Wednesday, January 16, 2019

What I'm reading Wednesday...

The Window Trail by JJ Rusz

I haven't finished last week's book yet; it is full of information that takes some thought and sometimes backtracking a page or two.  It is extremely interesting to me, as I search every photo to see if one or both of my parents might have been in camera range.  Living and working among the crowds, high rents (if you could find living space to rent), shortages and rationing must have been true culture shock for my mother who was raised on a Nebraska farm, and my father from small town Nebraska.  

Last week's book is also a paperback, and I prefer to be able to slip my Kindle into my purse for appointments, waiting, etc.  So I started The Window Trail (see photo above) because it is on my Kindle.  This one is set in Texas (my home state) in the Big Bend National Park area.  Readers who know me IRL know that I hate am not fond of the Big Bend area, or deserts in general.  My husband and both of our children love it, however.  The family joke is that I think they should spread my ashes there after I die; not because I like it, but because I know they will come visit me.  :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

2019 Reading Challenge...

I took 2018 off from reading challenges, but I found one that piqued my interest for 2019.  It is the 2019 Literary Escapes Challenge, and the goal is to read a book which is set in each of the 50 states in the U.S. and the District of 51 books total.  

I may not get them all read within the year, we'll see how it goes.  I'll keep track of them on my 2019 Reading Challenge page which can be found by clicking the link under the blog title photo.

I'm starting off with the District of Columbia, and reading...
Lipstick Brigade: The Untold True Story of Washington's World War II Government Girls
by Cindy Gueli

This one is a non-fiction that has been sitting on the shelf for awhile.  I purchased it because my mother was among the young women who jumped at the chance to move to the nation's capital and work for the government as it geared up to enter World War II.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

2018 year in review...

Best Read of the Year:
News of the World by Paulette Jiles

Best Buy of the Year:
My Victorinox paring knives.  For fifteen years I've had one paring knife that I loved, and kept buying others that I hoped would live up to that one.  This year I decided to research my fave, buy more of them, and get rid of all the rest.  Sooooo happy I finally did this.

Best decision of the year:
Decided to give Weight Watchers another try.  I've tried their plan several times over the years, and this newest version makes the most sense to me and is the easiest yet.  I've lost 20 pounds.  

As far as how I did on goals:
     Being more productive?
          I worked a lot, and I created a lot.  Success!
     Getting jobs done that needed doing around the house?  
          Not so much.
     Healthier diet?  
          Yes.  Increased fresh fruit & veg; 
          decreased sugar and unhealthy fats.
     Reset sleep patterns?  
          Utter fail.  Must work on this.
     Eat breakfast?  
          Yes and no.  I definitely do it more often than before, 
          but I'm not consistent.
     Write it down?  
          Love my to-do list!
          Did pretty well here, but rethinking methods for 2019.
     Home projects?  
          Utter fail.  House always suffers when I work more.
     Reduce possessions?  
          Utter fail.  
     Read the One-Year Bible?  
     52 Letters in 52 Weeks?  
     Quilting -- complete 10 projects?  
          Seven of ten projects completed!  Not too bad.

All in all, I am happy with how 2018 went.  NEXT!

Saturday, December 29, 2018

2018 Cross-stitch...

One of my goals for this year was to be more productive.  My mother's definition of productivity was having something to show for your time.  Since my paying job claimed three times the number of hours this year as in previous years, small projects are what kept me on goal.  

When I saw these perforated-paper tags, I knew they would be a fun way to spend productive time this year.  I searched Pinterest for small cross-stitch patterns that would fit on the tags.  A couple of the designs I graphed myself.  I made most of the tags into cards.  A few are still waiting to be made into cards.

I think most of the following photos have appeared in other posts, but I thought I would assemble them all into a single post by way of a recap for the year's productivity goal.

These were really fun and relaxing.  I'm sure I will be making more in the future.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Frugal Friday File 2018, week 52...

In 2019 I will be changing up my frugal files.  I believe I will only be posting once a month, on the last Friday of each month.  Weekly posting has kept me focused, but I am feeling it is time to change things up a bit.

This Week's Successes:
1.  Gave myself a pedicure at home.

2.  Eating up leftovers.  Luckily I love meatloaf sandwiches. 

3.  Patched a favorite pair of work pants for the grown son.  Thankful to have been taught practical and frugal skills.

4.  Paid all bills on time.  Annual and quarterly insurance premiums not a shock to the checking account, because funds had been set aside monthly over the past year for that purpose.

5.  Avoided all after-Christmas sales.  We just don't need anything, and as my husband says, nothing is a bargain if you don't need it.  :)

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  *Whataburgers
Sunday:  Sunday Christmas dinner at Kasey & Beau's
Monday:  Corned Beef Hash w/ white & sweet potatoes
Tuesday:  Chicken Curry w/ rice
Wednesday:  Meatloaf, baked potatoes, green beans
Thursday:  leftovers
Friday:  leftovers

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas...

Old photo with new edit.  

From our family to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Making it Monday (Christmas Eve edition)...

So I finished binding all the kids' quilts with an hour to spare.  I had so effectively procrastinated...cough, cough...that I had to do all the binding on the machine (I usually do the last step by hand).  By the time I was done, I had gotten pretty good at making it invisible.  I guarantee the kids will never know any different, and, on the upside, it is probably more sturdy.

In the wee hours of Sunday morning, as I was about halfway around in the final step of binding the third quilt, I realized that the bobbin was making a sound like it was getting critically low on thread.  I was so exhausted and just did not want to stop to reload the bobbin, so there was a lot of, 'oh please, please, please be enough on there to finish.'  There was...just barely.  And the spool was almost as low as the bobbin!

We had our Christmas together combined with Sunday family supper at Kasey and Beau's.  Beau cooked a prime rib on the grill.  Oh my goodness, it was SO delicious.

We also played a game of Not Parent Approved.  No skill required, and good for a few laughs.  Beau, who never wants to play games with us, loves this game.  :)

Now I have some breathing room.  I have two more quilts to bind but not a huge rush.  Then maybe I will have some time to read or cross-stitch or take a nap.  :)

Edited to add:  I had intended this to get posted Monday morning, but I forgot to hit 'publish.'  Earlier today I received a text from Kasey with two photos, saying this was how she found the girls when she went in to wake them this morning..."wrapped in Grandma's love."

Made my heart happy!  :)
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