In my last post (way back in January), I started the year off with a Fave Reads Friday. And now, here I am again in February with another. It’s not that I don’t have a million other things that I want to write about, it’s that I am not making the time to do so. But just now I decided that I had a few minutes, so this is kind of also a TOLT post because I want to rant for a minute….


I am still working down my book list and I got to letter “K” and it was The Knowledge Illusion by Philip Fernbach and Steven Sloman. Oh, what a fantastic book so far….but the book is not the issue. People who use my library are.

In the first four chapters of the book I found 3 places in which someone had crossed out the word evolution and wrote the word “GOD” over the top….in ink. This is public property people! Then, as I was trying to figure out where to stop for the night I moved my bookmark to the next chapter start and noticed that it was missing. Yep, you read that right, MISSING!

Needless to say, I returned the book to my library yesterday and let them know about the damage. I requested another copy because I was so interested in the material, but they only had the one. So, now they’re putting in a request to order a new copy and looking through the inter-library loan system for one I could borrow in the mean time.

I just have to say that paying taxes that support the purchase of books does not mean that it gives you free reign to do what you want with them or to push your values into other people’s written works.

So, on to the next one

Last month I finished reading Jewel by Bret Lott. It was a really great story, but I had a hard time picturing the characters some times. It told the story of a family who dealt with the challenge of raising a child with Down syndrome during a time when little was known about the genetic disorder. It was told from the point of view of the mother, Jewel, and focused on her own narrative of life from when she was a child through the end of her years. I felt compelled to keep reading it until my eyes fell closed every night until it was done. At the end I was sad that I didn’t get to read more.

And now that I had to skip “K” for the moment, I have moved on to “L” and last night opened A Lesson Before Dying. I haven’t read much of it yet because I was super tired, but it is the story of two men. One on death row and the other the nephew of the best friend of the godmother of the man on death row. Say that 5 times fast!

Then and Now

When I finish this one I will have to skip around again to my “N” book before it’s due to go back and “I” has finally arrived with “M” on the way. I have decided not to watch tv at night any more because it gives me this time to unwind and read. It’s allowing me to feel accomplished in my goals, wiser, and like I am balancing my time during this new semester. It’s also giving me that time I need away from electronics when I am online for teaching and grading and helping my kids with school all day.

I am still reading to the kids almost daily and we’re so close now to the end of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The youngest is  on his last book in the Trapped in a Video Game series by Dustin Brady. And the oldest is reading Moby Dick and Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator in turns. He checked out 7 shorter books from the library this week to start to meet some of the other categories in his 40 book challenge at his school. Today he read one he really liked called Spring After Spring and now I want to check it out because he almost never recommends books to others and he recommended this one to me.

I am still only averaging about 1 book a month right now, but with nightly reading and grading slowing down I might be able to pick up the book a little more.

What book(s) are you reading for February?

Fave Reads Friday #25 – What’s Wrong With People?

TOLT #91 – Good-Bye 2020

It’s the last day of the year and many of us have this mutual feeling of fear and excitement, relief and suspense, urgency and optimism as well as dread and the realization that it’s not over just because the calendar flips. I told my husband that I wouldn’t be surprised if the center of the Earth overheated at midnight and the whole planet exploded. Nothing is going to surprise me at this point.

At this time of the year I usually look at a recap of all that I’ve accomplished and start to plan out for the coming year. I decided to look at it a little differently this time around.

Habits I Formed in 2020
  • Flossing my teeth at night
  • Wearing my retainer
  • Putting on facial cream morning and night
  • Daily yoga (I am currently on day 35, but it’s still going, so it counts)
  • Daily run (Still only on day 5, but I am working on it)
  • Saving for retirement
Things I quit doing in 2020
  • Letting others define me
  • Taking chances with my health and safety
  • Saying “yes” when I mean “no”
Where My Life is going in 2021

This year I want to focus on the millions of little ideas I have in my head that I want to put into action. Things like continuing to work on “streaking” my fitness. After I can maintain 30 days of running and yoga I want to add in Pilates to the mix daily. These are the basis for the three things I teach the most, so I want to do them daily. I have some ideas for things I’d like to write and what I want to read. I have goals for this blog and my meditation practices. There’s so much more I want to accomplish and I think that my approach right now is one day at a time. If I add just one more day of doing it the way that makes me happy, then that’s one day closer to adding in the next great thing.

What is next for you in 2021?

TOLT #89 – The Challenge of Forming (and Keeping) Good Habits During a Pademic

This week is NOT going as planned. I intended to take things just one day at a time this week. I was trying to get into a routine I would be able to maintain for the upcoming weeks in which my children start school again (online on Monday) and I am back to teaching (hybrid….whatever that will still look like). However, it’s all falling apart…. Continue reading “TOLT #89 – The Challenge of Forming (and Keeping) Good Habits During a Pademic”

TOLT #88 – Vanity

As I approach 40 a lot of things are different. One thing is that my hair is turning gray. Sometimes I pull the gray hairs, sometimes I just try to figure out a different way to wear my hair so that they aren’t so prominent. Many of my friends tell me they don’t even notice them. My kids have started telling me that I will soon be old.

So many other things have changed as well. I am actually in to a routine of flossing nightly….something I wish I had been doing for years. (Thank you COVID-19 lock down!) I sweat a lot more when I workout (I am guessing this is something hormonal). I don’t sleep well, but this could be due to stresses in my life.

And finally, my skin is changing. I am getting far more wrinkles on my face and my skin is drier than it has ever been. And that brings me to my thought for today…..question really.

Is it vain to try and use a cream to improve your skin as you age?

I am considering using something with retinols and hyaluranic acids and all of the other crazily termed chemicals out there. Partly for vanity and partly for the health of my skin as regular moisturizers don’t seem to do the trick at this time. I have even had to switch to using a cream with ceramides to prevent eczema patches from appearing on my elbows (something I never had before I was pregnant with my oldest).

I have never been the vain type….at least in my eyes. I am feeling a little down on myself for even considering this course of action. So, tell me

What is your “beauty” regimen?



TOLT #87 – Searching

This past week has been a little bit better in the checking off things department. However, yesterday I didn’t get a chance to do a Wellness Wednesday post because my Wellness Inventory account was closed for most of the day. I was able to do a little work on myself there today, but I didn’t want to post late.

Instead, I opted to post today about a meditation/podcast I did this week. I used my Insight Timer app to finally listen to a podcast about self-love. It started out in a way that reminded me so much of SNL’s Delicious Dish segments that I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to take it seriously. I decided to listen to the podcast while I did my yoga practice since I felt it wasn’t the same as a meditation. This had both positives (two birds with one stone) and negatives (my kids often talk through my physical practice and it was sometimes hard to focus on both the posture/breath work and their discussion).

I really don’t know how people listen to podcasts while they drive!

But, I just wanted to share one thought from the podcast with you today:

You are searching for what you’re searching with.

I am sure that this will mean something different to each of you, so I encourage you to share how that phrase resonates with you…..



TOLT #86 – A Rough Week

Last week I intended to start my work on my summer courses….but the set up wasn’t ready for me to start yet. Then the rain set in.

It rained for DAYS! And that, plus hormonal things, put me in such a funk that when it was time to start work……I couldn’t.

So, for the last two days I have been absorbed by setting things up. I have ignored my kids. I haven’t cleaned a single room in my house. And my yoga and meditation have been thrown out the window.

I didn’t do any wellness work yesterday (or this week) even though it’s what I need the most right now. My life is out of whack and I am taking it back in this very moment.

  1. I blogged. I needed to.
  2. I am about to go for a walk with my kids. We need that too.
  3. Then I am going to come home and clean up a little so that I can get my space in order to do Pilates and Yoga and Meditation.
  4. Then I will cook dinner and take a shower and start over tomorrow.

Balance has not been on my side. As the planner list grew the checks got fewer. It’s been a rough week, but the rain is gone and things are looking up!

Do you ever feel like you immerse yourself too far into one thing?


TOLT #85 A Summer of ?

Today was supposed to be my kids’ last day of school. In two hours from now I was supposed to be picking them up and headed to the park for our annual picnic and popsicles end of year celebration. There should be water balloons and bubbles and the chaos of a bunch of kids running wild in an open space. There should be parents standing around trying to manage, talking about summer plans….vacations, camps, etc. There should be kids running up and asking for one more popsicle, searching for more bubbles and water balloons, begging for sleepovers tonight because….there’s no school tomorrow.

Instead my kids are downstairs playing LIFE. They didn’t have any school work this week. My oldest did his bridging ceremony (very unceremoniously) on Monday. And tomorrow morning we go by the school to pick-up what was left behind almost three months ago….while staying in our car and wearing masks.

Summer break feels different.

I have been tentative this whole time about who we were exposed to. My kids have only been in one building other than our home in the last three months….it was to pick out birthday donuts at Wake N Bake and they wore masks and we were the only customers in the shop. We haven’t done a lot with friends. We haven’t been to the beach once in 2020.

Next week we are going to try the beach….early in the morning (7-9am)…..and see how it feels. This summer won’t be as full of play dates as usual. We won’t be at the pool as much, the beach as much, the parks as much. We probably won’t be inviting people over every week for dinner. There won’t be trivia nites and concert nights and ice cream stops as often as possible. We won’t be at the library or the museums. We will be home, for the most part, as we have been for the past three months.

In August we will face the challenge of returning to school….maybe.

I wonder what we will be like then.

What are your plans for the summer?

How have you handled the end of the school year?


TOLT #84 and Throwback Thursday: Headed Toward 40

Six years ago I wrote a post called First Steps in which I was musing about waiting for my baby to start walking and about how hard it was for me to get started back to exercise:

First, I am no longer 23 or 29 or even 32. Last year when I started back running after a cool winter break I was able to just jump right into it and take off with a rather nice 9:30/mile pace. That dropped off as I got pregnant, but I was still happily walking almost 5 miles a day at about 13:30-14:00 mile paces until E got here. Today I ran 1.07 miles at a pace of 10:56/mile. Age has a lot to do with the slowing down. It effects your metabolism as well as your muscle building capacity. Getting old kind of stinks, but I’m not “old” yet, because my kids aren’t old enough to tell me I am. So, for the time being, I will just remember that getting back into shape takes time.

In 3 months and 23 days I will be turning 40. Age has always been a random and not concrete feeling to me. I don’t regularly feel like I am “my age”. However, my oldest (who is 9) has started telling me that I will officially be old this year when I turn 40. I am curious as to how that will feel.

What age did you think was old when you were a kid?

What age do you think is old now?

How as turning 40 for you?