Friday, December 31, 2010

The Year I Read 35 Books

On this special edition of "The Day...", I decided since it is that last day of the year that I would entitle this post "The Year..." and give you a run down of all the books I read this year. I quite honestly don't think I've ever in my life read this many books for pleasure, or for really anything, in a single year. Here's to hoping I can do it again!

  1. Grave Sight - Charlain Harris
  2. Grave Surprise - Charlaine Harris
  3. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
  4. An Ice Cold Grave - Charlaine Harris
  5. Shakespeare's Landlord - Charlaine Harris
  6. Always Looking Up - Michael J. Fox
  7. Animal Farm - George Orwell
  8. Shakespeare's Champion - Charlaine Harris
  9. Shakespeare's Christmas - Charlaine Harris
  10. Dead and Gone - Charlaine Harris
  11. Shakespeare's Trollop - Charlaine Harris
  12. Shakespeare's Counselor - Charlaine Harris
  13. Honeysuckle Summer - Sherryl Woods
  14. The Inn At Eagle Point - Sherryl Woods
  15. Flowers On Main - Sherryl Woods
  16. Harbor Lights - Sherryl Woods
  17. About That Man - Sherryl Woods
  18. Ask Anyone - Sherryl Woods
  19. Along Came Trouble - Sherryl Woods
  20. The Last Summer (Of You And Me) - Ann Brashares
  21. True Colors - Kristin Hannah
  22. The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
  23. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson
  24. Stealing Home - Sherryl Woods
  25. Real Murders - Charlaine Harris
  26. A Slice of Heaven - Sherryl Woods
  27. Feels Like Family - Sherryl Woods
  28. Welcome To Serenity - Sherryl Woods
  29. Home In Carolina - Sherryl Woods
  30. Grave Secret - Charlaine Harris
  31. Sweet Tea at Sunrise - Sherryl Woods
  32. A Bone To Pick - Charlaine Harris
  33. Three Bedrooms, One Corpse - Charlaine Harris
  34. The Julius House - Charlaine Harris
  35. Dead Over Heels - Charlaine Harris

To group these together I have read:

  1. The whole Harper Connelly Series by Charlaine Harris
  2. The whole Lily Bard Series by Charlaine Harris
  3. One book of the Sookie Stackhouse Novels by Charlaine Harris (Because the previous year I had read the books leading up to it and there are no more in paperback yet.)
  4. The Chesapeake Shores Series by Sherryl Woods (that's so far in paperback)
  5. The whole Trinity Harbour Series by Sherryl Woods
  6. The Sweet Magnolia Series by Sherryl Woods (that's so far in paperback)
  7. Part of the Aurora Teagarden Series by Charlaine Harris (I'm finishing it up first thing in 2011!)

My least favorite book would have to be The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson and my favorite would probably be The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins because it is really hard to pick a favorite out of a series. And it is really hard for me to pick a favorite series. There was a book that I began reading but just couldn't finish and that was the classic book The Lord of the Flies by William Golding. I will try really hard to finish this one in 2011! And there was one book that I read twice which was Honeysuckle Summer by Sherryl Woods, because I started out reading her books at the end of one of her series so I had to go back and read it again after I read the previous ones! I didn't count it as an extra book though!

I owe finding out about Sherryl Woods to my friend Jennifer over at Crazy Shenanigans. We ironically have the same favorite and least favorite of the year! Maybe next year I will branch outside of Charlaine Harris and Sherryl Woods, but if they keep producing books then I know I will read them!

Do you have any book suggestions for me for 2011?

What was your favorite/least favorite book of the year?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

PPQ: Stopping By The Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Week #18

So this is the crazy week that led up to Christmas! I hope everyone had a happy holiday!

Day 120: I got me some Kroger sushi to eat today! That's really all I did, but it was delicious! haha! My favorite is the salmon with avacado roll.

Day 121: My phone woke me up at 6:30am to the dental office that I temporarily work for calling in to see if I could work! Yay! Working this whole day helped me out for Christmas so much! I just wish I could work more often cause I love cleaning teeth! This pic I took of myself in my car on my lunch break. Notice the hair sticking out from my goggles!

Day 122: Phil and I had made some mint chocolate Oreo truffles this past weekend (we are pretty addicted to them!) and I couldn't wait until Christmas to eat'em! So I snuck one... shhhh!

Day 123: Mom and I did some last minute Christmas shopping. And it had been a while, so I painted my nails all sparkly and Christmas-y!

Day 124: On Christmas Eve Eve, my uncle got into town from Atlanta! I went to the movie "Little Fockers" with him and my parents, then ate at the Thai House Restaurant, and got me a couple more books in my "Aurora Teagarden Series" by Charlaine Harris to read! This pic is of me and my Uncle Abbie by the tree at Pullman Square. Later that night, my best friend Adam was in town so he picked me up and we went to Jolly Pirates for some donuts and scratch-offs! It was great to drive around and catch up!

Day 125: Christmas Eve! I went over to Phil's grandmother's house to spend this day with his family. This is a pic of his nephews opening all their presents! They had such a good Christmas! After we left his grandmothers, we went to his other grandparents house to visit. Then, we went back to his house before heading to my house! We did things a little differently on Christmas Eve at my house this year. Usually we only open one gift, but this year we opened them all! It was pretty crazy for my family to do this, but we knew we could do it this way or lug all those presents to my aunt's house in the morning! It was a great day!

Day 126: Christmas Day! And it was a white one! We went to my Aunt Cheryl's house to eat and open presents. It was nice that we had opened most of the presents the night before because we got to enjoy watching my little cousin Asyra open all hers, like in this picture! Don't you love her Christmas dress?!

Well, that's it folks! Christmas is over and New Year's is upon us! Hope your Christmas was merry & bright, but it's finally time to relax!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

PPQ: 'Twas The Night Before Christmas

This is one of my very favorite poems! I hope you enjoy it on this Christmas Eve, Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!

'Twas the Night Before Christmas
by Clement Clarke Moore

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads.
And Mama in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
had just settled down for a long winter's nap.

When out on the roof there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
tore open the shutter, and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
gave the lustre of midday to objects below,
when, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles, his coursers they came,
and he whistled and shouted and called them by name:

"Now Dasher! Now Dancer!
Now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid!
On, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch!
To the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away!
Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
when they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky
so up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
with the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
the prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head and was turning around,
down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
and he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes--how they twinkled! His dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
and the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
and the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
that shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
and filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
and giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, 'ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"

The Day I Knew Santa

Quoting one of my favorite Christmas movies, ELF: "SANTA! OH MY GOD! SANTA'S COMING! I KNOW HIM! I KNOW HIM!"

Be prepared to be jealous people because yes, I do know Santa Claus!

He visited my house back in 1987... take that!

...and hopefully he'll be back tonight if I've been good enough!

Merry Christmas Eve!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Favorites

Merry Christmas Eve Eve! I thought that I would share some of my Christmas favorites with you all to mark this occasion! Here goes...

Christmas Music
  1. Sleigh Ride - specifically this version, it was my one of my favorites songs ever to play in band!

  2. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)

  3. Jingle Bell Rock

  4. All I Want For Christmas Is You - Mariah Carey, but I also love when the little girl sings this song in the movie Love, Actually!

  5. Let There Be Peace On Earth - Vince Gill, we listen to this whole CD a dozen times around Christmas!
Christmas Movies
  1. Miracle on 34th Street - The old black & white one is the best! My favorite part is when Santa talks to the little kid in German!

  2. Elf - Smiling's my favorite!

  3. A Christmas Story - a must watch of the season... even if you don't like it, it's hard to not come across it in the month leading up to Christmas!

Christmas Traditions
  1. My parents and I have always loved driving around and looking at all the Christmas lights!

  2. When I was little we always went to my grandparent's, on my mom's side, for Christmas Eve. We would have a big dinner but we would have to wait until midnight (if we could wait that long!) and then we could open our presents!

  3. We would go to my grandparent's, on my dad's side, for Christmas Day. I would get up early to open my stocking presents with my parents at our house, then go just next door to my grandparent's house to open up all those presents with my whole family.

  4. Now, I go to Phil's grandmother's house and spend Christmas Eve with them. After we are finished up there, I go home and spend the rest of the night with my parents and my Uncle Abbie and still try to wait until midnight to open some presents! On Christmas Day, we now load up our car and go to my Aunt Cheryl's house to spend the day with the rest of my family!

Are my favorites some of your favorites too?

What are some your family traditions?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

PPQ: Animals

Y"Animals are reliable, many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful and loyal. Difficult standards for people to live up to."Y

-Alfred A. Montapert

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Prep Work!

It's hard to believe how much work goes into preparing for Christmas! I thought this would give me a chance to show you all the baking, wrapping, and decorating that has been going on at my house!

Christmas Candy and wrapped presents!

Phil's grandma's Christmas tree shown with all kinds of presents!
My family Christmas tree in our dining room

White and Red Poinsettias
Our Christmas Mantle

The decorated table next to our front door

The Christmas tree in our kitchen, along with some stairwell stockings!

Mine and Phil's little Christmas tree down at my place

Some ornaments on the tree includes the ice cream cone that I stole from my family tree this year!

The newest additions to the little tree are these 2 Incredible Hulk ornaments Phil found!

The old Santa of my grandparents that plays music, walks around, and shakes his bell!

My huge candy cane and stocking!

You can see last year's decorating along with some more of my favorite ornaments in last year's Christmas post!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Week #17

Only one more week until Christmas people! Can you believe it? This past week, there was a lot of decorating, snow, and nostalgia going on!

Day 113: I decorated my little Christmas tree today! My mom and I got a new, bigger star for the top of our big Christmas tree so I took the old one! Yay! I secretly like the old one better and it has a lot of memories attached to it, so I'm happy I can put it on mine and Phil's tree for year's to come!

Day 114: Mom and I decorated the big Christmas tree today! Dad put up the tree the night before and hung the lights on it, but then mom and I put the decorations on. We got some silver beaded garland and some silver bulbs this year for something different. Then we hung our old familiar and favorite ornaments.

Day 115: My parents got a beautiful white poinsettia and I love it! I also got to work my temporary job again today! It makes me sad to think that I want someone to call in sick so I can have my chance! I really don't want them sick, maybe just playing hooky!

Day 116: Mom spent like 2 weeks working on her picture arrangement seen here. She had to get just the right frames and have our whole family displayed. I think it turned out really pretty!

Day 117: Today was a lovely snow day! I stayed around the house, scared that I couldn't get down the hill that I live on, and listened to some old music I haven't heard in a while!

Day 118: I ventured off my hill today to go to the YMCA. My hill was fairly clear, just mostly slushy. All the main roads in town were clear, but the side roads were a different story, like seen here on the street the Y is on. Guess, I should have been paying attention to the road more while driving instead of trying to take a picture! Ha!

Day 119: Phil and I were out and about today and on our way to Applebee's for dinner, I saw that the Keith Albee sign was proudly flashing! This was very nostalgic for me and made the snow-filled downtown, with its lighted snowflakes, look very picturesque!

I want to wish everyone luck this week at finishing up their last minute Christmas preparations!

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Day I Sort Of Had A Cat

I am very much an animal lover and crave those fluffy hugs! And ever since my Sunshine passed away, I've felt like a part of me is missing. I want a pet badly! More specifically, I want a kitty badly. I feel like a puppy would be hard for me to take care of at this time in my life, but a cat would be purrfect (haha)!

So, I've never really had a cat all for myself. When I was little, my grandparents always had cats that lived at their house but were outdoor cats. I always had a ball naming them, chasing them, and trying to cuddle them though they really didn't want me to (think that little girl Elmyra on Tiny Toons and that was me, and probably still is me!).

When I was about 10 years old, my babysitter got me a cat I named Pixie, but it lived at her house. Then, about 6 years ago I found a tiny kitten (Parker) at the tennis center in the park where I was working that I could fit in my pocket! I called my roommate Corey, mostly because I knew she would want a kitten and be on my side about getting the other roommate (Deb) on board. Well, it turned out that very same day that Deb, who I was so unsure wouldn't want a cat, excepted one (Rory) from someone from where she was working. And that's how I came to partially own Parker & Rory.

After my 2 roommates and I went our separate ways, Parker & Rory went to live with Corey and her fiance Josh. Then, when I moved to Morgantown 3 years ago, I lived with Corey and Josh, and was in kitty heaven once again! Sadly, they moved after that first year and ever since I have wanted a kitty for my own. Hopefully, when I get my job and Phil and I get a place of our own, we will get a kitty or two!

Anna & Pixie circa 1992(?)

Baby Parker (grey tabby) and Baby Rory (peach tabby) when we first brought them home (2004)

Parker, all grown up, in Morgantown (2008) during the kitty photo shoot I conducted

Grown-up Rory in our Morgantown apartment (2008) during the kitty photo shoot I conducted

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My Blog's 1st Birthday!

Today marks 1 year of my blog's exsistence! I really can't believe that it has gone by so fast and so many things have happened in this year.

I want to thank all my faithful followers who have lifted my spirits with kind words and encouragement this past year, and also to those silent followers I know I have that mean so much to me! You all make me smile so often!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Week #16

Welcome to Week 16 of my Pic-A-Day Challenge! We are getting closer and closer to Christmas and I keep getting more and more excited as time goes on! I love giving the gifts to the people I love and I love watching the little ones open their presents! Here's what I did this week.

Day 106: It snowed every day here for like a week and this is sadly the only photo I got of the snow. On my way back into my house, from walking Phil to his car cause he had to go home, I took this pic of the solar light shining on the snow.

Day 107: Today was a Y day! I went and worked out this day (I usually go to the Y on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays) and then had to come back this evening to go to my healthy weight loss class I've joined. I took this pic of the outside of the Y cause the windows, on the second floor where the workout room is, were all steamed up due to the temperature difference inside and outside. Hard work going on in there!

Day 108: Pablo came over to visit us from next door. He told us that it was too cold outside and my cousins forgot to let him back inside. When we heard them calling for him, he didn't want to go back out in the chilly weather! I sure do miss having a doggy.

Day 109: Mom and I decorated the mantle today. I think it turned out beautiful! I love the pinecones she added!

Day 110: Today I was not feeling being awake. I lounged around for a long while on my couch with my warm blankie until Mom wanted me to go to Hobby Lobby with her. On our way there, we stopped by the Starbucks and saw Rachel!

Day 111: Just wanted to show you some of the Christmas cards I've recieved!

Day 112: Saturday, Phil and I went to pick up his grandmother and take her to the mall for some of the final gifts she needed to purchase. I showed you her tree last year here, and this year it is just about the same minus the hundreds of red bows! I kind of miss them, but know they had to be a real pain to put on each year.

I hope everyone has a fabulous week!

Are you almost done with your holiday shopping?
Are you finished with your decorating?

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Day We Ate Soup

Once upon a time, my friends Lee, Heather, and I used to have a "Soup Day" every Tuesday. These were the days before Morgantown that were set aside for us to get together and eat lunch where soup was most likely involved (because we loved soup).

It wasn't until recently, since I've been home from Morgantown, that we have started Soup Day up again. We have all decided that we have stayed in our little caves (houses) long enough and needed to hang out again. I know that I haven't really been very social since I've been home and their friendship is much needed in my life!

About 2 months ago, we started Soup Day up again by going to eat at a new deli that is downtown. They ran out of their soup, so no soup for us that day. Two weeks ago we tried again when we went to the Harry Potter midnight showing. The menu the restaurant had for this premiere did not have soup on it, so strike two on no soup for us! Then finally, last night we went to our old favorite soup destination of the Marshall Hall of Fame Cafe and enjoyed some lovely french onion soup together! The picture below does not do this soup justice! It was definately delicioso!

We are going to try hard to get Soup Day back to being an every week occurence again. It may be hard to go on a Tuesday every week, but at least will get to be together!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

PPQ: Poetic Reverie

Poetic Reverie
©Mariah Smile

Sitting by the warmth of friends
As a jet flies somewhere over our heads
Light shines, but no moon is seen
No words spoken, senses keen
Fog hangs low, breath is shown
Shadows loom with origins unknown
Thoughts are racing everywhere
Piercing the night’s dark, cold air
Death surrounds us, frail and brown
Reaching toward us with thorny crown
But in out circle life shines through
With radiance we never knew
Souls connected as we sit around
Silence is broken, words are found

Monday, December 6, 2010

Week #15

Hello everyone! This week I hit triple digits on the days I've been doing this and we also have entered the last month of the year! And with Christmas fastly approaching, you'll notice that most of the pictures are holiday related.

Day 99: On this Sunday, Phil and I decided we needed to get some wrapping done on our presents so he could start taking those for his family to his grandmother's house. Our method of wrapping is me doing the actual wrapping of the gift and him handing me tape when I need it and writing the name tag. It worked out pretty well!

Day 100: This day was a dark one. I did not want to get out of bed cause I thought it was still night time! This was a precursor to all the snow we got the rest of the week.

Day 101: Found an ad for a dental hygienist job today! Printed a resume off and got it ready to mail out the next day.

Day 102: Finished and sent out some of my Christmas cards today (along with that resume)! Didn't see when I bought my cards that there was "Extra Postage Needed" on some of them. Boo! Also went to the mall and ran into a friend from high school that is now a dental assistant! She recommended that I apply to her office cause they would be hiring for a part-time position soon! It also started snowing today and has snowed every day since!

Day 103: Went to Walmart to see if I could get an idea for another Christmas present for Phil. Ended up only getting some Buffalo Cheddar Kettlecorn by Popcorn, Indiana! Popcorn, Indiana is one of my newest favorite things! This flavor is pretty good, but my fave is the Chocolate Fudge!

Day 104: Finally got the bows on all the presents after a trip to Hobby Lobby!

Day 105: Phil and I made some of Kathy Burch's famous Christmas candy so Phil could take it to work again this year! We tried making some dark chocolate ones this year and they were okay, but the white chocolate kind is still my favorite!

What did you all do this week?

Are you ready for Christmas?

Any ideas of what I should get for Phil?

Happy Hanukkah!