Saturday, January 6, 2018

Mail goals week 1

    If you've been on this blog for a while, you probably know that I started this blog to challenge myself to attempt to send (and hopefully receive) 1 piece of mail for each day of the year. (It was a leap year that year.) After failing for 2 years, I finally reached my goal of sending 366 pieces of mail on the 3rd year. Because I have not been as successful at giving myself some time each day to connect with people, I've decided to reattempt this goal.  I will try to post weekly to keep myself on track. These posts may be short and to the point.

Letters in my "respond pile:" 10? (I just noticed that some of my old letters got mixed in there. Ugh) Letter writers- do you always respond in the order received? I do. Here's my problem. I started writing a letter months ago in a notebook I was trying to use up and I LOST IT. I was quite a few pages in and would hate to start over, but this has been the hold up. Seriously, I'm really OCD about this stuff and my books. Some day I will have an organized life. Until then... my reply pile has ten letters.

Mail sent this week 1/1-1/6): 5 postcards, 1 card
Received this week: 1 postcard and 1 card from the Secret Christmas RR. (1 card that is pictured I received before the new year so I didn't count it in my log)

From Italy. This card also benefits Unicef. 
 From Russia- I really enjoyed this card. It was so elegant looking
From Belarus- I got this one right after the one from Russia. Very similar and pretty. There was a great snowman stamp on the back too.

Friday, January 5, 2018

The Darkest Evening of the Year

Book 1 of 2018.   All through middle school and high school I read a ton of Dean Koontz books. I recently read an ARC (The Whispering Room) that I got from NetGalley.  This book had been sitting on my TBR shelf for a while so I used it to fulfill the first Keyword Reading Challenge book as well as my first book for the Mount TBR Challenge.
     This book was about a woman named Amy, who after some tragedies in life, had devoted her life to  start an organization to rescue golden retrievers. I know that Mr. Koontz also has a golden retriever and seems to be quite the dog lover. I like animals, but I'm not super passionate about them, so this story line might not have been as impactful to me as it might to some other folks. Amy gets called to rescue a dog named Nickie who brings back a lot of connections to her past. In the meantime, Amy's boyfriend, Brian is also dealing with issues from his past- mainly a psychotic old girlfriend who has custody of his daughter. 
     This story had some good twists in it. If you read a lot of Koontz, you could probably guess which direction some of the story lines will head in. It was not my favorite book of his, but I didn't dislike it either. 
     Book #2 is an advanced reader copy from NetGalley.

Reading Challenge Stats
Mount TBR 1/36
Keyword Reading Challenge 1/12
Goodreads Challenge 1/60

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Reading Challenges 2018

     I finished all of my reading goals in 2017! Unfortunately, I got absolutely no input on my reading challenges for 2018. So, I'm playing it safe and just going with what I enjoyed. I have other goals for myself in 2018 but might take it month by month instead of making crazy year long lists for myself. Here are the 3 reading challenges I would like to complete in 2018.

Mount TBR Challenge:
   Last year, I challenged myself to get to the top of Mount Blanc- reading 24 books from my TBR pile. This year I will attempt to climb Vancouver, which has 36 books.

The Monthly Keyword Challenge:
   You may remember that I attempted this challenge last year, but the person who hosted the challenge gave up her blog. (Thank Claudia for all the hard work you did if you are reading this.) Luckily, Bev at My Reader's Block decided to host this challenge this year. So, I'm in again. Here's the list of words I have to work around.
You'd be surprised how difficult this is sometimes, especially if I'm trying to pick from my TBR pile.

I'm upping my Goodreads challenge by 10 books this year. So, in 2018, I'd like to read a minimum of 60 books. I would also love to make some new friends on Goodreads, so if you are a member and would like to meet some new people, send me a message and I will add you as a friend.

   How did you do on your 2017 goals? Do you have any books that you've recently read that you are excited about? How about any book releases coming up that you can't wait for? 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Reading Challenge Suggestions 2018?

Although I'm not QUITE finished yet, I really enjoyed my reading challenged this year and I've been doing well with them. I'm looking for new challenges next year. This year I did 3- one for Goodreads (just a challenge to read a number of books), Mount TBR (to read from my to be read pile- I think I'm going to do this one again since it cleared some clutter and made me feel less guilty to be buried in books) and the Monthly Keyword Reading challenge (which the owner took down in April, but I finished all the way to December.) What challenges are you participating in/running? I'd love some suggestions so I can set my reading goals over the next few days. Thanks!
   Hope you had a Merry Christmas!
Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, child, closeup and indoor

Sunday, October 29, 2017

I'm flailing

    I'm struggling with my Write 31 Days challenge. Occasionally, I will hear about people who are just going places/doing things to "get likes" on social media. I don't understand that concept at all. However, this week has been busy and I'm finding little time to do things that I need to do. Writing 31 days has been good for discipline, but if I haven't had anything important to say, I've struggled with making writing a priority over my family, work and general upkeep of life. On some of the days when I have pushed myself just to write SOMETHING, I have thought about the fact that it will probably be seen by like 10 people. So, I'm back for the last few days but I'm not feeling good about where I am in the challenge. :/

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Preparing for a first

    Tomorrow Tim is going away with his school for a few days. He has never slept over anyone's house (but family) and doesn't have a lot of super close friends. He is so excited and I know he'll do great. I am not sure I will do as well. Home will be very different without him here. :( It will be a great experience for him!

Black and white photo challenge

    So a friend of mine challenged me to one of those black and white photo challenges going around on Facebook.  I have enjoyed seeing everyone's pictures. Here are 3 taken from my day today. Unlike the challenge, I'll let you in on the background of the photo and why I took it.

Image may contain: people sitting and indoor 
This is in the waiting room of the dermatologist's office. Over the past 3 weeks I have spent way too many hours here. I'm grateful for knowledgeable doctors/surgeons and for their kindness and care over the past few weeks.  

Image may contain: indoor 
   It is a stormy autumn day here and these curtains were billowing out. I thought it might be kind of a cool picture but not so much!

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, closeup 
     There's a no people rule in the black and white challenge but the little guy wanted in on the black and white action.This is the debut of my "new face."  I still have steristrips on where I got stitches and my eye is still a bit swollen, but it's not too bad. 
Image may contain: plant, flower, nature and outdoor 
 I shared the flower.  This is from a plant that was given to me by a former student. She brought it to me on my birthday as a gift. (Here's a picture I took a few days ago that show the colors:)
Image may contain: flower, plant and indoor