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2018 Resolutions (finally)

You’ll notice that we are several days into 2018 and I’ve not popped in and shared my 2018 Resolutions with you all.

That is because I’ve not been able to SET resolutions for myself.  I’ve been in one of my deep blue funks, and being depressed is not condusive to setting goals.  It is more likely to make me hide my head under a pillow and try to wait for the next New Year to roll around.

However, after drafting, writing, re-writing

2018 Word of the Year

I am a quitter.

That’s right.  I’m not a person who keeps fighting against all odds.  When the going gets tough I stop going.

That is probably why I never have kept many of my resolutions, or other life goals.

So, after several weeks of thinking on it I decided that my Word of the Year should be something to keep me on track, to help remind me to stop giving up so easily.  So I chose:

PERSIST

1.
to continue steadfastly or firmly in some state, purpose, course of action, or the like, especially in spite of opposition, remonstrance,etc.:

2.
to last or endure tenaciously:

3.
to be insistent in a statement, request, question, etc.

Since the Word of the Year is supposed to be sort of a signpost, a guiding factor in the decision you make.  I need to not give up so easily.  I need to Persist instead of throwing in the towel at the first sign of anything less than success.

2018 Resolutions Major

  1. Lose 70 Pounds
    Weighing in at 227.8 at the time of writing this, and being only 5’3″ I am easily 100 pounds overweight.  In the past I’ve only said that I want to “Lose weight” or “get healthy.”  So this year I’m setting a solid goal.  70 pounds.  That rounds up roughly to 6 pounds a month.How:
    I’ve got to keep an eye on my calories, and exercise more.
  2.  SELL MY CRAFTS
    This is one goal that I set every year and keep not doing.How:
    Well, this one is a 2 step process.
    Step One: Make something!
    Step Two: Post it online for sell.Okay, maybe its a 3 step process.
    Step 3: Convince someone to buy something.
  3. Focus on my Blog
    I finally convinced my husband to invest a little into a wordpress domain for me.  Now I need to put some effort in it.  It’s mine for 3 years.  In 3 years I hope to be able to earn enough so that it will at least pay for itself when it comes time to renew.
  4. How:
    Well, stop letting it sit for weeks or even months without posting anything.
    I’m going to set up a posting routine.  It might take a while to get the bugs worked out.  I want to post my book reviews on a certain day every week.  Share a craft on a certain day every week, and post other things in a more timely manner.On top of affiliate sales via amazon, I also plan to use my blog to share my items from Resolution #2 that I’m trying to sell.  Hopefully if I tend it well my blog will help drive traffic to my online store which will help me be able to keeping buying books and craft supplies.Dear Reader, what would YOU like to see me write about in 2018 and beyond?

2018 RESOLUTIONS MINOR

These are “Minor” resolutions not in that they are less important, but in that they are more easily achievable.

  1.  Start Keeping a Journal
    The only resolution I ever kept was as 1999 turned into 2000 and I said I wanted to keep a daily journal.  And I did, for YEARS.  Then I met my husband who read said journals and went nuts on what was in some of them and then…..I slowly stopped writing.Keeping a journal is good for mental health.  I have bad mental health, so I need to start journaling again, so I am.
  2.  Get More Nature
    I love the outdoors.  I hide in my house because I live in a neighborhood where the houses are pretty close together.  I have a backyard but I don’t spend time there much other than playing ball with the dog.  I need more nature in my life.  Not sure how I’m gonna get this in but…..

So, there is a look inside of my plans for myself in 2018.  Lets see how long I can keep them up, considering it took 2 weeks to write them.

Snow Fall in the South

Frozen Red BerriesThe people from the Northern realm have been laughing at us silly southerners for the past few days.  But, give us a break.  How often does snow fall in the south?

Sure, an entire city shut down because of a few inches of white stuff fell from the sky, but it was probably for the best.  Most of us can’t even walk in the stuff, most less drive in it.

Right about now you’re probably asing yourself, “What is she yammering about?”

Well, its like this.  I live in Savannah, GA.  Last month I was complaining because it was too warm for Christmas.  So, what happens on January 3rd?

IT.
FREAKING.
SNOWED!

That’s right.  It snowed.  And it stuck.  Our streets disappeared.  Our bushes and trees were covered in ice.  Our children (and our husbands.  Okay, and ourselves) built snowmen.

Snow Fall in the South

Yes, he has no eyes, and he has no mouth, and he has no nose and no arms and….well…just keep reading.

Well, some of us built snowmen.  Others of us *cough*me*cough start building snowmen, then fall down on our rears in the snow and give up the process.

The children were ill-equipped to play in this winter wonderland themselves.  Unused to below freezing temperatures, they could only stand a few minutes at a time before coming in with soaking wet gloves and cold hands.

Oh, but the joy of seeing their little faces light up when the prospect of snow became a reality.  They may never see an event like this again until they are adults with kids of their own.

So, those of you who are jaded by yearly snowfall, those of you who have it often enough to hate the fact that it is a thing, you just keep on laughing.  Because on January 3 and January 4th of 2018, our world turned white and memories were made.

Year in Review: 2017 Resolutions

2017 Resolutions in Review

When it was time to set my resolutions for 2017 I chose a “Word of the Year” for the first time ever.  The word I chose was “Cleanse”

With that word I had 3 very basic and wide open “resolutions, plus one more specific one.

Decluttering my home of the stuff I don’t want/need/love
Letting go of negative emotions, grudges, sorrows of the past.
Treating my body better, cleansing it of the fat that is making it sick.

On top of my ONE word of the year, I would also like to learn some new words this year,

So, how did I do?

Decluttering my home of the stuff I don’t want/need/love

Well, I threw some things away.  Mostly magazines.

Unfortunately I have just as much crap because I keep bring things back in.  So you cant really tell that I got rid of anything.

I did just empty 2 trash bags of stuff just this month.  I may end the year up in a junk deficit after all.

Letting go of negative emotions, grudges, sorrows of the past.

Well, this was one of my resolutions that I can call a COMPLETE fail.

My depression is still untreated, which leads to a lot of late night attacks of negative thougts.  Every single “what if” in my life floats to the front.

Related, I started taking St. Johns Wort and have seen some improvement in my mental stability.  So there’s that.

Treating my body better, cleansing it of the fat that is making it sick.

To “get healthy” is one of the most common resolutions.

I did manage to drop 2 pant sizes, from a 22 to an 18.  But the weight loss stopped, as it always does.  I like food.  I don’t like exercise.  I pretty much set myself up to fail.

I managed to NOT regain everything I lost though, so that’s a plus.

Still Morbidly Obese though.  And have developed Hypertension (high blood pressure.)  While getting my gall-bladder removed I was informed I have a fatty liver, so there’s that.

On top of my ONE word of the year, I would also like to learn some new words this year,

As far as resolutions go, you would think this one would be easy.

Chances are good that I DID learn some new words this year, but I couldn’t tell you what they are right now.  I didn’t make an effort to read and learn a new word every day though.

I should have gotten that Word a Day callendar instead of my Zen one I suppose.


So, how did you do on your own resolutions for 2017? Are you planning any for 2018? Do you do a “Word of the Year?”

Oscar Ponders His Ball: Wordless Wednesday

Oscar Plays Ball

My labradoodle is very ball oriented.

We adopted a dog in June.  We also adopted his ball addiction.  If there is a ball nearby nothing else is important.  At all.  Ball trumps all.

Full Wolf Moon by Lincoln Child: Book Review

Full Wolf Moon by Lincoln Child

Has enigmologist Jeremy Logan finally met his match?

Full Wolf Moon by Lincoln Child is a book I picked up off the NEW shelf on my last library trip.

I’ve never read anything by Lincoln Child before, though the cover proclaims him to be a New York Times #1 bestselling author.  Speaing of the cover, it is the reason I picked up the book.  It boasts a spooky cabin in the middle of nowhere, similar to the cover of The Hexed.  I guess I had a theme going on during that trip.

Jeremy Logan is an enigmalogist –an investigator who specalizes in analyzing unnatural phenomena.

He travels to an isolated retreat deep in the Adirondacks in an attempt to finish his monograph.  However, he’s approached by an old friend on his very first night at the retreat and finds himself investigating a series of deaths in the area, as a favor.

Every time he tries to tell himself he’s finished with the investigation he finds some other small tidbit of information that draws him back in.  He has seen a lot of strange things in his investigations, but could there possibly be an actual werewolf hunting the Adirondack Mountains?

What I Liked about Full Wolf Moon

You don’t see many werewolf novels.  At least not ones where the werewolf is a killer animal and not some hot guy for the female protag to fall in love with.  I’m a sucker for a good old fashioned monster story.

While most of the book is following the investigation and you don’t know who/what the killer is until the climax, I like that you do get to see some of the action from the POV of the victims.  Again, I’m a sucker for a monster story and they are much more fun when you see the monster.

What I Didn’t Like About Full Wolf Moon

Its part of a series.  AGAIN.  What is it with series these days?

Again, similar to The Hexed, the story seems to stand alone.  There is mention of  Jeremy’s wife, and his losing her.  You don’t get that whole story but none of it seems to pertain to the story in this novel.

Other than being book #5 follow Jeremy Logan on his adventures I can’t think of much I didn’t like about the tale.

Over all I give Full Wolf Moon a 4 out of 5 star rating.  It was a captivating read that kept me turning pages until the end.  Once the momentum kicked in it never slowed down enough to dull the story.  It’s certainly not “keep you up at night” horror, but its a good story.  I’d recommend it to anyone who loves horror/thriller reads.

 

Full Wolf Moon is available on Amazon in Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, audobook and Audio CD formats.
Read eBooks using the FREE Kindle Reading App on Most Devices
Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks

If you don’t want to start in book five, you can pick up any of the first 4 novels below:

Journal Monday: Choosing a Journal

Today as I’m sitting here, struggling with choosing a journal to start writing in, I thought I might share a little of my journal history with you.

Why I Started Journaling

Way back in the past, as 1999 turned into 2000 I made a resolution to keep a journal.  At the time I was reading a book in which a pregnant character was keeping a journal for her baby about the world.  It sounded cool to me, so I started journaling with hopes of it being a good chronicle.

I was young, and my journals did not go the way I had daydreamed them.  My first journal was, instead, a book of what I did that day, who I was crushing on and rant after rant after rant.

I kept these journals for years in cheap dollar store notebooks.   Not spiral bound, but the small hardback journals.  I filled up book after book after book.

Then my oldest brought bought me a journal because he knew it was a thing I did and I thought it was the most amazing book I’d ever had.  I loved it.

Fast forward to adulthood, my husband started reading my journals and attacking me for what was written (ranting remember) and for years my journaling became sporadic to non-existent.  Instead of personal journals I kept a blog.  Sporadically I would do gluebooks or art journal pages.

This past year I started keeping a Bullet Journal, which has made me want to keep a personal journal again, but I keep hesitating to start.

I have decided to resolve to journal keeping again.

Choosing a Journal For Now
Spirit of Flight Journal

You can order this beautiful journal from amazon.

Over the years, despite not journaling, I still managed to collect a hoard of blank books.

I have this journal by Peter Pauper Press in my hoard.  I have always found it stunningly beautiful.  My mother in law gifted it to me many Christmases ago.  I’ve written one page in it, meaning to start a list of 101 things that make me smile.   I stopped at 2 entries with 16 things.

Part of me wants to wait until After Christmas to start journaling again.  I’ve asked for several journals and want to wait to see if I get any of them.

Actually, another part of me wants to wait until the 1st, just like I started my 2000 journaling on the 1st of a new year, as midnight struck.

But another part of me is worried that if I wait for that long, another 3 weeks, that I’ll lose this desire I have right now to journal.

Amanda Wakes Up by Alisyn Camerota

Amanda Wakes Up book cover

Can new ever really be unbiased and fair?

Amanda Wakes Up by Alisyn Camerota follows Amanda Gallo on her quest to become a news Anchor.  It is all she has ever wanted from the time she was a teen.  When a media mogul offers her a spot  on the team of a band new cable news network she couldn’t have been happier.

FAIR News is all about showing BOTH sides of the story….but is it really?

Launching during an election year, Amanda’s stories are a hotbed of hot topics and her new job is leaking into her personal life.  It’s affecting her love life, her relationship with her mother, and even the way she looks at the world around her.

It leads up to her chance to break the biggest story of the year, and what is means to her morality vs her lifelong dream.

What I Liked about Amanda Wakes Up

Amanda has a dream, and she chases it.  She truly believes in the Fair and Equal concept.  I like that about her because she reminds me of myself.  Like, you can have your on beliefs and STILL try to see the other side without being violent about it.

I liked the scenes where she was on the show with her co-host and her camera crew, but not talking politics.  I would have like to seen more of her on the job interactions.

What I Didn’t Like about Amanda Wakes Up

It took me over a week to get through the first 30 pages of this story.  The opening didn’t grab me at all.

There seemed to be a whole lot of TELLING vs SHOWING in the story.  Especially the first few chapters.  Our heroine, Amanda Gallo, was first reporter on a scene of a major even, and did some awesome investigative reporting which is what lands her the job this whole book is about.  But, we SEE none of that.  We are TOLD it happens.  I think I could have gotten into the story so much faster if we had seen her work.

I didn’t “connect” with Amanda Gallo.  A book is best when you feel like you are living life with the MC.  I felt like I was being told aobut someone, somewhere, with vague detail, and supposed to feel for them.

Predictability.  I saw 90% of what happened in this book coming, long before it got there.

Politics.  Reading this book was like watching the election all over again. *shudder*

Over all I give Amanda Wakes Up a 3 out of 5 star rating.  Its a book I read.  I wish it had been more about working on an early morning talk show and less about politics, but I  don’t regret reading it.  If you want a light fluffy read without a lot of detail, this is totally a book for you.

Amanda Wakes Up is available on amazon in Kindle, Hardcover and Audio though audible.
Read eBooks using the FREE Kindle Reading App on Most Devices
Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks

Not sure you want to read this? See my other book reviews to find something you might like better.

(Disclaimer: I received a copy of Amanda Wakes Up from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions in this review are my own.)

Green Tree Frog – Wordless Wednesday

The weather here has finally started turning cold.  Cold enough to be uncomfortable for the cold blooded creatures like the green tree frogs who live in our palm trees.  Which is why I was a little startled to open my recycling bin and find this green tree frog camping out under the lid.

Tree Frog

I think I frightened him.

I could probably pick up a book and find out exactly what kind of tree frog he is, but I’ll stick with calling my a green tree frog.  (Not to be confused with the Red Eyed Green Tree frog.)

It was COLD, and he was sluggish.  I started to close him in again, because the black of the plastic traps heat to keep him warm, but he moved enough that I couldn’t close the lid without smashing him.

tree frog side

He posed for one photo before taking a leap off.

He did muster up enough energy to take a flying leap OFF of the recycling bin, towards me.  The daring fellow ended up on the top of our fence.  Not a good place for a bright green amphibian to hang out during the day.

tree frog on fence

Perched on the fence, trying to juice up for another jump.

I scooped him up and eventually put him in some bushes.  I hope he found a warm place to snuggle down until the weather turns warm again.

Tree Frog on Fingers

He sat on my hand long enough for me to put him somewhere safer.

That was my (mostly) Wordless Wednesday for this week!  I hope you enjoyed my frigid croaker.

The Hexed by Heather Graham : Book Review

The Hexed by Heather Graham

The Hexed is the 13th book in a series.

I picked up The Hexed by Heather Graham on one of my library trips.  I grabbed it off the shelf because of the cover (yes, I judge books by their covers) and tossed it in my take home bag because the back cover piqued my interest.

Devin Lyle inherited her great-aunts cabin, when suddenly a woman is murdered nearby.

Craig Rockwell is a new member of a special FBI team known as The Krewe of Hunters.  They are paranormal investigators.  The recently discovered body is very similar to one he found int he woods as a teen.

Devin and Agent Rockwell, of course, start to fall for each other as the case progresses. But will they get to the bottom of the case before Devin becomes the next victim?

It turns out that The Hexed is the 13th book in a series of 20.  Normally I hate picking up a book and finding out its part of a series.  This time it didn’t bother me.  There was enough back-story of the characters that you didn’t feel like you missed anything, and its not part of a continuous series where you have to have read everything before and everything after to get the complete story.

What I Liked About The Hexed

I liked that it was a stand alone novel instead of me having to worry about getting my hands on the whole series to know what I was reading about.

Of course I liked the paranormal aspect of The Hexed.  FBI agents who not only see but also can communicate with ghosts!  What’s not to like?

I liked that the romance between Devin and “Rocky” didn’t take over the whole book.  It was about them finding the killer, not about their mad love affair.

I liked “Crazy” great-aunt Mina, even though she didn’t really add much to the story.

I liked that Devin inherited a raven from her Aunt to go along with the cottage instead of a cat.  Cats are so overdone.

What I Didn’t Like

There are two main arguments throughout The Hexed that annoyed me.

One was the “It looks like this murder is connected to Wicca.” vs “Wiccans don’t kill!” argument.  This popped up many times throughout the novel.  Usually it came to light when two people, who are both open-minded and agree on the second point, kept talking in circles about it.  Certain aspects of the murders clearly pointed towards witchcraft, but any mention of it brought out a “Wiccan’s don’t kill” argument.

The second was the “It can’t be one of my friends, it must be one of your’s!” argument.  Something they might have said once and gotten over, but not after every single interview.

The Verdict

3 out of 5 stars

I didn’t hate the book, but I didn’t love it either.  It took a couple of tries for me to get into the story, and the 2 annoying arguments above kept making me set it aside.  I may go on to read more of the series, but I may not and won’t be telling ayone “You HAVE to read this!”

If you do want to give it a try The Hexed by Heather Graham is available on amazon in Kindle, Audio and Paperback forms.

Or, if you’re rather start from the beginning you can check out Phantom Evil: Book 1 in the Krewe of Hunters series.

 

Give Thanks on Thanksgiving

Give Thanks today for all the things.  Even the little things.(source)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Or, if you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, I say Happy Thursday!

Across most of America today giant meals are being cooked, served, and eaten.  People who normally only eat small ammounts are going back for seconds….or thirds.

There is pie.  So much pie.  Pie everywhere!

My Day Thus Far

Last night my mother in law and I started putting our meal together.  We prepped the bird so it only had to be put in the oven.  We grated the cheese to prepare the Stovetop Mac n Cheese.  Thank the powers that be for her food processor, because I know I would not have wanted to grate 2 pounds of cheese by hand! (But I would have because….mac n cheese)

This morning I woke up early(ish) and went over to get the bird in the oven and help make everything else.

By early I mean I set my alarm for 7, then turned it off and got up at 7:55 to throw on yesterdays clothes and run across the street to my in-laws house.  She had open heart surgery about 5 weeks ago and totally isn’t up to doing the whole meal herself.

Messy, Messy, Messy

To bad I didn’t have a Thanksgiving themed umbrella!

Today is very wet where I live.  The rain has not stopped falling all day, and  I may have gotten a LITTLE wet running back and forth a few times between houses.

This is much to the joy of my husband who has to work today and decided weeks ago that he was going to hate everything about today because he has to work.  If there was such a thing as a Thanksgiving Grinch, he would be it.

Meanwhile I have to work today too (after having cooked all morning and cleaned a kitchen afterwards) and I’m in the most Thankful mood I’ve been in years.

This might be due in part to the St. John’s Wort I’ve been taking.  My emotions are a tad more settled than they have been in years past.

Cooking with my mother in law, my children playing nicely with each other, the fact that I still have a job to go to so Christmas isn’t all bleak.  I have a lot to Give Thanks about this year.

“Gratitude means to recognize the good in your life, be thankful for whatever you have, some people may not even have one of those things you consider precious to you (love, family, friends etc). Each day give thanks for the gift of life.You are blessed”
― Pablo

Good fod, great meat, thank God, Lets eat!

ALL THE LITTLE THINGS
(that I’m thankful for today)

  1.  All the food in the photo to the left.  It was a wonderful meal, even if I did cook some of it myself.
  2.   My Mother in Law is recovering amazingly from her surgery.  She helped make a lot of the meal.
  3. The roof I have over my head, the heat being piped through my walls, and everything else giving me comfort on this wet day.
  4. The internet, letting me share Thanksgiving Day with my friends and family spread all over the state, the country and the world.
  5. My children, who got sick AFTER their birthdays last week were both all better and able to enjoy today.
  6. The coffee I had to drink, because I’m not a morning person and that meal wasn’t going to cook itself.

QUESTIONS

  • Do you find it offensive if people say Happy Turkey Day instead of Happy Thanksgiving?
  • What do you give thanks for in YOUR life today?
  • Do you celebrate the day with a traditional meal?  What is your meal?
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