Sunday Bookends: Warm weather, animal activity, and good books

Welcome to Sunday Bookends where I ramble about what I’ve been reading, doing, watching, writing and listening to.

What’s Been Occurring

We finally got our warmer weather this week, but I think Pennsylvania forgot spring and ran right into summer. That’s okay, as long as the trees have some green on them and the lilacs and other flowers are blooming.

No, I don’t have any photos of the lilacs yet, but hopefully next week. They are blooming, but I didn’t find time this week to photograph them.

Thursday, Little Miss had some friends over and they played hard all day, including sliding on a slip-n-slide for about 15 minutes, after which they decided the wind was too cold. They wouldn’t have been too cold yesterday (Saturday) because it was close to 87 during the day.  It is supposed to be as hot today, but the rest of the week is supposed to be a little cooler.

On our way back from picking them up, we saw a porcupine in the middle of the road, which is maybe only the second time in my life I have seen a porcupine in real life. I thought it was a racoon at first.

It was crossing the road in a bad spot, and I couldn’t drive around it so I honked at it, which I knew was a bad idea because freaked out porcupines can lead to quills flying and maybe putting out one of my tires. Luckily, he simply waddled off the road and his quills came up only after he was out of our way. I don’t know if he ever shot them or not.

Last week was apparently the week for wildlife to be seen and heard. Early in the week Little Miss and I heard something screaming. I thought it might be a fox because I’ve heard people say they sound like they are screaming when they bark but the neighbors thought a rabbit had gotten caught and was killed. *Shiver*. 

On our way to gymnastics for Little Miss, we saw a box turtle crossing the road and five minutes later two deer crossed the road as well.

The saddest sight, though, was when we saw a dead bear along one of our major highways on Friday. We think it was a young bear because it wasn’t very large. I have to say it is the first time in my life I have seen a bear hit along the road. I would imagine the car that hit it wasn’t in very good shape afterward.

We saw the dead bear when we drove 45 minutes north to where we used to live to drop The Boy off at a friend’s house for a sleepover. We spent some time at the local playground, The Boy rode his bike around his old neighborhood, I stopped at the health food store for a favorite natural soda of mine (which tasted horrible thanks to the lingering effects of Covid), and another store for some milk from one of the local farmers who now have their own farm store. After we dropped The Boy off, Little Miss wanted to go to the playground again, which meant a longer day than I planned. She had a ton of fun, though, and it was nice to see children playing together again.

Saturday afternoon I had a little bit of free time when The Husband and Little Miss went to pick up The Boy from a sleepover he’d been at. While sitting in my very quiet living room I heard something or someone wheezing. For a minute, my health anxiety-riddled brain thought it was me. Then I remembered I haven’t actually wheezed in a long time and that there is one other family member who wheezes when she sleeps. I looked up and sure enough — Pixel (aka Fat Cat) was asleep in the dog bed by the TV. Yes, it is a dog bed, but more often than not, the dog sleeps on the ottoman and the cat curls up in the bed that was meant for the dog.

Yes, we really should buy an extra bed so they can both have one.

What I/We’ve Been Reading

I’m almost finished with Walking in Tall Weeds by Robin W. Pearson and I’m really enjoying it. I wrote a little bit about the book in last week’s Sunday Bookends. It releases July 19.

I will probably finish it today or tomorrow because I can’t put it down.

I’m hoping to jump into another Miss Julia book by Ann B. Ross later this week and possibly balance that with either another CJ Box (Joe Pickett) or Craig Johnson (Longmire) book. I like to have two books to switch back and forth in case one gets too “heavy” for me.

The Boy is still reading Smoke and Mirrors.

Little Miss and I are finishing Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder. For the last two weeks of school, we will be reading The Years of Miss Agnes by Kirkpatrick Hill as well.

The Husband is reading Shots Fired by CJ Box.

What We watched/are Watching

Last night we watched The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance with John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart.

It is streaming on Paramount. It was very good. Much better than I expected.

Earlier in the week, The Husband and I watched more of The Larkins. I have already watched the first (and only so far) season but am enjoying rewatching it. I’m catching things I didn’t before.

I also started a documentary series about Scotland. It was interesting but the man hosting it kept using the weirdest voice when he quoted women, which was very unnerving.

What I’m Writing

I found a bit of time this week to work on Mercy’s Shore, the fourth book in The Spencer Valley Chronicles and came up with several ideas for it, as well as a few scenes. I’m not totally sure, but I might be able to write this book a little faster than past books. I shared chapter 3 from it Friday here on the blog.

I also shared a Randomly Thinking post yesterday.

What I’m Listening To

This week I listened to CeCe Winans, Matthew West, and The Shires.

Your turn

Now it’s your turn. What have you been doing, watching, reading, listening to or writing? Let me know in the comments or leave a blog post link if you also write a weekly update like this.

7 thoughts on “Sunday Bookends: Warm weather, animal activity, and good books

  1. I’m watching old Mary Higgins Clark movies on Youtube. Been working on canning and teaching my adult kid’s recipes from their Italian aunts, and I worked on unfinished projects around the house. Love the photos, and your wildlife tales. So fun to see wild animals in their natural environments, alive that is. I saw a dead mountain lion on the road when we drove to Prescott last week for early Christmas shopping, that was a first for us all and so sad. Usually cougars are pretty fast and get out of the road, leaping through the air avoiding the speeding cars, not that one.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m envious of your wildlife sightings!! Sad about the bear though…we’ve been getting a lot of oriel birds in our backyard lately, love their bright colors! And I just looked out and saw a bright red cardinal as I type.❤️
    Our lilac bushes are in bloom too and we’ve been getting some moisture so everything is looking green and refreshing.

    Love reading your updates!!


  3. My almost 9 yo daughter and I went yardsaling yesterday, in the heat! She was thrilled with the stuff she found for herself, as was I! I’m careful with what we get, cause we don’t need anymore STUFF, but love to find cheap clothes for the children!
    I enjoy reading of your activities you are doing! I never saw a wild porcupine, or a bear. My husband trucks, so he’s spotted several along the way!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yardsaling is so much fun. I haven’t done that in a long time. Hopefully there will be more sales this year. I know one thing I am not doing is hold my own yard sale! That was awful! I did it last year and a couple years earlier. It was so time consuming and for not much return.

      Anyhow, thanks for stopping by!


  4. My almost 9 yo daughter and I went yardsaling yesterday, in the heat! She was thrilled with the stuff she found for herself, as was I! I’m careful with what we get, cause we don’t need anymore STUFF, but love to find cheap clothes for the children!
    I enjoy reading of your activities you are doing! I never saw a wild porcupine, or a bear. My husband trucks, so he’s spotted several along the way!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lots of animal crossings in your life lately! If you ever find a bunch of quills laying around you should grab one or two to mail to me. LOL. We have a nature curiosity display that could use one…. lol. And that makes me so sad about the bear!! I follow some bear rescue organization and they talk about how this time of year they get so many injured cubs from accidents, or orphaned cubs after their moms get hit. 😦

    I’ve been thinking about reading The Year of Miss Agnes, looking forward to your thoughts on it.


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