Summer Arrives

Summer Arrives

A Day Early and Sunshine Short

The last two to three weeks have felt more like Summer than today does. Yesterday, we had the first cloudy slightly rainy day since May and right now, outside my window, the clouds have come down to Earth. I’m not complaining, really! I needed a break from sunshine, humidity and mid-90s temperatures. But enough about the weather.

The flowers and plants I planted earlier in the Spring continue to bloom. I’m a terrible tender though and frequently forget to water early in the morning. When your commute is a matter of seconds from ‘home’ to ‘office,’ you (meaning I) tend to dive right into work. Despite evidence to the contrary, I remain extremely busy with projects and support for my employer, who is thankfully returning furloughed employees now. I even have plans to return to the office for a half day late next week; mostly because my laptop has decided to take an involuntary vacation so it needs a more permanent and reliable replacement. That and I have a major upgrade to perform so being on site means no risk of power or internet outages in the home office.

But really it’s because the Tolkien Society of Kansas City is meeting in person for the second time since the pandemic started. We had a trial run for HHH last week, meeting for delivered pizza and BYOB in our President’s back yard. The heat had broken (for that week) and we enjoyed a couple of hours of social distancing with her hen folk.

For our June meeting, Minsky’s is allowing us to expand into their larger event space, which seats 120, so we can have a maximum of 40 attendees and maintain proper safe social distancing. If you want to attend, you must RSVP so that we have an accurate account and don’t exceed the space capacity. We will be discussing and debating our options for MiddleMoot (in-person or virtual conference?) and also our readings in The Return of the King and Sauron Defeated.

In our own back yard, we spoke to our western neighbors and struck a deal to upgrade our shared fence. We bought the materials, and they provided the labor. The only bit Terry and I had to complete was the large southern gate, which we completed during the evenings once the heat broke and the sun had fallen mostly behind the hill. I learned to operate a drill and wasn’t the only one to break drill bits. Terry acquired a new power tool, which has been the standing operating procedure for all home improvement projects since before we were married. We purchased a smaller, newer lithium battery powered Dewalt drill to supplement his older Craftsman non-lithium battery powered drill. It saved so much time not having to chuck/unchuck drills bits and nut drivers.

Our backyard container garden is doing well. We have three tomato plants. The cherry has lots of small green tomatoes, but the “Jet Star” has many blooms but only one or two very small tomatoes. The peppers are doing very well. Lots of tiny jalapenos and a handful of bell peppers. I’m disappointed in my sunflower seeds though. I planted two packets worth and so far only five plants have sprouted. They are about eighteen inches high.

Meanwhile . . .

In other family news, my son put his house on the market last week. They’ve had an open house, several showings and another open house is scheduled for this weekend.

Click on the photo to see the rest of the listing’s photo album.

Earlier in May, our daughter launched a podcast called Opera Unbound “A podcast that breaks the barriers between opera singers and the audience.” An episode was released just yesterday. Visit their Patreon or Instagram feed for details.

I did get some reading done this past month, other than my normal Tolkien related selections. I am very disappointed in myself because I’m 5/12 of the way through 2020 and I’ve only managed to read three books per month instead of my usual eight or nine. So I’m very very far behind on my reading challenge goal. Still, I did listen to Network Effect by Martha Wells, which was great as I expected. I re-read The Calculating Stars and immediately read the second half of the Lady Astronaut series, The Fated Sky for my local library book discussion group. I took a break from audiobooks and ebooks and print books to read a couple of graphic novels, which were just okay so don’t warrant a plug here.

For the past week I’ve been reading various versions of the classic fairy or folk tale “Beauty and the Beast” including a translation of the original French version thanks to Project Gutenberg. Why, you ask? Originally it was to attend a Zoom virtual book discussion hosted by the Bonner Springs Public Library, but I misread the time (not the date) and missed the discussion completely. Not a total waste of time however as I’ve found it a delightful diversion and amazed by the variations. I enjoyed the Norwegian one the most, entitled East O’ the Sun and West O’ the Moon. For the past four days I’ve been reading an extremely expanded and lengthy (like Victorian sentences that go on interminably for pages) edition found in Four and Twenty Fairy Tales, originally published in 1858. I’m probably two-thirds through ninety-six dense pages. And I still have three or four more versions to read, compare and contrast.

Terry and I wrapped up the week by not doing what we usually do. We aren’t interested (jointly) in any current television show or series. The movies we’ve found to watch have been mediocre at best. So, we had an old-fashioned game night. We started off the evening with three rounds of “Big Boggle” which I warned Terry would not end well for him. Next we played two rounds of Yahtzee both of which Terry won. We rounded out the evening with several hands of Dominoes, a game neither of us had played for decades but was surprisingly quick, easy and fun to learn and play. Today I will find a better Backgammon game since the one I have is a travel edition with magnetized pieces and missing dice. In fact, the reason I bought the Yahtzee at Dollar General yesterday was just so I had dice to use for Backgammon. We will definitely be entertaining ourselves more interactively in the coming weeks.

And I’ve got to wrap this up now, as I’m later for my scheduled grocery pickup and weekly trek to the farmers’ market. So I’ll leave you with this super cute contact-less delivery on your virtual doorstep.

Puppies! Rotties! Oh my!

Have a great weekend everyone! Stay healthy and safe!