Wednesday, March 24, 2021

It's Cherry Blossom and Chess Time!

 Well, at least in some parts of the country and the world it's cherry blossom time!  No cherry trees blossoming around SE Wisconsin yet unless there in a arboretum, but spring is springing up more and more, a wee bit here and a wee bit there as the weather continues to warm.  

Every LAST BIT  of my 4 foot plus tall snowbanks have melted away in mid-March - like the kind of good old fashioned kind of spring I remember when I was a kid!  What a wonderful gift from Mother Nature after several years of never knowing when the cold might finally end and when the snow would finally all melt away.  I've been busy when it's not soggy outside, slowly cleaning up my numerous garden beds and raking seemingly endless pine needles, mini-pine cones, dead leaves and branches out of the lawn that seem to fly into my front, side and backyards somehow on magic winds.  We had about half an inch of rain last night and this morning I noticed the difference outdoors immediately - my grass already looks much greener and there are buds forming on the ornamental cherry outside my bedroom window that I swear weren't there yesterday (I've been checking).

Here is my fabulously beautiful ornamental cherry tree about 3 years ago, completely covering my bedroom window
at the corner of the house. She's a beauty!

Speaking of cherry trees, a timely reminder appeared in my email from Katherine Neville's website.  Her Cherry Blossom and Chess News Letter dated March 22, 2021 contains a lot of information for the curious to dig into and research further!  (Hint:  Ancient beliefs related the cherry blossom to the cycle of birth, death, rest, and renewal to start the cycle all over again.  Infinity, eternal, the concept that the sideways "Eight" represents.)  

I was excited to read that Neville has been writing a new book during interminable social distancing and lock-downs as the COVID-19 pandemic wears on and on and on.  Wow!  Been waiting for YEARS for a new Neville book to come out, so too have thousands of other Neville fans around the world.  This is good news for us.

Here's the info in particular I want to pass along - 

  • The Madwoman’s Book Club — inspired by The Queen’s Gambit mini-series and created by two-time US Chess Champion, Grandmaster Jennifer Shahade — has chosen The Eight as its April book club selection! I’ll be joining their group to discuss The Eight on April 16th. To learn more, see News on my website.

What's this all about - sounds like a book club right up my alley, woo woo!  Here's more info:

U.S. Chess Federation
Chess Life Online

The Madwoman's Book Club
Readings on Chess, Mindset and Intellectual Adventures

Coming up on April 16, 2021 at 8:00 p.m. EDT:  The Eight with Katherine Neville

Hmmm - is this one of those zoomy things?  Argh, can you just put it on a Youtube video for me, please? (Maybe it is - I need to check on that).  You can also find some information at  

April showers are arriving about on schedule - there is a hum of "normalcy" in the air that has been absent for more than a year from 

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