Posts Tagged With: reading

grateful for a brain reset

This summer felt weird.
Almost like it didn’t really start until we came home from Thing 2’s at the end of June.
Then I blinked and July ended.
Now it’s all gearing up to get ready to go back to school.

I find myself searching for something just out of reach…
Perhaps I’ll focus on what was worth celebrating.
Perhaps a little brain reset?

I’m looking at all things for which I am grateful.
What better brain reset could there possibly be?

This is what I’m grateful for in May:
four negative COVID tests
YBW being only a little bit sick
Amber (she does my hair)
Jessica being here
Nicole and Jon being here
Baby K finally meeting (and loving) Nicole
two of my three alternative health care providers
Essie Willow in the Wind

What I’m grateful for in June:
LAST DAY OF SCHOOL (Dobby is a free elf)
celebrating at two graduation parties
Essie Aruba Blue
Baby K weekend
a day at Nats park with my darling nephew
an unexpected Holly day
finally being at home with Thing 2 and Boyfriend M
new ink
celebrating Josie at her surprise birthday party
one of my three alternative health care providers

What I’m grateful for in July:
celebrating twenty-five years of Thing 2
an extra long Baby K weekend
Democracy jeans
Six at the National and cocktails at Round Robin with Thing 1

dinner with Nora and Dale
Essie Spice it Up
a Bards Alley trip with Baby K in which she discovered kaleidoscopes
Thing 1 creating the perfect labels for my pantry containers with her Cricut
two of my three alternative health care providers

I’m chock full of gratitude this summer for:
being able to read so many books
fresh peaches
time on the roof terrace

a new grill
tequila
brewing some damn fine iced tea

Even though things are weighing heavily on my brain and heart, I’ve got so much to be grateful for!
I hope y’all’s summer has you chock full of gratitude too.

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April gratitude

As we move into May (my most favorite of all the months) I want to take a moment to look back on April and celebrate.

April was busy. Especially the week it shouldn’t have been.
But the good kind of busy.

I’m grateful for:

two of my three alternative healthcare providers
brunch and bellinis with Mike and Josie
Oscar Isaac (we’re watching Moon Knight or as I call it ‘the moon guy’)
Essie Geranium polish
Smithsonian museums
dinosaur bones
the Smartless podcast
my dad’s windchimes

my friendship with Thing 1
a clean home
Bards Alley Bookshop
YBW’s sense of humor
kick ass charcuterie boards
free oil changes
working just the right amount
talking to my brother on his birthday
skeeball and air hockey (I’m excellent at one mediocre at the other)
time with YBW’s brother and sister-in-law
sunny afternoons
roof terrace time (#porchlife much?)
books
Harp Lager
monogrammed rainboots
afternoons with friends
weekday bubbly with Holly
reading
a really great dermatologist
Natasha Lyonne (we watched the second season of Russian Doll)
snow in April (three times)
celebrating Baby K’s third birthday
being the hostess with the mostest (for YBW’s work fam)
calling it like I see it
Old Navy Super Cash (Baby K outgrew all her warm weather clothes)

Dear April,
Thanks!
(heart) Roby

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Wednesday morning thoughts

We’re getting a break from construction for a few days.
Our bathroom is finished (and gorgeous) but the shower glass is taking longer to manufacture than expected. And while it would be convenient for the contractor to demo and start on the hall bathroom we have no place to shower if that happens.
So, they can’t demo until we have shower glass.
Which means we get a break from having people in the house. It’s easier for the dogs. It’s easier for the baby. (therefore easier for Thing 1 and Husband N) And let’s be honest, it’s easier for me too. I like to write in my bedroom and with the work going on, that’s simply not doable.
Waiting is a pain in the ass, but at least we can clean our asses, you know?

Thing 2 and Boyfriend M will be here in five weeks, everything will be finished by then, so I’m not going to worry about timing.
I’m going to enjoy less chaos in the house for a as long as I can.

YBW and I are going to the design center Friday. It’s the first meeting about the new house. Navy kitchen cabinets, here I come! We’ve been on their website ‘hearting’ what we like, and if I understand correctly, they’ve pulled everything we like and we’ll have the opportunity to lay hands on it. I’m especially curious to look at flooring. There are two different options I like, and being able to see them live will help make that decision.

I’m having a hard time with keeping track of the date.
I know what day of the week it is, but I’ve no clue as to the date. I was looking at the milk this morning, it has a sell by date of 10/4. I had to ask Thing 1 about today’s date because I realized I had no earthly idea.
I mean, I’m putting stuff in my phone calendar and writing it in my planner…you’d think I’d have some idea WTF day it is…is it just me, or is it covid life?

My TBR stack continues to grow.
Why do we purchase books at a faster rate than we read? (I say we to ease my conscience)
I’m reading a book called Rules for Being Dead.
So far, I like it.
Have any of y’all read this yet?
I just got Matt Haig’s new book and I’m excited to start it.

I miss being at school.
I haven’t been to school since February. And distance learning doesn’t really require subs so I’ll be waiting until we actually go back to school.

What makes missing school tolerable is spending time with Baby K.
That girl is something else!
I am so grateful to be an active part of her daily life.
My time teaching and learning with her is sacred. I know how lucky I am.

I’m going to wrap this up. I realize I’m just rambling at y’all and most likely, that’s not much fun to read.
I hope your Wednesday is lovely.
I’m going to go read now…

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the little things

I face timed with Sally and her family on Tuesday.
So many kisses blown!

I had the worst headache I’ve had in nearly two years on Wednesday.
Waves of pain so great they caused involuntary tears.
Lying down with my magnet mask saved the day!

I saw Thing 2’s relief money was in her account Thursday morning.
Replenished savings FTW!

I talked with Jessica Thursday morning.
That love is real!

I saw Holly in the afternoon on Thursday!
She stood in my yard and I stood on my porch. We exchanged a bottle of olive oil and a ten dollar (founding father without a father)

I went to the acupuncturist yesterday. Had my treatment and picked up my Chinese herbs.
Listened to the Hamilton soundtrack on the way home.
I can’t tell you how much better I feel!

I talked to Thing 1 while I was in the car on the way to Falls Church.
Husband N said, “Love you, Birdie!” and I heard Baby K giggling!

I read the 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle this week.
Am still reeling!

I swung by Bards Alley Bookshop.
My (prepaid) book was in a basket on their patio waiting for me to come pick it up!

Watched Lego Masters finale off the DVR last night.
The team I love most didn’t win.
The team that started out with the most trouble ended in the final three!

I woke this morning to hot coffee and gooey cinnamon rolls.
YBW is the best!

I’m picking up shampoo and conditioner at the hair salon today.
Prepaid and waiting in a bag for me at the door.
Healthy clean hair!

So much rain this week.
But, much less pollen!

The sun just came out from behind the clouds!

These are the little every day joys from my week.
It really is the little things, y’all!

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surprise book sharing

I found this on my front porch Wednesday afternoon.

It’s in a zip bag not to protect us from germs, but to protect the book from rain.
It poured all day Wednesday.

This note was enclosed.

I bought this book as a gift for Meredith on her ninth birthday. She was finishing up a thirteen book series before she started this on. We agreed it sounded interesting and she promised I could borrow it when she finished.

I’m taking a break from photos today. I made it from (approximately) 1915 through 1999 and feel like I deserve a rest.
My plan is to read this book and engage in conversation with her as soon as I’m finished. (I’m hoping about three or four hours, but we’ll see.)
If life was normal, I’d read it and walk up the street to their house, or she’d walk down the street to my house and we would snuggle up on the sofa with the book and talk talk talk.
But life isn’t normal, so I’ll text her mom and see if she can face time or we can talk. It won’t be the same, but it’s still lovely to share a book with a friend.

This is exactly what I needed today.
Wish me happy reading.

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an opportunity

So YBW’s company has divided his team into two groups and they’re alternating working from home and going into the office each week. This plan began Tuesday. Wednesday morning he’s at his computer in his jammies with the cutest bedhead hair ready to work.
His group won’t go back to work until Monday. Of course, he’s on call this week, so if anything blows up, he’ll be going into the office anyway.
This working from home thing is tricky because of the kind of work he does.
I don’t actually have an opinion about him working from home. (be sure to document my lack of opinion)

I’m up and dressed and going about the Robyn things.
I sort of feel like I should be adventurous when it comes to meal prep. But that also sounds like more effort than I’m willing to put forth. Not to mention more dishes for me to do.
I might actually tackle cleaning my closet. I mean, I recently did a bit of a purge, but I need to examine my shoe situation. They need to be put away properly, and I could take this opportunity to wash all the sweaters and get them put away for spring.

I’ve got a huge project of going through the last thirty years of photos that I was saving for when Thing 2 comes the first week of April. Of course, now, she may not actually come.
We had tickets to for a live Welcome to Night Vale show, but the US shows have all been postponed.
So I can either tackle that alone, or wait patiently for Thing 2 to come and assist. Seems a shame to waste the opportunity when I’m actively trapped in the house for the foreseeable future.

YBW asked me last night if I thought I might go stir crazy being trapped at home.
I honestly hadn’t thought about it.
But now, as I put forth (slack-ass) effort to plan my days, I’m beginning to wonder.
I have Netflix and Hulu. And Disney + is a thing, right? But I’m already over the television.
According to my local meteorologist, it’ll be 81 today. Maybe I’ll get on setting up some porch life?

I feel bad for complaining. Though TBPH, I’m not actually complaining, I’m just expressing my thoughts.
That’s the key. Minding the attitude. I’m not being a dick. I’m simply trying to suss it out…out loud…to all y’all…

My mood is actually quite good.
I have a big ass stack of TBR.
I have a ton of music to be organized.
I can go outside and get some vitamin D.

It’s just that I know there’s an opportunity in all this and I’m disinclined to waste it.
But an opportunity for what?
Stay tuned, y’all!

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book sharing at its finest

Last week, I read a little book called Daisy Jones & The Six.

I will say that I absolutely adored this book. I truly felt as though I was part of this story. I couldn’t put it down. I devoured it in one day.
I mean, sure, it’s written as a series of interviews so it reads easily, like a play, but that’s not what I’m talking about. These characters hooked me from the word go!
This story is my childhood! I was learning about music from my dad during this time, and so much of Daisy Jones, and The Six, and even Daisy’s disco queen friend Simone reminds me of him and the music he shared with me. Especially when Daisy sings Janis Joplin. She was a favorite of my dad’s and mine.

The whole while I was deeply enmeshed in this story, I kept thinking how much Thing 2 would love it.
She’s got a very late 70s vibe about her. While she’s currently committed to Folk Punk music, she’s always been curious about music and loved exploring “old music”. That girl has an old soul, and music from another time somehow just gets to her. Thing 2 is actually a teeny bit Daisy Jones, I think.

When I finished reading, I closed the book and immediately ordered one for Thing 2.

It arrived Tuesday.
She took this pic as she began reading Friday morning.

I was so hopeful it would land with her the way I suspected. That she’d love it as much as I felt she would. I believe this book was written specifically for my second daughter.
Well, I didn’t have to wait too long to find out.

My work here is done.

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who’s on your list?

I just read this book called The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle.
On the eve of her thirtieth birthday, Sabrina is late to meet her closest friend for dinner. When she arrives at the restaurant, she finds not only her friend Jessica, but, her deceased father, favorite college professor, estranged boyfriend, and Audrey Hepburn.
These guests from the list she wrote at the insistence of her friend when they were nineteen and in their first year of college.
Let’s just say that while wackiness ensues, there is a great deal of love at that dinner table.

Haven’t we all considered the question:
What five people, living or dead, real or imagined, would you invite to dinner?

But how do you really answer it if you know it’s never going to be an actual thing?
Do you just choose randomly?
Does your curiosity drive your list?
Do you create your list based upon unfinished business?
Do you consider things such as, desire to interact with these particular people, but not how they might interact with one another?

I’ve been thinking about how I would create this top five guests list, and I’m noticing it changes with my mood.
For instance, I’ve always wanted Grandaddy to know Thing 1 and Thing 2. I’ve also wanted him to know YBW. But that’s four out of my five guests.
And honestly, I know and love these people so much, it doesn’t really matter if they know each other. Three of them know each other and all of them know/knew me. Perhaps that’s enough.

As I consider this dinner list, I have to ask myself, what’s my motivation?

Perhaps I choose a straight literary guest dinner?
Or film industry folks?
Or musicians?
I mean, picking Billy Wilder’s brain at dinner sounds absolutely wonderful…but do I plan an entire dinner party around that?

What if I choose at random?
Just five humans I’m curious about, you know?
What kind of dinner party does that actually create? That goes back to how my guests would interact with one another. And let’s get real for a moment, that’s an important part of planning a successful dinner party.

So, what if I create a guest list at random? I invite people that fascinate me.
That list could look like this:
Ben Bradlee
Mark Twain
Erin Van Vuren
Rick Bragg’s mama
Grace Kelly

I mean, WTF kind of dinner party is this?
Would these guests get on together?
What would I actually serve these people?
I’d be fangirling about three of them to the point I might actually pee my pants!
Or would I?
Perhaps I’d be lovely and gracious and we could all learn wonderful things from and with each other.

Ha! Let’s get real!
I’d be worried I’m not smart enough to be in the same room with Mark Twain.
Not informed enough to be in the same room with Ben Bradlee.
Not clever enough to be in the same room Erin Van Vuren. Though honestly, I feel like she’s the safest bet.
Not graceful enough to be in the same room with Grace Kelly!
And while I suspect I’m down to earth enough for Rick Bragg’s mama, I feel like she’d judge the food, and that would break my heart.

No, I don’t think I’d enjoy myself at that dinner.
I don’t feel like it would meet my expectations of ‘The List’.
A dinner party should be enjoyable for the hostess as well as the guests.

That’s why I considered it from a different perspective.
Who would I like to talk with and enjoy spending the evening with in a way that suits who I am as a person?
Who might actually enjoy spending time with me, and each other?
Who do I want to connect with on a deeper level than fascination or fangirling?
With whom do I want to drink cocktails and/or wine?

After some serious thought, I present my dinner list:
Alan Cumming
Carol Burnett
Dominique Browning
Nick Drake
Richard Burton

For me, this dinner is an ideal combination of playful, serious, humor, kindness, and darkness.
A dinner party to really sink my teeth into.
I mean, sure, there are people I ‘like’ more, or am a bigger ‘fan’ of, and whatnot, but, this group of people feels at once comfortable and challenging. And I love that!

I’m curious what y’all think of my list.
I’d love to know who’s on your list, and how did you decide?
Is it harder than you expected it to be?

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thanks, Roald Dahl

matilda

Like Matilda, I am not alone. For I have books-a-plenty.
Thanks, Roald Dahl for this hopeful and comforting message.

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food for the soul

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis once said: There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.

I believe this with an unparalleled fierceness.
I tell all parents of young children this is my philosophy of child rearing: First you feed a child with food, then with books, then you worry about whether or not their shoes fit.
If you could see the looks on their faces. They have that initial moment of WTF? but then I see their eyes widen as they begin to understand how this makes some kind of sense.

I believe this principle applies to grownups too.
You ever been to someone’s home and find no books and feel like there is something so completely wrong with that? I don’t trust a person who doesn’t read.
I love to explore what other people have on their shelves.
We all know that someone who has books on the shelf for show, you know damn well that person doesn’t read them, they’re there lined up like little soldiers just to impress.
If you looked at my bookshelves, the majority of the books are either children’s books or biographies. Of course there are other things mixed in, adult fiction and textbooks, even some pretty amazing nonfiction too.

We must eat food to sustain our physical lives.
But books are food too. Soul food.
They feed our imagination. They feed us inspiration. They feed us information. They feed us laughter and love and tears. They feed us fear and loathing. They feed us when food isn’t what we need to ingest.

When Thing 2 was a small girl, we were waiting at the doctors office. I was reading and she was reading. She had just begun to read “proper” books, and was reading her first chapter book. It was the first time I didn’t read to her as we waited somewhere. It was the first time I read my book and she read hers. When the realization washed over me I began to cry.
After a big breath, I said to her: You’ve given yourself the best gift you’ll ever receive.
She looked at me from behind her coke-bottle glasses with confusion. I indicated the book.
She said: You gave me this book.
I said: Yes I did, but you learned to read it. And from now on you’ll be able to read anything you want. What a wonderful gift you gave to yourself!
She thought about this for a moment and then gave that jack-o-lantern smile (She was missing three teeth at the time.) and said: You’re right!

Both Thing 1 and Thing 2 love books. And shoes. They’ve been influenced by my parenting philosophy quite literally. (There’s a trees and two apples and never are they terribly far apart.)
I know that they will pass on their love of books to their children, and their nieces and nephews, and one day, their children’s children.

This quote has been attributed to Stephen King: Books are uniquely portable magic.
And they feed the soul.

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