I have so much to say that I don’t know where to start. Words are running over each other and then I start overthinking and then I end up not saying anything at all.
Remember me? It’s been… a year.
Feels like a lifetime.
This year alone feels like a decade. But that’s nothing new; you’ve probably heard that phrase about a million times now. At least if you don’t live under a rock.
For just over a month now I have not been working. My place of work closed down indefinitely. I guess until the world is back to as normal as it’ll ever be.
Currently, the days all flow into a fuzzy timeline of sorts and I have lost all sense of time. I eat when I eat, I sleep when I sleep. Sometimes I go to bed at 8 pm, wake at 3 am and read a book till 7 am then sleep till 10 am. C’est la vie.
Funny thing though is that I haven’t felt bored at all yet. There is always something to do. A grocery list to write and map out, a book to read, meals to cook, a wee little party to plan for my wee little nephew’s 1st birthday (I was asked to be the photographer so I gotta get my iPhone photography skills out of the dusty box in the attic), and YouTube videos to watch. Funny thing, I haven’t really taken the time to watch any movies or tv shows. It seems that Netflix, Prime, CBS, and iTunes all together don’t have enough to interest me at the moment. I watch Youtube a lot. Mostly random science stuff that I’ll forget as soon as the video is over and a lot of money and finance topics. Also pop culture. Pop culture is my guilty pleasure.
Yesterday at Walmart I paid someone’s groceries. There was a lady with a baby in front of me at checkout and her debit card was declined twice. At this point I had a fleeting thought to offer to pay for her. I saw she had only 1 bag so I knew it wouldn’t be much regardless of what was in it. I hesitated though and stayed by my cart. This kind of thing is something that might easily embarrass people so I kept my distance. When she started pulling food out of the bag and asked the cashier to put it back, I could no longer keep back and so I stepped in front of my cart and said I would get it for her. I think she was a little uncomfortable but I hope I helped. I just thought that not having enough to pay a $30 Walmart bill was sad, especially since she had a baby. Times are tough for a lot of people.
Yesterday marked a year since my aunt Anna died.
A series of personal things happened which led me to temporarily deactivate my Instagram account, something I once thought I would never do. I think it was good for me to take a little break. I don’t know what to blame that on. I don’t blame it on Instagram. But since it happened on Instagram I thought it best to eliminate Ground Zero for a while.
Not checking IG for a couple of weeks allowed time to lower my TBR pile. For you non-readers, TBR is To Be Read. Any reader might know what it’s like to find book after book they’d like to read but not finding the time to read everything, thus creating a to be read pile. Sometimes this TBR keeps growing and growing and currently with the world on lockdown I’m sure a lot of readers are going to go nuts on their piles. I, for one, hadn’t taken much time lately to read. Before the lockdown I worked over 40 hours per week plus hours at home so, no reading (or social life) happening there.
Quick reviews of a few of the more memorable books I’ve read recently:
Maude by Donna Foley Mabry. This is a memoir and it starts in 1906 with our protagonist on her wedding day, just over 14 years old. Then it flashes back to her younger years, how she grew up in Tennessee, lost her parents and how she moved in with her older (already married) sister which led to her very young marriage. The story follows her throughout the years, (mostly in chronological order) and since it’s told in the first person (my absolute favourite) it becomes very real in your mind. I read about how she lived through all the major disasters of the early 20th century: the Influenza pandemic of 1918, a several year long drought that led to the Great Depression in 1929 and hence the Wall Street crash that made her husband lose all their money, her family’s struggle and subsequent move to Detroit for a better chance of surviving the Great Depression, World War II, and so on. On top of world disasters like that, she also survived personal disasters like the loss of a husband, a few children, a very lazy second husband, a good-for-nothing drunk for a son, physical assault from her mother in law… I could go on but I don’t want to spoil everything. Remarkable things for me were when she saw a car for the very first time, how she “accidentally” ended up married, the time she impulsively chopped off her never-before-cut hair, and how she delivered her sister’s baby when she was only 7 years old. The story is written by Maude’s granddaughter Donna but in a first person point of view so it sounds like Maude herself is telling the story.
Maude died in the 1960’s. The book didn’t really have a happy ending. For some reason though I think it’s the best book I’ve ever read.
Speed Grieving by Allison Ellis. Also told in first person POV. It’s about a young mother who’s suddenly widowed. It’s a short story (barely over 50 pages) and it reads speedy but the story line isn’t shallow even though it reads that way. I’m not sure if I’d recommend this to my friends to read but I really enjoyed it.
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. This was another book I couldn’t put down, hence the middle of the night reading sessions. Set in untamed Alaska in the 1970’s, we follow 14 year old Leni as she tells her story. It’s also first person POV. (See a pattern here?) Her dad returns from the Vietnam War with PTSD, making him abusive. They move to Alaska with hopes of him getting better there but instead he gets worse. The story progresses as Leni is 17 years old, and it then includes several accounts of horrible accidents due to Alaska’s brutal winters, an unplanned pregnancy, a murder, a coverup of the murder, an so on. The book is almost 600 pages long and every page is captivating.
My library closed down too (how is a library not essential?!) and as a result I found Libby, an app where I can access the books in my library with my library card, just in an online version. While I definitely enjoy this, I find that the choices aren’t that good because all the books I really want to read have like 20 weeks waiting periods on them so if I want to read something today, my options are somewhat subpar but there are still good books if you’re willing to spend the time looking for them.
I also found a few good books on my Kindle app, where I can access Amazon Prime books for free (since I have a Prime subscription) but there’s very little to pick from here. I don’t think it’s worth the money, honestly. Same as with Prime Video. Extremely crappy selection in my opinion. But hey, I found a few good books so, that’s good.
I keep track of the books I want to read and am currently reading and have read on my GoodReads app. I like reading reviews and opinions about books on GoodReads before I read them.
Honestly I’m just low key proud that I have spent very little time on social media and watching movies and doing more wholesome things instead even though that includes fiction and YouTube.
I also wrote blog posts that will likely never get published, just cuz they’re really meh. But hey, I wrote, so that’s good. About a year ago I removed some of my email subscribers so if that happened to be you feel free to sign up again. Or don’t. I don’t know. We’re in quarantine. Life is weird. Do whatever you want.
Fingers crossed I’ll write another blog post soon. Forgot how much I enjoy sitting at my computer and pecking away at the keyboard. (My typing skills haven’t improved since high school. They’re still horrible.) Also I’m hungry so I’ll hit the publish button without proofreading, without adding a picture or tagging my post. Eh. You get the raw version today. I’m in quarantine. Life is weird. I’ll do whatever I want.