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Too Early to Have Coffee Today

Arizona Weekly Weather Report

If you know me, friends, you know it’s possibly the middle of the night. Okay, it is the middle of the night. No coffee for Natalie’s Weekend Coffee Share. How about some decaf hot tea? It’s kind of chilly here tonight. I was out on the patio answering comments for an hour or so and had to come in. It was 76 but feels like 71 with the wind. The air quality is great though in spite of fires one hundred miles north of us. The Pipeline fire: Size: 26,473 Acres Contained: 40% as of 7:00 pm Saturday. The Haywire Fire: Size: 5,563 Acres
Contained: 20% as of 7:00 pm Saturday.

It’s been a quiet week of staying home in Prescott and being with friends. I curated my kitchen with a few new purchases for casual eating on the patio. Most of the week I spent either Kindle or blogging or organizing photos on my computer. I’m not a super fan of either hot or wind and we had both most of the week.

Challenges that Influenced this Post

Hammad’s Weekend Skies

I went to a concert with neighbors at Courthouse Square. A soft breeze accompanied a marching band as the clouds kept the rhythm across the sunset.

Sunset in Courthouse Square

Some of these photos almost look like paintings to me. Here you see the top of the Courthouse from where we sat almost underneath the roofline. Had it rained, though we would have run for cover.

top of the Courthouse north entrance

Tonight the clouds promised rain that never came, but the temperature was mild in spite of the very strong wind.

The Villages where we live squatting in the Prescott foothills
You can see the tiny rectangle at the top of the hill under the mountains of clouds. That’s the casino.

Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge CMMC – Pick a topic from my photo

Cee’s Flower of the Day Challenge – FOTD

Smoketree blossoms in the golden hour sunlight
Russian sage blowing in the wind

Weekly Reading

Tonight I finished The Bleak House because of an ongoing challenge that Priorhouse Blog and Trent’s World (only click if you’ve read the book or aren’t going to – spoilers!) These two bloggers are like Story Chat on steroids. Their conversation in the comment section is one you will want to get in on if you have read the book. For me, the 900+ pages were about a 25-hour read-time according to Kindle’s estimations. By the time I got halfway into it, I had met all the characters, I could gloss over some of the descriptions and get involved with the plot. I realized the main secret less than a third of the way through the book, but by the halfway point, it was common knowledge to the main characters that needed to know.

Trent does some characterizations on his blog that are thought-provoking. There were many characters from very flat to the three-dimensional as well as characters that were likable versus despicable. In the beginning, I couldn’t imagine how all the diverse characters would come together to make the story coalesce but they did.

After reading How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas Foster, I could pick out several works that influenced Dicken’s writing and characters. I am not familiar enough with ancient writings to catch all the connections, but it was clear that some of the main characters were Biblical. It was also clear that Dickens did not mind killing off some of his characters, just as Foster wrote that good authors often do to move the story along. Expect that characters close to the main character will die.

I gave the book 5 stars even though it took a while to get into.

Other Challenges that Influenced this Post

Ongoing on Always Write

  • June Story Chat “The Backpack” by Aimer Boyz Last few days to comment
  • Summary of this controversial post coming on June 21st. Next month a new story, “Not a Proper Job” by another new (to us) author, Philip Cumberland AKA Fenlandphil’s Blog
  • WQW #22 (Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays) – “Hot June Holidays: Father’s Day and Juneteenth” The only rule is to have at least one quote in your post about the topic. Remember a song can be a quote, too. Then just post a story, poem, or pictures that tie into and respond to your quote or quotes. The last day to post links is Tuesday at 12:00 noon Phoenix time. Try the new InLinkz link.
  • PPAC #51 (Photographing Public Art Challenge) every Friday at 9:00 (ish). The last day to post links is Thursday at 12:00 noon Phoenix time. Try the new InLinkz link next week.

That’s a wrap for today.

65 replies »

  1. My, my. It’s a challenge reading all the comments and your replies. Such a following you have. We read Bleak House in book club last year. I’ve seen two movie versions as well. Not my fave Dickens. Much preferred David Copperfield. We’re reading Great Expectations next. If you appreciate Dickens, you must read “The Woman in White” by his contemporary Wilkie Collins. The movie on PBS is awful, but the book is memorable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love that you read such challenging titles in your book club. I wish that you published a list of all your titles that you have read or are going to read. That way I could keep up with you. You are an amazing reader, my friend. I will try Great Expectations and The Woman in White. I’m about halfway through Dubliners by James Joyce, which is very disconserting because every short story leave you hanging. I’m not a big fan so far. I’m trying to read some of the books recommended by Thomas Foster in Reading Literature Like a Professor. It’s going to take probably a lifetime to read like an English professor especially with no classroom discussion to go along with it. Do you think we should go back and get a second master’s degree in Literature?


  2. I love unique sky and cloud photos…you captured quite a few. I’m about a week behind commenting on this share…I still have to write my post for teh weekend coffee How dare life get in the way.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Marsha –
    Congrats on finishing Bleak House (and the how to read lit book)
    I admire the way you made it happen and jumped in and then saw it through ! Good for you
    And good for “us” because your contribution enriched the experience!
    And as you mentioned the spoilers in our post – I think I will go back and note that in my final

    A to Z post – just to warn folks

    And wow – how was it reading that much like that?

    The last time I really immersed in a long book was Les Mis and I read til my eyes shut!

    And I think Jane Austen influenced dickens and after I read more of dickens I could maybe see that victor Hugo
    Was likely influenced by dickens!
    I guess that still happens today but we sure do seem to have a lot more authors – a lot more king of the hills – and to be a successful author in previous “eras” was a bit different – we still have celeb status for authors but I just think there were less of them in the spotlight –

    And it was an entire different business of writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • People’s tastes have changed as Trent noted. For the most part, we like easier reads. We may have some agenda books like Dickens’ but who and what are they? Maybe The Help. Sold on a Monday is more of a historic book rather than agenda, in my opinion. The Color Purple – definitely deep and agenda. Lots of books about abuse which is a huge social problem for today. It seems that the famous authors today write mysteries, sci-fi, and romance. They turn the famous ones into movies or series. Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King as an example. Lincoln Lawyer…You get the point.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I like how you said they turn the “famous ones” into movies – because it does not always mean they are the best ones or even good ones- ha!
        For a book to become a movie it really depends on the right folks spending the money to make it happen or the write screenwriter to make an enticing proposal.
        But I am sure many wonderful and amazing books are overlooked because of the “business of books” and all that

        I can’t remember where I read it but someone was talking about tke many junk books that reach bestseller status and it had more to do with marketing than quality!

        I am not a huge fiction reader

        -and I am amazed at how some folks read book after book after book – like an older man I met in my father-n-“law’s retirement home – Marsha – he was not too old but was on the first floor where the folks had some cognitive impairment – and sometimes walking the hall on a visit (to get a break from FIL) i would chat with folks if they were in the hall – anyhow – he was out there reading a thick paperback and we chatted – he mentioned he had read every book in their library and in his room and so I brought him a bag of books (from used book store) – he read them All in a month – voracious reader !

        Anyhow – did you have a favorite character in bleak house? Least favorite character?
        Just curious

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi, Marsha –
    Your photos in this post are absolutely stunning. A few of theme made me have a double-take with their very thought-provoking perspectives.
    I also greatly enjoyed the Bleak House challenge. Although I finished the book over a month ago, its characters continue to walk around my mind!

    Liked by 2 people

    • You should read Donna’s at Retirement Reflections, if you haven’t already. She did a great reflection of this complicated book. ๐Ÿ™‚


  5. Love your new house view photo and I do like Russian sage. Reminds me of lavender. I wish it had been that cool here. I was excited that it got down to 85 last night. ๐Ÿ™‚ As for tea, I drink a pot of it every day, various kinds. Today it was a white.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Good morning, Marsha! I’m up at my usual 6 am…who needs an alarm when one has dogs that have to go out at first light (which was at 4, so no thanks)? Wow, 3 am and you’re on the blog? I think I’m in REM sleep at that time. Wonderful post, chock full of info. Warm and windy is what we have to look forward to at the delta in 3 days. We are leaving Spokane weather at a cool 65 degrees (45 low), I must be out of my mind. I can’t believe we are out the door Monday morning! Still some organizing and packing to do, mostly clothes and food, but we’re on track. Between the heat expected, high gas prices, and traffic, I may need a vacation from my vacation when we get home, LOL! Love your sky shots and I can’t wait to see your patio and spend time out there with you guys. Your shots make Prescott look so gorgeous, can’t wait to see it in early July. Talk soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I agree with Derrick that you made it through Bleak House in record time. I think it is difficult to get back to Dickens pacing, but to me well worth it. Glad you liked it!
    Some great photos.
    71 sounds pretty cool – I know parts of Arizona had a major heat wave – I hope it has broken and cool temps are felt throughout!
    I hope you have a wonderful week!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was surprisingly cool. It’s been hot. Today is beautiful. Thanks, I was rushing to get through by Saturday to include a few comments in my post. There is so much to be said. I’ll be reading all your posts on the characters. It really was a study in characters. The more I think about it, Esther really was so much like Esther in the Bible. She had her Uncle who advised her as well as the king. He was kind to her and she did what ever he suggested. The king trusted her and followed her advice. Great parallel there.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Well that was quite a mix of topics today Marsha – lovely to see a little bit of the area where you live and the flowers were pretty. I’ve seen a few bloggers doing the Bleak House challenge – the book really doesn’t appeal to me, but I like that the classics still have a strong readership and that there are bloggers reading and talking about Dickens, the Brontes and Jane Austen atm.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know the the “What’s on Your Bookshelf” gang was reading the Brontes. I haven’t read that either. Where was I when culture was taught? LOL When I first started blogging, I spent a lot of time reading classics and doing reviews. Now I’m more sporatic. What are you reading right now? I hope you are going to have your surgery soon. You will feel so much better.


    • That’s about how long it took me, too, Derrick. It wasn’t an easy read. I might not have stuck it out if Trent and Yvette weren’t doing a challenge. I tend to leave a lot of books open and unfinished in Kindle, LOL. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    • It is quite beautiful. It’s a vacation spot in the summer with four lakes within about ten minutes of our house and downtown. The downtown area is quite famous. It’s the home of the oldest rodeo that happens starting June 28th and running through July 4th. Lots to do, close to shopping, and beautiful. Can’t ask for much more! Thanks for the comment, Joy. ๐Ÿ™‚





Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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