Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesday Book Whoreding

I was pretty busy with Black Friday and Thanksgiving these past couple of weeks, so didn't have a whole lot of time for reading, but managed to get in a couple.

As my post titles indicate, I am a book whore. Yes, I would whore for books. In fact I probably have (sex makes the angry husband less mad when you've spent the bill money on books).

The other part is also true, I'm a book Hoarder.
There was a time in my life when I kept every book I got my hands on. My Mom and Aunts always read then passed books on to the next person....when they came to me, they stayed with me.
I would go to the library's back room sale and buy books I wasn't really interested in and never read but they were only 10¢ so I couldn't pass them up.

Books are the only thing I can say I truly Hoard, but I also tend to gather a lot of Clutter.
Clutter is different from Hoarding because I don't keep absolutely everything, and especially not garbage. Ewww.

I keep a lot of things that I'm afraid I'll need or want later, and if I don't have it, then I'll have to go buy it, and it irks me to think of having to spend on something I already had, if I had just kept it.

I realized I also obtain/keep things that I associate with memories of "the good ol' days" and people I loved, gone now.

I watch a lot of the tv shows that deal with Clutter/Hoarder problems, and they've really helped me a lot.

I ran across this book Stop Clutter from Stealing Your Life: Discover Why You Clutter and How You Can Stop and thumbed through it basically just to see if it offered anything different than I was getting from the tv shows, and it really did.

One big thing I've been dealing with is sentimental things. When I get to those things, I come to a big screeching halt and can't deal with anymore. This book told me it was okay to set those things aside, I don't have to deal with them at that moment, and keep going with other stuff.

It also talked about how things like Clutter affects my clarity and memory, and even about how I tend to avoid paying bills on time, even though we have the money, has to do with my Clutter problem.

I'll be reading this one again, when my mind isn't all cluttered up with shopping deals and holiday stuff, and hopfeully making a whole lot more progress with my de-cluttering project in the New Year.

So, as you might know, I got my Kindle Fire e-reader this month. (Love, love, love it! Now I can book hoard all I want and it not clutter up anything but virtual space!)

I always knew that Amazon offered freebie books every so often, but other than just 1 or 2 of my favorite authors/series, I wasn't that interested until I got my Kindle.  One of the Shopper Blogs I follow posted a book freebie I was interested in, so I went to get it, and that was when I discovered Amazon offers a whole lot of book freebies.

Mostly they are short reads, novellas, designed to get new readers interested in buying the rest of the author's books, but some of them are good for if you don't have time to read a full-length novel, then a good, quick read can feed the need until you do.

This book wasn't one of them. All's Fair by Suzie Quint was more of an excerpt of another book (I hope?) as opposed to a novella, because it doesn't really have an ending.

The premise of the story is that Georgia and Sol are divorced because Georgia can't deal with Sol being a bull-rider and being in danger.
Other than that, they still pretty much should be together, and worse, they have a daughter they share custody of.

This kind of story line is probably one of the worst ones to piss off a firefighter's wife. This chick needs to "cowboy up", pull up her big-girl panties, be a Woman, and deal with herself, because she's keeping her and her baby-daddy apart for a stupid reason.

Good grief, if she can't deal with a man being in danger, then she's going to have to marry someone who does nothing but sit on the couch all day. And even then he's setting himself up for an eventual heart attack.
A professional bullrider, a professional firefighter, and an office worker driving to work every morning all have the same chance of being injured or killed. (Around here, the office worker is actually the greater risk.)

I know they are fictional characters, what I'm saying is, if this is the way this author writes her characters, I don't think I'll care much for her books.

There'a also a lot of other freebie books like childrens and cookbooks that Amazon offers. I downloaded nearly 60 of them in one sitting!

Based on some very - very, very - high ratings, not only at Amazon, but from a book group I frequent, I read Zero at the Bone by Jane Seville.
Everyone just loved this book, to the point that some claimed to have not been able to read another book for two days afterwards.
I didn't get it.  To me, it seemed a lot like a gay romance written by a woman.

I went into the book knowing pretty much nothing more than everyone else loved it and the basic premise which was that D was a hitman who was hired to kill Jack, who had witnessed a murder.

We knew from the start that D was a hitman with a conscience and wouldn't kill anyone he didn't think didn't deserve it. Of course, he didn't think Jack deserved it and turned down the job before ever even meeting Jack.
Then some Mystery Person blackmails him into taking the job, or else. So he goes to kill Jack, but then he still can't do it, and decides to take Jack and run.

At this point, I still have no idea that Jack is a gay man. The story talks about how the nurses at the hospital where Jack works try to seduce him with cookies, and that he has an ex-wife. I was still under the impression that D saved Jack because he thought it was the right thing to do. But apparently we are supposed to know that D  knows Jack is gay and is attracted to him.

D is also divorced, but we don't learn until later that he was a closet gay all along, rather than a "gay for you" for Jack. So it was a bit startling to me when he lost it one night, and flipped Jack over and just did him. (Without any prep or lube, apparently.)
I was like, wait a minute, a "gay for you" doesn't just dive right on in his first time, does he?...and hold on, did we even determine that Jack was really gay?

I hated D's dialect...yeah, that's how I talk, but for some reason I hate to read it in my books.
And I thought Jack didn't seem like a 14-year, dual Degree college graduate Dentist-Doctor would act. He seemed, I don't know, immature. I believe "juvenile" was the word that crossed my mind several times during reading. I think she tried to portray him as innocent, but it didn't work for me.

I didn't love it, but there were so many rave reviews of this book, it makes me question myself. Did I miss something or what?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What Day is This?

I am so confused.
Last week has got me all thrown off. With Kev being out of school, Ryan being sick and not going to school or on calls...I went shopping first thing on Thursday, then to Mom's for dinner, so it seemed more like Sunday. Friday was like a Saturday because I stayed in bed and fell back asleep after sending J off to work (one of his jobs, I can't remember which now).
J was in and out on Sunday, hauling the garbage off, going to visit his Mom in the nursing home, going deer hunting later, so that seemed like a weekday.
Kevin caught Ryan's viral thing (I know it was viral b/c I took Ryan to the Doctor last Monday, thinking he had the flu or Strep but it was neither), and I knew he wouldn't be going to school Monday, so I kicked J out of bed to go to work (the Urgent Care job) and went back to sleep - another Saturday again.
Yesterday was rainy, gray, dark and dreary. It seemed like a Sunday all day, until R had to go to class last night.

For some reason, I thought J was off today. I don't know how I arrived at that conclusion, but our water heater went on the fritz Sunday and J wanted to take off from the Urgent Care on Monday to fix it. I was like, we need the money, and it's only one day.  Sooo, since Kev was still so sick and wouldn't be making it to school this morning, I set the clock for 8:30, time to get Ryan up for class - not 6:30, when J needs to get up to go to work at the firehouse.
Luckily I woke up early, freaked out, not knowing what day it was or who was supposed to be where or what was going on, so I got up and looked at the calendar and saw J was supposed to be at the firehouse today.

We had a very nice Thanksgiving. Went to my parent's local house (they also have homes in the mountains and Florida, so we have to give them names to specify which).  At first we thought it was just going to be "us" as in my parents, and mine and my sister's families; 13 altogether.  But ended up there was probably twice that many, with Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and more Cousins. It turned out to be a real house full, which made my Mom very excited.
And OMG at all the food. I bet we could have fed all the little starving children in China.

The weather was very nice last week, getting up into the 70's. After some cold days, 70's felt pretty dang good.
We got out in the yard some, and checked on the garden. After some rain and warmer temps, our collards and/or cabbage grew some more:

I still can't tell which is collards and which is cabbage, or if they are both one or the other (I am pretty sure I planted different seeds, though!).

They still seem awful small to me for the months they've been planted. And J told me last week his Dad and brother have BIG cabbage plants. I just don't have real high hopes for home-grown collards on New Year's day, even if the cold weather don't kill them off first.

I also did some trans-plants from my Aloe plant. My oldest son's girlfriend gave me a small Aloe plant a couple of years ago, and I somehow managed to not kill it off.  As if that weren't freekin' amazing on it's own, it grew up and went on to have babies - or pups, as I read they were called.

I transplanted the original 4 or 5 pups, gave a couple away, and then awhile later I transplanted another 4 or 5 pups from the mother plant. Then last week I got another several pups from the mother plant, and one of the older pups had a pup of it's own.
Sigh. They grow up so fast.

I was under the mistaken impression that these were outside-hardy plants. I know my Grannie had an Aloe plant out beside her house, but apparently it was a different kind, but I thought I had seen really large versions of these plants in people's yards. Maybe they are a different kind, too.  I also thought I had read on the internet that they could live outside year-round. Either they were mistaken, or, again, different variety of Aloe.
At any rate, mine was sitting out on the back porch and it got down around freezing and these plants really did not like it. Their tips turned brown and shriveled. Eep.

The only place I really have is my kitchen window sill to sit a plant where it can get the sunlight it needs, so I kept one of the smaller plants, and took the rest to my Mom, Mom has a sunroom in her house up here, or she can take them to her house in Florida where it can live outside year-round.
A couple of Aunts and a cousin took some of the baby pups, so they all went to good homes.

And two years from now we're all going to be trying to give each other Aloe plants and everyone's going to be over-run with them, haha!

Otherwise I spent alot of time last week messing with my coupon-shopping-deals.
I really only did the Black Friday deals at the Drug Stores. We tried going to Walmart but yeah - No.
If you're interested in my shopping deals, you can visit my Shopping Blog.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday, With No Monday Following

K's school is on break all next week, so that means I don't have to get out of my nice, warm bed at 6:00am for seven more days.  Sooo nice. I can tolerate most anything, but having to get up at 6am on chilly and cold mornings about do me in.
So this is one Sunday I'm not spending dreading the next morning.

So my new Kindle Fire DID arrive Wednesday for my birthday. Nice, nice!
I've been playing with it alot (already ran the battery out twice, haha!), learning how to use it and, using it.

Back in the summer when we were gardening, J and his partner at the station planted some Sweet Potatoes. First year they've raised these, but I hope to plant some next year ourselves.

Sweet Potato Harvest
I was at my Mom's Wednesday, looking at her Thanksgiving dinner list and she had written down Sweet Potato Pie. Since I've never really known her to make SPP, I thought she meant what we call sweet potato souffle', which isn't really a souffle' I don't think.
Anyway, I told her I had some sweet taters that J had grown and I would make the souffle'.
Turned out, though, she had been talking about a SPP, she said my Dad had requested one. So I said okay, I'll bake him a sweet potato pie, too!

Never-even-minding that I don't know how. 

So I spent today on the 'net looking for SPP recipes.
I'm just your basic meat-and-potatoes kind of baker, I don't need/want all this extra sh!t added in to give it some sort of so-called gore-may flavoring. I personally don't like the taste of sweet potatoes, so I suspect all those fancy-pants chefs are really trying to disguise the taste of the sweet potatoes because they don't like them either.
But I don't have ground cloves or lemon zest or heavy cream in my cabinet, and I am baking it for someone who actually likes the taste of sweet potatoes and probably doesn't want them disguised with a bunch of spices.

I was really hoping to find a recipe that my Grannie used because that's the pie he would remember eating from his kidhood and like, whether it was plain or uber-spiced or what. But alas, the recipe book I have of hers has about everything but SPP.

Anyway, I picked a couple that sounded promising and decided I'd bake a couple and let them taste test it around here and tell me which - if any - of them are good.

This first one is really basic, which I liked because I had everything I needed already. Simply sweet potatoes, butter, sugar, vanilla, eggs, and milk. No spices of any sort.
So I'm concerned it may be a little too plain or bland.

Peeled, cubed, and boiled sweet potatoes until tender.
Added butter, sugar, milk, vanilla, egg yolks.
A couple recipes I read recommended separating the eggs
and beating the whites before adding to the mix. Seemed
like that would add some fluffy to it, so I gave it a try.
Check out my cool retro-style eggbeaters. I dunno, they may actually be retro. I just liked the blue color of the handles, and the fact that they were only 50¢ at the Salvation Army store we visited Thursday.

I used a Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust that I crimped along
the edges with a fork. 
Looks pretty anyway.
Since I don't like sweet potatoes, I couldn't taste test it myself...naturally I'd think it was nasty. So Ryan got to be the guinea pig. He said it was good.
I asked, really good, or just okay. He shrugged.
He said I could try one with the spices or whatever in it to compare, but this one was good.

I ended the pie experiment for today by getting into a fist-fight with the saran wrap I was trying to cover the pie with.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wednesday Book Whoreding

I've been kind of busy with other stuff this past week/weekend and haven't gotten much reading in.

I got news day before yesterday that my new Kindle Fire has shipped, so I'm looking for it to arrive at any time (today, for my birthday, would be good!).

This week I read Maya Banks The Darkest Hour, Book 1 of the KGI series.
KGI is Kelly Group Int'l, sort of a private military-ish special ops group ran by the ex-military Kelly brothers.
This book features the middle brother, Ethan, who's wife, Rachel, was thought to have been killed in a plane crash in South America a year ago.
The book was emotional (which I have no idea why I enjoy so much, since I *despise* crying), and dramatic and I enjoyed it and look forward to reading about more of the Kelly brothers and KGI.

It wasn't until after I finished the book and thought about it that I realized I was sort of disappointed at the lack of hot and sexy sex scenes. The sex scenes were pretty tame, and I had the idea that Maya Banks' stories were hotter than that.
But as I said, I enjoyed the story and didn't realize I was expecting more sex until I thought about it later. Had I not expected hot sex scenes to start with, then I wouldn't have thought another thing about it, so my bad for assuming things.

And of course I had to read the obvious: Seducing Simon.
(I've seen other readers' make fun of the *decapitated* guy in the cover photos, but honestly, I prefer it. I think I might have been turned off on this story before I even opened it.)

The story itself was just "Meh" to me.
Toni lives with her firefighter brother, Matt, in their family home, along with roommates, Simon and AJ, also firefighters.  Toni has had a crush on Simon forever.
The night Simon was going to prospose to his girlfriend, he caught her in bed with another man (Seriously?). He got drunk and ended up in the bed with Toni, and doesn't remember it the next day.
Two months later, Toni discovers she's pregnant and is too embarrassed to tell him what happened.

She knows she has to tell him, but wants to see if she can make him love her, rather than be with her because of the baby.

There is the inevitable firefighter(s)-nearly-getting-killed-on-the-job and firefighter(s)-rescuing-heroine for big drama purposes scenes.

I have gotten started on No Place to Run, Book 2 of the KGI series, featuring brother Sam Kelly.

I haven't even read the premise of Sam's story, but it has started out Hot! Now that's what I'm talking about.

From Amazon:
The last person Sam Kelly expected to save was Sophie Lundgren. Once they shared a brief, intense affair while Sam was undercover and then she vanished. She's spent the last few months on the run, knowing that any mistake would cost her both her life and that of their unborn child. Now she's resurfaced with a warning for Sam: this time, he's the one in danger.

After that I'll read Hidden Away, Book 3 of the KGI series, brother Garrett's story.

From Amazon:
Most people would take an all-expense=paid trip to the beach in a heartbeat. Garrett Kelly only accepts to keep tabs on Sarah Daniels, who's in hiding after witnessing a murder committed by her half brother-a personal enemy of KGI. But Garrett hadn't planned on falling for Sarah. When he glimpses her dark past, he feels an urgent desire to keep her safe-even as she disappears, running for her life.

I'll have to wait until January for the next installment, Whispers in the Dark, Nathan Kelly's story.

Hmm, it appears to lean towards paranormalcy, and sounds a bit similar to Lora Leigh's Wild Card, where the hero (also named Nathan, as a matter of fact) was able to survive a hellish captivity because of the deep connection with his wife.

I loved Wild Card, so I hope this story either measures up, or is actually completely different so I don't make comparisons.

From Amazon:
She came to him when he needed her the most.

She came to him at his lowest point. The voice of an angel, a whisper in the dark. She's the only thing that gets Nathan Kelly through his captivity, the endless days of torture and the fear that he'll never return to his family. With her help, he's able to escape. But he isn't truly free, because now she's disappeared and he's left with an all-consuming emptiness as he struggles to pick up the pieces of his life. Did he imagine his angel? Or is she out there, needing his help as he'd once needed her?

Now he rushes to save her before it's too late.

Shea has been on the run from people who will stop at nothing to exploit her unique abilities. She never wanted to drag Nathan, who'd already suffered so much, into danger, but she doesn't have a choice so she reaches out to him for help. Finally face-to-face after having already formed a soul-deep bond in hell, their emotional connection is even more powerful than their telepathic one. Nathan refuses to consider ever letting her go again, but she worries they can never have a life free of the dangers that dog her every step. He'll protect her with his every breath, but can he convince her that they are meant to face these threats together?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Blog Hopping

Still away today, hopefully having a great time. Here's some stuff I saw while blog-hopping this week.

Check out these great Fireman Cupcakes idea found at Mary the Kay the Blog.

Mason jar soap pump at Blissfully Content.

My Mom's maiden name is Mason, so we're pretty big collectors of Mason jars. Not your average everyday Kerr/Ball mason jars (we still use those for canning), but unique jars like the one pictured here.
A couple of years ago I found a Lamb-Mason jar on ebay. My Aunt's married name is Lamb, so I filled the jar with potpurri and bought a canning jar glass oil lamp lid and made it into sort of little oil lamp. 

This past September one of my cousins got married, bringing a new Mason into the family.  They used mason jar lanterns for the centerpieces at her shower, it was cute. 
Anyway, I was thinking mason jars might be a good theme for gift-giving for her. I've seen these canning jar soap dispensers at a couple of blogs lately and they seemed like a nice, not too difficult project. 

M&M Turkey Favors at Pink Ink Doodle. Cute! I'm gonna make these for T'giving at Mom's: 

One of the treats I traditionally make for the boys at Christmas is white-chocolate-dipped-Oreos, but I think they would like these Pops with sprinkles version. Or maybe red or green sugar crystals, to customize it for Christmas. They do love sprinkles, though, and probably wouldn't care if they look more Easter than Christmas.

What a great idea! Why can't I think of stuff like this??  Recycled Newspapers Seedling Pots
This is such a great idea - Free, and you can plant the whole thing as is so you don't risk messing up your sprouted seedlings delicate roots pulling it out of a plastic or other pot. 

We love Scrabble! Backyard Scrabble

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Absentee Blogging

I'm away, hopefully enjoying a quiet, relaxing, romantic weekend with J, but I'd thought I'd entertain you with some more photos of my darling youngest boy (ha!).

These are some more of the pics I had picked out for the Senior video but didn't choose to use, or wasn't able to use due to space limitations.

This is the picture I'd originally put on there as the Baby picture, but he shot me down. I think it's adorable.
(Please ignore the plugged-in electric can opener on the counter behind him. Thanks)

Blueberry eyes
This picture was in a group of photos that had obviously been taken by one of the boys.
If you haven't given your kid a camera, I highly recommend you do, like now.

Buddies at football team pizza party
Basketball trophies
Dad's fire truck/gear
Gave a Speech
Earned his Letter jacket
So grown up