Sunday, February 28, 2021

2021 Project 365 – Week Nine

People. There is a mystery in our house and neither of us can let it go. Last weekend I cleaned our front and back doors (I know – I’m amazed too!). When I was done I thought to myself, “I have sat the glass cleaner in a place where I won’t remember to put it away.” Well. Yesterday I remembered that little conversation with myself & went to find the cleaner & put it away. I. CANNOT. FIND. IT. I told Dr. M that I was gaslighting my own self. We have looked everywhere! All the cabinets. The freezer. The recycle bin. The dirty clothes hamper. Outside (we’ve both walked around the outside of the house.). I even looked in a couple of my yarn bags. Unless I just threw it away for some reason it should NOT be that hard to find! What the heck. If we ever figure it out I will definitely let you know.
 
Sunday, February 21st     
Another of my Christmas presents was this flowering tea. I finally decided to try it out. Very cool! I didn’t like the taste much (it’s green tea – blech), but it smelled heavenly. Can’t wait to try some of the other ones.
 

Monday, February 22nd
New mask alert! I had to have it. Theoretically this is my last one. Theoretically. (In case you can’t read it, the quote is the last line from Amanda Gorman’s inauguration poem: “There is always light if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.”) It's also reversible - I love the polka dots. 
 

Twilight.
 

Tuesday, February 23rd
I was crocheting while watching a webinar for work. The subject matter was flying right over my head!
 

Wednesday, February 24th    
Spring is coming! It was a glorious day!
 

Thursday, February 25th
You may recall my post about this scarf a while back. I had snagged the very first row on something sharp & it cut the yarn in a way that I couldn’t figure out how to repair. So I frogged the whole thing & made QUITE a mess (including that cute little yarn heart on the floor!). Fortunately it is all sorted back out now & I’ve restarted the scarf.
 

Friday, February 26th
I told Dr. M I was in the mood to try the bean soup mix we’ve had forever. Here is what he said about it: “Tonight seemed like a great night for Bob’s Red Mill black bean soup! I soaked the beans all day and rinsed them. Base was yellow onion and fennel stalks in place of celery. Garlic, sea salt, fresh ground pepper, basil, oregano, thyme, paprika, and diced cumin seeds seasoned the base. Could have used another box of veggie broth, but one and extra water will have to do. Added fire-roasted tomatoes, cubed butternut squash, and whole kernel corn. Recipe found on back of soup package.” It was REALLY good ya’ll!
 

Saturday, February 27th  
Weekly temperature blanket update. Brand new color alert! Not only did I get to use the chartreuse this week, but the temps were high enough to use strawberry! Very exciting!
 


As I’m writing this Dr. M is roaming around the house hoping that he can surprise the window cleaner out of hiding. It’s not working. Have you lost anything lately?

Sunday, February 21, 2021

2021 Project 365 – Week Eight

It’s another selfie week. I even decided to not use two of them. I don’t know, but I must think I’m fabulous. One thing I do know - I am very grateful that NC didn’t get the extreme weather that other parts of the country got last week (looking at you Texas – SO SORRY!!).
 
Sunday, February 14th    
No mushy Valentine’s photo here – the only thing I photographed was my sandwich – ham and cheese and peanut butter & jelly. It was good!
 

Monday, February 15th
We had a mask decorating contest at work for heart health. Here is my submission.
 

Tuesday, February 16th
Twilight. (Also, there was a picture of me eating the pancakes Dr. M got me for Shrove Tuesday, but I decided it was a selfie too far.)
 

Wednesday, February 17th    
How long have we been wearing masks? When will I become competent?
 

Zoom ash Wednesday! The second photo is me being mesmerized by the blue flashing light on my Bluetooth headset. Maybe I’ll wear a different one for my next zoom call!
 

Thursday, February 18th
For some reason I was inspired to start listening to this book again. I wonder why?
 

Friday, February 19th
Here is a story about me being an asshole. I was in my office during my lunch hour & there was a knock on my door. I was super annoyed because I was playing a timed game on my iPad, but I VERY UNGRACIOUSLY let a couple of coworkers in. Only to find out that I had won the mask decorating contest. Oh my goodness – look at this basket! I felt simultaneously two inches tall and 10 feet tall. Lesson to self: be a nicer person. And just delete that stupid game off your iPad.
 

Dr. M made this fabulous veggie bake using up some of our Misfits produce. It was GOOD.
 

Saturday, February 20th  
I pulled this scarf out to start working on it again. I had put it away before Christmas so I could concentrate on Christmas presents. I had to basically relearn what the heck I was doing here.
 

Weekly temperature blanket update. (That little uneven part on the bottom right is really starting to bug me, but I don't know what I can do about it at the moment. I might end up adding a border once I'm finished with the blanket.)
 


As I’m writing this Dr. M is in the kitchen fixing my dinner. Am I a lucky Bug, or what? We’re having shredded BBQ chicken, mashed potatoes, & leftover veggies (see Friday). What are you having for dinner?
 
 

Sunday, February 14, 2021

2021 Project 365 – Week Seven

You know, it’s just kind of hard to get excited about taking photos in February. Thank goodness for Dr. M or all you would be getting is selfies this week!
Sunday, February 7th    
We got snow! It started Saturday night & was still pretty the next day. It was lovely.
 

I have a LOT of hair. When I took this photo I was having visions of getting about 3 inches chopped off, but I’m backtracking now.  
 

Monday, February 8th
No picture.
 
Tuesday, February 9th
Dr. M sat out on the deck today! It was gorgeous. As he said, sometimes the weather down here isn’t that different from Xenia, but this was not one of those times!
 

Second selfie of the week.
 

Wednesday, February 10th    
Sunset…
 

Thursday, February 11th
Veggie soup. It was great, but it definitely takes longer when you’re chopping all your own veggies instead of just dumping in cans & bags. Thanks for working so hard for my dinner sweetie!
 

Friday, February 12th
Dr. M got flowers for me for Valentine’s Day. You can’t tell in the photo, but they are sparkly! I love that he used my puzzle vase.
 

Saturday, February 13th  
WE FINALLY TOOK THE CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS DOWN! (Including the tree.) It was a joint effort, with me doing 40% of the work & Dr. M doing 60%. Or was it 30/70? Anyway, Christmas Bear is ready to hibernate. Of course this meant that I had to dust, but I managed.
 

Temperature blanket update. I’m basically just using four colors at this point. WHICH MAKES SENSE YA DOOFUS. These four colors cover a 20 degree spread (31 to 50 degrees) & since I’m using the average temp that seems about right for this time of year.
 

I tried to not get my hopes up for any kind of political miracle, so I wasn’t too surprised or disappointed by the acquittal of our former president yesterday. But I was disgusted by Mitch McConnell’s commentary afterward. He basically said that he would have voted to convict, but congress didn’t have jurisdiction since the proceeding was for a former president. Um, well, Mitch, he wasn’t former when you got the Articles of Impeachment, so you could have acted on them then. Ugh. Makes my blood pressure wonky so I’m going to stop stewing about it & go work on a ridiculously cute Wordless Wednesday post. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Book Reviews – the January Edition


I hit the ground running in January. I actually read 6 books, but I’m not listing one of them here (it was a re-read of an old Nora Roberts book because I needed some comfort food for my brain).
 
 
1. Seventy Seven Clocks (Bryant & May, the Peculiar Crimes Unit #3) by Christopher Fowler. ★★★★ A mysterious stranger in outlandish Edwardian garb defaces a painting in the National Gallery. Then a guest at the exclusive Savoy Hotel is fatally bitten by what appears to be a marshland snake. An outbreak of increasingly bizarre crimes has hit London — and, fittingly, come to the attention of the Peculiar Crimes Unit. Art vandalism, an exploding suspect, pornography, rat poison, Gilbert and Sullivan musicals, secret societies...and not a single suspect in sight. The killer they're chasing has a dark history, a habit of staying hidden, and time itself on his side. Detectives John May and Arthur Bryant may have finally met their match, and this time they're really working against the clock... 
 
The Bug Says: Bryant and May are two very different men, which makes their partnership fun for the reader. The first book in the series takes place in “present day” when the detectives are much older. The next two are flashbacks to former cases. This one takes place in 1973 & that in itself was very entertaining – I loved reading about the fashions and attitudes. And the mystery in this one is excellent – I would never in a million years have figured out the villain!
 
2. The Silent Corner (Jane Hawk #1), by Dean Koontz. ★★★★ “I very much need to be dead.” These are the chilling words left behind by a man who had everything to live for—but took his own life. In the aftermath, his widow, Jane Hawk, does what all her grief, fear, and fury demand: find the truth, no matter what.
 
People of talent and accomplishment, people admired and happy and sound of mind, have been committing suicide in surprising numbers. When Jane seeks to learn why, she becomes the most-wanted fugitive in America. Her powerful enemies are protecting a secret so important—so terrifying—that they will exterminate anyone in their way.
 
But all their power and viciousness may not be enough to stop a woman as clever as they are cold-blooded, as relentless as they are ruthless—and who is driven by a righteous rage they can never comprehend. Because it is born of love.
 
The Bug Says: This was a different kind of Koontz book – no aliens, no supernatural situations, just pure human evil. It was excellent! I’m a little nervous about what will happen in the next book, but this one was quite satisfactory.
 
3. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman. ★★★★ Under the streets of London there's a place most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, knights in armour and pale girls in black velvet. This is the city of the people who have fallen between the cracks.

Richard Mayhew, a young businessman, is going to find out more than enough about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him out of his workday existence and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and utterly bizarre. And a strange destiny awaits him down here, beneath his native city: Neverwhere. 

 
The Bug Says: I don’t know which I enjoyed more, the book itself, or the author narrating the book. I seem to be drawn to books where hapless men find themselves in situations where they need to be heroes. This is in contrast to the books about women that I prefer – I want women to be strong protagonists. So, hapless man, strong woman, quest to right a wrong – count me in! This book was written in 1996 & there’s apparently going to be a sequel, of sorts.
 
4. The Transcendent Kingdom, by Yaa Gyasi. ★★★★★ Yaa Gyasi's stunning follow-up to her acclaimed national best seller Homegoing is a powerful, raw, intimate, deeply layered novel about a Ghanaian family in Alabama. Gifty is a fifth year candidate in neuroscience at Stanford School of Medicine studying reward seeking behavior in mice and the neural circuits of depression and addiction. Her brother, Nana, was a gifted high school athlete who died of a heroin overdose after an ankle injury left him hooked on OxyContin. Her suicidal mother is living in her bed. Gifty is determined to discover the scientific basis for the suffering she sees all around her. But even as she turns to the hard sciences to unlock the mystery of her family's loss, she finds herself hungering for her childhood faith, and grappling with the evangelical church in which she was raised, whose promise of salvation remains as tantalizing as it is elusive. Transcendent Kingdom is a deeply moving portrait of a family of Ghanain immigrants ravaged by depression and addiction and grief--a novel about faith, science, religion, love. Exquisitely written, emotionally searing, this is an exceptionally powerful follow-up to Gyasi's phenomenal debut.
 
The Bug Says: This books moves back and forth between present day and the events that lead up to all the tragedy in Gifty’s life. Her remembrances of her evangelical church aren’t the same as mine (they were Pentecostal), but her questions about God do remind me of my own questions. This book was so deep that I think I need to read it again!
 
5. Agatha Raisin and the Terrible Tourist (Agatha Raisin #6), by M.C. Beaton. ★★★ Agatha travels to Cyprus, only to contend with her estranged fiance, an egregious group of truly terrible tourists, and a string of murders...
 
The Bug Says: This is the book I was listening to in that picture where I was rolling my eyes last week. Agatha just needs to quit chasing after her neighbor (she followed him to Cyprus for heaven’s sake, when she knew he just wanted to get away from her). The mysteries are interesting, but I do get tired of the high school drama from a woman in her 50s. Also, the narrator makes all the women (except the vicar’s wife) sound like harridans. That said, I’m already reading the 7th book in the series. Ha!
 
I’m currently reading three books – the first one in a new detective series, the aforementioned Agatha Raisin, and The Queen’s Gambit. In fact, I need to get off of this computer & get to reading. I was going to ask if you’d read anything good lately, but really I do not need to be adding any books to my list. (But tell me anyway J).

Saturday, February 6, 2021

2021 Project 365 – Week Six

At one point this week I thought to myself, “Self, you have been very slack at taking pictures!” And then today I started working on this post & laughed & laughed. I’m not really sure how it happened, but there are lots of photos this week. Sorry! 
Sunday, January 31st   
I made a can cozy & thought it was so cute that I started working on another one. I just today realized that I never took a picture of the final result of that one. Maybe next week.


Monday, February 1st  
My temperature blanket through January. I was all excited this week because the temps got into the 20s & I thought I might get to use one of my really cold temp yarns, but no. Just more orchid (that looks just straight up pink in this picture).
 

Tuesday, February 2nd
Dr. M air fried some green beans and made mashed potatoes from scratch to go with our canned peas and instant pot teriyaki chicken (the chicken picture is blurry because I swooped in to fill my plate at the exact moment he was trying to take the picture).
 

Wednesday, February 3rd   
I went to give blood but was denied because my iron is low. I found this picture on my phone later – I apparently took it when I was purchasing an emotional support pretzel. I knew that my iron was probably low because I’ve been craving ice, and apparently pica due to low iron is really a thing. Although mine isn’t that low.
 

On my way home I stopped by to see Daddy & Sue. They requested some printed photos of our newest bundle of joy, and Dr. M got right on that for them. He printed 14 pictures, including this one. So adorable!
 

Twilight…
 

Thursday, February 4th
I took the wall hanging into the office to see what I think. It’s probably going to go on that wall (I tested it on a couple existing nails), but I brought it back home to crochet some loops to hang it from a rod. I think it will look better that way than just putting 5 nails in the wall (my original plan).
 

Friday, February 5th
Given my low iron situation I decided to try to eat more spinach. Only you can’t even see the spinach on this salad with a whole chopped apple on top!
 

From Facebook: In other news, I’ve spent the morning in my office just flat out talking to myself. Actual conversations. Discussions of tactics for a project. Arguments. TGIF?
 

Stopped at Daddy & Sue’s again (to deliver the pictures), and Daddy discovered this tack in my boot. How long has it been there? How did it get there? Yikes!
 

Dr. M fixed himself brussels sprouts in the air fryer. Blech. Tiny little cabbages.
 

Saturday, February 6th  
Dr. M’s dad was dangerously low on propane – we were pretty nervous because we had a couple of really cold nights – but thank goodness they came today to fill the tank!
 

Made myself a giant omelet with spinach, tomato, & cheese. Ate half.
 

Tried to repair my kitchen gloves using electrical tape & duct tape (I had done my usual thing of slicing holes in the fingers while washing knives). This did NOT work at all. 0 out of 10 – do not recommend.
 

I really need to take down our Christmas decorations. Maybe not the tree – it’s not in the way, and it still makes us smile. But I’m using the rest of the stuff as an excuse to not dust because it’s too much hassle. Wait a minute – maybe I need to leave those decorations right where they are!
 

2021 Project 365 – Week Twenty

It’s open enrollment time at work & it was really busy. I had to talk to many more employees than usual, plus had more new hires than u...