Thursday, July 3, 2014

June Follies

I started out this month (June I mean) with a bang, that's for sure! On June 2, the day that Savanna was supposed to register for summer school, but we did not know that, I killed a kitten. A KITTEN! I had to make a grocery store run. I jumped in my car, backed out of the driveway, and then stopped at the intersection at the end of my street. At the appropriate time, I made my left turn onto a main street, and then I heard a thunk. Looking in my rear view, I saw one little kitty making a desperate run for it, and one...not running. It was not running because unbeknownst to me, these kitties were up in my car, and they fell out when I made that turn, and I ran over one of them. It was HORRIBLE! When I was in the grocery store shopping, I overheard two women talking about how someone ran over a little kitty in front of that church by Beall's and it was awful. (That was me. I ran over a little kitty in front of that church by Beall's.) That made it better, let me tell ya!
The very next day, I had to take Savanna to summer school, so just to be sure, I looked under the hood, honked the horn, started the cats. Cool. However, as I was driving, I heard something moving around IN MY CAR! Savanna and I looked at each other, and I pulled over and stopped. Sure enough, kitten under the hood! It was wild as all get out, and Savanna ended up getting bit, and it disappeared....still in my car!! I was not about to murder another kitten, and so I called animal control. They came, but couldn't find the cat and said there was nothing they could do without taking my car apart, and probably it ran out already.  I then cautiously continued the journey to the school, went inside and registered Savanna, came back out and cautiously drove home. Later, i went outside and a sad momma cat was laying under the car...but no kitten.  I went out again that evening, and there WAS a kitten! As soon as it noticed me, it ran right back up in my car. I did not drive my car for a week, and then I got fed up and called animal control. They set some traps and caught the cats and took them away to somewhere that they would have food and shelter and be fine.
   About the second week of June, the stucco job on our house was finally done! It was supposed to take a week, but it was a month,

     Tada! My improved dwelling!!
Not really, the above photo is not our place. The below photo is. It remains cement colored.  One might wonder why it is yet unpainted.
It is not painted because a week after it was done, the stucco started cracking and cracking and cracking. It turns out that the fella and crew that did the work are being sued by another client and still another is refusing payment. Yay us! I have no idea how this story will end, but for the time being, we gave our life savings in order to have a grey cracked exterior. I'm excited.

     On June 7th, I participated in the second Color Run for the summer with daughter Chanelle and her mother and sister-in-law. It was fuuuuuuuun!!!!!

Also during June, this little gal became independently mobile! Now I spend all of my time sweeping, mopping, keeping foreign objects out of her mouth, hunting her down because she no longer stays put...and sometimes she falls, and that makes her upset.

     Chris and Charity both had b-days this month! They are 28 and 30 and I can't hardly take it in that I have kids these ages! Super happy we were together for the turning-of-the-page!

Before that, there was the anniversary of this (my pics are out of order, oops) and also the anniversary of my dad's passing on the 12th. We were all kind of funky that week.  Two years later....well, i'll just say it's something we are still learning to live with. I love that just recently...around the end of May, I randomly met a lovely woman who is the mother of one of Joey's good high school friends.  She was telling me how Joey championed her son, who others kind of picked on, and was his friend, and how much that was appreciated. That was Joey! And it does a mamma's heart good to hear these kind of things about her child, even two years after his death! It also makes a mamma cry a little that this (although he was sometimes a pain in the neck) great kid is not here anymore.

Are picture captions supposed to go before or after the photo?? Huh. Well. Mine are before. These are my sneakers. I'm putting them to good use, and am back on carb rehab. I already feel a ton better and have lost 6 lbs! 19 to go...and then some more after that. I know that the lo-carb is pretty controversial in some circles, which is why it took me a seriously long time to even consider it, but now I don't even care who says what. I'm sure that it isn't for everyone...but it is for me. Having tried it in desperation, and finding that it makes me FEEL so much BETTER, it is my friend! Less joint aches, headaches, etc...less brain fog and lethargy...AND I don't retain fluid like a sponge! My blood pressure is lower and feel much more inclined to move...and my MOODS are far better. I can't actually see what is going on inside my body, but I take my clues from how I feel.  For the record, I get plenty of fiber as well. The VERY low carb portion is temporary, not forever.  I sometimes struggle with craving crusty italian bread dipped in hot oil, or a tortilla, or a (box of) twinkies...but those cravings become fewer and farther between with time and persistance. I am trying like crazy to also break the diet coke habit...I am really curious to see how avoiding aspartame affects the process! I did recently come across a great recipe for peanut butter mousse...whipped heavy cream, cream cheese, natural pb, and a small amount of stevia. It tastes like peanut butter pie filling, which is divine in my opinion...and this concoction helps to tame the beast!

We have had some really lovely rain!! Note the wet table. This picnic table is a fun addition to our yard, thanks to The Chief. He toted it home last time he was in town!  One evening we ate Subway sammies at this table. It was extremely pleasant! that was before carb rehab.

I have read some books during the past couple of months, trying to find that escapist relaxation, but alas I haven't had a lot of luck. As a disclaimer, one should not necessarily read or not read any book based on my opinion, as apparently I just don't like anything anymore. I don't really know what's up with that, but here's the rundown:
Up first was historical romance, which I don't read very often...romance, historical or otherwise is not my favorite. I used to read them by the fistful, but life and age and experience has changed my perspective and now I don't have much patience for them. However, there are a few authors of this genre that are so good at their craft that I sometimes read one anyway. One of those is Amanda Quick, and I read her newest book, Otherwise Engaged, and didn't hate it. In fact, I enjoyed it.
Next up, and this surprised me, was Mauve Binchy's Chestnut Street. Um, I didn't even finish it. I'm not a big ole fan of short stories in the first place, and it seems like all of these were gloomy tales about cheating spouses, and I do not have time or desire for gloomy. 
A winner was Spider Woman's Daughter, by Anne Hillerman. She is the daughter of Tony Hillerman, who passed away and left his readers Leaphorn and Chee-less, and that was sad, but now Anne is attempting to continue the story. This book was not quite as good as Tony's, but it was still very good and I enjoyed reading it.
More sadness is being disappointed by Dorothy Benton Franks, who's work I have always enjoyed, but I did not love "the hurricane sisters".  It was very meh, and there wasn't even a hurricane. 
"The fault in our stars" was another huge disappointment. I don't hardly ever read those tear jerker, heart wrenching kinds of things, like some of Nicholas Sparks and Jodi Picoult. My heart is wrenched enough by my real life, and I don't care to have it wrenched for escape and entertainment, so when I first started hearing about "The fault in our stars" and kind of got the gist of the kind of story is was, I didn't even pay attention to it. But there was more and more hype, and then my daughter saw the movie and assured me that yes it was sooooo sad, but also so good, my curiosity got the best of me, and Kindle had it for 4.99 so I read it. Gloomy, without anything to redeem the gloom, I did not form any kind of attachment to the characters,  and I thought that the whole "teen speak", or whatever, and you know? clashes wildly with the sophistication of much of the books language, including that of these teenagers. Also there was a lot of profanity and a teen sex scene, and call me old fashioned or whatever, but I object to sex and profanity in YA books. Yes, I am very very clearly aware of the culture among our youth and that sex and profanity are not rare, but it is my opinion that the adults who are writing YA novels, while I understand that they are shopping for a large readership,  have a responsibility to hold up a higher standard for our youth. So as far as YA, I will be sticking to Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. Both series have huge readerships without sinking to that level. 
Then there is Janet Evanovich and her Stephanie Plum series. Yes, I did read #21. No, I will not read number 22. Stephanie has run her course. There is nothing new in Stephanie-land. Her cars are still getting blown up and her apartment messed up, still going to viewings with her grandmother  and she still hasn't made any kind of a decision between Ranger and Morelli, and frankly it's just old and no longer interesting. So if someone will kindly let me know if and when she ever wraps it up, I might like to read THE VERY LAST BOOK in this series. 
I started "Still Life with Bread Crumbs", but I got several chapters in, was bored to tears and not invested in any of the characters, so I stopped. 
The next book I am going to attempt is by an author that doesn't appear to be widely well know (and those kinds of authors are usually the most enjoyable in my own personal experience). It is entitled "The Darling Dahlias and the Texas Star" and was authored by Susan Wittig Albert. Ms. Albert wrote some really good books (in my opinion) that were fictional stories about Beatrix Potter, and involved a little mystery, a little romance, and some talking animals and I really enjoyed them, so I am hopeful for this book.
I am looking forward to October and the release of John Grisham's newest offering and hope really hard that it meets expectation! He hasn't let me down yet, but then neither have some of my other authors until now. 
As an end note, I am aware that many of these authors are best sellers and I have written nothing, and that these stories are beloved by many. These are just my opinions, and my own frustrating issues with reading material lately! 

And THAT, my friends, is the end of a very long blog post! Hoping for a safe and happy 4th to all!