Sunday, April 24, 2022

2022 Project 365 – Week Sixteen

I have had a nice weekend getting housework done, crocheting, spending time with my people… Nevertheless I could use one more day off. Yes, I know I just had a day off last week. But I’m thinking a four day workweek would be WAY more efficient, right?
Sunday, April 17th      
Easter! I was NOT feeling it this year. Look at that grumpy face as I drove to church over two hours earlier than usual (we met outside at 8:30). But it was lovely! The weather was perfect, the accordion seemed extra festive, the pastor having to wear sunglasses was fun, and the breakfast we had afterword was a nice time of fellowship. Plus, I saw some azaleas on the church grounds that I had never noticed before.

Playing with the macro feature on my phone camera.

Monday, April 18th   
An Indigo Bunting, a dove, a squirrel, a cardinal, and a chipping sparrow walk into a bar…

Tuesday, April 19th
My boss is retiring at the end of this month and we had her retirement party this day. It was a great celebration of her – so many people showed up to wish her well. But I was SO EXHAUSTED by the end of the day! I stopped by my dad’s house & was barely coherent so I only stayed a few minutes. When I got home I told Dr. M that I was at Fire Bad Tree Pretty level.

Wednesday, April 20th         
I may have gone overboard with the crackers in my tomato soup…

Just a boy and his (neighbor’s) dog…

Thursday, April 21st      
On my way to work – I liked the moody sky.

Dr. M posted these photos of life around the house. The honeybee swarm was gone the next day – they were just hanging out for the night. The phoebe babies are adorably ugly.

Friday, April 22nd      
Spent my evening crocheting and watching baseball. My favorite kind of Friday night.

Saturday, April 23rd         
The 1968 historical temperature blanket through March 29th. It really is going to be quite large. It takes around a half an hour to crochet a row now, and it will continue to increase until sometime in May when I’ll start the rectangular part.

I think I’m going to have to do some actual for real shopping this week. I would appreciate your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. What are you going to be doing this week?

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Book Reviews – the March Edition

It is the middle of April and I’m posting my book reviews. What in the world has gotten into me, being all efficient for a change.

Daughter of the Morning Star (Walt Longmire #17) ★★★★★, by Craig Johnson. Jaya Long, a star high school basketball player, has been receiving death threats, which started after her sister disappeared. Walt is enlisted to be her “bodyguard” in the hope that his notoriety will cause people to notice the plight of disappearing Indian women. Of course, he solves the mystery (the mystery of the death threats and the sister's disappearance, not the mystery of  the disappeared Indian women - that is ongoing) with the help of his friend Henry and some Indian mysticism. As usual, an excellent book – very different than what you might expect from a book about a western sheriff.

An American Marriage ★★★★, by Tayari Jones.  Roy and Celestial are practically newlyweds when their lives are turned upside down by a random encounter. The book tells their story, through letters, and through the eyes of each of the three main characters (yes, there’s a triangle). At one point I was pretty sure that I didn’t like any of them. But the story was very engaging, and the ending was unexpected (and satisfactory to me).

Abandoned in Death (In Death #54) ★★★★★, by J.D. Robb. As usual, this book starts with a murder. But pretty quickly it turns into a search for missing women. The clock is ticking (when is the clock ever not ticking?). This was another satisfactory edition of the Eve Dallas series. I find it hard to believe that I’ve read 54 of them (and a few years ago I reread them all – sheesh!).  

Shoutin' in the Fire: An American Epistle ★★★★★, by Danté Stewart. This is a story of how Dante’ Stewart learned to love blackness. He grew up steeped in the Pentecostal tradition, but when he went to play football at Clemson he turned away from that legacy and embraced white evangelicalism. He worked hard to fit into that world, but when there were more and more unfounded killings of black people he slowly began to realize that that world wouldn’t be there for him or his black brothers and sisters. I first came to know Dante’ through his amazing Instagram posts (here is a link to an example). I listened to the audio version of this book, which was read by him, and it was excellent.

The House in the Cerulean Sea ★★★★★, by T.J. Klune. “Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.” Linus is summoned by Extremely Upper Management and ordered to go to a remote island and check on the status of the EXTRA ordinary magical youth kept there. This book is just magical. I loved every little thing about it – how very very good Linus is, how each child has a distinct personality separate from whatever their magical “gift” is, the diversity of the personalities, and the lovely little twist at the end. READ IT! (Sorry to shout.) 
I’m pretty sure I’ll have far fewer books to review next month. I’ve only finished one so far. I got all of these books to read during Lent and then I totally rebelled and only read parts of them. Perhaps now that Easter is over I’ll go back to them. Maybe I didn’t like being bossed by the Lent Fairy (is there a Lent Fairy?). ANYWAY, what are you reading?

Sunday, April 17, 2022

2022 Project 365 – Week Fifteen

I am kicked back in my recliner, typing this post with one eye open. This is when I REALLY wish I was the kind of person who took naps. Sure I could sleep now, but then I wouldn’t be able to sleep later and that just wouldn’t do. Anyway, we’ll see what kind of gibberish I type when I’m not quite awake.
Sunday, April 10th      
Dr. M got a photo of our phoebe in her nest. I think this is the third or fourth year she has nested on the light in the carport. She seems to tolerate us a little more this year (although we think the babies have hatched, so she might be more protective now).

Monday, April 11th   
We leave the hanging basket on the crook over winter to balance out the bird feeder, and give the birds somewhere to perch while they wait their turn. It’s blooming now, so Dr. M calls it Not Dead Fred. Ha!

Tuesday, April 12th
Went by Daddy & Sue’s place to finish this beast. It’s 1000 pieces, and seemed a lot harder than most of the ones we’ve worked lately. All that greenery, and the same flowers on either side of the puzzle… We are VERY HAPPY that it’s done now! (Sorry for the wonky photo. I am short.)

Wednesday, April 13th         
Scenes from Dr. M’s father’s yard. Clockwise from top left: flowering dogwood, azalea, apple tree, and some little yellow invasive weed that we think is pretty.

Thursday, April 14th     
Dr. M watched this fellow walking around in the rain.

Friday, April 15th     
Azalea close-up with bumblebee.

The wildflowers I planted are starting to come up. And last year’s crop is looking very interesting! The front bed is bee balm central – we’ll have to get a photo of it.

Sue had surgery on Thursday (she’s doing well) and they ended up keeping her Friday night too, so I made the trip to Charlotte to take her a few things that she needed. I parked in the Blueberry section – so much easier to remember than Section 5E or whatever.

Saturday, April 16th        
Close-up of the volunteer flowering dogwood at Dr. M’s dad’s house – the blossoms are 2-3 inches across!

I had a wedding shower to attend and although I bought wrapping paper and bows, I didn’t see any ribbon I liked. Rather than go to another store I spent two hours making “ribbon.” I don’t know – my brain is kind of weird. (Kudos to Dr. M for wrapping the gifts for me!).

Here are ¾ of the four college musketeers! Kim (middle) is the mother of the bride and my best friend. Jenny (left) is our college friend and wedding planner (she helped plan my wedding way back in the day, although her sister was the one in charge). And this is a terrible photo of the very cute couple. They’d just opened a quilt panel made by a friend from a picture of their new dog – it was a very tender vittles moment.

One of the people who was leaving our department has decided to stay (thankyoujesus), but now I’m in the middle of open enrollment. I spent this past week printing out packets for 600 employees & stuffing them into envelopes (the packets, not the employees). I had help, but on Wednesday I had hit my step goal by 3:00. I was SO EXHAUSTED. I don’t usually have that much manual labor all at one time. The next two weeks will be full of answering questions, sorting out returned paperwork, and getting ready for all the data entry. It will be crazypants. But we have a system so hopefully I won’t be crazypants. (Let’s face it – I will be crazypants.) So, what’s going on with you?

Sunday, April 10, 2022

2022 Project 365 – Week Fourteen

These pictures make it look like spring has definitely sprung, but I had to pull my winter coat back out last week because it was in the 30s a couple of days when I was heading to work. Did I need it when it was time to go home? Of course not. So, I guess that is the definition of spring, really.
Sunday, April 3rd      
Things I did on Sunday: mall walked with my dad (I apologize for the just-rolled-out-of-bed face), took a picture of a robin in one of his trees (yes it’s there), ate a Nutty Mixed Up Salad from Jason’s Deli (you are what you eat), worked the Thomas Kincaid puzzle from hell (no photo), and planted some wildflowers (that may or may not actually grow). It was a good day!

Monday, April 4th   
Blue Moon Phlox! Yes, it’s really purple. No I don’t know why its name is Blue. We especially like the little tightly curled petals before they open up.

Tuesday, April 5th
I was so tired Tuesday evening that I put my day moisturizer on instead of my night one (the main difference is that the day one has sunscreen). I asked people on social media if it might keep me awake, but the response mostly seemed to be that I’m a drama queen. Can’t argue with that!

Wednesday, April 6th         
The recipient of my other scarf giveaway posted a picture – I was glad to see that it arrived!

Thursday, April 7th     
Opening day!! I loved that they had Joey Votto mic’d up. He used to be someone who was very taciturn, but he’s decided to change his image & he is hilarious. It was a fun night.

I posted these photos on my Enneagram 9 page talking about how I’ve been switching up the glasses that I wear & that no one had commented on it (the consensus is that people either don’t notice things like that, or that since you can get frames pretty cheaply these days people wear different glasses all the time). But what struck me as funny is that people kept saying they liked the “black” glasses better. People. I guess they are black, but they have a blue pattern on the temples so in my head they have always been blue. So the moral of the story is why should I expect that people notice my glasses when I don’t even notice what color they are? Ha!


Friday, April 8th     
Dr. M’s mother’s azalea is just gorgeous!

Saturday, April 9th        
My latest culinary creation – sliced apple, lemon pepper tuna, & cheddar melt sandwich. I fixed it in the air fryer and it was FABULOUS. The best part was the crunchy cheese. Yum!

Meanwhile, Dr. M caught this bluebird out front. He is so bright!

Things are a little fraught at work. We are a small department (9 team members) and by the end of this month we will have lost four of them, including our director and assistant director. And benefit open enrollment for 600 employees starts next week (I’m in charge of this process). I alternate between panic and reminding myself that I am Not In Charge of the whole department and to just keep doing what I do. Oof.  Are you facing anything scary lately?

Saturday, April 2, 2022

2022 Project 365 – Week Thirteen

It’s 11:00 on Saturday night and I’m watching Duke & Carolina play basketball – what a game! Back and forth and back & forth… These teams are really evenly matched. Who knows who’s going to win? (Well, by the time I finish this post we’ll know.) (Carolina won – they’ll play in the final game against Kansas on Monday.)
Sunday, March 27th      
Lots of photos today. This first one is on my way to church. I posted it on the socials on Thursday with this caption: So last night I dreamed that I needed to go somewhere but I had to wait until Maxine Waters found enough change in the sofa cushions. What does that even mean?

My aunt won the cowl that I was giving away. I think she looks great wearing it – and I love how it matched her new car!

More phlox glory…

Speaking of the NCAA basketball tournament…

Monday, March 28th   
Dr. M mowed his dad’s grass. It was a beautiful day!

Tuesday, March 29th
Our hockey team was playing the Tampa Bay Lightning in Florida & they had their “Hockey is for Everyone” night. This is a member of the Gay Mens’ Choir of Tampa singing the national anthem. It felt extra sweet after the passage of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

Wednesday, March 30th         
Progress on the historical temperature blanket I’m making. This is through February. I warned the recipient that it will probably be a monster & she said bring it on!

Thursday, March 31st     
We had another hard freeze. Our red encore azalea was a little more protected and seems fine, but the pink one got burnt. It’ll be back later in the summer.

Friday, April 1st     
The Roy pulled an April Fools’ joke on Dr. M – he hadn’t come to the fence to see what Dr. M was doing in a couple of days & he was worried when he saw him lying there without moving. Turns out he’s just an old man these days. He did come over to get a treat.

The dogwoods are blooming!

Saturday, April 2nd        
For those who are concerned, today I did all the chores I didn’t do last week. Woo hoo! But instead of taking a picture of the vacuum or mop, here is a picture of the six afghan squares I’ve made so far. This is going to be a very….interesting….blanket. I’m including a close-up of the spiral square – I think it’s such a cool technique.

Well, I’m usually ABC (anybody but Carolina), but my social justice side is pretty happy for the brand new Carolina coach, Hubert Davis. On the other hand, I’m a bit of a jinx, so I can’t really pull for them. So, go Kansas? Do I have any readers who even care about any of this? Ha!

2024 Project 365 – Week Twenty-three

As I had hoped, this week was a bit less chaotic – I worked a lot of hours, but they were orderly and I made headway on some of the tasks on...