My Summer Bucket List

Dear Fellow Journalers,

Some of the things I’d like to do this summer:

  • Go to a Farmer’s Market. There are so many open-air markets in my state and I’ve never gone to one. Oh, I’ve bought pint-sized fresh berries at fruit stands in my time but I’ve never been to a market.
  • Pick my own berries.
  • Make S’mores. I used to make these at summer camp but I wonder can you make them at home without a fireplace?
  • Go somewhere I’ve never been. This might be a day trip to a nearby town or a new park in town.
  • Go to a drive-in movie. As far as I know, our state only has one of these.
  • Enjoy home-made margaritas and Bing-watch a favorite tv show.
  • Have a cookout.

Summer Reading List

     Just the idea of a summer reading list makes me smile. When I was in grade school, we were mandated to read one major book chosen by our teacher. We were encouraged to read as many books as possible. The librarians went a step further.They sponsored a Reading Contest for each grade. The child who read the most books (verified) won a prize. Determined to be the sixth grade winner, I read 100 books that summer!

My summer reading list journal is the one I use for our local book club. It contains a list of my favorite authors, books I’ve read, a synopsis of the content and a rating. I also put a date on the list.

Some of my favorite fiction authors are: Heather Burch, Amanda Cabot, Kay Cordell, Richard Paul Evans, Jessica Fletcher, Joanne Fluke, Miranda James, Karen Kingsbury, Debbie Macomber and Janette Oke.

Next week I’ll continue my bucket list and book sites.


Why I joined a book club

Dear Fellow Journalers,

I fell in love with books at an early age. I liked the feel of them in my hands and the words I heard when my Mother read to me. For all of my life until my late twenties, my Grandmother gave me books for my birthday and Christmas. I have told you in the past of my favorite reading places when I was young. In my Grandmother’s memory, I am carrying on the tradition of gifting a book to our Granddaughter.

I started a reading/quote journal when I was in high school. At the time, I copied phrases that inspired, instructed and stimulated me. Thank goodness I also referenced the title of the book and its author. I found the journal not long ago in a dusty box and decided to re-read some of those books.  I reasoned that they would be good for our Book Chat.

My sophomore English teacher, an older nun (yes, I survived Catholic Grammar, High School and College!) formed a book club as one of our after-school programs. We all had to read the same book and report on it. I remember thinking at the time, that we all seemed to take away the same feelings about the characters and the themes. I found myself wanting to read more genres. Strangely, I did not join another book club until this year.

Our Book Chat club is sponsored by our library. We meet once a week and refreshments are served. Unlike the traditional book club, we read by theme. Each January we pick the themes we want to explore and then read a book in our genre of choice that reflects that theme.  So far the themes have been: mental health, travel, cooking, banned books, motivation, black authors, women authors and historical fiction. We discuss our books (either hard-cover, e-reader, or audio) and then are free to recommend any that we have read.  I started just jotting the theme in a pocket-sized calendar and using scrap paper but soon found this method unacceptable. So I started a Reading Journal based in part on the journal of a fellow member of the club.  I bought a small journal at Barnes and Noble and intend to create a cover this year.  Here is a sample of one of my pages:

The Bridge

The Bridge by Karen Kingsbury

Rating: XXXXXXXXXX+++++ (obviously I liked it!)

A book about books and the effect they have on those who love them.

Emotions: varied from chapter to chapter. I was sad, over-joyed, anxious, happy, sometimes all at the same time!

Favorite lines:  page 34: ” People sometimes need a place like this to bridge yesterday and tomorrow.” and from Molly’s narrative: page 53:

“The Bridge connected the past and the present, the present and the future. Books brought people together and gave them a path to worlds they wouldn’t otherwise experience…”

Favorite character: Molly. She was a strong young woman who knew what she wanted. Very believable.

Recommend??  OH YES!

If you get a chance, join a book club and keep a Reading Journal. You will thank yourself later.

‘Til next time,




Changing Direction

” To change ourselves effectively, we first had to change our perceptions.”

  • Stephen R. Covey

~ “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”.


Dear Fellow Journalers,

The month of September is the month of being open to change. Some people cannot deal with change. They obstinately dig in their heels and loudly demand that everything remain the same. Duh?? Not happen’!

Things change everyday. The key to dealing with change is to be open to it. Change your perceptions of the “thing” and you would be amazed at what happens.

Over the summer, I decided to change some things in my life. I made subtle changes to this blog (Have you noticed?). I had been attending a Book Chat Program at my local library. The group of 10+ women meet once a month to discuss a book we have read concerning the pre-determined theme. I had long wanted to join a book club and jumped at the chance to learn more about books, authors etc. While I keep journals, I never kept a journal of the books I have read (other than on Good Reads). I began reading some of the recommended books of my new friends and became interested in other genre. Change is good and, yes, I have a new journal!

If you want to change direction in your life you may need GPS. Wishing is nice but the real change takes work. Your GPS can be friends, family, bloggers, (couldn’t resist!) and others who share your interests. My advice is to take on one thing at a time or you risk becoming overwhelmed or discouraged.

What direction are you going in?


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To Sallie and uniquelyyourscraftjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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