Five Things: Feels Like 18 Edition


Whew, what a week. I love the birch trees in our yard – I took the photograph at about 9:00 PM on Friday night. Telfer was at work, the girls were asleep in their beds, and this was what I was doing:

friday night quiet. just what i needed.

Exactly all I had energy for: reading outside with my little George.zoo tunes greatest hits!

On Wednesday night though, we took part on what has become a summer tradition around Elizabeth’s birthday – Zoo Tunes at the Woodland Park Zoo. This year we saw Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell and it was awesome. Lucinda and Emmylou in one summer. Add Brandi and it would almost be too much. We pack a picnic, some drinks (thank you Telfer), the girls and meet Liz for the evening. This was the girls’ second year going with us and outdoor concerts with kids are really fun, especially once it’s not as hot (looking at you JANE. Also, yes, Jane is wearing a pirate costume in the photos. It was pirate week at her preschool and Wednesday was the day she could come in costume and clearly did not want to change for a concert).Untitled

dancing to emmylou

We drove home that night, put the girls to bed and I was unpacking the car and Telfer was watering our garden when George was hit by a car right at the foot of our driveway. It was 11:00 PM and the car was going much too fast on our quiet street and well, we are so very thankful that he had only a broken leg, a few staples and another little wound on his non-broken leg. I spent five hours (!) at the vet ER with him that night and he is such a sweet little guy. So now George is in a cast with the cone of shame for the next 4-6 weeks. Poor baby. He is still quite fast even hindered with a cast and gets to sleep with me and Telfer instead of his crate which makes him so very happy. 

day after. poor little georgie...

money can't buy happiness but it can buy books which is kinda the same thing

There were some really good moments this weekend. The parenting front has thankfully calmed down. Telfer took the girls out with friends on our boat (that’s another story) while I worked. On Sunday we went to Hood Canal and toodled about. Ice cream was involved. Telfer and I stayed up much too late last night chatting. It’s so good to be married to someone you really enjoy. And now it’s a new week somehow and I am in the thick of going live with the inventory system at the shop on Wednesday (cross your fingers – it’s been complicated) AND hosting our first book event (signing and reading) on Thursday. 

*Oh, and p.s. all my book places are updated. 

Five Things This Week

ombre tree

It’s Monday night and my laundry is still in piles all over my bedroom floor and the bed still needs fresh sheets. Telfer should be home at some point. But! I am writing this and I just finished the season finale of Scandal so all is right in the world. Telfer put a television in the basement for me and so now I can run/walk/and watch TV all at the same time. Life-changing, I tell you. funny girls These girls are so funny. This picture was a high moment for the week. The girls are really into making fairy houses and they are showing showing me all the little areas in their fairy house. Not pictured (at all) is what felt like a very challenging parenting week. 

holding hands, watching the diver and fishes.

We went to the aquarium in Seattle on Saturday morning and the girls held hands while they said hello to the fishes and the diver. They are sweet sisters so much of the time. I should also be more encouraged by this. I sometimes think I might be raising at least one sociopath. Not true. Evidence above. Still, very challenging at times.

socks with saltwater sandals

And, there’s this outfit photograph that Telfer took. What the what? You know when you buy your kid a new article of clothing, say a pair of patterned shorts, and you have a definite idea of how they will be worn and then they get up early and put together their idea of how the same article will be worn? Well, this is exactly what happened here. I tried to make the outfit a little bit better and it just kept getting worse.

lucinda williams with liz!

Lucinda Williams came to Olympia last week and Liz came down to go with me. The show was amazing and it was so much fun to have Liz with me. If you aren’t familiar with her music, read this New Yorker article from a few years ago. Nerdy note that puts all of this into context: I listen to the Lucinda Williams Pandora station at the shop. I love her. I have trained the station to do exactly what I want and it’s just so, so good.

department of speculation by jenny offill

In book news, I finished Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill today. I think this is one of those novels you either hate or love and I loved. Quote: “Some women make it look so easy, the way they cast ambition off like an expensive coat that no longer fits.”  Beautiful language here. Also read Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell this week and loved. Both are novels I want to foist on people and say READ THIS! (And guess what, I get to do this every day and it’s so much fun). literary pairings: empathy exams and an unquiet mind

Still loving this literary pairing series I have going on instagram for the shop. Also at the shop, we are going live with an inventory system (bookstore software) early next week. Right now I doing all of the behind the scenes setup and later this week we will have staff training and am I hoping I can get all the equipment to work and talk to each other. The shop has never had an inventory system so think of us as we enter at least 75,000 books into a database in the next few months. As a librarian, not being able to tell a customer if we have a book has been a maddening state of affairs. I need my metadata!

Five Things: Hot Sunday Afternoon at the Shop Edition

bargain carts

It’s sweaty here in the shop today. I can keep the place really cool — the magic of cross ventilation — until it’s about 88 degrees outside. And it’s 92 today. Good times. There’s still a steady stream of people coming through the doors…We close in about an hour and I am looking forward to going home and relaxing with Telfer and the girls. Hopefully with a cold drink in hand.

here we go...

1. We have sold quite a few copies of Go Set A Watchman at the shop. For the record, I did read it and in full disclosure, I pretty much hate it. It’s unedited and unfinished and the publication is so clearly motivated by money and murky dealings with a diminished Harper Lee that I am just beyond irritated by the whole thing. If the publishers had released the book as a scholarly critical edition with essays placing the novel in context with To Kill a Mockingbird it would be one thing but that’s so clearly not the case here. I can kind of work myself up about this. Anyone else read it? Opinions? 

lunch with rachelle!

2. RaChelle was in town for a family reunion and stole away for lunch with me. Highlight! We shared a couple of sandwiches and talked for a couple of hours. So good, so good.

solo dinner!

3. My week improves infinitely when I take a few hours over the weekend to prep a bit. I love messing about in the kitchen, doing little projects. Last Sunday I cut, washed and prepped a huge bowl of garden lettuce. I boiled farro, roasted beets, and rinsed and seasoned chickpeas. And then dinner was ready to go for a good chunk of the week. Telfer ate with me one night and had meetings the other two nights but I had a healthy, beautiful meal all ready to go. Not that ice cream for dinner is all bad once in awhile…

gresham! and two griffiths!

4. This weekend has been work-heavy due to employee vacation and a gigantic book sale in town that I scouted out for books for the shop. Telfer has the weekend off and took the girls out to the lake house Friday night with four other dads a total of 11 kids. They had a great time. The girls were up until midnight (!). I stayed home but it wasn’t exactly relaxing. I did meet a friend for drinks at the Brotherhood (first time! so fun!), fixed a cash register emergency and then came home and basically went straight to bed.


books + george. a good combo

5. Then, in the morning, all these books happened. It’s work to schlep books around. I put them on my dining room table to desticker them and then I am going to take them to the shop…Found some really, really good stuff. Owning a used bookstore is…not glamorous. Satisfying and deeply fun, yes, glamorous, no.