Shameless Reading Spot: What’s Yours?

Do you guys watch Seinfeld? You know that episode where George builds out the space under his desk so he can take naps while working?

Seinfeld - George

Every time this episode comes on my husband and I laugh because this is a trick I have been doing for years. NOT while working and NOT to take naps, but before work, I throw down my yoga mat and sort of “hang out” there with my book.

It’s true.

I made the decision a long time ago to get to work earlier than I have to. Mostly, to avoid traffic but back in the day, I did it to go to the gym before work. That doesn’t happen anymore. But, I’ve come to love my early mornings for lots of reasons. It’s super quiet, no one is here, I can enjoy my coffee, read, listen to Spotify if I want and yes, throw down my yoga mat, get comfy and literally fall into whatever book I am reading at the time.

This morning I was thinking about why this spot appeals to me so much and I have to say, that it reminds me of my childhood. My favorite library growing up had reading cubbies for the kids. Made of wood, they were just the right size and when you read inside of one, you could shut the world out around you.

Here’s a shot of mine, minus the yoga mat but as you can see, it’s not tricked out like the one George had. Heck, it doesn’t even have a back to it. My old desk did. Oh, how I miss it.

Desk

My husband knows me so well that yesterday when he asked me how I was feeling in chat, this is what went down:

Chat

So, am I weird? Do you guys have a shameless reading spot? It’s not something I would yell from the rafters but I think maybe readers could understand my weirdness. No?

Annie: Post-Show Re-Cap

Annie

Our week in the theater is over and done. The shows went well. There were standing ovations, laughs, some tears and we all had fun with the two dogs who played Sandy. My kids have come a long, long way since their first show with this group. Now, every time they step on stage I see a little bit more confidence, a little more ‘pluck’ if you will.

The Teen’s ‘Rooster’ was probably the funniest role I’ve seen him in. I SO wish I had a video of Easy Street.

Rooster from Annie

The Girl as a dancing ‘feather duster’ looked really good on stage. She knew her dance routine and really seemed to have fun with it.

Feather Duster from Annie

Sadly, they’ve tightened up the rules backstage and photos were not allowed. I captured these two before anything was going on but that is ALL I captured. I’ve been watching Facebook to see if anyone has posted anything that I could grab but no. So far, I don’t see anything.

I love to work backstage. I work with props and getting them to the performers can sometimes be a challenge but there is never a dull moment. Here are some highlights:

  • The critical, very important locket that Annie wears broke and flew off at some point on stage and an eagle-eyed performer, kept his eye on it and managed to retrieve it even though a good 100 kids were kicking it around on stage.
  • Getting a suitcase to Annie at the end is easy, but not when there is a very large set piece in front of the stairs that you had clear access to only a moment ago. We suddenly become acrobats trying to get to where we need to be.
  • When the feather dusters from the other cast entered the stage without their feather dusters even though I asked them TWICE if they had them.
  • When the little shoe shine boy came out to collect his shoe shine kit and then asked me “What’s a shoe shine boy?”
  • Having only a moment to set some props down during a blackout and then tripping over a piece of furniture and realizing that any second the lights will come back up and you still have the props in your hand and are not even close to where you need to be.
  • When you stand in the wings to retrieve something left on stage, you typically get an actor’s attention and they slide it off to you when they can. But this kid KICKED a metal bucket all the way across the stage. My heart stopped.

I was trying to figure out how many shows the kids have done with this group and although my count is probably missing a show or two, The Teen has done more than a dozen musicals not counting the ones he’s done through school and The Girl has done five.

Next up, The Sound of Music (hopefully) and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels where The Teen will play Freddy Benson.

Track practice was cancelled this week so we are all catching up on sleep and trying to get ourselves back to normal. Eating on the fly takes its toll too. I finally cooked a meal last night and it felt so good.

Tonight, one errand to run but I can handle it. Hope you all have a good week. Reviews will be coming soon. I’ve read the books, now I just need to sit down to write about ‘em.

What’s On Your Mind?

I’ll tell you what’s on mine, the WEEKEND! I only worked three days this week but man, it sure feels like twelve.

I am still trying to come up with my “one word” for this year. Last year I chose Simplicity and for the most part, I did manage to pull some of it off. I can continue with that but my mind just isn’t focused enough to come up with a decent word for this year. Don’t say ‘focus’. Hahaha. I’d be a big failure if I went with that word.

After my forced reading break I have read four books so far this year. Once I was able to, I really dove in. Feels good to finally be reading again. I need that time to balance me out and trust me, if you asked my kids or Hub, they’d agree that I was a bit off for over a month. I am going to try to do whatever errands I need to do tomorrow so I can relax come Sunday.

The Hundred-Foot Journey

Tonight? I am really craving a lettuce-wrapped burger and fries and then hopefully I will get to watch The Hundred-Foot Journey. Sometimes, I cannot convince my family to see these types of  movies but when I am successful, they usually agree that they are very good. The Girl is a challenge, she always wants a Rom-Com and The Teen will either want slapstick comedy or an action flick. I have a hard crowd to please.

So, what’s on your mind? Any plans for the weekend? I have the new Stewart O’Nan book (West of Sunset) and I am dying to read it this weekend.

Sunday Matters: What a Week!

Sunday Matters

I survived my busy week of doctor’s appointments and rehearsals and The Teen’s Winter Concert is now all said and done. I knew I would make it through but it’s nice to put it all behind me. I get all antsy when my calendar is too full. Lately, all I want to do it hang around the house. My house is not the biggest house on the block and needs a little TLC here and there but man, it sure is comfortable. I have views all around me and yet I am privately tucked in. This means that I can sit like a slug nearly anywhere in the house, enjoy beautiful views and no one can see me being a slug.

Unfortunately, The Girl hates to be inside and always wants to go to the mall or Target or some other place. Groan.

Right Now:

I sit here with a cup of coffee in hand but I may have to cut back. At my appointment last week, my blood pressure was alarmingly high. I don’t think the nurse took it correctly because it dropped nearly 60 points when the doc took it himself but the retake was still a little high and I am battling this damn headache. It could be my eyes too. So much computer work. For now, I will enjoy this cup and cut back starting Monday. I only have 1-2 cups a day but I will probably have to knock it down to half a cup.

This morning we will head to church and then most likely Juice it Up for smoothies which is a treat The Girl looks forward to.

This Week:

The Teen’s performance in The 39 Steps is this week. We are all looking forward to it. I am going to get my shopping done this week in-between the normal stuff. In my attempt to keep it simple, I am looking for a few specific items and hope to be successful.

Reading:

I am reading The Rosie Effect. It’s darling and sweet but I am wondering if a sequel was needed.

Watching:

I haven’t been able to watch a thing yet. This was my busiest week but I ordered Home for the Holidays (Holly Hunter and Robert Downey, Jr.) which is one of my fave Christmas movies and I hope to watch it tonight. If you enjoy crazy family type movies, this is a good one to see.

Making:

Spaghetti, is the plan for today.

Grateful for:

As always, friends and family. I am also grateful for the rain we had earlier in the week. It wasn’t quite as much as they predicted but it was a good start. Also glad that my brakes held out through those two rain storms and gave me enough time to safely get to the mechanic to get them replaced.

Happy Thought For the Week:

The countdown to my time off has started. Ten more days.

Your turn. Tell me what you are doing today and if you are including any holiday traditions in the mix.

My NOT So Reading Life

I swore, SWORE I would not allow a slump to hit me and it has. Not fully, but sort of. First off, this time of year is difficult. I’ve been given a rather large project and the deadline for said project is the end of the year, but I am taking a lot of time off at the end of the year so really that only gives me a good ten days to get it done. I’ve made progress though so there is hope but my mind is a little scattered lately which makes reading difficult.

Speaking of reading, this book I am reading is good, but I don’t want to read it! It’s The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas. In theory, there is really nothing wrong with it but for whatever reason I am not eager to pick it up. It’s a library book that I have already renewed once but it’s messed up my 2-3 at-a-time book reading. I do have King’s Revival to keep me company, but I am reading that one slowly on purpose so that I can comment along with the other read-alongers.

I also have some health stuff going on. Not serious, as least I don’t consider it to be serious but my iron levels are at an all-time low. No one can figure out why and now my gluten-free diet doesn’t seem to be helping me anymore and I am not sure why. It’s made me tired and grumpy. Not good for the reading mojo.

My action plan? I am going to ditch the one book because it’s really screwing with me. I have recently gotten some really good ones, like The Rosie Effect and I’ve Give You The Sun and Dead Wake about the sinking of the Lusitania. They all sound so good.

I go to the doc on Friday so we’ll see what he has to say about all of my other stuff. If I eat nothing, I feel good but I can’t eat nothing forever.

Anyway, thought I’d check in so that you didn’t think I fell off the planet or something.

This time of a year is a challenge for a lot of you, what do you find challenging right now?

Holiday “Creep” and Keeping it Real

Give Thanks

What is it with everyone this year?

Christmas began to creep into stores early October and now it’s full-blown Christmas everywhere you go. I used to love waking up the day after Thanksgiving and seeing the stores transformed into a Christmas wonderland. It signaled the arrival of Christmas and it was so exciting!

This year, I am struggling with it. I love Christmas for a lot of reasons but I love Thanksgiving too and I feel as if it’s getting the shaft big time this year. How do you avoid the holiday “creep”? Or do you? Maybe you just give into it. I feel pressured to start my shopping but you  know what happens when I shop early? I forget how much I’ve gotten and I end up with a lot of extra stuff and really, none of it is needed. Sometimes, I even forget to wrap stuff and find it later! That has happened to me at least three times.

This whole holiday thing has really been on my mind lately. Has it been on yours? When I get  like this, it helps to jot stuff down that makes me happy and I invite you all to join me. I’m grateful for so many things and taking a moment to focus on Thanksgiving keeps it real.

Things to look forward to between now and Thanksgiving:

  • Slowly planning the holiday meal. Usually I make the same things but there are a couple of new dishes that I add to mix it up a little. This recipe, was a new dish that I tried when I went gluten-free and it became a staple.
  • Time off! I am taking the week of Thanksgiving off. I try to every year, but this year with all of the job changes at work, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to. I’m looking forward to the time off.
  • Coming up with my Thanksgiving reading list. I’ve got the week off, I must have stuff to read. I don’t always stick to the list but it’s fun to make one.
  • Sitting down with my December calendar and having a come to Jesus moment. Mapping out December can be a little stressful for some, but I take comfort in knowing what I’ve got coming up. I geek out when it comes to my planner.
  • If the weather cools down, it will be nice to take some walks with the Otter Pup. It’s been warm so I’ve left that job to The Hub but as the decorations go up, it’s fun to walk around the neighborhood.
  • Coming up with my holiday playlist. For both Thanksgiving and Christmas. I tend to not listen to music all that often. Weird, but around the holidays I really like it.
  • Movie watching! I watch a lot of movies this time of year. A must-watch movie: A Miracle on 34th Street (1947). It puts me in the mood for Christmas. We usually watch it on Thanksgiving day.
  • Spending Thanksgiving day with my immediate family which is just the four of us and the pup. We lounge around in our pajamas, eat and eat and just enjoy each other’s company. I cherish this time together.

Your turn! What are you looking forward to between now and Thanksgiving?

 

Grab Your Book: Reading Anything Good?

Grab Your Book

FRIDAY! Finally! This has been the longest week ever and all sorts of stuff happened.

The callback list for Annie posted and both kids got a callback. The Teen got called back for Rooster (Tim Curry played him in the movie), which is what he tried out for but sadly, The Girl did not get called back for Annie. Instead, she got a callback for Duffy, one of the other orphans. Both, great roles. We won’t know who made the final cast until Tuesday afternoon but both said their callback went well. The suspense…it kills me.

I got a promotion at work. I never talk work on here but hey, I am happy.

Another thing that happened this week is that my daughter’s teacher enrolled her in a Title 1 program. Now, I don’t know much about Title 1 so maybe you teacher folks can clue me in but I was a little surprised about her being added to this program. She started Kindergarten when she was four, before they changed the cut-off date so every year she lags a bit in the beginning. I hear this repeatedly at the parent conferences but then once she is back into the routine of things, she is okay. However, this teacher, whom I love and was also was the teacher for my son when he was in 6th, said she needs some additional help so of course, this concerns me. Plus, I asked The Girl who else was added to the program and she said, her words, “The new girl who does not speak English.” Oh my. I have a meeting to discuss the program on 10/16. I figure extra math help cannot hurt but it threw me off a little.

These days, I need reading more than anything. Kid stuff, work stuff, you know the drill. Every time I turn on the TV something horrible has happened somewhere. And although my schedule seems more manageable, I find that I am not handling what I have as well as I used to. I suppose it’s just a lack of patience. Why do I have to be here? What’s the point? Tell it to me in three sentences or less. Yeah. I know many of you can relate.

So, why can’t we all just sit down and read and not worry about any of it? That is my question.

I just finished I Am Malala and I have a confession. I had absolutely NO desire to read it but I flew through it in just a couple of sittings and now I am glad I read it. That is why I belong to a book club. Had it not been chosen, I don’t think I would have picked it up on my own.

Just started Something Wicked This Way Comes for the read along Sandy and I are hosting. More of you have decided to join us and we couldn’t be happier. I am liking it quite a bit. It’s very atmospheric. I need ‘atmospheric’ since it’s supposed to be 108 here this weekend and it just does not feel like fall.

I want to also start this one:

The Book of Strange New Things

It’s a chunkster though and I want to be sure I am done with it in time for my Revival read along. Yes! Another Stephen King read along! That will be announced later this month.

What are you all reading?

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