As someone who has worked from home for years, I have the self-entertainment down. I'll be working on some of my stock-piled stitching projects, but realize that not everyone has a craft or hobby they engage in.
Our plans have changed for D's vacation next week, and we are staying put. The raised beds need to be cleaned out and our back patio needs some attention. And, of course, the dogs will need their regular walk about next week.
If you're stuck in the house and want things to do beyond binge-watching TV, check these sites out.
Needlework & Crafts:
Looking to learn a new language? Sites like DuoLingo and Babbel provide free exercises and lessons. I need to get back to my Spanish lessons so next time I'm in Oaxaca I can buy a new suitcase to haul back all the mezcal (true story---I managed to navigate a department store purchase last year for this very purpose. Thanks DuoLingo!).
This might also be a great time to take a course on Coursera. If you're not into a certificate, their courses are free.
Don't forget: a lot of fun can be had with a deck of cards. Bicycle Card Company's site lists rules of play for all kinds of games--even solitaire.
I am still getting in about six reads a month, but I suspect that will slow down a bit because I am starting to work on a manuscript again and have some travel coming up this month.
Because I was still in Kindle Unlimited in February as a reader, I blazed through the most recent Jack Daniels novels. Shot Girl was amazing and Chaser was a bit of a return to the slapstick humor of Harry McGlade and packing a bajillion villains in one novel. Shot Girl is a definite read, though, even if you are feeling a little fatigued by Konrath's series. He has, in both, reinvented Herb, which is a nice touch after so many fat jokes about the guy.
Tig Notaro's book will appeal to those who love the show One Mississippi as it covers much of the same time period--her mother's sudden death, Tig's battle with breast cancer, and her finding the love of her life. I listened to this one.
I also listened to The Underground Railroad. What a great history lesson of a novel (and I mean that in the best way possible). I look forward to The Nickel Boys.
The two non-fiction books here were both review choices--you will find Depressed to Daring's review up on Reedsy Discovery and my review of A Leader's Guide to Memorable Speeches in the upcoming issue of Physician Family.
I hope everyone is meeting their reading goals!
We are finally moved back into the heart of the house--the kitchen, den, and office. You'll excuse the tiny bit of life debris in the after picture--I have yet to wash breakfast dishes today. But, after months of using a temporary kitchen, I wanted to share some tips for those of you considering a kitchen remodel.
And to take a moment to say how happy I am to have kitchen sinks, a dishwasher, and a real range. And an office. And no one else in the house.
I think we lost the last bit of the kitchen some time in late September or early October. What that meant for me as the head cook was that I had to set up a "dry kitchen" in the dining room and set up a kitchen sink substitute in the bathtub in our master bath.
The dining room table got covered with a protective layer of tablecloth (one we bought on clearance) and other protective things to ensure the table didn't take damage from splatters, heat, etc. I have two huge baking sheets and a pizza stone that were great for providing a pretty heat and spill-impervious surface.
For my sink, I took my wire dish drainer and a plastic tote and set them in the bathtub. I kept another plastic tote in the dining room to catch dirty dishes and I would haul them to the tub for washing.
After two weeks or so of having real sinks and a dishwasher, my back and shoulders are almost back to normal.
The new kitchen details:
Because I'm still chipping away at my own ensemble novel, I've been reading a lot of examples of multi-perspective books across genres. Here's what I finished in January.
Despite how clunky the twenty-six year old film Go Fish is, I found myself watching the entire thing again yesterday. Why? In part because of the scene about 42 minutes into the film where the writer character, Max, considers how her life would be if she wound up marrying some nice man and raising kids in the burbs. The character concludes the scene saying, "I'm not waiting for a man. But I get this eerie feeling that a man's waiting for me."
I suspect it's no surprise that I've always been a bit of a bookworm. So, why did I find myself feeling guilty about reading a book in the middle of the day, far from my computer and other devices?
As is usual, I'm not making resolutions, but looking at the year past and considering how I did on my plans I had then, as well as considering what to do this year.
I love the writer storyline on Fresh off the Boat, and I think we can all relate to Jessica's freak out and desire to leave projects unfinished. The start of something new and shiny is so fun! But, why not set yourself up for success in 2020? Check out these resources! While all of them are great for solo activities, they can also be used in writing groups to help guide workshops.
It's that time of year again--time to consider what I've gotten done in 2019 and to plan on what's next.