Sunday Bookends: Friend visits, old trees, old books, and nice weather

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

What’s Been Occurring

Every day this week was beautiful weather-wise, and it was a perfect time for the weather to finally get better because my daughter’s little friend who moved to Texas last year came to visit her grandmother (who lives down the street from us) for two weeks. She spent almost every day this past week with Little Miss and they filled their days mainly by being outside and riding their scooters.

Real scooters.

Without motors.

Ones they had to push with their feet and actually move.

It was glorious to see.

(Having Little Miss’s friend visit messed up my plans to finish up our schoolwork this week a little, but we were still able to finish most of the math I wanted to get through and progress on the book I hoped to finish. We will finish the rest of our math on Monday or Tuesday and then go to see our evaluator on Friday. It was more important for Little Miss could see her friend than finish her school work.)

The flowers along our street.

The little girl’s sister and her sister’s friend and the little girl’s brother came up one afternoon and the kids used the slip n’ slide.

When we went for scooter rides, our cats followed us. One day I took the dog with us as well and she promptly tried to rip my arm out of its socket when she wanted to chase the girls on their scooters.

Scout squaring off with our neighbor’s cat, Simba.

It was very busy on our street this week, with little girls riding scooters, neighbors working in their yards, and then two of the large maples on the street being cut down. It seems that all the maple trees which lined this street for over 100 years are slowly being cut down and it has been mentioned to us more than once that we need to consider to the do the same for the behemoth which towers above our house and our neighbors and has already lifted up the sidewalk in front of or house.

Since the tree cutters were already on the street (and also happen to live a few houses down from us) we finally decided to get an idea of how much that undertaking might take. It turns out I may need to sell a kidney to have the tree taken down because the estimate was about $5,400.

Personally, I hate to see large, beautiful trees like ours cut down, but I also would hate for it to come crashing down on either our house or our neighbors. Despite that large worry, I’ve found myself mourning the impending loss of the tree (you know, if we hit the lottery or sell a kidney), and Friday I took several photographs of it, as I have done many times before since we’ve lived here.

Still, I can’t blame the residents on this street of being concerned about these large trees in front of their houses. They are more hyperaware of what can happen in a windstorm than others might be, considering this town, particularly this street, in addition to a large part of the town below it, was actually struck by a rare Pennsylvania tornado four years ago (the year before we moved here). It shredded trees and left them a tangled mess all over the street, the bank, and the woods next to our other neighbors’ house, as well as yanking down powerlines and ripping the roof off the steeple of the town’s prominently displayed Catholic Church on the hill. This is the church that features the bells which sound each day at 6 a.m., 9 a.m., noon, 6 p.m., and 9 p.m.

The tree in front of our house is over 100 years old, based on photos of this street I have seen from around 1920, so at least of the top of it could come flying down with just the right amount of wind. I do not blame my neighbors for the concern and have it as well. We will see what we can do at some point about having it taken down (we could certainly use the wood from it for our woodstove this winter if we could afford to have it taken down) but for now, I will enjoy the view of it.

Yesterday, The Husband and I took advantage of the nice weather by going to a car show he needed to take photos of for work and then went to lunch at a local restaurant. We cut out our plans to travel another 20 minutes south for lunch due to the gas prices.

The Main Street of the little town where my husband works.

On the way back we stopped at the cemetery where part of my family and close friends of ours are buried, to pay our respects since we didn’t get there on Memorial Day.

My grandfather grew up on the farm across the road from the cemetery.

On a side (totally unrelated) note, last week my son told me my hair was starting to grow out again which I think he knew would be a comfort to me since I lost so much of it after I had Covid in November.

What I/We’ve Been Reading

At the same time all this beautiful weather hit us, I decided to take a social media break. That left me a lot more time for writing and reading. I hope no one is expecting me to say I read three books this week because I didn’t. Remember, I am a fairly slow reader. I am not The Husband, who speed reads sometimes. I spent most of my days supervising two little girls on scooters, but I was able to grab a seat on the back porch and crack open a book or two I’d been trying to finish a couple of times.

I had put Anne of Avonlea aside a couple of months ago but picked it back up again Friday afternoon when a cool breeze and a lovely day inspired me to want to read an actual physical book. Reading a book written in 1909 can take a little more time than reading one written this year, for example, but I love the sweet, thoughtful moments in the Anne of Green Gables books. I read Anne of Green Gables in full for the first time last year. A friend of mine was shocked I had never read the books and I think that’s because she thinks I am more literate than I am at times. I read a lot of books when I was in elementary and high school, but if I got the least bit bored with one it went to the side. I guess Anne of Green Gables was one of those. For years I thought I had read the book, but I think that’s because I had seen the movie so many times (for the first time with the aforementioned friend) that I thought I had read the book.

In addition to reading Anne of Avonlea, I also kept reading Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain. I will probably continue that book this week, along with Anne. I also started an indie book by Josephine Strand called Misty Dreams, which is very well written, so far.

A description of Misty Dreams for those who might be interested in it:

As a child, she filled his void. As a woman, she completed him.
Clare has lived on St. Isabel Island all her life, except for a few months she can’t recall. A traumatic childhood experience has left a blank spot in her memory and a lingering feeling of having lost more than just a small, painful piece of her past. When the enigmatic Dr. Richard Kelly arrives on her island, she’s found that missing part. Yet she’s certain the man is a stranger to her, until she discovers he’s been hiding something from her, a secret that reawakens her childhood fears and threatens to upset her life again.

Richard Kelly’s hard-earned career as a world-renowned neurosurgeon has been derailed by his ex-wife’s unspeakable betrayal. His entire life is on a downward spiral. In a desperate attempt to outrun his demons, he sets off to a remote island in the South to trace the origins of an anonymous painting. He doesn’t expect to come face to face with a girl he once knew as Misty, and he’s instantly captivated by her genuine charm. But if the charismatic kindergarten teacher of the secret lagoon is the Misty of his past, why doesn’t she remember him? Misty Dreams is a heartwarming love story about second chances and the healing power of new beginnings.

Little Miss and I are still reading The Year of Miss Agnes by Kirkpatrick Hill during the day and at night we are reading The Long Winter by …slightly annoyed sigh…Laura Ingalls Wilder. This week I am going to try to convince her to read Sweet Home Alaska by Carole Estby Dagg.

The boy is completing Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman this week.

The Husband is reading The Big Bad City by Ed McBain.

What We watched/are Watching

We spent so much time outside this week we really didn’t have time to watch much of anything. I did watch a couple of episodes of As Time Goes By, a British sitcom, and last night we watched an episode of The Larkins.

I also watched a lifestyle vlogger, Darling Desi, who I sometimes mock but also still sort of enjoy. She’s a 20-something year old with no job (other than being on YouTube) who walks around with her husband recording her reading books, shopping for books, discussing Victorian life, swooning over all things Jane Austen and drinking rose tea. I don’t know what to make of that. I was working in my 20s and am considering going back to work at this point because of the economy. The idea I could spend my days reading and lounging on a big, Victorian-style bed and get paid blows my mind.

I don’t know if what she films is really how she spends every day, however. I am sure that what she films is mainly for entertainment purposes and just to give her viewers a respite from life. It is fun to watch her visit bookstores, etc. and I do often share her excitement in pretty books.

What I’m Writing

This week I worked quite a bit on Mercy’s Shore. So far, I haven’t planned a certain number of words to write each day, but I will probably try to do that this week since school is pretty much over for us.

On the blog I shared:

What I’m Listening To

This week I am listening to Needtobreathe (again) and the new song by TobyMac (which I don’t like as much as past songs of his, but still like):



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: Friend visits, old trees, old books, and nice weather

  1. Ugh what a bummer about the trees. I hate seeing them get cut down too but I understand the concern. Maybe the cost will allow you to hold off awhile! So pricey!
    Your pictures are always so inspiring, perfect for a calendar or postcard..makes me want to come visit!

    Glad your hair is growing back after Covid, I get it!!😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Since my week wasn’t too exciting, I’ll comment on yours. Doesn’t finally being able to be outside in fresh air and sunshine improve our spirits? Looks like you had a nice week. Oh, your tree! I would hate to cut it down too but also understand the concern it causes. I find car shows fun to see all the old models. We went to a huge one in Arizona with my brother-in-law a couple of years back. Since he’s a lot older than us, it brought back a lot of good memories for him. One more thing…I think (fingers crossed) my hair is starting to grow back thicker again too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yeah about the hair! Glad to herd it! I swore I thought I was going to be bald by summer.

      The sun does improve my spirits, yes! I told my daughter the cooler temps we had was what I want all summer to be but she said, “mom, it’s summer. It’s going to get hotter. You know that. We’re just going to have to deal with it.”

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Little Miss looks like she is having so much fun! What a great week she had. 🙂

    It is such a shame about your tree. I can understand the worry about the houses it really is too bad. We had to cut our giant tree down in the backyard and I miss it. 😦 Our yard was so nice and shady – now it is like the surface of the sun, and the back of our house heats up like that as well. 😦

    Lol at Desi. I totally understand that! At 20 I was working full time and going to college full time. I mean, when we were 20 it was either work, go to college or both? Join the military, that too. But not just film ourselves reading and being whimsical. How funny that that is an option these days. I do enjoy watching those videos though! Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like her videos too. I watched two yesterday but yeah — I was working full time at her age. I can’t remember how old she is but I might have been married with a baby too but I think she is 25? That means that didn’t happen for four more years for me.

      And yes, if that tree goes our house is going to be very hot. It shields the entire house and keeps the living room very cool so we will have to invest in a very good air conditioner in the summer.

      Like

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