“Sunday” Lowdown #168


No fear, friends. I am totally alive. Biscuit called me Sunday afternoon. I said, “Hello?” She said, “What’s wrong?” It is now Monday in the U.S. I believe it’s Tuesday in Australia.

This weekend time slipped through my fingers on multiple occasions. Due to heavy rain in the forecast we tried moving things to the house in the mornings. Saturday was book day part 2. Sunday was plant day. I hate moving plants. The African violets will easily snap off leaves and then I’m sad. But the cacti try to inflict the most damage possible, like they think they’re some sort of video game super hero and we’re in a boss battle. In fact, I almost took a cactus to the face. Another one dropped its dying limbs all over the carpet, but I didn’t notice at first, so I played “find the feet stabbers” for a while.

African Violets

There was also a moment that made me quite angry on Saturday: Nick and I decided randomly to go to a Habitat for Humanity resale store where I found a solid dresser in excellent condition. I looked that thing over meticulously because the store has a no refund/exchange policy. The dresser wouldn’t fit in the car, so we went home to get the other car, which has a hatchback. When we got back the dresser was damaged — a huge chunk off the corner of the top drawer was missing. Nick has decided this is now our “perseverance dresser” because we’re going to find a way to make it look normal.

And that was just the weekend. Last week I had my ASL final exam, so I am finished with that class. Although I knew all the content very well, I felt like a muppet as I answered questions. For instance, describe two interesting things about yourself. I picked that I used to ride motorcycles (as a passenger) and I like horror movies. Then, I didn’t notice that we were supposed to explain our skill level in regards to what we do. So then I was trying to convince my teacher that I am skilled at riding on the back of a motorcycle because I can both read books and sleep back there. How do you explain you’re a skilled movie watcher? I made an effort to state that I know the characters and years the movies were released and the actors. One of my classmates has ridden horses her whole life, and I was so jealous that she does a thing that requires, like, skill.

Next week is my Intro to Interpreting final, and I also need to finish the requirements for my ASL website for my tech class. I recorded the last video (we need 8) and have to add closed captions. I don’t love this video even though I love the topic — you guys! I’m really struggling to make my face match my emotions while making my eyebrows do ASL grammar. Currently, my brain will do one or the other.


My most recent review was a short story collection called Women Up On Blocks by Mary Akers. While I enjoyed all of the stories, the one I keep thinking about is the woman whose father passed away. I included a quote about what the family was given after he was deceased (dentures, glasses — things worn out and useless). Do you remember any item in particular that belonged to someone who passed away? After my grandfather, a man I did not know and never met, passed away, I was given a baby picture he had of me that he’d kept on his wall, if I remember correctly. I think about that.


True Biz by Sara Nović is all the buzz, it seems. Have you added it to your TBR? I was fully immersed in this novel. You know, one of those books that makes you forget about time and space. My main question is this: to what extent do readers need to know Deaf culture to enjoy Nović’s novel? I’ll think about it more as I write my review for Wednesday.


Owned Books on TBR at Beginning of Year: 202
Owned Books on TBR Last Week: 181
Owned Books on TBR Today: 179

Thanks to Sue @ Whispering Gums for sharing a link to the Annabel Smith post, which led me to adding a new book. I added the book about ethics after it was mentioned in my interpreting textbook. The volcano book is one I’ve been meaning to add after I went to an online author discussion with Robin George Andrews.


  1. I must admit to having giggled at the image of you wrestling with the cacti though if you had indeed stepped on one of those broken off pieces, it wouldn’t have been a laughing matter


  2. I am glad you missed getting a cactus to the face! African violets are horrible to move. I actually flew on an airplane once with a small one in my bag. I survived but it looked terrible for months. Congrats on having one final done. I hope the rest go well!


    • This time we managed to not destroy any plants, though the original move from Michigan to Indiana resulted in many leafless plants. It was a horrible feeling. Some of these cacti are about 15 years old, so they’re quite tall and top heavy.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha, thank you, Laila. I have a lot of horror knowledge stored up in my brain, that’s for sure. And I learned recently that my six-year-old niece loves Chucky from Child’s Play, so I’m guessing this is a family affair, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey, it takes SKILL to sit through a horror movie. You know how many people CAN’T?? Turns out a lot. There are very few people I can talk about horror movies with and obviously, you’re one of them. It takes SKILL to be THAT cool. 😉
    I always knew cactus would be scary to have. You have now confirmed my suspicions. I got goosebumps thinking about using my feet to find lost stabby-parts. D:

    Liked by 1 person

    • One of my favorite parts about watching scary movies with my sister-in-law is watching my sister-in-law watch the scary movie. She does the funniest curl up and hid moves. Or, she slowly sucks her head into her shirt to hide her face. LoL, I love her, she’s so great, but she’s a scardy cat. Which is weird because she is SO STRONG! So, maybe it is a skill!

      Cacti come in different types, of course. The ones with the arms all over the place have fuzzy spines, which are terrifying because if you get stabbed, you don’t know if you got all the spines out. The classic cactus you see in your mind often has needle-like spines, so they’re actually not as scary. There ARE some cacti that shoot their spines at you if you get too close, and boy isn’t that fun?

      Liked by 1 person

      • So, what you’re saying is, you’ve used plants to boobytrap your house??

        Either people scare really easily or they’re squeamish about blood. It’s actually very hard for a horror movie to scare me but I love them anyway. I think the closest recently was Hereditary and I love it even more because it came so close to freaking me out. It’s definitely a skill. 😉


        • I think I told you about the last 30 minutes of Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum. The whole first hour, blah, blah, blah, but those last 30 minutes I was hiding! Like, you see something weird and nothing happens…………………………………………………………………………………and then BAM! All that anticipation, whew! Near the end of Dawn of the Dead by Zac Snyder also gets me, when you’re waiting for the guy to shoot himself. You can’t see him, you just see the woman’s face, but you’re waiting for the gun shot. I’ve seen that movie dozens of times, and it still wrecks me in that moment.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I think it takes a special kind of bravery to ride on motorcycles, so perhaps that’s not a skill but a personality trait? Either way I’m impressed.

    Moving plants – never an easy thing! And damn that dresser.


  5. I still can’t see the difference between an African violet and a cyclamen.
    You have the great skill of writing to amuse and inform all your friends out here in blogreader world, not a skill to be sneezed at, though perhaps you brought it up in your next topic.
    The only leftovers I can remember getting from a dead person was my grandfather’s navy pinstripe waistcoat, which went very well with my grey serge school uniform suit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • When I googled cyclamen I saw that both the flower shape and the leaves are quite different. African Violet leaves are really fleshy, which is why they break off so easily in a move. However, I avoided all that this time.

      Now I’m trying to picture you in a dapper suit walking off to school in a jaunty fashion. These days what do you wear? Nick and I were talking a couple of days ago about pictures we’ve seen of lifelong long-haul truckers whose bodies look half on one side their actual age and half like an expired raisin because the sun shines on their left (in the U.S.) side all day every day.


      • Shorts, singlet, sandals. Or hi vis shirt, jeans and boots to load and unload. It’s years since I last owned a suit. My right arm used to be browner but the side window is tinted now and nearly always up so I’ve evened out.


  6. I’ve never had to move plants – this is the first place I’ve ever lived where I’ve had houseplants! Moving books is stressful though. Last time I moved I hired a company for the first time, since I had a lot of furniture to shift (and no car), and I got quotes from several removal companies. The reason I picked the company I chose was that the man I spoke to made an offhand comment about his wife being a teacher and him therefore having to shift boxes and boxes of books the last time they moved – so I figured he would not complain too much about having to do the same for me! It was a good guess – they barely mentioned it. Hope all goes well with your final this week!


    • Except you have that tricksy plant wallpaper! I thought you were a regular green thumb last time we saw each other! 🤣 Typically, moving plants long distance is a challenge. They clatter together and break off leaves, and one time they were moved in the back of a pick-up truck and were naked upon arrival.

      We talked about hiring someone to move our stuff, but it’s so easy to move bit by bit together, which would only leave a few furniture pieces. Is it worth it to hire someone for maybe an hour? The pricing was weird and intimidating. So, instead my dad, brother, and sister-in-law are coming down June 3rd to help with that stuff.


  7. How frustrating about the dresser! Hope you can still make it work somehow. That detail of the glasses stuck out to me in your review too – ending up with something so intimate from someone else and yet essentially useless. I remember opening up a closet in my grandma’s house and finding all of my grandfather’s suits and coats. He had died 12 years before but my grandma had kept everything. That always stuck with me as a certain kind of grief.


    • I know a lot of times when I watch Hoarders they’ll find closets full of a dead person’s clothes. It’s really hard to see, but part of the issue appears to be not letting go. They think the clothes will help them remember and hold on, but they seem to only hold on. Another thing I’ve noticed is that when my great-grandparents died their stuff sort of became meaningless to more people. My great-grandma’s ashes even ended up on shelf in a shed, much to my dad’s astonishment. Eventually, if you keep a dead person’s things, you’re going to reach a generation who never knew that person and has no attachment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s very true. I’m a pretty sentimental person and so I’m always tempted to hold on to things but I do also try and think about whether these things will have value even in 5 or 10 years. I don’t want to one day hand over a bunch of stuff to my kids that they simply have to sort and get rid of!


          • Papers can be the WORST! On the other hand, after my grandmother died and we sorted through her things, we also found every card my grandfather had given her, his journals, and the letters he wrote while he was stationed overseas during WWII. He died when I was a toddler so I have no memories of him and it felt like I got to know him a bit for the first time ever. Those are things I do treasure.

            Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, true, which is why I’m realising that I should just use these items. If they break, or wear out, then so be it. I have had the pleasure of remembering people the next generation won’t.


  8. I had some paintings my grandpa did but, you know what? They weren’t that good and was I going to put up bad paintings of the Lake District and trains? Probably not. I kept one or two in a box and have no idea where they are.

    Haven’t read your True Biz review yet as I’m in the middle of it still. I am finding it entrancing but I feel a bit lost with all the exercises you are supposed to do – are they part of the narrative or for ASL learners? But I’m learning so much and I really value it for that. I didn’t even know how different ASL and BSL were! So that might help start to answer your question from here. I’ll come to your review in a few days when I’ve written mine up and I will try to remember to link to it as an alternative and very valuable viewpoint.


    • Remember, ASL isn’t even based on BSL. ASL is based on FSL — French Sign Language. There’s actually more in common between BSL and Auslan (Australian Sign Language) because Brits brought BSL over when the moved to Australia and then it developed different in that region compared to the U.K., as languages do.

      The exercises are Charlie’s school book and not really meant for readers to do, though you can try if you like!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know that now, fascinating! But not all the signs can be from her school book – I’m thinking the selection of sex acts ones (some of which I’ve inadvertently learned, which will only be of use to me if an American Deaf man makes advances towards me, but hey, I’m a visual learner, I can’t help it!).


  9. So, It WAS late and I missed it in my later inbox because I have too many blog posts coming in every day. (And you even mentioned me! Thanks!) l try to keep an eye out for regular posts, like this, and then do a blitz on other posts when I can.

    You make my laugh so much. You are such a good storyteller. Loved your story about moving plants.

    “Do you remember any item in particular that belonged to someone who passed away?”Do I? How long have you got? I wear jewelry belonging to my Mum, and two grandmas, so they are with me EVERY day. I have dishes and cups that belonged to them , my aunt and my ma-in-law too. I love these objects because they keep these people close. My darling eccentric Uncle Jack died on his little boat, on which he’d lived for years. He had little there of use, but I nabbed a funny large chipped mug, and that is on my kitchen window sill. I find it very hard moving things on that I have from dear family members. Downsizing is a challenge.


    • Uncle Jack sounds like a treat, and I wish I knew more! I do like keeping some things that maybe don’t have a clear use, like a chipped mug. I’d throw a plant in it, one of those terracotta plant holders with the little edge near the top so the plant is sort of suspended in the cup and drains without sitting in water. Actually, I should do that…I have a few plants that need some better drainage.


  10. Oof. Playing “Find the Feet Stabbers” does not sound like a fun game at all! You certainly have been plagued by lots of prickly plants lately. When I was a kid I had a friend who would always poke the cacti for some reason when we went to the garden section of the local grocery store. I can’t even remember that girl’s name but I will never forget that at least. lol


  11. Houseplants in a move, I know, I know! I have NEVER successfully moved with plants. Even if I didn’t damage them in the move, they complained about the new space and withdrew into themselves, sulking under blankets of wilted leaves.

    True Biz looks really interesting.


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