Friday, August 30, 2013

Summer 2013 Book Challenge, Completed

Here is my completed Summer 2013 Book Challenge from Semi-Charmed Life


Rules:
  • The challenge will run from July 1, 2013, to September 30, 2013. No books that are started before 12 a.m. on July 1 or finished after 11:59 p.m. on September 30 will count.
  • No re-reads (unless specifically stated)! I want you to experience new books with this challenge.
  • Each book must be at least 200 pages long. Audiobooks are fine, as long as the print versions meet the page requirements.
  • A book can only be used for one category. If you want to switch the category later, that's fine, just be sure to account for that in your point total.

The Challenge:

  • 5 points: Freebie! Read any book you'd like, as long as it follows the above rules. :)
    The Barakee Mystery by Arthur Upfield; 336 pages.  (July 2013)
  • 5:  Read a book that is less than 150 pages long.
  • The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan; 148 pages (July 2013/audio)
  • 10: Read a book with a color in the title.
    The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley; 288 pages (July 2013)
  • 10: Read a book that is not the first in its series. (And yes, it must be in a series.
    The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party (12th in the series) by Alexander McCall Smith; 240 pages (August 2013)
  • 15: Read a book it seems everyone but you has read! 
    The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury; 256 pages.  I was late in "discovering" Bradbury--it seems that all my fellow fantasy and sci fi literary nerds had read this long ago! 
    (July 2013)
  • 15: Read a banned book.
    Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, 267 pages. (August 2013/audio) 
  • 20: Read a book written by a celebrity. 
    If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won't) by Betty White; 272 pages (July 2013/audio)
  • 20: Read a non-fiction book that is not a memoir.Becoming Myself: Embracing God's Dream of You by Stasi Eldrige; 256 pages; Christian Living nonfiction. (July 2013) My review is posted here.
  • 20: Read a book that takes place in a state you have never been in. 
    The House without a Key by Earl Derr Biggers.  Takes place in Hawaii; 240 pages.  (July 2013)
  • 25: Read a book that is at least 400 pages long.
    The Book of Secrets by Elizabeth Joy Arnold; 464 pages.  (July 2013)
  • 25: Read a book with a main character who shares your first name.
    The G-String Murders by Gypsy Rose Lee, 209 pages. Main character is Gypsy herself and though we spell it differently, I thought it would be close enough! (August 2013)
  • 30: Read a book written by an author who was born in or died in your birth year.
    The Barn Owl's Wondrous Capers by Sarnath Banerjee; 280 pages; born in 1972. (August 2013)
(I have condensed the challenge descriptions to save space; go to the original challenge page for more details.)

Library Books Reading Challenge Update

As of today, I have surpassed the highest level of the library book reading challenge with over 50 books listened to/read.  You can see my (ever expanding) list of library books read here:
Library Books Reading Challenge

The Library Books Reading Challenge 2013 is hosted by Gina at Book Dragon's Lair. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Looking Back



This week has been an odd one, getting used to Jack being gone, and trying to get back into good routines.  The past two weeks were filled with much worry over JackJack and affected me more than I realized at the time.

Both of the other kitties have adjusted well to Jack being gone.  They, too, knew it was time.  I'm surprised at how much more peaceful our home has been this week.  That shows just how restless he was from pain and stress.  Knowing that has been confirmation of our decision.

I was so exhausted by Wednesday, after the vet on Monday and grocery shopping on Tuesday, that I skipped the noon Communion service.  I always feel a bit empty for the rest of the week when I do that.



This past week I:
  • made delicious oatmeal cookies from this recipe
  • moved three of four bookcases into our closet room, and began filling them with clothes
  • added another three-drawer rolly thingee to the closet room and filled it with clothes from the dresser
  • filled the empty dresser drawers with blankets
  • began to organize my craft supplies and photo props on shelves my husband built for me
  • read two books and listened to two audio books
  • baked my favorite crustless quiche, using tomatoes, broccoli, cheddar and fresh herbs from Mom's garden
  • began and finished The Frosted Pumpkin's Greetings from the Beach pattern

I think the pufferfish is my favorite.


A layer of cheese on the bottom makes a type of crust.  




Next week I would like to:
  • Mop that blasted kitchen floor; it keeps getting bumped to the bottom of the list.
  • move the last bookshelf to the closet room
  • get all the clothes and blankets into their new places on bookshelves
  • not miss a day taking photos (I've only missed two days this month and that was this past week)
  • reorganize the kitchen cabinets, if Mom has time to help


I am thankful for:
  • the support of friends and family during our difficult time with our vet
  • books to read and the time to read them
  • recipes that I can use successfully 
  • a toaster oven to use when the big oven goes wonky
  • a husband that will build shelves for me
  • that touch of autumn in the air




Wednesday, August 21, 2013

4 Month Challenge, Completed





Here are the results of my 4 Month Challenge, Part 12. It was great fun, and I'm looking forward to the next one!







5 Point Challenges
  • Read the second book in a series
    Partners in Crime by Agatha Christie, the second in the Tommy and Tuppence mysteries. (July 2013/audio)
  • Read a book with water on the cover
    Down Among the Dead Men by Patricia Moyes 
    (June 2013)
  • Read a book with a colour in the title
    The Yellow Streak by Valentine Willaims 
    (May 2013)
  • Read  a book set in the 1900′s
    Mamur Zapt and the Return of the Carpet  by Michael Pearce, set in Cairo in 1908.  
    (July 2013/audio)
  • Read a book whose author name begins with M (First or last)
    Dead Men Don't Ski by Patricia Moyes 
    (May 2013)
10 Point Challenges
  • Read a book published during your birth year
    Transparent Things by Vladimir Nabokov, published 1972  (August 2013)
  • Read a book with a door, lock or key on the cover
    The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan (July 2013/audio; thanks to the vintage cover pictured here)
  • Read a book with a flower/flowers on the cover
    Aunt Dimity's Death by Nancy Atherton 
    (May 2013)
  • Read a book with something ‘hot’ in the title (sun, fire, heat, etc)
    Flame and Shadow by Sara Teasdale (July 2013my discussion)
  • Read a book whose author name begins with J (first name only)
    Who Killed the Curate? by Joan Coggin 
    (May 2013)
15 Point Challenges
  • Read a book currently on a bestseller list
    The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman  is #11 on the NYT list on 11 July 2013. 
    (July 2013/audio)
  • Read a book that shows a woman from behindThe Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party by Alexander McCall Smith (August 2013)
  • Read a book with a moon or stars on the cover  The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury (July 2013; my discussion here)
  • Read a book with an adjective in the title
    The Case of the Gilded Fly by Edmund Crispin (May 2013)
  • Read a book whose author name begins with J (last name only)  Innocent Blood by P.D. James  (June 2013/audio)
20 Point Challenges
  • Read any book in one weekend (Friday to Sunday)
    Why Shoot a Butler? by Georgette Heyer 
     (June 2013)
  • Read a book with a child on the cover.
    The Secret of the Mansion by Julie Campbell. 
    (July 2013)
  • Read a book with over 400 pages
    The Book of Secrets by Elizabeth Joy Arnold; 464 pages.  (July 2013)
  • Read a book with an animal on the cover
    Wish You Were Here by Rita Mae Brown (June 2013/audio) 
  • Read a book whose author name begins with A (first or last)
    The Secret of Chimneys by Agatha Christie 
     (June 2013/audio)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Looking Back: Jack Dempsey Edition


big yawn


I haven't written a look back of last week yet, and don't plan to do so.

Work was accomplished, good things did happen, goals were met, but it was all overshadowed as we watched our JackJack become more ill as the week progressed.  This illness, of body and mind, culminated in our decision to have him put to sleep yesterday.

sweet, sleeping face







It was a tremendously difficult and painful decision that was made monumentally worse by a trusted and liked vet who, because she disagreed with our decision, was rude, cruel and unprofessional.  As a result, our final moments with Jack Dempsey were spent in a room wrought with tension and stress.

For that reason, Jack feeling emotions other than love and peace as he looked at us for the last time, I am struggling to be able to forgive our vet.  I told my husband last night, that I didn't want to forgive her; which isn't totally true of course.  Unforgiveness will hurt me, not her, in the long run.

Right now, though, it's too fresh to forgive; plus it's hindering my ability to grieve fully for our Jack, which causes me to become angry all over again.

I'll return to pick up Jack's ashes, pay our balance, and see when St. John's next appointment should be scheduled.  After that, I'll gladly never enter that building again.  The vet felt that after many years as both excellent clients and cat parents, we needed to find another vet--yes she was that angry with us--and so do we.  I will never trust her or that practice again.

Enough on the that, though.  I want to celebrate Jack's short time with us.

at ease in the recliner

He was so sweet and loving, despite having been feral before I found him.  He quickly became a lap cat--well, actually, a squeeze-in-beside-you-in-the-recliner cat, or a sit-on-the-arm-of-your-recliner cat.  He sat on a bar stool at the dining room table with us, never begging, just being a part.  As his illness progressed and he needed the closeness of my husband more, he slept in the curve of my husband's arm, snuggled close.

He loved back rubs, shredded sharp cheddar, canned food with lots of "gravy" and sleeping on the couch.

He enjoyed playing with toys, but his favorite game was to chase the "red bug" (laser pointer), especially if we ran it up onto the recliner.


He knew exactly when my husband was due home from work, and would be impatient for him if he were late.

He was a kind friend to Lizzie and was St. John's idol.

Jack's heart was always torn between his love for us and his wild nature; this eventually led to his mental anguish, we believe.  We were blessed to have him, though, even just for two years.  The pain of losing a pet is negligible when compared to the joy that pet has given.

(Note: Jack's ear was folded back like that because of an untreated ear infection that caused a rupture in the skin, before we found him.  He also had been shot with a pellet gun at least once, as one pellet was lodged inside him, under his front right armpit.  Also, despite being just about a year old when we took him in, he had severe arthritis that made moving around very difficult in cold or wet seasons.  All this is due to the rough life he had as an uncared for outside cat.  If see you an uncared for cat or dog, have mercy on them and try to take them to the shelter.   They are better off euthanized at the shelter than living a life like what Jack lived before I picked him up off the side of the road!)

Be at peace at last, Jack Dempsey!  We certainly do miss you!

sunning in the window

Jack's 2012 Christmas portrait


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Review of Among the Janeites by Deborah Yaffe

Among the Janeites: A Journey Through the World of Jane Austen Fandom
Deborah Yaffe
3/5 stars
I recieved this book from the Amazon Vine program in return for an honest review.

Review:
I was slightly disappointed in this, as I expected (despite the blurb) something more scholarly, lingering on the historical Austen fans, as well as the current fans.

It is what it claims to be, an entertaining investigation into a cross section of modern Jane Austen fans, mostly brought into the fandom through the movies and miniseries.

Yaffe breaks up the stories of other fans with stories of her own Austen experiences, and creates a lighthearted look at Miss Austen's current popularity. While it is enjoyable, I think other scholarly fans may join with me in feeling it to be almost irreverent, but that, too, shows how deeply Austen fans feel about her works.

Yaffe writes well, and it is an enjoyable and light read; don't expect it to be more than that, however.


Personal Note:
Okay, Amazon review over, I can be more honest. . .   I couldn't even finish this book.

I came to Austen 25+ years ago as a reader, not as a television/movie viewer.   I have little tolerance for people who "like a book", any book,  because they saw the movie version.  I will admit it.  I am a book snob and a purist (movies never do justice to books, and in my opinion if they aren't going to follow the book exactly, why bother), as well as a lay-historian who wrote my thesis around social history in the Regency period.  

This is a book with too many Janeites (a term being used in the early 1900's, which shows the longevity of her deserved popularity) that are fans due to Colin Firth in a wet shirt. . .  I was not interested in their story. Nor was I particularly interested in most of the other stories related or in Yaffe's humorous anecdotes regarding her Austen experiences.  

I am a rabid Austen fan, and will discuss plot points and character flaws with you for hours if you wish, but I guess I was just a bad match for this book, having no interest in popular culture and even less in treating Austen in a lighthearted fashion.  

If anyone would like to read this (because I assume that most of you are probably less snobbish than I am about novels), let me know and I'll gladly send it to you.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Classics Club Spin

I joined the Classics Club to encourage me to read/reread the classics with the fervor that I did before I hit a reading slump several years ago.  I feel it is serving that purpose, as I've already read three since I joined in early July!

One of the fun things the Classics Club does is "the Classics Spin".  Participants list twenty classics off their to-be-read list, and this becomes a "spin list".  On a specified day, the Classics Club facilitators will post a number between one and twenty, and whatever book is listed at that number is the one to be read.  I love a random chance (I would be a gambling addict if I allowed myself to start!) so naturally, I'm in.

Here is my list.  It is comprised of a few rereads, some that I'm not as excited about and several that I am pleasurably anticipating. On Monday, we'll see which number/book gets chosen!
  1. Flatland by Edwin Abbott
  2. Songs of Innocence and Experience by William Blake
  3. A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
  4. Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote
  5. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel deFoe
  6. The Wasteland by T.S. Eliot
  7. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell  
  8. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
  9. Allan Quatermain by H. Rider Haggard
  10. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
  11. Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
  12. Till We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis
  13. The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald
  14. Nineteen Eighty-four by George Orwell
  15. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  16. Nine Stories by JD Salinger
  17. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
  18. Five Weeks in a Balloon by Jules Verne
  19. Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut
  20. The Island of Doctor Moreau by HG Wells

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Looking Back

I am replacing my "Friday Fives" with "Looking Back"; explanation here.
  1. Took down the utility shelves from the former office, now dining room and moved them to the basement.
  2. Set up new plastic shelves in the new dining room to be a pantry.
  3. With Mom's help, arranged the new pantry.
  4. Took a photo every day this week!  (Every day this month, so far!!)
  5. Completed week four of The Frosted Pumpkin's Summer Sampler.

It is hard to pick a favortie from this particular week, but
it is probably this cranky marshmallow.
  1. Homemade (by me, no less) chocolate almond pudding.
  2. Made a wonderful crustless quiche with Mom's garden-fresh herbs and tomatoes.
  3. A fantastic thunderstorm, enjoyed with my husband.
  4. The delicious Indian spiced garbanzo bean dish I made.
  5. Excellent close-out deals on craft supplies at Target.


  1. The kitchen needs to be mopped even more, now!
    And guess how badly it needs it NOW!
  2. Move the pantry to it's new home in the dining room, which requires a first step of. . .
    Done!
  3. . . . taking down the utility shelves used in the former office so that the pantry shelves can be put up, which requires a first step of. . .
    Done!
  4. Finding a new home, even if just temporary, for the things on the utility shelves in the former office.
    Done!
  5. The bathroom needs an extra good cleaning, since this week was otherwise occupied.
    Done!
  6. (bonus goal: be less cranky!)
    I think I was somewhat better this week. =D

  1. Mop the kitchen!!
  2. Move the unused bookcases into our "closet room" so they can become shelving for pjs, tee shirts and jeans, which first requires. . . 
  3. Moving out the tiny dresser, which first requires. . . 
  4. Moving the hermit crab tank to the larger dresser, which first requires. . . 
  5. Taking down the un-sturdy mesh shelving that is currently housing the above (#2) clothing.

One of the photos I took this week; the baker's twine is
"Midnight Blue" from the Twinery.
  1. My camera.
  2. Recipes I can follow.
  3. Cards from friends.
  4. Spices!
  5. Audio books.

In an effort to reflect more positively on what I accomplish and to plan goals more reasonably, I'm going to start writing out and looking back on my weekly goals.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

My Friday Fives: an Update

I like the way "My Friday Fives" sounds, lovely alliteration.  I like having five things on an day beginning with "F".  I like things to be neat and orderly, most often alphabetized and if not, at least to sound good.

So it was with a heavy heart that, in the early hours of this Saturday morning, I realized that my Friday Fives was going to have to change.

By the time Friday evening comes, I generally too tired to update my weekly goals, or haven't quite finished what I am in the middle of doing.  It just makes more sense to move it to the weekend.  Sunday makes the most sense, because we often do a little choreing (spellcheck says that's not a word, but it should be: verb, present participle of "chore". . . ) on Saturday.  Sunday, the end of the week, is a better time to reflect on what I've done.

But "Sunday Fives" don't sound as good.  And "Sunday Sevens" would be just too darn much!  I struggle to come up with five things sometimes.

So, I'm working on a new title and a maybe a new presentation.  I like making myself accountable for my goals and plans and accomplishments weekly.

But I want to to sound good.

Sigh.  I really liked my Friday Fives.

*think, think, think*

E. H. Shepard's Pooh

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The 4 Month Challenge, Part 12: Completed




This four month challenge ran from May through the end of August.  I really enjoyed finding books to fit into the categories, and look forward to the next one!






5 Point Challenges
  • Read the second book in a series
    Partners in Crime by Agatha Christie, the second in the Tommy and Tuppence mysteries. (July 2013/audio)
  • Read a book with water on the cover
    Down Among the Dead Men by Patricia Moyes 
    (June 2013)
  • Read a book with a colour in the title
    The Yellow Streak by Valentine Willaims 
    (May 2013)
  • Read  a book set in the 1900′s
    Mamur Zapt and the Return of the Carpet  by Michael Pearce, set in Cairo in 1908.  
    (July 2013/audio)
  • Read a book whose author name begins with M (First or last)
    Dead Men Don't Ski by Patricia Moyes 
    (May 2013)
10 Point Challenges
  • Read a book published during your birth year
    Transparent Things by Vladimir Nabokov, published 1972  (August 2013)
  • Read a book with a door, lock or key on the cover
    The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan (July 2013/audio; thanks to the vintage cover pictured here)
  • Read a book with a flower/flowers on the cover
    Aunt Dimity's Death by Nancy Atherton 
    (May 2013)
  • Read a book with something ‘hot’ in the title (sun, fire, heat, etc)
    Flame and Shadow by Sara Teasdale (July 2013my discussion)
  • Read a book whose author name begins with J (first name only)
    Who Killed the Curate? by Joan Coggin 
    (May 2013)
15 Point Challenges
  • Read a book currently on a bestseller list
    The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman  is #11 on the NYT list on 11 July 2013. 
    (July 2013/audio)
  • Read a book that shows a woman from behindThe Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party by Alexander McCall Smith (August 2013)
  • Read a book with a moon or stars on the cover  The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury (July 2013; my discussion here)
  • Read a book with an adjective in the title
    The Case of the Gilded Fly by Edmund Crispin (May 2013)
  • Read a book whose author name begins with J (last name only)  Innocent Blood by P.D. James  (June 2013/audio)
20 Point Challenges
  • Read any book in one weekend (Friday to Sunday)
    Why Shoot a Butler? by Georgette Heyer 
     (June 2013)
  • Read a book with a child on the cover.
    The Secret of the Mansion by Julie Campbell. 
    (July 2013)
  • Read a book with over 400 pages
    The Book of Secrets by Elizabeth Joy Arnold; 464 pages.  (July 2013)
  • Read a book with an animal on the cover
    Wish You Were Here by Rita Mae Brown (June 2013/audio) 
  • Read a book whose author name begins with A (first or last)
    The Secret of Chimneys by Agatha Christie 
     (June 2013/audio)
Current point total: 250 points

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

GoPicnic Meals Reviewed


The GoPicnic idea is fabulous!  Each variety is around 400 calories (no more than 500, some as low as 300), contains protein, fruit and a treat, and comes in a cute box that opens to look like a picnic table--with a Sudoku puzzle printed on it to feed the brain as well.  They contain no MSG, HFCS or trans fat and have gluten free, vegan and kosher varieties.  In fact, they are a healthy, gluten free alternative to child favorites like "Lunchables".  GoPicnic meals are also great to have in the car for emergencies or to take when travelling.  

One problem I have with the GoPicnic meals, is that not all items have individual nutrition labels with ingredients, calories, carbs, etc.  While I trust them to be gluten free, there are still times when I would like to know more details about what I am eating.






Review of "Turkey Pepperoni and Cheese" Meal


This meal contains:


0.8 ounces of Bridgeford turkey pepperoni --  This pepperoni, while greasier than other brands I have tried, is also much tastier than the others.  I enjoyed it and would buy it separately if it were available in my grocery store.


1 small bag of Crunchmaster multi-seed crackers --  I am a long time fan of these crackers, and highly recommend them.  They are not like flour crackers, but are strong flavored, crisp bites of various seeds.


0.75 ounces of Copper Cowbell Asiago Gourmet Cheese Spread -- This is a very mild spread that is overpowered when eaten with both the crackers and pepperoni.  It has a very good flavor, though, and I enjoyed it by itself with the crackers.  GoPicnic included a small, wooden spreader to spread the cheese, but I dipped my crackers like one would chips.


1 package of Sweet Perry Orchards Tangy Tango Cranberries & Pineapple: This mix has an excellent flavor and made a nice sweet-tart addition to the meal.


1 small Brown & Haley Almond Roca Buttercrunch Toffee: This was extremely tasty; it has a buttery, crunchy center covered with chocolate and then with almond pieces.  It was a lovely finish.


This meal contains 300 calories, 12 grams of protein and 2 grams of dietary fiber.  I have found this meal to be be very satisfying on several occasions and plan to buy more.  5/5 stars





Review of the "Turkey Stick and Crunch" Meal:

Each "turkey stick and crunch" meal is 300 calories, 8 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber. It contains the following items:


1 Old Wisconsin hardwood-smoked turkey snack stick -- This is a 0.5 oz soft meat stick in a collagen casing, with a rather mild taste.  The texture is a bit off-putting, but the flavor is fine.


1 small bag of barbecue flavored Popchips -- Popchips have a wonderful flavor, and are low in fat when compared to other chips.  I prefer the plain ones, myself, but this flavor is sweet, slightly spicy and very pleasant.


1 bag of Mambo fruit and seed mix:  This is a peanut free mix, that contains pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, dried apples, raisins and a few small chocolate chips.  It has a very good flavor and is a satisfying mix.


1 fruit snack by Sweet Perry Orchards: This is a peel-apart fruit snack, made from 100% fruit (apple puree and juice, mango juice and pineapple juice).  It is almost too sweet, but has a good fruit flavor and a good texture.


1 Professor Zim Zam's Extraordinary Sweets Dark Chocolate with rice crisps:  This candy is waxy, with very small, unsweetened, puffed rice crisps sprinkled on the top.  It is very dark, and lightly sweet.  I was not impressed with it.


Overall, this particular meal, while having a total of 8 protein, felt like a bunch of snacks thrown together.  It did not present itself as a meal, and I did not feel satisfied after eating it (unlike the "turkey pepperoni and cheese" meal, for instance).  There were too many sweet foods, and not enough foods that felt like, well, food.  I would recommend that GoPicnic eliminate the less-than-satisfactory candy and replace it with another turkey stick.  The fruit snack would do perfectly well as a dessert item, and would make the meal more filling.


Over all, GoPicnic meals are a fantastic idea, but this one isn't up to standard.  I would recommend the "turkey pepperoni and cheese" meal as an alternative.  3/5 stars



I recieved 6 pack boxes of each of these meals from the Amazon Vine program in return for my honest review.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

My Friday Fives (a day late)




Good grief what a week!  The fact that this is a day late. . . well, let's just say that the fact it's posted at all is pretty amazing!

My husband had the week off and we did quite a bit around the house; we are exhausted!  I've been an extra trial to him, on top of the work, by being cranky most of the week.  I should add "be less cranky" to my goals for next week!

St. John is now 11 months old!  He is finally slowing down and beginning to show some lazy cat-like behavior!  He was napping right before I took these, but he tends to show that pretty white tum to lure me in, so he can eat my hands when I try to pet it!

Doncha wanna pet my belly?!?!

  1. Moved the couch out of the living room and into the "sun room/Florida room".
  2. Moved the office out of the dining room and into the former living room.
  3. Moved the dining room table out of the Florida room and into the the dining room.
  4. Made a chocolate pie for my husband for our anniversary.
  5. Still miraculously managed two doctor's appointments, grocery shopping, a vet visit and one load of laundry!

  1. Mom's homemade copycat Frosty--yummy!
  2. A trip to the hobby store.
  3. A free birthday iced, half-caf, soy vanilla latte from Starbucks!
  4. A free birthday (turkey) burger with freckled fruit from Red Robin!
  5. Five rolls of Washi tape picked out by my husband for me!


  1. Move office to living room area.
  2. Move couch to "Florida room".
  3. Move dining table to former office.
We completed the only three goals I set for this week, and I am quite proud of our efforts!



  1. The kitchen needs to be mopped even more, now!
  2. Move the pantry to it's new home in the dining room, which requires a first step of. . .
  3. . . . taking down the utility shelves used in the former office so that the pantry shelves can be put up, which requires a first step of. . . 
  4. Finding a new home, even if just temporary, for the things on the utility shelves in the former office.
  5. The bathroom needs an extra good cleaning, since this week was otherwise occupied.
  6. (bonus goal: be less cranky!)

big yawn from Jack
  1. Family that loves me, even when I struggle.
  2. sweet kitties
  3. tomatoes
  4. books to read and. . . 
  5. . . . time to read them

In an effort to reflect more positively on what I accomplish and to plan goals more reasonably, I'm going to start writing out My Friday Fives.