Category Archives: Reading is FUNdamental

Escaping Into a Book…

The Enchanted Portal

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Forever Free


I truly can’t imagine my life without reading.

I feel very lucky because once I finally got my Master’s Degree, I lost my enjoyment of reading. I had to read so many things that I found dry, useless, and a total waste of time that I would do almost anything before I sat down to read something. And when I did – even if it was the newspaper or the crossword puzzle, I tensed up, reading as if I would have to spit it back out, word for word, for a test. It was actually about a year before I finally read for the simple pleasure it should be.

Right now I am re-reading several Nora Roberts books. I’m fascinated by her creativity and ability to write in different styles. There are the romances, which I love, where I can dive in and get lost, enjoying the wonderful characters, situation, and dialogue, knowing that somehow things will work out.  There are the series, where there are 3 or 4 books that together tell a larger story. She has unique stand-alone books. I’m reading one called Shelter In Place, which is the story of a mass shooting and the lives affected by it. Her In Death series, writing under the pen name of J.D. Robb, is a stunning series of 50 books now in which Eve Dallas is a police detective, dealing with the horror and grittiness of New York in the future, yet providing a cast of characters I would truly love to actually know.  All of these are simply reading for pleasure.

I have a nice collection now of keto recipe books, allowing me to cook some delicious meals while I try to lose my lard. In combination with these, Suzanne Ryan’s keto website, and the Cronometer website where I list what I’ve eaten and my exercise, I have access to motivation, recipes, and record-keeping which – unless I eat stuff I shouldn’t, will help me be as healthy as possible.

Art books are a constant delight. I love to grab one, being awestruck by the talent shown, along with details of how I might improve my skills. I combine this with wonderful videos on YouTube and find my spirits soaring.

When I finish re-reading my collection of Nora Roberts books, I’ll change and start re-reading my collection of Robert B. Parker books….

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Joy of a Good Book

Goodwill Librarian via Cathy Ruggiero

I am finally enjoying the most recent book to come out in paperback from the J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts) In Death series. It’s called. “Vendetta in Death”.

It’s like sliding into a really comfortable pair of shoes. I love being surrounded by all the characters, continuing Eve Dallas’ stressful, amazing life as a homicide lieutenant. The main problem is that I would like to just stay there, under my throw in my recliner, coffee beside me, reading.

I tend to forget that animals and people should probably eat, laundry get done, vacuuming, etc……..





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I honestly can’t imagine myself not reading.

I guess I’m biased, because I trained as a teacher, taught for 8 years in public elementary schools in Tulsa, and then ran my own reading clinic for 3 years, but personally – I would be lost without reading in my life.

I finished re-reading the 48 books in the “In Death” series by J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts) and have just received “Vendetta in Death” the 49th book just out in paperback. I’m really looking forward to diving into Eve Dallas’ world again.

On a tip from my good friend, Cathy Campbell, I ordered and just received

Laska, Stephanie
This lady has lost 140 lbs and has kept it off for 6 years. I started reading the book over lunch and she’s a HOOT! Great sense of humor and has managed success without the regimentation required by many keto people. I’m interested to try her theory and see if it works for me, too.  (I keep missing my macro percentages and it really makes you feel like you just don’t get it.) So, I’m reading as fast as I can to get an overview and then will read more carefully to start using the details as soon as possible.
Being able to pick up a book and forget your problems for awhile, or learn to do something new, or get excited about a new way to get healthier, is richness beyond belief.
I will never forget sitting in the middle of my parents’ living room when I was 4 or 5. My mom was doing the New York Times Crossword Puzzle. My dad was avidly reading a book on archaeology. My brother was reading a whole stack of comic books. I looked from one to the other and finally said, “I wish to HELL I could read!”  Everyone stopped and looked at me. I expected my parents to come down on me like a load of bricks for saying a bad word. Instead, they looked at each other. My mom got a book, came down and sat on the floor with me, and began teaching me to read.
I will be forever grateful.


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Tim Vine via Slide Share

I finished “Connections in Death” by J.D. Robb/Nora Roberts the day before yesterday. That is #48 in her series of 50 “In Death” books featuring Eve Dallas, a homicide lieutenant. I read them all again from the beginning before I allowed myself to enjoy this last one that has come out in paperback. I have #49 arriving December 31st, according to Amazon, and am aware there is #50 out recently in hardback, so the joy continues.

I’m in withdrawal now.  I really enjoy this world that Nora has created. The people inhabiting it are people I would love to really know.  The interactions between all the characters is fascinating.

In the meantime, I have a whole stack of what I hope will be good books waiting for my attention.


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I’m am on book #40 in the 50-book “In Death” series by J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts). I’m reading them all again before I allow myself to dive into the newest one in paperback, “Connections in Death.”  I’ve been so busy having fun in my art room and trying to fit in 70 or so minutes of exercise into my day that I’ve been reading in fits and starts, just a bit at a time, but I’m loving living in Eve Dallas’ world again.

I’m also reading several other books at the same time, trying to learn some things here and there. :0)  I honestly don’t know how I would survive without reading. Physical books are a treasure trove to me. E books are great for learning things and to take while traveling. Computers are wonderful for expanding your horizons.

I just wish there were more time in the day and I had unlimited energy!


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Thoughts on a Saturday 10-26-2019

Cheap Trip

Our weather is 53 degrees F. and raining, so it’s a great day to stay inside, feeling grateful for a warm, dry home. I put together a keto crock pot chili recipe (thanks to Suzanne Ryan, Simply Keto)  so we can look forward to a nice comfort meal this evening.

I’m finishing the last plaque in the 5 plaque series using my new Unicorn Spit Stain/Glaze kit sent to me by my wonderful sister-in-law and FRIEND, MaryLou. It’s truly the gift that keeps on giving. I’m going to also try it on some glass Christmas ornaments I have, plus some flat wooden ornaments next. :0)


Since my body told me quite clearly Tuesday morning that it really NOTICED that I hadn’t exercised Monday, I’m actually finding it easier to work in my elliptical session and my yoga session daily. I don’t HAVE to do them at some particular time ( a SURE recipe for failure, since things always come up -giving me an excuse to skip it).  I do rest in-between the two sessions, but that’s the only limitation.

I’m doing 35 minutes on the elliptical trainer

Penn Fitness Warehouse


and 35-45 minutes on my yoga stretching

Why Kol


I’m enjoying book #38 “Concealed in Death” (of the 50 in the series so far) of J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts) “In Death Series.” I make myself wait until the books come out in paperback and then read the whole series again before I give myself permission to read the newest one I’ve bought for my collection. Even though the main character, Eve Dallas, is a homicide cop, I find her, and all the people in her world, fascinating.  I feel extremely lucky to have found several favorite authors who allow me to dive into the worlds they create and live there awhile each day. :0)


I’m enjoying bouncing from exercise – to cooking – to playing in my art room – to reading – to taking dogs out – and back again today. I hope your Saturday is a satisfying one, too.


Filed under exercise, Favorite Authors & Books, Favorite Pictures, Keto Eating Plan and Recipes We Like, playing in my art room, quality of life, Reading is FUNdamental, Thoughts on a ________


Bookish Buzz via Cathy Ruggiero

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Super Powers

For Reading Addicts via Cathy Ruggiero

I feel lucky because I’m in the middle of re-reading the Nora Roberts (J.D. Robb) “In Death” series and can escape whenever I can make the time and come out calm and refreshed. I love her writing. She creates incredibly deep characters you feel as if you actually know. You care about them, laughing and crying with them. I can’t think of a greater compliment to a writer for the readers to want to live in the world they have created and always want more.

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email from Marsha Koenig

In-between sessions clearing out my square foot garden, I’ll enjoy my current re-read – # 30 in the “In Death” series by JD Robb (Nora Roberts).  I love being able to do a little bit of ‘have-to’ or ‘should’ in my life, and then escape into Eve Dallas’ world for a time. I’m re-reading the whole series and then will give myself permission to enjoy the latest one in paperback, #48.  :0)

I’m reading several books at once right now – my usual mix of

  • studying a cookbook to find more delicious recipes by Suzanne Ryan, Simply Keto,
  • reading a book called The Flying Nun, Oprah and Me: 40 Years Making $$ as a Freelance Writer by John Riddle
  • The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, by Al Ries and Jack Trout, and
  • Hillbilly Elegy, by J.D. Vance

What are you reading?


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The Love of Books

Garrison Keillor – Generate Status

We made 13 donations to our local library last year for their fundraisers. ( I don’t know how many this year) We’ve  sold a LOT of books on Amazon and eBay. We STILL have books in almost every room in the house. I keep promising myself I’ll get into the mindset to go through our books with the idea of giving them new homes, but I have to admit I’m greedy and want to keep them all, as well as buying new ones.

My husband and I each have our personal libraries of books by favorite authors. His thing is mainly Science Fiction. He reads fast and remembers most of what he reads. At one point, in an effort to conserve money, he read books upside down to try to slow down. :0)  He also has technical books of all kinds, math books, books we’ve bought in the library fundraisers, project books, and more. Our personal libraries are in built-in shelves in our bedroom. I guess the only rooms that don’t have shelves for books is our bathrooms…

I am re-reading book #29 (Kindred in Death) from the In Death series by J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts) I’m fascinated by the world and characters she has created. There are 48 books in the series that have come out in paperback so far, with more to come. I have the latest paperback on my table beside my chair in the living room. I won’t allow myself to enjoy it until I have finished re-reading the 47 books that come before it. I feel lucky to be able to dive into the current one and live in their world for a bit before tackling another item on my to-do list for the day.

I have all books written by Robert J. Parker and enjoy re-reading those, too. (I feel sorry for my husband that he remembers books and movies so well. I don’t have that awful ‘affliction’ and can enjoy things over and over again almost as if it were the first time) :0)  Another favorite is the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovitch. I think there are 25 paperbacks in that series so far.

I plow through truly wonderful art books that are everywhere. I can’t ever get very far when I look at them, though. I get caught up, grabbed by an idea, and have to go play in my art room to see what I can do with it.

We had another set of shelves built for my husband to add on to his space for his personal collection. Mine spilled over into the built-in shelves in the guest room. We feel rich in books.

I would (and probably should) give up many things in life, but reading is something I’ll do with great enjoyment until my last breath!


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Good Habits

Zen to Zany via Cathy Ruggiero

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Susan Wiggs via Cathy Ruggiero

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Unknown Artist via Elena (Livia) D. – LinkedIn

I received my paperback copy of Nora Roberts’ “Connections in Death” – the latest in her “In Death” Series. I ordered it months ago and then tried to put it out of my mind instead of waiting, crossing off days, like a kid waiting for Christmas. Finally, I have it in my hands!

I’m re-reading the other 47 books in the series, thoroughly enjoying the escape of living in the gritty, absorbing world of Eve Dallas, a homicide detective in New York City in 2058 and beyond. I admire her strength, determination, absolute dedication to her job. I love the people in her world and how she reacts to them. I can dive in and lose myself and my worries for awhile, caught up in her latest case and situation.

Right now I’m on #10 – “Witness in Death.” When I finish the first 47 books, I’ll give myself permission to enjoy the latest.

I spent many, many years not really being able to make time for reading for pleasure. I was earning my teaching degree, then teaching full-time and taking night classes and summer school for my Master’s. It was YEARS before I could actually sit down, become absorbed in a book, relaxing – reading for the joy of it – finally realizing I wouldn’t be TESTED on it later.  Now it’s one of my greatest pleasures. I’m grateful I found Nora Roberts years ago. Her books have reminded me of how beautiful life can be, full of humor, love, and interesting, good people. The In Death series is another part of that, with strong, sometimes wacky characters, who each have lovable flaws that bring you closer.

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Some Days

Bookish Buzz via Cathy Ruggiero

We got an email that the newest Nora Roberts’ In Death series paperback will be delivered tomorrow.

I decided to celebrate its coming by re-reading all the books in the series – 48 to be exact – before I allow myself to read the latest. I’m on book 7 right now, deep in Eve Dallas’ and Roarke’s world in New York City in the future.

Due to a health issue in our family, our son came home last night from Thailand. We picked him up at the airport about midnight, getting home about 1am this morning.

Two huge reasons to celebrate!


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Very Magical

I Love Reading Books via Cathy Ruggiero

I’m in the middle of re-reading Book 3 (Eclipse) in the 4-book series, The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer (Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn.)


I loved the series the first time I read it, even though I don’t really consider myself a connoisseur of vampire and werewolf books. It’s so well written and the characters are so compelling you find yourself accepting their world as real and caring what happens to everyone.

So, each day, no matter what else is happening around here, I make time to at least read a chapter or two before heading off to bed.

If you haven’t read this series, you might enjoy it.

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Twilight, et al

Books Rock My World via Cathy Ruggiero

I have just started re-reading the “Twilight” series by Stephenie Meyer again after several years. The 4-book series includes “Twilight,” “New Moon,” “Eclipse,” and “Breaking Dawn.”

I can’t say my usual reading preference is for Vampires and Werewolves, but I find this series – and the movies that were made of them – fascinating, truly transporting. I can dive in and live in a completely different world, leaving little problems and worries behind.

If you haven’t read the series, you’re missing a wonderful experience, engaging characters, and plot.

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Two Good Books

Getty Images

I’m reading two books right now: The Dolphin – Story of a Dreamer by Sergio Bambaren and Totally Incorrect Volume 2 – A Conversation with Doug Casey as told to Justin Spittler

The Dolphin book I just received in the mail today. It was recommended by a contact on Linkedin – Dieter Onken.

I ordered the Casey book because I wanted to read his opinions on the newest things happening in the world and to also find out what he’s recommending for good investments to shield ourselves from the tumult of our world today.

I plan to do a good bit of reading today, since our weather is so unfriendly.

I hope you are somewhere safe and warm, too, and can enjoy your day.

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The Help

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

This is one of my favorite books. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.

Kathyrn Stockett writes in a deceptively simple manner, painting wonderful pictures of the three strong women in the book and their relationship. She paints a first-hand account of life in Mississippi in the 60’s with all its wonders and shortcomings. You’re immersed in a world you may or may not find familiar, but you care about the women. You wince went hurtful or ugly things happen. Your heart goes out. It’s real. A strong story of the power of people to make a difference.

I read the book years ago, and then got the movie that was made from the book. Both are wonderful and should be treasured.

I don’t know if Kathryn Stockett has written more since this, her first novel, but I’m going to find out.

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Julie and Julia

For Reading Addicts via Cathy Ruggiero

I’m in the middle of re-reading Julie & Julia by Julie Powell.

I read this book several years ago and loved it. Then I watched and loved the movie, starring Amy Adams as Julie and Meryl Streep as Julia Child.  When I finish enjoying the book again, I’ll watch the movie in my collection again.

I enjoy the whole ‘world’ created by Julie Powell, with Julie cooking her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking, determined to cook every one of the 524 recipes in one year. Her sense of humor, sense of the ridiculous, and love of a life lived to the fullest just fill me up.

If you haven’t read the book or enjoyed the movie, you’re missing good things.


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Learning New Things

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

I started a new book, The Longevity Code by Kris Verburgh, M.D. because my husband read it and was really affected by the information and suggestions he found. He posted some changes in eating he wants to make and we got – or ordered – several supplements we aren’t taking.

I wanted to learn more about this, since my husband usually reacts that the information is ‘hype’ or ‘hooey,’ so I got the Kindle version of the book and am reading it now.

I don’t particularly want to live forever, although I would love to know what happens in the future. I mainly want my remaining time to be spent as healthy as possible. We’re trying to get the lard off, and use no more added salt or sugar anymore. We try to avoid foods that are high in either of those, and I’m exercising 5 or 6 days a week now.

I haven’t gotten far enough to share anything with you yet, but I wanted you to know about the book, if you’re interested to read what Dr. Verburgh has to say.

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Reading is FUNdamental

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

Right now I’m reading

  • Paleo Beginners Guide
  • The REALSIMPLE Method to Organizing Every Room and How to Keep it that Way
  • iPhone 8 Guide, and
  • Rereading The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares (#1 of a 5 book series I love),
  • Draw Real Animals! by Lee Hammond, and
  • Greenhouse Gardening for Beginners by Jason Johns


Elizabeth Scott via

What are you reading lately?

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Reading is a Joy and a Pathway

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn


Dr. Seuss – Practicing Normal – Pinterest

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Watch Out!

Thinking People via Melissa Eastman

I’ve been splurging – re-reading my collection of the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. There are 25 books in the series so far, 24 in paperback. I’m on #23, smiling all the way through it.

I love this series because the characters are seriously flawed and – if not lovable – are likable, and very amusing.  On re-reading, I sometimes laugh out loud, but not as often as I did the first time. The writing is so good, though, I snort, or at least smirk, through much of them. The wacky characters get into totally bizarre situations.  Sharing the situations with them, and seeing how they get through them, and the consequences, is a joy. I don’t really want to BE in their world, but I love sharing it from a bit of a distance.

Janet has # 25 in hard back now, and, of course, it’s a best seller. I’m not sure when the paperback will be available, but I’m looking forward to being able to add it to my collection.

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Less is More

After a wonderful Lunch Bunch this morning, I’m devoting the rest of the day to two things: reading a good book and starting a new project – going through the gazillion Christmas decorations I have.


I’m enjoy re-reading my Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. I’m currently re-reading # 15 (out of 25 that have been written.) I discovered I didn’t have #23 and #24, so I ordered them from Amazon. #25 is now in hardback. I’ll wait until I can get it used in paperback before adding that to my collection. I LOVE the main character. I find her quirky, half nuts, and quite endearing. Her friends, co-workers, and relatives make up a truly wacky group, one I find addictive. I’m trying to do something useful each day, and then enjoy as much reading time as I can get.


My house is pretty well-decorated since our son is home from Thailand for the first time in over 3 years. I wanted things to look festive. My son and husband were asked to vote on whether they wanted to add a Christmas tree. Both thought we were festive enough without it.

Besides all the things I have out, my son helped pull down three other large bins from a shelf in the basement. I’m going to be starting down there, dividing things up into two groups – (1) things I HAVE to keep (at least for now) and (2) things I can donate.  I’m going to take my time – not having a particular deadline, but my goal is to pare things down to ONE large bin that I will store somewhere where “I” can get it out easily when wanted, rather than having to worry about my husband and I hurting ourselves.

This may take several days to do, or it may go quickly. I won’t know for sure until I get started. The only thing I DO know at this point, is that I’ll get lots of good exercise, going up and down the stairs bringing stuff up as decisions are made and bags are filled.

I’ll add the current decorations that are up now into the bin and bag up things to donate after the first of the year.

I spent all last year trying to go through 30+ years of accumulation of STUFF. I did a good job and we’re in much better shape than we were. Now I have a good START and will continue Phase II of the project through 2019.

My new mantra is “Less is more.”

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Escape Into a Good Book via Ar Ali – LinkedIn

An author I really like is W. Bruce Cameron. I’ve read A Dog’s Purpose and now I’m about half way finished reading “A Dog’s Way Home.”

He writes from the dog’s perspective – seeing and experiencing everything from a dog’s point of view. He really makes you look at your dog differently, realizing that much of what you do is confusing and just noise to your sweet pet, with the exception of favorite words and cherished activities together.

I find his books totally entertaining and heartwarming, occasionally making me close to tears, but always glad I took the time to dive into Cameron’s outstanding understanding of dogdom.

If you haven’t read his books, you’re in for a treat!

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In My Own Little World

unknown – email Bill Lites

I decided to dive in and re-read my collection of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels. I reading # 5 now, “High Five.”

Janet has built a whole world that is funny and fun with a quirky main character, Stephanie Plum, who becomes a Bond Inforcement Agent (Bounty Hunter) by blackmailing her weird relative who owns a bond agency.

The cast of characters really grows on you. I feel as if I know them. I love living in their world for awhile, smirking and snorting over what goes on. I love Janet’s down-to-earth REAL attitudes and reactions, the flaws and foibles of all Stephanie’s friends and family.

There are 25 books in the series to date. When I get to the end of the ones in my collection (20+) I’ll order the rest of them.

I love being able to do what I need to during the day and then dive in and lose myself in my current Stephanie Plum book….

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A Wonderful Gift

Garrison Keillor – Generate Status

Reading a good book is like breathing for me. I have a collection of books I have loved over the years, and re-read them from time to time.

Right now I’m re-reading the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich.  There are 25 in the series, all built around a really nuts, lovable main female character from New Jersey who decides out of desperation to become a bounty hunter. She’s gutsy, but knows absolutely nothing about becoming one. She’s small and soft-hearted, a bad combination for bringing in people who were bonded out of jail, but failed to show up for their court date. Her inventiveness, sense of humor, and persistence carry the day. Over the course of the series, she develops a circle of wonderful, quirky friends and associates to add to her funny family members. I have fallen in love with all of them and sit, grinning/smirking/snorting as I re-read each of the books. I’m on #2 now, “Two for the Dough.”



I have 21 of the 25, I think, but I’ll find out which I’m missing and get them, too, when I’ve re-read all those in my collection.

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Angela Mia De La Vega Art

Angela Mia De La Vega Art via Elena (Livia) D. – LinkedIn

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“The History of Glue”

Kathleen L. Hawkins, – Tim Vine via SlideShare

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And the Answer Is…


I am always reading several books simultaneously.

For example, I’m pouring over a really good one about what I’m supposed to be doing in my greenhouse. Though he is obviously in a place where heating is the primary issue, I’m learning a bunch about how to attack my goal of eating fresh lettuce as we go into winter, growing my own celery, starting new tomato plants from suckers and then keeping them alive over the winter. I’m also looking forward to starting seeds in March or so, getting a jump on the spring garden. It’s wonderful to be able to learn from someone who knows what they’re talking about. :0)

I’m re-reading a series of four books by one of my favorite authors, Nora Roberts. There is a quartet of books I’m reading now, and then a trio of books that I read once a year when I would like to feel better about people.

Then there is the new series by Robert Bryndza about Detective Erika Foster that my husband shared with me recently. Since that’s on my Kindle, I’ll take it to my husband’s doctor appointment today.

Another one I’m reading and trying to absorb a bit at a time is The Real Simple Method to Organizing Every Room and How to Keep it That Way.  If you’ve read my blog, you know what a slob I am. You also know that I continually try to HEAL my home by going through things, donating the things I think others might enjoy or make use of, throwing out a bunch of ‘stuff,’ and then cleaning and organizing the rest. (Today it’s the double cabinet under the kitchen sink.)

Though this book stresses getting EVERYONE in the house involved, our pets are of  little help, and my husband, thankfully, is oblivious to the chaos, dirt, dog hair, etc – or would have probably dumped me years ago. He does do things like empty the dishwasher, and lately he’s taken on the job of vacuuming out our truck before we pick up our friends to take them bowling, but basically, I’m on my own on this effort.

The book also assumes that we have the money we would LIKE to have, and could concentrate on buying furniture, rugs, paintings, and pricey knick-knacks, putting more of them on the bookshelves than books. I AM picking up some general good rules, though, from reading this, and I AM enjoying the beautiful pictures.

Reading is a big part of my life. I love learning new things. I love diving into a book and forgetting everything around me. Reading is a quality-of-life thing for me.

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