Saturday, September 1, 2018

Musings - August 2018

There is something luscious about the close of a month, and the start of a fresh new page. Let's recap August, shall we?

Books:  Digital books are my new jam. Especially with the Kindle Unlimited! I did the maths and figured out I need to read 2 digital books from Kindle a month to hit my "break-even" on the monthly fee being "worth it".  So I started the month by actively looking for 2 and realized I'd not read the latest Alpha and Omega book from Patricia Briggs - I actually tried to buy it and Amazon said "You already own that."! Quelle surprise!  Burn Bright was a very good afternoon of reading! 

Then, I devoured just a few of Shannon Mayer's Elemental series books (Recurve, Breakwater, Firestorm, Windburn, Peta, Rootbound, Ash, and Destroyer ) over a late month weekend as I tried to hit that Kindle Unlimited break-even. I actually ended up reading a total of 10 digital books this month! After I found a hardback sale copy of Patricia Brigg's Fire Touched -  which I thought I'd already read it based on title, the summary revealed I'd not and explained the knowledge gap when I'd originally read Silence Fallen - I then had to re-read my digital copy of Silence Fallen just to make sure I was solid on my knowledge of Mercy's world.

And, people - I FINISHED THAT ECONOMICS BOOK!!!! (Local Dollars, Local Sense - that I started back in February. Oyi. Dense reading that one.) I've passed it on to a friend in economic development because I think she will get a good bit more use out of it than I did.

Little Free Library check in - If you are wondering if I ever return books  I borrow to the Little Free Libraries (July post), yes I do! I usually flip them from the one I got them to the other one as to help move the variety around. (Beach to town, town to beach.) Plus I've passed over 9 of the physical books (so far this year)  I've read to the LFLs (plus an additional dozen books or so I had around the house since I'm trying to minimize). I've also passed 4 others books directly to friends.  

So far, I've read about 41 books this year. The goal was not a book a week but that's about what it is averaging. Except, I'm basically binge reading and not reading weekly. 

Gratitude: Space - mental and emotional. The ability create and share that the internet gives us - AMAZING! People who reach out for reasons, other than to ask for a favor! (Love those emotional connections.) And homemade pie on an average Friday.

Listening: The Art of Manufacturing podcast. The Art of Charm podcast. I have to say AoC is very "Guy Talk". I'm not sure women could get away with doing some of what they say. (Apparently one of the hosts is a famous rock star? I'm not interested enough to check but okay.) And SO MUCH Dave Ramsey. Sometimes you just got to hit the refresh button on what you know to get yourself back in the mindset. That was a definite theme to the month.

Perfume: Finished out Hard-Core Happy! Still working through that ginormous bottle of Love + Toast's Paper Flowers, but I'm on the dregs.  And I added a new purse perfume from Lily B, Peony Rose & Mandarin Musk. Looking forward to opening up something new next month!

Recipes: Sometimes I don't even make recipes. I just go out to the garden and gather things, chop them, put them in bowls and serve them.  That's what has been happening lately with fresh garden tomatoes and garden pineapple sage plus onions, salt, pepper (+ avocado if we have it). Jericho (18) and I call it NotGuacamole  and she claims it's better than the real thing! We devour it with chips.

Honestly, I think any garden cut-up will do with chips! I've also done fresh garden tomatoes, onions, garden green pepper, garden jalapeƱos, and left-over black beans with a bit of chili powder and lime. Perfect over chips or dipped with chips.

The garden is a fantastic snack source!

I also made faux Indian from our garden. Sauteed fresh tomatoes from our garden with some onions and a bit of garlic. (EVOO.) Once the tomatoes popped, I added a can of Lite coconut milk (because that's what was in the cupboard. A can of drained chickpeas. Fresh curry (helichrysum ) plant minced and fresh basil - both from the garden. Served over rice. (Guy added some cooked pork to his.)

Self-Care: Hot summer days call for a refreshing toner spritz. I found one at the local farmer's market which is hand-crafted and perfect. (Witch hazel, aloe, and a touch of tea tree and lavender.) I had it in the picture for the June Musings. And I have a few others, like the one pictured in this month from Garnier. When it's humid, that it is a lovely refresher in the afternoon or evening.

My love affair with the oils continues. I've added a treatment oil from Juice Beauty to my mornings.

Also - ALL THE SOAPS! I may have gone a little soap nutty. And they did not help me since they sent me samples!(Picture is giant so you can see how sumptuous the package was.)

Here's the story....I found this awesome place called the BathHouse Soapery in Arkansas on Instagram. And they are so cute! I want to visit their shop in the absolute worst way. (I also want to visit the Red Twig Farm in Ohio next May but I digress...) And then I found BathHouse's "step-sister" - Villainess Soaps in a post. OMG. Such luscious scents! I suspect they aren't essential oils or naturally based but are synthetic so I can't recommend this as a green choice. They aren't as creamy as ZumBars. But ohhhhhhh they smell so pretty and look just beautiful + the packaging is amazing. And they didn't just send 1 sample or 2 samples. They send 3 soap sliver samples (I ordered 3 soaps - Pearl Diver, Krakatoa, and Strychnine.) 3 tiny vials of scent to try. And 1 lovely travel sized little jar of skin balm. I'm in awe of how cool this all is and the extras. Retailers take note: little extras mean a lot!

Watching: Citizen X (and my love for Gerald McRaney knows no bounds. That man is a seriously underrated actor. And whomever did Sharon Stone's outfits was brilliant.) And, apparently my NOLA theme continues from last month (Preacher Season 2, and Clock and Dagger) with an early month total binge of Queen Sugar. Maybe I need to visit NOLA again

I've also been catching up on Harlots and Handmaiden's Tale - so that's another theme going on. And yes, I am watching a lot of stuff this month! I had some time free up - and I'm working on a few things....

Random: Sometimes you just gotta step away from the train-wreck. I did that this month with a volunteer thing. It was tough as I'd been part of it for 10 years - it was part of my identity! But, maybe I was holding it back and it will grow into something better without me. Time will tell.

There are points in the year that seem like natural re-set points. January. Spring. Beginning of summer. Start of school. And so I used that seasonal set point to  create something new. A new book for busy women. A bootcamp style 7 day book to help you take back control of your life. Check out this and my other books at this link to Gumroad.

One Sunday this late month, I went to #NotMyDaughter's church.(20, Israel). We have very different faith journeys. Hers is very literally Biblical while I have a much more historical view of the Bible's teachings. Her faith walk is very important to her, so I thought it important to respect it by knowing this part of her world. I was honored that she would share it with me despite our faith differences.

Take-away -  Sometimes we don't notice because life can seem monotonous but our lives are in a continuous state of change, even is small. You can enjoy the changes or fight them. Your choice.

Original musings posts you may enjoy:

All photos by moi! And you can tell...

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