GratiTuesday: June 7, 2022

Where the bunny guards the Irises and the rhubarb threatens to overtake the drinkin’ hole.

I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus – you know this. It happens from time to time when I just need to be looking at a screen less, and looking at the plants in my garden more. But, a writer writes, and I know it’s not cup-filling for me to *just* do the kind of technical writing I do at $dayJob (no matter how friendly a tone we use), so it’s good to stretch back into the Swearyverse. And really, what better day to cannonball back in than on GratiTuesday?

So here we are:

I’m thankful for the folks who have gently prodded me to get back to it. Y’all are the tops.

I’m thankful that I have such a great yard-space. Not-quite a year ago, I mourned the loss of a giant century old maple tree in front of my house in a wild summer storm. And it made the front of my house seem barren and unshaded and hot and inhospitable. But I’ve watched the plants push up from the ground in the last month or so. And the Capital Projects my gentleman associate and I have been working on over the Covid Summers (in lieu of vacation) are finally, finally coming to glorious and comfortable fruition. From the Shady Nook to the Flagstone Terrace to the Exposed Aggregate concrete patio with fire table and amazing giant yellow umbrella to the pollinator garden and the raspberry brambles… it’s all such a lovely oasis that we’ve created here.

Related: I’m glad that my gentleman associate and I are healthy and inspired enough to do some of this wok ourselves. Like, not pouring exposed aggregate concrete or leveling out and placing the flagstone and boulder-edged fire pit. But the retaining wall along the drive way (currently in flight), and sifting all the crushed rock “mulch” from the dirt in the gardens against my house, and discovering a plethora of healthy looking – but perhaps planted too deeply to grow – tulip bulbs in the process! Its very satisfying to see what your own sweat and successful navigation of eleventy thousand Pinterest rabbit holes can bring to life.

I’m thankful for the list of 22 categories of books (Get it? 22 for 2022?)  that I challenged myself to read this year. I’ve already read:
A book from my heritage (Stanley Tucci – Taste: My Life through Food); a book about a musician (Dave Grohl – Storyteller); a book by a Latinex author (Silvia Moreno-Garcia – Mexican Gothic); A book by a Canadian (Chris Hadfield – Apollo Murders); Book pick in a Celebrity book club (Emma Watson’s book club pick Caitlan Moran – How to be a Woman); Book by a LGBTQ author (Seanan McGuire – Down among the Sticks and Bones and Beneath the Sugar Sky from the Wayward Children series). There are lots still to go. If it takes me into 2023, maybe that’s OK. And if I decide that at the end of 2022, I’m done this year’s reading, whether or not I’m done this year’s list, maybe that’s OK, too.

Semi-related: If anyone has good suggestions for a book with 2 authors (leaning towards the Dolly Parton/James Patterson offering. Because Dolly). Also ISO a book of short stories (I’m leaning toward Neil Gaiman’s Unnatural Creatures or  Roald Dahl’s book of Ghost Stories, which is an anthology. But I kind of have to be careful about the kind of spookiness/horror I absorb, lest my subconscious go batshit crazy with it and hijack my dreams for a month. No one wants that. Also, I kind of want to go outside my usual go-to genres and authors. So, friends, whatcha got?

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