Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

And thus, October is ended... I'm headed off to a Vestry retreat so there won't be a post tomorrow. I know you're SO SAD!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Book Review Tuesday

This might become a thing, but I don't know - I go in spurts as to how much reading I get done. For example, the Goldfinch took approximately 8 years to finish reading (it didn't really take 8 years). But I like it when Ellen does her quarterly book list, so I thought I'd try something similar - except I have to do it weekly because if any more time goes by I won't remember whether I liked it or what it was about. So here goes.

The first thing you need to know is that I am NOT a picky reader. 95% of the books I've read have gotten three or more stars. So take my reviews with a grain of salt. In the last week I've finished four books. That seems a bit excessive.

1. Ghost Story (the Dresden Files series, #13),  by Jim Butcher. When an unknown someone shoots him and leaves him to die, Harry Dresden hopes he might be heading to a better place. Unfortunately, being dead doesn’t make Harry’s life any easier. 
Trapped between life and death, he learns that his friends are in serious trouble. Only by finding his murderer can he save his friends and move on—a feat which would be a lot easier if he had a body and access to his powers. Worse still are the malevolent shadows that roam Chicago, controlled by a dark entity that wants Harry to suffer even in death. 
Now, the late Harry Dresden will have to pull off the ultimate trick without using any magic—or face an eternity as just another lost soul… (Description from Amazon)

The Bug Says:  I read the Kindle version. I liked this book fairly well, but not as much as prior books. Too much talking & not enough of Harry setting things on fire. This didn't keep me from plowing right through the thing to find out what happened. I gave it 3 stars.

2. The Giver, by Lois Lowry. The Giver, the 1994 Newbery Medal winner, has become one of the most influential novels of our time. The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. (Description from Goodreads)

The Bug Says: I read the Kindle version. I read this book for my book club. It's a pretty short book  - yet another take on a young person trapped in a strange land. At first I wasn't very excited about that, but I like Jonas, and I was interested to see what would happen. I gave it 4 stars.

3. The End of the Wasp Season, (Alex Morrow #2), by Denise Mina. When a notorious millionaire banker hangs himself, his death attracts no sympathy. The terrible legacy of a lifetime of selfishness is widespread but most acute among those he ought to be protecting: his family. Meanwhile, in a wealthy suburb of Glasgow, a young woman is found savagely murdered, leaving the community stunned. When Detective Inspector Alex Morrow, heavily pregnant with twins, is called in to investigate, she soon discovers that a tangled web of lies lurks behind the murder. It’s a web that will spiral through Alex’s own home, the local community, and ultimately right back to a swinging rope, hundreds of miles away.  (Description from Goodreads)

The Bug Says: I listened to the audio version (Scottish narrator - swoon). I got this book from my page a day book calendar. It's a police procedural & I found it very interesting. I might go back & read the first one in the series. There's a great twist at the end that I wasn't expecting at all. I gave it 4 stars.

4. The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy #3), by Deborah Harkness. After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness’s enchanting series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they reunite with the cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches—with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency. In the trilogy’s final volume, Harkness deepens her themes of power and passion, family and caring, past deeds and their present consequences. In ancestral homes and university laboratories, using ancient knowledge and modern science, from the hills of the Auvergne to the palaces of Venice and beyond, the couple at last learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.  (Description from Goodreads)

The Bug Says: I read the Kindle version. I really really resisted reading the first book in this series (A Discovery of Witches) & only finally read it because it became available from my library right as I finished reading another book. And it lived down to my expectations. Oh, another witch/vampire/daemon book. Yay. But, as so often happens, despite the fact that I really didn't want to read the 2nd book (Shadow of Night), I had to because, hello, series, and I absolutely loved it. I didn't love this final book in the trilogy quite as much as book 2, but I still enjoyed it quite a bit. Just finished it at lunch at work today. I gave it 4 stars.

Whew! Well I can already tell that I won't have that many books next week - the audio book I'm listening to right now (Dangerous Women), is a collection of 21 short stories. That surely will take a while, right?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Monday Miscellaney

During this last week of October let's see if we can get this blog train back on track just a bit. I make no promises because after taking two days off work last week it's crazy busy around here. Why, I didn't have time to even look at Facebook for more than 5 minutes this morning!

So, what's going on this week...

  • We've moved my computer into the small office, which was originally going to be Dr. M's office, so I'm surrounded by bookcases filled with titles like A History of Blacks in Kentucky, and Henry Clay, Statesman for the Union, and Battle Cry of Freedom, and Those Terrible Carpetbaggers. It makes me feel quite scholarly. What? I've watched Ken Burns' Civil War so I'm sure I know most of the stuff in these books, right?
  • I actually feel pretty bad for usurping Dr. M's space. I'd like to formally announce that I'm totally willing to switch offices with him if he likes - I'll even move the equipment!
  • While I was at the dermatologist on Thursday she found a suspicious mole on my shoulder (color me amazed - a suspicious mole on a 50 year old very moley person) & took a biopsy. I'm not really concerned about it, but I have to keep a band aid on it for a week & that sucker ITCHES. Urgh. (Not the same band aid - I get a new one each day - ha!) I've taken to spending extra long in the shower just so my shoulder can be free. FREEDOM! (That seemed tasteless in light of my first bullet point.)
  • That last bullet point has too many parenthetical clauses.
  • I think I've officially run out of things to say.
OK, quitting now. What is new & interesting in your life? Can you relate it to history books as well as I just did?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

2014 Project 365 – Week Forty-three

I can’t believe October is almost over! I know that a lot of people are very happy when Daylight Savings Time ends, but personally I’ll be sad next week because that means that many of my daily walk pictures will be in the dark. Sigh.

Sunday, October 19th     
Dr. M went to the Renaissance Festival with some of his students. Looks pretty ferocious to me!

Our stewardship team at church put on a luau for us this year (last year we had high tea). They always work hard & we have a lot of fun.

My daily walk – nice fall golden light.

Monday, October 20th    
My daily walk – the looonnggg shadow edition.

Tuesday, October 21st    
Dr. M took pictures around campus. This is one of my favorites trees.

My daily walk – fall berries.

Wednesday, October 22nd
Dr. M took some fabulous fall pictures today!

I used my Planet Box for the first time in forever.

My daily walk. I always know witch way I’m going these days :)

Dr. M got us a couple of spooky cookies. After I head eaten most of mine I said that I’d meant to get a picture. Fortunately, he had started at the other end so we had most of a cookie for the picture. Ha!

Thursday, October 23rd
Dr. M. wasn’t late for class, but only because he gave himself plenty of time.

I had a dermatologist appointment today. I was amused by the sign on the bathroom door – seemed extra fancy to me.

My daily walk, haunted by the ice cream truck. Isn’t it enough to listen to Turkey in the Straw approximately 943 times during the summer?

Dr. M drove to Louisville for a conference. When he checked into the motel the clerk asked, "Are ya here for the pigeon show or the lawn & garden show?" Dr. M thought about answering, "Actually I'm here for the murder and mayhem...and the bourbon..." (The conference was called, The Hard Hand of War, Irregulars and Civilians in the Civil War.)

Friday, October 24th
My daily walk. The black & white photo was an accident, but I kind of liked it.

I took some pictures around the yard. Things look a bit seedy, but they certainly aren’t DONE yet!

Since I was on my own I made comfort food for dinner.

Saturday, October 25th    
My daily walk, the mowing edition. The route from the Map my Walk app never fails to make me laugh.

Dr. M visited with Mr. Lincoln before he left Louisville.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

A Poem for Saturday...

There's a packet
of wildflower seeds
on my desk.
Black-eyed Susans.
The packet is
seven years old,
unearthed in some
recent cleaning frenzy.
Perhaps, in spring,
I'll inearth them
and see if flowers
will grow from
forgotten seeds.

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Sleeping Patterns of the Slothful Bug

Well, here's a self-indulgent little table for you. A while back I got a Weight Watcher's Active Link to measure my activity during the day (my daily walk is the only thing making these measurements the least bit respectable). Anyway, recently they added the ability for the thing to track sleep patterns. I don't know how accurate it is, but I've been very interested, so of course I'm going to share my first week with you. 

Total time in bed
Woken up during sleep
Actual Time Asleep
8 h 40 m
8 h 16 m
7 h 15 m
12 m
7 h 01 m
8 h 36 m
18 m
8 h 16 m
5 h 42 m
7 m
5 h 32 m
9 h 13 m
24 m
8 h 45 m
10 h 22 m
26 m
9 h 45 m

Please note that this isn't really a typical week at all. For example, Tuesday night I stayed up & watched the first World Series game & then had to get up at 6:00 to go to work. Urgh. And then Wednesday night and Thursday night I was obscenely slothful because I took some vacation days & didn't have to get up early. I'm intrigued that my "sleep efficiency" was down on those days because my body was saying GET THE HECK OUT OF BED!! 

I always feel like I don't get enough sleep, but Sunday & Monday's measurements are pretty typical for me during the week, so maybe I just need to introduce more caffeine to my morning routine :)

This is such interesting information that I might make it a part of my weekly blog rotation! I know you are VERY excited about that. Don't worry - October is almost over & I'll be back to my old bad blogger ways. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Throwback Thursday

First, a bit of housekeeping. How many of you noticed that the "Here" in yesterday's post was a link to Dr. M's blog? I was being EXTRA lazy! Ha!

I believe this picture was from the same day as the ones from last week. This one makes me smile because my fabulous Aunt Lila is in the background with her camera and pistols :) I think she was probably around 12 in the picture.

Here she is in color - I was always so jealous of her hair!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fill This Space

Here I am again with no clear plan about what to write. Well, I'll just do the random that I would have done yesterday if Mr. Dresden hadn't been so needy.

  • Speaking of Dresden - I finished the book about an hour ago (I am NOT a slow reader, but I actually had to work today). It was pretty good, but it gets three stars instead of the usual four I give to Dresden books. It was kind of talky and not as action-y as I like. I read Charles Frazier books for introspection - Harry Dresden is for things getting set on fire & saving people in distress. Now I'm making myself wait before I start the next one in the series (#14).
  • I think I've mentioned before that, in addition to horrible free Kindle downloads, my book club mostly reads young adult fiction. This month's selection is The Giver by Lois Lowry. Looks like it will be pretty good. I'll let you know what I think!
  • I'm watching Game 1 of the World Series right now. It's the first inning & Hunter Pence - that wild & crazy Matthew McConaughey look alike - just hit a home run. I can't decide who I'm pulling for. I have a lot of friends pulling for Kansas, so maybe to do them a favor I'll pull for San Francisco. 
  • Direct TV seems to be single-handedly paying for post season baseball. And I have to say that I don't find non-creepy Rob Lowe to be any less creepy than creepy Rob Lowe. Dr. M does NOT have to worry about me fantasizing about either of them!
  • I'm back to eating real food now. Thank goodness! I was having trouble figuring out how to get my veggies in. I did have soup, but all that sodium... 
OK, I'm behind again on reading blogs, so I'm heading over to Bloglovin now. What are you guys reading or watching or eating these days?

Monday, October 20, 2014

This is Not Monday Miscellany

Shhh - Harry Dresden is in dire straits (straights?) & I have to finish this book before I can start the one for book club (which is Sunday!). See ya tomorrow!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

2014 Project 365 – Week Forty-two

Dr. M took some lovely fall pictures this week. If you’d like to check them out (& you should!), go here. Since he posted most of the best pictures on his blog, about all that’s left are my daily walk pictures. Sorry!

Sunday, October 12th     
My daily walk – more crazy Halloween decorations.

Monday, October 13th    
My daily walk. I loved this bird bath! And although my walk was NOT cool (75 degrees!), it WAS cool that there was a squirrel in the background while I was taking the picture.

Tuesday, October 14th   
If you missed Dr. M in his pajamas, go here. This is day two of spirit week – he’s dressed as a farmer.

On his way home from school he saw a rainbow!

My daily walk – yes, it was 16 degrees cooler than the day before! Check out that cat – getting into the Halloween spirit!

Wednesday, October 15th
Today’s spirit outfit – it was white-out day.

Waited until after choir practice to walk. It was just a little bit DARK!

Thursday, October 16th  
More spirit week – today they were supposed to dress like a decade. Can you guess which one these two cool cats are representing?

As I mentioned on my Thursday post, I had the post put in for my dental implant. Then I spent the rest of the morning running around town. Fortunately our town looks like this right now. Lovely!

My daily walk. We drove to Clarksville, Tennessee in the afternoon, so that Dr. M could go to a conference at Austin Peay University. It was late when we got in so I just did 20 minutes on the treadmill at the hotel.

Friday, October 17th
The final day of spirit week – Dr. M sent this picture back to his school. See, even though we’re not there, we’re participating!

After dropping Dr. M off at the school, I went thrift store shopping (for a Hawaiian shirt – more on that next week). Then spent some quality time crocheting a new project & listening to this most excellent book by the author of Cold Mountain. He’s SUCH a good writer!

I headed back to campus a little early so I could take my daily walk before Dr. M was finished.

Saturday, October 18th    
Some random pictures from Clarksville. Dr. M did more conferencing in the morning & then we went downtown to check out a pub that had been recommended. As mentioned in yesterday’s post I had French toast. Dr. M got the shrimp & grits. Then we wandered around while Dr. M took a few pictures of some of the architecture.

Before we drove home I took my daily walk along the river – boy I wish I could walk here every day!

Hope everyone has a great week!

Saturday, October 18, 2014


I had a leisurely morning at the hotel. Dr. M left around 7:15 to go to do his conferency thing & I planned to sleep in. Ha! I got up around 7:30 and had breakfast (nice soft biscuits, gravy & scrambled eggs). Then I had second breakfast about 2 hours later (another biscuit with honey). Then Dr. came back & we checked out & went to a pub where I ate...

After all of that you might wonder what I had for dinner. Well, I'll tell you. After we had brunch we drove like fiends for about 6 hours (listening to Charles Frazier's Thirteen Moons - fabulous!) & now I'm sipping on some black bean soup. I know, it doesn't follow the day's theme, but it's what was available & I'm content.

Now I'm off to see what happened on Facebook while I was driving in the hinterlands. Night all!

Friday, October 17, 2014

A Poem for Friday

Here we are halfway through October & I'm already at a loss as to what to post today. So I'm just going to write some words & pretend they're a poem.

I am personable enough
at first glance
all hey and how are you
and hope your momma
is doing better
but given the choice
between being with people
or sitting alone with
my thoughts
or a book
or a crochet hook
well you know
how that goes

Written while sitting alone in a hotel room in Tennessee eating microwavable mashed potatoes. Dr. M is at the dinner for the conference he's attending. I could have gone, and would have enjoyed the keynote speaker (the topic is women in WWI), but he gave me the choice so here I am, pleased as punch :) Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a book to read.

P.S. Please note that I had the post put in for an implant yesterday, so my mouth is kind of tender - mashed potatoes are just my speed!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Throw Back Thursday - Terrible Twos!!

I don't know - in this last picture I think I look like some child from Grapes of Wrath or something. Ha!

2024 Project 365 – Week Twenty-three

As I had hoped, this week was a bit less chaotic – I worked a lot of hours, but they were orderly and I made headway on some of the tasks on...