Friday, January 18, 2019

5 Things 4 Friday

It's my first blog post of 2019! How exciting. 🎉

1. I've been pondering about what to do about my blog. I still can't upload pictures, and it feels like the equivalent of my right arm being cut off as far as blogging goes. If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you know that this is a very picture-dependent blog. I really do enjoy posting my pictures and chronicling my life in this way since I no longer do scrapbooks or even photo albums very much anymore. I'm going to try a few more things--getting the computer completely cleaned out (it's been plague-ridden ever since John downloaded Fortnite), exploring frustrating help forums again (seriously Google, I'm a paying customer and deserve much better customer support than what you offer--which is virtually nothing), begging Peter for help, and maybe hiring a tech-savvy person from the community to see if they can figure it out. If those things don't work, then I'm going to either: a) start a new blog (which I really don't want to do), b) take it as a sign from the universe that it's time to quit blogging, or c) continue to blog in limited fashion like I've been doing and hope that the problem will at some point resolve itself. We'll see what happens! 🤞🙏  

2. To follow up on the five things I was looking forward to in December:

Going to the Newport mansions and seeing them decorated for Christmas was so fun! (And hopefully I'll be able to post pictures at some point. 😑) 

The Nutcracker by Boston Ballet was just as good as I remember it being. I also love the elegance and opulence of the Boston Opera House where they perform. I hadn't been there in 10 years! 

Our post-Christmas trip to New York City was so much fun, and it re-confirmed that NYC really is my favorite city in the world (specifically the borough of Manhattan). The highlight for me was getting to see the Rockettes for the first time ever, which I've wanted to do ever since I saw Annie when I was a kid. Their Christmas Spectacular truly was spectacular! 

I saw Mary Poppins Returns. I thought it was good, but not great. 😕
I haven't gotten to see Aquaman or Holmes & Watson yet. The latter tanked at the box office, but I still want to see it!

2018 is done and gone and I'm glad. I hope 2019 will be better. It started out well for the first week, but then last week I got really sick with a stomach bug that I caught from Peter. It derailed my whole week, but I try not to give in to my superstitious nature and see it as a harbinger of things to come. Sometimes yucky stuff just happens. 

3. Our first winter in New England since 2009 has been terribly disappointing so far. There's been hardly any snow! The last time it really snowed was literally two months ago, and even then it was only a few inches. I feel like I'm back in Iowa, the land of frigid mostly snowless winters--but this year Iowa has for once gotten a lot more snow than Massachusetts! It figures. Peter says that I should market myself as an anti-snow charm because wherever I go, it doesn't snow. It's seriously been a record-breaking winter of hardly any snow in the Boston area. 😢 And it's all my fault.

There is hope on the horizon. We're under a winter storm watch for Sunday. It looks like plowable snow is finally going to happen, followed by a wintry mix of sleet and ice. It may not turn out to be a big nor'easter or anything, but I'll take it! Beggars can't be choosers.

I hope that February will redeem this boring and uneventful winter!

4. I got the Hallmark Movie Channel app to help me track all of their movies that I've watched and the new ones coming out that I want to watch. It's a glitchy app, but it's fun. Hallmark movies can be cheesy and incredibly predictable, but they're also warm and clean and fun, and that counts for a lot in these dark days of the immoral entertainment that Hollywood regularly spews out. They're a bright spot of dependability and escapism in my life. And it's an entertaining hobby--albeit an unimpressive and somewhat embarrassing one--to keep track of their movies and watch as many as I can.

5. I'm also excited about my more respectable hobby of reading, which is of course my long-time favorite thing to do. These are some of my book goals for 2019:

I want to read on average a book every ten days, with a good mix of fiction, non-fiction, and some good self-help books (which I really do find helpful).

I want to finish the Poldark series. It's such a good series! I'll be sad when I'm done reading them all and when the show ends (the last season airs this fall). 

I want to read at least two classics that I haven't read yet. One of them will be The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, which I've been meaning to read for years. I'm holding the recent PBS miniseries of it over my head--I won't let myself watch it until I read the book!

I have a horrifying amount of books that I've bought over the last several years and haven't read. Our recent move has brought to my attention just how many there are. I had a problem with this years ago and worked on winnowing it down by reading them methodically one by one and by instituting a book-buying ban on myself. The time has come for me to do this once again. So this year I'll be working on reading my way through my shelves of unread books while doing my best not to add to them. It'll be hard for me to exercise such self-control in the tempting world of books and book sales but I think I can do it! 🙌

Speaking of books, in honor of my favorite book of all time, here's something funny that one of my friends posted on Facebook this week:


My weekend plans include driving around to various son activities, celebrating Peter's 40th birthday(!!), hopefully experiencing a snowstorm from the comfort of home on Sunday, watching my favorite civil rights movie Perfect Harmony in honor of Martin Luther King Day, hoping that the Patriots don't get their butts whipped by the Chiefs in the playoffs and make it to the Superbowl, and finally, getting a relaxing massage on Monday.
May your weekend and my weekend be full of joy...and snow!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

My Year in Books for 2018

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This is my journey in books for 2018!

I read 11,842 pages across 33 booksImg bookstack 40

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
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99 pages
A Christmas Carol
624 pages
The Angry Tide
The Angry Tide by Winston Graham
358 pages

people also read
Little Women
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Secrets in the Snow by Michaela MacColl
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people also read
Secrets in the Snow


The Infinite Atonement by Tad R. Callister
The Infinite Atonement
4.63 average
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The Creeping Shadow by Jonathan Stroud
My first review of the year
it was amazing 
This is the fourth and penultimate book in this wonderful series that has become one of my favorites. It's got England, mysteries, ghosts, dry humor and wit that I find so funny, great characters, good depth, hints of romance--this book has it all, just like the books before it.
The Creeping Shadow by Jonathan Stroud
it was amazing
The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
Staying Stylish by Candace Cameron Bure
Demelza by Winston Graham
Secrets in the Snow by Michaela MacColl
Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
All By Myself, Alone by Mary Higgins Clark
Jeremy Poldark by Winston Graham
Educated by Tara Westover
Warleggan by Winston Graham
Mitten Strings for God by Katrina Kenison
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
The Empty Grave by Jonathan Stroud
it was amazing
Free-Range Kids, How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children by Lenore Skenazy
The Black Moon by Winston Graham
The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware
Watch Me Disappear by Janelle Brown
The Surrendered Wife by Laura Doyle
The Island House by Nancy Thayer
Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters
it was amazing
The Four Swans by Winston Graham
The Angry Tide by Winston Graham
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
The Infinite Atonement by Tad R. Callister
The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White
The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands by Laura Schlessinger
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney
really liked it
Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor
Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach
Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach
My last review of the year
really liked it 
I enjoyed reading from this every day last year. While some of it made me roll my eyes a bit at times, it had some very good insights that were truly helpful and inspiring.
You can easily add books to this list by setting the Date Read for each book to any time in 2018.
Are you re-reading? That counts too!
2018 Reading ChallengeImg rccompleted
You read 33 out of 30 books.
Congratulations! You're really good at reading, and probably a lot of other things, too!