Monday, August 29, 2022

National Read A Book Day...

Image courtesy IMGBIN.

Mark your calendars for a week from tomorrow--September 6th--and pick out a shiny new book. Or maybe you'd rather settle in with an old favorite.

Either way, spend the day, if you can, reading. If you can't take the whole day off--they should make this a mandatory event across the nation, don't you think??--they spend some time (thirty minutes, an hour) with your nose in a book.

Now, I read all the time. You all should know this by now. :0) In the morning, in the evening, sometimes during the day when I get my steps in (which is a thing I have gotten back to).

This year, after a long hiatus, I signed up for the Goodreads Challenge, which is nothing more than a pledge to read a certain number of books during the calendar year. I ended up at 72. I'd originally challenged myself to read 106 books, and if you're not a math wizard, that equates to two per week. But once things happened with Mom, I wasn't sure I'd make that particular goal, so I adjusted slightly lower.

As it stands, I'm seven books ahead of schedule. Here are a few of the books I've read so far:

Ms. Easton and Ms. North are my absolute faves and I've read several of their books this year, but I did branch out into a few other genres as you can see, although I still primarily read romance.

I did have to fudge the truth on Goodreads a little-- I still read A LOT of fan fiction. Individual stories, of course, aren't going to be listed as books. So I spent some time looking up the approximate word counts of a few classics. Moby Dick, To Kill a Mockingbird, Anna Karenina, etc, so that I could use them as proxies for the fan fic I read. I want credit for those words, dang it!

Now, unlike the woman in the image at the top of this post, I don't actually read physical books anymore. Once in a great while for reasons, but mostly I like that I can amass vast amount of books but not have them piled all over my house. My e-reader of choice is my phone, using the Kindle app for commercial fiction, and the plain old browser to access my favorite fan fiction repository.

What about you--are you a reader? Physical books or e-books? Fiction or non-fiction?

Hope you have a great week!!

Monday, August 22, 2022

Miscellaneous Monday

Just gonna share some random things I've come across on the Internet and saved up for just such a post...

Image courtesy of Twitter...
In case you never knew that major interstates are in numerical order...
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I found this book when I was going through some boxes a while back. I must have gotten this in Denmark when visiting my grandparents when I was a very little girl because I have a very clear memory of my grandma reading this to me at bedtimes. I can't tell you how much I love this book.
Speaking of my grandma...I thought for a few days that she had passed away at some point as one of my letters had gotten returned. First time ever in decades. A letter I sent off right after I'd gotten a note from her saying it would probably be the last one I received from her since she wasn't expecting to be able to leave her bed ever again.

I was able finally to get a hold of the assisted living facility she lives in and, it turns out, she's still alive and kicking. In fact, her 97th birthday is tomorrow. I had to re-order the flowers I'd canceled... oops...

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And lastly, in sad news, my mom passed away last Wednesday, two days after my post on death... But her fight is done and my hope/wish is that she's now cavorting in pines of Oregon that she loved so much.

Have a great week...

Monday, August 15, 2022

Death comes for us all...

“Death comes for us all; even at our birth-- even at our birth, death does but stand aside a little. And every day he looks towards us and muses somewhat to himself whether that day or the next he will draw nigh. It is the law of nature, and the will of God.”

― Robert Bolt, A Man for All Seasons

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Image courtesy of

As I mentioned a couple (a few?) months ago, we brought my mom to Texas due to health reasons. Unfortunately, that health reason is stage four lung cancer, which has metastasized to various places. She (and we) now seem to be in the final stages of life. The length of this journey depends on the one taking it--Mom, in this case, and not the ones living vicariously along with them--so there's no telling when we'll say the final good-bye.

I'm trying to line up topics and write up the blogs to be ready to go on Mondays, but should a Monday or three get skipped, you can probably infer we've reached a crisis point or she's passed and we're taking care of all the posthumous tasks...

I hope I don't sound as if I don't care...I do. It's my mom, you know? I've already shed some tears and I'm sure I'll shed some more, but Mom and I haven't been close in two+ decades, so in some ways it's a tad bit easier to walk this road. Also--something I haven't mentioned in a long while (lol)--my personality strengths probably have a lot to do with my journey through this.

Also, my husband has been a rock. He keeps asking what he can do for me, which is much appreciated, and it's really been a matter of taking things off my plate. Unload and re-load this dishwasher, for example.

I also know that being a care-giver requires me to take care of me...and mostly that means keeping as much normal as possible in a situation that's completely abnormal. Making dinner, doing laundry, and other random chores actually help me stay on an even keel... Also thinking about and writing and scheduling blog posts... :0)

If there's not a book, there needs to be one covering all the things to think about when a loved one is in the final stages of life. This has been a whirlwind journey for DH and I as we make sure all Mom's ducks are in a row so that there's not a huge mess left behind for anyone involved once the dust settles.

Luckily, her ducks weren't terribly complicated. Ours, on the other hand, definitely are, so we'll working on making sure we make as many arrangements in advance so that our kids won't be left scrambling, especially if we die unexpectedly.

As for the picture of Mt. Shasta at the top...even though Mt. Shasta in in Northern California, it's viewable not specifically from Mom's house, but as you drive from Klamath Falls to Keno where she lives. She wants to be cremated and her ashes sprinkled in the forests of Oregon, the home of her heart. I'm happy to make that happen. As a side note, I think we drove down that exact road on the first stage of our journey from Oregon to Texas.

I know death can be a bit of tetchy subject, but it's what's going on in my life at the moment, so here you go.

Hope you have a good week, no matter what mine brings.

Monday, August 8, 2022

National Middle Child Day ~ Friday August 12th

I was very excited to see this national day celebrating middle children--not because I'm a middle child...

>> I am concurrently an only child and the oldest child. Mom and Dad had me... Dad remarried when I was twelve and had four more kids, all of whom I love to death (except maybe that youngest one, lol). <<

...but because my darling daughter, the one that lives at home, is the middle child and she has sometimes felt overlooked.

The oldest, my brown-eyed girl, was a handful and needed a lot of attention and sonshine, is the youngest, the only boy, and was my favorite.

Now DD and I are a lot alike, but I love having her around and she's my hockey partner in crime.

DD and I at the Winter Classic cheering on our Dallas Stars...
(who won, by the way)


When I saw this national day for middle children, it seemed like a good way to show her a little love that maybe she missed in the past.

So I'll try to have her favorite meal maybe and a few small treats.

Are you a middle child or is there as middle child in your life? I'd love to hear about you or them.

Have a great week.

Monday, August 1, 2022

Movie Monday ~ Downton Abbey: A New Era

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

I had hoped to see this in the theater, but it wasn't meant to be...

Fast forward a month and a half and I received a discount on a subscription to Peacock Plus for three months and so I bit...

So the film provided an interesting ending to the whole Downton Abbey saga. It wrapped up a few lingering plot lines and relationships, and it provided the backstory to one of the long-standing mysteries while also sending the Downton matriarch to her final resting place. RIP Violet Grantham.


So let's see...

Old Lady Grantham played by Dame Maggie Smith inherited a villa on the French riviera, which she promptly bequeathed to the one grandchild who will have the least amount of inherited wealth as she grows up.

The family was invited to the villa where clues add up that lead everyone to believe that Old Lady Grantham had a wild fling and that her son, the current earl is illegitimate. The truth is revealed at the end of the movie.

Meanwhile, a movie was being filmed at the family estate in exchange for some much needed cash to fix the leaking roof of the family homestead.

I imagine this is the last we'll see of the Downton Abbey crew--those who hadn't gotten their happily ever after were finally given them...even the lone representative of the LGBTQ+ community got one. So yay. As the writer of MM romance, I was very happy to see that.

If you've been a fan of the franchise, I'm sure you'll enjoy the final sendoff.

If you've seen it, let me know what you thought in the comments.

Have a great week.