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.

Is it time to check yourself? Revisited

A few years ago, there was a saying “You need to check yourself before you wreck yourself.” Usually said between frenemies, it was a not so subtle way to warn someone that they needed to be very careful what they said next. I’m not talking about that kind of checking however.

It’s been a year since the Pandemic shut the world down. In those first few months, country after country slammed their borders closed and instituted almost draconian measures to try to stop the spread of the virus. People all over the world shuddered at the incredible numbers of cases and deaths that were attributed to the virus.

The medical and scientific communities leaped into action and by working far beyond overtime, managed to create vaccines that are quite effective against the virus. As cases numbers declined, some countries, including the US, started to relax the restrictions. People were getting fatigued with the efforts being asked of them. They just wanted to get back to normal.

India, and Brazil are currently experiencing Coronavirus spikes. India’s numbers have reached staggering numbers and the effects are spreading to neighboring countries. The same can be said of Brazil. In the case of India, at least, the spikes are due to relaxed restrictions and new variants.

All of this brings me back to my original question, is it time to check yourself? Are you still doing all the protective and preventative measures that were first put into place a year ago? When you go shopping, do you still wear a mask? Do you make an honest attempt to maintain some distance between yourself and the person in line in front of you? Do you take the time to wipe off the hard surfaces of items you are bringing into your home?

More importantly, if you are eligible in your area, have you been vaccinated? I don’t mean just getting one shot if the brand requires 2 shots. Have you gotten both of them? While yes, just one dose of either Pfizer or Moderna is 80% effective against the virus, it also allows for more breakout cases to occur. Getting that second shot is important.

So take a minute to do a quick check. Are you still doing everything you can to keep YOUR family from being infected??

Time to Reconsider…

It’s been a few months since I first posted this and I find myself asking the same question. Is it time to check yourself? At this point in time, the Delta variant is running rampant around the world. What are you doing to keep from getting the virus?

By now, everyone over the age of 12 in the US is eligible for the vaccination. The Pfizer vaccine has full approval. Still the numbers keep rising. Just a few months ago in Florida, the positivity rate was below 5%. Now it’s back up to just under 25%. That’s unbelievable.

Saddest of all are the reports from the hospitals telling us that over 90% of new cases are in people who didn’t get vaccinated. A recent story on the internet told the tale of a young couple who put off getting their vaccinations.

They planned to get them, but just hadn’t made the time yet. They both contracted the virus. The wife was sick enough to be hospitalized, the husband had a mild case and stayed home to recover. When the wife was released from the hospital, she made her way home.

Imagine her feelings when she discovered her husband dead in the bedroom, their dogs showing signs of not having had food or water for a few days. What’s worse, her husband had already started to decompose.

I’m not trying to scare you, I’m trying to make you aware of the risks you take everyday that you put off getting vaccinated. Yes, there are a certain percentage of vaccinated people who are still getting sick, but their illness is much less severe. You aren’t just risking your own life, you are putting your family, friends and neighbors in jeopard!

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

Is it time to check yourself?

A few years ago, there was a saying “You need to check yourself before you wreck yourself.” Usually said between frenemies, it was a not so subtle way to warn someone that they needed to be very careful what they said next. I’m not talking about that kind of checking however.

It’s been a year since the Pandemic shut the world down. In those first few months, country after country slammed their borders closed and instituted almost draconian measures to try to stop the spread of the virus. People all over the world shuddered at the incredible numbers of cases and deaths that were attributed to the virus.

The medical and scientific communities leaped into action and by working far beyond overtime, managed to create vaccines that are quite effective against the virus. As cases numbers declined, some countries, including the US, started to relax the restrictions. People were getting fatigued with the efforts being asked of them. They just wanted to get back to normal.

India, and Brazil are currently experiencing Coronavirus spikes. India’s numbers have reached staggering numbers and the effects are spreading to neighboring countries. The same can be said of Brazil. In the case of India, at least, the spikes are due to relaxed restrictions and new variants.

All of this brings me back to my original question, is it time to check yourself? Are you still doing all the protective and preventative measures that were first put into place a year ago? When you go shopping, do you still wear a mask? Do you make an honest attempt to maintain some distance between yourself and the person in line in front of you? Do you take the time to wipe off the hard surfaces of items you are bringing into your home?

More importantly, if you are eligible in your area, have you been vaccinated? I don’t mean just getting one shot if the brand requires 2 shots. Have you gotten both of them? While yes, just one dose of either Pfizer or Moderna is 80% effective against the virus, it also allows for more breakout cases to occur. Getting that second shot is important.

So take a minute to do a quick check. Are you still doing everything you can to keep YOUR family from being infected??

How Are You Doing?

During this pandemic, my local ABC station has been playing a commercial that features this statement. Asked by different news staff, the emphasis changes from person to person. The point being that we can all get through this pandemic, together.

If you read Sunday’s post, then you are aware that my oldest daughter has been diagnosed with Covid-19. We both have Amazon’s Echo Shows, so I was checking in with her to see how she was doing. In doing so, I was reminded of another couple who are friends of ours.

Dale and Ramona are originally from Michigan. In his youth, Dale was a runner. In his working years, he worked for the Post Office. He’s over 6 ft tall and an absolute beanpole in size. In these later years, he’s been afflicted with Parkinson Disease. Ramona is 5+ ft and might weigh 120!

Until the pandemic hit, Dale’s Parkinson’s was being handled nicely. He took exercise classes intended to keep him moving and attended support groups to stay connected with others. All that changed in March of last year. Sadly, the isolation of the pandemic has caused him to get worse, much worse.

In the last few months, Dale started to develop Parkinson Dementia. He’s spoken several times to neighbors about the “critters and homeless people” that they sent to his house. He’s called us wanting to talk to my husband about this. We’ve tried to gently redirect his attention, knowing that there is nothing there. In more recent months, he has started leaving the house and walking away. One such trip landed him on our doorstep. Another led him to the local police station in the middle of the night.

At this point in time, Dale is in a Memory Care Unit and Ramona is struggling with figuring out how to tell him that he’s not coming home. His Dementia has progressed to a point where she can’t control him and he’s become a danger to himself and possibly others. That’s a hard decision to make.

Take a good look around you, at work (if you are working!), at church if you attend, and in your neighborhood. Are there people around you that seem to be sturggling? Take a few minutes of your time to just check in on them, talk to them, pay them some attention. They may not be able to say it, but a kind word and a hug go a long way when you’re isolated and lonely!

The Sunday Post #21-17

The Sunday Post is a blog news meme hosted here @ Caffeinated Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things you have received. Share news about what is coming up on your blog for the week ahead. Join in weekly, bi-weekly or for a monthly wrap up.

Welcome!

Welcome to another Sunday Post! If you are reading this, then I included links to the book reviews from the past week. If you are listening to the podcast, I’ve included the entire book review post within this podcast. Enjoy people and let me know what you think!

Book Reviews from Last Week

The Scars of Her Dragon by Julia Mills

The past is never just the past especially when it haunts your every thought and turns your dreams to nightmares. Forgiveness is the only path to peace. Unfortunately, that route is filled with the faces of the dead.

The dove brings love, peace and protection to the world. She has the power to restore what’s been lost and heal the wounds of the past. If only he would let her.

Rebel Lion by Anna Lowe

Lion shifter Dell O’Roarke has never been serious about life, but life is about to get serious with him. The beautiful stranger who’s just arrived in Maui isn’t just looking for anyone — she’s looking for him. And that’s not just any surprise she’s brought along — it’s a baby who looks a hell of a lot like Dell. Soon, he discovers there’s more at stake than his lifestyle as a swinging bachelor. Vengeful shifters are hot on the stranger’s heels, making Dell wonder… Are they after the woman, the baby, or him?

Leap of the Lion by Cherise Sinclair

After a decade of captivity, Darcy MacCormac escapes the corrupt, clandestine organization called the Scythe, leaving family and friends behind. She must find a way to rescue them. Discovered by other shifters, the brand-new cougar gets two mentors. Blademage Gawain is an easy-going blacksmith with a steel-hard core. His brother Owen is a deadly warrior. Grumpy. Rude. And he doesn’t like her.

Matched and Mated by Grace Goodwin

Miranda Doyle has spent months in the arms of a mysterious Trion doctor. His hands are skilled at more than just healing, but their casual “friends with benefits” arrangement isn’t enough for her. She wants it all, and the Interstellar Brides Program guarantees her not just a mate, but a perfect match.

Outlaw Wolves by Heather Long

Luciana Esposito Barrows never imagined her dream of uniting the Lone Wolves and giving them a home could go so terribly awry. First, her brother rejected her, repudiating her from Seven Hills and leaving her without a powerful ally. Then the U.S. packs put her on notice, monitoring their movements, keeping them contained…then the Russians came. The last person in the world she expected to turn on her, was her own mate.

Our last pet wouldn’t go outside when it was raining. It didn’t matter whether it was raining a lot or a little, he just wouldn’t do it.

So you can imagine my surprise when Coco insisted upon going out come rain or come shine. Her coat is rather thick so she stays wet for awhile after coming back inside. We gave in and bought her a rain coat!

Canning Essentials: Jam-Packed with Essential Tools, Techniques, and Recipes for Fruits, Veggies, Jams, Pickles, Salsa, and More

Canning Essentials is a go-to beginner’s guide that will take you step-by-step through the different processes of canning fruit and produce. From canning vegetables, like tomatoes and squashes, to preparing homemade jam, salsas, relishes, and so much more, this book simplifies food preservation so that even today’s busiest people can find time to do it themselves. Emphasizing cost-saving and sustainable food safety, you’ll learn methods for both freezing, canning, pressure canning, and water-bath canning, then discover over 60 delicious recipes for homemade jelly, chutneys, pickles, and more. With helpful charts throughout to detail methods with specific timings, temperatures, and required equipment, this book will teach you everything you need to know about preserving and canning fruits and vegetables.

Full of useful information. The recipes are interesting and ones that I plan to try. I just wish that more of the recipes gave you some idea of the yield. It is very hard to make sure you have sufficient jars ready if you don’t know how much the recipe will yield. The Formatting in Kindle version was somewhat messy.

Having said that, I enjoyed the book enough to purchase a copy for my house.

T. Crane
5.0 out of 5 stars Healthy Food you preserve yourself
Reviewed in the United States on August 12, 2020
This book could not being coming out at a better time. As we learned while dealing with a pandemic, you can not always count on a grocery store to have what you need. This is a must have for every household.
Great book full of great information for someone who is new to canning, and some stuff you may not have known if you have been canning a long time.
Great recipes with mouth watering pictures! It has information for freezing, pressure canning and tons more.
I was given a copy of this book for my honest opinion

cindy

4.0 out of 5 stars very very good
Reviewed in the United States on June 18, 2020
This is a good solid book for a home canner. Especially if you are new to preserving foods.
There is discussion about freezing foods ( what you can and cannot ) along with how to do it.
As for the canning. She covers the supplies needed, helpful tips, how to pick and clean/prepare the item you are canning. Talks about things that can well and those that don't. Covers pressure canning vs. hot water bath canning.. And supplies many recipes.
A very good all round book

Cushioning Your Fall After The Pandemic

Earlier this month, MSN ran an article call “5 Money Lessons the Pandemic Has Taught US (so far).” I found it to be a very interesting read. My husband and I are retired and living on Social Security. So we have had to adjust our lifestyle to fit on a fixed income. But number one on this list may just have you coming to a screeching halt.

Putting 6 months of expenses in a savings account actually a good thing. Especially given today’s world. But my question to you is, “How are you going to accomplish that?” I did a quick check of what that would amount to for us, and nearly choked! I would need over $15,000 in the bank!

An obvious way is to start with a budget. I found this article on a Disability Insurance company’s website. And it is a good way to start. However, there is a lot of little things that you can do to boost those savings.

  1. Budget a set amount every month. This is the bare minimum to do. Just do a little math to determine how long it would take to save enough for 6 months.
  2. If you didn’t spend all of a budgeted amount, save the difference. For example, I budget $200 for groceries. If I don’t spend all of it, I need to transfer the money leftover to the savings account.
  3. Reduce bills where you can. For example, you may be paying for unlimited data on your cell phone. Do you really need it? Take a look, you may be able to lower your bill and save more money.
  4. Are you taking advantage of all the discounts you’re eligible for? My husband and I are both Veterans. I switched our car insurance a few years ago to USAA and brought our insurance bill down to just over $100.
  5. If you are leasing/renting your cellphone, check into buying it. We recently bit the bullet, paid off our phones and had a very frank discussion with our provider. By taking advantage of a program for Veterans, what had been a $325 bill became a a $100 bill, and we still have unlimited data.
  6. Take a look at all the items you have subscribed to. You may need to search through your bank statement to find all of them. If you aren’t actually using them, cancel the subscription!
  7. At the end of the month, if you still have money in the bank, transfer it to the savings account!

I have my doubts that any of us are going to be able to quickly save enough. The point is to start somewhere! Doing a little is always better than doing nothing.

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