Friday, January 13, 2017

Five Things for Friday

1. I saw this beautiful new movie poster for Beauty and the Beast (thanks to my friend Cheryl, who posted it on Facebook). I'm so excited for this movie! It's my long-time favorite. Disney will do it right again; I have complete trust in their amazing abilities! 

2. Speaking of Facebook, I've stopped going on it as much but I'm glad I still do sometimes like for the reason above. I've got a new plan that I've been following for the last few weeks for internet and social media use. In order to be on screens less and get in control of my emails (of which I get too many; it's my own fault--I like subscribing to things and reading all sorts of articles that I don't really have time for), I've been doing the following things:
I deleted the Facebook app from my phone and iPad, so now I only go on Facebook when I'm on the computer, which makes me a lot more deliberate and mindful about when I use it.
I haven't gone on Instagram in a year-and-a-half and I don't plan on using it again.
Twitter, Snapchat, etc.: no chance.
I still love Pinterest and I don't use it nearly as much as I'd like to. I hope to change that over the course of this year.   
As for email, I've been checking it three times a day for ten minutes each time. This is helping me to stay on top of it a lot better and to stop checking my devices for email throughout the day. I also have a designated day each week (Wednesday) where I go through the past week's emails, and one of the tasks on my monthly to-do list is to go through and clean out the past month's emails.

As a funny, kind-of-related aside, my recent experience with Facebook is this:  

Ha ha! I'll be seeing less of you this year, Facebook!

3. My city is a literary, academic, New Englandy type of college town (which I love) and it has a great public library that we've been using every week since the start of the new year (which isn't saying much since we're only two weeks in, but I think it's already more than we used this library all of last year). They have some great children's programs; Sam goes to a math club there once a week (he loves math) and sometimes to a weekly STEAM-based club. Last week he made this Lego structure there and it was out on display when we returned this week. He was so proud!

"Water Spout Castle by Sam"

While Sam was ascending to Lego greatness in the club room, I was reading a book (instead of scrolling through Facebook on my phone!) and when I looked up at the nearby wall I saw a row of pretty profile drawings embellished with little pearl pins. I took pictures of my favorites, and here they are. I love people's artistic talents! (And the libraries that display them.)

4. January is my least favorite month of the year. I was thinking this week about every month and what happens in it, and I determined that January is definitely and consistently the least pleasant month for me. It's not terrible but it's not great. Fortunately it's nearly halfway over!

Although I love the snow...of which we've been getting NONE. :-(

5. Five things on this weekend's to-do list:
Decorate for Valentine's Day (yay for February!)
Spend time editing the book manuscript I'm working on (a client's, not my own)
Get a massage
Have the missionaries over for dinner on Sunday and cook the entire meal myself!
Finish my book and start reading Victoria

May your Friday the 13th be a happy one!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Five Things for Friday

Five Things I'm Looking Forward to in January!

1. I'm excited to watch this show on Masterpiece Theatre on PBS: Victoria
It starts on January 15th. It's going to be good! 

The Young Victoria is one of my favorite movies, and it looks like this show will follow in its great footsteps! 

2. In that same vein, I'm looking forward to reading this book that I got for Christmas, Victoria by Daisy Goodwin. 

The show on Masterpiece is based on this novel, for which Goodwin did extensive research from Queen Victoria's daily journals--the direct source! Daisy Goodwin is an author I've read before (American Heiress and The Fortune Hunter) and she writes very good historical fiction, which is one of my favorite genres to read.

3. Another PBS Masterpiece period drama, this one returning for its second season: Mercy Street.
It's a Civil War drama set in Virginia, right on the line between North and South. It's grisly at times, but it's good!

4. I can't resist! One more PBS show (are we sensing a theme here? That I love PBS?), this one on Masterpiece Mystery: the fourth season of Sherlock, a mystery show that is sometimes so fast-moving that it leaves me wondering if I'm smart enough to watch it (in my defense, this is a common feeling for many other Sherlock watchers, according to a Facebook group I belong to called Sherlock Dumbos. Ha! Just kidding.). 
I'm glad that Benedict Cumberbatch is back as Sherlock Holmes, especially since he's a big movie star now (did you see Doctor Strange? It was good!). I'm a little worried that because of his movie stardom that this might be the last season. They already killed off a main character in the first episode this week. It made me cry. 

5. I'm looking forward to Inauguration Day. The TV coverage will be fun to watch. I love all the pomp and circumstance of our American traditions. 
{Democratic friends and family, of which I have many, brace yourselves for my next paragraph!}
I'm excited for the Republicans to take control once again and I'm hopeful that our unconventional political outsider of a new president will be able to effect some positive, much-needed change in this country and in the world. I've been very unhappy with Obama and a lot of what has happened under him, which makes me sad because I had high hopes for him (as evidenced by my post here from Inauguration Day in 2009). I don't like Trump very much but the main reason I voted for him was to vote against Obama and the continuation of his agenda, which surely would have happened under Clinton. Trump may prove to be a disaster (to use one of his favorite words), but just like I did for Obama, I'm going to give him a chance and see how he does. I feel hopeful and more optimistic about the future than I did before. We'll see what happens.

A few other things I'm looking forward to in January: snowstorms (hopefully--all of our snow has melted away and there is no snow in the forecast--I check every day), my daily mug of hot cocoa, and enjoying a crackling fire in the hearth--we finally started using our fireplace last month for the first time in over six years of living in this house!

I probably won't be on the blog a lot in January because I have an editing work project to do, but I'll do what I can when I can!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

I Made My 2016 Reading Goal of 50 Books! Woo-Hoo!

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A Christ-Centered Christmas by Emily Belle Freeman
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104 pages
A Christ-Centered Christmas: Sev...
518 pages
Tess of the D'Urbervilles
Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
281 pages
people also read
The Girl on the Train
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Days of Fury by Chad Daybell
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Days of Fury
The Power of Everyday Missionaries by Clayton M. Christensen
The Power of Everyday Missionaries
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Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert  Beatty
Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
A Heart Like His by Virginia H. Pearce
Essentialism by Greg McKeown
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
If I Have to Tell You One More Time. . . by Amy McCready
No One Can Take Your Place by Sheri Dew
it was amazing
The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon
The Secrets of Happy Families by Bruce Feiler
The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
The New Passport to Survival by Rita Bingham
The Heiresses by Sara Shepard
Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini
Weakness Is Not Sin by Wendy Ulrich
10% Happier by Dan   Harris
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
it was amazing
Finding Peace, Happiness, and Joy by Richard G. Scott
Time of the Witch by Mary Downing Hahn
Parenting with Presence by Susan Stiffelman
it was amazing
A Lady of Good Family by Jeanne Mackin
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
The Power of Everyday Missionaries by Clayton M. Christensen
Not Your Mother's Food Storage by Kathy Bray
The Forgotten Room by Karen   White
House of Learning by M. Richard Walker
The Inventor's Secret by Chad  Morris
Something Blue by Emily Giffin
Closed for the Season by Mary Downing Hahn
really liked it
Atlantia by Ally Condie
Summer by Edith Wharton
Summer Breeze by Nancy Thayer
ADHD and Me by Blake E.S. Taylor
Armor by Kim B. Clark
Lights Out by Ted Koppel
Entwined by Heather Dixon
The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell
The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt
it was amazing
The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
The Promise of Discipleship by Neal A. Maxwell
The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer
The Life of Our Lord by Charles Dickens
A Christ-Centered Christmas by Emily Belle Freeman
Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye
Evading Babylon by Chad Daybell
Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin
Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan
really liked it
Martial Law (Evading Babylon Series Vol. 2) by Chad Daybell
Days of Fury by Chad Daybell
You can easily add books to this list by setting the Date Read for each book to any time in 2016.
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You read 50 out of 50 books.
Congratulations! You're really good at reading, and probably a lot of other things, too!