1.) I love hot chocolate and I miss it desperately.
2.) I took photos of my boy-o's nest as the snow fell.
3.) Edgar Allen Poe had a birthday on Friday (I celebrated by reading "The Raven" in the bathtub).
4.) My reviews are appearing regularly here and here...but, if you only read one, go for this--then buy it for your daughter, niece, or other girl who might need a boost in confidence and self-awareness.
5.) Breathe deeply with me because my daughter is getting close to adolescence herself and I am wondering what it will be like to mother a teenager beyond the stereotypes.
6.) Feel free to tell me what natural products and eco-friendly gifts you think worthy of reviewing...and, what book titles you feel need some publicity. I like to support independent craftspeople and writers as much as I can.
7.) My younger daughter insisted on pelting me with snowballs after school, wanted to be held and changed into a princess gown as soon as we got inside, and drank her hot chocolate with more than a little bit of gloating.
8.) M. bought me a new tea mug which is really more like a bowl and today is my first day using it--to sip sensible green tea.
9.) I started reading a lovely book, but just don't think I can go any further since it opens with her six-year-old son's death and I am raising a six-year-old boy.
10.) When I found out my second pregnancy was to be a son I wept, and it was more with fear than joy.
11.) When boy-o was born he quickly proved to be the sweetest, most kindhearted boy I've ever met in my life, and he opened my mind wide.
12.) When he was critically ill the summer he was five, the fear came back and has been hanging around the periphery ever since.
13.) Last week, when M. asked him a homework question he didn't know the answer to he casually replied, "Dad--a tick ate half of my brain, I just can't remember stuff, okay?"
14.) A tick didn't really eat half of his brain, but to a young boy--that just about describes the Lyme disease and meningitis he suffered with.
15.) In the summer, I took a blogging break and really thought I wouldn't return to it.
16.) Today marks my 200th post.
17.) I am glad I decided to continue to post here--blogging is a strange thing, but it has been a positive form of expression for me and a way to look into the lives and thoughts of other creative people around the world.
18.) I am a fairly shy person in life, often reticent to share details about myself--to answer the phone--to spill it.
19.) My family and some friends read along with my fellow bloggers I've never met, therefore, I feel like it has almost been a creative "coming-out" in real life...yes, people knew I wrote and published things, but until they actually regularly read my posts--it somehow didn't all add up. Now, I think--it does.
20.) I still have certain subjects I will not write about here--though the people whose blogs I read who split veins and just pour and pour their truth forth I admire deeply. That kind of fearlessness keeps me inspired.
21.) As I've mentioned, I was raised to celebrate my 75% Irish-American heritage, while the 25% Italian was downplayed...My second book in process right now features a full-blooded Italian immigrant family.
22.) I feel I'm exploring my untapped roots.
23.) Book One has a tentative title now, Migration Summer, and I am revising it deliriously--spurred to act by my supportive family and friends, some of whom have decided to email me weekly with "status" check-ins, holding me accountable for the work I'm doing (or not).
24.) The fact that an old teacher of mine referred me for a fellowship (fingers crossed) for this summer which required the first 50 pages to be tightened up--the synopsis to be fully completed--and my timeline for project finalizing sketched out helped as well.
25.) My health is improving slowly but surely.
26.) Had I not taken a temporary hiatus from teaching, I know this wouldn't be the case.
27.) Dropping off my kids this morning, an old student from one of my earliest college classes leapt from the bus she was driving as I struggled to open the icy car door and hugged me, yelling "MS. S!!!"
28.) It took me at least a full minute to remember exactly who she was, but I hugged her anyway.
29.) Petunia has her first crush, on him.
30.) I am still working to balance it all...to stay knee deep in the magic around me...or, as Denise Levertov says, to remember, "Let me walk through the fields of paper/ touching with my wand/ dry stems and stunted/ butterflies".