Sum-sum-summertine!

Welp, I went on hiatus and that was fun, but now I’m back on the blog. Wheee!

I had a few insights while the blog was dark, one of which was an answer to why I’m so stiff and achy in the summertime. In summer, I still get my 10k steps five days a week. I still ride my pony a couple times a week, but friends, for the past eight weeks, I have not been pulling weeds, taking on the house projects, or walking outside nearly as much as I do when the weather is more temperate. It’s just too hot for too much of the day.

Heat does not create a higher activity level in this little molecule. I’m clearly a scientific  marvel. Heat (or humidity) inclines me to keep it low and slow… Part of that is because I try not to use AC. If it’s a truly hot, muggy night, I will crank up the window unit in my bedroom (think successive days 90F+), but other than that… I’m trying to reduce my carbon footprint, except–DUH–my property is powered exclusively by wind and solar energy. Might be time to rethink my sweltering house.

And this reduction in activity level has cascaded to create a more wobbly routine. I have bounced around my riding times to accommodate the oppressive weather. I have bounced around my writing times too, because some days, if I don’t get my steps in by 10 am, it’s not happening, and first thing in the day is my best writing time. The heat-induced jostling of routine has also resulted in a general sense of scatteredness, and that’s before we talk about the never-ending pandemic. Simple things like “I always take my vitamins between my second and third cuppa tea…” have gone widdershins, because my little sequence of habits has not held up to the hot weather.

I was not a complete spud, though. I gobbled up the first three titles in Jennifer Ashley’s Gladiator mystery series. Ancient Rome was a fascinating place, politically, socially, and technologically, and any story Jennifer Ashley/Ashley Gardner writes will be well told. I found some cool titles to pre-order, like Charles Foster’s Being a Human. I noshed my way through Kristine Hughes’ Waterloo Witnesses, which is an amazing book. I am almost done drafting my third Mischief in Mayfair story, Miss Dignified, and I’m making hay with the production effort on my Lady Violet mysteries.

ARC files for Miss Delightful go out this week. Tell me what you’ve been up to this summer and how you’re doing. I’ll add the first ten commenters to the ARC list who aren’t already on there. (And yes, I am looking forward to fall. I ALWAYS look forward to fall.)

 

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15 comments on “Sum-sum-summertine!

  1. 1
    Anonymous says:

    I have been trying to feel more gratitude for things that are going well in my life. I am meeting with mixed results.

    I was able to be with my (first) grandchild on his first birthday, and that was just a fantastic day. The very next day, my only sibling lost his long battle with cancer. The juxtaposition of those two events was difficult.

    I had not seen my brother in almost two years. I felt angry that I had not known that my last phone call with him was my LAST phone call with him. My own issues prevented me from flying to his funeral. (Credit to ZOOM for being a decent substitute)

    So since then, I have added a moment each morning to think about things I am grateful for. (This is in addition to nightly such thoughts)

    I am getting daily email photos of the baby; that helps me to smile quite a bit. I am looking forward to qualifying for the COVID booster. I am looking forward to the end of another Texas summer. In the short term, I am looking forward to this weeks grocery store pickup, which hopefully will include some ice cream.

    I am looking forward to reading some new Grace Burrowes titles.

    I am grateful that the blog is back; I find it to be wonderfully thought provoking.

    So it seems I have lots of things to look forward to!

    Thanks.

    • 1.1

      First, condolences on your loss.
      That’s a poignant juxtaposition of joy and sorrow, a double whammy of tempus is fugiting while we putter around behind our masks and try to stay grateful. Oddly enough, I just came across the blog post below, from Ozan Varol, and he’s taking a look at one strategy for when gratitude goes flat.
      I like most of what he writes, but sometimes it comes off a little “life hack-y” and superficial. It would not have occurred to me that bronze medalists are happier than the silver medalists.
      https://ozanvarol.com/think-like-a-bronze-medalist/

  2. 2
    Karen H near Tampa says:

    For one thing, I’ve been missing your weekly thoughts! The start of the summer saw me leaving home a bit (though still fully masked), but when the July spike hit, I pulled back into my shell. I am only going to doctor’s appointments (and looking forward to this week when I finally get to see someone about my very painful knees). I live indoors all summer anyway due to the Central Florida weather but we’ve been having above average temps here, too, and even with air conditioning, it saps my energy. But I can still manage to read a book a day so I’m happy enough. Welcome back!

    • 2.1

      I never really did go full-tilt post-pandemic. I will meet a friend for lunch outside, but no hugs, and we mask up until we’re at the table, and on and on and on.
      I have friends in Central Florida and they just laugh themselves silly at my heat woes, because it’s often hotter in Maryland than were you are. That is NO FAIR, but then, you do get hurricanes, and by the time they’re up here, it’s “tropical moisture,” most of the time.
      Stay cool, and keep reading!

  3. 3
    Teenie Marie says:

    Welcome back and I hear ya!

    I have felt crummy for a few weeks, including the ten days that were *supposed* to be our vacation because, for me, it was no vacation. Our last Vaca Day was this past Wednesday and I was barely able to function without sobbing…..and Wednesday was our 42nd wedding anniversary.

    Why was it not vacation for me? Because my spouse had surgery and I was picking up the slack, making dinners, grocery shopping, doing dishes and laundry and trying to get things ready for my (FINGERS CROSSED!)rehearsal (next week)in 18 months. I was, essentially, doing what I usually do to keep the household going, plus what HE does, plus extra because he had SURGERY and more stuff *just because*. I came to the conclusion I was doing too much when I NEEDED A BREAK….and really, I had no one but myself to blame.

    We usually go to northern Wisconsin the beginning of August and the festival we usually go to was cancelled (smartly so) in March. Since Hubby was having this issue and he had had a similar surgery to repair his other side, we thought it would be a good time to repair this one. It was actually my suggestion but I didn’t realize everything that would be required of me, eventho I did (I thought) enough prep work before his surgery. Two of our kids are living with us and while they help, they tend not to realize what needs doing. One of them has autism soooooo he’s not as much help as you’d wish and the other will do stuff if I ask him and Iwas too stressed out to ask. 🙁

    Anyway, he’s on the mend and I am taking it easy-easy-easy; lounging on the patio (it RAINED the whole damn time right after his surgery so I couldn’t lounge then), reading (almost finished with the third Gladiator book, myself), and staring into space while looking at all my glorious black-eyed susans, phlox, and (they were a SURPRISE) Sunflowers. Breathing deeply, taking online (The Great Courses)Latin (helped with the Gladiator series too) and Spanish and taking a mental break from some of my own and my Hubby’s families dramas (and THAT has really helped relax me!). By the time we went out to dinner on Wednesday, I felt a teensy bit better and determined I would find a way to give myself time to collect and refresh before the much longed for *normal* hits…if it ever does. 🙁

    We think having no schedule or a DIFFERENT schedule would be relaxing and refreshing but that doesn’t seem to be the case, does it? I know I need to let things slide a bit so I can gather myself again but that seems unlikely at this point….sigh.

    Happy you’re back, Grace. Hope getting back into the swing of things helps you….I hope it will help me! 🙂

    • 3.1

      But other than that…. It’s great to hear from you, Teenie Marie, and I hope things DO settle down. I was kind of a mess in June. I’m not much of a crier, but something about being thirty days post-vax, seeing the Delta variant looming and the vax rates slow down… I went into some sort of anxiety spiral and with that came that lump-in-the-throat, “Geez I’m too old for PMS” feeling. I too had to fall back and regroup, reduce expectations, give the old girl a chance to settle her nerves, and get that bedroom AC cranking. (Also read some fun books.)
      Strange, strange times, but we’re ahead of where we were a year ago, and now Hubby is good to go on both sides. Onward and upward!

  4. 4
    Make Kay says:

    I have been widdershins on my schedule too. Finally home and hoping to get back to my usual workout/eating/sleeping schedule, where I’m sure I will feel much better. I am a creature of habit, and although I love exploring new places, it does wreck havoc on my health.
    I’m definitely looking forward to the cooler temperatures of fall this year

  5. 5
    Tina Armato says:

    Last summer we were desperate for some semblance of human contact (I bought 3 different fire pits in an effort to find one which would, a: keep us and our friends warm when visiting outside, and b: not asphyxiate us with smoke….I was not successful!). We kept in touch with friends and family via FaceTime and Zoom when the weather was simply impossible. Now, post vaccine, we are able to see vaccinated family and friends in person, have (small) pool parties, and the occasional dinner guests. (One of my very favorite things to do is cook for friends and relatives, something I sorely missed during lockdown.) So despite the Delta surge, I do feel that life is somewhat closer to “normal.” We have spent a lot of time in our pool, which we love. I do not look forward to fall because that means that I will be staring at the ugly green pool cover for the next 9 months or so. The only solace for fall is that it leads to Thanksgiving and our very favorite holiday, Christmas, but the slog to get there is long, cold, and ugly! Stay safe and well everyone!

  6. 6
    Susan H says:

    The humidity and constant rain has had a negative impact on two activities that I enjoy: walking and dog obedience last. On Saturday and most Sundays mornings, I walk with my neighbor between 6 and 7 am- if it’s nice out, I get my steps in but miss my weight watcher class. Obedience class gets cancelled if it’s too humid. I have been working with Greg in the morning.

    I have been showing Laci in the conformation ring and she’s doing well. We are within 6 points to attaining her championship. Showing her has been fun and seeing friends has been nice.

    Work has been about the same— I think we will be returning 2 days a week in early 2022.
    I have been reading and catching up on my review writing. I think the structure of work has helped me during the pandemic. Logging in at 850 and logging out at 5:30.

    I am looking forward to the fall….
    Welcome back!!

  7. 7
    Susan G says:

    The humidity and constant rain has had a negative impact on two activities that I enjoy: walking and dog obedience last. On Saturday and most Sundays mornings, I walk with my neighbor between 6 and 7 am- if it’s nice out, I get my steps in but miss my weight watcher class. Obedience class gets cancelled if it’s too humid. I have been working with Greg in the morning.

    I have been showing Laci in the conformation ring and she’s doing well. We are within 6 points to attaining her championship. Showing her has been fun and seeing friends has been nice.

    Work has been about the same— I think we will be returning 2 days a week in early 2022.
    I have been reading and catching up on my review writing. I think the structure of work has helped me during the pandemic. Logging in at 850 and logging out at 5:30.

    I am looking forward to the fall….
    Welcome back!!

  8. 8
    Pam says:

    We are ready to wave bye-bye to summer. I live in Alabama. Rain, heat, and humidity. I am glad you are re-thinking your use of air conditioning. We would survive without it but it would be miserable. Fortunately, where I live we missed the tornadoes. 🙁

    For leisure time, I have been re-reading some of my favorite series in order and discovering things I missed the first time around when I read the books a year apart.

    I still work full time but am retiring by the end of the year, so I’m training the poor person who inherits my tasks. I’ve noticed my focus has changed already. I’m looking beyond work, and am anxious to move on. All that unstructured time … such a joy.

  9. 9
    Beth says:

    Check out the upgrades for solar systems. I’m seeing setups that can power multiple room A/C units. I’m not there yet, but have opted in for as much solar as my utility company currently has on offer. They’ll be expanding the arrays as early adopters help pay for it, so my costs drop over time.

    I’ve been dealing with unexpected side effects from eye procedures that kept me from reading much until my doc cleared me Friday. So I’ve been exploring YouTube offerings cast on a large flat screen TV & audiobooks to comply with “look into the distance”

  10. 10
    Glenda M says:

    We are spending the summer in Idaho instead of Texas, where it is cooler. We had planned on spending the weekends doing (easy) hikes and hanging out enjoying the National Parks. Sadly, our 3rd day here I busted my knee open from one side to the other down to the bone in the worst part. Would you believe I was rock climbing with my daughter and her roommate from college and almost grabbed a rattle snake?

    Yeah. Nope. Nothing that exciting even though I did get a helicopter ride out of it. I tripped over my own feet. (OK technically, the loop of one of my hiking boots got caught on the hook of the other boot. Still, I tripped over my own feet.) I’ve spent the last 6 weeks healing up. The cut is almost healed up – less than an inch to go. And I finally got a hinged knee brace that makes it posible for me to start working at getting my flexibility and muscle tone back.

    But it’s really not all bad. I could have needed surgery because I messed up my joint or my tendons and/or ligaments. It could have been a jagged cut instead of the clean mostly straight one that was so ‘perfect and unusual’ that the ER staff asked if I mineded if they brought in other staff to see it — especially those who were in training.

    All that said, we are still enjoying our time and having a good summer. Our cats were reallyy good on the 2 day drive up and adapted well to their temporary home. Next year will be a different adventure since we plan on getting a puppy at some point this coming year.

  11. 11
    KarenM6 says:

    I am SO looking forward to “Miss Delightful” and “Miss Dignified”!
    Thank you for writing these stories, Grace! 😀

  12. 12
    Sarah Lee says:

    Well. It’s hot up here in Minnesota – unusually so for too long – and that in itself is no end of depressing. Plus COVID, plus autoimmune fatigue . . . I’m able to work a lot from home, and I do have a job so I am in good shape that way. but I haven’t walked in months, as I wilt in hot weather, and I think it’s adding to my fatigue. I’m now in pre-retirement, meaning I’m calculating and figuring and wishing I could just have a month off but that’s not an option. So I read on my iPad too far into the night. Whine whine whine. There are glimmers. Indoor concerts are beginning again, and I’ve been eating out a little bit, and I’ve bought a new flowered shirt (that always puts me in a good mood). I need to be more creative though (boxes of beads are staring me in the face). I find a good well-written story helps a lot. That’s where you come in!!