Sunday, October 17, 2021

2021 Project 365 – Week Forty-two

I was ruthless, but there are still a ridiculous number of photos this week. Sorry. Not sorry. Sorta sorry? We only go to the beach once a year, so I’m sure you will indulge me…
Sunday, October 10th   
And we’re off!

We got there around 6:00 and confirmed that yes, there is an ocean where we’re staying!

Monday, October 11th     
Monday was moody, which was fine because we had a full slate of baseball games to watch. Ha! In the collage of Dr. M watching the game you can see me on the balcony finishing up the scrappy dishcloth you see here.

Tuesday, October 12th    
Glorious day! We still didn’t leave the condo – who needs to go anywhere with the view that we had?

Wednesday, October 13th    
Dr. M helped me with a photo shoot for that shawl I’ve been working on for three months – finished, washed, and blocked – I love it!

We went out to get pizza for dinner, and then continued our expert level relaxing.

Evening scenes…

Thursday, October 14th     
We finally took a walk on the beach!

Me, working on a crochet project: “I am NOT counting every row! It’s ridiculous.” Also me: “1, 2, 3, 4…78, 79, 80.”


Friday, October 15th   
We said goodbye to the beach today.

Passed a number of cotton fields on the way home. I had just been reading the chapter about reparations in Osheta Moore’s book Dear White Peacemaker and seeing those fields made me feel some kind of way.

Saturday, October 16th  
No photo today (you are welcome). Instead please enjoy this conversation between Dr. M & me:
Dr. M: this pitcher is like a Charleville musket.
Me: what?
Dr. M: he has no idea where the ball is going.
Me: okay
Dr. M: *lectures about trade muskets in the second half of the 18th century, the Brown Bess, Pennsylvania rifle, etc., etc., etc., ugh*
Me: I gotta pee, then call my dad.
Dr. M: but you’ll miss the lecture on French seaborne artillery and the siege of Yorktown!
Me: guess I dodged a bullet…
Me: I crack myself up!
Dr. M: *sniffles, takes a drink, and returns to the game.*
We had a really really good time. Back in the day we would have been running around all over the place, eating almost every meal out, and using the hotel as a place to sleep. I like this vacation model better – we packed our food and barely left the condo. Very relaxing! I’m already looking forward to the next time!

Saturday, October 9, 2021

2021 Project 365 – Week Forty-one

We had another pretty quiet week. I’ve been rereading some old favorites, crocheting, and trying to get to bed at a reasonable hour. Also, twice this week I actually got up and treadmilled before work. Who am I?
Sunday, October 3rd   
Sunday stories: 1. It’s October dangit - I’m wearing a scarf! 2. I thought this said, “…deep commitment fresh new linens of faith…” 3. World Communion Sunday! Did you partake in the Eucharist today? 4. Looking like fall in the Wendy’s parking lot. 5. Looking like fall as I race home with chicken sandwiches, while listening to the @sharonsaysso podcast about the Iowa Caucuses…

Monday, October 4th     
Dr. M is ready for the playoffs! (which didn’t actually start until Friday).

Tuesday, October 5th    
Stopped by to see Daddy & Sue (and work a puzzle). Wondered around outside with my dad, got harassed by my brother’s family’s dogs, worked on the puzzle (they’d left the corner behind my head for me to work), and then saw a lovely soybean field on my way home.

Wednesday, October 6th    
The photo on the left showed up on my memories (from 4 years ago). Made me laugh because I was wearing the exact same outfit – ha! I posted this on the socials saying that I was thinking about whacking my hair off. The majority of folks said that I should leave it long, and so did Dr. M. So my hair is safe…for now!

Thursday, October 7th     
I finally blocked the shawl I’ve been working on. It was a little bit like magic – when I finished the shawl it was a good bit bigger than the other version, but still not as big as the pattern said it should be. But after I wet blocked it, it was almost exactly the right size. I am very excited to do a photo shoot once it dries. Stay tuned!

Friday, October 8th   
Here is where I am these days – taking photos of things that are almost empty so I can remember to buy them.

Saturday, October 9th  
I made a banana & peanut butter & mayo sandwich today & was a little optimistic about how much banana two slices of bread could handle. I took one bite, banana (and mayo & peanut butter) squished out everywhere, & I got a fork. What a (delicious) mess.

Tomorrow we are heading to the beach! I’m very excited. You know there will be plenty of photos, so go ahead and block off some time next week to check out my post. I won’t ask what fun thing you have planned for the week because that seems like gloating. Ha!

Sunday, October 3, 2021

2021 Project 365 – Week Forty

This was a quiet week of crocheting (mostly not pictured) and Dr. M chasing down the ancestors.
Sunday, September 26th   
Singing on my way to church.

Meanwhile, Dr. M tracked down the grave of a man who was actually not a relative. He was the husband of Dr. M’s second great grandmother, Nancy Jane McClure. Philip Stroup died during the Civil War, in Richmond (on Dr. M's birthday in 1862). Thereafter, Nancy married Dr. M’s second great grandfather, a Huggins.
Monday, September 27th     
Mango in the night…. (Fun fact, Dr. M said that Tango in the Night was a Fleetwood Mac song, and I said that I thought it was a lot older than that & started humming. Turns out I was humming Strangers in the Night, a completely different song. I laughed and laughed because that’s how I be sometimes.)

Tuesday, September 28th    

The Roy!

Wednesday, September 29th    
Sky Wednesday, courtesy of Dr. M. He was trying to capture the soybean fields for me because they’re my fall favorite.

Thursday, September 30th     
I had my doubts, I really did, but Dr. M kept the faith and here we are – the Atlanta Braves won their 4th straight National League East Division title. Whew!

Friday, October 1st    
I was so surprised that it’s already October that I didn’t take a picture.
Saturday, October 2nd   
Through September – three months to go! (Note - our grass looks a lot more dead than it actually is.)

Back in the day I hated fall (this is well documented). I really hate the shorter days. I am low energy at all times, but when it’s dark at 5:00 I am really low energy. Ugh. But at least in NC it might be dark, but there probably won’t be snow on the ground (sorry Nance). What I’m saying is, even though it’s not quite as wintry here down south, stay tuned for whinging. Are you a pumpkin spice lover or are you already dreaming of spring like I am?

Sunday, September 26, 2021

2021 Project 365 – Week Thirty-nine

Dear Congress, please get your act together. Love, a Constituent.
Sunday, September 19th   
Rosie was plagued by Japanese Beetles all summer, but is finally bouncing back. And the Monkey Grass is lovely!

Monday, September 20th     
These ladies are ready for fall!

Dr. M moved one of the hanging baskets back out front – it’s so pretty. And so is he!

Tuesday, September 21st      
Went out to eat with the fam & tried to eat a chip as big as my head, but there seemed to be an impediment…

Wednesday, September 22nd     
Sky Wednesday!

Thursday, September 23rd     
Wisdom from Danielle Coke.

Every now & then I have to try curlers again. I wrapped these up with a scarf so they’d stay put.

Friday, September 24th    
Pretty floofy to start the day, but by lunchtime not so much. Oh yeah – this is why I don’t mess with curlers!

Saturday, September 25th  
I had a lovely day! Spent a lot of time crocheting, but I also actually got some housework done. The vacuum had almost completely stopped sucking so I checked out the beater bar (full of hair and YARN – oops), and the hose attachment (it had one of those little caps that seal bottles like ketchup – it had almost completely sealed the hose shut). It worked much better after I cleaned it out.

Today I made apple banana bread. It’s a little weird – it seemed goopier than it should have (I think I went a banana too far), and it’s VERY sweet. But still, it felt nice to make something, and that’s done for the next six months. Whew! How has your weekend been? Did you make anything?

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Book Reviews – the August Edition

I’ve been putting off writing this post because I’ve made the process so complicated for myself. I think I’ll go ahead & do it the same way this month (and maybe next), but I will hopefully change things up for the October book review post. We shall see.
1. Terraform: Building a Better World, by Propaganda. ★★★★★ In this debut collection of essays and poetry, musician, speaker, and activist Propaganda inspires us to create a better, more equitable world.  “If we get to make the very cultures that shape who we are, then let us remake them in the best way possible.” In this deep, challenging, and thoughtful book, Propaganda looks at the ways in which our world is broken. Using the metaphor of terraforming—creating a livable world out of an inhospitable one—he shows how we can begin to reshape our homes, friendships, communities, and politics
The Bug SaysI struggled with how to describe this & its impact on me. First of all, you need to listen to it. It’s performance art, music, poetry, call to action… He says that if we have basically already created our cultures, why can’t we remake them into something better? Let’s terraform our world into what it could have been all along. I’ll be listening to this one again!
2. The Consequences of Fear (Maisie Dobbs #16), by Jacqueline Winspear. ★★★★  
September 1941: As Europe buckles under Nazi occupation, Maisie Dobbs investigates a possible murder that threatens devastating repercussions for Britain's war efforts. While on a delivery, young Freddie Hackett, a message runner for a government office, witnesses an argument that ends in murder. Crouching in the doorway of a bombed-out house, Freddie waits until the coast is clear. But when he arrives at the delivery address, he’s shocked to come face to face with the killer. Dismissed by the police when he attempts to report the crime, Freddie goes in search of a woman he once met when delivering a message: Maisie Dobbs. While Maisie believes the boy and wants to help, she must maintain extreme caution: she’s working secretly for the Special Operations Executive, assessing candidates for crucial work with the French resistance. Her two worlds collide when she spots the killer in a place she least expects. She soon realizes she’s been pulled into the orbit of a man who has his own reasons to kill—reasons that go back to the last war.
The Bug Says: This series is so well written, and I love the audio narration. It’s like revisiting an old friend when I read the latest installment.
3. Magical Midlife Madness (Leveling Up #1), by K.F. Breene. ★★★★ A woman starting over. A new house with an unexpected twist. A cape wearing butler acting as the world's worst life coach.  When Jessie’s husband of twenty years packs up and heads for greener pastures and her son leaves for college, she decides it’s time for a do-over. Eager for a fresh start, she makes a somewhat unorthodox decision to move to a tiny town in the Sierra foothills. She’ll be taking care of a centuries old house that called to her when she was a kid. It's just temporary, she tells herself. It'll just be for a while. That is, until she learns what the house really is, something she never could've imagined. Thankfully forty isn't too old to start an adventure, because that's exactly what she does. A very dangerous adventure that will change her life forever. She has a chance to start again, and this time, she makes the rules.
The Bug Says: This was an excellent light-hearted romp. Jessie’s character was refreshing because she’s forty, is done with doing what other people thinks she should, speaks her mind, and makes decisions about her own life – against a backdrop of a spooky house, vampires, werewolves, witches, and other interesting beings. It was a lot of fun! Unfortunately the reviews for the next book in the series don’t look as good, so I’m not sure if I’ll read it. If I do, you know you’ll hear about it here!
4. Long Road to Mercy (Atlee Pine #1), by David Baldacci. ★★★ Atlee Pine, an FBI agent with special skills assigned to the remote wilds of the southwestern United States who must confront a new threat . . . and an old nightmare. Three decades after her twin sister Mercy is kidnaped from their bedroom, Atlee Pine works for the FBI. She's the lone agent assigned to the Shattered Rock, Arizona resident agency, which is responsible for protecting the Grand Canyon. So when one of the Grand Canyon's mules is found stabbed to death at the bottom of the canyon-and its rider missing-Pine is called in to investigate. It soon seems clear the lost tourist had something more clandestine than sightseeing in mind. But just as Pine begins to put together clues pointing to a terrifying plot, she's abruptly called off the case. If she disobeys direct orders by continuing to search for the missing man, it will mean the end of her career. But unless Pine keeps working the case and discovers the truth, it could spell the very end of democracy in America as we know it...
The Bug Says: The story was excellent – I love the very strong lead character and that she had an equally strong female sidekick. The three stars are for two reasons: 1. There were a couple of times when Atlee seemed reduced to the “little lady” when there was a “strong man” around (I might be a little too sensitive to this kind of thing, so maybe ignore this one). 2. I listened to the audiobook and as is so often the case with Baldacci books, they had a female narrator and a male one. The female narrator was EXCELLENT and thank goodness because she was the main narrator. But the male sounded like a porn star in a studio – the sound was totally different (it was jarring!) and he sounded the exact same no matter which character he was being. Just terrible. This won’t stop me from listening to the next one though.
I’ve already finished four books in September (although one was pretty much a short story so it only sort of counts). I’ve started re-reading another Nora Roberts series, so maybe the four will be all that get finished. We shall see. Now, tell me something good that you’ve read lately!

Sunday, September 19, 2021

2021 Project 365 – Week Thirty-eight

I finally had a pretty calm week. Work was fine (I actually got a couple of projects done that I’d been dreading – it felt good to get those off my plate!). Home was fine. Dr. M was fabulous. The world was mostly ignored again (mental health break people!). Let’s see if this coming week will continue the theme.
Sunday, September 12th   
Dr. M posted another of his paintings on the socials. I love this one too – it was in the running for my new office painting. I especially like it because it reminds me of vacations past.

I stopped by to work a puzzle see Daddy & Sue after church. I brought KFC and we had a nice visit.

I really struggle to read nonfiction books. There’s some sort of mental block going on there. I have so many that I’ve bought recently & just allowed to languish, unread. So I’ve instituted a new policy (also designed to get me to go to bed in a more timely manner): I’m reading a chapter each evening right before I turn the light off. So far I’m really enjoying this book – although strangely I feel like she’s too nice to White Peacekeepers (which is the WHOLE POINT OF THE BOOK actually).

Monday, September 13th     
Sent Dr. M this picture of my Cheeto stash at work.

Tuesday, September 14th        
No photo.
Wednesday, September 15th    
I used to take sky pictures all the time in Ohio. I don’t down here because there isn’t as much sky to photograph, but I’m going to try to remedy that because I need to remember it’s up there. Maybe Sky Wednesday will become a thing!

Thursday, September 16th    
Dr. M posted a number of lovely pictures of rain-drenched sedum and morning glories, but these were my favorites.

Friday, September 17th    
My dad’s birthday! I stopped by to give him his gift (these books), and watch him make a grape, peanut butter, and jelly sandwich. Topped with the heel of the bread. I posted it on the socials talking about how people would be able to see where I got my strange food choices from and everyone was all like, “that looks good!” And, “I would eat that!” Humph.

Saturday, September 18th  
We had a little family pizza party for the birthday boy. We were missing my brother who was out on the road, but it was a nice time with the ‘rents, Dr. M, my sister-in-law, and niece. Did I take photos of any of those people? No I did not. At least I got a picture of the pizza and my dad, so you know my priorities were in order. 

Despite the fact that I continued to use red (and autumn red) in my temperature blanket last week, there was definitely a hint of fall in the air. The mornings were crisper, and I had to turn the light on in the living room as I was getting ready to leave for work each day. I was talking to Dr. M about how my dislike of fall has softened over the years. I was feeling all philosophical (maybe I don’t dread fall as much because he’s no longer teaching in the fall & I always missed Summer Dr. M…), but he was more practical: we live in the south now, so the onset of winter doesn’t depress me as much. (Yes, in my mind fall means that we will immediately have winter – I am ever “A to Z” in all things.) How do you feel about fall?

2021 Project 365 – Week Forty-two

I was ruthless, but there are still a ridiculous number of photos this week. Sorry. Not sorry. Sorta sorry? We only go to the beach once a y...