Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Mid-Year Reading Progress

Every year around this time, I like to make a post on my reading progress at the middle of the year. I still can't believe it's already halfway through this year!

As of now, I have completed six of my yearly challenges. Most of those already completed  have 12 prompts or fewer, and there are some challenges which I'm currently just one or two books short of completing. 

Those I have completed are:

A to Z

While I Was Reading

What's in a Name?

Color Coded

Modern Mrs. Darcy


My book total right now is 116, with another currently in progress. That's fewer than I had at this time last year.  I'm now wondering if my year-end total will be below that of last year: 263. 

Erin's Book Challenge  15.0 starts on the first and I have already decided on books for each of the categories.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Getting to Go Inside Food Places

On Thursday, I drove to nearby San Juan Bautista to get a slice of pizza at the Pizza Factory. When I walked in, I Saw that eating indoors is now allowed. Was I ever glad for that! So I sat down, filled my soda cup from the machine and waited for my slice to arrive. Not a lot of people were at the place, but sitting inside a restaurant of any kind felt great. It has been more than year since I was able to eat inside any sort of restaurant, and it was nice to get to do so again. 

Same feeling a day later when I went to one of the three Subways in Hollister. I had been into two of them a few times before (I mostly avoided this place at the height of the pandemic, since they do not have drive-thrus), but this was my first time sitting inside the place to eat. The first time I went to one of the Subways since the pandemic began, eating inside had not yet been allowed, and one other time, after it was allowed, I just chose to eat in the car.  But yesterday, the restaurant was mostly empty, so I chose to eat in. Again, I was glad to be able to eat in, as this was something I missed doing for over a year now. 

I now await being able to eat inside fast-food places that have drive-thrus. I have not yet looked, and therefore am not certain which places allow this as of yet.  I have always preferred eating inside, but have gotten used to the drive-thru this past year. One day last week, while driving thru at Jack in the Box, I saw they they were out of sodas. But since I could not back out of the drive-thru line, I had to get was was available, which included lemonade. This having happened, I look forward to getting to sit inside fast-food places.

As for restaurant with parklets, I have only been to one of these since they were put up last fall. My mom and I joined a friend for her birthday in May at a Mexican restaurant in our town. I had never gone to this place before the pandemic hit. It was different sitting in the parklet. This is the only parklet I have eaten in as of yet. 

And I entered each facility with my mask on, but of course I got to take it off to eat.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

A Year Ago...

 Two things that recently came up on my Facebook memories from a year ago:

And a year ago this week, I made this post.

Just how is now different from a year ago? We're still battling the coronavirus, and the JASON acronym is still true. And the one Friday the 13th this year is in August. 

But one thing has changed: The other day, I said that masks were still required at my place of work, but just yesterday we were informed that if those of us who work at the center were vaccinated, we could go without them. Those not vaccinated who work there still have to wear them. I had a mixed reaction to this.  I kept taking my mask on and off as I was hesitant to keep it off all throughout my shift. Those working had to fill out an optional sheet attesting that they have been vaccinated. Those clients who do not work at but attend the center can go without a mask if they have been vaccinated. And if you still feel like masking, you can still do so. I filled out the attestation sheet just in case, since I found myself alternating between taking it off and on during my shift yesterday. I'm still getting used to the idea of not having to wear one. It's a new habit that is becoming an old one. Though I do wait the day when they can be off for good. 

There are still some people who have not been vaccinated, and that includes one of my coworkers. They are not required to have the shot to attend, though.

And what else has changed from a year ago? 

Monday, June 21, 2021

Summer Weather

It does feel like summer now, but even more so last week when it was nearing 100-degree weather. This week weather is expected to be in the 70s, with 80s or 90s expected next week. The solstice was yesterday, but it was definitely hotter last week. I only wonder how this summer will be compared to last summer. 

The fires are already burning in parts of California. I'm scared of seeing any near me, resulting in ashy and hazy skies. This happened last year in late summer. The year was already dismal enough because of the coronavirus. We cannot rely on summer weather to curb the virus. 

I'm  afraid to go into public places without a mask, even after the mandate was lifted nearly a week ago. Since where I work is considered a health-care facility, we still have to wear masks for now. Have seen only a few people in public without masks in the last week. 

Even before Covid hit, it had ben years since I had done anything big during the summer. This year isn't looking any different.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Haven't Done a Puzzle in Years

One thing that was said to have surged during the pandemic is playing puzzles. Now people are
wondering if people will still want to do puzzles after the pandemic. And they seemed to have sold out

All this time and that idea never occurred to me. I didn't already have at any at home that I know of. And then it occurred to me how it has been years since I attempted to do a puzzle. I cannot recall when I last did one. Somehow all the boredom I faced when cooped up at home for most of the year never made me think of this idea. Not once did I look up puzzles on Amazon, nor did I glance at puzzles on the rare trips to Target or Dollar Tree. It just didn't occur to me, even with all the time I had to pass.

Now I'm wondering if I will ever do a puzzle now. Not too certain, but it's not something that will worry me if I don't make a decision. I might be thinking I don't remember how to do a puzzle, but it seems to be one of those things that even if you stop doing it for a while, you never forget how to do it. Though I can honestly say that doing puzzles was ever something I did enthusiastically.  I'm pretty sure I enjoyed doing it whenever I did so, though. 

And just like with Christmas ornaments last year, people just had to make puzzles to commemorate the events of 2020. If I ever decided to do a puzzle again, it will not be one of these ones. I've already had enough reminders of the past year.

Sunday, June 13, 2021



Yes, I can say this is true of me. How many of you can say the same? 

This past Wednesday, I went to a used bookstore on Gilroy, California, next to where I live. It's a huge one, with lots to find. Many shelves and many piles of books on the floor. Went in, not looking for anything in particular, but did end up with some, namely:

The World According to Garp, John Irving (I recently read the library copy of The Cider House Rules by the same author).

Sheila Levine is Dead and Living in New York, Gail Parent (I remembered looking for this one years ago and just had to get it now).

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, Joanne Greenberg (Another I have wanted to read but haven't been able to find).

Castlerock and The Absentee, Maria Edgeworth (I'd never heard of this book from the 1800s, but it sounded good.)

And recent orders from Amazon include two new releases:

I haven't read either yet (The one on top was just released and I received it yesterday). As soon as I heard the Holderness Family put out a book, I just had to get it, despite the subject not having any meaning to me. I love their Youtube videos, so why not check out their book as well?

I'm still hoping and praying my book collection won't get to look like this:

Should it start to do so, I'll have to think about what books to donate, or at least box them up to put in the garage, our personal storage unit. 

Also, while I was at the bookstore, I looked for a copy of Dune, which my mom has been wanting to get. She read it years ago. But it has been hard to find, no doubt because of the upcoming film. The bookseller even said she'd sold a copy the other day. 

And another thing: One reading prompt I had this year was book by Barbara Cartland. I'd looked in the county library database and found one listed called Elizabethan Lover. But the library was unable to locate this book. It seemingly was lost. They then said they could get it through Zip Books, so I went with this option. It was the first book of hers I have ever read. Out of curiosity, while at the used bookstore, I went looking for other books of hers, but did not seem to see any. I now wonder if her books are still read. I have never seen any of her books in thrift stores that I can recall. Before getting the book from Zip books, I looked in several local thrift stores to see if I could find any of her books, but no luck. So the Zip book it was.

Monday, June 7, 2021

Two Things I Chose Not to Get From Amazon

Two things I pondered doing last summer while stuck at home: buying a car cover and a lounge chair from Amazon. But I never got around to either one and as the warm weather this year approached, I thought harder about doing so this year. 

Well, now I have gotten one of each, but opted to get both in store. There were just too many options on Amazon. Looking at one option would lead me to look at another and so on and so on. it was just too hard to narrow choices down.

The car cover I eventually got from O'Reilly's Auto Parts was more than the ones on Amazon, but I did not have a lot of other options in store. And I was tired of seeing my car get hit with bird droppings, so I decided to get the one at the store so I would not have to wait days for it to arrive. I put it on the car, not knowing it needed a rope to tie the sides together under the car. I went weeks before I resolved this part. Now I'm using the cover regularly and have had fewer droppings and the cover has kept the inside of the car cool, another good reason to have the cover. The weather will be getting hotter now that summer is nearly here.

And as for a lounge chair, the cost in store vs. on Amazon was just the opposite of that of the car cover. Again, there were far too many choices online and looking at one option would lead to looking at another and then another, on and on. A Dollar General opened in our home town this past January. I have gone several time since the opening, and one day I saw a lounge chair. It was the only one there, so no need to decide which to get. I got it at the end of May and have used to several time since. All last summer while going outside to read, I sat on a wooden folding chair we already had in the driveway, but yearned to one able to lie down to read sometimes. Now I have that option.

On theater hand, when I needed to get magenta printer ink recently, I chose to get that form Amazon. Though I can get the ink at Target, I only needed that one right then, and Target only sells the colored inks in packs, not individual colors (they do sell the individual black ink cartridges, though). It only took about three days to arrive. I haven't ruled out getting ink cartridges in the store, though Target is my only option locally. I have to go out of town to Best Buy or Walmart if I can't find the ink at Target.

And if you're wondering, I did look for car covers at Target at one point, but the one they could find to ft my car was out of stock. But I did not bother to look for lounge chairs at Target, as the idea completely slipped my mind, and I know there would be too many choices. 

Thursday, June 3, 2021

June Bookish Bingo

 Here is the card for June.

My Books:
  1. Fortune and Glory--Janet Evanovich (7 squares): Library Book, Physical Book, In a Series, Dangerous Character, Secrets, Set in Current Times, Meant to Read for a While Now
  2. Elizabethan Lover--Barbara Cartland (3 squares): Free Book, Bride, Rekindled Romance
  3. Isaac's Storm--Erik Larson (3 squares): Water on the Cover, Not in a Series, Book Club Read
  4. Check, Please!:Hockey--Ngozi Ukazu (2 squares): Sports, Set in a University
  5. Olive Kitteridge--Elizabeth Strout (2 squares): Shelf Love, Set in a Small Town
  6. An American Sunrise--Joy Harjo (1 square): E-Book
  7. Forget Me Not--Ellie Terry (1 square): Audiobook 
  8. Chamomile Mourning--Laura Childs (2 squares): Flowers on the Cover, Free Space
  9. Kissed--Cameron Dokey (4 squares): Retelling, Dress on the Cover, Shapeshifter, YA/NA
25 squares competed on June 17