If you think I have been goldbricking all summer, well, I haven’t. I have posted less frequently mostly because my driving schedule has increased exponentially. I’m happy that my children have found fun things they like to do this summer: sailing, soccer camp, farm camp, culinary camp, but because the camp schedules are so varied and in different towns, no less, I am on borrowed time. Basically I am a preschool mom. If you don’t have preschoolers yet, you don’t know what the heck I am talking about. When you are at home with small children, you are 24/7, that is a given. When they start preschool, you realize you will have three whole hours to yourself! You have plans, big plans, like cleaning the house (including the really big projects washing the walls or windows), planting a garden, reading the paper, reading a book, writing a book, heck, buying a book, grocery shopping alone, starting a part-time job or business, volunteering at your local library, learning a musical instrument, a new language, taking a class, meeting friends, shopping for cute clothes, starting a blog, reading a blog, working out and grabbing a shower. Maybe all of these.
Well…Reality check. You will have time for maybe one of these activities, possibly two and sometimes, well, none. What?! You are just not organized! I can do so much in three hours. Yes, yes, you can except when you can’t. It is unbelievable how fast three hours goes by. You have coffee with a friend, volunteer to help at the school, have to take your car in for service or you have a dentist appointment or a mammogram or the dog throws up and the day is gone and your house does not look like anything on Pinterest. Don’t worry and cut yourself some slack. Some days are easier/better/sunnier than others, it’s okay.
When your dear ones go on to elementary school and you have six or more hours. Okay, now you are talking, now you have some time. The activities above, you can do three, four or more, some days, still none. I know, weird. Now, picture his not-superbly organized and slight germaphobe mom of two who have been in school for 6 hours a day for about 10 years reduced to a 3 hour day with increased driving responsibilities and work. You can understand why I am a little more frazzled and off my game (this is supposing I had a game before) and my house looks nothing like anything on Pinterest (my pretend house is lovely).
So…What can you do in three hours? A walk and a shower and a quick sandwich. Run errands in something I like to call Speed of Sound Time (errands without children of any age). Start a cleaning project but break it up into manageable bits so you don’t get overwhelmed (I cleaned my kitchen including pantry and inside all cabinets and drawers by breaking out a one hour block each day – sure it took me a week – better than your spending your entire Saturday doing it). Sneak in reading time – bring a book or magazine to pick up at school or camp, if you get there early (I wish) you can read a few pages.
What else can you do? Get something reupholstered (okay, you do have time to pick out fabric and drop it off) – you can recover dining room chairs with some fabric and a staple gun…great tutorials at Design Sponge. Renew your driver’s license or passport including new photo. Read about home keeping (so much more fun than actually keeping home). Plan meals for the week and grocery shop alone – it is cheaper to go solo, you only have your impulse purchases to contend with.
Most importantly – Recharge. Do whatever you like to do that makes you happy. A book, a run, yoga, a coffee, music that you choose, time with friends, time alone – anything that makes you energized. You are going to need it for the other 10-12 hours left in your day!
Mostly women, anyway. It’s true…there were a few men but mostly women as usual. A room full of book loving, library supporting women. Everyone was in spring finery but with a touch of wool – it is New England, after all.
It was the 28th annual Book and Author luncheon – yesterday. It was, as always, one of my favorite events. Both Dennis Lehane and Mitchell Zuckoff were personable, engaging and funny. Mitchell Zuckoff gave a slide presentation (he even brought his own A/V equipment – got to love that) which had us on the edge of our seats which was a precarious place to be because we were also laughing so hard – Caution! Falling library ladies!
Not to be outdone, Dennis Lehane took the stage and charmed the room as well. He is a consummate storyteller and shared how he became one (with a special shout out to libraries) as well as some great stories. What a treat! With books for sale from New England Mobile Book Fair, a nicely presented lunch, (the chicken was good, the salmon looked okay but I heard the veggie plate needs work) and the authors generously staying to sign every last copy, it was a lovely day. The staff of The Newton Marriott is always wonderful and it has been newly renovated and looks fresh and bright.
Put it on your calendar for next year – This is a not to be missed event!
It’s the 28th Annual Friends of the Newton Free Library Book and Author Luncheon at the newly renovated Boston-Newton Marriott Hotel. Both Dennis Lehane and Mitchell Zuckoff will speak (a definite treat) and sign books after lunch (which is always delicious), really. So don’t say you weren’t invited. It evens ends at 2:45 so Moms can make pick up at school. Grab your book group and join us – it is a really nice event.
The Friends of the Newton Free Library invite you to attend
The 28th Annual
Book and Author Luncheon
Friday, May 11, 2012
Cash Bar 11:00 am
Luncheon 12:00 pm
Speakers and Book Signing will follow the luncheon
Newton Marriott Hotel Ballroom
2345 Commonwealth Avenue
The Friends of the Library are proud to present Dennis Lehane and Mitchell Zuckoff at the 28th Book and Author Luncheon.
Dennis Lehane grew up in Boston. Since his first novel, A Drink Before the War, won the Shamus Award, he has published eight more novels with William Morrow & Co. that have been translated into more than 30 languages and become international bestsellers: Darkness, Take My Hand; Sacred; Gone, Baby, Gone; Prayers for Rain; Mystic River; Shutter Island; The Given Day; and Moonlight Mile. Morrow also published Coronado, a collection of five stories and the play, “Coronado” which has received stage productions in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, and Genoa, Italy. Three of his novels – Mystic River, Gone, Baby, Gone and Shutter Island – have been adapted into award-winning films.
Mr. Lehane and his wife, Angie, divide their time between the West Coast of Florida and Boston.
Mitchell Zuckoff is a professor of journalism at Boston University. He is the author of Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II. Published in April 2011, the book spent more than two months on The New York Times’ bestseller list and was named one of the Best Books of 2011 by Amazon.com, Salon.com, The Washington Post, The Seattle Times, Entertainment Weekly, Apple’s iBookstore, Kirkus Reviews and others.
His previous books are: Robert Altman: The Oral Biography; Ponzi’s Scheme: The True Story of a Financial Legend, and Choosing Naia: A Family’s Journey. He is co-author of Judgment Ridge: The True Story Behind the Dartmouth Murders. His magazine work has appeared in The New Yorker, Fortune, and other national and regional publications.
Zuckoff is a former special projects reporter for The Boston Globe, where he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for investigative reporting. He received the Distinguished Writing Award from the American Society of Newspaper Editors, the Livingston Award for International Reporting, the Heywood Broun Award, and the Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award, among other national honors. He has won the 2012 Winship/PEN New England Award for Nonfiction
He received a master’s degree from the University of Missouri, where he was an O.O. McIntyre Fellow, and was a Batten Fellow at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. A native of New York, he lives in Newton, Mass., with his wife, Boston Globe photographer Suzanne Kreiter, and their two daughters.
It has been a long two weeks. I have been stashing catalogs where ever I could hide them before my husband throws them out. I wanted them for this series of posts and my own personal use… Hmmm…perhaps that explains the immediacy with which these are normally dispatched into the recycling bin.
My assignment, go low-tech (Pragmatic Mom has the high tech gifts covered). These are my favorite low, and I mean low, tech gifts (thus the old school catalog finds).
For all ages: Art Supplies like paper and colored pencils or journal and nice pen, books, wooden toys (yes, for all ages).
Green Planet Kids is a Newton store with a great selection of back-to-basic toys and there are these oh-so cool stocking stuffers from Paper Source (love these peel-y pencils).
Back to Basics: Homemade treats, prettily packaged, with recipe attached, maybe some clove fruit from Pragmatic Mom, little handmade lavender sachets (you can buy lavender in bulk and fill fabric squares with it, so nice), special keepsake ornaments (we give my mom one every year) or a The Hanukah Candle Kit.
Cashmere socks, scarves or sweater, mittens, a favorite team sweatshirt or baseball cap, yoga or fitness gear, fleece from Northface for that particular teen, a Snuggie (I caved and bought these last year!)
C is for Chocolate – always! Get some sweet Lindt truffles and put them in a pretty container. Last year I found a template on Martha Stewart’s site for turning a candy bar into a Santa.
Books are a basic and always welcome (even if you know only one book the child has liked, a good bookstore or librarian can give you many more suggestions).