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!

Sunday Post: Back home next week

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

First frost this week and cool and blustery after that.

Indiana

We spent the last week in Indiana. We stayed with our daughter and when she had to go out-of-town we’re watching her dogs for her. My husband spent several days getting leaves off her yard. Most of the leaves have fallen from the two trees I showed last week. Amazing the difference a week can make!

We also celebrated our daughter’s birthday. I made a birthday cake and we had a firepit fire. It was a cool night–so perfect for a fire.

My daughter’s hot water tank started leaking this week. We were glad we were here for a plumber to come and replace the hot water tank. An electrician is also coming to do some work for her while we’re here.

Back home

We’re headed back home in a few days. It will be great for the cats and us to get home again! The new carpet is installed and the driveway work is done so we need to talk to our realtor about what more we still should do to get our house ready to sell and when to put it up for sale.

New kindle

I’ve had a few problems with my Kindle and my cover had started falling apart so it seemed like a great time for a new Kindle. During the Prime Days that Amazon held last week I saw a great deal on a new Kindle. Serendipity!

And I’m loving my new Kindle cover!

Blog Life

It was a busy week so I didn’t get as much done on my blog as planned. No Connect 5 Friday post. And not as much blog visiting as I had planned. I’m planning to work on posts, comments and blog visits the early part of the week before we leave for home. I know it will get busy after we get home. I also want to get a few weeks ahead with posts. We’ll see how that goes!

I got some good books this week so I’m eager to read faster!

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

My books

What I’m reading
  • Murder on Cold Street by Sherry Thomas
  • The Bond by Robin Kirk
  • Stars Beyond by S.K. Dunstall (I haven’t been listening to this as much as I’ve wanted to since I keep getting library audiobooks I need to listen to!)
What I read
  • The Endless Beach by Jenny Colgan
  • Dead Eye by Alyssa Day
Books I got

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

Please stay safe. Wear masks.

Sunday Post: On to Indiana

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

Cooler weather at night and nice sunny days. I love the fall weather.

Illinois

I was in Illinois all week with one of my daughters since we got new carpet in our Iowa house. I brought the cats and we stayed with my daughter because the carpet took several days to complete. Olaf had great fun exploring and decided to go under the above cabinet. I was amazed he could fit under it and that he was able to get back out without help!

Indiana

Since we were close to Indiana my husband and I drove there to visit our younger daughter and see a house that’s already built that will look similar to the house we’re having built. We were able to measure a few rooms and get an idea how our furniture will fit.

We are very impressed with how beautiful the leaves are right now in Indiana. My daughter has three trees in her yard which have turned yellow and orange. Beautiful!

Our daughter will be gone for a few days so we’re staying to take care of her dogs while she’s gone. It’s nice to take a break from our cleaning and sorting and purging at our house!

I’m loving seeing my daughters and I feel somewhat safer in Illinois and Indiana since they have mask mandates and Iowa doesn’t.

Blog Life

I caught up for about a day with comments, but am behind again! I visited a number of blogs and caught up a bit with some of my blogging friends. It’s always nice to see how you all are doing during these trying times. I hope everyone is staying safe.

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

My books

What I’m reading
  • The Endless Beach by Jenny Colgan
  • Stars Beyond by S.K. Dunstall
  • Dead Eye by Alyssa Day
What I read
  • The Shape Shifter by Tony Hillerman
  • The Vampire Moon by J.R. Rain
Books I got

What have you got planned for next week? What did you do last week? Please stay safe.

Sunday Post: In Illinois this week

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

Our yard continues to give me lots of joy. The flowers at the left are ones we planted in the spring and are autumn blooming. Such a beautiful, bright yellow.

Another busy week

Our carpet gets installed next week and we discovered we had to remove either our drawers or take everything out of the drawers before the installers will move things out of rooms as they work. That meant a bit more work!

At the end of the week I came to my Illinois daughter’s home with our two cats. We’ll stay here all week while the carpet is installed and our driveway gets some repairs. It’s great to see my daughter and the cats are settling in.

Olaf–One year old!

With everything going on I forgot to mention that my kitten is now one year old and is now a cat! Olaf loves to play and even brings back toys I throw for him. He weighs about 16 pounds now.

Blog Life

Another week I didn’t get to many blogs or many comments. I hope this next week I can visit and find out what other people have been reading and doing.

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

My books

What I’m reading
  • The Shape Shifter by Tony Hillerman
  • The Vampire Moon by J.R. Rain
  • Stars Beyond by S.K. Dunstall
What I read
  • The Cafe by the Sea by Jenny Colgan
  • Moon Dance by J.R. Rain
Book I got–from my library

The Endless Beach

by Jenny Colgan

Muir #2

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

Sunday Post: The great purge continues

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

Autumn began, but summer was still around (temps in the upper 80’s a couple of times) though I think we’ve had the last of it. Next week we’ll have several days in the 50’s. However, we still have roses blooming and our Autumn Joy sedum is covered with all types of bees. And I have rose blossoms that have wriggled their way into the middle of the sedum. I guess they want some of the bee action.

Will the purging ever end?

Another week sorting, moving furniture, throwing things away and finding places to dispose of unwanted glassware and clothes. My husband fills our garbage and recycling bins every week. One of our daughters visited for a couple of days to help us move furniture and to dispose of large items and yard waste. It was a great help.

Toward the end of next week we’re taking our two cats to visit our Illinois daughter. (This way I won’t worry about our cats getting outside.) I’ll stay with the cats at my daughter’s and my husband will drive home to supervise the carpet laying and some outside repairs. Great to see my daughter and so glad she’s staying safe and able to work from home.

Television

A few TV shows in the evenings. I’m enjoying The Great Pottery Throw Down and a new season of The Great British Bake Off has started. Shakespeare and Hathaway and Campion are two British private detective shows I’m enjoying.

Blog Life

I still haven’t answered all the comments on my blog or visited blogs, but hope to do more of that today.

Posted last week
Next week’s posts
  • Can’t Wait Wednesday
  • October books on my list
  • Connect 5 Friday
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading
  • Stars Beyond by S.K. Dunstall
  • The Cafe by the Sea by Jenny Colgan
What I read
  • The Finders by Jeffrey B. Burton
Books I got

None! For the second week in a row!

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

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.