Tidbits of this and that

The difference between having infants and having teenagers is that if you leave your carpets unvacuumed, no one is likely to choke to death on a rogue dime.  And if your teenagers are awake all night, you can go to sleep anyway.  Plus, if teenagers are stinky, all you can do is suggest a shower and some deodorant, but it’s really out of your hands. However, infants don’t sass and they are usually delighted to see you.

After another day here in the house, working, while kids play and bicker, that’s all I’ve got.  The snow has melted, but has been replaced by wind and rain and the kids are inside, playing video games, annoying each other and eating all the tortilla chips and nacho cheese they can find.  I can’t catch up on laundry even though I’m constantly carting dirty laundry to the laundry room and carrying clean laundry upstairs.  When I’m not working, I scheme to get out of the house instead of staying put and cleaning out cupboards and the storage room.

For it’s that time of the year when I want to purge, to dig out the casserole dishes I haven’t seen since I shoved them into the cupboard a year or two ago.  I want to clear the floor of the storage room but in order to do that, I need to ditch the toys I stashed there.  I need to figure out why I have nothing to wear and yet my closet is stuffed.  I should organize the spices.  But I don’t want to do any of that if there is a chance I can run away from home.

Truth is, I feel a little gloomy.  I recognize it as a low-grade depression or maybe just melancholy typical to my personality, but I don’t want to do much of anything.  I have to work.  I have to take care of the children.  I have to function, but all I really want to do is sleep and read and eat and go to the movies.


By the way, I read The Tale of Despereaux last night.  It was so much different from the movie and, of course, so much better.  I’m also reading Ninety Minutes in Heaven because it was co-written by Cec Murphey, whom I’ve become acquainted with this year.  (Barely–we’re on a Yahoo group, but he is Someone and I am not.)   Before that, I read Child of My Heart (Alice McDermott) and The Reader (Bernhard Schlink).

What are you reading?  Do you recommend it?  I think I’m going to read Elizabeth Berg or Anne Tyler next.

13 thoughts on “Tidbits of this and that

  1. If you haven’t read “Ladder of Years” or “Back When We Were Grownups” by Anne Tyler, I highly suggest both. And I did purge a couple of kitchen cupboards the other day. One of our gifts from the kids was a super-sized George Foreman grill and I needed to make room. I have junk stuffed back in the nether corners of my cupboards that has probably been there since we moved in 26 years ago. Am I brave enough to say “There, and never been touched in 26 years”??? Yeh. I’m brave enough. It’s the way I function. Out of sight, out of mind. Happy New Year, Mel!


  2. I’m reading The Friday Night Knitting Club, a gift from my Book Club Christmas exchange. I’m still at the very beginning, but I would recommend it. I would highly recommend Those Who Save Us, by Jenna Blum (I think I have that right; too lazy to stop and look it up). It was my best read of 2008.


  3. You must read some Elizabeth Goudge.

    She wrote in England during the war years.

    Uplifting, calming, peaceful – even though a lot is going on.

    Why I read her?

    She realized that most people read to be entertained when they are tired, ill or depressed and want something with a nice feel good, yet believable, ending.

    Start with “The Bird in the Tree” and if you like it, there are two more after it.

    You will absolutely LOVE her main character, Lucille.

    Trust me on this one.

    Go. Find. Read.

    You can thank me later.


  4. Mel,
    I got to hear Cec Murphey speak at a Writer’s conference in Atlanta, years ago. What yahoo group is he on? Can I join?
    What a kind, humble man. So encouraging to aspiring writers.
    I got to hear Elizabeth Berg read at the Faith and Writers conference at Calvin College last April.
    You must, must, must go to the next one, in 2010.
    It is the best.


  5. I am currently reading: Friday Night Knitters Club, Kabul Beauty School, Too Fat To Fish and Divine Justice. Yes, all at the same time. One in the car, one on the nightstand, one in the bathroom and one in the den. It’s called multitasking, people, don’t judge me.


  6. Well you know me, depression and purging go hand in hand. lol Cleaning is euphoric for me. But I can tell you this Pacific Northwest weather is going to remain gray for about 6 months yet. Talk tome long about March and you will see signs of depression. Every year my ability to handle the gray days gets less and less. sigh

    I have only been out of this house once in the last 15 days and that was for a quick run to the store. Today I break my record and go to the doctor!


  7. First, I can relate to being a little down sometimes. Do you have a treadmill? Seems that moving around is what gets me feeling positive and energetic. And, using a treadmill is a solitary action. Perhaps you need some time alone…even if it is only for 30 minutes or so.

    Have you read “The Middle Place?” It has just come out in trade paperback. I also liked “The Senator’s Wife” by Sue Miller.

    I enjoy your blog. Take care!


  8. I think winter is just depressing.

    I’m reading “Grace” by Richard Paul Evans…its a very small book, but its really good. I’ve always liked his books. And I’ve been reading the newest Nicholas Sparks book and a bit of The Road by McCarthy.


  9. I just burned through three Francine Rivers books, The Mark of the Lion series. She, along with Lynn Austin, write these incredible books that feel decadent, and yet I learn so much about God from them. I hope you get what I mean by that. They aren’t wasted time, at all.

    I’ll have to re-read the first book for a book club I’m in, which will be a pleasure. 🙂


  10. I just finished “the hour I first believed” by Wally Lamb. It is great, like his first 2 books. It’s 700 pages but it flies by!


  11. I’m not reading at the moment – no time! Once I pick up a book, the sky could fall and I wouldn’t even notice. Nothing gets done until I finish it. I anticipate reading time in a couple weeks when we go on vacation.

    I read the Harry Potter series this fall. Really enjoyed them.

    And the last grown-up book I can remember reading that I liked was Water for Elephants. Or something like that. Can’t remember exactly. Good story plus I was amazed at how well the author portrayed the circus life at the time. I felt like I was right there living it.

    So there you have it. Take it or leave it! 🙂


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