Sunday Stuff

FINALLY A LAID BACK WEEKEND WITH NO REAL PLANS! Oh my god, I haven’t had one of these since August. AND our houseguest – my spouse’s other partner – has gone home for the weekend, so it’s just the two of us. Houseguest is coming back tonight – they’re still looking for other housing – but I NEEDED this weekend.

Things are getting cold in my neck of the woods – I actually saw a short-lived snow flurry on Friday, and I think we’re supposed to get a small-but-measurable amount of snow this week. That’s still really early for us, but I love snow, so I’m not mad!

I am wrestling with how to write a review for The Fever King and The Electric Heir, the duology by Victoria Lee. They’re involved enough books that I’m not going to read my next ARC – also a heavy topic – before I get this review written, which means I keep reading light fluffy stuff instead of K. M. Szpara’s Docile. I’ve got to get this review figured out.

I’m also going to be working on a book list of books with demisexual characters – I’ve seen lots of ace- and aro- spec booklists, but none that are specifically demi. Given that that’s what I am, and there are several books coming out soon with demi characters, I should make one!

The other two projects I’m working on are a piece for another blog – not sure how much I can say about that – and a piece of short fiction my spouse and I have been musing about. Lots of balls in the air at the moment. Oh, and I should probably actually write up a review for Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments at some point, too. Procrastinating on reviews by reading more books only gives me more reviews to write!

I have a hilarious Top Ten Tuesday coming up this week, so stay tuned for that. I promise it will be great!


Sunday Stuff

Today is the LAST DAY of the Maryland Renaissance Festival for 2019! It’s unofficially known as The Day of Wrong, and a lot of patrons and participants will do something subtly or overtly -wrong- with their garb to celebrate. For instance, this year, I’m going as a blonde! I’m naturally a brunette, and the last few years I’ve been dying my hair crazy colors. Since I work at a booth, I need to have natural color in my hair, so I let the phoenix colors fade and haven’t redyed my hair recently. I bleached it last week in preparation for re-dyeing it this week, so it’s currently blonde! Which is a weird look on me, and one I don’t really care for, but it works for The Day of Wrong!

This also means things around here will be getting somewhat less stressful soon, since we have our weekends back. We’re having a Halloween party next weekend, and The Baltimore Book Festival is the weekend after that, so we’re still going to be busy for a while. My husband’s other partner will also being staying with us for a couple of weeks, starting next weekend, because they’re starting a new job here in Baltimore. So that will be added stress, but hopefully they will find other housing quickly.

I’m so excited about the Baltimore Book Festival! I’ve been poring through the schedule of events, and there’s even a blogger panel happening on the Romance Writers’ stage! I’m going to have to make a personal schedule of where I need to be when!

That’s about all that’s going on here – the temperature is finally starting to drop. Fall will be here for a couple of weeks and then we’ll quickly be plunged into winter. I can’t wait to see our new house in the snow.

Sunday Status

The in-laws have left to go back to the west coast, and as expected, I didn’t get much reading done this week. I did read I’m Not Dying With You Tonight in preparation for Barnes & Noble’s Young Adult Book Club last Thursday, but then Trump decided he was going to go to the GOP House Retreat at the hotel behind my local Barnes & Noble THAT SAME NIGHT so I didn’t go anywhere near the area that day! Grrrrr. But I should get a review of that up sometime soon. Probably Thursday. Tuesday’s Top Ten is my favorite things to eat or drink while reading, so I’ll be writing that up tomorrow. I’m hoping to dive right back in now that I don’t have house guests, but I DO still have the Maryland Renaissance Festival taking up my weekends, so I might still skip a day here and there.

I’ll just leave you with a sample of Baltimore’s welcome for Trump:


Sunday Sabbatical

It’s not quite a sabbatical, but, well. Alliteration. Anyway! I thought I’d have posts scheduled for this week, but between Fair kicking my ass on Monday, preparing for my in-laws to arrive on Tuesday, and RECOVERING from Fair kicking my ass (chronic illness = loooooong recovery times), I’ve done very little reading. Very little reading = nothing to review! So I won’t be posting much this week – I don’t even know if there will be a Library Loot Wednesday or a Friday 56, and those are two of my easiest posts!

This might also be influenced by finding out a good friend of ours really likes Minecraft, so we’ve set up a modded server (he’s always played vanilla!) and I miiiiiight be spending a little too much time on that. Whoops. It’s a little less brain-intensive than reading, though, and that’s what I’ve needed this week.

I won’t get much reading done this coming week, because the in-laws will be here. So this might be close to a two-week break, but I’ll reassess on Sunday, a week from today, and we’ll see. i'll be back

Survival Sunday

So I’ve talked about this project in passing a few times, but I thought I’d go a little more in depth on what I’m doing with my Survival Library. (So when you see it mentioned, you’ll know what I mean. I’ll probably link back to this post in the future.) Today is going to be quite the departure from my usual fantasy, young adult, and minority-driven reading, so – hold on to your hats!

hold onto your hat

I’ve got some very low-grade general anxiety. Like most millennials, I suppose. I worry about the future. Between climate change, economic uncertainty, political stupidity, and my own chronic health issues (that necessitate a certain diet and medications) – the future is bleak.

end is near

My friends and I often spend time speculating what we’ll do if society collapses. We have some friends with a large house and a few acres, who is next door to 30-some vacant acres of farmland; we’ve mostly decided we’ll all be flocking to their house and setting up a co-op. So then we start cataloging all the skills of our friends. We have leatherworkers, potters, weavers – we know one person who knows how to take wool from “sheep to shirt” AND has a lot of canning and food preserving knowledge, so we’ll be nabbing him immediately! My husband can brew, distill, shoot, cook, bake, as well as just be an able-bodied person.

So what do I bring to the table? I’m a chronically ill introvert who reads a lot.

i have no skills

We’ve decided that’s my role. I’m the librarian and keeper of knowledge. Because if society collapses, we have to assume the internet does too. Books will be important.

books best weapons

To bring all these bits together, planning and collecting a “Survival Library” of books about useful skills keeps my general anxiety in check so I don’t wind up with three pallets of MREs in my basement. I’ve made some book lists, though I’m still adding to them, and I’ve decided buying one book a month for the survival library will build it up fairly quickly but also cheaply. I have the lists on both Goodreads and Riffle – but Riffle lets me add notes about the books right in the list, so that will probably be where I’ll have the most information about them. As I pick up books, I’ll write a few sentences about each book and why it’s on the list. (Riffle also currently has my Polyamory Book List, my Activism/Civil Rights list, and my LGBTQIA+ list) It’s a big project, but it’s a simple way to keep my mental health up, and it could someday be useful.

maybe someday

So when I say Survival Library, that’s what I mean! I have several categories.

  • Homemaking involves things like making soap and candles and home goods, sewing, and pottery.
  • Gardening is the obvious, plus some aquaponics.
  • Construction includes building things from fences to sheds to houses to kilns.
  • Utilities are books on clean water, electricity from sources like windmills and solar, heat, refrigeration, and plumbing.
  • Cooking Skills and Recipes is what it says, plus canning, preserving, brewing, distilling, and foraging.
  • Animal Husbandry is the obvious. Mostly normal farm animals, but also books on dogs and cats, since I’m sure there will be pets too. Also beekeeping.
  • Medical Books are just that. If society collapses, we can’t just go see a doctor. We’ll need some medical knowledge, and we don’t actually have any doctors, veterinarians, or dentists in our immediate friend circle. That’s one big skill we’re lacking. It’s also not a very big list yet, because I don’t know what would be good books for it!
  • General Books are books that cover such a wide range of topics they’re hard to otherwise categorize.
  • Background skills are books on big topics. Biology. Geology. Meteorology. Geography. I have a lot of local interest books in this category as well. History of the area will help to know what to expect in the future.

I may create more categories in the future, or separate out lists into micro-categories if they get too big, but this is what I have so far. I only own about twenty of these books so far, and those are mostly in the gardening and cooking categories, which is why the lists are currently in just list mode, with no notes. Once I have enough knowledge about the individual books, I’ll go through and add notes about them. I’m sure I will be adding books, too!

more books

This is basically a giant expansion of my Homesteading Book List. I’m not sure if I’ll incorporate these book lists into the blog itself eventually or if I’ll keep them externally hosted, but Riffle is definitely their main home for now.

Does anyone else discuss with their friends what they’ll do when society collapses, whether that be from climate change, politics, or zombies? (Hope it’s not the last one – I’m too slow!) Have any suggestions or feedback for my lists?

Sunday Stress

Hoooooo boy.

I titled this Sunday Stress because – wow.

So much going on.

Stressor #1:
Today is the second day of the first weekend of the Maryland Renaissance Fair. My husband is out working at our friend’s booth today; I’ll be out on Labor Day, and then not again for a few weeks until it cools down some. Though this weekend is gorgeous weather, we didn’t know that ahead of time, so I’m not on the schedule to work. Husband will be working one day of most of the weekends of Fair, though he has a couple weekends entirely off.

Stressor #2: Husband’s other partner (we’re polyamorous, they’ve been together for – five years or so) just got a job here in Baltimore; they’ve been living in Pennsylvania this entire time. So they’ve been visiting this weekend, and will be back in a couple of weeks to start the job, staying with us until they get permanent housing figured out. This is primarily a stressor because they and I are so different; they’re an extrovert and very spontaneous, I’m an introvert that needs things to be planned. So we grate on each other A LOT. And they’ll be living with us for….I’m not sure how long. Hopefully only a couple of weeks.

Stressor #3: Husband’s parents are coming to visit the second week of September. I love my in-laws, they’re great, but the house tends to turn into a bit of a mess during Fair season, and we have a few rooms upstairs, including the guest room, that aren’t completely put together yet (we bought the house in March) so getting everything in order before they get here is weighing on me.

AND ALL OF THIS IS HAPPENING AT THE SAME TIME. Part of the reason it’s so stressful is that we’ve had no control over any of these dates; Fair is always these times. The in-laws’ visit has been arranged for a while now. Cedar’s job starts when it starts. No control.

I did realize that the Barnes & Noble Young Adult book club is meeting one evening while the in-laws and Cedar are all likely to be here – so I’m going to read that book, and go take an hour or so for myself away from everyone and talk about books with strangers. The book they’re discussing is I’m Not Dying With You Tonight, and I picked it up from my library yesterday.

I’m not entirely sure what all this will mean for the blog. I may be running around like a cat with the zoomies, trying to get everything the way I want it before people arrive, and so not getting my reading done, OR I might be hiding from the stress in books and reading more than normal! I’m hoping to hit a nice middle ground but…well we’ll see, won’t we?nap