Vermont autumn

A brief check-in

Yikes!  How is it September already?  I used to think older people were crazy when they said time went faster as you got older (Really, grownups? Isn't time a universal constant? was my snippy internal monologue), but the older I've gotten, the more it seems true.

Greg started teaching in mid-August.  Eric went back to UNC-A in mid-August as well.  Matthew and Natalie started the last week of August (my baby started high school!!) and we leave to take Julia back to Northwestern on Saturday.  Plus, Julia turned 20 last month.  Just saying, "I now have two 20 somethings and two high school students" makes me feel positively geriatric.  I'm still two years away from 50, but it's creeping up.  Somehow I thought that people in their late 40s had it all figured out.  Boy, was I wrong.

Fannishly things are still pretty quiet.  I started watching "Broadchurch" with a couple of friends and while it's interesting it isn't all consuming.  I started reading Game of Thrones finally, but can only do it in small chunks.  It's hard to get attached to characters that you know are more disposable than tissues.  My favorite George R. R. Martin joke so far is, "Why doesn't GRRM use Twitter? Because he killed all 140 characters."  I'm starting to realize just how very true that is.  I need an enthralling book recommendation.  One real downside of doing so much reading online is that my sustained attention really isn't what it used to be.

I may actually try a couple of new tv shows this year as well.  "Sleepy Hollow" looks potentially interesting and "Almost Human" will get at least one chance because, Karl Urban.  Though I don't have high hopes that either will survive the season.

Now, off to fetch the minions, I mean kids, I go.
Betty Boop

Royal baby

While I'm very happy for Kate that she's safely delivered, I must admit that I was hoping for a little princess.  It would have been fun to have the first female to have a direct place in the British succession that couldn't be superseded by a subsequent male sibling.  Alas. Although I suppose, a lad is more accurate.
Birthday girl

Another year is past

Today my youngest child turned 14. We're in northern Michigan visiting my father-in-law at his lake house and at her birthday dinner at a local restaurant the waitress thought she was at least 16. I'm definitely not ready for her to be 16. 14 is hard enough to believe. Her big gift is pit tickets to see The Killers next month. It's comforting to know that I can still make her crazy by dancing at concerts. :)

All the kids are here and they now range in age from 14 to 21. We first came here when the older two were 3 1/2 and 22 months. It's a little bittersweet to realize that the days of our nuclear family vacationing together are probably not going to last for much longer. But, we had another good week in Leelanau this summer and my baby got to celebrate her day here.

Happy birthday, Natalie Rose!

The current state of me

Summer is officially here if we go by the school calendar. Yesterday was the last day for Matthew and Natalie is now an official Middle School (8th grade) graduate. It's strange to contemplate that in the fall I'll have two high schoolers and two college students. I'd always heard people say that you really never feel that much older on the inside (which I totally didn't believe when I was a kid) and I continue to be amazed by how true that is. The inner me is apparently still about 17.

Eric went back to school last weekend and has finished the first week of his summer school class. He's stayed relatively stable for quite a while now and while I hope that trend continues, it's hard knowing that it could change at any moment. I've gotten much better at living in the moment, but it would be nice to feel more comfortable making longterm plans. Maybe I have to accept that I can make the plans, but there are no guarantees. Which is true for all of us, I suppose.

Julia is about to head into finals and will be home in a week. I love all my kids, but she's the one that's the most like me and it's always a pleasure to have her around. I intend to enjoy it since there are no guarantees that she'll be back home for any extended time periods after this summer.

I had some fun last night. I took Matthew and Natalie to see The Postal Service. Because we were in the midst of huge downpours from Tropical Storm Andrea the venue for the concert had to be changed and we ended up getting great seats. Much better than the ones we would have had at the original venue. It was M and N's first big outdoor and it was a blast. There's something about the ephemeral nature of live performance that really gets to me. I love cds and movies, but seeing art being performed and being part of that experience is really special. Plus, bonus points for being able to horrify your teenage daughter by dancing to the music.

Thanks for the book recommendations. I'll be checking them out. I'm also thinking about reading The Game of Thrones series this summer. Seeing all the sturm and drang fallout from the last aired episode has inspired me to see what all the fuss is about. I know not to get too attached to any character since it sounds like GRR Martin makes Joss look like a rank amateur in painful character demise. There are some benefits to being semi-spoiled.

Okay, one last question for you. I've been revisiting some old fandoms for fic and wanted to know, what do you think are the best fics from any of the fandoms that you've been involved in? The ur fics if you will. I'd love it if you'd share.

2012: My Year in Books

I'm following the example, mostly, o muffinkath7 nd giving you my list of books read in 2012.  It was a relatively light year for me with only 76 and in general I stayed on the lighter end of the literary pool.  There has been so much stress in my life in the last few years that I've used reading more for escapism.  That being said, there are some more serious entries on the list.  I've made a brief comment next to ones that I found particularly noteworthy for whatever reason.

So, without further ado...

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If you've made it all the way through the list, congratulations!  Please let me know what some of your recent favorites are.  I need new things for my "To Be Read" pile.  The 2013 list only has one entry thus far.
Snowing Christmas tree

Merry Christmas

I just wanted to take a few moments to wish all of you a very merry Christmas.  And if you don't celebrate Christmas, may you have a very happy holiday season.  With all the sadness of recent weeks, it's important to remember the good things in our lives.  You, my LJ friends, are one of the good things in my life.

Catch up post

I'm happy to say that things have improved since my last post. No new kitten to replace Nicholas yet, but we'll see what happens on that front in the coming months.

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How's life treating you all?
black and white cat

Who's going?

Yes, I've been MIA for some time now. Things on the home front continue to be quite stressful, but I'm taking it a day at a time and trying to make positive changes in my own life. I keep telling myself that things will get better. *fervently wishes*

However, I do have tickets to take the kids to see the "Hunger Games" at midnight release in IMAX. Anyone else seeing it tonight? I haven't seen anything in IMAX in forever. Let's hope it's not too overwhelming!

In other news, spring has definitely sprung around here. (Well, to be perfectly honest, some forsythia started to bloom in January which was more than a little disquieting.) But now things are abloom everywhere you look. Which means that pollen is also everywhere. Here's to beautiful flowers and minimal seasonal allergies!
winter scene

Ah, children

One of my New Year's resolutions is to try at least one new recipe a month. I've made several crockpot recipes this month and today's was Split Pea Soup. It was tasty, but not everyone is excited about this change in culinary plans. Natalie, age 12, announced at dinner that "the crockpot was Satan's cooking tool". Who knew!

It's been a week since Julia went back to school and while I'm still a little blue, I'm doing better. We'll see how things go when we take Eric to the wilderness treatment program on Saturday.

In other news, the freakishly warm winter weather continues. I've seen more forsythia plants starting to bloom as well as some ornamental trees. I don't like this. Where's the snow??