Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Summer time is here . . .

Not officially, you say, and you'd be right - but for me - my "summer reading program" starts tomorrow, May 1 and I feel like a kid again getting ready to head to the library! 

If you'd like to check this out - jump over to Katie's Book Blog and join in!

The idea is to begin May 1 and end September 1 - reading as many books as you can - and checking in for monthly challenges - see all the details on Katie's blog. 

I just finished Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon and the best part for me was that I discovered several really great blogs to start following! 

Here are some more of the instructions for the summer reading program with Katie:

•Your goal can be as low as 5 books (at least 5 though) and as high as 50+. Just make it realistic for you!

•You can read whatever you want. Doesn’t matter when it’s published, what genre, etc. Just read what you enjoy!

•Create a post or shelf on Goodreads to track your progress. Link to that post or shelf in the linky.

So - here is my plan . . .

Earlier this week I signed up for a week long readathon sponsored by Amanda and Kelly at Bout of Books and vowed to read one entire book that week - - -I also signed up for another week long readathon in June, sponsored by Rachael at Rachael Turns Pages - - - so - - - with that in mind - - - knowing that I have four months to read - - - and knowing that I am going to get intentional with my reading - - - I am setting my goal at  8 books read this summer!!

8 books read - May 1 - September 1, 2014 . . .

Tonight I will prepare my TBR stack - and tomorrow is late night at the library - so I may plan a trip there to see what looks good - BUT I do have a nice TBR shelf on Goodreads - - - So picking a book won't be hard!

(Also - and yes you've heard it here before - but I'm also kicking off the "summer" tomorrow with Nutrisystem food program - - - the increase and focus on reading is all part of my plan to forget about food.)    Wish me luck . . . hope you decide to join in on the reading fun!!

Thanks Katie, Rachael, Amanda and Kelly for all your work to sponsor these readathons!!
summertime Images, Graphics, Comments and Pictures

Monday, April 28, 2014

A Bout of Books . . . It's a good thing!

After wrapping up a 24 hour Dewey's Readathon and feeling down and out because it was over, I asked my friend Google - what other readathons are out there just waiting for me to join??  He responded with "A Bout of Books" and a week long readathon!! 

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 12th and runs through Sunday, May 18th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 10 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.

Join me in the fun!!  My #1 goal for the week is to read one book!  I love books and I love to read, but I am slow by nature when it comes to reading.  I can't focus always, coupled with a wrong thinking that I am being lazy when sitting reading, I often just "play" at readathons and reading.  Still I love the books, the front covers interest me as well.

My goal #2 for this readathon is to share my love of reading and books with at least one other person . . .  Still thinking on this!

And #3 - which is the actual intent of the readathon is to read more than you normally would!  I am doing that and hoping to set up some good habits with my scheduling - I have time to read - - - it will need to come from my TV watching time or my sleeping time at night. 

Check out A Bout of Books web site and sign up!    This will be something new - a readathon that lasts for one week - and it will be fun to find new times and places to read during a work week! 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Readathon Wrap-Up

Sad face.  Readathon is through for another six months.

I had a great day Saturday, April 26th and although I didn't produce great "stats" I did learn some new things and found several new blogs to follow.  

     1.  I love learning about books - I know very little - I just learned the word "genre" when I started with the readathon several years ago - yes - - - I'm not ashamed to admit that either.    So I was very happy to do the mini-challenge that taught us about first editions of books and how to tell what edition you were reading.    It's a wonderful feeling to learn new things at 55!!   Kudos to all of the challenge providers!  

     2.  I met a new friend from Barcelona, Spain!  She commented on my post!  Spain!!  She encouraged me to use audio books as a way to continue the reading/listening if you have to run and do a task - like laundry or lunch!    She too shared in my wonderment that 800+ people were joining us that very day to read!  I am following Camilla from Spain!!

     3.  Lastly, I was pleased that my hubs always supports my "readathon weekends"  He himself does not read that much - but he seems to "get it" that I look forward to Dewey's every six months - - - and he plays along . . . 

Thank you to the ones of you who work so hard to put this all together!!  I appreciate it all!  Thank you cheerleaders and challengers and prize givers!!  Until October . . . 

          Elaine enjoying her books from our library

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Mid-Event Survey - Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon

Half way done and I confess - - - I did quite a few other things today besides sit and read - and I hope that doesn't offend the sponsors of this great Readathon.  I mean no offense but I also love that with the readathon - you can kind of make your own rules on your time spent reading.  So . . . I am really looking forward to spending the evening and as much of the night as I can - on truly reading!!!  Storm watching . . . but reading!!  

1. What are you reading right now?

Snow Melts in Spring by Deborah Vogts.
2. How many books have you read so far?

I haven't finished any - but I have divided my time between the book above and The Dieter's Prayer Book - by Heather Harpham Kopp.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
I will finish reading Snow Melts . . . but will jump on my Kindle to begin the novel Maine which has been highly recommeded to me!  Hope I can keep the two books straight!

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?
Not really - - - well maybe - - - I wanted certain chores done so I could read guilt-free - - - but I found more chores to jump up and do - - - my schedule is pretty much my own these days - - - so I didn't have to make arrangements.

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
Only self-made ones.  Did them and then got right back to reading and/or blogging.

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
I'm still a newby to readathons - - - I'm touched and amazed at over 800 readers!!!

7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
Nope not a one!!  Just thank you to all who do so much work!!

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year?
I meant to ask my daughter to join in and forgot - I also enjoyed having my granddaughter here one time during Readathon and she loved it!!

9. Are you getting tired yet?

No - but then I snuck in two short naps already!

10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered?

One thing that I would suggest especially if there is anyone else in your household is to plan ahead - have the chores done - and have lunch and supper prepared ahead - something you can grab from refridgerator or throw in the oven.  I have to plan for breaks to stretch and get moving . . .  I really have appreciated the cheerleader comments I have been given - I was a cheerleader last time - it's a fun part of the readathon!!

First Editions

I'm a little unsure about my answer to this fun mini-challenge by Jessica - check it out here on her blog . . .

I am reading Snow Melts in Sprints by Deborah Vogts

Here is the information on the copyright page . . . 

Copyrighted in 2009  - - - 2009000993 - does this mean a third edition??  Anyone want to help me out?  Great challenge Jessica and good information! 

Six Word Celebration

How is your readathon going?  Mine is great!  I nearly missed my alarm and actually was 10 minutes behind getting started!  A brief morning snooze, a quick trip to the greenhouse, a little laundry, and one quick dog bath, but the rest of the day has found me in my chair with coffee or tea - enjoying a good book.

I have enjoyed the challenges as well - and decided to give it a shot at Six Word Celebration in honor of the originator of the Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon!

Here goes:

Readathon much better than bathing Roy!

Yes I have trouble sitting still to read - but the afternoon, evening and as much of the night as I can do - will be READING!!

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon - April 26, 2014

A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies… The man who never reads lives only one. -- George R. Martin

Twice a year I get almost giddy inside, kinda like going on a vacation and waiting on Santa to come as a kid . . . It's called Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon!   I was introduced to this a couple of years ago by my sister Tami who has already lived many thousand lives through books!   We both love the readathon so much that we have created our own smaller version to do every once in awhile.    As the readathon begins - here in Kansas - we settle in for the possibility of a weekend of storms . . . so no better place to be than here at home . . . to keep a watch on the weather, the house, and the animals.   This weekend I plan to mix up old fashioned "book" reading - and my Kindle on iPad.  These are the books I will be enjoying:   

Really gonna kick back and enjoy Snow Melts in Spring by Deborah Vogts - it is the selection for April chosen by my sister in our book club.

A couple books deal with weight loss as I kick off today also with a better eating plan, exercise, and weight loss!

Math Doesn't Suck - - - Looks interesting - - - My daughter teaches high school and college math - - - I have been going to take a mini-Algebra I class from her - I have the book and all - - - but this book shows tips on doing regular ole day to day math - and how we use it!  

Finally I will spend some time with a new favorite of mine - Lara Spencer - - - Mostly I like her on Good Morning America as a co-host - but her new book "I Brake for Yard Sales" shows ways to make treasures from other folks' cast offs.

Good luck to everyone today and hope you enjoy your day!  I have the coffee ready to brew!

I'll be checking in on some of you!

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

80+ degrees - time for a front porch visit!

It's been a long time since I have joined in with a farmhouse front porch chat with Patrice at Everyday Ruralty.     Thought it sounded like a fun thing to do - please join in if you'd like - copy the questions into a blog post and link up with Patrice!  The questions she asks today are:

1.  What has kept you busy lately?  Most days I would say my job . . . but with the sun staying up later in the evenings and the weather warming up . . . I have been busy working on the yard, patio,  and some new lighting for the front of the house.

2.  Are you making or creating anything?   I have been making miniature prayer quilts - or at least I was and then the last 3 weekends we have had obligations out of town and so there hasn't been much time to create!

3.  What are you really hungry for right now?  At this moment . . . I would love if some one would bring me a diet coke on ice!    I haven't had one today . . . it's warm in the house  . . . and I won't allow myself to think of any food that I am hungry for . . . avoiding that subject  . . . Diet coke will do!

4.  What song has stuck in your head lately?   "Beneath Your Beautiful" sung by Matthew Schuler on The Voice last season - - - such a beautiful song.

5.  If I could celebrate my upcoming birthday with you, what would we do?  My birthday is in February and I would choose to meet family at The Olive Garden or Applebee's or The Blind Tiger for a nice meal and a movie!    Second choice . . . a quiet day at home with coffee and a good book and a nap under a warm blanket!  Of course both kids and the grandkids would call to say Happy Birthday!

Thanks Patrice - it's been too long since I joined in for your random fun!   Easy to learn about someone by just asking!!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Spring has sprung . . .

Or so I wish . . .

(Began this post four days ago . . . )

Today is dreary cold - but yesterday - and this was no April fools - was very nice!   April 1 and I expect to be thinking spring and for the Henningsen's that means we get out the notorious "Get your place ready for summer" list.   It looks like this:

     1.  Clean big shed.
     2.  Clean little shed. (Organize wood supply for planned Spring fires in the firepit)
     3.  Clean up dog house.
     4.  Add more sand or chat (I asked about artificial turf - answer was "Oh God No")
          to Roy's pen.
     5.  Sweep and hose down patio.
     6.  Paint picnic table.
     7.  Clean garage.
     8.  Trim roses.
     9.  Paint hall closet.
    10. Add rock to drive. (A story I won't tell here)
    11. Plant flower pots.
    12. Wash outside windows.
    13. Buy new grill or fix old one.
    14. Clean old grill.
    15. Relax and enjoy my favorite season of the year!!

I'm old school and I have the above list written down on paper.  

Hubs is more techy than me and he has his list on his iPhone.   It looks like this:

     1.  Mow and clean up yard.  (Task completed 4-1-14)
     2.  Spray for bugs.
     3.  Spray for weeds.
     4.  Add sand to Roy's pen.
     5.  Add rock to driveway.
     6.  Add mulch around base of trees.  (Cuz everyone on the block does)
     7.  Take down satellite. (on top of house when we bought it not in use)
     8.  Fix front water faucet.
     9.  Fix electric cords on back of house.
    10. Build fence.
    11. Clean out dads apartment.      

I would say that for the most part, we are in agreement about what needs to get done wouldn't you?  

I love this time of year as each chore is crossed off the list and the place starts to come alive - I have mentioned in previous posts that I have always wanted a patio - and even though I have had more of a "back porch" until now - it has always been one of my favorite spots to read, drink tea, and just sit and look around.   Now we have a patio - and I love my outdoor space!  The red picnic table that my dad built us over 30 years ago is still the main focal point - it has been repainted and reboarded several times - but recently we brought it back to the original colors of black base and red boards.  A fire pit given to us by Dave and Tami is my next favorite thing and I can't wait to bring it out and enjoy some cool spring nights by a fire.    I purchased red lawn chairs and a red bird wind chime - to remind me of the red bird we named the first year in our new home . . . Ozzie.  I have a flag holder to fly the Red, White and Blue during the summer months . . . are you seeing a color theme yet?  Finishing out the patio with some blue planters and this year a try at something new I saw on Pinterest - - - painting the large plastic pots Red!    Add red geraniums and sweet potato ivy plus some white wave petunias and It's an American Celebration all summer long.   

This year hubs decided the ugly dead lilac bushes needed to come out and he will build a Henningsen Fence.  He is getting very good at HF's.  His first was built in Glen Elder and it was approximately 30 feet long . . . #2 was also about 30 feet long . . . who knew he had this ability?   So when we moved to Beloit and I needed a new patio fence - #3 came along and it was more like 20 feet possibly - but created my dream patio!  This #4 HF threatens to be the biggest job so far - - - depending on who wins the debate of where it should be placed. 

There is always that job of spraying for weeds and spiders and anything else that crawls except for two dogs of course.   

This kind of rounds out our plans for the spring - do you have any routines or rituals that you do in the spring time? 

I have learned to take it slow and do one job at a time.  To really appreciate when something is crossed off the list and to show great appreciation for each little step that is done.

Please leave a comment  - I can't wait to get new ideas!