Shelter-in-Peace

April 24, 2020 at 2:56 am (In So Many Words, The Whim) (, , , , , , )

Quarantine—or Shelter-in-Place—has meant many things to many people. Most people are scrolling Facebook incessantly. I’ve done a bit of that, but no more than usual, which is still too much. The memes have been great, but the complaints I have found unusual, even though intellectually I understand them.

My mother is an extrovert, so I am accustomed to inexplicable loneliness in others when they are left to their own devices.

I’ve been poor, so I relate to the sudden lack of income and the terrifying limbo of not knowing where your provision will come.

I’m curious to a severe degree, and I can comprehend boredom, even though I usually manage to find a way out of it fairly easily…

You see, I am an introvert who was more than happy to have a good excuse to cancel all my plans. Being a non-essential worker—a bookseller—I have lost my nearly thirteen year stint, and I’m actually happy, relieved, and overjoyed to be home every day. As a homeschool mom, my one desire was to spend my days trapped on my property with my kid reading books and right now, I’m living the dream.

Since Corona virus has hit, all we’ve done is actually live our best life.

We’ve spent hours in the garden literally watching the lilies bloom, observing the shockingly not-so-slow metamorphosis of caterpillars to butterflies. We’ve read an obscene number of books off the Mensa reading list for kids, are digging deeper into our Latin studies, memorizing new spelling and vocabulary words we never had time for before, and relishing the fact that third grade math wasn’t just learned, but mastered.

I’ve spent copious hours on ancestry.com, wikitree.com, and prowling books and resource materials here at home learning about my family history. I’ve had the pleasure of baking whatever I want whenever I want (key-lime cupcakes, anyone?). I’ve almost completed a short story anthology for my book series, I’m nearly done with a granny square blanket out of old forgotten yarn, and the only thing I’ve failed to do is maintain my blog and my workout schedule because I’ve been so busy enjoying everything else and it’s hard to share the living room.

The gist of it is: I’m a weirdo who is loving being forced to stay home.

Since my last post, I finished a biography on Margaret Thatcher, a summation of the demise of classical education, a fascinating biography on Amerigo Vespucci as well as some of his original writings, another installment of Cahill’s armchair history series, a terrible account of a transition from “protestantism” to Catholicism (written by a guy I’m convinced was in cults and not a protestant denomination at all), an essay on magnetic currents, several of my favorite children’s chapter books (The Pushcart War never gets old), and one of Prebble’s brilliant histories of the Scottish clans. (Please, take a minute to follow me on Goodreads.)

I suppose my point is this: I know it can be scary… pandemics, shady governments, untrustworthy reporting, not knowing what’s next… but there’s something beautiful about actually stopping to—watch the lilies bloom (and, of course, read a good book).

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Cozy 2018 Summer

May 11, 2019 at 4:04 am (Art, Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , )

No, I did not type the date wrong. I took a very long break from consistently reviewing books and blogging, and now I have returned. I’m easing myself back into the practice by logging all the titles my blog missed each Thursday until I am caught up. So welcome to Throwback Thursday (or Flashback Friday, because I’m even warming up to the idea of easing myself in).

Title: A Crafty Killing

Author: Lorraine Bartlett

When I first read this book in June of last year, I uploaded the following review to my Goodreads account:

“Exactly what you’d expect from a cozy. I had a harder time relating to Katie than I have with other leading ladies of the genre, however.”

I gave it 3/5 stars.

That assessment holds true nearly one year later. Katie may not be my favorite, honestly I don’t remember a thing bout her, but Artisan’s Alley and the Victoria Square, are definitely memorable. Ironically, the victim of the crime had a bit of personality too. I do so enjoy getting to know characters “off screen,” so to speak, in everyone else’s memories of them and zero direct contact. I look forward to reading book two when the mood strikes me because I want to see what happens to the business Katie is building. I have a degree in Entrepreneurship, work retail, and wrote The Bookshop Hotel series, so clearly in regard to fictional businesses, I’m biased.

Title: A Dark and Stormy Murder

Author: Julia Buckley

Despite my 2/5 star rating on A Dark and Stormy Murder, I probably enjoyed my reading experience of Buckley’s work more simply because my boyfriend read it to me while I crocheted my daughter’s comforter set. This book was utterly ridiculous, but the voice of the one reading was so marvelous I was thoroughly amused.

Turning my “old lady” vibe up a notch last year, I didn’t stop at reading cozy mysteries, I taught myself to crochet on youtube and am now a full fledged crochet hobbyist. I’ve begun listening to more audiobooks via Scribd, an app/website that I refer to as Netflix for books: https://www.scribd.com/ga/7adrgu

There is something truly amazing about the monotony of crocheting endless rows for the most ridiculously huge blanket ever. I enjoyed every minute of it. Since then, I have also made hats and scarves and am less than 1/4 through another large project and I cannot recommend learning to crochet enough. It has calmed me during a time when I needed to bask in calm and solace. It has added an extra depth to my pursuit of cozy.

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