Whatnot – Week 22

Bart'sHello. How are you? Things are ramping up around here. College prep stuff going on. Also trying to prepare for my son’s move which I haven’t even shared yet. Due to the high cost of grad school and him not being offered enough in aid to make any of the schools a reality (for now), he has accepted a position in the AmeriCorps and will be building an arts program for underprivileged kids in, wait for it, Saint John, Kansas! If you had told me a year ago that both of my kids would end up in the Midwest, I never would have believed it. Kansas and Missouri. Wow. 

On another note, because of all the change coming our way, I was in need of a road trip and a distraction so last weekend we headed to one of my favorite used bookstores in Ojai, California. Bart’s Books is an interesting place. It’s housed in an old house and most of the collection is exposed to the elements as you can see in the photo above. That’s just one small corner. You can walk into the kitchen which is where you can find cookbooks, appropriately. They do have a section for new books as well. I walked in with a list but only walked out with one title, Anne Tyler’s A Spool of Blue Thread. We also snagged the BEST Thai food at a new-to-us-place. It was just what I needed. 

I finished Jenny Lawson’s Broken in one sitting. That review is coming this Friday. That meant that I had to quickly select another book to read and I’ve settled on Rules of Civility

That’s pretty much it for me. I need to do domestic things like go to the market and re-organize my bathroom. It’s like an explosion of toiletries in there. I do enjoy these weird little tasks. They break up my day and give my brain something else to think about. 

I hope the rest of your week goes well for you. If you have any cool plans for the weekend let me know. I will most likely be shopping for faucets. So, so exciting. Not everyone can be me. 

30 thoughts on “Whatnot – Week 22”

    1. The used bookstore that is in my neighborhood is very good with COVID protocols. They ask you to sanitize, they hand you a pair of gloves and only let so many people in at a time. Masks, of course.

      The one I went to recently had a mask order, plexiglass around the cash wrap and people kept their distance.

      Of course now that the CDC said masks are not required outside unless you are in a large crowd, I suspect lots of people will skip the mask entirely.

  1. Good luck reorganizing your bathroom! I have always found that when I purchase and implement storage solutions, it makes my life substantially better. One time I had guests coming so I finally bought two little plastic organizers at Tuesday Morning for all my makeup and pill bottles and things, and it was such a huge life improvement.

    1. Well, my reorganizing effort only took twenty minutes. Most everything was organized it was just not put back and looked like the bathroom exploded. LOL. I love those little white containers to keep your stuff in. I had to use them in my daughter’s bathroom because there is limited counter space there and most everything was falling into the toilet.

  2. WOW, CA kids to the mid-west seems like quite a culture-shock – maybe not for kids but most adults wouldn’t do well, I suspect. Best of luck to both of them. That bookstore you mentioned reminds me of a place on Connecticut called the Book Barn – mostly all outdoors with a couple of covered buildings. They also have many resident cats on the property (a treat for me).

    I read Rules of Civility several years ago and liked it but, I preferred the author’s, A Gentleman in Moscow more.

    Hey, good luck with the whole faucet shopping challenge. It probably ranks right up there with a dental visit LOL.

    1. Culture shock, for sure. My daughter is a beach lover so this will be a huge change.

      Your Book Barn does sound a lot like Bart’s. This cat that roams the store doesn’t even belong to the owner. He is a neighborhood cat and during the fires he disappeared and everyone thought the worst but after 6+ months he resurfaced.

  3. St. John in only an hour and half away from me. You are welcome to stay anytime. The MO spot is still more than a few hours away, however.

    1. I will definitely keep that in mind. I hope he does well there. He’s a big city kid so this will be interesting and possibly very good for him.

  4. Wow, that is a lot of change. Wow the Midwest for both of them. I hope they enjoy their experiences there. Good luck organizing. I haven’t done that in ages.

  5. I have a friend who worked for Americorps (till the Trump admin fired all the psychologists). We have a training center near us. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. Hope E. has a great experience with them! Will be looking forward to your thoughts on Rules for Civility. It’s in my bedside pile, which is about to topple. Need to work on that.

    1. Thank you for sharing that bit on AmeriCorps. He will be creating an arts program for underprivileged kids which is exactly what he’s always wanted to do. He is getting an apt out of it and a living stipend. A year will go by quickly. I hope both kids adapt to the region okay.

      Rules, at about the halfway point, is very good. I have had a copy of it since it came out and just pulled it out because of another blogger’s recent review of it.

      1. There are fun things to do in the Bread Basket (I’m from Oklahoma and was born in KS; I had relatives in MO so we went there on occasion) but it will no doubt be an adjustment. It’s good to get out of your area and get to know another part of the country. I’m sure they’ll both benefit from the change and hope that year is a fun one.

        Oh, good. I loved A Gentleman in Moscow but when I sampled Rules, I didn’t get past the first page. I’m a moody reader at the best of times, though, so I’ll return to it eventually.

          1. No, I haven’t read City of Girls. The only two books I’ve read by Elizabeth Gilbert are Eat, Pray, Love (of course) and the one about creativity. Big Magic, I think?

  6. That’s pretty amazing that both of your kids are going to wind up in the Midwest! They’ll be close, but not close enough to see each other very often, right? It was a bit of culture shock when we moved from San Diego to Lincoln, Nebraska back in 1992, but we loved the Midwest vibe. It’s probably different for young adults, though. I remember our then 8 yr old asking where the beach was! 😉

    I’m glad you got in a little roadtrip. We are out in the RV for a week, camping at one of our favorite Oregon state parks right on the coast. It’s not at all crowded (no spring break families and the weekend visitors haven’t arrived), so it’s very peaceful and relaxing.

    Rules of Civility is such a good book! I really enjoy his writing and am eager for the release of his new book (The Lincoln Highway).

    1. My son said he will be about a five hour drive from my daughter. It’s just weird to think of them in the midwest. My brain is in overdrive with everything going on and I just need to get a grip.

      Rules of Civility is very good. I sat down with it for a good chunk of time and can tell that I will enjoy it. I was too antsy yesterday to read but plan to today after some Zoom meetings for work. Thank God for books.

  7. It will be so interesting to see what your southern California kids think of the midwest! And winter… better start preparing now. 🙂 It must feel great that they both have plans that they are excited about.

    1. My daughter did not even own a coat before this last Christmas where she received two, since we thought she’d be in NY.

  8. Congratulations to Evan on joining AmeriCorps, and it’s definitely wild that both your kids will be in the Midwest. I’m a big believer in going where life takes you, it sounds like it will be an interesting journey!

    1. The AmeriCorps gig is pretty interesting. They provide an apartment and a living allowance and once the year is complete, he will be able to polish off most of his current student loan debt since they give aid to be used for that purpose. Plus it’s doing exactly what he wants to do for a living so hopefully it will all work out. Yes, the midwest will be a culture shock for both kids. My daughter is a beach girl. Evan likes a big city. 1200 people in this town. Stores 30 min away. Remote.

  9. That is a big move for sure and I assume it’s bigger for you than for your kids. Thank goodness kids are always up for the next adventure and they have a whole playing field out there but I do wish the best of luck for them and hope they love it. And congratulations to your son on his position at AmeriCorps! I hope the grad school thing works out for him since he was preparing for it but he will learn a lot at AmeriCorps as well!

    1. Well, the AmeriCorps thing will knock out most of his current student loan so that will free him up a bit for grad school. He just didn’t get enough offers financially. School is very expensive. No one should have to pay 85K a year.

  10. Wow … both of your kids in the midwest?! That will be culture shock for sure, lol. So glad you got to enjoy a day out at the bookstore (looks like such a great place) and good Thai food, too. That’s a big win!

    1. I am still wrapping my brain around the midwest. TheThai food was probably the best I’ve ever had. They had a lovely outdoor patio. It was a tad chilly and the dining room was open but we didn’t want to chance it. It was the kind of food where you can taste every ingredient. My husband and I chalked it up to local produce. Ojai has farmer’s markets all the time and clearly this restaurant takes advantage of it.

  11. Kansas and Missouri, wow! So your son is done with college? They will have good experiences in the Midwest I think. I wish you all good luck getting the two ready to go etc. My husband & I have visited Ojai and went to Bart’s Books …. I was sort of worried about the books outside! I wanted to make sure the pages didn’t curl up …

    1. My son officially graduates 6/11. My daughter on 6/1. Yes. Both in the Midwest. How wild is that? We are looking for a new car for my son as his beloved Honda has hit the 300K mile mark.

      Some of the books at Bart’s are a little worse for wear. They installed new roofing material a few years ago which helps.

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