Category Archives: Reading

Rain and good books

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It is almost 1:30 am but I don’t officially switch to the next day until after I wake up.

Today was a beautiful day although not everyone thought so.  I loved it!  It rained pretty much all day but it was such a fresh rain and some of the time it was actually sunny and still raining.  I actually listened to some CCR – Have you ever seen the rain on a sunny day?  Yes, I did today!  I had the windows and backdoor open and sat on the couch with a blanket and read and watched the leaves glittering in the wind outside my window.  The clouds were huge but moved so fast across the sky.  I finished one book and started 2 more.  Now that I have all of my books organized and posted on goodreads so I can clearly see what I have I just want to read everything.  I’m not that good at multi-tasking though.

Right now I’m working on re-reading the Blossom Street books by Debbie Macomber.  I love that series but I stopped reading it when I realized I’d got the books out of order and missed a few.  I’m really crazy like that.  I have to read things in order even when they say it doesn’t matter and Debbie Macomber likes to write side stories that tie into the series but are not really considered part of it.  So I started over.  I usually don’t re-read books but I guess I’m old enough now that I can because I don’t remember them.  That is bad but true.

I really like that several of these books have knitting patterns in the front of them.  The books where Lydia who owns the yarn store called “A Good Yarn” and is teaching a knitting class, the pattern the class is working on is included in the front of the book.

So I have found the right order on Debbiemacomber.com of all places.

The Shop on Blossom Street (Blossom Street #1)

A Good Yarn (Blossom Street, #2) 

More Than Words, Volume 2: What Amanda Wants/The Yellow Ribbon/The Way Home/Shelter from the Storm/Into the Groove (Debbie wrote “What Amanda Wants” which is the first story.  It ties in right after Book #2)

Susannah’s Garden (Blossom Street, #3)   So far this is my favorite book

Christmas Letters  (This is a hardback Romantic Comedy that ties in right after book #3) This is my least favorite book!

Back On Blossom Street (Blossom Street #4)   – This is where I’m at now.  After this book there are four more.

Twenty Wishes

Summer on Blossom Street

Hannah’s List

A Turn in the Road

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So 5 of those books are leaving my house and making room for others.  This is a good thing because I still have some in the garage that can’t fit on the shelves yet.

I am also reading The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth am I Here for?  You are supposed to read this over a 40 day period so I’m going to try to.  I’ve got the journal to go with it.  I started it before but never got very far.  This time I’m going to finish it but the question is whether I can stick to only reading one chapter per day so I have time to “think” about what I’ve read.

Change of season, change of pace

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As the leaves start to turn and the air gets cooler I am feeling a change in myself as well.  I find myself wanting to stay indoors snuggled up in a warm blanket with a good book or drawing, painting, crocheting, knitting, sewing or tatting.  I wish the yard would clean itself up.  I’ve been so tired lately.

I have already read a few books and I even organized my bookshelf somewhat.  It still needs some work but I went through and found some duplicates and purged some books so they at least all fit on the shelves.  I had stacks of books and patterns on the floor and I didn’t want them to get wet once people started tracking in snow.  I actually added all of my books to goodreads.com (well, not counting the books in the garage) so I could be sure of what I had and what I was looking for.   Now I have decided to read some of my precious books instead of just hording them.  There are certain books I know I really wanted to read because I had multiple copies of them.  Right now though, I really want to re-read the Blossom Street series by Debbie Macomber.  I read several of the books a few years ago and then I realized I had them out of order and that there were a few side stories that tie in with the series that I’d missed.  So I stopped reading and went looking for the rest of the books.  I really hate to read books out of order.  I have re-read the first 3 or 4 and I’m now reading a Christmas story that tied in with the series.  So far I’m not loving it but we will see…. could be that it just isn’t Christmas yet.  I also read the first book in the Fablehaven series and it was REALLY good.  It’s written for kids aged 9-12 but I loved it.  My husband read it too.  Now I can’t wait to read the next one.

Today is Riley’s 1st day of high school.  I know he’s excited because he’s taking Japanese.  He’s been waiting all summer.  I can’t wait until he gets home and tells me how his day went.

Yesterday was the first day of a diet I’m doing.  When I was going through my books I found one for a 10 week weight loss plan.  It’s called Kathy Smith’s Fitness Makeover.  It has pages for writing in what you eat and for noting the exercises you do.  Each week focuses on something specific and this week is fat and abs.  So now my fat on my abs is sore.  I am very weak so hopefully this will help me build up some strength.  The information in the book does not seem outdated at all.  The toning pages tell you what exercises to do and in the back it explains how with a picture.  This book was published in 1997.  I’m pretty sure I haven’t had it that long but I think it’s funny that it is coming in really handy for me now.

Okay, I’m going to take a short nap before I have to wake Riley up for school.

I’m still alive

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I have been in a hole…. a dark one.  That happens from time to time.  I’ll be tripping along through life full of optimism and trying to fill my days the best I can and then the ground falls out from under me and I find myself sitting in the dark with no drive to get up.  I am constantly reading anything that can encourage me but sometimes it just feels like I’m looking at people through glass store fronts and don’t have what it takes to get the happiness they have.  I feel so poor and dejected but I know that it is just a feeling and not reality.  It is depression.

I have had an increase in aches and pains lately which seems to contradict the beautiful sunshine that has been spilling in my windows.  Spring is coming and I have been waiting impatiently for it but since I have been so immobile because of the pain I have lost a lot of muscle tone.  My muscles are all tight and weak.  In an attempt to find something to motivate myself I called the Cooperative Extension at the University to inquire about gardening classes.  This is something I am passionate about.  I was disappointed to find that the master gardener class was already filled but I knew there was a chance I wouldn’t be able to keep up anyway.  They did tell me about a class being taught by one of the master gardeners and they said if I called “right away” I might be able to get in.  It was only $10 to secure a spot but the class had already reached its limit.  I must have sounded desperate because they told me if I came the next day with the $10 I could attend.  I did.  When I walked in she said, “Are you Donna?”.  I told her I was and she said, “good because you’re the last one I’m taking”.   I was so relieved and excited.  This is a lecture type class which is perfect since I can just listen and take notes and then use what information I need to improve my little garden.  That way I can make sure I don’t get in over my head.  My goal is to grow enough veggies for myself and for a little extra.  I want to take some to the Rescue Mission.

The only problem is I have a hard time sitting for the 2 hours.  My back starts to ache and I have to get up and move around.  The room is crowded and there isn’t much room (the chairs are packed together so everyone is elbow to elbow) and I don’t want to leave the room and miss anything.  The class is once a week for 8 classes and it is about half way through.  Every time I go to a class I come home in such pain I end up taking a stronger medication that knocks me out.  The pain continues through the next day too and it takes a lot out of me. I talked to my doctor and she checked me out.  She said some of my muscles are very tight and “balled up”.  She recommended massage and told me I needed to stretch and exercise – specifically yoga and some cardio type exercise.  I have found the huge exercise ball I have very helpful with this.  I lay over it (with it under my back) and stretch my arms to the floor.  This stretches that muscle that screams at me during the classes.  I did make it to church the Sunday before last but only for the first hour.  I couldn’t stay for Sunday School or anything else.  I was in such agony that I was shaking and didn’t want to get to the point where I couldn’t drive myself back home.  I’m glad the drive is a short one.

Exercising isn’t easy for me but I know I have to do it to get stronger.  Tonight is another class and hopefully this one will be easier for me.  Last time I took a small pillow to sit on and that helped.  It is just awkward taking a pillow to class.  Oh well, it isn’t like I’m a teenager anymore.  I have met a really nice couple there that I usually sit with.  I’m so glad to have met them even though I don’t know them very well.  I sit by the older man and we occasionally we find something to chuckle about.  He usually saves me a seat by putting his coffee on it and I’m grateful for that small gesture of friendship.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading these days.  That is actually ALL I want to do.  I just read two books that I had already read but couldn’t remember.  I guess I’ll never run out of things to read now that I’m getting older and apparently senile.  I loved the Blossom Street Series but when I was reading it before I was frustrated because I got the books out of order and then I found out there was a short story that tied into the story line that was part of a book called, “More Than Words: Volume 2”.  This is a book about real women who have made a difference in the lives of others and it is comprised of several short stories by well known women writers.  It appears to be an annual publication.  Volume 2 contained a story called “What Amanda Wants” which is about a teen-aged girl who found out her cancer had come back just before her senior year of high school.  She tied it in with the Blossom Street story and it took off right where the second book left off.  It is a very touching story and reminds me why I HATE short stories.  It never fails – if they are good they are always TOO short.  I love this series written by Debbie Macomber because it is about friends.  I think that is what I am missing right now.

Now I am going to finish reading that book of short stories which has 4 more stories.  I have also decided to read the Bible from front to back.  I’ve always planned to do that but have never made it.  It is funny how I always seem to pick up something “new” even from passages I’ve read several times before.   I am currently still in Genesis but I hope to make it much further than last time.   I am also reading a book on Tatting that I had started several months ago.  I love tatting but I haven’t made anything in a long while.  I picked that book up and found myself eager to try some of the ideas in the book.  This book is an older one that talks about even older techniques.  I love how they show ideas that very old and hope people will revitalize them.  I especially love learning about crafts that women did ages ago and learning how to do them.  Women used to make their own clothes and decorate them with special touches of lace they made themselves.  This book called “Tatting Techniques” by Elgiva Nicholls has really inspired me.  My library really wants it back though and I better hurry up and finish it.

Well, I plan on coming back tomorrow and the next day….  I think I need to write and exercise my “bean” too.

Blossom Street

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I’ve been feeling sentimental lately.  That happens from time to time and I start missing my sister.  I miss my bothers too but not like I miss my sister.  Whenever this happens I end up reading more emotional books and listening to sappy music.  I feel sorry for the people who have to endure this little spell of mine.

So I’ve put aside my beloved Clive Cussler books that I’ve been devouring lately and I’m re-reading the first book in the Blossom Street Series by Debbie Macomber called “The shop on Blossom Street“.  I just feel the need to revisit “A Good Yarn” which is a little knitting store owned by Linda Hoffman, a cancer survivor.  It’s been a while since I read it and I can’t remember all of the details.  I just know that the characters are great.  Linda opens her store and has a knitting class to teach how to make a baby blanket.  The people who come together are all so different but become very close friends.  That is the thing that draws me to this book and other’s like it….. that friendship element.   Sisters are like good friends that never drift away, never get mad for long, and always remember your birthday.  My sister and I are a lot alike in some ways but so different in others.  She is the always happy, forgiving type sister and I’m the moody, hold a grudge till I die sister.  We balance each other out.

This book is also about knitting, which I love, and one of the characters in the book just happens to be making the blanket for Project Linus.  Of course its a court ordered community service type of deal and Alex is a little rough around the edges but this little group ends up helping each other out.  Alex is actually my favorite character.  The pattern for the blanket they are knitting is in the front of the book so you can actually make it too, in-between reading times of course.

I read several books in this series several years ago until I hit a brick wall.  I have to read books in order.  I just can’t stand skipping around.  So I found out that Debbie had written a short story that went with the series and it was in a book with a couple other short stories by different authors.  I could not find a copy of this book anywhere.  I finally put it on my wish list at www.paperbookswap.com and a while back I finally got a copy!  So now it has been so long that I feel like I need to start all over.  That is one bonus to getting old – old books become new again!

Chicken…it’s what’s for dinner

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The other day I got some recipe cards in the mail.  I did what I always do and took out the recipe cards and tossed the junk.  I never sign up for stuff like that since there are plenty of recipes online.  Ever heard of Allrecipes.com?  Or Google? I have a box of recipe cards in a cabinet somewhere from a similar thing….actually, they are VERY similar.  The thing is the recipe cards never stop.  They will keep sending them to you and if, I mean, WHEN needed you can get more cool clear boxes to store them in until you find a trunk or need another house to store them.  There isn’t anything wrong with the recipes but I would rather store them online in a searchable database and leave some space for the chicken.

Well, when I got around to looking at the recipes I found a couple I really wanted to try.  Tonight I made “Crunchy Chicken Tenders” and they were really good!  The recipe cards are by Everyday cooking my way just in case you want to buy a new house to house some new recipe cards….or, you can just snag those free ones like I did (and scan them).  I was going to check and see if these are just an updated version of the recipe cards I collected when I first got married (20 years ago) but I can’t remember which cabinet I stuck them in.

 

Yum, chicken! on 365 Project

I completely forgot to make the dip but I’ll do that next time.  I have enough ingredients to make this again and I WILL make this again since everyone in my family actually ate the same meal for once.   There is also another recipe I really want to try.  My husband can’t wait.

 

The NaBloPoMo Prompt for today is….

How do you feel about not finishing a book once you’ve read a few chapters?

I can’t not finish the book unless it is REALLY REALLY REALLY bad.  Otherwise I will always wonder if I missed something and it could POSSIBLY get better at some point.  AND, no matter how bad the story is I HAVE to know how it ended.  There have been times when I’ve stuck it out and ended up really enjoying the ending.  There have, of course, been other times when I just told everyone to never read it, removed any evidence that I touched it and donated it to a thrift store in case some poor unsuspecting soul might actually like it.  There has only been one book that I didn’t finish and it hit the wall on the other side of the room before the end of the first chapter.  I’m not telling what book it was since I don’t remember.  So, what about you?  Do you ever STOP reading a book?