Kettlebell Crazy…and another book

MC Sports is going out of business. This was good news for my exercise equipment inventory. (Not so good for the people who worked there or for my future exercise equipment needs/wants.) A few weeks ago I purchased a weighted hula hoop. It came with a video. I LOVE exercise videos. My son thinks they are “durpey.” (I have absolutely no idea if that is even a real word or how one should spell it. I know what it means though. Dorky. It means Dorky. My son thinks I look like a dork whenever I do an exercise video.) Anyway, durpeyness aside, I like that hula hoop. I especially like it because it is the only hula hoop that I’ve ever been able to actually get spinning. (I will admit, the woman on the video is a bit durpey.)

Along with the hula hoop I picked up another kettlebell. I had a ten pound one already and thought I was ready to graduate to a 15 pounder. Um…no. Not happening. That 15 pounder came with another video. YEAH! It took me four tries to get through the first 25 minute portion of the workout with the 10 pounder. BOO! Today I added (or attempted to add) the ab portion of the video. I did okay. Not fabulous. Just okay. But I will persevere and I will eventually get through that whole video without skipping a single sit-up. I may even get through it with the 15 pounder. It may take me ten years, but I will do it!

I did get something done this week and I can’t wait to share a picture. You may remember that I mentioned a few crafty goals earlier in the year. You may also remember that I finished the ginormous knitted afghan some time ago. Item #2 on the list was a cross-stitch project of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. I’m pleased (more than you can even imagine) to say that I finished it a couple nights ago. I will never, ever, ever, ever (do you get the picture here) do another cross-stitch project on midnight blue linen. I’ll share a picture once I get it ironed (it’s quite wrinkled right now) or after I get it framed. Eldest and I will need to make a trip to the frame store soon as she is very close to finishing up a massive Legend of Zelda cross-stitch that has 121,836 stitches in it. I’ll share a picture of that one, as well. I’ll move on to item #3 on my crafty goal list shortly..It’s a quilt I started 18 years ago. I have two other quilts to finish first, though, before I can get back to that one.

DSCN2204.JPGI also finished reading another book this week. Finish #16 for 2017 is The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. I started listening to an audiobook of this story many, many weeks ago. (I think I was almost to my limit of renewals at the library I’d had it so long!) When it seemed that I wasn’t going to be spending a lot of time in the sewing room (where I tend to do my listening) I returned the audiobook and checked out the actual book. I really liked this story which moves back and forth between the present and the main character’s childhood. As the story progresses, we see how events from her past affected her ability to function in the future. Through it all is woven the language of flowers–the meaning of different flowers and how the characters used those flowers to speak to one another.

 

 

 

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Going Buggy. Lady Buggy, that is.

RSCN2203.JPGSome people have 101 Dalmations. They are so lucky. You know what we have 101 of? Ladybugs. Yep, we’ve got 101. We’ve got 102. We’ve got 1001. I think we might even reach a million and one by the time we finish sucking those little pests up into our vacuum cleaner.

Just to be scientifically accurate, what we’ve actually got are Harmonia axyridis, aka Multicolored Asian lady beetles. (If I were to be giving them a scientific name, I think I would go with Stinkaroni Multitudinous…which translates to Much Stink because I said so. And stink they do.) These critters have their own page on the Orkin website. That might mean that I’ve got a big problem.

I knew spring would be bad. When I was outside raking last fall there were thousands swarming behind the house. (Apparently they like light colored houses. I believe I will forgo my indoor painting projects and will instead spend the next six weeks painting the house black.) We couldn’t go a day without seeing one lurking somewhere inside all winter long. Now that the weather is warming up, they are pouring into the house like Orcs pouring into the Mines of Moria.

And while we’ve been dealing with the ladybugs, we’ve also had another appliance failure. Last week it was the water heater. This week it was the furnace. As the motor was dying last night, a great stink (worse than the ladybug smell) filled the upstairs. On top of all these repairs and replacements, someone’s car needs some work done. You know what will be pouring into the house next month? Bills.

Enough of that unpleasant stuff. You know what wasn’t unpleasant? I See You by Clare Mackintosh. This was finish number 15.  I really liked this book. It pulled me in right from the beginning and kept me interested right until the shocker of an ending. I’m definitely going to read anything else that I can find by this author.

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It’s the Pioneer Life for Me

Sunday morning began with a rude awakening…and not just because we lost an hour of sleep due to Daylight Saving Time. I rose early, as I had to be at church to do one of my church jobs, and started the shower. Several minutes later, the water was still cold. The hot water heater had gone KAPUT! Seeing how there is NO WAY that I can go out in public without washing my hair and showering, I was forced to wash my hair with frigid well water. Showering (I’m using this term VERY loosely) involved a washcloth, a bar of soap, and a tiny pan of hot water that I had to heat on the stove.

Needless to say, the past couple days have not been fun. My aunt mentioned something about how this is how things were in the “Good Old Days.” Well, I’m not certain why people are calling them the “Good Old Days.” There has been nothing good about this…other than the fact that carrying huge pans of water upstairs for your “shower” is a great arm workout.

Having no hot water is slightly better than other previously experienced life inconveniences such as Power Outages Lasting Over an Hour (No water since we have a well, no heat other than fireplace, no electricity. After an hour, you start to feel as if there is no hope and you will be without life’s amenities FOREVER. And then the neighbor kids show up since you’ve got a ridiculously loud generator running and, hey, could they charge their phone!) and The Well Pump Failure of 20-somthing-or-other (200+ feet of pipe had to be pulled out of the ground TWICE to fix this problem.) And let us not forget the Great Car Disaster where the battery died AND a tire went flat all in one day.

We are all so thankful that the hot water guys are here today. Hopefully we’ll soon be all set to get a real shower tonight.

DSCN2195.JPGNow, on to more enjoyable things: Finish #13, Home by Harlan Coben.

I’m definitely going to be checking out more books by Harlan Coben. Last year I listed to Fool Me Once by him and really enjoyed it, which prompted me to check out Home. I was totally shocked by the ending to this story. I love it when a book can lead you in one direction, then, BAM, you get hit with something totally unexpected.

 

Monday Morning Microwave Mayhem

Monday morning started with a bang, actually two, and a very big mess. Not wanting to wait the ten whole minutes that the steamer requires for cooking up an egg in a custard cup, I put my egg (in a custard cup, not in the shell) into the microwave. I’m quite certain I’ve done this before with no adverse effects. I set the time for two minutes. Thirty seconds later it sounded like a gunman was in the kitchen with me. Instead of me being blasted and splattered all over the wall, though, it was my egg blasted and splattered all over the inside of the microwave.

Now, with such a fine start to the day, you’d probably think that I’d want to curl right back up in bed and pull the covers over my head. I’ll admit, I gave it a thought. Exploding breakfast has to be a sign of some sort of impending doom, right?

But I persevered. I cleaned up that egg, steamed up a new one, and managed to blast through about 90 percent of my to-do list before lunch. I showed Monday who was boss.

After two weeks of being busy with other stuff (practicing for three worship services that occurred over less than two weeks time and dealing with important life moments like taking middle daughter for her road test and driver’s license acquisition!!), today I got back to weeding things out and cleaning things up. I’m not really following the guidelines in the “tidying” book I read recently. I’m not worrying about “joy sparking.” At least today I wasn’t. Today I tackled the bathroom cupboard. I can’t think of anything in there that “sparks joy.” Well, the electric toothbrush might spark something if I dropped the plugged in charger into water but it certainly wouldn’t be joy coming off of there. Everything in the bathroom seems to fall into the “necessity” category. Everything except for those 5 or so extra contact lens cases. Really, Opti-free folks, I don’t need a new case every single time I purchase solution. (Don’t tell my eye doctor I said that.)

DSC_0497.JPGThat busy stuff I was doing over the past couple of weeks may have cut into my reading time, because it seems like it’s been ages since I posted about a finished book. More likely, though, is that I was reading book three in Nora Roberts Guardians Trilogy, Island of Glass, and I was reading slowly because I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I’ve enjoyed her other books…the ones that aren’t part of this particular trilogy. I must say, I’m trilled to have book three behind me. I was so excited when she wrote this new trilogy. That excitement died when I read the first book. I wrote about reading that book last year. I’m just not really into witches and werewolves and mermaids and all the other stuff that she crammed into these three books. So, I’m not saying that these weren’t quality books, but rather that they just weren’t enjoyable for me.

 

 

Meet the New Piggy! (And book #11)

dscn2154Here’s the newest addition to our hoard of pets: Mable, the guinea pig. She became Beatrice’s cagemate several days ago. The introduction was rocky at first. There was some rumble-strutting (I had never, ever heard of this before), there was a bit of bickering, there was some fighting, but the ladies have settled into a slightly more peaceful existence. I think the cohabitation just might work!

DSCN2137.JPGHere’s a photo of Mable and Beatrice chilling in their cage with the cutesy new liner that middle daughter (and the guinea pig fan) picked out for them. They’re just so stinkin’ cute!

And did you know they can purr?!

But enough about guinea pigs.

Finish #11 for 2017 is The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty. What a good book! I’m definitely going to have to check out more books by this author. I didn’t realize when I first picked up this one that I had actually read a book by her in the past. I recall enjoying that one, also. It was called What Alice Forgot. (Not to be confused with Still Alice by another author which I did NOT enjoy. Strangely they were both about Alices who forgot stuff. It’s no wonder I got them confused.)

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Luna dog: A mystery no longer (and another book for 2017)

dscn2176Luna, the dog who should be an internet sensation but isn’t, has learned her heritage! It only took us about three and a half years to buy a DNA test kit and send it in. Then began the long 3 weeks or so of waiting for the results to be reported. Now, whenever anyone asks us what breed she is, we have an answer…

She’s pretty much a mutt! There’s a bit of German Shepherd, some Labrador Retriever, a smattering of Rottweiler, husky (no mystery there), Samoyed, and (strangely) Chow.

Chow? She looks absolutely nothing like a Chow.

Appearances can be deceiving, apparently.

Just like you can’t judge a book by it’s cover.

See what I did there? Nice segue, don’t you think?

In this case, though, the cover adequately represented what was inside the book, so I could, indeed, judge a book by it’s cover. (I do this frequently. I’m not ashamed to admit it.)

As I mentioned in my previous post, this was another Susan Elizabeth Phillips book. Don’t worry. There won’t be too many more. I’m running out of what our library has to offer by this author. First Star I See Tonight was finish #9 for 2017. It was a delightful tale involving a female PI, a Super Bowl hero (fitting for the month of February, what with the Super Bowl being played earlier this month), a Middle Eastern prince, an old lady who thinks her dead husband is still alive, and a few other interesting characters.

One Guinea Pig Might Not Be Enough

Years ago we had a children’s book titled One Guinea Pig is Not Enough. Sadly, I sold it when we were clearing out a hoard of children’s books a few years back. I’m wishing now that I’d saved that one. Reading that book to middle daughter when she was an impressionable toddler must have planted the seeds for her current obsession. It seems that one guinea pig is not enough for her. Shortly after Beatrice came to live with us, middle daughter began (if she ever stopped) checking out the rescue sight for a second furry rodent.

This Sunday we’ll be introducing Beatrice to a friend. We are crossing our fingers that all goes well and they can happily co-exist in the same cage. We’ve been informed (by the rescue folks who know Beatrice) that Beatrice has a bit of a dominant personality, which, in so many words, translates to “might not play well with others.”

Humph. No one likes to be told that about their guinea pig!

DSCN2084.JPGThere’s Beatrice with finish #8 for 2017, Ain’t She Sweet? by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Yes, that’s my second book by her this year. Guess what? I’m reading another by her right now!

Ain’t she sweet? is what we’d say about Beatrice, not this “dominant personality” business! (Well, most of us would say that. Son would say quite the opposite. He’s not a fan of sweet little Beatrice. I think it might have something to do with the fact that middle daughter hassles him with talk of guinea pigs morning, noon, and night. Well, at least noon and night. He’s a bit of a late sleeper!)

As with all previous Susan Elizabeth Phillips books, I really enjoyed Ain’t She Sweet, the story of a previously stuck-up southern belle who returns to her hometown and experiences some difficulty making amends with all the people she hurt as a teenager.

I’ll attempt to resist the pull of Phillips’ books when I next go to the library. I might not be able to do so, though! Her books are quite a delightful read.