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

sunday stealing

Click the icon to play along


1. My biggest barrier to weight loss is... not putting the concentrated effort into the lifestyle

2. What is your relationship with food like?  there is room for improvement

3. What was the last time you had fun that made you smile for a few days? being with my students is always fun

4. What are triggers in your life that lead to eating? celebrations

5. What inspires you to be healthier? can't think of anything

6. Name two foods that you think are “bad”?  liver and onions

7. Are your expectations for yourself too high? generally--I am far harder on myself than I am any other person in my life

8. Would you like more fun in your life? sure

9. What is your one comfort food? potato-related food: mashed potatoes, chips, fries

10. How would you give someone encouragement? being there, listening

11. Do you get enough sleep? I have changed my sleep hygiene and am finding the results satisfying

12. What activities make you feel more relaxed? knitting, reading, noodling on the internet

13. Where do you need to practice forgiveness in your life? *shrug*

14. What ie one thing you have not done because of how you looked? I can't think of anything

15. What would you like more of in your life? gestures of appreciation


finished reading

Don't be deceived--this is not a fluffy Christmas read.  It's a complicated story.  It's heartwarming but also heartbreaking but being a holiday story, it's ultimately uplifting.  Complicated.  There are several plotlines that offer lighter fare--like the secondary characters, who are very interesting and deserve spin-offs.  

I loved the advent calendar and the prospect of special activities for each day.  And I did enjoy this book, I can see myself returning to it.  It's not my typical holiday fare because of the serious themes.

From the publisher:
Kate Potter used to love Christmas. A few years ago, she would have been wrapping her presents in September and baking mince pies on Halloween, counting down the days and hours to Christmas. But that was before Kate’s husband left for the army and never came home. Now she can hardly stand December at all.

Kate can’t deny she’s lonely, yet she doesn’t think she’s ready for romance. She knows that her son, Jack, needs a Christmas to remember—just like Kate needs a miracle to help her finally move forward with her life. So she’s decided if there isn’t a miracle on its way, she’ll just have to make her own.

As Kate’s advent countdown to the best Christmas ever begins, she soon realizes that even with the best laid plans, you can’t plan for the unexpected. For when the path of the loneliest woman in town crosses with that of the loneliest man, these two destined hearts might find a way to save the holiday for both of them.

a little christmas mood


saturday 9



1) This song was chosen because yesterday was Black Friday, the traditional day of sales. Have you begun your Christmas shopping? I have a couple of gift cards to pick up from local vendors and then I'm done!

2)  Was there an adult beverage served with your Thanksgiving feast? no, since I was by myself and I can't tolerate alcohol anymore (boo hoo)
3) Did any pets enjoy scraps from your Thanksgiving table? no

4) Are there any Thanksgiving leftovers in your refrigerator right now? yes--there is half a chicken pot pie

5) Football is a popular Thanksgiving weekend pastime. Will you be watching any games over the next few days? If yes, which team(s) are you rooting for?
no, but I'll be watching a lot of Netflix and Hulu

6) This week's song is by Dierks Bentley. He wrote it for his wife, Cassidy Black, who appears in the video. They met in eighth grade, dated on and off, and then eloped when they were in their late 20s. Has anyone ever surprised you by going off and suddenly getting married? not that I can think of--that would be something I would do

7) 2016 was a good year for Bentley. This song was one of three hits he had that year, he co-hosted the CMAs and was nominated for Male Vocalist of the Year and Video of the Year. As 2020 winds to an end, do you feel it's been a successful year? well... gosh, that's a toughie.  I suppose so since I've weathered the storms in relatively good humor and health and I've sure learned a lot

8) In 2016, David Bowie died. Do you have a favorite Bowie song? today I'll go with Cat People

9) Also in 2016, CBS telecast reran How the Grinch Stole Christmas for the 50th time. What's your favorite Dr. Seuss story? maybe Horton Hears a Who--I don't really have a favorite


finished reading

This quirky book is based on a strange time loop filled with great secondary characters set in a Christmas backdrop.  There are some funny moments along with some cringe-worthy moments as Mae comes to discover what makes her happy.  We never really find out if Mae continues looping or if she's figured it out once and for all.

I wish there was a little bit of Andrew's point of view, it was hard to get the full picture of how the plot was moving along without his perspective.  

It was a fun read and made me want to join in this family fun.

From the publisher:
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…but not for Maelyn Jones. She’s living with her parents, hates her going-nowhere job, and has just made a romantic error of epic proportions.

But perhaps worst of all, this is the last Christmas Mae will be at her favorite place in the world—the snowy Utah cabin where she and her family have spent every holiday since she was born, along with two other beloved families. Mentally melting down as she drives away from the cabin for the final time, Mae throws out what she thinks is a simple plea to the universe: Please. Show me what will make me happy.

The next thing she knows, tires screech and metal collides, everything goes black. But when Mae gasps awake…she’s on an airplane bound for Utah, where she begins the same holiday all over again. With one hilarious disaster after another sending her back to the plane, Mae must figure out how to break free of the strange time loop—and finally get her true love under the mistletoe.

the friday 56


*Grab a book, any book. 

*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader (If you have to improvise, that's ok.) 

*Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) 

*Post it. 

I'm reading In A Holidaze and will finish this afternoon.


"Holy shit, time travel is confusing."

I rub my temples. "Benny."

He gazes at me, and I stick the tip of my thumb in my mouth, chewing. "I think you should go talk to Dan," he finally says.

"Dad? He's the most literal and scientific person I've ever met.  He would not for a second believe that I'm either a time traveler, a super-hero, or clairvoyant."

Benny laughs.  "I mean because he's a doctor."


finished reading

 I love this story about a little girl and her friend, Tree.  What a tribute to friendship.

From the publisher:
The Christmas Tree is the tale of a little girl named Anna, who is orphaned and sent to live in a convent. The lonely girl befriends, as only a child can, a tiny fir tree. Anna and Tree, as she calls him, grow up together, unlocking the secrets of friendship and sharing the wonders of nature. It is this same profound appreciation and love of nature that the grown-up Anna, now Sister Anthony, passes on to her students.
When Tree is threatened by a winter storm, Sister Anthony, by now an old woman, decides to give up her dearest friend, allowing him to become the most enjoyed and famous tree of all: the tree at Rockefeller Center in New York City.


Definitely a Thanksgiving to remember.  It's the first time I've spent the holiday on my own and only the third time I've spent it away from family.  But, I chose to be on my own rather than fret and worry about spreading germies I've picked up from school.  I would rather be safe and by myself than sorry.  And it's not bad.  I am watching Thanksgiving movies (Planes, Trains, and Automobiles and The Family Stone) alternating with the fireplace dogs.

I baked myself comfort food favorites--a chicken pot pie.  There's actually a story that goes with this:  I had ordered from a local caterer last month, confirmed this past Saturday, and then got a message Tuesday evening that it wasn't going to be available.  I had a little tantrum.  After the tantrum, I had a little cry because everything is overwhelming me (not being with family, Covid fatigue, school, and then the pampering I had planned).  Then I realized I still had time to go to the market and get ingredients to make my own, and a new plan was hatched.

I forget sometimes that I am actually quite a good cook.

I have much to be grateful for this year, despite all the chaos and the changes.  And I'm taking time to reflect and treasure this life of mine.


finished reading

 I loved the premise of this!

From the publisher:
Riley Kennedy’s emails keep getting crossed with her colleague, Kennedy Riley.

The infuriating man forwards them along with his annoying commentary and unsolicited advice. At least she never has to see him in person since they work in different locations…until they come face to face at the office holiday party. As luck would have it, Kennedy turns out to be gorgeous…though still a jerk. Yet somehow he’s able to charm her out on the dance floor—and convince her to participate in his crazy scheme: He’ll go home with Riley for a Christmas party and pretend to be her boyfriend if Riley agrees to be his date to a wedding.

It sounds easy enough. But little by little, the act they’re putting on starts to feel like so much more than a Christmas pact—and Riley’s about to learn there’s more to Kennedy than she ever imagined.

for fun


unraveled wednesday


Join Kat @ AsKatKnits for some fun!

Listening to The Christmas Pact and making the second Skyward Mitten (Rav link)

And I would like to point out this is my first foray into mitten knitting.


ten things tuesday

Ten random things:

1)  The best thing that happened today was backward planning and realizing I'm in good shape to get the content I need to get taught in time for the end of the semester.

2)  I left school about 10 minutes before the official time. Do I feel guilty?  Nope!  I feel a little badass!

3) Since I'm now on Thanksgiving break, I'm looking forward to sleeping in!  And napping!

4) Parent-Teacher conferences were this week.  I had a whopping total of four.

 5)  I was chosen as the equivalent of the employee of the week at school and had a shoutout on the school's social media sites.

 6)  I beat my reading goal for the year by 40 extra books!  I've officially hit 100 books! 😎

7) My landlord hired an electrician to install new light fixtures and an outlet in my bathroom and I am so darn excited!  The sconces are pretty!

8)  I'm almost finished with my holiday shopping.  

9)  This has been a week of up and down emotions.  One goal for the week is to be easier on me.

10)  Another goal for the week is to declutter my junk mail piles!  To the recycle bin!



I am...

Reading:  I finished book #100 for the year last night!  I get to select something new today.

Listening to:  the heavy rain outside

Loving:  the gerbera daisies I bought over a week ago are still looking great!  The pop of color is making me so happy

Thinking:  about change and being adaptive to change and being resilient and what a big challenge it is

Feeling:  anxious because my Pennsylvania sister woke up on Saturday with Bell's Palsy

Celebrating:  I had a fun AP Psychology class--we studied the effect of gratitude on well-being

Grateful for:  the superintendent is allowing teachers to be home for Parent-Teacher Conferences this evening since the weather is supposed to turn really nasty

Weather: it is 39° and freezing rain

Enjoying: I've almost finished the first pair of mittens I've ever tried knitting--I've done several fingerless gloves, but the full hand and the covered thumb--well those are challenges!  They're for my Virginia sister to go with her new coat 

A quote I want to share:

finished reading

 Just the delightful holiday read I was craving!  It's the fourth of the Wynbridge series that I've read (they're stand-alones) and it's always fun to visit this fantasy village.  I would have liked more about Gabe's backstory-but he's an equal match for Hayley.

From the publisher:
After calling off her engagement, Hayley, the Wynthorpe Hall housekeeper, wants nothing more than to return to her no-strings fun-loving self, avoiding any chance of future heartbreak. Little does she know, Wynbridge’s latest arrival is about to throw her plan entirely off course . . .

Moving into Wynthorpe Hall to escape the town’s gossip, Hayley finds herself immersed in the eccentric Connelly family’s festive activities as they plan to host their first ever Winter Wonderland. But Hayley isn’t the only new resident at the hall. Gabe, a friend of the Connelly’s son Jamie, has also taken up residence, moving into Gatekeeper’s Cottage, and he quickly makes an impression on Wynbridge’s reformed good-girl.

As preparations commence for the biggest event of the season, the pair find themselves drawn ever closer to one another, but unbeknownst to Hayley, Gabe, too, has a reason for turning his back on love, one that seems intent on keeping them apart.

Under the starry winter skies, will Gabe convince Hayley to open her heart again once more? And in doing so, will he convince himself?