Fireworks, Full Moon, and 4th of July

The fireworks might be formally canceled tonight but that has apparently inspired everyone to pull out all the stops! We drove to get custard tonight and the fireworks surrounded us the entire drive back—sometimes feeling dangerously close!

Between the fireworks and the gorgeous full moon, it has been a satisfying ending to an otherwise odd (and parade-less!) 4th of July.

July 3rd

Mom: “So…I guess Captain America visits tonight? Gotta leave out milk and cookies.”

Me: “I can get behind this mythology. But what does he bring?”

Bethany: * from other room * “FREEDOM.”

Image may contain: one or more people, text that says 'Remember to leave some cookies and milk out tonight for Captain America.'

Renting Sight Unseen

The first time I rented an apartment sight unseen, I went on the recommendation of my newly found roommates. I was in Idaho and moving to Wisconsin for school in a month and grateful to snatch up anything offered to me. When I finally did see it, I was not impressed.

In fact, I texted my sister: “Oh my gosh, what have I done?! This place sucks!”

Except in one of those worst-case scenarios that seem to only happen in movies, I accidentally didn’t text my sister. I texted my new roommates.

And, uh, needless to say, that was not a great way to start that relationship. It went downhill from there.

With COVID restricting in person visits, I once again found myself signing a lease for an apartment sight unseen. I had pictures, but not nearly enough. Still, I signed the lease and waited two months to see if my gamble would pay off.

Yesterday I picked up my keys. I got lost on the way to the apartment complex, got lost trying to find the leasing office, and got confused trying to find my actual unit. I was hot, I was running late, and I was extensively cranky. It did not bode well for my new place. I could hear the ‘I told you so’ with every step I took.

But guess what? I like the place! It is big and comfortable with a nice wide balcony and large rooms. And has an in-unit washer and dryer! Honestly, I’d probably be satisfied with a dump if it meant in-unit laundry.

Halfway Through the Reading Year

I risk being chastised at for showing off, but I am having an excellent reading year. We’re halfway through and today I hit…


It is a new record for me.

199 books since January.

200 sounds more rounded by I want to go to bed and don’t feel like pushing myself through a book tonight just for bragging rights. But don’t worry, I’ll hit it tomorrow.

Unsalted Nuts

The secretary of the board showed up yesterday to the board meeting hungry. As I was running around all day preparing for the meeting and didn’t get a chance to eat my lunch, I offered him my halved walnuts.

Raw, no shell English Walnut Halves - Nuts -

He politely accepted but after a moment complained, “Really? Raw and unsalted walnut halves? You’ve been talking to my wife. She is always trying to get me to cut down on sodium.”

My boss heard the comment from across the room and spun around. “Unsalted nuts…again? She always brings unsalted peanuts. It is disgusting.”

Unsalted peanuts are a long-standing feud in our office. (I’ve taken to buying salted peanuts and unsalted—the unsalted for me and the salted for whoever wanders into my office while I’m eating.)

The chairman of the board decided to weigh in: “My wife is also against salt.” He decided to sample the walnuts too.


By this point I had half the board standing around my walnuts, eyeing them suspiciously. But still sampling them because…well, it was the only food in the office.

I don’t even know if salted walnuts are a thing? Looks like the next board meeting is going to have to include snacks.

Nylons for the Board Meeting

Today I had my first board meeting at the Foundation. It went pretty well. I took special care of my outfit for the day–which included nylons with my business dress.

Bethany could not understand the nylons. I tried to explain that it was a way of being professional. She was not convinced.

Which led to an interesting conversation but I’m tired tonight so I’ll let Phineas and Ferb say it for me 😉

Gravity Is The Thing by Jaclyn Moriarty


3/5 stars

I saw a post on Instagram from @thedtrblog the other day that I feel sums this book up perfectly:

Boss: What are your goals while you work here?
Me: Thriving not surviving
Boss: And how exactly do you plan on doing that?
Me: Live Laugh Love
Boss: Can you give me specifics?
Me: Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain
Boss: Are you done?
Me: *whispering* Footprints in the sand.
Boss: *walks out* 

I keep telling myself I do not like these types of books, and yet here I am, reading yet another one.

It is a fun plot. 20 years ago, at age 16, Abigail Sorenson started receiving mysterious chapters from a self-help book in the mail. Through loss of family, college years, marriage, divorce, motherhood, business-ownership, and all the ups and downs of life, the chapters keep coming. The story starts when she gets invited to an all-expense-paid retreat where she is told she will finally learn “the truth” about the chapters and why she has been sent them all these years.

I guess the synopsis made me think more And Then There Were None than Tuesdays with Morrie which maybe explains why I struggled to get into it. The story is much more interested in exploring the meaning of life than keeping things exciting. Which is fine. But it took me a while to find the rhythm.

If you like quirky, loner-female-main-characters novels like Where’d You Go, Bernadette or Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine or The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, this is the book for you. It leaves you with a warm glow, spouts some heart-warming language, and yet contains little more by way of substance than Live. Laugh. Love.

At the same time…it is Jaclyn Moriarty. She is one of my favorite YA authors for a reason. And while her first foray into adult novels didn’t exactly win my heart, there were still many moments that conveyed her genius with human emotion.

But I still prefer her books Feeling Sorry For Celia and The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone.

9 Years Blogging

WordPress informs me today marks 9 years of blogging. Crazy thought–it feels both longer and shorter.

My first blog wasn’t Fernweh’s Call, but actually Out of the Air, a blog in conjunction with two good friends in high school. (Our last post was in 2013…). A quick review shows that I wrote most of the posts. (No surprise there.)

Those were heady times. I wanted to be a columnist for Townhall so I mostly wrote about politics. They were pretty good. Actually, looking back, I can’t think of any posts on this blog I connect with as much as those did those. From ‘Associating with Cheeseheads’ to ‘What Uganda Warlord?’ I remember feeling on fire with each of my posts.

And I remember my Dad telling me maybe I should think about shortening them 😉

In the spirit of that advice, I shall leave my reminiscences here.

A Slightly Less Dumb Smartphone

A year ago I went to Wal Mart and bought a $35 smartphone. I was broke after returning from abroad and figured it would get me through the next two months before my student loans kicked in.

It lasted me a year.

And for almost every day of that year, I promised myself next time I would buy a real smart phone. A not-dumb-smart phone. One with an actual, decent camera.

Alas, today my dumb smart phone slipped dramatically from my hands and smashed quite dramatically right before I walked into work. I thought maybe I could keep using it anyway but turns out a cracked screen hurts your fingers when you try and use it. I still thought I could shoulder on, but then I tried reading an ebook and my fingers pricked every time I turned a page.

Nope, needed a new phone. Not a dumb smart phone. A real one.

I marched confidently into Wal Mart. And then nearly turned around and marched out. Do you know how expensive phones are?!

So I spent $100. I officially have a slightly-less-but-still-dumb smart phone. With an OtterBox. Because apparently I’m prone to dramatic slips that send my phone flying.

In other news, I am pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to transition phones. Gets easier each time.

Graduation Congratulations!

Happy graduation day to my brother Elijah and cousin Ella! So proud of both of you.

And congratulations to my Mom for FINALLY BEING DONE HOMESCHOOLING. That’s a lot of years hard work. You should be proud of what you accomplished. (And I hope you know your kids are grateful for the sacrifices you and Dad made to make it happen.)