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Excelsior! Academy

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Posts posted by Excelsior! Academy

  1. On 2/14/2020 at 8:54 PM, fairfarmhand said:

    If I’m not mistaken I think the op means “what if they tell us to stay home while a pandemic occurs.”


    Yes, this.  I should've been more specific in the title.  I included Cronovirus spinoff, but didn't explain further.

    On 2/15/2020 at 6:43 AM, Carrie12345 said:


    Yes, I took it as a “stay home” situation.
    That said, if we’re playing What If, any slow down in interstate transportation would cause big food issues. We had *minor food supply issues during Sandy, nowhere near the center of it. And I really do mean minor (primarily dairy products), but it made me realize how delicate our system actually is.


    Agreed.  We live in tornado alley and I was shockingly unprepared during last year's season.  This could turn into something scary and I would like to be prepared with at least the basics.  MRE's are great, but having a few basics my family knows and loves or at least tolerates would be spectacular.  I suspect if an all out pandemic broke out, one would need more than just a couple of weeks of basics food rations.

  2. 4 hours ago, Pen said:


    I have to frequently wear a mask because of health problems from various chemicals such as fragrance products. I have noticed that when I do, people tend to keep more distance from me probably assuming I am contagious. Maybe if you made masks for your family the flu people would stay farther away.

    I know it is quite shocking how much our society thinks that going out and sharing sickness is fine.  I guess we had a historic period of quite good medicine which made people think they could rely on pharmaceutical intervention...  


    I agree with your statement and want to add...

    Many people risk losing their jobs if they take all necessary sick days and some are just plain uninformed.  A few years ago we had a lady at our congregation who's child was frequently sick. She would comment about said child having a fever that morning and how she gave her Tylenol to bring down her fever "so now she's fine."  Um, no!  Take that sick baby home!!

    • Like 2

  3. Good afternoon fellow bibliophiles!  I didn't add another read last week after finishing The Count of Monte Cristo the previous week.  I needed a bit of time to process it.  For an online book club I'm continuing What is a Family? by Edith Schaeffer.  Some chapters I've liked, some not.  If not for the book club, I doubt I would finish this one.  I'm also continuing Black Robe Fever by Gary L. Richardson.  Dh suggested it to me and while it is an easy read with locations I am familiar with, I find myself putting it off.  I borrowed Ember Falls, the second book in the Green Ember series, from the library.  I will be starting it today as our family's afternoon read aloud.  

    I haven't been paying much attention to the weekly challenges, but hope to incorporate them into my book selections.  This is the first year I'm pretty confident that I will be able to reach 52 books.  I will thrilled if I am able to accomplish that goal!

    • Like 8

  4. This came up on my facebook feed.  I'm not sure if it is from a reliable source or not, but is scary if its true.


    In case you missed it, yesterday, Federal Agents arrested Dr. Charles Lieber, chair of Harvard University's Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, with lying to the Department of Defense about secret monthly payments of $50,000.00 paid by China and receipt of millions more to help set up a chemical/biological “Research” laboratory in China. Also arrested were two Chinese “Students” working as research assistants, one of whom was actually a lieutenant in the Chinese Army, the other captured at Logan Airport as he tried to catch a flight to China - smuggling 21 vials of “Sensitive Biological Samples” according to the FBI.

    ....The research lab the good professor had helped set up? It’s located at the Wuhan University of Technology. Wuhan China is ground zero to the potentially global pandemic known as the “Coronavirus”which is both spreading rapidly and killing people.


  5. 1. Below Stairs by Margaret Powell (Selfie, Pick Your Poison)

    2. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (Soldier, Bingo)

    3. 6 Day Body Makeover by Michael Thurmond (Making Stuff up, Pick Your Poison)

    4. Whiskey in a Teacup by Reese Witherspoon (Inspirational or Quick Decisions, Pick Your Poison)

    5. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (Gothic, Bingo)

    I just tried to access my Goodreads account and got an error message saying it was over capacity. 😂

    • Like 9
    • Haha 1

  6. I finished The Count of Monte Cristo.  It was an interesting book, and though I had to look up summaries near the beginning of the book to keep up with the plot It is a fairly easy, albeit long, read. The copy I borrowed from the library was on a Playaway device that kept cutting out at important plot points and frustratingly left off the last five minutes of the book.  I was able to read the ending online, but it was just not the same as finishing with the same format I started.  

    • Like 5

  7. 2 hours ago, gardenmom5 said:

    yes.  a gift is *a gift*.   registries were originally created as "suggestions" - they are NOT "mandatory".  anyone who thinks they are, doesn't need to receive a gift from me.  the attitude of entitlement is getting out of line.



    4 hours ago, SquirrellyMama said:

    It does seem rude, but I am always careful to get gifts off the registry. I feel it is a little rude for me to go rogue with gift giving in these situations. If I don't want to pick a gift off the registry I'll buy a gift card from their choice of stores.



    I respectfully disagree.  I've been taught registries are borderline rude.  While I know they are pretty much commonplace, showing up to a shower and being told what gifts to bring bothers me a bit.  

    2 hours ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

    Not only that, but showers themselves were created so that (mostly) women could support other women while they set up house for the first time or started a family.  It was about the support being given to that new family, not the price of admission to a party (most of which are not really to my taste anyway).  And yes, that support was in the form of practical goods but it wasn't about having the right brand.  If someone can afford to be so picky to only want Instagrammable clothing or XYZ brand, then they should save up for those items themselves. 



    2 hours ago, DoraBora said:

    What if I can't afford anything on the registry?  The cheaper things often go first.



    I found a large, 6 or 8 quart, Pioneer Woman crockpot for $15.  You better believe I scooped it up and plan to give it to a friend of our daughters at her wedding shower next month.  It is worth double to triple that amount.  It is also a style I know the bride to be would appreciate. She frequently attends potlucks, so the size will be appreciated as well.  Of course I don't want to gift something someone would hate, but isn't it a little rude to dictate what people gift you?  


    • Like 9

  8. 14 hours ago, Ausmumof3 said:

    Apparently not unless you were in the 10 rows directly next to the person because it’s droplet born which means close contact is a 3m radius?  I don’t know that’s just what was said.


    13 hours ago, Pen said:


    I thought planes tend to suck droplets into their air recirculating system and blow germs back out again. 


    Ugh!  When flying you walk past people in close promixity that don't necessarily sit within 10 rows.  You share lavatories and such.  If one was showing signs of illness and wants to get tested, shouldn't they be able?

    • Like 4

  9. 8 hours ago, klmama said:

    I read recently that children who get the flu vaccine each year are more susceptible to pandemic varieties of influenza A because they haven't developed immunity via natural infection with seasonal influenza A.  It was from a study in a peer-reviewed journal - something about virology, I think?  As an alternative, studies have shown vitamin D has a strong effect against both influenza and the common cold.  Many people are deficient in vitamin D and have no idea.  


    I wonder if this contributes to fewer cases of cold and flu in the summer months vs winter ones?

  10. I'm am on chapter 95 in The Count of Monte Cristo.  For a book club I am reading What is a Family? and am continuing Black Robe Fever.


    1. Below Stairs by Margaret Powell (Selfie, Pick Your Poison)

    2. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (Soldier, Bingo)

    3. 6 Day Body Makeover by Michael Thurmond (Making Stuff up, Pick Your Poison)

    4. Whiskey in a Teacup by Reese Witherspoon (Inspirational or Quick Decisions, Pick Your Poison)

    • Like 12

  11. I finished Whiskey in a Teacup this weekend.  It is a lovely, easy read coffee table book.  I'm not sure whether to classify it as Inspirational or Quick Decisions.  I was able to visit my mother in California over Thanksgiving and she slipped this book in my daughters suitcase to give to me on my birthday in early December.  It wasn't one I chose, but am glad to own.  The photographs are beautiful and I love Reese's down to earth, conversational tone.  You can tell she likely didn't use a ghost writer.

    Amazon video has a miniseries called And Then There Were None created in 2016.  The characters and setting are true to the book, but they did throw in a little s @ x as true to Amazon.  I wish I had been forewarned before watching it with my teen daughters.  Nothing too graphic, but there nonetheless.

    1. Below Stairs by Margaret Powell (Selfie, Pick Your Poison)

    2. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (Soldier, Bingo)

    3. 6 Day Body Makeover by Michael Thurmond (Making Stuff up, Pick Your Poison)

    4. Whiskey in a Teacup by Reese Witherspoon (Inspirational or Quick Decisions, Pick Your Poison)

    • Like 9

  12. I will likely be finishing Whiskey in a Teacup this evening.  I'm currently reading The Count of Monte Cristo, Black Robe Fever, What is a Family? and Paddington Bear. I'm not counting this one, but it is delightful! 

    1. Below Stairs by Margaret Powell (Selfie, Pick Your Poison)

    2. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (Soldier, Bingo)

    3. 6 Day Body Makeover by Michael Thurmond (Making Stuff up, Pick Your Poison)


    • Like 6

  13. 46 minutes ago, aggieamy said:

    Thank you for sharing your lovely pictures. I too love to reread my favorite children's books. One of the benefits to having two children so far apart in age is that all the read alouds I loved with Sophia I'm getting to read aloud again with John. Number of the Stars is one of them. As a child it was my first glimpse into the darkness that was the holocaust and I remember the horror and fascination in which I read it as a kid. 


    Number the Stars is one of my favorite historical fiction books and as gentle (is that the right term?!) an introduction into that dark period of time as one can get.  

    • Like 4

  14. I am still currently savoring Whiskey in a Teacup.  It is a coffee table-ish book that I pick up occasionally when I need a quick read that is visually appealing.

    I am also reading Black Robe Fever, which is about judicial injustice.

    The Count of Monte Cristo is my current audiobook.  I have needed to look up the synopsis more than once and have been having trouble keeping up with certain characters after a particular point in the book. 

    • Like 10

  15. On 1/12/2020 at 2:12 PM, Negin said:

    Robin, I had a wonderful cup of Earl Grey tea when I went out with my dh for our Sunday morning coffee out. I like tea so much more than coffee, but it has to be black/regular tea and with milk. 

    Loved that book. 

    I recently started "New York" by Edward Rutherfurd. It's almost 900 pages long, so it'll be a while before I finish it. Loving it so far. I read his book, "Paris" a few years ago, and I still think about some of the characters from time to time.

    Some pictures to share, since I've been on a roll for several months now. The first one is sunset where we live (Grenada). The other two are when my dd and I went to New York for a few days back in June. Some may recall that it was an unpleasant trip due to the circumstances (estranged brother dying of cancer), but we tried to make the most of our time otherwise. We stayed near Times Square. The third picture is from our visit to the Met. I've always loved the works by Tiffany. 



    Beautiful photos!

    On 1/12/2020 at 9:40 PM, moonflower said:

    DD14 has been bringing home 5 books a week from the public school library (her limit).  We pretty heavily restrict a lot of modern lit, and we've already read through a lot of what is permissible, so recently she's brought home all of Austen (evidently I've never read these!) and a lot of old classicish scifi, and some Dickens (also had never read).  This week I read all of Austen, Slaughterhouse Five, and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?  Over Christmas break we read Great Expectations and Oliver Twist.

    Boy are those three different categories of literature!  I think reading Austen and even Dickens at the same time as the scifi really brought home how depressing the latter is.  Dickens can be depressing but at least things are worked out properly in the end (ie bad things happen to bad people and good things happen to good people).  My favorite of the Austens was Emma by far; Pride and Prejudice was neatly plotted and of course brilliantly written but I found it harder to buy. I think part of this is probably the difference in marriage/relationship norms; Emma was at least decently believable in that respect, and also felt like the carefullest, fullest novel.

    Great Expectations was a cut above the rest of it, though.  Somewhere in the intro it quoted a critic as having said that it was the best first person novel ever written, and I agree.

    Slaughterhouse Five I wish I hadn't read, and I kind of wish I hadn't let DD14 read at this age; Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep was only slightly less bleak.

    Re: the OP, DS11 just discovered The Hobbit in his school library, after having read through The Lord of the Rings series, which we have at home.  What a treat for him 🙂


    Except that blasted Great Expectations.  The ending was depressing.

    3 hours ago, Carol in Cal. said:


    I enjoyed it but not unreservedly.  It must be very difficult to write memoirs about such difficult subjects without trampling on other people's privacy, and I am glad that she largely did not do that.  Without question, divorce is awful, and losing one's faith and community is awful, too.  She was very fortunate not to also lose her parents and siblings, none of whom agreed with her but all of whom seem to have continued to accept and love her.  Much of the writing is powerful and evocative, and unlike many such books that kind of fall apart for a while in the second half, this one seemed to me to get stronger and more well-written as it progressed.  

    The crossing of the line out of her marriage and out of her Modern Orthodox Jewish faith occurred more or less simultaneously, a liminal set of statements that she moved through in one sitting after years of internal debate:



    I agree!  That is the reason I don't care for a lot of memoirs.  They just seem like a way to air one's dirty laundry.  It may be your story, but it is also their story.  Unless someone has chosen to commit a terrible crime and in such chosen to lose one's right to privacy for said crime, then an author should do their best to protect another's privacy.

    • Like 10

  16. I finished the 6 Day Body Makeover by Michael Thurmond.  I have started incorporating some of the suggestions and have already lost 3 pounds.  

    I am currently reading The Count of Monte Cristo.  It is interesting and not at all quite like I thought it would be.  Since it is an audiobook, it is likely I will finish it in the next week or two.

    1. Below Stairs by Margaret Powell (Selfie, Pick Your Poison)

    2. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (Soldier, Bingo)

    3. 6 Day Body Makeover by Michael Thurmond (Making Stuff up, Pick Your Poison)

    • Like 7
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