Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Post In Which There Is A Sundry of Items

A In Which The Day Quickly Fades

These were my thoughts when I woke up this morning: I'll get the boys dressed, run over for a quick playdate with their pal Xander, run to the store to finish up Easter necessities (a dozen eggs to color, for one extremely important item), and I'll be home by 3:30 to clean house and have a few hours for reading/playing with Sean's castle/catching up on blogs/etc., etc. etc.
What is it that they say about the best laid plans?
For one thing, I usually underestimate the time it's going to take to get all three of us out of the house. It doesn't take me that long to get dressed and ready to go...but then there are the juice cups to grab, the extra Pull-ups to remember, oh - that box of clothes for Xander, and I know I put my phone down somewhere....
Anyway, by the time everything was packed up in the car (including children), it was almost eleven o'clock. Playtime was fun - we went outside for a while, where their azalea bushes are crazy in bloom, and watched as three kids three and under attempted to play nicely.
We left about two and entered the realm of Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart on a holiday weekend. What was I thinking? Especially about myself, because if I had taken the time to honestly say - I have the hardest time making up my mind about which particular grass to buy for Easter baskets or what color, exactly, I need new toddler socks to be...I might have just gone on home and ventured out after dark when the boys were at home with Neil after his dress rehearsal for the Easter play. But I didn't think it through and so the time-sucking fangs of Wal-Mart - won, yet again.
And when I had just gotten to the register - after waiting for twenty minutes in line - I got this call from Neil:
N- "Hey, where are you?"
me - "Checking out. Finally."
N - "Real quick, get out of line. I need some solid red shorts to go underneath my costume for tonight."
me - "Um. What?"
N - "Solid red shorts. Not too baggy. And not with any markings. To go under the soldier costume."
me - "That's what I thought you said."

Three stores later, I found the appropriate shorts. He has a solo in which he ends up kneeling, so the shorts really were needed, and needed by six pm...but wow. Not the afternoon the kids were looking for, to say the least. They were remarkably well behaved, though, so we all rewarded ourselves with a chocolate chip cookie and Hi-C fruit punch from Subway.
It was well after six o'clock by the time we pulled up in the driveway and by the time I had cleaned up the kitchen, found the rest of Neil's costume stuff, and boiled eggs for coloring later on was somehow dark-thirty.

B, In Which Two Sentences Exhibit the Joy of A Carrie-Friend

1. She made double banana pudding, just so she could share.
2. She voluntarily helped me to tuck my newly planted flowers in for the night, to protect them from the frost - literally, under light sheets...and she didn't make me feel that crazy for doing it.

C, In Which I Discuss Reading, Writing, and a Resolution

I've taken a few days off from the novel-writing, to splurge in a bit of a reading-fest. I'm so excited about all of the books lying around the house (from a used-book store run and the library on Tuesday) that it's been way too hard to stick to just one book...I've found myself trying to read five at the same time. You don't, um, get too far like that. I've found that when working on the novel gets a bit frustrating (as it was earlier this week), a good book binge is helpful fuel. I totally and completely concur with that age-old wisdom - if you want to write, you must read. For me, it's especially essential in a dry spell. When I read some really good writing, it makes me excited about language makes me want to try my own hand at the craft.
Anyway, my frustrated post reaped some encouragement, which was much needed and appreciated...and it inspired me to make a decision - I'm going to try to get up an hour earlier than everybody else, at least every other day, for solid writing time. Not a terribly innovative idea, but one that's been difficult to carry out, since...I'm, um, fond of my pillow. I usually don't get to bed until late, so the early morning (pre-kids waking up) thing is something I should probably already be doing but haven't had the will power to try. I figure if I make a public intention to do it, I might be more prone to follow through. So you've seen it here- my way-past-new-year's resolution.

D, In Which I Am Excited About Proust!

So Luisa over at posted an entry about how she and a friend were going to re-read In Search of Lost Time, the classic series by Proust. I have never read Proust before, and she piqued my interest with her description and obvious excitement. I checked out Swann's Way and by page two realized that I was definitely going to have to read the entire series. Anyway, we have a page so that we can all discuss the books as we read along...if you're interested in reading the books with us, or just in checking out the discussion, head over to

E, In Which I Ramble About the Nature of Hope

A certain wonderful friend of mine had some high hopes sort of dashed against glaring rocks yesterday. And I've been trying to come up with something comforting to say to her, because I know that she's feeling a bit down...this is all I've managed to come up with.

Hope is a strange thing. We try not to do it sometimes, in order to save ourselves from disappointment (though it's usually still there, down in the basement with the lights turned off and the deadbolt locked)'s an emotion of anticipation, of belief that the things that we want or need are morphing into reality. When those things don't actually materialize, we can feel let down. Angry that we let ourselves get worked up....maybe even sort of foolish, for indulging in expectation. We tell ourselves that we won't let it happen again - we will work on lowering our expectations.
Don't do it. If we stop hoping - especially when it comes to attaining our dreams - then we are essentially taking away a bit of the belief we hold in ourselves. If you lower your expectations, then you're robbing yourself of greater opportunities...and I know that good-hearted, hard-working people are deserving and capable of handling these greater opportunities. And even if it takes longer than expected, they will come. Don't lose a propensity to hope for marvelous things...sometimes we have to hold onto faith in the unexpected, in the out-of-nowhere grace that life can give. Hope has gotten us to where we are now, in one way or another. It'll get us to the next place.

and F, In Which I Say "So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye"

(The Sound of Music is on ABC Family all weekend, starting tonight.) So..."I flit, I float, I fleetly flee, I fly. The sun has gone to bed and so must I..."


ms bct said...

A: Wal-Mart!!! How I miss thee! (I said it!)

B: Do you think I could finagle some of the banana pudding from Carrie? I can send my address and a cooler....

C: Sounds like a good plan! I'm holding you to it!

D: Ohhh, a read-a-thon! I'd join in but I'm a complete commitment-phobe.

E: Your friend sure is lucky to have someone like you around to say just the right things and just the right time. It's like a gift.

F: Ahh, the Sound of Music. It's like a cool glass of water sometimes. Or at least the first half.

Luisa Perkins said...

So glad you are excited as I am about the Proust! Email me (I put my address in my most recent novembrance post) your email address so that I can send you the Blogger co-author stuff for T&M.

Carrie said...

So. I found out yesterday that "double batch" of banana pudding requires two boxes of pudding. Although somehow, when it was told to me in the store, a single batch of pudding required two big boxes. I think the moms got a good laugh out of that one - I'm glad at least you and Josh enjoyed it (Although I did commit sacrilege by not using "Nilla" wafers. The real kind. I know now.). Of course, I have the urge, like Bets, to respond to all the points, but I will limit myself. Verbosity tends to run rampant with me. I will say one thing - I should totally go to the library today to get the Proust book. I'm putting it on my to-do list.

Carrie said...

Oh, and you are SO not crazy for covering up the plants. Everyone did it - Merck, Shelia (and she forgot Saturday night and now the tulips are in peril), you know, everyone. If I had plants outside, I would have been in my yard with sheets too. I hope they made it out okay.

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