Sunday Post: Beginning a new journey

Weekly meme to talk about books and a little about our personal lives

Sunday-Post

Kimberly hosts the Sunday Post each week. I like to take part because it gives me an opportunity to look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also love to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Personal life

We’ve decided we will buy a house in Indiana to move closer to our daughters and make it easier for people to visit us when(?) the pandemic is over. It will be built (hopefully) by June.

The photo on the left shows old smokestacks from the Oregon town where I grew up.

We had some smoke from western forest fires here in the U.S. Midwest, but nothing like the Pacific Northwest and California.

Everyone in those areas please stay safe.

Back from Indiana

We got back from Indiana early in the week, but I feel like I’ve been playing catch-up all week. I forgot it was Wednesday so I didn’t put up my Wednesday post. Didn’t remember until Thursday! Several big chunks of our time were spent reading 100+ page contracts and then signing and initialing pages. Exhausting work! Several corrections had to be made so that meant more careful reading and signing.

I didn’t visit anyone else’s blog either since we did decide to move forward with the move to Indiana. The house being built won’t get finished before May or June at the earliest so we have time before we put our house here up for sale. However, new carpet is arriving before the end of September so lots of stuff is being emptied and moved.

More sorting, throwing away and moving furniture

Olaf helping with the book sorting!

Finally finished up the books!

After the books I tackled papers that needed sorting. We recycled a lot, kept old tax returns to burn and I organized and marked boxes for the things I kept. My husband worked in our yard to clean that up and move stuff to the garage to get rid of.

One of our daughter’s came for the weekend to help move stuff before our new carpet gets installed. We rented a pickup for a day to haul stuff to a special citywide clean-up that’s held once a month that takes large items and hazardous waste. We also dismantled my craft room which was a huge job. I’ve definitely got too much stuff. 😦

We had a fire in our fire pit last night which we used to burn our sensitive papers. Our daughter brought hers to put on the fire, too! It was a good evening for a fire since there was little wind and it was cool.

Blog Life

As I mentioned above no blog visiting this week and one post I forgot to put up on my blog.

Posted last week
Next week’s posts
  • Can’t Wait Wednesday
  • Connect 5 Friday
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading
  • Stars Beyond by S.K. Dunstall
What I read
  • Under Ordshaw by Phil Williams
  • Deception Cove by Owen Laukkanen
  • Skeleton Man by Tony Hillerman (listened to during our trip to Indianapolis)
Books I got

None!

What have you been doing? What are your plans for next week? Please stay safe.

Sunday Post: Rain all week

Weekly meme to talk about books and a little about our lives

Sunday-Post

Kimberly hosts the Sunday Post each week. I like to take part because it gives me an opportunity to look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also love to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Personal life

We had rain all week and it was wonderful. I’ve mentioned several times that parts of Iowa are suffering from drought. This rain really helped. Here in Des Moines we got about 3 inches though other parts of the state had more. It was cool all week, too. Nice weather!

Quick trip to Indiana

We’re making a quick trip to Indiana on Sunday. We are thinking of moving to Indiana so we’ll be closer to our two daughters. We’re considering buying a house that will have to be built and we discovered Saturday evening that the site we are interested in is now available so we’re driving there to take a look at everything again to make a final decision. So I will be away from my blog for several days.

We’re getting new carpet later this month so we’ve been very busy emptying bookcases and other things which will have to get moved from the existing carpet. At the same time we’re emptying bookcases and cabinets we’re also deciding what to keep and what to throw away or give away.

Blog Life

Because we’re sorting and cleaning I didn’t have as much time as I hoped I would to visit other blogs or to read.

Reading

I finished one book this week and am part way into another one. I should have more time for reading during the long car ride!

Posts written last week
Next week
  • Can’t Wait Wednesday
  • Connect 5 Friday
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading
  • Under Ordshaw by Phil Williams
  • Deception Cove by Owen Laukkanen
What I read
  • Down a Dark Road by Linda Castillo
Books I got

Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin

The Green Man’s Silence by Juliet E. McKenna

Lost Flyght by S.J. Pajonas

Roommaid by Sariah Wilson

Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews

Don’t Ever Forget by Matthew Farrell (Kindle Unlimited)

A Royal Affair by Allison Montclair (Library)

What have you been doing? What are your plans for next week? Please stay safe.

Sunday Post: Fall is around the corner

Weekly meme to talk about books and a little about our lives

Sunday-Post

Kimberly hosts the Sunday Post each week. I like to take part because it gives me an opportunity to look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also love to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Personal life

One more hot day (in the 90’s) and then we should get some rain and it cools off. In fact, the high temps are supposed to get 40 degrees cooler over the next couple of days.

More house cleaning

We’ve decided to replace our carpet since there’s a good sale going on. I had hoped for hardwood floors, but we’ve decided that costs too much. I loved this house as soon as I saw it four years ago (but didn’t like the pink carpet at all!) It’s only gotten worse since we got here since we’ve had cats and dogs around the house! We have people coming in to measure the rooms next week and in about three weeks we will have neutral colored carpet in the house!

That has made our sorting and cleaning even more urgent since we have to get stuff off our floors. All the books have to get put in boxes so we can move bookcases. That’s just about done now, but we’re moving on to other things–especially my china cabinet. I’ve meant to go through all the glassware in there. Our kids don’t want most of it so it’s time to get rid of some of it and give the stuff our kids want to them. I’ll keep my china for now, but have to pack it away. Then we move the china cabinet off the old carpet and try to sell it.

Blog Life

I wrote and posted four blog posts this week so that’s progress. I started doing a new meme I found. It’s called Connect 5 Friday hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. It’s fun because each person can create their own book subjects each week and then find five books or book related subjects that connect them all.

Reading

I didn’t get much reading done this week. I started two books and decided not to continue with them after I was about 30% into them. 😦

I did read Picky Eaters by S.J. Higbee which was great fun. It’s a short story about a dragon family. It was just the kind of book I was looking for last week. And even better Ms. Higbee is donating all proceeds from this book to mental health charities.

Last week
Next week
  • Can’t Wait Wednesday
  • Connect 5 Friday
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading
  • Under Ordshaw by Phil Williams
  • Down a Dark Road by Linda Castillo
What I read
  • Picky Eaters by S.J. Higbee
Books I got

What have you been doing? What are your plans for next week? Please stay safe.

Sunday Post: The tree is gone

Weekly meme to talk about books & a little about our personal lives

Sunday-Post

Kimberly hosts the Sunday Post each week. I like to take part because it gives me an opportunity to look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also love to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Personal life

It’s been very hot here in the Midwest and especially in Iowa where we’re also having a drought. It’s going to be cooler next week and maybe we’ll get lucky and get some rain.

Tree is gone

My husband cut limbs as many limbs from our tree as he could during the last few weeks. This is the tree that split apart during our derecho storm a few weeks ago. I showed photos of it in last week’s Sunday Post. My husband was able to get a tree company to come in and cut the rest of the tree down.

Downsizing

We’ve been busy this week. We’re finally trying to use our extra time at home by sorting through some of our stuff–throwing things away and getting ready to get rid of things. I’m even going to get rid of many of my books since most everything I read these days is either an ebook or an audiobook. I will save a few of my favorites, but I can’t keep books that I’m not reading. The problem is that our library isn’t accepting book donations and places like Goodwill are closed. So I hope I can find some places where I can donate things or maybe even sell some things. We’ve meant to downsize more for a long time so I hope we’re successful!

Blog Life

I’m still trying to figure out some of the new parts of WordPress so that slowed down some of my blog post preparation.

Reading

This month I only read six books. Most of the other months this year I’ve read about ten. Even with a smaller number of books read I’m still way ahead in my Goodreads challenge.

Last week
Next week
  • September 2020 books on my list
  • Can’t Wait Wednesday
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading
  • The Angel of the Crows by Katherine Addison
What I read
  • The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
Books I got

What have you been doing? What are your plans for next week? Please stay safe.

Sunday Post: The derecho and a return to blogging

Weekly meme to talk about books plus a little about our personal lives

Sunday-Post

Kimberly hosts the Sunday Post each week. I like to take part because it gives me an opportunity to look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also love to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Personal life

I started blogging again this month and am still trying to get into the rhythm.

The derecho

I live in Iowa and a derecho (an intense widespread wind storm) blew through the state a couple weeks ago. Iowans are still trying to recover. Many trees were blown down since the winds topped 100 mph. One city in the state had winds of 140 mph. People have described it as a hurricane on land! And lots of farmland was damaged throughout the state. Plus western Iowa is in a drought right now.

Compared to so many other people throughout the state we are very lucky. We lost power for about 3 days, but some Iowans lost power for more than 10 days…ugh. We lost a huge linden tree in our back yard. We were lucky it didn’t hit our house. The tree split in half and my husband has been cutting up the branches so the City will take them from our curb. However, each morning most of the wood is gone since people are cruising the streets looking for firewood!

Blog Life

I’m trying to get back up to speed with my blog after a five month absence. It’s taking some time since WordPress made some updates to the Block Editor (Gutenberg). I was using Gutenberg before I stopped blogging, but have had a difficult time finding some of the menu items since I returned. I’ve had to do some searches to figure out how to do stuff!

Reading

I’ve done a lot of reading so far this year and am about 25 books ahead of my Goodreads goal. That’s a good feeling! However, I’ve started over 10 books this year only to decide I didn’t want to read them. A couple of books I read over 50% of the book and then decided to quit.

Last few weeks
Next week
  • Can’t Wait Wednesday
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading

I just finished a couple of books and have a DNF book so haven’t decided what to read next.

What I read recently
Books I got recently

What have you been doing? What are your plans for next week?

Sunday Post: A look back at February

Weekly meme to talk about books and a little about my personal life

Sunday-Post

Kimberly hosts the Sunday Post each week. I like to take part because it gives me an opportunity to look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also love to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Note: I haven’t done a Sunday Post since last February. I found this Post which should have posted on March 1, but I think we were traveling or I didn’t have internet available. Anyway, I thought I would post the “Personal Life” section which talked about what I had done in February. I was struck by how different life is now.

Next week I hope to post a regular Sunday Post for what I’m doing and reading.

Personal life

What I did in February

My Ragdoll kitten turned six months old and will be a year old in September. Elf is a senior girl at over 10 years old.

I made cards for birthdays, thank you’s and Valentine’s Day. (I’ve made lots of cards to send during the pandemic.)

My daughters made a surprise visit to us over Valentine’s Day and it was wonderful to see them. (Now we wouldn’t surprise each other like that!)

Toward the end of February we went to Seattle to visit our son. Before we left for Seattle we knew there was a Covid 19 case in Seattle, but had no idea what would happen in the months to come. As you can see from the photos we did quite a few activities with lots of people around us. By the time we left Seattle, Covid 19 was in nursing homes there and I felt we should quarantine for two weeks when we returned to Iowa. Before the end of our two weeks the whole of Iowa and the rest of the U.S. were quarantining.

February photos

I’ll see you all next week and look forward to seeing what you’ve been doing.

Sunday Post: After the caucus

Weekly meme to talk about books and a little about my personal life

Sunday-Post

Kimberly hosts the Sunday Post each week. I like to take part because it gives me an opportunity to look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also love to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Personal life

We had a tiny bit more snow, but also a few sunny days above freezing. However, our north facing backyard is still filled with snow!

The last two weeks in pictures
Iowa Caucus

I’m sure a lot of you have heard about the Iowa Caucus and what a fiasco that was. It was my first caucus (we moved to Iowa three years ago) and I volunteered to help people sign-in. It was very interesting since it’s so different from just voting for a candidate, but it was also chaotic. We were in a middle school gymnasium and it was very loud. The precinct captain didn’t have a sound system so it was very hard to hear what anyone was saying.

After we finished caucusing we went home and that’s when we heard there was some kind of problem though on Monday night no one knew what the problem was. Now almost a week later and Iowa has provided numbers, but news organizations have found some inconsistencies and still don’t feel confident to call a winner. My takeaway from this is that maybe Iowa needs to just vote and do away with the caucus system!

Elf and Olaf

Elf and Olaf (Olie) are getting along better. Olaf was neutered this week. He’s five months old so I’m glad he hadn’t started spraying. He weighs almost nine pounds!

Other activities

Now that the caucuses are over life is getting back to a more normal level. We went out one evening to a cabaret performance. The singer was great. We also got away one evening and played dominoes at our local brewery. Lots of fun though my husband beat me even though (because) he drew 22 tiles and then was able to block me several times!

We had lunch at our botanical garden cafe. Again, lots of fun! The botanical garden dome is wonderful in the winter since it’s warm and all the plants are green and growing! Some are blooming and there’s even an area with cactus! On the way to the botanical gardens and along the Des Moines River is the Robert D. Ray Asian Gardens with an Asian pavilion as the main feature. Ray was an Iowa governor (1969-1983) and the first public official anywhere in the United States to offer the Vietnamese “Boat People” a safe haven as well as sending food and medicine to Cambodia and helping keep the Tai Dam of Laos intact as a people and a culture by making it possible for them to resettle in Iowa.

Blog Life

In January I read 16 books–much higher than my average of 7 or 8! Several of the books were short so that factored in, but I also read some very good ones which I flew through. In February, I’ve already abandoned two books–one at 36% and the other at 25%–because I decided they just weren’t what I wanted to read right now. They were depressing me and I want to enjoy my reading.

Last two weeks
Next week
  • February 2020 books on my list
  • Can’t-Wait Wednesday
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading
  • A Longer Fall by Charlaine Harris
  • Ghost Story by Jim Butcher
What I read recently
  • Trace of Evil by Alice Blanchard
  • A Conspiracy in Belgravia by Sherry Thomas
  • Girls of the Dark by Katherine Pathak
  • House of Teeth by Dan Jolley
  • Blind Search by Paula Munier
  • The Island by Ragnar Jonasson
Books I got recently

Turning Darkness into Light by Marie Brennan (ebook, purchased)

Some of the Best from Tor.com:2019 Edition by Elizabeth Bear, Siobhan Carroll, John Chu, Greg Egan,et al (ebook, purchased)

The World of Cork O’Connor by William Kent Kreuger (ebook, purchased)

Girls of the Dark by Katherine Pathak (KindleUnlimited)

Fashion Goes to the Dogs by Peggy Gaffney (KindleUnlimited)

The Body on the Beach by Anna Johannsen (KindleUnlimited)

A Longer Fall by Charlaine Harris (ebook/library)

Ghost Story by Jim Butcher (audiobook/library)

What have you been doing? What are your plans for next week? Are you planning anything for Valentine’s Day?

Sunday Post: A musical, a deer and more snow

Weekly meme to talk about books and a little about my personal life

Sunday-Post

Kimberly hosts the Sunday Post each week. I like to take part because it gives me an opportunity to look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also love to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Personal life

It warmed up some this week. The temperatures stayed around freezing all week, but we still got a little more snow each day and since it was overcast little or no melting. Some of the side roads are still packed snow and ice. Some parking lots are slushy snow. Of course there are mounds of snow everywhere, too. For the most part I haven’t had any problems getting around town though I didn’t go out all that much. (I did almost get stuck in A Starbucks drive through since it was solid, bumpy ice!)

Adore Us! Line (a caucus parody of A Chorus Line)

Saturday night my husband and I went to a musical parody showing the Presidential candidates begging for Iowa voters. The opening song, a parody of the song “I Hope I Get It” from A Chorus Line was great. The whole parody was so well done. I especially loved that the Pete Buttigieg character was played by a very talented 9th grade boy! We stayed afterward for a question-and-answer period with the actors and author of the parody. (The above picture shows the stage during the q-and-a session.)

Elf and Olie

Elf and Olie are getting along better though Olie still chases Elf and tackles her sometimes which leads to swiping of paws, yowling and much indignation. She often acts like a grumpy old lady with a toddler she can’t get rid of.

We did have a scare with Olie one day. We have closed him up in a bathroom at night so he could eat, stay out of mischief and to give Elf a break. That morning he came out of the bathroom limping. As the day went on he began hopping on three legs, sleeping most of the time and putting little weight on his paw. We called our vet and got him in that afternoon. We thought maybe he’d landed wrong when he jumped from the bathroom counter. However, an x-ray of his leg showed no broken bone. (Thank goodness.) However, his leg was swollen so they surmised that in the scuffles with Elf she may have snagged his leg with a claw or her teeth. He got antibiotics, pain killers and other medicine. When we got home he slept for an hour and I guess the pain killers kicked in because he was running after Elf as though nothing was wrong! The next morning he was limping again. However, Olie is fine now and perhaps doesn’t jump on Elf quite as much. Maybe?!?

Cleaning and allergies

Good news? I’m over my cold. Bad news? I’m still having more allergies than I’ve had for the past year or so which is irritating, but usually the runny nose and sinus headache goes away after a couple hours. After I started feeling better I spent a couple hours each day cleaning my craft room so I could finally work on cards again. Since it’s been a month since I’ve done any cardmaking it has taken me a while to get back into the creative zone. Finally on Saturday I was able to make a card so I’m hopeful next week will be a creative one for me.

Blog Life

Last week
Next week
  • Can’t-Wait Wednesday
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading
  • Trace of Evil by Alice Blanchard
  • A Conspiracey in Belgravia by Sherry Thomas
What I read recently
  • Shattered Justice by Susan Furlong
  • Wyrde and Wayward by Charlotte E. English
  • A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas
Books I got recently

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman (ebook, purchased)

A Conspiracy in Belgravia by Sherry Thomas (audiobook/library)

What have you been doing? What are your plans for next week?

Sunday Post: More snow and cold weather

Weekly meme to talk about books and a little about my personal life

Sunday-Post

Kimberly hosts the Sunday Post each week. I like to take part because it gives me an opportunity to look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also love to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Personal life

I discovered I forgot to schedule this post to publish this morning. Better late than never, I guess!

More snow this week

We had a dusting of snow one or two days last week, but on Friday it snowed all day. We got nearly 6 inches of snow. And then in the evening we got some freezing rain on top of the snow. The freezing rain was really a good thing since it was really windy on Saturday and further north where there was just snow the wind blew the snow and made it very hazardous to drive. Saturday the temperature also dropped during the day. By late afternoon it was 9 degrees F. (-12.7 C.) and with the wind blowing felt like -9 degrees (-22.7 C.)!

Since it was a cold and snowy week I didn’t go out too much. I did quite a bit of reading and listened to audiobooks while I worked on a jigsaw puzzle. It was quite an easy puzzle, but lots of fun since I liked the picture.

Allergies and a cold

I had more allergies this week and then one day when what I thought was allergies lasted more than 24 hours I decided I have a cold! My husband was sick earlier in the week so it’s not surprising I caught his cold. I hope it goes away soon!

Blog Life

With my cold I didn’t feel much like writing or thinking for that matter…lol. So I still didn’t get all the posts finished that I’ve got started. But maybe this next week.

Last week
Next week
  • Can’t-Wait Wednesday
  • Favorite 2019 books
  • 2020 goals
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading
  • Shattered Justice by Susan Furlong
What I read recently
  • Navigating the Stars by Maria V. Snyder
  • Interview with the Robot by Lee Bacon
  • Junkyard Cats by Faith Hunter
  • On Her Father’s Grave by Kendra Elliott
  • Sovereign by Jeff Hirsch
Books I got recently

Chasing the Shadows by Maria V. Snyder (ebook, purchased)

Sweep with Me by Ilona Andrews (ebook, purchased)

As the Crow Flies by Craig Johnson (ebook, purchased)

Interview with the Robot by Lee Bacon (Audible Original January free audio)

Junkyard Cats by Faith Hunter(Audible Original January free audio)

What have you been doing? What are your plans for next week?

Sunday Post: Snow and cold weather

Weekly meme to talk about books and a little about my personal life

Sunday-Post

Kimberly hosts the Sunday Post each week. I like to take part because it gives me an opportunity to look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also love to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Personal life

Snow

We had our first significant snow–still only about 3 inches. Originally we were forecast to receive 4-8 inches, but the snow we have may stay around for awhile since the forecast for the next week is for days and nights below freezing. One of the above photos shows my husband snow blowing our driveway after dark. We have to clear off our driveway even if we get an inch of snow because otherwise we can’t get up the driveway! Luckily, he likes to get outside and clear the driveway (and he loves his snow blower!) We might get a little more snow today and tonight.

Allergies

I’ve had allergies showing up during the day and sometimes at night. I regularly take allergy pills and my allergies have been better for months, but this last week was awful. I’m hoping next week will be better. Maybe the snow and cold weather will help.

Canvass and Caucus

My husband spent most of the days last week volunteering for one of the Presidential candidates. Since the Iowa caucuses are only about three weeks away canvassing and getting people out to talk about their favorite candidates is vital. I’m still undecided. I have a few candidates I know I won’t caucus for and two or three that I’m still thinking about. I’m excited to caucus though since I’ve never done it before and I think it’s quite a unique way for the Iowa populace to get together and let their voices be heard.

Television

I’ve started watching The Family Farm on Acorn. I’m enjoying it quite a bit. I like reality shows that show groups of people–especially families–trying something totally different from their regular lives. And I especially like this because it does show a way of life that many people have no idea about.

Blog Life

I’m continuing to read good books which is always a joy especially at the beginning of the year.

Since my allergies were bothering me I didn’t do as much on my blog or visiting other blogs as I’d wanted. Luckily, I had a few posts ready! I’m hoping to finish up my year-end and new year blogging this next week. I’m also hoping to work on a few reviews. I have some started so it would be nice to finish them up and post some in the next few weeks.

Last week
Next week
  • My favorite books of 2019
  • Top Ten Tuesday
  • Can’t-Wait Wednesday
  • My 2019 Reading
  • 2020 goals
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading
  • Navigating the Stars by Maria V. Snyder
What I read recently
  • Tracking Game by Margaret Mizushima
  • “Snow Day” by Andrea K. Höst
  • The Dark Fear by Katherine Pathak
Books I got recently

Shattered Justice by Susan Furlong (Library, hardback)

Trace of Evil by Alice Blanchard (Library, hardback)

What have you been doing? What are your plans for next week?