Book 4 of 50

I am off to a slow start on my goal (again) of reading 50 books this year. I just finished #4.  But, the last book I finished in a few days versus a few weeks.

The time to read isn’t a problem, it’s the whole thing of actually sitting down to do it…taking even 20 minutes to devour a few pages, but instead I get distracted or think of something else to do and then the moment is gone.

I track my books at Goodreads.  I’ve got piles of books on my nightstand and on my kindle.  My Amazon wish list is large and I am constantly adding to it, everytime someone makes a book suggestion to me.  My reading interests are varied, and often depend on my mood, or what is going on in my life at the time.

When I go on vacation, I often take paperbacks, usually something like a romance or true crime, and once I finish it, I will leave it somewhere for someone else to enjoy.

I just started a book that came recommended to me on Goodreads called “My grandmother asked me to tell you she’s sorry” by Fredrik Backman.  I’m only a few pages into it at the moment.  

If you would like to see my reviews of other books I have read, feel free to visit my Goodreads profile.

Happy Reading!

Putting pen to paper

This year I have decided to once again participate in IncoWrimo. This is my 2nd year participating in International Correspondence Writing Month (Incowrimo) and I am also participating in LetterMo which is essentially the same thing. Different hashtags on all the social media platforms, but the basic premise is the same…write a letter to someone every day in February. Easy right?

I have yet to come up with a tracker for the month. What I used last year really was not effective, and essentially I would like something I can use all year. Perhaps a separate notebook. I tend to get so caught up with life that I put my received letters in a pile, which then gets put aside for a few days, then a few days more and before I know it life gets in the way and more time than I care to admit to gets in between the receipt of the letters and my reply.

I don’t have much pretty stationary for the task ahead, and we are on a very tight budget at the moment, but I hope to pick up some pretty notecards that I can use. I had more luck last year for Incowrimo when I sent out short notes of greeting than when I tried to get to in depth.

Have you ever participated in either of these?

Wish me luck!

Change…

My husband unexpectedly retired in October. Basically, after getting his bonus in September, they eliminated his position. He disn’t handle it well, and was not in a very good mood for a few weeks. He has worked since he was 14, and now, at 59 1/2 feels a bit lost. But, he has now decided he is just going to retire, and try to golf more, fish more, and start renovating the house (which we have wanted to do for a few years now). So now renovation has begun, and since we are doing it ourselves, it is one room at a time. New paint. New trim. new flooring. In every room. When we bought this house 12 years ago every room was seafoom green. There is carpet (of some kind) in every room. The master bathroom has a gold colored toilet and tub (very 70s). It’s all going away. We are putting pergo flooring down and very room will be painted differently. Looks good so far.

To say that he was easy to live with would be a lie. Every day that I went to work I was thankful to get away from the grump Even my boss was willing to give me extra hours! Of course, much of that was also because his job was 100K a year. And now we don’t have that income. We are definitely having to really budget and cut back on expenses. We did put his severance pay in savings, and I transfer some over only when I absolutely need it to pay bills. Short term it’s working out, but long term, we need to get out from under all our debts so that we won’t have to worry.

We are still planning to make our annuual trek to Florida in April. His mood is much more pleasant now that he is at peace with the life changes. I am NOT used to having him home all the time.. My days off, I enjoyed having the house to myself. He goes grocery shopping with me now too, which I don’t mind sometimes, but othertimes, I would like to take my time and browse the aisles. He’s a “get whats on the list and get out” kinda guy.

Adjustments. There are a few. We will get there. It’s just going to take some time.

I will not be meeting my reading goal for the year. I fell way behind. Oh well. It definitely isn’t the first time, and it won’t be the last. My mountain of books to read, however, did grow substantially, so I need to get on that. 50 books never used to be that hard to get, but maybe in 2019 I will cut it back to 25. Tempting.

I am still bullet journaling, although I don;t even pick it up for days at a time. I guess I need to find something that works for me. Or maybe not do it at all. My schedule and appointments I keep on my google calendar. I do like having a way to track my books (other than goodreads), and my weight, IG followers etc, and I would like to incorporate my home business into it as well. Maybe i can find some groups here on LJ…..althugh I have a lot on FB that I am a member of.

 

Am I failing my reading goals for the year?

My annual goal of reading 50 books a year is looking like yet another miss…I just finished my 13th book.  I have a lot of reading to do to reach my goal by the end of the year, but I am going to keep plugging on.  Reaching the goal is a bonus to my enjoyment of reading.

I just finished “Come Rain or Come Shine” by Jan Karon, which is part of her Mitford Series.  I have read almost every book  in the 14 book series, (I just realized I missed one, called “In the Company of Others”) The series is based around Father Tim Kavanaugh  who is an Episcopalian Priest.  The books are filled with small town country living; great characters and great stories.  This particular story is based on the wedding of Father Tim’s adopted son Dooley.

I was introduced to this series by the Reference Librarian at a library I worked at for a short time.  Her excitement for the books was infectious, and I began to look forward to their release and arrival in the library as much as she was.  I am not sure I would have picked them up on my own, as at that point in my life, I was not reading as much, and was mostly reading strictly books from Danielle Steel or Harlequin Series books.  I am ever thankful for the opportunity to work in a library, and the exposure to new titles, new genres and new authors.  I now read a much wider variety of books than I did before.

I love getting book recommendations and would love to hear what you suggest I put on my reading list.

 

Instagram part deaux

After much thinking and hesitation, I have created an Instagram solely from my bullet journal/writing and reading endeavors.  I was following so many people on my personal IG that I thought it would be easier to separate the two.

Ok…to be completely honest., I have THREE instagram accounts.  My personal one, my bullet journal one, and one for my Avon business (plus I run the one for my job).

www.instagram.com/michelecreates   (Bullet journal, books and writing)

www.instagram.com/beautyandhumanity  (My Avon business)

It’s been easy to keep up with so far!  And with different interests on all of them, I’m hoping it becomes a little easier for me to navigate.

How many Instagram accounts do you have??

 

Color me happy

I’ve not been feeling well for a while now.  It’s probably all related to my diabetes.  Sometimes it’s just my feet hurting.  Sometimes it’s an overall blah feeling…and sometimes, well, I cannot quite describe how I feel, other than just….off.

So, I had my followup with my doctor in regards to my diabetes today and he said I deserved three gold stars.  Not only did my weight drop by 10 pounds (by his scale) but my A1C dropped from 8.5 to 7.4.

I attribute most of this to the medications I am on.  I take Glipizide and Metformin twice a day and I take Farxiga in the mornings.  Farxiga is outrageously pricey, and even with my insurance, was going to cost me over $900 every 3 months.  So, we got a coupon from the manufacturer and I now have a $0 copay. This coupon is only available to people with insurance.  So…why not lower the cost?  I really do not understand the price of medications in this country.

After I left the doctor’s office I started thinking about how good those numbers could be if I actually added in some exercise to my weekly routine.  And really cut out the foods I shouldn’t have.  I have been doing portion control though, and not buying the “bad” foods.  It’s definitely helping though.

I’ll take it.  Not going to complain.  My goal is to have all the numbers down again when I go back in November.

My 2018 reading challenge…

Every year I set a goal to read at least 50 books during the year.  I track it over on goodreads now, but a few years ago, I did on another site, which is no longer in existence.  I finished a book today, and logged in it, then saw that I am 14 books behind schedule for my goal.  Ahhh…no that is not what I wanted to see.  I really don’t want to pick up short stories or quick easy reads just to tick another book off, but I might have to do that.  I don’t mind if I miss the goal, but I like to at least feel like I tried to make it.

The book I finished today was a heavy book….but relevant to me.  My grandmother had Alzheimer’s, and it is the main cause I fundraise for every year.  My daughter and I participate in the Alzheimer’s walk when it comes close to us, and I always donate a portion of my Avon sales every July through September to the Foundation.  Today I finished a book by actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley called “Where the Light Gets in:  Losing My Mother Only to Find Her Again“.  It was a great book.  I felt like Kimberly was sitting with me as she told her family’s story.  She covered the pain, joys, failures and triumphs that came with her mother’s disease.  I definitely recommend this to anyone who has been touched by Alzheimers/Dementia, and even to those who have not.

My mountain of books to read is huge….plus there are a bunch more on my kindle as well, and I need to decide what I want to read next.  It will not be as heavy as what I just finished though.

Getting a handle on diabetes…

I’m learning to monitor my blood sugar more, and learning about what i can and cannot eat.  It’s hard to change 50 years of eating habits.  it really is…even when your life depends on it.

I checked my blood sugar at 7 am, before I left for work.  i had 2 cups of tea with stevia, and 2 bowls of unsweetened cheerios.  My blood sugar was 323!  Yikes.  Around 1045 this morning, while at work, my sugar dropped all the way down to 76.  having your blood sugar slip low is not a good feeling.  I start shaking and sweating…i couldn’t focus at all.  Luckily my lunch break was at 11.  I took a bottle of water, a protein bar and a bag of peanuts to the breakroom and ate them.  by 1130, my blood sugar was way back up at 165.  not the ideal lunch by any means, but i didn’t think I should be behind the wheel of a car while I was feeling the way i was.

i really need to get this under control.  I really need to.

Always running behind…

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Mind you,  I am rarely, if ever, late for an appointment or for work.  However, I seem to be running behind on my penpal letters, and my journaling, and my reading.  My intentions are good, but I get busy, or distracted and oops…didn’t get to it.

In February, I participated InCoWriMo, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and I did get a few letters, most of which came as the project ended.  So, as of now, I have 11 letters to reply to.  Some of them are from InCoWriMo, and some are my regular penpals. I feel like I have let them down, even though I know many are in the same boat as I am.  I’m even behind on writing something in here, but I decided that a blog about falling behind would succeed in a) getting a  blog entry written, and b) help me feel less guilty about being behind.

So April is National Card and Letter Writing Month, and I am going to participate and challenge myself to once again meeting the challenge!  At least I have letters to reply to to fill up the first few days, right?

Wish me luck!

InCoWriMo update

Well the challenge is over and while I did not get a note written every day, I didn’t fail completely. I did receive 4 letters which I think is pretty good. Even though the event is over, I do plan to write all 4 back.

Will I do it again next year? I do think I will, but I hope to be better prepared/organized than I was this year.

One card I received was a postcard with the return address typed on a label, my address typed on a label and a label filled with text on the main portion of the card. I think, for me, I couldn’t do it…seems like too much of a cop out when it’s supposed to be a handwritten letter or note…but, getting mail is a always nice, no matter the format.