Gearing up for November

It’s November 1st. According to David, it’s the first day of the rest of our lives. I like to start life over at Labor Day and New Year’s Day, but David likes to declare a fresh start on a regular basis (i.e., anytime he is frustrated with himself). Mondays, first days of the month, new trimesters at school – all are fair game to be Day One.

But first, I must say farewell to October with its first fallen leaves, first torrential downpours, and Quinland’s 17th birthday. I had the day off on Friday and spent it hauling out all the Halloween decorations. All that effort on the day before Halloween seemed a bit insane, but I have so few holidays left with Quinland being a kid at home that I didn’t want to miss this one.

Happy Halloween

I’m not a fancy decorator by any means (says everyone ever), but I think that bringing out the same stuff year after year is what matters.  Most of it has been around for so long that I have forgotten where it came from. (The tiny pumpkin basket, I know, came with a Bitty Baby Halloween costume – a teddy bear – which was sold on eBay along with tons of other stuff. I had to keep the pumpkin.)

But on to November! It’s going to be a busy month. Quinland has one of the major roles in the school play (which debuts this week) and the NBA season is now in full swing; these two conditions will be perfect for an upcoming visit from Lynette and Joe. The chance to catch the Blazers vs the Spurs and to see Q perform? We couldn’t keep them away if we tried. I need to start preparing for Thanksgiving, the Christmas Shopping Season, and my birthday, all of which are coming up rapidly as well.

To all this I must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of my mind by extensive reading.  (I daresay.) My IKEA-cart-turned-nightstand is all filled up: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Foundation: The History of England from Its Earliest Beginnings to the Tudors. The Probiotics Revolution. Decorate. Organized for Life. Pope Francis. David is ready to read as well: 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. An assortment of travel books. High Fidelity. I even scored him See a Little Light: The Trail of Rage and Melody, the autobiography of Bob Mould from Sugar and Hüsker Dü, from our local library. I might just read that one first.


The books are not the only thing lined up and ready to go. I have plans. Plans, mind you. This month is going to see a whole host of activity here in my world. Home, health, habits – we’re talking upheaval, in the best possible way. Stay tuned!

Sorry, I didn’t hear you

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Zone.”


When I am reading – whether it is an academic article, a thrilling story, a Twitter feed, or a cereal box – I cannot hear what is going on around me. I could blame it on mild hearing loss (mine is approaching 30% these days*), but anyone who has known me for long will tell you I have always been this way.

When I am reading, the world around me ceases to exist. I become lost in written words, and spoken words can make no dent in my awareness. I’ve always wondered why this is. Is it because I am a visual as opposed to an auditory learner? because of an ADD hyperfocus on things that interest me? or merely because I go into a zone when I read, losing myself in the topic at hand?

When I am reading, people do all kinds of things to get my attention. My husband and child will ask me absurd questions and make me outrageous promises, then laugh when I finally come back to earth with no idea of what has been going on. Co-workers come right into my cubicle, a move which is guaranteed to startle me (and often cause me to shriek), which in turn startles them; they are sure I must have heard them coming, especially if they were talking as they approached.

When I am reading, I lose track of time. I can forget to go to sleep and then I am shocked – SHOCKED! – to find out how late it has gotten. Because I often eat when I read, I often overeat, in the same way you mindlessly put popcorn into your mouth at the movies. (And, believe me, it’s a really bad idea to mix reading with ice cream. I’m sure I can give the credit for many pounds of extra weight to having done so.)

It might seem as though reading is counterproductive for me in many, many ways.

But that’s okay, because more often than not…

When I am reading, I am happy.

* Apparently, mild hearing loss is diagnosed when you have lost 30% of your hearing. My hearing is considered “borderline normal” since I haven’t hit that 30% mark yet in certain frequencies. (D and Q take an inordinate amount of pleasure in telling me that I am borderline normal.)

Open Book” by Reeding Lessons / CC BY

Mr. Darcy hates my blog


I have dragged myself out of bed to write this post.

Honestly, I had completely forgotten that I’d wanted to post something tonight. For that matter, I hadn’t even remembered that I had a blog. I’d gone peacefully to bed – a mere two hours after I had intended to – without a blogging thought in my mind.

I blame Mr. Darcy.

Yes, that Mr. Darcy. Fitzwilliam Darcy, master of Pemberley, love of Elizabeth Bennet’s life. If it weren’t for him and his fan fiction, I would have happily blogged the evening away.

But no… Jane Austen had to create him, women everywhere had to fall in love with him, and those evil fans over at had to go and write their fan fiction about him.  Fan fiction in which he and Elizabeth anticipate their wedding vows! In which he challenges Wickham to a duel! In which Lydia is banished to Ireland after losing her virtue and becoming with child! In which Bingley jilts Jane!

Yeah, it’s been a busy night over at my house (and at Longbourn as well, apparently). I probably shouldn’t get too down on Darcy; he has distracted me admirably from the fact that I return to work tomorrow after six months off. (He’s also a fine, upstanding partner to me on my phone’s Tichu app. That dastardly Bingley, on the other hand…)

xo – Lori

Daily Check-In:

I’m grateful to Deb and Trav for a lovely barbecue today! We had such a good time. (And to all the Jane Austen fan fiction writers out there: You have my undying gratitude. I am thoroughly diverted.)

I’m also grateful, of course, for the photo by BinaryApe.