Five Things! Start of a Long Weekend Edition

It’s Saturday morning and the girls and I are doing Saturday morning things. Cartoons and novels are involved and we just had eggs and toast for breakfast. In a bit here, we are headed to yoga and then maybe a stop at the bookshop to give my employee a break (the girls do not know that part yet). Long, holiday weekends, especially ones that are call-filled, used to feel me with dread. I am so thankful for older children! Telfer isn’t working the entire weekend – we went to a lovely dinner last night and we are meeting good friends at the park this afternoon. He will join us part-way through. I am opening the bookshop on Monday, but Telfer will be home. We are also plotting the perfect Memorial Day hamburger…

Here are five things that made my week.

Sweet Sisters #2

1. These two girls. I love being their mom and watching them play and love each other.  I was sitting with them while they ate their dinner this week (english muffins and eggs – we are fancy) and asked if I could send Daddy a picture of them together being sweet sisters. Of course, they fight and have unkind moments, but a good chunk of the time they are becoming increasingly good friends.

Good-bye Don Draper.

2. Telfer and I watched the finale of Mad Men on Sunday night. It packed a punch. Telfer made Manhattans of course and I sort of leaked all the way through the episode. I have been worried about Don for so many years…I won’t give anything away because everyone should watch this show at some point but! I was very satisfied with the ending. (I tend to be satisfied with most endings. I get that I am not the writer).

Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant. Roz Chast

3. I finally read Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant by Roz Chast this week. Such a moving, funny, and infuriating portrayal of her parent’s last years. I am never going to drink Ensure! We have sold so many copies of this at the bookshop and I feel vaguely like a terrible person recommending a book that I have not read. I am in the same boat with Americanah which is still sitting on my shelf giving me the stink eye.

And this is my new friend: THE TANGLE TEASER

4. This, my friends, is The Tangle Teaser. I read about it on a blog and approximately 19 seconds later ordered it. Cate’s hair is really thick and she’s never been able to comb it herself. Picture post-bathtime hair combing. It’s never been fun, for her or for me. But she can Tangle Tease! Yes, it’s already a verb in our house. Life-changing.

Puffin in Bloom!

5. I have been posting on Instagram the various sets we have at the bookshop for possible collection candidates. Which also make great presents. So far, I have posted Puffin in Bloom and Penguin Threads and of course I am going to do Penguin Dropcaps and Harper Perennials. Am I missing any others? I am going to gather as many as I can and post all of them on the shop blog at once. Thoughts?

Scenes from the Weekend

I am so terrible at taking photos when we have visitors. There is a lot going on and I am lucky to know where my phone is located let alone actually take a picture. My sisters both took a few.

We had a wonderful time together this last weekend. Cousins playing is probably one of my favorite things…also, this nephew of mine is seriously adorable. We ate well, went for walks, visited the bookshop and the farmer’s market. Judah especially loved the Dash bus…

judah on jane's little bike...
this kid is just so cute
my sisters + my girls
popcorn & bird bingo!

Five Things!

saturday morning strollers and babies

planting man

1. We planted our garden last weekend and for once, I was not the weakest link. I was a model weeder! It felt good! I also had a lovely Mother’s Day – the girls made me at least five cards (each) and we had Chris & Mendy and Nana over for a low-key brunch on Sunday. I went for a walk with George and snuggled in the hammock with the girls. There was also some reading in outdoor chairs sitting next to Telfer, cocktail in hand. We watched the next to last episode of Mad Men. All of my things, all in one day.

Soup Club Cookbook

2. Love this cookbook – anyone local want to start a soup club with me? Four families join, each family takes one week and delivers enough soup with sides and garnishes for the other three families. Love this idea! The recipes look really good. Cate would eat exactly none of the soups, the but the rest of us would so enjoy.

May have gotten a tatoo

3. I may have been tattooed this week. That sentence is so vague and passive – an attempt at cool? The bookshop is on the same block as a tattoo place and I popped in on Tuesday afternoon and fifteen minutes later came out with this on my arm. Thirty-six is a good age to get your first tattoo. (For the record, Telfer likes it.)

Word Cloud Books You Should Read

4. Chris and Mendy brought me back this poster (can’t seem to find exact print but link is to artist’s website) for the shop. I love it! I hope it sparks some good conversations about books at the shop – what customers have read, what they hope to read. So fun. One of my favorite features of Library Thing has always been the word cloud you can create with the authors in your personal library.

evening walk with george

5. This week has been uncommonly busy so I am thankful the weekend is already off to a good start. I got my hair cut this afternoon for the first time since the beginning of December. Now, I am sitting here at the bookshop for a Ladies Night Out shopping event downtown. We are staying open until 8:00 PM and I have a sneaking suspicion books are not exactly what the ladies are looking for when they do events like this…shoes and jewelry and a free glass of cheap wine maybe?  But Alyssa and her family are on the way to spend the weekend with us – among other things, we will celebrate Eden’s birthday (12!) and enjoy being together. The girls haven’t been to the bookshop yet so it will be fun to take them.

Five Things

not a bad way to spend an early release friday afternoon...

1. Early release afternoons spent at the bookshop aren’t bad. I love having Cate with me. She organized all the sticker books and then the coloring books. I had her make sure each rack held 8-10 coloring books. She was all over it. Cate is actually very good at math. Now she is curled up in a chair reading…Cropic Share File2. Last Sunday afternoon the girls and I took George on a nature hike in Watershed Park. In preparation they came home from church and made “nature hike” necklaces and bracelets (see photos). Cate also made a homemade pair of binoculars out of toilet paper rolls and Jane carried around a plastic bag with a pen, paper and sunglasses. She stopped every few feet on our hike to write down what she saw on the trail – a bug! water! dirt! butterfly!

the secret garden

3. This last week or so has been epic in terms of reading. I actually had a weekend off, nice weather, girls that play well together – all of this means I can read. Anna gifted me this Secret Garden illustrated by Lauren Child awhile back and I finally read it. It’s been at least twenty years since I read. Whoa, still packs a punch. I can’t wait to read this out loud to the girls…Also finished Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evens and The Folded Clock by Heidi Julavits. Both of which are completely worth picking up if it all looks like your thing. I needed both in different ways. Also, finished Letter to My Daughter by Maya Angelou, a chicken book, and a parenting book.

drop caps complete!

4. I am pleased to report that I am finished collecting the Penguin Drop Cap Series. How beautiful is this? Both girls are practicing the alphabet by owning these so, basically, this is an educational purchase. Can I write this off somewhere?

moved the chicken coop

5. We moved the chicken coop a few weeks ago and it’s so much better where it is now. But the moving. Picture the coop on a litter – princess style –  and the three other people manning the litter are six feet tall. And I am the fourth person at 5 ‘2 on a good day – I round up confidently. I was so the weakest link. But we successfully moved the coop – even over two fences. We have loved having chickens for the last two years but right next to the patio table? Maybe not the most intelligent thing Telfer and I have ever done. Turns out, chickens poop. A lot. It’s nice to have them a space away from our outdoor dining table. I can see them now from my kitchen window and from my bedroom window, scratching around, making chicken noises. Pretty wonderful.

birch trees are leafing out

The birch trees are leafing out which makes me so happy. Telfer is working this weekend here and there. We are planting our garden tomorrow and I think Mother’s Day will happen on Sunday. Looking forward to a couple days outside with my trio. The girls and I have already made beaded necklaces outside and it’s only Friday evening so I am feeling like I am starting off the weekend exactly right.

Five Things: First of May Edition

oh, it's may!

1. This evening, after I finished walking George and talking to my sister, and after Telfer left for night call, I changed our monthly Linnea calendar with the girls and realized I had completely forgot about the month of April. I still had March in the frame and didn’t even realize it. This, my friends, is what’s it like to own a small business. You better believe I changed the same calendar at the shop. Just not in my home. Ah well. My girls are healthy and well-tended and loved. So I forgot to change the calendar.

elizabeth's painting for the shop

2. Last weekend was Arts Walk and we had a very successful weekend at the shop. Elizabeth finished this painting for our upstairs area and hung it before the weekend started. It’s lovely – it just fits in with the overall mood of the shop. Our artist didn’t sell much but I think he made good contacts. Telfer and I both had such a great time talking with everyone that came by.

lola and maya and cate and jane

3. Last weekend was also the Procession of the Species, possibly my most favorite thing about living in Olympia. It’s weird and it’s wonderful. Right before the parade starts all the kids draw all over the streets with chalk. I absolutely hate chalk but as long as I don’t have to touch it, or really watch others touch it, I am fine with the girls playing with it. Our sweet friends Lola and Maya are drawing chalk outlines of Cate and Jane in the picture. I don’t think they quite get the significance. It was funny and cute.

morning light at the shop

4. Telfer took this of the shop one early morning last week. This isn’t the place to talk a lot about my employees and staffing a small business but I have had the opportunity to look for a new employee this week. Yes. And I am also relieved to report that I think I found just the right person. Relieved is exactly the right word. Having small children, I just can’t power through and work extra hours. I have to rely on my people and I am feeling very hopeful that I am hiring the right person.

finally read lila!

5. Last Sunday night I had my college girls book club night (we discuss a book and can see each other over google plus). I needed to see my old friends – it was just the right night for it. And Lila was also what I need to read last week. I stayed up until 2:00 AM on Saturday night to finish but so worth it. Deep and rich and beautiful: “So when she told him she meant to keep that knife and he nodded, she could explain to herself why she meant to keep it. There was no way to abandon guilt, no decent way to disown it. All the tangles and knots of bitterness and desperation and fear had to be pitied. No, better, grace had to fall over them.”

And this weekend. I sadly had to cancel a long-hoped for RaChelle visit today due to employee drama. But I am regrouping. The girls are at the PJ party at our gym even though Telfer is at work. Six months ago I would have felt guilty about this… I am sitting in my little home office writing this and then I am going to clean all the things up. The bottle of windex is sitting at my feet. The stacks and stacks of books and things. This weekend I am going to catch up and enjoy good weather and my little family. Telfer has to work a chunk of the weekend but we are planning to plant our garden and stay outside as much as possible.