Thursday, November 30, 2023

Some pictures from our trip to Tucson in late October....taken on my walks

I think I mentioned in an earlier post that we had gone to Tucson, Arizona in late October.  My husband had a work conference that he was attending and then we also decided to stay a couple of extra days after that for a short vacation - golf included, of course.  Ha! 

I didn't do much on this trip except walk around the resort property, stop by the Starbucks in the lobby for a drink and maybe a piece of pumpkin bread, watch people from the little corner of the huge lobby area that I found, and read 3-1/2 books.  After all the house selling, buying, moving, etc., it was exactly the time I needed to relax.  I'll leave you with a few pictures I took on my walks.  As you can see, some hills, lots of cactus, and some pretty blooms.  Deep breaths and relax!!


Thursday, November 23, 2023

Happy Thanksgiving, 2023!!


Wishing each person a day of 'peace, love, and joy'!  If you are celebrating Thanksgiving, Happy Thanksgiving, 2023! 

Monday, November 20, 2023

Here's how I encourage myself to 'push' my walking goals...rereading a favorite mystery series...hello, Cormoran Strike!

Now that we are a bit settled in our new location, I've been working on my 'health' journey again.  You know, I think I've finally realized that I'll never get to stop working on those goals and pursuits.  Yes, I should know that, but sometimes I feel like I think 'one day I'll reach all my goals and get to stop' - ha!  Probably not.  Anyway, the last few years have seen me mostly stabilize in the weight department.  Not a bad thing, but I had put back on some pounds and really, really want to get back to where I left off at my lowest point with Weight Watchers.  I was only about 12 pounds from the goal that my doctor and I  set.  So, back to in-person meetings (which were not available in Kerrville) and being a little more strict with my food choices.  Not crazy restrictive, but more thoughtful.  

Another thing I've continue to do, but not as regularly or for the longer distances is my daily walk.  I had really 'fallen off the wagon' in the last few months in that regard.  Yes, we've been busy and I was not sitting and doing nothing.  However, the heat this summer, the fact that Kerrville did not have an indoor walking track of any kind, and just making too many excuses meant that I am having to 'push' myself to build up my walks to the level they were before we moved.  I used to do about 3 miles most days (my goal was actually 3.1 miles or a 5K).  And that became my usual walk.  I attended yoga class twice a week and enjoyed that very much.  No yoga (or hardly any) for the last few years and walking only about a mile or so.  I am done with that.  Back to an indoor walking track and finding out that my previous yoga class and teacher are available again - yea!  Planning on starting back with the yoga in the new year.

I'm almost up to 2 miles walking and I have given myself the 'treat' of listening to a favorite mystery series for the second time - the Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling).  There are 7 books in the series now and they are mostly very long.  I love the narrator's voice - perfect for this series - Robert Glennister.  I've now finished the first book, The Cuckoo's Calling, and am heading right into #2 - The Silkworm.  I used this incentive one time before and listened to all the J.D. Robb books.  Loved it.  I know - I'm a little weird, but whatever works, right?  Especially since the holiday season is upon us.  I'm not going to be too strict with my eating, I am going to be mindful.  So, below you will see my 'happy place'.  Take care and have a good week!


Thursday, November 16, 2023

Four upcoming books that I'm eager to read...one for each month including November

I want to share four to-be-published books that I'm wishing for in upcoming weeks.  One for each month, including this one.  I'm hoping to read more books than these, but my reading life has to have goals, right?  Ha!  I've read the first book by Nita Prose, read the two standalones that Stacy Willingham has written, and read the first book in Kelley Armstrong's Haven Rock series.  Jess Armstrong's book is a debut.  Fun indeed.  Here's the scoop:

The Mystery Guest by Nina Prose - publishes November 28th

Molly Gray is not like anyone else. With her flair for cleaning and proper etiquette, she has risen through the ranks of the glorious five-star Regency Grand Hotel to become the esteemed Head Maid. But just as her life reaches a pinnacle state of perfection, her world is turned upside down when J. D. Grimthorpe, the world-renowned mystery author, drops dead—very dead—on the hotel’s tearoom floor.

 When Detective Stark, Molly’s old foe, investigates the author’s unexpected demise, it becomes clear that this death was murder most foul. Suspects abound, and everyone wants to know: Who killed J. D. Grimthorpe? Was it Lily, the new Maid-in-Training? Or was it Serena, the author’s secretary? Could Mr. Preston, the hotel’s beloved doorman, be hiding something? And is Molly really as innocent as she seems?

 As the high-profile death threatens the hotel’s pristine reputation, Molly knows she alone holds the key to unlocking the killer’s identity. But that key is buried deep in her past, as long ago, she knew J. D. Grimthorpe. Molly begins to comb her memory for clues, revisiting her childhood and the mysterious Grimthorpe mansion where she and her dearly departed Gran once worked side by side. With the entire hotel under investigation, Molly must solve the mystery posthaste. Because if there’s one thing she knows for sure, it’s that secrets don’t stay buried forever.


The Curse of Penryth Hall by Jess Armstrong - publishes December 5th

After the Great War, American heiress Ruby Vaughn made a life for herself running a rare bookstore alongside her octogenarian employer and house mate in Exeter. She’s always avoided dwelling on the past, even before the war, but it always has a way of finding her. When Ruby is forced to deliver a box of books to a folk healer living deep in the Cornish countryside, she is brought back to the one place she swore she’d never return. A more sensible soul would have delivered the package and left without rehashing old wounds. But no one has ever accused Ruby of being sensible. Thus begins her visit to Penryth Hall.

A foreboding fortress, Penryth Hall is home to Ruby’s once dearest friend, Tamsyn, and her husband, Sir Edward Chenowyth. It’s an unsettling place, and after a more unsettling evening, Ruby is eager to depart. But her plans change when Penryth’s bells ring for the first time in thirty years. Edward is dead; he met a gruesome end in the orchard, and with his death brings whispers of a returned curse. It also brings Ruan Kivell, the person whose books brought her to Cornwall, the one the locals call a Pellar, the man they believe can break the curse. Ruby doesn’t believe in curses—or Pellars—but this is Cornwall and to these villagers the curse is anything but lore, and they believe it will soon claim its next victim: Tamsyn.

To protect her friend, Ruby must work alongside the Pellar to find out what really happened in the orchard that night.


Only If You're Lucky by Stacy Willingham - publishes January 16th

Lucy Sharpe is larger than life. Magnetic, addictive. Bold and dangerous. Especially for Margot, who meets Lucy at the end of their freshman year at a liberal arts college in South Carolina. Margot is the shy one, the careful one, always the sidekick and never the center of attention. But when Lucy singles her out at the end of the year, a year Margot spent studying and playing it safe, and asks her to room together, something in Margot can't say no—something daring, or starved, or maybe even envious.

And so Margot finds herself living in an off-campus house with three other girls, Lucy, the ringleader; Sloane, the sarcastic one; and Nicole, the nice one, the three of them opposites but also deeply intertwined. It's a year that finds Margot finally coming out of the shell she's been in since the end of high school, when her best friend Eliza died three weeks after graduation. Margot and Lucy have become the closest of friends, but by the middle of their sophomore year, one of the fraternity boys from the house next door has been brutally murdered... and Lucy Sharpe is missing without a trace.


The Boy Who Cried Bear by Kelley Armstrong - publishes February 20th

Haven’s Rock is a well-hidden town surrounded by forest. And it’s supposed to be, being that it’s a refuge for those who need to disappear. Detective Casey Duncan and her husband, Sheriff Eric Dalton already feel at home in their new town, which reminds them of where they first met in Rockton. And while they know how to navigate the woods and its various dangers, other residents don’t. Which is why people aren't allowed to wander off alone.

When Max, the town’s youngest resident—taught to track animals by Eric—fears a bear is stalking a hiking party, alarms are raised. Even stranger, the ten-year-old swears the bear had human eyes. Casey and Eric know the dangers a bear can present, so they’re taking it seriously. But odd occurrences are happening all around them, and when a dead body turns up, they’re not sure what they’re up against.


Do any of these appeal to you?  Do tell...

Monday, November 13, 2023

Finally, an update...just before the holidays!


Hello my book friends!  How are you all and how has your fall been so far?  Have those that hadn't had much rain gotten some moisture and visa versa?  And how is your reading life progressing?  Holiday time is right around the corner.  Are you ready?  

I guess I should answer my own questions.  Well, I know I've been away for a bunch of this year and haven't posted much.  Sorry about that.  The last few months have been extremely busy for us.  I didn't share this before, but we have been moving back to the Austin area and are finally in our new home and mostly settled.  This is a decision that we had been considering and struggling with for a good part of this year.  It has mostly been due to some family issues and needs.  My husband's mother and stepdad are getting much older and we felt like we were just a little too far away to be helpful when the time comes that they will need more assistance.  So, we finished our renovation of our house in Kerrville, sold it, and bought a new-to-us house not far from the area that we moved from 2-1/2 years ago.  And we are settling in and are happy with our new place.  I share a picture above showing that some things never change when we relocate - there are always deer around.  Ha!  I took that picture this morning from our back porch.  We've laughed about new neighbors here telling us about deer and had we ever seen deer, etc., etc.  Yes, we've seen deer.  They have been frequent visitors to our last three houses and this makes #4.  We are always welcomed by these creatures.  

OK, next question - my reading life.  Well, it has been a bit or more than a bit slow in the last few months.  However, I have been very busy.  I suspect I will get more relaxed and able to concentrate on reading or listening to audiobooks in days to come.  I am back walking at an indoor track and hope to be back to yoga before long.  I'm also planning to return to the mystery book group that I loved so much when we lived here before.  And then there will be new activities I'm sure.  We'll see what the new year will bring.  

I'll also have a post about a recent trip we took to Tucson.  Yes, we moved into our new house and left just a few days later for a road trip to Arizona.  My husband had a work conference there and it had been scheduled long before we decided to relocate.  I tagged along and basically did nothing but walk around the hotel/resort area and read 3-1/2 books while there.  I've got some pictures to share of what I saw on my walks.  Otherwise, the holidays are coming and we will be hosting family again for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  We look forward to that.  I'll try to share some upcoming books I'm looking forward to or something like that later in the week.  And try to get around to your blogs and do some commenting.  Know that you've been missed and not forgotten.  I look forward to talking books and life again with all of you!  Take care!