Monday, March 23, 2015

Musical Monday- Coming Home from Leon Bridges

I know I've talked before about how work can be a downer. Working at a hospital makes you callous fast, even at a small hospital. If you stop and think about stuff you feel sad and tear up or angry and annoyed, so you just don't think about it. There are people coming through the doors with a sob story looking for pain meds because the ones their doctor prescribed a few days ago were "stolen" (for the second time this month) or the woman who tells you how she is going to leave her abusive boyfriend one week comes in a few weeks later all excited because she's pregnant with his baby and she tells you how happy they are together. And so you just don't go beyond the surface of your feelings a lot of times- thus the callouses on your heart. You save the tears for genuine occasions, and then when a situation is worthy of tears- someone losing their spouse or parent or getting bad news, you have no tears to give. It's like even your tear ducts have callouses. So you hug them and say comforting words, and call the hospital's deacon to come in, while you do practical things like call dietary to get them cookies and coffee or the funeral home to arrange pick up.

I think that's the biggest surprise I've had with this job, is how quickly it hardens you up, and not in a good way.  You feel guilty about it, but you don't know how to fix it.  My husband worked as a law enforcement officer for twelve years, so he gets it, and I'm so happy he doesn't judge me for it.  He understands it and just shrugs and smiles and accepts me anyway.

So this week, I'm (cheesily) dedicating my Musical Monday to him.


I know this song is written as a man to a woman, but the general idea is still the same.  We work pretty much opposite shifts so the only time we're home together is on every other weekend and Wednesday afternoons.  That's like four days, and four afternoons a month.  No wonder I often feel like we rarely see each other.  It's because we rarely do.  But I know he's always there.  Just a phone call away.  Or sending me a picture of one of our cats doing something stupid.  Or a sweet text message while I'm at work.

So, enjoy this lazy, soulful song from Leon Bridges, and go to My So Called Chaos to see what everyone else is listening to.


And don't forget my Spring Cleaning book giveaway!  Only three days left to win some great books by female mystery writers!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring Cleaning Book Giveaway!

This year I'm all about getting rid of stuff, so when I got an email from I Am a Reader, Not a Writer, announcing their link up for the Spring Clean Your Shelf Book Giveaway, I jumped on board immediately!

So for my prize, I chose a great collection of mysteries by female authors.  There's  Tana French's The Likeness, Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, and Stef Penney's The Invisible Ones.  All three of these are books I read this year, and they're all mysteries that will keep you reading as you try to unravel the story.  The Likeness was my favorite, but all three are pretty good.  One winner will get all three.  They've been read, so they're not in new condition and The Invisible Ones is an ex-library hardcover.



So what do you have to do to enter?  Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below.  And then, check out the other blogs linking up and see what else you can find.



Please note: Due to shipping costs giveaway is only open in the US.  Winner will be notified by email and will then have 48 hours to respond and claim prize.  If the winner does not reply within 48 hours, a new winner will be chose.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

Friday, March 13, 2015

It's National Craft Month!

Craftsy Did you guys know that March is National Craft Month?  I can see why March would be the choice month.  It's starting to finally warm up, so you aren't in a snow-coma anymore, but you can't really go outside and start digging in the dirt yet.  So March is the perfect time to try a new craft and Craftsy has plenty to choose from. Whether you want to try cake decorating, jewelry making, or something else, Craftsy is a great place to start.

I've talked before about how awesome I think Craftsy is, but if you haven't checked them out yet, there's no better time than now.  Want to know why?

1. Classes are at your schedule.  If you want to watch a lesson a day, a week, a month, it's your call.  There's no limit to how fast or how slow you have to go through the material.  You can also ask questions and help fellow students, or not.  It's your choice.  It can be as interactive as you want it to be.  Share pictures of your progress- or don't.  It's your call.

2. Access to your class never expires.  You can refer back to a video anytime you like, skip ahead to the part you're looking for, or rewatch  the whole thing- your call.

3. Try something new and don't worry about being bad at it.  Want to try your hand at sourdough bread?  Craftsy can teach you how.  And if your first batch is awful, no one needs to know.  :)  You learn in the privacy of your own home, at your pace.  You don't have to worry about sitting next to that ultra competitive person in class, because it's all online.

4. Craftsy has a satisfaction guarantee.  You have 30 days to try out your class, and if it's just not your cup of tea, they will refund your purchase.  I've never had to take them up on this, but it's nice to know it's there.

5.  And now is the perfect time because all classes are on sale!  But you have to hurry!  The sale ends Monday!  So if you've been wondering about Craftsy, now's your opportunity.  Give it a shot.  You got nothing to lose and so much to learn!

Note: All links in this post are affiliate links, but all opinions are my own.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

March 2015 Reading List

So here we are, nearly half way through March, and I just realized I didn't share my book picks for the month.  So, here they are:


It's a month of mysteries here. 

House of Silk by Anthony Horwitz- I've shared several times about how much I love Sherlock Holmes and books that feature him.  I found this book at a used book sale and how could I resist?  Goodreads synopsis: In freezing London, November 1890, Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson receive a man unnerved by a scarred-face stalker with piercing eyes. A conspiracy reaches to the Boston criminal underworld. The whispered phrase 'the House of Silk' hints at a deadly foe. Authorized by Doyle's estate.

The Likeness by Tana French- I love Tana French.  She creates these real, flawed characters that you love but sometimes you just want to scream at them.  I liked Into the Woods and really want to know more about Cassie Maddox.  Goodreads synopsis: Tana French astonished critics and readers alike with her mesmerizing debut novel, In the Woods. Now both French and Detective Cassie Maddox return to unravel a case even more sinister and enigmatic than the first. Six months after the events of In the Woods, an urgent telephone call beckons Cassie to a grisly crime scene. The victim looks exactly like Cassie and carries ID identifying herself as Alexandra Madison, an alias Cassie once used. Suddenly, Cassie must discover not only who killed this girl, but, more importantly, who is this girl? A disturbing tale of shifting identities, The Likeness firmly establishes Tana French as an important voice in suspense fiction. And look for French's other mysteries In the Woods, Faithful PlaceBroken Harbor, and The Secret Place for more of the Dublin Murder Squad.  


Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn- I know, I know!  I'm probably the only person left on the planet who has not read this book.  So, it's time.  Goodreads synopsis: On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife's head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media--as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents--the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter--but is he really a killer?
As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn't do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?


and

The Tuesday Club Murders by Agatha Christie- A Month of mysteries would not be complete without something from Agatha Christie.  This is a short story collection featuring the lovely Miss Marple.  Goodreads synopsis: The unifying premise for this short story collection is the Tuesday Club: six people who meet socially one evening at Jane Marple's home and then decide to meet regularly each Tuesday night to solve a mystery which a group member must relate.

Unsolved mysteries... When author Raymond West proposes a regular gathering of friends with unique and disparate outlooks to solve mysteries, the Tuesday Night Club is formed.

Sir Henry Clithering, retired chief commissioner of Scotland yard proposes their first mystery...

After a supper of canned lobster and a dessert of trifle, three people become ill and Mrs Jones is found dead. Although a bout of botulism is suspected, the Tuesday Night Club examines the matter further…


So that's what on my list for this month.  What are you reading?

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Monthly Goal Link Up- February

So how are your goals going?  At my Masterminds meeting Saturday, we all had a tough February.  We're chalking it up in most part to the cold and yuck of Wisconsin winter.  Christmas is long gone, New Year's seems ages ago, and there really isn't anything left to look forward to except for spring, and it feels like it's never going to happen.  So, don't mind all the red in this post.
 
February Goals
Read another four books this month.  I only read three books this month and only two were actually on my list. 
Post 15 times on my blog. I failed miserably at this one!  I was doing some sewing and cooking but nothing really seemed blog worthy.

Work out four days a week.  (Ugh!  Exercising is miserable.) This one could almost be yellow because I didn't exercise at all for a week or so, but other weeks I did really well
Try four new recipes.
Drink 96 oz of water a day. I upped my water consumption considerably, but I left my water bottle at work several times so it's not as easy to measure.  I just know I was drinking more, so trying to continue that trend.  So much of what I read talks about how important water is to health and weight loss.
Continue daily quiet time, and spend more time in prayer and reflection.  I have been doing better about this on

Save $100 towards summer vacation.  I actually managed to save $200 and all because I remembered that I had money left in my Flex plan that had to be claimed by March 31.  So I finally dug through the mountain of statements and found the right one, filled out the claim form, and got my money.  Usually we're pretty healthy, but I had lithotripsy for a kidney stone that involved seeing doctors, having CT scans and xrays, surgery, and follow up visits.  So there were sooo many paper!  From sooo many different providers.  Not only did it feel great to get my check, it also felt great to shred all those papers.


March Goals 
  • Take a trip somewhere for the day.  I just really have to get out of town for the day and go somewhere different.  Cabin fever is a real deal.
  • Make something and hang it up on the wall.  It's one thing to sew something practical like a bag but another to make something and call it "art".  So I figured it's time to step out of my comfort zone and create something with no practical purpose. :)
  • Make PJ pants.  I like this tutorial from Noodlehead and I have this sari fabric I bought a couple years ago and never used, so this month it's going to get done.  Finally!
  • Sew 10 things.  I'm still working on getting through my stash fabric.  
  • Write fiction.  People keep telling me I should write stories.  It's easy to tell a funny story, but this month, I'm going to write one.  Once again, gotta get out of my comfort zone.
  • Read four books.  Hopefully I do better this month than I did last month...

    So those are my goals for March... want to see what everyone else is going for?  Check out the linkup to find out, and feel free to join in!

February Goals
Read another four books this month.
Post 15 times on my blog.
Work out four days a week.  (Ugh!  Exercising is miserable.)
Try four new recipes.
Drink 96 oz of water a day.
Continue daily quiet time, and spend more time in prayer and reflection.
Save $100 towards summer vacation. - See more at: http://www.chairintheshade.com/#sthash.Xfg2T4dm.dpuf
February Goals
Read another four books this month.
Post 15 times on my blog.
Work out four days a week.  (Ugh!  Exercising is miserable.)
Try four new recipes.
Drink 96 oz of water a day.
Continue daily quiet time, and spend more time in prayer and reflection.
Save $100 towards summer vacation. - See more at: http://www.chairintheshade.com/#sthash.Xfg2T4dm.dpuf
February Goals
Read another four books this month.
Post 15 times on my blog.
Work out four days a week.  (Ugh!  Exercising is miserable.)
Try four new recipes.
Drink 96 oz of water a day.
Continue daily quiet time, and spend more time in prayer and reflection.
Save $100 towards summer vacation. - See more at: http://www.chairintheshade.com/#sthash.Xfg2T4dm.dpuf
February Goals
Read another four books this month.
Post 15 times on my blog.
Work out four days a week.  (Ugh!  Exercising is miserable.)
Try four new recipes.
Drink 96 oz of water a day.
Continue daily quiet time, and spend more time in prayer and reflection.
Save $100 towards summer vacation. - See more at: http://www.chairintheshade.com/#sthash.Xfg2T4dm.dpuf
February Goals
Read another four books this month.
Post 15 times on my blog.
Work out four days a week.  (Ugh!  Exercising is miserable.)
Try four new recipes.
Drink 96 oz of water a day.
Continue daily quiet time, and spend more time in prayer and reflection.
Save $100 towards summer vacation. - See more at: http://www.chairintheshade.com/#sthash.Xfg2T4dm.dpuf
February Goals
Read another four books this month.
Post 15 times on my blog.
Work out four days a week.  (Ugh!  Exercising is miserable.)
Try four new recipes.
Drink 96 oz of water a day.
Continue daily quiet time, and spend more time in prayer and reflection.
Save $100 towards summer vacation. - See more at: http://www.chairintheshade.com/#sthash.Xfg2T4dm.dpuf
February Goals
Read another four books this month.
Post 15 times on my blog.
Work out four days a week.  (Ugh!  Exercising is miserable.)
Try four new recipes.
Drink 96 oz of water a day.
Continue daily quiet time, and spend more time in prayer and reflection.
Save $100 towards summer vacation. - See more at: http://www.chairintheshade.com/#sthash.Xfg2T4dm.dpuf
February Goals
Read another four books this month.
Post 15 times on my blog.
Work out four days a week.  (Ugh!  Exercising is miserable.)
Try four new recipes.
Drink 96 oz of water a day.
Continue daily quiet time, and spend more time in prayer and reflection.
Save $100 towards summer vacation. - See more at: http://www.chairintheshade.com/#sthash.Xfg2T4dm.dpuf
February Goals
Read another four books this month.
Post 15 times on my blog.
Work out four days a week.  (Ugh!  Exercising is miserable.)
Try four new recipes.
Drink 96 oz of water a day.
Continue daily quiet time, and spend more time in prayer and reflection.
Save $100 towards summer vacation. - See more at: http://www.chairintheshade.com/#sthash.Xfg2T4dm.dpuf
February Goals
Read another four books this month.
Post 15 times on my blog.
Work out four days a week.  (Ugh!  Exercising is miserable.)
Try four new recipes.
Drink 96 oz of water a day.
Continue daily quiet time, and spend more time in prayer and reflection.
Save $100 towards summer vacation. - See more at: http://www.chairintheshade.com/#sthash.Xfg2T4dm.dpuf
February Goals
Read another four books this month.
Post 15 times on my blog.
Work out four days a week.  (Ugh!  Exercising is miserable.)
Try four new recipes.
Drink 96 oz of water a day.
Continue daily quiet time, and spend more time in prayer and reflection.
Save $100 towards summer vacation. - See more at: http://www.chairintheshade.com/#sthash.Xfg2T4dm.dpuf
February Goals
Read another four books this month.
Post 15 times on my blog.
Work out four days a week.  (Ugh!  Exercising is miserable.)
Try four new recipes.
Drink 96 oz of water a day.
Continue daily quiet time, and spend more time in prayer and reflection.
Save $100 towards summer vacation. - See more at: http://www.chairintheshade.com/#sthash.Xfg2T4dm.dpuf
February Goals
Read another four books this month.
Post 15 times on my blog.
Work out four days a week.  (Ugh!  Exercising is miserable.)
Try four new recipes.
Drink 96 oz of water a day.
Continue daily quiet time, and spend more time in prayer and reflection.
Save $100 towards summer vacation. - See more at: http://www.chairintheshade.com/#sthash.Xfg2T4dm.dpuf
February Goals
Read another four books this month.
Post 15 times on my blog.
Work out four days a week.  (Ugh!  Exercising is miserable.)
Try four new recipes.
Drink 96 oz of water a day.
Continue daily quiet time, and spend more time in prayer and reflection.
Save $100 towards summer vacation. - See more at: http://www.chairintheshade.com/#sthash.Xfg2T4dm.dpuf
February Goals
Read another four books this month.
Post 15 times on my blog.
Work out four days a week.  (Ugh!  Exercising is miserable.)
Try four new recipes.
Drink 96 oz of water a day.
Continue daily quiet time, and spend more time in prayer and reflection.
Save $100 towards summer vacation. - See more at: http://www.chairintheshade.com/#sthash.Xfg2T4dm.dpuf
February Goals
Read another four books this month.
Post 15 times on my blog.
Work out four days a week.  (Ugh!  Exercising is miserable.)
Try four new recipes.
Drink 96 oz of water a day.
Continue daily quiet time, and spend more time in prayer and reflection.
Save $100 towards summer vacation. - See more at: http://www.chairintheshade.com/#sthash.Xfg2T4dm.dpuf
February Goals
Read another four books this month.
Post 15 times on my blog.
Work out four days a week.  (Ugh!  Exercising is miserable.)
Try four new recipes.
Drink 96 oz of water a day.
Continue daily quiet time, and spend more time in prayer and reflection.
Save $100 towards summer vacation. - See more at: http://www.chairintheshade.com/#sthash.Xfg2T4dm.dpuf
February Goals
Read another four books this month.
Post 15 times on my blog.
Work out four days a week.  (Ugh!  Exercising is miserable.)
Try four new recipes.
Drink 96 oz of water a day.
Continue daily quiet time, and spend more time in prayer and reflection.
Save $100 towards summer vacation. - See more at: http://www.chairintheshade.com/#sthash.Xfg2T4dm.dpuf
Monthly Goals

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

February Book Recap

So February started out great.  I was reading quite a bit, but then it tapered off quickly.  I'm not really sure what took up my time instead.  I know some of it was sewing, but I'm assuming I let the internet suck up more of my time than I should have as well.  But, here's my recap of what I read and what I acquired.


Finished
  • Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children- This was a book I received from my Books n Bloggers partner.  It was pretty interesting.  I didn't realize it was a YA Book until I was reading it, but it was still highly entertaining, slightly confusing, and kept me up late reading it.  It kind of gave me a feel similar to "The Chronicles of Narnia".
  • The Letters- This was an interesting epistolary novel.  I find those to be tiring sometimes, but in this case, you really got a feel for both of the main characters.  It's an estranged husband and wife writing back and forth discussing what went wrong.  It ends on a good note and it's a fast read.
  • Angry People- This was a book I read with my morning devotions exploring different instances of anger in the Bible.  I like some of Warren Wiersbe's devotionals and that's what made me pick it up.
Acquired
  • None!  It's not even that I was good and stayed away from books.  I went to the thrift store, but didn't find anything I couldn't live without and so I didn't add anything new to my shelves. 

Totals for the Year:
Read- 7     Bought- 8

Monday, March 2, 2015

Musical Mondays- Our Own House

Guys!  It's March now!  I feel like spring can't be far off now.  It's sunny today and the weather guys are even projecting highs of 40s later in the week.  It's amazing how much better a little sunlight can make you feel!
I also had the March meeting with my Masterminds meeting on Saturday and I just feel so encouraged after talking to them.  We all had a tough February but are all about brainstorming ways to reach this month's goals.  What's better than supportive friends, good food, and sitting around with coffee talking about your dreams?

Saturday night my husband and I went on a date (just out to eat in town but we actually planned it ahead instead of just going because we didn't feel like cooking) and we spent all day Sunday just hanging around the house together.  A couple weeks ago it dawned on me that we only have four days off together a month.  Wednesdays are usually my day off, so once he gets off work we have Wednesday nights off together too.  But that's about it.  I work second shift with alternating weekends and holidays and he works first shift Monday through Friday.  So I think it's important to purposely spend time together.

Anyhow, I'm finally back to share a musical Monday post.  I actually won My So Called Chaos' January Musical Monday giveaway and chose Alt-J's MP3 album This is All Yours.  (Which FYI- is really good!)  And be prepared, because this week's pick is probably my most upbeat choice in months!

 
It's Misterwives song "Our Own House" and I think it's the perfect pick for when winter is every so slowly turning into spring.  Just listen to it.  How can you not hopefully after listening to such an upbeat song?

Want to see what everyone else picked this week?  Check out Musical Monday at My So Called Chaos and be sure to enter her giveaway.  Maybe you'll be the winner this month.