August 2023 in review

Life is weird. That is all.

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Week 1

Most of the big things that happened this week did not make it into pictures.

So, here are the things that made it into pictures.

We as a family had a couple of times of playing games. More Shadows of Brimstone, some more Tempurra, and a round of the Harry Potter game where I kind of created a game to play.

Superman had game club, where they played Tempurra (current family favorite as you can tell), and Root, which another kid had brought.

During our weekly call I asked Batman about how he liked the memes I’ve been sending him, and I could practically hear him rolling his eyes as he said, “Yeah… My drill sergeant had to go through all of them that you sent to make sure you weren’t sending me any contraband.” He may have said something else, but it broke up then briefly. His phone calls are not always the easiest to hear. I mentioned this in the Lorehaven group and one of the ladies (whose husband is an army chaplain) said, “You need to send him drill sergeant memes now! So I created that top meme. I need to Google Drill Sergeant memes. Though that may be too far.

I did, and found a few more I added in to mail Batman.

I heard lick mats can be this great thing for your dog and really help them with stress and other stuff, so I bought one, and when we left Leezard in her crate I left her with the mat. We got home from church and she had licked the mat, but she also had started chewing on it and as she chewed on it accidentally pulled the blanket through the mat, and just generally destroyed it.


And for a final thing, yesterday I got a worried call from Jeff asking if I knew why the fire alarm was going off, well I was out at lunch, and so I left Mom with The Artist, started driving home as I’m getting updates from Jeff by text, “fire department on the way,” “alarm has gone off,” then I got a call from the alarm company.

Meanwhile Jeff is getting calls from the fire department, the police station, and the alarm company, so he starts driving home.

I drive up to see three firefighters standing in front of the door not going in because there is no obvious fire, but at the same time an alarm is going off.

I let them in, they check to see if there is any fire, there is none, just as they leave Jeff drives up, and I get to explain the whole thing to him, then Mom drives up with The Artist and the whole conversation starts over again.

Long story somewhat short (I’m turning this into a 2 page epic letter for Batman, you know so I can send the memes), we’re getting our alarm system checked out to make sure it doesn’t do that again.

It was exciting.

Books Read:

  • Teacup Quilt Mystery– a novella that was amusing, I picked it up because it was free, it was a nice quick read, which makes sense with it only being 150 pages
  • Rose Gate– Beauty and the Beast retelling, it’s an interesting series of books, mostly independent, but also somewhat sharing ideas between books
  • Glass Gate– Cinderella retelling
  • Imperfectly Proverbs 31– I forget if I read this last week or this week, I can’t decide what I think of this book. There were parts of it I enjoyed, and there were parts of it that were rather not good in ways I can’t explain

Games played:

  • Tempurra– a press your luck game I forced everyone to play to figure out if we want to keep it and now everyone really likes it
  • Root– I know nothing about this, Superman didn’t have much to say about it
  • Shadows of Brimstone (I have lots of people looking up how to organize their new stuff, so I’ve gotten quite a few hits on my how-to-organize Shadows of Brimstone), I had to laugh the new expansion is on Amazon, but it does not cost that much, I’m guessing someone is selling their Kickstarter game

Week 2

Darn it, I did not get this written like I thought I had.

The two big pictures are our trip to Typhoon Texas with the cousins, and by our, I mean, The Artist and I, because Superman was suddenly scheduled to work, much to his dismay.

It was lots of fun to go through and spend lots of time riding various wavepools and going around the lazy river.

It was insanely hot, Texas has had a much hotter than usual summer. I’m pretty sure it was around 105.

So crazy hot.

That Friday was tax-free weekend here in Texas, which is the time you go get all of your clothes and school supplies shopping. I took The Artist to go get more clothes, and my reward for taking a teen clothes shopping was a Blizzard from Dairy Queen. I think I should be nominated for sainthood for this.

The middle picture on the bottom is our one and only letter from Batman so far.

It’s quite amusing because I sent him a package with lots and lots of stamps, paper, envelopes, address labels, and you know what he sent us?

One page talking about what he’s been doing, and then a whole bunch of pages about the backstory for his new character for D&D.

Sigh, teen boys.

Oh, yes…

Games played:

Books read:

  • The Navigator– I mentioned the first book in this series in my Peter Pan retellings post, now I have to wait for what I assume will be the last book in the series
  • And the next book I started I really struggled to get into, so I didn’t finish it until the very beginning of the next week

Week 3

Now, I’m only one week behind, here we go, but this has a hilarious story.

That giant photo of Leezard and the smaller photo of lasagna being constructed go together as two rather amusing stories.

I was going to start off telling the Leezard story, but first I have to back up and tell a different story. This story starts with deciding to make spaghetti noodles from scratch for dinner the night before to make chow mein.

So, I made the pasta, had leftover dough, and I wrapped it up then got distracted and left it on the counter.

Fast forward to the next day and I was drying off from taking a shower. I heard a noise from the kitchen that implied something was happening that shouldn’t have.

I get out there and she has found the chicken I had left from a project that morning and was very carefully eating from the glass bowl that she had somehow not shattered.

I look around and the pasta dough I had gotten back out so it would be warmed up to make lasagna noodles was gone. I stuck her in her crate, ran back to my room got dressed and proceeded to search for the wrapping for the dough.

The wrapping was nowhere to be found. I did a quick google search and basically got, “Maybe she needs emergency surgery, maybe she just needs to be watched to make sure she passes the wrap and it is not blocking anything.”

I am not excited by this.

All right I think, I’ll just use some ready-made noodles.

Only we don’t have any, so I decide to make another batch of pasta dough, only to discover we do not have enough eggs to make pasta dough.

I called Jeff and he said he’d pick up eggs, so that problem was solved.

Then I ran out of flour, but thankfully I had a brand new bag of 25 pounds of flour.

This is where the Leezard story comes back in.

We’re attempting to pour this bag of flour into a 5 gallon bucket, but it was missing the bucket, and Leezard was trying her best to eat it all.

We eventually got the flour all pour in, and Leezard was desperately licking up as much flour as she could as if I was going to stop her from doing this, until suddenly she looked up and saw this just was not as good as she thought it was going to be, so suddenly I now had slightly soggy flour all over the floor.

I finished making the pasta, got it mixed up and then swept up the flour resolving to mop the next day (which I did).

In the end, I had the most amazing dish of lasagna ever because homemade noodles, homemade sauce, and two pounds of mozzarella makes a delicious meal.

And with another round of meals that did not go quite as planned, but were delicious, I ended up making some of the ham pastries I love so much, but making empanada versions that were delicious.

And the final picture is the applique from the quilt I made. Or the first of the tea cup appliques I ended up making for this quilt.

Books read

  • Of Secrets and Sorcery- I have mixed feelings on this book. The description of the book is not really what the book is about. The first half is also a mystery with the last half being a more traditional fantasy adventure. Bother, there are way too many books with this title, and I am feeling too lazy to search it out with the author
  • Herbwitch Apprentice– this is the first in what will be a trilogy, right now only two books are out, and I’m strongly considering getting this in paperback because the author is a graphic designer by trade, so the paper copy has illustrations. ILLUSTRATIONS! I’m really enjoying the new cozy fantasy genre that has become popular lately
  • Herbwitch Princess– the second book in the series, it’s more or less a stand alone, side characters in the first book are now main characters, events from the last book do matter, but it’s all well-explained enough it doesn’t matter if you haven’t read the first
  • Once Upon a Rose- this was more a short story than even a novella, it was ridiculously short and did not convince me I wanted other books in the series, oh well. Ummm, there are a lot of books with this name, and I don’t care enough to look up the author

Week 4 and that little bit left at the end

Okay, here are the pictures

I finished the quilt with maybe an hour or so to spare before the baby shower (that’s the bottom left picture), I’m still looking at the handle on it and not liking it. Looking at it now, it looks rather like an eye from a hook and eye.

Moving back up to the top left, for Christmas I asked The Artist to make me some cool small picture frames for some artwork I’d gotten. She did and I loved it, but then I lost the artwork I wanted to hang in it, so they sat there forever, until just a few days ago when I found the artwork hidden on a bookshelf.

The middle picture, to go completely out of order is my attempt to remake our Australia meal of barbecue chicken and smashed potatoes to get a better picture (it did work, and at some point soon that whole post will be drastically revised). I now have to super clean the grill because it is for some strange reason a ginormous mess.

The bottom right picture is my start of a Christmas sensory bin I’m toying around with. I have these great big plans of getting that product out in the next few weeks, but I’m hitting a dead end trying to get it through my head.

And the big picture is my monthly habit tracker and attempt to keep track of what I’ve read for the month. My big problem is I don’t always take my notebook with me to bed, and so at the end of the day I forget to fill in what I’ve done, and then I’m left sitting there trying to remember four days later when I exercised or if I walked the dog or read my Bible. I know most days the dog is walked because we’ve been working hard to make sure she gets a walk every day, but the other two I am frequently guessing after the fact.

But, as you can see I had a rash of reading a bunch of books this last week, partially because I was so frustrated with the Of Secrets and Sorcery, and partially because I restarted reading a Jane Austen retelling series that is very well done, and also very short books (175-200 pages each), and read them in a crazy spate of reading.

Not pictured we had a couple of rounds of Shadows of Brimstone, finishing off the Norse storyline, and switching over to the Trederran storyline, which is very different and we’re trying to decide what we think about them. We really enjoyed the Norse storyline and how they all worked together, but we’re not quite as convinced of the Trederran.

I guess we’ll just have to keep playing to get it solidly down.

Books read:

  • Dashing into Disaster– I just realized I didn’t write these down in the order I read them, because I’m pretty sure this is the fourth book in the series, but they are complete stand-alone, so I guess it doesn’t really matter. A modern day Sense and Sensibility retelling
  • Persuading the Captain– a retelling of Persuasion, probably the best retelling of the story I’ve read, most people don’t know what to do with a demure heroine
  • Engaging Mr. Darcy– the first book in the series, not the best Pride and Prejudice retelling, but certainly one of the stronger adaptations. Also, it’s highly amusing to grab the links because I can see how quickly I read each book, and at what point I just decided to buy the rest of the series rather than buy them one at a time
  • Emma the Matchmaker– I enjoy this adaptation of the story, and they figured out how to have the relationship with “Knightley” without having any of the weird brother or step-brother connotations other adaptations have done
  • Beneath the Swirling Sky– I read this for a review and after reading it, I’m itching to come up with a unit study for it because it does such a good job bringing in different famous artworks
  • A Coup of Tea– I have to admit I picked this book up because it was about a princess who escaped to work in a tea shop and I was intrigued. I liked the book, and looked up the second, but the reviews on this book indicated they started heading more towards matching everyone up and introducing characters that are obviously solely introduced so everyone can be a couple at the end of the book, which had me rolling my eyes and deciding not to get it after reading another book that also did this and did it badly enough that I don’t want to try reading something where that is specifically mentioned in the review
  • Wrought of Silver and Ravens– I picked this up back in January when it was on sale, or maybe the book was a freebie, I forget how, but I’ve had it for several months and I’m trying to cut down my TBR pile, which was not helped because after reading this one I bought the next book in the series, and I’m now about 1/3 of the way through it, and will probably be picking up the last book in the series to finish reading it as well


One response to “August 2023 in review”

  1. Natalie PlanetSmarty Avatar
    Natalie PlanetSmarty

    I found a letter from Batman amusing – but impressive that he actually sat down and wrote it. So far A FaceTimes every day from college and texts occasionally. I often give your book recommendations to my husband who has similar tastes in retelling of fairy tales. I just read Touch of Darkness, a retelling of Hades and Persephone myth which I quite enjoyed.

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