Thursday, January 05, 2023

Year in Books 2022

I missed posting my Book List for the last several years. (the 2019 Book List was the last one) Of course, I haven't been posting much of anything, have I? 

The Book Lists started out relatively manageable - up until 2018, I only read somewhere between 40-50 books each year. It still took a while to compile the list and figure out the number of pages and the hours needed to listen to the audiobooks, but I eventually got it done. Then, I just never got around to it for 2020 or 2021. Or, I didn't get around to it in a timely manner. I did eventually take the time to go through all my books for both of those years and record the pages and times in a Notepad file on my computer. And then my computer died, and I can't access that file.

So, I'm going to do the easy thing and link to my Year in Books on Goodreads. 

I read 117 books in 2022, the most ever in any year - 55 of those were books/ebooks, and 62 were audiobooks. 

I'm not sure exactly how that happened. I have started listening to audiobooks at double speed, so I'm sure that helps some.

Favorite books of the year:

  • The Bloody Jack series by L.A. Meyer read by Katherine Kellgren - I loved these all over again.
  • The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas - my niece got me started, and I've had a hard time putting these books down. I'm reading the last one now.
  • The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt 
  • Fighting Words by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
  • The Villa by Rachel Hawkins

And, because I didn't get my lists done for 2020 and 2021, here are those Years in Books, too:
  • Year in Books 2020 - 80 books - 40 audiobooks and 40 books/ebooks
    the year I met the Vanderbeekers!
  • Year in Books 2021 - 81 books - 40 audiobooks and 42 books/ebooks
    the year my friend Abriana got me started reading the Ranger's Apprentice books. I'd definitely recommend those!

Thursday, January 21, 2021

The 1776 Report

As we've all been noticing, people are shutting down truth as fast as they possibly can. Biden was sworn in yesterday, and already he's working hard to erase anything that goes against his party's agenda. The 1776 Report has been deleted from the White House web page. So it's time to read it and share it. When someone doesn't want you to read something - READ it - and SAVE it- and SHARE it.

Download the entire report here.

Monday, April 27, 2020

SYNC 2020 Starts THIS Thursday

Once again SYNC will be giving away 2 FREE audiobooks every week all summer long. The first two books will be available starting this Thursday, April 30, and two more will be available each week through July 29. All books are yours to keep - no due dates - but you do have to grab them during the week they are available. The program is aimed at teens 13 and up, but anyone can sign up and enjoy the books.

This year Sync will be using the Sora app from Overdrive, so it's a bit different from years past. Be sure to visit the Sync website and register for the program. They'll give you all the information on downloading the app and getting signed in so you'll be ready when the first two books come available. I just did it, and it was super simple and took just a couple minutes. Be sure to get that done before Thursday.

Also, while you're there be sure to sign up for the text and/or email reminders so you don't miss any of the books. Remember, they're only available for 1 week, and if you miss them, there's no going back.

Here's a look at all the books that will be available this summer:

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Looking for a Fun Family Vacation? Rent an RV!

You’ve done the theme parks, and you’ve been to all the tourist traps. You want a vacation that is not only fun but relatively stress free — a vacation where you are not spending most of your time waiting in line, not surrounded by huge crowds, and not shelling out a fortune. You want something different, a way to really make some memories. Renting an RV  may be the answer you are looking for, especially if you have kids.
RV Rental
  • An RV Is More Fun Than a Hotel - A hotel room can be rather small and restrictive, and most of the time there are just a couple of beds, a TV, and a bathroom. But an RV has it all — a kitchen for midnight snacks, a table for family game night, and a bed for an afternoon nap. Unlike in a hotel room, you and your family can spend evenings outside enjoying a campfire and each other’s company. And when you’re ready to hit the hay, your bedroom is just a few feet away.
  • RV Parks Are Fun, Too! - If you haven’t been to an RV campground in a while, you might be in for a surprise. There are some great RV parks that are full of sights you’d never get to see if you were stuck in a hotel. Many of these places are not too far from major cities. If you run into trouble, you can find a mobile RV repair Waco TX company to get you back on the road.
  • You’ll Save Money - If you stay in a hotel, you have to shell out some money for expensive restaurants, but an RV has its own portable kitchen. This might be a great time for the kids to pitch in and make some meals, and think of all the money you can save!
If you and your family are staying in an RV, you also don’t have to worry about transportation to the sights you want to see, and you don’t have to pay extra for a rental car or a taxi. A rental RV is inexpensive and the possibilities for fun are limitless. It might just become your family's choice for an annual vacation.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Common Plumbing Issues

Clogged Drain and waterproofing Repair EtobicokeWhether you’re looking to purchase your first home or have owned a home for a while, you may not understand just how complex your plumbing system can be. It’s an essential feature of your home, bringing you fresh drinking water, disposing of waste, and allowing you to clean yourself, your home, and everything in it. The following are some common Batavia plumbing issues to look out for.
  • Clogged Drain - One sure sign your drain is clogged is when it doesn’t drain properly. It might drain, but if it’s slow, there’s something causing a block in the pipe somewhere down the line. It could be close to the surface or it could be deeper into your system, even underneath the ground. Clearing out a clog will ensure the pipe doesn’t burst or the problem doesn’t become so bad it stops draining altogether.
  • Running Toilet - Has your toilet ever sounded like the water was running even though it had been a while since it was last flushed? This is not a good sign. Running toilets can waste hundreds of gallons of water in just one day. In many cases, it’s a simple fix, but it should be fixed in order to save as much water as possible. It can make a big difference in your water bill.
  • Poor Water Pressure - You may have noticed it while taking a shower or doing the dishes, but poor water pressure can put a damper on your day. If both cold and hot water run at low pressure, the issue could be with your aerator. If it’s only the hot water, it could be due to an issue with the water heater. If it’s only the cold water, you could have another problem. It’s important you have it checked out so your system works properly.
There are some common plumbing issues that aren’t so bad they’ll cause a flood in your home, but they could end up causing a host of other issues if not handled properly. For preventative maintenance, watch for clogged drains, running toilets and poor water pressure.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

How To Minimize Grocery Store Visits

Everyone has to eat, but many people view buying groceries as a necessary but dreaded chore. You make a long list and then you head to the store, hoping that you don't forget anything crucial. The errand may take anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple of hours, depending on how much you need to buy and how busy the store is. The good news is that there are ways to streamline your grocery habits so you can make fewer and shorter trips to the market or maybe even eliminate them altogether. This is especially true in these days of social distancing. The fewer trips we all have to make to the grocery store, the better. 5d2_8175ehC_1080
  • Buy in Bulk - There are many practical reasons to buy in bulk. It's more cost-effective, and it's more environmentally friendly. Another great benefit of making bulk purchases of the pantry staples and household products your family uses often is that it saves you extra trips to the store. As long as you have adequate storage space, you can relieve your worry about running out without having to go to the supermarket every weekend.  (see note below)
  • Order Online - If you don't have a lot of storage space, you can still shave time off your grocery trips by ordering online. You can get your favorite gourmet coffee Los Angeles CA, and a lot of your staples by arranging regular shipments to be delivered directly to your home. With a few clicks, you can set up subscriptions and choose payment options to automate the delivery of the items you use frequently.
  • Use Delivery Services - You may find that you like ordering groceries online so much that you make it a regular habit. There is probably at least one grocery delivery service in your area. You order from a participating store, and a personal shopper makes the trip for you. You can get all your shopping done without leaving your house.
Getting groceries for your family doesn't have to be a huge ordeal. You can always find ways to simplify and outsource this errand.

Please note that buying in bulk when it comes to regular shopping and stocking your pantry looks nothing like the crazy panic over-buying some people indulged in as this COVID-19 nonsense began. If those people had known how to shop in the first place, they would have already had enough toilet paper and other necessities in their homes to survive a few weeks - even if they couldn't get to the grocery store.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Hosting a Springtime Brunch

BrunchAfter a long winter, spring is the perfect time to host a brunch for friends, family or neighbors. Whether you are hosting just for fun, to celebrate a milestone birthday or life event or to host a big holiday, there are three easy ways to make your brunch easy to host and a hit with your guests.
  • Buffet - While preparing food is arguably the most stressful part of hosting a big event at your home, there are many ways to help make it a little less intimidating. Consider making it a buffet where you prepare a variety of foods and have warming dishes set up to hold food. This allows your guests lots of choices, and it's easier to accommodate various dietary needs or food preferences. A simple way to do it is to prepare two hot breakfast items like casseroles or quiches, one with meat and one that is vegetarian as your main dish. Add in a fruit salad, buy some pastries Schaumburg, and create a couple of side dishes and you are good to go.
  • Host Outside - If possible, plan to host your brunch outside. The springtime air, the blossoming flowers, and the earth coming back to life is enough to put everyone in a good mood. While weather can be poor with rain showers, host under a rented tent or have a back-up plan to move indoors if the weather just will not cooperate.
  • Table SettingSpringtime table settings and décor should be bright and floral. Buy a pastel or bold table runner or tablecloth that has flowers within the pattern. Of course, fresh springtime flowers like carnations and roses should be on each tabletop as décor but also give guests an opportunity to create their own small flower arrangement as a fun activity and favor.
As you begin planning your springtime brunch do not forget to keep it simple yet colorful. By creating a beautiful buffet spread of food, utilizing the outdoors as your backdrop and setting a gorgeous table of flowers you will be the “host with the most” in no time.

Of course, with the current situation, your springtime brunch could end up being a summertime brunch - by then we'll all be happy to get outside and spend some time together! In the meantime, try hosting a weekend family brunch via Zoom the way my neighbor did the other day. Everyone fixes their own food (or orders delivery from a local restaurant), sets their own tables, and then just connects online for some good conversation.

Random Acts of Kindness That Make a Big Difference

be kind - 226/366Random acts of kindness are one of the best ways to spread joy during difficult times. These can be big or small things that you do for people you know or even complete strangers to show them that someone cares. Here are a few ways you can help bring cheer to other people who are going through a hard time.
  • Deliver Groceries - It can be especially difficult for some elderly people to get out and get their own groceries. Picking up groceries for them can make a huge difference in their lives. This is also true of new mothers or single parents who are raising multiple kids and have a limited amount of time to do the shopping. Next time you're going to the store, see if one of your neighbors needs anything as well.
  • Pay for Someone - A popular random act of kindness is to pay for the person in a drive-thru line behind you. Some coffee shops have even had this go on for hours as each person in line continues the kind act. You can also add kindness cards to this act and pass them along to each person you do this for or as a way to challenge others that you know to do it.
  • Write a Note - An act of kindness can be as small as writing a note on a post-it for someone and putting in their locker, car or front door. Leave them a compliment or a few kind words to let them know you care. You should also consider sending cards to distant family members or friends. Receiving a note in the mail doesn't happen often these days, so it's extra special when it does.
Keep in mind that these are only a few suggestions. A random act of kindness doesn't need to take a lot of time or even cost money. It's just a simple, small way to show that there is good going on in the world even during the hard times.

If you missed my last post, go watch the video to see what a difference a little thing can do.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

DISTANCE (Official Short Film)

In the midst of all the COVID-19 stuff that is going on right now, remember what's important.

Take care of your families; take care of your friends; take care of your neighbors. Let's all come out on the other side of this as better people. Learn the lessons; use the time; love the people God puts in our path.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Why Your Home or Business Needs a Security System

Whether you have a home filled with valuables, a family to protect, or a business you want to keep an eye on, a security system can put your mind at ease. Here are three reasons why surveillance system installation baton rouge LA is the right choice for your lifestyle.

  1. Let the Cameras Be Your Eyes - If you have children that are old enough to stay home alone, security cameras will allow you to check-in and make sure they’re safe. This also allows you to keep an eye on things when you’re away from your home or business for a while. Most modern security systems have a smartphone app that will allow you to flip through the cameras, and even rotate the lights or temperature.
  2. Track Who is Coming and Going - Dog walker
    Installing an alarm in addition to cameras is a great way to keep track of who is entering your property. Some systems allow you to set several different codes that are only active during certain hours, which is perfect for allowing the dog walker or house cleaner access during their scheduled time frame. As a business owner, you can give each employee their own passcode and use this to track who is in the building.
  3. Collect Data - In the event of a break-in, security cameras that collect and store footage can be helpful in catching the robber. As an employer, you can also use footage to help settle employee disputes. If you suspect that an employee has been stealing or slacking off or that the dog walker is only letting your dog out for a quick potty break instead of going on a long walk, cameras can help prove your case.

Security systems have benefits to both the homeowner and business owner. Protect your family and investments by installing one today.