I’m having a good time … an open letter to a friend.

Hi Marion,

I did receive the first email and intended to write you back much sooner than this. Life has been crazy and I have buried my face in a book for distraction and forgotten to come out.

I’ve been healthy through this current challenge and aside from one trip to the grocery store several weeks ago have not been out of the house since. One of my neighbors has been so kind and offered to pick up groceries for me whenever they do their shopping. I am well taken care of. I think I will need to go myself one day though. I need a few things that could be challenging and frustrating for a man not used to grocery shopping. That would just be too mean.

Some of us have been checking in on each other most days and that helps with isolation blues. The contact gives us assurance of help too, in case ill health ever does happen.

Some of my life’s craziness is also from dealing with a large work project that defies organization. It makes life both frustrating and interesting at the same time.

Another one of life’s challenges has come through our writing group, mostly because this whole virus situation has thrown a monkey wrench into some of the projects we had in the works. We’ve had to cancel most everything. We had an annual springtime workshop planned and had to let that go. The lengthy project we had underway was an anthology of short stories contributed by members of our group. We’ve spent months working on edits and finally had it ready for the book printer when isolation hit. I think we slipped in just under the wire and were their last project before closing up shop. Everyone in the group was primed to start marketing the minute the books were ready and that’s all fizzled.  Our executive is trying to keep some online activity going so the group doesn’t lose too much momentum. We will probably have to abandon monthly meetings until we start again in September after summer break.

It’s funny how perspective changes when things like this pandemic happen. I lead a very solitary life year round and yet it feels different when it’s not by choice. I have more desire to go out now when told I can’t. Crazy hey! On the other hand I’m happy to isolate and not take a chance on getting the virus.

I’ve been reading lots – it’s a good stress reliever – and trying to be consistent with producing the daily blog. I haven’t been doing as well with that as hoped. Partly because work has been busier for me this year. It seems to go that way. Busy one year but not so much the next. I’m happy to have work when it comes though and tend to just go with the flow.

Another thing consuming a lot of my time is livestreaming on Facebook and YouTube by a bunch of the groups I follow. Singers and bloggers mostly. It seems like everyone has taken to the internet while isolating and there is way more activity than usual. It’s great to keep up with these people but there’s just so much of it! I need to be choosy I think. I do like some better than others so that should make it easier.

One good thing about all the watching/listening of livestreams and podcasts is the amount of work I get done on my crafts. Multi-tasking.

My daughter gave me a diamond painting kit for Christmas. This medium is all the rage right now (I had no idea) and I had never done one.  It’s like a blending of cross stitch and paint by number. It has little colored discs that go on preprinted graph-like sticky canvas. The discs are shaped so they reflect light and sparkle like a diamond. Very pretty when it’s finished.

I’ve finished my gift kit and ordered three more kits from Amazon. I’m hooked, I love doing them. I’ve almost finished the second one, it will be for my daughter. I let the girls (daughter and daughter-in-law) pick out what they liked as I wanted to have a final home in mind for them all. 😊

I can’t say that life is very productive at my house but I’m having a good time.

Pretty much all of our snow melted and we had grass again but with the winter storm that hit in the last few days we are back to a yard covered in snow. At least we know it won’t stick around long. Warmer days are coming soon and spring will be earlier this year, hopefully.

I’m glad to hear you are both feeling healthy now and keeping busy. I got a good chuckle out of your cartoon and love the picture of your little horse. Would you mind if I used it on a blog post sometime? It might help brighten someone else’s day too.

Stay safe and take care of yourselves.

What are you sewing? The project you mentioned.

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Done and ready for framing.

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Almost done, just another inch or so all along the left side. The little white dots all over are sparkles. The pictures are much prettier in person.

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This next one is for my daughter-in-law. She’s a bird lover.

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I’m currently reading and loving…

Take a Chance on Me (Misty River Romance)  and it is still free

Take a Chance on Me

He’s her brother’s best friend and a career fighter pilot. She’s lived next to the airbase, watched her friends disastrous love lives. and vowed never to date an airman. Six months ago he messed up his one chance with her. Now he’s back from deployment determined to gain a second chance and she’s not having it.

You should read it if you enjoy Romance, it might brighten your day, too.

Happy Reading!

Free and bargain books February 29, 2020

Today is Sadie Hawkins Day! The one day (according to folklore) when a woman can propose to the unmarried man of her choosing. Of course she has to catch him first, and there will be a stiff penalty if he refuses. A silk dress or maybe a nice pair of gloves. It’s a good thing it only comes round once every four years.

Most of the single men I know live in books, so there is that. Maybe we’ll notice an awesome man we could dream of asking today, in one of our spectacular finds.

The Runaway is an interesting FREE suggestion from BookRunes, although I’m not sure if we will feel the need to propose while reading it. Maybe, I guess anything is possible. The series is called Legacy of Love.

The Runaway: A Legacy of Love Novel

The Runaway

Amazon quote:

Anna Brent, a Quaker woman in Indiana, secretly hides runaway slaves in her home on the Underground Railroad. When her work is threatened, can she turn to the outspoken newspaper editor, a man she barely knows, to ensure the safety of the slaves so dear to her? Will she and Daniel risk everything to help these fugitive slaves remain free?

“A compelling historical romance intricately woven with suspense, page-turning tension, and tender glimpses into a passionate young heroine’s heart. Melanie Dobson’s strong storytelling skills will have you glued to the pages of this intensely satisfying book.” -Miralee Ferrell, author of The Other Daughter

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This bargain book  ($1.32) showed up for me five years ago and while the story is a little murky in my mind I do remember liking this great author. I’m feeling rather tempted to reread this mystery.

I don’t think this one will be inspiring us to propose today either, although you never know. Love can pop up in the most unusual of places, especially if you like tough lawman types.

The Demise (A Braxton Mystery Book 1)

The Demise

Amazon quote:

Tiny Braxton, Tennessee, is a quiet, tight-knit community wrapped around an old town square just a stone’s throw from Nashville. But when the town’s most prominent citizen is found dead at the base of its water tower, news of Peter Lanham’s apparent suicide roars through town like a massive tsunami.

Peter, the handsome, beloved CEO of Lanham’s Fine Foods, had taken a small, family-owned grocery store founded in 1927, and grew it into a successful national chain. With most of Braxton’s residents employed by Lanham’s corporate headquarters, word of Peter’s demise left them searching for answers. What could possibly have made him take a swan dive off that tower?

Julie Parker is convinced he didn’t. As receptionist at Lanham’s executive office suite, she’s determined to find out what really happened to her boss. An aspiring actor who also stars as “The Lanham Girl” in the company’s TV commercials, Julie prides herself on her perceptive observations and people-skills. Who better to find out what happened to Peter up on that water tower?

Matt Bryson, on assignment as a rookie Special Agent for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, isn’t about to let the attractive receptionist intrude on his first case. She may be a hometown insider, but he’s perfectly capable of solving the case without “Miss Marple” screwing up his investigation.

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I’m currently reading Above the Fold and while it’s a good story I’m not feeling the urge to propose to anyone. There’s too much tension and drama to incite warm fuzzy feelings with dreams of love.

Above the Fold

Above the Fold

Amazon quote:

After losing the love of her life to a big city journalism job, Elissa Tillman pours herself into the suffragette movement and her secretarial work helping keep her father’s Pittsburgh newspaper afloat.

Cole Parker returns to the steel city with the phantom failures of his past nipping his heels. All he asks of the future is a second chance with the woman he once spurned.

The murder of a millionaire offers the perfect chance for Elissa to prove to her father and the world that she’s a serious journalist. But there’s a catch—she has to compete for the story. Against none other than Cole Parker, the very man who shattered her heart.

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Well, I guess that was a bust. Anyone feeling tempted to propose on this Sadie Hawkin’s Day? Me neither. I do feel like reading one of these books though.

Happy Reading

… on this warmish day half way through winter. It’s warmed up to -1c, for the next while hopefully. It’s overcast today but the past few days have been sunny enough to melt wherever it touches. The snow banks on the street are looking brown and dirty with sand but hey, we’ll take it. Not a bad day for chasing down a single man.

 

Free books, and a little snow, Nov 9, 2019

This has been a slow day for FREE books. I found two on Amazon. I’ve read both of them in the last four years but it looks like I will have to read them again, to jog my memory on what they are like.

come to me alive

A Romance: he has a successful music career, she lives in smalltown USA. Both have suffered through bad relationships. Taking a risk on another one is not an idea attractive to either of them.

miranda warning

I can’t remember reading this one but the first couple of pages are enticing so I’m looking forward to reading it again. It looks like it could have been written with a bit of lighthearted irreverence. I like a little dry humor in the middle of murder and mayhem.

 

One thing I like about snow on a cloudy night – the brilliance of the snow reflecting off the clouds lights up our world dispelling the deep black of night.

I am not a photographer, that’s for sure, but you will get the idea of what I’m talking about anyway.

This one was taken at midnight

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This one was taken at 1:30 am

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I could have taken another one at 4am when I looked out to see how pretty it was but I decided I’d best just put my book away and get some sleep.

Happy Reading

 

 

Free, and not quite free November 1, 2019

I know, I mostly download free books (to feed my voracious reading habit) but I do budget in some not-so-free books every now and then. And, if it really seems important to my life – I’ll occasionally be willing to go full price.

This morning the BookBub daily email offers a $0.99 book that intrigues me, Secrets and Lies. I decided to check out the synopsis on Amazon. It sounds interesting. It turns out,  it’s on my already purchased list for 2017.

Long story short – investigation tells me it was on my Kindle but it’s not been mentioned on this blog as read. Why not? By the looks of it, on re-download, it seems I quit at 17% read. The mystery is … Why? Couldn’t get into it? Didn’t like it? Maybe a bit of both?

I can’t resist a mystery so… I’ve downloaded all three of Janet Sketchley’s books from my Amazon account, two previously owned and a new one today. I want to figure out why I finished reading one but not the other, and then try out the new one. After all this, I hope second time around will turn out to be a better experience.

Secrets and Lies is book 2 in A Redemption’s Edge Series. This is the one I didn’t finish reading for some reason.

Secrets and Lies TBR

Heaven’s Prey is book 1 in A Redemption’s Edge Series. I read it back in 2014 but wasn’t blogging then. This many years past I’m not sure how I felt about it and I’m curious.

Heaven's Prey

When I was researching Janet Sketchley on Amazon, trying to figure things out, I found the first book of another one of her series and it’s on at the bargain price of $1.32. I decided to give this one a try, hoping I like it.

Unknown Enemy, book 1 in A Green Dory Inn Mystery Series

Unknown Enemy

Finally, FREE

I didn’t want to end this post without leaving you with something FREE. I was looking for light-and-upbeat to change the tone of the post. Meant for Me doesn’t look like it will fit that category but I really like this author, Lyn Cote. It’s a new book for me too and I just couldn’t pass it up. I guess light will have to wait for another day.

Meant for Me

I love this cover.

A historical novel of women left behind to deal with life while their men have gone to war. This subject seems to be very popular these days.


It’s Friday and it’s snowing, light powdery stuff (which is better than wet and heavy) and it’s coming down in earnest at the moment but doesn’t amount to much, yet. Hopefully it will be over by tonight as promised by the weatherman. Tomorrow is Writer’s Group meeting in the city, an hour away. Clear roads would be nice. I’ll let you know how it goes. We meet in a historic house which is kind of cool. It was built in 1874 by the local sheriff. I’m hoping this link will work so you can see some pictures. It isn’t fancy but it’s still cool. We enjoy the feel of the place.

In the meantime Happy Reading

 

 

Free book October 28, 2019, and a weather update

One FREE book today, courtesy of BookBub’s daily email. All of You

It is mindboggling, the number of new authors out there. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to see so many developing their skills, and using their imagination to provide us with enticing reading material. It’s just hard to keep up with an answer for the do I like this author question.

Confusion popped up again this morning with the free book and another unfamiliar author name. Checking my history, there was a book in 2016 called The Isaac Project and Amazon says I read it. Looking at the cover, I think I did like it. This new one should be likeable too, I think.

There aren’t that many disliked among the chances I take but there are a few. Since my memory seems to be foggy this far down the road, maybe it would be helpful  to delete the disliked and eliminate the uncertainty. Sounds like a plan.

In the meantime, I expect All of You should be a good read.

All of You

Working a career in a guys world, Jacquelyn restores vintage planes and has enough stresses in her own life. She doesn’t need the complication of someone else’s emotional baggage.

Michael’s military career is cut short with severe injuries. He is unable to work but he can fulfil his promise to protect his friend’s baby sister.

Looks like there could be conflict on the horizon.


Weather update:

It looks like our above freezing weather is coming to an end. There have been a few nights with heavy frost but it burned off in the morning sunlight. The day time temps  have now dropped below freezing too. At the moment it’s -3c.

Last evening light dry snow started falling, enough to cover the deck. It’s still here, with more light snow expected. Winter is almost here to stay.

I was counting up the months we had to garden this summer. Mid May to nearly the end of October. About five months. Well, that’s stretching it a bit because about a month of that is only good for spring or fall cleanup. Not warm enough for doing any growing.

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I was looking through the many winter photos clogging up my phone memory. Good memories. The best is yet to come, snow is beautiful in the middle of winter.

Anyway, enough about weather.

Happy Reading!

 

 

 

 

Weather update October 19, 2019

This morning, so far, it’s cloudy with sunny breaks and it’s not that cold. 7 Celsius, expected to rise to 11c this afternoon. The snow is finally gone after the big storm blew through here several weeks ago. Well, it’s mostly gone. This is the edge of Walmart parking lot the other day. A reminder of what was.20191017_114241 snow pile

Snow piles will be hanging around on plowed parking lots for a few more days. I see another pile too, further back (on the left) on someone else’s parking lot. The snow is always a little ugly once it melts a bit. It’s the sand left behind making the whole thing look dirty.

They spread sand around liberally on roads and parking lots so we can drive safely on slippery snow. But then, it gets picked up when they plow the deep snow to clear roads and parking lots so we can drive without getting stuck. Stuck and slippery can be fun if you are playing around, not so fun if you have somewhere you need to be.

Needless to say, we go through a lot of sand every winter. I imagine they try to recover some of it at the end of the season but I don’t know that for sure.

20191017_085148 frosty deck

It has been cooler sooner this October than other years. There was frost one morning and the evidence was on  the roof and back deck. The temperature had dropped below freezing during the night and with all the moisture in the air the frost was thick and sparkly in the rising sun. I didn’t manage to catch the sparkle, which was sad because it was beautiful. It didn’t last long – once the sun hit the deck it melted. That last bit of snow was soon gone too.

It’s easy to be taken in by this lull in the cold weather. I keep reminding myself our days are numbered so get to work.

This is the before cleanup picture with fallen leave everywhere.

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This is the after picture, evidence of some much needed clean up. The leaves keep falling so clean doesn’t last long. The need is never ending.

20191017_132038 clean up

I’ll get out there again today and do what I can.

The snow will be here soon to cover up whatever doesn’t get done. I’ll sigh in relief. Six guilt free months ahead. There is definitely an upside to winter.


 

 

 

 

 

My life with snow

Even though I’ve lived the largest part of my life in mild climates where snowfalls are rare, and cause for celebration, I still take snow for granted. It’s easy to forget – not everyone will be able to relate to what I’m saying sometimes. I was reminded of this, thinking back on my snow blower mention in the snow storm post   many may be scratching their heads wondering what in the world is this? Most of my mild climate friends have little-to-no experience with snow blowers either. There will be a future post showing pictures, for sure.

Snow, in itself, is an unknown quantity to many, as well, and maybe a glimpse would be nice. It will be fun to share some of our journey with those of you living in warmer climates, having to miss out on the cold weather experience.

Each winter I keep a bit of a photo diary for myself as a reminder of important and disputable things like – how early it snowed, how much it snowed, how long it stayed. This year I’ll share some of my diary with you all.

Some current pictures, to bring you up to speed.

This was a few weeks ago when the day lilies in the corner were still beautiful.

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The first dusting of the coming winter storm just over a week ago. The leaves are falling but most are still on the trees.

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A few hours later, while there’s still enough light for a progress picture. It’s blurry because of the falling snow.

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Next morning after storming through the night. Morning brought still more storm with thunder and lightning this time.

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A week later, the weather has warmed up and the snow is disappearing. Not quick enough though. There is still much fall clean-up to do and the real snow could be here to stay in two weeks or so

20191015_094731You can see the remnants of a rabbit trail, about in the middle. They like to shelter under the deck. Rabbits are pretty common around here. They like to eat the tender plants we care about lol

I’m looking forward to sharing my snow life with you. The winters are hard, some years more than others, but I love living here, and I love to spread my enthusiasm for this place.

On the subject of books… there were none today that I cared about. Maybe tomorrow.

Soon! Winter. I have no doubt.