Category: Books/Writing

May 20

The Beginnings of Happiness

Books/Writing, Life 3

Whether or not the tomatoes produce as many pounds of fruit as I hope, whether or not the calendula comes up, whether or not the cucumbers survive, my little garden has already filled me with glee. My happy little sunflower (seeds planted in February!) corner with tiny, less-than-a-foot-tall Firecracker sunflowers. The pink dianthus, bought as a 6-pack from Lowe’s, are growing like gangbusters and have more than tripled their original size since March 21st.

Other than that, after 60-odd hours of work this week I’m too tired and have too much to do today to post more than a quick update on the books I managed to read in my short morning/evening time.

33.  Witches Bane (China Bayles #2), by Susan Wittig Albert. The cover of this book amused me greatly because it looks like something from a Clue game.

34.  Grow Great Grub, by Gayla Trail. One out of only 3 books I’ve read this year that get a 5-star rating. This is such a my generation gardening book. Love it and plan to buy my own hard copy of it as well as her other two books.

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Mar 25

Reading Update

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Just a quick update on the books I’ve finished – I have about 6 started at the moment!

19.  Composting Inside and Out, by Stephanie Davies.

20.  The Heirloom Life Gardener, by Jere and Emilee Gettle.

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Mar 03

Food for the Mind

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I had a revelation this week. It’s something every reader has probably joked about from time to time, but this week I realized…it’s true.

When I get a little money, I buy books. If there is any left, I buy food. ~ Erasmus

I was unable to resist the temptation of a sale and a coupon from Barnes and Noble, and finally bought one of the more expensive books I’d been wanting. Yes, it came out of my grocery budget. I can eat beans and rice, I don’t notice what bland food I’m eating much when I have my nose in a book anyway.

Blood and Mistletoe: the History of the Druids in Britain

I’ve been fascinated by ancient Britain for some time now, no doubt influenced by a lot of the popular myths and images floating around due to various books and movies. I’m hoping this book will help give me a more realistic and hopefully accurate view of some of the traditions of that time period. I’ve been trying to understand the practices of the modern forms of “green” religions, and am continually put off when books or blogs claim to be following paths laid down thousands of years ago…when, at least by my understanding, their religious practices originated a few hundred years ago. Yes, they might have been inspired by a culture from millenia ago, but since there are so few written records of that time, they aren’t truly practicing the same thing. Just a pet peeve of mine, one I’m trying to become a little more educated about.

Unfortunately, due to some sad circumstance, my 2-day shipping has turned into 3 and the book will not arrive until Monday (instead of today), when I will not have time to read it. Le sigh.

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Feb 27

Week of Mail, Reading AND Garden Progress

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Phew. I’ve had a crazy busy week, but my normal energy levels seem to have returned. Now if I could just get rid of that pesky need for sleep. I’ll get back to you when I figure that one out.

I only missed one day of mail this week. I have to admit I’ll be glad to wave goodbye to sending mail every. single. day. I love sending and receiving mail, but I think I’m more of an every other or every third day person. Hehe. It’s been awesome fun though, and I’ll post my last February mail pics later this week. Excuse so many cell phone pics for this week, I was in a hurry for most of these.

February 21: Letter to a penpal in Finland.

February 23: Note to my grandma. Yes, I really like these cards. 😉

February 24: Postcard to a friend. Pic added later, because I think she sometimes reads my blog.

February 25: Note to my cousin in Colorado. We don’t talk much, but I always have a blast when we get to hang out together.

As far as books, I finished 3 this week! One felt like a bad movie, 3-4 hours of my life gone that I would like to have back (ok, maybe not quite that bad), but the others were very good!

15.  Small-Plot, High-Yield Gardening, by Sal Gilbertie and Larry Sheehan. Totally going on my wish list for gardening books, great reference.

16.  Rattle His Bones, by Carola Dunn. Oh, dear god. This series was recommended by a friend and while I really wanted to like it, I just couldn’t. “Cuddlesome curves” did it in for me. No. Just no. In all seriousness, the style of writing just really annoyed me, for some reason.

17. The Lost Gardens, by Anthony Eglin. I really enjoyed this one. It’s styled like an English cozy. My one problem was that in his attempts to explain some aspect of gardening to his readers Eglin completely changes both verb tense and point of view at several points of the book, which was very jarring and annoying. I’ll still go back and read the rest of the books in the series, though.

This post is getting a bit long, so I’ll save the gardening bit for another day. It warrants a post to itself anyway.

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Feb 22

Third Week of Mail

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Last week, I got a little behind with mailing things. I was still trying to recover from being sick, and working at the same time. So I ended up sending one letter, a batch of Postcrossing cards, and a thank-you. Sort of lame, but I did send at least one piece of mail for every day, just not on the specified days.

Also, there is no 75 Books in 2012 update for last week because I didn’t get to finish anything! 🙁

February 13: Mondays seem to be my day for mailing pink envelopes.

February 14-17: All the postcards.

February 19: Thank-you note to my mom, who I’ve been pestering the heck out of the last few weeks with all my gardening questions.

Not sure if I’ll get to finish any books this week or not, just had a 13+ hour day yesterday and am working Monday-Saturday this week. Yay for overtime! But then my body is screaming at me. I can’t complain though, after we arrived back at the Roanoke donor center at 10 pm last night, some of the girls had to be back at 6:30 am this morning. At least I got to sleep in before going to work today!

Also, we finally got some snow! It was so beautiful while it lasted. I have some pictures I’ll attempt to share soon.

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Feb 13

To Catalog a Library

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I am very pleased to announce that as of this afternoon, I have finished cataloging our personal library. That is, they are all listed on LibraryThing, and with proper cover art or no cover art (nothing more annoying than having books reprinted with new dust jackets under the same ISBN, if you ask me).  They’re all listed, and searchable, and the page is bookmarked on my phone so I can avoid the “oops, I already had that book” mistake I’ve made more than once already.

I am…astonished. Delighted. Satisfied (for a little while, until my OCD comes up with proper categories for them all and then I will be reorganizing and tagging them). Why astonished? Because of the number.

286. Only 286. I was convinced we had at least some 300-odd, but nope. Granted, we cull on a fairly regular basis. I hauled about 2 dozen to the library as a donation this morning, but even with those gone I would have thought there were more. But that’s ok. It means we’re only keeping the ones we really love/find helpful/information/entertaining. It also means…

….

I CAN BUY AS MANY BOOKS AS I WANT!!

Yes, because we all know having less than 300 books means that one has been very self-controlled in book buying for the last several months, and so I can indulge myself for a little while now. This is the most exciting revelation I’ve had in some time.

 

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Feb 12

Reading…Sort of

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Just a quick update on the 75 in 2012 reading challenge…I actually finished 2 books this week, I remember that much. Sadly, I can only remember the title of one of them! I’m blaming it on the fever and will come back and edit my post if I remember the second. 😛

13. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by Frank Baum

14. The Art of the Personal Letter, by Margaret Shepherd.

EDIT: I remembered!

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Feb 05

Books Again!

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I finally got some books finished! After a bit of a stall with one I had started and simply could not get up the will to finish, I remembered Terry Pratchett had a new book out and promptly went to Barnes and Noble and bought it. Then devoured it in about 4 hours. A couple other books were finished this weekend too.

10.  Terrarium Craft: Create 50 Magical, Miniature Worlds, by Amy Bryant Aiello and Kate Bryant and photographed by Kate Baldwin

11. Snuff, by Terry Pratchett

12.  Treehouses: View from the Top, by John Harris

Not doing too badly. I seem to be averaging about 2 books a week. I should easily reach 75, then…famous last words. We’ll see. 😉

The book I simply could. not. finish, was Alys Clare’s “Out of the Dawn Light.” The story, while moving along somewhat, was just very forced and the attempt at writing as a 13-year-old was really bugging me. I got slightly over halfway and still had no real idea of what, exactly, the whole point was…so the book was tossed on the floor to return. If I had more time to read at the moment I might have finished it, but as I don’t, if I’m not truly interested in or enjoying a book, it goes back.

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Jan 30

February: a Month of Letters

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I’m really just a little bit excited about this.  The idea belongs to Mary Robinette Kowal (whose books I must now go read), and described in this post. I write and send quite a few letters and postcards as it is, and I love the idea of trying to send something every day. I’m not sure if my postman will love me or hate me. On the one hand – job security! On the other, my mailbox is one of only two I’ve ever seen in my building that actually has outgoing mail, so I think it’s something of an oddity or rarity for him. Maybe both.

I think I shall try to take a picture of my outgoing mail every day, and post it here a couple of times a week. With the weekends and holidays figured in, there are 24 days that the mail runs in the US during the month of February. 24 things can’t be that hard, right? I know I have some thank-yous that need to be written, and usually a letter or two to reply to. Maybe I’ll send some notes or a teabag to some people I don’t hear from often, or who wouldn’t expect to get something in the mail from me. I love getting and sending special things in the mail! As much as I love technology (iPhone, Nook, and gamer laptop FTW!), something tangible is so much…well, more real. You can definitely get to know people online, and some of my best friends I’ve met that way, but letters are much more intentional. Permanent, even.

Anyone interested in receiving a postcard from me? Feel free to leave a comment with a way to reach you (e-mail if you’re not comfortable leaving your address) and I’ll do my best.  🙂

This means I absolutely must stop at the post office tomorrow, because I am *gasp* completely out of stamps. There are some really pretty new ones out, too! Now just so long as I can find enough to match all my stationery. No, not anal retentive at all.

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Jan 22

More Books

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Well, I managed to get more reading done this week than I thought, again. This time I think it was due to limiting how much I browse on the web in the morning before work, and then the wrist injury I got at work on Friday that kept me from any knitting this weekend. 🙁 Typing is still slightly uncomfortable, but I wanted to get the books down because they’re going back to the library. So here we are. The bonsai book was a bit meh, but Remarkable Trees was awesome. Lots of photos, but lots of history and interesting facts, more than your usual coffee table book.

A Great Deliverance is the first book I’ve read by Elizabeth George, and I really wish I’d been a bit more prepared for the ending. I suppose that’s my own fault for not reading closely, but I was expecting more the typical cozy mystery whodunit ending, not the psychologically disturbing one there was. I finished it a few hours ago and still feel a bit ill. On the other hand, I loved her character and would really like to know what happens to them. They grew throughout this book and have so much more potential. After I recover from this one, I’ll probably read the next in the series.

7.   Remarkable Trees of Virginia, by Nancy R. Hugo and Robert Llewellyn
8.   Growing Bonsai Indoors, by Brooklyn Botanic Garden
9.   A Great Deliverance, by Elizabeth George

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