Sunday Lowdown #176


Come Monday, something came over me, and I put the entire house together. When Nick got home, I’m not sure he knew what hit him. I spend most of the time getting the books on the bookshelf in alphabetical order (they kept flopping over as I picked up more books, to my endless annoyance), and I’m not sure how you all organize your books, but going ABC has the challenge of where to start on the shelf and how much room to leave for future books. Mostly, I purchase e-books these days; I’m not interested in having several paperbacks sitting on shelves getting dusty. To keep them in shape, books need temperature controlled settings, otherwise they begin to decay.

The other time-consuming project was cleaning the top of the stove. What I thought was rust doots on the white top is actually hardened flecks of meals past. I replaced the drip pans and scrubbed under them, and I also flipped the top of the stove up like the hood of a car. I think whatever was in there was sentient, but it’s all better now.

Nick had Tuesday off, so we did paperwork-y stuff in relation to the house, like filing for homesteading stuff, making sure 7.5 acres is listed as farming area to discount taxes, and we disputed the value of our home, meaning we don’t want to be taxed at more than we paid for it. We also got our new driver’s licenses. Nick was not happy he arrived in a hat and had to take it off. I was just tickled they changed the rules about smiling.

The rest of the week is a bit fuzzy (I practiced my signing, exercised to Motown, and volunteered), but I knew come Saturday I was going garage saleing. Nick was going to be in Chicago for work, so off I went, puttering around looking for signs proclaiming the goods. At one place I almost bought a garage sale hot dog. They looked so trustworthy! But I’m funny about food handling. I almost ran over an elderly lady, who apparently didn’t know you have to look both ways before crossing the street, or your attempt to walk to a garage sale will become a mission from God. She blamed my Prius for being too quiet.

And then I found a farm house where a lady had all sorts of neat stuff, including Pyrex dishes and decorations, and a lawnmower with dualies (not for sale — dang it!). I found a solid oak table just the right size for me and Nick, plus some dining room chairs with eagles on them (I definitely did a double take on the eagles and conferred with Nick).

And I found a ceramic toad! 😍

The nice lady tried to wrap my toad up, and I said, “Nuh-uh, he goin’ in my front seat and I’m going to drive him around town.” I think she thought I was goofy, but I did drive the toad around in the front seat for the rest of the day, so maybe she had a point.


I’m so glad you guys got to meet IgnitedMoth! If you’re not following her blog yet, go ahead and add her. Mostly, she updates folks on digital art she’s done; it’s always cool to see a creative project someone is working on. I’m hoping to read more about her progress on her novel on her blog, too.


Do you have a goal to read more translated books? While interpreting and translating aren’t the same, you may be interested in the life story of Rose Pizzo, whose book, Growing Up Deaf, was originally signed in ASL and then interpreted — and then translated, I think?? — into English. I need to learn more about the process in school before I use interpreted/translated correctly. Anyway, check out my thoughts on Wednesday.


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


  1. Excuse that gobbledegook. I was trying voice recognition and but the send button by mistake. “You paragraph” was the “new paragraph” instruction. As for all that punctuation, that was all it. I was going to edit it at the end, which I usually do with voice recognition. Oh well.

    I loved your house-cleaning description. It’s very satisfying if you can make a real difference to stoves etc.

    Re licence, you mean you are now allowed to smile? Lucky you.

    And re nearly knocking the woman over, we also have a hybrid, and I was aware recently, as I was driving into my street, that two people speaking on the footpath were completely unaware of me, as one started to step back a bit on the road just as I was coming by. But a worse story, though I don’t think this car was a hybrid, is that my brother’s FIL who is 98 (99 in November) was runover by a car on Friday evening (dusk) as he was crossing the road. He ended up in surgery at midnight that night requiring pins in the leg that was broken! Amazing he survived. He probably hadn’t looked properly says brother and partner (at least, he’s known not to always be careful) and the driver was apparently making a difficult peak hour turn.

    Love your toad, though I’d call a pretty green one like that a frog! Toads have a bad name here because of the introduced cane toad which is a serious pest.

    I enjoyed meeting IgnitedMoth, and I love reading Gloria Steinem. I subscribed to Ms for most of the 80s.

    Liked by 1 person

    • In the past, we were not allowed to smile at all. Hair had to be pulled back, and they would ask you to tilt your head down so far that everyone has three chins. I felt very whatever about it, but no smiling left me looking quite angry on my driver’s license. This time, they said I could smile but no teeth. Now I look like I have a secret, lol.

      This is the second person I’ve almost run over with my Prius on battery mode. I think I need to be more aware of that, as folks are so commonly listening for cars, when they should be looking.

      My ceramic amphibian is likely a frog due to the green color, though he’s got the bumps on his back like a toad. Perhaps the artist just wanted to have it both ways. I also was reminded by Biscuit that my grandma used to have a frog or toad next to her TV when I was growing up. I completely forgot about this.


      • I think what you have now is pretty much what we have. They say don’t smile but what they mean is don’t show your teeth. We’ve never had instructions about hair though perhaps I’ve never had long hair so it’s never been something I’ve been aware of. And I’ve never been asked to tilt my head down. I’d like to see your secretive pic! I hate my drivers licence and passport photos. They never do justice to my grey hair, and tend to make me look bald like the hair disappears into the background.

        I think driving these quiet cars is a good lesson for us as drivers and pedestrians.

        That’s nice about your grandma having had a frog/toad.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I am so pleased that we’re leaning into this toad thing now. Lmao. The ceramic toad is a win and you driving him around town in the front seat just tickles me pink.
    I have my own funny animal story that has resulted in people getting me, or pointing out, flamingos. When we were last in Florida on a family trip, I saw a flying pink bird and yelled, “It’s a mother fucking flamingo!” Much to everyone’s laughter. It only got better later when informed by a park ranger that if it was a singular pink bird, it was most likely a spoonbill because flamingos hang out in flocks. Rob immediately bought me a flamingo key chain. :3
    I feel like garage sale-ing with you would be a fucking trip.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Yay for settling into your home more! Do you sort your books by genre and then alphabetized? Or are they all together? Those eagles are so unique – I’ve never seen chairs like that.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love your ceramic toad!!! You 100% need a photo of Mr. Toad in your garden 🙂 Also, I laughed pretty hard at your plant photo captions, especially the “I started watering this leafy thing”

    Liked by 1 person

    • The toad now protects the TV. The toad outside has been AWOL for a while. I’m hoping I didn’t set him somewhere and a bird ate him, but Nick says he’s too big for the birds around our house (robins, blue jays, etc).

      Yes! The leafy thing reminded me of lilies, but there weren’t even buds on them and I was seeing other people’s lilies coming up already. I started watering, thus proving water is, like, pretty important.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Why… That table is just the right size of Donnie!

    I feel like my habit of grazing at gas stations leaves me no leg to stand on, but I say good call on passing up the garage sale hot dog. 😬

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love that ceramic toad! And good on ya for giving that stove a scrub, that is hard-ass work and I salute you. I am also a fan of the wooden chairs with eagles – it’s all about the details! Sounds like your house is coming together nicely, how exciting…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Yep I can relate to those difficulties of organising shelves alphabetically. You get it all neatly in place and then discover a pile of books somewhere else in the house that now need to be accommodated – so the whole thing starts again

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s exactly what happened — twice! I do let go of a lot of books and put them in a Little Free Library for someone else to discover, so whenever a shelf is too-too full, I’ll look and decide what doesn’t need to stay.


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