I don’t know about you, but this summer is flying by for me! I always think it will go slowly as I’m trying to balance working while having the boys home, but it seems to speed things up and we’re going back-to-school shopping before you know it. Before we get into that, though, let me share some of my favorites from July…
Well, my favorite thing is something I’m thankful for. One of our cats, Esmé was having neurological issues a couple of weeks ago that had us very concerned. It started when we noticed the left side of her face was paralyzed. She wasn’t moving her left ear, closing her left eye fully, or opening the left side of her mouth when she meowed or yawned. We took her to the vet and they started her on some antibiotics to treat any possible underlying infections that might be causing her symptoms. There wasn’t anything obviously wrong with her (they checked her ears, reflexes, etc.) and no known trauma or exposure to toxins, viruses, etc. She is an indoor-only cat and there weren’t any new plants, essential oils, food, products, etc. in her environment.
A few days later, she started looking very off-balance and her eyes were moving back and forth rapidly like she was spinning. I took her to the vet again and they did bloodwork. Everything came back normal and they weren’t able to identify any underlying cause. They put her on a few more meds to help with the dizziness. She had one really bad day when she held her head almost completely sideways and she kept stumbling, but the next day, she was 90% better! She’s been improving ever since and is almost completely back to normal. (Her left eye has always been a little crossed and doesn’t look quite right.) We’re guessing it was vestibular disease that either went away on its own or was being caused by an ear infection that was cleared up by the antibiotics.
I was pretty weepy on her worst day, fearing that we would have to put her down if she kept getting worse. She is so young (just two) and brings us so much joy and I’m just so thankful that she’s doing well. I hope that continues!
I mean, look at that sweet face! She is just the sweetest cat. One of the best.
Jeff and I have been watching Season 8 of Alone together and it’s such a good show! (We’ve actually watched every season.) There is so much good, deep discussion to be had about solitude, loneliness, mental fortitude, our relationship with our food and shelter, technology, suffering, gratitude… There is just a lot packed into this show and we look forward to it coming out each week.
I picked up THIS weighted blanket from Target (I got the 12lb blanket) and it’s been so helpful when it comes to helping me feel calm at night when I’m falling asleep. I am also a tosser/turner when I sleep and I’m definitely more still when I sleep under this blanket. The kittles love the soft, fuzzy texture of it, too, so it’s basically turned me into a big cat bed! I had my doubts about weighted blankets (they seemed a little gimmicky), but I am so glad I bought one! I might get a heavier one.
spending time in my sketchbook
I started using my sketchbook almost daily in April and I’m now almost done filling my third one! It has become something I really look forward to – picking something to draw from life, from a photo I’ve taken, or my favorite, studying a painting or sketch from one of my art books. I started my most recent sketchbook with this Caillebotte study from THIS BOOK.
I was just going to keep her as a pencil sketch, but I love how she turned out so much that I used acrylics to add color. I’ve just really enjoyed this time of study and practice. Sometimes I feel like I need to be working on other things, but I remind myself that this time is for me. It’s about enrichment, not about profit. (And I usually do it in the evening when it’s completely acceptable to take time off work!!)
I have also enjoyed this new little hobby! I thought it would be a slow project that I’d have to pick away at, but I have found bookbinding to be a quick project and I love all of the custom options I now have. There is still a lot to learn, but I’ve already bound three of my own sketchbooks, using either vintage paper, oil paper, or clear-primed linen. These are materials I can’t find in ready-made sketchbooks. (You can see a video & post of my first bookbinding project HERE.)
sketchbook for the artist
I purchased THIS BOOK last month and it is an excellent book on sketching in different mediums. I enjoyed Sarah Simblet’s work and approach so much that I bought her book on Botany for the Artist as well.
This is a good book for beginners and those who have been sketching for a while and just want to explore other mediums and styles and review basics.
I have been wanting to clean out the playroom and turn it into an exercise room for a couple of years and now it’s finally happened! The boys still do play in there, but we are utilizing the space so much better and I love that the treadmill and all of the workout gear are in one place and out of the family room. We still have some more work to do in there like hanging the mirror and I might to paint the room in Oval Room Blue if I have enough paint leftover. But, for now, it’s super functional and I’m enjoying it.
using Opa’s chandelier
On the topic of the basement, I am really enjoying this slow-paced makeover and how it’s coming together. My three favorite things so far are the wall color (Oval Room Blue), tweaking the furniture arrangement (it’s amazing how different the room feels with just the turn of the rug and a little scooting), and hanging my Opa’s chandelier. It makes me happy every time I see it.
What were some of your favorites from June? Are there any shows I should be watching, books I should be reading, podcasts I should listen to?