Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas One and All!

Merry Christmas to all of my readers! (Disclaimer: Happy Holidays too!)

This week has been a good one. It's been really nice being on break - and I got so much stuff done I can't believe it. For one thing, I supposedly fixed my financial aid problem. I was told when I filed my FAFSA that I couldn't get financial aid until I declared a major. But I didn't want to declare a major. My major is "getting myself into PA program." So this week, I declared a major. I am now pursuing an AA with emphasis in Biology. HA! That's a step down from my PhD. Anyway, I'm hoping that if I get proper funding, I can move down to a part-time job (hopefully as an EMT) and take more classes each semester. That'll speed up my process quite a bit.

If you remember from my last update, I was entering into a #nocaffeine challenge. The first week is complete, and I never even suffered from a headache! I did suffer from mildly crippling exhaustion, though. That may have been exacerbated by giving platelets on Monday. In fact, sometimes I wonder if giving platelets is just really bad for me. It seems like every time I give platelets, I get exhausted. But there are always extenuating circumstances. Like last time - I worked till 1 am and then was in to work at 6 am the next day. Isn't that reason enough to be exhausted? So for right now, I'm going to continue my donations. :)  

Next week I'm going to start reading chapters in my EMT textbook - getting ahead for the semester. My reason is that 1) I know how much reading there is because I tried taking the class last semester and 2) My first month of the class will be difficult since I will be busy two evenings per week training for the COLUMNS program (you know, the one where I work with a life-term parolee recently released from prison). I plan on keeping bullet points of things I've learned from the chapters and from class so because I think it's sort of fun. You are welcome to peruse, skim, or skip. 

Feature and Follow Question: What was the best Christmas (or other holiday) gift I ever received?

Well, my dad usually gets me a $100 gift card for Barnes and Noble. This year he got me a $150 gift card. Totally the best. 


Books Completed:

Books Acquired:

Film and Theater:

Bookish presents (to others): 

These were given to one of the residents at the nursing home I work at. She said she liked history. I thought it was a good selection. 
Gave these books to my boyfriend's nephew. He's too young for them, but I figure his parents can read them to him. They're on the Harry Potter books now. 
These went to my mom
To my friend Liz (who is hopefully not reading this.
If you are, I also got you chocolates). 
These go to my aunt

This update is posted to Feature and Follow Friday @Parajunkee and @Alison Can ReadStacking the Shelves @Tynga'sReviews, Sunday Salon, Sunday Post @CaffeinatedBookReviewer,   @MailboxMonday, It's Monday What are You Reading @BookDate


  1. Wow, $150 book gift card! That is the best present ever! :-D Hope you've had a wonderful Christmas. Following via bloglovin'.

    My FF!

  2. Ooh, I like the sound of The Buried Book. I have to look that up! Hope you enjoy your new books.

  3. I hope that your Christmas was a good one Rachel.

    Bureaucracy around financial aid can be maddening.

    I agree that bookish gifts, be that gift cards or books themselves, are the best.

    1. Thanks Brian! In the end I didn't get the funding because I have too many credits. :) But it was worth the effort. There's always next year.

  4. That's an incredible present. $150 on a Gift Card. Way to go. I hope you love all of your new books.

    Grace @ Books of Love

  5. What an amazing present! Gift cards are always an amazing present because you can get exactly what you want! :)

    Novel Ink's STS

  6. Great books, and an even better dad!! Good luck with the no caffeine, I hope you do better this week!!

  7. What a great gift! Whoever invented gift cards was a genius. I hope you get most of the things you want with your GC! I recently discovered that I think I am caffeine intolerant. I have been experimenting in "safe" zones after the first disaster. I am wired afterwards, and up half the night. Something I have to address with my doctor in the spring. I hope you are doing better with the caffeine embargo, I might be joining you!

    1. I'm doing much better this week, thanks. :) Too bad that you're intolerant. It doesn't seem to have much of an effect on me, but my doctor tells me that my anxiety should decrease if I get off the caffeine. We'll see!

  8. A $150 B&N gift card?? That's amazing! I'd probably die of excitement before being able to even use it.

    My FF:

  9. Merry Christmas! It sounds like there was a lot of good gifting this year--my favorite presents are almost always books.

  10. Gift cards fly out of the stores at Christmas time, but I always have to bury them in the middle of something else. Everyone got jars stuffed with candy and the gift cards buried inside, this year!

  11. Enjoy the holidays with your family ! I don't remember my best gift... I guess it was just us being all together, which won't happen any more now.

  12. You gave lots of wonderfully book-ish gifts!

  13. A wonderful bookish Christmas! Thanks for sharing, and enjoy. Here are

  14. Sounds like you had a great Christmas and $!50 to spend on books sounds wonderful! The school situation sounds like it was a headache but it must feel great to have a plan. Have a great week and a happy New Year!

  15. I haven't read any of your new books. I am jealous of your gift card! How awesome is that?!
    New follower :)
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings Enter my 2nd Annual Blogoversary Giveaway

  16. Sounds like you had a great holiday. You're so lucky you got a B&N gift card. I hope you get some awesome books.

  17. Congratulations on straightening out your financial aid. That can be so stressful when you aren't sure how it will go. Wishing you much luck in your studies!

  18. Lots of good-looking books.

    ENJOY, and Happy New Year!!

    Silver's Reviews
    My It's Monday, What Are You Reading

  19. Merry Christmas! A $150 gift card sounds awesome, what a nice gift. All those books... :)

    I enjoyed your post on Tolkien and allegory, nicely done. I've often wondered about that myself, and think I agree with you- parable might be a better term. :)

    Have a great New Years!

  20. Love that you gave book gifts and your $150 gift card - awesome. All the best with sorting study and funding.

  21. Nice haul. Happy reading, and I cannot wait to see what you think. Good luck studying!