Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Unraveled Wednesday

I'm joining Kat and the Unravelers for Unraveled Wednesday, with the same old Hitchhiker in progress. We're heading to MD today for what I hope is the last trip, and this will be the perfect car knitting to mark that momentous occasion. I'm at 52 teeth and am just going to keep going until my yarn runs out. 

I've been listening to audiobooks as I clean out the areas cluttered with too much crap in NJ (kitchen cupboards, linen closets, my clothes, bookshelves, etc...) I've made three trips to Salvation Army and given away things to lots of people, but there is much more to do. This is going to be an ongoing project, and audiobooks make great companions during the process.

The Power of Regret was a four-star book for me. I think the subtitle says a lot: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward. I try to make the best decisions I can at the time I'm making them, but in hindsight, there are several that I regret. Daniel Pink advises that looking back at our regrets can bring clarity and help us to make even better decisions and choices in the future (or basically learn from your mistakes).

The Power of Fun was anything but fun to read, and I only gave it two stars. I'm not a big fan of self-help books, but my library has been grouping them under Mental Health Resources. They seem to be much more attractive to me that way, and I think I could use more fun in my life. The author defines fun as playfulness, connection, and flow, and I agree, but I don't think that keeping a fun journal is going to help. Reading this clinical, repetitive book that smacks of privilege and is filled with too many anecdotes is not the way to find fun. 

The Maid features a neurodivergent main character, Molly, who takes pride in being a maid at the Regency Grand Hotel. I won't divulge any more about the story as it is a mystery of sorts, but I was disappointed because Molly was written as a caricature and I expect authors to take more care and have more respect for characters on the spectrum. Your mileage may vary, but for me, The Maid was only 1.5 stars.

I didn't even consider reading What Happened to You? initially, because I had the distinct advantage of growing up with two parents that did their best, treated me well, and loved me. And then one day it dawned on me (when I was wondering what might be wrong with someone) that maybe I did need to read this book, to better understand people who may have suffered trauma, abuse, and the effects these might have had upon brain development. This four-star book has changed my thinking so I won't wonder what is wrong with someone but will reframe the question to ask what might have happened to them instead. 

Jane recommended The Lost Garden last week and it sounded just like the type of book I wanted to read. I couldn't find it at any of my libraries, so I bought it for my Kindle and I'm glad I did. It's written by Canadian poet Helen Humphreys and the prose reads like poetry. The story about gardener Gwen Davis leaving London to escape the bombing in 1941 to train girls in Devon how to grow potatoes for the war effort is a lovely one. 

What are you making and reading this week?


  1. That is such a pretty Hitchhiker Bonny! And wow! with 52 teeth it is a generous size. I like that. I just checked and "The Lost Garden" is available from my library, so I have placed a request - thanks for the recommendation. Good luck with the MD trip. So nice to know you won't be commuting down there weekly!

  2. Your Hitchhiker is so pretty in those pinks! I hope you get everything done in Maryland and I imagine that organizing projects in NJ are much more fun since you know you will be there permanently now. I felt the same as you about The Maid.

  3. I love that Hitchhiker, Bonny. Actually, I love all your Hitchhikers, but this one just looks like a big, warm, welcoming HUG. I'm thinking today about your post - so many months ago - when you calculated the number of trips to MD remaining . . . and here you are!!! Making your final trip!!! I'm so happy for you. You did it! You ran out the "speedy clock." XOXO

  4. I hope the last trip goes very well without utility problems and smooth traffic, Bonny. But even if it doesn't, remember, it is the _last trip_! I am stuck into reading the series about a medieval knight. I seem to be stuck into historical mysteries since the pandemic started. I think it is a coping strategy that is working fairly well for me, so I have decided not to fight it. I will keep your recommendations in mind for when I get off this jag. I love that pink HH. Perfect for spring, and it is on the way!

  5. I can't wait to see how much Hitchhiker knitting you get done on this last trip! And I certainly hope it is the very last one -- I know you are more than ready to be done with that drive.

    It sounds like What Happened to You? would be a good read for me, too, even though, like you, I had a pretty healthy and stable childhood. I'm currently reading Allow Me to Retort, which I'm hoping to finish to day, and working on trying to finish up the body of my Shifty.

  6. I think that Hitchhiker is the perfect thing for your final MD trip! Wooo!!!

    Your reading is impressive (a boon for closet cleaning imo!) I am off to see if my library has The Lost Garden! :)

    Oh... and my making, sock knitting! :)

  7. The color of your Hitchhiker will definitely brighten up any cold, gray day!
    Good luck with your final trip to MD!

    1. Thanks, Debbie! My back hurts and I'm tired, but we're done. Today might be a sit with the heating pad and knit day.

  8. I saw those disappointing reviews on Goodreads and thought "yay, books I don't need to read" thank you for that! and all the best wishes that things are going smoothly in MD - AND that your bright and happy Hitchhiker lasts as long as it needs to (that ball of yarn looks small?) and no longer!

  9. I hope this last trip to MD goes smoothly. I know you are weary of that commute. You are inspiring me to clean out a few cluttered areas here. I love that hitchhiker. It looks like Spring to me. I'm glad you are enjoyed The Lost Garden. I am now looking to see what other titles I might be able to read by that author.

  10. that is one of the prettiest pinks! love the hitchhiker and the list of books for me to ponder about reading.


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