Monday, January 17, 2022

Monday Malarkey

Recent arrivals (clockwise from left):

  • Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce
  • The Mixed Media Photography Book by Nitsa Malik
  • Paint Mojo by Tracy Verdugo
  • The Bookshop of Dust and Dreams by Mindy Thompson
  • In Five Years by Rebecca Serle
  • Syllabus by Lynda Barry
  • 1500 Color Mixing Recipes by William F. Powell

This is just a fraction of the books I've bought since I lifted my book-buying ban (now resumed) for 2 weeks. Most were on my wish list but The Bookshop of Dust and Dreams is one I read several rave reviews of and bought on a whim. There will be more to come. I went a bit overboard. Fortunately, I'm parting with way more books, these days, so my hope is that more will go out than come in, by the end of the year. We're a bit skewed to incoming, at this moment. 

Books finished since last Malarkey:

  • Fortune Favors the Duke by Kristin Vayden
  • Spy x Family #1 by Tatsuya Endo
  • Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore
  • Wordy Birdy by Tammi Sauer and Dave Mottram
  • Wordy Birdy Meets Mr. Cougarpants by Tammi Sauer and Dave Mottram
  • A History of Pictures for Children by Hockney, Gayford, and Blake
  • The Collage Ideas Book by Alanna Moore
  • Spy School: Secret Service by Stuart Gibbs
  • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Both Wordy Birdy books, A History of Pictures for Children, and The Collage Ideas Book are also purchases (you can see I had a lot of books about art on my wish list) but I didn't want to pull them off the shelf to photograph. You'll see them when I review. Oh, and the Spy x Family manga. I bought the entire series (6 of them) and am having a terrible time stopping myself from whipping through all of them. The first was an absolute delight. 

Currently reading:

  • Store of the Worlds by Robert Sheckley
  • The Founding Myth by Andrew L. Seidel

Both of these are books that are going to take me quite a while to read. Store of the Worlds is a collection of short stories and I try to read one or two daily but often go several days without picking it up. And, it's 400 pages long. The stories are excellent, though, so I don't mind dragging it out. The Founding Myth is nonfiction and it's being read in a similar fashion — a chapter or two when I feel like it. I'll add a novel to the mix, tonight, but I haven't settled on anything, yet. 

Posts since last Malarkey:

Blogger is giving me fits and refusing to let me post links to two of these so I'll return and try again, later. However, last year's complete list of books with links can be found through a link in my sidebar and the Fiona Friday pic is the last thing I posted so they're easy to find. 

In other news:

We haven't watched anything but random episodes of various shows that didn't stick, so there's no viewing news. And, we haven't done our annual viewing of O, Brother, Where Art Thou?, which became a New Year's tradition, a few years ago. Need to get to that. We did, however, finally get around to drinking our Golden Celebration tea, which is another tradition that we started after our trip to Japan. We were a bit late (about the 10th, I think?) but I'm fine with the New Year's traditions just landing any time during the month of January. 

There's not a whole lot else going on besides crazy cleaning and purging. Our couples gift, this year, was a robot vacuum cleaner. To map out the rooms, we had to get everything off the floor and, ugh, we are really bad about making little piles (books, canvases, art supplies . . . cat toys everywhere). We skipped mapping one room and threw a lot of stuff into it. And, now we can't even get from one end of that room to the other, but that's next, going through all those piles and deciding what to keep and what to part with. There are way too many canvases propped up in there.  Some of my artwork is in progress, all in various stages. Some is done and has just been lying around. It was fun to make but not worth hanging on the walls. I've begun painting over some early paintings and I mostly paint on paper, now, to save space. 

Anyway, the floors are so clean. I'm loving that. Because we have hardwood floors with throw rugs and both the broom and vacuum cleaner (even on the correct setting) tend to fling things off to the side, I've been cleaning my floors by using the suction hose and scooting around on my rear end. Wow, am I glad to not be doing that, anymore. 

Oh, and another thing I bought was a 5-year "One Sentence a Day" diary. It's more like a paragraph's worth of room. I'm enjoying the challenge of trying to boil my day down into a single paragraph without being incredibly dull. I could easily say "Did X loads of laundry" almost every single day. I'm not kidding when I say it's a challenge. 

Did you get snow, yesterday? We got flurries but it was so light that I had to strain my eyes to see that it was, in fact snowing (it melted on contact with the pavement), while 40 miles away they got an accumulation of about 2". Bummer. But, we already had snow flurries once, so I'm satisfied. I've gotten my snow fix. Meanwhile, the cold descended about a week or two ago and to avoid having to cover and uncover the plants (last year, we actually screwed up and lost a few), Husband bought a grow light, stuck many of the outdoor plants in the Guest Room bathtub and ran an extension cord to the light. The cats are dying for us to let them jump into the tub but we keep the doors closed because most are probably not cat safe and we're not going through that, again (poisoned cat fiascos: 2 to date). It's kind of hilarious. And, I guess it's good that nobody can visit because of Covid because there's no place for guests to shower. Life is kind of a riot when you think about it. 

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  1. I hope you like Tom's Midnight Garden! It's one I really enjoyed, and have since added to my permanent shelf. We got snow yesterday- just a few inches but topped with lots of freezing rain. Most of my potted outdoor plants spend all winter by a large basement window (where they are quarantined from my houseplants in case of bringing pests inside) but I sadly have neglected my outdoor garden perennials this year. I usually heap them with extra mulch or even upend pots over them as a little more protection against cold, but have just been lacking some motivation this year. Now I feel it's too late- we already had several nights around twenty degrees, so whatever survived, will survive I think.

    1. Oh, cool, I'm glad you enjoyed Tom's Midnight Garden enough to put it on your permanent shelf! I have no idea where I read about it but I keep glancing at it and thinking I really, really want to read it so maybe I'll read that one soon and quit making it holler at me.

      I love snow so I was a little sad that we didn't get any accumulation but I'm not surprised. On average, we only get a good snow that sticks about every 7 years and last year we had that big storm that iced us in all week, so we won't be due for a good snow for a while.

      We don't have basements here because of the clay soil, unfortunately, hence the use of the guest bathroom. It's the only place we could think of that we can keep the plants safely away from the cats. Your perennials will probably be fine. I think the winter is good for them, isn't it? Our daffodils are already up but not blooming, just yet.

  2. We have heavy clay soil, too. Our house is on a hillside, so the basement is only half underground. There's a sliding glass door. It's a great spot for all my overwintering plants!

    1. Oh, yes, I've seen houses with walk-out basements around here. They're rare but it's a nice way to handle the problem of clay soil and potentially leaky basements. That's nice! Our house is just one level, kind of a modern ranch, I guess. It's much nicer and more spacious than our last house but still has dramatically less space than similar homes in other areas because of the lack of basement.


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