It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (December 14, 2020)

Late post this morning – sorry. Last week was a doozy, the weekend was a doozy, and this week ahead is looking like a doozy. (In other news, I am submitting my application to the Guinness Book of World Records for most over-use of the word “doozy.”) On Saturday, I had big plans to get stuff done around the house. We were staying home all day because we were expecting our new dishwasher delivery after a month of eating off paper plates and hand-washing everything. I spent the morning folding and putting away laundry, cleaning out the linen closet, and organizing the guest bedroom storage situation in anticipation of delivery of some new closet organizers I am expecting today. I felt productive, which was the good news, but the bad news was we were totally ghosted by the dishwasher delivery people. No dishwasher, no call. Steve reached them this morning and they were mildly apologetic but won’t be delivering until Thursday – six days after they were supposed to come, and that’s if they don’t no-call-no-show us again – and no plans to make it right with us. To say I’m unhappy about this would be an understatement.

Anyway, since Saturday didn’t turn out like I expected – ending the day with a completely clean house, including kitchen – Sunday wasn’t the relaxing day I had planned either. I had some work to do, so I powered through that. We did manage to get out for a hike in one of our favorite bird-watching spots over in Leesburg, and saw MORE Eastern Bluebirds and a new-to-me (as yet unidentified, though) kind of sparrow. It was nice to get fresh air and move my feet after a long week of work and house frustration.

Reading. It might have been a slightly lousy week in general, but it was a good – and very festive – reading week. And also very symmetrical, apparently: two commonplace selections; two collections of holiday-themed short stories; and two mysteries. Well, one of the mysteries is also a collection of holiday-themed short stories, but you get my drift. Christmas spirit is in short supply around here, so I’m taking it wherever I can get it, and my reading evenings with a flickering candle and the lighted Christmas tree are keeping me going these days.

Watching. It was actually a very good watching week as well. We’ve been gradually making our way through the recent seasons of Rick Steves’ Europe as a family, and they are both lovely and sad-making, since we can’t travel anywhere right now (stoopid pandemic). On Sunday, Steve and I cuddled up on the couch and watched Rick Steves’ European Christmas (my request) while the kids engaged in some kind of ultimate fighting championship in the playroom. They did take breaks to come out and tell us they hate us, so that was not the best. I also spent a relaxing hour or so catching up on Miranda Mills’ festive content on YouTube.

Listening. Made my way through a few back episodes of Tea or Books? on my podcatcher while folding laundry and sorting through guest room detritus. The usual.

Making. Piles of work product, progress on Christmas shopping (but not wrapping), mailed-out Christmas cards, a clean linen closet, the beginnings of plans for next spring’s garden. (Do hollyhocks bloom the first year? The internet can’t make up its mind.)

Moving. Oof. It was not a good week. Other than accompanying Nugget on a kids’ run on Monday, nothing. 55-hour workweeks are not conducive to taking care of me. This is a recurring problem, clearly.

Blogging. Sharing some festive pictures from past holiday seasons on Wednesday, since Advent fun is thin on the ground this year. And musing on missing my mom tribe on Friday. Check in with me if you’d like, and I promise happier content next week. This is just where I am right now.

Loving. My Provencal pottery ornaments, which I bought in Gigondas back in 2010, have been missing for years. Every time I’ve decorated my tree in recent Christmases, I’ve lamented their loss. But guess what turned up in this most recent move? I’m delighted to have them back, and of all the ornaments on my tree, they are giving me the most joy – reminding me of a time when Steve and I were able to travel and stock up on experiences and memories. And they are also giving me hope, that I will find myself back in France someday.

Asking. What are you reading this week?

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