Good morning weblings! Unfortunately, I cannot squawk to you about writing this post while looking at the ocean this week. It has been one of those weeks where my patience has been tested. Let me whine a little to you, in hopes that I will feel better.
My husband was (is) out of town on a business trip to Poland, so I am flying solo. It was finals week for the kids, and while my 12-year-old is pretty self-sufficient, my 10-year-old is not. He had two finals that were comprehensive, which required hours of studying every evening with my assistance, additionally aggravated by his inability to sit still and focus for more than 5 minutes at a time. Dear Jesus give me strength. I've also still been dealing with critter damage control at my parents house, with a parade of various professionals traipsing through that need to be managed. Two kids' doctors appointments. Pool maintenance, air conditioner maintenance, and glazed my kitchen floors (where I slipped and fell in the glaze and sent it flying everywhere!). Field trip with the 4th graders to the Arabian Nights tourist attraction, where there was a performance supporting their full-immersion experience with the book The Black Stallion. (It would have made a great post topic...missed opportunity on my part!)
The good news is that because 80% of the book blogging world was in New York this week at the BEA conference, it didn't take much effort to stay up-to-date on everyone's posts. So with all that extra time, I used it to mope and feel sorry for myself that I wasn't in New York too.
Back in my first year as a blogger, I used to look at my Google Analytics every day to study my stats, but I hadn't looked at it recently. Thursday night I was messing with it, and a few depressing things dawned on me. First, even though my number of followers seems to slowly but consistently rise, I'm not seeing any increase in the number of daily hits. Also, if I benchmark myself against other similar blogs, I totally suck. My stats told me that people, on average, stay on my site 38 seconds per visit. Are you kidding me? I wound up feeling very negative that evening, and swore I wouldn't ever look at those figures again!
So as I plodded through my week feeling like a big Negative Nelly, I received bursts of happiness as I listened to the audio "Belong To Me" by Marisa de los Santos. I was thrilled to get back to Cornelia and her husband, and Claire, and some new characters, after having finished its prequel, "Love Walked In", a couple of weeks ago. The story, the author, the characters...everything is precious. One of the quotes from the book really hit me while I was out walking and listening - "Women cannot survive on husbands alone". The point being that despite having a wonderful husband, you really need girlfriends to make your life whole. With this in mind, on Friday night, four of us moms (three of us with out-of-town husbands) gathered at one of our houses, with our little ducklings in tow, to celebrate the end of a tortuous week. The girls went upstairs to watch movies. The boys were like a wild pack of testosterone-filled wolves running crazy. And the moms sat down around the kitchen table with salsa, hummus and wine, and let it all out. My soul was cured. I think Santos is onto something.
So besides wallowing in the perfectness of "Belong To Me", I also finished the audio "The Solitude of Prime Numbers", which I really did not like at all. Thank goodness it was only six discs long. It was depressing. It had no point, the characters were unlikable, and had very little plot. Blah. I'm also making my way through a review copy called "Ashes to Water", a mystery thriller. The author had run out of actual books, so was I surprised when I received 400 pages of copy paper! Ack! Not real portable, but definitely a page-turner. I hope to finish that today. The kids and I are closing in on Harry Potter 7, but may not finish it before we leave for vacation next Thursday.
We embark on our vacation next Thursday, leaving our house-sitter behind with our menagerie of pets. Our first destination is the Grand Canyon, where we will stay for a couple of days, and hopefully fitting in a helicopter ride. Then we are on to Yosemite, where we have rented a house for the week. Our final stop will be San Francisco, for a day or two of kid-friendly fun (no wineries unfortunately). I will have my Kindle in hand and your recommendations in mind!
Praise the Lord that next week is a very short, last week of school and the beginning of summer. Freedom! Sleeping in! No homework! Fighting siblings! Can I have an Amen?