Saturday, January 30, 2021

2021 Project 365 – Week Five

This was a pretty low key week in the Bug Household. I ate weird combinations of food. I crocheted. The Moon Man made an appearance. It’s January.
 
Sunday, January 24th  
Dr. M made a very chunky spaghetti sauce with some of our lingering Misfits veggies (carrots, zucchini, peppers), some canned tomatoes, and some leftover store bought sauce which apparently was 90% garlic. It was VERY tasty & it was nice to not have to worry about vampires.
 

Monday, January 25th
Dr. M’s dad got his first COVID vaccination. Yay!
 

Tuesday, January 26th  
Daddy & Sue got their vaccines today, but you don’t get a photo of that. Instead, here is a lovely picture of me rolling my eyes so hard at my audiobook that I was in danger of having a traffic accident.
 

Here is one of the weird things I ate. The leftover pizza, while tasty, just seemed very heavy to me so I decided to zing it up with sliced apples. It was really good!
 

Wednesday, January 27th  
Leftover pizza, take two. This time I mixed up a little salad with apples, feta, spinach, & Italian dressing, and dumped that on my pizza. While it was also tasty, logistically it was impossible to eat. If the crust hadn’t been so crispy I could have rolled the slices up & sort of had a pizza taco situation.
 

Took another stretching class. We were supposed to use a tennis ball, but in the moment this was the only thing we could find – ha! I think it’s hilarious that we have a Washington Nationals plushie when we’re not really Nationals fans.
 

Thursday, January 28th
Twilight…
 

I finished my wall hanging! So glad to have had the Make Don’t Break challenge to get me in gear this month.
 

The moon! (Slightly past full because of pouring rain Wednesday night.)
 

Friday, January 29th
Since I finished my wall hanging, and since I was still waiting on a skein of yarn for my temperature blanket, I started a new project. I was playing around with color combos & decided that using the off white worked best. This one will be a can cozy. Maybe.
 

Saturday, January 30th  
Temperature blanket update. My chartreuse yarn came! It’s either going to be hideous or a “pop of color.” I kind of like it – looks like spring to me. Which means we shouldn’t have had this temperature (51 degrees) in January. Of course, last year we had about 5 days of 60+ degree temps in the middle of January, so what do I know? I spent a little time rearranging my warm color ranges. As most of you know, the last time I made a temperature blanket I had a LOT of orange. I’m trying to avoid that this time. We’ll see how it goes. Also, down here in NC I’m thinking I won’t end up using my coolest colors (for average temps 30 degrees & lower). Now if I was still in Ohio...
 


I’ve been feeling a little blue this week. With my personality, when I feel blue I tend to just crawl inside myself and stuff all that blue in a corner where it can be ignored. Then eat some chocolate. This time I’ve tried to “sit with my feelings” (whatever the heck that means), and I have to say that I Am Not A Fan. I mean, I don’t even want to eat chocolate when I do that. Who needs that stress in their life? How about you – are you a feeler or a stuffer? 
 
 

Sunday, January 24, 2021

2021 Project 365 – Week Four

This was a momentous week for our country. Some folks are devastated (and can’t figure out why Trump didn’t just stay in office as he promised). Other people are ecstatic. I am just mostly relieved. I told someone today that the Biden administration will probably disappoint me (after all I voted for Bernie – ha!), but at least it feels like adults are in charge. 
Sunday, January 17th  
Look at this cute little face! I got to hold Grayson for about 2 hours on Sunday & was not mad about it. He’s such a tiny thing.
 

Monday, January 18th
One of my Christmas presents – my people know what I like.
 

Tuesday, January 19th  
Got this book so Grayson’s parents can perform experiments on him (relax folks – it’s really about “cognitive, motor, language, and behavioral development…”).
 

Wednesday, January 20th  
Inauguration day! I took my iPad to work so I could watch the show. I LOVED Amanda Gorman’s poem! Wow! “When day comes we step out of the shade, aflame and unafraid. The new dawn blooms as we free it. For there is always light, if only we're brave enough to see it. If only we're brave enough to be it.”
 

Thursday, January 21st   
Finished this prayer shawl! It is blessed & on its way to its recipient.
 

Friday, January 22nd
I got most of the rest of the yarn for my temperature blanket today & decided to put it in the very naughty bag my sister-in-law gave me. It doesn’t really fit so I might have to switch it out, which would mean I wouldn’t be sitting here blushing in my own home.
 

Saturday, January 23rd  
We’re supposed to eat the rainbow. Today I decided to focus on the color orange.
 

Temperature blanket update.
 

My dad & Sue, and Dr. M’s dad are all getting their vaccines this week. Dr. M and I are very relieved! I have no idea when we’ll be eligible, but at least we don’t have to worry about our parents as much. I know that some of my readers have already gotten their vaccines. How about the rest of you? Do you know when you’ll be able to get yours?
 

Monday, January 18, 2021

2021 Project 365 – Week Three

Today is MLK Jr. Day, and I have the day off from work. As is usual for me, I didn’t plan to do any acts of service. I did post a couple of things on social media. Does that make my cries for social justice performative? Why, yes, I do believe that it does. Do I want to do better? Also yes. Will I? Stay tuned….
 
This post is a little later than usual. I couldn’t be bothered on Saturday, and then yesterday I had other stuff to do. See the end of the post for a preview of what I was up to.
 
Sunday, January 10th  
You might remember that late last year one of the strands on my Fitbit band broke. I decided to try to repair it. I knew that the repair wouldn’t last because I was using thin thread, and it didn’t – but now I know what to do once I get the right materials.
 

Monday, January 11th
No photo. Well, there was my “Make Don’t Break” photo, but it’s too similar to the one I’m using for Saturday.
 
Tuesday, January 12th  
The last time I made a temperature blanket I stopped weaving in the ends around July or so. I AM NOT GOING TO DO THAT THIS TIME!
 

Wednesday, January 13th  
Twilight in the hollow. (Per popular demand, this week features a lot of Dr. M photos.)
 

Thursday, January 14th  
Took a stretching class because I am possibly the least limber person you will meet.
 

The moon!
 

Friday, January 15th
The moon! (And my favorite color of sky)
 

Saturday, January 16th
I couldn’t decide what to put on my egg salad sandwich, so I had a bit of everything: potato chips, Cheetos, and chili cheese corn chips. It was very good, but the corn chips kind of overpowered the egg salad. Just in case you decide to make one of these for yourself.
 

Twilight.
 

Weekly update of the temperature blanket (yes, this is now a thing). I don’t know what I think about the colors, but as we all know, when April comes around there will be big changes that make it look completely different. Will I like it then? We shall see!
 

The moon!
 


Here’s the sneak peek into what I was up to yesterday. Look how long his toeses are!
 


This week promises more craziness. I am praying for a drama free inauguration. Do we think that can actually happen?
 

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Book Reviews – the December Edition

 

In December I tried to reach my (rather modest) reading goal for 2020, but I couldn’t quite get there. I ended up reading 58 books for the year, down from 76 the year before. My goal was just 60 because I knew that I wanted to listen to more podcasts & that would eat into my reading time. But I didn’t do that either. I reread some old favorites, and mostly played games on my iPad. Most of my “reading” was audiobooks, but my work commute is pretty short. Anyway, in my dash toward the end of the year I read seven books in December! I think I’ll try to shorten the descriptions so there isn’t quite as much to get through.
 
1. The Turn of the Key, by Ruth Ware. ★★★ Rowan Caine lies to obtain a nanny position at a remote house in Scotland. The book opens with her in a prison cell; she has been arrested for murdering one of the children. In a series of letters to an attorney, she maintains her innocence & tell the story of how she got there.
 
The Bug Says: There were aspects of this book that annoyed me (the house is a “smart” house and & I was very impatient with her technical illiteracy), but the twist at the end ended up making it worth the read.

2. Falling Free: Rescued from the Life I Always Wanted, by Shannan Martin. ★★★★ Shannan Martin had the perfect life: a cute farmhouse on six rambling acres, a loving husband, three adorable kids, money, friends, a close-knit church—a safe, happy existence. But when the bottom dropped out through a series of shocking changes and ordinary inconveniences, the Martins followed God’s call to something radically different: a small house on the other side of the urban tracks, a shoestring income, a challenged public school, and the harshness of a county jail (where her husband is now chaplain). And yet the family’s plunge from “safety” was the best thing that could have happened to them. 

The Bug Says: I follow Shannan on Instagram & find her to be a pragmatic lovely soul who talks openly about moving from conservative Republicanism to becoming something a little more like Christ would like us to be (hint: that’s not necessarily a bleeding heart liberal Democrat). In fact, our “Christ-likeness” doesn’t actually depend on our politics (shocker!). Anyway, this book tells the beginning of her journey and I enjoyed it quite a lot.
 
3. The Wide Window (A Series of Unfortunate Events #3), by Lemony Snicket. ★★★ If you have not read anything about the Baudelaire orphans, then before you read even one more sentence, you should know this: Violet, Klaus, and Sunny are kindhearted and quick-witted; but their lives, I am sorry to say, are filled with bad luck and misery. All of the stories about these three children are unhappy and wretched, and this one may be the worst of them all. If you haven't got the stomach for a story that includes a hurricane, a signalling device, hungry leeches, cold cucumber soup, a horrible villain, and a doll named Pretty Penny, then this book will probably fill you with despair. I will continue to record these tragic tales, for that is what I do. You, however, should decide for yourself whether you can possibly endure this miserable story.

The Bug Says: This is where I started trying to read short things to get me over the book finish line. I’ve read a couple of other Lemony Snicket books and this one wasn’t my favorite, but I enjoy these because of how the author will use a word, and then give a definition of the word that is hilarious. (Note: if it’s not apparent from the description, this is actually a children’s book.)
 
4. The Mystery of Meerkat Hill (Precious Ramatswe’s Very First Case), by Alexander McCall Smith. ★★★★★ Precious wants to be a detective when she grows up. She is always practicing at being a detective by asking questions and finding out about other people’s lives. There are two new students in her class, a girl called Teb and a boy called Pontsho. She learns that they are brother and sister, and—even more exciting—that Pontsho has a clever pet meerkat named Kosi.
 
One day, Teb and Pontsho’s family’s cow disappears. Precious helps them look for clues to find the cow. But getting the cow back home will require some quick thinking and help from an unexpected source.
 
The Bug Says: This was a short story about the main character from the No. One Ladies' Detective Agency series. I thoroughly enjoyed it! It would be appropriate as a children’s book too.
 
5. & 6 Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Wembley (★★★) and Agatha Raisin and the Murderous Marriage (★★★★) (Agatha Raisin #s 4 & 5), by M.C. Beaton. More Agatha Raisin silliness – she finally catches her neighbor and then loses him again, all against the backdrop of murder.
 
The Bug Says: Agatha Raisin amuses me – her mysteries are your typical British village mysteries, but definitely on the silly side.
 
7. The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection (No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency #13), by Alexander McCall Smith. ★★★★ Precious Ramotswe is very busy these days. The best apprentice at Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors is in trouble with the law and stuck with the worst lawyer in Gaborone. Grace Makutsi and Phuti Radiphuti are building the house of their dreams, but their builder is not completely on the up and up. Most shockingly, Mma Potokwane, the orphan farm’s respected matron, has been dismissed from her post. Mma Ramotswe is not about to rest when her friends are mistreated. Help arrives from an unexpected visitor. He is none other than the estimable Mr. Clovis Andersen, author of The Principles of Private Detection, the No. 1 Ladies’ prized manual. Together, Mma Ramotswe, Mma Makutsi, and their colleague help right injustices that occur even in their beloved Botswana, and in the process discover something new about being a good detective. 
 
The Bug Says: There is just something about Mma Ramatswe’s brand of wisdom that pulls me in and makes me want to stay awhile. I will say that Mma Makutsi was extra annoying in this book – Mma Ramatswe has a lot more patience for her than I do. And that’s another valuable lesson for me to learn!

And so another year of books has come to an end. I finished the two books that I needed for my goal this past week - just a smidge too late to count - and I’m on to another one. We’ll see if I can hit my goal in 2021. What good things have you been reading lately?


Sunday, January 10, 2021

2021 Project 365 – Week Two

What a crazy week! I was SO HAPPY to wake up on Wednesday morning to hear about the two new Georgia senators, but then the madness at the capitol overshadowed that good news. I was afraid and outraged, and so upset about the fact that those rioters made it inside the building with little to no resistance. The images were so disturbing – the confederate flag inside the capitol, the guy with the zip ties to use as handcuffs, the lone black police officer trying to hold back the crowd… It will be a while before I can fully come to terms with it all, but my overwhelming feeling right now is a kind of righteous rage. This is not who we are as a country? It is EXACTLY who we are and always have been: a nation of people who have been told by white men who are afraid that they might lose power that people with brown skin are inferior and undeserving of basic rights. In fact, I think that almost everything that we’ve been told to fear is because of people who want to stay in power, because if we weren’t afraid we might think for ourselves and vote accordingly.
 
ANYWAY, my week in photos doesn’t really reflect any of that turmoil.
 
Sunday, January 3rd
My sister-in-law gave me this puzzle and it was THE MOST FUN EVER! I’ve never made a 3D puzzle before – I definitely recommend it.
 

Dr. M likes to take photos of twilight in our holler but I hardly ever post them. I thought we might need it this week.
 

Monday, January 4th
I worked on my wall hanging while starting a new audiobook. I love listening to Neil Gaiman read his books.
 

My nephew with his baby. I probably won’t spam you with baby pictures every week. But maybe I will.
 

Tuesday, January 5th  
I’m not going to share every Make Don’t Break photo, but this is the only picture for the day. I know I was going to work on the wall hanging project (from Monday’s photo), but I got a bug & decided to work on an even older WIP.
 

Wednesday, January 6th  
Crocheting and watching history. What the heck.
 

Thursday, January 7th  
Someone took one of Dr. M’s moon photos and had it framed. We still don’t know who did it. How cool is that?
 

Friday, January 8th
Well people, we knew this would happen. I know I wasn’t going to start on the temperature blanket until after I finished the wall hanging, but my yarn came, so…
 
Saturday, January 9th
I haven’t shared one of my weird food creations in a while. Today’s omelet is egg, spinach, leftover field peas, and cheese. It was GOOD. I should probably have drained the field peas (it was a bit messy), but really the juice is the best part!
 

I got into bed late last night & checked my “mileage.” Then I looked at yesterday’s “mileage.” Cue Twilight Zone music!
 

You know, I’m thinking that it's just going to be crazy from now on. I mean, there will be the fallout from the attempted coup this week, plus I haven’t even talked about how COVID is out of control even as we’re trying to get vaccinated. Do you have anything that is keeping you calm during our current madness? I could use some tips!

Saturday, January 2, 2021

2021 Project 365 – Week One

We made it to the new year! Amazingly, it feels pretty much the same as the old year… 
Sunday, December 27th
Before & After. I went to church (I was the liturgist) and then came home & got right back into my Christmas jammies.
 

Monday, December 28th
I spent a RIDICULOUS amount of time planning my new temperature blanket. I used last year’s temps to see what it would look like with 5 or 10 degree ranges for color changes (I'm going with 5 degree), and also tried to find a pattern that wouldn’t end up being a monster like the last blanket (pictured, in case you had forgotten).
 

Tuesday, December 29th  
Hair mood.
 

The (almost) full moon!
 

Wednesday, December 30th  
I told Dr. M that I was going to wear this to work. He said that the jacket did match the shoes, but he was laughing, so…
 

Thursday, December 31st
Chickpea bok choy soup – it was GOOD!
 

Friday, January 1st
I stayed up WAY TOO LATE on New Year’s Eve waiting on this little gentleman’s arrival. Although he wasn’t due until January 17th, Little Grayson decided to come a bit early. His mom started having contractions on Thursday morning. I got to bed around 1:30 am, and it turns out that he was born at 1:20 am (our time – they’re in Oklahoma), but I didn’t find out until I woke up. Brandon is my nephew and had been stationed in South Korea. They made it back stateside just in time – their furniture is still on its way. It was all very exciting – theirs was the first 2021 baby at that hospital & city.


For January I’m participating in a Make Don’t Break challenge on Instagram. We're getting motivational emails each day, and the only rule is that we have to work on making something every day. My plan is to finish up some WIPs before I get started on my temp blanket. Here’s the first one – my dad basically wanted a skull cap to keep the top of his head warm. I hope this works for him. It ended up being Dallas Cowboys colors, which was NOT planned.
 

Saturday, January 2nd
My next finished WIP – the hat that I was making last week. It finally started actually looking like a hat. Whew!
 

 
Here is something wild. Yesterday I did a test run of the temperature blanket pattern that I’ve decided to use. I wanted to make sure it wasn’t too worky & that the yarn I plan to use will be ok. It was all fine. Today I went to record the temperature for yesterday (I’m using the average temp for the day), and it was in the range for the color that I used for the test! Cue Twilight Zone music…
 
Did you guys do anything fun for NYE? You know what I did – nervously crocheted & played games waiting on Mr. Grayson to be born. It was time well spent!

P.S. This coming week is a big deal for our democracy - I'll be praying for Georgia and that the shenanigans during the electoral vote roll call aren't too disruptive!

2021 Project 365 – Week Forty-nine

The first full week back at work after a holiday or vacation is the longest. I felt quite uninspired photographically, but still managed to ...