Sunday Bookends is my week in review, so to speak. It’s where I share what I’ve been up to, what I’ve been reading, what I’ve been watching, what I’ve been listening to and what I’ve been writing. Feel free to share a link or comment about your week in the comments.
What’s Been Occuring (yes, this is a referrence to Gavin & Stacy if you’ve ever seen it. If not it is on BBC America, or Britbox on Amazon.)
What a shock to my system when I looked across our backyard at the beginning of last week and watched yellow leaves fall to the ground in a gentle breeze. It’s not even September and our leaves are already changing color. By the end of the week, the maple tree by the garden shed was transforming from green to a deadish looking orange, raising concern within me that we will have yet another dull autumn to make the world seem even more dark and morose this year. Who knows, though, nature has surprised me before.
This year has given us a lot of hits and one of those has been the closing of the libraries. This has sent me down a path of depression because I was so excited to be able to visit our local library once we moved here but instead we are told we can only call in and order books. If I want to order books, I can do that online. I like to visit the library so I can actually touch the books, read the descriptions, decide if I want them and simply enjoy the feeling of being surrounded by so many portals to other worlds on the shelves.
I paid our water bill the other day and as I pulled out of the street the borough hall is on I looked down at the library and thought about going in. Then I realized we aren’t allowed to just walk in and look at the shelves and I felt a catch in my throat about it all.
If you’ve noticed a lot of typos in my replies to your comments lately, it’s because I’m often holding a sleeping kitten on one arm while I’m trying to respond. I seem to be little Scout’s personal bed and she rarely takes in to account that I need to move for such things as cooking dinner, cleaning up messes, letting the dog out or using the toilet facilities. She looks quite shocked each time her bed moves for one of these, or any other reason. She’s definitely growing fast and I know that one day she might not want to cuddle with me so I need to enjoy it while I can. My other fear is that one day in the future she will want to still cuddle with me and she’ll be so large I’ll be suffocated under all her fur.
This past week didn’t leave a lot of time for reading mainly because my head and body hurt too much to read or I was taking care of children whose heads and bodies also hurt. We caught some sort of short-lived (thankfully) summer cold. Of course my mind immediately jumped to “the virus” when my daughter started coughing in the middle of the night after spending the day at her grandparents swimming and looking for frogs in their pond. My mind didn’t go there when her nose was running earlier in the day because I assumed she had walked into something she was allergic to in the filed. ‘Tis the season for ragweed after all. But when she started coughing and couldn’t sleep that night, keeping both her and me awake, and when she developed a fever in the morning, I started making plans for how to get her tested.
We called the pediatrician’s office at the end of the next day and the pediatrician on call answered our question about summer cold’s going around with an affirmative and said our daughter’s illness seemed to be following the pattern of the common cold and not “The Virus.” The particular virus everyone is talking about seems to develop first as the dry cough (which my daughter had in the middle of the night), a sore throat (which she also had), a headache and then a fever. For her, and then later my son and me, the illness developed first with feeling “off” and achy for a little while, but also with runny noses, nasal congestion and a low grade fever.
Her fever reached 102, inching toward 103, but came down easily with some children’s Motrin. The bottom line was that the pediatrician suggested to continue our at home treatments, keep an eye on her, see how she was in a few days and then call again if it seemed worse or to be more like the pattern of COVID. We never had to worry about that because the next day she was better and she’s only been left with the sniffles which are acting more like allergies than anything else.
My son and I are still sneezing and blowing our noses and I’ve been battling a sinus headache (which I’ve actually been battling off and on all summer because of the high humidity.) but we are on the mend and bracing ourselves more sinus issues when the temperatures begin to drop in preparation for Fall.
What I’m Reading
On the first night of Little Misses’ illness I didn’t fall asleep until 4:30 a.m. I had felt so good earlier that day and even felt pretty good while she was crying because she couldn’t breathe through her nose and waking me up every hour. After giving up on the sleep idea, I read some of The Cold Dish (the first in the Longmire series) by Craig Johnson. When I finally fell asleep in the wee-hours of the morning I dreamed of killers out in the snow somewhere in rural Wyoming.
This book is definitely not my normal read and maybe that’s why I like it. It’s not your run of the mill mystery. The characters are well developed, especially Sheriff Walt Longmire, the main character, and his friend Henry Standing Bear. There is even a bit of romance thrown in as Walt, still struggling to face the grief of his wife who passed away four years before, begins dating Vonnie, a woman he’s known for a few years. The book draws you into the various relationships and mysteries gradually, dropping hints here and there about relationships before fully revealing them. One of those relationships is with Longmire’s daughter, Cady, who so far is only mentioned once or twice in passing but you begin to realize something isn’t right with their relationship in the way he keeps trying to reach her by the phone but she isn’t picking up.
I have watched some of the show based on these books and there are definite differences. For one, in the show Henry is played by Lou Diamond Phillips (yummy) the Philapinno-American actor who seems to often be typecast as Native Americans because he looks like one. In the books, however, Henry is not really a dreamy 50-year old; he’s a larger, bigger and more complicated man who served in Vietnam with Walt.
I enjoy Johnson’s writing style, but of course, being a self-proclaimed prude, I could do without some of the more colorful language. Of course, if I was a real “prude” I probably wouldn’t be reading the book at all.
I haven’t tried starting or continuing any other books this week. Hopefully some of the sinus pressure will lift this next week and I can read a little more.
What I’m Watching
To avoid politics and try to deal with our summer cold, we’ve been watching a lot of comedy, including comedians from Drybar Comedy. I especially liked Zoltan Kaszas (would love to know the story behind that name) and Matt Falk. I’m sharing one of my favorite Matt Falk bits with you and will let you look Zoltan up because this blog post is getting a bit jumbled with links.
What I’m Listening To
My brother was nice enough to let me know that Needtobreathe had a new album out. I knew part of the album was out, but not that all of it had been released, so I’m going to be listening to more of that this week. So far, it’s pretty good, but I do miss Bo Reinhardt, one of the founding members who left earlier this year.
What I’m Writing
I’m deep in revisions of the novella Quarantined and am trying to write all the scenes that are in my head for The Farmer’s Daughter as fast as they pop up, which has been fast this week. I may go back during editing and delete half of those scenes I write anyhow. I’ve already eliminated one I really liked because I felt like it won’t work with the final draft of the story, but we’ll see. It might serve as my segway into book number two, The Librarian. I hope to have Quarantined ready for publication sometime at the end of September and The Farmer’s Daughter ready for the first part of January 2021.
Not that any of you probably care but in my head the books of the series will be The Farmer’s Daughter, a novella The Farmer’s Son, The Librarian, The Farmer, The Pastor’s Wife, and possibly The Editor.
Somewhere in there I have planned a novella or novel called Related by Blood, which will continue the story of Hank from A New Beginning and deal with his relationship with his son Jackson once Jackson is an adult. A friend told me I have to drop all my other books and write this one first because she wants to know what happened to Hank, but we will see what happens.I would love to also finish Fully Alive at some point but I’ve flipped that story on it’s head with a new idea so that may take a bit.
On the blog I shared some Random Thoughts, a new feature for the blog, wrote about missing members of my family (I‘m Seeing Ghosts Today) and lamented how I’m having a hard time lately pretending life is grand. I also shared chapters from Quarantined and The Farmer’s Daughter.
If you haven’t noticed, I am trying out a new design with a new header I designed on Canva.com.
Photos from our week