Just Some Things [update post]

Happy December everyone!  I can’t believe we’re at the end of 2016 already!  Part of me feels like this year went on forever, but at the same time it went fast.  There have been some high points of the year and some low points… but more on those in a later post.

december 2016 update

This is more of a general update post.  I know this year I haven’t been posting nearly as much as I used to and I hate that.  I do miss updating on a regular basis and having a plan for my blog posts as opposed to just winging it when I feel like something would make a great post.  Of course, at the same time I don’t want to get too systematic with only doing monthly posts of a certain theme (like my new Recent Reads series).

One of the posts I hope to do in the near future is a Q&A post, but I’m going to need your help for it.  I’d like to start collecting questions now and as soon as I have enough, I’ll write up the post with my answers (or maybe do a vlog!).  You can leave questions in the comments below, if you wish, or send an email to me at tabitha@orangeowldiaries.com – I’d really appreciate it!

In light of this update, I just want to let everyone know of my social media links.  They are on the side bar under my photo, but I also feel like I should give out the links in a post… especially since a few are not in my sidebar.

Social Media Links:

Goodreads Profile

Twitter – @tabbyisnotacat

Instagram – @tabbyisnotacat

Bookish Instagram – @tabbyisabooknerd

Snapchat – kiwitabs

If you find that I’m not active on my blog for some reason, you can easily reach me on any of my social media profiles since I’m usually on them everyday at some point.  I also check my email regularly (weird, I know).

I thank those who have stuck with me while I’ve lost my rhythm for blogging and I promise that I am working to get it back.  I have a few posts I’d like to get written and out this month – the usual end of the year stuff – and I will work on coming up with some new ideas for the new year!

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Recent Reads [November 2016]

recent reads november 16

So I thought last month I did a lot of reading, but that was nothing compared to this month.  This month I read six books… SIX BOOKS!  That might not be an insane amount, but I can honestly say I’ve never read that many books in a month before.

Part of the reason I was able to do a lot of reading was that I had a lot of time off from work.  Our library has been under construction for the past year and a half and we closed on November 1st to finish up and combine the new wing with the newly restored old building.  We’ve been going in a few times a week, but our schedules are not at all consistent because everything depends on what the construction, moving, and painting guys get done.  Basically, I had a lot of free time on my hands to get some reading done.

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The first three books I read this month were part of the Left Behind series – books 5, 6, and 7 – which got me up to just past the halfway point in the series.  The story got gradually more intense and though plenty of libraries around have the 8th book, I decided to take a break and prepare for the intensity that I’m sure is to follow book seven.  What was supposed to be a one-book break turned into three.

Oops.

Next I read Weird by Craig Groeschel which is about how to live “Christian weird.”  As Christians, we should be different from others.  Not in a “holier than thou” way, but in a way that when a person looks at us they can see there’s something different – which would be that we love Jesus.  It was a good read and what I like about it is that it makes you think about how you act and react to situations in your life.  I would personally give it 4 stars because I think it falls just a little short of his other book, The Christian Atheist, but someone else might give it 5 stars.

november-books

Immediately after that, I think maybe even that same day, I started Shaken by Tim Tebow.  This book is a 5 star book, no question.  Tebow shares the story of what’s happened to him recently with getting cut from different NFL teams and how it’s thrown him for a loop, but how he’s not letting it shake his faith in God.  He doesn’t talk about just that part of his life, of course.  He shares other moments in his life where he’s seen others’ faith not be shaken when they’re going through storm after storm.  This book is a very uplifting and inspirational read that will make you tear up at times (you’ve been warned).

Lastly, but not least, a few days ago I just finished reading Karen Kingsbury’s new book, A Baxter Family Christmas.  I put it on the new book suggestion for work and it came in quicker than I thought it would, but I’m glad it did.  This was the first book I’ve read of the Baxter family (apparently there’s 23 other books about them) but thankfully I didn’t need to have read the others before this one.  This story was sweet, inspirational, and a major tear-jerker.  It was also a very quick read – one of those ones that you don’t even realize how much you’ve read until you’re near the end of the book.  It’s definitely a book I’d recommend for reading this month to get you into the Christmas spirit!

baxter-christmas

So those are the six books I read this month and I have to say they were all great reads.  No time was wasted here.  However, I don’t think I’ll be able to read  quite as many in December since the library is set to reopen sometime next week (I hope).  Once I’m back into my regular schedule it shouldn’t be too bad – I still think I’ll be able to read three or four books.

Either way, I’m excited for the books I have to read next!

What did you read this past month?

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Thanksgiving Flag Football!

This past Saturday was a whopping 67 degrees (give or take a few) here in my region of New England.  And what better way to spend it than filming some flag football?

It’s been just about a year since I’ve gone out to film my boys playing this great game due to the fact that I am not available on Saturdays until after three because of work.  Since I’ve had Saturdays off this month due to the library undergoing its final stage of construction, I had to take advantage of both the time off and the weather.

Because no one likes filming in the cold.

I mean, I’ve done that before… but for the first time going out I would’ve tried really hard to come up with an excuse not to (maybe).

Getting out there felt great!  Even though all but three of my original guys weren’t there, it was like home to me being around them.  I had plenty of close calls, nearly getting hit by the guys during a few plays, and even caught an overthrown ball that bounced my way.  I think one of my favorite things is when the guys get excited to see the video before we even leave the field.

I think that’s why I love making these football videos – not because it’s fun for me or even for the praise I get for making them – but because I’m doing something that makes them happy.  It’s something that they can enjoy as well as their families.  I’m just blessed that God gave me this talent and I’m able to use it to bring joy to others.

After editing the first video above, I realized that I had enough footage to make a second video (which I had figured during the upload, but wasn’t 100% sure).  This, of course, was unknown to the guys since I refrained from posting it on Facebook this week.  I released it earlier this morning as a little Thanksgiving present to my football guys since I probably won’t be able to get out and film them again this year.

I definitely enjoyed making the videos again and was excited to do this at least once this year.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Book Format Poll

Happy Wednesday everyone!

A while ago I wrote a post about Books vs. Ebooks and I’ve realized that a of people tend to like both the same.  They like the physical aspect of reading a book, but for storage and travel they prefer the digital books.  That is a perfectly acceptable answer, I tend to feel the same way, but when it comes down to it, I want to know if you had to choose one… which would it be?

preferred book format

So… I’m conducting a poll on book formats, and in this poll I’m going to include the third option of audiobooks.  I’ve noticed after working the library for three months that a lot of people listen to audiobooks, so it’s only fair to include this option.

I made a survey on SurveyMonkey to collect the answers because I’m also going to be sharing this through other platforms and even email.  If my bookish friends could just take a quick moment to click the link below I would greatly appreciate it.

>>> Link to Book Format survey <<<<

Thanks in advance to everyone who takes a second to answer this poll!

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10 Verses to Celebrate International Day of the Bible

So this morning when I checked my email I got one from YouVersion Bible App saying that today is the 2016 International Day of the Bible.

Though we should appreciate and share our favorite verses from God’s Word everyday, it’s nice to make it a global event to get some recognition of the Bible.  I shared a photo of my own Bible with Luke 11:17, which I feel really applies to the state of America right now.

day of the bible

Not too long after sharing my Instagram post, I felt compelled to celebrate this event on my blog as well.  Only I don’t to share just one verse, but rather a few of my favorite verses.  These are verses that have gotten me through some tough points in my life or tend to stick out to me, especially as of recent.

And here they are:

“Everything has already been decided. It was known long ago what each person would be. So there’s no use arguing with God about your destiny.” – Ecclesiastes 6:10

“For I can do everything through Christ,[a] who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

“Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness!” – Ecclesiastes 5:10

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.” – Genesis 50:20

luke-11-17

“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” – James 1:19

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11

“What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?” – Romans 8:31

“Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back.” – Proverbs 29:11

Honestly, I could keep going with more of my favorite verses, but to avoid overloading you lovely people I’m going to stop here.  I’d also like to save some for when I decide to do another post with some encouraging Bible verses or ones that we Christians should really try to live by more (or at least I know I should, hehe).

What are some of your favorite verses?

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Bookworm Problems (v. 2)

I’m back with more common bookworm problems.  A few of these I was going to put in the first post, but I figured I’d just make a little series of these.  There are only so many problems we can handle discussing at one time, right?

So here we go with fifteen more common bookworm problems!

bookworm-problems

Bookworm Problems:
  1. Having unrealistic expectations for your own love life because of all the romance books you’ve read.
  2. Book hangovers.
  3. Wanting to finish a book quickly so you can read more books, but still wanting to take your time and enjoy the story.
  4. Character deaths.
  5. Not liking a book/book series that is really popular and feeling like you’re missing out on something amazing.
  6. Not realizing how good a book was until a few days after you finish it then feeling like you took the book for granted.
  7. Regretting not having a list of books you read when you were younger because you’ll never know exactly how many books you’ve read in your lifetime.
  8. When you finally get a description of what the characters look like and they’re nothing like you were imagining.
  9. Not being able to find a comfortable reading position.
  10. Rereading Harry Potter because you just can’t decide what book to read next (this might be just me though…)
  11. When a chapter ends with a cliff-hanger and you have to read the next one despite the fact it’s midnight and you have to be up at 5:30am.
  12. Never being able to experience reading a book for the first time again.
  13. When people say that you should read a book before bed because it’s relaxing… (HA!)
  14. When something intense happens so suddenly in the story that you have to go back and make sure you didn’t miss anything.
  15. Rather than feeling proud to have finished a book series, you just feel empty because there will never be another book with those characters.

Another fifteen problems down!  Again, this still isn’t covering them all… so this will pretty much be an ongoing series as I uncover more common bookworm problems.  There’s as many of these are there are books!

Which of these 15 problems bother you the most?

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Acting Like the Christian I Say I Am (in response to the election)

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In light of this election I have been doing my very best to bite my tongue when it comes to responding to others’ posts about their anger and distress over the result.  Like any other human being, I am usually quick to react to defend my beliefs and actions… in the past it’s gotten me in trouble.  Not to mention that in some of those cases I wasn’t acting like a representative of Christ because I let my emotions take over.

For the most part, I’ve learned from those mistakes of being too quick to react and letting my emotions control said reactions.  Of course, I still have the initial reaction when I see something that feels like (and probably is) an attack on my beliefs because I’m human, but in the past two days I’ve been able to keep my mouth shut.

Does that mean I’m going to stop sharing my thoughts or articles I agree with so that I don’t start any arguments?  No – I’m going to share something when it’s something I honestly believe in, but I will not post them to purposely get people upset and shove my beliefs down their throats.  That’s not to say I’m not going to share my faith, but I’m not going to force it on anyone.

If anyone decides that they want to respond angrily or argumentatively to what I share, they can.  I might make my case, but I won’t do so unless I’m going to be representing Christ with my words.  If I feel that I cannot respond without my emotions taking over, I’m going to just stay quiet.  That doesn’t mean I’m standing down… it means I am not going to let anyone get me riled up and respond in an un-Christlike manner.

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. – James 1:19

I am proud to say that I’m a Christian, but that means I have to act like one as well.  Jesus knew when to be quiet and He knew when to speak up.  I’m going to strive to do the same.

Sure, I might lose friends and family over what I believe because they do not see it from my side, but that isn’t going to change my position.  Rather, it’s going to make my faith stronger because Jesus said that believing in Him would divide families and turn them against one another (Matthew 10:35-37).  That’s not to say I wouldn’t be upset about losing family, but I’m not going to turn on Jesus to please my family or friends or even anyone else in this world.

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My stance in all this is to pray more than ever for this country, for my family and friends, and for the world.  God knows what He’s doing, and I have faith in Himnot with man.

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Vote, but More Importantly… Pray

It’s Election Day here in the States my friends… so please, if you’re of age and able to do so, get out and vote!  Yes, it’s a right to vote, but it’s also our duty to get the right leaders elected to lead our country.

Even more so, I’m calling on my Christian brothers and sisters to pray for the nation.  America needs it now more than ever, no matter who wins today.  God hears our prayers for the nation and even if the leader we don’t want in place is elected, God can use them for His glory anyway.

pray-for-america

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and I will forgive their sin and heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14

For weeks I’ve been worried sick about what will happen to the nation depending on who is elected, but in the past few days… I’ve been at peace.  I know God is ultimately in control and that He can, and will, turn what was meant for evil to be used for good (Gen. 50:20).

Still, I am encouraging everyone to pray for this nation.  That we come together and turn back to God so He will heal our land and we will stand as one nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

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My Blogging Journey

Blogging is something that I’ve come to really enjoy over the years… to the point where I wish I had started doing it earlier in my life.  Of course, I’d guess blogging since 2009 is considered a long time to most people.

my blogging journey

I wasn’t a consistent blogger in the beginning.  I really only wrote when I wanted to talk or rant about something that was on my mind, but I didn’t feel like writing it as a obnoxiously long Facebook status.  For the most part, I talked about controversial topics and my blogs were like short essays.  As a part of the inconsistency, I also changed my blog name and address a couple different times.  So now we can see why my posts were never found other than my friends on Facebook who would click the link to it.

It wasn’t until September 2012 that I really hit the ground running wtih my blogging… which brings us to the birth of orangeowldiaries.

The name came from the fact that my favorite color is orange, my favorite animal is an owl and at the time, I had an orange notebook with a picture of an owl on it that I used as my journal.  I figured this blog would become my public journal where I could share my thoughts that weren’t necessarily private as well as connect with people.

As I mentioned in my blog birthday post, I wrote more about the happenings of my day as opposed to things going on in my life that people could relate to.  I wrote a few times a day and would sometimes not write for a few days – just as I do with my journal.  I can’t say for sure when it happened, but eventually I did start writing more relatable posts and reviews, which pretty much leads me to where I am today.

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My blog also went through a couple of different looks, as most blogs do.  Again, you can see two of the different layouts I had in the birthday post mentioned above, and I’m happy to say that I’m not planning on changing anytime soon.

In recent months I haven’t been posting nearly as much as I’ve wanted to.  I can’t say why either. I guess I don’t feel as though I have anything of much importance to say here on the diaries.  When I was in school, I was overflowing with blog post ideas.  Now some of them seem too insignificant to even bother writing.  Or it could be that I’ve just been reading more during my spare time than on the computer.

What I do know, is that I would like to get back into a regular posting schedule and interact with more bloggers.  It seems that if I’m talking to other bloggers I’m more inspired to write on my own blog.  I can say I have some ideas for posts that I will be writing about shortly… it’s just a matter of not being to tired to actually write.

Of course, I see this slump in writing as just another part of my blogging journey.  It’s a rough patch, sure, but we have those in life as well.  I’m actually quite excited about some of the posts I have in mind and I’m hoping to share more interesting posts with you all in the near future!

On another note… who’s excited for Thanksgiving food?

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Halloween 2016

I’m not a big fan of Halloween, but I admit that dressing up can be fun… as long as the costume is within reason.  I stopped dressing up and going out for Halloween when I was ten, but in recent years have dressed up either for work or handing out candy.

This year, it’s both.

I normally have Mondays off, but I was asked if I could fill in for someone who was taking the day off.  Of course I said yes!  I mean, I love my job, so of course I’ll even work on my day off.

I was told when I first started that we get to dress up for Halloween if we wanted to, so remembering that I started to think of what I’d wear to work.  I wanted to go in a Ravenclaw uniform, since all I needed to complete my costume was the Ravenclaw robe, but I wasn’t able to afford it.

I had also considered wearing my Grinch onesie before that, but decided it’d be too hard to go to the bathroom and the outfit might be too hot.  Then I thought about going as Louise from Bob’s Burgers, but again, no money to buy the costume in time.  So what did I do?

I, a Ravenclaw through and through, went as a Gryffindor student.

halloween-2016

Why?  Because I still have my Gryffindor robe from forth grade and so my costume didn’t cost anything… that’s why.

It was fun to see my coworkers dressed up as well.  Between those of us who dressed up, we had a classic witch, a Hogwarts student (me), GI Jane, characters from Stranger Things, Snow White and an Airbender.  I have to say that the Airbender costume was my favorite of the day.

So I might not like Halloween that much, or really at all, but there is some fun to be had when you are allowed to dress up in costume at work.

Now I get to hand out candy, and eat whatever’s left of it.

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