Sunday Bookends: Free ebooks, moving and some fresh air

What a week, huh?

Don’t worry, I’m not going to interject politics, worries, or virus numbers from around the world in this post, so you’re safe.

The only thing I will say about it all is that I have discovered a couple new things from not being able to get the groceries I usually do. One, I had no idea that Bob Evans potatoes came in individual servings. I rarely eat them but picked them up when potatoes were running low in our area. We’ve eaten these at my parents and they aren’t the best, but they also aren’t the worst. Two, a local pizzeria near us makes amazing pizza and I wish we had ordered pizza from them in the past. We know this because we ordered two of their pizza making kits and the ingredients were fresh and resulted in incredibly tasting pizza.  Once the restrictions in our state are lifted, we will be sure to order from them again.

As many of you know, if you’ve been a long time, or even short time reader of this blog, I don’t handle stressful situations well. I especially don’t handle the unknown well. Not knowing what might happen from day to day or if someone I love will come down with this virus and become very ill is very draining on me.

BUT —  and yes, this is a good BUT — only by the literal grace of God,  I have been able to stay calm and surprisingly positive throughout this situation affecting our world.

It isn’t that a couple of nights haven’t been ruined by me laying awake and scrolling through a mental list of “what-ifs” but I’m able to push those thoughts aside a lot faster than I used to be. I’m handing so much more over to God than I did in the past. I am remembering (for once!) the words “the battle belongs to the Lord!” When a reader told me she remembered my post and wrote those words on a piece of paper and hung it up on her house to help her get through all of this craziness, I was not only touched, but it encouraged me to do the same.

I have not been doing as much reading as I would have liked to this past week, even though my brother encouraged me to do a 24in48 readathon. The idea is to read 24 hours out of 48 hours. Um… yeah. Not really going to happen. Probably ever. For me anyhow. (Edited this to add this comment of clarification from my brother: “Just to clarify that is the idea. That is not the rule, especially this time around. I think what’s happening this time is that a lot of people are gathering together and talking about books, even the little that they are able to read. One participant suggested a goal of reading 10 minutes each hour or listening to an audiobook for 20 minutes, which I think is doable. Today, for myself, I am going to post once or twice on Instagram and stay away from Instagram Stories, read Sunday Salon posts like I normally do, and read as I can while avoiding all news altogether.” (You can read the rest of his comment in the comments section and check out his blog for what he’s doing to keep his mind off of things.)

Anyhow, I probably read a total of an hour on Saturday and may read an hour Sunday so two hours total.  I’ve been having trouble focusing on reading (much like my brother) between current events and packing up our house to move, plus homeschooling (which we do all the time, as I mentioned in my post yesterday) playing with my 5-year old (who thinks she needs constant entertainment at this age), writing a short story for my Facebook pageant Instagram author account, and finishing up A New Beginning.

Isn’t it cool how I made myself sound really important and busy in the above paragraph? Looks good on paper/screen, right? In reality, it looks like a Picasso painting that’s been puked on.

While I am thinking or writing about books, in case others are not yet aware of this, Scribd, which I had never heard of before, is offering their subscriptions for free for the next 30 days. That includes almost all of their ebooks, audiobooks and even sheet music. My brother told me about this and it has been nice to have because all of the Romana books by Beverly Cleary are currently available for free there and my daughter loves Romana so I am reading the books to her before bed.

For myself, I am reading the second book in the Mitford series by Jan Karon, A Light in the Window and also Falling for You by Becky Wade (continuing the nice light romances I mentioned last week.)

We were able to get outside in between blasts of heavy rain on Friday, which was very much needed after a damp, cold week. It was 71 on Friday and dropped to 37 by Saturday. Talk about messing up sinuses. I’ll share a few photos from our day here and then probably do a separate post later in the week when we all need a break (another break) from the bleak news cycle.

We usually visit my parents on Sundays but with everything going on we decided to skip this weekend even though we think we’ve most likely exposed each other already. My dad is 76 and pretty matter-of-fact about things so last week he told us “We’re in our 70s. We could get a cold and die at this point so I’m not really worried.”

My dad is a young 76. He is still very active so keeping him in one place hasn’t been easy.  Earlier this week he said “Well, I guess we should try to not travel much during all this,” and we decided together our family would stay home for this weekend and maybe next, but after that, we are moving and may need to stay a couple nights with them.

We are praying none of us catch this before then so we don’t have to sleep in our van or car until we get the keys to the new house (apparently we have to be moved out prior to signing our closing papers to sell this house and can’t have keys to the new place until the sale of this house is final. Yeah. Fun times.).

We enjoyed a visit with them last week and while the trees are still bare, we did some signs of spring starting to show up.


DSC_8772DSC_8788So how about all of you? What are you reading, writing, watching or simply doing right now? Let me know in the comments.

Published by

Lisa R. Howeler

I'm a mom, a wife, a writer, a photographer, and a former journalist. I write a little bit about a lot of things here on my blog. I enjoy John Wayne and Cary Grant movies, Jan Karon's books, and I have an eclectic taste in music. Welcome to my blog and feel free to poke around. Fridays are Fiction Fridays, where I share a piece of fiction I'm working on. I'm also the author of three books with a fourth on the way.

9 thoughts on “Sunday Bookends: Free ebooks, moving and some fresh air

  1. I love the emotions that always show up in your photographs, it is like we are there in that moment. Not much happening over here in Arizona, well, except what the whole world is going through…oh, and we got fleas. We have lived in this house for over a decade and we never had a problem with fleas, those nasty little suckers decided to show up at the worst time. I would love to take a break and just loose my thoughts in some silly movie, a good book, art in the garden, or cooking something in the kitchen but instead we all vacuum the whole house everyday, along with mattresses, pillows, couch,chairs, floors, curtains cat beds. The cats get baths, and they all had treatments. It is all exhausting but after a week things are getting better, just have to keep up on this aggressive cleaning to get this under control. The only good thing is that at least we have all tile and hard wood flours in this house, I can’t imagine what having carpet would have produced. Wait, ye I can. Once my little sister let our goat in the house when we were kids and the whole house got a flea infestation. We had to leave and bomb the house. My dad drove straight to the beach because my foot was infecting from the bites all over it and the salt water cleared it up in that day of playing in the ocean. Love goats but they need to stay outside.

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    1. Oh no! Fleas are awful. It’s been years since we had them but they were terrible to get rid of and bit up my son’s legs (we only had him at the time). Up here we have to worry about ticks. My dad battled Lyme disease for the last two years so we know it can get bad. He’s been very lucky that it didn’t cripple him. I hope they are all gone soon and you can relax some. The only good thing is that it doesn’t give you too much time to focus on all the craziness in the world… or as often maybe! And thanks for the comment about the photos. I figure people could care less about photos of my kids, but I like to share the every day so other people will be encouraged to capture their everyday too.


  2. I love your writing and your photography. The two go together like butter and popcorn. I ordered $200 worth of books off of Amazon this week. I will definitely be reading a lot more! I also hate the unknown and have realized that tight ball in my stomach is my anxiety coming back. Trying to hold on to God’s promises and stay sane. Also was able to avoid the news today which definitely helped with that!


  3. We’re reading A Christmas Carol to keep our minds off everything. All this craziness is very stressful and I don’t like it. Like you, I don’t handle the unknown very well and this has made me want to crawl in bed until it’s all over. Praying you all stay healthy so you don’t have to sleep in the van! 🙏

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  4. Your dad reminds me a lot of my own. He’s also really active and is so used to going out whenever he wants, but my mom has a suppressed immune system, so now he can’t. Instead he bought some paint and, apparently, intends on painting the house. I have a feeling a lot of home projects are about to get done, and their house may never look the same again.

    You know, the more I think about it, the more I think my past week has probably been a Picasso painting that’s been puked on as well. Having my husband work from home, being dropped into homeschooling, keeping a toddler entertained, and somehow keeping everyone occupied during their free time on top of chores has been absolute madness. I think my cat is stress shedding. I’ve decided to just shove the painting in a closet. It’ll show up again in about 10 years and I’ll hopefully laugh.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Just to clarify that is the idea. That is not the rule, especially this time around. I think what’s happening this time is that a lot of people are gathering together and talking about books, even the little that they are able to read. One participant suggested a goal of reading 10 minutes each hour or listening to an audiobook for 20 minutes, which I think is doable. Today, for myself, I am going to post once or twice on Instagram and stay away from Instagram Stories, read Sunday Salon posts like I normally do, and read as I can while avoiding all news altogether To that end, I’m going to be mostly on my laptop (typing this comment there now 🙂 ), only listening to music or playing Solitaire on my phone. THIS is not to say that this is what works for others, including yourself. You do whatever works for you and hopefully the weather is good today and you all are able to get out and play on the sidewalk — yes, Warren too. 🙂 I’ve been getting out for a walk daily. Love, the aforementioned brother (and his wife and their two cats, Seamus and Alexandra, all of whom send virtual hugs).


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