Didn’t expect that

Had a first yesterday from the Salvation Army: they said they weren’t accepting donations! No, no, it wasn’t anything personal, although I’ve been a frequent flyer there in the past few months. They’re just doing a little rearranging, so I have to come back later in the week. Uh huh, a likely story! But I’ll attempt to drop off again in a day or two. Really, it’s all useful stuff, mostly knick-knacks I’ve outgrown the look of, or books that can go to someone else’s shelf.

I got home to find that since I left the house this morning for work, the front step bannister developed a need for a new paint job…was just puzzling over that when I realized what happened. I had the deck and steps power washed and obviously a little more came off than I anticipated. Fortunately I have matching paint on hand; now I just need a sunny couple of hours to touch up from the clean up.

I was weeding in my front flower bed over the weekend and discovered I have a small strawberry patch; who knew? I find new things every time I work in the flowers. Things grow so lushly it’s easy to miss small plantings. And the raspberry bushes that I thought were not producing…I went out on the back deck to inspect the power wash job and see what had been scrubbed away there. Happily for me, the deck and the paint on the house is intact. AND there are raspberries ripening.

I had two friends stop by my office on Monday. One brought a home-baked cookie as a thank you from his wife. We went berry picking together last week. The other brought me a locally grown rose. It smelled so sweet, and reminded me of my mother’s garden.

Had a little technology coup with my iPad. I figured out how to upload photos from my camera card without having to transfer from a computer. Turns out that a camera kit I bought does the trick, making it a breeze to add photos to enjoy on my screen or to use with my blog. That was easy!

Got upgraded to first class for my flights down to Arizona. I love that: I must admit it has been fun to be a frequent Alaska Airlines traveler and get the free upgrades.

My big planter of lettuces is growing amazingly well. I wasn’t sure if they would make it in a pot, but each of my three leafy varieties is thriving. Can’t wait to harvest and have a salad made with my own greens!

Another iPad find…I downloaded an app that turns the whole screen into a writing surface. You can write with your finger, or use a stylus that is specially designed to work with the surface of the tablet. I’ve seen some blog posts lately about going paperless using this technology. I’m not sure I’m that advanced yet…for one thing, I don’t want to wag my iPad around with me when I’m out and about, so I don’t think I’ll be putting my to dos or my grocery list on my screen. But this definitely brings a new element into play, and I’m excited to see how it changes my iPad experience.

Little surprises, little finds…sometimes good, sometimes exasperating. But however small, the victories and challenges pique my interest, keep me going, bring a smile to my face. Or not, but that’s part of the charm.

What didn’t you expect today?

Love that Kindle!

If you haven’t checked out Amazon’s free Kindle books, you’re missing out on real treasure…everything from classic novels and non-fiction to obscure how-to guides; from essays on religions and myths of ancient civilizations to philosophy and poetry; from naturalists’ and historians’ guides to children’s literature. There’s something for everyone, instantly down-loadable, free, and accessible through pretty much any digital device you can think of. Amazon offers free Kindle applications for PCs, Macs, phones, tablets, and of course, you can purchase the Kindle device if you prefer that route. Best of all, whatever you download will appear on any of your Kindle apps. Purchases update wirelessly, so no connecting of everything. It’s like magic.

Another fun thing I stumbled across, accessible through links on Kindle, is Open Library and other resources for free downloads, or for free lending services. See here. (Scroll down to see all the links.)

If books aren’t enough, this link offers access to archived internet pages.
Learn more.
Also here. Found this by following a digital path from Amazon. I love that this company shares this kind of information, and it’s just one of the many reasons I’m a huge Amazon fan.

I’ll never completely give up buying “real” books, because sometimes there is a book so beautiful, or so meaningful, that I have to have an actual printed version in hand. But with all the availability of digital downloads, and the wealth of free material, I can fill a lot of reading time catching up on classics I never got around to in school, or exploring obscure works that catch my interest.

Summer reading lists? In addition to the best sellers, you might want to see what you’ve been missing that is just slightly more dated…Amazon offers almost 16,000 free titles here and if that isn’t enough to keep you busy, there are lending library options that offer free access to books for a limited time before you “return” the book, all done digitally…don’t ask me how, I just follow the links and click.

Enjoy the exploration! It’s entertaining to browse the lists and links, and to accumulate a personal library that’s on hand any time you find yourself waiting in a line, vacationing at the beach, or having a restless night. With all the options, a good read is as easy to find as your laptop or phone. And all those titles you always meant to read? Well, what are you waiting for?!