June was a weird month. It was busy for the usual reasons (work, writing, two weekend trips to Cape Cod), but nothing out of the ordinary happened, either. Which is fine, actually. It’s nice to have extended downtime between busy spells, and since I’m heading back to NYC in August, I’m taking advantage of it as much as I can. Oh, and I finally finished my GoFundMe photo album of my Iceland trip!
The only downside to June? The increasing heat and humidity. Ugh. I like summer, but not when it’s 90+ and muggy. Makes me ever more grateful that my condo has air conditioning… and now I feel like I’m rambling. (*blushes*)
So, yes, it’s happiness-celebrating time again. I’m linking up once again with blogger / writer friend Leanne Sowul to share my joys during the month of June. (Her post is scheduled for Friday, but you can still check out her blog here.) As always, feel free to share the things that brought a smile to your face in your comments on this post!
I Visited Heritage Museum & Gardens Again
On my most recent trip to Cape Cod, I visited the Heritage Museum & Gardens again with my parents. This was my third trip to Heritage in as many years (click here for a Field Trip post of one of my earlier visits); and apart from the sultry weather (it was actually better than expected, but gosh was it humid!), we had a lovely time. Dogwoods, mountain laurel, foxglove, and roses were the most abundant blooms. and hydrangeas and daylilies weren’t too far behind. Plus, we were lucky enough to find a family of turtles at the flume pond again! 🙂 The slideshow above shares some of my favorite photos from that day.
Heritage Museums & Gardens also hosts indoor art exhibits and outdoor displays. This year’s visiting exhibit is Painted Landscapes: Contemporary Views, a striking and varied collection of American landscape paintings by over 40 contemporary artists. Some paintings were of traditional landscapes like beaches and mountains. Others were renderings of nature close-ups, or of more modern “scapes” such as city views, parks, and busy streets. I didn’t take any photos of that gallery, but you can see some of them at Heritage’s gallery page here.
I’m Watching the Final Season of “Orphan Black”
Now that Season 1 of “American Gods” has ended, my TV time is focused on “Orphan Black.” This genre-bending show featuring the magnificently talented (and Emmy winning!) Tatiana Maslany playing a group of cloned women is in its fifth and final season – and holy DNA, the first three episodes have already blown my mind and broken my heart. (If you’ve seen S5E2, “Clutch of Greed,” you probably know what I mean by the latter.) This season’s themes so far point to the clones’ final fight for independence from the scientific and corporate powers-that-be while finding answers on how and why they were originally created… and why the daughter of one of the clones appears to have a psychic connection with our beloved “sestras.”
If you live in the U.S., you can catch the final season of “Orphan Black” on BBC America every Saturday through August 12th at 10 PM. And if you’re not too familiar with the show, then check out this post on five reasons why I enjoy “Orphan Black” so much (and why I’m sure I’ll miss it like a dear friend when it’s over *sniffle*).
I Also Watched “The Eagle Huntress” and “Wonder Woman”
I’m sure most everyone has heard about the latter movie, but maybe not the former. Either way, here’s why I enjoyed both of them:
- The Eagle Huntress: This documentary narrated by British actress Daisy Ridley follows 13-year-old Aisholpan Nurgaiv as she trains to follow in her father’s footsteps and become an eagle hunter, an ancient Kazakh custom typically reserved for men. It’s inspiring as a story of believing in yourself, and eye-opening in its glimpse into life of a nomadic family in Mongolia. The cinematography is incredible, too, with sweeping views of the Mongolian steppe and the Altai Mountains. I love how Aisholpan enjoys being a girl along with her tomboy hobbies, too. She likes wearing bows in her hair and painting her fingernails just as much as she likes horseback riding and eagle-hunting.
- Wonder Woman: This movie kicks superhero butt. It’s not perfect; the pacing was off at times, and I found the “Big Reveal” a bit confusing (then again, I’m not familar with the original Wonder Woman comics / origin story). But after being disappointed by the past couple superhero films I’ve seen, I was so impressed by Wonder Woman. Diana is refreshing as a character; she’s passionate, fair-minded, intelligent, stubborn, and even a bit naive. I also agree with (and highly recommend) Mei-Mei’s post at Jedi By Knight, where she explains how the movie presents Wonder Woman as a superheroine instead of a “female superhero.”
I’m Listening to Anathema’s The Optimist
I keep saying I love this band, don’t I? 🙂 But really, this British prog rock band has been one of my favorites for a few years now. Their new album, The Optimist, is different from their past few albums. It’s more electronic (though still very much a rock album) and meditative musically, with lyrics that reflect the concept’s internal darkness and emotional conflict. But it’s a good kind of different – one that has taken some getting used to, but the album has been growing on me. “Springfield” (see the YouTube clip above) is my favorite track. “Wildfires,” “Endless Ways,” and “Back to the Start” are also very good.
And now that I’m going to see Anathema in concert this August, I won’t be surprised if I spend most of the summer listening to not just The Optimist, but ALL of the Anathema albums I own. 😀
I’m Happy for My Parents (and Grateful for Them, Too)
Between Father’s Day and his birthday, June has always been my dad’s big month. But this June has also been special for my mother. She kept her job in mainland Massachusetts after they and my brother moved to Cape Cod last year. So for the past 14 months, she has commuted 3 hours round-trip (1 1/2 hours either way) to work 3 days a week. I can only imagine how exhausting it’s been for her. So I was thrilled for her when she retired a couple weeks ago. And during my most recent visit, I gave them both gifts for all the mentioned occasions and paid for our lovely lunch outing at the Dunbar Tea Room. (Btw, I highly recommend Dunbar for lunch or afternoon tea if you’re ever in the Sandwich, MA area!)
I think what makes me happiest for my parents is that they’ve already made their biggest retirement dream come true by moving to the Cape, and that neither one of them postponed retirement. Now they get to spent more time exploring the Cape, gardening / doing yard work, finishing the house’s interior painting (not exactly a hobby, but it’s their main project for 2017) – and most importantly, being together. And I hope they can savor that togetherness for a long time.
What were some of the things that made you happy in June? Have you had any pleasant surprises lately? Or visited anyplace special?