Life Lately | October 2023


The newly minted 9 year old with his leopard print Snuggie.

I started drafting this in early September, intending to do a Life Lately for that month but stopped writing. So here’s an expansion from that month:

Forest turned 9 last month! 9!!!! We are fully into the tween years and I’m enjoying it so far. Next steps are to try to cultivate more independence, which he’s doing on his own in some manner, but needs a push in some areas. Plus chores. More chores need to be on the agenda! The best kiddo ever!

Also, I’m very heavily into “Wow, I’m middle aged now” thoughts. They strike at the most random times and are paired with impending doom and the need to do all-the-things. Along this thread, I read the most amazing post and then the entire comment section (at that time) of What are the Parameters of “Middle Aged”? over on Oldster Magazine’s newsletter.

I think my last gardening post summarized what is going on out there and it has been more of the same. However, I did dare to start some seeds the other day two weeks ago so we’ll see if those germinate or not…lol they have not germinated. *crossing fingers* There’s an isolated chance for rain next week, though other areas of the state look like they may get more than we will. Plus, the temps are supposed to get to the low 90s, high 80s, too, so we’ll see how that bodes for planting out other fall seeds. It’s been hot again after a period of cooler weather and then back to very little rain. My fall edible garden plans are not great right now.

I have enjoyed the drought in the aspect that the weeds in the edible garden have been much more manageable, to non-existent in some instances. An update to this would be that just enough rain kicked the weeds back into gear. *sigh*

I see a lot of work on my agenda in the garden in the next few months, I just need to find the time to get a lot of it done. There’s so much to plant that has been sitting in pots, weeding, planning out some other projects.

And really figuring out what I’m going to do about winter greens this year.

+Texas Texas Tequila Lime Salsa: I was on a salsa kick back in September but still stand by this.

+Essie Expressie nail polish: I used to paint my fingernails fairly often but stopped when I had Forest because, I dunno, painting fingers and having a baby just wasn’t compatible! That carried over into toddler and little kidhood and though sometimes I would paint my nails it would inevitably chip within 1-3 days. Between gardening and then chipping, it just wasn’t worth it. But, I saw some discounted Expressie polish at Walgreens one day and bought a couple of bottles to try. Just painting straight from the bottle without a bottom or top coat was amazing in and off itself because IT LASTED A WEEK! Readers, I was in love. I soon found a couple more bottles to add to my new collection and then started to see if there was a top coat to use, and there is–the Speed Setter. I’d bought the Olive and June Dry Drops a few years ago and used that on my toenails because I do paint those on a regular basis. But I don’t really like the oily nature of that situation.

SO. What I’ve found to work well since finding this polish has been using the Orly Bonder basecoat I have had for years now, the polish, and then the Essie Speed Setter and it is rock solid for 8-10 days. I mean, I do see some chipping starting at 8-9 days but it is tolerable and I’m not wanting to pick it off like I would have done with a regular polish and top coat. I went through the polish I did have and threw out the gunked up, older polish I hadn’t been through in a while and threw out some of the cheaper bottles I knew chipped frequently, and kept the better bottles, and even using regular slow dry polish with this Orly/Essie Speed Set combo has been pretty amazing!

+Thai tea, or taro milk tea. This started last year but I find myself going to the tea place instead of a coffee shop instead these days. I’ve made my own, too, but have yet to replicate my favorite Thai tea, which is at our local Thai restaurant. *mmmmmm* Delicious!

I’m at 35 38 of my goal of 40 books this year. I will blow past that but not sure how far. 50? I recently finished Pageboy by Elliot Page and it was really good and eye-opening. I will say it is shocking (and not) how horrible people have become to transgendered people. I remember in the mid 2010s seeing anti-trans things happening in the UK and being thankful that it hadn’t spread to the US yet, but nearly a decade later here we are. People use religion to hide behind their cruelty and hate or slap the banner of mental illness over them. The same logic that has been applied to other parts of the LGBTQ+ community over the decades (centuries). I know I live in a bubble when I come across people who will blatantly say transphobic or homophobic things in front of me—things they may or may not realize are transphobic—and realize how much work we have to do.

I also read All Boys Aren’t Blue this summer because it is on so many banned book lists. It was also really good. I was going to run down the list of banned books and start reading from them but my TBR pile is so massive right now I’ll just weave some in as time goes on.

All I can say is the world would be better off if people read more widely and made more connections with people outside of people who look and act like them. There’s a really good reason so many Christians are deconstructing right now. That’s something I worked through nearly 20 years ago but I’m glad a lot of people are waking up to the realities of the harm that has been done in the name of evangelical Christianity and religion in general.

Another recent read I loved, loved, loved was Violeta by Isabel Allende. It was my first book of hers to read and one I bought this summer for my birthday. Absolutely recommend!

I have not been making a lot this summer. Honestly, this year has felt a bit much on several fronts. I’m far behind in my nature sketchbook. But I am doing Inktober this year. I may share some of those drawings after I complete them.

Watching & Listening:
Currently I’m looking forward to the weekly installments of the new Wheel of Time episodes on Amazon. I watched the first season this spring and then tried to listen to the first book on audio and found myself unable to pay attention to all of the characters and their names. Plus the narrator was boring and I hated how he acted out the female characters.

There are several other things I’ve been watching but nothing else that stands out right now to tell y’all! Oh, I did re-watch Field of Dreams recently. Still holds up!

Podcasts these days are mostly zzzzzzz. I only listen to ~5 with some regularity.

Looking Forward:
+A girl’s camping weekend this weekend.
+A cool front coming through.

Tell me what is going on in your world!


  • Patrice La Vigne

    I probably should read some of those banned books too. I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the awful treatment of transgender folks, especially because it is out of sight and out of mind in my little neck of the woods and I don’t follow news closely. But it is the world we are in, and I should educate myself!

    Can’t believe forest is 9!!!!

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