Audio Book Month: Let’s Talk About That Audio with Florinda

audio meme J

Holy smoly….  I have dropped the ball on Audio Book Month.  SO many plans and then life has a way of keeping you running in other directions.  The good news?  I am not derailed so easy.  JULY will also be audio book month here at Book Journey. Because….

  1.  I really love audio
  2.  I really want to talk about audio
  3.  I have some great posts lined up with others that want to talk about audio
  4.   YOU need to be listening to audio.  If not, you are missing out an excellent way to experience books.

Today I want you to meet my friend Florinda.  Florinda runs the 3 R’s Blog and LOVES audio.  She is fun she is crazy (as you are about to see but that is why we love her 🙂

Please welcome her now.


Hi!  I am Florinda as Sheila said, from The 3 R’s blog.  I spend upwards of two hours every weekday in my car driving to and from my job. I’ve been doing this for over a decade, and there’s really no alternative…but since I started listening to audiobooks along the way, the drive’s been a lot more bearable–and productive!


Despite having a seemly ideal environment for audiobook reading, I resisted them for years because juggling tapes or CDs did not appeal to me at all. Once I got an iPhone and discovered there were apps available to listen to audiobooks on it, there was no more reason not to give them a try. I listened to my first audiobook just about five years ago this month, and I have never looked back. Ironically, my car has become the place I do the bulk of my reading, and when there’s a new book I want to read as soon as possible, I’ll look for it in audio first.

More than a third of my reading during the last couple of years has been audiobooks, I buy audiobooks from Audible and borrow them from the public library through the Overdrive app. I’ve almost forgotten what it’s like to make my daily drive without having someone reading to me through the car speakers–and when the book’s really gripping, I’ll even listen to it on the weekend!

Want to see what Florinda is listening to?  Check her out at 3 R’s Blog. 

On another fun note….

Florinda is a big Dr. Who Fan and has participated in Cosplaying events  (and I am a bit jealous they do not do some of that around here )   I do not know a lot about this, but it looks like amazing fun and I wish we had something like this here!

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Morning Meanderings… The COFFEE, The Cups, And Let There Be AUDIO!


Another Monday!  COFFEE Monday and thank you thank you thank you  to those who sent in your pics so we could enjoy our cuppa together 😉  I love the connections around the world.  Also… many of you have some pretty sweet coffee cups.  I love unique cups and now (totally coveting Florinda’s LUKE’s cup) I am on the look out for more fun cups.  I actually choose my cup each morning depending on my mood….

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You will notice my coffee cup of choice this morning…  You  Had Me At Coffee.  LOVE that one.

Audio books.  Of my word where does the time go?  It is Audio Book Month and I have lost the entire month to commitments outside of this blog.  I am still posting but we are going to be an audio book month extension.

Audio books seriously changed my life 5 years ago when I started listening.  They have brought in a whole new dimension to books to me and if I needed to be an evangelist for something… it would be audio.  Or chips and salsa… but no really, it would be audio.  I LISTEN every day – in my car, in the yard, while planting, gardening mowing, cleaning, cooking, driving….  it gives me a BOOK when I can not do a BOOK.  In the craziness that life often brings… AUDIO is what keeps me up to speed on what is happening in the literary world.

Later today (and yes I mean it this time!)  Florinda will be back to talk about audio in her world.  Please stop in and check out what she has to say.  She is a valued friend and I love to read her audio reviews.

Have a super rest of your morning.  I am off to an author event at the library. David Oppegaard will be joining us to discuss his book, The Firebug of Balrog County.


Saturday Snapshot…. Putting In The Garden


Saturday.  My favorite day of the week.

Yesterday I finally went and picked up what I needed to make my raised bed garden. I had looked at the kits at Home Depot and for a small square kit the cost was $48.99.  I have been staring at this kit for months.  It was nothing more than wood that locked together.  Yesterday I decided I would build my own.  I went back to Home Depot and purchased 4 8 foot long treated boards for $3.96 each.  I bought clamps to nail the comers together (45 cents each)… my weed control sheets – and my plants.

I set it all up in the yard and while listening on audio to a little Oversees by Beatriz Williams I put together the frame in about 45 minutes.


Then…. I called Al and said “bring in the dirt”.  Some days it really pays to be married to an Excavator who also has a black dirt lot two properties down from our own home.  😉




I added some organic feed to the dirt and the guys helped spread it in the frame.  (FYI:  the guy tot he right is my son Brad.)


The cucumber frame, a gift from my friend Gail was the inspiration I needed to have a garden this year.  The frame is set up so the cucumber vines will grow upward into the frame.  Kind of excited to see that happen.  I planted lettuce n the center of the frame, and in the other space along the back side I have tomatoes, and bell peppers, string beans, a few strawberry plants and a basil plant.


Today I am thinking about setting up a second frame for squash.

So I can also add this post to Weekend Cooking.  Here is the recipe for my favorite fresh garden salsa.  Every time I make this people rave.

Fresh Garden Salsa

firm tomatoes – 4 to 6

an onion


jalapeno (optional)

3 tablespoons sugar

salt and pepper

Chop the tomatoes to desired texture of your salsa. I prefer it with chunky bits of vegetables.  Chop onion, and finely chop cilantro (s much as you like) and add to a bowl with tomato.   Chop in little bits of jalapeno if you wish.  Season with sugar, salt and pepper.  The sugar has been my secret addition, it seems to cut the sharpness a bit and adds a lot of flavor.  Serve with good chips.  Also delicious as a hamburger topper or on a grilled chicken breast.

You can see more about Saturday Snapshot here.

You can find great recipes for Weekend Cooking here.


Morning Meanderings…. Inspiration.


Did you know?

Did you know that I have been writing on this little space of internet since 2009?

Is that not crazy?

There have been times when I wonder if Book Journey is something I want to continue as I never dreamed when I started that 7 years later I would still be doing this.  But let me tell you a few of the reasons I keep going.

  1.  Of course is the great connections to all of you.  I love knowing you and sharing my love of books and Libraries and all things literary – and as you have come to see around here, other topics as well.
  2. My friends who read this silently but once in a while will speak up about something I wrote, or a book they are reading because I gushed here.

because of this space here, there is a Bench at the Brainerd Public Library with my son’s name on it.  Every time I think about the love poured out by YOU to make that happen….  seriously… how could I ever stop?

And this week….

I was coming home Wednesday evening from the City Library Board meeting and I listened to a message from a friend.  she said she had been on my Facebook page and was sucked into whatever I was babbling about there.  And then she said she made her way here and was caught up in what I wrote.  She said her whole evening was spent reading what I have been saying, and that made my heart smile.  I tend to forget there are people/friends out there reading that never say a word on the blog, but they are out there.

And then yesterday I was at the grocery store and a friend of my mom’s was there.  I do not know her well, but she knows my family and much of the heartaches of my life.  She said, “I get so excited when you write a Morning Meandering!  I love to read what you write and I love how you open your heart being real and raw and honest.  I had no idea she read me.

So today… I think of these to conversations this week.  As well as others through the years.  I especially think of the messages that come privately that say thank you for speaking your heart… you say what I wish I could.... or your openness about your loss has helped me deal with my own.

Honestly… knowing that – I will write for as long as I am able.


A visit to my aunt… a little gardening.. a LOT of audio.. and hopefully a little time to read as well.




Morning Meanderings – WHERE”S MY COFFEE and Other Nonsense.


SO many things.

First up – COFFEE.  I did write the Monday coffee post as I hustled to get out the door this past Monday to a meeting at the library. I hit send and it said that there was some sort of something something , can not recall the wording but would like I like to go back and try again.  Uhhhhhh…. sure.  I went back and my post was blank.  No draft saved – no nothing.


SO…..  with no further ado… let me please bring you the verylateMondayMorningcoffeearoundtheworld post.  No added sugar.

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Here we are (or were) on Monday.  Myself, Elizabeth, and Candace. I have not been doing a very good job promoting this so let me try now. The plan started by those super awesome BEA girls:  Kim, Candace, Florida and me the instigator, thought it would be cool to send each other pics every Monday morning so we could have “coffee together” just like we did in Chicago during BEA.  THEN that instigator (you know the one) thought what is we made it bigger.  What is we invited the blogging community and our readers to join us as well.  All they have to do is send in a picture of them drinking coffee on Monday so we are virtually drinking coffee around the world at the same time.

Kind of like we are the world, but more like we are the bloggers, and with caffeine.  😉

So in recap.

  1. Send a picture of you drinking coffee by 8:30 am central time on Monday to  Maybe say something about what you are currently reading or maybe something fun going n in your life.
  2. I will add pic to my Monday post.

That is it.  Anyone is eligible.  You do not have to be a blogger.


In other news, my sincere apologies regarding Audio book month.  I have not had time to get tot he posts and it is driving me bonkers.  This month has been much busier than I thought it would be.  I will still be posting – I just need to start writing them.

I will be back later today 🙂


Morning Meanderings… It Is About Time To Talk About What Month It Is


Where did the month go?

Seriously.  Where is it?

I swear I was prepping posts for Audio Book Month and laying out a plan of what that would look like and then I blinked and it is June 14th.

June 14th.

Are you kidding me?

So I am starting late but I do have a plan it just was a postponed plan due to life, and camp, and work, and everything else I cram into a day.

June is audio book month.

This is when I usually tell you all how much you are missing out on when not listening to audio.  Yes, this is when I try to convert you Laurel ;).  I have posts lined up with narrators who will share with you some interesting (and fun!)things about being a narrator.  I will post what I am listening to and why.  There will be giveaways.


Let’s start here.  Ready Player One.  I have listened to this audio four times.  Yes.  Four.  Other than the Harry Potter books, I have never done this before.  Here is the review.  This is my go to gush worthy recommendation for anyone who loved gaming, dystopian and the 80’s.  It is a great combo, read by the amazing Wil Wheaton, and it will be a movie in 2017.

Recently when I was in Chicago I went by an audio display of the best audio books and included was this audio.  I started gushing about it to my roommate Candace.  Whenever that happens.. I usually fall in love with the story all over again and sure enough, I came home and started listening to it again.  It was every bit as wonderful as I remember.


So stay tuned.  Please. I am getting it together.  I am.  Camp wiped me out and this is a busy week but I will get through it.

I will leave you with this –

What audio book do you gush about?  Share here – I lOVE recommendations.

audio meme J


Morning Meanderings… Coffee Monday and Why Orlando Hurts My Heart


Good morning and happy Monday.  Or… well, it is Monday.

I lost a week of chatting it up here as I was at Camp Benedict.  I thought I would have time in the early mornings to post a little something, or write a review in the afternoons.  HA.  Think again.  My mornings at camp were absorbed with conversations with the early to rise crowd.  I myself was usually in the main lodge by 5:30 am.  My afternoons were filled with more conversations, prep for the evening, a few “camp-fires” as I like to call them to put out.

And you know what?

It was all really wonderful.

In case you do not know my Camp Benedict story you can read it here.  Camp Benedict is a camp for those infected and affected by AIDS.  It is for families who deal with AIDS, it is for children through adults who may be infected – or may be affected as they have a loved one who fights this battle daily.  It is, something I knew little about when I became involved in 2009 with the camp – and it something now that is dear to my heart.

In late 2011, my son Justin came out to me.  I remember the day, it was November 2nd and we were on the phone.  I did not know prior to this conversation.  I can tell you, that while it came as a surprise, it did not change the way I felt about my son.  I loved and love him with all my heart and NOTHING would ever stand in the way of that.  In fact, if anything, it brought us closer.  he knew he could talk to me about anything, and it was in the following years as he finished up College that we started our annual trip to Florida to go to Harry Potter world (always including the date of November 2nd in those trips – which is a little known fact but one we thought was meaningful).  We ran together in mud runs, and color runs, we went to movies whenever possible…. we talked on the phone weekly, he was and is a big part of my heart and often… perhaps the biggest part.

I share this now because at Camp Benedict I have a chance to talk with many people one on one.  Often I hear the story of when they came out to their family and they talk of how family members, a parent maybe, a sibling, has pushed them away.  That hurts my heart so much.  If I would have told Justin that day, that was fine for him, but I would not be a part of his life – look what I would have missed!  Look at my life now – not knowing then that I had less than 4 more years with him.  What a waste that would have been and my heart hurts for those who have been pushed away by loved ones.  As Hermione would say….. “Riddikulus!”


We embraced our time together and I would not trade one second of it.

This past weekend, the shootings in Orlando made me think of those who lost their lives and their families.  I pray that the families of the victims had wonderful relationships and memories.  I pray that it was not tainted with prejudices and misunderstandings.

We never know how much time we have on this earth.  Life may be long – but it may also be short.  I live with that every day.  However, I also live with the fact that I loved (and love) my son unconditionally and I did not waste one minute on making him feel bad for his choices.  For this, I know I am blessed.  I had an amazing relationship with my son and if by sharing this today can help even one person, then I have accomplished what I set out to do.

We lift our coffee cups today to those who lost their lives this weekend in Orlando due to what?  Hate?  Intolerance?  A feeling of superiority?  What horrible words.  PLEASE no matter what broken relationship you have in your own life, reach out.  Even if it is not reciprocated, at least you made the effort.  You never know down the road what a difference that can make.

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If you would like to donate to Camp Benedict you can do so here.