Reading Challenge 2017

My book list has been finalized! This is not the reading order.


  1. The Orchid House by Lucinda Riley
  2. The Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter
  3. Atlas of Unknowns by Tania James
  4. Dune by Frank Herbert
  5. Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
  6. Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry
  7. The Gadget by Paul Zindel
  8. 1984 by George Orwell
  9. The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier
  10. My Lobotomy by Howard Dully and Charles Fleming
  11. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora N. Hurston
  12. When Books Went to War: The Stories that Helped Us Win World War II by Molly Guptill Manning
  13. The Innkeeper’s Song by Peter S. Beagle
  14. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  15. Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen King
  16. Jack of Kinrowan by Charles deLint
  17. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams


I’m starting with books I have, or have borrowed. I had intended to do books I haven’t yet read. There’s one on this list that I started last year but never finished. I included one from everyone who recommended me a book. Then assigned a number to the 20+ books and did a random number generator for the other handful that I needed.

I started reading last night, and I will be accompanied by a friend on this journey. I started with My Lobotomy by Howard Dully and Charles Fleming. I’m only a few pages in, but it’s very intriguing. I shall update when progress has been made.


The First Snowfall of the Season

I mentioned way back there *gestures ambiguously at a post from the past* that I would make a post about my planners. I also mentioned that I would write a post about how I made my hexagons for Temperature Blanket 2016. This isn’t those posts. Though, I am working on both of them.

I’m currently sipping on scalding hot, hot chocolate. Lately, I’ve made it 6 out of 7 nights. Abby loves it. It is especially appropriate tonight. My little patch of the world had its first real snowfall. After reading Facebook, I woke Abby up with an excited, “Abby it snowed!” She was so excited. There’s barely a dusting of snow when we leave the house. Abby looked up at me. She had this look of confusion and disgust on her face, and she said, “Where’s the snow, Mommy?”

Yeah, where is the snow? Half the counties around us closed down for practically nothing. By tonight, there’s at least a half-inch outside, and it is SLICK! Driving to work I slipped twice. Coming home? I pulled into a parking lot, and Dad and I switched places. I think half the time I was sliding and the other half was actual driving.

We made it home safely. Abby got to play in some snow. The trash is out. Bellies are warm. Everyone is just lying around now. The snow is still falling, but gently and quietly. There’s something so peaceful about snow. When it’s snowing, all I need is a warm blanket, hot chocolate, and I’m content.

Books, Books, and More Books

I’ve spent most of the last two days laying around in bed. I’ve run a few errands. I played in my planners. I finally took pictures of my planners. I’ll post those in my next post. I want to edit out birthdays and what not.

It’s been a very relaxed weekend. Tomorrow, I go back to work. I have massive amounts of laundry to do, and I’m doing a Reading Challenge for this year. My goal is to read 14 books before the end of the year. I use to read 50+ books every year, but now my reading time is mostly right before I go to bed. The only format that I’m excluding is Audiobooks. I listen to Audiobooks while I work. They don’t count because I’ve already read and listened to The Wheel of Time books a hundred and a half times. I’ll post my list as soon as it’s finished.

Here’s what I have so far:

  • The Orchid House by Lucinda Riley
  • The Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter
  • Atlas of Unknowns by Tania James

Suggestions can range any genre, and if you have one, please comment below!

New Year, New Plan

One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to be less glued to my phone. To do this, I decided to remove most of my social media and game apps. I kept to games, because Abby likes to play them, and I find one of them very relaxing. I kept three social media apps, Facebook, Messanger, and Pinterest.

Facebook: I kept Facebook for two reasons. Reason the First, because I like scrolling through Facebook on my phone. I upload pictures and post fairly frequently. I like the convenience of it. Reason the Second, is mostly because of the non-profit. I run most of the stuff from my phone. The mobile app page is a little easier to work than my computer.

Messanger: Mostly Messanger is just because several of my friends only message me through. Also, if Luvey and I are on the phone, we send pictures and video back and forth to each other. Neither of our phones will let us send anything through our text messaging apps, so we use Messanger.

Pinterest: I just really love Pinterest. It’s my favorite search engine. Luvey and I talk pretty much every day on my lunch breaks. Occasionally, neither of us feel much like talking, so we sit in silence spamming each other with pins. It’s one of my favorite ways to veg.

All of the other apps I chose to remove were easy, except for the WordPress. I really struggled with WordPress. I love the app. I love being able to read blog posts, comment, interact with everyone. I finally made the decision to remove the app from my phone. I’ve decided that, for this blog, Mondays and Thursdays are my dedicated posting days. Once I’ve posted, I can read and peruse for a bit. For the new blog, I’m going to be posting on January 1st and the last day of every month.

My other WordPress day will be Saturday or Sunday depending on how busy I am. I’ve also given myself rules for Facebook. My hopes, my goals, are to be a little less dependent on technology, to have a little bit more time that’s not so crazy.

Parent’s Night

I’m sitting here, the day after Christmas, watching Abby drink hot chocolate out of a Minnie Mouse mug. I’m happy. I’m content. Abby, BoBo, and GG are watching The Polar Express. I’m hiding behind my computer watching Terra Nova. Abby keeps jumping up and screaming, “DANCE PARTY!!!” Then she starts twirling and dancing around. She makes my heart happy.

I was finally able to see her ballet class. They had a parent’s night about a week and a half ago. We were invited to come in and watch. They did their stretching to a special stretching song. Then they did a special Christmas song for us.

Every few minutes, Abby would come running over to me. She needed, “Huggy, Mama! Huggy!” I’d hug her and nudge her back to the floor. She’d run back out there and dance for a few more minutes. She loved having us all there. Her Grandma Terri and Uncle Dylan were there, along with me and Pappy.

She keeps asking when were coming to see her dance again. That will be in May. I sit outside in the lobby every Thursday for 30 minutes. The studio doesn’t have one way glass, so we don’t get to see anything. After May’s Parent’s Night, Abby will have a big recital in June. She asks me about it all the time. I’m fairly certain the entire family will be there for that.


There are many, many things I want to talk about. Last week was full of so many emotions, so many things I want to express. And here I sit. I find myself in this position a lot. I have words clanging around in my heart, but my brain says no. I’m finding expressing myself more and more difficult lately.

In the past, no one read any of the blogs I created. Expression was easy. If there’s no one to see it, then I won’t be vulnerable, even if I open myself up. But now I have a few of you who see what I write. I don’t have a large number, but I appreciate you all.

It’s difficult for me to be open. It’s difficult for me to be vulnerable (which is one of the reasons I don’t have an about page). Everything that happened last week, the good, the bad, and the sad, would leave me vulnerable. One of my goals in starting this blog was to write everything. Write the truth as I see it. Write my life. Write through the anxiety and depression. My blog, I think, shows the depression rather well. Also my busy schedule.

Over the next few weeks I will make five posts about last week’s events:

  • Abby asked why Uncle William didn’t like her.
  • Parent Day at Dance
  • Wreath Day
  • Bertha’s Newest Threat
  • Social Media Silence

It was emotional for me. I know writing about it will help me work through some of it.

Restless Creativity

Abby is taking a nap. Copper is laying on my left foot. His weight, his warmth, is reassuring. Last night I became restless. The last time I felt like that, I learned how to crochet. The time before that, I learned to shuttle tat. The time before that, I started a blog.Last night when that itchy feeling happened, I worked on the YouTube channel I started, but haven’t done anything with.

Last night when that itchy feeling happened, I worked on the YouTube channel I started, but haven’t done anything with. I uploaded a photo. I renewed my resolve to work on it. I made a plan. I wrote it down in the To Do List, which will be transferred to the planners when I finish redoing those. It didn’t help.

This morning I created another blog. I’m currently working on getting it set up. It’s going to be a once a month post, that will go along with the YouTube channel, but it will precede the YouTube channel. This settled the restless feeling. I called my Luvey and told her what I’d done. She finds it both irritating and amusing.

Anyway, I’m getting everything set up for January 1, which will be my first post on the new blog. The next post will be on January 31st, and then every post after that will be on the last day of the month. I have a plan. I wonder how well I’ll stick to it.