Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I can picture myself at the meeting. It would go something like this.

Me: Hi, I'm Lisa and I'm a....bookaholic.

Everyone: Hi Lisa.

It's true. As with most addictions I choose to ignore it, just hope it will go away and then the desire hits me again; like yesterday when I was driving through a county seat, a small town of an adjacent know...the kind with a court house square, charming, to have lunch with a friend. It was only a small storefront, but they had one of those easel type sidewalk signs, plus the windows were painted advertising a sale...20% off all children's. That did it.

Yes, I did it. I bought books. At least I only spent around $6.00, and they weren't even children's, and they were paperbacks, and they weren't antiquarian (love that word) or rare.

No. 1: 84 Charring Cross Road (didn't even know it was a book and didn't know it was true)...wonderful. The movie is great. See it if you haven't. I happened upon it because I love Anthony Hopkins, and of course Ann Bancroft is fabulous......and OF's a sort of love story between a writer and someone who.....I won't tell you....just see it and you'll understand why. I can't say more. The thought of it is making me have the urge again.

No. 2: Boy. This one is a memoir written by Roald Dahl.

I'm worried. Not only does this addiction continue, but lately I've been buying books about books and books about writing books, and books about bookstores and books about libraries.

As I wrote my check, I asked the owner if he wanted my driver's license. His reply was "No thanks, I already have one." Then he asked me if I had seen the movie (84 Charring Cross Road) and purged all sorts of information about it; followed by more information about Roald Dahl which was that he died not long ago (I knew that) and that he had been married (at least at one time) to the actress Patricia Neal (I didn't know that). In my mind I gasped..."He's an addict too. And he WORKS can he manage?" At one time while browsing I realized I didn't have cash, only a credit/debit card or a checkbook, so I asked what they took, and all he said was "We'll do just about anything to sell a book." and left it at that. I didn't know exactly what that meant...would he trade for my watch, some earrings, some velamints?

Just for today........

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Summer didn't officially begin until June 21 so I'm looking at my summer that way. From a teacher perspective, I guess we are close to half way through.

It hasn't felt like summer because of the chaos around me..which I actually am learning to appreciate. It takes my mind off of other things. Here is how it has gone.

1. We traveled to NJ the weekend after school let out to attend a family wedding.
2. Daughter No. 2 stayed behind in NYC with Daughter No. 1 to drive back with her. She moved home and will be teaching in Indianapolis. After they returned, a truck arrived a couple of days later and Daughter No. 1's stuff was unloaded into one of our three garage bays. Another of the three garage bays was already full of my mother-in-law's furnishings. So currently, we can only actually park in one spot.
3. Daughter No. 4 was at the wedding, but had to fly back to Chicago where she goes to school. Daughter No. 1, after arriving home on Wednesday, left on Friday to pick up Daughter No. 4, with a van load of HER stuff, which also was unloaded into the garage.
4. Daughter No. 2, who had recently closed on the purchase of a home, went that same weekend and picked up a UHaul and drove it into our driveway to take some of her grandmother's furnishings and Daughter No. 1's furnishings to use in her new home.
5. Daughter No. 1 began induction at Marian University the following week, repacked what she needed, and drove to Chicago for Teach for America training and to teach summer school in Chicago.
6. Daughter No. 2 is still organizing, painting, and cleaning at her new home, and I haven't had a chance to help her except for one day. I'm hoping to get back this week and next.
7. Daughter No 4. is getting ready to leave for Australia on Thursday, so this week has consisted of me helping her buy some things she needs in the way of clothing, make sure her communication devices are ready and planned, that financially she is set, etc.
8. Oh, Daughter No. 3 is around, but is working and spending quite a bit of time with her boyfriend; but her life is the most calm and normal at the moment. She is taking a class for the 2nd summer session. She lives at home...most of the time.
9. Oh, did I mention there is sort of a Daughter No. 5? This is a friend of Daughter No. 3 who needed a place to live until she gets married next spring. We offered. She was living with her sister, but her sister's husband is being relocated. Don't ask me about her parents. I don't really know the situation, but apparently they don't do a lot to support her financially or otherwise. I have to admire this young woman, as she works full time, goes to school, and has been on her own for awhile. When the idea came up for her to live here, I thought why not? What's another person in this house? I just told her as long as she lives here, she needs to let me know if she isn't going to be home (same rule of thumb for my other daughters) so I won't worry about her.
10. As soon as Daughter No. 1 finishes her summer in Chicago she will be hired and working for a school in Indianapolis teaching secondary English. She plans on living at home until she decides what to do. I don't think it will take long for her to decide she can't function here, and I don't blame her, so she'll probably find a place of her own. TFA is a two-year commitment, so I am relishing the idea that she will be nearby for the first time in several years.
11. My mother-in-law lives here and has a caregiver who comes daily until at least 3:30 or so (sometimes longer when available), but then in the evening I need to be here, or my sister-in-law comes over.
12. I'm trying to have a garage sale in a couple of weeks to empty the house of all the stuff it has accumulated, or at least as much as I can gather. We've only lived here five and a half years but somehow the house has filled up. I still have a lot of kid stuff in the attic although we did dispose of a lot of things before we moved here. There is some kid stuff I will hang onto for grandchildren one day (I can hope), like the little rocking chairs they used, etc.
13. I am presenting in the fall at an education conference and need to start on that.
14. I am changing my curriculum and need to do a little planning on that.
15. I attended a three day workshop on reading comprehension.
16. Ed and I were to travel to Michigan with some older friends who don't travel well alone. Our friend is in the hospital and will not be able to go. We've been worrying about him. Our friend had brain surgery and is going to be in rehab once he gets out of the hospital to get his strength back. Ed and I changed the reservation to a one bedroom condo (fortunately there was ONE available) and are still planning on traveling to upper Michigan in a couple of weeks). I'm VERY sorry they won't be able to make it with us, but also looking forward to getting away. We both need it. We've never been to Charlevoix and hear the area is beautiful. Ed's sister will be flying in from Taos, New Mexico, to spend the week with her mother here.
17. I've been trying to get all my dentist/doctor appointments done over the summer as well...mine and some of the daughters.
18. Oh, and in the midst of all this, Daughter No. 1 had a graduation party (she did most of the work and was delicious..she's a great cook) on a Saturday; also Daughter No. 4 had an "I'm going to Australia and won't see you for awhile" party (for which "I" did most of the preparation...which means I bought everything to avoid cooking except for throwing burgers (frozen patties) and hot dogs on the grill. That happened the following Friday. And I also had a gathering on a Sunday to celebrate Father's day, my father's birthday, a brother's birthday, a brother-in-law's birthday all at once.

In a nutshell (I know that's much more than a nutshell) that is what my summer has been like so far. I haven't read a single summer read yet, but I'm working on it. I usually read at least 10 novels.

I don't know what all this sounds like to someone who might be reading it, but it is not a vehicle for whining or complaining. I actually thrive in this atmosphere...well, as long as I can see the end in sight. I find I do much better caring for my mother-in-law with chaos around me. I had four children. I'm used to chaos. Don't let anyone tell you it goes away once they graduate from high school, or even college.

Right now I'm going to go have lunch with a good friend at her house and look at her beautiful garden. That's a start, an attempt at actually doing something that feels like summer.


I'm going to make an attempt to return to my writing. I'm a teacher on summer break, but it hasn't felt much like summer break. My husband and I continue to care for his mother. We've adjusted. That doesn't mean I haven't had, and won't continue to have on occasion, a melt down. No more whining about that, however.

Actually I'm back because a friend who is much more tech saavy than I hooked me up with google reader so I could attempt to organize the blogs and other websites I frequent (which actually I haven't frequented much at all lately). So it prompted me to actually look to see when I last wrote. When I first saw March, I was thinking it had been a whole year. It hasn't. Only around three months; that isn't as bad as I thought. It "feels" like a year though.

I'll see what I can do here again.