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What do you most admire in other people?

I admire people who are genuine. I admire people who bring out the best in me and others. I admire creative people.

musing mondays

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Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…

• I’m currently reading…
• Up next I think I’ll read…
• I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
• I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
• I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
• I can’t wait to get a copy of…
• I wish I could read ___, but…
• I blogged about ____ this past week…

This week’s random question: Have you ever accidentally destroyed a book? Such as accidentally dropped it in the tub, or run it over with a bike? How about accidentally on purpose or simply purposefully?

Since I've answered the random question before, I'll list the most recent additions to my TBR: Murder at the Courthouse, America's First Daughter, All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, The Silent Sister, and In a Dark, Dark Wood. Quite a diverse group of books!



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I want less...


I guess that's realistically it.

sunday stealing

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My-New-Favorite-Author Questions

Where do you go to decompress from the world? for a drive

If given $10,000, what would you do with it? splurge

What is one major renovation you would love to make on your house? I would love to hire a professional decorator to come in and give me a total redo

What is one movie that you love and didn’t expect to love? Elf because I was not a fan of Will Farrell

What is the oldest knick-knack you own and what is its sentimental value? a ceramic baby bottle bank with my name, birth details--it's really the only knick-knack I have from my childhood

Do you own any books you keep out of obligation, but actually hate? no

How many countries have you visited outside of the one you live in now? eleven or twelve

Have you ever read only part of a book, but claimed you’ve read the whole thing? hello--college!

Have you ever spent a lot of money on something? What was it? a car

If you could change your name, what would it be? meh--I might use my middle name

What is a nickname a former (or present) lover gave you? love

How do you style your hair? If you just would say "cut" what style is it? curly

How many colors are you wearing now? four

What's one piece of fiction that changed your life? drawing a blank on this one

Is there anything that has made you unhappy recently? yes

Tell us about the job that you did before your current one or last one. I was in retail control--which entailed programming the cash registers to reflect the correct prices on sale items and the tags and signs that went with it

What was the last song to get stuck in your head? Ring Those Christmas Bells

What is your least favorite thing to do that you have to do everyday? drive in crappy weather

Best time of your life? living in Ireland

What are you most looking forward to in the coming year? celebrating my dad's 80th birthday


PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a postcard. I like to post one that speaks to me each week.


not my usual conversation gambit

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What do you not tell people?

I don't tell people about my mental health issues. Other than light asides about OCD and being medicated for it. My diagnosis is dysthymia and OCD. Therapy is the best thing I've ever done!

saturday 9

I'll Be There

1) In this song, Mariah pledges to "have faith in all you do." Have you recently given someone support or a pep talk? just today I gave a pep talk to a friend who's battling anxiety

2) Mariah was at the center of a controversy in Times Square on New Year's Eve when she had audio problems and claimed she could not perform. Times Square is at the busy intersection of Broadway and 7th Avenue. If we went to the busy intersection nearest your home, what would we find? (A store? A church? McDonald's?) on two corners: buildings that are empty and for rent, on the other two corners: a legal office and another mysterious office building (I say mysterious because I have no idea what it is)

3) Her nickname in high school was Mirage because she cut school so often. Did you ever play hookey? I play hookey more often as a teacher than I ever did as a student

4) Mariah doesn't apologize for spoiling her dogs, who have been known to travel by limo. Do you know anyone who treats his/her pets like people? my parentals are wrapped around the paw of Maggie (ok, ok, I am too!)

5) Mariah has something to fall back on. She studied cosmetology and worked as a hair sweeper in a salon. When you get your hair cut, do you socialize with the stylist? I've had the same stylist for... 26 years and we talk about everything

6) When married to her first husband, Mariah went vegetarian. Tell us about last night's dinner. Would it qualify as a vegetarian meal? no, it was a meat lasagna

7) This week's song was introduced by The Jackson 5. Think of your favorite Michael Jackson song. Did he record it solo or with his brothers? solo Michael

8) In 1992, when this song was popular, The Mall of America opened. Located in Minnesota, it's the biggest mall in the nation, with more than 400 stores. Think about the last thing you purchased. Were you shopping out of necessity, or for fun? necessity

9) Have you ever shoplifted? (Don't worry. We won't tell.) it was a life-changing episode for me to be caught although it was very hush-hush


not so good

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What are you not-so-good at?

Keeping a tidy home.
Balancing my budget.
Living within my means.
Memorizing for recitation.
Being patient with myself.
Being in the spotlight.
Initiating plans.
Sports--like bowling, I'm terrible but I have so much fun!
Grilling foods.

friday 5

  1. When did you last need a few days of complete rest and nothing else?
  2. over Christmas break
  3. How do you keep yourself occupied when you have to be in bed all day and night?
  4. sleeping, occasionally reading, but mostly sleeping
  5. Who do you most want to hear from when you have to withdraw to your bed for a few days of rest?
  6. no one! Leave. Me. Alone!
  7. What adverse effects have you experienced while staying in bed for a few days?
  8. sometimes I have a touch of vertigo
  9. When you first notice a few symptoms, are you more likely to shut everything down right away, or try to power through until you don’t have a choice anymore?
  10. I usually pay attention to the symptoms and try to get more rest

just finished reading

It's #4 in the series and I think it's my favorite. The Maine flavor is spot-on. And I liked the twists, I didn't figure it out!

From the publisher:
An autumn chill has settled over Busman's Harbor, Maine, but Julia Snowden is warming up the town by offering lobster stew at the local diner. When her landlord discovers a dead body in the walk-in refrigerator, Julia must figure out who ordered up a side of murder.

Nothing's colder than a corpse--especially one stashed inside a sub-zero fridge. The victim spent his last night on earth dining at the restaurant bar, so naturally Julia finds herself at the center of the ensuing investigation. Lost in the November fog, however, is who'd want to kill the unidentified stranger--and why. It might have something to do with a suspicious group of retirees and a decades-old tragedy to which they're all connected. One thing's for sure: Julia's going to make solving this mystery her early bird special…


good at that...

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What are you good at?

Creating clutter.
Ignoring clutter.
Procrastinating about laundry.
Being in the audience.
I was a good radio announcer.

think, write, thursday

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Write about the movie you can quote from the most. This may or may not be your favorite movie but you all know what we mean, right? What's that movie, the one that once you start quoting from (probably with your friends) and you just can't stop? Share some of your favorite quotes and tell us why you think it's just so darn quotable.

I quote the most from Elf. And the Princess Bride. And Star Wars. Revenge of the Nerds. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. And Christmas Vacation. And When Harry Met Sally. And many, many musicals.


no ideas

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Ideas you'd love to have the time to work on.

I've got no ideas.

yarn along

Join in every Wednesday to share a single photo of what you are knitting and reading too!

Knitting the Be Simple Variations shawl and listening to The Fireman by Joe Hill.

w.w.w. wednesday

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading and revived here on Taking on a World of Words.

• What are you currently reading? I'm reading Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon and Fogged Inn by Barbara Ross and at school: The Strategic Teacher by Harvey Silver and listening to The Fireman by Joe Hill.

• What did you recently finish reading? I finished reading Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum and listening to The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.

• What do you think you’ll read next? I'm not sure.


ten things tuesday

Ten things I like that are red:

1) Red hair. My sisters and I are all gingers, which is unusual. We all have various shades of red. Mine has changed the most--going from vibrant red to an almost beige-y strawberry blond. It's fun to be a redhead, though.

2) Pomegranate. One my favorite fruits. I love the sweet, tart crunch.

3) Red Jello. I don't even care what flavor it's supposed to be, I like my jello red!

4) Sunset. I haven't seen many sunsets in these past months and I miss the lingering shades of red into purple.

5) Simply Red. I know, I know. But I like Mick Hucknall. So much so that I copied his short hair style in the early 90s.

6) The ruby. Many years ago, I bought myself a pretty ruby ring. I should dig it out and see if I can get it reset into a pendant.

7) Red Velvet Cake. We even have a family secret recipe.

8) This blanket. I can't quite capture the color but it's a deep, rich, luxurious red. I bought it for myself but realized that my stepmom needed a new blanket so I gave it to her. It's her favorite, too.

9) My felted knitting project bag. It's a wine-red. Easy to keep track of.

10) My favorite hat--I love the bright red color and it doesn't smoosh my hair too much! It was an easy pattern and I've made several more but not using this awesome yarn.


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Make a list of things to research.

I need to research Elie Wiesel's birth and death.

I need to find a couple of videos for brioche knitting techniques. And stranded knitting (using multiple colors).

I'm planning to research all wheel drive and traction control on my car.

I want to research the new eye doctor's office in town--do they accept my insurance?

I've got to get ready for reading group March 1st.

I think that's enough for now.

just finished

What a grim, gritty, uplifting journey this book is. I don't have the words to express the sadness, horror, and joy I sometimes felt. History at a raw, intense moment in time. Masterfully told. I couldn't stop, I had to know what was happening next. It unfolds in the style of a slave narrative--the action without internal dialogue and emotion.

From the publisher:
Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hellish for all the slaves but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood - where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned and, though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.

In Whitehead's ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor - engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar's first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven - but the city's placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. Even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.

As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre-Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman's ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.