Whew. This was a challenging month for me; perhaps T.S. Eliot is right! Thankfully I am feeling more settled (both kids sleeping past 7 a.m. today helps a lot!) and I’m ready to take the lessons learned in April and put them to good use in May.

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(There was a lot of this.)

Books:

It was a lighter month for books — I finished Gilead early this month and moved on to the following:

Me Before You (Jojo Moyes): I won’t go so far as to say this book was a waste of my time, because it was enjoyable reading, but the worldview espoused by the ending was very depressing and frustrating. It’s a pretty fluffy novel about something serious, which normally doesn’t bother me, but I think the reader is supposed to overlook the worldview and questions about what makes life worth living in favor of a Highly Romantic and Tragic Ending. Do not recommend, sadly.

The Getaway Car (Ann Patchett): Another book about writing, and this one barely counts because it was so short and only took me one night to read. But I liked it.

Now I’m in the middle of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (I feel behind in my Year of Brontes!) and I love it. I’m hoping to finish it soon.

On my mind:

The usual — self-improvement, writing, homemaking. Now that I’m not able to run anymore, I’m thinking through how to maintain (or build) my fitness in a way that I can stick with; I’ve never been big on checking exercise off a list, and one reason I liked running so much was because it had measurable goals that I could set and work to meet. So I need to find new ways to achieve that.

Which leads me to another thing I’ve been pondering — how much can I change my nature, and can I change my nature by changing my habits? But more on that another time.

Other stuff:

Picnics.

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Springtime means lots of outside time, so we’ve been out on the deck drawing with sidewalk chalk and enjoying lunch in the backyard and dinner on our new patio table.

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Peas and lettuce are coming up! But (as you can see) I’ve discovered that my cat really likes peas. I have to cover the peas with a muslin baby blanket whenever he’s out on the deck. He’s munched on several of them so I hope my harvest is still good.

Will helped me plant the lettuce, so thanks to his enthusiasm on a few of the pots we have a lot of lettuce sprouting. I think I might prune them a bit so it’s not overcrowded. We are only doing containers this year while we get the soil in the raised bed ready (which will involve digging out roots and adding soil amendments) so I have a trip to the garden store planned for this weekend. I’m still hoping to be able to grow green beans. I’m thankful to have a large sunny deck that’s protected from deer and bunnies, and large enough for a lot of containers!

We had some visitors this past weekend — one of my close friends moved to North Carolina a year ago and came through town with her two sons, who are each a few months younger than Will and Anna. It was great to see her again! We took a trip up to the Mennonite store half an hour north of us. They have farm animals there, bulk wheat for a good price (she grinds her own flour for bread), and it’s the only place I know of where I can buy lard (my secret to the best pie crust you’ll ever eat).

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(Here’s Will on the playground at the Mennonite store. He turned three and now he is three. My sister tells me ages three and four are the best and so far I agree! It’s so much fun.)

And as for writing — I’ve gotten some work done, but I would really like to work from an outline. The problem then is that I need to, well, create one. And that means I need to map out what happens. And that’s what I don’t know yet. It’s frustrating to be stuck, but I’m making forward progress, little by little. It’s been wonderful to write seriously again.

Lastly:

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She’s about to be seven months old, and she’s sitting up. Next comes crawling …

Linking up with Leigh Kramer.

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