Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Currently: April

 We have been spending a lot of time outside and I am hopeful we continue this trend for the next 7 months!



Reading:     The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune



Loving: that my parents are home from Florida, I'm weeks away from my second vaccine and summer/camping trips are almost here.

Feeling: optimistic and pessimistic. our covid numbers are out of control again and we are just sooo close to being fully vaccinated and school has been going so well.


Anticipating: we are having my husbands siblings over for camping in our yard/ Kentucky Derby party in a few weeks.  It should be a blast.

Struggling: with re-entering society.  trying to decide what is do able and what we shouldn't do.  and trying to keep the 9 year old covid free until she can get vaccinated.  

Grateful: that my parents are home and can be my people again.

Working: on trying to decide what we need in the camper and meal plans and easy to maintain systems for the camper.

Listening: to podcasts but not as many recently since the oldest has been home for spring break.

Watching: lots of murder shows ha.



Wishing: 
that our dams will be repaired and the lakes will return and our community will continue rebuilding and it won't turn to a complete disaster and my parents wont be charged 3423423434 in taxes to fix others mistakes. 

What are you reading/listening/watching?

 

Monday, April 5, 2021

What I read in March

 I've gone slightly silent again here and that is partly do to changing nap patterns and utilizing my time differently.  We are now in a good routine of a 3 hour nap if we don't have to do a school pick up and at least 2 / 2/1/2 hour if we do.  So in that time frame I have to do all the things I can't do when she's awake so most days that looks like clothes folding, meal prep, working out, and some cleaning.  And usually a tv show and some phone scrolling.  Sometimes reading and most times I don't make time to grab my lap top and I am tireeeeeed at night time.  I mainly can manage phone scrolling and sometimes not even reading cuz it puts me to sleep!

In 2021, I've read nine books each month.  That's pretty consist! I have noticed it seems to either take me 24 hours to read a book or an entire week.  There doesn't seem to be an in between.  Whoops.



I LOOOOVED The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall.  It was just a beautiful book and I recommended it to practically everyone while I was reading it and as I finished it.


I was kind of disappointed by The Stonewall Reader.  Some essays were really good, and some just dragged.  The real personal essays connected better than some that were more focused on gay history in general.

The Same Sweet Girls by Cassandra King was suggested by goodreads as a book others had enjoyed that loved Saving CeeCee Honeycutt.  I LOVED that book, so I've been slowly reading the books that goodreads have suggested.  This was a good book about a group of friends who et in college and get together at least twice a year.  They have a ton of inside jokes and rituals and a boat load of secrets from each other.  It was a nice read.

The Bride Test is the follow up to The Kiss Quotient and it was just as engaging.  Khai's mom finds a woman from Vietnam to come to America to be his wife.  Khai has autism and most decidedly does NOT want a wife.  He definitely doesn't want one messing up his house and routines and can't be bothered.  He doesn't think he can love or feel for people and just wants his routine.  This is just a funny book with great characters and I love the series so far.


Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner had a ton of potential and then just didn't hit it like I thought it could.  I think the characters acting like amateur detectives was the part I didn't like.  It just wasn't written well.  And I hadn't read her books in years until Mrs. Everything and that was SOOOOO good that I was excited about Big Summer ( plus sized instagram influencer in her ex best friends wedding ) but that part of the story line just didn't do it for me.  Good book, but I felt it could have been better.  But heck, I can't write like!

Florence Adler Swims Forever was a really good book.  But it was so gosh darn sad.  I liked it but I can't really do super sad right now.

Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen was another goodreads suggestion and it didn't disappoint either! I really liked it too.  It's set in 1970s Georgia and the main character spends her childhood eating dilly bars at the Dairy Queen dreaming of her life in the big city of Atlanta.  If you enjoyed Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, I'd recommend this one.

The Wedding Party is the third book of Jasmine Guillory's Wedding Date series.  LOVE the series, cracks me up and I'm always flying through the pages.  Highly recommend.  I'm trying to give myself a book a month from this series to stretch it out a bit for myself!

Have Yourself a Fudgy Christmas is anothe
r Candy Coated series book set on Mackinac Island.  I love the series and will probably read it as long as it continues!

Did anything you read in March stand out?


                                                         a bday present from a friend ha!



Tuesday, February 2, 2021

February Intentions

 Well the thirteenth month of 2020 just ended, ha ha.  My husband and I decided that for once January did not last 34234234234 years, so I guess there is that! Some positives, my father has received both shots of the Pfizer covid-19 vaccine and my mom has had one shot of the Moderna vaccine.  My dad hit two weeks post second shot yesterday, and this coming Monday my mom gets her second.  A little breath is being released there!

For January I had a few intentions..

"The biggest that is taking the most effort is healthier choices time.  My intention for January is to drink 100 ounces of water a day and hit 10,000 steps a day.  So far I've checked that off every day.  I am keeping accountable to myself by recording in Fitbit and posting my completed steps on insta. "

I made it about half way through the month and fell off the water bandwagon.  I just have such a hard time drinking ANYTHING.  It takes me all morning and sometimes afternoon to finish my tumbler of coffee and I just don't feel thirsty and chugging water is so gross to me.  So bad bad bad me.  I also fell off the bandwagon of posting my steps to insta halfway through the month but I finished January with at least 10,000 steps a day so go me!

"Reading wise I went through the year and put down some books that I want to complete during certain months, but with the caveat that if I get to them sooner, that's great, I just needed to work on clearing off some already purchased books and already chosen book club books.

For January, I need to complete Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlin, White FragilityNobody Will You This But Me (library dependent) and My life as Villainous by Laura Lippman.  "

I finished all the books except Nobody Will Tell you Thinks BUt Me, but I am on the waiting list! I read nine books overall.

"I also have a list that I'm tackling throughout the year and my first big project on there was locating a spot for my file cabinet that was homeless for a year and going through boxes in our storage area to throwing stuff away.  This I have started. "

I am almost done working on this.  I just hate it.  And I hate being in the basement.  But I have thoroughly cleaned two cabinets and re organized the kitchen set up.  Soooo some stuff got done!





Some basement finds!

February Intentions

Follow a couch to 5k plan I found.  Do that M, W, F.  Hit 10,000 steps on Thursday and Friday.  Don't keep track on Saturday and Sunday.

Finish the filing cabinet.

Read - Brown Girl Dreaming, Homegoing, The Stonewall Reader, and The Dearly Beloved (library dependent).  

Share information about Black History Month and learn more myself.

What are your February Intentions? How did you do on your January Intentions?


Monday, February 1, 2021

What I read in January

I started 2021 off with nine books read.  My favorite were The Wedding Date, Yes, We (Still) Can, White Fragility, and My Life as a Villainess.




The Wedding Date is a hysterical romance.  Alexa meets a guy in the elevator and within an hour she’s going to be his wedding date and it snowballs from there.  Great dialogue, quick movie plot and a very enjoyable read.


I honestly had to wait until the election was over to read Yes, We (Still) Can by Dan Pfeiffer.  It is an engaging read about his time working in politics, mostly for President Obama.  If you listen to Pod Save America or read Alyssa Mastromonaco’s memoir, I would recommend it, even though we are FINALLY passed that presidency, it’s a great read that you can breathe a tad easier reading.


White Fragility is a look at how racism is imbedded into all of society and how white people can get butthurt.  May I recommend it to all the people who just can’t dare to be any more politically correct? Cuz, people this is for you.  Think through history, real history, and take a look at how we are living in a society designed for white people and how that can affect people deemed as other.





My life as a Villainess is an essay collection by Laura Lippman who is one of my favorite authors.  If you have no background on her, I’m not sure it will be your cup of tea, however, check her books out and then head to this one.  Especially, if your inner thoughts turn a bit towards mean.







Keep this To Yourself is YA and it had potential but it never hit it for me. I kept trying to think if it was a YA vs adult read thing, but I think it just didn't hit it for me. I did like that they lived in Camera Cove and was of course thinking Cabot Cove ala Murder She Wrote.


The Distant Dead was decent but it was just sad. Great writing. Nothing wrong there.


The Silent Sister was our book club pick and while I typically love Diane Chamberlin, I felt this one had too much going on for it, too many plot lines and too many ways to try to say 'gotcha!' to the reader. Necessary Lies is still probably my very favorite by her.



Did you read anything amazing in January? How are your reading goals shaping up? For my goals, White Fragility checked a box and My Life as a Villainess checked a box I had for myself.


Friday, January 29, 2021

TGIF

While at one point on Tuesday I thought it was Friday, this week did fly by.  I had a few zoom meetings to attend this week, so it was nice talking with other adults and kids! I have been flying through Chesapeake Shores on Hallmark and plugging along on White Fragility.  I should be finished with it tonight.  I am also working on finalizing my February intentions.  Lots to do today!

My favorite pictures from the week:







The high of my week was the delicious steak sandwich I treated myself to on Wednesday.


The low of my week was nothing was too bad.

Meal plan for the week was 

Monday -  chicken alfredo, roasted broccoli, cottage cheese, veggies and dip
Tuesday -  Cheesy Taco Soup, Chipotle Salad, grapes, baked potato
Wednesday -  Chili dogs, mac and cheese, veggies and dip, cottage cheese
Thursday -  Chicken sandwiches, guacamole/chips, grapes, sweet potatoe fries
Friday - take out.  I think we are getting pizza from a local bar and grill if they are doing a special on it.  Otherwise we may just order off the menu at another local place.

Intention Check In

Saturday - 10,141 steps  / did not hit water goal
Sunday - 10,058 steps / did not hit water goal
Tuesday - 10,102 steps / did not hit water goal
Wednesday - 10,151 steps / did not hit water goal
Thursday - 10,057 steps / did not hit water goal

Yeah, I hate water.  I suck at it. Whoops.

The best money I spent was on nothing really.

What I’m listening to lots of podcasts!

What I’m watching  Chesapeake Shores

What I’m reading: White Fragility

My plans for the weekend include may take the oldest to Barnes and Noble for a quick trip

What are you watching/reading/listening to?

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

What I'm Reading

 Right now, I am currently on the third chapter of White Fragility by Robin Diangelo.  Much like, Caste by Isabel Wilkerson, I find this is a must read.  If you are truly interested in wondering why people say everyone has racist thoughts/ideas/beliefs when you feel you are 'the least racist' person you know, please try these books with an open mind.  If you also do not understand when people say there is systematic racism in our country, please read these books with an open mind.  It may hurt, you may be angry, but listen.  



If you think "I don't see color," is a good thing to say.  Please re-think that.  Do you want people to look at you and not see what you are??? Do you get mad when people don't use your correct name? When you say you don't see someone as black, that is a HUGE part of themselves.  That is how the world sees them, to ignore that, is to assume they float through life as easily as you do.  THEY DO NOT.




One thing I read so far that stuck out to me, is that to spot racism may have been easier during Jim Crow because at least people were honest about their biases and dislike for black people.  Now, people have entire conversations and do not use the word race, but people can know what they mean.  But, they can turn around and say, 'oh, no that's not what we were talking about.'  Just because you don't say the word!



There are a lot of well meaning people out there and I know people want to do the right thing.  So to do the right thing, you need to get uncomfortable.  When you know better, you do better.

Have you read this book? What are other books on race or class that you've read and recommend?

Friday, January 22, 2021

TGIF

What a week.  So so glad that inauguration is behind us and we can get back to the business of running a competent government.  Also, I've gone 24 plus hours without hearing a certain someones name and it is GLORIOUS.  So nice.  So nice not to worry about what twitter shitstorm he will create while we sleep.  So in book nerd news, I am coaching Battle of the Books for my oldest.  And I have only heard back from two parents about potential times their child can meet over zoom.  Whomp whomp.  It stinks because I cannot go into the school so we have to do all of our meeting on zooms.  And, since some kids are in a different class, THEY cannot get together in the school either.  So many logistics to get around.  But oh hey, parents respond to my email so we can get this show on the road!

My favorite pictures from the week:




My oldest didn't have school on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, so we read some books together, watched a civil rights documentary and then did a word search I had leftover from my teaching days, and a coloring sheet I found.






The high of my week was watching Kamala Harris become the first woman vice president!!!!!

The low of my week was my dad having some cancer spots removed.

Meal plan for the week was 

Monday -  Skillet Chili Mac and Cheese, roasted broccoli
Tuesday -  Brisket Tacos, roasted sweet potatoes and corn
Wednesday -  leftovers
Thursday -  Cashew Chicken and cottage cheese (this was delicious!!!) I think I got this idea from Lisa ?
Friday - take out .  I think we are doing Burgers/fries/milkshakes from a local specialty burger food truck turned store front.  and because we are cheap, going through the drive thru for the oldests burger/fries because it's cheaper and she would never be able to finish the burger from the other place.  plus, Burger King to her is a HUUUUUUUUGE treat.

Intention Check In

Saturday - 10,050 steps  / did not hit water goal
Sunday - 10,096 steps / did not hit water goal
Tuesday - 10,195 steps / did not hit water goal
Wednesday - 10,229 steps / did not hit water goal
Thursday - 10,148 steps / did not hit water goal

I really hit a wall in the water department.  I will say that every day I did drink over 50 ounces, but just couldn't quite get to the 100 ounces.

The best money I spent was on nothing really.

What I’m listening to Undistracted by Britney Packnett-Cunningham --- I am trying to catch up on old episodes.  Really liking it! Also catching up on Already Gone.

What I’m watching  Matlock, NCIS...

What I’m reading: about to re-read The Tale of Desperaux for a Battle Book

My plans for the weekend include we need to drop off my nieces birthday present.  Besides that nada.

What are you watching/reading/listening to?

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Things I Want To Remember

The way that Adeline grins with her entire face and claps her hands and says “yaaaaay.”  The way Adeline will point to the kitchen and I will say, do you need to nurse? And She will smile and go, “uh uh uh uh,” and then we will settle into my chair and nurse.  The way she slides down off my lap when she’s done nursing and looks at me and waves and says, “bye bye.”  Then I say, “do you need to take a rest,” and she will agree and I will carry her into her room to her sleep sack.  She will wave to the room and say, “byeeee.” All the way to lay down.  Then as I’m putting her window shade down she will snuggle in and make happy noises.

How she beats me up every time we nurse.  Feet kicking my face, hands pulling my hair, and will yell if I'm trying to stop her.



The way she tips her head down when you are carrying her so her face is in your face and then will smile and say your name.

The way she will grab books and say , “boo boo.’ And how I can say, do you want me to read to you? Bring me a book and she will go across the room and bring me some books.

The way she plays in her kitchen and says , “mmmmm” as she cooks.

How excited she gets when she looks out the window and sees trees.  She will point and say, “treeeeee.’

Also, her love of cheese.

The way she yells at our Roomba, “stteeeeeeeve,” whenever he is running or when she seems him in the corner.

The way she yells, “weeeeeeeeee” as she flies down the hill in her sled.

The way she lays down and is a completely dead weight model as you are trying to get her ready to go outside.  Equally parts funny, helpful, and not helpful.  She also removes her socks in about 2 seconds after they are on her feet.



The way she yells for her sister, “EYE YA, EYE YA, EE YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA”.

How excited she gets when she seems my mom and nestles into her.

The way she waves at people on the TV because she thinks it’s a zoom call and they can talk back.

Her love of music.

The way she listens intently.



The way she grabs your face and then hugs you with her arms around you tight.

The way she calls me, “mum, mum.”


Tuesday, January 12, 2021

2020 Reading Stats

 Time for my 2020 Reading Recap. This may be slightly inaccurate as it is based upon my faulty sleep deprived memory! 



 How many books read in 2020? – 81! Which was 7 less than 2019.  My goal for 2020 was 60, so I succeeded that goal!


How many fiction and non-fiction? 8 non-fiction, which was 3 more than last year.  My favorite non-fiction I read was Caste: The Origins of our Discontent by Isabel Wilkerson.  I’ve been recommending this book to EVERYONE.  73 fiction books and out of those I have recommended Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner to many people!





Male/Female author ratio? 62 women (a few repeats), 12 men, and 1 that uses they/them pronouns.  Some authors I really enjoyed this year are Jason Reynolds, Dan Gemeinhart, Ruth Ware, and Jenny Han.




Which author was new to you in 2019 that you now want to read the entire works of? Ruth Ware or Helen Hoang.




Favorite book read in 2019?  Besides the two I mentioned before I also really enjoyed The Parker Inheritance, The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise, Felix Ever After, The Kiss Quotient, Anxious People, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, The Giver of Stars, Burn Baby Burn, The Bookish Life of Nina Hill and The Hate U Give.




 

 

Least favorite? Probably Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie or November Road by Lou Berney





Any that you simply couldn’t finish and why? I think the only one I didn’t finish was Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library.  The 9 year old and I started it together and then she finished it by herself and I meant to finish it and I never got back to it.  We own it, but I do plan on getting to it!




How many pages did you read? 26,152



 

How many books from the library? 64! Which is 11 more than last year. I’ve really utilized our library, especially since they finally eliminated late fees and no fees to reserve books!




How many books read did I purchase? I think 6 of these, not all last year.  I bought a TON of books, but mostly for the girls and gifts.




How many were gifts?  3 I think.




How many borrowed from others? I borrowed one from my mom.




How many were given to me for reviews? 3 and I won one of the books I read in a goodreads giveaway.




How many books read on kindle
? The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah.




Any re-reads? Saving CeeCee Honeycutt.  My book club picked it and it was one of my favorites from when I read it.



 

Which countries did you go to through the page in your year of reading? United States, England, Ireland, Nigeria, France, Sweden, Iceland, Qatar, Germany, Australia, and Pakistan.

 


 

What states did you go through the page in your year of reading? New York, Michigan, Alaska, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, West Virginia Georgia, Minnesota, Ohio, Alabama, Washington D.C. (calling it a state), South Carolina, Maine, Tennessee, Idaho, California, Oklahoma, Texas, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Mississippi, Virginia, and Louisiana.



Which book wouldn’t you have read without someone’s specific recommendation?  The Butterfly Garden, The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise, and The Parker Inheritance.




Which author did you read the most of? 3, Charlaine Harris, 2 Susan Boyers, 2 Patricia Harman, 2 Linda Castillo, and 2 Nic Stone.




What was your best reading month? September.  I read 11 books then.

What was your worst reading month? May, I only read 2 books.

 

I seemed to average about 8 per month for the most part.



Top Ten Reading Moments of 2020

 

-      Having the 9 year old recommend books for me to read.

-      Reading on the porch.

-      Reading with both of my girls.

-      Talking about books with the 9 year old.

-      Discussing Educated with Book Club.

-      Making the cookie recipe in the Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder book

-      Discussing Amal Unbound with the nine year old

-      Reading my first graphic novel

-      Reserving books through my libraries pick up with NO CHARGE!!! (Big deal because it used to be 25 cents per hold!!!)

-      Have the one year old sing and dance to Down by the Bay 243434234 times

2020 Reading Goals - Revisited

Read 60 books. – Success! I read 81. 

2.   Read more books from my shelf and clear them out.  – This did not go so well.  With the ease of curbside pick ups and not charging for library holds, I read a TON of library books this year. 

3.   Write more about what I read. – FAIL.  FAIL FAIL FAIL.  I blame lack of sleep, a baby, and the pandemic.  Whoops. 

 

 

2021 Goals

 

1.   Read 60 Books

2.   Read 12 books from my shelves.

3.   Read 12 books that my friends have read.

4.   Read a biography of a president or first lady.

5.   Use Book Riot’s Read Harder challenge as a way to find books to read when I need one.

How many books did you read this year? Did you complete your 2020 reading goals? What are your goals for 2020? Which author did you read the most of? What was your most recommended book? What book do I NEED to read in 2021?