Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and not so bookish bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise.


1. The HBO series is over, but the Game of Thrones author says he still has two books to go, which include no plans to change the ending. Fans are outraged. Readers are incensed. I am...

Totally not caring one bit. Sorry, I never got into the whole thing, TV or written. Snore.

2. Yard Sales are great!

Whether buying or selling, yard sales are my idea of a good time. After several trips to the basement to gather and forage, hubby and I have gotten together a pretty good stash of sale items. The porch is full, the dining room is filling up. Craigslist post is up. A quick stop at CVS for colored poster board and we will be ready to go.

Saturday is the plan. Of course, it's supposed to be a measly 99-101 degrees this Saturday, but hopefully the humidity will be light and we will get the crowds early.

Hanging on the porch during vacation, reading a book and drinking ice tea - here I come!!

3. Yes, you heard that right. I am headed into two full weeks of vacation! I've got a bunch of doctors appointments planned, but hopefully it's stressless and restful. I would like to break out some of those art supplies I've been buying and read through some of the hundreds of books I sifted through when gathering yard sale items.

4. Yes, I literally went through *almost* every book in the house, hundreds (oy, the dust!). I've got perhaps a couple of shelves left...and I may just do those too! I made some tough decisions about those children's books, which I will never read and no longer need. I kept the classics, but am selling/donating the rest. The adult books I was less aggressive with, but I did pick out quick a few that I just have no interest in anymore, already read, were ill-suited gifts, or in some cases I don't even remember how they came into the house.

5. The yard is officially cut back, though there is still clean up that needs to be done (I ran out of yard bags). It really needs a good mow (hubby's job), but I am doubtful this will happen before the weekend. Sorry yard-salers, you're going to have to push through the weeds.

6. I also gathered all the beer bottles that hubby has collected over our ten years in this house, all stashed on the porch, and made a trip to the liquor store. They now have those same bottle/can return machines the grocery store does. Who knew?! And, I returned every last blessed one. Good riddance.

And then, I bought myself ice cream with the loot!

7. Counterfeiting of books on Amazon is a thing?! Since when? I mean, yeh, I guess that makes sense. But I've never heard of it actually happening. Have you?

Monday, July 01, 2019

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? - 07/01/19

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.



Sometimes, when you are facing a reading slump, the best thing to do is to go back to childhood (when reading was new and exciting *and easy*) to find something to read. 

After several weeks of not being able to get through anything, I took a little visit to my children's-bookshelf (a holdover from my short foray into teaching) and SUCCESS! I have been able to get through a few over the past couple of weeks. And, I feel like I might even be getting ready for something a bit more...meaty.

I also decided to start reading through the Nancy Drew series (only a few of which I actually own). So far, so good!



Currently Reading:



Just Finished:




Friday, June 28, 2019

Ways to Make Bookish Friends


Image result for free images free little library

Ever notice how hard it is to make friends after college? I have. I'm not much of a people person. I can be friendly and outgoing, but homegirl needs her alone time. BOOKRIOT seems to have a recurrent theme of publishing pieces about "making bookish friends." Their recent brilliant ideas include...
  • Hangout in bookstores (work or visit) and strike up conversations [Um, no thanks, #introvert]
  • Talk to others in line at book signings [which requires going to book signings, right?]
  • Bookclubs [I hate being told what to read and when]
  • The library [Aren't they quiet zones?]
  • Book sales [the last time I went to a book sale two guys got into an actual fist fight over a pile of "reserved" $1 DVDs!]
  • Wear conversation starting "merch" [Like Twilight t-shirts and Harry Potter pins? At my age, that seems a bit pervy as I am more likely to attract new-bookish friends' children.]
  • Dating apps [Um, thinking my husband might not love this idea]


So, what does an adult gal (or guy) do to find bookish friends, you ask? Good question!

Here are just a few ideas that popped into my head...

  • Commuting - If you commute, look around. There are almost always others reading either books, Kindles, on their phone. Sit next to one of them. Wait for a good moment and then pop the question! "What are you reading?" Guaranteed to get any reader, extroverted or not, to answer. If they clam up after the title, say, "Is it any good?" This almost always works! [Added benefit, if you repeatedly "run into" that person, you can eventually ensure yourself a reading partner on the train who understands, "It's been nice chatting, but it's time to shut up now and read!"]
  • Co-workers, friends of friends - Bring up books in conversation with your non-book friends. Look into starting a bookclub at work, or put up a sign at the gym. [You would be seriously surprised how many people are closet readers just waiting for a chance to talk about their latest read.]
  • Youtube and Instagram - Watch some bookish YouTube channels and keep an eye on the comments. Strike up a conversation with someone interesting, but seemingly non-crazy. Eventually progress to email or texting. [People are fairly open on these social media sites, it's easy to learn quickly if they are friend-material or not.]
  • Skype and Facetime - Convince those YouTube buddies to start a bookclub and use one of these programs to link in, include long-distance friends, cousins, or more. [Friendly times, but at home. The best of the best!]
  • Community read-a-thon - Rather than waiting for a group to come to you, initiate a read-a-thon at - or even better -  for your local library or school. Let the readers in your hometown come to you. [Added bonus: because they are local and maybe have children at the same school, you have more things in common.]
  • Art-geeks stick together - Look for potential friends who have other similar interests as you. Do you knit or attend an art or pottery class? Do you have a local community chorus or theater? Arty folks are often bookish folks. Ask someone new if they've read any good books lately! [Worst case scenario, they look at you with disdain and say something like, "I'm too busy knitting a sweater for my pet gerbil, Bubba, to read..." One less person you have to waste time pursuing, move on.]
  • Church - Again, same interests, same faith. Suggest reading an appropriate book together. Start up a Bible-Read-a-Thon. [Whatever works.]
  • Book-luck Dinner Party - Plan a pot-luck dinner where everyone brings a book, rather than a dish. Non-readers won't bother accepting...or maybe they will and you can convince them they are truly bookish! [Maybe everyone also brings a dish related to their book, so you don't have to do all the cooking?]
  • Yard-Sales - Go to yard sales with books, or have one yourself. Ask buyers/sellers what they read recently. [List Books on the Craigslist listing and watch them flock to you.]
  • Free-Little-Library - Set up a little library in front of your house (check on your local laws first). Keep your eye on those folks who return time and again. Conveniently take the trash out when they approach and say hello. Strike up a conversation and invite them to your Book-Luck Dinner Party. [Then go plan your last-minute Book-Luck Dinner Party.]


Any other suggestions?

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and not so bookish bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise.


Reading slumps suck man! But my fall-back is to return to children's books, which are short, easy reads. Thankfully I have a bookcase full of children's books, most of which I have never read. Even though I am no longer teaching, I have been unable to get rid of them. I recently found my way over there and have been able to get through several in the past couple weeks. I am just beginning to feel like, perhaps I could move on to something more fulfilling.

Despite that, I have decided to challenge myself to read my way through the Nancy Drew series. I am about four books in. I don't own them all, but I don't really need to read them in order do I?

I finally got around to starting the backyard clean up. I was aggressive, but it looks much better. There is still more to do. So much cutting back and tons of clean up. I was hoping to finish this weekend, but there is a rainy weekend brewing. Saturday morning may be the only chance I get.

Our yard sale keeps getting pushed back and back... By the time we get to it, the summer will be over and the opportunity to reclaim the side-porch will be over. But I am determined to get it done and eat dinner on the porch at least once this summer!

'Nough said, am I right?!?!














So, the update seems to be...boring, old carpal tunnel. No surprises. I have been using a wrist support and trying to minimize the effects as much as possible to avoid cortisone shots or surgery (which both sound horrible). The long term results aren't promising, but I'm doing what I can.

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and not so bookish bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise.


1. Been busy the last few weeks and haven't had a chance to check in...

I spent Mother's Day with a stomach bug, texting my mothers (birth and step) from the ER. All was fine and I was sent home after a strong dose of potassium replenishment. No children myself, but my the kitties gave me a card and flowers!

2. I finished Reese Witherspoon's Whiskey in a Teacup in early May, but haven't had much energy or interest in anything since. I started about four different books in the past few weeks and nothing has stuck. Suggestions?

3. Hubby and I have spent multiple weekends recently "taking back the house". Last year was so busy for me between work and Purely Vocals prep for Ireland, I literally had maybe one weekend off between June and October. Over the holidays we moved a bunch of junk from the "man-cave" to the rarely-used dining room and, yes, it took him until June to clean it up. But he wanted to have friends over for dinner, so it had to be done. It took about two days, but we did it along with a major dust/vacuum/decluttering effort (I clean weekly, but with two cats and a husband it's never done).

Then, over Memorial Day weekend I motivated and started cutting back and cleaning up the yard (no cutting or leaf removal occurred last year at all, it was a disaster). I got through the front and most of the side yard, but I ran out of time and energy (and yard bags). The backyard still desperately needs attention. The neighbor is literally putting up a fence...

(I think/hope that has more to do with his very young child, haha).

I will get to it as soon as I possibly can, but I've got a few busy weekends to face first.

4. This weekend, I am headed to Connecticut for another girl's/Purely Vocals rehearsal weekend. We've got a gig on Sunday and a few others coming soon, so we want to be sure we are ready. Plus, we've got plans for a big yard sale very soon to complete the declutter process and open up the side-porch. Best laid plans...

5. I've got a neurological study scheduled in a couple of weeks to determine if my carpal tunnel is wrist related, or perhaps connected to neck issues, pinched nerve type of thing. My money is on boring, old carpal tunnel which will require shots or surgery, rather than some nice PT and massages.

6. So have you heard Amazon removed books for sale promoting bleach as a cure for Autism?

Seriously? SERIOUSLY?! I. Just. Can't.

7. After more than a year of using an iPad with a dead battery (read plugged in at all times) I finally bit the proverbial bullet and bought a new tablet. I've had two iPads and both batteries lasted only about two years. So I decided to branch out and bought a Surface Pro 6 (complete with keyboard and fancy pen). I am a diehard Android user, so why I was hanging on to a iPad is beyond me. But the process of the switchover is a long one. The apps are called different things in Windows and the set up is more work than an iPad. But once its done, it should function much the same (minus a few apps)...and has capabilities that an iPad makes much more difficult.

8. I finally found those darned colored pencil books after about three weeks of searching. They were put away safely in a bookcase... Now why didn't I think of that?!?!



Monday, June 03, 2019

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? - 06/3/19

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.



Currently Reading:

Sadly, not a whole heck of a lot...

Since finishing my last read, Reese Witherspoon's Whiskey in a Teacup, I have been in a reading slump. I have started about four books and haven't gotten engaged enough to continue. This says a lot more about my focus on other things though, than on the books themselves. Traveling this weekend and hoping to find something to spark my interest.

We'll see!

Monday, May 13, 2019

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? - 05/13/19

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.



Currently Reading:






Thursday, May 09, 2019

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and not so bookish bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise.





1. I was reading along in Jodi Picoult's Change of Heart and, after realizing I had already read it, a library hold that I have been waiting on for quite a while finally opened to me. So I put Jodi aside and joined Reese for a quick read! Entertaining so far.

2. We were thrilled to get a full price offer on our condo. And the buyer accepted it despite a few small issues the inspector found. Nothing major, so we must have done a good job prepping it. Now we just await the P&S and final closing.

2. R.I.P. Rachel Held Evans.

3. Saturday is Commencement at work. The seniors are excited to graduate. The faculty are thrilled summer is finally here. And the staff...we just continue working hard preparing for next fall. Next time you're buying a present for your child's teacher, buy an extra one for the office secretary or the janitor or the assistant principal. Seriously, there are no months off for the behind-the-scenes folks. And we. work. hard.

4. Carpel tunnel update. I'm headed to the hand surgeon tomorrow. Thinking they will try cortisone first, we'll see. I've been wearing a wrist brace for weeks and it has helped, but not solved the problem totally. So, at least there's that.

5. Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter for Donald Trump's The Art of the Deal, states he wants the book taken out of print, or at minimum recategorized as fiction, after a report in The New York Times that Trump lost over a billion dollars between 1985 and 1994.

6. I don't generally know what I am going to read next. I tend to be a "find it on Overdrive (or on my shelves), it catches my interest, and I delve in" sort of person (whether its on my over 12,000+ TBR or not). But I now have not one, but two books about color pencil drawing that I want to read really, really badly. So I was thinking, maybe I would attack one of those next!

And, of course, now I can't find either of them! Organization fail!




Monday, April 29, 2019

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? - 04/29/19

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.



Currently Reading:




Just Finished:





Thursday, April 25, 2019

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and not so bookish bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise.




1. The condo is officially as ready as its going to be! We passed the keys on to a real estate agent this past weekend and expect multiple open houses this coming weekend. Hopefully by next week it will be in escrow and moving on to its next happy owner. Sad...it is where my husband proposed. But glad...one last item on our plate to worry about and a little more cushion in the retirement account.

2. You know when you start reading a book and are really enjoying it...and then you go, "Huh...this sounds vaguely familiar. Did I already read this?!" And, in fact, you did. But you are enjoying the read so much its like, "Eh, whatever!" and you keep reading? Yeah, that!

3. Remember that comment about my phone being a friend?! Well, sometimes friends are...

a challenge. 

I decided that I wanted to upgrade my SD micro storage card. Well, over a week later, I gave up! The files would upload to the card and then just mysteriously disappear. Seriously. Here one day, gone the next!  Hours of wasted time. Calls to customer service were unsuccessful. There are some comments about it on the web, but no resolutions (none that worked for me). I returned to my smaller card and am sifting through the music on there, cleaning up and ridding of what is not listened to, doubled, etc. Disappointing, to say the least.

4. Carpal tunnel update...my doc is sending me to a hand surgeon. Boo! They will likely have to start with cortisone injections, rather than just jump right to hand surgery, for insurance purposes (try the cheaper option first). But I think I am bordering on permanent damage, so...gotta do what ya gotta do. I begin my journey May 10th.

5. This Sunday, April 23rd, is the 5th annual Independent Bookstore Day. Be sure to get out there and support those awesome folks who love books as much as you do!

Also, http://www.indiebookstoreday.com/ is hosting a Twitter party Thursday, April 25, at 10 a.m Pacific; join them in using the hashtag #BookstoreDay.

6. Easter was a relatively low key event on my end. Brunch with family. No young children, so no big effort but always good food and laughs. Hope your day was just as enjoyable, whether you celebrate Easter or not.



Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Trauma Cleaner

Title: The Trauma Cleaner: One Woman's Extraordinary Life in the Business of Death, Decay, and Disaster


Author: Sarah Krasnostein

Genre: Non-fictioin

Rating3/5- Good. Read it, have a good time and move on. Or not.

Book Source: Library



What Its About:  
Sarah Krasnostein offers a look into the life of Sandra Pankhurst, a transgender woman who was adopted at an early age, named Peter, and then systematically abused and mistreated until he was old enough to run away.

Pankhurst struggled to find her place in the world, marrying and having children, spending time as a drag queen, and trying to fulfill her role as a responsible father and husband. Eventually, Pankhurst needed to accept herself and underwent gender reassignment surgery, spending years as a sex worker to support herself during her mental and physical transition.

Pankhurst married again later in life and established herself as a well-known and respected businesswoman in her home town. However, after the family business failed and Pankhurst's husband died, she found herself focusing on her strengths. She opened a cleaning business, which segued to fill a noticeable gap in her area, trauma clean-up.

Krasnostein alternates between chapters about Pankhurst's life and stories of the homes they enter to assist in cleaning, either due to hoarding, death, or other catastrophes. She speaks lovingly of Sandra Pankhurst, displaying a deep friendship and a respect for the life that Pankhurst has survived. And acknowledging the kindness and caring that Pankhurst shares could only have come from experiencing a life such as hers.








The Bottom Line: 
This was a good read. I was a bit disappointed in the limited discussion of the clients and their situations. The majority of the book, and truly the story, is Pankhurst's history which is extremely interesting. She is a strong, amazing woman. I found a YouTube video of an interview with her and you are left really respecting and liking her. But, I really was hoping for more info about the trauma side of the business. I just can't return to those trauma YouTube videos!