The Friday Five!

1. Man, what a week. We were lucky down here in middle of NC to only get some rain and wind from Hurricane Sandy, although our mountains got hit with snow and our beaches damaged from the water. I’ve watched the coverage of New York and New Jersey and just feel SO helpless that I can’t somehow send some of our power, our generator, our normalcy up there. I know from hurricanes and ice storms we’ve been through how tough it is to keep your spirits up, especially after those adrenalized first few days. People will be okay, and will rebuild. But they’ll need our help. If you can donate to the Red Cross, please do.

2. But then there’s this:

I have no reason for posting this other than it makes me laugh. This is Will, who works for my husband, holding one of our furry footed chickens. Apparently, something is hysterical. They laugh a LOT while they are working. Boys.

3. In other picture news, I have finally updated my author photo. It was time. I got the last one taken back in 2008, right before that election. Since then my kid has grown and changed, and it shows on my face, which is a BIT more weathered, by which I mean, TIRED. Since I hit forty, when I first wake up in the  morning I look like I’ve taken a frying pan squarely to the face. It’s not pretty, folks. But luckily my friend Kristin, who runs a company called KPO Photo, can work magic with light, lenses and Photoshop. We took a BUNCH of shots, and narrowed them down to a top four. This is the one I finally went with:

new pubshot

I like the orange behind me: it reminds me of Tang, that powdered drink that was all the rage back in my childhood in the 1970s. The astronauts drank it! Remember? Okay, maybe not. Anyway, this will be the shot on my new book, which I am HOPING I will able to tell you more about (and share the cover!) very, very soon. Fingers crossed. And no frying pans. Please.

4. We are FINALLY past Halloween, and I have to say, I’m kind of relieved. I was never one to be big into the whole costume thing: after college, I kind of phased it out, preferring instead to focus on the candy part of the holiday. Once I had my kid, though, and she was old enough to get into the swing of it, I was sucked RIGHT back in. No choice in the matter. In fact, we celebrate Halloween around here ALL YEAR LONG, with a haunted house pretty much constantly set up on our second floor. This is what I see whenever I pass the guest bathroom:

Why, yes, that IS a giant giraffe wearing a zombie mask. It has been in the bathroom since June, and STILL scares the crap out of me every single time I walk in there, especially when it is dark. I have tried to remove it, only to be resisted totally. My nerves are worn thin, to say the least. But anyway, this year we decided to go with a royal theme, since my daughter is princess obsessed and was dressing as Sleeping Beauty. I was Snow White, and my husband was a king, with robe and scepter. Because my “Sassy” Snow White costume was a BIT shorter than I anticipated (why, oh WHY are all women’s costumes partially or totally slutty? I don’t get it) I wore it with leggings and flats instead of the heels I’d planned. I got some odd looks, especially when we were out for dinner. But there are worse reasons for people to stare, I guess:

Coco is behind me, functioning as the eighth dwarf: Crazy. But I guess that could apply to  me as well, especially this week. Anyway, at least there is candy.

5. Speaking of candy, though, this week we went to the dentist and my kid has TWO cavities. Oh, the horror. And the shame, considering this is an open office and everyone can hear the hygienist lecturing you about 1) not getting xrays for your five year old and 2) not flossing her teeth enough. I was so guilt ridden, it was like I’d spent a week with my family. (I’m joking! I love my family. And I don’t need them to feel guilty, I do that All On My Own, Pretty Much Constantly.) And then the news about cavities, and I just wanted to crawl under the closest chair and hide. Sigh. This parenting thing, it’s not for wimps. I’m honestly doing the best I can, under the circumstances (as Owen Armstrong would say) and the circumstances are always changing. It’s like aiming for a moving target: you just get as close as you can, pull the trigger, and hope for the best. I’m trying to limit the candy from her treat bag, floss more, and brush multiple times a day, even if it is too little, too late. Nobody can say I don’t give my best, even after the fact. At least, they better not say it in earshot.

6. Yeah, I know this is a Five, but like I said, it’s been a long week. And I know a lot of folks up north don’t have much to smile about. When I’m down, I find a little Carlton Dance can always cheer me up. So if you have power, take twenty seconds and watch this. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

Have a good weekend, everyone!