Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Outlander; beep-less fridge; slanted windows

Last week Amazon had the first seven books of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon on sale for $1.99 for the kindle. I downloaded them all to my kindle and I have done nothing but read for the past week. Actually, my kindle is broken, and I have been reading the books on the kindle app on my phone.  I have read approximately three thousand pages on my phone.

I haven't been able to put it down. I've read the first five books this week, to the detriment of just about everything else, like cooking dinner or sleeping or writing blog posts.  One thing I really like about the series is that the protagonists are a bit older than the usual.  I'm tired of reading romance novels about 19 year old girls finding love with 35 year old men.  Older women can be sexy and lovable too, you know. (Ahem.)  In Outlander, time-traveling heroine Claire travels back to the 1740s at age 28, and her beau Jamie is 23. The first two books are about them in their twenties, and then the remaining six books they are in their fifties.  And Claire has a career in the 1700s, no less.  (Claire also has lots of nookie in the 1700s, but not the smutty sort. You will not mistake it for a Harlequin Blaze book.)

Small nitpicks: I wouldn't describe these books as tightly plotted.  They are more a series of misadventures that eventually wrap up at the end.  Sort of.  Also, I'm not overly fond of reading about rape, and there are two rapes so far.  Not gratuitous violence, both are integral to the plot and move the story forward and provide motive for all the actions that come after....but eh, I don't like reading about rape.  There is actually quite a bit of violence in the books, come to think of it, since they are set during two different wars.

Other small nitpick not related to Diana Gabaldon's writing: the entire series was downloaded into my kindle app as one large book, and my phone app doesn't have a "go to end of chapter/book" function (or maybe it does and I don't know how to use it), but it is hard to tell if I should just keep reading because there's only a few more pages in the chapter/book, or if I should make myself just stop because there is still another five hundred pages to go.  I was also slightly daunted by the the size of the kindle document, as I finished the first book after six hours and it told me I was only 5% of the way through the document.

In any event, I've finished book five, and I can't allow myself to pick up book six until I do all the stuff on my to-do list that I've been ignoring.

Got any book recommendations for me?

The fridge beeps no more.

The garage freezer broke for the third time, and the beeping kitchen fridge/freezer, being in constant use, would no longer shut up, no  matter how much tape we put on it.  Ergo, new fridge.  So far, no beeping.


I've got this slanted window that I don't know what to do with.

The window faces west and is alight like a blazing hell in the afternoon. It makes that side of the house rather warm.  I'd like to cover it, but haven't figured out how.  The slant and how close it is to the ceiling line are making it difficult to find an inexpensive, temporary solution.  I'm not putting custom plantation shutters in a rental.

My first attempt was sheer curtains hung with a tension rod, and I would just use clothes pins to hold the curtains on the rod.  But the slant means that the rod doesn't lay flat and thus does not have enough tension to stay up.

I could use this film stuff.

However, I used this stuff in our house in Haddon Twp ten years ago, and while the product says "removable and reusable".....it wouldn't come off the window, so I'm reluctant to try it again.

Another problem....I'm about a foot short of the top of the window with our ladder.  I definitely can't reach above the molding to install a curtain rod.

I'm getting close to just tacking up a bedsheet, no matter how inelegant it looks.  Or I could just jam some regular window shades in there, like my neighbor.

Edited to add: My sister just sent me a bunch of ideas, and I think one of them is perfect:

I could cut off the tab top portion and re-sew it back on an angle so it hangs evenly.  Hmm......


  1. Hang a bracket from the side of the window and rest the tension rod on the bracket.

  2. If I could do my life over, I would be an architect for Builders. I mean, they had to get that dumb plan from somewhere. Mine wouldn't have such nasties. Hope you find a solution. (PS if you do use tabs...don't rip them off and re-sew--just hem the bottom on the angle.)

  3. Good luck with that window- the hooks will work but attaching them will be quite a project!

    As for books, my favorite this summer was You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz. It's about a woman who's a marriage therapist, and her husband suddenly disappears. It's hard to summarize without giving too much away but it was REALLY good!

    Also have you ever read Penny Vincenzi? She wrote a great trilogy- No Angel, Something Dangerous and Into Temptation. They focus on one family starting in the early 1900s through the 1950s and while there are great historical details it's also very soap opera-ish in a fun way. I loved them.


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