This Week Has Been a Blur

Here’s what I’ve written, read, and done this week. Just another peek into my everyday life.

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This Week in Writing

I haven’t written much since I last posted here. Whenever I am working on a major blog post it’s hard to get really serious about another one at the same time. I’m hoping to publish the big one tomorrow. It’s partly author interview and partly book reviews. I’ve been corresponding with local children’s author Beryl Reichenberg for a few weeks now, and  I’m now in the final stages of compiling all the material and getting it written. Here are the posts I have completed since I last posted here:

  • Special Education Teachers Are Special: A tribute to special education teachers I’ve known. I’ve included gift suggestions for great teachers.
  • A Discouraging Day Online : This one is a vent I wrote after trying to open an account to pay a credit card bill online and hitting lots of obstacles.
  • Abandoned Barn? This is a short photographic essay inspired by a barn I saw on our trip to Madera last week.

Reading this Week

As the title states, the week has been a blur. If I didn’t write it down, I don’t remember it. I did some laundry, worked out at Kennedy Club three nights, and read one book. I started reading Flowers  in the Snow by Danielle Stewart Friday night, but haven’t been in the right mood to finish it yet. It appears to be a worthy read, but it’s dark. It’s based on history, but it’s a period of American history I’d rather forget since it shows how inhumane people can be.

“Betty” tells her story of growing up in a KKK family, completely unaware of what it meant during her early years. Her rude awakening came when she saw a beaten black man in town and tried to help him, believing she was practicing what she’d learned in Sunday school in the story of the Good Samaritan.  She learned fast enough her family did not consider the man human, got the spanking of her life, and was ostracized by not only her schoolmates but her family. I won’t say any more now except that I can’t face reading about the violence I know is coming until I can prepare myself emotionally for it.

This Week Has Been a Blur
Jacob had to dress like an Amish boy.

I  did enjoy A Lancaster Amish Home for Jacob by Rachel Stolzfus. Jacob is a homeless boy who lives in a group home and gets into trouble all the time. One night he and a friend led the police on an especially wild chase after they had spraypainted some cars. He got caught. His social worker decided drastic measures were called for, and he had the choice of living in an Amish foster home or going into juvenile detention. He chose the Amish home. I won’t tell you any more, but I would like to get the sequel.

My Packages Have Almost All Arrived

I had to make some returns at Costco and Sears yesterday. I hadn’t realized you could return items purchased at Land’s End to Sears. My purchases for myself there were too big, so I had to return two pair of pants. I also had to return a shirt my husband had purchased at Costco  that was too small, and a pair of PJ’s I’d bought that were too big. This trip half an hour out of town, with shopping on the way home, kept me on the road for four hours. I spent most of the time at Costco.

I just received my new WaterPik and steam mop so I will have to start learning to use them during the next few days. Now I must go finish my blog post for tomorrow.

Cooking, Writing, Shopping, Exercising, and Reading

Back to the Kitchen

It seems I spent most of Saturday in the kitchen. I had picked some of my chard and kale from the front yard, and I needed to use them.  The kale had sprung up by itself next to the garage. Here’s what I did with a previous batch of home-grown kale.

Cooking, Writing, Shopping, Exercising, and Reading
Volunteer Kale Plant, © B. Radisavljevic

 

I tried a new recipe this time, one with chicken, kale, and onions. We both loved it. I will be posting it soon on Niume, another site where I  often make short posts on my daily adventures. I also made a batch of black bean soup so now there is something hot to eat at night. It’s been so long since I cooked anything from scratch I’d almost forgotten how.

Writing Kept Me Very Busy

It seems I spent a lot of the weekend listing and updating deals between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. I deleted the post today since the sales are over. I don’t think I will handle those deals the same way next year. Here are some of the posts I wrote over the weekend that are still up.

I was also editing the deals that were coming and going on a couple of older posts on another blog. Now you know why I didn’t post here over the weekend.

Shopping the Cyber Weekend Deals

After listing all those good deals, I decided I might as well take advantage of them to get some things we needed while the prices were low. We’ve already gotten some of our orders, and I expect more tomorrow. I also have some things to return to Land’s End that didn’t fit. They were too BIG. Kosta loved his new wool sweater from them, though. Shopping is a lot of work, even when you do it online. Still beats fighting the crowds in the stores.

Exercising and Reading – Finally

I love reading, but I haven’t had much time for it this weekend. After our trip to Madera before Thanksgiving, I had a lot of work to catch up on. That also kept me from exercising. I finally got back to the gym on Monday night and spent an hour on the stationary bike, reading.

Exercise is good for me, but I always get interested in the book I started reading on the bike and don’t want to stop reading it when I get home. And the book I read? Lake House Secret, by Debra Burroughs, a mystery / romance novel. I may review it one of these days. I enjoyed it.

I think it’s bedtime now. I will leave you with a photo of my chard, most of which is still growing in my front flowerbed.

Cooking, Writing, Shopping, Exercising, and Reading
Chard in Front Flowerbed, © B. Radisavljevic

***

In the Dark, Monday. 11-21-16

We spent too much time in the dark today, and I had to switch to Plan B for today’s work.

A Plan B Morning

The rain stopped sometime last night and the sun was bright when I opened my eyes a little before ten. (My normal bedtime is around 2 AM.) I headed for the computer only to see that the power was out. When we called PG&E we learned we’d get our power back around 2 PM. No hot tea for me in the morning!

Since I couldn’t use the computer or the phones, I decided to go to the gym earlier than usual and get my workout done so I could blog on the computer when I’m normally at the gym in the late afternoon.

My Reading Notes

At the gym, I almost finished reading Secrets in the Grave by Karen Ann Hopkins. It’s a detective mystery set in Amish country. I continued reading it while I ate my cold cereal after arriving home. The power came back on just in time for me to have that cup of hot tea I’d missed. I also wanted to finish my book, since I was 88% into it. I like to get the mystery resolved when I’m that close to the end.

Although there were a couple of surprises at the end, I was pretty sure who the culprit was by about a third of the way through the book. I suspected another culprit of foul deeds. The author was good at giving the reader just enough clues to figure out who the villains were while saving some unexpected twists for the end. The only thing I found annoying as I read was not immediately catching the changing voice. If you read it, remember that after the prologue the chapters are named for the character who is speaking.

One Last (I Hope) Power Outage for the Day

As I was finishing my dessert tonight while watching the news there was a crackling “Poof,” and it went dark and quiet again, except for the beeping of my battery backup. It was then I remembered that most of our emergency lighting is at the other house in Templeton. I did find a few candles and one light was hooked up to the battery backup in my office, so we managed. Time to bring those emergency supplies where they will be most needed. As I post this I’m hoping the power will stay on through the night. I will make sure I have a flashlight with me at all times.

The power was only off for about half an hour this time. I’d only had time to find and light the candles, recline in my chair, and open my Kindle before the lights and sound came on again.  As I post this I’m hoping the power will stay on through the night. I will make sure I have a flashlight with me at all times.

UPDATE: I’m now much better prepared for any future power outage. Here’s what I bought to keep light in my life when the power goes out.

(28) Reading: Why do people who love reading love it so much? – Quora

Reasons to read are unique for each person. Ojas Patil has given a very eloquent one on Quora.

Why People Read?

(28) Reading: Why do people who love reading love it so much? – Quora.

How would you answer this question? Those who responded on Quora have eloquently described what drives people to their books for a world view and an imaginative view of the world. Please go read the answers. I could never be this eloquent trying to summarize them. Don’t miss the answer by Ojas Patil. What’s in the image is only a fraction of what he wrote. His is just one of the many imaginative answers you will find when you click the link above..

Feel free to leave your own reason for reading in the comments.

What Does Your E-Book Learn From You?

What Does Your E-Book Learn From You?

I have long been a fan of paper books, and I’m not ready to replace them with an e-book of any kind yet. Reading this article has convinced me to wait a bit longer before taking the plunge into e-books.

Your E-Book is Reading You

Some of my Favorite Childhood Books
Some of my Favorite Childhood Books

I have long been a fan of paper books, and I’m not ready to replace them with an e-book of any kind yet. Reading the above article has convinced me to wait a bit longer before taking the plunge into e-books. I haven’t yet forgotten the readers who downloaded Orwell’s 1984 on their Kindles only to have it disappear. One of my colleagues at tomfolio.com pointed out that if Amazon can erase an entire book overnight from countless kindles, it could also erase or rewrite a paragraph or a chapter, making it possible for  Big Brother to  rewrite history without anyone being aware of it — unless, of course, there was an earlier paper edition to compare it to.

So I plan to hold on to any of my paper editions that are important to me. And this article gives me another reason. Reading is an intensely private activity for me. I don’t mind discussing what I’ve read with others after I’ve read a book, but I really don’t want a computer taking note of how far I get in a book, what I underline, or whether I decide not to finish a book I started. I want to lean back in my recliner, open my paper book, and get lost in it. And I don’t want anyone looking over my shoulder when I’m reading it.