Sunday, August 30, 2020

Starting Fresh in September: I'm Ready for Fall!

Well. August 2020 certainly is a month I will never forget. My city of Cedar Rapids and the surrounding communities are still digging out from the derecho that hit on August 10th. The National Weather Service categorized it as a level 3 hurricane. It struck fast, lasted for a little over an hour, and unleashed destruction everywhere you look. 

In the past few weeks, I've been busy in a few different places: work and home. Work (the Marion Public Library) is keeping me feeling just a bit off-kilter. Our library sustained extensive water damage, and we have had to move the entire collection out of the building and into a facility where I'll be working for the next 14 or so months while our new library is being built. Our staff is scattered across Marion in a few different spots. The good news is that we have a rock star director and deputy director, and they have been working very hard to secure a temporary library location, which will open in a few weeks. It's small, and will house our newest additions to our collection for our patrons, along with computers, a printer, and wi-fi. Our staff has been working through a nasty heat wave unboxing, shelving, shifting books, getting organized so we can begin operations again and continue to serve our community. Thankfully, we have a break in the heat (fall temps can show up anytime!). I also took a break from working out at the gym for the past three weeks, and I hope to return tomorrow. Little things that help reframe daily life and keep me calm. 

My house--I am so lucky. With the help of my partner, and a great group called 8 Days of Hope, my big tree is now gone. Only a very large stump remains. My backyard has been transformed from one with a bit of shade, to one with no shade at all. It's hard to step outside and look at it. It's still a bit of a mess with a whole lot of sawdust around, dead grass (No rain & hot temps for weeks), and all my plants and flowers are dead. My partner's skid loader tore up my yard as he worked to get the largest and heaviest bits of the tree out to the curb. I've kept one piece of the tree, but haven't figured out just what I'll make from it. Next Spring I'll have a whole new yard to work on...replacing shade plants with full sun plants. So yes. I'm so lucky and grateful for whatever higher powers protected my home during the storm. 

Today I'm finally grocery shopping to replace some of what I lost during the 12 days I had no power. Keeping it light! And yesterday, I visited a few bookstores. As I've said before, books are my ultimate comfort go-to. Some people watch movies or tv to escape; I read books. It's been a very hard year reading-wise. I've struggled so much, more than I think I've ever struggled to read in my life! Between being physically tired and mentally fried, I spent a lot of nights just staring at the TV, watching Food Network. Couldn't land on any one of the many books I've got at home. Nothing clicked. But I certainly wanted to buy a few things this weekend, and hope it kick starts my reading flow again. 

Here's what I'm reading in September: 

I've been waiting for this book all summer!  I loved the Iron Druid Chronicles. A magical man with a terrible curse, and a mystery to solve. And he likes craft cocktails. Win win! 

This series has been around for a few years, and I never read it. Now it's going to be on Netflix and I can't wait! Found this at the Swamp Fox Bookstore in Marion, Iowa during a fundraiser for the library. Enola is the sister of Sherlock Holmes, and a mystery solver herself. Young adult. 

Another book I've been waiting to be released. I'm a big Susanna Kearsley fan, so this one was a no brainer. Each author writes a novella, with a cursed watch as the theme. Historical, mysterious, and a little bit of the unknown. I figured this would be a good way to return to reading--novellas are a bit longer than a short story, but not as long as a novel. 

Historical fiction by one of the best. This is about two women who are transported to penal colony Australia, and an aboriginal woman who has been displaced from her family and society. 

I've had an advanced reader's copy of this novel on my bookshelf for a few months. A young adult fantasy novel about a young woman who wants to belong, but may become a pawn to higher powers if she chooses the wrong path.

I hope you are all safe, well, and taking care of yourself while Covid-19 still rages. Iowa, unfortunately, has numbers that just keep going up. I plan on keeping myself safe with limited shopping trips, and lots of at home reading. I've had pumpkin everything on my mind lately, so I think today is a great day to make a pumpkin dessert of some kind, and I'm bringing out the crockpot for a tasty meal tonight. 

Take care and I'll be back soon with reviews! 

The Bookalicious Babe


  1. Wow, that is a lot to endure, with the storm damage to the library and to the big tree in your yard. Like you said, in spring you can plant some pretty things in your garden. Can you plant some trees or bulbs this fall? I had not heard of the Holmes's sister book series. I am a retired librarian so know how hard it is to save books from water leaks, etc.

    1. I may plant bulbs this Fall. Would love some Spring flowers! No trees, however. Learned my lesson in having trees close to garages & homes. We are still assessing our library collection for damage but am happy to say the majority was saved!