Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Retirement, books, and other good stuff

My husband and I are retired and love it. One thing I have noticed since retiring is how fast the days follow one another. One day it is Monday and then oops all of a sudden it is Thursday. Soon the weekend occurs. No more tension on Sunday night, or any evening, thinking about work the next day.
Less hurrying to get errands done in a rush on weekends or after work.
One of the sweetest things about retirement is that we can choose our companions and embrace people who make us smile.
I can explore different activities and joined a Women's Bible Study group, which has 10 members. That is a great way to get to know people in a deep way. We always share things we request prayers about.
In April I bought a coloring book for adults called "Enchanted Forest" and that is a nice relaxing activity and change of pace from reading, writing and a bit of tv watching. We only watch an hour and a half of tv a day. I gave the same coloring book to my sister for her birthday and I gave "Color Me Happy" to my stepmother for Christmas.
Another plus for being a retiree is that I go the health club three times a week to walk on the treadmill, and sometimes exercise in the pool.
And reading remains a great joy for dh and I, some things do not change.
This past week I bought three books, "Homer's Where The Heart Is" by Marjorie McGinn, "Is He Popenjoy?" by Anthony Trollope and "Midnight Cabernet" by Elaine Ambrose.

"Homer's Where the Heart Is' is the second book in a series. I read the first book by McGinn, "Things Can Only Get Feta" and found that the author is talented and adds humor to her descriptions of their first two years in Greece, when she and her husband rented a house in a small village in southern Greece. They chose to become friends with the Greek people and not other expats. The second book which I am reading now, "Homer's Where the Heart Is" has a great chapter on Patrick Leigh Fermor (one of the world's great adventure writers who lived near them) and another chapter on a young Greek Orthodox priest they got to know plus plenty of funny antics by their Jack Russell terrier.
I haven't read the other two books I bought yet, though using my crystal ball as seen through my love of Trollope, I am going to enjoy "Is He Popenjoy?" With a title like that, it promises some humor and Trollope always delivers romances that face difficulty. I heard that a Marquis gets punched in this one. "Midlife Cabernet" promises dark humor about life after 50 and this author is new to me.
Anyone else have comments on being retired?

Monday, January 18, 2016

Notecards that make me smile from Diane

These lovely cards arrived in the mail for me in December as an early Christmas surprise in one large cheery yellow envelope, from my dear pen pal Diane, who lives in the Philippines. Cards/postcards shaped as teapots and tea cups, how cute they are. Plus the four little people can be used as bookmarks.
The photo below doesn't show them off as clearly as the first photo.
Here is a link to her blog:
Diane Wants To Write

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Wordless Wednesday

I admire the sculptor, an appropriate sculpture for the wharf where I walked a few days ago.

Friday, January 8, 2016

What is your word for 2016?

I chose a word for 2016, Blossom. I wasn't planning on choosing a word but it just appeared in front of me, on a blog I was reading. I love flowers so blossom is appealing. Blossom brings beauty to our world. Blossom encourages me to grow in some areas of my life. All in all, blossom is a good thing. These photos are of blossoms at our home last year.
Did you choose a word?
Here are more blossoms for this cold day.
Let me know in a comment what word you chose, if any. Last year I did not choose one.
Some ideas for a word for the year that others have chosen: adventure, grateful, peaceful, worship, empathy, behold, forward, courage, inhabit, eternity, engage, bubbly, discernment, listen.

Friday, January 1, 2016

First Book I am Reading in 2016 Blog Hop

This is my first time in the blog hop showing the first book we plan to read in 2016. Sheila at Book Journey set this blog hop up.
I will read "Christmas at Thompson Hall and Other Christmas Stories" by Anthony Trollope.
I read 9 of his books this year and look forward to this one with the theme of Christmas.
Why Trollope? I have a crush on this brilliant writer, who wrote 47 novels in the mid 1800s. I just discovered him in 2015.
The books I read by Anthony Trollope this year: The six novels in the Chronicles of Barsetshire. The Warden (a home for indigent old men run by a very kindly man). Barchester Towers. Doctor Thorne. (soon to be a 3 part tv show directed by Julian Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey), Framley Parsonage, The Small House at Allington and The Last Chronicle of Barset.
The next 3 I read: Orley Farm, The Bertrams and The American Senator (who visits England and creates an uproar).
One thing I appreciate is that there is plenty of romance in his novels, often between very refined people, and you do not know for sure if the lovers will admit their love and marry, or if a tragedy or social conventions will intervene and they must part.
He also knows a lot about human nature and obsessions (whether over inheritance, social standing, fox hunting, clergy and politicians, grand estates and small country homes and the people who live there, and humble folk too).
Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016. I read the first story in this collection and laughed out loud on about page 40 especially concerning the mishap in the hotel room involving mustard. This story is fun and very light hearted. I told my husband it is perfect to read just before falling asleep at night. It sets the stage for good dreams.