• Daily Life

    March 2019 Goals Revisited

    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.

    Wellness

    • 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.

    Financial

    • 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.

    Personal Development

    • Read 8-9 books, including: 4 nonfiction, 1-2 Classics Club reads, and catch up and keep up on War and Peace on Serial ReaderPartially, 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.
  • Reading

    Top Ten Tuesday: Things That Make Me Pick Up A Book

    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.

    1. To get and stay off the web
    2. Comfort (escapism, avoidance)
    3. I know I will likely enjoy it (I’ve read other books by the same author)
    4. Curiosity
    5. Procrastination
    6. Contrariness (avoiding other books I think I *should* be reading)
    7. Determination (those books I *should* be reading)
    8. To learn/stay motivated
    9. Because I’ve exhausted my other book options
    10. Because I fell for the hype
  • Daily Life

    Blog Update: All My Old Posts Are Available Now

    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.

  • Reading

    What I Read: March 2019

    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.

  • Reading

    What I Read: February 2019

    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.

    Scholarly Nonfiction
    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.

    Light Nonfiction
    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.

    Light Fiction
    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.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    What I Watched: February 2019

    Hallmark
    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).

    Modern
    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.

    Classics
    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).
  • Daily Life

    March 2019 Goals

    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.

    Wellness

    • 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

    Financial

    • 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

    Personal Development

    • 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
  • Daily Life

    February 2019 Goals: What I Accomplished

    Wellness

    • Build up health habits, maintain other habitsI was especially excellent on keeping up with reading, Spanish, and school. I did start pre-packing some meals (which were healthier), and I ran out of my not-so-healthy snacks towards the end of the month, although that has nothing to do with self-control.
    • Lose 5+ lbs. Ahahaha . . .
    • Start a weekly reset habit (Sat/Sun?), maintain daily routines
    • Get hair cut
    • Buy cosmetic and health items
    • Set up tech guards, habits, and sabbaths
    • Buy some of my self-help books?

    Financial

    • Have enough to pay Jan and Feb’s obligation
    • Pay March’s credit card bill
    • Start paying loan back
    • Work on process of living off last month’s income (minimum account balance and max credit usage). Well, I think I raised my minimum a little, but financially, I was out of control this month, which is my usual, so I really need to work on this.
    • Get a temporary job
    • Pursue other side gig options
    • Put at least 1/3 of earnings towards emergency fund
    • File taxes and put at least 1/3 of refund towards emergency fund
    • Open a 2nd tiny (for now) savings account

    Personal Development

    • 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. I read 10 books, 5 fiction, 5 nonfiction.
    • 2 major knitting projects and 1-2 small ones. No, but I did knit as I added it to my habit chart.
    • 2 major sewing projects
    • Buy planner punch and fun stuff for planner
    • Determine next Spanish steps
    • Determine next graphic design steps
  • Reading

    Top Ten Tuesday February 26: Places Mentioned In Books That I’d Like to Visit

    I want to go to more places from this list, but I’m trying to find ones that have a distinct literary connection for me. Many books are set in places I want to visit, but the books themselves don’t inspire me with their descriptions or lack thereof. And then there are places for which I have no literary connotation, but perhaps a historical or movie or genealogical interest for me instead. Anyway, I just feel that some of my favorite books are all in one place and perhaps books I didn’t like so well had geographic interest (but I can’t remember them). And of course tons places in England will have literary connections for me, but I’m trying to find the ones that match with favorites or have a vivid literary connotation for me.

    1. Yorkshire Dales (James Herriot books)
    2. London (Lord Peter Wimsey novels)
    3. Wales (Rosemary Sutcliff books)
    4. Cornwall (Rosemary Sutcliff and Swift and Nomad)
    5. Hadrian’s Wall and the Antontine wall (Eagle of the Ninth)
    6. Prince Edward Island (L.M. Montgomery novels)
    7. Mackinaw Island (Once on this Island, Girl of the Limberlost)
    8. Switzerland (Little Women, Heidi, Treasures of the Snow)
    9. Egypt (well . . . specifically Ancient Egypt with Sheftu) (Mara, Daughter of the Nile)
    10. New Zealand (closest I can get to Middle Earth) (Lord of the Rings)

     

  • Reading

    What I Read: January 2019

    Rereads

    The Best School Year Ever by Barbara Robinson. I realized when reading this that I’d read this as a child. Funny enough I guess, but maybe not quite as much (nor as endearing) as the Christmas one.

    Popular Nonfiction

    Them: Why We Hate Each Other and How to Heal by Ben Sasse. He can be SO Luddite-sounding, even though he claims not to be. I had trouble with the first part of the book, I think he tries to reach everyone, but I don’t find it accurate, and I don’t think he should be making some of the claims he does without statistics. The end (the actionable part) is far more encouraging (similar to the other book, except that book was mainly actionable). One of the best parts (if not the best) is his highlighting and explaining the difference between civics and politics, something I hold to be highly important.

    The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. This is good for motivation if you are in the right place for it. It could definitely lose some repetitiveness and be made into a booklet.

    The Lost Art of Dress: The Women Who Once Made America Stylish by Linda Przybyszewski. This had interesting information, but quite frankly, I’m not sure what her point ended up being. I think her thesis was that a group of home economics educators played a pivotal role in universal American stylishness in the 1930’s-1950’s, but I find that quite a stretch. She didn’t include readership statistics of their books or participation in their courses. And this was such a small period of American history. Also, most of it wasn’t really a historical treatise but rather focused more on the “Dress Doctors” programs and advice. She doesn’t address the past style of American women for context, nor does she give a reason for the overall lessening of formality (which also applies to Europe, but we declined into outright slobbishness and trends, at least per the average person or fashion site). Also, America is so widely different, even now, you can’t honestly lump everyone together. The rural states had less need and less access to fashion as more urban states with wildly different lifestyles and incomes. She mentions very briefly the divide of the deep South farm girls and the New York city girls, but not very comprehensively. And she focuses so much on urban working women and university women (the later an especially tiny minority) without acknowledging wide differences to or their relative significance to the broader picture.

    Light Fiction

    Fer-de-Lance by Rex Stout. I’m not crazy about these, so many ethical issues.

    Some Buried Caesar by Rex Stout. I decided to try one more, but no.

    The Corinthian by Georgette Heyer. I’d read two Heyer’s before, but while I enjoyed parts, they seemed to drag (also, both were apparently her Georgian novels, this one is Regency, more on that below). I started Regency Buck but couldn’t get into it, and I meant to try again later (I still do, but now our library doesn’t have it anymore). However, this one starts fast and is almost constantly hilarious. My love was dampened by the death and the poor taste response to it though. I gave this four stars.

    The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer. This also starts fast and is hilarious. It also seems deeper and better writing-wise than the above. I gave this four stars. This one is also Regency.

    The Convenient Marriage by Georgette Heyer. Hmm, I wanted to like this (there are some hilarious episodes), but Rule’s adultery. Pointless too, he didn’t care for the woman, he had no reason to be with her, and it’s especially awful that he is trying to woo his wife at. the. same. time. So many layers of NO. Also, as other reviewers pointed out, the heroine is blah. Which is too bad because she starts off so strong. The is Georgian, I could hardly bear the description of the ludicrous Georgian finery and silliness, and I know the period was decadent and immoral (the Regency and the Victorian periods were a reaction to it). One star for the adultery.

    These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer. This is puke. Ugh. The age difference bothered me more here. Heightened by the constant epithet of “mon infant” and her servile, worshipful, constant “Monseigneur”-ing plus her overall worshipful attitude towards His Abominableness. More of the same Georgian decadence and shallowness. If I could give this less than one star and have it mean something, I would. Except heightened especially with being in France. I decided to take a Heyer break for a few weeks after this one.

    Heartless by Anne Elisabeth Stengl. Interesting and fairly unique (to me) fantasy. I disliked the silly, shallow heroine though.

    Gone Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright. Cute middle-grade story. Feels like The Boxcar Children.

    Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn. The residents of an island slowly lose their legal ability to speak. This is funny, although I feel like I probably missed a lot of the jokes.

    The White Stag by Kate Seredy. Um, no, I don’t want a stupid, contrived (felt very copy paste as did the illustrations which were an odd mix of old West, Greco-Roman, and who knows what else), fantasy story about an extremely violent historical person.

    The Awakening of Miss Prim by Natalia Sanmartín Fenollera. Interesting conception in parts, annoyingly stock Darcy/Knightly/Rochester trope. Silly heroine who doesn’t have any believable or developed change, much less awakening. Unexpectedly Christian.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    What I Watched: January 2019

    Once again, Hallmark craze (or just laziness) takes over.

    Hallmarks
    Jingle Around the Clock. Cute except for a period of slanderous jumping to conclusions.
    A Midnight Kiss. He acted, she was non-human. And the writing/plot was dull.
    Winter Castle. Cute.
    One Winter Proposal. Cute. This was a sequel and actually ended up good. It won’t beat the first, but it was decent (my only Hallmark sequels previously, that I can remember, were the awful All of My Heart ones)
    A Winter Princess. Cute.
    Winter Love Story. The girl who plays in this always plays whiny, selfish, bratty, petty idiots. This was no exception.
    Snowcoming. The girl in here is an awful actress and the couple had NO chemistry which is too bad since this had the possibility to be good with better acting and writing, the concept was really sweet.

    Classics
    The Shop Around the Corner. I’d been meaning to watch this, but our library didn’t have it; I watched it on Google Play with a $0.99 deal (I watched You’ve Got Mail and now I need to watch In the Good Old Summertime). Um, I adore watching Jimmy Stuart, he is so handsome (until he aged to ancient in his 40’s!), but man, the girl is this is AWFUL. She’s shallow, petty, cruel, doesn’t look his age, she’s not pretty, yet she is absolutely cruel and snotty and bullying to him about his looks and mind and worth. And he still likes her and wants to be with her?! Definitely disappointing.

  • Daily Life

    February 2019 Goals

    I’m adjusting some of my expectations in light of January and then setting a bit higher standards where I think I can/should.

    Wellness

    • Build up health habits, maintain other habits
    • Lose 5+ lbs
    • Start a weekly reset habit (Sat/Sun?), maintain daily routines
    • Get hair cut
    • Buy cosmetic and health items
    • Set up tech guards, habits, and sabbaths
    • Buy some of my self-help books?

    Financial

    • Have enough to pay Jan and Feb’s obligation
    • Pay March’s credit card bill
    • Start paying loan back
    • Work on process of living off last month’s income (minimum account balance and max credit usage)
    • Get a temporary job
    • Pursue other side gig options
    • Put at least 1/3 of earnings towards emergency fund
    • File taxes and put at least 1/3 of refund towards emergency fund
    • Open a 2nd tiny (for now) savings account

    Personal Development

    • 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
    • Buy planner punch and fun stuff for planner
    • Determine next Spanish steps
    • Determine next graphic design steps