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Thursday, September 24, 2015

New and Improved? Well, New Anyway

It's a new season (yesterday was the first official day of autumn, after all) and I'm starting to feel better (from 2 back-to-back illnesses - first, bronchitis, and this past week, adenovirus) so I thought it might be time to get the ol' blog out of mothballs, so to speak. (Speaking of moth balls: seriously, are they not among THE most heinous odors out there? The cabin in the mountains we visited this summer had some in there and every time I got within a yard of that area I gagged.)

Anyhoo, I determined my blog looked old and tired so I gave it a makeover. I fiddled around with some of the settings and templates and font options (am I the only one who thinks font options are the bees knees? And yes, I just said "bees knees" and meant it. I think this is a term we should bring back. I charge you to use it in conversation today.) and voila! "New" blog. (If only it were this easy in real life to have a snappy new look in thirty short minutes. Alas.)

I was highly tempted to use the cool handwriting font I selected for the date (it's called Homemade Apples or some such--as I'm sure is the intent with such a name, I can picture it lovingly scrawled on a jar of homemade preserves with a wholesome, red swatch of gingham fabric on top tied off with a ribbon) as the main font for the body of the text. That way, the whole affair looked more like a hand-written journal than an electronic posting. Sadly, that's not conducive for easy-reading, so I selected a nice serif font and compromised by having the jammy font for my date. I chose books for my background because, hello, books! 'Nuff said.

Speaking of books, here's two I've read recently that I'd recommend:

1. Mariana by Susanna Kearsley -- I loved everything about this novel. The descriptions were beautiful and, particularly as I've visited many of the settings within the novel, I could vividly experience them anew as I read. The characters were well-drawn, and the premise was transporting. The heroine, Julia, feels drawn to an old manor house and, on a whim, decides to move there. Once she does, she is transported between her own life and Mariana's life, and she discovers why she felt so connected to this landscape and the people in it.

2. All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood by Jennifer Senior -- This is a fascinating non-fiction selection that outlines the ways in which parenting affects parents. Rather than telling parents how to parent, it explores the shifting roles of parents over the last century and how, with those changing roles, the entire experience of parenthood has changed. The mixture of anecdotes from real-life case studies interspersed with researched facts and statistics made for a compelling read.

Other new things in my life:

1. A new home office space. *This summer we did a little three-way switcharoobee wherein the former office slash guest room became my older daughter's bedroom (including the full-sized bed that was in there), her former bedroom became my younger daughter's bedroom (graduating her to a twin-sized bed), and my younger daughter's former bedroom became my new office (retiring the toddler bed altogether and moving in my three glorious bookshelves filled with books!) There is no longer any designated guest room space which, really, is no big deal because we rarely had anyone make use of that space in all the years it existed. The person who used it most was my mother-in-law, but, in classic grandparent fashion, she always ends up letting the girls sleep with her anyway, so I figured when she comes to visit, we can skip the pretenses and just set her right up in the bed with my daughter.  As with all things, the process seemed easier in theory than in practice, but over the course of several weeks and several gallons of paint, the transformation has been completed and every lady in this home is happy with her new space.

2. A new laptop. *My old one died. I received the dreaded fatal error message, the one warning me that failure was imminent and if I didn't back up immediately I risked losing everything on there. Pretty much the scariest message one can get on one's computer (with the exception, I suppose, of getting no message as it's already too late to receive a warning; thus, I count myself fortunate in the scheme of things.) As it were, we had time to do a full system back up and shop around for a good replacement for my needs. I had Windows 8 for 2 miserable weeks before upgrading to Windows 10. Another big whew for THAT! 

3. Two new additions to our family. *No, not people. As if! Kittens! We're adopting two in a couple weeks when they're big enough to be adopted. Right now, they're being fostered by lovely people who do this all the time for abandoned pets. Isn't that wonderful? I've never been a cat owner before (though my husband has) so I don't know what to expect, but we're all excited. Pictures and official introductions to follow, no doubt.

That's all for today. I have some exciting things planned for October, so I hope you'll check back in throughout the month for those. In the meantime, enjoy the bloggy face lift.

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