Well, hello.

The mornings are early and only one of the four of us enjoys them. We shower, get dressed, eat breakfast. Make sure backpacks are loaded with homework, gym clothes, snacks. Violet leaves earliest of all of us. Her first class starts at 7:30, but she’s out the door most days by 7:00 (don’t get me started) because she likes to be there early.  Jesse and I drink coffee while Abram plays. We run down the day’s schedule events – practices, religious education, random checklists of household things and what’s for dinner. When he heads out for the day, Abram and I settle in to read a chapter or two. We’re almost finished reading “Hoot”. I know I’ve mentioned before I hate reading chapter books aloud. It’s slow and clunky and usually that makes me restless and irritable, but my nine year old doesn’t like reading chapter books at all (for the same reasons I don’t like reading them aloud) but he does like having someone read to him, so…here we are. We have two chapters remaining. I don’t know what we’ll read next. I drop him off at school. Run errands. Do a little “work”.

I recently finished “A Place for Us”. It was recommended by Sarah Jessica Parker on instagram. Her recommendation was backed up by the recommendation of a friend who I trust with those kind of recommendations. It may have been the best book I’ve read all year and I’ve read some good ones this year. It was a slow start. I fell asleep while reading the first few chapters but I kept at it and it was very worth it. I also finished “One of Us is Lying” which is a YA book that Violet picked up at the library and then decided was too grown up for her after the first chapter (it was). It was a good book. Predictable, but I stayed up until 1:30AM to prove that it was predictable and didn’t regret it.

I haven’t been knitting or watching much. Occasionally, I sit down to an episode or two of Parks and Recreation. Sometimes, The West Wing. I never watched either of them when they were on, but I enjoy them.  I’ve knit two socks almost to completion only to rip them out and now I’m just not feeling the knitting. I hope I’ll come back to it. I’m worried I’ve burnt out on it. I’ve worked a little on the Washington D.C. embroidery, but only here and there. Early mornings have lead to early bedtimes and early bedtimes haven’t been conducive to getting much crafting done. I always imagine I’ll do things during the day while the kids are school and I do…I do dishes, laundry, visit with friends, but I don’t seem to making time for the fun stuff.

I know I haven’t written since August. It’s been a pleasant blur of after school activities, friends, and family. I’m…happy. I’m angry and indignant and sad and scared too. My heart and head are big enough to hold all those things at once and learning that has lead to peace. And I’ve needed peace. I think we all could use peace.

It’s definitely October where we are and I don’t know if it’s the gray, rainy, cold, but I find myself doing a lot of metaphorical pruning and planting. I’ve done some of the literal variety as well. The trees are changing and the days feel so short. I pulled up my lamp out from the basement and bought myself a bottle of vitamin D. I’m ready for fires and blankets and sweaters and snuggles but getting out of bed is getting harder and while I believe in allowing yourself seasons, I also know that I want to send my kiddo off with a hug and smile even if she does leave the house at an ungodly hour (seriously, it’s not even fully daylight!!)

So that’s me. How about you? What have you been reading, watching, doing, thinking about lately?

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  • So, so happy to see a post from you this afternoon, Kate 🙂 , and so glad to hear you’re well and happy, despite the ungodly hours you’re having to keep. Once V finishes at this school, will high school start at a more reasonable hour? I sure hope so…

    I’m always interested in hearing what you’re reading. May I suggest The Hobbit as your next read-aloud for Abram? (Hey, did you finish the Harry Potter series? IIRC you were reading that aloud to the kids quite a while back?)

    It’s hard to feel the knitting-love when you’re frogging everything. I recently frogged the infinity scarf I made last fall. (The Stockholm scarf.) I LOVED it…just not on me! Now I’m reusing the yarn to make a scarf that actually *will* be more my style, and although there’s a part of me that is kicking myself for “wasting” all that time on the original scarf, I’m finding the work on this one very meditative.

    I’m so relieved it’s fall! (Even though that means finally facing the veggie garden (which I pretty much ignored all summer) and working to process the kale.) I’m glad for the cooler weather and the structure of my youngest back to school. I wish I had your peace, though.

    • I would like to tell you that the high school starts at a more reasonable time, but it does not. The school board tried to pass something a few years ago (you know because, SCIENCE) but there was a huge hubbub of “back in my day” and “we coddle these kids” and “jobs” and “practices will start too late” and alas…ridiculous early start times for middle schoolers and high schoolers despite (smart people) knowing that’s when kids start naturally having later bedtimes and wake times…but you know, who cares about science? I sound so peaceful, don’t I? 😉

      Thank you for the recommendation of The Hobbit. I may not take it (I had to read it in middle school and I hated it) but it’s bubbling on the back burner. As for Harry Potter – Violet got impatient and read it on her own. I’ve read it. Abram wasn’t interested. So we stopped with the reading of that one aloud (much to my husband’s dismay – he enjoyed that one).

      I’m looking forward to seeing the new scarf and I’m glad you’re enjoying working this pattern. I think that maybe part of my knitting frustration. I need a stretch but not TOO much of a stretch.

      Good luck with the kale and veggie garden!! So good to hear from you!!!

  • Hi Kate,
    As always, I love these posts from you. They are always so newsy and cosy. I am so glad that you are happy. Happy in the midst of all those other emotions. I often am too, these days. It is surprising, and welcome. Wish I knew what has made that happen (so I could replicate it the next time sadness comes for an extended stay), but I am trying to appreciate the gift. And accept it. Sometimes it feels as if happy is wrong right now. It helps to get the reminder that happy and all the other things (outrage, sorrow, grief) can exist simultaneously. Maybe keeping that truth at the forefront is the trick?

    As you know, I am with you on the start times. Wouldn’t it be nice if adults could actually put kids’ needs at the center? But we don’t. I think many problems would be resolved if we could.

    I hope you continue to enjoy this season (of the year, of your life). Looking forward to checking out the book you recommended. (Wanting and enjoying fiction again.) Just finished “The Punishment She Deserves” a very long, very British (though written by an American, I think) detective story. It’s quite germane to the current debacle unfolding, which is a coincidence but a happy one (even though about horrific things–more of that mix). If you tell me what kind of books Abram likes, I can probably make some read aloud suggestions.

    So nice to hear from you again.

    • Abram is tough so I’ll gladly take you up on some read aloud suggestions. Hoot is the first chapter read aloud that he’s actually enjoyed enough to keep doing it. (We’ve tried Rats of NIMH, Harry Potter, Boxcar Children, and Dinosaurs before Dark). The Phantom Tollbooth has been discussed (in part because Violet and Abram are getting to see a performance of it) as has Chomp (because he liked Hoot) and my sister recommended Roald Dahl because while I wasn’t a fan he was her FAVORITE and she thinks he’ll like him. We have had success reading poetry – New Kid on the Block, Shel Silverstein – and he still loves having picture books read to him (and I still do that because picture books are good and if that’s what he likes, I will) but he has a teacher who really wants them to start reading “at level” so I’m trying REALLY trying to help engage him. He’ll read Captain Underpants and Diary of a Wimpy kid and that ilk, but he picks them up and puts them down and doesn’t really feel the need to ENGAGE in reading them from cover to cover. Honestly, Hoot was the first chapter book he’s committed to in any significant way. So…thank you for your offer of help, I will gladly take you up on it!!

      ALSO, I am really glad to hear that I’m not alone in being happy despite all the other emotions. It makes me happy to know you are happy. I think you are right that part of the trick is just realizing we get to feel all these things simultaneously. I’ve also been practicing delight. Which sounds kind of silly and twee when I write it out but is actually WORK for me. I just think it’s important for my kids to see that I delight in the people they are becoming, in the things they find interesting, and in my own things too and it’s hard to be unhappy when actively practicing delight. So it’s good work? Anyway, glad you’re experiencing happiness too despite all the reasons not to!!

      • Let me think on this. My son didn’t like fiction much. Have you tried non-fiction? Will didn’t care much for the Magic Treehouse stories, but he loved the non-fiction companions. I will get back to you on this.

        • Thanks, Rita! We’ve definitely done some “who was” non-fiction and he likes those. I didn’t even think about it but think trying that may be a good idea.

          As for the happy, I think I’m going to need a few days. Yesterday was hard.

  • While the calendar says it is fall, our weather is still hot and humid and summer-like. I’ve come to peace with it, so I won’t whine about it here. Only mention it. I’ve been reading Agatha Raisin mysteries lately. They are light and predictable, but I find the main character annoying &/or charming so I keep reading them. Also they’re cheap at Half Price Books, so that’s a bonus, too. Your early mornings sound well-organized, but oh. so. early. My goodness gracious.

    • We’ve been so gray and rainy and cold for so many days in a row that I think I would love a day or two of hot/humid/summer-like. But only a day or two. I don’t see that happening and that’s okay. I love our seasons – even if winters tend to be BRUTAL here.

      I love that the mornings sound organized. They aren’t. It’s much more a hodgepodge if everyone getting underfoot of everyone else and scrambling to find where we left the library book, but they do have their own rhythm and I love that. I haven’t heard of Agatha Raisin. I might have to look that up!