June was low-stress and interesting enough! A glimpse into my quiet life:
I saw another amateur theatre production (the musical of 9 to 5). It was really good, and it reminded me of how awful and sexist workplaces used to be, and still can be. I am so happy to work in a public library where women hold most of the senior positions, and most of the men are enlightened. A small number of our employees are genderqueer, and even more enlightened 🙂 All we have to worry about are the attitudes and behaviours of some of our customers…
My other entertainment for June was family-friends-and-food related. Always a good thing! A family barbecue for Fathers’ Day, a birthday dinner with PK, and an anniversary dinner with Rom. Nice mix!
I watched one movie this month: Maudie, with Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke, about the life of our beloved local folk artist Maude Lewis.
My reading included:
Forest Dark – by Nicole Krauss. Heavier and less neatly wrapped up than her previous books, this is not for everyone. It was a deep dive into Jewish identity and (as usual) the writerly life.
Less – by Andrew Sean Greer. At first I decided it was chick-lit for guys. It developed some depth and was super-charming, just like good chick-lit (er, women’s light fiction?) Recommended!
Northanger Abbey – by Jane Austen. Her first, unpublished novel which showed her potential. I would like to see the TV movie version which features Felicity Jones.
The Prodigal Tongue: The Love-Hate Relationship Between American and British English – by Lynne Murphy. A good idea but surprisingly tedious to read, even though I’m a linguistics buff. I suggest Watching the English by Kate Fox instead (even though it’s about behaviour rather than language).
Don’t Call Me Princess – by Peggy Orenstein. I loved her book Cinderella Ate My Daughter. This one was a collection of essays about hardships in her own life and those of girls and women generally. As much as I like her writing, I didn’t love the focus on miserableness. I will read another Roxane Gay book the next time I’m in the mood for essays.
I did meet my fitness and clothes-fitting goal for June. I have since lapsed. I needed a break after 8 weeks of restraint. Luckily all the good summer fruit is coming on stream now, so I can load up. However, cold local cider is an ongoing temptation, along with my other favourite, Crabbie’s ginger beer!
The pool at the fitness centre was closed for 2 weeks for its annual complete cleaning. During that time, I went to the gym every weekday, instead of alternating gym and pool. I was thrilled to get back in the water. I hope to go for a lake swim soon. Did you know…we have great ocean beaches, but the water temperature only gets to 15C by the end of the summer?
We had the deck at the back of our house replaced this month. The former one was original to the house, about 21 years old. It was wood and had been treated with tinted stain and then paint. The maintenance was getting hard – scraping and painting every summer. It was at the end of its lifespan. So my brother agreed to build us a new deck in his spare time (!) I bought the materials and he did the labour, evenings and weekends, with my nephew assisting. We went with brown treated lumber and will use a colourless protectant. I had been wary of treated lumber because I thought it had arsenic in it, but I found out it was phased out in 2004. The copper azole treatment product is not entirely harmless. Lumber made of recycled plastic is possibly better for the environment, but 3.5x the cost…sigh.
Anyway, we now have a lovely outdoor space to relax in!
So does one of our library branches. Dartmouth North Library had a grand opening for its outdoor library, a large deck attached to the library where you can socialize, read, use the wifi or watch your kids at the playground.
I paid dearly for a mistake this month. After mowing the lawn, I left the lawnmower’s lithium battery pack outside to finish charging. I forgot it on the front step overnight. Of course, it bucketed down rain and soaked both the battery and the charger. I let them dry out over a couple of days. When I plugged it back in for a test, the battery sparked and spewed out toxic smoke ☹ Not only did I have to replace the battery, but there were none in metro, so I had to drive to another town an hour away to get one, and it cost $230! Now when I finish mowing, I set a timer to remind me to check on the battery charger! (The charger itself recovered).
At work, I was approved to attend a two-day Lean Six Sigma course which I enjoyed tremendously. It is a combination of Lean (continuous improvement and reducing waste in your organization) and Six Sigma, which is a set of tools for perfecting processes. In the library world, we are quick to leap forward with public technologies, but slow about changing our back-room work. A bunch of us have been trained up and let loose! But I am still working on the staff restructuring, so my scope is limited until that’s done. I have a mid-August checkpoint but the end date is undetermined.
Now that the year is half over, I am tabulating my grocery expenses for a half-year report: coming soon.
I hope June was good to you. What were you up to?