Archive for the ‘Reading Life’ Category

Weekend, please don’t leave us!  Who else needs another day?  Everyone?  We had a really nice weekend, and I for one am not ready for it to be over.  I’ve been feeling pretty burnt out lately and like I don’t have enough attention to spare, but I was hoping that if I could just dig out of the hole at home, at least, things would feel a little easier.  So Saturday’s theme was productivity.  Mainly during naptime, I finally finished cleaning out the bedroom – long overdue, and it felt like a real accomplishment.  I still have clutter on top of my nightstand and dresser, but that’s a project for next weekend (or one evening during the week) and won’t take long.  When we lived in temp housing while we were planning our move back home, we never unpacked our bedroom – so we’ve been sleeping amongst boxes since January of 2016.  It feels great to be unpacked, finally, and our room is so bright and airy now.  On Sunday, we took the kiddos out for a walk around the neighborhood.  We stopped by the fire house and Nugget got a tour, which was way too much fun.  The firefighters showed him their extra ladders and hoses, turned on the lights on one truck for him, let him “drive” and stand on the back of the truck, and inducted his tricycle into the company.  (It’s now “Tricycle 205” per the battalion chief.  So adorable!)  We also hit the playground and the pizza joint, and I ended up falling asleep on the couch while the kids napped away the afternoon.  I didn’t get much done, but sometimes you need a day like that, right?


Reading.  Last week was another busy work week and slow reading week.  I started out the week, as I said I was going to do, with Count Rostov.  But while I was still really enjoying A Gentleman in Moscow, I had to – once again – set it aside, because the deadline for returning Pachinko to the library was creeping up, and since it has a miles-long waitlist, I can’t renew it.  So I’ve spent most of the week with the Baek family in Osaka, and while Pachinko is beautifully conceived and composed, and I am enjoying it, I keep forgetting that multigenerational family sagas… aren’t really my thing.  Why do I keep trying to make them my thing?  But don’t let that turn you off – Pachinko is wonderful.

Watching.  We are still working our way through the BBC adaptation of Pride & Prejudice.  We’ve watched five episodes out of the six episode miniseries, and so we’ll probably finish the adaptation tonight or tomorrow.  I’ve seen it many times, of course, and I’m so excited that Steve has finally agreed to watch with me.  I think he likes it!  Not sure what we’ll watch after we finish this – I might want a break from TV so I can finally finish some of the partially-read books I have laying all over the place.

Listening.  I listened to a couple of podcasts earlier in the week, but I was really fancying something a bit more involved – but not an audiobook at the moment – so I used my April credit on The Great Courses Classics of British Literature.  I’m about four lectures in now (with many, many more to go) and listening to the lecture on Spencer’s The Faerie Queene (which I need to read).  I’m kind of chomping at the bit to get to Austen, but I have a long way to go, I think, because we seem to be going chronologically beginning with the Anglo-Saxons.

Moving.  Nothing to report this week, except that I was sad on Sunday because the GW Parkway Classic took place and I didn’t run.  I wasn’t even remotely trained – so, maybe next year.  It’s been hard to do anything for myself recently and running has taken a backseat – I haven’t really run regularly since Nugget was born.  I want to get back to it, because I miss it, and I need to figure out a way to make it work in my schedule.  My plan had been to train for the race in the mornings before everyone else woke up, and during lunch breaks – but the mornings have been mostly spent logged on to my firm’s remote access, working until it’s time to do things like make lunches and wrestle small feet into socks, and lunch breaks – well, those are not a thing that exists in my life right now.  But I know I deserve to run if I want to (and I do want to), so I need to find a way to make that happen.

Blogging.  I have more spring adventures to share with you, but they have to wait a little longer, because I am all books this week.  On Wednesday I have my final post for Naomi’s Emily readalong, and on Friday, one last poem to share for National Poetry Month – and it’s not Robert Frost!  There’s another e.e. cummings poem coming, because it’s too perfect not to share.

Loving.  The cutest thing ever happened as I was putting Nugget down for his nap yesterday.  I always sing him a song and we pretty much rotate between Winnie-the-Pooh, The House at Pooh Corner, This Land is Your Land and I Love the Mountains.  Yesterday, he asked for Winnie-the-Pooh and as I started singing it – HE SUNG ALONG WITH ME.  You guys.  It was.  So sweet.  That I almost passed out.

Asking.  How was your weekend?

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Gooooooooood Monday morning, my friends!  Weekends good?  Ours was, but I could really use another day.  I’m working on a big, complicated, slightly oddball work project and ended up putting in time on it on both Saturday and Sunday.  I’d have liked a weekend to decompress and turn off the work brain – I’ve been going pretty much nonstop for two months now – well, maybe next weekend.  (Actually, we’re targeting next weekend for our spring cleaning.  So here’s hoping I don’t end up bringing work home.)  I squeezed the work in while the kids were asleep – waking up early and working during naptime – and when they were awake, we were either out playing or running errands.  Nugget and I took a lovely long walk on Saturday afternoon while Peanut enjoyed an extended nap (must be nice) and saw several fire trucks, which never gets old.  On Sunday morning, Peanut’s BFF and her parents came over for a Moana viewing – I made popcorn and tropical fruit salad, plus a frittata for the grownups.  The kiddos had a fabulous time (and I think all the grownups did too).  And now it’s Monday – here we go again.


Reading.  Kind of a slow reading week – I didn’t actually finish anything in print.  That’s partly due to continued Metro woes, partly to more driving around (another client visit last week) and partly to my own mental fatigue from working crazy hours for two months straight (and through a couple of stressful situations).  I have really been enjoying Barchester Towers, and am SO glad I finally tossed the library books aside and went for it.  When I wasn’t in Barchester last week, I made some good progress on A Circle of Quiet, but I’m still reading it slowly because I want to give it my full attention and not miss a word.  I’ll probably go back to the library stack once I finish at least one of those two, but I am trying hard not to check too many books out of the library.  I really want to read more from my own shelves.

Listening.  Again, hand-in-hand with the light reading week goes a heavy listening week – thanks to crowded trains and one long driving day.  I made it through my podcatcher and back to Audible in just a few days; that never happens.  Listened to the entire audiobook of The Body in the Library over just a few days.  Next up, I’ve started The Once and Future King, which is 33 hours long, so expect to see more mentions of that in coming weeks.

Watching.  More Moana.  We watched snippets of the movie over the course of the week, and of course had our matinee party with our friends on Sunday – too much fun.  Peanut has taken to “sailing” on her bed (which is now a “canoe”).  Other than Moana, I haven’t had time for much television, but I did watch half of North and South on Netflix on Friday before the show disappeared, and liked it so much (Richard Armitage!!!!!) that I ordered the DVD from Amazon.  So I’ll finish that at some point over the course of this week.

Moving.  I decided to jettison the “making” category, because I kept writing “work product” – let’s be honest, no one wants to hear me gripe that much (sorry, y’all).  But I always try to keep moving.  Of course I was short on time this week, so all I managed was a few walks with Nugget – but they were nice long walks around the neighborhood and down to the river.  Next week, hoping I manage to squeeze in some running.  If I’m going to run the Parkway Classic at the end of the month, it’s now or never!

Blogging.  All poetry, all the time this month!  I’ve got an e.e. cummings poem for you on Wednesday – it wouldn’t be National Poetry Month without him – and then I’ll tell you who I’ve picked as my poet to read this month on Friday.  Hint: an old favorite!

Asking.  What’s up with you this week?

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Hey, guys.  Everyone have a good weekend?  Ours was pretty decent.  I was recovering from a long, busy week that included one day that can only be described as craptacular.  Sometimes everyone has a day like that, right?  So I was a little stressed out all weekend – both because of that lousy day, and because of the volume of other work I have to get done this upcoming week.  I put in several hours working this weekend and really needed to put in even more, but I was squeezing the work in around family activities – so I did what I could do.

We did have fun as a family this weekend.  On Saturday, we took our March hike – which was really more of a walk – through the National Arboretum.  Then on Sunday, while Steve took Nugget to the grocery store, Peanut and I went to a local nursery and bought a few plants for our container garden, then went home and planted them.  We were early, apparently – even in Virginia, the edible plants haven’t really hit the nurseries yet.  But we got lettuce, sugar snap peas, and rosemary – good for a start, and we will move some things around once the tomatoes, basil, and other herbs are available.  During the kids’ naptime on Sunday I snuck away for a belay certification course at a nearby rock gym – I used to be belay-certified and loved climbing back in college, and I’ve been wanting to get back to doing a few things for myself (more than just reading on the Metro, that is).  I felt a bit guilty – I should have been working – but I booked the class three months in advance, so I went for it.  I loved the rock gym and can’t wait to get back on the wall soon.


Reading.  Due to the aforementioned crazy-busy and super-stressful week, very little reading happened – at least in print form.  I did read Chronicle of a Death Foretold – all of 120 pages – in less than 24 hours.  But since then I have been picking things up and putting them down.  Tried Wanderlust, Rebecca Solnit’s history of walking – which I do very much want to read – but wasn’t in the right frame of mind for dense nonfiction, so I think I’m going to return it to the library and try again later.  Then I started A Circle of Quiet, finally, and have been dipping in and out, as it’s the kind of book that seems to be lending itself to bite-sized reading sessions.  Finally, I decided to just go for it and read the book that I really wanted to read at the moment – Barchester Towers.  It’s been on my list since I read The Warden last year, and a friend has been urging me to shove everything else aside and pick it up for weeks.  Hope it does the trick of staving off a reading slump, if one is in the offing.  (I’m not sure; I’m feeling a bit more blah about my library books than usual, but that could just be because my own books are looking so pretty and inviting on my shelves!)

Watching.  While I haven’t done much reading, I’ve done some great watching this week!  First of all, we’re now officially caught up on Rock the Park – I’m glad that we’ve seen it all (thus far – the show is still airing so we’ll have plenty of episodes to watch in the future) but I’ll miss spending twenty minutes every evening with Jack and Colton.  And the other great thing that we watched this week – Moana!  Peanut has been begging to see it – we didn’t go when it was in theaters, but there’s a very strong Disney princess culture at her school – and I wanted to see it too, if only for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s soundtrack.  So we bought the BluRay and digital copy and on Friday night we let Peanut stay up late and had a movie night with just her (which she loved) to watch it.  I absolutely loved it – and it’s been a long time since I said that about anything Disney.  As one Amazon reviewer said: “The parents don’t die!  And there’s no romance!”  The songs are great, and the animation – of the ocean and sea creatures in particular – is gorgeous.  I’m trying not to suggest it as often as I would like to, because I really don’t want to get sick of this one.

Listening.  I was driving all over creation in the beginning of the week (okay, just up to Maryland a few times) so I ended up churning through my audiobook – The More of Less, by Joshua Becker.  There were more practical tips in it than in the last book I read from him, or on his blog – so I appreciated that.  It was a pretty good listening experience, too.  I think I’m going to alternate between an audiobook and podcasts, at least for awhile, so it’s back to the podcatcher for me this week.  I only have three episodes in there, so I’ll probably be choosing another audiobook shortly.

Making.  Not much, unfortunately.  Lots of work product last week, and not a lot of anything else.  Not many dinners – which makes the Whole 30 challenging – and no house projects checked off the list or new craft projects, and no photo projects.  I am feeling a bit out of balance lately – hope that changes soon.  Even if I don’t have time for actual projects, it would be nice to have time to cook real food and finish unpacking my house, eight months after we moved.

Blogging.  Telling you about the National Arboretum on Wednesday, and my March reading round-up (it’s a long one) on Friday.  Check back!

Loving.  The new Brooks Greenlight running capris I bought – in fun orange, pink, yellow and blue print – at Pacers last weekend.  I wore them climbing on Sunday and they were so comfortable and cute.  They have a nice high, wide and secure waistband, which is very helpful for those of us who have had two C-sections.  Can’t wait to take them out for their actual purpose – I’m still deluding myself into thinking that I’m going to run the Parkway Classic in April, so I really need to get going.

Asking.  What are you reading/watching/loving this week?

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I’m starting to develop a twitch.

Until last weekend, it had been over a year since I’ve seen some of my books.  I packed them all – carefully, lovingly, slightly tearfully – into boxes back in January of 2016, as we prepared to move out of our house in Elma, New York, and into temporary living quarters a few towns away while we planned our bigger move back home to Washington, D.C.  Our new apartment was very small, and many of our possessions were headed for storage – including my books.  I set aside a small pile that I wanted to keep with me, and Steve – not realizing that they were intended to make the move to the new apartment – packed them too.  Oof.

I’d never lived in a place with no books before.  (The kids’ books were making the move to the apartment, but that’s not the same, as my lovely readers will surely understand.)  I don’t remember a time when I didn’t have at least one full bookshelf to call my own – in fact, I don’t think such a time existed; even in my board book days I always had lots.  Of course, it’s not like I was lacking reading material while my books were in storage – thanks to that miraculous little slab of plastic called a library card, I had access to almost any book I wanted.  The main central branch of the Buffalo library was only a short walk from my office, and I was already in the habit of strolling over there a few times every week to pick up and return books – so I simply continued on as if my own beloved books were not piled in a dark storage locker.  Thank goodness for the faithful little library card, right?  Virtually every book I read from January through July of last year was borrowed.


Of course, I consoled myself by repeating over and over again the mantra that “it’s only six months.”  In six months, I hoped to be unpacking a new rental house in northern Virginia.  Naturally, the books wouldn’t be the first things out of their boxes.  I always get the kids settled in their rooms first.  And I have to unpack the kitchen so we have a way to cook.  But then – books!

I was reckoning without our movers.  Ohhhhhh, our movers.  Because the book boxes were marked “storage” – where they’d come from – the movers assumed that they were unimportant.  Into the basement they went.  And not just anywhere in the basement – into the darkest, most inaccessible corner, behind the boiler, with piles of furniture and paintings in front of them.  Do you know those Loony Tunes moments, when a cartoon character’s eyes bug out of his head?  That was what I looked like when I realized where my books had gone.  And they’re so in accessible that, while I’ve gotten to a few boxes – by climbing on top of things and basically diving into the corner – there are many that I simply can’t get until the basement is cleaned out – a daunting task that, between work pressures, travel, and the need to get the living spaces livable (and keep them that way)… just doesn’t seem likely to happen anytime soon.


Rest assured, I complained about this.  Steve would tell you that the complaining was constant, endless, and dramatic.  (MY BOOOOOOOOOKS!  I MISS THEM SO MUUUUUUUUUUUCH!)  Recently, he suggested that I have plenty of books and am, in fact, doing just fine.

Take a moment, if you need one.  I certainly did.

In a sense, he is right.  I do have plenty of books – a few months ago I unpacked about half of my collection, thanks to my willingness to climb over things and stick my hand into unfamiliar boxes.  And even if I read every book that is currently on my shelf, I would still have the library.  I have twelve books checked out right now – so many that I almost don’t have time to read my own books, because my well-documented library stack problems have followed me throughout my adult life.


One of my New Year’s resolutions was to “trust in abundance.”  I wrote that I “hope to let go of the need to be fully-stocked and trust in the fact that I have everything I need, and access to even more.”  I was talking about my pantry and my closet, to be sure, but also about my bookshelves.  As it happens, I do have lots of books (even if many of them are squirreled away in a dark basement right now).  It would take me years to run out of reading material if I just read from my own (completely unpacked) shelves and never bought new books or borrowed from the library.  I’ve been trying to follow Project 24, Simon‘s goal to only buy 24 books in 2017 (a rate of two a month, which is my usual goal, only I am not allowing myself to utilize any of my exceptions) and I’ve been very disciplined about not buying books as a result.  And if I happen to fancy reading a book I don’t own, odds are that my library system will have a copy, or I can wait a few weeks until the month turns and I can buy it.  I As you all know, I just got my books unpacked, organized and shelved – hurray! – but even without my complete book collection neatly lined up on my shelves, it’s true that I’m not going to find myself with nothing to read.

In the spirit of trusting in abundance, I’m also making a concerted effort to purge some books from my shelves – if I have duplicates, for instance, or if I’m not likely to want to read the book again.  I know my limits, and there’s no way I will be able to pull off a true purge in which I take several boxes of books to Goodwill.  But a book here and a book there, tossed atop the stoller and walked to the library donation box – I can do that.  A bookstagrammer I follow mentioned that she has a policy of only keeping a book on her shelves if she gave it three or more stars – books she didn’t like, or that were only okay, have no place in her limited shelf space.  Inspired by that, I recently grabbed two Ian McEwan books (part of my “letting go” this year has involved coming to terms with the fact that, other than Atonement, I’m just not a huge fan of McEwan – and that’s okay!) and a duplicate copy of Barchester Towers – and off they went to the library, to make someone else happy.


I’m getting to a point in my life as a reader and human where I want to live in smaller spaces and be surrounded only by things that are actually special.  I’m trying to pare down and curate my life in many respects.  (How many small frying pans do I really need?)  On my bookshelves, that looks like keeping books that I have really loved (four and five-star books on Goodreads, for instance), books that I can honestly see myself re-reading, books that are particularly beautiful, and books that I want to be part of my permanent collection even if I’m not likely to re-read them.  (Although that last category shouldn’t really encompass very many books.)  It looks like jettisoning books that I didn’t love and won’t re-read, and most duplicate copies (with rare exceptions for duplicates in which both copies are beautiful and/or sentimental favorites – for instance, I have four copies of Little Women and will keep them all, thankyouverymuch, because they’re all beautiful, three are part of sets, and one I’ve owned since childhood).

The true challenge with this book-curating project is going to come when it’s time to pare down the kids’ shelves – for instance, when Peanut starts reading longer chapter books and isn’t asking for picture book storytime every night.  There are a few books that I thought were junk and that I couldn’t stand reading over and over again; those I’ll have no trouble tossing in the recycle bin (they’re not in good enough shape to donate).  But how will I be able to part with the kids’ books that are beautifully illustrated, or that I have sweet memories of reading aloud with my arms wrapped around one or both babies?  I know I’ll never be able to get rid of Time of Wonder or the Paddington or Fancy Nancy books, or my favorite Dr. Seuss books, or Nugget’s Richard Scarry collection, or the gardening themed stories that Peanut and I read as we plan our container garden, or… well, I have years before I have to worry about this, so I’ll just table it for now.  And keep accumulating books, because that’s what I do.

Do you try to curate your bookshelves?

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Happy new week, friends!  Finally, I had a weekend in which I did NO work – although that doesn’t mean that we relaxed.  (Relax – what’s that?)  Saturday was Nugget’s second birthday, so the day was completely given over to celebrating – with playground fun in the morning, then party prep errands in the afternoon, and finally a pizza dinner in which the birthday boy had Mommy and Daddy all to himself on Saturday night.  Peanut was invited to a movie night and pajama party at a friend’s house, so we packed her off with her little backpack and took the little dude out for an evening of fun all by himself.  He definitely enjoyed having the undivided attention of two parents, but he did ask where Peanut was a few times.  (I don’t think Peanut missed us at all.)  Sunday was Nugget’s birthday party, which we held at a local recreation center’s soft playroom.  It was a blast and Nugget loved running around with his friends.  I think the little guy felt very loved and celebrated all weekend.  We sure are happy we have him!

Reading.  Last week was surprisingly productive on the reading front.  D.C. is in the midst of a looooooooong effort to refurbish the Metro tracks (and hopefully make the trains a lot safer) and this month, as a result, trains are single-tracking in the corridor where I happen to live.  The result has been infrequent and very crowded trains.  I only read if I can get a seat – holding those big library hardcovers in one hand while hanging on for dear life with the other is just not easy.  I can usually get a seat, but last week the trains were so crowded that I found myself standing most days.  Since so much of my reading time is crammed into commutes, I was pretty surprised to see that I actually finished three books and started another even despite the commuting woes.  Hidden Figures was the highlight of the week – now I can’t wait to see the movie.  I also finished The Hopefuls, which I liked pretty well (even if I wanted to smack 75% of the principal cast by the end of the book) and American Born Chinese, which was also good.  Now I’m about a third of the way through Princess Elizabeth’s Spy – such fun.  It’s all about staying on top of the library stack!

Listening.  I have a personal victory to report – I’m down to less than seven hours to go in Middlemarch on audio!  Since the audiobook was over 35 hours long, this is a BIG deal.  Thanks to crowded Metro trains for all the progress – thanks to seats being scarcer, I’ve been reading less and listening more.  I can report that both Rosamund and Mr. Casaubon are just as infuriating and insufferable on audio as they are in print.  I know you were wondering.

Watching.  Other than cartoons, we haven’t watched much of anything.  I’ve embarked on a campaign to convince Steve that we need to watch the BBC Pride and Prejudice miniseries.  We’ll see how that goes.  But in the meantime, for next week at least, I’m looking forward to more Rock the Park.

Making.  A birthday party for Nugget!  The theme, naturally, was fire trucks – so I made lots of fire-themed snacks and little placards to go with them.  We had “fruit flames” (pineapple and strawberry kebabs), “veggie flames” (little shots of red, orange and yellow peppers in ranch dressing), “fire hoses” (twizzlers), and “matchsticks” (marshmallow lollies with red sprinkles) – plus sandwich platters and a fire truck cake.  I loved putting together a fire truck party, and the guest of honor had a blast – which is what counts, of course.

Blogging.  It’s all about wrapping up winter (even though we’re supposed to get six inches of snow – what?!?!) so on Wednesday I’ll share the final tally of my winter list, and on Friday we’re moving on to the spring list.

Loving.  Good old Pinterest – I have to give them a shout this week.  I got so many comments and compliments on the fire truck snacks and the punny little chalkboards I made to explain what they were and how they tied into the theme – and while I wish I could take credit for all of that creativity, I’ve got to give credit where credit is due.  God bless Pinterest, and God bless all those moms who have thrown “fire truck birthday parties” before me and pinned their visions!

Asking.  What are you reading/watching/making/loving?

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Oof.  Monday is back with a vengeance, huh?  After last weekend’s epic drive-a-thon, I really needed a relaxing weekend at home – and that didn’t quite work out.  Saturday was fun – we spent the morning at Apollo on the Move, a special one-day event at the Udvar-Hazy Center (an outpost of the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum) in which the restoration hangar was thrown open to the public and we got to file past the actual Apollo 11 command module being restored.  That was amazing, and the sort of thing that you can often only see if you live here – just one of the many reasons I am grateful to live in the D.C. area.  After seeing Apollo 11 (so cool!) we spent the rest of the morning wandering around the hangar – we’ve been to Udvar-Hazy many times, but it never gets old.  The rest of the weekend was downhill from there.  Steve started to feel under the weather on Saturday afternoon, which meant I was the only whole parent and I juggled both kids the rest of the weekend – a job which included holding Nugget from 3:30 a.m. onwards on Sunday morning (he’s teething, and I didn’t want him to wake Dad).  Needless to say, I was a total zombie – a cranky one – all day on Sunday, and I sort of feel like I missed out on half my weekend.  I wanted to get a presentation written over the weekend, and that didn’t happen because I was so exhausted.  So – not the best, but I suppose it could have been worse.

how-to-be-a-victorian code-talker the-hopefuls

Reading.  It’s been a pretty good week in books.  Mid-week or so, I finally finished up How to Be a Victorian, which I really enjoyed even though it ended up taking me a week.  I would have liked to jump to some gentle fiction, but library deadlines were breathing down my neck, so I picked up Code Talker, a WWII memoir by one of the original 29 Navajo code talkers.  It was a breathtaking memoir and I learned a ton about a topic in which I’d long been interested.  Next up, still fighting the current of library deadlines, I picked up my current read – The Hopefuls – which I placed on hold months ago after my friend Katie recommended it to me.  I’m not quite halfway through, and really enjoying it.  One of my pet peeves is when people who don’t live in D.C. write “D.C. books” and get the city totally wrong.  The Hopefuls is the perfect antidote to that – you can tell the author lives here (in fact, she teaches writing at the George Washington University, where I went to law school).

Watching.  Still watching Finding Dory every day (and I still haven’t seen the entire movie straight through).  I’m not sick of it yet – making it perhaps the longest-running Disney-thon that hasn’t annoyed me, which I credit to the jokes thoughtfully strewn throughout just for the parents.  (“Guys!  I found help!  Sigourney Weaver’s here and she’s gonna tell us where we are!”)  The other interesting watch of the week was the Minimalism documentary, which I’ve been meaning to check out for awhile and which I really loved.  I’ve been trying to curate my home and life and it was definitely inspiring.

Listening.  Back to Middlemarch after cleaning up my podcatcher again.  I’ve been ruthlessly culling podcasts – unsubscribing to shows that just aren’t doing it for me anymore, and unashamedly deleting single episodes that don’t interest me.  I’m down to 12 hours and change to go in Middlemarch – which sounds like a long time, but considering the book is 35 hours long, it’s real progress.

Making.  Homemade applesauce for the kiddos – one of my favorite ways to use up apples that are just a little long in the tooth.  The whole family loves it – there’s something extra-special about homemade applesauce, easy as it is.

Blogging.  I have a family-centered week coming up for you – a recap of the Apollo on the Move event, since it was so cool, coming on Wednesday, and on Friday, an extra-special post dedicated to someone who is about to turn TWO YEARS OLD.  (Hold me.)

Loving.  This may be old news for some, and it sort of is for me, but I hadn’t really grasped the meaning.  I subscribe to the Slightly Foxed quarterly, and it’s always the BEST day when I come home and see the new issue in my mailbox.  I was vaguely aware that as a print subscriber, I had access to the digital archives, but I hadn’t really made any move to read through.  Last week I decided to check out the archives during a free moment, and I discovered – there’s an APP for that!  Seriously, who knew?  I downloaded the app and now I have twelve years of Slightly Foxed essays right on my phone, waiting for me to read them ALL.  This is a game-changer, people.  I’ve started a new wish list on Amazon, just for book recommendations from the fox.

Asking.  What are you reading/watching/making/loving this week?

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Heavy sigh.  Hi, guys.  How was everyone’s weekend?  Ours was… grueling.  We had a family wedding to attend in New England, so we spent most of the weekend in the car – and I do mean most of the weekend.  Eight hours up to my parents’ house on Friday to drop off the kids, who were not invited to the wedding.  Six and a half hours in the car on Saturday (three hours to the wedding, and three-and-a-half back to my parents, thanks to a scary thunderstorm we hit).  And then another six hours home from Albany on Sunday.  So that’s a total of 26.5 hours in the car over the past three days, and we’re all feeling it.  My neck and back are screaming at me, and the kids are nuts.  I felt horrible for them – two extremely long car rides in the span of three days was way too much to ask of them, especially considering they weren’t invited to the wedding.  Peanut was a champ, but Nugget was a basket case in the car, and I couldn’t blame the poor guy.  Still, after hours of listening to him bawling in the back seat, we are all a bit frazzled and on edge.  I’m relieved to have that long trip behind me and glad to be home.

1984 how-to-be-a-victorian

Reading.  With all that trucking to and fro, I didn’t get much reading done over the weekend.  Nor during the week, either – it was another crazy-busy one on the work front.  I’m looking forward to my schedule evening out.  It would be nice to be busier than I was in January, but not quite as busy as I have been in February.  Anyway, I finished 1984 last Monday, and it was eerie and chilling and felt very prescient.  Then I started How to Be a Victorian, which I am really enjoying but which has been slow going.  That’s not the fault of the book, which is fabulous, but just my crazy work schedule last week and then the travel over the weekend.  I’m looking forward to having a bit more downtime in which to finish it up this week – I hope.

Watching.  Two things come to mind from this week – in addition to Rock the Park, of course (we’ve just started season 3, so we’re nearly caught up).  On Sunday night I watched the Oscars, which I really enjoy, but can never make it through.  I got to supporting actress, decided it was time for bed, and then got an email and ended up working into the night – sometimes that’s how it goes.  The other thing I’ve been watching a lot this week is Finding Dory – the kids are obsessed.  I’m not quite to the point of being sick of it yet – the Sigourney Weaver jokes are hilarious – but I’m getting close.

Listening.  Would you all run away and never visit me again if I said I listened to Nugget screaming for hours in his car seat over the weekend?  You would?  Okay, well then I’ll tell you the other things we listened to – Hamilton, disc one, on repeat, because that’s what it took to keep him even remotely happy – especially “Frow My Shot” and “Dayada” (You’ll Be Back).  And we started listening to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone on audio during the car ride to and from the wedding, but didn’t get far into it.

Making.  Nothing.  Should I drop this category?  I have been thinking I need to pick up my knitting again.  I’ve been really keyed up over a couple of stressful things, and it would be nice to make some stitches.

Blogging.  I have a bookish week coming up for you –  my February reading round-up on Wednesday, and that list of new favorite comfort reads I promised last week.  Get yourselves some big cups of tea!

Loving.  It was so chill of my parents to watch the babies while we trucked to a wedding.  Thanks, you guys!  Peanut and Nugget loved their “sleepover with Nana and Grandad.”  I’d say let’s do it again soon, but as I’m never getting in the car ever again, that doesn’t seem likely to come to pass.  But seriously, thanks.

Asking.  What are you reading/watching/making/loving this week?

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