Sunday Bookends: Yard sales, too many books to read, and my book is out there

Welcome to Sunday Bookends where I share what I’m reading, watching, listening to, writing and doing.

Last week I spread myself way too thin.

I committed to too much and as a result, my mind and body are still trying to recover. Today, as I write this, my feet are throbbing from holding a yard sale with my neighbor yesterday. We got ready for the yard sale throughout the week and held it for one day and made almost no money. I will never do a yard sale again. This is what I said three years ago when I helped my dad sell a lot of my aunt’s belongings after she passed away, but after yesterday — yeah — I’m holding to it.

It’s not that anything bad happened. In fact, I met several interesting people, which I will write more about later this week. The issue was the waiting, standing, straightening and pulling out items for very, very little return (under $50).

So, no more yard sales.

After the yard sale, I kept moving and went downtown to watch the outhouse races, which I’ve mentioned before on this blog. I will be sharing a full post about the races later this week, including the history of it in our smalltown and more photos.

I know I had a couple of readers who wanted to see photos and learn more about it. I’ll even include a video in the post I share about it.

I did miss the other events of the day, including the keg roll race, which involves rolling a keg full of water (I think it is just water) through a haybale maze or course. I’m sorry, I have no photos of that one for you.

As for the book tours I’m doing, I’ll keep doing them, but I’ll spread them out a bit more next time. I have to read books for book tours, you see, and sometimes I don’t have time to just sit and read so I always panic I won’t get the book done in time. So far, though, I’m doing okay. Last week I posted a book tour interview post for Set in Stone, the fourth book in the Rembrandt Stone series and this week I am posting a review of Rahab’s Courage by Naomi Craig. At the end of the month, I have another review post and at the beginning of September I have two in a week.

After that, I won’t be doing anymore until we get into a good groove with homeschooling, which starts September 1.

The last of my son’s curriculum came this week. I still need a science until for Little Miss, but I have some science I can start with her for the first week. We will be doing a lot of reviewing to start with anyhow.

One thing I won’t have to review as much with Little Miss is reading because this summer, even without going over lessons, she has started reading on her own, to the point she can now read my text messages. I have to be careful what I write or what is sent to me now. The other day she had the phone when a friend texted to ask if we were going to the local fireworks display. Because of the yard sale, I forgot about the fireworks, which are about 20 minutes from our house.

“There’s a fireworks display?” Little Miss cried, looking over my shoulder.

Argh. How I longed for the days she couldn’t read yet (sort of).

“Um…yes, but it’s too late to get there. . .”

Ten minutes of crying followed because she wouldn’t get to see her little friends who we see maybe once a year at this point. Her other little friends moved to Texas out of the blue, two weeks ago, so she’s been pretty lonely.

Earlier in the day I caught her laughing while looking at a text message in my phone.

“What’s so funny?” I asked.

“This message from The Boy. ‘Mom, I can’t find my glasses.’”

(No, she doesn’t really call him The Boy. That’s simply his blog name.)

These are all simple sentences but early in the year last school year, Little Miss wasn’t even sounding out words. Now she’s reading full sentences and the other day, using an app, she sent me a message on my phone, “I love you, Mom.”

It’s weird to be receiving messages from my almost 7-year-old, but these days many children are learning how to read and spell as young as 4, maybe even 3, thanks to technology. Little Miss has been learning how to read and write through asking me how to spell words so she can message her friends on games or my phone. I even caught her commenting on YouTube accounts (she watches a snake education show and a show that follows a goat farm) recently.

Anyhow, I have digressed. In the midst of book tours and the yard sale, I “launched” my book Thursday, whatever that means. I released it and pretended it was a big deal by sharing posts on my Facebook page and Instagram, but honestly, I lost a lot of motivation to promote it. The constant bombardment by authors pushing books and everyone selling something has beat me down a bit. All of that marketing mixed in with politics on social media has my stomach in knots and my nerves frayed. Even when I try to avoid it all, I get hit in the face with it, so I’m trying to stay clear of social media as much as I can.

So, not to push something I’m selling at you here, but I will mention for blog readers who wanted to read the story in full (there were changes made and chapters added for the final book), you can order an ebook or paperbook copy through Amazon, HERE.

In the midst of the all the craziness, Little Miss and I did find some time for relaxation by going swimming at my parents a couple of times. We spent two hours in the pool one day and almost three another day.

It was a nice reprieve from the crazy of the world and part of me didn’t even want to leave the pool. In the pool no one asks me what I think about the situations in the world or talks to me about politics (even when I don’t ask) or wants anything from me other than to race across the pool. Sometimes I wish I was a mermaid and I lived in water and not in an upside down world.

What I’m Reading

This week I am reading two books for blog tours: Rose Among Thornes and The Husband Auditions. I’ll have more information on them in future posts.

Rose Among Thornes by Terrie Todd is currently available on Kindle Unlimited and tells the story of a Japanese-Canadians and the horror that fell on them during World War II when they were moved to internment camps, much like the Japanese-Americans.

This book is more of a telling of a story, than a showing, just to give a heads up. That doesn’t mean it is bad, it is just different than some books I have read. I will have a full review of it up on August 30, which is my scheduled tour date for it.

Here is a description for anyone who would like to check it out ahead of time:

Forgiveness is the deadliest force on earth.

War might be raging overseas, but Rose Onishi is on track to fulfill her lifelong goal of becoming a concert pianist. When forced by her government to leave her beloved home in Vancouver and move to the Canadian prairie to work on the Thornes’ sugar beet farm, her dream fades to match the black dirt staining her callused hands. Though the Thorne family is kind, life is unbearably lonely. In hopes that it might win her the chance to play their piano, Rose agrees to write letters to their soldier son.

When Rusty Thorne joins the Canadian Army, he never imagines becoming a Japanese prisoner of war. Inside the camp, the faith his parents instilled is tested like never before. Though he begs God to help him not hate his brutal captors, Rusty can no longer even hear the Japanese language without revulsion. Only his rare letters from home sustain him—especially the brilliant notes from his mother’s charming helper, which the girl signs simply as “Rose.”

Will Rusty survive the war only to encounter the Japanese on his own doorstep? Can Rose overcome betrayal and open her heart? Or will the truth destroy the fragile bond their letters created?

I am enjoying The Husband Auditions by Angela Ruth Strong.

Here is a description:

How far would you go to find the perfect husband? All the way back to the 1950s?

In a world full of happily-ever-after love, Meri Newberg feels like the last young woman on the planet to be single, at least in her Christian friend group. So when she’s handed a strange present at the latest wedding–a 1950s magazine article of “ways to get a husband”–she decides there’s nothing to lose by trying out its advice. After all, she can’t get any more single, can she?

Her brother’s roommate sees the whole thing as a great opportunity. Not to fall in love–Kai Kamaka has no interest in the effort a serious relationship takes. No, this is a career jump start. He talks Meri into letting him film every silly husband-catching attempt for a new online show. If it goes viral, his career as a cameraman will be made.

When Meri Me debuts, it’s an instant hit. People love watching her lasso men on street corners, drop handkerchiefs for unsuspecting potential beaus, and otherwise embarrass herself in pursuit of true love. But the longer this game goes on, the less sure Kai is that he wants Meri to snag anyone but him. The only problem is that he may not be the kind of husband material she’s looking for . . .

With droll comic timing, unbeatable chemistry, and a zany but relatable cast of characters, Angela Ruth Strong has created a heartfelt look at the reality of modern Christian dating that readers will both resonate with and fall for.

The book comes out August 19.

I am also reading (when I take breaks from the other books) Another Man’s Moccasins, by Craig Johnson. It is the fourth book in the Longmire Mystery series.

What I’m Watching

I am rewatching To the Manor Born because it is a light, sweet comedy and I need that right now.

We didn’t watch much together as a family this week because my husband had to work late every night and I was working on yard sale stuff.

What I’m Listening To

I haven’t had time to listen to much of anything, honestly. At night I listen to the same Our Miss Brooks podcast I’ve been listening to for over a year, maybe two. The podcast is simply episodes of the old radio/television show from the late 40s and early 50s.

I had very little time to read blog posts last week, so I hope to catch up this week and share some of my favorites in next week’s Sunday Bookends.

What I’m Writing

One day last week I got up early to write a little bit on The Next Chapter, the third book in the Spencer Valley Chronicles. It felt good to lose myself in telling a story again, even though I don’t really have a final plan of how this story is going to go or who the main characters are going to be.

I don’t know when, or if, I’ll be sharing this story on the blog. I haven’t decided if I want to continue Fiction Friday or not, but I may start it back up sometime in September if I do choose to continue it.

On Wednesday, I joined with Erin from Still Life, With Cracker Crumbs for Hometown Views, where we shared about the churches in our town/city.

I’ll keep you updated on when our next one is. We haven’t decided a topic just yet.

So, that’s my week in review for this week. How was your week? Let me know in the comments.

7 thoughts on “Sunday Bookends: Yard sales, too many books to read, and my book is out there

  1. I agree, yard sales are overrated..too much work for too little return.
    The outhouse races look fun like a fun experience to watch! Glad you got to swim and relax, that’s been one of my favorite things to do this summer except our pool is temperamental about staying clean! Frustrating!

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  2. My take on yard/garage sales: too much work for too little return. Life as a mermaid sounds relaxing and unpressured, doesn’t it? Except for maybe the pressure of the water….oh well. Since our little grand-gal is also now reading, we too must be careful what we text. And no more spelling words out loud to keep her from understanding what we’re talking about. 😉

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