Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Hello From Thirty-Nine

Good Black Friday to you. 

It has been a few sleeps since last I blogged. In fact, since I posted - - - > this back in early October a lifetime's worth of stuff has happened. For one I am now *officially* thirty-nine. I feel thirty-nine, reader. I am finding I'm no longer able to plow through exhaustion the way I once could. Also, my hips ache sometimes, particularly my right one. I suspect this is the result not only of aging but of living on concrete floors the past decade, a situation I continue to try & remedy as I pester Trey to move.

When the book club met to discuss October's book (more on that later in what I suspect will be a long blog) my sister brought this gem of a cake to celebrate our October birthdays with the book club ladies.

Yes, I remain on my Outlander kick. I still love it a whole lot. More on that momentarily.

The kids & I have all had this past week off, so I've had some slivers of time during which to think & write & transfer photos from my phone to the computer to the blog. Reagan's activities have finally slowed to a crawl. Soccer is over until spring, as are her tennis lessons. I don't do Black Friday shopping unless it's online, & so here I am.

I cannot let November completely lapse without noting for posterity a handful of happenings these past few months.

You likely do not recall, but I shared with you back in October that my mother & I decided to travel to Baton Rouge to see the Tigers play Florida. That went very well if you'd not heard. Reagan made us a sign she wanted us to take to the game.

It was a good, good day. The weather was perfect, I got to see a few former students & hug their necks, it was a day spent with my mom we'll both always remember, & the friends we tailgated with saved us a parking spot on campus. You understand what that means if you've attended many games in Tiger Stadium. 

October is always just insane what with a variety of family birthdays, fall festivals, & of course Halloween. The seasonal merriment began with our visit to a local pumpkin patch. It was a quick trip one Saturday morning after one of Reagan's soccer games. It felt like June outside, so I wasn't really in a pumpkin patch sort of mood, but the kids had fun. 

In the middle of all the other October madness Trey & I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary. I snapped this of us after our quick dinner at Outback. 

My sister's birthday falls on October 23rd, & this was our family dinner marking that occasion. 

Continuing our march through October, here are some shots I took at the Fall Festival in Choudrant we attended:

Random shot of the original James Gang we took at one of Reagan's soccer games. 

All that I am I owe to Jesus & my family of origin. We remain a super fun bunch.

And finally, before we closed out October, here's Halloween with the cousins:

Two things happened in November that made for quite a memorable month. President Trump visited little old Monroe, Louisiana . . . &, if you have not heard, the LSU Tigers marched into Tuscaloosa &, on the arm of Mr. Joe Burrow, defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide. 

If you've been hanging around the blog the past decade you know I was beyond elated over this LSU victory. I cried, reader, I did. When Clyde Edwards-Helaire burst through the line & plunged forward for that final first down that meant the Tigers just needed to take a few knees & claim victory I shed a few tears. I am not ashamed to admit that. 

A few days prior to the win in Tuscaloosa my family & I were able to attend the rally President Trump held in Monroe. Thanks to the kindness of an old friend who has some political connections we were added to a VIP list that meant we didn't have to stand in line for hours to be guaranteed entrance. There are very few people for whom I'd stand in line for hours, & President Trump is not on that list (off the top of my head, on that list would be Neil Gorsuch, Henry Cavill, & Sam Heughan).

Anyway, it was a memorable night & worth the late school-night bedtime for the kids.

A few additional tidbits to close out November:

Henry was tasked with decorating a turkey to hang outside his classroom at school. One of us had a lot of fun decorating the turkey.

I was able to join Henry's class on a field trip to Curry Farms one very cold Friday. 

Last but not least, Reagan recently starred in her third Grandparents' Day production. This year's show was Once Upon an Ogre

We spent this past Sunday afternoon eating pizza & playing with the cousins since they all had plans to be in Texas on Thanksgiving Day.

And we managed a decent family photo on Thanksgiving Day:

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. My goodness, I don't think I can swing writing a blog a week, but letting a month lapse is perhaps not the best plan either. The backlog of pictures & thoughts & book-related things I feel need to be said is just staggering. For example, my coffee-drinking habit has changed in kind of a significant way, & you probably did not even know that. I don't use my Keurig that often now. I've been using my drip coffee maker unless I am in a huge hurry. I love the smell of the grounds so much, & you miss that whole part of the experience when you use a K-cup for coffee. 

On the book club front, in the month of October we read Agatha Christie's Endless Night. I am of course still reading my way though the Outlander novels, so each month I set aside the Outlander tome on which I am currently working & take a week or so to read the book club book. It takes discipline to do this, friends, because I do not want to stop reading the Outlander books . . . but I also don't want to attend book club having not read that month's book. 

Endless Night is a decent book. I didn't love it as much as Christie's And Then There Were None, which is the only other Agatha Christie novel I've read. The upside of switching back & forth between books is that compared to Diana Gabaldon's books every other book in the world seems short & is a quick read. 

I am in the middle of Voyager, the third in Gabaldon's series, though at the moment it's on hold while I read The Ragged Edge of Night by Olivia Hawker which is November's book club selection. Thus far it is a good book. It is set in Germany during WWII. The protagonist is a former priest who was forced from the church & his profession by the evil ideology overtaking Germany. Not knowing what to do with his life, he decides to marry a woman who has been widowed & is looking for someone to help her raise her three young children. This is the kind of set-up I absolutely adore, though the priest has decided to pretend he is impotent . . . so I am not sure where things are headed, but I'll keep reading. It's like The Sun Also Rises in reverse or something. If you've not read The Sun Also Rises you likely don't understand that reference. On a related note, you should read The Sun Also Rises if you've not done that. 

I feel there is still much to say, but if you're still reading you are no doubt ready to be done. I have two bits of news to share, & then I will shut up. First, if you are, like me, a U.S. resident & you are, like me, currently reading Voyager with plans to then watch season three of Outlander once you've read the book, well, good news! The third season of Outlander is coming to Netflix in the U.S. on December 10. This is literally what I wanted for Christmas. Ask & ye shall receive. 

It's highly unlikely I'll be done reading Voyager by December 10 given that between now & then I have to close out a semester of teaching, attend to a great many details regarding holiday festivities & dress-up days at the kids' school, celebrate Trey's birthday, & prepare to celebrate Reagan's upcoming ninth birthday. Nevertheless, I will eventually finish the book, & when I do another glorious season of Outlander will be waiting for me. 

The second bit of news I will share with you is that Trey & I are headed to Baton Rouge tomorrow. We have a dear friend from college whose stepfather is a generous benefactor of the LSU Tigers. Over the years we've attended a handful of games as their guests, &, Lord willing, we'll watch Joe Burrow's final game in Tiger Stadium live.

Life is busy. God is good. Geaux Tigers.

I shall return with December madness to report, friends.


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