summer reading

This summer is a blur of heat, humidity, endless thunderstorms, and lots of reading. Here’s what I finished:

JUNE

  1. The Dinner – Herman Koch
  2. Rainbirds – Clarissa Goenawan
  3. The Relationship Cure – John M. Gotten
  4. The Lake House – Kate Morton
  5. The Lola Quartet – Emily St. John Mandel
  6. Kitchen Confidential – Anthony Bourdain

JULY

  1. Crazy Rich Asians – Kevin Kwan
  2. The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry – Jon Ronson
  3. This Is How It Always Is – Laurie Frankel
  4. Sunburn – Laura Lippman
  5. Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption – Bryan Stevenson

AUGUST

  1. My Brilliant Friend – Elena Ferrante
  2. Charity Detox: What Charity Would Look Like If We Cared About Results – Robern D. Lupton
  3. Grocery: The Buying and Selling of Food in America – Michael Ruhlman
  4. Visible Empire – Hannah Pittard
  5. The Supper of the Lamb – Robert Farrar Capon
  6. The Paris Wife – Paula McLain
  7. Off Season – Anne Rivers Siddons
  8. The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street – Karina Yan Glaser
  9. Snap Judgment (Samantha Brinkman Book 3) – Marcia Clark
  10. The Widows of Malabar Hill – Sujata Massey

This is more reading that I’d planned or expected, and I believe it all happened because:

  • I tend to take a hiatus from knitting in the summer.
  • Our internet was messed up a lot this summer, and I gave up trying to connect to Netflix
  • No knitting or Netflix? Then I’m reading!

My favorites?

What about you? What did you read? What are your favorites?

don’t give up

I consider myself a skeptic and a cynic, and I’m not really proud of either trait. These are the logical outcomes of a logical personality, and I’m not proud of that, either. In fact, there are days that I wish I were not so logical; it’s a burden in a world that lacks common sense! And it can cause me to be cold and clinical when I’d much rather be warm and compassionate. Also, I’m sure it drives some people crazy.

So I was surprised at the the direction my thoughts took when I recently scrolled through my Instagram feed. I follow Jon Gordon, a best-selling author and motivational speaker, and I’ll be honest and say that some of the rah-rah, positive attitude stuff makes me roll my eyes at times – not specific to him, but that genre of posts. (I’m not proud of this, either! I don’t want to be that kind of person!)

Here’s the post that made me think:

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(More total honesty: that word MIRACLE made me think of the Miracle at Jordan Hare. I can’t help it – I’m an Auburn girl.)

My logical self wouldn’t ordinarily find a cynic and a skeptic to be hopeful. But you know what? I am! That’s why I persevere through books I don’t particularly enjoy — I figure there has to be some redemption in there somewhere! Alas, sometimes there is not. It’s why I’ll almost always gut it out and finish every episode of a television series season that has been recommended to me — holding out hope that it’s worth it. It’s why I will rip out a knitting project over and over if I can’t get it right. I’m hopeful that one of these days, I will figure it out. And it’s why I didn’t quit on my marriage or give up on some very important relationships that were really hard once upon a time. I’m not proud of this trait either; it’s just how I’m wired, I guess. And I’m not the One who did the wiring!

Maybe it’s a by-product of that stubborn streak that so frustrated my mother (and shhhh…. came from her! Thanks, Mom!).

So, anyway, that’s a long way of saying that, at fifty years old, I’ve learned something new about myself through glancing at an Instagram post. Life is funny, y’all.

And now I will say to you in the spirit of rah-rah cheerleading and positive thinking (but seriously), if you’re in a hard season, DON’T GIVE UP! Don’t quit right before the lesson is learned or the person changes his heart or the book gets good or the Lord shows His stuff. Pray for perseverance. Wait. (My logical, practical self is compelled to include here the caveat that if you’re in an unsafe place, don’t wait, get out! Otherwise, hang in there. Pray. Obey. Wait. Believe.)

Don’t give up y’all,

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aaaachoooo!

claritin
Spring has sprung, and my eyes and nose have sprung a leak. It’s too much for a daily dose of Claritin to handle.

Every surface of our front porch is covered in pollen, and we’re tracking it inside onto our dark wood floors. My car is a dusty yellow, when it should be charcoal gray.

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A light rain has been falling this morning, and I’m hoping it will turn into a heavier shower and rinse everything off.

And yet, my daily commute is lovely, and spring green is such a cheerful color. Those old-fashioned formosa azaleas are putting on a show, and dogwood trees are still in bloom. The hydrangeas on my front porch get prettier every day.

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I remember enduring long winters years ago when we were stationed in Maine. One year, it snowed on my birthday – at the end of April! I knew that my home state was enjoying a beautiful spring while we were still stuck inside, looking out at barren trees and muddy slush. I truly understood seasonal affective disorder.

But I was allergy free!

You know what? I’ll take the sniffing and nose-blowing and watery eyes in exchange for green and pink and sunshine and no snow. Maybe that’s just me, but I’m glad to live where I live. (Until July.)

Happy spring y’all!

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random thoughts

~ Parents, people do not think your child is cute when you give them the mini-shopping cart at Publix and let them wreak havoc down the aisles. Please keep an eye on them and the other shoppers around you.

~ If you’re trying to sell someone essential oils, skincare, etc., and they say no, please just respect that and don’t continue to email/text/DM. I know that the motivational speakers at your conferences tell you otherwise, but it really just puts people – often your friends – in a very uncomfortable position. Some of us don’t like saying “PLEASE DON’T EVER ASK ME THAT AGAIN!”

~ Spring has sprung here, and the dogwood trees in snow white bloom remain my favorite.

~ The canopy roads in these parts are spectacularly green:

canopy-road

~ Roses are blooming in Thomasville, the City of Roses:

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~ I’ve got 5 knitting projects in various stages of completion, and I have 4 books in progress. It’s time to power through some of these and move on.

~ By the time this post appears, I’ll likely have finished Sous Chef: 24 Hours on the Line, and it’s really good. I love reading about people who pursue a vocation with excellence, and this one fits the bill.

Happy Thursday y’all,

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hey there

As you already know if you follow me on instagram, I’m once again obsessed with knitting. That has cut into my reading time — and into my blogging. So here’s a brief attempt at catching up a little.

~ I mentioned that when my son was visiting recently, he interviewed me for his podcast. That episode is now up, so you can listen in to our late night conversation if you’re so inclined. We chatted about photography, blogging, knitting, football, and my need for speed. It’s a pretty mellow episode, so grab some caffeine first.

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~ I’m working on an easy drop stitch scarf with a skein of yarn I bought earlier this year in California. It’s turning out really cool, and it’s an easy pattern.

drstsc

~ September is coming to a dreary, wet close. It looks gray and cool outside, but it’s really muggy and warm. I’m pretending otherwise, however, and am putting myself in a fall frame of mind with flowers, a scented candle, and lots of coffee.

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~ I’m still working on the 1 Peter Memory Moleskine, but I’m not on schedule. I’m not giving up, though.

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So that’s a quick round-up of what’s going on around here.

Happy fall y’all,
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random thoughts

~ I don’t know what’s worse: walking out of a dressing room when nothing fits or walking out when everything fits.

~ We recently rented a condo on the Gulf coast, and it was crammed full of useless “decorative” items (a large frog with artificial greenery coming out of the top, odd fish-shaped vases, etc.). It was a small studio condo, which was all we needed, but it felt even smaller because of all the clutter. Less really is more, you know.

~ Fall is in the air. I’m so happy. But what’s with the pumpkin-spiced everything? We recently went to a Mexican restaurant, and at their hostess desk, a heavily fall-scented candle was burning. Um, pumpkin-spiced Mexican food does not smell good, y’all.

~ I went back on Whole30 for a whole five days. It made a difference, though, and I do feel better. It was a good detox from vacation.

~ Run, don’t walk, to your nearest Trader Joe’s and get some dark chocolate peanut butter cups. Or don’t. So there will be more for me.

~ I’m back on a knitting binge. I’ve got so many projects in progress and in the queue, and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve got my Auburn football scarf all ready to resume during tonight’s game, a spur-of-the-moment easy drop stitch scarf on my needles, a complicated shawl waiting patiently at the bottom of my awesome knitting tote, a wrap I’m itching to start, a class to take in a couple of weeks, and countless patterns pinned and saved in Ravelry.

dropstitchscart

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~ Today is a Saturday with nothing on the calendar except a football game tonight. I’ll be making a Costco run, cooking, and cleaning, with college football as my soundtrack. Yep, I love fall.

~ Late start this morning. Yay!

~ Hey, if you’re in a drive-thru line, would you please consider pulling up close to the car in front of you? When you leave a car length or more, you leave folks hanging out in the road. Thanks ever so much.

~ I’ve got a bad case of TrumpFatigue. Seriously. I don’t want to hear any more about him.

~ Speaking of politics, so glad Boehner is out and I wish he’d grab a few others as he heads off into the sunset.

Signing off now to get started on my Saturday. What’s on your agenda?

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