Sunday Post: A breath of fresh air

A chance to connect with others–talking about books and our personal lives

Sunday-Post

Kimberly hosts the Sunday Post each week. I like to take part because it gives me an opportunity to look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also love to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Personal life

I took a short break from my blog after the election. I’ve been stressed by the election, by the rise of Covid cases throughout the U.S. and by the current President and most of the Republican party’s refusal to admit Joe Biden won. I don’t want to argue about the election. I realize many people voted for Mr. Trump and Republicans did well in Congress. But more people voted for Mr. Biden. All those votes for both individuals mean something and I just want our country to get on with the important business of running the country.

Autumn

It feels like fall outside. Lots of wind, the leaves have fallen, cool temperatures and a little rain sometimes. But we’ve also had some beautiful bright blue skies and cold temperatures! I think Autumn is a time of anticipation and change and is one of my favorite times of the year.

However, this year it is also a time of uncertainty. Covid cases are spiking in many places of the world with the U.S. leading the way. Several of my younger relatives have had Covid recently. They all seem to be doing okay. Two of them are doctors and they are back at work.

Please wear masks! Keep yourself and others safe!
The election

I’m so glad the election is over. I am glad we will have a breath of fresh air in January when Biden becomes President. (Not that Biden or any person is perfect, but I hope he does well.) We need that right now with the pandemic surging and Trump doing little to try to stem the rise.

A breath of fresh air–out of the house for a drive in the country

On one of our bright blue sky days we took a drive into the surrounding area. This time it was to Madison County where the book The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller took place. It was a perfect afternoon to drive through rural Iowa and drive on some gravel roads. We found a couple of the famous covered bridges in the county. The Cedar Covered Bridge–the one shown on the cover of the book–was almost destroyed by arson a few years ago, but was rebuilt and reopened in 2019.

The second bridge we saw was moved from the North River in 1970 and is now in the City Park in Winterset, Iowa which is the county seat of Madison County. The City Park is large and has a one-way road that wanders through trees and continues to the top of a ridge where Clark Tower sits.

One of Winterset’s other claim to fame is that it’s the birthplace of John Wayne. There’s a museum with a statue of John Wayne in front of it. Nearby is a large painted rock called Freedom Rock between the museum and John Wayne’s family home. Freedom Rocks are being painted by Ray “Bubba” Sorensen II in each of the 99 counties in Iowa. (He only has four rocks left to paint!) Sorensen wants to promote Iowa tourism, honor Iowa veterans and to provide for his family. Each rock is unique and designed to tell a story of the county. One side of the rock in Winterset shows various film roles of John Wayne.

Blog Life

Little done on the blog for the last two weeks.

Posted last week
Post for next week
  • Can’t Wait Wednesday
  • Connect 5 Friday
  • Sunday Post

My books

I’ve read and am reading some very good books so that makes me happy!

What I’m reading
  • Midwinter Murder by Agatha Christie
  • The Concrete Jungle by Charles Stross
What I read
  • Christmas at the Island Hotel by Jenny Colgan
  • Hard Time by Jodi Taylor
  • No Simple Death by Valerie Keogh
  • The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross
Books I got

What are you up to next week?

Sunday Post: A look back at February

Weekly meme to talk about books and a little about my personal life

Sunday-Post

Kimberly hosts the Sunday Post each week. I like to take part because it gives me an opportunity to look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also love to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Note: I haven’t done a Sunday Post since last February. I found this Post which should have posted on March 1, but I think we were traveling or I didn’t have internet available. Anyway, I thought I would post the “Personal Life” section which talked about what I had done in February. I was struck by how different life is now.

Next week I hope to post a regular Sunday Post for what I’m doing and reading.

Personal life

What I did in February

My Ragdoll kitten turned six months old and will be a year old in September. Elf is a senior girl at over 10 years old.

I made cards for birthdays, thank you’s and Valentine’s Day. (I’ve made lots of cards to send during the pandemic.)

My daughters made a surprise visit to us over Valentine’s Day and it was wonderful to see them. (Now we wouldn’t surprise each other like that!)

Toward the end of February we went to Seattle to visit our son. Before we left for Seattle we knew there was a Covid 19 case in Seattle, but had no idea what would happen in the months to come. As you can see from the photos we did quite a few activities with lots of people around us. By the time we left Seattle, Covid 19 was in nursing homes there and I felt we should quarantine for two weeks when we returned to Iowa. Before the end of our two weeks the whole of Iowa and the rest of the U.S. were quarantining.

February photos

I’ll see you all next week and look forward to seeing what you’ve been doing.

My pandemic life so far

In the United States months into the pandemic people still get ill, some die and some have long-lasting effects of the illness. Unemployment and homelessness isn’t going away soon. Black Lives Matter still matters. The United States still has a huge number of positive Covid 19 cases and people continue to die at an alarming rate. Schools are beginning to start, but large numbers of children have tested positive for Covid 19 in the last few weeks. I know many people have gone through so much in the last few months and continue to struggle.

The pandemic and quarantine have been mostly okay for my family and me. My husband and I are retired and don’t see a lot of people in normal times! My husband is cooking more and has always helped with cleaning. We are in the higher risk group due to our age and pre-existing medical conditions so we are cautious about our interactions with other people. We do sometimes order curbside take-out from our favorite restaurants. We’re lucky we have a beautiful and serene backyard to spend time in plus a big enough house to spend separate time if we need it!

We’ve had plenty to keep us busy the last five months. My husband has done lots of yard work. He has been able to continue to play bridge over the internet with his regular bridge partner. I have made lots of cards to send to family and friends plus I’ve read lots of books and completed a few jigsaw puzzles.

Our three children are safe–two work from home and one is mission essential so she works some at home and some at her workplace. She wears a mask when she’s working with anyone else, but a lot of her time she’s alone in her lab.

During these months I’ve continued to read and am way ahead in my 2020 Goodreads Reading Challenge. That makes me happy, but I have more books than usual I’ve started and gotten quite a ways into the book only to decide I don’t want to read any more of it. One book I was at the 50% point! Sometimes the books were depressing or too disturbing; other times I was bored.

However, even though my life has been safe and fairly uneventful the last few months, I feel overwhelmed, exhausted and emotionally drained from all the dissonance in the world. I’m hoping writing blog posts and interacting with other bloggers will help me get some perspective.