In these days of rampant internet-grouchiness, it’s nice to have an online “friend” or two you can always count on for something uplifting.
Modern Mrs. Darcy is topping my list for always answering my never-ending wondering What Should I Read Next? and she may (definitely is) responsible for the ridiculous number of thrifted/library sale/borrowed books on my TBR shelf.
Today our book loving community is linking up the small, yet notable, things saving our lives in the right here and now. Because I’ve found it’s most often in the small stuff and the menial tasks where I regain my composure and find my joy.
On my list for this Groundhog Day (really? Six more weeks of winter, I’ve heard. Except in Georgia, we’ve only had like 3 days of winter, so I guess it’s okay):
1. The Skimm is rocking my inbox. Y’all, I want to be informed, but sheesh? Is there anywhere online to read news that’s not biased/filtered/full of typos? Yes. Yes, there is. Sign up for The Skimm and get the biggest news of the day straight in your inbox. Best part–these writers are speaking my language, literally. This is the vernacular of the people, that is, those of us who want to be educated but don’t want to have to look up that word some CNN reporter thought was important to use but not important enough to spell correctly. Plus, I appreciate that, so far, they’re not leaning left or right but telling it like it is–with a little tongue in cheek satire for the kindergarten squabbles happening on the Capitol floor right now.
2. Reading Eggs. I told those of you who get my newsletter about Reading Eggs a couple of weeks ago. Here’s the deal: if you’re homeschooling (like me) or have a student who might be a struggling reader (like me) or find that you want to pull your hair out working through a reader with one of your kids (LIKE ME), go sign up for the free 4-week trial. There’s a talking duck and some games and actual learning happening here. Yes, it’s a computer program. No, I don’t believe kids should only learn from the computer. Yes, I’m going to pay for a subscription when our trial is up BECAUSE IT IS WORKING AND DOESN’T MAKE EITHER OF US CRY.
3. I’m composing this treatise during the YMCA Homeschool PE class my girls started last week. For $45 apiece, we get a 15-week class that lasts 2 hours. And there’s swimming. And it lasts TWO HOURS. Do you know how many words I can write in two hours? (Answer: A lot.)
4. The Mitford Books. I’m trying to be a better counter of my books this year. So far… I’ve written down two but I’ve read five? I think. See the problem? Anyway, there’s a long list of to-be-reads and want-to-reads and should-have-already-read but I keep coming back to the Mitford series, which my husband finds ironic since I directed the play last fall and you’d think I’d have read the books then. Yeah, not so much. I was a little busy with, you know, moving and editing my novel and directing my play. I’m picking up Mitford these days whenever I’m feeling low, whenever I’ve read something that makes me feel uncomfortable, whenever I need an immersion that’s soothing to my soul like a hot bath and a glass of wine… which I may be indulging in while reading.
5. Southern Living. I think it goes without saying that my mother raised me on Clemson football and Southern Living like any good woman from the Lowcountry should do for her children. But we had a few years where SL was not winning in the recipe department for me. Listen, if I can’t find this ingredient at the local Ingles, I’m not making this dish. But the 2017 issues are already redefining the SL kitchen with family-friendly, budget-friendly, live-in-the-sticks-with-only-one-grocery-store-friendly recipes. We have especially enjoyed this Chicken with Cornbread Dumplings as an (almost) gluten free alternative to my family’s favorite. I even made it with the frozen turkey leftover from Thanksgiving and it was like turkey and dressing in bowl with a side of comfort.
6. Writers Conferences. Finally, anytime I’m overwhelmed trying to figure out this homeschool/writer thing I’ve got going on, I take a deep breath and count the days on my calendar because FCWC is almost here. I’ll be heading out in nineteen days for the Florida Christian Writers Conference where I’ll be teaching How to Write Flash Fiction and hanging with my writer friends. For four days I get to be writer-Lindsey and nothing else and I cannot wait. Plus, it’s Florida in February which is pretty much perfect. (It’s also 15 weeks until the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference in case you’re wondering. I’ll be there, too.)
7. Meal Planning. I’ve always been a meal planner, but we’ve taken it one step further right now and made the attempt to stop my children from eating anything they find at any hour of the day. I’d say it’s working about 50% of the time. However, posting my meal plans is doing wonders for my social media interactions, so there’s that.
What’s saving your life? I’ve got some books lying around that need a new home. Leave me a comment and you might win one!