Goodbye August, Hello September

August 2016

What a month! August sped by too quickly, but I am so ready for “autumn.” Temperatures are still hovering close to 90, but there is a crispness in the air first thing in the morning and I’ve seen at least one richly-hued red leaf. Autumn, y’all Let’s recap August:

  • Hope started 10th grade, Atticus moved to Pre-K, and Persy Jane is in the 2’s class.
  • I read very little, but managed to finish the first to books in Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series and I’m more than halfway through East of Eden.
  • I started my respecting myself by dressing nicely quest. Many purchases, but I did stay within budget. Hey, I was even on the Librarian Wardrobe Tumblr!
  • I had some highlights. I was elected VP of the Young Democrats chapter, I had dinner with friends, and loads of time with Hope one on one (which I don’t get much).
  • There were some low moments too. Health issues and a doctor visit that resulted in a clean bill of health, but only after I was treated like a sea cow. Stress at work. Minor car issues. You, know just responsible adult things everyone hates.
  • I worked a yearbook camp as library “security” and made some extra cash. I have the kid’s Christmas money as a result and I can begin budgeting and stashing away gifts.
  • I spruced up my blog! Shiny!
  • Participated in a kick-ass book blogger swap
  • Scored excellent finds at the Bargain Hunt.

Onto September! I have so many plans!

  • My RIP pile. Yay!
  • The Decatur book festival, spending time with my friend Shannon, and meeting up with Thomas!
  • A date day planned that includes a trip to a craft fair
  • Purity Ring!
  • The Dog Days of Summer Readathon
  • Not one, but TWO library book sales
  • Creative Collective meetings and a new writing group
  • A welcome autumn party with some dear friends
  • The return of the Pumpkin Spice latte!

In addition I have SO MANY crochet/knitting projects to finish for all 500 expectant moms I know and I’ll be busting out the autumn baking.

Now if I could just get Atticus through this virus I can attack September with gusto.

Happy September!

Wh

R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril X

rip10500

My favorite challenge of the year is back! Carl is letting the ladies at the Estella Society host this years shindig.

From the Estella Society’s RIP post:

Without further ado, pick your poison, won’t you? September 1st is here, and we’re ready to begin!

Mystery.
Suspense.
Thriller.
Dark Fantasy.
Gothic.
Horror.
Supernatural.

Or anything sufficiently moody that shares a kinship with the above.

That is what embodies the stories, written and visual, that we celebrate with the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril event.

As time has wound on, we’ve discovered that simple rules are best:

1. Have fun reading (and watching).
2. Share that fun with others.

As Carl does each and every year, there are multiple levels of participation (Perils) that allow you to be a part of R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril without adding the burden of another commitment to your already busy lives. There is even a one book only option for those who feel that this sort of reading is not their cup of tea (or who have too many other commitments) but want to participate all the same.

R.I.P. X officially runs from September 1st through October 31st

Multiple perils await you. You can participate in just one, or participate in them all.

I’m going to be participating in several RIP events and I have a pretty large peril pool this year, but my main goal is to complete 5 spooky books (including a short story collection), watch 5 spooky films, and complete and assist with hosting the readalong. Let’s get down to the details!

http://www.estellasociety.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/ripnineperilfirst.jpg

Peril the first will consist of completing four spooky works of fiction. My peril pool contenders are:

  • The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
  • The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld
  • Surfacing by Margaret Atwood
  • The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox
  • The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (re-read)
  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (re-read)

http://www.estellasociety.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/ripnineperilshort.jpg

My short story collection for the month with be H P Lovecraft’s The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Tales.

http://www.estellasociety.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/ripnineperilscreen.jpg

I’ll definitely be catching Crimson Peak in theaters this fall. I’m not huge into gore so I will mostly be checking out classic films (think Vincent Price) or finding some great period piece mystery films to watch.

http://www.estellasociety.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/ripnineperilgroup.jpg

I’ve saved the best for last! The group read is always a highlight and I’m thrilled to be co-hosting this year. We’ll be reading Lauren Owen’s The Quick and I’m so excited!

http://www.estellasociety.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/thequickRAL.jpg

Let me know what’s in your RIP pile! I’m wanting to add in a classic novel. Let me know in the comments your favorite “creepy” classic!

Thrifted: The Thrifty not Thrifted Edition

image

No thrift store finds today, but I do have something thrifty and nifty to share. A year or two ago a Bargain Hunt opened in my home town. This place is amazing! Discount stuff galore! I’ve purchased kichen items, a boppy, kids toys and books, food, and even a LEGO Lord of the Rings set for so cheap.

Bargain Hunt works like this: they get stuff in and it has a price and a date on it. When the date on the label passes the item is automatically discounted. You can use the paper guide in the store or the app to calculate costs. For example one purchase today – A Charlie Harper puzzle – had date of May 20th. The original cost of the puzzle (pre-Bargain Hunt) was $20. The Bargain Hunt cost was $12. Because of the May date the puzzle was 70% off. My final cost? $3.60.

Amazing! Thrift store rules apply at Bargain Hunt. Go early, go often, and be prepared to dig. Also, there will be times when you find nothing and times when you have to talk yourself out of buying the entire store. Today I had to talk myself out of buying a $6 Totoro figurine set.

Wanna see what I bought today?

image

– Puzzle 70% off, $3.60
– R.E.M. CD, $1
– Victorian Earl Grey tea 10% off, $2.70
– 2 bags Newman’s Own Organic raisins, 10% off, $1.80 each
– Bob’s Red Mill veggie soup mix 20% off, $1.60
– 2 boxes Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies $1 each

Total with tax: $15.52.

In September I will be visting Bargain Hunt on a weekly basis to start my Christmas shopping for the kids so expect more updates; just no spilling the beans about “Santa’s workshop.”

List Love: Blog Posts by Fierce Women

list loveI love lists and I love a challenge. Have an idea for a list you’d like to see? Let me know in the comments.

Today’s List: Blog Posts by Fierce Women

I didn’t chose “viral” posts, but I picked my five favorite posts by women written this year. These are the posts that elicit a fist pump or a hell yeah. They stay with me… in my heart and in my brain. Tiny bloggy rays of hope and belonging. I’m looking to add to this list and I would welcome the chance for you to share a post (or your post!) that is meaningful to you. I’ll compile them and do an update in a few days.

  1. Katie, a college friend and colleague wrote this inspiring piece on Imposter Syndrome. Katie may not know it yet, but she is the next Anne Lamott.
  2. My beautiful and strong friend Amanda who is starting a new journey to wellness and learning to love herself.
  3. Fellow introvert and mama Trish writing about The Importance of Me Time.
  4. Andi destroys the myth of the crappy blogger.
  5. This from Rachele… I read this every few weeks.

Keep up the fierce writing, ladies!

Readerly Rambles: Book Swap and Classic Club Edition

Book Swap!

I’m participating in a wonderful Facebook book swap amongst several book bloggers. My box to my participant will ship September 1st, but late last week I received my box from Sarah. What a treat! I received two different flavors of chocolate, an adorable and autumnal owl mug, three books (My Antonia by Willa Cather, The Land of Green Ginger by Winifred Holtby, and Plagued by the Nightingale by Kay Boyle), bookish socks, an owl bookmark in my favorite shade of turquoise, and some lovely note cards. I am so spoiled. Thank you, Sarah!

swap1 swap2 swap3 swap4Classics Club Spin!

I’m intentionally not looking at my Twitter or the Classics Club blog right now. The spin number will be announced today and I don’t want to sway my book choices. As usual I’m taking these titles from my (lagging) Virago Project.

  1. Letty Fox: Her Luck by Christina Stead
  2. For Love Alone by Christina Stead
  3. Precious Bane by Mary Webb
  4. The Holiday by Stevie Smith
  5. Surfacing by Margaret Atwood
  6. Enormous Changes at the Last Minute by Grace Paley
  7. Two Serious Ladies by Jane Bowles
  8. A Pin to See the Peepshow by F. Tennyson Jesse
  9. The Lacquer Lady by F. Tennyson Jesse
  10. The Sugar House by Antonia White
  11. Gone to Earth by Mary Webb
  12. Over the Frontier by Stevie Smith
  13. The Beth Book by Sarah Grand
  14. A Lost Lady by Willa Cather
  15. My Antonia by Willa Cather
  16. The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood
  17. The Little Disturbances of Man by Grace Paley
  18. Mary Olivier: A Life by May Sinclair
  19. The Life and Death of Harriet Frean by May Sinclair
  20. Novel on Yellow Paper by Stevie Smith

Let’s see who wins this round!

Fashion Friday: 21 August 2015

fashion fridayWell here we are. My first “Fashion Friday” post. Y’all, I’m terrified. I seem to be fine taking pictures or food, yarn, and books, but for some reason taking a picture of my clothing seems… shallow? Trite? Narcissistic? But why? I like looking at outfit photos from others. Is it because I don’t feel good enough? Yup. That’s it. Like someone is going to look at my pictures and say “for fuck’s sake who does she think she is?” My body is too fat and my picture taking skills are nonexistent. What do I think I’m doing? It is just a picture of me. Just me. Not hamming it up. Not with my husband, kids, or friends. Not showing off books or thrifted items. Just me. My body. In clothes I like. For all my feminist killjoy “eff you” attitude, for some reason it is still important for people to like and think well of me. I’m hoping that taking a little pride in myself and taking these pictures with increase my self esteem or at least make me more at ease with my body.

I felt so weird taking this picture. My friend at work, Kim- a fellow ModCloth enthusiast, took the picture on my phone. I didn’t know how to stand or angle myself or get the best light. I felt weird, but I’m going to get over that.

Before I get to the picture, let me say that I am mad as hell. All my doctor’s test came back and I am healthy. Like, really healthy. So healthy that even though I weigh 315 pounds I don’t qualify for weight loss surgery. I’m pissed because before they even ran my tests they were all shaking their heads at me and talking about my fat body. This isn’t the first time. Each doctor’s visit. Each pregnancy. Fat Fat Fat… OMG you’re healthy how is that possible?! Sure I need to eat healthy and exercise, but even doing that I may always be bigger and plenty of skinny people are unhealthy. They just get the dignity of being treated like a human with intrinsic value. The thin are “innocence until proven guilty in a court of health.” Me? I walk in and I’m immediately assumed to be a lazy slob living off French fries. fuck that.

Now that I have my fat feminist self in a roar I have the gumption to share with more than Facebook and Instagram friends.

skirtandtypewriterI call this look, “nerdy library chic.” It is pretty much my only look. LOL.

Date: Tuesday, 19 August 2015

Items: sweater – JcPenney / t-shirt – ModCloth / skirt – Old Navy / shoes – Dress-Up

Next time I’ll try to get better lighting and touch-up my make-up.