Thursday, September 28, 2017

Agatha Raisin and the Day the Floods Came

Just finished reading "Agatha Raisin and the Day the Floods Came".  Typical Agatha, typical cozy mystery but it was good, as usual.  I love these little mysteries because they are easy to read, not long and you can just immerse yourself in them.  I have enjoyed all of them so far and I am reading them in order of publication. 

This particular title I borrowed from the public library via my kindle.  I just love doing that as I don't have to worry about taking the book back and it is so easy to check them out with Overdrive.  I love it.

My next title?  Hmmmm....not sure.  My daughter was talking about "The Sun Also Rises" by Ernest Hemingway.  Might have to give it a go -- maybe from the library!

It is raining out and a quiet day -- need to get another title going.  What a perfect day for it.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Smoothies, Books and DAR

I have been a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) for a number of years.  I used to go regularly as the meetings are held at my church and they were in the morning so it all worked out well.  I was even the recording secretary for two years.  There were a dozen or so of us that met and it was a very rich and rewarding time.

Then Bean arrived and I began my time as a child care support person.  That eliminated the morning meetings for me.  I could have taken her but it is quite the distance from her house to church and I wasn't comfortable with it.  So, I gladly gave up the monthly meetings to care of the Bean.  Then Bean started school and I thought "oh, I can attend the morning meetings and still be done in time to get her from school".  Hmm.....they changed them to evening meetings timed right while I was driving home.  So, I haven't made much effort to get there.

Last night, however, a friend of mine from church was being installed and she asked that a number of us who are church/DAR members be there so I high tailed it back to this side of town to get there in time for her installation.  I made it, she got installed, and I realized that I actually missed those meetings.

In the seven years that I have been away, the member ship has grown from just a few to 134!  I don't know how many were there last night but Mitchell Hall was full to the rafters.  It was a much younger group than I remember and very lively.

The program was all about All Church Home -- a FW organization that started out as an orphanage and has become more of a foster care organization.  They do a lot of good work and it is something to be supported.  We also learned of a preservation project that one of our ladies has undertaken.  There is a small, hidden cemetery right around the corner from my house.  My husband discovered it one day and we have been watching it.  The property around it is being cleared for -- wait for it -- a parking lot.  (Sounds like a 60's song!) Apparently our DAR lady got involved, I assume because she feared it might be paved over, which it might have been, and has now saved the cemetery from destruction. We are going to be involved in a project to revitalize the area, cleaning up, doing some painting and planting.  My husband and I were trying to find out the name of the cemetery -- it seems it is Thompson Public Cemetery and quite a few members of the founding families of White Settlement, Texas are buried in this cemetery.  It is quite old, the most recent burial around 1949, and it is comprised of a couple of large families.  It is quite interesting and I will post some photos when my husband and I go poking around some Saturday morning.

I have decided I don't like breakfast.  When I was a youngster it was all my mother could do to get me to eat a piece of toast for breakfast.  Toast and tea -- true to my UK roots.  Then, when my kiddos came along I decided I needed to be a good example since breakfast is supposed to be the most important meal of the day.  Well, I started eating breakfast and I started gaining weight.  I have been reading "Thin Within" and realized that I am not hungry in the morning when I first get up but I eat anyway.  That is not good.  Even when I get hungry I am not ravenous and we eat our big meal at lunch so I don't want to eat a huge breakfast just to not be hungry at lunch.  So, I decided to revisit smoothies.  This morning I had one with yogurt, a little milk, frozen cherries, flax seed, wheat germ, a little cinnamon and some vanilla.  It was lovely.  I was up about an hour and it was just enough to satisfy what little appetite I had.  I think it will carry me through until lunch.

I have been reading a lot lately.  I just started another Agatha Raisin mystery and I just purchased the new Jan Karon offering the other night.  The Agatha Raisin title is "The Day the Floods Came" and the new Jan Karon book is "To Be Where You Are".  I borrowed the Agatha Raisin title from the public library on my kindle so I will be finishing it before I start Karon's novel but I own it and can take my time.  I think it is so clever how we can check out library books on a device.  It makes it so easy and you have them the same time as if you went into the library and checked out the physical book. don't have to make the effort to return them.  They just automatically expire -- no rushing to the library to return, no late fees -- it is really nice.

So, that is what I have been up to this week.  I have no idea what the weekend holds -- we shall see.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Fifth Petal and Anne Frank

I have just finished reading "The Fifth Petal" by Brunonia Barry.  It is the sequel to "The Lace Reader" and it was equally as good.  It is the story of Rose Whelan, the Goddesses, and Callie.  And Salem.  It is a great ghost story, a murder mystery and a romance.  I should have waited until October and cooler weather, however, to read it.  It is a perfect fall read -- but it isn't ever going to be fall in Texas so I decided to go ahead and read it.

I recommend.

Now I am reading "The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition".  I read the Diary of Anne Frank years and years ago so I decided to revisit this new, expanded edition.  It is a lot different than I remembered.  Maybe I should go back and reread the one I read originally.  There seems to be a lot of added material that was omitted from the original edition.  It is good, it seems more realistic.  It seems to be a fast read.

I will let you know.

Old School

Have you ever thought that doing things the "old school" way was better?  Easier?  We have so many labor saving devices and computer apps to help us do things that one wouldn't think doing thing the old fashioned way would be acceptable anymore or even desirable. However....

I have one of these --

Only mine is red and her name is Ruby.  I love Ruby, we get along very well and she is holding up well for her age.  The problem is, I don't like pushing and pulling Ruby around.  She is a little on the, um, portly side for her size and it is exhausting getting her go where I want her to go.  I love her, though, and would never get rid of her.

However -- I also have this --

Meet Big Wooly  -- Big Wooly is an American made dust mop with a washable, all wool head and a lacquered handle.  It has a 12 inch swivel action head that makes it very easy to maneuver around furniture. 

Since most of my floor are solid surface either option works but shhh....don't tell Ruby ....but Big Wooly and I have a better working relationship.

Then, my next big booger bear is dusting.  Since my house has every window covered in plantation shutters I have a lot of dusting to do.

Sometimes I use this --

or this

or just a microfiber cloth.

However, the other day on my soap opera (hey, they CAN be educational!) I was watching somebody dusting with an ostrich feather duster.  So, I did a little research and learned a lot.  I have had lambswool dusters and chicken feather dusters and I didn't care for them but I have never had an ostrich feather duster.  Apparently they are completely different. 

So, I took my sassy self to BedBathandBeyond and bought this --

Considering the price of the Swiffer duster refills, $12.99 isn't bad for this little jewel.

I got up yesterday morning and dusted all the furniture in my living room and my den and I dust mopped all the floors.  I couldn't believe how quick and easy it was.  The dust mop makes the floors really shine and the feather duster really did pick up the dust -- my mother always said they just throw the dust around but -- sorry Mom, you were wrong on this one.

I have been reading a couple of blogs that promote doing things the "old school" way and generally living a more simple existence. They take me back to my childhood sometimes so when  I pulled out that dust mop  I could see my mother cleaning house -- she loved dust mops -- in her white shorts and rubber flip flops.  She wasn't big on lots of appliances -- give her a broom, a dust mop, a wet mop and some Lysol and she was good to go.

And it all worked! The house is clean and I am not exhausted!  The moral of this blog is -- pay attention to your mom and your soap opera -- you can learn a lot from both!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

New Car

In case you have been wondering what I have been up to well, our car has some sort of seizure and now we are looking for a new car.

About a week ago we were on our way to pick up Bean from school.  We were stopped at a light on probably the busiest, most miserable streets in North Texas.  The car died.  It just quit.  Hubs tried to start it, it would turn over and run for a couple of seconds and die.  We managed to get it out of the street but we never could get it to start again.

Enter tow truck.  Please take said car to the dealership.  We followed later and couldn't find the car -- we weren't sure it ever made it to the dealership.  The next morning we were assured the car was there and they were looking into it.

After several tries they got it started and went through the process several times and pronounced it cured.  They kept it one more night just to make sure. 

We were told to pick it up.  There would be no charge.

We asked what happened and nobody knew.  They couldn't find anything wrong with it.  They thought there might be air in the fuel line.  How did it get there?  Could it happen again?  Questions answered with shrugged shoulders.

We are driving it but with much trepidation.  We just don't trust it.  We are also very annoyed that this is a 2014 Subaru Outback --supposedly one of the safest, most reliable cars on the market. 

So, that is what we have been up to -- test driving cars.  Fun?  Not. So. Much.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Finally, Saturday

Thank goodness it is Saturday.  We can finally put the last few, terrible days behind us. 

We had an eclipse that I think really started it all -- not my first eclipse but it made my skin crawl. 

Then we had a hurricane on the Gulf coast.  Most of my husband's family lives in the Houston area so we were sitting and waiting to make sure they were all ok.  One niece had six inches of water in her house, another niece spent considerable amount of time in her laundry room because of the tornadoes in the area and my sister in law spent the week in a hotel so she could park the cars in the parking garage.  I was concerned about my San Antonio friends and my Austin family as well.  Pins and needles and nerves. 

Then a young lady from my daughter's school had a tragic accident and lost her life.  There was a week for waiting to see if she would pull through.  The entire school was an emotional wreck over this and it isn't completely over yet.  Lots of time spent praying.  Very gut wrenching.

Last night our Girl Scout meeting was a complete bomb.  Sassy little girls just added to my daughters frayed nerves and we were done.  Didn't get anything done except a lecture about respect.  Ugh.  Well, maybe the meeting really didn't need to happen last night in the first place.

So, here we are at Saturday.  I think it is time to expend some of this nervous energy cleaning house and getting ready for the new week.

So tired.