Non-Consumer Mish-Mash

by Katy on January 6, 2023 · 81 comments

Looking for a recap of 2022? Well then, you’re in luck!

In 2022 I found $7.71 in change on the ground. Not as high as the $42.65 I found in 2018, but still better than a swift kick to the tuchus! I somehow forgot to take a picture of the receipt, which had a breakdown of the specific coins. I also found a few Canadian and Mexican coins, as well as one Euro coin.

How can I even still refer to myself as Coin Girl?

I read 54 books, which is a win as my goal for 2022 was 52! I’ve put an asterisk next to my favorites.

  1. The Bookshop of Second Chances, by Jackie Fraser

  2. The Curator’s Daughter, by Melanie Dobson*

  3. Confessions of a Curious Bookseller, by Elizabeth Green

  4. Surprise Me, by Sophie Kinsella

  5. The Show Girl, by Nicola Harrison

  6. The Newcomer, by Mary Kay Andrews

  7. Maus I, by Art Spiegelman*

  8. Maus II, by Art Spiegelman*

  9. Anatomy: A Love Story, by Dana Schwatrz*

  10. Manhattan Beach, by Jennifer Egan

  11. The Sea Keeper’s Daughter, by Lisa Wingate*

  12. The Woman in The Mirror, by Rebecca James*

  13. The Last Story of Mina Lee, by Nancy Jyooyuon Kim

  14. These Are Our Lives, by the Federal Writer’s Project of 1939*

  15. The Headless Cupid, by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

  16. The Alice Network, by Kate Quinn

  17. Modern Lovers, by Emma Straub

  18. The London House, by Katherine Reay*

  19. The Season of Second Chances, by Jenny Bayliss

  20. Clock Dance, by Anne Tyler*

  21. Build My House Around Your Body, by Violet Kupersmith*

  22. In Order To Live, by Yeonmi Park*

  23. Christmas in Vermont, by Anita Hughes

  24. Our Italian Summer, by Jennifer Probst

  25. The Magnolia Palace, by Fiona Davis*

  26. The Flatmate, Beth O’Leary

  27. Book Lovers, by Emily Henry

  28. The Summer Palace, by Jennifer Weiner*

  29. We Are Completely Besides Ourselves, by Karen Joy Fowler*

  30. The Office BFFs, by Jenna Fischer & Angela Kinsey

  31. This Time Tomorrow, Emma Straub*

  32. The Maid, by Nita Prose

  33. Housekeeping, by Colleen Hubbard*

  34. Bloomsbury Girls, by Natalie Jenner*

  35. Hooked: How Crafting saved My Life, by Sutton Foster

  36. The Great Alone, by Kristen Hannah*

  37. The Bookshop on The Corner, by Jenny Colgan*

  38. The Henna Artist, by Alka Joshi

  39. Death at Wentwater Court, by Carola Dunn

  40. Lease on Love, by Fallon Ballard

  41. Cheaper by The Dozen, by Frank Gilbreath & Ernestine Gilbreath Carey*

  42. Belles on Their Toes, by Frank Gilbreath & Ernestine Gilbreath Carey*

  43. Sea of Tranquility, by Emily St. John*

  44. The Christmas Bookshop, by Jenny Colgan*

  45. French Braid, by Anne Tyler*

  46. The Four Winds, by Kristen Hannah*

  47. Aunt Dimity and the Enchanted Cottage, by Nancy Atherton

  48. Miss Benson’s Beatle, by Rachel Joyce*

  49. The Hotel Nantucket, by Elin Hilderbrand*

  50. Summer at Tiffany, by Marjorie Hart

  51. Little Beach Street Bakery, by Jenny Colgan*

  52. Sorrow and Bliss, by Meg Mason

  53. Christmas at Rose Hopkin’s Sweetshop, by Jenny Colgan*

  54. The Cafe by The Sea, by Jenny Colgan*

2022 was also the year of unwelcome high ticket expenses. Please say hello to our new refrigerator, my new laptop and our freshly pruned mega-maple tree. We also had high expenses related to the hospitalization and passing of my mother in law.

My theme words (I do annual themes instead of resolutions) for 2022 were “Read and Write,” for which I earned a C+. Lots of reading, never enough writing.

My word for 2023 is “Perfectenschlag,” which is a made up word from The Office and is described by Dwight Schrute as “When everything in a man’s life comes together perfectly.” I’m choosing to interpret it as  “Having all categories in my life as they should be.” Social life, career, home life, home organization, self.” To prioritize what’s important and then make choices to support the all important perfectenschlag.

It’s also defined by Dwight Schrute as “Perfect pork anus,” but that isn’t much of a priority for me.

How was your 2022? Did you set resolutions for 2022 or 2023? Have you read any of my 54 books? Do you have books to recommend? Do you enjoy to loudly say “perfectenschlag as much as I do? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 79 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathy January 6, 2023 at 12:47 pm

2022 was also a year of high expenses related to moving into our mortgage free home after renting for a year
1. Storm shelter
2. Water heater
3. Gas line brought into home
4. Water treatment
5. New a/c ducting
6. New kitchen and dining room chairs
7. New washer and dryer
8. Dental work=new crown
9. 45 year old son moved in with us in August
10. Ver expenses
On the upside I was able to travel make 3 trips to So California. Two dog judging assignments: Utah and Missouri.


Katy January 6, 2023 at 1:16 pm

That’s an impressive list! Sorry.


Selena January 8, 2023 at 8:10 pm

Storm shelter – very good idea
Water heater – you’ll save in the long run
Gas line – ditto
Water treatment – uh, possibly avoiding medical bills
A/C ducting – long run money saver and possible medical saver
Washer/dryer – money saver
Dental work – big time medical saver – dental issues can = mega heart issues
Son – set expectations and may not be as bad as you think
Ver expenses – unclear on this one


Laura January 6, 2023 at 1:21 pm

You always inspire me, Katy! I loved The Sea of Tranquility and I’d like to recommend The Stars Are Not Yet Bells by Hannah Lilith Assadi.

One of my goals this year is to stop comparing myself to others and getting jealous – I tend to envy those with more money and I’d like to ditch that distraction.


Katy January 6, 2023 at 1:24 pm

Thank you for the recommendation, I’ve put it on hold at the library.

And it can be hard to not want an easier life that comes with expendable income. Try not to beat yourself up too much.


Anne January 7, 2023 at 7:55 pm

I don’t have a problem with money envy, but my whole life I have envied people who have a mother. Can’t shake it.


Bee January 9, 2023 at 4:30 am

There is a business in my town that posts a thought for the day on a sign outside their offices. Yesterdays read: Never let the things you want make you forget the things you have. I took a picture of it. I thought it was a good reminder.


Katy January 9, 2023 at 9:50 am

That’s a good one.


Heidi Louise January 6, 2023 at 1:30 pm

How fun to look back on the year!
I don’t think I’ve read the Gilbreth books, though recall a mention of Gilbreth husband and wife’s time-and-motion principles in my Organizational Communication course long ago. But also long ago, I enjoyed “Our Hearts Were Young and Gay”, probably in the same humorous autobiographical style, a record of girlfriends Cornelia Otis Skinner and Emily Kimbrough’s trip to Europe in the 1920’s. Quite lively.
I am looking for some short stories by Paul Gallico, published in the Saturday Evening Post, that I also read long long ago. They are about the traveling adventures of Swing and Audrey in the 1920-30’s. Audrey or Aubrey narrates, leading up to the announcement a few paragraphs in that “We’re debutants. From Chicago. (I didn’t know there were debutants in Chicago). I have not yet spent the fifteen dollars for a year’s online access to the magazine.


Katy January 6, 2023 at 1:32 pm

The productivity stuff in the “Cheaper By The Dozen” books is absolutely fascinating. The books are 0.01% related to the movies.


Crunchycon January 6, 2023 at 4:21 pm

Fun fact: my grandmother worked with Mrs. Gilbreth as a methods and standards engineer at Remington Arms during WWII. My family members are not ones to talk about themselves, and alas, that’s all I know as both my grandparents’ and parents’ generations are no longer with us. The books about their family are enchanting, as is “Our Hearts Were Young and Gay”.


Rose January 6, 2023 at 1:33 pm

“Schlag” in Austria is whipped cream. Always order desserts “mit schlag.”


Audry January 7, 2023 at 1:46 pm

Good to know!


A. Marie January 6, 2023 at 1:39 pm

My main big-ticket items this year involved dentistry. I started the process with an extraction in June and gum grafting in September. Next step is an implant at the end of January, to be followed by a crown over the implant (to be done by my regular dentist) sometime in the spring. The total tab will be around $8K. My only consolation is that dental insurance wouldn’t have covered most of this either, so I feel less bad about not having any.

However, keeping spirits bright, I had a total of $410.15 in NY State 5-cent deposit bottles and cans picked up during my daily walks, and an even $17 in found money. (My hot tips for found money: I always check the Coinstar machine at Wegmans, and I’ve taken to scouting the parking lot at Aldi for carts to return so that I can collect the quarters.)

Finally, I was interested to see that you’ve read the Gilbreth/Carey books about the Gilbreth family. You might be interested in tracking down a recent biography of Lillian Gilbreth from Northeastern U. Press, called “Making Time: Lillian Moller Gilbreth–A Life Beyond Cheaper by the Dozen.” It presents an unvarnished version of the facts of family life, and although my estimation of Frank Sr. has gone down quite a bit after reading it, my estimation of Lillian has risen correspondingly.


CINDY BRICK January 9, 2023 at 12:15 pm

How does this new bio of Lillian compare to her own memoir, AS I REMEMBER…

just wondering.


Marilyn January 6, 2023 at 2:10 pm

What a great list of books read in 2022! I did read The Maid and. many years ago, I read Cheaper by the Dozen. Enjoyed both of these. For some reason, I read a lot of nonfiction in 2022 including Dead in the Water: A True Story of Hijacking, Murder and a Global Conspiracy by Matthew Campbell and Kit Chellel. Also Solito by Javier Zamora. My favority mystery in 2022 was The Bullet that Missed: A Thursday Murder Club Mystery by Richard Osman.

As for high ticket expenses in 2022, I did have one expense which I thought was going to be major, namely, hearing aids. These things are sooo expensive! However, I was very lucky because my insurance paid for about 3/4 of the total cost. Looking forward to doing more socializing in 2023, reading more books and visiting family in Connecticut.


Katy January 6, 2023 at 4:07 pm

I really didn’t like Maid.


Kathy January 6, 2023 at 5:48 pm

Ah yes forgot hubby’s hearing aids which were $2500. Insurance paid the other $2500


Julie January 7, 2023 at 2:08 pm

Same, I really struggled with it and eventually gave up becuase life is too short and there are far too many amazing books to read to read something I don’t love.


Linda In UK January 6, 2023 at 2:37 pm

My recommendation for a top book for 2022 is educated (without a capital e) by Tara Westover. Unputdownable! Always enjoy reading your posts. Thank you.


K D January 6, 2023 at 3:45 pm

I did find $43.60 in 2022, thanks in part to finding a $20 bill on Thanksgiving day, while walking.

I read many books but did not keep track. One of my favorites was Lessons in Chemistry. It tackled serious topics yet was often laugh out loud funny. I plan to reread it soon.

Outside of everyday expenses we spent quite a bit on travel. Traveling to see family is always expensive as is going to the beach in the summer.


Katy January 6, 2023 at 4:05 pm

Finding bill bills is definitely key to big money.


Ruby January 6, 2023 at 4:10 pm

I should have kept up with how much in total I swept up off the floor of the student laundry room at my old job. Some small amount of change turned up every day.

2022 was kind of frugally challenging. I retired early due to the severity of my arthritis, my husband replaced his car (debt-ugh!), and three of our five rescued pets came down with serious, expensive illnesses/extreme old age. The monthly veterinary pharmacy bill is huge, but our old girls are worth every cent.

On the plus side, I have time to be extremely frugal and our wonderful vet gives us a senior citizens’ discount. So we are hanging in there and hoping for a disaster-lite 2023.


Katy January 6, 2023 at 4:17 pm

Crossing fingers for a “disaster-lite” 2023 for you!


janine January 7, 2023 at 8:46 am

I think I will adopt the term “disaster-lite” as part of my hopes and dreams for 2023!


Marie January 6, 2023 at 4:22 pm

Big recommendation for Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr. Also, Lucy by the Sea by Elizabeth Strout and Oh, William! by the same author. Just read Michelle Obama’s new one as well… very good! Re-reading From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konisburg for the first time since junior high – excellent! I am a huge fan of Stephen King (not everyone is, I understand) and his novella, Elevation, is a quick and perfect read. Also, not scary – a departure from his usual fare. My goal was 100 books this year, which I definitely fell short of, but not for lack of trying. Too much adulting, I’m afraid! Happy New Year to all…


Bee January 7, 2023 at 5:07 am

As a child, The Mixed Up Files was one of my absolute favorite books. E.L. Konigsburg lived in a near-by city and her books were always in local stores and libraries. Another of my favorites by her was Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley and Me, Elizabeth.


Meghan January 6, 2023 at 4:46 pm

So many good books on your list! I especially loved This Time Tomorrow. My favorite book of the year was Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt.

2022 was a decent year, no major expenses, just the zillion small expenses that come with having a growing family. We have been excited to find a couple of ways to shave expenses related to DHs type 1 diabetes that will help out quite a bit this year.


Bee January 7, 2023 at 4:57 am

I have Remarkably Bright Creatures on hold at the library. I moved up to number 36 last time I checked.


Teri January 7, 2023 at 10:24 pm

I’d love to know how you were able “to shave expenses related to type1 diabetes”. My granddaughter was diagnosed a year ago and the expense has been unbelievable.

Thank you


Meghan January 8, 2023 at 4:28 pm

Teri – he started getting many of his supplies through He switched from a Dexcom G6 continuous glucose monitoring system to the Libre 3 which is about 1/3 of the cost (and he likes it better!). He was able to get a coupon online to get his first one free. We also found of that you can often google coupons for whatever insulin you use and get them free or discounted once or twice a year. He gets Regular insulin at Walmart, which is a good fit for him because of the way he eats. In our state you don’t need a rx for it and is under $20 a vial. Best of luck to your granddaughter, the expense and the physical/emotional toll is so much more than most people realize!


Teri January 8, 2023 at 7:45 pm

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond!


Coral Clarke January 6, 2023 at 5:34 pm

I can recommend anything by Bill Bryson, and if you are already a fan of his,William McInnes, an Australian author , has a similar way of presenting family life in all it’s relatable glory, try “ A Man’s Got to Have A Hobby””.Factfulness “ by Hans Rosling is a really interesting book about what we are doing right in terms of world poverty, written to encourage us to do more of the things that are working! For well researched historical fiction, if you love Diana Gabaldon or Sara Donati, you will love the other. Immersed me so deeply in a different time and place , I was grateful for toilet paper instead of leaves!


Christine January 6, 2023 at 6:28 pm

I read four of the books on your list: Maus I, Maus II, The Great Alone and Miss Benson’s Beatle. Out of these, my favorites were the Maus books. I like how you keep a list of the books you’ve read in the past year and I’ve decided to do the same. I think it will be fun to see the list at the end of the year.
I found over $4 (I forgot the exact amount) in change on the street or floors in public places.


Texasilver January 6, 2023 at 6:52 pm

1. I found around 20$ in change in 2022. I will take it to a Coin Star machine to get a gift card. I found a 1$ bill in a parking lot on 2 occasions along w/ the random change I found.
2. I found a like new dish drainer for my sink. At my condo people put unwanted small items on a shelf in the trash room.
3. I bought a car from my neighbor next door. (Not frugal but cheaper than a new car.) She had a free oil change provided by the dealership.She called & made an that I can take advantage of this.
4. I need some stainless steel bolts for my license plate. Here in FL things rust.
I got a 5$ gift card from Ace Hardware. I’ll use that to get the bolts.
5. I got a 10$ certificate to use at Belk’s dept. store. I figure I could use it to get socks.
6. I found a seat cover for the back seat of the car. I washed it. Now I have to figure how to get the back seat out to install it. I have it partly figured out. When I take the car for service I’ll ask the tech for the details of seat removal. (I did buy the seat covers for the front seats on clearance & installed them.) The front & back covers match reasonably well so I’m happy about that too.
7. Eating food from the freezer that was stored & frozen from this past summer. I did have to buy perishables like salad mix & eggs.
8. I found an electronic scale that some college students left behind on move out. We just happened to have a button battery at home that fit. Now I can keep better track of my weight. (I’m happily losing some!)


Katy January 6, 2023 at 8:29 pm

Can you choose a PayPal gift card? That way you can use it as spendable cash.


Katy January 6, 2023 at 8:30 pm

My dish drain is also from a free pile.


Texasilver January 7, 2023 at 7:30 pm

I will check at the Coin Star machine. When I went yesterday the machine was out of service so I still have my huge bag of change.
Maybe I can find a toilet seat to rehab!


Elizabeth January 6, 2023 at 7:31 pm

I loved seeing your list of books read (what librarian doesn’t?).

If you liked Cheaper by the Dozen, and even more especially Belles on their Toes, I highly recommend Jane Lancaster’s biography of Lillian Gilbreth — _Making Time : Lillian Moller Gilbreth — A Life Beyond Cheaper by the Dozen_. It looks like it will be dry and academic, but it’s compellingly, and even amusingly, written and goes into detail of all the interesting aspects of Lillian’s life and work.


Katy January 6, 2023 at 8:20 pm

I’ve actually checked that book out from the library, but didn’t get a chance to read it.


A. Marie January 8, 2023 at 3:54 pm

Elizabeth, I too recommended the Lancaster bio (see my comment above). I think it’s a useful antidote to Cheaper… and Belles…, which (as I realized after reading Lancaster) were pretty heavily fictionalized.


Bee January 7, 2023 at 4:51 am

2022 was a mixed bag. There were moments of overwhelming joy – the birth of my first grandchild, my son’s marriage, and an absolutely extraordinary trip to Big Sur. However, it was a year filled with unexpected aggravation – a car accident, a manicure that ended in an infection, wedding crashers, accidental orange hair, a child with an emergency in a foreign country and a case of Covid followed by a minor bout of depression.

I’m looking forward to 2023. This is the year that I turn 60. My theme for this year is “Get Your $@*# Together.” The craziness of the last year has left me feeling disorganized, my bank account is lighter, my house needs attention and my body is out of shape. I have 5 years to prepare for retirement. There’s no time like the present.

I am a reader too. I have read several of the books on your list although not necessarily this year. I read The Great Alone, The Four Winds, Sea of Tranquility, The Alice Network, and One Italian Summer. Lessons in Chemistry was my favorite book this year. Katy, I know you had some reservations about this book, but you may want to give it another try. Skip over those few pages. I also enjoyed The Lincoln Highway, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, and Northern Spy. I read the book LA Weather which I really enjoyed, but I absolutely hated the ending. I currently have Mad Honey and This Time Tomorrow on my nightstand. I have downloaded The Maid for my next audio book.

I wish you and NCA readers perfectenschlag in the new year.


Katy January 7, 2023 at 11:06 am

My theme for every year is “Get Your $@*# Together,” and have yet to achieve that goal.


Anne January 7, 2023 at 8:13 pm

Wedding crashers? I would love to hear that story.


Helena January 7, 2023 at 4:51 am

2023 is my year to pare our expenses down after a few years of lifestyle creep. We are fortunate enough to be able to pay cash for a heat pump (with a new backup gas furnace) and plane tickets for my MIL’s 90th early in 2023. Now it’s time to rebuild our savings accounts so we’re ready for the next big purchase.


Jill A January 7, 2023 at 5:28 am

It’s so hard to pick a favorite book. I really liked Early Morning Riser by Katherine Heiny and A Million Junes by Emily Henry. I also found a series that I like by Lisa Gardener. It’s main character is named Frankie Elkin. There have been only two books so far. I look forward to future books in this series. 2022 was another tough year. I had a huge tax bill and the transmission on my husband’s tractor needed to be repaired. My husband was really handy so he was able to take care of many of the usual maintenance items around the house and repairs that needed done but I am not handy. I’ve had to accept that this is my reality. I also paid three property tax bills instead of two which I do every other year for income tax reasons. I was able to save quite a bit by using my Mom’s timeshare for family vacation this year and using the kitchen for at least two of the meals each day. My little hybrid car is still going strong but has over 200,000 miles so I’m anticipating needing to buy a new car sooner rather than later. My middle daughter is also planning her wedding for 2024 which is going to add to the financial burden.


Jill A January 7, 2023 at 5:35 am

Oh, and I found a dime in the Goodwill bins.


Bee January 7, 2023 at 5:59 am

Every dime counts!!!!
Weddings are ridiculously expensive now. They have become big business!


Selena January 8, 2023 at 8:16 pm

My folks gave me a flat amount of money for my wedding (yes, 40 years ago). What I didn’t spend was mine to keep. Not sure if I had even a penny left but no one went hungry at the reception. We gave each kiddo a flat amount also – one did get married, the other I doubt will but has been with SO longer than most stay married. Don’t get me started on the appalling totals some spend.


Kim January 7, 2023 at 7:08 am

This may be my favorite post of yours. I love seeing what everyone else is reading and get some new ideas. I started tracking my reading in July and clocked 41 books by end of year. My favorite was The Rose Code – love a good historical fiction. Our big ticket was getting the youngest off to college for freshmen year so now two in college!


Pam January 7, 2023 at 8:41 am

Found change this year: $4.23. Not much, but better than 2021’s $2.24.
Happy New Year everyone!


janine January 7, 2023 at 9:30 am

I also loved “Cheaper By the Dozen and Bell on their Toes”- history based on fact is always fun.
My go to book from 2022 is “On Tyranny – Twenty Lessons from the 20th Century” by Timothy Snyder.Written in 2017 shortly after Trump took office. Can be purchased in a small purse sized edition. Found it when it came up as a book club selection. Favorite quote: ” You submit to tyranny when you renounce the difference between what you want to hear and what is actually the case.”
2022 was characterized for us by husband’s health problems and the need to reorganize my house which has morphed into a New Year’s resolution for 2023.
Checked my coin jar – about $30 but most of that was just extra change. Last week found 1c in my driveway but figured it probably once belonged to a family member. Beautiful snowy winter weather here today – Much cheaper than the trip to Antarctica advertised in a cruise brochure received this week, and almost as cold. Sun glinting on the trees is an incredible sight!


Jill January 7, 2023 at 10:27 am

I love seeing other people’s book lists and finding new favorite reads. I am a huge fan of Jenny Colgan so all those you read are also my favorites. Big Elin Hildebrand fan and Kristin Hannah – though The Four Winds was not my favorite. If you love mysteries, and I especially like “closed room” style or cozy mysteries, then I like Richard Osman’s Thursday mystery club series and Carlene O Connor’s mysteries set in Ireland (Murder in Connemara, etc.)


Mary Ann January 7, 2023 at 10:31 am

Thanks to all for the great book suggestions.

My phrase of the year comes from Anais Nin “We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.” This means I am in total control of my response to the world. I will view problems as “opportunities for growth.” (allegedly a Mother Teresa quote.) As a History teacher, I can take a long term perspective for all the incredibly positive changes in our world over the last fifty years. ( example: in the world , for the firt stime girls are receiving nearly as much education as boys.) In that light you must read Factfulness. It talks about how humans have tendency to see the negative and how instead to focus on the truth.

Last year I am most proud of following through with establishing a budget and tracking all household expenses for a year. For the first time I learned how to electronically save for “fund” goals such a new car in five years, HSA account for next year, and a trip to Italy. I used Dave Ramsey’s Every Dollar. There is a $139 fee but it has save me thousands this year.

Thanks to this blog I have renewed my commitment to reuse, use up, do with out. I finally combined all my favorite electronic recipes, card box recipes and letter size recipes onto 4 x 6 photo paper from Goodwill. I redid the index cards based on how I ( a non competent cook) can be encouraged. I filed according to my favorite time saving appliance – Airfryer, vitamix, instapot, batch cooking. I also used a gift card from Cabella’s to buy a huge box of foodsaver bags. Not sexy but what a savings in food costs.


Sarah January 7, 2023 at 11:04 am

Do you include audio books in your count? I listen to a book when I cook, clean, commute, going to sleep. Guessing I average 100 of these a year.

Donna Leon’s books about Venice are wonderful, the Inspector Brunetti series. The Italian word for cell phone is telefinino. Makes me smile.


Katy January 7, 2023 at 1:09 pm

Yes, I include audiobooks. It’s all “reading” and I’m not here to gatekeep.


val January 7, 2023 at 4:03 pm

I just finished reading “The Night Watchman” by Louise Erdrich. I found it very interesting and read it in 3 days, (and I’m usually a very slow reader).
My favorite book I read this year was a reread of Charlotte’s Web. I think I love it more as an adult than I did as a child.


Katy January 8, 2023 at 11:19 am

I started that book twice and wasn’t able to find the concentration for it.


val January 9, 2023 at 6:15 am

I’ve had trouble finding the focus or concentration to forge ahead on some of Louise’s books in the past. For some reason I was just in the right mindframe for this one. I was interested in the historical context of it being based on her grandfather’s efforts to keep the government from terminating its support to the Turtle Mountain Chippewa and eliminating that tribe (and some others) entirely in 1953-54.


Katy January 9, 2023 at 9:47 am

I was disappointed in myself as she is one of my absolute favorite authors.


val January 9, 2023 at 2:47 pm

You can always try it again another time, if you feel like it. She is one of my favorites too. She has a small bookstore called Birchbark Books in Minneapolis specializing in indigenous authors and subjects. I’d like to go there sometime. I live about 20 miles from Minneapolis.

Shannon January 7, 2023 at 8:42 pm

My found money has reduced considerably with my limited excursions so I probably didn’t even hit $3.

The choice word (well, the public one) for 2022 was survival and 2023 appears that it may be following in the same footsteps. I’m really beginning to hate a ringing phone.

Happy new year to all, I comment way less these days because the box is hidden every 30 seconds or so by the pop up ads and I’m no longer that coordinated or on a desktop to bypass them.


Heidi Louise January 8, 2023 at 6:26 am

I sort of manage to coordinate around the lower-left pop up on my laptop. But it is certainly not a positive that the first half of the ad-showing time does not have an “X” to close it. Don’t companies realize that advertising annoyance is NOT the way to make me want to buy their crap?


Heidi Louise January 8, 2023 at 6:39 am

And Katy, if I didn’t find the content and community worthwhile, I would not come back! I very much appreciate the work that goes into operating this blog and do not expect you to give up your time for free.


Katy January 8, 2023 at 11:22 am

Thanks. I hate the ads more than everyone combined. However, I pay $80/month for web hosting, plus $36/year for domain registration. And yes, I’d like to make some money from the blog. I hope everyone appreciates that I don’t do sponsored posts.


Plaidkaren January 8, 2023 at 5:20 pm

Thank you Katy for putting up with the headaches for us!! I love it here!!

Katy January 8, 2023 at 11:20 am

It’s the worst, and I’m sorry. It’s kind of all or nothing.


Julie January 8, 2023 at 4:11 pm

I am not sure if this will help others with the ads but I only use my iPad for this site and the ad sits in the corner and runs but never moves and never interferes with me so I can easily ignore it. Now I actual don’t even notice it.


Shannon January 8, 2023 at 8:14 pm

Oh no, I wasn’t complaining – or at least not at you, it was just explanation. I hate reading and only “taking”.


Katy January 8, 2023 at 8:19 pm

I know, it’s just that I find it so annoying.


Teri January 7, 2023 at 10:38 pm

Found money continues to be less each year, I think people are not using cash as much any more. My total for this year was only $7.73, not much compared to the over $40 of a couple years ago. Along with others, I’m not out and about as much either.
Only 38 books for me. I can recommend Just Mercy, The Anthropocene Reviewed and The Woman They Could Not Silence.


lulutoo January 8, 2023 at 10:05 am

Teri, as for people not using cash as much anymore: A teen came up to the register where I work and asked, “Do you take cash?” I thought maybe she meant due to Covid so I said, “Yes, we take cash. Why?” She said she’d never used cash in her life before but her mother would not give her the card today so she had to use this thing called ‘cash.’


Heidi Louise January 8, 2023 at 10:22 am

Lulutoo: I found out several years ago that a painfully high number of college students do not know how to write checks or how to properly address envelopes for mailing.


Teri January 8, 2023 at 7:54 pm

Funny but not surprising!


lulutoo January 8, 2023 at 9:18 am

I have not read “The Maid” (and don’t intend to, after reading the Amazon reviews) BUT hearing that it took place in a hotel reminded me of a book I enjoyed called “Heads in Beds,” by Jacob Tomsky. He worked in hotels for several years and yanks the curtains open to reveal all the craziness that goes on behind the scenes. Another book I enjoyed is “Eleanor Oliphant”. The heroine is quite quirky.


Marie-Josée McDonald January 8, 2023 at 11:44 am

Happy New Year Katy! I am really impressed with your prolific reading and thank you for sharing your list. I read lots of books about finances this year:

– I will teach you to be rich, Ramit Sethi
– Balance : how to invest and spend for happiness, health, and wealth, Andrew Hallam.
– Millionaire Teacher, Andrew Hallam
– Never too late and Money Rules, Gail Vaz-Oxlade
– Quit Like a Millionaire: No Gimmicks, Luck, or Trust Fund Required, Kristy Shen and Bryce Leung
– De Zéro à Millionaire: investir en bourse sans souffrir, Nicolas Bérubé
On mimilasim: Two books by Vicky Payeur: Vivre avec moins pour faire place à l’essentiel and Faire plus avec moins : redécouvrir l’abondance grâce à la frugalité which I really enjoyed.

This year was not Perfectenschlag for me. My husband was locked-out from his employment for 5 1/2 months and my team of four was reduced to two for over a year and I had to take on the work-load of two to three people. One of my colleagues is back, so the pressure is slowly reducing, but my energy is just not bouncing back. I think I was near burn-out and will have to be very mindful of my energy in the coming weeks. I am generally motivated and positive and look forward to spending time with my family and am concerned that my enthusiasm is thwarted. I developed pain in both my hips, knees and ankles last spring and had a severe wipe-out running for a bus in late July. I still can’t go on the long and lovely walks I immensly enjoyed with my husband in our beautiful neighbourhood. Prior to the wipe-out, I suspect the pain was stress induced, now it is a mixture of trauma and stiff and inflamed muscles, tendons and ligaments. Both my husband were really sick this automn with one of the viruses spreading around and we both developed secondary bacterial infections that required antibiotics. My husband suffered the sinusitis from hell that neither morphine nor dilaudid controled his pain. He hardly slept for a whole week.

On a brighter note, I negotiated a nice raise and a four-day work-week. I suggested the reduced week begin in June as I have a lot of work ahead of me, but if my energy does not return, I will start my new schedule sooner.

I am looking forward to better health, less work and a more serene 2023 focused on saving for retirement and enjoying the simple pleasures in life: time spent with family and friends and in nature, good food and exercise. We are doing a three month challenge of no alcohol, no restaurant meals and a shopping ban. Next glass of wine will be to celebrate our youngest child’s 33 birthday on April 8.


Cindy Brick January 9, 2023 at 12:28 pm

You guys actually keep track of how many books you read in the year? I am such a grab-all reader that it would be exhausting. (I reread a lot, too. That would mess things up.) But I also read the Great Alone, thanks to Katy’s recommendation — and liked it. More recently: the Vanderbilt book by Anderson Cooper (illuminating – he is not a big fan of his family, but more willing to excuse their faults, especially his mom’s, than he should be); Nicholas Nickleby by my buddy, Charles Dickens (Curiosity Shop is hopefully next); some Christmas books — and a memoir about the mountains he’s climbed by Reinhold Messner.
I do read some fiction, but get a lot more out of nonfiction, especially memoirs. It’s amazing, what people will admit in print.
Husband thinks your picking-up-change posts are hilarious…but I do it, too. And 2022’s total (ta da): $2.32! That includes $1.10 found in a Coinstar change cup. But after my mom’s death in late January, we found change and bills squirreled all over her house, to the tune of $111-plus. So it’s smart to look. (Mother-in-law did this too, though she was more apt to hide the really old coins she’d collected. We even found some under her mattress.)
We did not do well financially this past year. We spent most of the year in Michigan with my mom, which meant little income. (We live in Colorado.) Add to that two long trips, pulling the fifth-wheel (with outrageous gas prices), more repairs on the truck — and having to buy a storage trailer to keep our stuff in, which had been stored in the family farm. It was not pretty. Fortunately, we had the extra money to cover it.
It’s been nearly a year now since my mom died. We also lost a much-loved dog a few weeks after. Not a fun year. Hopefully, 2023 will be better.


Katy January 9, 2023 at 2:13 pm

Hilarious? Maybe. Profitable? Also maybe.


auntiali January 13, 2023 at 1:02 am

A little late to the game but here are mine:
we replaced the water heater
replaced catalytic converter on my car
Loved reading Summer at Tiffany’s. I’m so glad I bought this book
Dental implant work started in the spring of 22 should be done in the spring/early summer in 23. Waay too much money!
Got a new washing machine after ours died. It did last for 15 years with two teen agers using it along with me.
Had a nice vacay at the Jersey Shore
Was so happy that my recovery from vertical sleeve gastric surgery went so well and was so rewarding.
Took a trip, which would not have been possible before vsg, to see my sister.
Picked up some change that was mostly pennies. Hubs and I save our change in a coffee can and usually cash out for $100 once during the year.
Got a dress to wear to my son’s Big Fat Singapore wedding for $59. Now to get the foundation garments…and shoes.
Saw said son and daughter in law – covid wedding hence the big fat one – at Thanksgiving.
Had lots of dinner parties on our new and improved deck with a metal gazebo.
I got back into reading. All in all it was a really good year. The joys of being frugal are to have the money for the things you need like water heaters, washing machines, vacations after two years of Covid.
All three of us got Covid in October.


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