Monday, May 28, 2018


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,
Recently I watched a show on PBS called The Great American Read. It's perfect for book lovers, and I suspect that includes most of us. You can watch the launch special HERE.

PBS used a national survey to present the 100 best-loved novels in the U.S. Now we can vote for our favorites HERE. You can vote once a day for each book and in a variety of ways, such as signing in with your email address, Facebook, or Twitter.

Although the list includes a couple of books that make me raise my eyebrows (Fifty Shades of Grey? Puh-lease!), I suspect I'll want to read some of the books on the list that I've missed.

Voting ends at midnight PT on October 18, 2018. The winner will be announced on PBS.

I suspect I'll cast most of my votes for my all-time favorite novel

 but I've also voted for 

After you've checked out the list, I hope you'll come back to tell us which books are your favorites. I also want to know how many of the 100 you've read.

I've read 43, but keep in mind that a series counts as one book so I've actually read more books than the 43 I can count. By the time we reach the finale of the series in October, I hope I'll be up to 50 books.

Some of the books on the list are pretty darn tempting.

Happy Reading!

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

P.S. It's Memorial Day, and I'd like to know why people are setting off firecrackers as if this day is some kine of celebration.

Friday, May 25, 2018


Yes, Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

A big one is in my shower and it has nothing to do with Willy Dunne Wooters.

It's a dead palmetto bug. I photographed it so if you've never seen one, here's your chance.

If you don't want to see a giant cockroach on its back, then don't scroll down. Head for the emergency exits immediately.

Normally, I wouldn't photograph a palmetto bug inside my house. They move too fast, and when I've stomped on one to kill it, they're pretty flat.

This one somehow made its way to my shower and died. It's not merely dead; it's really most sincerely dead (are those the correct words from The Wizard of Oz?). Since it's in a contained space and it definitely can't get up to run away, I offer photos.

Here he is from a distance:

Now we'll get as close as I can without screaming (doesn't matter that it's dead--I always scream when I see them):

He's not the biggest one I've ever seen (and no, I'm not putting some common object next to him to help you judge his size). He's about average.

I've seen a couple other dead ones in the house since the night that I had to kill three of them. They're unusually bad this year, which surprises me, first, because we're not well into summer, and second, because we had such a cold winter (for us).

The winter does seem to have affected the lizards. I've seen very few outside and haven't had a single one in the house.

Next step: Get rid of the dead palmetto bug. I don't picture that being done by turning on the water. It's too big to go down the drain.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Tuesday, May 22, 2018


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I've long thought that it would be a good idea for Prince Harry to marry an American, but I had a certain American mathematician in mind. With her auburn hair, they might have produced a beautiful bunch of red-haired children.

Alas, the mathematician isn't interested in marriage. Harry found himself a TV star instead. Their wedding was lovely.

A plethora of celebrities attended. Here are Lady Grand Slams and Lord Reddit:

Amal Clooney looked beautiful as usual, although she was accompanied by some guy no one recognized:

I watched with my old buddy Starbucks, who kept complaining that black people were all over the place. A black preacher. Black guests. The black gospel choir.

Starbucks soon stomped off to call the police so they could "do something" about all those black people. I think my friendship with Starbucks is over. I loved the choir's rendition of Stand By Me.

The award for best hat of the day went to the Duchess of Cornwall because it hid her horsey face:

I wonder if the Prince of Wails still wants to be Camilla's tampon.

Ten children took part in the wedding! Ten! Can you imagine wrangling all those children? It might have been like herding cats, but they were on their best behavior.

Not a nose-picker, pants-wetter, or puker among them.

I felt sorry for Queen Elizabeth. Everywhere she goes, Tom Riddle (a.k.a.He Who Must Not Be Named) sneaks looks over her shoulder:

For me, however, the most striking aspect of the wedding was the difference between Prince Harry marrying the new Duchess of Sussex (Meghan) and Prince Charles's wedding to Diana, Princess of Wales.

Diana was a 20-year-old girl marrying a man she still called "sir" on the day he proposed. She ended up wanting to back out of the whole thing when she learned that Charles was still in love with Horsey Face.

Meghan, by contrast, is 36, has been married before, and has had a career. She married a man who seems to really and truly be in love with her. They embark on their life together with the goal of being a family and bringing joy to the downtrodden of the world: a goal that Harry learned from his mother.

You are remembered, Angel Princess.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Best Photo of the Day:

Monday, May 14, 2018


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


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


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?