Friday, March 17, 2023

Roald Dahl's Books Censored, words removed: mothers and fathers, ugly, fat and more

Yes you read my blog post title right. Earlier this year "Go get your mothers and fathers" was changed in Roald Dahl's books to "Go get your parents." There is no way to sugar coat the recent censorship of Roald Dahl's children's books. His books have delighted readers worldwide with sales of 300,000,000 books. Titles include "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", "Matilda", "James and the Giant Peach" and "The Witches." I have two co-authored books published and it is outrageous to imagine future generations going through my books and making hundreds of changes. We authors put a lot of work into each word and thought in our books. When Dahl wrote "Rudyard Kipling" in one of his children's books, that is meaningful. It is doubly outrageous to do that after an author's death.


Puffin Books, his publisher, have called in sensitivity readers, i.e. a cute/sly way of saying censors. Thank goodness many public figures including Salman Rushdie and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak are speaking out against the censorship. I read Netflix bought the rights to his books so they are involved in this

This year the publishers made hundreds of censorship changes in Dahl's books, including removing "mothers and fathers" and changing that to "parents", and to describe Augustus Gloop the censors removed the word "fat" and changed it to "enormous."  "Cloud-men" was changed to "Cloud-people" and to describe witches "Old hags" changed to "Old crows".  A mention of Rudyard Kipling was removed and John Steinbeck substituted. What! Thus far the changes are only in the English language versions, the French publisher says they have no plans to make those changes. They did not say they never will, but at least they have no plans to do so.

Salman Rushdie tweeted "Roald Dahl was no angel but this is absurd censorship. Puffin Books and the Dahl estate should be ashamed." PM Sunak spoke against the Dahl censorship and said "It is important to preserve works of fiction and to not air brush them."

I imagine that people who approve of this censorship would want all of these offending words removed from ALL children's books, no point in just censoring one author. Replacing Rudyard Kipling with John Steinbeck is tampering with what Dahl wrote and is literary vandalism. I am a librarian, published author and freedom lover so this topic is dear to me. What think ye? 

In sum, keep your hands off my words! And all author's words. 

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Bounce and Peanut Coconut Sauce

Above are two photos I took of Mr. Bounce this month. The second one is of him waking up in the morning after sleeping on my bed. He also has three of his own beds.

I bought some Peanut Coconut sauce and will appreciate your ideas on how to use it. I plan to use it as a dipping sauce for spring rolls, raw Chinese sugar peas, carrots and celery. Probably I will put it on the boneless skinless chicken thighs I bake from time to time. Have a great week friends. 

 P.S. In the comments Chatty Crone asked what breeds Bounce is. He was found as a stray and I adopted him from a shelter, and we agree he is a lot Chihuahua and part Corgi and part Wiener dog. Then we used a new iPhone camera where you point at something and ask what is this? The camera says he is a ChiWeinieCorgi. And 100% love, except for big dogs who he barks at.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Clematis in February, Surfer Statue, Zoom Friends, Encouraging My Friend


This Clematis surprised me with its early blooms the first week of February. The flowers are about 2 inches across and have a light sweet fragrance, and this variety is Apple Blossom. They are a vine and keep their leaves. I planted it in summer of 2017 and it bloomed in February 2018, reaching the top of my six foot tall fence in those six months.

 The surfer statue across the street from my favorite coffee shop. I was at the coffee shop twice this week meeting a  different friend each time. One of them describes herself as a shut in because of her fear of covid, and she rarely leaves her house. So we had a great chat, sitting outside in the sun. It was a big step for her to venture out, and I think this encourages her to get out more. I invited her to meet our two mutual friends for lunch in a restaurant in March where there is outdoor seating and she put it on her calendar. Baby steps.

The front of the church where the coffee shop is; I like the clean architectural detail and line in my photo. This week we had our Zoom meeting, three of us have been friends for about 20 years; we met at work and are now all retired. We chat on Zoom twice a month and spend an hour catching up and meet in person quite often for lunch, next scheduled lunch is for my birthday. How is your February going?

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Books that can add Cheer and My Three New Orchids for Christmas

I have been a bit stressed since all the rain, floods, roads collapsing, and staying close to home since Christmas in my county so I am relying on my book friends for good cheer. The first book I am rereading and is "The Code of the Woosters" by P.G. Wodehouse. It features the wonderful Jeeves and Wooster and their madcap adventures. I think there is humor on every page, for example Bertie Wooster describes his friend as "All right up to the neck, but from there on pure concrete." So many adventures around a sterling silver cow creamer. Will marriages go ahead, will people end up arrested? Mary commented that the audio book versions of Wodehouse books are wonderful, I would like to try one some day.

The second book I am also rereading, "Miss Buncle Married" by D.E. Stevenson. If you haven't read "Miss Buncle's Book" read that one first, it is very humorous. Miss Buncle needs money and writes a novel which is published and which gets her into big trouble in the English village where she lives.

The third book "14,000 Things to be Happy About" by Barbara Ann Kipfer has a title that is self explanatory. She developed her list over a 50 year period and this is an updated version.

Her tips are each just a few words or a sentence. "A cake baking." "Pet portraits." "Clutch purses." "Dulcimer music" and "Green Goddess salad dressing" are a sampling.


The next book I am reading (yes, I am currently reading several books) is "The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen: 83 1/4 Years Old" by apparently Hendrik Groen himself. After some research I learned that the actual author is a Dutch writer, Peter de Smet, 61 when this book was published six years ago.This is fun, Hendrik lives in an old folks home in Amsterdam and is grumpy and active and finds friends to go out and have adventures with. There are two or three more books in this series.


Just for fun and a glimpse of beauty, I show you my new orchids that my younger son bought me for Christmas, one purple, one white and one yellow. Orchids are a favorite with me, so pretty and easy care. The main thing is finding the right light for them, they like an east facing window so they don't get sun burned. They don't tolerate intense direct sunlight, especially afternoon sun.

Have you found any lighthearted books to read that you can recommend in a comment?

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Storms where I live in rain battered California


I've been sending this photo to friends and relatives all over the USA, since our California rain storms are very destructive and in the national news. The photo shows the street that runs along the ocean, or what is left of the street. Half of the street has collapsed due to violent wave action.

This is about six streets over from my house. Closer to home, thus far is OK. Two blocks from my house where Bounce and I walk every day, the street along the ocean is undamaged thus far. I have several friends who live in the mountains outside of town and they are stuck in their houses due to road closures. Mudslides and fallen trees are closing roads and they periodically lose power. The rains are a blessing and yet now we are hoping they will stop soon and let the water soak in or run off. 

There was no rain in my town on Sunday January 8 and I dared to drive to church Sunday and attend the small group gathering of 25 friends. My spirits were very lifted to be in fellowship with such good people. I did not attend the larger church service since I am mostly avoiding indoor gatherings. Especially since I live alone, I need to see people! Be well and safe friends.

The above was posted Jan. 11, and today, Jan. 18 I am happy to see the sunshine and no rain. Hurray.

Saturday, December 31, 2022

2023 and I am mentoring a new Christian

 Happy 2023 Friends.

What a ride of ups and downs and in betweens these past few years have been. I hope 2023 will be filled with blessings and an increase in our freedoms worldwide. I am praying for big things because there is no prayer that is too big for our God.
I like to do new things and hope it keeps me young(ish). In November I began mentoring a lady who is 72 and a new Christian and member of our church. We are both learning so much and having fun at the same time. 

I bought a book "The New Believer's Friend Handbook" for me and for her "The New Believer's Handbook". This book has 8 lessons for 8 weeks and we both love it. We meet at my house and I serve a light lunch, food for the body and food for the soul.
Below is a photo that makes me smile. I do love lions, they remind me of the noble Aslan from the Chronicles of Narnia.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Christmas 2022, Mr. Bounce wearing his Santa hat and Treats for delivery drivers


Bounce in a pensive mood this week, wearing his Santa hat.
Below is our nativity set we have had for 40 years. This is the way I arranged it in 2021.

Above is water and snack chips I put out at my front door for the delivery drivers who work so hard. I am impressed that last year they did not take the sweet treats or soda, just the water, unsweetened teas and chips I put out. So this year I skipped the sweet treats. They are a healthy bunch of drivers.
Above is the new arrangement of my nativity scene in 2022, each year is a bit different.

Christmas is a happy and holy day to celebrate God sending us his son in the form of a new born baby. All those who believe in him have his gift of eternal life. We don't deserve it, none are perfect. What a life saving gift. He is the light of the world. My sons and I will attend the Christmas Eve service at church Dec. 24 at 4 p.m., a lovely time to worship. Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all.