29 December 2019

Did I achieve my 2019 goals?

In January, I wrote that I wanted to accomplish these items: 






How did I do?  

 I did mail more cards, I also sent more through the work mailbag and hand-delivered some.  I would like to increase that activity for 2020 because I do like to let people know I appreciate them and it gives me a chance to use my Cricut more.  

I did not make a hardcover book. I worked instead on perfecting my book journal. The whole goal of the hardcover book was to make a Moleskin type book of my book journal.  One of my pals suggested that I make a stamp instead and stamp inside the book that I already liked.  That is what I did.  I LOVE my book stamp.  I can stamp 3 entries on each page.  

I did indeed go to Halifax.  I took a cab to the cemetery, I think I took a photo of all 120 graves.  I also got the book that accompanies the gravesites.  Well, I got the book for Christmas and at this writing, I have just started it.  I think it will be great to go along with my photos.  I only recognized a few of the names there so I am looking forward to learning about some of the others.  What was so sad about the whole thing, other than the fact that 1500 died that night) was that there were so many unmarked graves in Halifax.  Someone's loved one is buried there and no one knows where they are, it was just sad.  I also look forward to what the book has to say about all the unmarked graves.

I have done better with not eating candy. I need to work on junk food and pies and cakes.  That will be my goal for 2020. To consume less sugary foods.  

The last two goals I achieved, at least I had the photos organized until October when we went to Halifax and NYC. I need to start with October and start organizing again from there.  As for the books, my goal is always to read 100.  At this typing, I am up to 118, and I hope to finish one more so that my total ends in the 19, the same as the year (I know I am weird).  

I completed one more lifelong goal that I can't talk to anyone about yet, but I never thought it would happen and I did it!!! I am super excited to tell everyone about it when the time is right to tell everyone.  


2020 Goals

Re-read some Fitzgerald (after all we are entering the Roaring 20's)

Keep the photos organized and up to date

Restarting a former goal of backing up phone photos once a month to the external

Read and review 100 books

Do a book of the month and publish it on FACEBOOK to see if folks join in and read with me.  Also, I have written a 2020 Reading Challenge that I want to publish and see if folks will complete that with me as well.

De-clutter my garage

Start working on my book




2020 will show some changes for our family, our son will graduate high school and who knows what we will do after that.  See you in 2020.  






28 December 2019

Review: Me

Me Me by Elton John
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved this book! I loved it not just because I like Elton's music, but this is a book by a celebrity that isn't pretty. It is honest and in spots, gut-wrenching. There are scenes that make you want to smack Elton upside of the head like Cher did in Moonstruck and say "snap out of it". Then there is there are the scenes with the mother. I don't want to spoil it, but she was terrible! I won't tell you how or what he did.

Elton has always been honest about his addiction to drugs and in these pages, he takes down that short road to addiction, then later he takes us on the long journey to sobriety. He is very honest about how the need for more drugs felt and tells us about the people left in the wake of his unhealthy path.

I devoured this book because I loved everything contained in the pages. Elton's storytelling was interesting, fun, sad, hilarious and to me, time well spent. I don't think you have to be an Elton fan to find the book interesting, but I think you will enjoy the ride more if you are.



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26 December 2019

Review: Full Circle: From Hollywood to Real Life and Back

Full Circle: From Hollywood to Real Life and Back Full Circle: From Hollywood to Real Life and Back by Andrea Barber
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It is kind of funny that I like Kimmy Gibbler so much because just the other day someone said, "You remind me of Kimmy Gibbler". I loved it when she said that because she was sooooo awesome. This book was fun, not going to break any records with her writing, but it is honest and true and I like that. Andrea is very open about much of her life and doesn't sugar coat it (I hate when celebrities write books to make it seems like everyone screws up but them).



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17 December 2019

Review: Jackie and Maria: A Novel of Jackie Kennedy & Maria Callas

Jackie and Maria: A Novel of Jackie Kennedy & Maria Callas Jackie and Maria: A Novel of Jackie Kennedy & Maria Callas by Gill Paul
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From the very first chapter, I was hooked. I was invested to find out how these two ladies existences intertwined because while I knew about Jackie, I had just briefly heard of Maria Callas.

This book features intimate scenes between the two couples, scenes where you could just imagine that these conversations really took place. While reading the chapters, there were times when I hated Jack Kennedy for his treatment of Jackie and Ari for his lack of loyalty to Maria, then I had moments where I thought the two women were plotting to get what (I thought) they wanted, security.

It is no secret to anyone that talks to me about books that Gill Paul is one of my favorite authors, that her writings speak to me and transport me back to another time, but this one had emotions about love and betrayal that I had not seen Ms. Paul give us in such a manner. To me, this book was perfection from the opening page until the very last sentence.

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04 December 2019

Review: And They Called It Camelot: A Novel of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis

And They Called It Camelot: A Novel of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis And They Called It Camelot: A Novel of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis by Stephanie Marie Thornton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I will start this by saying that I received this book as an advanced reader's copy in exchange for an honest review, but I promise you that I was going to read this anyway because I read every book that Ms. Thornton writes. Stephanie Marie knows how to take events and people from the past and give them a fresh spin and she can tell a story in a way that sucks you in and won't let go until you finish.

We all kind of know of the story of Jackie and Jack, but this book will take you behind the glamour and glitz of what we saw on TV or read about in the history books. We get to experience life right there in Camelot from Jackie's viewpoint. We get a glimpse of how Jackie may have known of the affairs and how she handled them. There are very sweet moments that take place that let you see that the two of them did love each other, maybe for what the other person could do for them, but there was love of some sort.

Then you will experience November 22, 1963 right from Jackie's POV. I have read many books on this day and this scene is very much point by point of how it has been explained in other books. Jackie's actions are hard to read in both the fiction and non-fiction books, but in this one there is so much emotion that I teared up and I knew what was going to happen(also I was ecstatic to see Clint Hill make an appearance, I am in awe of him and love his books--read his book on the assassination).

I wanted to read this in one sitting because I felt like I really needed to know what was going to happen next. It was very hard to put this down and go to work. I advise you to read it when you have some time carved out because I really don't think you will want to stop until it is over. I cannot recommend this book enough...I would give it 5 plus stars on the emotion alone.


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01 December 2019

Review: The Crown: The Official Companion, Volume 1: Elizabeth II, Winston Churchill, and the Making of a Young Queen

The Crown: The Official Companion, Volume 1: Elizabeth II, Winston Churchill, and the Making of a Young Queen The Crown: The Official Companion, Volume 1: Elizabeth II, Winston Churchill, and the Making of a Young Queen by Robert Lacey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this so much more than I did the companion book to Victoria. This one helped the reader/watcher sort out the true to life to the fiction that the show portrayed, as well as mini-biographies of all the "characters". I don't believe you should read this unless you have watched Season 1 of The Crown.

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