Monday, August 24, 2015

Monday Maunder: Bout of Books 14 Wrap-Up


Another week has passed and another Bout of Books readathon!  Let's take a look at the results . . . or, in this case, the lack of results!!

Total Pages Read:  154 pages (all within Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford, and I'm still reading!)
Total Minutes Listened:  189 minutes (all in Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie, and I'm still listening!)

I did not finish any books, but to be honest, I am still pleased with my results.  Why?  Because I was busy, busy preparing for my new job that actually officially began today.  For those of you who are familiar with the time of year known as back to school, you will know that I ended up spending more of my time preparing for the school year to begin.  I completely forgot about how much time goes into cleaning up a new office, getting organized, and decorating before the kids start school.  Last week, that is exactly what I was doing in addition to a bit of training, and I am still working on it this week.  I've got one more day left before the kids return, so let's hope I have another productive day tomorrow!!

On the new job front, today was my first real day back.  Overall, it was good, despite the crazy travel schedule with meetings held all over town.  Thankfully, that is not a common occurrence!  Tomorrow, I hope to begin meeting the families and kids that I will get to work with and spending more time with the teachers.  Wednesday will be the big day though!  I have a feeling that I will be in bed early most nights this week, especially if I am as exhausted as I was today!

I will be keeping my fingers crossed for a great first day back for both my kids and myself this week.  And, I hope for those of you in the midst of all the back to school chaos experience only the best as well.  I will be trying to get posts scheduled this week, but it may be another week before I go back to more than one post.  Either way, I am still going to be trying to write every single day!  I really need to get back in the habit.

Did you participate in Bout of Books?  If so, how did you do?  Are you in the midst of the back to school chaos?  How does that seem to be going for you?

Monday, August 17, 2015

Monday Maunder: All The Good!


Welcome to my weekly ramblings, also known as Monday Maunder!

Late last night, I arrived home after a week-long vacation with my family to the Oregon Coast and the city of Portland.  We had so much fun, playing and exploring!  This was really our first family vacation ever, and it was very much needed.  Once I can get caught up on laundry, errands, and emails, I am excited to dive into a new schedule and get this blog running a regular schedule again.

I have been hinting at a couple of pieces of good news the last month or so.  I finally feel like I can share the general information with you now that some details have been worked out, and what better time to share it with you than now as I am just coming off an amazing vacation.

The first piece of big news is that I got a new job and will be officially starting next week with the first week of school!  I originally went to graduate school to become a school counselor.  With a number of moves to a multitude of states, I found it easier to fall back on my work in higher education.  So, I did for a number of years.  Last year, I came to the conclusion that it was time for me to leave higher education.  It was no longer meant for me.  Through helping out at my own kids' school, I was able to come to the realization that it was time to return to the younger crowd and I will be doing just that next week at a different elementary school!  It is going to be a transition.  I need to get caught up in the field after being away for so long.  And, I need to go back to school to get some recent graduate credit to obtain my full license (I have obtained my provisional license in the meantime).  It's going to be a crazy road ahead of me, but I am so very excited to be traveling this new road!

The second piece of big news is that I am going to be moving again!!  We have been trying to buy a home that is a short sale since the beginning of April.  We now have enough information that I feel comfortable sharing that the home is almost our's!  We only have a few more hoops to jump through, and then it will be ours and we can move in in just a few short weeks.  It's going to take a lot of work before it is ready for our family, so I am hoping for some good overlap between our move-in date to the new house and the move-out date of our current one.

How do these apply to books?!?  Well, my new job will involve a bit of bibliotherapy, and my new home will have a library!!  Squeeee!!!!!  I will share with you as much as I can, but I also need to be realistic that I will likely have some lag time here on the blog as I transition through these two new things in my life.  I am hoping to schedule in as much as I can in the meantime, and I will be here every Monday during my weekly ramblings.

In the meantime, I will continue to play catch-up from being gone last week and am also participating in Bout of Books this week.  Be watching Instagram and Twitter for my latest updates!

Are you participating in Bout of Books this week?  What has been the good things in your life lately?

Friday, August 14, 2015

Bout of Books 14


It is time for yet another readathon, Bout of Books 14, and I am joining in for the reading fun.  This one is great timing because I am just getting back from a little vacation and also falls right before school starts for the year.  Here's a bit more information from the website about the event . . .
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 17th and runs through Sunday, August 23rd in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 14 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

What are my plans throughout the week?  In short, read as much as possible!  It is a bit early for me to tell you specific books, but I can tell you that I will be choosing from my current August TBR pile pictured below.


I will be playing my audio selections by ear because I am not sure which books will be available at the time that this starts.  I will keep you posted on which books I choose, both audio and print, via Twitter and Instagram throughout the week.  I will also post a wrap-up during my usual weekly ramblings after the event ends.

Will you be participating in Bout of Books 14?  What are your reading plans?  (Feel free to share your links for me to visit!)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Rushmore One

Welcome to Wordless Wednesday!

Last week, I shared a picture of all four men from Mount Rushmore.  Today, I share a different view, courtesy of the little trail that I never knew existed the first time I visited.  It pays to walk around and discover your surroundings!



For more Wordless Wednesday selections, check out the dedicated blog.

For fellow Rushmore visitors, do you know what trail I'm talking about?

Monday, August 10, 2015

Monday Maunder: I Need A Vacation


The last few weeks have been crazy, and I really need to get away . . . so I am taking a vacation!  Be sure to be watching my Instagram account for a few of my highlights throughout the week, and I will be back here during the usual time to tell you more about it and hopefully, all my good news that I have been teasing you about!

In the meantime, while I am away, be sure to check out Book Bloggers International this week for some fun BACK TO SCHOOL posts and fellow blogger interviews.  I've been scheduling ahead in anticipation of my absence!!

What have you been reading lately?  Do you have any big plans this week?

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Rushmore Four

Welcome to Wordless Wednesday!

A couple of years ago, I took my kids on a month-long road trip.  Mount Rushmore was one of our first stops, and I was able to capture my take on this classic photo.


For more Wordless Wednesday selections, check out the dedicated blog.

Have you had the pleasure of visiting Mount Rushmore?

Monday, August 3, 2015

Monday Maunder: July 2015 in Review


Where is the summer going?!?  I can't believe we are already into August and school is quickly approaching!  I gotta get reading!  I definitely had a better month of reading in July than I did in June, but I want to get in so much more in August before the chaos begins!  As the beginning of a new month dawns, you know that it is time to look at what the month before was like, so let's do it!

The TOP POST for the month was two-fold -- my announcement post for the High Summer Readathon received the most hits, but last month's wrap-up post received the most comments.  To be honest, I was simply horrible about posting in July, but I am really hoping to turn that around this month.  Maybe school starting back will finally get me back into the groove of writing in general.  I've been struggling in getting anything written this summer!

As I mentioned last month, I thought it would be fun to also share a post on the other end of the spectrum ... a post that NEEDS MORE LOVE.  I have had a blast joining in on Wordless Wednesday this year, but this cute little turtle family has had no comments.  You gotta stop by and tell me that I'm not the only one that thinks this is just too adorable.

The TOP PIC from Instagram during the month of July involved two of my favorite things:  books and nature!  I'm still working on this chunkster.  If I don't finish it this week, I might have to set it aside and come back to it later this month.  I have another stack of books that I want to get to!


As I mentioned earlier, I had a much better reading month in July than I did in June.  I ended up with a total of 10 BOOKS READ, and they were all pretty darn good reads!

  1. Four by Veronica Roth
  2. Bear Witness by Melissa Clark
  3. Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry
  4. The Walking Dead, Volume 20 by Robert Kirkman
  5. The Walking Dead, Volume 21 by Robert Kirkman
  6. This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki
  7. French Milk by Lucy Knisley
  8. Sculptor by Scott McCloud
  9. Mother Mother by Koren Zailckis
  10. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Can I choose just one FAVORITE READ?  Nope.  I'm going to choose two:  Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry and Sculptor by Scott McCloud.  These two stories cannot be more different, but I loved them both for very different reasons --- one for the lasting tragic beauty and the other for an awesome fast-paced zombie story that is really about so much more.  One of these days, I will get full reviews written to chat more about them because they both deserve in-depth discussions.

August -- there is so much happening this month!  Though I can't share more about it quite yet, I promise the news is coming in the weeks to come.  Be watching for it because I really can't wait to share!!  I am also thinking about setting a TBR pile for this month.  I don't do this often, but there are a number of books that I really want to finish before school starts back at the end of this month.  I am also hoping to get back into the groove of writing, get my reviews written and scheduled, and get back to writing for enjoyment.  

Oh, and before I forget, I should also mention that I'm going to be over at Book Bloggers International this month for a fun theme of Back to School.  I have some really fun posts planned, and I even have some additional spots still available.  If you are interested in writing a guest article for us, email me and let me know!

How was your month of reading and writing in July?  What big plans do you have for the month of August?

Friday, July 31, 2015

Literary Link Love: July 2015


I have had some fun links for you this month!  Read on and discover them for yourself!

Did you see this piece about writing your way to happiness?  I really enjoyed it and think I need to spend more time writing my own way to happiness.  I don't do it nearly enough.

These favorite quotes from Harry Potter were fun to revisit.  I really cannot get enough of Harry Potter in any form.

The Uptown Funk video of Unread Book is so addictive!  I find myself changing the words to the song when I hear it on the radio now!

Do you know your Myers-Briggs Personality Type?  If you do, this is an interesting recommendation guide based on your four-letter code.  Mine was spot on.  In fact, I re-read the book this spring and loved it!

Have you seen these pictures floating around Facebook about what each Harry Potter character taught us?  I agree with most of them.  I would even like a few of these framed for my future library.

Mark your calendars to help in celebrating Ivan Doig Day on August 18th!  I have not always been a fan of Doig's writing, but I will celebrate him every chance I get because he is a Montana author.  In fact, he is not just any Montana author, but an author that came from my hometown.  Celebrate away!

Earlier this month was the 8th anniversary of the final book release in the Harry Potter series.  I spent a little time reminiscing over on Facebook with my own memories of the big event.  And speaking of big events, don't forget to give Rowling and Potter a shout-out today for their birthday!!

That's a wrap for this month!  And, I will have lots more for you in August!

What is your favorite link I shared this time around?  What links did I miss that I must see?

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: A Family of Turtles

Welcome to Wordless Wednesday!

I'm a bit obsessed with turtles!  I love this little family sunbathing on the rocks.


For more Wordless Wednesday selections, check out the dedicated blog.

Are you a fellow fan of turtles?  Is it weird that I think they are cute?!?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Monday Maunder: #HSReadathon Wrap-Up & #AtlasRAL Check-In


Welcome to another weekly ramblings!

I cannot believe how fast this summer is flying by!  Where is the time going?!?  Just slow down already!!


As I mentioned last week, I was participating in the High Summer Readathon, a week-long readathon that was designed for participants to read as much as you could and just have fun.  How did I end up doing?  In short, okay.  Let's take a closer look.

I was able to finish my audiobook of Mother Mother by Koren Zailckis, and I started a new listen of Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman.  I was truly pleased with my progress on my audiobooks.  I really had some great listening time available this last week, and I took advantage of it.

However, my big goal was to really dig into Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand for the readalong currently being hosted by Ti of Book Chatter.  I did pick it up a number of times, and I am completely engrossed with the story right now, but I did not get nearly as much read as I had hoped.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can renew it again this week at the library.  If I can't, I am not sure what I'm going to do.  I do have it on hold in audio, but I am not sure when it will become available.  Please keep your fingers crossed for me, too.  I am determined to get caught up on this chunkster for the readalong and finish it in the near future.

For those wondering the official statistics for the week, I will leave you with the numbers.  Enjoy!

Total Pages Read:  113 pages
Total Minutes Listened:  403 minutes
Total Books Completed:  1

Did you participate in the readathon this week?  If so, how did you do?  If not, what have you been reading lately?  Any other current Atlas Shrugged readers out there?