Thursday, December 20, 2018

Moving, But I Love This Apartment

I'm planning to move in a few months. It is my choice - I'll be moving into a van to travel around North America and will convert the van into a little RV-like dwelling as I go. The van has a high roof so I can stand in it. I like to say it will be my bedroom with an ensuite, and the world will be my living room.

I'm sad about leaving my apartment, though. It has been a real blessing and a gift from God. I've been in this apartment since January 2015. Before this, I lived in a nearby apartment on the ground floor in another building. I was happy most of the time there, until December 2014 when the people above me were making constant noise with their stereo and I became agitated by it because I couldn't even leave the apartment to get away from it. That feeling of agitation was very unusual for me... not my normal thing!

I went to the apartment manager about it and she told me I could move into this apartment in the other building, on the third floor. I was amazed when I saw it. This is a corner-of-the-building apartment and has two windows in one of the bedrooms. There is a wonderful view in each direction.

After I moved in I realized the apartment is a gift from God... because He knew the apartment was empty and available, though all I knew at the time was that my apartment had become uninhabitable for me because of the noise upstairs. So I moved, and ended up in a much better apartment than I had before.

So now, I'm getting ready to leave, and I'm being a bit sentimental about leaving this wonderful place I've been living in for the last few years. I used to host Bible studies in here - with lots of dear friends. I've been blessed in so many ways since being here... but I'm feeling a call to go, to get on the open road and make traveling my lifestyle.

Because I'm leaving this happy place, I've decided to start now and take photographs of things in this apartment. This is my first in what I hope will be a series.

Mixed Flatware


1. I'm grateful for the years I've lived in this apartment.

2. I'm grateful for my new cell phone.

3. I'm grateful for the First 5 app for communicating with other Christian women online.

Plan for the day:

1. Get ready for shopping tomorrow.

2. Watch The Dead Files

3. Study the Bible.

Currently reading:

1. People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks

2. Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Cleaning It Up: my blog needs a lot of updating!

This is such an old blog, it needs cleaning up. I've had this blog since before was sold to Google.

I started blogging on a plain HTML website in the year 2000. At the time I didn't know about blogging sites and platforms. When I found out about I transferred my efforts over here. That was apparently in 2002, as that is when the earliest postings on this blog are from. If I ever find my earlier blog postings, I'll add them in. They are probably on some hard drive around here somewhere. I save everything, so much as I can. A lot of my early computers were trashed when I got them. It was hard, in those days.

Anyhow, there are a lot of dead links and missing images from early postings on this blog, and I'm going through them now to update, delete, and fix. So much work to do. That's what happens with old blogs.


1. I'm grateful for my blogging hobby. It has been a wonderful way of life.

2. I'm grateful for my new Fitbit. It reminds me to get up and walk 250 steps, then, when I've reached 250 steps, it buzzes me again and congratulates me! So sweet.

3. I'm grateful for blue sky and sunshine today, even though it is really, really cold out there.

Plan for the day:

1. Continue updating this blog's old postings. What a mess!

2. Clean the coffee pot.

3. Edit one of my novels.

Currently reading:

1. The Pursuit of God, by A.W. Tozer - reading chapter five

2. 12 Month Guide to Better Prayer for Women - I'm in chapter four.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Technology, Old and New: Rokono via bluetooth and an old 3.5" disk drive

Today I opened two packages from Amazon. They came last week and I never opened them before because I've been feeling overwhelmed by technology... you know, the learning curve?

First came the GoPro Hero 7 Black, which I'm still trying to figure out. I talked to my son about it today since he has the same camera, and he said he'd be making a video soon about how he uses it.

Along with that came the Amazon Kindle Fire 10, which I am getting along with just fine.

Next, I got a new scanner which I like very much, thank you! Just what I needed to put next to my desk and use to put all my papers and photos into digital format. It will even do slides and negatives.

Then, the Fitbit, which is being used daily, though I still don't understand it all. My goal is 4000 steps daily, at this time.

Next, these other two things.

1. The Rokono is a little round speaker using a line in, or bluetooth.

2. The old style 3.5" USB floppy drive. More about that in a minute.

First I want to talk about the Rokono. It is a little round speaker, and by the time I got it, I forgot why I wanted it. I opened it this morning and set up the bluetooth to pair with my Kindle Fire 10, and remembered - this is for listening to audiobooks while I'm riding my exercise bike. The speaker connects via bluetooth and has a much better sound than the Kindle itself. It will work with my new cellphone when I get it (hopefully soon.)

The new 3.5" disk reader, well, that's a throwback to the days before CDs. I bought it because I have a box full of old 3.5" disks and 5" floppy disks, and the only reason I'm keeping them is to find one special file from back in the days of bulletin board systems (BBS). I used to own such a BBS, and want to find that file before I toss out all the rest of these old disks. It is a file about healing, by a healer who lived near Lake Tahoe, and I believe it is worth preserving though I can't find it anywhere on the internet. So, the search is on.


1. I'm grateful that cows live across the street. Now, I never get to see them in winter and so, they're not in their pasture now. There's snow there now. I don't know where the cows go in winter, but I love watching them out my window in warmer months. Every year they change, in that there were 3 brown cows and 1 black one year, and the next, 2 brown cows, 1 black. Another year 2 black cows, one brown. I don't know what's going on over there but . . . well, this is sounding ominous and I'm not grateful for that. I just like watching them, when they're there.

2. I'm grateful I got things done yesterday - two things that were on my to-do list for a while now, concerning phone contacts with other people.

3. I'm grateful for my new GoPro camera - though it is really hard for me to learn to use, I'm making progress and finally have all the pieces I need to start using it. A good challenge will keep my mind young.

Plan for the day:

1. Phone part D medicare insurer to talk about next year's coverage.

2. Package two returns; one to Amazon and one to Roamans.

3. Work on getting my daughter's package ready to mail.

Currently reading:

1. To Live is Christ, by Beth Moore - I've been listening to the audiobook version - currently in chapter six. It is about the life of the Apostle Paul.

2. The Nightingale - continuing this novel about the French resistance during World War II.

Monday, December 03, 2018

Maybe a Butterfly After All: according to my friend . . .

Last night after the worship encounter evening at our church (all music, no sermon) I talked to my friend about my travel plan, and she said I was going to be like a butterfly. She said I came here to North Idaho like a caterpillar, and have been in a cocoon for a long time (my comfy apartment?) and now will be coming out of the cocoon to be like a butterfly in my future travel (and service) life. I thought it was cool synchronicity that she came up with the butterfly analogy right after I'd written a blog post claiming not to be a social butterfly!


Truth is, the van life will put me into much closer contact with other human beings in the future, and maybe that's one of the reasons I must go there. Right now, I spend most of my time in an ivory tower. A nice two-bedroom apartment on the third floor, with a great view. Today my great view started with wet streets, from rain, and now, in the last hour, turned white with big snowflakes. Like I said, snow was on the way.


1. So grateful for the worship encounter evenings at my church, once a month. Awesome experience last night! Give it all to Jesus - and trust Him for the right results - in EVERYTHING ...

2. I'm grateful for the discussion I had with my friend (Nita) about prayer . . . about how we need to give every situation to Jesus in prayer. He wants to hear our concerns. He already knows! But He wants us to be able to identify and verbalize our concerns to Him, and trust Him with them. For example - my difficult relationships with siblings and a few other family members. I can't fix a thing and have done plenty to mess things up... so I feel my efforts are hopeless. This morning I was ruminating about my situation again, and realized that this is a situation I need to identify, pray about, and give to the Lord, and He will do His Will... which is the best thing that can be done for all involved. Praise the Lord!

3. I am grateful for Naomi's neglect of me (parental estrangement) because it has taught me to understand what God feels when His children turn away from Him. Ah, the pain of it all . . . but I was one of those children turning away from Him toward false gods and false prophets, and now that I've been welcomed back, like the prodigal son, having spent so much of my life in ignorance (agnosticism, the word, derives from the Greek word for ignorance) I'm finding Jesus still loves me, and shines His light on me, and gives me the full heart I've always yearned for. I know I am loved, and what is better than that?

Plan for the day:

1. Figure out a new budget, heading into 2019, accounting for travel expenses

2. Write a book review for my blog . . . I want to review the best books I read during 2018. I'm starting with Blue Highways.

3. Walk 4000 steps and cycle 30 minutes on my exercise bike while listening to an audiobook

Currently reading:

1. The Nightingale, by Kristen Hannah. I passed the half-way point and now I'm headed downhill. That's what the second half of a book feels like to me - the downhill half of a hike.

2. Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young. I've been reading this devotional since last summer, and like it a lot. It always reminds me how much Jesus loves me.

Sunday, December 02, 2018

Not a Social Butterfly: I have privacy needs

I usually manage to have a few good friends wherever I move to, and I'm very grateful for them. However, nobody has ever accused me of being a social butterfly, and that's probably because I'm not one. I'm the kind of person who is quiet when you first meet me, usually. I'm reticent, and hesitant. I'm happy to observe until I find out where I fit into a social situation or relationship.

In a vandwelling forum I've found others like me! Quite a revelation! People who live in their vans are often those who are happy to isolate themselves from the social situations most people flock to. No wonder I'm attracted to vandwelling. I just want to be left alone much of the time, and it isn't because I don't want to be with you, it is just that I value my alone-time.

I do make efforts to go out. I went to church this morning, for example, and I'll go to the worship evening. But I'm not going there to see anyone in particular, except Jesus Christ. So, that's not especially a social event yet of course it involves contact with others in my church, which I find enjoyable. They are all such sweet people. Who could not love that? Seriously!

What do I need my alone-time for? Well, it is my opportunity for creativity such as blog writing and art. It is also a great time to read a book, and since I'm the Book Lady on YouTube I do have to read books. I love to read books! Book reading takes gobs of alone-time. That's why I say I have privacy needs. Silence, quiet, solitude, peacefulness, serenity - these are all words that describe my preferred lifestyle.

I wonder what it will be like to live in a van (which I'm determined I'll soon do) and not know anyone around me in a town, and not have any social pressures to do anything unless I want to. I can wake up in the morning, get ready for whatever I want to do that day, and relax inside my van or drive and sight-see. If I need a shower I can go work out at the gym and then take my shower. If it is Sunday I'll want to find a church to worship at. If I want to make a bookish video I can hunt for a bookstore or visit a library. I can anticipate all kinds of great use for my alone time while living in a van, though I won't always be alone. The chance of making deep, lasting friendships that place social pressures on me are unlikely.

I'll still be around people when I want to be - at tourist areas, at laundromats, at gyms, in stores, at the library, and at churches on Sunday . . . I'll not be totally isolated. I'll be just fine.

I had an acquaintance who tried to make me think there was something wrong with wanting to be alone. I think there's something wrong with trying to make people feel guilty for wanting to be alone much of the time. I make time for my friends, but I'm not on call whenever/wherever . . . of course, if my friend needs me for something important, I'll switch everything around and try to make time to help, if at all possible, God willing. I hope I would never desert a friend in need.


1. I'm grateful for the church I go to - not only because Jesus is there, but because it is full of people who love Him.

2. I'm grateful that I'm reading a novel I consider great literature right now. I read it right before I go to sleep at night.

3. I'm grateful that my son phones to talk to me frequently.

Plan for the day:

1. Go to church. - done

2. Well, it is Sunday - so I'm relaxing and taking it easy.

3. Worship evening at the church.

Currently reading:

1. Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson - I don't remember buying this last time I subbed to - but there it is in my library, so I'm listening to it while riding my exercise bike (30 minutes at a time). So far, holds my interest.

2. Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking, by S.J. Scott and Barrie Davenport - can't remember why I was inspired to buy the Kindle version of this book, but that's probably why I need it. I started reading it last night.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Snow is Coming to North Idaho - You just know it is because it always does

I've lived in North Idaho since 2013. I've been through five winters here and am about to go through the sixth. Each winter has been different. One winter it was extremely cold, with occasional snow. The next winter there was some snow, but very little. One winter there were many hail storms. One winter the snow got deep and stayed for months, and months. Brrrr... the memories. One winter we had a lot of electrical storms.

Now, looking at my sixth (and what may be my final North Idaho winter) I wonder where the hail storms and lightening went. I could really do without that lightening. Also, hail is not cool. Well, it is cold, but not good... I have one dent on the hood of my car from hail - but that happened in New Mexico while I was on the way home from Texas in 2017. Still, I'm hoping for no hail.

I live in an apartment ... and there are more cars here than the awning will shelter. Sometimes I get a sheltered parking space and sometimes I don't. If we have to have hail, I'll be parking under the shelter and leaving it there. I can live without going anywhere. I did it before when I didn't have a car. There are ways to get food delivered - I don't have to go out for that.

The weather report shows rain this week until Saturday, and then two days of snow. Our first snow this year was November 9. Well, looks like we're in for it. Today I'm going out to Coeur d'Alene to get things done before the snow comes. Might as well get on with it.


1. I'm grateful for the car my mother gave me in January 2017. I was so destitute without a car for three and a half years. This has helped tremendously.

2. Grateful for the food supplements I have on hand, though I need to buy more Vitamin E.

3. I'm grateful for my new Kindle Fire ... I'm getting a lot of use out of it, both for Kindle books and Audible audio books.

Plan for the day: do errands before the snow comes

1. Go test drive the van

2. Shop for a new cell phone plan

3. Go see Tina

Currently reading:

1. The Nightingale, by Kristen Hannah. I read about fifty pages last night. Almost half way through the book.

2. Never be Fat Again, by Raymond Francis . . . I'm reading chapter 11, about food supplements.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The Story is No Story Today

I want to have a story for you every day, but today's story is only that there's no story. My imagination isn't racing, it isn't producing, it isn't revealing anything for me to share with you.

Oh, I could go into fiction and create a story that way, but what do I have to tell you about my life? I'm sitting in my apartment, the evening news is on TV. I've had the remainder of this post written for a while now... the gratitudes, plan for the day, and current reading list. All that had to wait until I could find a story to tell you.

I am serious about sharing my life stories on this blog. One little story per day. Can I do that? Honestly, I don't do well with consistency. The words "every day" are anathema to me.

Recently I bought a book about story telling from life - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story. I've only read a few pages, so far. Apparently I'm supposed to find a better story by living a more interesting life.

Well, hang on there! I'm planning to give up my apartment to move into a van... would that make life more interesting?

My main reason for doing that is ... well, there are a lot of reasons. How can I choose just one?

1. If I stay in my apartment for the next 20 years it will cost about 150,000 dollars. Living in a van would cut my expenses.
2. I've been desperately wishing for road trips. Well, in a van, my life will be nothing but road trips.
3. I have a blog called Journey! California that I've wanted to develop ever since the early days of the internet. What's been stopping me? Mainly - the opportunity to travel. But now I'll have that opportunity - though I won't confine my efforts to California only.

So, my no-story day has turned into a bit of a story. My story today is that I need a more exciting life, and the plan is in the works. Tomorrow, hopefully, I'll test drive that van.


1. I'm grateful that I've got an audio version of the Bible. Some days I don't feel like sitting at my desk to read, and it helps to play the audio Bible instead. Today I listened to a few chapters of Proverbs, and some Psalms.

2. I'm grateful for the many friends I've made at Booktube.

3. I'm grateful for a day without rain (hopefully) tomorrow. That will help a lot as I want to test drive that van.

Plan for the day:

1. Pay bills

2. Bullet journal border video

3. Install and use new scanner

Currently reading:

1. The Pursuit of God, by A.W. Tozer, chapter 1

2. The Nightingale, by Kristen Hannah

I've been reading both The Nightingale and People of the Book. Last night I decided that I must choose only one ... two novels at a time - that's just too much for me. So I decided to finish The Nightingale first.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Gratitudes for the last Monday in November 2018 - and a plan for the day

Starting my gratitude journal, here and now.

1. I'm grateful I got to spend time visiting with my friend, Nita, yesterday. We went out to lunch after church. She's been a real blessing, a huge blessing, for me ever since I moved to Idaho in 2013.

2. I'm grateful my medical insurance was approved. It is a good & bad sort of thing. Good that I now have coverage, and bad that it is costing so much! Hopefully, in the long run, it will be more of a benefit than a burden. I feel like I'm paying for future possibly needed medical care in advance. Such is life. I'm grateful that I've been so healthy so long as I have.

3. I'm grateful I got The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer as both a Kindle book and an audiobook via it is such a blessing to be able to listen to it. I can see myself going over this book several times as I internalize the message. I'm pretty excited about it as both a bedtime book, and a morning book. Maybe when I get done studying this book, I'll read God's Pursuit of Man by the same author.

Now, a plan for my day...

1. Make a bullet journal border video. This will be posted on my creativity YouTube channel.

2. Lessons on (a) video creating and (b) using the new GoPro Hero7 Black.

3. Complete paperwork for the apartment I now live in.

Currently reading:

People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks - I'm in chapter 3.

A 12-Month Guide to Better Prayer for Women - I read chapters 2 and 3 this morning - they were two parts of an article by Charles H. Spurgeon: "The Secret of Power in Prayer."

Saturday, November 24, 2018

I got a new Kindle Fire - so I've been distracted...

Yes, I got a new Kindle yesterday and have been totally distracted by it ever since. My Kindle since January 2013 has been a simple Kindle Paperwhite. It has been almost six years since I got that and it still works wonderfully, except that it slowed down from having too much on it.

Even though it still works fine, for reading (which is all it was ever good for in the first place) ... I decided to upgrade to my first Kindle Fire ... I got the 10" model which I think is top if the line right now. It is a bit bigger and heavier than I expected. Today I ordered a case for it as I think that will make it easier to hold and use.

Kindle Fire

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving, 2018 Style

Why not? Be happy! I'm happy. Why? Well, it is a state of mind and sure beats depression by a long shot. Really, I wish nobody in this world was depressed. But let's not talk about depression. I could get deep into that topic but no... let's talk happiness.

Last night I went to church where we had a nice albeit short sermon about thankfulness. What other topic would have been so timely?

Pastor Carl suggested that this year, we keep thankfulness journals, and rather than just being thankful for the good things happening in our lives, also be thankful for the bad stuff that happens to us because ... it is because of the bad stuff that we grow, mature, and learn. So, both ways, good or bad, we're getting experiences here to be grateful for.

Maybe this blog can be my gratitude journal because, if you look around my office here, you'll easily see I have no need for another journal. Journaling has been a way of life for a long time. That's probably why blogging works so well for me.

Hope you're having a good Thanksgiving, or just had one..?

I'm staying home alone. My choice. I love my solitude. Tomorrow I'm going out to lunch with a friend at a fancy restaurant in Coeur d'Alene. I decided to wait one day as a cost savings measure, and so we could enjoy the regular menu.

My dinner tonight will be a vegetable burger - Morningstar Farms. Also a big plate of cruciferous vegetables and mashed potatoes. I have some carrot juice to enjoy with that.

My diet is changing again. I've been vegetarian for many years. I have to eliminate cheese and bread, because my diet isn't good for me.

Oh, this coming year could be fun. I'm thankful already for it.

And I'm getting a new camera tomorrow - a GoPro Hero7 ... I've never had one before. I'm thankful for the opportunity to buy one.

Okay, bye for real now.

Happy, Happy Thanksgiving. And Happy, Happy Every Day.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Thanksgiving Eve

We're heading into the holiday weekend, and tonight I'll celebrate Thanksgiving Eve at a special church service in Washington. This church has a special fellowship night every year, the night before Thanksgiving.

I'm glad I have somewhere to go, because tomorrow I'll be alone. Such is life. My family is scattered and my nearest child will have dinner tomorrow with her landlord and his family. That's fine with me.

Honestly, I like being alone. Doesn't bother me in the least. I don't eat turkey anyway; I'm a vegetarian. Nearly vegan. The day after Thanksgiving I'll be going out to dinner with a friend of mine. I'm really looking forward to that.

Life's good. Celebrate!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Book Loving

I've been working on my annual TBR list over at my main blog: ... For the last three years I've been doing the PopSugar Reading Challenge and I keep track of my books for each prompt on that blog, and also record when I read a book.

I never manage to get all the books read. I'm a slow reader, unfortunately. I'd like to read a lot more than I actually do. In 2018 I've read 17 books from my PopSugar TBR list. That's less than half of the books I chose. Every year it is like that. I've read 25 books from the 2017 list, and 26 books from the 2016 list. Still I plod ever onward in my journey, wanting to read more, do more, learn more, and be enriched more by these wonderful books.

According to my 2018 page at Goodreads, I've read 25 books this year. I'm currently reading The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.

I read both fiction and nonfiction. I have a desire to read more variety and so I'm setting a goal to read one book in each of five categories, each month during 2019:

1. a recently published novel
2. a nonfiction book
3. a Newbery list book
4. a classic
5. a novel I wrote (in other words, do a full revision)

There can be some overlap or rule breaking. I won't hold myself to a strict interpretation of this list. After all, I'm not doing this for anything but pleasure and self-enrichment. I'm too old to be hard on myself. I have no reason to be.

Happy reading, everybody!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Just Started Reading: The Gift of Fear

Even though I leave fear in the hands of Jesus, knowing He will take care of me - sometimes fear is a gift. That's the kind of fear that you get as a sudden knowing that you're in danger, even if you don't consciously know what the danger is. This is intuition, and this is what this book teaches us to develop and pay attention to.

I just started reading The Gift of Fear this week, and am sorry I didn't know about it sooner. It was published way back in 1997, and should be read by everyone, man and woman alike, but especially women, as we rely on intuition to save us because our muscles usually won't.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Idaho-Canada border crossings in Porthill, ID and Eastport, ID

Ever wonder what the nearest border crossing looks like? I never had a reason to drive to the Idaho-Canada border crossings because I don't have a passport, so I decided I wanted to go see them just for the sake of seeing them.

Well, it was more than that. I want to start a travel YouTube channel, and decided it made sense to start at the top of Idaho, and work south, for my first videos.

Unfortunately I've run right into winter at this point, so my travels will have to wait until springtime. I like to do this when the skies are blue. Right now they are white and gray.

This day, however, I had great weather. It was a beautiful drive.

My plan is to buy a van in the springtime and start traveling around quite a lot, so please, if you have any interest in travels, please subscribe to my newest YouTube channel: Travel Around.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

November 2018 Reading Update

My most recent Booktube video. Booktube is part of YouTube.