Moving Day!

Hello wonderful readers!

     Today is Official Moving Day! (If there is such a thing.) Sadly, I don't really know when I'll be able to post next. Last I heard, it will be at least a week before we have internet access at the new house. Eeek! Not too thrilled about that. On the other hand, I recently wrote a guest post for Cait and Mime in celebration of Banned Book Week. It's not up yet, but it should be on Notebook Sisters sometime during Banned Book Week (which is Sept. 30 - Oct. 6) Keep an eye out for it!
     I will see you guys when I have internet again. Thanks for sticking with me through the craziness. You're the best!

<3 Lydia


Adventure House

     It finally happened. Yesterday we got our house. And I. am. so. excited.

     It's going to be interesting. See . . . it's kind of an adventure house. It's small. A little bit too small, and the yard is way too small. It's also falling apart. I don't think anyone has lived in it for quite some time. It was built in the 1920s. It has lots of tacky annoying features, but it also has lots of wonderful little details mixed in. Things like original doorknobs. Seriously, I know that sounds weird but it has some lovely doorknobs. It's not quite a beautiful house right now, but it has loads of potential. And we are going to make it beautiful.
     It's been a while since we've remodeled a house. We're always doing projects . . . laying tile, painting, etc. But this is going to be a full-blown, tear-it-apart sort of thing. We'll be repairing quite a lot, but we'll also be undoing a lot of remodeling that some previous owners did in the 60s or 70s. The first thing we did (today and yesterday) was to tear out the dark paneling in the living room. We also tore down the drop ceiling. Originally, the house had beautiful high ceilings but someone thought it was a brilliant idea to put in low ceiling tiles. Ha. That's gone now ;) You know what else is gone? The pink toilet. Yep. Dad re-placed it. The pink bathtub remains, but we have plans for it.
     It's not a forever home for us. Like I said, it's too small. It's in town and the yard is woefully small for two German shepherds. But you know? It's an adventure, and I think it's going to be splendid. 

P.S. The top photo is Sam in a little amphitheater at the local park. 



      I'm not the sort of person who dislikes change. There's certain things that I'd like to stay the same forever and ever. But past those certain things, change doesn't bother me. Sometimes I like it. Change can be invigorating, and sometimes it's just what I need. But transition? I hate it. It gnaws at my insides until I feel like I'm going to explode.
     Maybe it's the waiting that bothers me. But I think it's more than that. When I'm stuck in transition mode, it feels like I don't belong anywhere. I don't belong in the place or the time period or the state of mind that I'm leaving, but I don't belong in the place that I'm headed towards either.
     Some transitions are more subtle than others. But transitioning from one state to another . . . from one house to another . . . that's not simple. Right now it feels like transition has invaded our lives permanently. It feels like it's never going to leave.
     I guess I really thought that right now I'd be living in a completely different house, going to a completely different church and a completely different school. But I'm not. I'm still here. And I want out. I want out so desperately. In the two years that I've lived here, I've never really put down roots. The only thing I'm attached to is our neighborhood, our house, and our friends next door. Other than that? I'm not sad to leave. Everything is wrapped up, and I'm ready to go. It's frustrating to have to stay.
     Tomorrow maybe the house in Illinois will close. Maybe we'll get to move this week. And maybe we won't. That's the hard thing. It doesn't always turn out, and everything is always delayed. I just know that I'm excited for my new life. And I'm ready to be there.

     Are you a person who likes change or do you hate it? What about transition? (I can't imagine anyone loving it.)


60 More Until 150

     Life is moseying along. It looks as though we'll be able to move next weekend. It will be good to get out of this seemingly perpetual transition and get down to the actual business of moving in and starting life.
      I've spent the last few days reading and reading and reading some more. I recently finished The Good Earth, Tower Stories, The Quest for Anastasia, and The Jungle Book. In total, I've read ninety books this year. My original goal was one hundred and fifty, but I'm still behind on that. We'll see if I finish. I'm thinking I probably won't, what with moving and the holidays. But then again, I'll have access to a completely new library and that will help things.
     I've noticed lately (with some astonishment) that I can actually enjoy non-fiction now. Of course it helps if it is well-written nonfiction. But it's nice to know that it's not all that bad. I've also read quite a few classics lately, and that's been good too. I think the more you read, the easier it is to read. There's always a place for magic and imagination. Always. But it's good to grow up and read some challenging things too.
     Other than reading, I haven't been up to a whole lot. Sometimes I cook or bake. Yesterday I made soup, rolls and shortbread. I also got out a bleach pen that Sam gave me for my birthday way back in June, and I've done some fun projects with that. I made a t-shirt for me with one of my favorite Oscar Wilde quotes, and then I made t-shirts for the boys. (Haha! I got to practice on their clothing.) I also did a geometric design on one of my bags and I really like the way the bleach came out on it. If I can find some more cheap totes I have a few more quotes and designs I'd like try. Well! Off to play croquet with the boys. Have a lovely Wednesday, everybody.


The Librarian Cried

      Everything seems vaguely wrong today. Things are unusually somber at Grandma and Grandpa's house. No one wants to play with us. Mommy and Daddy are standing in the dark hallway and whispering, and I think Mommy's crying, but I'm not sure because I can't see her face. They seem to be upset by something on the radio. I can hear the words they're listening to, but I don't know what the words are saying. I try to figure them out, but someone shuts them off as if they can't stand to listen to them . . .
     Later in the day, Grandma takes Sam and I to the library. The children's section is downstairs, and our favorite part is a round table that's full of colorful jigsaw puzzles. Behind the table, a square black television is screwed to the wall and the channel is turned to the news. Nothing much is on, just the same picture of two silver towers, over and over again. They are very tall towers, with planes flying in circles around them and smoke trailing out of them. Sam and I stand close together, looking at it. It's a very strange picture, but what we find even stranger is the behavior of the librarian. She's crying, and it makes me nervous because I've never seen a librarian cry before.
     Grandma seems to know the librarian, and she puts her arms around her and comforts her. They talk together, and you can tell that their hearts are breaking. I decide it must be the picture of the towers that makes them sad, but I don't understand why two towers matter to my Grandma and the Delavan children's librarian. The rest of the day fades into a blur. Grandma takes us home, and she reads us books and we play. Soon everything is back to normal.

     Time has passed, and I'm older now. I know what actually happened. But in another way, I don't know. I've tried to understand it and to make sense of it. But I really can't. I guess we all see history in our lifetime, but we see it through our own eyes. For me, my piece of history is the day the twin towers fell. But I remember it as the day the librarian cried.


Rules for Kittens

These are the rules that all baby cats must follow if they want to lead a successful career as a kitten.

1. Never hold still for any time period longer than two seconds.
2. If you find a string, chase it.
3. If you find a shoe, stick your head in it.
4. Only cuddle when you're sleepy.
5. Don't associate with humans unless you want to be kissed or fussed over.
6. If something scares you, arch your back and spit.
7. If you're ever in trouble, meow loudly and hope for the best.
8. Never miss an opportunity to pounce on your brothers or sisters or mother.
9. If you're doing secret stuff, crawl on your belly. It will make you invisible.
10. Do what the big cats do, and the rest will follow.


This Is What I Want

Right now? This is what I want.

I want to write something truthful.
I want to make someone smile.
I want to say what I really think.
I want to write my heart on paper.
I want to create something beautiful.
I want to work hard for the things that matter.
I want to fill a page with words.
I want to fill another one.
I want to meet someone new and interesting.
I want to have an intelligent conversation.
I want to learn how to draw.
I want to read a million books.
I want to go on a road-trip. 
I want to know people who have different beliefs.
I want to know people who have their own ideas and goals.
I want to wear something outrageous.
I want to pile my hair on top of my head.
I want to go places.
I want to search for something.
I want to fly or run or sing or dance.

Right now? That’s what I want.



Today was rather uneventful. I had chocolate turtle cookies and a big glass of milk for breakfast.
Then I read my book stack until lunch. I finished The Great Omission and Letters from the Earth.
And I started reading The Grace Awakening and The Jungle Book.
It rained in the afternoon, and there was lots of crazy wind.
The kittens all fell asleep on the same couch pillow. Patches goes to her new home tomorrow, and we are all quite sad to see her go =(
Mom took the little boys on a walk when it stopped raining. Sam and I started the pork chops and broccoli for supper, and I went outside to investigate the puddles.
I took pictures of Piper and Pookie through the breakfast room doors. They treated me to their most tragic faces, reserved especially for rainy days.  "We are cold and hungry and destitute orphans. Let us in!"
I asked Jason if I could take a picture of him splashing in his yellow boots. He thought it was a brilliant idea.
After supper, I washed the dishes while singing "Lean On Me" and "Rolling On The River." I think I shall probably spend the rest of the night reading, snatching and cuddling kittens, and listening to The Voyage of the Dawn Treader with the boys.

Was your Wednesday busy or uneventful like mine? Either way, I hope it was splendid. <3


Homemade Stamps

     The boys and I made homemade stamps yesterday. Jason made this little city out of a wooden block and craft foam. Surprisingly, all of the little details stood out because he had drawn them in with a pen, and it made little dents in the foam.
     We also made a few out of carved erasers. It took a while to get the hang of it, but the knife sliced through the eraser beautifully. I stuck to geometric shapes, because my talent is somewhat lacking when it comes to drawing. But even though they aren't spectacular, I do think my simple shapes turned out nicely. You see that royal mess we made? Messes are definite proof that something creative is happening ;)


Giant Jenga

     Today was splendid. Sam built a giant jenga set, and we played jenga with the neighbor kids (Jordan and Peyton) all afternoon.
Jason and Peyton (well, all the boys, for that matter) enjoyed knocking the tower over. As you can see, Jason hit it with a hammer and almost got creamed.
Sam and Ben set the blocks up like dominoes, but they got a little too elaborate and it didn't work. Jordan and I set ours in a straight line, and the wind knocked them over.
Then Jordan and I named each of the wooden blocks and labeled them with permanent markers. We made up some of the names, but some of them we named after our favorite characters (Dustfinger, Hermione, Hobbes, Gus, Lassiter, Edmund, Susan, Eustace . . .) The boys laughed and then made lots of suggestions.
 Sam, Ben and Peyton tried to build a giant tower, and then we tried to build a wall. The wind knocked it over, and the boys insisted on turning the names upside down.
Jason climbed the mulberry tree, and Ben poured water on people's heads, and everyone had fun dodging and stacking wooden blocks. Who knew that a giant jenga set could provide so much fun?