It’s book time.

National Novel Writing Month starts tomorrow.  As always, I’ve taken no time at all in October to think about what to write.  Every year I feel like it’s the first year that I REALLY have no ideas, but the same thing has happened for nine years and it manages to still get done.  We’ll see how my brain’s spinning at 5:00 am tomorrow morning.

Good night!




Library. Always open.

One of my favorite things about Ghost Ranch is that its library is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all of the libraries in the world had no locks?  Yes, it sure would.

My aunts-in-law who live in Santa Fe gave me their latest favorite book, Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese to read on my way home because I needed something better than the disappointing Jennifer Weiner book I’d grabbed from the Athens library before my trip.  By page 7, I was already blown away by some of the passages, and now that life is settling down, I can get back to finishing this excellent novel.

“You are an instrument of God.  Why let that instrument lay sitting in its case, my son?  Play!  Leave no part of your instrument explored.  Why settle for ‘Three Blind Mice’ when you can play ‘Gloria?'” (p.7)

“You live life forward, but understand it backward.” (p. 9)”

“Geography is destiny.” (I forgot to note the page.) Will write more on this later because it’s so rich.

While we’re on quotes, Rudy, one of my classmates at Ghost Ranch, offered this one morning:

“Anything of interest takes place at a boundary.”

Can you say “heliotrope?”

I’m here at the library writing some articles, but of course something is going on that has distracted me.  I need to find myself a windowless closet to get my stuff done.  Someday I will find that closet.

Libraries are quiet places, or should be, right?  Although I really love this library, it’s not entirely noise-free and I have always wished that it had a closed off quiet study area for people like me who can’t work at home, with music, with chatter, with views…you get the idea.

There is a father across the room playing chess with his young son and he is SHOUTING!  Well, maybe not the dictionary definition of shouting, but the library definition of shouting.  The pet-peeviest part for me is that I think his volume is loud for the benefit of others.  He’s sharing all kinds of chess wisdom, and I believe he has a dual purpose:  #1, so others can hear his chess wisdom, and #2, so others understand how cool it is for a boy to understand and want to play chess at such a young age.  Before they sat down, I heard him say, “Oh, here’s a book on biodiversity.  Can you guess what that means?”

This reminds of a time when Anna was a baby, but old enough to go to a local playground.  A father was there alone with his child who was not that much older than Anna.  He was teaching his baby that a particular shape on the playground was a heliotrope. Not a climbing thing, as I told Anna it was, but a heliotrope.

I admit this is not the most considerate of posts, and this being such a small town, I might even know Witty Chess Dad, and have most likely seen him at an event or two or seven.  Enough with the high-volume academic chatter, though!  Enough!

Barbiehead the Vampire.

The year 2011 has certainly been blurry in spots, and the month of October may have replaced August as the blurriest and busiest!  Since I’ve returned from New Mexico,  the days have been slippery, and finding adequate traction to return to our loose but reliable routine has been a real challenge.   Throw in gloomy weather, a nice and long to-do list, at least four weeks of wearing a walking boot for my Achilles tendonitis, and I’m looking at what could be an overwhelming scenario.  I’m getting some perspective, though!

Trick-or-treating went well last night, and the girls rocked the neighborhood in their Medusa and Strawberry Shortcake costumes.  So now, it’s time to get back to work, but not before sharing this picture of what Charlotte did before heading off to school this morning. It’s a great reminder that the funny stuff is what helps us get through all the rest.

Around the corner.

New Mexico is just a few days away, now, and I am not nearly as stressed out about my 9 day absence as you might think.  One reason is that Anna will be in Maryland for the week visiting her grandparents, so Aaron doesn’t need to worry about driving her around to all her weekday commitments.  Another reason is that I’m only packing for myself and not for the rest of the family, mean no cars to load, lunches to pack, or house to clean before I leave.  Yet another happy feature about this trip is that just yesterday I found a shocking deal on a rental car!  I know, right?!?  For weeks I couldn’t find anything under $450 for 9 days, then out of nowhere comes this travelocity special for $207 for THE WHOLE TIME.

My own wheels.  I can go anywhere I want now and don’t have to rely on airport shuttles or the kindness of friends.  I have already decided that I will be taking this route, The Turquoise Trail, from Albuquerque to Santa Fe, and I am not going to be in a hurry.   If my plane’s on time, I’ll be out of Albuquerque by 1:00 pm and don’t need to be at Ghost Ranch until late Sunday afternoon.  It’s all wide open.

What will I do with myself?  I am going to decide when I get there! A little solo, spontaneous meandering is going to feel soooooo good, especially since as soon as I get back family will be here from New York and we will be entering the madness that is the Circleville Pumpkin Show.  Lots going on then, but I’m keeping that door of thought locked right now in order to fully experience next week.

There’s also this to consider before I leave Albuquerque.  We’ll just have to see!