Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Lorrie finds a home in Detour Trail (review excerpt)

Excerpt from RebeccasReads review:

"I do not wish to give away too much of the books ending, the place where it lands. I do feel I ought to tell you though that "Detour Trail" describes a world that it would be my pleasure to reside in. The place where Lorrie comes to be, the atmosphere of it, the specialness, is a kind that any warm heart might long for. There are people there it would be my pleasure to cross the road to say hello to. ..."   Review link: http://rebeccasreads.com/Reviews/ReviewSmithDetourTrail.html  


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Home decorating and entertaining ideas

The August issue of Southern Living is their Special Decorating Issue, and it includes interior and exterior makeovers, with ideas such as adding a second entrance to improve a boring front exterior, colorful baseboards, and displaying your collectibles to tell a story. And you can make your sofa a focal point with bold uphostery and a pom pom fringe. (That'll be sure to attract your pet's attention too...)

Two ideas that I do not like are cutting down a dining room table to make it into a coffee table. (They're stilll doing that?!) And open shelving in the kitchen. Hmm. So, they don't have pets, children, or do any cooking?

The recipe collection includes picnic dishes, a Key Lime Icebox Cake (no baking), and white barbecue sauce. (Mayonnaise is the base.) That cake looks yummy, btw. Its layers are topped with whipped cream and a lime slice with leaves garnish. Enjoy!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Home is where the heart is--along with some good books

Tip of the Month from Build Book Buzz:

Riffle.com is the Pinterest of Books

I don't usually get excited about new social platforms for books because there are so many of them and learning how to really make the most of each can become a part-time job... but then I found Riffle Books.

What a cool site! It is the most visually attractive social network for books that I've seen so far. Graphics focus on collections of book covers - and what book lover isn't drawn to a screen full of book covers? Think of it as Pinterest for books.

You build your Riffle profile by answering questions about books - "What were your favorite books growing up?" and "Which books kept you awake at night?" are two of the 20. Create book lists that you share on Facebook or volunteer to become a book category "expert."

Check out Riffle at http://www.rifflebooks.com

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Tropical Storm Dorian

TS Dorian is heading WNW--possibly towards Florida, but it's too early to tell.

Update (7-26): Dorian is heading west and expected to weaken.  The spaghetti models are pretty well grouped together, except for one heading north.  (They often don't agree that much.)

Update (7-27): Dorian is now a tropical wave.

Update (7-28): The remnants of Dorian are heading WNW (towards Florida), and it may re-strengthen.

Update (8-3): The remnants of Dorian are heading NE up the east coast.  It was briefly a tropical depression today.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Fun books about family and pets

I enjoyed Amy Peterson's childrens' photo books about pets, which include tips for their care. And her books,  From Zero to Four Kids in Thirty Seconds (with tips about being a stepmother) and Something Furry Underfoot (more pet tips) are fun too!
Learn more about Amy Peterson and her lively family and fun books at Author Spotlight: http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/author-spotlight-no-297-amy-l-peterson/

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sharing lessons learned

Recently I came across these notes I made after building our old house:

Lessons Learned
When we built our home in 1998, we knew we wanted a floor that would stand up under the wear and tear of people and animals, so we went for vinyl tile. (It seemed a good idea at the time; it was cheaper than wood, which is what we had before, along with no wax congoleum.) We never thought about waxing; we'd never done it. We ended up with a floor that was slippery when wet, and even when it wasn't wet, a running dog could slide down the Great Hall from the front door to the back door. I learned that there is a non-slip wax, but when I checked into having the house done, it wasn't the expense, but the fact that the company wanted us to move all the furniture outside ourselves that stopped us. We have some huge pieces! Also, for some reason this floor has become marked up from the furniture--marks that are almost impossible to remove! We're really sorry about our floor decision.

When we were building our house, we learned all we could and often visited a friend who was also building a house. One of the things he told us was that we should get noise insulation. Good idea, we thought, but when the time came to make choices and the total budget seemed to be going up like a rocket, we decided to stick with regular insulation. That is not a problem except in a bedroom that's next to someone else's bathroom. (The other two bathrooms are fine.) I'd give a lot to be able to go back and put better insulation between those two walls. Yes, I've thought about ripping a wall out, but the bathroom wall has a big mirror over the sink and a tiled shower on that wall, and the bedroom wall was sponge painted.
There are a number of things we never thought about when building our home, and one of them was niches in the shower. Where do you put your shampoo, sponge, etc.?! We have thought of getting one of those racks you hang over the showerhead or a pressure pole with shelves, but it's one more thing to clean and get in the way. And why didn't we get a bathroom sink with a built in soap holder? I've lost count of the soap holders we've bought for all the bathrooms, but we've spent a lot of money trying to find one that lasts.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Westward--and homeward--bound

Here's a selection of books on Amazon about exploring and settling the frontier:

Detour Trail by Joy V. Smith

Daily Life in a Covered Wagon by Paul A. Erickson
If You Traveled West In A Covered Wagon by Ellen Levine
A Pioneer Sampler: The Daily Life of a Pioneer Family in 1840
by Barbara Greenwood
Pioneer Days: Discover the Past with Fun Projects, Games, Activities, and Recipes
by David C. King
History Pockets: Moving West, Grades 4-6+ by Martha Cheney
How We Crossed The West: The Adventures Of Lewis And Clark
by Rosalyn Schanzer
Westward Expansion (True Books) by Teresa Domnauer
Westward Expansion: An Interactive History Adventure (You Choose Books)
by Allison Lassieur

Monday, July 8, 2013

Tropical Storm Chantal

TS Chantal is moving WNW, and the official track takes it up Florida's east coast, but the spaghetti models cover the state.

Update (7-11): Chantal has been downgraded to a tropical wave.

Update (7-12): The remnants have separated, and there's now a little wave in the gulf that may give us more rain.

Update (7-13): Actually that's a low--or something--in the Gulf, and the Chantal remnant is east of Florida.  In any case, we should get some rain.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Smashwords freebies and discount spectacular!

Take advantage of the Smashwords freebies and discount spectacular during July
(Offer good thru July 31, 2013)

Hidebound (SF): https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/82218
After Anfissa meets Ferenc, they flee to a planet where even the grass is deadly.
Use the code SW100 at checkout
to get this book for FREE during our
site-wide promotion!

Hot Yellow Planet (SF): https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/94029
In this Pretty Pink Planet sequel, Lori and Chiing continue their adventures.
Use the code SW100 at checkout
to get this book for FREE

Pretty Pink Planet (SF): http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/93615
Lori, an agent of SOESFOL, visits Prism to track down planet pirates and rescue aliens.
(Pretty Pink Planet is always free.)

And Remodeling: Buying and Updating a Foreclosure is half price: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/71560
(Non-fiction) How one woman bought and remodeled a foreclosure; it didn’t even have a kitchen sink!
Use the code SSW50 at checkout
for 50% off