Monday, May 23, 2016

Book update *There are 4 this time...

I have not forgotten to update on the books I've been reading! I've simply gotten behind on my updates. I've also not been doing much reading because I've been too darn tired and busy with other things. I spent this morning getting super jazzed about the approach of summer and requesting lots of interesting books from the library. The dream of summer living is upon us. Okay so to recap what I read this spring:

1) The Circle by Dave Eggers
I have been a huge fan of Dave Eggers to this point. Say what you want about that statement because a lot of folks I talk to have had it with Eggers from the beginning. I, however, loved A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and was really excited about The Circle. This book was not as well written. The concept was incredible and I've thought about the themes repeatedly since finishing this book but I did not enjoy the actual reading of this story. Alright so it's about a women who starts working for a tech company whose tech applications literally take over people's real life. Very salient since I have been (and continue) to be skeptical about social media. I think I began to get overly stressed out for the lead character who was constantly expected to update her social media about every move she made so maybe it was good writing? I don't know. Maybe not a good book for anxious readers. Overall I hope somebody will read this book and talk to me about it soon.

2) A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Super fun and easy read for people who like Harry Potterish magic stories. Bonus that this book was sort of British. Plain old fun reading.

3) The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Like it or hate it The Goldfinch was a great read and I was super excited for The Secret History. This book was VERY different and I absolutely loved it. The characters were weird and awful and lovely and felt very much like people I would have spent time with in college (aside from the murdery part). This plot was so different from anything I'd ever read and the characters drank a lot so I could relate. Very good read.

 4) Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Weird book. I stuck it all the way out because it implied that a mystery would unfold. It didn't. The writing was great, though. It was sort of the opposite of The Circle in that I loved reading it but didn't care for the concept. I'm pretty sick of variations on a utopian society gone awry. If you are still into that theme then maybe read this book.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Landscaping and Photographing

Spring has finally sprung and I can't say enough about how it's brought me back to life. Working at LGA has been an incredible challenge for me and taking on that challenge as a working mom and playing catch up on so many projects that I can finally afford has left me spent. It's all been worth it and although I'm working through the summer I'm looking forward to (hopefully) working at a slower pace. Since the sun has come out we've continued to work with my step mother on our landscaping and just moving my body again and sticking my fingers in the dirt has made me so happy. The payoff has been great, too, as things start to bloom and look beautiful. On Sunday (mother's day) we finished planting the front third of our yard. We had done the edging next to the house last summer and it's quickly filled in and up. I was inspired to pull out my camera and take some photos of what we've been up to. It felt really good to use my trusty old camera rather than a phone to photograph. I don't think I've really used it since I was pregnant and I hope that this energy and inspiration will stick around awhile so that I can photograph more and show you updated of all we've planted as it grows.
Last summer we started our strawberries but the dumb rabbits and squirrels ate them all. This year I'm putting up a strong fight. Here's the strawberry fortress.

Sayer gave us some raspberries. I'm not too hopeful about these little guys but come hell or high water we'll have raspberries.

Our blueberries didn't fare well from last summer so we refortified and Sarah brought us some bigger bushes to start anew. Are you sensing an Ashley vs. yard wildlife theme?

These tulips look fake.

The purple onion giganticus are just getting started. The bulbs just keep on bulbing.

We planted a boatload a bulbs last fall. These giant tulips have been a showstopper. The groundcover is spreading nicely, too.

My mom and stepdad funded this redbud tree as a birthday gift. I have high hopes for her.

The redbud in the front. We still have to mulch. Grow feather grass, grow!

Hazelnut and dogwoods. Are they so small and cute. Watch out they're going to get huge.

A view of our 3 plum trees and the newly decorated front of our lawn.

Tall grasses and the start of some ground cover. We have high hopes and dreams.

The plum tree is blooming!

Those damn red limbs on the dogwood are so pretty.
Here we are apres hard work. Bowie didn't help much. Josh used a selfie stick to take this photo.
The best photo we were able to get of Bowie and I on Mother's Day.

Chez Witt-Bachman. We still want to power wash, replace the light and build a new railing but with all that's growing we're well on our way. Hello curb appeal.