Spring is trying to break through here in mid-Michigan, although the weather is doing its best to provide the obligatory April showers. It brings out the critters, this happy cardinal...
...and this two-toned squirrel. David, Linda or some of my other naturalist buddies, is there an official name for this? Someone told me balayage, but the only reference I could find for that was hair color and highlights. Whatever, he's a cute little fellow who seems to like my yard!
Another sign of spring? I'm actually seeing my neighbors emerge as I emerge as well! Frank is checking out what needs to be done in the yard (if the rains ever stop and the ground dries out!)
In an earlier post I wrote about Sharon Emery's wonderful new book, "It's Hard Being You." Sharon had a book launch party and it was my first time out in a crowd in ages. In fact, the first time since I'd been in any spot apart from the grocery where there were more than four people since my cousin's wedding in October.
The event was wonderful -- well attended and beautifully done. Sharon spoke about the book and then signed copies.
After, some of us joined her at their home for an afterglow. It was such fun to be "out there" again, to have conversations and to simply enjoy and celebrate. (It also felt very weird and I'm not sure I want to get "out there" again until I get my second booster. But it was a wonderful and sorely needed time.)
I had an interesting observation when I was there. A lot of people weren't masked -- people I knew I knew and recognized -- and yet it had been so long I'd seen them, I didn't quite know who they were. All the stranger was that some were difficult to recognize because they had changed. Many of the women had gone gray or silver during the pandemic and I couldn't connect their hair and faces to what was in my mind. It was very disconcerting.
Like many of you, I have been watching a great deal of the coverage from Ukraine. The footage is horrifying. I have tremendous respect for the correspondents whom I hope get complimentary PTSD therapy after they get home and off the story because I don't see how one could report on this day after day and not be deeply affected. However, the reports I find the most fascinating are those of Igor Novikov, a former aide to President Zelensky who has stayed with his family in Kyiv. He speaks regularly -- two or three times a week -- with Nicolle Wallace and occasionally others on MSNBC.
His reports are sober but he always, always has something fun or positive to share with listeners, whether it is about his family or Stepan, the famous Ukranian tik tok cat. Wallace often asks him questions regarding what life is like for the family in Kyiv with bombs and air raids and he brings such a deeply human, personal view. I hope they make it through together as a family.
On another note, some of you may have heard of the Blog2Print books that transfer your blog into a bound book. Rita of Panoply and Marilyn of Delights of the Heart have both done B2P books and I decided I wanted to do one too. After talking with both of them and getting a few helpful hints, I did my first!
I decided I wanted to do the year 2020, the first Covid year, to accompany my Covid art journal. It arrived last week and I was impressed with the results.
I have to say, it was fascinating going through the posts of that first year. First of all, we were all so naive, not really getting the full grasp of what the Covid pandemic would mean to our lives.
And then, to revisit some of those times -- the things we did (sanitizing our groceries and mail, missing major events) was a powerful reminder to that first year. I can't say I've adapted a lot beyond that first year, to be honest. But that signing was a step ahead.
Back to the book. It's very thick -- probably about an inch. I had a lot of posts. In fact, I had so many posts, I ended up not using them all and editing them before I sent them to print (deleting hot links and videos, mostly). Even at that, and with a 35 percent discount, it came in at $116 with postage. YIKES!
But I'm glad I did it and I'm considering doing the same for my family history book. As you can see, the photos look crisp. (I did the medium size pictures; I would have preferred large but I couldn't afford it!)
I leave you with a look at some fading tulips.
I think they are still beautiful (and perhaps far more interesting than they were in full flower.)
Sharing with: Share Your Style