Jennifer Lyon
Wednesday, October 4th, 2023
Quick Question: Do You Miss Brick and Mortar Bookstores?

I’m in the mood to browse a bookstore until I find a book or seven to read. But life is keeping us on the move right now, so I haven’t been able to get to one just yet.

Which brings me to my next question: Does anyone go to brick and mortar bookstores anymore?

For a long time, I mostly read on my Kindle, but lately I’ve been enjoy reading physical books. I think it’s because there are too many distractions on my Kindle, but there’s really not any distractions with I’m holding a book. Plus these days finding books that actually interest me online seems harder. Amazon is, in my opinion, pushes paid advertised books lately and buries the rest of the stock. I get annoyed trying to search for books that interest me there.

But the drawback of wanting to go to brick and mortar bookstores for me is the only ones around are Barnes and Noble, and I have to travel a fair distance to get to them. There just aren’t that many physical bookstores anymore, and of course, that’s because demand for them fell significantly.

What about you guys? Do you still hang out and enjoy browsing at bookstores? Or mostly reading on e-readers or your phone?

Monday, October 2nd, 2023
Weekend Roundup

I took a Halloween picture of our yard, but I don’t love the way it looks so washed out in the picture, but I’ll show it anyway.

Can you spot Maggie? She’s off leash (despite all my ranting about off leash dogs, LOL) and sort of hiding. She was out there with permission, I do let her come out with us lately, but I still think it’s not the smartest idea.

Now back to the Halloween stuff. I love the witch (because my daughter in law gave it to me!), the skeleton dog and the pumpkin. They are all motion activated and very cool. The tombstones are just foam and we’ll probably toss them after this year. We just did that since we haven’t landscaped yet, so it was fun.

The drab looking doll on the end Wizard liked and picked out. I agreed because it was a joint project. She’s “Two-faced” (my name for her) with one side was blank painted black, which Wizard repainted in a hilarious way that you probably can’t see well in the pic — it’s like a child’s drawing of a doll face. Anyhow, when Two-faced is motion activated, the head spins to show her horror side. She also says creepy stuff I can’t even remember. We call the witch and two-faced “the girls” because we weird. Seriously weird.

The skeleton dog in the middle barks and growls fiercely. The pumpkin on the corner of the planter laughs and says stuff, but he’s pretty silly and no one takes him seriously.

We plan lighting but who knows if we’ll get to it around dealing with Real Life, If not, we’ll add that and more colorful decor next year.  And soon we’ll start collecting some Christmas decor. I’m going to keep going while Wizard is into it. It has been a fun distraction through Real Life stuff. For Halloween night, we’ll sit outside with candy on the drive way so little kids can bypass the scary stuff if they wish.

Otherwise the weekend came and went and now we’re in October and hopefully Fall weather is getting the memo!

So how was your weekend?

Friday, September 29th, 2023
Friday Five

TGIF! It’s the last Friday of the month and time to share five random thing about our week. Here’s mine:

  1. I got the towels I was fretting about, which is good. Wizard’s brother will be here at the end of next week for a couple nights and I should be set there. However, I kind of wished Id ordered the color I originally wanted. I made the mistake of asking Wizard’s opinion since he lives here too :-) But the towels are fine, they are an orchid color which is darker than I wanted. I had a spice color picked out that I thought would brightened the bathroom more. And yeah, this is not even a real problem, LOL. It’ll all work fine once I bright in a bit more decor (which I don’t need for Wizard’s brother, he won’t care).
  2. I got my hair cut by the new person. I kept it simple, I just asked her to cover my gray roots and even out some issues. I’m letting it the length grow a bit as the last time it was just too short. This new stylist did well. I’m not committing yet for two reasons: I need to wash and blow dry it a couple times to see if I’m happy; and I may have another recommendation. I’m debating if I try that stylist too then choose the one that is the better fit. Again this is a slight dilemma not a problem!
  3. I don’t think I’m going to have any luck getting in sooner than November 13th to see the ENT for my throat and nose issues. However the good news is that at least I do have the November 13th appointment as now everyone is booking well into January and farther out than that. So I have that much to be thankful for.
  4. I made and baked bread and granola yesterday. I planned on making some cookies too, but ran out of energy :-) I’m also excited as I ran out to Trader Joes and found a gluten free (or close enough) cereal that I should be able to eat for a reasonable price. I was super excited because I really like eating :-)
  5. In fun news, we have a small, two-night trip planned for the beginning of November with two of the boys and their families. The third son already had a separate trip planned. However, we have another trip mid next year still in the planning stages, and he and his wife have committed to going on that one. Those are both fun thing to look forward to!

That’s my five, now I’d love to hear yours! I hope everyone has a fun and safe weekend!


Wednesday, September 27th, 2023
Do You Love Halloween?

So I love Halloween and always have. It’s a great time for to pretend and have fun. But after the kids moved out, we just stopped and eventually got rid of whatever decorations we had. This house is motivating us to do it again. I was excited. WAS.

Then I went to my son’s house this year and whoa, I wish I’d taken a picture of their front yard! My daughter in law is a big seasonal decorator and she would win a competition on the best Halloween decorations! They’ve collected their decor over the years and my son is really into it too. So much so that we were in a hardware store on Saturday (helping a family member) and he was distracted by the Halloween lights for sale. I had to remind him we had a job to do and he didn’t have time to look for the elusive orange bulbs he’s been searching for :-)  He grinned that I’d caught him looking.

So year, their house is amazing!

And then there’s us, who just have a few things. But I coaxed Wizard out to start some prep to decorate. It was easy to do, I told him I’d use the wheel barrell to move some extra rock from the back to the front to use. He could only tolerate me doing this for about 20 minutes before he started helping. Um, I should mention it’s suddenly hot again, and now my arms are very slightly sunburned and I have a big mosquito bite. Wizard did warn me that we should wait until later in the evening, LOL. Still we got the hardest part done!

If we finish it in the next two days, I’ll try to get a pic, but after seeing my son and daughter-in-law’s house, I’m feeling inadequate, LOL! I’m kidding. It’s just a holiday, not a competition. And the point is that Wizard and I are having fun doing this together. As a bonus it’s a good distraction from other stuff.

Now the question is, can I talk him into pulling out the clear Christmas lights to add some lighting around the decorations? I might suggest I buy some solar Halloween lighting; I’m pretty sure that will incentivize him into repurposing our Christmas lights for free :-) Maybe.

Do you decorate for Halloween?

P.S., Now I’m giving Maggie the side eye, wondering if I should dress her up in a costume. She would not be amused.

Monday, September 25th, 2023
Weekend Roundup

Grandma Brag Moment! Turbo got a hit in T-ball, and then got to home plate to score a point! I wasn’t there :-( But his parent had video. It made all of us so happy! He’s beginning to catch onto the game. But five year olds figuring out T-ball has some truly entertaining moments.

And Mom Happy Moment: I drove out to Middle sons in an effort to help them move some stuff around. They are doing a renovation in their house and this was my first chance to see their plans and find out the details. I am so happy for them. This is my daughter in law whose cook is elevated to a gourmet level, and I couldn’t be happier that they are able to do this project. I also took Maggie, and got to see my grand dogs, Jett and Hazel. Maggie is a bit anxious with Jett and Hazel, but those two dogs are great with other dogs so I didn’t worry. I just adore Jett and Hazel.

One funny story, I was helping do a little bit of packing in the kitchen, so Middle Son brought over this small, round cozy bed and a bone so Maggie could lay there and watch us. She got in the bed, then Jett (the huge tank of a dog) ambled over over, slowly walks into the bed,  and butt-nudges Maggie out. He then curled up and chewed the bone. He looked ridiculous in that bed, but very proud of himself. I cracked up. Maggie was fine, she just walked away. For the record, Maggie could have make him leave her alone if she really wanted to. So she chose to let him push her out, but it sure was funny.

I’m keeping this positive, but of course, we’re dealing with some sad things and I’ve noticed something different about myself: Once I would have lost myself in reading to take a mental break. Right now, I can’t seem to get the energy up to even try reading or listening to fiction. But I’m obsessed with some podcasts, even listening to the same ones over to see what I missed. I’m doing a lot of driving around too, and they help pass the time. I’m listening to a lawyer who is a former prosecutor following trials with live feeds. She offers commentary as the trial unfolds, explaining the various rules, etiquettes, legalities and strategies of the lawyering. It’s a weird thing to find soothing, but it’s working for me so I’m not questioning it.

My old friend Insomnia is back for a visit, and guys, I have some questions. Like when I’m tired and stressed, why does my brain think now is a good time to invite Insomnia over for a slumber party? And if Insomnia is going to come over, can’t she, like, at least paint my nails or bake some brownies? I mean, seriously, Insomnia, make yourself useful! (I’m not worried about the insomnia, it’ll pass.)

We still haven’t put out our Halloween stuff, but we really were driving all over this weekend and therefore have a legit excuse. We’ll get it done!

How was your weekend?

Friday, September 22nd, 2023
Friday Five

TGIF! Let’s dive into sharing five random things about our week. Here’s mine:

  1. Ack my roots are showing and I don’t have any idea where to go for my hair. I didn’t get a response from the person my previous hairdresser recommended, and when I called another place they wanted a deposit to make an appointment. I’m seriously considering trying a Fantastic Sams near me. Or coloring it myself. Or…I don’t know, my hair just hasn’t been the most important thing to worry about this week.
  2. This week has been a meanie head and therefore, Wizard and I are off are game in hilarious ways. For instance I went to make tea at night and found ice cream in the microwave. That was Wizard’s doing. For me, I was testing a gluten free chocolate chip recipe, and this failed like other the other by spreading too thin. But I thought I could do a little better with the second tray of cookies by making them smaller and it worked. I turn off the time…and left them in the oven until they burned into black disks. All while I was standing right there talking to Wizard. We both just shook our heads and laughed. Overall though we are fine and will get through this too.
  3. I took Maggie in for a drop off x-ray yesterday, and while she was gone, I cleaned the carpets. The floors drive me crazy, but its what we have until we have the time, money and focus to replace them. And Maggie can’t help her accidents.
  4. Thankfully her x-ray did not show any stones. We’re working on her issues with meds and other things. The doctor also suggested melatonin for her nighttime restlessness, including her need to “check” on me several times a night, and I love that suggestion. It’s a natural meds in the right does, and it could ease whatever is bothering Maggie and help her rest more. Maggie checking on me is not stressful for me, I worry it’s stressing her. I’m hopeful the melatonin will, over time, return her to a more natural sleep/wake rhythm for her.
  5. I hope that today I will finally get my Halloween decorations outside. We’ve been distracted by life, but we’ll get it done either today and sometime this weekend.

That’s my five, now I’d love to hear yours! I hope everyone has a really good weekend!

Wednesday, September 20th, 2023
It’s The Little Things That Can Really Help

This week is just hard and probably going to get harder. I can’t really talk about that just now, instead I’m going to talk about the one positive thing that did happen (so far).

So I went into my doctor yesterday and told him that I could not get into the ENT until mid November. Then I showed him my throat (this all part of the previous nosebleeds I’ve had). My doctor was not pleased, but he did explain about the shortage of ENTs in our area. Then he told me to wait, went into his office and called the ENT’s office to tell them I needed to be seen sooner.

They wouldn’t even put me on a list to call in case there’s a cancellation. Not even with my doctor personally calling with his concerns. To make this even more upsetting, I’ve been at that ENT’s office a couple times before so I’m not a new patient.

My doctor then called two other ENT’s offices to see if they could get me in. They can’t see any new patients until January.

For the record, I could hear my doctor making these calls, so I know he how hard he tried and that made a frustrating situation better. I truly appreciate it. It may seem like a small thing, but when we’re a little worried, the small things really matter. It also helps that if I need advice, I can call this doctor and he’ll call me back to help as best he can.

Oh and also, my knee pain that I assumed was arthritis, he said it’s a sore ligament that will heal. So that’s two positive things :-) I can keep exercising as the knee tolerates it and not worry too much about it.

What’s a positive thing in your week?