Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A NOOK or a Book?

My sister has a NOOK and a Kindle. I think she's crazy for having both, but she assures me that there are books that you can get on Amazon for the Kindle that you can't get for the NOOK, from Barnes & Noble and vice versa. I'm a Barnes & Noble girl. I love going in there just to sit and browse, have a cup of coffee, and relax. Don't get me wrong, a small "Mom & Pop" book store is great as well, I just can't find one near my location that soothes me.

Countless times I've walked through the doors at Barnes & Noble to be greeted by the large display and counter for the NOOK. Countless times I've walked right past it and not stopped to look at it's sleek form and compact design. Why? Because I'm a book girl, I love the smell and feel of pages in a book. Especially an older book. Okay, not the old mildewy smell that one might encounter with a book that has been in a dark, damp place for years and not cared for, but that really good smell of paper pages in a book. I still stand by this fondness, even now, as I glance at my nice....new....NOOK!!!!!!!

I did not break down and purchase one for myself. Santa put it under the Christmas tree. Santa, being my wonderfully thoughtful and handsome husband, TM. This one is beyond his normal gift-giving realm. He tries so hard to find something that I'll like, and this year.....and I really don't know how he did it.......he hit the nail on the head! As previously stated, I have not stopped to look at them, and would never, never, never spend that kind of money on a toy for myself. However, my husband knows me quite well and thought that it would be something that I would love. He's right!!!!!! It combines two things that I love, technology and reading.

This little gadget is great. It can hold many books, magazines, catalogs, and lots of apps, all in one place. No more filling my carry bag with 3 current magazines and a book for reading when we go places. I always take my own magazine with me into the doctor's office or any other waiting room. Many years of getting half way through an article just to find out that it's time to go and I don't get a chance to finish reading the article. Problem solved, take my own. However, I've gotten some strange looks when I've left and others in the waiting room think I'm stealing magazines from the doctor's office. Oh well, let them think what they want. I know the truth. Now, I can take all of my magazines and books with me, all confined in the same small space, and it fits in my purse. Dang!!!!!! That's nice.

It also works well as an organizer, with apps for To-Do lists, calendars, organizing tips, and much more, I'm just scratching the surface. And...with Wi-Fi bubbles, I can get on the Web. Brilliant!! Again, who would have thought that a book girl like me would fall so quickly for a NOOK? TM, that's who. He's good.

As for organizing, this cuts down my in-house publications, because I can pass them on to my friend sooner. Catalogs go straight to the recycling bin, or the school where the students use them for art projects or just for entertainment. So, a great big THANK YOU to my sweet husband. By the way, I got him shoes (Birkenstocks) for Christmas, oh and socks, lots of socks. See...you just never know.

Enjoy your day! Go read a book, or a NOOK, or a magazine. Just read something enjoyable.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Taxes Finished....Check.

Again? It seems like this time every year I'm doing something that I dread and just can't wait for it to be over. The questions, numbers, figures, miles, prescriptions, copays, deductions, credits, confusing questions due to the initial questions, and the ultimate relief of completion. Yep, you got it. Taxes. Not real fun, okay, not fun at all, but it's a necessity. I wish it were having a huge shopping spree this time of year that was the necessity, now that would be fun. Some place, somewhere, in an alternate universe, your shopping spree must be complete by April 15th.

Ah. These spoofs make me laugh. But, then again, I like to laugh. It's good for you.
Now that the taxes are done, and after the extremely busy time we had leading up to Easter, and spring break at the same time, the house has settled down again and life is getting back to normal. As normal as normal can be around here. I'm ready to go outside and enjoy the sunshine, but there are too many clouds, and too much wind, and a "whole lotta" rain. I looked through pictures that I took last year in early April, and what a difference in the plants.

By this time last year, we had dug up and repositioned the border on the planting bed. The plants had sprouted nicely and were growing well.

The bleeding heart in the corner was getting big and already had blooms. One of my favorite plants in the yard is the bleeding heart. It's just beautiful.

Yard clean up had been done and all of the planting beds were waiting for mulch. We can't do much about when the perennials sprout, so we were just lucky. We had not purchased any annuals yet, it was just too early.

It's just beautiful! The bleeding heart is the star of this corner in the spring. The hosta, just coming up in front of it the bleeding heart, gets so big that it camouflages the bleeding heart late in the summer. When the hosta is at it's largest, the bleeding heart is going dormant in the hot summer heat and doesn't look too great. Last year was extremely hot, so it looked quite pitiful in the late summer. It usually stays green and healthy for most of the summer because it gets a lot of shade, but that didn't help in the hot, dry conditions that we had last summer.

The next pictures were taken today, less than an hour ago. Same corner of the back yard. Wow! What a major difference. The bleeding heart hasn't even emerged yet. I thought I saw a nubbin while raking a few days ago. 

Everything is so drab and pitiful looking. Still looks like winter might swoop back in and stay for a while. We just won't tolerate that kind of foolishness!!!! Unless it happens, of course. In which case we'll just suck it up and deal with it, because we won't have a choice.

The poor rock pile even looks cold. As you can see, I left some markers in the ground for my husband. He often forgets to look for the new sprouts and inevitably ends up stepping on quite a few of them. Hence, the markers. Stay on the outside of the markers and all will be fine. 

Note the beautiful garden hose that runs along the fence. Okay, so it's not beautiful, but extremely useful. Hubby runs the hose along the fence into the vegetable garden, where a stand sprinkler is set up and and stays all summer. That way all we have to do is turn on the water at the spigot and water the garden. Much easier then dragging the hose out, dragging it to the back of the yard, watering the garden, then putting the hose away. 

Now, when we head to the deck for coffee in the morning, we turn the knob, and instant water. When the watering is done, we turn off the water. That's it. I think the vegetables get the water they need this way. I'm notorious for leaving the hose out, so either I would shy away from watering, or leave the hose out on the lawn. BTW, Hubby hates the hose being left on the lawn. He always puts it away for me, without complaint. What a great guy! But, he wanted it to be easier for me to water the garden, so therefore the garden hose running along the fence. Great thing is, when the plants start growing, you can't see the hose anymore. Brilliant! This year it was installed early, that means no crushed plants. Yippee!!!

Well, soon enough it will be time to head outside and have some fun with plants and what ever else we can get our hands on outside. I just can't wait to go outside and play in the dirt!