Gratitude and Mindfulness: December 31, 2022

I am grateful for a wonderful life, loving friends and family, the blogging community, good health and the ability to do the things that I want to do, or at least try.

Happy New Year to all of you!!!

My song to close out the old and welcome the new is:

Don’t Rain on my Parade

Don’t tell me not to live
Just sit and putter
Life’s candy and the sun’s
A ball of butter
Don’t bring around a cloud
To rain on my parade
Don’t tell me not to fly
I’ve simply got to
If someone takes a spill
It’s me and not you
Who told you you’re allowed
To rain on my parade!
I’ll march my band out
I’ll beat my drum
And if I’m fanned out
Your turn at bat, sir
At least I didn’t fake it
Hat, sir, I guess I didn’t make it!
But whether I’m the rose
Of sheer perfection
Or freckle on the nose
Of life’s complexion
The cinder or the shiny apple of its eye
I gotta fly once
I gotta try once
Only can die once, right, sir?
Ooh, life is juicy
Juicy, and you’ll see
I’m gonna have my bite, sir!
Get ready for me, love
‘Cause I’m a “comer”
I simply gotta march
My heart’s a drummer
Don’t bring around a cloud
To rain on my parade!
I’m gonna live and live now
Get what I want, I know how
One roll for the whole shebang
One throw, that bell will go clang
Eye on the target, and wham
One shot, one gun shot, and bam
Hey, Mister Arnstein, here I am!

I’ll march my band out
I will beat my drum
And if I’m fanned out
Your turn at bat, sir
At least I didn’t fake it
Hat, sir, I guess I didn’t make it
Get ready for me, love
‘Cause I’m a “comer”
I simply gotta march
My heart’s a drummer
Nobody, no, nobody
Is gonna rain on my parade!

Writer(s): Jule Styne, Bob Merrill

My 2023 Goals and Looking Ahead

I love a good goal…

Here’s my wish list for 2023

  1. Take better care of my cuticles by using cuticle oil at least 4 nights a week
  2. Make something from scratch every week- pasta, bread or dessert
  3. needlepoint or crochet for an hour a week
  4. once a week take one work of art that I saw and read/discuss it
  5. Finish first draft of work in progress
  6. Write for ten hours a week
  7. enter four writing contests throughout the year
  8. gym five times a week
  9. hydrate
  10. Times crossword at lest 4 times a week
  11. read 85 books
  12. blog at least five times a week
  13. remember to tag my blog posts
  14. Insta once a week…. (she says wondering how long this phase will last)
  15. 12,000 steps five days a week- 8,000 the other two
  16. live theater or music once a month
  17. museum every week (Met is the goal) finishing up viewing all the galleries
  18. nature every week (Brooklyn Botanic Garden is the goal)
  19. a movie a week in theaters
  20. get rid of 30 items a month on road to decluttering
  21. watch my daughter present her thesis
  22. watch my daughter graduate
  23. go on one awesome vacation of at least five days

I always have things that I set aside to read for the new year.

My books of the year will be :

The Road to Le Papillon: Daily Meditations on True Contentment by Shannon Ables

52 Ways to Walk: The New Science and Timeless Joy of How, When, Where, and Why by Annabel Streets

My page a day calendars will be:

Inspire by TF Publishing

Art- 365 Days of Masterpieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Art

I am also a little tired of my journaling and gratitude procedure. Instead of free writing in the morning and taking stock at night, I am going to try a version of 10 things. As I like lists, in the morning I’m going to write ten things, afternoon ten things, evening ten things. I like lists better and I am not getting satisfaction out of the way I’ve been handling it. I still plan on including best and worst moments of the day, what I’m grateful for, but I plan on being much looser about it. I’m probably (I’m not 100% sure yet) going to do my Saturday posts in this format as well…but I’m still thinking it out.

How about you?

What are your goals?

Do you have a 23 for 23?

What are you going to do to change up 2023?

How Did I Do With My 2022 Goals:

I made an instagram goal to post a picture every day.


I like the idea of insta better than actually instagramming. Will I attempt to try instagramming next year? You will just have to wait till tomorrow to find out!!

My book goal was 85 books


I read 128 books this year.

My movie goal was to see all the Oscar nominated films


While I did not see one of the Oscar nominated documentaries, I am taking the win for seeing everything else that was nominated

My goal was to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art once a week


While I did not go every week, I think I made it 49 weeks. I call that a win. Last year I was at gallery 160 in my quest of visiting galleries in numerical order. On my next trip I will be at Gallery 700

My goal was to blog every day


In fact, I have blogged over 500 straight days

My other goals:

  1. NY Times crossword- WIN
  2. Live Theater and Music- WIN
  3. More art- WIN
  4. Wander book and stationary stores- WIN
  5. Flower Pics- WIN
  6. Organize desk better- WIN
  7. Make every day count- WIN

My Least Favorite Movies: 2022

Yesterday we had good- today we have bad…or movies that I just didn’t appreciate

These are my least favorite movies of the year:

  1. Armageddon Time
  2. EO
  3. Alone Together
  4. Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
  5. All the Old Knives
  6. Cyrano
  7. Ascension
  8. In the Same Breath
  9. Empire of Light

Movies I think are getting undeserved Oscar buzz

  1. EO
  2. All That Breathes
  3. Eternal Spring
  4. Triangle of Sadness
  5. Empire of Light


  1. Nope
  2. The Northman
  3. The Lost Daughter
  4. Don’t Look Up

Movies I was looking forward to and was disappointed:

  1. Thor: Love and Thunder
  2. From Where They Stood

The worst acting was by far Katie Holmes in her self directed Alone, Together, followed closely by Tom Hanks as Colonel Tom Parker

My favorite movies can be found here:

My Favorite Movies-2022

I love good movies. Sometimes, I like bad movies. But however you look at it, movies are a great joy of my life.

Here’s the movies that I saw in 2022 that I thought were spot on:

  1. The Banshees of Inisherin
  2. Tar
  3. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On
  4. Top Gun: Maverick
  5. Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom
  6. Coda

Most Underrated:

  1. Vengeance
  2. Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
  3. The Duke

Best Superhero:

  1. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  2. The Batman

Movies that I liked but I know they’re not really good movies:

  1. Ticket to Paradise
  2. See How They Run
  3. Mrs. Harris goes to Paris
  4. Downton Abbey: A New Era
  5. Death on the Nile
  6. Marry Me
  7. The Lost City
  8. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore
  9. Spoiler Alert

Movies I couldn’t believe I liked:

  1. Bodies Bodies Bodies
  2. Barbarians

Best Performance:

  1. Austin Butler as Elvis
  2. Cait Blanchett as Lydia Tar

My movies posts for the year:


My Worst Books of the Year 2022

While I definitely read some amazing books this year, I also read some clunkers…

My worst books of the year are:

  1. The Roughest Draft– it goes on about ten chapters too long
  2. A Shoe Story by Jane Rosen- Trite is too distinguished a word
  3. The Unsinkable Greta James by Jennifer E. Smith – it sank
  4. Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez- awful
  5. Marrying the Ketchups by Jennifer Close- ugh
  6. Big Friendship by Aminatour Sow & Ann Friedman- wouldn’t want to be friends with either (non fiction)
  7. Group Therapy by BB Easton- mockery of therapy
  8. In a New York Minute by Kate Spencer- don’t think the author has ever been to NYC
  9. The Ladies Midnight Swim Club by Faith Hogan- so light and boring
  10. If Only by Judith Arnold- if only I hadn’t thought this looked like an interesting book

Books I was looking forward to but I was sad to have read:

  1. Friends, Lovers and the Big, Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry
  2. Martha Stewart’s Very Good Things:
  3. Did I Say That Out Loud by Kristin van Ogtrop
  4. The Home Edit Life by Clea Shearer
  5. The Last Thing he Told Me by Laura Dave

Sequels that missed the mark:

  1. Yours Cheerfully by AJ Pearce
  2. The Locked Room by Elly Griffiths
  3. Finley Donovan Knocks em Dead by Elle Cosimano

My best books of the year:

Veni, Vidi, Christmas Edition-2022

Merry Christmas! Or whatever floats your boat!! Tis the season!!

Gratitude And Mindfulness: 12/24/22

I had my mammogram this week. I am grateful that they got me the results within two days. I am grateful for my fatty but malignancy free breasts. It doesn’t matter what month it is- have your girls checked out!!

My journal prompt for this week was INTUITION. Here’s how it was used in the books that I’m reading:

  1. For example, if your low back is sore and tired, get on the ground and stretch, roll around, ball up, do some yoga, or whatever you intuitively feel will help. Pedram Shojai
  2. It was unlike Sam to show such restraint, but he intuited that he needed to proceed slowly. Gabrielle Zevin
  3. “I’m fine” may be accurate or filled with denial. Often we must check in with out intuition to correctly interpret the statement.
  4. Countless words have been written in praise of hunches and gut instincts, and while such intuitions can easily lead us astray, even the most conservative epistemologist will grant that on occasion, in ways that can’t all be dismissed as coincidence, they are spectacularly correct. Kathryn Schulz
  5. She not only had a quick intellect but an intuitive judgement of men and their motives. Jon Meacham speaking of Mary Lincoln
  6. Clearly, as Barr had intuited, there was something about Van Gogh that had tapped the national mood. Hugh Eakin
  7. Charles Darwin lamented in his autobiography that he didn’t have the capacity for intuitive understanding or memory. Fumio Sasaki
  8. Unlike the mind, which reasons and explores, the soul is our spiritual seat- pure, direct and intuitive. Eveline Helmink

Here’s how I thought about INTUITION

  1. Intuition and manifestation- what’s the difference?
  2. Are some people more intuitive than others?
  3. How often do we listen to our intuition?
  4. Can intuition be bad?

My Favorite Books- 2022

As of 12/17, I had read 127 books. I realized yesterday that my Goodreads total had been skewed because it somehow included some of the books my Husband read on Kindle. I had a little bit of a panic attack knowing that it would affect my “numbers” but I have chosen to breathe deeply and let it go…If you think this was something easy for one as literal minded as me, you would be wrong.

But back to favorites!

My favorite FICTION books: (in no particular order-)

  1. The Bullet That Missed by Richard Osman (mystery)
  2. Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt
  3. Bodyguard by Katherine Center (beach read)
  4. Don’t Cry for Me by Daniel Black
  5. Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson
  6. Iona Iverson’s Rules for Commuting by Clare Pooley
  7. Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
  8. The Maid (Mystery)
  9. Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

My favorite MEMOIRS:

  1. What My Bones Know: A memoir of healing from Complex Trauma by Stephanie Foo
  2. In Love: A Memoir of Love and Loss by Amy Bloom


  1. The Zen: The Art of Simple Living by Shunmyo Masuno
  2. Comfort Book by Matt Haig

Book that I was most surprised by rereading:

  1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Books I got the most blog posts about:

  1. Conversations on Love by Natasha Lunn
  2. We Came, We Saw, We Left by Charles Wheelan

Book that had one nugget of advice that I needed to hear:

  1. Leopard is a Neutral: A Really Useful Style Guide by Erica Davies

My Monthly Reading Blogs:


My Month in Books and Movies: December 2022

BookAuthorGenreType of ReadRanking
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and TomorrowGabrielle Zevinfiction/relationships/friendshipbook club/beach read1- 4.35
The Art of Stopping Time: Practical Mindfulness for Busy PeoplePedram Shojaipersonal growth/mindfulnesshow to/personal growth2- 3.75
The Novel Project: A Step by Step Guide to your Novel, Memoir or BiographyGraeme Simsionnovel writing guidehow to3- 4.40
Meredith, AloneClaire Alexanderfiction/women’s fiction/mental health/quirky beach read4- 4.15
Kurashi at Home: How to organize Your Space and Achieve Your Ideal LifeMarie Kondonon-fiction/organizinghow to5- 3.66
I, Mona Lisa Natasha Solomonshistorical fiction/Mona Lisabook club6- 3.94
The Family GameCatherine Steadmanpsych thrillerbeach read7- 3.95
The Key to my HeartLia Louisrom combeach read8- 4.20
The Fortunes of Jaded WomenCarolyn Huynhwomen’s fiction/family dynamics/mothers and daughters/immigrant experiencebook club9- 3.67
Inciting Joy: essaysRoss Gaynon fiction/essayspersonal growth/book club10- 4.28
The Roughest Draft Emily Wibberleyfiction/light/women’s fictionbeach read11- 3.66
  1. Tomorrow– I love this book. It’s about friends and relationships and collaboration and so much more. This book gives you all the feels about being human. Just get it from the library and try it…
  2. Art of Stopping Time– Practical solutions for being more mindful of your day to day. There is nothing too preachy about this- just little insights into how you can go about life with perhaps a little less stress and angst. I’m a sucker for books like this, and this fit the bill for me
  3. Novel Project- This is a how to guide as to how to go about writing a novel. This is a very practical book, and I appreciate its straight forward approach to novel writing. This is the best how to book that I have read.
  4. Meredith– I have a penchant for female characters who have to overcome a trauma or obstacle or dysfunctional family drama, so this is right in my wheelhouse. Told with charm, this is about what people need to do to survive. if you like Eleanor Olyphant or books like that, try this out…
  5. Kurashi– For the most part I was underwhelmed by this book. What saved it for me was the worksheets in the last chapter. They are a great way to think about organizing one’s day. But other than that, this book is a pass
  6. Mona Lisa– the story is told through the eyes of Mona Lisa. I’m not a huge fan of the inanimate object gimmick book, but this has some nice moments. Book spends a few too many chapters with Leonardo, which I guess it had to, but they started to drag. I liked the more modern chapters.
  7. Family Game– Average psych thriller about a woman marrying into a rich family. If you read enough of these, you get to know what’s going to happen…it’s time for a new genre to take us by storm.
  8. Key– I like the protagonist and I feel for her story- a little. Then she just gets annoying and I didn’t care about her story anymore. The love interest is one dimensional, as are the characters friends, who float in and out of the novel, making it hard to care about any of them.
  9. Fortunes- Lackluster story about mothers and daughters and sisters of the same family. Too soapy to be enjoyable
  10. Inciting Joy:– Gay is an excellent wordsmith, he has a unique voice and style. and there is a lyrical beauty to his essays. He makes very provocative statements, that do get you thinking. That being said, his style is not for me. I felt like he was writing at me, not to me. He also utilizes footnotes, in some cases the footnote section is longer than the actual essay: I don’t like this as a format. If your essay doesn’t explain things well, rewrite the essay.
  11. The Roughest Draft– This book started out with an interesting premise- writing partners who wrote a bestseller stop speaking and no longer write together. And the book starts out with some clever dialogue and situations. But the last 75 pages are a joke, as if the authors were trying to hit a word count, because really, the book should have ended about 8 chapters earlier than it did. Pass.
Movie GenreWhere SeenMy Ranking/RT Critic/RT Audience
The Fabelman’ssemi autobiography of Steven Spielberg/family dramaTheater- AMC1- 91/82
Pinocchio (Guillermo del Toro) animated, children’s classicStream- Netflix2- 97/85
Devotionbased on a true story/armed forces movie/story of Jesse BrownTheater- AMC3- 81/92
Spoiler Alertrom com/love story/tear jerkerTheater- AMC4- 82/96
The Inspectionbased on a true story/armed forces movieTheater- AMC5- 88/90
Empire of Lightdrama/historical (80s)Theater- AMC6- 44/72
  1. Fabelmans- Good story about a part of Spielberg’s life, but not earth shattering. Fine as far as family dramas go. You can wait for streaming- I don’t understand all the oscar buzz.
  2. Pinocchio– Gorgeous animation and solid retelling of the Pinocchio story. Be forewarned, there’s a dash of fascism thrown in this version that I don’t quite remember from the Disney version, so maybe not for younger kids. Deserves an academy nod.
  3. Devotion– story of naval aviators. Heartfelt and subtly made film about a friendship. Tells the story of Jesse Brown, the first black naval aviator. Well told. Wait to stream.
  4. Spoiler Alert– This is no where near a perfect movie- the pacing is off, which makes the flow flip flop. However, I enjoy love stories, so this was up my movie alley. Charming characters. Wait for streaming.
  5. The Inspection– story of a man who felt he needed to change his ways in order to survive, so he decides to become a Marine. Solid acting performances and heartfelt story. Wait to stream
  6. Empire of Light– This movie had lousy reviews, but people liked Olivia Colman’s performance, so I saw it. Well, no performance can save this lackluster, boring, plotless mess of a movie. No lie I started to fall asleep. I have no idea what the point of this movie is. What a pile of garbage. Avoid it if you can.