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Archive for the ‘Reading Life’ Category

Well.  Hello.  Sunday scaries hit hard this week; I don’t know why, exactly.  I do have a busy week ahead, with a client site visit, volunteer shift serving food at a shelter with the other kindergarten parents at Peanut’s school, lunch plans with a friend on secondment, and a long to-do list.  So I’ll be clinging to memories of this past weekend to get me through.  We had a nice one – on Saturday morning, we were out the door early for our annual hike on the Bluebell Loop Trail during blooming season.  This was the third year we’ve gone (here’s 2017 and here’s 2018) and it was as spectacular as ever, but rather muddier than usual.  We made it through the part of the trail with the heaviest concentration of bluebells, then turned back – which was plenty of time for both of the kids to get covered in mud.  ‘Tis the season, right?  On Saturday afternoon, Steve had to work so I took the kids to our favorite playground, where they ran around for almost three hours.  Once Dad joined us, we headed to the library to drop off a few books and pick up another (every weekend) and then walked home via Hank’s Oyster Bar.  Sunday dawned dreary and gloomy, so we piled into the car for a trip to the aquarium in Baltimore, which Nugget had earned by sleeping in his big boy bed two nights in a row without ending up in bed with us.  (Standards have really slipped around here.)  The rest of the afternoon was low-key; there was more playground-going, until Nugget poked something questionable and got dragged home to wash his hands repeatedly.  And I folded a pile of laundry and finished putting away the kids’ Christmas presents (better late than never) and I now have a clean bedroom to show for my efforts.  Huzzah!  And now another week dawns.  It’s a short one; the kids’ school is closed Friday and Monday and I’m going to try to take a long weekend too.  Emphasis on try, because long weekends are never guaranteed in law practice.  But we’ll do our best.

Reading.  I had a good reading week.  I polished off The Familiars in about twenty-four hours and really enjoyed it – highly recommend if you’re into historical fiction, witches, and stories about women’s lives.  I like all of those things, so The Familiars was my jam.  Next up, I was bad and reached for something on my own shelf instead of working on my absurd library stack, but Another Self was calling my name.  James Lees-Milne’s memoir of his childhood and young adult years – ending with his service during World War II, right before his famous diaries pick up the story – was a delight and I am not at all sorry I threw over the library books in Jim’s favor.  I got back to them soon enough, and read The Handsome Man’s De Luxe Cafe over the course of Friday evening through Sunday morning, then picked up Women Heroes of World War II.  Not exactly calming bedtime reading, but that’s what I was curled up with on the couch come Sunday night.

Watching.  Snippets of whatever the kids happened to be watching, that’s all – so, some Spider-Man, some Finding Dory, and some Star Wars (Nugget is into the prequels right now, please send wine).  An eclectic mix, I know.  But what I’m most excited about is Amazon has finally announced a release date for the Good Omens miniseries!  Mark your calendars for May 31.  I think my book club is going to be reading the book to prepare.  (“We are an angel and a demon!  We have nothing whatsoever in common, I don’t even like you!”)

Listening.  All the podcasts, all the time.  I made good progress in back episodes of Speak Up for The Ocean Blue and The Crunchy Cocktail Hour, by the highlight was Robin and Bianca discussing why it is, exactly, that we all love Mr Darcy on Drunk Austen.

Making.  No food or crafts to report, but I made a clean bedroom, and that is a big achievement indeed!  I try so hard, but certain rooms seem to become dumping grounds for random miscellaneous stuff, and the master bedroom is one of the biggest offenders.  I had three baskets of laundry to fold, several bags of Christmas gifts to be put away, a pile of junk on top of my dresser, and assorted toys scattered around.  At press time, it’s almost all clean.  The dresser is tidy, the laundry is put away, the toys and Christmas presents are in their rightful places, and all that’s left is my donation bin, which lives under the window near my closet and collects the stuff that I’m planning to give away to friends, donate, or sell to the used bookstore.  It’s almost full, so that will be a project for next weekend, maybe.

Blogging.  I have a fun excerpt from Another Self that I just had to share, so that’s Wednesday for you, and on Friday, I’m continuing – as I always do – with posting a poem a week for National Poetry Month.  Pairing it with pictures of bluebells, because everyone needs more bluebell pictures in their lives.

Loving.  This week’s shout is more of a love-hate.  I know it’s cliché, but I am loving the warmer weather.  This week was the first week of 2019 that it was warm enough to go without a jacket every day; part of my commute includes walking outside several times a day, so the end of jacket weather is a big quality of life boost for me.  And it was even warm enough for a skirt-without-stockings outfit a couple of days last week.  Yippee for the approach of summer!  (Ya girl is one of the few – sometimes I think the only – Washingtonian who will never complain about our hot, muggy summers.  Bring on the heat index!)  But the hate part is – with the warmer temperatures, the pollen has finally struck.  I’ve been managing my allergies fairly well this season.  I switched to a different allergy medication and have been really good about remembering to take it every morning.  But this weekend the pollen was literally floating in Baltimore Harbor and coating the cars, and my nose was having none of it.  I am so looking forward to the end of tree pollen in a couple of weeks.

Asking.  What are you reading this week?

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Another work week looms and I’m starting it out exhausted.  We had a fun weekend, lots of the usual running around – but no birthday parties to throw or attend this weekend! – but there was also a lot of bickering and backtalk and not a lot of cooperation from certain quarters.  Anyway.  Saturday morning saw us out the door bright and early to see the cherry blossoms blooming around the Tidal Basin.  We usually don’t go, because pollen and crowds, but I just felt like adding it to the agenda this year and so we went.  It was gorgeous.  And swarming with people.  At one point, I said to Steve, “I thought by going early we would miss the crowds,” and he replied, “I think this is missing the crowds.”  Later on Saturday I went by myself (!!!) to the garden center and picked up the first few plants for this year’s patio garden.  (Neither of the kids wanted to go with me, which was a first.)  I got lettuce, mint and thyme, and I’ll be going back to – I hope – pick up the rest of the plants in another week or two.  I spent the afternoon happily planting and watering the few plants I was able to get.  Sunday dawned very early – too early – as Nugget was up long before the crack of dawn to demand breakfast.  I mean, not that I don’t enjoy making eggs in the pitch dark, but the result was that I was tired and cranky all day.  I mustered up enough energy to paint Nugget’s face like a tiger cub (Peanut was supposed to be a cheetah – her request which led me to buy the face paints to begin with – but she got cold feet at the last minute) and we headed to the zoo.  The only animals we saw were the great cats and the cows, goats and donkeys at the kids’ farm, because Peanut and Nugget refused to budge from the playgrounds otherwise.  But it was fine.  We’re zoo members so we get free parking and we’re going back when Grandma visits in two weeks anyway.  And that’s about it – a busy and tiring weekend.  Nugget burned off the rest of the energy he still amazingly had (despite waking up at an ungodly hour) on the playground on Sunday afternoon, and I ended the weekend curled up on the couch with a book, as usual.  And now, somehow, I will summon what little energy I have and face the week ahead.

Reading.  I’ve been having a busy bookish week as I continue to make my way through the (still robust and ridiculous) library stack.  I finished Moon Tiger early in the week and moved on to A City of Bells, which was about as different from Moon Tiger as you can get – except that both were wonderful reads.  Next I turned to the latest Maisie Dobbs, The American Agent, and enjoyed it as much as I always enjoy a visit with Maisie.  I finished that on Sunday morning as the sun was rising (thanks, Nugget) and turned to The Familiars – I’m about 100 pages in now, and enjoying it immensely.

Watching.  No screen time for me this week, unless you count watching a video of a humpback whale doing a sounding dive in the middle of a marina way too many times (thanks, Facebook!).  But I spent a lot of time watching my munchkins run around various playgrounds, which is much nicer than any screen.

Listening.  The usual smattering of podcast episodes.  I think the highlight was listening to the hosts of Vegetarian Zen interview The Unkempt Gardener.  He was totally approachable and inspiring, and made me even more eager to break ground (well, planter) on the 2019 garden.

Making.  And break ground I did!  I made progress on the back patio and potted three starter buttercrunch lettuces (my favorite!), some thyme, and spearmint (in its own pot, naturally).  I also cleaned up the other pots and revived the chives and rosemary that survived the winter.  The garden center didn’t have much in the way of edibles yet, thanks to a cold snap we had, but hopefully there will be more in the pots soon.

Blogging.  I have some springy content for you this week.  On Wednesday, my April to-do list for the garden, and on Friday, an A.E. Housman poem that is so on point I am literally unable to even.  Check in with me then.

Loving.  This is going to sound weird, but go with it.  Of all of the many, many, many things I am self-conscious about, perhaps the strangest is… my eyebrows.  Over the past few years they have gotten lighter (while the hair on my head has gotten darker, insert shrugging emoji here) and the result is that they look thinner than they used to.  I finally got tired of cringing at them in the mirror and decided to try a brow gel.  I got this one from Thrive Causemetics, mainly because I saw an ad promising that it would permanently thicken brows in just a few weeks.  I’ve been using it almost every day for about two weeks now, and I don’t know if it is delivering on the permanent thickening thing or even if I am applying it correctly, but I definitely feel like my brows look better after I’ve applied it.  Who knew?  I am as low-maintenance and casual as it gets and I rarely wear more than a quick dash of makeup, so this is new territory for me.  Beautycounter also has a brow gel, so I might try that after I run out of the Thrive Causemetics one.  SHUT THE FRONT DOOR.  Who even am I?  (If I start raving about lip liner, send help.)

Asking.  What are you reading this week?

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Happy Monday, I suppose.  I could use one more day.  I know I say that every week, but it’s true.  Last week was so hectic that I feel like I need more recovery before I’ll be human again, but it’s not in the cards.  As I mentioned last week, I started off the week on a business trip.  I had to drive to a client site last Sunday evening, and I worked there until Wednesday, including pulling one day that lasted, with one break, from 7:00 a.m. until 3:30 a.m. the following day.  Yipes!  So my reading was slow early in the week, but I made up for it over the weekend.  I really should have put in some time on adulting sorts of things, like folding laundry, grocery shopping, meal prep, and continuing my decluttering efforts – but I didn’t.  I just… read.  I mean, I did other things too.  Actually, we had a pretty typical weekend.  Library – check.  Playground – check.  Birthday party – check.  (This time, it was the son of a friend from my old job; he turned six and had a party at a bowling alley.  Nugget won his first ever bowling game, and Peanut gorged on ice cream and cake and went to bed with a tummyache.)  We also added in a not-totally-typical activity: a walk to the Lee-Fendall House, which is a historic mansion and museum in our town, for a children’s “hands-on history” event.  The kids dressed as Alexander and Eliza Hamilton, like ya do, and they were obviously the hit of the event.  They got petted and squealed over by all the museum volunteers, and they loved every minute.  And now it’s back to the grind.  I have big plans for gardening and spring fun next weekend, but I have to get through five long workdays first.  Wish me luck…

Reading.  Thanks to blowing off all adult responsibilities and just reading all weekend (well, when I wasn’t parenting) I actually have a pretty productive reading week to report despite the business trip-induced snoozes early in the week.  I finished Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret while on my travel; it was okay, but a little out there for my tastes (rather like PM herself).  Next I turned to The Glass Ocean and read a bit while I was away, but more out of an unwillingness to ever be “between books” than because I actually had time for it.  It took me from Tuesday through Saturday, and I finished it feeling a bit underwhelmed.  In fact, the whole reading week would have been underwhelming, but David Litt’s White House memoir, Thanks, Obama, saved the weekend.  I blew through it from Saturday evening to Sunday afternoon and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Ended the weekend curled up with Moon Tiger, which has been on my library stack for six weeks now.  I’m not far enough into it to have opinions about the story, but the writing is lovely.

Watching.  I have something to report!  I’m still on my TV hiatus, recovering from an epic week in which my mom and I watched ten hours of television, but Steve and I had a date night on Friday and saw Apollo 11 at our local multiplex.  It was wonderful.  As we were walking out of the theater, I told Steve that I can’t remember the last movie I enjoyed that much.  The whole thing was fabulous, but what struck me most of all was the ingenuity and the sheer audacity of everyone involved in Project Apollo.  It takes some nerve to think, “Send a man to the moon?  When we’ve never left near Earth orbit?  And then bring him back safely?  Mostly using slide rules?  Shoot, let’s go for it!”

Listening.  The usual.  Lots of podcasts, and some Decemberists.  Nothing earth-shattering (or moon-visiting) to report here.

Making.  Well, I made a LOT of work product last week.  Including eighty pages of single spaced typed interview notes.  I know you’re impressed.

Blogging.  Another bookish week coming up for you!  On Wednesday, I will have my reading round-up for March, and on Friday, my favorite poem to share for National Poetry Month (and I know I share it every year, but at this point I think I can safely call it tradition).  Check in with me then!

Loving.  A couple of weeks ago (I think it was a couple of weeks ago, anyway, time seems to blur around the edges for me these days) I took Nugget to a play date at the home of a friend who had recently left his class and gone back to his old preschool.  The other parents offered me coffee, but I’m trying to cut back, so the other mom mixed up a pitcher of ice water with cucumber slices.  I felt like I was at a spa – well, a spa featuring playground sand and foot acupressure using matchbox cars – and it reminded me how much I love cucumber water.  I usually have sliced cucumbers around for putting in everyone’s lunches, so I’ve been tossing a few into my glasses of water and loving the refreshing taste.  It’s the little things in life, right?

Asking.  What are you reading this week?

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Good morning from Virginia’s Blue Ridge!  I’m on a business trip to a tiny town near Roanoke and currently extremely relieved that it isn’t snowing like it was last week.  (Just as the trees were bursting into bloom all over NoVA, the practice assistant to the partner who assigned me the trip emailed me a picture of “what the weather is doing” in the town that was to be my destination: blizzard conditions.  Yipes!  But it was seventy degrees when I rolled into town last night, so I think I dodged a bullet.)  Unfortunately I have such a busy schedule that I don’t think I’m going to have time to squeeze in any hiking – I didn’t even bother to pack my boots.

Other than dreading my business trip – mainly because of the punishing schedule that was circulated on Friday – it was a pretty nice weekend.  Steve had to work again, so the kids and I mainly bummed around the house on Saturday.  We attempted to ride bikes to the playground, but had to turn around because nothing I did was going to convince them to ride the same speed, or even close enough together to allow me to keep them both safe from cars.  In the afternoon, Nugget and I made playground and library runs – pretty standard stuff.  On Sunday, we were all set to head out for a hike at Mason Neck, my favorite Virginia state park, when I realized that Nugget had a rescheduled play date – oops!  Plans quickly changed and Peanut delightedly curled up with a book and a blanket while Nugget and I headed to his friend’s house.  We had a lovely morning, walked to the playground near his buddy’s house, and went out for Mexican food.  In the afternoon, there was more playground-going, and I worked through most of my garden to-do list for March.  And then my workweek got started early as I climbed into my car and shoved off for my business trip.

Reading.  Evidently, I had a very Royals-heavy reading week last week.  From Monday through Thursday, I was immersed in Queen Victoria: Twenty-Four Days that Changed Her Life, the new biography from Lucy Worsley.  I thought it was such a creative way to approach a biography and I enjoyed every minute.  Next I turned to Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret, not because I am on some kind of royalty bender (at least, no more than usual) but because of library deadlines.  It’s also a very creative approach to biography, but I’m not sure I am enjoying it quite as much as I enjoyed Queen Victoria.  I’m still reading the Margaret biography as of press time; I did bring my next book (The Glass Ocean) with me, but I’m not sure I will have time to finish with Margaret and start anything new on this trip; between the schedule while I am here, and trying to keep up with my other work, I’m expecting to be buried in my laptop the whole time.

Watching.  Nothing – I’m still recovering from my epic week of watching the entire second season of The Crown with my mom over the course of five days.  I did watch parts of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse again while the kids were glued to it, but I’ve now seen it so many times I don’t really need to pay attention.  (It’s such a good movie.)

Listening.  Lots of podcasts, as usual.  I actually had a lovely drive out to the mountains yesterday evening, listening to Tea or Books? and the new-ish Slightly Foxed Podcast.  I’d been saving both for a long car ride – when I listen to podcasts during my commutes, it’s in snatches of a few minutes here and a few minutes there, while waiting for trains, standing in the coffee line, etc., and I wanted to play these episodes straight through.  They made the trip speed by.

Making.  Nothing at all.  I’d hoped to make a loaf of sourdough and a batch of olive focaccia at some point this weekend, but that didn’t happen.  I’d also hoped to make folded laundry and a clean bedroom, but that didn’t happen either.

Blogging.  It’s a bookish week!  On Wednesday I have two more books to review for The Classics Club – I actually read them months ago, but was saving the review until I could do the whole series in one shot.  It occurred to me that would be an absurdly long post, so I decided to break them out instead and do them two at a time.  On Friday, I’m sharing a book that I recently read and couldn’t, for the life of me, figure out if I’d read before.  Book deja vu?

Loving.  With spring springing everywhere, my bird feeder has been an especially hot spot lately.  I have a squirrel-proof variety from National Audubon Society (the squirrel-proof part is totally necessary in my neighborhood – they’re EVERYWHERE) and I love to sit by the window and watch the birds flitting between the tree, the fence, and the feeder.  So far we’ve mostly had our run-of-the-mill sparrows and wrens, but I’m always hoping for a cardinal or two.

Asking.  What are you reading this week?

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Happy Monday, friends!  We had such a fun party weekend around here, I just wish it could keep going for another week.  Most of last week (starting Tuesday) my mom was in town.  The kids were over the moon to get some extended quality time with Nana – it’s always so nice having her here.  I had a super stressful Friday at work, so I was ready to relax and have fun by the time I got home.  We kicked off birthday party weekend with the zoo on Saturday morning: always a treat.  The kids had a grand time running around, and we got to hear the tiger roar and see the little orangutan, Redd, climbing around outside.  Too much fun!  We spent Saturday afternoon on the playgrounds and at the library, of course; Nana knows all our haunts, but it’s always fun to share them with her.  On Sunday, Nugget and I slipped out in the morning to pick up his birthday cake, then we spent midday hanging out on the back patio – I love that it’s finally nice enough to play outside for extended periods of time without shivering.  FINALLY, FINALLY, it was time to head to the party – I know Nugget would tell you it took FOREVERRRRR to get here.  He had the very best time ever at his indoor bounce house extravaganza – running around with his sweaty hair plastered to his forehead and the biggest grin on his face.  It was a little bittersweet for me – I love anything that makes him happy, but I can’t deny that he’s getting SO BIG.

Reading.  It was a fairly slow reading week.  I never get through as many books when I’m either visiting family or have them visiting me.  But between commutes and a few before-bed pages, I made it through The Joy of the Snow (finished on Monday, so before Nana mania began on Tuesday), then The Murder of Roger Ackroyd for most of the week, and Three Men on the Bummel over the weekend – finished up Sunday night right before my head hit the pillow.

Watching.  It was a very watching-heavy week for me.  My mom doesn’t have Netflix, so when she visits me she likes to get caught up on The Crown.  She’d seen the first season, but not the second season, so we found ourselves watching ten episodes in five days – that’s about two hours of TV a night, which may not seem like much, but it’s a LOT for me.  I half-jokingly said I wouldn’t be watching TV for the next five months after this week.  I’ll probably turn it on again sooner than that, but I’m very television-ed out for now.  No regrets, though!

Listening.  Same as usual – lots of podcasts.  The Sorta Awesome spring seasonal show was a lot of fun – I always love their seasonal episodes.  Especially for spring – I’m on record as admitting that it’s not my favorite season, so anything I can do to make it more fun, I’m going to try.  I loved Rebekah’s idea to get cute 3D animal umbrellas for the kiddos – I think Peanut and Nugget might find some fun little brollies in their Easter baskets this year.

Making.  Well, it was a light making week.  I have barley soaking on the counter for beefless barley soup I’m planning to make this evening.  Does that count?  Normally, I’d say I made a birthday party for my boy baby, but I didn’t really do anything except hand over my credit card; the venue took care of basically everything else.  (All we had to bring was the cake.)  It was nice not to worry about it and not to be tearing around, stressed to the max, all morning – but I did feel kind of useless just standing there while the Pump It Up! staff refilled fruit punches and handed pizza and cake around.

Blogging.  It’s a springy week for you!  It may not be my favorite season, but I’m leaning into it as best I can.  On Wednesday, I have my spring fun list, and on Friday, a to-do list for March in the garden.  (I guess in addition to being a springy week, it’s a listy week.)  Check in with me then!

Loving.  It’s been wonderful having my mom here for almost a whole week.  The kids love her so much!  (So do I.)  She has been picking them up from school, helping out in their classrooms, reading stories, doing crafts, and cleaning out their dressers.  I wish I could keep her here forever, but Grandad wants her back now.

Asking.  What are you reading this week?

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Happy fourth birthday, little Nugget!  You guys, I can’t believe he is four years old.  Where does the time go?  For Nugget’s birthday weekend, he requested to “go to Mount Vernon dressed as Alexander Hamilton,” so that’s what we did.  Old friends may remember when Nugget and Peanut dressed as Alexander and Eliza Hamilton two Halloweens ago – sadly, we no longer have Peanut’s costume, but we still had Nugget’s and it still fit, thanks to the magic of elastic waistbands.  He got a lot of attention at Mount Vernon, as you may imagine.  After we had seen the cows and sheep and checked out the museum, we headed home for lunch and then Nugget and I hit the library – and we hit it hard.  We currently have thirty-seven books checked out (eighteen of them are mine).  Our favorite children’s librarian is always thrilled when she sees us walk through the door, because we’re so good for circulation.  Sunday wasn’t quite as birthday-rific.  It was still a nice day, but Nugget and I had to hit the grocery store in the morning, and then we had another birthday party to attend in the afternoon.  (Nugget’s party will be this coming weekend – we wanted to have it yesterday, but a little girl in Nugget’s class got her invites out first and caused scrambling on our part.)  Nugget did get to celebrate a bit more when we got home – opened some of his presents (he’ll get the rest today) and then we walked out to our favorite pizza joint, rode the DASH bus home, and gave him a bath with a mountain of bubbles.  A pretty good way to end your birthday weekend, don’t you think?

Reading.  It was a lovely reading week last week.  Early in the week I finished Edith Wharton’s Old New York, which had been sitting on my TBR for some time – and reviewed it here.  Next I turned to The Joy of the Snow, Elizabeth Goudge’s charming memoir, but set it aside for a day or so over the weekend when the new issue of Slightly Foxed arrived – and I regret nothing, because it was a really good issue; the perfect combination of books I’ve already read, books I haven’t read but had been wanting to read, and books I’d never heard of but now need in my library.  I went back to Elizabeth after finishing the new Foxed, and at press time I have about 35 pages left to go, so I anticipate finishing today during my commute.  I’m not sure what I’ll grab next – something off my towering library stack, I’m sure.

Watching.  The best thing I watched this week was my sweet boy running around Mount Vernon dressed as a founding father.  You don’t see that every day!  The other visitors were delighted with him and he got a lot of squeals and “SOOOOOO CUTE!”s as he ran from the cow pasture to the sheep paddock and back again.

Listening.  Lots of podcasts, as usual.  A great episode on “going crunchy in the kitchen” from The Crunchy Cocktail Hour – that was probably the highlight.

Making.  I didn’t make anything this weekend, other than an even taller stack of books from the library.  When will I ever learn, you guys?

Blogging.  I’ll be revisiting my winter to-do list and checking in on how I did on Wednesday, and Friday’s going to be a tribute to my favorite four-year-old.  Check in with me then!

Loving.  On my baby’s birthday, I am loving being his mom – how could anything else top that joy?  He’s really such a fun, smart, cuddly little guy and I am constantly delighted by him.  I say it all the time, but I really don’t know how the world survived without him.

Asking.  What are you reading this week?

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This weekend, I told Steve that all week long, I look forward to weekends (not because my job is unpleasant – it isn’t – but because I crave that time of my own, to let my brain breathe and be with my family) and by Sunday night, all I want is the workweek.  The kids were just grinding. me. down. this weekend.  Nothing major, just lots of little things – not listening, refusing to cooperate, backtalk, bickering.  I’m ready for my quiet office and a to-do list that I can understand.  That’s not to say we had a bad weekend, because we didn’t, really.  Steve had to work again, so I ran interference for him.  On Saturday, I took Nugget for a haircut and then we walked out to the library – and straight into the staging area for the town St. Patrick’s Day parade.  I know what you’re thinking: isn’t St. Patrick’s Day like two weeks away?  Yes.  Yes, it is.  But that’s just how we roll in NoVA, and if you don’t know, now you know.  On Sunday, Steve was craving some fresh air, so we walked out to the playgrounds as a family.  My mini bookworm plunked herself down with her reading material and ignored the rest of the family – even during the family soccer game.  She was my co-goalie and she was beyond useless; didn’t make a single save, just sat inside the goal and read – I was so proud.  The rest of Sunday was low-key.  Peanut played in her room, Nugget kept me company while I folded laundry and organized the kids’ Christmas presents, and I don’t actually know what Steve did.  And now another week is upon us, and I’m sort of glad to get back into the swing of things.  My clients don’t always listen to me, either, but at least they don’t call me a “dummypants.”

Reading.  It was kind of a slow reading week, because it was a hectic work week.  I have a few weeks in a row of grinding from sunrise to sunset, and those are never good for page totals.  But when I did manage to read, I enjoyed myself immensely.  Early in the week, I finished The Shepherd’s Life, and it was wonderful.  I also squeezed in The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland – For a Little While, which is really a long-form short story, and it was also wonderful.  The latter half of the week, and all of the weekend, was given over to Last Hope Island: Britain, Occupied Europe, and the Brotherhood that Turned the Tide of War.  It’s fascinating and I am learning a ton.

Watching.  I know you will all find this hard to believe, but I watched a movie this week!  Or most of a movie.  Steve downloaded Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and we had a little family movie night on Sunday.  I missed the very beginning, so was kind of lost for a lot of it, but… I really enjoyed it.  Spider-Man is not my superhero of choice (I’m more of a Ms. Marvel girl if we’re talking Marvel Universe, but my heart really belongs to Wonder Woman) but Spider-Verse was a lot of fun, and made me want to check out the Spider-Gwen comics.

Listening.  ALL the podcasts!  Lots and lots of ’em, because I had a drive out to a client site an hour away on Tuesday, and an epic laundry-folding session on Sunday, in addition to the usual dipping in and out during commutes.  The highlight belonged to Sorta Awesome this week, as it often does – read on.

Making.  I intended to bake bread and make beefless barley soup, but neither happened.  What I did make was progress in cleaning out the bedroom and the ongoing clutter purge, and a new set of return address labels (it’s the little things in life, right?).

Blogging.  It’s going to be another crazy week, so again no promises, but my hope is to have a post about screen time (for Mom) on Wednesday and something bookish on Friday – either a book review or some other readerly rambling.  Check in with me then, and don’t hold me to it – as soon as things settle down at work, I’m going to get my content calendar back under control.

Loving.  I have a podcast episode for you this week!  If you haven’t already listened to it, go check out the Sorta Awesome episode on “freeing yourself from screens,” in which Meg and Kelly discuss their personal screen habits, their goals, and striving toward “digital minimalism.”  I listened in the car on the way back from my client visit on Tuesday.  I LOVED it and shouted “PREACH!” at my blutooth player every two minutes.  I’ve been trying to cut way down on my own screen time, and I just felt like it was exactly what I needed to hear at exactly the right time.

Asking.  What are you reading this week?

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