Friday, July 13, 2012

7 Quick Takes (Vol 173)


It is the middle of July, almost. How did that happen? Can someone please send about 5 straight days of rain. My parched heart needs it badly. You know the drill, when you are done watering yourself with the drively blather that you find here you need to click on the picture above to be whisked, at the speed of the quickly passing summer, over to Conversion Diary.

Release the Blather! 

Ah the Frozen Northeast Ohio. A place chock full of wildlife. A place teaming with four footed creatures that you can

Smell: the skunk that nearly drove me from my slumber on Wednesday night. Was he parked under the bedroom window for an hour or what? And he was back again last night AND this morning. I am thinking he lives very close.

Hear: the owls and the coyotes have been very vocally active in recent days. I love that sound.

See: Black bears….no I haven’t seen him yet but he is moving closer and closer. He was sighted TWICE yesterday within city limits!!! And I keep hoping that when I step out onto the back deck he will be just hanging around so that I can get a fabulous picture of him.

Lea, keep bringing the bear repellent when we walk at the lake!!!

I picked blueberries on Wednesday morning.

17 pounds of blueberries to be exact. But somehow it seems like that is not enough blueberries. What if we run out before next year! Should I go back next week and pick more?

Decisions, decisions.

Really, I don’t think I will go back and pick another huge bucket full. After washing and freezing all the berries there are plenty for the coming year.

Especially since I found two big bags of blueberries from last year lurking at the back of the freezer.

Evidently my area of the country is the #2 area right now for political ads.

Oh. Joy.

Can I tell you how much I hate, loath, despise political ads of any kind. In fact the minute one comes on I change the channel on the TV. I don’t read them, I don’t watch them, I don’t listen to them.

Thank goodness for the DVR so that I can record what I want to watch and run through those ads at lightening speed.

Have I ever told you about my “politics rule” that I strictly enforce? It goes like this……

I do not watch, listen to or read ANYTHING about politics in any form after 8p. That means if HHBL and I are watching 20/20 on a Friday night and one of the segments is on a political candidate that I have some interest in, whether Presidential or local, I put my earplugs in so that I do not hear.

It is either cut all politics off at 8p or kiss my sleep goodbye.

And I value my sleep!

I am making Peach-Bing cherry jam today. I have been inspired by a new book that I purchased, Food in Jars by Marisa McClellan. I have some Bing Cherries that I need to use up. And I am trying to use up the last of the peaches from last year before the new crop is ripe.

Wish me luck.

It will be a small batch so I won’t be totally upset if it doesn’t turn out but I am hoping that it does. I am totally addicted to my homemade jam.

Have I ever mentioned my love of lists? Lists of all kinds. One of my favorite books was, not surprisingly, The Book of Lists. Oh momma.

I find lists of things, especially reading lists and lists of books, inspiring.

And this week, into my life burst The Guardian: 1000 Novels Everyone Must Read.

I think my head may explode.

It is a wide ranging selection to be sure. There are a few picks that I question. And there are plenty of books that I haven’t heard of, which is amazing to me. I haven’t counted how many books on the list I have actual read yet, there are a few.

And because I am who I am I had to put all the books into a spread sheet. That way I can have them ready to hand and can shuffle the data in a variety of ways. And I think I am just going to “spin the wheel” once a month and pick a novel off the list to read.

In fact lets fire up the old reading wheel right now and see what we get…..


And our winner is……..#58!

Come on down #58 and tell us who you are.

HiHiHiHi I am Adam Bede by George Eliot. I am so excited to be given the opportunity to come into your life!

Hi Adam Bede by George Eliot. I am sure that we are going to be good friends.

I will let you know how it goes.

AND because I love all of you and I want you NOT to have to put all of those books into a spreadsheet (thank goodness I am a very fast typist) if you want to email me I will send you the list in spreadsheet form. You can also just print it off from The Guardian link that I have given you above but then you will be wasting paper.

And since I am in the “thinking about books” mode I have to admit that I am having the overwhelming urge to chuck all the other books that I am currently reading and start on a re-read of The Lord of the Rings. I may even start with The Hobbit and then go on to LOTR.

When I first read Tolkien, back in Jr. Hi., that is the way that I did it. I read TH first and then LOTR. Not with the conscious thought that one was the sequel to the other, that is just what I did.

I have read both numerous times since then but never back to back.

It may be time.

Since I have SO MUCH free time at the moment (did you get the hint of sarcasm).

But sometimes you just have to read LOTR. And the appropriate time to start always seems to me to be in the high summer. Possibly that is because the first time that I read them, and I remember it vividly, was in the middle of summer.

I have talked myself into it.

The cleaning and the laundry and the cooking can wait. Bilbo and Frodo and Samwise and the Ring call me.

Three Rings for the Elven-Kings under the sky.
Seven rings for the Dwarf-Lords in their halls of stone.
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die.
One for the Dark Lord on His Dark thrown.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them.
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
In the Land of Mordor where the shadows lie.

And because I am such a nerd I could type out that quotation in it’s entirety by heart.

Oh, and last but not least. You know that lovely, ripe cherry tomato that I DIDN’T eat at the garden yesterday under the mistaken assumption that it would be unethical to do so because LaurenLeep wasn’t there to enjoy as well……


It was deeeeeeeeeeeeeeelicious!


  1. Hello Friend!
    Just wanted to tell you that on my last read through of LoTR I used the soundtrack from the movie "Last of the Mohicans". It was epic! times 2!

  2. You are TOO funny! You and your photos. I can't wipe this smile off my face.

  3. oh, Debbie, we are truly sisters of the heart. A SPREADSHEET OF 1,000 NOVELS?? I must have it. I will e-mail you so you can just reply and attach it. I am practically quivering with anticipation. Haven't read Adam Bede, but I did read Middlemarch once upon a time, loved it, but I was younger then and had more patience. At least Bede is (I'm pretty sure) shorter.

    I think our association of summer and reading goes right back to the cottage. I have many memories of lying on that old gray-blue velvet couch and reading away the afternoon. There was a book of ghost stories that I read there that was deliciously chilling, but I have never before or since found ghost stories that I both liked and found scary (usually the two are mutually exclusive). Wish I could remember the name of it, but those brain cells are long gone. Enjoy LOTR, I'm working on my thesis or I'd join you.

    1. and p.s., even though we are on opposite sides of the political fence, I am totally with you on the political ads. can't. stand. them. Switch the radio station, turn off the television, flip the newspaper page. Also completely avoid the editorials and opinions page during election season. Wish we could just fast forward to November and get it over with. I think everyone already knows who they're going to vote for anyway.

    2. Yes my old friend we are definitely sisters of the heart. I KNEW you would want the spreadsheet.

      I agree that our association of summer and reading can be directly tied to the cottage. There really wasn't much else to do other than read, hang in the water or play a game. We didn't have a TV and even if we had the parental units wouldn't have let us watch it. The frustrating thing was that you guys didn't get up nearly as early as we did!!


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