Saturday, August 29, 2020

2020 Project 365 – Week Thirty-five


My personal life has been fine. I had a good week at work. Sue had surgery that went well. Dr. M has done a great job of feeding me. I’ve enjoyed the books I’ve been reading. But nationally it has been a train wreck! The RNC, hurricane, wildfires, and The Black Panther died. Such a hard week! And I didn’t even mention that we’re still in a pandemic. Oof.
Sunday, August 23rd                                                                
I was in bed playing a game on my phone when I thought to myself, “Self – you haven’t taken a picture today, have you?” The answer was no, so I took this picture of all the stuff on the trunk across from the bed. I think I might have enough accent pillows. Those two white ones are pillow inserts for some crochet project that hasn’t happened yet.


Monday, August 24th                            
I had this grand idea of taking pictures of my outfits this week so I could remember how I put them together the next time I want to wear them (I figure I’ve already gone through the pain of figuring it all out – why have to do it again?). However, this is the only day I remembered. And it’s the only picture I took that day.



Tuesday, August 25th                                                                  
Just another entry in the Bang Chronicles. They are this || close to staying tucked behind my ears. I got them cut a year ago this week according to my Facebook memories (they did get trimmed again a few times – I’ve just been growing them out since March).



Wednesday, August 26th                                                          
I’m glad I’m the kind of person who doesn’t let herself run out of dental floss. Otherwise this picture would make me very sad.



Thursday, August 27th        
Our daylilies have started blooming again!



Friday, August 28th                                                                        
Broke my $10 kiddie sunglasses. Very sad. Also, as I said on the socials, 50 something year old women shouldn’t try to do the pouty look.


Saturday, August 29th                 
Your weekly progress photo. I only got two sides done. I’m including a photo showing how I’m joining the squares as I go. The squares are just joined on the corners. It sort of makes me think of (very colorful) chain mail - ha!


Tomorrow we’re having church in the sanctuary for the first time since March. We’re blocking off pews, wearing masks, not singing, not hugging… I feel conflicted – a little worried that we’ll slip up & not be safe, but also salty that I have to leave my house. I’ve gotten used to staying home on Sundays! I’ll let you know how it went.

I’m going to close with some ranting that I did on FB. I posted an essay from someone about systemic racism. An acquaintance started posting stories in the comments about how bad Black Lives Matter (the organization) is, and how good the police are, and how a liberal congresswoman called for unrest in the streets (like that’s a bad thing). Here was my reply to her: “I'm increasingly frustrated with the response of 'but they did this' & 'they did that' to any discussion of systemic racism. I understand that it can be hard to grasp because we've breathed it like air & bathed in it like water for CENTURIES. But we have to try. Because the REASON that people behave like they do is embedded in the structures that have privileged white people. Stop looking at what they're doing & try to figure out why. And then work to make changes. Because unrest is going to be there until we fix it.” Then she posted ANOTHER story saying that all lives matter. So I said this, “…you continue to miss the point. I DON'T CARE what people are doing in this particular instance. WHAT ARE WE DOING to fix the system that is causing the unrest? It's like telling your child to keep quiet when they try to explain what hurts, as if it will just go away if they shut up.”

That was WAY out of my comfort zone. So basically I need to hide under a rock for a few days. I’ll see you guys next week!

Sunday, August 23, 2020

2020 Project 365 – Week Thirty-four


No politics this week. It is almost 5:00 on Sunday afternoon and I really want to take a nap. This shall be short & to the point. (Two notes: 1. I will not take a nap. 2. This will not be short & to the point.)

Sunday, August 16th                                                                
Seen around the yard – azaleas, morning glories, and wildflowers.

Monday, August 17th                            
There is a squishable bag zipped inside this penguin, but it has a secondary job these days.



Tuesday, August 18th                                                                  
I made this crazy thing to give away, but I finished it the week before the shutdown & then felt weird about giving it to anyone. So the other week I toted it into the office – it shall be my office blankie.



Wednesday, August 19th                                                          
Dr. M posted this picture on the socials & I really have no comment.



Thursday, August 20th        
This week’s tower of food. I ate half today & half on Friday. The note says to remember grapes & I did!



Friday, August 21st                                                                       
I finished this audiobook today. SO GOOD! 100% recommend – especially the audio version. That’s my cheesy grin because I was so pleased with it.


Saturday, August 22nd                  
Your weekly progress photo. I don’t know if I’ll be able to post another one next week – it’s taking longer to make my way around the edges now. Well, I guess I could post one even if it’s only partway done. I’m not the boss of me! Wait…


I’ve had a good weekend. Got the house cleaned yesterday & all the laundry done. Played on my iPad. Crocheted. The Braves won. Saw my dad & Sue briefly today (she’s having back surgery next Friday, so good thoughts please!). How was your weekend?



Sunday, August 16, 2020

2020 Project 365 – Week Thirty-three


You will be thrilled to know that I am now finished discussing allergy meds (for the time being). I used the Xyzal for exactly two days and decided that being alert was more important than being able to talk. And frankly my voice has been mostly fine lately. I wonder what I’ll complain about next week? The attack on the US postal service? The general misogyny in all areas of human life? The fact that evangelical Christians continue to bray about being persecuted and (apparently) think that  the current president will save them? (Fun fact: neither of these is true.)

Sunday, August 9th                                                                
That’s a lot of containers of food for Monday! You’ll be relieved to know that I ate half of everything (oatmeal, fruit, salad). So then I didn’t have to pack Tuesday’s lunch. Woot!


Monday, August 10th                            
Our wildflower bed is battered, but still contains some gems.


Tuesday, August 11th                                                                  
Pulled this back out to work on.


Wednesday, August 12th                                                          
Met a friend for lunch. I had already eaten by the time she said she was going to be in the area, but I am never too full for dessert!


Thursday, August 13th        
I wear my glasses on top of my head until I get into the office & then (usually), I put them on my face. Something went awry here.


Friday, August 14th                                                                      
Good hair day.


I posted on the socials: There’s something not quite right here, but I can’t put my finger on it. Can one of you help?


Dr. M found some rather large tomatoes!


Saturday, August 15th                 
Progress photo on the project, plus the introduction of a fun new color! I’m not sure what I’ll think about the end result, but I’m very much enjoying the process of making it.


Last week Steve Reed asked who Otis the Sheepadoodle is. He’s a dog we follow on Instagram – go here if you’d like to check out his page. And YES Steve you should absolutely make an Olga calendar!

We had a 5.1 magnitude earthquake on Sunday morning. I was asleep, but I felt our house move and I remember waking up briefly & wondering what the heck Dr. M was doing that would shake the whole house, & then I rolled over & went back to sleep. So that’s basically how helpful I would be in a crisis. What about you? Would be you an asset or a hindrance in an emergency situation?

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Book Reviews – the July Edition


I only have three books to review this month. One reason is that one of the books from my June post was actually finished in July. Oops. The other reason is that I listened to a LOT of podcasts in July! Maybe I’ll do a post about those sometime (hint – Brene’ Brown, Jen Hatmaker, and The Evolving Faith podcast feature).

1. I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness, by Austin Channing Brown. ★★★★★ Austin Channing Brown's first encounter with a racialized America came at age 7, when she discovered her parents named her Austin to deceive future employers into thinking she was a white man. Growing up in majority-white schools, organizations, and churches, Austin writes, "I had to learn what it means to love blackness," a journey that led to a lifetime spent navigating America's racial divide as a writer, speaker and expert who helps organizations practice genuine inclusion.

In a time when nearly all institutions (schools, churches, universities, businesses) claim to value "diversity" in their mission statements, I'm Still Here is a powerful account of how and why our actions so often fall short of our words. Austin writes in breathtaking detail about her journey to self-worth and the pitfalls that kill our attempts at racial justice, in stories that bear witness to the complexity of America's social fabric--from Black Cleveland neighborhoods to private schools in the middle-class suburbs, from prison walls to the boardrooms at majority-white organizations.

For readers who have engaged with America's legacy on race through the writing of Ta-Nehisi Coates and Michael Eric Dyson, I'm Still Here is an illuminating look at how white, middle-class, Evangelicalism has participated in an era of rising racial hostility, inviting the reader to confront apathy, recognize God's ongoing work in the world, and discover how blackness--if we let it--can save us all.

The Bug Says: Oh man, what a powerful book. There are so many ways that Black women have to play a role just to exist in corporate America (and yes, I’m including Christian organizations in this). It must be exhausting. This book does a great job of showing just what that looks like and why our standard “solutions” are no solution at all.

2. The One-in-a-Million Boy, by Monica Wood. ★★★★★ “The story of your life never starts at the beginning. Don't they teach you anything at school?” So says 104-year-old Ona to the 11-year-old boy who's been sent to help her out every Saturday morning. As he refills the bird feeders and tidies the garden shed, Ona tells him about her long life, from first love to second chances. Soon she's confessing secrets she has kept hidden for decades.

One Saturday, the boy doesn't show up. Ona starts to think he's not so special after all, but then his father arrives on her doorstep, determined to finish his son's good deed. The boy's mother is not so far behind. Ona is set to discover that the world can surprise us at any age, and that sometimes sharing a loss is the only way to find ourselves again. 

The Bug Says: I loved this book! It was another book club book (read during the actual month that I was supposed to read it). It engaged me from the very beginning. I was fascinated by Ona and the mystery of the boy. It’s a lovely story of grief and redemption. READ IT! (Or not, I’m not the boss of you.)

3. Muzzled, (Andy Carpenter #21) by David Rosenfelt. ★★★★ Andy Carpenter is a lawyer who would rather not practice law. He'd rather spend his time working with the Tara Foundation, his dog rescue organization, and being with his family and his two dogs, Tara and Sebastian. But when a friend asks him for a favor that involves both dogs and his lawyerly expertise, he can't say no.

Andy's friend Beth has found a stray that seems to have belonged to a murder victim--in fact, the man and two of his colleagues died in an explosion a few weeks ago. But when the murdered man contacts Beth, asking for his dog back, Andy knows there must be more to the story. The man claims his life is in danger, and that's why he disappeared. As much as Andy doesn't want to get involved--anything to avoid a new case--he can't help but come to the rescue of a man who'd risk everything, even his life, to reunite with his dog.

The Bug Says: This is one of my favorite books series. The main character is hilarious and the mysteries are usually very engaging. I’ve only ever listened to the audiobooks for this series (the narrator is really good), but I actually won this one in a Goodreads giveaway so I read the paperback. The story was just as fun and interesting as always, but oh my goodness there were a lot of typos and things that an editor should catch. I had no idea that the books were so sloppy – the narrator does a great job of cleaning that stuff up. Or this was just unusual. I don’t know – but it certainly won’t stop me from reading book #22.

I finished my Harry Dresden book yesterday (no spoilers!), and I’m currently reading Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book Between the World and Me, and Ibram X. Kendi’s book How to be an Antiracist. I’ve been reading the Kendi book for a couple of months – I bought it, but kept having library books become available so I would put it aside to read them. Now there’s nothing else on my shelf so I should have it on my August list next month. What have you been reading lately?


Saturday, August 8, 2020

2020 Project 365 – Week Thirty-two


Here is an allergy med update (I know you are on the edge of your seat). The Allegra didn’t bother me too much, although I did notice feeling a little drowsy. But it was no more effective than the Claritin I’ve been taking. Tonight I started taking the Xyzal. I have ten doses to try. We shall see how it goes. It will certainly be a banner day when I’m done talking about this topic!

Sunday, August 2nd                                                               
The only picture today – we finally remembered to flip our Otis the Sheepadoodle calendar to August. This month we have Goobers & a Raisinette. Ha!
  


Monday, August 3rd                            
Dr. M cooked the jicama – it’s pretty good as fries!



Tuesday, August 4th                                                                  
Yes, it’s another new mask, plus a throwback picture of my foot in motion.



Wednesday, August 5th                                                          
Our flowers have been getting battered by almost daily afternoon thunderstorms. Still pretty though.



Thursday, August 6th        
I had to run an errand at lunch & got behind this car. Made me laugh!


Watching baseball in the evening. This is Bo Bichette (Toronto Blue Jays), and every time the announcer said his name I thought he was saying Boba Fett. There’s no Star Wars in baseball!



Friday, August 7th                                                                      
I think Dr. M got lost & ended up in Texas…



Saturday, August 8th                 
Morning glories! Did you guys notice that last week I called the morning glory a petunia? I kept meaning to go back & fix it, but at this point it’s just going to stay wrong.



I needed to sew something (I had a couple of masks that were too big, so I was sewing the ear bands closed a little tighter), and I pulled out my ancient sewing kit. I noticed this metal gadget that I hadn’t paid attention to before & was googling it to see what the heck it is, but Dr. M was faster. It’s a bodkin, which you can use to pull drawstrings or elastic through clothes. I used it to hold the elastic bands together so I could sew.



Does it feel like the world is just getting crazier and crazier? I mean, we do have an awful lot going on, and now we have to worry about the post office on top of everything else. I really hope that we can overcome all the things, elect some decent folks in November, and then survive until January. If I weren’t living through it I would think this was an excellent plot for a Bond movie. How are you feeling about the state of things?


Sunday, August 2, 2020

2020 Project 365 – Week Thirty-one


How is it August already? What the heck. I had a busy & productive week, and I’m looking forward to a project at work this coming week. Baseball has been good (although, as I said last week I feel ambivalent), and hockey started back – and the Hurricanes won!
  
Sunday, July 26th                                                              
I did that thing where I just couldn’t throw out the lotion. There was a LOT in there! (Yes, I’m aware that the container I chose is probably a butter keeper or some such, but lotion is sort of like butter, right?) 



Monday, July 27th                            
There was a meme going around asking how old you were before you had a Black teacher. I had both of these ladies in the 9th grade. Ms. Harshaw (left) was my Freshman English teacher, and Ms. Setzer (right) was my homeroom & social studies teacher. I didn’t think about it at the time, but can you even imagine what it must have been like for a Black woman to teach in rural North Carolina in the late 70s/early 80s?


Tuesday, July 28th                                                                  
I had a selfie from today (meant to show how low I had slouched in my office chair), but I thought you needed to see this instead. Made me laugh!
  


Wednesday, July 29th                                                          
Ms. Pinky after the rain.

 
Thursday, July 30th        
Morning glorious! (Yes, we had petunias on Thursday last week too.)


Dr. M went to see his dad & brought home these huge tomatoes! (That’s my grandmother’s plate that they’re sitting on.)


Friday, July 31st                                                                      
I was trying to get a picture because I thought my hair looked good & I wanted to show my beautician how well my cut is holding up. But these didn’t really showcase it very well.



Saturday, August 1st                  
Our Misfits box came & instead of yellow squash we got these weird looking things that are about as big as my head! I posted on the Interwebs and about forty eleven people told me that it is jicama. Something new for Dr. M to play with!


I took the beard off of the first gnome I made & gave it hair instead. I think I have a Mr. & Mrs. Gnome now. (I included the beard picture in case you don’t remember how weird it looked).


Yet more new masks (and I have another one that I haven’t photographed yet) – from the Atlanta Braves this time. I think we really are done buying masks now. Maybe.


In case you’re concerned about my allergy med saga, on Wednesday I started the second of the three that my doctor gave me to try – Allegra. I think I’ve taken this in the past? It doesn’t make me as drowsy as the Zyrtec did, but it does make me a little drowsy. I’ll give it the full ten days to see what I think & then I’ll try the third one – the hilariously (to me) named Xyzal. Do you have any interesting medical news to share?


Book Reviews – the June/July Edition

  I only read two books in June, but I read four in July, so buckle up!   1.   Crooked River (Pendergast #19), by Douglas Preston & Li...