Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces...

Show Us Your Books: June 2019

What the hell happened to May, Kim??

Don’t know. It’s funny. I was on a reading TEAR and then got into a new book and…stopped. I kept reading a half-chapter and putting it down. And then I got distracted by life and the garden and yardwork and lovely lunchtime weather and before I knew it I had stopped reading. I went back to dorking on my phone and daydreaming while on the train. I was taking walks at lunch instead of reading. I let two of my holds get returned unread. I didn’t want to read.

yikes!

And then I felt ashamed, and, Readers, I get into these crazy shame spirals where I don’t do THING because I stopped doing THING and for some reason feel unworthy of starting THING again because I will eventually fail at THING. Many verbs and nouns can be substituted for THING. Examples include: reading, blogging, walking, exercising, flossing (!), picking up dog poop daily, breakfasts, and I think you get the picture.

What gets a reader back into reading? The right book.

For my book reviews, I used the Goodreads rating system, which is:

  • One star: did not like it
  • Two stars: it was ok
  • Three stars: liked it
  • Four stars: really liked it
  • Five stars: it was amazing
The dam broke.

Educated — Tara Westover

Deep in my non-reading shame spiral, I deleted 2 emails from the Philadelphia Library saying I had books from my hold list ready to claim. I was 35% into the book I was PLODDING through and I was going to make myself finish that one before starting another one. And then Educated became available. I had been waiting for this one for the better part of a year and I knew if I let it go I’d be eleventy-billionth in line again. I reluctantly put the other book aside and started Educated.

I finished it in ONE AFTERNOON.

This is Tara Westover’s true life story of growing up in a very poor, very religious LDS family in Idaho. Her father was distrustful of public education, so none of the kids went to school. Her parents were distrustful of doctors, so they treated every ailment, from the sniffles to massive injuries, with herbs and oils. As the children aged, two of Tara’s older brothers left home to go to school. Eventually, Tara decided she wanted to give school a shot as well. She studied on her own for the ACT and managed to gain admission to BYU. The more she learned and the more self-actualized she became, the harder it was for her to reconcile her family’s beliefs and intentions.

This book was a hard, harrowing read. It’s chock full of domestic abuse, emotional and physical. There are multiple mental breakdowns because Tara’s journey isn’t an easy, sanitized, and Disney-princess-fied one.

Five stars. One afternoon.

Becoming — Michelle Obama

When Michelle Obama’s Becoming hit the shelves, I bought it for my mother for Christmas because I knew that the time until Christmas + the time it took Mom to read it and for me to borrow it from her would still be < the time it took for me to get this from a library.

This book I took my time with because I didn’t want it to end. I loved Michelle’s stories of her family who selflessly made sure she and her brother had whatever they needed to survive. I loved the stories of her continually pushing herself outside of her comfort zones. I loved the stories about the goofy, optimistic nerd whom she fell in love with and made a life with.

And man I miss having her and her family in the public eye.

Five stars for my fellow rule-follower and box-checker. Believe the hype.

Now isn’t this the most staged book tableau you’ve seen? A real influencer would have turned the towel around but I was too lazy.

The Little Paris Bookshop — Nina George

I bought The Little Paris Bookshop from Barnes and Noble a month ago because I liked the cover. Jean Perdu has a bookshop on a boat in Paris and claims to be a literary apothecary – he asks his customers questions and then prescribes the perfect book(s) to solve their emotional ills.

But of course, our Jean is the illest of all, for he is pining for a love who left him 30 years prior. (his name translates to John Lost in English after all.) After a moment where he allows himself to FINALLY FEEL AGAIN he unmoors his boat and goes on a journey toward healing and such. I should have hated this book with its manic pixie dream “filles” and boorish, self-absorbed men on their grief journeys. But it worked its magic on me in the end.

Three stars and life begins at 50!

Currently reading: Crazy Rich Asians — Kevin Kwan

And that’s it. Three books in one month. But it’s awfully nice to be back. 🙂

All of my book lists and reviews are on Goodreads.

This a part of the Show us Your Books linkup from Jana Says and Life According to Steph. If you want to read more bloggers gush about the books they’ve read this month, click the button below and have fun!

Life According to Steph

Previously:
2019
January | February | March |April |
2018
January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December

May 2019

(subtitle: where the hell have you been?)

Hi there! Heck of a month, eh? I can’t quite explain WHY I haven’t been blogging, I just haven’t. Things have been great though! See?

Nephew A’s 5th birthday party was at a local farm, which offered stunning views…

It’s hard to stick to my “don’t show the kids” rule because they’re quite cute.

Mom and I went to the Phillies annual Mother’s Day tribute game. It was in the 50s with a cold, cold rain. The Phils won and neither of us caught pneumonia though so all’s well that ends well.

Mom: this was the best time! Me: (develops chilblains)

After years being buried in stacks of books, this handsome face received his Master’s Degree!

He’s the cutest!

I’m simultaneously proud of him and wondering what to do with him around the house all the time.

He’s the greatest.

Snapchat turned me into a fairly attractive dude.

how YOU doin?

Speaking of date-able dudes, this weekend WM and I celebrated twelve years of cohabitation. He arrived the Friday before Memorial Day in 2007 and the very next day we went to Collingswood Mayfair.

And we’ve gone every year since!

He built me a potting table in the garage out of an old door.

He did this in just an hour and half.

The garden is doing well. The tomatoes are so tall I had to stake them this weekend. And I should have my first radish in a week or so.

before I staked them.

I’ve been spending my evenings outside when the weather is nice. Our two goobers are all too happy to join me. Even Ollie, who is as good as he was 2 years ago (minus half his teeth and some functioning in his face) and it makes my heart swell with happiness.

Happy Ollie!

Twelve years ago WM arrived to me, Max, Misty, and Charlie. Ollie was the dog that began to blend us into the family we are now. Including this also-happy dude.

Happy Murphy!

I went to a Memorial Day barbecue where I only knew one person (the organizer) and ended up with new friends! No pictures because I didn’t want to be that person.

Which brings me to today, Memorial Day. We went to Iron Hill for lunch and I’ve been outside since we returned, with no concerns except my Apple Watch which keeps telling me to get up (nah, I’m good) and the children behind us who have been outside screaming from 7:58am to 6:55pm since Saturday morning. I’d LOVE for them to discover Fortnite or join the swim club or a sport or watch JoJo Siwa vids inside for a few hours each night.

This is my very favorite time of year. The entire summer is yawning ahead of us. My first Summer Friday is this week and I think I’m going to head to Margate for the day. Happy summer!

My unfiltered, no makeup summerface.

Angry Man Farms 2019: Outside

So much has changed in 3 weeks! Thanks to this bonehead

(expletives)

WM had to make some modifications to the raised bed. The front screen is removable so I can weed and water.

He also personalized it, which made me smile.

Welcome to Angry Man Farms!

And here are the 3 tomato plants, 2 cherry tomato plants, 2 basil plants, a sweet pepper plant, and a jalapeno pepper plant all of which were just scrawny seedlings three weeks ago. And 4 cilantro seeds, which haven’t sprouted yet.

It was supposed to be one plant per square foot, but basil and tomatoes are supposed to grow well in close proximity, so here goes nothing.

One tomato plant and one basil plant will be heading to Mom’s to live out their days. The other basil plant is in the raised planter:

The dill is thriving.

Because of the aforentioned bonehead, we had to slide the green beans pot into bonehead’s old crate.

You’ll notice the left side of the pot is beanless. Thanks, Murph. (I planted more.)

The cucumbers are growing. I’ll get some … sticks or something … for a tripod-style trellis. I haven’t fully thought this out. I have 2 weeks to figure this out.

Also filed under “not fully thought out:” Inspired by Home Grown Veg, on Monday I planted carrots and radishes in 2-gallon containers. My plan is to plant another container every 3 weeks so we’re not swamped with carrots and radishes all at once. The radishes are already sprouting.

Behind them are the impatiens that are set to go out front to distract people from the giant spot in the middle of my front lawn that will not grow. It’s like the previous owners salted that one spot. It’s driving me crazy.

We have no more plants inside! Hooray! Let the growing begin!

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