Thursday Musical Two-Fer: A book about Dolly Parton and a book by Jann Arden

Dolly Parton and Jann Arden are two women I would definitely love to have as girlfriends—BFFs. They’re smart, talented, generous, kind, and funny. I’ve just finished reading two books: She Come By It Natural about Dolly Parton written by Sarah Smarsh, and If I Knew Then by Jann Arden. She Come By It Natural by Sarah Smarsh is basically a fan letter from one country girl…

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Remembering those who put their lives on the line so we could live in freedom and peace

Like many baby boomers, my family has a large veteran component who served overseas during WW2. Most of the people I went to school with from our small town also came from families with veterans, including some who never came home. As school children, we trooped to our local cenotaph every year for Remembrance Day services. Each one of us remembered the familiar faces of…

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The grocery store treasure hunt has become our pandemic entertainment

When you need to shoo your bored husband out of the house for a while, consider sending him to the grocery store. It’s also an excellent way of cutting that umbilical cord he’s grown to CNN over the last few months. Admittedly, guys come home with all kinds of strange, exotic and usually unhealthy food purchases, but it’s often worth the entertainment value. Who knows…

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“Friends and Enemies” exposes how the other half lives, or Don’t cry for me, Barbara Amiel

You will need to allow plenty of time to read and absorb the contents of Barbara Amiel’s new memoir Friends and Enemies which was released earlier this month. Weighing in at a hefty 603 pages in the hardcover and 978 pages on my iPad mini, it requires a lot of time, and many glasses of wine or, in my case, cups of strong tea to get…

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An ode to La-Z-Boy and the recliners we have loved

When I was in my early forties, I purchased my first La-Z-Boy recliner. It was a concession to fast-approaching middle-age and a recognition of the importance of function over form. Newly single at the time, I spent many leisurely hours reading books or watching television so comfort was essential. That chair was dark green chenille and it served me well for many years. Thirty years…

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Here’s how we break the Trump and COVID-19 two-issue news cycle

Remember when we used to get news from around the world? About all kinds of different issues? Is there still a functioning world out there? I’m starved for news on Harry and Meghan (well, not really, but you know what I mean), or what is the latest scientific evidence on cancer-causing teas or breakfast cereal. What’s happening in Europe? Is Brigitte Macron still wearing her…

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