Monday, January 30, 2017

An FBI Interrogation Book Tag from An Odd Blog

I'm not exactly sure of the origin or title, but I got the list of questions here. I love that this list includes some unique questions (e.g. cookbook) and library questions. So much reading is mentioned online but so few library mentions. I LOVE the library. I'm writing this post on 1/7

1.  Favorite childhood book?
I enjoyed the Boxcar children, the American Girl books, and The Little House on the Prairie books plus many of the books from Five in a Row and Beyond Five in a Row (the homeschool curriculum Mom used in our earlier years; I want to use that myself as it helps foster a love of reading).

2.  What are you reading right now?
Today I just finished Liberty's Refuge: The Forgotten Freedom of Assembly by John D. Inazu. Starting off strong! I shouldn't boast, watch me read only the fluffiest fiction the rest of the year. Speaking of, I'm planning on starting The Laughing Cavalier by Emmuska Orczy

3.  What books do you have on request at the library?
~Four Novels: Complete and Unabridged by Ernest Hemingway. I've been "trying" to read Hemingway for awhile now. And by "trying" I mean ordering his books from the library and then reading other, lighter books
~Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator by Ryan Holiday. Apropos well  . . .
~Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy by Thomas Sowell. I need to CLEP economics, but I also need to better my knowledge, period.
~Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
~Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance
~The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines
I also have 3 calligraphy books and a test prep book requested.

4.  Bad book habit?
I will dog ear library books . . . :/

5.  How many books do you have checked out from the library?
20. Blood Feud by Sutcliffe; Liberty's Refuge; Christmas in My Heart (1,3, 5); 84, Charing Cross Road; Barnaby Rudge; Calligraphy 101; a book on my state's history; Confident Pluralism: Surviving and Thriving Through Deep Difference by Inazu; The Core Program: Fifteen Minutes a Day That Can Change Your LifeDaddy-Long-LegsIdylls of the King and a Selection of Poems (because I've been "trying" to delve into poetry reading); Jayber CrowLetters from Father Christmas by Tolkien; Pioneer Girl: The Annotated AutobiographyThe Secret Keepers by Trenton Lee Stewart; Simply Calligraphy; and The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender.

6.  Do you have an e-reader?
I have a Kindle app on my computer which I use infrequently.

7.  Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?
It depends. Sometimes I will have several started but get absorbed in one. Sometimes, I won't have any going.

8.  Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
I've found more to read.

9.  Favorite book you've read this year?
I'm going to choose from last year. As usual I have several favorites. I'm proud of my nonfiction: Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America. This book is so data packed and interesting plus almost 1,000 pages! As far as fiction I enjoyed Rosemary Sutcliffe's Dawn Wind and Frontier Wolf; L. M. Montgomery's Magic for Marigold, A Tangled Web (hilarious), and Jane of Lantern Hill; Natalie Lloyd's A Key to Extraordinary (I liked it better than her first book; I think that is often unusual); and Anthony Doerr's All the Light We Cannot See (emotionally exhausting).

10.  Favorite place to read?
My bed

11.  What is your policy on book-lending?
I hate it, and I will remember.

12.  Do you ever dog-ear books?
See #4

13.  Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
No, I don't usually write in them, but I want to start writing in the front the dates of when I've read and reread the book like my grandmother does.

14.  Do you break/crack the spine of your book?
On purpose? No, but my paperback of Jane Austen novels broke, so I just separated the halves. I will be using that paper, once I finish my rereads, to make garlands and such.

15.  What is your favorite language to read in?
English. I would like to learn French to reread Villette and understand everything. Actually, French would help for any older novel that includes a few phrases (Villette included more than a few). But I'm going to focus on becoming fluent in Spanish in the near future.

16.  What will inspire you to recommend a book?
If I loved it.

17.  Favorite genre?
Classic and homespun romance (whether technically considered a romance or merely mainly about a love story) like Blue Castle and Laddie. Juvenile fiction about everyday life or fantasy or both like The Penderwicks for the first, 100 Cupboards for the middle, and Harry Potter for the last. Fantasy like the Faerie Rebel trilogy and Swift and Nomad duo. Historical fiction if brilliantly done like Sutcliffe novels, The Book Thief, and All the Light We Cannot See. Mystery when wittily done like the Lord Peter Wimsey novels and Sherlock Holme's stories.

18.  Genre [author] you rarely read but wish you did?
I think I could read more historical fiction.

19.  Favorite (auto)biography?
I have problems with pop nonfiction as well as pop fiction, but Roald Dahl's Solo is not a pop autobiography.

20.  Favorite cookbook?
Grandma's German Cookbook

21.  Most inspirational book you've read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?
Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America.

22.  Favorite reading snack?
Good chocolate like Dove or Ghirardelli and whole milk to drink.

23.  Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.
I try to avoid hyped books. Formal reviews ruin experiences for me whether good or bad.

24.  How often do you agree with critics about a book?
See #23.

25.  How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
See #23.

26.  If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you choose?
French, see #15.

27.  Favorite fictional character?
That is so hard to choose. I will pick some couples to do both boy and girl. Valancy and Barney from Blue Castle. Rudy and Liesel. Martin and Ivy.

28.  Favorite fictional villain?
I like conflicted ones. Martin from The Faerie Rebels trilogy and Swift duo. Draco Malfoy. Probably others.

29.  The longest you've gone without reading?
During my teen years I hardly read, I merely skimmed. I had a reading (OCD) "crisis" around 14 in which I "determined" I didn't know if I was reading every word silently, so I had to read every word aloud (I think my siblings may have sarcastically remarked about me or another sister having to read every period). Naturally, that put a damper on reading. Yes, I'm nuts.

30.  Favorite film adaptation of a novel?
I'm going to pick The Inheritance because its far better than the book.

31.  Most disappointing film adaptation?
All of them except the above?

32.  The most money [you've] ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
Probably over $100. At Half-Price. I'm trying to curb my book ownership, focusing on hardbacks and reference books and utilizing the library.

33.  Do you like to keep your books organized?
Yes. The nonfiction (I have more of these) is organized generally by category and my fiction is organized alphabetically by author.

34.  Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you've read them?
I try to avoid buying books I haven't read, and to focus on books I love. I gave some paperbacks to my sisters when I decided to focus on hardbacks.

35.  Are there any books you've been avoiding?
Heavy classics like War and Peace and scary classics like Dracula.

36.  A book that you didn't expect to like but did?
There have been books I've been uncertain about liking. I dismissed the Harry Potter books when my sister was reading them because I thought they were probably silly (I was the silly one). Previously of course, like every homeschooler at one point, I had thought that they were bad.

~~~~~~~
That was fun

I need to remember to do this as its annoying to have to copy and paste and then delete the other person's answers . . . but then I format the same way!
1.  Favorite childhood book?  
2.  What are you reading right now?  
3.  What books do you have on request at the library?  
4.  Bad book habit?
5.  How many books do you have checked out from the library? 
6.  Do you have an e-reader? 
7.  Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once? 
8.  Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?  
9.  Favorite book you've read this year? 
10.  Favorite place to read?  
11.  What is your policy on book-lending? 
12.  Do you ever dog-ear books?  
13.  Do you ever write in the margins of your books?  
14.  Do you break/crack the spine of your book? 
15.  What is your favorite language to read in?  
16.  What will inspire you to recommend a book?  
17.  Favorite genre?  
18.  Genre [author] you rarely read but wish you did?  
19.  Favorite biography?  
20.  Favorite cookbook?  
21.  Most inspirational book you've read this year (fiction or non-fiction)? 
22.  Favorite reading snack?  
23.  Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.  
24.  How often do you agree with critics about a book? 
25.  How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?  
26.  If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you choose? 
27.  Favorite fictional character?
28.  Favorite fictional villain?  
29.  The longest you've gone without reading? 
30.  Favorite film adaptation of a novel?  
31.  Most disappointing film adaptation?  
32.  The most money [you've] ever spent in the bookstore at one time? 
33.  Do you like to keep your books organized?  
34.  Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you've read them? 
35.  Are there any books you've been avoiding?  
36.  A book that you didn't expect to like but did?  

Friday, January 27, 2017

Vlogs

Here are some of my favorite YouTube videos over the last few months. Some of them literally make me scream with laughter. Most large YouTubers don't deserve any attention, and some small ones could use a little more. I know a lot of these are spoofs or spinoffs of famous ones (those get enough attention and are sometimes too ironic to swallow).

Adler Davidson
YouTube existential crisis
Internet Famous
Response Video (my favorite . . . partially because the condescension and sanctimoniousness of original video made me want to puke)

Blimey Cow. They get better and better. They have actual talent, I think. The channel is like the Onion.
I Hate You 2016
Extroverts Are People Too
How to Deal with Annoying Family During the Holidays
And of course You Might Be a Homeschooler If 8
Why You Absolutely 100% Must Vote (Seriously)

StudioC
The Game of Life IRL

John B. Crist
How Christian Music is Made The poke at country was funny, too.
Get Offended
Every Family Christmas Photoshoot
Millennial International

An unlikely source of humor, especially self-deprecating humor.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Everyday Knitting Project Photo Dump

December 8, 2016: All of these I finished well before Christmas, but I am in the midst of Christmas posting and don't want to lump that many together, so the Christmas ones will be first.


I knitted this L'Enveloppe for Mom. I want to knit one for me, but I'm very particular about what type and color of yarn I want.


I knitted this Standing Stones Cowl for me. I got it as an e-book with another cowl with a discount provided to readers of Ginny Shellar's blog.


I used a garter ridge chevron stitch from a knitting book in the round for this cowl that was a birthday gift.


This is another birthday gift, and I think that it is cute, but don't buy any pattern for it. I bought a pattern (and I think there was a cheaper pattern!) for this because I thought the top is knit in the round and was more intricate than it was. Don't buy, you can figure out how to make it yourself; I should've known that because so many posted the same pattern. The top is a diagonal garter ridge or diagonal rib rectangle that you seam and gather. I bet you could knit it in the round in some way and have more professional finish (you need the cherry to cover the heavily gathered top in this case). I shouldn't have had to pay $5 for that; its legal to charge, but its unethical. I should have known better; I feel cheated. 

I've had copyrights and patents in two classes this semester (after the first I went through and removed all photos that weren't mine from the blog). Any work is automatically copyrighted, but what that means is that the actual physical work or wording cannot be copied; the design or idea or pose or plot can be (can you imagine how few books there would be otherwise? lol). So the physical pattern cannot be scanned, typed out, etc. So, a person's particular rendering of an unorignal idea is protected but not the idea. For good reason, many ideas aren't that unique and could be created by many people simultaneously. Like this one.

Patents are far more serious; they are to protect serious innovation. Patents have many requirements and must be registered. I highly doubt any knitting pattern will be patented (I don't know if any would even qualify) and any detailed, original design will be super hard to copy anyway. And no patent would ever protect something as unorignal as this. 

I didn't want to pay for the Holden pattern because it wasn't original enough in my mind (it isn't), but I couldn't find the plain pattern stitch (I did find a scarf with it) until after I purchased it, and figuring out the pattern stitch for a shawl is beyond my interest-skill balance (actually, it might not be that hard), so I am less dissatisfied with that purchase, but I need to be careful. Most patterns are around $5 and you can buy a book with several liked patterns for less than a few Ravelry patterns. And many of the patterns for sale aren't intricate enough even in books and knitting magazines to be worthy of a purchase. Make sure you look really hard for free and try it yourself if it isn't a complicated pattern or you could spend a ton of money for little creativity. Only really intricate lace designs or unique patterns (like the first listed) are really worth it. Others are somewhat worth it if they do a lot of the calculations for you or you could not find the stitches (like the first cowl).

Monday, January 16, 2017

What's in My Purse (Right Now)


As of 1/7 this is most of what is in my purse. I love my J. Crew magic wallet that I bought on ebay last year. The bottle you cannot read is natural hand sanitizer; I need to remember to use it.

The content of my purse changes and in summer I have sunglasses. I'd like to have a small beauty bag, a small comb, a tissue compact, a Swiss card or knife, and a first aid kit. I probably should carry a small bottle of SPF. I probably could minimize the sewing kit. I'd like a new umbrella.


For that amount of stuff my purse is rather large. I like to have plenty of room to stuff my bullet journal, books, and etc. as I need. I bought this B. Makowsky purse at Clothes Mentor for $30 around 2 years ago. I love it.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Winter Bucket List

~Make shimmery snowflake garland with silver thread. Surely I can manage this.
~Bake several goodies. I've a couple baking books plus tons of bookmarks.
~Try some hot chocolate recipes. I'd really like to try some of the gourmet ones I've saved.
~Cook through a cookbook. This one; I love it.
~Read well. I want to be well on my way to my goal. I already am I think, but pride before the fall, lol.
~Learn to play Scotland Yard (if not also Mr. X, Whist, and Bridge).
~Work on music category. Learning, appreciating, etc.
~Begin serious genealogy. I can do plenty to prep before I pay I think.
~Wedding projects and purchases (by March 30). I haven't got my dress and want to keep my eye out but not become to delayed.
~Have some spa days. I'd like to use up some products plus try a few recipes.
~Go ice skating. We'll see.
~Complete Duolingo Spanish. Since I'm down to learning one language, this is reasonable.
~Watch a bunch of movies from my list. I just need to order a bunch from the library and this should be easy.
~Alter my sister's bridesmaid dress. We all get to pick our dresses; they have to be short and blue or gray, so my three little sisters have theirs. The one I need to alter is a sheath, and I will be taking in the darts.
~Complete tons of knitting and a few sewing projects
~Work on my art journal. I've done a bit with my amazing new calligraphy pens, but I need to be more creative in my entries.
~Complete some art via classes. (Craftsy, Creativebug, and several YouTube channels).

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Christmas Bucket List Completion

~Gingerbread house. I showed photos earlier. It was super cute and tasty even though it wasn't durable.
~Christmas Cookie exchange. I made these Peppermint Meltaway Cookies.
~Watch Christmas singalong. We watched the two from our childhood.
~Try a Couple hot chocolate variations. Nope, I just put extract in mine but didn't try any of my pinned recipes. I can put this on my winter bucket list though.
~Bake a fruitcake for Mamau and Papau. Yes, but I would've preferred to have rum to use to make it more flavorful and authentic.
~Make truffles for Christmas Eve. Didn't have the chocolate or the time.
~Bake some Christmasy goodies. Didn't have much time or inclination for more.
~Make shimmery snowflakes for room. Not yet. I'm going to move this to my January bucket list.
~12 Days of Christmas blogging. I'm going to give myself credit. I blogged quite a bit about Christmas; I think this may have been too restrictive.
~Buy, make, and wrap all gifts by the 21st. This didn't happen. I wrapped a Christmas Eve gift on Christmas Eve and a Christmas gift on Christmas (although we celebrated it Monday).
~Read Christmas stories. I read Christmas with Anne and one story from the third collection of Christmas from the Heart.
~Watch a couple of old Christmas movies. White Christmas and Its a Wonderful Life.
~Watch tons of Hallmark. Of course although I think I may take a break if possible next year.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Books I Reread in 2016

I just started rereading the Jane Austen novels in December, and I'm planning on rereading Book Thief since I received a lovely copy for Christmas. After watching the movies with the girls in December, I thought about rereading Harry Potter, but I might still push on for 2018 (too much rereading and rewatching too close makes me annoyed about old favorites). I've got plenty more on my reread list if I need any certain enjoyable reads.

I reread 26 books (this is a lot for me), half of my new total, so I read 78 books total this year. I'm for quality over quantity, but I had time for more.

100 Cupboards
Anne of Avonlea
Anne of Green Gables
Anne of Ingleside
Anne of the Island
Anne of Windy Poplars
Anne’s House of Dreams
Chestnut King
Dandelion Fire
Eight Cousins
Emily Climbs
Emily of New Moon
Emma
Jo’s Boys
Keeper of the Bees
Little Men
Little Women
North and South
Old Fashioned Girl
Rainbow Valley
Rilla of Ingleside
Rose in Bloom
The Fellowship of the Ring
The Return of the King
The Two Towers
The Westing Game

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Movies I Watched in 2016

This doesn't include rewatches.

Recently Released (2015-2016)
Bridge of Spies. Thrilling, provokes some intellectual thought, and Tom Hanks is brilliant.
Brooklyn. Cute, but Tony really makes the movie, everything else is rather bland (except Domhnall Gleeson).
Captain American: Civil War
Guardians of the Galaxy
Star Wars: Episode VII. I was too gullible in thinking highly of this; STAR WARS FANS liked it, and I don't fall into that category. That being said, I will still probably watch the whole series, old, middle, and new.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
The Martian. Watched because Dad wanted us too; another one of those interesting plot but overall ridiculous, crude, poorly acted, etc.
The Mockingjay Part Two. Way to give as little Peeta and Katniss romance as possible, people.
Zootopia. The PC and message here were so absurd and suBtle it was hard to completely enjoy this.

Recent Decades
Belle. Overly modern and fanciful in some aspects, but perfectly correct in the idea that people know exactly when they are doing wrong. And wow, the love story.
Big Hero Six. Animated movies shouldn't be sad :(
Bridge to Terebithia. So sweet.
Leap Year. Hilarious.
Megamind
Polar Express
The Phantom of the Opera. I think I watched the movie for the first time this year, but I'm not absolutely sure.
Tuck Everlasting. Hello, from Miss Flakey, but Jesse sounded like such a pipsqueak which is unfortunate because he is so adorable. And we didn't appreciate the attempted "deepness" of the story.  Boring, selfish, stifled, pragmatism. Just go with Jesse. We all said we would've.

Classic Hollywood
A Penny Serenade
An Affair to Remember
Annie Get Your Gun. Stupid. Howard Keel is so far above everyone else in this film in talent its absurd.
His Girl Friday
How to Steal a Million. I cannot overstate how good this is. An amazing about of quotable lines.
I Was a Male War Bride. This was in the set Mom got me for my birthday. Its really raunchy and suggestive although quite funny. And one of her outfits (nightgown) is extremely immodest (worse than some modern things). I'm always rather shocked at how raunchy and immodest old movies are sometimes. I think we've blinded ourselves. We shouldn't be shocked at how the 60's turned out; culture trails Hollywood.
Little Men
Made for Each Other
State Fair
The Snows of Kilimanjaro

Other
Lonesome Dove. Skipped parts and didn't finish and should've stopped sooner and wouldn't recommend based on violence and general immorality and moral murkiness (that is the best that can be said of the so-called "good guys" and its probably too good).

~~~~~~~~~~~

I can keep track of my books via Goodread, but movies are harder. This list is from my blog and memory and are mostly from the last half of the year, so if I watched any early in the year and didn't blog, well, they are forgotten (and those from my early January 2016 post I most likely watched most or all of them 2015). All but two of the classic Hollywood I watched when I had Amazon Prime briefly, so that accounts for a considerable portion of my movie viewing which seems larger than normal. I reviewed most of the oldies and will add a few notes to this list.

I didn't go to the movie theatre once in 2016.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Books I Read in 2016 and Reading Plans for 2017

I LOVE Goodreads "Your Year in Books." Is this new? I read 52 books and 15,278 pages. Per usual, I waited until the end of the year to set a challenge in order to see how much I read, and of course I set far more than I could actually finish at that point. With my openness of time and how much I wasted on the Internet, I could have fit many more scholarly books and fiction.

Only four of my books were nonfiction. So much for my loft goals. Actually, though I'm proud of that two of those books were scholarly monographs of almost 1,000 pages. And I think that I've truly adjusted my motivation to fit in a more intensive nonfiction list this year. I've kept my lists from last year and will use them as a guide, but I work better with greater flexibility, so my plans are to double down on scholarly nonfiction, Christian nonfiction I own or Mom recommends (i.e. Sunday reading) although I want to be careful just because it is Christian and/or nonfiction doesn't make it meaty or helpful or good (looking at you Amazing Grace), and quality fiction.

As far as new fiction, I've had a pretty mediocre year; I wasn't super thrilled with a lot of this, and I need to work on learning to ascertain quality, quickly and working to finish harder classics that are worthwhile . . . The Way We Live Now doesn't qualify.

Fiction
A Light in the Window
A Little Taste of Poison
A Pocket Full of Murder
A Tangled Web
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
All the Light We Cannot See
At Home in Mitford
Ballet Shoes
Black Fox of Lorne
Christmas with Anne
Code Name Verity
Dawn Wind
Early Candlelight
Fahrenheit 451
Frontier Wolf
Gathering Blue
I Am the Messenger
Jane of Lantern Hill
Magic for Marigold
Messenger
Mississippi Bridge
Out of the Silent Planet
Outlaws of Time: The Legend of Sam Miracle
Rainbow Garden
Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry
Silver in the Blood
Son
Song of the Trees
Star of Light
Stiff Upper Lip Jeeves
Summer of My German Soldier
Sunshine Sketches of a Small Town
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Blythes are Quoted
The Friendship
The Key to Extraordinary
The Light Beyond the Forest
The Magician’s Elephant
The Making of a Marchioness
The Outsiders
The Secret at Pheasant Cottage
The Tanglewoods’ Secret
The Tatooed Potato and Other Clues
The Vicar of Wakefield
The Way We Live Now
The Wind in the Willows
Thimble Summer
Winter

Nonfiction
Albion’s Seed
Going Solo
Native American Testimony
The Saltwater Frontier




Friday, January 6, 2017

Christmas Gifts

I got two pretty bowls from the $5 exchange and "I Love This Yarn" (I exchanged the acrylic for cotton; she thought the brand was all cotton, I think. I love that Hobby Lobby carries this nice feeling cotton with tons of colors) from Mom on Christmas Eve. This was on my list.

On Christmas Day from my parents I received Ghirardelli dark chocolate and caramel bar, two oranges, gloves, leggings, fuzzy socks (with aloe inside), a purse (the lady from church who made it said she could exchange, because she forgot I liked the bottom of the purse unpinched, so I will be getting a different purse later), a sweatshirt, and a nice seam ripper that can be sharpened or have the head replaced as needed.

My future BIL drew my name and got me 2 Piano Guys C.D.s (E gave him my list).

Mamau and Papau bought me a copy of The Book Thief, a sewing book, a necklace and earrings set, and a left-handed calligraphy set with five nibs and four colors of ink. All but the jewelry was from my list! I LOVE the pens; that slant makes a HUGE difference in my ability to make the proper strokes.

Wow, I love gift lists. I got a nice mix of gifts from my list and other. I think that everyone liked what I gave them too although I don't know what E's boy thinks; he's hard to read, all things considered, I think I did a good job.







Thursday, January 5, 2017

Christmas Knitting

I forgot to take a photo of the $1 gift; it was a cream version of the twist headband in this post. The beret is this pattern, and I love it as it looks like a real beret instead of a beanie when worn. I'm going to use it as a base for all other berets I make because it is the only true beret I've done. Also, I blocked it with the opening on the bottom of the plate and drew it up tighter with yarn stitched around, and this may have helped with the shape a bit. I think that mine looked better than the photos on the pattern page, so don't be worried to try it.

The pink shawl is my third Holden, and my first attempt at knitting with beads (I improvising the number and placement). The photos do not do the crystals justice. This was for my grandmother.

The L'Enveloppe was for my sister, and I didn't do the decreases correct (I think the seed stitch version instructions were confusing, if not wrong in keeping the pattern, so I improvised it to my detriment), so it is far longer than the pattern. Now, because of the asymmetrical nature, I don't think it looks wrong, but I thought I would note this for anyone who might try the pattern.






Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Goals for 2017

I'm not great with specific lists, especially when they are not essential. I have 6 main goals for this year. Obviously some of these will include specifics, but I don't want to focus on the specifics as the goal since I tend to get lost with that.

1. Eliminate excess. I took about a week Internet and technology break. I need to manage my usage better and take breaks more often. I’ve cut down on stuff, but I need to maintain a simpler amount. I need to narrow my focus on a few hobbies and interests.

2. Improve health and wellness.

3. Improve reading habits.

4. Create more. I need to just do things instead of plan. My streamlining goal will hopefully help me focus.

5. Aim for success in my life plans.

6. Work on self-education and research. Again, streamlining should help here. I previously had four languages on Duolingo; I’d like to aim at learning Spanish.


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Christmas Movies and Books

In addition to watching Hallmark movies (more on that later), we re-watched a lot of childhood favorites plus some old classics. I've seen all of these before (although A Charlie Brown Christmas only once and didn't remember it well) except Polar Express. I had few more new to us movies from the library but couldn't motivate anyone to watch them with me before they were due back.

Christmas Sing Along. I hardly paid attention once I realized it wasn't the one I thought.

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Sing Along. I enjoyed this; its quite short to an adult. I thought it lasted forever as a child.

Polar Express. We didn't even finish this as we were so bored. It was both weird and boring. I'm not ever sure I've been that bored.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Frosty. As cute as always.

Its a Wonderful Life. I liked it better this time around, but I still don't greatly enjoy it, especially as a Christmas movie since it has SO much angst.

White Christmas. Still waiting on Holiday Inn from the library. I'm thinking I will still prefer White Christmas.

Hallmark was rather a disappointment this year. We only had the second channel temporarily, so we didn't get to see to many old favorites (they've seemingly moved most of them over to that channel). And most of the movies didn't get a super high rating from us except A Perfect Christmas. A Nutcracker Christmas, Christmas Cookies, and Finding Father Christmas were cute in my opinion (the latter is on the second channel) but nothing like our favorites.

I didn't do much Christmas reading because I ordered so late. I read Christmas with Anne, marking down food references: turkey, plum pudding, and mince pie featured in almost all the stories, and nuts, candies, taffy, and fruitcake made a couple appearances and raisin pudding at least one appearances. This seems so 19th century and British and Canadian. Only fruitcake is familiar to me (in name, we don't usually have it). We have turkey at Thanksgiving and ham or beef at Christmas and Christmas Eve.

I read one prosy, sententious story from Christmas from the Heart three. I haven't been inspired to read more. I have Letters from Father Christmas from the library now, but I might just wait until next year.