Getting Personal #128: June Goals Recap

Concrete road

Image Credit: BeautyBeyondBones

June was quite busy, but less hectic than some other months! The biggest news is we FINALLY have proper ductwork, and two new HVAC units! Perfect timing for the typical summer heat waves!!

Here’s the link to my June Goals post:

Ready?

Here we go!


  1. Attend P.E.O. State Convention. — Accomplished!
  2. See Incredibles 2. — Accomplished!
  3. See Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. — Accomplished!
  4. Work on a goals list with Al for the remainder of 2018. — Did not accomplish.
  5. Update the Household Bills spreadsheet. — Semi-Achieved.
  6. Write at least 1,000 new words for my 2012 NaNoWriMo endeavor. — Accomplished!
  7. Download Evernote. — Accomplished!
  8. Host a “vacationing doll” from Ohio! — Accomplished!

Here’s the breakdown:

Attend P.E.O. State Convention. — Accomplished!

See Incredibles 2. — Accomplished!

  • Al and I went to see it on Saturday, June 15th.
  • It wasn’t necessarily better than the original movie. However, it was worth the 14-year wait.
  • If you’re a fan of the original movie, it’s worth seeing it in the theaters. We also liked the short that preceded the movie.

See Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. — Accomplished!

  • We saw the movie on Sunday, June 24th with our friends Mike and Shana.
  • Despite some of the criticism, I really like what they did with this movie. I shut my eyes a few times – Some of it was pretty scary!
  • I personally recommend seeing it. I love the franchise!

Work on a goals list with Al for the remainder of 2018. — Did not accomplish.

  • This didn’t happen. Oh well!

Update the Household Bills spreadsheet. — Semi-Achieved.

  • I started playing catch-up last weekend, and will hopefully bring it to conclusion this weekend. Long overdue!

Write at least 1,000 new words for my 2012 NaNoWriMo endeavor. — Accomplished!

  • Word count, as of May 2nd: 33,507
  • June 16th: Added 623 words
  • Word count, as of June 16th: 34,130
  • June 23rd: Added 339 words
  • Word count, as of June 23rd: 34,469
  • June 29th: Added 250 words
  • Word count, as of June 30th: 34,719
  • Total words written: 1,212 words!

Download Evernote. — Accomplished!

  • I signed up for the website during the weekend of June 15th. I didn’t download anything, for now. But, I really like it so far! I love the layout, and I can see myself using it as another helpful tool with my writing.
  • Here’s the link to my latest Writing Adventures post: Writing Adventures #2: Discovering Evernote

Host a “vacationing doll” from Ohio! — Accomplished!


Final Thoughts

  • I was able to put Accomplished next to six out of eight goals. Awesome! I’m so excited, and proud of myself.
  • The one goal that was Semi-Achieved: I made progress, and I’m happy with it!
  • The one goal that I did not accomplish: This wasn’t a huge priority. I like the idea of it, but it may not happen for 2018. No worries!

What about you? Did you have any goals for the month of June?

Come back tomorrow to see my July Goals!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #62: Spring Cleaning Book Tag

Spring Cleaning Book Tag

Image Credit: Fiction No Chaser

I was tagged by Teagan and Jess, of Fiction No Chaser, to do this hilarious book tag! I laughed so hard while reading their post, I nearly cried.

Here’s the link to the post where I was tagged:


Rules:

  • Please link back to Daniel @ Page to Page
  • Respond to the scenarios
  • Tag 5 people (or however many you like)

Spring Cleaning Tag

It’s time to make your bed, but you’re going to have some friends over later and want to pick the perfect book to place on your nightstand for them all to see that you’re “reading”. Which book do you choose?

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Image Credit: Goodreads

  • Camino Island by John Grisham. Most of my friends know that I love Grisham’s books.

Oh no! The house needs dusting, but you just can’t put that book you’re reading down! What book would you buy on audio just so you could continue the story while cleaning?

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  • I’m with Jess. I’ll choose podcasts over audiobooks any day. I love true crime podcasts, as well as several from NPR (Fresh Air, This American Life, Ask Me Another, Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me!Suspect Convictions).

Darn it! The ceiling is leaking! Turns out Mass-Market Paperbacks are the best things to soak water up! Which popular book do you use to soak up the water?

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Image Credit: Amazon

  • The entire Twilight series.

Bathrooms need a good scrubbing, and your 2007 Cosmos are a little outdated and need replacing. What book do you place in the bathroom for some light reading for when people need to take care of business?

  • I agree with Jess, again. I don’t read in my own bathroom.

Family is coming over, but you have no idea what to make for dinner! You read somewhere that tearing up the last chapter of a book whose ending you hated and sprinkling it in a casserole dish makes for the perfect meal! Which book do you choose?

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Image Credit: Amazon

  • Jess and I are kindred spirits, apparently! I would totally shred Allegiant, in a heartbeat.

Organization is key, right? When it comes time to organize your bookshelf, you realize you have enough room (and money) to get three new books! Which books do you buy?

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Image Credit: Barnes & Noble

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Image Credit: Amazon

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  • Caraval by Stephanie Garber
  • Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert
  • Mosquitoland by David Arnold

Finally, some peace and quiet! But, before you can relax, you realize you forgot to send your Aunt a thank you gift for the lovely “ADULT LIFE FOR DUMMIES” book she gave you for Christmas (maybe she’s trying to tell you something?). What book do you send to her to show her how much (this is sarcasm) you appreciate her gift?

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Image Credit: Amazon

  • Hehe, I love Teagan’s answer! The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson.

Tag- You’re It!


I loved this tag, so much! I laughed so hard as I was writing this post.

Thanks again for tagging me, Teagan and Jess!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Adventure Time: Norfolk, VA Edition (Round 5 – Norfolk Tides Baseball Game)

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Image Credit: Ticketmaster

The Norfolk Tides are our home baseball team!

The Tides’ home, Harbor Park, opened on April 14, 1993. This year is it’s 25th anniversary!

The Tides are a minor league team in the Triple-A International League. Prior to 2007, the Tides were affiliated with the New York Mets for 38 years. For the last 11 years, the Tides have been a farm team for the Baltimore Orioles. Harbor Park can hold 11,856 people!

The long-time mascot is Rip Tide. He’s hilarious!

Image Credit: Wikipedia

And, yes, he has a baseball for a nose.

Not too long ago, the Tides changed their color scheme to green, black, orange, gray, and sea foam, and added a seahorse mascot.

For more information, check out this link: Norfolk Tides


On Tuesday night, we enjoyed a night of good food, a few drinks, great conversation, and the game with several of Al’s work colleagues, and the law firm that his company has on retainer. The law firm has one of the boxes at the park, and they offer tickets to any employees who are interested around once a year. Al scored an extra ticket, and asked if I wanted to go!

I can’t remember the last time I went to a Tides game. I think it was with Al, and I know we weren’t in a box! I felt super fancy.

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This was the Tides’ long-standing image/marketing. Image Credit: SevenVenues

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An aerial view of Harbor Park, which sits next to the Elizabeth River. Image Credit: The Virginian-Pilot

We left the game in the eighth inning, mainly because we knew the traffic would be bad once the game ended. The score was 3-2, with the Tides leading, when we left. I checked the final score yesterday, and that’s where the score remained! Go, Tides!


Do you follow baseball?

What are some of your favorite summer pastimes?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #61: My Blog’s Name in Books Tag

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Image Credit: Drifting Pages

If you haven’t checked out Jenna at Bookmark Your Thoughts, do it! She’s an amazing blogger who loves book reviews, yoga, and more!

I found this really fun tag on her blog last week, and decided to do it myself!

Here’s the link to Jenna’s post:


Rules:

  1. Spell out your blog’s name (…should’ve made a shorter name).
  2. Find a book from your TBR that begins with each letter. Note: you cannot ADD to your TBR to complete this challenge – the books must already be on your Goodreads TBR (…good grief!).
  3. Have fun!

H – Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, Margot Lee Shetterly

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Image Credit: Wikipedia

O – On the Come Up, Angie Thomas

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Image Credit: Goodreads

T – The Real Z, Jen Calonita

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Image Credit: Amazon

S – Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Other Four-Letter Words, Michael Ausiello

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H – Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Jamie Ford

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O – One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Ken Kesey

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Image Credit: Wikipedia

T – Turtles All The Way Down, John Green

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Image Credit: Wikipedia

H – High Crimes, Joseph Finder

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Image Credit: Amazon

E – Emergency Contact, Mary H.K. Choi

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Image Credit: Simon & Schuster

A – American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes, and Trial of Patty Hearst, Jeffrey Toobin

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Image Credit: Goodreads

D – Dear Heartbreak: YA Authors and Teens on the Dark Side of Love, Heather Demetrios, et. al.

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Image Credit: Goodreads

L – Long Way Down, Jason Reynolds

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I – I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer, Michelle McNamara

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N – North and South, Elizabeth Gaskell

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E – Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, Matthew Desmond

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S – Sleeping Beauties, Stephen King and Owen King

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That’s all for this tag! I loved researching the books, and particularly the covers. Sometimes, the covers of books make a big difference!

What about you? What books would you pick for spelling out your blog’s name? Let me know in the comments!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Blog Awards #19: The Sunshine Blogger Award – Number Four!

The Sunshine Blogger Award

I was honored to be nominated for this award by the lovely Kristian, who blogs at Life Lessons Around The Dinner Table. She’s a really fun person who loves to read and write! If you haven’t, go check her out! Her recent fiction is so much fun to read! I’m also honored to call her a dear friend. Thank you!!

Here’s the link to the original post where I was nominated:


The Rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  2. Use the “Sunshine Blogger Award” logo on your post.
  3. Answer the 11 questions the selector asks of you.
  4. Nominate 5-11 bloggers you want to give the award to.
  5. Ask the following bloggers that you selected 11 questions of your own.

My Questions from Kristian:

  1.  What do you think are the 5 most beautiful things in the world? Why?
  2. What impression do you think you give when you first meet someone?
  3. What one responsibility do you most wish you didn’t have?
  4. What is your favorite subject to write about?
  5. What would constitute a perfect day for you?
  6. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
  7. What fictional place would you most like to visit?
  8. Who do you admire most? Why?
  9. Is there a book that had an impact on your life? If so, what was it?
  10. Where is the most interesting place you’ve visited?
  11. If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?

My Answers:

  1. Only five? You’re breaking my heart! Okay, here’s my list: (1) Lighthouses, (2) Rainbows, (3) The night sky, filled with stars, (4) Snow-capped mountains, (5) Animals in their natural habitats / environments.
  2. Energetic, enthusiastic, chatterbox, and wanting to know everything about you.
  3. Good question! I’m not super fond of cleaning my house, so I’d love to have a maid service!
  4. I love writing about people overcoming obstacles, with a little bit of romance mixed in.
  5. A perfect day would be waking up either at the beach or in the woods, hot coffee, reading, writing in my notebook, good food, spending time with my husband, exploring a new place or places, and stargazing. I want to use my camera, but be an unplugged as possible throughout the day. Less technology is better sometimes!
  6. I’m so grateful that I’m alive on this Earth. I was born at 25 weeks, and was given a 50/50 shot at survival!
  7. I would love to visit Hogwarts!
  8. I admire J.K. Rowling so much. Her story is incredible!
  9. Several books have impacted my life. However, I think the one that has had the biggest impact was To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. It was assigned reading in ninth grade, and it’s one book that I re-read every year. It changed my perspective and world view.
  10. I think Moscow has been the most interesting place I’ve had the opportunity to visit. I was able to travel there for a week in January 2001. It was freezing cold, but completely worth it! I gained a greater appreciation for living in the United States, and how much Russia has gone through in the last 100-150 years.
  11. I would head for Ireland! There’s so much to do and see!

My Nominees:

As others have say, you are under no obligation to accept this award. It’s all in good fun. But, if you choose to do so, thanks!


My Questions to the Nominees:

  1. What is your favorite season, and why?
  2. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  3. You’re offered $100,000 a year to pick your dream job. What would you pick?
  4. What is the first movie you remember watching?
  5. What is your favorite color?
  6. Who is your hero / heroine?
  7. Why did you start blogging?
  8. Do you enjoy traveling?
  9. Aside from blogging, what are three of your favorite hobbies / interests?
  10. If you had the opportunity to meet someone famous, who would you want to meet?
  11. What is your favorite non-American food?

Thanks so much for the lovely award, Kristian!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Commentary #76: “A Seasoned Author’s Tips On Handling Criticism!” (Reblogged)

Didi Oviatt is a published author, but also an awesome blogger. I wanted to share her recent post about handling criticism.

I really liked Didi’s analogy. So much so, that I bookmarked the post to save it for future reference.

Criticism is tough. I’m pretty sure many of us have been there a time or two, as bloggers, writers, and just putting ourselves out there. It’s the nature of what we do. But, Didi put this tough topic in the context of cooking and recipes, and it’s a wonderful way to think about it.

Thank you, Didi! You are one of many people who continue to inspire me.

Criticism Quote

Image Credit: BrainyQuote


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Didi Oviatt

Sometimes I think of reviews and critique, be it negative or positive, as being suggestive ingredients of sorts for my next creation. Like my writing/books is actually a four course meal. I’ve shopped, prepped, marinated, mixed, chopped, fried, blended, and baked until I’m utterly exhausted. I feel like the food is as perfect as I can possibly get it and it’s time to be served.

The guests show up, ready to devour my masterpiece (or read the book per say), and here I am pacing the floors from the sidelines. I watch as some people slowly pick at it before actually giving it a taste. Some people dive right in without second thought. They’ll eat as much food as possible, as quickly as they can, until they’re ready to pop. Some let each bite swirl around in their mouths slavering the flavor.

And in the end, EVERYONE has something to…

View original post 1,023 more words

Awesome Authors #16: Chris Van Allsburg

Chris Van Allsburg

Image Credit: Quotefancy

Chris Van Allsburg was practically a household name when I was younger. He has created some of the most beautifully illustrated books I have ever seen. Our future kids will definitely know about him, too.

Born in East Grand Rapids, Michigan, in June 1949. Van Allsburg has an older sister. His parents moved a few times between East Grand Rapids and Grand Rapids. After graduation, he attended the College of Architecture and Design at the University of Michigan, where the art school was located at the time. After graduating in 1972, he went on to the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where he obtained a master’s degree in sculpture in 1975. He opened a studio. Struggling with time in the studio, he started to sketch his ideas and designs at home. His wife thought his drawings would be good for children’s books. His first book, The Garden of Abdul Gasazi, was published in 1979.

He resides in Providence, Rhode Island, with his wife, Lisa. They have two daughters, Sophia and Anna. Van Allsburg converted to Judaism, which is Lisa’s faith.

He has received several awards, including two Caldecott Medals for U.S. picture book illustration. He was the 1986 U.S. nominee for the biennial, international Hans Christain Andersen Award, the highest international recognition for those who create children’s books. In April 2012, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from his alma mater, the University of Michigan.


The Polar Express (1985)

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Image Credit: Wikipedia

My parents have had a copy of this book since before I was born. It was a Christmas tradition for years to read the book and/or listen to the story on cassette tape. We even had a collector’s set with the book, cassette tape, and a silver bell. If you haven’t read it, you should.

Also, the movie adaptation (2004) is wonderful. We went to see it in theaters, likely the weekend it was released. We love Josh Groban in our house, so we also got the soundtrack and DVD. It’s a thing.

Jumanji (1981)

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Image Credit: Wikipedia

I’m pretty sure I first read this book through either the Chittum Elementary School library, or the Russell Memorial Library. I remember the Reading Rainbow episode, too.

Like The Polar Express, the movie adaptation (1995) is awesome, with Robin Williams and a cast of characters. I think I saw it on TV first. It’s one of my favorite movies that will never get old. We also saw the sequel (2017) in theaters, and it was pretty good, too. We miss you, Robin. There was also a TV series that ran from 1996 to 1999.

The Wreck of the Zephyr (1983)

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Image Credit: Wikipedia

This is one book that I hadn’t heard of! I need to see if the local library has it.

Zathura (2002)

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Image Credit: Wikipedia

This is one instance where I saw the movie adaptation (2005) before I read the book. It’s always fun to think about and dream about space. We actually watched the movie again recently – It’s really well-done. Plus, it’s fun to see several actors when they first got their start in the film industry.


What about you? Have you read or seen any of Chris Van Allsburg’s work?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂