Friday, April 14, 2017

We really heart the Fire

Recently, I got an email from Tammie King of Night Owl Reviews. I have been reviewing books for them for some time now (I believe I started in 2013). I started reviewing ebooks for them until I was able to start reviewing their print books. Since then, I have reviewed mostly print books for them. This is because we only have one computer in the house that I was using to download ebooks onto and read them at the desk – when I had the chance to read them, that is. Because my time on the computer was so limited for a while there, I only had so much time to read ebooks that I had on the computer. Because my youngest child is older now and in school full-time, I have more time available to be on the computer earlier in the day. Also, I now also have a smartphone and now, it would seem, an e-reader, too!

But I’m not sure if I can call my e-reader a “Kindle.” Or even an e-reader!

In the past, I was asked if I was interested in getting a Kindle. I said “no” because I didn’t think I would be interested in using one to read books. At that time, I was too hooked on print books!

But, lately, I have started to read ebooks again, and I am now more interested in continuing to read ebooks. And until recently, I was still only reading them on the computer!

Then I got Tammie’s email that was sent to all reviewers, in which she informed us that NOR was switching to “ebook-only” for reviews. Because I didn’t have an e-reader, I let Tammie know I was iffy on my time to read ebooks, since I was reading them on the computer! Well, Tammie got back to me saying “I have a Kindle I can send you,” and that got my interest! Now, at this point, I recently started to read ebooks again, and I was interested in reading MORE ebooks! And my desire to own a Kindle? It was certainly there! So I let Tammie know I’d be interested in using the Kindle to review books for NOR – and I thanked her for her generosity in providing one!

When I received the Kindle, my son was with me to look at it. We were both really excited about it! He even took my picture of me holding it for the first time. LOL I was happy to now own an e-reader – but as I learned, I wasn’t sure if I could call it that! Or even a Kindle!

I told my husband that I got a “Kindle,” and when I showed it to him, he said that it wasn't a Kindle.

I was confused. Tammie called it a Kindle. It was made by Amazon, who makes the Kindles, so it’s a Kindle, right? Sure, it says “Fire” on it, but it’s still a Kindle….right??

Well, I wasn’t too sure if it was! And when I set it up on my Amazon account, they identified it as my “Fire” and not "Kindle." So should I call it my Fire?? That seems a little weird.

My son solved my dilemma by referring to it as a "tablet." Technically, it is NOT a “tablet” as tablets are known in the tech world, but since it is bigger than my smartphone and kinda shaped like a “tablet,” the name has stuck. Also, we can do other things on it besides read ebooks – like play games, watch videos, take pictures and stuff. There is also email on there, but I haven’t yet figured out how to get it to work for my email. (I am still getting acquainted with it.)

But I think that calling it a “tablet” is a good idea. Calling it a “Fire” just isn’t workable for us. Especially this morning, when I told my son to “grab the Fire” before we headed out the door. Then I realized what I had said and amended that to: “I mean, grab the tablet. Don’t grab actual fire.” He laughed and pretended to pick up invisible fire from the fireplace and carry it to his backpack.

Having the Fire/tablet has been awesome for us and I am really grateful to Tammie King for sending it (thanks again, Tammie!). I am still trying to figure it all out and have also downloaded some ebooks onto it in preparation for getting used to reading ebooks on it and figuring out how that feature works, too, for when I start reviewing ebooks for NOR. (Right now, I am working my way through a stack of prints to review for them.) My son is also using it and has enjoyed the tech features on it too.

And ever since I have been checking out ebooks on Amazon, I started to think about renewing my membership for Kindle Unlimited to get free ebooks to read. (I never have enough books OR ebooks to read!!) I cancelled that membership a while ago because I just WASN’T reading ebooks! But now I have the tablet/Fire/Kindle/e-reader to read ebooks with, and downloading ebooks on Amazon through Kindle Unlimited is a snap. So today, when my friend was advertising that her ebook was free for a limited time through Kindle Unlimited, that was the push to make me decide to go ahead and renew my membership with Kindle Unlimited and I snatched a copy of my friend’s book in ebook form (get it here).

So now it looks like I’m all set to read ebooks again and I look forward to reading as many ebooks on the Kindle Fire e-reader that I can! And I look forward to reviewing future ebooks for Night Owl thanks to the e-reader making my ability to read them now a little more convenient.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

RIP Rowena

Sometime ago, I posted on this blog about Rowena, my daughter’s rat. Rowena had become ill with what was assumed to be cancer but was later diagnosed as a chronic lung disease. We were instructed to give him antibiotics twice a day. And for a while, we were doing this. We didn’t know if Rowena was going to recover from the disease but we did know that it was chronic and that he would need the antibiotics for the rest of his life.

The rest of his life ended up lasting for only two months. His condition worsened and, yesterday, he took his last breath. He was extremely weak, had trouble breathing, the left side of his body was limp and he could barely move. He would try to eat, but his condition was just too bad for him to be able to eat. He died surrounded by family with his favorite music playing in the background. He was 2 ½ years old.

I remember the first day that Trevor brought Rowena home. He was such a tiny rattie and just so really cute. He was named “Rowena” after the Harry Potter character. I eventually got into the habit of calling him “Ro” (which reminded me of Ensign Ro from Star Trek: The Next Generation. I also called Salazar “Sal”). I had some reservations about Trevor getting a second rat, but she assured me that rats are social and that her other rat, Salazar, would be happy to have a roommate. That’s not how it went, unfortunately, so we had to separate them. They each had their own cages.

From the beginning, I could tell that Rowena was a little different from Salazar. They each seemed to have their own personalities. Even so, both of them loved the same kind of music (Beethoven) and both of them enjoyed hanging out with us every so often. We would spend time with each of them every day so that they weren’t in their cages all of the time.

There were many times that Rowena would hang out at the desk as I was writing, reading or doing research. I also had him up on my shoulder. He liked to burrow inside of the hood of my hoodie. He also liked to go inside of paper bags we’d put up on the table every once in a while.

But any chance he got, Rowena would hurry over to be with his mommy. There was a certain kind of excitement and joy he exhibited when Trevor would come home from school and visit him or whenever they were hanging out together on the couch. He always loved to be close to his mommy. He loved her so much and I know that she loved him, too.

Trevor took excellent care of Rowena and always made sure he had what he needed. She sometimes would text me while at school and ask me to check on Rowena or give him some extra cuddles. Of course, I’d also occasionally go in to check on all 3 animals (the two rats and the bearded dragon) but also talk to Rowena to let him know we were there for him.

When Rowena got sick, he did get some extra love and attention. It was frustrating when his condition worsened and we knew he didn’t have much time left. For this reason, we were grateful for every new day that we got with him. We didn’t take any of those days for granted. We cherished every single extra day he was still with us.

We are all really sad that he has left us now. I am glad he is no longer in pain, that he did not die alone, and that he did not die in his cage. I am glad that we gave him all of the love and cuddles that we could. We did try to do everything for him but there was only so much that could be done to save him. It has not been easy for us to accept this loss and we have so many happy memories of him. And Trevor has many pictures of him to remember him by too.

We buried Rowena in our backyard. It was a small ceremony in which we all said goodbye to him. It is unfortunate and sad he is gone but we will never forget him. 

Rest in peace, Rowena. I hope you enjoy playing with our other rats, Homeboy and Pebbles. We will miss you and love you always.