Monday, August 31, 2015

August Pointless Lists

Why is this in my blog photo archive? I have no idea.
But hey, better than a pic of all the smoke around these parts.
Which is to say: Nothing.

Well, you guys, I just wasn't feeling the writing this month. Which is dumb because I have plenty to write about. It's just that I didn't want to take the time ... too busy reading and being awesome, I guess. And I think, too, when I'm writing a lot at work, it kind of uses up all my extra words and they need time to regrow. Or something. I don't know, science is boring.

Work is fine, home is fine, Eric and the girls are fine, Skilly seems fine (he won't answer when I ask), life is fine. The fires burning up the Pacific Northwest are NOT fine, but we're dealing with it.

What else can you do?

Books read
Remember how, in my July Pointless Lists, I decided I wanted more books and less Hay Day? (Not to take anything away from Hay Day. My farm is awesome.) I succeeded! Mostly because I figured out how to use our library's "library to go" system so I could read on my Kindle. (Although you talk about slooooooow delivery. You request a book... and then you wait in line behind 14 or 15 people before it gets checked back in and you can actually read it yourself. Who wants to wait 8 weeks before getting to read a book? Boring.)

I know there are some definite lines in the sand regarding ebooks verses actual books, but I really just like my e-reader. If it makes anyone feel better, my girls prefer real books, so we still spend an ungodly amount of cash at our local bookstore.

Moving RIGHT along.

A Court of Thorn and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. This is the same author who writes the Throne of Glass series, and as I'm waiting very patiently for Queen of Shadows to be released Sept. 1 (hey, score, that's tomorrow! P.S. I have it on preorder because I do not mess around), I thought I'd pass some time with this one. Which was apparently released in May.

I enjoyed it so much I read it twice. It's a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, although I was thinking as I read it that it's also a similar storyline to Twilight -- there's the beauty, there's the beast, and the beast is all, I've got to send you away even though I love you so much! 

Except in this story, the beauty, aka Feyre, is the kickass breadwinner of her pathetic family, who has gone from rags to riches, and she kills a fairy glamoured as a wolf and that's what starts the whole thing off. Oh, and she's got some self-esteem issues. And she's illiterate. And an artist. And the fairies aren't exactly like the ones we read about in American fairytales.

Thumbs up! I like when you've heard a story before so you think you know what's going to happen, but then the author takes you in a completely different direction and you find yourself thinking about it even when you're not reading it.

I hope to heck there's a sequel coming.

A Place of My Own: The Education of an Amateur Builder by Michael Pollan. This was the first of my library ebook forays (only took about a week to get this one), and I was excited about it because Michael Pollan is kind of my boyfriend after Omnivore's Dilemma and Food Rules et al. But I just couldn't get into this one, so I quit reading it. I think that speaks more to the fact that I am not a builder, nor I do not crave to construct my own playhouse/office, then about Michael Pollan. It just wasn't for me. Michael Pollan is still my boyfriend.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. This was the second of my library ebooks to "come in" (took a month, whatever) and right on time, too, as we had a vacation planned. I read it in one day on the back porch of a rather lovely house in the woods. More on THAT later. This book is fantastic. Abby has been wanting me to read it for a long time now, and I've resisted, and I shouldn't have. PLUS it's set in 1986, so I totally got all the references. Hey, I was also a dork in 1986, so I could really feel Eleanor and Park, you know? Except no one was trying to hold my hand on the bus.

Another thumbs up. I'm kind of sad I don't own this one. I'm going to check out her other books. Because her name is Rainbow. And also because I enjoyed her writing style. She says a lot without yammering on about everything. I can get behind that.

Movies watched
Johanna picked The Boxtrolls out on Netflix one Friday night, and you guys, that movie was awesome. Weird and wonderful and great. Go watch it.

"It was good," Jo says. I really need to teach that girl some different adjectives. "I have plenty of adjectives," she adds, obviously offended.

Light update
So you know what I learned as I took pictures off my hard drive to place on a USB? I have a lot of damn pictures. Well, they date back to 2011, so that's most of the problem. The good news is that since you can get 16 gigs of memory for like $1.99 (well, almost), purchasing USBs isn't the issue. The issue is finding the time and not getting frustrated.

While I did make headway, I did not finish. Such is life. I will continue this unofficially in September, but I have other Light plans that I will disclose later. Let's just say that I've learned a few lessons from the ordeal that is cleaning out my grandparents' house...

Abby update
Having a kid with a drivers' license is awesome. Abby can drive herself to all of her functions, be it physical therapy (has a bum knee, apparently) or school registration. Or to buy her own school supplies. Oh my gosh, I might never have to go into Walmart again. It's the perfect breakup plan.

School doesn't start until Sept. 8 (uh what), except for her it's Sept. 10 (double what), but I think she's kind of excited to get back into the routine.

Johanna update
Johanna has been on a writing bender this month. I don't know how many books she's written, both "stories" and "graphic novels." That kid has some serious talent. It's fun to watch.

Eric update
Eric has been doing some concrete work (cute little path to nowhere by the shed, the filling in of some flower beds because apparently he's tired of weeds and is embracing bark dust), and some general weeding / outside stuff. Our lawns are all brown because we're in a drought and are conserving water for farms and fish (that's actually a slogan here), but you know what doesn't die in a drought? Weeds.


And I tell you this, the basketball court he put in a couple of months ago has been getting a lot of use. He and the girls are out there almost every night shooting around. Success!

Stuff I canned / etc.
I was going to can tomatoes, but then it got really hot, and then I got tired, and also kind of ran out of time and needed a fast solution. So I froze 20 pounds (!) using Eric's Foodsaver and some leftover bags. Plastic. Not environmental. Let's just focus on the tomatoes, shall we?

Oh, and I froze some zucchini and summer squash. Kind of on accident, as we were headed out of town and I needed to get rid of the produce I'd gleaned from the counter at work. (I have coworkers with amazing gardens, apparently.)

And that, sadly, is it.

Supernatural update
Abby has been better about not watching without me, or at least keeping me updated with what is going on when she does. Dean is out of purgatory, Sam is again threatening to quit hunting, and Castiel is finally back! The end. By our calculations, Dean has died twice, Sam has died twice, and Cas about four times. And God just keeps bringing them back or something. I don't know, you guys, but it's entertaining as heck.

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