Weekend Update – The August 20, 2017 Edition

Posted by on Aug 20, 2017 in Fun, Weekend Update | 2 comments

Weekend Update

 

This was a busy week. We were gone last weekend so all the weekend errands and chores had to be squeezed in during the week. We survived though and I have tomorrow off so a three day weekend is nice.

We’re going eclipse chasing tomorrow. Portland isn’t in the path of totality but it’s close enough to make it worth going. I just knew  I’d kick myself if it turned out to be perfect weather and we didn’t try to get there.  I took tomorrow off but told my boss that if the weather was awful I’d cancel the vacation day. It turns out that tomorrow might be just perfect weather so I’m excited. I’ve seen several partial eclipses but never experienced totality. My sister-in-law lives in the path and it’s about an hour from our house. We’ll get up early tomorrow and head to her house.  Hopefully we’ll miss the worst of the traffic on the main roads but we’re giving ourselves plenty of time anyway.

 

Today is our 23rd wedding anniversary. We’re celebrating with an adventure. There’s a zipline park not far from here and we’ve talked about doing it for a long time. Today is the day. The weather is nice and the course is supposed to take about two hours to do the whole thing. We’ve done a single zipline before but never a long course with multiple lines like this.  If the Hubster can manage to get a decent video you might see it here later.

 

Bout of Books starts tomorrow and I’m looking forward to squeezing in as much reading time as I can.

 

Hope you’re having a great weekend.

 

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Bout of Books 20 Sign Up

Posted by on Aug 11, 2017 in Blogging/Reading, Bout of Books, Fun | 1 comment

Bout of Books 20

It’s that time again. I’m joining in for my thirteenth Bout of Books.

Bout of Books

Bout of Books 20 starts on Monday August 21st.

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 21st and runs through Sunday, August 27th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 20 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

I love Bout of Books. Three times a year I have an excuse to say “I can’t do that right now, it’s my reading week”. The Hubster is used to it by now. I don’t go into Bout of Books with any expectations of reading for X number of hours straight through. My life doesn’t let that kind of thing happen. The way I approach Bout of Books is to limit things like spending time on Twitter, or playing games on my phone and substituting reading time for all of those little distractions. I also set aside extra time in the evening for reading too.

I like to keep track of the time I spend reading during Bout of Books. I never track pages read but I do track time reading or listening to books. I use a great app on my phone to track my time. It’s called ATracker.

Bout of Books 17

It’s super easy to set up two tasks (reading and listening) and then it’s just a tap to start and stop tracking time. Now that there’s an Apple watch app to do that on my watch instead of my phone.

I think the reason I like to track time is that for me being ‘on the clock’ keeps me from getting distracted by my phone, the TV, that pile of papers on my desk, etc. I enjoy the time tracker and the daily and weekly reports I can get on how much time I’ve actually spent reading.

I won’t set any goal because that’s really not the purpose of Bout of Books. It’s all about a low key week long focus on reading more than usual. I will put together some theoretical reading plans and post them on the 21st.

I hope you’ll check it out and decide to join in on the fun.

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August 2017 Photo a Day Challenges

Posted by on Aug 1, 2017 in Fun, photos | 0 comments

August 2017 Photo a Day Challenges

I have found a way to make daily photo prompts work well for me.

No single photo a day prompt list fully works for me. I choose to save several lists and choose one prompt each day from among those lists. I’m happy to say that I love this approach and it works great for me. I highly recommend it.

Here is a sample of the photo a day lists I’ll be using for August:
(click on the images to see larger versions)

If committing to a month at a time feels like too much, there are other weekly and daily options available on Instagram
There are several Instagram accounts that feature a new theme every day or every week. I follow these accounts and every once in a while they save me when I just don’t like any of the other prompts. These are all worth following on Instagram.

As you can tell, I am a huge fan of using prompts for daily photos because it helps make a personal photo journal and also makes me look for inspiration throughout my daily life. It helps me to notice and appreciate the little moments and things every day.

I’ve been doing this since March of 2012 so I now have over 5 years of daily photos.

Follow my Daily Photos on Instagram

These are the most liked of my July 2017 Photo a Day photos:

If you’re not doing a Photo a Day challenge I hope you’ll consider it because it’s a fun way to have a photo journal. If you are, great! Keep up with it. You won’t be sorry. I highly recommend the pick from many prompts each day approach.

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Weekend Update – The July 30, 2017 Edition

Posted by on Jul 30, 2017 in Fun, Weekend Update | 5 comments

Weekend Update

The blog was pretty quiet this week because we were on vacation. We spent the week over on the Oregon coast. We’ve rented the same little vacation cottage for the past ten years. We call it our version of a time share. Next July’s trip is already booked.

I always take several books with me but end up not reading much at all because this is our back yard.

It’s just hard to focus on a book with that happening out the window.

We had a great week. We did a lot of walking and hiking. We went to the aquarium in Newport and visited a few other favorite spots in the area.

This is called Thor’s Well.

The tide was pretty high when we were there so it was pretty dangerous to get any closer.

It was a great week and I’m not looking forward to going to work tomorrow but today is technically still vacation and I plan to relax.

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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July 2017 Photo a Day Challenges

Posted by on Jul 1, 2017 in Fun, photos | 0 comments

July 2017 Photo a Day Challenges

I have found a way to make daily photo prompts work well for me.

No single photo a day prompt list fully works for me. I choose to save several lists and choose one prompt each day from among those lists. I’m happy to say that I love this approach and it works great for me. I highly recommend it.

Here is a sample of the photo a day lists I’ll be using for July:
(click on the images to see larger versions)

If committing to a month at a time feels like too much, there are other weekly and daily options available on Instagram
There are several Instagram accounts that feature a new theme every day or every week. I follow these accounts and every once in a while they save me when I just don’t like any of the other prompts. These are all worth following on Instagram.

As you can tell, I am a huge fan of using prompts for daily photos because it helps make a personal photo journal and also makes me look for inspiration throughout my daily life. It helps me to notice and appreciate the little moments and things every day.

I’ve been doing this since March of 2012 so I now have over 5 years of daily photos.

Follow my Daily Photos on Instagram

These are the most liked of my June 2017 Photo a Day photos:

If you’re not doing a Photo a Day challenge I hope you’ll consider it because it’s a fun way to have a photo journal. If you are, great! Keep up with it. You won’t be sorry. I highly recommend the pick from many prompts each day approach.

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Five Books I Want to Read: Summer 2017

Posted by on Jun 20, 2017 in Blogging/Reading, Fun | 6 comments

Five Books I Want to Read: Summer 2017

I’ve been doing this seasonal list of Top Books I’d Like to Get To for a while now. This time I did pretty good with getting through my choices.

For Spring I picked 5 books and I finished four of them and I’m currently reading the fifth.

The four I finished are:

Buffalo West Wing by Julie Hyzy
This is the fourth in a cozy mystery series featuring a White House Chef.

The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean
This one languished on my shelf far too long. A book about the elements of the Periodic Table sounds a bit dry but it wasn’t. It was a lot of fun and filled with wonderful tidbits of scientific history.

The Stingray Shuffle by Tim Dorsey
The Serge Storms series is wild, violent and totally wacky. I love it.

1776 by David McCullough
This is another one that sat on my shelf for far too long after I bought it. I enjoyed it and learned a lot.

The one I’m still reading:
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
I adore the movie and I’m having fun reading the book.

Today is the Summer Solstice so it’s time to pick my Summer possibilities that I want to read before the Fall Equinox on September 22nd.

The Five Books I Want to Read This Summer

For this summer I’m picking a mix of non-fiction and books from series I’m currently reading.

The Romanovs: 1613-1918 by Simon Sebag Montefiore

The Romanovs: 1613-1918 by Simon Sebag Montefiore

I bought The Romanovs: 1613-1918 by Simon Sebag Montefiore back in December but haven’t read it yet. I’ve always been fascinated with the Romanov Dynasty.

 

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

I started reading the Sherlock Holmes books several years ago. It’s been a while and The Hound of the Baskervilles is next for me.

 

 Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners by Therese O'Neill

Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady’s Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners by Therese O’Neill

Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady’s Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners by Therese O’Neill is an audiobook I bought a while ago. I keep hearing more good reviews of it so it’ll be coming up soon on my iPod.

 

The Blackhouse by Peter May

The Blackhouse by Peter May

More and more people keep telling me that The Blackhouse by Peter May and the rest of the trilogy are excellent. I need to read it.

 

A Second Chance by Jodi Taylor

A Second Chance by Jodi Taylor

The Chronicles of St. Mary’s series by Jodi Taylor is fun time travel adventure. I need to read the next one up for me, Second Chance.

 

What books are you looking forward to reading in the next few months?

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