Butterfly Pavilion Nine Years Later

My youngest is starting high school this fall, can you believe it? Life can feel so surreal sometimes. It isn’t just the passing of time but the way people change, the way the world has changed, and the way the world is changing. We think we know it all, but at the end of the day, we really don’t know very much. After raising my oldest, who is five years older than my youngest, you’d think I’d have a handle on parenting a teenager, but I feel like I’m back at square one. The complexities of being a teenager is way beyond any science or studies out there. It’s a storm that, as a parent, I have no idea of the outcome. We can only parent the way we know, and most of the time it’s from our own understanding of our own childhood and how we saw our parents. We either want to parent just like them or completely opposite of them, but either way, sometimes, it feels like someone else holds the rein to our children’s destiny.

As a “graduation” from 8th grade gift, my youngest wanted to go to the Butterfly Pavilion. She loves nature and butterflies and remembered her first time going there when she turned five and wanted to go there again. So, we took her. She enjoyed it a lot more than when she was five.

Photos from the Butterfly Pavilion:

Shadow & Bone Series

I have not read the book series Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo but I’m loving the first series. I wasn’t expecting to be as invested as I am. It’s actually a really well-made show. The actors are pretty amazing, the CGI is superb, and the cinematography is beautiful.

Here’s the trailer to the show:

And, here’s a compilation of the two main characters.

Book Review: Off the Furrow

Title: Off the Furrow
Author: Mark Lages
Genre: Literary Fiction
Year Published: 2021

Date finished: June 5, 2021

Off the Furrow by Mark Lages is a story about a man named Howard Mirth who suffers from a mental illness and was admitted to the hospital. Howard is, overall, a normal person with a normal family life and a good job. He goes through bouts of schizophrenia where it leaves you feeling both sad and sorry for him, but you also laugh with him and at his humor. He questions life and humanity, and it makes you wonder the same things.

Wow. I loved this book. There was a lot to take in, but every chapter had meaning. My favorite chapter was 34, when Howard called his uncle. I enjoyed the whole book, but that chapter was really deep. I found the humor and jokes throughout the book just simply hilarious. Some (maybe most) were dark humor but that’s what I like about this author’s style. This book is relatable to just about everyone. Every character has a flaw, and you can probably find yourself in one of them.

Who should read this book: If you like literary stories about man vs. self, mental illness, family dynamics, and life lessons, this is for you. Also, if you like the style of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five and Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove, you’ll definitely enjoy this.

Iced Daffodils

Our last snowfall was at the beginning of this month and I took photos of the daffodils in the front yard to share photos of but never got to it. I’m pretty sure we’re done with snow this month, but with Colorado weather, you never know.

Credits: I used actions (Snowball, Winegum, and Sweetie) by Sarah Gardner Photography.

Unboxing Video: CS Folio Outlander Fergus B6

I always take forever to upload videos, mainly because I’m just never excited about talking in them, but I feel like if I do unboxings, I kind of have to say something. I finally found the courage to do a voice over for this unboxing even though it’s not my first time doing this.

This folio is of the same leather as the Outlander Fraser, in which I share a photo here. However, the style of notebook is different. Instead of strings, which can hold up to 6+ notebooks, the folio only holds one book at a time, just like the Huckleberry Creme B6 Folio.

What I love about the Fergus B6 Folio is the color, and that it’s a soft leather but not floppy. It’s slightly stiff but pliable. I went with the B6 because it’s the perfect size for notes and writing ideas down. I can carry it with me without it feeling too bulky. I love my A5’s, don’t get me wrong, but there’s just something special about the B6 size. And, between the Huckleberry Folio (which was a limited edition) and this one, I prefer this one. The folio style of this one is not limited edition, but I believe the leather is. I had actually wanted a Fergus strings notebook, but Chic Sparrow ran out of the leather and weren’t sure they’d get more in. One day, I went looking on their site and saw this limited edition Fergus and grabbed it like lightning.

Anyway, here is the video. Hope you enjoy!

Photos of Fog

Earlier in the week, we got a pretty good dose of fog. We could barely see but a few feet in front of us. The photos does no justice, but you get the idea.

A few hours later, we went for another drive and the fog got thicker so you can’t even see the trees in the distance.

These were taken with three-year-old (maybe four) iPhone. I do have that Mirrorless Olympus and the D90 but I’ve been lazy these days.

Book Review: For the Wolf

Title: For the Wolf
Author: Hannah Whitten
Genre: Fantasy, Grimdark
Year Published: June 2021

Date finished: May 12, 2021

For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten is a dark fantasy about a forest that takes from the living. The main character is a nineteen-year-old girl named Red who has a special power within her and she’s afraid to hurt family with this power she doesn’t think she can contain. The forest is where she thinks she could do more to help her family and the town’s people. Secondary characters are her sister and the Wolf.

At first, I thought this was going to be a retell about Red Riding Hood, but it is far from it. The only thing similar to that story is pretty much Red’s crimson cape. However, there are other fairytales that are depicted in this story in a sort of retell, such as Beauty and the Beast. It’s done well with its own unique twist, so it keeps you curious.

Overall, I thought it was a good read. It’s slightly on the fast-paced side with some excellent world building. At times I felt Red appeared a little younger than her age, so I wasn’t super clear if this was going to be a young adult novel or not. About halfway through, it was clear it wasn’t young adult just by the writing style and the grimdarkness of it.

Who should read this book: If you’re into fairytale retells or just fairytale style stories, this is for you. There is magic, romance, friendship, family. There is also a love triangle but it’s subtle and done very well, I’d have to say.

Note: This book was sent to me for free to review, but the opinion is purely my own.

Book Review: The Unity Game

Title: The Unity Game
Author: Leonora Meriel
Genre: Sci-fi, Spiritual, Metaphysical
Year Published: 2017

Date finished: May 7, 2021

The Unity Game by Leonora Meriel is a story about three main characters whose lives somehow intertwine. The first character lives in the modern world and struggles with drug abuse and sex addiction; the second character is an alien in a far-off world; and the third character is someone who has died and ends up in a library of sorts.

This was an intriguing read. I’ve only read one other metaphysical book, so I don’t have a lot to compare it to regarding form and style, but I found this one really enjoyable. I liked the way it was written. Lots of information about being connected and being one with others was provided in a way that felt like it was teaching rather than forcing you to believe. The idea of connecting is something to think about. I also found the library fascinating. It would be so cool if that was possible.

The characters were well developed and had a lasting impression. I felt the modern world character’s story was the strongest of the three. The relationships he had with multiple women, never fully settling on the “right” one, was a real struggle for him and I’m pretty sure, relatable to many. The way the erotica scenes were written depicted him perfectly. It made me feel sorry for him, yet I hoped he would pull through and overcome his addiction.

The alien character was interesting. He was a little hazy for me but there was something about him in the way he cared that had me believe aliens could understand the complexities of the human mind.

The man who’d died and his spirit had gone to a huge library of lived lives had me thinking about the realism of the idea. I would totally love to walk into one and just read about lives and purposes and such and just be filled with knowledge of all things that have passed.

Who should read this book: Anyone curious about the metaphysical and spiritual world, but it’s an overall great read for anyone who wants to enjoy a book with excellent characters and themes.