Wednesday, June 13, 2007

But it's a dry heat . . .

We're still adjusting to the hot weather, here, and I'm ready to turn around and head back to Michigan. Wow is it hot! Youngster and I climbed into the car, this afternoon, and the digital thermometer registered the outdoor temperature at 102 degrees. And, then, of course we drove long enough to air the thermometer down to 95, but still . . . wow, is it hot. When I was "interviewing" Simon (more like chatting with him), he asked if it gets into the hundreds very often, down here, and I said it's not so much the heat as the humidity. I feel like I told a fib. Yes, we do get into the hundreds, but it typically doesn't last for very long and it's definitely the humidity that'll get you. Not so at the moment. It's fiercely dry and painfully bright out. A great day for raptors, though:

The fellow above is a Mississippi kite. Hubby keeps joking that he doesn't see the string. Oh, hahaha. I get it.

I didn't buy a single book in Ann Arbor, not one. That has never happened to me; Ann Arbor is a book-loving city, with new and used bookstores all over the place. I'm still trying to figure it out, wild-guessing that it has to do with the fact that there was very little time to read. The guys even made me turn the light out without reading time, at night. Actually, I came back better rested than normal, so maybe I need to shift my reading hours a bit.

However, there was a book from Paperback Swap waiting in the mail and youngster had to go to the library to fetch Season 5 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, today (which meant that I had to mosey on over to the library sale corner). So, I've got some recent acquisitions worth photographing. Here they are:

Fun stuff, eh? I'm going to steal Kookiejar's word . . . click on the photo to "enbiggen".

Back-tracking a little . . . I must tell you about our flights up to Michigan, which were very interesting. On the flight from Jackson to Cincinnati, we had a little turbulence toward the end - not a bad flight, overall. What really made it interesting was a fellow who apparently doesn't fly often. Perhaps it was his first flight; I can't say. But, when it began to get bumpy, he got a little nutty and, suddenly, every turn of the plane was reason to shout out either a mild expletive or "What the --?!" Occasionally, he even squealed like a little kid. Best of all was his reaction to that one big noise that comes right before landing. When he let out a whoop of horror, kiddo quietly said, "Landing gear." I was really proud of youngster for holding the eye-roll and keeping it quiet.

Our next stretch, from Cincinnati to Detroit, was even a little frightening to the well-traveled husband. Although, the average bear wouldn't know that . . . I'm merely tuned in to his every nuance. Yeah, yeah, I'm lying. Anyway, there was a storm outside and storms mean turbulence. A little turbulence is no big deal, but the plane was rocking left to right for almost the entire flight and it did become a little tiresome. The landing was just downright scary, with the spouse later commenting that, "Those one-wheel landings are a little unusual." Uh-huh. As we pulled onto the apron, I turned to husband and said, "Well, that was a heck of a flight." At least a half-dozen people around us nodded and muttered in agreement. The really, truly amazing thing about that flight, though . . . there were at least three small children around us and there was not a complaint or a wail from any of them. Very impressive, I thought. We all agreed we'd have hated to find out how the fellow from our first, rather uneventful, flight would have reacted to the bumpier second leg of our journey.

Coming up: A sticky post for the closing of the Chunkster Challenge. I've never taken the time to figure out that Mr. Linky thing that other challenge hosts use, so the final check-in will be much like the most recent contest posts. I'm currently gathering prizes together; as soon as I've finished rounding everything up, I'll wrap up that post and paste it to the top of the page.

Almost finished with: post-vacation laundry and clean-up. Remember, I'm not very domestic.

And, after that, I'll work on a "100 Things About Me" post. It'll be kind of fun seeing if I can come up with 100 things that aren't completely inane.

A quote, for your edification:

Love reveals the beauty of seemingly trivial things - a pair of shoes, an empty wine glass, an open drawer, cracks on the avenue.

From "The World Laughs in Flowers" by Simon Van Booy

Oops, I forgot it's Wednesday!!! Ack! Okay, look for a belated Wahoo on Thursday. I have lots of things worth wahooing about.

Later, gators.


  1. Oh, I'm so jealous of the heat! I'm from south Texas, but I'm currently displaced in Colorado. The high today was 67!!! In June!!! I don't know what to do with myself.

    Also jealous of your bookpile. :) New (well, new-to-you) books are always so glorious. I like your new header-it might actually be quite old, but I've been out of the loop for awhile now.

  2. Eva,

    Want to trade places? I've never handled heat well; I'm displaced from Oklahoma, but I love cold weather. It invigorates me.

    New piles are always heaven, aren't they? The new header is just a couple of days old. You're the first to comment. Welcome back. :)

  3. The Mammoth Book of Endurance and Adventure? Is that all about Antarctic exploration or just part of it? I'm such a sucker for all things Shackleton.

    I'm not far enough North. It gets so humid here I can't breathe. And it's that time of year again. (Maybe I need to live in ... Antarctica!)

    I've never been on an airplane. I'm pretty sure I would spazz out.

  4. I hate humidity. I miss Oklahoma's dry heat. Korea's pretty bad with humidity; in July and August it feels like you're breathing soup instead of air.

    Nice pile of books. Thomas Hardy poems. I liked his poetry when we studied it in Victorian Literature. Also salivated over the Paul Auster and William Styron.

    Very pretty header!

  5. Kookie,

    There are several different sections: The Poles, Mountains, Oceans and Rivers, Under the Ground, Deserts, Jungles and The Air (only one entry under "The Air" and it's written by Charles Lindbergh), so it's all about danger and discovery, but they're more like vignettes rather than the complete tales. I'm guessing they're pulled from larger works by the explorers - looks that way.

    I have trouble breathing when it's humid, too. That would be most of the year, here. The dry air makes for a nice break, in spite of the heat. I've always said I need to move to a frozen wasteland. LOL

    You've never been on a plane? We need to fix that. Sometime, I want to go on a girls-only trip to some fabulous place, like . . . Italy. You should definitely tag along. :)


    Me, too. I'll never stop missing that nice oven-dry Oklahoma air. We're usually quite humid, here. The current dry spell is far from normal.

    The Brooklyn Follies was one of my recent PBS acquisitions (love Auster), William Styron blows me away, so I was really excited to find that, and I've never read Thomas Hardy's poetry but Simon mentioned him. Thought I'd give him a try; I'm glad you enjoyed his poetry!!

    And, thank you. I tried about 5 different photos for the new header. I was trying to get it to look like the swans were touching beaks, so there would be a heart shape between them, when I took that photo. That's as close as I got. There were little ones behind mama. Cygnets?

  6. Anonymous8:45 AM

    Love your pics!
    I have the Constant Princess - I'm doing abuddy read with it later this month with ....someone:::scratches head::: I'll remember eventually!
    NJ is stinky for humidity too - day 3 of high humidity and my head is saying enough already!! Glad you had fun in Ann Arbor!! Can't wait to see pics!!!!!!

  7. Yikes! I am NOT a fan of turbulence. And wow that's hot! I like the swan pic that you've used in your header.

  8. I have that same problem, signing up to buddy read and then forgetting who it was that wanted to read with me. It means you're having fun hanging out with lots of readers, not that you're forgetful, right? ;)

    We're really enjoying the dry air while it lasts. The flowers are not. Usually, we don't even water our lawn . . . at all, ever. That's how humid it gets. The new swan header is a photo that was taken in Ann Arbor. I'll squeeze in some more, here and there. :)

  9. Italy? I'm in. ;)

  10. Nat,

    I'm not a big fan of turbulence, either. I felt a little green around the gills, toward the end of that flight.

    It's only in the 80's, right now, but it's just 10:30 in the morning. Guess it'll be another hot one. And, thank you. I photographed the swans on our first full day in Ann Arbor. They have loads of great wildlife to snap! :)


    We should just start planning right NOW. We're only going to get older, after all. Might as well pile up our pennies and go for it. :)

  11. Holy crapoli. That flight business would've probably done me in. I'm quite the season flyer, but I still get a little squidgy if things are too bumpy.

    Totall lovin' the book pile! You're going to adore Kitchen Confidential (I think) and The Brooklyn Follies. Yay for favorite authors!

  12. Andi,

    I could have done without the wobbly flight. LOL It was definitely a wild one.

    I'm actually in a mood to read kitcheny things - about chefs or people experimenting with cooking. I've got at least three books, now: Julie and Julia, Kitchen Confidential, and the biography of a French Chef who committed suicide when he thought he was going to lose one of his Michelin stars. I might make myself a foody-book challenge, pretty soon, just for fun. :)

    And, of course, I adore Paul Auster!

  13. Oh, that's hot! I agree, the humidity is the worst. It's been running around 89-90 here and it's very uncomfortable and I'm hearing more complaining than I do about temperatures in the -20s.

    I love seeing your big stack!

  14. It's getting HOT way too fast for me! I need to find some "middle of the road" kind of place. I don't like extreme heat OR extreme cold! It's mid-90's right now and that's a big much for me! It's such a humid heat too...YUK!

    Your library has much better sale books than mine. I have 2 libraries around here that have great book sales 2X a them. But the daily little sale corner is rather pathetic. Unless of course, Harlequin and Silhouette romanaces are your thing!

  15. Hasn't the heat been horrible?! I'm much more of a cold person...I'll take the cold over the heat any day. I'm the only one in my family like that. My theory is "you can only take so much clothes off..." but you can put as many as you want on!

    You had me laughing like crazy reading your description of the guy on flight number 1. I love little stories like that to keep life interesting. Flight number 2 sounds horrible! Glad y'all made it safe :)

    "enbiggen"...I like that...I may steal it too some time. I've been wanting to read Kitchen Confidential for awhile now. Looking forward to what you think of it. I've heard plenty of great reviews.

    If you do the Chunkster Challenge again next year, I'm definitely in! I'm sick of looking at the chunksters on my bookshelf and I think that's the only thing that'll motivate me to read 'em :p

    Afterwhile Crocodile!

  16. Oooh, Simon sounds just about as lovely as he looks! Great quote.

    Keep fingers crossed that my flights will be smooth next month!!

    Cool & rainy in Nebraska. Currently 78. We've had SO MUCH rain this spring/summer!

  17. It was 105 here yesterday and we've got no humidity to speak of thankfully. But it's still hot.

    Kitchen Confidential was a fun entertaining read. All autobiographies should be that candid.

    That poor guy on the plane! Imminent death. Poor fellow passengers too.

  18. Chris,

    Yeah, it's really blazing out there. I decided that I should do what I did during the heat of the summer, last year: take a cue from people who live closer to the equator and go for a siesta during the hottest part of the day. Hey, that was kind of nice!! I just happened to say that same thing about only being able to take off so much clothing before you're arrested for indecency . . . somewhere. Here? Can't remember.

    That guy on the first flight was a hoot. We appreciated the laughs. And, we were really happy to get on the ground on that second flight!!

    I'm thinking about doing a self-challenge to read foody books, some time soon - I've got three of them, at least. What do you think?

    Haven't decided whether I'll repeat the challenge; I was coerced, this year. LOL But, it's been fun. BTW, I bought a Charles de Lint book, today. You finally swayed me. :)

    Thanks for the crocodile reply. You made me laugh. :)


    Simon is a delight, a very sensitive soul. I loved chatting with him!

    Fingers are crossed for you!

    Ooooh, envious. I love cool, rainy days. We savored that after-rain fresh smell; we don't get that, here. I miss it.


    Okay, you win the Hot as Hell Survival Award. :) Where are you? I should know, shouldn't I?

    Oh, yippee! I'm always glad to hear someone has enjoyed a book I'm planning to read. "Candid" is good. I have several books about people cooking and I'm thinking of just doing a "foody book" challenge, soon.

    Really, that fellow on the plane was pretty funny. I did feel for him, though, because he was obviously pretty nervous about every little bump!

  19. Food book challenge = Fun!

    Ooh, what de Lint did you get?!

  20. Hey, just so you can quit wishing - Michigan has been under the broiler lately.

    Grand Rapids was at 100 the other day - I think it was Wednesday. And the UP has been in the high 80's for a week. The humidity has been up there, too.

    I use to tell people that I didn't live here in the beautiful UP because I liked the heat and now, our summers are unbearable!

  21. The temperatures in my neck of the woods are warming up too, although not yet in the triple digits. That will come later in the year. I live in an area where dry heat is more common than humidity (although we get that sometimes too) and I have to say that walking into an oven is not always a pleasant experience.

    I'm impressed, Nancy, that you left Ann Arbor with no books. That's quite an accomplishment. :-)

  22. Chris,

    I need to pile up all of my food books. I have a novel about foodies, too. :)

    Okay, let me look . . . The Harp of the Grey Rose. Have you read that one? I think it was in the YA section.


    I think the whole country is having a bit of a heat wave. Do you have air conditioning? Hubby reminded me that one of the reasons people in MI complain when it gets hot is that they used to not need an A/C, prior to global warming, so there are still plenty of houses without. I do think it's getting hotter in MI, each year. But, you have winter to look forward to. We get a snow that sticks for a day about every 7 years, on average, and usually don't get a cool front until at least October. We have loooong summers.


    We had that oven-like heat back in Oklahoma. I still find it more comfortable than heat with humidity, but there are plenty of people who disagree with me.

    I was amazed that I didn't buy a single book!! And I'm kind of glad, since we brought home some juice from IKEA and it leaked. Oops. It would have likely ruined any books I packed!

  23. Ooh, I've never even heard of The Harp of the Grey Rose! I haven't read any of his YA books, but I've heard they're wonderful. I have a couple sitting on my bookshelf.

  24. Chris,

    You've never heard of it?!! I'm suddenly visualizing a shopping trip in your future. ;)


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