Thursday, December 27, 2012

Pin it and Do it, Holiday edition

I met Trish during Bloggiesta, and was glad to learn that she was to host a Pinterest challenge. Since I have a stupid-insane number of pins for which I never make time, I thought I'd give it a go. And, because I'm stupid-insane, I aimed for the highest goal level Pin Obsessed. 8 pins over 6 weeks, no problem, right? Includes recipes and all the ornaments I'm going to make with the kids, NO PROBLEM.


So, [fast-forwarding to the actual current day] I find myself on the day before the deadline with 4 items left on the list. Perfect time to panic, don't you think?

Here is what I've managed to accomplish thus far:

Fire Starters

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Filled Crescent Rolls.

Tortellini-Alfredo Casserole

Cleaning Supplies Organizer

Daily Calendar:

Ham and Swiss Crescent Rolls Today's lunch!

Apple Pie, no, not that kind I'll most likely save this for last, partly because there are no liquor stores open today!

These are what I'd hoped to do in time:

Kids' Christmas list in an ornament with the yearI'll still do these before we get the Christmas things put away.

Turn your favorite bar of soap into a liquid soap I searched all over for glycerin, but didn't find any before everything closed last night. If I have time tomorrow, I'll try the craft stores.

Well, I managed to squeeze in 7 out of 8; I didn't master the challenge, but I got close, and I have a few more new things in my life that I didn't before

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Pin It and Do It: A Pinterest Challenge

So, I've been on Pinterest for a while, fairly soon after the creators started giving out invites. For me, it was a lot like this: [pin all the things cartoon] Yeah, I went a little nuts, but hey, it got me to quit playing CafeWorld on facebook. I know some people appreciate the absence of that in their newsfeed. These days, I make a conscious effort to limit the number of days and hours I spend pinning. All. The things. So... I have all these great decorating ideas, recipes, new homeschooling materials, etc. and I'm not taking the time to follow through with them. I needed a challenge (much like the reading and blogging ones I've accomplished). Luckily, I ether-met Trish through the last Bloggiesta, and was too late for the challenge she had going at the time, but managed to help talk her into doing another one so soon after she'd just finished. BTW, she's going to a quarterly schedule in 2013. Sounds good to me! I transferred 36 pins to a separate board, which I'll probably keep as a "current projects" space when challenges aren't running. The highest challenge level has a minimum of 8 finished projects. I think I can get through that many from the larger list. [links?] "Magazine" rack for wrapping materials Cereal boxes to paper storage (first one for the kids) Trivets from river stones and felt Bar soap--> liquid Dryer lint+toilet paper roll fire starters old terry robes to bath rug recipes for: crescent roll ham sandwiches, chicken gnocchi pesto soup, crack potatoes, tortellini alfredo casserole, chicken enchilada crockpot soup (in the crock I just bought today), Apple Pie drink, and Chocolate/PB crescent rolls. Some holiday ideas: Elf on the Shelf Crepe paper over kids doors for Christmas morning 5 different ornaments A few outdoor projects, a bracelet, a perpetual journal, and some organization for cleaning products. At first glance, I seem to already have most of the materials for about a third of the projects (not including the recipes). There are a few I want to rework in order to make them a little...nicer.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

End of Event!

1. Which hour was most daunting for you? 10 and 22 (4 P and AM, respectively).

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? The Graveyard Book is a quick read, and perfect for the fall season.

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? For those of us who could not check in every hour, a master list of the mini-challenges would have been nice to have so we could plan better for them (like, getting a picture of reading to one's kid before they go to bed).

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? Good distribution of hosts.

5. How many books did you read? Read 4, finished 1.

6. What were the names of the books you read? The Graveyard Book, Mark of Athena, Mirror Mirror, Fifty Acres and a Poodle.

7. Which book did you enjoy most? Graveyard Book

8. Which did you enjoy least? Fifty Acres and a Poodle

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? n/a

10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? Very likely. Will probably just be a reader again, as this was only my first.

Mirror, Mirror by Gregory Maguire

Finally finished a book!

278 pages

Notable passages:

"The eye is always caught by light, but shadows have more to say."

"Faith is a floor. If you don't work on making it for yourself, you have nothing to walk on."

"A mirror's image is always forward of the truth by an instant or so. While a question is formulating, the mirror always knows the answer before the question is asked."

Saturday, October 13, 2012

More Mini-Challenges

I got a bit of a late start getting back to the 'thon because I insisted on starting the Potter Nightly Read with my son tonight. I read 20 minutes (about 10 pages) of the first book (Sorcerer's Stone). He seemed to absorb some of what I was reading, but I'm more about making this an enjoyable no-pressure-on-his-abilities reading time for him. If I'd known there was a mini-challenge about this, I would have had my husband take a picture to post here. Oh well...

I did manage to see this photo-based one in time: Picturrific Here's my entry for Mirror, Mirror:

A picture of an apple in a mirror should cover it, right?

Mid-Event Survey

Kids are finally in bed, and now it's time to do a little posting and online catch-up before the next reading block. I didn't get as far as I wanted the last time I had a book open, but I hope to remedy that with a later bedtime.

1) How are you doing? Sleepy? Are your eyes tired? I'm mellow from dinner and a glass of wine, but hope to perk up at the next stretch break. I hope it isn't raining too hard when that happens.

2) What have you finished reading? I haven't finished anything yet. Hoping to get through Mirror, Mirror by midnight, but I won't be upset if I need to continue with my audiobook instead.

3) What is your favorite read so far? I'm really enjoying The Graveyard Book. It's a read-along, so I have to wait until next week to continue.

4) What about your favorite snacks? I haven't really been snacking; my schedule has allowed/enforced regular meals. I did bring home some strawberry twizzlers, so I might have a few of those later. If I do an audiobook break, I have some kettle corn ready to go.

5) Have you found any new blogs through the readathon? If so, give them some love! I haven't done much real visiting yet, just enough for some of the mini-challenges. Visiting and commenting might be the last thing I do before I give in and crash on the couch.

Hour 9 check-in

Have spent the last hour or so catching up with mini-challenges:

Turn to Page

Book Blogger Bingo


Where I submitted this:



Run away from the Hound of God

And the

Vampire Silas,

Ever watchful

Yields ground,

Allows schooling for the hungry


Death surrounds


Others seek his

Obliteration. He'll soon

Know enough.

Readathon Intro Meme early...props to the kiddos who woke me up with their argument over which dvd to start the day (Star Wars vs. Angelina Ballerina).

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Rurality of Dripping Springs, TX. It's cloudy and should rain at some point today.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? Mirror, Mirror, by Gregory Maguire. I think it's the only one of his fairytale "series" I haven't read yet.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? There are some chocolate shortbread sandwich cookies from IKEA, acquired from a friend, that may not survive the morning.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I'm a SAHM to Boy, 7, and Grrl, 4. Boy is working on expanding his functionality on the Autism Spectrum. Grrl is working on her overlord (lady?) destiny. Helping them with their respective goals is my first priority, but I have been making more and bigger efforts to write.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? This is my first glad that it's still here! I'm looking forward to the time alone to concentrate on the writing aspect, and to venturing "out" to visit new friends.

And now, it is time to get everyone dressed and head over to the YMCA so I can listen to my first book of the day (Mark of Athena), do my qigong practice, and start this week's reading assignment for The Graveyard Book.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Readathon Plan, Wrenched but Salvageable

For me, the biggest impediment to participating in events like this, is childcare coordination. One of the tough things about living in the country is the dearth of teenagers who offer sitting services, and also the scarcity of other moms who are willing to have my kids over for a playdate. My best hope for the next Bloggiesta is that my daughter will finally be out of diapers, which will mean sleepovers at the grandparents place (in theory, anyway).

So, my 24-hour time slot runs from 7 AM on Saturday to 7 AM on Sunday. My husband will be attending a memorial service for a cousin who passed this summer. I'll stay home with the kids and grab what I can in terms of time. I'll have a little reading time after my qigong class while the kids use up the rest of their 2-hour limit. Depending on husband's return time, I might fit in 2-3 uninterrupted hours before dinner. The kids will get storytime before bed, so I guess I get to count that also.Depending on when I crash, I should have between 4 and 6 hours of uninterrupted visiting/blogging/reading.

Morning and afternoon selections:

The Graveyard Book,for post-qigong

Mark of Athena, for the car

Angel of Music, at the playground

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, at bedtime, for the boy

Evening books:

Mirror, Mirror

Sweet Potato Queens' Big Ass Cookbook

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff

Fifty Acres and a Poodle

Confessions of a Slacker Wife

Hags, Sirens, and Other Bad Girls of Fantasy

These are just books that caught my eye. All have been languishing in the garage for at least a few years (I've been using my public library and getting many free Kindle and iBooks titles). I will just have to see what I'm in the mood for, and whether I feel a need to finish the Kindle read before I start something from the big pile.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Wherein I am officially sucked back into the book blogging community

Surprise! Another event looms, and I can't resist:

This doesn't come at the most ideal time in terms of our family schedule (we have a memorial service that day and a visit to the Matriarch on the next), but I will do what I can in terms of reading, blogging, and visiting. Part of me wishes that this didn't fall so close to the Bloggiesta event, but I'm sure that debate has raged often enough that my opinion isn't going to sway anyone.

I have a rough schedule in draft at the moment. I'll incorporate it into my first post at 7 AM (start time for my zone) on Saturday. If all goes well, and my husband is up for a little support re: childcare, I should have at least 6 good blocks of time to read that day, even if I opt to catch 4 hours of sleep near the end.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A little blog-hopping, a little cleanup...

More visiting, until I can get the kids into bed.


And, even though it wasn't an official goal, I purged a few things from the sidebar. Will do more next time.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

It's a Plan!

Per Trish's tweet about Wine Wednesday, with the Hump Day erotica addendum, I'll be settling into 50 Shades of Alice in Wonderland and a glass of Merlot after I get the kids into bed.


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Weekly Wrap, Edition #1

Here's the abbreviated (yes, really!) compilation of what I've found on the 'net this past week. Let's start with books from the Kindle store. I don't have a Kindle, just the reader on my iPad. For the most part, I grab freebies, and most of these will probably have reverted to buy-only If you're lucky and have a Kindle and a Prime account, many of these are free to borrow.

Strictly G.I.: The WWII Letters of Cpl. Wanda M. Renn

River Ghosts

Running Barefoot

Goodnight Dear

Retro Family Recipes

Demon Hunter and Baby

Among Women

Hand of Fate

Amazingly enough, I pinned only one item, a recipe for Apple Pie French Toast Casserole.

A few of my facebook "likes":

Painted Bees, my qigong instructor's etsy shop

I need to do this for myself more often:

This too, actually...

I retweet, a lot, apparently. Here are some articles, sites, and funny bits:

Reducing paper clutter

This site links to youtube videos of scrapbooking tips and tricks.

Promoting science literacy for girls through mentorship and education

One of my favorite sites is funding for a rebuild

This is the guy who is (slowly) turning me into a yarn slut. Watch the video. No, I'm not in it.

Bloggess at the TX Book Festival. I squeed.

Here are the links that made it onto my SpringPad:

2012 Stories

5 Love Languages

Texas Autism Conference

And, lastly, a few articles that I sent to Instapaper:

Productive Procrastination

Useful Ringtones/Alerts for Smartphones

Geography of Nope

And that's a wrap!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Visits and meandering and chatting it up

Books. Lists. Life. Where I committed to doing this Pinterest challenge for the month of October.

Stuff As Dreams Are Made On Where I gave the author a hard time for posting yet another interesting meme I'd like to participate in. And, I may have set myself up for hosting my own someday. EEP!

Stainless Steel Droppings Where I committed to doing this read-along.

Returned the "hello" from Maria.

Returned the "hello" from Mel

Complimented Trish on her "old-school" challenge.

Let Brianna know I was having trouble with Pocket on my iPad

Thanked Joy for all the great Evernote ideas.

Let Tanya know which of her blog topics I'd use in the future.

Took a survey!

Proposed, pie-in-the-sky blog schedule

Sunday--book review

Monday--Mailbox Monday (host changes monthly--schedule is here) October

Tuesday--On the 4th Tuesday, will do this:What's on Your Nightstand? Will do the Where Are You? meme (which used to be hosted by raidergirl3) for the other 3 weeks. Since these should be short entries, I'll also post a book review

Wednesday--Write on Wednesday (was a separate blog, now a category)

Thursday--Booking Through Thursday and Thursday's Thoughts (the latter has old posts, pre-2009, so I may find another meme)

Friday--Friday Finds Now I will have to be sure to track all those Kindle titles I've been loading onto the iPad. And, will post another review. 3 per week might be overly ambitious, but I am so far behind... it's no longer funny.

Saturday--Will post my 1-3 reviews at Saturday Review of Books just to get a little more exposure. I'll also use this day to do a Weekly Wrap-Up: posting items from other sources (twitter, pinterest, etc.). If I'm feeling super-ambitious, I'll try to complete past challenges from Weekly Geeks I've been trying to figure out if anyone took this meme over when Dewey passed. Someone please point me in the right direction if you know :)

And, here's a picture of my hardcopy schedule:
Yes, it's sideways... because I have dorktastic editing skills.

Ready, set... GO!

It's Bloggiesta time!
Let's see how far I can get while my grrl watches her favorite horse-themed dvd.

Goal list:

Get a blogging mobile app installed and running on phone and iPad. Done! Went with Blogsy for the iPad, and will use Evernote on the phone.

Do the organization and scheduling mini challenge from Amanda of On a Book Bender. Done!

See if the format of Trish's mini-challenges works well for me.

Check out Pocket per Brianna and see if I can be disciplined enough to use it instead of Instapaper for my blogging topics. Update: I downloaded it, and all it does is display 4 colored bars that do nothing :(

Carve some basic html tags into my arm so I don't have to keep tabbing over to the cheat sheet. Kidding. Really.

Try an Evernote notebook system per Joy's mini-challenge.

Use Tanya's list of topics to beef up that schedule

Give my readers a better idea of life in the boonies and fulfill Maria's challenge.

Catch up on a few reviews (there's no way I'd get through half in a few days) and commit to the Can’t Eat Just One challenge at Hannah's site.

Go visiting! Can I make 10 each day? Sheila challenges us to build community.

Attend at least part of one of the twitter parties.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Bloggiesta September 2012

How sad is it that the previous post is about the same event held 6 months ago, in which I did not get to participate? *facepalm* OK, so here I am, trying again...the weekend of Bloggiesta hasn't been booked for anything else yet. It would make sense for task #1 to be: "call dibs on adequate blocks of time to make this worth the effort." Might as well carry over my goals from last time: "do some community-building, and maybe create some real motivation to clean this thing up and start the process of bringing it up to speed. Oh, and I need to set up mobile blogging on my phone." I'm pretty sure I have enough on the account to cover the necessary app. No clue if anyone is still reading this, but here's the link to sign up, just in case anyone wants to join me: here At least this is more do-able for me than the Austin Blogathon, which is a similar, but more costly endeavor: BlogathonATX

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bloggiesta March 30-April 1

After, what, 3 years of availability, I'm going to make a real effort to join these 100+ bloggers in order to do some community-building, and maybe create some real motivation to clean this thing up and start the process of bringing it up to speed.

Oh, and I need to set up mobile blogging on my phone, in case I'm away from home (which may be the case on Friday evening, will see how the family calendar shakes out for that week).

It isn't as if I haven't been reading, and I've been adding books to my iPad like crazy. What little online writing I have done has been so personal, it's tucked away on a blog that none of my real-life friends can access. Whole new identity and everything. I've pointed only one person to it, someone I met online and with whom I made a really true connection. Funny how I can trust a complete stranger with the dark and scary things.

Anyway, this is where I play nice, if not necessarily coherent, with the world.