Sunday, April 19, 2020

Pandemic Update #3: April 19, 2020

Here we are with another pandemic edition of  the Sunday Salon. It's still eerily quiet on our southwest Florida barrier island. The rental accommodation ban is still in effect, county beaches are still closed, our city beach and public parking lots are also closed. Some restaurants are open for takeout or delivery only, and nonessential businesses remain closed. Our last grocery delivery was over a week ago and I'm planning a quick trip out for essential food items tomorrow. After receiving expired dairy products and nearly expired meat and produce in deliveries, I've decided to go out every couple of weeks for these things myself.

We finally have a more established pandemic routine. Our daughters' work schedules are set (so strange that they're working and we are not!) For me much remains the same, except the new routine includes more cooking and less print reading time. I still get my morning walk with an audiobook, and am working on ways to spend more time with my print and ebooks throughout the day.

With sunsets getting later, an evening walk is once again part of our routine... and has become my favorite part of the day. I always have company, so the earbuds stay home.

Finished this week//

by Sheryl Sandberg, Adam M. Grant
narrated by Elisa Donovan

I listened to the first few hours on audio but then wanted to reread certain quotes. I borrowed the ebook from the library and ended up finishing it in print. This book really spoke to Les (her review) and I can understand why.  It was probably not the best choice of pandemic reading material for me, but still a worthwhile read. I will revisit the audio when this current situation resolves. Thanks for the recommendation, Les!

Current reading//

by Barbara Kingsolver
narrated by the author

I generally enjoy Barbara Kingsolver's novels and so far I really like this one, too. As usual, I have both the ebook and the audio. At nearly 30%, both stories of the dual narrative (set in the same house, approximately a century apart) are equally appealing. That rarely happens, so I hope it continues!

Renovation update//

Work on the house continues. Painting, tile installation, and framing in the lower level was happening last week. Tile work continues this week and I'm hopeful the kitchen cabinets will arrive. It looks like the new front door will be going in, too. I was disappointed to learn the wood flooring shipment has been delayed due to the pandemic. The new projected arrival date is May 20... so that pushes our move into June. Sigh.

The week ahead//

Should be more of the same, but hopefully with more reading.

How are you holding up? What have you been reading?

The Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz.
It's Monday... What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

The Sunday Salon: A Cloudy Day

Hello from cloudy southwest Florida, where we're all still healthy, staying at home and practicing social distancing as best as we can. The governor (at long last) issued a "safer at home" order a few days ago... though we haven't see too much change as our island seemed to be ahead of the curve. Our days have finally settled into more of a routine and I've been able to carve out time to relax with a book most afternoons. Limiting television news has helped, too.

Finished this week//

by Alison Weir, narrated by Rosalyn Landor

I don't read much historical fiction, but Alison Weir's Six Tudor Queens  series seems to be just what I need right now. This fictionalized biography swept me away to another time and place. It portrays Anne, full of intelligence and ambition, through her early life, rise to power, and eventual downfall. The end, especially, is chronicled in excruciating detail... I could not put it down.

This was a read/listen combination for me. The audio version is just under 20 hours, so I listened on my morning walks and read the ebook (borrowed from the library) later in the day. I plan to start book three, Jane Seymour: The Haunted Queen, as soon as my library hold arrives.

by Kevin Wilson, narrated by Marin Ireland

Perfect pandemic reading! I raced through this book in just a couple of days. The novel features a set of ten-year-old twins who spontaneously combust. Yes, truly ridiculous, but I found the book utterly delightful. Read it for yourself and see. Better yet, listen. Marin Ireland won the 2020 Audie Award for best female narrator.

Tried but set aside//

by Malcolm Gladwell, narrated by the author

I listened to the first hour of this book on my walk, but it just didn't hold my interest. I've enjoyed listening to Gladwell's previous books, but this one seemed more like a podcast.

In the kitchen//

It's been several years, maybe a decade, since I regularly cooked for five people. At that time I had a large, well-stocked kitchen with double ovens and a dedicated pantry. Now I've got a tiny kitchen, one oven, one food cupboard, uncertain availability of staples, and my favorite pans, tools, and cookbooks are still in storage. While this presents a challenge, it also provides an opportunity to be creative. (We're still hoping to move into our house late next month.)

I felt like baking several days this week. A Blueberry Cornmeal Shortbread Tart from the New York Times  was our favorite. If you want the recipe and can't access the link, let me know. I will copy and email to you. We also loved these Blondies from Simply Recipes, which I made with mini chocolate chips and walnuts. I used the last of my brown sugar to make them... hope I can find more at Publix this week.

The week ahead//

More of the same, I imagine. I'll leave you with a photo of a perfect tulip I found a few days ago. Hope you are all safe and healthy.

How are you holding up? What are you reading?

The Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz.
It's Monday... What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.


Related Posts with Thumbnails