Tuesday, March 29, 2011


 Happy Spring, everyone!  Hope you're getting in some nice, warm, sunny days wherever you are! We've had some lovely warm weather, followed by lots and lots of chilly, rainy days.  The forsythia have peaked, as have the daffodils and the Bradford pear trees. Tulips are beginning to bloom, and so have the trees I know only as tulip trees, as well as the weeping cherry trees.  I got a little bit of raking done in the front flowerbed, but nothing else yet.  So what HAVE I been doing? Not yard work.  Not quilting. Not making jewelry. Not taxes. Not housework. Bless J-Man's heart, he so rarely complains, even when the dishes are piled up in the sink and the hamper is overflowing onto the bathroom floor and you can write your name in the dust on the end tables. I do think the Christmas tree still up in the dining room is getting to him, though.  That's on my agenda for the long weekend I have coming up.  Of course, I said that the last weekend I was off, too...

Actually, I've been pretty unproductive lately.  Finally finished up physical therapy, and have just been lazy as a result.  After 8 weeks of either staying late after work or getting up early and driving 30 miles roundtrip to go to PT, I rebelled. Last Monday, my first offday from PT, I stayed in my PJs until about 3 in the afternoon, playing on ancestry.com.  What a black hole that is!  I get to searching around on that site and just lose track of time entirely. Have you been watching their show Who Do You Think You Are?

It's been simply fascinating to me. Some folks have complained that they should profile non-celebrities' searches, but honestly, would you rather learn about Ashley Judd's family history or that of Joe Blow down the street? And yeah, I don't have the money to zip here and there across the country to visit actual sites, but hey, it's still entertaining to watch folks who can afford it.

It doesn't help matters that I broke down and bought myself a Kindle, either.  Back when I first started going to PT, my therapist would set me up in a room after our exercises, and attach the electrical stimulator thingy with a hot pack onto my shoulder and there I'd be by my lonesome for about 20 minutes. After the first visit, I dug around in a box of yard sale finds and took a paperback book with me.  I used to be such an avid reader, but have drifted away from it in past years.  Well that's changed.  One book led to another and then another and then I was talking to one of our surgeons who always arrives on the unit with his earbuds in place.  Turns out he's listening to books on his MP3 player, downloaded from audible.com.  He spends quite a bit of time traveling between the office and 2 different hospitals and this satisfies his need to read. I looked into that, but it seemed a little expensive over the long run, and besides, I have podcasts over a year old that I have yet to hear.

And I don't know about you, but I really never spent much time reading the classics when I was younger. I think teen years are generally too young to really appreciate the classics, no matter how much one loves to read. When I was in high school, we had to read 6 books a school year for English: 2 fiction of our choice, 2 non-fiction, and 2 from a list of required reads, such as  Last of the Mohicans or Lord Jim. Frankly, Lord Jim was the only book I ever fudged and read "Cliff Notes" instead.  I just could NOT get into that book.  But when you have 6th period English Lit, all the good books have been checked out from the school library.

However, any book published before 1923 is generally out of copyright, so most of the classics are free on Amazon. I've downloaded about a dozen books, some free, and some that cost about half the published price. Currently, I'm reading Les Miserables. Besides being lightweight and easier to tuck in my purse or even jacket pocket, the Kindle also has a built-in dictionary, which is convenient for searching those old English (or old French) words unfamiliar to me. Yes, I know I can borrow books from the library for free. But when I go, I always come home with more than I can read in 2 weeks' time, so I rack up big bucks in overdue fines. As in $8.00 at a whack. 

Now there are some books I'll always buy in hardback; my Stephen King books, for example. I also bought a boxload of hardback James Patterson books at a yard sale this weekend for $1.00 each. I won't keep those; I'll donate them to a thrift store when I finish, because I just don't have the storage room for every book I want to read. But with my daughter also owning a Kindle, we can swap books easily--even though we're 7 hours apart.

Okay, that was a totally unpaid advertisement for Kindle.

Oh, and did I mention "Dancing With the Stars" is on again?

With all these distractions, who can concentrate on mundane things like cooking and laundry?