The Devil’s in the Details

What is about a book series that keeps you interested and coming back for more? Before you give me a quick answer, stop and think harder about it. Yes, the characters, the relationships, the action, all that will play a huge part in whether you read more than the first few chapters.

There’s been more than one highly rated book series that I’ve tried but just couldn’t keep interested in. Honestly, I’ve always wondered why I didn’t like the classics more than I do. I kept coming back to the question of “Why?”

Recently my husband and I started buying the complete series on DVD of several TV series that are no longer available any other way. It took watching a couple of the ones from the 1970’s for the reason to dawn on me.

When you contrast those shows with some of today’s shows, the sheer amount of detail just jumps out at you. Rather than using studio sets for the indoor shots, they would shoot in actual places. That gives you a much more realistic feeling.

In the same way, it’s the details of the story that makes it so much more enjoyable. It’s the difference between filming on the studio backlot where everything is carefully staged and filming on a city street.

So, if you’re the writer, please include the details! As a reader, we need to let the authors know we appreciate their efforts!

Taking a look back!

I was recently asked where I came up with the name “Reluctant Retiree.” In all honesty, it’s because I had to “retire” even though I didn’t want to.

My husband and I had just moved to Florida to be nearer to my father. Neither one of us were having any luck finding good jobs. We’d settled for delivering papers at night. When my husband had to go to the hospital for a problem he was having, the ER doctor set him up with an appointment for a Primary Care Doctor.

Imagine our surprise when the first words out of the doctor’s mouth were “Are you on Disability yet?” We had tried several times before to sign him up but never got anywhere. The doctor had him signed up for a VA pension within a month. The only catch? It was based on family need so I had to leave my job (retire) so we remained eligible.

Since the amount of the pension was enough to cover our bills, I reluctantly retired! My blog started as a way to share my favorite books with others.

So there you have it! The story behind the name!

Small Space Decorating – Outside Edition

Previously I’ve shown you how you can decorate your small home with simple things such as changing your dining table centerpieces. It can make a big difference in how your house/apartment looks.

But what about the outside of your home? I live in a single wide trailer in Florida so I have a small amount of space. It still takes some planning to change the looks outside.

Decorating your mailbox is one easy improvement you can make. The covers are relatively inexpensive and easy to use. If your mailbox is metal, there are magnets on the edge of the cover that hold it in place. If it’s plastic, there are small holes punched along the edge that you can use zip ties to secure it with.

As veterans, we always have an American flag out, but on the other side is a different story. Here I use large garden flags. I tend to change these with the seasons!

I have a number of the smaller flags that I use. Here are the three that I have out right now. The one on the left is positioned so that when I am backing in, I can use it as a guide for how far over I should be. If I’m doing it right, that flag will be just to the right of my car fender.

You can only go so far with flower pots so try adding colorful solar lights to add interest to your space.

Don’t forget the special appeal of garden statues! These come in all sizes and can also be changed to reflect the seasons.

That’s all I have for you now. Stick around to see what else I can find to decorate my space!

Special Decorations from Nature!

Friends of ours who live in a Double-Wide trailer choose to decorate their place by adding swags over the outside doorway. Imagine the surprise when they discovered the a pair of doves made a nest in the greenery and raised a family!

Fixing the Bike Trail

Back on September 14, a “Road Closed” sign showed up at the trail crossing by my house. Looking down the trail, I saw a group of pylons blocking off part of bridge. Being the good nosey neighbor that I am, I walked down to see what was going on. Here’s what I saw….

A chunk of the trail had fallen through. Why?
It seems that the rocks and whatever that was surrounding the drain pipe had finally washed out.

So, they brought in the big front end loaders. Now remember, this trail is just barely wide enough for a pickup truck to go down. So getting all the equipment in place was not exactly easy.

They placed a proper storm drain pipe made of concrete under the surface. You can just see it in the photo. Then they built the sides out of concrete.

Those spillways were something that had been needed for a while. Finally after 2 months of work, it was finished.

Hopefully those big rocks will help keep the weeds away!

Time For A Change

It’s been one of those weeks here at my house. Actually, to be honest, it’s been that way for a few weeks. RL has taken me away from doing more than just blasé book reviews for a while now.

That’s going to change. I’m tired of going back through old book series. For example, Milly Taiden’s Paranormal Dating Agency. These last few books are ones that I just can’t seem to force myself to even finish. After looking at the reviews, it looks like I’m not the only one having problems with it.

Julia Mills’s Dragon Guard is another series that I seem to have a “love-hate” relationship with. The last few books feature the MacAllen clan which is okay. It looks like she is spinning them off into a new series, Dragon Intelligence Agency. I will admit, I don’t do books with cartoon covers so there are several of her holiday Dragon Guard books that I won’t be reading.

Anna Lowe and Heather Long are another two authors that seem to be slowing down and failing to keep my interest. For both of them, their most recent series seems to be dragging on with no end in sight.

So where does that leave me???

For awhile at least, you can expect fewer actual book reviews. Delta James has several new series started that have captured my interest. The packs and families that she began in “Wayward Mates” and “Tangled Vines” have had children. The story of this next generation is being told in “Fated Legacy.” I was amused to see that a number of the clubs mentioned in these series also show up in other series by her.

I want to post a few more “Lifestyle” posts. Cooking, decorating, just general “what’s going on in my world” posts. It’s fall now and for most of country, our focus is changing. The weather is changing and there are major holidays coming up. I’d like to capitalize on those.

So stick around, and we’ll all enjoy a new phase of the journey together.

Seen Along the Trail!

At least once a day, I find myself getting out on the Bike trail that runs close to my home. I’m always amazed at the variety of wildlife that I see. Here’s a collection of those photos, both old and new.

Female Mallard duck and Babies
Cooper’s Hawk
Closer shot of Cooper’s Hawk
Night Heron
Pheasant

Small Space Decorating

When I was a young girl, we lived in a 3 story house in town. My dad loved to decorate the house for Christmas as did my mom. We had lights in every window. My mom had some kind of decoration everywhere in the house that she could.

Run time forward to today. Hubby and I live in a small trailer. Neither one of us like cleaning so the size fits us just fine. However, I still like to decorate for the season. So I have had to adjust my decorating ideas to fit my space.

The Front Door

Most of us have lovely Christmas wreaths to hang of our front door. What about the other seasons?

This is a perfectly nice wreath for spring but it wasn’t quite what I wanted. So I tried making my own.

I took a basic woven wreath, covered it with ribbon. Then I used my Cricut to make the flowers to glue on. It ended up hanging on the inside of the door.

Again, I started with a basic woven wreath. Only this time I wound a pair of flower garlands around it. Simple but looks good. Something anyone can do.

The Dinner Table

Most people have something as a centerpiece and tablecloths are easy to change.

Last year my husband surprised me with a Crystal Swan and a Crystal set of candleholders. They are beautiful and so very versatile to decorate with. Both are available from Amazon.

It started with filling the swan with ornaments and using red candles at Christmas. Quick change of candle color and add flowers. At the same time I switched the table coverings. Chargers are inexpensive and another way to change the look. Chargers can also serve another purpose. If you have a messy eater, they will catch the food that otherwise would have dropped on the table. The final change is dinnerware. I actually have different sets for different seasons.

Look Around The House!

Take a look around your home. Are there any other places where a small decoration can go? I’m not talking about the massive displays of knickknacks that I remember as a child. Our one home had a build in book shelf that my mom filled with knickknacks. It was my task once a week to go through and dust all of them! In today’s fast paced world, that’s not going to happen.

However, there are other options. Take a look at these pictures. After the season, I pack them up and put them away. It keeps things around the house looking fresh.

Don’t let the fact that you don’t have as much room as others stop you from decorating and enjoying your space. It’s your home, make it reflect your family!

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