Posted in an appreciative life, tidbits and babblings

sheesh, time, where the eff did you go…

Okay, so this is always a busy time of year. But still…where the hell did these last two weeks go?!! Yep, school started. Max off to high school for his 9th grade year. Gray and I embarking on another year of homeschooling. Rich and Annie back at it with new schedules. It’s always an adjustment. We’re nearly in the swing of things, I think. And honestly, school stuff isn’t really what has thrown me off. The day school started, my dad found out he has to have his thyroid removed. They don’t know whether it’s cancer or not, but it has to come out either way because it is so enlarged that it’s soon going to be causing problems. The very next evening, my brother ended up in the ER. Is admitted because his gall bladder needs to come out. Usually a pretty simple surgery, but there were complications and he ended up with a whopping 15″ incision and 4 day stay in the hospital. And yet that wasn’t the shocker. In fact, his gall bladder crapping out on him was likely a blessing. Because an astute ER doc ordered a CAT scan because all his symptoms didn’t line up with the gall bladder issues. And this scan caught the mass in his kidney. Which is cancer. And as soon as he has recovered from this surgery, he has to have a kidney removed. Rich and I drove down to see him in the hospital–this was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Both because I felt so much better after seeing him doing okay for myself, and because, though he’d never say so, I think he was really happy we came. My mom must have told me four or five times how much more talkative he was with me than he had been with her and my dad over the previous couple of days. Obviously, was great to see Mom and Dad too. Though omg, was not at all happy to see how hard a time my dad is having getting around. It wasn’t all that long ago that I last saw him, but the difference was frightening. He’s known he has to have his knees replaced for a while now, but he keeps putting it off. Don’t think he can put it off much longer. Anyway, there was even icing on that trip-to-my-hometown cake: I got to see my dear sweet wonderful friend Karen who happened to be in town for the weekend on one of her moving jaunts. (She’s moving back to the area permanently, which means I shall be able to see her much more frequently! 😊  Of course, it’s not hard to get more frequent than once, or now twice!, every 20 years, is it?)

Whew. Feel like I just dumped a big fat pile of stress on my dear old blog. Hopefully my dear old blog will forgive me, and hopefully so will any unfortunate soul who happened to read this. I had fully intended to make this an RIP post, but perhaps it would be better to just make that a post for another day…

Posted in an appreciative life, in the reading room, on the screen

the last few days in the RIP trenches…

ripeleven300I started what I thought was going to be book 2 for RIP, read 47 pages, and decided life was too short. So a DNF. Thing is, said book, The Murder Room, is pretty damn interesting. At least as far as I got. It’s a non-fiction book about the Vidocq Society, an elite group of detectives and forensics specialists who do pro bono work on solving cold cases. But for as interesting as I found it, there were a number of things that irked me. Lots of subtle sexism, a homophobic remark, and a smattering of other things that just rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe in a different mood, I could have overlooked some of it and just enjoyed the interesting stories, but it just wasn’t happening now. And I’m going to give the book away, so it won’t be happening any other day either. 😉  After all, I’ve no shortage of other books to read.

So then I started the second book that I’m predicting will be my second book, The Secret History, because yes, I’m one of the few people who have yet to read it. But I’m in good company, because Chris is also one of those few people, and we have decided to read it together. I’m thus far finding it slow going though, so I may end up sneaking in a comic or a short novel while still reading this…in which case this won’t end up being book 2 for RIP either. 😜


Peril the First: still just 1/4.

I have made progress on another perilous quest, however. Go me! Yes, Rich and I devoured Stranger Things over the last couple of nights. I know we’re a little late jumping on this train, but this is a case of better late than never. Because yes, we both loved it! (A couple things annoyed me in the last episode, but we won’t go there because it would be spoiler-y. And they didn’t keep me from loving the show anyway.) But what did I like?

*The overwhelming nostalgic feeling of being transported right back to my high school days. My hometown was way, way, way smaller than the small town in the show, but still the feeling was just so totally nailed.

*Eleven. She owned my heart. ❤️

*Dustin and Mike and Lucas, and their whole dynamic.

*An okay level of creepiness for me. I actually would have loved to be scared a bit, but still it worked for me. And I don’t much like gore (though I did in my much younger days), and this hit the mark by not going overboard there.

*The not so subtle allusion to Firestarter, a book I positively loved way back when (and really need to reread).

*The way I got to have really interesting conversations with Eva about it.

You know, I probably could go on for quite a while with this list, but I’ll stop there and just say how very happy I am that RIP nudged me into finally watching it. RIP is oh-so-awesome that way, isn’t it?

ripnineperilscreen-600x268Peril of the Screen: 1/1

Also read my first short story (thanks to the RIP review site!), but think I’ll save that for another post.

Posted in an appreciative life, good stuff, in the great outdoors, out and about, thru the lens

today’s little happies…

*Sleeping with the window open and enjoying those crisp low 50s temps.

*Feeling productive by getting loads of school prep done today.

*Loading up photos from our walk at High Acres Natural Area yesterday.

*Chatting about other perspectives with a dear friend. So nice to have that implicit safety of disagreeing and learning with someone you trust.

*Having one of my favorite meals for supper tonight–mac and cheese bake, broccoli, and cantaloupe slices.

*Not having a single bout of nausea today. *knocks on wood*

*Anticipating finishing up Stranger Things with Rich this evening.

Posted in an appreciative life, good stuff, in the great outdoors, thru the lens

life is good, life is good, life is good…

on repeat…ad infinitum…or at least until it crowds out the other crap trying to control my mood. It’s not that I don’t think it’s okay to give the not-so-good stuff space, but I’m letting it take over more often than I’d like. Some pretty major financial worries, some stupid health issues, and the overwhelmed feeling that always comes as the school year is about to start–it’s not that I want to ignore them. It’s that I don’t want to allow them to create this weight that then darkens my whole attitude, that leaves me feeling cranky, that causes me to turn the small stuff like ruined plans or a splattered mirror after just cleaning the bathroom into matters worth crying or cursing over. Because you know what, LIFE IS GOOD. And the damn laundry is going to wait to be hung until I’ve made a list of the stuff that deserves my attention. The good stuff.

*The spectacular weather the last few days. Perfection. Utter perfection.

*This sweet little goldfinch in the coffee shop parking lot the other day. I must have sat watching him for close to ten minutes. He was just so intent on getting every last seed from this coneflower.


*Max finishing his summer homework with days to spare. Getting him to do homework during the school year is bad enough, so I wasn’t looking forward to battles that might ensue having to do so much over summer. I frankly think what they assigned was overkill (not just reading a decent sized book, but a big writing assignment to go with it, plus a big packet of other miscellaneous assignments)…I mean I thought it was supposed to be summer break. Ah, but welcome to high school, I guess. And the point is Max not only did it all with little complaint, he put in more than his typical “as little effort as possible” to get by. Proud of him.

*The beauty of dead flowers.


*All things RIP. I ended up making a book pool after all. It’s excessive. As usual. Just the way I love it. And this picture doesn’t include the next-in-the-series Marti McAlister book I ordered from PaperbackSwap or the handful of holds I put in at the library. Yes, excess is the way to go when it comes to RIP.


*I’ve hit the point where I’m eager for autumn’s arrival. I love all the seasons, and tend to have a hard time letting go of the current one. That is, until something clicks and I find myself ready to revel in all the wonderful things of the season to come. That something clicked, and I am so happy to be welcoming the early signs of autumn. Goldenrod and turning leaves and shorter daylight hours…

*Listening to Annie’s and Gray’s shared laughter as they watched videos on YouTube last night.

*The wondrous colors of sunsets.


Yes, I am blessed. And life is good.




Posted in an appreciative life, good stuff, out and about, thru the lens

one of those days…

Turning Point Park.

Not “one of those days” in the negative sense. But one of those positively delightful days. One of those days where joy and contentment permeate every cell in the body. One of those days that catch you completely off guard and surprise you with the wonderfulness that life can hold.

My sweetie.

When I found out that I didn’t have to report on Monday for jury duty, Rich and I decided to conquer another section of the Genesee River Trail. We were to the portion that we’ve been most excited about exploring, Turning Point Park. In a summer that has been ridiculously hot, we lucked out with the most gloriously perfect weather, with highs in the low 70s. And the breeze along the river made it seem all the more heavenly.

So very peaceful.

Gray decided to go with us, and was most excellent company. (Side note: I am so enormously grateful for modern medicine. The thyroid medicine that the pediatric endocrinologist prescribed for him, well, the word that pops to mind is miracle.)

This kid. ❤️

A lot of the photos I took are of rather poor quality. I’d say that I don’t care, but of course, I wish they’d come out better. But in the end, what I care most about is the memories I captured, not the fact that I’m not a great photographer.

Flowers of Turning Point Park:

Birds of Turning Point Park:

And more wildlife:

And other stuff:

If only every day could be so perfect. 😊