Return of the Orange Dogs


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Back in the summer I noticed giant swallowtails laying eggs on our citrus. This was late May/early June and we were still trying to get our citrus trees to rebound from the harsh freeze last year. I still hadn’t purchased alternative host plants such as prickly ash or rue. Luckily another butterfly loving friend had host plants and was glad to take them on so when they hatched I gathered the caterpillars up and drove them to her the weekend before we left for Florida.

Last week I had noticed that something had nibbled my rue, which I had bought back in August. The pot had several plants growing in it and I separated the plants out and was hoping to get a large patch going in our herb beds in the edible garden. But when I noticed the nibbles I didn’t see any caterpillar so I presumed the deer had stuck their snouts through the fence—which they do frequently and dang do they reach far in sometimes!—but then one day I looked over and saw a giant orange dog sitting there on the rue! I told Chris we finally had one on the rue and he said he noticed a couple on the citrus in our front yard. Sure enough there were two there and I suspect there were others on the citrus in the backyard, however all of them were late instar and now I believe they’ve all gone to pupate.

I passed up the opportunity to get a prickly ash last weekend at a pollinator festival. We’d already made the rounds of the booths and Forest was starting to get antsy and losing his attention span so I opted not to get it. But now I am on the prowl to get two or three established this fall/winter for next spring when they come back through.

Still no monarchs at the house but I’ve been seeing more here and there around town. Monarch Watch/Journey North says the big wave is at the Texas/Oklahoma border so maybe next week! We’ve got tags this year and Chris bought a net so we can catch, tag, release!

A Short Jaunt on the Lone Star Trail


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In early September we hit up our spot in Sam Houston National Forest for our annual family photos with Forest. The photo session, as it was last year, went very quickly with many grumpy faces all around. Actually, Chris and I weren’t as grumpy as last year, just Forest. He’s been better about taking photos the last few months so I expected it to be easier this year than last. Nope, not easier. We made it quick and then moved the car a quarter mile back down the road to the intersection of the Lone Star Hiking Trail so we could do a short hike.

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The hike was indeed short due to said grumpy child and then because we ended up in a sunshower! We’re trying to build Forest’s stamina with hiking so we can eventually do longer hikes with him now that he’s out of the backpack carrier. Chris has said he’s too heavy to carry now so he’s on his own to get himself down a trail now. Though, I did pick him up and throw him on my back as we headed back to the car while it was raining.

That said, we did see a few things along the way before it started raining!

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Strophostyles umbellata, pink fuzzybean/wildbean/perennial wooly bean

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A mediocre year for beautyberries in this part of the forest

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Trichostema dichotomum, forked bluecurls. A couple of years ago Chris threw out seed for these in our right-of-way and slowly they have proliferated and are now a beautiful swath of blue lining the street in the mornings. Backstory-->Last year the patch was quite small and localized and this year we noticed some plant was taking over the ROW and Chris thought maybe it was the beebalm seed he had thrown out in the spring. Neither of us had bothered to try to compare the foliage and figure out what it was, we were just waiting for it to bloom. We'd even talked about chopping it all down because we thought it was the beebalm and it didn't bloom. Well, we were on the trail and I saw the blue curls, stood back for a second and then had a big lightbulb moment of knowing exactly what the plant was in our ROW! I don't know if they just produced that much seed last year and managed to spread that far or if they can spread well by roots, but now we have a lot of blue curls in the ROW. I need to take photos of it before it fades.

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Solidago sp. Not sure on which species this was. I looked at the different ones that grow in Texas and it resembles sempervirens but it is a coastal species. I suspect I only took a photo of a portion of the inflorescence. I just don't recall!

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Pycnanthemum albescens, whiteleaf mountain mint

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Variegated Dicanthelium commutatum

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Lobelia cardinalis

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Dry creek bed---about when the rain started up.

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Mimulus alatus, sharpwing monkey flower.

While it wasn't a long hike it was a productive one in terms of fall wildflowers!

August & September 2018 Book Report


If you include the books I’ve read to Forest this year, I am well over my goal of 50 books. I have not logged all of his books into Goodreads so the total is even higher than what is listed there. Plus you have to take into account how many books I read over and over and over. We average 2-3 books a night. Without all of his books I’m definitely on the lower end of where I would want to be to have read 50 books. I’m at about 32 books. I expect I can get to 40 books, maybe 42-43 books, by the end of the year. If I listened to more audio books instead of podcasts I could easily make this number higher but I definitely choose podcasts over audio books.

I’m skipping the round up of Forest’s books this time around. Alright, let’s go!

Fascism: A Warning by Madeline K. Albright: Despite the heaviness of this book in terms of content, the writing was easy to digest and flowed well throughout the book. As a former Secretary of State and someone who was a refugee from fascist dictators during WWII, Albright outlines a series of various dictators throughout the last century and how they relate to each other and of course how they relate to our current situation. I was struck by how much Mussolini resembled 45, particularly in Mussolini’s early days. It’s a book worth reading and was certainly eye opening to certain facets of history I didn’t know much about.

Fannye Cook: Mississippi’s Pioneering Conservationist by Dorothy Shawhan: I received this book via Net Galley and truth be told I didn’t quite finish it. Net Galley offers two methods for downloading, a protected PDF which you have to read on something that can open those files, or through a Kindle. I’ve found that when a publisher archives a book that the protected PDF will disappear from your reader. Whereas when a Kindle gets archived, it is still available for you to read. My lesson is to pick the Kindle option if it is available, and sometimes it isn’t, such as this instance. I just didn’t manage to read fast enough between the other books I was reading and there wasn’t an archive date set and then one day it was archived.

Born in the late 1800s, Fannye was interested in the natural history of her home state of Mississippi. The book covers her early years working for various entities and getting to know other pioneering natural history writers and scientists before forming the Mississippi Association for the Conservation of Wildlife before lobbying to form the Mississippi Game and Fish Commission. I picked the book to read because I like reading about regional historical figures that may not be widely known but have had an impact to their locale. I wish I’d gotten to finish it!

Butterflies of North America by Jim P. Brock: I finally picked up a butterfly book that I could easily use that works in our region. One thing I noticed while flipping through this book was that there isn’t a lot of diversity in butterflies right here in SE Texas. Head towards central Texas and it increases to include western and Mexican species and head east and you get a bit of a different mix. Of course this doesn’t include moths, which I have a separate book for but haven’t finished flipping through it. One downside is that I wish the drawings were photographs instead.

Evie and Jack by Glenn Haybittle: Another Net Galley book…this one reminded me a bit of Code Name Verity that I wrote about in May 2017. It involves the WAAF of WWII, spying, and a similar incognito female character trying to infiltrate German occupied France. Switching back and forth between a male character in the RAF and the female WAAF/spy perspective, there are some time jumps that create confusion at times. A little slow to take off, the story picked up mid-way through the book and flowed easily from there. I enjoyed learning more about WAAF and RAF once again and other aspect of WWII we just don’t get taught here in the US. If you are looking for historical fiction of the WWII genre, check this book out!

Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen Sarah Bird: Another Netgalley book—this one I really enjoyed! A fictionalized account based on true facts about Cathy Williams, the only female Buffalo Soldier, this book traces Cathy’s life from slave on a plantation to traveling as a liberated person with the US Army during the Civil War, to eventually how she went incognito as a man to enlist as a Buffalo Soldier. A lot of the first quarter to half of the book seems to track fairly well with what is known about Cathy but the author seems to have taken liberties with a lot of what happened to her as a Buffalo Soldier. From what I can tell Cathy actually ended up in New Mexico with her regiment and not Texas, where the book takes place for the majority of the latter part of the story. The author is from Texas so I figure that’s why she did that.

I found the plot to be well-paced and captivating the entire time. A few times I wanted to throw the book because of the scenarios she was in but otherwise it was a great book!

Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide Rosemary Gladstar: I picked this up at the library and flipped through it while we were camping. It is a great beginners guide to herbs, the majority of the herbs mentioned in the book are common herbs you can grow or find and aren’t abstract. I’ve been thinking about using more herbs for general health and such and am trying to read more about them. Getting into things like tinctures kind of confuses me and is a bit overwhelming so I wanted to get a bit of the basics before I delved into things more.

Mary B: An Untold Story of Pride and Prejudice by Katherine J. Chen: Another Net Galley pick—I chose this one before I read the reviews or I might have been scared off from reading it. Mary Bennett gets the short end of the stick in P&P and we really don’t know much about her other than she’s a bookworm and awkward. We begin the book in P&P scenes that we are familiar with but from Mary’s perspective, getting some backstory to her life as well. It’s hard to be bookended by the two older, beautiful sisters and the two younger, outlandish sisters. Attention doesn’t fall on her easily. But then we see a potential romance with her and Mr. Collins and he still comes out as an ass. After we breeze past that and the weddings of Jane and Elizabeth, we see Mary being invited to Pemberley to hang out with Elizabeth while she’s pregnant and it is presumed to become the child’s governess. Because who is Mary going to marry?

But then Mary kind of starts coming out of her shell. She begins writing a book, has encounters with one of the well-to-do P&P characters, lots of catastrophes befall the family and well, you have to read it. I will give you the heads up that everything you know and love about P&P will be turned on its head. This isn’t a retelling in the sense of what we’ve seen recently in other books, but this is a re-imagining. And I’m ok with that. A lot of the reviews seemed to be riled up about imagining a different storyline after the weddings but honestly, I’m tired of the same old attempts as re-visioning the story. I was here for all of the gooey, gossipy changes.

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer: This one I started as an audio book in the spring of 2017. I had only an hour and a half left to listen to it and I finally decided to buckle down and listen. Read by the author, I highly recommend listening to this peaceful audio book if you are looking for a balm to your soul in these troubled times. She references the Iraq War a few times so you get a sense of time as she’s writing but so much of it is not tied to any timeline and you can easily apply what she writes to life today. I have the paper copy of this book and plan to flip through it as the need arises to refresh myself on her writing. This is a must read for anyone interested in natural history or plants.

What are you reading?

Closing Out September


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I know that I write every month (almost) that I can’t believe a month has come and gone. And truly, September breezed by. I feel like we were just having a holiday weekend in Galveston for Forest’s birthday and then bam! we’re celebrating Chris’ birthday while camping. Again, I was a bit lacking in the photography department for the garden but such is life. I wasn’t very inspired out there this month.

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By the hide of its hair, the Tithonia pulled through from deer browsing this year. I wasn’t sure how it would fare a few times but eventually the brugmansias hid it a bit and the deer avoided chowing.

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Late summer and early fall is when the Mexican bush salvia, Salvia leucantha, really starts shining. A rainy and cloudy day provided good lighting to take these photos

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One day I noticed a gulf frittilary had managed to walk to the cactus bed and pupate on an yucca. The day it rained I noticed it had eclosed but then I found it dead on the gravel below. My only guess is that it eclosed when it was raining hard and the runoff from the roof swamped it. I felt really bad about that.

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One of the newly sown long beans came up variegated!

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Can you spot the loofa?

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The vine escaped its trellising along the fence and decided to climb the sweetgum behind the garden. Subsequently I have at least two loofa fruits hanging out high in the tree!

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Clouded skipper

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We had woodstorks on the pond for about two weeks. Briefly last summer we had some on the pond one evening but this was the first time they stuck around for any length of time. I’ve only seen them a handful of times in Texas but saw them regularly when we lived in Florida. Looks like the USFWS downgraded them from endangered to threatened. A really cool bird to have on the pond even if for a short time.

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Hiding in plain sight…

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Hummingbird season was very active the second and third weeks of the month. They’ve been around since late June in smaller numbers but the numbers increased heavily the last few weeks with migration. Chris was keeping the feeders full and it was mayhem for a bit. And then he didn’t fill them up for a day or two and they main mass moved on. They are still around and we saw some flitting about while camping in east Texas, so they aren’t all gone yet.

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Anhinga and roseate spoonbill. The only good thing about the tree debris still being in the pond from Harvey is it has been great bird roosting.

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Dino Forest!

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My parents came down for a visit a few weeks ago and brought their new dog Duchess. Daisy passed away back in the spring and they swore they weren’t getting dogs again but July came around and they started talking about looking for dogs and before I knew it Duchess was my new ‘sister’! We formally met back in August when we went up for my niece and nephew’s birthday and she’s grown since then. In the top photo she got bit by a fire ant not long before and my dad had to run out and find children’s Benadryl to give her. I was surprised much it swelled up!

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Forest’s sad face when my parents left. He didn’t want to tell them goodbye because he thought if he didn’t they wouldn’t leave. Poor kid.

Alright October, let’s turn the humidity down a notch and gimme some of that golden glow that makes October so special!

A Monday that feels like a Sunday


It’s quiet right now. The air conditioner is humming. Chris just left for the grocery store to get food for the week. Forest is taking a nap on the couch. Leo is…well, I’m not sure where Leo is at.

The house is a mess from the mess we left it in when we went out for camping on Saturday and from all of the post-camping unpacking that needs to happen. Laundry just ran in the washing machine and need to get switched over and the coolers and storage containers with food from the weekend need to be put away before Chris gets back with more food to put away. And I’m here typing to you.

It definitely feels like a Sunday afternoon and not a Monday afternoon. I was reminded that it was indeed a weekday when we encountered what you could quantify as traffic in downtown Livingston on our way home. Downtown Livingston is one of those older downtowns in east Texas, not some kind of metropolis. And yet we found ourselves sitting in traffic during a downpour because their signal timing was poor.

Taking a three-day weekend to camp is always fantastic, especially when we opt to come home on a Monday. By the time noon rolls around on Sunday the state parks clear out and we have the campground to ourselves. As it was the state park was fairly empty because of rain. We got wet. The tent got wet. Our first campsite ended up turning into a pond so we moved ourselves to a high and dry spot around the corner after the park emptied out.

The mosquitoes were out in force. Poor Forest looks like he has the chicken pox! After our initial round of ‘natural’ spray we all resorted to good old DEET because what else works but that? Forest wasn’t interested in the hiking bits of the weekend but was quite content to play T-Rex chomping dragonflies around the campsite. No dragonflies were actually harmed.

And as my kid takes a hard nap on the couch from a long weekend, I guess I shall get up and get to work so I can rest more tonight.

*Thus concludes one of Misti’s random “I need to write something” moments on the blog!*

Life Lately | September 2018


Thinking:


I’d like to add that may we raise our sons to assist us in dismantling the patriarchy and misogyny that currently guides our society.

Basically my same response when Lindsey Graham went down his spiraling tirade today.

That is all. I spent the afternoon listening to NPR and I wish I hadn’t. I hadn’t planned on listening to any of it until I was in the car at lunch and Dr. Ford was on and well, that was it for me. I was in it for the long haul.

Gardening:
I’m looking forward to the slowing of growth, less weeds, and time to chill out. At the same time I’m also trying to plan, prep, and sow fall crops, think about sowing seeds in the flower garden/pots that need cold stratification and letting nature handle that this year, and flagging all sorts of seeds at Prairie Moon Nursery online in hopes they will have their $2 seed packet sale sometime in the next month so I can order a bunch of seeds. Their seeds are still relatively affordable at $2.50 a pack but dropping down to $2 makes it even more enticing.

Loving:
+The ‘Friends of the Library’ sale shelves at the library. Bought a few magazines and a book for Forest today when I returned a book and picked up some holds.
+Tea season!
+How much Forest loves coloring right now!
+My arm muscles! I’ve been working hard on lifting weights the last few months and I’m starting to see some results.
+The lavender hydrosol spray from Gayla I bought a few weeks ago. I bought a trio of them and am loving the lavender one the best.
+While I’m in that vein, my essential oil diffuser.
+My son’s flair for the dramatic—he said “You ruined me!” after apparently I talked over him while washing up in the tub and he supposedly had something to tell me, and when I asked him to tell me what he wanted to say he replied with that as he flailed over on his side in the tub! 4 year olds.

Reading:
I’m not reading much. I have a stack of magazines I need to wade through and intend to get through them all when we’re camping soon. I’ve been reading a book for over a month on my Kindle. It’s a slow reading season.

Making:
I’ve been doing some tiny art pieces recently, just a couple. And I’m trying to get back into the studio more often again. We went a few weeks without going over there. But, the routine is coming back.

Watching & Listening:
TV season has returned so I’m watching…
Better Call Saul: I was behind but finally caught up on my recordings. We’re really heading into Breaking Bad territory and I’m just waiting to some kind of oddball Walt or or Jesse cameo.
The Big Bang Theory just started again and the first episode of the season was pretty good. I’m guessing Neil Degrasse Tyson is replacing Stephen Hawking as the famous scientist to cameo a few times a year.
This is Us: good opening episode of the season, I’m dying to know who they are going to see in the future scenes they have.
Grey’s Anatomy: This one starts tonight so I’ll watch is whenever I get a chance.

That’s about it for this month. Camping season kicks off this weekend for us and I’m very excited about spending some time in a tent once again!

Lovely Lycoris


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The timing came together perfectly last weekend, the blooming of the yellow lycoris and the moody autumnal skies. The lighting was perfect post afternoon rain, when after keeping an eye on the lycoris flower buds for several days, the blooms burst open. I always forget that we have these planted here, tossed into the location sometime after we moved here and before we renovated this bed and built the others. They’ve done well though, reminding us for a few weeks every year that they still exist.

Forest Turns 4


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It’s hard to believe this little dude is 4! What happened to my wittle bitty baby? He’s now a wittle bitty kiddo with a mind of his own! Aside from the periods of whining that come from him, (“Pleeeeeeaseeeee!” after we’ve said no to something, or throwing himself in the floor when he doesn’t get his way) I would say 4 is a pretty good age. He’s been potty trained since just after turning 2 but its been in the last six to eight months when he’s just gotten good at heading to the bathroom by himself without reminders. We recently removed the toddler potty from the bathrooms and installed a smaller potty seat for kids on the bathroom upstairs–we’ve had one downstairs for quite awhile–and just forced that change so we could do away with the toddler potty. Now if we can get him to wipe himself then we are all set! It’s the little things!

Other good things about being four include holding good conversations with him, increased drawing skills, generally good listening and following directions skills (sometimes bribes and deals get made to get things agreed to! hah!), and lots of self directed play. Now, if we can move beyond the picky food eating stage then I think we’ll be in a really good spot!

Forest’s 4th birthday was a lot better than last year’s which came on the tail of Hurricane Harvey. Last year it was just me and Forest for his birthday as Chris had gone to Oklahoma for work since he’d postponed it earlier in the week from Harvey. Forest and I were going to drive to Fort Worth to stay with my parents for a couple of days but the gas shortage paranoia after Harvey caused all sorts of lines and gas fuel shortages throughout the state and I didn’t want to risk running out of gas in Fort Worth or attempting to meet Chris halfway in Oklahoma on Forest’s birthday itself. So, we stayed home. This year we had a long weekend down in Galveston, though it wasn’t without its own issues.

Saturday was a lovely day with thunderstorms all around the island but not where we were on the beach, so we were able to enjoy a long afternoon and nearly early evening chilling on the beach. Forest enjoys it when Chris digs a big pit, aka: a tub, and he can play in that for hours. We spent some time this summer trying to get Forest to learn to swim a bit and so he’s getting a bit more daring about splashing around in the shallower areas of the water and we spent plenty of time trying to get him to pay attention to when a wave would come ashore so he wouldn’t have a mouth full of saltwater. I suppose he will learn eventually!

Chris managed to find that he could use points at the Hotel Galvez, a historic hotel that opened in 1911 after the seawall was built post-1900 catastrophic hurricane. In the basement area of the hotel is a fascinating museum of sorts with photos from the island’s early days, including a hotel that was built around the area of the current Galvez that was destroyed in the storm. I always find it interesting to see how much the island has changed over the years. It’s even morphed into a bit of a different island than I knew from 1998-2002.

Sunday brought rain so we spent the day at the aquarium at Moody Gardens. It was recently upgraded a bit and even though I worked there for about 10 months my senior year in college, I’m still not super impressed with their upgrades. When you walk into the main exhibits you are now greeted with a tall aquarium in the center of the building that spans two levels and is supposed to mimic the reef of an oil rig–a fact of life for the Gulf of Mexico. Now with this rig in the middle, the natural flow through the North Pacific exhibits down to the lower levels, up and then around and out to the Caribbean tanks—now it is chaos with people going wherever, up and down the ramps instead of just one direction. I was not thrilled about that change.

There was an upgrade to signage and artwork which was nice. Out with the older videos and in with interactive signage that actually showed just about everything in any one tank. Another thing I was not impressed with was the lack of education staff at the exhibits. When I worked there someone was standing to talk at just about all of the main aquarium tanks as well as the touch tanks. But even when we passed one of the times through the touch tanks someone was not attending that tank. I’m guessing they dropped their education staff considerably which I don’t think is a good thing.

Monday, Labor Day and Forest’s birthday, was even more wet as it continued storming overnight. Galveston stated having street flooding but we didn’t know until we got onto Broadway to head home and found ourselves in a long line of traffic leaving the island. The south side of Broadway was already flooding and our side had some issues on the far north end. Businesses on the south side, some were taking on water when the few cars on that side caused a wake as they drove and a couple people were putting out sand bags or shoveling out water. Unfortunately the rain pattern over the last few weeks has been rough for Galveston and they’ve had flooding issues bad enough for the Texas A&M Galveston campus (my campus) to close a couple of times. It probably took thirty minutes or more to get off the island but I was never so glad to get off that road! By the time we got home the rain at the house didn’t amount to nearly anything what the coast had been getting so it wasn’t terrible.

Forest is super into dinosaurs these days and we picked up his dinosaur cake at Kroger on the way home. He spent the summer watching a lot of Dino Dan and Dino Dana on Amazon Prime and he has learned a lot about dinosaurs from that. I highly recommend those two series for kids! Needless to say, there was quite of dinosaur themed toys for him this year!

I wish the weather had cooperated a bit more for us over the weekend but we made the best of it! And you can’t go wrong with spending a couple of nights in a sweet hotel!

Forest’s Birth Day
Forest’s First Birthday
Forest’s Second Birthday
Forest’s Third Birthday

Sunday Sips


My cousin Elizabeth used to do Sunday Morning Coffee posts (bring them back, Elizabeth!) and I used to do variations of something called ‘Sunday Reads and Listens’ but that just seems too long and cumbersome so in a nod to Elizabeth I’m changing it to Sunday Sips–a few things for you to read, watch, or listen to on your Sunday morning or afternoon.

Watching:

+Nanette on Netflix. When it came out back in the summer I saw several people and news stories talking about Hannah Gadsby’s stand-up act but I didn’t have a chance to watch it until last week. It is thought provoking while also funny because: comedy, but I’d venture to say it is more of a very long TED talk where you get a mirror held up to you. Everyone should watch this.
+The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on Netflix. Based on the book, which I haven’t read, however I really enjoyed the movie. I think I’ve mentioned this before in regards to some of the books I’ve read taking place during WWII but we Americans really get a glossing over of WWI and WWII in school with a really big “GO AMERICA!” slant. So many facets to those wars that we don’t learn about and this movie taught me a bit more, too.
+Heritage Minutes: Lucy Maud Montgomery, this is a beautiful one minute montage of LMM with bits of Anne Shirley mixed in, about LMM’s writing life, her life with depression, and life living in Canada. It is something I wish would be turned into a full length movie about LMM’s life.
+I’m catching up on Better Call Saul, the Breaking Bad prequel. Season 4 started in August and I’m about 3 episodes in. Just haven’t had the time to watch since it is on the tv and not on a computer so I can’t easily watch when Forest is around due to the violence. It’s starting to get more into BB territory but not quite there.
+And in August I binged the last three seasons of Grey’s Anatomy. I quit watching after McDreamy died because I felt the show as done then but my mom convinced me to pick it back up because it was still really good in her opinion. I was feeling the urge to watch something so I went for it. Not sure I will add it back to my fall line up or just watch it when the next season comes back on to Netflix. I kind of like watching something in one batch so I don’t have to dedicate a ton of time each week to watching something. We’ll see.

Reading:
The Plant Hunter: An online magazine based out of Australia about plants and gardening. Just came across this recently and love it!
Butterflies in the Storm via bioGraphic about endangered butterflies in the Florida Keys in relation to Hurricane Irma.

I’m loving newsletters these days. It’s like a mini-blog post in my email. A lot of them come through at the end of the week which make them lovely to read when you need a pick-me-up towards the end of a busy week. Some are monthly. Here’s a few that I really enjoy
+The Ann Friendman weekly: Ann is a writer, journalist, and one half of the duo who runs the Call Your Girlfriend podcast. Being as Ann is a journalist she has her tabs on all things news worthy so if you can’t keep up with the politics of the moment you can get a good round-up at the end of the week with her newsletter. Highly recommend this one.
+Pantsuit Politics Newsletter: Another newsletter to keep tabs on politics without having to bury your head in the news.
+Austin Kleon newsletter. Austin shares tidbits from his blog, books, or other artsy or current events through this blog.
+Kim Werker Weekly Digest newsletter. Kim is a knitter, crocheter, crafter, and writer and shares interesting things going on in the craft world on her blog as well as things she’s been reading by herself and with her son.
+She Explores newsletter. A spinoff of the podcast, this newsletter brings you stories from the outdoor world that involve women. I actually have a hard time listening to the podcast because it is so heavily edited, I pick and choose what i listen to, but I do enjoy the newsletter.
+Susannah Conway Love Letters. I used to read Susannah’s blog back in the day but kind of fell off from reading it after awhile. However, I really enjoy her lovely newsletters. I should probably check in on her blog sometime.
+Girls Gone WOD Podcast Newsletter. This is a Crossfit/fitness podcast that I’ve started listening to more often. They have a great round-up of links or stories in their monthly newsletter.
+Cultivating Place Newsletter. This is probably one of my favorite podcasts that is actually a radio show based out of northern California. Jennifer writers a lovely monthly newsletter about gardening or natural history that makes you want to read a book by her—which we will in due time because she’s wrapping one up for Timber Press!

That’s just a few of the newsletters—do you subscribe to any? Do share!

Listening:
+Slow Burn podcast: I listened to last year’s Nixon series which was fascinating because I only knew the cursory background and didn’t live through that time period. This year they are going through the Clinton scandal which is equally fascinating because I was alive for all of that but in a period of time where I wasn’t really interested in politics and didn’t really understand all of the facets to the story. The most recent episode with with Linda Tripp which will have you wanting to rage-throw things because that woman knew no boundaries and put herself into a situation she should never have done so all because of her personal political and moral inclinations. It’s a very interesting series if you want to know reflect on how that situation influenced more recent political moments.
+The Wilderness podcast: This is series produced by the Pod Save America dudes about the history of the Democratic party. Pretty fascinating stuff. The last couple of episodes have been a little less interesting but I’m enjoying learning more about the history of the party, the good and bad, in podcast form.

Those are just two off the top of my head, I know I’ve saved single episodes recently but I can’t access those at the moment. Anything you are listening to?

Please share anything you’ve read, listened to, or watched recently! I’d love to know!

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