a NEW update (www style)

Happy Wednesday!

I love to visit my bookish friend’s blogs when I have time and see what reads they are recommending. Two of my faves are Book Club Mom and What Cathy Read Next. Often, Cathy will participate in #WWWWednesday hosted by Taking on a World of Words so I thought I’d join in today!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

So, here’s what NEW books I’ve been reading (snapshots of the covers are above):

I’m currently reading The Midnight Library by Matt Haig for my neighborhood book club next week. At first, I thought it was basically the same concept as the movie It’s a wonderful life, (and I really like that movie!) but it’s turning out a bit different. I’ll try and remember to rate it after I finish it.

I just recently finished reading The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner. This book was pretty predictable but I enjoyed it. I gave it 3 out of 5 stars on Goodreads, but my son tells me I’m a tough rater, haha!

What I think I’ll read next is what Book Club Mom recommended recently: Thunderstruck by Erik Larson. The audiobook was available at my library, so I snagged it while I could.

As for other updates…because I have REALLY gotten out of the groove of posting, but I’ll just have to get back INTO the groove, cuz quite a lot is NEW these days! But in the meantime, I hope you have a great day/week and I hope you get to learn or do something NEW soon!

Miscellaneous Monday and NEW stuff i gotta share


Happy Monday!

Boy, has life been busy! Unfortunately, this little blog is one of the first things to get neglected when that happens.

So, here’s an update and a bit of miscellany:

I’ve crossed off a couple of waterfalls on my “100 Waterfalls Bucket-list“.  We took a trip to New York and while we were there, we visited Talcott Falls and Pixley Falls. We also visited Niagara Falls again (I assume it wouldn’t be fair to count those falls again)! And this last weekend we hiked to Stewart Falls, here in Utah.

We also visited a few lighthouses.  Here’s a favorite B/W photo of one of them:


I hosted my book club last month and wanted to try a grazing table.  It was so, so, SO easy! But it made an impression!  Here’s what we had:


The ladies in our group don’t eat a whole lot, but with this idea, all I had to do with the left-overs was load all of the snacks back in containers and my family had snacks for the rest of the week month!


The book we discussed was Educated by Tara Westover.  It’s a GOOD discussion book!  Other books I’ve read (or listened to lately) are:


That seems like a lot of reading to get done, especially since I mentioned I’ve been so busy, but it’s been a few months since I’ve done a Miscellaneous Monday! AND, I think most have been listened to in the car on my commutes! Gotta love multi-tasking!

OK! That’s about it for this week. I’ve gotta go do some gardening.  Yes, my flower gardens have also been neglected, and the vegetable garden is currently a weed patch!

Have a great day! Do or learn something NEW!





Miscellaneous Monday…NEW stuff i gotta share


Happy Monday!

It’s been about a month since we returned from our New Zealand trip, and I’m just now posting a pic from that trip! Boy am I slacking!

Our boys gave us one of those large framed maps for Christmas –  along with little pins for us to place where we’ve traveled.  Goodness! We’ve gotta get busy and plan more trips!  The pins showing where we’ve been seems minuscule compared with all the places left to travel to! New Zealand was great. The world is a huge place. There are so many more places to visit!

In other miscellany:

I started a NEW class! I’m taking a pottery class. Yea, scary, haha, but NEW and exciting too!  In school, my schedule was always filled with music electives and I never got the chance to take a pottery or ceramics class.  I’m such a newbie!  However, I’m kind of thrilled with the 3rd item I made:


But, what on earth should I use it for? A classmate suggested using it for olive oil to dip crusty bread in.  That way we can still, kind of, see the design.  Let me know if you have any suggestions!

And…these are the NEW books I’ve read lately:


They are From Ash to Stone by Julie Daines, The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Gillebeau, and finally (after hearing a lot of buzz about it…) Daring Greatly by Brene Brown.

And lastly, I went to a workshop after work a few nights ago and learned something NEW about Jin Shin Jyutsu.  It was super interesting and although I don’t have any major ‘aches and pains”, I should practice this ancient self-healing art form, just to keep the good energy running through my body.  I know I’ll need to be consistent at it – as well as learn a lot more about it than I did in just that one workshop.  Let me know if any of you have any feedback for me about Jin Shin Jyutsu.

Well, I think that should be enough miscellany for this Monday! Take care and have a great day!  Do something NEW!



Miscellaneous Monday…NEW stuff i gotta share


Happy Monday y’all!

Yes, isn’t Octobers da best!?!  Only another week and half of it though!  Novembers are good too though!  Pumpkin pie with oodles of whipped cream is coming our way! Yum!


So, what I’ve been up to:

My photography outing this week was to a Scarecrow festival.  Warning:  You’ll be seeing more scarecrows than you probably want to see in upcoming posts!

I’m going to call my Classics Reading Challenge ‘finished’.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find “La dame de Monsoreau” by Alexandre Dumas translated into English.  I tried!  But…I give up!  I’m done. It’s finished.  I enjoyed the challenge!  My last book to read was Dracula!  Good timing eh?  I just finish it this week – actually I “read” it by listening to the audio book on my commutes into work. That counts, right?  {pun intended :o}  Ha!

The gal who is hosting our book club this month is asking everyone to dress up!  I’m going as something similar to this:


I got an old white dress at the thrift store and my niece who is an expert seamstress added the gauzy embellishments etc.  I’ll try and have someone take some pics at book club that night and I’ll post them.  Creepy eh?

I got me {another} NEW camera :o)  One cannot have too many cameras!  This one is a high-end compact.  I’m gonna love carrying it around rather than my large DSL on our upcoming trip to New Zealand/Australia!  I’m sure I’ll be posting plenty of pics from that trip.  Can’t wait to go sailing through the fjords of NZ!

That’s it for this version of Monday’s Miscellany.  Have a great day!  Do or learn something NEW!




a NEW photo and Friday challenge accountability


Happy Friday!

The photo above is of Boston Common. It is the oldest public park in the country – dating back to 1634! It was fun to watch all the people take advantage of nature’s beauty!

It’s Friday, so I’ve gotta take note of how I’m doing on a couple of my challenges. So, I’m pluggin’ along on my 12 Classics challenge.  I’m working on #11 (the scary one)…the book is just so, so, SO long!

On my Photo Challenges, I’ve completed photograph a stranger and want to do the ‘frame worthy street photograph’ next.

I’ve just started training for a century bike ride, so that challenge is on track.  I plan to ride 3-4 times a week and increase the mileage by 5 miles each week. The ride date is the middle of August. I did this…oh, about a decade ago.  It takes time to train…a summer with relatively few travel plans or other distractions.  I think this summer will be good.

Lastly, after hearing of all the benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar, I think I want to challenge myself to start incorporating that into my day. I really don’t like the taste, so I’m sure there are tricks on Pinterest I’ll have to check out.

That’s it.  Let me know of any fun challenges I should be aware of! Have a great day.  Do something NEW!


miscellaneous monday…NEW stuff i gotta share


Happy Monday!  Don’t you just LOVE all the colors of spring???  I’m in heaven!  We recently took a trip to St George in southern Utah – also known as Utah’s Dixie because it’s so warm there.  Their flowers bloom probably a good month or more before ours do, so it was fantastic to visit there and do some shooting.  It snowed here just a couple of days ago!

In other miscellany:

I’ve been doing a ton of genealogy research on my husband’s lines in preparation of being an “Ancestral Tourist” next week.  We are heading to Montreal, Ottawa and Quebec where his  people are from.  I haven’t previously done much research in Canada, but have found good success.  My research tip of the day, is to check out BMS2000.org.

What I’ve been reading:


I’m working through Youngblood Hawke which is on my 12 Classics Book Challenge  but it’s such a beast, I’ve had to put it down to get Dragonwyck read for book club, and The Darkling Bride read before it was due back to the library (my friend is a friend of the author and recommended it, so I wanted to get it read before the library gave me a fine! :o).  So I’ll get back to Youngblood Hawke now. Wish me luck in finishing it before I have another reading deadline! :o)

I finished up my Organizing Challenge!  AND happy day! Guess what I found that I though I’d lost forever?  My notebook where, years ago, I had written down a few “cute” little things my boys would say. Yay! Sadly however, I didn’t keep up on writing down what my youngest son said.  He really got left out!  I probably took less photos of him too.  Oh, the woes of a youngest child!

So, that’s it for today’s miscellaneous items.  Have a great day and go ahead…try to do something NEW today!






another NEW challenge




So far, I’m enjoying my “Classics Reading Challenge“.  3 out of 12 are done…in the books, as they say. This challenge gives me the boost to read things I normally wouldn’t pick up.  It’s exactly why I love belonging to my book club group.  Having others pick a book, and having the opportunity to read it, digest it, discuss it, is just one of those things I really enjoy.


BUT…on to the announcement of my next NEW challenge! I recently read a blog that had a series called “30 days of…”  and I figured I could try a NEW challenge for the next 30 days.  So, I’ve decided to de-junk or organize something different for the next 30 days.  There’s something about writing my challenges here on this blog.  It somehow puts it out in the universe and then I’M COMMITTED!!! I HAVE to do it!!!! My only problem is what to do if I’m out of town?????  I’ve decided I just have to make it up by catching up.  As long as I’ve de-junked 30 spaces, I will have succeeded at the challenge. I’m planning on traveling next week, so I got a jump on my first two items.  Since I’m starting this mid-month, I’m calling this my “40 days of…”

Here’s my list:

  1. De-junk/Organize the middle drawer in the computer room bathroom {done}

2. De-junk/Organize the bottom drawer in the computer room bathroom {done}

3. De-junk/Organize the “manuals” accordion file {done}

4. De-junk/Organize the spice envelope container {done}

5. De-junk/Organize one shelf of linen closet {done}

6. De-junk/Organize the lazy susan in pantry {done}

7. De-junk/Organize the lazy susan in kitchen{done}

8. De-junk/Organize the bread drawer {done}

9. De-junk/Organize the dish cloths drawer {done}

10. De-junk/Organize your nail polish {done}

11. De-junk/Organize top shelf above microwave{done}

12. De-junk/Organize bottom shelf above microwave{done}

13. De-junk/Organize top drawer of small file cabinet{done}

14. De-junk/Organize bottom drawer of small file cabinet{done}

15. De-junk/Organize middle shelf of master bathroom {done}

16. De-junk/Organize top shelf of master bedroom {done}

17. De-junk/Organize middle shelf of master bedroom {done}

18. De-junk/Organize bottom shelf of master bedroom {done}

19. De-junk/Organize top drawer of night stand{done}

20. De-junk/Organize bottom drawer of night stand{done}

21. De-junk/Organize under hall bathroom sink {done}

22. De-junk/Organize under computer room bathroom sink {done}

23. De-junk/Organize mudroom hooks {done}

24. De-junk/Organize mudroom cubbies {done}

25. De-junk/Organize one shelf in south storage room {done}

26. De-junk/Organize one shelf in north storage room {done}

27. De-junk/Organize scripture basket{done}

28. De-junk/Organize left drawer in black side table {done}

29. De-junk/Organize middle drawer in black side table {done}

30. De-junk/Organize right drawer in black side table {done}

31. De-junk/Organize recipe binder{done}

32. De-junk/Organize shelf under printer {done}

33. De-junk/Organize middle console of car{done}

34. De-junk/Organize gift bag/wrapping paper stash {done}

35. De-junk/Organize floral craft stash {done}

36. De-junk/Organize top shelf of paper closet{done}

37. De-junk/Organize FHE packets {done}

38. De-junk/Organize canned goods {done}

39. De-junk/Organize bottom of top section of pull-out kitchen shelfs{done}

40. De-junk/Organize veggie bins {done}


Happy Friday!  Have a great day and do or challenge yourself with something NEW!






a NEW book finished and a short Sunday sermon


Happy Sunday! I recently wrote about the Classics Book Challenge that I’ve started.  Well 2 books down–10 to go!  Today’s short Sunday sermon comes from this book – I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. This scene has Cassandra (the main seventeen-year-old character and narrator) talking to her sewing mannequin (who surprisingly often gives back profound and unexpected advice).  Cassandra has named the mannequin Miss Blossom.  I thought it was quite a good section with good advice  — especially for a  Sunday sermon!

I sat on the bedroom window-seat, staring woodenly at Miss Blossom. Suddenly her voice, in my head: “You go to that picnic, dearie.”

I heard myself ask her why.

“Because little Miss Blinkeyes is right – it would take you out of yourself. And doing things for others gives you a lovely glow.”

“So does port,” I said cynically.

“That’s no way to talk, not at your age,” said Miss Blossom. “Though I must say you’d have made a cat laugh, walking about in your drawers with that cherry brandy. Fancy you having a taste for drink!”

“Well, I can’t drown my sorrows in it often,” I told her, “it’s too expensive. Good works are cheaper.”

“So’s religion,” said Miss Blossom. “And some say that’s best of all. You could get it all right if you went on trying, you know — you being so fond of poetry.”

Now it is very odd, but I have often told myself things through Miss Blossom that I didn’t know I knew. When she said that about my “getting” religion, I instantly realized that she was right — and it came as such a surprise to me that I thought “Heavens, have I been converted?” I soon decided that it wasn’t quite so drastic as that; all that had come to me, really, was — well, the feasibility of conversion. I suddenly knew that religion, God — something beyond everyday life — was there to be found, provided one is really willing. And I saw that though what I felt in the church was only imagination, it was a step on the way; because imagination itself can be a kind of willingness — a pretence that things are real, due to one’s longing for them. It struck me that this was somehow tied up with what the Vicar said about religion being an extension of art — and then I had a glimpse of how religion really can cure  you of sorrow; somehow make use of it, turn it to beauty, just as art can make sad things beautiful.

I found myself saying: “Sacrifice is the secret — you have to sacrifice things for art and it’s the same with religion; and then the sacrifice turns out to be a gain.” Then I got confused and I couldn’t hold on to what I meant — until Miss Blossom remarked: “”Nonsense, duckie — it’s perfectly simple. You lose yourself in something beyond yourself and it’s a lovely rest.”

I saw that, all right. Then I thought: “But that’s how Miss Marcy cured her sorrow, too — only she lost herself in other people instead of in religion.”  Which way of life was best — hers or the Vicar’s? I decided that he loves God and merely like the villagers, whereas she loves the villagers and merely likes God — and then I suddenly wondered if I could combine both ways, love God and my neighbour equally. Was I really willing to?

…Would I be sincere or just pretending? Even if it began as pretence, surely it would grow real before very long? Perhaps it was real already — for the very thought of it rolled the weight of misery of my heart, drove it so far away that, though I saw it still, I no longer felt it.


Have a great day! Do or read something NEW!

Just for future reference, here’s a couple of other quotes from the book (just so I have them all in one place, ya know?)

p. 38 “Noble deeds and hot baths are the best cures for depression”

P. 39 “…it really makes one feel rather Godlike to turn things a different colour.”

p. 296 “Oh, it’s hopeless to make friends with people who never talk about themselves.”


Miscellaneous Monday – NEW stuff i gotta share


Happy Monday! I call this photo ‘Shadows of Cinque Terre Laundry”…because, well, it’s a photo of shadows of laundry in a village in Cinque Terre, Italy. Haha!  SO profound!

Other miscellancy today:

Speaking of laundry…I really want to do something with my laundry room!  Here is what is on my wishlist:

These doors:


Pull out shelves similar to this:


And lastly…what I’ve been reading lately:


The Element and The Checklist Manifesto were non-fiction and Before We Were Yours and of course, Sherlock Holmes, The Hound of the Baskervilles was fiction.  I enjoyed all of these and would recommend them all.

That’s it for today’s miscellaneous nonsense.  Have a great day and do something NEW!







Another NEW challenge


Happy Saturday! Yesterday, I mentioned I appreciated the little push that a photo challenge gave me to get out and shoot.  Well, my other great love is reading – so I’m going to work on another challenge – that of reading 12 classics in 2018.  I’m excited!  I just recently found out about this challenge via I Read That In A Book blog – just in time to sign up before the deadline of March 1st.

Most of the books I plan to read (subject to change) for the 2018 Back to the Classics Challenge came from recommendations from blogs I follow:

1.  A 19th century classic – City folk and country folk by Sofia Khvoshchinskaya (recommended at I Read That In A Book) finished!
2.  A 20th century classic – Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (recommended by The Long Victorian) finished!
3.  A classic by a woman author – I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (Recommended via a comment on the Classics Challenge link page) finished!
4.  A classic in translation – La dame de Monsoreau by Alexandre Dumas (Highest rating for ‘Best of Dumas’ on GoodReads!)

5. A children’s classic – The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh: Tales & Poemby A. A. Milne (recommended by Cafe Book Bean) Finished!
6.  A classic crime story, fiction or non-fiction – A Scandal in Bohemia by  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (recommended by KatiesCottageBooks) finished!
7. A classic travel or journey narrative, fiction or non-fiction- Gone Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright (Recommended by Gretchen Rubin)finished!
8. A classic with a single-word title – Dracula by Bram Stoker (I’ll read this in October!)
9. A classic with a color in the title – The Silver Crown by Robert O’Brien (Recommended by Gretchen Rubin)finished!
10. A classic by an author that’s new to you – Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (recommended by Book Club Mom) Finished!
11. A classic that scares you – Youngblood Hawke by Herman Wouk (recommended by Book Club Mom)…this scares me because of how long it is.  It’s really, really long! It scares me to think how long it will take me to read it! Finished!
12. Re-read a favorite classic – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (Just because it’s my very favorite)

Have a great day! Do or READ something NEW!