Sunday, March 25, 2018

Fortnightly Update #42: Life, The Universe, and Everything

It has been a good two weeks. I have yet to enact my plans for world domination, but those things take all sorts of time, and so far I haven't lost any of mine. My plant minion army is progressing steadily, although I have thrown it a few wrenches by clumsily dumping over one of my units of tomato seedlings. It's been raining here, and I must admit the earthworm per square foot ratio is grossly abundant.  

Recent Acquisitions (or the Piling of the-Piles):

the-pile Additions:

Future Shock (Future Shock #1) by Elizabeth Briggs
Future Threat (Future Shock #2) by Elizabeth Briggs 
I think I signed up for these from one of Shelf Awareness's newsletters, but I'm not sure- but they arrived quickly and I hadn't expected them. These are both YA, but futuristic YA with time travel elements, and I hope I'll enjoy them as much as I like the covers. The third book in this series is being published April 1st of this year.

Leia inspecting the book mail- it met with her eventual approval

the-invisible-pile Additions:


Currently Reading:

Expected publication: March 27th 2018
I'm hoping to read and review this before its publication, but who knows if I'll make it!

Finished These Books:

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
I'm feeling much more book-blogger-ish now that I've finally started reviewing books again, starting with this one, which was my second five star read of 2018 (and I've only read three books so far, so...).

In My Life:

Let's address the black hole in the room: Stephen Hawking. 

Stolen from Barnes & Noble's FB
When I first started having trouble walking (and as I began to mentally adjust to it) I looked for examples of people who kept going and loving life with their disabilities to model myself after. Stephen Hawking was one of those people- and as much as I hate to inspiration-ize him- looking at his life and how he kept pursuing his passions with significant disabilities? It helped me a lot, especially when his disabilities (physically, at least) were more limiting than my own. I will miss him.

In addition to Stephen Hawking's death, lately I've acquired another issue: eating.

My brain-shaped Irish Soda Bread
If you know very much about me, you'll know I'm a fan of food- specifically baked goods like bread and cake. For St. Patrick's Day I made myself a loaf of Irish Soda Bread and fully expected to enjoy it. Although it tasted good (really good, actually), I could barely swallow the small pieces that I was able to eat. Once my mom got home, I asked her if it was difficult for her to swallow. It wasn't.

I've actually had this problem for a while now (a while being since July, at least), but I've been putting off going to the doctor over it, because, well.... doctors and I have issues, for one. Secondly, even if I have had issues swallowing, it didn't seem to affect my weight (which I knew would be thrown in my face to discredit me). I've actually lost approximately 30+ pounds since October, so I suppose that theory is also out the window. 

I've finally decided it's to the point I need to re-see my doctor (which I hate doing) because people in my syrinx group have told me that there are no real home remedies for this sort of thing other than avoiding sticky/dry/dense foods, and it can get dangerous (you can get aspiration pneumonia). My least favorite pastime is visiting with my doctors or being tested for things by them because I also have lovely memories of spending most of my teen years waiting for a cure that never came. But still, as I regret to inform myself every time my symptoms worsen- doctors are my only hope for a semi-normal life, so I must see them sometime.

In other news, my new Kindle Fire cover matches my bathroom decor. I only found that out when I brought it in there for the first time. Ah, mint green, violet, and white make for a relaxing retreat.

Also, this pup: ten human years old. She acts more like she's six human years old. For her birthday, she received a nice stuffed log with three little chipmunks. Leia promptly commandeered every chipmunk, and left her with the log. Luckily, Torrie is not one to complain, though she did begin dismantling the log.

If you were wondering what picture guest comments on my blog end up with, it's this one- Gustave Doré's Depiction of Satan from John Milton's Paradise Lost c. 1866. That's not because I think my commenters are evil, but rather because this is the only Victorian-esque public domain image I had on my hands when I set up my Disqus. I am taking suggestions for any public domain image to use as a "guest commenter" image, and I will host a poll during my blogiversary month to see which one is favored. Since my blogiversary is in April, if you have a suggestion, please comment it below (public domain images only)!

Here are some more illustrations that I favor:

"The Raven" by John Tenniel, from "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe, in which I am the man standing at the window, and the commenter is the raven, disturbing my reverie.

"Geraint and Enid Ride Away" by Gustave Doré from Idylls of the King by Tennyson, in which I am the Ent-ish tree in the background, clinging to the hill while the commenter rides away with their true love on a feisty-looking mount.

Have you gotten any book mail lately? Which images do you suggest for the guest commenter avatar?


  1. Earthworm ratio lol. Too funny. And yes, where do they all COME from? Good grief you get a little rain and it's like invasion of the worms!

    I like time travel and futuristic stories so the Future Shock series looks good to me, naturally. I remember seeing the first one.

    Good luck with the doctor visit, I know the feeling. I do not like discussing issues with the doctor either. Hope it goes well! And love the mint color- it is a relaxing color for sure. My mom has something similar in her condo and it is soothing.

    I like the third image the best- I think because of just the whole vibe of it, with the towers in the background, the trees and the plain in the distance with the river. It's almost like wilderness but then you have the castle too signifying an outpost of civilization? I don't know, ignore me lolol.

  2. Ooo I'm so glad you enjoyed The Hobbit! Honestly, I don't think I would have rated it as highly as I did if I hadn't watched the movies first and nailed down the story. All that flowery writing can be a bit much to plow through sometimes but I'm glad that you embraced the wonderfulness :)

    I was also incredibly saddened by Stephen Hawking's death. He was the man who proved that no matter how much we think we know, we can always know more and defy expectations. One of my close friends was diagnosed with ALS about 2 years ago and Stephen Hawking always was a source of hope. Besides defying death for decades, he kept his incredible sense of humor (I love watching interviews and cameos with him).

    Personally, I'm partial to the second image for commenters. I LOVE Poe's The Raven :)

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

  3. Well, with the audio it was a bit like a movie for me. Even when it got to a "lull" the narrators voice patched me through.
    Yes, Stephen Hawking absolutely defied expectations. I'm sorry about your friend's diagnosis- ALS is a difficult one. I think one of my favorite things about him was his sense of humor, so I'm glad you mentioned it.
    I think The Raven image is my current favorite too. I'm going to have to come up with a clever poll for choosing these.
    Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Laura!
    ~Litha Nelle

  4. It was like a scene cut out of a horror movie, but instead of The Birds it was The Worms and you really wished that some birds would come!
    I am hoping to get into my doctor in April, but hopefully she isn't vacationing or on leave or something- that seems to happen with her whenever I have a weird symptom.
    I am seeing a trend here: no one likes the Lucifer photo! :P I guess I'll have to just post the other two and see which one people like best.
    Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Greg!
    ~Litha Nelle

  5. I would use Geraint and Enid during the Spring and The Raven during the Fall, but I don't know how often you can change them.

  6. I hadn't even thought of it that way. I am definitely changing the guest avatar to The Raven in October (if only for Mini Macabre Review Monday) just in the spirit of spookiness- it looks like you can change the avatar as much as you like.
    Thanks for the suggestion, Rachelle!
    ~Litha Nelle

  7. Hawking is a great inspiration! There were some guys in the Dean guitar owners Facebook group moaning about finger joint pain in their "old age" (I think most of them were younger than me) and saying it was getting close to hanging it up with playing. I suggested tipless compression gloves, because they help me when my joints are bothersome, of course they didn't respond because then it would take away their excuse to whine or quit. Every time I get frustrated with my shoulder or wrist, I visit guitar player Jason Becker's Facebook page, he has ALS like Hawking, and even though he can't play anymore, he still composes AND encourages other guitarists. Those whiner guys make me so mad. 😒

    Happy birthday a lot late, Torrie. 🎂

    Ahh, so your swallowing problem is in your throat? Mine is farther down, so I don know what to tell you. I hope the doctor can tell you what it is. 😞


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