Monday, January 4, 2016

Book list for 2015

Wow, I didn't read a lot of books in 2015.  Well, I didn't finish a lot of books.  Here's what I finished this year:

Little House Living: The Make-Your-Own Guide to a Frugal, Simple, and Self-Sufficient Life. Merissa Alink*
Hark! A Vagrant. Kate Beaton.*
The Sweet Potato Queens' Book of Love. Jill Conner Browne
Throw Out 50 Things: Clear the Clutter, Find Your Life. Gail Blanke*
Ready Player One. Ernest Cline
Between the World and Me. Ta-Nehasi Coates* 
Beowulf. Seamus Heaney, translator.
Death of a Naturalist. Seamus Heaney*
Fieldwork. Seamus Heaney*
Teach Your Children Well. Madeline Levine.*
Drift. Rachel Maddow*
Tiny Beautiful Things. Cheryl Strayed.*
A Room of One's Own. Virginia Woolf.

I read plenty of books to Evelyn.  I also started several books and stopped when I didn't want to read them anymore.  There was a book about happiness that went on for way too long, so I guess I'll just have to wing it.  There was a poetry volume of Heaney's that was just...way too smart for me.  I tried to read "The Millionaire Next Door" but it's just a book about how some people got rich several decades ago and I really don't think I'd want any of them to be my neighbor.  There were others, but I guess they didn't make enough of an impression on me for me to remember why I quit reading them. 

A few of these books were re-reads, and I already want to go back to Beowulf and A Room of One's Own.  I'm hoping to read more DIY books, maybe more poetry, and I'd like to reread some of my favorites.  I think I'm going to start with Harriet the Spy.

Sunday, January 3, 2016


Evelyn and I made hot chocolate yesterday afternoon.  I'd gotten a kit for my birthday where you dip some chocolate-covered spoons into hot milk and enjoy some oversized marshmallows.  We even had some leftover Christmas cookies to go with our sweet drinks.   And I decided: 2016 is going to be the year we enjoy ourselves.  I want to actively look for ways we can have fun. 

It's a simple enough thing to do, but not something I'm naturally inclined toward.  But I think this will be a good year for it.  I feel like we've decluttered enough that there won't be any big, overhaul-style cleanings (unless we're going through Evelyn's clothes.  It can't be helped. She grows like an actual weed.  Stacks of leggings become obsolete from week to week!).  We have space to play and grow.  I've got nearly all of my yarn in one space.  This is most of it, by the way:

I'll try to do most of my gift knitting from my stash, and I'm going to work on projects I really like rather than getting concerned about using up the most yardage I can. 

I'm going to try to meet up with friends more often, and when I do I'm going to stop apologizing for Evelyn being super talkative because they don't seem to mind (she's their friend, too! She's everyone's friend! Why do I keep her away from friends?!).  I'm also going to try to stop being so negative, so that when I worry that everyone hates meeting up with me because I'm so negative I can remind myself that I was funny and asked questions about people's interests before possibly falling into a rant about the sorry state of national infrastructure or whatever else it is that sometimes literally keeps me up at night. 

I hope we eat more cake.  I love cake and it's not a big deal to make it. There are worse snacks (maybe).

The moment I stop enjoying something I'm reading, I'm going to stop reading it.  If someone's terrible on Facebook, I can hide them.  Or unfriend them altogether.

I hope I post more here without worrying about keeping up with everything in chronological order. 

I would write more now, but I want to get back to working on a sock I'm trying to knit. I'm not super invested in it, but I like that.  I'm going to knit socks, but I'm not going to be grimly determined or try to knit any tighter because I'm a loose knitter, and a generally relaxed one at that, except for when socks are involved.  But I'd like to try them a little bit more.  And so far I'm enjoying it.  Which is all I need for now.

I have other goals for the year.  I want to contribute to a food pantry every month.  I want to spend more time outdoors.  I want to cook more because I love my own cooking.  I'm hoping we have a nice tiny kitchen garden on our balcony.  And I'm going to enjoy those things too.