Wednesday I went to a book signing for Katie McGarry’s new release, Pushing the Limits. It was standing room only, and Katie had all of us laughing one minute and on the brink of tears the next as she chronicled her journey to this day, the day of her debut novel’s release. I won’t spoil the book for you, but I just want to say this is a book that will not be limited to the YA audience alone. Katie is a woman with a gift. I know she worked hard on this book, and is currently working hard on her second and third book, but no one writes such evocative prose without a God-given gift. The moment Katie was conceived God smiled and said, “She’ll be a writer.” Here’s a picture from the signing, just so I can say, “I knew her before she was famous.”
On a much less uplifting note, John and I went shopping for school supplies this week. One-hundred fifty dollars worth of school supplies. Of course one hundred dollars of that was the calculator he needs for his AP Math classes, and it’s the same model Aaron is still using in his junior year of college, so it’s a long-term investment. I did not buy the ream of paper on the supplies list. I realize money is tight and I did buy the paper towels, tissues, dry erase markers, red pens, hand sanitizer, and other things I know are all for the entire class or the teacher to use. But I can’t pick up a ream of paper, nor do I expect my son to carry a ream of paper on the bus with him. I’ll probably tuck a $10 Target gift card into the bag with the other non-personal supplies, though, because I know too many teachers end up buying class supplies out of their own pockets. As for the calculator, I asked Aaron to help John learn to use it. This is what happens when you ask a twenty-year-old to help his thirteen-year-old brother with a new electronic device:
I was straightening the house and putting all the back-to-school stuff together (piled on the dining room table, of course) when I realized I hadn’t seen John’s lunchbag since Camp Shakespeare. You know, the camp that ended a month ago. So I asked him to find it for me. It still had the last day of camp’s plastic lunch container in it. I don’t know what sort of fruit I sent that day, but there was enough mold in that container to provide penicillin for a serious infection.
Then I started looking for John’s school clothes. His school has a strict dress code, so basically he lives in khaki pants and white polos. I looked in his dresser drawers first, which were all empty. All of them. Then I tried the closet, where I found enough polos to clothe his entire class, but a good portion of them dingy and stained. I’m trying to get them looking a bit nicer to avoid buying new ones, since the pants I eventually found (in a pile behind his bed) were in pretty awful shape. New ones are on the way from Old Navy.
You know where this is headed, right? It’s time to clean his room. He’s going to do it, not me, and we decided the date fairly. If I won the game of Jenga he’d clean Thursday, and if he won he’d clean Friday. I won. Here are the “before” pictures, and as you can imagine, one day just wasn’t enough. I’ll post “after” pictures once we reach that point.
I’m completely caught up in the Olympics. I haven’t had the opportunity to see this much coverage since I was a kid, because when you get up at 3am for work you can’t watch prime-time TV, and even if you tape it to watch later anything interesting that happened will be discussed all around you the next day by people who watched the coverage and slept until 8am and it’s just not as much fun to watch when you already know the outcome. I’ve been staying off Twitter and not listening to the radio so nothing is spoiled for me. When my husband came home Wednesday he was dying to tell me the results of the day’s events and I wouldn’t let him. Then I realized I was going out to dinner and to a crowded book signing, so I added this accessory.
It didn’t work. One of my dinner companions still told me some of the results. Not Women’s Gymnastics, thankfully, or I might have had to hurt her.
Lastly, I am pretty excited about a small change on my blog that has given it a much cleaner look. You know all those buttons we like to have, and in some cases are required to have to do sponsored posts? And how much room they take up? Well, I had no idea this was even possible, but Aaron created a “slideshow” of buttons, so that they are all there, and all get seen, but they take up the space of just one button! And he resized my blog so it is more easily viewable in all browsers. If you want to get on his design list before he gets busy with his junior year computer science classes check out his work on my site (if you’re reading this in an email or in a reader) or at his site, Eagle Blog Design.
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Priced at just $4.99, it is now available in every format your little heart could desire at Smashwords, or, if you prefer, it’s also for sale in a Kindle version at Amazon or a Nook version at Barnes and Noble!