Getting Personal #181: September Goals

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Image Credit: BeautyBeyondBones

Welcome back! September is one of my favorite months of the year. It’s our dating anniversary. The weather starts to finally shift from summer into autumn. So much to look forward to as we wind down the year.

Here are my goals for the month of September:

  1. Start my new job!
  2. Successfully complete my self-imposed “No-Spend September.”
  3. Publish a fun Writing Prompt series during the month.
  4. Publish four Commentary posts, aiming for one post per week.
  5. Publish all outstanding Tag posts where I’ve been tagged.
  6. Spend time with treasured friends.
  7. Publish three Book Reviews.
  8. Participate in decorating duffel bags for local children in foster care.
  9. Begin outlining my plans for NaNoWriMo 2019 in November.
  10. Reduce clutter throughout the house, aiming for 1-2 hours of work per weekend.
  11. Purchase a new mattress, bed frame, and nightstands.
  12. Research area rugs for the living room.
  13. Evaluate my clothing clutter – Decide what to donate or store away.

What about you? Do you have any goals for the month of September?

Getting Personal #179: August Goals Recap

Image Credit: Found on Facebook

August was a fun month!

Here’s the link to my August Goals post:

Ready?

Here we go!


  1. Donate blood. — Accomplished!
  2. Celebrate my birthday! — Accomplished!
  3. Celebrate others’ birthdays! — Accomplished!
  4. Read at least two books. — Accomplished!
  5. Complete at least two Writing Prompt posts. — Did not accomplish.
  6. Plan a fun Writing Prompt series for the month of September. — Accomplished!
  7. Catch up on Commentary and Tags posts. — Semi-Achieved.
  8. Research You Need A Budget! (YNAB). — Accomplished!
  9. Read my Daily Guideposts book every day. — Accomplished!
  10. Dedicate at least an hour every weekend to working on my office. — Accomplished!
  11. Participate in my church’s clean-up day. — Accomplished!

I was able to give a partial Power Red donation at the blood drive. Because I attempted Power Red, I have to wait 16 weeks to donate again, so that will be in December. We collected 61 units total!

I had so much fun celebrating 31 this year! I wanted to try this new place in Norfolk called Circuit Social, a barcade. It exceeded everyone’s expectations! Great food, so many games, and nearly a whole wall of drink choices – Beer, wine, and ciders! Highly recommend!

All of the food!

Most of the gang! We had so much fun!

Besties! Michaela and I have been friends since she was born!

We celebrated Savy’s birthday and my birthday during the weekend of August 10th. Al’s parents came in for the weekend. We went out to the Chinese Buffet, and ended the evening with Dairy Queen ice cream cake – Chocolate chip cookie dough, my favorite!

The church clean-up day was a rousing success. I helped power wash several sections of the sidewalk at both entrances. I also helped pick up pruned branches and sprayed poison ivy killer. We also got a great lunch out of the deal, too.

I spent a lot more time in my office because I broke down the goal so simply. I’m able to walk easier in there now, and I can sit on the couch. I still have more to do, but I’m happy with my progress. I also dressed my seven dolls in back-to-school clothes!

L to R: Stephanie, Molly, Kit.

L to R: Autumn, Chrissa, Z, and Mia.

At the end of the month, I had the opportunity to visit Seminole, Florida, to see my Grandpa and my Aunt Marny. Grandpa is 93 and doing well! It was really nice to catch up with Aunt Marny. The last time we saw each other in person was for my wedding in 2015!


Did you have any goals for the month of August? Let me know!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Commentary #95: “Non-Fiction That Changed My Life”

Non-Fiction Quote

Image Credit: AZ Quotes

I enjoyed Norees’ post so much, I wanted to share it.

Here’s the link to her original post:


The only book on Norees’ list that I have heard of is Quiet.

I’m intrigued by The Autobiography of Malcolm X, by Alex Haley.


Her question was: What are some non-fiction books that had a big impact on you?

Here’s my list, in somewhat chronological order in terms of when I read it, or was assigned to read it.

The Diary of a Young Girl (1947)

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This was one of the first books I was assigned to read about World War II, the persecution of Jewish people during that time, and the Holocaust. I re-read it every couple of years as a reminder.

Night (1958)

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We read this as part of our Holocaust study in eighth grade. Now, I want to read the rest of the trilogy, after I re-read this one.

A Child Called “It” (1995)

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I was probably a bit too young to read this when I did (Middle school, I think), but it left a profound impact on me. I had legitimate nightmares and crying spells for weeks.

The Freedom Writers Diary (1999)

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This is one of those rare instances where I saw the movie adaptation, several times, before reading the book. I first read the book through one of the libraries, whether it was in Chesapeake or Farmville. I now have my own copy. I’m grateful for teachers like Erin Gruwell.

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America (2002)

Nickel and Dimed

This was one of the first books I was assigned when I started at Longwood in the fall of 2007. It left a profound impact on me. I’ve read it several times since then. Ehrenreich is now one of my favorite writers.

In Cold Blood (1965)

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I read this somewhere between high school and college. Capote was an incredible writer.

The Last Lecture (2008)

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I first heard about this book from one of my professors, Jeff Halliday. It’s one of the most moving, powerful books I have ever read. I believe everyone should read this book at some point in their lives. Also, if you haven’t seen Randy Pausch on YouTube, I highly recommend it. It’s powerful stuff.

Tough Choices: A Memoir (2006)

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I read this when I was in college. I found it at the library. Fiorina is an impressive woman!

Columbine (2009)

I learned about this book when the author, Dave Cullen, was a guest lecturer at Longwood in 2009. I had the pleasure of interviewing him for The Rotunda. It’s a tough book to read, but a good one.

The Glass Castle (2006)

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I first stumbled upon this book when I was in my junior or senior year at Longwood. This is another book, a memoir, that everyone should read.

Tornado Warning: A Memoir of Teen Dating Violence and Its Effect on A Woman’s Life (2011)

Image Credit: www.shapingyouth.org

This is another book that I think many should read, both men and women. And, I’m glad I’ve re-read it a couple of times.

If I Am Missing or Dead: A Sister’s Story of Love, Murder, and Liberation (2007)

If I Am Missing Or Dead

This is another book that came into my life at the perfect time, in February 2016. I’ll never forget reading it, late at night, in the early months of being married to Al, grateful that I was able to escape. Thanks to my good friend, Mike H., I learned about Janine and her incredible story. This is another book I think many others should read.

Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood (2005)

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I found this book at a thrift store at the perfect time, about 12 years ago. It’s a compelling account of how alcohol can affect someone so early. I think I need to re-read this. I first wrote my book review in 2016!

The Unknown and Impossible: How a Research Facility in Virginia Mastered the Air and Conquered Space (2017)

The Unknown and Impossible

Remember Mike H. from earlier? He’s now a published author. I loved reading this compelling 100-year history of NASA!

Grace and Grit: My Fight for Equal Pay and Fairness at Goodyear and Beyond (2012)

Grace and Grit - Amazon

I learned about this book through my church bulletin, as one of the women’s circles was reading it for discussion. I’m so glad I found out about this book. Lilly Ledbetter has had an incredible life, and wanted to fight for what’s right.

Girls Auto Clinic Glove Box Guide (2017)

Girls Auto Clinic - Amazon

Patrice Banks is a bad-ass! This was another author interview on Fresh Air. This is a must-have for every glove box!

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (2016)

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Matthew Desmond was interviewed on Fresh Air, discussing the book and his ongoing project on evictions and the database he has been building. Like Ehrenreich, Desmond is a true ethnographer, and I can’t wait to read more from him.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption (2010)

Unbroken A World War II Story of Survival Resilience and Redemption

I’m glad I received this book through a book swap. Hillenbrand is a remarkable writer. This is not my most favorite non-fiction book in the world, but Louie Zamperini’s story is incredible and important.


Want to Read

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2010)

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I’ve been wanting to read this for years.

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail (1997)

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I took a Linguistics course at Longwood. We read a different book by Bryson, and I really enjoyed it. I’ve always been fascinated by the Appalachian Trail, so I think this book would be great.

Hidden Figures (2016)

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I’ve wanted to read the book since the movie adaptation was released. The movie is excellent, so I’m pretty the book is pretty terrific, too.

Educated (2018)

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Tara Westover’s interview on NPR’s Fresh Air was one of the most riveting podcast episodes I’ve listened to. I hope to read this before the end of 2019.

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis (2016)

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I’ve been curious about this memoir since hearing the author’s interview on NPR’s Fresh Air.

Parkland: Birth of a Movement (2019)

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I’m not ready to read this yet, but just knowing that Cullen wrote it is enough to put it on my list.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (2012)

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Granted, I didn’t hear about this book until the movie adaptation with Reese Witherspoon was announced, but it peaked my interest.


 

Getting Personal #176: August Goals

August Goals - transforminglifenow

Image Credit: transforminglifenow

Welcome back! August is my birthday month. Every year, it seems like August is far away when the year begins. But, then, it always sneaks up on me! And it seems to go by faster than the other months. I guess time really does fly by when you’re having fun!

Here are my goals for the month of August:

  1. Donate blood.
  2. Celebrate my birthday!
  3. Celebrate others’ birthdays!
  4. Read at least two books.
  5. Complete at least two Writing Prompt posts.
  6. Plan a fun Writing Prompt series for the month of September.
  7. Catch up on Commentary and Tags posts.
  8. Research You Need A Budget! (YNAB).
  9. Read my Daily Guideposts book every day.
  10. Dedicate at least an hour every weekend to working on my office.
  11. Participate in my church’s clean-up day.

What about you? Do you have any goals for the month of August?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #175: July Goals Recap

July was crazy!

Here’s the link to my July Goals post:

Ready?

Here we go!


  1. Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo, July 2019. — Accomplished!
  2. Catch up on maintenance / gas logs for both cars. — Did not accomplish.
  3. Do another round of closet clean-out. — Did not accomplish.
  4. See Spider-Man: Far From Home. — Accomplished!
  5. Watch Stranger Things, Season 3. — Accomplished!
  6. Finish cleaning the attached garage. — Did not accomplish.
  7. Work on my office, making sure everything from the garage has a proper place. — Did not accomplish.
  8. Read every night before bed. — Did not accomplish.
  9. Celebrate the 4th! — Accomplished!
  10. Spend quality time with family and friends. — Accomplished!

July was a bit of a weird month. Spurts of productivity, and then a lot of exhaustion. Many nights, I came home from work and didn’t want to look at any screens. Especially the computer!

We loved Spider-Man: Far From Home. I highly recommend seeing it in the theater.

We binged all of Stranger Things, Season 3, between July 4th and 5th. The next week, we started watching it again. It’s spectacular. If you haven’t seen this show, get on Netflix and watch it!

For July 4th, we celebrated the holiday and Kyle’s birthday at their house. Michaela, Kyle’s girlfriend, has been a life-long friend of mine. We hadn’t been to their house before, so it was really nice to go, bring chocolate mousse, hang out, and enjoy others’ company. Kyle’s surprise 30th birthday celebration was fun also.

We also went to the farm to see Al’s parents the following weekend. It was so nice to get away, and much needed for both of us. It was hot! But, the dogs did so much than last time. I think they finally understand that the farm is a “second home” for us, and them. I also read well over 100 pages of my current book. I’m almost done!

This round of Camp NaNoWriMo wasn’t as successful, but still a success. I still wrote, and made progress with my 2014 WIP. I’m going to post a recap in the next few days, so be on the lookout for that.

I have a lot to catch up on for the month of August!


Did you have any goals for the month of July? Let me know!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #174: Eleventh TBR Recap

Paul Sweeney Book Quote

Image Credit: Good Housekeeping

Welcome back!


Here’s what I’ve read since my last TBR update:

  1. Cullen, Dave, Columbine *Re-Read*
  2. Rowling, J.K., Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone *Re-Read*
  3. Humphries, MD, Suzanne, Dissolving Illusions: Disease, Vaccines, and the Forgotten History (DNF)

Removing from Laura Beth’s TBR:

  1. Brubaker Bradley, Kimberly, The War That Saved My Life *Re-Read*
  2. Fisher, Carrie, Wishful Drinking
  3. Hite, Sid, My Name is America: The Journal of Rufus Rowe, Witness to the Battle of Fredericksburg
  4. Russell, Kristen, A Sky for Us Alone
  5. Thomas, Angie, The Hate U Give

Removal Rate: 5/11 = 45%


Keep & Re-Classify – Laura Beth’s Updated TBR

  1. Arnold, David, Mosquitoland
  2. Conley, Garrard, Boy Erased: A Memoir of Identity, Faith, and Family
  3. Goldstein, Amy, Janesville: An American Story
  4. King, Stephen, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft *Re-Read*
  5. Kubica, Mary, Good Girl
  6. Oviatt, Didi, Search for Maylee

Keep Rate: 6/11 = 55%


Adding To The TBR

  1. Anderson, Laurie Halse, Shout
  2. Duncan, Lois, Who Killed My Daughter?: The True Story of a Mother’s Search for Her Daughter’s Murderer
  3. Martin, Kristen, The Alpha Drive
  4. Rowling, J.K., Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets *Re-Read*
  5. Spinney, Caroll, The Wisdom of Big Bird (and the Dark Genius of Oscar the Grouch): Lessons from a Life in Feathers
  6. Vaughan, Brian K., Paper Girls Volume 1
  7. Ware, Ruth, In A Dark, Dark Wood

So, my current TBR is 13 books.

Do you have a TBR?

What book are you looking forward to reading next?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

 

Getting Personal #173: July Goals

July

Image Credit: Facebook

Hello, July! It’s hot and humid here in Virginia. Summer just started, and it’s already reaching the mid-90s during the day.

Here are my goals for the month of July:

  1. Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo, July 2019.
  2. Catch up on maintenance / gas logs for both cars.
  3. Do another round of closet clean-out.
  4. See Spider-Man: Far From Home.
  5. Watch Stranger Things, Season 3.
  6. Finish cleaning the attached garage.
  7. Work on my office, making sure everything from the garage has a proper place.
  8. Read every night before bed.
  9. Celebrate the 4th!
  10. Spend quality time with family and friends.

What about you? Do you have any goals for the month of July?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂