Saturday, October 24, 2020

2020 Project 365 – Week Forty-three

Another week has come and gone, and mercifully we are that much closer to the election. Will we make it? Will the country survive? And will we be able to put it behind us once it’s over? For answers to these and other questions, see some future post of mine in, say, December.

Sunday, October 18th                                                                 

Our day. It was a good day, until it wasn’t (see the caption for tomorrow). 


Monday, October 19th                             

No picture. Instead, you get this, from Dr. M: If you have ever muttered the phrase, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but whips and chains excite me," you might be a baseball fan! October is the cruelest month, by far, and those of us who endure the long seasons year after year are masochists. The shortness of this season only meant that there was more opportunity to make a deep run, and the Braves did! But alack, not deep enough to satisfy those of us who have waited 21 years for such an opportunity. I am absolutely certain that a riding crop session in Mistress Elvira's dungeon would have been far less painful than watching the Braves lose three straight games and fall short of the World Series this week. My only consolation is that I have some dear Dodgers fans who are elated that their team does not have to feel this pain again this season.

To mix metaphors, those of us who worship in the House of Baseball also dwell in the depths of Sheol. There is the bliss of Cody Bellinger's October Blast coupled with his now dislocated shoulder due to excess celebration. There is the bliss of Dansby Swanson's homer coupled with a tumble into the Pit of Despair that resulted from his inexplicable baserunning error. There is the bliss of the Dodgers in the Series, and the agony of Nick Markakis coming so close only to fall short yet again. So it goes, year after year. Thrill of victory, agony of defeat, year after year after year. The pain is over for me for another season, but I will always wonder what might have happened had Dansby simply stayed put on third. Perhaps two useless outs made in other ways, perhaps not. Then again, that is a matter of faith, not science.

Tuesday, October 20th                                                                  

Before

After

Wednesday, October 21st                                                          

Woo hoo! 


Also, seen around the yard. I love how Peaches, the Knock Out Rose creates her own bouquets.


Thursday, October 22nd          

I posted a picture of the beginning of this project last week, and now I have a tale of woe. I somehow CUT the yarn on the very first row. It’s a scarf, so both ends will be visible, so any repair will probably be pretty visible (I’m not very good at such things), so I’ll probably frog the whole thing. Right now it’s been put aside to think about the error of its ways. 


Friday, October 23rd                                                                   

Started decorating my office at work. We’re all dressing as witches next Friday – the Witches of HR. Ha! 


Saturday, October 24th                  

Dr. M & I went on a little ramble today. We stopped briefly to check out the Upper Fork of the South Fork of the Catawba River, better known today as the Henry River. Gorgeous day! 

I’m sitting here watching two teams, neither of which is the Braves, play in the 4th game of the World Series. I don’t think I care who wins, but it’s still comforting to have “my” sport on in the background while I work on my post. How are you holding up these days? What sorts of things do you do to keep yourself sane? Or are you sane?

Saturday, October 17, 2020

2020 Project 365 – Week Forty-two

This week’s photos seem overly selfie-centric. Also, don’t get excited by the fact that I posted three times this past week – it’s not going to happen again any time soon!

Sunday, October 11th                                                                 

As I said on Facebook, basically I just need to stay out of stores until after Thanksgiving. 


Continuing our orange theme… fall leaves and… daylilies? 


Monday, October 12th                             

I think I took a very similar picture a month or so ago, with basically the same caption: I am NOT GOING TO CUT this annoying piece of hair. Nope. 


We got fennel in our Misfits Markets box. Neither of us had ever (knowingly) eaten fennel before, but Dr. M researched recipes and came up with this fabulous chicken orzo soup that contained fennel. Yum! 


Tuesday, October 13th                                                                  

Pretty bowl of Macintosh apples that Dr. M bought for me. They are GOOD. 


Wednesday, October 14th                                                             

Just a bathroom selfie. I’m not sure how I feel about my hair pulled back, but I do know that it was sheer bliss to not have it all in my face all day. 


 

Thursday, October 15th          

New project. This yarn is soft and sparkly. Fun! 


Peaches the Knock Out Rose is very happy these days.


Friday, October 16th                                                                      

The first picture was taken about 12:30 am after the Braves game was over (they are killing me with these late games!). I was playing around with a new Instagram filter instead of going to sleep. Then later in the morning I took another selfie with that filter. I have always wanted to be a redhead. 


Saturday, October 17th                  

I bought that bottle of conditioner six years ago when I had a lot more hair, and just this week finally used the last of it. I had to laugh – I bought that giant bottle & then cut all that long hair off almost immediately. I’m looking forward to trying one of those new-fangled modern conditioners! Just kidding – if I see this one I’ll probably buy it again. Maybe in a smaller size. 


The Braves have had us on a roller coaster this past week. They are one win away from going to the World Series, but they have been for three games now. They’re three and three with the Dodgers, so tomorrow’s game is IT – win or go home! I’m thinking maybe I should just go ahead & call off work on Monday. I’m too old to be staying up so late. Ha! I don’t think any of my readers care very much about baseball, but just in case I’m wrong, who are you pulling for?

 

 

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Flower Identification

I have to admit, I had trouble pinning these down a week after I picked them. Fortunately, I had Dr. M’s help!

1. Rudbeckia/Gloriosa Daisy

2. Anise

3. Knock Out Rose (Peaches!)

4. Chrysanthemum

5. Encore Azalea

6. Geranium (Miss Rita!)

7. Encore Azalea

8. Calibrachoa 

9. Encore Azalea

10. Verbena

11. Sedum

12. Another Calibrachoa

13. Knock Out Rose (Rosie!)

14. Sulfur cosmos

15. Sweet Alyssum

16. Morning Glory

17. Petunia

18. Geranium (Ms. Pinky!)

19. Aster

20. Silene America/Sweet William

21. Monkey Grass Flower

22. More Ms. Pinky Geranium – the second of her 2 tones.

23. More Ms. Rita

24. Daylily



Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Book Reviews – the September Edition

 

I was surprised when I checked to see how many books I read in September – five! I might hit my (rather modest) book goal this year after all.

1. No Fixed Line (Kate Shugak #22), by Dana Stabenow. ★★★★★ It is New Year’s Eve, nearly six weeks into an off-and-on blizzard that has locked Alaska down, effectively cutting it off from the outside world. But now there are reports of a plane down in the Quilak mountains. With the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board — responsible for investigating aviation incidents) unable to reach the crash site, ex-Trooper Jim Chopin is pulled out of retirement to try to identify the aircraft, collect the corpses, and determine why no flight has been reported missing. But there are survivors: two children who don’t speak a word of English. Meanwhile, PI Kate Shugak receives an unexpected and unwelcome accusation from beyond the grave, a charge that could change the face of the Park forever.

The Bug Says: That description (which I modified slightly due to some inaccuracies) is overly dramatic and flowery, but the book itself is absolutely fabulous and satisfactory. I love this series and am always excited when a new book comes out. Kate is such a badass and that is my favorite kind of main character. If you like murder mysteries, even if you don’t really care about Alaska, you should definitely check this series out.

2. How to be an Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi. ★★★★★ Kendi's concept of antiracism reenergizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America--but even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. In How to be an Antiracist, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it. In this book, Kendi weaves together an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science, bringing it all together with an engaging personal narrative of his own awakening to antiracism. How to Be an Antiracist is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond an awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a truly just and equitable society. 

The Bug Says: This book blew my mind – the way he talks about what being antiracist looks like. It is more about changing policies than the behavior of individual people (although that would also be a good start). I really like how the book was organized, and how he wove the themes of his own life and his research into a cohesive narrative. Highly recommend! (Note: there are several offshoots from this book that might also be worth checking out. Here is a link to his Goodreads page if you want to see what else he has written.)

3. The Unhoneymooners, by Christina Lauren. ★★★★ Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Ami, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancĂ© is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.

Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.

Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of... lucky.

The Bug Says: I was going to say that this was pure fluff, but actually the writing was really clever and the characters were not annoying (trust me, this is high praise, coming from me). I enjoyed it a lot. If you need a break from real life, this one would be quite enjoyable.

4. The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd. ★★★★★ Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily's fierce-hearted black "stand-in mother," Rosaleen, insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily decides to spring them both free. They escape to Tiburon, South Carolina--a town that holds the secret to her mother's past. Taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters, Lily is introduced to their mesmerizing world of bees and honey, and the Black Madonna. This is a remarkable novel about divine female power, a story that women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.

The Bug Says: I don’t know how I missed reading this book when it first came out, but thank you to my cousin Kim who told me that I would love it. She was right! Such a good book! And it seems very timely, with its themes of racism and female power. Love love loved it!

5. The K Team (The K Team #1), by David Rosenfelt. ★★★ In David Rosenfelt's newest series - a spinoff of the much beloved Andy Carpenter mysteries - Andy's wife forms an investigative team with a former detective and his German shepherd partner. Laurie, was a cop, a good one. Now she helps out on Andy's cases while also raising Ricky, their son. But she's been chafing to jump back into investigating on her own, and when her former partner and his German shepherd K-9 partner come to her with a proposal, she's in.

The Bug Says: I love Rosenfelt’s Andy Carpenter series, so I was excited to check out this new one. The story was good, and I really like the concept. But some of the themes were annoying, and there seemed to be a lot of repetition along those lines. And Andy is my favorite character of this crew, and since he wasn’t as prevalent in this book I missed him. But will I read the next book? Heck yeah – I enjoy Rosenfelt’s brand of self-deprecating snark.


I had three books by favorite authors get published in September, so I’ve been trying to read even more lately. I’ve finished one book (Armand Gamache), and will finish a second one this weekend (Eve Dallas), and then I’ll be on to the third one (Harry Dresden). It’s a happy time in Bug Book Land right now. Are you reading anything interesting?


Saturday, October 10, 2020

2020 Project 365 – Week Forty-one

Dr. M & I were in a bit of a funk this week, so the quality and quantity of photos is a little slim. Nevertheless, I shall post what we have. Good luck?

Sunday, October 4th                                                                 

I had a project, inspired by Ellen Abbott. I picked one of each flower that is currently blooming in our yard and did a little collage. It was a lot of fun – I’m going to try to remember to do it each season next year. It will be interesting to see how it’s different. I’ve started on a labeling post, which I’ll share later, but in the meantime, can you identify the flowers? 


The Roy!


Monday, October 5th                             

Dr. M found a giant face jug in downtown Lincolnton. Very cool! 


Tuesday, October 6th                                                                  

No photo, but this is a screen shot of a notification on my phone from the Brave’s playoff game. All the games were at 2:00 in the afternoon so I wasn’t able to watch any of them. Poo. 

Wednesday, October 7th                                                             

My latest weird lunch – cottage cheese, tuna, and a cut up plum. Really good! 


Also, I got my flu shot that morning, but didn’t notice the Captain America bandaid until I changed clothes after work. Love it! 


Thursday, October 8th          

No photo.

Friday, October 9th                                                                        

My snack – a whole apple, whole banana, grapes, carton of jello, and some cool whip. It was a lot!


Saturday, October 10th                  

Rainy day. I was trying to capture how the acorns accumulate along that strip of grass in the driveway, but my iPhone camera was unexcited by the low light and trying to focus through the rain. 


I have to say, it feels like every week there is a new level of national crazy. Am I overwhelmed & starting to feel numb? Yes. Am I still going to try to speak truth to power (in my own quiet Enneagram 9 way)? Yes. And also, I am going to vote. Early voting in NC opens on Thursday and I plan to be there! What is your voting plan?

Sunday, October 4, 2020

2020 Project 365 – Week Forty

Well this was another crazy-pants week. I can’t believe that the president got COVID. I mean, I can believe it because he never took any precautions, but I still can’t believe it because he should have been more protected than any of us. I guess that doesn’t work if you don’t actually use the protection available to you? I do wish him well, for entirely selfish reasons. This election is already complicated enough without factoring in a sick president. I’m feeling a little “current events” fatigue, which makes me just want to keep my head down & plod along until the next time I have to look up. And vote – it definitely makes me want to vote!

Sunday, September 27th

Is it extra luck if the seed in your apple has started to germinate? 


Monday, September 28th

Dr. M made a face of my fruit.



Tuesday, September 29th

I thought I’d try to make those little cinnamon buns out of my hair. I had mixed results. 


Wednesday, September 30th

It’s still lovely around the old homestead! 


Thursday, October 1st

Dr. M sat out on the deck for a bit.



Meanwhile, I met my cousin at the mall for our weekly walk.


Friday, October 2nd

Lots of pictures today! I took the day off to attend the Evolving Faith conference, which was (of course) virtual this year. It was SO GOOD, even though I gave up taking pictures of all the speakers partway through. 


This was my lunch – salad (with plums & feta) dumped on top of a slice of Mexican pizza.


Meanwhile, Dr. M decorated for Halloween.



And then there was the moon! 


Saturday, October 3rd

Day two of the conference. I was going to have another salad for lunch, but as you can see, my plate is vegetable free. 


Dr. M enjoyed the deck again. I spent some time out there too – such a glorious day!

 


I’m feeling my usual fall melancholy. I really hate that it gets dark so soon, and I don’t like being cold, and I resent having to wear shoes in the house. But it can be a pretty time of year, and I also need to remember that I hate being hot too (I’m complicated). What is your favorite season?


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...