Sunday Post: After the caucus

Weekly meme to talk about books and a little about my personal life


Kimberly hosts the Sunday Post each week. I like to take part because it gives me an opportunity to look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also love to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Personal life

We had a tiny bit more snow, but also a few sunny days above freezing. However, our north facing backyard is still filled with snow!

The last two weeks in pictures
Iowa Caucus

I’m sure a lot of you have heard about the Iowa Caucus and what a fiasco that was. It was my first caucus (we moved to Iowa three years ago) and I volunteered to help people sign-in. It was very interesting since it’s so different from just voting for a candidate, but it was also chaotic. We were in a middle school gymnasium and it was very loud. The precinct captain didn’t have a sound system so it was very hard to hear what anyone was saying.

After we finished caucusing we went home and that’s when we heard there was some kind of problem though on Monday night no one knew what the problem was. Now almost a week later and Iowa has provided numbers, but news organizations have found some inconsistencies and still don’t feel confident to call a winner. My takeaway from this is that maybe Iowa needs to just vote and do away with the caucus system!

Elf and Olaf

Elf and Olaf (Olie) are getting along better. Olaf was neutered this week. He’s five months old so I’m glad he hadn’t started spraying. He weighs almost nine pounds!

Other activities

Now that the caucuses are over life is getting back to a more normal level. We went out one evening to a cabaret performance. The singer was great. We also got away one evening and played dominoes at our local brewery. Lots of fun though my husband beat me even though (because) he drew 22 tiles and then was able to block me several times!

We had lunch at our botanical garden cafe. Again, lots of fun! The botanical garden dome is wonderful in the winter since it’s warm and all the plants are green and growing! Some are blooming and there’s even an area with cactus! On the way to the botanical gardens and along the Des Moines River is the Robert D. Ray Asian Gardens with an Asian pavilion as the main feature. Ray was an Iowa governor (1969-1983) and the first public official anywhere in the United States to offer the Vietnamese “Boat People” a safe haven as well as sending food and medicine to Cambodia and helping keep the Tai Dam of Laos intact as a people and a culture by making it possible for them to resettle in Iowa.

Blog Life

In January I read 16 books–much higher than my average of 7 or 8! Several of the books were short so that factored in, but I also read some very good ones which I flew through. In February, I’ve already abandoned two books–one at 36% and the other at 25%–because I decided they just weren’t what I wanted to read right now. They were depressing me and I want to enjoy my reading.

Last two weeks
Next week
  • February 2020 books on my list
  • Can’t-Wait Wednesday
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading
  • A Longer Fall by Charlaine Harris
  • Ghost Story by Jim Butcher
What I read recently
  • Trace of Evil by Alice Blanchard
  • A Conspiracy in Belgravia by Sherry Thomas
  • Girls of the Dark by Katherine Pathak
  • House of Teeth by Dan Jolley
  • Blind Search by Paula Munier
  • The Island by Ragnar Jonasson
Books I got recently

Turning Darkness into Light by Marie Brennan (ebook, purchased)

Some of the Best from Edition by Elizabeth Bear, Siobhan Carroll, John Chu, Greg Egan,et al (ebook, purchased)

The World of Cork O’Connor by William Kent Kreuger (ebook, purchased)

Girls of the Dark by Katherine Pathak (KindleUnlimited)

Fashion Goes to the Dogs by Peggy Gaffney (KindleUnlimited)

The Body on the Beach by Anna Johannsen (KindleUnlimited)

A Longer Fall by Charlaine Harris (ebook/library)

Ghost Story by Jim Butcher (audiobook/library)

What have you been doing? What are your plans for next week? Are you planning anything for Valentine’s Day?

Author: Jan

I love to read--especially mysteries, science fiction and fantasy. I also love blogging, photography, gardening, playing Mah Jonng, reading with a cat on my lap, throwing a ball for a dog, creating cards to send to family and friends, reading book blogs, using my computer.

16 thoughts on “Sunday Post: After the caucus”

  1. I don’t really understand caucuses but they do not sound like a good idea. Yes, Iowa has been all over the news lately! And I love hearing about Ray and what he did for the Vietnamese people. Such a heartwarming story😁


    1. Thanks, Shellyrae! January was a great reading month with lots of good books.

      The caucuses are kind of strange. This was my first time caucusing since we only moved to Iowa three years ago. I wish our elections for President was for a much shorter period of time. That’s not something I can control though! I certainly agree that we could use more people like Ray in today’s world.


  2. My first election I lived in Iowa and did the caucus. My candidate was not popular but went on to win the presidency. But after that one I went to Minnesota for grad school. I did meet Gov. Ray at an event at my dad’s business. I was serving punch. But my dad got an award for exporting excellence. It will be on family picture wall which I may feature in next week’s Sunday post if I finish hanging things.

    We had a Vietnamese family in our (very small) town and my family was very friendly with them. They eventually moved to Washington state but I still correspond with them at Christmas. The mother was an excellent seamstress and worked for Jantzen sewing for many years. I was the sort to reach out to every new kid, well girl, who came to town. The Vietnamese family had 4 girls with a boy who was quite a bit older; he was a doctor in Vietnam and went to Iowa City to get qualified in the US.

    You are reading some awesome books even if you did need to drop 2 of them. Have a wonderful week with more great reads!

    Anne – Books of My Heart Here is my Sunday Post   


  3. I watched a BBC programme which explained the purpose of the caucuses and I’m glad you got to experience it, as it is clearly a quirky and – when it works – an important part of your democratic system. That botanical garden looks fabulous – I absolutely love cactus gardens – they are such amazing plants! Have a great reading week – I’ve read a number of the books you have stacked up and I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did:)).


    1. That’s interesting that the BBC had a program about the caucus system. I have to admit I was surprised at the number of people in Iowa from other countries. And the Iowa Democratic Party messed up badly–very embarrassing!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh dear… There always seems to be an element of luck and timing with politics – the wrong thing said at the wrong time can be lethal. Whereas, at another time it would be fine…


  4. The caucus does sound chaotic but good on you for helping! I do agree with you that we should just vote and do away with the caucus system. I’m glad that Olaf and Elf are getting along better. That certainly makes life easier. 🙂

    I got the Tor anthology too, hard to pass up for the price. You had a great reading month and you got some fantastic looking books.

    Have a good week, and happy Valentine’s day!

    My reading post –


  5. Have been seeing the caucus thing all over the internet and being a non-US resident, couldn’t understand a thing. From all I have read, it sure doesn’t seem like a good idea.

    16 books! Wow that’s a big number. I hardly manage 5 a month 😂 Hope you have a good week ahead 🙂


  6. I’m not even going to pretend that I understand what happened at that caucus. I am also utterly confused about the process. Seems like you did a lot of fun things and you got some great books as well. What a wonderful reading month for January! Hope you knock February out of the park as well.


  7. Glad Olaf is recovering from his surgery – hope it makes all of your home life a little more pleasant (if they’ll get along better, eh?). I’ve been an election inspector for a long time, but I’ve never really paid much attention to a caucus system instead. Way to go on your January reading!


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