Saturday, January 31, 2015

Looking Back on January

January has been rather successful for me.  I've begun walking again, and only missed a few days this month. I've cooked regularly, and done okay on cleaning.  (Always room for improvement.)  I've also started working on being a better (snail mail) correspondent.

I changed my yearly photograph goal from one-photo-a-day to one per week of a camera-taken "real" photo.  That is a more realistic goal for my life right now.  I've managed that, but have been slack about uploading them.  I seem to do more iPhone snaps on my Instagram than I do real photos on my Flickr account.   I'm trying not to beat up on myself about that, or remind myself of the hundreds of photo props I've got just a-waitin' to be used. . .

Anyway. . . this is my favorite photo from this month:



I read eight books and listened to eight audio books, with publication dates ranging from 1865 to 2011.  The best book of the month was Charles Todd's An Impartial Witness; I discovered this series last month and am thoroughly enjoying it.  I started Stephanie Barron's Jane Austen series, too; I like that she writes in the same manner that Austen herself did.  (As an aside, but still book related, I've been reading Mom's blog lately and recommend it to my fellow bibliophiles: Beyond Sixty.)

I completed two cross stitch projects this month, nearly completed a third, and began a yearly stitch-along. Imagine if I keep up this pace all year!

This is the January block of the Story Time Sampler by the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery.


"God Bless America" by Lizzie Kate.  Red doesn't photograph well, and the navy looks like black, so suffice it to say, it looks better in person.

I love this piece so much!  It is "Winter Friends" by The Snowflower Diaries.  This is the third time I have stitched her designs, and I've been delighted every time.


I am in the process of stitching "Holly and Ivy" by Country Cottage Needleworks.  Just need to do the border.


Monday, January 5, 2015

Looking Back on 2014


Looking back, 2014 was a rather successful year.
  • Each month, I changed out my mantle and put up a seasonal/holiday theme.  I didn't take photos to show most months, so I can't share them.  Generally, I was pleased with each month and look forward to continuing it this year.
  • I listened to 118 audio books (no exaggeration, I keep a list) and read 40 books.
    My favorite of this year was The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrelle Zevin.  I highly recommend it to everyone.  After that my other favorites were (in no particular order):  The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery; Chasing the Rose by Andrea di Robilant; The Magicians by Lev Grossman; The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte (a reread); Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell; Portobello by Ruth Rendell; A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (a reread); Child of Storm by H. Rider Haggard;    I also reread the entire Anne of Green Gables series, and plan to do the same this year.
  • I cooked regularly, and from scratch and didn't have any major kitchen catastrophes.  I think my bean soup was my favorite.  It's so easy, too.  Saute garlic and onions in olive oil.  Add one can of petite diced tomatoes, two small bouillon cubes, two cans of white beans (I use one can of Navy and one of Great Northern), one tablespoon of parsley, one tablespoon of Italian herb blend, and one cup of dry pasta.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat; simmer for about twenty minutes.  It is delish!
    edit: I forgot to mention the two cans of water it needs so it can actually be soup. . . 
  • I didn't make my goal of one photo a day, but I nearly did.  I just had a couple of months where I wasn't motivated for every day.  This year, I'm backing down my goal to at least one photo per week. I need a more practical, attainable goal.

Favorite photos from the year:
January:
Happy Kitties

Lichen

February:
In the Moonlight

March:
Church

April:
Lady Beetle


May:
A Raptor Has the Doctor!

The Doctor and his TARDIS

Lego Legolas

June:
A Mad Man with a Box

Kokeshi and Fuji-san

July:
Chimenea Flames

August:
Washi Tapec

September:
Chocolate Ice Cream


October:
Spider

November:
Happy Thanksgiving

December:
Merry Christmas!

Dragon's Hoard