"We are what we believe we are."
C.S. Lewis

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mop Philosophy Monday

 I've been thinking about this concept we've talked about : Mop Philosophy Book Club.  I have an idea: I think we should read classic books.  I have a couple of reasons for this, one being that the classics are easier to find at libraries etc, the other being that contemporary novels already have nine million reviews and discussion groups online.  I discovered this when I googled Life After Life, Kate Atkinson's new book (which I recommend by the way).
I think we'd want to run the Book Club every six to eight weeks, which would give us plenty of time to read the novel, compile some theory behind the book, and think on what we've taken from the novel as Mop Philosophers like to do.
What do you think?  You can yea or nay in the comments and if there are enough "yea's" for the classic book idea I'll put the first Mop Philosophy Book Club book out later this week.  Of course if you are a "yea" and you have suggestions please leave those in the comments too.
Beet salad with fresh thyme.
Well it's a Monday and you know what that means: cleaning.  Specifically today I'm giving the kitchen a real clean, then I'll be making a beet salad to go along with some roasted chicken we're having for dinner.
I hope your own Monday goes well and that all of your chores get crossed off your list!
xoxDani

78 comments:

  1. I hate cleaning because it cuts into valuable reading time. However, now that our house is on the market I must channel my inner Dutch girl and give this joint a serious scrub. Are there any cleaners you can't do without? And don't say you only use vinegar- it smells like dirty feet.

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    1. Margie I agree about vinegar, though I am using it this morning to clean the coffee maker, not much choice there. I am sensitive to fragrance and chemicals so I use a lot of the natural stuff, but still commercial: Seventh Generation toilet bowl cleaner and tile cleaner, Method tub cleaner, Method "wood for good" spray and floor cleaner. I use a "natural" powdered bleach I buy at the health food store to clean the kitchen sink and counters, and Bar Keeper's Friend for stainless steel, copper and brass. Sometimes I just use plain dish soap and hot water, right now I am using Caldrea dish soap which can be found for cheap at Target.
      I believe in the power of vacuuming too, I run mine all over the whole house twice a week, otherwise the dust would take over. I use a Miele, love the attachments for drapes and upholstery, but I also like the vacuum cleaner bags, my dust allergy is pretty bad, if I had to empty a canister vacuum cleaner I'd be hacking for a week.
      Good luck selling your house, that can be a stressful time. I'm crossing my fingers for you!

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    2. I hoover almost every day, I can't bear to see a speck of dust or dirt on the floor.
      Beet salad, well I never, I've only had it roasted or the purple stuff in jars, is that just raw? I didn't know it couldn't be eaten like that, it looks beautiful, I had no idea what it was!

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    3. Tabs I boil the beets in their skins and then peel them and slice them. I only eat raw beets grated but I don't like the texture of them, like cold straw.
      I love this beet salad, it's super easy and after chilling it you just sprinkle with some salt and vinegar and whatever fresh herb you have lying around.

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    4. Tabs - you hoover daily? Oh - you really don't want to come visit here...

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    5. Daily? I need to pick my game up a bit :-/

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  2. I am in! Not much cleaning for me today - did a lot on the weekend, but the fridge could really use it!

    I am in for the book club, but you knew that!!! Let me know when where and how and i am there!!!

    As for your beets - they are so nice and pinky - ours are always just well, beet red!

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    1. WMM those are golden beets, grown locally, aren't they beautiful? So glad you're in, stay tuned!

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  3. yay! love a book club - a cyber one should be interesting indeed...

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    1. cws, I know it will be fun to see how it evolves, so happy you're in!

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  4. Hi Dani, I think the book club is a marvellous idea. Although I like to think of myself as a big reader, there are a lot of 'classic books' that I haven't read (I mostly prefer non-fiction). I'm interested to see what your first pick will be!

    I'm trying to go the natural route for cleaning too (except for the bleach and baking soda on the tile grout - it really works though!). A while ago I bought a small bottle of Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds - I use it with hot water, vinegar, tea tree oil and one other oil (lemon, lavender, orange, whatever takes my fancy that day) to clean down almost everything. The bottle is lasting quite well and I think I'll re-order a bigger bottle. I haven't used it for dishes yet, but I should really. I love my vacuum cleaner too - I have a Dyson bagless and it's pretty easy to empty. Enjoy your day!

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    1. Patricia I'm a big Dr. Bronner's fan too, I use it for bubble bath but I have used it for cleaning too, talk about versatile. I'm going to try your formula, thanks for that.
      Those Dyson vacuums are excellent I've heard. Happy you are in for the book club, I read lots of contemporary novels but I think the classics deserve their share, this will be fun.

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  5. I'd love to participate. Sounds like so much fun!

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    1. Merry Wife, that's great, thanks!

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  6. The book club is a brilliant idea but I only read factual books, unless I'm on holiday, still gets a thumbs up though.

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    1. Tabs well maybe we can get you interested in one or two over the year?

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  7. It sounds like fun but I don't read fiction and I doubt the book club wants to read books on finance, economics, politics and science. Have a happy Monday.

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    1. xoxo good guess we probably don't want to read finance books. I should read more non-fiction and are you sure I can't convince you to read some fiction? I always like your take on things!

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    2. If you are reading classics I likely have read at least some of them. I will be a blurker and you know I am not shy to voice my opinion! LOL

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  8. I think the only "classic" books I have read are Dracula, Anna Karena (sp?), and Sounder. Sad, I know. But I excelled in science and math and hated English. This being said.. I am willing to give it a go. Beets are another story. They are loved by many and hated by many. I can't stand them. Many years ago, when we first moved to knoxville, Hunter's extended family had a huge lunch for us and everyone else at the farm. Imagine my surprise when, what I thought was strawberry jello for desert was actually BEET jello. I tried. I really did. But I could not get another bite in me. No harm, the rest of em fought over who could have my share.

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    1. Blue Booby even I think beet jello is pretty gross. Thanks for coming along for some classic books, if you've read Anna Karenina I can already tell you're going to like it.

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  9. I think a book club is a great idea! I'll read pretty much anything, but classic literature is my true genre love. I'm interested to see what you would choose for your books. I'd be thrilled to see some Thomas Hardy and Edith Wharton on your list.

    I don't usually clean on Mondays. Our house is frankly too large and I need my duties broken up over the week. I have laundry to do today, but it's dismal outside and I may delay it so I can hang it out.

    I also use "Method" cleaners and Bar Keeper's Friend. The Bar Keepers is a sanity saver for obsessive neatfreaks with ancient enameled clawfoots. That stuff removes everything.
    I also really recommend the Rainbow vacuums. They're pricey, but wonderful for somebody that has allergies or is afraid of dust bunnies since the water traps it all.

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    1. jlcl119 I don't know what a rainbow vacuum is but it sounds delightful. I'll be googling that shortly. Edith Wharton is one of my favourite writers, we'll definitely do one of her books. Thanks and I'm so happy you're in!

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    2. No Ethan Frome though, OK?

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    3. Lane no Ethan Frome I promise!

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  10. can book clubs have "blurkers"?

    Another thought - returning to a childhood "classic" as a grown up. I revisited some of the Little House books a while ago, scary to think what it must have been like to have been that mom. Might be an interesting "alternate selection" sometime.

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    1. Fred what a good idea and yup, I betcha we'll have some blurkers for sure!

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    2. Love Fred's idea! I would love to revisit some childhood favorites (and teen favorites ala Judy Blume)

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    3. LR, "Are you there God it's me Margaret", that's a classic!

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  11. And I am thinking about xoxo - we could mostly classic, but throw in the odd history, that might appeal to the Tabs, xoxo of the world. I love the idea of the odd children's classics too! SO excited you are doing this!

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    1. WMM good idea on reading a little history to appeal to xoxo and Tabs, that fits in with our classic theme. Let's do it! Reading children's classics again is a terrific idea, I agree, I know between you and Fred we'll have some great suggestions there.

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  12. "Yea!"

    Count me in to the Mop Philosophy Book Club, Dani! I just finished reading Life After Life.....Off to do chores as well after an exhausting Mother's Day!

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    1. Bag Lady oh no I've had exhausting Mother's Days in the past but no more. MrBP takes us out and makes the other meals which is a real treat as he is a very good cook with very little time to spend in the kitchen normally.
      I liked Life After Life but it definitely made me more anxious than usual.
      Hope you can put your feet up sooner rather than later!

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  13. I love the idea, Dani!
    Can't say I love beets, though.
    Or Kate Atkinson. I read "Not the End of the World," and it wasn't my favorite. I'm willing to give her another chance if her other work isn't quite so, well, weird.

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    1. mommydearest, that's terrific I'm glad you'll be joining us too! I didn't read that book but Life After Life is definitely a weird one. I found it riveting at times but it was also quite upsetting and maybe not the best read for anxious people.
      Beets love them or hate them! ;)

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    2. Sunds like Kate Atkinson isn't destined to be one of my favorites. There are plenty of other choices out there, though :)

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  14. Dani,love love beet salads and yours is beautiful.I roast my beets with olive oil ,salt and pepper. I have never used that type of beet Ill have to be on the lookout at the market.THe colors and patterns are great! Like your idea of classics for the book club and no pressure if you can't get into a book! Speaking of classics I just saw the Great Gatsby yesterday. I probably read it in Highschool but don't recall.Im doing things backwards but going to read it next. What are your thoughts about Leonardo Dicaprio?He sure lookers good in the movie but ill give him a c for his acting. Well hope your day goes well!

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    1. Anon I saw Gatsby on Saturday and I LOVED it. I thought it was amazing. I've read the book more than once and at different times in my life, I thought the movie was true to the book but had an extra modern energy that was also rather true to the book. As far as Leonardo, I thought he was the PERFECT Gatsby, I really did, I've always been a fan since Gilbert Grape but I give him 5* for this role, I walked out of the theatre thinking that he's going to win an Oscar for sure.
      Oh my gosh I liked the movie so much I'm going to go see it again and I never do that!

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  15. Forgot to mention that I loved the dresses! The parties sure looked fun too! would hate to have to clean that house on mop Monday. I am going up to the attic right now to look for the book I'm sure there is a copy somewhere up there.

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    1. Anon the clothes were amazing. I had that same thought about those parties: what a mess!

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  16. There are plenty of classics I have not read, so I am on board for reading the classics! I would join the group!

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    1. Susan I was hoping you'd join in, thanks for the yea!

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  17. I love re-reading classics that I haven't read since I was a child. It's so different reading them as an adult with so many additional life experiences (and so much less innocence). Count me in for occasional participation and blurking!

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    1. LTee, excellent, you know you can come in and out as you like!

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  18. I'm in. Bring on anything ( incl finance, econ and science) ex chick-lit. I should have cleaned today, but I bought a Prius C instead. I love BonAmi and anything Mrs Meyers lemon verbena.

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    1. Wow Lane, conscious new wheels, much better than cleaning!

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    2. This gets ridiculous mileage and is fun to drive. Over 60 in city is pretty easy to do.

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    3. Lane, a Prius C, how excellent. Have fun tooting around! Happy you're in for the book club.

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  19. BOOKING IT Your and WMM's idea has had me thinking about re-reading some of those required reading lists from high school and uni. Maybe we can alternate the "heavier" classics with something more adventurous or "frivolous" (in the Gatsby vein Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway or a childhood memoir like Little House ). There's also some great classic fiction that's more meaningful read along with a history of the period, bet we could lure Tabs, xoxo blurkers in with those.

    And might I posit a few themes to make it a bit more fun over the weeks ex. only , a classic that has movie versions too, a classic with it's own companion cocktail, classic that inspired or charted fashion, a classic about a great city, when we get to end of year, book with a wintery landscape...

    Not meaning to make work, happy to help bring the "party" to the library (virtual book club version of drinking wine etc.) And, yep, in - but you knew that.

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    1. GF I knew you'd have great suggestions, the Super Bean never rests! Happy you are in. :)

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  20. I'm in!
    Can't comment on cleaning or beet root as I hate both and avoid them at all times!!

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    1. Ruth that's excellent. Well now it's Wednesday and I'm sick of cleaning and beets so I hear ya.

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  21. Hi it's Anna #26- just so you know who this anonymous is! The book-club is an awesome idea! Have not see Gatsby but cannot wait - such a brilliant book!

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    1. Anna I was hoping you would join us! Let me know how you like Gatsby.

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  22. I love the classics, it's my favorite genre. I would like to join, if I may? I'm a bit over highbrow contemporaries with miserable endings (although a lot of classics have sad endings too). I would like to suggest maybe books from authors of different races (Balzac, Dickens, Cervantes, Dostoyoevsky, Wharton, Waugh,...) I reckon there will be a lot of British writers in there, they're just brilliant. I loved Life after Life, by the way. It was the first book this year which blew me away. I liked it so much I also bought the audiobook to listen to.

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    1. Marie I liked it too and I'm happy I read it even if it is haunting me. Thanks for joining in and thanks for the suggestions!

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  23. Count me in on the classics. Mrs. Meyers has a new cleaner in a radish scent. Pretty unusual choice of scents, but it is actually fresh and peppery in a good way.

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    1. AmW I'm going to look for that, radish scent how weird but it could be great. Happy to know you are in!

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  24. What a great idea Dani. My house is upside down from yesterday.We had 10 of us for dinner and I went to lift a couple of large serving bowls and dropped one on my big toe. Didn't know I could yell that loud. so today I'm hobbling along.
    Looking forward to the first selection.

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    1. Marsha I wish you hadn't done that. That hurts like HECK. I once dropped a marble horse on my toe and I had a bruise for months.

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  25. I would love to join Dani, but I know I won't read a book (especially in English) every 8 weeks... If I am allowed to skip regularly (which is not really fair, I agree) I would be in... Classic is terrific!

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    1. Steph of course you are allowed to skip regularly, it's a blog book club so zero pressure, please drop in whenever you like, even if it's only once in a very long while!

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  26. Longtime lurker here --- I'd love to join your classic book club. May I second Wharton, Hardy and Cervantes, and suggest Dumas, Hemingway, Flaubert, Eliot, Cather, Harper Lee... well, I could go on! Looking forward to the first selection:)

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    1. Christy it's a special thrill when a long time lurker leaves a comment so thank you! Welcome and thanks for all of the excellent suggestions.

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  27. Count me in too, I would love to read the classics. There are many that I haven't read yet.

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  28. Salavating over the beets. My husband can't stand them (his mother had a weird predeliction for them when they were children, don't ask) so I order them at restaurants whenever I can. Just tell me what to read and I'll do it.

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    1. ALW, well that's very obedient of you, but I saw your Lazy post so I know you love to read, that was very funny by the way!

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  29. I'd like to say I'm in, but I'm about to be really busy and I know myself, I probably won't get books read. But you never know, I love the idea! I'll try but most likely end up as a blurker :-)

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    1. Cate- can I just echo your response! I wish I had time, but deadlines beckon...

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    2. cate and knityarns blurk away!

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  30. Yay! I just ordered Wilkie Collins' The Moonstone...my vote for book #1!

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    1. Natalie I read my first Wilkie Collins novel last year, "The Woman in White", loved it!

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  31. I have a wacky idea, let's read all the Kate Spade book clutches!

    And I love beets, sounds delicious with the roast chicken.

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    1. Tiffany Rose that's actually a really good idea.

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  32. I would love to join! I regularly read, and loved most, classics when in my twenties...but somehow got away from them! Thank you, Dani!

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  33. This is such a wonderful idea. I read about it Saturday and went back to find out how I'd missed the first mention of it. Getting my book this week!

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