Sunday, January 4, 2015

2014 in Books: Part 1

(My companions on Halloween night--Bella the cat and GONE GIRL)

According to my 2014 bookshelf on Goodreads, I read 104 books this year. Whoa.

This is the first year that I've tracked what I've read for an entire year and it's been kind of fun. And informative too. 

This year I read:

  • 20 Young Adult novels (this is probably way down from my YA consumption of the last several years).
  • 14 nonfiction books--mostly memoirs (nonfiction is not what I generally read, but I've been in the mood this year)
  • 48 fluffy romances (I've never been shy of admitting that enjoy romance novels; they're like cotton candy for the brain)
The rest of the books I read were a combination of genres. Some of my favorites have been the following:

The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James--A ghost story with a touch of romance set in England after World War I. I then devoured St. James' other published works, but I liked this one the best.

How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny--This is #9 in Penny's Chief Inspector Armand Gamache books. I have never read any of the others, but I'll be coming back for more.

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill--It's been so many years since I've read an adult horror novel, not because I don't like them, but because I dislike sleeping with the light on. But this one was worth it. 

The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns by Margaret Dilloway--Again, this is another kind of book that I don't usually read but have been absorbed by a lot this year. One thing I enjoyed about this book is that the protagonist is as prickly as her roses. 

The Wishing Thread by Lisa Van Allen--I can't help but love a novel with magical realism set in the environs of Sleepy Hollow. 

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin--This is another genre I don't spend as much time with as I did as a kid--high fantasy. But this one sucked me in and kept me going until the very end. 

I'll be doing a few more posts with my favorites from the other categories I read in 2014, but until then have you seen Huffington Post's The Best Books of 2014? Have you read any and would you recommend them? Or is there something else you would recommend? 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014 in Pictures

My bub meditating. 

With the Westminster College griffin. 

Tulips from the backyard.

Smelling the dandelions.

Playing with selfies.

My buddy on Trax.

Hello, eye!

Word tickets.

HUGE dragonfly.

Walking and writing.

My boys at Yellowstone Park. 


Thrift store Marys.

Playing with printmaking and paint. 


Two Buddhas in Sedona.

Last days of summer. 

My boys waiting to take family pictures

Advice from a tea bag. 

At the zoo.

My bub reading. 

Poetry flags in my classroom. 

At Silver Lake.

My favorite trick-or-treaters.

Just looking up. 

Heart in nature.

Playing with bookmaking. 

I won NaNoWriMo!

More clouds.

The tree.

Hand-decorated wrapping paper. 

Frozen yogurt in December. 

Pizza as big as his head.


Hot chocolate stirrers for the family Christmas party. 

A little gift from a student. 

Family Christmas party selfie. 

Blue skies!

Doodled snowflake wrapping paper. 

Ready for bed so Santa will come!

Playing with paint on New Year's Eve. 

Love you, 2014. Thanks for an awesome year!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Art Unraveled and Sedona 2014

This was my first year at Art Unraveled in Phoenix, AZ. I took classes with the lovely Jane Eileen, Jane Davies, Kelly Kilmer, and Traci Bautista. It was a very different experience than Artfest (better accommodations, no beach to walk along in the during the down time, 108 degree weather), but it was still a great time. I'm looking forward to going again soon!
 After Art Unraveled, we drove up to Sedona for a couple of days. What a GORGEOUS place! 
 These are from our shortish walk around Bell Rock. So much beauty all around us. 

We did LOTS of shopping while were there. One of my favorite places was this store. Do I remember the name of it? No, because my mom kept calling it the Ticky Tacky store. It's a better name than the original anyway.
I'm looking forward to both Art Unraveled and Sedona again.