Oh friends, I’ve missed you. Every week I think about how lovely it would be sit down and chat and then, it’s May. I know going in that I’m headed for a whirlwind marathon of a month, and every year I’m still surprised at how whirlwindy-marathoney it ends up being. And I, ever brilliant, decided to start a new job in addition. I’m behind on laundry, and gardening, and catching up with friends, and every single television show. Last night, I went to Abe’s last choir concert as a middle schooler. I cried. Tonight, I will go to his last track meet as a middle schooler, I will cry. Tomorrow, I will drop Violet off at orientation for their first job. I will cry. If you see me and I’m not crying, I’m at work, smiling ear to ear because I get to talk about books, and unpack books, and enter books into a software system, and shelve books, and talk to book minded people about things that aren’t books (and books).
Let’s talk things in brief: I started a pair of socks for Jesse because it’s been since before Christmas since I’ve knit a pair and it’s well past time. Our craft room is still not unpacked or organized (see the remodel that STILL isn’t finished) so that and garden plans are all I’ve been making. (Note: PLANS. I haven’t put one thing in the ground yet and I need to get my butt in gear).
I’ve been watching (no spoilers in the comments, please, I’m behind at last two episodes in all my shows) Ted Lasso – this season is disappointing me. Still love all the characters. Still sweet. Just wish it was…better. Ghosts (American version) – it’s sweet and funny and I hear this season ends on a cliffhanger. Vanderpump Rules – I can’t wait to get all caught up before the reunion. I mean, THE DRAMA.
What I have been doing is reading and reading and reading. Last month’s 30 day challenge of reading for at least 30 minutes, in addition to my job, has gotten me back into a reader groove. Since last time: Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel, You Could Make This Place Beautiful by Maggie Smith (I loved this one so much.), Little Monsters by Adrienne Brodeur (a preprint for work – feeling very ambivalent), Sea Change by Gina Chung (recommend), The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (Beautiful and HARD.) The Society of Shame by Jane Roper (good, funny satire), The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich (middle grade, alternative to Little House series. VERY GOOD), and Tastes Like War (ambivalent again – really didn’t love this one). Heartburn is on my bedside table to read next. In other reader news: Abram told me just last night that I did a really good job picking out a book for him to read (The Maze Runner) and he regularly stays up a little later to sneak in one last chapter. I just ordered the second in the series.
That’s me. I apologize if this sounds a bit…manic. I just really wanted to say hi and how are you, but now I need to get a dishwasher emptied/loaded, laundry folded and put away, pack a snack bag for Abe, pack my bag for work tomorrow before picking up V to drop off V, before I head to Abe’s track meet. It’s May. What a whirlwind marathon.
Tell me what’s new in your world? What are you -ing? I hope this finds you well!
You sound very, very busy! I’m glad with so many good things, even if some of the things make you cry. Your kidlets have grown so fast! I love the photo of Vi; those glasses are so great. As is the vibe.
I miss being a person who works with books and people who love books. (I will tuck this observation away until I have some time to properly sit with it.) I will say that I highly recommend Dear Edward and The Great Believer (from your photo). I also recently finished You Could Make This Place Beautiful. I loved the writing, the craft of the book. I found myself unable to go entirely along for the ride of it. Something else for me to ponder at another time. I will never forget discovering The Bluest Eye when I was in college. (So, a long time ago.) It shook me in so many ways, as a writer, as a white person, as a woman. So much power in such a slim collection of words.
I am similarly underwhelmed by Ted Lasso. But I will watch it anyway, as it is one of the few shows Cane and I both like enough to watch together. We’re also watching Somebody, Somewhere, which I highly recommend. Alone I’ve been watching Single Drunk Female (Hulu), which I think you might like? Ally Sheedy as the main character’s mom is a little mind-blowing for me. She’s still Ally Sheedy, but also…not? Also finding myself very into the final season of Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which works for me when I let myself accept it entirely on its own terms.
In other -ings, I am finishing all kinds of little projects that I just want to get done before we leave for most of the summer. Spent much of Mother’s Day power-washing our shed in preparation for doing some paint maintenance. (I love power-washing, so this was a good thing.) Finishing a kitchen tiling project we almost finished last fall, as well as painting a small hallway between the kitchen and laundry room. Cleaning and re-organizing kitchen drawers. These kinds of projects aren’t sexy and don’t make for dramatic before/after photos, but they sure make me feel good.
It’s nice to know what you’ve been up to, and I’m looking forward to checking out Ghosts and some of your books that I don’t know. An -ing I have not been doing is writing, so I’m grateful that you are, for the connection it provides. Take care–
Thank you for your recommendations from my stack of books! They both have been toward the top of the pile, but now I will move them to the tippy top.
I have not watched the final season of Mrs. Maisel because we decided to give up our prime membership a few months back. I thought it would be a difficult thing to be without but I’m finding that it actually isn’t. I will miss watching that show, but I’m realizing between work and reading for work/enjoyment, I just don’t have the same number of hours I used to have.
You sound busy, busy as well, but enjoyably so? I agree with organizing kitchen drawers as an unsexy but enjoyable.
I’m glad you could stop by. I’ve missed your writings, and look forward to hearing what you have to say when you return!
So happy to see this post from you this afternoon, Kate. I’d be crying too, at the last concert and the last track meet—the busyness of parenting active teens is something else, and yet these years just fly by. I know, I’m sorry—it’s such a cliché, but here I sit knowing my youngest is only 6 weeks from finishing high school, and I just cannot understand where the time has gone.
What a great list of books! Several are going on my TBR list. I just finished Cloud Cuckoo Land (I loved it), and have started a middle grade book called Greenglass House. It got great reviews, but I’m having a hard time getting into it. I’m also listening to The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. I had borrowed it from the library quite awhile ago but ran out of time on it. This time I’m determined to finish, so I’m listening while cleaning and knitting. (Working on a cardigan and socks. Your blanket is coming along beautifully, btw!) I just finished watching Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, which I really enjoyed. (Well, if I’m being honest, I enjoyed the storylines but could have done without the explicit sex scenes.)
I just today went to a couple of greenhouses and picked up some plants for the vegetable garden along with a few perennials. My husband and I have been reworking some of the yard, taking out some overgrown non-native shrubs, and I’ve been trying to research replacements. I did tell my husband that I should never, ever, ever be allowed to make planting decisions—because those overgrown shrubs were chosen by me a decade ago, and they weren’t my first or only mistake—but it seems I am once again making decisions…
Have a good week, Kate—and thank you for posting. I love these catch-ups, manic or otherwise. 🙂
It’s a cliche, because it’s absolutely true. It does go so quickly (despite thinking it couldn’t possibly 10-15 years ago.)
I’m so glad you liked Cloud Cuckoo Land. I thought it was really great. Violet and I both liked The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue and I could see how that would be a wonderful audio book. I’m still wishing I could get into audiobooks! I just think it would be so lovely to listen and knit.
We agree very much on Queen Charlotte. I haven’t finished the series yet, but I have watched the first story/series and it’s…a lot.
As for gardening, landscaping mistakes – you aren’t alone. I put in landscaping only to rip to out for raised beds, to continually be changing and adding things. I love that you’re researching and putting in more natives. It’s hard work doing all that research!
Finally, sending love. I know I’m a bit of mess with my babies growing up and I can only imagine that you are in the same boat with your youngest graduating.
There is so much here that connects to my own life that I’m afraid this will be a long comment, so let me try to give you the cliff’s notes version.
First and foremost, I love that you’re doing Tarot (I believe that’s what the Black Egg card is?). Everything about this fascinates me.
I LOVE THE BIRD JIGSAW PUZZLE.
I saw the book Heartburn. I love the movie, and I recently found the song (again) Coming Around (Again) by Carly Simon (which appears in the movie) and have been listening to it nonstop. Then, the other day, I came across The Itsy Bitsy Spider (also by Carly Simon, and featured in the film), and I remembered how much I used to play it for Anna when she was little. 🖤
Maggie Smith’s new book has been on hold at my library for nearly a month. I’m tempted to buy it because everyone is raving about it.
My friend Kristen recommended that I watch Vanderpump Rules season 10. Last night, Anna said that she had just finished it. Then you brought it up here. It’s official: I’m going to watch it tonight. 🤣
I’m sending you lots of love for all of the big and little things going on in your life right now. 😘❤️
I love long comments, Kari. ◡̈
I haven’t seen the movie Heartburn though I am a fan of some of her other movies. I’ll have to look it up once I finish the book! (Hopefully this weekend at some point.)
That jigsaw puzzle was SO hard – at least in the beginning. We all agreed that was our least favorite to do so far. I’d happily send it your way if you’d like to give it a try. It was satisfying to finish! (Email me your address if you’d like it!)
I’m kind of surprised that you haven’t gotten on the Vanderpump bandwagon! I know you Housewives. My friend Kristi got me hooked so I smiled at your friend Kristen telling you about it.
Thank you for the love. I accept and send some right back to you! (The Black Egg is from a Wild Unknown deck. I have both the tarot and animal spirit deck and I love the art work. I got in spurts. Interestingly I’ve pulled two cards in the last two weeks and they both have had to do with “voice”, writing, truth.)
Hi Kate, I am so glad you are enjoying a job! What is Violet’s first job? Your post does not seem manic to me! Lots of tears of joy 😊
Started a 🧩 puzzle too
Making new friends 100 years old
Learning about memory and altheimiers
Walking which I thought I would never be able to do
Assigning a new Power of Attorney
Living in a independent retirement community facility on the bay front
Hi TD. Violet will be working as a lifeguard this summer. I’m very proud of them!
Thank you so much for stopping by. Your -ings sound good – and like you have possibly moved since we last talked!
* into a retirement community ( sorry no not)
I couldn’t walk. It took months for me to learn how to walk again
Oh my goodness! I’m sorry to hear you’ve been going through some health things. I’m glad you’re walking again, but so sorry you’ve been through that!
* into a retirement community ( sorry no not)
I couldn’t walk. It took months for me to learn how to walk again
I also was a lifeguard at Violet’s age. Fun job and rewarding! Good for her.
Ally Bean says
I am so into the idea presented by the fifth chakra/black egg. I think about such things, hoping that I can always keep my ability to communicate clear and flowing and pure. Is that a tarot card, btw?
I like your 30 day challenge of reading for at least 30 minutes and will start doing that. I read throughout the day, mostly news or information, but I need to intentionally say I’m going to read for pleasure then do it. Great idea, wonderful results.
What’s going on here? What am I -ing? Car woes [boring], house woes [tedious], gorgeous nature surrounds me [enjoying].
I’m glad you have the gorgeous nature to offset the car and home woes.
The card is from the Wild Unknown’s Animal Spirit Deck. The artwork is amazing. I have a tarot deck from them as well, but I use that less often.