Tally Monday- October 15, 2018

Checked Out

  1. 1 Year, 100 Pounds by Whitney Halcombe


  1. Dark Corners collection
  2. Be the Parent by Kendra Smiley


  1. Giant Days, vol 8 by John Allison

Reading What to Say When You Talk to Yourself by Shad Helmstetter (print), The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking (audio), Deep in the Valley by Robyn Carr (ebook), Teen Witch by Silver Ravenwolf (nonfiction), Bee and Puppycat by Natasha Allegri (comic), Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach, and The Empowered Mama by Lisa Druxman

Last week I started listening to the Awesome with Alison (and Eric Too!) podcast and I have since been through 15 episodes.  I am LOVING it.  I’ve been feeling kind of down for a while now.  I would say that I have actually been depressed probably since about May.  Of course, I’ve had my up spikes (like when I read The Secret) but when I look back over the summer it feels like a big, dark fog.  I don’t remember a lot of it.  I don’t know what happened to it.  I spent most of it feeling like I needed to change.  I needed to stop smoking and stop drinking and stop eating so much and stop being so stressed out and stop being nasty to people and because I wasn’t stopping any of those things I was feeling completely worthless.  “What the fuck is wrong with me?” I would lament, only to feel so defeated that I would repeat these behaviors over and over again.

Awesome with Alison really did set a kind of fire under my ass, though.  She’s so positive and happy and bubbly that I started feeling positive and happy and bubbly.  Each episode is like a little self-help nugget and a little boost of vitamin c to my attitude.  Thursday I listened to her episode about losing weight and I have tracked my calories and stayed in range every day since.  I know how to lose weight.  I didn’t need the help.  But she suggested something that made everything click.  Why do I overeat?  Easy, I overeat because I feel like I deserve to for working so hard and trying so hard all of the time, but I don’t feel like I deserve the things that I actually need to feel better: a break and some quiet and some time.

I have promised to give myself some time.  This week is about books and people, people and books.  This week I make time to sit quietly by myself if I need it.  This week I give myself permission to go to another room if I need to, even if that means locking myself in the bathroom for a few minutes.  This week I am going to read to relax.  This week I am going to do my best and then let it go instead of being a crazy woman.  This week I live MY life by MY expectations and MY way.

In the meantime, I’m really enjoying the book I’m reading, even if I am reading it at a snail’s pace.  I’m really enjoying my e-book.  I just started listening to the Hygge book this morning and I am currently seeking a nice warm sweater and am completely in for cozy.  I’m in a good spot and hopefully I’ll finish like 5 books this week!  (No expectations, though, k?)


Tally Monday- October 8, 2018

Checked Out

  1. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
  2. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
  3. Giant Days vol 8 by John Allison


  1. A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans
  2. The Spiral Dance by Starhawk
  3. Alfred Hitchcock’s Daring Detectives


  1. Adulthood is a Myth by Sarah Anderson
  2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  3. “A Box of Hope” by Brian Panowich

Last week I spent a lot of time reading.  I read way more than I have been.  I read on the couch.  I read in bed.  I read at work.  I read because what I was reading, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, made me feel wonderfully nostalgic, made me laugh, made me cry.  It was a wonderful experience and i am glad that I had it.

I’ve had the feeling lately like nothing is fun and I don’t get joy out of anything but that isn’t true at all.  It’s just that right now I am living a life that forces me to MAKE TIME FOR THE THINGS I LOVE instead of just scraping by.  The problem with that is that I am usually just scraping by.  I get my work done.  I spend time with my family.  I’m exhausted.

Last Monday I talked about how I was going to try to live without expectations for the month of October and I have to confess that I failed miserably at that.  Last week was pretty great Monday through Wednesday.  I had a good time.  I took it easy on myself.  I read and I ate food I liked and I hung out with Hubby and Little Dude and it was all very nice.  Then the expectations crept back in and Thursday morning was miserable and Thursday evening was miserable because I couldn’t shake it and that bled into Friday and then Hubby went to bed super early on Friday and I had been expecting to have a good time and then Saturday I worked really hard and got a lot done but at the end of it was exhausted for the get together I went to.

But Saturday night I had fun and Sunday was okay until I had expectations.  I think that I’m really seeing the devil in this whole thing.

Basically, I know that reading is something that brings me joy and balance and those are two things that I really need to be investing in right now.

An update on my audiobook hiatus:  I’m really enjoying the break!  I’ve listened to music that I forgot I loved and discovered a new podcast that has me thinking thinks!  I’m glad I lowered my expectations of myself and opened up to doing something different!

(OMG, guys.  I’m so tired.  I’m pretty sure this was a shit Tally Monday but I’m too tired to even re-read it.)

Tally Monday- October 1, 2018

Checked Out

None!  But I’m waiting on a few…


None!  But I think I might hit up the Amazon book deals today…


  1. Jay’s Journal by “Anonymous”
  2. “White Jade” by Katherine Xiong
  3. Neuromancer by William Gibson
  4. More Hours in My Day by Emilie Barnes

Reading The Perks of Being a WallflowerDeep in the Valley, Knocked Out by My Nunga-NungasTeen WitchBest Loved Poems of the American PeopleSimple Abundance, Empowered Mama

Fall has always been my favorite season.  As I’ve gotten older, summer has been gaining some steam with me, mostly because I HATE being cold, but as soon as fall hits I get all nostalgic and wistful.  Twenty years ago I had the one of the best seasons of my life.  I was a freshman in high school and a whole new world opened for me.  I was losing weight, getting picked on less, making great friends and shedding some shitty ones, falling in love, and discovering new music (KoRn and Manson and Hole) and developing a new style (Goth ha ha).  Almost every day when I got home from school I would put a mix tape in my walkman and listen to it, front and back, while I walked and told myself stories.  I was really coming into my own.

As the years have gone by, I have held the spirit of this season in my heart.  Indeed, fall has been when some of the best things happened to me.  Haunted barns.  Double dates.  Bonfires.  I even met my husband in the fall.

So I always go into this season with high hopes.  I made my fall reading list up and I had grand ideas.  I imagined myself curled up on the couch with tea and blankets and books.  I thought of all the great horror movies I need to watch.  I promised myself that I would wrap up my X-Files watching.  Of course, I need to get pumpkins for the front porch and did out my fall wreath for the door.  But the onslaught of October has me frayed with stress.  It’s a big month.  I’ve been summoned for jury duty and I’m hoping I don’t get called because I actually really want to work.  (I haven’t caught up from vacation.)  Next week we have a staff inservice that I’m not prepared for.  The week after that I have a conference to go to.  Plus there’s a trip to the orchard with LD, trick-or-treating at Crossroads with my family, another trick-or-treat event for LD, and my Halloween party at the end of it.

I cannot wrap my head around it.  And I have a feeling that I’m not going to get much reading done.

It’s not like I’m not going to try.

Yesterday I went on an adventure with Hubby and at the end of it I was super worn out for no real reason except that my stress levels are through the roof.  When we got home, I sat on the couch with my book.  I didn’t read much because I was so tired but what I did read made me feel good.  And that’s the thing about stress.  When we are stressed out, we get into this habit of not making time for the things we like and if you go too long without making time and taking a break, you are bound to burn right the fuck out.  And I’m pretty close to that point.

Books have always been like a religion to me.  The book that I need to read usually ends up in my hands at the right time.  I am hoping that I will have this kind of experience this month, that books will help me to get through the slog, even the fun slog, and maintain/regain some of my sanity.

I owe you lots of reviews.  It’s on my list.

Tally Monday- The “Well Crap” Edition

Checked Out

  1. Everything is Eventual by Stephen King
  2. Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King
  3. Just After Sunset by Stephen King


None!  Surprising, because I looked.


  1. Giant Days, vol 7 by John Allison
  2. “Dear Jamie, Love Rory” by Micaiah Saldana
  3. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Reading Jay’s JournalMore Hours in My DayDeep in the ValleyNeuromancer, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King, Simple Abundance, and Empowered Mama

First, some excuses.  I didn’t blog last Monday because Hubby and I were on vacation.  We went down to Gatlinburg for the week, leaving Little Dude with his grandma.  It was our five year wedding anniversary and we had gone there for our honeymoon.  It was nice.  We spent some time in the mountains and some time kicking around town.  We played games and drank and ate.  We slept in.  I didn’t even take my laptop.  I told myself that I needed to spend a week away from my novel and my agent search and just chill out.

Then I spent yesterday playing catch-up around the house and just didn’t get to it, what with the mounds of laundry and very dirty floors.  It is what it is.

BUT I AM HERE!  And I don’t see myself missing a Monday until possibly October 8.  Staff in-service.

The deadline for my summer reading goal is quickly approaching and I am NOT ready for it.  While I managed to finish 12 out of the 23 books I had planned, and a couple that I hadn’t, I still feel kind of lackluster about it.  I’m pretty sure that I actually have MORE books on my stack now than I did at the beginning of the season.  I wish that I could hold fall off for another week or two but I also can’t wait to set up my next challenge.  Same system:  one season to read my ridiculous stack of books.  And just like always I’m waiting for the fresh start and feeling like I can do it even though I know damn well that I won’t.  *shrug*

My book buying diet is going well, though.  It’s exactly like that.  I don’t know how experienced any of you guys are with dieting but at a certain point it gets almost easy.  The first two or three weeks of behaving is hell but after that you start to feel like you don’t even want that junk anymore.  Or you go to a restaurant and you realize that you have no desire to stuff yourself.  You feel just fine with what you’ve been eating and you don’t want your old favorites.  And so goes my book buying.  The first month was hard but this month, well, I’ve gone to a discount book store and I’ve spent some time looking at the Kindle deals and now that I CAN buy books, I don’t really want to.

This month I am functioning under a simple two out/one in system for check outs.  While on vacation I finished Sharp Objects (phenomenal) and that was my second “out” so I requested Dark Places as my “in”.  I DNFed The Magic of Believing (kind of dry and kind of over it) and when I finish Jay’s Journal I’ll get to order another.

You guys know about Go Ask Alice, right?  When I was growing up we were told that it was a true story and it was, like, THE book to read about teenagers and drugs.  It was scandalous even in the 90’s.  Except, you know, apparently this was mostly debunked in the 1970’s when Beatrice Sparks, the “editor,” couldn’t produce any physical evidence of an actual diary.  Jay’s Journal is billed as the “companion” to Go Ask Alice.  Sparks worked as a youth counselor in the Mormon church and this book is a cautionary tale about SATANISM AND THE OCCULT so obviously I’m in.  I kind of love religious propaganda.  It comes in at 230 pages and should be a quick read but I have to, you know, read it.

This week I expect to spend some time catching up from my vacation and taking care of some things.  It will take me a few days to get on top of it at work but I did make quite the dent at home yesterday.  In the meantime I’m also really wanting to spend some time on the house and trying to convince myself to focus on losing weight.  It’s a lot, but it always is.

Tally Monday- Tuesday Edition!

Checked Out

  1. Dancing in My Nuddy-Nuddy Pants by Louise Rennison


  1. Mystic Michigan 3 by Mark Jager


  1. The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
  2. Giant Days, vol 6 by John Allison

Reading Sharp Objects, Down in the Valley, More Hours in My Day, Best Loved Poems of the American People, Simple Abundance, Empowered Mama

I keep telling myself that everything will work out if I just keep to it.  If I just stay right on track, everything will be fine.  The joy of doing a little at a time is that suddenly everything shakes out.

But I’m not actually feeling that way.

I’m feeling a lot like I am just a big fuck up.  I can’t finish my house.  I can’t finish a book.  Temper tantrums from LD, frustrated sighs from Hubby, those are my fault.  In fact, things that I have no control over, definitely my fault.

Hubby asked me the other day why I’ve been in such a bad mood lately and, honestly, I know that I am slacking.  I know that I am screwing up.  And I find it all so damn frustrating even though I also know that I should be cutting myself some slack.

Reading is kind of like that for me right now too.  I don’t get to read as much as I want to and, yeah, that’s because I have a job and a toddler and a husband and a house and cats and groceries and all of that, but also maybe I could make more of an effort.

I am not living up to my potential.


Tally Monday- August 27, 2018

Checked Out

  1. Loving and Leaving the Good Life by Helen Nearing
  2. The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell
  3. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
  4. Withering Tights by Louise Rennison
  5. The Dungeon Master by William Dear
  6. Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson


  1. I-Ching
  2. Mystic Michigan by Mark Jager


  1. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Reading The Miracle MorningMore Hours in My Day, Down in the ValleyWithering TightsBest Loved Poems of the American PeopleSimple AbundanceThe Empowered Mama

See, what happened was that I NEEDED a book on potty training.  LD is still really young but he’d started to indicate when things might happen and I want to be prepared.  So, I grabbed the potty training book and checked it out.

Then, once I checked out one, it just seemed perfectly fine to go on a binge and check out ALL OF THE BOOKS and now I am dying.

And, honestly, my reading life has really gone off the rails lately.  Like, even though I am enjoying literally everything that I am reading, I somehow seem to never get around to it.  Even my audiobook listening has been lax.

My goal this week is to get back to it.  Everyday at work, 10 minutes of reading first thing.  Everyday in the car, audiobook.  Every night in bed, ebook.  Just these basic things should get me back on track.  Plus, I’m going to start the Miracle Morning plan, which has time for reading built in.

Sometimes I forget, it’s just as easy to do something I LOVE as to sit in front of the TV.

Tally Monday- August 20, 2018

Checked Out

  1. Dancing in My Nuddy Pants by Louise Rennison
  2. Oh Crap! Potty Training by Jamie Glowacki
  3. The Resurrection of Joan Ashby by Cherise Walas




  1. Heating & Cooling by Beth Ann Fennelly
  2. The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
  3. “Railing” by Rachel King
  4. Chicken Soup for the Soul

Reading  The Old Man and the SeaDown in the Valley by Robyn Carr, More Hours in My Day by Emilie Barnes, the Best Loved Poems of the American PeopleKnocked Out by My Nunga-NungasSimple Abundance by Sarah ban Breathnach, Empowered Mama by Lisa Druxman

I started reading Old Man and the Sea on Tuesday or Wednesday and honestly I’m pretty pissed off that I’m still reading it.  It’s such a short book and it’s Hemingway, who has never taken me that long to read.  It’s not that interesting to me, in all fairness. It’s not.  I love me some Hemingway but I could do without this slim novel about fishing and I kind of hate to admit that a lot.

I will fight through but, damn, couldn’t I fight through a little harder?

And that pretty much sums up my life, right now.  Ha ha.

Hubby started watching Sharp Objects last night and I got pretty hooked pretty fast.  I went to bed, because I’m basically constantly tired, and he continued on.  Now I’m feeling like I should just get my hands on the book.

In case you hadn’t noticed, I broke my August book goal and checked some stuff out.  I don’t actually feel that bad about it but I have to keep it under control here. lol.  Already I’m like, I could just order that…

This week I hope to make some more space to read.  Really, I just hope to make some more space.  I might fill it with sleep.