Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Quiz: The Sunglasses Test

I agree with most of this.

Click here for the test.

Your Sunglasses Say You're an Artist

You are clever, unique, and a total nonconformist.
Your sense of fashion is based on your own personal creativity.

You need to be shaded from the mundane parts of life.
You feel sunniest when you can express yourself freely and without judgment.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Midyear Reading Post

I've come to do one of these posts every year now. My book total this year so far is 128, with another currently in progress. Needless to say, the pandemic has been the reason for so much reading, though it has not been unusual for me to reach this many or something close to it at this time of year. This year, things have been a bit different, as I have read more digital books while unable to access the library. I was glad when the curbside pickup began this month. In March, I returned all the library books I had out then, intending to read from my stash at home for a while, right before the shutdown began. My timing was good on that one. It was after that that I began reading the digital ones as well with those I already had at home. I thought that reading longer books like  The Stand and The Passage would take at least a week each, but I got one done in five days and the other in four. It should only be obvious how much time I have had to read in the last three months 🙂

I have also finished several of the year-long reading challenges I am doing this year.  The What's in a Name one was the first I finished. With only six categories, I seem to always finish that one first. But I also finished it in early March, before the lockdown.

The following challenges have also been completed. I was glad to find some e-books and to order some Zip Books that I nedded to fill some of the categories. Finding a book beginning with X was another something I managed to do just before the lockdown. And I was glad to find one beginning with Z on Overdrive, something I was worried I wouldn't find once I was unable to access the library. This thought entered my mind just as the shutdown began and before I first accessed Overdrive. And I had similar thoughts on finding books with colors in the titles, but that too worked out. And Zip Books was helpful in finding books published this year, a commonly occuring prompt.


Pink and Dizzy

And there are several others for which I am just one or two books short of finishing. On two there is the prompt "a book you read in high school," which I am struggling with. I'm trying to remember what I read then! It doesn't say one you had to read in school, though that is what it seems to imply. Just recalling what I read then at all is driving me crazy! 

I've already picked out what to read for my monthly prompts for July and for Erin's 13.0 Challenge that starts on Wednesday. More often, I like to decide as I go along, but decided early this time. I've already picked up two needed books from the library and the rest have been chosen from home and from the library's digital collection. I wanted to get the books I got  (picked them up last Thursday) before someone else did, and it has been hard waiting for next month to begin. I'm trying to limit how many trips I make a month for the curbside pickup since we still have to stay at home as much as possible. I'm now awaiting the day I can go back inside the library.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Halfway Through the Year and...

Yes, I would love for that to be true.

Some of you may not believe it's already summer, and I can say I have been feeling that way. It's been like one long vacation since mid-March. And now the calendar is just days away from switching to July. Sad that the 4th occurs on a Saturday in the time of the pandemic. And it's not the only holiday occuring on Saturday this year.

That is true. This also includes a Friday the 13th in November. And the lockdown began just after Friday the 13th in March. And Halloween is on a Saturday this year. This would, under normal circumstances, be great for kids trick-or-treating, but I now wonder if any will be out there this year. Probably no parties this year, like the one I went to last year ☹️ Was looking forward to that again. I also just read that Spirit likely won't be opening its annual temporary stores this year. I guess we should have see that coming. Too bad; it could have opened in the local empty Kmart building.

And now I'm not sure about decorating the porch for Halloween this year or even dressing. Around August, Halloween stuff starts turning up in stores, making me excited. But this year I'm not so sure. No parties or potlucks at work this year. We were hoping to have another themed party this summer, but that will not be. Like everyone else, we're hoping to be able to do this next year. 

And I won't get started on the presidential election, also occuring in November, 10 days before Friday the 13th.

Monday, June 22, 2020

2020 POPSUGAR Summer Reading Challenge

Every year I do Popsugar's annual reading challenge and this year they are offering a summer edition.

  1. A book with "summer" in the title: 28 Summers--Elin Hilderbrand
  2. A book with a summer drink or cocktail on the cover: Driving With the Top Down--Beth Harbison
  3. A book that takes place in your favorite (or dream) summer destination: 13 Little Blue Envelopes--Maureen Johnson
  4. A book about a vacation: The Unhoneymooners--Christina Lauren
  5. A book with an LGBTQ+ protagonist: Boy Meets Boy--David Levithan
  6. A book with an item you'd find at the beach in the title: A Week at the Shore--Barbara Delinsky
  7. A book with a body of water or pool on the cover: City of Islands--Kali Wallace
  8. A book set at a resort or hotel: Murder, She Barked--Krista Davis
  9. A book with a release date in June, July, or August of any year: Wilder Girls--Rory Power
  10. A summer-set thriller: The Guest List--Lucy Foley
  11. A book involving a summer romance: Beach Read--Emily Henry
  12. A book about Black history in America: I'm Still Here--Austin Channing Brown
  13. A scary book you'd read around a campfire: The Passage--Justin Cronin
  14. A book that takes place during the summer before high school or college: Roomies--Sara Zarr
  15. A book that takes place in a beach town: Angora Alibi--Sally Goldenbaum
  16. A book with "sun," "sand," or "waves" in the title: The Sunshine Sisters--Jane Green
  17. A book with sunglasses on the cover: Rani Patel in Full Effect--Sonia Patel
  18. A book about camping or summer camp: Lumberjanes: Beware the Kitten Holy--Noelle Stevenson
  19. A book classified as a "beach read": All We Ever Wanted Was Everything--Janelle Brown
  20. A book that makes you nostalgic for summer (rereads welcome): Just a Summer Girl--Helen Cavanagh (written in the 1980s when I grew up)

Challenge completed on August 27

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Library Curbside Pick Up

Image from library website.

I was so glad to hear that my local library is offering curbside pickup after three months of being unable to borrow physical items from the library. Even though people still can't go inside, it is great to be able to borrow books again. 

The curbside pickup began two weeks ago, but I did not begin using it until last week. I was able to return the books I had orderd through Zip Books over the last three months. The bookdrops on the sidewalk in front of the library had been closed once the lockdown began in March. Just before then, I had returned all the books I had had out up to that point, intending to read books from home, which I ended up having to do for most of the last three months. It was after the lockdown that I decided to try reading digital books via the library website. Then I got impatient and ordered some books I was eager to read, from Amazon. 

To get books via the curbside pickup, patrons must request items via the library website database and put them on hold. An employee will call the patron once the requested items become available. When the customer arrives, they will alert the employees with a text message and the employee will place the items on a table in front of the library for the customer to pick up. 

I've done this twice already and think it's a great idea. One "con" is that it only takes place on Tuesdays through Saturdays. Even so, the bookdrops are open on Mondays. It runs 10AM to 5PM. No Sunday service, even though the library began opening on Sundays starting last year. I enjoyed being able to go on that day. Another "con" is that one cannot look at books on the shelves to decide if they want to borrow them. This was a habit of mine before the lockdown that I hope to get back to doing one day. But for now, I'm glad to be able to borrow library books after three months of not being able to do so. 

I'm also not sure how many books I plan on borrowing at a time, to avoid having to drive down so often. We still have to remain at home most of the time. So far, I've only borrowed nine items since curbside delivery began, six last week and three this week, and am waiting for another Zip Book order. But I still have plenty at home I want to read.  

Does anyone else have curbside pickup from their libraries?

Monday, June 15, 2020

Back, One Day a Week

Slowly getting back to work at the mental health activity center....

Since the end of May, we have been meeting once a week at the center. The mnetord are getting paid for two hours each Wednesday. I'm so glad to be back even only for one day a week. No classes right now, especially cooking, which will take a while to get back on the schedule. Though our boss may have a discussion topic for us each week. and we can still talk with each other about whatever we want. We still have to stay six feet apart, with only one person per couch or table. And we must have face coverings on. We haven't been allowed to take out the books or DVDs yet. I'm getting anxious about that one, particularly the books. And only a small number of people are allowed to come each time. Temperature checks are being performed upon entrance.

It was great to see the place again after two months away. And to see the others as well. Our interactions may be limited, but just getting to see everyone again is great. This is our gradual reopening. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Possible Dystopia Tales Based on 2020?

I can now imagine that the pandemic will be the subject of future dystopian novels as well as personal memoirs, though I can assure you I likely won't be one of those writing such things. And depending on future circumstances and what mood I am in, I may not be eager to read such things should they surface. 

Yeah, where are the zombies and the aliens?

I must admit reading dystopia during this time seemed a little scary at first, when the lockdown began. But since two reading prompts I had this year were a Stephen King novel and a book over 1000 pages, I chose to read The Stand at the end of March, since it was already at home. Now one of my summer reading prompts is "a pandemic or outbreak" and I plan to read The Passage by Justin Cronin, another book already at home. And I just ordered Wilder Girls by Rory Power from Amazon. This one is about a quarantine. I had been hearing so much about this one that I wanted to read it.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Chapter Break Bingo – June 2020

The new card for June is here.

June Bookish Bingo

My Books:

  1. The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires--Grady Hendrix  (6 squares): Library Book, E-Book, Free Book, Not in a Series, Missing Person, Anti-Hero
  2. Sunset Beach--Mary Kay Andrews (7 squares): Shelf Love, Physical Book, Outdoor Activity, Father, Detective/Cop,  Landscape on the Cover, Highly Anticipated Read
  3. The Liars' Club--Mary Karr (5 squares): Coming of Age, Real Person, Memory, Book Club Read, Travel
  4. 2 A.M. at the Cat's Pajamas--Marie-Helene Bertino (2 squares): Book on the Cover, Special Abilities
  5. Pure Joy--Danielle Steel (2 squares): Audiobook, Tattoo
  6. The Gap of Time--Jeanette Winterson (3 squares): Retelling, In a Series, Free Space
25 sqaures completed on June 9

Monday, June 1, 2020

Planting Sunflower Seeds

Early last month, I found something unexpected on a chair on the front porch. It was a pack of sunflower seeds, a bag of potting soil and small plastic pot. There was also a newsletter from Behavioral Health. I did not know that these had been delivered until I saw them on the porch. I then texted my boss and she said that she was the one who brought them over. I had missed her.   

I have to admit, I've never been into gardening and was hesitant about planting the seeds. But finally, about a week after I'd gotten the seeds and soil, I planted them. I used a flower pot we had at home, because I felt the one my boss had left was too small.

The top photo was taken last week and the bottom one this morning. This is how my sunflowers are doing so far. It's been fun to watch the plant grow.  More pictures will come when the flowers grow even more.

BTW, all the clients received a pack of seeds and newsletter.