Monday, March 31, 2014

What I'm Into: March 2014

Linking up with Leigh again.
March is over already?  How is it that thirty-one days can seem to go by so slowly and also so quickly?  I know the calendar says that we are in spring, but the thermometer tells a different story.  I am hopeful by the end of next month that I will have packed away the winter coat for good.
Here's what March has brought me:

Remember when Claire was trying to get some kid-free time over the summer?
Thoughts of Late Spring/Early Summer:
Dance recitals, end of year concerts, you name it--they're already on the calendar.  I am already thinking about camps.  Seems wrong.


Nickel Creek
By happy accident, I found a preview of Nickel Creek's first album in about 8 years on the NPR website.  And then I started clicking and I discovered that they are going to be in the area in early May.  I wasted no time in purchasing tickets.  Date night!

I have read all of this author's other works--he has five novels that are part of his Matthew Shardlake series.  Those are set in Tudor England, so what's not to love?  Anyway, I have read strong reviews of this book--a thriller that imagines what if England had surrendered to Germany in 1940.  It is set in 1952.  I had it checked out for a week before I started it, and I'm sure I won't be able to renew it because other people will have it on hold, so I am up against the clock to finish.
Breaking Bad
I had no idea when we started watching this that we would still be at it three months later.  We have three episodes left, so we will certainly finish it this week.   Wow.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

My Stack of Books: March 2014

I'm late to the link-up party--but better late than never!  It has been a long winter, and I have spent many a snow day with my nose in a book.

The Railway Children by E. Nesbit
Perfect for fans of The Penderwicks.

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
What a fun treat.  Books, codes, and google!  Hooks you quickly. 
Eat Move Sleep by Tom Rath
A quick read--very short chapters, each one featuring a point on eat, move, and sleep.  Some of them seemed repetitive.  Informative.

Holy is the Day by Carolyn Weber
I liked her first memoir, although I had some reservations about it.  I'd rate this one about the same.

 The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley
I owe my college roommate a huge thank you for turning me on to Flavia de Luce.  She's an eleven year old chemist and sleuth.  Each book improves upon the last.  My only regret was that I read this too quickly.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
I loved Eleanor & Park, and I also loved this one.  Maybe because I'm a big Harry Potter fan.  I don't read fanfic, but I certainly appreciate the love that goes into it.  Loved it.

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk
A marketing book.  How to effectively use social media.  Not really much in the way of practical application for me personally, but I enjoyed reading it just the same.  I think that any organization or person could learn much from this.  I liked how he presented the material.

Sunday, March 2, 2014


Late in the day on day 7!  Just made it!
Here are some scenes from the week:


I love making signs and posters.  I have learned that bigger is better in the sign department.  Our Lenten Soup Suppers begin on March 12, and even though I am no longer in charge of the committee that puts on the suppers, I volunteered to make the sign up sheets.

This past week was the kids' first five day week of school in I don't know how long.  And fortunately it coincided with the school play.  Four nights this week we've been getting our sixth grader to school by 6:15.  The whole family attended on Friday night, but various members showed up on other nights. 

This weekend we went snow tubing in New Jersey with extended family.  That was fun.  We don't live all that far from various skiing and tubing places, and we really haven't taken advantage of it.  Maybe we should make a resolution for next winter--because I'm all done with this winter!

And speaking of winter, I could be in for another sleep-disturbed night.  Our school district doesn't call for cancellations or delays until 5:00am, so I wake up repeatedly to check the time and my phone.  By the time school is cancelled, I'm exhausted!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Do You Know How?

The past six months have provided me with a few learning opportunities in our home.  I don't know if the things I've learned are common knowledge and I'm just late to the party, or if there really is a need for more education on homeowner basics. 

Much of what I have learned involves water.  Truly, I can't think of anything scarier than a flooding basement.  Or a gas leak.  But really, water where it shouldn't be is one of my fears.
See that?  Water where it shouldn't be!
Our home has a sprinkler system.  We have the township to thank for that.  (And probably the sprinkler-company-owning brother-in-law of one of our town officials, I'm guessing.)  Anywho, it came to pass last summer that we had a leaking sprinkler pipe.  Not as much water as I had feared, but since my husband was out of town, I was fully prepared to freak out. 
That black handle will cut off the water to the house.

Fortunately, I have very nice and well-informed neighbors who were able to show me where the shut-off valve for the sprinklers is.  Also, the main shut-off valve for all the water in the house.  These are good things to know.

See that yellow handle?  You pull it down to stop the water supply to the sprinklers.

Last month, I learned how to shut off the gas and the water to the water heater.  Also good to know.  I learned this on YouTube. 

This is a leaking water heater.

I wish I understood the sump pump better.  I wish I knew what French drains are, how they work, and whether we have them.

Is there any other basic thing I should know how to do?  What about you?  Is there something you wished you knew how to do but don't?