Sunday Bookends: The Last Swim, Cooler Nights, Family Visits and classic books

Welcome to Sunday Bookends where I ramble about what I’m reading, writing, doing, watching, blah, blah. Feel free to share what you are reading, writing, doing, watching, blah, blah, blah in the comments or a post of your own. And don’t worry, this week I’m not focusing on anything political or stressful like the other day. That’s not a usual thing for my blog, luckily.

What’s Been Occurring 

This week temperatures dropped in our area, and it was wonderful. We pulled out the comforters at night even. We were finally able to shut off the air conditioners after weeks of humid weather that made me feel like a wet noodle and simply out of it. I will miss being able to swim in the pool, but other than that, I won’t miss the humidity of our summer.

We had our last swim in the pool last Sunday. I stayed in as long as I could because I knew it would be my last time to feel the water cool around me and instead we will soon feel cool air around us. I don’t mind that as long as I am inside with a good book or show, of course. *wink*

My dad even got in for a bit, which he rarely does.

We started school this past week, as I mentioned in a previous post, and spent time outside almost every day with hands-on learning with Little Miss because she’s really not a fan of bookwork. We still did bookwork, but we just did less this week than she would have done in a traditional school setting, which is what works for her.

Friday night my dad suggested we all go to the county fair for the truck pull. The kids, dad and I, and a friend of my son’s, went to the tiny fairgrounds and ate some fair food, bought a few used books, rode some kiddie rides (Little Miss), saw people we knew, and then the boys watched the truck pull with my dad. The noise was too much for Little Miss who opted to go into a jump house and eat ice cream instead.

The stands were packed for the pulls on new concrete barrier seats which made the site look like a mini collesium.

Even though the fairgrounds aren’t that large, Little Miss’s legs were tired after a few trips back and forth across it. After we got to the rides, I realized The Boy had my keys, so I had to walk all the way back to where he was to get them. There is no – *gasp* — cell service at the fairgrounds so I couldn’t text The Boy to ask them to bring the keys to me. This fair is literally, in the middle of nowhere.

I didn’t eat the fair food because of all my health stuff, but I did break a couple of pieces of Little Miss’s pizza off. It wasn’t too bad, but I can’t say it made me miss pizza that much. It left me with a little bit of acid reflux, as wheat products often do when I sneak them, but that also could have been the chocolate and chips I snuck earlier in the day. Yes, I try to eat healthy but even I snap at times, especially lately for some reason.

I found a book sale there, which was fun for me. I’ve started seeking book sales out now that I’m reading more than I used to. I love finding some gems. This week I found the last two books in a series by Ted Dekker. I apparently have a talent for finding the last books in a series. Last time I found the last three in a Terri Blackstock series and later found the first one on sale on kindle. I would still like to find the paperback of the first to go with the other three I have in paperback. Now I will have to find the first book in this series, which may have been at that sale if I had looked closer, but I was tired of looking.

My husband had a different fair to cover for the newspaper and he grabbed this awesome shot at a horse show during it.

Yesterday we traveled two hours away to visit my aunt who will be 89 in November. She’s being moved into a nursing home some time in the near future so we wanted to try to see her at home before the nursing home rules made it more difficult.

She had a small stroke a few years ago and she isn’t able to smile much so her expression may have appeared stoic, but she told me she really enjoyed the visit. This is the first time we have visited her in a couple of years for a variety of reasons, mainly because of You Know What, but also because the last time we planned to see her, earlier in the summer, she ended up in the hospital and we were told she wasn’t doing well. We honestly thought that we would not see her in her house again, or even alive again.

My dad prayed for her and asked the church to pray. When he reached the hospital she was responding to antibiotics doctors had started because it turned out she had a severe urinary tract infection. I had suspected that, hoping it was that and not another stroke, and luckily the doctors had as well. UTIs in the elderly are known to lead to hallucinations and delirium. There is your medical tip for the day.

She’s doing well now and they are working on getting her into a home, but there have been some complications (the staff is on strike, for one). Currently, she lives at home with 24-7 nurse care.

She can’t walk well and tires easily but she’s mentally sharp, just like her mom, my grandmother, was at the same age and beyond.

Leaving her was a bit heartbreaking. My daughter loves going to see her and gave her a big hug and my aunt said as they hugged. “I wish I was young again like her.”

We enjoyed exploring my aunt’s yard while the adults visited. Wait. I’m supposed to be an adult too. I forgot. So, I did visit some, but also spent time in the yeard with Little Miss.

What I’m Reading

I’ve been reading a couple of chapters a day of Anne of Green Gables, savoring and enjoying how I can escape inside a book, leaving the craziness of the world behind.

I am reading a couple of books for book tours, one for an author friend, and, yes, I am still reading Another Man’s Moccasins by Craig Johnson.

Little Miss and I are reading Benjamin West and His Cat Grimalkin by Marguerite Henry during the day for school and The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder at night before bed.

The Long Winter is stressing me out. I’m sure I read it as a child but I can’t remember what happens or how they get through this winter. Of course, I know they do because Laura lived to write the books. What’s really driving me crazy is how Almanzo (who she is not yet married to) and his brother Royal offer food to Charles Ingalls and Charles eats it, knowing his family is across town starving to death.

 Laura and her sisters and Ma are eating brown bread and potatoes for months while Royal and Almanzo are eating bacon and pancakes and all kinds of wonderful food. It makes me want to scream! Of course, it is becoming clear that Almanzo will save the town by finding wheat for them during some seven months of back-to-back blizzards, but in the meantime, I’m just flabbergasted that Pa didn’t take meat home to his family since they had been craving it. I know the book doesn’t include every detail so it’s possible that in real life he did take them home some bacon. I should probably calm down and cancel that whole campaign to have the book canceled. *wink*

I’ve been reading even after Little Miss falls asleep, but then I feel guilty and bookmark it until the next night. The cold weather we’ve been having has actually fit in well with reading a book called The Long Winter.

The Boy is reading a book called Know Why You Believe by Paul Little for school. In a couple of weeks, he will be reading about Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence, which I think a lot more of us Americans should read in our lifetime.

What I’m Watching

My son and I started To Kill A Mockingbird for school this week and have not finished it yet together. I did watch the end of it myself. We read the book last year for school. The acting in the movie was amazing and I am not surprised Gregory Peck won the Oscar for best actor for it.

The Boy and I watched The Russians Are Coming. He and his friend are fascinated with Russian history. If you haven’t seen this movie it is a comedy, or. . . what. It was made in 1966 at the height of all the drama between the United States and Russia. I’m not sure what to make of it. I can’t say it was good. I can’t say it was bad. It was just . . . uh. . . interesting.

It stars Carl Reiner, Eva Marie Saint, Alan Arkin, Jonathan Winters, etc.

I also continued to watch some The House of Eliot, about sisters who start a fashion business in the 1920s.

What I’m Listening To

This week I enjoyed listening to Elevation Worship’s album Graves Into Gardens (Morning and Evenings) and some more of Danny Gokey’s latest.

What I’m Writing

I’m working on The Next Chapter (the third book in the Spencer Valley Chronicles). I posted the tentative first chapter Friday.

Blog posts this week on my blog included:

Homeschooling Notes: Learning doesn’t have to happen at a desk

The fallacy of the current narrative that the unvaccinated deserve to die

Fiction Friday: The Next Chapter Chapter 1

Looking back at August through photos

Blog posts I liked this week

I enjoyed a few blog posts from other blogs this week, including:

Pain Awareness Month from Brainless Blogger.

Let Go and Let God by For His Purpose

The Vaccine Requirement by Manitoba Blog

Good Grief by Fuel For the Race

So that’s my week in review. How about you? What are you reading, watching, listening to, or doing these days? Let me know in the comments.

Little Miss found a grasshopper in the yard the matched her pants.

8 thoughts on “Sunday Bookends: The Last Swim, Cooler Nights, Family Visits and classic books

  1. How fun! They cancelled the fair again this year. Which I’m not complaining about because it’s never that great anyway. My daughter likes to go though so she’s disappointed. I’ll keep your aunt in my prayers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It really was a nice photo and came out better than I expected.

      That was the only fair we went to. My husband did have to go to the other one for work. He took our daughter to a local carnival as well. I don’t mind missing them. I’ve never been a huge fan of fairs anyhow. I know that sounds awful but I don’t do rides and I know the games are rigged. I do enjoy some of the truck pulls, etc. and seeing people we know but otherwise, I am okay to do without it.


  2. I love love the photos of Little Miss playing outside. What a great way to get an education. 🙂

    And the state fair looks so fun! We used to go to a county fair near us but haven’t been for a few years. I always enjoyed it! Maybe next summer. It always falls on Billy’s birthday week so sometimes it is hard to make it there.

    Lol! I think I said something to Billy once about that part in the book too. And that book always makes me want pancakes. I read The Children’s Blizzard which is a nonfiction account of that same winter, and it was excellent but really sad, as you can imagine.


  3. Hahahaha! The Russians are Coming. I have seen it a few times, cracks me up. The first version I saw years ago and was an old VHS and had English subtitles for the Russian dialog. MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE. I have never seen a subtitled version since, which is really too bad. It gives a lot more insight into the submarine captain in particular.

    I do really like To Kill A Mockingbird, both the book and the Gregory Peck movie (although I have to be in the right mood to watch it). I had to write a report on the book for one of my English classes in college, and I think it was the only time I didn’t procrastinate to the last minute to get it done, lol!

    We’re not starting school officially for a little while yet. Lots of canning and juicing going on right now, so their learning is all in the kitchen these days. Measuring, fractions, temperatures, chemistry, nutrition…it’s all good.

    My almost-4, 6, and 8 year olds spend a lot of hours outside, especially now that it’s not so hot. They’ve been catching grasshoppers and praying mantis, studying them, bringing me the big ones. Fortunately we haven’t had too many escape in the house.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catching grasshoppers and katdids has been a big passtime of my little one in the last few months. She loves looking at them. We saw a praying mantis at one point too.

      I wish I had learned how to can. It would have helped us a lot.

      And yes, it is all good. They are learning survival skills and real life, practical ways to apply those skills which is something that I think is going to be more important soon than academics with the way the world is going.


    • Oh and I wish we had had the subtitles for the Russians in that movie. It was so frustrating that they wouldn’t give those to us! I wondered what the point was of not letting us know what they were saying.


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