Monday, October 22, 2012

Adding Exclusive Shelves at Goodreads For Better Organization

I took some time to organize my shelves at Goodreads a bit better after learning that it was possible to create new exclusive shelves. This meant that my To Read shelf could be broken up into smaller shelves! I had actually noticed this possibility months ago but didn't pursue it at the time, and then I forgot all about it.

Anyway, I rediscovered that I could break up my "to read" list into different shelves. There are different opinions about the best way to do this. Many Goodreads members like to use their To Read shelf for books they already own, with a different shelf for those they don't actually have in their hands yet. That's perfectly logical but not how I wanted to organize mine.

I had a pretty long list of books on my To Read shelf. The problem was that it was a mixed bag that included everything from I have to read this!!! to the more uncertain I might want to read this someday, but I might not.

I didn't want to try to renumber them in a futile attempt at prioritizing them, so I decided to make three new exclusive shelves:

1. must read (I really, really want to read this.)

2. to read if time (I want to read this, and although it's not a priority at the moment, that could change.)

3. undecided (I'm not sure about it yet. It could end up on either of the above shelves or neither. Sometimes this is because no summary is included on the book's page.)

Granted, I could have accomplished this by adding non-exclusive shelves instead, but I already have plenty of those. I do wish I'd thought to add an Available on Goodreads shelf for books available directly through the site's e-reader; I'd have to go back through them all again to that.

Did I manage to get all the books exactly where I wanted them? Probably not, but it's pretty close. Considering how many I designated as Must Read--and how many books I'm always adding--I'm sure I'll have to go through this again soon.

Are you on Goodreads? If so, have you divided up your To Read list, or do you like having them all on one shelf?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Drinking More Water

Recently, I posted about some health resolutions I made this year and said I would write an update of how they're going. My first resolution was to drink more water.

Until two weeks ago, I was right on track. I had finally gotten to the point where I was drinking two liters of water every day. Then I got sick, and my water intake went down drastically. I did manage to drink ginger ale and Gatorade, but for these purposes, they don't count. I'm only talking about actual water.

Anyway, until then, it was going great. It was definitely a challenge, but at least I could see and feel some results. One piece of advice I've seen repeatedly is to replace one sugary drink a day with water. That doesn't work for people like me, who already drink water instead of pretty much anything else.

There are a lot of different versions of exactly how much is necessary. Some say that everyone should drink 64 ounces (eight glasses) every day, which is almost two liters; others say it varies according to the person's weight. Personally, I think lifestyle and location should be taken into account.

After reaching my goal of two liters a day, I just couldn't increase it any more. I had to stay up late several times just to finish by midnight, because I knew that if I messed up, I'd give up. Then I got sick, so now I'm trying to get back to where I was.

I need to space it out better throughout the day, but I still get too caught up in other things and forget. I'm working on it.

Do you drink as much water as you think you should?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday Six, July 15, 2012

Well, last week was even more of a challenge than the one before that. Things kept coming up that needed my attention, so I wasn't sure whether I'd be able to meet my goals.

Last week

1. Created several genre shelves so that I could add at least one to each book listed as "to read" on Goodreads. That way, if I'm in the mood to read something from a particular genre (horror, classic, etc.), I can just pull up the list for that shelf and make my choice. I resisted doing that at first but finally conceded that it's a useful thing to do.

2. Finished reading two books. I finally finished one that I'd started a while back. Before that, I read something else from start to finish; it was pretty short, though.

3. Posted a review of Wheat Belly. This is the one I had intended to post a week earlier but hadn't quite finished the final draft.

This week

1. Post on at least two blogs. I haven't been online much lately, so I'd like to start catching up.

2. Start reading a new book. I don't have any books in progress right now, which means it's time to choose another one and start reading.

3. Finish writing my latest book review.

Do you read in a wide variety of genres, or do you tend to stick to a genre or two?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sunday Six, July 8, 2012

Last week was a challenge. Despite some major time constraints, I did manage to accomplish a few things.

Last week

1. Finished reading The Scarlet Pimpernel, which I'd been meaning to read for years.

2. Wrote and posted a book review of The Scarlet Pimpernel. I actually intended to post a review of a different book, but I wanted to tweak it a bit, so I postponed that one.

3. Revived Diary of a Non-Person with a post about SnackWell's cookie cakes.

That means I did what I set out to do last week.

This week

1. Organize my "to read" shelf at Goodreads. It has almost 200 books right now, so I'd like to add a few genre shelves for classification purposes.

2. Finish reading a book. I'm hoping to finish the other book that I've been reading so that I can finally start another one (or two).

3. Post a book review. This will probably be the one I intended to post last week but replaced at the last minute.

Do you have a long list of books you'd like to read?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Woof Wednesday, July 4, 2012

It's the Fourth of July, and people all across the United States will be celebrating with cookouts and fireworks.

Did you know that July 5 is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters in the United States? That's when they have more strays than at any other time.

I'm cross-posting this from my pets blog because it's so important. Pets don't like loud noises, and when they see and hear fireworks, they get scared. If they're outside, they run, and it's not easy to catch them.

It doesn't even have to be a major fireworks display to send a dog or cat into panic mode. Backyard fireworks have the same result. That's why it's so important to keep pets inside whenever you know or strongly suspect that fireworks will be set off.

We all know that fireworks aren't limited to just one day a year, but we also know that July 4 is a huge day for fireworks lovers. It's important to keep your pets inside so that when the action starts, they'll be safe and unable to run away in terror.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sunday Six

I've decided to list three things I accomplished last week, followed by three things I'd like to accomplish this coming week. It's not everything on my lists, but it adds up to six!

Posting goals for the following week should help hold me accountable and make me actually do something. At this point, I don't know whether or not I'll make this a regular Sunday topic.

Last week

1. Put up new posts at four of my blogs, including this one. The topics included writing contests, animal welfare, and personal goals.

2. Finished reading Wheat Belly. It had taken a while because once I got to the recipes, I pretty much lost interest. I finally decided to read them and actually saw a couple I might have to try.

3. Reorganized the freezer. Older items were getting shoved to the back when new ones arrived, causing me to forget what we had, so it was past time to deal with the situation.

This week

1. Finish reading another book. Even though I finished one last week, I'm in the middle of two others.

2. Write at least one book review to post at Goodreads. I don't expect to write a long review, but I'd like at least a few sentences.

3. Revive another one of my blogs. I have six but let them all go for too long. Now that I'm posting at four of them again, I'd like to revive another one.

Does posting your goals help you, or do you tend to let them go?

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Better Health

Image by Ingvar-fed. Public domain.

In December, I wrote an article detailing five things I would do this year to improve my health. It was an assignment I decided to claim as a little experiment and personal challenge.

Now that 2012 is about halfway over, I'm preparing a post about how well I did with my resolutions. The article is background for the update, which I'll be posting soon.

[The following was originally published as a Display Only (D.O.) article on Yahoo! Voices, December 15, 2011.]

Five Ways to Better Health in the New Year

Every December, I write down some generic New Year's resolutions, such as "get more exercise" or "eat better." This is a good starting point, but it doesn't hold me as accountable as I'd like. As someone with more than one health problem, I know that there are several things I can do to help myself. That's why I've begun to take a more active role in my health. In addition to getting more exercise and changing my diet in general, I've come up with some specific ways to improve my situation. I have five health resolutions for 2012, along with details on how to follow through.

1. Drink more water. Although I drink water almost exclusively, I still don't drink enough. In 2012, I would like to drink eight glasses every day. This is something I'm working up to slowly. Over the last month, I've increased my daily water intake to six glasses. The many benefits include its ability to curb my hunger and keep me from grabbing a high-calorie snack. If eight glasses proves too much for me, I'll back off until I find out what works best for my body.

2. Consume more calcium. I don't get enough calcium in my diet. Unfortunately, increasing my calcium intake is no longer merely an option; it became a necessity after a bone density scan revealed that I have osteopenia, a possible precursor to osteoporosis. On the advice of my doctor, I plan to take a calcium citrate supplement in addition to eating foods rich in calcium.

3. Eat less wheat. Wheat is my downfall, whether it's in the form of bread, cake, pasta, or something else. Although I do have self-control--I can stop after a bite or two--I like it far too much. With that in mind, I've resolved to do without wheat at least three days a week in 2012. I've already experimented by having an occasional wheat-free day, and I can do it as long as I have a variety of the right foods available.

4. Get more vitamin D. After learning that I have a serious vitamin D deficiency, my doctor advised me to start taking a supplement. I did that for a while but slacked off, and now it's time to renew my commitment to taking this essential hormone.

5. Track my lab reports. My doctor typically doesn't say much about my test results, other than to indicate that everything is fine or that a particular result is slightly outside the normal range. From now on, I'm going to ask for copies of my lab reports. Once I start getting my own copies, I can track my progress all year and be prepared with any questions I may have.

I'm determined to follow through with these health resolutions in 2012. After all, the benefits will far outweigh the inconvenience.

Did you make any health resolutions for this year?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wordless Woof Wednesday, June 27, 2012