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review 2020-08-25 12:10
Black Sunday
Black Sunday - Tola Rotimi Abraham

by Tola Rotimi Abraham

 

A story that takes us into a different culture in Nigeria. Identical twins take different paths in life after circumstances break up their family, one into modern life and the other into Yoruba tradition.

 

It's an interesting concept and the language and structure suggests translation from a West African language, but after the first few paragraphs it settles into present tense.

 

Oh.

 

Despite this, I was able to read it in small snippets and follow the story of the twins and their separate lives. The chapters change pov among four siblings so you get the contrast of events that leave them in the care of their Yoruba grandmother. There are some disturbing realities of what it's like to be poor and female in a third world culture.

 

Overall I found the story interesting, but depressing. The present tense writing makes it feel like someone telling a story in a monotone, but with enough horror of events, including sexual assault, that you can't help but listen.

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text 2020-06-28 22:30
The Sunday Post

Hi,

 

It's Sunday and I don't have much to post other than Scotland apparently has not had any COVID-related deaths for a 3rd day in a row, infection rate is low, and businesses are opening up again ... slowly. 

So, it's mostly good news all round. 

 

However, I'm definitely in a reading slump. I've not really read much at all. Instead, I've been catching up on tv series, Netflix, and ... baking. 

 

I've come across a new to me recipe this week and managed to make it - with a few substitutions as I have neither apricots nor raspberries, and i didn't not fancy going to the supermarket just for them. I had tinned peaches, tho. They worked a treat! I also added some cinnamon. 

 

All in all, this is super delicious. It doesn't need the ice cream. It's just pretty perfect as it is.

 

Happy Sunday!

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text 2020-06-28 18:02
Sunday Post - June 28, 2020

 

 

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer.

 

Home Fires: My husband and I celebrated 11 years of marriage this past Wednesday. He bought me a small Yankee Candle tumbler candle. I bought sushi and noodles for dinner. 

 

I received an email from the school district on Thursday. It was a parental survey, looking for input on how to schedule the upcoming school year in the age of COVID-19. Our choices were: to go completely online public schooling via eAcademy; go completely online via remote learning like we did from March to the end of May; hybrid method with two days of school and the rest remote. Also questions on busing and cafeteria issues. This as the number of cases are rising quite steadily here in Kansas - we are in the top ten of hot spots for the disease in the U.S. I am really starting to see my kids being home this fall and winter. 

 

Adam bought $200+ (he got a military discount) worth of fireworks last night. We are making up for the years we spent in the UK. Our dog's little tornado shelter is going to get quite the workout this week.

 

Nature is a Mother: Hot, humid, and every storm has been bypassing us non-stop, so we are dry - getting to dangerous levels regarding grass/prairie fires. Sunflowers should start showing some petals very soon. 

 

Volunteer Valley: Chances of my GS troop meeting in person this fall is fast fading. Don't know how PTO is going to work with us waiting until mid-July to hear how schooling is going to go. 

 

Craft Corner: Haul time! First is this planner sticker pack from The Happy Planner - this pack is a goddess-sent for book bloggers/instagrammers/youtubers - I loved every page and can't wait to start using this in January 2021. I am thinking I may want to get a second pack now.....

 

I wanted new needle minders (I've got kids and a dog, I need to know where my needles are at all times while stitching), especially seeing other stitchers pairing their minders to their WIPs. This Triple Moon minder is from TopKnot Stitcher Shop.com. I got this minder from the etsy shop Hartiful. I love Maleficent and Starbucks, so I had to get this minder from the etsy shop Mad For Minders.

 

I picked up a DMC kit called Love Laurel and will be stitched hopefully by the time my next wedding anniversary rolls around. LOL. I also bought Satsuma Street's Leo by Jody Rice pattern and some black Aida - this is going to be my late July/early August project. Both my husband and I were born under the sign of Leo, so it will go into our room somewhere when completed. Both bought at 123stitch.com. There were two fundraisers I know about from the stitching community to donate to Black and LGBT+ organizations that I picked up: first is Say Her Name by TopKnot Stitcher.com and the simple Black Lives Matter from The Witchy Sticher.com. Both come as a PDF you download.

 

Book Shelf: I wrote all the reviews due from the five weeks and got them linked to COYER if eligible! Because I spent all that time writing the reviews, there was less time for reading. So this weekend is nothing but reading. I finally found a routine that works to balance blogging with reading.

 

The kids hit their goal for the third badge and earned yet another book. They can't pick out their books until Tuesday. The kids are doing better at their summer reading than me.

 

On the Tube: Bookish Realm is quickly becoming one of my favorite booktubers. She is funny and real and a librarian to boot! 

 

In My Ears: Two mini-series for my recommendations on podcasts this week. The first is WeCrashed: The Rise and Fall of WeWork by David Brown for Wondery Podcasts; this is a completed series, with I think 8 episodes. The second one is Boom/Bust: The Rise and Fall of HQ Trivia by Alyssa Bereznak for The Ringer Podcasts; this is almost done, just waiting for the finale this coming week. After listening to these podcasts I do wonder how Silicon Valley can disrupt industries/re-invent the wheel with such incompetence and ego. 

 

 

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text 2020-06-21 23:20
The Sunday Post

It's been a while since my last Sunday Post but to be fair there hasn't been much going on that was worth writing about since ... whenever it was that the virus took hold. 

 

So, with lockdown slowly easing in Scotland (and easing at a different speed to the rest of the UK, in case you were wondering), this weekend was the first time I had a chance to meet up with a couple of friends. We tried last week, but the weather wasn't allowing us to have a socially distanced picnic in the back garden AND stay dry.

 

Yesterday, finally!, we got to hang out in my back garden and chill and catch up and not use video chat and all able to dig into this:

 

 

I also made a kiwi fruit and banana cake. (I only forgot to take a picture after I put the glaze on.)

 

 

Both were demolished within minutes. We had a lot of fun. But it is fair to say that the sight of seagulls circling above us made us eat faster, too. 

 

Today I just chilled with John Donne. I finished reading the Everyman's Library collection of his works and look forward to picking up the book for re-reads of some of the poetry whenever the mood strikes. 

 

But of course, good poetry made me hungry for some equally sophisticated snack, so I played around with an idea for olive tapenade. It was nice.

 

Happy Sunday!

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text 2020-06-21 15:56
Sunday Post - June 21, 2020

 

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer.

 

Home Fires: Sophia bridged to Brownies in the Girl Scout ranks! Right now she is working on her Space Studies and 2020 Census badges. We have been given the go-ahead to have in-person meetings with lots of conditions and with the alternatives if family/the individual scout doesn't feel safe coming to an in-person meeting. Right now, my co-leader and I have not planned for any meetings - we are waiting to see what August brings. No trips, no events, no other get togethers yet. 

 

Less than 60 days until the first day of school - and our new school building is almost ready! We are being told to plan "as normal" so the opening is scheduled as originally planned. Again, we will see come August. Kansas is actually doing okay re: COVID-19, despite being an assisted living facility haven; the problem is that the states surrounding Kansas are deep in the pandemic shitshow (*looking at YOU, OKLAHOMA!*) 

 

Happy belated Juneteenth! Happy belated Litha/Summer Solstice! Happy Father's Day! 

 

Nature is a Mother: We had almost two solid weeks of almost 100 temperatures - the pool has been a goddess-sent lifeline. And just as I wanted sunshine and warm weather for this weekend, Friday brought the (much needed - fire season is upon us) rain. Yesterday and today should be nothing but sunshine and high temps, the rest of the week brings more rain. 

 

Our watermelons and pumpkins seeds are duds. Not a single stem or vine after a month. On the other end of the gardening spectrum, our sunflowers are getting taller every day. Doing a lot of pruning and weeding around the pool in an effort to keep the pool filters unblocked.

 

Volunteer Valley: I finished all financial reports on my Girl Scouts troop and got them approved by the Council, so my troop is considered good to go for October 1st (our year goes from October to September). Next up is to get my current troops to renew for next year. I already received the notice I will be having a new troop - she is the younger sister of a current troop (who actually renewed already). Plus their mom signed up to be a volunteer! Whew, now myself and my co-lead have a back up! Sophia and I have renewed as well. 

 

I'm still the Secretary of the PTO board until June 30th. July 1st starts my term as VP. 

 

I have not had the chance to volunteer at the local library since the pandemic started. The library just re-opened, but I have the kids home, so volunteering is on hold still. 

 

Craft Corner: So I discovered Flosstube - the YouTube community dedicated to all things cross stitch. After watching more than a few videos, I felt the itch to pick up my needle and stitch again. It's been almost a year - since the move. Somehow I lost my stitching mojo and watching others show their works and hauls got me back on track. I finished the project from a year ago in one day and started a new project. Not only did I find new stitchers to follow, my IG following went way up. And then I went and bought a bunch of needle minders and some charity patterns (charities to support Equity and Social Justice, specifically #BLM types). More on that next week.

 

And since March, when the stay at home orders came down and the kids went to remote schooling, I have not had much of a need for my planner, much less a desire for decorating/working on my spreads. And then came planner videos and lots of inspiration from IG planner hashtags. So I put a movie on (more on that down below) and just work on monthly themes for July-December in my Happy Planner. On top of getting my planning mojo back, I got keyed into some drama concerning Erin Condren, who decided to show her racist ass AGAIN. There's a lot of planner vloggers/bloggers dissociating themselves from her and the company. Good luck to them.

 

I started to teach the kids latch hooking. Joshua is doing a simple three-color soccer ball on a green field. Sophia is doing a complicated rainbow swirl that is at least a quarter bigger than Joshua's project. Man, you can tell she is my daughter LOL! We are also working on kitchen science experiments.

 

Book Shelf: Joshua and Sophia read enough minutes in the Summer Reading Program to earn their first prize. Joshua picked 5 Epic Disasters (I Survive True Stories #1) by Lauren Tarhis and Sophia picked Whatever, After #7: Beauty Queen by Sarah Mlynowski. That was the first ten days of the SRP (June 1st-10th). On Thursday they earned their second prize, which we are picking up on Tuesday. At this rate, we will have to go through their bookcases and re-organize. The SRP goes to July 31st.

 

Joshua completed the William Allen White (WAW) Challenge at school prior to the stay at home orders. During the last week of school we picked up his prize, Inkling by Kenneth Oppel. This is a book from the list of nominees that were picked for the school year 2020-2021. The winner of the WAW award as voted by the kids is Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus (Avery Green #1) by Dusti Bowling. This was Joshua's choice for best book he read off the list, so he was happy to see it win. 

 

I'm working through my Short & Sweet summer project and the adult version of the library's SRP.  COYER participated #BlackoutBestSeller challenge, then followed it up with a RAT to read the books bought during the challenge. I have A LOT of reviews to write...I'm not even going to count them. There's a list and I am just going to work through the list. 

 

On the Tube: I watched 13th by Ava Duvenary on YT. Started following some of the people featured in the documentary on Twitter. I am not going to lie, I was surprised to see Newt Gingrich and Grover Norquist in this... I also watched Matter of Fact: State of Addiction by Soledad O'Brien regarding the opioid epidemic. Up next is to watch O'Brien's documentary on the early days of COVID-19 which was released Friday night.

 

In My Ears: I culled my podcast listening because I was getting tired to assholes and pick me "feminists" (*looks at Crooked Media "personalities"*). The podcast I am highlighting this week is Wind of Change by Patrick Radden Keefe, the author of the book Say Nothing (about the IRA and an unsolved murder). This podcast is only 8 or 10 episodes and follows Keefe as he investigates the rumor that the CIA was responsible for the Scorpions' song Wind of Change as a psych-ops. It is a wild ride and Keefe even goes to Russia and Ukraine to ask questions. The late 1980s Cold War gets into some weird positions. New episodes come out on Tuesday on most pod catchers or you can binge all the episodes on Spotify. 

 

That is all from me for now. 

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