Despite COVID-19, the summer of 2020 is treating me pretty well. Time seems to have really slowed down. In prior years it seems like the period from July 4th to Labor Day disappears in a blink but this year I find myself surprised to realize that we haven’t even finished the month yet.
While I miss “real” travel, I’m learning to savor these slow days and have definitely been feeling relaxed. Come check out today’s post to hear about life lately!
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Life Lately: Doing
We finally pulled the trigger on a short, socially-distant getaway this past weekend! We went to western PA where we were able to enjoy a lot of different outdoor activities and also managed to do all our dining outside. It was a gorgeous weekend and the change of scenery was just the boost we needed.
Guess which clothing size hasn’t changed since COVID? That’s right! My shoe size! My friend Kara from this post is converting her incredible shoe business to ONLINE ONLY. There is a big sale going on through the end of this week so take a look and see what you can find at 30-70% off.
Have you seen the various posts on Facebook or Pinterest showing you what vegetables you can grow from scraps? Well, they keep popping up on my feed so I decided to give it a try. I had some celery at home and started with that. About 10 days into this experiment and it is indeed growing! Next up, I plan to try green onion, which uses the same method.
Life Lately: Reading
There have been a LOT of patio/hammock days this summer, curled up with Dolce and several good books. A few of my recent favorites are below. Check out what I’m currently reading by following me on GoodReads.
A friend just finished this book and lent it to me when I was telling her about our friend’s new adventure on their catamaran in the USVI/BVI. It tells the story of a new chef trying to find his way who takes a job for one season on a private yacht in the Mediterranean. The book will set your mouth watering and your mind day-dreaming about long summer days in the south of France and the west of Italy.
Being the curious type, I did a little sleuthing and discovered that the boat the chef was on was the Te Vega (now Deva). The owners he would have worked for were Calisto Tanzi and Anita Chiesi. Tanzi founded the Parmalat company that famously resulted in Europe’s largest bankruptcy in 2003.
A beautifully told novel about the choices we make and the intended and non-intended consequences of the same – both those that we experience and those that we inflict on others because of our decisions.
Much of the story takes place in Shanghai before and during the Japanese occupation of China. The story is told from the viewpoint of Anna, the daughter of the protagonist. It’s a very “human” story, the type that will stay with you for some time. Warning: A beautiful but sad tale. Set aside a few Kleenex for the end of this book.
Most recently I finished Malcolm Gladwell’s Talking to Strangers. It’s definitely a favorite of mine among his books. It focuses on why our judgment of strangers so commonly goes awry, even for those who’ve spent years being trained in lie detection and evasive behavior.
He uses several high profile historical references (Hitler, Ana Navarro) as well as popular court cases (Jerry Sandusky, Brock Turner, Amanda Knox) to illustrate the hiccups that often cause us to misread people so severely.
Life Lately: Watching
Our TV viewing coffers have been running a little thin but one of the shows we really liked this summer was Hulu’s Mrs. America. It’s the story of the ERA Movement of the 1970’s and, more specifically, of Phyllis Schlafly and her famous stance against the movement. I remembered Mrs. Schlafly by name but didn’t know much about her.
My perception from childhood was that she was a sort of radical housewife that had joined the conservative movement. But boy, is there a lot more to her than that! By the end of the series, I found myself with some empathy for her. Her strategic path to power could have turned out much differently with a few tweaks and compromises.
The super-groovy soundtrack will have you itching to find a roller rink!
Weird History’s Timeline series on YouTube has also been a lot of fun. It’s strange to discover what you remember vividly as opposed to what seems like it must have been from a different era entirely.
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