January 2018 Photo a Day Challenges

Posted by on Jan 1, 2018 in Fun, photos | 4 comments

January 2018 Photo a Day Challenges

Happy New Year! Time for another month of daily photos!

I have found a way to make daily photo prompts work well for me.

No single photo a day prompt list fully works for me. I choose to save several lists and choose one prompt each day from among those lists. Every once in a while I just can’t find a prompt that works for me that say so I give myself permission to tag whatever I do want to photograph. I’m happy to say that I love this approach and it works great for me. I highly recommend it.

Here is a sample of the photo a day lists I’ll be using for January:
(click on the images to see larger versions)

If committing to a month at a time feels like too much, there are other weekly and daily options available on Instagram
There are several Instagram accounts that feature a new theme every day or every week. I follow these accounts and every once in a while they save me when I just don’t like any of the other prompts. These are all worth following on Instagram.

As you can tell, I am a huge fan of using prompts for daily photos because it helps make a personal photo journal and also makes me look for inspiration throughout my daily life. It helps me to notice and appreciate the little moments and things every day.

I’ve been doing this since March of 2012 so I’m closing in on 6 years of daily photos.

Follow my Daily Photos on Instagram

These are the most liked of my December 2017 Photo a Day photos:

If you’re not doing a Photo a Day challenge I hope you’ll consider it because it’s a fun way to have a photo journal. If you are, great! Keep up with it. You won’t be sorry. I highly recommend the pick from many prompts each day approach.

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Weekend Update – My January 2018 Could Do List

Posted by on Dec 31, 2017 in Fun, Weekend Update | 8 comments

Weekend Update

December 2017 Could Do List

I’ve seen a few bloggers post a monthly ‘Could Do” list and I think it’s a fun idea. Here are a few things I”d like to do in December. I might do them all but I don’t feel obligated to complete the list.

1. Clear out and purge another room
In December we took everything out of the kitchen cabinets and put less than half back. I still need to do the pantry but I’d like to tackle another room too.

2. Reed the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
Since they started releasing the illustrated editions with art by Jim Kay I’ve been making them a January reading tradition.

3. Be more active in my LibraryThing group
I want to put this higher on my priority list than it’s been the past few months.

4. Go to a museum
There’s lots to do around here that we’ve never done.

What’s on your “Could Do” list this month?

Hope you’re having a great weekend.

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First Lines of 2017

Posted by on Dec 30, 2017 in Blogging/Reading, Fun, Uncategorized | 6 comments

Teddy Bears Reading

I’ve always liked the list of first lines that Michelle at That’s What She Read keeps on her blog. I decided to copy the idea this year and keep track of first lines of the books I read. Some say a lot, others nothing that would give you a clue about the book.

It’s been fun and I think I’ll continue this. Thanks Michelle, for the idea.

  1. The morning of June 27 was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full summer day.
  2. Okay, here we go!
  3. Not for the first time, an argument had broken out over breakfast at number four, Privet Drive.
  4. Armand Gamache sat in the little room and closed the dossier with care, squeezing it shut, trapping the words inside.
  5. My name is Uhtred
  6. This is what you should look for on this 90-degree June morning: The broadcast news interns pairing running shoes with their summer business casual, hovering by the Supreme Court’s public information office.
  7. Welcome back to “Coast to Coast AM” on the first day of June, 2016.
  8. Charlie still thought about the phantom planes sometimes.
  9. Forty-five minutes north-east of Cambridge is a landscape I’ve come to love very much indeed.
  10. Some nights, if I’m sleeping on my own, I still dream about Whitethorn House.
  11. Wade disappeared on us when I was nine years old, and then he showed up out of nowhere the year I turned twelve.
  12. Oda. Why are we meeting out here?
  13. My name is Harry Clifton.
  14. How did the Marquis de Lafayette win over the stingiest, crankiest tax protesters in the history of the world?
  15. The Planet Hepton. Fringe world of the UGC.
  16. So I am fifty-two years old.
  17. It was as black in the closet as old blood.
  18. Malorie stand in the kitchen, thinking.
  19. My grandmother Nanny and I were at the picture show.
  20.  “One of the most important events in the history of mankind — after the discovery of fire, the development of the wheel, and the invention of chocolate, of course — occurred in London on an overcast chilly rainy afternoon, and it is entirely typical that it should have been witnessed only by two bedraggled pigeons and a scrawny cat.
  21. One of the best things about our job is that if you live long enough, you get to choose your last jump.
  22. Hurry up!”
  23. Matilda is under siege.
  24. This is Tony Chu.
  25. On the afternoon of Thursday, October 26, 1775, His Royal Majesty George III, King of England, rode in royal splendor from St. James’s Palace to the Palace of Westminster, there to address the opening of Parliament on the increasingly distressing issue of the war in America.
  26. Driving to the office in her battered white van, down the Tlokweng Road, past the stand of whispering gum trees, Mma Ramotswe, founder and owner of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, allowed her mind to wander.
  27. Hurry up, Ollie!
  28. Uh oh. Lenny slipped me LSD.
  29. Well to tell you the truth, you get used to the place.
  30. When my mother was angry with me, which was often, she said, ‘The Devil led us to the wrong crib’.
  31. If it had not rained on a certain May morning Valancy Stirling’s whole life would have been entirely different.
  32. Ah, this looks like it might be something.
  33. When most people think of the periodic table, they remember a chart hanging on the front wall of their high school chemistry class, an asymmetric expanse of columns and rows looming over one of the teacher’s shoulders.
  34. There was a time, and it was many years ago now, when I had to stay in a hospital for almost nine weeks.”
  35. That’s him?
  36. I am a stranger.
  37. You never saw it all.
  38. This is my favorite book in all the world, though I have never read it.
  39. Duty Ops Officer.
  40. I powered up the transporter and said a silent prayer.
  41. Every so often — frequently when consenting adults are reported to be having sex in some manner that would have been banned in the Victorian Age — a TV commentator will shake his head and discuss how this behavior let to Rome’s final days.
  42. One fine summer’s morning the sun peeped over the hills and looked down upon the valley of Silverstream.”
  43. Thank you for coming.
  44. It was a dark and stormy night.
  45. 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.
  46. It’s Christmas Day 1066 and a team from St. Mary’s is going to witness the coronation of William the Conqueror: or so they think . . .
  47. If I told you my mother’s name, you’d recognize it right away.
  48. ‘Lord Chesney?’ Jensen’s voice cut through the midmorning stillness of the stables.
  49. I turned up the volume to hide what I was doing because . . .
  50. I know you’re there 21.
  51. From the harbor, the port of Alexandria is an attractive sight.
  52. Are you ready?
  53. I pressed in on the knurled end of my Colt 1911A1 with my thumb at the same time rotating the barrel bushing a quarter turn clockwise to gree the plug and recoil assembly, my hands working from rote.
  54. It was hard to be a tsar.
  55. Mrs Bantry was dreaming.
  56. The tower, which was not supposed to be there, plunges into the earth in a place just before the black pine forest begins to give way to a swamp and then the reeds and wind-gnarled trees of the marsh flats.
  57. Troy fell.
  58. Killing was too good for him.
  59. In the beginning, nearly fourteen billion years ago, all the space and all the matter and all the energy of the known universe was contained in a volume less than one-trillionth the size of the period that ends this sentence.
  60. You wanna know my problem with Capitalism?
  61. Charlie hadn’t been to the house in years.”
  62. They are just kids.
  63. Henry and I dug the hole seven feet deep.”
  64. When at last I was taken out of the plaster, and the doctors had pulled me about to their hearts’ content, and nurses had wheedled me into cautiously using my limbs, and I had been nauseated by their practically using baby talk to me, Marcus Kent told me I was to go and live in the country.
  65. “Crossing the Long Island Sound in dense fog just before midnight on the night of June 11, 1880, the passengers and crew of the steamship Stonington found themselves wrapped in impenetrable blackness.”
  66. “The buzz in the street was like the humming of flies.”
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Five Books I Want to Read: Winter 2017

Posted by on Dec 21, 2017 in Blogging/Reading, Fun | 8 comments

Five Books I Want to Read: Fall 2017

I’ve been doing this seasonal list of Top Books I’d Like to Get To for a while now. Sometimes I do better than others with getting through my choices.

For Fall I picked 5 books and I finished three of them and I’m currently listening and reading the other two.

The three I finished are:

The Blackhouse by Peter May
Many of my friends had recommended this first book in a trilogy for several years. I’m glad I finally read it and plan to read the next two.

A Second Chance by Jodi Taylor
The Chronicles of St. Mary’s series is madcap time travel adventures and just a whole lot of fun despite the occasional sad moments.

Divided in Death by J.D. Robb
Robb’s Eve Dallas series is a guilty pleasure of mine and even better since I started listening to the audio editions narrated by Susan Ericksen

The two I’m currently reading:
Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard
The story of James Garfield, his assassin and the people who tried to save his life is a fascinating one.

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith narrated by Robert Glenister.
This has been on my radar for ages and I’m so glad I’m listening to the audio edition.

Today is the Winter Solstice so it’s time to pick my Winter possibilities that I want to read before the Spring Equinox March 20th.

The Five Books I Want to Read This Winter

The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie


I’ve read and enjoyed some of the Miss Marple books so it’s time to read a Poirot book.

The Hearts Invisible Furies by John Boyne

The Hearts Invisible Furies by John Boyne


So many of my friends have talked about this book and made me want to read it.

A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash

A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash


I bought this shortly after reading This Dark Road to Mercy. He’s got a new one out but I want to read this one first.

Glass Houses by Louise Penny narrated by Robert Bathurst

Glass Houses by Louise Penny narrated by Robert Bathurst


This has been in my Audible library since it was released in August. Oops.

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway


I have never read anything by Hemingway.

What books are you looking forward to reading in the next few months?

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What’s in a Name Challenge 2018

Posted by on Dec 14, 2017 in Blogging/Reading, Fun, What's in a Name | 2 comments

The 2018 What’s in a Name? Challenge

This is my favorite Reading Challenge and the one I have done every year since it first started.

The Eleventh Annual What’s in a Name Challenge

What's In A Name 2018

What’s In A Name 2018

Charlie at The Worm Hole hosts this one.

For the What’s in a Name Challenge participants are asked to read books whose titles fit a selection of categories. It’s not a huge commitment and I usually manage to check off most of the categories randomly without even trying. There are usually a couple of categories that I end up needing to actively search for a book but that’s always a fun search and I’ve found some real gems along the way. This year I picked up both The Disappearing Spoon and The Blue Castle at least partly because of this challenge

The 2018 categories are as follows:

The basics
The challenge runs from January to December. During this time you choose a book to read from each of the following categories. (Examples of books you could choose are in brackets – translations and other languages most definitely count!):

  • The word ‘the’ used twice (The Secret By The Lake; The End Of The Day, The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time)
  • A fruit or vegetable (The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society; The Particular Sadness Of Lemon Cake)
  • A shape (The Ninth Circle, The Square Root Of Summer, Circle Of Friends)
  • A title that begins with Z – can be after ‘The’ or ‘A’ (Zen In The Art Of Writing; The Zookeeper’s Wife, Zelda)
  • A nationality (Anna And The French Kiss; How To Be A Kosovan Bride; Norwegian Wood)
  • A season (White Truffles In Winter; The Spring Of Kasper Meier; The Summer Queen; Before I Fall; The Autumn Throne)

As usual I’ve tried to include some easy categories and some not so. Remember the titles I’ve given here are only examples, you can by all means use them if you want to but it’s not necessary. There are plenty of other books that will fit the categories and you may have some in mind already or even some on your shelves you can read.

For more details check out the sign up post at The Worm Hole by clicking on the image above.

Half the fun of this challenge is looking for books that might work. I’m looking forward browsing my TBR lists to find books that fit for the 2018 categories.

Hope you decide to join in the fun

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Weekend Update – My December 2017 Could Do List

Posted by on Dec 3, 2017 in Fun, Weekend Update | 3 comments

Weekend Update

December 2017 Could Do List

I’ve seen a few bloggers post a monthly ‘Could Do” list and I think it’s a fun idea. Here are a few things I”d like to do in December. I might do them all but I don’t feel obligated to complete the list.

1. Drive around looking at Christmas lights
I love to look at holiday decorations in other neighborhoods

2. Finish one baby afghan and start another.
I’m way behind in getting these done.

3. Empty, purge, and rearrange the kitchen cabinets
It’s the one room we haven’t purged since we moved in 18 years ago. I want it done.

4. Finish my Christmas shopping before next Sunday
I do stockings for The Hubster, his sister and my brother. It’s a combination of fun and practical stuff.

5. Have my own personal mini readathon
If number 4 happens I’ll have a free weekend on the calendar.

What’s on your “Could Do” list this month?

Hope you’re having a great weekend.

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