Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Finally a System!

Since 2009, I have been keeping household journals that have evolved from a place to hold my to-do lists into a weekly-at-glance with a to-do list, memory verse, counting my blessings, write down recipes, quotes, notes, ect., book. Not exactly a bullet journal, but close.  I have filled up 9 composition notebooks, working on number 10. Nothing fancy, but it works for me! 

Fortunately, I started out by numbering pages and making an index in the front of all but the first.  If I wanted to find a recipe, I would dig through the indexes and there it would be.  That is ok when you have a small number of books, but wow, dig through 9 and you have a job.  So....  my dear husband says,"Take a picture of each index and store it on your phone in an album."  Wow!  He's a genius!  It works!  I'd like to say that I used his suggestion as soon as he offered it, but after a few more times digging through the 9 journals, I decided to give it a try.  It's brilliant!  And that's my tip of the month, perhaps the year!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

My Reading Life

I love to read, but I have a quirky, sometimes contradicting reading life.

I despise twaddle, however, it does find its way onto my to-read list and I always feel unsatisfied.  I find myself delightfully stuck in time periods and places for long periods of time (WWII England).  I love to read cookbooks as well as other nonfiction books.  I do not read many popular novels, nor do I want to read anything mysterious, very depressing, or in the fantasy genre, although I will tolerate some fantasy.  (I loved My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand). I have adopted the notion that I do not have to finish a book if I do not like the book, liberating!  Although, I do finish books that I might not start out enjoying if I think they might have hope for a redeeming ending.  I try to read books that are online through my library or can be bought for a couple dollars with my Kindle.  I love paper books most, but the convenience of the Kindle wins!  Sometimes I find an author that I enjoy and then try to read everything that I can from that author. (Barbara Pym, Gene Stratton Porter, Georgette Heyer)

If I could change anything about my reading life... Sometimes I read 6 books and then find myself in a dry spell, as the TV beckons (The Crown, Victoria anyone?)  It would be nice to be more consistent, however, the dry spells do not last too long as I cannot resist adding books to my GoodReads Want-to-Read shelf, which taunts me!

I also find myself reading 4 or 5 books at one time.  This frustrates me about myself.  It takes me longer to read a book that way.  Thankfully the library has a 22-day check-out that I must obey, so I give those books priority. 

Three books that I have really enjoyed lately are The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery, Cluney Brown by Margery Sharp, and The War That Saved My Life/The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. All delightful reads!

One book that  I hated was The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett.  The concept was good, I guess.  The author writes the book from 3 different timelines depending on how the characters would have turned out if they had made different choices.  The format was confusing, alternating between the storylines was difficult. I almost gave up at 40%.   And on top of it all, the story was depressing and did not end well.  Sigh.

My goal is to read 50 books again this year.  Finding 50 worthwhile books that fit my quirky tastes will be difficult, but I will have a lot of fun trying!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

January Gratitude Journal

For the last several years, I have been writing things that I am thankful for or things that bring me joy in my paper journal.  I have decided to write them here for the coming year.  This one is from January.  

  • Neighbor children spontaneously shoveling our snowy driveway, just because they are kind
  • Space heaters when our furnace went out for four days 
  • Sunshine on a bitterly cold day
  • Podcasts to listen to as I do my housework (What Should I Read Next) 
  • Spotify playlists to listen to as I do my housework 
  • Surviving -11 F despite frozen pipes and furnace quitting
  • Library trips on a cold day
  • Our old van starting during the cold snap (battery keeps on going!) 
  • Generous grandparents helping with college 
  • My 5th grade Sunday school girls make me smile
  • A 10-year-old crock pot keeps us fed on busy days
  • When an ice storm misses us
  • The furnace didn't catch fire when the switch burned out
  • Abundance of food
  • Youth group leaders, winter retreat
  • Amazon delivery when you don't feel like leaving home
  • Old friends enjoying fellowship 
  • 50 F days in January
  • A day to rest at home
  • Hot tea when you have the sniffles
  • Birdsong in the winter
  • Visits with your college student
  • Unexpected lunch with my dad
  • Emergency dental offices, temporary fillings, pain medicine (more about this in Feb.)