Cozy in Sarasota

An Oscar Scherer sunrise

I’m back at Oscar Scherer State Park, the closest state park to R in Sarasota for the holidays. I love this place. I think serious campers might take issues with some aspects of it — it’s almost always possible to hear traffic noise from the nearby highway, my site is small and sloped — but it is so beautiful at sunrise. Equally so after dark, when it is truly dark and the stars are bright in the night sky. Dark nights, plus CostCo ten minutes drive away — my version of paradise.

I set up after dark on Sunday and didn’t do the best job of it, but I told myself that it didn’t matter because I’d go to the grocery store on Monday and do better when I came back. Better, in this case, equates to not sitting on the worst part of the slope, making the driver’s side higher than the passenger’s side. It’s not a big slope, it’s not the kind anyone would care about if they were just parking, but it’s noticeable when you’re living on it. Round items placed on the kitchen counter roll right off. (In other words, don’t spill the blueberries!)

But on Monday, I decided I didn’t really need groceries yet. Tuesday, I decided the same thing. Pretty sure that I’m going to make the same decision again today. I’m feeling so utterly cozy and content. Knitting and walking and listening to music and writing and reading and thinking and admiring the beautiful place I get to be in. It’s cold by Florida standards, in the 40s when I walk Z in the morning, but then warming up to the high 60s in the afternoon, so I get to eat my lunch and dinner sitting outside in the sunshine, the dogs on their tie-outs, and then snuggle up under my blankets when I go to sleep at night.

Writing yesterday did not go well. I got bogged down on something stupid, but meaningful to me — the description of Grace’s office — and didn’t make any progress at all. But the story is becoming the thing I think about falling asleep, the thing I think about when I wake up in the middle of the night, the thing I think about when I wake up. That was how Ghosts was. I was in the middle of so much back then — grad school and grief — but half the time my head was in Tassamara. It was a lovely place to escape to. Right now, I’m not feeling like I need to escape — I’m loving where I am — but the worlds are blending together. After the holidays, if I’m not finished yet, maybe I’ll go up to Ocala and let the worlds truly blend.

It’s beginning to look a lot like…

a Spanish moss draped tree

… Florida. Land of Spanish moss. Not quite as beautiful as sparkling little lights glowing in the snow, but definitely appealing in its own way.

I’ve been in Florida long enough that warm weather for Christmas doesn’t faze me, and it’s felt very holiday-ish here. I spent today wrapping presents and listening to Christmas carols — IHeartRadio has definitely got the holiday thing figured out a lot better than Amazon Music, whose stations sorta seem to miss the point — and doing a little shopping.

Yesterday I actually wandered around a shopping mall. I even bought a couple presents there. But I was mostly there for the mood, for the experience. Shopping at Christmas time. It was fun, very glittery and with excellent people watching. Also good window shopping.

I like to look at the dresses and try to imagine at what event they should be worn. My own life would have to change quite a lot to wear anything seen in a shop window, but there was a terrific bright pink dress with cut-outs around the neck that would be an excellent thing to wear to a divorce hearing. Hmm, maybe Grace could wear it somewhere. Not that she’s getting divorced, but it is the style I imagine her pulling off with aplomb — bold and attention-getting, but also fun. I should have taken a picture. Another dress looked like an oil slick on a cut-up garbage bag — no one should ever wear it, anywhere. Or maybe the only place it could be worn is on the fashion runway.

Day before yesterday was what will probably be my most holiday event of the year — the lighting of the neighborhood trees, accompanied by a brass band; a horse-drawn carriage down the main street; a live Nativity scene including a baby, two lambs, and a donkey; caroling and hot chocolate in one room; a musical duo with the big Christmas tree in another. It reminded me of years gone by, of Christmases when R was young. We used to come to Florida for Christmas — we didn’t live here then — and wander around the fancy hotels, admiring the trees. Florida goes pretty crazy with the lights, at least compared to the places we lived in California, but it always felt a little weird to me because the weather, of course, felt almost tropical. Where was the snow? Now it feels normal, like Christmas is meant to be warm.

I sent R an early Christmas present, warning him that it was on the way with a text that said, “it feels a little silly, you might roll your eyes at me.” It was a tower of snacks, heavy on the fruit, with pears and apples, chocolate-covered blueberries, mixed nuts, and so on. When he was little, my mom always used to get him pears from Harry and David when we came here for Christmas. I don’t know how it started, and I think it basically stopped when we moved here and weren’t staying in my parents’ house at Christmas-time anymore. But when I saw the tower on sale, with free delivery, I was reminded. I didn’t know if he would get the nostalgia factor but I figured food for a college student during finals is always likely to be appreciated one way or another. I was right, but he got the nostalgia factor, too, even more clearly than I did. I’m glad. Glad that he appreciated the food, but also glad that it reminded him of his grandma.

Anyway, I’m mostly writing this because my dad told me I was being very quiet on my blog. It’s not because I’m not doing fun things — I’ve seen lots of friends, had some lovely meals, did a tour of Sanford homes — I’ve had plenty to write about. But most of my writing energy is going to Grace right now. I’ve gone off in a totally new direction, which is sort of dismaying — I was 90% done at the end of June and I thought I would be reusing most of that, not throwing most of it away — but mostly it’s not dismaying at all. I like what I’m writing, I like how it’s going. And when I could be thinking about blogging, I’m thinking about Grace instead. It’s not a bad thing.

Edited to add: I do love the internet. Here’s the dress. I didn’t assume from the one I saw that it would be above-the-knee; I think that’s probably how it looks on a 5’10” model instead of a more average person. But I think Grace would wear it either way.

One thousand is a very round number

screenshot of 1000 reviews

So this happened.

I feel like I should say something profound about it, but… yeah, I’ve got nothing. It’s incredibly gratifying, though. If I still drank, I would definitely buy myself a bottle of champagne to celebrate. Instead, I think tomorrow I will go to Starbucks and buy myself an ever-so-appropriate gingerbread latte. 🙂

Best of November 2017

I woke up this morning to a kid trying to steal the power cord and surge protector from the van.

I startled him.

Probably not as much as he startled me, though.

Fortunately, neither of us over-reacted. Probably also fortunately, neither of us was (apparently) armed. He rode away on his black bicycle, sans surge protector, and I waited until he was out of sight before I unlocked the van and ran outside to plug myself back in again.

Tuesday night, about half a mile away from where I’m parked, a woman taking out her trash in the middle of the night was shot. She was not so badly hurt that she couldn’t make it inside and call the ambulance herself, but still, I can’t imagine she’s ever going to want to take out the trash again. I’d probably never want to step outside the house again.

They caught the kid who did it, and I use the term “kid” mostly appropriately. Eighteen years old. I looked at the picture online and wondered — did he want to go to jail? Did jail seem easier than finding a job and making a life for himself? Because it’s not like he wouldn’t have known that a path that involved shooting random people in the middle of the night was likely to wind up in an institution. What was he thinking? But maybe he wasn’t thinking at all.

I, meanwhile, was thinking way too much. Super jumpy on our morning walk. A car slowed down while it was getting near me and my adrenaline surged. It was slowing for a speed bump. Duh.

But it’s not fun to feel unsafe. The last time I was here, I was talking to C about my early morning walk and feeling like I’d gotten into an area that was maybe not the safest and instead of reassuring me, she warned me to be careful. I laughed it off. It’s not like the criminals are out at 6:30 in the morning, right? She looked pained. Enough so that I googled afterward and discovered that in fact, someone had been randomly shot while waiting for an early morning bus about a mile away just a few weeks earlier. Ugh. I managed to dismiss that anxiety, though, because how often can that happen?

But it’s like lightning strikes — getting struck by lightning is extremely unlikely for most people, but if you’re standing outside in a thunderstorm in Florida, your chances go sky-high. Statistically speaking, I’m thinking my current driveway is rather higher risk than I appreciate. And that’s a bummer.

Anyway, this is not the Best of November post that I meant to write, so let me think about November: it started in PA and ends in Florida. It included one state park, one really nice Thousand Trails campground, one Walmart overnight, and four driveways.

As has been a pattern over the past months, though, my highlights have nothing to do with the places and everything to do with the people. The things that come to mind: lunch with my dad and stepmom, laughing about the scene happening on the television behind my head. I didn’t see it, but the memory of C’s wide-eyed shock still makes me smile. (Sorry, C! But it was funny, really.) Watching Stranger Things, in the midst of the final episode, and having M pause the show so that H could get a snack. In the final episode! Sitting on the back porch of C’s house with C and A, talking television shows and parenting. Thanksgiving dinner and taking a picture of my niece, C.

It wasn’t an exciting month. But it was a good month, the kind that reminds me that I have a lot to be grateful for. Not the least of which, this morning, is that I still have electricity.

Another NaNoWriMo Ends

Today is the last day of NaNoWriMo. All around the country, people are finishing up 50,000 words of writing and then celebrating with their NaNoWriMo friends. I think maybe one of my friends will make it: she’s still got a few thousand words to go, but she’s taken the day off work to write and she’s motivated. I came nowhere close, of course.

Instead I read. This month’s book list, in reverse order as best I remember:

Nora Roberts’ books used to be an auto-buy for me, each a reliable three hours of light entertainment. They were rarely memorable — I could re-read one a year later and still enjoy it, because so little of it had stuck with me, but I did enjoy the reading. Somewhere in the last few years the books started feeling bland so I largely stopped, but this one was on sale on Amazon, so I gave it a try. And I enjoyed it — it was light entertainment, pure popcorn, but the ranch in Montana was an interesting place to hang out for a few hours.

Total impulse buy. I enjoyed one of his previous books (Blue Like Jazz) and this showed up in some book ad in my email. I started reading the Look Inside and was interested enough to keep going. I think it’s really written for a male audience and I’m not sure I got much out of it — Brene Brown on vulnerability covered this ground in a far more interesting and entertaining way, I think — but I didn’t regret the time spent.

I’ve bought books by Penny Reid when they were on sale or free via BookBub ads. She writes entertaining, humorous romance. I’ve absolutely hated a couple of them. She wrote one with a married couple where I was seriously rooting for the heroine to dump the hero — I think it’s the only romance I can remember where the only happy ending I could envision was the one where the hero died. Badly. Miserably. In flames. Alas, it did not end that way.

But I still read it all the way through, which made it better than a vast number of the cheap or free books that I quit reading, label DNF, and hope never to look at again. This one was pretty solid: I’d give it a B, and while I did not enjoy all aspects of it, it was good enough that I considered reading others.

Loved this book! Bought it via a Bookbub ad (I think) and gobbled it down in about six hours of steady reading. It was the kind of book where every interruption was annoying and I was so interested that every spare minute I pulled up my phone to read again. It’s about disasters, how we function in them, what happens to our brains, why some people are better at coping with disaster then others. The stories were fascinating, but so was the science.

Random factoid: On 9/11, women were almost twice as likely to get injured while evacuating. “Was it a question of strength? Confidence? Fear? No, says lead investigator Robyn Gershon. ‘It was the shoes.'”

High heels and disasters do not mix well.

J.D. Robb = Nora Roberts, and I have the same reaction. Not willing to buy at full price. I’ll wait through the library’s interminable hold list (up to six months, easily) and borrow, or find them at a thrift store or garage sale when they’re older. But this one was on sale for $3.99, which is just about the right price for me. I read it, I enjoyed it, the total implausibility bothered me a little, but mostly it’s about characters who are fun to spend time with.

Fairly sure this must have been free at some point for it to have been on my Kindle. I include it because I did read it. I won’t be reading the sequels, though.

I have adored some books by Sarina Bowen. Truly loved them, so much so that I gave them five star reviews on Amazon. Her sex scenes are too graphic for my taste but her characterizations are terrific. She’s the kind of author who can write a drug addict hero, fresh out of jail, and make you actually root for him, which is an amazing accomplishment.

This book, however, is one that I knew I wouldn’t like, and I was right. I was really glad that the library had it and I got to read it, though. I’m sure at some point, when I desperately wanted something to read, I would have bought it and then I would have been really annoyed. As it was, I read it, wincing and grimacing and wishing it was different.

I did finish it, though, and the author remains on my “will seriously consider buying books by” list, which is where most of my favorite authors live. I only have a very few who make it onto the “auto-buy” list.

And Lois McMaster Bujold is one of my very few auto-buys. I don’t even read the blurbs on her books, I just buy them, because I know that I will want to reread them. The Penric series of novellas aren’t ones that I love, but they’re interesting and I will keep reading them as long as she keeps writing them, I suspect.

I made a major, major mistake with this book. I had it and the other books in the same series on hold at the library and when this one (#6 in the series) came in, I decided that I could read the series out of order. Bad idea! Don’t do that!

But do read the series if you get a chance, because it is really worth reading. Fun, smart, fantasy-mysteries, sort of a combination of Harry Potter and a police-procedural in a multi-cultural modern London. Terrific books. Read them, but read the series in order.

I like Pratchett, but this book took a long time to grow on me. By the end, though, it was a warm, fuzzy, Christmas pleasure. Library book, but I can imagine re-reading.

Another of the Peter Grant/Rivers of London fantasy-mystery series.

I am not sure whether to include this book because I honestly don’t remember whether I finished it. I got it from the library, and it’s really early Pratchett, published originally in 1983, and… well, it shows. Times change, writers get better, and unless you’re madly in love with Discworld, start with the later books and skip this one.

Another of the Peter Grant/Rivers of London series. The fact that the series is showing up three times in this list should tell you how much I like it!

I came very close to spending $12 on this book because I wanted to read it so badly, but I found it at the library, much to my delight. It would have been worth the $12, though, because it is really good. It reads like a classic, some combination of Anne of Green Gables and Ngaio Marsh. Not Marsh because it’s a mystery, but Marsh because it has that WWII English feel, the bombs dropping on London and the stiff upper lip, devastation but at the same time, survival.

I don’t want to spoil it, but I cried serious tears while reading it and yet finished with that happy book feeling, where you’ve gotten to spend the afternoon in a place where you still want to live for a while. I recommend it highly. And if there’s a sequel, I probably won’t hesitate to buy it, even if it does cost $12 or more.

Library book. YA, so I am not the target market. But I’m going to say that this is the single best book I’ve read all year. It’s the one that will most live in my memory, the one that thoroughly gripped me while reading and still has a hold on me weeks later. I wish I could add star graphics to this image, but I’ll just try a little emphasis to make sure it’s obvious how much I liked it!

My niece loves this book so I told her I would read it. I did not love this book. I don’t like worlds where girls are symbols before they are people. And my niece isn’t old enough for me to want to talk to her about rape culture but I found the boys’ reactions when the girl shows up to be so profoundly disturbing that it appalls me that we live in a world where that goes unnoticed. Or at least doesn’t prohibit it from becoming successful. Not sure I should really say I’ve read the book, either, because I started skimming pretty fast by the end.

This cover is a really different style for a Jayne Anne Krentz book but the content between the covers is just the same: a quick, straightforward, fun romance with elements of setting, food, and character that I enjoy. They’re sort of a female version of a Robert Parker novel — plain dialog, an uncomplicated and not overly dark mystery, a story that relies on friendship and family at its core.

My SIL was rolling her eyes over some of the writing — there’s a scene (I think in this one, possibly in one of the others) where the hero describes the color of the walls as saffron, which really does make him quite the sophisticated color connoisseur for a guy depicted as “all-male” in other places — but I’m not usually so inclined to quibble. I don’t generally buy full-price books by Krentz (or either of her two other pen names, Jayne Anne Castle and Amanda Quick) but I happily read them when they come my way, whether by library, garage sale, or hand-me-down.

Library book. I liked the cover and I’m willing to read kids’ books when they seem successful. I sort of view it as research, because maybe someday I’ll want to write one. I enjoyed this one, but I didn’t love it, probably wouldn’t bother to recommend it, even if I knew anyone of the right age to be the target audience.

I read the first book in this series a long time ago (and then re-read it in October). When I saw that the series had a lot more books, all of them available at the library, I thought I’d give it a try. But after two books, I’ve concluded that it’s not for me. Too violent, too bloody, too many vampires. Which, you know, is probably obvious from the fact that the heroine is a vampire killer. And if you like that kind of thing, it probably is a solid series: it’s quite readable. Just not to my particular taste.

Seanan McGuire is an award-winning fantasy author who I’ve heard a lot about. I tried the first book in her first series, the October Daye series, years ago and didn’t enjoy it — it was too dark for me. When I saw that the library had her InCryptid series, I decided to give them a try. I read five of the books in October, finishing with this one at the beginning of November. Interesting reads. Still a little dark for me, and they made me think a lot about how authors reveal ourselves in our work. But they’ve got good flow, interesting twists and entertaining world-building, so they’re certainly worth the read. I didn’t like them enough to try the other series again, and her science fiction (under the name Mira Grant) looks definitely darker than I want to read, but I liked them enough to read all six books in the series.


I thought this would be a quick post. Ha. I should have known better. Eons ago, back in fifth grade I think it was, my English teacher wrote on my report card that I didn’t read enough. My mother was appalled and called the school to ask what she was talking about. The teacher told her that I had only read two books all semester. My mother pointed out that I read all the time — between classes, walking in the hallways, during lunch — that my head was always in a book. But as far as the teacher was concerned, the only books that counted were the ones I wrote book reports on. As far as I was concerned, there was no way I was wasting my time writing book reports when I could be reading instead. It’s why I’m always sympathetic to people who don’t write book reviews and why I hate asking for them. But it was kind of fun to look back over what I read — enabled by the discovery of a history button in my library app — and be reminded of what my month was in books.

Gratitude

Kyla wrote a lovely post on gratitude at Thanksgiving and it made me want to do the same. But I haven’t eaten breakfast or walked the dogs and it’s almost 9 already, so mine’s going to be shorter and less detailed!

My dogs
B is still technically dying, of course, but we all are, really. Ten months after his congestive heart failure diagnosis, he’s still ticking along, snuggly and loving and adorable. Admittedly, the last time we were at the vet, I did tell the tech to just muzzle him, because I was pretty sure he wasn’t pretending about wanting to bite us. She called it “a party hat” — I called it self-defense. But mostly he is snuggly and loving and adorable.

And Z is terrific. Almost 13 years old and playing with toys like a puppy again. She’s very much losing her hearing, so I’m making special efforts to make sure she’s looking at me when I’m telling her how much I adore her, but she’s otherwise happy and healthy and a joyful companion.

Listening to the music of rain on the van
The reason I still haven’t walked the dogs or had breakfast yet. But the rain sounds so lovely and a peaceful morning is delightful.

Clean water Living in a van makes me very aware of my water sources. I finished off all of our “safe” water making coffee this morning. There’s some in the tank and it’s probably reasonably safe, because I filled it from a clean source just yesterday, but the tank hasn’t been disinfected since I got the van, so I don’t drink out of it. But I can literally walk about twenty steps, maybe thirty, to a source of clean water, and that makes me incredibly lucky. I am very grateful, and very aware of a great many fellow Americans who can’t currently say the same, and even more people around the world who can never say the same.

Family and friends I’m so grateful for the times I’ve had this year with friends and family. Grateful and greedy, I suppose, because I’m looking forward to many more of them! I’m spending Christmas with R, and I’m already busy making plans for things I want to share with him — movies and television shows, music and food. And also thinking about next year’s travels and how I’m going to get to Massachusetts again, and Michigan for the first time.

And my Alexa just spoke to me and suggested that I was missing out on blueberry muffins inside, so I am also so grateful for blueberry muffins, Alexa, and getting to have breakfast with my dad and stepmom. And I am now going to go enjoy all that!

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you find much to be grateful for on this day and every day!

The Fear of Missing Out

The Fear of Missing Out: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Instagram showed up in my inbox this morning. (Follow the link! Read the article. Then come back, because this will make more sense if you do.)

It felt really beautifully timed. Like the universe was telling me something. Except not really, because I like traveling and I love my life, but it was a good reminder that every life involves trade-offs. We’re all making choices, every day, about what we want to be doing and how we want to do it. No matter what, we’re going to miss something.

A while ago, I mostly stopped posting to Instagram because I discovered that it was making me feel… disconnected, maybe? Fake? I didn’t like looking at a meal or a view and thinking about it within a framework of what other people would appreciate about it. A fantastic dinner that was maybe not aesthetically pleasing in a photo didn’t stop being a fantastic dinner, but when I imagined posting the picture, it was with justifications and explanations. And when I looked at a view and rejected it because I’d never be able to get a good picture of it… I didn’t want to disdain my life because it wasn’t pretty enough to share, if that makes any sense. Instagram can’t capture the intangibles — the taste of good food, the smell of autumn in the air, the feelings of community and friendship.

But maybe I’ll learn to love it again, because what I liked about it when I first started using it was that it worked for me as a reminder to appreciate the moment I was in, to celebrate the meal that I cooked instead of just shoveling it in, to pause and admire the view instead of glancing out the window and moving on.

Today is going to be a highly practical day: picking up a prescription (I hope), doing some grocery shopping, dumping the tanks, washing dishes… but it started with peacocks.

a peacock

A gold star sunrise

sunrise from Merritt Island

Sunrise from Merritt Island

After months of trying, I can rattle off the names of all fifty states now. (4 As, Ws, and Is; 8 Ms and Ns; and I never forget the Ss or the single P any more). At one point, while driving, I was imagining a color-coded map, with the few states I haven’t visited in red, the ones that I’ve only driven through in orange, the ones that I’ve lived in purple, the ones where I’ve spent more than a month in blue. The vast majority of the map would be yellow and green, signifying time spent of more than a night, less than a month.

I think that map, though, needs something like stars, too, for how beautiful a state is, how much I love it. Florida — despite all of its craziness, the news stories that start “only in Florida,” the ways in which it is really weird — would get a gold star, because say what you will about Florida, sunrise here is spectacular.

It feels good to be home.

The discomfort of change

People in Florida keep asking me how much longer I’m going to keep traveling. It’s a legitimate question, I think. I’ve certainly been wondering about the answer myself. But I don’t know. Being back in Florida definitely feels like coming home, more than any other state, which is not so much what I would have expected. I lived in California for longer than I lived in Florida, and I spent my entire childhood visiting Pennsylvania. New York is the state where I’ve lived the longest. But Florida feels comfortable, Florida feels easy.

Sort of.

I also almost cried yesterday when the grocery store didn’t have the dog food I wanted. It was my grocery store, a home store for me. Not the one that I went to most often when I lived here, but one that I went to often enough that it should have felt familiar. But it didn’t. I had to hunt for the dog food and then it wasn’t there. Change happens. And a grocery store changing brands, re-organizing aisles, that is not the sort of change that should make one want to cry.

I think, though, that navigating unfamiliar grocery stores has turned into one of the most exhausting elements of a life of continual travel for me. I can remember in my first month on the road loving the adventure of a new store. Sometimes I still do. Often I still do!

But then there are the days when all I want is to get in and get out. I don’t want an adventure, I just want to get a need met as quickly as possible so I can get back to whatever I am doing that is more interesting to me. Yesterday it was to get on the road so that I could come down to Merritt Island and write with my friend, Lynda. I didn’t want to waste hours hunting for the right sort of dog food.

As it happens, I didn’t. I bought some strange canned food, ridiculously expensive and radiating organic healthiness, so that I could get moving, and today B and I are paying the price. Dogs don’t react well to abrupt changes in food, usually. Poor B. On top of the ear infections and the wheezing, he didn’t need an upset tummy. He’ll be okay, though. I also bought ingredients to make the homemade food that he likes, so if I can’t find the right food today, he’ll get to have chicken and sweet potatoes for dinner and he’ll be delighted.

Meanwhile, my travel plans for the next six weeks or so involve nothing new: familiar driveways, a couple of familiar state parks, lots of time spent with people I love. At the end of it, after the holidays, I think I’ll have a better sense of whether I’m tired of traveling and really need to figure out where I can settle down for a while or whether I’m eager to get back on the road. Maybe, like right now, both will still appeal.

I’m probably not going to spend a lot of time blogging, either, because even though I know that these memories — of time spent well, of friends and people and good conversations, of interesting meals and holidays — will be as important to me in the future as any campground review ever, well, I’d rather be spending my writing energy on Grace and my life energy on living.

That said, here’s a story I want to remember: hanging out with C and her son, A, in her back porch, talking about media mothers and C’s resemblance to Joyce on Stranger Things.

I texted R.

Me: What media mom would remind you of me? (Am conversing with C and her son)

The next day

R: No idea. Sorry!
Me: (Sad emoji)
Me: I shall choose to believe that is because I am unique and original.
R: Precisely!
R: You could also construe that as representative of the fact that good parents are only interesting in fiction if they die.
R: (Shrug emoji)
Me: … (Dustin’s mom from Stranger Things) is personally my take.
Me: and since you haven’t watched Stranger Things that doesn’t mean much
R: I have
R: all of it
Me: Oh! Well, then, really, Dustin’s mom?
R: Dustin’s mom is pretty close
Me: (Blushing smile emoji)

For anyone who hasn’t watched Stranger Things, S2, Dustin’s mom is gullible, easily manipulated by her son, but clearly dotes on him. He makes her laugh and she thinks he’s awesome. I looked for the internet’s take on her and the only articles I found described her as a “lovable helicopter mom” and “lacked much definition beyond her status as a loving mom.” Eh, not the perfect descriptions, but as media moms go, I’m very pleased that R sees the resemblance.

And I really shouldn’t have let myself fall into the internet rabbit hole that is articles on Stranger Things, because I could be writing right now. Or doing laundry or hunting for dog food or even hanging out with L, who’s working away at her kitchen table while I’m sitting on her porch!

Lazy days

Long drives make me lazy. Or maybe just tired. On Tuesday and Wednesday, I drove from Williamsburg to Florida. Ahead of time, I imagined that once I got here, I would immediately begin NaNoWriMo levels of writing productivity, in between visiting and catching up with all my local family and friends, plus taking care of some van jobs, like fixing the bathroom door, replacing the air-conditioner cover, scrubbing off the dead bugs, and so on.

In reality, I’ve been reading and listening to music and eating too much sugar and enjoying being mellow in a very comfortable driveway.

sunset

Last night’s sunset

In fact, I’ve been so lazy that in my Streaks app, I broke all my streaks except two: writing 1000 words every morning and writing 2 blog posts/week. And yeah, this blog post is just so I don’t break that streak. I would actually much rather be napping.