Sunday Lowdown #157


Yet another wacky week! Was college always wacky, or is this new because of COVID? Well, not all things were COVID-related this week. I went to school on Monday for interpreting class. The ASL teacher’s daughter is still sick, so she is petitioning for the class to become online/hybrid instead of emailing us each day cancelling. Since the course was already structured as a flipped classroom, this should work out great. I do hope to see her on Zoom at least once per week!

Then, a giant snow storm hit the entire region, so school closed for all in-person learning Wednesday and Thursday (I only go to campus MWF).

Off the balcony of our apartment.

When I looked outside, I thought there were only a few inches, but when Nick and I left the house to get groceries Thursday night, we spent quite a while trying to get about a foot of snow off my car.

Everyone is sick — sick with something, whether it’s COVID or stomachaches or allergies or headcolds. Everybody got something. I got a stomachache that took me out all Saturday, but to be honest, my stomach felt like lava, which is a red flag that I need to eat better, not that I have a bug. I definitely stress ate this whole past week. Ugh.

On a positive note, I ran a vocab drill with three classmates, and I’ve memorized a bunch of signs for personality traits: afraid, annoying, arrogant, boring, big-headed, broken-hearted, complaining, considerate, embarrassed, emotional, friendly, frustrated, funny, grumpy, hard-working, helpful, humble, interesting, laughing from the belly, lazy, loyal, mean, mischievous, motivated, motor-mouthed, negative, nosy, outgoing, personality, polite, positive, rude, stubborn, strong, serious, shy, sick-of-it, smart, stupid, weak, and worried. Whew! I can’t believe I memorized the signs AND the list itself, though I had to peek and confirm I knew all the S words. That took about 75 minutes to learn.


Did I blog this week???? Technically I did, except I got it all set up a week or so back. Whew! Good on past me. She’s a champ. I do, however, need to get to your blogs. I see the oldest unread post comes from Karissa @ Realizing Grace on February 1st. Yeesh.

Betty MacDonald was back, forced to hustle with her sister Mary through the Great Depression. Whether it was Betty’s inability to type when Mary told everyone Betty was speedy, or Betty sitting in a warehouse in the dark with a stranger stuffing envelopes, she always had a gig thanks to Mary, who said it: Anybody Can Do Anything.

I’m so glad Virgie Tovar reached out to a variety of people to get their experiences as fat women. The contrasts, the different attitudes and writing styles, the situations that sound familiar but are processed in personal ways by each writer. It was a great collection, so if you can get your hands on it, please do read Hot & Heavy.


Last week I mentioned getting stuck on how to write blog posts because so much of my bandwidth is in use. Also, you know how you feel sorta-kinda-umm-okay about a book, and those are the hardest ones to review?? I had a few of those, too. But I pushed through, so you’re getting two reviews next week!

On the Beat of Truth by Maxine Childress Brown is a memoir about her, but in the context of growing up with two Deaf parents. This is a black family in the U.S. before the Civil Rights Movement, so you can see what people mean when they say we must examine the individual life through intersectional identities (black, woman, man, southern, Deaf, poor, etc.). Review Tuesday.

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub is one of those books that sounded interesting on the surface but turned a bit more beach ready than I expected. This is one of the problems with deeming books “literary.” Anyone can do it, and then I have an expectation of being challenged. This is also why I sometimes categorize books as men’s or women’s fiction — not that the gender says something about the seriousness of the work, but whose issues the book is mainly concerned with in a book that doesn’t fit into an obvious genre (sci-fi, action, comedy, etc.). Review Thursday.


Owned Books on TBR at Beginning of Year: 202
Owned Books on TBR Last Week: 197
Owned Books on TBR Today: 197

Thanks to Sue @ Whispering Gums for her recommendation!


  1. I might be first up this week. I was sitting here scrolling through Instagram when up popped a notification of your linking to my post. Thank you… I really like that you’re interested enough to mention it!

    Love that list of personality traits you’ve learnt signs for. Mr Gums loves watching signing, often to the point that he missed the point of the message because he’s not attending fully to the spoken word.


  2. Oh, I have a stomach bug, me, me! I don’t think it’s my IBS in my case but where did I get it from? I never go anywhere! Anyway out has gone my plan to read a serious nonfiction book I worked on that arrived this week, which is a shame.


    • Hahaha, indeed we are. I also learned that this book is a series of short stories, so that will be interesting. I’ve only read one other collection to you, the Jeanette Winterson Christmas book.


  3. Wow, that’s a lot of snow! Better you than me, sis. I am over winter. And I live in Tennessee, lol. I feel for my blog friends in more northerly climates. Northerly? Is that a word? Anyway, I hope your virtual classes go well and good job on memorizing those emotions!


    • Northerly is totally a word. You know what the problem with memorizing emotions is? Suddenly you are aware of how you would describe other people beyond “nice” or “fine.” Suddenly, your classmate is mischievous, or your friend is big-headed, or whatever.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I envy your ability to plan ahead for your blog. Moth does it sometimes too. I just………don’t. LOL. I should but my reading has been SO slow and other than school and work, I don’t have a whole lot of exciting to go about.
    We’re almost done with season 2 of Raising Dion and that’s as exciting as this week is getting. 😛


  5. Wow, you did have a wacky week! Sorry about all the snow, but I am soo glad it stayed south of Minnesota. We just got the arctic subzero cold. Well done memorizing all those signs! sorry to hear you and others have been feeling poorly. I hope all of you are feeling better!


    • I keep checking on Biscuit (my mom) and seeing if she feels better, and several classmates are Zooming in on conference calls. So far, I’m feeling more confident with my study group and vocab drills. We can do it together!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m so jealous of all your snow. Just had to say it. EVerything is melting here, alas. It’s 40 today. WTF, Wisconsin?!

    I can relate soooo hard to your stomach ache meaning you’ve been eating your feelings. I had that revelation last night when I couldn’t sleep. So many stomach pains. I reflected on my last week and realize I’d mostly consumed Oyster Crackers with ranch powder and brownies. #SorryNotSorry We’ll see if I can get out of this spiral. I hope your stress decreases ASAP. You don’t need that.

    So many words! I am very impressed. Do you know how large your overall vocab is now?

    I find it interesting that the books you feel “meh” about are the hardest to review. I find the books I love to be the hardest to review, honestly. I rarely post reviews for books I rank 5 or even 6 stars. I love them but I can rarely find the words to articulate why. It’s so much easier for me to be critical. How do you find the words when you love a book?


    • Writing about books I love is challenging, and I think, “Well, how would I do this verbally?” Mostly, I would sit there and blab to you about the different parts I loved. So, instead of writing in paragraphs, I write in bullet points, thinking each one will be short. Inevitably, I start blabbing even more in each point, and when I remove the bullets, they’re decent-ish paragraphs that I church up and publish.

      Also, do you need any advice about how to make dinner easier, or are you in a food funk? A lot of people I know find making dinner overwhelming, so they buy Hello, Fresh! or something like that and end up….having to make dinner.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s more-or-less how I do it. But when I have books I love, the words all come out the same. I need a larger vocabulary or something. I can only talk about how much I love something for so long before it feels dull to me. You know what I mean?

        hahaha. That’s hilarious – people who find making dinner overwhelming are the intended customer base for Hello, Fresh and the like, but… the mark is definitely being missed. They should be the ones who keep UberEats or whatever happening.

        Advice how to make dinner easier? Not really. I love to cook and make up recipes from what’s in the house. Which is always a ton of food about to go bad. Because we live on a farm. XD It’s more about not eating through my emotions. Particularly when I’m stressed (which, spoilers, I am stressed right now). I feed my child very healthy meals, eat her leftovers and binge brownies in those moments. Oops.


  7. I’m a bit jealous of your snow – I know it’s just a massive hassle if you’re in a part of the world that gets it regularly, but we so rarely get snow that those are always some of my favourite days of the year. I woke up to snow on my birthday once, and it was such an exciting birthday treat.

    Nearly everyone at my workplace is ill – (mostly) not covid, but the combined toll of being unable to properly access healthcare/look after themselves all throughout the many lockdowns, in combination with the fact that everyone’s burnt out after two years working at 120% all the time. One of my colleagues, who is a very confident cyclist, came off her bike while riding a route she follows all the time, which sounds like *such* a “she’s exhausted” thing to me.


    • Yeah, if your coworker is having problems in areas in which she used to treat like routine, it sounds like exhausted to me, too. Losing focus, losing the attention span, etc. The hard part about snow is it makes for unpredictable travel. Other than that, I like it. If I were closer to school, it wouldn’t be a big deal. Usually, you just check the weather the night before to plan how much earlier you need to leave because you have to drive slower. It’s when going slower doesn’t help that you’ve got a problem.


  8. We’ve had a distinct lack of snow here in calgary, which is odd for us. Lots of chinook winds have blown through though, it’s currently 10 degrees (celsius!) which is quite warm.

    I wouldn’t worry too much about being behind on other people’s blogs – I feel this way too, but I use the email notifications as my ‘to-do’ list of sorts so I don’t miss any. People understand, we are all busy 🙂


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