12 April 2019

Off the Shelf; or What's New in My Corner of the World 3

What's new in my lifeToday is the first day in a long time that I don't have a pile of work awaiting my attention. Mid-April always means a lighter workload for me, and the timing couldn't be better. With milder temperatures, spring fever sets in with a vengeance, and I'm itching to get outside and fix up the deck, clean the porch, and tidy up the yard and gardens.

On the schedule for this afternoon: buy potting soil and clean out my planters so I'll be ready to start shopping the local nurseries. Oh and it's only two more weeks until our outdoor farmers' market opens for the season. Good-bye vegetables from California, hello local produce!

Quiet time: A few years ago I edited a parenting book that inspired Mr. BFR and me to implement a change in our (childless) lives, and it's become a welcome habit. Almost every night after dinner we have a no-screen hour. During that time, we don't watch television and stay off our phones and computers. It's our time to do something fun (like play cards or work on a jigsaw puzzle) or listen to music, read (eBook screens are allowed), do crafts, enjoy a hobby, get a chore done, and so on. We don't always engage in a joint activity, and we don't set a timer. We've both been surprised at how often an hour of reading or playing the guitar (Mr. BFR) or lacemaking (me), turns into a whole evening without the television or social media. It's a great way to de-stress.

What I do when I'm not readingStill struggling (kind of): On Twitter the other day I joined a conversation about reading digital books. A couple of us agreed that making the switch was less about reading on a screen instead of holding a book and more about getting used to the other aspects: flagging quotes, marking data for use in reviews, not having a clear visual of how much you've read and where the end of the chapter is. The other big issue was remembering what's in your digital library. When I go to pick my next book, I like looking at the covers, maybe reading the first page or so, and seeing all my choices in a row (or stack). I forget to look at my digital library. One friend mentioned that she keeps a spreadsheet so she can see her digital library. My problem is that I'm not usually near my computer when I go to pick out my next book . . . perhaps I need to print out monthly lists. I'm going to give it a try.

Off the shelf at Beth Fish ReadsInstagram: I used to share a daily photograph, and I loved looking at the world through the eye of a camera lens. I've gotten away from that, mostly because I live in a small town, walk the same four or five routes, and work from home. I thought my photos were becoming repetitive and I was losing my inspiration. I've recently decided that the pressure was all in my head. Instead of making sure every photo was "artsy" why not just share a moment from my life? I'm about a week into my new approach, and I'm happy. I've been photographing my books, what I baked, what I saw in the garden. I'm just going to go for it. If I get a lot of likes--yay me. If I don't--oh well.

Life changer: Huge shout out to SuziQoregon (Whimpulsive blog), for introducing me to ProtoPage, which I'm now using for my blog reader. I'm just setting it up and haven't added everybody yet, but I'm loving it! Here's what I did. First I either deleted or moved everything on the home screen that was already there (suggested by the app). Then I filled the front page with the blogs I read, editing the view to suit my needs. Now I can go to ProtoPage and see if anyone has published a new post and click through to read it. This works beautifully, and I'm so glad to be back to making the blog rounds. I'm slowly adding everyone's feeds to my ProtoPage home screen and love feeling connected again. BTW: it's a pretty cool site, and you can make tabs for different kinds of blogs or for adding Twitter feeds, news feeds, and even your Google calendar. Say thanks to SuziQoregon.


bermudaonion 4/12/19, 8:37 AM  

We watch very little television so enjoy a lot of no-screen time. It's amazing how much you can do when you're not chained to the TV.

I always say I'm going to take more pictures and, in the moment, I never remember to.

JoAnn 4/12/19, 10:24 AM  

Great post! We used to enforce a "quiet time" with the girls were younger and have mostly kept the habit ourselves now that they're grown. I'm going to investigate ProtoPage... thanks for the tip!

Tina 4/12/19, 10:40 AM  

Love this post. To share some of our quiet time with you I'll add that if we eat dinner on the patio and have wine, we stay outside and plug in colored lights after dark. We talk until it's near bedtime or the mosquitoes run us in. Otherwise we go into the den after dinner and listen to music and talk.

Astronomy plays a big part too - Doug gets one of his scopes out and I stay in and crochet or read for a bit. Sometimes I wander out to look. We watch a movie about once a week. It's relaxing.

Thanks for the tip about ProtoPage. Going t check it out.

rhapsodyinbooks 4/12/19, 1:11 PM  

Gosh I'll have to check out ProtoPage! Thanks for the background on it!

SuziQoregon 4/12/19, 1:21 PM  

Oh yay! I'm glad you tried ProtoPage - I just love it as my blog feed reader. For me having a page with the widgets for the blogs just seems to work better than the Feedly layout did.

Jackie McGuinness 4/13/19, 10:03 AM  

You've provoked so many thoughts!!

Love the quiet hour idea, but guess we tend to do that during the day as part of our routines. Being retired helps!!

Instagram - I try but just can't seem to get into it. Keep promising myself to do a photo a day but doesn't happen.

Love my e-reader and keep track of my books on Goodreads. Also have my TBR list there. 98% of my books are borrowed from the library and it also keeps a history lost of my borrows.

Still use Bloglovin' for blog reading. But only tend to go over there maybe once a week.

(Diane) bookchickdi 4/16/19, 8:14 PM  

I like the quiet time idea, it seems like a great way to decompress.

Les in Oregon 4/18/19, 11:05 PM  

I've been pretty happy with Bloglovin, but I'm curious about ProtoPage, so I'll have to check it out.

I hope you're having some good spring weather. I need to get outside and do some yardwork once we get back from our road trip.

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