Five months down and still looking for an apartment. It's becoming a big joke and one I try to laugh at, instead of cry. In the meantime, I'm grateful for friends who let me continue living with them. It has been a huge gift. I'm also grateful for a 2 week housesitting gig. Maybe that's what I should do from hereon out!
It's finally started feeling like fall here. Cooler temps, bringing out more of my sweaters, even leaves falling from the trees. I'm not one to voluntarily spend much time outside in 50 degree weather but when your friends invite everyone to go on a post-Thanksgiving meal walk, you say yes. And when you see this view of the city skyline, you're glad you did. You win, November.
Read and Reading
How do I describe Humans of New York? It is a raw glimpse into humanity: the beautiful, messy, mundane, and even the brightest contrasted by the darkest. Candid street photos combined with a small part of someone's story, if they're willing to share. I love following HONY through FB and many of my favorite captures are in Humans of New York: Stories (Stanton), though there were plenty that were new to me too. HONY makes the world a better place. This I believe.
JK Rowling's genius is on display once again with Career of Evil, the latest in her Robert Galbraith-penned Cormoran Strike mystery series. Not only is it smartly written but the reader is kept guessing the whole way with 3 possible suspects. I had a glimmer of an idea of who it might be but then I'd think it was someone else, then return to my original theory, then toss it out the window. The payoff is worth it. I do have a hard time understanding Robin's relationship with her fiance- she is so smart and confident in her work life and I want it to apply to her personal life. We'll have to see what happens in book 4!
Six Of Crows (Bardugo) welcomes us into the world of criminals who might not be who they seem. These criminals and delinquents must break into a impenetrable fortress and retrieve a scientist and his formula, which has the potential to ruin life as they know it. There are many twists and turns and I don't know where Bardugo will take us next but I can't wait to read more about Kaz, Inej, Matthias, Nina, Jesper, and Wylan's epic adventures. Such fascinating characters. I loved Bardugo's Grisha trilogy and in this new series, we get to see another side of the Grisha.
Kate Morton is one of my favorite authors for a reason. I loved having a detective as a heroine in her latest novel The Lake House and how it became meta at times, what with a murder mystery author at the helm. Very satisfying read.
We'll be reflecting on A Widening Light, a collection of Advent poems edited by Luci Shaw, next month on The Red Couch. And we're hosting a linkup Wednesday December 2! Details at the end of this post.
Currently reading: Embracing the Body (Owen), Understanding the Enneagram (Riso and Hudson), The Complete Enneagram (Chestnut), Holy Listening: The Art of Spiritual Direction (Guenther), The Art of Memoir (Karr), Never Broken: Songs Are Only Half The Story (Jewel)
(I read 6 books this month.)
Must-see TV: Real Housewives of Orange County, Once Upon A Time, Jane the Virgin, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
The people I'm housesitting for have limited cable, which includes The Hallmark Channel, so I have basically been in heaven watching their cheesy Christmas movies. It's been 5 months without THC and I'm glad I get a 2 week reprieve. It wouldn't be Christmas without it! Best of all, Addie and I text-watched a couple together. When is Hallmark going to hire us to write a movie?
I saw Mockingjay Part 2 the day after Thanksgiving. If you remember, I had to take a shot of whiskey after watching The Hunger Games and I only watched Catching Fire because my best friend guilted me into it and told me when to look away. Much better for my nerves. All that to say, I didn't see Mockingjay Part 1 but I rarely turn down the chance to hang out with friends. So I went. And I looked away from the screen for 30% of the movie. And that, my friends, is the trick to enjoying an intense movie. It's been so long since I read the book that I'm not sure about all the changes they made but since I hated how Collins ended Mockingjay, I vastly preferred the movie version.
The new Adele album was worth the wait.
Listen to the What I'm Into 2015 playlist.
I was on the Lively Show!!!! Jess asked me to talk about the Enneagram. Listen to Episode #106: How the Enneagram Can Help You Grow and Improve Relationships. While I'm talking about the Lively Show, I was fascinated by the episode on intuitive eating.
I was really proud of my friend Joy Bennett, who went on The Story Of My Death with her family to talk about the death of her daughter Elli. (TSOMD is a new podcast started by my pals Shawn Smucker, Caleb Wilde, and Bryan Allain. They're still figuring out the flow of things but I'm excited about what this podcast could be.)
Loved the insights in Grief, Loss, and Joy with David Kessler on The Robcast.
I could not stop laughing while listening to The Popcast's The Yes and Nos of Thanksgiving. I was surprised to find myself agreeing more with Knox than Jamie when it came to food. Just say no to sweet potato fries and meat bread!
Things I Love:
- I got through another major event at work! The Harvest Festival was a big success, even if I hobbled for a whole day afterward.
- My friend Laura came to town with her family! I hung out with her and her kids at the hotel, where we gabbed away and ordered some amazing room service. I told Laura she's my "new city touchstone." I found her blog shortly after moving to Nashville and it changed everything, well before I could have imagined Laura would become one of my dearest friends. It was incredible to sit with her more than 5 years later in a new city, talking about how this transition has been and where our lives are taking us next.
- Walking on the beach, picking up sand dollars.
- Getting to hear Pete Enns speak. I haven't read any of his books yet but that's definitely going to change. His next book is titled The Sin of Certainty: Why God Desires Our Trust More Than Our "Correct" Beliefs. HELLO.
- #OneDayHH was another big hit! I love recording those every day moments for one day.
- Hot toddies at work. Just because.
- I went on a Women's Retreat with my church and actually had a great time. Lots of great conversation and good connections. Plus, we were back at the Vallambrosa Center, where we had our staff retreat. I love those grounds.
- I ended up speaking at the retreat. Or rather, Pastor Julie interviewed me about different aspects of my story. That is my kind of speaking!
- Candy Cane Joe-Joe's are back at Trader Joe's. I'm not telling you how many boxes I bought. Also, if anyone sees dark chocolate covered ginger cookies, I will pay you to buy and ship them to me. I found some a couple of years ago and apparently they're only sold at certain stores, to my chagrin.
- I really enjoyed teaching a class for the Influence Network. Definitely thinking about doing it again! Thanks to everyone who bought a spot or watched the recording.
- I have a reserved parking spot for the 2 weeks that I housesit. It is such a relief to not worry about street cleaning or finding a place to park.
- I spent Thanksgiving with some of my favorite people: friends and coworkers alike. My coworkers Matt and Florence opened up their home to friends, acquaintances, and strangers and it was beautiful. Plus: so much good food! It was the next best thing to being with my family.
- I Skyped with my darling niece Alli (and her parents). She has the biggest and best smile, which now show off 5 teeth. She says "Dada" now, which tickles my brother. I can't wait to hear her say Aunt Leigh!
- These Pumpkin Gingersnaps are amazing. I made a batch for Thanksgiving and simply had to make a batch for myself.
In the Blogosphere:
Here are the weekly-ish posts of this month's favorite Internet finds but you can find even more of what I've been reading at Storify.
(If you want to follow me on Instagram, my user name is leighkramer.)
Upstream Field Guide is about living according to how we were made, even when it goes against the flow of culture. It consists of 8 sessions over 3 weeks geared toward helping you determine your purpose and discover more of who you are. You can work on it at your own pace, which is good because self-reflection usually requires its own timetable. All this will help you craft specific goals with deadlines. There are podcasts, printables, a private Facebook group, and more.
When we can clearly identify how we were made and what our best life looks like, we can develop a map and trajectory for getting where we want to go. Once we know where we're going, we'll have the determination and strength we need to get there. That's what Upstream Field Guide is all about. Plus, you'll get to hear me talk about the Enneagram!
On The Blog:
I told you about my Grief in the Age of Social Media online course for The Influence Network. There wasn't much time for other writing, which is unfortunate, because there's so much I need to write about. One of these days!
(The best way to see updates in your newsfeed is by liking and commenting on my posts regularly. Bless those FB algorithms.)
What I'm Into Link Up Guidelines:
1. Today’s link-up will stay open for one week. The next What I'm Into link up will be Wednesday December 30.
2. Link the unique URL of your post, not your blog's home page. Readers peruse link ups months after the fact and you want to make it easy for them to find your What I'm Into post.
4. Visit at least 2 other posts in the linkup!
What have you been into this month?
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