Tag Archive: seniors


Catching Up


I can’t believe we have been in this house for over a month now. Isn’t it funny how you fall into your rhythms again after being disrupted by a move or other trauma? There are still boxes in the living room. That’s the only room to have no furniture. (We need couches and chairs and a coffee table still.) So the boxes sit there until we can get around to them. Most of the boxes with my name on them are books. Since a couple of the bookshelves at the old place broke down we didn’t bring them along. So my boxes of books have no home yet. : -(

Can you believe I finally have an office/studio/craft room? I have my piano on an interior wall. I have my sewing stash, and crocheting/knitting stash, and scrapbooking stash, and bookshelves full of books, and a couple boxes full of books. My desk is a simple card table.That works for all my needs. There are two wonderful windows in this room. One faces north, where in the far distance I can see some hills that make the shape of one of those Easter Island gods laying down looking at the sky. And miles and miles and miles of sagebrush, and the wonderful sky. The other window faces west, and although I can see the sunset there, there is also a neighbor who lives very close on that side whose house blocks the view. He’s a nice neighbor so I can’t be too upset. As the winter gets colder, I appreciate that west window. It keeps the room warm from early afternoon until dark. It does get a bit of a glare, but I have curtains.

I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween, Samhain, and a sacred All Hollows night and day.

Meaning no disrespect to you, who enjoy it from either point of view, but October 31st has been NaNoWriMo prep day for me for the last 14 years. In fact, usually, the whole month of October is NaNoWriMo prep. But somehow I couldn’t settle my mind and making an outline or create my characters until the last couple days. But make no mistake. I knew I was going to be doing this again. For some reason, I didn’t win last year. I don’t remember why. I just didn’t get that into it, I guess. I can’t even remember what last years’ was about. But I do remember getting into the one the year before. It was fun.

Funny how during Nano, I always seem to find other things to do besides writing. I seem to be so much better at housework. There’s always a lot of research to do. Oh, and look at me, I’m blogging! But I did reach 1767 words last night. I usually stay up until the witching hour to start on a novel. Last night I got sleepy! But around two o’clock I was awake again. So I crept into my wonderful office, put on my headset and started writing via Dragon NaturallySpeaking. I did have a chance in the quiet of the night, to start my outline and do better research on my characters. The sad thing is, my outline only took me to chapter 5. And last nights’ writing took me all the way through chapter 1. Oops! Guess I’ve got a lot more planning to do!

Oh! I meant to tell you about life in the country with no car. When we lived in Reno, we didn’t have a car for quite a while. Mostly it was due to not having the money to fix the car we had and then to the landlords who wouldn’t let us keep it till we did have the money to fix it. But that was okay, there.We have a lot of good businesses really close that we could walk to or take the bus to. We got ourselves a little shopping cart to walk back and forth to and from the stores. Worked out quite well.

But now we are 1.7 miles from the nearest store, a little farther to our little library, and 2.8 miles to the post office. They don’t have door-to-door, mail delivery here in Christmas Valley. I’ve never lived in a place where they didn’t have door-to-door mail delivery, so this is an adjustment. Taking a walk a couple times a week is healthy and gaining room in my waistband. And…If you don’t have a box at the post office and they seem to have run out, you must go after three o’clock to pick up your mail. Because that’s when they receive the mail for those who don’t have a box. Which during this first month has not been easy. This is the desert after all. From three o’clock through about six is the hottest hours of the day. So we took our time and made sure we had water with us and learned to wear a hat. Now that it’s getting colder and the days are getting shorter, it’s becoming the coldest part of the day. I’m learning to adapt.

There is a Senior bus here, and the kind of dial-a-ride for seniors or the disabled. The bus takes us to Bend or La Pine or other areas a little ways away. The dial-a-ride people, pick us up at home and take us to the bus, or take is to doctor’s appointments or even to go visiting if we call them soon enough. That makes not having a car a lot easier.I think it’s a feature of Oregon and other states need to do this, too.

I’ll bet you catch everybody up to date on my little corner of the world. Happy November, and good luck with your NaNoWriMo’s!

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A Tale for the Time BeingA Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Over a decade ago, I met an online friend that would change or at least, modify my life. I met Judith on LiveJournal, you remember that old site, better than MySpace but not quite as social as FaceBook. Judith was chatting in her journal about Chris Baty and the NaNoWriMo scene (Which resulted in my first novel being written between the Ides of March and the Ides of April. I didn’t finish the novel then as we had to move to a new city and I just couldn’t stay with it. But I added more than enough wordage to that novel in November 2002 to “win”. (First of 10 or 11 novels since.)

The other thing Judith introduced me to was BookCrossing.com. The concept that grabbed me with BC was how my read book could be recycled to others and then the new reader and the old could discuss this story. The book could travel even when I couldn’t, so it felt like a message in a bottle thrown out to sea. It is fun to see where your book could end up and the friendships that develop over said book. I still belong but since my eyes aren’t what they used to be, I am happy for the invention of Kindle and other e-readers. So I release far fewer books nowadays.

Besides Judith, what do the above paragraphs have in common, and what do they have to do with ‘A Tale for the Time Being’? The art of writing and the art of reading. Both concepts play strong in this story. Rather than a message in a bottle, this message floats ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox in layers of freezer bags. The writer was in Tokyo, the reader/finder in Canada. Years separate the two. Yet a bond is formed. Oh, yeah, Judith read and reviewed this and hooked me in. I think she didn’t like the Zen parts of the book. I found that part delightful. I have to admit that most of the book is believable whereas the Zen bits are a little more ‘magical’. But the title twinkles with that magic. If you read it right.

Anyway, I HIGHLY recommend this book. I actually read it one and a third times. I borrowed the Kindle version from the library. Between reading it on my Kindle app on my Tablet and listening on my old Kindle text-to-speech, I managed to get to about 36% in. Then I found that my library also had the OverDrive version. So I restarted reading the book with the author’s voice. That pumped up my ratings for this wonderful tale. Each layer of depth into the story has its own built-in amazements. Level one, tree book, and the Kindle version, there are many footnotes and definitions to help with a deeper understanding of that time in history or that country, language. But the narration includes minor helps. Hearing a voice say the Japanese names or words adds to the believability of the whole story. Ms. Ruth Ozeki has an impeccable voice and narration, her variations of voices for each character supreme! I enjoyed rereading the first third with her help. I felt I gained deeper understanding just by hearing her. Please, if you get the chance to pair both versions, go for it!

By the way, I want to thank Jonelle Patrick and her Mysteries and website: http://jonellepatrick.me/ for introducing me to many contemporary Japanese subjects presented in A Tale for the Time Being. At least I was forewarned.

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Light, Coming BackLight, Coming Back by Ann Wadsworth

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

For once, I was glad that the font was too small for me. It meant that I had to savor my moments with the story. This was like the fine wine, dark chocolate, aged cheese kind of book. I cherished every moment with it. It wasn’t the kind of book that left you tense or anxious in any way. In fact, I felt very little tension in the book. That goes against what I have been taught about writing.

The main character, Mrs. Mercedes Medina, is in her sixties. Her husband is 20 years her senior. I love the depth of relationship they have. The author, Ann Wadsworth, did a wonderful job creating the couple and each individual. They were wonderfully human characters with faults and follies of their own and a comfortable chemistry between them. But as life is changing and Patrick, the husband, starts failing in health, Mercedes, is trying to figure out her own life.

Since I am in my sixties, I found her life to be interesting. It is far from my own life. I felt like I moved in with this couple and lived a different life for a while. Isn’t that the best part about books? You can step into someone else’s life, their cities, their adventures, their music. Mrs. Medina’s life is rich while she is searching.

I have been thinking about what I would write about this book since I started it. There are no words I can come up with to do it justice. I wish everyone could read it. I don’t want to let it go. That’s how much I loved it. I registered the book on BookCrossing. BCID: 71813027955  Please read it if you get the chance.

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Coming to RosemontComing to Rosemont by Barbara Hinske

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, this was a quick read. And entertaining. Perfect for reading after a darker read, that left me nightmare prone. It is light and inspiring. My faith in ‘humane’ beings is restored.

I loved the main character and her passion for life and doing what is right. I loved that she was a senior citizen who has a great relationship with her grown children. I love that she was able to move out on her own and follow her path.It sure is a relief to read this after so many Young Adult books which can give the impression that only the young deserve a story. And though this book is about an older person, I think YA’s would like it as well.

So why, then, am I giving it only three stars? It was well written. It kept me engaged until the end. All I can come up with is that it left me feeling like I just watched a Lifetime movie. Not enough depth, too predictable, and far more fiction than my favorite sci-fi’s and fantasies. Or have I become far too cynical that I thought I was? Okay, I have just talked my way to a four stars. After all, a B- is still a B. And the thing is… I think I am curious enough to want to see what happens in book 2.

By the way, this was a free-from author read for a buddy read. Thank you for the opportunity.

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Agnes Barton Senior Sleuth Mysteries Box Set, cozy mystery (Books 1-3)
Agnes Barton Senior Sleuth Mysteries Box Set, cozy mystery (Books 1-3) by Madison Johns
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, I have finished with the first combined book that encompassed books 1-3. I have to admit that it was fun. By reading the books this way I was able to watch the characters grow into believable people. The story became more and more real. I felt the humor the author sprinkled in as hugs from a friend.

If you want to see the reviews for each of the books here:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/912149747
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/936450786
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/939739919

I bought them all individually but chose to read the books with the box set so as to get more deeply into Madison Johns’s cozy mysteries. Besides, when I find someone doing what I think is right, I try to support them with my money, meager as it is. In this case, I had been researching stories that featured older womyn. I don’t like mysteries, especially the murder-y kind. I would rather read science fiction or fantasy with crones, senior ladies, being the ones getting to have the adventures. When I think that the baby boomers are the largest generation, then having stories about us, especially the womyn, should be easy to find. But alas, that isn’t the case. Anyway, that is how I found this series and invested into it.

Cozy isn’t the word I would apply to murder of any sort. These books do contain that wicked element. But the author doesn’t spend time dredging up the blood or other details I’d rather not have in my head before going to sleep. The thrill is in watching the main characters sort through the facts and figure out the whodunnit and why. So I suppose that is how it rates the ‘cozy mystery’ tag.

These are great beach reads or quiet reads to accompany tea. One needs lighter reads like that, occasionally. By the way, I do have the next boxed set ready to read but I have a lot on my read-to-review shelf that I need to read first. I do plan to continue enjoying Aggie and El again, soon.

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Senior Snoops
Senior Snoops by Madison Johns
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This third in the series was better than the other two combined. The Senior Snoops are getting to winter in Florida. Nice! If they thought it would all be beaches and tans, though, they got a rude awakening long before they got to their destination. So murder and mysteries abound.

After the two previous books I feel I know Agnes and Eleanor as good friends. They have spunk and are active seniors. They are sexually active and enjoy the men in their lives with enthusiasm. And they are snoopy! They can get in more trouble than any twelve teens.

I did enjoy this book. There are a few editing issues, but they don’t get in the way of the story. I think my biggest gripe was the making Agnes become a sudden prude on nude beaches or in the strip club. I didn’t see her that way before this book so the few remarks that made her that way stopped the story short for me. Still, I have the next set of books set up. I have a few other books I am supposed to be reading first, but I’ll be happy to see what Madison Johns has these snoops up to next.

These are great light reading for when you need a break from heavier literary pursuits.

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Grannies, Guns and Ghosts
Grannies, Guns and Ghosts by Madison Johns
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Though I am giving this book a separate review, I am actually reading the boxed set with books one through three. I want the credit toward my reading goal of individual books while having the convenience…

That went nowhere. On to the actual review.

Ghosts. Really? Sigh. I don’t want to give any spoilers so I won’t get into it. This was a shorter book than the first one, maybe a novella rather than a novel. I was glad. This book felt less put together than the first. Editing is badly needed.

What did I like? I like Agnes and Eleanor. Those crazy ladies are fun even though they get into more trouble than they solve. There is a lot of humor in spite of the story being about murders. I am so glad someone has taken the time to write stories about senior womyn. For that reason alone I plan to read all these Senior Snoopers.

In fact… I’m off to read the next book.

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