21 May, 2019

5 tips to overcome Reader's Block #TheBookBlogTrain

In all these years from my childhood, I rarely felt the reader's block. Actually, my situation is the other way around. If possible, I would love to read every day but it is never possible due to work and family. 


But, I remember once or twice feeling like no book is interesting and when I get any bad book for review, this sets me off. I usually, don't stop reading any book in the middle until it is a genre that I really hate or the language is too tough to follow. Did you ever face a reader's block? How did you come out of it?

What is Reader's block?

Reader's block is a feeling of disinterest to finish reading a book. The reason can be any external distraction like responsibilities, stress, or notifications from a smartphone or social media. Whatever may be the reason, sometimes we might feel like the book doesn't sound interesting enough to continue and even after changing to some other book, this feeling continues. Due to this, we cannot complete any book for some time.

A few tips that I suggest if you are going through the phase of Reader's block:


1. Pick a different genre
This works for most of the people. I usually read fiction, thriller, and horror. So, choosing a different genre is refreshing to the mind and it may sound interesting. Try that!

2. Read some short stories
If nothing interests your mind, try reading short stories. One benefit is that you will feel accomplished as you will complete a short story within an hour. So, this brings you out of Reader's block quickly. Usually, a collection of short stories of different genres is interesting and you might like at least one story out of 3.

3. Become busy with some other hobby before picking another book
Try painting or hiking or writing something before picking another book. This will bring your creative mind running and mental relaxation is beneficial. 


4. Read book reviews
When I am bored, I usually read random book reviews on Goodreads.com.  This will help me to pick a good book next time and there are fewer chances of not liking that book or stop reading it in the middle.

5. Visit book stalls and Libraries
A visit to the library/book stall is so refreshing, even when I don't buy any book. Reading different book blurbs, checking the book covers and choosing books is refreshing. When we spend time searching for our favorite book, buy/ rent it and then read it, it is more satisfying and there is less chance of not liking that book.

Those are some tips to overcome Reader's block. How do you like them? Do you think they are useful to you to continue reading good books?

Let me know your thoughts in comments.

Until next time,








This article is written as a part of #Thebookblogtrain conducted by Vidhya Thakkar and Siddhi Palande powered byPenguin India and Redwolf should not be repurposed, republished or used otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. Hosts are not responsible for any infringement caused.”

16 May, 2019

Pass on the ball please 🙂 #wordlesswednesday

Found this sculpture at Peublo River walk, Colorado.

Linking this to #wordlesswednesday hosted by Natasha and the sky girl.


Until next time,

14 May, 2019

Day 2 - Monument Valley Park and Four Corners #UtahRoadTrip


Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers



Before going to our Day 2 travelogue, please go through below posts to follow the itinerary.

Utah Vacation Plan with Kids

Day 1 - Arches National Park and Canyonlands National park

We stayed at Bluff, UT at Kokopelli Inn. This budget-friendly inn is decent with cool interior decor aligning with the Native American culture.  We have reached the hotel late but realized that it is just 1 mile from Twin rocks and 1 hr away from Monument Valley park. 
Mexican Hat

We started to Monument Valley park after breakfast on Day #2 and our first stop is at Mexican Hat to take a picture. To go nearer to the rock formation, you should go on a dirt road. Then, we saw the Valley of Gods and the drive is very scenic. Wind and water erosion over millions of years on Colorado Plateau resulted in this scenic park with many rock formations. 
The Famous Forrest Gump image

View from the Visitor Center

As you are about to reach the park you will see the famous image of Monument Valley park where Forrest Gump movie is picturized. The road and the rock formations form a fantastic view. Tourists even take photos in the middle of the road. After reaching the Visitor center, we refreshed, bought some momentoes and took photos. The Visitor center has some good photo opportunity places. Entry is $5 per head.

Elephant Butte

There is a scenic 17-mile loop drive which is a dirt road covering all rock formations. A 4X4 vehicle is preferred but we could drive our Van carefully. There are many Ups and Downs full of dirt and sand. The park is all about different rock formations - Buttes, Spires and Mesas. While Mesas are big horizontal gigantic rocks, Spires are lean and tall. Buttes are like Mesas but slightly narrow.

On the way to Four Corners monument from  Monument Valley, we came across Ship Rock, which is a gigantic Volcanic Ash rock. 



Our Next stop is the Four Corners monument. Here is one place in the USA where four states meet - Utah, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico.

Four Corners monument is not properly maintained, no proper toilets and other facilities. But, it is interesting to stand where four states meet, right? So, if you are passing through that way, ensure that you visit this place too.



After our late lunch, we reached Mesa Verde National park around 4 PM. My Next post will cover Mesa Verde National park in detail as this post is becoming very lengthy.

We also came across these rocks on the way to Mesa Verde, which are called Baby Rocks. They looked cute and unique.



So, Guys! That's it about Day #2, Let us meet in the next post where I share details about Mesa Verde National Park.

Until next time,






This post is written as part of a blog train #letsblogwithpri hosted by Prisha. Thanks to Revati for introducing me to this blog train. I would love to introduce Shruthi to the blog train. Read her posts : https://aahamyaworldwithmaa.wordpress.com/.





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Mummasaurus.com
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09 May, 2019

Services & Amenities Offered for Our Senior Living in Denver

Everyone approaches aging a little differently. Everyone's circumstances during their later years differ, too. For some, their life is not disrupted. They suffer no limiting conditions and they have their children to lean on for care and support. For others, chronic health issues do present themselves and complete support from their children is not an option. Now that the population is aging in greater numbers and the population is living longer, solutions are being developed including senior housing denver options.

Housing options for seniors are both increasing and improving. Communities solely for this age group are being built in areas that go beyond the typical retirement cities.

Here are three amenities offered by senior housing communities to consider.


Freedom


The representatives of communities for older adults understand their customers. Not every person looks forward to the day when they are moved out of the home where they made their life and into one that is foreign to them. Suddenly, their routine is gone as well as their neighbors and favorite local stores. So, these alternative options are designed to give residents the freedom they desire. Even those who develop chronic conditions that limit mobility do not want to feel like they are less free to make their own decisions. These communities offer the freedom to participate in hobbies and activities they enjoy like reading, gardening or exercising.


Safety


For older adults, especially those with chronic conditions that limit mobility, safety is very important. Older adults are more vulnerable to those with nefarious intentions simply because their reaction times are slower and their movements could be impeded. Communities for this age group take safety and security seriously. Often, this housing option is gated, and those allowed on the property are screened beforehand.


Support


When residents move into these communities, a profile is set up. If there are conditions or situations that must be monitored, they will be according to specific needs.

Moving into senior housing denver can be a positive experience thanks to the freedom, safety and support their staff offers to residents.

Until next time, 


07 May, 2019

Day 1 : Arches and CanyonLands National Park #UtahVacation

Here is the continuation of our Utah Vacation plan with kids. This post covers detailed travelogue of our day 1.


Welcome to Utah


Around 1200 miles, 4 nights, 3 days, 3 national parks, 3 monuments, 1 Navajo tribal park, 1 waterfall, 1 temple touching 4 states.


Travel Map

Our trip started on night 1 where we drove from Colorado Springs to Grand Junction, CO. Grand Junction is around 5 hrs from here and so, we could cover almost 70% distance to Arches on night 1. Check this travelogue to visit Glenwood Springs which is on the way from Colorado Springs to Grand Junction.

We planned for a 4 day and 3-night trip and we reached home back on the 4th night.

We stayed at Grand Junction for the night and started our first visit to Arches National park after breakfast. Arches national park is around 2 hrs drive from Grand Junction and it is better to arrive early to the park. Even though we visited the Park on a Friday, the traffic near the check-post slowed us down for 30 mins. The entry to the park is $30 per vehicle.

Since no water and food will be available inside the park, we have packed a small lunch and some snacks and a lot of water. 

The most important trail that we didn't want to miss is the 'Delicate Arch Trail'. The Arch that we can see on Utah license plate, remember? This is a must do in Arches. 


Delicate Arch

But, let me warn you, it is not easy with a toddler. Be prepared to stop multiple times during the trail, take more water, snacks, wear hiking shoes, sunglasses, sunscreen, and hat.
Check how the trail is!


There are some sharp edges too!


We passed through beautiful rock formations and multiple overlook points before reaching Wolfe ranch parking area. We didn't stop at any of these places as we want to cover all while returning. 

From Wolfe ranch parking area, the delicate arch trail takes around 1.5 to 2 hrs to reach to the arch. At most, 2.5 to 3 hrs to finish the trip and come back with kids. Restrooms are available at the parking area. 


If you have reached this dome-like rock, you are almost there!


The trail might be strenuous if you don't stop on the way / don't drink enough water. A few places seemed dangerous where we have to hold our toddler and help our 8 yr old to hike. Other than that, this is definitely doable with kids and the view of the huge arch is simply amazing.


The trail view from above


Next, we went on driving the scenic route of 12 miles loop in the park till Devil's garden and stopped at various lookout points. Double arch is amazing and also many other stone formations around that. The double arch trail is also 0.5 miles round trip, which is good with kids. Balanced rock is an easy 0.5-mile round trip. Drive through windows section for sure! the formations are breathtaking.


Balanced Rock

Window Rock


Ideally, one day in Arches will allow you to cover Delicate arch trail, Balanced rock, Double arch trail and to drive through the scenic 12-mile loop with kids. You can cover 2 more trails with older kids/ adults though.

For lunch, you can try Moab brewery on highway 128 in Moab. We stopped at a cafe called 'Moab Giants' on the way to Canyonlands. Canyonlands national park is just 30 to 40 mins drive from Arches.


Scenic Viewpoint in Canyonlands National park


Entry is $25 per vehicle at Canyonlands national park. The visitor centers at both Arches and Canyonlands close at 4PM but cars are allowed to park all the time. Canyonlands is divided into 3 sections - Island in the sky, the Needles and the Maze.

The most important and easy trail with kids is Mesa Arch trail. This is a half mile round trip and not only the mesa arch but even the views beyond the arch are amazing. If you have time, you can cover Upheaval dome which is 1-mile round trip and enjoy the views of Grand viewpoint, Green river outlook and Grand view overlook on the scenic drive. 


Mesa Arch


We covered only this much on day 1. But, if you want to customize your plan and have more time, you can cover Needles section in Canyonlands and Dead horse point state park. One more thing that you can add to your trip is 'Colorado National monument'. This is on the way from Grand Junction to Arches, but it might take around 2 to 3 hrs to cover this monument. 

We traveled to Bluff, UT on that day night so that we will be nearer to Monument Valley Park to start our trip for Day 2. From Canyonlands national park, it is 2.5 hrs drive to Bluff. If this seems to be a long drive, you can take accommodation at Moab / Blanding which are on the way. 

The next day we covered Monument Valley Park, Four Corners monument and Mesa Verde National park. The detailed travelogue of day 2 will be shared in the next post. 

Until next time,









This post is written as part of a blog train #letsblogwithpri hosted by Prisha. Thanks to Sneha for introducing me to this blog train. I would love to introduce Kapila to the blog train. Read her posts here.



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06 May, 2019

The Book of Hidden Things by Francesco Dimitri - [Book Review]


Book Details:

Title : The Book of Hidden Things
Author : Francesco Dimitri
Genre : Contemporary Fantasy, Fantasy thriller, Crime thriller
Length of the book : 385 pages
Publisher : Titan Books
Source: A library book



Blurb :

From "one of the most significant figures of the last generation of fantasy", comes Francesco Dimitri's debut novel in English, an enthralling and seductive fantasy following four old friends and the secrets they keep.

Four old school friends have a pact: to meet up every year in the small town in Puglia they grew up in. Art, the charismatic leader of the group and creator of the pact, insists that the agreement must remain unshakable and enduring. But this year, he never shows up.

A visit to his house increases the friends' worry; Art is farming marijuana. In Southern Italy doing that kind of thing can be very dangerous. They can't go to the Carabinieri so must make enquiries of their own. This is how they come across the rumours about Art; bizarre and unbelievable rumours that he miraculously cured the local mafia boss's daughter of terminal leukaemia. And among the chaos of his house, they find a document written by Art, The Book of Hidden Things, that promises to reveal dark secrets and wonders beyond anything previously known.

Francesco Dimitri's first novel written in English, following his career as one of the most significant fantasy writers in Italy, will entrance fans of Elena Ferrante, Neil Gaiman and Donna Tartt. Set in the beguiling and seductive landscape of Southern Italy, this story is about friendship and landscape, love and betrayal; above all it is about nature of mystery itself.

Purchase Link:

My Review:

 It is not very often that I get a chance to pick up an interesting book from the library and finish it. I get a lot of review copies but I don't usually get time to read the books that I pick. I am glad that I chose this book and I really loved reading this.

'The Book of Hidden Things' is a fantasy story of 4 friends Tony, Fabio, Art, and Mauro. These friends from a small town Casalfranca in Italy, make a pact to meet every year. When Art doesn't show up this year, Tony, Fabio, and Mauro decide to check what happened to him. 

While they search for him, they learn mysterious information about Art, his life, his research, and things become more complicated and confusing. When Mauro gets fired by Art's ex-girlfriend, they all step back thinking about the risk they are taking to find Art. At last, Art shows up, reveals information about his research and forces them to trust him and take an important decision with their lives.

There are no words to explain how good this book is! The narration is very gripping and the mystery lingers till the end of the book and even after finishing the book. Characterization is simply superb. While Art is a unique character, Tony is a wonderful mate, Mauro, a responsible husband and friend who is guilty of leaving behind his favorite hobby of playing guitar and Fabio is a person with his insecurities and money problems. 

I could get a glimpse of Southern Italy, the weather, the scenery, and the cuisine as well through this book. The book cover and the name are apt. 

If you love mystery and fantasy, you will like this book. But, fantasy and mystery feel very real. 


My Rating: 5/5


About the Author:

Francesco Dimitri is an Italian magic realist author living in London, a business story-teller, and a lifetime searcher for wonder. He has written in many different forms (nonfiction, fiction, comics, cinema, digital media, essays, magazines) and worked for top business clients. In his quest for wonder he has shot documentaries about UFO cults, slept deep into the forests of Transylvania, conversed with mathematicians, artists, chefs, psychologists, stage magicians, and strangers in crowds.

Until next time,



03 May, 2019

A window to the world #WordlessWednesday



Sometimes,  roadside scenery is very good. We visited Arches national park and enjoyed watching different rock formations but this road side window rock amazed me. It is on the way to Bluff, Utah from Arches. No crowd to wait for a photo 🙂

I shouldn't have talked this much for #wordlesswednesday but cannot resist 😀

Linking this to #wordlesswednesday hosted by Natasha and the sky girl.


Until next time,


01 May, 2019

Ting-A-Ling: The Old Ambulance by Harry Goldstar - [Book Review]






Summary:
Welcome to the world of Ting-a-Ling. The friendliest old ambulance there ever was. With line drawn illustrations for YOU to colour in helping you to familiarise yourself personally, with Ting-a-Ling, his owner and restorer Alf, his mum, and Mr .Grimsby the boss of the big ambulance station. Open the cover and jump into a whole NEW world of ambulance stories and adventures.

Designed in a quirky style encompassing story telling entertainment colouring and education suitable for both younger readers and adults alike. Truly an all in one compendium. Just like the filling in a sandwich, the best bit’s inside.

Simple and easy to read. The stories are written with a smattering of comical northern dialect in bite size chapters so as not to be taxing on the brain.

Have difficulty in reading? Written by a dyslexic who knows what a struggle it can be. This book really is here to help YOU!
If Ting-a-Ling had wings I would say welcome to the flying start. This book is the first in a series in the making where you will meet Ting-a-Ling and his friends.

TRY ME. If not for yourself. Think of someone else. Possibly a little person who the stories are written for.

You will love Ting-a-Ling. EVERYONE does!

Information about the Book
Title: Ting-A-Ling: The Old Ambulance
Author: Harry Goldstar
Release Date: 30th April 2019
Genre: Picture Book
Page Count: 50
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing

My Review

Ting A Ling is about an old ambulance recovered and repaired by Alf. The old ambulance which is in all pieces with plants growing on it and a bit of mess is repaired by Alf for many nights with hard work. When the ambulance starts working, it became the friendliest old ambulance. 

My kids love all different types of vehicles and so, they naturally liked the story. This story gives a moral to not to give up even when a task seems impossible. Alf works hard for many nights to bring life back to the old ambulance. 

The illustrations are good but since these are not colorful, they don't look attractive for a toddler. This book is good to read for children below 8 years of age. The narration is fine. The book cover and title are apt.

My Rating: 4/5

PS: I have received this book through Authoright in exchange for a review and this is my honest opinion on the book.

Author Information
Born in Lincolnshire, the author draws on his northern roots with northern colloquialisms throughout these stories. As a child, the author was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease which he fought head on, however it has affected every day of his life since. A keen lover of older vehicles and all things transportation. The author has a practical, hands on approach, and fascination of how they work along with a love of the tools required in general. The author is an active supporting member of a prestigious living historic steam railway run as a charity for the benefit of others. He is also a volunteer trustee of a disability information service empowering the less able to live better and fulfilling lives and trying to change the perception of disability. He currently resides in King's Lynn.



Tour Schedule


Monday 29th April

Tuesday 30th April

Wednesday 1st May

Thursday 2nd May


Friday 3rd May

Saturday 4th May

Sunday 5th May

Monday 6th May


Tuesday 7th May

Wednesday 8th May

Thursday 9th May

Friday 10th May


Until next time,

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