Friday, August 31, 2018

August Wrap-Up and Plans for September


The best books I read this month were the first and second of the Wayfarers trilogy. But I also read The Song of Achilles from my 2018 TBR Pile Challenge list and that was pretty great too! Convenience Store Woman was a short, odd little book that I've kept thinking about much longer than I expected to. I've also done some reading about planning, which I talked about in my review of Journal Me Organized.

I also read a little poetry here and there online, some sestinas and villanelles.


PEI dunes
I haven't been listening to any audiobooks this month, which is unusual for me. But I've been having a very hard time focusing, probably because I haven't been meditating and also because of lots of distracting things going on at work. So I've been mostly listening to podcasts and music. By the Book has been especially great, and I also went back and listened to some episodes of Dear Sugar, which I love but haven't been listening to much. And my new favorite, Slow Russian, but I save that for when I can concentrate for a short while.

Since I just saw Janelle Monae in July I've been listening to her a lot. I've also been digging "No Roots" by Alice Merton, "Hi Ho" by The War and Treaty (love that song!), and this amazing cover of Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" by a band called Taggy Matcher that has made me want to seek out more good cover songs.


I've started watching Steven Universe based on a coworker's recommendation. It's cute? And I keep getting the theme song stuck in my head. The episodes are only 11 minutes long so it would be silly not to watch it. It's growing on me a lot.

A coworker mentioned they like Jane the Virgin, which was already on my radar as something I might want to watch. When this particular person whose views I trust mentioned it, I decided to start watching. It is so good! I'm a little obsessed.

I'm still watching Poldark, but kind of slowly. Eric and I are watching it together and it is rather dramatic so we're taking it slow.


I'm still not doing a ton of cooking this month, but I think slightly more than last month. Dishes of note include Shakshuka and Roasted Sumac Chicken with Plums, both from Dinner by Melissa Clark. I am getting a lot of mileage out of this cookbook. They were both delicious dishes that I'd make again, and fairly easy. I've also been making some salads to take in my lunch for work, like this Orzo Pasta Salad which I make fairly regularly.

I also hosted Cookbook Club at work, which was a fun way to end the month. Our book this time was Appetites by Anthony Bourdain, which I honestly was not a fan of (though I had no problem scarfing down all the food everybody made.) The recipes were just very meaty for me and I had a hard time deciding what to make and finally settled on Belgian Endive with Curried Chicken Salad, pictured at right.

Last month I mentioned cutting down on food altogether and using an app to track what I eat, but ha ha ha! That hasn't been super happening. I ate 5 s'mores in one night while camping and I have no regrets. (Except that I still can't fit into my pants.) But the last few days of the month I've started being a bit more strict again.


I posted last month's wrap-up a little early because I was heading to PEI, a vacation which went into the first few days of August. It was lovely. We had beautiful weather, stayed at a charming Bed and Breakfast in Charlottetown, took day trips around the island, and of course ate a ton of delicious food. I keep joking that there is no seafood left in Canada because I ate it all. Even the oysters, which I think of as the phlegm of the sea. But they're so classy-looking when they're served, and they come with cocktail sauce and horseradish!

At the end of the month we went camping! When we went in June we got rained out after one night, but this time the weather was beautiful all weekend. You have no idea how happy I am that Petri has gotten to the point where she behaves enough to go camping. She really likes snuggling up with us at night in the tent. It's a special treat because she's not allowed to sleep with us at home.

Work has continued to feel very busy with interviewing and staffing changes and it's just not letting up! But thank goodness at least summer reading is over.

I've knit a lot of my sock! The sweater, though, it languishes. I just need to sew up some cuffs and attach the sleeves. Thing is, I held up the sleeves to the armholes and they didn't seem to be nearly the same size, which is a problem. I mean it's yarn, it's forgiving, I just need to sit down and do the thing. If they fit they fit; if they don't....maybe I can block it all into submission?

I still haven't gone to yoga again, and now maybe won't for a while because in addition to all the various health issues in my household this month, I have managed to injure my rotator cuff. Now I have a whole regimen of exercises, icing my shoulder, and taking a ton of Advil. It eats up a lot of time in my day, so I'm trying to plan and stick to my plan so I can do all the things in the day that I want to do.

Plans for September

In my wrap-up from last May, I mentioned hosting a group called Pizza and Politics. We actually haven't met since then (though I didn't realize it had been quite so long!) but I decided to do a one-off book group on Timothy Snyder's book On Tyranny.  So that's coming up!

In other book-related plans, I'll be reading Catherine the Great by Robert K. Massie with my same friend with whom I read War and Peace and Middlemarch. This book is on my TBR Pile Challenge list, which I'm zooming through.

I'm also looking forward to my annual family trip to CT, and a knitting get-together at the Museum of Fine Arts.

How was your August?

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