Roni Reads in 2020: Chapter 3
This is a continuation of the topic Roni Reads in 2020: Chapter 2.
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My apricot tree is blooming profusely! Exciting because it doesn't do this every year.
Hi, I'm Roni. I live in San Diego with one husband, one small dog and way too many cats in a small bungalow with a garden and lots of books. I'm retired these days, after a long career as a school psychologist. Since retiring, I've made time for throwing pottery, wirework, crochet, and sewing in addition to reading and share photos of my work on my threads.
I've been a member of LT since 2008 and an active member of the 75 Book Challenge groups for that long as well. I read mostly in genre, science fiction and fantasy, but also try to read some nonfiction, mystery, and regency romance.
Welcome to my thread. I love visitors and promise to visit you back.
My final thread of 2019 is here:https://www.librarything.com/topic/313220
Goals for 2020
Read 150 books and 50,000 pages.
Read at least 30 books off my own bookshelves.
Acquire no more than 80 books.
Send 50 books out the door.
Read at least 12 nonfiction books--I usually do this, but it's important to me and I want to be sure I prioritize it.
My Goals for 2019:
1. Read 150 books and 50,000 pages.. Goal Met: 175 books and 57,
2. Read at least 40 books off my own bookshelves (BOMBs). NOT Met: 22 books
3. Acquire no more than 80 books. Goal Met: 78 books acquired, 43 read! Close one.
4. 50 books out the door once more. Goal Met: 115 books, exceeded expectations!
That does mean that I read 65 of my own books, just that 43 of them were acquired this calendar year.
Books Read in 2020
1. The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell
2. Christmas Revels VI by Hannah Meredith
3. Spoilers: Things Get Worse by Galen Surlak-Ramsey
4. The Clairvoyant Countess by Dorothy Gilman
5. The Hollow Kingdom by Clare Dunkle
6. Kaleidoscope by Dorothy Gilman
7. The Globe by Terry Pratchett
8. Catfishing on Catnet by Naomi Kritzer
9. Dragonshadow by Elle Katharine White
10. Bridge of Birds by Barry Hugheart
11. Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey
12. The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher
13. Cast in Wisdom by Michelle Sagara
14. Crown of Renewal by Elizabeth Moon
15. Close Kin By Clare Dunkle
16. Religious Literacy by Stephen Prothero
17. A Murder in Time by Julie McElwain
18. The Goblin Mirror by C. J. Cherryh
19. In the Coils of the Snake by Clare Dunkle
20. A Study in Honor by Claire O'Dell
21. Deep Secret by Diana Wynne Jones
22. A Dead Djinn in Cairo by P. Djeli Clark
23. Paladin’s Grace by T. Kingfisher
24. Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal
25. The Haunting of Tram Car 015 by P. Djeli Clark
26. Imaginary Numbers by Seanan McGuire
27. Harley Merlin and the Secret Coven by Bella Forrest
28. Harley Merlin and the Mystery Twins by Bella Forrest
29. The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix Harrow
30. Comet Weather by Liz Williams
31. Servant of the Underworld by Aliette de Bodard
32. The Gate That Locks the Tree by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
33. Queen of Hearts by Rhys Bowen
Books Acquired in 2020
1. Flame Bringer by Elle Katharine White
2. Arkad's World by James Cambias
3. From Sea to Stormy Sea edited by Lawrence Block
4. Love, One Regency Christmas by Arietta Richmond
5. Echo in Onyx by Sharon Shinn
6. Cast in Wisdom by Michelle Sagara
7. Song of Blood and Stone by L. Penelope
8. A Study in Honor by Claire O'Dell
9. Stars Beyond by S. K. Dunstall
10. A Dead Djinn in Cairo by P. Djeli Clark
11. Paladin's Grace by T. Kingfisher
12. Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal
13. Imaginary Numbers by Seanan McGuire
14. The Hound of Justice by Claire O'Dell
15. Comet Weather by Liz Williams
16. The Gate that Locks the Tree by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
Reba and I had lunch with her granddaughter today, and she got her cup and bought me lunch--such a lovely lady!
Oh! Look at those beautiful apricot blossoms! SOOO JEALOUS! We are still deep in winter here in NY, even though we've had a couple of sunny warmish days.
>6 ronincats: Great pic! You all look so lovely!
Happy new thread, Roni! Oooh, how exciting about your apricot blooms, and glad you had a good lunch with Reba and her granddaughter.
Happy new thread, Roni. I love your hair! And what a cute cup you made for Reba.
Your apricot blooms are gorgeous. Hmm.. will they inspire you to throw some apricot blossom designs in your next pottery works?
Oh look, I delurked just in time to find Roni's latest thread chapter... and great seeing your photo up at >6 ronincats:.
Happy new thread Roni!
>1 ronincats: Ooh, pretty; I hope you do get some fruit. I usually try for flowers in my garden so I’m always amazed if I produce anything edible. Just the one husband at the moment then?
>6 ronincats: Nice meet-up photo. I’m usually very bad at this but I can see the family resemblance.
Happy new thread Roni. Love the picture of the meetup!
The blossoming tree is beautiful - I have daffodils and a couple of other blooms, but that's it so far. Bring on spring!
Happy new thread, Roni. Love the photo at the top. I am ready for some blossoms around here!
>16 humouress: Had to smile at the family resemblance comment because I can see it a bit in the photo too even though she's my son's daughter and looks A LOT like her mother.
Apricots, a mug, and most importantly, a meet-up - what a great way to start a thread!
I look forward to following your way through this one, Roni. Stay close to home and be safe!!!! Read and post a lot!!!!!!!
I went out to eat with a friend Friday and she told me I had better get to the library because it was closing on Sunday and would reopen on April 6. I went yesterday to pick up book three of the Queen’s Thief series and book 5 of the Wayward Children and a couple of other Sci/Fi books I wanted to read over Spring Break only to find the place locked up. That is a disaster for me. Not only did I want to get books there, but I needed the free WiFi in order to apply for a couple of jobs I am interested in.
So I went to Barnes & Noble and found out that they are going to shorter hours (10 to 7) for the next two weeks. At least that works, but since I don’t have a laptop that doesn’t help me apply for the jobs.
I had planned an overnight trip to Memphis to tour Graceland and now that seems to also be out-of-the-question. I guess I will just have to stay home and cook.
>1 ronincats: Hurray for apricot blooms!!
>2 ronincats: I like your goals, but I don't think I want the extra pressure myself! LOL
>6 ronincats: Meet-up envy!
>24 benitastrnad: Glad you made it to the library in time. I didn't, but I have signed in and added my name to lots of books for audio and kindle.
Good luck finding a way to apply for those jobs and sorry about the missed trip. : (
Stay well! Hugs.
Good to have all of you virtual visitors, because I won't be seeing many real people for a while. The latest in California:
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced several new directives Sunday afternoon to further try and limit the spread of the novel coronavirus in California.
The governor asked all bars, nightclubs, brewpubs and wineries to close, but stopped short of calling for all restaurants to close, as Illinois and Ohio have done.
Newsom indicated restaurants could remain open with reduced capacity to allow for social distancing.
Additionally, the governor called for the home self-isolation of all people 65 and older and those people with chronic conditions.
Our restaurant yesterday was a small one with decent room between tables, something I took into account. On my way there I drove past Breakfast Republic, and again on the way home, and the usual weekend crowds there were in no way diminished either time, with all the people waiting out on the sidewalk. Way too much exposure for me.
So, self-isolating rather than social distancing. I hadn't planned to go anywhere this week anyhow. We are pretty well stocked on most stuff through the week and I am hoping by late in the week a lot of the panic buying will slow down. Annie has canceled classes so I will be working from home on my crafts. I have to arrange to drop off my tax stuff, probably at the beginning of next week, so will need to work on that this week, as well as pack away all my KU Jayhawk paraphernalia in its tub in the attic until next season. Good excuse for reading and crafting!
Thanks for coming by, Liz, Anita, Mary 1, Mary 2, Caro, Susan, Jim, Sandy, Nina, Lori, Anita, Charlotte, Beth, Reba, Peggy, foggi, Benita, Kim, and Lucy!
Happy new thread, Roni.
>27 ronincats: It does make sense for such "self-isolating" to take place for those most at risk, Roni. I would hazard a 3 week period may help this thing to pass. I am considering severely limiting my own exposure to the world given my problems with asthma.
Glad to hear you are well Roni! Self isolation seems like the way to go! Stay healthy, stay positive and I KNOW you will be able to stay busy! xx
>27 ronincats: Good thing your she-shack is up and running; fortuitous timing.
I also thought about the restaurant Saturday but felt better because we were semi-outside.
>28 PaulCranswick:, >29 PaulCranswick: Hi, Paul. Thanks and do take care of yourself.
>30 HanGerg: *snerk* You've got that right, Hannah!
>31 humouress: Oh, it's definitely going to see a LOT of use, Nina.
>32 RebaRelishesReading: It being smaller and with tables not all crowded up were definite pluses as well, Reba.
So, two library books down. (Maybe I'd better ration myself--nah, I can always tackle the tbr shelves if I run out!)
Book #34 Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir (444 pp.)
People have been talking a lot about this one and I can see why. Yes, there are a lot of classic fantasy plot elements but they are jumbled together in a very original setting, and the story line keeps you off-balance all the way in. Dark and violent but not gory, I'm definitely going to see where the author is going next in this trilogy.
Book #35 The Dark Lord Clementine by Sarah Jean Horwitz (332 pp.)
foggidawn turned me on to this fun fantasy for the 8 to 13 age range, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Just light fun as 12 year-old Clementine tries to keep the castle and farm going on as her father is engrossed in fighting off a curse and enemies gather.
Happy new thread! Hope you are ok with self isolating! We are trying to do that here, but Nate and I still have to go to work :(
Happy new thread Roni.
Yay for the meetup with Reba and her granddaughter and your blooming-profusely apricot tree.
Glad to hear you’re taking precautions. A lot of the younger people I’ve talked to are shrugging this off. They don’t seem to realize that they can be asymptotic and still spread it to at risk populations.
Tomorrow you should snuggle each of your cats, as the patron of cats, Gertrude, celebrates a feast day tomorrow. She was never actually canonized, but I’m going to say it—Happy (non)St. Catties’ Day! :))
Happy new one, Roni! I love the photo of you and Reba with her granddaughter - and the kitty mug! I think your hair really suits you - so fun!
Happy New Thread, Roni! I echo what Mamie says - great photo of you three up in >6 ronincats:.
Hi Roni! Sorry you're self-isolating, but I giggled a bit when you thought you might have to ration your library books. Books are the one thing we will *never* run out of :-) In that respect, we're all exceptionally well prepared and we should congratulate ourselves on our foresight :-)
Our restaurants are swinging into "curbside" gear -- our favorite, often Friday night restaurant will be posting their take out menu on FB and you can call and they'll box it up and you drive over and they put it in your car! I'm glad because that keeps more folks in jobs, even if hours end up reduced, it's something.
Even my knitting shop is doing that! You pick on line -- and if you aren't sure, or can't choose she'll bring wools out and you can look. She stays safe and so do we. And busy!
>40 sibylline: As of last night we've gone to drive thru/take-out/delivery only for restaurants and all bars that don't serve booze are completely closed. Lovers of green beer must be suffering today.
I like the knitting shop's idea. I was thinking last night that while I think we're fine for food, TP and books I may well run out of yarn (oh no!!)
>41 RebaRelishesReading: Reba meant, "all bars that don't serve FOOD". ;-)
>40 sibylline: Yay for the knitting shop--although I have enough yarn to last me for several years already!
>39 susanj67: So true, Susan.
>38 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe.
>37 Crazymamie: Thank you, Mamie.
>36 CassieBash: I will definitely snuggle cats today, Cassie.
>35 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen.
>34 ChelleBearss: Am I okay with it, Chelle? Like the Facebook meme going around, this is an introvert's idea of a great time!
Finished up a vendor/utility apron and cut out two walker caddies yesterday. Today will clear up paperwork and clean off my desk to organize for tax prep sometime this week. And maybe get out back to do some more sewing. Also want to prep some of my dryish clay for some handbuilding. And do some reading, too--all in all, a BUSY day!
>42 ronincats: OMG, Roni, am I going crazy already? Yes, all bars that don't serve food
Happy new thread and Happy St. Patrick's Day, Roni. Thanks heavens for our own book shelves and for social media as we, too, are self isolating. My library is closed until further notice as of today and I suspect bars and restaurants aren't far behind. Our mail has been full of flyers from restaurants advertising their Take-out menus.
Stay safe and healthy!
>43 RebaRelishesReading: Naw, just a little mental hiccup!
>44 DeltaQueen50: You too, Judy!
>45 figsfromthistle: Thanks, Anita.
The husband is getting ready to go out and pick up his medications and stock up on cat food.
Daily White House press briefing is over. Not too bad except that every time Pence came to the microphone, the first sentence out of his mouth was praise for how wonderfully the President was handling this crisis.
Happy newish thread, Reba. >46 ronincats: Yeah, Pence's praise of the president would have driven me crazy too. Was that to overshadow the fact that he didn't do anything for the longest time?
I'm a bit floored with the self-isolating over 65 bit. They haven't issued any advisories like that here but all libraries and public buildings are closed. Love the meet up picture and the apricot blooms.
>47 Familyhistorian: To add to what I said elsewhere, Meg. We older folks are the ones who get sickest with Covid-19 and hence are most likely to need hospital beds and ventilators and there aren't enough of either of those (by a factor of about 30 to 1) to go around if we don't "flatten the curve" so for our own good as well as to enable the medical establishment to have some chance of coping with this it's important to keep we old folks healthy.
>33 ronincats: Book Bullet! Actually it's already on my list but I'm more excited about it now.
>47 Familyhistorian:, >48 RebaRelishesReading: Reba beat me to a response, Meg. Yes, it's all due to the suggested higher risk of serious complications for older folk. It's nice, a number of stores (mostly grocery) are setting aside a 30 or 60 minute period after opening specifically for seniors and other health-impaired folks to come in and buy in the freshly cleaned and sanitized store prior to the general public.
So today has been rainy and cold for us--mid-50s here and snow in our mountains--so I finally tackled the dreaded desk cleaning. Got bills and car registration paid, and all those other little piles of paper that needed some sort of action before being filed or tossed. Cleaning off the mouse and the keyboard keys as well as the physical desktop, washed the teabag caddy and the mouse pad, unpacked the box of books sent back by my sister that arrived this morning. Most are not staying in my house, thankfully, but going to the library for their sales or to PaperBackSwap for two of them. I do have 8 to find a space on the shelves to put them. Cleaned out and organized the top drawer in my desk as well. So now if I want to do some wirework, my desk is ready for action.
Currently still reading The Lost Art of Scripture for my bubble bath book; I'm about 2/3 of the way through the text. I finished a book on my Kindle and haven't decided on my next dead-tree book yet.
Book #36 Echoes in Onyx by Sharon Shinn (363 pp.)
I tend to be a Sharon Shinn fan. I LOVE her Wrapt in Crystal and Summers at Castle Auburn, was pulled in by her Samaria series, and rather meh about the Twelve Houses series--only read two of them, but I've always been okay with her writing. However, this book just didn't work for me. The conceit of the echoes in a very traditional medieval fantasy setting had potential, but the character development just wasn't there and I kept putting the book down and going on to other things. Finally finished it last night. It's not bad, but just not for me--glad I didn't have to pay anything for it on my Kindle.
Oops, visitors while I was writing the above. Hi, Richard! Yes, exactly--maybe it's the snark of the protagonist amidst all the mayhem that links the two. And Melissa, good to see you here.
I was talking with my sister in CA when my husband texted that all 40 million Californians are ordered to shelter in place. My nephew and my aunt and uncle were already required to shelter in place being in Northern CA, but now my sister/husband and niece/wife/2 children are, too.
Let's hope this effort and sacrifice helps.
Hi Roni. Need a break? (don't we all) Here's a little music to uplift:
It's terrific. Enjoy
>53 RebaRelishesReading: All is quiet here, Reba!
>54 karenmarie: Yes, let's certainly hope so, Karen.
I have had to create a new bookmark in my browser for all the free museum tours, national park tours, zoo cams, college classes, and other resources being bruited about during this time. Here's one I thought LTers might be particularly interest in: 25 sources for free public domain books.
Didn't do much yesterday other than laundry. Sprinkles off and on during the day, but the rain is finally gone now for a couple of days.
Book #37 A Woman of Consequence by Anna Dean (383 pp.)
This is the third of the Dido Kent Mysteries and I think it is the strongest yet. Set in Regency England, the environment and characters are absolutely true to their time. This mystery is intricately plotted; while there are no spoilers, clues are to be found aplenty throughout the story line. And I like Dido Kent more and more as a person as she deals with more adversity in this book.
Another quiet day, but got some tomato seedlings planted.
So many places putting up free resources for the duration; Audible is making a whole bunch of books free.
>59 ronincats: - I have never used Audible and have never *streamed* anything so I truly have no clue. But I am goig to try to figure it out because this is great!
Glad to be of service, Shelley.
Had to steal this after a librarian friend posted it on Facebook, remembering a discussion about this several years ago here, and because I know Peggy will love it:
In an abundance of caution, both MLA and Chicago Style manuals are re-instituting the "two spaces in between each sentence" in solidarity with APA. Please be safe out there.
>61 ronincats: LOL -- well, actually chuckling out loud but close enough.
Thanks for the Audible tip.
Stay well my friend, stay well!
>51 ronincats: Sorry the latest Sharon Shinn book wasn't up to snuff for you.
I do agree that the character development wasn't as vibrant as (for example) the Samaria series. That's the set of stories that really converted me to being a Shinn fan. Troubled Waters and the other Elemental Blessing books in the series as well.
As for Wrapt in Crystal, I wasn't engaged in the plot the way the former two series grabbed me, so I wonder if Shinn has slightly altered writing styles over time.
>56 ronincats:. Hmm. I'm quite keen on historical mysteries - it's the kind of thing I dip in and out of. Dido Kent sounds kind of fun. I might buy the first one for my kindle...That's all one can do at times like these, right? Just bunker down with some books! So I'll need to buy few more I think - not nearly enough to chose from on the groaning pile of TBRs by my bed!
Also, I was just saying over on my thread - I finally started up again with Miles Vorkosigan after a long break - I read Komarr which had been sitting around for ages as I didn't have the books in order and I'm normally a stickler for that. I LOVED it! I've been back and re-read The Warrior's Apprentice and now I'm all set to binge the entire series! I realise what put me off first time round - that incredibly precarious house of cards Miles builds was just stressing me out. But having read Komarr I could re-visit it safe in the knowledge that Miles was sure to find a solution however sticky the situation. Great stuff!
>62 humouress: Aim to please, Nina!
>63 RebaRelishesReading: I hope to, Reba. Same to you!
>64 LizzieD: Ha, thought so, Peggy!
>65 SirThomas: Thank you, Thomas.
>66 SandyAMcPherson: No problem, Sandy. It was definitely worth a try but I couldn't get past the echoes and the immediate romance elements.
>67 HanGerg: I think you might like Dido Kent a lot, Hannah. Lucy was the one to first bring her to my attention. And I'm delighted about the renewed Vorkosigan love!
>68 alcottacre: Bummer, Stasia, because I think. you'd like Dido.
Book #38 Wyrde and Wayward by Charlotte E. English (240 pp.)
Book #39 Wyrde and Wicked by Charlotte E. English (180 pp.)
This duo of ebooks is delightful frothy entertainment, Addams Family meets an alternative Regency England! Clever, non-sappy, and while there is attraction, no romance. Recommended for completely escapist reading entertainment.
ETA: Wyrde is the family name, Richard--no archaic spellings for the sake of Phantasie!
Yesterday we planted tomato seedlings. Today, other than a short walk in the neighborhood with the dog, we were definitely decadent. Rain is moving in.
>70 ronincats: As an unofficial member of the Addams Family, I am BB-ing those two! :)
>70 ronincats:. Ok, bought the first Dido Kent, and a load more Vorkosigan's too! Your thread is always one of the most dangerous for BB's!
>71 Familyhistorian:, >72 CassieBash:, >73 HanGerg: Hi, Meg, Cassie and Hannah. I'd say "My work here is done"--except, of course, it isn't!
Rain this morning. Went out back and cleaned up from the handyman installing counter and sink in the kitchen in the she-shack, and then finally cleaned all the dust off the exterior of the stove from all the work they did last summer (since I now had hot water and drainage!).
So, off to get that glass of wine...and a book.
Looking really nice, Roni. Enjoy that wine and book. I'm watching the news...wine not far behind.
Hi, Reba. I am. And pizza (two for one day from Etna Pizza) and fresh bread from the bread machine.
More free resources!
>I now have counter space envy. My entire kitchen hasn't as much space, and what it has is in small sections.
>74 ronincats: - Looks great, Roni. Is that floor vinyl plank flooring? It looks just like the flooring I recently had installed in my basement. I do like it a lot.
Love that view of the she-shack. I had no idea it was a proper abode. I had some idea it was more like a studio in a developed little 'outbuilding', I guess. Looks very habitable in a small cottage sense.
Sigh... now I am dreaming of ripping down our garden shed and redesigning something more substantially-homey. We have a concrete pad where the "shed" was built. It could be a warm season spot with windows and comfort, even if no running water... oh wait. No-one could ever build it for under $5K, so that's pie in the sky.
>78 quondame: The rental used to only have one of those metal kitchen cabinets with the sink and the middle and maybe 18" on each side of it. Then we put in Lowe's floor cabinets which gave 20" on one side and 36" on the other side. Those deteriorated rapidly though, thanks to renters, and when we revamped the whole place last summer, our handyman installed all these solid oak cabinets which had been pulled out of another job for just the labor. So I have an embarrassment of riches of cabinet space back there (mostly used for storing craft stuff) and, now, counter space!! If you look down at the end, you can see where I've put a piece of the left-over formica counter top atop the installed one--that's what I'll be doing my clay work on so I don't mess up the good one.
>79 jessibud2: This is actually ceramic tile plank flooring, although I almost wish we'd done the vinyl now, Shelley.
>80 SandyAMcPherson: Oh yes, it was a fully functioning rental for 75 years before we retired it last year, Sandy. And before that, we discovered it was a CARRIAGE HOUSE! Where my craft room and the garage storage space are was the buggy area; where my shelved pottery and ironing board and the bathroom are was the horse stalls, and the living room/kitchen space was a tack room. In the mid-40s the owner transformed it into an apartment for his mother to live in.
Book #40 The Road to Farringale: Modern Magick 1 by Charlotte E. English (122 pp.)
I enjoyed the House of Werth duology above (>70 ronincats:) enough that I thought I'd try the first of this earlier series by the author that was for free on Amazon. Alas and alack, there was no comparison. At a mere 122 pages, this clone of Jodi Taylor's time travel series with a magical component had no depth and very nearly no interest as any roadblocks to the solution to the problem plaguing troll enclaves were neatly resolved with no effort on the part of the protagonists, and the characters were rudimentary at best. This 10 book series will not be read by me.
Hi Roni, it's great to "see" you looking well. I love your apricot blossoms up top (more snow expected here later this week) and the picture of your lunch with Reba. Best wishes to you.
>74 ronincats: - Psst! Roni, you need to fill that wine rack on the counter ;-)
>84 katiekrug: LOL!! Hi Roni - Katie has it right - everything goes better with wine, even social distancing!
I didn't make it to the library on time. Alas and alack! I am now cinfined to reading from my giant stash.
I have managed to listen to book 2 in the Queen's Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner and loved it. I have the recorded version of book 3 King of Attolia at home so will start on that soon. I also started reading book 2 in the Binti series - Binti Home. This will keep me occupied for a time.
Hmm; I may look into those Dido Kent books.
I have a decent sized kitchen but not much more counter space than you’ve got in your she-shack. Very nice.
>82 richardderus: Indeed!
>83 AMQS: Hi, Anne! Thank you. Hope you are enjoying your spring break, and that your work load lessens after it.
>84 katiekrug:, >85 DeltaQueen50: Should have known--lovely new counter and everyone is focusing on the empty wine rack (one of a number of things moved to the back house because extra or extraneous--all the wine is in my wine CABINET in the dining room!).
>85 DeltaQueen50: Although all of them are good, the two you mention are the very best of the Thief series, Benita.
>86 benitastrnad: Hi, Nina. Yes, I'm making it up to the poor place for all the years when it had a serious dearth of counter space.
So, it's in the mid-60s and sunny, with rain coming in tonight, and I was able to pick up my nursery order yesterday--compost and gypsum and fertilizer--so today we were able dig all of that into the front raised bed where the tomatoes will go, and then plant some of my seedlings in an old herb bed in the back that the husband dug up the other day. I'll plant the seedlings in the front raised bed after the rain has settle all the additives nicely. Also refilled the bird feeders out front. The spilled seeds have resulted in a plethora of sunflower plants around the feeders, so I brought in a few of them along with some of my roses to enjoy.
I stole it in the first place from a Facebook post, so you are welcome to it, Kim!
I went back out in the back yard and picked lemons. They are producing in abundance right now. And our avocado shrub is putting out bloom stems in abundance--this is the first time it has produced these so we are keeping our fingers crossed that we might get some fruit there this year. The apricot tree continues to bloom--in layers! It started on the bottom branches and now, two weeks later, has reached about 2/3 of the way up the tree.
I'm settling down with a cup of hot tea and a book for a while now. I also pulled out about a third of the tall grass in the side yard raised bed, which has been growing there for the last year at least, and my back is feeling it. I did succeed in liberating the irises growing along the south side--I couldn't see them at all and had thought they'd succumbed but no, they were there, just a little overwhelmed. This weekend I'll finish grubbing that bed out, after the rain, and cut back the bougainvillea overhanging it (in full bloom as well!) and then dump the other four bags of compost in there before planting green beans and carrots and arugula and whatever else sounds good.
I love irises -- my Mom used to have a huge bed of bearded irises and they were so beautiful each spring. Don't overdue the gardening and wind up in pain though.
>90 ronincats: Your garden sounds lovely. My success is more mixed. I have - finally (fingers crossed) - discovered the secret of growing orchids but they’re more visible as leaves until they surprise me with occasional blooms. This month quite a few bloomed at the same time, which was nice.
>74 ronincats: Very nice. Lots of counter space, yay.
I admire all the gardening/yard work you are doing and should really get out and do a bit myself.
>90 ronincats: Sounds wonderful. Keep the lovely flower pictures coming please!
>91 RebaRelishesReading: I love irises as well, Reba, and always thought they wouldn't grow well along the coast here, but I got these rhizomes from the San Diego Iris Society show and they do produce! I don't think they naturalize like they do in the midwest. When I was at KU, there were banks of them on several hillsides near my scholarship hall and I'd cut the blossoms in droves and bring them to my room (along with the lilacs) in the spring. They are gone now.
>92 humouress: Orchids can be grown in our climate here but I've never had any luck with them, Nina.
>93 Berly: :-)
>94 karenmarie: Hi, Karen.
>95 charl08: Okay. The next three days should be sunny and dry so I'll take some more, Charlotte.
Book #41 The Chronicles of Amber: Vol. 1 by Roger Zelazny (338 pp.)
I know I read at least the first and probably more of the first five books of the Chronicles of Amber, but that was at nearly 50 years ago and I remember zilch. I'm counting these as new reads but will only count the actual 2 book set I picked up about 10 years ago--which makes them ROOTs or BOTS, in either case books off my own shelves.
This volume includes the first two books, Nine Princes in Amber and The Guns in Avalon. Corwin wakes up in a lock-down hospital with no memories, and the first book is pretty much about how he goes about regaining his memories and reestablishing connections with his brothers--including the one who crowns himself King of Amber and imprisons Corwin. The second book is about Corwin's plans for revenge, and an increasing incursion from the Courts of Chaos. These books are 50 and 48 years old respectively, and actually hold up pretty well over the years. I have the second volume with the next 3 books contained in it, acquired at the same time as this one, and will probably go ahead and read it next since it is fairly undemanding fantasy and means yet another BOTS off my shelves!! Since we are nearly a third of the way through the year and I've only read 3 off my shelves so far (counting this one), I definitely need to make up time here!
1. Who(m) are you named after? the actress Rhonda Fleming, admired by my mother
2. Last time you cried? At the news of my friend's death on March 1
3. Do you like your handwriting? Kept me from straight As in elementary school. I slant leftwards, which is supposed to mean a contrary nature...
4. What is your favorite lunch meat? very thinly sliced turkey or ham
5. Longest relationship? with my Mother, 70+ years. Oh, that kind of relationship? 46 years
6. Do you still have your tonsils? No, lost them at age 4
7. Would you bungee jump? No
8. What is your favorite kind of cereal? Raisin bran for cold, Cream of Rice for hot
9. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Yes
10. Do you think you're strong-willed? so-so
11. Favorite ice cream? Jamoca Almond Fudge
12. What is the first thing you notice about a person? their eyes. I tend to be somewhat face-blind.
13. Football or baseball? Basketball.
14. What color pants are you wearing? Blue denim (jeans)
15. Last thing you ate? the orange cake I baked today
16. What are you listening to? local news
17. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? violet blue or blue-green
18. What is your favorite smell? roses and sandalwood, Obsession, fresh-baked bread
19. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? My mom
21. Hair color? white with blue and purple
22. Eye color? Blue, but that cloudy blue that can change to gray or green
23. Favorite food? dark chocolate
24. Scary movies or happy endings? happy endings, I don't do scary
25. Last movie you watched in a theater? Knives Out
26. What color shirt are you wearing? two shades of blue
27. Favorite holiday? Christmas.
28. Beer or Wine? Yes, please.
29. Night owl or morning person? used to be a night owl. not sure any more--middle of the day person!
30. Favorite day of the week? weekdays, now that I'm retired
31. Favorite animal? cats
32. Do you have a pet? 1 dog, 6 cats
33. Where would you like travel to? I would love to travel around the world as it was when I was 21 but didn't have the money to travel around the world--before highjackings and terrorists and ubiquitous war zones.
>97 ronincats: Oooh. Jamoca Almond Fudge. My fav when I lived in CA, can’t get it here in NC. 33. Exactly.
AND we just had a downpour and about 5 minutes of pea-sized hail! Shouldn't do much damage to the plants--too small and too brief, fortunately.
Hail already! Good grief!!!!!
Jamoca almond fudge --- why do I think that I've had this when I haven't been to CA?
>99 ronincats: Heh heh heh Had that one spotted.
>101 LizzieD: Had you in mind when I posted it, Peggy! And Jamoca almond fudge is a Baskin-Robbins flavor, one of their permanent ones. I thought it was a nation-wide chain--there are over 2500 stores in the US. Looks like there are some over by Morrisville and Raleigh.
>99 ronincats: LOL!! Read that one to my Hubby.
We had hail yesterday, too. What the heck?
Hail! Goodness. We had our curtains shut by that hour and I never noticed a thing -- or maybe it was more local and we didn't have any.
My Mom lived in Tujunga (inland L.A.) and had amazing irises. No lilacs though and I do love those...and peonies (can't grow those here either as far as I know). But I'm not a gardener so I can't really grow anything anywhere. I did buy some nice sunflowers at TJ's yesterday though :)
>99 ronincats: Ha! Yes indeedy.
I'm glad Amber's holding up for you! I was appalled at all the smoking.
Kim and Reba--maybe this front extended all along the west coast? Whichever, we had several thunderstorm cells move through last night (very unusual for coastal San Diego--I miss my Kansas thunder and lightning!) including a monstrous clap seemingly right over the house at 2:04 am. The power went out for about 10 minutes a few minutes later, but came back on. I was awake by then, so had some tea and went back to bed about 4. All is sunny now and all the seedlings seem to have survived the hail. Tomorrow I will plant the front tomato bed, letting the soil dry a touch--although, for all the torrential downfall pounding the roof for so much of the night, we only got an inch and a quarter in the rain gauge.
Reba--oh, yes, peonies and lilacs and naturalized tulips and daffodils, although we can force the latter here. But we have so much else in compensation.
Richard--oh yes, the smoking really stood out in the first book. I didn't notice it so much in the second, but it just goes to show what a major cultural change has taken place since then.
I think I may have mentioned at some point that I created a whole new bookmark folder for "Online Activities" to try and save all the museums and parks and zoos and the like that are popping up to keep us entertained at home. This is the latest:
>106 ronincats: ...and I didn't hear a thing...but then I'm a pretty heavy sleeper and we use a white noise machine
So today we got out and around--so to speak. The husband needed to pick up prescriptions at Kaiser. There was a tent out front, a line with people 6 ft apart, and they took his temperature before letting him in to go to the pharmacy--which now has limited hours on Saturday closing at noon. We just made it. I stayed in the truck.
Then to Sprouts for fresh tomatoes and some odds and ends--I stayed in the truck, he wore gloves.
Then past Mission Brewery, which had put on social media last night that they were giving away packets of yeast as long as it lasted. We were there at about 1:15 and they were out--the bartender said there was a line down the block when she got there at noon to open up (take-out only).
Then to Annie's house to pick up the key under the pot and go to the pottery studio to pick up these two mugs and two 7.75 inch bisqued plates so I can put designs on them. Also a 25 lb. bag of clay to do hand-building at home. I did go in here--no one else was there. Then back to Annie's to drop off the key (only a block away), and home.
After washing the produce and putting it away, we went out front and I put in the soaker hose and the 8 biggest tomato seedlings and watered them in the bed I prepared earlier this week. I'll post a picture of them once they've settled in. Cut some more roses to bring in and enjoy--Mr. Lincoln, dark rich red! Now I'm relaxing. Tomorrow I will take the clay and pottery pieces out back.
>109 ronincats: Beautiful! Hope the hail didn't do too much damage. We had heavy snow last night. I am so jealous of your lemon trees. That's one thing we'd really, really like to have. When I lived in Cyprus we were young and poor and lived in a tiny apartment, but relatives would bring us bags and bags of lemons. I still buy lemons by the bagful, but I know they're shipped in from somewhere else. My girls do too - their friends thing it's weird that we always have bags of lemons and the girls think it's weird their friends don't.
Jamoca almond fudge is a favorite of mine also. There's a Baskin-Robbins in downtown Evergreen, the little mountain town where I grew up. It has been there forever. Our PTA does a fundraiser there every year with teachers as guest scoopers. I can't think of another BR anywhere else nearby.
>106 ronincats: Over here with the lockdown the weather seems to have gone quiet. Temperature a little down and not too much rain. It is as if the climate is in sympathy with its people.
Have a good weekend despite all, Roni.
>99 ronincats: That's pretty much where I am about now. Every time I stop for gas I get a bottle of wine. LOL
>109 ronincats: I like the left-side mug's colors the best.
Mister Lincoln roses are good-smelling, too, my memory tells me.
Spend a splendid Sunday!
Interesting about Kaiser. Hubby has a new prescription and opted to have it mailed. It's been nearly a week and not here yet. I saw on the KP website that things can take up to 7 days at the moment so hope it will arrive tomorrow.
Mugs and roses are beautiful!
Take care of yourselves and stay well.
>110 AMQS: Good taste, Anne! And I just made lemonade using sugar syrup a little bit ago and am enjoying it now. All the seedlings survived the hail--fortunately it wasn't big enough or sustained enough to do any damage.
>111 PaulCranswick: I did, Paul, and I hope you have a good week ahead of you.
>112 thornton37814: Yes, I do too. The one on the right is very pedestrian--I should have gone ahead with a third color.
>113 ChelleBearss: And I'm going to need more soon, Chelle!
>114 SirThomas: Thank you, Thomas. Same to you!
>115 richardderus: Yes, Richard, they have a lovely smell, although the Double Delight roses steal the show for odor.
>116 RebaRelishesReading: I usually have my one prescription mailed and it usually comes in 3 days. I'm sure the conditions have slowed response down.
In response to the request to keep those blooms coming, here are the bougainvilleas I mentioned overhanging the side garden bed right before I started trimming them. The grass below is where the purported garden bed is.
So, I trimmed it back considerably, and pulled a bunch of grass, but have a fair amount of each left--don't want to overfill the trash dumpster. Then I came in and cleaned the kitchen, made lemonade with the lemons from the tree and then finally took some pie crust and wrinkled apples that had been around way too long and made an apple pie.
Last night I finished the other volume:
Book #42 The Chronicles of Amber: Vol. 2 by Roger Zelazny (434 pp.)
This contains the last three books of the original Chronicles of Amber: Sign of the Unicorn, The Hand of Oberon, and The Courts of Chaos. I don't think I got to them back in the 70s as I hadn't been too impressed with the first two, much preferring Lord of Light and The Doors of his Face, The Lamps of his Mouth. I like these much more, and perhaps it has to do with age as well, as I appreciated Corwin's ruminations and family concerns as much as the action.
I also love seeing the pictures of your flowers, Roni. Those Mr. Lincoln roses are gorgeous! The best I can get right now is looking out to our terrace and seeing the pots of daffodils, but they are just about finished and the tulips have yet to start to bloom.
I am happily reading book 3 in the Binti series and really loving it.
I started reading lots of novellas published by Tor.com and so far have liked most of them. Some are better quality than others but they are all enjoyable in different ways.
HI, Roni. Spring is moving quickly here - azaleas nearly gone, dogwoods and other trees leafing out with exuberance, wisteria in full bloom. *sigh* No bougainvillea here, and I wonder why. It's lovely.
I read one book of Amber years ago and never got back to it. Now I suspect that they are in the attic, and there's an awfully lot to read in our living spaces.
>118 alcottacre: Thank you, Stasia!
>119 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley.
>120 DeltaQueen50: Well, daffodils and tulips won't naturalize around here--it doesn't get cold enough for their dormant period--so enjoy what you've got, Judy.
>121 richardderus: That would be cool, Richard.
>122 BLBera: It's acomin', Beth.
>123 benitastrnad: I've read a lot more of the shorter fiction of late thanks to Tor, Benita.
>124 LizzieD: Hi, Peggy. Sounds lovely there.
So, the state stay-at-home order goes on. One of the casualties is that there are no fragrance candles to be found in the stores. My husband loves these and almost always has several going in the house. I often remake some with left-over wax and new wicks and scent, but we were running out of new candles to provide the leftover wax. That meant digging into the cupboards in the laundry room and pulling out all the candle-making supplies that have been languishing in there, including a whole big box of old candle stubs, so the wax issue is resolved. I only have a few new wicks and scent left--I've ordered more wicks from Ammy, but the scents are from other vendors and have slow delivery times, so I'm waiting on those as I have some left. My electric frying pan, which I haven't used in yonks, is sitting on the counter with water and an old metal mixing bowl I use for was with wax melting in it.
And another casualty includes the fishing boats that were out to sea and have come in with their catches of fish only to find that restaurant orders have gone way down and they can't dispose of their catch. We buy our fresh ocean fish from Catalina Onshore, who retail it in addition to cleaning and delivering catches wholesale. Last week they had a tuna sale we missed from a boatload that came it, but this morning there was an email saying they had another catch, so the husband went down and bought 4 pounds of just-below-sushi grade ahi tuna for $7.99 a pound. Beautiful stuff!
BTW, another casualty is active dry yeast. I had 3 packets, used one of them for a loaf of bread last week, but there is none to be found except online where people have jacked up the price for 3 packets, generally under $3, to $12 or more. Even Amazon Prime is out of stock for Fleischmans or Red Star.
You can order yeast in bulk from King Arthur Flour. It comes in a bag and you can freeze it for storage and then use when you need it.
>126 benitastrnad: No, they are sold out as well, Benita. What was a $5.95 pound block pre-Corona is now going for over $18 from third party shippers on Amazon.
That is the first time I have ever heard of that from KAL! I bet their business has been booming in the last two weeks. I'm glad I have my bag in the freezer.
Just peeking in as I roam the threads to say we're okay, The Man and I.
I definitely needed a break from the barrage of info shooting into my eyeballs off this website as well as the news feeds.
My equanimity has started on some recovery, but I need to be more mindful how susceptible I am in reacting to emerging viral news.
Two more books squeezed into March!
Book #43 The Lost Art of Scripture: Rescuing the Sacred Texts by Karen Armstrong (431 pp.)
I will write a review of this book later, as I would like to do it in more depth than I feel up to at the moment. This has been my bathtub book for most of the month, for which it has been well-suited due to its length and density. Armstrong has done her usual scholarly but readable job of bringing together gobs of information and making sense of it and making a case for her thesis. She treats with scriptures of the three monotheistic religions as well as a number of different sects developing in India and China.
Book #44 Baker's Magic by Diane Zahler (337 pp.)
This came to my attention sometime over the last 4 years and so when I saw it for free on my Kindle Unlimited selections, I thought it would be a good light read after finishing the above. This is a children's fantasy, ages 9 to 12, sweet and with lots of happy endings but not very deep or original.
>129 richardderus: I'll have to check out that recipe, Richard.
>130 SandyAMcPherson: Glad you are both doing okay, Sandy.
>132 quondame: Yes, she was quite a character, Susan!
I found out today that I am getting TWO of the three Early Reviewer books I requested last month! Guess the LT algorithm figures we'll all have extra time on our hands. One is a fantasy Lessons in Enchantment and one a nonfiction Empire but that's an audiobook--oops.
Pages read: 5560
Average pages/book: 327
Average pages/day: 179
Mine (2020): 9
Books Off the Shelf: 3
- Science Fiction: 1
- Fantasy: 12
- Children's: 2
- General/Popular: 0
- Romance: 0
- Mystery: 3
US authors: 10
Other countries: England - 5, France - 1, New Zealand - 1
Acquired: 5 pd., 5 free
Source: Amazon - 9, ER - 1
Genre: Science Fiction - 2, Fantasy - 8, Fiction -
Medium: Kindle - 10
4 of the paid for books read; the fifth is for a challenge next month. One of the free books read.
Books out the door: 0 No one will take them right now!
First Quarter of 2020
Pages read: 14296
Average pages/book: 325
Average pages/day: 157
Mine (2020): 18
Books Off the Shelf: 5
- Science Fiction: 4
- Fantasy: 31
- Children's: 3
- General/Popular: 3
- Romance: 1
- Mystery: 3
US authors: 34
Other countries: England - 7, France - 1, New Zealand - 1, Pakistan - 1
Source: Amazon - 11, ER - 2, MG - 6, gift - 1
Medium: Kindle - 11, print - 9
Books out the door: 1 No one will take them right now!
>109 ronincats: Kaiser. My sister’s chemo port removal procedure got set back 2 months and her husband’s magnesium infusions for migraines have been cancelled through mid-June. Irritating for Laura, but devastating for Mike.
>117 ronincats: One of the major things I miss about living in CA – bougainvillea. I can buy it here, but as hanging pots only that have to be taken inside in winter. Yours is beautiful.
>125 ronincats: Yeast – a friend found this and she ordered a pound for me, coming this weekend: Waffle Pantry Dry Yeast.
I hope it's still in stock by the time you see this!
>117 ronincats: So beautiful! I'm looking forward to some spring flowers here soon. Tired of snow and dirt
Roni if you get low on candles again let me know. I have a couple of scented ones and quite a few white tapers that I will never use that you're welcome to have. We can arrange a drive-by pick-up :)
Love the blooms - thank you for sharing them, they are very much appreciated. Hope your candle making goes well - really impressive.
>135 karenmarie: Thanks for thinking of me, Karen. Their shipping costs are rather high, so I'm going to hold off for the time being.
>136 ChelleBearss:, >138 charl08: See below!
>137 RebaRelishesReading: The husband has been making candles like crazy since he discovered my wax stash, Reba, so I think we are good. Thanks for the offer, though.
From the yard this morning!
>139 ronincats: Just gorgeous!
We have about 3 inches of green showing in the garden and I can't wait for them to become tulips and hyacinths
>139 ronincats: Glad you're set but keep it in mind for future reference.
Just dropping by to say hello, Roni, and to see what you're reading. I always find great suggestions on your thread!
Hi, Chelle, Stasia, Anita--the roses are indeed precious!
>141 alcottacre: Glad to be of service, Stasia.
>143 RebaRelishesReading: I will, Reba.
>144 Dejah_Thoris: Hi, Princess!
Started a walker caddy yesterday, but not much else accomplished. I've not slept well the last two nights--I sleep, wake, sleep, wake, and this morning didn't get back to sleep after 5. Once I was up and past my two cups of coffee, I made a fabric mask for the husband who went out for cat food and wine, and then took a nap this afternoon. Also finished another book, an ER book I just downloaded that was just an average paranormal fantasy. I'll review it later.
Congrats on your ER win, Toni - I have never received two books in one month.
It sounds like you are keeping busy. :)
Oh I so envy you your blooms, apricots (a fave of mine) and the roses. So far we only have crocii and snowdrops. It starts so slow here and then by mid-late May so much is happening all at once that it becomes overwhelming. Might feel differently this year.
I am having fun hand-sewing masks while listening to dear Georgette. Using mostly t-shirts which we have in absurd abundance -- even to the ear loops -- I carefully cut off the bottom hem and use that! They're probably too goofy to go to the hospitals but I do have some elastic to make them look more sober.
Having a hard time reading so I signed up for the readathon to see if that would help. Official license and all that.
Love your new kitchen. You have more counter space than I do in my main kitchen (yeah, it is kind of a problem).
Did you BBC has made a drama of Mieville's The City and the City? We watched the first episode (of four) last night. Available on Prime! Yay!
Super envious of your bouquet of roses.
I have this view of my back garden this morning ...
Minus 14 oC and a skiff of fresh snow ~
Even the bird feeders are quiet at the moment.
>145 ronincats: Are you going to make masks to sell? If I fail at my attempt later today, I may be in the market :)
No, the husband suggested it, but there are too many people in the area making them and donating them, and I would feel I need to donate mine as well. I'll make them for us and any of my friends who need them, gratis. (That includes you, in case you were wondering!)
>146 BLBera: Thanks, Beth. I did once before.
>147 sibylline: I don't have elastic so am making ties for my masks, Lucy.
>148 SandyAMcPherson: Ouch, Sandy! Although our mountains here may have show next week...
Book #45 Lessons in Enchantment by Patricia Rice (332 pp.)
Rice is evidently an prolific award-winning Romance writer. I received this ebook through the Early Reviewer program. This was an interesting-sounding Victorian fantasy with potential, but in the end, the Romance tropes did me in. The strong physical attraction at first meeting, the continued fantasies of both parties at odds with their established characters, and the obligatory explicit sexual interaction (2 of them) overwhelmed the possibilities of Edinburgh and atypical characters (one of the side characters is asexual, the male protagonist is a self-made man and the female protagonist is an unruly mess with interesting family). To me, it seemed like the author threw all the pieces together, gave them a stir, and spit them out without any depth or even, at times, probability. This Heyer lover was unable to stomach it with any pleasure.
DNF Undead and Uneasy by Mary Janice Davidson (45 pp.)
Just couldn't do it. I knew going in that it was the third of the series--it was a book I'd come by inadvertently--but honestly, I just couldn't deal with the angst of the first-person narrator. Too light, too frivolous, not worth putting in the time, for me.
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