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For some, the “dog days of summer” refer to a very specific time, its name derived from the return of Sirius (the “dog star”) to the night sky. Loosely, they are the end of July- beginning of August days known for sultriness, debilitating heat, and to the ancient Greek poets, fever. For ElderChicks, however, the Dog Days are a time a celebration of our faithful four-legged friends, their honored place in our lives signaled by the brightest star’s arrival.

I dedicate this month’s blog to the memory of Spot, Lucy, Daisy, and Herbie, noble souls all.  And to the accomplishments of Juno.  Tell us your dog story!  Portraits welcome.

Books – lately I do very light reading and they’re mostly mysteries. Recently though I got hooked on The Handmaid’s Tale because a friend recommended it. I was so intrigued by it I went to our library and got the DVD to watch of it too.

Reading is a year round pleasure for me. I’ve been reading non-fiction,memoir,&poetry lately. This summer I am going to tackle The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Heard it more than once: “Don’t die till you read it through.” High praise. But since this may take a while thought I’d warm up with “In This House of Brede” by Rumer Goddin. I get books and put some off. Now is a good time to catch up.

I am so glad you asked. I am reading, no devouring, the book “Overstory” – a novel by Richard Powers involving five groups of people and their involvement with trees. The botanist in me revels in any effort to bring the reality of trees … some older than Jesus … to our very existence … we wouldn’t be here without them. Let me not say more except to iterate that while it is a novel the facts re trees are that.

Next in line is “Women Rowing North” by Mary Pipher of “Reviving Ophelia,” thence to two quite extraordinary children’s books about SOPHIA. Each is a multiracial, multiage, unabashed-use-of-vocabulary book, about SOPHIA who is a wonderful, problem-solving little girl .. oh yes and her pet giraffe. One can tell, without yet actually reading, the bare bones of plot, characters, and resolution of the story while turning the pages, one can add more detail as the child gets older, eventually one can read all the actual dialogue.

Best wishes for a happy summer.