Number 41

the great binge hangover

WE HAVE FINISHED watching Offspring, our latest television obsession and a good one with 85 (!) 45-minute episodes, like a real old fashioned TV series (which it was, in Australia). I swear I do not know what we will do with our time now, I mean last night between us we couldn't figure a single thing we both were excited to watch. Tim just up and went to bed (believe me, he was very okay with this), and I cozied up for some reading, about which I was equally satisfied. Still, we'd gotten so invested in the lives of those characters we'd have dinner table conversations about them, as if they were really our friends or family! Okay, okay, not dinner table conversation per se as let's face it, we've also become Watch TV While We Eat Supper people about which I am not proud, I surely am not, and so I shall blame COVID just as I blame COVID, for everything.
I've also gone blonde! This is another thing I'd never in a million billion years thought I would do. It has been a shocking transition for me even as it's one I decided to make on my way to gray. My daddy had the most beautiful white/gray hair and my roots indicate I may be in the same family (pun intended) underneath my years of Medium Brown #5. I do rejoice at the thought of never having to color my hair again, as we (by which I mean mastermind Steve Brinchi at Capelli Salon) will just snip that blonde away as the gray grows out.
That white part? Roots. My roots. My natural roots.
I realize exactly none of this is either here nor there, in the big scheme, in the small scheme, in any scheme at all.

I'll throw in a sock photo, just to change the subject.

I've been working some, writing a lot, and I've finished the first of a new pair of knitted socks. (See above. I will not let those dang socks get the better of me.) I'm also having a blast with an online painting class in acrylic abstracts. More about that below, including the link to the many, many class offerings which are so amazing and fun and filled with possibility you'll want to set aside several hours just for delightful perusing.
Anyway, here we are in July, the heart of summer, or as I think of it: the month right before Halloween. Swimming pools, popsicles, flip flops, beach reads, sunshine, hydrangea blossoms, and mojitos, tall and cold—let's get out there and let's get at it!

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I can't. I just can't. It's too soon.
Okay. I'll offset that childish and unacceptable Offspring stunt I just pulled with bonus book thoughts. One I just added to my Best of All Times Greatest Hits List and four hot-hot-hot-and-yet-I-did not-finish novels, this is BIG.

(Editor's note: I have several book lists on my website as noted above, if that is of interest. Just click the link and scroll til you find what you're looking for. I'm also on Goodreads and I have a book shop on Bookshop, supporting local bookstores.)
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This novel right here. RIGHT HERE.

Whiskey When We're Dry is so good, so compelling, so beautifully written I have named it one of my favorites of all time. John Larison is a master storyteller and his young heroine—Jesse—stole my heart. Her voice and grit as she sets out for the West in search of her outlaw brother: “We heard nothing but for the falling snow and the hooves of our own hearts.” So many surprises and pitch perfect sentences. I cannot wait to read this again.

Awesome on audio; the narration is absolute perfection
The books I DNF:

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins Reid
I was wild for Daisy Jones and the Six. I cannot wait to read Malibu Rising. But Reid's Evelyn Hugo was not for me. I couldn't summon much empathy for the characters, and I realized a third of the way through I didn't much care how it all worked out.

When the Stars Go Dark, by Paula McLain
I love Paula McLain; I tore through Circling the Sun and The Paris Wife. Her new one, When the Stars Go Dark, is a departure for her, a literary police procedural that focuses on the case of a missing young girl, reflecting on other cases involving children, trauma and violence. I read, maybe, one quarter? The subject matter felt too disturbing for me as it began to build. (She is a great writer.) But then, I don't really watch the news much anymore because I find it too upsetting. #enneagram9

Olympus, Texas, by Stacey Swann
Well written debut; dysfunctional family drama but I couldn't find anyone to cheer for. I need someone to cheer for.

People We Meet on Vacation, by Emily Henry
I thoroughly enjoyed Henry's last beach read, called Beach Read, and I looked forward to this one. Great premise, fun snappy dialogue, but I lost interest in the primary relationship, which was (via book premise) on again, off again. COME ON, PEOPLE is what I kept thinking until I just never hit PLAY on my Libby Library app again.

Each of these is a very fine read, well crafted and extremely popular. I want to be clear: they just weren't for me.
Behind the Remaking of Century-Old Hardware for the New York Public Library
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My first little abstract.
I'm calling it Pregnant Woman Reaches for the Sun and Stars, hahaha.

As mentioned above, Jeanne Oliver is an artist who has brilliantly created a network of online on-demand classes taught by a number of great artists in a ton of mediums: painting, drawing, collage, floral, fiber arts, creative business, and on and on. I found the site through Facebook, which served it up half price to me during a promotional sale. I was hooked. There are more than 40 free classes, as well as more than 100 you can purchase, and I've "taken" Jeanne's free Documented Life Journal (so fun and FREE FREE FREE) and I am working through Show Up and Shut Up: Strategies of an Insecure Artist by Carolina Della Valle. You'll walk with the artist through multiple video classes and be provided with a list of materials you'll need to complete the sample projects, which you purchase on your own. (These can get pricey, so pay attention to that before you buy—the list is provided. Also, you can substitute what you have on hand which of course is the heart of creativity.) And as I said, the classes I purchased I got half price so keep an eye out for that. SO. MUCH. FUN. to try something new, to push out of your comfort zone and see what comes.
Shrimp, Pesto and Goat Cheese Pizza
This is the first recipe Eliza ever showed interested in, and when she was in high school she and I made it time and again. But it had fallen off my radar until in June, Tim got on a grilled pizza kick (lucky me!) and so we resurrected this one. Start with fresh pizza dough—we get ours from the Publix deli, or Trader Joes, but if you are someone who makes your own have at it. Roll it on out. Top with pesto. Fresh is best, but you can use the jarred stuff, as well. Top with shrimp that you've sauteed in garlic and olive oil. Sprinkle a mix of shredded part skim mozzarella and little globs of goat cheese and grill! Would also be fine from the oven, which is how E and I did it years ago, but pizza on the grill? Highly recommend.

going gray.

I threw up my hands and announced to my beloved hair colorist: THIS I CANNOT DO ANYMORE. He worked with me on a great solution for "going gray," and here for you is that story, embarrassing photos and all.
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July 3, 2021, 6:05 am, #catsmountain


--Katy Perry
Stella says hi.
Buddy says hi, too.
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