Category Archives: Reviews

My Favorite Podcasts 2018 Edition

It’s 2018 and time for my favorite podcasts edition! I try to do a round up on International  Podcast Day every year.

Favorite Podcasts 2018

My interests have been in a state of flux these last few years. Reading my 2017 podcasts post, only one stayed on  my  list for this year. I have been sampling all sorts of different genres.

Limited Episode Podcasts

Sandra-interesting concept until the end where I felt it ended on a flat note. Is it over?

Slow Burn-short show about Watergate and Nixon’s resignation. Very interesting! Remember when “breaking news” was all reported in a paper that was delivered once a day or daily on only 3 TV stations? I’m still waiting to read “All the President’s Men” from my local library

The Habitat-short series on people chosen to remain in “The Habitat” for one  year, where they are mock training for a trip to Mars. Can they all get along for 365 days without breaking out of their self-imposed domain?

Favorite Listening this Year

Pedalshift-Tim Looney bike touring podcast. As I still consider myself a beginning bike tourer, his shows are interesting and educational

The Hamilcast-Gillian’s love of “The Thing” all things Hamilton An American Musical. She is pretty much the unofficial official podcast of Hamilton. Who has been on her show? Oh, minor people like Lin Manual Miranda, Tommy Kail, Alex Lacamoire. Just as interesting are cast members in the ensemble, swings, sound and music department. It’s one of the first I listen to when a new episode downloads.

#AmWriting This is a podcast about…writing! Whether it’s fiction, non-fiction, books, blogs, poems, the ladies make it interesting and inspiring to keep writing.

Embrace Running-Marc and Elena recap their latest marathons and half-marathons. They are still running but the show hasn’t released an episode since May.

Reply All Another Gimlet Media production, I am a bit more hit and miss. Sometimes these episodes are fascinating! Others, just meh. A few favorites: Long Distance Part One and Two; The Case of the Phantom Caller.

The Amelia Project is one podcast I  have just started listening to. Want to fake your death and start a new life? Get in touch with the Amelia Group.

Got a favorite for me to listen to? I’m all for new and off the beaten listening path!

Today’s Adventure: Hamilton!

Hamilton Sign


Today on my Almost Week Off Work, my adventure was seeing Hamilton An American Musical. It’s been about two years since I was introduced to the cast recording by Cliff Ravenscraft, and I’ve been enthralled as many others have.

Phillip Tour Cleveland

Me and Hamilton

The musical is now touring. I was lucky enough to get tickets to TWO shows. I bought a solo ticket for Wednesday.

I live in southern Ohio and didn’t feel like finding someone to buy the other ticket or tickets. I had no problem buying the tickets. I think everyone wanted the four tix max that you could purchase, and there just wasn’t blocks of four tickets available. I then bought tickets to a matinee on August 25 where my SIL will join me.

Tips for Attending Hamilton

Hamilton Tix

  1. Listen to the Cast Recording

If you aren’t familiar with the musical at all and find yourself with tickets, it might behoove you to listen to the cast recording, so you can keep up with all the fast rapping that occurs.

2. DON’T listen to the cast recording right before the show

None of the original actors are in the show. If you are expecting Lin Manual Miranda to be singing as “Hamilton” then you will disappointed by the current actor playing. No worries, I thought everyone was excellent in their roles, especially Nik Walker portraying Burr. I got alot more out of Burr’s character by seeing the show live, besides just listening to the cast recording.

3. It goes FAST

The big “showy” numbers are in Act One. I thought Act Two would be slower, but it progresses much faster than if I was listening to the cast recording. Many of the songs in Act Two flow into the next song without interruption.

4. See it multiple times

Okay, I know! That can be impossible to just see once!  There is SO much to take in. I’ve been listening to “The Hamilcast” since its beginning. There is so much happening in each scene. For example, there is a cast character called “The Bullet” who is a signal of death that follow Hamilton around. I only picked her out on time, there was too much to watch.  In “The Room Where it Happens” the meeting between Jefferson, Madison and Hamilton  happens three times.

Hamilton Sign

There are lotteries available daily for the shows which are free to enter for a chance at 10 dollar tickets. If you are in an area where a lottery show is playing, WHY NOT enter the lottery? Do not throw away your shot!

Adventure Summit

Adventure Summit Report

Adventure Summit Report

A bright spot in the middle of the winter doldrums, I drove over to Wright State University for their Adventure Summit.  A chance postcard picked up at last year’s Buckeye Trailfest, I had never heard of this free event before.


There were plenty of vendors in the exp. Busy Expo Adventure Summit

Busy Expo Adventure Summit

Buckeye Trail Booth

Even Bigfoot made an appearance!


Schedule of Events

There were fitness classes, some competitions, and presentations Friday night and all day Saturday. There were enough interesting sounding topics that it was hard to pick what to attend!

Boulder Comp Adventure Summit

My Three Favorite Presentations

Terry presented on having adventure, at any age, at any cost. She had recently done a challenge “30 Days of Crazy” where she had to do *something new* every day for thirty days. (In hind sight, she said she would give herself more than thirty days). This actually led to her writing a book about her “30 Days of Crazy”.  Terry encourage all of us to get out and experience an adventure, no matter how small.

Adventure Challenge

The next speaker was Richard, who biked East to West across the United States. Richard spoke extremely well, with a great self deprecating sense of humor. I picked up a few good tips for my bike touring.

Biking Across the Country

My favorite talk was Hiking the Camino de Santiago.

Hiking the Camino

This has become somewhat of an obsession with me lately-I should save that for another blog post! This married couple went on their Camino in 2017. They were great public speakers, and their room was packed! They should have moved their presentation to the main speaker room, but nobody probably knew the Camino was going to be such an attraction!adventuresummitsign


This was an all free presentation at Wright State University. I recommend that you check it out next year!

Week Three Art Journal Challenge Beauty

Art Journal Week Three Beauty


This is the third week of January. We’ve had snow, bitter cold, winds..and today? A high of 43 F. Feels like summer. Okay, I’m stretching it a bit. It’s time for Art Journal Week Three. My prompt was: beauty.

Week Three Prompt Beauty

Who came up with these prompts? (Me.) What was I thinking when I wrote down beauty as a week challenge to art journal beauty?

Art Journal Week Three Beauty

Start with a Face

When I thought of beauty, I first thought of the quote “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and then I thought of an attractive person-a female. I decided to draw a face. When I painted the face in, choosing white color, I paused. I was going to dabble and doodle all over the face, but decided to leave it blank.

Your Idea of Beauty

Later in the week, I decided to add pictures to demonstrate what a different point of view would find beautiful. A hot sports car. The Mona Lisa. A field of tulips. Everyone has a different vision of beauty. A mother holding a newborn. A trickling stream in the woods. The Milky Way.



I looked for a few quotes on beauty to add to the page. This one resonated with me.

Art Journal Week Three Beauty


Week Three Wrap

How did I think week three went? Eh, okay from a creativity viewpoint. The page seems a bit unfinished. I’m going to leave it for now, let it percolate. Onto Week Four!

Week Two Art Journal Challenge Bullet Journal

Bullet Journal


I’ve been pretty fascinated with bullet journals. I’ve “pinned” many pages on my Pinterest account. When it comes to bullet journals, using Pinterest for inspiration does help a lot. You are able to look at other journals and eventually find the inspiration you need to take your journal one step further. The best thing about this is that you can pretty much do whatever you want as this journal does belong to you and no one else. You don’t need all the pens in the world to give this a go, but you may find that later on, the more stationary you have, the more you can do when it comes to being creative. If you are someone who is planning on taking this seriously, why not check out companies such as Office Monster to get your hands on all the stationary essentials you may need. You may find that bullet journaling is one of the best projects you have ever undertaken.

When my little pen landed on “bullet journal” I pondered what to create for one week.

Week Two Art Journal Bullet Journal

Since I have been reading much more this year, I decided to go with “Books to Read” on the right. I listed my all time favorite books on the left.

Bullet Journal Books to Read Page

That still left the lower left quadrant. What to list?


Since I am a podcast junkie, I decided to list my favorite podcasts in January, then revisit my page in December and list my favorites, to see if there is any overlap. Sometimes my podcast attention span changes rapidly, so it will be fun to see what topics I have migrated to eleven months later.

Podcast Bullet Journal Page

On to Week Three!

Christmas Movie Reviews

Christmas Movie Challenge


I am a bit behind have been keeping up with my Christmas Movie watching! Here are my reviews from Week One:

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

All time favorite Christmas Movie

I love it. I love the Claymation, the Bumble, the dogs that jump on Yukon Cornelius sleigh, Burl Ives singing. I love it all!!


Charlie Brown Christmas

All time favorite Christmas Movie

Another special I love love love. It’s funny, even in 1964, the commercialization of Christmas was an issue. But Linus always slays with his monologue:

Christmas Vacation

Christmas Vacation Movie Review

This movie was okay. Meh. A very young Juliette Lewis playing the daughter. I realize my husband drives like Clark Griswold! It was okay. I was wrapping a few presents, it was something different to view besides Property Brothers.  Watch it again? Probably not.

The Santa Clause


This movie was pretty cute. I watched most of it while putting up my Christmas tree, so it helped both activities-decorating the tree and getting a bit into the holiday spirit. Would I watch it again? Probably not.

On to Week Two!

Holiday Comfort Zone Challenge: Christmas Movies

Christmas Movie Challenge

I’ve been stuck in a rut with Christmas movies.  This means I  have not watched a new Christmas movie since “Home Alone” and “Die Hard”aka 40 years ago. I’ve never fully watched “Elf”, “A Christmas Story.” Or even National Lampoon’s “Holiday Vacation”.

Why Bah Humbug

Working retail, I kind of hate the Christmas season. It’s shoved down our  throats from Halloween on. If you only visit stores, your exposure is rather small. But spending ten hours in a store? You become rather immune, then rather allergic to the whole concept. You can’t wait for all the noise, all the fan fare, to just GO AWAY.


Christmas Movies

My Holiday Challenge is “to watch a holiday movie or “special” that I haven’t seen, every day, until Christmas.” The impetus came from a flyer I picked up shopping at Kohls, which advertised a different holiday movie every day. I don’t plan on blogging on each one; maybe just a weekly recap, on what I watched, on what I thought, and my rating on the candy cane enjoyment factor.


So, on Dancer! “On, Donner! On, Blitzen! On, Chewy! On, Tavo! C’mon, Becto” **

**Probably need to be old to understand this…