How is it June Already?!?!?!

Self-explanatory, really: how is it June already?!?!?!

Well, the most notable thing going on around here recently is that we’ve been replacing and installing appliances left and right.

First off, the refrigerator. It turns out what was causing our fridge problem was a clogged vent. But…we didn’t realize this until after we had ordered a new refrigerator. We first offered the old fridge to my brother to use as a garage fridge, but he turned it down saying that he already had one and didn’t want to upset A., which is understandable. We actually still have the old fridge in our kitchen, waiting to be moved out. We’ve been waiting for my brother to come over and help move it out, but he hasn’t had the time yet. This is why our new microwave hasn’t been installed yet, either. It’s an over-the-range model from Samsung that will certainly require an extra set of hands to install. But for now, we have the old fridge standing in the middle of our kitchen, looking like those giant Monoliths from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The old fridge, which will require a lot of cleaning inside, will be taken down to the curb, and what will likely happen is that a junker or scrapper will collect it (they love to snap things like these up and usually will before any garbage collector can) and will see if they can fix it up to sell later, which is fine by us.

My dad also bought two ceiling fans for the kitchen and dining areas (although both areas are still quite cluttered…I want to try and get both areas as well as the spare room cleared out, although I’m not throwing out my book collection; I want to put those in the spare room for now until I can eventually get myself a bookcase). We were able to get both fans installed without much issue. My dad did have to figure out some of the wiring issues, though, as switches to both fans were being overloaded. Luckily, as a technician by trade, he has some experience working with electrical stuff (his jobs have basically been mechanic, electrician, and technical skills all rolled into one), and was able to rewire one set of switches so that the less loaded one operates the dining room fan, and as for the kitchen fan, that one has some quirky wiring and switch work to begin with, so one of two switches can operate it. We just switched switches to operate that one. The fans, combined with the new roof, have done wonders on taking a load off of the air conditioner, which can get a lot of use during the summer and drive up energy costs. So far (and we’re in the early part of the hot season), we’ve managed to keep the house at a steady, comfortable temperature without having to fiddle with the air conditioner too much. We’ll see if this holds up for the rest of the summer.

I guess finally I should update you on how my reading is going so far this year.

Currently Reading — I started Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier about a couple of months ago but for some reason I haven’t gotten very far into it. It’s not a “not liking the book” issue, it’s more of a “distracted when I have energy and just tired when I don’t” issue. I also decided to try starting the Short Novels of John Steinbeck a little early, but I’m only a few chapters into the first novel, Tortilla Flat. What little I have read, though, has been all right.

Recently Read — The most recent full books I finished reading were Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (the final part of the Hunger Games trilogy) and Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. It took me a while to finish Mockingjay but ended up finishing it on the same day my dad and I watched the entire film series of The Hunger Games, and I think I finished Mockingjay during the Catching Fire film. Norwegian Wood took me just 11 days to finish and was a well-written (as well as well-translated, since I was reading the English translation of this Japanese novel), immersive novel that had stretches of where I just didn’t want to put my iPad down (I was reading the ebook). I have another Murakami in my ebook collection, Kafka on the Shore, that I’m saving for another time.

Recently Acquired — Physically, I’ve acquired four books this year so far:

  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  • Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance
  • Educated by Tara Westover
  • Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

I also got a gift card for my birthday and I was able to get the following ebooks:

  • The African Trilogy by Chinua Achebe. It consists of Things Fall Apart, Arrow of God, and No Longer at Ease, all set in what is now Nigeria, where Achebe was from, and are novels centering around people from the Igbo ethnic group before and during European colonization. I first heard of Things Fall Apart in an episode of Crash Course Literature, and I’ve been wanting to read it ever since.
  • Big Trouble by Dave Barry. He’s been a favorite author of mine since I was a teenager, and while most of his books are narrative humor nonfiction, this one is one of his first novels. It’s set in our home state, Florida (Barry spent many years writing a humor column for The Miami Herald and is still writing into his seventies) and has an alligator’s open jaws on the cover.
  • Fatal Purity by Ruth Scurr, a biography about the notorious French Revolution politician-turned-tyrant, Maximilien Robespierre.
  • The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman, about the first full month of World War I. This book won Tuchman her first of two Pulitzer Prizes, and she was the first woman to win a Pulitzer for nonfiction.
  • Precolonial Black Africa by Cheikh Anta Diop. I saw this on a list of best history books, and by chance I happened to see the ebook on sale at a discount a few minutes later. I have developed an interest in learning about African history in recent years, and unlike most African history books, which are often written by non-Africans and take a Eurocentric perspective, this one was written by a historian from what is now Senegal, and he writes about the history of Western Africa before the Europeans began colonizing it in the late 1800s.

The first anniversary of my mom’s death is in eight days. I don’t know how I’ll handle it, to be honest. Mother’s Day a few weeks ago was a bit rough to get through, but I did manage to get through it. The one bright spot of this is that the 10th falls on a Thursday, which is my dad’s first day off from work during a typical work week for him, so he may be feeling a little too tired to notice or get emotional.

But he carries her with him every day. On my dad’s phone, his lock screen has a picture of her smiling and clad in a Dale Earnhardt Jr. jacket during one of the last vacations my parents took together before the Alzheimer’s really started taking a toll on her. I’ll probably reflect on how’s he handled this more a bit closer to the actual day.

My older niece’s birthday is in four days. She’ll be turning 5, old enough to start kindergarten this fall. I keep thinking of how quickly time has gone by since she was born. It’s crazy. I think of this quote from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Have I been able to look around yet? It’d be nice if I finally could.

Stay safe, my friends, and I hope you’re having a good day.