Tuesday, April 30, 2013

This morning's unexpected journey

Despite not getting to sleep last night until 1 a.m., I awoke at 5 a.m. and could NOT get back to sleep. This lays fertile ground for The Horribles to make a landing so I lay there for awhile trying to get back to sleep. I heard the distant drone of The Horribles' soul-sucking landing craft so I started trying to think of something to get me out of bed. It's Tuesday...Aha! On Tuesday mornings at 8:30, Lauritzen Gardens opens for the Walking Club. (I don't know if that's the exact name of the activity or not.) I could go down there, I had plenty of time to eat breakfast and get down there.

So that's what I did.

I had forgotten the Lego sculpture exhibit is still there. I didn't think about it until I tried to figure out what the heck those lily pads were.

They're LEGOS!!!!

I won't post all the other pics I took of the Legos sculptures, just one or two:

Those were my favorites, I think. Incredible work. I can't imagine doing that. 

And then my 1.35 mile walk was nice, too. There were flowers.

There was cool architecture and statuary:

And close to the end, there was a mystery:

I dunno. What do you think they are?

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Books much?

Awhile ago - a few months - I looked around and realized I had already read ALL the books in my home that really grabbed me. I have numerous books on European history, particularly in the sciences, several of which I've read partly but put down for whatever reason - I'll go back to those as they strike me. But fiction? Not a single book in the house had I not read.

I was in the midst of a clamp-down on my spending (house taxes coming up) so I started requesting books from the library (I normally do that anyway but I ramped it up). Since most of those were ones I read reviews of, some of them haven't even come out yet and others have long queues waiting. But, I got a few, maybe one a week.

In the meantime I made myself busy with other things, was preoccupied with a certain self-imposed deadline, and generally didn't think about books much (I read before going to sleep at night, but I like re-reading things for that - keeps me from getting so absorbed that I read straight through to morning).

Until last week, I turned around, and there was a stack of EIGHT library books on my coffee table! I'd just gone and got them as the email notices came in, put them on the pile and forgot about them. Literally, in some cases - I don't even remember where I got the titles. Anyway - clearly, I needed to apply myself to this pile! I didn't think of posting this until I'd already read and returned a few of them and I can't pull their titles out of my spongy memory banks right now, so there are only five listed.

Friday I finished Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, by Tom Franklin. It's a good mystery, and I recommend it. Lots more going on there than just a whodunit. It's the book for the next meeting of the library mystery book club.

Last night I finished The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters.  Cool, actually chilling, set-up (a big asteroid is going to hit Earth in 6 months and there is absolutely nothing anyone can do about it. Our protagonist, a young police detective, just keeps on investigating murders, while most everyone else does anything BUT their usual jobs.) There are two more in this trilogy and I will read them both. I want to earn reading the last page of the last book, heh.

Yet to read:

The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zaf√≥n. This is the second book about The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, and I see that there are now three of them. *sigh* I'm going to have to read this one, go back and read The Shadow of the Wind, then get the third one, The Prisoner of Heaven. So, yes, I love the first one and cannot WAIT to read this second one.

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout. I don't remember where I saw this one reviewed. I started reading it and it looks good, but others are due earlier so I set it aside until I get those read.

London Falling by Paul Cornell.  I don't remember where I saw this one reviewed.  Some young cops become cursed with the ability to see through the human facades of certain monsters stalking the streets of London. Sounds *scrumptious!*

And, I bought a couple new ones. After I get the library books read and released back into their queues, I'll *finally* get to read William Kent Krueger's newest, Ordinary Grace. And then tackle Paris, by Edward Rutherfurd.

I've got books in every room in the house. I vacillate between thinking I should get them all organized by genre and topic, and just letting the hodgepodge keep propagating naturally. My inclination is the latter, and my native laziness will probably make it so. Besides, I *like* finding books I'd forgotten about tucked in amongst completely unrelated books.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Odds & Ends

I attended a most interesting workshop yesterday. It was the Walking Action Workshop, and I thought it was a grass-roots type thing, but it turned out to have various government (city) agencies, non-profits, and consultants there. I may have been the only one attending just for myself as an individual.  I met some really cool people. It was an interesting experience, because for twenty years, I attended lots of meetings like this only as a state agency representative. Yesterday I could say anything I felt like and didn't have to worry about sticking my foot in some kind of mess.

As it turned out, we were all there for the same reason: figuring out how to make Omaha more of a Walking City. There are myriads of reasons to do this. Economic, health, safety, aesthetics, environmental. It was an intense five hours of learning, brainstorming, discussing and looking forward. However, at the end of the day (and I hate that cliche but here I mean it literally), I left as an individual. I made a contact with a city organization where I might do a little volunteer work but that's not done until it's done, so I came home wondering what I can do.

I tend to get really bizarre, impractical ideas on my own. In the past it was my husband who would listen to me rattle on, a small smile on his face, and then he'd ask gentle, probing questions until I'd realize I had been in lala land again, LOL. I have to talk myself in off those ledges, now. So after going through the first two goofy ideas I had, I finally settled on knowing that all I can do *right now* is just walk, myself. Just get out there and do it. And blog about it! So that's what I'll start out with.
Made bread Thursday.

This was one of my own recipes from oh...long time ago. 1979? I keep tweaking it and it keeps getting better. 
I've had two of those heavy plastic floor mats with the pointy studs on the underside, that you use to protect carpets and make your desk chair roll easier, lying out in the garage to be disposed of, for months. I've dithered about what to do with them, because I assumed the recycle guys wouldn't take them. But they are far too thick and heavy for me to cut by any method. So there they sat. Finally last week I put one out propped up against the recycle bin, thinking the worst that could happen would be it got left. Well - surprise! They took it! So this week I'll set out the other one. And that success has me itching to get out there and break down all the cardboard boxes and get those out of there, and then I come to those two heavy particleboard doors, the ones from the shed, that have been taking up space in the garage. I need to have someone haul those away. I'll talk to my neighbor to see if he knows a hauler. It's getting to be time to organize the garage better, and get the yard stuff brought out from the shed and the snow stuff stowed back in the shed. I have hopes that someone will come help me identify and organize all the tools that still languish out there due to my being overwhelmed by the scope of the job. And my ignorance.
Next weekend I'm going to a free workshop at a local garden center to learn how to put together nice summer container gardens. I want to really dress up my front porch this year. The whole front yard, actually. Get some pretty annuals to fill in the gaps in the perennials in the boomerang. Edge the sidewalks and driveway (hasn't been done in years and it's looking ragged). I love this nice weather. Somebody said we're supposed to get SNOW next week but it's really hard to believe that - but you have to remember this is Nebraska so it could happen. Wouldn't last long, though.