Knitting another baby blanket with KnitPicks Shine Worsted (of course), a variation on this well-loved pattern. I’m on the second book of All-of-A-Kind Family, although I’m obviously much above the intended age range (I don’t have much mental space at the moment, and I like to read books I feel I “missed out” on in my childhood), I’m enjoying them (also, five girls, one boy is a familiar situation!).
I’m linking up here on Ginny Sheller’s blog
and here for Crafting On.
I didn’t even write out my April goals until the end of the month. Basically, I’m working to get back on track.
Since I’m reading tons (for me) I did up my reading goals
- 10+ books, aim for 6 nonfiction, work on War and Peace in Serial Reader (I need to set aside time to do this once per week, the sticking point is that I need my notebook for notes and to keep track of characters and plot), work on Classics Club (I need to revisit this list and be a bit more conscious about this goal).
- Pay off CC debt and lower CC limit (apparently that is the only way to curb my spending short of going debit-card only which seems rather archaic).
- Work on exercise and diet plans (surely I can hit on SOMETHING I am willing to keep up with).
- Get back on track with habits, goals, spending, etc.
- 2+ knitting projects and block the last two (probably should make sure blocking is included in finishing, but overall, doing well on the knitting category).
I forgot to include how my March habit chart looked.
Overall goal: Shake It Back Up! I’m slipping back into monotony and laziness and losing my drive, memory, and optimism. I marked some items with an “!” to help myself in this area. Obviously, this is edited a bit for privacy.
Wellness and Habits
- Lose 15 lbs, gain muscle, tone, and flexibility
- Return to morning, lunch, and evening routine and identify sticking points to correct
- Weekly reset (Saturday?), life admin, and monthly planning days
- Set digital limits, have better options, use site blockers
- Work on daily and weekly habits and aim for no school on weekend
- Amp up meal prep, especially breakfast
- Go outside more (work on strawberries for one thing) !
Finances and Career
- Figure out side gigs plus learn skills for more specialized gigs !
- Pay off CC and personal loan
- Live off last month’s income
- Fund emergency fund to certain point, start fun savings and car savings
- Plan career and internships
- Make min amount per month
- Purchase textbooks and set up school plan
- Spanish, graphic design, future plans, re-evaluate habits
- Read 25 new-to-me books including several Classics Club and 12+ nonfiction books
- Regency prep (outfit, tickets) and vacation prep
- 6 major sewing projects and finish some partially complete ones
- Work on room redesign
- Weekly adventures !
- Mother’s Day gift !
- Reading journal, more in depth posts, etc. !
I didn’t watch many movies this month, more television mysteries. We geniuses just realized (actually we had to be told), that since my dad has Amazon Prime (for how long I don’t know, probably years including ones when I paid for my own, ouch), we can watch his Prime video. Duh. I don’t love Prime, it’s not worth it to me to pay for it, but since now it’s free, I want to make more of an effort to find things to watch, so I’ve been going through my movie list. Of all the 153 movies I’ve currently checked, about 26 are on Netflix. I discovered Big Country (which I’d not heard of and which I greatly enjoyed) by searching Gregory Peck in the search bar, so I think I should try that option to find more movies/shows not on my list.
A couple movie mysteries. I’m happy to state that I’ve not watched Hallmark in weeks though.
Platinum Blonde. Eh, some funny lines, but overall, eh.
Middlemarch. Interesting (and awkward, I skimmed parts, intentionally awkward, British authors do know how to write some awkward situations, they just happen to be excruciating to watch). A couple of recognized actors or siblings of actors (of course, I feel like I’ve seen every not-super-famous British actor/actress multiple times, it can be interesting, it can be annoying if you know, Fudge is in everything, that actor IS Fudge in everything). I don’t feel it does the book justice AT ALL. I’m now wanting to reread it again.
Monk. I’ve been hearing about this show/meaning to watch it for ages, and I’ve been going through it with my grandparents. It’s so funny and cute, despite being murder mysteries. Thus far, the mystery element hasn’t been great (and that’s saying a lot, I’ve watched Hallmark mysteries), but at least it hasn’t scared me too much. It’s the characters who are interesting. We started at the beginning which was made in 2002, but which if I didn’t know it, I would have said the 90’s since apparently 90’s styles extended into the early 2000’s (ugh). Apparently, 90’s is resurfacing too, but in cuter ways (scrunchies, I still cringe a little though).
I think that I will just focus on what I DID accomplish.
- Made much more than I did this time last year
- Read 40 books (!!!!), 8 of these are nonfiction and 2 re-reads
- Worked a side gig
- Got a temp job (one that I don’t want to quit every single day)
- Have an A (cumulative) in my three CIT classes thus far
- Signed up for two summer classes
- Finished two knitting projects
- Started workable planning and habit systems for me
- Have generally been more optimistic
I need to “course correct” (an excellent concept I picked up in The Slight Edge) for this month, so a lot of items are going to be copy and paste from February.
- Get back on track with habits. Not exactly, I did excellent on Duolingo, though.
Prep meals regularly. Partially. Start facial care routine. Yes.
- Start a weekly reset habit (Sat/Sun?), get back on track with daily routines. No.
- Double down on the health habits. Ahaha . . . no.
- Set up tech guards, habits, and sabbaths. Worse than no.
- Be aware of needs to be vigilante on my habits (they slip more easily in certain circumstances) No.
- Work on room. No.
Have enough to pay 1st quarter’s obligation, a little in emergency fund. Partially. Pay off credit card bill. Yes. Finish paying loan back. Partially. Make a certain minimum amount. Yes.
- Have a now spend/lowest spend month. Ouch, NO.
Get a temporary job. Yes.
Read 8-9 books, including: 4 nonfiction, 1-2 Classics Club reads, and catch up and keep up on War and Peace on Serial Reader. Partially, I read 15 fiction books. 2 major knitting projects and 1-2 small ones. I finished two projects, well the knitting part of them; I still need to block both and buy and add buttons to one.
- 2 major sewing projects. No.
- Begin taking mini-adventures/explorations. No.
- Determine next Spanish steps. No, I’m going to keep on what I’m doing now for the time being.
- Determine next graphic design steps. No, I’m going to keep on what I’m doing now for the time being.
I’m going to go mostly with what causes me to pick up a book I’ve borrowed from the library, not so much with what causes me to choose what book to add to my hundreds of titles long (I’ll have a better estimate eventually, I don’t think it’s 1000, but I might be wrong) TBR list or what causes me to choose which books off my TBR list.
- To get and stay off the web
- Comfort (escapism, avoidance)
- I know I will likely enjoy it (I’ve read other books by the same author)
- Contrariness (avoiding other books I think I *should* be reading)
- Determination (those books I *should* be reading)
- To learn/stay motivated
- Because I’ve exhausted my other book options
- Because I fell for the hype
I couldn’t figure out or did something wrong when trying to transfer my blogger blog posts over the first time. But for some reason, I only had to try one thing this time (pretty sure it was redoing what I did before), and it worked. So all the posts that I left on my old blog are available here now. I’ve also updated my template and added tags, so I’m pretty pleased with myself. I’ve also updated some of my pages as well.
I rejoined the Classics Club, so I will be writing more individual reviews, and I feel like I’m getting more motivation back to write more opinion posts. For awhile I was burned out and just burned on opinions (still don’t love rants and opinions-presented-as-sermons-or-facts . . . for obvious reasons). I think I’m better able to think through things and to write in a way that is perhaps less antagonizing? I want to try to utilize my book journal more (that makes it easier to write more thoughtful reviews and opinion posts) and just put more thought into things. I think I’ve been reading too passively and quickly recently.
I read 15 books in March.
Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes. This was a reread. I’d conveniently rewritten out a significant and sad part of the plot in my head apparently. Also, hindsight is 20/20; I don’t think the thought is perhaps accurate to the time. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it, and it did help renew my interest in my country’s founding. At least I hope, I still have not picked up the book that has caused by (apparently many years long) study of U.S. to stall. Perhaps I need to revisit Liberty’s Kids?! Yes, that’s a good excuse.
Cotillion, Black Sheep, and Friday’s Child by Georgette Heyer. These all got a 3 star from me. Cotillion was old rake free. The couple were both young, both had personalities, and it was funny and sweet. Back to regular scheduling of course with Black Sheep (as implied by the title), I still found this fun. Cotillion featured (for you know a little variety) a very young rake and his basically child-bride. She was more of a prop (why do her young heroines generally feature zero real personality?), but the “hero” and his coterie and the scrapes his bride get into and just the wit, and everything altogether is absolutely hysterical, this almost got a four.
Betsy-Tacy, Betsy-Tacy and Tib, Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill, Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown, Winona’s Pony Cart, Heaven to Betsy, Betsy in Spite of Herself, Betsy Was a Junior, Betsy and Joe, Carney’s House Party, and Emily of Deep Valley by Maud Hart Lovelace. These were not the classic sweet novels I was hoping for, they were rather flat and silly, except the Deep Valley ones (the ones that don’t feature Betsy in the title, but don’t unfortunately repeat the omission in the books), those were MUCH better although far from classic level excellent. I read them in the order listed as that was the recommended chronological order. After Carney’s House party were two more Betsy books, but when I picked them up, the quality, Betsy, and probably the contrast of Carney’s House party caused me to opt in disgust not finish those. Emily of Deep Valley, I think, fell before Carney’s House Party, but I’d saved it for last as it was supposed to be the best. It could’ve been but it wasn’t, it failed to live up to the dust jacket description. The pacing was poor on the plot and the depth increasingly shallow even though the subject matter deepens. I still enjoyed it though.
Random note, apparently there are people in the world who can pronounce February with that first “r.” Needless to say, I’m not one of them. I actually had to stop and think when I heard that (on Jeopardy) to make sure I knew how to spell it right, I do, it’s autopilot. Anyway.
Viruses: A Very Short Introduction. I’m going with the medical field to start off my reading through this Oxford University Press collection. A lot of this is beyond me (maybe I should start taking notes) as it’s very detailed, and I’m more, I don’t know big picture? Not cellular level definitely, I’m looking forward to epidemiology, pandemics, etc.
Off the Clock. I loved some of her ideas for memory making, but I have totally different personality (beach bum and rebellious type, lol) and perspective so overall this main points/aim aren’t/isn’t for me.
Thinking with Type. I read this as part of this self-directed “course” in graphic design. It seems rather abstract and esoteric in parts, but I will probably go back to it for the more practical aspects. I’m definitely analog here though, greatly prefer the ancient practice of calligraphy.
The Four Tendencies.
- I’d heard of this before but didn’t look into it very deeply as personality tests/typing can be really obnoxious in their unscientific, unrealistic claims. When MuchelleB mentioned it in one of her videos and mentioned that she was REBEL/Questioner, I thought that sounded like me (this explains why I find so much of her advice/tips so helpful, rather unusual for me), so I read the book. I’m definitely that type.
- I find this framework (it’s not a personality test ) extremely interesting and practically useful. I didn’t however, find it ground-breaking. Also, I’d already known much about my tendencies already, and I didn’t find what I wanted (job advice); actually beyond the initial explanations, I found much of the advice overly-generalized opinions, the Rebel section, especially.
- The author seemed to rely too much of the obvious cultural connotation/stereotypes of Rebels. For example, she mentions obeying speed laws and mentions Questioners and Rebels as resisting this. I don’t, in fact, I’m the strictest person I know on driving, and I know our speeding laws are lax (we have so many road deaths near us in perfectly good weather). But I think my reasons might be different than say her personal Upholder tendencies.
- Also, I think perhaps her being an Upholder affected her view. She seemed to say Upholder’s followed rules because they were rules. I don’t follow petty rules or say-so’s, but I consider morals, ethics, and laws paramount; I don’t even consider them as comparable with “rules.” This is a whole other topic I could chase.
The Slight Edge. I found a lot of good ideas and took notes, but I definitely think that this could’ve been reduced by two-thirds.
Conrad’s Fate. This is the last of the Chrestomanci’s books (that I hadn’t read). Not my favorite (clearly, since I forgot what it was about and had to look on Goodreads).
The Golden Tresses of the Dead. These books have such a fun setting/tone, and there are some hilarious lines in almost all of them, and Flavia is quite a personality. However, I think that there is quite a bit in poor taste in all the books, some more than others. In this one, the mystery and ending was also sub-par compared to the rest.
Veiled Rose. After reading the first of the Tales of Goldstone Woods, I stalled on this the second. I almost didn’t finish it, I skimmed to see if it turned out like I wanted and discovered via the other books that this plot is strung out while new stories and characters were focused on with more and more books. That (and the fact that there was yet ANOTHER book my library didn’t have) killed my interest in the series for a time. I think maybe I will slowly work my way through them. These were surprisingly “good” from a Christian AND homeschool author (my indicators that books are going to be TERRIBLE since everyone in homeschool circles seems to think they are a writer and Christian Fiction is a ludicrously absurdly terrible genre). I don’t think the author should have strung out a series to be this long. I also think that if she worked and reworked her books she could have something of a much higher caliber (I think that is an issue in today’s writing, in part due to the publishing industry, this lack of time and extensive drafting of books and this push to churn out tons of works).
Frederica. I’m still on a Heyer kick, but I’m trying to space them out. Another middle-aged (okay, maybe not that old) rake again. Really, Heyer. The heroine has a brain and personality though (she gives all the on-the-shelf 28-ish ladies personalities and brains).
Sprig Muslin. Not a rake AND they are of close age. However, most of the book focuses on a really obnoxious silly, stupid young girl (the type the old rake usually marries, usually sans the obnoxiousness, that would indicate something of a personality, lol) that the hero has to babysit and that everyone of course thinks is his mistress.
The Story of Us. Adorable
Love, Romance, and Chocolate. Adorable
Hannah’s Law. The has to be one of the dumbest movies Hallmark has ever made. It tried to be a prequel to famous Westerns (just no). And Doc Holliday (see what I mean?) had the worst fake Southern accent I’ve ever heard (also, did such a “courtly” Southern accent, the one he was aiming for, ever exist? I suppose it could’ve, accents have changed so much even in the last 80 years, considering how different people sound in old movies).
The Darkest Hour. I resisted watching this because I wanted a better understanding, but then caved, and asked questions the whole time, and felt that I didn’t get the whole picture/force. I’d prefer to study WWII more in depth. Also, I CANNOT stand historical fiction in movies purporting to display historical fact, and there were a lot of things that didn’t fit in the time period or in the emphasis they gave (the secretary’s role for example and the scene on the train, which was absurdly long). I also though it was a tad melodramatic rather than the appropriate oppressively serious. I’m a bit touchy where the WW’s are concerned, I feel that they’ve been, I don’t know commercialized/glorified/generalized (?) in public consciousness, at least in America and at least the European front (no one in their right mind could glorify the Pacific, but I think it’s been sanitized).
The King’s Speech. This seemed goofy after the above film. Colin Firth wasn’t at a good match for the prince/king (especially compared to the actor in the above), and he’s just not my favorite.
My Man Godfrey. William Powell is brilliant. This is hilarious.
The Big Country. This is definitely more of my style Western, definite moral framework, tons of things to discuss. I wanted to rewatch it again right away, I wish I had.
- Wish Peck could’ve made more of a firm character, I found Heston sexier. Although his standing up to Leech and then that brat Patricia was more of what I wanted, he was too genial about the other things or too quiet or something. The horse thing was foolish (I would say cowardly, he shouldn’t have minded that).
- I appreciate the definite morals but above
- I think Charleston Heston might’ve been the Matthew McConaughey of that period . . . I’ve only seen him in two movies but he’s had a shirtless scene in both.
- Sea Captain? Don’t you filmmakers know that sea captains were as coarse and violent as cowboys, if not worse? Make him an army officer or something, the jokes and jibes and his looks and attitude would’ve made more sense; he was too gentlemanly.
- Don’t understand what McKay and Patricia had, they had no chemistry; pretty obvious that wasn’t going to last. Patricia was a whiny, childish, shallow, vain, selfish, brat only caring for show (which is, gasp, actually cowardice). Not sure why Leech would’ve cared for her either. Patricia and Julie being friends didn’t make sense either.
- Buck is a louse. I also dislike that Leech forced a kiss on Patricia, made him look too much like Buck, but Buck looked like he was going to rape Julie.
- I feel like the feud is never explained, I feel like there needs to be a deeper reason, a woman, a death, or something those men were fighting over.
- I also wasn’t satisfied with the end. What happened to Leech? The main couple just rides off into the sunset without dealing with the wreckage (which granted isn’t their fault, but seems a little callous considering that they are supposed to be the moral characters).
I need to “course correct” (an excellent concept I picked up in The Slight Edge) for this month, so a lot of items are going to be copy and paste from February.
- Get back on track with habits
- Prep meals regularly
- Start facial care routine
- Start a weekly reset habit (Sat/Sun?), get back on track with daily routines
- Double down on the health habits
- Set up tech guards, habits, and sabbaths
- Be aware of needs to be vigilante on my habits (they slip more easily in certain circumstances)
- Work on room
- Have enough to pay 1st quarter’s obligation, a little in emergency fund
- Pay off credit card bill
- Finish paying loan back
- Make a certain minimum amount
- Have a now spend/lowest spend month
- Get a temporary job
- Read 8-9 books, including: 4 nonfiction, 1-2 Classics Club reads, and catch up and keep up on War and Peace on Serial Reader
- 2 major knitting projects and 1-2 small ones
- 2 major sewing projects
- Begin taking mini-adventures/explorations
- Determine next Spanish steps
- Determine next graphic design steps