Monthly Archives: July 2007

Reading Binge, Basement News, and Back to Work UGH!

My summer is almost over. I go back to work next Monday, prepping for the new school year to start. I feel like I’ve not had a summer at all. Where last year we went to the beach and went fishing, this year we’ve taken out flooded garbage and futzed with drywall and painted. Oh, and we’ve had a ton of summer referrals this year, too, which is really unusual. This meant writing three reports and proofing about a half dozen others, when I’m supposed to be sitting on my butt doing nothing. Or fishing or going to the beach.

Somehow, however, I’ve managed to go on a massive reading binge. Since the husband’s surgery three weeks ago, I’ve read four Harry Potters (Chamber of Secrets, Order of the Phoenix, Half Blood Prince, and Deathly Hallows), two Laura Levine books (Shoes to Die For and The PMS Murder), and about half of Janet Evanovich’s 13. My husband is accusing me of speed reading. But I do this. I binge. I can go a month or more without reading a book, and then will absolutely devour everything that comes near me. I do read quickly, which accommodates reading six and a half books in three weeks, along with managing to do the dishes on occasion, but it’s not like I’m getting the Cliff’s Notes versions here. Luckily, it looks like at least two of my boys have inherited my reading craving and ability.

By the way, I’d love to link to the above books, but I’m too tired to do the mousing. You see, I just finished putting in the basement floor. Well, all 516 square feet that incorporates the living room and bedroom, that is. The bathroom remains, of course, and I will tackle that project in a couple of weeks. First I need to go through the boxes of stuff we just tossed in to save from the flood. Some of it will go, but most will actually have to find a home. Sigh. Still, most of the big projects are done, so a miracle has occurred.

So now that the big jobs are done, perhaps I can get to writing again. After I finish 13, that is. One more book I have to finish.

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Ritas and Weddings and Basements, Oh My!

Been a busy bee here at Chez Catie. Firstly, I have to crow for my friend Barb – or, I should say, the award winning Barb Ferrer.  It’s not surprise to anyone that she won a RITA at this year’s RWA National conference.  Well done, Barb! After rooming with RITA winners at least two years in a row, it was definitely her turn.  Congratulations!

Married off the husband’s nephew this last weekend. I can’t believe the kid is 22 already! He was about 8 or 9 when he was the ring bearer at our wedding, and here he was Sunday morning walking around with a wedding ring on his finger, rushing to meet a plane for his honeymoon. Weee-eerd. His wife is a beautiful girl. They were high school sweethearts and we all figured one day he’d marry her. She graduated college in May, but he has a year to go as his degree takes five full years. We thought he’d wait until he was done, but they decided now was the time. They’ll do fine. Just wondering when that first baby is going to come around. Nothing makes you feel old like a wedding, except perhaps becoming a great aunt. Grand aunt? Don’t ask me, I’m just aging.

Basement update for anyone who cares: I am working on flooring starting today! Yes, all the painting is done. My iPod is now beige and green, but I can put away the paint brushes for a bit and start getting down on my hands and knees. If my back lets me, that is. It’s pretty ticked off after hauling out garbage yesterday.

As for writing, that’s kind of on hold again. One day perhaps I’ll be able to write steadily daily. For now – well, I have these kids, you see…

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Linky Linky

At last I updated the links over at the right. Of course, the second I do it, somebody shuts down their blog. And it always seems like I miss someone or find something new after I update, so I’ll need to do it again soon.

However, got one of those “blast from the past” emails the other day from a long-time friend who was changing his email addy. And his sig line included this link. I’ ve known Jim for… wow. A long damned time. Won’t get into how long, but I’ll just say the grade I was in only contained one numeral. We used to walk his St. Bernard around the park in Cheyenne what seems like a hundred million years ago. Then there was the day we tried out his new espresso machine and it took 8 cups each to get it just right.

Yikes.

Well, he’s got a book out, so go take a look. Not along the same vein as what I write, but I’ve read his stuff and he’s good. Always has been. Even when we were… well, younger. Enjoy!

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Lord Voldemort, the Drywall Guy

As usual, I’ve come late to the whole Harry Potter party. I tend to do this a lot. There’s something everyone is raving about, but I tend to dismiss it. Most of the time, highly-hyped tv shows, books, whatever, tend not to live up to the hype. Lani would shoot me for this, but the whole Buffy the Vampire Slayer thing? Yeah, I tried to get into it… on her recommendation, of course. Just never did. Not that it wasn’t an okay show, it just didn’t grab me. Sometimes, however, things do live up to the hype. I got hooked on Gilmore Girls just in time for the entire series to end. Thank God for reruns. I love that show.

It’s the same with Harry Potter. I never disliked it, to be truthful. Just thought it was a little hyped-up, with people waiting in line for days to buy the books. Of course, I was glad to see that if something was getting all this hype, it was making kids read. That was a huge plus in my book. Me, however? Yeah. Not so interested.

About five years ago (I think – I’m terrible with time) I tried to read the first book to my oldest. He just wasn’t into it. After reading chapter one, I was rather bored by it myself. Life isn’t too exciting on Privet Drive, after all. But then the movies started coming out, and Son #1 got more interested. I was neutral. By the time I had time to sit down and watch anything with him, I’d seen a bit of this movie, a little of that one, and about 15 minutes of another. I was thoroughly confused.

This summer, though, he decided he wanted to take part in the library’s summer reading program, which means he had to read 20 minutes per day. Being developmentally disabled, his reading level is slightly lower than your typical 6th grader, but his interests can run similarly. He wanted to read Harry Potter. No problem, I said. I’ll read it to you, one chapter a night.

J.K. Rowling writes some damned long chapters! I was going hoarse some nights.

But we started reading Order of the Phoenix and I was hooked. Totally. Hooked. I started cheating on my son, reading it after he went to bed at night and then catching up with him in the morning. The husband had some minor surgery the other day and we were at the hospital for most of the day. I read the book all day long.

So why is Voldemort doing my drywall? Well, the short answer is I get very involved when I read. My brain is transported to the scene and I feel in the book. Always have. My mother used to have to call me for several minutes to get my nose out of a book. So I went home from the hospital on Tuesday a little disoriented, having been at the hospital and at Hogwarts all day long. That night I slept restlessly, keeping one eye peeled on the husband in case he needed me.

The day before, son #3 and I had manged to get some painting done in the basement. Voldemort came to my dreams that night and, instead of being a snake attacking Mr. Weasley, was a contractor. He was tearing down my walls – my freshly painted walls – and put them back up, painting them golf-course green. Every time I fixed it, he’d tear them down again. And around and around I went with a heavily made-up Ralph Fiennes.

So now that I’ve finished Order of the Phoenix, I need to go to the library to get Half Blood Prince. After all, I have to have something to read to the child. And since I’m already at Hogwarts, might as well stay there a while and see what’s up.  See if it all lives up to the hype.

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