Saturday, October 24, 2015

Saturdays in the Garden - Autumn Invasion

October 24, 2015

We finally got some rain this week after a relentlessly sunny and spectacular early October.  I don't know if you can see in the above header picture but I have a few sugar snap pea plants on the left that are racing against the onset of too-cold weather to produce a few peas.  Every day I am in nail-biting suspense when I check the plants to see how close they are, lol.  There is one pod that will hopefully plump up in time and about 6 blooms.  Ahhhh...the agony of snap pea vs. Iowa Fall.
Oh baby sugar snap, grow with all your might!
You may also notice that there is a pile of empty pots and such scattered about my patio.  The biggest item on my to do list is to clean out my tiny garage so that I can squeeze in all the pots and the grill and other outdoor stuff.  I clean the garage every fall and by the next fall it is again stuffed full of things. I don't know where they all come from!  I'm procrastinating doing it though it usually feels really good once everything is tucked away for the winter.  It's a fall ritual that is dreaded and satisfactory all at once.

Finally, I had a little bit of fun zoning out at work watching a Box Elder Bug navigate my desk.  It's the time of year when many kinds of wildlife find their way into buildings looking for a comfy place to spend the winter.  I've been called upon to remove two baby Brown Snakes (Storeria dekayi) from the office in the last 2 weeks.  They were pretty much the most adorable snakes ever, only about 6 inches long and smaller around then a pencil.  I hope they find a good hibernaculum outside.  Even the Box Elder bug was pretty fun to watch as it explored my desk in a way that you or I might explore the moon.  For a while he traveled along my monitor cord like he'd finally found a nice smooth trail.


Next week is going to be a doozy at work.  Super busy, nerve-wracking and demanding.  So I find myself feeling like I really need to make this weekend count, lol.  I'm not even sure what that means.  I believe I just want to end the weekend fully refreshed, relaxed and at peace ready to tackle the week with a clear and calm mind.  Ummmm.... I think it will take more than a weekend for that!  I think I had a clear and calm mind once, 17 years ago on a Tuesday:0). Maybe.  Anyway, I am tackling this by getting my errands out of the way early and leaving the rest of the weekend open for.... whatever.  While I don't want to spend the weekend in hard labor I think being productive (like cleaning out the garage and putting some things away) will actually help me feel ready for the week.  Also getting the house clean and as organized as possible.  We'll see...

So my question is, what do you do to prepare for an especially crazy week?  Anything specific you like to do or is it just business as usual around your house?  


I haven't really made much progress reading BUT I have been in a very intense podcast mood of late.  I have a couple more to recommend if podcasts are a thing you like:
  • Kumail Nanjiani's The XFiles Files:  I am a huge X-Phile and this podcast warms the cockles of my huge fangirl heart.  Nanjiani is apparently a semi well-known comic? But more importantly he's a huge geek fan boy of the X files and has guests on with him to discuss select episodes.  I LOVE it!
  • Rum, Rebels and Ratbags: This is a show about the more colorful side of Australian history, which considering that the proper side of Australia's history is already pretty colorful, this show is fascinating and fun if you like history at all. 
  • Welcome to Night Vale:  I know, I know! I am WAY late to this party and I did give the show a shot about a year ago and didn't get into it.  This time It clicked. *shrugs*  A fictional radio broadcast from the strange town of Night Vale which is beset by many weird and eerie happenings.
Still enjoying a re-watch of Murdoch Mysteries leading up to two newer seasons I have not seen.  The first two seasons of this show are totally delightful.  Season three is a bit irritating but I still really like it.

Still struggling a bit in a reading slump as a result of some particularly severe reading-related moodiness.

Finished Last Week:

Nothing, though I am about 20 pages away from finishing the Victoria Thompson book listed below.

Currently Reading:

  • Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe: So maybe some day I'll pick this up again?  Until then it will sit here on the currently read and look encouraging.
  • The Founding (The Morland Dynasty #1) by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles: This is the first book in a series that follows a single British family through numerous generations into modern times.  This first book takes place in the early 15th century.  This is such a fascinating idea and I have high hopes but I have to say the characters in this first book are shallow and are doing nothing for me.
  • Of Noble Birth by Brenda Novak:  Despite the presence of pirates it is not making me happy mostly because of deficient humor and boring main characters. 
  • Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey: Space Opera!
  • Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling:  Continuing my re-read of the series!
  • Murder on Mulberry Bend by Victoria Thompson:  Book 5 in the Gaslight Mystery series. It's still fulfilling my cozy mystery craving.
  • The Providence Rider by Robert McCammon: This is another favorite historical mystery series that is definitely NOT cozy and is set in colonial era New York.
  • Beastly Bones by William Ritter: The follow up to Jackaby which I read and loved earlier this year!

Added to the TBR:

This is kind of a new thing I may try, listing books that get added to my Goodreads TBR list each week.  Maybe it will help burn them into my mind a little bit better, get them on some other folks TBRs and it will give me a chance to recognize a lot of the awesome bloggers that add stuff to my TBR!

  • A Quiet Life in the Country (The Lady Hardcastle Mysteries #1) by T.E. Kinsey: Historical British Mystery = I am ALL over it.  Turn of the 20th century. 
  • Crow Mountain by Lucy Inglis:  Interesting looking mystery that takes place in Montana.  Not sure where I heard of this one. 
  • White Cat (Curse Workers #1) by Holly Black:  After I posted my review of The Darkest Part of the Forest earlier this week this series got recommended to me all over the place.  
  • Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White:  Described as Downton Abby meets Cassandra Clare.  I'm pretty down for that.
  • The Corpse with the Silver Tongue (Cait Morgan #1) by Cathy Ace:  This is yet another historical mystery series that I read about on the blog Hidden Staircase.  The reviews for the series look mixed but it still sounded appealing enough to try.
  • Blood Ties (Blood War Chronicles #1) by Quincy J. Allen:  Weird Western. I'm in.
  • Bats of the Republic by Zachary Thomas Dodson:  Saw a review on River City Reading.  It looks like a fascinating and creative mix of historical fiction and Sci-Fi/dystopian fiction.
  • Wolf by Wolf  (Wolf by Wolf #1) by Ryan Graudin: I can't remember where I heard of this book but it is YA and an alternate history set in a 1956 Europe after Germany has won World War II.
  • Lost Stars by Claudia Gray: A YA Star Wars book which looks pretty fun and like it might be an okay place to dip a toe into the Star Wars books.  I learned of this one in a convoluted way by someone else I don't know thanking Mogsy from Bibliosanctum on Twitter for recommending it. 
  • The Tea Rose (The Tea Rose #1) by Jennifer Donnelly:  More historical fiction.  It is kind of apparent where my reading mood is leaning.


SUNDAY: Review of The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black.  I liked it!
TUESDAY: Top Ten Tuesday:  Wishes for the Book Genie.
THURSDAY:  Mini Reviews | Middle-Grade Mayhem: Cathrynne Valente, Maryrose Wood, Michael Ende.  These are some mini reviews for the first book in The Fairyland series by Valente, three of the books in The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series by Maryrose Wood, and The Neverending Story by Michael Ende.


SUNDAY:  A book review TBD
TUESDAY:  This week's Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is a Halloween freebie.  Not super excited about this topic so may just be a a book review TBD. 
THURSDAY: A book review TBD.

That's it for me.  I hope everyone has a lovely week ahead of them!

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