April 23, 2013

I'm A Book Hoarder


Actually, I'm a hoarder of many things, but today I'll just be focusing on my book obsession.

Over the weekend I was doing a little spring cleaning. A rather unusual activity for me. One thing I do not obsess about is cleaning, so when the urge hits me, I take full advantage of it. Anyhoo, part of my cleaning involved a bookcase tucked away in a corner of my bedroom. As I swiffered away the thin layer of dust covering the shelves, I realized that most of the books lining those shelves had never been read. Then some pretty obvious questions popped into my head: Why is that? What's been keeping me from reading all of these books?

I pondered the answers as I continued to clean and came up with the following list of reasons:

  • No Time: Most people would think that a single, childless adult would have plenty of time on her hands to read, but that's actually not true. Obviously, working full time eats up a lot of my time during the week. For the past few years, most free time that I've had has been spent working on crafts - knitting, making jewelry, etc. So that hasn't left much room for reading, yet I still buy books. I just can't help myself.
  • Too Tired: I've been dealing with chronic fatigue issues for many years. I'm not saying I have chronic fatigue syndrome - I've never been diagnosed, or worked up for it for that matter - I'm just simply chronically fatigued. I live a pretty sedentary life as well as hold a job that requires me to sit in front of a computer eight or more hours a day, so it's really no surprise that I have no energy. Anytime I pick up a book, within two or three pages my eyes are drooping and I'm ready for a nap.
  • Reality TV: I will admit that I am a reality TV junkie, or at least I was. Real Housewives, Top Chef, Project Runway, Mob Wives, Deadliest Catch, Big Brother, Survivor - you name, I've watched it. Spending too much time in front of the TV didn't leave much time for reading.

As of now, I'm not crafting much at all and I don't spend nearly as much time watching TV as I once did. I've also been working on my fatigue issues by starting to exercise and changing my sleeping habits - going to bed the same time every night, getting up the same time every morning and not hitting the snooze button 8 times before dragging myself out of bed - so I've had a little more stamina lately. I have no excuse for not reading anymore.

I'm still working on my Good Reads challenge and I've decided to add the following unread books from my collection to help me meet my goal: 




  • No Time For Goodbye by Linwood Barclay
  • Blood Vines by Erica Spindler
  • Moment of Truth by Lisa Scottoline
  • The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson
  • The Innocent by Harlan Coben
  • All Around Town by Mary Higgins Clark
  • Two For The Dough by Janet Evanovich
  • The Manhattan Hunt Club by John Saul
  • Have Your Cake and Kill Him Too by Nancy Martin
  • Dirty Blonde by Lisa Scottoline

I have a variety of genres lining my shelves, the bulk of them mysteries and thrillers, which is the category the above titles fall under. These should keep me busy for awhile. Once I tackle the bookcase, then I'll move onto the unread titles on my Kindle and maybe get a handle on my book hoarding problem.

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April 2, 2013

The Need to Explain...

Some of you out there may be wondering about my blog posts over the past few weeks. Particularly the holiday-related ones. As we all know, the holidays are over and done with, so the timing of these posts may seem a bit odd.

All posts prior to this one were actually written between October 2012 and February 2013. A Creative Yarn started out as a Typepad blog. I decided that since I'm a sporadic blogger, and right now I view blogging as a hobby, using a free blog service is a better option.

In other words, I'm cheap. Free is always better in my mind. And since free blogging is available, why not utilize it?

I transferred all of my posts over to Blogger and scheduled a few of them to post each day. Now, I'm finally caught up, so any future posts will reflect more current themes. And unless I decide to blog on a regularly scheduled basis, those posts will more than likely appear sporadically :)



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April 1, 2013

Book Review: Sanctuary by Nora Roberts

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I was once a huge Nora Roberts fan, but I stopped reading her books years ago. Her story lines were becoming stale, at least to me, so I lost interest. Some time after that, I lost all interest in romance novels and moved on to mysteries.

A couple of weeks ago, I was in the mood to read a quick romance and decided to give Nora a try again. I chose Sanctuary. The plot line sounded interesting and it was one of the few Nora Roberts books available for my Kindle as a library loan.

Sanctuary is a story about Jo Ellen Hathaway. She's a photographer in her late 20s whose dealing with some demons from her past. When she was a child, her mother disappeared. After a long investigation, the police could find no signs of foul play, so it was decided that she left on her own accord. Well this tore the family apart and eventually Jo became estranged from them and moved away.

She became a famous photographer and life was going well until she started receiving mysterious photos. They were always shots of her in various places, and of course this creeps her out. The last package of photos she receives includes one of her mother, who happens to be dead in the shot. This sends her over the edge. After a brief stint in the hospital, she decides to go to Sanctuary, the family home in Georgia. There, she is reunited with her family, who aren't exactly warm and fuzzy when she arrives.

At first, she doesn't tell anyone what's happened to her or about the photo of her mother, which has disappeared and she's not even sure existed in the first place. She begins to think she's really going crazy. Of course, she meets a guy - Nathan - who has issues of his own. Rather than spilling more details, I'll just say his secrets come out and eventually he helps Jo solve the mystery of what happened to her mother.

I really did like this book, although a little predictable (I figured out early on who was sending the pictures). It was a fairly quick read and had the right amount of suspense mixed in with red hot romance to keep the pace of the story going. All in all an entertaining read.



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DIY Seed-Starting Mini Greenhouse

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Lately, the produce from the grocery store has been, well, to put it nicely, lacking in quality, and I'm getting tired of spending more money than I care to for inferior produce, so I've decided to grow some of my own. I've done this before in the past - sometimes successfully and other times not so much.

Last Monday, I planted some herb and vegetable seeds, and I'm happy to say some of the seeds have already sprouted.

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First to come up was the arugula - after only 4 days!

a creative yarn
a creative yarn

Two thyme plants, one basil, and three tomato plants followed after.

Seeds and some peat trays were the only thing I purchased for this project, everything else I had on hand in my garage, which was great because I didn't want to spend a lot of money doing this.

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This terra cotta-colored plastic tray was left over from a greenhouse kit I bought three or four years ago and has proven to come in handy for growing seeds. The kit came with a self-watering mat - the black piece the seedlings are sitting on. It lays on top of a stand that fits in the tray. When you fill the tray up with water, the ends of the mat hang down in the water, absorbing it and the entire mat stays wet. As long as there's water in the tray the mat will remain wet, which ensures the seedlings are kept moist.

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I planted all of my seeds in round peat pots and peat trays using Miracle-Gro seed starting potting mix. I just filled up the peat pots and trays with the potting mix and stuck a seed in each one, then put a thin layer of mix on top of the seeds. I didn't have any plant markers so I improvised and cut strips of  watercolor paper and used those as plant markers, writing on each one the plant name and sticking them in each pot as I planted the seeds.

a creative yarn

The last step was to make the "greenhouse" covering. I used clear plastic bags for this since I no longer have the top that came with the kit. The bag covering the long peat tray is left over packaging that was lying around. I propped it up with a couple of sticks to give the seedlings some room to grow. For the tomatoes, I just cut a couple of ziplock bags to fit over top of the pots.

And that is how I made my green house.

My method of gardening is to just wing it. I'm going to let my seedlings grow for a while and then transfer them into their larger, permanent pots. I know very little about gardening, but that's okay. I'll figure it out as I go along. We'll just have to wait and see what happens.




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