I’ve had trouble settling on a blogging topic for today – we are having some significant home improvements done around the house and during the process we’ve encountered some particular-to-Pittsburgh zoning issues that are causing some angst. Coupled with resistance from our grouchy next door neighbors whenever we try and improve the house and there is a lot of negative energy floating around my noggin right now. But, I’ve been pleased with the progress of my new blog, as well as the fact that I’ve been committed to it, and it’s been a while since I’ve done any sort of bullet post, so this seems like the perfect time!
* I completed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy and thoroughly enjoyed it! I’m surprised, actually, by how much I liked it – enough to be sad it had to come to an end. I want to know what happens now, with Berger and Mikhael and Salander! There were a few moments in each book where I felt like throwing in the towel but I’m so glad I didn’t – it’s odd to say but I really feel like the trilogy was a satisfying reading experience.
* Thanks to a well-timed trip to the library, I am diving right into my next read: Traveler, by Ron McLarty. If you haven’t read McLarty yet, I can’t recommend him highly enough – his Memory of Running is the first book since Beach Music that my mom, dad and I all read with relish. McLarty brings tremendous heart and compassion to otherwise broken characters, placing them in extreme circumstances and forcing their quest for survival, and he does so with such humor. I also just requested The Fault in Our Starsbecause I’ve seen it mentioned on several blogs and on facebook – I know absolutely nothing about this book but so many of my friends can’t be wrong!
* Around the house we are awash with Grace’s imaginary friends. Her imaginary world began with Amy – Amy often rides in the car with us or joins us for dinner, but primarily she spends her time “going to work.” It could get depressing if I analyzed it too much, but Grace doesn’t really talk about her too often. She regularly lists her as a member of her family if asked, and if we are playing a game like “what color is mommy’s shirt? what color is daddy’s shirt?” she will volunteer without being asked that Amy is wearing a blue shirt. Amy, though, is far less creepy than Fishy, who often bathes and sleeps with Grace among a plethora of other, real, toys. Sometimes she’ll wake up in the morning and I can hear her through our door talking quietly to herself and when I go in to get her and ask who she’s talking to, she always answers with pure delight “Fishy!” Rounding out the bunch is a group she refers to solely as “The Kinks” – they appear mostly in the bathtub. As far as I can tell they live in the faucet. Grace spends a lot of timing peering up the faucet and introducing herself excitedly to them. “Hi, kinks!” she likes to yell. “I’m Grace and this is my mommy! We live with daddy and our dog, Skylar.”
* When she isn’t interacting with her very real toys or her imaginary friends, Grace gets all project runway on us, taking blankets of various sizes and turning them into dresses or skirts and showing us her creations. She isn’t terribly interested in books beyond bedtime stories – not like she once was, at any rate. Thus far her interests seem to run very much toward art and physical activity, which is just fine with me.
*Ian and I will be spending most of our summer vacation on the road visiting our family. Every year we swear to take a family vacation that isn’t centered around visiting family but we never succeed – and now that our parents are officially elderly it is quite apparent frequent visits to Pittsburgh are prohibitive for them. I love our families and don’t mind spending vacation time with them but since we are the nearest siblings BY FAR (my brother lives in Colorado, his sisters in Texas and England ((I mean come on, ENGLAND??)) we end up serving as family ambassadors for everything from doctors’ appointments to camping weekends and it can feel rather frustrating sometimes, especially when we live eight hours from both sets as well.
* But then again, oh well. I had a wonderful relationship with my grandparents adn want to give Grace the same opportunity. Let’s face it, I will schlep across the Ohio countryside as often as it takes for that to happen, so I might as well stop moaning about it.
*But then AGAIN, it would be so much less stressful if the first thing post-grandchild my mom HADN’t done was carpet her entire house in white carpeting save one small sunroom where the majority activity, from wine-drinking to coloring, needs to take place.
*But she did.
*And, that’s what’s happening around here right now! Work, reading, child-rearing, home repairs and travel to see family. It’s not necessarily a glamorous life right now, but it is, like the Stieg Larsson trilogy, oddly satisfying.