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Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Random Tuesday

Howdy!  I'm going to link up with Stacy for some random nonsense!

Well, it happened.  My computer crashed.  And I didn't have all of my documents and pictures saved on One Drive or a USB device.

I know! I know!  How could I let that happen?  But... at least I have most of my other information save through Google.  It's going to be a pain having to organize all of my photos, if I am able to retrieve all of them.  I guess I'll be spending some hours doing what I can.

And another tragedy... we are almost out of Charmin and will have to resort to bargain brand toilet paper soon.

So... the state of Texas is going into phase I of reopening on Friday, May 1.  Retail, restaurants, and movie theater can operate at 25% capacity.  I don't know how they plan to control that.

I was under the impression the cases should drop for fourteen days in a row before going into phase I, and we are continuing to go up.  We haven't met the criteria.  Governor Abbott has other ideas.  I need to remember that just because something is open doesn't mean I have to go there. 

I live in the third largest county in the nation, and JUST YESTERDAY we had a requirement to wear masks.  Why didn't they do that at the beginning of all this?  And when the state reopens Friday, the governor's plans supersede all other mandates, so no more masks required.  People aren't following the order anyway, and stores aren't enforcing it, apparently.

I just want this all to end, as do many of you, I'm sure.  I want to see my children, mom, sister, and granddaughter.  I want to continue planning my other daughter's wedding.  Yes, I'm whining.

I'll stop now.










And how about some cat humor?





Have a great week!


Saturday, April 25, 2020

Sunday Synopsis

Madonna and Corpse (Body Farm #6.5)Madonna and Corpse by Jefferson Bass
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Technically this book is part of the Body Farm series by the authors (Jon) Jefferson (and William M.) Bass. However, none of the "cast members" from the Body Farm appear in this book, and it is not set in Tennessee. As a prequel to The Inquisitor's Key, book 7 in the series, this short story is set in Avignon, France. Inspector Rene' Descartes is investigating what appears to be a theft at the Palace of the Popes museum. He then ends up investigating a death. There is no end to the story. It's a complete cliffhanger. The next section is actually the beginning of the next novel, so I didn't read it because I don't want to read it until I'm ready to read the rest of the novel.

The story was a lot shorter than I expected, and didn't tie in with the characters in the Body Farm series. Perhaps they will tie in somehow in the next book. The characters were not very likeable, and the story was too short to include any depth in character development. Reading this short story (it can't even be classified as a novella) felt more like reading a Dan Brown book with a historical, secretive atmosphere, maybe because of the focus on art. I didn't dislike the story, but it didn't end, and that bothers me. It feels like I was deceived into purchasing this "book."

Note: The Inquisitor's Key is known as The Bones of Avignon in the UK.

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Thursday, April 23, 2020

Thursday Thirteen

Being under a stay-at-home order can be difficult in many ways, but focusing on the positive helps.

1.  I'm taking more walks, getting free Vitamin D and fresh air. (Benefits of Vitamin D)
2.  I can order my groceries online.  I greatly dislike going to the grocery store.
3.  I am not having to wear makeup.
4.  We are saving money by not eating out.

5.  We are saving even more money by not needing to buy gasoline.
6. I don't have to wash my hair every day since I'm not using product on it. (And just so you know, I have showered every day except one.)
7.  I have had time to sew, create, and pet my sweet cat, Lacy (pictured above).
8.  I finally had time to clean out my email.  I had about 1,000 messages.  Now I'm getting through my daily email and leaving with a clean email box each night.
9.  I'm spending more time with family.
10. I'm doing less laundry because I don't have to change outfits, and I can sometimes wear the same thing two days in a row.
11. No alarm clocks!

12. I don't have to have meaningless conversations with people when I go out because I'm staying in.
13. My family and I have had almost every evening meal at home at the dining room table.

I could probably think of more, but it's Thursday THIRTEEN, (not 14, 15, or 12).
Have a good time checking out other T13s.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Random Tuesday

I'm linking up with Stacy.  You can join, too!


How is everyone's stay-at-home going?  Ours is about the same.  Our governor opened State Parks today as long as people are only there with family, maintaining social distance from other families, and I think they have to wear masks outside.  I think it's too soon.  For me, anyway.

So, day in and day out, we continue to follow a very simple routine.  One day is very much like the next.  But we are all safe, healthy, and mostly sane!

I feel bad for all of my teacher friends who will not be returning to school this year.  Teachers wanted to go back to school and see their students to say goodbye.  I'm sure the students would have liked a chance to say goodbye, too.  No closure, especially for teachers and students moving on to other campuses.

Oh, and little did I know that the store where I worked my part-time job has been open this whole time!  They're allowing up to 20 customers at a time, which seems like a lot.  They have limited hours, and I'm sure limited staff.  I wouldn't have wanted to put myself in harm's way, but I thought about going back once the biggest part of the threat is over.  I had called in sick two days (not two in a row, but two different days) right before the stay-at-home went into effect, so they wanted a doctor's note from me, which I didn't have.  I thought they would call me again if they were open.  I guess not.  Oh, well.  Maybe I will call them next month if the numbers are declining enough.

Then again, since I am retired from teaching, I can go anywhere I want whenever I want when I am not working.  I would love to go to Dallas and Austin to visit our daughters, one who is planning a wedding, and one who just had my darling granddaughter 7 weeks ago.
She is so precious!

What are your estimates for being able to return to some semblance of normal?  I hear the reporters, doctors, and the government with their ideas, but they don't seem to agree.  What do you think?

And now...







And just so it's not all covid-related...

I just love puns!



Have a great week!

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Sunday Synopsis

Lying in Wait and Other True Cases (Crime Files, #17)Lying in Wait and Other True Cases by Ann Rule
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I usually love Ann Rule. She is THE BEST true crime author that I know of. Having said that, I do not think this was her best compilation. The first story, in particular, got a very slow start. I believe she gave some unnecessary background information about the victim's family. She started with the grandparents! That's unusual. She also seemed to be going off on tangents when discussing the players in these crimes.  It became quite confusing. Maybe she didn't have enough material and needed to stretch it out. Or perhaps they just weren't that compelling.

The first story, which was also the most interesting, was about a new mother who was gunned down with her young daughter by her side. The story of this perpetrator was mysterious, but it was also hard to follow at first due to the background information presented. It was hard to keep all the characters straight, and it wasn't necessary to include so much detail. Also included are a story about a man who was not exactly who he claimed to be, a story about a grandmother who was murdered and another about a serial rapist.

I liked this book, but not as much as many of her other books.

View all my reviews

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Thursday Thirteen

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of living under stay-at-home orders.  However, I have to live with it like everyone else, so I'm going to focus on the positive by listing some things we CAN do.

1.  It's a good time to grow your bangs out!  You stylist really doesn't want you to cut them, anyway. Why not see how you look with long bangs?

2.  Binge-watch a new show.  For me, it's been Outlander and Better Call Saul.  I'm not sure where I'm going next.

3,  Learn a new skill.  I've been practicing my sewing and learning how to do more complicated patterns.  You could learn to play the piano.  You could teach a young person how to properly type on a keyboard, because, believe me, our schools here are no longer teaching that.

4.  Complete a family jigsaw puzzle.  I think I'm going to look for one we would all like and set it out on the table for whenever one of us wants to work on it.  I think we might like this one:
5.  Keep your mind sharp by completing a crossword puzzle.  (not the NYT puzzle, which is always difficult)  Here is a link to free, printable, crossword puzzles.

6.  Support a cause whether it is with money, work, items, or time. Do some research and discover where your heart leads you to help.  Volunteer Houston is already gearing up for "Stuff the Sleigh."

7. Write a letter and mail it.  You could write to a relative or even write to someone you don't know that needs some encouragement such as a soldier or health care worker.

8. Try some new recipes.  Or some old favorites.  We've had stuffed chicken, Taiwanese style chicken, and a seared flank steak, to name a few.
Recipe

9.  Read a book in a genre you don't typically read.  For example, I usually read mystery fiction.  I am reading true crime nonfiction right now.

10. Plan your next vacation.  I wouldn't necessarily book it at this time, but it can be planned.  You know you will eventually get to go somewhere.  Where would you like to go and what would you like to do?  Here is a historical landmark I desperately want to visit.  Do you know what it is?

11. Organize!  Organize everything:  closets, junk drawers, pots and pans, craft supplies, tools, the garage, whatever!

12. Do something active such as taking a walk (if you are able) or watching and joining a YouTube workout.



13.  Pray, meditate, or do a devotional study.  There are plenty online that are free such as Daily Devo and Today's Encouraging Word.  I have been using YouVersion on my phone for my daily devotional.


Whatever you decide to do, do it well.  And be safe!  And click here for more Thursday Thirteen!

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Random - or not-so-random - Tuesday

Link up with Stacy for some random fun!

How is everyone?  Last week I was wondering if any of you know someone who has the virus.   One person responded that she knows someone who has it.  So far, no one I know has it.  I also haven't found answers to my questions about DNR orders - do not resuscitate.  I have a DNR.  Would doctors honor that if I quit breathing or would they hook me up and let a ventilator breathe for me.  I guess it's moot.  I'm doing my part in trying not to get the virus!

If you are interested in keeping track of numbers by state, here is a link.  It also lists the numbers who have tested positive in rank order.  Texas is at number 10 which is unbelievable for the size.  A tiny state such as Connecticut has almost the same number of cases as Texas which is many times its size.  I also found a map of cases in Texas by zip code.  That was interesting.

I don't know if I mentioned that I made masks for my DH and me two weeks ago.  My sister asked me to make her and her husband masks AFTER she paid $40 online for some crappy paper masks.  She should have asked me first, silly girl.

I also finished the Pooh Bear dress for my granddaughter.  It was harder than I thought it would be (lined bodice, buttons and buttonholes, gathers) but I did it!  Wish I had a better picture.
  

Now... above I used the word "moot."   It means "subject to uncertainty or debate."  I heard someone try to use this word the other day, can't remember where, but they said "mute" instead, which is an altogether different word.  I thought it was kinda funny.  That's my nerdy sense of humor!

And speaking of funnies...

I feel this way!  Do you?







And I'll leave you with some nostagia:
Have a great week!

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Sunday Synopsis

Mad City: The True Story of the Campus Murders That America ForgotMad City: The True Story of the Campus Murders That America Forgot by Michael Arntfield
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Whew! Finally finished this book. I thought this book would never end. I guess it only took me about two weeks, but it was only 300-something pages, and it seemed to go on forever.

Also, the "blurb" on the book does not adequately describe the events in the story.
Here is where you can find the link to the synopsis on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Mad-City-Campu...

I was under the impression there would be focus on the man who killed a University of Wisconsin co-ed (Christine) in 1968. But that is not the case. He started with that, then focused on a dozen or more murders occuring between 1968 and 1980-something. His multiple theories proved nothing. The co-ed's friend Linda spent forty years seeking her friend's killer, but she was not the focus on the story. The blurb made it seem like this man was a serial murderer in Madison that was killsing dozens of women. This was incorrect.

This book discusses a variety of murders and assaults occurring in Madison, Wisconsin, all unsolved, and it does so in a clinical way, almost like a textbook, using a lot of jargon in the criminal justice field. He throws in some famous serial murderers such as H. H. Holmes when there is no connection. Some of the focus is on Linda's obsession to find the man she thinks murdered her friend, but it is certainly not what I expected, not suspenseful or satisfying, and she certainly was unable to prevent him from committing another murder, if he even did as there is no proof.

The author rambled and rambled and some of it was written in technical jargon making it difficult to get through. I was disappointed.

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