another NEW challenge



So far, I’m enjoying my “Classics Reading Challenge“.  3 out of 12 are done…in the books, as they say. This challenge gives me the boost to read things I normally wouldn’t pick up.  It’s exactly why I love belonging to my book club group.  Having others pick a book, and having the opportunity to read it, digest it, discuss it, is just one of those things I really enjoy.


BUT…on to the announcement of my next NEW challenge! I recently read a blog that had a series called “30 days of…”  and I figured I could try a NEW challenge for the next 30 days.  So, I’ve decided to de-junk or organize something different for the next 30 days.  There’s something about writing my challenges here on this blog.  It somehow puts it out in the universe and then I’M COMMITTED!!! I HAVE to do it!!!! My only problem is what to do if I’m out of town?????  I’ve decided I just have to make it up by catching up.  As long as I’ve de-junked 30 spaces, I will have succeeded at the challenge. I’m planning on traveling next week, so I got a jump on my first two items.  Since I’m starting this mid-month, I’m calling this my “40 days of…”

Here’s my list:

  1. De-junk/Organize the middle drawer in the computer room bathroom {done}

2. De-junk/Organize the bottom drawer in the computer room bathroom {done}

3. De-junk/Organize the “manuals” accordion file {done}

4. De-junk/Organize the spice envelope container {done}

5. De-junk/Organize one shelf of linen closet {done}

6. De-junk/Organize the lazy susan in pantry {done}

7. De-junk/Organize the lazy susan in kitchen

8. De-junk/Organize the bread drawer {done}

9. De-junk/Organize the dish cloths drawer {done}

10. De-junk/Organize your nail polish

11. De-junk/Organize top shelf above microwave

12. De-junk/Organize bottom shelf above microwave

13. De-junk/Organize top drawer of small file cabinet

14. De-junk/Organize bottom drawer of small file cabinet

15. De-junk/Organize middle shelf of master bathroom

16. De-junk/Organize top shelf of master bedroom

17. De-junk/Organize middle shelf of master bedroom

18. De-junk/Organize bottom shelf of master bedroom

19. De-junk/Organize top drawer of night stand

20. De-junk/Organize bottom drawer of night stand

21. De-junk/Organize under hall bathroom sink

22. De-junk/Organize under computer room bathroom sink

23. De-junk/Organize mudroom hooks

24. De-junk/Organize mudroom cubbies

25. De-junk/Organize one shelf in south storage room

26. De-junk/Organize one shelf in north storage room

27. De-junk/Organize scripture basket{done}

28. De-junk/Organize left drawer in black side table {done}

29. De-junk/Organize middle drawer in black side table {done}

30. De-junk/Organize right drawer in black side table

31. De-junk/Organize recipe binder

32. De-junk/Organize shelf under printer

33. De-junk/Organize middle console of car

34. De-junk/Organize gift bag/wrapping paper stash {done}

35. De-junk/Organize floral craft stash {done}

36. De-junk/Organize top shelf of paper closet

37. De-junk/Organize FHE packets

38. De-junk/Organize canned goods

39. De-junk/Organize bottom of top section of pull-out kitchen shelfs

40. De-junk/Organize veggie bins {done}


Happy Friday!  Have a great day and do or challenge yourself with something NEW!







a NEW book finished and a short Sunday sermon


Happy Sunday! I recently wrote about the Classics Book Challenge that I’ve started.  Well 2 books down–10 to go!  Today’s short Sunday sermon comes from this book – I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. This scene has Cassandra (the main seventeen-year-old character and narrator) talking to her sewing mannequin (who surprisingly often gives back profound and unexpected advice).  Cassandra has named the mannequin Miss Blossom.  I thought it was quite a good section with good advice  — especially for a  Sunday sermon!

I sat on the bedroom window-seat, staring woodenly at Miss Blossom. Suddenly her voice, in my head: “You go to that picnic, dearie.”

I heard myself ask her why.

“Because little Miss Blinkeyes is right – it would take you out of yourself. And doing things for others gives you a lovely glow.”

“So does port,” I said cynically.

“That’s no way to talk, not at your age,” said Miss Blossom. “Though I must say you’d have made a cat laugh, walking about in your drawers with that cherry brandy. Fancy you having a taste for drink!”

“Well, I can’t drown my sorrows in it often,” I told her, “it’s too expensive. Good works are cheaper.”

“So’s religion,” said Miss Blossom. “And some say that’s best of all. You could get it all right if you went on trying, you know — you being so fond of poetry.”

Now it is very odd, but I have often told myself things through Miss Blossom that I didn’t know I knew. When she said that about my “getting” religion, I instantly realized that she was right — and it came as such a surprise to me that I thought “Heavens, have I been converted?” I soon decided that it wasn’t quite so drastic as that; all that had come to me, really, was — well, the feasibility of conversion. I suddenly knew that religion, God — something beyond everyday life — was there to be found, provided one is really willing. And I saw that though what I felt in the church was only imagination, it was a step on the way; because imagination itself can be a kind of willingness — a pretence that things are real, due to one’s longing for them. It struck me that this was somehow tied up with what the Vicar said about religion being an extension of art — and then I had a glimpse of how religion really can cure  you of sorrow; somehow make use of it, turn it to beauty, just as art can make sad things beautiful.

I found myself saying: “Sacrifice is the secret — you have to sacrifice things for art and it’s the same with religion; and then the sacrifice turns out to be a gain.” Then I got confused and I couldn’t hold on to what I meant — until Miss Blossom remarked: “”Nonsense, duckie — it’s perfectly simple. You lose yourself in something beyond yourself and it’s a lovely rest.”

I saw that, all right. Then I thought: “But that’s how Miss Marcy cured her sorrow, too — only she lost herself in other people instead of in religion.”  Which way of life was best — hers or the Vicar’s? I decided that he loves God and merely like the villagers, whereas she loves the villagers and merely likes God — and then I suddenly wondered if I could combine both ways, love God and my neighbour equally. Was I really willing to?

…Would I be sincere or just pretending? Even if it began as pretence, surely it would grow real before very long? Perhaps it was real already — for the very thought of it rolled the weight of misery of my heart, drove it so far away that, though I saw it still, I no longer felt it.


Have a great day! Do or read something NEW!

Just for future reference, here’s a couple of other quotes from the book (just so I have them all in one place, ya know?)

p. 38 “Noble deeds and hot baths are the best cures for depression”

P. 39 “…it really makes one feel rather Godlike to turn things a different colour.”

p. 296 “Oh, it’s hopeless to make friends with people who never talk about themselves.”


Miscellaneous Monday – NEW stuff i gotta share


Happy Monday! I call this photo ‘Shadows of Cinque Terre Laundry”…because, well, it’s a photo of shadows of laundry in a village in Cinque Terre, Italy. Haha!  SO profound!

Other miscellancy today:

Speaking of laundry…I really want to do something with my laundry room!  Here is what is on my wishlist:

These doors:


Pull out shelves similar to this:


And lastly…what I’ve been reading lately:


The Element and The Checklist Manifesto were non-fiction and Before We Were Yours and of course, Sherlock Holmes, The Hound of the Baskervilles was fiction.  I enjoyed all of these and would recommend them all.

That’s it for today’s miscellaneous nonsense.  Have a great day and do something NEW!







Another NEW challenge


Happy Saturday! Yesterday, I mentioned I appreciated the little push that a photo challenge gave me to get out and shoot.  Well, my other great love is reading – so I’m going to work on another challenge – that of reading 12 classics in 2018.  I’m excited!  I just recently found out about this challenge via I Read That In A Book blog – just in time to sign up before the deadline of March 1st.

Most of the books I plan to read (subject to change) for the 2018 Back to the Classics Challenge came from recommendations from blogs I follow:

1.  A 19th century classic – City folk and country folk by Sofia Khvoshchinskaya (recommended at I Read That In A Book
2.  A 20th century classic – Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (recommended by The Long Victorian)
3.  A classic by a woman author – I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (Recommended via a comment on the Classics Challenge link page)
4.  A classic in translation – La dame de Monsoreau by Alexandre Dumas (Highest rating for ‘Best of Dumas’ on GoodReads!)

5. A children’s classic – The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh: Tales & Poemby A. A. Milne (recommended by Cafe Book Bean)
6.  A classic crime story, fiction or non-fiction – A Scandal in Bohemia by  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (recommended by KatiesCottageBooks)
7. A classic travel or journey narrative, fiction or non-fiction- Gone Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright (Recommended by Gretchen Rubin)
8. A classic with a single-word title – Dracula by Bram Stoker (I’ll read this in October!)
9. A classic with a color in the title – The Silver Crown by Robert O’Brien (Recommended by Gretchen Rubin)
10. A classic by an author that’s new to you – Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (recommended by Book Club Mom)
11. A classic that scares you – Youngblood Hawke by Herman Wouk (recommended by Book Club Mom)…this scares me because of how long it is.  It’s really, really long! It scares me to think how long it will take me to read it!
12. Re-read a favorite classic – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (Just because it’s my very favorite)

Have a great day! Do or READ something NEW!


Miscellaneous Monday – NEW stuff i gotta share

focus ducks

Happy Monday! One thing that I love about blogging, is the ability to record my thought processes and brain dump here in my posts! Haha! Lucky you guys! But really, now that I’ve finished my huge work-related project that took me away for 9 months, I’m trying to figure out what I should focus on next.

I enjoyed reading this post about “How to choose the ONE thing to focus on” at The Creative Introvert (Great name…that’s me! – Too bad I didn’t think of it first!). The post had some good tips – very analytical/quantitative-type tips!

Also, I thought my ducky photo paired well with this topic! (Of course, I had to edit it a bit to focus on just the ONE ducky :o). When hubby and I were in New York in April, we had some time to kill before we could get into our hotel room, and hubby knew I’d love to spend that time shooting….and really the only place close by was a duck pond.  But hey! It beat sitting in the hotel lobby!

Here’s some other miscellany for this week:

What I have been reading:


I read booth books for our book club and I liked them both.  I’m not really into posting reviews, because there are other sites that would do a much better job at that!  But they were both quite good, in my opinion. 🙂

Here’s a NEW podcast that I really like listening to on my commute to work:

Lexicon Valley

The podcaster, John H. McWhorter, teaches linguistics, philosophy, and music at Columbia University.  He interjects music soundbites in between his linguistics explanations. I really like his style, and it just makes my commute seem like 5 minutes instead of 30! Yeah!

And that’s all the miscellaneous stuff I guess I should share this week.  Have a great day and do or learn something NEW!

NEW brain cramps from the Five Male Characters Tag


I thought I’d have a bit of fun and play along with the ‘Five Male Characters Tag’ that I found at Katie’s Cottage Books, who found it at Classics and Craziness, who found it at Revealed in Time! Haha!  And by FUN, I mean I strained my brain and ended up with cramps from trying to come up with these!  As soon as I publish this blog post, I’ll remember a hero, or a villain that impressed me more than these, but they just didn’t come to mind – of course!  But here goes:

Here are the RULES:

1.) List five of your favorite male characters. (book or screen)

2.) Tagging other people is optional.

3.) If you are tagged, link back to the person who tagged you.

4.) Link Back to ~


1.) Hero

2.) Villain

3.) Anti-Hero

4.) Best Book to Screen Adaptation

5.) Best character perception change

  1. HERO: It’s a toss-up!  I pick either Edmond Dantès from Count of Monte Cristo, or Jean Valjean from Les Miserables (thus the six photo collage instead of 5 photos :o)

edmond lesmis

2VILLAIN: I pick the Sheriff of Nottingham in the 1991 Robin Hood with Kevin Costner.


3. ANTI HERO: I pick Don Tillman from the book The Rosie Project.  I guess this book is being made into a movie, but I bet they’re having a hard time picking an actor to play Don!  Here’s a photo of the author of the book.  He actually kind of looks like a Don Tillman to me! Here’s some “Suggested Actors“.


4. BEST BOOK TO SCREEN: Easy!  I pick Dobby from Harry Potter.


5. BEST CHARACTER PERCEPTION CHANGE:  I pick Willie Stark from All the King’s Men. My perception of this character changed in the middle of the book and then it changed again at the end of the book! I didn’t realize there was  movie based on this book.  I think I’ll have to watch it.


So there you have it!  If you want to play this tag game (and strain your brain), let me know so I’ll be sure to read your picks!

Have a great day! Do or learn something NEW!




Miscellaneous Monday…NEW stuff i gotta share


Happy Monday!

As is my typical Monday tradition, here’s my weird, miscellaneous photo of the week.  Yeah…what can you say about a wasp’s nest?…not much!  And, really, not anything nice.  Who likes wasps anyway? No.One.Right?  So, we’ll get onto other randomness:

Here’s a podcast I really enjoyed listening to a few weeks ago: Flipping the Gratitude Switch.  Great advice for all of us!

What I’ve read lately (one for my book club and one for work):

jaminn leadership

The library where I got Jamaica Inn, also had Alfred Hitchcock’s movie based on the book.  So, I got them both at the same time and watch the movie after I finished the book.  Well, I admit I slept through most of it!  It was VERY loosely-based on the book.  Very cheesy! But what can you expect from a 1939 film, right?  I’ll just say, the book was SO much better than the movie!

And lastly, I’ll just let you know I tried a NEW way to grocery shop!  The best thing is that I saved time AND I went shopping right after a gym-workout, so I was really sweaty and gross – but didn’t even have to go into the store!  I’m talkin’ about Walmart’s Pickup Service.  I’ve only done it once, but plan to make it a habit. It will force me to make my weekly menu (something I was so good at when my boys were little – but sadly, not anymore). I can buzz right over to the store after I workout, then come home and be productive!

Well, that’s about it for this week’s randomness.  Have a great day!  Do or learn something NEW!











Miscellaneous Monday…NEW stuff i gotta share


Happy Monday!

I’m loving the fall colors, the crisp autumn mornings, and simply the change of seasons! How about all of you? Are you loving it or dreading the coming winter?

Alright…on with the randomness:  I consider myself fairly musically literate.  But I recently read of Brentano – Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved” and had to go do some research – because, who was this Brentano? I knew Beethoven never married.  Oh, Beethoven….I wonder how you like people (historians, researchers, nosey-know-it-alls) combing through anything you ever touched, trying to speculate your every intention!

So, do you know what I like to do when I have ordinary/humdrum/boring duties to get done….like house cleaning?  I like to try NEW methods to get those duties done.  Pinterest and YouTube are so kind!…they give me all sorts of NEW ideas to try.  I sprinkled baking soda on my carpet before I vacuumed today (because of THIS video).  I’m not sure if my furniture was really dusty, or if some of the baking soda drifted as I sprinkled.  But if you try this, be sure to vacuum first, dust second!  I tried adding essential oil to my steam mopper to see if my house smelled amazing when I was done (because of THIS video).  It probably did, but silly me, I had candles burning at the same time.  Hmmm..I guess the jury is still out on that one.  And lastly, instead of using a small hand-held scrubber on my shower, I used my sponge mop with attached scrubber (it’s typically meant only for floors I believe). It worked SO GREAT!  And guess what?  I came up with that brilliant idea all on my own. Well, at least I think I did. :)…I haven’t heard of others doing that, haha!

And lastly, here’s what I I’ve been listening to on my commutes lately:


I listened to the audiobook. Excellent voice (whoever the reader was). I found myself just sitting in my car after arriving at my destination so i could find out what happened next. Other than the numerous F-words, it was a good book. It made me think of my relationships. Usually we think people become better people as they get older and more mature, but this book really questions that assumption. It made me think. If I would have read the actual book, I think it would have been a real page-turner.

I guess that’s it for this Miscellaneous Monday.  Have a terrific day and do or learn something NEW!





a NEW photo and NEW books to read {so many books on my list!}


Happy Wednesday!

I snapped this pic this week in a lovely NEW garden that was recently completed close to my gym.  I think it was a city project, but whoever it was, they did a really good job.  This statue and another of a boy and girl twirling a jump rope was included in the area — and all the flowers there were just gorgeous!

I also recently learned of a NEW source for finding good books to read. Although, my to-read list is far too long as it is! Especially from BookClub Mom’s awesome reviews! My niece was recently telling me about The Tournament of Books where every Spring, when March Madness Basketball is going on, there’s a book tournament where people vote for books.  They’ve been doing it a long time and past tournament winners are listed on the site. So many good books, so little time!

Have a great day! Do or read something NEW!