Sunday, November 5, 2017

Full Bloom

Good Sunday evening. Welcome to November. 

I made a lot of promises last week, most of them pictorial in nature. In order to make good on my promises, what follows is a lot of pictures & a little commentary. I know you'd never admit this, but some of you prefer the photos to my wordiness, so this one's for all you closeted picture fans who quit reading halfway through my rants / sad whining / philosophical musings.

Obviously I'll begin with the new boots. Two weeks ago my life was thrown into chaos when I discovered a rip in the seam of a pair of boots that have been a staple in my wardrobe for a few years. As you might imagine, the search for a new pair of boots took a philosophical turn (you can read about that here).

After a week's worth of online searching & some analysis of my current wardrobe, I narrowed the boot search down to one particular pair of Borns. I could not locate the style & color I wanted online in a size ten, so I checked local merchants. The story has a happy ending: Avenue Shoes, a locally owned store I love because they carry exceptional shoes & Brighton jewelry, had the style & color I wanted in a size ten . . . and they were twenty percent off. Some days the stars align.

I neglected to take a picture of them on my feet, so here is a stock photo of my new Born boots in "Distressed Taupe." I like my boots like I like my furniture & my literature: a little distressed. 

I debuted the boots at the Fall Festival I alluded to last week. We attended the Fall Festival with a host of family the Thursday prior to Halloween. I took a few pictures; my mom took a lot of pictures. After a few friendly reminders & a handful of text messages that failed to send, I finally got my hands on the pictures my mom took. Most of what follows is courtesy of my mother. I was incredibly busy wearing my new boots & eating a lot of food. I ate a hamburger that I drowned in chili. The chili was so good I returned to assemble myself a Frito pie. Dessert included (but was not limited to) finishing off the children's cotton candy you see pictured below.

A good time was had by all. We ate, we played games, we took silly photos, & then we all fell into bed because we had to be at work & school early the following morning. 

Moving on, in addition to having not yet gotten my hands on my mom's Fall Festival pictures last weekend, what I didn't tell you last week is that Trey was out of town last Sunday & Monday nights. This left me bereft of time & energy to write a lengthy blog, & it also meant Henry spent two nights at his Nana & Papa's house. Not yet in Kindergarten, no one gets too upset if Henry misses a few days of school, so Reagan & I were flying solo Sunday & Monday nights while Henry enjoyed monopolizing his Nana's time. 

Monday night I made a selfless decision & skipped this month's book club meeting, opting instead to drive to my parents' house & visit Henry, whom I missed. Additionally, Reagan insisted she deserved some time at Nana's house given Henry's two-night solo stay. Oh & also, my mom made Taco soup, which was a more enticing dinner option than the peanut butter & Halloween candy Reagan & I would've otherwise eaten for supper. 

While I walked / slowly jogged away the day's stress, my mom had the kids busy with this mosaic-thingy I remember playing with as a child. 

For good measure, here are a few pics of Henry on his school field trip to the Pumpkin Patch. These are courtesy of Henry's teacher, as I was across town blabbering about semicolons or something else equally fascinating. 

I hope you've enjoyed the photos. We've been busy lately, obviously. I've a few loose ends to tie up, & then I'll hush so as not to ruin the photo-ambiance. First, I've accepted another loss to Saban. I have. Alabama is a very good football team (yes, I'm shuddering as I type, but they are). LSU played well; they moved the ball, & their defense held Alabama to what I believe was a season-low twenty-four points. I think there are a few teams currently ranked in the top ten who're only there because their schedule never includes Alabama. Or Georgia. Or anyone else who's ranked because, I don't know, they think they're too holy to play in a conference.

I mentioned I skipped book club last Monday night. As you might imagine, this was not an easy decision for me. In the month of October we were to read a three-book series that I just didn't manage to read. I made it about a third of the way through the first book before giving up. We won't meet again until the middle of December. The last few years we've opted to scrap a November book. The end of November is crazy schedule-wise for women with small kids & families who celebrate Thanksgiving, so we've been selecting a classic to read during November & early December. We will meet again mid-December to discuss Little Women, exchange gifts, & consider prospective books for our 2018 reading list. 

I've never read Little Women. I desperately want to get through it before our meeting. When I think about all of the things that will unfold between now & the middle of December—when I think about how many essays & research papers will be submitted to me between now & the middle of December—I get incredibly antsy. Antsy roughly translates to I want to stay in my bed & eat a bag of chips & watch Gilmore Girls. I've tried to stagger the paper due dates. My AP students have an essay due this Tuesday. That's eight papers. My juniors have a research paper due next Saturday night. That's fifteen papers. Manageable numbers, right? The seniors persuasive essays will descend Tuesday, November 28. That's fifty-eight. Yeah. Yeah.

I have begun reading Little Women, but it's slow going. To spur myself on, I pulled up some of what the Internet considers to be Louisa May Alcott's best stuff from her acclaimed novel. I think I'm going to use some of these in essay comments in the coming weeks:

     I'd rather take coffee than compliments just now.

     I like good strong words that mean something. 

This struck me when I read it:

Life and love are very precious when both are in full bloom. 

The above quotes make me want to read the book. Sounds like good stuff, right? I will of course keep you apprised of my progress (or lack thereof) in the coming weeks.

I do love this time of year. The grass & the Satanic weeds are dying, but life is in full bloom. Last Saturday it was cool enough to use our fireplace.

I love college football. I love to buy & wear boots. I love to buy & wear turtlenecks & sweaters & scarves. I love to walk around Target with Trey musing about what to buy people in our life for Christmas . . . & then buy stuff for ourselves. 

Tuesday night we took the kids trick-or-treating.

If you have small kids, your life is in full bloom this time of year. The weather is finally cooling off some (at least for a few days here & there), but you're so busy at times you may find yourself longing for the slow, hot, lazy summer. I think I will always prefer scarves & hot chocolate & fires & football to the slowest, laziest day of summer. The deader the grass is, & the slower the weeds grow, the more alive I feel. The colder the air, the warmer my heart & my smile. I'll leave you to ponder that . . . or psychoanalyze me.

The next few weeks will be manic for us. I can deal with it all so long as it is not ninety degrees outside. I can conquer the world so long as I can do it in a turtleneck. I will grade the essays. I will help the child with her Thanksgiving poster. I will shower on Saturday morning(s) & attend the birthday party(ies). I will remember to get the dog her shots & refill her heart worm medication. I will decorate the Christmas tree. I will artfully scatter the Christmas decor around our home in a festive manner. I will, I will, I will, unless of course it is hot outside, in which case I will wither & pout & lock myself in my room with Little Women.


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