Writing Prompt #59: “52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge” (Week 21)

Week #21: Things You Like About Summer.

For the longest time, I always proclaimed that summer was my favorite season. It makes sense – My birthday is in August, and I have many fond memories of being out of school and enjoying family vacations.

As an adult, the heat and humidity here in Virginia is very annoying, and my favorite seasons have shifted to the spring and fall.

But, I’m grateful for all the summers that I have had on this Earth. I remember numerous trips to Florida to see both sets of grandparents, and friends of my mom and my dad. All the amusement park visits – Disney World, Sea World, Busch Gardens in Williamsburg and Tampa Bay, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, Hersheypark, Kings Dominion, and a variety of aquariums and museums. We went to West Virginia several times to see my mom’s extended family. Every summer until I was 16, we went to New York City to go back to the hospital where I was born, sight-see, and visit Mom’s cousin Sherri. Several of our friends had beach houses in North Carolina as well.

My church hosted Russian children for three weeks almost every summer, starting in 1999. It was so much fun – They always loved the beach, going to the mall, swimming, and exploring what our small part of the U.S. had to offer. They were absolutely fascinated by the ocean and swimming pools. They begged to go back to Virginia Beach multiple times – I think one year we took them five or six times in the three weeks they were with us. When summer starts to arrive, I always think of them.

Summer also makes me think of fresh-cut grass, watermelon, BBQ, being around water a lot, swimming, riding my bike, roller-blading, endless library trips, traveling, the beach, going to the movies, Super Soakers, water balloon fights, and catching fireflies.

This summer, I hope to make more library trips, buy our own bikes and take many rides around the neighborhood with Al, take a few days off from work to enjoy the outdoors, watch the fireflies, and listen to the crickets.

Until the next headline, Laura Beth πŸ™‚

Book Review #31: “The Da Vinci Code”


Image Credit: Wikipedia

In short, I liked this book MUCH better than Angels & Demons. It was significantly shorter in length, and I got through it much faster than the first one.

I actually finished the book at the end of April, but I dove head-first into my next book and basically forgot to write this review!

This installment involving Robert Langdon was centered in Paris, with London thrown in. It was another fascinating thriller. I liked Sophie better than Vittoria, and I wasn’t as turned off. The ending was more satisfying, too.

I felt I was more interested in this story and I wanted to learn more. I wanted to read at least one chapter every night. This book was also less graphic, and it had more adventure!

The Da Vinci Code focused on cryptology, another secret society, a heavier emphasis on religion, and so many fascinating facts. Brown does a good job of balancing facts with action. Having had the opportunity to visit The Louvre, I was thrilled to see it play a big role on paper.

I don’t have a lot of criticism for this book. After my frustration with Angels & Demons, I’ve experienced renewed excitement to see what happens to Robert next. I’m actually excited to pick up book three! I’m ready to dive into The Lost SymbolΒ very soon.

4 out of 5 stars.

Until the next headline, Laura Beth πŸ™‚

Writing Prompt #58: “52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge” (Week 20)

Week #20: A Friend 2.

When I think of this challenge and the prompts every week, I think of the wonderful friend who first introduced me to it – Kristian!

She’s amazing in so many ways! She’s a wonderful wife to her husband. She’s a beautiful friend. She’s incredibly dedicated to her work. She loves so many nerdy and geeky things – Wonder Woman, Sherlock, awesome libraries – There’s too many things to list!

We have quite a bit in common, and I love that we found each other through our blogs.

Thank you, Kristian, for doing your own gratitude challenge. It inspired me to do these! I’m incredibly grateful for your friendship πŸ™‚

Until the next headline, Laura Beth πŸ™‚

Getting Personal #69: May Goals

Success Magazine

Image Credit: Success Magazine

Hello, everyone!

This post is several days later than normal – I’m sorry if I disappointed some of you when this post didn’t show up on May 1st.

The last couple of weeks have been challenging, in a word. My work department lost a great team member to a bigger and better opportunity, and his very sudden departure has been upsetting and tumultuous. We’re picking up the pieces now, but I haven’t had a lot of energy to write recently, especially after long days at work. I hope all of you understand. Thank you for continuing to read, like, and comment. I really appreciate it!

Here are my goals for May:

  1. Celebrate Melissa’s graduation from William & Mary!
  2. Attend Tidewater Comicon.
  3. Visit TCC to review my transcripts, make sure everything is straight, and apply for graduation!
  4. Attend PEO Virginia State Convention.
  5. Research more uses for essential oils.
  6. Celebrate Mother’s Day!
  7. Make at least three new recipes.
  8. Help prepare for our 100th blood drive!
  9. Figure out a new, effective workout plan.
  10. Read at least three new books.

Here’s the breakdown:

Celebrate Melissa’s graduation from William & Mary!

  • My best friend is earning her PhD! In physics!
  • I’m beyond proud of her!
  • We can’t wait to celebrate with her mom, friends, and family at her mom’s gorgeous house!

Attend Tidewater Comicon.

  • We’re excited to attend this year!
  • We missed 2016 entirely, so we’re looking forward to seeing what’s happening.

Visit TCC to review my transcripts, make sure everything is straight, and apply for graduation!

  • I’ve made an official appointment for May 18th!

Attend PEO Virginia State Convention.

  • This is not my first Convention, but the first for me in several years.
  • I’m excited to be carpooling with Cindy, a new transfer from Florida!
  • Between my chapter and Mom’s chapter, we are celebrating multiple “Golden Girls” – Sisters who have been in PEO for 50 years!

Research more uses for essential oils.

  • I want to explore more uses for the oils that I have.
  • I’m currently diffusing “Peace and Calming!”
  • I want to especially look at more cooking options with them.

Celebrate Mother’s Day!

  • We’re planning to take my mom out to dinner!

Make at least three new recipes.

  • I want to dive back into Megan’s cookbook!
  • There are so many recipes on Facebook – I know I can attempt at least a few of them!

Help prepare for our 100th blood drive!

  • We are just weeks away from our 100th blood drive. Wow!
  • I want to work with my parents, and other members of the blood drive team, to make this one the best!

Figure out a new, effective workout plan.

  • I got stuck in a cardio rut for a while.
  • I enjoyed the structure that bodybuilding.com offered for a while, so I want to find something like that again.

Read at least three books.

  • I’m currently deep into this new book I bought when we were visiting Al’s parents.
  • I want to continue the Robert Langdon saga.
  • There’s a few books in my Lady Lounge begging for attention!

Do you have any goals for the month of May?

Until the next headline, Laura Beth πŸ™‚

Writing Prompt #57: “52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge” (Week 19)

Week #19: Health.

I’ve touched on this subject a few times recently, but I’m grateful that I have almost no health issues. I try hard to take good care of my body – I only get this one – and I’m glad that I was taught healthy habits from childhood.

The one big thing I’m combating at the moment is stress. My work environment was turned upside down in mid-April, and my whole department has been affected. I haven’t been writing or blogging as much. I do miss it, but most of my weekdays have been long days at work on the computer. By the time I come home, I don’t want to do much of anything else involving screens.

Other than the stress issue, I’m grateful to have been relatively healthy so far in 2017. I battled the flu and acute sinusitis for a few days back in February, but that’s been about it for major illnesses. We’ve gotten back to the gym for the most part, going almost every weekday. I’m meeting or beating my water intake nearly every day. We’re hoping to get our own bikes for the neighborhood here soon, so we can be a bit more active on the cooler nights and the weekends. I’m actively researching and stockpiling healthy recipes as well.

Until the next headline, Laura Beth πŸ™‚

Writing Prompt #56: “52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge” (Week 18)

Week #18: The Weather.

I’m grateful for the weather where I live. Yes, it’s hot and humid during the summer (and usually before and after summer, too, like this past weekend). But, I’m appreciative of the mostly sunny days, cool breezes, and hearing the crickets at night.

There are things about the weather that scare me – Hurricanes, the threat of tornadoes, and sometimes violent thunderstorms. But, at the same time, I’m grateful that I don’t live in a flood zone. The rain helps the flora grow and gives water to the animals. We have good weather forecasting that helps us prepare, as much in advance as possible.

I’m also grateful that everything is fully in bloom now, and the pollen count has dropped! Seeing the green leaves, beautiful flowers, and fresh grass makes me think of springs and summers past, and also think about the future.

Until the next headline, Laura Beth πŸ™‚