Feb 04

Gentle Spectrums 2015

Gentle Spectrums 2015

February is here and it’s time to sign up for Carolyn’s challenge! I did half of this challenge last year and this year I am signing up for it all, both A and B. Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 01

Sue’s Reading Stats for 2014

istock-booksBooks read: 139
Pages read: 43,972

Of the books read:

  • Non-fiction: 7
  • New-to-me authors: 36
  • Continuing series books: 26
  • Re-reads: 20
  • Audio-books: 37
  • Various book club reads: 17
  • Challenges completed: 10 of 10
  • Ongoing tally of Newbery winners: 70 of 93
  • Books set in states: 25 of 50
  • 5 star ratings by me: 27

150 books; 47,936 pages; 7 non-fiction; 29 new-to-me authors; 25 series; 32 re-reads; 49 audio-books; 6 of 6 challenges completed; 64 of 92 Newbery; books set in 25 of 50 states
196 books; 56,851 pages; 11 non-fiction; 55 new-to-me novelists; 95 series; 25 re-reads; 25 audio-books; 6 of 6 challenges completed; 64 of 91 Newbery
132 books; 39,641 pages; 15 non-fiction; 42 new-to-me novelists; 54 series; 12 re-reads; 33 audio-books; 0 of 0 challenges completed; 59 of 90 Newbery
152 books; 46,899 pages; 3 non-fiction; 37 new-to-me novelists; 25 series; 19 re-reads; 28 audio-books; 5 of 5 challenges completed; 50 of 89 Newbery
73 books; 23,576 pages; 3 non-fiction; 31 new-to-me novelists; 36 series; 5 re-reads; 48 of 88 Newbery
79 books; 32,031 pages; 8 non-fiction; 15 new-to-me novelists; 31 series; 19 re-reads; 42 of 87 Newbery
44 books; 17,069 pages; 3 non-fiction; 8 new-to-me novelists; 15 series; 13 re-reads; 38 of 86 Newbery

Dec 30

One Little Word 2015

It’s time again to choose my word for the year.  It’s an attempt to choose a word that influences my state of mind throughout the year and creates a structure and framework for my life.  Here are my past choices: 2009-SERENE, 2010-CREATE, 2011-BALANCE, 2012-VARIETY, 2013-MEMORY, 2014-MEMORY

This year I want to embrace all the facets of my life. One definition of embrace is to “include in one’s beliefs; take into account”. I have begun some lifestyle changes that may result in being healthier and losing some weight and plan to continue those. These changes may help with some new medical conditions that have developed. Instead of railing about what I can’t do and what I’m missing, I want to take into account the reality and enjoy what I can do. And also give myself permission to do more of what I can do. This will help me live more in the present. I also want to embrace whatever new adventures comes along and ride the wave. One of my favorite sayings is ” Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain”. I am going to take into account what comes my way and do lots of intentional things to make me happy.

I began the One Little Word journey with Ali Edwards and this year I am going to take her workshop so I can be more focused on my word.

So my word for 2015 is….EMBRACE.  Happy New Year!


Dec 28

2015 Reading Challenge Sign-Ups

Mount TBR 2015

Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2015

Bev at My Reader’s Block is once again hosting this challenge and I need to do it again and not get so enticed by new, shiny things. This will be my fifth year for this challenge and I’m working out for the climbing. I made Mt. Ararat last year so that’s my goal for this year. Climb on!

Challenge Levels:

Pike’s Peak: Read 12 books from your TBR pile/s
Mount Blanc: Read 24 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Vancouver: Read 36 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Ararat: Read 48 books from your TBR piles/s
Mt. Kilimanjaro: Read 60 books from your TBR pile/s
El Toro: Read 75 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Everest: Read 100 books from your TBR pile/s
Mount Olympus (Mars): Read 150+ books from your TBR pile/s


Color Coded 2015

2015 The Color Coded Reading Challenge

This is my third year for this fun-filled and colorful challenge hosted by Bev at My Reader’s Block. Thankfully, she’s altered the rules a little this year by allowing the cover to count if it is mostly the color. I had a tough time finding Brown books in my TBR pile last year, so maybe I will do better with a cover.

*Read nine books in the following categories.

1. A book with “Blue” or any shade of Blue (Turquoise, Aquamarine, Navy, etc) in the title/on the cover.
2. A book with “Red” or any shade of Red (Scarlet, Crimson, Burgandy, etc) in the title/on the cover.
3. A book with “Yellow” or any shade of Yellow (Gold, Lemon, Maize, etc.) in the title/on the cover.
4. A book with “Green” or any shade of Green (Emerald, Lime, Jade, etc) in the title/on the cover.
5. A book with “Brown” or any shade of Brown (Tan, Chocolate, Beige, etc) in the title/on the cover.
6. A book with “Black” or any shade of Black (Jet, Ebony, Charcoal, etc) in the title/on the cover.
7. A book with “White” or any shade of White (Ivory, Eggshell, Cream, etc) in the title/on the cover.
8. A book with any other color in the title/on the cover (Purple, Orange, Silver, Pink, Magenta, etc.).
9. A book with a word that implies color (Rainbow, Polka-dot, Plaid, Paisley, Stripe, etc.).

Play it Sam

Read It Again, Sam 2015

I usually reread some books during the year just for fun and often the rereading comes as listening to the audio of a book I’ve already read and enjoyed. So I decided to just go ahead and not feel guilty about my rereads by joining the challenge this year hosted by Bev at My Reader’s Block. I’m going to sign up for “Feeling Nostalgic: 8 books“.

Déjà vu: Reread 4 books
Feeling Nostalgic: Reread 8 books
A Trip Down Memory Lane: Reread 12 books
Living in the Past: Reread 16+ books


CruisinCruisin’ Thru the Cozies Reading Challenge 2015

This will be my third year to participate in this challenge hosted by Yvonne at Socrates’ Book Reviews and I have finished it in the first half of the year at the highest level because I love me some cozy mysteries and am working through several series. So I am going for Level 4-Sleuth Extraordinaire.

Choose the level you wish to participate:
Level 1 – Snoop – Read at least 6 books
Level 2 – Investigator – Read 7-12 books
Level 3 – Super Sleuth – Read 13 or more books
Level 4 – Sleuth Extraordinaire – Read 20 or more


preqseqbutton2015-297x3002015 Sequel & Prequel Challenge

I’m trying this challenge instead of one about finishing series because I have many ongoing series that I would like to work on without necessarily finishing any of them. I am going to sign up for 25-50 points: Amateur and hope that’s not too ambitious.

The 2015 Sequel & Prequel Challenge is hosted by Novel Heartbeat and Writer Grrl Reads! The goal: To read as many prequels and sequels as you can. All books in a series count for points.
In order to get 10 points for a completed series, there must be at least 3 full-length books in the series. You can still get sequel points for a duology, you just can’t get the 10 bonus points for finishing it.

For each prequel and sequel read this year, points will be awarded as follows:
1 point for each prequel or sequel novella read and reviewed
2 points for each full-length sequel read and reviewed
10 points for completing and reviewing a full series (doesn’t require novellas)*†
You do not get points for the first book in a series.
*The 10 bonus points is for finishing a full series. That means that all books must be published. If you are completely caught up on a series, and the next book is not releasing until 2016, that does not count toward the 10 bonus points.
†If you started the series before 2015, you can still get the bonus points for finishing it if you reviewed the other books in the series at some point. For example: You read The Hunger Games in 2014, but read Catching Fire and Mockingjay in 2015 – you would get 2 points for both sequels and 10 bonus points for finishing the series (14 points total). You don’t have to start the series in 2015 to get the bonus points.
10-25 points: Newbie
25-50 points: Amateur
51-75 points: Advanced
76-100 points: Professional
101+ points: Veteran



What’s In a Name? 2015

I’ve been a part of this challenge since 2009, so it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t join this fun challenge. It has changed hosts over the years and is being hosted again by The Worm Hole.

A word including ‘ing’ in it
A colour
A familial relation
A body of water
A city
An animal

2015 Monthly Motif Image12015 Monthly Key Word Image

2015 Monthly Motif Challenge and Monthly Key Word Challenge

I did the Monthly Key Words in 2013 and the Monthly Motif in 2014 and have found it fun, so this year I’m going wild & crazy and doing both. Thanks to Bookmark to Blog for hosting.

JAN- Book to Movie or Audio
Read a book that has a movie based off of it. For an extra challenge, see the movie or listen to the audio book as well.

JAN- Bird, Girl, Ever, Silence, Bad, Truth, End  

FEB- Award Winner
Read a book that has won recognition or a literary award.

FEB- Key, Water, Lie, Chase, And, Once    

MAR- Genre Jumble
Read a book in a genre that you’ve never tried or that you’re least familiar with. For example, if you typically reach for romance novels, try a mystery this time.

MAR- KInd, Face, Power, City, Blue, Night, To

APR- Mystery, Murder, and Mayhem
Read a murder/mystery book, a book in which someone dies of mysterious causes, or a book in which the truth must come out.

APR- Dream, Prince, Long, Wind, Rose, The, Rock

MAY- Library Love
Show your library some love and visit your local branch. Choose a book to read that they have on display.

MAY- Ash, Road, Thief, Bend, In, Far

JUN- Take A Trip
Choose a book to read that takes place in a country different than the one you live in or choose a book written by an author that is from a country different than your own.

JUN- My, Together, Whisper, Win, Soul, Sleep

JUL- Standing Up
Read a book in which the main character stands up for themselves, stands against an enemy, or stands up for something they believe in.

JUL- Sun, Unto, Energy, Fate, High, Look

AUG- Alternate Reality
Read a book that’s set in the future, on another planet, in another dimension, or in an unknown world. A Dystopian book will count this month as well.

AUG- Fall, Boy, Glass, Heart, Lost, Now

SEP- Furry Friends
Read a book that includes an animal either as a main character or supporting character. Horses, cats, dogs, insects, bird, etc. The book doesn’t have to be about the animal but the animal needs to play some sort of role in the story or be mentioned several times throughout the book.

SEP- Color, Touch, Life, Day, How, Sweet

OCT- Goblins, and Ghost, and Ghouls, Oh My!
Cozy mystery ghost stories, paranormal creeptastic, funky fantasy creatures- it’s up to you!

OCT- Ghost, Home, Beach, Away, Test, Number

NOV- An Oldie but a Goodie
Pick a book published before 2000 that you’ve always wanted to read, but just never got to. Or pick a book set in the past (before 2000).

NOV- Rise, Holiday, And, Little, Call, Dark

DEC- That’s a Wrap
Finish a series you’ve been meaning to finish or read the next book in a series you started but never finished.

DEC- Space, Mirror, Over, Flower, Trap, Cold


2015 Newbery Reading Challenge

Newbery Reading Challenge 2015

I decided to join this challenge last year to jumpstart my perpetual challenge of reading all the winners. It really worked because I got 29 points and several Medal and Honor books finished. So when I saw that Julie of Smiling Shelves was repeating it this year, I decided to join in again and reapeat the L’Engle level: 15-29 points.

Each book you read is worth points. You get:
3 points for a Newbery Medal Winner
2 points for a Newbery Honor Book
1 point for a Caldecott Medal Winner

In addition to that, you pick a level to aim for:
L’Engle: 15 – 29 points
Spinelli: 30 – 44 points
Avi: 45 – 59 points
Lowry: 60 – 74 points
Konigsburg: 75+ points

reading road trip 2015 challenge

Reading Road Trip Challenge 2015

I did a challenge similar to this in 2012 and managed to get all the states with some work. Since then, I’ve kept track of my states each year in my regular reading and usually get more than half without trying. Because I read a lot of series that are set in the same locale and many books set in England, I don’t have a ton of diversity, so I’m going to try the Wayfarer: 21-30 goal for this year and see how it goes. Thanks to She’s Got Books on Her Mind for hosting.

Read at least one book set in all 50 states in the U.S.A. or set a lower goal.

Reading Levels:
Hitchhiker: 10-20
Wayfarer: 21-30
Voyager: 31-40
Adventurer: 41-50

Dec 27

Two Christmas quilt finishes

I finished two quilts on the same day. That is some kind of record. And I feel awesome about that. :)

Just in time for Christmas decorating, I got this quilt done.



The pattern is from the Moda Bakeshop and is called “Jungle Path baby quilt” by Jessica Kelly. I used the Doodlebug Designs by Riley Blake fabric line called “Christmas Candy” for the quilt. Scott gave me this fabric for my birthday two and a half years ago, so it’s been on my list for awhile to get done. I finished it a week before Christmas this year, so that was great. I pieced the back and hand-quilted it.

back IMG_1188


The finish was a jeans quilt for Mark. Due to circumstances, his original quilt was donated to the Festival of Trees Boutique and sold for lots of money for Primary Children’s Medical Center, our favorite charity. So I promised him a new one and got it done in time for Christmas this year. It is pieced in a diagonal row design from old jeans belonging to the four of us. The black jeans run down the center and pattern alternates randomly between light, medium, and dark jean squares. The backing was actually chosen by Mark and is a happy tropical pattern. I tied it with tan yarn using the awesome quilt stands made for me by my father-in-law after he watched me struggle tieing another quilt using folding chairs as stands. Real quilt stands make a big difference!

It was difficult to get a full photo because Scott’s arms didn’t stretch far enough and he wasn’t tall enough. Maybe I need a special clothesline only for taking photos of quilts……..


Dec 24

Barn quilt tops are done in 2014

With a sprint to the end, we both finished our quilt tops for the Barn project last week. So the entire thing got done in 2014! We are so proud of ourselves. The twelve blocks were sewn together in four rows of three blocks with the barns and silos alternating. Each block has a strip of sashing around it and there is an extra row of sashing around the outside so that each block has two strips of sashing on each side. The sashings alternate so that each block corner has a woven look. The four outside corners have small squares to finish it off. We dug through our stashes quite deeply to get sashing and I made some small purchases to finish us up so that all the sashing pieces are unique. That was a bit of a scramble! But we love the scrappy look to the finished project. We plan to sew backings and get them quilted sometime next year, then display them in the Alpine Days Quilt Show next August.

Team ShaRee

2014-12-20 18.45.11Team Sue

Barn quilt top


Our reflections on this project include:

  • it was really fun to work on it together for support and mutual cheerleading
  • we learned a lot about our machines during the project and as I acquired a new machine in the middle of it, that was also a learning curve for me
  • we learned many new skills as we tried new blocks and techniques
  • we shared tips and tricks with each other, thus increasing both our skill sets
  • we just got better and better at piecing as we went along

We are now committed to sewing together and are busy planning projects for 2015. If you are on Pinterest, I have a board dedicated to this barn project.

Dec 16

2014 Mount TBR wrap-up

For my third year of this challenge, I managed to repeat last year’s Mt. Ararat, but it required some heavy-duty climbing at the end, because once again, I was distracted during the year by new books and library books, and didn’t work on the stuff on my shelves as diligently as I should. But I made it!

Read the rest of this entry »

Dec 06

2014 Monthly Motifs wrap-up


2014 Monthly Motif Image1_BUTTON

I did the Monthly Key Words in 2013, but the host offered this new challenge and I like it! A really fun challenge to come up with something for each month and I completed it early in December!

MONTHLY MOTIFS:  Read the rest of this entry »

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