Tuesday, October 25, 2016

October So Far

This month has been a blur!  I feel like all I've done is work and sleep and I know I've been MIA  for most of the month here at the blog, so I thought I'd give you all a little recap.

Word to describe the month: exhausting.  It feels like I'm playing whack-a-mole.  I just get one thing done and something new pops up.  I had new struts done on  my car and a recall taken care of.  Then we decided to reside and put new windows in my old house that I rent out so that required more paperwork and decisions.  I got my first cold in over a year and just crashed on Saturday.  I had one week where I was gone every night after work except one.  Introverts do not thrive on that at all.

Some of it was fun outings.  Like I went and saw Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children with two friends after work one night.  And I went to my first Lu La Roe party.  And my husband and I went out for dinner to celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary.  And revisited the Fred Smith Concrete Park one Sunday afternoon, otherwise known by me as the Weeping Angels of Wisconsin.  Fellow Doctor Who fans, tell me I'm wrong.

I feel like this picture accurately depicts how I look,
both the paleness of my complexion and the circles under my eyes.

Watching: Not much of anything.  NFL on Sundays, and reruns of The Big Bang Theory when I get home, but that's about it.

Working on: Keeping a routine.  And staying on top of housework.  Somehow, this is still a struggle for me.  I get up almost three hours before I have to be to work, but usually spend that time doing laundry, dishes, packing lunch, making breakfast, and doing the odd jobs like hauling the trash out to the garage or to the curb if it's that day of the week, refilling my bird feeders, watering plants.  Then it's time to get ready and it's off to work.  After I get home, I make supper and then kind of just veg out.  I may read a little, but I'm no getting nearly as much done as I did before.  I've decided to start cutting my after work schedule back, because I have been so tired lately, even with getting enough sleep.  I need to make time for fun writing and exercise and I just don't have the energy for that right now.

I also officially gave my notice at the hospital.  I had stayed on casual after I quit because my new job was only going to be about 32 hour a week, but now I work just over 40 and the weekends are my only time to get stuff done.  I also was planning on them only needing me once in a while but they never replaced me or another girl that left so they were asking me to work a lot more than expected and with Christmas right around the corner and feeling pressed for time anyway, I figured it was time to say goodbye.

Looking forward to: Things settling down.  I feel like it's getting better, and my cold is pretty much gone, so I'm feeling optimistic for November.

Here's a few more pictures from the Concrete Park, as well as my cat being on the coffee table (which is not allowed, but I'm a horrible disciplinarian), and a picture of a surprise book that arrived in the mail Saturday from a good friend.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

October Goals

So, September was like the worst month ever as far as goals go.  I didn't manage to reach any of the goals I had set!  First time I've been completely shut out in a month.  It wasn't that I was depressed or that I decided they weren't worth the work, it was just that I feel like my schedule is so jumbled.  It used to be that I'd get up and have about seven hours before I'd have to go to work.  Then I'd get home from work at 11:30pm and be in bed by 12:30am at the latest.  Now, I get up, have about two and a half hours before I leave for work and then get home around 5:30pm, and have about four and a half hours before I'm in bed by 10pm.  It's just been weird getting used to having two blocks of time and most of it being in the evening.  I've also found it's way easier to be social when you're off work by 5:30.  I have something going on at least a couple nights a week after work. 

Anyhow, still working out the kinks of the schedule.  Here's what I was hoping to do in September:
  • Set weekly goals. (Only happened one week.)
  • Quiet time and exercise before computer. (Happened a handful of times.)
  • Exercise three mornings a week. (Nope!  Did do a couple walks after work though.)
  • Read four books. (Only read two.)
  • 20 blog posts. (Nope. Only 8.)
  • Sew 20 things. (Closest I got was picking up some more fabric.)
  • Start Christmas shopping list. (Nope.)
  • Gratitude journal or morning pages. (Gratitude journal happened like twice.)

On to October!
  • Set weekly goals.  I seem to do better when I have a to do list of sorts for the week.
  • Read four books.  (Which should actually be six books, if I want to have a prayer of making my Goodreads yearly goal of 48.)
  • Sew 20 things.  The craft fair is fast approaching.
  • Start Christmas shopping.  I really want to enjoy December and not spend it scouring the internet for gifts and trudging through stores.
  • Clean my office/ sewing room.  It's gotten pretty cluttered again.
  • Come up with a morning routine.
  • Come up with an evening routine.
And that's it, but as discombobulated as I've been, it's going to take all my mental powers. :)

Want to see every one elses goals?  Check out the linkup over at My So Called Chaos.


Thursday, October 6, 2016

October Reading List

So, I'm going to need to read six books a month for the last three months of the year to reach my goal of 48 books read for the year.  It's not impossible, but it's definitely going to take conscious effort on my part.  I'm still hopefully, and I'd like to get even more than six done in October and November so I can take it a little easy the month of Christmas. :)  We'll see.

I should finish Child 44 this week, and then it's on to one of these gems...

Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde- Now that I have the next three books in the series, I figured it's time to pick it back up.  I'm a little fuzzy on where the action stopped in the last book, but Fforde usually does a good job of bring you back up to speed.  Thursday Next, the heroine of these books, lives in an alternate world to ours where literary characters are real.  These are funny, witty, and well written, and I'm so glad I can finally pick up the series again.

MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood- This is the finally book in the MaddAddam trilogy and I've had this one in my to be read pile for quite a while.  I actually had it on my reading list last November but never got to it.  I'm hoping this is the month.  Fall seems like a good time to read about a dystopian world.

Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott- I love Lamott, but this is my first foray into her fiction.  I hope it's as dazzling and her essays.

Dracula by Bram Stoker- It is October after all, so this seems like an appropriate classic to tackle.  Reading the description on Goodreads made me realize I really don't know much about this story at all.  I've seen various incarnations of Dracula in movies but I'm not really sure I've seen one totally based on the book.

Well that's what I'm hoping to read.  How about you?  What are you reading this month?

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

September Book Recap

How September flew!  I ended my job at the hospital on September 9th, and started my job at the credit union on September 12th.  So my whole routine has been turned upside down, but I think it's going to be a good thing once the dust settles.  Unfortunately, all that upheaval caused a lack of reading on my part for September.

The Death of Bees by Lisa O'Donnell was unique.  It had three narrators and revolves around two sisters growing up in the slums of Scotland.  Their loser parents wind up dead, and the girls decide not to tell anyone because they'd rather continue fending for themselves than be put in foster care.  Their elderly neighbor knows something is up, but can't quite put his finger on it.  He's determined to help the girls out anyways.  There's a wide assortment of wrenches in their plan, including a drug dealer their dad owed money to, an over zealous grandfather who shows up, and a truancy officer.  Goodreads describe it as "coming of age" and I suppose it is.  And it was good, but there was just something missing for me.  I can't quite put my finger on it.

Silas Marner by George Eliot was my only other read for the month.  This book took me way longer than it should have, but by the time I finished it, I wasn't really sure what all the hoopla was about.  It's a classic, but it doesn't really have anything exciting, or suspenseful happen.  Silas Marner goes from being a miser to a nice fatherly type figure who cares for Eppie's happiness above his own, but I felt like this could have been knocked down to a short story no problem.  Blasphemous I suppose, but I think it's by far the most disappointing classic I have read to date.

Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, 
and A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki were all part of my Books n Bloggers Swap with Jenni King.  You can read more about it here.

Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood was found on a trip to Goodwill.  It's a collection of her short stories, so I'm looking forward to giving it a read.

and at the library used book sale I found:
One of Our Thursdays is Missing by Jasper Fforde

In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson, the author of A Walk in the Woods
Children of God by Mary Doria Russell, which is the sequel to The Sparrow- my favorite read of 2016!

So that brings my year to date totals up to 30 books read, 46 books acquired.  I'm really going to have to have a good fourth quarter to get my goal of 48 books read accomplished, but I do think it's still possible!  How bout you?  Are you on track with your yearly reading goals?

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Fall Sweet Progress Swap is Open

Guys!  This job change is seriously wrenching up my mojo!  I really like the job and the people I work with, but it's been way harder for me to adjust to getting up and going to work in the morning and then having the evening free instead of having all morning free and then rolling in to work at three in the afternoon.  But, it's getting better.  I've been making lists and working on getting back in a routine.

This week I have lots of exciting blog stuff planned and I'm kicking it off today with the announcement that Happy. Pretty. Sweet. and Mrs. AOK have opened the sign ups for the autumn edition of the Sweet Progress swap.  Remember when I signed up last July for the summer edition?  Well, now we're on to a new season so it's time to get ready for more fun!


If you're interested in joining up here's what you need to know:
  • Sign ups close October 6, so get moving.
  • It's open to USA and Canada.
  • You'll be paired up with another blogger, get to know them, and put together a box of about a $20 value before shipping.
  • Ship your package by October 26.
  • Link up opens November 1st.
  • For more info, visit either of the hosts.  And to join, you just need to fill out the Google form on their blogs.  (Click the picture above to be taken to their blog. 
So if you love fall, get in on the fun!