Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

Wishing everyone a safe and Happy Halloween!
 (Charlie Brown)

(Puppets made from brown paper bags)

  (Sign made of painted wood squares strung together)

 (Jack "The Pumpkin King")

(Cute ghost -- now the image is blinking however??)

(Disneyland Ears!  Not from this year, but still)

  (Winne the Pooh and Friends!)

(Decorative Ghost with a witches hat)

(Snoopy and the pumpkins say bye!)

(Later today I hope to make at least a quick stop by the farmers market, have to wait and see how the day ends up unfolding!)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Am sorry, nothing written today, reading/going through images of destruction left by Sandy (especially in the New York area).  Luckily, so far, everyone I know of has only had small things (ie no power) verses damage to land, cars, homes... Sending out prayers to anyone who needs them!

(Okay, I did just add a "smile" image/quote I found online)

Monday, October 29, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 29th)

The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans

As I was putting away various books I read, I found this story on one of my bookshelves.  I have read it perhaps only three times but re-reading it this week really reminded me how lucky I am to have people who love me.  This is a very short book, but it is absolutely not one I would suggest for people who have experienced any type of child loss.  It takes place (obviously?) just prior to Christmas and love is very apparent throughout the story. Basically it reminds us to not take life for granted. To love and enjoy and appreciate the time we have, particularly with infants/toddlers/young children -- most especially if they are our own.  Do not let time slip away -- reminds me of a quote. Something along the lines that we only have "sixty diamond minutes set in one golden hour" -- time is precious and life goes by faster than we think

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Feeling drained

Yesterday turned into a bad day because I made both myself and a family member feel badly.  There were negative things said and tears and even after apologies had been said I still spent the entire evening feeling like crap.  Not fun and no good resolutions have come to my mind yet and I once again just feel emotionally drained and hurt. Knowing that I hurt someone else makes me hurt worse.  Why can I not see the good things in life for longer than just a couple of days? Feeling frustrated and drained.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


 A Pumpkin Assortment Of Photos!
(Was online and although none are mine, there were so many that caught my attention that I just had to make a pumpkin photo post and share a few!)

This first one is the most detailed, Mickey Mouse in Fantasia!

The best Winnie The Pooh Bear I have seen - of course with his honey pot!

 I think this cartoon image is fun - perhaps payback for a pumpkin relative?

 Growing up I loved Sesame Street so - "Cookies!"

Last but not least (no carving) -- PAINTED MINIONS!!!

(Come to think of it, am I going to carve -or paint- a pumpkin this year???)

Friday, October 26, 2012

The smallest pleasures...


Okay, so it is not SMALL in the least -- I (finally) had another good energy day today! Compared to the energy levels I have had the past few days, this was a great leap for me so I am not going to spoil it by talking about things I could/should/others do...

I was able to wake up around 2:30 (instead of 3:30 or 4 -- so taking my meds at a different time is working out) and I did several chores/errands which I have not been able to do earlier in the week.  I spent some time online, I went to the bank, I bought more dog food, I dropped some stuff at the dry cleaners, did a load of dishes (have I mentioned I only ever had a dish-washing machine in college?), briefly went to a grocery store, and spent quite some time in Trader Joe's getting various items needed (okay, I did not really need cookies, I just felt good that I was getting things done)!

Ate dinner, recorded some shows so I can fast-forward through the commercials, and have a pumpkin blog post ready to put up...well tomorrow probably! I cannot say the image at the top of this blog is the best, but I was not being too picky today - really just wanted something that said Friday and had twins because my godson and his twin sister turned two and a half years old this week and they have been on my mind more than usual. Have a great weekend!!

P.S. Did not get to meet up with a friend of mine and am a bit bummed because we had made plans for today (still no messages either!) - she had been out of touch for a while and wants to catch up but I guess her boyfriend has some things going on.  Hopefully soon, her big news was that she is expecting!!  However she first got back in touch perhaps three weeks ago and three times in a row something has come up.  Oh well, I shall hear all about it; maybe in the next few days we can meet?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

It's Ok Thursdays (October 25)

I have not done one of these lists in a while (and it's Thursday) so...

*It's Ok... That I am very behind on some gifts I am making (right??)

*It's Ok... To be a little sad that I missed my godson and his twin sister turning two and a half years old (after all, it is very expensive to fly overseas -- and they know I love them!!)

*It's Ok... That I have not read too many books recently.  Instead of watching more television however, it would be better if I increased my walks.  Something to work on!

*It's Ok... To feel very thankful for my parents (and that they are both home safely)

*It's Ok... That I have not visited the farmers market every week -- I did make it again yesterday which was great! (Go look at yesterdays post -- first photo of my neat bag I have used for months, I got it from Alyssa's ESTY page. In my photo it's full of goodies so I had to hold it up by the handles to take the photo!)

*It's Ok... To feel frustrated at the doctor who got sick and so my procedure was canceled and rescheduled! (I do feel badly for the doctor, but I was so ready to get it over with!)

*It's Ok... That I have no clue what to get/make/give most of my family for Christmas... I still have several weeks and I can figure it out -- maybe!

*It's Ok... To induldge my chocolate craving even though it is after 9pm and I have only eaten two meals today.  That candy bar can just be a snack right? :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Look at my market bag!

 Made it to the farmers market today just in the nick of time!
(Technically it was open for another hour, but the sun was setting so...yes.)

Used one of my most comfortable bags to hold all the goodies
I got it from Alyssa -- she has a GREAT esty store if you have time click on her name and go visit!  Items change quite often, I think I got this particular bag a few months back and the long handles are great for walking around and comfortably carrying items in :) It holds tons of stuff -- I use it for full sized binders; it holds books my purse water bottle and a snack without any problem; and today it carried the goodies in the photo below (from six different vendors -- was chilly out and did not want to stay too long)

...Yet still had a great time! Got fresh baked bread, red grapes, cauliflower, freshly jarred honey, a small selection of roasted meat, and a bottle of hand soap (mint scented this time for a change, although I like their lavender a lot!)... Did not stop for ice cream this time and since there are still apples and tomatoes around I did not go into as many of the stands as usual to browse.  Did stop by the knife sharpener booth to check if he can also sharpen crafting scissors so will be taking those in soon!

Happy Farmers Market Day! All local, home grown/made -- and several vegetarian/vegan options, many more than my regular store.  Next week they are inviting everyone to come in costumes since it is Halloween! Shall try to make it and maybe snap a few photos! Great neighborhood turnout still after several months plus new vendors arrive as fall is settling in

Tuesday, October 23, 2012



"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present
and not giving it" ~William Ward

"Kindness is the language that the deaf can hear and the blind can
~Mark Twain

"I can no other answer make but thanks and thanks"
~William Shakespeare

Monday, October 22, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 22)

Love this image!! My family always has at least a couple of scrabble boards around, and recently I started playing words with friends online... No clue where to buy these great pillows though!

I mentioned I have had difficulty reading the past week or two -- I finally finished reading "Trapeze" by Simon Mawer... I suppose it falls under the category of historical fiction (although it leans heavily on the fiction side).  The female lead is an interesting character, the time is WWII, and the author did not become a favorite but I did not hate the book.  Have just been a bit -- preoccupied. Re-read one book over the weekend, so technically I read two books the past two weeks. Happy Monday!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Beautiful clouds

Sunsets recently have been gorgeous in Southern California -- I managed to capture some of the blue sky with pink clouds that filled most of the sky plus the start of the gold/orange mixture closer to the sun itself as it started to sink lower in the sky... This photo reminds me of an art class I took back during my college years -- It would be great to be able to draw this however my skill level was not quite that high (particularly in my opinion!) yet I think if I played around with watercolors I could possibly try... Have not practiced various things in quite a while and I think that brushes/paint probably need to be restocked before trying! Oh, also I finished that book I started last week.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Thousand Years

As I was listening to this song/watching the You.Tube video I realized that I have several "triggers" and become emotional for a variety of reasons... I do enjoy the words, the video, how it is all put together however... I can feel so happy for the wedding shown in clips, I LOVE candles so those clips are beautiful to me... I can feel sad/depressed because although I do use candles in good times they are also used in bad times or times of remembrance... The words themselves (and/or the emotion which the song is sung) can make me smile or make me want to cry... This song holds life, it holds death, it holds happiness, it holds want/yearning, it holds calmness, it holds joy, it holds sorrow... I have wanted various things in my 29plus years and yet I feel like I cannot reach so many, nor have I done much of anything that is considered an achievement of any sort - particularly recent years I have acquired an ability (or perhaps it was always there?) to drive people away, to make things worse, to no longer feel as though I am helping at all... I miss the ocean

Song Lyrics:
"A Thousand Years"

Heart beats fast
Colors and promises
How to be brave
How can I love when I'm afraid to fall
But watching you stand alone
All of my doubt suddenly goes away somehow

One step closer

I have died everyday waiting for you
Darling don't be afraid I have loved you
For a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more

Time stands still
Beauty in all she is
I will be brave
I will not let anything take away
What's standing in front of me
Every breath
Every hour has come to this

One step closer

I have died everyday waiting for you
Darling don't be afraid I have loved you
For a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more

And all along I believed I would find you
Time has brought your heart to me
I have loved you for a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more

One step closer
One step closer

I have died everyday waiting for you
Darling don't be afraid I have loved you
For a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more

And all along I believed I would find you
Time has brought your heart to me
I have loved you for a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more

Friday, October 19, 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Better than yesterday

Water Lily (in backyard pond)

Hello! I am much better than I was the past two days and am sharing a photo of just one of the beautiful pale yellow water lilies from the small pond in the backyard because I can... Still not up for typing much, and tomorrow the cable people are coming to visit - apparently the cable box has died? Slightly confused by this because it still works normally except when it comes to recording.  Apparently that is enough to get a free new DVR though so why complain right?  Hopefully I will write more soon -- thanks for hanging in there with me -- oh!  Did you see the cute photo of me as a baby? I made it my 100th blog post for the fun of it... I was coming home from (at the time -- well, even looking back at it) a very scary hospital stay.  Yet I lived through it and had my first Mother's Day at home with my parents!  Prayers to everyone because I feel we all need some good thoughts/prayers/pixie dust heading our way ::HUGS::

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Slipping sliding twisting turning steps -- lonely hurt tired breaking

Getting close to being lost

Sometimes glimmers of light but today...close to disappearing

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 15th)

"I was ready to take on the world until I saw the most marvelous little book store."
(Love the quote and the dress!)

I am in the midst of an emotional week (tomorrow have a medical procedure then wait two weeks to see what's up) and so I have not read a single book cover to cover this week :(  VERY UNLIKE ME if you have any sense of who I am/my usual Monday posts... Yes, I know this is technically Tuesday, but yesterday for my 100th blog post I figured I would share a baby photo of myself just for the fun of it.  Hopefully will finish my current book soon - perhaps even tomorrow... Lots of sleep, some television, time with my parents

Monday, October 15, 2012

Baby Me! [100th post]

For my 100th blog post I decided to give you Baby Me! This photo has a background story that I unfortunately do not share, but I am thankful for so much and so blessed that I had to share this particular one. Thanks to everyone who reads this, who knows me, who supports me, also everyone who drops by just because -- I thank and welcome each and every one of you

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Oranges and Cloves

Good news: I went to a craft fair and saw tons of great gift ideas!  I also bought the ornament I am going to use for the blog ornament exchange that I signed up for this holiday season but that will eventually have a post all to itself :) The craft fair reminded me that I have several projects with pieces waiting to be purchased (ie thread, paint, etc -- I tend to do "small" crafts) yet it also reminded me of a Christmas tradition that we have not done in a while! At least through elementary school (again scattered holidays after) my family would get together with some of our close family friends and create "masterpieces" out of fresh oranges and fresh whole cloves.  I found the image above online -- I do not recall ever taking photos of this particular project, but I know we did it often...perhaps once or twice with lemons, but usually with oranges.  You decorate your orange in any pattern you like, using one clove at a time.  When you push it into the skin of the orange it stays in place but fresh orange juice gets absorbed by the cloves and the smell of them mixed together is released into the air -- I think we would leave them out for perhaps the entire month of December? There were some in patterns (spirals were particular favorites of mine!) although there are no requirements.  You can create any fun design you want and the freshness is lovely!

I am holding myself accountable for posting something here every day and that has continued; however I have not gone for a single walk in the past few days.  I also have not been reading at all, and I have spent many more hours than usual sleeping.  There are health things to blame in part, but I just felt so unwilling to go for a walk yesterday (Saturday really was the first day I had plenty of time to go walking safely without any worries in my "walking week" -- from Tues to Tues at the moment).  So a bit of a fail, but perhaps I shall be able to take a walk late this afternoon and/or one tomorrow.  I had been doing very well at going on a 1.1 mile loop twice a week and then one or two shorter walks... Maybe I will just say this is a "fluke" week and not berate myself too much.

**Oh!** Tomorrow, Monday, is usually my book post.  Am not sure if I will write it however because it will be my one hundredth blog post!  I might do something short (just the number), maybe I will find a photo or quote, or perhaps I'll jot down a short story or share a poem.  Possibly take a photo of one of my craft items.  Anyway, this is blog post 99 out of ??? The End :)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

As a child...

"As a child we always wanted to grow up but now we realize that broken toys and lost pencils were much better than broken hearts and lost friends..."

So very thankful for my parents -- looking at my life I do not know what I would do without them.  I am truly blessed and so very lucky... I know I can never repay them for being there, everything they have done for me. The image/quote above I have had on the computer for a while.  Some days it helps me feel better and other days it makes me feel worse. If I look back in general I appreciate so much -- but if I look too closely at the past decade without stopping to catch myself I end up playing the "What If" game.  That almost NEVER works well. Having support (people, certain books, "comfort" food, etc) helps and I realized this past week that I have at least paused in the downward spiral I have been on.  Having perhaps my second worst health spiral ever really has been messing with me for the past few months.  I realized that I am finally feeling stable again -- I am at a much better place than I was, and although I still have another few weeks of doctors visits to get through, I can say that things will be alright. As of now I still feel there are things I will never get to do/have, but I am in a better place and that is great.  Need to write to my "France family" and do laundry this weekend... It was so nice to have a break from the warm weather and enjoy some clouds and rain!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Everyone is a genius

"Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." ~Albert Einstein

I have been feeling stressed/unable to really contribute in recent months, and finding this image/quote helps to remind me that we are all filled with various strengths and weaknesses.  I just need to make sure that I am looking at things from the "correct" point of view! Happy Friday everyone, hopefully everyone will smile at least a few times this weekend!

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Four photos of sunsets taken during some of my walks the past two weeks:

The colors blend so effortlessly -- the sky reminds me of a watercolor
Am glad the clouds came out so well in this photo

Got this one in at the end of one walk but was too tired to stay outside and see how the sky kept changing, instead I grabbed more water and sat down!


One of my oldest friends sent me an email yesterday that made me smile and made me sad at the same time -- she is back in France with her family, and my godson and his twin sister apparently miss me and have asked for me by name! (Other family/favorite things from CA also, but I particularly loved and missed the four of them when I read about them asking about me... I am so blessed to have my parents, grandparents, family and friends -- I lost so many when my health turned my life down a different path but being online has brought some friends back into my life yet so many live far away now and there are just some days I feel an absolute need to have my godson/his sister/other young kids give me little kid hugs. Wrapped up in their games and able to see the world through the eyes of a child, even for a few minutes, helps so much. Walking more is hopefully helping "fix" the various health things I have had recently, but my emotional health got such a "high" being able to spend days at a time with them! Miss working with infants/toddlers too...)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Farmers Market Day

 So every Wednesday we have an afternoon Farmers Market - well, ever since this summer!  Today is only the second time I have walked to it and back, and I made sure to take some photos to share (I only took one at the market, I forgot to take more but am hopefully going to make this one of my three weekly walks)! Did not do laundry as planned, although perhaps I will run a load right now, but I had fun visiting the market again (and I got a shirt to support them in a pretty darker red color -- looks pink in the photo above).

 Got some fresh baked bread...
 ...Also locally gathered honey for my grandparents...
 ...Plus a small handful of apples from the stand below:

This stand was the only one I actually took a photo of, but there were perhaps two dozen different tents up today which was a good turnout considering we are nearly half-way through October! There were also at least two dozen people wandering around and I left maybe two hours before closing so that's great too -- also purchased a small (maybe 3inch by 1 1/2inch?) container of homemade chocolate ice cream so that was fun... I think I will move laundry to tomorrow, and simply enjoy the cool evening, perhaps read a bit!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Raindrops keep falling on my head

I have those lyrics floating around in my mind now that the weather has finally (knock on wood!) gotten cooler! "Raindrops keep falling on my head"... Have realized that I miss spending time with young kids, and am going to look to volunteer again.  Am also going to continue walking three (or four?) days a week and read two books a week.  Small steps, yet I want to make sure I can achieve the goals I set. Tomorrow I want to be sure to do laundry, perhaps wash my bedding as well... The doctor appt today went alright, I have another on Thursday and then two more next week.  One foot in front of the other, right?  Things will be alright and in the meantime I think I shall go back and look through photos of my godson and his twin sister to remind me of how much fun those munchkins were during their visit this past summer! The night sky has been helping me remember my "France family" although I have not yet made it to the beach nor the mountains -- the moon and some stars have been visible on various nights, very pretty!

Monday, October 8, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 8th)

"When your book cover gets bent"
(Yes I know - but I do like to keep my books nice especially the older ones)

This past week I have done more television watching and going on walks than reading, but the top two books that stand out in my mind from this past week were both written by Louisa May Alcott (great author in case I have not mentioned that fact before!)

The books were "Eight Cousins" (also initially called "Aunt Hill") followed by the sequel "Rose In Bloom"

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Health Rant (?)

I think that I have always been more of an introvert... I usually am quite stable... Also when caring for young children and/or am in a very comfortable situation (or I know I "need" to be a hostess) I can become more extroverted.  This image came from a friends F.B. page and I decided to post it against my better judgement.

Well, not exactly.  I decided to post it because since July I have been going around in circles and yesterday (Friday) I realized that I had hit pretty much every single item suggested on the entire image (plus more if that is possible?)... I try to post something here daily because it is something that keeps me connected.  I am getting help but some days it seems like my health sets me up against the world to fail at absolutely everything. Yesterday was a perfect example of crazy - I slept for about 16 hours, only getting up maybe three times and stayed awake perhaps half an hour each time.  Then around 8pm I knew I had to go for a walk because I had not walked since Sunday and I did great, just over a mile again.  Once I got back however I felt like I was going to collapse, even after eating and extra water. I rested yet again then double checked my doctors appointments for the coming week (two), finished the last three chapters of my book, and am trying to watch television so I can be up for maybe three hours (yet I am already feeling tired).  So frustrated on one hand, but on the other... I walked today so that is good right?

Stressed, tired, frustrated -- and very bothered that I cannot (that I do not want?) to pretend that things are okay.  At least not today. Putting on a happy face does not make things better and yet I dislike posting continuously negative types of things.  Shall try to turn things around at least a bit this weekend... Temperatures are finally continuing to go down which is a much needed relief! Thank you for any extra positive thoughts that can be sent my way, I am just...stuck.

Friday, October 5, 2012

American Craft Week!

American Craft Week starts TODAY!  October 5-14 (2012)

I used to do a wide variety of crafts and looking at this website reminded me of just how many types of crafts I have done over the years! I currently am continuing to fight my health battles (two appts next week plus two more the following week) -- but I am trying to keep my spirits up and this was a great page to find!  Perhaps I can get to a local craft store and make some things I have had on my mind recently. I "owe" some projects, plus the holiday season(s) are all just around the corner! Hopefully you can get into a crafty spirit as well and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A sweet lesson on patience

A NYC Taxi driver wrote:

I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked. 'Just a minute', answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.

After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90's stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940's movie.

By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.

There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

'Would you carry my bag out to the car?' she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.

She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.

She kept thanking me for my kindness. 'It's nothing', I told her.. 'I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.'

'Oh, you're such a good boy, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, 'Could you drive through downtown?'

'It's not the shortest way,' I answered quickly...

'Oh, I don't mind,' she said. 'I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice.

I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. 'I don't have any family left,' she continued in a soft voice..'The doctor says I don't have very long.' I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.

'What route would you like me to take?' I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.

We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, 'I'm tired. Let's go now'.

We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.

Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move.

They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

'How much do I owe you?' She asked, reaching into her purse.

'Nothing,' I said.

'You have to make a living,' she answered.

'There are other passengers,' I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.

'You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,' she said. 'Thank you.'

I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life...

I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life.

We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.

But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Empty Space

"Sometimes someone says something really small but it fits right into this empty space in your heart"

Beautiful moon past few nights... I have not been walking the past few days... Do however have doctors appts scheduled that should clear things up this month... Perhaps next month I will not be so tired/grumpy and shall write more here.  In the meantime I am glad I have not missed a single day of posting something -- it is better than nothing at all..

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

One can never have too many...

"One can never have too many hugs or laugh too often" -- This past week has been pretty good overall.  I am still going to have doctors appointments over the next month but my health issues are slowly coming under control and that feels really great most days! I know I have not really been sending emails, nor commenting on blogs that often, but I am still following many people and my prayers continue regularly!

Sending ::HUGS:: to all of you who need one;
Also hope you find something to laugh about today!

Monday, October 1, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 1)

Welcome to another Monday update on what I have been reading!  This past week I ended up re-reading two different book series.  I also found a few images online that I am going to try to remember to use at the top of book entries.  These particular "problems" amused me because they are about/refer to books!  Today is Nerd Girl Problem #45 (no clue about the numbers nor where these came from - but I can relate to them!!)...
"Having to put a great book down to do things like sleep or eat"

This first book series is by Laura Ingalls Wilder, often referred to as the "Little House" books.  The series is written primarily about herself, parents (Pa and Ma), older sister Mary and younger sister Carrie. The books cover roughly Laura's life story from the 1860's through the 1880's giving a wonderful personal history of pioneer life.  One book (Farmer Boy) is a glimpse into her husband (Almanzo Wilder) childhood home.  The books also eventually include her youngest sister Grace, how Almanzo courted Laura, and the start of their life together - including the birth of their daughter Rose.  Laura started writing the series when she was sixty years old and passed away quietly a few days after her 90th birthday in February of 1957 (Almanzo had also passed away quietly in their home, eight years prior).

This second book series was written by Maria V. Snyder -- I do not have the details of her life as many do about Laura Ingalls Wilder but that is only to be expected! This series was introduced to me by an old friend, and I believe Maria has another series (however since I do not have them I shall have to take a trip to my local library and look there -- it is too bad they closed the local Border's store last summer!)... Anyway, the books in this trilogy are: Poison Study, Magic Study, and Fire Study.  All three surround Yelena, a girl who was sentenced to die but was offered the position of food taster.  Her journey wanders from learning to identify poisons in food, to espionage, to discovering she has magical powers... it continues to follow her journey learning about herself, her family, and the unexpected magic (and human) surprises life brings!