Friday, October 26, 2007

Still in Virginia


I begin the slow trek southernwards tomorrow. But for now-- off to eat some of Mum's stew, a friend's venison, and await the arrival of my little sister.
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Friday, October 19, 2007

woo Virginia!

I am waiting for the UPS man to deliver my maternity jeans, the will to pack/make-the-bed/clean-out-the-car, and then I am off for my yearly visit home.

Here's my itinerary:

tonight, I spend with Danielle in my old stomping grounds of Nashville.

Saturday, I take over my little sister's bed in Lexington, VA, a beautiful small town with old brick houses and home to Washington and Lee University...

Sunday and Monday nights, me and the L.P. will be snoozing at Maple Hall, a historic inn with miles and miles of walking trails and a breakfast I'm quite excited about....while hanging out with the mum and the lil sis, viewing the Maury river, and generally being outside as much as possible...

Tuesday-Friday nights, I'll slumber in my childhood room, take LP for lots of walks across the fields, and tell her all about where her mama grew up, as well as eating vast numbers of apples from the orchard down the road and drinking some super-good locally made cider. I've had the biggest apple cravings this fall. They don't got no apple trees in Mississippi. Plus I'm gonna see my grandpa, and maybe head to the outlet malls (they don't got those in Mississippi either).

Saturday night, back in Lexingon with the lil sis (it's 2 hours closer to Nashville)...

Sunday night, Nashville with Danielle once again...and then Monday, I'll drive the 4 hours home and see my sweetie, bearing meat from Wild Oats, apples from Virginia, and kisses galore.

I'm going to take lots of pictures and think many deep thoughts, so brace yourselves.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

30 weeks, pumpkins, and pooches

Baby girl weighs about 3 lbs now and is 16 inches long, according to the stats. She moves more, sometimes making me go "whoa" and place my hand over my belly. She's still not talking. Her papa is reading a labor support handbook and we're both getting increasingly excited about her arrival...seems so far away still, but Christmas is coming...

It's a cloudy and --finally-- raining day today, but I think the mums and our super-cool pumpkins keep the porch purty. We have a wide front porch and a porch off our room, but since this is the entrance/exit one (as well as the smallest), it ends up being the most decorated by default. Please know we have no garage or shed to keep things like weedwhackers or bikes in, so...

Guess which pumpkin is mine (damn K. and his Martha Stewart pumpkin abilities):

These morning glories are supposed to be Heavenly Blue, but they bloom white nonetheless:

And lastly, our girls:

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, October 15, 2007

What My Monday Looks Like

I don't usually blog about my work life, so here it is:

I am wearing my hair in pigtails, haven't yet showered, and am drinking my 2nd cup of tea. I've made some phone calls to track down interview subjects for the next 2 weeks, and I'm drafting this week's interview, which is due to my editor tomorrow by noon (which is why I'm at the computer; computer=internet=too-much-distraction-for-the-novel).

This morning, I spent some time writing in my current composition notebook (I'm going through about one a month, and I'm bad about typing the novel up, so I fear their loss/destruction.) I wrote about a fourth of my daily quota before transitioning into the busy work of the day; after lunch, I'll get back to sitting pen-in-hand and marching forward with Alice and Sam, the second novel.

I've got 37,000 words typed and 25,000-ish untyped, for a total word count of 63,000-ish (got to make it to 80k at least, though 90k is my goal). That's not including the month's work that I threw out early on.

Writing is hard, and I tend to do it in short spurts; it requires actual brain power, no busy work involved, and so it's by far the most challenging thing I've ever done. I have lots of lists, index cards, and outlines; it's kind of like knitting; I can't drop the Theo's-romance-with-Connie stitch, or Sam's-career, even though he's super-focused on Matilda right now... just a lot of stuff to keep track of, and I have an increasingly small brain (as K./ pointed out to me. Apparently pregnancy actually diminishes--TEMPORARILY--the number of brain cells or something like that. I'd kick him but I keep forgetting.)

This afternoon, after lunch and drafting away in my notebook, I'll force myself to return to the computer so I can type up another thousand words of the already-drafted stuff. It's amazing how far this story has come.

The novel is my constant daily work; the interview stuff ticks away, one subject a week; proofing, my most lucrative and boringassignments, comes when it comes, 2-3x a month with no warning. I write a personal column every other month, which takes no time at all. It's all about deadlines, baby, and I meet mine.

This novel will be drafted, and typed up, by Thanksgiving. Polished and sent out to agents/publishers by Christmas.

Despite the fact that the only people expecting it are my husband and my mother :)

Friday, October 12, 2007

weekend, fall

We have now lived in Mississippi for a year. I know this because K. and I saw the pumpkin patch at the Episcopalian church in Oxford last week; hey, I said. That was here when we moved down here.

And here it is again.

October is a fine time in Mississippi. As I type this, the sky shines bright blue with no humidity, the doors are open and it's a touch chilly, cool enough so that I'm wearing a sweater and sipping K's homemade butternut squash soup. If tonight's like last night, we'll be glad of the extra duvet on our bed and we'll sleep in t-shirts to hold heat close to our chests.

Our fall garden is in and-- with the exception of the newbie brussel sprouts, who haven't done much-- thriving. 18 broccoli plants, 18 cauliflower plants, a bed of turnips, and a bed of mustard greens. I went out just now and ate one. They're delicious so young, tender and not yet bitter, but still spicy. If the brussel sprouts take off, we will eat them the way K. loves (cribbed from my Silver Spoon cookbook): boiled a wee bit, just to make them tender, then sauteed in butter, sprinkled with salt, pepper, and a touch of nutmeg, and then doused in grated Parmesan. Mmmm mmmm good.

I've got a big date with pillow forms, fabric, and my new scissors for tomorrow, while K. will be at the building as usual. There's a band playing downtown in the park tomorrow evening, and Sunday-- well, we don't make plans beyond church for Sundays, but I have a feeling that the two pumpkins on our porch might be meeting the sharp side of a knife.

I don't think I've ever been so glad to leave summer behind.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

25 down, 70ish to go

Thanks to everyone who called or wrote on my birthday! So many nice people in my life.

No more gushing about the husband, but he was very, very nice. To me. Through hours of grumpiness. I owe him a backrub or two...

But it's late, and I'm rather tired; we stayed up late last night watching Scrubs, eating apple cake, and tiptoeing into the kitchen periodically to view our new... refrigerator! The used hunk-of-junk we'd bought upon discovering our rented home didn't COME with a fridge stopped keeping food cold a month ago.

One disastrous order with Sears and much sniffing of the milk later, we received this from a different company entirely:

Isn't it beautiful?

Not to mention Energy-star certified (the least we can do), and the smallest regular size at 18.3 cubic feet. I am of the opinion that Americans overestimate their need for refrigeration, and anyway, we have plenty of room (sorry about the rotation, but note the convenient cheese drawer on the upper left):

By the time the chilluns come along, I hope to have a root cellar and a chest freezer.

And here are the presents of the hour:

The vase is lovely, much-needed given my predilection for flowers, and I kept finding lovely wrapped bars of lavender soap (another weakness of mine) around the house yesterday from my darling husband, but this, this is what makes my heart sing:

After making two slipcovers with what kindergarteners use to cut construction paper, these chrome-covered, carbon-steel babies with a lifetime guarantee and a snick that resounds with the angels make me go all soft inside.

And, as requested by my m-i-l, some belly shots, one taken last night as I dig into presents:

15 pounds gained, many clothes outgrown, and a definite waddle beginning to develop. 11 weeks (out of 40) to go!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The downlow on the LP

(I am so hip, I just can't STAND myself)

Today is a big Baby day. I am now 28 weeks preggers (out of 40, people!) and that means that I am now officially in my third trimester.

Say it with me: whoa.

Like most of this whole pregnancy deal, things change slllloooowwwwlllly, so my belly is pretty big-- but if I wear a loose shirt, I could totally FOOL you--, I am waiting for my innie to become an outtie, and nothing seems that different. Unless I think about not being pregnant. That was way different.

The Little Princess should now have a good chance of surviving if I were to go into labor, thanks to all that preemie medicine stuff, which totally creeps me out because the bebe weighs just over 2 lbs, if she's like other kids, and measures about 15 inches. I'm willing to bet she's taller.

She can hear and sense light. She may or may not have eye lashes. Weird, eh? She moves around a fair bit, though those of you familiar with my placental situation understand that that's still acting as a big old shock absorber; as she continues to get bigger, that will matter less and less.

And as for me?

I'm very excited. Very excited indeed. We're getting the carpet in the nursery replaced, FINALLY, so I can really set things up in there, and I'll return from my late-October visit to the farm with a crib. We'll be ready to roll by Thanksgiving. Because I need a month or so to sit in the baby room, hold up impossibly wee onesies, and giggle to myself.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Finally, fall

Until I moved to Mississippi, I'd classify myself firmly as a late spring/summer person. The green, the late nights, the prospect of those two 3-day weekends...I'm a fan.

But in Mississippi...the warm weather has lasted too long. Plus, I've got a winter baby to look forward to, and so I'm welcoming the bright blue skies and decreasing nighttime temperatures. Don't get me wrong-- it's still around 90 degrees each day here, but the humidity has fallen away, and the air conditioning is off; we sleep with screen doors open to sixty-degree temperatures, cool enough to make a morning sweater necessary, and I'm loving it.

A few photos:

The "before" shot of the kitchen/lineoleum area, with its ugly ugly bookcase:

The after-shot-- ok, not really, but look at the sofa! I made the slipcover myself! And K. made the boocase! And we made my huge belly! And that's my mum and Anika!

A shot of my beautiful German sister, along with another peek at the couch:

And lastly, evidence of the nesting mode (I sorted our table linens this Sunday. Placemats, napkins, stained but clean clothes, and dishrags):