Oh, such high hopes! Although I was late starting my prep, I was sooooo hopeful! And then you-know-what hit big time and life as I knew it changed. In days of shelter in place, stay at home, social distancing and quarantine, kids in different states, kids in positions considered essential and daily risking exposure, family members with at risk health conditions…… yeah the A to Z Challenge slipped my mind. Having rambled on enough about why I wasn’t prepared, I’ll move on to the meat and potatoes.
I’ve toyed with the idea of making books or characters my theme for this challenge. I have loved reading for as long as I can remember and what better chance to share it than through this challenge! After tweaking and searching and thinking a bit, I finally landed on the theme- My Favorite Female Book Characters. I wanted to say ‘literary’ but that just feels sort of stuffy for some of mine. Maybe I’m overthinking it, but goodness knows it’s not like I don’t have anything but time on my hands these days! Because I love quotes, I plan on including a quote from the character along with a description.
I’m already behind so I better get working here!
A is for Anne- Anne Shirley
Anne Shirley is the main character of L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables books. Anne is a skinny redheaded orphan with a penchant for getting into trouble and blurting out what’s on her mind. When she arrives at the farm of siblings Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, she hopes she has found a home. Gilbert Blythe, who starts off on the wrong foot with Anne, has always been one of my favorites. Their rivalry has always amused me and when I first began reading the books, I wasn’t sure if they would ever figure out how to get along. (I was probably around ten years old then so what did I know?)
“True friends are always together in spirit.” -Anne of Green Gables
It seems fitting to kick off the month (albeit a few days late) with this quote. Having spent a few weeks only having contact with the same handful of people, none of them being my best friends, I miss my buddies horribly! I swear I’ve never texted so much as I have since we became a stay at home state.
Back to Anne, strangely enough I don’t own any of the Anne of Green Gables books. I checked them out endlessly as a child and re-read them so many times I knew them by heart. Since the majority of my childhood books either come from my original books or ones that I pick up at thrift stores as I see them, I’m pretty sure I haven’t come across any yet. I have added the new series to my list to watch but haven’t gotten to it yet. (I’m too confused/befuddled/horrified/interested?!? in Tiger King. I know- I’m as appalled by this admission as you probably are!
…while life was busy burying me, I realized that I had an A to Z Challenge to complete. As I tried to claw my way out of this hole, I noticed that there were challenges that seemed to all line up so I could tie things together nicely and almost totally put the lid on them.
As April came to a close, things ramped up with my loved one and all of my time and energy was spent with those matters. Needless to say, this resulted in my U and X of the A to Z Challenge. My life was momentarily and permanently turned UPSIDE DOWN as I experienced the EXIT of one phase of my life and the beginning of another. Still processing and dealing with major changes in my life, I barely had time to catch my breath before I needed to address my eye issues once again.
This time, it was in the form of a surgery to repair problems that have been plaguing both eyes for years. This surgery had been scheduled a few months ago so I knew there was no putting it off. The strain on my eyes over the past years has taken it’s toll. I’m nearing the halfway point now- halfway between the first eye surgery recovery and the prep for the second. Although I know in the end I will be happy that I went through this and amazed at my newfound ability to SEE, right now I’m just kinda bummed out. It’s been a difficult year and being near the halfway point of eye shenanigans has shown me what I can expect for the other half. I am at a point where my vision isn’t awesome if I look out of both eyes at the same time…… so things like reading and writing are a challenge. (Please disregard any errors in this post…..thanks!) Factor in my terror at anything being done to my eyes, and you might understand why it’s all kind of getting to me. And this is where the Y comes in- YOUR VIEW, which from here is not very clear! As you can see from the lovely glasses that I’ve had to wear for the past week, it’s a good thing I didn’t feel well or else I would have been running all over town showing off those cool shades!! Of course, my driver (because I’ve been under a no-driving restriction) would probably be less than thrilled with my adventures…
Meanwhile, this post is almost to its breaking point with all the challenges it is covering!
Oops! I knew that I fell behind but I found this post sitting in drafts!! I thought I had scheduled it.
“Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby.” ~Langston Hughes
Spring in the Midwest! It’s quite the experience. In the past two weeks we have experienced temperatures between the low 30’s through the upper 70’s. We’ve had sun, wind, torrential rain, and heavy snow. Yesterday we were outside enjoying a beautiful sunny day with blue skies and white fluffy clouds floating by and today brings gloomy gray skies and possibly snow. I can honestly say that we have experienced all four seasons in a two week period!!
“Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.” -John Ruskin
“A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.” ~Carl Reiner
“The trouble with weather forecasting is that it’s right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it.” ~Patrick Young
“Don’t knock the weather; nine-tenths of the people couldn’t start a conversation if it didn’t change once in a while.” ~Kin Hubbard
This little lady is the latest addition to a collection of “broken angels” that I inadvertently began recently. She is part of the Geo. Z Lefton collection and although I haven’t had much time to research her age, based on similar statues I’ve seen, she is vintage. (And not vintage as in –Oh look at this vintage Barbie from 1989…. actual 1950’s or 60’s vintage.)
The first angel in my collection, which I guess wasn’t a collection if it’s just one, right? Or maybe it can be a collection of one. Anyway, the first one was a cute little angel wearing a pink dress, holding a basket of flowers and with a broken wing. She looked so sweet and flawless from the front but then when you turned her and saw her broken wing, you just knew that this would be reason enough for someone to discard her. It was a no-brainer that I had to have her. Also, she was marked with my birthday month and that detail sealed the deal.
A week later I came across another angel, this one similar to the one pictured above but what caught my eye was her chipped halo. Another member of my birthday month club and missing a wing to boot. I didn’t hesitate to snatch up this one.
At this point I decided that my little band of two broken angels was complete. These two little sweeties peer at me over the clock at my bedside. I moved on. Or so I thought…
And then Miss July came into my life and I knew I was a goner as I purchased her.
What draws me to these little broken angels? I think we are all flawed in some way. Sometimes those imperfections are not visible. Sometimes they are hidden until we reveal them. And sometimes they aren’t flaws at all, just parts of us that we don’t like or wish to change. Regardless of the reasons- they are part of who we are. At least mine are- and like them or not, they are what they are- good or bad, by my standards or others. We can accept them or reject them. My broken angels represent those things in myself and the ones that I love.
“I think we are all insecure, and there is nothing wrong in accepting that. But the problem arises when we try to counter this insecurity by cultivating this illusion of control, and we start taking ourselves and everything we know too seriously.” -Sushant Singh Rajput
Some people just never learn! Although four year old Beej is not as tech savvy as some of his classmates, he still figured out how to take a selfie or two when he found an abandoned cell phone laying around the other day. Imagine the owner’s surprise when she happened upon Beej’s smiling face on her camera roll!
For reasons unknown to me one of the childhood keepsakes I’ve held on to is this pencil case. I must have really loved it. Or maybe it was packed away with a few other treasures and I didn’t have the heart or interest to get rid of it. I’ve come across it over the years, along with the dolls and other “memorable” items from my childhood. And I would always do the same thing. Open it. Look at what’s inside- markers, pencils, a red pen and ball point pen. And then zip it back up again. I used it for many years because it held a good amount of writing utensils and it stayed flat on top of my books (because we did not use backpacks back then!) That’s the extent of my memories attached to this pencil case.
But it did get me thinking about what memories I have held onto of my school days and my earliest memory always stands out. My parents and I had moved into our new house mid-school year and I was five years old. Only one moment stands out in my memory of my first day at a new school. It was when my dad picked me up at the end of the day. We were walking back to the car and he was holding my hand. A voice called out from behind, “Bye, Katherine!”
I paused and turned, not letting go of his hand, and I looked back. It was Marie, with a huge grin spread across her face while she waved at me. I smiled back. And then I timidly raised my hand to return her wave. “Bye!” I’m not sure my voice even carried across the distance between us but Marie waved again and skipped over to her mother.
My dad’s voice burst through my little cloud of happiness. “Who was that?” I looked up at him, seeing the curious look on his face that matched his tone.
I looked down and a small smile returned to my face as I happily replied, “My friend.”
This is my first memory of school, which has nothing to do with school other than it happened there. And it’s my first memory of Marie, who is my oldest friend. We have been friends for fifty years and I can’t believe it’s been that long. For awhile she was my best friend but despite our paths going in different directions, we were at each other’s weddings and we have never lost touch over the years. We pick up where we left off despite any time that has passed. We share our joys and sorrows. She has been a constant in my life, a special person who holds a precious corner of my heart- just because. And I really like that.
I love books and I love to read! There’s no way around it. When I first heard of reading a book on a Kindle, I was intrigued but vowed never to cave to something so new-fangled… But eventually I gave in and got my first Kndle, followed by my second and so on. Now I can’t imagine not reading my book on the Kindle app on my iPad.
What was the tipping point for me? It’s really simple. I don’t travel light. In addition to packing too many clothes, I’ve always needed multiple books. You know, just in case…. Just in case I finish the first one. Just in case I don’t like the second one. Just in case I do like the second one and finish that one, too, and so on and so on…. Just imagine the draw of the Kindle!! How could I possibly pass up the opportunity to bring along 100 books and not add hundreds of pounds of weight to my bags?!
Due to more than one issue with my eyes, I can’t read the books I love so much. And for that reason and that alone, I am so grateful for my iPad but the thing that really makes all the difference is my ability to change the settings so I’m able to actually read all those books that I love so much!