I stole this from Monique Fullmer:"I read on another blog that the average adult has read only 6 out of 100 of the following books! (I don't know if those stats are true, but I guess it doesn't matter)."

I Googled 100 books you should read and got 13,500,000 hits. I guess there are a lot of different opinions on which books should be on the list. I have highlighted those I have read (49 in all). Some many years ago. How many of these have you read?

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen (awesome - one of my favorite)
2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien (I love SciFi)
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte (great book)
4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (Excellent read, great life lessons and the movie is wonderful)
6. The Bible (once from cover to cover)
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte (I bet I read this a dozen times in high school)
8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell (totally kewl book)
9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens (high school)
11. Little Women - Louisa May Alcott (Love it. Have a set of these books my grandmother gave me)
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller (high school)
14. Complete work of Shakespere (have read many of them and love them)
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier (Love it)
16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien (great book)
17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger (high school)
19. The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell (movie makes text easier to visualize)
22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald (depressing)
23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy (painfully long, a laborious read)
25. The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams (Not as good as I thought it would be)
26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck (This is a painful read. The copy I have has annotations in the margins written by my grandmother for her book club)
29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll (love it-when I read it I always think I will be able to figure out if it was a dream or real, never have been able to)
30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame (high school)
31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy (boring, wouldn't recommend it)
32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens (high school)
33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34. Emma - Jane Austen (couldn't put the book down)
35. Persuasion - Jane Austen
36. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
37. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
38. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
39. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne (Who doesn't like Winnie the Pooh?)
40. Animal Farm - George Orwell (high school)
41. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown (Love it)
42. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
43. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
44. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
45. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery (Can you tell I am a romantic?)
46. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy (and I liked the movie too)
47. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
48. Lord of the Flies - William Golding (high school)
49. Atonement - Ian McEwan
50. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
51. Dune - Frank Herbert (Better than the movie)
52. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
53. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen (kind of slow and repetitive)
54. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
55. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
56. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens (high school)
57. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
58. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
59. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
60. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck (skip over some of the descriptive stuff and it is good)
61. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
62. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
63. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
64. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas (great book)
65. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
66. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
67. Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fiedling (was that a book too?)
68. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdi
69. Moby Dick - Herman Melville (high school)
70. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens (high school)
71. Dracula - Bram Stoker
72. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett (excellent book and I love the movie too)
73. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
74. Ulysses - James Joyce (Painfully long)
75. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
76. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
77. Germinal - Emile Zola
78. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
79. Possession - AS Byatt
80. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens (a great book, but not so fun to read out loud)
81. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
82. The Color Purple - Alice Walker (can't stand the pain in this book)
83. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
84. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert (high school)
85. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
86. Charlotte’s Web - EB White
87. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom (okay, but not totally inspiring as I expected it to be)
88. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Love Sherlock Holmes)
89. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
90. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
91. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
92. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
93. Watership Down - Richard Adams (sorry, I thought this was stupid)
94. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
95. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
96. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas (better than all the movies they made of it)
97. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
98. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo (Read every word loved the book-- well except some of the war fighting scenes. hated the play)
99. Age of Innocence - Edith Wharton (high school)
100. Twilight series - Stephanie Myers (how did this get on the list of great books? I liked it okay, but don't consider it one of the "great" books)

This weekend our grandson, Harris Morley, got baptized. Tarzan and I got to attend in Texas. We love Harris. He has an insatiable curiosity for life. He is smiling all the time. Harris has a tender heart and when you visit him, he is always sad when you leave. After the baptism, we all sat around and talked about memories. It was fun and the meal Tori and Bob cooked was awesome. Two of Harris’ friends were being baptized on the same day. I didn’t think to get a picture of all of them together. I have to get better at this picture taking thing. Here are the fun pictures I got. Remember, I never wait for posing.

Tarzan, Grandi and Harris, the official picture. New Suit, new shirt, new tie, new shoes, Wow.

Tarzan is loosening up for the teasing to start (with Maddison and Amber).

My sister is on the left, Tarzan is talking to Maddison. The other man is their home teacher.

Now, there is a series of pictures of Harris, being Harris. See the twinkle in his eyes?

After the baptism, Maddison, Papa, Tori (my daughter in pink)

There’s my Amber in the pink blouse. Isn’t she a cutie?

Here is my Maddison. She is so grown up. She has totally turned into a beautiful young woman.

Harris got the best present from his Home Teacher. He got a bag with a scout night light. It was green and could be clipped on to anything in a tent so you could see in the tent at night and it had an emergency handbook with it. He also got a prayer pillow that said “Brush your teeth, say your prayers and read your scriptures.” What a great guy.
My Harris

My Sister, Inez in the yellow blouse, and her friend, Daniella, Harris, and Bob (Harris’s Dad), Papa and the Home Teacher are in the background.
I love this picture of Harris standing among the brethern. He is part of the "club" now. In four short years he will hold the Priesthood. This is Harris, Papa (on the left) and the fabulous Home Teacher behind Harris.

I first met Nellie B. when Tarzan sent me to the airport to pick her up. She was flying from Tennessee to meet his new wife--me. I was standing right at the gate where the passengers unloaded (pre 9/11) and watched as each person unloaded from the airplane. Not one black woman got off. Only one person escaped my "perusal." It was a woman who whizzed past me in a wheelchair not even looking left or right like she was looking for someone. My mother-in-law was not in a wheelchair.

The last person got off the airplane and I timidly stepped up to the girl at the door and asked if there was anyone else on the plane. She went down the breezeway and checked--no one left on the airplane.

I started to cry. My first meeting with my mother-in-law and I lost her.

I rushed to the baggage claim area while dialing Tarzan's sister on the phone to see if she actually got on the airplane. She got all excited and said, "You lost my Mama?" I told her I would call her back and called Tarzan to confess that I had lost her. Just then I saw a little black lady with a white cap on standing and casually waiting for her luggage. With Tarzan on the phone, I hesitantly walked up to her and asked her if she was Nelie B. She gave me her big friendly smile and said "yeeaaaa, how youuu baaaeebeee" with a heavy southern drawl. I was instantly in love. Then I heard Tarzan screaming in the phone, "Did you find her?"

I came to my senses and told him she was the lady in the wheelchair. Then handed her the phone so he could talk to her. Tarzan was still hyperventilating so he yelled at his mom, "Why didn't you tell me you were in a wheelchair?" She just calmly told him, "Weeellll, they awfered me a wheeelchaeeer and Iiii couldn't see aneee reeeeasun ta wawlk if Iiii didn't half ta."

We hugged and were fast friend from that moment on. We lovingly referred to Tarzan as a heathen, we shopped together, had a pedicure together, cooked together, laughed together and all the while she was worried that she would get in our way. She couldn’t have been more wrong. We loved having her with us.

We got her to visit us one more time and tried our best to get her to stay with us. We almost had her convinced and then Thanksgiving came around and we called back home where the whole family in Tennessee had gathered. She heard all the commotion with the grandchildren and great grandchildren and said she wanted to go home.

About two years later her health began to fail. We visited her in January this year and we were shocked to see how ill she was, but at that time, they were still getting her up and letting her sit in a chair off and on during the day. In March, Tarzan went back to see her and she was completely bedridden. We decided to get her to move in with us and made the plan to pick her up in June. We remodeled her room to make it more friendly to a bedbound person and then went to get her. When we arrived in June, we knew she would not survive a 3-day car trip to our house so we gave up on the idea of ever having her live with us. I arranged to have hospice come in and care for her on a daily basis. They were awesome and really relieved some of the burden from the family.

Now, she is gone. We went back to Tennessee for the week of the funeral. It was such a wonderful week. Everyone was so kind to me, personally. I had the privilege of helping get her ready for burial. This brings me to the fun story from the funeral…

There were five of us at the funeral home,
Bettie, her daughter,

Asta, her granddaughter

and Wasyta, her granddaughter

Von, Bettie’s friend

and me. We went to the funeral home to fix Nellie’s hair. Asta is a beautician. We were all standing around the body, Asta was curling her hair, Von and I were holding her hands while Wasyta painted her nails and Bettie was just looking on in dismay. Suddenly, there was a huge explosion in the room, the noise was really loud and sparks flew everywhere. Then one of the lights went out. Asta jumped and ran out of the room, Wasyta backed up against the wall with her eyes wide as silver dollars and Von and I stood there shaking and looking around, neither of us wanted to drop her hands because it would ruin her nail polish. Bettie recovered first and started to laugh. Asta came back in the room and said “I’m sorry Grandmama, I didn’t mean to burn you.” Wasyta said, “What are we doing that you don’t like Grandmama, do you want a different color of nail polish?” We all agreed that if Nellie B. was around, she would want us to know and she would want us to be happy. After that, the mood lightened up and we all had a good time getting her ready for the funeral. She would have wanted it that way.

If anyone loved life, it was Nellie B. She was quick to laugh and said what was on her mind. I will really miss her and my only regret is that she didn’t come into my life sooner.

Here are the directions:

1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you. If you don't want to play on your blog, or if you don't have a blog, I'll leave my memory of you in my comments.

We arrived at ACFree and found the mechanic had gone home because he didn’t have any business that day. There was the usual bunch of lackeys sitting around and they all jumped up to work on our car. I just sat down in front of the evaporative cooler and kept my mouth tightly shut. They pulled everything apart and put the plug in that we had bought at AutoZone and it didn’t work. After 2 hours in the heat, with everyone taking a turn looking at the car (including the guy with the same cloths on he had on the day before which included a t-shirt that used to be white and was big enough for my whole family to fit in—yuck), they put everything back together and told us to buy a different part.

I told Tarzan that I would take it to the dealer the next day.

The next day I drove to Courtesy Chevrolet and told them, “It’s not the compressor, it’s not the fuses, it may need some Freon, but that is not what is wrong with it. What is wrong is that there is no power coming to this little switch right here.” Anthony wrote that down on the work order and told me it cost $99 just to have them look at it. If they fixed it, that would be taken off the price to fix it. I went in to wait for a ride to work.

45 minutes later, I asked someone how long I had to wait for a ride. Anthony had not given them a slip of paper to take me to work. So, I got that taken care of and got a ride to work.

At 11:30 a.m. I got the sad call that my mother-in-law had passed away. That is for a whole different blog story, but is part of this story so I added it here.

I immediately called Tarzan, the family didn’t know his cell phone number so they had called me. He fell apart and I knew I needed to be with him. I called Courtesy Chevrolet and told them what had happened and asked how long before my car would be ready. There were 8 cars in front of me, they hadn’t even looked at it yet. I asked if they could move it up under the circumstances and Anthony said he would try.

I called back several times during the day always with the same conversation.

Finally, at 4:00 p.m. I got a call. The mechanic wanted another $99 to pull the dashboard off and continue looking for the problem. They still had not fixed it. I started to cry and said, “I just don’t need this right now. Put the car together and send someone to get me.”

I got my wits about me and called back.

“Before the mechanic leaves, find out exactly what he did to the car that was worth the $99 you are charging me.”

“He is gone for the day, I have already asked him. He checked the fuses and the ignition switch.”

“You have got to be kidding me. I told you the fuses were not the problem. I have already had those checked and I know that took all of 5 seconds to do. I also know that ‘dismantling’ the dash is no big deal, I could do it. I watched the other guys who checked it do it twice, it takes 5 minutes and a screw driver.”

“Mrs. Grandberry, I talked the mechanic down to $59 for what he did today.”

“Okay, that’s better, but it is still ridiculous.”

I called Tarzan at home and told him that I hated to bother him with this, but needed his advice. I wanted to know if I should talk to the manager or just let it go. His first reaction was to just let it go, but then he thought a minute and said, “You know you never get better action than when a mad woman talks to the manager. Go for it baby.”

My ride finally came and Walter and I had a great conversation about life, mothers and family (Walter took me to work in the morning, so we were already on a first name basis—he had knee surgery 12 years ago that keeps him from being able to exercise :-)). When I got to Courtesy Chevrolet, I just went up to the window to pay and ask to speak to a manager when I noticed a man sitting in an office right next to the cashier window.

I stepped into his office and said, “Are you a manger?” He was and I asked if I could talk to him. I started off by saying, “I quit coming to Courtesy Chevrolet years ago and today I remembered why.” I had his attention. First, I assured him that Anthony had been very nice and taken good care of me and then told him the whole story in a very calm manner. He said, “Mrs. Grandberry, I understand how this happened and I can fix it. The last thing you need is to be driving around in an un-air conditioned car and be charged too much for it. Let me get you an air conditioned car to drive for now and when you get back from the funeral come in and we will start over.”

Wow! They couldn’t find my work order, so he told the cashier, "It doesn’t matter, just give me a green slip so she can get out of the yard." He signed the green slip and off I went. Wow! I’ll go back there.

Monday, I had the day off. I was road weary from the travel over the 4th of July weekend, so I slept on and off all morning. In the afternoon I got up to run errands for Tarzan. After two or three errands, I stopped at the dry cleaners and when I got back in my car the air conditioner would NOT BLOW AT ALL. Not even hot air. I rolled down my window and thought I would simply go home and let Tarzan fix it.

As I drove toward the house I thought about how selfish that was, after all I had the day off, so I drove to a place I pass all the time with a sign that says ACFree. Winding around, down, up and through the yard, I came to a small Winnebago with an awning on the east side. There was a young man there with baggy pants who jumped right up to check my car. There was an old man, with only one tooth, sitting in a lawn chair in front of the evaporative cooler they had set up outside. He waxed poetic about what a good mechanic this young man was and that he would get me going. There was a woman inside the trailer cooking – today’s special--Hamburger $2.50, soda $1.00. She told me she comes at 10:00 in the morning and cooks all day fixing lunch and dinner for whoever stops by. She had 3 electric skillets to cook on.

I stood in the heat for about 30 minutes and then was told that all the fuses were good and everything was working except the air conditioning switch (you know the thing that makes it blow cold air—sheez, I already knew it wasn’t doing that). The solution was to send me to the JUNK YARD to buy a used one and then they would put it in the car for me. I panicked and asked if I would have to pull the part, it’s 113° and I am in no mood to go walking around a junk yard looking for a car that looks like mine and then try to get the part out. He assured me that I would not have to do that and gave me an address for a junk yard THAT DID NOT EXIST. I was determined, however, and after four tries, and once almost crying, I was told that I could get the part from a junk yard in MARICOPA, a 40 MINUTE DRIVE WITH NO AIR CONDITIONER. They said they would UPS it to me and I gave them my work address so I could have it on Tuesday. Cost $60

Tuesday, the part came. Tarzan and I went back to the ACFree place and they installed the switch. While I was waiting for them to get it installed I sat with a group of men in front of the evaporative cooler who were shooting craps. I didn’t understand the game, so they explained as they went along. 7 or 11 on your first roll you win and the shoot starts over, any other number on your first roll and you have to roll that same number again before you roll a 7 or 11 or you lose. There was something about the number 3 too, but I didn’t get it. One of them looked up at me and said, “Man, I’m glad you came along, these guys have cleaned up their language.” I watched as they won and lost $1.00 at a time. There was a little girl sitting next to me who kept saying “Daddy, you are losing all our money.” That took some of the fun out of watching these guys as they each had their own style, arguing over someone touching the dice when it wasn’t their turn and how it changed the dynamics of the game, making funny noises to encourage the dice, rolling with their eyes shut, rolling with their eyes open.

The part was installed and guess what--IT DIDN’T WORK. We were then told that “well, you know, this is a used part from a car the same age as yours so it’s probably worn out too.” DUH! I said, “If anyone had suggested I get a new part yesterday, I could have had this fixed by now.”

So, now I am hot and I am hungry and I am angry-not a good combination. Realizing they were not going to fix it, I stood real close to Tarzan and said, “You settle up with them, if I do, I am just going to piss everyone off.” (Sorry about the swear word.) He settled for $50 – hey I thought this was going to be a Free. Whatever.

Our next instruction was to find a dealership. I got on my cell phone and called 411 and got a dealer 30 miles away who told me (1) they didn’t sell Oldsmobiles at that dealership anymore and (2) they don’t make Oldsmobiles anymore and (3) I could go to any GM dealer for parts.

“Hey, look, I drive a gray car. I just happen to know it’s an Oldsmobile because I am looking for a part. Who would be a GM dealer?” They guy laughed and said any Chevy dealer. So, I started calling around and all the parts departments were closed. AAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!

By now, a miscellaneous person who had been watching the crap game came over and started fiddling with the old switch which had now been placed back in the car. He jiggled it around and got the darn thing working. They all decided it was just one part of the switch and showed us on the one we got from the junk yard what part it was.

We went to AutoZone and they told us we would have to drive about 20 miles to another location to get the part we needed. We did so, and were grateful that we had a limping air conditioner. Cost $20. We drove back to the ACFree place and they had all gone home. We’ll see if the part works.

There was a fire just over the hill from our house last week. The sun is going down in this picture and the smoke from the fire blocks what little sun was left for the day.
It's hot here, the sun is not cheery and bright to me, it is oppressive, something I endure for 3 months out of the year. I stay inside with the air conditioner on and know that there are 9 months ahead when the sun is a joy and a friend.

Did you ever say something that was what you wanted to say, but as you heard it come out of your mouth you realized your tone of voice said it all wrong? Then, because you didn't think fast enough to take it back or explain what how you meant to say it, you stew over it for days?

I did that Sunday and on Wednesday I am still upset because I would die if someone thought I was as thoughtless and harsh as the words I said came out. They were not directed at anyone, but just a general comment in Sunday School class and I can't seem to get it out of my head. I hate when that happens.