Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday Salon - The Longest Week Ever

The Sunday Salon.comOK....well, I know I said I was coming back to blogging. I meant it too. And I still plan on being back full-time, posting at least 3 or 4 times a week. But the past week has been amazingly full, and I haven't had a free minute!!

First of all, I have to thank each and every one of you. Not only did you restore my faith in blogging, but you welcomed me back open arms. THAT is the part of blogging that I have SO missed. What I didn't miss was the stress of posting a certain amount of times a week. Worrying about "stats", and whether my blog is "good enough" for certain publishers. Feeling pressured to read a book that I really had no desire to pick up. Feeling like I had to review all of the numerous book review requests that I received. But what all of you told me, and what I finally realized is this: That stuff doesn't really matter. I started my blog oh-so-many-years-ago for me. I wanted an outlet for all my creative juices, and a place to record the books I read. I was never a 1000-hit a day blog. I don't have millions of followers, and not the one that publishers immediately think of when choosing the Best Blogs.

BUT I think I have carved myself a nice little niche, with a few followers, some really good friends and, hopefully, some great discussion about one of my favorite topics: books. And that makes me happy. The funny thing is, even when I didn't even post for over 9 months, I still received tons of review requests. In my possession I have a least a full tote (if not two) of books that I received during my "sabbatical". I'm looking forward to getting back to reading and reviewing and blogging. I can't wait to catch up on all your blogs...and maybe even join a reading challenge of two. It's time...and I'm finally ready.

Of course, I alluded to the fact that this was a busy week. That is an understatement in the biggest way. Mike started working...which is great and wonderful...and he LOVES it. BUT, he has to get up between 2 and 3 am. And it never fails that I end up getting up too. His alarm wakes me, and I usually see him off. Then I try to get at least a couple more hours of sleep. I'm an incurable insomniac, so there are days when I just can't get back to sleep. Either way, I have to be up by 6 to shower before the kids get up. Chad has to be at the high school by 7:45. Band days, Belle has to be at school by 8. And Ana needs to be there by 8:45. The hours from 6 to 9 are just crazy trying to get everyone up, dressed, fed and ready.

Classes started this week, and I can honestly say I absolutely love them!! 4 classes and 1 online class. I'm so looking forward to getting into all of them. And for all of you readers, we are starting with the Romantics in Brit Lit. Poetry, so far by William Blake and Charlotte Smith. And listen to this: a huge project for this class includes creating a blog and doing a "salon" for a British Author!! I'm pretty sure I can handle that one!! I may be posting here on this blog, and am open to any suggestions you all have. I was thinking about Oscar Wilde or Thomas Hardy.....but would love to hear what you guys suggest!!

Frankenstein is my required reading this week in Lit111: The Short Story and The Novel. In fact, I actually picked this section BECAUSE of the reading list! The texts includes a book called Fiction 50, which is a collection of short stories by authors such as Agatha Christie, Nikolai Gogol, Leo Tolstoy, Alice Walker and Joyce Carol Oates. The other required reading is Frankenstein, The Haunting of Hill House, Dracula, Jane Eyre, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and The Eyre Affair.

Of course, getting back into the hang of studying has been a bit difficult. The last time I was studying this many classes at a time, I wasn't married. Didn't have kids or other responsibilities. I have a feeling this is going to be tougher than I originally thought. I really hope I can do it.

To top it all off, we had kind of a rough week. Chad is on the wrestling team this year. It's his first year doing it. His HS freshman football coach is the head wrestling coach, and actually suggested Chad try out for the team. Turns out, he's good. Real good. So good, in fact, this could lead to scholarships in the future. 2 weeks ago, he hurt his shoulder. We spent all day in the ER, but it was just a sprain. It put him out for a bit, which just killed him. Yesterday was the conference meet, and he was SO excited to get back to it. Then he hurt knee. Badly. We go to the orthopedic tomorrow, but his trainer is pretty sure he blew his ACL. Which is going to mean surgery and months of PT. He's devastated, but I told him at least it his freshman year. Actually, I'm kind of devastated for him. It kills me to see him so sad. He hasn't left his room since he got home from the meet yesterday.

And if that wasn't bad enough, I had to work last night. About 7:30, I was coming out of the back room carrying a bunch of plates, when I rounded the corner of the kitchen. Someone has spilt some balsamic vinaigrette (all greasy) on the floor, and I wiped out. I fell on my left hip, and hit my elbow hard on the metal counter. I jumped up pretty quickly, and went right back to work. But in about 15 minutes, the throbbing in my elbow as too much, and the swelling was pretty bad. They shipped me off to the ER too!! Good news for me is that I didn't fracture anything. It hurts like hell, is swollen, and is starting to turn ugly colors. But it won't keep me out of work too long.

This week it seemed like it was just one thing after the other. Belle is sick. I'm pretty sure it strep throat. Ana has had basketball and we've spent many hours studying multiplication tables. Chad's had a couple of doctor's appointments with his week it will be his knee. My washing machine took a dump, and now I have to go up the street to the Laundromat to do my laundry. Cross your fingers that I can hold it all together!

For now, I will let you all go. Check in frequently, I have a lot of books I'd like to talk about that I've recently finished, including the YA books Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl, Wither by Lauren DeStefano and Nightshade by Andrea Cremer. Also the 1st 3 books in the Walking Dead Series. I also want to talk about the 9 new books that I've received the past few weeks, and the 3 that I got for my birthday. Till then, take care and I will be back soon!! Later!


raidergirl3 said...

Crazy, busy life you have going there. Who said that children are busy when they are toddlers? At least they are only busy in your living room. Now it's one end of town to the other.

heh, I just noticed that in google reader, after a huge reorganization sometime last year, I have your blog tagged "extremely rare, but not unsubscribing"
Glad you're back!

ps: required reading The Eyre Affair? how awesome is that?

samantha.1020 said...

Holy are you keeping up with everything? Your college course sounds awesome and I just love th reading list! I'm just glad to hear that you are back and can't wait tot hear about some of the books that you've been reading. Hope this week goes a little bit smoother for you!

Chris said...

Oh no :( Poor Chad!!! Give that boy a hug for me...and give yourself a hug for me too Steph!! You guys need a house full of ice packs and pain killers!

School sounds fantastic though! I'm so excited about all of your classes for you :)

Oh I can't tell you how good it is to see you back her Steph :) *giant freaking mega hugs*

Tif said...

Wow!! You have had a busy week!

I love the list of books that you have to read! I've got a couple of those on my TBR list myself!!

Good luck with everything this week!

Iliana said...

Sending some calming vibes your way. I'm sorry to hear your son got hurt and I just hope his therapy goes well so he'll be able to get back into his sports. And, you take care too! It's great to see you back in blogland.

Susan said...

It's so good to have you back and blogging, Stephanie! It is a crazy life with kids, much busier than anyone one could say to us pre-kids! We spend hours doing homework too, and it's not even mine! lol I have to say I envy your reading list, I remember now why I did a degree in English literature all those years ago! and just so you know - my eldest was a toddler during my last two years of my degree, and I got better marks then than the two years before. Mostly because, I think, I knew I didnt' have time to waste, so I had to plan and stick to my reading and schedule and paper writing. Enjoy being at school, and yes you can do it.

How awesome is it you get to read The Haunting of Hill House?? only one of my all-time favourite ghost stories!

I hope Chad feels better soon, and that it will be good news about his ACL.

Kathleen said...

It is so nice to have you back! Your life sounds crazy and hectic but you have a lot of great things going on. I look forward to hearing all about the books you are reading for your classes.

Teddy Rose said...

It's great to see you blogging again and I am so happy to hear you went back to school. I know it takes awhile to get back into good study habits and balancing your family and work on top of that. I have confidence in you Stephanie! You go girl!

Michelle said...

When it rains, it pours! First thing's first - take care of yourself. Your kids are old enough that you can take some time for yourself to help you keep it all together.

Helpful hints about school - work on your homework when the kids are in bed. It helps minimize the impact on them. Of course, take advantage of practices, sporting events, and weekends too. You'll find yourself getting into a groove, and everyone will adjust when they see you so happy. BTW, I love that reading list. We've read quite a few of them with The Classics Club!

Now, get your family healthy! And I can't wait to hear your thoughts on Wither! I have it scheduled for review in March but haven't read it yet. I also met Andrea Cramer at a trade show this fall - delightful. I haven't read her book yet, but she promised me it was a great palate cleanser! Have fun getting back into the swing of things!

Kailana said...

I am still disappointed I missed you on Twitter!

I am really happy you are back to the blogging world. I have really missed you, which was probably demonstrated by the emails and posts on Facebook checking for life. :)

I look forward to your posts!!!

Bookfool said...

I loved Wither and Nightshade!

As to the rest . . . goodness. Gracious. That's a lot you've got going, there. I wish you strength.

My son was injured sometime during his sophomore or junior year of high school (swimming - shoulder) and he didn't complain enough, so it healed badly and he has apparently got a permanent injury. They said they can't even know for sure what's wrong without doing exploratory surgery. Sigh. My husband hurt his neck wrestling, too. Athletics is rough -- you just never know when something like that's going to happen. I hope your son doesn't need surgery, but if he does I wish him quick healing.

Your schooling sounds awesome!!

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Lesley said...

Yup, that definitely qualifies as a busy week!

I hope by now your elbow is better - that sounded like a nasty spill (pardon the pun)

DL3 said...

Marg said...

Visiting late to say, oh my goodness, that is a lot you have going on there! I am sure that you will manage to get into a routine that suits you and your kids!

Sorry to hear about Chad's knee injury. It's horrible to watch your child in pain and not be able to do a lot.

Hope you have made a full recovery from your injuries too!

So glad to see posts from you however regular they may be! Blogging has to fit in with your life, not the other way around!

And yes, it is awesome that Fforde is required reading!

comic said...