November is not the hell-a crush of October but it's not much less of a vise-grip type life. I remember thinking in September, my, this semester is going to be a cinch. And then October. November actually has as much going on but it's less of a surprise than October. Also. November has my birthday and Thanksgiving which are great reliefs, no?
Well, my birthday wasn't exactly a relief. Since I was pregnant last birthday, I decided to do this one up. 5 days of birthday beginning with Pinot noir tasting on Wednesday, happy Veterans Day mellow birthday day Thursday, Friday friends over for polpettes and orzo soup (they brought me Gerber daisies. I love gerber daisies) birthday, Saturday babysitter birthday, and Sunday, more friends for spanikopita, tatizki, tabouleh, falafel birthday. Much good birthday. Nice talking on the phone with my mom and mother-in-law, sister-in-law and cousin. Five days of happy birthday from Z and a lot of "but it's my birthday" voice to Erik. He survived all five of the days.
He also bought us a couch for my birthday (and Christmas and my Christmas present to him). We shopped around thinking we'd never buy one but then there was this perfect sectional with leather on the outside to keep the cat from scratching it to death and microfiber on the cushions so it's soft and warm.
There was no chance it would fit, Erik said. And I said, it will if we keep the sections apart until we move the cable to the other side of the room.
The couch came today. At first, we just shook our heads. Even the small half looked like it had swallowed the room. The bigger half? Well, we could keep in in the kitchen where it could serve as an island/flotilla/spanikopita-making rest spot.
But it did fit, sections apart. And then Erik got highly excited about his ability to restring the cable until someone official came and snaked it behind the walls for more elegant effect.
We moved the TV. We put the sections together. The couch fits. We haven't moved off it all day.
Well, that's not entirely true since I have still November to deal with which involves finding a new day care person for Max, hosting a second guest writer in as many weeks, responding to some seriously great essays in some newly fun ways for me, and making appointments with the center for biodesign in Phoenix. Also, AWP deciding and money-getting (I'll go if I get funding from the college), and furious grant-writing and planning for Thanksgiving and general undergrad advising and students who need advising and letters of recommendation and extra love because it's November and I'm happy to give it because they are such the loveliest of students.
Tomorrow's guest writer will be talking about research in personal essays which will be particularly helpful for me since most of my research is internet research that stands distinctly opposed to my personal essay writing but since I'm on my way to visit the biodesign folks, I had better learn this word "incorporate" instead of big stony text blocks that read, "research here!"
I had a food thing to mention. What was it? Spanikopita? I did indeed make triangles. Again, I thought, there's no way that whatever Tyler Florence is saying about "fold like a flag" makes any sense, but I folded and it did. And I made chicken stock using just drumsticks--that was good and cheap at $2.38 for 4 drumsticks (plus, I saved a drumstick for Zoe's lunch making me a frugal cook and a good mom.) But I can't think of any fancy cooking moments. Except the polpettes and orzo which I made twice in a week. With homemade chicken broth.
So today was great thanks to the couch configuration. Also, the Huff Post. Kind words from many folks made me so happy. Also, nice words about an essay from the book of food and Mormons and fertility which is very good news. Also, nice words about the whole book which just makes November so much better than October.
Oh, on the note of babies--kids were sick and so was I which was a drag (worst cold ever. Sleeping on one side, turning over, sleeping on the other, hoping I could breathe through that nostril). But Zoe calls Max sweetheart because he's sweet and he has a heart and Max walks like some sort of crab, three-legged dude with his left leg sticking out, propelling him fast along.
Oh and Zoe and I are writing a book and I asked her if it was OK if I worked some while she was at school since at this rate the book would be done when she was 23, and she said sure, as long as I mentioned it was "illustrated by Zoe." I promised.