New Year’s Book Club Refresh!

Chirped by Cass and Tina

Book Club RefreshFeeling a little isolated lately? Don’t give up on your book club! Reading and discussing a great book together provides connection and mental stimulation. In a virtual format, it’s also a great excuse to close yourself up in your room with friends and a glass of wine! Lol. Book clubs can work nearly as well virtually as they do in person. In some ways, they can be even better! Give your book club a New Year’s Refresh with these ideas for injecting a little more fun, swag, and kinship, while still staying safe…

Book Selections

Every September our book club selects new titles for the year ahead. Selection night is usually accompanied by a potluck dinner at my house. We gather together, eat, drink, and present our book ideas. Then we choose what books to read for each month. This year, due to the pandemic, we had to meet via Zoom. It was still a fun night, and we are excited about the titles we have lined up for the coming year. If you’re curious about what we chose… here’s the list! Continue reading

Book Club Starter Basket

Chirped by Tina

After a long hiatus, we’re back with a new post! Our empty nests aren’t so empty these days, what with husbands and one of the nestlings back underfoot. Our routines are all akimbo, and it’s harder to meet up in person… But we’re zooming as I type, and we’re motivated, because this post is time sensitive! Hopefully this will jumpstart a return to a more regular schedule of blogging. We’ve got plenty of ideas starting to pile up from all our time at home!

Cass and I have put together a couple of “Book Club in a Basket” ¹ raffle items in the past for the Christopher Court Foundation. Those baskets revolved around food, drink and props related to the featured book – to add a little spice to a club meeting! For 2020, the challenge was to assemble a basket that’s more friendly to virtual gatherings. What better way to safely reconnect with friends and family than by hosting a video chat to discuss a terrific novel? We set to work creating a “Book Club Starter Basket” to benefit a local non-profit organization called the Penn Foundation.² It’s our attempt to take the Continue reading

March’s Cheep Trills – 10 Ways to Keep Busy at Home

Chirped by Cass and Tina

We hope that all of you and your family and friends are doing well during this crazy time. So many of us had to adjust our work, school and lifestyles due to this virus. This month’s Cheep Trills post details how we are keeping busy at home in this new norm. We have listed five things we are doing for others, and five things we are doing for ourselves.

For Others:

Homemade Masks

Homemade MasksTina and her crafting groups have been researching and sewing homemade cloth masks for health care and other essential workers, as well as friends and family. There is some research that questions the utility of cloth masks. However, healthcare and safety specialists that they’ve talked to say that at the very least, the homemade masks:

  1. physically remind people not to touch their faces,
  2. visually remind people to give each other a wide berth, and
  3. protect other people from the bulk of any cough or sneeze that the wearer might project into the air.

If you want to join the cause, check online for local Mask Makers groups – we have a really well-organized Facebook group near us: Mask Makers of Doylestown, PA, but there are others out there. Ours has a porch pick-up/drop-off spot where you can donate materials, grab more supplies, or drop off finished masks. Also check out this Continue reading

February’s Cheep Trills

Chirped by Cass and Tina

Oh February! Even though it had an extra day this year, it still seemed to fly by. The weather didn’t help, being very mild, warm and wet here in PA – hurrying us along towards spring. Our shortest month did, however, yield some efficient days of crafting, blogging and catching up. We squeezed a lot in! Here are our top ten favorites from this productive month…

Favorite Books

February’s choices for both book clubs had mixed reviews from our members. Cass’s book club read Keeping Lucy by T. Greenwood. It describes a mother in the ’70s trying to save her daughter (born with Downs Syndrome) from a cruel institution and manipulative in-laws. The novel is based loosely on a 1971 exposé of horrific care inside a Massachusetts “school for the feeble-minded”. A guest speaker came to talk about her adult son, who has severe autism. The writing was good, the discussion interesting. Some of us were dubious about how quickly Lucy adapted and rebounded from her first two neglected years. But hey, kids are resilient, right? Continue reading

After the Holidays Cheep Trills

Chirped by Cass and Tina

The holidays have come and gone, along with the college boys, and we are back and resettling into our empty nest routines. Time to compile a top ten list of cheep trills from our long hiatus!

Favorite Book

Cheep Trills - Favorite BookIf you’ve never ventured into the genre of post-apocalyptic fiction, A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World, by C. A. Fletcher, is a perfect place to dabble your toes. I can also heartily recommend the Audible version, voiced by the author himself. Fletcher does a fantastic job of narrating, and you know you’re getting all the right nuances when the writer is also the story teller. Plus, it’s a terrific story, at least as stories of what happens after the apocalypse go. It’s easy to be transported to this future landscape, a hundred years or more after most of the world’s population has died of old age. It’s a world Continue reading