Tally Monday- December 17, 2018

Checked Out

  1. Animal Speak by Ted Andrews
  2. Archie, vol 6 by Mark Waid


  1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  2. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  3. A Calendar of Wisdom by Leo Tolstoy


  1. A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck
  2. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

Reading Archie, vol. 6 (comic), Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (book), Ancient Ways by Pauline Campanelli (nonfiction), Deep in the Valley by Robyn Carr (ebook), The Reef by Edith Wharton (audio), Best Loved Poems of the American PeopleSimple Abundace by Sarah Ban Breathnach

It’s Monday and I have officially returned to my VERY CONFUSING BUT SATISFYING READING PLAN.  In the morning I read my Simple Abundance for the day.  I read 10 pages of my nonfiction every day.  At night, in bed, I read my ebook.  I read one poem a day.  I read one comic a week.  And the rest of the time I read my book book.  I listen to my audiobook every other day and podcasts every other day.  Currently, I am working on a new project to catch up on podcasts.  I counted how many I had, used a random number generator, and started working diligently on catching up on that one.  In the long run this will help to clear out the list.  I follow a number of podcasts that I have never even listened to a single episode of and I follow quite a few that are done.

I know that it is convoluted but I don’t care.  It works for me.  After I get my stack of books down to one stack of books again, I’ll start in on listening to series on audio again.

This is the fourth year that I have read Simple Abundance. I came across this book a long time ago on a Christian homeschooling blog that I was obsessed with and sought it out and read it the very next year.  At the time it was probably not for me.  I was in college and engaged and working but my life was pretty… easy in hindsight.  The second time was the year that I first moved out of my parents’ house and in with said fiance, only to have a spectacular break up and move back in with my parents.  It was also not the time but I went along, needing that little ritual every day.  And that was a tough year, the first half of it was very lonely and confusing.  I was suffering through an emotionally abusive relationship, marooned in a house by myself, and working on my masters degree.  The second half of the year was spend trying to piece it together and going out to bars with my new boyfriends band and drinking too much.  The third time I read it was a couple of years ago and I don’t actually remember the circumstances but I remember thinking, “I don’t need this.”

Now, though… Whoa buddy do I need this.  Mothering, wifing, friending, working, and trying to follow my dreams and figure myself out.  That’s a fucking lot, you guys.  But I do it and I have to say that Simple Abundance has really hit the spot.

I’ve had some other great “devotional” or “day book” experiences in previous years.  I read the Intellectual Devotional and enjoyed the random information gathered and I read The Daily Stoic and enjoyed that as well.  I have THREE of these kinds of books currently or nearly in my possession and I’m not sure which one to do next.  I have A Celtic Devotional365 Devotions to Embrace What Matters Most, and A Calendar of Wisdom.  Maybe I should do two?  Is that too much?

To be honest, I am not intending to get much reading done this week.  Gardenscapes has the Christmas set out and I have to collect them all because I never have before and I just have this crazy drive to do some.  No worries.  I run out of lives quite frequently.  I might be reading some yet!


Tally Monday- December 10, 2018

Checked Out

  1. Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed


  1. Evening in the Yellow Wood by Laura Kemp


  1. Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
  2. Keeper by Kathi Appelt

Reading A Long way From Chicago by Richard Peck (book), Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer (audio), Just Over the Mountain by Robyn Carr (ebook), Ancient Ways by Pauline Campanelli (nonfiction), The Best Loved Poems of the American People (poetry), Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King (short stories), and Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach

Last week I told you guys about how I had spent a weekend retraining my brain to read for more than a couple of minutes at a time.  I’ve had a very similar experience with my reading and writing these past couple of months.  They are both things that I’ve realized I want to do more the more that I do them.  When I write 1500 words or more in a day, I want to write again the next day.  When I read 50 pages instead of 5, I want to read another 50.

It’s been kind of refreshing.  It’s like I am rediscovering my passions.  My life is busy.  All lives are busy.  I work full time, commute 45 minutes one way, and have a family, including one crazy toddler and four ninja cats.  It is easy for the things that I love to do to slip away from me.  It’s easy at the end of the day to just melt into the couch and forget about it.

But reading last week made me feel so good and I am trying to do more of it.  Yesterday I read 40 pages which is still 40 pages more than I have been reading on the weekend!

On the other hand, this push to read more has also given me the longing to READ EVERYTHING.  I am proud to say that so far I have stuck to my one book in for every two out plan for a solid week.  Baby steps!  Eventually, like in a decade or so, I’ll have a small pile that makes sense instead of two giant stacks that are easy to topple.

Currently I am reading a ton for work.  It’s time to preview the books for Battle of the Books and I am also working my way through the Dungeons and Dragons Dungeon Master’s Guide.  That last one also pointed me to a suggested reading list which I am itching to dive into.

I am almost done with Christmas.  All I have left to do is book a hotel room for me and Hubby and wrap presents.  Pretty proud of myself.  Maybe being so on top of things will clear the way for more reading…

Tally Monday- December 3, 2018

Checked Out

None! I didn’t even realize this was possible…


  1. Road to Nowhere by Christopher Pike


  1. The 12 Week Year by Brian P. Moran
  2. Firestarter by Stephen King
  3. 10% Happier by Dan Harris
  4. “Escape from Vienna” by Erin Snyder
  5. Nightingale by Any Lukavics

Reading  A Long Way From Chicago by Richard Peck (book), Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis (audio), Keeper by Kathi Appelt (audio), Ancient Ways by Pauline Campanelli (nonfiction), Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach

In all honesty, I did check out some books this week but they were audios of books that I already checked out so I didn’t list those.

As you can see, I kind of killed it this week.  I was over half through all of those books at the start of the week but it felt great to finally finish them up.  I enjoyed everything that I read this week and variety is the spice of life.  A book on meditation, a book on productivity, a book that wasn’t quite horror but more of a chase style suspense, and a book that was way more horror than I expected.  I’m still behind and I still have a lot of books to get to but I feel… better.

Friday night I had grand plans for drinking and gaming and having a generally great night but Hubby fell asleep on the couch and I spent it the next best way: laying in bed, reading, and drinking beer.  It was great but I noticed that I had a hard time getting myself to read for more than a couple of minutes at a time.  Reading is a habit and it is susceptible to habit forming.  Say you read when you can, dipping into and out of the books as, say, a toddler urges you to sit on the floor or color or get him more juice.  After a while, you start to read like that.  What’s more, you have a harder time settling down for a good long read.

Well, Friday night I read and Sunday I read again.  I read a chapter at a time on Sunday for the first time in recent memory.  Today I stayed home sick and I read the last 100 pages of a book, pausing between chapters but pretty much in one go.  It was good.  It felt good.

Now I’m listening to two books, nearing the end of one.  I’ve got a short story to read and then I’m onto a middle grade book for work.  I’m in a good place.  I just have to keep chugging along.

Tally Monday- November 26, 2018

Checked out

  1. The Group by Mary McCarthy
  2. The Power of Now by Eckart Tolle
  3. Ancient Ways by Pauline Campanelli
  4. Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis





Reading It’s kind of a long story…

I’ve been getting my audiobooks digitally from the library lately.  I’ve been doing that because in my crazy push to get through some of these damn books I find that being able to carry my books with me on my phone makes it way easier to get through them.  Like I said, I have priorities right now.  First, NaNoWriMo, and then haul ass through some books before the end of the year.  That means that I am taking a break from podcasts until January and focusing on the audiobooks.

So, here’s what happened…

70 pages out from finishing the audiobook of Firestarter by Stephen King, it returned and I had to put it back on hold.  100 pages out from finishing 10% Happier and it returned automatically and I had to put it back on hold.  Then I checked out Keeper by Kathi Appelt, one of our Battle of the Books books, on audio.  But my brain is kind of stuck.  Like, I have been carrying around the physical copies of those first two books and feeling completely unable to read my actual book, switch to the paper copies on those, AND listen to another audiobook.

Finally, I had to force myself to make a decision.  As of right now, I am going to finish Firestarter, then 10% Happier, then Nightingale.

But it’s been rough and I have been in a slump for nearly a week because of all this.

My NaNoWriMo will be done this week and then I will be able to get a lot more reading done.  Seriously.  Really.

It’s a new day, a new week, and it’s time to get this shit going.  Like, my whole life. lol

Talley Monday- November 19, 2018

Checked Out

  1. A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin
  2. A Long Way From Chicago by Richard Peck
  3. Keeper by Kathi Appelt
  4. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
  5. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas
  6. Unbroken by Laura Hildenbrand
  7. The Inn Between by Marina Cohen
  8. What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast by Laura Vanderkam




Also none.  *sad trombone*

Reading Nightingale by Amy Lukavics (book), Just Over the Mountain by Robyn Carr (ebook), The Firestarter by Stephen King (audio), 10% Happier by Dan Harris (audio), The 12 Week Year by Brain P. Moran (nonfiction), The Best Loved Poems of the American People (poetry), Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach

Where, oh where did the week go?  Honestly, I’ve felt so crazy lately that it’s kind of a blur.  I’ve been thinking that if I just get things done then I’ll have more time for the things I enjoy doing but I know from experience that this isn’t true.  Getting stuff done just makes more stuff to do.  You clean the house and then you realize that you should do the laundry and you do the laundry and then remember that you need to finish patching the walls and then when you patch the walls they need to be painted but you don’t have everything you need so you go to the store and so on and so forth.  I started my day yesterday with a huge list and I got a lot of it done but I also added probably five things throughout the day.

On the other hand, I think that a little bit of management would help.  My brain has been firing off at rapid speeds.  If someone asks about plan for the summer, I pretty much go into full on panic mode.  Summer??  I have to pull off Thanksgiving and Christmas!  I have to pull them off on limited funds because I had to put tires on my car.  I need to pull them off with limited time because I work full time, write, and I have a husband, a toddler, and four cats.  I’m strapped!

This weekend I sat down with my bullet journal and made some plans.  I planned out what I need to do with my extra money.  First, pay for Christmas.  Second, get my emergency fund back in place.  Third, pay off a credit card.  Next I got my Christmas in order.  I wrote down the things that I need to do for Christmas (buy lights, get a tree, send cards, get gifts, make a dish for family Christmas, make cordial) and then I made a list of the gifts I need to buy.  Next I planned out some of 2019.  There are so many things that I keep meaning to do but never get around to that I want to intentionally make time for next year.  I made lists of things I want to do with Little Dude, things I actually want to get around to, and things I want to do better.  I made mini intentions for my 5 life areas: health, wealth, happiness, spirit, and books.  So, I basically have an idea of what I need to do to get through the rest of 2018 and I have an idea of what I need to focus on in 2019.

I spent some time last week stacking up my TBR again and it’s getting dangerous.  When I got pregnant my mother told me that she was worried the baby would pull a bookshelf over on himself.  Little did she realize that the true terror is the double stack of books that I want to read.  They’re on my desk, precariously close to the area that LD likes to play in.  And they are wobbly.

I do this thing where I read a book and think that now I can read ALL OF THE BOOKS.  I have an obnoxious amount of books checked out and I’m going to have to cut myself off again.  I can’t even use Battle of the Books as an excuse…

And for Christmas?  I want some more books…

Tally Monday- November 12, 2018

Checked Out

  1. The 10 Greatest Gifts I Give My Children by Steven W. Vannoy
  2. What I Know for Sure by Oprah Winfrey
  3. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank green
  4. Happier at Home by Gretchen Ruben
  5. The Grownup by Gillian Flynn
  6. 15 Laws of Growth by John C. Maxwell
  7. Super Better by Jane McGonigal
  8. A Perfect Crime by Peter Abrahams




  1. Giant Days by John Allison
  2. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
  3. Being Home by Gunilla Norris

Reading  Nightingale by Amy Lukavics, The 12 Week Year by Brian P. Moran, Just Over the Mountain by Robyn Carr, Firestarter by Stephen King, Best Loved Poems of the American People, and Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach

I took a vacation day from work on Friday and spent a blissful day home alone.  I did one thing at a time and I did everything slowly.  I listened to the King book while I worked.  I spent about three hours just laying in bed, playing on my phone and napping.  It was wonderful and much needed.

But now I have that urgent feeling that I will never catch up.  I will never catch up at work.  I will never catch up at home.  I will never catch up my word count.  I will never catch up my sleep.  Insomnia and anxiety settled in after my awesome, relaxing day and I had been hoping to carry that attitude into this week.

But, here I am, giant to-do list in hand, shouting, “I CAN DO IT ALL!  ALL, I SAY!  WORK HARD.  HARDER!”  I recognize that I can do it if I just focus and follow through.  One thing at a time.  But I also know how I get.

I started reading The 12 Week Year  on Friday and even though I am only 20 pages in, I am already completely sold on it.  I’m starting my own 12 week plan today, without having finished the book.  From now until February 4, I am focusing solely on losing some weight.  I made this decision because I know that everything is easier when I feel healthy.  I have gathered my support system and fired up the old step and calorie tracker.  I bought some protein shakes and lots of fruits and vegetables.  I am ready.

Who the hell knows what to expect out of this week.  I feel a little crazy this morning but I hope to calm down and wrap my head around the day any minute now.  I hope to actually read.

Wish me luck.

Tally Monday- November 5, 2018

Checked Out

  1. If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson
  2. The Wisdom of Sundays by Ophrah Winfrey
  3. The Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplon
  4. The Only 127 Things You Need by Donna Wilkinson
  5. The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin
  6. Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin


  1. America’s Best Short Stories 2018
  2. America’s Best Essays 2018


  1. Elevation by Stephen King
  2. The Empowered Mama by Lisa Druxma
  3. “Disembodied” by Joe Cary

Reading Nightingale by Amy Lukavics, Giant Days: Extra Credit by John Allison, Just Over the Mountain by Robyn Carr, The Nature Fix by Florence Williams, Turtles All the Way Down by John Green, The Best Loved Poems of the American PeopleSimple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach

I’ve been bad.  I’ve been very bad.  I’m about to be bad some more.  I checked out A LOT of books and I ordered A LOT of books and why do I do this to myself?  You know what happens?  I finish a book and I think, “Well!  I can read anything!  I am a reading machine!”  I don’t stop to think that the book I read was only 146 pages long and I only pushed through it so fast because it was given to me before it’s release date and I didn’t want my coworker to think I was taking advantage of this awesome Stephen King system we have worked out…

Plus, I have been really interested in things lately and I find myself thinking of something to check out and then being distracted by something else interesting on the shelf while I’m at it and taking home two or three instead of one.

And what is wrong with this??  There are worse things that I could do than checked out a giant stack of books.  Meth.  I could do meth, you guys.  (Not really.  We all know that if I tried a hard drug I’d go for coke.  Imagine how much I could get done!)  But I probably do need to simmer down.  I think it’s back to the return two to check out/order one.

I also did something kind of cool that people will probably think is crazy this weekend.  I made myself a “D4 Decision maker”!  See, most of my free time occurs after LD goes to bed and every night I waste so much time trying to decide what to do.  I was thinking about that this weekend and I realized that for the most part I want to do all of those things evenly and I can break them down into four things.  (1) Playing video games- including cell phone games, City Skylines, Dragon Age, and the Sims.  (2) Binging TV- which allows me to do other things but I usually end up letting Hubby have the TV.  This is actually binging things I want to watch, like X-Files and The Osbournes.  (3) Coloring.  Self explanatory except that right now I am working on a sticker puzzle book. (4) Reading.  I made a list of these things, assigned them numbers, and now all I have to do is roll my D4 and my decision is made.  This morning I had Siri roll one for me and I got reading.  It’s kind of nice not having to worry about what I’m going to do later.

Another week, another dose of insanity.  Right now I have a pile of books to read, a novel to write in a month, and I have to figure out how to spend a chunk of money at work (this one pretty much by the end of the day).  I’m planning on taking a vacation day on Friday to just give myself a decadent break, though, and that will probably mean lots of reading and writing.

Have a good week, guys!