Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year and Black Beauty too!


How did you spend New Year's Eve? I'd love to hear how everyone celebrates the "going out with the old and in with the new." The mister and I had a very low key evening but pleasant enough. We watched a movie and were in bed before midnight. Yep! That's us...the party animals.

I'm a person who likes to make lists. A LOT of lists for all kinds of things. Consequently, I've been making my goals lists for 2012. My list is lengthy so rather than bore you with the mundane, I'll share just two of my goals.

One goal is to read 40 books this year. Last year I challenged myself to read 100 books. I read extremely slowly so this was truly an unrealistic goal. I cut it back to 40 books which is still going to be a very full challenge for me. I belong to GOODREADS, a website for both the bibliophile as well as those of us who enjoy a good read. Goodreads has online reading clubs and I've joined one. The bookclub has a challenge for us this year. We each listed 12 books that have been on our "to read" list and to pick one book from that list each month. This is my list of my "book of the month reading list":

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
Christmas on Ladybug Farm: A Novella by Donna Ball
The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, the Horse That Inspired a Nation by Elizabeth Letts
Letters From Home by Kristina McMorris
Midwives by Chris Bohjalian
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Astrid and Veronika by Linda Olsson
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows

I own all of these books. Many I've even started but have not finished. Notice the first book on my list is Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. Last summer my daughter gave me a box of old books that had been mine and she had borrowed. Amongst the books was a copy of Black Beauty that had been given to me by my Uncle Jack when I was about 9 or 10 years old. I loved the idea of owning the book and leafing through it but I had a very difficult time reading as a child and consequently, never read it. But, I kept it all of these years! Now I'm finally going to read it and I know I'm going to love it.
Black Beauty
Black Beauty

That's just one of my goals, i.e. to read 40 books this year and the above list will be 12 of that 40. I'm keeping a ticker down my sidebar to chart my progress as the year goes by.

Another HUGE and very important goal, to which I'm seriously committed, is to lose weight. 76 pounds of weight! I won't bore you with the updates on my weight loss journey, but I have also put a ticker graph on my sidebar for my own information to chart the loss as the pounds come off. I know it won't be easy, but as I said to the mister, I have too many big plans for the future and as I approach turning 60 years young, I do not want my weight literally weighing me down. So I suppose the age factor is what jolted me into action. I turn 60 in 2 years. First I need to get this weigh off, which I should be able to accomplish in a year and the then continue to get in shape mentally and physically so that by the big 60 I'll be ready and healthy enough to get on with our plans for the mister's retirement.

Speaking (indirectly) of healthy things to eat, have you ever heard of or eaten JAZZ apples?

Jazz is a relatively new apple variety from New Zealand. It is the result of a cross between Royal Gala and Braeburn. We've only just discovered this variety in the last two month and they are absolutely delicious! They're crisp, sweet and...well...we love them. If you haven't tried them and happen to see them at your grocery store or market, I encourage you to give them a try.

Again, I wish you a happy start to the new year and throughout the year as well.



  1. Happy New Year Jennifer! Wishing you much JOY as you read through all the books on your list and much success in your weight loss challenge too. We're the same age...(I'll be 58 in March)so I understand and strive to keep active and healthy myself. It's not easy, but we can do it, right?! Hugs & smiles, Pam :)
    p.s. not to sound like an infomerical..but if interested...I *love* my Visalus shakes once a day and totally recommend.

  2. TFS the list! Just stopping by, Jennifer, and wishing you and yours a Very Happy Healthy New Year!!!

  3. HUGS Jennifer!! I wish you all the best with your goals in 2012!

  4. 40 books is quite a goal:) I have read two of the books on your list...The Pillars of the Earth and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society...loved both of them.

  5. Happy New Year Jennifer. That is wonderful that you saved Black Beauty for so many years, I've never read it but looking forward to seeing your review ;) You have a great list of reads, I read Letters From Home and thoroughly enjoyed it. Not sure if you know but Goodreads has a 2012 Challenge and you can add a widget to you blog with it.

    Wishing you great success on your weight loss in 2012... you can do it!

    Hugs, Jovi


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