cozy mystery

365 Challenge: Day 163 – Inventory

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Inventory: a complete list of items such as property, goods in stock, or the contents of a building or container

 

 

invento

People who own or run a business often take an inventory to understand how much product they have available at any given moment. Sometimes it’s weekly or monthly, others at a random interval or annually for determining a true financial picture of the business. As I lay in bed this morning, I wondered why people don’t more frequently think about doing an inventory of their life. We have many ‘products’ around us that are essential to our survival and happiness. Sure, we take inventory of toiletries or groceries, so that we can purchase whatever supplies we need on a fairly regularly basis, but I’m pushing the limits here with my definition of inventory. Life is important. Valuable. Why wouldn’t we want to know where the important things stand on a more frequent basis?

Most of us would agree that apart from whatever reasons we as humans exist, a major component of our life is to be happy and pursue goals to help further the planet and society. To do so, we should want to have the best plan or approach in each of our individual lives. So why not keep a running inventory of the things that we need to achieve such goals? When I think about the areas of life we could apply such logic, it includes friends, hobbies, keepsakes, dreams, passions and feelings. When you take it down a level lower, perhaps it’s volunteer programs, books, movies, flowers, foods or vacations. Most of this seems obvious, given we all do these things informally without realizing it. But when I took a moment to think about the inventory of my life this morning, I wondered what it really said about me. Am I maintaining stock in the appropriate places to have inventory at maximum levels?

In the world of friends, have I surrounded myself with the people who I enjoy being around and want to socialize with? Or have I retained people in my life who I feel almost forced to continue a friendship with? Do I have friends in each of my passions or hobbies? If I answer no to these questions, then there’s something wrong with my inventory. If I enjoy reading mystery books, shouldn’t I have a few friends who love those things too, so we can bond and grow and have fun together? If I want to be friends with people who have done things I want to do, but I’m stuck seeing people out of some odd sense of duty, maybe I’d be happier if I reorganized the deck to align things in a more proper manner.

I would suggest the same approach for all the rest of the things in my life. Or your life. Knowing where you stand in comparison to where you want to be is essential to forward momentum, positive change and ultimately happiness. While I’m not suggesting we embrace anything too formal in our approach, or even throw out the baby with the bath water, I am saying it might be time to prepare our own inventory of where we are today and where we want to be in regard to all the things that make us happy. In my world, I tend to comb through these things in my head every so often, which is helpful for a large guiding force towards my end goals. But I’m not actively measuring it or verifying at proper intervals that other people or unexpected consequences didn’t get in the way or throw things off balance.

An example for me lately is reading. I love to read. I have too many books in my TBR. I have too many sitting on my physical bookshelf waiting to be picked up. But I haven’t prioritized it among everything else going on in my life. But I could do a quick inventory and set some goals for myself and get to at least one of those books each week, as in the end, it will make me a happier guy. Completing an inventory can be hard. It can be easy. But it starts with two things: (1) what do you have and (2) what do you want. With those two items, you can solve the puzzle. My initial thought was to treat it like a plan, a path or a line of sorts. There is a start and a finish point. As I drafted this post, it occurred to me, more from instinct, that it’s not a line. There isn’t really a true start and end when it comes to pursuing things in your life. Life has a start and end, but in between, it’s rather continuous.

It’s a circle. There may be a point on the circle where you begin, then you travel 360 degrees until you get back to that same place you began; however, the cycle doesn’t end. You can keep going around and around as much as you need to tend to your inventory while you are still on the planet focused on achieving your goals. Let’s not make this effort something that feels like work or a difficult task. Let’s make it something we feel helps lay the next few steps on our path towards the future we want as opposed to the one that just happens based on how the day progresses. I will start next week with two things:

(a) Cozy mystery books

  • I love to ready cozy mysteries, and I have tons in my TBR but no one to share them with. A few online friends I chat with enjoy them, but we don’t spend a lot of time talking about them. So if any friends want to participate with me, let’s pick a few books to read together for the rest of the year and have fun talking about them.

(b) Meditation

  • I am generally a very relaxed guy. A few things will set me off, but underneath the calm exterior lurks the jitters over not being able to accomplish all that I want to. I have no tools to help navigate those nagging reminders. Exercise doesn’t always help. Food does temporarily. But I don’t have any other tools to find a way to expel those nerves. I need to find a few things to place in a bag of tricks that will help relax me, provide a calm retreat or learn how to meditate. I’m open to suggestions.

How about you? Any thoughts on how you’re managing the inventory of your life? Areas you want to participate with me during this little re-adjustment in our life circle?

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Review: The Cat Who Dropped a Bombshell

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The Cat Who Dropped a Bombshell Book Review
3 of 5 stars to The Cat Who Dropped a Bombshell, the 28th (and next to last) release in the “Cat Who” cozy mystery series, written in 2006 by Lilian Jackson Braun. For fans of the series, this one was a bit of a disappointment. The last few books took longer than usual to come out and may have had a ghost writer for parts of them, due to the author being in her 90s and starting to get ill. It’s also hard to come up with new ideas after this many books in a single series, but the characters are always fun and memorable. In this one, Pickax is turning 150 years old and the inhabitants want to celebrate their town. When an architect sees the converted apple barn Qwill now lives in, he begs to spend time there. Koko and YumYum aren’t having it, leading Qwill to suspect the architect is up to no good. Of course, there’s some murder and mystery… and Qwill provides his usual sleuthing skills to the story. Mystery was weak. Characters were good. It’s one o the less fulfilling in the series, but still worth a read for fans.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: The Cat Who Went Underground

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The Cat Who Went UndergroundBook Review
3 of 5 stars to The Cat Who Went Underground, the 9th book in the “Cat Who” cozy mystery series, written in 1989 by Lilian Jackson Braun. I adore this series. It’s just plain comfy home. Sure, the mystery isn’t too complex. Yes, sometimes it’s a little silly. But it’s just good, easy, fun reading. In this little escapade, Qwill and the cat are staying at a remote cabin, even more remote than Pickax itself. And another murder starts driving the cats a little batty. The cast of characters in this series just keeps growing, and they sorta feel like an extended family. Perfect for a rainy day when you just want to lull yourself into comfort.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: The Cat Who Sniffed Glue

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The Cat Who Sniffed Glue Book Review
3 of 5 stars to The Cat Who Sniffed Glue, the 8th entry in the “Cat Who” cozy mystery series written in 1988 by Lilian Jackson Braun. Moose County is certainly a memorable town. It’s full of insanely eccentric characters who bring a bunch of laughs, whether it’s over their appearance, action or words. And while Pickax, the town where Qwill, Koko and YumYum live has been the focus for the last couple of books, we’re introduced to Chipmunk, the next town over, in this installment. And Chipmunk must be the bad side of town, as they have all the hoodlums who cause crime. How could a town called Chipmunk be so bad? I must put this place on my bucket list; sounds fun… but on a lighter note, this one made me think of The Cat Who Played Post Office, simply due to the postage stamp adhesive and now the glue Koko and YumYum become obsessed with… focuses on the crazy hijinks at a bank, a robbery possibly turned murder, and Qwill’s decoration of his new pad… and a few added laughs when the woman gives Polly a run for her money in trying to capture Qwill’s heart. I love when there’s Polly competition because she and Qwill can be super boring — sometimes. Not always… and it’s nice how it’s only a little tease, believable, but never a real threat.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: E is for Evidence

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E is for Evidence Book Review
E is for Evidence, written in 1988, is the fifth book in the “Kinsey Millhone” mystery series by the hilarious Sue Grafton. It’s just before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature is stirring, except for one of Kinsey’s two ex-husbands: Daniel Wade. And if that’s not enough, she takes on a small investigation involving arson, only to find a mysterious $5K deposit into her bank account that she didn’t put there. Something smells a little too much like gas… and yup, it’s her because she’s practically on fire in this installment. Between arson, bombs, odd family relationships, creepy ex-husbands and some sort of money pay off scheme, Kinsey’s stuck in the middle of a bad puzzle. My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kinsey is a fantastic character. She has a few flaws and annoying habits, but for the most part, she’s a strong female lead who can demonstrate intelligence, charm and consideration. The series is dependable, providing laughs, a little drama and suspense, a cozy warm feeling and usually something new and exciting. This is a fine example of a typical novel in the series, and you really either like these types of books or you don’t. I enjoy them because it transports you into a world you likely never get to participate in… solving crimes, pushing people, getting a bit nosy… and we all like those things from time to time. What’s good about this one is you learn more about the Kinsey from the past thru her relationship with her ex, Daniel.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: The Cereal Murders

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The Cereal Murders Book Review
3 of 5 stars to The Cereal Murders, the third book in the “Goldy Bear Culinary” mystery series, published in 1993 and written by Diane Mott Davidson. I’m a fan of this series, enjoying the charming antics of the cozy little town, the delicious-sounding recipes and the mystery fun each book includes. Another good installment in the series, it falls somewhere in the middle range of best and worst, nothing to extraordinary but nothing much of fault.

Focused on the intensity of college preparation, the students at Elk Prep, where Goldy’s son, Arch, goes to school, are preparing for college. Goldy’s sort of adopted son, Julian, is a senior there and is suddenly suspected when the school valedictorian is found murdered at a dinner. He wasn’t well liked, but Goldy discovers a web of secrets he was hiding. Then a teacher is murdered and Goldy’s starting to fear for her own life, especially when she’s uncovering more and more unexpected dirt. Her relationship with Tom Schultz moves forward as they investigate the case. The highlight: Julian. He’s always been my favorite character, and I admit, I might have a small crush on him. Ha!

Usual cozy fun. A few red herrings. A town connected underneath the surface. Marla looks out for Julian at some point. Even Arch is glad to be part of the process. Plus, who doesn’t love some cereal for a meal?

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare

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The Cat Who Knew ShakespeareBook Review
4 of 5 stars to The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare, the 7th book in the “Cat Who” series, published in 1988 by Lilian Jackson Braun. At this point, the series is well under way. Qwill has been in Pickax, Moose County, 400 miles north of everywhere, for almost a year. He’s gotten to know several of the town’s residents, taken on a part-time column at the local paper and begun dating Polly Duncan, which will turn out to be a very low-key relationship for at least the next ten books in the series. In this installment, we learn more about the Goodwinter family, early founders of the town, and a family full of kooky characters. When one of the elders, who publishes the paper, dies, it looks like it may be more than an accident. And so what does Qwill do when his mustache starts to twitch a little? He investigates like any good journalist. It’s all about the Hixie Rice, the food critic, XYZ Enterprises, a big business and Down Below (anything south of Pickax), and the history of the Goodwinter family. Plus Shakespeare of course… and a very valuable copy of his play.

This was one of the cuter books in the series, partially because we really spend a lot of time with the various townspeople, see a few of them murdered off, and get to experience Qwill building solid relationships. Hixie Rice is a fun character… she will always make you laugh and a little annoyed at the same time. But it’s Junior Goodwinter who becomes a strong addition to the books in the future. He’s young, eventually has his own family and looks at Qwill with a lot of respect. I enjoy their friendship over the years.

You’ve go the usual antics with the cats, the plans for Qwill’s future residence (he moves to a converted apple barn!) and his foray into becoming a core and leading member of the town. Writing this review kinda makes me want to go back to read one again. I probably won’t, as there is so much else out there to read… but it’s that kind of series. You will love the simplicity of the characters and the backdrop.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews