Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016: Year in Review

I haven't posted much recently but I always enjoy doing this one.  

2016: A Year in Review

1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?

Well....I turned 40!  

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I'm not typically a "New Year's Resolutions" kind of girl.  I'm more of a "Make some plans and goals" kind of girl.  For example, last year I wanted to purge some stuff.  I kept a list in a notebook every time we gave something to charity, or sold something, or whatever.  We also rented a Bagster and filled it up.  There are currently two bags of trash and another bin of items to donate waiting for me in the garage.  So when stuff starts to pile up, it's time to get rid of some of it.  

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?  No one this year.  

4. Did anyone close to you die?  Not this year.  

5. What countries/places did you visit?
We went back to Williamsburg, Virginia for vacation this year.  Had a great time, visiting Busch Gardens, Water Country and of course, Colonial Williamsburg.

6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
Patience.  I think that I wish for that every year.  

7. What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? 

November 8th.  Whether you voted Trump, Clinton, third party or not at all, I doubt you'll ever forget this year's election.    

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I don't really know.  

9. What was your biggest failure?

No BIG failures, but certainly little ones.  That's ok, Failure is part of the process.  It's inevitable.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?  Another year, another kidney stone.  Hopefully I've put all of that behind me!  

11. What was the best thing you bought?

A new refrigerator.  It was a proactive thing too, to replace it before it went.  

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Anyone who does good deeds for their fellow humans.  Those are the people that news stories should be written about.  

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Donald Trump, and many of his supporters.  Actually, the supporters were more appalling.  

14. Where did most of your money go?
Bills.  karate for the family.  yarn.  Probably not all in that order.  

15.  What did you really get excited about?

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them coming out in theaters at last!  And it certainly did not disappoint!

16. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? Probably the same.   

b) thinner or fatter? Right about the same.  I'm excellent at weight maintenance.  I need to be more excellent at losing it.

c) richer or poorer? Both, rich in some ways and poor in others.  It all offsets in the end.

17. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Not tried to be everything to everyone, and taken care of myself more often.  I'm getting better at it, but still have a ways to go.  

18. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Worrying about things that one cannot control.  Getting frustrated when trying to view the future in a crystal ball, only to find out that I don't HAVE a crystal ball.  

19. How did you spend Christmas?

We went to my brother's house for a fun, simple Christmas.  It was the first year in a long time that it didn't feel like we overdid it on gifts for everyone, etc.  Truly a lovely holiday.  

20. Did you fall in love in 2016?

No.  But I continued to love.

21. What was your favorite TV program? 

We binge-watched The New Girl this summer, and I loved the heck out of This is Us.  

22. What was the best book you read?

I read 44 books, but I wouldn't call any one of them "the best."  Perhaps I'll get wowed by a book in 2017

23. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Brian and I went to see Garth Brooks in February.  It was easily the best concert that I've ever been to.  I now count myself as a Garth Brooks fan.  

24. What was your favorite film of this year? 

Hands down.  Fantastic Beasts.  

25. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I took the day off with Brian and it was rather low-key, which I liked.  Birthday pedicure, lunch with my parents, a little shopping and knitting.  Brian made a steak dinner and a flourless chocolate cake, it was a great day.  

26. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

My year would've been much more satisfying had the mice of the neighborhood not blown up my central air conditioning.  

27. What kept you sane?

Brian, always.  He talks me down when I want to head out swingin.'  Harry Potter books and movies also help, a lot.  And the knitting.  

28. Who did you miss?

My far away friends and family.

29. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016:

"Surround yourself with people that love you for you, and make you feel good about yourself."  

30. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

"The best of us can find happiness, in misery."  Fall Out Boy, "I Don't Care."

Friday, December 23, 2016

The 2016 Book Post

It's time for the Book Post of 2016....

I set a goal of 25 books, and read 44.  Sweet!

My favorites:

"Harry Potter and the Cursed Child."

I'm sure that no one's surprised by this.  It wasn't nearly as great as the other Harry Potter books because A. it wasn't written by J.K. Rowling and B. it's a play.  Seeing a play is going to always be better than reading the play. ( And if I get a chance to get tickets to Cursed Child on Broadway in 2018, I will go excitedly and with extreme pride.  It's a pipe dream, I know)  But still.....more Harry Potter!!

"The Rose Years", Little House companion series.

Before Harry Potter, there was my childhood obsession with Little House on the Prairie and Laura Ingalls Wilder.  And that has continued to my adulthood, where I have read anything I could get my hands on.  These books are about Laura's daughter, Rose Wilder Lane.   This book series wasn't written by Laura of course, but mostly by Roger Lea MacBride, who knew Rose personally.  They're written in a similar style of the original books.  I thoroughly enjoyed them, but like many others I liked the earlier ones of the series better.  A lot of people wrote reviews that they disliked Rose because she didn't turn out like her obedient mother.  Well, they aren't the same person!  Rose always had a taste for grand adventure, and kudos to her for following her heart.

"The Residence:  Inside the Private World of the White House."

I LOVED reading about the staff, occupants and daily life of the White House.  The pictures were especially stunning.

I also read several knitting books, and some short stories about Hogwarts and backstories of other Harry Potter characters.  And I'm finishing off the year with Lianne Moriarty's "Truly, Madly, Guilty."

I did stick with my goal of not buying books for the most part because of the clutter...mostly all that I read came from the library or I bought them for my tablet.  Five years running!  However, I had a giftcard to Barnes and Noble so part of my birthday was spent picking out books.

On tap for 2017:  "Hungry Heart" by Jennifer Weiner.  Wally Lamb's new book "I'll Take you There."  and "The Nest" by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney are all in the house.  Just have to pick which one.