Monthly Archives: June 2013

Morning Meanderings… Picture This

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Good morning!  Happy Saturday and all that!  I feel like I woke up and my day exploded.  Today is a full one, I need to be into work in about an hour to check off the students who are attending a feed the starving children event and a Minnesota Twins game.  Then I just realized that I am doing a meal train for a family tomorrow with a new baby – thank goodness for the email reminder!  I need to get on that. Then at 3:00ish my hubby and I are leaving to go listen to bands in the area for the Lakes Jam. 

And that will complete Saturday. 😯

For now, I want to share last weekends pics as part of the Saturday Snapshot.  I was up North last weekend with 4 friends.  The plan was to do some extreme biking, but the weather was not cooperative.  It was foggy, cold, and drizzly….. we did bike, but not as far as we would have liked, and we did go exploring some amazing sights of the North Shore…

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This is Palisade head – about 10 miles from our cabin if even that. It hangs on Lake Superior.

 

 

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This is the rushing water of Temperance State Park. It’s amazing to watch and to hear!

 

 

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Pretty and definitely a force to be reckoned with – you look in awe but keep yourself safe as well. The water is moving fast and there are no guard rails.

 

 

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I took this picture from the car window – thus the funky coloring. It is fascinating to watch the water pour out of the rock.

 

 

And because I love the sound – I recorded a little bit of it:

 

We had a great time despite the weather.  We did a little shopping, exploring, biking, hiking, running…  we played board games and watched a movie.  It was a good time. 😀

Please go over and see other Saturday Snapshots!  It is fun to see what others are doing in their part of the world. 

 

Have a super Saturday – I need to get moving here but am hoping to post a yummy yummy recipe a little later today that you will thank me for 😀

The Last Original Wife by Dorothea Benton Frank

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Leslie Carter and her husband Wesley have enjoyed many years of the upper class Atlanta society. But times are changing when two of Wesley’s long time buddies trade in the mothers of their children for younger models.  Leslie, in her later 50’s finds she can not relate to these young women with their modern taste in clothing, music, and childish (in her opinion) ways.  When Wesley seems to be more engaged in golfing and his buddies, Leslie takes a good long look at her life and realizes that Wes has always put his own needs and wants above hers.  As she tally’s up the sacrifices she has made through the years she comes to realize she has given up way too much of herself.

With two adult children that can not seem to get it together, and Wes acting as though Leslie is lucky to have him, Les decides enough is enough.  When a discovery is made that Wes has been keeping something very big a secret, it is the final straw.  Les packs her bags and returns to her home town of Sullivan Island in Charleston where she stays with her brother, Harlan (who Wes couldn’t stand because as he put it “Harlan was a little pink”).

When Les finds a connection with Johnathan a long ago boyfriend, Les rekindles the friendship between them and finds that life did not have to be as hard as she had made it to be and decisions on how to move forward from here were now what needed to be thought through. There are obligations to her husband of many years and to her children – but exactly what those obligations are clearly needed to be changed.

 

 

 

Oh how can I even describe how much I enjoyed this book?  Told in alternating chapters between Leslie and Wesley (yes the matchy matchy names bothered me at first) you as the reader get a first hand look at what is happening through each of their eyes and opinions.  It was actually enjoyable to go from reading Leslie;s matter of fact smooth dialogue to Wesley’s more demanding, almost pout like tone of what he felt should be the ideal wifely duties and what he felt was due him. 

Definitely a hard to put down read that I enjoyed very much.  I liked that it had a different twist to it than other “returning home” reads.  And let me say – Harlan, who in my mind felt like Rupert Everett (George in My Best Friends Wedding).

Gush worthy!

Additional format note:  Due to time restraints I read part of this book and then downloaded the audio book and listened to it -which is a rave!  Fantastic narration – I loved the voices of the smooth southern flow talk of Leslie and then the harsher whiny tone of Wesley – definitely a treat for the ears!

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Thank you to TLC Book Tours for letting me try Dorothy Bentown Franks books

and making me a HUGE FAN as a result! 

Late Morning Meanderings…. Partying into the night

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Good morning!  I am late on this post by about two hours.  I did not wake up until 8:30.  😯  This is crazy as I do not remember the last time  I was still in bed at 8:30.  I am usually up by 6:30 at the latest 7 days a week. I love looking at the clock and knowing I have a few more hours to sleep if I wake up at 2, or 3, or 4…. but last night – I slept straight through until 8:30.

Weird.

Last night I had the House Party for Lisa Jackson’s Tell Me book.  We had 9 people here and it was a lot of fun enjoying hor duerves, wine, laughing and chatting up the book.  It was a gorgeous night and we sat out on the deck chatting away.  We ended a little after 8:00 pm and I talked with a couple of my friends until a little after 9, but still no reason for me to sleep so long…

Here are a few pic’s from last night:

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We had a great time – and that last picture… I will share the recipe on that one tomorrow for Weekend Cooking.  SO DELICIOUS!

SO today – thanks to my late start I have not done a whole lot.  I cleaned out a cupboard, started a load of laundry and am now  catching up on a little paper work.  I am going to do a run to the library soon to drop off donated books.  I may work in the book room today, I have a few things I need to organize.  All of this – while listening to Inferno by Dan Brown.

What are you doing with your Friday?

Morning Meanderings…. Coffee and Crime

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Good morning.  😀  Last nights annual meeting at work was the last of the big “events” on my work plate for a few weeks.  The next big one will be our annual picnic potluck on July 28th, but for the next couple of weeks anyway – I can catch up on the regular to do’s and after the BIG RUN a couple of weeks back and this meeting, I am ready to relax a bit. 😀

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Tonight I am having a House Party for the Lisa Jackson thriller “Tell Me” that was just released earlier this week.  As busy as I have been as of late I have not had time to plan the dynamics of this get together but last night I sat down and brain stormed and think I have a good plan.

They sent me a box with plastic wine glasses with the book title on them, 12 inserts of the book (the first chapter I believe), a hard copy of the book, two book bags, a bag of chips and a jar of salsa.

My job is to take this box of goodies and turn it into a lively discussion that will engage myself and my friends.  Last time I did this it was a bit easier.  When I won the Hope Springs House Party package they sent coupons, relationship questions to discuss, real wine glasses…  I had something to go on – in fact one of my guests (Amy you always crack me up!  :D) even dressed as Meryl Streep.

For tonight I am playing off the “crime” theme… I don’t want to give away all my plans but I am thinking crime scene tape, finger printing, and probably mug shots.  Wine and cheeses will be served and a yummy hor duerve that my cousin in law brought to the cabin this past weekend that I still can’t get out of my head – it was that good!  😀

So – pictures will probably be up tomorrow morning right here so be sure to stop back and get the details on how it went 😀

 

Ok I am off to work and then to build a crime scene… 😀

The Stranger by Camilla Lackberg

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A local woman is killed in a tragic car accident that looks to be a clear-cut case of drunk driving with her blood alcohol level dangerously high, yet friends and family assure Detective Patrick Hedstrom that this woman never drank.

A Reality Show is being filmed in town as well, and jealousy brews as some seem to get more camera time than others.  When a party on the set ends with the murder of a contestant, no one knows who they can trust.  Of course much to the producers delight – ratings spike as people tune in (literally) to the reality show with a real murder!

Two incredibly different crimes – but are they connected?  Patrick and his new partner Hannah will just have to figure that out…

 

 

 

I liked the idea of The Stranger.  When the book opens with the details leading up to the car accident and all the pieces that led up to the accident – possible people involved, motives, I was deeply engagedm looking forward to an enticing story.  Then the addition of the reality show story line and the murder took me out of the zone to try to get what one would have to do with the other….

I don’t feel I became as attached to the reality show part of the book as I did with the car crash and the personal story line that follows through the book like a mysterious smoke – the relationship of Patrick and Erica was interesting as well.  I listened to this one on audio which may be a part of my disconnect but in the end, while interesting – I have no big take away from this one.

The writing is beautiful and flowed well – I did enjoy the narration.   Just because this was not a love for me, be sure to check out other opinions on this one.  🙂

Thank you to Highbridge audio for the chance to listen to and review this audio book.

Morning Meanderings… Things Are About To Get Crazy

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Good morning.  Happy Wednesday.  This is a full day for me – work, and a big meeting tonight so I will probably have an hour off today (maybe) between working and then meeting prep.  I should be out of there around 8:30 pm and then home to maybe hopefully mow the front yard ( yes after 8:30 pm) because tomorrow I have a fun gathering here at the house at 6:00 pm for the Lisa Jackson book, Tell Me. 

I just realized yesterday that this coming Monday is July 1.  It sort of freaked me out.  Suddenly I realize I am only 7 weeks out from Wine and Words, 4 weeks out from The Camp Benedict Bike Ride, 6 weeks out from Camp, and 5  weeks out from the Fall Library sale and the Muck Ruckus MS Mud Run.

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So ummm…yeah.  Lots of great things coming up but when I think of them as a whole I get a little anxious thinking of what needs to be done to prepare for each one.  Currently I have two events that involve fundraising (hate fundrasing!) 

5gCamp Benedict is the Camp for those infected and affected by AIDS   I am on the board and we each raise money for the bike ride which supports  the camp.

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The MS Muckruckus raises money for Multiple Sclerosis.  I am hoping that I will able to complete my goals so I can help college son raise money as well as he will be joining me for this event!  😀

In bookish news I have been reading Joshilyn Jackson’s new book for a while now.  Just yesterday I finished the audio version of Dorothy Benton Franks new book and that review will be here on Friday – do not miss it. 😀  I started listening to The Murderer’s Daughters by Randy Susan Meyers last night.  So far so good but everything has happened so fast I worry about sustainability….  we shall see 😀

I hope everyone has a great day!  If you are doing any crazy (or not so crazy) events this summer… share with me here!  I like the company! 😀

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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I love being a part of this and I hope you do too!  As part of this weekly meme I love to encourage you all to go and visit the others participating in this meme.  I offer a weekly contest for those who visit 10 or more of the Monday Meme participants and leave a comment telling me how many you visited.  **You do not have to have a blog to participate! You receive one entry for every 10 comments, just come back here and tell me how many in the comment area.

Under the new and hopefully improved 2013 guidelines, the winner each week will receive a $5 Amazon gift card.  This past weeks winner is:

Lori – Escape With Dollycas

 

**Note – new guidelines:  When I took this meme over 3 years ago from J Kaye’s Book Blog, I thought it would be fun to customize it a bit to be my own.  That is when I added the additional giveaway of what once was a book from a selection I had, and then moved on to the gift card.  The point of doing this was to encourage you to go and visit other participants blogs.  I think the community of the bloggers is so important and seeing what other people are reading and enjoying (or not enjoying) does indeed not only add to community but also to your book wish list. 😀

However, now as my life has become busier and my online time has actually lessened, I find I just do not have the time to always sit down and  send out the gift cards in a timely manner. It takes a lot of time each week to look through the comments – write a number to each person who said they visited 10 or more blogs and commented, give them their correct points, and then run it through random.org to come up with a winner.   I know as winners this can be frustrating to you as you may think I have forgotten, but it is mainly because the email I use for my bookish communications I do not have the time to look at every day and even when I do, I am on it so shortly that I plan to get back to it and complete the gift cards and I just don’t. 

All that said – as of this posting of Its Monday What Are You Reading, I am going to eliminate the giveaway for commenting on other participants.  I am very hopeful that you will do so anyways as it builds community and it leads people to your blog as well when they see you are a presence on the internet.  I am hopeful that you will all continue to do the IMWAYR without the incentive  of a gift card. 😀

As for those of you with pending gift cards, when I get back home later tonight I will sit down and finish them and get them sent.  It you have been a w inner and have not received your card by Wednesday morning, please email me at journeythroughbooks@gmail.com.

Thank you – all of you for participating.  I really enjoy doing this meme. 😀

 

 

Ok, on to whats happening here…. I am coming in so late today as I did not get home from the North Shore until 8 pm last night.  I had a blast hanging out with friends – we walked, hiked, bikes, toured and had a great time! 

Here is what happened this past week here on Book Journey (as it was audio book week last week many of my posts were directed that way)

 

WASH by Margaret Wrinkle (*fascinating audio!)

 

Me Talk Pretty One Day by Davis Sedaris (Audio review – he is so hilarious!)

 

Quiet The Power Of Introverts  (audio review – SOOOOOO GOOD!)

 

 

and if you missed out on the thoughts of audio book week you can catch my opinions here:

 

How to get into audio books and when you can find ways to listen when a book would just be impracticable!

 

What I am currently listening to

 

What do I do while I listen to audio

 

Where do I find the audio I want to listen to

 

 

This week will be interesting.  I have a pretty mellow next two days here but Wednesday is our annual meeting at work which will be a long day and on Thursday I have a house party here for Lisa Jackson’s Tell Me Summer Secrets party.  It should be fun – I hope its nice where we can sit on the deck and enjoy our time.  Saturday is a rock festival I am hoping Al and I can go too.  😀

 

 

SO that all said –

Here is what is currently going on here:

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Discover the North Shore of Lake Superior you haven’t seen! Highway 61, from Duluth to the Canadian border, is peppered with tourist hotspots that Minnesotans love. But even the most devout traveler doesn’t know Lake Superior like Kathryn and William Mayo do. These explorers and residents of the region outline the best sites you may not know about. Get 61 Gems on Highway 61 for your next North Shore adventure. With this book in hand, you’ll experience the beautiful region in a whole new way.

Our cabin up North is right off HWY 61 so when I picked this book up this weekend I was thrilled about it.  We actually hit some of the spots yesterday before I cam e home which I will chat more about when I review the book.

 

 

 

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In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces . . . Dante’s Inferno.

Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust . . . before the world is irrevocably altered.

Just started listening to this one on the recommendation of a friend.  SO good so far.  I have enjoyed Dan Browns writing in the past.

 

 

I have other things I hope to start but I feel I am (again behind on my reading.  If all goes well today I will have some time this afternoon to sit out on the deck (that will be the first time this year!) and read a bit in the sun.  Looking forward to it. 😀

What are you reading this week?  Add your link below where it says click here.

 

 

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Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

 

And for those of you who read mainly YA or Middle grade books, feel free to also link up the younger version of # IMWAYR as well

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Morning Meanderings… Are You Listening? We Are Learning Something Here!

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Good morning!  Friday!  Glorious Friday!  I am packing my bags for a cabin weekend with my friends Belinda, Sheila, Rhonda, and Farrah.  We are going to do a little biking, a little hiking, and hanging out and catching up.  I feel so behind, we are leaving in a couple of hours and I have yet to go and buy my groceries or clean out the jeep.  But when I get moving – whew!  I will be fast!  😀

Todays Audio Book Week discussion topic is:

Where do you learn about great audiobook titles? Buy your audiobooks? Share your secrets with the rest of us! We’d particularly love to know what narrators or publishers are active in social media or do a great job communicating with listeners.

 

I learn about great audio from other audio book lovers.  Alison from Alison’s Bookmarks reads and enjoys books and audio very similar to my own taste.  Occasionally we will chat about what we are listening too and what we recommend only to find out that whoever recommends it, the other has usually already listened to it. 😀  Kathy from Bermuda Onion is another audio book lover who reviews titles that have me adding to my list.   By watching the blogs, googling for titles and/or reviews – I can usually find great audio to listen to.

If you are new to audio (first of all – AWESOME!  You are going to love your new audible world!  It will open up reading time you did not know you had! 😀 ), ok again… if you are new to audio (SQQQUUUEEE!!!!) then I recommend watching what people are saying about audio books you are considering.  Not all audio is great audio.  Shoot, some audio is not even good audio…. but find people who’s reviews you trust and seriously dig in.  😀

 

Where do I buy my audio?  I am a BIG fan of audible.com.  Audible has great audio that you download to your computer or smart phone and off you go.  I use audible all the time – AND they have samples of each audio book (and ratings!) so you can listen before you buy.  😀  If you are new to audible.com they offer your first audio for free!  That is huge – audio books can run between $20 – 50!  If you are new to audible and want to try it I have a link on my right side bar – go and check it out!

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Audible.com works by credits, you can purchase a credit (or two) a month that automatically comes off your credit card – but do not panic, this is not like old school Columbia House where you are committed to so much time or so many books – nope, you stop any time you wish.  And your audible credit (which is good for one audio book of your choice) is so much less costly than purchasing an audio book from a store.  I have used audible for three years now.  For a little over a year I stuck to one credit a month – but then I moved up to 2 credits a month.  I needed more audible 😀  AND for their members they have these great sales that are $4.95 audio books – or like now they have a two for one credit sale going on… which… I bought two audio books last night off that deal. 

The last part of todays topic I have trouble answering because I do not know the answer.  I do not have a lot of time for Facebook or Twitter so I do not really know who is on their. 😀

 

This is probably my final post for the weekend (unless I get a  review in yet today!)  I am leaving for the cabin and not taking lap top along.  I have no internet service there so it is really a waste of time to try to connect places and a waste of space in my luggage.  😀  Hope you all have an awesome weekend – as I wrap up audio book week here, I want to once again tell you to give it a try.  You may surprise yourself 😀

 

 

Quiet The Power Of Introverts by Susan Cain

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Did  you know that at least one-third of all the people in the world are introverts?  They prefer listening to speaking, reading to going out to parties, staying in as opposed to hitting the grad parties, weddings.  They tend to dislike self promotion and favor working on their own over team brainstorming sessions.  They are labeled quiet, shy, unsure of themselves, non sociable…. and in many cases that is not true at all.

Did you know the introverts of our society actually approach challenges not as rushed as an extrovert, not speaking as loudly or as quickly as an extrovert, and that is ok?  It is ok to be more of a listener and a processor than the up front idea person.  After all introverts contribute much to our society… it was an introvert who invented the personal computer.   Rosa Parks was an introvert.

Did you know that I am an introvert?

I absolutely adored this book.  Why?  Because it absolutely spoke to me and it was about me.  That person who would rather work quietly at their desk prodding along without a team of people to assist?  That is me.  That person who walks into a party and sees no one she knows so finds a quiet corner to hang out in?  Me.  The person who listens more than speaks during staff meetings?  Me again. 

Yet I have friends who are shocked when they hear me refer to myself as an introvert.  I am not overcome by stage fright, I can speak to large groups of people, I can lead a book discussion group, a committee, and be an advocate for a cause.  What my friends need to remember is that the day they met me, I did not run up squeal and hug them.  😀  It takes time for me to warm into a group where I feel comfortable to speak up with my ideas and opinions.  I don’t have the “bull in a china shop” mentality where I can charge on in and look around later…. I need to know my surroundings and get a feel for the environment and the people around me before I can move forward.

What I took away from Quiet is that the way I need to energize is by being alone, and not always wanting to take on a group of people to complete a task I can do on my own, is normal introvert behavior.  And better yet, it is ok to ask this way.  That was kind of life changing for me to hear that.  I do like to work alone.  I do get excited when I come home and I have the house to myself.  I am sure my lifestyle of kids gone and hubby working all the time does not help me control this desire.  I am alone a lot.  And I really like it. 

We know society leans in favor towards the extrovert.  We see them on TV and they are the actors and actresses we are drawn to by the power they have to capture our attention.  They are the people around us who flourish in business discussions, can rule the conversation in a group, and can be found at most social engagements.  Yes what Susan Cain lets us know is not to overlook the person who is more quiet, more reflective than verbal… after all they are the makings of J K Rowling, Steve Jobs, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, and Steven King.

As book lovers, I think many of us may be considered introverts.

Kathe Mazur does a fine job of narrating this one.  Highly recommended to anyone who has ever been told they need to speak up more, has been called quiet or shy and knows that there is more to them than meets the eye. 

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Morning Meanderings… Where Do You Do The Audio You Do?

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Thursday already.  Seems like this week flew by.  I feel like we have hardly grazed everything we could discuss about audio books and now the week is almost over. Did you know June is audio book month?  Really … I could talk audio the rest of the month and as you know – I review a lot of audio books. 😀

So today’s discussion question from the lovely Jen of Devourer of Books is:

 

What do you do while you listen? Any particular tasks or games that you find amazing for audio time?

 

When ever I talk about the audio I am listening to, I receive at least one comment about either 1) where do you find the time or 2) how do you listen to several at once?

The time part is easy.  My hubby and I had our kids young and currently one son is in college and the other in the Navy.  We own an excavating business which keeps my hubby busy about 12 + hours a day and he keeps farmers hours (up at 5:30 am in bed by 8:30 pm) so I have a lot of time where I am either hanging out alone or awake alone. 😀

I listen to audio:

1.  When I get up in the morning while I make the bed, shower, pick out clothes, makeup and hair and get ready for my day.  That’s usually 30 minutes of audio time.  (audio on IPOD)

2.  I go into the kitchen and while I check email and pour myself a cup of coffee or make an egg (I don’t personally make the egg -a chicken did that, I just cook it 😉 ) I listen to the audio either in the cd player or the one on my phone.  that’s about 15 – 20 minutes.

3.  When I drive to work I listen to audio in the car which is only a 3 mile drive but I listen to audio whenever I am in the car as I am usually driving alone so I listen away.  (probably about a minimum of 30 minutes a day on that one.)

4.  I listen to audio when I cook or dust, or fold clothes – any task that is not noisy when I do it.  (back to the audio on my phone or cd player)

5.  I listen to audio while I mow the lawn.  The lawn takes me about 2 1/2 hours and I love it as that is full on undiluted audio time.  (Ipod)

6.  Occasionally if I am web browsing on the weekend, I will listen to audio while I do that (phone, IPOD, or cd audio )- whichever one hold my attention at the time)

7.  Sometimes when I am filing papers or doing easy tasks that just take time, not my full attention – I listen to audio.

 

To answer the second question – how do I keep them straight.  I don’t really know.  They are usually quite diverse in genre as well as narration and I am able to pick up where I left off.  For instance, currently in the IPOD is Inferno by Dan Brown – male narrator, “puzzley” mystery type.  On my phone is The Last Original Wife and it is more funny, the female narrator has an awesome southern twang that I am enjoying very much.  Is This Tomorrow is the audio cd in the jeep and this is more literature style, female narrator with a raspy type even paced voice (Xe Sands is the narrator which is usually awesome – but I don’t know about this one… more on that in my review).  As you see, each is very different from the other.

 

To those of you who have not tried audio or think you have to sit in a chair staring at a wall to listen I hope I just showed you that audio is to be listened to and mixed in with your life.  There are so many ways to listen to audio that I do hope that either this post or a post that someone else writes on this topic today triggers for you a way that you could give it a try.  Earlier posts this week gave suggestions of what to listen to, and now you know when to listen 😀

 

But Sheila…. I don’t have an empty house like you do!  I have kids, and a spouse who works regular hours and it is summer so I have beach dates with other parents and …..

 

Anyone can carve out a little time. 😀  Go forth and walk, clean, jog, mow, do the dishes, cook, dust, drive, bake, shower, clean out the frig, organize your books, do the windows, plant your garden, pull weeds, sweep the deck, file papers, work on crafts, build something in the garage, clean the garage, mark items for a garage sale, riding on the back or a motorcycle (I have done this!) clean a closet, hang clothes on a clothes line, eat lunch, paint your nails….

all while listening to audio.  😀

 

Have a fab day.  It is storming out this morning and I am on day 5 of my half marathon training.  The first 3 days (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday were 3 mile walk/runs.  Yesterday was a scheduled break (there are 2 a week) and today is a 3 mile that I will be doing at the YMCA this morning before work so I had better get moving 😀 

Later tonight I am hoping it clears up and dries up so I can mow (Yes – to audio!)