Exceedingly Mundane

tidbits of random nothingness

Apr-8-13

Monday Monday

posted by Stace

* I made progress today. I walked for the first time, by myself, without Beau. It was a sad walk, but I finally forced myself to get out and go. 3.3 miles, so at least I didn’t wimp out after the first mile :D

* Had to make an emergency run up to the assisted living place to check on my dad this morning. More health issues, this time, thankfully nothing very serious. I guess being around so many more people than he was before (he lived alone and rarely saw anyone other than the checkers at Walmart), seems to be making him sicker.

* I’m currently decalcifying (is that how you spell that silly word?!) the coffee pot for Tim. I made myself some coffee once or twice in the last week (I use a different coffee maker that is stored in the garage, an el cheapo Mr Coffee from Walmart)… I imagine that will be the last coffee I make at home until fall and winter rolls around again. Tim, however, drinks it 365 days a year, so we have to clean his coffee maker fairly often.

* Getting warm, I guess spring is finally here. Supposed to be 80 degrees today.

* Current book I’m reading: on my Kindle, a cozy I downloaded from my library’s website called “A Slice of Murder” by Chris Cavender. So far, it’s a pretty good little cozy mystery :)

* Trying to work on a menu for the week, I think I’ll do stir fry tonight, get Tim to grill burgers tomorrow and do fish Wednesday or Thursday. Tim hasn’t opened up the grill in months. There might be small creatures nesting and living in there. He doesn’t grill much any more. He says he needs a new grill and he probably does. I bought myself a Cuisinart Griddler last fall, to use inside, with some of my Swagbucks winnings that I redeemed for Amazon gift cards. I’ve been using it a lot, but have yet to try to grill burgers on it.

* Also, obviously, trying to get back into the swing of blogging. I read through quite a few old posts yesterday, I was missing my Beau baby something fierce, and started reading and looking at pictures of him. It made me miss “the old days”, when I used to blog regularly. These days, with Facebook, Pinterest, GoodReads, my iPad and everything else, I rarely find time to blog. Trying, yet again, to work on that :)

* OK, time to finish cleaning up the house, work on unpacking some things for the garage sale of my dad’s stuff, and then time to cook supper!

Jul-6-12

Harry Potter books

posted by Stace

After resisting for years and years, I finally broke down and started reading the Harry Potter books. So, the year 2012 will go down as the year I read them all. In digital form, no less :)

I’ve had my Kindle for nearly 2 years now, and I love, love, love it! I do NOT like to read “real” books any more. I prefer holding my Kindle or my iPad and reading on an e-reader. I love being able to go back and forth on those two devices, depending on where I am (if Wi-Fi is available, light conditions, etc) and have it sync my book between devices. The Kindle reading app is a glorious thing!

In March of this year, my library got e-book lending. There’s only a couple of libraries in our state that have this, so I’m very VERY lucky to live in a district that does. I had been searching for them for a while now, and on March 1, I found ebooks online! I immediately started checking books out of the library. Sometime in May, they got the rights to the Potter books, and so I decided to start reading them.

I thought for a long time that I wouldn’t like them, and I couldn’t have been more wrong. They are very entertaining, very engaging (hard to put down) and so incredibly well written. I was really quite surprised and taken aback. I knew they were huge, and we have seen the movies (and are re-watching them now that I am reading the books), but still…. I didn’t think the books would be as good as they are. I’ve read 5 of the 7 so far, and will get the other two soon. Our library only has one copy available for checkout at a time, and someone is apparently reading them ahead of me. They read slower than I do, for I have to wait a few days on each book! :)

Who knows, I might break down and reading something like Twilight next! Or maybe not. After all, I have about 500 unread books on my Kindle, LOL!

Happy Reading!

Feb-16-11

Mid-Month Update

posted by Stace

I wish I had something exciting to blog about. Here we are already half way through February, and it seems like just yesterday we were getting ready for the holidays! Time really does fly!

Let’s see:

* We never do much for Valentines Day. In the early years of being married, we both went all out (although Tim only did so, to make me happy). I was cleaning out some stuff in a closet the other day and ran across a box full of cards we sent each other the first couple of years. My goodness, Hallmark and American Greetings made a ton of money off of us, LOL! The longer we’ve been married, the more I’ve come around to Tim’s way of thinking. He loves me 365 days a year and doesn’t need a certain day to tell me or show me. He’s wonderful about doing it every day. I don’t want to wait for a day in mid February to get flowers or chocolates or a nice dinner out. I get those all through the year!

* We got AT&T Uverse installed last week. So far (knock on wood), we really like it! The Internet seems faster (although Tim had to do some work to bypass their combo router/cable modem - our equipment is better and faster and serves our needs, and they try to shut stuff off, which doesn’t work for us). He has everything running now, including all of the stuff for our website (my blog, mail, recipe databases, etc). The cable portion is miles above what we had with Comcast. I can now get all channels in the bedroom (via a second box that is $7 a month). I can watch any show in there from the main DVR, even while he’s watching something in the den. We have all of the channels, and tons more high-def ones than we had before. We’re tv addicts, so we’re both pretty happy!

* A new season of Survivor starts tonight, hooray! We miss Human Target but are enjoying other favorites like NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles, Fringe, White Collar, V, The Mentalist, Hawaii Five 0 and others.

* I’ve been reading more this year than last. I’m slowly adapting to the tinnitus and learning to read with the buzzing in my head. I’m really enjoying my Kindle and all of the free books I have downloaded on it. This year, I hope to surpass my reading goal from last year (the lowest I’ve had since I started keeping track). So far, I’ve read 12 books this year, which is a good start for me. (If you’re interested in what I read, let me know. I use Goodreads, and can hook up with you there). I’m currently reading “A Proper Pursuit” by Lynn Austin, free on my Kindle. And I’m REALLY enjoying it! :)

* After really cold temps most of January and February, it feels like spring this week. Last week, we had some ice and snow. The second day, the temperature never got above freezing, so none of it melted. Weird for us. This week, it’s sunny blue skies and temps around 70 degrees! Tim is getting “golf” fever, his version of spring fever. I’ll lose him soon to the lure of the golf course :)

* I’ve been making homemade pizzas fairly regularly. I go through phases with my cooking. Otherwise, I’m not a huge cooking kick. I’d like to be making breads and sweets, my favorites, but we’re both trying to watch what we eat and Tim keeps talking me out of brownies and bread :D Anyway, this is the last pizza sauce I tried, which we really liked - recipe here. Please note, I don’t claim this to be my recipe, I adapted it from AllRecipes.com. I named it that on our website, to distinguish it from sauces anyone else would enter :D

* Sadly, there are apparently no Girl Scouts any longer in our neighborhood. They’ve all grown up and no new ones have moved in, apparently. No one rings my door to buy cookies. Sniff sniff. Of course, Tim would guilt me into not buying any, hehehe, so there. :D

Anything exciting going on out there in blog-land? Just keeping on, keeping on here!

Jan-31-11

Marta’s Legacy Books

posted by Stace

I don’t normally do book reviews, per se, or recommend books. I read a lot of books, and I generally enjoy everything I read. I don’t step far outside my comfort zone. I know the authors and types of books I like, and I tend to stay within those parameters.

I had to blog about these two books though, the Marta’s Legacy books by Francine Rivers (the first is called “Her Mother’s Hope” and the second, “Her Daughter’s Dream). For one thing, these two books were most enjoyable to me, and I highly recommend them if you like Christian fiction, or enjoy big epic books that span generations, following the characters through trials, triumphs, relationships and the course of their life.

Second, I believe I set a personal best record yesterday! I picked up this second book, “Her Daughter’s Dream” from the library on Saturday. We had a family reunion to go to at lunch, and were gone for several hours. I read a few pages in the car, then read some Saturday night before bed (my preferred time to read). But, then, on Sunday, I read. A LOT. I read about 500 pages, which has GOT to be a new record for me! I finished this book, all 564 pages of it, in basically a day. New record for me!

Now, my biggest concern is deciding what to read next! I downloaded “The Inner Circle” by Brad Meltzer to my Kindle, for Tim. I’m trying to get him to like my Kindle, it’s an uphill battle :) So, I’ll be working on some “real” books from my bookshelves while he’s reading on my baby!!

P.S. Have any of you seen Meltzer’s TV show on the History Channel? We’ve been watching it too. It’s called Decoded and is a mixture of history, obscure facts, conspiracy theories and the like. We’re oddly fascinated by it!

Jan-26-11

WWW Wednesdays Meme

posted by Stace

As seen on Kim’s blog, from the original source, Miz B:

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

OK, I haven’t talked books in a while, and I have been trying to read more. I LOVE my Kindle, and have read a lot of books on it since I got it for my birthday last fall. I’ve been trying to get Tim to read on it, so I loaned it to him a couple of weeks ago for him to read a free book I had gotten and really enjoyed. That gave me time to read a couple of “real” books that I had on my bookshelves.

Let’s see, I’m currently reading: The Justice Game by Randy Singer on my Kindle. It’s another freebie from Amazon, a Christian legal thriller. I’m really enjoying it so far :)

What did I recently finish reading? While Tim had my Kindle, I knocked out three “real” books from my bookshelves. Two I had won and one I had purchased. I read “The Swiss Courier” by Tricia Goyer & Mike Yorkey (WWII story about the Swiss Underground and the fight against the Nazis). I also read “Mystery at the Inn”, last fall’s offering of the Grace Chapel Inn set of books by Guideposts. Lastly, I read “Secrets” by Robin Jones Gunn, a freebie I won online. It’s the first of a series, but I probably won’t purchase any. They were all good, and I enjoyed each of them (all Christian fiction).

Lastly, what I might read next? That’s always hard for me to pick, as I’m a moody reader. Right now, I’m leaning toward the sequel to “Gone To Green”, that I got free recently from Amazon, called “Goodness Gracious Green” (by Judy Christie). I might read “Always the Baker, Never the Bride” on my Kindle instead. If Tim wants to read on my Kindle again, I’ll probably read “Under the Cajun Moon” by Mindy Starns Clark, which is languishing on my bookshelves.

How about you? Have you read any good books lately? Are you reading one now? Happy Reading! :)

Aug-16-10

Monday Meme

posted by Stace

When I first started blogging over 5 years ago, I did a lot of memes. I think most of them have disappeared from the blogosphere. The Monday Menu meme at OrgJunkie’s site is still alive, and very active, from what I can tell. I don’t know if I’ll get back to posting my menus online. It’s enough for me to just try to do them at this point. :D

Last week, I ran across a revival of a meme that I used to do called the “Monday Morning Meme” over at one of my favorite bloggers site - Write from Karen. Karen posts 4 or 5 questions for bloggers to blog about on Mondays. This week, I’m going to be uber-selective and just pick one.

3. Thunderstorm arrives, power outage! How do you occupy your time?

Well, the first thing that comes to mind is that I would read. As I have blogged about recently, reading is harder for me than it used to be. I would probably try reading with my iPod on, or maybe working on a scrapbook page. Depending on the weather, I would probably try to sit outside and read a book or magazine. I know one thing for certain - I would call the power company ASAP to find out how long my power is going to be out! This has been such a hot summer that I wouldn’t want to be out long. Another thing I might do is play on my phone. I’ve been playing Words with Friends a lot lately, and having fun with that. I have several other games on my phone that I like to play. The only downside to that - I’d probably run my phone battery down and not be able to plug it back in and charge it back up!

How about you? Play along at your blog or leave me a message and let us know what you do when the power is out!

Aug-8-10

Long Break!

posted by Stace

I don’t know if I just took a long break, or more likely, I had nearly given up on blogging. Either way, it’s been a while since I updated my blog.

The last time I posted was late March, which was when I developed tinnitus. I went to sleep one Friday night and I was fine. When I woke up Saturday morning, I had this loud screeching noise in my head. Well, actually, at first it was a loud pulsating noise, like I could hear my pulse pounding inside my head, very loudly. After several doctors visits, and being treated for what they said was a middle ear infection, it changed over to “traditional” tinnitus, a loud buzzing or screeching sound in my head. I took decongestants, mucus thinners, a Z-pack, a steroid pack, and finally they said the fluid was gone, but the noises remain. And apparently will for the rest of my life. I saw an ENT (who I disliked immensely, she was cold and uncaring and had the worst “bedside” manner I have ever encountered) who told me that I probably had Meniere’s Disease and that is why I have tinnitus. Except that my father-in-law has Meniere’s so I know all about it. I do not have vertigo, which is one of the hallmarks of Meneire’s. I just have tinnitus. Every second of every minute of every hour of every day. I’m getting better. And I’m trying lots of things on my own. The doctor said “learn to live with it”. When I told her I was having trouble sleeping, she said “turn some music on”. That was the extent of her helpful medical knowledge. HA! So, I’m doctoring myself and taking vitamin and herb supplements. It is better, but it has not gone away, and probably never will. I will have to learn to live with it, and I have somewhat, but I still have quite a long ways to go. Luckily, I have an awesome God on my side, who loves me, and the most loving spouse on the planet. So I know I’ll be fine, one way or another :)

Hearing the loud noises in my head and trying to cope with it consumes most of my days! I no longer read much, because it’s hard for me to read with the noise. I am getting better, but my reading pace and the number of books I have read is way down. I won’t come anywhere near the number of books I used to read in a year, this year. But I am enjoying most of the ones I do read, so I guess that’s good!

I’m walking 6 days a week. Most mornings, Tim gets up and goes with me, and we take Beau. We walk anywhere from 1 mile to nearly 3 miles. We don’t walk on Sundays, because we go to early church. In April, I got pretty sick and was having so much trouble sleeping and eating, that I lost 6 or 8 pounds in a couple of weeks. While I was ecstatic over the weight loss, I didn’t feel well. So once I got to feeling better, I got back to eating, and I’m happy/sad to report that I’ve gained all of that weight back!

I’ve gone back to scrapbooking, at least on a smaller level. I can turn music on when I scrapbook, which helps to mask some of the tinnitus. I’ve finished my Disney album (I won’t even tell you how many years ago we went to Disney World) which is way overdue. I’m working on pages for my Christmas album and also some in my regular chronological albums. I’m way behind, so I won’t ever come close to catching up. In addition to working on pages, I’ve also gone back and gotten a few pictures printed out. I’m about, oh, 6 or 7 years behind on printing pictures. To say I’m totally digital now is an understatement. I didn’t even know where to start at looking for places to print out photos!

I’m trying to stay busy, because when I’m busy or out in noisy places like restaurants, stores, etc, I don’t hear the tinnitus as much. Tim is great about getting me out and keeping me busy. I was always such a homebody, and it’s been so hard, such an adjustment for me, not to be able to enjoy being at home, enjoying the silence, being quiet and content. We’ve been going to a lot of movies this summer (although this is hard on me, the noise bothers my ears badly now, so I try to take ear plugs, which helps, but my tinnitus always spikes after we go to the theater). We go out to eat some, and get out and about whenever we have time.

Tim is still playing a lot of golf. He changed golf clubs a few months back and now has two courses that he can play at. The bad news is that he can no longer take Beau to the new place he joined (it’s a country club, not a golf club any more). When the weather was cooler, I was going with Tim and walking some at the golf course. It’s been really hot lately, though, so I have not been going. Tim still goes when it’s outrageous hot, but not me, I like my air conditioning! We had triple digit weather a week ago, and he was still out, on the days it was 103, with a heat index of 112. Yikes!

Anyway, this is not a very interesting blog post, nor am I promising any interesting ones in the future. Just thought I’d do a long, boring update! :)

Jan-10-09

Books, E-Readers and a QOTD

posted by Stace

I know a lot of bloggers aren’t avid readers, but I am one of those who is. I read a lot more since Tim took up golf, LOL! I ended up reading 88 books last year (get it, 88 in 08?!), and will once again shoot for 75 or more this year. 2007 was my highest year ever, when I read 104 books. I’m not sure I’ll top 100 ever again, but it was nice to do it that time.

Anyway, I’ve read a whopping one book so far this year. :grin: We are staying pretty busy and I haven’t had much time to read. We have gotten some new games for the Wii lately, plus it’s hunting and football season (Tim’s other hobbies besides golf). Maybe once the Super Bowl is over, I’ll have a little more time to read.

I was in Sam’s Club last weekend, stocking up on a few things, and I went to check out the books. Being an avid reader, I look at the book section in any store I go to (Walmart, Target, Sam’s and of course bookstores). I was really surprised to see that Sam’s is now selling the Sony E-reader. I was also surprised at its size. Not only is it smaller than I thought, but that thing is thin. I think the product info said it is 1/3 of an inch thick. I held my iPhone up to it and it is bigger than that, but it’s still a very manageable size. I guess seeing these things in person, as opposed to online, really makes a difference. I’ve heard so much about Amazon’s Kindle but I have never seen one in person. I have been thinking off and on, for a while now, about whether I would like one of these one day or not.

I’ve had a blog post brewing in my head for months, about the pros and cons of printed books versus electronic books. About the way things will go in the future and if these things will even be around in 10 years. Or if the way of the printed book is going to some day be like trying to find a coin-operated pay phone.

I, for one, am not sure that I’ll ever be able to transition from printed books to a digital reader. I think I like holding a book in my hand and turning the page. But I do know this, I think I could convert to a digital reader a whole lot quicker than audiobooks. I’ve tried those, and they just don’t work for me. Hearing someone else read to me just doesn’t work for me, I like to read myself and “hear” my own voice in my head. If that makes any sense at all. However, I must admit, after seeing this e-reader in person, it makes me think that on some level I might really like it. I certainly love all of the other electronic gadgets in my life and have adapted to them quite well. One of the biggest drawbacks for me, I think, is not being able to get books free from the library, but having to always pay for them. If my library ever starts offering free downloads to a digital reader, that might really propel me into getting one.

OK, so, if you’re a reader, or even if you’re not, I’d love to hear what you think. Today’s Question of the Day is - do you have a Sony Digital Reader or an Amazon Kindle, and if not, do you think you might ever get one? Do you think digital books will be the way in the future, or do you think printed books, bookstores, libraries and the like are here to stay for our foreseeable lifetime?

Leave me a comment and let me know! Happy Reading!

Nov-11-08

Winter Holiday Reading Challenge

posted by Stace

I saw this over at Lynne’s blog (here), and thought it looked like fun. I always like to read some seasonal books at Christmas. Last year, I checked several out of the library, and this year, I asked for and received a couple as birthday gifts. So, I’m really looking forward to reading these before the end of the year, although the challenge runs until the end of January 2009.

The Winter Holiday Reading Challenge is hosted by BookinHand and the original post is here. Go check it out and sign up, if you want :)

Here’s the books I’m planning to read for this challenge:

1. A Cedar Cove Christmas by Debbie Macomber
2. Till Morning is Nigh by Leisha Kelly
3. The Spirit of the Season (Grace Chapel Inn book 8, Guideposts books) by Dana Corbit

Bonus: If I get to it, I might read a book that my mother-in-law gave me, an older book of several short stories with Christmas themes, called Christmas Dreams.

Happy Reading!