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Morning Meanderings… AUGUST???? Austen!

Sheila DeChantal, Book Journey

Friday!   And…. August.  WHA????  Where is the summer going?  I guess my first clue should have been that our County Fair opened this week.  I am not a county fair fan ever since the boys were old enough to go on their own with their friends I bowed out of that hot sticky mess.  ;)   However, my cousin has a daughter who performs on a horse there, and several friends win awards for their breads, and jams, and vegetables and fruits…. in that sense, it is very Gilmore Girls.

Back to August.

August is actually a FULL month.  This afternoon I leave for Wisconsin with my friend for the Mud Run for MS in the morning.  And then I come back, clean up tomorrow afternoon and go directly to Crosslake where the first day of the Camp Benedict Bike ride will be taking place.  I am on the board for Camp and will be late due to this ride being the same weekend as the mud run.  I will stay overnight and help cheer the riders in for day two on Sunday – unsure if I am going to be support team or ride day two…

Then after this weekend August explodes into the church annual picnic baptism, the Fall Book Sale for the Library, a possible Zombie run (oh how I want to but it is soooo far away!), Wine and Words, a cabin weekend with my son, and then our Annual cabin trip with friends for Labor Day weekend.


is August.


It’s good… it’s full…. and drips into September but I will hold off on those details. :)



I imagine my reading will possibly be light this month due to the schedule, however I hope to participate in the Austen In August event.  Jane Austen is one of those authors I want to spend time with.  I think I am supposed to, like we are somehow kindred spirits.  Her birth date December 16th, is the birth of my oldest son/first child.  The date of her death, July 18th, is my Anniversary.  Mmmmm hmmmmm…. I need to read Jane. :)  I am thinking perhaps Emma.  I think I have that one on my Classic shelf.

Have you read Austen?  What have you read?  What did you think?





My ‘One Little Word’ for 2014


While doing a little blog hopping yesterday I stumbled across this idea called One Little Word.  I love the idea of calling a word your own for a year, a word that will be your mantra, the word that you will apply to your life for a year.

While LOVING the idea… picking the word was a bit more difficult than I had anticipated.  After all… I have to live with it.  I tossed around the idea of “motivated”, and “Thrive” …. and then finally after looking at the list and the definition of the words that didn’t quite fit, it came to me before I seen it…



verb \im-ˈbrās\

: to hold someone in your arms as a way of expressing love or friendship

: to accept (something or someone) readily or gladly

: to use (an opportunity) eagerly

I prefer the verb version as to the noun.  I am thinking more of this as accept (which was possibly going to be the word but I like embrace better.  

And this is really what I mean:
Embrace everything.  I like that.  There was a time when I used to say no thank you a lot.  A lot.  Friends would invite me to go do things, weekend trips, movies, etc, and I would almost always say, “no thank you”.  At the time I would use the excuse that I had to be home with the kids, or maybe I didn’t know some of the people going with and the introvert in me didn’t want it to be awkward…
It’s odd to think of that old me now.  I am quite the “Yes” girl and if I can say yes, I usually do.  I have come to terms that life is too short, too precious to live it on the sidelines watching others live it.  The word EMBRACE fits right in with that mind set.  I want to embrace new things, I want to challenge myself and them embrace the outcome.  I want to wholeheartedly embrace LIFE.
So there it is.  I think I am going to find myself a little something at an Etsy shop, or make it myself that says embrace.  I love the idea of owning a word for a year.  I will embrace the challenges, the goals, my job, my family, my friends, the good and the bad….
Are you ready?  What’s your word?  If you decide to do this, please go to the original site and say so, but also… I would love it if you would leave your word here with me too :)

Morning Meanderings…. Day Two… Nine Bloggers Reading!


Good morning and Happy January 2!  We made it to 2014 and mental high fives all the way around!  :)

Yesterday I posted the book lovers who sent me pictures of what they were reading on January 1st.  If you have not checked that out, please do… its kind of awesome to see all these book bloggers and book lovers reading that first book – AND you can see what that first book was.  I had a few that came in after I put the post up so please let me add them now:


Isn’t that so fun?  LOVE it!  On yesterdays post they were able to link up their first book of the year posts so if you have time, grab a second (third?) cup of coffee and go check them out.  It was really fun to read them last night and I still have more to get to.

Today is a LONG DAY.  It is our annual meeting at work today and I am in charge of the details details details… I will probably be there from 8 this morning until about 8:30 or 9 tonight.  *sigh*  But it is ok, it fun – good fun :)

Have an awesome day everyone!  Yes I ran my first 5k of the year yesterday in -6 degree weather… pictures will be up on Saturday for that fun event to kick off 2014.

Happy New Year! 1st Book Of The Year!


Happy New Year everyone!  2014!!!  AWESOME!!!

This is the first book of the year post and I have to say how excited I was to see that over 80 other book lovers signed on to either write a post about their first book of the year, send a picture of the first book they will be reading, or both!  As pictures came in from all over the world I loved seeing the first book choices!  The enthusiasm of readers in contagious!

The following are the pictures sent in from bloggers and book lovers you may very well know.  Later when I get home from that first run of the year (WOO WOO!) I will add the blog names below, unfortunately I just ran out of time this morning after hanging out with friends last night and getting home after midnight.  ;)

In the meantime, check their posts out by seeing who linked up their First Book Of The Year post – and if it was you who wrote one, please add yours to the linky below the pics where it says click here.  When I get home I will be happy to check out your posts!

*Please note, if I missed your picture let me know – the collages auto fill and I hope everyone was captured.  I know I had one picture sent to me I could not open so if a few more trickle in today I will add then later. :D




Thanks everyone for participating and LOVE the book choices.  You can now (if you can find me in the collage ;) ) see that I am starting the year with V C Andrews, Flowers In The Attic.  I read this as probably a “tween”.  It was a great read then, and now it has been re-released with a sweet new cover.  Right now, I am leaving to do my first 5K of the year, The Polar Dash in St Paul Minnesota.  Late this afternoon though, I will be curled up with this book. :)

Happy New Year everyone!!!!!  Share what your first book of the year is going to be either by creating a post and linking it here or by telling me in the comments :)

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Morning Meanderings.. Books coming into the New Year


Good morning!  I am drinking COFFEE!  Yes, COFFEE.  Why the big deal?  I After being sick I didn’t touch coffee for 5 days.  Finally (Finally!) my tummy is ready to handle it again… so yeah!  YAY!

This is the post I wanted to put up Sunday morning and then didn’t so instead… here are some items that came in the mail this past week that are book room worthy:


10 copies of Labor Day by Joyce Maynard came for my book club!  We won a contest along with other book clubs to read the book, and then they are sending us movie tickets to see the movie and a $100 gift card to buy some goodies for our get together.  How super fun is that?  Way cool Harper Collins!!!


I won this fun pack of swag and this awesome looking read! 

1e…and a couple other fun reads and Evertrue is a win from Me, My Shelf, and I

1eeeOh yes, and books came my way as well.  Ahhhh…. just looking at them brings up visions of blankets and reading in this cool Minnesota weather.

And as this in New Years Eve (I know right???  How did that happen?) I have to share the Challenge I am joining that I thought would be fun (its one I need to do anyway as some EPIC last in the series reads are coming out this year!  Now I am not so organized that I can name the ones for sure other than the last book in the Mortal Instrument Series *sigh*and…well you get the point.


And it is the last to sign up and get in on the fun that the First Book Of The Year is going to bring.  I am soooo excited about this!  We now have over 80 book lovers signed up to participate in showing off the book they will be reading to kick off the New Year!  It’s easy, there are no trap doors or hoops to jump through, I just think it is super cool to see up reading all over the world!  I will announce my first book of the year in the morning. :)

You may still sign up here:


and then a final plug for The WHERE Are You Reading Challenge... always a good time… and seriously, who doesn’t like to travel?  And if not in a plane, then from the comfort of your chair?


That is all. :)  I work today, and not sure what we are doing tonight yet but I think laying low may be the plan.  I leave early in the morning for the first run of the year in the cities.  :) 

1st Book Of The Year! Join Us!

1a  Join us for the First Book Of the Year 2014!  Currently we have 40  58  80 participants!  Join in, its easy and fun :)

*Note – this is a sticky post – all new posts are below. :)

Morning Meanderings… Sustaining


Good morning!  Happy Friday.  I am thrilled to be at the end of another week with no major “to do’s” over the next few days. 

Earlier this week I was looking at my blog dashboard at the posts that have received the most comments.  I randomly chose a book discussion from 2010 and clicked on the links to those who had left comments.  I was pleased to see that many of them were still active bloggers.  Sure there were several that were no longer blogging, and if you are a long term blogger you probably know at least one or two that you used to read that no longer are active.

I think what I enjoyed most about this little “travel back in blog time” was how many blogs I was able to revisit years later and find them still talking books.  It made me realize that we are still a strong force of book lovers.  I love knowing that.  It re energizes me to see us out there doing what we love… talking books. :D

I may get a little shopping done this weekend for Christmas, I need to spend a little time in the book room too doing a little reorganizing.  Maybe those pics will be my Saturday post.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Friday and you are all taking this holiday time with stride and joy! 

Below are a few challenges I am hosting going into the New Year.  Click the picture to check them out. :D




First Book Of The Year 2014


Every year I get excited about what will be that first book that I will be chatting about going into the new year.  I make a big deal out of picking the book.  It is usually a book I have wanted to read for awhile and for whatever reason, I just have not been able to make the time to read it.

This year I would love for you to join me in this tradition of picking the book that you will be reading into the new year.  It can be a coveted book that you have been waiting to read, a guilty pleasure book, a re-read of a favorite that you want to explore once again… whatever you want.

Our posts of what we are reading will go live on January 1st.  You do not need to be done with the book on January 1st, just reading it on January 1st and yes, you can start on the 31st and be reading into the New Year.  I would like to link up all your posts here on the 1st as well so others can visit you and cheer you on!  If you are interested, please feel out the short form below.

The Challenges… IF You Choose To Accept Them.

It’s that time of year again when I like to start to think about the challenges (reading or otherwise) for the new year.  There’s something about knowing that there is a group of like minded people out there in the world all working towards the same challenge goals.  As I start to see challenges popping up on the blogs it gets my spidey senses tingling and wondering what challenges I will offer here this coming year.


For the 4th year in a row I bring back the Where Are You Reading Challenge?  I love this one!  Back when I started this challenge in 2011,it seemed a natural challenge to have and seems to go along nicely with my meme, What Are You Reading?

What is the point of the challenge?  To try to read a book that is mainly set in each of the 50 states and bonus books for outside the US.

For  more details and ideas on how to keep track of your books, check the challenge page link here.  To sign up for the challenge, use the link on the challenge page and add your link to your post (if you blog) or just add a comment below if you are not a blogger but wish to join in the challenge.


This Challenge is new, and one I have been thinking about for a few weeks now.  For myself I have a lot of things I still want to do in my life.  I have to believe I am not alone on this. :D  Remember the things you had one hoped to do?  Or…. the things that you keep saying “one day, I would like to try that”, or “one day I am going to do that!” 

I think it is easy for us all to get caught up in our every day life and commitments and those “one day” items never come to pass.  The last few years for myself, I have been challenging myself to reach new goals and try new things.  Where once I often said, No, I can’t do that, I have really changed my tune and my response to a, “what if I can?”

Life is too short to not try the things we once hoped to so this challenge is for us to take 2014 as the year that we do take things off that bucket list.  For more information on this challenge as well as some ideas to get the juices flowing for your list, check out the sign up link here.  I think this is going to be a lot of fun, no pressure… just doing things we had always said we would like to. 

Check out the information on this challenge here. :D

February Recap


February to me felt a little quick and not as awesome as my January was.  It seemed between the back to back retreats in the beginning of the month, my new re-dedication to the gym, taking care of college son and his broken foot for a long weekend and handling all household things while Al (hubby) was gone for three weeks… took a toll on my reading.

Still… thankfully to the awesomeness of audio books, I can report something fairly decent:


Eat and Run by Scott Jurek

Peaches for Father Francis by Joanne Harris

Love Is The Cure by Elton John

Killing Kennedy by Bill O’Reilly




The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O’Conner McNees

A Grown Up Kind Of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson

The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Devastation On The Delaware by Mary Shafer



The Story Of Edgar Sawtelle by Davis Wroblewski

On Mystic Lake by Kristin Hannah


That’s my month of reading.  I think March will be better, it already feels like it is. :D  Maybe it is the sunlight and melting snow that is making me optimistic. :D

Here is the link to my Where I Have Been Reading Progress page and here is the link to my reading map… both fun ways to track books.  :D


SO how are you doing so far this year?  Are you ahead of last year?  Behind?  Do you feel your reading style has changed over the past year? 


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