Tuesday, April 22, 2014


I didn't get up and run.  I was up every hour anticipating the time the alarm would go off at such a wretched time.  About the 4th time, 3:40 am, I convince myself I could do it while I was waiting for the baseball game to start.  As if.  However, the result was fabulous.  I turned off the alarm and promptly fell back to sleep for 3 solid, hard hours.

However, after working all day, doing the post-school to baseball sprint and enduring a heartbreaking loss where LRHB didn't connect at the plate (again), I put him to bed and went to the gym.  DONE.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Books 15-17

I don't want you to think that I have abandoned my terrific reading passion.  I have not.  I read three books that I haven't had the opportunity to tell you about and I am in the middle of two others, sort of.

The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak took me awhile to get through.  Not because it wasn't fabulous, it was!  But just because it did.  It was full of detail and I found myself having to catch myself up when I would be gone from it for more than a day.  And since last month was filled with boys on Spring Break (3 kids, 3 different Spring Breaks), my reading time came in bursts.  It was fabulous!  Totally loved it!  Grateful for the recommendation from my sisters-in-law.  Can't wait to see how the movie does the book!

I also read Where Courage Calls another installment in the Janette Oke Canadian West series.  It is actually a stand alone book, designed to accompany the show that aired this winter on the Hallmark Channel, "When Calls the Heart".  The show is lovely, truly family friendly in the spirit of Little House on the Prairie series. The book was also lovely, removing the bitter taste in my mouth from the last book that I had read in the series (it was just disappointing and apparently I am still bitter).

I've read Blossom Street Brides by my favorite author, Debbie Macomber.  I read it in a single afternoon, cherishing every moment of it.  Then I received it as a gift on CD's from my mother.  I hadn't the heart to tell her I'd already read it, so I am honoring the gift and listening it to it again.  I do so love her storytelling (Debbie's) and I am loving listening to it again!  I make a lot of trips that are 60-75 minutes long, sometimes 3 and 4 times a week.  When I am alone, I am no longer alone.  I am surrounded by my "friends" from Blossom Street.  If you've not read this series, I encourage you to do so!  It is every bit as delicious as the Cedar Cove series.

The other book I am reading is for another online class I am taking.  I'll update you when I've finished.  I am sad to say that it is really cutting into my reading for pleasure time as it is not a light as the book required by the last class I took.


I am taking a moment out of our regularly scheduled program to tell you that I will return with my resolutions.  However, I am quickly telling you about two resolutions, to be numbered later.
  1. Strength Training - I am getting older and it will make me stronger and less likely to incur injuries.  Prevent defense.
  2. Setting a Goal and Reaching It - I have always been fascinated by a specific race run Memorial Day Weekend.  This year, I am going to cross it off my non-existent, except in my own mind, bucket list.  I am setting a goal and working toward it.  It requires that I stay healthy (please pray) and that I stick to a very strict exercise regimen (btw, I just learned how to spell a new word).  I will be following an App and getting on the treadmill 6 days a week.  
This is when I tell myself, I can do anything for 5 weeks.  Just 35 days from now I will hopefully be telling you all about how fabulous I am.  Well, you already know that so perhaps I will be telling you about how fabulous my race was.  Or sleeping.  

Additional bonuses might be that I am a trimmer version of me when this is done.  But that is a byproduct, not the goal.  The goal is the race.  Everything else is just gravy.  YUMMMM!  I love gravy!

PS.  I am pushing myself to document this journey by writing a brief note daily to hold myself accountable.  I am being held accountable on the strength training by a co-worker.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Books 13 & 14

About 13 months ago, I asked my cousin (the librarian... how cool is that job?!) what he'd read lately that was good.  He recommended Gone Girl and I added it to my to-read list.  When I got it, finally, from the library, it was at some point when I was up to my eyeballs in some other book or life.  My time with the library book came/went without me cracking a page, but it remained on my to-read list.  When it popped up again on the previously referred to 'book to movie' article, I again requested it from the library.  This time I read it; it was fabulous!  Twists, turns, and an ending that leaves you wondering makes for a delicious story!  I checked when I finished reading it and I only have to wait 7 more months for the movie to come out.  I am now taking a detour from this list of books to return to a favorite author and more of her mysteries.  Janet Evanovich, I have missed you!

I have been taking an online class over 2 months, a book study.  I have been reading Don't Sweat the Small Stuff at Work and doing writings and responses to what I've been reading.  Overall, I really enjoyed the experience and I like this type of Professional Development that is not sitting and listening to someone speak all day long.  I learned some things about how I can make my experiences at work easier and how to avoid some pitfalls.  I recognized the strengths that I bring to my workplace environment and the fact that I have to embrace those, celebrate those even.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Book 12

The Monuments Men:  Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History by Robert Edsel started slow, but was an amazing read.  I guess I would say that it moved faster after I stopped going back and forth and trying to remember who everyone was and what everyone was doing.  I just hung on tight and went for the ride; what a great ride it was.  My daddy and I both read this book; then we went to see the movie.  I finished with an hour to spare!  The movie was great, too!   I'm not sure why they made some of the changes that they made, but again I let go of the book and just enjoyed the movie the way it was.  It sure helped understanding some of the movie having read the book, but my mom didn't read the book and enjoyed the movie as well.  

2014 - 6, 7, 8, 9

#6 - Clean out the papers you don't need

I moved several smallish boxes from my bedroom to my kitchen table.  They were full of papers.  School papers.  3 years worth of Christmas cards (for the record, I finally finished my Christmas cards on Super Bowl Sunday and mailed them shortly thereafter.  I've gotten lots of positive feedback, too!  I cannot count it as a resolution, however, because it was a resolution in December that I am just finishing.).  I have gone through all of the boxes and I  have whittled the group down to one with pictures that I need to do something about, one with recipes that I need to do something about, and a box of gifts to mail.  In the meantime, I've also accumulated another bag of stuff to donate, filled the paper drawer with partially used notebooks/notepads and eliminated countless piles of papers.  So satisfying.  In saying this, however, I realize that I have more to do.  Over the desk are several cubbies that I once cleared out and have now filled up and I have 2 two-drawer file cabinets in the basement and file boxes on and under the desk.  But, since February is the month of the KITCHEN, I am focused on clearing out the excess papers in the kitchen.

#7 - Do your taxes.

There are many reasons for completing these in a timely fashion.  Now that I have college students, they need me to get them done in order to fill out the FAFSA application.  We usually get a refund, so that is another reason not to put it off.

In my world, I spend more time preparing to do the taxes than actually doing them.  For example, I donate stuff throughout the year, document it in a spreadsheet, but usually only partially so I have to finish that.  Many years, I have used Quicken, which makes keeping track of my other donations easy, however, in the last couple of years that has gotten to be too complicated for me to keep up with so I have to search through my credit cards and emails to discover some of my good will.  I also spend time on the road doing deeds of a voluntary nature.  Did you know that you can deduct money on your taxes for that very thing?  I do and I do.  Right after I search through my calendar and document it all.  I am trying to put into place a system so that my prep time is less next year; my goal is to do it monthly.  Let's see next year how that all pans out.

#8 - Clean out your kitchen cabinets

Since February is the month of the kitchen, I am tackling what I truly consider to be a multi-week project of cleaning out the kitchen cabinets.  I mean, really... what do you do with those college fraternity glasses?  Sure they hold good memories... of another CENTURY!  I also have some beautiful cut crystal up there.  That I'm moving into my hutch, I think.  Maybe Teen Boy will sell it for me.  That is my goal for him for Spring Break... sell stuff on like EBAY or Craig's List.  I have the dinner plates from the last set of dishware we used.  I don't know why, but at this rate, I will have several more bags of donations.  It is a slow project that involves me climbing onto counters to reach stuff and then climbing down to put it someplace, then back up, down, up, down... you get the picture.  I might have some empty space when I am finished, but I am OKAY with that.

#9 - Strength Training

A couple months ago, I started one of those 30 day challenges.  Actually, I started two, at the same time. Why did I think I could do two?  I did well for about 2 and a half weeks and went on vacation.  This week I am starting a 30 challenge, but with a friend.  We're going to do it together and motivate the other to stick to it!  The benefits of strength training can be found here:  http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/growingstronger/why/  and here:  http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=557559&mode=2

Fabulous abs, here I come!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Book 11

Recently, someone posted a link to an article on Facebook "14 Books to Read Before They Hit the Big Screen."  I thought it was a great source to find some novels.  

I didn't check to see that the article was more than 6 months old primarily because one of the books/movies mentioned has been advertised all over the place for the last month as it is being released this Friday (The Monuments Men).  From that list, I decided some of them looked interesting (in the moment) and I ordered them up from the library.  One of them was The Spectacular Now and when I updated my Nook this weekend, I discovered it had almost expired.  During the last couple evenings, as the snow drifted down and we were cozy inside, I dove into this novel.

As I began reading this juvenile novel, I was wondering what on earth possessed me to choose this book.  I have nothing in common with the characters and I wasn't sure the main character was even likable.  It was like Breakfast Club for this new century of cell phones and internet.  I was compelled to finish (and have ordered the DVD from the library) yet I cannot say I enjoyed it.  My big boys grew up just a minute behind the new technology, but my LRHB is in it to his eyeballs.  Third graders with I-phones, REALLY!? Yet, this isn't about technology, but teens and rights of passage and making choices and living with them.  It is growing and learning and pain.  Did I love it?  No.  But, I didn't walk away from it either.