Sunday, February 23, 2020

2020 Project 365 – Week Eight

I have nothing to say here….
Sunday, February 16th                                                     
There’s probably some axiom about the fact that your sneeze disappears as soon as you finally snatch a tissue from your little purse pack.

Monday, February 17th                      
My dad wore that hat with the fake hair to our Monday Mexican outing. He’s such a goober.

Tuesday, February 18th                                                         
I added loops to one of my blankets & turned it into a wall hanging for my office. I got some nice love when I posted it on my home Facebook page, but I also posted it on the Moogly page (Moogly is the website that runs the afghan crochet alongs that I follow) & I got 310 likes on that page. Dr. M has started calling me an influencer. Ha!

Wednesday, February 19th                                                    
I have no idea. I was inspecting my face for something. But I do wonder what the heck was going on with my bangs.

I have this thing about being fascinated by the whole life cycle of cut flowers – I like them in their raggedy state just as much as in their fresh glory. Dr. M says I’m just this side of Morticia Addams. Ha!

Thursday, February 20th     
Dr. M had a photo shoot with Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird.

We got a little bit of snow. The daffys weren’t too sure about it, but it was pretty.

Friday, February 21st                                                                  
Dr. M enjoys the process of chopping up our collards. And they were really good!

Saturday, February 22nd                 
At the time I took this picture I had been eating this salad for about 20 minutes. It took FOREVER to eat this thing! I felt quite virtuous as I imagined that I was burning more calories than I was eating.

We’re heading into the season of Lent this coming week. I have some things that I’m planning on doing to help prepare my heart for Easter. As far as I know, none of my online readers are followers of the church calendar, but these weeks leading into spring could also be a good time for you to contemplate what’s working for you in your life and what could stand some examination. Join me?

Friday, February 21, 2020

Book Reviews - the January Edition

I’m pretty sure there’s a library about 900 miles closer to me. 

Steve Reed is reading all of the Newbery Award winners & was talking about A Wrinkle in Time, which he loved. I looked back & I gave it three stars. I sort of remember not being terribly impressed by it, but now I can’t remember why. So I’m going to try to post my books once per month in my old (2016) format in the hope that my commentary will jog my memory later. Which is just very sad if you think about, so let’s not, ok? Anyway, here are January’s books for your perusal & my swiss cheese memory.

1. Land of Wolves (Walt Longmire #15), by Craig Johnson. ★★★★★ Wyoming Sheriff Walt Longmire is neck deep in the investigation of what could or could not be the suicidal hanging of a shepherd. With unsettling connections to a Basque family with a reputation for removing the legs of Absaroka County sheriffs, matters become even more complicated with the appearance of an oversize wolf in the Big Horn Mountains to which Walt finds himself feeling more and more empathetic.
The Bug Says: I love everything about this series. It’s smart and funny and the mystery is usually really good. The main characters are interesting and I care about them as people, and Walt Longmire himself is just the best. This addition to the series was excellent. Highly recommend!

2. The Murmur of Bees, by Sofia Segovia. ★★★★★ From the day that old Nana Reja found a baby abandoned under a bridge, the life of a small Mexican town forever changed. Disfigured and covered in a blanket of bees, little Simonopio is for some locals the stuff of superstition, a child kissed by the devil. But he is welcomed by landowners Francisco and Beatriz Morales, who adopt him and care for him as if he were their own. Set against the backdrop of the Mexican Revolution and the devastating influenza of 1918, The Murmur of Bees captures both the fate of a country in flux and the destiny of one family that has put their love, faith, and future in the unbelievable.
The Bug Says: You’ve already seen the picture of my emotional face when I finished this book. In the ordinary course of events I would never have picked it up – sounded melodramatic and I didn’t really want to read about the Mexican Revolution. But the characters pulled me in and surprised me by kindness and good humor, although there is definitely tragedy. And the writing is just so beautiful. Again, I highly recommend this one!

3. Euphoria, by Lily King. ★★★★In 1933 three young, gifted anthropologists are thrown together in the jungle of New Guinea. They are Nell Stone, fascinating, magnetic and famous for her controversial work studying South Pacific tribes, her intelligent and aggressive husband Fen, and Andrew Bankson, who stumbles into the lives of this strange couple and becomes totally enthralled. Within months the trio are producing their best ever work, but soon a firestorm of fierce love and jealousy begins to burn out of control, threatening their bonds, their careers, and, ultimately, their lives.
The Bug Says: This is another book that I wouldn’t ordinarily have read. It’s loosely (very loosely) based on the life of Margaret Mead. It’s well written and the characters are interesting, but it sort of feels like I was given some sort of drug which enthralled me the same as Bankson was enthralled. When I finished I felt like I had a hangover and dreamed about the book for a while afterward. It was very disturbing and I couldn’t put it down. (I feel like I have to post a trigger warning here – there’s some allusions to domestic violence which really disturbed me.)

4. The Quiche of Death (Agatha Raisin #1) ★★★★, by M.C. Beaton. Agatha Raisin gives up her successful PR firm, sells her London flat, and samples a taste of early retirement in the quiet village of Carsely. Bored, lonely and used to getting her way, she enters a local baking contest: Surely a blue ribbon for the best quiche will make her the toast of the town. But her recipe for social advancement sours when Judge Cummings-Browne not only snubs her entry--but falls over dead! After her quiche's secret ingredient turns out to be poison, she must reveal the unsavory truth…Agatha bought the quiche ready-made.  
The Bug Says: I obviously went for something completely different with my next book, and it did not disappoint. Apparently I’m late to this series (which is also a television show?), but I was thrilled to find it. There are thirty books! It was a lot of fun, even though the main character is not all that likeable at first. Or second. Or third. You think she’s somewhat rehabilitated and then her true nature shines forth again. It was a lot of fun.

5. The Vicious Vet (Agatha Raisin #2) ★★★, by M.C. Beaton. Handsome vet Paul Bladen accidentally kills himself while attending Lord Pendlebury's horse. Agatha and attractive neighbor James Lacey investigate the curious lack of sorrow shown by his divorced wife while a killer plans another "accident".
The Bug Says: I didn’t enjoy this one quite as much as the first one. There was a lot of man chasing which seemed out of character, but maybe this is really what Agatha is like – we shall see! But the mystery was still pretty good.

I’ve only read three books in February. Hopefully I’ll get another couple in before the end of the month, or my next book post will be pretty short. I’ll give you a teaser – there’s a 5 star, a 4 star, and a very rare (for me) 2 star on the list so far. What are you reading these days?

Sunday, February 16, 2020

2020 Project 365 – Week Seven

This is the week that I finished that crazy prayer shawl I was making. In fact, I finished it three times before I just declared it DONE. Sorry there are so many pictures of it, but apparently I felt the need to document the whole sorry tale.
Sunday, February 9th                                                     
I thought we looked extra cute at the nursing home this morning so I had to do a photo shoot.

Progress photo of the shawl of many colors. It’s really soft and will be a nice comfort to someone as long as they keep their eyes closed.

The moon!

Monday, February 10th                      
Had a near disaster. Not sure if you can tell, but my earbud cord came very close to becoming part of the prayer shawl. I actually had to frog a stitch to extricate it. After this I finally spent some quality time trying to pair my Bluetooth headset to my iPad & was successful on Sunday. Whew!

Tuesday, February 11th                                                         

Wednesday, February 12th                                                    
The first time I thought the shawl was done. But I didn’t really like that last red row on the right.

Thursday, February 13th     
Dr. M got flowers for me! They’re so very lovely – just like the vision that he got to spend the evening with. Ha!

Friday, February 14th                                                                 
It might be Valentine’s Day, but I spent some time the night before making a St. Patrick’s Day hat for a coworker’s pig. Too cute!

We got another Misfits Market box and Dr. M put it to good use right away.

Here is the second time I thought the shawl was done. I’m not sure if you can tell, but the yarn I used at the end on the left was so bulky that I had a sort of crinoline skirt situation going on there.

In the meantime, the shawl I mailed off to Germany the other week made it to its destination!

Saturday, February 15th                
Dr. M put new flowers on his mother’s grave – he chose Mardi Gras colors to cheer himself up.

Today I frogged the crinoline skirt & decided that the shawl was just done. DONE. It’s soft and comfy and I think I have a blindfold that I can give with it so the recipient doesn’t have to look at it. Ha! (I don’t actually think it’s that hideous, but it definitely has a scraptastic aura about it).

I’m very pleased to announce that I’m turning my crochet hook to other, lovelier, projects now. I’m sure that eases your mind. What crafty things are you doing these days?

Sunday, February 9, 2020

2020 Project 365 – Week Six

We had another crazy weather week, with temps in the 70s early in the week and back down to something more seasonal later in the week. In addition, we had torrential rain, tornado warnings, and snow.  But enough about politics…
Sunday, February 2nd                                                    
I took my prayer shawl to church on Sunday where two of the holiest ladies I know prayed over it. It’s on its way to its recipient now – hopefully it will bring her and her family some comfort.

Later that day I made the apple cake that Bruce Taylor posted on his blog and it was GOOD ya’ll!

Monday, February 3rd                     
This warm weather has our yard thinking it’s spring!

Tuesday, February 4th                                                         
Dr. M’s clever arrangement of tomatoes (from Misfits Market of course) – they’ve ripened nicely on the edge of that cutting board.

Wednesday, February 5th                                                    
I ordered this yarn on November 30th, but the first order was apparently lost and it took a while to sort it out. So glad to finally have it! I was planning to use to make more Christmas baubles – I guess I just didn’t know for which Christmas.

Thursday, February 6th     
Dr. M used more veggies from our box to make me a fabulous chicken soup. YUM!

Friday, February 7th                                                                 
I posted this on Instagram & FB talking about how I had solved the problem of flipping a fried egg, but I wasn’t exactly clear. I just crack the egg into the pan, add salt & pepper, and then put a lid on it & let it cook. Works great! I do have to be careful to not overcook it or I won’t have a runny yolk like I like it – I cook it on medium & check it frequently.

We wore red to work to raise awareness of heart disease. I’m in the upper left of the photo, wearing jeans & a solid red shirt.

Saturday, February 8th                
We had a cute little snow and I finished A Gentleman in Moscow and I LOVED it. I highly recommend it (but my feelings won’t be hurt if you don’t like it – it’s not everyone’s cup of tea).

Dr. M made another excellent meal with our box ingredients. That cubed stuff is celery root. Celery root! I had no idea that was even a thing. It sort of reminded us of eggplant in texture. We also had spaghetti squash and pasta sauce with veggie crumbles.

On the one hand, I would love to have tomorrow off from work. On the other hand, except for excursions to vacuum and go to church, my butt has been basically glued to my recliner for two days. It would like to sit in another venue. How about you? Are you ready for the week ahead?

Saturday, February 1, 2020

2020 Project 365 – Week Five

This week had lots of selfies, yarn, food, and surprise weather!
Sunday, January 26th                                                   
Sunday selfie.

Monday, January 27th                    
I was just checking out the progress on the prayer shawl I was making & was amused that it matched my outfit.

Meanwhile, Dr. M finally decided to do some personal grooming. I had been advocating for braiding his beard or using a little hair band, but no, he went for the trim instead.

Tuesday, January 28th                                                         
This answers the question of how we keep the squirrels off of our feeders. We don’t. Ha!

My dinner – a pear and some nabs. (I might have consumed ice cream earlier in the day which did in fact spoil my appetite for dinner.)

The moon! (And Venus)

Wednesday, January 29th                                                    
Twins, right? Hoo boy this generated some strong feelings on Facebook! Listen, just because I don’t agree with anything she stands for doesn’t mean that I think she’s unattractive.

My newest crochet project. I’m using up all the fuzzy yarn from my yarn bin. As I said on Instagram: Genius? Hideous? Remains to be seen. Stay tuned!

Dr. M cooked a fabulous meal tonight, but there was just a little bit of cleanup. (The meal wasn’t very photogenic, but delicious!)

Thursday, January 30th     
I took these pictures intending to write a witty little tale about how I have to use this sensitive skin soap these days and how it will not adhere to itself, so when I get down to too small of a sliver to use I just have to throw it away (tragic!). But I got a fancy homemade soap for Christmas & this sliver is actually sticking to the Dove soap, so my story kind of fell apart & yet these are the only pictures from today, so.

Friday, January 31st                                                                
Look what happened today! Totally unexpected – they were calling for rain. It was very pretty & it’s all gone now, so it was perfect!

Dr. M cooked again. We got collards in our Misfit Markets box & he made rice, black beans, & grilled chicken to go with it. Really good!

Saturday, February 1st                
Update on my new project. The jury is still out on what I think about it, but it’s very soft & fluffy so I’m enjoying that part.

I don’t really want to talk about politics here because it’s all very depressing, but I just want to say that if you aren’t happy with how things are going & if you’d like to have actual functioning adults (who care about the welfare of ALL people) in charge of our government, for God’s sake VOTE in November.

2024 Project 365 – Week Sixteen

It’s “cold” (53 degrees) and rainy and I am in my sheep pajamas with a warm laptop on my lap. I’m not mad about that. Sunday, April 14 th  ...