
mystery 1943
finished 11/12/18
English writer/English setting

Time for some more Punshon, I thought. I love these Bobby Owen books. Always interesting.

51. Ruth Robinson's Year of Miracles
by Frances Garrood
fiction 2018
finished 11/1/18
English writer/English setting

If pressed, I might say this is my favorite book of the year. It is everything I love in a book. Warmth, country living, people who care about each other, characters who are individuals. I heard about it hereI could hardly wait to begin and I enjoyed every minute of the book.

October books

October was a gem of a reading month. I read and read and read.

October - 9

50. The Book of Stillmeadow
by Gladys Taber
nonfiction 1948
finished 10/28/18 (read monthly over the year)
American writer/American setting

As you know, this was a year long book which I finished in October. Wonderful Gladys.

49. A Front Page Affair - book 1 in the Kitty Weeks Mystery series
by Radha Vatsal
mystery 2016
library book
finished 10/27/18 (another 3 day book)
Indian born writer - lives in the US/American setting

I really liked this book set in the early years of the twentieth century. I didn't think I was a big historical fiction fan, but I was wrong. I've read so many this year, and loved them all. Kitty Weeks writes for a newspaper, and longs to report on the more serious stories, which of course happens! Looking forward to reading the next one.

48. Rogue Lawyer
by John Grisham
fiction 2015
library book
finished 10/24/18 (a three day book)
American writer/American setting

I am a big Grisham fan! I recently went searching on my state's downloadable books site and found lots of his books. I plan of reading them all over time. He tells a good story, the pace is good, the characters are good. What's not to like. Oh, and I like the author. I've heard several interviews, and he just seems like a really nice person. Rogue Lawyer is very good!

47. Even If the Sky Falls Down
by Susan Jackson Bybee
fiction 2015
finished 10/21/18
American writer/South Korea setting

Years ago, I used to read Susan Bybee's blog. I believe she was teaching in South Korea, a place dear to my heart because my children were born there. I had lost track of the blog over time but was aware she had written a book. I finally bought it for my Kindle, and truly enjoyed it. An important part of the book is the history of the older Korean characters who talk about the wartime. These reports are very moving, and give the reader a good sense of that time, and the country itself. Wonderful book. I did find her new-name blog and it is here.

46. The Music Shop: A Novel
by Rachel Joyce
fiction 2017
library book
finished 10/15/18 (another two day book!)
English writer/English setting

Such a wonderful book. I loved it to pieces. It reminds me a tiny bit of Nick Hornby's High Fidelity in the sense of the importance of music. Good people, these characters. I wish I knew them in real life.

45. The Death of Mr Lomas - book 1 in the Inspector Knollis series
bu Francis Vivian
mystery 1941
finished 10/13/18
English writer/English setting

Another new author for me, and I liked this book so much. I've bought the second one, too. Exciting for me to have found lots of new writers this year!

44. The Word is Murder: A Novel - book 1 in the Detective Daniel Hawthorne
by Anthony Horowitz
mystery 2017
library book
finished 10/9/18 (two days!)
English writer/English setting

I just loved this book! I could hardly put it down. A unique and fascinating idea - he is a character in his own novel! I don't want to say anything about the story, except read it!

43. Death in Dark Glasses - book 17 in the Thomas Littlejohn series
by George Bellairs
mystery 1952
finished 10/2/18
English writer/English setting

More Bellairs!! Great book.

42. No More Words 
A Journal of My Mother,
Anne Morrow Lindbergh
by Reeve Lindbergh
nonfiction 2001
finished 10/1/18
American writer/American setting

This is an exceptional book on many levels. It is about the last years of Reeve's mother's, the author Anne Morrow Lindbergh, life. It is frank and honest. She began writing a diary after her mother came to live in a little house built for her on Reeve's farm. She had had a stroke and couldn't live alone or travel back and forth from Connecticut to Vermont anymore. Anne had exceptional caregivers, Buddhists who were compassionate and so very helpful. I wonder if I were in Reeve's position if I would have dared to write some of the things she did- thoughts we all have when a parent dies a lingering, long death. But she did because she knew it would help others who were going through it. That need to have your mother be herself again - caring about you, her child, rather than you having to care for her. Reeve is eloquent in her plain speaking. This is a beautiful book, and if you haven't read it, please do give it a try, and really every book Reeve Lindbergh has written. She is just so, so good.