This week, the bad weather allowed me to stay nestled in at home instead of making the drive to Victoria for class on Tuesday night. My professor canceled class because the weather was not good when the Houston contingent would be making the drive and it was slated to be even worse when class let out and we'd all be making the drive home. So there was a reprieve this week and some extra time to do things at home and relax. For those of you in Oregon, the drive from Houston to Victoria is basically like driving from Portland to Brookings every single week. The total miles are just about the same.
The reprieve that I received allowed me to realize just how exhausting that drive is. Not having to do it this week made a difference in a number of ways. I got a lot done on Tuesday evening for one thing and for another, Wednesday was so much easier. I usually sleep in on Wednesday mornings because I get home around 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday night so I am tired. This week though, I was up on Wednesday running errands and getting things done. It was a good feeling to have that energy.
Lately, I've been trying to do things that simplify my life. I stole an idea from my friend, Liz, over at her blog: your life. simplified. I went to law school with Liz and she is truly one of the sweetest, smartest women I know. She practiced law for awhile before becoming a career counselor and finally moving on to start her own organizing business. I loved the idea she had in her blog for using a scrapbooking tote as a way of organizing correspondence. I used a gift certificate I received for Christmas to buy the tote and it's been SO nice to have all my stationary in one place that I can take with me wherever I go.
Something else I've done to simplify my life is download audio books from the local library. I had no idea this could be done until I went to the library site in search of audio books. I was going to see what they had available in their catalog and then stop by the library to pick them up. It turns out the local public library has gone all digital on us! You can download audio books to your iPod or other player or your computer. You can even burn some of them to disc. They have the permission of the publisher to let you do so. Who knew?? I downloaded a simple application that is needed to make it work (it's free and doesn't take up much space). You can "check them out" for two weeks and after that time, the files no longer work. If you've burned them to disc, I suppose you can keep them forever, but I don't care to do that. I just wanted to listen to them for the drive.
I downloaded the unabridged version of The Time Traveler's Wife (TTW) by Audrey Niffenegger and Family Tree (FT) by Barbara Delinsky. I've started listening to TTW already and it's fairly interesting. I love Delinsky and have read several of her other books so I'm looking forward to starting that one as well. Although I've been using the Internet for years, it still amazes me how much can be done and how much time can be saved with it.