Weekly Update – 19 September 2021

I feel like I should explain myself. A few weeks ago, I said I was going to be posting my weekly reading, well, weekly again…and then I didn’t. I should have known better not to commit myself to a new schedule right when school was starting. Then I started thinking, again, about how I do my reading updates.

This is not exclusively a book blog, but I’ve pretty much only been posting book-related things lately. I know I have a lot of family and friends who read this blog to see what is going on in my family’s life and I haven’t been posting about that much lately. Part of that is because, until recently, not much was going on.

So, this is my new plan. On Sundays, I’ll post an update post that will cover what is going on in our lives and the books I’m currently reading (but not books I’ve finished). However, in the Sunday of each month, I’ll include a monthly recap which will have all the books I’ve read over the past month and my “three things I want you to know about them.”

Okay, business is done. So, this is what is going on in our lives. School is in full swing–both kids are going full-time in person and it has been great. Yes, they are wearing masks and I want to say something. People who whine about how unfair it is that kids have to wear masks can, for lack of a better word, suck it. Mask wearing is universal at both school and kids are not complaining about it. Yeah, it will be great when they don’t have to, but don’t use kids wearing masks and your pawn in your ignorant culture war (end of rant).

Obligatory 1st day picture

Chris has also started with activities–he’s been doing swim lessons again, which has been great. When he was younger, he was not doing well with swimming lessons and it was frustrating for everyone all around. However, we had to take some time off due to the pandemic and now he’s loving it. I think he’s gotten over some of his fear of the water and he’s doing well, which is great for his confidence.

Lillie has been busy with Girl Scouts. Because we could do basically nothing last year, I’m working to make this year as much fun for the troop as possible. This may be the death of me, but there you go. Last weekend, we had a “Camp Craft Party Night” which the girls seemed to love. I needed a stiff drink afterwards, but it was worth it. As for other activities, Lillie will start up with volleyball next month, which she is looking forward to.

School-wise, things are going very well. Chris does not have 5th grade teacher Lillie had, as we expected (after last year, a first grade teacher retired and that caused a domino reshuffling among the teachers and Lillie’s 5th grade teacher is now teacher 4th grade). Chris did, however, luck out with who he does have for his teacher. She’s been great for him and he has a big smile every time he leaves school.

Lillie is loving middle school and she has some great classes! Creative writing AND Drama? Where was that when I was in Middle School. Her one complaint is that school starts too late. Lillie is very much an early to bed, early to rise kid and middle school starts later than elementary school and, on Wednesdays, it starts even later (they have late start instead of early dismissal). So, now she has time to kill before school. For a few days, she just wandered the house aimlessly, but lately she has been using the time to do some non-school reading–which is always a good thing to see.

Pat is still working at home and will be doing so indefinitely. I quite like having him home during the day, even though I don’t actually see him much during the day. The house is weirdly quiet, though. I think the one having the hardest time with this is Alice!

This past Wednesday was our 14th wedding anniversary and we celebrated by…not doing too much! We did get German take out, which was good and oh-so-filling. Maybe by the time our 15th anniversary rolls around again, we’ll feel comfortable eating in a restaurant.

Okay, what am I reading right now? I currently have 5 books going. I’m still working through The Lightning Thief with Chris, but I’ve spoken about that here before so I won’t say much more about that until we finally finish (whenever that may be!).

Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times by Katherine May

This book first came on my radar last Spring but, let’s face it, April is not when I want to be reading a book called Wintering. So I set up a library hold, suspended it until September first, and then forgot about it until I got the message that my hold was in. I wrote last year about my Hygge feelings (which actually have very little to do with Hygge, but I won’t get into that here) and this book is similar in that it talks about taking quiet time for yourself to rest and recover. However, this one is much more about mental health and self-care and less about candles and comfy socks. So far, I’m really enjoying it but I’m only reading a chapter a day to savor it.

The Mountains Sing by Nguyen Phan Que Mai
(my apologies that I don’t know how to do the correct Vietnamese characters in her name).

This book is the next one for the Diverse Book Group that my library runs. It is set in Vietnam with dual time-line. One story is a young girl during the end of and then the ensuing aftermath of the Vietnam War. The other is her grandmother telling her stories of her younger life. I have to admit that I don’t think I’ve read any novels about the Vietnam war and, for a history major, I know very little beyond the broad strokes of the war. This book is really heartbreaking and, well, is probably one of those painful truths that Americans SHOULD read. I’m sure that everyone who only wants rainbows and unicorns taught in history classes will hate this book (which makes me like it even more!).

A Distant Grave (Maggie D’Arcy #2) by Sarah Stewart Taylor

I read this first book in this series a year ago and I’ve been eagerly awaiting this one. I’ve heard it said that these books are very Tana French-ish, which tells me I should finally get around to reading Tana French one of these days. The main character, Maggie D’Arcy, is a Long Island detective, but the bulk of these books take place in Ireland. And, folks, you will want to go to Ireland!

I’m not that far into this yet so I can’t say that much about it, but I do expect it to live up to the first book in the series.

Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

After taking the summer off, I’m back to using the Serial app! I decided to dive into Spooky Season and debated between this and Dracula (I have not previously read either). I opted for Frankenstein because it was shorter. There you go. That being said, I’m enjoying it more than I thought I would. I think the last book I read on Serial was Jekyll and Hyde, which I had read before but decided to try again and I still absolutely hated it, so I’m glad this one looks like it will be a better hit for me. I’m supposed to finish this in mid-October, so you probably won’t hear more about it from me until early November.

So, that’s what I’m reading now. As usual, I’m linking up with Kathryn at Book Date and her It’s Monday…What Are you Reading? blog hop.

12 thoughts on “Weekly Update – 19 September 2021

  1. I get sick of hearing the mask whining, too! I do notice that the states where they don’t have the mask mandates have higher numbers of COVID…and low numbers of vaccinations. They need to get over themselves before they all die!

    My rant. LOL.

    I haven’t been out anywhere for a while…but luckily, I enjoy my new apartment and spend time rearranging things…lol. And reading.

    Enjoy your week! Thanks for visiting my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wear my mask everywhere, even when I am the only one wearing it! I know my family was healthier overall when we had the strict mask mandates and we all went over a year without any sickness, which is unheard of! I hope you have a great week of reading!

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  3. Couldn’t agree more about masking. Our district went with masks optional for the jr and high school (K-6th have to wear them) but I really wish they were requiring it in the upper grades too. I really think kids are willing to do their part, it’s the parents who use this as a political issue that are the problem. So… yeah haha.

    I hear you on those classes too. My daughter has a science fiction class and I’m like- where was that when I was in high school?? 🙂

    Glad it’s going well!

    That book set in Ireland- yes please.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wonder how many kids are wearing masks in the optional schools? Fortunately for us, masks are mandatory but I know that they wouldn’t be universal if they weren’t (let’s just say I know a few parents who are, well, stupid…).

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      1. According to my daughter- with the masks being optional very few are wearing them. I’m sure peer pressure plays a role- if no one is wearing them who wants to be the lone wolf, so to speak?

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  4. We flew on a plane for the first time in (literally) years, and I was so happy to see that every single person I saw in the airport had on a mask that I was almost crying.

    I like the books you are reading. And your kids seem to be thriving.

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  5. I am so glad there is a mandate in my state that masks be worn at school. I can’t believe the number of people who are protesting it. Or maybe I can–it’s very disheartening. I am glad school is going well and your son is doing well with his swimming. My daughter seemed to struggle for years despite group and private lessons and then this summer it clicked for her as well. “Camp Craft Party Night” sounds like so much fun!

    Last week when I was in the office, my husband complained the house was too quiet. When we are both working at home, it’s still fairly quiet with Mouse in school, although not quite as, I suppose. Most days I rarely see him except when he comes downstairs for his breaks to grab a snack or for lunch.

    I really want to read The Mountains Sing by Nguyen. Every year I say I am going to read Frankenstein and every year I don’t. Maybe this year?

    I hope you have a great rest of the week and weekend, Melinda!

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    1. I will say that Frankenstein is an easier read than I expected, although it isn’t quite as “horrific” as I had expected. I do highly recommend THE MOUNTAINS SING, it will probably be one of my best of the year.

      I hope you had a great week!

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