No sense letting to go to empty when don’t have to…

No sense letting to go to empty when don’t have to…

A lesson with cars…

And life.

I texted this to my wife this morning in a conversation we initially were having about cat food (aside: so expensive!).

I realized, as I looked at the piles of books on our bookcase, this also applies to my book borrowing and book buying habits.

Even if I am not reading anything, I have to have at least one book, if not more, in the queue (tank). For example, this week I borrowed four books from our hometown library and one from Free Library of Philadelphia’s Overdrive. Whether or not, I will read them over the next few weeks, that is another thing, but the point is I can’t let my tank go to empty.

However, when I first typed the text to my wife I misspelled “sense” with “since.” No since letting to go to empty when don’t have to…was that my subconscious trying to tell me something? That it’s OK to let go to empty even when don’t have to? Though, in this case, not a lesson with cars. Maybe about reading and life.

Just empty your shelves, empty your life, sometimes, and start over. In the past, I have done that with my reading, at least in terms of what is checked out from the library. Perhaps, as I approach my 50th year, I need to do that with my life more than I already have done.

Maybe there in sense in my letting the tank go to empty even when I don’t have to.

#AMonthofFaves 2018: Ch-ch-changes

Again today, I’m joining hosts  GirlxoxoTraveling with T and Estella’s Revenge for their annual #AMonthofFaves blog event – “a fun way to recap the year that was” with “every day of the event (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) planned out” and  a link-up on all their blogs. Today’s topic is 
 “Routines, Habits and Changes. What Worked this Year and/or What Didn’t,” with the prompt: “What habits, routines or rituals worked for you this year – either something you kept doing – or something new that you started. What did you try that didn’t work … or what did you used to do that no longer works for you.”

Something I kept doing

I am a creature of habit and routine. For example, Friday night is burger night for me and my wife…almost always. The other thing that is routine is when I wake up and before I go to bed, I listen to music and play Solitaire on my phone. It relaxes me before I start my day and winds me down before I end my day. I listen mostly to chill, electronic music, such as what I’m listening to now as I type this:

Or this:

Something new I started

My wife was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation last August and as part of her treatment, she was put on a CPAP machine which has helped her immensely. Since then, she had kept telling me that I have sleep apnea and that I should be on a CPAP.  In late October, I had a home sleep study and an overnight sleep study that determined I had severe sleep apnea. I started using a CPAP machine almost immediately.

Only days later, my numbers had drastically improved from almost 90 events per hour (meaning I was stopping breathing that many times each hour!) to under TWO per hour. That is what the number has pretty much stayed, never going above FIVE in this first month and a half. Unlike others whom I have heard stop using a machine after only a few days because the mask was uncomfortable, I have adapted to using the machine and mask relatively easily.

Why? Because the way I look at it is that…um…breathing is better than NOT BREATHING AT ALL! That is what could happen if I don’t use the mask when I sleep. I could have a heart attack and die in my sleep, and with my wife on midnight shift four days out of the week, I cannot risk it. So even when I take a nap, I strap on the mask and the machine starts up. I’m not going to risk my life just because it might feel uncomfortable. Now it doesn’t feel uncomfortable to me and also if a mask is uncomfortable, it can be changed to another mask which might be more comfortable than the first one.

So now I throw the questions to you: What habits, routines or rituals worked for you this year – either something you kept doing – or something new that you started? What did you try that didn’t work…or what did you used to do that no longer works for you?

#AMonthofFaves 2018: Popular Books I Read This Year That Were Worth The Hype

Again today, I’m joining hosts  GirlxoxoTraveling with T and Estella’s Revenge for their annual #AMonthofFaves blog event – “a fun way to recap the year that was” with “every day of the event (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) planned out” and  a link-up on all their blogs. Today’s topic is 
 “Popular Books Worth The Hype”.

Now usually the take on this is from books published this year, but since I didn’t read many books published this year, I took it for popular books I read this year that were worth the hype. I picked out these three:

All three are from the young adult genre, which is a genre I read sparingly. I’m usually a crime fiction reader, but every once in a while, I’m drawn to the young adult genre…and when I am, I go big. All three of these were critically-acclaimed, as well they should have been. I won’t say much about the three, lest spoilers, but will say I listened to The Poet X on audio and the author was amazing.

So did you read any of the above books? What did you think? What were any popular books that you read this year (either published this year or not) that were worth the hype? Or weren’t? Share in the comments.

#AMonthofFaves 2018: Favorite Thangs

Starting today, I’m joining hosts  GirlxoxoTraveling with T and Estella’s Revenge for their annual #AMonthofFaves blog event – “a fun way to recap the year that was” with “every day of the event (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) planned out” and  a link-up on all their blogs. Today, we write about some of our favorite things, “e.g. to eat, drink, wear, smell, see, do, enjoy, best purchases, most used gift received, most used purchases, favorite concert, outdoor activity, place visited, most squee worthy moment of the year.”

For this topic, I first thought maybe I’d mention family and friends, but I don’t think that qualifies as “things”. So instead I’m going to talk about literal things that were my favorites this year, as I scrolled back through photos from the year:

A few explanations: 

  1. Hoses: Our pipes froze in January, but thanks to our town’s Public Works Department and a neighbor, we were able to get water temporarily from the neighbor.
  2. Landscaping: I did myself. The rocks were already there. The mulch was from Lowe’s.
  3. Goodwill finds: I later learned this Frank Lloyd Wright glass was worth at least $40 on Ebay.
  4. Local wine: We discovered this local winery at our local farmers’ market.
  5. Canned wine: We and our neighbor Sam started a “book club,” where we shared our latest alcoholic finds. This was one of hers.
  6. Pumpkin pie: Cooked by my wife, Kim.
  7. Wedding reception couch: This was at the wedding of my sister-in-law Tracey near Cleveland, Ohio back in June.

What are some of your favorite things from this past year? Share in the comments if you like or join the event at any of the hosts’ websites.

Joining in for #AMonthofFaves for December 2018

Starting tomorrow, I’m joining hosts  GirlxoxoTraveling with T and Estella’s Revenge for their annual #AMonthofFaves blog event – “a fun way to recap the year that was” with “every day of the event (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) planned out” and  a link-up on all their blogs. Here are the days and topics:

  • MON. | Dec. 3 – #AMonthofFaves [The 2018 Favorites Edition]
  • WED. | Dec. 5 – #AMonthofFaves Popular Books Worth the Hype
  • FRI. Dec 7 – #AMonthofFaves [The Blogger Love Edition] 
  • MON. Dec. 10 – A Day (or Weekend) in the Life
  • WED. | Dec 12 – #AMonthofFaves Routines, Habits and Changes. What Worked this Year and/or What Didn’t
  • Fri. | Dec. 14 – #AMonthofFaves On Our Holiday Wishlist 
  • Mon. | Dec 17 – #AMonthofFaves Winter Reading 
  • WED. Dec. 19 #AMOnthofFaves This is How We Holiday 
  • FRI. Dec 21 – #AMonthofFaves On the Screen 
  • MON. | Dec. 24 – #AMonthofFaves Challenges and Goals
  • WED. | Dec. 26 – Favorite Book Covers From Our Reads This Year #AMonthofFaves
  • FRI. | Dec. 28 – #AMonthofFaves This Is How We Read and Blogged This Year 
  • Mon. | Dec. 31 – Favorite Books Read This Year #AMonthofFaves

Today, I planning on starting drafts for each since I already have ideas for many of the topics. 

As for what I did this past week and last month, and what I have planned for this month in addition to this event, see my previous post Pushing Forward Back November/December 2018.

How was your past week? Your past month? Read, listened to, watched anything good?

Pushing Forward Back November/December 2018

Back at November

November didn’t begin with a long weekend, unlike the last few months. However, it did end with a long weekend as I was off extra from Nov. 21 to Nov. 25, including our 22nd wedding anniversary on Nov. 23.

Before that long weekend, we did get a short weekend away on Nov. 10 and 11, as we went to Maryland for a baby shower for one of Kim’s sisters, then the next weekend, I worked on my one Saturday of the month and then watched the NASCAR championship race with neighbors that Sunday.

The shower itself went well, but we had to leave the hotel we were staying at (the in-laws’ house was full) because of roaches. In our case, it was dead roaches. In the case of some other family members who were staying at the hotel, we learned the next morning, there were live roaches. We ended up back at the in-laws anyway and, though it was overcrowded, we made it work.

Thanksgiving Week, we participated in a “hate watch” of all the Twilight movies, inspired by a friend on Instagram. We were assisted by copious amounts of alcohol and Rifftrax. Thanksgiving Day, we had the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. On our anniversary, we didn’t go out to dinner, but instead stayed in, ate leftovers, and watched Crazy Rich Asians, which was amazing. Then over the last three days of my long weekend, I reread The River Why by David James Duncan for Thankfully Reading Weekend 2018.

Other than that, the primary focus (obviously) the rest of the month was on getting good, restful sleep. And on that front, I succeeded, as with my CPAP, my numbers stayed below four incidents per hour. Before the CPAP, the number was 87 (!!!!), thus necessitating the CPAP in the first place.

Forward to December

December comes in like a lion and hopefully will go out like a lamb. Tomorrow is an annual Christmas event in our town, Dickens of a Christmas, and I am working at the library, where we have a book sale (today and tomorrow). We won’t see a lot of patrons, as they are trying to avoid town and most of the visitors aren’t buying books but are partaking of cookies and cider provided by our library’s Friends group and using our facilities. All in all, it is a hellish day, especially for an introvert like myself who loathes crowds.

The following three weeks are (should be) uneventful with the only thing of note on the agenda a staff Christmas luncheon next Friday, with the library closing early, meaning that next weekend begins early.

The month ends with a long series of days where I’m on vacation (starting on Friday, Dec. 21) and the library is closed (Saturday through Tuesday, the day after Christmas) interrupted by two days of work on Thursday, Dec. 27 and Friday, Dec. 28. Those two days could be as atrocious as (the?) Dickens, as we could have lots of books (and movies) to shelve and most patrons coming in for movies. But it will be OK, since we will have spent time with my parents and sister and her family Christmas Day (the worst is really over *just kidding, for sister who will be reading this*) and I have a holiday weekend to look forward to (the best is yet to come *2019*). I say “I” because my wife, who is a 911 dispatcher, will be working all weekend. However, unlike years past where we haven’t been together New Year’s Eve, we should be able to be together this year, because Tuesday is one of her regular days off. Fingers crossed.

So how was your month of November? Read any good books, seen any good movies and/or TV shows, listened to any good music? What was the highlight of your month? What are you looking forward to in December? Share in the comments.

Our Thanksgiving Week 2018

So…

…our Thanksgiving Week went exactly as I outlined last post:

  1. I watched the Monster Energy NASCAR Championship with neighbors. My driver, Martin Truex Jr., did not win the title, but he was “in the mix” at the end.
  2. Kim and I did a “hate watch” of the Twilight movies from Sunday night through Wednesday, with the help of Rifftrax and alcohol.
  3. It was just the two of us for Thanksgiving dinner as Kim worked the midnight shift that night and we were unable to go to my parents because she still needed to sleep before going in.
  4. Friday, Kim and I celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary by staying in and eating leftovers.
  5. Friday, Saturday, and today, I participated, and still am participating, in the 2018 edition of Thankfully Reading Weekend (click on the link on image above for more information).

Since Friday, I reread most of this book and plan to finish it. I will admit that I skimmed parts of it in the beginning, because Duncan can be long-winded. I had forgotten about that since I read probably more than 20 years ago, when I was still in college. That said, I am enjoying it, especially my favorite part in the book, which still is my favorite part in the book, and am not rushing the rest of it. I am letting it flow over me over three days, including today, cleanse my soul, and hopefully refresh my reading mojo.

Over the weekend, we also watched this movie:

…and it was great. Neither of us have read the book, so we can’t speak to it, but the movie was amazing. It’s one from this year that you need to see.

How was your week/weekend/holiday? Was reading included? If so, read anything good? Watch anything good?

Thanksgiving Plans 2018

So…

…officially my long Thanksgiving weekend begins Tuesday night after I am done with work and lasts until next Monday. Unofficially, it begins today…

…as this afternoon I am watching the Monster Energy NASCAR Championship with neighbors and tonight Kim and I are starting a “hate watch” of the Twilight movies. Kim usually works Sunday night into Monday morning but is off this week. We got the idea from a friend on Instagram, and we plan to use a mix of Rifftrax and alcohol to enhance the experience.

We plan to continue the “hate watch” across Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Thursday, it will be just the two of us for Thanksgiving dinner as Kim works the midnight shift that night.

On Friday, Kim and I celebrate our 22nd wedding anniversary. Normally we’d go out for dinner, but since it falls on Black Friday this year, we’ll probably just stay in and eat leftovers.

Theoretically, that means the rest of the weekend is left for the 2018 edition of Thankfully Reading Weekend (click on the link on image above for more information and/or to sign up). I don’t have a pile of books from which I am choosing unlike readathons I participated in earlier this year. Instead, I have one reread planned.

I read this book in college after a mutual friend of me and my wife introduced me to it. It instantly became an all-time favorite along with A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, which she also introduced to us. Recently I recommended it to a patron and as she was talking about parts of the book, I realized that I had forgotten a lot of it, hence this reread. I am looking forward to reacquainting myself with this old friend.

However, we’ll see if it’s this coming week…as I have other temptations on Net and Amazon Prime, which includes, but is not limited to this:

So those are my plans. What are yours for the upcoming week/weekend/holiday? Is reading included? If so, anything you are looking forward to? Read anything good lately?

Meh

That’s how I’m feeling about books lately.

Nothing is really grabbing me. I check out books from the library, only to return them unread. I scroll through the books I’ve bought on sale on my Kindle and wonder why I even bought them.

So that is where I am at with my (lack of) reading.

Life otherwise is good…when I bury my head in the sand and don’t scroll through whatever horrible news is happening on every given day.

We are in Maryland as I write this for one of my wife’s sister’s baby shower, which was yesterday afternoon. It was a small group of family and friends at a community center, and with minimal games, it went well.

We’re heading home later this morning and maybe when we get there, I’ll find a book that piques my interest…

…or not and I’ll just mindlessly watch something on Netflix like this:

So how was your week? Reading and/or otherwise?

Got that goin’ for me, which is nice…

So….since I last left you, I have only read one book (see image), but I have been sleeping better. As I mentioned last week, I have sleep apnea and now am using a CPAP machine. My numbers have decreased from 87 events per hour to an average of FOUR!

The reading, though, isn’t really going for me. Nothing really is grabbing me and even this one really didn’t. However, I did finish it anyway…so it’s got that going for it, because I think this year I’ve bailed on more books than I have read.

If I were to rate the book, I’d give it 3.5 stars. The half star because the series has promise. The average but good rating is because I recognized the halfway through the book that it was more of a romance than a mystery. I’m not really into romances, but for those who like that kind of thing, it was good…and Molin is a good writer and knows how to end a chapter (and the book itself) on a cliffhanger.

I’m not sure what I will read next, but not from lack of choices on my Kindle or books on hold at the library. As always, I’ll keep you posted. As Red Green says:

“Remember, I’m pulling for you. We’re all in this together.”