Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Reading, etc.

I mentioned that I've been doing a lot of reading since I'm stuck inside until the weather gets cooler. Reader Peggy Vaughn recommended a series written by Barb Thacker, and here are the 3 books: 'How Can I be Lost When I Don't Know Where I'm Going"; "Wandering Across the Continent with Barb Thacker and Her Dog, Ink'; and "Still Going. . . Blissfully Lost in the Baja : Wandering South of the Border with Barb...". They sound interesting to me and I've ordered two of them from Amazon, both used. One of the 3 is sold out so I will wait until I can find a good used version. I expect these books to be delivered the first of next week.

A trip to the library led me to check out a couple of books by Carla Neggers, who writes romance-suspense novels. I like her because while there are some tense and dangerous moments in the stories, there isn't any dwelling on violence and gore, nor are there graphic descriptions of it. Even the sex is just sufficiently described without the monotony of a Nora Roberts novel. (Not that I think sex is monotonous, but to have six or more nearly-alike descriptions in one novel is over the top, in my opinion.)

So I've read two novels by Carla in two days, and one of them, "The Angel" is set in Boston and Ireland. The scenes in Ireland take place in a village in the vicinity of the one I lived in for 3 years and mentions lots of places I've been. I couldn't figure it out - I could have zeroed in on one village but in the story there is only one pub in the village. I wrote to Carla via her website and asked her about the location, stating that I doubt there is a village in all Ireland with only one pub. She responded and gave me a hint of where she located her mythical village, and it's the same as what I had figured, although as she admitted there are two pubs in that village.

Most of her novels take place, at least in part, in New England, and usually in Maine or New Hampshire. I read one of them this past summer when I was in NY, and found that "The Angel" is related insofar as many of the same characters are in both stories. There are two more books in this series and I have put a reservation in for them at the library.

Another book I checked out is by James Doss and is the latest in his Charlie Moon mystery series. Some people may be more familiar with the mystery writer Tony Hillerman whose mysteries take place in the Navajo nation in NM; the blurb on Doss' books describes Doss as doing for the Utes in Colorado what Hillerman has done for the Navajo.

That's how I'm occupying my time these hot afternoons, although I'll have to slow down a bit or I'll run out of things to read! Oh, and sometimes I get on a non-fiction kick, and often check out a book I've heard discussed on Book-TV.

Secondly, I have had comments about my low electricity bill and have taken a look at them. The last one was for July but keep in mind that I went camping at Lassen for one week in July. I used 59 kw of electricity @$0.062871 per kw, for which they charged me $3.71. However, I seem to get a $3.50 "Customer Charge" on my bill every month, plus a "solar surcharge" at $0.001301. I have no idea what this is about, but it ran me $.08 in July, for a grand total charge for electricity in that month of $7.31.

In February when I was here for the entire month, I used 279 kwh @$0.062126, or $17.33 plus the customer charge plus the solar surcharge. The gas ran $60 in February, but I keep the setting at around 55, plus or minus 5 degrees. A lot of the $17.33 electric bill for Feb. would have included the blower motor on the furnace, and I ran my Lasko portable electric heater a lot of the time.

I am conservative about electricity and unplug what I can when I'm not using it, such as the microwave, coffee maker, and other devices, plus I unplug the power bar with the lamp, computer and Mifi chargers before I go to bed. I can imagine how much more efficiently it will be to heat and cool my house when I finally can replace the windows.

I'm planning to grill shrimp and veg kabobs for my dinner, which meant I finally had to clean the grill. Yuk, how I hate that job! Does anyone else use a charcoal grill and if you do, do you clean the grill rack itself each time you use it? Anyway, you know what I'll be having for desert.


  1. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed those Charlie Moon books a couple of years ago. Really a fun series! I will check into the other books you mentioned. I ?wonder? what you had for dessert? Will have to make that cake, but need to be sure we'll have company to help eat it!!! I enjoy following you!

  2. I watch a cooking show where they always wire brush the grill after they heat it up. Then they take a folded paper towel that has cooking oil on it, and swab down the grill just prior to putting the food on it. Easier to clean up because the food doesn't stick to the grill.

  3. I am reading "Helen Keller - The Story of My Life" and am quite fascinated with it. Of course I got it at the flea market for a half buck.

  4. For some unknown reason I lost my reading desire a few years back & I'm hoping it is only a temporary thing. Books have brought me many, many, hours of great learning & entertainment for most of my life.......

  5. Im reading Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon about his cross country trip in the late 70's so much has changed since then!
    I read the entire Hillerman series I have a great fascination of Navajo mythology so when I discovered Tony's books I was SO excited I got every book he wrote!

  6. I used to be an avid reader until I went fulltime. Haven't read many books since then. Perhaps I no longer have a need to escape reality?

  7. Love reading!! Am going to look up those authors!!Nothing wrong with reading when all else fails & a person is stuck in the house for one reason or another!!!

  8. I've been a certified bibliophile all my life and before full timing read over 100 books a year. Love love love to read. But like Judy, since full timing I haven't read as much. I think I'm too busy during the day and too tired out at night. But lately my numbers are going back up. Thanks for the titles and suggestions. Now if there was only a national library card. :-)

  9. Good idea Sherry ... National Librsry card! Absolutely ...

    I like going to the libraries wherever I land and looking at their book sale shelves... I buy two or three then donate them to the next library ...

    I like light fun stuff or mysteries and I'm with you Gypsy .. Nothing against sex but jeeez and scary violence stuff ... Nah ... Janet Evonavuch cracks me up

  10. I like Hillerman books, also. I was able to buy a Charlie Moon on audio!Enjoyed it very much, sold it on e-Bay for what I paid for it. I am enjoying my Kindle e reader and Free books from Amazon.

  11. I like the Nevada Barr books set in the National Parks.