Readers Workout

This week of walking has been much better than last week. Of course, you can’t help the rain and that kept us in a bit last week. Plus traveling….no walking when you are cooped up in a car.

I walked an average of 12,000 steps a day. The meals have been better, healthier I should say, with the exception of Mexican restaurant food and a few beers to wash it down.

The weather is still up and down – so very cold some days (we had frost this morning) and then it will get warm. Maddening. But with the warmer weather comes yard work and let me tell you, we have quite a bit to pick up. A tree was down from the last big storm and the branches littering the field need to be hauled into a pile. I expect i will get lots of activity and calories burnt there.

So, here is the Meal Plan

Garlic Scallops

Pasta Bolognese, garlic rolls and salad

Mexican at El Jalisco restaurant (dinner with the kids)

Spinach Ricotta Pie


How was your week?

Check out Readers’ Workout at Joy’s Book Blog!


Readers Workout

Good morning to my fellow bookworms and workout partners! It’s a lovely 47 F here in North Florida and the walking has been good….but not great. We had very bad storms run through here over the past several days which meant walking outside was straight out.

This weekend was a bust for outside activities and we even had a very scary moment on I-10 headed home from Crestview. The rain was coming down so fast and hard that we hydroplaned over several lanes and slid sideways into the median. It was very muddy and once the vehicle started sliding, the mud built up a wall on the driver’s side tires, thus keeping us from rolling. Very scary!


I’m pleased our Subaru has all wheel drive (they all do). We were fortunate and able to get out of the median but that mud washing over the Forester once it came to a stop was like something out of a movie.

So………..the storms….that’s why we didn’t walk on the weekend.  But the rest of the week wasn’t too bad.  I had an average of 12,000 steps a day overall.  My weight went up a bit due to indulgences like apple pie, Mexican restaurant food and some pizza.

Yeah, I know better and it wasn’t a stellar week for eating but I am back on track now.

This past week’s menu:

Swiss Linguine Tart

Pizza from Oscar’s Restaurant in Havana (Roma tomatoes, mushroom and spinach)

Vegetarian platter at La Rumba restaurant in Crestview (very good!)

Grilled grouper, baby red potatoes and sauteed veggies (zucchini, garlic, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes)

Fall River Vegetable Soup

How was your week?

Check out Readers’ Workout at Joy’s Book Blog!


Notebooks and Social Media

The subject of notebooks and journaling came up the other day. I never thought to write about it as it seemed a mundane subject. But when interest was expressed I thought – why not?   note1One of the things that keeps me organized is a decent notebook.

That being said, I actually have more than one for different projects but there are only two I use for daily reminders and lists.

Embarrassingly enough……..I can’t stop acquiring them. I mean, you can always use a notebook, right?

My larger notebook has lists and ideas. Things I need to do, purchase, reminders of weekly events and linkups on blogs and things like this.

The small pink one that rides in my purse is more of a diary. What we eat, menus, books we are reading, movies……you get the idea.


I write down the names of books I want to read and if I saw it on someone’s website, I note where the recommendation came from in the event I review it. Then I can link back or give a mention.


Another constant on one of my lists is about crochet hooks I own. How many times in the past have I dithered about which size to buy, only to find I have duplicated it….again. Honestly, since I discovered the Clover bamboo from Japan I probably won’t buy another brand since I have so many of the other ergonomic types.

And now on to Social Media ……………

Every blue moon I need a break from social media. Once I tire of it and find I am not keeping up, I know it’s time to deactivate for a while. Over a year ago I deleted my Twitter account and turned out I regretted it. By the time I decided I wanted it back, it was too late. Completely purged. So I started a new one but the interest isn’t strong now. And as I said, when you don’t check in on it the feed seems unmanageable.


(I’m not on all of these above)

I say this as an announcement so no one thinks I have “dumped” them when I finally get around to deactivating. They need hibernation for a bit so, if I am not around, you were not dumped.

That’s about all I have to say today. We have been eating well, continuing to walk each morning, reading and watching movies. I’m almost done with a scarf that I have been crocheting off and on for a while. I know Doug would love for the weather to be decent so he can get a telescope out. It’s been rainy and now it’s cold.

Oh! Doug bought me this cool loom which should assist me in making hats. I am very excited about that and hope I’m not too dense to figure out the instructions.

Updates will be forthcoming.

PS – I am cross posting this to Squirrel Head Manor as I have two followers that read both sites.  Just a FYI post here.

Bradford-on-Avon, Wild ponies and Stonehenge #BriFri

These are old photos of our vacation to England in 1999. I realized how long ago it was, how long we have said “One day we need to go back” after our son celebrated his 28th birthday this week.   Wow, where did the time go?!

Here is a snap of me with our  11-year old son Tristan. Crusty Bloomers s now out of business but what a place! I remember asking what time they closed and getting a response of, “Oh, about 4:20.” It was whenever they ran out of pasties and breads and sweets.


Wild ponies in Exmoor, what else could a kid want?


When we visited Avebury our feet ended up soaked. So we bought Wellies. Once Tristan had them on his feet you’d be hard pressed to ever pull them off. Here he is enjoying the Exmoor National Park. And yes, he did ask for a tweed hat.


My husband took some amazing photos at Stonehenge. As a storm started moving in people were moving fast to take cover. Then there was lightening, evidently not a common sight because it actually made the National news.

It came down to Doug and a woman from Alabama getting some good shots before the storm actually hit. For us, big storms are a regular occurrence, not that we don’t take lightening seriously.


This is a vacation we enjoyed and I hope we return one day!

Linking up with Joy’s British Isles Friday


Wool Gathering – Why didn’t we move to Dunster?

We’re sitting at work today sipping coffee when a coworker comes by to tell us she’s going to a birthday party in England.  She’s gone before for less reasons than a party,  Lucky girl.

I asked if she planned to return to Devon England (near Barnstaple) as she’d been several times. Doug and I got to reminiscing about our vacation there and what fun we had.

This in turn got me thinking about a little shop in Dunster we contemplated purchasing. Sometimes, many times, I wish we had made the scary leap and bought that place. We were having a great time and stopped into this souvenir shop to buy balsa wood airplanes and post cards. The shop owner said it was for sale and the entire upstairs, same size as the large shop, was the living quarters. We looked at each other, you know the look – it says Could We?????

(The little shop is on the left side down the street)

Tristan was only 10 years old and I remember him saying “I don’t want to go to school on Saturdays!” The thought of leaving our home forever and starting over was very unappealing for him. But it wasn’t unappealing for me and Doug. We didn’t have established jobs/ careers at that time. We had good jobs but were still young enough that retirement investments or the benefits of staying with one employer forever hadn’t really cross our minds.

We could LIVE here! You could see Wales from the shoreline. It wasn’t horrifically hot there as it is in this swamp we live in now. While the appeal factor was very high, we wondered how difficult it would be for Americans to move and purchase a business in England. It would be a major upheaval to move across an ocean. We had dogs back home awaiting us to retrieve them from the kennel. How would that work to bring our pups? Not to mention, there is obviously a slow season with a souvenir shop so…would we have the financial savvy to make it through a slow season?

There are times we bring this up and wish we’d just made the leap and bought the place. Think how different things would have been for all three of us. Tristan’s entire life would have changed, as would ours, and I would like to think it would all be good changes for us.

As we move closer to retiring there are scores of places we want to visit here in the US as well as England (and maybe even Ireland one more time). We’ll just have to see what direction the wind blows us when that time comes.

End of wool gathering………

Linking up with Joy’s British Isles Friday


Magic Words in Book Blurbs

Instead of a book review I wanted to share a post I read at Katherine’s site – I Wish I Lived in a Library.  She was talking about Magic Words which draw us to a book.  Her article is titled Ramblings from the Stacks: Magic Words in Book Blurbs.  Click on the link to read her post.  I’m hoping she makes Ramblings from the Stacks a regular feature.

Certain key words in titles grab our attention, makes us pick up a book while roaming about the bookstore looking for new materials.

Quite a number of years ago I was perusing the tables at Borders Bookstore. (I miss that bookstore, it was great).  I saw the title A Good Year by Peter Mayle.  At the time, I had not read anything by Mayle but I was attracted to the book cover – A  man standing in a vineyard hoisting a wine glass.

Since I was a world class Francophile at the time, the setting being in France and featuring wine had me hooked.  I have now read many novels by Peter Mayle.

This is how I discovered another of my favorite authors – Edward Rutherfurd.  If it’s set in Ireland, I’m on it.  When I gazed upon one of the Dublin saga books I knew I wanted to give this author a try.  Magic words – Ireland, France and Wine.

Katherine listed 10 of her magic words that attract her to books.  If asked to quickly name what attracts me to books, I think this list is fairly accurate.

  1. A setting in Ireland.  Just about any time frame will do, as long as I am reading about Ireland.
  2. England or Scotland – same thing.  If the setting is there I  usually enjoy it.
  3. Books such as the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society  or The Land Girl as they are set in the WW II era.  I like the focus on regular, everyday common people and reading about how they adapted, challenges they took on.
  4.  Police Procedurals, especially those set in the British Isles.



5. Ex Pat literature – a title or blurb about Americans settling in a foreign country and starting a new life. It’s a common dream for us, to pack up and move to another culture.

6. Books set in Australia or New Zealand. I have read all 12 books in The Australian series by William Stuart Long and many more Aussie themed books.

7. Food and Wine.  So you’d think some cozy mysteries would fit in for me but they are too…..tame.  Books where there are meals shared, food described in pubs or dinner parties.  If there is a glass of wine on the cover I usually pick it up to read the book jacket and see if the story interest me.

8. Apocalyptic literature. Anything from Justin Cronin’s The Passage to Cormac McCarthy’s The Road to Nevil Shute’s On the Beach.  Books like that.

Thanks to Katherine for that thought provoking post today.   I hope there will be more topics in her Ramblings from the Stacks theme.

Please share what attracts you to a book, especially if the author is unknown to you.

Happy reading!