Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A September Lament

It's official. I am behind in blogging. To who or whom am I behind to other than myself, is unknown and inconsequential. However, I had topics I wanted to blog about. Really and truly. And then September happened. It happens every year. September is such a lovely month. And every year I pretty much miss it. Could the school year start in say August or October? (No, I like October a lot, too.) Let's try November. Every year, I think to myself, "I am not going to miss fall. I am not going to miss fall." And then, well, I do.

I am also behind in my blog reading. I just read a friend's blog and WHOA! she wrote what I was going to write about September! (And much more eloquently, mind you.) September is survival mode for educators. We miss much of fall because we're too stressed/sucked into overload/overdrive/exhausted to partake in the wonderful month of September in our 'real' lives.

So as I sit in a quiet house, with a napping sick daughter, I lament the loss of September. I lament missing the leaves start turn. The crisp fall walks I long to take. The trips to the orchard to buy crazy multitudes of apple products, pumpkins and gourds. Really, there is still a month left of fall to enjoy most of these things, but it seems like I've missed out on something big. Again, I lament you, dear September.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Having survived the first day of school, I am already dreaming of getaways. Thanks to the ladies at Austenprose for mentioning this one. Can someone say 3 day weekend in NYC--The Morgan Library and Museum, a Bway musical and kicking around Manhattan? (Of course, I'd have to get on a plane...hmmm, I'll just admire the lone image online. Sigh/Gulp.)

The Morgan Library and Museum upcoming exhibit: A Woman's Wit: Jane Austen's Life and Legacy from November 6, 2009 to March 14, 2010.
A bit from the description of the exhibit: "The Morgan's collection of Austen manuscripts and letters is the largest of any institution in the world and includes the darkly satiric Lady Susan, the only surviving complete manuscript of any of Austen's novels." Click on the link above to read more about it.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Soirée with Lady Susan

This week and next I am participating in A Soirée with Lady Susan at AustenProse. The soiree divides Lady Susan up into four segments, and those partcipating are reading and blogging about it.

For the event, I splurged with some birthday funds and purchased a print copy of Lady Susan since I didn't own one already. (While Austenprose offered some options for online reading and audio versions, I am a print nerd. What can I say?) I was so sure that I'd read it before, but after starting it I am an ashamed Janeite! I have no recollection of reading LS before.

Austenprose touts LS as "Jane Austen’s delightfully wicked novella." Written in epistlatory form, LS is delightfully wicked; nothing like other Austen works or main characters and intriguing because of that fact. One can't get enough of Lady Susan. It’s hard not to like her or want to understand her. If I can feel that way about her, it is no wonder that so many of the other characters in LS feel the same way. She has this way of captivating her audience that makes her such an intriguing villainess.

Questions from letters 1-11: What is she up to? Who is she after? Can the reader believe anything they read from Lady Susan? Does she really mean what she says about her own daughter? Is she really that callous? Is she just a coquette or a woman full of more artful wiles? What kind of woman is Alicia Johnson, Lady Susan's confidante?

Stay tuned for more Lady Susan and her delightfully wicked ways.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters Giveaway

I admit, I've been skeptical of Quirk's latest JA mashup, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. P&P & Zombies was fun, but S&S & Sea Monsters seems a bit much, perhaps too much.

Readers will have to decide for themselves. Here's your opportunity--Stephanie over at Stephanie's Written Word (Everything Austen Challenge) is giving away several arc copies. Try to win one of them here.

Lady Susan Manuscript on Display

Janeite Alert Having To Do With Lady Susan:

If you would like to gaze upon Jane Austen’s manuscript of Lady Susan, don’t miss the new exhibit at The Morgan Library in New York, A Woman’s Wit: Jane Austen’s Life and Legacy opening on November 6, 2009 through March 14, 2010.

If anyone plans a trip to NYC and goes, you have to let me know!

Summer's End

This picture of L is a few weeks old, but I wondered at the time if it was significant. Does it mean that L already thinks that of her far off futurist first teacher? Or is she trying to tell me something that either she or my students think of me? Was she just trying to prepare me for "School Mode?" Or does she just like to eat paper? (Hint: Choose door #4.)

So with this picture, I offer a week of several highs and lows.

We've officially jumped into "school mode," which is to be said in some deep, dark voice like a TV voice over. "School mode" means back to reality and with it some not so pleasant facts.

  • Momma gets less L time. Significantly. This momma relishes summer and the blessing that it is to be home for a glorious 2.5 months (let's not call 3, because folks, it isn't.). This harsh reality check was capped by Tuesday's brutal 13 hour day. Full of back to schoolish types of meetings, reminding us teachers to do the same things we always do because we're professionals, but somehow making us feel slightly less than the professional we are. More meetings, work time in classrooms--which for me is like being in a fun house or maybe a tilt-a-whirl. Start one thing, get into focus, SLAM! The car moves and someone interrupts for a different task, no time to finish that task because---SLAM! you are being flagged down by passing staff members. (Dang library with no walls!) And all the while people keep asking, so how's the unpacking coming? So it's no wonder that after saying good by at 7am and getting home at 8pm, I just started to cry as I gave my daughter a smooch goodnight as she slept in her crib. I had to just sit and listen to her breathe and watch her finger her green stuffed dog as she slept.
  • There is less sleep happening for all members of our family. It stinks, thus says the person who is a real grump when she doesn't get enough sleep.
The week did have some highs thrown in for good measure.

  • L likes daycare. She's going to be one of those kids who cries when it's time to leave. Socializing is good for her. At least I just keep telling myself that...
  • I have only been able to read a cookbook before passing out each night. But the cookbook is promising. Desperation! Dinners: Home-Cooked Meals for Frantic Families in 20 minutes Flat by Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross. I have so many recipes post-it-ed that I am contemplating just buying the book to save in copying costs. Seriously.
  • We're still in BB doesn't have to "do" her hair for work yet. I love the August humidity. I can leave the house with wet hair and it's ok because everyone else has frizzy hair, too. Now if only this time saver could fly in January amidst 30 degrees below zero.
Sigh. Goodbye Summer.