Friday, October 15, 2021

Halloween Decorations

After securing the foam gravestones and skeleton hands into to the front lawn was unsuccessful (they kept falling down), I chose to tape them to my window, and to move my scarecrow to under the window as well. And while at Goodwill yesterday, I got some sale spiderwebs and a crashed witch decoration.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Time for Sweaters?

That is how is seemed the other day, and I did put one on. But when I did so today, it got hot. And now this weekend's weather is expected to be in 70s and 80s. Is this already happening?:

I've already started wearing long pants again and am now wondering about the predicted weather for the coming weekend. And just how it's going to be at the end of this month.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Altered Paint Brush Art

Here are pictures of some of the paintbrush art project from work. Click here to see the one I did at home.

The last one in this photo was still in the process
of being completed when this was taken.

Apple Tree

This is the one I did at work.

SpongeBob SquarePants

The clay that was used  at work was a modeling dough found at Dollar Tree. It takes many days to become hard, something I did not know at first. 

It was a while before we got to do this project, trying to decide what to use and determine how many people wanted to join. I used my home made one as an example and printed various images found online. I did not find any specific rules or instructions on how to make one of these, so everyone just did as they chose. Not everyone wanted to do a face on the brush, as you can see. One example I'd printed was this one, which two people imitated with their designs (see in last photo above):

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Old-School Costumes

 These came up on my Facebook memories yesterday. (I may have shared these on my blog in previous years):

Though I remember these things well, I cannot recall ever wearing one of these. I guess my mom was good at making me costumes. I was totally into Strawberry Shortcake and The Smurfs, so I wonder why I never went after either of these costumes. I never even chose to be either of these characters for Halloween, which is surprising to me. 

I saw one of these in a thrift store once, of a character I'd never heard of. It was  surprising because I have never seen any before or since then. 

This concept seemed weird  and is hard to imagine today, with characters like SpongeBob.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

No Christmas Yet, Please!

It's not even Halloween yet and today at both Dollar Tree and Dollar General, I began to see more Christmas stuff than that for Halloween. I still haven't decided what to wear this year, though I have some ideas. I certainly don't want to think about Christmas or Thanksgiving yet! Though I already I won't be doing much for either of those, since that is how it has been in recent years. 

We are having a Halloween event at work the Friday before the holiday. I don't yet all know all the details. We also just started decorating for the holiday yesterday.    

I still don't know about public celebrations yet. I'm still not quite ready for some public events. I did not got the county fair this past weekend (since I haven't been the fair in years) and am uncertain about the Renaissance Faire. I've only gone to that one once.

I haven't come up with any Halloween themed crafts this year, and don't want to think about Christmas ones yet. The decoration for Halloween is the closest we will get to a Halloween craft, unless someone else has some other idea in mind for another week this month (we do art every other Monday). I'm hoping to get pictures up of the paint brush project from last month (still have to figure how to do that!)

Sunday, October 3, 2021

October Bookish Bingo

 The card for October is here.

My books:

  1. Vampires Never Get Old--Zoraida Cordova [ed.] (4 squares): E-Book, Not in a Series, Multiple Narrators, Trope
  2. Haunted Castle on Hallow's Eve--Mary Pope Osborne (4 squares): Audiobook, In a Series, Magical Accident, Read an Arc
  3. Let's Pretend This Never Happened--Jenny Lawson (5 squares): Shelf Love, Physical Book, Book Club Read, Multi-Word Title, Humorous
  4. It's Pumpkin Day, Mouse!--Laura Numeroff (3 squares): Pumpkin, Black or Orange on the Cover, Free Space
  5. The Silent Girls--Eric Rickstad (2 squares): Free Book, Plants on the Cover
  6. Stick Dog Craves Candy--Tom Watson (4 squares): Library Book, Graphic Novel, Candy, Trick or Treat
  7. Who Stole Halloween?--Martha Freeman (1 square): Coffee
  8. The End of the Dream--Ann Rule (2 squares): Man on the Cover, School Break 
25 squares completed on October 14

Friday, October 1, 2021

Hello, October


It's now October and the weather today as warm. Still not quite sweater time. Today was too hot for long pants, let alone sweaters. 

I began decorating the lawn yesterday as I said then, but am uncertain about adding any other decorations as I did not find many when I looked at Target and Goodwill yesterday. But I think what I already have is good, if I don't find other stuff I want to add. 

I've been looking for gothic and horror reads for this month, for the R.I.P. challenge, and have some lined up already. Mental Health Day is also coming up, so I have something in mind for that as well. 

Soon it will be time for reading challenges for 2022 to start showing up. Most start coming as early as November, though some might show up this month. I'm still deciding when to post mine for next year and which ones to bring back (likely all of them). 

And I am still wondering about this coming holiday season.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

October Eve 2021

Already the end of September! Today's weather is in the 80s and the same is expected for tomorrow. Just when I thought it was the to retire the shorts for the year, it starts t get hot again. And I needed new jeans, so I went and got some at the outlet stores in Gilroy, CA. I've only worn one of my new pairs so far.

With this year's holiday season looking to be a repeat of last year's grim season, I am once again uncertain about dressing for Halloween, but may redo another costume this year if I choose to. In the past, I never redid costumes, but the current circumstances made me think otherwise. I'm hoping for at least a small celebration at work again this year. I began decorating the yard with the same stuff as last year, except the tape and the fake cobwebs. I went looking for extra decorations today, but have not found many. Still have yet to look at Target. Will keep you posted if I get more.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Homework Flashback

Seeing this recent parody video by the Holderness Family game me flashbacks to my school days:


I began remembering how complicated word problems get. Anyone remember how this was? I'm just glad I don't have to worry about this stuff anymore. And how many quadratic equations? I could never be of assistance for any of these things. Even without kids or students to teach, hearing this stuff still boggles my mind. What would I be doing now? Glad I don't have to worry about that 🙂

Monday, September 20, 2021

Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold

Fall officially starts on Wednesday. But the weather here hasn't been like that depicted in the photos above. It's been not too hot and not to cold recently. Though it's been hard to 
determine whether to retire the shorts yet and bring out the sweaters. That question never changes around here at this time of the year. 

And I am still undecided about when to bring out the Halloween decorations. This means putting the lounge chair away until next summer (it's been lying on the front lawn). An other decision that is hard to make right now because of the unpredictable weather. Though I am glad not to have been facing nearly 100 degree weather. Hoping it doesn't get that hot.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

20 Years Later

I still can't believe it's been 20 years since 9/11. I can still remember what I was doing that day when I got the news. From past blogposts remembering the anniversary of 9/11:

One chapter in my memoir is titled "Tragedy in 2001," telling what I was doing in the months and days just before the attacks.  Here is a synopsis.  I was working at a restaurant under a new boss who began that summer after the previous owners sold the place.  The new boss was indeed a horrible boss, yelling at everyone, including his wife and their son. Work was now more like a prison camp, and it just got worse as the summer went on. Fortunately, I was able to get off for two different cousins's weddings, one in July and one in September. I ended up getting fired just before the second wedding; the horrible last day was the Sunday before Labor Day 2001. In the days that followed, I went looking for another job, to see movies and then to the wedding, which was just three days before the bombings. 

On the day of the bombings, after trying to keep up with the news on TV, I needed to be out and was I ever glad I made that decision. I saw that the Dollar Tree was opening in my town, so I went by to pick up an application and was immediately hired.

 Let's not forget that day.

Monday, September 6, 2021

Fall or Nothing

That is the title of a recent parody video by the Holderness Family:

I have not yet begun to decorate for Halloween (I usually leave that until the end of September) and have not been hoarding decorations for then either. It has been warm lately, though recent temperatures have not gotten to nearly 100. And I certainly won't be putting on sweaters until it gets really cold. It's not easy to tell when that will be in my neck of the woods.

Again, I'm the weather hasn't been nearing 100 degrees, but I know the warm weather will linger for most of this month. No sweaters seem forthcoming for at least a month.

And today I saw this on Facebook:

I have not been to Walmart for sometime now, but have not see Christmas stuff at Target or Dollar Tree yet. Last time I was at Target, I did not see any Halloween yet. I still miss Kmart as they always had a better Halloween selection than Target. The still-empty Kmart building would have been great for a Spirit Halloween store. But the only time a Spirit store came to my town was in 2014 and way back in 1999. The nearest one to me will be in Gilroy at the former Pier One Imports building. I don't know if I will get to the store. It's been years since I've gone to one of these stores and with the holiday season looking pretty grim like last year's, it is uncertain if I will be even thinking much about Halloween. I most likely will be decorating the yard at the very least. And right now Christmas is the farthest thing from my mind, though I can't see much of  celebration this year. Even before the coronavirus, celebration Christmas hadn't been a big thing in a our family in recent years. I don't see that changing much this year.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Toilet Paper & Coins

Just the other day I heard on TV that toilet paper hoarding was staring again. It was enough to make me panic and bring back memories of the beginning of the pandemic a year-and-a-half ago. I began picturing in my mind the empty shelves like these:

But today at the store, there was plenty of TP to be found. I snagged one 12-pack of the Safeway brand. I'd heard on the news that Costco (which I don't go to) was limiting the number of toilet paper packs customers could buy at a time. Even with the anxiety brought on by the announcement, I did not feel a need to hoard packs of toilet paper. The one currently at home has not yet run out, but I still felt a need to get one today. 

And another thing that occurred last year seems to be happening again--coin shortages. At least that's what signs at some stores are saying. I got a pizza yesterday at Little Caesars and did not have enough coins to give along with the $20 I gave. But the cashier was able to give the right change. And I used debit for the non-food items I got at Safeway today, not even thinking about the possible coin shortage.  

So far, neither of these has been trouble for me. But I now fear it may be, with everything these days seeming repetitive. ...

Friday, September 3, 2021

Chapter Break Bingo – September 2021

 Here is the card for September.

My Books:

  1. Dinosaurs Before Dark--Mary Pope Osborne (1 square): Audiobook
  2. Bird Summons-Leila Aboulela (3 squares): E-Book, New-to-You Author, Not in a Series
  3. The Country Guesthouse--Robyn Carr (4 squares): Shelf Love, Physical Book, In a Series, Book Club Read, Weather on the Cover
  4. How to Be a Pirate--Cressida Cowell (9 squares): Pirates, Library Book, Ship/Boat on the Cover, Demon, Short (Under 300 Pages), Travel/Journey, Enemies/Frenemies, Disguise, Beard/Piercing/Tattoo
  5. Circe--Madeline Miller (2 squares): Single-Word Title, Historic Setting
  6. Invincible Louisa--Cornelia Meigs (2 squares): Woman on the Cover, Free Space
  7. TTFN--Lauren Myracle (2 squares): Set in a School, Love Triangle
  8. Ace of Spades--Faridah Abike-Iyimide (1 square): Free Book
25 squares completed on September 21

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Here It Comes Again...


Already that time. Halloween stuff is already in some stores. I have yet to see Goodwill's clothing rack of scouting uniforms, sequined dresses, medical scrubs and other stuff they believe can be transformed into a costume, but I know it will be there soon. They've already got the display racks with angel wings, clown hats and such. 

This year's holidays just look to be repeats of last season's. ...

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

"I Don't Know, Maybe?"

This is the title of the Holderness Family's latest parody video and is it ever true! But there are some things I'm sure there is no "maybe" about for me.

Though there are some things I'm pretty sure I will be avoiding. The Northern California Renaissance Faire and the San Benito County fair will both be back this year. I've only been to the Ren Faire once and have not been to the County Fair for years so neither of these will be a go for me. 

And now I'm seeing Halloween stuff at Goodwill and am wondering about what this holiday will be like this year. Though it already appears to be a repeat of last year.  Same for Thanksgiving and Christmas. And I don't even want to start thinking about New Year's 2022 just yet!

But if staying home is needed again this holiday season, then it's the right thing to do--no "maybe" about it.

Friday, August 20, 2021

Sunflowers 2021

Since these are second-generation, this year's sunflowers are not as big as last year's. I'd put several seeds in one pot, and some in other pots. There was one pot of seeds that did not work at all. Some of those in there pots that opened but the flowers quickly dried up.

I have been wondering about the one seen above. Notice the brown shades on the petals. Is there any particular name for a sunflower like this?

Because so many seeds were put into this one pot, some caused two flowers on one stem. This is what happened on the one in the front of this photo. A larger flower with a smaller on on the side, Has anyone ever seen something like this?

Several of the flowers looked like the one seen above, which looks more like a daisy.

The broken pot on the left was the one that contained the seeds that failed to germinate.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Back to School

Once again, I am glad I do not have to worry about kids returning to school and possibly having to go on Zoom again. I could not get into Zoom for my writers lab and still don't know what is happening with the group. Just the same, I liked these recent videos from the Holderness Family.

I was in school in the 1980s and cannot remember ever being given a school supplies list. I just remember getting a binder, paper, pens, pencils and erasers, along with other stuff that might be necessary for some classes, such as a calculator. I cannot fathom having to go through such a long list as those presented in the videos. Also, Dollar Tree was not around when I was in school, and there was no Target or Kmart in my town at the time either. My stuff came from either Rite Aid (then known as Payless) or from the local grocery store. And I was always sent a letter in the mail with my teacher and room Information before school began.

And on a side note, I like to look at the back-to-school sales for things like pens and notebooks, things I can use at home. Especially after they have been reduced to under a dollar at Target. I just got some binders at Dollar Tree for use at home. 

I still am uncertain on how to do math equations with multiple operations in parentheses, and now wonder how I ever did them in school. I could not even guess if put on the spot. Word problems in math were a nightmare for me. And some of the other questions slipped my mind as well. Most likely since I have not had to deal with stuff like this since I was in school myself.

Anther thing I cannot remember being so complicated back in my day. I only seem to remember having to fill out a card with basic contact information. Having to go through a scenario depicted in this video would have given me lots of anxiety. Things were so much easier in my day.

I also note how she mentions the Trapper Keeper in the first video. That's one thing I always had each year until junior high school. And they are still being made.  

Just more things that have changed a lot over the years by getting more complicated. 

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Autumn Reading Challenge 2021

 This runs from September 1 to November 30. There are some new categories this year.

  1. A spooky novel: The Silent Girls--Eric Rickstad
  2. A book with an autumn-inspired cover (autumnal colors, leaves, pumpkins, apples, etc): It's Pumpkin Day, Mouse!--Laura Numeroff
  3. A book that takes place during the autumn: Who Stole Halloween?--Martha Freeman
  4. A book that has autumn, Halloween/Samhain or an autumn month in the title: A Catered Halloween--Isis Crawford
  5. A book by a BIPOC author: Barracoon--Zora Neale Hurston
  6. A dark academia novel: Ace of Spades--Faridah Abike-Iyimide
  7. A book about feminism or social justice: Hillbilly Elegy--J.D. Vance
  8. A book by an author from a different continent than your own: Bird Summons--Leila Aboulela
  9. A book about nature: The Poisonwood Bible-Barbara Kingslover
  10. A book about history: Harlem--Walter Dean Myers
  11. A poetry collection: Clap When You Land--Elizabeth Acevedo
  12. A cookbook: Peanuts Holiday Cookbook

Friday, August 13, 2021

Friday the 13th 2021

The only such date to occur in 2021.  Though this past year and again this year, Friday the 13th seems overshadowed by the coronavirus. Not many people seemed to acknowledge that it was Friday the 13th two days after the pandemic was declared on March 11, 2020. 

I remember being at the store on Friday the 13th in 2020. That it was the superstitious date just barely entered my mind right then, when people were passing through the nearly empty store. I didn't speak up, though.

The next Friday the 13th in the already spooky year of 2020 was in November, just 10 days after Election Day, which lasted nearly a week. 

I cannot recall ever having anything bad happen on this date. Not expecting anything today.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

It's Like Groundhog Day

 Even though I do not have to worry about kids going back to school, I still feel for those who do. On a Facebook group for my hometown, parents have been posting bout this. I only wonder how I would be handling this if I had to deal with this myself. Just the same, I liked this new video from the Holderness Family:


I agree with the line about Groundhog Day. Everyday in general for the last year-and-a-half has felt that way, even though more places have opened up.

And I'm still wondering of the kids will be walking to and from school staying at their phones, and how many will be out there--how many I will have to watch out for while driving. The high schoolers are set to go back tomorrow, and those in elementary and middle school next Monday. Some of the parents on the aforementioned Facebook group are saying they will be keeping their kids home. I can't help being curious as to how all this is going to work. I still wonder what would I be doing?

Is what is being said in this cartoon true? Is how kids dress more important than their health, particularly at a time like this?  Even I as neither a parent nor an educator find this weird.

The mental health center is now open on Fridays, but as of yet, the peer mentors (of which I am one) are not working that day. The mask mandate is now back at the center, but I never took mine off to begin with, though I did sometimes tuck it under my nose or chin. And I have still been wearing one to stores and other public places. 

As I said earlier, this holiday season already appears to be a repeat of last year's. Though some stuff for Halloween is already at the Dollar Tree. I still don't know what I'll be doing then.

Friday, August 6, 2021

That Time Already?

Is it really that time? Fall items are starting to show up at Dollar Tree, eclipsing the back-to-school stuff. And an endcap of Halloween items is at Goodwill. In about a month, one can expect to see the costumes rack at GW, with medical scrubs, scouting uniforms, odd striped dresses, and other things the workers think can become a costume, mixed in with incomplete used store-bought costumes. And the last few days I have been exploring sites that sell costumes, though this year looks to be a repeat of last year. It seems like the bar celebrations will be out again this year. And I don't know about costumes this year. And I won't get started on Thanksgiving and Christmas just yet, though these have not been big holidays for me in the last few years. And same for New Year's Day. 

Next week I have to start watching out for the "smartphone zombies" waking to and from school. It has been so weird not seeing them for over a year now.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Chapter Break Bingo – August 2021

 Here is the card for August.

August Bookish Bingo

My Books:

  1. I Never Promised You a Rose Garden--Joanne Greenberg (4 squares): Shelf Love, Physical Book, Not in a Series, Trigger Warnings
  2. The End of Your Life Book Club--Will Schwalbe (3 squares): Book Club Read, Family Tragedy, Death/Dying
  3. Moldilocks and the Three Scares--Lynne Marie (2 squares): E-Book, Zombies
  4. Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit--Jeanette Winterson (4 squares): Debut Novel, Diverse Character or Author, Origin Story, Free Space
  5. Shades of Earl Grey--Laura Childs (3 squares): In a Series, Lawyer, A Favorite Author
  6. A Big Day for Baseball--Mary Pope Osborne (2 squares): Audiobook, Sports Team
  7. Wings--Cheryl B. Klein (1 square): Wings on the Cover
  8. The Four Winds--Kristin Hannah (3 squares): Library Book, Long-Over 400 Pages, Insta Love
  9. The Premonition--Michael Lewis (1 square): Pandemic
  10. 21st Birthday--James Patterson (1 square): Ocean
  11. Kyle's Little Sister--BonHyung Jeong (1 square): Free Book
25 squares completed on August 21

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Recent Book Hauls

Yes, more books acquired this month, and on three consecutive dates. As well as another day this past week. 

I was excited to learn that the Friends of the Library's once-monthly book sale would be returning after more than a year. I made sure to get there, despite how early it occurred. Along with used books for 50 cents to a dollar, there was a new book by a local author who there for signing copies of the book. I love seeing local authors' works (not very many in my home town!), so I had to get a copy of this book. It was only 9.99. I have yet to read it, but it looks like fun. And I may look into the publishing company that the author used.

But before the book sale from the library, I had already acquired several books from Goodwill two days earlier and on the day after that, from the used bookstore in Gilroy, CA, a town near to where I live. While at the used bookstore, I found three things I was looking for, a book by Alexis Wright and one by Yoko Ogawa, two authors I have as reading prompts i the Reading Women challenge  I also looked for another author I had for that challenge, Leila Aboulela, who was nowhere to be found. I also went looking for The End of Your Life Book Club, which I also found. 

A few too many other titles to list here, but I was satisfied with what I found.

The next book sale is on August 14, with longer hours than before. That same day our local comic book shop will be having the Free Comic Book Day. I've never been to one of those, as I have not really been into comics that much lately. Not into superheroes, but want to see what other kinds of comics can be found. If I see one I like, I will take it, since it will be free. 

Friday, July 23, 2021

Things This Week

 Something that came up on my Facebook the other day, and then the next day on my FB memories. Sad that people still believe this.

And today I saw this on FB. Sounds very true right now.

And two things that came up on my memories today:

My sunflowers this year (from some of last year's seeds) are starting to open now. Some seeds, however, did not work at all. 

And I have yet to see any Halloween items at the Dollar Tree (the photos above were from a year ago today). Once again, I don't know about celebrating Halloween this year, as it already seems that it will be a repeat of last year. Same for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I'm trying not to think much about all this right now.

Ona aside note, my digital camera seems to have stopped working, and I recently got a new phone and am trying to figure out how to transfer photos from my new phone to my computer. I have a Blu Smartphone bought at Target. I have already taken some pictures of my sunflowers this year.