Wednesday, January 31, 2018

44 Cranberry Point by Debbie Macomber

Well, it seems I am deeply entrenched in the Cedar Cove series by Debbie Macomber as well as the Agatha Raisin series by M.C. Beaton.

I seem to alternate between both offerings but right now I am focusing on Cedar Cove because, to me, it is written like a soap opera.  It is easy to read and it goes quickly, at least on my Kindle.

I seem to read faster on an e-reader.  Do you?  I wonder why.

I just finished book three, 44 Cranberry Point which focused on Grace and Cliff, Olivia and Jack (of course), and Bob and Peggy Beldon -- and, naturally the mysterious stranger who wound up dead in the Beldon's B&B, Thyme and Tide. 

I am starting on the fourth book, 50 Harbor Street, which, from  perusing page 1, appears to be focusing on the McAfees and the mysterious letters and gifts they have been receiving.  It seems ominous but they can't be sure.  Maybe we will find out in this "episode".

Fortunately I have been able to obtain all but one of these books from my public library on Overdrive.  I love that feature and almost never have a problem finding something that I am looking for.  I have a feeling I am not going to stop reading until I have finished the series.  There are twelve books and some supplementals so it will keep me going for a while.  I hope I continue to be interested in the story lines -- it seems like it would be difficult to keep it going for that long but we will see.

Ok, back to reading!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Isn't it Ironic (Alanis Morrisette)

Life is so full of irony.  I sometimes feel like I live my life in a state of irony, if there is such a thing.

Why would a person who was so bad at math in general and so completely dismal at geometry in particular decide on quilting as a hobby? Hmmmm?

And why would somebody who understand zero, zip, nada about anything electronic love electronic gadgets like computers and cell phones and such?  Hmmmm X 2.

I have an iphone SE.  It takes very nice photos.  I have a Linux driven computer, it works well and I don't really worry about virus's and such.  However, the phone and the computer don't really talk to each other in regards to photos.

In other words I can't get the photos off the phone and onto the computer.  Neither can my genius husband (a bit of a joke there).

SO....this past weekend we were in our hometown laying my mother-in-law to rest.  The last time I couldn't get photos off the phone I swore never to use anything but my trusty little point and shoot Nikon camera.

Well, with the half-move and all I can't find the charger or the case so I decided to just take the phone.  Of course, I had forgotten that I can't transfer the photos.  So.....

Yep, isn't it ironic.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Trying to Get Normal

Normal -- what is that even?  I don't know that there is such a thing as normal since there are probably as many "normals" as there are people.  However, for me, what my life has been since mid-December is definitely NOT normal.  And I am not happy about it.  It has been implied that I am being selfish but I don't think so.

Since we partially moved in mid-December we have had a few glitches along the way which have made it much more difficult than it should have been. 

In the first place, not trusting the moving company, I chose to pack and move by car many boxes.  That was a mistake.  The movers were excellent and I should have just let them take everything.  I should have let them PACK everything.  There won't be a "next move" but if there was I would do things differently in that respect.

Then as I was trying to unpack and plan for Christmas I was slapped upside the head by the flu.  After about week three I was wondering if I was ever going to get over it.  I am still wondering because I don't feel 100% even yet.

Then my mother in law took a turn for the worst and wound up in the hospital in a rapid decline.  I was totally freaked out because the emergency room was completely full -- the hospital was full, actually -- of flu patients.  In the ER they had the gurneys lined up two deep against the walls and in one part of the waiting room.  They were masking everybody and I never felt more exposed in all my life.

My MIL was a week in the hospital when they finally moved her to hospice where she spent less than 24 hours before going home to glory.  That was the easy part.

Then came planning the funeral and burial.  I will tell you that dealing with the military is not an easy task.  She is buried in a national cemetery with her husband but it was a two week wait for the burial and another week for us to have a memorial service which will be this Saturday.  There has been much communication between my husband and the funeral home (she purchased a funeral in 1977!) and the cemetery.  They can't seem to get the names spelled correctly which has been a real source of aggravation for my husband.  Hopefully that has been resolved but not sure.  And the paperwork has been ridiculous but thankfully, in this day and age, it was able to be done electronically and we didn't have to make an extra trip there to get it all tied up.

Then, because this event is out of town (nobody lives there anymore, everybody is scattered) and happening right before lunch, we needed to make plans for lunch for everybody.  The immediate family numbers 33.  Yes, you read that right -- immediate family = 33.  That is children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  There are 5 nieces and nephews coming as well.  There is one restaurant that we know of that could accommodate a party that large so we set about booking it.  Their guidelines are very rigid.  We had to choose a menu because ordering off the regular menu is not allowed.  We have gone round and round trying to plan this gathering.  Honestly, it has been the hardest part.

So, why has it been implied that I am being selfish?  Because I am a tad upset about not being finished moving or being done with unpacking.  I guess it appears that I am thinking about myself and not about the family's loss.  That isn't true but I am finding that the older I get being surrounded by clutter and disorder gives me great anxiety.  I still have boxes stacked up that I am trying to empty but it is a slow go on my own and now I have many of my mother in law's boxes to deal with as well. For every box I unpack, three more come in the door! It will improve this weekend as I deliver boxes of earthly possessions to her children but for now I am just a bit annoyed that my house still looks like moving and storage.  Also, I have asked my husband to relocate some things he unceremoniously dumped on my kitchen counter and he hasn't done it yet (about three weeks ago I asked) because he is trying to help somebody spell his name -- it isn't difficult. 

Hubs has assured me that next week all will be different -- we will be back on track and we can get back on our usual routine.  I am not sure I remember what that was but I do know that I have a lot of appointments to reschedule so I guess I will be doing a lot of that stuff.  And moving.  Some more.

Oh, did I mention that my seasonal allergies have kicked in?

Is it too late for Bah-humbug?

Monday, January 15, 2018

Winter Weather Advisory

Winter in Texas.  It's a mystery.  The last two winters have barely visited us -- very mild, no snow or ice.

Welcome 2018.  We are having our second winter weather advisory of the year.  The first gave us 15 minutes of snow.  The second is current.

We aren't having anything YET but mid-afternoon it is to start raining changing over to sleet and snow around 8 p.m.

I will post photos if it really happens.  I am doubtful but remain cautious.  We went to the grocery store yesterday because I have learned to be safe rather than sorry and you can't, absolutely can't, weather a wintry mix without extra bathroom tissues, milk, bread and cookies.  Thank goodness it is Girl Scout Cookie season and I have five boxes.

Later this afternoon, before the weather comes in, we will be having our Christmas gift exchange with our son and his family -- better late than never I suppose.

The morning will be spent packing more of my mother-in-laws belongings for donation and continuing to unpack our own boxes in our new house.

It has been incredibly busy at Brinkley Cottage.  Perhaps a  "snow day" would be a good thing -- binge watch movies, drink hot cocoa, fire in the fireplace -- maybe that is the purpose of these incredibly cold days -- a way to make us slow down.  I am up for that.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

204 Rosewood Lane

I just finished 204 Rosewood Lane by Debbie Macomber.  It is the second in the Cedar Cove series.

I seem to gravitate toward books in series and I am not sure why.  Perhaps it is because if it is a good book I hate to see it end so if there is a "next" book -- it doesn't really end. 

This was a good follow up to the first book -- 16 Lighthouse Road -- and it leaves enough dangling questions to lead right into the next book which is what I plan to do in just a little while. 

The first book introduces and explores Olivia Lockhart, the real main character of the series.  This second book is focused on her friend Grace Sherman.  Grace is going through a rough time after her husband left for no apparent reason and try as she might, she couldn't find him.  There is another mystery involving an unknown person who shows up at the local bed and breakfast and passes on while he is there.  His identity is a mystery yet to be solved.  I am hoping to learn more about him in the third book.

So, if you like series books I would recommend.  I did watch the mini-series on tv and the books follow closely so if you want to get a feel for the books, watch the show.  It is all really quite good


Yesterday we lost my mother in law of 45 years.  She was 96 years old and had been blessed with a long, healthy life, a large family and many opportunities.  It is sad but at the same time a life to be celebrated with joy.  It was a peaceful passing and she had the opportunity to see all of her sons and have her daughter speak to her on the phone from Cleveland.  There was time for everybody to say what they needed to say, visit with grandchildren and great-grandchildren and for everybody to process what was happening. 

It was a beautiful day yesterday -- the temps were mild and the sun was shining.  There was no better day for her to continue her journey into the next life where I am sure she was met by her husband and all her siblings.  I am sure there was a joyful noise in Heaven.

Godspeed, Granny

Monday, January 08, 2018

Brief Post

I haven't been here since Thursday but things have gotten chaotic around here.  My MIL went to the emergency room on Friday, was admitted to the ICU on Saturday and was moved to a hospice unit at another hospital this afternoon. 

We have had two episodes that we thought she was passing on but she rallied and is still with us.  She is terminal, there is no hope of recovery but the little lady just keeps on keeping on.  She is strong and determined. 

I will return when it is appropriate.

Thursday, January 04, 2018

First Thursday of the New Year

Today is January 4, 2018 and it is the first Thursday of the new year.  What does that mean?  Absolutely nothing.

It fell below freezing last night but is supposed to be close to 50 today which I am very happy for.  I don't mind it being a bit cold, it is winter, after all, but days and days of frigid weather with cloudy skies are just not my idea of a good time.  Growing up in the southern part of the state it was rare we had long stretches of really cold weather so I am not used to it at all.  Even though I have lived up north (Texas) for almost 28 years, I just don't think I will ever acclimate -- the winters are cold and the summers are really hot and there is no gulf breeze like in the south.  I just have to muddle through and wait for October -- my favorite month of the year.

I am still unpacking boxes and I finally found my Kindle charger.  I knew I just threw it in a box but I couldn't remember which one but it didn't take long to find it.  It is a good thing, too, because the device was about to die and I am in the middle of a pretty good book.

I don't know what today holds but I am feeling better so that is good.  I don't have to grocery shop so that is even better.  We might go look for some fireplace logs for our fireplace.  It will burn wood or do gas and I prefer gas logs.  So, that is going to be our Christmas present to each other.  We need it in this weather.

I hope you all have a wonderful first Thursday of the new year.  Try to stay warm!

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Good Morning, Frigid Fort Worth!

It is very cold here -- 23 right now at 9 a.m. The high is supposed to be 30.  I will be glad when tomorrow gets here and it will be in the 40's.

I am not a cold weather person.

Back in 1985, in San Antonio, we had 15 inches of snow which completely paralyzed the city.  San Antonio didn't own snow plows.  We were stuck.  These photos came from the internet and aren't my own although I have some but they are packed away.

It was fun for about the first day and then it ceased being fun as I had to rescue my 65 lb. basset hound when she sank in the snow in the back yard.  We watched my elderly neighbor try to shovel snow off his flat carport roof and ended up helping him so he wouldn't have a heart attack.  Being closed up for days with bored kids wasn't fun either not to mention running out of snacks. 

So, I don't look kindly on the fluffy white stuff, the below freezing temps or ice glazing over my driveway and street.  That is all I have to say about it.

I started a new book last night.  It is the second in the Cedar Cove Series by Debbie Macomber -- 204 Rosewood Lane.  I watched the mini-series on tv and enjoyed it so I thought I would delve into the book series and have read the first one.  It is pretty good, lots of characters to keep straight, some spice, some anger, some comedy.  It has held my interest and I read about a quarter of the book in a couple of hours so there you go.

Still trying to shake this bug -- my head is still messed up and still coughing but hopefully it is on its way out the door -- it has really overstayed its welcome!  I am continuing to unpack boxes -- they seem to never end -- and hopefully toward the end of the week we will be back at the old house getting more things packed up.  It is amazing how much stuff there is and how much needs to go someplace else.  Fortunately, though, after the last move, I have been careful about accumulating too much stuff and so it isn't unreasonable, we just got sidelined with all sorts of stuff going on.

So, guess it is time to get the day started.  Have a good one!

Monday, January 01, 2018

Happy New Year!

Yes, 2018 has arrived!  Hubs and I rang it in while binge watching Jurassic Park movies.  I would have preferred to watch something else but was too lazy to change the channel.  It's ok -- kept us awake to enjoy the New Year and listen to the thumpy, bumping of the fireworks outside which we didn't bother to get up and look at.  We were really having a lazy day yesterday!

I had started a new read a couple of days ago and had thought I could finish to add to my Goodreads 2017 Reading Challenge but I didn't quite get done.  I did finish it up this morning and thought I would share a review.

The book was Agatha Raisin and the Case of the Curious Curate.

 It was another in the Agatha Raisin series and was pretty much like all the others but I do enjoy these little books even if they are very formulaic.  I might even start another if I can find it on Overdrive for my Kindle.

I am really enjoying the library feature on my Kindle.  I love checking out books on it -- it makes me feel so resourceful!  I have a lot of books, too many actually, and I do like the idea of free instant gratification! 

The new year has started off quietly for us.  We had ice yesterday and we stayed in since we are still marginally under the weather.  It was a gloomy day as the last few have been.  Today, however, the sun is shining and we are inching closer to a warm up later in the week.  I am ready.  I know, that sounds wimpy, but I  a South Texan -- living in North Texas -- and cold weather is just not in my realm of understanding. 

The weather in South Texas is quiet different than North Texas but they have had snow twice down there in the last couple of weeks and I know how people react -- it isn't pretty.  Not much better up here either.  We just aren't built for it.  So, I will be glad to see it go. 

We have had to put off Bean's First Communion twice.  She was supposed to take it on Christmas Eve which would have been a lovely thing.  We all had the flu.  Then she was supposed to take it yesterday, New Year's Eve, but we had ice that closed the highways down and her godmother has strep throat.  So, we are now looking at next Sunday -- her godfather will be serving so he will get to serve her which will be really nice.  Hopefully we are all back together again and the weather is supposed to be good-- in the 60's and I can certain do the 60's.  She has a lovely dress and I will share photos of the event.

So, the first day of the new year has been quiet -- soup for lunch, doing a bit of unpacking and settling in.  All of that has been put off because of the dread, evil disease we have been messing with.  Hopefully I can get more done today and the stack of boxes can dwindle a little more. 

Do you make resolutions?  I do not.  I just like to think that the thing to do is make the most of each day and what it has to offer.  Here is wishing all of you a very Happy New Year full of blessing!