Wednesday, December 30, 2020

In which I'm not unhappy about waving bye-bye to 2020...


Hello book friends!  Well, Christmas has come and gone and our daughter gave us the ornament pictured above as part of our Christmas goodies.  I love it, but wonder whether I'll want to display it after 2020.  We shall see.  Our Christmas Day itself was very nice.  We did the 'porch drops' and visited with area family in the outdoors.  Happily, the weather cooperated and we had a good time visiting for a few minutes with each household.  We went to our daughter and son-in-law's house last and enjoyed some fun time with their two dogs.  Both Cody and Max (the pups) came and sat with their heads on my knee and just rested there for a while.  We hadn't seen the grand-dogs for a long time.  And, yes, we also enjoyed visiting with our kids.

Another happy thing is that our daughter just texted and said she got her first dose of the vaccine this morning at her hospital.  I'm very relieved about that and am hopeful that we all will be able to get the shots in upcoming months. 

So, reading in 2020 and stats.  I have them, but honestly, I read so many books that were not 'new-to-me' - aka 're-reads', I'm not going to do a 'Top 10' list.  I will say that I think my favorite book this year was Louise Penny's newest, All The Devils Are Here.  I also enjoyed reading Kelley Armstrong's Rockton series, David Baldacci's Memory Man books, and Sherry Thomas' Lady Sherlock series.  I read 130 books in 2020 and that's about normal for me.  What it doesn't reflect is the number of books that I began and then set aside.  I have no idea how many of those there were.  Lots.

As for reading goals and other goals for 2021 - I think I'm going to just 'go with the flow' in that regard.  Read what I want and that might be new books and it might be 're-reads'.  I do want to get back to sharing at least a short paragraph about my thoughts for books that are new-to-me reads.  And who knows?  I might even share a bit about older books that I'm revisiting.  

I'm not going to pick a focus word for this year either.  I've done that in the past, but again, this new year will be as stress-free as I can manage.  I'm planning on more yoga, especially in the breathing and meditation area.  Continuing my walking.  Better choices in my eating because those have not been very helpful in 2020.  Just healthy in mind, body, and soul 2021 - that sounds good to me.  

I feel like I've had way too much 'news' in 2020 and am going to attempt to create my peaceful place here while I'm visiting with all you about books and good stuff.  Take care and wishing everyone a safe New Year's.  Let's bring on 2021!!         

Friday, December 18, 2020

The Xmas elves have been here and the 'porch bags' are ready...


Our 'porch bags' are ready to share with family and friends.  We just need to make a few tasty goodies to include and set the delivery times.  Goodie-making will commence next week.  We had a good time coming up with a few fun items for our loved ones - not big things, but useful things and funny things.  A few got a book from me and the dog lovers got a bag of treats for their pups.  There were funny socks and bookmarks and hand cream and little soaps.  Some little flashlights for the guys and some puzzle books - you get the idea.  

I'll be making Strawberry Nut Bread (small loaves) and Gingerbread Cookies and my husband has some kind of candy thing he's going to try.  

Some had asked about my Christmas playlist.  It includes Christmas albums from Pentatonix, Amy Grant, A Very Special Christmas - Vol. 1 & 2, Faith Hill, Vanessa Williams, and Michael Buble'.  Maybe my two favorite songs that are not 'traditional' holiday tunes - Amy Grant singing 'My Grown-up Christmas List' and Faith Hill singing 'A Baby Changes Everything'.  

Hope all have a safe, peaceful weekend.  I am still trying to 'Be of good cheer...'.  Grateful my daughter will be getting the vaccine in the next few days at her hospital.  

And if I don't get back around until after Christmas Day, I wish you all much joy and peace and love - and some tasty goodies!

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Another funny thought...for 2020, the oddest year ever...


I promised if I found another funny thing, I'd share it.  I found this made me laugh and nod my head.  I got my hair cut this morning and my stylist (who has a single-woman hair studio) had things decorated for the holidays.  It was very pretty and cheerful.  Plus, she had this 'sign'.  Ha!  I asked about it and she said it made her think of some of the difficulties of understanding people with their masks on.  Very appropriate, right?  Yes, the masks do make things a bit garbled now and then.  I do back away when people decide that if they need to repeat, they also need to pull the mask below their chin.  Um....no.  Ha!

As this is now cedar pollen season in our area (I hate cedar pollen and it hates me!), I've had to move my walking regimen back into the rec center.  Which is fine as they are very careful with a reservation system and lots of rules.  However, I don't get to see the Christmas decorations or wildlife.  I decided that with my quest of 'Be of good cheer...', I'd create a holiday music playlist.  I've done that and my walking has been very cheerful the last few days.  Now my goal is to not forget where I am and start humming or singing under my breath.  Ha!  I mean, who doesn't want to sing along?

Hope you all have a nice weekend.  Our shopping is done.  Now to get organized and get all the little treats put in bags and wrapped up in tissue for our 'porch deliveries'.  I'll do a post next week giving a peek at what I've found to share with people this year.  It's just little things...and maybe some gingerbread cookies...

Monday, December 7, 2020

Because this is the year for an 'unusual' Christmas tree....2020, right?


I know I said I wouldn't be back around until the end of the month, but this just made me laugh.  'Be of good cheer' - you might wake up and when you turn on the lights for your Christmas tree....this happens.  Ha!  What an appropriate tree for 2020!  Unusual and not quite right....LOL!  Of course, it's a prelighted tree and so it's not as simple as buying a new strand and replacing it.  I think we'll keep it just like this.  And it looks like we'll be watching for the after-holiday sales for a new tree.

Perhaps I'll look for other ways to make you smile this month.  I'll see what I can find and share.  Have a good day!  

Friday, December 4, 2020

Ho, Ho, Ho,...and it's December...


Hello book friends!  How are all of you?  It's December!  And I'm coming back around to say 'Greetings!' and, as it says on my mantel decoration...'Be of good cheer...'!  Or maybe try to be of good cheer.  I'm choosing to try to do that and my husband and I have been figuring out what these December holidays will look like at our house.  Not the 'usual', but we're choosing not to have a 'Grinch-y' Christmas either.  We're working on plans to 'porch deliver' some bags of treats to family and friends here.  And maybe have a small visit outside with them.  We might even sing a carol or two - at a distance.  You never know.

I can't help remembering that three years ago in December, my husband had an unexpected heart attack and then had triple bypass surgery.  It was a very scary time and an unusual Christmas, but we got through it.  We'll all get through this year as well.  The holidays and Christmas are for me a time of joy, peace, and thinking of those I love and have loved.  And also a time of reaching out and trying to bring some joy to others through whatever means I can.  I encourage you to do that as well.

As to my reading life, it goes on, happily.  I'm not going to share much about it here, but I plan to be back maybe the last week of this year to do some 'Best of...' posts and update at that time.  Until then, I'm going to leave you with several pictures of holiday decorations around my house.  My wish is that all will have a joyful, peaceful, holiday season full of love and good cheer.  Merry Christmas!  Thank you all for being my friends!!