The Friday Five!

1. There are a lot of good things about being married to a carpenter/contractor, as I am. You can get things fixed without bringing someone in, for example. Also nice is that I rarely have to hammer a nail for anything, although that’s mostly because it makes him VERY NERVOUS when I look like I’m about to do so. The flip side—it’s not a downside, just a truth—is that when you are married to a contractor, they are used to job sites. And they have no trouble living WITHIN one, if it means they can, say, remodel and redecorate the entire downstairs, re-do the floors in several rooms AND tear out the laundry room. I, however, am having trouble adjusting to all this disruption. As I write this, there is someone adding texture to our living room walls. What is texture, you ask? I did too! It’s basically like another layer of wood/plaster, that makes the room feel more…oh, I’m not even sure. Ask me when it’s done. Also, our kitchen floor is torn up from where the fridge leaked and my washer/dryer are both out in the garage. If I SAY anything about this, though, my husband just rolls his eyes: to him, it is as normal as me being crazy during revisions. (Which I am right now, but that’s another issue altogether.) I know all this disruption, people coming and going and general chaos will be worth it in the end. But I miss having a floor. I’m not complaining! Just saying….

2. Regular readers of this blog know my daughter gets up early. Like, 5:30-6am, every single day. She’s been like this since she was a baby, and we’ve tried all kinds of things to change it: later bedtime, earlier bedtime, no sugar before bedtime….you name it. No change. This week, though, after she started hollering for me one morning at 5:25, I was at the end of my rope. So, following someone’s suggestion on Twitter, I purchased The Good Nite Light. It’s a plug in nightlight with both a sun and moon on it, and you can set it so it shows the moon when you want your kid in bed, and the sun when it’s okay to get up. We were all excited about this possibly working, and I think it MIGHT be, although it’s too soon to really tell. Which is to say, now she knows why I am not showing up to get her up when she is screaming for me to do so. But does that mean she STOPS screaming for me? Well….no. In fact, it’s more like, “Mama! The sun is taking TOO LONG TO COME ON!” Back to the drawing board, I guess.

3. Because my kid gets up so early, I tend to try and be in bed by 10, because otherwise I’m like a zombie all day. This week, however, two of my favorite musicians were playing at a bar up the street from me, at an early hour of 9:15. This is also notable because I live out in the country and NOTHING is near me, except for this little bar that has music sometimes. Still, I was hesitant. It was already a crazy week and I knew I’d be tired if I did it. But my husband insisted, so I went. And I am SO GLAD I did, because I got to see Sara Romweber play the drums, which was freaking awesome. I have heard of her and her music before but I’d never seen her live and WOW. I took this video, even though it’s not great quality. You can see her on the left, with her brother, Dexter Romweber (whose name inspired MY Dexter in THIS LULLABY) playing guitar. My friend Carrie was on the right, but you can’t really see her. Anyway, watch Sara wail on the drums. It’s pretty epic: check it out here.

4. It’s so freaking hot here right now. I know, I know. It’s summer in North Carolina, this is not exactly breaking news. But honestly I don’t remember the last time we had these long stretches of three digit temperatures, day after day, with heat indexes that make me want to swoon. 110 degrees? REALLY? We are fortunate in that everything here is air conditioned, for the most part, so it really becomes a two-pronged approach to avoid constant sweating: do things as early in the morning as you can, and perfect your hopscotching from one cool place like the car or grocery store to another. That said, I was loading groceries into my car for about five minutes today at 11:20 or so and was quickly drenched by my own pores. YUCK. I will always be a summer girl, but man. Hoping for a big storm to blow out all this humidity and cool things down, even if only for a little while…

5. Finally, I’m approaching a milestone moment here in my office. When I first moved up here, I had two big bookshelves to fill up however I chose. In one, I put all the books I really love and that are important to me, like my worn paperback of Lee Smith’s FAIR AND TENDER LADIES and the copy of BLEAK HOUSE my father gave me that I have tried to read about a million times and probably will a million more. (It’s his favorite novel, so I MUST finish it at some point. I always get to about page 300 and bail. Sad but true.) On the other one, I put one copy of every one of my books, starting with hardcovers, then paperbacks, then foreign editions. I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of my books published in other countries in the last couple of years, and suddenly I find that shelf is FULL. Whoa! These four are the last that will fit:

From top left, going clockwise, they are Swedish, Spanish, Hungarian and Portugese. I think. I have to say, seeing these and all the others just blows my mind. I mean, I am not someone who has traveled a lot. Too anxious, for one reason. But to know that my BOOKS have been all around the world…wow. I feel really, really fortunate. I mean, Hungarian? Who KNEW? For once, having too much of something is a good thing. Even if it means springing for another bookshelf….

Have a good weekend, everyone!