Sunday, January 31, 2016

Mile Markers: The Simple Woman's Daybook

If you would like to join in and post your own Daybook, please head on over to visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today:  Sunday, January 31, 2016
 

Outside my window  Partly cloudy skies and a spring preview.

I am thinking...   About this year's a-z challenge and how I need to finish last year's.

I am thankful... 
  • for new possibilities and opportunities
  • for awesome worship today
  • for growing strength and health
  • for clean running water 
From the Workshop...  I've not gotten much time to create this week.  I should get cranked up this week.

I am reading...  Besides the books I listed before, I'm starting Leviticus in the Bible. 

Favorite quote(s) of the week:

“You can't build a reputation on what you're going to do." - Henry Ford

"Use your voice; you're the only one who has it." - Jon Acuff
 
I am looking forward to... 
  • A better week than last week.
  • Sunday's worship service.
  • The Parker Memorial Pancake 5k on March 5th.  I wrote about my first experience with it here.

One of my favorite things:  My bathrobe.  I've had this thing for 100 years.  It's old and way too big, but it's so comfortable.

A peek into my days:
 
I took advantage of the great weather this weekend and got out on the Ladiga Trail.
 

And now for something totally different...
 
Workout of the Week:  I didn't get to try the Pound class because of schedule changes, so I'll make another attempt at it this week, plus I signed up for swim lessons.  Hopefully they will go as planned.
 
From Twitter: @b0ringtweets tweeted: "Spring rolls can be eaten all year round. Please RT to raise awareness. Thank you."

From Twitter:  @JonAcuff tweeted:  "Kale Lie #1: It tastes good! Nope. It tastes like lettuce’s mopey cousin who was into the Cure before anyone else."

From Facebook:  BWilson shared: 




From Facebook: WClark shared:

 
From Facebook:  TShofner shared:


   
Five Minute Friday Word of the WeekQuiet.

Scripture of the week:  Still working on this one.

Hebrews 5:13-14 - For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (King James Version)

Friday, January 29, 2016

Five Minute Friday: "Quiet"

Our Mistress of Ceremonies for the Five Minute Friday is Kate over at Heading Home.  Hope you link up with us and join the fun.


Ecclesiastes 4:6 - Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit.
 
GO! 

Trying to quiet the mind in the midst of inner chaos is tough.  I've got new responsibilities at work and turning my mind off at night is a struggle right now.  Stress is disturbing my quiet.
 
I love the quiet of riding on the trail.  Just the sound of the wind going by my ears and the chain going through the gears is relaxing.
 
I seek more quiet in my life.  More quiet reading, writing, crocheting, and painting where the blessed sounds of creation are the only break in the peaceful serenity.  I long for pockets of quiet meditation.
 
STOP!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

So What's the Word?: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Want to join the party?  Mosey on over to From This Side of the Pond  for the Hodgepodge link-up!


Share a winter memory from your childhood.
I'm sure you are asking for happy memories, so let's not go there.
What was on your blog this time last year? (Besides the Hodgepodge of course!) If you weren't blogging, what in the world were you doing with all that free time?
Along with the normal Hodgepodge and Simple Woman's Daybook entries, my posts at the beginning of last year were reflecting the encouragement from the Lord and passing it on to those who read my blog.  One post was on the fact that my accidental birth was not an accident in God's eyes.  My favorite from that time is my post called "Done."  I quote in part:
I'm done with feeling guilty no matter how little or how much I eat, especially at church and recovery meetings.  My mantra of "other addicts don't get to treat themselves with their drug of choice, so why should I" is not working.  What's "bad" food for one person isn't necessarily a problem for someone else.  I'm so freakin' afraid to eat anything for fear that my choices will send someone else into relapse.  Not to be ugly (or TO be ugly) if an addict wants to use my eating a cookie as an excuse for him to smoke dope, that's his problem, not mine.  I'm done with being out of balance. 
Can I briefly rant?  It bothers me that when my blog entries are on more of a positive/upbeat note, I have very few readers.  However, when all hell breaks loose and I'm on the verge of going over the edge, readership soars.  Don't get me wrong, I'm happy that anyone would read my blog at all, but I have to ask;  Are people happier when I'm struggling instead of when things are looking up?  If so, why?  If not, what's the problem?
Ellen Goodman is quoted as saying, 'We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives...not looking for flaws, but for potential.' 

Do you see more flaws or more potential in your life at the start of a new year? Have you done anything specific this month to address either one? Does the new year truly begin for you on January 1, or is there some other month of the year that feels like a fresh start and new beginning?
Actually, I feel like March 1st should be the beginning of the year instead of January 1st.  It's the time when new life it happening all around, spring cleaning (supposedly) happens, and the mulligrubs of winter are quickly fading into the background.  That would help with having optimism rather than pessimism as we "walk through the rooms of our lives."
Who's an athlete you admire or respect and why?

Nancy Grace
Photo by Heather Phillips
Professional athlete?  Serena Williams.  Not only is she a beast on the court and a supreme athlete, but she's also gorgeous.  He muscles and beauty are worth aspiring to.  I've got her calves, but that about it right now.
Amateur athlete?  Nancy Grace, a fellow member of ARC (Anniston Runners Club).  Mrs. Nancy is in her 70's and still runs like a gazelle (plus she kicks my butt in our spin class at the Y).  In fact, this weekend, she set the half marathon state record for her age group.  I want to be like that when I'm over 70.  Heck, I just want to make it to over 70.

Do you like cream in your coffee? Whipped cream on your pumpkin pie? Cream cheese on a bagel? Sour cream on a baked potato? Cream of wheat for breakfast? Have you ever had a scone with clotted cream? Of all the creamy foods mentioned, which one sounds most appealing to you right this very minute?
Cream in my coffee, well, tea now (coffee gives me heartburn and nausea now).  Too late for that now, but tomorrow morning at work, oh yes.
Where were you last kept waiting for 'hours on end'? Or for what felt like hours on end? How well did you cope?
I recently had a lengthy car repair.  I was without my car for two days.  Two days without my wheels feels like years.  I coped by reading and sleeping a lot.
Believe it or not, when next week's Hodgepodge rolls around it will be February. Huh?!? Bid adieu here to January in seven words or less.
Too cold for me; come on SPRING!
Insert your own random thought here.
Photo via ClipartPanda
Speaking of reminiscing, two years ago, I was asked by Annie, my sister-in-blog if I could chose one word for your coming year, what would it be?  I chose the word metamorphosis.  It is happening, but very slowly.  I think I need to chose another word: Community.  I realize that if I'm going to complete the metamorphosis and be all that I'm called to be, I'm going to need to have the help of community.  I guess realize is the wrong word.  I've known this for a long time and had tried various methods to establish community, but none of them worked.  I blogged about it here and here, so I'm not going to rehash it here.  Getting well in community is a biblical principal, but after so much chaos, I tried to go it alone.
I cant.
I wish I could, but I can't. 
I have three close leaders who are praying for me, a wonderful mentor I speak with regularly, and the encouragement of my friends from the YMCA, the Journey Training and ARC.  However, these still feel distant to me.  There's a lack of closeness and intensity that I can't seem to shake.  Something is missing.  I still feel like I'm working on a DIY project and others are sitting back watching it go horribly wrong.  That's the best way I can describe it.
I don't know what the answer is, but I do know that community is at the crux of it. 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Cry it Out, Sugar: The Simple Woman's Daybook

If you would like to join in and post your own Daybook, please head on over to visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today:  Sunday, January 24, 2016
 

Outside my window  This is all I can say:


I am thinking...   My mind has been a cacophony of extreme highs and  lows.  The depression bug has bitten me once again, and I'm fighting to keep from succumbing to it's icy grip.  I've been exhausted and on the verge of tears for more a week.  This is one of those times where I cannot pinpoint where the melancholy is coming from.  There's no event to send me spiraling downward.  My only guess is the cold, dreich weather and the need for some outside time.  Tomorrow's forecast calls for sunny skies and about 55 degrees.  Hopefully, I can get out on the trail for some sun and fresh air.

I am thankful...  for God's provision, for a good mechanic, and for a weekend off to get some rest.

From the Workshop...  Still working on my WIP's.

I am reading...  Still working on the selections I posted earlier.  I'm finishing up Exodus in the Bible. 

I am learning... some new duties on my job.

Favorite quote(s) of the week:

“'Winners never quit!' Yes they do, they regularly quit doing stupid stuff." - Dave Ramsey
 
I am looking forward to...  SPRING!

One of my favorite things:  Bigelow's Constant Comment Black Tea.  I still like Twinnings Earl Grey, but this is some good tea also.

A peek into my days:

Went to Anniston Runners Club's annual banquet last night.  I was a ball of nerves all day, but went anyway.  Being the biggest girl in the room, I was extremely self conscious.  I felt like a Clydesdale in a room full of thoroughbred race horses.  My picture from the dinner was horrid, so I'll not share it here.  I did get my Mile-A-Day socks, but the elite runners were the stars of the show--they are who the banquet was for.  If I can't get myself together this year, I'll not embarrass myself or the club again and simply pick up my socks from the coordinator.


And now for something totally different...
 
Workout of the Week:  I didn't get to try the Pound class because of schedule changes, so I'll make another attempt at it this week.
 
From Twitter: @MarshallRamsey tweeted:  "The white stuff falling out of the sky is called 'mind-control flakes'. They are designed to lower a driver's IQ by 90%."

From Twitter:  @ChrchCurmudgeon tweeted:  "A month ago, there was hoarding of food and not leaving the house every Saturday. But that was football. #snowmaggedon2016"

From Twitter:  @RickReuer tweeted: "@DaveRamsey Winning Powerball Numbers:

From Facebook: Nerdgasm shared:








 
From Facebook:  S.Fagan shared:
 
  
Five Minute Friday Word of the WeekPresent

Scripture of the week

Hebrews 5:13-14 - For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (King James Version)

Friday, January 22, 2016

Five Minute Friday: "Present"

Our Mistress of Ceremonies for the Five Minute Friday is Kate over at Heading Home.  Hope you link up with us and join the fun.


Present:  a thing presented as a gift.

GO! 

Amongst the books I'm currently reading is a devotional called The Dieter's Prayer Book by Heather Kopp.  (I'll review it when I finish it).  So far it's pretty good, however, one of the readings is bothering me and this word prompt just happens to go right along with what I'm thinking.
 
The author asserts that our health isn't really on God's mind.  She says, "In most cases our spiritual commitments in other areas of life should be far more important than our quest for a healthy body." 
 
Wrong.
 
III John 1:2 says - "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth."
 
You see, we carry our spirits and souls in our body.  The Bible says that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 6:19).  It houses all the "want to."  But the "getting it done" is carried out by the body.  In other words, I can be a spiritual giant who's capable of grand exploits on the inside, but if my body is weak and sick, I can't carry out the good works that God has ordained for me (Ephesians 2:10).  The Bible also says in Romans 11:29 that the gifts and calling of God are without repentance .  However, who's going to open a gift if it's housed in an ugly box?  Yes, the gifts on the inside are very important, but the wrapping needs to be appealing as well.


STOP!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Cheesy Accesories: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Want to join the party?  Skate on over to From This Side of the Pond  for the Hodgepodge link-up!


Speaking of skating...when did you last 'skate on thin ice', 'skate over the details', 'encounter a cheapskate', or just plain skate?
Not any of these phrases conjure up anything...well except cheapskate, but that's me. **grin**  However, I used to love to roller skate, but haven't done it in more than 20 years.  I wish I could tag along with a family and go skating again.
What would you say is the biggest problem of people your age?
Poor health.  It seems that people are experiencing the ailments of old age younger and younger.  I'm in my early 40's and there are people having heart attacks and strokes in their 40's and 50's.  The prevalence of type II diabetes is frightening.  Our parents are outliving us and that's not how it should be.
What's your favorite accessory? Is it something you wear every day, often, or only on special occasions?
Earrings.  Specifically, my butterfly earrings. 
January 20th is National Cheese Lover's Day. Are you a lover of cheese? What's your favorite dish made with cheese? Last thing you ate that contained some kind of cheese?
As a native Southerner, you know my favorite cheese dish has to be Macaroni and Cheese.  Today, I ate some string cheese as a snack.
What's something guaranteed to make you roll your eyes?
Childishness and stupidity.
Your favorite book series?
Jan Karon's At Home In Mitford series.  Lori Wick's Yellow Rose Trilogy runs a close second.
Why did you choose your profession?
It actually chose me.  I laugh because every job I've had since college has had nothing to do with my degrees.  I went to school to become a journalist, but I've worked as a preschool teacher, an administrative assistant, a diagnostic technician at the cable company, and the Easter Bunny at the Quintard Mall.  Yeah, that has Pulitzer Prize written all over it. 
Insert your own random thought here.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Dessert in the Desert: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Want to join the party?  Go on over to From This Side of the Pond  for the Hodgepodge link-up!


Share one thing that really makes your day.
A quiet corner, a yummy mug of hot tea, and a good book.
Lots of these kinds of lists out there, but one found here says the fifteen most colorful places on earth are:

Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy~Burano, Italy~Havana, Cuba~Rio de Janiero, Brazil~Chefchaouen, Morocco~Balat, Istanbul, Turkey~Menton, France~Jodhpur, India~La Baca, Buenos Aires, Argentina~Guanajuato, Mexico~Capetown, South Africa~Valparaiso, Chile~Wroclaw, Poland~San Francisco, California~and Pelourhino, Salvador, Brazil.  

Of those listed which would you most like to see up close and in person? Of all the places you've seen or traveled in your own life, what would you say was one of the most colorful?
I would most like to see San Francisco, California first.  I'll get to the others later.  I am, as Lewis Grizzard would say, "American by birth, Southern by the grace of God," but I have a heart for California.
"Everything you want is on the other side of fear." Jack Canfield  In general, would you agree or disagree with that statement? Why?
I agree.  Fear has tried to keep me from my dreams.  Whether it's my own inner nuttiness, or someone else's twisted idea of "help," fear is the ultimate paralyzing agent.  Want to never do anything or go anywhere?  Play the "what if...?" game.
Imagine you're stranded on a desert island and dessert appears...what do you hope it is? Do you ever struggle to remember which spelling is desert and which is dessert?
Butter pecan ice cream.  **Drools**
What song almost always makes you cry?
 
 
January is National Soup Month.  Everything from soup to nuts, in the soup, thick as pea soup, souped up...which saying most recently applies to your life in some way? Explain.
Neither that I can think of.
Write a two word note to your younger self. What does it say?
"Get out!"
Insert your own random thought here.
I'll just leave this here:

Sunday, January 10, 2016

A Lil' Bougie: The Simple Woman's Daybook

If you would like to join in and post your own Daybook, please head on over to visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today:  Sunday, January 10, 2016
 

Outside my window  Winter has come in with a fury...well a fury for Alabama anyway.

I am thinking...   about how to meet all the goals I have for the year.

I am thankful...  for growing strength and health.

From the Workshop...  Got some WIP's (Works in Programs) I'm working to finish.  Also made these flower coasters for this month's senior dance:



I am reading...  Started a new reading challenge for the year.  Read about it here.  Off the shelf:





I'm also reading the Bible this year in the New Living Translation.  I've always liked that version, but have never read it in it's entirety. 

I am learning...  Substitution rather than deprivation when it comes to food.  Instead of focusing on what I can't have/don't need, I try to find a good substitute. 

Favorite quote(s) of the week:

"My dad had taught me there are times in life when you just don't want to miss a good chance to shut up." - Dr. Phillip C. McGraw

"Don't live your life saying 'READY AIM AIM AIM'... Try something new to change your life, even if you might fail, TRY IT!" - Dave Ramsey

"He who thinks he leads, but has no followers, is only taking a walk." - John Maxwell

"Don't give the jerks a vote on how you live your life." - Jon Acuff

I am looking forward to...  Finishing up unfinished business.  I've got projects I started last year (which was only two weeks ago, BTW) that I want to complete before I start anything else.

One of my favorite things



My coworker introduced me to what we call "bougie water."  I'd never drank Perrier before, but was hooked with the first sip of a pink grapefruit flavored one.  The lime flavored aren't too bad either.  These will make a good substitute for when I want soda.  It's not the sugar I want from a soda, but the fizzy bubbles.  This beats 200 calories of nothing but sugar anytime. 






A peek into my days:

12/31 - I had planned to drink Champagne to ring in the new year (and celebrate the Tide in the Cotton Bowl), but at $11 a bottle for something I may not like and I'd have to drink it alone if I did, I felt this made a better choice.  I will say that the red grape sparkling juice is better, but the white wasn't bad.

01/01 - Rang in the first day of the year with a walk on the Weaver end of the Ladiga Trail.  I hope my selfies get better over the next year.

And now for something totally different...

Last year, I finished Anniston Runner's Club's Mile-a-Day challenge by the skin of my teeth.  This year, I attempted the two-a-day challenge.  Well, I started out strong, but bouts of depression and serious illness derailed my goals.   HOWEVER, I am happy to say that I finished 2015 with 434 miles.  No, I didn't meet my original goal, but I choke slammed my mileage from 2014. Here's to moving forward in 2016.
 
 
 
Workout of the Week:  One thing I want to do this year is to incorporate new fun workouts into my routine so I'm not doing the same thing all the time (and so I don't turn into a boring curmudgeon).  This week I'm going to try a Pound class.  Now, I've tried a class before and liked it, but it was abbreviated and it wasn't at our YMCA, so I didn't get the full effect.  There's one scheduled at a time when I'm not otherwise obligated, so I'll give a try.


From Facebook:
 
 
From Facebook:  MWhite shared:
 
 
From Facebook: Nerdgasm shared:
 

From Facebook:  MGetto shared:
Five Minute Friday Word of the WeekFirst

Scripture of the week:  A fellow blogger suggested using Scripture Typer to memorize passages.  This week's verse:

Proverbs 18:9 - He who is loose and slack in his work is brother to him who is a destroyer and he who does not use his endeavors to heal himself is brother to him who commits suicide. (Amplified)

Friday, January 8, 2016

Five Minute Friday: "First"

Our Mistress of Ceremonies for the Five Minute Friday is Kate over at Heading Home.  Hope you link up with us and join the fun.



GO! 

"And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted." - Matthew 23:12

Why do people feel like they have to be first at everything?  Yes, I love a spirit of competition, but the "me first" attitude causes more lost friendships. bankruptcies, and car crashes than a little bit. 

I see it at my workplace often.  I'm waiting on a customer (who was there first, by the way).  Invariably someone walks up to the counter, ignores the customer I'm serving, and rudely interrupts, plus get his/her panties in a wad if I ask him/her to wait until I'm done with my other customer. 

What has happened to us?  We make kids think that a good work ethic is beneath them, but bathe them the entitlement mentality.  The very things that would advance them in the world we loathe, but let little Ronnie Boo-Boo not get to use the water fountain first at summer camp and a torrent of tears and drama are to follow.  This mess is exactly why I "retired" from teaching.

STOP!
 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Gray Glitter: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Want to join the party?  Go on over to From This Side of the Pond  for the Hodgepodge link-up!



Are you ready for new? Is 2016 likely to be very different than 2015? Do you want it to be?
Good Lord, YES.  2016 MUST be different from 2015, and yes, I want it to be.
January 6th is National Technology Day. Currently, what is your single biggest struggle or frustration when it comes to technology?
Being behind.  No, I don't mean I have to get the latest, greatest tech toy, however, I am usually years behind in technology.  CD's were common for more than a decade before I could afford the player, much less the discs.  I didn't get a smart phone until late last year, and then only at the behest of someone else.  I'm running programs I purchased 15 years ago on my laptop (which is running Windows 7 because I loathe 10) because the newer versions are so expensive.  Heck, I'm not even reading my Kindle books on a Kindle; There's lots of free Kindle books, but the price of the reader is outside the budget right now.  I don't want to spend all my money on toys, but I don't want to become a dinosaur either.
It's that time again...time for Lake Superior University to present a list of words (or phrases) they'd like to see banished (for over-use, mis-use, and general uselessness) in 2016. You can read more about the decision making process here, but this year's top vote getters are-

So (at the start of every single sentence), conversation (as in hotly debated topics where we're invited to 'join the conversation'), problematic, stakeholder, price point, secret sauce, break the Internet, walk it back, presser, manspreading (common in larger cities where some men take up the entire bus or train seat by sitting wide), vape, giving me life (refers to anything that may excite a person or make them laugh), and physicality

Which of these words/phrases would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why? Is there a word not on the list you'd like to add?
I hadn't heard of any of these until now.  Some on my list would be:  like (as in, like, you know, using like the word like instead of finding something like constructive to say), couldn't care less, epic, tolerance (for it's misuse to mean "put up with anything"), and bae (the kids use that one a lot--I have no idea what it means).  Do I need to play Word Crimes again?

Share one of your current health related goals.
Run more 5k's.  Finances and health issues kept me sidelined for a good portion of the running season.  Here's to a better year of running and health.
Let's talk fifty shades of gray. As in the color. Gray is currently a popular color in home decor, paint, wardrobes, hair, wedding party attire, and more. Are you a fan? Do you have the color in some variation in your home or wardrobe?  Gray hair, the old gray mare, gray matter, gray area...which gray idiom can you most relate to right now?
I don't mind my gray hair. I call it "God's glitter" on my head.   I consider myself one of God's art projects in progress, so a little glitter never hurt anything.  I only look good wearing dark shades of gray.  Light gray makes me look fat..er. 
Certain foods are considered 'lucky' if eaten on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day. Cooked greens to bring economic fortune, black-eyed peas or lentils also symbolize money, pork which symbolizes progress, fish for good luck, and if you're in Spain 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight. Did you eat any lucky foods on the first day of the year? Is that a tradition in your home? Of the foods listed, which most appeals to you?
The South has that tradition, but I'm not a big proponent of it.  My take on it is; why are we working so much harder at preparing and eating "lucky" foods and staying broke than we are at changing the behaviors that would get us prosperity faster than eating greens? 
What's the single biggest time waster in your life and what, if anything, will you do about it this year?
The internet.  I'm going to start setting a timer.  Unless I'm doing something constructive like blogging or taking a webinar, once the timer goes off, that's it.  I think it will do a lot to help my mood.
Insert your own random thought here.
I'm working on setting goals for the year.  No, not resolutions, things I actually plan on doing.  I've watched a couple of webinars on the subject. It's been interesting.  Let's see how it goes.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Auntie's 2016 Bookworm Challenge: Intro

Graphic by Cliparts.co.

Well, the 2015 reading challenge has come to a close.  Time for a whole new one. 

Last year, the challenge was to simply read the books we already had on the shelf or on our Kindles/Nooks.  This year, we'll continue the trend, but the goal is to read more and to take a few trips outside the norm.

I've seen several great reading challenges that I will pull from once in a while.  For now, let's set a numeric reading goal for the year.  Last year I took the reading challenge on GoodReads of reading 20 books.  I read 21.  This year, my goal is at least 30 books.

As per last year (which really was just yesterday by the way) I will review each book.  I may change up the format and try new things.  We'll see.  I would really like more interaction with y'all if possible. 

The point is to have fun and feed your brain at the same time.

Alright, off you go then.

Ready, set, READ!

Reviews for this year's books:

Book 01     Book 11     Book 21
Book 02     Book 12     Book 22
Book 03     Book 13     Book 23
Book 04     Book 14     Book 24
Book 05     Book 15     Book 25
Book 06     Book 16
Book 07     Book 17
Book 08     Book 18
Book 09     Book 19
Book 10     Book 20
 
12/31/16 - Well, as you can see, I didn't meet my goal of 30 books.  However, I'm not disappointed.  For starters, I didn't finish my first book until late March (I'm not sure why).  Also, included in those 25 books is a complete read through the Bible; a daunting task in itself.  I learned so much about myself, gained some much needed knowledge and encouragement, and had a great time doing it.  As Dave Ramsey said, "Charlie 'Tremendous' Jones said, 'You are the same today as you'll be in five years except for two things: the books you read and the people you meet.'"  I am definitely not the same because of the books I've read and the people I've met this year.

Well, on to next year.

02/11/17 - Wait, I forgot one!  I read The Gruffalo (which was adorable, by the way) to a local elementary school for Read Across America.  So that's 26, not 25.