Living life with multiple chronic illnesses…. and some other stuff!

Category Archives: Books

A friend of mine decided to do a little book challenge to read 50 books in 2011. I thought, Hey that’s a great idea! It well get me reading again! So I decided to do the challenge along with her. The number of books may seem low, but I figure 50 books in a year is doable; and when, and if, I reach 50 I may increase the number to 75 or 100 depending on where in the year I am at that time.

So, how does a person like me with a crappy memory and somewhat disorganized way of doing things keep track of all this? Well, firstly, Good Reads.  Good Reads is a website where you can add books to various list such as: read, to read, currently reading, etc.  You can also create your own lists to further organize your books such as: fiction, non-fiction, sci fi, historical fiction, etc.  As well as logging your books, you can also rate them, and leave comments about what you liked or didn’t like about each book.  There are groups to join which are basically online book clubs with a monthly book to read.  It’s a fantastic site, really!

The other way I’m going to keep track is with the Moleskin Passions Book Journal.

This journal is pretty awesome.  Some might think that it is completely frivolous, and they might be right. However, I think it is perfect for this project.  It would be interesting, I think, in a few years to be able to look back to this journal and see what I read this year.  It could show a lot about myself by the things I chose to read.  Or not.  I just think it’s a really cool idea for a journal.

When you open the journal the first thing you will find is a bookmark that matches the cover.  There is a pocket in the back cover of the book with two folders in it.  One of these folders contains sheets of stickers.  The stickers include things like: stars, “love it!”, hearts, smiley faces, frowns, etc.  as well as stickers to indicate added notes in another section of the journal.  Then it is set up very much like an address book with tabs for each letter of the alphabet.  It set up so that each page is a book (I’ve also given on page per series and commented on the series as a whole rather than each book singularly).  There is a space for the Title, Author, Publisher, and Year Published.  As well as spaces for Date Read.  There are bigger sections to record any notes and quotes that were memorable from the book and a sections to record your opinions of the book as well as rate it.  After this section there is a section of tabbed pages for whatever you to make it.  Either extended notes from book reviews, lists of books you would like to read, etc.  Then there is a section of blank pages that can also be used for whatever reason.  And lastly, there is an Index section broken up alphabetically with page numbers to make finding a book easy.  I honestly may get a second Book Journal to keep record of the Non-Fiction books I like to read!


With much encouragement from folks on Facebook, I have decided to do a series of posts discussing Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). A lot of my content will be mostly about Asperger’s Syndrome and Higher Functioning Autism, but I will also include some posts of the more severe end of the Autism Spectrum. I do believe that with the right kind of education, assistance, understanding, patience, etc., that any Autistic child or person can become a well functioning person.

A big component of this “Project” will be a list of suggested reading for people who are affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders. This may include parents, teachers, and/or children, teens, adults with ASDs. It’s going to take some time, and is a huge commitment, but I feel it is so important. There is so much that is misunderstood when it comes to the world of Autism that I feel it is necessary to speak up and talk about it, whether it be my own experiences, books about Autism and associated disorders, fiction with autism/autistic characters (accurate depictions only), or links to posts from others on the Autistic Spectrum.

I am welcoming any and all suggestions for this Project. What do you want to know? Is there a book you recommend? – I will most definitely look into it and post a review! Leave me a comment and let me know. Or if you’d rather email me feel free to do that: klacerte (at) gmail (dot) com.

All the more reason to stay home and under as many blankets as possible!  I don’t think I have mentioned this before, but we have a wondering warm room in our place.  Meaning, the warmest room in the house is always different.  Tonight it is the spare room/studio/craft room.  Neil, Shadow, sometimes Kitten Face, and I are camping out in the Wandering Warm Room.

I’m set up on the spare bed with my electric blanket and two afghans, craft bag with my knitting project, a book, a magazine, a sketchbook, and micron pens, lapdesk, and laptop, and will soon be accompanied by a hot cocoa.  What could be better!  The book I have with me is Respect The Spindle by Abby Franquemont (who also has a YouTube channel).  The lovely Sarah let me borrow this book because I have decided I wanted to learn how to spin my own yarn!  Yes, you read right, I have picked up yet another hobby!  I only have a couple of yards actually spun, and it’s not the best looking, but I still did it myself.  I haven’t done very much yet and you know what they say, practice makes perfect!  I’m not looking for perfect, I’ll settle for pretty and someone even… 🙂

Otherwise, there isn’t much to update on.  I am still working on Neil’s socks but am getting close to be almost done.  I have photograph my finished projects for my Ravelry page.  That’s about it!  My hot cocoa is calling me!

First off, I am getting the hang of making “green” smoothies. I have possibly made the best smoothie ever this morning! It’s so yummy. Those of you who aren’t familiar with green smoothies may think it’s a bit weird. Basically a green smoothie consist of a leafy green (the basis of a “green” smoothie), a watery veggie like cucumber or celery, some other veggies if you’d like, and a few fruits. Today’s blend for me was some collard greens, celery, an apple, a banana, and some pineapple. So yummy. The stronger flavors of the fruit mute out the bitterness of the greens. It’s delicious!

Yesterday I went out with one of my knitting friends and met up with another. First stop was the Slater Mill Knitting Extravaganza. So many gorgeous, soft, colorful yarn. Yet also very pricey. There was a raffle table, I bought 6 raffle tickets. I never do, but any one of those prizes would have been phenomenal! Especially the Knit Picks basket of goodies. Alas, I didn’t get a call saying I won… not surprised. lol.

The next stop was to Peter Patchis’ Yarns which is the Mecca for all yarn users!!!  I have pictures but not uploaded yet.  I will soon, I promise.  It’s literally bins and bins of giant spools of cotton, linen, wool, acrylic, and mixed yarn.  They have some skeins as well.  His prices range from 75 cents a skein to $3 -$4 per lb for wool and cottons and blends, and up to $16/lb for mohair and tencel blends.  I walked out with 3 giant spools over 2lbs each.  One is an acrylic/wool blend in a tweed heathered rose color, very pretty!  The other two are %100 cotton, two shades of aqua that I am going to ply together.  I must go back soon!

And finally, our last stop, New To You Too.  It’s a thrift store nearby that has a deal where you spend $1.95 to fill a bag with books.  How ever many books you can fit!!!  I got a bunch of old Reader’s Digest bound volumes, and outdated dictionary, and some other hard bound books to use as art journals, and found Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier which I heard is supposed to be good as a novel.  I loved the movie.  I also found The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.  I also grabbed a mini mason jar for a project, a pretty pewter votive holder with stars and moons cut outs, and three americana style game board wall hangings.

Over all, I spent about $33!!!!  Frugality FTW!!!

In some medical news, I saw the cornea specialist and it doesn’t look like I have keratoconus or keratoglobus, so yay, but it also doesn’t seem like the majority of my vision loss is true myopia.  Rather, the dryness of my eyes are so severe that I’m continually getting corneal abrasions and irritation.  He said that he has no doubt I have Sjogren’s Syndrome and that around 40% of patients with Sjogren’s actually have negative blood results.  It’s not great news, but better than actually losing my vision.  I got plugs put in my bottom two tear ducts so that my tears won’t drain so quickly and keep my tear film replenished.  I am also on a pretty intense regimen.  Right now I am using OTC preservative-free eye drops 6 times a day, warm compress 2 times a day, flaxseed oil 3 times a day (which I should be doing anyway), and an OTC night gel.  It doesn’t seem a whole lot when it’s typed out, but trying to remember to put the drops in all day is hard when you have basically mush for brains.

In this video I’m discussing anger and letting go of it.  Being my own advocate when it comes to my medical treatment and how important it is for people to be their own advocate.  Lastly, a little show and tell of some finished knitting projects I completed this past week and how it’s sort of therapeutic when it comes to focusing my energy on something positive. I apologize for the audio not syncing up with my mouth…

Following the leader….

Anyway, the past few days I have been feeling artistic, so I went for a walk and took some pictures of these adorable guys. A house down my street has the cutest garden set up with little creatures like these all around. She even has a swinging gnome from a bush (I also have a picture of that). I have been practicing my painting, I don’t know if I like how it’s coming out, but I guess that’s why they say to practice…

Seems, though, that I tried to do too much in the last few days because I subluxed my shoulder, yes… indeed. It hurts… not as much as last night, but still hurts quite a bit. I wanted to get this post up, but now I am going to sit carefully on the couch, hook up my TENS unit, and work on the Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer (even though it’s young adult, it’s AWESOME.)