Hiya Toots

July and August 2022 Update

posted in: Drawing, Photography, Reading, Writing | 0

Our summer has been pretty quiet, which is why I’m combining my July and August updates. Our vacation was back in early May so we didn’t have any plans for the rest of the season. Our next big thing is out annual Staycation which we take to coincide with the Philadelphia Film Festival in October.

As usual, we at least had some food adventures, the most notable being our visit to Miss Rachel’s Pantry, which is a vegan restaurant in South Philadelphia. We had been wanting to try it for a while, but it’s open only a handful of nights and there is only 1 seating. It’s a small space so reservations are hard to come by. Luckily, Holly was available to make a reservation when their options went live for July.

It’s located in a renovated garage, and they had the large door open. They also require proof of vaccination so we felt comfortable going there.

We went on Italian night. It’s also a BYOB so we brought a couple bottles of Italian wine to enjoy with our meal.

Summer Fresh Corn and Palmito Crab Lasagna
Summer Fresh Corn and Palmito Crab Lasagna
Miss Rachel's Pantry
Miss Rachel’s Pantry

We also went to Twenty Manning which we hadn’t been to since before the pandemic. In the meantime, they changed their approach from bistro fare to a menu that’s more Middle Eastern. Although we liked the previous incarnation (then known as Twenty Manning Grill), we often found their menu a bit heavy for us so we were curious to try the new version. We liked it enough to go there twice in July. We ordered several of the same dishes each time so this is a combined gallery from both visits.

Wine at Twenty Manning
Wine at Twenty Manning


July and August were pretty hot so we didn’t get out for many walks. We did get out for one nice walk to see the Ferris wheel at Eakins Oval which I already posted about.

I went out on my own a couple of times, once at lunchtime and one morning before I started work with 2 different film cameras. I finished the rolls in each but haven’t yet gotten them developed and scanned.


I continued working on some of the reference photos that were included with the Learn To Draw: A Beginner’s Guide To Sketching Anything! tutorial from Skillshare that I had started back in June.


I finished a draft of a new short story over the past couple of months. I’m planning, in the fall, to resume trying to find homes for some of my stories. My last publication was back in December and I would really like to continue building my list of publications.



I read 2 books in July and 2 in August.

In July, I finally finished my Thomas Pynchon re-read, which I began back in 2018 and last attended to about 1 year ago when I read Inherent Vice, by reading Bleeding Edge. I should admit that this wasn’t a complete re-read since I skipped Slow Learner, a collection of his early short stories.

I also finally got around to reading a novel by Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood. I have been a fan of his short stories for a while and have been wanting to read one of his novels. I realize Norwegian Wood is not necessarily representative of his usual work but knew it is one of his most popular books so decided to give it a try. I enjoyed it as much as his short stories and am looking forward to getting into more of his works.

In August, I re-read Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer. I’ve read this numerous times, but this was this first time in several years. It was fun getting reacquainted.

I also read Olivia Laing’s The Trip to Echo Spring: On Writers and Drinking. I read her The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone and absolutely loved it and had been meaning to get to some of her other works. Glad I finally picked up The Trip to Echo Spring which covers the relationships that F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, John Cheever, John Berryman, and Raymond Carver had with alcohol. It is amazing the degree to which these writers succumbed to alcoholism. Also amazing that they were able to produce the works they had while battling addiction.

Laing uses her discussion of these writers to examine the role alcohol had within her own family.

Books Read in 2022

So far in 2022, I’ve read 22 books:

This Creative Midlife Posts in 2022

Disclaimers: Comments are moderated. Some links, such as those to Amazon, are affiliate links, through which, I may gain a small commission.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *