Sunday Lowdown #177


I’m not sure what my brain is doing today, but this Sunday Lowdown is already late! Here are some things I did this past week:

  • Visited my ASL classmate/friend Abby to talk about our struggles with keeping up on the language over a long summer break. I’ve been watching videos from LifePrint to keep up, but that only started after I began digging out of my health/mental struggles a week or so ago. Abby and I agreed that we would send each other a Marco Polo each day about what we did that day just to get into the practice of telling a story and using vocab, and to correct each other when we don’t know or messed up a sign.
  • I filed some papers to help in the office of the hospice place and got scheduled to see a new patient. Last week I went to see that patient and am now able to start my own schedule.
  • Every night, Nick helps me water the flowers (front of house) because there is one spigot (back of house) and I got a 100 foot hose that starts at about 33 feet and the snakes out of control when I turn the water on. He helps me drag the hose around and over the down spouts.
  • I haven’t seen my toad in a while, and that’s weighing on my heart a little. However, I did dream about the toad. I found him and saw he was sitting on something, so I lifted the thing up and all these toads started hopping toward my face. I remember being afraid because it was a lot but also thankful (dream me shouted, “you made a family!”).
  • I almost choked on my Cheerios because I was watching the news and a turkey went tearing down my driveway. Just seeing some pre-historic feather-beast run past the window right next to me made me “ACK!” rather loudly.
  • I volunteered at the Friends of the Library books sale and was happy to see a return customer and her niece, whom I helped last week figure out Libby and Hoopla. Apparently, they have listened to a ton of books since last Friday. Success!
  • Headed to pick up the 4th chair to my new dining set. As the lady and her husband were unloading it at my house last week, she noticed one of the chairs was a bit wobbly and insisted on taking it home to fix (which Nick pointed out sounded just like the Grinch and to which I said, “stop that!”). This week, after I left her house with my chair in tow, filling my entire backseat, I stopped at a garage sale and found an oak stand ($1!) that will work perfectly in my office as a place to charge my two laptops, set textbooks, and stow away supplies. A husband and wife staffed the garage sale, and he put the oak stand in my Prius, which has a hatchback and is tiny. It was hanging out the back end, but I said, “I’m gonna get this home because I’m determined and also, last time I bought a big thing Mr. [chair lady’s husband] brought it to my house for me!” Okay, so apparently this struck him as cute. But I just tell the truth! I got it home and couldn’t lift it, so I waited for Nick to help. Dudes are helpful.
  • After attending a challenging doctor’s appointment, I signed up for a Buddhist meditation class that meets in my city and now I’m scared! What if the Buddhists hate me, or I wear flip flops when I shouldn’t?? Do I have to wear pants?


Thanks so much for all your comments on my post about Growing Up Deaf by Rose Pizzo. While her life in itself wasn’t what we call “exciting,” she delivers valuable history about what it was like growing up Deaf before the internet, smart phones, and video calls. And I’m glad I focused on the process of interpretation and translation, because I don’t want you all to feel like I’m repeating myself in my book reviews!


I showed you guys a list of books I would like to get to this summer, and several titles were repeatedly picked as interesting. One of those was Fat Girls Hiking by Summer Michaud-Skog. So, I read it! The review will be up on Wednesday. In my post I linked to the author’s website so you can check out the great photos of the hikers and trails.


Owned Books on TBR at Beginning of Year: 202
Owned Books on TBR Last Week: 179
Owned Books on TBR Today: 181 (I got a coupon for attending an event at the library that let me get two withdrawn books free!)

Thanks to Anne @ I’ve Read This and Laila @ Big Read Life for their recommendations. And thanks to Brona @ Brona’s Books for recommending the Chernobyl book in the comments of another post to me.


  1. Ha – if you’re English you probably do need to wear pants to the Buddhist Centre (as in underwear!). Well done for sourcing these cool things for your house and a great idea to buddy up to practise your signing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I went to bed last night thinking, darn it, I didn’t read Melanie‘s post. But I woke up this morning and discovered that it wouldn’t have been there anyhow so phew!

    Aren’t Buddhists supposed to love any and everyone? If there’s one group you should be confident about doing meditation with and feel comfortable, it should be them!

    Oh, and oak is heavy. How would you describe a “stand”?

    I’m sorry I didn’t read your other post this week. It was just so busy in iso!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know much of anything about Buddhists. I know you have to wear pants to get into a Thai temple, but maybe those aren’t Buddhist?? I’m very ignorant about this.

      The stand looks like it’s meant to go under your TV. There is a spot for a DVD player (actually, it’s big enough for a VCR) plus little doors below, likely to store some movies or whatnot. I’ll take a picture and include it for next week!


          • Yes I think you are right. A group called Turbans 4 Australia was created here in 2015 in response to serious fires (or was it floods) and they have gone on to become a strong force in providing emergency goods to Australians in need, regardless of their race, religion or ethnicity. Inspirational. And generous given the prejudice they often face.


            • I know Sikhs are big on community. I always wonder if it would be weird to, like, go meet them or take them some baked goods or something. I have no clue how to enter new groups.


              • How to enter new groups. Hmm, interesting question. I guess it depends very much on the group but I think my practice is to try to be me, but also take a little time to see how the group operates. Are they set in their ways and have a clear way of being? Are they more anything goes? Do they have any formal or informal structures? I think I try to be myself, but I choose that part of myself that best suits that group. The best groups are where you can be most parts of yourself! (Sorry if that was a rhetorical question.)


  3. Do you think publishers are sensing an opportunity, putting ‘Fat Girls’ in the title, or is it just the universe finally catching on that not all women are Ann-Margaret blondes?
    I think Milly pretends that “dudes are helpful” when I have a book (or device) to read,but she gets an awful lot done when I’m not around.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The name of the hiking group is actually “Fat Girls Hiking,” so it makes sense to me that that is the title. It also could be a chance to really put forth what the book is about and draw the attention of people who are looking for more information about anti-dieting practices and physical movement.

      I can get an awful lot done myself, but that oak stand was seriously too heavy for me to lift. I left it in the back of the Prius with the hatchback open all day until Nick got home.


  4. I can’t wait to read your hiking book review and Jobs for Girls with Artistic Flair could be fun too.
    I’m sure toad is just doing toad things! (Fingers crossed anyway.) I love that you now also dream about your toad. You’re a good toad friend and guardian. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awww, okay, that last sentence made me do an ugly snort-cry because that’s so nice of you to say! I try to be good to the things that run (or hop) around our house. Well, except those two flies I murdered. I also gave a daddy long-legs a new home. OMG, I’m turning into a home hippy.

      Liked by 1 person

        • I’m so glad the grass at our house is lush and nice. The house where I grew up used to be a field, so it has take forever for the grass to really become grass instead of weeds and fronds and whatever, and even then it’s still trying to balance itself out. I think the lady who owned the house before us used to have the lawn treated and seeded and all that jazz. We’re not THAT into grass.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I like your description of turkeys as “pre-historic feather beasts”! I don’t think I’ll be able to look at one without thinking about that in the future.

    Really looking forward to the Fat Girls Hiking book (especially as my friends and I are trying to do some hikes over the next few weeks to get a bit more in shape for Peru).

    Liked by 1 person

    • A Thanksgiving turkey (or whichever holiday during which you eat this bird) always looks so nice and festive. In real life, they’re quite dangly and gruesome looking!

      Getting muscles into shape can be hard for certain body types! I’ve learned that if I let off exercising my muscles go back to soft quite quickly. For other body types, people don’t even eat well or regularly exercise and they have good muscles. I learned this reading two different books about women on the U.S. soccer team (Carli Lloyd and Abby Wambach). There is a hiking group in my area, but it’s for women over 40. Give me three years, folks, and I’ll be there!


  6. Oh your toad dream made me squee with delight! Perhaps your toad is busy making a family! We have so many turkeys in my neighborhood that it is not uncommon to see one walking down the sidewalk past my house. There is a huge flock that likes to hang out at the VA hospital a mile or so away and apparently when it gets cold they like to sit on people’s warm cars. I can only imagine the mess that makes! Also, Buddhists being Buddhists, will absolutely not hate you. Just be you, relax, and follow your breath. You’ll be fine 🙂


    • I hope the toad is making a family because A) I like the toad and B) I want them to eat the mosquitoes.

      It’s strange to imagine turkeys as wild when I live in the U.S. because my brain always assumes they’re be on a farm somewhere, getting fat for Thanksgiving. I wonder if the people at the VA really love to see the turkeys, or if they are annoyed. I know when I was teaching in a prison, the students hated the birds outside because they made loud cawing noises that were quite jarring.

      I shall be calm and do real breathing, not scared-person breathing.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’d have a fright if I saw a turkey in my yard too! I see them in fields nearby but not in my yard, ha ha. Good for you for helping with Libby and Hoopla! Hope the meditation class is helpful – I bet they will be very welcoming!


    • Our driveway is paved, so it was weird to see this lady bird using it like a bypass to the field across the road! I hope all the cars are paying attention for these road-crossing turkeys. Most folks drive slowly enough (about 30-40), but we also live down the road from an Amazon shipping building and a FexEx one, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. haha your story about the turkey made me LOL, we don’t have alot of those running around in Calgary, but maybe I’m just living in the wrong neighborhood.

    And good for you for signing up for the buddhist class – I’m sure everyone else who has signed up is wondering the exact same thing as you. The first class they will no doubt lay out the ground rules. Best to wear pants that first day, just in case 🙂


  9. I love your toad dream! That made me laugh. And I agree that there is something frightening about wild turkeys. We don’t have them around here but they were reintroduced further east in Canada a few years back. I had an encounter with a bear (not up close) and a deer (not at the same time) while walking with Rose yesterday.


      • Hahaha! Oh man, that took me way too long to figure out! I was just picturing a bear wearing pants.

        The bears around here are black bears and while you obviously don’t want to get close or agitate them, they are also pretty docile. And, unfortunately, used to people. They have lots of food right now too. I just turned around and went down a different street to let the bear do its thing.


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