Monday, January 25, 2010

Year of the Historical Challenge

I've decided I'm going to participate in a few reading groups around the Internet this year. I tried to do an IRL book club a couple years ago, but the time to get there just wasn't available. "Meeting" on the 'net is just so much easier- and the folks who participate come from ALL over.

One of the groups I've signed up for is Year of the Historical. I've loved historical fiction ever since Sister Joanna had us read Elswyth Thane the summer before freshman year in high school. I still love Thane's books for themselves, but also because they showed me a whole new world of books I hadn't known about before.

Participants in the YotH challenge are going to read at least 12 books in the category this year, and post monthly reviews. For January I will be reading and reviewing "The King's Pleasure" by Norah Lofts, which is about Katherine of Aragon, 1st wife of Henry VIII. While I will certainly enjoy whatever 12 books I end up reading for the challenge, I am most looking forward to building a new "to be read" list that I expect will be VERY extensive.

There are several Historical Fiction links on my sidebar- check them out!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

365 Project

Well, I have continued to keep up with the 365 Project so far. This week I took more pictures around school. With the short week I only got 4, so here's this week's page. There are days when it is a challenge, but that's a good thing. I am just beginning to think "hey, I could take a picture of that" about things I would never have photographed before.

I ordered three books about photography from Amazon that seemed to fit my level and my goals. Only the first has arrived, "Photo Idea Index" by Jim Krause. I've looked through a little of it so far and I have had a few "aha" moments, so it is already worth the price. This is not an overnight project so I will approach one book at a time.

This is the final week of the semester. I am making steady progress on my papers and tests, so I hope it won't be too stressful of a week. We'll see where I am later in the week.

We had a wonderful time at the dance last night- it was great to see the kids all dressed up and looking terrific.

Now I think I'd better get back to those tests. :(

Saturday afternoon musings

I've been on a binge of reading Agatha Christie. She well deserves all the many titles, "Queen of Mysteries", most published/read, etc, that have been given to her. Why? Because her books are so readable and entertaining that they can be read again and again. Everything I've been reading lately, I've read before, some, multiple times. Yet, they are still such a pleasure to read. Great stuff!

I spent a delightful couple hours today wandering around the Internet, getting caught up on all the blogs and sites on my sidebar. I've been too busy, tired, and stressed to do that much since the New Year, and I'm glad I took the time. There were lots of other things I could have and probably should have been doing instead, but, this was good for me.

I am hopeful that many people watched last night's Hope for Haiti Now telethon. The situation there is almost unimaginable and what I saw of the show did a good job of bringing the reality to the attention of those watching. My own charity of choice in this catastrophe is Doctors Without Borders. They were already in Haiti, providing medical care to that severely impoverished country before the earthquake. Now their medical facilities are basically destroyed and both the short term and long term medical needs are overwhelming.

For the stitchers out there, Eileen Bennett has offered a wonderful gesture, the Haitian Relief Sampler Project. She is giving away copies of her "Colonial Band Sampler" to those who donate to Doctors Without Borders. For information on how to get this chart by supporting DWB, check out this page on Aury's blog.

One more reading note: while skipping around the 'net today, I found The Classics Circuit. It's a wonderful group for those interested in reading through and learning about a specific author. They are doing a project of one author a month, with reviews from various members. March is Georgette Heyer month, so I will definitely be participating in that!

My 365 project is going well so far. I take pictures most weekdays and do a scrapbook page from them each weekend. Tomorrow I'll be back with this week's page.

Time to go get ready for the dance at school tonight. It'll be nice to see the kids all dressed up,and fun to spend an evening out with DH.

See you tomorrow!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Remember me?

Been away too long! School is deadly depressing, had the stomach "bug" so I didn't get to enjoy the long weekend, and life in general just generally ain't so great right now. Finals next week, lots of papers to read, tests to mark, stuff to do. Retreat next weekend so no rest for the weary. Enough whinging!

Here's a picture of the digitally scrapped page of my pictures from the 365 Project, week 2. So far I am really enjoying searching out something to photograph each day. I am using these early days mostly to document the small details around school- I think I will appreciate these images later.

Other than the 365 Project, there's been neither time nor energy to do anything fun and crafty- no cards, no scrapbooking, no stitching. Once I get home, I am so worn out and depressed that I lack the interest to do much of anything. Last Saturday I went to a favorite cross stitch shop- and bought NOTHING! That is, quite literally, a FIRST! Nothing called to me. That's good in the sense that I already have a stash that could last me 10 years, but, can you imagine?????

On a positive note, I've been meaning to post this since New Year's. I read Robert Hicks' "Widow of the South" last summer and LOVED it. During the long car ride home from Florida we listened to his new book, "A Separate Country" and it is also wonderful. HIGHLY recommend both!

Time to make dinner. Hopefully I'll be back sooner, and more cheerful.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

What a week!

Well, here is the result of my first week with the 365 Project. I took a picture almost every day and was able to make a digital scrapbook page with them. I am going to try to make my 365 Project pictures about every day things, so here are the new curtains, and my home and classroom decorations, and some of the kids from school.

It was a LONG week!!

DS had surgery for his ruptured spinal disc and that was stressful. Getting back in the swing at school was
tough. I ended up home sick for most of Thursday and all of Friday. The Eagles played DREADFULLY on Saturday night. The garbage disposal died. My laundry for the week is not done.

There is, however, also some good news. I got a little time to play with my digital scrapbooking and watched a few videos online that really taught me a lot. I spent about two hours today re-organizing a lot of my digital "supplies" and I'm really happy with the results-what I learned from one of the videos was really helpful. I made 4 new digital scrapbook pages. You can see my progress through the Shutterfly link on the sidebar if you are interested.

I also got some re-organizing done in the china closet in the dining room. Unfortunately, when you start pulling things out, for a while you end up with a bigger mess than you started with- and that's where I am now, lol!

I am trying to get back on my Flylady wagon and did pretty well for the first week back. I used my personal checklist on the refrigerator and was able to make a LOT of checks. Not enough to really be ON the wagon, but definitely progress in the right direction. And, on that note, it is time to go get my clothes ready for tomorrow, pack my schoolbag and check my planner.

Hope everyone has a good week!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2010- here we go!

It is a New Year!

Christmas was very nice and then we were off to Florida for a few days of warm weather and visiting with Auntie. We had a great time!

Now we're back home, the weather is TERRIBLE cold, and school starts back tomorrow morning. :(

I joined the 365 Project, and will attempt to take a picture every day and record the mundane and small details of life for a year. (That is, if I stick with it, if I remember every day, etc., lol!) It sounds interesting and fun. Above is a picture of our tree with the presents still all under it- we don't take it down until at least after the Epiphany. I like the idea of celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas rather than doing Christmas during Advent and then taking everything down on the 26th like I see so many people do.

I will put my picture from New Year's in Florida in my 365 album for January 1, but there will not be a picture from January 2nd- we were on the road and it was a killer day: 14 hours from Tampa to North Carolina due to horrific traffic! So, already I am down to 364, lol! January 3rd and already the year is a failure! (Just kidding!)

I'm dreading returning to school tomorrow, but hope that these last fews months will have some wonderful memories.

Here's to a 2010 that will be better than 2009, for everyone!