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Finding a good reading challenge is challenging

I write a book column for Duplin Times in Kenansville, N.C. called the Book Nerd. This is my January column, which is about finding a reading challenge.

In 2016, I had every intention of doing a reading challenge but life managed to get in the way.
So for the last three weeks, I have looked at various reading challenges. But this year, instead of choosing and forgetting about it, I will proudly post it near my computer so I will see, remember and do it.
In 2016, I read about 25 books. I think it was a good number considering how busy my life is along with the sheer number of magazines I receive at home and from other people.
There are tons of reading challenges out there. I wanted a challenge but didn’t want to be frustrated at the end of the year.
This is the closest thing I can do to participating in a book club. This will help me make time to curl up on the couch or in my favorite coffee shop with a book.
After looking at various challenges, I narrowed it down to five. The “52 Weeks, 5…

The art of decluttering

It is 24 days into the new year. It’s hard to believe that it’s been four weeks since my son’s week long visit. Since it is a new year, I am working hard to declutter. It’s not easy because I have so much stuff. There are boxes in the pantry that I haven’t even opened yet.I have never been a neat freak. Even my son knows this. Plus, I am determined to have the ribbon cutting for my library on April 15. My son is on spring break at that time so he will be in Pickleland. How do you declutter when you are kind of a hoarder in training? I started small so I wouldn’t get overwhelm. I got rid of several magazines and cleaned out the jeep.I discover something called the Pomodoro Technique, which is suppose to be for work but I kind of modified for decluttering.The method involves working for 25 minutes without interruption, taking a five minute break, repeating this four times and then taking a 15 to 30-minute break.I modified it so it would three 25 minute segments and a 30-minute break. I …

New Year, New Goals

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Happy New Year!! I hope you had a great one because so I have. I got to spend the last week of 2016 and the first day of this year with my son. And now on the second day of the year, I am slightly sad. I miss my boy. I decided to figure out my goals for 2017.
1. To get my smile back. Iamthisclose to having it. I make the down payment for my new teeth this week. 2. I will be more sociable. The goal is to get out of the house more. I will accomplish by trying one new thing each month.4. Learn how to swim.5. I will continue to work on my relationship with God by finding a church to attend.6. Clear some of the clutter in my house.7. I will journal more.8.I will continue to work toward an ED-free life. The last few weeks have been rough.9. Try out one new recipe each week.10. Be a better morning person.
If I can do most of these, 2017 will be a great year. I am excited.
DAILY DOSE1.  Enjoying a slow day at work!2. No meetings to cover tonight so I get to veg on the couch.3. Trying to be at p…

Enjoying the last week of the year

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My post-Christmas has been awesome. It has been spent with my son. During this week, he has come to work with me. The morning routine has definitely been interested. Like me, he is not a morning person.








Friday (Dec. 30) is a holiday so I think we are going on an adventure. On New Year's Eve, we will attend the Pickle Drop so we can rang in 2017 at 7 p.m. Then on New Year's Day, I will have to take him back to South Carolina. Time goes by fast when you are having a good time. Hope you have a Happy New Year!!!

Daily Dose
1. Be able to attend the Pickle Drop with my son!
2. So thankful for this time with him!
3. Strawberry Sunkist soda!!!

Merry Christmas...

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Last year at this time, I was recovering from surgery and was housebound in my apartment. This year, I'm singing Christmas carols badly and loving it.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. I’m not being sarcastic. I am actually looking forward to Christmas this year. My son is spending the last week of the year with me. He will come to work with me. I am excited about this.
This has been a most interesting year. It started with me recovering from surgery, dealing with weird work situation, working hard to get my smile back and a hurricane that crushed my car. 
Honestly, it has been one of the best years of my life. I have learned so much about myself. I know 2017 is going to be awesome. Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!!!
DAILY DOSE:1. The next steps in Operation Get My Smile back are having the molds made for my upper denture and lower partial!!!!!2. Having chili for lunch on a cold, rainy day!3. My son is going to spend a week with me!!!

Hurricane Matthew comes for a visit

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The last week and two days have been some of the most interesting and stressful time in my life. I don’t childbirth was as stressful.

On Oct. 8, Hurricane Matthew hit Eastern North Carolina with a vengeance. In the end, four trees came down on the property where I live. Tree one landed on the carport where my beloved Beatrice was located. Her back window was blown out along with the trunk being smashed. I am awaiting to what the insurance company’s says about her fate. This same tree also took out power pole number one. Thankfully, the electricity had already went down.This left me shaken because tree one was beside the house. If it hadn’t landed on the car, it would have landed on the house in the living room where I was on the couch. Actually, right before the tree feel, I feel like something was pulling me to get off the couch. I was headed to my bedroom when the tree fell. God and my guardian angel Nelson were looking out for me.Tree two fell across the road, which trapped me at my…

Close to being able to smile again

In recovering from my ED, I am okay healthwise but the big casualty was my teeth. And when you are a reporter, it is quite embarrassing to have bad teeth. 
So I don’t smile or talk much. I have a reputation for being a good but unsmiling reporter. This year, I decided I was going to do something. At that time, I thought I only had $1,000 to work with my newspaper’s dental plan. 
So I carefully planned to have seven teeth removed this year, some other things done in 2017 and dentures in 2018.Imagine my surprise when I learned my plan covers up to $5,000 in dental each year. $5,000. If everything goes well this year, I will have dentures by March or earlier in 2017. 
For me, this will show just how far I have come in recovery. I am taking my life back. And I will be able to smile about it instead of just looking pleasant. If I could yell this from the rooftop, I would. :) :) :)
DAILY DOSE1. The DH's dental plan!!!!2. Being prepared for Hurricane Matthew.3. No work this weekend because o…