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!

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Holy Shit. I honestly didn't realize how long it had been since I posted till I logged on today. For the last few months, I've contemplated a return to blogging....but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I don't know why. I took a much needed break. But when it was time to come back, I just froze. What if all my friends were gone?? What if I didn't have anything to say anymore? What if no one came back to read what I did have to say?? I just couldn't take the rejection.

Things in my life have changed immensely. So many changes, in fact, I don't know where to begin. First of all, my blog is in need of a change. A much needed face lift for starters. But I figure I should start with baby steps. So I'm starting with a post.

The summer brought on a change in our family dynamics. When Mike and I were both working 3rds, the kids spent time with Mike's parents. In fact, they spent more time with them than they did with us. At the time, it was good for us. The kids were taken care of, and we worked. And slept. But losing my job...and Mike getting laid off changed all that. Then a huge blow-up between Mike and his parents occured at summer's end.....and mentions of that little word custody thrown out there, and suddenly, it didn't work so well. In fact, it wasn't working at all. In August, the kids cleared all of their stuff from my in-laws and now they are in our house full-time. In fact, we don't actually speak to the in-laws any more. I thought around Christmas, we were going to patch things up, at least for the kids. But some words can never be taken back. I don't think there is enough forgiveness in the world for our families to ever come together again. And as sad as it sounds, I can live with that too.

My family and I have mended many fences in the last year. In fact, this was the first time in years that we spent the entire holiday together....and it was wonderful. I've missed them terribly. Although we had some issues in the past, my parents are so much more loving and forgiving than Mike's. They accept us for who we are, and that means the world to me.

Next bit of news....Mike got a job!! Not a full-time position. Yet. But awfully close. He just started as a material handler with FedEx. Even though it's only part-time, he has the most incredibly benefits! Medical, dental, vision, vacation, 401K, sick days, even tuition reimbursement! I'm so happy for him! He's looked for something for SO long. And this kind of just fell into his lap at the right time. He was told with hard work he could be made full-time within the first year. They NEVER lay workers off. This is a job that he can retire with. And once he is full-time, we can move with FedEx anywhere in the country. With the family issues we have right now, a move actually sounds good.

And me?? As of January 18th, I am once again, a full-time student! I am working towards a 2nd Bachelors in English/Secondary Education. I'm taking 5 classes this semester at the Jr. College, then transferring to ISU in the fall. I've wanted to do it for SO long but I never thought it would really happen. But I figured if I don't do it now, I never will. SO......I'm back to being a student again. And it makes me really happy. I went and bought my books last week. I can't even begin to tell you how excited I was!

Like I steps. My reading has been all over the place lately. Not really reading all that much. With classes starting next week, not sure how much I will read that isn't on a syllabus, but I guess we will see. My reading list for the lit classes is pretty awesome. I have a semester of The Novel and The Short Story and also English Lit. Hoping for some great reading.

So....that's it for now. I'm in the market for a new look. Have to get on that soon. BUT....I am back. I have been reading your blogs lately, but haven't had the nerve to comment. Wasn't sure who would ever remember me!! Hopefully your lives have been wonderful the past 9 months I have been absent. I will do my best to catch up with all of you!!

Later!!! (and this time I do mean it!)