In the High Peaks

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Friday Insane Bookshelf Traveling Links and How I'm Managing to Survive So Far

For lots of fun, which we all need right now, do take a moment to visit the bloggers and blogs who are unearthing and discovering  books and bookshelves in their homes each Friday (or thereabouts) for the meme "Bookshelf Traveling for Insane Times."
At my house so far, I've just been scratching the surface of my groaning and overburdened bookshelves, with many more Fridays of discovery and sharing to come. I'm finding books that I've neglected for so long that I've felt like I've been cracking open long-forgotten treasure chests.
1. Cath at readwarbler
2. Tracy at Bitter Tea and Mystery
3. Katrina at Pining for the West
4. Margaret at Books Please
And I must apologize to Margaret: I've been struggling with WordPress Saturday and today, and for some reason it's blocking me from replying to Margaret's post, which fascinates because we share a love for several authors, including Peter May. I'm going to have to call WordPress tomorrow to find out what is going on. Most strange. I'll visit soon, Margaret! Thanks to everyone for participating!

And if in these trying and absolutely insane and ridiculous times, you think you'd love to dust off the books on one of your bookshelves, (or that book pile lurking under your bed, coffee table, or desk), you can find out how to participate each Friday or weekend by visiting my initial posts about "Bookshelf Travelling in Insane Times."

I don't want to belabor my survival rituals, but I just want to share that I'm doing so much better since I have stopped spending loads of time watching the news on television. I sometimes watch Governor Andrew Cuomo's daily briefings, which the New York Times has called "must-see television." Many, many New Yorkers are grateful that he is so in command right now, and is willing to tell the president exactly where the feds are falling short.

I get the news each morning by reading The New York Times on my Samsung tablet. That's enough. Psychically, for me, watching television news is very different from reading the news with no sound. I can be informed about the tragic and troubling new developments in New York State, especially downstate, but I'm not inundated with it, or overwhelmed by it.

After my cup of coffee and Samsung press briefing, I immediately launch into my household chores, which I've been doing more of. I walk the dog, I do laundry, I clean, I do dishes, I de-clutter, and when it is two o'clock, I take a deep breath and with pleasure, I retreat to my safe, cozy reading space to read, or listen to audio and knit. My safe, cozy place is so important to me now. I love my sacred space.
This structuring of my time is working for me. My anxiety has reduced, (temporarily).
Ken is preferring to watch more tv news, but that is what he has always been interested in doing.

In the evenings we watch TV--right now we've been enjoying binge-watching Grace & Frankie, starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, and Martin Sheehan and Sam Waterston. You know, the first time I watched it about three years ago, I didn't like it at all!
So what changed??? I wonder. I now love it!  I love the characters. It makes me laugh and I feel good. Maybe I needed to get three years older to appreciate it. Do you think? I do think that's it, especially because the foursome are all (supposedly) in their 70s.  No, I'm not in my 70s, but I'm closer than I was three years ago!


  1. I even washed the windows - inside and out! What are you knitting, did you finish the afghan/throw? I'll look out for Grace and Frankie, it's new to me.

    1. Oh, Katrina, how I wish I could channel your window-washing energy! Our windows sorely need it. It's still not warm enough for ideal window-washing, but it would be a great April project in these times. Something to sink my teeth into, which I need right now.
      In the knitting department, I'm getting closer to finishing a "sapphire blue heather" cardigan, but the very last part is a complicated bordering piece that runs up one side of the front along the neck and down the other side of the front. Stay tuned.
      I am still knitting the throw, but have come to a point where the lace pattern blocks are damned hard to figure out. I'm thinking of phoning or emailing the company who produced the pattern. It's a reputable company. Maybe they have some clues, and I have been using YouTube for lots of the lace patterns, which has helped with some of them.
      I think you might get a kick out of Grace and Frankie. I find lots of it very funny, and their situation is fraught with possibilities. Google it to see if it appeals.

  2. My routine is dysfunctional. I do not seem to be able to settle down!

    1. I know exactly what you mean, because when I'm doing chores in the first part of the day, I feel a bit helter-skelter sometimes, going in (too) many directions at once.
      I'm grateful if I manage to get at least a few things done on my list. And I pray the sun will come back, because it's been raining and raining for a while now.

  3. Judith, I may have mentioned before that I have periodic problems commenting on Margaret's posts, every 4 - 6 months it happens. WP suddenly decides to shove my comments into her spambox. I don't know if she's aware of your problems so I'll pop over to her blog in a moment and let her know. WP may be doing to you what it does to me, especially as your blog is a Blogspot one like mine.

    So pleased that you've found a coping mechanism that works for you. I'm limiting our news intake too. Not that the crisis isn't bad, it is, but I do think the media are making a meal out of it and possibly frightening people more than they should be.

    You know, I think you're right when you say you had to be 3 years older for Grace and Frankie. I'm certain that happens. I really do feel I had to be 10 years older to enjoy Maisie Dobbs, but I have no idea *why*.

    And thanks for the link to my post!

    1. Hi Cath,
      I think part of the WordPress problem might be that I once upon a time had a WordPress blog, which I almost immediately discarded. Not sure, though.
      The TV news media is now primed to be active 24 hours a day, so whatever they can conjure up, out it goes. I actually don't see how they could do it differently, but I definitely get your point. The New York Times has lots of articles about how to de-stress, how to engage more in cooking, in reading, even articles about how to challenge a dog who's not getting as many walks as he's used to (!). I like that balance. Maybe the TV News media needs to take a hint.
      And you're right, I don't have a clue why Grace and Frankie are so funny now when they weren't before. There's some gallows humor in it that I might have reacted to earlier, but I don't know.

  4. Great post, Judith. The structuring of your life... that is what I want to be doing but don't seem to be able to. I have been weeding lately and I did some this morning while I still had shade. I can only do a bit at a time.

    I haven't watched TV news for years so no problem in avoiding it now. I do follow the coronavirus updates at the New York Times and LA Times -- on my laptop. However, just that sometimes keeps me at too high a stress level.

    I am reading my husband's copy of Diary of a Provincial Lady by E.M. Delafield, and enjoying it although sometimes not understanding it. I have thought about watching Grace and Frankie ... we may give it a try.

    We watch either television episodes or movies every night, not in the day time. Partly because Glen is working Mon - Friday in the day time.

    1. Tracy,
      The time structuring thing--that is really hard right now for me and I suppose everyone, and I'm imagining that you are also trying to figure out in general how you want to spend your time after years of having very little time to do as you please. It seems to be a bit of a "double-whammy" all round.
      You know, I have always found weeding to be really, really arduous work. We don't need to weed here, but when we lived just outside of Boston, I had a good-sized flower garden in the front of the house, and a vegetable garden out back, as well as a container garden on our deck. Whew--. It was fun to have the gardens then, but now-- we have very poor soil here, so we go with living with our native plants and with the addition of container flowering plants. My faves are all sorts of violas and pansies, and other flowers.
      Diary of a Provincial Lady. You know, I borrowed that from the library during the past year, but I had too many other books in the house that called to me, so I never pursued it.
      Yes, I watch tv only in the evening. I'm dying to see the movie Little Women. Now available, although for a fee.

  5. Judith, Cath told me you're having trouble commenting on my post. I didn't know that and am so sorry but I don't know what is happening. I check my spam box regularly and haven't had a comment from you in there. I do hope you can get it fixed.

    I'm limiting how much TV news and programmes I watch too - the press here seem to want to report the worst news they can find and then repeat it at each news broadcast. But there are lots of programmes about keeping fit, how to cook, etc etc. to keep people's spirits up. I have been watching some of them - it has eaten into my reading time!

    The weather has been mixed here, a lot of rain mixed with days of sun, but also cold winds, but I have managed to get out into the garden and do a bit of tidying up. I am not a good gardener, but as our garden is a bit wild that's ok. We have a little wood and a stream going through the garden so get lots of birds and wildlife.

    1. Hi Margaret,
      So nice to hear what you've been doing in these troubled times. There's a glitch with WordPress. They won't accept my password, so I change the password, and then day after day it refuses to accept that password, and on and on it goes. I once had a WordPress account, and I think that may be the root of it, but I don't know, and these days I'm so busy keeping in touch with family and friends by phone, that I don't find the time to call them.
      But I'm so glad you've posted here with your thoughts.
      Those poor media people have nothing else to do but report on this thing. I'm glad I'm not one of them!
      Have you been cooking a bit more? I've been really into cooking new dishes since January. Fun!
      And walking Sandy eats up loads of time.
      Here in northern New York State we have been having an unusually long MUD season, that awful transition from winter to spring. March for us works out best if it stays totally cold and snowy. Then by the time April rolls around, the sun is so high that the warmer weather and winds dries all the dirt roads out promptly and with little fuss and bother. Even so, our daffodils here usually don't appear until the last week of April or the first week of May. And spring then bursts forward in just a few weeks.
      We have several creeks on our property, and one not far from the house, so our wildlife of all kinds is usually abundant. I am a birder, and have observed unusually early spring arrivals for many of our birds.
      I'd love to know whereabouts (roughly) in the UK you live. Do give a clue!
      P.S. I am not a good gardener either. Our soil here in the Adirondack Mountains is very poor.

  6. Hi Judith, I'm writing my next post for your meme and enjoying it so much.

    Sorry you can't comment on my blog! I have been baking more than usual - pies and cake! And I'm finding so many things I want to do - get out a jigsaw again for example - that the days are flying by.

    I live in the north of the north eastern part of England, right next to the border with Scotland, and about 10 miles from the North Sea.