Tag Archives: reading

Weekly roundup: staycation edition

19 Aug

Last week, I had a staycation. I took the week off from BOTH jobs – haven’t done that in the four years I’ve been working two jobs. My goal was to not be a sloth and just sit on the couch all day every day. I wanted to be deliberate in what I did each day. I also wanted to try to break my TV habit.

I set out a plan of things I would do every day: Run, yoga, read, knit, and dance practice. Then I figured out the other things I wanted to do. Because I’m nerdy, I made a list.


So what did I do?

*I ran four out of five days. Including my first two-mile run without walking since I broke my foot!

*I did yoga four out of five days.

*I read. A lot. All I have left on my reading to-do list is finish “A Passage to India” and reread “Anna Karenina”.

*I purged. Took a bag of books and bag of CDs and DVDs to Half Price Books and made $30 on it all!

*I packed. My parents and nephew came over on Wednesday morning and helped. My mom packed my kitchen, because she ROCKS at that. My nephew (with some help from my dad) hauled everything out of the basement for me. I was afraid to do that because hauling my bike out of the basement is how I broke my foot.


*I finished packing everything I own except my clothes, my bathroom stuff, and my furniture. This is everything:


I’m trying to decide if that’s still a lot of crap or if it’s a minimal amount of stuff to own.

*I practice my school figures for dance. A LOT. Sometimes I went to the studio, sometimes I did them at home. But I practiced. Four dances down, six to go! (Six? Seven? I can’t remember. That’s my teacher’s job.)

*I listened to podcasts. I was so far behind on mine. I added it up (again, because I’m a nerd), and it was about 20 hours of podcasts. I still have 3 hours left. But I used the podcasts instead of the TV all week – yay!

*I caught up on Game of Thrones. I had watched season one on Netflix. A very kind friend gave me her HBO log on so I could watch the rest. And I did. OK, so I did watch some TV.

*I knitted. Again, I’m up against a deadline, so I’m frantically trying to finish this. I’ll show you it when it’s done. But I made great progress on it!

*I did some strength training on two days.

*I biked. Twice for fun, but four or five times as a mode of transportation around the neighborhood. I biked to meet friends, I biked to the studio, I biked to the co-op.

*I had breakfast with LS, lunch with NA, dinner with MK.

*I purge my closet and took a garbage bag full clothes and shoes to Goodwill.

*I refinished some toddler chairs I had.


*I did NOT look at my work email. Not once. I kept the notifications on, so I could see if anything came through that needed my attention. But nothing looked like it did, so I didn’t open it ONCE. Proof:


Yep, 88 unread messages. Sweet. Only about 30 of those are ones I had to deal with when I got back today. Thank you, awesome boss man, for dealing with the rest! I know it’ll be payback when he’s gone for two weeks next month.

*I lost three pounds!

*I got a cold. After all that, a summer cold showed up Wednesday night. Luckily it’s a minor one, so I feel OK. Just a little coughy.

All in all, it was a great week. I feel refreshed and rested and ready to resume my crazy schedule!

Blogging challenge, day 10

11 Aug

August blogging challenge, day 10: Opening lines from five favorite books

Ooh, I love books! Here are my favorites.

1. “It wasn’t a very likely place for disappearances, at least at first glance.” Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon

2. “To the red country and part of the gray country of Oklahoma, the last rains came gently, and they did not cut the scarred earth.” The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck

3. “Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were.” Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell

4. “Mr Sherlock Holmes, who was usually very late in the mornings, save upon those not infrequent occasions when he was up all night, was seated at the breakfast table.” The Hound of the Baskervilles, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

5. “The invitation came on a Saturday morning, just in time to wreck my weekend.” Asking for Trouble, by Elizabeth Young

Weekly roundup

15 Apr

Last week, I…

*Had dance lessons with a different teacher while mine was on vacation. It’s always interesting to work with another teacher. But it makes me appreciate how well my regular teacher and me work together. Not that the exchange lessons weren’t great – they were, just not as great as my regular lessons.

*Started dog-sitting for a friend of mine. My two companions:

bailey      meg

More on our adventures soon.

*Practiced at the studio again with my friend SH. I really enjoy that. It’s like having a workout buddy. But for dancing. But it’s not a dance partner. You know what I mean.

*Wondered what I should be writing about on my blog.

*Watched “The Count of Monte Cristo” with my book club. We had just read it for book club, so we watched the movie as a group. That was fun! We’re reading “The Great Gatsby” for this month, so maybe we’ll watch that when the new movie version comes out in May.

*Went for frozen yogurt with SP because it’s spring. Kinda. Because this is totally a spring forecast:

I don’t know why it says Mendota Heights when I’m in St Paul.

No? Oh well. It is what it is. I want it to get warmer just so people stop complaining ALL THE TIME about the weather.

*Worked out A LOT. Which felt great. And tiring.

All in all, a pretty awesome week!

Weekly roundup

2 Apr

In the last two (sheesh, I’m behind) weeks, I…

*FINALLY shared some of the amazing recipes I’ve made lately, including a super one for homemade peanut cups.


My friend LG read about them and tried them the very next day and loved them.

*Had a book club meeting where we finished “The Count of Monte Cristo”. It was a loonnnnggg book, and I had the abridged version (by mistake.) I’d like to go back and read the full version someday because I do feel like I missed some details. Someday.

*Went for coffee with my niece LB who was home from college for spring break. So fun to see her!

*Enjoyed a very lovely day off, including a long run outside. Well, long for me…about 2 miles. Slow (about 10:45 per mile), but still, I ran them all!

*Was all fancy and had dinner with my friend SH at a private club in St Paul. So posh.

*Saw the hand surgeon about my wrist. Surgery is scheduled for the end of May.

*Had dinner with my friend SP. And we tried a fantastic place for dessert. SO GOOD. And I could feel the diabetes setting in just walking in the door.

*Practiced at the studio. I do dance homework at home, but some things you just need the studio space for. But I hate practicing at the studio. Which is silly and ridiculous but true. My friend SH feels the exact same way, except I don’t think she practices at home. So we made a pact to meet at the studio once a week to practice. We did it last week for the first time, and it was great. Like having a workout buddy but with dance.

*Caught up with the fabulous KB over coffee. Alas, it was way too short – we didn’t cover everything!

*Took a knitting class with DF. It was great because she had never knit, and I learned some basic things (cough cough cast-on) that I never really learned properly.

*Had Easter dinner with the family.

Weekly roundup

18 Mar

Last week, I…

*Got a Kindle Fire!


And it’s awesome.

*Went to the doctor and learned I need to have hand surgery soon to remove a cyst on my wrist. Luckily it shouldn’t interfere with my life too much. But still annoying. I find out more next week.

*Waged war on the mice.


Cotton balls with peppermint oil on them in tea defusers. And dryer sheets. Our house smelled like peppermint linen for a while. Then the smell dissipated, and we saw signs of the mice again. So more peppermint oil, more dryer sheets, and refresh both more often.

*Had dinner with MH and heard about her amazing trip to Belize.

*Saw “Searching for Sugar Man” with SP. It is a great movie – well deserving of the Oscar it received. Go see it. And then go listen to the music.

*Made these…


More on those soon!

*Finished “The Great Gatsby” for book club.

New technology

13 Mar

Every year, I get a tax refund. I plan it that way. My friend DP is appalled by that. He firmly believes that you shouldn’t pay more than you owe. Ever. I get that it’s my money and that I’m lending it to the government for free. But really, if I saved that money, what kind of interest would I really be earning? Even if interest rates were good, I’d still want a refund. To me, it’s like bonus money.

This year, I’m being responsible with most of it. But I did take some of it and get something I’ve wanted for a long time.

A Kindle Fire!!

I’m writing this post on the WordPress app on it right now. It’s not easy as a computer, but it’s pretty handy. Plus I’ve already started reading a book on it over lunch, which was great. I love the portability of it. So much easier than a big book!

So I’m excited. I think this is going to be great, especially if I have downtime at the studio and over lunch. This was a good buy for me.

Even if it means the government got my money for free last year.

Daily prompt: Call me Ishmael

6 Jan

“Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were.”

Who wouldn’t want that? I would love to be so captivating and charming that men don’t realize I’m not beautiful. And not even just men. I think it’d be great if people in general found me so interesting and charming and captivating. Sometimes I feel less than average – that I’m not special enough to be remembered. (This is sometimes reinforced by the fact that people sometimes don’t remember meeting me.) So I’ve always been fascinated by that description of a captivating woman.

“Gone with the Wind” is one of my favorite books. The movie is excellent, but the book is so much better. I think I was about 13 when I read it for the first time. And I’ve been hooked on it ever since. I’ve reread it so many times, the dust cover completely wore out.


(Yesterday’s daily prompt: Take the first sentence from your favorite book and make it the first sentence of your post.)

Riot & Frolic presents 91 books to make you smarter

17 Oct

You’ve all heard me talk about my friend’s blog Riot and Frolic. I actually followed her blog before we became friends because I love it so much – it’s an amazing and funny blog. Go check it out. And then come back here. I’ll wait…

Oh good, you’re back. Today she posted about books. I love to read, and I thought her list was awesome (other than the clear mistake of not including Crime and Punishment or Grapes of Wrath). So here, with her permission, is her blog post…


I’m getting dumber.  It’s a fact.  I use my computer and my smart phone too much, so my handwriting is deteriorating along with my spelling ability.  I spend a lot of time talking to people with a very limited vocabulary (because they’re under the age of 5).

I decided to compile a list of “CLASSIC BOOKS!!!” (use your moviefone voice).  Like those ones that I never read in middle school and high school that I was probably supposed to.

Taking suggestions from The Modern Library, The World Library, Time Magazine, The Guardian, some slightly random advice from Divine Caroline, and a trusty Facebook poll, I narrowed down a quite epic number to 91 books that are guaranteed to make me smarter.


Rules for the list, in case you are appalled that Tale of Two Cities or Twilight isn’t included:

  • I had to have heard of either of the book or the author.
  • Either the book or author had to be mentioned on 2 or more of the above-mentioned catalogs.
  • No author could have two entries (because Dickens and Shakespeare and Tolstoy make up like 20).

Here’s what I got…



Rules for the reading list:

  • No fair checking off ones you read 5, 10, or 20 years ago.
  • Reading real books is more fun, but many of them are free on iBooks, Kindle, Nook, and the like.
  • Pick up whatever looks interesting and START READING.

Weekly roundup

10 Sep

Last week, I…

*Celebrated the Labor Day holiday with lunch with LS. I love spending time with my friends and talking. So fun and just makes my soul feel better.

*Finished my crafty projects. More on one of them later. The other is a gift, so I have to wait to tell all of you until I give it.

*Continued my progress in my attitude about dance. I’m really starting to enjoy it again – a lot.

*Was the recipient of the best regift EVER.

Jealous, aren’t you? I know. I would be too.

*Made fabulous gluten-free brownies that were so good, they tasted like full-gluten brownies.

*Had dinner with MH. More spending time with friends and relaxing.

*Ran the Warrior Dash and completed every obstacle except the two involving heights. And I ran it in 45:32.35. Not bad for a 5K and for my first race!

*Had one of the most relaxing, enjoyable Sunday mornings ever.

Coffee, the crossword, a good book, and coffee cake as a treat. Ahhhh.

Saturday full of stuff

18 Aug

Today was a great day…but very tiring.

I started with an hour of reading. Just reading. In a quiet house. No other distractions, no obligations, just reading. I had things I wanted to do but I didn’t want to wake up my roommates. So instead I read. Which was so good for me. I haven’t really taken the time to do that in a while. And I love to read. Plus, I had this awesome book waiting for me to crack its cover:

I’m about 1/3 of the way through now, and it’s as good as I was hoping it would be. No, actually, it’s better.

Then I went to a yoga class with my friend KB. We’ve been trying to find time to go together to one, and our schedules just never seem to line up well. But today was the day! Corepower Yoga has a free week, so I signed up for that. We did the beginners class. KB has been doing yoga for a while now, so I was worried about keeping up with her. Not keeping up exactly, but I didn’t want to shame myself about how far ahead she (and the rest of the class) was. Turns out, I kept up pretty well! KB is far more flexible than I am, but I did all the poses and only had to cheat on a few of them. I’m sorry, not cheat…modify. Whatever.

The only sucky thing was that yoga apparently needs to be done in a warm room. This wasn’t hot yoga, which I guess is in a room like 105 degrees. But it was 85 degrees, which was HOT for this anti-heat-and-humidity girl. The sweat was literally pouring off my face, and all my clothes got DRENCHED. But I did it! Then we rewarded ourselves with coffee and yummy stuff from the bakery downstairs from the yoga studio. And talked. For about an hour and a half. Which was awesome because 1) I rarely take that much time these days to just stop and chill out and 2) KB is so much fun, I just love hanging out with her.

Errands were next. Dance-O-Rama is next weekend, so I had a lot of things to get today. Girly things like fake eyelashes, fishnet stockings, makeup, snacks…well, I guess snacks aren’t girly. I also had to go to the hardware store, the co-op, the liquor store (yes!), the gas station…whew.

I was headed home when SP called me to see if I wanted to go for a bike ride. I did but couldn’t because of the timing. So instead she came over for about 30 minutes and we hung out. So fun. I enjoy her company so much.

Then a dance lesson. And it was the best one I’ve had in a long time. I haven’t written here much because I’ve been so in my head and in the thinky place on a lot of things but especially dance. More on that later, but today I wasn’t there. I was just enjoying our run-throughs. And laughing a lot. Which hasn’t happen in a long time with dancing.

Grocery store was next. Then home to make dinner. I was so tired, I ate frozen pizza. OK, I cooked it first, but you know what I mean.

And now, I’m exhausted. I’m actually looking at the clock wondering how long until I can go to bed. This will be me in about two hours:

Tomorrow, it’s laundry, brunch with my friend AM, and lots of just hanging out. Hopefully watch a movie and knit. Maybe some reading.

And definitely finish my packing list for Dance-O-Rama because that’s THIS WEEK.

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