Monday, September 30, 2013

What I'm Into: September 2013

School and the after-school activities have resumed this month, so I'm back in business.

I think I may start charging by the mile.  The schedule is shaking out so that I have somewhere to drive to for drop-off or pick-up at least three nights a week.  When I have kids in the car, they want to listen to the radio, and they have a knack for preferring songs that I do not like.

When I am in the car alone, I listen to this:

and this:

I went back to the library for that Punch Brothers again.  I like it so much that I think I'm going to buy it.  Ditto for the Avett Brothers.

After suffering some Maisie Dobbs fatigue last month, I went back to the third installment and loved it.  Like, want to go check them all out and read them one after another loved it.  But I am going to take my time, if only because there are so many other books I want to read!

After not really loving Northanger Abbey (and feeling weird about not loving one of Jane's books), I am happy to say that I am enjoying Mansfield Park more than Northanger Abbey.  And thanks to the dog, I will probably be buying the library's copy!

Have you been to Glennon's website?  After I read Carry On, Warrior, I checked out her site.  I think I want to live there.

Say hello to my little friend!  (Please tell me you're hearing Al Pacino's voice when you read that...yes?)  The vet told me that she (the dog, not the vet) is about five pounds overweight. I think I've met more neighbors in the year we've had Honey than in the previous seven years because she and I are out walking every day.  

When I'm not driving children or walking the dog, and I actually want to watch some TV, I find myself up against College Football.  This is my husband's thing--his favorite time of year, his favorite thing to watch.  Fortunately, the season is about one-third through, and the games are usually only broadcast on Thursday nights and Saturdays.

On other nights of the week, I have a few shows that I'm excited about.  I love this show on Monday nights:

Last Tuesday, I made a point to sit down and watch The Mindy Project.  I really like this one, too.

And I don't usually watch 10:00 shows (because I don't like to stay up until 11:00), so I may add Elementary to the DVR schedule.

That's what I've been into for September.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten On My Fall 2013 List

Linking up with The Broke and The Bookish today.

Here is a list of ten books I hope to read this fall.

1. Mansfield Park

2. Emma

3. Persuasion

4. Sense and Sensibility

5. Pride and Prejudice

6. An Unsuitable Job for a Woman by P.D. James

7. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

8.  Evolving in Monkeytown by Rachael Held Evans

9. Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner

10. The House at Riverton (or any title by Kate Morton)

Monday, September 16, 2013

My Stack of Books: August

I'm linking up with Anne again.

Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham
8/10  Cute story of aspiring actress in New York.  In my mind, this was Lorelai Gilmore, so I was expecting more coffee.  #twodaybeachread

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
9/10 Can't decide if this is exactly how I remember first love, or if it is exactly how I wish it had been.  I really admired Park's parents.  #wistful
The Getaway Car by Ann Patchett
8/10  Enjoyable.  Patchett explains how she writes, gives advice to other writers.

The Other Preacher in Lynchburg by John Killinger
6.5/10  My pastor loaned this to me because he knew I had attended college in Lynchburg where, campus legend had it that Jerry Falwell had referred to us as the "intellectual whores on the hill."  Killinger's time in Lynchburg ended two years before I arrived, but it was interesting to get his perspective on life in town there.  I gave him points off because he misspelled my alma mater a couple of times.

The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett
7/10 Her debut.  Told from three points of view.  The story didn't tie itself up neatly at the end. Upon reflection, I suppose that is more truthful than a contrived resolution. 
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
6/10  Not my favorite by Jane.  I finished it a few days ago and I've been mulling it over.  So many characters seem undeveloped or one-note.  

Northanger Abbey is the only book I've read so far in September.  I have loads of nonfiction checked out, but I'm having trouble finding pockets of reading time now that our schedules are shifting.  I think it's time to check out some beach-y type reads to get me turning pages again.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Catching My Breath

Sometimes the Back to School routine is like playing in the ocean.  You see the wave coming, and you think you're ready to ride on top of it, but you misjudge. Instead of a fun ride along the top of the wave, you get pummeled by the wave.

I've been down underneath that wave this past week.  Getting turned upside down, feeling my lungs start to scream for air as I wait for enough calm to right myself and break the surface.

So I'm breathing now.  Before I go to work and then head off for a weekend of camping with the girl scouts.
On the beach, no less!

I'll be back next Monday with my Twitterature reads.  And after that, I'm going to attempt to make a workable rhythm for this new season.

Happy weekend, friends!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Goals for Fall

I get excited at Back to School time; it's another January, but with much better weather.  I think this is a much more exciting time to set goals because I feel more energetic in September than in January.  Here are some things I'm aiming to accomplish this fall:

Around the House

We had our foyer and hallways painted last week, and we had to take down all of our photos.  I want to re-work the arrangements and put them back up for us to admire.

We broke down and purchased a charcoal grill.  We agree that charcoal grilling is really a weekend activity, so I am making sure that my menu planning includes some weekend grilling.

I want to purchase some mums to display on our front steps.

Here are some goals I've already accomplished since coming up with this list:
Sew curtains for the sunroom.
Menu plan for the next few weeks.

I want to post at least three times a week.
I want to plan my content at least two weeks ahead.


This fall, I am going to re-read all six of Jane Austen's novels. I'm starting with Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park, because those are the two I've read the least.

I want to read one book per month about the craft of writing.


I am going to save up for a netbook.  If I get really ambitious, I may go for a full laptop.  I am the last one in line for the computer around here, and while the kindle is great for reading blogs, it is not good for typing.

Knit a sweater to wear at Rhinebeck this year (using the yarn I bought last year, of course)
Knit Christmas gifts for the nieces and nephews
Do one service project a month
Keep up 10,000 steps a day
Go to one high school football game
Take the dog to Bobby's baseball games
Give blood in November
So how about you?  What is on your list of goals for this fall?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

August Goals: How I Did

I made several goals for myself for the remaining weeks of summer and they kept me happily busy.  I think I did pretty well, and I also have a long list of fall goals that I will share this week.

Habit and Goal Tracking

I made a simple chart in my notebook that I can check off daily.  The most important items on that list are the daily calcium and iron supplements.


I ordered prints from our beach trip and put them in our photo album.  I even have some in frames.


I bought my FitBit last Friday.  It has been fun to see exactly how long those dog walks really are! I wish I had had one of these when we went to London last year.


Not only did I read a novel by Ann Patchett (The Patron Saint of Liars), I also read a book about writing that was by Ann Patchett (The Getaway Car).
I am slow in updating my Goodreads, however. 

And I have re-memorized some of the Robert Frost poems I had to memorize when I was in school.  It's all good.


My posting was uneven.  I posted for five days in a row and then I ran out of ideas!  I am working on setting up a long-term schedule.  I also need to space out my posting.  

I did link up in a few places in August, and that was fun.

August was a success in terms of the new goals.  Some of these goals overlapped with my goals for the year.  My cooking goal--one new recipe per month--didn't happen in August.

I'll be back later in the week with the Fall Goals.