Monday, May 14, 2018

BOOK NOOK: THE VANISHING ACT OF ESME LENNOX

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

When I was in school, probably about eighth grade, we read The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. What a creepy story: a woman whose doctor and husband make her "rest" all the time until she goes mad.

I had no idea that this short story was an early work of feminist literature, and back in the Dark Ages of my youth, I don't think we even knew the word "feminism."

Women were (and some still think are) too emotional and not in control of themselves. The patriarchy sometimes demanded that they be locked up because they were diagnosed with hysteria.

I found a literary descendant to The Yellow Wallpaper's protagonist in The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell.



Iris, who "isn't used to dealing with things that are . . . untouched," receives a call about Euphemia Lennox––a name she doesn't recognize. She's shocked to learn that this woman is her grandmother's sister, who has been locked up in a mental institution for 60 years. Now that the hospital is closing, Iris is expected to take responsibility for Esme, as the stranger prefers to be called.

No one can tell Iris anything about Esme. Iris's grandmother has Alzheimer's, her mother never heard of Esme, and her father is dead. What's to be done with Esme, and why has she been in the hospital all these years?

O'Farrell moves deftly between Iris's present with Esme and Esme's memories of her youth as mysteries unfold. I enjoyed the style of this novel very much and found it difficult to put down; thus, The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Highest Approval.

Another book I hope to read soon is by our good friend Susan Flett Swidersky, who blogs at I Think; Therefore, I Yam. Her new book is



Congratulations, Susan!


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Friday, May 11, 2018

FRANKLIN FRIDAY: PENLAPEE AND THE POODLES

HI! Hi! Hi Hi Hi Hi Every Buddy! It's me it's me it's me it's Franklin the Bordernese here to talk about my sister Penlapee.


A few months ago, Mom started going to something called werk. She'd put on a dress and swish out of here and say, Franklin, take care of the house. I'm going to werk.

I didn't mind. I like being in charge.

But sometimes when Mom would come home, she's walk in the house and say, Uh-oh, there's a poodle.

I couldn't figure that out. I've met some poodles at the neighborhood park, but I've never seen one in our house.

As you can see,
a Bordernese is much better lookin' than a poodle.

Then Mom explained to me that she wasn't saying poodle. She was saying puddle, as in this:


Sometimes Penlapee can't wait till Mom gets home, and she makes a puddle. Mom doesn't get mad. She knows we're used to having her at home and letting us outside whenever we need to go.

Mom says she thinks that during the last hour before she gets home that Penlapee is probably watching for her at the window with her legs crossed because she needs to go. Maybe we need some buddy to come over to let us out while Mom is gone, but Penlapee is so scared of every buddy except Mom that she would probably hide and refuse to go out.







I'm much more cooperative.

We have other kinds of pee in our lives, too. Remember way back around Easter when Mom blogged that she'd been sick with the flu? She got a little better and went to werk, but then she got worse. Now she has pee new moan at ya.

When she coughs, she sounds kinda like a barking dog.

I guess Mom has learned a new language, and it's ours! I like that. I'm glad she's at home with us until she gets better. She says not to worry. She's been to the doctor and she's taking her medicine.

We've all been watching movies together and we don't have poodles or puddles in the house.

Okay I love you bye-bye.

I'll rest my head here during the movie.
Tonight we're watching Phantom Thread starring Daniel Dog-Lewis.





Wednesday, May 9, 2018

TWO IN ONE EVENING

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I've been longing to blog and this evening, Franklin and I finally sat down together so he could write one of his beloved FRANKLIN FRIDAY posts.

After I picked up the laptop to help him get started,  I noticed a giant palmetto bug* running around on the laptop. I guess it wanted to blog, but nope, not happening.

I screamed a few times and threw poor Lappie on the floor. Her case was already cracked and duct taped together. Now it's worse. But she still works! Best of all, she landed on the palmetto bug and killed him.

About the time that Franklin finished his post, I saw another gigantic palmetto bug run into the office and head for the opening under the TV cabinet. I screamed again as I stomped the second bug of the night to death.

I don't think I've ever had two palmetto bugs in the house in one evening. If this keeps up, we will hire an exterminator.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug, a good kind of bug

*For those of you who are unfamiliar with the horror of palmetto bugs, they are huge, flying cockroaches. I've never seen them anywhere except Florida, but perhaps they live in some other extra-hot parts of the U.S., too. Do you have palmetto bugs where you live?


Sunday, April 1, 2018

HOPPY EASTER

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Here I am just in time to say that, as usual, I'm taking off the month of April while the A to Z-ers do their thing.

I've been sick with the flu for a week, and yes, I got my flu shot. I also got one last year and had a terrible case of the flu. But I refuse to give up on the shot.

A lot has happened. I'll tell you many stories when May rolls around with nice weather (I hope) and good health for all of us.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug





Monday, February 26, 2018

WHO MISSES ME SOOOOO MUCH?

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

A few days ago I got home from work and found a box waiting for me on my front steps. Inside the box was this heart full of goodies:

Yummy! But who sent this gift of deliciousness? A flyer in the box said that the name of the sender was on the front of the box. The label on the box said MISS YOU SOOOOO MUCH.

I don't have a relative or a child who misses me, so someone in the blogosphere needs to fess up and receive my thanks. I know that quite a few of you have my address.

I have three more weeks of training at work. Then I'll start my "real" schedule. I hope I'll have more time to return to my contrary grammarian ways.

My new work-related benefits are great, and the training has all been paid time (including the shift differential I'll get with my schedule). Every time I think, This is too hard . . . I should stay at home with the doggies, I get a paycheck to remind that the job is great. Plus, I love the people at work.

I did speak to a woman on the phone, however, who must have just finished sucking on the sourest lemon in the world. When I asked if she was near a representative with whom I could speak, she said, Yes, there's a representative here WITH WHOM you can speak, I swear acid must have dripped from her mouth when she said "with whom" because she sounded so nasty. Excuse me all to hell for using correct grammar.

Remember when I was worried about learning Excel? We never use it at work, and it wasn't in the job description. I'm glad I learned it, though, because all of the information I entered should make it easier to do my taxes. I need to get started on those.

I miss you all. I visit at least a few blogs every Sunday afternoon.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug







Sunday, January 28, 2018

THE UNINVITED GUEST

I've been so busy that I started writing this post three weeks ago--I think--and I'm finally getting back to it.

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Before The Great Freeze of 2018 began (we've gotten down to 29 degrees a few times lately and the natives can't handle it when it's 60 so try to imagine how upset they've been), a lovely blogger named Jenny at Procrastinating Donkey posted some funny photos, including this one:


Just so you know, I asked Jenny if she minded me repeating this photo;
she said, Go right ahead, rip-off bitch. You don't think she meant
that in a sarcastic way, do you?
You know I'm kidding, right? Jenny is great. You should follow her.


I commented: The dog who was hoping for a puppy looks very much like Penelope, who would probably have a heart attack if a cat showed up in our house.
Well, a few hours later I was in my closet organizing my shoes . . .

What? You think it's weird to organize my shoes? It makes the shoes happy and happy shoes feel good on my tootsies.

I heard a strange noise coming from another room and walked to the hall to discover Franklin tussling with something in the hall bathroom, also known as Willy Dunne Wooters' bathroom because the master bath is much nicer so it's mine all mine because the kindergarten teacher can no longer give me a minus in plays well with others, though I suspect Willy Dunne Wooters thinks I play just fine.

Anydog, I thought a rat had tunneled into the house through a wall because he didn't know about the fall of the Berlin Wall and Franklin was trying to educate him. I couldn't see the creature, but he was making some noise. I told Franklin to stop and moved in for a closer look.

It wasn't a rat! It was a cat! A cat on the bathroom mat!

I think she was a lady cat because she wore a pink collar with little jingle bells. With Franklin out of the way, she tore down the hall to my office.


No, Franklin didn't hurt the cat. It was such a nice day that I had the backdoor open. She wandered in.

I sent Franklin outside because I hoped to persuade Queen Kitty to leave. She was white and appeared to be a fairly nice--albeit frightened and upset--cat.

Penelope followed me into the office and showed me Kitty's hiding placer behind the shelves that serve as a resting place for my office supplies. Penelope was not in freak out or heart attack mode. She displayed nothing but cautious curiosity toward Kitty.

But Kitty wasn't having it. She managed to get underneath the shelves.

So Penelope joined Franklin outside. I moved the shelves out and spoke to Kitty for a bit. Then I touched her. She didn't recoil. I started petting her. All was well. I picked her up and headed to the front door. As we approached, she dug her claws into my shirt and then into my skin. She wiggled and fought. As soon as I opened the door, she sprang from my arms, leaving me with a few claw marks.


So that's the story of our uninvited guest. Florida has warmed up again. It's 75 degrees and the backdoor is open. Franklin lounges on the deck. As long as he stays there, I don't think any cats will try to see if our palace is a great place for a cat to live.

I'll try to come around to visit as many of you as possible, but if comments are still taking an eternity to post, I won't be able to leave many.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Thursday, January 18, 2018

YOU DID IT!

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Today, thanks to you, I passed the background check for my new job so I'm not getting fired––at least for a while.

I'm grateful to all of you who sent emails and expressed concern and interest.

Franklin and Penelope thank you, too. They miss me while I'm working, but they're glad I can pay for food and toys. Penelope has also expressed a wish for another jacket so she doesn't have to wear the same old thing every day.

It's very cold here, at least for us. We're getting down to 28 degrees at night. And to think at times I lived in places where the wind chill was 28 below and we had three feet of snow.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

my uniform for work