Month: November 2011 (page 1 of 4)

Gratitude Month, Day 30

Today I’m grateful that I had good books to read this month (and always). Mostly I was writing instead of reading. But I did get to read this:

*HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX by JK Rowling. It was the one on the shelf when I went seeking a fix to my HP need. Which is kind of funny, because I think this is the book where Harry is least likable. In fact, he’s a prat. He complains. He grumbles. He’s rude to everyone. He acts… like a grouchy teenager. (What?) I know. That’s what we call character development. I do love the story a lot. Especially love Luna. Do you love Luna? Do you think that maybe she ends up marrying Neville and staying at Hogwarts forever? Sometimes I like to think so. Also I love Ginny and the twins. But really, not so much Harry in this one. (Reread, for about the eighth time.)

*WITCH WEEK by Diana Wynne Jones. Oh, fun. Witch children (boy and girl) at school, working to escape/embrace their fates. I’ve read some of hers before — clever fantasy series / middle grade types. She’s lovely and funny. The only thing that I didn’t love about this was the POV whiplash caused by a whole lot of “change point of view with change of paragraph” — not just anyone can get away with such a thing. Most of us should Never try. But it was cute. And Kid 3 (10 years old) adored it.

*MANIAC MAGEE by Jerry Spinelli. (Reread) The boy (very nearly 8 years old) was looking for something to read over Thanksgiving break. I told him this was a great book. He shrugged. I told him to try it and if he didn’t like it by chapter 3, I’d find him something else. He finished within a week. This one came out when I was in college, and my little brother loved it and passed it to me. I’ve read it and wondered how, exactly, Spinelli manages to create and “solve” race-relations questions in such a mature manner without taking them out of the realm of pre-teen kids. It’s a stunning little book, and I love a good “boy story.” Really glad I went back to read it. And now I want a butterscotch Krimpett.

Gratitude Month, Day 29

We’re coming into the home stretch here. I can feel it. I may never be thankful again.

Oh, come on. I’m just kidding.

But know what? It’s a beautiful day outside. It’s fifty degrees and sunny. It feels like fall, and it IS fall, but usually at this time of year we tend more toward smaller numbers, if you know what I mean. So today I’m grateful that it’s lovely outside, and that I made it out there too. That I spent four Very Productive Hours working on my revisions. That I think the book is getting better (oh, let me stop when I get to the top of that trend, and not revise it to death…). That even with the lots of removals, my word count increased by more than a thousand today. And that I made bread so we can have sandwiches for dinner. That we can go for shakes tonight (because Why Not?) and that the Kids are enjoying each other. That I have another day (tomorrow) with nobody expecting much of anything from me, so I can continue to revise and strengthen my little book. And that I have books on the nightstand waiting for me to dive into them. See? There is much to be glad for, even on a Normal Day.

Gratitude Month, Day 28

I’m grateful for a couple of weeks off in the novel-writing department. And I’m really grateful for the comments from my beta readers, which range from “Hey, that was pretty good” to “If you really want to make something of this, you’ve got some work to do[1]” and were all very helpful and much, much appreciated.

I got back into it this morning, and guess what. I think I can do it. And I will do it. Because I really should do it. And I want to do it.

So, hooray for breaks and helpful feedback and all kinds of writerliness.

Back to work, all of us.

[1] Nobody said that. There is a lot of work to do. And lots of people are helping me see how to do it. And everyone was nice. Because I like nice people. And it’s a nice book. Or it will be, when I get busy and make it so…

Gratitude Month, Day 27

Happy Birthday, Husband.

It’s forty-one-derful. (Or something like that.)

I’m thankful the most for you. For your kindness. That you provide. For the fun. For the working side-by-side. That you do the dishes sometimes, when dinner was really, really good. That you put aside your own wants and needs for the rest of us. For the movies and the dance parties and the memory books and the photos and the games and the walks and the hikes and the bike rides and the drives and the trips and the just-sit-around days.

I love you. Remember that? Well, it’s still true. I’m yours and you’re mine and so there. Forever.

Gratitude Month, Days 25 & 26

I didn’t get on the computer yesterday to write a blog post. It was nice, you know? We hung around together, Not-Shopping (except we did end up running out for toothpaste and a couple of other needs in the afternoon — who runs out of toothpaste?). We played Charades. It was amusing. I read a book. Likewise amusing. We ate a lot of cold turkey off a plate. For dinner we had the stuffed mushrooms we couldn’t have for a Thursday appetizer because even with masterful planning, I only have one oven and it only heats to one temperature at a time.

So yesterday I was feeling really thankful for lazy days, post-holiday satisfaction, and delightful children.

Today I’m feeling grateful that we moved some furniture and found a new place for the Christmas tree [1]. Guess what. Guess. It doesn’t block a single western window, leaving me plenty of afternoon sunlight to crawl around inside. And that is something to be thankful for.

And also, today we get to go to a cousin’s wedding, and I am very looking forward to hanging with family and not being in charge of a single thing.

——

[1] Ten years, same spot. Same “Oh, I miss the afternoon sunspot” moaning. On the eleventh year, the tree is in a new home and it looks lovely. It’s not decorated, but it’s lovely.

Gratitude Month, Day 24

Happy Thanksgiving, friends.

Today I’m grateful for a whole lot of white food (turkey, potatoes, rolls, etc.) and a healthy, fun, happy family to share it with. I hope your day is joyful and white-starch-filled.

XO
Becca

Gratitude Month, Day 23

Wherein I dust off my kitchen nerdery…

I was making bread. I do this often. Yesterday it was pizza crust. And I know that instant yeast was invented just so I could skip the “proofing” step, but did you know that the proofing step is one of my favorite things? So I put the warm water into the bowl. And I sprinkled in the yeast. And the salt. And, because I wanted to watch it do some fun stuff, a little sugar. And I watched, nose almost touching the rim of the bowl. And the yeast got wet and started to sink down into the water, a few heavy little flecks at a time. Then, as I sat there and smelled the magic yeasty smell, it started to dance. The little flecks of fallen yeast rose up as great blobs of frothiness. In different rhythms and in different places in the bowl, they got their groove on and floated up to the top. I stared as they crowded each other out of the surface and started rising higher, above the water level, until they’d become this frothy, airy cloud of perfect yeasty gorgeousness.

Did you know that yeast will proof and rise without sugar? I make bread without sugar all the time.

But did you further know that if you want to watch it jive like I wanted to watch it jive last night, you need to add a little extra sweetness? There’s a lesson in there for me. I know it.

I am grateful for the things that rise to the top and the sweetness that allows the process to become a beautiful thing.

Gratitude Month, Day 22

Dishwasher.

Remember that at this time last year we’d been going on six months without one? And how it was fine, really? Because we spent extra time together after dinner what with all the washing and drying and putting away business?

And then remember that we received one for Christmas, by the grace of Annie and her dad’s new kitchen appliances?

And we’ve loved it so, so much. It is a great joy to have it.

But somehow, this town is hard on dishwashers. Like, they stop really cleaning dishes. First they just decide to spread around foody atoms until every plate is filmed with that one little fleck of pancake that was left on that fork. So, we deal. We rinse carefully, all the while grateful for the dish sanitizer. Because, yes. That is truly something to be grateful for.

After that, something happens with this town’s water supply that instead of coming out cleaner, all dishes come out Whiter. Which is fine for the white dishes. Not so much for the glassware.

Poor glasses. Months. White crusty spots on all my glasses. Ah, well.

Enter Lemi-Shine.

Guys. I don’t watch TV, so I don’t know if these people advertise. They’re certainly not paying me. So I don’t know what they might promise. But they deliver. THIS: White glasses spots, gone after one wash. Plates that felt chalky, slick as spit. Silverware is cleaner. Oh, guys. This stuff makes me so happy. If you have filmy or cruddy dishes, try Lemi-Shine. See if it makes you as happy as it makes me. Go on. Try it.