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: Road trip

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 busy week with appointments and getting ready for our trip across Iowa, Illinois and into Indiana. We left snowy Iowa. Illinois and Indiana have no snow!

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We’ve visited our daughter in Illinois and had a great time with her. On to Indiana on Sunday to visit our younger daughter. We planned to stay a week and then come back at the end of March to take care of our Indiana daughter’s dogs while she’s gone for a week. I decided to stay the entire time and my husband will go back home to Iowa later in the week. Then we’ll meet in Indiana the first part of April and head back home to Iowa. I hope the snow is gone in Iowa by then!

Elf and Scorch (my two cats) came with us on this trip since I’ve had trouble with pet sitters. They’re staying with my Illinois daughter.

Blog life

I visited some of the blogs I’ve wanted to visit for several weeks. Always good to get reading recommendations and see what everyone has been up to. Still working to get reviews done. A never-ending process for me. It was hard to concentrate on reading this week so nothing finished. My husband and I are listening to a Dick Francis mystery in the car.

Recent posts
Next week
  • Review
  • Waiting on Wednesday
  • Review
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading
  • Exit Strategy by Martha Wells
  • Minimum Wage Magic by Rachel Aaron
  • 10 lb. Penalty by Dick Francis
What I read recently
  • Nothing read. Too busy with other things.
Books I got recently

Dark Clouds Over Nuala by Harriet Steel

The Mystery of the Blue Train by Agatha Christie

Wishes and Wellingtons by Julie Berry (March free Audible Original–included in membership)

A Mind of Her Own by Paula McLain (March free Audible Original–included in membership)

A Willing Murder by Jude Deveraux (audiobook)

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

Sunday Post: I’m back again!

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.

Home

My husband and I drove to Indiana this last week where one of our daughter’s has moved. She sold her house in Iowa at the end of June (on the first day it was listed for sale!) so she bought a house in Indiana and signed the paperwork for it this week. My husband and I brought some of the things she had left at our house (including her two Labrador Retrievers!). Bailey and Juneau were so happy to see her!

Once the house was hers we painted her bedrooms, a hallway and living room. She wanted to get them painted before her household goods get delivered (next Thursday or Friday). I’m going to stay here in Indiana through next weekend and then meet up with my husband in eastern Iowa where he is working to get a house ready to sell.

Television

I didn’t watch any television this last week since my daughter didn’t get her internet connected until late in the week plus she doesn’t have a TV since her household goods aren’t here yet.

Blog

I haven’t done a Sunday Post for several months. I struggled earlier this year to get blog posts (especially reviews) written. I think I’m getting a handle on my review books so I’m happy about that. I’ve started just writing a few sentences for some of the books I read. So far that seems to work okay.

Since I’m travelling sometime next weekend I’m not sure I will get to do a Sunday Post and then the next week I won’t have internet for part of the week. I’m going to try to have some posts scheduled.

Last week
Next week
  • Tell Me Something Tuesday
  • Can’t-Wait Wednesday
  • Review: Spindle by W.R. Gingell
  • Review: Not a Sound by Heather Gudenkauf
  • Sunday Post (tentative since this is a travel day for me)

My books

What I’m reading
  • Body on Baker Street by Vicki Delany
  • Blackfoot by W.R. Gingell
  • Black Velvet by Steven Henry
What I read last week
  • Gun Shy by Donna Ball
  • Not a Sound by Heather Gudenkauf
  • Blood Hollow by William Kent Kreuger
Books I got this week

Stormy Cove by Bernadette Calonego

Black Velvet by Steven Henry

Drifters’ Alliance, Book 1 by Elle Casey

The Salaryman’s Wife by Sujata Massey

What did you do last week?

Sunday Post: October 2

Sunday-PostThis is a great meme to take part in every week and I thank Kimba for hosting it!

I like this meme because it gives me an opportunity to take a look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also like to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Last week–home and blog

Road trip

Because of our car accident (hitting a deer–we were unhurt, but the car and the deer were not so fortunate) so we cut our road trip short. We planned to be gone another week, but we don’t have a date when the car will be repaired and the rental car was expensive so after our visit with family in Oregon we left the West Coast and headed home to Iowa. (You can see a photo of the damaged car in last week’s Sunday Post.)

We’d planned for a leisurely trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, then to a dinosaur site in Wyoming and finally to visit a friend in the Denver area. That will be a trip for another time.

We spent part of our week at the Oregon coast. I have a special love for it since that was the first time I saw the ocean–when I was about six years old. I remember how excited I was!

We had beautiful weather at the coast this visit–mostly sunny and in the upper 60’s. The Oregon coast often is foggy, windy, cloudy or rainy so this was lovely. (However, I like it even when it’s foggy or raining!)

The blog

The first week we were gone I had posts scheduled and thought I would get more done while we traveled, but that has been harder than it seems. Using my cell phone to prepare posts isn’t as easy as I thought and lots of places in the mountains and rural areas have no cell service. The next couple weeks I will see how much I can get done. I do hope to visit more blogs and catch up with what everyone else is doing.

I did get lots of reading done. My husband and I also listened to two audiobooks together as we drove.

Blog posts

My books

What I’m reading
  • The Sound of Broken Glass by Deborah Crombie
What I read last two weeks
  • Address to Die For by Mary Feliz
  • Blood on the Tracks by Barbara Nickless
New–Books, E-books, NetGalley, Audiobooks–purchased or free or from library

None!

Next Week–home & blog

We’re back in Iowa so have all the catching up to do with everything. It feels like we’ve been gone for months–instead of just three weeks!

Blog posts

  • October books on my list
  • Waiting on Wednesday
  • Review
  • Sunday Post

What did you do last week? What books did you collect? What are you planning?

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Sunday Post: September 25

Sunday-Post

 

 

This is a great meme to take part in every week and I thank Kimba for hosting it!

I like this meme because it gives me an opportunity to take a look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also like to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Last week–home and blog

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Road trip

We’re on our road trip and as with anything it has its ups and downs–mostly ups. The scenery is beautiful, my husband and I have lots of fun together and we’ve listened to two audiobooks while driving! The downsides–we’re tired since it 20160919_104029is a busy schedule we’re keeping and we hit a deer in Canada.

We were almost to the U.S. border in Washington State when a deer jumped out and smashed in the right front of the car.

The big upside–we were unhurt and wonderful people stopped to help. We ended up having the car towed 120 miles to Spokane, Washington where we could find a repair shop and a rental car agency.

We’ve rented a car and are in Seattle for our niece’s wedding. We’re still trying to figure out what we’re going to do next since the car is not totaled, but will take some time to repair. However, all that is for next week. Right now we’re enjoying the wedding!

The blog

The first week we were gone I had posts scheduled and thought I would get more done while we were traveling, but that has been harder than it seems. Using my cell phone to prepare posts isn’t as easy as I thought and lots of places in the mountains and rural areas have no cell service. The next couple weeks I will see how much I can get done. I do hope to visit more blogs and catch up with what everyone else is doing.

Blog posts — last two weeks

My books

What I’m reading
  • Address to Die For by Mary Feliz
What I read last two weeks
  • Grave on Grand Avenue by Naomi Hirahara
  • The Secret of Chimneys by Agatha Christie
  • Blood Sport by Dick Francis
  • Twice Buried by Steven F. Havill
  • Negative Image by Vicki Delany
New–Books, E-books, NetGalley, Audiobooks–purchased or free or from library

The Cold Between by Elizabeth Bonesteel

Blood on the Tracks by Barbara Nickless

Among the Departed by Vicki Delany

Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen by Vicki Delany

Punctured by Rex Kusler

End of the World: Stories of the Apocalypse by Martin H. Greenberg, editor

Next Week–home & blog

We’re in Oregon next week visiting with family. I hope to catch up on sleep and enjoy some good visits! Also prepare some posts and visit blogs!

Blog posts (tentatively)

  • Top Ten Tuesday
  • Waiting on Wednesday
  • Review
  • Sunday Post

What did you do last week? What books did you collect? What are you planning?

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Sunday Post: August 28

Sunday-PostThis is a great meme to take part in every week and I thank Kimba for hosting it!

I like this meme because it gives me an opportunity to take a look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also like to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Last week–home and blog

We’re in Illinois this weekend helping our older daughter move. Luckily, she’s just 10 minutes from her old place so that helps with move plus we have five people helping so it’s going pretty fast.

My younger daughter and I drove over on Friday evening and my husband met us here in Illinois. He was in eastern Iowa all last week helping out his dad with doctors’ appointments, yard work and any other chores that needed to get done.

We’ll all go back home on Sunday.

Frustrations

I had a frustrating week. Lots of little things. Our house in Maryland, my husband being gone, etc., etc. I talked in one of my posts about reading part of the wrong book in a series. That was certainly part of the frustrations of the week.

Television

I watched a few mystery series this week mostly on Netflix.

The blog

A few posts and a book read plus I got one of the books I’ve been looking forward to all year from NetGalley–Stalking Ground by Margaret Mizushima.

Blog posts

My books

What I’m reading
  • Stalking Ground by Margaret Mi
  • A Red-Rose Chain by Seanan McGuire
  • The Winter Long by Seanan McGuire
What I read last week
  • The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny
New–Books, E-books, NetGalley, Audiobooks–purchased or free or from library

Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley

Stalking Ground by Margaret Mizushima

The Gone Dead Train by Lisa Turner

Next Week–home & blog

We’re headed home on Sunday and I hope to get more things checked off of my to-do list. We have a very busy September so I need to get lots done now!

Blog posts

  • Waiting on Wednesday
  • Review
  • Sunday Post

What did you do last week? What books did you collect? What are you planning?

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Sunday Post: July 3

Sunday-Post

This is a great meme to take part in every week and I thank Kimba for hosting it!

I like this meme because it gives me an opportunity to take a look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also like to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Happy Independence Day to everyone in the U.S.A.

Several Weeks–home and blog

Missing in Action from blog

I haven’t gotten a Sunday Post posted in about three weeks. The action around here has been wild. In June I had family visits, lots of 90+ degree days and work to get the house ready (in other words, finish unpacking boxes and put things away) before my husband arrived at the end of June.

I fly east for a few hours so I can drive back west to Iowa

sunset on the way west
sunset on the way west

[For those who don’t follow every small action in my life(!) we bought a house in Iowa in preparation for my husband’s early retirement. I moved to Iowa in April, but my husband had to work until the end of June when he could take early retirement. We moved most of our stuff in April, but still had some things to move at the end of June. I decided to fly to Maryland to help with the drive to Iowa. One of our daughters and one of my sisters-in-law also came to help drive our second car and the U-Haul.]

We all had lots of fun and lots of laughs during our drive from Maryland to Iowa, but it was also very tiring. We’ve been in Iowa for a few days now, but I feel like I’m still catching up on sleep.

Des Moines sights and eating

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We have explored Des Moines since my husband has arrived. The Iowa state capitol is a beautiful building and we took a drive around it. There are summer concerts on the lawn so we hope to attend some of those.

Since we had some appointments downtown with government agencies we took the opportunity to check out some restaurants and cafes. One of the thing I love about Des Moines is all the unique restaurants throughout the city and suburbs.

Family celebration

We are having a small family gathering to celebrate my husband’s retirement, his birthday (which was at the end of June) and our country’s birthday. It will be so much fun to have some of our family here–including our three kids–this weekend to celebrate. We plan to barbecue, play games and maybe go to a minor league baseball game. Lots of food and lots of laughs.

The blog

When I decided to take my trip East to Maryland I had mostly run out of extra posts for my blog so very little got posted. I’ve hardly been on the internet for a couple of weeks, but I plan to do more after the first week in July.

Not too much happening on my blog and I haven’t visited many other blogs. I haven’t even picked up my computer for several days in a row (gasp)! And I haven’t had very much time to read either.

Blog posts (since my last Sunday Post)

My books

What I’m reading
  • Borrowing Death by Cathy Pegau
  • The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny
What I read the last few weeks
  • The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
  • Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner
New–Books, E-books, NetGalley, Audiobooks–purchased or free or from library

crazy-mountain-kiss

Crazy Mountain Kiss by Keith McCafferty

the-zig-zag-girl

The Zig-Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths

battle-cruiser

Battle Cruiser by B.V. Larson

happiness-for-beginners

Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center

the-rock-hole

The Rock Hole by Reavis Z. Wortham

strictly-analog

Strictly Analog by Richard Levesque

Interesting on the internet

Free Sync Audio books

Sync is back again for the summer (May 5 – Aug 17). Sync is a program which provides two free young adult audiobook downloads each week. Each set of books are only available for one week.

The Sync books available this week (June 30 – July 7):

The Sync books available next week (July 7 – July 14):

To listen to these books you must download Overdrive Media Console. It is available free to download at the Sync site.

Note: Some of the books have international restrictions, but some are available even if you live outside the U.S.

Next Week–home & blog

My husband and I still have a lot to do at our house: unpack boxes, figure out where to put things, hang photos plus figure out what we should get rid of! And we’re still trying to sell our house in Maryland. We have an offer, but I don’t know that we will come to an agreement.

I know I will continue to be busy! However, I’m hoping for more time to read and blog and blog hop!

Blog posts

  • Top Ten Tuesday
  • Waiting on Wednesday
  • Review
  • Sunday Post

What did you do last week? What books did you collect? What are you planning?