October is a most beautiful month in Olympia. The weather alternates between clear, bright blue skies and moody, dark clouds and the leaves are falling and the colors are gorgeous. Today has been a good day. Mondays are my catch-up days. I have the shop staffed most of the time and I am free to work from my little home office and just get the things done that are hard to do from the shop. So much paper and mail and bills. And also keep the laundry going. And exercise. And take the girls to eye appointments and do all the errands. And apparently, clean out my closet. When I have a few quiet hours, I still use the Pomodoro Technique (25 minute blocks of time) but the ticking of the little tomato timer drives me nuts so I usually use my (silent) phone timer instead.
Cate turned seven (!) last Tuesday. We celebrated by going to lunch at Rainforest Cafe in Seattle on our way to the airport. We took the girls out of school and spent most of the week in Nampa — Telfer participated in his first stint on the Board of Trustees at the college we attended. We stayed at Anna’s house and were able to spend good time with so many of our dear ones – Anna of course and Amanda, Melissa and family, Kori & Andy, Bekah and Keira, Claire and Piper and Nolan and Kathy. Such a good time.
The girls are so much easier to travel with now at five and seven, but after a few days away from home and off schedule and out of our beds… We were ready to go home.
The week before last was nuts. Telfer and I again helped first and second graders (and a few other parents) make fifty pumpkin pies – we roasted the pumpkins that the kids had grown in the Lincoln garden, pureed the roasted pumpkin, put together pastry, made pie filling and then baked the pies to serve at Lincoln’s Harvest Festival. And it was the weekend of Arts Walk – such a busy, big weekend for the shop. I didn’t have a true day off for about three weeks. I was able to sneak away to Portland for a night by myself between Arts Walk and our trip. I went to see Elizabeth Gilbert speak about Big Magic and went to brunch with RaChelle. It was just what I needed.
We are selling these little pretties at the shop. Hand-painted bookmarks in small and large sizes by an Oregon Coast artist. I saw her work at the Cannon Beach Book Company in August and knew I had to have some for Browsers too. Aren’t they pretty?
Last night I started reading the new illustrated Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and proceeded to stay up way past my bedtime. Of course I now have visions of reading the entire series before Christmas. Rereading is comfort reading.
I finished Bill Clegg’s Did You Ever Have a Family yesterday as well. Very memorable, lovely, difficult novel about a woman who loses everything – her boyfriend, daughter, her daughter’s fiancé and ex-husband all die in a horrific fire on the eve of her daughter’s wedding. The novel is structured in a way that makes sense for the story – several different characters narrate the chapters and small, sideways moments of grace and connection take place. Will definitely be ordering for the shop.
And that my friends, is all I have tonight. I am looking forward to this week and a slower pace, to reading at night, to baking cookies (pumpkin snickerdoodles!) with the girls, roasting applesauce for the freezer, and enjoying the season, all while wearing a sweater.