Friday Blabber

Hello out there..  I felt like doing a Sunday Salon style post, but since it’s only Friday I’ll have to call it something else.  Friday F F F F.. ok, no “F” word is leaping out at me..  we’ll just call it Friday Blabber.

Life has been so crazy around here.  My mother in law was hospitalized a week ago and my husband flew across the country to be by her side.  She’s still in the hospital but is doing much better, thankfully, and is expected to go home this weekend.  Hub will stay until Sunday (such a mama’s boy :-o)

My 12 year old has been a total pill this week, fighting with me about EVERYthing.  She got braces Wednesday and her mouth is sore.  Apparently this has heightened her emotions to new highs.  Every stray thought and feeling is magnified, everything is SO unfair.  It’s exhausting for me!

My youngest has been whiny and clingy, complaining relentlessly about Daddy being out of town.  WHEN is he coming home?  WHY does he have to be there?  He’s been gone since Sunday.  Last night she was so unhappy about it and mad at him that she refused to talk to him on the phone, and then sobbed about how other daddies are home every night.  It’s not fair!

Calgon, take me away!

I love the Olympics but they have seriously cut into my reading (and sleeping) time.  I got so caught up watching Shawn White and the other snowboarders last night that I never looked at the book in my lap.  And the skaters!  Wow!  I’ve been staying up so late, and falling asleep with the TV on.  Why is it on so late??

I’ve been reading Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott.  Totally terrifying if you are the mother of soon-to-be teens.  They have this whole secret world full of lies and deception and risk taking..  drugs, boys, drugs, sneaking out, more drugs.. and yet it all looks so pretty on the outside.. good grades, part time jobs, polite to adults, keeping up appearances.  I vow, right now, to be the nosiest mom of teens ever, up in my kids’ “bizness” at all times.  I will read diaries, I will search pockets, I will have internet controls, I will read their text messages and Facebook pages, I will give drug tests, I will call teachers, I will know the parents of their friends, will constantly ask questions and keep tabs on them.  I will not be their BFF, I will not look the other way, I will not make excuses, I will give consequences, I will not believe their lies or buy their BS.  How else can you protect them?  See, I remember high school, and I remember what I was like.  My mother didn’t have a clue.  I will not be clueless.

Aren’t you glad you’re not my kid???

On my nightstand are A Reliable Wife for my March book club meeting, and Give Me, Get Me, Buy Me (non fiction about demanding children- who better to review that??).  Also I’ve got two books on their way to me- HarperCollins is sending the new Lionel Shriver called So Much For That (I still can’t get We Need to Talk About Kevin out of my mind years later!).  Then there’s a historical fiction novel about the Donner Party called Impatient with Desire by Gabrielle Burton (from the author).  I’m really looking forward to that one.

On Monday 2/22 we will be discussing Keeping the Feast with author Paula Butturini for our Winter Reading Series here at Books on the Brain.  Paula will join us ‘live’ for an hour (5pm PST) to answer questions and talk about her book.  Please drop by if you’ve read the book, or if you’re thinking about it!  Oh, and my giveaway of American Rust will run through Sunday at midnight.. leave a comment for a chance to win.

This weekend will have us delivering girl scout cookies to the neighbors on Saturday, and then my book club will meet to discuss The Weight of Silence on Sunday.  And then Daddy comes home (woo hoo! cue the angels!). Maybe I’ll leave town for a day or two so he and the kids can become reacquainted :-).

Hope you have a lovely weekend!

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My Very Own Ratatouille-Rodent Update

 

imagesThis is all so upsetting.  I have the exterminator here right now and he says we have roof rats getting into our attic- so we aren’t even talking about mice anymore.  I’m freaking out and feeling physically ill to think they’ve been in my kitchen, my daughter’s bedroom (where the attic access is.. there’s a small gap and he found droppings), etc.  The poor man is trying to tell me things and show me things and I said- please, I don’t want nightmares- just take care of it.  He says this is a very common problem in Southern California.  So he’s setting traps in the attic right now.  The hub’s at work and I wish he were here to talk with the guy.  

We might as well have put out the welcome mat for these rats- apparently there are all kinds of entry points and gaps and holes in the attic and garage rafters that lead to the outside.  We have a field behind our house so it’s no wonder they’re around.  And we have pet food inside the house (guinea pigs) and in the garage (dog food).  I’m not the best housekeeper ever (I try, but I live with slobs!), and my kids can be downright sneaky with food (candy wrappers under their beds, etc.) and lazy about putting things away, so the damn things hit the jackpot at our house.
 

Please send all your rat-killing thoughts our way!!  Sorry, I know some of you animal lovers will want me to do things humanely, but I just want them dead and gone.  Which just reminded me of my latest iPod acquisition- funny how the brain works:

The Removal of Christmas

Would someone out there like to come over and get rid of Christmas for me?  The tree and all the decorations need to be taken down and put away, and the cookies need to be tossed.  It seems my husband and I have grown increasingly lazy over the last two weeks and lack all motivation (the cookies may have something to do with that).

And while you’re at it, could I get you to take the lights off the house too?  I warned my husband that “what goes up, must come down” (and be stored somewhere) but he didn’t heed the warning.  He put SOOOOO many lights and inflatables in the yard and on the house.  Our street looked like the Vegas strip, as there was an unspoken competition between my husband and two of the other ‘manly men’ on the street over which house had the biggest and best decorations.  Men.

 The neighbors took down their decorations yesterday but our house is still quite festive looking-even though we are painfully aware that IT’S OVER.  

When do you get rid of Christmas and all the trimmings?

Ho Ho HO

I swore I’d never be one of those bloggers who apologizes for their laziness and lack of blog posts- I’m not delusional enough (yet) to believe anybody truly cares that a week has gone by since my last post- but rather than apologize I’ll attempt to explain.  

Coupled with the usual holiday crazies and being a HO I’ve felt much more foggy than bloggy lately.  The time I normally spend reading or blogging (late night and early morning) I’ve spent sleeping, planning, worrying, or eating (oink).  We’re dealing with some big issues at my house and I’ve been turning to food as a crutch and a comfort from the stress, which doesn’t really matter if I stay in my bathrobe for the rest of my life but is a bit of a problem if I want to fit into my actual clothes.  I was talking to a friend about this last night at a neighborhood party- maybe friend is too strong a word- anyway, as she nibbled on a baby carrot she said, “When life gets difficult, I turn to exercise.  I always feel better after a run.”  I wanted to slap her, but instead I smiled, nodded, and excused myself to make a second trip to the chocolate fountain. 

Opening gifts OMG!  THAT"S SO CUTE!

Opening gifts OMG! THAT"S SO CUTE!

The last week has been a whirlwind of doctor appointments (4) and party preparations.  My youngest turned 10 Saturday and we had a slumber party with 7 giggly wiggly girls.  They screamed, played games, laughed, screamed, sang karaoke, went on a scavenger hunt, screamed, and ate tons of junk food.  Why do 10 year olds respond to everything with a scream?  It started the minute the girls began to arrive.  “I GOT A GUINEA PIG FOR MY BIRTHDAY.”  “NO WAY!!!”  “OMG THAT IS SUCH A CUTE SKIRT!”  “I LOVE YOUR MONKEY SLIPPERS!!!!”  “WHO WANTS TO PLAY A GAME?”  ME ME ME!!  SCREAM SCREAM SCREAM  The one thing I forgot to buy for the party was a set of earplugs for my husband and me! 

img_1626The picture is from a game my daughter invented-Pin the Lips on the Jonas Bros.  This game elicited more screams and peals of laughter than anything else they did all night.  I have to agree that the Joe Bros are pretty cute, even if Joe’s eyebrows look like they were drawn on with a black Sharpie.  The gaggle of girlies finally collapsed into sleep around 2 am.  

The next morning we took my daughter and two friends out for a round of golf.  It was a Southern California postcard kind of day- imagine palm trees against a brilliant sun, blue skies, puffy white clouds- we were very lucky as it was the only sunny day in an otherwise cold and rainy week. 

As for this week’s reading- I finished Chez Moi by Agnes Desarthe (review tomorrow) and was able to read about half of Swim to Me by Betsy Carter.  Next up- The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted and Other Small Acts of Liberation by Elizabeth Berg.  It just seems appropriate. 

What are you reading this week?

Stylish Storage or Stacker-upper?

 

How do you store your books? Are they everywhere, or organized? Do you alphabetize by author, title, or not at all? Do you group by genre? Are they displayed artfully, or stacked up on tables?

To see the coolest bookshelves EVER, check out the Bookshelves feature at Covers, a website dedicated to the appreciation of book cover design, and one of my favorite websites to visit. If I had unlimited amounts of money and space, and a really stylish room to put it in, I’d go for The Quad, but at $1,999. it’s a little pricy for me.

 

quad.jpg.

For now, I’ll have to stick with my current system of piling books on every flat surface in my home, and lining them up on all the shelves in our entertainment center.

But it’s nice to dream..

Nature is a Mother

Southern California is on fire. The numbers are staggering. 17 major fires, more than a thousand homes and businesses destroyed, thousands of acres burned, a quarter of a million people evacuated. Property loss will surely be in the billions. It is so massive that the smoke can even be seen on satellite images from space.

The firefighters are superhuman superheroes. They are risking their lives wearing 35 lb. suits and carrying up to 100 lbs. of gear in extreme heat, doing very physical work under the worst possible conditions on no sleep. Their resources are spread so thin because there are so many areas burning. There’s always an idiot who refuses to evacuate and puts the firefighters in an even more precarious situation trying to save his stupid ass.

Arson is suspected in some of the fires. One firefighter has lost his life, so the arsonist is now a murderer. It’s a very fluid situation and I can’t keep my eyes of off CNN.

98 degrees today, 0% humidity. Devil winds. A recipe for disaster. Hopefully cooler temperatures and higher humidity tomorrow will cut the firefighters some slack. Mother Nature needs to be a little more motherly.

Our part of Orange County is not ablaze, but it smells like a campfire. Our eyes sting. Our lungs burn. Our homes, cars, and driveways are covered in dust, dirt, ash and soot. The air quality is so poor that soccer practice has been cancelled all week. My kids suffer from allergies, so the wind and filthy air are making them miserable. I’m hoping the school will keep them inside at recess.

But our minor discomforts and complaints are nothing compared to those who are fighting these fires, and those who have been displaced and have lost their homes. My heart goes out to them.

A few things to think about at times like these: Are you adequately insured? Does your family have a disaster plan? Do you know what you would grab if you had just minutes to evacuate? Would you be able to tell the insurance company all the contents of your house? Are your important papers, insurance info., etc., easily accessible? It’s good to be prepared for anything that Mother Nature dishes out.

Now I feel bad about hanging up on Tina the other day.  But that was before the fires.