Monday, September 28, 2015

Finite lives


Really just life in general. Both Scott and I have been thinking along the same lines lately. Is it because Scott just turned 59 and I'm only a couple months away from that same age? Almost 60! That's a grandparent's age. How does Christy Brinkley look so good at 61?? Exercise? Plastic Surgery? Good genes? All of the above?
Admittedly, I've let myself go since I turned 50. From the age of 14 to 50, I watched and thought about everything I ate. I exercised regularly and kept my weight down.  At 50, I was tired of it. No exercising, eating what I want and now 50 extra pounds later, I'm thinking about how long I have to live. We're at the age where we look at the obituaries hoping they are full of "old" people, meaning high 80's and older.

I see I am falling into the mindset of my late Father in Law. He went to the same diner for years to have coffee and breakfast in the morning with his buddies. Eventually one by one, his buddies died off. I see that now with acquaintances of mine. A rescue friend's (only known via email and rescue) husband recently died of brain cancer. I followed the fight via Facebook. Young family. Why? I just can't believe that a God has this "special plan". I believe we are just worker ants going about our lives, some trying to do good, others not. If we happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, we are crushed by a giant foot or swatted like a fly...and we're gone.
Lazy afternoon on hammock reading
In proofing this post, I watched this video again. Since I've seen it so many times and have actually done this event twice daily for years, I listened to the TV in the background. At the very out of the video, you can hear the guy on the TV say..."and everyone gets what they want!". How appropriate.

It's been "only" a little over a month since my last blog post. In that time, my senior Setter Sassy has been adopted and on the same day I picked up another dog to foster. Meet Bell. She is an 18 month "PointSetter", part Pointer part Setter. She was given up because she was too rambunctious for the kids. I'm thinking, uh oh, we're in for a wild child.
Bell lying near foster Mom
What a pleasant surprise Bell was. She is house trained, calm, a cuddlebug, gets along wonderfully with our dogs, obedient. Rambunctious? I don't think so. Her only negatives...she will jump on us once in awhile, but it is a gentle jump and she has a wicked whip of a tail wag. Both of these negatives could be somewhat dangerous for a very young child.
She has been a joy to have and we could have easily adopted her known as "foster failure", but we have too many dogs of our own already.
I drove to Vienna, IL to meet Bell's adopters. They have a Gordon Setter mix who is looking for a playmate and Bell is just the dog to fill that need.

Bell was very attached to me. No matter where I went Bell had to follow. No matter how cozy she was lying on a dog bed, if I left, she would follow. Even while eating dinner, if I left the room, she would leave her dinner to be with me. Sorry Bell, there was just no more room for another dog in our already crowded king sized bed.

I've already been asked to take in another Setter needing help. Have YOU ever considered fostering? It can break your heart when they leave, but if you don't foster, that dog in need may be killed at the shelter because no one would help. I believe it is selfish to say, "it would hurt too much to let them go". Hmmm, well then, that's one less dog needing help because it is now dead. Put your big girl panties on or jock strap and deal with your decision to not help or step up and fill out a application to foster or adopt. If you can't handle larger, very active dogs, then look for a small dog rescue. All rescues need help!

*Disclaimer: of course I know there are legitimate excuses not to foster. I really DO understand. I just hate hearing the lame excuses which to me are just selfish reasons. This is coming from a somewhat selfish person myself. I chose NOT to have children because I didn't want to deal with them and the time it takes to care for them, the money it takes to feed, clothe, educate them, and sometimes the heartache of rebellion as I gave my parents for awhile.
Surprise, surprise...another Mystery Knit-a-Long complete! I absolutely love this yarn. I usually try to stay away from 100% wool, but the color saturation and tonal changes is beautiful. Also there is almost a springy softness to the yarn. The yarn name? Oh...Jill Draper Makes Stuff

This yarn was perfect for this design. There are so many defining stitches that this yarn just showed the depth beautifully.
The name of this design is "Water". Can you see how the stitches look like water rippling? Very cool. This is why I like these mysteries. It challenges me with stitches and designs I've never done or seen before.  Those long stitches at the bottom of the photo is a new stitch for me. And also learned to "drop stitch" on purpose. that was scary, but it worked and I love the results.
Haus of Yarn, Nashville, TN
My rating 4.5 out of 5
I've only been there once, but from what I've seen and experienced, this is a great yarn store. This is a nicer/larger store than the one I went to in NJ. Haus of Yarn is still 2 hours away, but when I have to transport a dog to that area, I can stop in. I don't need yarn in general, but going to a well stocked yarn shop is equivalent to going into a bakery. I try to resist the baked goods, but it is so difficult. Same with the yarn. A beautiful smooshy and soft yarn would knit up beautifully.

Haus of Yarn has many classes, the staff are helpful. It's a large yarn store and I love that they yarn is displayed according to weight, meaning lace, fingering, worsted, etc. That type of organization makes sense to me.

They also have many finished projects on display which is a great sales tactic. Oooh, how pretty! I want to make that and oh, here's the yarn for it! I'll take it! They will wind the skeins into balls which is a very nice extra touch.

Now for us folks in the country, Haus of Yarn has a "Yarn Bus" that sort of comes to us! On Saturdays, they travel to different parts of TN. They stop in Jackson, TN which is only 30 minutes away. Yep, living in the country things are not just around the corner.

The Storied Life of A. J. FikryThe Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I related to this book in that I am essentially a loner, but certain events can bring me out of my shell. Such is the case with bookstore owner and book genre snob A.J. Fikry.
He owns a failing bookstore and not only the internet and e-readers being the cause, but also that he only stock books that HE thinks are worth the shelf space. Thus a limited clientele.
He lives a lonely sad life. Sort of reminds me of Scrooge only not quite as grumpy. Then an unexpected, and initially unwanted important person comes into his life.
This has the appeal of a small town quaintness, family, romance, heartache, growth. A great read.

Runes (Runes, #1)Runes by Ednah Walters
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Very smart move to make this available as a Kindle free download. There are so many young adult paranormal books out there. Free got me in the door. After finishing Runes, I am a fan, looking forward to reading the next in the series.
If you liked the Vampire-Werewolf series, Twilight, you should really enjoy Runes. Runes is not about vampires and werewolves, but definitely immortals and mortals with special insight.
The high school students in this book are mostly mature, good kids, so no getting frustrated by immature antics...for the most part. And of course there is the electricity/romance akin to Edward and Bella.
The author definitely keeps you hanging as to what is going on. Who are these "people". She gives you just an itty bit of info and then goes on with the story. Just like catching a fish. Put out the bait, we bite, we're hooked and the line is let out, then drawn in again and so on.
I am a 59 year old woman and will admit I loved Twilight. If you too are a Twilight fan, please try out Runes, currently (Aug 2015) a free Kindle download.

Immortals (Runes, #2)Immortals by Ednah Walters
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Now that the excitement of a new set of paranormal is over, this is still a good book, just not as exciting because there is not as much of the unknown.
Characters are still enjoyable, there are still some new non-humans being introduced.
Why can Raine get away with what she does? There must be something special about her...hmmmm?
Her boyfriend doesn't remember her, her male best friend is having episodes of violence and sickness. Her female best friend's loyalty is being doubted. Her Father isn't feeling well. She certainly has a lot of stress to deal with at only 17 years old.

SuspectSuspect by Robert Crais
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Being a dog lover, this book had me hooked from the beginning. Military & police K-9's that are treated kindly and trained appropriately. Not like in the old days of hanging a dog by his leash into submission. These dogs are trained with positive reinforcement.
A murder mystery, a love story, a dog story. A great read.

A Desperate Place for Dying (A Garrison Gage Mystery)A Desperate Place for Dying by Jack Nolte
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm not liking the road Gage's character is traveling. He was quite likable in the first book. Sympathy for losing his wife to murder, sympathy for his need to use a cane. Rooting for him to find love again. Liking his character because he took it upon himself to find out what happened to the girl washed up on the beach.
This 2nd in the series, Gage seems to be depicted as more of a womanizer, although all in his head and he doesn't act on it, but the thoughts are strong and disappointing to me. Another woman close to him is murdered. I guess this is now considered a trend in his life. And of course, he just can't let the police and FBI solve it, he has to. Another character development I'm somewhat disappointed with. Only Gage can solve this, again, in HIS mind.
Two separate storylines, one that Gage chose to be involved with and the other came to him unwanted.
Still a decent murder mystery, but may hold off a while before or if I read the next in this series.

You Called 9-1-1 For What?You Called 9-1-1 For What? by Dave Konig
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Can't beat free! Interesting little read. I believe the point of the book was really education about the 9-1-1 system. It's history, proper use, dedicated work force and to add some humor to the history, some ridiculous calls to 9-1-1. I'm glad I read the book. Quick read. It accomplished it's point. I did learn about how 9-1-1 developed and changed with new technology. I learned about 3-1-1, which means you need help but is NOT an emergency. Definitely worth reading. Always good to learn something new.
All the Light We Cannot SeeAll the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Life is too short to plod through books that take too long to get interesting.

The Fault in Our StarsThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Teens with cancer. Life quotes we may think are corny, aren't so much when you know your end of life is within sight.
Life today as if it were your last...Make today your best day...
The author worked in children's hospice for 5 months. I suppose that is how he know about the dark humor of living with and dying of cancer.
A sweet young love story.

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