Today’s Word: balmy (adjective) – Balmy (BAH-mee) means soft, soothing, mild. As used by Eugene Field in A Little Book of Profitable Tales: “The night wind was balmy, and there was a fragrance of cedar in its breath.”

Did You Know?: The kidneys are involved in almost every bodily function and 500 biochemical actions.

Worth Quoting: “Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.” – Oscar Wilde

What I’m Reading:

I was in one of my daily lows, prompted in part by my decision to scrap an essay I’d spent half a day on. My blood chemistry was bad too. I needed something to lift my spirits. And there, in one of my overstuffed bookshelves in the den, was an old paperback copy of Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe by Bill Bryson.

I’ve read two other books by Bryson, and they were both 100% pleasurable and enormously informative. This one, published in 1991, was not so informative. But the pleasure was fully there. It’s about Europe and England and America from the perspective of a very smart and very curious American who had been living in England for 15 years. I was barely three chapters into it, and I could feel my mood moving from a 5.9 up to about a 7.5, which is more than I can get with any sort of natural therapy – or even any sort of drug –that I’ve so far tried. I checked out some online reviews of the book. Some were not positive. They complained that Bryson made fun of the Germans for being Germanic and the English for being English and the French for being French. But if you like Europe and enjoy wit, Neither Here Nor There is for you.

Try This: The “Tequila Sunset”

I claim to have invented the Long Island Ice Tea back in the early 1970s. I can’t prove that, but I am claiming this drink too. I call it the Tequila Sunset. It’s made with a shot (or two) of añejo tequila (aged 1 year), club soda, fresh passion fruit juice, and a few dashes of smoked sea salt. It’s very good.