After our Tybee Island trip, I went through a spell of not reading for a while. I read a lot while I was there, then lost my taste for it when we got home. I finally (and delightfully) feel like reading again.
Here’s a list of books I’ve found delightful over the past few weeks/months:
The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
How to Stop Time by Matt Haig
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster by Scott Wilbanks
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
Right now I am reading News of the World by Paulette Jiles on Kindle and Audible and Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer — hardcopy.
I finished listening to A River Runs Through It — a book I bought on Audible back in 2013 when Clare and I drove through Missoula. I didn’t realize it was really just a [long] short story. There are two other stories on that recording that I doubt I will listen to.
St. Patrick’s day is my favorite holiday only because of my last name. We made corned beef with braised cabbage, carrots, and mashed potatoes
A Murder on the Deck
The crows are back. While there are always a few around during the winter, they mostly hang out at a local roost. They’re back now though, and remember our deck for the treats I’ve provided in the past.
Range Fixed — Sort Of
The repairperson came out from ABW and fixed our lemon of a Bosch range. He was able to fix the heating issue (the heating element was burned out and cracked) but the door still does not close all the way. At least we can use the oven. The door issue is temporarily solved with strong magnets.
We’ve been given a few pieces of art in the past year and we’ve finally hung them on the walls. Dean’s reluctant to hammer nails in the walls, so this is an absolute delight.
St. Patrick’s Day v.2
Andrew and Alex came over for dinner the Sunday after St. Patrick’s Day. I made a vegetarian shepherd’s pie for dinner and a raspberry trifle for dessert. Alex made a Guinness cake. Alex also showed us her juggling skills. Also I picked some Lenten Roses.
Books, Books, Books
I think my lack of writing was a direct result of my nose being stuck in a book (metaphorically since I read on my phone) 24/7.
Finished Stealing Home by Sherryl Woods (not delightful, but not dreadful) (I read it because I watched the Netflix series based on Woods’ books and wanted to know what happened next)
Quilt from Kevin
A while back my brother, Kevin, asked if I wanted any of the blankets in a photo he sent. I said I wanted the quilt and he said he’d set it aside. It turned out that he sent it and it arrived on March 26th. I don’t know which of my ancestors made it, but I’ll try to repair it and then store it.
More Alone Time & Sewing
Dean and Andrew went biking and I stayed home. Delightful.
I did use my alone time wisely though and tackled a project I’d meant to do for a while. See, we have a down quilt with a duvet cover but the quilt never stayed at the top and ended up bulging out of the bottom like a hernia. I’d tried to convince Dean to agree to get a new quilt and duvet cover with ties and loops but he never saw the need. So I dusted off my sewing kit and repurposed some shoelaces as loops and ties and now the duvet cover stays on the quilt and the quilt no longer herniates out of the cover. (I sewed the shoelaces as hoops to the corners of the quilt and as ties to the inside corners of the duvet cover and connected them when I replaced the quilt in the cover. Delightful!
Sunshine and Raindrops
The setting sun through raindrops on the window looked like fairy lights.
My Serviceberry trees were planted! The last image is more recent — and today all the blossoms are full.
We became eligible for our vaccines during this time. Dean was able to secure a spot for a Pfizer vaccine at the mass vaccination site but due to a computer glitch, I was not. Later, when the glitch was resolved, the provided dates didn’t work out for me but I was able to secure two dates for Moderna about an hour and a half away.
My first inoculation was on April Fools’ Day. I stopped at Wegman’s on the way back (delight!).
Clouds and Flowers and Zoom, Oh My!
I bought some tulips at Wegmans and they are truly delightful.
Our bookgroup discussion of Such a Fun Age was quite delightful, although I didn’t remember a whole lot about the book (which was my choice).
Just before the meeting I took a photo of clouds as the sun was setting.
Lilacs and RAM
Yesterday I noticed that our lilacs, which have not bloomed in two years, have at least three sets of buds. Delightful!
I bought a refurbished desktop on a whim a few months ago but it is sluggish because it only has 4GB of RAM. I’d read that it can take up to 32GB so I ordered 4 8GB RAM and will install it when it arrives.
The delightful image at the top of the post is my gift to Dean for Easter. A Dr. Fauci bobblehead.
Back in January 2020 I bought the Kindle edition of The Bookish Life of Nina Hill for $1.99. I was probably reading something else at the time, but thought the cover and description sounded fun and two dollars was not much to spend, even if I didn’t like it. It wasn’t until today that I started reading it. I’m kind of glad I waited because I really had no other delights to share today.
The author, Abbi Waxman, is clever and funny. Here’s the opening paragraph of the book:
Imagine you’re a bird. You can be any kind of bird, but those of you who’ve chosen ostrich or chicken are going to struggle to keep up. Now, imagine you’re coasting through the skies above Los Angeles, coughing occasionally in the smog. Shiny ribbons of traffic spangle below you, and in the distance you see an impossibly verdant patch, like a green darn in a gray sock.
Waxman, Abbi. The Bookish Life of Nina Hill (p. 3). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Practically every page is sprinkled with this kind of humorous writing. I highly recommend you put this on your to-read list. I think you’ll like it. I’ve already put all of her other books on hold at the library.
This evening while we were preparing dinner (leftovers from yesterday) I glanced out the window and saw four very large birds fly in a diamond shape over our house. My birdbrain kicked in and I shouted, “Great Blue Heron!” although I was not 100% sure that is what they were. A few moments later my suspicion was confirmed when three of the four flew back and I could see them better.
It reminded me of the day, long ago, when I stood in our upstairs bedroom and a Great Blue Heron flew past the window at eye-level. I could not believe my luck.
These actually arrived yesterday but I was busy making viral a TikTok recipe and entertaining so I didn’t see the envelope containing a series of postcards of remarkable women with parts of a serial letter written on each. Who but our dear friend Helen would be so creative?
Helen, if you read this, it was an absolute delight to receive your postcards. I was able to read every word!
The other delight of the day was an email exchange with the Egg Man’s wife. She’s having some issues with her Facebook page for the farm and I offered to help her set up a blog for her photos. She wanted to see an example of WordPress so I sent her here where she found the blog post about her husband and the pumpkin and seemed delighted.
I am glad she enjoyed the post. I meant to send it to her after I wrote it, but forgot.
I think this covid shit has finally worn me down. I’ve not been visited by many delights — or maybe I have and I have not recognized them. I’ve been sad and angry many of these days, although there have been a few bright spots.
In no particular order some contenders for delights:
Andrew and Alex joined us for Superbowl Sunday and a chili dinner (and a Zoom chat with Alex’s folks)
I’ve had some nice chats with Clare
We met with some friendly folks from a landscaping company about our backyard.
While my sleep score was not as good as a few nights ago, I did sleep through the night last night and woke up refreshed. That’s a delight.
Trying to read my extant books as well as past book group reads that I didn’t read when they were chosen, I started reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog again. I think I prefer the audio version to the e-book, but whatever gets the job done is fine with me. I’m finding bits of it delightful.
After finishing A Constellation of Vital Phenomena on Saturday I needed a new book to listen to. Again I looked at my very long list of unread/unfinished audio books and decided I’d try the oldest book on my unfinished list: A River Runs Through It.
Eight or so years ago when Clare and I drove cross-country to move her to Olympia, WA I bought the audio version of A River Runs Through It. I was not really a fan of the movie, and could barely remember what it was about, but I knew that it took place in or around Missoula, MT where we were going to stay for a night. Clare and I didn’t get far in the book, it was just too relaxing for a long drive. I’ve since tried to listen to it and it was not until this morning that I finally started enjoying it. Interestingly, the narrator, Ivan Doig was the author of a bookgroup read (The Whistling Season) I only barely liked. I like his voice though.
What is it about our penchant to enjoy something at one point but to not enjoy it at another? Mood? Age? Experiences?
The photo at the top of the page is the Clark Fork River in Missoula. It’s the “river that runs through it”.