Archive for the ‘Reading Life’ Category

Good morning, friends!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend celebrating the dads in your life.  We did our best to show Steve how much we love and appreciate him.  On Saturday evening, I cooked him a special dinner – lobster thermidor.  We had it on our honeymoon and ever since, every time I ask him what he wants for dinner, he says “Lobster thermidor!”  (It’s partly a joke, but he’d never turn it down.)  Just to keep him on his toes, I actually cook lobster thermidor every so often – rarely, because lobster is expensive around here (Virginia is kind of far away from Maine…) but, yes, every so often.  (It’s not actually that hard to make, believe it or not.)  On Sunday, we gave him his Father’s Day presents – some local craft beer, a new REI t-shirt, and a few pairs of Smartwool socks (replacing some threadbare ones).  Then we headed out the door for his Father’s Day activity request – the splash park.  He could spend the morning any way he wanted, and he chose to do something fun for the kids.  What a guy, right?!  We all had a good time playing in the water and on the playground, and then each of the kids got to ride the brand-new carousel.  They were pretty much over the moon (although the ride attendant had to hold up the carousel for a few minutes while Nugget hemmed and hawed over which animal to choose – ha!).  Our fun continued with a walk to the pool after naps – and the parents’ fun continued with a dinner of smoked salmon and multigrain bread after the kids went to bed.  (Sorry, kids.)  I think he had a great weekend and felt very loved and celebrated.


Reading.  So, actually a pretty light reading week.  I was a little stressed out all week – a heavy workload and adulting-type things had my attention a little scattered.  I did manage to finish Greenery Street over the weekend and just loved it.  (It’s in my work bag, headed out to be loaned to a co-worker, this morning.)  Still reading Northbridge Rectory on my kindle, but hopefully I will have more time and energy for it this week.  On deck, I think, is The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir, which I picked up from the library holds shelf this week.  (I also got Lincoln in the Bardo, but I need to kick this little mini-slump before attempting that one.)

Listening.  I’ve been jumping back and forth between the podcatcher and Audible this week, and actually listened quite a lot.  (There were a few commutes during which I just didn’t feel up to reading, so I kept the earbuds in instead.)  Several of my favorite podcasts – including Sorta Awesome and The Home Hour – have summer-themed episodes up, and I’ve been loving those.  And I’m up to mid-eighteenth century fiction in The Great Courses: Classics of British Literature, which means Jane Austen isn’t far away!  This week I got up to “Professional” listening level on Audible and am weirdly proud of that.  (150-ish hours to go until I make the “Scholar” level.)

Watching.  Last night, Steve and I finished the last Netflix season of The Great British Bake-Off.  (I’m refusing to use the American title, because I don’t know why it is different.)  I was actually in tears as they announced the winner of the most recent season.  (I’m a major loose cannon at the moment, apparently.)  Fortunately, new episodes will be airing on PBS soon, so we won’t have to go too long without Paul and Mary.  And in the meantime, maybe I’ll actually be able to read more in the evenings for a little while…

Moving.  Nothing good to report.  After last week’s awesome run around Chicago, I was feeling inspired and itching to get back in my running shoes as soon as possible, and of course life and work got in the way.  I do think I’m coming to a point where I have to find a way to do something for myself – I miss running and working out and I’m pretty much at the limit of putting myself last.  I have some ideas about how to fix it, but nothing concrete right now.  Of course, I did move last week – lots of chasing kids around the splash pad, swimming them around in the pool (quite an arm workout, actually) and I also squeezed in a walk to the library while they napped over the weekend.  (It was too hot to run at that time of day…)

Blogging.  I think I’ve got some fun stuff coming up for you this week – a garden update on Wednesday (I’ve got good news and bad news) and a fun kids’ summer reading post on Friday.  Check back!

Loving.  Two things this week: first and foremost, of course, I was loving Father’s Day and telling Steve how much we appreciate everything he does for our family.  He’s an amazing dad and we are so lucky to have him!  Second, and if you’ll forgive me for sharing more cutesy Nugget stories so recently after this post, I’m loving Nugget’s new tendency to make certain words plural that aren’t actually plural.  For instance, he is very into “playing some soccers” (throwing a soccer ball at my favorite green glass lamp).  And when he feels more sedate, he climbs up into his rocking chair with his little baby piano (which he used to call his “pinano” – I wish that one was still around) and tells me, “I make musics for you, Mommy!”  I adore these little baby-isms and miss them so much when they are gone.  “Soccers” is particularly cute (as long as nothing gets broken).

Asking.  What’s up with you this week?  How was your Father’s Day?

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Mornin’, friends.  How was everyone’s weekend?  We pretty much lived in bathing suits, which is exactly how I like to spend summer weekends.  On Saturday morning, we hit the farmers’ market and walked around town, then Steve took Nugget to the playground while I took Peanut shopping for a couple of things she needed for camp and to the garden center for pots to transplant the bean plants the kids planted at Exploration Days.  On Sunday, we hit the splash pad in the morning, and it was a wonderland of water tables, waterfalls, and streams of water shooting in every direction.  We all loved it and I can see it becoming a regular activity – especially since our local pool doesn’t open until noon.  Speaking of the pool, we swam on both Saturday and Sunday afternoons; I love that we have a swimming spot so close to our house.  Both kids love the water – but Nugget particularly.  I joke that it’s the Pisces coming out in him, but he really is a fish.  Peanut takes longer to warm up, but she can throw a truly epic tantrum when it’s time to leave the pool.

Reading.  Last week was a bit of a slow reading week (the four book covers lined up notwithstanding).  On Monday, I finished Commonwealth, which was good but not my favorite Ann Patchett.  Then I picked up Greenery Street and read it slowly over the course of the week, interspersed with Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? on Audible.  Towards the end of the week, I also started Northbridge Rectory on my kindle, because I had business travel to Chicago and didn’t want to bring Greenery Street on the plane.  (Too much taking it in and out of bags wears away at the corners of a book, I find, and I want to keep my Persephones nice.)  I’m enjoying everything I’m reading at the moment, but it’s also been hard to find time – between traveling to Chicago and then spending most of the weekend playing with the kids in the pool, I haven’t been able to read as much as I usually do.  I realized, as I was spotting Nugget in the baby pool yesterday, that it doesn’t even enter my mind to pack a book to read at the pool these days, when I used to spend more time considering my reading material than I did my swim suit.  My new summer reality, folks.

Listening.  After finishing Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? on Audible, I went back to the Great Courses for a little while, and listened to a few more lectures from Classics of British Literature – so fascinating!  Over the weekend, I got on a podcast kick and – between driving and cooking – listened to several episodes of The Home Hour, The Mom Hour, Sorta Awesome and The Book Riot Podcast.  My podcatcher is looking scary after so much time spent on Audible recently.

Watching.  Steve and I are still working our way through the three seasons of The Great British Baking Show that are available on Netflix here in the U.S.  I’m definitely feeling inspired to bake!  I planned to make a savory quickbread with some tomatoes that I stewed with thyme and rosemary (from the garden!!) this weekend, but I felt guilty about the idea of baking while my sous chef was napping, so it didn’t happen.

Moving.  Finally, I have something good to report!  I had a fabulous run on Friday morning in Chicago – went out intending to run about two miles and ended up doing closer to four.  It was pretty much my only opportunity to see the sights of Chicago while I was there (on business) so I made it my mission to visit as many tourist destinations as possible, and damn I succeeded.  I took so many pictures that I decided a recap post was in order – coming Wednesday!

Blogging.  As I mentioned above, I have a recap of my awesome Chicago run coming to you on Wednesday, and on Friday – I don’t know.  Usually I have my posts for the week drafted – or at least planned – by the time I sit down to write this one, but I don’t have anything for Friday.  There will definitely be a post – I just don’t know what it is yet!  We’ll all be surprised.

Loving.  Don’t laugh, but I’m sort of obsessed with Airstream trailers.  I’ve always found them intriguing (it’s like living in a baked potato!) but recently I’ve found some Instagram accounts – like Currently Wandering, and Airstream Dreams – that celebrate the iconic trailers for both what they can be and what they can allow you to do, and I just love their posts.  I’ve decided that I want to retire to an Airstream and drive it all over the country.  Steve says that I’m crazy, but I’m determined to bring him around to my point of view.

Asking.  What are you reading this week?

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Starting off a new year, I’m always full of plans and goals – some involving books, some involving the (less important) rest of life.  Often, I set a number of books I’d like to read – usually 100, since I’ve found that’s where I naturally fall when left to my own devices.  (Sometimes my total is in the high nineties, some times a little over one hundred.)  I might occasionally add a goal to read a certain number of classics, since I love them – they’re my comfort reading – but can tend to get distracted by new releases.

Goal #1 – Read Diversely

Last year, I set a goal of reading at least 33% books by diverse authors – people of color, LGBT authors, Muslims, and other underrepresented groups.  I ended up with just a hair over 40% and was very happy with my result.  This year, I set the goal of 33% again and, as of the time of this posting, was hovering around 39%, which I think is quite good, considering I haven’t been as diligent about it this year as I was last year.

Last year, I built myself a nice cushion in February – Black History Month – by declaring that I would only read books by African or African-American authors.  I had a wonderful month of reading and it helped put me over the top at the end of the year.  This year, I wasn’t able to do that, thanks to library deadlines resulting from some overeager hold-placing.  (Oops.)  But I seem to be doing okay anyway!

My total was also helped last year by listening to the All the Books! podcast.  Liberty and Rebecca are great about recommending diverse books and I checked out quite a few books by people of color on their recommendation.  I’ve since stopped listening to the podcast, mainly because my podcatcher is full already, and I want to have some time for audiobooks, so I’ve trimmed my subscriptions down to just my very favorites.  But if I get to fall and my diverse books percentage isn’t good, I may add them back into my rotation.

Favorite diverse books of the year (so far): The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas; Code Talker, by Chester Nez; March: Book 3, by Representative John Lewis; and In the Country We Love: My Family Divided, by Diane Guerrero.

Goal #2: Project 24

Did I mention I was trying to do Project 24 this year?  (I think I did – but to be perfectly honest, I can’t be bothered to go back and check my old posts.)  Anyway, for the uninitiated, Project 24 is the brainchild of Simon from Stuck in a Book (who also happens to host my favorite podcast, Tea or Books?).  The idea is to buy only twenty-four books in a calendar year – so, a pace working out to two per month.  This may sound like a lot of books still, but I assure you, for the ardent bibliophile, it is not.

Two books per month is the pace I try to hold to every year, but as you know, I have quite a few exceptions.  This year, however, I am not using my exceptions – I am strictly and diligently holding to twenty-four books for the year, and feeling quite disciplined and pleased with myself.

Of course, the truth of the matter is, this project is backfiring on me just a little.  Restricting myself from buying books when I want them, unless it’s a new calendar month, is allowing me to make excuses for buying fancy Folio Society hardcovers when I do purchase a book.  It’s entirely possible that Project 24 may not end up saving me money.  But I’ll have to wait for the end of the year to make that judgment.

So, what have I bought?

  • The Red House Mystery, by A.A. Milne (Folio Society)
  • The Little White Horse, by Elizabeth Goudge (Folio Society)
  • Anne of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery (Folio Society)
  • Anne of Avonlea, by L.M. Montgomery (Folio Society)
  • Envelope Poems, by Emily Dickinson (The Gorgeous Nothings)
  • Mary Barton, by Elizabeth Gaskell (Folio Society)
  • Wives and Daughters, by Elizabeth Gaskell (Folio Society)
  • North and South, by Elizabeth Gaskell (Folio Society)
  • Anderby Wold, by Winifred Holtby (Virago)
  • The Land of Green Ginger, by Winifred Holtby (Virago)

So, as you can see – ten books by May, right on track.  And all but three of them are Folio Society products.  (If I ever get loose in the Folio Society bookshop – look out, world.  It’s a good thing the shop is in London.)

For the rest of the year – I have my eye on completing the Elizabeth Gaskell set (three down, two – Sylvia’s Lovers and Ruth – to go), and on the Folio Once and Future King.  All three are no longer available from the publisher, so I’ve been stalking AbeBooks.  I’d also love to add some of the Furrowed Middlebrow books to my shelves, the gorgeous Mary McCarthy and Sarah Orne Jewett compilations from Library of America, some Persephone Classics, and some more Trollope.  So I suppose I’ll have some decisions to make…

Have you set any bookish goals for 2017?  How are they going?

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Well, it’s Monday again.  Last week was a really hard and stressful week for a couple of reasons (all work-related) and even though we had a nice weekend, I still feel like I need more time.  Isn’t that always the way?  My parents were in town for a long weekend; they got here on Thursday, attended “grandparents’ day” at Peanut’s school on Friday, and then hung out with us until Sunday.  We had a really nice time with them and the kids loved having their grandparents around – as always.  On Saturday, my mom joined me and the kids at a charity 5K event hosted by my office, and then while the kids were napping, my parents went for a walk around the neighborhood and I hit the garden center.  Saturday was my dad’s birthday, so we took the grandparents out for dinner at Virtue Feed & Grain, a cool restaurant down by the river.  On Sunday morning, we went out to breakfast and stopped by the playground to hang out for a few minutes before the grandparents had to head back to New York.  We spent the rest of the afternoon lounging around while Nugget napped and Peanut threw epic tantrums (that phase ends eventually, right moms?) and then walked down to the waterfront in our new wagon (courtesy of Steve’s mom).  It was nice and relaxing, although I wish we could have worked a hike in on Saturday.


Reading.  Not too much to report to you this week, sadly.  Because of a crazy work week (what else is new?) and some big stress on that front, I didn’t get much reading done.  I finished re-reading Anne of Green Gables on Tuesday and the rest of my reading time this week has been dedicated to How to Be a Tudor.  I’m reading against a library deadline and it’s become clear that I’m not going to make it.

Watching.  More watching than reading – unusual.  Steve and I are still making our way through The Great British Baking Show at a pace of about an episode a night.  Those are dominating our evenings.  We’re well into the second season now, and it’s totally addicting.  We took a break while the grandparents were here and introduced them to Moana (they loved it) and Rock the Park (same).  Then back to TGBBS on Sunday evening after they went home – but I need to alternate between TV evenings and reading evenings, I think.

Listening.  I’m back in my podcatcher this week, but not actually making progress on my queue.  Instead, I’ve been hopping around in the archives of The Mom Hour, listening to old episodes on topics like “getting organized for summer” and “organizing, storing and creating with your photos.”  I need to actually listen to some of my current episodes before my podcast subscriptions stop uploading, but all in good time.

Moving.  The week itself was a bit of a bust, thanks to horrible stress and no time.  (Of course, that’s exactly when I should make time for a workout, since exercise always clears my head and helps me to feel better.  But knowing what you should do and finding a way to actually do it are two different things.)  But I made up for it with a pretty active weekend – Saturday’s 5K, plus spending a chunk of the afternoon gardening and power-cleaning my front porch, and then an evening walk; and on Sunday, a walk to the waterfront (and more importantly, back home – up a huge hill) dragging a wagon with a combined 60 pounds of child sitting in it the entire way.  Now that was a workout.

Blogging.  Two updates coming to you this week – an update on how I’m doing with two reading challenges on Wednesday, and a garden update on Friday.  Stay tuned!

Loving.  I mentioned it above, but I have to give another shout-out down here to The Mom Hour.  I don’t know how I didn’t know about this podcast sooner!  The episode about surviving the end of the school year had me nodding along so hard I thought my head would fall off.  (Yes, Sarah, all these end-of-year special events and demands really are designed to make the most with-it parent feel like a flake!  That was sympathy I needed after sending Peanut to grandparents’ day in her school uniform, which was apparently wrong.  Whoops.)  I love that Megan and Sarah, the hosts of The Mom Hour, are working moms – so many of the parenting podcasts that I listen to (whether regularly or occasionally) are hosted by stay-at-home-moms, which is great for them (goodness knows I loved my time as a SAHM) but just a different experience.  It’s been so nice to listen in to two moms who are coming from an experience that is more like my own (even if “full-time working mom” means a different thing in biglaw than it does elsewhere).  Megan and Sarah are both totally real and their podcast is a mixture of wisdom, hilarity, great ideas and advice from moms who have been there.

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

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Happy Monday after Mother’s Day!  I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend celebrating the moms in their life, and being celebrated too, if you are a mom.  My little family made me feel special all weekend.  Saturday was a bit gloomy – we’ve been having lots of grey and misty, and even some rainy, weather here lately and Saturday was no exception.  I’d planned to run some errands on Saturday morning – nothing too exciting – but plans changed on Friday when I discovered that my friend Lauren was in town from Buffalo with her family.  Lauren was a friend from Stroller Strides (my favorite exercise class ever) and it had been way too long since I’d seen her.  She’s had a baby since we moved away, and I hadn’t even met the new little one.  So I fired off a text and we decided to meet up at the Natural History Museum on Saturday morning.  We had a fun morning hanging out with Lauren, her husband and their two kiddos and checking out the exhibits.  Peanut, predictably, loved the gems the most, and Nugget was into the ocean life exhibit.  I didn’t see much of the museum – between keeping an eye on wandering kids and catching up with my friend, my attention was occupied.  But it was a great morning!  Sunday dawned clear, sunny, and H-O-T.  Finally!  The kids gifted me with a couple of books and an art print of Old Town row houses (sweetest!) and then we set off for my morning request – a Mother’s Day hike, of course.  We hit up Mason Neck State Park, which Steve and I hiked once six years ago.  They’ve done a lot of work on the trails and boardwalks since the last time we were there, and it was beautiful.  I think we’ll definitely be adding it to the regular hiking rotation.  (Recap coming on Wednesday!)  I spent naptime on Sunday reading, and after Nugget finished playing in his crib and not sleeping, we took a walk to the library (returned books only! no checkouts!) and the playground, FaceTimed Nana, and stopped in the fudge shop for a small treat.  I ended Mother’s Day in the best way I know – curled up in Nugget’s rocking chair, with a cuddly baby passed out on my shoulder.  Thanks, guys, for giving me such a great weekend!


Reading.  It was a busy week at work, and a bit crazy overall, but pretty productive on the reading front.  I finished The Hate U Give last Monday and can absolutely see where all the raves are coming from.  However, I needed something lighter after that, so I picked up Mother Daughter Book Camp, the seventh and final installment in the Mother Daughter Book Club series (which I have liked more and more with each book, so I’m extremely sorry to see it end!).  The last installment was as cute and fun as expected.  Next I read Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less, after seeing it recommended by a few book bloggers.  It was fine, but didn’t blow me away.  Finally, last night I picked up the Folio Society edition of Anne of Green Gables, both because it’s on my spring list to read anyway, and because I really needed it after watching the first episode of “Anne With An E” – read on.

Watching.  So, on Friday, Netflix dropped the first season of Anne With an E, the new – darker, grittier – adaptation of Anne of Green Gables.  I’d heard raves coming from my Canadian friends, who have already seen it, and was cautiously excited.  I was expecting the flashback scenes of Anne’s traumatic past, so was prepared for that.  But what I wasn’t expecting was the liberties that were taken with the plot in general – especially one major change at the end of the first episode, which had me so shocked and disappointed that I threw up my hands and declared I was done.  It’s too bad, because it’s gorgeously shot and acted.  I wouldn’t have minded if it was just “showing the darker side of Anne’s past instead of just insinuating it” but what is the purpose of changing plot points that Montgomery actually wrote?  That bugged me.  (I also didn’t like the sixth Harry Potter movie, for the same reasons.)  Anyway, I think I’m done with Anne With An E, unless my Canadian friends convince me to give it another go.  After that, Steve and I both needed a palate cleanser, so it was back to The Great British Baking Show we went.  We finished the first series that is available on U.S. television (although it was clear there were previous series) last night.  What a fun show!  We both get more into it with each episode.  It’s magic.

Listening.  Not too much to report here.  I did more listening last week than I have been doing recently, and made my way through a few queued episodes of The Book Riot Podcast, then back to The Great Courses: Classics of British Literature.  I’ve just wrapped up the second lecture on Shakespeare.  It’s a lot of fun, and so interesting.

Moving.  Same as usual around here.  Hikes, chasing Nugget, and wishing I had more time for my running shoes.  Sunday was a pretty active day, with a hike in the morning and then a walk to the playground.  (I don’t just get to the playground and then sit down on a bench, you see.  I run up and down stairs, lift Nugget on and off the swings and teeter-totter, catch him as he comes down the slide (and he also insists that I “do way up high!” – a.k.a. toss him in the air – when he comes off the slide) and chase him away from the landscaping around the edges of the playground.  It’s actually quite a workout.

Blogging.  All trails this week!  I have a recap of our Mother’s Day hike (for the 12 Months Hiking Project) coming on Wednesday, and musings about growing up on the trails on Friday.  Check back!

Loving.  I’ve got two things I’m loving this week.  One, of course, is my sweet little family, who made me feel so loved and celebrated on Mother’s Day.  I’m a few years into this journey now, but still grateful every day that I get to be a mom (even if it is exhausting sometimes).  On a lighter note, this week I was also loving a new Twitter account that just started up – @ObamaPlusKids.  The account is dedicated to posting a picture every hour of President Obama interacting with kids of all ages, and the cuteness is almost too much to bear.  Some of my favorites – tummy time in the Oval Office, and the pint-size Pope in a plastic Popemobile trick-or-treating at the White House – have already been posted, and there are so many more that I’ve seen for the first time, every one absolutely adorable.  (So many babies grabbing President Obama’s nose!)  If you’re on Twitter, go follow them ASAP.  It’s a much-needed lift right now.

Asking.  What are you reading this week?

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Morning, friends.  Everyone have a nice weekend?  We did – a low-key one, even more than the last few.  We stuck close to home base all weekend and didn’t do much of anything productive.  (Well, I didn’t.  Steve put together a new armoire for the bedroom and set up a sandbox for the kids, much to their delight.)  I’ve been particularly stressed at work lately (probably more stressed than I even should be, objectively speaking) and I just wanted to chill, so that’s what I did.  We took a walk to the farmers market and picked up some strawberries, asparagus, and a gorgeous bouquet of orange and yellow ranunculus – pictured above, and it’s actually two bouquets; the kind flower seller told me to go get another one for free after I paid for the first bunch, and also gifted Peanut with a white rose – and several walks to the playground, and on Sunday we also ambled down to the waterfront and saw the fire boat deploying on a call.  I spent both Saturday’s and Sunday’s naptimes reading, despite feeling vaguely guilty for not working, cleaning, doing food prep or making progress on anything I “should” be doing.  Whatever!


Reading.  Good reading week over here!  Last Monday, I finished A Field Guide to Awkward Silences, which was absolutely hysterical.  With some library deadline pressure eased, I went back to the books that I owned and was partially through, and finally finished Barchester Towers, and adored every moment of that reading experience.  I don’t know what took me so long to come to Trollope, but I’m now a convert and couldn’t be more delighted to have so many more of his books to read.  After Barchester Towers I picked up The Hate U Give, which is pretty much the opposite of Barchester Towers, but incredible in completely different ways.  I’ve been flying through it and it’s riveting, heartbreaking, and – as the cover blurbs promised – searing.  I’ll finish it in the next day or so, I’m sure, and I think at that point I’ll probably go back and finish A Gentleman in Moscow.

Watching.  New obsession alert!  After checking periodically with no success, last week I finally found The Great British Baking Show on Netflix.  I’d had a stressful day and watching British people bake cake seemed like just what the doctor ordered, so I requested that we check out an episode.  Steve and I are now both completely obsessed and spent most of yesterday evening, after the kids went to bed, glued to the TV watching the show that has understandably captivated Great Britain (or, at least, captivated the English book bloggers I follow, and one of my sorority sisters who lives in London).

Listening.  Hmmmmm, not much to report.  A few podcasts.  But with our SafeTrack surge over, I’m not standing as long on Metro platforms and I’m able to get a seat so I can pull out my book on the train again – plus I’ve had so much noise in my head recently that I haven’t felt like putting more in via my earbuds.

Moving.  Nothing to report here.  Still pedaling my DeskCycle and taking walks around town, but nothing more interesting.  Steve started the Couch to 5K program, so he’s doing better than I am at the moment.  I’ve got to get into a routine before the summer heat makes running really unpleasant, or else I’ll be writing the same non-update until fall.

Blogging.  Musings on life in “the Tired Thirties” coming up for you on Wednesday, and an overdue recap of our Easter Sunday in the tulip fields on Friday.  Enjoy!

Loving.  I’m trying to rein it in, but lately I can’t get enough canned sparkling waters.  I put them on the grocery list every weekend, and every week I run out by Wednesday.  La Croix grapefruit is a favorite, as is La Croix coconut and Wegmans coconut-lime.  I’ve never had a problem drinking still water, so I don’t need to use these to trick myself into hydrating, but they’re just so darn tasty and fun that I can’t stop pounding them.

Asking.  What are you reading this week?

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Mornin’, friends.  How were your weekends?  Other than flying by as usual, ours was nice.  We started Saturday morning off with a walk to the farmers’ market – something I would really like to be in the habit of doing, but that we hadn’t made happen in too many weeks.  Our market is year-round, but it definitely gets bigger in the warmer months.  At the end of April, spring produce was everywhere, and I finally got the asparagus I’ve been craving for weeks now.  We also bought some pastries, and Nugget stole my spinach croissant and made hilarious faces as he ate the croissant while carefully avoiding any vegetables – ha!  The rest of the day, we mostly stuck around home.  It was a scorcher – 95 degrees! – so we kept the kids in air conditioning.  I did a run out to Lowe’s to pick up some supplies for the garden, and spent a very hot hour dragging patio furniture around and transplanting a few plants into larger pots.  I’m pretty sure I killed our snap peas.  (Hoping for a miracle.)  Sunday was a little bit cooler – not much, but enough – so we drove down to Leesylvania State Park to explore the trails.  It’s not a huge park, but it’s all on the water, so the views were gorgeous – witness above.  The park is on the Potomac, but downriver a ways, where the waters start to open up as they get closer to the Chesapeake.  There was a sandy beach where people were already swimming, and a few boat launches.  So it was a lovely, albeit short, hike.  We ended the weekend splitting up the kids – Steve helped Peanut clean her room while I took Nugget for a bike ride to the playground – and then I stayed up way too late finishing my book, and am now of course exhausted to start the week.  What else is new?


Reading.  So, a pretty productive reading week.  I finished Pachinko early last week and managed to get it back to the library without an overdue fine – hurray!  Turned then to Hag-Seed, Margaret Atwood’s retelling of The Tempest for the Hogarth Shakespeare Project, and absolutely loved it.  I’d expected to like it, but was surprised by just how much I enjoyed the reading experience.  Finally, I quickly blazed through A Field Guide to Awkward Silences, Alexandra Petri’s memoir of all of the ways she has embarrassed herself, and as expected, it was a hoot.  (Petri is well-known inside the Beltway as a humor columnist for The Washington Post, but she deserves to be more widely known, as she is a riot.)  I finished it late last night, so next up, I plan to go back to one of the books I’ve shelved (literally) to make time for these library books – all of which had loudly ticking deadlines – so I’ll either resume my acquaintance with Count Rostov or with the people of Barchester.

Watching.  Not much this week, since I was trying to push through the above-noted library books before their deadlines.  But we did watch the thrilling conclusion (no I’m not kidding) of Pride and Prejudice, and I think Steve really enjoyed it.  He loved seeing Lizzy tell off Lady Catherine.  And on Friday night, I was craving an old movie – I really wanted to watch Bringing Up Baby, my all-time favorite film.  Sadly, our DVD has not turned up post-move, and neither Netflix or Hulu obliged.  So we ended up watching To Catch a Thief, which is nothing like Bringing Up Baby, but still a good time.

Listening.  I think the only listening I’ve done all week was to the Sorta Awesome parenting confessions episode, which I listened to in the car on the way to and from the gardening center over the weekend.  I just have been wanting a little more quiet recently, so Audible has mostly been off.  But I did enjoy the one podcast episode I listened to.  Perhaps more listening to come this week?

Moving.  Well, I realized that as busy as my work-weeks are, the only way I was going to get any kind of movement in was if I worked it into my workdays.  So I dusted off my DeskCycle and got some pedaling in every day while I worked, and squeezed a couple of yoga routines in at lunchtimes.  That, plus Saturday’s gardening and Sunday’s hike, made for the most active week I’ve had in awhile.  Still not what I’d like, but at least better than wishing for movement!

Blogging.  I had fun sharing poems every Friday in April, and I hope you liked my choices!  This week, back to regularly-scheduled programming.  On Wednesday, I’ll share my April reads, and on Friday, the first of what I hope will be many garden updates.  Check back!

Asking.  What are you reading this week?

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