What I Liked About June

Young Robin



In brief, what I didn’t like about June:

  • Dandelions again! I know they have their fans, but I don’t love them. When the flowers are done, the leaves take up a lot of area and they are not an attractive ground cover. After the dandelions, we get another, similar flower with furry leaves, that spreads by runners. So it’s yellow flowers all around!
  • Appointments! I dread making personal and practical appointments because I need to choose a time in advance when my calendar looks clear. When the day arrives, I find it hard to leave work on time because there’s always something urgent to take care of. I had two home repair appointments, one for the car, two for the lawn mower, and my passport renewal. That’s a lot of occasions to arrange time off work – even if I am the boss, LOL!
  • Taxes! My own taxes are long since done, but I had to file a charity tax return for my volunteer job. An accountant was supposed to complete it, but it was returned to me ONE DAY before the due date, with a lot of work remaining. I was up until the wee hours last night!

What I liked about June:

  • The cute little robin in the photo above was found under one of my hostas! It let me get that close – not sure if it was oblivious or terrified. Luckily it disappeared before a prowling cat found it.
  • Rom and I celebrated our fifth anniversary with a leisurely meal out at a chic new vegan restaurant.
Moon Mist is a combination of banana, grape and cotton candy ice cream! (Photo: pikdit.com)

Moon Mist is a combination of banana, grape and bubblegum ice cream! (Photo: pikdit.com)

  • We were out for our first ice cream cones of the season. Moon Mist for me – a local favourite!
  • I managed to keep my inner snack monster at bay most of the time in June; not enough to lose weight but enough to break the habit once again (ice cream notwithstanding).
  • I worked out 18 out of 21 work days. I am listening to the audio book of Just Kids by Patti Smith, read by the author. I had already read the book, but it’s great hearing it in her voice! It motivates me to get up in the morning, work out, and listen to another few sections. Patti Smith was one of my greatest idols back when I was an aspiring intellectual 🙂
  • We bought a power washer and cleaned the shed, which was looking greenish with mould after all our wet weather. It was fun! I wonder how many times I can wash things before it starts to feel like a chore?
  • I watched some stuff on DVD:

The Book Thief – finally! I had read the book last November just before the movie came out. They did a capable job of it. I think the movie would be a good introduction to WW2 and the Holocaust for teens. As you might expect, I liked the book much better.

Forks Over Knives documentary. I thought it was old news. And also had some bad science and suspicious claims. But I am already a convert to a meatless diet and making my own food, so I wasn’t the intended audience. If your diet needs a shake-up, this might convince you.

Oblivion, a silly movie with Tom Cruise; enough said.

and more episodes of both Downton Abbey and Big Bang Theory (nice contrast there).

  • My big preoccupation this month is the library where I work, which is undergoing a renovation. It is looking like we’ll be almost on time and almost on budget 🙂 I am on site every day consulting with the work crews and ensuring everything is done to plan. I didn’t expect to be so busy – I’m surprised how many decisions need to be made on-the-fly every day! The staff packed up the entire book collection in boxes. The books and shelving were all moved to storage for the duration. Walls have been knocked down, new ones built, and the place is unrecognizable for now. I am looking forward to the results in just a few weeks: I should be able to include a picture in my July round-up!
Library BEFORE Pic

Library BEFORE Pic


Library DURING Pic (eek!)

Library DURING Pic (eek!)

How was your June?


  1. I love your round ups! I love icecream, but the one you chose is way to technocoloured for me. My local favourite is strawberries (I think they might be balsamic stewed) with mascapone! mmmmmm Sadly they make all their flavours, and this one is sometimes out of rotation.

    Nice work on the works out – mine have SERIOUSLY dropped away since injuries, cold and laziness. And my snacking is out of control, so much so I get a daily ‘did you have chocolate today?’ from the BF. It’s almost enough shame to stop me, but not quite!

    I usually have a day off when I have personal appointments, usually dentists, tax accountant etc. Now that I have a day off a month, rather than every two weeks, it’s a tight squeeze, esp cause I also like to do some voluntary stuff too. I need to think laterally more often – such as last night on my way home, spending some time on church tasks (at church, it’s near my train station) rather than waiting a month til the next day off, or taking some weekend time.

    • As you know, I’ve had a serious snacking problem for several months, so it’s about time that I cut back – I really did indulge for a long time.

      I normally work 1-9 once a week so I can schedule personal appts that morning. But because of the renovation I am not working evening shifts this month.

  2. Holly

    I love Patti Smith too! Almost beyond words.You and I seem to share many similar tastes, including music and literature. I’m glad I found your blog for sure.

    What I loved about June was wearing my summer clothes even when the temperature did not warrant doing so and having my son visit from NYC for 9 (NINE!!) wonderful days. I did not like our unusually cold start to summer, the incessant rain or that my kid had to eventually leave. Or that I didn’t get any flowers potted. I made it into the woods for 12 trail runs, did 5 walks with a friend and 6 workouts at the gym. Oh, plus a bonus, an outdoor swim on that one day it was warm enough to do so.

    • Yay to another Patti Smith fan! Besides loving her words, music and approach, she has a lot of references in her work that I’ve followed up on (Rimbaud, Baudelaire, etc) so it’s been an education! I was fortunate to see her live show once about 15 years ago. The first time I found one of her poems, it changed my life – not even the content, but the expressive style.

      Your workouts for the month were fantastic! I only got to walk half as much as usual but I didn’t want to make my “dislike list” too long.

      Glad you had a good visit. I only see mine twice a year now and I find that so hard.

  3. A library renovation! How exciting and a little annoying. It’s always a big task moving all the books and computers and desks and chairs into their new home. I’m sure that it’ll look amazing, however.


    • Yes indeed – a big job, and I just have to trust it will be worth it in the end! The library is 25 years old and was looking “tired” compared to new branches.

  4. EcoCatLady

    I just saw The Book Thief this evening. I thought it was wonderful, but of course, I didn’t read the book so I have nothing to compare it to.

    Can’t believe June is over already…. I’d have to say that what I like most was the bike rides! 🙂

    • That’s one case where it would be better to watch the movie first, because it really was good – if you hadn’t read it first. So far we’ve had one week of beautiful sunny weather for cycling, hiking, etc.!

  5. Gam Kau

    I loved Just Kids and still very much admire Patti Smith. I saw her in NYC maybe 15 years ago and she was so fantastic; she’s so dynamic, plus her personal style…
    The Book Thief (book) made me cry. As I get older I cry at films, but also books! The Kite Runner, ugh. Tears and more tears. This past weekend I watched Planet of Snail (highly recommend) and cried some more!
    I’m snack monster too. It’s as if inside I am an adolescent with ceaseless munchies. A shame on the outside I’m a blobby middle aged woman! I love snacks and, what’s worse, I’m not even discriminating. So no weight loss for me either. Moon Mist ice cream. Just the name has me sold.
    I can’t stand appointments. Home repair appointments, medical appointments. any obligation that has to be written down in a diary basically. I have a very difficult time committing to anything and I am always happy when there are no appointments on the horizon (rare).

    • I saw Patti Smith in Boston right around that time! What I like best about her work are all the literary and art references in the poems and songs, then add that to her style and delivery.

      I cry over books and movies all the time. Thanks for the mention of Planet of Snail. I have found it on YouTube!

      I never thought about that with regard to snacks. Maybe somewhere inside, I still think of myself as an active, growing child?

      So I’m not the only one who hates appointments! I am prone to putting them off because there’s never a good time.

  6. Your workout schedule is inspiring, especially when you have so much going on! The library reno looks like a massive job!
    For me June had good bits, but it hasn’t been my favorite month this year and I’m glad July is here.

    • Well, the library reno is a massive job – for the actual workers. I just “supervise”! I’m glad that you’re hanging in there. Transition times are tough. Hope you enjoy having B back!

  7. Dandelions make you wee the bed, as the saying goes 😉 I have the book thief on my to read list so I must read it before I watch it. I may even join a reading group if I can find one close by x

    • I thought the book was exceptional. The movie was good, but if you see it and know the ending, you may not want to read the book – it would take away the suspense.

      Fortunately I wasn’t eating any dandelions (or leaves)!

  8. I loved “The Book Thief” movie. I have not read the book, but will look for it. By the way, interesting article appeared in today’s paper about shy people and how reflective, socially conscious they are. I mentioned to my wife your last post on being shy is not the same as being introverted. She said our son posted on his Facebook something similar recently. It is a good conversation. He is introverted, well read and at times shy, but with friend gregarious.

    • The Book Thief movie is getting a lot of Thumbs Up! Whether someone is introverted or shy, I think they have a somewhat narrower comfort zone, and are less likely to project a “big persona” to cover up any awkwardness they might feel.

  9. Fiona

    Congratulations on your anniversary, Dar (and Rom!) Also congratulations on the library renovation; it looks to be a huge project to manage. I’ve been surprised on our trip to find that libraries in various towns have ‘shut up shop’ for the summer and some have quite lengthy closures. You must be itching to get the collection into its new home. I saw The Book Thief in June as well, on the flight over to London. I really enjoyed it but haven’t read the book to compare.

    • Thanks, Fiona! It’s too bad that some libraries are seasonal! I wonder if it’s because they can only afford to open for part of the year, so they stay open during the school terms, or whether some are run by volunteers and they’re difficult to staff during the summer. I am a little nervous about fitting the collection back in. We are eliminating 2 ranges of bookshelves and have reduced the collection accordingly (preying upon inactive books!) and I have redone the calculations several times. Since the library has been closed, more stuff keeps coming back and nothing is going out, so we may have a surplus for a while!

      I look forward to hearing more about your travels.

  10. Lane

    Lol, those other yellow flowers are likely hawkweed; an occasional one will be orange.

    I had a marvelous June as I had my youngest home for much of the month for her tonsillectomy. She is leaving this week, flying back west to her new real job! I will miss her very much as she is a sunny fun girl. We watched episodes of Parenthood when she could barely talk and discussed if we agreed with how the characters handled their kids– fun. I’m the only Big Bang fan here, so silly, but always makes me laugh. It’s very popular in China where it was apparently recently banned. (?) Lots of gardening, asparagus and now strawberries 10 steps out my kitchen door, my definition of luxury.

    • Yes, it’s hawkweed. I had a hard time identifying it because most of the varieties don’t spread by runners as these ones do. It’s very invasive!

      Glad you got a nice visit in, even if it was for surgery!

      Asparagus and strawberries on your own property does sound heavenly!

  11. Happy Anniversary!!

    And good luck with the rest of the Library renovation. I’m sure everything will look fantastic once it’s finally done!

  12. Congratulations on your anniversary!

    We share two common hates – taxes (won’t tell you how long I haven’t done mine, even knowing I am breaking the law hasn’t motivated me) and trying to fit in appointments and “jobs” around my work. Why do emergencies always arise when you have to leave early for an appointment? Normally household tasks and appointments bank up until term breaks but we are away for most of this break.

    I just couldn’t eat that multi-coloured ice-cream. My favourites are passionfruit and mango. I normally only get either one of those. Sometimes, rarely, hazelnut chocolate.

    I don’t think I could watch The Book Thief. I loved the novel – one of my favourites. But the sadness will be too much for me. We have a Jewish museum in Sydney which I want to visit but Mr Sans just won’t come – he knows one floor will be too much and can’t stand the sadness and pain.

    And is there a non-silly movie that Tom Cruise is in? Like many Aussies I can’t stand him after the way he treated Nicole Kidman. Luckily I don’t like the movies he is in, so no conflict not watching any of them.

    Doesn’t the space look big without any furniture or shelving? Lucky your town has funds to do their libraries up. Would hate to live in one of those towns that shut the library over summer.

    • I don’t mind doing my own taxes but I was thrown for a loop having to fill out a charity return! We obviously need a new accountant. I am very familiar with being called on my cell phone by work, when I am at an appointment – maybe the power has gone out at work and they need permission to close, or something like that.

      I found The Book Thief Movie did not have the impact of the book, for me at least. I visited a Holocaust Museum in Washington DC and it was set up so that you ended your visit feeling impressed by Jewish culture and resilience.

      I do feel lucky that our library is being renovated. Our library system is opening an amazing new Central Library this Fall, and I’m surprised our budget wasn’t absorbed by that big project!

  13. I loved your June roundup. I smiled at the robin, drooled over the ice cream and laughed at the water pressure cleaner. My husband bought one and went berserk with it, cleaning everything in sight! I must get around to reading The Book Thief, it’s on my list. At the moment, I’m reading The Light Between Oceans, which is just beautiful.

  14. Congratulations on 5 years 🙂 Sounds like you had a great month! My library is over a hundred years old and looks a little shabby compared to the sleek new libraries, but I really like it. I feel like I’m at someone’s house browsing through their books. (And I should probably feel bad for saying this, but its small size also keeps the computer section of the library small – only 4 computers – which makes it a quieter and calmer library branch overall.) Hopefully your library renovations will continue smoothly! I can’t wait to see the after photographs 🙂

    • Despite living in a city with 250+ years of history, our current libraries only date back to the 1950s, and mine is 25 years old. All of our libraries are C@P sites, which means we have a responsibility to provide free public computers, and we can’t minimize it – our new configuration will have “only” 16 computers, but we will also be lending iPads in-house! The renos are going well so far but some of the delivery dates are tight for major building materials and custom furniture.

  15. I would love to work in a library! I love visiting them. I hope the renovations go well. Was The Book Thief movie good?

  16. I cant wait to see the “after” pictures of your library (the empty space is pretty “eeekkk”!).

    p.s. That ice cream looks divine…I’ve given up on fighting off my inner snack monster… 🙂

    • I have long periods where the snack monster RULES!

      I am just starting to tire of working in a construction zone, and am looking forward to getting back to normal service.

  17. Happy anniversary!

    Also, I had no idea you worked in a library. That is pretty cool. I love libraries. (So much so I was once President of the Library Club in school – basically, we did everything the school librarians didn’t want to do. heh.)

    • Thanks, AP! Yep, I am a public library manager. I love it and this is the perfect career for me. I bet most grown-up geeks and nerds of all types, including myself, were members of library clubs, AV clubs, computer clubs, debating teams, spelling bee teams, and student government!

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