Sunday Lowdown #193 ๐ŸŽƒ


Woohoo! Hello. I’m so excited you’re reading this. Sometimes I think of you guys and I just smile. You ever meet those people who get mad the “the youth” are online all the time? I was thinking about this the other day. I would really have to increase my garage saleing to make more friends if the internet did not exist.

Things are definitely fall around here. The soybeans were harvested. Now I want my bean money!

It looks like the field got a buzz cut. Good bye, harvest.

Toadman (or one of Toadman’s cronies) appeared in the driveway. I had to chase this toad around for a picture, and apparently Nick was taking a picture of me chasing a toad around in the rain so I could take the toad’s picture. Married life, ammiright?

We finally bought little electric candles for all the pumpkins I collected over the summer.

Some of the decorations, most of which are Jack-o-lanterns.

And then on Thursday I was officially on fall break from school. The past few years we’ve planned a stay in a cabin in the woods on what is typically the campground’s last open weekend. We packed up the car, left a bunch of food and water for Kitty (and politely asked her not to puke on the carpet while we were gone), and left for corn country!

Isn’t the cabin so cute??? LIES. It was freezing outside, but fortunately there was a space heater inside the cabin. Cool. Cool. But the heat activated every little stink bug that was hiding in the ceiling beams for the winter. The warmer they were, the more they flew around and dive-bombed things. Or landed on things. Like the book I was reading, the inside of my slipper (which I later put on), or decided to nap in the box with the microwave popcorn. (*Insert Nightmare*). At one point, I took off my glasses for a moment and then went to pick them up to put them on again, and there was one sitting on my frames. Most were on the ceiling, so I spent hours getting them to put their lil feeties on a broom so I could set them outside and stomp them to death while Nick ducked and weaved and tried to stay the hell out of the way. Occasionally, he would bap one out of the air with the dust pan, but, hahahahah, then you have to search all your belongings to see where it landed.

We spent almost all of Friday inside the cabin while the wind went sweeping ‘cross the plain. The point is to do nothing, so this was fine. There’s no internet and almost no cell services. I read Clown in a Cornfield by Adam Cesare for the book club I lead, which was meeting that night. Although I’m not a YA reader, Cesare’s book was immersive and completely unexpected. I was scared and drawn in. As we drove into a nearby city to find internet for the online club, I just kept staring at the cornfields, wondering what it would be like to actually run through them (my corn-running knowledge is about 25 years old, but I do have memories of it).

The only place we could find that had WiFi and was open past 7PM (book club doesn’t even start until 8PM) was a 24-hour gas station with a little table where you can eat your donut (I think). So, I did book club in a gas station, eating my snackies and enjoying my fountain drink, making sure to lower my voice every time a customer entered as I was talking about this beheading or that person shot through the skull with an arrow. Before we left, the gas station attendant said, “That sounds like some book.”

Horror movie log

  • October 13 — Carnival of Souls (1962). American. I enjoyed the lead actress’s facial expressions, there was a creepy predatory dude next door that freaked me out, I did not understand the literal carnival.
  • October 14 — The Maniac (1934). American. Several strong actors and some genuine scary moments. Came out before the morality/ratings people existed.
  • October 15 — Blood on Satan’s Claw (1971). British. Three stories loosely woven, but still creepier than I expected. Folk horror; I missed a couple of things Wikipedia clarified.


Iโ€™m surprised by this post, ya’ll. I can’t believe how many non-horror fans said something like, “Yeah, I could get into this.” I didn’t realized there was such a need and desire for friendship books, especially moms with friendships, that the peaceful folks of the internet would also accept a lil possession on the side. Hahahha, check out Suburban Hell by Maureen Kilmer — October is the best time for it!


An old book that almost disappeared with time, Black Ambrosia by Elizabeth Engstrom was one of those wildly popular 70’s and 80’s horror novels that came out at such a rapid pace that most have gone out of print due to over-saturation and decline in interest. But she’s back, and she’s pretty scary — maybe too scary. Check out my review Wednesday.


Owned Books on TBR at Beginning of Year: 202
Owned Books on TBR Last Week: 196
Owned Books on TBR Today: 195


  1. I’m glad you enjoy having us around. We sure enjoy having you around. But horror! I’m sure you prefer Halloween to Christmas. Oh well, make sure we get photos of your costume (Nick’s my sort of guy, taking photos through the window, maybe he didn’t even have to get out of his armchair).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think friendship is always appealing, and with a little satire (or so it seemed) thrown in, I was intrigued despite the possession. I have just had 2 nights away with three (ie there were four of us) reading group friends. I’ve known one since 1977, one since 1985 and the other since about 1993 I think. Very special people and we had such a hoot of a time-walkng , talking, dancing and singing, game playing and so on. So restorative. Good friends. I’m glad you have some in-the-flesh friends as well as online ones. Both are useful!

    Enjoyed hearing about Toadman. And hope kitty behaves herself (her?) while you are away.

    Love the effort you put into “attending” your book club too. That’s the sort of dedication I admire.


  3. I don’t know what is funner – you chasing after a camera shy toad/frog to get their photo or you sweeping the bugs off the ceiling. Wish there was a video of both so we could decide ๐Ÿ™‚


  4. Ack! All those bugs sound like a horror story in the making. Also, I love that you had book club in a gas station and the attendant was eavesdropping ๐Ÿ˜€ I bet things like that don’t happen often there so you may have made his evening. Your holiday decor is marvelous. And the photo of you trying to take a photo of Toad is the best!


    • Hahaha, Stefanie, out of all my readers I was sure you’d comment with some kind of recipe to make stink bug flour or something to be environmentally pro-active! LOL.

      The funny part about the gas station attendant is she told us all the gas pumps were broken, so things were so slow.


      • Hahahaha, well since I’m vegan I would never have a recipe for eating the bugs myself. More likely I would have some nontoxic non-harming lure to get the bugs out. Or I would just let my chickens loose and say get ’em girls! And have a good laugh watching them run around eating the bugs. ๐Ÿ˜€

        So you really did make the station attendant’s day! Also, it’s a good thing you didn’t need gas.


          • I highly endorse chickens but not indoors. They are kinda messy ๐Ÿ™‚

            As for vegan and bugs, it’s a matter of animals, which bugs are animals, to plants. It is also why vegans don’t wear silk or eat honey (animal exploitation and death). Of course eating plants has complications too, especially since these days we know they have agency. Nowadays lots of vegans call themselves plant-based, it’s more descriptive and doesn’t carry the militancy and judgement that so often gets associated with veganism. I am probably not considered a very good vegan because I think it is ok for people to eat animals, cheese, milk, and eggs, just not from animals raised in the current capitalist agribusiness commodity situation within which the majority of them live their short lives suffering in miserable, unloved, and disrespectful conditions. I could go on and on, but I will leave it there ๐Ÿ™‚


  5. Your Halloween decorations are so cute! Other than my newly purchased ones, I haven’t really decorated this year. I keep thinking about it and then making zero effort. Friday and yesterday, I kept telling myself I would. Then, Ridley would get comfy on the couch with me, and we became couch goblins instead. I just needed a weekend at home doing nothing (except finishing one class) recovering. Took a nice walk through the cemetery with a friend though.
    You guys are trooper dealing with those stink bugs. Sounds like it could have borderline ruined your trip.
    I love the picture of you photographing Toadman in the rain. ๐Ÿ˜›


  6. I’ve met so many friends thanks to online spaces. I don’t know what I’d do without them, as I’m not good at meeting people in real life. I’m so bad at small talk. I need to be able to talk about one of my niche interests with people.

    Did you tell the gas station attendant which book you’d been reading? If so, I wonder if they’ll end up reading it.


    • I wrote down the name for the employee, and I hope she can find it on an app because that night the gas station pumps all broke. It had to be a loooon night.

      Small talk is awful! Typically, when someone asks how I’m doing, I reply, “Good, thanks.” People get so confused that I don’t follow up with “How are you?” I don’t wanna unless I wanna.


  7. Those photos of Toadman and you trying to photograph Toadman made me laugh! And the cabin does indeed look cute from the outside although I am sorry to hear that it was full of bugs. I hope you had a good break anyway!


    • It’s like Nick broke the 4th wall on my Toadman photos. Typically, I just try to get a good shot for you guys, but because this toad was in the driveway and it was raining, I ended up chasing it around because it was not digging my phone.


  8. This post made me LOL, especially the part about the cabin. I was literally thinking ‘oh how cute, I love that idea, the cabin looks adorable’ and then BAM the stinkbug stories. Man that sucks. I also love that you led a book club in a gas station!!!! Who knows, maybe that attendant will read it?


  9. Iโ€™ve been wondering how Toadman is doing!! Nick taking a picture of you is exactly something my husband would do too!
    Your getaway sounds lovely though too bad about the stink bugs. I havenโ€™t seen anymore around here since I stopped hanging laundry but apparently we are supposed to kill them on sight and have been given detailed instructions from the government on how to do so.


      • I am conflicted! Iโ€™ve been carefully catching them and releasing them outdoors, gathering my children around to see them and now I learn that Iโ€™ve actually been disobeying the government! I let one walk up and down my arm! Weโ€™re supposed to suction them up in our vacuum and then drown them in soapy water. There are step-by-step directions in the newspaper!


          • I am not a fan of insects and especially beetles but I work really hard to approach them calmly and with interest because I don’t want to pass along irrational fears to my kids. I always try to talk to them about how bugs are an important part of the ecosystem. So I feel extra ripped off because these stinkbugs are not part of our ecosystem! They don’t belong here at all! I’m sure the Canadian government would approve on your stomping!

            Liked by 1 person

  10. I love you doing the book club in a petrol station – that’s dedication! WiFi is pretty much the second-to-bottom layer of Maslow’s triangle for us, just less important than a roof over our heads (in fact when we moved here, we had satellite TV and Wi-Fi but no furniture for a few days!) so I could never have done that. Love the “making of” picture, too. I took a photo of our Bookshop Ladies taking a photo of their author talk guests through the window from outside the other day. I have run through a cornfield quite recently (well, 2019), on a trail race I did. It was a bit scratchy and I was worried insects were going to jump out at me!


    • Ha! I think when we moved to Indiana we also had WiFi before lots of other things.

      I would be afraid to do a race in a cornfield just for fear of turning an ankle. Yeesh, those rows are not level, unless someone flattened it first.


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