Sunday Post: Another batch of cookies

Connecting with others 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

It’s starting to warm up here! On Friday the temperatures got to about 25 degrees. By the middle of next week it might be 40 degrees! But first we’re getting more snow this Sunday morning. People to the north of us will get more snow, but where we live we could get 2-6 inches of snow today. Winter hasn’t ended yet!

Vaccine

I’ve been eligible for the vaccine for a while, but haven’t been able to get an appointment. Finally, I’ve got one for Tuesday and the second appointment for the middle of March. It’s a relief to get started though I know many people are still waiting for their vaccine.

Kitchen pack-up

We started sorting, throwing away, decluttering and donating stuff from our kitchen last weekend and continued during the week. We’re trying to just keep things we’ll need to use for the next two or three months. We want to get as much stuff off the counters as we can.

We packed my mixer, so I made one last batch of cookies–Peanut Butter Chocolate Chippers! I’ve made many batches of cookies during the pandemic and sent them to my kids.

Blog Life

I didn’t get to visit many blogs or answer many comments. That might be the norm for the next few weeks as we sort, pack and clean the house.

Posts
Posts for next week
  • Can’t Wait Wednesday
  • Connect 5
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading
  • Dance Away With Me by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Books I read
  • A Simple Murder by Linda Castillo
  • A Stranger in Town by Kelley Armstrong
Books I got last week

Sunday Post: Happy Valentine’s Day

Connecting with others 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

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! I hope you all get to do something fun today! But stay safe!

A little more snow several times this week, but the big story is how cold it’s been. It stayed below zero all day several times during the week. Sunday night the temperature is supposed to get down to 18 below zero. It will continue to stay cold all week.

Bathroom painted

The bathroom is white. Much brighter now! It took several coats to cover the dark blue completely.

We’re going to work on our kitchen next, but we’re not painting it. We’re decluttering it.

Blog Life

I didn’t get to visit as many blogs as I had planned to and might not during the next few weeks as we make a push to get the house ready to sell.

Posts
Posts for next week
  • Can’t Wait Wednesday
  • Connect 5
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading
  • A Simple Murder by Linda Castillo
  • A stranger in Town by Kelley Armstrong
Books I read
  • Shamed by Linda Castillo
  • Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell
Books I got in the last couple of weeks

What did you do last week? What are you planning for next week?

Sunday Post: Brr! Snow and cold weather

Connecting with others 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

At the end of last week I had a problem with my computer and hadn’t finished last week’s Sunday Post. Luckily, I had a couple of posts already scheduled for the week. I got the problem solved so all is well, I hope.

In the above photos I was up early and found Olaf looking out the window at all the snow. When I started taking pictures he had to see what was going on! In the photo at the right the light in the photo is the full moon.

More snow and cold weather

We had a big snowstorm a couple of week’s ago. By the time it was over we’d gotten almost 13 inches of snow. We already had snow on the ground that hadn’t melted so the snow is deep in the backyard. We’ve continued to get a couple inches of snow a few times and we may get a little more over the next few days. It has also gotten very cold and will stay cold for at least another week. The temperature when I got up this morning was -5 degrees. We are mostly staying inside. As the weatherman says we’re in an active weather pattern!

Our relocation update

We’re getting ready to paint our bathroom so we’re taking everything out and also packing stuff we won’t need for the next few months. We’re hoping to have the house ready to sell by March–and that our snow has melted and the cold, cold weather is done by then!

Our new house has walls now and maybe a roof! Still several months away from getting finished though.

Blog Life

I’m getting back on track on my blog. I still have lots of comments to answer, but I’m working on that and enjoying catching up on what people have been reading and doing lately. Of course, I go to blogs and often go down a rabbit hole as I find new books to add to my book list and read updates about your lives.

Posts
Posts for next week
  • Can’t Wait Wednesday
  • Connect 5
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading
  • Shamed by Linda Castillo
  • Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell
Books I read
  • Lost Flyght by S.J. Pajonas
  • Remnants of Trust by Elizabeth Bonesteel
Books I got in the last couple of weeks

What did you do last week? What are you planning for next week?

Sunday Post: More snow forecast!

Connecting with others 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

A rare moment of togetherness for Olaf and Elf

More snow is heading our way. A little on Saturday night and then a bigger storm on Monday with maybe 5-10 inches of snow. Luckily, we don’t go many places so that shouldn’t be a problem for us.

Inaugeration

We spent the day on Wednesday watching the Inaugeration of our 46th President. There were so many great moments from the day.

Our new house

The foundation for our house was poured this week which is exciting. We also had a meeting to go over the blueprints and ask any questions. So good to see so much coming together and the house moving forward. Soon the framing will start!

Blog Life

I finally competed my 2020 end-of-year posts! I like to look back at my reading year and it’s also nice to have the posts for a number of years so I can compare what I’m reading.

Posts
Posts for next week
  • Can’t Wait Wednesday
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading
  • Lost Flyght by S.J. Pajonas
Books I read last week
  • Chasing the Shadows by Maria V. Snyder
Books I got last week

What did you do last week? What are you planning for next week?

Sunday Post: A winter saga

A chance to connect with others 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

The saga

One of our daughters wanted some of the furniture we planned to get rid of and had also sold a couple things for us so we rented a small U-haul for a couple days and scheduled a trip to her house. Our daughter got Friday off from work and Monday is a holiday for her so the plan was for them to drive back to Des Moines on Friday and spend the weekend helping us with the house.

We scheduled the trip during a weekend when the weather looked good, but as often happens the forecast began to look worse as the week progressed. Since my daughter had gotten time off we decided to continue with our plans. My husband picked up the truck Wednesday morning and spent the day packing it. And we had to pack additional boxes to fill it up!

Wednesday the forecast began to get more serious and the National Weather Service put out a winter weather advisory. And then the advisory was changed to a winter weather warning. It still didn’t sound too bad at that point and the truck was packed! My husband left early Thursday morning. It rained and was windy during the trip. But he arrived about two p.m. and he and my daughter unloaded the furniture and boxes into her garage.

Blizzard warning

During Thursday the winter weather warning was upgraded to a blizzard warning for Thursday night and Friday. We had a forecast of 4-7 inches of snow and 30+ mph winds. Western Iowa had 50 mph winds forecast so it was much worse there. My husband and daughter changed their plans to drive back on Friday and decided to make the trip in one day. They arrived at our house at 10 p.m. Thursday night and the wind was really blowing and snow was coming down hard. Our driveway was snow covered and it took two tries to get to the top of the drive. They said the roads had started to get bad about 20 miles from Des Moines.

Not as bad as forecast

We did have about 4 inches of snow, but when I got up Friday morning the wind had died down and it had stopped snowing so Friday wasn’t too bad once the roads got cleared later in the morning. Not all the snow we got after Christmas had melted in our backyard and it’s completely covered again.

More snow

We have a little more snow falling this morning which was a surprise. (The forecast said: 30% chance of snow flurries so I didn’t think it would be anything.) A few hours ago my daughter and I went to Starbucks and the roads were already a little slippery. It’s still snowing lightly!

Winter cards

All the snow so far this winter has encouraged me to make winter, snowy cards! One of my sisters-in-law also made cards for me showing a picture of our snowy yard this winter. I love them! I will miss this yard when we move.

Blog Life

Last week was busy getting boxes packed and I forgot to put up posts I had ready. 😦 I did work on a couple posts, but didn’t get them quite ready. I can’t even remember if I visited blogs or made any comments. It was a tiring and stressful week! However, I still hope to post 2020 end-of-year posts. They’re not late as long as I get them posted during January, right??!

Posts
Posts for next week
  • What I read in 2020
  • Can’t Wait Wednesday
  • My favorite 2020 books
  • My five favorite new authors in 202o
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading
  • Chasing the Shadows by Maria V. Snyder
Books I read last week
  • No Past Forgiven by Valerie Keogh
  • The Lasaran by Dianne Duvall
Books I got last week

What are you hoping for in 2021? What are you planning for next week?

Sunday Post: It’s January 2021, but not much has changed yet

A chance to connect with others & 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

2020 was a difficult year. I’m hoping for better things during 2021. But maybe that’s going to take some time.

Christmas

I made a Shutterfly calendar for my brother for Christmas and I liked it so much I ordered calendars for myself, my kids and my niece. The calendar had pictures of my parents–mostly from when they were young. The front of the calendar has a photo of the house where my brother and I grew up in Oregon. We all loved the house so much. My dad took a small, old house with no plumbing and rebuilt it adding plumbing and electricity. They moved to the house when I was a baby and I remember when I was a child there was a table saw in our living room since my dad worked on the house after work and on weekends.

We had a quiet, simple Christmas with multiple FaceTime meetings throughout the day with our kids and other family members.

More snow

Between Christmas and New Year’s we had a snowstorm with almost 10 inches of snow. The snow is still around. Our backyard is on the north side of our house so we still have a lot of snow back there.

Preparations for move

During these months my husband and I sold some of our furniture and other items. We’ve continued to find things to throw away, give away and things we want to take with us. My husband’s goal each week is to fill the garbage and recycling bins!

We are doing this move ourselves so we’ve started boxing what we won’t need for a few months.

We’re moving some furniture to one of our daughter’s homes next week. Since we’re renting a truck to do that we’re also taking boxes we’ve packed so far.

Once we finish packing as much as we can we will finish decluttering the house. All the pictures need to come off the walls, all the clutter packed away and massive cleaning plus some painting and any repairs that need to be done. We hope to be done with all that by the end of February so the house can go on the market in March.

Our new house

The builders finally “broke ground” on our house in the last week of December. They poured the foundation this week and hopefully can start the building soon. We’re hoping we can move into our new house by May.

Blog Life

I didn’t post much in November and December. Just too much stress, so I mostly stayed away from the internet. I did do a lot of reading in 2020–120 books…beating my Goodreads goal by 30 books!

The first two books I read in 2021 were both books I read when the books were first published–one in 2001 and the other in 1993. I don’t reread books very often, but I enjoyed rereading these in 2021–mostly because I didn’t remember all the details!

Posts
Posts for next week
  • What I read in 2020
  • Can’t Wait Wednesday
  • My favorite 2020 books
  • My five favorite new authors in 202o
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading
  • No Past Forgiven by Valerie Keogh
Books I read last week
  • The Track of the Cat by Nevada Barr
  • Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
A few books I got recently

What are you hoping for in 2021? What are you planning for next week?

Sunday Post: Christmas nearly here

A chance to connect with others and 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.

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate Christmas!

Personal life

December snow

We had almost seven inches of snow last week and it has stayed cold so we still have quite a bit. We may still have snow around on Christmas Day!

Christmas preparations

I’ve spent the last few weeks making Christmas cards, Christmas cookies and talking to my kids about how we’re going to celebrate Christmas even if we are far apart. Above are a few of the cards I made. We’ve gotten all our cards mailed. Many years I’m still sending cards after Christmas. (Then they’re New Year cards!)

I’ve also made several batches of cookies and sent cookies and some presents to my kids.

Christmas Day plans

Since we’re far apart we decided to each make the same (or similar) meal. We’re going to do zoom calls on Christmas Day and we’ll open presents together. Then later in the day we’ll cook together. We’re keeping things simple and all doing a beef roast with a few easy side dishes and maybe a fruit crisp for dessert.

This all has to get planned so that we can try to get the ingredients we need from the store. My husband and I are doing curbside pickup for our groceries so we can’t always get the exact things we want. Since our kids all work they have to figure out when they can get the things they need. Plus we live in three different time zones! But this is a way for us to feel connected and try to stay as safe as we can while we wait for a vaccine.

Blog Life

I haven’t written very much in the last month or so. I couldn’t concentrate on writing anything or visiting other blogs. I needed to do as much as I could for Christmas this year since our family is apart. We’re making final preparations today for what we’ll do Christmas Day.

I’m not going to post anything more until after the new year. However, I am hoping to write some things for my blog after Christmas to post in 2021.

Posted last week
No posts until after the new year

My books

I’ve done a lot of reading this year and have enjoyed so many books. Mostly, they’re books I was able to read and lose my everyday self for awhile. This has been an anxious year and reading has been my solace. Sometimes I’ve found a book by an author and then had to read lots more books by that author.

That happened this month with a series by Kelley Armstrong. I devoured three books by her. However, a funny thing happened when I decided to read the last book in the series. It wasn’t the last book in the series I was reading! I read The Reckoning by mistake thinking it was book 3 of the Darkness Rising series when it was really book 3 of the Darkest Powers series!

The two series are connected–which I didn’t realize at first. I kept waiting for the characters from the Darkness Rising series to appear. When they didn’t I finally figured out I had the wrong book, but was already enjoying The Reckoning so I finished it. Then I found the right book 3 and I’m reading that now!

I guess that shows I’m also kind of distracted!

What I’m reading
  • The Track of the Cat by Nevada Barr
  • The Rising by Kelley Armstrong
Some books I read the last few weeks
  • The Other Woman by Jane Isaac
  • A Gathering of Secrets by Linda Castillo
  • Nogged Off by Barbara Ross
  • For Better, For Worse by Jane Isaac
  • The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
  • Christmas Island by Natalie Normann
  • Murder in Old Bombay by Nev March
  • The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong
  • The Calling by Kelley Armstrong
  • The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong
A few books I got recently

Christmas Island by Natalie Normann

Take a Look at the Five and Ten by Connie Willis

Forging Fire by Lisa Preston

Christmas in Bayberry by Jennifer Faye

Velocity Weapon by Megan E. O’Keefe

……………………….

I hope you’re all safe and well. I hope you stay safe as Covid cases surge in many places in the world–especially here in the United States.

I also hope that as 2021 comes along we’re all able to stay patient: wear masks when needed, wash our hands and keep our distance to keep each other safe.

And get vaccinated when we can.

Sunday Post: A breath of fresh air

A chance to connect with others–talking about books and 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 took a short break from my blog after the election. I’ve been stressed by the election, by the rise of Covid cases throughout the U.S. and by the current President and most of the Republican party’s refusal to admit Joe Biden won. I don’t want to argue about the election. I realize many people voted for Mr. Trump and Republicans did well in Congress. But more people voted for Mr. Biden. All those votes for both individuals mean something and I just want our country to get on with the important business of running the country.

Autumn

It feels like fall outside. Lots of wind, the leaves have fallen, cool temperatures and a little rain sometimes. But we’ve also had some beautiful bright blue skies and cold temperatures! I think Autumn is a time of anticipation and change and is one of my favorite times of the year.

However, this year it is also a time of uncertainty. Covid cases are spiking in many places of the world with the U.S. leading the way. Several of my younger relatives have had Covid recently. They all seem to be doing okay. Two of them are doctors and they are back at work.

Please wear masks! Keep yourself and others safe!
The election

I’m so glad the election is over. I am glad we will have a breath of fresh air in January when Biden becomes President. (Not that Biden or any person is perfect, but I hope he does well.) We need that right now with the pandemic surging and Trump doing little to try to stem the rise.

A breath of fresh air–out of the house for a drive in the country

On one of our bright blue sky days we took a drive into the surrounding area. This time it was to Madison County where the book The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller took place. It was a perfect afternoon to drive through rural Iowa and drive on some gravel roads. We found a couple of the famous covered bridges in the county. The Cedar Covered Bridge–the one shown on the cover of the book–was almost destroyed by arson a few years ago, but was rebuilt and reopened in 2019.

The second bridge we saw was moved from the North River in 1970 and is now in the City Park in Winterset, Iowa which is the county seat of Madison County. The City Park is large and has a one-way road that wanders through trees and continues to the top of a ridge where Clark Tower sits.

One of Winterset’s other claim to fame is that it’s the birthplace of John Wayne. There’s a museum with a statue of John Wayne in front of it. Nearby is a large painted rock called Freedom Rock between the museum and John Wayne’s family home. Freedom Rocks are being painted by Ray “Bubba” Sorensen II in each of the 99 counties in Iowa. (He only has four rocks left to paint!) Sorensen wants to promote Iowa tourism, honor Iowa veterans and to provide for his family. Each rock is unique and designed to tell a story of the county. One side of the rock in Winterset shows various film roles of John Wayne.

Blog Life

Little done on the blog for the last two weeks.

Posted last week
Post for next week
  • Can’t Wait Wednesday
  • Connect 5 Friday
  • Sunday Post

My books

I’ve read and am reading some very good books so that makes me happy!

What I’m reading
  • Midwinter Murder by Agatha Christie
  • The Concrete Jungle by Charles Stross
What I read
  • Christmas at the Island Hotel by Jenny Colgan
  • Hard Time by Jodi Taylor
  • No Simple Death by Valerie Keogh
  • The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross
Books I got

What are you up to next week?

Sunday Post: The U.S. election is finally here

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

Please wear masks! Stay safe & keep others safe!

We had a tiny bit of snow last Sunday, but now we’re getting warmer weather for the next week so we can get our driveway repair finished.

Election & Voting

As I’m sure even people living outside the U.S. know our election is finally almost here. I’m so glad of that, but I’m also afraid we won’t know anything for sure on Tuesday night or maybe not even by next week. And maybe longer.

I hope everyone in the U.S. has already voted or will vote on Monday or Tuesday. I mailed my ballot a couple weeks ago and received confirmation that my county election office has it and that it will be counted. We have signs in our yard urging people to vote. We’ve even donated some money to candidates. I know I have done about all that I can, but I still worry.

I had a stressful week. I know it does no good to worry about something that hasn’t happened yet so I try to tell myself to feel zen. That doesn’t always work. But I’m trying.

Furniture

We got most of the furniture we’re going to try to sell or donate put into our garage so that it’s easy for people to (hopefully) see and haul away.

Does anyone have internet sites they’ve used to sell furniture locally that have worked for them?

Blog Life

It was hard to do much on my blog this week other than publish my posts.

Posted last week
Post for next week
  • November books on my list
  • Can’t Wait Wednesday
  • Connect 5 Friday
  • Sunday Post

My books

I have found so many good digital books that my library has and I’ve put them on hold and then two or three of them come in at once so that’s kept me busy reading library books. Four of the five books I’m reading or have read in the last couple of weeks are from my library.

What I’m reading
  • Midwinter Murder by Agatha Christie
  • Christmas at the Island Hotel by Jenny Colgan
What I read
  • The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths
  • Dance Hall of the Dead by Tony Hillerman
  • A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik
Books I got

What have you been up to?

Sunday Post: Maybe snow today

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 mailed our absentee ballots last week. I hope everyone in the U.S. has voted or has plans to vote on or before November 3.

Our first hard freeze came last week. But our third snow of the season is forecast for later today and tomorrow. Last week there was a small amount of snow on Sunday and a little more snow on Monday. Only 10 miles north of where we live there was nine inches of snow! Of course, my husband and I weren’t here for the first two snow events so we have to be content with the third!

Good to be home and back to a routine

We drove home a few days ago and I was happy to see that our Autumn Gold Helianthus is still blooming even through the snows and cold weather. Elf and Olaf are happy to get home and happy to be rid of our old pink carpet. It’s good to get back into some routines–up early and read, a little computer time and then on with the day.

It was great to see my daughters and I am so appreciative of the help they gave us especially with our cats when our new carpet was put in. So far we’ve done a lot of errands–picking up and going through our mail, mailing our absentee ballots and seeing that they’ve arrived at our county election office, mailing birthday cards, taking books to the library, grocery shopping.

Next week we start more sorting!

Furniture

I found a furniture consignment shop and they suggested sending photos of furniture we wanted to consign. Shortly after sending the photos they sent a text saying they weren’t interested in any of our furniture…lol. I thought that at least our wood dining room table would interest them, but maybe they don’t want wood or maybe our furniture isn’t as nice as I thought! Perhaps we can donate some of the furniture to the Habitat for Humanity Restore. That will be a project to check on next week.

Blog Life

I’m working on writing blog posts and scheduling them ahead of time. I’d like to stay at least a month ahead if I can. That way as I get busy with holiday activities in the next couple of months I can add more end-of-year posts. Also I have a list of books I’d like to read before the end of the year including library books that have to be returned after three weeks even if I haven’t read them. Plus I’m hopeful I will get caught up on visiting other blogs!

Posted last week
Post for next week
  • Can’t Wait Wednesday
  • Connect 5 Friday
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading
  • The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths
  • Dance Hall of the Dead by Tony Hillerman
  • Stars Beyond by S.K. Dunstall (I haven’t listened to this as much as I’ve wanted since I keep getting library audiobooks I need to listen to!)
What I read
  • The Bond by Robin Kirk
  • Murder on Cold Street by Sherry Thomas
Books I got

What have you got planned for next week? What did you do last week?

Please stay safe. . . Wear masks when necessary. . . Plan to VOTE!