Garden Delights
Sometimes Mondays

Friday Fish Wrap

"The first week of August hangs at the very top of the summer ... like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning."
                    --- Natalie Babbit in Tuck Everlasting


Yes, my friends.  August has arrived!  I know many of you lamented the "end of summer" in posts this week (shoot ... Mary can't even find patio furniture in stores anymore!).  But I'm here to tell you that there is PLENTY of summer left!  (Unless, well . . . maybe not so much if you're a teacher or a student.  But for the rest of us, plenty!)  

So I challenge you all:  Get out there and enjoy it while it's here!  Step out . . . into the summer.  Eat some ice cream.  Get your feet wet.  Ride a bike.  Read outside while you sip lemonade.  Just DO . . . the summer things you don't want to miss!  

And now, let's have a Friday Fish Wrap.  (Click here if you're wondering what the heck I'm talking about.)


I base much of my fiction reading queue on three literary prizes each year:  The Women's Prize for Fiction, the National Book Award, and - my favorite - the Man Booker Prize.  These three lists provide me with endless selctions to read!  I rarely read all of the books on the longlists, but they do provide a deep well of books from which to choose.

The Man Booker Prize 2018 Longlist came out last week -- and there look to be some great titles in the mix.  I've already read one - Snap (highly recommended), and I'm at the half-way point of another - Warlight.  Three more titles are battling it out for read-me-next-please honors - Sabrina, From a Low and Quiet Sea, and The Overstory.  And there is one I can't wait to get my hands on - Washington Black (because I love Esi Edugyan's writing so very much) (but it won't be published in the US until September).  There's one I'm gonna skip right over, though - The Mars Room (because I just don't enjoy Rachel Kushner's books and life is too short. . . ).

Check out the list and see what you might want to read this year.




Speaking of books . . . Harry Potter is celebrating his 20th anniversary next month.  (Here are some fun facts about the Harry Potter book phenomena.)  New covers, people!  (And they look pretty cool.)  Much hoop-la.

My daughter and most of her friends did a bit of freaking out when they heard the news. Because How-Can-Harry-Potter-Be-Already-20-Years-Ago-Mom???  Erin tells me that, for the first time, she now feels . . . old.  Erin - who was always the exact same age as Harry when the books came out - grew up with Harry Potter.  Literally.

Ah. Time.  (Reality bites.)



Speaking of time . . . in the better-late-than-never department, I read a little blurb in the New York Times this week about Gray Panthers founder, Maggie Kuhn (who died in 1995).   Her story (which, of course, I didn't know. . . ) is fascinating!  The NY Times blurb piqued my interest, so I went searching more.  Here's a nice little bio if you'd like to learn more about her, too.

"I made a sacred vow that I would do something outrageous, at least once a week."
                --- Maggie Kuhn, age 85



Back when I was in high school, I had this pair of denim OshKosh overalls that I wore all the time.  (I know; they were A Thing.) (Thankfully, it didn't last long.)  


I used to embroider things all over my overalls, so they were Very Unique.  (I wish I had a photo to share, but I do not.  We just didn't photo-document every little thing back then. . . )


The other day, I came across a treasure chest full of free, downloadable embroidery patterns here.  (The photo above is one of the free patterns you can download.)  There are tons of fun designs there, and it's safe to say . . . my embroidery-crazy-overall-wearing former self would have had a field day.


And, finally . . . as much as I hate to admit this . . . THIS is pretty much always the state of my desk.


I straighten it up and organize it often . . . but THAT (above) is my desk's normal state.  Its angle of repose.  Every day.  All the time.

Lucky for me, I just read about a study at the University of Minnesota that concludes that . . . messiness can be good for us!  According to professor Kathleen Vohs, "Disorderly environments seem to inspire breaking free of tradition, which can produce fresh insights.  Orderly environments, in contrast, encourage convention and playing it safe."

(Note that she is talking about "messy" - not "dirty" - environments.  There is a a difference.)

So.  That's my story.  And I'm sticking to it!

"If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?"
                    --- Albert Einstein


And . . . that's a wrap!  Have a great weekend - be sure to have some summer fun.  I'll see you on Monday.




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Oh my - your site jolted my angst today.
To tell the truth, August is a relief for me because it signals the end of summer. Yep, Debbie Downer here, I can’t wait for it to get over, I am hot and tired and endlessly trying to figure out how to get it over with faster. ( Don’t listen to me.)
Anyway, this month is great for reading, and lemonade and ice cream.
I like the Man Booker lists immensely.
I love clutter and reject neat uninspired home areas.
Happy rest of a summer to all, in your own way.


Thank you for the reminder to live in the moment and not long for what is past. Which has very much been me in this turn of the calendar page.

I just got a lovely notification from the library that Snap is available for me to check out! I can't wait to read it. I just love Man Booker and the things it brings to read!

Have an amazing first weekend in August! XO


I started Warlight last week, but it wasn't the right book at the right time for me, so I think Overstory (gorgeous cover!) will be next. I really want to read Normal People but it's not published in the US until April 2019! Maybe Milkman in the mean time? This was a great longlist and I'm anxious to get my hands on more of the books.

Ryan also grew up with Harry, so I went to lots of midnight release parties and made wands. We had a recent conversation when he tried to re-read the series and found the writing style a little irritating. It was really magical at the time , but he felt a bit sad that it hadn't held up for him into adulthood.


I am part of the messy desk society and thanks for the embroidery link - I need another distraction 😉


It still feels very much like summer here, but yikes! school starts on MONDAY!! I LOVE that bit about "messy" - all the spaces where I do stuff are messy. I try to clean them up when I finish with them (especially the kitchen counter) because the mess drives Marc crazy ... I need to share that Einstein quotation with him!


I'm in your camp...there is lots and lots of summer left. (Like 'til October!) I'm listening to Snap right now and it's good! Messy desk at work, cleaned each evening. And yes...cookouts, kayaks and outdoor cocktails are in order all weekend! Have a great weekend Kym! xoxo


Yes!! I am looking forward to MUCH more summer. My outlook on that is much improved since I don't have to do any back-to-school shopping. ;) My desk & work areas are super cluttered & messy most of the time... way too many things to do & make.


Another fun post! I've got a very messy desk most of the time...but I know exactly where everything is. I need to start doing something outrageous each week! Love that idea.


Oh yes! I also tell everyone there's a lot of summer to go! I am soaking up every bit of sun, fun, and summer that I can! I LOVE this post and agree with everything you've said. Esi Edugyan's last book was one of my favorites and I know I would love it if I read it again. The Man-Booker list is going to make reading fabulous for the rest of the year (and into next year)! My desk looks much the same! I am always trying to find a place to set my laptop and that angle of repose has been put to use SO many times. xo


As organized and neat as I am, my desk at work is cluttered and messy. Every now and again (like when I know the Town Administrator is coming over to talk to me) I straighten it up and file all the things, etc. but most of the time there are piles of paperwork! I love when you do Friday Fish Wrap. And summer is going strong over here! We swam for the first time yesterday and Dale has his last band job until 8/26 today and that frees up our time to do more summery things like . . . ice cream!

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