Sunday, 1 July 2018

2018 Update ... and July

Wild Rose
Hello faithful readers!  No, I have not dropped off the face of the earth and all is not lost, especially this blog.  But I've been having some rather challenging times lately, which has translated into very little time to pursue reading or my blog.  I'm hoping things will change for the better in the last half of the year but that is still yet to see.  Now for a tiny update on my crazy life.

I believe my last monthly post was February and sadly, I never got to March.  On the first of that month, my daughter was in a serious car accident which fortunately all involved escaped with minor injuries.  We were all thankful but nevertheless such an unexpected and grave incident makes you re-evaluate many things.  I've truly been trying to focus my time on what is worthwhile and to spend less with busy-making pursuits.  My new focus hasn't translated yet into my reading, but I've been developing family ties and friendships in a way that is truly meaningful and very satisfying.

Gelato made from the freshest ingredients
© Cleo @ Classical Carousel
In another unique and unexpected personal challenge, I altered my usual bookkeeping career into a construction one.  What was supposed to be only help with cleaning up, has turned into an education and foray into framing, woodwork, concrete (jackhammering), insulation, electrical, drywall, painting, and just lately, assisting in the install of a tongue-and-groove fir vaulted ceiling.  It's been quite a stretch for me waaaaayy out of my comfort zone, but I've loved almost every minute of it.  I'll be very sad when it's over which should be in the next month or so.  But all good things must end and I have many great memories and many new skills.  I'll always be grateful for the opportunity and for many of the wonderfully skilled workers that have taken the time to tutor me.

The Canada Cup International Softball tournament will once again take up more time in mid-July and I am once again head scorekeeper.  My job has kept me from devoting as much attention to it as I would have liked but I have an assistant this year who has relieved me of some of the duties.

A creative Easter table by my sister-in-law
© Cleo @ Classical Carousel
As for reading, I've been dismally slow, but I do have some books on-the-go and a few that I plan to start in summer, so I'll list them here:

  1. The Elements of Style – Strunk and White
  2. Beginning to Pray – Anthony Bloom
  3. 12 Rules for Life – Jordan B. Peterson
  4. City of God – Augustine
  5. Testament of Youth – Vera Brittain
  6. Middlemarch – George Eliot
  7. Moby Dick – Herman Melville

I make no promises except to keep plodding along.  I'm almost finished book #1 and have started a review so I do plan to have at least one more post for July.

In any case, I do hope I have some readers left and those who are, thanks for your patience as I navigate the turbulent and lately reading-less waters of life!

Pansies for a very cool start to summer!
© Cleo @ Classical Carousel

26 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry about your daughter and I sure hope she is recovered well! That kind of thing really does make it obvious what is important and what is not. I've missed your posts and hope to see you around more in future :)

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    1. She still has some whiplash but otherwise is fine. Except she doesn't like driving fast in the dark anymore. Thanks for your kind words; I've missed you all too!

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  2. people drive so fast now that accidents are more serious... i'm glad it wasn't worse... and congratulations on getting into construction: i've had some experience in that area and it's so gratifying to build something you can walk in and out of! it's great if you can handle a jack-hammer; it's not so much a matter of strength as control. and wear steel-toed boots! the same with swinging a hammer: accuracy over force... anyway, i'll be glad to hear from you whenever you get a chance... be careful out there!

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    1. Yes, her friend was apparently driving between 100 and 140 km in a 50 km zone. And she got off with nothing but a ticket because the police couldn't 'prove' anything. It was pretty ridiculous.

      I did buy steel-toed boots after the 8th nail once again missed piercing my foot, lol! What luck. And now I haven't stepped on one since! The importance of safety is getting drilled into my head ever since a couple of workers came around the corner to find me jumping up and down inside a garbage can at the top of the driveway (which has a HUGE slope to it) to tamp down the garbage. Boy, I got a talking to over that one, lol! I'm much safer now.

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  3. Hi, Cleo,
    You are understandably involved in important work and life situations. You'll be back when the time is right.
    I'm excited to see you are reading Jordan Peterson. That one is on my TBR, and I am curious what you think of it. Testament of Youth was really worthwhile.
    Take care!!!
    ~Ruth

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    1. I can't wait to get back. I hope the right time comes soon!

      I've so enjoyed Jordan Peterson on Youtube but I'm finding the book surprisingly boring. I've been wondering why since there are very good ideas in it. Perhaps because he tried to dumb it down a little??? I'd love to have your opinion on it when you get to it.

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    2. Maybe it's like preaching to the choir. I find that when I read books that make sense to me, I really don't need to read someone else's version of the same ideas. You know what I mean? I especially hate self-help books b/c I already know what I need to do. I don't want to hear it anymore. So maybe you already agree w/ Peterson; you already know what he means and what he's talking about. It's not new to you. ???

      I want to get the book for my 22- and 18-year olds, but I don't know if they'll read it b/c, again, they know it all. But I've been meaning to check it out of the library in order to look it over.

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  4. I'm sorry to hear about the accident. A great relief that she wasn't seriously hurt, but I imagine the initial shock would have taken some time to ease. That really must have been tough - I'm sorry.

    Again, it's lovely to hear from you and see you're not giving up your blog. The construction work sounds fun!

    Oh, and I'm reading Testament of Youth as you know - I LOVE it! Such a good book :)

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    1. Thanks, O. It was pretty awful but hopefully lessons learned, although unfortunately it seems not by the driver.

      So good to hear from you too. I've been meaning to PM but have hardly had time to eat, let alone squeeze anything else in. Glad to see that you're still reading up a storm!

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    2. I'm glad to hear some lessons were learned, but sorry to hear not by the driver. If you know the driver, are friendly with her, or if your daughter's still friends with her after that she should tell her about what happened to my friends. I'm sure I've told you in a PM - the driver in my story had been repeatedly warned about her driving, and she ended up killing herself and the other two in an accident. People think it can never happen to them. Having experienced the aftermath of it first hand, I'd happily tell the driver it has repercussions far beyond what she could imagine.

      Lord, I hate and detest unsafe drivers. I could go on but I have no doubt at all you've had all the angry thoughts.

      Anyway, PM me only when you've time :) And I do hope you get to Testament!

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    3. If I told you the whole story you'd be livid. I will in a PM when I get the chance.

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  5. Thankful to hear there were no major injuries!! These sort of dramas do have a paradoxical effect - as you said, they force you to re-evaluate what you're doing & spending your time on. Maybe you should be writing a book - you've certainly had some interesting experiences lately by the sound of things. Look forward to reading your thoughts on some of the books you listed. I have to admit I didn't love Testament of Youth. Her writing was topknotch but to me she came across as a fairly privileged person & didn't suffer the hardships of the common people. And then she had a Marxist ramble at the end that I didn't bother finishing. I was reading Remarque's in 'All Quiet on the Western Front,' around the same time & even though it was a fictional account (though borne out of his own war experience) it hit me so much more. I wonder if anyone else felt this or am I just being a bit hard on Brittain?

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    1. A book is an interesting idea. I wish I'd kept a journal but the time has gone so quickly.

      Testament of Youth is going slowly for me. What has put me off so far is that her feminism comes out right at the beginning of the novel, yet I understand that it developed later from her experiences so I would have liked to read about those experiences before it became so prominent. Somehow it seems unbalanced the way she wrote it .... so far in any case. I'll let you know my thoughts when I finish!

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  6. Cleo, it's good to hear from you again! I am so glad you and your family are ok, and I hope things get better over the coming months. (That job sounds really fun, by the way!)

    Don't feel like you *have* to blog, but I'll look forward to any thoughts (or photos) you have to share. :)

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    1. Thanks, Marian! I'm happy to hear from you too!! Life is life and we should try to enjoy every moment; even the moments that aren't enjoyable, we can learn from. I do so want to get back to blogging. I've actually had three days off in a row, which is a small miracle. I ended up mostly cleaning my cyclone of a house, but I did get some reading accomplished. Hurrah!

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  7. It is so good to see a post up on this blog! I know life has been quite crazy for you literally and am glad, there is some light finally at the end of the tunnel! Books are important, but to do something new in life is equally if not more important as is developing new relationships and deepening the existing ones! And while the construction project is over, I am sure new adventures await you! (Good Ones!!!!) So hang in there! In bookish news, I LOVE Testament of Youth!!! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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    1. I know, isn't it? If only it was a book review, lol!

      Actually I don't see the light yet but I feel it coming.

      Testament of Youth is good so far. I wish I had more time to devote to it!

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  8. Good to see you back. I'm sorry about your daughter's accident (that must've been terrifying), but glad to hear she is okay.

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    1. Thanks for your kind wishes. It was scary but a good thing as I think it was a wake-up call for her. Good to see you around too!

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  9. Ah, ‘tis great to see you back ..... I wish you well in your new challenges and adventures .... and I look forward to your future postings.... best wishes from the Gulf coast...

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    1. Hi R.T.! Thanks for your kind words. Waving to the Gulf Coast ( and wishing for their weather, ha, ha!)

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  10. Once again, I am not getting your posts in my box. Oh well. I like your list. I've read Strunk's book and liked it. You'll have to review Bloom's book because I'd be interested in how it is.

    Good luck with all your construction and score-keeping!

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    1. I forgot to mention that I'm glad your daughter is OK. That is so upsetting. Thanks God for no injuries!

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    2. Thanks, Sharon! I'm deep in scorekeeping at the moment but excited to get back to Bloom's book. If you can get ahold of it it's certainly worth reading and very short. He has some good insights and interesting ideas.

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  11. Oh my goodness, you've had a lot on your plate recently--no wonder you've been so absent! I hope your daughter is fully recovered by now. Scary times, indeed.

    Wow, construction - that's a lot of work! It wouldn't be for me (I think one needs a basic level of coordination...), but I know it's the thing for many people. And really, the industry needs more people in it just now. Glad to hear you enjoyed it so much.

    Best wishes--we'll all be waiting when you're ready and have time to return.

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    1. Thanks for the wishes, Amanda, and your kind words! The construction is winding down a little and as soon as I get to mid-August, I'm hoping to have a little more free time. We'll see ...... Hope you're well and enjoying ever moment of life!

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