Category: The Bestseller Code 100 (Page 2 of 6)

Weekly Overview 01.15.18

Outside My Window…  sunshine! Oops!  No, that was half an hour ago.  Now the clouds (rain, and then later snow) are rolling in.

I am thinking…  that I got outside this morning and walked while it was (relatively) warm (60) and sunny.

I am thankful for… the new fitness tracker I have.  I wasn’t sure I wanted one, but when one of Bill’s coworkers offered the deal of the week on one he had purchased but couldn’t use, I took a chance.  I set it up yesterday and it’s rather cool.  I do think it will be an impetus to get more activity in each day.

I am hoping… that that winter weather event we’re supposed to have tonight comes and goes quickly without leaving snow behind!

 I am reading…

  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John J. Ratey
  • Jeff Gordon: His Dream, Drive & Destiny by Joe Garner
  • Fast Food Genocide: How Processed Food is Killing Us and What We Can Do About It by Joel Fuhrman

I am busy creating… a granny square afghan, which is a gift for a relative having a BIG birthday later this year.  I’m almost done with it, but it’s so nice to work on an afghan when the weather outside is cold.  I need to crochet snowflakes when I’m done with the afghan, but I may drag out an afghan kit I bought a couple of years ago and work on that instead.  It’ll depend upon how much more of this below freezing weather we have in January/February.

I am hearing… the Morning Joe show on MSBNC.  I tape it every morning and often watch the first segment, sometimes more.

Around the house…  Christmas décor is still up – I intend to leave it up until February.  The kitchen/breakfast area/back hallway/laundry room/downstairs bathroom floors are swept and newly mopped, something that was well overdue.  The rest of the downstairs could use a good vacuuming.

Around the garden…  there’s not much going on.  It’s been cold and I am a warm weather gardener.  Leaves cover the gardens and the lawn – somewhat intentionally, but it looks like hell.  I probably should have watered some containers this morning when it was nice, but I’m hoping Mother Nature will take care of that later today.  My Swiss chard is currently uncovered, but I’ll be putting the sheet back over it tonight, as the temperature is supposed to drop into the teens.  I’m amazed it looks as good as it does, considering how cold it has been the last few weeks and how many days it has been covered with the sheet!

In other news…  I have made progress on cleaning up my office, organizing things there, and logging receipts into Quicken.  I still have a long ways to go, but I anticipate finishing up with the estate portion of receipts later today.  That’s the current big push – need to get that done so I can get reimbursed for some of those expenses!

One of my favorite things…  is our new loveseat / sleeper sofa that is in the bonus room.  Both David and I have been using the room and the loveseat as a reading retreat.  And, as you can see from the picture below, Copper likes it too!  I’ve got it covered with some sheets while we work on the drywall in the room, and Copper is perched on top of the two big throw pillows that came with the loveseat.

Our Weekly Overview… 

Karen:  This week’s focus is continuing with logging receipts into Quicken, a few housecleaning bits, and getting the Dart inspected.  I also need to make a concerted effort to read as much as I can of our current 100 Bestseller Code book, The Goldfinch, so I can write a review later in the week.  On Wednesday evening I have my Master Gardener Graduation Banquet, which Bill will attend with me.  Thursday afternoon I have a Mentor Meeting, where I will be assigned a 2018 Master Gardener Intern to mentor.

Bill:  Bill is working from home all week.  He’s also continuing to putter with his remote control airplane that he brought back from the Alabama storage unit.  I am enjoying him having a hobby to occupy his downtime, and he’s enjoying doing something that has nothing to do with computers.

David:  College classes begin on Tuesday for David.  They are all online classes, but just what that means will likely be something different for all four classes in which he is currently enrolled.

Here’s a picture thought I am sharing …  

Book Review of Us by David Nicholls

I read this book as part of the 2017 European Reading Challenge.   Locations include Spain, Italy, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, and England.

I was first introduced to David Nicholls when I read One Day as part of the 100 Bestsellers List reading challenge. I enjoyed One Day and I liked Us even more. Us is narrated by Douglas Petersen, a middle-aged Englishman living a typical suburban life with his wife, Connie, and their seventeen-year-old son, Albie. An upcoming summer Grand Tour of Europe’s capitals has been planned as a last family vacation together before Albie goes off to university. Douglas is hoping this trip will provide one last chance to bond with Albie, with whom he has always felts somewhat of a stranger. Shortly before the trip, Connie tells Douglas that she’s thinking of leaving him, maybe “sometime in the fall,” and now Douglas has the added pressure of making Connie love him again during the Grand Tour.

Us *, by David Nicholls
 

(*Amazon Affiliate link)
 

I really liked Douglas. He reminded of people I know, and often, even myself. He means well, he has lofty ideals and goals of how he will communicate and treat those he loves, but when it comes down to the nitty gritty, he becomes tongue-tied and reverts to banal statements. He wants his son to succeed, but can’t see success in Albie’s choices of busking and photography. The more he worries about his relationship with Albie and Albie’s future as an adult, the more he pushes Albie and the more alienated Albie becomes.

In addition to the present day story line of the Grand Tour, Nichols fills in Douglas and Connie’s backstory in alternating chapters, which allows us to see what two such different personality types initially saw in each other and what compromises they made throughout their married life. All the characters in this story are well-written and believable. The ending has a bit of a twist, not necessarily the happy ending one would have wanted when first starting to read Us, but satisfying, just the same. I will be looking for more David Nicholls books to read in the future.

Weekly Overview 08.07.17

Outside My Window…  sunshine and white fluffy clouds filtered through my Texas Star hibiscus.

I am thinking… about how nice it was to have a phone call from my Mom this morning and a Skype call from Kat & Fiona this afternoon.

I am thankful for… the availability of so much beautiful Celtic music via the Internet.

I am hoping…  the a/c installation into the garage tomorrow goes smoothly.  Sounds like a repeat from last week, doesn’t it?  That’s because last week’s scheduled date got moved to this week!

 I am reading…

I am busy creating… plants.  I’m propagating geraniums, or attempting to do so.  Trimmed my peppermint striped geranium this morning and I have six potential plants started.  Keeping my fingers crossed, as I’ve never done geraniums before, nor have I used rooting compound before.

 

 

I am hearing… Celtic music from Seinn, by Mary Jane Lamond & Wendy Macisaac.  I first heard them on the Celtic Music Podcast and liked the piece played so well that I looked on the liner notes to see who and what it was.  Their album is a mixture of fiddling instrumentals and vocals in Gaelic.  They have some samples on their website that I’m listening to and when I make my next mini-weight loss goal, I will be ordering the CD.

 Around the house…  not much is happening, as most of my attention has been outside.  I realized Saturday, when I went hunting for my brochures and maps of things to do and see in Oklahoma, that I need a system to organize such things.  I always collect brochures and maps wherever I go, and then they get thrown in a pile when I get home.  I’m thinking of those cloth bins that I can shove onto a shelf…but that would mean I need open and available shelves.  The other option is a plastic tote with hanging folders inside.  I’ll have to decide upon something soon, as right now there’s piles on a couple of different tables and if I don’t deal with them, they’ll be there for weeks, maybe even months!

Around the garden… spider mites and mealy bugs to be dealt with on outside and inside plants. This morning I sprayed tomatoes and other plants outside with Neem oil.  And I will be spending Wednesday launching an all-out attack on my inside African violets – wiping down with alcohol to remove mealy bugs, then spraying with Neem oil and rinsing with water, and repotting in new soil mixed with diatomaceous earth.  It’s time to get serious!

In other news…  I’m still using webmail, which sucks.  Bill is still working on getting our mail server system back in shape.  From what I can figure, it’s got more to do with the actual program than the system, something about overloading the backup or archival to the point where it just quit.  I sure hope this doesn’t last forever, as I really miss Outlook mail (I never thought I’d say that!).

One of my favorite things…  day trips to new places.  Here’s a picture from the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur, Oklahoma, which we visited Saturday.

 

 

Our Weekly Overview… 

Karen:  No Master Gardener meetings this week.  A/C contractor(s) here on Tuesday morning to set up the mini-split unit in the garage and also (hopefully) do an air flow test in the house to remediate some residual issues from the house system that was installed in April.  The rest of the week will be ongoing focus on paperwork and accounts and Quicken.

Bill: Bill will be working from home every day this week except Wednesday (which means I have the house to myself for a whole day!!!).

David: David works every day this week, except for Thursday and Friday.  He’ll be ready for a break, as he’ll be ending a seven day work week, covering for others on vacation.

 

Here’s a picture thought I am sharing …  

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